Monday, January 16, 2012

Christmas 2011

So, we had a wonderful first family-of-four Christmas.  And while I don't think I'll be adding a "Baby's First Christmas 2012" to my 2010 and 2011 ornaments, I am so very happy to have two healthy, beautiful boys.

Here are the highlights:

Bug met Santa for the first time.  We went before little B was born, and so Bug and I (while very pregnant) went to the Sears near us and got Santa photos!  I thought they came out really cute, and Bug totally cracked me up.  When we went into the room where they were doing the photos, he marched in like he owned the place, and pranced right up to Santa without any wherewithal.  Sometimes I worry that he doesn't have enough stranger anxiety, as he promptly gave Santa a kiss on the cheek.  That's just Bug's sunny personality though--he really seems to love everybody that he comes in contact with.  When we went to the police station to get the infant seat installed in my car, he was trying to give the officer who was adjusting the car seat kisses.  His pediatrician said that the reason he's so friendly is because Jon and I have made him feel very secure, but I am trying to emphasize to him that not everybody is a friend.

He doesn't seem to get that at all.  And like I said, he absolutely adored Santa...

Christmas at our house was very quiet this year, as we didn't have any visitors the day of, but we had a good time.  Bug enjoyed all of his presents, especially Cookie Monster.

As for B, or Munch as I have been calling him (short for Munchkin, and also a nod to the fact that he WON'T.  STOP.  EATING), he mostly just hung out.

Oh, and I got a Kindle Fire for Christmas, which has been great for late-night nursing :)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Why I Support Walgreens

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Walgreens for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

I hate being sick.  Not only that, but I hate having to take medication of any kind (which is why I am constantly on the verge of ODing on probiotics).  But when I am sick, and I have to take antibiotics, my favorite place to go is Walgreens (because I seriously hate that other pharmacy.  You know the one I'm talking about.)

Walgreens has always done exactly what I want a pharmacy to do:  They fill my prescriptions when they say they will and they have them ready on time.  Unlike that other pharmacy.  That's why I was saddened to learn that people who depend on Express Scripts for insurance will no longer be able to get their prescriptions there.

Basically what has happened is that Walgreens spent a good amount of time last year trying to renegotiate their contract with Express Scripts, and that contract expired on December 31, 2011, with no agreement reached.  So if your insurance card has the "Express Scripts" name on it, you can no longer get your prescriptions filled at a Walgreens pharmacy, which really stinks.  Not only will you have to go elsewhere, and spend extra time and money at other pharmacies, but you may not be able to find one with convenient hours (Walgreens offers more 24 hour pharmacies than any other chain countrywide).  It does appear that Walgreens is not the one at fault in this debacle, as they did not seek increases in rates in the negotiation process.  Nor will Express Scripts consumers save any money by the exclusion of Walgreens from their network.  To top it all off, this will affect the members of the military as well, as Express Scripts is the sole provider for their prescription drug coverage.

You can check out the press release here detailing Walgreens' interactions with Express Scripts. Walgreens and Express Script

It seems like everyone out there is like me and wants Walgreens to be an option when they are filling prescriptions.  Walgreens did a survey and found that 82% of employers wanted to be able to offer Walgreens as an option.

So, what can you do about this?  I personally would complain to Express Scripts, but in the meantime, Walgreens offers the Walgreens Prescription Savings Club to help ease the burden of increased costs.  During the month of January individuals can join for only $5 ($10 for families), and receive savings on more than 8,000 name brand and generic medications.  Some medications are available with a three month supply for only $1 a week--about 400 of the generics that they offer.  Regular annual membership is available for $20 an individual and $35 for a family.  They also offer other benefits such as discounts on diabetic supplies and pet medications.  

You can also support Walgreens via social media.  Click here to check out Walgreens on Twitter and Walgreens on Facebook.  

Visit Sponsor's Site

Friday, January 13, 2012

Hello, 2012, and Baby B!

Well here it is, my first blog post of the new year.  How ARE you?  Seriously?  I'm doing fabulous, as both of my boys are currently asleep:)

Oh, right.  Wanna see the new one?  Here he is!

What a little honey, huh?  He was born on Sunday, November 27 at 3:21 in the morning, after a labor that I am still dumbfounded by.

You see, I woke up on Saturday the 26th and I felt funny.  My back was cramping and I rolled over and said to Jon, "Hey, it's gonna be today or tomorrow.  I'm sure of it."

He said well, alright then.

So, since it was a gorgeous fall day (65 degrees at the end of November?  When do we get that??) we took Bug to the park that morning.  I was having irregular contractions and some bloody show, but it wasn't anything that would slow me down, and Jon, Bug, and I had a fun morning.  Then we got some lunch (I informed my husband that I wasn't sure when I would be eating again), and went home to take a nap.

By the time Bug and I woke up from our nap, my contractions weren't very strong (at least, not to me--remember, with Bug I labored on pitocin), but they were starting to get regular.  So the three of us went for a walk and then I started having them every 4-5 minutes, and I called my doctor and she had us go down to the hospital.  At the hospital I was dismayed to find that I was still only 2-3 cm dilated, something that didn't change after being there for an hour.  After an hour of walking around and feeling like I wasn't getting anywhere, I started to feel discouraged and so I asked if we could go home and I could finish laboring there, which was okayed by the nurses and my doctor.  So we got in the car and headed home (after stopping at McDonalds because I seriously needed a Filet-o-Fish), and I sent Jessica (who had been amazing and watching Bug for us) home and told her we'd call her if things changed.  

And I hopped in the bathtub, and that was when things started to get real.

So, don't laugh at the rest of this.  After I got out of the bath I was feeling pain in my back, and I thought, "Great.  NOW I'm having back labor.  I will never get this baby out."  But I tried to push away the negativity and did the best I could to repeat to myself over and over again during the contractions that each one was one less that I didn't have to go through, and it was bringing me one step closer to my little boy.  I even said (I kid you not) "I LOVE THIS CONTRACTION!" during every one of them.  Then, around 1:45 am, I realized I couldn't do it anymore and so Jess came back over and we headed back to the hospital.

We arrived at the hospital at 2:48.  We got up to L&D and I was in a right pitiable state, and I promptly told them that I didn't want to hurt anymore and, uh, I really needed to poop.  REALLY needed to poop.  In fact, when I felt the nurses weren't taking my condition seriously enough, I started bellowing that I needed to poop.  It's probably a good thing I was the only person in the L&D ward that night.

That was when the nurse checked me and said, "You're eight centimeters.  We need to call your doctor right now."

So I said, "Well, can I sit up?  I hurt so bad."

She replied, "You sit up, you're going to have the baby."

I looked at Jon.  "What does that mean?"

He replied, "She clearly lied.  If you're going to have the baby if you sit up, then you're fully dilated."

So then I asked the nurses, "Can I please turn on my side?"  

When they said sure, and I turned, I felt a gush of fluid.  "There goes my water," I sighed.  Apparently this was a really funny thing to say, as the nurses all started giggling.

One of the nurses sat next to me.  "So, I guess you're doing this all natural, huh?" she asked.
"I guess so," I replied, dazed and confused.  To be honest, I had abandoned the natural thing in the car ride over and had been planning on demanding an epidural.

My doctor walked in right then.  "I guess you weren't kidding about waiting until the last minute, huh?" she asked me.

"I guess it's a good thing you live across the street from the hospital," I replied, and then I started pushing.  First push--"There's the head!" my doctor called.  Two more pushes--"One more, Amanda, you can do this."  Fourth push--the head came through (praise God!) and then I pushed one more time and he was out and I heaved a sigh of relief as I looked at my beautiful baby boy.  "Hi baby," I breathed.  "I'm so glad you're here."  Then I looked at Jon.  "I did it," I said.

"You did amazing," he replied.

I looked at my doctor.  "Hey, I feel awesome!  Oh, can I see my placenta?"  

So I was only in the hospital for about 36 hours--I wanted to get home to Bug and to be honest, you can't get any rest in the hospital.  By the time they had gotten us down to our postpartum room, Little B and I were already exhausted, and then we had a barrage of visitors.  First our nurse.  Then the pediatrician.  Then the lactation consultant.  Then somebody finally brought me food, which I wolfed down.  Then my doctor came by to see me.  And so on, and so forth.  And then Jon brought Bug to see his little brother for the first time, which was very cute--the smile that lit up my oldest son's face when he saw B was adorable.

It's been a crazy six weeks since I had the baby, but we are getting adjusted to being a family of four, and I will have more to share soon.