Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Baby Harrison

He was born at the end of the summer.  It's now winter and I'm finally making the time (at 12:51 am) to write a post.  By now he's not a floppy baby anymore.  The clothes he wore when he was born are already packed away.  He can see us and smile and coo at us and can even roll over from front to back.  He can get his hands to his mouth so he can suck on his fingers.  He is an amazing sleeper and has been since the day he was born.  Except for a 3 week period around 4-7 weeks old, he has slept from 11pm to at least 7am.  This baby has rocked our world like nothing I ever imagined.  I knew once he was here I would wonder how on earth we ever lived without him and I was spot on.  He has changed our lives in every aspect while also managing to make it feel like this is the way it's always been.
Harrison William Goodwin 9/15/2016
  My heart literally bursts with love every time I see his face. He is seriously a precious, special baby.

For now I just want to talk about his birth and our hospital stay.

On September 15th I went to the city for my twice weekly NSTs.  My blood pressure was elevated and my platelet count had been going down.  They didn't want to wait to deliver him any longer and risk them going down so low that I would need general anesthesia to deliver him.  I was sent to the hospital and about 7 hours later (9:37pm) he was born while listening to "Home" by Phillip Phillips play over the speakers.  I cried listening to the words and how fitting they were and that it was playing as they were taking him out of me.

He was perfectly healthy and stole our hearts.  Unfortunately I just don't deal well with anesthesia and I continued to throw up for 12 hours after getting my spinal.  I remember desperately wanting to look at him but every time I would open my eyes the room would spin and I would throw up.  Around 10am the next morning I finally started to feel human again aside from the horrible pain from the c-section and I could start to focus on Harrison.

The thing I was most excited about was seeing Madison and Jackson meet their baby brother for the first time.  They were so genuinely happy to welcome this baby into our family.  They never talked about anything negative or selfish.  They just couldn't wait to have him with us. As usual their reactions weren't quite as animated as I expected but the video is still so sweet.

Madison holding her baby brother for the first time

Jackson holding his baby brother for the first time
Our first picture as a family of 5

They kicked me out of bed so they could lay with him
The second night in the hospital Harrison's blood sugar was in the 30s and even though I was trying to breast feed him all day I just had nothing in there to give.  I remember pumping 5 ml of colostrum and feeding it to him with a dropper hoping it would get his sugar up.  It would work but then it would go down again.  The doctor told me he was going to need to go to the NICU if I didn't give him formula to get his sugar up so I told them to go ahead.  He spent that night in the nursery drinking formula.  When he came back he spit up for hours and smelled horrible so I was determined at that point for him to never have formula again.  I pumped and breastfed my butt off and we never had another issue while in the hospital.

Harrison had many visitors while in the hospital including my parents, Chris's parents, Shauna, Bryan, Keira, Aunt Karen, my grandmother, Ana, Danielle, Uncle Mike, Aunt Kristen, Raphael and Alyssa, Brenda, Rachael and Nichole (hope I didn't forget anyone!).
My 97 year old grandmother holding Harrison

I continued to have high blood pressure the whole time I was in the hospital so I had to stay a 6th day.  

And just like that it was time to go my parents house.

These pictures already seem like a lifetime ago.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

36 weeks 4 days

I started having some contractions this evening which did slow down so I think I'm good but it got me thinking that I really haven't updated much so I better get one in.

I am officially the most pregnant I've ever been.  I had Madison and Jackson at 36 weeks 2 days.  The kids start 4th grade tomorrow morning and I was so upset thinking that I would miss their first day of school.  It's bad enough we aren't in our home for me to take their first day of school picture and now I was going to miss it all together??  Tomorrow night...fine.  Just not tonight.

I had a lovely baby shower last weekend organized by my amazing friend Shauna with tons of help from my mother and mother in law and other friends too.  We got everything we need for the baby that Shauna hadn't already supplied us as loners.  It is all filling up my parents' living room at the moment.

I really did breeze through this pregnancy aside from the hassle of gestational diabetes like I had with the twins.  That is, up until about 5 weeks ago.  I just started getting very achey in my back and hips and the sciatic nerve pain.  All of that has gotten worse and worse over the weeks.  I did WAY too much activity two nights ago and now I can't walk at all without the sciatica shocking me.  Physically I'm so ready to have this baby but emotionally I'm a wreck (nothing to do with hormones) and I really would just love for things to be all ironed out before I have a baby.

I had only one name that I wanted for this baby.  I really had no interest in any other name but I didn't want to get  my hopes up that Chris would agree to it.  Thankfully a couple weeks ago he said we could use the name.  Still no middle name but I guess we will figure it out eventually.  We are keeping the name a surprise mostly because people can't keep their opinions to themselves.

The house hunt is basically a shit show at this point.  The stress I have endured over it is just so unfair.  I know other people go through worse but for me this has been the hardest year of my life and I still don't see a light at the end of the tunnel.

As of this weekend the kids and I are living with my parents.  There is a bed here next to a bathroom for me for all those middle of the night trips.  Hopefully Chris will join us soon but for now he is still at his parents' house.

At the baby's weight check last week he was 7lb 7oz.  80 something percentile!  Madison and Jackson were roughly 5th percentile at birth! (5lbs each).

Thursday, July 28, 2016

I'm still alive...

but a part of me definitely died a little.  As if it wasn't hard enough to have to leave the house for the last time we added a ton of stress by not being fully prepared/packed for the actual moving truck day.  I could barely do anything at all.  I would get up to empty a cabinet and a minute later my back was toast and I would have to sit down.  My sciatic nerve was also an issue (still is) so it was even hard to sit and sort through things.  The yard was full of basement/shed items which we had sorted into trash/keep/yard sale piles.  The house still had all of our furniture in it and the kitchen, bathroom, and closet still needed to be boxed up.  I don't even remember what Chris and I accomplished that morning but my mom came over around noon and got to work on the kitchen.  I had to run some errands around 2 so the kids and I left.  We got back home at 3:30 and all three bedrooms were empty!!!  My dad had come over with the moving truck and they got right to work.  They moved all of the furniture out on to the lawn.  That struck me as really sad so I did some crying there.  I believe they loaded up the truck and the two of them brought it to the storage unit and unloaded it.  Mind you it was over 90 out and so incredibly humid and the house has no air conditioning.  I think I worked with my mother in the kitchen the best I could but I honestly don't even have any memory of what I did exactly.  I mostly felt completely useless.  When they brought the truck back they emptied more furniture out of the living room.  Eventually Chris's brother and our 17 year old nephew came over to help along with our friend Dave.  My mom and I went out to pick up chinese food for dinner.  After dinner they loaded the truck one more time and brought it to storage.  My dad returned the truck and came back with his car and anything that was left at the house was small enough to fit in our cars to be moved.  Everyone kept telling me I had to leave and get some rest but there was just too much to do and supervise.  I couldn't rest unless I knew everything was going to the right place (storage, my in law's house, or my parents house).  At 9:30 (the kids were still up and with us) everyone but my parents had left and Chris was starting to panic because the house needed to be empty and it really didn't even seem close.  The walk through was the next day and Chris and my parents were all working and I couldn't do anything!  We had to call it quits for the night and we all left for my in laws to sleep for the first time.  We managed to have the walk through pushed off until the next evening and Chris decided to only go in to work in the morning.  The kids were invited to go to the beach with friends the next day so they got picked up early and I was able to go up to the house and do a little bit.  I boxed up the bathroom and emptied the front closet but that is seriously all I could do in 3 hours.  Well that and cry.  When Chris got out of work he came to the house with his mother and she helped me finish up the kitchen.  While I was there alone I was whining to my friend Shauna how hopeless it seemed that we would get this done so she packed up at work in Boston and came right up.  She is a TASK MASTER!  She got there around 1.  I had an appointment I had to go to from 3-4 and when I got back the house was completely empty.  I couldn't even believe my eyes.  The kids were back at the house at that point too.  A junk truck came at 4:30 and took everything away from the trash pile and a bunch of old junk that was still in the basement.  All of our cars were filled with stuff to be brought to my parents house then the fun times began.  I went in each room and bawled my eyes out trying to soak in all the memories I could possibly remember.  Room by room I said goodbye with such an ache in my heart.  The kids were following me around and hugging me.  Luckily they didn't cry at all!  They are such easy going kids.  I made Chris come in and we all hugged in the front hall for the last time.  We all left and closed the door and drove away for the last time.
We went back to my inlaws, had dinner then went out to buy an air mattress to sleep on in the basement.  
Today I had a baby appointment in the morning and Chris's mom took the kids to the movies then Chris and I had to go to the closing.  I tried so hard to not cry but I did at the very end and I ended up giving the girl a hug (she's pregnant too and due next week).  Someone said "can you even reach each other with those bellies??"  It was just the perfect thing to make me laugh.  I think I made her cry too.  
Chris and I went to lunch at Bertucci's after then I tried to do a little retail therapy at the Vineyard Vines warehouse sale but they really didn't have anything good.  I went back to my inlaws to an empty house.  Chris's mom had taken the kids to her friends pool.  I made the most of the quiet and cool AC.

Finding a house is continuing to be impossible.  Anything in our budget is either too small, needs too much work, or is on a main road. Everyone thinks we are being too picky but the move in ready houses, in quiet neighborhoods, in our budget are more like first time home buyers homes which is what we just left!  We are in our 40s now are are ready for a grown up house that we are proud to have our friends and family over to.  I think we deserve that much.

The plan is to stay with Chris's parents until closer to my due date so that I can be with my parents after the baby is born.  I'll be recovering from surgery, hopefully nursing a newborn, and possibly dealing with postpartum depression so I will want to be with my mother for all of that.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

30 Weeks

Unfortunately after 82 days on the market with no offers, another person put an offer in on the house I wanted on the same day we did.  It wasn't as much as our offer but we still had to get our house on the market and they accepted the other offer which didn't have a contingency.  I have never lost an immediate family member (not even a grandparent since I've been alive) so I can honestly say finding out we wouldn't be getting the house was the saddest day of my life.  I cried so hard I couldn't breathe.  I cried for 11 hours STRAIGHT which included picking up the kids from school, bringing Madison to guitar lessons and getting us all home.  I believe Jackson had a soccer practice that evening and Chris had to take him.  I couldn't even see out of my swollen eyes.

I did my best to get back in the saddle and continue to look for houses with absolutely no luck.  A few weeks later Chris jokingly showed me a listing for a house in New Hampshire.  I've been adamantly saying no to New Hampshire because it's so far away from our family but also because the real estate taxes are so much higher there.  I took one look at the house and the price for the house and I said, "Great, now I have to move to New Hampshire."  It was impossible to pass up.  We drove up there to see what the area and the street were like and fell head over heals in love.  It was a tiny town and so quiet.  The house had been on the market for one day and we put an offer in 5K over the asking price.  (This is a link to it but it probably won't be up forever) They flat out rejected the offer because we had a contingency to sell our house (it was officially going on the market 4 days later).  We offered another 5K over and at that point they had another offer that wasn't as high but they wanted to take the lower offer because of our contingency.  We offered ANOTHER 5K and they just went ahead and accepted the other offer.  I was once again heart broken.  So horribly sad.  I just can't even describe the tears that I cried over it.

Our house went on the market on June 6th.  8 days later we had an offer 20K under our asking price.  We were annoyed but countered basically just to buy us some time to see if any other offers came in.  We countered at 5K below asking and she countered with 12K below asking.  During the last counter we got a second offer of 5K above asking and on the 17th (our 15th wedding anniversary) we accepted that offer.  The inspection went very well for a 200 year old house and we only have a couple of minor things to fix up.  We signed the P&S last week and they want to close on July 27th.  The buyer is due with a baby on August 4th and wants to be in the house before then.

I've already had a few crying sessions when I've thought of leaving my house.  I'm crying now just thinking about it again.  
After 16 years how do you walk out of each room for the last time?  How do you turn off the lights and lock the door and stand on the porch and drive away for the last time?  The tears just stream like a faucet when I think of it.  I know lots of people do it every single day but how do I leave the house I got ready for my wedding in (when we had no desire for a family)?  How do I leave the house we spent three years living in while doing fertility treatments?  How do I leave the house where I grew my two babies in my belly?  How do I leave the house I brought those two miracles home to?  I literally don't know how I'm going to physically do it.  I fear I will need to be carried away.  It's going to crush me and I feel like no one understands.  Everyone tells me I'm too sensitive and that better things are coming and I'm sure they are but I honestly don't see how I'm going to be able to walk away from that house in 10 days.  I feel like it could kill me and for once I just wish someone would say "I understand how hard this must be for you", or "Wow, this really sucks for you".  I understand there are much more awful things going on in the world or other peoples' lives and I need to keep things in perspective, but THIS is MY life and this is crushing me.  I feel like I can't breathe again.

MAYBE if we had a house lined up to buy I would feel better but we just don't.  We don't agree on anything.  I thought maybe we had decided to put an offer in on a house in Groveland which there is really nothing wrong with (except that it's on a (not busy) main road but Chris just told me today he wants to hold out for a house in neighborhood.  The problem is any house that is in a neighborhood is out of our price range.  That's just the way real estate works.  Houses on main roads are less valuable and the price reflects that.  We can wait for years and it will just never happen.  We are waiting for something that doesn't exist.  With a baby on the way, needing to figure out where to send Madison and Jackson to school at the end of August, and needing to move in with family and feel like a complete and utter burden, it's all just too much.  A few months back I was sure I would have seen the light at the end of the tunnel by now but I just don't.  The tunnel is in fact getting smaller and darker and this is just not where I would have ever wanted to be in my life.

We found out out a couple weeks ago that Jackson made the Peabody travel A team this year which we were really happy about (he was on the B or C team last year...we never really figured out which).  I'm pretty sure he will just continue playing on that team for the next year even if we move out of Peabody since any town we move to will have already filled their teams and won't have room for him.

Since school got on on June 22nd the kids and I have kept very busy.  I've had a lot of doctor appointments, I got a new car (honda odyssey), spent a week in Vermont with friends then drove straight to cape cod to spend a couple of days with other friends (typing from there now).

Of course the bright side to everything is that baby Goodwin is growing and doing great.  I have gestational diabetes again so I'm taking insulin and checking my readings after every meal.  It's no fun but better than being in the hospital for pre term labor like I was at this point with the twins AND having gestational diabetes.

I'm sure I have a lot more to write about but this updates our housing situation for now.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Madison and Jackson turn 9

I blinked again and they got another year older.  Here they are on their 9th birthday/St. Patrick's day.

Jackson is seriously everything I could ask for in a son.  He is kind and gentle with animals and babies.  He is sensitive and caring and I wouldn't want him to be any other way.  He does love to push Madison's buttons and make her upset but if she's ever really sad over something he's the first to hug her and sometimes cry himself.  He is an extrovert like nothing I've ever seen.  He is obsessed with friends and being with people.  The only thing he's willing to do alone is play xbox or play on his phone.  He has a great outgoing personality and is very very funny.
Jackson had tryouts last spring for the town travel U10 soccer team and made one of the three teams along with his best friend James.  The team was fantastic and if I remember correctly they were undefeated (maybe lost one??) the whole fall season.  During the winter they joined an indoor soccer league for 5 months.  Somehow they did not do so well there.  They seemed to play much older kids and they just didn't stand a chance.  Also last spring Jackson had tryouts for a U9 team for his club soccer that he has been training with since kindergarten.  He made it and was very excited for his league games in the fall.  The team has some very good players but they always seemed to play teams with much older kids and they lost most games 20-1.  I believe they tied one game and it felt like a win.  That team did not join any winter leagues but they did have one tournament that didn't go well.  His spring league was supposed to start last Sunday but it was cancelled because of snow!  I don't care if they win their games or not I just hope the games are at least more evenly matched.  It's really hard on the boys.  Starting this week he is back to 4 practices a week between the two teams and 1-3 games every weekend.
Jackson does well in school but it's not his favorite thing in the world.  Just like his mama (although his grades may be a tad better than mine but we will see how he is as he gets older).  All of his teachers have loved him and I can't ask for any more than that.

Madison is such an easy kid.  Most of the time she's very serious and quiet and keeps to herself although she does have a very silly streak and will sometimes let loose and act crazy.  She is a classic introvert and much prefers to be alone.  She adores music and loves to listen to her playlist on her phone and sing while playing with legos.  Her grades are close to above grade level and she really adores school and learning.  She's also a great artist and gets really upset when they have to miss school on a day they have art.
Madison has a very special relationship with my mother.  They absolutely adore spending time with each other.  My mom says Madison doesn't stop talking the whole time they are together.  My mother loves to sew and do crafty things (that's not really my jam) so Madison really enjoys that.
Madison has been doing a recreational gymnastics class since she was 3 and still enjoys it.  Now she goes with two of her best friends Michelle (James' twin sister) and Lily.  Madison also does a modern dance class once a week which she loves.  I signed her up for guitar lessons too in the late fall and though she whines every time I tell her to practice she really likes learning it.  Her teacher says she's a natural and retains everything he teaches her even when she doesn't get a chance to practice it during the week.

As you can see our weeks are insanely busy and the thought of adding a baby and a move to it is a tad overwhelming but I'm grateful for lots of help from friends and family.

3rd grade is going to be the last grade they will be in the same class.  Their current teacher thinks they have different strengths and weaknesses and feels like they should each be placed with a teacher who will best fit their individual needs.  I agree with her so they will split up next year.  Madison will be thrilled but I think we may have an issue with Jackson.  I'm sure he will be fine in the long run but he's not going to like not being with her.
Their difference in personality is sometimes hard to referee.  He's always begging her to play with him but she wants to be alone so he usually ends up in tears with his feelings hurt.  I feel for both of them so it's hard to know how to handle the situation.

I couldn't be more proud of these kids and the people they are becoming and I couldn't love them more.