Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Great Time Saver . . .

     I recently tried Shop Rite's personal shopping service.  It was convenient, no doubt.  Since I broke my foot, it has been a God send.  I highly recommend it for anyone who has too much to do and not enough time.  The best part is that it is a free service!
     The way it works, is you go online and pick out your groceries.  This can be done late at night in your jammies, while breast feeding a newborn.  You can shop right from the sale flyer which is handy.  It also lets you know which items are on sale as you go through the categories, for instance, if you type just pasta, you'll find that Barilla varieties were on sale this week.  If you click on produce, it will show you what is features this week, giving you the heads up for what is ripe and in season.
    Once you have shopped a few times, it saves your previous purchases, making it that much easier to go in and re-click what you've previously bought.  I usually start here, because lets face it, I buy the same milk, bread, cereal etc. every week.  They also have a neat feature, where it gives you recipe ideas, and at the bottom, it gives you the option to click on any ingredients you would need.
    One suggestion I would make it to give them some liberty when it comes to substitutions.  I had ordered juice boxes that were on sale, and because they were out of the flavor I had requested, I got zero juice boxes.  The next week I made a note to say, if one flavor of juice boxes or yogurts was out, to substitute another flavor.  Same went for the meat, if they didn't have the exact cut of steak I had requested I was more than okay with an alternate being substituted.
   You do usually need to give them a day's notice.  I usually do it the night before, and have been able to pick up first thing in the morning.  You get to pull up to the side entrance, which is covered, great on even a rainy day.  You run in, and your groceries are already all set to go, bagged and all.  There has never ever been a line.  Just that alone is such a time saver.  Then you hand them your preferred form of payment and you can be on your way.  They will even help you out to your car if you ask.
     Just as a foot note, no, I'm not an employee, nor have I been paid or give any swag.  I just found this such a wonderful time saver.  It is also a money saver, since they stick to my list and only my list (my husband loves this part).  There are also no little helpers throwing extra cookies in your basket.  I just wish they had this when I was pregnant with the twins!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Emily Rose: A Pregnancy Story, Part 6: Fashionably Late

Fashionably Late
Dear Emily Rose,
I must say, little one, you kept me guessing most of the summer and made sure I was paying attention. Contractions would come, and go, and would increase in intensity at inopportune times and then taper off as soon as I started logging the time of day. By the end of July, I was technically “full term” and more than ready for D-day. Yes, the summer had been long and hot, but worse than that, I was losing the ability to carry on with life as usual.
My due date was August 14th, but I thought with all my signs of readiness, I would go into labor early. I could feel it in my bones...and my joints, tendons, ligaments, nerves, etc. I didn’t even consider that I might go past due and wasn’t mentally prepared for August 15th, the first day late. How could this happen!? Each additional day was another day of worrying. From what I read, there were few if any medical advantages of letting a pregnancy go post-term. There were only disadvantages–the placenta deteriorates, babies grow too big, cords get pinched, bones get broken, C-sections are more common and necessary. The list went on and on. And to add to my unease, I had to smile through the mockery and commentary provided by friends, family, and even strangers everywhere I went. I should try spicy food, and castor oil, or a trampoline, massages on weird body parts, horseback riding, and sex (c’mon people, let’s be realistic). I was almost at a breaking point...WOULD EVERYONE JUST LEAVE ME ALONE! Fortunately for those around me, I held my tongue and maintained the poise of a New England housewife.
After five unrelenting days and sleepless nights, I finally went into real labor. I was lying in bed around 3:00 am, hoping sleep would knock me out for a little while when my contractions went from typical (a few mild to moderate ones an hour) to startling (strong and three to five minutes apart). My labors have traditionally been long and gradual so this abrupt transition was scary. I waited a little while anyway just to make sure the contractions remained strong and frequent. I woke up your father at 4:00 and we were in the car with your two sleepy and confused brothers by 4:15.
So, your father doesn’t need an excuse to drive fast and since he had the best excuse that life could offer and no cars in front of him, he drove even faster than usual...I think. I was too busy wincing through bumps on the road and watching the clock to pay much attention to the speedometer. By 5:00 am, I was dressed in the hospital’s finest and being hooked up to various monitors and tubes. Since my contractions had such an overwhelming presence in the room and I was three centimeters dilated, I received the “all clear” from the doctor. Then the waiting began, and for a while, I was waiting in pain. The nurse told me that I needed to finish a bag of IV fluid before they could give me an epidural. If this was a rule that doctors supposedly live by, I didn’t remember it from my previous experiences. It seemed like a cruel joke. The nurse did at least add something to my IV to “take the edge off.” The edges may have dulled on those contractions, but they were still pretty damn sharp. 
It was daylight by the time the anesthesiologist arrived. I was one needle stab away from relief, or so I hoped. But more time passed and the relief was neither thorough nor immediate. Epidurals always worked for me within minutes so you can imagine my frustration when the pain just wouldn’t go away. And meanwhile, all four of your grandparents and your brothers returned from breakfast. The chatter, the hovering, the filtering in and out of the room, the door slamming, and the inquisition never seemed to subside. Does it still hurt? Do you feel pressure? Did they check your dilation? Mommy, what does this button do...? The noise, which may have been ordinary and unnoticeable to everyone else, was like a runaway freight train in my mind. I put a lot of effort into staring at your father until he picked up on the cue. He set a plan in motion that helped the crowd disperse. I could finally hear my own thoughts again. This helped me realize the epidural was only working well on the left side of my body. I rolled onto my right side, and before long, my lower body went numb. For the rest of the morning, I drifted in and out of an anesthetized haze, thankfully pain free. 
By 11:30 am, the room was full of activity again, this time with medical staff. They brought in the baby station, the table with the surgical implements, and lastly, the doctor. My water broke when he checked my dilation. And just like that, I was ready to push. I expected to be going full force for hours. I’m glad your delivery fell shy of my expectations. Ten minutes, three contraction, and twelve pushes later you came out pink and screaming. You didn’t stop screaming or open your eyes until you were in my arms. I felt the same way...love at first sight!
And so, Emily Rose, you were born on the 19th of August, 2012, at 12:31 pm. You weighed 7 pounds, 8.7 ounces, and you were 18.5 inches long. These are the boring facts. Someday, if and when you’re inclined to read this, the numbers won’t stick with you. Though this pregnancy narrative ends here, I’ll start your life story for you so you will know more about your beginning than what’s provided on your birth certificate. My pregnancy wasn’t exactly ideal, yet you would never be able to tell. Not a single problem seemed to find you. I know I’m your mother and I’m supposed to tell you how perfect you are. Since no doctor could refute the claim, it must be true. 
What else? Well, in no particular order, you breathe loud and fast, and your hands move all over the place when you’re hungry. You latch on for breastfeeding like a little vampire (ouch!) and when you’re inconsolable, my voice can usually calm you down. As a backup, Disney princess songs (someone besides me will finally appreciate them!) and the mommy sway seem to do the trick. You had a rough first week, but by week two, you seemed to understand that nighttime was for sleeping. Even so, I could give you the most comfortable crib in the world and you would still prefer to sleep in a little ball on my chest. And, Emily Rose, you are growing so fast, almost an ounce a day. I already fear that if I close my eyes for too long I might miss something. I’ll never get a chance to write about every giggle, every smile, every first, but know that I will never take them for granted. What comes next for us? I couldn’t tell you. No matter what, we’ll take baby steps together. We may not accomplish great things or travel long distances, but we’ll grow stronger from every fall. I hope you’re as excited as I am...
With much love,

Your Mother