Monday, August 29, 2011

2 Months

I have a feeling I am going to begin every single one of these posts thinking, "How has it already been another month already?" Here we are though, your 2 month birthday.

When I think about the past two months, all I do is smile. You've truly made my world perfect. I feel as though I was made for this whole mommy thing and you were made to be my daughter. You are changing every day. Growing and learning with such speed, I feel as though I'm going to miss it if I so much as blink.

You're smiles are becoming much more frequent and I LOVE them! You wake up with a smile every morning and it just makes me melt! However, capturing them still seems to be a little tough.

You seem to be finding your voice and are constantly "talking" while on your activity mat or are interacting with people. I think you'll start giving me little laughs soon!

You've rolled over a few times now, though still not really on purpose and always front to back.

You still love to be worn and we go for a walk almost every morning. You love bath time, but you're not so sure about tummy time...

You are getting on a better schedule and are beginning to take regular naps during the day. Additionally, you sleep so well at night! Hopefully I'm not jinxing things, but you sleep 7 to even 9 hours on a regular basis at night. We definitely have occasions when our nights don't go so well, but I can't complain!

I wish I could put into words just how much I love you and the profound impact you have had on our lives, but I know I couldn't even come close. So for now, I will cling to these moments of snuggles and the sweet baby smell knowing that you are going to grow up before I know it. And, hopefully you will know just how much you mean to me.

I love you more than anything.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I have a feeling I may have quite a few posts dedicated to breastfeeding in the next year. The passion I have acquired for this over the past couple of months is amazing.

Let me preface this with a quick statement. I know (though I don't necessarily understand why) breastfeeding can be a controversial topic on the internet. It is not my intention to make anyone mad. In fact, I'll be one of the first to give thanks to whoever invented modern day formula. There are absolutely situations in which breastfeeding doesn't work and I thank God everyday for the ability to feed our babies - because that is what it all boils down to, feeding our babies. Without formula, I'm not sure my precious nephew would be here today. Oh, and I was formula fed. I feel no animosity toward my mother for it. Love you, mom!

However, there is absolutely no denying that "breast is best." So, just like every other decision I have made in the realm of raising my daughter, I am giving her what God meant for her to eat - breast milk. This is just a record of my journey. Something for me to remember it by. Also, I'm writing this in hopes that my troubles may help someone who is experiencing the same situations as I have.

So, where to begin? Let's start by saying that most anxiety I have felt in regards to becoming a mother has been on the subject of successfully nursing Evelyn. I was adamant that when she was born (no matter how) she would be given the opportunity to nurse. Even if that meant someone had to hold her to my breast for me. I didn't want to miss that initial bond. I know that babies successfully nurse without this, but it was important to me. Thankfully, I had an awesome birth and she was able to be skin-to-skin with me immediately after birth and I was able to try nursing. Except she wouldn't latch on. It terrified me, but my doula reassured me that it was okay. To just hold her close and try later. And, I did. And she latched right on.

The first night was scary as well. She pretty much slept the whole night. Of course, she was tired. Being born is hard work! Again, I was anxious. Was it okay? The nurse reassured me that we should try again later. And we did, and she latched on great.

Then, came the questioning. How long should she eat? Is it okay that she didn't take both sides? Is she getting enough? And, the pain. I'm a total perfectionist, type-A personality. I'm a math teacher, what did you expect? I needed things to be black and white. But, with breastfeeding, they just aren't. This must be my first lesson in motherhood. It's not black and white. There is no definite right or wrong. I think all of this anxiety is part of what led me to the eye-opening situation I needed.

About a week after Evelyn was born, I ended up in the ER. I was having what felt like heart arrhythmia's. And I was very close to feeling panic attacks. I called my OB and she told me to go to the ER to get checked out. This would begin the day that made up for the lack of crying I've done over my lifetime. If you know me, you know I don't cry. I don't wear my emotions on my sleeve. However, sitting in the ER with my week old baby being monitored for a heart issue was not what I wanted to be doing. I started crying. I cried because I wanted to go home. I cried because I didn't want my baby to be in the ER with me. I cried because I didn't know if something was wrong. Poor Rob, he didn't know what to do with me. So, they monitored me and couldn't find anything. The EKG was clear. The last thing to check for was a blood clot. This required a CT scan with a contrast dye. Then the world stopped turning. They informed me that I would not be able to nurse Evelyn for 24 hours. I shut down. I refused to think about it. And, I sobbed. I mean, sobbed. I've never sobbed in my life. I didn't really know what was happening. The emotional breakdown I was experiencing was nothing I'd ever faced before. And, I wanted my mom. She would know what to do, right? I mean, deep down I knew I had to get this scan, but the what-if's were awful. What if something happened and breastfeeding was over?

Of course my mom knew what to do. She marched right upstairs to the OB floor and brought down the lactation consultant I had actually seen that morning in regards to a painful latch along with a hospital pump. I will be forever grateful to the LC because she was my saving grace. She spent a solid two hours with me explaining how I could best go about the next 24 hours. How to bottle feed her. How to pump. When I could bring her back to the breast and what to do if there was an issue. All the while, she brought supplies for me to pump as much milk as I could. It turned out that this was what led to my discovery of my oversupply and why Evelyn's latch was so painful. I was much more engorged than I thought. I pumped 18 oz of milk for her - almost enough to last the full 24 hours! I had my test done (which was all clear) and we went home.

The next 24 hours was hard. To hear her cry and not be able to feed her was the worst. Granted, Rob loved to opportunity to feed her. But I wanted my baby at my breast. It was like someone was denying that instinct. Thankfully, after our 24 hours was up, she latched right back on and we've been going strong since.

That's not to say we haven't had our hiccups. She had caused some nipple trauma and I had some bleeding. It was super scary when she vomited most of what she had eaten up and it was bloody. It took me a panicked moment to realize what was going on, but once I did I felt better. Though, I did have some of the terrible mommy guilt about making her sick with my blood-tainted milk... :(

My biggest hurdle has been my oversupply.

This is where I get on my soapbox.

Yes, I have an oversupply. This can cause just as many issues as an undersupply. They may not be the same issues, but they are issues nonetheless. Yes, I am lucky to have a freezer stash. However, dealing with engorgement throughout the day sucks. Balancing pumping enough to keep from getting clogged ducts/mastitis and not so much to cause me to make even more is hard. I pump about 20 oz a day. I often have to pump before Evelyn can eat, because she can't latch on well. In addition, my engorgement leads to a forceful letdown which causes Evelyn to choke and cough at the breast and gives her a lot of gas. I don't get to experience peaceful nursing sessions. They are often 10 minutes of struggling to get her to latch on correctly and eat comfortably only to be followed by 20 minutes of burping and spitting up. So, I understand the hardships of an undersupply, but don't minimize my situation because I happen to produce a lot of milk.

This is where I get off my soapbox. :)

Like I said, the biggest hurdle is my oversupply. It has been such a struggle at times. I am so grateful to have my freezer stash (which is close to 800 oz right now). In fact, I hope to one day be able to donate what I don't use or won't need. Evelyn has struggled to keep up with my fast flow and she's getting better by the day. It has been a learning experience for us both, but I wouldn't trade this for anything.

I guess, as of right now, my advice would be to stick it out. When they say the first few weeks are the hardest, they are right. You can do it. Don't be afraid to seek help even though it may be hard to find. There was a time when nursing was so painful (toe-curling) that I had to call someone but I didn't know who to call. There are people out there who want to help you. They want you to succeed so don't be afraid to ask for help! And, it's okay to vent. Breastfeeding is not always enjoyable. Sometimes it's frustrating. I cried many times. But, it's so worth it for those few moments when your baby is content because of something only you can give her. I love watching Evelyn when she eats and places her little hand on my breast. Or when she is at peace after finishing. It is so amazing.

I have so much more I'm going to add to this, but I feel like it's gotten long enough. Feel free to ask any questions! I know I was rambling a little bit... :)

Monday, August 8, 2011

One Month

**I know this is late, I wrote it almost 2 weeks ago and have been trying to get my pictures together to put in the post!**

If the speed this month has passed is any indication of what is to come (which I'm sure it is) I'm absolutely terrified! I am clinging to every last second of your tiny newborn stage because I know I will crave it as you get bigger. Just like every mommy though, I can't wait to watch you grow and learn.

You are so different even today than you were a month ago. You are much more alert and active. You love to watch things and your current obsession is the fan. Any fan will do. You will sit and watch it for 15 minutes at a time if you are content! You also love your ladybug rattle and tummy time! I know it isn't on purpose, but you have rolled from your tummy  to your back 4 times already! I think you just wiggle enough to worm your way over.

You must love your mommy because you sleep very well! I usually put you to bed at around 11 and you sleep for 2 or 3 eight hour stretches. Sometimes you don't like to go back to sleep in your crib, but you're getting better at it. I've been trying to move your bed time back, but you aren't having any of that! You are so awake at night that bedtime before then is out of the question. We'll get there though.

You are so squeaky!! You grunt and squeak and make the cutest little noises when you are sleeping or playing. You've started cooing and you will gurgle sometimes. It's adorable!

I can't believe you are already outgrowing your newborn clothes! According to my scale you weigh around 10 lbs, which is two pounds higher than you were born. You definitely love to eat, though it has been a learning process for us both. I love this time though. I love being close to you and having this peaceful time to just soak you in. Sometimes it's hard though because you have a hard time eating and our peaceful nursing sessions turn stressful. But, we always make sure to make up those snuggles at other times of the day.

Just as I did when you were still in my belly, I'm soaking up every second. I can't wait to see how you grow and I am so excited for month 2!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Postpartum Recovery - What I wish I would have known

As I mentioned when I discussed my birth plan, I spent a LOT of time researching labor and delivery. Thankfully, my labor and delivery with Evelyn were perfect. I got the med-free experience I wanted and I feel so much joy and peace when I think about the day Evelyn was born. It's such an amazing memory for me and I'll cherish it forever. In fact, there's a small part of me that can't wait to do it again. Crazy, I know, but I miss being pregnant (I knew I would) and that day was one of the best (if not the best) in my life. I digress...

In my time spent preparing for Evelyn's birth, I remained completely ignorant of the things to expect afterward. I mean, I would be so enthralled with my little girl, how could I possibly think about anything else? Oh how naive I was. To be completely honest, when I think about the pain of birthing a baby versus the pain and complete irritation of recovering from birthing a baby, I'd choose the childbirth over the recovery in a heartbeat.

So, I feel I would only be doing a disservice to my readers (especially those who follow because of baby info - I sometimes wonder how I still have followers since I'm such a bad blogger) if I didn't share this experience. And, I plan on being very candid. I don't believe in hiding details because they are not "appropriate."

I'll start from the moment recovery started. I distinctly remember asking my wonderful Dr. while in the throes of transition and on the verge of pushing if it would stop when she was born. She smiled at me and nodded and I had the encouragement I needed to keep going. She was a big, fat, liar (I say that lovingly). Evelyn came out and was laid on my chest and I began completely melting as I stared at her. A few minutes later I realized that they were still working on things down there. I had completely forgotten that I had to deliver my placenta as well and that wasn't so bad. A little push and it was out. I expected to tear, I expected stitches. I did not, however, expect the kneading of my uterus due to the blood clots that they were working out and working on getting some bleeding under control. Let me just say, that this was uncomfortable. I remember thinking, "Okay, I have my baby, you can leave me alone now. I'm done with this whole pain thing." I knew it was necessary though. Again, it was pretty short-lived.

Next came the getting out of bed. I can't really put it nicely, but my bum was SO SORE. I mean, many people refer to childbirth as pooping a watermelon (very politically correct, I know). Well, I felt like it. Standing up was... slow. Walking was... slow. I knew I needed to move around or I would just get stiffer. But, I'm not going to lie, it hurt. Of course, why exactly was I getting out of bed? To head to the bathroom. I knew I had to pee. The nurses wanted me to pee. But, no matter how I tried (which trying in and of itself is uncomfortable - mainly due to sitting on the toilet) I couldn't. The nurse was very patient, but after a while she suggested a catheter. Honestly, I was definitely afraid. Who wants a catheter? But, once it was done I was glad. It allowed me to go and be comfortable again. It wasn't pleasant, but I won't fight it next time.

Since we're on the topic of relieving oneself, let's talk about number 2. This was probably my greatest postpartum fear. I have a history of constipation (you really know everything there is to know about me now, don't you?) and I was terrified of the first postpartum BM. I tried to explain this to the nurses. They gave me a stool softener and I said, do you have something more. I know it will be difficult. Finally when hadn't gone the last day I was in the hospital, they agreed to give me Miralax. Thank goodness for this. I didn't end up having a BM until 3-4 days after I got home, but thankfully, due to the medications, it wasn't bad. My advice, don't deny the meds.

Now, onto the meds. I've never taken prescription pain killers. I don't know how I'd react to them, so when they offered me Percoset or Ibuprofen. I took the Ibuprofen. Again, everyone says to take the pain meds. But, I really didn't want to end up sick or loopy and the Ibuprofen seemed fine to me. And, next time, I'll probably stick with it. The pain was manageable. I was sore. What should I expect?

So far, this doesn't seem so bad, right? It was all expected. There was swelling and pain. I expected that. What I didn't expect was the irritation it would be after I got home. For a solid week, getting up and down sucked. I was sore. I just wanted to move again without pain. My tailbone was sore. My nether regions were sore. My legs were sore. I had broken blood vessels in my eyes from pushing which were making my contacts uncomfortable. I was STILL swollen everywhere and I desperately wanted to put my wedding ring back on. (I finally forced it on after 3 weeks).

Again, going to the bathroom sucked. I just wanted to go pee like a normal person again. But, after 10 months I was experiencing bleeding again (no woman I know likes that...) and I had to be careful when wiping, use my peri bottle to rinse which I had to refill with warm water every time. It just... sucked. A month later and I'm still bleeding slightly and using the bathroom still isn't completely back to normal. I'm so done with pads.

Oh, and showering? I have a thing about showers. I LOVE my showers. Rob knows this and has done a great job of making sure I get my "shower time" every day. But, I couldn't shower completely normally either. My nipples felt like burns because of breastfeeding, I couldn't clean myself the way I normally had. I was nervous about doing something that would irritate things. It's a lot better now, but again, it took a solid 2 weeks for things to get better and after going through such a physical and mental change in such a short period of time, I craved a sense of normalcy in my body.

Here I am four weeks later and I still don't feel completely back to "normal." I know that normal is going to be different, but my body still has some healing to do.

And, for a genuinely sappy ending... I'd do it all again in a heartbeat. I've been blessed with the responsibility of bringing this perfect little life into the world and caring for her and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Month 1 Must-Haves

I know when I was pregnant, I found these posts to be extremely helpful. So, here's mine:

1. Definitely not applicable to everyone (and I'll be making a whole other post about my breastfeeding experience so far) but, my Medela Pump In Style Advanced.

I've had some over-supply issues and this has been a lifesaver. As much as I dislike pumping, it is efficient and easy to use. I'm really glad I forked out the money for it. And, FYI, if you are going to buy one, go to Cotton Babies. They have the best price! Also, keep an eye in all the "junk mail" you get from formula companies etc. There was a rebate for $15 off a pump in one of those kits! I'm waiting for my check in the mail.

2. "Cheap" cloth diapers to use as burp cloths.

 I don't care where they are from or how much they cost, they are so easy and absorbent. Evelyn is a bit of a spitter and they have saved me from many changes of clothes.

3. Itzbeen

I really like having this. It's so easy to keep track of things, especially with Breastfeeding. I'm not always withing easy view of a clock and even if I am, I always forget what time it was that I looked at the clock. With this, I carry it with me everywhere (it has a little clip for around the house and the buttons lock so I can throw it in my diaper bag) and I just push a button. Super convenient.

4. Portable bassinet.  (This isn't the one I have, but it's similar - internet picture)

A friend gave this to me to borrow and I've really enjoyed having it. I know it has a recall out on it, but the reasons, in my opinion, pose no risk to Evelyn, so I'm totally comfortable using it. It is simply a little bassinet that has a vibrating setting. It makes for a nice place for her to nap during the day.

5. Waterproof mattress cover. This has saved me from having to change her sheets about a million times. She spits up quite a bit and it's so much easier to change this than to take sheet off of the mattress! In fact, I need to go get a couple more because I'm washing them almost daily.

6. Moby Wrap

While I haven't gotten to use it as much as I'd like, I LOVE wearing Evelyn. Unfortunately, we're dead in the middle of a horrible St. Louis summer and it's just been too hot. I've worn her around the house a bit and she really likes it. However, I really look forward to being able to wear her out and about. Until it's no longer 100 degrees outside, I don't think that's going to happen... It's definitely been a life saver for when she's just in a mood and inconsolable. That doesn't happen very often, but when it does, I know exactly where to go!

I think that's it for now.

Hopefully, as I find time, I plan on some future posts on the following:

  • Postpartum Recovery - What I wish I would have known
  • The Beginning of my Love Affair with Cloth Diapers
  • My Breastfeeding Journey
  • Evelyn's One Month Birthday ::SOB::

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Evelyn June's Birth Story

Sorry if this is a little long and disjointed. It was all such a blur and I've been writing it in spurts. This is my initial take. I'm sure I'll find myself going back and editing and adding things as I recall more, but I wanted to share anyway. Also, my doula is writing her version for me and I'm anxious to read that!

Wow, I can't even fathom where to start. I had a feeling Evelyn would make her appearance very close to her due date when I started experiencing contractions about 10 minutes apart on Monday, June 27. They were not painful at all, just a tightening that was uncomfortable. This lasted for the next two days on and off. I was starting to get antsy, so on my due date I thought I'd see if we could get things going by practicing with my breast pump. Worked like a charm! I only used it for about 20 minutes and already was experiencing contractions less than 10 minutes, so I stopped. The contractions waned, so I got my pump out one more time before I went to bed and had the same results. I woke up to consistent contractions on June 30 at about 3:30 am. They were tolerable for sure, but definitely real. I knew we were in labor! I labored at home the rest of the morning and they were slowly getting closer together and I was having to breathe through them, though I could still walk and talk through them. I had an appointment with my OB at 9:40 that morning, so I thought I keep that and see what she recommended from there.

The car ride wasn't too bad, but definitely uncomfortable and I was talking to Rob about what he thought we should do about going to the hospital right away or not. I was a little afraid to go to the hospital too early when I could labor elsewhere. I got to my OB and she checked me and said I was at 3.5 to 4 cm. Woo-hoo! I had been at 2 cm and 80% effaced at my appointment the week before so I was happy that we made some progress and I wasn't experiencing the contractions for nothing. She said we could go to the hospital then if we wanted or go to the mall or a park and walk around to pass some time. We decided it was too hot outside to walk in a park and the contractions were uncomfortable enough that I didn't want to be "watched" at the mall so we headed to the hospital. It was about 11am.

I'm going to insert my little rave about Barnes Jewish St. Peters. They were AMAZING. Super supportive and not at all pushy. I got there and immediately got my room. They gave me the quick rundown of things and I signed papers and they put me on the monitor (20 min or monitoring is required every hour) and let me be for a while. During this time my mom and my doula arrived and we just managed contractions which were about 3 min apart by now. The nurse came back in and saw how well the baby was tolerating contractions and took the monitor off. She didn't come back for monitoring for another 2 hours, which I am so grateful for. It was hard to stay in a position that kept the monitor happy and me somewhat comfortable. I was also able to eat and drink as I pleased (although I vomited any food back up) and the nurses never once questioned it. 

I walked the halls a bit and then I hopped in the jacuzzi tub (I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED the tub!!!) and labored there for a little while until my doula suggested I get out and move around a little more - I think it was about 3 or 4 pm at this point. Honestly, I had no concept of time at all during labor. I was amazed at how focused my body was and keeping my mind on working through the contractions which were definitely getting intense. I labored by leaning on Rob while my doula and mom took turns putting pressure on my back (I had back labor). The nurse came in and I asked to be checked. I wanted some idea of if I was making progress.Thankfully, I was at 7-8 cm! I then hopped back in the tub with some hope of getting a little relief. I was getting some "coupling" in my contractions (this is what my doula called them) and was really questioning myself at this point as I was lacking the much needed breaks between. I realized that I was hitting transition and that meant I was in the home stretch. The tub was, again, amazing. I just sat in it with the jets going and breathed through contractions while Rob just sat next to me. He was amazing. Just amazing. He seemed to know exactly what to do/say, exactly when to say it. 

At about 6:00 I was beginning to feel pressure and knew I needed to get out of the tub to get things going some more. I wanted gravity on my side, so I was back to leaning on Rob. I would sit on the edge of the bed between and rest and eventually I just laid down on my left side and worked through them some more. I knew we were getting close as the pressure intensified, but I didn't feel like I hit that point where pushing felt "right." Again, I was so in awe of my body. I remember literally falling asleep between contractions. I would go from full-on focus and determination to complete rest and relaxation in a matter of seconds. 

Finally, at about 6:30, the urge to push was making it's appearance. I had rolled over on my other side by now and started a couple of "practice" pushes. I had no idea if I was complete or not and no idea if I was even pushing correctly, but the nurses had fetched my OB and she was letting me go on my own. (BTW, if anyone is looking for a natural-friendly Dr. I would recommend my OB to anyone!!) I remember everyone just letting me do my thing. No one touched me except to give me a hand to hold or a cold washcloth on my face. About 15 minutes into pushing, my water broke (I should say exploded everywhere) and my OB said she'd be back in a few (I think she got a shower...). I was a little discouraged, but kept at it. Finally, the nurses said to fetch her again. When she returned I asked her if I was making progress and she looked at me with great encouragement and said yes, she could see a head of brown hair! I continued pushing and Rob just whispered in my ear that I was doing great and he was so proud. He was telling me that he could see more and more of her head with every push (I can't believe he looked!) and my OB encouraged me some more. Eventually, I started to feel the ring of fire and knew I had made it to the end. There was no question. I had to get her out (lol, I remember asking my OB if it would stop when she was out... she smiled at me and nodded). Finally, at 7:27 pm, She arrived and was laid directly on my chest. Rob told me that she was a girl and we all laughed because we'd been calling her a "he" for so long. 

We spent the next hour bonding, attempting to nurse and just staring at our little girl. I finally realized that the nurses and never weighed her as they had just let us be while they cleaned up the mess (which apparently was a pretty big one as I ended up delivering "caddy-wompus" off the side of the bed, as my mom put it) and my OB took care of me. I had some blood loss and clotting and tore a bit (not sure how bad yet) and I honestly thought the massaging of my uterus and all of the "messing around down there" was more irritating that any bit of labor and delivery. The nurses finished and came to ask if I was ready for them to take her and check her out (they did all of this in the room) and I said yes. She was a perfect 8 lbs 2 oz, and 19.5 inches long. She had the most perfect round head and was just the most beautiful little miracle. 

I couldn't believe it was over. I couldn't believe she was finally here and that I had done what I set out to do. We had finally reached the end of the road and could start our lives as a perfect little family. I couldn't have asked for anything more.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Nursery!

I'm going to preface this by saying that I am by no means an interior designer. I stink at decorating, hence the fact that there is NOTHING on the walls (hey, I'm proud of myself for painting the walls something other than one color!). But, regardless, I'm still very happy with it!



(I'm excited to get my cloth diapers up there after the cord falls off!)

(My stash of Puffalumps from my childhood... Love them!)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

33-36 weeks and Our Birth Suggestion

For some reason there is something scary about being 36 weeks. I don't know why. Technically, I'm still a month out but 36 weeks just sounds so final. SO CLOSE.

The most commonly asked question nowadays? "Are you ready for that baby?"

My answer? No.

Believe me, I can't wait to meet our little one - to find out whether it's a boy or girl, name him/her, enjoy being a little family. But, at the same time, I'm terrified. I'm not scared in the slightest of my ability to take care of a baby. I'm not even terrified of labor and delivery (Scared? Yes. Terrified? No.). What scares me most is the unknown changes that are waiting for me. I often find myself driving down the highway with Rob or sitting on the couch watching TV and thinking, "It's never going to be the same." I love this time in my life. I love being pregnant. I know I will love having our baby finally join us. And yet, I'm embracing every second of this life we have right now. I'm excited beyond words to be going on this adventure of parenthood but I'm not letting this time go by without enjoying it!

Let's talk about baby!! I had an ultrasound last Wednesday which revealed nothing more than an adorable little squishy that is healthy as can be. Baby is now the size of a honeydew!!

Still not much in terms of development aside from lungs and growing adorable baby fat. I'm glad to know that he is safe inside still perfecting his talents at living in the outside world. 

As for me, I'm still hanging in there. I'm really not uncomfortable in any way except for my ribs. My poor, poor, ribs. There is pretty much a constant pain in my right side that this little one enjoys worsening by shoving his cute little butt where it really doesn't belong. Sigh... one day I'll miss it. 

One slightly worrisome thing that presented itself during our ultrasound was the fact that baby is posterior. And, believe me when I say that he's been that way for WEEKS. I'm serious, this kid hasn't moved (except to stretch into my ribs) for probably 8-10 weeks. He's been head down (woo-hoo!), butt up, and posterior for a VERY long time. This is worrisome because of our plans for labor and delivery.

And... here goes...

I find myself shying away from discussing this with anyone since it is a controversial topic that EVERYONE has an opinion on. I'm being completely honest when I say that everyone is entitled to their opinions and how you choose to have your baby is up to you. So please don't look at me like I've grown a third eye when I say we want a natural birth.

There. I said it. We want a "natural birth." I actually like to refer to it as med-free. My reasons? Goodness, where to begin? Before trying to get pregnant I was certainly on the side of the fence that involved drugs. Good drugs. Then we started trying. And trying. And, well, trying some more. When you spend a year trying to get pregnant, that leaves a LOT of time to research. And, being the information hog that I am, I researched a lot of things (I can get lost on the internet for hours). 

Ultimately, I concluded a few things about childbirth:

1. It is not a medical procedure. I am not sick and do not want to be treated as such. (In fact, we almost considered a home birth - gasp! - until I met my UNBELIEVABLE obstetrician. She's amazing. Seriously amazing.) Cliche as it sounds, women have been birthing babies since Adam and Eve. We were made for this. Our bodies are miraculous creations and know exactly what to do in order to make this beautiful event happen. Who am I to stand in the way of that perfection? 

2. The intervention rate in childbirth in this country is outrageous. In fact, when I discuss this with many of my friends who have had/are having babies, the majority of them were induced or have planned inductions/c-sections. Many of which ended up in C-Sections. I am by no means a medical expert, and I do truly believe that there are situations where this is warranted (pre-eclampsia, growth issues, etc.), but this cascade of interventions terrifies me more than anything else. I guess what I'm trying to say is that this baby will make his appearance when he is ready. Again, who am I to stand in the way? If a problem presents itself, the health and safety of my child will always take precedence.

3. Our bodies are doing miraculous things even after labor and delivery are over and often times the interventions that hospitals are so quick to make stand in the way of this. The hormones that ultimately result in childbirth also work with baby and mom to encourage breastfeeding and bonding, among other things. I don't like the idea of medications affecting my baby during delivery and possibly afterward. I want that connection to be as pure as possible. How it was intended to be. 

That being said, we've created what I like to call a "birth suggestion." It's not a plan, per se, since I know things can change and things happen. But, this is my way of saying, if everything goes "perfectly" this is what I'd like to see. It mainly boils down to a few things. 

1. We will be having our baby in a hospital. We feel like this is the safest place and we have worked hard to make sure we are going to be surrounded by those who are supportive of our decisions.

2. I am excited that my Dr. is completely on board with maintaining my abilities to move throughout labor (walk, tub, etc.), drink fluids and eat as I see fit, and to ultimately deliver how I feel comfortable. I won't be continuously monitored and will basically be free to do as I feel my body is telling me to do. 

3. I do not wish to have any medications including an epidural or IV fluids. 

4. I want to be able to enjoy a time of bonding time with just Rob and I and the baby after he/she arrives. This means that there won't be any visitors until I (and Rob) am ready. We want the best chance at establishing a breastfeeding relationship as well as some quiet time to bask in the glory of our new little miracle. 

That's pretty much it. We've put a lot of thought into what we want and we know that things don't always go according to "plan." But, we truly feel this is the right way for us. If anyone has questions or would like me to elaborate, I'd be happy to. I just didn't want to get all preachy. Like I said, I support those around me in the decisions they make regarding their labors and deliveries (as long as I don't feel it's reckless and endangering the baby) and only ask the same in return. 

And finally, I promise I will be including a picture with my next post! I have a shower on Saturday and will surely get one then!

29-32 Weeks

So... apparently I never posted this? I could have swore I did. Better late than never!

Well, I guess these posts have kind of become monthly.... I'm okay with that. To be honest, I don't find much worth updating from week to week aside from the insane growth in my midsection.

It's amazing how much can be taken for granted from day to day the farther along I get in my pregnancy. When I once saw movement as magical and would sit on the couch staring at my belly for what seemed like hours hoping to catch a glimpse of a little kick or jab, I now experience it so often that I notice more when there is no movement than otherwise. This is something I don't want to take for granted so on a daily basis (when I'm not fighting his feet/butt down and out from under my ribs) I make sure to take at least a few moments everyday to just enjoy spending this time with my little one.

Speaking of movement, I've experience hiccups for the first time! It took me a while to realize what it was, but once I did I just couldn't stop smiling. And, the movement in general has transitioned into "alien" movement. I don't get as many little kicks and punches. There are a lot of rolls and limb movement.

On to baby:
He's still gaining fat and is going through sleeping and waking cycles (though I haven't really noticed). Also, he's starting to flex his brain muscles and developing his nervous system and has developed his five senses!

How far along?: 32 weeks
How big is baby?: See above. ;)
Weight gain/loss?: 23 pounds
Stretch marks?: Sigh... yes. I've got a couple on my hips and have broken out in a slew of them on my lower abs. Such is life! However, does anyone have any experience with a postpartum girdle? Thinking about this to help things go back in place...
Maternity clothes?: Yep. All the time!
Sleep?: I feel like I sleep all the time and yet get no true rest. 
Food cravings?: Nothing in particular
Gender?: Ask me on birth day!
Movement?: All the time! He's a little wiggle worm. 
Belly button?: Outie all the way
What are you looking forward to this week?: Nothing in particular. Just remembering to enjoy every moment!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

26-28 weeks

What is it about spring that makes things so busy? Things have been pretty non-stop which is only making this pregnancy go by all the faster and to be honest, I'm getting a little scared! 

I'M IN THE THIRD TRIMESTER!! Seriously? No, really, SERIOUSLY??? Where is this going? Where are the breaks at on this insane ride I'm on? This is going too fast. Don't get me wrong, I'm unbelievable excited (I couldn't possibly put it into words) to meet our son or daughter, but I'm not ready for this to be over! I LOVE being pregnant! I'm so enjoying this time in my life and am just soaking in every second I have. Every kick, every cramp, every ounce of indigestion.

Let's talk about baby!!

He's still an eggplant, according to my ticker, but more accurately is about 2 pounds and 15 inches long. Wow! My baby is getting so big! Development-wise, he's still just putting on lots of fat, developing his lungs, and practicing blinking. I have another ultrasound next Wednesday to make sure the cysts on his brain have disappeared and I can't wait to see him again.

As for me, over all I'm awesome. I realize I've never mentioned anything on the bad side I'm experiencing with pregnancy and I feel that's a little unfair, but to be completely honest, I'm probably one of the most laid-back pregnant ladies around. I didn't get a lot of symptoms that others get - major cravings, weird dreams, crazy mood swings. Rob tells me probably weekly that he's eternally grateful to have me as his pregnant wife. But, that's not to say I haven't had my moments. I'm definitely getting a little uncomfortable. I'm realizing the curse of my short torso and my ribs are very much protesting by the end of the day. Considering I have another 12 weeks or more until arrival, this can only get worse (yikes!). I got my first leg cramp the other night, but I managed it quite well. Unfortunately, my Dr. took me off my indigestion medicine, so I've been experiencing that lately, but it's not nearly as bad as I thought it would be (Thank you, LORD!). Also, my big toe is numb (maybe the shoes I wore the other day?) and I have a patch of numb skin right at the base of my sternum....

But, there's one more thing. I'm warning you, this is a little TMI. I'm an information junkie and spending a year trying to get pregnant definitely meant I was researching pregnancy stuff all. the. time. So, it stands to reason that I knew every pregnancy symptom out there, right? Wrong. I know about pooping during delivery, I know about hemorrhoids, I know about the constipation and crazy mucus and pretty much everything else under the sun. But, no one told me about the swelling. And I don't mean fingers and ankles, I'm talking about swelling in an area I never expected it. Let's just say that going from sitting to standing and vice versa is a little... er... uncomfortable. I shall leave it at that.

Before I write you a book, I thought I'd do my little Q&A:

How far along?: 28 weeks
How big is baby?: See above. ;)
Weight gain/loss?: 17 pounds (I'll have a better number at my appt. on Wednesday!)
Stretch marks?: Yep. But, not on my belly!
Maternity clothes?: Thank you very much!
Sleep?: Meh.
Food cravings?: Not really. I still tend to prefer sweet stuff, but not sugary sweet. More like natural sweet (honey, fruit, etc).
Gender?: We've decided on the following: I feel  like it's a boy, but I'm fully expecting a girl. 
Movement?: Still consistent and still loving it! It seems to be changing from jabs and kicks to rolling type movement though. 
Belly button?: I'm officially calling outie after a first grader at school very loudly said, "I can see your belly button!"
What are you looking forward to this week?: My last ultrasound! 

And, for your viewing pleasure... my belly! Taken today and compared with my pre-pregnancy belly.

Notice: 1) The outie and 2) Holy boobs Batman!!
Do not notice: My end-of-day-I-just-walked-the-dogs-after-getting-out-of-work hair. Thank you.

Still on the back-burner:

  • The Name Game
  • Nursery Decor
  • My Birth Suggestion (this will be long!)
  • The Fence Saga