Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Overcoming my fears

As a kiddo, I had so many doctors appointments and so many procedures done, that I quickly developed an aversion to doctors.  Needles, doctors, you name it...I hated them.  I had to get weekly allergy shots, and I always tried my best to talk my way out of them, to negotiate with the nurses, saying "I'm not comfortable with this...can we talk about it?"  Of course, that never worked.  Getting older, I've not done well with blood draws either.  It's just the thought of blood leaving my body, but I often faint when getting blood drawn.  So needless to say, when I found out I had to have a c-section, I was petrified.  I was scared mostly of the unknown, but also the thought of being awake while they cut me open scared the living daylights out of me.

As days crept closer to February 15th, the fear started to increase more and more.  T kept saying how he'd be there by my side and how I'd be okay, but it didn't really get rid of the fear.  I was scared.  Plain and simple. 

Now I know I'm not the first person to have a c-section, and that people every day go through much worse.  And this procedure pales in comparison to the closed heart surgery I had at four months old, but I was scared.  I had nightmares that I didn't make it through surgery and that something happened with my heart during the procedure.  Irrational?  Yes, but...I have never said I was the rational type :-)

The night before the surgery T and I went to the Adoration Chapel at our church, and I prayed a rosary, asking God for peace of mind.  To give me strength that next day and to watch over Aubrey and me throughout the whole thing.  It seemed to help somewhat.  I tried my best to give it to God and trust that it would work out. 

The morning of the surgery, I tried my best to calm down the entire way down to the hospital.  The two hour prep seemed to fly by, and I dreaded that moment when I had to kiss T good bye and walk into the OR without him.  When it hit 11:00 a.m., it was time.  No choice now because I was already having contractions so she was coming regardless that day.  I had to get that little girl out one way or another, and I certainly couldn't push. 

I have to say that walking into that OR and climbing onto that surgery table was something that took all the courage I had in me.  As I walked in there and saw the surgical instruments all laid out and (being the stupid one that I am) the needle that would be going into my back, I had that sudden urge from my childhood to say "nope, not doing it...I'm not comfortable with this...can we talk about this?"  But it was for her.  So I climbed on that table and said a little prayer.  As the nurse held onto me during the spinal, I just looked at her once and said "I'm scared."  I had to get it out.

Of course, once the spinal kicked in, those fears went away a little bit.  Whatever medication is in that is pretty nice.  I was relaxed.  T was amazed when he came in thirty minutes later how at ease I was.  He came in, and I just looked at him and was all "what's up, honey?" 

It took about ten minutes, as I held onto T's hand listening to him tell me everything was okay and how great I was doing before we heard it.  The cry.  The most amazing and beautiful noise I have ever heard in my entire life.  Nine and a half months of worry, anxiety, prayers and anticipation, and she was here.  And she was okay.  That's all that matters, and with that cry, I just started to cry tears of joy.  I didn't even think about how they would have to "put me back together again" after she was out.  Fear was completely gone. 
Looking  back  two weeks later, I still have no idea how I managed to walk into that OR.  Me, the girl who hates doctors and is so scared of any medical procedure.  But I somehow did it.  And you know what?  I'd do it again.  Because it was so worth it.


Monday, February 27, 2012

Lack of information

I don't outwardly broadcast this information, but a few months ago we decided to bottle-feed Aubrey.  Because of the medication Mommy is on (and can't really get off of), I decided I didn't want to pass on that medication and any of its possible side effects to Aubrey through breastmilk after consulting with my OB.  I was hoping to breastfeed, mostly so I could get that bonding time with her, and I was disappointed when he told me the side effects she could experience.  But I made a decision that I thought was in her best interest. 

However, once I made that decision, it seemed we started getting more and more opinions on it.  It was much like the c-section thing.  Everyone had an opinion.  Most of these opinions were from people who weren't aware of my heart condition, and of course, once I snapped at them and told them about it, they backed off.  But I kept hearing comments like "oh, I've heard that's not a good way to have a baby."  Or "OH, so you're having her the easy way?"  (Side note:  From the recovery I've been going through, I can testify to the fact that a c-section certainly is NOT an easy way.  Not in the slightest.)  I'm the kind of person who soaks up comments like that and lets them get to me.  I feel guilty like I'm somehow being an inadequate mother or letting her down already.  It's amazing to me the gall people have to just spout out opinions without seeming to care. 

But the opinions and judgment didn't just come from outsiders.  When we were in the hospital, believe it or not, they came from the OB nurses who cared for me and Aubrey.  And even in the hospital room...in my bathroom there was this huge poster from La Leche League detailing why breastfeeding is best and why bottles are bad.  Not something I'd necessarily want to see when I'm already insecure about it. 

But the thing that has really surprised me and irritated me is the lack of information about it.  When you breastfeed, they provide lactation consultants to help you and give you information on what to do, how to do it, etc.  But with formula, they just gave us a case of formula and we were just to feed her.  No guidance, nothing. She took to the formula okay in the hospital, but when we got home, we switched her from the pre-made liquid she got at the hospital to different brands we received in samples in the mail that were in powdered form.  Last Wednesday we were up all night with her crying, just inconsolable, and spitting up everything she ate.  The poor thing...you could tell she was in pain every time she spat up.  It broke my heart, and it also freaked me out, being a new mother.  When we called the doctor the next day we were told that apparently we weren't feeding her enough (we were going off the limited information on how much to feed her we received in the hospital) and told to just go back to what she had in the hospital.  So T and I took to the Internet, trying to find any and all information we could get.  But there isn't much out there. 

It's just frustrating because of the lack of information out there for formula-fed babies.  I hate that right now I have to just try different types to see what she likes because, well, she's suffering in the meantime.  It's not like she can look at me and say "hey, Mom...this formula?  Not making me feel so good."  Doctors don't really know that much about formula or at least mine doesn't, and it would have been immensely helpful if, while at the hospital, we got some kind of information on what to do and what to expect.

So I'll get off my soapbox for the time being.  But I needed to complain.  Are there any others out there who share the same frustration?  Just curious or maybe I'm being crazy...it wouldn't be the first time, that's for sure :-) 

Today Aubrey is getting her professional pictures done for announcements.  I'll be sure to share those when we get them!


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Home sweet home

Sorry for the lack of posts lately!  It's been a crazy week, needless to say, as T and I adjust to life at home as parents.  But we are, in fact, home.  We had thought we were going to be released on Sunday but they let us go home on Day 3 (Saturday) so that was a nice surprise.  Honestly, I was going stir crazy being in the hospital.  The whole being checked on every 2 hours was driving me crazy, and hospital beds?  Totally not comfortable.  Hospital food?  Not so great.  So we got to go home on Saturday afternoon....by the time we got home, though, both Aubrey and I were beat.

To keep with the monkey theme, we decided to dress her in her little monkey outfit to get home.  She managed to keep this on until we got home...when she prompty spit up all over her cute outfit.  But, we got to take a few pictures first!

So we loaded her up in her car seat and waited for transportation to take us to our car.  I think it's so funny how tiny she looks in her car seat, but, it was approved officially by the hospital!

That car ride was the longest ever.  T drove about as carefully as possible, and I was never more aware of how many bumps were in the road.  But she barely stirred and remained asleep even when got home.

Both Mommy and Aubrey were happy to be home!  And ready for our two and half hour nap we both took shortly after we got home.

Life at home has been pretty sweet for little Miss Aubrey.  She gets to sleep, relax, and eat as much as she wants.  She's become a big fan of her chair....

But her most favorite place to sleep?  Relaxed with Mommy...and trust me, I'm good with this too.  

I'll try my very best to post more often!  And add pictures as we take them!


Friday, February 17, 2012

Welcome to the world, baby!

T and I are so very proud to introduce you all to....Miss Aubrey Leona.  She came into the world at 11:40 Wednesday morning, weighing 7 lbs 8.5 oz.  (Smaller than predicted, but she's still a big baby!)   The surgery went very well.  Mommy was scared but through the grace of God, I was oddly calm that morning.  We couldn't have asked for things to go any smoother than they did.  And with that, here are a few pictures of the big day! 

Daddy holding Aubrey for the very first time, just minutes after she arrived.  I swear, the sound of that cry was the best noise I have ever heard in my entire life.  Below is a picture of me meeting her for the very first time.  Could be the hormones, but looking at this photo makes me tear up.

One extremely relived Mommy....and a little tired, too!

She loves her Daddy so much already.....

She has a head full of dark hair and such beautiful eyes....

Our little miracle is here!  Thank you all so much for your prayers, kind words and thoughts.  They've meant so much to all three of us.  Welcome to the world little Aubrey!


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

It's February 14th, the day of love and chocolate and cards and Hallmark stuff :-)  I haven't always been a huge fan of Valentine's Day, but I have a feeling this Valentine's Day is about to change that for me forever.  In fact, I'm not sure I can look at the holiday in the same way ever again.  This year, while T and I are playing it low key and not exchanging presents, we don't have to....because tomorrow morning, we'll be getting the best present ever.  Our little girl. 

Every Valentine's Day from now on, I'll reflect on how I feel right now.  Anticipation.  Nerves.  Excitement.  Because tomorrow at this time, I'll be holding our little Half-pint for the first time.  And every year from now on, Valentine's Day will not only be a day of flowers and candy and sharing an I love you with your special someone.  It'll be a day for T and me where we think about how just one day later we were graced with the best gift ever, the ultimate gift of our love together.  I couldn't ask for anything more. 

I'm afraid I'll be off the grid for the next few days, though I'm sure you all will understand why :-)  I'm not sure how quickly we'll be able to post a picture of her here on the blog, but, if you're a fan of my Facebook page, I will definitely try to post a picture there.  Unless something changes between now and tomorrow, we'll be heading to the hospital tomorrow morning around 8, with surgery scheduled for 11 a.m. 

T and I want to thank all of you for your support, prayers and for everything over these past  9 1/2 months.  All of it has meant so much.  I don't know any of you personally, but I feel like I do.  And the outpouring we've gotten from people we've never met has been incredibly humbling.

So Happy Valentine's Day everyone! 


Monday, February 13, 2012

Stubborn Mama...still in holding pattern

No news to report yet, I'm afraid, which is a good thing.  We're still on schedule for the c-section Wednesday morning, and I am officially now on maternity leave from work.  It's weird just sitting here thinking that in less than 48 hours we're about to be parents.  She'll be here.  Finally. 
We had a brief moment this weekend where the possibility of her arriving sooner than Wednesday was there.  Of course, I, in my immense stubbornness, failed to recognize it or even do anything about it.  My niece and nephew's 9th birthday was on Saturday, and we headed up to my brother and sister-in-law's house for the evening.  All day on Saturday, I was complaining of my lower back hurting.  Not sharp pain, but it was enough for me to be pretty uncomfortable.  We get to my brother's house, and I couldn't find a chair that was comfortable for me to sit in.  People kept asking me if I was okay, because it was apparently obvious I was uncomfortable, but the pain wasn't coming in waves like contractions, and it was in my back, not my stomach so I was sure it wasn't anything.  It wasn't until T and I got home, I went to get up and could barely stand up straight that he made me call the doctor.  I didn't want to because I figured it was nothing, right?  Why would I bother the doctor's office with my problems?
I also failed to tell T about another more personal symptom I was having so by the time I  shared that, the phone was put in my hand, and I was told to call.  I talked to the on-call nurse, first apologizing profusely for bothering her and saying that I was sure this was a stupid question...but I just had to ask.  You could almost here her laughing at me on the other side of the line.  But she took the message and said to wait for a call back.  So we sat there.  I looked to T and said "well, what if they say we have to go to the hospital?  What do we do then???"  T just kind of looks at me like I'm crazy and responds, "we go to the hospital?"  I tried to convince him that it wasn't going to happen.  That her birthday was February 15th and she can't arrive before then because our doctor wouldn't be available to do the surgery.  But, common sense seem to come back to me, and by the time we got a phone call back from the on-call doctor, who assured me that I was okay for now and to just monitor the back pain and see if it came in flows and whether it increased in intensity, I calmed down and realized that I had no control over the situation.  If she wanted to come, then we had no choice. 
I'm not normally this out of touch with reality, but I think fear kind of took over me at the moment.  Don't get me wrong, I'm excited beyond belief.  But I'm also scared.  Of the unknown and that uncertainty that not everything will be okay.  So...like I've said before, I'm not normally someone who says "hey everyone! pray for me!"  But if you could, I think my own peace of mind could use some prayers and positive thoughts to get me through these next two days and to give me the strength and calm I need to put it in His Hands and trust that everything will be just fine for me and for baby. 
Tomorrow, T and I will be heading to our church's Adoration Chapel to pray for just that.  This stubborn mama needs to let go and let God's plan play out.  And just wait for our little miracle to arrive.  In less than 48 hours....

Friday, February 10, 2012

Holding pattern

I'm having one of those weeks where I feel like every day I'm Bill Murray in Groundhog Day.  I get up, I eat breakfast, I attempt to get work done, and I wait.  I sit on the couch vigilant of every single movement I feel from Half-pint, paranoid if I don't feel any movement for too long, paranoid at every twinge or slight cramp I feel.  "Is that a contraction?  Am I in labor?  Is she okay?  Should I call the doctor?"  Every day.  And I'll continue to do so every day until February 15th.  And I'm not going to lie....it's making me go crazy. 

I'm in a holding pattern, just waiting for the big day.  I'm scared to death that she could come earlier than planned.  I'm scared I'll go into labor while T is still at work, and I'll be alone when my water breaks or when I start having contractions.  I'm scared I won't recognize them when they happen and it'll be too late.  Nain is left alone with her thoughts, only to come up with the most ridiculous labor scenarios ever.

I'm happy that I'm working from home.  I don't do well being stuck in the house for too long like this, but in my mind I feel this is the best thing for her.  My stress level stays down, I get to rest and take care of myself, which has been especially important with this virus I seem to have caught.  But being alone and stuck in the house leaves me alone with my thoughts for far too long.  And that, my friends, is extremely dangerous. 

I know you moms out there are chuckling at me, because I'm sure you had the same worries before.  And I know, everyone keeps telling me that when I am, in fact, in labor...I'll just know.  And I'm sure I will.  Or it's possible I won't know what it feels like because she could be in there for the long haul until we arrive at the hospital next Wednesday for the surgery.  But that doesn't stop the worrying.

And even as I type this, I feel Half-pint moving around inside of me.  Right now she's pushing her foot into the side of my stomach, a move she's mastered quite well over the past few weeks.  Last night, I swear, I could actually feel a tiny heel when she was stretching.   It was right after I told T that I was worried that she wasn't moving enough.  A second later, she pushes her foot out, almost as if to say "See, Mommy, I'm still here.  Stop worrying."

Maybe I should listen to her....

So for now, I'm here.  Waiting.  In a holding pattern.  


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

11 Questions

I've been tagged!  By one of my favorite bloggers ever, Chloe @ My New Life as a Housewife.  And since my mind is drawing a huge blank for blog topics today, I am all about doing a post like this today!  And with any good post like this, it comes with rules, so here they are: 
The Rules:
1. Post the rules
2. Post 11 fun facts about yourself
3. Answer the questions the tagger gave you in their post & then create 11 new questions for the people you tag.
4. Tag 11 people and link them in your post
5. Let them know you've "tagged" them
11 Fun or Random Facts About Me
1.  One week from today....I'm going to be a Mommy!  Yep, one week from this very moment as I type this sentence, T and I will be well on our way to the hospital to meet our little girl. 

2.  I'm super excited but also super scared about next Wednesday.

3.  I look forward to being able to wear my normal clothes again and my cute shoes.  I've missed them. 

4.  I have one of the coolest closets ever.  T did one of those custom closet kit things when we moved in, and it's a thing of beauty.  I feel like a celebrity every time I go into it.  Maybe I can get MTV cribs to come over and check it out...

5.  I have notoriously poor taste in television shows that I love - I love me some smut...no serious television shows for me.  Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill, but I also love train wrecks, too.  Hoarders is amazing. 

6.  I took ballroom dancing lessons a few years ago, and I remember some of it...I'd love to pick it up again someday.

7.  I used to have a huge fear of public speaking.  I would make myself sick about having to talk before my class in school.  It's funny to think about now considering that's kind of what I do for a living.  If you knew me back in high school there's no way you'd picture me as an attorney some day. 

8.  I have playing games.  Board games, card games, those ice breakers you have to do when you go to work functions and have to meet people...I hate them all.  Oh, and baby shower and wedding shower games?  Those were strictly forbidden from my showers.

9.  I'm scared of riding horses.  I've ridden a horse just once in college, and I swear, I thought I was going to die. 

10.  One of the scariest things that has ever happened to me?  I was involved in a car accident when I was in law school.  A drunk driver slammed into me as I was waiting for a stoplight to turn green, and he was going about 55 mph.  Hands down one of the scariest things I've gone through. 

11.  I never believed in soul mates or even used the term until I met T.  And even then it was hard for me to get the words out because I was such a love cynic.  However, I can say without reservation that T is my soulmate.
Questions From Chloe For Me To Answer
1. What is your most embarrassing nickname?  I'm not sure I have an embarrassing nickname honestly.  Takes a lot to really embarrass me!
2. What makes you anxious or nervous?  Have you met me?  Um....everything!  Really the unknown.  I don't do well when things are out of my control and I don't know what to expect.  Right now?  The c-section...
3. What is your biggest fear?  Right now?  The c-section :-)  But really my biggest fear is losing someone I love
4. Facebook or Twitter?  I have both accounts, but I use the Facebook one much more often!
5. Dogs or cats?  Neither really...I'm not an animal person, but I guess if I had to pick, I'd say dogs.  but small dogs!  I'm kind of scared of bigger dogs.
6. What is your favorite recipe?  T's honey chicken stir fry, of course!
7. What are your resolutions for 2012?  I hate to say it but I didn't make any really.  I made goals instead....ultimately my goal was to keep my stress down for the remainder of the pregnancy.  And to really work on my Mary Kay business in expanding it. 
8. Books or magazines?  Books!
9. What is your favorite color?  Red
10. Worst part of the day?  First thing in the morning...I hate having to get out of bed.  Totally a bummer
11. Favorite part of the day?  Coming home/end of the work day

So now I have to come up with 11 questions to ask the people I tag...let's see if I can come up with some:
  1. What's your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
  2. Who do you consider to be your real life hero?
  3. Who was your childhood celebrity crush?
  4. What was your favorite subject in school? 
  5.  Which do you prefer - being really cold or really hot?
  6. What's the one thing you've always wanted to learn how to do?
  7. Do you consider yourself to be more of a leader or follower?
  8. What's your biggest accomplishments so far in life?
  9. What's the one thing that grosses you out the most?
  10. Your weirdest personal habit or quirk?
  11. Do you believe in love at first sight?

Okay, so let's see if I can come up with 11 people to tag....if I don't, sorry!  And if your name isn't on this list, still consider yourself tagged :-)

Robin @ Find Good in Every Day
Sarah @ Crazy Love Gamble Style
Camille @ Archives of Our Lives
Brynn @ Wicked Sweet Tea
Jen @ Sprite's Keeper
Ali @ A Coffeeqween's Life
Megan @ Best of Fates

Okay, I give...I can't come up with any more!  Tag, you're it!





And the winner is....

Thank you, thank you to all of you ladies who participated in my very first giveaway ever!  This will not be my only one for sure :-) 
I'll be back with a post of substance, but the winner of the Mary Kay Satin Lips set is Sarah over at Crazy, Love, Gamble-Style
I wish I could give all of you the product to try because it's so fabulous, and I still encourage each and every one of you to try it, just not free of charge!  But like I said, I will be doing these more often, promise!
Congrats, Sarah!  And everyone, stop by her blog and say hi!  and check out those cutie little girls of hers!

Monday, February 6, 2012

The sick and the frustrated

So, after my previous post today describing my being sick and the lack of content from my doctor's office, I finally got a call around 3:00 p.m.  My doctor is out all week at a conference, and the on-call doctor wanted to have me see a nurse practitioner since I have been sick for over a week now.  So, I rushed to downtown Indy to get to my hospital before they closed at 4:00.  I made it, luckily.  Stressed out, but I made it. 
It wasn't a good appointment, let me just say that.  Since I saw staff members who have never seen me before nor have they ever read my file, it was much more stressful than it should have been.  I'm not sure that the nurse who did my vitals or the nurse practitioner who saw me realized I was high risk or even why.   I was concerned that the first nurse didn't even realize I was pregnant when she asked me what the last day of my missed period was.  I kind of just stared back and her, looked down at my stomach and went "umm...I don't remember.  A long time ago?"  There were several other statements/questions that happened like that, but they're of a pretty personal nature, but suffice it to say that it was one of those "here is your sign" kind of moments...despite the fact that I hate that kind of humor.  It was just too fitting. 
The nurse practitioner didn't make me feel much better.  She examined me, listened to my wheezing and coughing, didn't tell me much except that it was probably just viral.  But she kept saying that they couldn't have me sick with my surgery a week away.  No really helpful statements, just kept saying "this is bad..."  So she went and talked to the on-call doctor, I have no idea what they talked about, but they put me on an antibiotic.  Just to see if it works.  She did say it might not work and that it could be viral...and proceeded to tell me that if I wasn't well by next Wednesday, they might have to delay the surgery.  That's when I started to inwardly panic.  So I asked her about other medication I could take, like cough syrup since I've been hacking all night.  She said, sure, take some Robitussin and some Sudafed, too, to if I wanted.  Of course, I have high blood pressure, so I told her "no, I can't take that...I'm not allowed to take decongestants because of my blood pressure."  Her response?  "Well, it was low today!"  I kind of chuckled and said "yeah, it better be, I'm on three medications!"  She looked surprised like this was the first time she knew this...oh really?  Didn't read my chart?  Didn't realize I'm high risk because of a freaking heart condition?  And I have high blood pressure and that's why I see the doctor here every week?  You didn't notice that?  But you're telling me that I have to keep this child in me no matter what, if I'm sick, even if my c-section is scheduled for next week?  I asked her what if I can't get better before next week?  Her answer was to just be positive that this will work. 
So I walked away from that appointment, yes, with a prescription in hand, but my mind all over the place.  All I wanted to do was to talk to someone who actually read my chart, knew my medical history and could tell me realistically what was going to happen.  And the thought that I wouldn't get to see my baby because of some stupid cold that I didn't ask to get and have absolutely no control over just killed me.  And when I got to the car, I just lost it.   I feel like crap, can't breathe at all, just want to feel better, and I just want my baby to be fine and to meet her next week.  And I don't want anything in the world to prevent that. 
So I'm considering calling my doctor's regular nurse tomorrow and expressing my concern and seeing if that message can be passed along to my regular doctor.  I don't want to be that patient and be too pushy.  But I just need some reassurance that it's going to be okay. 
So for now, Nain and Half-pint are on wellness lock down.  Focus is on getting better at all costs.  Because we have just eight more days to go....


I'm officially 38 weeks pregnant as of tomorrow.  Just one more week until Half-pint's arrival.  You'd think that the one thing that would make me feel miserable today is the fact that I'm...well, huge and 9 1/2 months pregnant.  However, not the case.  In fact, the large stomach isn't bothering me at all today.  Instead, I'm ally I'm feeling like complete poo on a stick because of this cold I've had for a week now.  Well, actually I'm pretty sure the term cold doesn't describe what I have anymore, and it's more into sinus infection status.  I just feel awful.  And I'm not sure if there's much I can do about it.  I mean, I'm just one week away from delivery.  Can I take medication at this point? 
So being the diligent patient that I am, I got up early this morning and left a message for the nurse at my OB's office first thing when they opened.  No call back.  So I've left another.  Still no call back.  All I want to know is 1) can I take anything for this? and 2) if I can, do I need to see my family doctor?  A call would be nice considering if I need to see my family doctor, I need to see her, well....um...now?  I mean I could have baby at any time right now.  And I seriously don't want my first moments with my child to be me holding her wearing a surgical mask so as to not share germs.  And I would like to breathe again.  So I'm just a grumpy Nain today.  A grumpy Nain who has cried several times today out of frustration, only to cause more snot and blowing of the nose, which sucks.  It's not pretty here at the Nain and T household.  It's a good thing that poor T isn't here today and is at work because he doesn't need to witness this ugliness. 
I just want a phone call back, people.  Just call me back and let me out of this misery. 
Sorry for the venting post...but....it's my blog, and I'll vent if I want to, right?

OH, and don't forget...today is the last day to enter my giveaway!  I'll announce the winner on Wednesday!


Friday, February 3, 2012

Who loves free goods?

I've been wanting to do a giveaway for, well....about forever, but I've never gotten around to just doing it.  So, I figure, it's February...it's a cold month (well, it's supposed to be cold!) and everyone could probably use a pick-me-up, so now's the perfect time!  And it's a bit of a shameless plug in addition to being a giveaway, but who doesn't love free stuff? 

For those of you who don't know already, I'm not just a lawyer, but I'm also an Independent Beauty Consultant with Mary Kay.  I absolutely love it.  It gives me the chance to get out there, have fun, make people feel good about themselves and give them extra confidence.  It's a wonderful release from my full-time job, and I have so much fun doing it.  It doesn't hurt that I love the products, too.  Let's just say the real world and the legal industry has been...trying on my skin.  And I'm not ready to give up that battle in keeping my youthful glow yet!  And Mary Kay products are pretty much awesome in doing that.

What I'm giving away is one of my more favorite products and best sellers - the Satin Lips set.  It's a two part set, and it normally runs for $18.  It's the perfect way to keep your lips kissable soft, especially when the weather out there makes it hard to do so.  What you do is you use the first part which is a lip mask.  It exfoliates your lips, and you leave it on your lips for about 30-60 seconds.  You wipe it off with a wet cloth and apply the lip balm immediately after, and voila!  You have soft lips!  And we're talking really soft lips, too...trust me!

With Baby Girl coming soon, I'm looking for new ways to expand my business, and I figure, what better way than reaching out to my loyal readers?  So here's how you can get this fun product for free: 

Do any of the following and earn one entry into the giveaway.  Do the last one, and you get five entries just for that one!  And be sure to leave a comment saying which entries you did! 

Become a fan of my Independent Beauty Consultant page on Facebook

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Comment on this post and say what Mary Kay product you've used in the past and loved!

Promote this giveaway on your blog, Facebook or Twitter account!

Make a purchase of $15 or more on my Mary Kay Personal Web Site (and get 5 entries!) 

You don't have to just be a U.S. resident to participate....the more that participate, the better!  I'd love for this to be something I regularly do depending on the response.  I'll have this giveaway up until Tuesday morning, and I'll announce the winner first thing on Wednesday! 

Have a great weekend, everyone!


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Stay tuned! Giveaway tomorrow!

Come back tomorrow for a special giveaway I'll be hosting exclusively on my blog!  If you like to pamper yourself, this giveaway is for you!  It'll be open starting tomorrow morning until next Tuesday! 
Anticipation killing you yet?  That's all a part of my diabolical plan :-) (cue evil laugh...)

Soap box

Yay, so guess who is sick?  This girl!  I'm totally not pleased with this new development, but it's true...stuffy nose, congestion, sore throat and achy feeling all over.  I guess it's a good thing I'm working from home, but still....I'm 9 months pregnant...must I really have some kind of cold, too? 
Anyway, I was thinking and thinking about what I wanted to discuss today in my post.  I do have something on my mind, but I'm afraid it's somewhat political.  I try to steer away from the politics, but it involves something I've battled my entire life and something that, well, I just don't think is fair. Insurance.  Both health and life.  Recently, I've had to deal with this yet again.  And I hate it.
As you all know, I was born with a congenital heart defect that was discovered when I was three months old.  It was repaired with surgery at four months old, and I've been monitored pretty closely my whole life.  I also was the lucky recipient of other genetic medical conditions (thanks, family!), so I take medication and go to the doctor more often than I like.  
My Mom's side of the family is Slovakian, and my Grandpa George was a huge proponent of getting us all signed up for life insurance through the National Slovak Society.  Everyone, but me unfortunately.  They tried to sign me up for the insurance, but because of my health conditions, I was rejected for coverage.  It wasn't until I was in high school that I was able to qualify for the minimum policy of $3,000.   
I was fortunate that I had health insurance coverage through my father's work throughout my childhood and into law school until I turned 24.  I'm not sure how we would have paid for my yearly cardiologist visits and tests had we not had that coverage.  I have to admit, I took this for granted until I graduated from law school in 2006 and went onto my first job at a small firm.  I had a brief period of time where I did not have health insurance coverage, and being that I was working in a small firm that lacked the ability to have a group policy for the entire office, I was stuck trying to negotiate getting an individual policy.  With a pre-existing condition.  Well, actually several of them.  That was hands down one of the more stressful experiences I've been through.  I got rejected for health insurance coverage five times.  Five.  All because of my heart, my asthma and a few other conditions.  I was told I was uninsurable.  At the same time, there was another lawyer in my office who was applying for insurance.   He was in his mid-fifties and he was a rather large guy, a smoker and not what you would consider in shape.  I, on the other hand, am not a smoker, was well within my healthy weight class and worked out at least five times a week.  However, he had no pre-existing conditions and was automatically qualified.  I went through weeks of arguments with the insurance company only to be told that I should apply for emergency health insurance coverage, the premiums which would be almost $400 a month.  At that point, my employer was questioning whether he would be able to pay for my coverage.  I certainly couldn't afford that on my own.  After some pushing on his part and my persistent questioning of why, with my good state of health otherwise would disqualify me from insurance, they did reluctantly qualify me with a higher premium than anyone else in the office. 
Flash forward to 2010 when I was added to T's work group health insurance policy.  We also wanted to get life insurance for me so we submitted the application during open enrollment.  Almost immediately we received a letter from the company saying that they needed five years of copies of my medical records, all of them, and even that wouldn't guarantee me coverage.  In fact, even if I sent the paperwork in (I would pay the cost for copying, of course), it was likely I wouldn't qualify, according to the representative at T's work.  So I was denied life insurance coverage.  We tried again in 2011, and wouldn't you know?  Just a few weeks ago we got the exact same letter.  So now we're facing that same decision...should I attempt to get medical records from all of my multiple doctors or should we just say screw it?  Is it worth it? 
So tell me why this is  fair.  Because I have the unfortunate luck of being born with certain health conditions and have chosen to address these through medical care, I am uninsurable?  My life is not insurable?  If I didn't have the good luck that my husband's work has a group policy that cannot discriminate and reject me for health insurance because of my health conditions, I would be forced to pay outrageous premiums just to receive medical care for conditions over which I have no control.  Something isn't right there.  I don't care what political leanings you may or may not have, everyone has to know someone in their life that has dealt with the same or similar situation.  And speaking from my own personal experience, it sucks.  Just saying.
So I'll get off my political soap box for the day.  It's my blog, and I'll vent if I want to...right?  

We'll be back tomorrow with a less controversial post! 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Darn that guilt

So, as I said in yesterday's post, I'll be working from home and taking it easy the remainder of this pregnancy for my sake, as well as Half-pint's.  It's a good idea.  In theory....
For those of you who know me all too well, you know that sitting around and relaxing is totally not my thing.  It's a talent I sorely lack.  I think the only time I truly sat around and did nothing was when I had mono in college.  And even then, I went stir crazy. 
So here I am, taking it easy.  And "relaxing."  Whatever that means.  And truth be told?  I feel incredibly incredibly guilty about it.  I feel guilty as T wakes up early in the morning and leaves for work.  Sure, I'm working from the comfort of my living room, but the bonus in that is that no one has to see how awful I look while I'm doing it.  Or how long I stay in my pajamas.  So long as I have my feet up and my back in a comfortable position, I'm good.  But I still feel guilty that I'm doing it.  I should be in the office.  I'm the boss, after all...shouldn't I be there till the very end?  Until I can work no more? 
Don't get me wrong.  When I'm officially on maternity leave, I will  have no problem not being at work.  Because then, my task will be simple and will be about someone else.  I will be off work because I am taking care of her.  But right now?  I'm taking care of myself.  And I'm not comfortable with that concept.  I mean, I am a big girl.  I can handle things.  I should be able to go into work every day and come home and cook a fabulous meal, spend quality time with T and go to bed to start it all over again.  I've been doing this so well for 9 months.  What's two weeks more?  I mean, sure, when I'm at work, I am so exhausted from my medication that I can barely keep my eyes open.  And sure, T has had to drive every day because I'm not safe behind the wheel.  And I'm sure that affects my productivity, but at least I'm there.  In body.   That's all that matters. 
So why is it so hard for me to take that step back and admit that I need to slow it down a notch?  Why is it that on one of my days where I'm supposed to be relaxing I find myself wanting to clean the downstairs from top to bottom?  And do three loads of laundry?   Nesting, yes, I know, but I'm supposed to be relaxing.  Taking a nap here and there when I need to.  Why does it feel just so....oh, I don't know....wrong? 
I am a guilt-ridden person by nature.  I come from a long, long line of women who feel guilty about everything.  It's in my DNA.  But these next few weeks, I guess I just need to remind myself that I need to take care of myself for her.  And for my sake, too.  We're nearing the finish line, and it's no time for my pride to get in the way.  I just think I need that gentle reminder here and there....