Showing posts with label pregnancy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pregnancy. Show all posts


Baby #4 with all the details

Well look at that! Happy New Year, since this is my first post of 2017. And what a great year it's turning out to be. We are seven days in, and we've already made this fun announcement: 

I've already posted it on facebook, so if you aren't feeling like watching, or you already have, the short summary is this: We are expecting our fourth kiddo, due in May, and we found out that it is a boy yesterday at our ultrasound. Josie thought or at least hoped it was a boy, and Amelia copied Audrey with her guess that it was a girl. Hubby and I both assumed girl, because up until now that's all we've known.

Alright, so now a bit more information, because I know you love the details. 

The first trimester coincided with starting homeschool which worked in my favor in multiple ways. When most of the kids were going back to school and starting strict schedules to follow and new routines to get used to, we resumed life as normal and added in an hour or two of school. I was very typically nauseous almost 100% of the time so you can imagine my relief when we were able to stay home and take things slow. Because I had expected this, I had worked hard with Josie to get ahead in her formal books (math and writing) so when the sickness hit hard we were able to take days off here and there without falling behind. The younger ladies have loved "doing school" at the table with us so I haven't had to worry about them causing trouble while I'm focusing on Jo. 

But this post isn't about homeschooling. This post is about this baby! We told our friends and family around seven or eight weeks because I cannot hide my fatigue and sickness well, ever, and we wanted the support and prayers that we knew we'd get (and did get). Once those people knew, I basically just stayed at home as much as possible and kept the schedule clear. 

It felt like forever! But as always, it eased up around 13 weeks and I was able to resume life. Around this time and the few weeks prior, I had a handful of friends text or message me wondering how we were doing, saying they missed us, and making sure everything was okay. Can I just tell you how much that meant to me? If you ever think of someone and have a fleeting thought to reach out, do it. It's always worth it. 

Health insurance being as awful as it is, and this pregnancy going as smoothly as it did, I pushed off the first appointment until I was 18 weeks along. The ultrasound was at 23 weeks, which is where we are now. My midwife was definitely surprised that I had waited to come in, but this is not my first time. She quickly got over it and agreed that we can play it by ear for future appointments and not necessarily have them quite as often. Whew. Glad to get that part out of the way.

So, other than normal sickness, how has this pregnancy been? Because I'm in that joyful second trimester, it's quite easy to say that it's fabulous. Ha! I have minimal discomfort, and really only have any when I push myself physically with house cleaning, shoveling, and snowblowing all in one day. I've gained a fair amount as I always do in the second trimester, and I can already tell that my appetite is diminishing as baby takes up more room against my stomach. I do feel like I've had a few more days of general stomach discomfort, where foods don't sound as good or I just feel full enough to be uncomfortable even if I haven't really eaten much. It isn't all the time and it's nothing to complain about but I don't want to forget one of the few differences I've had with this baby. 

Honestly, there aren't a lot of differences! With the girls, none of them were positioned exactly the same (high vs low, centered vs more to one side). This baby seems to sit pretty high, but I know he's not the only one that did. The sickness was almost identical, and the weight gain has been too. I've had some bad headaches but it's not a regular thing. No wonder I assumed he was a girl, right? 

I had such a clear vision of a family of four girls. I could picture them in a year, five years, ten years, even as young adults. I had been saying "she" accidentally for this whole pregnancy, so now my brain is freaking out a bit trying to get used to the thought of a boy. 

I've been asked a few times if I'm disappointed, rightfully so because we were expecting a girl, but I can say wholeheartedly that I'm not. Sure, it'll be completely different to have a son in many ways, but I was shocked when we had our first girl and that turned out to be great! I'm excited to pick out boy clothes since I've spent years avoiding that section and buying them only as gifts for others. There are some cute clothes out there for boys that I can finally get into! Ha!

In all seriousness though, it'll take me a while to get used to the thought of a boy in the various stages. A baby isn't so hard, but an eight year old? A teenager? A young adult? I can't see it. Not yet, and that's fine. The other thing I'm allowing myself to grieve is the thought of not having another baby girl. It may seem silly because we already had three, but when Amelia outgrew things or stages, I told myself that we'd have one more lady coming along and, well, now we don't! It's funny how little things will hit me, like seeing these little newborn moccasins that we won't use. They were so cute, but they will be the wrong season, or the little girly bonnets that are nowhere near worn out, or the little baby swimsuits, Christmas dresses, and hair bows. You get the idea. It's making me appreciate Amelia in a different light as our baby girl. She'll always be our youngest girl. So many thoughts running through my mind.

I'm ready for the typical questions or statements and I'll just throw out a few of our responses in case you were wondering.

"Now Mike isn't so outnumbered!"  True. Good math, my friend.

"Now Mike has a hunting buddy"  He's working on the girls and they aren't against it, so more accurately, one could say that he may have another hunting buddy. One can dream, as I tell him.

"So now you can be done, right?" Such an inappropriate question to ask someone, yet it comes up all the time. We had no plans to try for a boy if this had been a girl, and we don't have any permanent plans to prevent pregnancies in the future, so we answer that this is our last planned pregnancy and we'll happily take any other babies God sends our way. I mean, I'm thirty, so there's quite a bit of time left where that could happen. Who can know for certain?

"You finally got your boy!" I see why this is a popular one too, but I cringe a little when this is said in the vicinity of the girls, as if we were just biding time with them waiting on the beloved son. My response is that we are happy to mix it up and have a boy but we sure do love our girls, each and every one of them.

And before you think I'm persnickety with those responses, I want to assure you that I realize people just want to talk about it because having a baby is exciting and it's fun to dream together. I'm not knocking the typical questions. It's really just a way to start the conversation. It's just funny how many times I hear the same questions over and over again.

How long do you give me before I start the purging process of baby girl items? I won't necessarily get rid of it, but it's definitely got to stop taking up precious storage space in the nursery. I'm giving myself a month tops. 

Oh, and because I'm sure a few will wonder, how confident are we about the boy proclamation made by the ultrasound tech? When she was looking between the legs, I was looking for the three lines (sign that it's a girl) and was annoyed that there was clearly something else in the way. Then, she pointed to that something else and declared him a boy. What?? I didn't even realize it when it was staring me in the face. I think that was hubby's experience too. A while later, he had moved a bit and she had an even better view and said that he was making it very easy to see now. Before she had even checked, the heartbeat was 132 which was quite a bit lower than the girls' were at any point in my pregnancies with them. Apparently, when the heartbeat is below 140, that often means boy. All that to say that yes, we're pretty confident. 

Really, this is the only time it's appropriate for a shot like this, am I right?

See any resemblance yet?

The sweetest thing.

I just can't get used to saying "he." Give me a minute or two.


Third time around...the details (lots and lots of details)

This pregnancy has proven to be different than the last two in numerous ways. The first big one is that it was "planned" (as planned as something like this can be). We were pleasantly surprised with both girls so I was a little nervous about how this would go. 

(Please skip ahead if you don't like a lot of very personal details...)
I am not sure I mentioned it on here, but at my 8 week appointment after Audrey was born, I had an IUD put in. It didn't hurt and I had minimal bleeding for each period. I had researched it a little bit, all from the medical point of view, and thought I knew what I was doing. Within the last year and a half, I kept hearing little tidbits about what the IUD really did. Basically, I learned that IUD's (along with other forms of birth control) kill fertilized embryos before they can implant. The medical world doesn't refer to this as abortifacient because the medical point of conception is not the same as what my belief of the point of conception is (when the egg and sperm join, creating an embryo, regardless of if it has implanted yet or not). I was devastated, and angry with myself for not having learned as much about it before putting it in my body. To think of how many embryos my body rejected was overwhelming. Let me tell you, I couldn't get the IUD out of my body fast enough.

So I got it removed. It was pretty awful, to be truthful. I bled for 12 straight days and lost so much blood that I was light headed and tired all the time. I used my Diva cup which helped me keep track of how much blood I was losing. On average, each day of my period (especially the heavy first couple of days) I would fill the cup within 12 hours. After getting the IUD removed, however, I lost about a cupful every hour all day long. That is a lot more blood than the average period! It slowed down after a week or so, but it didn't go away all together for almost two. I didn't think I had a chance of getting pregnant this time around, but I still charted and figured out my fertile time of month. 

So, we tried. (You get what I'm saying, right?) And then we didn't for a while. It was all very charted out (and unromantic). I knew what was going on. I knew that if we did conceive, it was on this particular day. We played the waiting game. It was awful. 

Before I come across as insensitive, let me prefix this by saying that this waiting period gave me a brief glimpse into the lives of women that struggle conceiving. I am so grateful for this time because it gives me more understanding of the constant battle each month with hope, disappointment, and whatever else comes with it. I only got the teeny tiniest taste of it, but it did give me more of an understanding. Before this, I really could only use my imagination to understand what that was like since we had never purposefully tried to conceive. 

Weeks passed, and I got my first clue. Sore breasts. It was like deja vu, except that this time, I was looking for it. Instead of being excited, I just felt paranoid. I  knew there was a small chance I could be pregnant so I assumed I was making up symptoms. I waited out a week or so of this and then took a pregnancy test. Negative. 

The test was old, so I tried a newer one a couple of days later. Negative again. I felt like I was losing my  mind! Hubby told me that I was taking all the fun out of it, but I just wanted to know. I was terrified of getting my hopes up only to have them crash down on me. We headed to the lake over Memorial Day weekend and I tried my best to put it out of my mind.

We learned that our foster boy was moving to a new home that Monday night (he didn't actually move for another week and a half, but we learned it was happening that night). The next morning, even though I knew I shouldn't, I took another test. 


I immediately texted a picture to hubby and celebrated like crazy in my bathroom. It was strange (to put it lightly) to be preparing for one child to leave while knowing another was on the way. 

(If you want to know more about our foster boy's departure, we can talk about it privately. I'm definitely open to sharing more about it, but it is not something that should be talked about publicly on this blog for his and his family's privacy.)

A week and a half later, we were headed back out to the lake. At this point, nobody else knew that I was pregnant. I had stopped talking to my mom and sister about symptoms, dates, and any other details so that we could surprise them with the news. We were with all of our extended family and I wasn't ready to tell them yet. I thought I was about five weeks along at this point. 

We did make the decision to tell my immediate family, so we had Josie announce that she was going to be a big sister again to them before we left for the family gathering. Not all the surprised I'm sure, they all cheered and hugged us. It was fun.

And that afternoon, I felt the first signs of morning sickness. We were with my extended family by this point in the day and like I said before, they didn't know, so I did my best to act normal and tried to just enjoy our little secret.

The sickness didn't appear again after that for quite a while. After the six week point, I started to get worried. I had got sick with the girls almost exactly at six weeks. I knew that every pregnancy was different, but it just seemed a little strange.

At 8w5d (hubby's birthday), I woke up, got the girls ready, and went to the bathroom. There was blood on the tissue, and I panicked. It wasn't a lot, but I knew something wasn't right. I called the doctor, made an appointment for a blood test and ultrasound the next day, and waited some more. It was such a long day. There was more blood, and many tears and prayers coming from me. I thought for sure I was miscarrying, and my heart was shattered.

Throughout my prayers, I kept coming back around to praying, "I trust you Lord, in all things. Please help me through this no matter what the outcome." Honestly, I needed to hold on to His plan and love for me even if this baby didn't live. He never fails, and He got me through that day that felt like an eternity.

Hubby and I went to the ultrasound together the next morning. Praise the Lord, the heartbeat was strong! The ultrasound technician showed it to us right away and I couldn't stop staring and smiling. Afterwards, we talked to a nurse who had looked over the results. She told us that I had a subchorionic hemorrhage. Another praise! We had an answer to our questions about the bleeding. Also, having this did not mean that I would necessarily miscarry the baby.

Because it was moderate sized, there was more of a risk of it leading to a miscarriage, so the nurse and my midwife thought it was best if I was on pelvic rest, or partial bed rest as I preferred to call it (because pelvic rest sounds weird). I wasn't supposed to do anything remotely strenuous, couldn't life anything over 10 lbs (Audrey is a solid 25 lbs so that was challenging), no intercourse, and minimal walking/exercise of any kind until the end of the the first trimester.

I was also prescribed progesterone supplements until I was 12 weeks pregnant since my levels were a little low. For those of you that have never had to take these, they are inserted vaginally twice a day, every 12 hours, and you are supposed to be laying down for at least a half hour so that it can be absorbed properly. If you don't let it absorb (by laying down), it will just... pour out of you. So that was fun. It was hard to get it done as close to 12 hours apart as possible, so often times, I'd try to take it before the girls got up in the morning (6 AM) and again around supper time (6 PM). That often left hubby to fend for himself in the evenings (supper, bath time, bed time, etc) because I was beyond sick at this point of the day.

At the ultrasound appointment, we learned that the baby was measuring smaller than I had originally thought. Instead of 8w6d, the baby was 7w3d, a week and a half younger. In some ways, this made sense (morning sickness kicking in later), but it did not make sense at all with my charting and the morning sickness ending (foreshadowing...). Either way, the due date was pushed back to February 2nd instead of January 23rd. No big deal, except that I had an extra week and a half to look forward to of morning sickness.

And morning sickness sure did come! Really, it was not morning sickness. It was all day sickness, even more dominant in the evenings. Generally I got sick around 11:00 each morning and it just got worse as the day went on. I spent most of my days getting as much done as possible in the morning and then supervising the girls from the couch as the day progressed. I did my best to drink a lot of liquid and eat when possible, which helped a little, but really I just felt like it was never going to end, that I was going to be sick forever. My mind knew this wasn't true, but emotionally I was a wreck.

It gradually got worse each day until just before I was at 11 weeks (which would have been the 12 week point of my original due date estimate interestingly enough). Suddenly, I could function. The world didn't seem so bleak and I could do things like dishes and laundry without feeling like my world was crashing down. If that sounds dramatic, I assure you it was very real to me. During those dark weeks of sickness, I had terrible images of our future, me unable to handle three kids at home, the house in disarray, kids being terribly disobedient and out of control, life being unbearably overwhelming forever. Being sick all the time makes even the smallest of tasks seem overwhelming, so feeling better meant I felt like a whole new person.

I still got sick in the evenings, but it wasn't nearly as bad. I could still function, I just felt icky the whole time. It was much better.

My next doctor's appointment was at 11w3d. I got the all clear to resume normal activities and got to hear the heartbeat on the doppler. It was the most wonderful sound! 

The next day we flew out to Denver. What a whirlwind, let me tell you. I will write about that trip soon, but as far as the pregnancy goes, I did my best not to overdo it (I hadn't exercised or even walked around a lot for a month so my body was a little out of it). I got quite sick in the evenings, probably because I was more tired than normal, but the days were great.

Other things to note: 

Food aversions: During the prime sickness time, any and everything made me sick. I couldn't drink coffee at all, and I got what I referred to not-so-lovingly as "gut rot" whenever I ate something sweet. It was especially bad if I had a sugary aftertaste in my mouth. This was made especially difficult/frustrating because carbonation was my very best friend but the only thing I could drink was Sprite or something like it. The aftertaste is soooo sweet and so the love/hate relationship with Sprite began. I would drink a glass (the best drink everrrr at the time) and then immediately have to brush my teeth or eat something salty. It was so strange.

Eventually, I started drinking diet Coke again because it didn't leave the aftertaste in my mouth but made my stomach feel a thousand times better. I always saved it for the end of the day so I wouldn't overdo the caffeine and it would soothe the stomach at the worst time of day. By always, I mean like twice a week. :)

I felt the pregnancy bloat right away, and thought for sure it looked obvious even as early as 5 weeks (when I got the positive test). Of course, really what I saw was the "leftovers" from Audrey's pregnancy. I didn't grow in tummy size (measured by how my non maternity pants fit) until about 11 weeks. I have been wearing maternity pants (capris) since pretty early on because I had them and no alternative for summer (I had planned to buy a non maternity option but it seemed pointless now), but they are so annoying when the belly isn't big enough to hold them up. 

I have a bit of a bump now but it definitely depends on what I wear. Most of the time, it just looks like a food baby...

Another huge difference with this pregnancy (and really, the only other obvious thing besides the hemorrhage) is that my hair is totally different. Instead of staying thick and shiny with minimal shedding, it is the total opposite. I feel like I've never shed so much in my life, although it isn't noticeably thinner than normal, just not as thick as the last two pregnancies. It's also a lot oilier than the other two. With the girls, I could skip washing it for days, up to three sometimes, but this time, by the end of the second day it is disgusting. Sometimes it's bad by even the night of the first day. I can't figure out if my hormones are different, if the summer humidity is mostly to blame, or if it is because of the haircut/different style. Whatever the reason, it is annoying.

We are so thrilled for this baby and the girls are too. In particular, Josie is so excited about her new "baby sister." She is absolutely convinced it's a girl and nothing we say sways her. First she named it "Josie" but after I explained how confusing it would be to have two "Josie's" she changed it to "baby Carrie." (We were reading Little House on the Prairie and she was loving it, clearly). She then changed it to "Laura," still on the same story kick, and now hasn't called it a name in a while. Well, she does make up nonsense names all the time, but I never understand or remember them. She insists on hugging the baby and giving my tummy kisses all the time, which absolutely melts my heart. She also asked to see it last week, and so I jokingly told her to look down my throat to which she screamed, "I see her, mama, she's in there!" What she actually saw, I'm not sure, but it was hilarious nonetheless! 

Note: if she asks you if you have a baby in your belly and you most definitely do not, please don't be offended. Anybody and everybody has some sort of baby in their belly according to Josie, whether it's a human baby or food baby. She is still figuring it out. :)

We do plan to find out what gender it is in about 8 weeks, so we shall see if she is right! Both hubby and I (and a lot of people we've talked to) feel like we will always have a house full of girls, so we are fine with that if she is right. Frankly, it's hard to imagine having a boy. We are used to girls. 

That should basically cover the first trimester. I hope to take pictures soon (because I love to document and I did it for both girls) and start biweekly posts.

A couple of outtakes from our "announcement" photoshoot:

Blurry, but I still like it.



Today is my due date for baby #2. I had a little dream that she'd come early but I knew knew in the back of my mind that she was going to stay in there and go late just like her big sister.

This time around, though, it is so so different. With Josie, I was so impatient, swollen, and uncomfortable. I was miserable to be around and I knew it. I went into seclusion because I was convinced that I looked disgusting and nobody should have to deal with it. Granted, my face was a lot more swollen, so I really did look miserable, but really it was pretty childish.

As of now, I'm not swollen at all (thank you Jesus!!), I'm large and in charge in the belly area but it's not too miserable, and I'm feeling pretty good about going late. Sure, I can't wait to meet this little girl, but she'll be here soon no matter what. My prayers are for a strong and healthy baby and I don't care if it's today or next week. I want to so badly have her without being induced and I'm willing to wait for it. 

The midwife said that she is a good size and she shouldn't get too much bigger in just a week or so which is such a relief to me. She's confident that we will be able to wait and not be induced since she's not a huge baby.

Here's the best part. Last week I was so excited to have some time with Josie just one on one since things would change so much so soon. She was miserable, though, and we had a rough weak. Between teething, runny noses, adjusting from two naps to one, and general defiance, I felt like the whole week was a trial and we were not having fun. Thankfully, this week has seen a huge turn around and God has given me (and my poor little heart) the chance to truly enjoy our time together before those big changes come. My heart truly needed it, and I'm glad and so thankful to have it.

Here I am at 38.5 weeks. I kind of forgot about taking pictures, but remembered on a Sunday. Better than nothing, right?

38.5 weeks

And here I am now at 40 weeks. Feeling good, looking huge but not feeling too uncomfortable, and still smiling and leaving my house to be with real people. No seclusion here!

40 weeks

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Nesting Part Two (or three?)

Oh man the urge to clean is overpowering. I spent the whole weekend organizing, moving things around, reorganizing, cleaning, cooking, and prepping for the week. My feet hurt, but my heart (and head) is happy.

Laundry? Folded and put away.
Healthy dinner? Made with enough leftovers to get us through the week for lunches (always my goal but rarely happens)
Clutter on table and china hutch? Put away finally.

We bought a new tv for our living room/piano room upstairs. We'd been using an old gigantic outdated TV that had terrible sound and was in an awkward spot up until now. Originally I hadn't wanted a TV in this room because I didn't think it was necessary to have more than one TV for just two of us. That changed when I had Josie because I spent most of my time upstairs and a lot of it sitting bored while feeding her. This time around, with me staying home and breastfeeding longer than just maternity leave, I figured it was worth it to get the upstairs more comfortable long term. I'm so glad we did this. I'm so happy in this space now and don't dread it like I did before.

I'll post pictures this week because we made a lot of changes to the space. Paint, furniture moved, furniture purchased. It finally feels "right".

I also reorganized part of the kitchen to be more efficient. With all of the stuff that comes with babies like breast pumps, bottles, freezer bags, and all the other little things, I knew I would want a specific spot where they could all be together. I cleared off a whole shelf in my mini pantry in the kitchen and it feels amazing. Our kitchen is so small, but with me keeping it really organized it doesn't feel so bad. In fact, I'm almost to the point where it doesn't overwhelm me with clutter and mess like most small kitchens do. Sure it's still out dated, but I can live with that.

I ordered more diaper inserts for our FLIP diapers. They are such great quality and totally worth having, especially now that we will have two in diapers. I got them in the mail on Saturday and am prewashing them right now. It feels amazing to be so caught up on cleaning and laundry before the week even started. This is necessary, though, because I need to make a few freezer meals for a friend that just had a baby and maybe even do it for us too. It never hurts to have a few meals ready to go when I can't get my act together! I need to keep myself busy to distract me from the fact that I'm still hugely pregnant. Keeping busy is the only way I don't dwell on it. Let's face it, nobody likes a crabby soon-to-be mama that can't stop complaining about something that is going to happen sooner rather than later.

Oh oh AND I hung up the baby's name letters in the girls' room. Now it really feels official. I'll show pictures of their room once she's here and we've got things more figured out. A lot of it is tentative right now because I have a foggy haze in my memory when it comes to all things newborn. Once that clears I am sure I'll want to change things around some more.

I love weekends like this. Did you get a lot done too? Share with me your success so I can maybe be motivated to get even more done!

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Baby #2 Update

This post was lost along the way. I took a picture at 20 weeks exactly, but that was almost two weeks ago!  I'll be 22 weeks on Thursday, but I'll post it now before I forget everything.

It was right around 20 weeks that I really felt this girl move. It isn't often, but it's definitely the real deal. I had felt familiar flutters before but just like with Josie it wasn't always clear if it was me being hungry with a growling stomach or if the baby was moving.

I've definitely felt better this time around! No swelling at all (yet, let's be real here) and I generally don't feel like I'm moving much slower than normal. Part of that is because I am able to lay down for 20 minutes when Josie is napping which rejuvenates me enough to keep going strong the rest of the day. I'm more active but eating healthy has kind of been up and down. Definitely better than last time but still not the greatest. Will it ever be though? Again, being real.

20 Weeks
I kind of feel like I'm cheating in the picture above because we all know how flattering black can be.

More realistic 20 weeks
That's a big belly! And let's just get a flashback side by side of the two bellies at 20 weeks:

I kind of look like I've learned to push out my belly more at this point...I look bigger now than I did with Josie! In real life, I'd say maybe not quite as much as it looks in the picture. I know I haven't gained as much weight at this point either. 

Baby girl - keep on movin' and groovin'. Your dad is waiting to feel you too.

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