My First Experience with WIC

From the get go I said I wanted to be authenticate sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly. Plus I wrote this post and specifically #7. So I thought I should probably follow my own advice if I was gonna dish it out like some crazed-advice-giving-snob.

So here it is, Diapers and I are on WIC. This is a government supplemental food assistance program for pregnant/postpartum/nursing mothers and children ages birth-five. And interestingly enough, after losing just a smidge over 75% of our household income due to me being laid off, this is all we qualified for in terms of government assistance. And this is crazy to me!! FirefighterDad’s income is not substantial.  And I’m just floored that for a family of 4 (most programs count Baby Boy #2) we didn’t qualify for more. I suppose now I understand how so many people can be struggling and I can see first hand how the middle class really is shrinking – but that’s neither here nor there. #steppingoffofsoapbox.

Back to WIC. Honestly, I’m grateful for this. Do I wish I didn’t need it? Absolutely! Am I embarrassed? Not exactly. Is it helpful financially? Yes! And the way I look at it, is that I have worked for 6 years (not including HS and college years) and contributed a crap ton of money into these programs by way of taxes, so if I qualify and we need the help, I’m gonna take it. Sure, it’s a dent to my ego, but it is what it is.

And overall my experience was positive! I have heard quite a few horror stories about using WIC and some people have even said its not worth the hassle come checkout time and they STOP USING THE PROGRAM?! Say what?! So I psyched myself up, went on a day I was feeling good, when Diapers was at school, and I went having done my homework. I knew how much, what size quantities, flavors, brands, etc I could get. I then followed the advice of separating all items on the belt per check, and having the items in order on the belt as listed on each check. I had a very sweet cashier who clearly knew what she was doing, and having the items seperated AND in the order of the check seemed to make the whole process much smoother.

Now I will admit WIC isn’t ideal, it doesn’t cover everything, and you may have to pick brands, flavors, items, etc that you normally wouldn’t, BUT I found that I still had some choices and quite a bit of variety. One huge blessing is that Diapers’ milk is covered! Being lactose intolerant his milk is pricy. Even the generic Walmart brand adds up because he’s a kid and loves milk. And all it took was me telling the WIC nutritionist he’s lactose intolerant and BAM! he gets lactose free milk on his checks. No proof, no doctors note, nothing. So, if you have food allergies, sensitivities, etc be sure to speak up and say so!

I anticipate a lot of this food will be used to do some freezer cooking and stocking up on essentials like milk, bread, cheese, beans, cereal, juice, and frozen veggies because between both me and Diapers, we can’t go through it all, but having a stash with a baby on the way is never a bad thing.

So in a nutshell WIC has come a long way. Produce vouchers are now included for fresh and/or frozen, various milk options are available, options on grains are available, and cereal and juice options are available. This program is in no way meant to cover complete and balanced meals, but rather supplement and I find that it supplements the pricy food groups (with the exception of meat) such as dairy and produce. I figure that WIC will save my family about $100-$110 a month. Not too shabby!

As I learn more navigating this, I’ll be sure to update!

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Baby Shower for Baby Boy #2

My baby shower for Diapers was in the hospital. After landing myself there and requiring around the clock meds to keep my labor at bay, my friends asked what I wanted to do. In the end we had a group of friends come to the hospital, eat pizza, cake, play some games, and give gifts. It wasn’t ideal, but when life handed us lemons we chucked ’em back and said “screw it” and made the best of a stressful situation.

This time around, one of my friends asked about a baby shower and I told her about Diapers’. So if we were going to have another it would have to be early and I really just wanted to get diapers and wipes since this is our second child and another boy, we had the basic essentials covered. To my suprise a baby shower was tentatively scheduled for May 12th. I thought this may be too late, but I kept my mouth shut. And lo and behold, my bitchy uterus lands back in the hospital. My sweet friends rescheduled my baby shower for April 13th and relocated it at my house so I could follow doctor’s order and stay off my feet.

On Wednesday evening we celebrated our Baby Boy and had such wonderful friends do everything. They set up, they cooked, they cleaned, and they told me to sit and relax. We got spoiled with tons of diapers and wipes and other essentials like burp clothes, onsies, blankets, swaddles, pacifiers, soap, lotion, diaper rash cream – basically I have very generous friends.

I did create an Amazon baby registry and ya’ll…best.idea.ever. I think this really made it easy for folks to order items and have them shipped directly to me. Even some friends who couldn’t attend, ordered a gift from Amazon and had them shipped to me. #blessed.

We also got quite a bit in gift cards which are always nice to fill in the gaps with anything needed or for last minute items.

I do have some pictures but I’m typing this post from my phone and can’t figure out how to insert pictures opposed to setting one feature picture. When, or if, I figure this out, I’ll update with some pictures – I had some really cute decorations!

Bed Rest is the Pits

I’m a huge fan of binge watching entire seasons of a show on Netflix (I’m looking at you Scandal), and basically being a sloth on the couch. But truthfully, after one or two days of this I need to do something. I need to get up, move, organize, and just get stuff done.

And herein lies the problem – I can’t. 

Just standing up sends my temperamental uterus into a bipolar fit of tightening and cramping, AKA contractions. And since this Baby Boy is better off in his temperature controlled water bed for several more weeks, I’m bedresting (it’s a word trust me).

And it’s the pits.

Granted its better than hospital bed rest because honestly do nurses really have to come in at 4 am to get my temp, pulse, and blood pressure?! Like, for realz?

But in some ways bed rest at home is more difficult.

  1. My mom is cleaning my house. Maybe I should look at this as pay back for decades of doing chores in her house, but in all seriousness it just makes me feel badly. I’m appreciative of the help, but I’m also particular (read: crazy OCD) and I don’t like seeing my mom work her butt of in my house. I guess my only saving grace here is that I’m at least paying the mortgage. #silverlining.
  2. FirefighterDad is working his butt off. My dear sweet husband – he’s a gem really. He’s working long hours, volunteering for overtime, taking classes, etc and I’m sitting my pregnant ass on the couch all.day.long. Talk about self-induced guilt trip. Also, I’m no longer bringing money into our household and having once been the breadwinner, this is tough. Like really tough ya’ll. Like boiled steak tough.
  3. I’m an organization freak. The Baby’s room isn’t done or close to being done. Diapers’ room is a disaster with toys mixed in bins, toys overtaking his room, and not to mention he’s still sleeping in the crib converted toddler bed that we need for Baby Boy. As I write this, Diapers’ big boy bed is in the garage waiting to be assembled. And I can’t do any of it. All I can do is sit hear and gently remind my fantastic husband (read: nag) that we (read: he) need to get this stuff done. Life can be so unfair and cruel at times.
  4. I dispise clutter. We have a broken/disassembled TV in Baby Boy’s room. You might be thinking no big deal it’s a TV. Well I’ll have you know it’s a 72 inch monstrosity! We also have a broken office chair and broken vacuum cleaner in the office. I’ve been kindly reminding incessantly nagging FirefighterDad to take them all to the dumpster, but here they all are, weeks later, still cluttering up my house! If I wasn’t bedresting, these would have met their demise weeks ago. Instead they haunt my dreams at night.

So the point of this whining post is that bed rest is the pits and hopefully I have several more weeks of it, my mom is awesome, FirefighterDad is awesome, and I’m gonna bitch slap the heck out of these nesting instincts.

Identity Crisis

I’m feeling like a fraud. I’m no longer a working mom in the corporate world and I don’t have a hectic schedule. So I’ve been toying with the idea of giving my blog a new name, but I’m pretty sure that’s a HUGE no-no in the blogging world. That coupled with changing domain name, branding/image, etc I just.dont.know.

I have a good idea of what I would rename my blog as, and it’s much more general and I could then wrote about anything including corporate America and my career should that time come, BUT then I’m just another mommy blogger. Which I don’t have anything against, but ya know, internet traffic. What sets my blog apart from the other mommy blogs?

I’m not really looking at making money off of my blog because let’s be honest I’d have to blog more than once a month, BUT if the opportunity arises, I wouldn’t say no. On that same line, I have been seriously considering doing some freelance writing. I love writing, I have varied interests, experiences, perspectives, and qualifications and would love to bring in some additional income while I’m navigating this high risk pregnancy. However, depending upon the freelance opportunity, I would need a greater social media/blogging presence which I’m 100% on board with, but if I work on creating this, I would need ONE consistent name between blog, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. So, dilemma. I have a great blog name idea, but I’m not sure it would translate to other social media accounts. Of course I dunno because I’m no expert.

Ugh. Decisions, decisions.

Also, how would I address the anonymity of my current blog with potentially doing freelance writing under a social media handle? I’m okay with being less anonymous in theory, but protecting my kids will be priority. But, like you all, I love seeing daily pictures on blogs including kids, dogs, food, homes, etc. so I know that helps with generating followers. And let’s be real, Instagram is nothing.but.pictures.

So.

Many.

Thoughts.

So, fellow readers what are your thoughts? Should I rename and rebrand my blog? Should I use my new blog name as my social media handle? Should I just let it be for a while and see what happens?

p.s. I washed my hair today so basically…I’m winning at life right now!

 

Loooonnnnnggggg Over due Update

I probably lost all of my 7 loyal readers, and I don’t blame a single one of ya’ll. I jumped on here, told you I got laid off, posted some wisdom (*cough cough*) on couponing and saving money and then I was gone. For a month. In the blog-sphere that’s enough to cripple any long standing blog, let alone a new one like mine. So an update is in order and it’s going to be long so grab a glass of wine. Actually, you better make it two glasses.

  1. I’m still unemployed. I’ve had some phone interviews, went to a job fair, and impressed an owner, but to date they have all left me in my current state – in PJs with 3 day old dirty hair. Not even kidding. #sorryimnotsorry.
  2. FirefighterDad started working at a new fire department. And not just ANY fire department but the fire department that serves our community! This was huge for FirefighterDad and even though it meant a smaller department that is trying to get their crap stuff together and a pay cut, he’s serving his community. The department is understaffed so most firefighters are working 48 on, 24 off versus the usually 24 Hr shifts, but hey overtime! And the fact that a station is all of 0.00000364 seconds from our house means we get to eat dinner with FFD!
  3. I know I’ve been silent on the baby front and it hasn’t been intentional, promise. Baby Boy is looking great! He’s moving, growing and doing all he should be. The challenge is my bitchy uterus. Basically she loathes being pregnant. She’s revolting. My cervix was consistently shortening (red flag one), I was experiencing abdominal tightening and cramping (red flag two) and by 18 weeks extreme pelvic pressure reared its ugly head (red flag three). We put this all together and it means at 23 weeks 5 days I was 50% effaced and 2cm. Cue in the “oh shits”. So naturally this landed me in Labor and Delivery where I was reacquainted with my old friend (insert sarcasm) Magnesium Sulfate. This is the devil’s invention, delivered through IV (seriously these are worse than labor! I know I can’t be the only one who thinks this) and makes you want to jump off a cliff. In the end, the hospital I was at had a level II NICU which means they take babies born at 32 weeks and older, not babies who might be born at the cusp of viability. So with mag coursing thru my veins, I got my first ever ambulance ride to a hospital downtown with a level III NICU, the highest there is, and I got a first class ticket to being admitted to L&D for the foreseeable future. The first 48 hours are always critical having gone through this with Diapers I kinda knew the drill. But what I didn’t know was if my contractions (coming every 2-5 minutes) was dilating me further. After tests and an internal exam I was stable – still 2. A long story short I stayed at 2cm 50% for 48 hours and mag sulfate was stopped and oral meds were started. I then got moved to ante partum where I was on hospital bed rest with an immediate goal of 28 weeks. Survivablilty at 28 weeks is on the order of 80+% as opposed to the 40% or less at 23+5. So I sat and ate and waited. 5 days later, not having progressed any further I was released to go home on bed rest!! I was really suprised to go home but after 5 days with no progression and my fetal fibronectin test coming back negative I had a greater than 99% chance of NOT delivering in the next two weeks. So home I went which brings me to number 4.
  4. When I ended up in the hospital all I could say to my family was “It’s not good.” Next thing I know my mom takes a flight out the next morning and says she will land at 9:30 am. Having her here is a huge relief because when you already have a child and a spouse that works 24 to 48 hours at time, you kinda need a place and a responsible adult to watch your child, get him from school, feed him and put him to bed. All praise Grandmas! So here I sit, on the couch with my mom picking up the slack as I cook this little baby. Yesterday I hit 26 weeks and that seemed SO far away when I was first in the hospital. I’m on 4 medications, being seen weekly, and just waiting. 28 weeks will be a great celebration. Then I aim for 30 weeks, then 32, etc. and during it all I am preparing myself for another NICU stay because it’s not realistic to consider me going full term.
  5. Diapers will be 4 years old (FOUR!) in 10 days ya’ll. How did my teeny tiny baby turn 4?! We have big plans to have a small birthday celebration at the firehouse with cake, fire trucks, sirens, and firefighters. It will be great.
  6. My dearest friends are throwing my a baby shower next week. What once was scheduled for May has been moved up because they are sweethearts and they are bringing the party to me so I can sit and chill and they are doing it ALL! Invites, food, drinks, decorations, set up, and clean up. For this introverted mama, I’m a bit anxious about it, but I’m so lucky to have such great friends who are supporting me and want to celebrate this Baby Boy as much as I do!

These are the highlights of the last 4ish weeks and I promise to come back frequently with random ramblings, baby updates, and bed rest progression.

 

Now, tell me what’s been going on with you?!😊