Saturday, January 26, 2013

Enjoying My Last Month of Pregnancy

My last pregnancy was a difficult one compared to most... but I still managed to enjoy a lot of it despite the pain.  This time around, the pregnancy has been so painful and challenging I haven't been able to enjoy it at all.  It is so hard to stay positive when I am in pain.

All of the problems I had with my first pregnancy were multiplied by about 10 with this one.  The only thing I haven't yet experienced with this pregnancy as opposed to the last one is that thing (can't remember the name for the life of me) where everything I eat or drink always tastes sour.  I'm very thankful for that!

I had hoped to have more than two children.  After this pregnancy I'm convinced that is not going to happen... so that means I have one month of pregnancy left and that is it! It is very likely that I will never experience it again.  It truly is amazing to feel a little human being moving around in your tummy and to know that she is a real person who is going to grow up to be one of your best friends.

So while I'm anxious to meet my precious new daughter and for the pregnancy to end, I am going to try everything I can to enjoy this last month of pregnancy; to stay focused on my daughter, no matter how intense the pain gets to be.  Everything I have gone through physically in the last 8 months has been for her.  Only God knows, but maybe the increased relaxin hormone is somehow benefiting her? Maybe the symphysis pubic bone needs to be shifted for some reason?  I'm positive that the reason I'm always dizzy and feeling light headed is because she is using up every bit of nutrition that she needs to grow and be a healthy baby.   Things that have a negative effect on me are probably all positives for her in some way or another.

Once Zoe was about a year old I had decided I wanted to have another one.  The first year I had to wait because while we could have qualified for Medicaid again, we were not in need of it and neither of us felt right about using Medicaid unless we were truly in need (as we were when Zoe was born).  After a year Gage got a job that paid enough for us to buy insurance just for me.  It then took TWO MORE years for us to conceive this little one.  Add the past 8 months to that and I have been waiting for this little girl for close to 4 years!

Everything I've gone through is worth it.  She is worth every single pain that I experience and right now I just want to enjoy carrying her around with me everywhere I go. I can't wait to meet her!

All I hear is what they're selling me
That God is love, He's isn't suffering
And what you need is a little faith in prosperity
But oh my God I know there's more than this
If You promise pain, it can't be meaningless
So make me poor if it's the price for freedom

Don't stop the madness
Don't stop the chaos
Don't stop the pain surrounding me
Don't be afraid Lord to break my heart
If it brings me down to my knees

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Everyday Living with Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction

I saw this list of typical advice given to women with SPD (from Doctors that actually know what it is) on Wikipedia. It's amazing to me how a few of these things are the exact opposite of what Doctors have been telling me I SHOULD do... goes to show how little they know about it.   Granted, there really is very little anyone can do to help a woman with SPD while she's pregnant but it still infuriates me that so many Doctors don't know what it is, despite the fact that it is believed that 1 in 4 women experiences it in varying degrees.  Mine is obviously a severe case of it but oh my gosh... that many women and any with severe cases of it are having to deal with Doctors just saying it's back pain and normal aches and pains of pregnancy.  It's a DISABILITY.  It causes women to not be able to do *anything* other than lay down to avoid *some* of the pain.  That is not normal and that should not be ignored.

Everyday living

Typical advice usually given to women includes avoiding strenuous exercise, prolonged standing, vacuum cleaning, stretching exercises and squatting. Women are also frequently advised to:
  • Brace the pelvic floor muscles before performing any activity which might cause pain 
  • Rest the pelvis 
  • Sit down for tasks where possible (e.g. preparing food, ironing, dressing) 
  • Avoid lifting and carrying. 
  • Avoid stepping over things. 
  • Avoid straddle movements especially when weight bearing. 
  • Bend the knees and keep the legs 'glued together' when turning in bed and getting in and out of bed. 
  • Place a pillow between the legs when in bed or resting. 
  • Avoid twisting movements of the body. 
If the pain is very severe, using elbow crutches will help take the weight off the pelvis and assist with mobility. Alternatively, for more extreme cases a wheelchair may be considered advisable.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Grandpa Lee Huddleston

Yesterday, over the phone, I was able to partially listen to members of my family reading scriptures and praying for my Grandpa Lee as he was moments away from leaving his body and going to Heaven.  We had a hard time connecting me to the phone that was on in the room so I was only able to hear a little bit.  I'm thankful I called when I did though because he passed away about 3 minutes after I called.

My cousin Amy (Lee's granddaughter) also had a miscarriage yesterday :(  It was a very rough day for the whole family but especially hers side of the family.

Prayers for the family would be much appreciated.

This was was my Dad (Greg Skodacek) posted on Facebook and I think it sums up everything pretty well.

"For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's." Romans 148. My Step-Dad, Lee Huddleston, died just before noon today with his wife and kids by his bedside. This isn't the last time I will see him, though. "Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord." 2 Corinthians 5:8. He is at home with Jesus now. He has joined with many other dear family members who have preceded him. While we are sad, here and now, we know that he is experiencing joy unspeakable.

I was blessed with 2 godly Dads. My father died young, at 55, and I am thankful for the time we had together. He wasn't perfect, but he raised me in a Christian home, and taught me the importance of getting to know Jesus in a personal way. Lee was my second Dad. He came into our lives after we were adults, but for the last 22 years he has been a father, a mentor, and an example of what it means to "live unto the Lord". He supported me with prayers. He
supported everyday life and my ministry. He offered advice, only when asked, that proved to be godly and sound. He was a loving grandfather to my children, did not judge or condemn, but just loved. I am forever thankful to have known him. Most of all, I am thankful for the way he loved my mother. He was her best friend, who sacrificed for her, nurtured her, and helped her, both in day to day activities and in her walk with Jesus.

In Psalm 71:7-8, the Psalmist said, "My life is an example to many, because you have been my strength and protection. That is why I can never stop praising you; I declare your glory all day long." Lee can say the same thing. And now, he gets to continue what he started in this life... continuously praising God, and forever declaring His glory.

Thank you, God, for giving me 22 years with this man. Thank you, Lee. And thank you Jesus, for greeting him today. "Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount.... Let’s celebrate together!"

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

My 28th Birthday!

*I'll add pictures to this post later!*

Today has been good so far... aside from being in Walmart for 30 minutes rather than  just a few minutes.  If I walk for more than 10-15 minutes I get to a point where I can't walk anymore... and it happened during the time of day where I was feeling super faint.

The weather was AMAZING today though! It was 45 degrees when we left Walmart!!

This morning was a little rough to start out with... we finally got out to eat breakfast at Bagel Boy at around noon.  Then we went to Caribou Coffee to get my free birthday drink.  Then to Walmart so that I could shop for baby clothes and pick up a few things with a gift card we got for Christmas!  Walmart actually had a few fleece sleeper outfits for newborns unlike every other store in Sioux Falls.   After Walmart we came back home and we've just been hanging out here... Gage went to Sonic to get us a snack (we skipped lunch) because I had a freebie there too... and then he made me some Muddie Buddies!

Tonight we'll take Zoe to Cubbies and from there she'll be going to her Grandparents house to spend the night.  Gage and I will go to Olive Garden for dinner and then we might see a movie!

It's nice to get out of the house a little bit and have some fun.  The pain is still there though.  I've just been trying my best to ignore it today!

I saw this and thought it was pretty hilarious.  I then applied it to me right now... SUPER pregnant and almost always hurting so I almost always have a stressed out look on my face.  Really, I look terrible right now, haha.  I think that's why I thought this was so funny.  I wish there was a maternity version of it that I could wear today :)


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

34 Weeks!

I receive e-mail updates each week on baby's development in the womb, here is what this week's says:

"Your baby now weighs about 4 3/4 pounds (like your average cantaloupe) and is almost 18 inches long. Her fat layers – which she'll need to regulate her body temperature once she's born – are filling her out, making her rounder. Her skin is also smoother than ever. Her central nervous system is maturing and her lungs are continuing to mature as well. If you've been nervous about preterm labor, you'll be happy to know that babies born between 34 and 37 weeks who have no other health problems generally do fine. They may need a short stay in the neonatal nursery and may have a few short-term health issues, but in the long run, they usually do as well as full-term babies."

33 Weeks, 2 Days
 I am SO glad to be past the point where I need to worry about preterm labor!  Our little girl will be here in 6 weeks or less.  That is so exciting!

Yesterday I got out Zoe's old newborn clothes.  We are definitely in need of a few more things but overall I think we're covered on clothes.  As for everything else.... I went ahead and made a Baby Registry at Amazon and a Baby Registry at Target.   I am amazed at how much stuff we don't have anymore... I either borrowed a lot of stuff last time or have since gotten rid of it.  There are also NEW things available for babies since I last had a baby (5 years ago).

Tomorrow is my birthday (yay!) and then Thursday I have my first Dr appointment with the new Dr at Sanford.  I had to change from my midwife (that I only had a chance to see twice!) due to our financial needs at the moment.  With Gage having been unemployed for the last month and now employed but won't have benefits for 3 months, we qualified for a special program that the hospital offers to help cover all of the costs...but in order to do this it is required that I see an OB and not a Midwife unfortunately.  It's okay though... I think it works out for the best in my case anyway.

I am SO afraid my pelvis is going to break due to the severity of SPD I've been experiencing. Even if it doesn't break I'm afraid it is going to make labor even worse than it is already going to be. At this point all I really care about is that I make it through labor without any problems and that Avery arrives happy and healthy!

I'm trying not to worry too much about delivery.  I actually haven't given it too much thought this time around which is probably a good thing.

The next couple days are going to be interesting... between my 28th birthday, Gage starting his new job earlier than we originally thought (on Thursday afternoon), and waiting to see/hear what is going on with my Grandpa Lee who has spend the past 2 days in the ICU in Riverside, CA.  The next couple days are going to be a roller coaster of emotions, that's for sure!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

6 more weeks....of this?

Today consisted of the following:

Slept in until noon which means I slept for about 12 hours.  I didn't want to get up today... because if it was anything like yesterday, I didn't want the day to happen.  I knew I had to get up though.

My mind tends to block out times where I'm in excruciating pain so I don't remember most of the day. I just know that it was awful from the start.  There was one time in the day where I felt "good" enough to shower (we finally got a bath mat so I didn't fall out of the shower this time!) and to unpack a box in my room.  Unpacking that box took about an hour and a half because I had to keep sitting down and giving myself 20 minute breaks.  :-/

I honestly don't think I've cried this much since my Mom died 7.5 years ago.   It seems like every hour now I break down in tears.  I honestly have no idea how I'm going to get through the next 6 weeks.  I'm especially terrified of what will happen when Gage goes back to work next week. He starts his new job on the 21st.  I have NO idea how I'm going to get through a day without him here.  He's been doing everything that I can't do...  cooking, cleaning, playing with Zoe... and he's been there to give me massages when the pain gets to be too much.  I'm so afraid of what is going to happen when he's not around all day :(

Tonight at about 7pm was the worst pain I've felt in years...  I took 3 Tylenol (which I have been doing more and more frequently since it is the only pain reliever I can take) and iced the area for about 20 minutes. Waited a little while then used the ice again... I think I managed a 20 minute nap in between there.  That seemed to help enough so that I could sit on the couch again without so much pain.

Now I'm here on the computer.... first time since Friday night.  I'm trying to finish my Hood article that was due a day and a half ago.  Hopefully I can get that in by tomorrow.

SPD is such a terrible thing to go through during pregnancy.  If I ever meet another woman that goes through this in the future I am going to do everything in my power to help them out! I feel like I should start one of those movements to bring awareness to SPD since it is obvious that no Dr. in Sioux Falls has any idea what it is.

My birthday is in 3 days now... I keep praying that the pain lets up at least enough for me to be able to enjoy my birthday.  We'll see..

Saturday, January 5, 2013

January 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Recap

Maybe I'll add "blog more" to my resolution list?  I started my personal blogging about 12 years ago but I haven't really done much since Zoe's been born.  The only blogging I do now is over at

I really would like to write more on this blog though.  I have a lot of plans for this blog eventually... it'll just take time to get it the way I want it.  At least I now have a title :)

The past few days have been extremely rough!

January 2nd would have been my Mom's 57th birthday.  I spent  much of the day wishing she was here... crying... wondering why she had to go so soon.   This year on July 9th will be the 8th anniversary of her death. I can't believe it has been that long.  I feel like it was maybe 2-3 years ago!  It was a challenging day as it always is... but I got through it.  Gage used his Groupon that I gave him for Christmas and we went to Zaroty for dinner.  Zoe was pretty excited about our order number.

January 3rd was Gage's birthday!  It was a day of ups and downs for sure.   I managed to get up after only 3 hours of sleep to make coffee cake but it was too late so we had to set it aside to eat later because I had an appointment with my midwife at 10am.   We went to the appointment and again.... 10am.  WORST time for me to be out and about.  That is the time of day every day that I start to feel like I'm going to faint.   I ended up laying on the bed in the exam room for an extra 20 minutes or so...sweating, pale, and breathing super heavy.  Lovely.  THEN I had the pleasure of getting two vaccines.  One in each arm.   The one in my right arm was a tetanus shot.  Yay....  I surprisingly didn't feel faint after the shots so we went to HuHot for lunch. My first time there... I was a bit confused and even moreso since I didn't have my glasses and couldn't read the board with the sauce recipes... the service was awful too.   The food was pretty good though so I think we will eventually go back there. Gage loves their food!  The rest of the day was spent hanging out at home until it was time to go to Famous Dave's for dinner with the rest of the family.   We celebrated both Gage's 27th birthday and Grandpa Whitt's 76th birthday.  It was fun and the food was amazing!! We really should go there more often.   Unfortunately I had to sit and grit my teeth most of the time because I was in * excruciating* pain.  By the end of the evening I really couldn't take it anymore and when we were leaving I was actually feeling dizzy from the amount of pain I was in.   Not good...

January 4th -  Pain and tears almost all day.  Much of the day was spent in bed.  I had to cancel my chiropractor appointment today because I wouldn't be able to climb onto the table for an adjustment. It hurt to sit, stand, anything other than lay on my left side.  I would be able to lay on my right side if it wasn't for my right arm hurting so much from the tetanus shot :-/  Once that gets better (in 2-3 days) I'll be able to sleep on that side again.  My left arm hurts too from the flu shot but not nearly as much as the right.  I really miss sleeping on my back.... but I really can't and shouldn't do that anymore.  It isn't good for me or the baby in many different ways.

The 4th also finally brought us some good news! Gage had two phone interviews and they both want him to come in for in person interviews next week.  Hopefully by this time next week he has a job!

So now we've made it to the 5th (it's 1:50am now so yes, it's the 5th even though I haven't slept yet hah).  I'm not sure what the plans are for today other than to try to get the house cleaned up.  I really can't do much of anything but Gage plans to do a lot of housework today.  I'll try and do what I can though! I'm so determined to get this house at least somewhat in order before the baby arrives.

I'm someone who wants the house clean all the time and the house has not been clean since we moved in (in October).  I'm physically incapable of doing the cleaning / organizing that needs to be done.  Thankfully Gage has been tackling laundry and dishes so we at least have clean clothing and dishes.  He even tackles the clutter every once in a while!  I'm reaching that "nesting" phase of pregnancy where I want to get everything in order and everything ready for the baby to arrive but I think I need to just accept the fact that I can't do most things right now and everything is just going to have to wait until baby gets here.


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

January is here! It's New Year Resolutions Time!

2012 was a wonderful year and also incredibly difficult year for us.  The year was pretty awesome actually until the last month and everything came pouring down at once when Gage lost his job and I have been in more pain that ever from this pregnancy.

Gage is looking for a job now.  We're praying for a new job soon! Hopefully one that paid the same or near where he was paid before.  And with benefits.

If we can sell our "old" car we'll be set for a few more months so that is the next goal for our family.  I wish we could keep it because it would be nice to have two cars for a change but it doesn't look like that will work out.  It is a 2005 Hyundai Accent if anyone is interested :)

Monthly Goals and Plans for 2013

1.  (January) Sell our Hyundai Accent and get ready for Avery's arrival  (Setting up crib, washing clothes, & bassinet clothing).   Do something fun on Gage's birthday (the 3rd) and my birthday (the 16th).
2.  (February) - Do nothing but clean and get ready for baby :-)  She is due Feb 26th!
3.  (March)  - Get the house ready for visitors.  Have a 5th birthday party for Z!
4.  (April) - Start exercising again! (If I'm able to walk by then)
5.  (May) - Start my photography business again!
6.  (June) - Road trip to Oklahoma? Try to get all 5 cousins together at once!
7.  (July) - Update our upstairs bathroom.
8.  (August) - Get in home studio area finished  / Start homeschooling Zoe (Kindergarten!)
9.  (September) - Celebrate our 7th Anniversary and Go to Disney World with the whole family!
10.  (October) - Start planning for Christmas and Christmas Photo Mini Sessions
11.  (November) - Shaina's Deals
12.  (December) - Continue work on Shaina's Deals & Go to California for an early "Christmas", Amanda's B-day, and Tori's 2nd Birthday!

Resolutions for 2013

1.  Read my Bible!!
2.  Get Organized - Finish my monthly organization lists to use and publish them on Shaina's Deals and maybe even on here. 
3.  Get more photos printed and hung on the walls.  Get more photos onto DVDs and back up hard drives.  Seriously, I am so bad about preserving all the personal photos that I take. 
4. Go to a concert other than LifeLight this year. 
5. Lose whatever baby weight I accumulated in my 2nd pregnancy by December.   Shouldn't be too difficult if I start on the treadmill again in April or May!
6.  If at all a professional camera.
7. Stay in touch with people via e-mail, phone, and regular mail.  Try to use Facebook less often... I think it used to be easier to stay in touch with people on Facebook but not anymore with all the changes over the past 2 years.  Now you only see a small percentage of what people post and people aren't posting as much due to privacy's just a mess.  I really miss a lot of my friends that I've lost touch with even though we're all on Facebook and occasionally "like" each other's photos and status updates.

If I think of more I'll add them later...  for now I'll stick with 7 resolutions!


Finding Joy in the Winter Months

For our family, this time of year is full of two things: celebrations and a slightly overwhelming sense of cabin fever. Both Gage and I cel...