Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Putting Together An Emergency Kit

I'm slightly embarrassed to admit this, but putting together an emergency kit has been on my to do list for several years now.  It always sounded like a good idea, but I just never got around to doing it.  That is until now.  

Adam and I now have an emergency kit waiting for us in our basement.  The main purpose of the emergency kit is to have some necessary supplies handy in case of a natural disaster, like a tornado.  Since we live in the midwest, we encounter quite a few severe thunderstorms and tornado warnings.  Whenever the sirens went off, we would run around the house collecting things we thought we might need before we would go take cover in the basement.  This was obviously not the safest thing to do.  It will be much better now that we have a ready-made kit waiting for us in the basement, especially since we'll soon have to worry about getting not only ourselves and Jazzy to the basement, but our twins too.

(As soon as I started taking photos of the emergency kit, Jazzy ran over to help model.  She's such a silly girl!)  

We created a list of items that would come in handy if we were to be stuck in the basement for a lengthy period of time.  There were tons of items we could have added, but we decided to only put the bare necessities in our kit.    

Here's what we deemed necessary: 

Water- Obviously bottled water will come in handy if we are stuck in the basement for any length of time. It will also be handy in case our city's water supply gets contaminated.

Snacks- No one likes to be stuck with hangry people!

Jazzy's Food- We can't leave out poor Jazzy.  

Leash & Harness- If we consider the worst case scenario and our house is completely destroyed, we wanted a way to keep track of Jazzy.
Flashlight, Lantern, Candle & Matches- Our basement is very dark and we don't want to be without light in case the power goes out.  We also took the batteries out of our flashlight and lantern.  We've found the batteries drain quicker if they are left in their devices.  

Blanket- This can be used to cover up if we get cold, a place for the babies to lay down or a way to protect our heads in case of flying debris.  

First Aid Kit- You can buy first aid kits that are pre-made, but I just put together a few supplies using what we had on hand.  

Whistle- Should we become trapped in our basement, having a whistle will be a handy way to alert people to our whereabouts.  

Diapers & Wipes- Since we have our babies coming, these will be necessary if we are in our basement for long.  

Cash- It's always a good idea to have some cash on hand in case we need to buy something and are unable to use credit cards.  I just tucked some cash in the first aid kit.    

Deck of Cards- This isn't exactly a necessity, but could come in handy if Adam and I get bored.   

Like I said above, there are plenty more items that we could put in our Emergency Kit.  But these are a good group of items that would get us through a lengthy time period spent in our basement or be handy if our home were to be destroyed.  I don't lay awake at night worrying about our home being destroyed, but knowing we have an Emergency Kit does give me just a little more piece of mind.  

I put a reminder in my phone for next July to check on the items in our Emergency Kit.  I'll make sure the water and snacks haven't expired and that the batteries still work.  I can also make sure we have the current diaper sizes.       

Click here if you would like to print out your own Emergency Kit Label.  

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Pyogenic Granuloma

I had no idea what a pyogenic granuloma was until this past Monday.  It turns out it is another random thing that occurs with pregnancy.  

It started as a tiny red dot on my finger about three weeks ago.  I asked my OB about it and she said it was benign and nothing to worry about.  She told me to just keep an eye on it.  Fast forward two weeks and that little red dot had grown bigger.  I didn't take a picture of it, because it was pretty gross, quite frankly.  It basically looked like a cluster of raised red dots.  Every once in awhile, it would start bleeding. And that sucker bled and bled!  Since it had gotten quite a bit bigger and the bleeding was annoying, I asked about it again at my next OB appointment.  I saw a different OB since my regular OB was out of town.  Since the spot had grown in size, she suggested I get it looked at by a dermatologist.  Like my regular OB, she didn't think it was anything to be too concerned about.  

So I added "make a dermatologist appointment" to my to do list.  Usually it takes about three months to get in to see a dermatologist, so I figured I would have to make an appointment for sometime after the babies arrived.  But I was pleasantly surprised when I called my dermatologist's office last Monday.  I explained that I was pregnant with twins and could go into labor at any time.  The sweet receptionist took pity on me and asked if I could come into the office in an hour.  I was still in my pajamas at this point, which also happen to be Adam's shirts and boxers since none of my other pajamas fit.  I told her I could make that happen!  

So I threw on one of the few outfits left that fit over my gigantic belly.  I went to the restroom and when I washed my hands that stupid spot starting gushing blood.  So I had to hold pressure on it until it stopped bleeding before I could leave the house.  Adam had borrowed our Subaru Forester on this particular day because the air conditioning went out in his Mitsubishi Lancer.  It was a little tricky to get low enough to sit down in his car, but I made it.  Luckily it was still early enough in the day that it wasn't too hot out.  

I arrived at the dermatologist's office and started filling out some paperwork.  As I was filling out some information, I glanced down at my feet and noticed there was a big ol' spot of blood on my big toe from the earlier gush of blood from the spot on my finger.  I hoped none of the old people in the waiting room had noticed.  I went to the bathroom and did my best to reach my big toe to clean it off.  Once I was blood-free, I went back to the waiting room.  

Eventually I got called back and a nurse looked at my finger first.  She said it looked like a pyogenic granuloma, which is something that is common in pregnant women.  She said it wasn't a big deal and was something that they could treat.  She said the dermatologist would be in shortly to confirm this assessment and we would go from there.  

So in came the dermatologist, who was as nice as could be.  He wasn't the dermatologist I typically see, but I was just happy to be seen so soon!  He asked me all about my pregnancy and babies.  Then he took a gander at my finger and agreed that it looked like a pyogenic granuloma.  At this point I asked what exactly a pyogenic granuloma was since I had no clue.  It is basically small, round skin growth that contains a large number of blood vessels.  Since they are made up of so many blood vessels, they tend to bleed quite a bit.  He said they are common in pregnant women and can even occur on women's gums.  I was pretty happy that my pyogenic granuloma was on my finger and not in my mouth!  

Since mine was so big (6 mm to be exact) he recommended cutting it off.  If it had been smaller, they would have let it be and see if it went away on it's own.  While I wasn't pumped about the idea of cutting it off, I did want to see it gone.  Plus the bleeding was not all that pleasant.  He said since I was in my third trimester, it was completely safe for me and the babies.  

You know how I feel about needles, so I was trying to be very brave.  He explained that he would give me an injection of numbing medicine into my finger.  From there he would scrape off the spot.  Finally, he would cauterize the blood vessels to help prevent any bleeding.  He asked if I was squeamish and I told him that if I didn't see it, I would be fine.  So I turned my head and he went to town on that stupid spot.  

I did feel the shot, but it wasn't too terrible.  He was quite impressed with the fact that I didn't even jump when he stuck in the needle.  I wanted to tell him that he had no idea how many needles I've encountered this past year between infertility medicine injections, blood draws and ivs, but I just smiled.  

I couldn't feel any of the scraping or the cauterizing, but I certainly smelled the cauterizing.  The dermatologist explained everything he was doing and did it all quickly.  I just stared at the wall and kept saying "okay."  

When it was all said and done, he wrapped up my finger and told me to keep the dressing on until that evening.  At that point I could switch to a bandaid and triple antibiotic ointment after I washed it with mild soap and water.  Before I left, the nurse had me sign a form allowing them to send it off for a biopsy to make sure it was benign.  It was a bit tricky to sign my name with a numb middle finger, but I managed.  
Then I started off on my adventure home.  It was pretty toasty outside by this point and I had managed to park Adam's car in the sun.  Between being a little queasy about what had just happened to my poor finger and the hot car, it wasn't exactly a pleasant drive home.  But I made it home safe and sound!  

When I took off the dressing that first evening, it was pretty gross!  I'll spare you a picture.  It looks like there's a hollowed out hole in my finger with raw skin filling in the hole.  It did throb a bit by that evening, but nothing that was unbearable.  It hasn't hurt since that first evening, which I was pretty surprised about.  I've kept a bandaid on it since then and received the news that it was, in fact, benign. (On a side note, how cute are these Oh Joy! bandaids I got at Target?!)    

So I'm happy it's gone and isn't anything serious.  The hardest part of the whole ordeal has been trying to shave my legs one-handed in the shower while I hold up my bandaid-ed finger out of the water.  But I've managed!

Okay, I am finished with all of the weird pregnancy-related things happening to me.  I hope the last few weeks of my pregnancy will be utterly boring!  

Saturday, July 15, 2017

My Couch Gets a Trim

Since I've been told to stick close to home during the second and third trimesters of my pregnancy, I've been spending a lot of time on the couch.  Spending as much time on the couch as I have, I've noticed the fabric on some of our cushions is starting to pill or get those little, annoying lint balls that can't be brushed away.  Here, let me show you: 

You can't see these lint balls unless you are looking directly at the couch.  In fact, Adam had no idea what I walk talking about when I told him I ordered a "fabric defuzzer" (yes, that is the official name) from Amazon to get the lint balls off our couch.  The fabric defuzzer I chose had lots of good reviews and was pretty cheap, around $10.  On a side note, it does require 2 AA batteries that are not included.    

Once it arrived, I was excited to give it a go.  I was a bit nervous that it would booger up the couch cushions somehow that would be far more noticeable than the lint balls ever were.  So I tested it out on a small section that could easily be covered with a throw pillow if need be.  The fabric defuzzer had three different distance settings.  I started with the shortest distance setting, but eventually moved it to the middle distance setting. 

I'm happy to report that it didn't mess up the cushions and took care of all those pesky lint balls!  Just look at all those lint balls the defuzzer collected!  It's the little things in life that bring me joy.    

Look at the difference it made!  The before picture is on the top and the after is on the bottom.  It looks like a brand new couch!    

I noticed on the box that it said it gets rid of lint balls on other surfaces besides upholstery, like sweaters. I decided to test out how it did on sweaters.  I got one of my sweaters that had some pilling in the armpit area.  I used the shortest distance setting and it made the pills disappear!  It's a little tricky to see the difference in the pictures below, but the difference is very clear in person!  

I'm pretty darn excited about my new "tool."  All the other lint balls in my house better watch out!    

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

A Trip to the ER

Let me begin by saying that both babies and I are currently healthy!  However, we did have a bit of a scare the other evening.  

On Monday evening around 5pm, I happened to look in the mirror and smile.  I'm not sure why I randomly decided to smile at myself in the mirror, but I did.  And I noticed that the left side of my mouth didn't go up like it normally does.  I thought that was a bit odd, but didn't get freaked out right away.  I referred to my What to Expect When You're Expecting book to see if it mentioned anything about a droopy face.  (On a side note, I have determined that it is best not to google medical things.  Usually, my searching just ends up with me thinking I have cancer.  So throughout my pregnancy, I have only refered to my What to Expect When You Are Expecting book or I call my doctor.) 

In my book, it talked about something called Bell's Palsy.  It said it's a "temporary condition caused by damage to the facial nerve, resulting in weakness or paralysis on one side of the face."  It also mentioned that you might have trouble blinking, which I was.  My left eye had been bothering me for a couple days. It was very teary and blurry.  I had figured it was because of my contact or I had just scratched it.  I was pretty certain I had Bell's Palsy, but I figured I should probably call my ob's office just to be certain.  Since it was after regular office hours, I spoke with a nurse.  After speaking with the nurse, she sounded pretty alarmed and said it sounded like stroke symptoms.  She said the ob on call would call me back shortly.  By this point, I was getting nervous.  What if this was something worse than Bell's Palsy?  What if I was having a stroke?  What if I had already had a stroke?  What would that mean for my babies?  What would that mean for me?  

The on call ob called me and said I should go to the ER to get checked out.  I considered driving myself to the ER, but then decided against it in case something serious was going on with me.  Adam was on his way home at his point, but I wasn't sure when he would be home.  Adam's mom lives close to us, so I called her to see if she could take me.  She said she could definitely, but Adam ended up making it home first.  

I still feel sorry for how Adam must have felt when he walked in the front door.  I told him that everything is probably fine, but that we needed to go to the ER.  We hopped in the car and made our way to the hospital.  As soon as we arrived, I checked in and was seen by a nurse quickly to check my vitals.  I was then whisked away in a wheelchair by another nurse to get a CT scan.  Apparently if you are a pregnant lady with stroke-like symptoms you don't have to wait around.  

I was starting to get very freaked out at this point.  Everything was moving very quickly and Adam wasn't allowed to come to the CT room with me.  After the technician wrapped up my belly in some lead blankets, they took some pictures of my brain.  The technician told me to stay still.  I was shaking from nerves at this point and was worried that I wasn't staying still enough.  But they were able to get the images taken.  

From there the nurse wheeled me to a private room in a wheel chair.  She told me they treat anyone with stroke-like symptoms from the top down.  Meaning they start with a CT and then move onto other labs. She said the CT technician didn't see any blood in my brain, which would have signaled a stroke, but that a doctor would double check the images.  I was very thankful she said this to me.  It did help me calm down. 

Since my initial blood pressure was a little on the high side, they wanted to monitor me for a bit to make sure I didn't have preeclampsia, as well.   

Once I made it to the private room, I was reunited with Adam.  A different nurse had me take off my shirt and put on a gown.  She added some leads to monitor my heart, put a thingy on my finger to monitor my pulse, put on a blood pressure cuff and started an iv to take some blood.  She was a pro and did all of this very quickly.  At some point I went to the restroom to provide a urine sample, but I don't remember when exactly this happened.  

Here's a really pretty picture of me at this point in the evening.  I'm thinking of having it blown up and put above my fireplace.  (Ha!  Just kidding!)   

Eventually the doctor came to see me.  He came in and said, "So I hear your face is broken."  He helped bring a little levity to the situation, which I appreciated.  He had me smile, close my eyes and raise my eyebrows.  He also touched both sides of my face, arms and legs.  After looking me over and the labs, he determined that I did indeed have Bell's Palsy.  He said it was a pretty mild case of it and that 95% of people with these symptoms return to normal.  He did say it could take anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks before things return to normal.  He recommended I take some steroids to help my face return to normal after checking with my ob's office to make sure the medication would be safe for the babies.  

My blood pressure eventually went down and no protein was detected in my urine, so preeclampsia was ruled out.  All in all, everything turned out just fine.  The babies are still in my belly and healthy.  I am doing fine, though my face isn't as cute as it could be.  I've included some pictures of my droopy face below for your entertainment.  

Whew!  Let's hope the next few weeks aren't nearly as eventful!  

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Jazzy's Summer Fun

I have loved getting to spend more time with my sweet little Jazzy this summer.  Even though I have to take it easy and we can't be quite as active as we'd both like to be, we still manage to enjoy ourselves.  It turns out that Jazzy is pretty good at taking it easy.  

Jazzy and I are both still in bed when Adam leaves for work.  After he tells us goodbye, we get up and eat our breakfast.  Then I open up the front door so Jazzy can bask in the sunshine.  


She keeps moving until there is no sunshine left.  

Since laying in the sunshine is pretty tiring, then she's ready to take a little nap on the couch.  

She has a variety of spots she likes to sleep in.  She is so stinking adorable that I have to take pictures of her in each and every spot.  

I mean, how cute is she!?!  

After her nap on the couch, she's usually ready to go soak up some more sun.  She prefers the backyard sun in the afternoon.  And she likes to make sure she gets an even tan.  So she spends equal amounts of time sunning her back and her belly.   

She also likes to destroy my plants and flowers.  I couldn't for the life of me figure out why my zinnias weren't getting taller until I spotted this sight out of the window.  

Yep, that would be little Jazzy laying in the planter box as if it's her own private retreat, right on top of the zinnias.  Good thing she's so cute.  Instead of getting mad at her, I just went to get my camera.    

When Jazzy's had enough sun, she likes to hang out under the covered deck.  I think she's waiting for me to bring her a snack to eat at the patio table.    

Of course Jazzy still enjoys her walks.  We can't go as far or as fast as we used to, but Jazzy doesn't seem to mind too much.  She matches my slow waddling pace and knows when we have to turn around.  She's such a sweetheart and I love that she doesn't make me feel guilty for having to shorten our walks.  

I do try to help her get in some more exercise besides our short walk during the day.  Since getting down on the floor is a huge hassle these days, Jazzy is content to let me play with her toys using my toes.  Her daddy found this quite realistic toy rabbit at PetSmart and it has quickly become Jazzy's favorite toy.  I have to do a double take sometimes when I see it laying on the living room floor.  It's so realistic that I think Jazzy has managed to sneak an actual rabbit into our house!  It's a big relief when I realize it's not real, unlike this one Jazzy caught in the backyard.  

Please excuse my puffy, swollen feet in the video below: 

So there you have it, all the fun Jazzy has in a summer day!