Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Pregnancy: 37 Week Update


How far along?: 37 Weeks

Size of baby: 6 1/3 pounds and measures a bit over 19 inches, head to heel (about the size of a bunch of Swiss chard) -- SOURCE

Weight gain: About 35lb for the pregnancy. I'm very pleased with that number :) My wedding rings still fit!!!

Movement: He gets hiccups every night. He has much less room now - I feel like he got huge in the last week so his movement has decreased. His movements are mostly up or down vs. side to side and all around. And of course the hiccups.

Symptoms: Cranky. Lightning crotch. Sore back. Contractions. Other unmentionable things that happen in early labor/late pregnancy that no one wants to read about. Message me and I'll tell you ;)

Cravings: To get this baby out of me.

Looking forward to: Having this baby.

Things I can't stop thinking about: Getting. This. Baby. OUT. of me.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Pregnancy: 36 Week Update


How far along?: 36 weeks! 
Size of baby: "He now weighs almost 6 pounds and is more than 18 1/2 inches long (about the size of a head of romaine lettuce)" via BabyCenter

Weight gain: I go in tomorrow but I don't think I'm going to look. I just don't even want to know anymore. Who cares.

Movement: Lots of hiccups lately!!! And rolling around. He runs his foot from my hip to my ribs all in one single swoop and it makes me jump! It hits right in my ticklish area - such a riot. I'll miss all these kicks and twirls!

Symptoms: Little swelling here and there if I haven't had enough to drink. More so this weekend because we were traveling and I was off my regular diet.

Tired. Holy cow can I sleep. I have been telling friends that I feel like I am the newborn or a puppy or something. I snack. Then I nap. Then I wake up and think, "I could go for a snack." and then fall asleep again. I take multiple naps throughout the day. THANK GOODNESS LW is a trooper and will snuggle and snack alongside of me while I go through my lazy end of pregnancy days. He is a champ. Also: we watch a lot of Mickey Mouse. No shame here. Do what you gotta do, am I right!?

Cravings: I craved herbal tea this weekend, but I think that's more a vacation thing than a pregnancy thing. Something about being on vacation makes me want a really delectable cup of tea in the morning, like a special treat. We were in Detroit this past weekend and found the coolest market to visit. A tea and coffee shop there had an Ayurvedic tea blend that completely hit the spot. It had mint, ginger, lemongrass and other happy things in it. Delightful!

I ate a sick amount of snack foods since we had about 12 hours of driving over the few days we were gone. Again, I think more a traveling thing than a pregnancy thing.

Looking forward to: The last few weeks of pregnancy. I was feeling crummy weeks 33, 34 and into 35 but 36 is being really good to me so far. I'm hoping I have more good days than bad these final weeks!  Wishful thinking as that may seem.

Things I can't stop thinking about: My last pregnant friend who was due before me had her baby a few days ago....so I just can't stop thinking, "Oh my gosh, I'm next." I'm next. 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Pregnancy: 35 Week Update


Happy Mother's Day!!! 

Holy cow we're really winding down to the end here, aren't we?!

How far along?: 35 Weeks
Size of baby: Honeydew melon

Weight gain: Don't know. Plenty, because my maternity jeans are getting a little snug to pull over my toosh.

Nursery: Nothing new here. I did wash the cushion covers on the glider from LW's room which will be moving to Mo's room. That and finishing a few little crafts are the end of the list for the nursery! Good thing, because we're coming down to the wire.

Movement: Still tons and tons of movement. He feels very low now when he moves. I don't feel him up ringing his toes against my ribs like a xylophone anymore. His bottom is just above my belly button, legs and feet over to the right side and head is low enough I have a nice burn of "lightning crotch" all the time.

Symptoms: Well, I'm crabby and whiny, but trying to make a conscious effort to enjoy the last bit of pregnancy I have left.

Now that he's waited until after LW's second birthday to arrive we're hoping that he waits until after we return from a weekend trip next weekend to arrive :) We are going to a wedding and it's acting as our "Babymoon". It's a wedding for close friends who mean a lot to us and the weekend will be filled with really good food, so obviously that's two reasons I don't want to miss it.

Which leads my to my next point. You know that time Emma Stone sung "All I Do Is Win" on Jimmy Fallon? Here, let me remind you:

Well, I feel like her, but all I do is EAT, EAT, EAT. 

I can't even start to get into what I eat, either. Just....everything. Mostly sweets. Droves of them. Fruits and sweets. Give me allllll the sugar. 

This might be TMI for any dudes reading, but....my breasts feel fuller. I think they are plumping up AGAIN this pregnancy because they're getting itchy and just feel heavier. I'm back to wearing sleep bras at night again for some support and comfort. 

TONS and tons and tons of back pain. I've been bouncing a lot on the peanut ball which is a lifesaver. Hips burning. Always.  

Every morning when I wake up for my 5am pee (I'm up to peeing 4 times a night now) I have to take a little time to stretch out my back and hips. I'm so uncomfortable at that point from being still-ish all night that I cannot lay down any longer until I've sufficiently stretched. I may start bringing the ball upstairs to our bedroom so I can bounce a little while and open my back and hips. 

I have contractions when I start to overdo myself. As long as I relax, drink something and put my feet up they stop. 

Cravings: I don't really crave anything, other than perfectly (somewhat overripe) pineapple. But I can EAT, EAT, EAT. Everything. 

Looking forward to: This week I decided Mo needed his own, special going home outfit. I had an outfit picked out for him, but decided going home from the hospital is a special thing and he deserves his own, special outfit to make his debut into the outside world in. I picked this: 
There's something completely impractical about putting a newborn in white, and still so irresistible. I was at Kohl's for an hour. Probably forty minutes of it was combing through every outfit they had in Newborn size. I just couldn't find the 'perfect' outfit and this one ended up hanging on my hand when I was ready to move on. The longer I look at it the more I love it.

I also picked out matching July 4 outfits for the boys - which is a concept I hadn't considered until a friend gave matching outfits as a gift for LW's birthday. DUH! TWO BOYS! THEY CAN MATCH! Oh my word. Even if I only get them matching things for big holidays..... how STINKING CUTE?! 
 Tank tops! Stop it. Sooooo cute. 

Things I can't stop thinking about: Mo in those tiny little newborn size pants. Newborns are SO SMALL. I love their pants. 

Monday, May 4, 2015

Postpartum Padsicles


Time is winding down in this pregnancy and I'm making the final preparations for Mo's arrival.

While decorating the nursery is fun, I also have myself to think about. Life after delivering a baby isn't always a cake walk! I have no idea how my labor and delivery experience will be, but what I can do is prepare for the delivery I aim for. I plan on getting an epidural again this time and aim for a successful vaginal delivery.

With that type of delivery comes a lot of recovery time...that many people just don't tell you about! I remember asking friends for their unused padsicles last time around because I went through them like crazy. They felt SO GOOD postpartum.

So - what's a padsicle and why do you need them!? It's basically a doctored up enormous maxi pad that you freeze (or keep in the fridge if that's too cold for you) to help relieve some postpartum delivery pain. If you tear during delivery and require stitches (does anyone not tear or need stitches?!)  these puppies are a God send.

The materials needed are simple and easy to acquire at your local drug store.
 You simply need:

  • Witch Hazel
  • Aloe Vera Gel
  • Lavender Oil (optional)
  • Overnight Maxi Pads
  • Small spatula or spoon to spread

  1. Start by opening the pad very carefully - you are going to close it back up in the original packaging so don't go tearing things apart! 
  2. Saturate the pad using witch hazel – learn more about witch hazel and its properties here. 
  3. Dribble a drop or two of lavender oil (if desired) onto the pad for freshness and additional healing.
  4. Squirt aloe vera gel to coat entire maxi pad and spread evenly around with spatula or spoon. 
  5. Carefully fold the pad back up and place into a zip top bag. 
  6. Freeze! Or refrigerate until it's time to use them.

I'm going to have wishful thinking that I will only need one package of 20 padsicles this round. LW was 8lb 9oz, I pushed him out in 35 min and I needed two packages. I also tore to smitherines and needed stitches.

If it's your first baby and doctors think he or she may be a big one, I suggest making two packages! Or at least familiarize your Hubs with the process so he can make you more after baby arrives, if need be :)

If you're approaching your due date, don't forget to think about yourself! Preparing for baby is important but preparing for life with a postpartum body is, in my opinion, essential.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Pregnancy: 34 Week Update


How far along?: 34 Weeks
LW was born about 4 weeks after that photo was taken (above) so I'm hoping we have about 4 weeks left until Mo joins us out in the world. Praying. Wishing. 

Size of baby: Cantaloupe

Weight gain: I went in last week and learned I had lost a pound! So that puts me at 28lb gained total. But, I am going in tomorrow so we'll see what the verdict is then. 

Nursery: Okay, this is a terrible photo, but the curtains are hung!!!!!! 
Oh and don't mind LW climbing into the crib. He does that every chance he gets, just to remind us that he still can. We got it buddy. You're a champion crib-climber. 

Hubs also hung up the art work in Mo's room so a few tiny touches are left and we're ready for baby! 

Movement: A lot. All the time. Lots of it. 

Symptoms: Every day I seem to hit a point earlier and earlier lately. It's the "I. Just. Can't. Even." point. So I've been reading pregnancy memes every night to make myself feel better and remind myself that I'm not alone. All pregnant women go through this. Today I actually cried because my body hurts and I'm tired and....I just can't even. 

These are my favorite third trimester pregnancy memes:

And I'm crabby. OH am I crabby. Probably for the reasons mentioned above. Tired. Body hurts. Fat. Want a doughnut. Want ice cream. Eat it all. Body still hurts. Feel fatter. Repeat. 

A friend is lending me her peanut shaped exercise ball for the remainder of the pregnancy and I plan to use it for delivery as well. It feels WONDERFUL to sit on something that relieves pressure on my back and hips vs. adding pressure. WONDERFUL! My midwife suggested it my last pregnancy and I was a dipstick who chose not to listen. 

For those curious how it works for delivery (which yes, I will be getting an epidural unless we're in extreme circumstances), I found this video to spell it out: 

Cravings: Sweets. And pineapple. And none of that fruit tray sh*t. I'm talking somewhat overripe, bright @$$ yellow, fresh from the core, juicy and a complete mess, pineapple. Like, exactly the kind that Costco sells pre-cut but I'm too cheap to actually buy. It's like eight dollars. Get real. So I spend $1.39 at Aldi and have to wait four or five days for it to get to the perfect overripeness. My mouth is watering while I write this. 

Also, I eat the entire pineapple in 24 hours. Go ahead and keep judging me. If you've ever been pregnant, you know. 

Looking forward to: 
That about sums it up. 

Things I can't stop thinking about: Do I think? Probably not anymore. I think my brain is actually just mush. Mushy doughnuts. That's what I have in my head in place of brain right now. Mushy doughnuts.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Non-Toy Toddler Gift


LW happens to have a lot of friends, and they all happen to have birthdays around the same time. Since I am no longer in a salaried position, I needed to get very creative with the gifts we gave this year. I couldn't just go on Amazon and order whatever looked cute for $30 or even fill a basket of snacks from World Market (another favorite gift option of mine).

I found this article on Pinterest of 18 Non-Toy Gifts for Toddlers and knew I needed to create something from it as our gift to all of these parties. Because really, what toddler *needs* another toy??

I opted for something somewhat practical and educational – a bird feeder!

I like to give "packaged" gifts, so I also bought some bird seed in bulk: 

And each child got a book about birds. Every book was unique because I scored them at Half Price Books – my favorite book store. 

To me, for toddlers and any age, it isn't about what is spent on the gift monetarily but the thought that counts. Maybe I'm tooting my own horn but I feel like this is a really thoughtful gift and I did it for a lot of kids on a very tight budget! 

I'm so proud of how they turned out! 
Of course each gift needed its own hand made, coordinating card! I used scraps for the cards (as I always do) so nothing was spent on them. 
For the bird seed in each gift, I used mason jars I had on hand (because everything looks cuter in a mason jar!) and decorated them with scrap fabric, tags and twine. Again, all things I already had in my craft supplies. 
I bought bags and tissue from Five Below in really fun, bright colors so each gift would be wrapped in an exciting way. 
 Three down, more to go!
The feeders were on sale when I initially placed my order so each toddler gift was less than $15 total - including wrapping materials, feeder, book and bird seed. Hopefully this post doesn't make me sound too cheap...just creative :) 
Each toddler I've given the feeders to so far seems really thrilled with the gift (at least their parents do!). It's something that doesn't clutter their house, since it hangs on the outside of the window, the bird seed all goes into the feeder so in the end they can recycle the card, save the jar for something and save the bag/tissue for another gift!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Guest Post: A Natural Birth Story


Two of my friends delivered their babies naturally this week and one was willing to share her birth story. I don't know about you, but birth stories are the most inspiring thing ever to me!!! Especially natural births. These moms are truly warriors. Enjoy! 

I woke up around 6:30 am feeling fairly rested compared to nights past.  No one else was up, so I went to the bathroom and felt the need to pull myself together (I.e. oil pull, brush teeth, hair, wash face, etc.)  

I had been having contractions on/off for a week now with bloody show and overactive bowels so I had added deep squats to my morning routine to try and entice him down.  I put in an extra effort that morning.  This pregnancy hurt and I could tell babe was bigger than I had hoped.  

Everyday I told him I can't wait to meet him.  That morning everything felt different.   LO1 woke up and I brought him out to the family room recliner for his morning milkies.  Cosmo (the dog) came to join us and snuggle between my legs right next to LO1.  I made sure to give extra love and attention to both as I had this feeling that moment may not last.  

Sure enough, as LO1 switched sides, I felt a pop low in my uterus, and whoosh!  There goes my water.  I yelled to Hubs who was sleeping in (lucky guy! It was 8 am) to hurry and bring me towels.  

As he raced to the linen closet, LO1 climbed down and followed.   He brought me his box of Jake bandaids for Mommy's boo-boo and dumped out the box on the floor in front of me.   

I called the Dr's office and waited for a call back, called my aunt to come stay with LO1 since she's closest,  changed the sheets on our bed so Hubs's mom could sleep comfortably as she would be staying with him, and made sure I had enough towels between my legs as this gushing kept flowing!  

Slight contractions started around 9:15 shortly after my aunt arrived.   Everything seemed to work out perfectly (except for our poor recliner!).  20 minutes to the hospital in the pouring rain.  

Checked into labor and delivery at 9:50 am.  They brought me to my requested tub room. I was checked (5cm), baby monitored,  iv set up, then took off for the halls.   

The first lap, I had one easy contraction.  The next was two. The next the two I had lasted a minute two minutes apart.  They needed to start the antibiotics for GBS+, so we headed back to the room and I climbed in bed.  

I refused to labor in bed with LO1 as the contractions were so bad in bed.  What I didn't realize back then is that's a good thing.  This time, I sat up in a position to press hard on my cervix.  I was able to push myself up with the bed rails to make it through each one (these guns are aching today!)  

Once they let me out of bed at 6.5 cm I realized my dream of laboring in the tub would stunt this progress so Hubs and I took to the halls again. 

Another hour, another 2 cm. 

That last half hour was absolutely horrific. I was standing next to the bed choking Hubs with my right arm and pushing on the bed layered with pillows with my left.  Contractions came every two minutes still lasting a minute.   Every time one that came, I started doing calf raises to try to ignore the pain...ha..ha.... in between the nurse suggested to sway my hips to get him to shimmy on down.  

By the time I felt like pushing the doctor had been ready with his boots on, I must have been pretty loud. Hubs had been fanning me as I was getting super hot and remembering my breathing, not just sounds, was getting difficult.  That felt amazing.  

I got in bed and while the idea of stirrups and laboring on my back freaked me out (I refused both ideas with LO1 - then I was an acrobat), I figured I'd give it a go.  

Even though I didn't have an epidural the first time, I didn't figure out how to push then either. LO1 Came out after 45 minutes.  After the past 3 weeks of fully emptying my bowels several times a day, I finally understand what it meant to push a baby out (poop him out!!).  No I did not poop on the table, but those 10 minutes of pushing that baby out felt like an eternity!  Ring of fire lasted that entire 10 minutes.   Dr offered to snip and I said no way, so instead he stretched the skin around the baby. Holy hell!!! 

This kid is built like a linebacker with very broad shoulders. His head was nothing.  Waiting for the next contraction to push was horrific.  Hearing that little cry (1:14 pm) and feeling his goobery body plopped on my chest really did make me forget the previous 10 minutes especially as the doc was tugging for the placenta then shooting me with lidocaine for stitches (2nd degree tearing and nothing compared to the first).  

Baby refused to feed in the beginning,  so I passed him on for vital checks and got my stitches and cleaned up.  Apparently that table was super clean and the nurses joked I should teach a class on natural child birth – which at the time, all I could do was chuckle because I was so sore and exhausted I thought they were just blowing smoke up my you know what.

Baby finally nursed for about 20 minutes on each side, then I got the nurses to move us early to our Mother Baby room as I was starving!  After eating, I was up hobbling around and felt absolutely amazing. Thighs were extremely sore (apparently a good sign in labor that baby's head is engaged with your cervix) still but I just lost 20 lbs and felt like I was walking on water.  

Today is a different story as I'm feeling drained and very sore all over.  Uterus is larger the second time so contractions to shrink it are harder to deal with, and the mommy diapers are oh-so glamorous, you know. 

Last time was the best I could have hoped for (10 hours natural 7 of that in the hospital). This time is the best I could have hoped for (5 hours natural 3 1/2 of that in the hospital). Next time, I hope to not have the baby in the car on the way to the hospital.  

I'm so happy I was able to do it naturally.  My mindset was where it needed to be.  I kept telling myself that my body is made for this and I kept envisioning my mom.  The past few weeks really wore me down and made me question myself and what I wanted. Adrenaline + visualization.  It's not a perfect combination that works every time, but it worked for me this time, and it makes me believe in myself more for next time....but I seriously recommend the stool softener they offer...