Sunday, November 22, 2015

Pregnancy Weight

With my last pregnancy, I gained fifty pounds (maybe even 55 if you'd weighed me on the day I had him). I never in a million years expected to gain so much! I thought for sure I would have one of those "cute" pregnant bellies and gain around 25 or 30 at the most. My mother had gained only 25 pounds with each of her babies and I just expected I would do the same.

It was so hard to be carrying around that much weight by the end of the pregnancy. I felt huge. Like a monster that made the earth rumble under my feet with each step--pound, pound, pound. And waddle, waddle, waddle, of course.

Going into this for the second time, I have to admit that's the thing I'm really not looking forward to. Feeling huge, having trouble getting around, barely being able to walk. It's the worst part of pregnancy in my book! Especially since this baby will be due in the heat of summer.

I keep wondering if there's any way I could gain less this time, and if it would be healthy to do so? Am I just one of those people who needs to gain a ton of weight to be able to carry a healthy baby? Did I overeat? I put no limit on my intake of food, as midwives and doctor's generally advise against it today unless you have a condition like gestational diabetes. I ate almost entirely healthy, made from scratch meals. But I ate SO much of everything. Especially in the last two months.

I have been lucky in that breastfeeding allowed me to shed all of my pregnancy weight by four months postpartum. So at least I am going into the second pregnancy without extra weight from the first. However, this time, I hope to watch the quantity of what I eat and really ask myself if I "need" to eat more, or am just eating from boredom. It may not make a difference in what I gain.....

But it would be so nice to only gain 25 pounds and still feel somewhat agile! Especially since I will have another little person to chase after this time!

Monday, November 16, 2015

The Unexpected

It's a windy and cold day here, and there is a lot that my brain is processing.

The last two weeks have been very eventful. There has been a lot of bad news. Our only car was in a car accident and is out of commission. A family member suffered a heart attack. Other family members are having problems with their jobs. A friend broke up with her fiance and their engagement is over. In the midst of all this, I had a teething baby that was clingy and whiny. To top it off, this is my husband's busy season for work and he is away on business almost every week.

When he finally did make it home to us for the weekend, he was sick and the weekend we had hoped to enjoy together was instead full of tissues, coughing, and a fever.

In the midst of all this, we learned something surprising: we are pregnant with baby number two. Wow. With our first only 7 months old, you can bet I was surprised starring at that positive pregnancy test. So many things ran through my mind. People will think we are crazy. How will I manage two under two?

But despite the little fears that creep in, I know deep in my soul that this is good. And that this is right. I could never know when to "plan" the next child for us. There are too many things to consider and I'd get overwhelmed. But God knows. And His timing is perfect, so we can rest assured that this is the perfect time for this child to come to us.

So we thank Him and look forward to who this child will be and what they will add to our family.

Now that I already have one, I look forward even more to what they will be like--their personality, their hair color, their face. I look forward to meeting them for the first time...that precious moment that can never be forgotten. Their little newborn cry. There is so much to look forward to!

And for every thought that whispers, "what if" and "how will you..." there is the strength and peace of God that envelopes me and reassures me that He will give me what I need each day at a time.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

When the Kitchen is Clean...

You should make sure there is photographic evidence. My husband is away on business for a few days, and not having to cook dinner meant extra time and less dishes. So I actually accomplished this:

Yes, it feels glorious. I don't see the kitchen this clean very often. There's usually at least 20 dishes in the sink. And today I even mopped the floors! *pats self on back*  It's not easy getting things done when you have a 4 month old and are up from 3-5 in the morning. If some of these photos are a little bit blurry, that's because I was trying not to get a certain curious baby in the photos... 

I was wearing him in my wrap and trying to take pictures around him. Here's an even more hilarious one when I used the flash and nearly blinded him. :P

 Most of the time my house is decked out along these lines....messy desks...

 And just a full on wild circus of craziness with my two cats who love to knock over my chair. Every. Single. Day.

 I'm learning to let go. I'm a perfectionist and I love a clean house. But when I remember the things that make it messy--my dear husband, my crazy cats, and my precious baby--I wouldn't ever, *ever* trade them for a quiet, clean, magazine-worthy house. 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Prideful Parent

I flew to Colorado for a wedding last week with our eight week old and he did amazing on the plane ride. While other babies screamed and cried, he slept or smiled at people. The people next to me, no doubt relieved, told me what "a good baby he is!"

It would be easy for me to think..."Why, yes, he is a good baby, and I must've had something to with it!"

While I was tempted to congratulate myself that my child had not caused any discomfort to the surrounding passengers, I really had no right to. I was just as nervous as the next parent when I got on that plane, not knowing how my child would handle the flight. I wasn't any better than the parent whose baby screamed. I didn't do anything different to make my baby not be sensitive to the pressure changes and ear popping. I was just lucky. Or rather, it was only by God's grace that he did so well!

I'm finding it would be easy as a parent to take pride in our child's accomplishments or behavior, when really we should be thanking God for what he has given us in them.

I have been learning to replace thoughts like, "My baby slept a six hour stretch last night! That's because of all the work I've put into sleep training him. I've done a great job! People whose babies aren't sleeping must be lazy and not putting the work into it" with thoughts of "Thank you, Lord, for letting him sleep a six hour stretch at night. Thank you for your mercy!"

Like any person without children, I had my thoughts about how I was going to raise my child. But I've discovered you can't just make plans and follow them with babies. Sometimes babies don't respond how you want them to! Imagine that!

My personality likes to think if you just do A you'll get B. If you put the work into something and follow a method you'll get results.

In no area has this been challenged more than in sleep training my little guy. I had multiple friends who have followed a certain method and had great results. Their babies were sleeping through the night at five weeks! I set out to do the same....but surprise, my baby is now ten weeks and still not sleeping through the night.

For weeks I was bitter as I suffered sleep deprivation. Instead of being thankful that he was sleeping five hour stretches, I kept hoping he'd extend his nighttime sleep more. Then, we went through two weeks of sleep regression when he was up every 1 to 2 hours. I began to drool just thinking of the five hour stretches I used to get.

It changed my perspective and now I pray prayers of thankfulness for God's mercy as I get up with him during the night. I am not owed anything. I do not deserve anything. Not even sleep.

 God has humbled me greatly through my son, and for that I am thankful. I cannot judge another parent because I don't know what they are facing. They may be the best parents in the world and I may catch their child on a bad day. They may have put in the all the work, all the discipline, all the time...and yet their child hasn't responded to it well. We may labor and make plans, but the results are ultimately from the Lord. So instead of being puffed up at what I've accomplished in raising my child, let me fall on my knees and thank the Lord for his mercy!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Fair is Around the Corner...

Fair is coming up and the deadline to submit entries is even sooner. I've been thinking a lot about how I want to enter some jams but the fruit I need still hasn't gone on sale...and I have a new baby.

You see, for the family I married into, fair is a big deal. My husband and his siblings were involved in 4H for years, showing themselves and then becoming project leaders after they were too old to participate. His brother and his father both work for the fair, and you can bet that we will spend almost every day there once it is open.

I enjoy fair season and I'm looking forward to enjoying it a little more this year since I was pregnant last year and all the smells of food bothered me. All I wanted to eat was salad and healthy food, but I was surrounded with fried Twinkies and chocolate dipped bacon. Yuck...

I didn't enter any canned goods last year because I was working a crazy job and planning a wedding, but I want this year to be different! Even if I can't get anything canned in time, I'm telling myself that I could enter the baked goods category with my cinnamon raisin bread and or maybe some cinnamon rolls. Yum! The only thing terrible about baking for fair is that you have to turn it in without getting to eat it yourself (unless you make a double batch :P).

What about you? Is there a fair in your area? Have you ever entered anything?

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

One Day at a Time

I'm one of those people that likes to accomplish a lot of things with their day. And needless to say, having an eight-week old really cuts back on what you can accomplish.

Learning to give myself grace in this area is one of the hardest things I'm facing in motherhoood. I like to keep my home spotless. I like to bake and try out intricate new recipes. I like to do crafts and sewing projects. And, well, a lot of those things just don't make it into the day anymore.

Things can only be accomplished during nap time, and then I'm faced with the choice of "What should I do with this time?" Shower? Do the dishes? Mop the floor? Pay some bills or sort through paperwork? What is most important? Agh! And why can't I do it all!

I'm definitely Martha in the well-known Bible story of Mary and Martha. I'd be the one trying to clean while Jesus was teaching...and then asking Him if He could force others to help me. It's hard for me to relax when things aren't "done." And, things are never done. There is always more I could be doing.

Real life

Yesterday, I was particularly overwhelmed with the state of my home, the paperwork and bills, and the church newsletter that was due (I am the editor). I was in the midst of the dishes, trying to imagine how I would ever do this with more than one child. I could just see the chaos that would surely surround me. The lack of sleep. How would I ever have the strength?

But then I heard the Lord whisper, "Do you have strength for today?"

And I had to admit...that, yes, I had enough strength to make it through the remaining hours of the day.

And I realized that's all I have to do right now. Today. I just have to make it through today. Tomorrow is promised to no one, and it does no good to worry about all the future things I will have to face. All of them piled up in my brain at one time may be more than I can take, but today...well, I can handle today. And that's all I'm supposed to be handling anyways.

“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."
Matthew 6:34

And speaking of little toilet paper shredder...

Friday, May 29, 2015

Cloth Diapering Starting This Week!

I love big cloth-diapered baby butts! They are so cute!

I've started cloth diapering this week while I still have disposables so I can ease myself into it. I'm only doing cloth diapers during the day while I can really pay attention to potential leaking issues. So far no leaks, but I want to know what I'm doing before I go for an overnight.

The first thing I realized was very unexpected, and something only a mother can relate to probably. I realized that the diapers I had made with dark fabrics to hide stains....well, I'd rather have them be light colors so I can see exactly what baby's poop looks like. Yes, I never thought I would be talking about this, but you don't realize how important things like this are until you become a parent. 

Being able to clearly see this is a big indicator of baby's health, and this week it's especially become important because I'm thinking that our little guy has a dairy intolerance. I am going off dairy as of today to see if it fixes a lot of the things he's experiencing. It breaks my heart to see him suffering even a little bit. I thought if I ever had to give up dairy I'd do it grudgingly, but it is not how I feel at all. It seems like a small thing to fix the host of issues he has had this past week.

All this to say, if you are thinking of cloth diapering, consider getting a lighter inner fabric!

I am using pocket diapers that I sewed for him with Prorap diaper covers . So far I like this system. I'm into simplicity and the multitude of cloth diapering options are enough to give someone a panic attack, so I haven't given any thought to trying out any other types yet. 

I like the Prorap covers because they have great leg gussets, are in the perfect price range ($7.99), and have free shipping on Amazon. And of course, I like my pocket diapers because I sewed them myself and am a little partial to them. ;)

This is only the beginning of our cloth diapering journey, so I'm sure there's a lot I'll learn and will share later. I haven't even washed any of them yet.... Yep, there's a lot to learn!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

I Gave Birth at the Hospital: The Birth Story I Never Thought I Would Tell--Part 2

The doctor let the Cervidil work overnight and by the morning I was having stronger contractions that I actually had to breathe through. I loved these contractions because they were natural and were my own body working. The pain was barely anything. In fact, it could hardly be called pain. It was more of a "sensation" and was what I was expecting for early labor.

My husband rubbed my back every now and then and helped me stay relaxed. We enjoyed ourselves and did things like playing cards to pass time as we waited for the doctor to come back and give me Pitocin (which I knew was when things would really get intense).

I was lucky because I was able to get to 4 cm on my own before they started the Pitocin. I can't even imagine what it would have been like to have been on Pitocin for any longer than I had to. Almost immediately, I felt the difference in the contractions. It was such a strong sensation and clamping down in my back, hips, stomach--everything.

I did my best to move around. I don't think I could have handled even one contraction on Pitocin in the hospital bed. I had to be moving. We tried all of our positions and techniques for relaxation that we had learned in the Bradley classes, but these contractions were not something you could relax through. It was simply impossible. Though I certainly tried...

By 6 cm, I was feeling the urge to push. It was horrible trying to stop myself because it was how my body wanted to respond to the contractions on Pitocin. It was like my body thought it was in transition already because of how intense everything was. I struggled for hours trying to hold back, but it was uncontrollable and I ended up pushing with almost every contraction. I began to get worried because my cervix was swelling because I was pushing without being fully dialated. At this point, I let them break my water because I knew things needed to get speeded up if I was going to avoid a C-section.

After they broke my water, they could no longer do cervical checks (because of the risk of infection and because I was GBS positive), so we no longer knew how I was progressing. After nine hours of being on Pitocin, and being unable to hold back from pushing, I looked at my husband and said, "I know I told you to talk me out of getting an epidural if I said I wanted one, but I think it's the only way I can stop myself from pushing and save myself from a C-section." I was perfectly rational between contractions and he agreed that it was the best course of action.

As much as I didn't want an epidural, I really didn't want a C-section even more (and you'd have to get an epidural/spinal tap for a C-section anyways). So I informed the nurse and she went to get the anesthesiologist. The whole staff had thought I was crazy for trying to do a natural birth on Pitocin in the first place, so I think they were relieved.

The anesthesiologist took so long to do the epidural that by the time he got it in place, I was complete and it was time to push just 30 minutes later.  I don't regret the epidural because I do believe it saved me from a C-section. Getting that relief to be able to stop pushing seemed to be just what my body needed to dilate those last few centimeters.

The epidural was also nothing like I had imagined. Of course, the pain immediately went away, but I could still move my legs and feel everything. I could feel my contractions and I felt everything while pushing--the only thing that changed was that the pain was gone.

Pushing was my favorite part of the labor and went by in the blink of an eye, even though my husband had to inform me later that it actually took three hours! I loved being able to "do" something and really work with my body (instead of against it as I had to do before). I loved being able to feel my baby move down the birth canal and when he finally came into this world--well there's nothing like it!

We were so lucky to have the doctor that we did, because he let me be the one to "deliver" the baby. I got to reach down and pull him up to my chest. We also were able to do delayed cord clamping (The hospital we were at was incredibly baby/mother friendly. They also never take the baby out of the room or remove them from your sight).

As I pulled my baby up to me, the first thought I had was "Woah, he is so heavy," but then I figured maybe I was just weak after all I had been through. The doctor had been telling me I was going to have a small baby, so when they said he was 9 lbs. 4 oz. I was amazed! I didn't believe my baby would be small (doctors are so often wrong!), but I thought he'd be in the 8 lb. range. not 9lbs.

All in all, I really was blessed with a good hospital birth, something I never imagined was possible. The Lord heard my cry and gave me mercy. I had a vaginal birth without anything done to me that would cause permanent damage (like an episiotomy). Even though I had to grieve my loss of the birth that I wanted, at the same time I was giving thanks for what I did receive.

In the weeks following, I let go of so many of my judgments towards birthing choices. I now see that all women who give birth are brave--whether they birth at home or have a C-section. Many births don't go as planned and those women need support, not judgment.

Yes, I am still passionate about home birth, and I want women to be educated so that they can fully know all of their options. I would love for the stigma around home birth to be removed. But...I also now know that on the other side of the coin, we don't need to judge the women who end up at the hospital or even choose to be there because that is where they feel most comfortable. Women should know their options and be able to choose.

We will of course try for a home birth with the next baby (if the Lord so blesses us). But my attitude going into it will be different. I won't think I "deserve" a homebirth. I know it will only be by God's mercy if he blesses me with one!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Sorry to keep you in suspense!

I will finish my birth story...I promise! My laptop broke and although I also have a tablet for accessing the internet, typing on it is such a pain that I really couldn't imagine writing the rest of my birth story on it without a keyboard. But as of yesterday, my super smart husband took my laptop apart, replaced a part, and fixed my laptop! So I will return to blogging soon!

Honestly, these first weeks with a new baby have been busy, as you can imagine. Throw a week of food poisoning (salmonella) into the mix, and things got even crazier. But we finally have a routine down and I am looking forward to getting back into blogging and having an outlet for my thoughts again and being able to share a little bit of our ordinary life.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

I Gave Birth at the Hospital: The Birth Story I Never Thought I Would Tell--Part 1

It's something I never thought I would do. But apparently my plans were not the Lord's plans. After studying homebirth for the past seven years, and diligently planning for every aspect of the waterbirth that I wanted to have, what actually happened was quite different. Here is my unexpected birth story:

At 38 weeks I had to meet with my midwife's backup doctor, something I really wasn't looking forward to. I "knew" I wasn't going to have a hospital birth, but I did it just to be "safe." When the lady at the clinic there took my blood pressure, it was 123 over 83, and she said to me, "Oh your blood pressure is high, lets take it again."

As soon as I heard it was high, my heart jolted, because I knew this was one of the things that can disqualify you from the care of your midwife. She took my blood pressure again and it had jumped to 140 over 90. The doctor spent the entire appointment telling me about the risks of high blood pressure and how I needed to go to the hospital to be monitored. I declined and left, thinking, "There is no way I have high blood pressure!"

Just to be safe, I borrowed my parent's blood pressure monitor and monitored it at home. I had normal and even low blood pressure that entire week. I later learned that 120 over 80 is normal blood pressure and the lady at the doctor's office should have never said it was high in the first place!

I went to my midwife's at 39 weeks and had normal blood pressure there.

At 40 weeks I was supposed to return to the doctor's office for another visit. I dreaded going back, knowing he was just going to tell me I had high blood pressure again and I'd have to listen to the list of things that could happen to me and my baby. I couldn't sleep that entire night. So of course, when I got there, my blood pressure was high. He suggested I go to the hospital again. I declined.

Unfortunately, my midwife's appointment was right after that appointment, and I didn't have enough time to calm down before seeing her. She got a high reading on my blood pressure and told me to go home and take the weekend to relax and try to get it down. She would recheck it the next Monday.

However, because I knew that if I got another high blood pressure reading with her that I wouldn't be able to have her as my midwife, it stressed me out so much that come Monday, my blood pressure was higher than ever. I was told that I had pregnancy induced hypertension, and even she said I should go to the hospital to be induced. I was devastated. I knew that I didn't have high blood pressure. I knew that it wasn't pregnancy induced hypertension, it was panic induced hypertension. There is nothing scarier to me than giving birth in the hospital. I was terrified. And yet because of that fear, I had lost my option of having my midwife.

It was a horrible day and night for my husband and I as we contemplated our options. We could either have an unassisted homebirth or go to the hospital for an induction. I knew the risks of both. And neither was an option I wanted. We had to make a decision between two terrible options. I honestly wanted the unassisted birth more. But at 40 weeks and a few days, I felt utterly unprepared to go for that option. I needed more time to plan and prepare and get some medical supplies. But baby could come any day! What if I bled more than I was supposed to? What if I needed stitches? Did we really want to do this alone? Could we forgive ourselves if something went wrong?

Even more important than all these thoughts, was the fact that I felt God tugging at my heart telling me He wanted me to lay down my idea of a homebirth. I wanted it too much. It had become an idol to me without realizing. I felt I deserved to have a homebirth. I knew what I had to do and it was terrifying. I had to be brave, face my fears, and walk in the door to the hospital for an induction.

I didn't sleep that entire night.

In the morning, we packed our bags for the hospital, slowly and sadly. We texted everyone that our plans had changed. I cried as I apologized to our baby. This wasn't how I wanted them to be born. I wanted to protect them from the drugs and interventions that were sure to occur at the hospital.

I prayed desperately that God would at least protect me from a C-section. That was the worst of my fears. I knew that with an induction the risk for this was very much increased.

We signed in at the hospital and they started the induction with cervadil, a drug that prepares and "ripens" the cervix. Apparently I was already having contractions when I got there, although I couldn't feel them. They had a monitor that showed each contraction, which was interesting to watch.

By the time I was in the hospital I had made peace with where God had taken our birth and I was ready to do my best with what we were facing. I made every effort to be completely relaxed. I knew to make it through labor, especially a labor on Pitocin (an artificial hormone that makes your uterus contract more intensely than natural labor) I had to be completely relaxed.

Interestingly enough, as I suspected, the entire time I was in the hospital, I had no sign of high blood pressure. In fact, because of my deep relaxation I had low blood pressure! They never had to give me any drugs to lower my blood pressure and one nurse told me very strongly that there was nothing wrong with me! I had known this was the case, but I still knew that this was the path God had wanted to take me on for some reason. I had to lay down my idea of a homebirth and surrender it to Him, and face my fears of the hospital....

(to be continued)

Saturday, April 11, 2015

It's A Boy!

Our little guy was born Thursday at 10:53 in the morning. 
Weighing 9 lbs. and 4 oz!
21 1/2 inches long. 

We are both doing well and just getting in the hang of things.  The birth was nothing like we had planned for,  but it was still a good birth, if not the ideal one I had hoped for.  I will write up the birth story when I get the chance!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Pregnancy Update: 40 Weeks

40 Weeks

How far along? 40 weeks and 3 days as of today! 
Baby Size: Average baby is around 7 lbs, but both my husband and I were big babies at almost nine pounds. We shall see...
  Total weight gain: 40 lbs. 
Stretch Marks? I think some have formed in the last two weeks, but we'll see for sure afterwards.
Sleep: It's been hit or miss this week.
Best moment this week: Having my sweet husband take care of so many things for me and generally just do all he can to ensure my comfort. It's been neat to see how much he is looking forward to being a father too. I've really realized on a deeper level how caring he is throughout this pregnancy and especially this week.
Miss Anything? Being able to actually hug my husband! You know...without hitting into him with the baby belly first!
Movement: Baby is moving around a lot and it's so obvious to other people, which is neat.
Food cravings: Coffee, fruit, and sugar. But, I am not giving into my cravings, except for fruit! I weaned myself off of caffeine a month ago in preparation for breastfeeding.
Gender Prediction: At this point, I suddenly am not thinking one way or another. I just want a healthy baby!
Symptoms: Cramping and Braxton Hicks contractions, but no real contractions yet.
Mood:  I'm feeling good and really hoping baby decides to come this week, but I know I might still have more time to go. I don't mind being pregnant longer, since I know it will come to an end soon, but I really do want to see our little baby and get to start taking care of them! All of my friends who were due around this time have had their babies and I love looking at the pictures, but it makes me want to see our baby soon too.
Looking forward to: Giving birth!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Pregnancy Update: 39 Weeks

39 Weeks

How far along? 39 weeks as of this last Thursday. 
Baby Size: As big as a watermelon! I certainly believe it because I feel like it!
  Total weight gain: 40 lbs. And I'm still hungry ALL the time.
 Maternity clothes? It's quite comical how most of my maternity shirts can't even cover this belly anymore! 
Stretch Marks? I think I might have one, but it's so hard to tell. I know this is the time to get them. Maybe you can tell more once you've delivered and everything starts shrinking?
Sleep: I've been experiencing more rough nights this week. I've been waking up hungry or with cramping and contractions and can't get back to sleep.
Best moment this week: Having my midwife appointment and just talking over all the last minute things with her. Everything is feeling so real. I'm really going to have this baby! I so look forward to the birth we are planning and having her there.
Miss Anything? Being able to sing with my full voice and all my breath. I love singing and it's hard not to be able to sing like I used to.
Movement: Still moving around a lot!
Food cravings: I'm loving fruit and lots of light things, because the weather has turned hot suddenly (80-90 degrees).
Gender Prediction: As my husband says, we feel it's a girl, but we think it's a boy. I really feel like it's a girl, but think most likely it's a boy (because of his family's track record with having boys!).
Symptoms: More Braxton hicks contractions, but no "real" contractions.
Mood:  I'm in good spirits, but I really hope baby comes soon, because I feel like my energy levels are plummeting with each day. I can't believe how heavy I feel, and I really want to be energized for the labor.
Looking forward to: The times I have planned with friends this week to keep me busy and occupied.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Pregnancy Update: 38 Weeks

38 Weeks

How far along? 38 weeks as of this last Thursday. 
Baby Size: About the size of a leek. Average baby size at this point is almost 7 lbs. The OB told us that the baby is small, but big babies run in my family, so we'll see.
  Total weight gain: 39 lbs. I'm still not sure how I gained this much! Except for the fact that this last month, I have been constantly hungry. I've forgotten what it feels like to feel full. 
 Maternity clothes? My mom bought me a few more maternity clothes, which was so nice of her. It's helpful to have even a few more pieces to make it through these last weeks.
Stretch Marks? Still none.
Sleep: I've been sleeping better this week, thankfully.
Best moment this week: Getting the OB appointment over with. Going there made me so much more thankful for my midwife and her excellent care. I can't wait to tell her how much I appreciate her at my next appointment! I never wait in her office, whereas at the OB's office we waited almost 2 hours before being seen. My midwife always speaks to me as if I am a partner in my health. Whereas, this OB as nice as he is, still seemed condescending.
Miss Anything? Being full and not having to eat all the time. But I suppose this won't change because I'll be nursing baby.
Movement: Baby's activity is about the same. But I have noticed that their active time is actually switching over more to day time than night time. Which is good!
Food cravings: Everything. I feel like a bottomless pit this week. I can't keep up with my appetite.
Gender Prediction: As my husband says, we feel it's a girl, but we think it's a boy. I really feel like it's a girl, but think most likely it's a boy (because of his family's track record with having boys!).
Symptoms: More and more pelvic pressure every day. 
Mood:  Feeling more "bleh" as I go into this next week. I'm glad that I got through the busyness of this last week, but I have almost nothing planned for next week and just sitting at home waiting around doesn't sound good either! I need to get a balance between doing too much and keeping myself busy in these last weeks!
Looking forward to: Having this baby! Pretty much everything is ready and we are just waiting at this point.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Baby Update: 37 Weeks

37 Weeks

*I'm moving to updating weekly instead of biweekly because I really want to document this last part of my pregnancy*

How far along? 37 weeks as of this last Thursday! I'm past the 37 week mark and it is now considered "safe" to have the baby with my midwife. 
Baby Size: About the size of a "mini watermelon."
  Total weight gain: 36ish lbs. I've stopped weighing myself at home and now just wait for my midwife appointments. 
 Maternity clothes? I just keep rotating through the few that still fit.
Stretch Marks? Still none, thankfully. My midwife mentioned that it could be because I've taking fish oil which really helps with skin elasticity. But it also could be genetics, because my mom didn't get any either. Although, there still could be four weeks to go!
Sleep: For most of the week, sleep was restless and interrupted. It's just so hard to get comfortable with such a big belly.
Best moment this week: Getting six crockpot freezer meals done and packed away in our fridge. And my friend coming over to help me put the last of the baby stuff away! I'm really starting to feel prepared.
Miss Anything? Being small.
Movement: Still kicking up a storm! Baby is moving so much and there have been so many more painful pokes and jabs lately because they are so strong. Baby also seems to like to flail all of its limbs at once and try to stretch itself out...
Food cravings: Fruit and sugar.
Gender Prediction: As my husband says, we feel it's a girl, but we think it's a boy. I really feel like it's a girl, but think most likely it's a boy (because of his family's track record with having boys!).
Symptoms: More contractions, but nothing falling into a regular pattern. My feet are hurting more also because of how much weight they're being forced to bear.
Mood:  I'm happy because of all the things we accomplished this week, like getting the carseat and buying the stroller, but I'm dreading this next week before it even begins because of all the things I have packed into it. I know I'm supposed to be slowing down, but instead it keeps feeling like I am squeezing "one last thing" in in many areas of my life. Yikes!
Looking forward to: Getting this week over. It may sound silly to dread it so much, but I have an appointment with my midwife's backup OB and I'm not looking forward to it. I hear he is an excellent OB but I don't look forward to going to a strange doctor's office where I know things will be so much different than the beautiful relaxed atmosphere of my midwife's office. I have to meet with him, however, in the case of a hospital transfer, so that I can go to a good OB instead of just being put into someone's random care. 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Pregnancy Update: 36 Weeks

36 Weeks

How far along? 36 weeks exactly today. For once I'm posting right on time!
Baby Size: About the size of a head of romaine lettuce.
  Total weight gain: 35 lbs. I think I will have gained 40 lbs. by the end, which is so much more than I thought I would! But I know it is still healthy and in the range of normal considering that I was small to start with.
 Maternity clothes? I have only two pairs of maternity pairs of pants that I wear regularly. And maybe 5 shirts. I'm so glad my mother bought me a bigger coat for Christmas because it's the only one I still fit and it's been very cold where we live recently.
Stretch Marks? Still none, thankfully. 
Sleep: Something happened this last week and I just stopped sleeping well for a while. I think it was mostly because of all the things on my mind that I felt I still needed to do before baby comes. Luckily, my mother stayed with me for the past three days and we got the majority of the things out of the way. I'm sleeping much better now. 
Best moment this week: Completing the nursery and having everything in its place. 
Miss Anything? Not going to lie, I miss being small. It's hard to be so large and keep bumping into things with my belly!
Movement: The baby likes to really let us know it's there! It's movements are so pronounced and it's fun to watch all the ripples and kicks on the belly.
Food cravings: Still wanting to eat healthy things mostly.
Gender Prediction:  I'm absolutely thinking girl. In fact, I almost wrote something about the baby on facebook using the pronoun "her" yesterday! All my dreams continue to be about a girl. It will be quite a surprise if it's a boy.
Symptoms: The baby dropped early this week. I noticed it first because I could sing in church, whereas before I could barely breathe. It's made it more comfortable in some ways, but I also have more pelvic pressure. I've noticed that my Braxton Hicks contractions are getting more painful, more frequent, and they don't just occur when I'm being very active.  
Mood:  I'm happy because things are in order at the house and I feel more prepared. Plus, I only have one week to go until I'm considered "safe" to have the baby with my midwife. 
Looking forward to: My baby shower on Saturday put on by my church! Oh, and getting my crockpot freezer meals put together next week with my sister-in-law. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Master Bedroom Update and Nursery Reveal

Back in October, I had mentioned that our master bedroom was the last room that needed to be finished at our house. At the time I had a to do list that seemed like it would take forever. And it did take four months....but finally, the bedroom is pretty much finished and all the baby stuff is organized and ready!

My to do list now looks like this:

  • Hang black shelves over corner desk
  • Purchase nightstand
  • Purchase and hang shelves over hamper
  • Sell leftover wedding items
  • Organize under bed
  • Organize my closet
  • Organize my husband's closet
  • Purchase crib

  • The crib is ready....

    The shelves are hung...

    We really tried to maximize our storage because our space is so small!

    I can finally relax knowing that we have the bulk of everything ready for the baby. I'm so thankful for my mother, because she stayed with us the past three days and helped me finish organizing everything. We washed all the baby clothes and cleaned almost the entire house. It is like a breath of fresh air knowing things are super clean, because I am definitely in that nesting stage of wanting to clean everything!

    This Saturday, I have one more baby shower (put on by my church this time), and then I trust we will be about as ready as we can be!

    Monday, March 2, 2015

    Sprucing up Baskets

    I've been trying to purchase baskets to hold baby stuff as the budget has allowed, and I had my eye on the ones that have those cute little chalkboard signs so you can label the contents. But because they are trendy they also seem to carry a ridiculously higher price tag...

    At one place I looked, a basket with one of those tags was $15 compared to one the same size without it at $8. I didn't want to pay a premium for the chalkboard signs, so I bought baskets I liked at TJ Maxx (which has great prices on baskets--by far the best I've seen for the quality) and made the chalkboard signs myself. 

    I bought little unpainted wood cutouts at Michaels for 30 cents each, painted them with chalkboard paint, and had my husband drill tiny holes on both sides. Then I laced string through them and attached them to the baskets. Voila! Chalkboard baskets without the price tag!

    Saturday, February 28, 2015

    Diaper Changing Pad Clutch

    I finished this changing pad clutch a month ago, and I'm very happy with how it turned out. Despite the buttons, it actually opens and closes with velcro. It unrolls into a changing pad, as the other side is made of waterproof wipeable fabric. The only thing I don't love about it is that it's kinda small for a changing pad, especially considering the stories I hear from parents about how "things" can spread....ahem.

    Still, I'm hoping that it will be useful, because it sure is pretty!

    Friday, February 27, 2015

    A Storm on the Way

    There's a storm moving in over the mountain ridge behind our house today, and it's a race against time to get the laundry done. When it rains out here, the washer fills up with rain water and usually a whole host of dirt with it too. I just put my last load in and am hoping it finishes before the rain drops start to fall!

    The rain we've received in the last few months has been a welcome blessing and I'm trying to soak in every moment of the view from my windows actually being green. It is usually just plain old brown dirt, so I feel incredibly blessed with this view.

    Today, I've been baking for my baby shower, which is at my mom's house tomorrow. I made mini brownies in these cute little wrappers. I can't wait to see everyone and celebrate tomorrow! The shower is an afternoon English tea theme (one of my favorite things!).

    Yesterday, my landlady let me look through bags of baby things she had been given. They were all for boys, so I tried to choose only the gender neutral things that could work for a girl too. I got a few clothes, a bunch of socks, some toys, blankets, burp cloths, and bibs. We haven't gotten much for the baby until this point, so these are some of the first things (other than the cloth wipes and diapers I had made) that are going into the space.

    The last few days I've been having a lot more contractions than usual, and I also feel like the baby has moved down lower into my pelvis, which makes walking a chore. I am hoping this means that my body is gearing up for labor and that baby will come on time. Where I live, there is a state law preventing you from having your baby in the care of a midwife past 42 weeks, so I am definitely hoping it is sooner rather than later...

    Wednesday, February 25, 2015

    Pregnancy Update: 34 Weeks

    34 Weeks

    How far along? 34 weeks (last week--I'm a little late on the update)
    Baby Size: About the size of a honeydew melon. I think baby has had quite a growth spurt these past two weeks, because there seems to be a big difference from my 32 week picture!
      Total weight gain: 32 lbs. My weight gain isn't coming on as fast as it was before, which is a bit of a relief. I'm gaining right on track now. 
     Maternity clothes? My wardrobe is so limited now, especially my pants! It's hard to find outfits that I feel good in and fit in. I have only one pair of really comfy pants now. 
    Stretch Marks? Still none, thankfully. 
    Sleep: I've been tossing and turning a lot more. I'm mostly having pain in my pelvic area that sometimes keeps me from getting comfortable enough to go back to sleep in the middle of the night if I wake up.
    Best moment this week: Inflating the birth tub. I love it so much. Even if it weren't full of water, I would want to give birth in there because it feels like a protected nest and is perfectly sanitary and contained. 
    Miss Anything? I miss my pre-pregnancy wardrobe. I can't wait to have more options again. 
    Movement: It seems the baby is even more active than ever. Either that or now that because it is bigger it has a lot more "umph" in its kicks and twists. 
    Food cravings: I've been craving dried fruit and fruit and veggies. I bought dried fruit snacks to have in labor and I had to put them in a hard to reach place so I don't eat them ahead of time!
    Gender Prediction:  I'm still thinking girl and I have a very hard time imagining it otherwise. I think I will be very surprised if we have a boy!
    Symptoms: More pelvic pain and pressure that makes it hard to walk and bend to get things. I'm moving pretty slowly these days.   
    Mood:  I've been feeling good these past weeks. I'm surprised with how much I've been getting done considering how slowly I walk around. I've been able to keep up with the house cleaning, work from home (for the old company I used to work for), make meals every night, excercise some, and cross off more baby to do items. I thought that in the third trimester I would be zonked out, but I have had a lot of energy and motivation. I think part of it comes from the thought that I NEED to get it all done before the baby comes. 
    Looking forward to: My baby shower on Saturday! Can't wait to celebrate the baby with my close friends and family. 

    Monday, February 9, 2015

    Pregnancy Update: 32 Weeks

    32 Weeks

    How far along? 32 weeks. I can't believe we only have 8 (ish) more week to go!
    Baby Size: About the size of jicama or pineapple.
      Total weight gain: 30 lbs. This is more than I thought I would have gained at this point, and having always been petite, it feels like a lot to be carrying around. But I know it's normal to start feeling heavy at this point in the pregnancy. 
     Maternity clothes? When I bought my maternity clothes, they seemed so roomy that I didn't think there would come a time when they would get tight, but that time has come. I still am hoping to make to the end without having to make any more purchases, because it's not in the budget. 
    Stretch Marks? Still none, thankfully. 
    Sleep: It is harder to get comfortable lying down, but I'm still able to get to sleep and sleep through the night. 
    Best moment this week: Buying the birth tub. It made it feel a little more real and like we are really getting close to holding our baby.
    Miss Anything? I miss being small and nimble. It's weird to not be able to squeeze through things by turning sideways. Lol.
    Movement: The baby is still very active, mostly at night or early morning. 
    Food cravings: I've been craving healthy meals with fruit and vegetables. I like things made from scratch and as close to "real food" as possible. My husband and I have been eating a lot less processed foods since I became pregnant and it's amazing how we don't even like the taste of a lot of foods we used to like before, like Pringles and certain sweets made with "artificial" flavors.  
    Gender Prediction:  I'm dreaming of giving birth almost every night, and every time, the baby is a girl. However, everyone is predicting the baby is a boy, even random strangers and our grocery cashier tonight!
    Symptoms: Mostly pelvic pain after days of doing a lot and being on my feet. 
    Mood:  I've has a lot more mood fluctuations as I get closer to the end, which feels so weird to me, but I have found that exercising helps keep my mood more balanced. 
    Looking forward to: The baby shower we are having at the end of the month, and getting more things ready for the baby's arrival.