Monday, December 19, 2011

Life Now

We're settling in to life as four. It seems like a constant cycle of feeding the baby, sleeping and working - Aaron and I take turns doing each. And throw a crazy two-year-old in there, too.

Going to Austin was awesome. Although getting through the airports with Declan was a traumatic experience that I have since blocked out, it was worth it to spend almost two weeks in my favorite city, with (most of) my favorite people. We did miss Aaron, but he joined us down there the day before Thanksgiving and we had a wonderful holiday. The drive back wasn't as bad as I was expecting.

Going back to work was easier than I expected, too. I thought that I would be super emotional about leaving Asher, but a few different factors made it less awful. One, I was leaving him with Aaron, who I know is a fabulous dad. Two, Asher is a fussy kid. By the time I went back to work, I was okay with having a break. Of course, I do miss him during the day, and when I get home and change out of my germy scrubs, I snatch him up out of his carseat to nurse and cuddle even if he's sleeping.

Work itself sucks. I'm out of the "groove," so to speak, and can't keep pace with my co-workers who I used to work fine with. I feel like others are having to pick up my slack, and if there's one thing I hate, it's being a burden to people. I just have to have faith that just like when I first started, I will slowly get faster and faster until I earn their respect back.

Declan and Asher are doing great. Declan is very two - misbehaving, not listening, trying to pick up the baby... Asher is getting less fussy. he now sleeps from 9-ish to 4-ish straight! Then I feed him before work, and he wakes up around 8 for Aaron.

Christmas is in 6 days! I always want to say that Christmas is the 24th, because my family always opens presents and has the most fun on Christmas Eve. This year we're going to Ronnette's for Christmas Eve. I'm excited for Declan to open his presents. He's finally old enough to *want* things - I can't wait for him to open his James. He calls James the "yeah choo choo" after a song in his train book that says "Hooray for James!"

Well, Declan just ate a mouthful of coffee creamer. looks like he may have snorted some, too. Time to put the computer down and make dinner, since he's apparently starving.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Smiles and Coos

Asher is three weeks, six days old. Hard to believe that tomorrow he will be four weeks old! He still seems so new.

With Declan, it's almost like I do things by muscle memory. Dressing him, changing his diaper, lifting him out of the tub - we have a set way to do everything, it all feels familiar. With Asher, every little thing is new.

The last few days, Asher has been smiling deliberately! It's adorable. When he's in an awake and happy mood, I get my face close to his and talk softly; he gets the biggest happy grin. It's adorable. He makes little talky noises, too.

I'm getting so excited about our trip to Austin! The suitcase is almost full already, and I haven't even packed any clothes for myself yet. Today I ordered Declan his own backpack and a magnadoodle to take on the plane.

In other news, Declan woke up with a terrible sounding cough. He hasn't coughed much the rest of the day, but his voice is raspy. Praying that whatever it is stays mild, goes away quickly, and doesn't get Asher!

Birth Story

As I remember it, almost a month later.

On Wednesday morning, October 12, I was up with Declan getting ready for my 39 week doctor appointment at 11. It was pouring rain. I installed Asher's carseat during a break in the rain, just to kill time. Premonition? :)

While in the bath, I pushed around on my belly a little, trying to get Asher to move in there - he hadn't yet since I'd been awake. Usually laying back in the bath was prime time to feel him wiggle, but this morning he wouldn't. He moved a tiny bit, just enough to reassure me that he was alive, but I was very worried.

I got out of the bath, got dressed, and called my doctor's office. The receptionist told me they'd had a cancellation and to come in as soon as I could. I woke Aaron up and told him it was urgent. Within minutes, we were out the door. At that point, I still doubted that Dr. T would induce me. I didn't even bring my hospital bags. I figured I still had at least a week or two of being pregnant.

Aaron got lost on the way to the doctor - which is only four blocks away. He hadn't put his contacts in, and was still half asleep. But we got there! He dropped me off, and I said I'd call when I was done. It was about 9:30 am.

When I got called back into the exam room, the nurse took my vitals, Dr. T came in, and immediately, no hesitation, said, "So, Baby's not moving? Okay. What I'd like to do is induce you." We only discussed it for a couple of minutes, because I was in total agreement. She said that I was 39 weeks, he'd be better off on the outside where we can see that everything is okay than inside, where we don't know what's going on.

I went across the street to the hospital, calling Aaron repeatedly on my way. He finally called back while I was being admitted. He didn't seem surprised at all that we were having a baby that day - I think he was just worried about why Asher wasn't moving. I went up to L&D and settled into my bed, got hooked up to monitors, and answered a million and a half medical questions. Aaron and Declan arrived sometime in there. Declan was a wild kid as always, so Aaron called his dad to take him for the day.

My doctor took a while to show up and get things going. I think I was settled into my bed around 10:15, but she wasn't there until noon to insert the Cervidil. I had plenty of time to call my mom, Lindsey, and my work, and post a status update on Facebook, of course. :) When she did insert it, it was uncomfortable. I mean, it's this thing about the size of a lipstick tube, and she's trying to shove it practically *through* my cervix. Owie.

So then I waited. Lindsey came to the hospital after work, around 2 pm. By that time I was feeling the cramps, but they weren't showing up much on the monitor. I was frustrated. Aaron left and got food for himself - I wasn't allowed to eat. I remember the bag from his meal sitting against the mirror that was directly across from me - the bag read "This is what hungry looks like." I pointed out that it was cruel for me to have to stare at myself with that caption!

Within an hour or so - not long at all - I was in quite a bit of pain. Enough to be ready for the drugs. I remember gripping the siderails and kicking my legs back and forth. I remember moaning with each contraction. Lindsey was sitting beside me, looking worried. She told me later that she hated watching me in pain. It was seriously no fun.

By 5 pm, I was begging for the epidural. But the nurse, Jessie, didn't want to jump the gun and give me the epi if I wasn't in actual labor - which they didn't think I was, because the monitor wasn't picking up good contractions. but my moaning/kicking/gripping convinced her that the monitor was wrong. They tried repositioning it, and it started picking up big contractions, every minute. They were right on top of each other.

Dr. R came in - she was taking over as Dr. T was off for the night. The plan was that I'd have the Cervidil in until midnight, then pitocin, and I'd deliver in the morning. Dr. R seemed to doubt my pain level at first. She said that they don't like to give the epi during Cervidil, because there's no telling if it's real labor that will stick around. She said that they don't like to call the anesthesiologist in after hours for elective inductions anyway. I was confused. Lindsey was pissed. I couldn't have an epidural until MORNING?

Dr. R finally agreed to check me, once she saw the contractions on top of one another. When I came in, I was a fingertip dilated. At that time (probably about 6 pm?), I was 5 cm. Everyone was shocked - the labor was real. Dr. R okayed my epidural, thank God. She was much nicer once she realized that I wasn't being overly dramatic.

The anesthesiologist got me hooked up with the drugs really quickly. And it worked wonders. Aaron and Lindsey came back in, and I was all smiles. Since GRMC is a tiny hospital where they don't have central monitoring, my nurse had to sit in my room with me and watch Asher's heart rate. We made small talk with her for a while. But around 7 pm, I was becoming distracted from the conversation, and I could tell that nurse Jessie was, too. Asher's heart rate kept dipping from its normal rate of 130-ish down to the 100s and 90s. The contractions were still super frequent, although the monitor wasn't picking them up well again.

Dr. R came in; she was worried that the Cervidil was overstimulating my uterus and putting Asher in distress. She checked me and pulled the Cervidil. I was 6 cm. Dr. R stayed in the room and watched my monitor. Asher's dips seemed to be getting worse. At 7:20, Dr. R made the official call that I needed a c-section. Right away.

The anesthesiologist came back in - it seemed like he had just been there - and pushed something (Lidocane?) through my epidural to make me numb enough for surgery. They lowered the head of my bed, and I started bawling. I was scared for Asher. I was scared to be cut open. I was sad that I wouldn't get to push him out like I did Declan. Aaron and Lindsey had left the room when Dr. R checked me, and weren't back yet. Nurse Jessie called Aaron repeatedly, and finally got ahold of him - turns out he was right down the hall. He rushed in and started crying, too, when he saw me all lowered down and tons of doctors swarming me.

Dr. K, the surgeon, arrived and rushed me back to the operating room. Aaron followed shortly behind. It was all a blur - they were trying to get Asher out ASAP. I mean, I didn't even have time to tell Aaron to take a picture of him coming out, and he was out. He was crying. Screaming, in fact. Aaron and I both started crying all over again. I was just so grateful to hear that sound!

Aaron left my side and went over to watch them examine Asher and wrap him up. Dr. W, the family doc that was there just for the baby, brought him over to me and pressed his face next to mine. I kissed him over and over again. He was warm and sweet. I just wanted to hold him. Aaron went with him to the nursery while Dr. K stitched me up and stapled me shut. It was a really, really unpleasant feeling to not be able to feel anything below my chest. It was a very heavy, helpless feeling. A nurse poked her head in to tell me that they had weighed Asher - six pounds, fifteen ounces. I was in disbelief that he was so small!

They took me back to recovery. I had to stay there, in this dimly lit room, for a half hour before I could go back to L&D and meet my baby. How annoying. I just laid there and tried not to focus on the yucky numb feeling. I actually slept a little bit. I thought about how crazy it was that within an hour, I went from thinking that I'd deliver in the morning to having him *right now.* I remember that it was 8:45 when I was done with my "sentence." I had been watching the clock like a hawk.

They wheeled me back to my room. Lindsey, and Rachel were in the hallway by the nursery, watching the nurses dress Asher. They gave me hugs and kisses, and came back to the room with me. Apparently, Kevin and Declan had been there, but had to leave because Declan was being loud and crazy. I wish I had been there to see Declan meet his baby for the first time.

Aaron and Asher came to the room around 9 pm, and I finally got hold my baby boy. He was TINY. I couldn't believe how light his little body was in my arm. I was relieved that I felt just as immediately head-over-heels for him as I had for Declan. That night was a long process of getting my pain under control - as the epidural wore off, the pain was unbearable. Worse than labor. I ended up with a morphine drip, which they took out in the morning. From there on out, it was a matter of getting up and moving again. I won't lie, c-section recover was 100 times worse that my third-degree-tear-recovery with Declan. But I'd do it all again, for the result that I got. :)

And that's how Asher Wesley was born.

Monday, October 31, 2011

...And Again!

I really did think I would start posting updates again after that last post, but here I am catching up again.

Asher is now 2 weeks and 5 days old. On Wednesday we go back to the hospital for a hearing test (since he kept failing it when we were there) and then to the doctor for his (belated) two-week checkup. And we go back to the doctor on Thursday for Declan's (belated) two-year checkup. Yes, everything I do these days is belated. Deal with it.

We are doing well. Asher sleeps awesome at night, not so awesome during the day - although it's getting better. For a week or so there, I thought he might be developing colic. He would cry and cry in the evening, for no good reason. I tried gas drops, gripe water, cluster feeding... He just cried. But for a few days now, he's been calmer. I don't know if he just needed to adjust to the outside world, or was having a growth spurt, or what. Hopefully the calmness sticks around.

I can tell he's growing - his cheeks are bigger. :) His clothes don't seem to fit differently yet, unfortunately. I say that because I am anxious for him to fit into 0-3 month clothes. We have about 3 times as many of that size than we do of NB size! I never thought I'd have a baby who needed NB clothes, especially not for 3+ weeks. I really hope he's in 0-3 by the time we go to Austin, so that he can wear all of his cute clothes instead of his NB hand-me-downs. Okay, selfish/petty vent over!

Declan is really acting up these days. I don't know if he's just being two, or if it's because of Asher, but he *never* listens anymore. If he doesn't get his way, it's a total meltdown. I'm just not used to him directly disobeying us. I feel like I broken record that plays "Declan, NO!" and "Don't touch the baby!" on repeat.

Sigh. This too shall pass, right?

I suppose it's time to start thinking about what Dec and I will have for dinner. I hate to get up when Asher is napping so peacefully in the crook of my arm... it's like jinxing myself.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Catching Up

As you probably knew or assumed, baby Asher is here!

He was born on October 12, 2011, at 7:51 pm by emergency c-section. He weighed 6 lbs, 15 oz and was 19 inches long. He is a beautiful baby with tons of black hair and dark gray eyes.

My mom came into town the Saturday after he was born, and just now boarded her flight back to Austin. :( It was awesome to have her here for the first week of Asher's life, and Declan's first week of being a big brother.

Speaking of the big boy, he's doing great. I swear he seems older and bigger and smarter every morning when he wakes up. He says so many words now, understands so much, and is becoming more and more independent in his play. Yesterday, Mom and I took him to the pumpkin patch, and he rode the cow train ride all by himself - and loved it. Yeah, I cried. He seemed so big as he giggled and waved at us! Just a year ago I was riding with him, no idea that a year later we'd be there with his little brother snuggled in the Moby wrap, and Declan riding all by himself.

Asher is perfect and wonderful. He is such a snuggly little peanut. He loves to nurse, hates diaper changes. He definitely lets you know when he wants the boob, but when he's content he is the most angelic thing. Each day he spends a little more time awake and alert, just looking around and taking things in. the is nothing like staring into a newborn's unfocused little eyes and cooing at them. I know that all too soon he'll be such a busy boy, following his brother around, he won't have time for long mama cuddles like this.

I will post his whole birth story another time, but I wanted to give an update before I forgot how these first few days were. And now we set off on a whole new adventure: parenting these two little boys without my mom here! I am definitely scared, but I feel up to the challenge. At least I know that time will fly, because we will never be bored!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

38 Week Update

Just got back from my doctor's appointment.

She didn't bother sending me for an ultrasound, because Asher is moving normally and I'm measuring a week ahead. She said a fluid level of 7 was perfectly normal for a full-term pregnancy.

I am one centimeter dilated, which is one wonderful centimeter more than last week.

Basically, I'm in for the long haul. Time to start doing squats and jumping jacks!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Weeks Thirty-Seven & Thirty-Eight

Week 37 of pregnancy: September 21-28, 2011
Week 38 of pregnancy: September 28-October 5, 2011

Symptoms: Fatigue that has less to do with being pregnant and more to do with working my ass off. Also moodiness that could attributed to said fatigue. A few Braxton-Hicks contractions and a few episodes of uncomfortable cervical pressure.

I know that week 38 isn't over until tomorrow, but I want to write an update today since I already have so much to say, and will surely have more to say after tomorrow morning's doctor's appointment.

First off, we're moved! Last Friday (Sept. 30) we packed everything up and moved into our new house. We love it to pieces. although i thought it was smaller than the old house, I now think I was wrong. Our stuff fits so much better - I feel like I can spread out and organize, unpack and know where everything is, NEST. Bottles are in the cabinet, baby blankets on the closet shelf, tiny onesies in the drawer, swing sitting empty in the living room, waiting for a baby to fill it.

We still have to buy and set up the crib, along with a lot of the "essentials" like pacifiers, diapers, bottle liners, etc. I am anxious to buy these things, even though I don't feel like I'll be going into labor any time soon (but more on that later). It's that dang nesting instinct. I wish guys got it, too, but Aaron seems immune. He has no urge to buy these things before we need them.

Anyway, this weekend was one for the record books. Friday we moved, Saturday I worked 6-2, then left at 4 for Courtney's wedding. Got home around 10:15, went bed around 10:45. Woke up at 1:15, went to work 2 am to 2 pm. Yep, that's right, a 12-hour shift on 2.5 hours of sleep. Nine months pregnant. Then when I got off and all I wanted was to collapse into bed, Aaron was all excited that he had turned over the keys to the old house, and wanted to go on a date night to celebrate. Gah!

But I am recovered now. And if that didn't put me into labor, I don't know what will!

On to the medical update. My 37 weeks appointment was... interesting. at the last minute, Lindsey asked if she could go with me, because I was getting an ultrasound done and she wanted to see it. Then Aaron and Declan decided to join, too. So the exam room was super crowded. The doctor did the ultrasound and was worried that she wasn't seeing enough amniotic fluid around the baby. So she sent me down for a hospital ultrasound (after checking my cervix - completely closed, of course).

At the hospital ultrasound, they told me my fluid level was a seven. Five or below is considered "dangerously low." So I'm assuming we'll re-check it tomorrow to make sure that it hasn't gone down more. I don't know what they will do if it IS five or below - try and pump me full of IV fluids? Induce? Emergency c-section? (Surely not.)

I have a feeling my fluid will be lower. I just don't know whether that means we might have a baby in the next few days. I'd like to be ready, just in case, but then I'll feel silly if we install the carseat and buy the crib and everything, then he doesn't come for two more weeks (or more).

Speaking of two more weeks, my mom is coming in just 11 days! I am so excited.

I will update more after my appointment tomorrow.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Week Thirty-Six

Pregnancy week 36: September 14-21, 2011

Symptoms: Uh, nothing. Is nesting a symptom?

I've started to feel the pressure of moving next week. I've been packing and doing laundry like crazy (although today I've been much lazier... but technically this is week 37, so today doesn't count!)

I really, really want to be ready for this baby. But our financial situation precludes me from doing so. With Aaron's next paycheck, we'll order the crib and accessories. And hopefully, I'll get some necessities in my "basket shower" that Lindsey set up at work.

Not much to report this week since my doctor had to reschedule my appointment. So I'll get my cervical check / GBS swab / ultrasound done on Monday.

Friday, September 16, 2011


The countdown is on... 33 days until my due date, 14 days until we move to our new house.


Our landlord called last week and informed us that she had sold the house we're renting, and we'd have to be out by the first of October. this all turned out to be a big lie - she didn't sell it, she's renting it to a friend of her son's who needs a place. Anyway, long story short, we have to move. And we want to move, rather than deal with a shady landlord who is screwing us over.

The next day, we went all out househunting. We called every real estate office in town, every apartment complex, any friends we could think of who might know of an open rental. The problem here in small-town Iowa is that not many people rent out their houses. It's either crappy apartments or you buy.

But, against the odds, we managed to find a nice-ish duplex that we could move into on the 30th. Done. Lease signed, deposit paid. All within 24 hours of getting the call from our landlord that we had to move! I was proud of us.

The new place is about the same size as this house, but the space is split up very differently. Instead of two small bedrooms, we will have three medium sized ones. The new bathroom is at least twice as big as the old one (thank God, this one is a *closet*.) And we have a laundry room right there off the hallway instead of having to throw things in the basement (which I thought was a good idea at first, but "out of sight, out of mind" is not a good thing when it comes to mountains of laundry.) The kitchen is about the same size, but there's no dining room - the kitchen is just open to the living room, instead. We will have to see if our table and chairs fit in there without making it too hard to maneuver in the kitchen.

Pros of the new house: One car garage. Management company handles all repairs, lawn care, and snow removal. Three bedrooms. Cons: No more central heat & air. Not sure if all the furniture will fit.

Anyway, we're getting ready to move. And my biggest stress right now is Asher's room. Because we have the space, we've decided that we're getting a crib. And if you get a crib, you have to get a mattress. And sheets. And a bumper. And a skirt. The list goes on. I mean, we already had a shopping list of things to buy for baby. This just added at least $250 to that.

I do have everything picked out, though. The crib, mattress, bumper and sheets can be ordered online to be shipped for free to my local Walmart. As for the rest of the nursery... I guess it will just happen over time. We certainly can't afford to decorate it completely right off the bat, but I do want to at least have the crib set up for him when he comes. Which means, basically, as soon as we're moved in, we'll order it.

So that's what's going down. Moving houses at 9 months pregnant. No stress or anything. :)

Week Thirty-Five

Week 35 of pregnancy: September 7-14, 2011

Symptoms: A few Braxton-Hicks, mostly when I stand up from bed or bend over quickly

I have won the battle against my raging heartburn! At my appointment last Friday, I got a prescription for Ranitidine (AKA Zantac), because my doctor thought that the amount of Tums I was eating could give me a kidney stone.

Anyway, since I've been taking this stuff, my heartburn has gone down considerably. Not disappeared, but instead of waking up 5-6 times a night and having to pop a Tums, I can sleep straight through. Do you know what a miracle it is to be able to sleep through the night at 35 weeks pregnant? A big one.

We had a little scare at that appointment. When the doctor went to listen to his heartbeat, she held the doppler on there for all of maybe 3 seconds before pulling it off and saying, "I want you to go over to labor & delivery." WHA? It took me a minute to comprehend that she had heard something troubling. She explained that Asher's heartbeat had slowed way down for a second, then come back up. I hadn't heard a thing... That's why they pay her the big bucks, I guess!

Anyway, I went over to the hospital and got checked in for my "non-stress test," which is basically just tracking baby's heart rate for 20 minutes. He did okay, but there were a few dips that made the nurses worried. They showed my doctor the strip, and she recommended another 30 minutes of monitoring. I watched some What Not To Wear, texted with Lindsey (I couldn't get a hold of Aaron, who was home with Declan.)

After that half hour, they showed my doctor again, and she said I could go home, and to rest assured that he was fine. She said he could have been playing with his cord. I stayed surprisingly calm through the whole ordeal - maybe because I could feel him kicking and rolling around like crazy the whole time.

My next appointment is a week from today, where I'll get checked, GBS swabbed, and get an ultrasound to determine approximate size and position. So let's all keep our fingers crossed for a soft cervix, and a head down, big-but-not-too-big baby!

There's also a whhhooooole other drama playing out in our lives right now, so I'm going to do a separate post on it (since it really has nothing to do with my pregnancy, except being a pain in my pregnant butt!)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Week Thirty-Four

Week 34 of pregnancy: August 31 - September 7, 2011

Symptoms: Same old, same old. Heartburn. Tired. I think I may have some new stretch marks, but I was already so covered in them that it's hard to tell. Oh, and I'm cranky.

This week's big news around here is the change in weather! We went from bearably hot (mid-90s) to positively fall-like (low-70s) with just one cool front last weekend. the air conditioner has been off since then, with all the windows open and ceiling fans going - it's so nice to get some fresh air in the house.

I wish that it made me want to clean and get the house ready... But it doesn't. I wish it made me want to get outside and take Declan to the park more... But I'm just too darn tired. Or maybe lazy. We have gone a couple of times, and we were outside most of the day on Labor Day, when Lindsey and her kids came over and we grilled brats and hot dogs.

I've been more stressed out this week. I don't know if it's because my due date is looming and we still have a lot to do, or if it's just hormones, or maybe our financial situation... Actually I think it's all three. We paid a bunch of extra bills this month, and as a result we are having to scrimp and save until my next paycheck (tomorrow, thank God.) I added up the cost of all the baby stuff we have left to buy, and it's about $250. Plus diapers. So like $275. Plus Declan's Halloween costume. So $300. And just like that, almost half of my paycheck is gone.

And we can't put the kids on state health insurance because we make too much? Ha.

So as a result of the hormones / stress, I've been a total grouch with my poor husband. I swear, he just looks at me wrong and I give him the silent treatment. It seems like every day I find something new to be mad about. Today we were watching A Baby Story and I said, "I'm so ready to have this baby." And Aaron said, "Yeah, you've been kinda cranky." My immediate instinct was to get mad, but how could I when he was just telling the truth? I just laughed it off and said, "Only six more weeks, honey."

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

What's Left

In the next 6 weeks:

Talk to work about maternity leave (Thursday)
Pack a hospital bag (35 weeks)
Organize clothes (36 weeks)
Install carseat (37 weeks)
Clean like crazy! (Start Oct. 1)

Shopping list:

Baby tub
Baby bath stuff
Carseat cover
Breastmilk bags

I have quite a bit left to buy, but nothing that we can't swing by Walmart for if he happens to surprise us before we buy it. Plus Lindsey (my sister-in-law) has plans to do a basket shower at work, so I want to see what I get in there before I go buy some of the little stuff like pacis, bath stuff, and bottles.

The carseat cover and humidifier are the most expensive things... and I think they'll both take quite a bit of convincing with the hubby. But really, the carseat cover will be so helful when it's cold here, and the humidifier we'll end u buying when he gets his first cold anyway, might as well buy it now before it's an "emergency."

As far as the to-do list, I've been procrastinating on talking to work. i really want to take Declan off my insurance and onto Hawk-I, but it looks like that may not happen before maternity leave. We shall see.

Later. Got so momentarily stressed about getting Declan on Hawk-I that I went ahead and applied... but looking at the income limits, we're not under them. So we don't qualify anyway, at least not using my pay BEFORE deductions. Ugh. After deductions (AKA, $199 out of every paycheck for our freakin' insurance) we're a lot poorer than we look on paper.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Aaron's Guess

9 lbs 5 oz.


We shall see about that.

Watch him fake us all out and be a 7 pounder.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

My Official Guesses and Wishes

The last paragraph of my 33 week post inspired me to make a separate post about my guesses for the stats of Asher's birth.

I was actually thinking about that this morning, when I was online shopping for birth announcements (obviously wouldn't order them until after he's born!) and I was putting fake stats in as filler.

So, we'll start with my "ideal".

Born on Monday, October 10
Labor starts at 1 pm with water breaking
Born around 5:30 pm
8 lbs 3 oz, 21 in

And here's why :

10-10 would be a cool birthday, Lindsey will be back from her vacation, I'll be 38 weeks 5 days, it just seems like a good day overall to be born. He'd be 5 days old when Mom comes, so we'd be home from the hospital and able to enjoy her visit.

I'd like labor to start with water breaking because then it's CLEAR that it's time to go to the hospital. Rather than having to time contractions, possibly being sent home because they're not strong/regular enough, etc. And if it happens after 1 pm, I'll be done with my work and able to leave without it being a burden to my coworkers.

Obviously the 4.5 hour labor is wishful thinking. But I'd love to be done before dinnertime. :)

8 lbs 3 oz seems like a good weight, and I think it's realistic for this baby at almost 39 weeks. Although I really get the vibe that he could be bigger, this is my ideal.

My more realistic guesses / what I'm feeling:

Born Thursday, October 20
Labor starts at 7 am with induction
Born around 2 pm
9 lbs 1 oz, 21 in

Here's why:

I am just feeling that I'm not that lucky. I think I'll have to be induced again. I really don't trust that my body knows how to have a contraction without Pitocin, since it has never happened before. (Logically, I know that I would, eventually, go into labor on my own. I just think that I'll run out of patience first and my doc will agree to induce.) I picked the 20th so that my Mom would still be here for the length of our hospital stay.

Declan was born at 4:38, so I figure I can take off 2.5 hours since 1) I will know what I'm doing re: pain management, and 2) I'm already all stretched out. LOL

I have a gut feeling that this little guy won't be so little. I'm guessing just over 9 lbs if I go full-term.

Anyone reading this, feel free to tell me what you think! I will try and get Aaron to guess when I talk to him later. The only prediction I've gotten out of him so far is that he thinks Asher will look like me. :)

Week Thirty-Three

Week 33 of pregnancy: August 24-31, 2011

Symptoms: Nothing new, just tired. Dealt with a stomach virus and recovering from a cold, but neither are pregnancy related.

I haven't been quite as hungry this week. I think I'm hitting that suck-tastic point in pregnancy when the baby takes up too much room for mama to enjoy a full meal. Could also be related to the tummy bug we all had last weekend.

Worked two very, very short-handed shifts Saturday and Sunday. This may be self-centered, but seriously, if I can come to work eight months pregnant with a cold AND a stomach virus, you can suck it up and come, too.

I started feeling icky Friday night - just kind of "off." I figured I had just eaten too much and blew it off. But when I went to bed, my heartburn was 1,000 times worse than usual. I ended up getting almost no sleep, moving to the recliner at 2 am, and spending most of the wee hours of the morning on the toilet. Sorry for the TMI.

It continued during work in the morning. Cramps, nausea, tummy issues... i was in and out of the bathroom every half hour or so. Finally I sucked it up and had some Sprite and toast. I felt much better by the time I left work. Declan had it around the same time, and Aaron had a very mild version on Friday. We're all over it now, thank goodness.

So, thirty three weeks. Seven weeks left. No appointment this week, but I have one next week (it should be boring). I am going to ask how my platelet count was, and if she can tell how the baby's laying (I *think* he's head down, but he moves all the time). Oh, and I need to ask if I can pre-register at the hospital. Or if it's even necessary. It seems like every time I go, all I have to do is tell them my name and they pull all of my records right up. But my doc is from the big city, too, so hopefully she won't think I'm silly for asking.

I got an email from Priceline today with my mom's flight itinerary for October 15-23! I am so excited for her to come. I am thinking about starting my maternity leave on the 15th, so that I won't be at work most of the time she's here. Or maybe I'll just take a couple extra days off. God knows, at 40 weeks pregnant, I'll need them anyway. Fingers crossed, baby Asher will already be here by then and this is all moot.

Speaking of Asher, Declan can say his name pretty well! I don't think he knows what he's saying, but it comes out like "ASH-oo!" and is super cute. He also started saying Ernie ("uh-nee") and kiiind of saying grandma & grandpa ("bah-ma" and "bah-pa").

I'm so excited that tomorrow is September 1st! That means it will be exactly a month until I start trying to get Asher to come out (I'll be 37 weeks, full term). of course I'm not expecting him to come until at LEAST mid-October, but we shall see. Everyone else seems to think I'll go early this time.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Declan at 22 months

It is so funny to be due on Declan's birthday, because while I'm counting down the months/weeks/days until my due date (56 days today!) I'm also counting down to Declan being TWO years old.

It blows my mind that he'll be two so soon. Feels like we just celebrated his first birthday. This year has flown by.

At two months out from his birthday, Declan is an absolute ball of energy, fun, curiosity, stubbornness, joy, and love.

Here are the words that Declan knows, with his pronunciations in parentheses: Mama, Dada, hi, choo-choo, shoe, eye, please ("sees"), outside ("ah-sigh"), Elmo ("oh-wo"), owie ("ah-ee"), what's that? ("ah-sat?")

He can make the sounds for dog, cat, cow, horse, elephant, snake, sheep, and anything that roars. He can identify pretty much all of his body parts on command. Speaking of commands, he follows them really well - when he wants to. Go get a diaper, throw that away, give this to Daddy... he likes being put to work. As long as he's not feeling obstinate, because then he will run the other way. And at almost two, he feels obstinate about 75% of the time. :)

Declan may not be saying much, but he can nod and shake his head like a champ. It is so nice to not have to play the baby guessing game any more.

He's still in diapers. I don't want to push the potty-training thing before he's ready. Aaron does. He wants to buy a pack of underwear and just put him in them. I told him we'd better invest in a carpet shampooer first.

He also still uses his pacifier once in a while to fall asleep. That's mostly out of our own laziness as parents. He goes to sleep faster with it, and stays asleep. And we are tired. So we give it to him. But only at naptime and bedtime! And if he falls asleep without it, awesome. We don't force it on him, we just keep it on the bedside to table to pop in if he starts to stir at some ungodly hour.

Things Declan loves right now: Thomas the train, Blue's Clues, Elmo, reading books, all animals, splashing in the bath, running, eating with a fork, DADA!

Things Declan hates right now: getting his nails clipped, anything being on the TV besides Thomas, Blue, or Elmo, Mama wiping his face after meals, being left alone in a room, any time that he doesn't have Mama or Dada's full attention

Rough schedule at 22 months:

Wakes up between 7 and 8 usually (all depends on bedtime the night before)
Lunch around noon
Down for nap between 2 and 3
Wake up around 4, eat snack
Dinner between 6 and 7
Sometimes another small snack at 8:30 or 9 if he didn't eat much dinner
Bedtime at 10, usually asleep by 10:30

Just wanted to do a quick update. Gotta get my tired big boy to bed.

Week Thirty-Two

Week 32 of pregnancy: August 17-24, 2011

Symptoms: Heartburn. Tired. Lots of baby hiccups.

A pretty normal week, compared to week 31. Thursday was painful, but since then I've had no pain at all. I think he must have turned head-down.

At my appointment today, my doctor noticed that I had low platelets when they took my blood last week. she said normal is above 150,000 per mL, and mine was 124,000. Not anywhere near being "dangerously low," but if they remained below 150k, I wouldn't be allowed to have an epidural.

And that would be tragic.

Apparently, low platelets means your blood is thinner and slower to clot. And somehow, an epidural is dangerous if your blood won't clot. so let's just hope that my platelets go up before October!

Otherwise, we're doing well. I feel like I've been more tired this week, but then again, Declan has been skipping his nap, which means I'm skipping mine, too. :)

Speaking of sleep, I'm going to start getting ready for bed. My favorite time of day!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Week Thirty-One

Week 31 of pregnancy: August 10-17, 2011

Symptoms: Ouuuuuuuchhh.

Well, this week has been exceptionally painful.

I thought when I left the hospital that I was in the clear - that Asher must have turned in such a way the made it very painful for a while, but he had moved, and now we were fine.

I was wrong.

He must have gotten back in the painful position yesterday, because I was, once again, in tears last night. I tried laying down in bed, but that hurt more than anything. So I tried to recreate the hospital bed position by sleeping in the recliner. This worked pretty well - I can imagine many more nights of recliner sleeping in the next 9 weeks. Helped the heartburn, too.

I seriously *hate* calling in to work, because I know how bitchy my coworkers are when someone calls in, especially if they've done it more than once recently. So I sucked it up and walked the most painful 1.5 miles of my life to work this morning. Made it to about 9 am before I just couldn't stand it anymore and had to come home.

This time, the pain is more evenly spread across my whole lower belly, and it feels like every muscle fiber is just being torn apart. Which may well be exactly what is happening. I have no idea how to fix it. And sometimes when he moves a certain way, pressing some baby body part into my hip bone, it's all I can do not to scream.

I really, really, really hope that this doesn't continue for the next 9 weeks.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Our Recent Adventure

Here's the scoop:

Yesterday morning as I was walking to work, I felt like I had a stitch in my right side. It was weird because I walk a lot, usually much faster than I was going, and I never feel pains like that. But I just blew it off.

The throughout my work day, the pain got worse and worse. By 1 pm, I was in tears and could barely walk, although I was keeping a brave face in front of my coworkers and the residents. I didn't want people to think I was being overly dramatic.

Aaron picked me up early and I laid down in bed. I was miserable. the entire right side of my belly felt like it had been ripped open from the inside, and my entire abdomen was super tender - which was only made worse by a hyper toddler who kept attempting to snuggle and climb on me.

When i got up from bed to pee, I honestly thought I might be dying. It hurt so bad, it took me at least 15 minutes to find a way to get up from our mattress on the floor without collapsing from the pain. After I walked across the house and peed, I felt a little better. It seemed like the pain was worst when I had to move from a position that I had stayed in for a while.

I spent most of the afternoon curled up on the couch, still in pain, but trying to shift my weight every so often. I didn't feel like eating the fabulous casserole that Aaron made for dinner - I was starting to feel chilly and achy, and my eyes were burning. Surefire signs of a fever.

My temp was just a couple tenths of a degree above normal, though. So I relaxed a little bit. I sat back down and did some kick counting. Asher was moving excellently, I wasn't too worried about him. I had no idea what the pain was from, but Asher seemed fine, and that's what counts. But my fever symptoms kept getting worse.

I took my temp again, and this time it was 99.6. I asked Aaron's opinion - should we go the ER, or stick it out til morning and make a Dr's appointment? With the fever (low-grade as it was) in the picture, my mind started jumping to things like uterine infections. Aaron suggested that I call the First Nurse hotline. The nurse who answered encouraged me to go to the ER immediately. She said it could be nothing, but they really need to check for placental abruption whenever there's sharp pain like that. So in we went.

They sent me straight to L&D, which I guess is policy for any woman pregnant with a viable baby. I was hooked up to monitors, an IV, and they took a bunch of blood and a urine sample. I had a gut feeling that everything would come back normal, since I had no symptoms besides pain and fever. And I was right - everything looked great. My temp was higher - 101.7 - and my pulse was high (110s to 130s) as was Asher's (160s-180s) but the rapid heartrates are to be expected with a fever. He was moving plenty and his HR went up when he moved, which indicates a healthy placenta (so they were no longer worried about abruption.) This is when I first started thinking, "So can I go home now?"

Laying in the hospital bed, my pain was practically zilch. When I got up to pee, I felt it, but not nearly as bad as the stabbing, searing pain that had me in tears earlier that day. I wondered if I had just wasted everyone's time.

The doctor on call came to see me. I expected her to send me home, I honestly did. But no. She was worried about appendicitis, given the location and severity of my pain, and my fever. She didn't want me to stay in Grinnell, because if they had to operate and something went wrong, GRMC doesn't have the equipment to take care of a preemie as young as Asher would be. She wanted to transfer me to a bigger hospital in Des Moines.

I thought it was extreme overkill. i didn't feel like I had appendicitis - the pain was along the side of my belly, not down inside where my organs would be. But, as many, many people told me throughout the night, better safe than sorry. They would rather monitor me and have it turn out to be nothing than send me home with undiagnosed appendicitis and have my appendix burst.

The ambulance ride to Des Moines was a long, long hour. Aaron dropped Declan off at Lindsey's and followed right behind us - he said later that he pretty much tailgaited the ambulance. He was pretty distraught. I can count on one hand the number of times I've seen my man cry, and last night was one of the most extreme displays of emotion I've seen so far. It was sweet. And a little funny, to me, because although I was the one facing surgery, I wasn't scared at all. I guess I just knew in my heart of hearts that I was fine.

We settled into our room at Mercy - more monitors, more IV fluids (I wasn't allowed to eat or drink, just in case I did need surgery), more blood taken. They brought Aaron a cot and we were both asleep within an hour or so. I couldn't sleep well. I am a restless sleeper these days - I have to move to keep my hips from aching - but I wasn't allowed due to the monitors strapped across my belly. Finally, at 2:30 am, the nurse let me take the monitors off (I had been on for 4 hours and everything looked perfect... I could have told you that would happen) and I was allowed to get comfy and sleep a little. She said that the doctors would start showing up around 5 am to poke and prod.

I woke up at 5, got up to pee, and felt almost no pain. I remember rolling my eyes, because now I was SURE that I was here for nothing. I missed Declan. I was worried about how much this would all cost. I was worried that the doctors and nurses would scoff at me behind my back for coming in for a little ligament pain. But I had to remind myself just how severe it had been on Sunday - that was not normal.

The surgeons felt my belly. The nurses checked my vitals. The bloodwork was back. Nothing was wrong. Fever was gone, pain was lessening (although my belly still felt very achy - the way you might feel the day after a surgery.) I had an ultrasound. Asher is 3 lbs, 13 oz, and perfect in every way. No bleeds in the placenta, nothing. I did notice when she measured his head that it was about 2-3 weeks ahead of the average for his age... But that's to be expected :) I also noticed that he's laying straight across my belly, head on the right, butt on the left, legs tucked.

The head OB came in after reviewing my U/S results, around 10:30. He said that he couldn't see any reason to keep me there. I asked if he had any idea what the pain could have been from. He agreed with me that it sounded like more than just normal pregnancy pain, but that they couldn't find any real cause. A medical mystery. Aaron was (and is) not a happy camper that they couldn't figure it out. I don't really care, as long as the pain is gone.

Anyway, we were going home! Hooray! I started peeling the corners of my IV tape up. I was beyond ready to go home and see my baby. All we needed was word from the surgeon that it was okay to release me, and since they had already decided that I didn't have appendicitis, I thought that process couldn't take long.

I was wrong. We waited. And waited. Finally, a little after noon, my nurse came in and told me I could eat. So apparently the surgeon had cleared me to eat, but not go home? I was confused, but so grateful. I was starving. Aaron went down to the cafeteria and bought us both big, hearty salads, and I got full off maybe half of mine. While Aaron was finishing his food, the nurse came in with the good news that the surgeon had cleared me, so she could take out my IV and have me sign discharge papers. I was so anxious to leave that I literally stood at Aaron's shoulder watching him eat, holding my bags.

We hightailed it home (stopping to get Lindsey a slushie from her favorite truck stop - it was the least we could do after her long night trying to get our stubborn toddler to sleep!) I did notice a bit more pain when I walked, almost like a pulled muscle along my side. But it was still SO much better than the day before.

At home, I was exhausted. My night of interrupted sleep had caught up with me. I laid on the couch and tried to snooze, but Declan kept pushing the Playstation controller in my face and asking for "CHOO CHOO! CHOO CHOO!" (AKA episodes of Thomas the Tank Engine on Netflix.) My pain was significantly worse laying there, but I had faith that when I got up and moving again, it would be back down. Sure enough.

I still have some sharp twinges, mostly when Asher kicks / headbutts me especially hard. But I am going to work tomorrow, just to try, and Aaron will definitely go to work. i am glad the whole episode is over, but it's left me feeling guilty. I just have to keep repeating that if it had been something real, and I hadn't gone in, I would never be able to forgive myself. better safe than sorry. I just wish that the doctors had been a little more conservative and less "OMG lets get you to a hospital with a NICU, you might have surgery tonight AHHH!"

Anyway, this is long enough. I just wanted to get it all documented.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Week Thirty

Week 30 of pregnancy: August 3 - 10, 2011

Symptoms: No changes from last week. Lots of heartburn, lots of baby movement, which can be uncomfortable at times.

A pretty calm week around here. We did a big batch of baby clothes shopping on Saturday because it was tax free weekend - both boys made out pretty well at Carter's and The Children's Place, for not that much money. I think we're pretty set for clothes for Asher, although I'm sure we'll pick up a few things here and there after he's born to "fill in the gaps" so to speak.

I can't believe I'm in week thirty already. Only 70 days until my due date! People keep asking me if I think he'll be early or late, and I can't decide. On one hand, I hear that second babies generally come earlier. And with me working so hard, I feel like I'll progress quicker and / or put myself into labor. On the other hand, I walked around at 3 cm dilated for weeks with Declan, and never felt a single contraction until they started the pitocin.

All I ask is that he doesn't come *exactly* on his due date, AKA Declan's second birthday.

I am pumped to be 3o weeks. I'm still feeling great, not whiny at all, just excited. Let's do this. The last 10 weeks of pregnancy are tough. But you get the best prize ever at the end.

Okay, gotta change a stinky diaper. I can't wait for potty training.

Tonight's Conversation

I love that Declan is learning words. It makes life more fun. Especially when he will try a new word, and it comes out all wrong, but we clap and cheer anyway, because he made an effort. A lot of times when we ask him to say a new word, he will just smile at us like "You know full well I can't say that, silly Mama."

So here's what went down tonight. Nothing too exciting, but it was so cute that I wanted to record it. For a few years down the road when he talks non stop, to remind myself that there was once a time when we were overjoyed with each new word and sound.

Declan: (holds up empty cup) Unh!
Me: Is it all gone? Say 'all gone!'
Declan: (smiles at me like I'm crazy and tries to put cup in my hand)
Me: Do you want more? You have to say 'more!'
Declan: Umm?
Me: Yes! More!
Declan: Uh-mah!
Me: Good job! More! Now say 'please!'
Declan: Sees!
Me: (getting up from couch to refill the sippy) More please!
Declan: Mah! Sees! EEEEEES!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Weeks Twenty-five Through Twenty-nine

Weeks 25-29 of pregnancy: June 29 - August 3, 2011

Symptoms: Heartburn like crazy, baby movement like crazy

I'll admit it, I'm a slacker. We've had a really busy month, and while I have thought about writing an update, it was never quite the right time, I was never in quite the right mood (or Declan wasn't in the right mood to let me!)

On the bright side, I now have a lot to write about!

The most exciting thing for me is that we've officially decided on a name for Baby Brother: Asher Wesley. Hurrah! It only took 27 long weeks :)

On July 27, I had both my glucose test (longest 3 hours of my life, trying to entertain Declan at the hospital in between blood draws) and my 28 week doctor's appointment. Everything came back perfect. Asher is measuring a week ahead, but that's to be expected. I make big boys. He also gave Dr. Thompson and I a good laugh by kicking the doppler while she was trying to listen to his heartbeat. Like, right on the money.

I am thrilled to be in my third trimester! I will be even more thrilled next Wednesday when I hit 30 weeks. I still have a lot I want to get done before he comes, but selfishly, I want time to go by as fast as possible, so that I can meet my new baby!

Monday, July 11, 2011

I'm Silly

Okay, I'm going to do a combined week 25 & 26 update next week. But tonight I'm bored and want to do some brainstorming.

This year, I get to dress up TWO little boys at Halloween! Neither of them can pick what they want to be, really. So of course we'll make them coordinate :) Hey, they won't do it for long, might at well take advantage of the cuteness!

Batman & Robin

Elmo & Cookie Monster

Pirate & Parrot

Monkey & Banana

Football player & Football

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Week Twenty-Four

Week 24 of pregnancy: June 22-29, 2011

Symptoms: Nothing new, lots of baby kicks and rolls!

I had a doctor's appointment today, which was pretty boring other than the fact that I've finally gained weight (8 lbs!)

But what's exciting to me is that my next appointment (the NEXT one!) is the glucose tolerance test! Which means I'll be in my third trimester! And that appointment will mark the beginning of my every-two-weeks appointments! That's just crazy.

Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself, because I that magical appointment is still four weeks away, but I have a feeling that the month of July is going to fly by. I mean, Monday is the 4th of July already! Then we have a couple of weeks that I'm *hoping* will be filled with trips to the pool (and buying our double stroller!) before our "big" vacation to Omaha. And then it's appointment time! I just know it's going to be here in the blink of an eye.

The other big news in our lives is that Declan had to get stitches in his chin - poor baby! The neighbor kid was mowing and ran over an old motorcycle kickstand, it flew straight into Declan's chin where he was standing by our car, 30 feet away. Luckily Lindsey was already there, waiting in her car for us, so we just rushed to the ER where they had to sedate him, scrub the wound, and put in a bunch of stitches. Upwards of twenty.

Luckily, he's healing well and acting like nothing happened. The neighbors are being pretty crappy about it, but oh well. As long as he's okay. We're just thankful that it didn't hit him in a worse spot.

Even though it was in no way his fault, I still feel like this is my initiation into the world of raising rambunctious boys.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Re: Rain

Sweet baby Jesus, please let it stop.

Thank you for sending some to Texas. But I really meant send ALL of it.

It is officially summer now, and I'm still pasty, porcelain white. Can a girl get a few days of sunshine, here?


Weeks Twenty-two & Twenty-three

Week 22 of pregnancy: June 8-15, 2011
Week 23 of pregnancy: June 15-22, 2011

Symptoms: Waddling?

These weeks have been similarly uneventful, so I chose to combine them.

I've been walking with Lindsey a few times, we go 3-4 miles at a time, and it feels great to get the exercise. However, the next day at work I waddle. You win some, you lose some. The waddling usually goes away after a day of rest. But there's no denying that Baby Brother is sitting low between my hips, and they ache like the dickens after either too much or too little activity (ie, sleeping in one position for more than an hour.)

I have to wake up every hour or so just to roll over and relieve the ache, but I get terrible heartburn in every position except lying on my left side. So I have to weigh the pain in my hips with the pain in my esophagus, and decide which one I want to get rid of. The obvious solution would be to keep Tums on the bedside table, but there's really no way to do that without Declan eating them all. I learned that the hard way.

I officially asked for the weekend of my birthday off of work so that we can go to the Omaha zoo! I love planning trips. Honestly, I've never planned a vacation that isn't a trip to see family. I get to make an itinerary and book a hotel room, what? It may seem contradictory to my disorganized homemaking habits, but I LOVE planning.

So far I'm thinking we'll start driving early Saturday morning, around 6 or 7, and go straight to the zoo. We'll have lunch there, hopefully stay all afternoon, then find a restaurant for dinner. We'll swim at the hotel pool, get a good night sleep, and eat free breakfast (still hotel shopping.) In the morning I want to go to Fontenelle park to play at the splash pad and playground, go have lunch, then head to the Omaha Children's Museum afterward. After that, we might pack up and head home so that the babies can nap in the car. I'd like to be in Des Moines by dinnertime, so that I can have a nice birthday dinner. Sounds like an awesome and busy birthday weekend to me!

Before we go on our little trip, I'd really like to get our double stroller. I've been shopping around like crazy, but I can't find it anywhere for less than the MSRP, $429. Mom offered to pay for half as my birthday present, which would be awesome. I'm thinking I'll use my paycheck that's coming on July 13th, buy it somewhere with free 2-day shipping, and hopefully have it by zoo time. Since Lindsey is coming with us, I figure Declan and Delana can test it out for us! :)

I can't believe it's almost time for another doctor's appointment (a week from Friday). Baby Brother is getting so big! I can't wait to meet him.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Missing Austin

It's clody, cool and rainy today, as it has been for 3/4 of the last 3 months. There have been exactly TWO days that it has been warm and sunny enough to go to the pool. And we're halfway through June.


So, needless to say, I'm feeling pretty homesick for Texas, where we start swimming in April and don't have to quit 'til October. I can't wait to visit for Thanksgiving. Although it will be too cool to swim, at least we'll be able to hang out comfortably outside, while up here in the Great White North, it will probably be snowing. Ha.

Here is a list of things I would like to do while in Austin:

- Take the boys to the zoo
- Walk the hike & bike trail
- Ride the train at Zilker Park
- Eat a Thundercloud sub
- Spend some quality time in my favorite recliner at Mom's house
- Play with Declan at a playground that actually has other kids
- Eat real Mexican food
- Play Apples to Apples with my family
- Stuff myself silly at Thanksgiving
- Buy Declan & Baby Brother TEXAS shirts
- Take lots of pictures
- Somehow figure out a way to bottle heat and sunshine, and bring it back to this miserably gray state.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Week Twenty-One

Week Twenty-One of pregnancy: June 1-8, 2011

Symptoms: Itchy belly, a little nesting

As you already know, it's a boy!! I am so excited. We have it narrowed down to 3 names for Baby Brother: Archer, Holden, and Jonah. I think it will end up being Archer, but we have to go through the whole bureaucracy of voting and compromising.

I am way more pumped than I expected about having a boy. And my immense excitement and happiness is making it hard for me to deal with other people, who seem disappointed, or expect me to be disappointed.

Take Aaron for example. He admitted that he would have liked a girl better. He went on to say that he's having trouble thinking of this baby as anything other than an expense. And that he felt he'd have trouble not favoring Declan. I got so sad! I love this little baby so much already, I can't imagine other people not loving him the same way. Especially his dad!

Friends and coworkers, upon finding out that it's a boy, have given me sad puppy faces and asked "how I'm dealing with it." WTF? It's my CHILD. He's my SON. No one asked if I was disappointed that Declan was a boy, everyone was excited right along with me. I think that, amongst women especially, the pressure to have a baby girl is huge. Or maybe I'm imagining that because I'd love to have a baby girl someday. But that day is NOT now or in October, and that's FINE. Gah, I just want to wear a sign around my neck saying "I'm having another baby boy, and I'm excited about it. You can be, too!"

Rant over. Change subject.

Our swing is here!! I'm way more into this swing than is normal. Click here to see it. So cute, right? It's super soft, too. I was worried that it would be too girly for a boy (I bought it before we knew), but it's really perfectly unisex, leaning boyish, if anything. Mostly cream & brown, with some green. I set it up already, a decision which I may well regret, considering our rambunctious toddler. But I couldn't resist!

I also bought a few outfits last Friday, and made an order with The Children's Place today (they're having a semi-annual sale) which included 4 pairs of socks, a sleeper, and a pair of jeans for Baby Bro. An online mom friend of mine is sending us all of her son's old newborn stuff, free of charge. I'm not going to get my hopes up about it, since everyone has different taste, but we should get at least a few usable things out of it!

Declan is lounging on the floor right now, playing with his bellybutton and watching Sesame Street. If it stays hot today (it's been 95+ for the last two days!) we're planning on heading to the pool this afternoon! But scattered t-storms are predicted, so we may end up with a trip to the playground, if it's cloudy. Mama doesn't do swimming if it's below 90 or cloudy. :)

Another Reminder

New Year's resolution 2012: Join the National Bone Marrow Registry.

You have to recover from delivery first, so I won't be eligible until December anyway. It's fast, easy, and can save lives. My kind of resolution.

I would encourage anyone over 18 to join as soon as they can.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Reminder for Later

Much later.

I've figured it out by consulting multiple calendars and gender charts. I'd like to conceive Declan and B.B.'s little sister in mid-late May 2015, so that she's due in early February 2016. That way Baby Bro and Declan can both be in school (well, preschool at least) and I can have some time to myself.

I know this is silly, but like I just did a bunch of work to figure that out (just for curiosity's sake) and I wanted to write it down.

Friday, June 3, 2011


That's right, Declan is going to have a baby brother!

I am so excited. I thought that I would be less excited for a boy than a girl, but I am honestly super pumped right now. They will be best buddies! Plus, we can reuse all of the cute clothes that Declan only got to wear a few times! Haha.

Here is my very favorite picture of Baby Brother:

His profile looks a lot like Declan's did, but I can see the differences, too. Declan's forehead was a little different... Lower maybe? And Baby Brother's nose has a little more of a turn-up to it, more like his Mama's did as a baby :) Maybe this will be my blue-eyed boy, too! Here is a comparison of Declan's ultrasound pic (18 weeks along, May 2009) and Baby Brother's (20 weeks along, June 2011).

Now we have to get down to the naming battle, because it is very weird to know that he is a boy, but not be able to call him by name. It may be a long road, since Aaron and I have such different taste. I wouldn't be surprised if we took multiple names to the hospital with us (although that would NOT be my preference, I like knowing his name beforehand!)

I can't wait to meet my new baby boy!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Week Twenty!

Week Twenty of Pregnancy: May 25 - June 1, 2011

Symptoms: Belly growing, hips aching at night

Man, this week has been crazy. Not pregnancy wise, just... life in general.

Monday, Aaron was off of work. I was exhausted from the weekend, and got frustrated when I couldn't relax when I got home from work, but had to join in the outing for ice cream and the park. Then that night, Lindsey's grandma died.

Tuesday I was double exhausted, and the state inspectors showed up at work. That work day was the craziest I've had in a long time. Lindsey called Aaron that morning to tell him that her grandma's funeral is scheduled for the same time as our ultrasound, so she wouldn't be able to babysit.

Wednesday, Declan had diarrhea and I had to change TEN blowout poopy diapers, including puddles of poop in various places around the house.

Today, the state inspectors wanted to watch me take care of people at work. It was like a test in school, but way more nerve wracking because you can't get fired from school. Then I found out that Aaron has to work mandatory overtime tomorrow, and can't make it to the ultrasound. So this afternoon, I was hunting for a babysitter like crazy, because there's no way that Declan could hang out in the ultrasound room for an hour.

Finally, I got a hold of Aaron's dad, who promised me that between him and Aaron's grandma, someone will be able to watch Declan tomorrow. So now I am starting to get excited again, instead of stressed.

I'll be updating more tomorrow, I'm sure!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Week Nineteen

Week Nineteen of Pregnancy: May 18-25, 2011

Symptoms: Tired, random & unpleasant waves of emotion (ie, suddenly wanting to cry for no apparent reason!)

Despite my whiny symptoms, we've had a pretty good week. Last weekend the weather was nice, so we had our first cookout - Lindsey and her kids came over and we set up a badminton net, plus Aaron took the boys to the store for food and came home with water guns :) So we grilled and played and talked until it got dark. It was extremely relaxing and satisfying. Spending fun time with family makes me not so homesick.

After that, though, the weather's been rather gloomy and cold. I had to wear two jackets to walk to work this morning. Of course, my intolerance to the slightest cool breeze is also to blame, but seriously, it was chilly. I'm hoping this coming weekend is nice, since Aaron has four days off. Maybe we'll finally get to go on that family hike / picnic that I've been daydreaming of, before I get too uncomfortable to hike.

Speaking of uncomfortable, I've started noticing little things that remind me of what it's like to actually have a BIG belly. Like when I walk to work, toward the end I start to get out of breath - that never happened before. And I keep bumping my belly on stuff at work because I'm not used to it sticking out. I know I'll look back on this in 20 weeks or so and be like, "HA! You thought it was big then??"

Now I'm off to peruse the Pottery Barn Kids catalog I got today and torture myself by looking at BOTH the slue and the pink stuff! (Only 8 more days...)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Weeks Seventeen & Eighteen

Week seventeen of pregnancy: May 4 - 11, 2011
Week eighteen of pregnancy: May 11-18, 2011

Symptoms: Tired.

It's been a pretty good two weeks. We're in a good nap routine after work, although it does eat up most of the afternoon. But that's been okay, because it's been col and/or rainy all month so far. I am ready for some hot weather and sunshine! To buy a baby pool and slather on sunscreen, to buy veggies at the farmer's market and to wear comfy shorts and sundresses!

By this point in my pregnancy with Declan, we knew he was a boy - I am beyond ready to find out what we're expecting this time around! I was so much less anxious about it the first time. The pregnancy hardly even seemed real then, we certainly weren't ready to start buying baby gear. It also didn't make so much of a difference the first time around, I don't think. We had nothing, we'd have to buy it anyway, pink or blue.

Baby bean is kicking up a storm in there, mostly in the evening. When I'm relaxing on the couch, I'll feel a flurry of kicks and rolls, but when I put my hand down there to see if they can be felt from the outside, baby stops. What a stinker! I mostly feel the movement very low, although I can feel the top of my uterus right around my belly button. Baby certainly has a lot of room to swim around in there!

My bellybutton is starting to change shape again, which I love. I know some people are self-conscious about their bellybuttons popping out, but I'm borderline obsessed. Bellybutton skin is so weird and soft and squishy! Mine's not sicking out yet, but it's getting shallower and tighter. It never went completely back to normal after Declan, though.

Can't wait for the 19 week update, because that means I'll only have one week left until the ultrasound!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Week Sixteen

Week 16 of pregnancy: April 27 - May 4, 2011

Symptoms: Hungry all the time... big belly... are they connected? Yes.

Not much commentary again this week. Just waiting (not so) patiently for my appointment on Friday.

I've been craving fruit again (I did with Declan, too, so please no one tell me that this means it's a girl!) Strawberries, plums, nectarines... Yum. But I've mostly been settling for apples. Other cravings? Grilled cheese (have had one for breakfast two days in a row), baked potatoes (making those tonight), anything with lemon pepper. Every night I make some kind of veggies, and I always add a healthy dose of lemon pepper to mine. It makes all veggies better!

Declan has been napping so well lately. Always at least an hour, usually two, at a relatively predictable time in the mid-afternoon. I'm hoping against hope that this schedule lasts until the baby is born. It would be nice to have chunk of time in the afternoon with just one child awake, so that I can get some stuff done that's hard to do with a toddler underfoot. I'm not so optimistic as to think that the baby would nap at the same time, but oh, that would be heavenly!

Speaking of getting stuff done, I'm off to finish the dishes and start dinner before the kiddo wakes up.

Just Remembered

Becky and I baked dozens of yummy oatmeal raisin cookies the night before I went to be induced. It was a great distraction, a way to get out of the house (we baked at Sue's), and the nurses got a delicious snack the next morning.

I had totally forgotten about baking cookies.

I want to do it again, but I also don't really want to be induced again, so hopefully I'll be kind of guessing that "this is it!" Maybe every time I have a few good contractions I'll make a batch... and if it turns out not to be labor, I'll eat them.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Week Fifteen

Pregnancy Week 15: April 20-27, 2011

Symptoms: Peeing more, belly growing, kinda tired and moody, feeling baby move more

Not much to report this week regarding the pregnancy. Seems like my belly is really starting to pop lately - I know that I should start taking pictures, but I never feel like I look nice enough to want to document it.

Declan is officially one and a half, which is cool.

We had a fun Easter, despite me having to work all weekend. On Friday, we had Declan's spring pictures taken at O'Connor's (Aaron is picking them up as I type), then we went to the outlet mall and got him some clothes, including a cute easter outfit - new jeans and a light blue button-down from Old Navy.

Saturday, Aaron brought Declan up to St. Francis for their easter egg hunt. Unfortunately, it started at 10:00 and Aaron got there at 10:03... and all the eggs were gone. A kind coworker had her 2-year-old daughter give Declan a couple of her eggs, although he didn't seem to care too terribly much. He was more excited to just run around entertaining the residents and dancing.

On Sunday I worked until 2, then got home and had an awesome, long, relaxing bath while Declan napped. We drove to Knoxville and had Easter dinner at Ronnette's house with her parents, kids, and grandkids. Mmm, hamballs. Ha. We also hunted easter eggs there, and Declan didn't do too shabby, thanks to everyone pointing out eggs and leading him to them. If left to his own devices, he would have just picked up one egg, opened it, and been distracted by the candy.

So that was Easter.

We also talked a little bit about baby names in the car one day. We only talked boy names, because apparently that's where our strongest disagreements lie. Aaron nixed my entire list, including the name that he had said yes to just a couple months ago, Archer. Boo. Now he's stuck on Urijah, Keegan, Hunter, Magnus... Oh, I don't even remember them all. I know that Meadow (for a boy), Willow (for a boy), Brick, Stone, and Wolf were thrown in there. After a while I just gave up and dropped the subject. We'll wait until we know the sex, THEN we'll argue.

Speaking of knowing the sex, only three more weeks (hopefully!)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I Wonder.

Have you ever gotten the feeling that people might be annoyed with you, but you can't figure out what you've done?

I've been getting that feeling at work the past few days.

Part of me thinks that everyone is just tired and kind of in bad moods in general, but the self-conscious side of me is like, "What did I do?!"

It's very disconcerting to smile at someone in the hallway and not have them smile back. Or to try and add something to a conversation only to be ignored.

Maybe I should take a talking hiatus. It seems like everyone likes the quiet people who are good listeners. Which is usually me, but I really thought I was making friends with a lot of these girls, so I felt more comfortable showing my talkative side. I'm still a good listener, though.

It makes the day go so much longer to just work in silence. But I'll try it out on Thursday and see if people are nicer.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Weeks Thirteen & Fourteen

Pregnancy week 13: April 6-13, 2011
Pregnancy week 14: April 13-20, 2011

Symptoms: Peeing a ton, belly growing a lot, still kinda tired but with bursts of energy

I'm combining these weeks not because I forgot to post, but because not much is happening at this point. The nausea is gone, I'm less tired... I guess it's all a part of beginning the (glorious) second trimester!

With Declan, the "magical" mark was closer to 10 weeks, but I think that's also because I had so much less to do. A couple hours of class per day (at which I sat down and listened), then eating, lounging, and spending time with Aaron. Life is polar opposite these days. 8.5 hours of hard, physical work, then all day taking care of a high-energy, needy toddler.

I think back fondly on the days when I only had to worry about myself, and what *I* wanted to eat, etc. And don't get me wrong, by "think back fondly," I don't mean I'd like for it to be that way again. I just mean that I regret taking those days for granted while they lasted!

At my appointment on Friday the 8th, I heard the baby's heartbeat - what a relief! I love that woosh-woosh-woosh sound. It never ceases to be amazing and beautiful. The doctor said I was measuring right on track, everything seems to be going fine. Whew.

People have started commenting on my belly - and I love it. I can't wait to have a nice rounded belly and to feel all those kicks and rolls. Of course I'd love that anyway, but I think the fact that I thought (multiple times) that I was losing this baby makes me savor the belly and the pregnancy in general even more.

Speaking of kicks and rolls, I've been feeling flutters! I actually think I felt the first one a few days before my appointment, so, right around the 12 weeks mark. But they were teeny, tiny flutters, and I wasn't even *positive* that it was the baby. But now, I'm positive! Little bitty kicks and flutters. I love it.

2.5 more weeks until my next appointment, at which we'll schedule the BIG ultrasound! They won't do it until 18 weeks. So I am aiming for having it done THE morning that I turn 18 weeks, Wednesday, May 18. But it will have to be at just the right time, since Aaron will have to work the night before and that day. So if not then, we'll aim for anytime on Friday the 20th. I can't wait!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Week Twelve

Pregnancy Week Twelve: March 30 - April 6, 2011

Symptoms: Peeing more, runaway emotions, hunger, some nausea in evenings, FATIGUE

I have a stuffy nose this week. And a headache. And my mother-in-law and stepfather-in-law are in town.

Here's what I need: A long nap. Here's what I have to look forward to each day: A rambunctious toddler who is so distracted by having guests in the house that he WILL. NOT. NAP! But he *will* get so tired that he throws blocks at my head and cries for an hour straight before passing out in my lap.

On the bright side (literally), it has been gorgeous outside this week. Temps from 65-80, mostly sunny - perfect playground weather. And despite my fatigue and terrible mood, we've made the most of it. Declan can now run across the bouncy bridge and go down the slide by himself! He's getting so big. I can't wait for him to teach his little brother or sister all about the playground. :)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Weeks Ten & Eleven

Pregnancy Week 10: March 16 - 23, 2011
Pregnancy Week 11: March 23 - 30, 2011

Symptoms: Nausea here and there, fatigue, peeing a little more (or is it in my head?)

Yes, I skipped an update. Life has been an annoying mixture of lazy and crazy. And I think, in the back of my mind, I'm still worried about the baby actually being alive in there. Sometimes when writing these updates I think, "Man, this will suck if I have a miscarriage and have to look back at these updates when going through my blog history."

But of course, I will try to remain optimistic.

My symptoms seem to be abating. Nausea still happens once in a while, but it's no longer a nightly occurrence. Even the belly bloat has gone down somewhat.

My mother-in-law and stepfather-in-law are coming next Sunday. I have to find the energy to clean the house. No idea where I'll find it, but it's gotta happen.

A week from Friday I have my next doctor's appointment. I am already on the edge of my seat, because I know that she'll use the doppler this time. Hearing that little heartbeat will work wonders for my anxiety.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Intelligender Disappointment

So here's how my Intelligender test turned out:

I can't tell which it is!

The dark green is for boy. The orange is for girl.

Mine is neither! I'm having a hermaphrodite baby!

Here's the more in-depth analysis (because you KNOW I've been scouring the internet for tips ever since I took it at 7 am.)

Most people who got "boy" results had very dark, army green. No orange at all. People who got "girl" results *sometimes* had clear orange, but most of the time people report having some green particles in there. One person said that when she emailed Intelligender for help reading her test (I did this too, waiting to hear back), they said to disregard particles.

If you disregard particles, mine is a GIRL. But I'm not entirely convinced...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Resolution, and Intelligender!

Well, the darling husband doesn't think he's going to be fired after all. So that's good.

Also, I got a raise! Aaron was all smiles when I told him. I think that little boost of income will help him to be a little less anxious about his job.

Today, I celebrated by buying the Intelligender test! I'll take it first thing in the morning, and I'm sure I'll update then.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Stress. What Else Is New?

When I was pregnant with Declan, I knew that things were going to be stressful. Ending college, moving cross-country, setting up a new house, trying to find jobs, insurance... I pretty much expected that my life would be in upheaval for a while. The upheaval lasted much longer than expected, however, when Aaron couldn't seem to stick with one job and was constantly changing his plan. We went from Wheatsville, to cooking, to personal training school all before Declan was born. Then there was the hypothetical chicken farm, and moving to Iowa, then THREE different jobs up here before he got the one he has now.

I used to think I liked change. I liked to mix up my routine, be spontaneous, do things that were unexpected. But when you add a child into the mix, I want NO CHANGE. I want to live in this house, keep our same jobs, our insurance, doctor, I don't even want to change our freaking CABLE plan until after this baby is born.

But things aren't going my way. Aaron thinks he's going to be fired on Monday, because he saw an ad for his job in the paper. Not HIS job, specifically, but an opening for a position like his. So he wants to quit preemptively, and start looking for another job ASAP. Now, this alone wouldn't send me over the edge of the stress-cliff. But in the past couple of weeks, Aaron has been dropping a lot of worrisome hints that he would like to make a change... Some are blatant - "I want to move to Mashalltown or Ames." "I'm going to apply at [insert random place of business here]." While others are veiled as being "for me" - "I think I found a way that we can move back to Texas."

And then there's the beer distribution company that he wants to open with his friend. Now Aaron has a lot of ideas. Mostly ideas that he thinks will make us rich. We have semi-followed through on two of them - Personal training and chicken farming. He took out a loan for PT school, made it almost all the way through, and quit. He found out / thought it was a hoax, and that the certification he'd get wasn't worth anything. Then chicken farming... well, that may well have been a ruse just to get back to Iowa. But he did get all of the stuff to raise chicks from his friend, borrowed more money for supplies, then never got started. Not even close. The chicken stuff is in our basement.

So you can see why I'm worried about his new beer distributing plan. It could definitely work. I want so badly to be behind him 100%. But he made awesome, convincing pitches for personal training and chicken farming, too.

On top of this job debacle, I just found out that while I'm on maternity leave, I'll still have to pay the insurance premiums that usually come out of my paychecks. That's $199 every two weeks. There's no way we can afford to pay that for 12 weeks while I'm brining home next to nothing. So we need to find different insurance for Declan and the new baby.

I am so frustrated with the whole situation that I honestly feel like quitting my job, taking Declan in my arms, and running away to live in the woods. Or go live with the Amish. I could learn to like bonnets if it meant not having to deal with this shit.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Scrub-a-dub, Sirens and SLEEP!

Tonight in the bath, Declan put soap on his hands, lathered it up, and rubbed it all over his body while cracking up. It's the first time I've seen him do that! One more step on the road to independence.

In other news, the tornado sirens went off tonight, as a thunderstorm was passing over us. I was just getting ready to pack up some snacks, sippy cups, and toys, and head for the basement, when the sirens stopped. The radar seemed to show that the worst had already passed over us.

And the best news of all, Declan and I both got a ridiculously wonderful, extra-long afternoon nap today. Now I know the secret - don't lay on the couch, lay in BED. It's darker, and there are fewer toys to be distracted by. And there's much more room on the bed for a squirmy toddler to lay down and chill. We slept from about 4 to 6:30. Yessss. It's the only reason I'm conscious enough right now to write this.

And with that, I think I'll crawl back between the sheets.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Week Nine

Pregnancy Week 9: March 9-16, 2011

Symptoms: Extreme fatigue, some nausea, a little extra peeing

Week Nine. Sigh. Time seems to be dragging.

I thought that my nausea was over, but it's back with a vengeance tonight. Shouldn't have eaten that pot roa... oh, I can't even type it.

Declan has been such a pill lately. He loves to climb all over me, jump on me, hit, pull hair, throw toys, stick fingers up my nose... And I have no idea what to do. I can only redirect so many times - he just comes straight back at me for another beating. And my patience is so small these days. Sometimes I just break down crying because I honestly feel like he KNOWS that it's driving me crazy, and is just being a bully. Of course when I cry, he laughs. I know deep down that this is normal toddler stuff. I just wish Declan could somehow grasp the concept of "leave Mommy alone for a few minutes so that she can breathe!"

We do have our good moments. He can be very cuddly and huggy and sweet. I just haven't seen very much of the sweet Declan in the past few days. I miss him.

The best part of this week was Mom and Katherine coming to visit! I was so happy that my "morning" sickness was gone, so that we could eat freely. However, my fatigue seemed to hit extra hard - the first night they were here, I fell asleep in the recliner at like 8 pm. I felt bad that I had so little energy, but they were very understanding.

Looking forward to week 10. Then it's Intelligender time!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Week Eight

Pregnancy Week Eight: March 1-8, 2011

Symptoms: Nausea, fatigue, fatigue, fatigue

I feel like I could sleep all day. Unfortunately, Declan has other plans. As does my job.

The nausea was actually a little better for a few days this week. Not consistently, but enough to give me hope that someday soon, I'll be able to eat like a normal person. I have perfected the art of eating tiny snacks every hour or so, which keeps the nausea at bay. But in the evenings, it seems to come whether I eat snacks or not. Oh well.

I am so excited that my mom and Katherine will be here on Tuesday! Less than a week! We're going to go to the outlet mall for sure, and I am so pumped to buy a pair of maternity jeans. And also a BellaBand, to keep my scrub pants up.

Other than shopping, I'm trying to think of things we can do... It's still snowy outside today, but the high the day that they arrive is *supposed* to be 53. We shall see. I have a feeling we'll spend a lot of time just hanging around the house anyway, given my current energy level.

I guess I'm getting off-topic. The pregnancy seems to be progressing well. My belly is growing, my nausea is still present, I'm tired as heck, and I only had one spotting incident this week. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that at my doctor's appointment on Friday, we get good news.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Week Seven

Pregnancy Week Seven: February 22 - March 1, 2011

Symptoms: Tons of nausea, fatigue, lack of appetite, sore boobs, emotional

So I skipped week six. I know. That's because I honestly wasn't sure if I was pregnant, or if I was, how much longer I would be pregnant. The spotting and cramping had me scared out of my mind. I mourned for a baby that I hadn't officially lost yet.

Now, I'm still spotting, but it's like the vagina who cried miscarriage - it's hard to take the spotting seriously. Every few days there's some pink when I wipe, but it's gone after a few hours. And I'm having loads of pregnancy symptoms, so I'm pretty sure I'm still with child.

Speaking of symptoms. The nausea is killing me. Usually when I first wake up, I can choke down a light breakfast. But about an hour later, it wants to came back up on me. Then I'm usually good for a while - hungry, even - until I eat lunch. I should have learned my lesson by now, not to eat more than like half a cup at a time, but when I'm working, I get so hungry around then. So I eat a real meal. And within minutes, I feel like dying. I usually throw up when I get home. And the evenings are just f-ing miserable. I definitely have more evening sickness than morning sickness. It's the worst from about 7 pm to 8 pm. I don't know what it is about that hour, but I've spent it curled up around the toilet more times than I can count on my hands.

That paragraph was just delightful, wasn't it? Here's the bright side: All that puking and moaning and groaning means that my baby bean is still in there, growing and making Mama sick. So while I can't wait for this phase to be over, I am thanking my lucky stars that I have so much proof that I'm still knocked up.

I was never this sick with Declan. But from what I remember, the nausea started to fade away around 9-10 weeks. So maybe I only have two or three weeks left of this crap. Hopefully.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Seeing Spots

More scary stuff.

The spotting had completely stopped Sunday night, all of Monday, and Tuesday morning. I thought we were in the clear. A one-time, freak thing, and baby was fine. Well, Tuesday afternoon, I started spotting bright red. The ER told me to come back if it was red, so, as an avid direction-follower, I went back.

They took more blood. They did a pelvic exam. My cervix was closed, according to the doctor. But seeing the speculum come out covered in blood was not a comforting sight. And when my blood test came back, my levels had risen, but were nowhere near where they should have been (Tuesday it was 11,800, and Sunday it was 15,900 - it should have doubled.)

Anyway, they sent me home, said go to your doctor's appointment in the morning, she'll give you an ultrasound. So that's what I did. The in-office ultrasound machine wasn't strong enough to see our tiny bean, so she scheduled me for an "internal ultrasound" (read: up the hoo-ha!) at the hospital.

Once there, I hoisted myself onto the table, spread my legs, they shoved the "probe" (that's really what it's called!) in, and there it was: my little baby with a tiny heartbeat, fluttering away! I almost cried. I had been expecting bad news. I had psyched myself up for the worst. And then I saw the amazing! Baby was measuring 6 weeks, 1 day - 1 day bigger than expected. Which in turn pushes my due date up to October 18th, the day BEFORE Declan's birthday. :)

We're not totally out of the woods yet. My numbers still didn't double like they should have, and I'm still spotting on and off. But my doctor says that once they see a heartbeat, the level of concern about those things drops considerably. Once there's a heartbeat, your chance of miscarriage goes down a LOT.

So I'm returning to work on Saturday, though I certainly won't be lifting heavy people by myself or running through the hallways or anything. I am just so happy to have seen that little bean. I hope that he or she sticks around.

Monday, February 21, 2011


So I mentioned how we've been sick?

Well Friday evening I started running a fever. I didn't take my temperature, because we were out and about, but I could just tell by that achy, chilly feeling. Finally about 10 pm I sent Aaron for Tylenol.

All day Saturday I laid around, miserable. I didn't want to take *too* much Tylenol, so between doses the fever would come back full force. It had me shivering and sweating, too weak to get up, absolutely pathetic.

On Sunday morning I noticed a little spot of pinkish-brown on the toilet paper when I wiped. Of course I made the mistake of googling "fever during pregnancy" - which resulted in me bawling, reading story after story of fevers causing miscarriages. I spent most of the morning going pack and forth to the bathroom, inspecting my toilet paper like some kind of spotting detective.

Around 1 pm, it was a much scarier shade of bright pink. I called the ER in tears, they told me to come in immediately. No question.

Well, my DARLING husband was at the gym and wasn't answering his phone. So I called my sister-in-law, who is also pretty much my best friend up here. She dropped everything, left her four kids to fend for themselves (don't panic, the oldest is 12 and he's really good) and came to pick me up.

My luck being what it is, her car got stuck in the mud in our driveway. And of course, Aaron had taken the new car (read: automatic, the only kind of car Lindsey and I can drive) so we had to take the truck (read: stick shift. Bumpy ride.)

We get to the hospital and go through the usual routine. Check in. Gown. Vitals. She asked me to pee in a cup and leave my toilet paper on top of the trash can. Well, wouldn't you know it, there was barely any pink that time. I know it's because I'd been wiping like a manic just before we left, trying to see how much pink was coming out. But I'm sure the nurses thought I was crazy for freaking out over *that.*

They obliged me and drew blood to check my HCG levels. One level (11,800) won't tell us anything. I'm going to my OB's office on Wednesday to get more blood drawn, and they'll tell me if the levels are going up like they should, or if they're dropping.

The good news is that I haven't had even the slightest spot of pink since I got home. I've also stayed horizontal 90% of the time, so that helps. I am slowly becoming more confident that this is NOT the end. I won't be totally calm until I see the my HCG is rising appropriately. Scratch that, I'll never be totally calm again. I'm a mom.