Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Single mom dating timeline

I have been on a few dates now. I have been enjoying dating quite a bit. I know that may change, but I will enjoy it for now.

When I had told some friends that I had been on a date with a guy, several of them asked “What did Rit think of him?” I told them that I would not be introducing Rit to any potential dates until I am serious with the person, typically several months into dating. I don’t want to parade people in and out of his life.

This was a topic discussed among my singles group, as there are several single parents. Trying to figure out the right time to introduce children is hard. I don’t want to introduce Rit to someone who may or may not be long term potential. However, I don’t want to wait too long in case it turns out that the person realizes they don’t want to be with a single mom when they see the mom aspect happen. It’s fine line, a juggling act, trying to find that right amount of time before introducing the most important person in my life to them.

I am not in a place anywhere near that decision currently. I have only been on 3 dates total since my divorce, with 2 different people. However, it does remain in the back of my mind. Right now, I just hope that I will know when the time is right. Until then… enjoying dating and being single!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Favorite Moments as a Mom

I thought for this week, I would share some of my favorite moments as a mom.

The moment when Rit crawls furiously over to me and climbs up me just to give me a kiss

The look of pride he gets when he figures something out, and he looks for me when he does it, as if he wants to make sure I saw it too

The big smile he gets when I go to my parents after work and he sees me walk in the door

The smile he gives me when he sees me in the morning

When he grabs a book and brings it over to me so we can read together

Watching him play with other babies and learning to share with them

Watching him grow and learn. He is now saying "That" and pointing at something. When I tell him what it is, he points at something else.

How he waves "bye" to everyone when I ask him if he wants to go home.

All I have to do is look at him, and I feel pride in being his mom. He truly is a wonderful child and I am very lucky to have him.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

1st Birthday Party!

This past Sunday was Rit’s birthday party. Overall it went really well. I had several friends cancel last minute, so I had plenty of food leftover. While in some respects can be a good thing, it is not so great when I look at it and think of the money wasted. I was even more thankful that my parents helped out and bought some food for the party as well (the stuff to make sandwiches and a veggie platter). I supplied the cake, cupcakes, chips, fruit, drinks, decorations, and location.

Rit got a little bit of a lot of foods. He had turkey, cheese, bread, watermelon, pineapple, veggie dip, cake, and who knows what else he got into. Nothing upset his stomach and he enjoyed it all. In fact, he kept going back to Grandpap (my dad) for more veggie dip. He is such a spoiled little boy.

One of my friends that came brought their 9 month old daughter as well. It was fun to watch her and Rit playing. She would get mad if Rit was playing with a toy she wanted, so Rit would share with her. I was very proud of him for that.

Later on, it was time for gifts. He got several toys and books. We opened up some of them right away and he loved them. His favorite seemed to be the books. They are the kind of books where you can push a button for the sounds to go with the story. Of course, he loves anything that makes noise. My favorite for him was a drawing my dad did of a lion for him, since he is a Leo. I am excited to get that hung up in his room. I hope that he appreciates it as much as I do when he is older. The most unexpected was from a friend, who got me a gift as well (a delicious smelling candle perfect for the upcoming fall season). She told me that this was as much a party for me surviving my first year of parenthood as it was for him surviving his first year.

The party was set to go from 2-5, but it went until after 6. Rit was starting to get really cranky and fussy (I think he was crashing from the sugar of the cake) so I had him in bed by 7. Luckily I have thrown enough parties that I can discreetly clean as I go during the party, leaving little cleanup at the end.

Unfortunately, I was so busy running around, taking care of my guests, taking care of Rit, making sure there was plenty of food out, that I did not get many pictures during the party. My aunt and some friends did however, so I am looking forward to seeing those.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

One year and a Birth Story

Today, Rit turns 1 year old. It is so hard to believe that a year ago I was holding this tiny bundle in my arms; a tiny bundle that is now standing tall, walking and babbling. Being a mom has been one of the greatest journeys I have been on.

Today, ExH, Rit and I are going out to lunch celebrate after Rit's 1 year checkup at the doctor.

I realized that I had not posted my birth story of Rit, so here it is.

I think I can say this story started on 7/31/2011. I was up most of the morning with contractions that felt like really bad menstrual cramps. I could not sleep from them, but they were irregular in timing so I did not call my doctor. I went out into the living room and watched TV so I would not disturb ExH with my tossing and turning. I told him that I was having the contractions after he woke up, but we couldn’t do anything since they were spaced far apart and irregularly timed. ExH went to work and I rested on the couch. I was able to get a 2 hr nap in and tried to do some chores, such as finishing washing Rit’s clothes. I continued contracting all day, but they weren’t incredibly painful, just really uncomfortable.
That night, I was having a hard time sleeping again, but this time it was from all of the bug bites on the back of my legs (not sure where from exactly). I was tossing and turning for awhile when something just didn’t feel right, like I was about to wet myself if I didn’t get to the bathroom right away. As soon as I sat up, I felt a small gush of fluid and hurried to the bathroom. I apparently said “Oh crap.”
ExH was suddenly wide awake and asked, “Honey, what’s wrong?”
“Hold on one minute.” I checked as soon as I got in the bathroom and had another small gush of clear fluid. I put on a pad and went back to the bedroom and said, “I think my water broke.” He got up quickly and got dressed while I called the doctor. The doctor told me that once my contractions got to 5 minutes apart, call him back. We timed them for 45 minutes and they were 4 minutes apart, though still not strong. We called the doctor back and he told us to go on in.
ExH practically sped the entire way, even though we did not really need to as the contractions were far from strong. We got there and they had me in triage right away. The nurse told me that she had to take a swab to make sure my water broke, but as soon as she went to take it, there was no doubt. They called ExH in right before they did my exam, and I was still only 3 cm. They brought in the paperwork to admit me, had me sign, put in the heparin lock IV, and started the saline drip (to keep me hydrated). As soon as they left, we called his mom and my parents, despite that it was almost 2 am, to let them know that it was baby day! We walked over to delivery and got set up.
The nurse there got a little concerned as my contractions were slowing down. In triage they were 1-3 minutes, but in delivery they were 4-6 minutes apart. They decided to let me labor for a few hours myself to see if they would regulate themselves. The contractions were very mild so we went ahead set up my netbook and we browsed around on the internet and watched movies while we waited. I got another exam during that time and I was 3-4 cm dilated, so very little progress. I got really worried. Not long after that, they started me on Pitocin in order to try and encourage the contractions. I could feel them getting stronger and slowly they got closer. I’m not sure how often, but I swear every visit the nurse upped the dosage of Pitocin. The contractions were getting more and more painful. I was in tears and glad to have ExH with me to remind me to breathe through them and hold me when I had one while standing up. At about 8 am, the contractions were at the point where I was screaming from the pain. He kept trying to tell me that it was only making things worse (I knew it was) but I just could not help it. I was also falling asleep between them. ExH said that I was probably getting shocked awake by the pain and would panic, hence the screaming. The pain medication they gave me helped for 2 contractions and then was pretty much no longer there. At some point, the doctor came in and checked me again and I was at 100% effaced and 5 cm dilation.
When we were admitted to delivery, we told the nurse that I did not want an epidural and told her of my back issues and back surgery. After the doctor checked me, the nurse told us that the anesthesiologist on call was experienced in doing epidurals on people with back problems. We agreed to talk to him. At that point, ExH and I had agreed that the pain was more than I can manage and that if this can help then it was worth a try. The anesthesiologist explained what we would do and how he would do it with my spine. I felt a little better about getting one with him doing it so I agreed to go ahead and get one. It took him a little while to get set up, but by taking his time he was able to get it in the right spot in the first try, even in the middle of one of my contractions! Within 10 minutes I had relief. I could no longer feel the pain or even my contractions, giving me the chance to rest. This was about 9 am. I slept for the next 2 hours. ExH took the opportunity to go down to the cafeteria and get some breakfast and read the book he brought.
At 11 am, the nurse came in and woke me up. During my contractions, Rit was moving away from the monitors so she wanted to start monitoring both him and my contractions internally. She got all the stuff together and prepped before checking me. She went to put the monitors in and she felt Rit’s head right there. She then did a quick check and I was fully dilated! By getting the epidural and allowing my body to relax, I dilated the last 5 cm in only 2 hours. The nurse got me set up and then went to get the doctor. He arrived 20 minutes later and we started to get things rolling. The nurse told me when I was having a contraction (still completely numb from the waist down, but I could move everything) and had me do some practice pushes. Apparently they were really good because she told the doctor that he should get his gloves on.
I pointed out to the doctor that I was supposed to have an appointment to see him at 11:50 and he joked that we should set a goal of seeing if Rit will be born by the appointment. The nurse held one leg while ExH held the other and I pushed when the nurse told me to. Much to our surprise, we decided to go ahead and watch Rit be born. We both thought that we would not want to actually see it, just see and hold him afterwards. Things change in the heat of the moment. After 5 sets of pushes (3 pushes for each contraction), at 11:52 am, Rit was born screaming. I suffered only a 2nd degree tear. When they took him away to get weighed and cleaned up, I asked ExH to grab the camera and take some pictures. He got pictures of him on the scale. Rit came out weighing 3800 grams exactly (8 pounds 6 ounces). He also had a head full of blonde hair. Even the nurse was wondering where the blonde came from since we both are brunettes. ExH said that he was born blonde and darkened as he got older.
Once he was cleaned up, Rit was handed back to me and the three of us were left alone to bond as a new family. After an hour, we invited our families, who had been waiting in the waiting room since before I started pushing, to come in and meet the newest family member.