Sunday, April 29, 2012

23 Weeks

How far along? 23w1d

How big is baby?  Pomegranate!  Still measuring between 10.5-11.8 inches and 12.7-20.8 ounces; he's forming little nipples (good for you, buddy!) and his face is fully formed. 

Physical differences from last week?  I weighed 123 pounds this morning, which means no gain from last week.  Blam-o!  And an overall gain of 13.4 pounds.  Belly button is flat and no new stretch marks to report.  Still wearing regular pants and shorts with the belly band, maternity shirts and dresses.  My floor-length maxi dress, that I wore here, is suddenly an ankle-length dress.  Thank you, Belly.

How I'm feeling?  I was uber nauseous two nights this week, which made it impossible to accomplish anything around the house.  Sleeping well, still have Sciatica, still have heartburn, yadda yadda yadda.  Haven't been as strict with my diet or exercise the past 2-3 weeks, and I'm starting to feel it.  Pretty sure the baby isn't growing in my ass or thighs, but they're growing nonetheless.  And, while we're on the subject, I've been craving a brownie sundae - specifically the one I ate every night during our Hawaiian cruise.

Busted out the big guns, courtesy of Costco...
What's been on my mind?  Babymoon.  I need one.  (Like yesterday.)  Hoping to sneak away in a few weeks.  Nothing too crazy, maybe just to here or here.    

What I'm looking forward to?  Cinco de Mayo and Maternity Leave.  I'm looking forward to Cinco de Mayo for two reasons:  1) Who doesn't love a Mexican feast?  2) We're painting the nursery!!!!!!

Best moment this week?  Babe following my hand with some pretty powerful kicks!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Rocking Chairs and Raspberries

It's parents give Lucy the coolest stuff.  I guess all that hoarding paid off after all, Ma! 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Cesarean Awareness Month

April is apparently Cesarean Awareness am I just now hearing about this?? 

Cesarean Sections account for approximately 30 percent of all deliveries in the United States, and Breech Presentation accounts for approximately 3 percent of all pregnancies. (source and source)  I can assure you that having a Cesarean was not my first choice, in fact it wasn't a choice at all.  It had to be done.  But I suddenly feel a renewed sense of pride in Lucy's birth, especially after reading this blog and seeing this picture.....

Before Lucy was born I was utterly opposed to Cesarean delivery.  I wanted to experience labor, contractions and breathing techniques, my partner massaging my back, soaking in the birth tub, the anticipation.  And I wanted to push!  I wanted to work harder than ever before, do the one function my body was made to do, and feel the relief and excitement from delivering my baby and seeing her for the first time.  It was my inherent right as a woman.   

But in the last weeks of my pregnancy, when my Goosey Girl was still in breech presentation, it became clear that a Cesarean was the most practical, and safest option for myself and Lucy. 

As I laid on the operating table and listened to Dr. O tell us the External Cephalic Version failed (again), and that it was time to prepare for the section, I didn't care that I was about to be sliced open and I didn't care that I missed out on a vaginal delivery.  All I cared about, all that I've cared about for the last 13 months, was Lucy.  I was going to meet Lucy!  I was going to be a mother!!!   

I haven't thought about it since.  I have no regrets, complaints or concerns.  It had to be done and it's behind us.  My precious gift is here, she's healthy, and I've got this sweet scar to remind me of that everyday.  I'm proud of my Cesarean.  I'm proud of myself for trying to turn her, I'm proud of myself for accepting what I couldn't change, and I'm proud of myself for surviving that excrutiating recovery.

Are you a Cesarean momma? 
How are you celebrating Cesarean Awareness Month?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I am tired.

I have been tired since the night Lucy was born, but I've always ignored this fact.  Parents don't get enough sleep - this is not new information.  Practical Taylor knows this, but, unfortunately, Practical Taylor has been gagged for the duration of this post, and Whiny Taylor is hosting a pity party.  And you're all invited!  Join me as I document the joys of having a toddler - which may seem earth-shattering now, but come August will seem like a dream!!

Every minute that I spend with Lucy is fueled by adrenaline; I don't let myself stop or feel tired until she goes down.  Last night she ran (yes, literally ran) out of the bathroom no less than THREE times while I was filling the tub.  Once in the tub, she slid up and down the length of the tub on her tush, belly flopped, dunked her face, and splashed and kicked until her gills were content.  (All of which was adorable and hilarious to watch, but exhausting nonetheless.)  And don't even get me started on dressing her for bed!  It's a wrestling match; she thinks it's a game.  She runs away, dives onto the boppy or hides behind the bedroom door, and I grab her by the ankles and drag her back; which makes her laugh even harder and move even faster.  And there I am, sitting on the floor in a pregnant heap, trying not to move more than I have to, begging her to come back.  (My doctor told me to limit bending and to lift no more than 20 pounds.  She was joking, right?)

I occasionally want to burst into tears; and I occasionally look to the door, hoping to see reinforcements have arrived.  But I always, always, always end up laughing hysterically with my goofy girl.

Surely I'm not the only one.  Mommas, pregnant or not, are you exhausted after chasing your kid(s) around all day?

Monday, April 23, 2012

22 Weeks

How far along?  22w2d

How big is baby?  Papaya!  At this time the average fetus ranges in size between 10.5-11.8 inches and 12.7-20.8 ounces.  Going out on a limb and assuming my boy is on the larger end of that...  He's also beginning to look more like a newborn, with defined eyes and lips, and sleeping in cylces. 

Physical differences from last week?  I weighed 123 pounds this morning; which is a 5 pound gain from two weeks ago, and an overall gain of 13.4 pounds.  Uggggg.  5 pounds in two weeks, really?  No new stretch marks and the belly button is flat.  Still wearing regular pants and shorts with the belly band, bikinis, maternity shirts and dresses.

Pretty sure I thoroughly terrified the woman in the Target dressing room.
How I'm feeling?  Wicked heartburn all week long; my throat is on FIRE.  I need to start being a little more strict with my diet, and I'm thinking about replacing our nightly walks with some elliptical time.  We only walked two times this week, because of the heat.  Starting to feel tired in the evenings and my feet are swelling ever so slightly...  Sciatica is getting worse, particularly in the mornings; I can almost always count on my right knee buckling when I roll out of bed.  Overall, though, I'd say that I'm experiencing significantly less back pain with this pregnancy than with my first.  Sleeping well when I get the chance.  I've been craving Mexcian food for weeks, specifically a chimichanga. 

What's been on my mind?  Baby names - made it through the letter J, and thinking about making DIY hanging wet bags.

What I'm looking forward to?  I'm making a pitcher of my famous sangria as soon as this kiddo is born.  Also, Horrible Bosses is quite possibly the funniest movie I've ever seen.

Best moment this week?  Buying the crib skirt and valance fabric.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Splash Pad Success

Fountain Thrills has a Splash Pad.  Did you know this? 
Lucy conquered it this weekend.

A few other weekend happenings deserving of note:
  • Lucy and I participated in The Great Cloth Diaper Change on Saturday morning.
  • Molars are officially ruining my life.
  • Finally found a sippy cup that Lucy not only tolerates, but actually likes.  She hasn't had a bottle in over 24 hours.   
  • Lucy enjoyed her second helping of gelato this afternoon, peach flavor.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

13 Months

At 13 months you are:

Walking!  Current record is 18 steps!

Crawling super fast (and, also, up the stairs).

Talking.  Your vocabulary includes Mama, Dada, baba (bottle), da-ee (doggy), hi, bye bye, peek-a-boo, uh-oh, and possibly Bob (Grampy).

Understanding.  If I ask for hugs, you smile, open your arms wide, and then wrap yourself around my neck.  If I ask for kisses, you smile and give me a big open mouth kiss that usually ends in you biting my cheeks.  If Grammy says to put something away, you put the remote in the TV cabinet or your toys in the toy box.  And if I tell you to sit on your tush at bathtime, you do!

In LOVE with Barney and Friends.

More tolerant of sippy cups, particularly this one and this one, but still prefer the bottle.

Throwing your bottles, and getting milk everywhere.

Flinging your head back very dramatically.  Sometimes to be silly, but mostly during tantrums.

Spending Mondays with Momma, and go to daycare Tuesday through Friday.

Covered in bumps and bruises...

Feeding yourself, even meat!  Also, learning to feed yourself with a spoon (sadly, YouTube isn't cooperating...)

Making a mess - and not just with food!

Suffering from allergies, just like Mommy, Daddy, and everyone else in the family; your doctor recommended Claritin as needed. 

(And as a result of the allergies) having some trouble with ear infections...

(And as a result of the ear infections) screaming during diaper changes.

Cutting molars. 

Biting less and less.  You have 6 (razor sharp) teeth.

Obsessed with Easter Eggs after celebrating your second Easter.


Enjoying your first wagon!  Huuuge improvement from the cramped umbrella stroller.

Taking over Grammy's kitchen cabinets.

Enjoying gelato!

Pointing AND LEANING towards whatever you want.  (Mommy's poor back!!!)

Approximately 25 pounds.

Approximately 30 inches long. 

Wearing one-size pocket diapers on the largest setting, size 2 covers, and a combination of 18 month and 24 month clothing.

Too cool for footie pajamas; recently discovered the convenience and comfort of two-piece pajama sets.

Enjoying your big girl bathtub.

Going down at 7:00 pm, and waking around 6:00 am.  You move all over that crib of yours; it's funny to find you in a different position each time I check on you throughout the night.

I love you, Lu.  You may be small, but you have had the biggest impact on my life.  You are the definition of happiness.  Each day, when we're apart, I think of your laugh and your smile, and how much I can't wait to kiss and squeeze your chub.  Thank you for another amazing month.  Now if you'll please excuse me, I have some horribly late thank you notes to write...


Monday, April 16, 2012

21 Weeks

How far along?  21w2d

How big is baby?  Banana!  10.5 inches and 12.2 ounces; his digestive system is working hard and beginning to create meconium for his first diaper change. 

Physical differences from last week?  Didn't weigh in this week, but I'm sure I gained.  Some of my regular pants are starting to get tight, but most of my shorts still fit comfortably.  My belly and incision are super itchy; belly button is now flat and no new stretch marks to report. 

How I'm feeling?  Nesting, like whoa.  Sleep has become such a low priority - I'd rather clean.  Trips to the bathroom seem to have increased; having loads of BH contractions between the hours of 5:00-7:00 pm (when I'm chasing Lucy); and still moving around pretty easily.  We walked three nights this week, and I was NOT strict enough with my diet.  All of my cravings are sweet; I almost always want candy and I've wanted a muffin for weeks.  I finally caved and got a muffin on Friday.  It was wonderful, but I felt horribly guilty afterward. 

What's been on my mind?  Started shopping for a second freezer; reupholstering my current glider vs. buying a new one; and I finally started researching baby names.  I've made it through the letter F and still haven't found the perfect name, though there are several contenders. 

What I'm looking forward to?  Painting the nursery.  Hopefully it'll happen fairly soon...  I have all the paint and supplies.  Can't wait to get the furniture rearranged and see it come together!

Best moment this week?  Babe kicked while I was rocking Lucy on Thursday night, and I'm positive she felt it because she jumped up and looked at me.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

On being pregnant a second time

It's different.  Soooo different.  I noticed every.single symptom the first time.  The world revolved around my pregnancy; the morning sickness, the back pain, the was all so crippling.  I had this (completely ridiculous and uncalled for) sense of entitlement.  No cooking or cleaning for this girl!  My energy level was the equivalent to that of a carrot.  Oh, I just went grocery shopping?  Better take a nap, or I might just collapse from exhaustion! 

I'm sure being a single mom has something to do with it, but the main reason why I don't get caught up in all things pregnancy:  Child #1.  It may seem like I have boat loads of energy this time, because I'm exercising and actually being productive in the evenings, but I'm still tired.  I just don't have a choice.  We've got toys to play with, food to throw on the floor eat, baths to take, walks to go on...  I can't say to Lucy, "Hey sweetie, Momma is having contractions, so I can't pick you up right now".  Now it's more like, Oh crap, I just fainted?  How inconvenient.  Still have tons of stuff to do today... 

I don't want it to come off as though I'm not excited for Babe's arrival, because I'm very excited; it's just a different kind of excitement from the first time I was pregnant.

I know the glamorous (and not-so-glamorous) symptoms of pregnancy.
I know how tired I'll be once he's born.
I know how to change a cloth diaper.
I know which bottles to use.
I know how frequently (and loudly) he'll poop. 
I know what to expect.

What I'm more excited for, what I like to think about as I drift to sleep each night, is introducing him to his Big Sister, seeing his first smile, falling asleep next to his tiny little body, eating those chubby, chubby cheeks and legs!!!  And all of the other small, but amazing moments that come with being a parent.

Would love to hear from other moms of two or more.  Did you feel similarly?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

My Pregnancy Checklist

You may not know this about me, but I am a die-hard Nestie and Bumpie.  Both The Nest and The Bump have been hugely helpful during many of my life's milestones (marriage, home ownership, pregnancy and parenting - just to name a few).  These websites offer an abundance of articles, apps, photo galleries, and, my favorite, discussion forums.  The support, the sarcasm, the insanity is unlike anything I've ever experienced, and I am so glad that I stumbled upon these websites 3+ years ago.

One of my favorite tools that The Bump has to offer is the Pregnancy Checklist; I review it at least once a day.  So I thought it'd be fun to share my personal list, to look back on someday, and to maybe help another momma-to-be who didn't know such awesomeness existed.

Plan a Babymoon
Research Hypnobirthing
Paint and decorate the nursery
Achieve household organization
Name ze bebe
Schedule maternity photography session
Write a will
Pre-register with the hospital
Prepare birth plan  ::eye roll::
Research circumcision
Freezer Meals 2.0
Buy various baby supplies, gear and furniture
Make flannel burp cloths
DIY hooded towels
DIY crib skirts
DIY hanging wet bag 
Buy (another) new camera
Buy a Mom Mobile
Install second car seat
Pack hospital bag and cooler
Wash baby boy clothes

Thankfully the to-do list and shopping list are significantly shorter for Baby #2, because, as you can see, I haven't done a whole lot of anything yet.  Although, the ONE item I have managed to check off was rather significant......that's right, I bought a Mom Mobile on Monday morning. 

(Ok, so, the V6 engine and four-wheel drive don't necessarily scream Mom, but all the extra space sure comes in handy with two car seats and a double stroller!)  No more bright yellow coupes or compact hamster cars for this girl!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Monday, April 9, 2012

20 Weeks

How far along?  20w2d and officially half-baked.

How big is baby?  Cantaloupe!  Dude, that just seems huge...  The average fetus is approximately 6.5 inches long and 10.2 ounces; he's developing taste buds and gulping down a whole lotta amniotic fluid. 

Physical differences from last week?  I weighed 118 pounds at the doctor's office on Thursday; which is a 0.4 pound gain from two weeks ago, and an overall gain of 9 pounds.  No new stretch marks and the belly button is in.  Still wearing regular pants and shorts with the belly band, maternity shirts, maternity skirts and maxi dresses (LOVE).

How I'm feeling?  Shaving my legs is officially a challenge.  Bah!  Sleep has been great, with reasonable bedtimes and no trips to the bathroom.  We walked 3 or 4 nights this week, and I followed my diet for the most part, with the exception of Easter brunch.  I craved pretzels and those orange circus peanuts, and ate both.  BH contractions are raging in the evenings (after chasing Lucy around), but, overall, I feel great, and I'm thankful!

What's been on my mind?  Dr. O offered to prescribe me an anti-depressant at my visit on Thursday...  I said no, of course, but I'm embarrassed that she thinks I need it.  She said that she only prescribes in "extreme cases".  I'm doing everything I can to keep my baby from feeling my depression and stress (therapy, walking, yoga, deep breathing, prayer and meditation), but it might not be enough.          

What I'm looking forward to?  Having a finished nursery, a project that I haven't even started.

Best moment this week?  Seeing Baby Boy at the growth ultrasound and ECHO and hearing that his results were perfectly normal and healthy.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Lucy's Easter Wagon

Easter baskets are sooo last year.  This year Lucy got a wagon full of goodies, complete with a bubble machine, from the Easter Bunny!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Growth Ultrasound and ECHO

We had our appointment at 8:45 on Monday morning, and it was great to see Baby Boy again!  (Who, by the way, is still very much a boy!!!)  This was a special appointment, because Daddy Shelton was able to join us and see his little guy in action.  The scan started out similarly to the anatomy scan, measuring the head, belly, and every other inch of the little guy, and then came the ECHO. 

All of his measurements were normal or slightly ahead (which is good, as DS babies tend to be on the smaller side).  He was in the 76th percentile, at 8 inches long and 11 ounces.  And we even got a few 3D pictures of his little face and chicken legs. 

The ECHO was very interesting; we listened to every valve, artery and vessel, watched blood flow and heart rhythm, and took tons of pictures.  The entire procedure lasted approximately one hour, and then I actually fell asleep while waiting for the Fetal Abnormality Specialist to come in and review the results.  He clicked through the images as the Tech shared her findings against my past results.  He said everything looked normal, no soft markers, all four chambers of the heart were visible with no noticeable defects, and that my overall risk was around 1 in 300.  He offered to do an amnio, if I was uncomfortable with that risk, but I said no. 

I arrived at and left the appointment feeling indifferent.  The results of the growth ultrasound and ECHO are a slight improvement from the previous scan and blood screen, but not enough to bring me any extra relief or worry.  And I'm grateful for that, extremely grateful.  We are incredibly blessed to not have to worry about heart defects or other life threatening conditions.  I stopped obsessing over the 0.3% chance that my baby has Down Syndrome after the sequential blood screen.  I pray for Babe every night, but I don't spend every waking minute stressing.  I love you, Kiddo, and you're going to be just fine.

Five little fingers