Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Introducing Baby

Sorry for the silence on the blog lately. But I have a great excuse and here he is:

Silas Augustine arrived at 2:18 pm on Thursday Dec. 19, 2013. He was a plump 9 pounds and 20.25 inches long. I worked really hard to get the delivery I wanted. But things turned out a little differently. Silas was face up and not descending at all despite my pushing efforts. So he came via C-section. Not what I had wanted, but I have no regrets. We have a healthy baby!

He's a bit of a thinker. Haha!

I managed to get a picture of Peter with baby brother Silas. Ethan had no interest in a similar picture. Peter is happy as punch to have a baby brother.

And a Christmas morning picture of all three of my boys. I can't believe I'm a mom of three boys!!

All is going well so far. We've had some bumps along the way, expected growing pains. Nursing did not take right away but we seem to be doing better in that respect now, though Silas still needs a little extra formula to make sure he's getting enough calories. Otherwise, we're figuring things out.

Thank you to everyone for the prayers over the last 9 months. We are so happy to have Silas with us finally!!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Pregnancy Update: Week 41

I'm writing this on Tuesday night. As of now, labor has not started. Who knows where I will be once this actually gets posted on Wednesday morning.

So the latest update is this:
I am 3 cm. dilated and 80% effaced. So I'm making some progress.

I've already had two NSTs this week and the one on Tuesday showed some uterine activity. But I'm not feeling any contractions.

On Monday the doctor also swept the membranes, hopefully that will help move things along, eventually. I hope.

My hopes:
I would like to go into labor on my own. I would like to avoid induction if at all possible. Mainly I don't want to be tied to a bed because of an IV line.

The current plan:
41 weeks is as far as my doctor usually let's people go. She's willing to give me a couple more days as of now. So I go back on Thursday for another NST and to check fluid levels. That is, unless I go into labor on my own before then. She has said that we could start pitocin and always turn it off once things are moving along. I could do that as a compromise if necessary. She also has offered to break my water, but I told her I'm not as willing to do that. My concern is that once my water breaks I know I'll be on a clock and I'd rather not be forced to deliver within a certain time period. But I have a feeling that if I make it to Thursday, we will have to do something at that point.

So this is where we are at the moment. Definitely some good news, but still waiting.

Prayers: Continue praying for us, please, and for labor to kick in soon. Thanks!!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Christmas Program

The boys' Christmas program was Thursday evening. It was so cute. The whole day care participated, even the littlest ones. Here are a few pictures of the evening.

This was them coming into the church. It's a little blurry but that is Ethan in front with Peter just behind him. 

Getting set up for the show. As you can imagine it was a little chaotic. The boys had little reindeer antlers they were wearing but Ethan's ended up around his neck and Peter's were kind of in his eyes. 

Getting ready to sing. The boys' both looked so confused. They had been practicing every morning for a couple weeks, but to come in and see all these people looking at them was completely new to them. They rang their bells during "Jingle Bells" but I'm not sure they said "Hey" on cue. They were too big eyed looking out at all the parents taking pictures and videos. 

After the show with their reindeer antlers on. 

And a brother hug before we headed out for cookies and punch. 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Pregnancy Update: Week 40

How far along? 40 weeks and 1 day (due date was yesterday!).

How big is baby: According to Baby Center, baby is roughly 7 and a half pounds (about the size of a small pumpkin) and 20 inches long.

Cravings/Aversions: None to speak of at this time.

Belly button: still MIA.

Movement: Plenty!!

Leg cramps/Restlessness: Pleased to report that leg cramps have remained at bay. The restlessness is still incredibly annoying.

Sleep: Looking forward to sleeping more comfortably again ... one day.

Weight gain: Probably around 26 pounds, but I can't say I've been keeping track very well in recent weeks.

Appointment: I had an appointment with Dr. H on Monday which went well. She did check and found that I have not dilated at all yet. I'm kind of shocked that I haven't dilated at all. After our concern with my cervix shortening around 21/22 weeks, it's very surprising. Totally not what I expected to hear. We talked a bit about my wishes for the birth and we also talked about the possibility of a c-section should I go too long. I'm praying that doesn't happen. Next appointment is this coming Monday.

NST: My NST on Monday also went well. Baby always cooperates and I'm usually not there more than 30 minutes. Next NST is Thursday (today!) along with an ultrasound to check fluid levels.

To-Do List: Just what still needs to be done:

  • Go through newborn clothes
  • Finish packing hospital bag (I've started, at least)
Believe it or not, I think these are the only things on my list. I must be forgetting something! LOL!!

The Big Brothers: The boys have a Christmas program at their school tonight. They've been practicing every morning at school. Hubby came home tonight and told me that one of the teachers said they are doing really well with the bells they have and saying "hey!" at the appropriate time (I assume in "Jingle Bells"). As much as I want to go into labor, I'd like to be able to see the boys program. It's sure to be cute!! After that, come on Baby!! Hopefully I'll have pictures and maybe some video to share of the Christmas program. 

Prayers: First asking for prayers that my body starts doing something soon. I want to avoid a c-section as much as possible. So prayers that I go into labor spontaneously very soon and that fluid levels look good at my ultrasound. Also, prayers for my prayer buddy A. She's going through a rough time and could use lots of prayers. Thank you!

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Pregnancy Update: Week 39

How far along: 39 weeks, 0 days!!

How big is baby? According to Baby Center the baby is a bit over 7 pounds and roughly 20 inches long. Of course, my doctors are estimating the baby is already bigger than that.

Cravings/Aversions: Not much change here.

Belly Button: MIA

Movement: Has been good. Baby moves a lot. So far my NSTs haven't taken too long and although I was given information on doing "kick counts" every day, I feel so much movement I haven't really bothered.

Leg cramps/Restlessness: I've had a tiny bit of tightening in the middle of the night, but I usually catch it before it turns into a full-blown leg cramp. The restlessness is just a constant and incredibly annoying. While watching TV, sitting at my desk at work, in a meeting, my legs just want to jump up and go for a run.

Sleep: I just don't like sleep right now. It's uncomfortable, restless, and I wake up feeling sore and tired.

Weight gain: Okay, I think I'm around 25 pounds now. So baby really needs to come out soon. Very soon!!

NST: Friday's went fine, was there no more than 30 minutes. Monday went well also. Over the 30+ minutes I was there the monitors even picked up a few contractions. I didn't feel any, of course, but it was nice to see that my body is doing something. Next one is tomorrow and then we'll plan for two next week as well.

Appointment: My appointment on Monday took forever!! Appointment time was actually at 11:15, I don't think I saw anyone until closer to 12:15. When I was making my next appointment I noticed the time on my iPod said 12:50. Talk about a long morning!!  However, after seeing the nurse (who I did see on the early part of the appointment) and then the resident (who didn't make an appearance until around 12:00 or so), I finally got to see Dr. O. I really do like him a lot. He was great and we talked about a lot of things. He even asked how the boys were doing. I now know why he runs so far behind. LOL!! Overall, a good appointment. Baby is still head down and heartbeat is good. Next appointment is on Monday with Dr. H.

To-Do List:

  • We have a stroller!! Thanks, Mom!
  • We have a doula! Met her on Saturday. I think it'll be good to have an extra support person during labor and delivery.
  • Plans for the boys: I think I have shared everything I need to with all those who need the info. I'm sure I'm missing something, but it'll all work out. At some point you just got to let it go and hope for the best. Let go and let God. Right?
  • Work: almost done. Tying up loose ends. I'm trying to leave each day like I won't be returning the next day. Just a few days left!
  • Christmas cards are done and mailed!
Still to do:
  • Go through the newborn clothes
  • Pack a bag for the hospital
  • Move car seats around and install infant car seat
  • Rearrange baby's room (not an immediate need)
  • Set up pack and play in our room
  • Finish Christmas shopping
  • Wrap Christmas gifts
And now it's late and I can no longer think. Stay tuned for either news or another update. There's no telling now what will be next.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Pregnancy Update: Week 38

How far along: 38 weeks, 0 days. Who would have thought?

How big is baby: According to Baby Center, approximately 19 1/2 inches long (like a very long leek) and roughly 7 pounds. Based on last week's growth ultrasound I would guess baby is probably closer to 7 1/2 pounds depending on how accurate that scan was.

Cravings/Aversions: Nothing has changed here. In the pizza search saga, I settled for a Lean Cuisine "Deep" dish pizza this week. It was decent, but definitely not what I'm looking for. No surprise there.

Belly Button: Um ... I think I've lost it.

Movement: Plenty of movement, bumping around, shifting around, kicking ... lots going on in there.

Leg cramps/restlessness: Haven't had any leg cramps in quite a while now! Yay!! The restlessness in my legs continues, may even be getting worse.

Sleep: Believe it or not, I think I'm sleeping in somewhat longer stretches and not getting up as much. However, I'm still very uncomfortable and wish I had more flexibility in how I can sleep.

Weight gain: I keep forgetting to weigh myself on my home scale. Or am I conveniently forgetting??

NST: Had one last Thursday, baby was very active. Had another on Monday and again baby was fairly active. I was only in there about 20 minutes on Monday. Next one is Friday morning since Thursday is Thanksgiving. I was kind of hoping that I'd get to miss the second one of this week. Oh well.

Appointment: Monday was my last appointment with Dr. M. I really didn't have any questions, so we chatted some, she measured me (measuring just a tad ahead), commented on the swelling in my ankles and legs (not terrible, fairly normal for this time of pregnancy, but did recommend putting my feet up when I could), and that was about it. Monday night I realized that I forgot to ask about the Group B Strep test. Called Tuesday morning and found out I am negative. Yay!! No antibiotics means I can avoid an IV, though I'm still required to have the heplock in place. Oh, how I'd love to avoid an IV all together. Anyway, we finished up the appointment, wished each other luck, and said that maybe we'd see each other on the maternity floor. Haha! Next appointment is next Monday with Dr. H.

The Big Brothers: When I picked up the boys at daycare on Tuesday their teacher was telling me about how cute they had been all day. There is a little step stool by the window and they spent part of the day standing on the top step of it together watching the cars on the road, looking at the Christmas lights next door, and watching the rain. She said they were there forever and looked so cute together. Then they spent a large portion of the afternoon holding hands the whole time. So sweet!! They each came home that afternoon with a little book they had made called Peter's [Ethan's] Book of Blessings. I love them!!

Names: Hubby seems to have given up trying to come up with a different boys name. We might be settled!!

To-Do List:
In progress/finished:

  • Pediatrician: Met with another pediatrician last Friday and I really liked her a lot. I believe we have found our new doctor. She mentioned one thing that might be a concern, but it really had nothing to do with her specifically, more a policy under discussion for the clinic as a whole. For now, I'm not going to worry about it.
  • I mentioned in my last to-do list that we completed the labor class. Well, as a result of that class, we also started discussing the possibility of hiring a doula. We decided to go ahead and do that and I've now hired someone and will be meeting with her soon, hopefully this weekend.
  • Plans for the boys: coming together.
  • Sort of still reading through the various birthing books I have. I've been a little lazy about that lately.
  • Baptism scheduled, etc. Details still to be worked out.
  • At work I have completed all my staff performance evaluation forms (not an easy task this year since the university implemented a new form and isn't releasing it to everyone until mid-December; I had to do a lot of asking around to get them early); I also completed all my travel paperwork for a conference in February and got registered for the conference, and I submitted a proposal for supplies for a project that will be on the top of my to-do list when I return in March. I'm very close to having all loose ends at work tied up.
  • Annual Christmas letter is written, just need to print and do the Christmas cards.
Still to do:
  • Stroller
  • Go through all our newborn clothes
  • Rearrange baby's room (disassemble one crib)
  • Move car seats around
  • Pack a bag for the hospital
  • Christmas cards!
  • Wrap Christmas gifts!
  • Finish Christmas shopping
Looking ahead: Oh my goodness, we're going to have a baby soon!! And it could be anytime. Will I be writing a 39 week update? Only time will tell. (Honestly, I feel like I will be, but who knows.) Starting next week, Hubby and I are switching cars so that he'll have the van (and the car seats) with him. Which means he gets to be on the day care run each day. But it also means that I won't have to worry about the boys if I go into labor at work (and I'm only down the street from the hospital too). I've put together my list of important info and I've started making more definite plans for the boys. I've also started a list for Hubby of important phone numbers and such. We're definitely coming down to the wire.

Prayers: Prayers are appreciated not just for me but for many others I know who are all having babies soon. It's actually quite a few. I'm praying specifically for my prayer buddy A, who really needs a miracle right now. Please add her to your prayers as well if you could. Thanks!!

Hope to be back for a 39 week update!! Have a happy Thanksgiving!!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Pregnancy Update: Week 37

This is a first. I've never done a 37 week pregnancy update. So glad to have made it this far!

How far along: 37 weeks, 0 days today!! Woohoo!

How big is baby: According to Baby Center the baby is approximately 6 and 1/3 pounds and a bit over 19 inches (about the size of a bunch of Swiss chard). However, we had a growth ultrasound on Monday and well, keep reading for more info on the size of baby.

Cravings/Aversions: I still haven't found really great pizza yet. We had plans to have lunch on Monday at a restaurant half a block from my doctor's office, but we quickly learned that they are closed on Mondays. Very sad. So we drove down the road to another local pizza place, but in looking to see where they had parking, Hubby drove past the restaurant. That wouldn't be too big a deal except that it is a one-way street. Hard to turn around and go back, even harder in that area to drive around the block. So we ended up at a burger place instead. Otherwise, no real cravings or anything. I can pretty much eat anything you put in front of me at this point.

Belly Button: Still just an odd looking knot on the front of my belly.

Movement: Still moving around in there.

Leg cramps/restlessness: I seem to have the cramps under control. The restlessness isn't really much better.

Sleep: Sleep is not very good these days. Yes, I was exhausted last week because I was up too late too many nights in a row. I felt much better Saturday morning after a long sleep. However, it wasn't a great sleep. I just can't be comfortable for very long, I get up several times, blah, blah, blah. All women who have been pregnant know the routine. I laugh at the old adage that you should get plenty of sleep now because you won't when the baby arrives. Um, no. Don't ever tell a pregnant woman that. Never. I may get less sleep once there is a baby around that needs to be fed every couple hours or so, but at least it'll be a better sleep. I'll gladly trade 8 hours of restless sleep for 3 hours of a good, sound sleep.

Weight gain: Probably up a pound or so since last week. Forgot to weigh myself on Monday and I don't know what the scale at the doctor's office is in relation to my home scale.

Appointment: Went well this week. Had the Group B strep test done (probably get results next week), got the FMLA paperwork squared away, and just general talk about birth and what the next few weeks will look like. Next appointment is Monday the 25th and will likely be my last appointment with Dr. M. Will start seeing Dr. H the following week.

NST: Monday was also my first Non-Stress Test of this pregnancy. As the nurse was hooking up the monitors I said something about how much easier the monitor hook up was this time than it was with twins. She must have misunderstood me and she thought I said that I had twins. Oops! I quickly told her, no, I had twins the last time, this time was just one. I didn't need another monitor hooked up. Haha!! It went well and was over in about 20-30 minutes.

Ultrasound: Prior to the NST I had the growth ultrasound. Fluid looked good all around, baby was moving well, and heartbeat was 139. We even saw hair on the baby's head! In the end, the tech calculated the baby's weight at 7 pounds, 2 oz. That seems rather on the large size to me, but I realize that these calculations aren't exact anyway. Still, I was a bit surprised. This puts the baby in the 63rd percentile at 37 weeks. So just a bit over average.

The Big Brothers: I had hoped to post some videos we took of the boys recently, but we still haven't downloaded them from the camera. Sorry. Otherwise, the boys are as cute as ever, talking a lot, and exploring everything around them. Typical 2 and a half year olds.

Names: Still at a stand still.

To-Do list:
In Progress/Finished:

  • Pediatrician: I have an appointment with a new physician on Friday. She's actually not an MD, but a DO instead, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. I'm looking forward to meeting her and hoping she'll be a good fit for our family.
  • We took the Labor Class on Tuesday evening and it was very good. For me, it was a review of a lot of the things I have been reading about. For Hubby, he got to practice the exercises with me and learn the various techniques for keeping me focused and relaxed. And he got to do it without me hounding him about reading a book. I'm hoping he got a lot out of the class.
  • Plans for the boys: I'm working on a short document to share with a few friends. Just some basic things like important phone numbers, the boys' routine, allergies, and that sort of thing. I have 4 to 5 people who I need to send it to.
  • Still reading through some various natural childbirth books.
  • Baptism is scheduled, both Godparents are on board and have been informed of the date. I also sent out a message to family with the date so they had a heads up.
  • We bought a dresser for the boys room and I've put all their clothes in it. Still changing diapers in the baby room, but that is still the easiest place to do it. Plus, they are still under 30 pounds, which is the weight limit on the changing table. I prefer using the changing table as long as possible.
  • Submitted all my FMLA paperwork on Tuesday.
Still to do:
  • Still need a stroller (shared the one I like with my mom as an item, the only item, on my Christmas list)
  • Disassemble one crib and rearrange baby room
  • Go through all the newborn clothes
  • Move the car seats and install the infant seat
  • Must do Christmas cards! Soon!!

Looking back: On Monday I was 36 weeks and 5 days. The same point in pregnancy where I was when the boys were born. We have now officially made it past that point. 37 weeks is amazing. I remember how big I felt, how "so done" I was with everything to do with being pregnant with two babies, how I just wanted to be able to sleep again, and how I was willing to have anything done to have those babies out (epidural, letting them break my water, whatever). I am hoping for a very different experience this time around. Very different.

Prayers: Continuing to pray for all pregnant moms, for prayer buddy, A, and for a good birth experience for baby and I.

Next week: Week 38!!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Pregnancy Update: Week 36

How far along: 36 weeks, 2 days and I have three progesterone pills left. It's weird to think that the boys came at 36 weeks, 5 days.

How big is baby: The estimate is a little under 6 pounds (about the size of a crenshaw melon) and approximately 18 and a half inches long. I have a growth ultrasound on Monday, so it'll be interesting to see how the baby measures against the estimates. Of course, even the ultrasound isn't totally accurate.

Cravings/Aversion: I don't think there is anything specific, instead I just feel like eating a lot more than I have at any other point during this pregnancy. Although, I had a hankering for pizza several days ago and was not happy with the pizza I ended up getting. So I got pizza again a few days later and it still wasn't that great. Now I'm looking for really good pizza in town. Hubby and I are going out to lunch together on Monday before my series of appointments so we're going to go try some pizza at a nearby place.

Belly Button: Hubby called it a "belly knot" the other day.

Movement: Still plenty of moving around in there.

Leg cramps/restlessness: The leg cramps haven't made an appearance lately. At least, not the really bad ones. I still occasionally get woken up by a minor pain that I'm able to stretch out easily and go back to bed. I've been working really hard on drinking LOTS of water, some vitamin water, and eating bananas more often. I've also added in some protein shakes. All of that is also supposed to help with the restlessness, but it doesn't seem to be helping in that area. Luckily the restlessness is mainly during the day, not in bed at night. I'd never sleep if that was the case, so I'm counting that as a blessing.

Sleep: I've been sleeping fairly well. My main issue is my inability to move much and then waking up to some stiffness from being in basically one position all night long. I've also been staying up a little too late lately. So I sleep well, but don't get a long stretch of sleep. I need to sleep more this weekend.

Weight gain: I was surprised on Monday to see my weight the same as the week before. So I'm still at that 20 pound mark. Yay!

Appointment: Met with my doctor for a routine visit on Monday. My blood pressure was up a bit when the nurse took it, but Dr. M took is again after I had been sitting in the room for a while and it was perfect. They really shouldn't be taking the blood pressure of an 8 month pregnant woman after making her walk down the hall, get weighed, and walk some more. Let me catch my breath first, please! Anyway, nothing too exciting to report from this visit, except that this time I was measuring right on target. Next appointment is Monday the 18th.

Ultrasound: Having a growth ultrasound on Monday the 18th.

Non-Stress Test: First NST of this pregnancy is Monday the 18th.

Can you tell that I'm going to be busy on Monday the 18th?

The Big Brothers: Their language is really starting to explode!! I have a couple videos on our camera of Hubby reading a book to them. It's very cute to watch their reactions to the book and see them repeat phrases after Hubby. I hope to download those soon and get a post up for everyone to see. I also need to get a video of Ethan (maybe also Peter) singing the "Mahnah Mahnah" song. It cracks me up every time!

Names: No change here.

To-do List:
In progress/Finished

  • Pediatrician: Darn! I totally forgot about this. Need to make a phone call tomorrow.
  • Labor class is Tuesday. And I finally got a babysitter lined up too.
  • Postpartum class through CCL: We attended the class on Sunday and I'm glad we took it. It was a lot of review, but it was good to have that and it was good to see some examples of charts as fertility starts to return. Well worth it.
  • Plans for the boys: still coming together.
  • Still reading through several books on natural childbirth.
  • Baptism is scheduled and I've sent the date out to family. Very happy to have that on the calendar.
  • I attended the Babywearing Support Group in town this week and ended up "checking out" a wrap from their library. I'm a little shocked that I kind of liked the wrap, although it will take some practice. I also got to try out a few of the structured carriers, specifically the Boba and the Beco. I think it was the Beco that I liked the best, but I need to look them over again to remember.
Still to do:
  • Need a stroller still.
  • Disassemble one crib and rearrange baby room.
  • Go through all the newborn clothes and rearrange the boys clothes
  • Get a new dresser for the boys room so the baby's clothes can actually go into the baby's room
  • Move the car seats around and add the infant seat into the van
  • Get my Family Medical Leave paperwork submitted
Looking back: I read through my 36 week update from last time and I had forgotten a few things from that week. Specifically I had forgotten that it was at my appointment that Monday (I would have been 35 weeks and 5 days) that the doctor tried to remove the cerclage and was unable to, then discovered that I was already 5 cm dilated. I had forgotten that I went a whole week at 5 cm instead of just a weekend. It does make me wonder if I'm already dilated any now. It's funny to read what I wrote then and see how doubtful I was that I was going to make it to that Friday when in fact I made it to the following Monday.

Prayers: I still continue to pray for all pregnant moms, especially those struggling with difficult and/or high risk pregnancies. Prayers also for my prayer buddy, A; she especially needs them right now. And as always, I ask for continued prayers for me and this pregnancy, just that it continue to go well and we have a good birth.

I should be back for next week! Looking forward to making it to 37 weeks for the first time ever!

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Pregnancy Update: Week 35

How far along: 35 weeks, 1 day. Still taking the progesterone, have about 11 days left.

How big is baby: Approximately 5 and a quarter pounds (similar to a good size honeydew melon) and about 18 inches long.

Cravings/Aversions: Still doing good here.

Belly Button: So flat! It's going to disappear! LOL!!

Movement: Lots of rolling around going on in there.

Leg cramps: Yep. Plus the restlessness is constantly bothering me ... at home, at work, at night. It's very frustrating.

Sleep: Starting to have a harder time sleeping. I can't move much at all, so find that I have to completely sit up in order to change positions. That means pretty much waking up completely in order to do that. But I get up several times during the night to use the bathroom, so I try to remember to change sleeping positions then.

Weight gain: I think I hit the 20 pound mark. I had thought I still had at least a couple more weeks before that happened. I'm going to blame Halloween on this one.

Appointment: Had an appointment on Monday. This was the first of my weekly appointments from here on out. Blood pressure was good (the second time she took it) and baby's heartbeat was good. I was measuring about 2 weeks ahead, so we're doing a growth ultrasound in a couple weeks just to make sure the baby isn't too big. I'd be surprised if the baby was particularly big, but we'll see. Another opportunity to see baby. Otherwise, we talked about a lot of different things to do with birth, hospital procedures, and the other possible doctors who might be in charge of my delivery once Dr. M goes on leave herself. Next appointment is Nov. 11.

Ultrasound: Have a growth ultrasound scheduled now for my birthday (in addition to an NST and an appointment). Happy Birthday to me!

The Big Brothers: Last week I mentioned that the boys had been in their new beds for about four nights and no one had fallen out yet. Well, Peter then rolled out of bed that very night. I think it scared him more than anything, but luckily he readily went back to bed after a few hugs and kisses. This past Sunday night I was downstairs and heard some whining or small bit of crying. I wasn't even sure what it was at first. But I headed upstairs and just as I did I saw Hubby head down the hall to the boys room. I walked in and he had Ethan in his arms. Apparently, he was standing on the floor and laying his top half on the bed. He must have rolled out, not known what to do, and just laid his head down on the bed. We got him situated again and the rest of the night was uneventful.

One other thing about their new beds, whether they are really ready for it or not, I think naps are now gone for the days we are home. Thank goodness they get naps at daycare. But at home, it's just too easy for them to start wrestling on the floor together, playing, giggling, and so much more. This past Saturday was a big nap time fail. I did try the tactic of letting them each take a book to bed to look at and it was somewhat quiet for a little while after that, but it was obvious that no sleeping was going to happen. Our evenings are pretty rough when there is no nap time. They really do still need it, but I don't think it's going to happen. I'm open to suggestions.

And I have to mention the sudden explosion in speech. Oh my!!! Yes, there is more talking and more repeating of words we say. We try two word phrases with them and they'll repeat them back to us more and more. We got a big surprise on the way home from Mass on Sunday morning. We were driving along and Ethan sneezed. From behind me I heard Peter say, "Bless you, Dede." I was shocked. Hubby didn't hear it, but I repeated what I heard and he got excited as well. First of all, "dede" is what Peter calls Ethan. No idea where that came from, but at least we know what it means. Second, we had no idea that Peter even knew to say "Bless you" when someone sneezed. And third, we were shocked to hear a complete thought for the first time. It's so amazing to listen to their language usage grow!

Sunday afternoon we went to a birthday party at Gymboree. We had never been to a Gymboree before. The boys found some balls almost as soon as we got there and that's pretty much all they were interested in from that point forward. My children are such cautious little things. While my friends' 1 year olds were climbing on things and willing to try new things, my two year olds had no interest at all. They did find the slide and enjoyed that, but we couldn't really get them to try anything else. I think they did eventually warm up to the parachute after a while and overall they did have a good time.

Names: Hubby told me this week that he has no time to think about names. He wants to wait until we see the baby and if it's a boy maybe he'll get a feeling of what will suit the child. Whatever.

To do list: I guess it's been a while since I actually went over my list, so time to review:

  • Pediatrician: I've met with one, I need to call and meet with one other. Need to do that this week.
  • Childbirth class through the hospital has been completed, although I need to go back into it (it was online) and print out a couple of helpful pages. The Labor Class we signed up for was cancelled and rescheduled for Nov. 19. I need to find a babysitter for that one.
  • Boys room: pretty much done, though we still need a dresser so we can have all their clothes actually in their room.
  • Postpartum class through CCL is coming up on Sunday. We have the book now too, but I haven't looked at it yet.
  • Have the Godmother covered. Still haven't had a chance to ask our potential Godfather.
  • Plans for the boys: Have some friends lined up who will be around during Thanksgiving weekend. Also have some friends in the neighborhood who are willing to take the boys any other time except Thanksgiving when they will be out of town. One thing I need to do is write up a basic list of important phone numbers, allergies, basic routine, and any other info that is important for someone to know who is watching the boys.
  • I've read through one book on natural childbirth. Have a second one I'm just getting into and a third I haven't had a chance to start yet.
  • Both breastfeeding classes are complete. I learned a lot!
Still to do:
  • Stroller (may end up on my Christmas list)
  • Baby carrier (same)
  • Baptism arrangements: actually saw our priest at a pro-life fundraising event we went to on Saturday evening and told him I was going to be emailing him about this. So I should do that this week. Hoping for a Saturday in January.
  • Disassemble one crib (Hubby's job actually) and rearrange baby room.
  • Go through all the newborn and 3 month clothes we have and start getting things ready (most of that stuff is gender neutral)
  • Move the boys' car seats to back bench of the van and install the infant base.
  • And probably five thousand other things I haven't thought of yet.
Prayers: At Mass this past Sunday I offered up prayers especially for every mom who is going through a difficult pregnancy. In general, also continuing to pray for my prayer buddy, A, and many other friends. I ask also for prayers for me and baby, that all continues to go well, we get the birth we want, and we are able to get off to a successful breastfeeding relationship. Thank you!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Pregnancy Update: Week 34

How far along: 34 weeks, 0 days. That number is kind of surreal. Can we really be at 34 weeks already? Why yes we can, and we are!! Due date is 6 weeks from today. Amazing. Still taking progesterone to prevent pre-term labor. Probably have another week or more of that (I'm hoping for a little more just so I can finish the prescription).

How big is baby: Approximately 4 and 3/4 pounds (about the size of a cantaloupe) and 18 inches long. I believe the boys were roughly 19 inches long at birth, so this baby is already getting close to the same length as his or her older brothers.

Cravings/Aversions: no changes here. In other words: nothing.

Belly Button: Still flat. Guess baby isn't done baking yet.

Movement: the gymnastics continue.

Leg cramps: still continuing. It's a drag. Especially when you're having a doozy of a cramp, your two year old is in bed with you, it's 7 A.M. and your husband's phone goes off, so he leaves you in pain to go check the phone. Yep, that was a fun morning.

Sleep: Some nights are better than others. 'Nough said.

Weight gain: I think we're up around 17 pounds gained now. At 34 weeks, I'll take it! Especially considering I was up 44 pounds at this point when I was pregnant with the boys. 17 sounds great!!

Appointment: None this week. Actually this is my last week with no appointments at all!! Next Monday I start weekly visits. The week of my birthday I add in twice weekly NSTs. Ah the joy!

The Big Brothers: I could say so much here! But I'll try to keep it brief.

First, we're starting to say more than one word at a time. It's still very little, but small steps are good. We have "Bye-bye, Daddy" and "Bye-bye, Mommy" as well as "bye-bye, dada [truck]" and "bye-bye [insert any other type vehicle here they know how to say]." Substitute those same phrases with "Hello" as well. They have been saying "Police" when they see a police car, but I finally got them to say "police car" together. However, now Peter has changed how he says police and has dropped the "car." Whatever. We're still a work in progress.

The day care drop off is swinging back to being a somewhat pleasant experience about 80-90% of the time (it's truly like a pendulum). We went through a long period of crying and clinging to mom when I dropped them off in the morning. We seem to now be in a period of hugs and kisses and then off to play. It makes drop off so much easier.

Mattresses for the boys beds were delivered on Saturday and they were so excited. The boys and I weren't home at the time so they didn't know anything about them until we arrived home later that afternoon. They saw them, climbed right on, and didn't want to get off. I had to change diapers so I managed to coax them off, but as soon as they were changed they went back to playing on the beds. I went to wash my hands and came back to find that they had managed to get their blankets and one stuffed animal out of their cribs and had brought them to their new beds in their new room. We hadn't decided yet if we would put them to sleep on the beds right away or not. I wanted to get bed rails, but Hubby didn't see a need for them. So with the boys so eager we went ahead and made the beds and they slept in them Saturday night. We haven't had a single issue. None! No one has fallen out of bed (yet!), they don't get up during the night (yet), and they stay in their beds in the mornings until I come in to get them up (for now). I'm really surprised at how easy this transition was! Not only that, but the bedtime routine became a LOT shorter. I'm so glad the rocking chair is in the baby room and not in the boys' room. What a relief!

Saturday (while the mattresses were being delivered) we went to "Treat or Treat" at a local Catholic Church. There were a lot of craft vendors there and all had bowls of candy to hand out to the kids. The Shriner's train was there and as soon as we got off the shuttle bus the boys saw it. "Choo choo, choo choo!!" Guess what the first thing we did was? We also saw some goats and llamas, there was live music acts and a local Irish dance group did some performances, plenty of food to purchase, and kids games to round out the event. There were several inflatables as well, but my kids have no interest in inflatables, so we skipped those. It was a fun day, although pretty darn cold. I think they especially enjoyed riding the shuttle bus (we had to park at a nearby Baptist Church and there was a shuttle bus (from an Episcopal Church) taking people back and forth. [Very ecumenical event, apparently.]

Names: I have mine picked out. ;)

To Do List: I'm currently ignoring this. Probably can't do that much longer.

Breastfeeding class: Okay, so this was on my to-do list, but I took the class just last night. I'm so glad I did!! The instructor is actually a lactation consultant at my hospital and I was able to chat with her some after the class. But during the class, I listened, asked a ton of questions, mentioned my previous experience (or lack of, to be more accurate), and took a lot of notes. Lots of notes!! I wondered what the first time mothers in the room (which was everyone but me) thought about all the notes I was taking. I felt like I did nothing but take notes. Anyway, I feel like I can see all the reasons now why breastfeeding didn't work the last time. A whole host of factors. I'm really, really praying for a much better outcome this time. In chatting with the instructor afterwards she gave me some pointers for dealing with the hospital which was very helpful. I also elaborated with her a bit more on my previous experiences of pregnancy and she told me about the many changes that have taken place at the hospital since I last delivered there. All positive changes! She even gave me the name of a nurse to ask for (if I'm able) who is extremely supportive of natural birth. Overall, it was a good night! Part two of the class (pumping and returning to work) will be next week.

Prayers: Currently keeping several people in prayer. My prayer buddy A, of course. Several other friends who are dealing with tough pregnancies and pregnancy issues. For friend R's daughter R who will be facing yet another surgery soon, for friend J's daughter E who is having a bunch of tests done this week and next and is also dealing with asthma issues (she's only a year old), and for all moms who have children going through tough ordeals at such young ages. I also would like to ask for prayers for me as we approach the birth of this baby. If you can say a quick prayer for us for things to be successful, for the birth to go as natural as possible (as long as the baby is safe and there are no complications), and for supportive and encouraging people around me during labor and the birth itself. Oh, and also for a more successful breastfeeding experience. Thanks!

That's all for now. Looking at about 6 more weeks! Hard to believe!

Oh, and Happy Halloween!!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Pregnancy Update: Week 33

How far along? 33 weeks and 0 days.

How big is baby? A bit over 4 pounds now (roughly the size of a pineapple) and approximately 17 inches. Survival chances are still around 98%.

Cravings/Aversions: No changes here.

Belly Button: flat as can be!

Movement: Still big waves of movement and parts of baby pushing out in different areas at different times. Makes me laugh to watch the ever shifting shape of my belly.

Leg Cramps: Just when I thought they couldn't get any worse ... ::sigh:: I had a rough night on Friday, terrible leg cramp again. Not sure if I just didn't drink enough water that day or if my electrolytes were down. Whatever it was, it hit me again and kept me from getting a good nights sleep. The whole rest of the weekend I had mini leg cramps throughout the night every night. I was waking up every hour or two and having a hard time falling asleep for fear of waking up to the pain of another leg cramp. Not the best weekend, at all. Monday night/Tuesday morning I finally slept better. I remember waking up around 3:30 A.M. and thinking that was pretty good for the first wake up of the night, especially just to use the bathroom and not be dealing with a leg cramp. And now to drink some more water ...

Sleep: Well, just see above.

Weight gain: I forgot to weigh myself Monday, but did have a doctor appointment that day. But the scale there is not an accurate representation of how much I've gained. Weighed myself Tuesday morning and the scale was the same as the previous week. So I'm still going with a 16 pound gain at this point. Hubby and I were just musing that with the weight of the baby, the fluid, the placenta, and extra blood volume that maybe I've actually lost a little weight. I have no idea how that would be possible, but I'd be okay with it!

Big difference from 33 weeks with the boys! I was just looking to be under 40 pounds then. Here I am at under 20 still this time around. I'm continually amazed at the difference.

Appointment: Had an appointment on Monday. It was pretty short and uneventful. Because I work on a college campus and parking is a major pain, I decided to walk to this appointment. It was a gorgeous day and I was feeling good, so I thought "why not!" Plus, if I had driven, who knows where I would have had to park when I came back and the walk could have ended up being just as long. My blood pressure was surprisingly good for having just walked over, maybe a tad high, but I made sure to let the nurse know that I had walked over. I think it was around 130-something over 68. Baby's heart rate was 150 and I'm measuring right on schedule.

A resident was the one who did the heart rate and measuring and asked me a couple questions on how things were going (saw my doctor briefly after all of that). At one point, she asked if I was feeling pregnant yet. I think she was trying to be lighthearted, I mean, I am 33 weeks pregnant! But I did hesitate in answering her because honestly, I don't feel very pregnant. I assume she thought I would chuckle and tell her, "oh yes, very!" I ended up explaining to her that I really don't feel terribly big and therefore not all that pregnant (despite how far along I am) because my only point of reference at this time is a previous pregnancy with twins. But I did kind of laugh about it, so I think we avoided any awkwardness.

Following this appointment I also scheduled my first NSTs (non-stress tests). I don't need them until I'm 36 weeks, but they will still be twice a week, just like last time. So much fun being "advanced maternal age!" So my first two are scheduled for the week of Nov. 18. My next regular appointment will be Nov. 4.

The Big Brothers: We have definitely entered a period of "testing" with them. By which I mean, they are testing us. Big time!! I'm using time outs where I can and I'm becoming a bit more consistent (yes, I know, consistency is key. I'm working on it.). Overall they are very good, but they do try to test our limits quite often these days.

But there is plenty of cuteness factor to go around, too. Just one example, their pronunciation of "Amen" is cracks me up! When we do prayers they do a version of the sign of the cross, they keep their hands folded (most of the time) while we pray, and they say Amen. But it sounds something like "may-ma." It's incredibly cute!

Names: One night recently we found the site The Baby Name Wizard. We spent a lot of time putting in various boy names that we've talked about. I think I've definitely settled on one that I like. Hubby is still trying to decide, but I think this helped. He really liked the graphs and seeing how popular or not a name has been over the last 130 years. He seemed just slightly more agreeable to the name I have picked out. Right now it is our default unless he finds something different or the baby is a girl. We're set on a girl name, no debate there.

To-Do List:

For reference, click over to last week's post to see the list there. Not a lot has changed. Only change worth noting is that we did go through the online version of the hospital child birth class this weekend. So that's one thing done. We were supposed to go to a Labor class through an independent group last night, but they had to cancel the class. Everyone but us cancelled so they called me to see if we could reschedule for the November class. I agreed, but I am a little worried that it is going to be getting very close by that time.

Prayers: I got to go to an hour of Adoration and Benediction last week. I haven't had the opportunity to do something like that in forever and it was so nice. Peaceful, prayerful, reflective, quiet ... just wonderful. I tried to remember all those that I am praying for, particular my prayer buddy A and all the other mommies I know who are in high risk pregnancies or who are trying to conceive. I also tried to just absorb the silence. So little silence in this world, this is one of those places where the silence is pure and I didn't want to take it for granted. I had a very brief moment during that hour that is hard to describe. An overwhelming feeling of peace came over me and I immediately thought back to a previous time when I had felt that same thing, but yet it was a very different circumstance. Still the feeling in my heart was exactly the same, I have no doubt. I knew that it was a feeling of knowing that I was where I needed to be. Beyond, that I'm not sure I can describe it. I need to reflect on it more and maybe write sometime about these two instances in my life roughly 20 years apart, how completely different they were, and yet had the same feelings associated with them.

One last prayer request (and this is related to a topic I have written about in the past), please pray for all the pregnant women in places like China and India. Also pray for the unborn babies, especially the unborn girls who are at such a high risk for abortion just for being girls. I keep seeing stories about the horrors women face in these countries (and many others) and I want to do something. Not sure what, but we can at least start with prayer. Thank you.

That's all for this update!!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

It's A New Faucet, Happy Anniversary!

Sunday was our anniversary. Six whole years of married life. Unfortunately it kind of went by us with barely a notice. But we did get something new on Sunday: a kitchen faucet.

We knew we had to do something about the kitchen faucet shortly after we moved into this house. First, we didn't like the sink and second, the faucet started dripping almost as soon as we started using it on a regular basis. We also discovered other leaking under the sink: the disposal and other mystery leaks. During all of this we were investigating how to replace the sink.

Replacing the sink turned out to be harder than we expected.

Plan A: find someone who can supply the matching granite in the kitchen so we can replace just that section and in the process get a sink that is functional and replace the disposal and faucet.

Plan A didn't work out. Apparently the quarry that supplied that granite is no longer mining it.

Plan B: replace the sink only. The reason this was not Plan A was because the sink was an over-mount sink and we preferred to have an under-mount. The problem was the hole that was cut for the sink that is currently there. Once we started looking for an over-mount we couldn't find something that fit the hole. The work that was done to remodel our kitchen (whenever that was) was poorly done. That becomes more and more evident with every project we take on. After a bit of research and lots of measuring, Hubby realized that simply replacing just the sink (and all the fixtures) was not going to work.

So we gave up on Plan B.

Plan C: replace the granite throughout the kitchen. We tried to avoid this as much as possible, but in the end we decided this was really best. However, we are leaving the island the way it is (and Hubby plans on doing something different with the island, eventually). Hubby found a good deal on a new disposal and late last week he ordered a nice, new faucet. We had everything measured, picked out a new sink, and we are now waiting for everything to come together.

Saturday we spent the morning running errands. Got home for lunch and in the process of putting lunch together for the boys and us, Hubby found water on the floor. On closer inspection it was a lot of water, coming from under the sink. Hubby never got lunch on Saturday, he ended up spending the day trying to fix the faucet. Poor guy. The lasagna that was planned for that night got nixed and it ended up being a pizza night. In the end, the leak was finally found near the top of the hose on the faucet.

By Sunday, Hubby decided a new temporary faucet was in order. So on our anniversary we got a new faucet. Not one we plan on keeping though. Just the cheapest one we could find to get us through another few weeks or so.

We'll be donating the temporary faucet to the Habitat Restore once we no longer need it.

Seems funny to me that we had to buy a faucet shortly after we had just ordered a new one. But the good news is that we no longer have any leaking (besides the bit of a leak coming from the current disposal) or constant dripping from the faucet itself.

I'll have to take a picture of the current sink so you can see just how non-functional it is. And of course, plenty of after pictures once we get everything together. I can't wait!!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Pregnancy Update: Week 32!

How far along? 32 weeks, 0 days. I kind of miss the over the top feeling I had when I hit 32 weeks when I was pregnant with the boys. Reading my update from back then, I wasn't expected to even make it that far. This time it was kind of a given. I'm still excited, but the level of excitement isn't quite the same. Still ... not much time left!

How big is baby? According to that 32 week update two years ago, the baby should be about 3.75 pounds (about the size of a large jicama) and 16.7 inches long. Survival chances are now up to 98% if the baby were to be born this week. Luckily that doesn't seem to be a possibility.

Cravings/Aversions: No specific cravings or aversions to speak of. However, I seem to want to eat a lot, it just doesn't seem to matter what it is.

Belly Button: Rather flat at this point. I think I can just barely see a tiny scar now too from the D & C procedure I had back in 2010.

Movement: So much!! It's fun to watch my belly shift into different shapes. The type of movement I am feeling seems so different than the last time.

Leg Cramps: No major ones, but I occasionally get woken up by the start of one. In those cases, I'm usually able to stop it before it's too noticeable. I don't like leg cramps at all, but if I have to have them, this is a much more preferable way to deal with them.

Sleep: Overall not too bad. Getting sleep, not too many interruptions, just getting tired of sleeping in the same position all night long. I try to move around, which is a bit of a feat in and of itself, but I always end up back in the same position. The worst part is the pain I wake up to in my ear. Okay, don't laugh at me (my husband thought this was hysterical), but seriously, my ear hurts!! It's smashed between my head and the pillow all night long (and my pillows are pretty soft, so that makes it even more weird) and so when I wake up it is throbbing. It hurts to even touch it. Hubby joked that he was going to invent an ear pillow in the shape of a doughnut for me. He really needs to learn a bit more about empathy.

Okay, I guess you can laugh at me if you want. :)

Weight gain: Based on my scale at home I think I am up about 16 pounds now overall. I'm kind of shocked that I'm still maintaining such a slow weight gain overall, especially with the crap I've been eating. Well, most of my meals and snacks are fairly healthy, but I do tend to munch in the evenings on unhealthy things and I've been stopping at the vending machines or walking over to the Express Stop at the student center a little too much for a late afternoon snack. Maybe the walking I have to do on campus is helping. I've been having a lot of meetings at the main library lately (it's promotion/tenure season and I'm on our P/T Committee), so I find myself walking there more than usual, plus some mornings start with meetings there, so I don't bring my lunch on those days and then have to make an extra trip out to walk to somewhere on campus to get lunch. It all evens out I guess.

[Wow, I was at +37 pounds at this point in my pregnancy with the boys!! What a difference!]

Appointment: My last appointment was last Monday (next one is 10/21). We chatted about a number of things, listened to the baby's heartbeat, and measured my belly. I forget now what the heartbeat was, but my belly was measuring right around 31 weeks. Perfect! I finally remembered to ask about her nurse who I hadn't seen since sometime in the summer. Apparently her husband found a new job several hours away so they moved this summer. I was so sad that I didn't get a chance to say good bye. I loved her, she was so sweet and always so helpful! Dr. M obviously misses her too. But she's getting to stay home with her two kids for now, which I bet she is loving, and eventually wants to go back to school. I wish her well!!

We also discussed future appointments and I made some more appointments through Dr. M's last day. So I have appointments scheduled with her through my birthday (starting weekly appointments in November) and then I'll have to switch to one of the MFMs for the remained of my pregnancy. I can't decide it I'd rather see Dr. H or Dr. O on a regular basis and have whoever I pick be the person who could be at my child's birth. I like them both and for different reasons. Decisions, decisions!

The Big Brothers: They are getting more and more curious about the room down the hall from their room that daddy keeps spending time in. He's painted it, put in a new ceiling fan, and has assembled the beds. Ethan wanted to climb in the bed tonight, but it has no mattress on it yet. We keep telling them that this is going to be their new room. We're hoping to get mattresses and bedding this weekend (and maybe some furniture?). Maybe we'll do the big switch from cribs to beds by next week.

We've also started noticing that Peter appears to be putting a few words together. Not too many yet and he still has some pauses in between words when he does do it, but I can see he's trying and working at it. I keep trying to encourage him when I can. It's so much fun to watch their language skills develop. Ethan hasn't yet tried, but he's usually not too far behind.

I've decided that yellow is Peter's favorite color. If you saw him on Monday and wondered why he was wearing shorts that did not quite match the yellow shirt he had on ... well ... now you know.

The boys' daycare has gone through some changes recently. One of those is that we now have to pack lunch for them each day. I've been using an insulated bag I had to pack all their stuff in each day. But Tuesday afternoon a box arrived on our doorstep with their new lunch boxes that I had ordered. I unpacked them and the boys carried them around the rest of the evening. I will need to take a picture of them one morning with their lunch boxes. It makes it seem like they are so old, going to school with their lunches all packed!!

Names: Hubby is on a timeline, but I think I'm willing to rule out one of my boy name choices. He thinks he can be okay with my other choice but he's still thinking about other possibilities. Maybe we'll have a girl and all of this worry over a boy name will be nothing but a distant memory!

To-Do List:
Finished or In-Progress:

  • Pediatrician: Haven't made a final decision yet
  • Signed up for the childbirth classes, reading some books, and just waiting for it all to begin
  • Boys room: done: painting, beds assembled, and new fan put in; still to do: need to get mattresses, bedding, and a dresser
  • We are signed up for the Post-Partum NFP class through CCL. Looking forward to that.
  • We've asked a friend of ours to be the baby's Godmother. And she said yes!! So excited! Now just need to ask the potential Godfather.
Still waiting to be done:
  • Stroller for snapping an infant seat in. I had forgotten about this one, guess I need to revisit this
  • Baby carrier: I missed the Bluegrass Babywearers Group meeting this past Monday (had a meeting that ran long and I decided not to try and race over there). So I've been asking friends instead about their preferences. I plan on going to the group meeting next month instead.
  • Baptism arrangements: haven't bothered contacting anyone yet, but will probably do that sometime soon. Need to make sure the Godparents take care of any requirements my church asks for. I'm thinking sometime in mid-January for the Baptism will be good.
  • Plans for the boys: Starting to talk to friends about who can to help us out. Will need to start talking details with all of them soon and making a list of names and numbers that is easily accessible to both Hubby and I (especially Hubby).
Prayers: Yesterday was National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. So I am asking for prayers for all families who have lost a child through miscarriage, still birth, or early infant death. May God bring them all into Heaven to live for all eternity with Him, the Virgin Mary our Mother, and all the saints. Please join me in praying for God's mercy for these little souls.

Thank you for following along on this journey!!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Pregnancy Loss Remembrance Day

Today, October 15, is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. This is a day to remember all those babies who have passed on to the next life before they could experience much of this one. This is a day to help women heal as they recognize the true gift their children are to them, even when they only had a short time to be with them. This is a day when women can share stories, cry tears of healing, and not feel alone in their grief.

As a Catholic I believe that my children are in heaven with God, held tightly in Mary's arms. I believe that my desire to baptize my children is enough for my children to have received "baptism by desire." I believe that they are now saints, they can pray for me, their father, and their siblings, and that one day, God willing, we will all join them in heaven where our family will be complete.

My children in heaven are:
Casey Marie, lost too soon on March 31, 2008
Zachary Thomas, lost too soon on January 11, 2009
Brigit Ann, lost too soon on May 10, 2010

In commemoration of today, everyone can participate in the Wave of Light at 7 P.M. in whatever timezone you are in. Light a candle (or more than one) for one hour beginning at 7 P.M. in remembrance of the babies lost due to miscarriage, stillbirth, or early infant loss. If someone in every timezone across the world did this for one hour, we would have 24 hours of a candle lit somewhere for all these babies.

Also, over at Catholic Sistas today, we are hosting a link-up. We hope that others will take some time today to write something about their own children and share it on their blogs which then they can share with our readers at Catholic Sistas. Sharing stories is something women often do to help each other in the healing process during tough times. It helps to know that we are not alone and that others have experienced similar grief to our own. If you are able to participate we hope you will. And check back on the blog throughout the day as we post a series of stories on pregnancy loss. There will be lots of good reading over there today, don't miss it.

I just wanted to share once again the Pregnancy Loss Resources that I have put together. The most comprehensive list I have so far is the Miscarriage.InfantLoss Board on Pinterest. In addition, there is the list of resources I have listed right here on this blog. See the link at the top of the page or click here. I'm always interested in other resources, so if you know of one I have not linked to yet, please let me know. And please share these resources with others who may be in need of them.

Finally, if you know someone who has lost a child due to miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss, tell them that you are praying for them today. Or at the least, let them know that you are remembering their child today and will light a candle for them. Nothing brings comfort to a mother more than to know that her child is still remembered by others. It's so easy to feel that you are all alone in remembering your children, that everyone else has forgotten. Bring a smile to someone else's face because she does remember even if she never mentions it.

Thank you for taking the read this and for remembering the children who have touched your life in some way, no matter how small.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Pregnancy Update: Week 30

How far along? 30 weeks, 0 days. We're in the 30s!!!!! It's funny now to look back at the 30 week update with the boys and see that we were predicting 4-6 more weeks (it ended up being about 6). This time, I'm thinking, "Wow, only 10 weeks to go!" It's amazing how different things are this time.

How big is baby? Supposedly, baby is "almost" 3 pounds (roughly the size of a cabbage) and about 16 inches long. Survival chances are still at 95% if baby came this week.

Cravings/Aversions: Nothing in particular. However, I have a new favorite beverage: the Vitamin Water Zero, lemonade flavor. It's not really a craving, but I do really like it, especially since it is chock full of important vitamins and electrolytes. Doesn't hurt that it's been on sale at our local grocery store for a really great deal. I'm going to stock up again this week before the sales change over on Sunday. This is week two it's been on sale, so I'm not expecting it to still be on sale next week.

Belly Button: What belly button? I think it is disappearing!! I can feel it pushing out, but it's funny how it doesn't look like much.

Movement: Definitely lots of movement. It occurred to me this week that the kind of movement I am feeling is completely different from what I felt with the boys. It's hard to describe, but this time around I know which baby I'm feeling because there is only one. So I really know that this baby is moving, instead of wondering if one or the other or both are shaking things up in there. I think I feel a lot more with this one than I did with the boys, too. They just had less room.

Leg cramps: None this week. I'm hoping the Vitamin Water Zero is part of the reason. I am still feeling a bit of restlessness in my legs. It happens sitting at my desk at work, sitting on the couch in the evenings. It's more an annoyance than anything else.

Sleep: Last week I didn't sleep well, but this past week I've been doing better. I still occasionally get up during the night, but it's not too bad. I'm limited in sleep positions, though. I finally gave up sleeping on my back. In addition, sleeping on my right side usually causes my right hand and wrist to fall asleep fairly quickly (no other tendinitis symptoms, that's the only one). So I end up on my left side pretty much the entire night.

Weight gain: I finally weighed myself on my scale, which is a bit more accurate since my starting weight was done on that scale. I get thrown off by the one at the doctor's office, it always shows me about 4 pounds more than mine. It might be more accurate in terms of actual weight, but relative to my starting weight, my scale shows me a more accurate look at overall weight gain. All that being said, I think my total weight gain is more like 14 pounds at this point. I might be able to keep things to under 20 after all!!

Ultrasound: No more planned as of now. I keep meaning to scan one of the 3D images I have. I keep forgetting! Sorry.

Appointment: Next one is Monday, just the standard appointment. Still taking the progesterone, no NSTs (non-stress tests) as of yet.

The Big Brothers: They are going to be getting a new bedroom soon. Hubby has been working on painting the room. He has the ceiling and the trim done. We have two colors picked out for the walls. So his next step is painting one wall one color and then painting the rest a different color once that first wall dries. We have beds, but still need mattresses, a dresser (or two?), and some sort of book shelf or on-the-wall shelving for their books and a few toys. Oh, and he's replacing the ceiling fan in that room as well.

Cutest thing the boys have started doing lately has to do with the crucifix I occasionally wear. I used to wear it more, but when we were moving I stopped bothering with it and then just didn't get around to fishing it out of my jewelry box (items got tangled up a bit during our move) until just recently. So I put it on and the boys started giving Jesus kisses. It's been several days now and they will often pick up the crucifix, kiss it, and then try to hug it. Peter has also added in a fist bump, something I'm sure Jesus appreciates. Thank goodness it is on a long cord necklace!

Names: Still waiting on Hubby. We're both convinced it'll be a boy because we can't agree on a boy name.

To-Do List: Time to update this a bit.

Finished or In-Progress:

  • Still thinking on the pediatrician. Haven't made a decision and haven't really done anything further.
  • We are signed up for two childbirth classes and two breastfeeding classes. Plus a friend is letting me borrow one of her breastfeeding books and I'm currently reading the CCL book on breastfeeding and a book on natural childbirth in a hospital (written by a doula), which has been really good and has given me a new perspective on my previous two birthing experiences (thinking of possibly writing a blog post about those).
  • Sold: cloth diapers and one infant car seat. Still have an extra car seat base to sell (Graco brand, if anyone needs an extra, we don't need three).
  • Boys room is in the process of being painted.
  • Pond has been removed from the back yard as well as a portion of the fence (Yay!!!!)
  • Decision on baby's room was made: not going to paint at this time
Still waiting to be done:
  • Get a single stroller for the infant car seat to attach to
  • Get a baby carrier and attend one of the babywearing support group meetings
  • Ask potential Godparents to be Godparents
  • Talk to priest and set a date for the baptism
  • Work out plans for the boys for when labor hits (I have to think of the scenarios and figure out a Plan A and a Plan B for each one, just in case). I have ideas in my head, just need to start having conversations with the key people.
  • Not baby related: but we're having issues with our kitchen sink. Plan A didn't work out and Plan B doesn't look like it is going to work out. So now we're looking at Plan C. More on this in a later post.
Prayers: October is Respect Life Month. Please remember to pray for all the unborn during this month. Also, prayers for all mothers and fathers facing difficult pregnancies, unplanned pregnancies, unexpected news about their babies, and much more. And don't forget prayers for all people struggling with disabilities, illness, old age, and more. Let's pray that we can cultivate a culture of life in our country.

This post was way longer than expected. Thanks for reading along!! I'm posting again on Friday over at Catholic Sistas and will probably be posting another update next week. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Pregnancy Update: Week 29

It's interesting go back and read my updates from the same week of pregnancy from over two years ago. I was also pregnant with twins then, so there is quite a bit of difference. Check out week 29 from 2011 for an interesting comparison.

How far along? 29 weeks, 0 days. Still hard for me to believe! And survival chances are the same as last week, still 95%.

How big is baby? About 2 and a half pounds, similar to a butternut squash, and a bit over 15 inches long.

Cravings/Aversions: Still the same, nothing unusual.

Belly Button: Starting to actually pop out. This is when it just looks so weird.

Movement: Move, baby, move!! I think this kid will enjoy gymnastics classes one day.

Leg Cramps: And let me also add in Restless Leg (and other limbs) Syndrome. Leg cramps are definitely back, the restlessness has never really gone away. Was commenting on this on Facebook (after a particularly bad night) and got many suggestions from friends, many of which I had tried and some of which reminded me of things I had been doing but had let fall by the wayside. So I knew I needed to build up electrolytes again: potassium for the cramps and magnesium for the restlessness, plus other electrolytes are just added bonuses. I checked out the Vitamin Water at the grocery and (because it was on sale) decided to try it. I was surprised that it actually tastes good. I've only had two so far, but I feel better than I've been feeling lately. So, we'll see. Maybe this will help some, maybe not. I still think I'm just more prone to this during pregnancy, regardless of what I do.

Sleep: I've definitely crossed that bridge into laborious territory. It's not been easy the last week, getting up multiple times during the night, unable to get comfortable, leg cramps, you get the picture. One positive I've realized lately is that I haven't had any issues with tendinitis this time around.

Weight gain: approaching that 20 pound mark, but still not there yet. I'm wondering if I'll make it to the end of this pregnancy with only 25 pounds gained. That would nice. Not sure it'll happen.

Ultrasound: None since the last update and none planned for the foreseeable future.

Appointment: Had an appointment on Monday. I'm measuring a couple weeks ahead, but no reason for concern (probably due to having had a previous twin pregnancy, i.e., I'm already rather stretched out). We also chatted a lot just about how things are going, the Vitamin Water, work, and who was going to deliver first. For now, my doctor will continue my care, but if she delivers before I do the MFMs will handle my care since I already know them and have never met any of my doctor's partners. She's due before me, but was late her last pregnancy so is expecting the same to happen this time (that's what I gathered anyway). We'll see what happens. I certainly wouldn't be surprised if I went early, I've pretty much been expecting that since the beginning.

Following my appointment I had to do the third trimester part of a preterm labor study I'm participating in. So I was in the office/building for about another 30-45 minutes after my appointment was over. I was in the lab for a little while, had to give blood and I sat there while I filled up a tiny cup of spit (not the easiest thing to do). While I was in there, another patient came in for a blood draw. She didn't appear to handle it well and was sitting in the back afterwards. I left shortly after that and went to the bathroom before leaving the office. I came out of the restroom to find the girl from the lab passed out on the floor and a nurse standing over her. I had no idea if the nurse just happened upon her or if she was with her when she passed out. So I told her that I had seen her in the lab and she had just had a blood draw. The nurse asked me to stay with her while she went and got more help. So I stuck around for a while to help and make sure she was okay. They eventually got several nurses there, someone called her mom for her, and they were looking for my doctor who eventually got there as well. I don't know if she was pregnant or not, she was very thin so if she was it was pretty early in pregnancy. I stuck around for a while but by that time several nurses and the doctor were there, I didn't feel like I was really going to be much help. She was conscious, but definitely out of it. I did eventually leave, but I felt kind of bad about it. I knew I wasn't being of much help by that point and I didn't want to be in the way. I pray that she was okay after a while. I do plan on asking my doctor about her next time I see her. I just want to make sure she was okay.

The Big Brothers: They still enjoy giving my belly kisses and have started putting their hands on my belly the way they see their daddy do. I don't think they've felt anything yet, though.

We went to the library a couple of weeks ago and got a few books. They love these four books so much that they haven't really looked at their other books at all. The Nascar counting book is a huge favorite! We also got an "I Spy" book that is popular with both of them and a Sandra Boynton book about Little Pookie. Ethan calls the Little Pookie book the "no" book (which can get a little confusing when I don't realize that he's saying "no" in reference to the book and not something I just asked him). Little Pookie answers "no" to lots of his mother's questions. When reading it, I read the questions and wait for Ethan to answer. The funniest one is when Little Pookie says "No, thank you." The boys aren't putting multiple words together yet, so he always just says "thank you" in his cute little voice. And yes, I realize that is two words, but the boys say it like it is one. I don't feel right counting "thank you" as putting words together yet. The fourth book is a Sesame Street Babies book with a picture of Elmo ("Melmo") on the front. I expected this to be the most popular book of the group we checked out. I was wrong.

They got to go to a local bookstore with Hubby this past Saturday. They fed the ducks at the pond out back (which they LOVE doing) and then went inside for a Paddington Bear story time. They got to make little Paddington Bears out of toilet paper rolls (or actually, Hubby made them). When they got home I came out to help them get out of the car and found them both holding their little toilet paper roll bears and giving them kisses.

We also went to Oktoberfest at our parish on Saturday evening. We had brats, sauerkraut, potato salad (which was really good!), and strudel. The boys had hotdogs and chips, Peter wasn't crazy about the sauerkraut but Ethan ate it up. We checked out the various booths and kids rides (the boys aren't interested in the kids rides yet) and we played the Cake Wheel for a little while. Peter loved the Cake Wheel and got very upset when we left it. He kept trying to pull me back to it. We ended the evening with a funnel cake, which the boys loved, and headed home. It was a busy Saturday.

One of the boys' newest words is Geico. I don't totally remember how this came to be. I think they were fascinated by the gecko on TV and they somehow picked up the word Geico from the commercial. Amazingly, they say it very clearly, especially Peter. In addition, they found the Geico logo on a page of the Nascar counting book (on one of the driver's uniforms). I think part of the appeal of the Nascar book is finding the Geico guy under "10 Race Car Drivers." I also learned that there is a book at school with a picture of a gecko in it and the boys both say "Geico" when they see it. I ran into their teacher at the library and she told me this. I had to laugh!

Names: Nothing has changed. Still waiting on Hubby.

The To-Do List: Referring back to last week's update I haven't really accomplished much.

I have met with one pediatrician. Kind of on the fence, but I also have limited options due to my HMO university insurance.

We've made some decisions on the child birth classes we are going to take, now we just have to register for them.

And that's about it. our bigger to-do list includes things like filling in the pond in the backyard (happening this week), several painting projects, replacing the sink/faucet/disposal in the kitchen, and probably 50 gajillion other things.

Prayers: Continued prayers for several friends in difficult pregnancies. Also prayers for my Catholic mom prayer buddy, A. And, some prayers for Hubby and I and our growing family. Not pregnancy related, just in the process of discerning some things. Thanks!!

So 29 weeks! That means 11 weeks to go. Maybe less if I go early. That's just insane!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Pregnancy Update: Week 28

Time for another update!! Lots about the pregnancy, the baby, and some updates on the boys. Enjoy!

How far along? 28 weeks! Hello, third trimester!! So hard to believe we are here. Last pregnancy, this was the first goal that we hoped I would make. Chances of survival at this time is 95%. This is such a great place to be.

How big is baby: According to my sources, the baby is about two and a quarter pounds and 14.8 inches long (roughly the size of a Chinese cabbage). That kind of shocks me!! I can't believe baby is already that big!

Cravings/Aversions: Still nothing. I feel great!

Belly Button: Just when I think it can't possibly change much more and it's got to pop out at any, it continues to widen.

Movement: So much moving around! I think I can tell when baby is head down versus not depending on where I feel the most movement. Hubby has been feeling baby moving and kicking around a lot. Peter won't touch my belly when I ask him if he wants to feel the baby. I think it freaks him out. Ethan will put his hand there, but he's not patient enough so he hasn't felt anything yet.

Cute story: I was feeling the baby move around a lot and wanted to take the opportunity to see if the boys could feel the baby. Of course, I stopped feeling much movement at that point. I had pulled my shirt up just a bit and I gently shook my belly to get the baby to move some. Well! That was all Ethan needed to see. He proceeded to put both his hands on my belly and shake, laugh, and do it again. He never felt the baby, but he was having fun.

Leg cramps: They're back!! I've had several recently. I seem to be getting them in the morning anywhere from a half hour to an hour and a half before I usually get up. And many of these I seem to catch just as they start. This is good for Hubby, because then I don't wake him up. However, this past Sunday morning I got another doozy of a leg cramp. Hubby had to help me but then as soon as he let go, I swung my legs around to get out of bed and it started again. I could feel the pain in my calf throughout the whole rest of the day. Especially walking up or down the stairs. Ouch!!

And I won't even mention the restless leg issues. Those are still there too.

Sleep: Definitely starting to get a little harder to get comfortable.

Weight gain: I'm happily ignorant at the moment. And I'm okay with that!

Ultrasound: Tuesday was ultrasound day and it looks like it may be my last one. Cervical length was right around 3 cm. This is the bottom of "normal" but at this point in the pregnancy, it's actually a good place to be. I asked lots of questions, one of which was: when does the cervix start to shorten naturally for a woman in a normal pregnancy (i.e., no history like mine). The answer: usually starting around 28 weeks. It's usually a pretty slow process. In my case we have no idea what it will do. I also asked about the progesterone I am taking and was told I will probably stay on it until about 34 weeks. I was expecting it to be a few weeks past that, but 34 is doable. Overall, it was a good appointment. Got to see the baby again (still head down), verified that the placenta has definitely moved out of the way of the cervix, and took a couple 3D pictures.

Appointment: Next one is this coming Monday. I have several new questions suddenly. Another tidbit of info I learned at my ultrasound appointment was that Dr. M is also expecting again and due just before me, like one week! I kind of wondered at my last appointment with her, but I wasn't sure so didn't want to ask. Very happy for her, but wondering what that means. I told Hubby tonight I'm either going to be delivering with a very pregnant OB or she'll have already delivered and I'll end up with either someone I don't know or maybe (hopefully?) either Dr. O or Dr. H, the MFMs I'm already familiar with. I also joked with Hubby that we might need to have another baby after this one just so we can actually deliver at least one child with my actual doctor. LOL! He didn't find that as amusing as I did.

The Big Brothers: Besides just always being incredibly cute, they are also learning to love football and showing off their Gamecock spirit (courtesy of Peter's godparents):
Watching the disappointing game against Georgia

Brotherly love in front of our house.
Thank you, Craig and Anne, for our Gamecock shirts!

They also love playing on their bikes on the back driveway.
Peter works his way back up the hill

Ethan showing off his cool bike
Names: I'm just waiting for Hubby at this point. I'm done discussing it.

The To-Do List:

  • I have one appointment set up with a new-to-us pediatrician. I also just learned that a new pediatrician has been hired in the practice. So I may also set up an appointment with her. Plus there is a family doctor I'm still considering. So some progress is being made.
  • I'm looking into birth classes and have some ideas. Need to just talk with Hubby more about our options.
  • Stroller: been put on hold. Temporarily.
  • Cloth diapers are sold!
  • Baby carriers: haven't really done much research, but I know when the babywearing support group in the area meets and I think I'm holding off until I can get to that and see some various options. I really would like to try an Ergo, though. Just don't want to spend the money on it until I can really see it.
  • The boys, labor, what's going to happen? We have time. I hope.
  • Godparents: we know who we want to ask. Just haven't had the opportunity yet.
  • Baptism: still plenty of time.
New on the list:
  • Paint the boys' new room. We have colors picked out, which means we have a plan!
  • Buy mattresses for the boys' new beds.
  • Decide what to do with the baby room (paint it? don't paint it? take one crib out (won't need two!))
  • See if we can arrange to take a postpartum NFP class. I have spoken to someone about it. Just haven't followed up.
Prayers: Thank you all for the prayers, not just for me but for the other intentions I asked for prayers for. If you could still keep friend M in your prayers, I'd appreciate it. She had her baby girl (so cute!!) right at 35 weeks. Baby did really well. Mom had some difficulties and required an emergency hysterectomy. She's home now and recovering, but I know she'd appreciate prayers. Please also continue to pray for friend A and please also add friend L. Friend L is 21 weeks, has been put on modified bed rest, and has a placenta previa. She also has a young toddler at home. There are several other friends I have in difficult pregnancies. So prayers for all ladies in difficult pregnancies.

St. Gerard, pray for us!

That's the update this week!! Yay for being in the third trimester. Hope to have more to share next week.