A girl and her dog :D

This was originally written June 27, 2014. Somehow, I forgot to publish it.

Eight weeks ago, I gave birth to a darling little darling named Charley. Last weekend, I made this insane choice to get a puppy. She’s a cute little thing named Tankasaurus Rex. (Yes, my obsession with dinosaurs has apparently transcended into naming animals.)

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This was Tank’s first night with us and she was scared, of course. She had to always been within touching distance of any human but she seemingly loves to around Charley. They sleep and snuggle all during naps.

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Tank even crawls into the carseat the moment I walk through the door. Its amazingly sweet to watch these two innocent little perfect beings snuggling at every opportunity.

With that being said, our older dog, Jack Attack O’Neill just turned 9 a month ago. Its amazing how puppy-like he still is.

Before Marriage

I usually don’t blog about super personal stuff but I thought that maybe what’s going on with my life could help someone else.

Before I was married, I had exactly two best friends. One has been my best friend since kindergarten. We met on the playground and she chased me around because I had a shirt with a pony on it and ever since have been each other’s go to friend. Nothing has ever come between us. She’s still living her life and respects that I am married with three kids and doesn’t get mad when I don’t want to go to bars. We hang out on my couch and talk about the things going on. Our friendship has evolved and matured the same as we have.

I met my other friend at an old high school hangout. He was a private school kid and after our initial meeting, we were inseparable. He’d spend the night at my parent’s and we’d talk about boys and our crappy dates. I’d take him to meet every perspective boyfriend and he’d always have final say. Fast forward to today and apparently, I am a bad friend throwing away a friendship because I have changed. Of course I’ve changed since I was fifteen years old. I’ve had so many life experiences in the last thirteen years. I’ve met lots of people and forged ever lasting friendships with people from the military and my general shenanigans across the US. I’ve learned that life isn’t always peachy and I’ve become quite cynical about it. I’ve learned bad things happen to good people and that sometimes the world isn’t fair but I’ve changed for the better.

Imagine someone telling you they don’t know you anymore. Why is it so hard to tell him that maybe if he got over the fact that I wasn’t the same person, he could meet the new me. The person who’s life revolves around my children and my husband and who’s idea of fun is sitting on my couch eating twizzlers alone and watching Netflix. It hurts that he doesn’t understand that he is my friend but not a priority. How do you tell someone they aren’t a priority? Wouldn’t it be safe to assume that he would understand that without me having to tell him? Should I be mad that he’s acting like a child?

I was stupid. I blamed my husband when I didn’t want to hang out. So that started an intervention of my husband being controlling. Thankfully, I got the balls to tell him that I just didn’t want to hang out it him and that ended the discussion of my husband being controlling. For those of you who don’t know, I have the most freedom in the world. I want something, I get it. I want to go somewhere, I go. That being said, my husband and I discuss if me doing something or going somewhere is financially responsible. We are a single income family of five0 so of course we have to be aware of our bank account.

Being a single income family means that I can’t go get Chinese whenever you’re hungry and it means we can’t just go buy another vehicle so I can available at your whim. Yes, we have one car. My 2003 Ford Focus named Ferdinand that has nearly 200k miles and has been in three accidents. He takes it to work every day unless I have something to do because I am not getting three kids up at 5 AM just to drive around. At this point, getting another car isn’t a priority nor is it an option and frankly, I don’t want a car payment or full coverage insurance because we’re saving up to buy a house.

For those worried about my children’s safety while my husband is at work, he is a supervisor. I say, “Honey, come home. There’s an emergency.” He will be home in less than 7 minutes. I have epinephrine, albuterol, and am fully trained in both CPR and infant CPR. I know how to set broken bones and perform a tourniquet. I pray nothing bad happens but I am about as prepared as you can be and people who know me in real life can attest to the fact, I am pretty much always calm. If I were really unprepared for what happens, the emergency rescue is seriously five minutes from my house and have a very fast turn around time.

Sorry this is so long winded but this has been two weekends of me being barraged and attacked because I am such a horrible friend. I’m sorry you can’t see me once a month but seriously, I can’t even take a shower or shit by myself once a month.

5. Never apologize for being a dickwad and then continue to be a dickwad by being a self righteous, pretentious cry baby.

4. Marriages where one of the spouses is still going out like their single is doomed to fail.

3. Honoring my husband is entirely different than being controlled.

2. I may not be super religious but I do believe in biblical marriages. I honor my husband. I don’t cheat. I don’t lie. I tell him everything and more than anything I respect everything he does for me and our children.

1. I don’t go anywhere without my kids. They’re like my left arm. So don’t tell me that you’re awesome for being “cool” with my kids coming to hang out with us. If you had an issue with that, I’d ALWAYS pick them over you.

So friends of married mothers and father, stop being fucking assholes and realize that people grow up. Priorities change. Sometimes a mom with a six year old, two year old, and newborn is totally cool with showering and taking a nap. My husbands only night off for the week will be spent with him because I miss him during the week.

Two last things…

I’m almost thirty.

(I don’t do sleepovers.)

I fucking hate Chinese food.

BOOBS ARE MAGICAL.

When I say, “Boobs are magical” I mean it in the unicorn or flying pig kind of way. All these years, I’ve though boobs were just fun bags for my husband and here they are leaking and hurting and nurturing a tiny little human. Breastfeeding and I have a love-hate relationship. I love it and it hates me back.

So far, I’ve dealt with thrush twice and I must say that as much as I love seeing purple everywhere, I don’t enjoy feeling like I am lactating razor blades. (Yeah, it hurts that much.) We also get to deal with the small baby things where every single person who has to weigh the baby makes me feel absolutely inadequate. I also get to deal with the cuteness of milk drunk babies. Nothing is better then a little baby completely satisfied with your breast milk.

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I also find that the more comfortable I get with nursing, the more I want to share the love and show everyone, although this not always appreciated. I have not had too many unpleasant experiences when I have to nurse Charley in public, YET. I am sure I will get some ignorant person telling me to cover or to do it the bathroom. The stares will continue even though she’s in her sling and people will resist the urge to say something.

Its an amazing thing. I gave up with Bug early because I was selfish and lazy. I made the mistake of giving Ben bottles because I didn’t want to feel embarrassed and because I learned not to be selfish and lazy when it comes to your children, I slaved away at a pump for two years. With Charley, I want to have an amazing extended breastfeeding relationship. I don’t care if people says its for me or she’s too old.

My Mini Babies

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The next person who argues with me about Benjamin’s age or asks me if Charley was premature is going to get yelled at. It actually bothers me quite a bit that small children don’t exist anymore.

My husband and I were born in the 80’s. I weighed 5lbs 12oz and my husband weighed 5lbs 6oz and there was never an issue with us being “too small”. We are still considered small people. I am 5′ and he is 5’4.

Here is Benjamin’s growth chart for his measurements last week.

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Smaller than average. The WIC office says he’s obese and the pediatrician says he’s alright. How about my son is freaking perfect no matter what the numbers say? He’s bright. He’s hit all his milestones. He speaks well and is very active.

Here’s Darling Charley’s.

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Why can’t people just accept I have small children? I eat healthy and don’t engorge myself on fast food and microwave meals. I am physically active. I chug water. I lose weight during pregnancies. Statistically, Benjamin and Charley are following nearly the exact growth pattern. Ben only gained 2 lbs in the first 6 months of life.

I think doctors and parents should stop focusing on the numbers and worry about raising their children and ensuring they’re completely healthy. Why does weight and height have to be such an issue?

My husband and I have never let our height keep us from doing what we wanted to do. We use it to our advantage. We’re both relatively smart and use that as well. So apparently physical attributes have become more important because let’s face it, everyone is joining the NFL.

Zero to Baby in 25 Minutes

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This is the Ecker’s newest little baby. She came into the world May 2, 2014 at 6:01 PM weighing 5 lbs 8 oz and 18″ long. She was 37 weeks 2 days.

On Friday, May 2nd, I had an ultrasound scheduled with the high risk doctor. My mother in law and I went to the appointment because she wanted to see the baby too. They did all the measurements and then magically the high risk doctor had left for an emergency. I was then told that she was going to call Dr. Laz and discuss the results of the sonogram with him. She came back in and told me that he wanted me upstairs in L&D for a NST. Simple enough, I thought. That’s a 20 minute thing and then I can go back home.

My mother in law and I follow the nurse to the third floor where they start walking me to the pre op room. I looked at the other nurse bringing in the catheter equipment and simply stated, “You’re fucking joking, right?”

She looked flabbergasted and told me that I was having a cesarean. I said, “When?” She stated, “In about 25 minutes.”

I then proceeded to lose my shit on the entire nursing staff. I feel pretty bad about it but how could they even think I would be okay with being sent upstairs for a very evasive procedure without agreeing to it and without ensuring my other children were taken care of and my husband was there to watch him daughter be born?

I then asked to talk to the doctor. He tells me that my baby’s fluid is low and that is very dangerous. (Okay, I understand that but is waiting an hour going to do any harm?) He also tells him if I want him to do the procedure that I would have to have it right then. He said it would be a quick hour and then she would be born. You know business as usual. It was also made known that his daughter’s confirmation was that weekend so he either had to do it then or the doctor on call would do it.

I told him she could do it and his reply was that I couldn’t leave the hospital. At this point, I am so freaking angry and feeling more than violated that I hung up and told the nurses I would be back but not before cracking some Count jokes about Dr. Laz. I make people laugh when I am nervous.

I then called my husband and said, “Honey… we’re having a baby.” He was unsure of what I was talking about and said, “Yeah, I’ve known that for 9 months now or was in something else before?” I explained that Dr. Laz had decided that the baby needed to come out that day and I would be there to get him ASAP. I then called my mother and she was soon on her way to grab my older two children. I dropped my mother in law off at her home, ran to Bug’s school and picked her up, and went home to pack my bags for the hospital. My mother must have drove very fast because she made it to Jefferson before I even left.

I put my kids into her car. I started crying because this was the first time I had ever been away from Benjamin and I felt like I was missing out on precious mommy-Benny time. I hugged him a little harder than normal and kissed him way more times than were necessary and I left for the hospital. We parked and got up to the third floor where we were taken into pre op and I was strapped with the monitor. I got all the bells and whistles and waited for the doctor to get there. I met with the anesthesiologist and he was the coolest, older Asian man. He was so super sweet.

The doctor came in and at that instant, I knew that I wanted her to do my cesarean. She was amazing and understanding. They took me into the operating room and Jeremy was given the dad gear. He waited while they did the spinal. The doctor helped with the spinal which I have never had happen before. They usually just came in when it was time to slice and dice and deliver a baby. I laid there and waited for the epidural to kick in. The tingles came and I lay motionless and waiting. Jeremy came in and the older doctor grabbed my hand and put it securely into his.

Jeremy looked at me and he was nervous as usual. We waited and waited. The anesthesiologist told me everything that was happening. They had brought respiratory therapists and neonatal doctors in just in case. FULL HOUSE. Finally, I here a little pressure and in typical Sarah-fashion I yelled, “Who the fuck is sitting on my chest?”

And then the smallest little cry. They brought her over to my side of the sheet and I saw the most perfect, tiniest human being I had ever laid eyes on. They checked her weight and all that jazz and she was perfectly healthy. They handed her to Jeremy and he just stared at her.

At this point, I felt like I was having a heart attack and the anesthesiologist slipped me a sedative. I kept waking up every ten minutes and then they were taking me back in my room.

 

Not every birth is perfect. Its not always what you hoped but when you meet the little person that has taken up residence inside your womb, it makes the pain and stress and agitation all seem less.

Charley Mae <3

Journey to baby… with the worst OB ever.

My first pregnancy, I had the most amazing doctor team ever. I knew all of them. The appointment wait times were very bearable. They were passionate, kind, understanding, and they listened.

Then I moved to Ashtabula County, OH where your choice in OBGYNs is very limited unless you want to drive 30+ minutes in either direction. I have been attending the office’s of Dr. Laz in Ashtabula since I was 26 weeks pregnant with Benjamin. During my pregnancy with Benjamin, I didn’t have any issues really. He didn’t have to order much lab work or any ultrasounds, he just measured and finally did the c section when it was time.

I find that going to him for an entire pregnancy has become the most ridiculous thing that has ever happened in my life. This has been a recurring theme with any doctor affiliated with Cleveland Clinic though. They will tell you how much they care until it comes down to how they can bill my Medicaid for even more. You want an exceptional example?

May 23, 2013- Benjamin wakes up with a cold. He is having trouble breathing and a slight fever. I decided to take him up to ACMC. We get there and he is diagnosed with CROUP. Please keep in mind, he didn’t have a single symptom of croup. All of a sudden, we’re in the back of an ambulance being transported to Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital. Upon arrival, the doctor asks us why we’re even there and says Ben has a cold that agitated his asthma. He’s given a nebulizer and prescription for Albuterol and told lots of fluids and rest.  We could never get his pediatrician to diagnose his asthma because it was ALWAYS aspiration of breast milk. Then again his genetically big head was caused by hydrocephalus and his genetically small stature was caused by failure to thrive.

His new pediatrician says he’s perfect.

That hydrocephalus and failure to thrive all require a referral to another Cleveland Clinic doctor who can bill Benjamin’s Medicaid for more unnecessary services. How about the once a day lab work for the first three weeks of his life which required us to go to the local hospital every day?

So back to the original issue at hand… My ob has sent me for two glucose tests. One at twelve weeks and another at 26 weeks. Apparently, the first one was to get a base level. I have never had that happen before… EVER. After every single ultrasound, the next day something is “wrong” and I have to be sent to the Maternal/fetal medicine doctor who travels from Cleveland and never finds anything wrong. Two weeks before my schedule c section, I am being told my child is measuring small and I have to go for another ultrasound. They said they could get me in Friday at 2. I tell the woman on the phone that isn’t possible. Well, we’ll put you in anyways.

And you’d think that a mother who has had 5-6 ultrasounds would have lots of pictures of their beautiful baby. Nope. I have 5. OF THE SAME PROFILE. I have none declaring gender, none of her face, no little hands waving ‘hi’. I ask for more and am told this is just for fun and she doesn’t have to give me any pictures if she doesn’t want to.

I’ve lost 40 pounds during this pregnancy and explain to the OB that I have no appetite whatsoever and frequently eat only 500-800 calories a day. I try to eat more but I just feel so full or sick. He doesn’t seem to think its an issue. Any pain I have is normal and won’t even consider it being anything else. My constant infections are of no concern and they show no sense of urgency when calling in prescriptions.

Cleveland Clinic has ruined pregnancy for me. They say children are the best form of birth control but I would honestly say having the worst possible OB and office has definitely made me question my decision to have more children in the future.

A BLOG A DAY.

I am going to write a thought a day until Charlee is born. I feel like it will help me calm down before I am a mother of THREE children.

 

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If you’ve watched the new Carebears show, I have a bone to pick with them. Why do they need to say ‘shady’ a hundred times an episode?

Best friends.

I suppose I can catch up on everything and get everything out that’s been going on.

First off, in thirty-four days, Miss Charlee Mae Ecker will join the world. I have been counting down to May 15th since the beginning. I get too excited but to watch my stomach grow and the days shrink has been so excited even when I have felt like death.

We’re also getting ready for all the birthdays! Its kind of hectic in my house for May and June. Charlee’s birthday will be May 15th, Benjamin’s is May 22nd, Jeremy’s birthday is June 6th, and Adison’s is June 20th. This year, I will be planning one birthday party for everyone in the beginning of June so I have some time to heal and don’t have to expose the baby to too many people at once.

I have still yet to wrap my head around the fact that in a few short weeks, I will be a mother of three amazing children! I will probably also have plenty of dark circles and bald spots!

Benjamin has begun climbing on everything he can. I went into his room after his nap and he was sitting on top of his bookshelf reading a book. I was upset at first but then the excitement over his book and the fact he got up there himself overtook any bad feelings. He also high fives and blows kisses to everyone. MELTS MY HEART!

Adison has begun doing so well on her spelling tests and with reading! I am so happy that her grandma, Carla has been working so diligently with her! She seems to understand Adison’s learning style better than I do but I aim to learn how to make sure she is successful in school. Her behavior in general has improved without any medications although we still do have some problems. Nothing compares to how it was six months ago. I am so proud of the young lady she is becoming.

Lately, my husband has been the most amazing man anyone can ask for. He’s be so great this entire pregnancy that I couldn’t imagine not having him here for me. Every time I have a bad day, he runs me a warm bath and puts the kids to bed for me. He’s sent me for a pedicure and it was heavenly! He rubs my neck and back and feet.

Life is perfect right now. There is more love in my household then anyone could ever understand and I love it. Its everything I ever hoped and dream for as a kid. I have never been so happy to be anywhere.

CRUNCH TIME!

HOLY CRAP! 65 DAYS UNTIL CHARLEE JOINS THE WORLD!

I seriously just realized that and then I realized that I have so much crap to do! I have most of the big stuff done besides putting up the crib which is awesomely at my parent’s house and getting the dresser which is at my aunt’s.

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Benjamin’s side of the room is done for the most part. He’s got his moon and his solar system mobile. He loves the stars and moon so its awesome that my friend, Amoke bought this as a gift for him for his baby shower. Benjamin also has his star certificate which was given to him by Brittney! He has different sheets as well but those are also at my mother’s house.

Getting them to drop anything off is like pulling teeth.

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I am using a pack and play as a stand in for the crib so I don’t have a huge empty spot where the crib will be. I totally did the cliche thing and got paper lanterns from Joann’s for a mobile because, well I like it.

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We also blocked the closet off because apparently our landlord didn’t think closet doors were important. I have three closets this size without doors and I think it looks trashy but then again who am I?

 

Oh gosh! So much to do.

Bob

About ten years ago, I was given a red eared slider which eventually became my daughter’s turtle. Bob is a good pet because you don’t have to do much and quite frankly, you forget you even own them. I unfortunately forgot that I owned said turtle. Oops. Call it “prego brain” or “I have too many pets and people to remember and I’d rather not forget about one of my children” but her living conditions were deplorable. I went to her tank and I couldn’t even find her, I was sure she was dead, in fact, I told my husband that Bob was died. His response, “Who’s Bob?”

I felt so awful for the turtle that I not only made a midnight Walmart run for a new filter, food, and light but I also stayed up playing “Florence Nightingale” until 3 AM even though I knew my kids would be up shortly. I was woken up a mere four hours after I went to bed and now I am ridiculously tired. Why? I felt horrible about forgetting about the damn turtle. Bob is know in my kitchen sink because apparently she forgot how to swim and the turtle dock is missing.

My family and I have several animals. Its like my house feels empty without a few fur babies running around.

We have Jack Attack O’Neill

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He is an eight year old Pit, Rott, and English bulldog. He is the most passive dog I have ever met in my life. He has never barked and only snapped at me after he had his pelvis broken by a car. He lets my kids climb on him and ride him and he is the best dog that has ever lived. It helps that he looks scary because he’s the perfect “stay the eff away from my house” dog. He is named after the lead character on Stargate SG-1 played by RIchard Dean Anderson. :D

Now my cats have the awesome pleasure of having insanely long names.

Here are Baby Waffles Hitler “It’s okay I’m Jewish” Ecker, Heir to the Throne and Atlas Butterscotch Tip Tail Ecker, Benchwarmer to the Throne.

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It’s kind of funny. When I was pregnant with Ben, I needed the furry so Jeremy and I went to the APL and adopted our first cat together. His name was Doctor Hitler Mussolini Mihn Ecker Esq. Ruler of the Universe but unfortunately, he was murdered by a car. He was named Hitler because of his mustache and was an epic cat but he was lonely so we adopted Baby Hitler who was originally Waffles but he copied everything the good Doctor did so he became the junior version of him. After the Doctor’s death, Baby Hitler did not do much for weeks. He went into the yard looking for his papa and I could not bear the thought of him being lonely any longer so Atlas was adopted.

I love my fur babies a very close second to my human babies and I couldn’t imagine not yelling at one animal a day to get out from under my feet or tripping on a cat or two while cooking.