Tuesday, December 31, 2013

She's Here!

Rosalie June Miller was born the day after Christmas 12/26, one day past her due date at 6:53 pm. I had a drug-free VBAC with a whirlwind 4.5 hr labor from water breaking to delivery! She was 20 in long and 8 lb 2 oz. She has a lot of light brown hair and looks just like Lila! Mommy and baby are doing great!

I hope to share her birth story soon and more pictures as soon as I get around to it. For now, we are enjoying our girl at home!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Baby #2: 39 weeks

I'm 39 weeks tomorrow and I'm feeling pretty good. I went to the doctor on Monday and I am dilated to 1 cm! That doesn't sound like a lot to most people, but I was thrilled. That tells me that my body is progressing and is doing something earlier than last time! I wasn't 1cm until past 41 weeks with Lila. I know this still means I could go overdue, but I'll take it!

My blood pressure was pretty good (130 over 78) and I have very little swelling going on. I am having some Braxton Hicks and some cramps and back pain but nothing major. I go back on Dec 23 but I may reschedule for Dec 26 or 27, just to give myself a chance to go into labor without even going in to see the docs again before my due date. I mean really, what's the point?

Rosalie is still very active in there which is reassuring. I really don't have much to say other than we are just finishing up last minute Christmas shopping and activities and trying to get together with people before the baby comes. I don't have a true feeling either way, but I do want to meet her so I'd like her to come soon, but I'm fine with her waiting until after Christmas.

I'm excited to have my family come visit us for a week next week but they may be sick of us if they end up having to come right back if the baby isn't here yet and then decides to show! It's all so unpredictable!

I'll add a photo later on if I take one today or tomorrow!

Lila Caroline at almost 3!

There is just so much to say about Miss Lila it's been hard to actually type up an update about her. She is just an awesome little human being! She can be very stubborn and annoying as well, but we sure love this girl to death! She is SO funny and loving and smart! I'm so lucky to be her mom.

As far as size, which I always do on her update posts, Lila is getting to be a big girl. She actually is starting to feel heavy when we lift her! Last time I weighed her she was 28 lbs! That is the highest she has ever been and I'm so happy! She is wearing 3T in almost everything and a size 7 or 8 shoe. Her waist is small so some 3Ts are still too big, but in jeans with adjustable waists she definitely needs a 3T for the length. I think she is around 36 or 36.5 inches tall.

Lila loves Halloween!! She is still obsessed. Christmas is pretty cool, but Halloween is her favorite! She is always talking about ghosts and witches, wants to listen to Halloween songs and stories and plays "trick or treat" often. I wish she would just get over it already but she really likes it!

She is also in love with Disney princesses! She loves Belle. Obsessed. She also loves Ariel, "New-lawn" (Mulan), and "Poca-homas" (Pocahontas). She loves to sing and act out the songs. Watching movies is not a quiet calming activity for this girl. She is up and active and dances, sings and acts out everything! It's so fun to watch. She is such a performer. Extremely dramatic and expressive and it's hilarious!

She loved her dance class. We tried it at the YMCA this fall and even though we missed a few classes she was really into it. It was a tap/ballet combo at the most beginner level and I think we will keep her in it. She seemed to really like it and LOVES performing and being in front of people. I was so proud of her in her little recital!

Lila loves TALKING. The girl never stops. She is so funny and smart and imaginative. She cracks us up all the time and we have headaches every night from her constant high-pitched musings. Wouldn't have it any other way though.

She loves "school" and her backpack and reading and learning! EVERY day when I pick her up from Amanda's she says, "I had fun at school today!" and she tells me all about what she did. Her vocabulary and memory are super impressive. She seems to have more of a knack for the verbal side but still does pretty well with numbers too. She wants to read so bad and loves for us to read to her and she often is found in her bed "reading" to herself.

She loves crafts and I really love doing them with her. We spend a lot of time making ornaments, coloring, doing water colors and putting googly eyes on things (mostly ghosts!)

She loves playing with stuffed animals and dolls. Her bed is chock full of blankies and "pets". Her favorites are probably pink bear, sock monkey, and whatever newest toy she has gotten. A Belle Barbie and her Build A Bear are on the top of the list right now!

Speaking of Build A Bear, we went on Sunday and Lila made a pink bear for Rosie to take to her in the hospital (Rosie will have a gift for Lila as well). And Lila also got to build a bear for herself. She really enjoyed the process!

Waiting in line to get her bears stuffed.

Washing and cleaning "Rosie bear"

Her final bear creation!

Lila is excited about Christmas and her new baby sister. I am so ready for this next stage in our lives with two awesome little kiddos!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Baby #2: 38 Weeks

I'm now 2 weeks from my due date. Exciting! Of course we still don't know if Rosie will make her appearance before or after Christmas, but we are prepared for either scenario. I feel pretty good, honestly. I am sleeping well and only waking up once a night. Some days I feel pretty crappy but other days I feel great! I have been trying to stay active when I feel good and even walked a mile on the treadmill and rode the elliptical for about 10 minutes the other day. I've not had much swelling at all, and even though I weigh more now than what I did when Lila was born, I think I look and feel better.

My symptoms are pretty typical: I'm sore when getting up and walking, have back pain, heartburn, numb/tingling hands, some pain in pelvis/hips, tingling in ribs, hot flashes!! and a few other random things like soreness in my c-section incision site. No real "labor signs" to note other than a few short rounds of contractions that ended up petering out within an hour or two.

I had my 38 week check up Monday. I declined the cervix check this time. I doubt I've progressed any, and it doesn't really matter anyway. I am strongly considering a cervical check and membrane sweep at my next appointment on Dec 16. I haven't fully decided. I'd have to be at least 1 cm dilated to get the sweep, so it might be a moot point anyway.

I haven't done anything to try to bring on labor at this point (since nothing is really proven to work). I have listened to my "Come Out Baby" track from Hypnobabies a few times, eaten some dates and pineapple and started taking an evening primrose oil (EPO) tablet every day in addition to my 2-4 daily cups of red raspberry leaf tea. I've been trying to stretch, do yoga, bounce on my ball and have good posture for optimal baby position. I've also been visiting the chiropractor weekly.

Baby Rosie is still active in there, but her movements are more restricted. I feel much more big movements and fewer little fingers wiggling. I hope this means she is flipped into an anterior position. I am so ready to see her little face, but I honestly am fine waiting until after Christmas for her to come!

We are taking Lila to see Christmas lights tonight, she has a Christmas party on Friday and seeing Santa on Saturday. I am glad to have these last few weeks to spend focusing on her instead of being in the hospital or at home with a new baby. Our lives will be changing very very soon though!

I will be sure to update after my appointment next week or if there are any other changes to report!

Photo added: 38 wks 2 days

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Baby #2: 37 Weeks!

It's December, I'm now full term and Rosalie could be joining us anytime in the next few weeks! The earliest I'd even imagine her showing up would be at 39 weeks, but it feels nice to know we are getting so much closer to meeting this little girl. At the absolute latest (42 weeks gestation), we have about 35 days max to go. I don't believe we will last that long!

We are ready. The bassinet is set up, her room is nearly done (pics soon!), carseat ready, clothes washed and diaper bag packed. My body is tired and big and ready to not be pregnant anymore. Neil is ready to not hear about my pregnancy aches and pains and about all of my birth plans and preparations. Lila is ready to meet her sister! She even said to my belly the other day, "Come on Rosie! You're 'sposed to come out!"

We are very busy with holiday stuff! We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and now we are gearing up for Christmas. Lila is very excited and it's so much fun to celebrate with her. We have the tree up and I'm hoping to be done with ordering gifts very soon. Lila has already seen Santa a couple times, once at the Museum Center (from a distance) and once at the outlet mall as he was walking around. She was very confused as to how he got there from the museum and then after we left him, she said, "I didn't ask him for my Belle doll." We hope to have a sit down with Santa here in the next few weeks.

I had my 37 week checkup yesterday. Everything is fine. My BP was a bit elevated because I was mad about spending 1 HOUR in the waiting room, which is rare, and especially annoying because I had a chiro appointment to get to. I'm still gaining weight and I'm pretty much on pace to meet or exceed the weight gain I had with Lila. I am trying not to fret about it.

The doc did my group B strep test, and while she was down there, checked me for dilation. Guess what?!! Nothing! I'm not surprised AT ALL. I was only dilated to a 1 at 41 weeks last time, so I know my body only starts to dilate when labor is underway or very imminent. She did say baby is head down, but didn't mention effacement or anything. The doc also said to BE PATIENT.

So even though there is a possibility that Rosie will arrive before Christmas, I'm not betting on it. I think I should start focusing on the potential reality of going overdue again. We may be indeed looking at a January baby and I need to be okay with that! It's just tough when we're all so excited about meeting this baby girl. I also cannot be induced at all so going into labor naturally is my only real way to avoid a scheduled c-section.

I'm feeling okay most of the time. I'm tired. Every other night I have a decent night's sleep. I'm getting Braxton Hicks, my hips hurt, baby is on my bladder/cervix, I get lightening/shooting pains "down there", mild swelling, backache/cramps and I think thats about it! I'm just 9 months pregnant, that's all. It's a hard business, bringing a little baby into the world.

I'm feeling really positive at the moment. I am confident that I will have an uncomplicated VBAC delivery and I just cannot wait to get my hands on Miss Rosie June and have our family be complete!

Here is me at 37 weeks. Get used to those gray corduroy pants because those are 1 of 3 pairs of non-yoga pants that are still comfortable.

I go back to the doctor on Dec. 9 for my 38 week checkup, and I will likely decline a cervical check. They really mean nothing as far as when labor is coming. I will continue to go weekly and then every few days if I go over. I am considering a membrane sweep at my 39 week appointment. This is the most augmentation/induction most docs will consider. So, we are playing the waiting game. I am beginning to feel like a pregnant Christmas is in my future and in reality will probably be easier than having a newborn. If it works out that way, it'd be really special to have one last Christmas with my Lila before her sister arrives!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Baby #2: 35 weeks and 35 days to go!

We are another week closer! I am 35 weeks tomorrow, but I had a bit of time to post today so I am. I'm definitely feeling 9 months pregnant now. I'm large and waddling and just a bit grumpy. I don't think I felt quite like this until about 39 or 40 weeks last time! I hope that means I will go into labor earlier, but who knows.

I also have some new symptoms that make me think that the baby will come before 41 weeks this time: lots of lower back pain and period-type cramps. I'm hoping this means that my body is doing something to get ready earlier this time. When I was in labor last time I was barely 2 cm when I got to the hospital! So I hope that I begin to soften and progress a bit sooner this time. But I've talked to a few friends and they all mentioned crampy feelings in the last month, so I think it's normal.

I'm doing a lot to prepare for the birth this time around, with the hopes that I will be able to go into labor in December and have an easy vaginal birth! I've talked about my Hypnobabies practice, which I am keeping up with pretty well and loving! I'm drinking a ton of red raspberry leaf tea (which helps tone the uterus and make contractions more effective). I'm also seeing a chiropractor on Thursday that specializes in pregnant moms to help with the baby's alignment. I'm pretty sure Rosie is posterior (sunny side up) because I feel little hands near my pelvic bone and some other signs. I would like her to get moving anterior before my birthing time. Anterior babies are more likely to come on time the labors are easier and quicker with less pushing, you are also more likely to avoid "back labor" with a correctly positioned baby.

I'm trying to do a lot of postures and exercises to encourage the anterior position too, sitting on my birth ball, doing pelvic rocks (cat/cow yoga moves), not putting my feet up or laying back at all, and sitting Indian style or at least leaning forward. Apparently the worst position is reclining with your feet up. That's exactly what I did for much of the 2 weeks prior to Lila's birth! Oops.

We are gearing up for the holidays and looking forward to some family time before the baby waiting game begins. I'm really excited to celebrate Thanksgiving with family and get started on all of the fun Christmas traditions! Lila understands so much more this year and she is so excited. She can't wait to put up the tree and I am so thrilled to be able to share all my favorite holiday things with her.

My next appointment isn't actually until Dec 2, just shy of 37 weeks. Because of Thanksgiving, I wasn't able to get in earlier, which is fine with me. I will then begin weekly appointments until baby Rosie's arrival. I really hope that I only have 3-4 appointments left! I really really hope she comes before Christmas or at least before New Years Eve. I know I can't really do much about it, but please send good vibes!

Here I am at 35 weeks!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Baby #2: 34 Weeks!

Yikes! 3 weeks until full term and 6 weeks until my due date! I'm getting really excited, and I think it's becoming very real to us now that Thanksgiving and Christmas are getting closer. It snowed the other day and when Lila looked outside she said, "Where is the Christmas tree and where are the presents?" I made the mistake of asking her what she wanted for Christmas (because I really wanted to know if there was something specific) and now I think she is hyper-aware of the gift getting part of the holiday (oops).

I've actually gotten 2 Christmas gifts for Lila already (a Belle doll and a book) and I have a pretty good idea of what I'm getting the other people on my list. I want to get my shopping and decorating/wrapping done by early December. I may actually start bringing my Christmas decorations up from the basement soon so I will be physically able to do some decorating instead of delegating it all to my poor husband. :)

This past weekend, Lila spent the weekend with her grandparents so Neil and I had THREE nights/days to ourselves! We really didn't know where to start or what to do with ourselves, honestly. It was really nice to just have some time together and to be able to clean and work on stuff around the house. We also went out to eat a lot and had a date night to the musical downtown and to the casino!

We did get some baby-related things accomplished. I got not one, but two diaper bags. One larger one for daycare and longer outings and one smaller bag for quick trips. These are the two I decided on (after almost 2 hours in Buy Buy Baby! LOL):

JuJuBe Hip (snagged it for $20!) is the smaller, simpler bag of the two. Here is the pattern I got:

And my bigger bag is the JJ Cole Mode bag.

So far I'm pretty happy with them. I even started (gasp!) packing my diaper bag with things Rosie might need in the hospital! I'm kind of against packing anything early because last time of course I packed ALL of my hospital bags early (36 wks). I was like every super over-planner first time mom and then had a bag of wrinkled stuff 5 weeks later when she finally made her appearance.

So I'm making lists of what I might want to take to the hospital, but mark my words, no bags will be packed until at least 38 weeks, and I might just wait until I go into labor.

For my own entertainment, here is what I've packed in Rosie's hospital diaper bag. And yes, I know the hospital provides diapers and wipes and even has those little wrap shirts, but I'm weird and I like to use my own stuff. I do plan on using their diapers and taking as many of those snot suckers as they will give me though!

Here is newborn baby Lila modeling one of the newborn outfits I'm packing. Yes, Rosie will be wearing hand me downs from day 1, poor thing!

2 newborn outfits (both have pants with coordinating snap top that covers the hands)
0-3 month outfit (just in case she's a hoss)
Knit hat for outdoors
Cotton hat for indoors
Two bows (for hospital pics)
2 swaddle blankets
Scratch mittens
Pacifier (will I not want this yet? I threw it in there.)
2 burp cloths
Wipes (I didn't like the hospital ones)
Nursing cover

I hope that's all I will need for the baby bag at least! I might bring a baby nail file, a heavier blanket, and maybe some lotion or diaper cream? I also plan to take my Boppy or have someone bring it after she is born. Since we are so close to the hospital, I'm sure Neil will go get things or I can have my parents bring me stuff from home if needed.

And lastly the infant carseat which is all ready to go complete with one of those cold weather covers to keep baby nice and warm - essential for a December baby!

I need to buy a few more things before baby comes like some newborn diapers, Aveeno baby wash, some new nursing tanks and bras for me and it'd be nice to get some new comfy pjs and robe for the hospital and for lounging at home.

There is a bit more to do in Rosalie's room, but mostly just hanging pictures and some finishing touches. I am working on a canopy to go above her bed too. We'd love to re-do the girls' shared bathroom, but I think that project will likely have to wait.

Other than that, I'm feeling okay. I'm getting some Braxton Hicks now, still lots of movement from baby, more pain/pressure in belly and pelvis, and apparently I'm snoring now. Sorry Neil! I think he is about to move himself to the guest bedroom.

I had an appt. this morning and other than gaining too much weight this time (I blame Halloween and unending appetite) everything is fine. Her heartrate was higher - 150s and my blood pressure and everything was still good!

I actually don't go back to the doctor until Dec. 2 because of Thanksgiving. I will be almost 37 weeks at that point and will be tested for Group B strep (was negative last time, really hoping this time too) and since they are down there, they might do a cervical check. I might do this one and then decline the weekly checks until 39 or 40 wks or until curiosity gets the best of me.

I really can't believe it's almost Thanksgiving and I'm getting so much closer to meeting this sweet baby girl! So so excited!

Oh and here is your giant pregnant lady photo for the day:

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Wee... 33! Baby #2: 33 Weeks

We are somehow, inexplicably at 33 weeks! The countdown is truly on and we are getting so much closer to meeting our little girl! I'm getting really excited, and even though we are technically ready (we have a place for her to sleep, a carseat, and more clothes than she'll ever need) I'm not sure if any of us are truly ready for the life change that is upon us! I really can't believe that we'll be a family of 4 soon and I will have TWO children!

Look at the difference 20 weeks has made! My hair is really growing out and my body is definitely growing as well! I can't wait to have my face look thin again. My face and nose always get a bit puffy at this point in pregnancy. Oh well, 7 more weeks, right?!

I am feeling okay. I am noticing a lot of pressure in the bladder/cervix region and sometimes when I'm walking to my car (sometimes as much as a 15 min walk) I have to stop and rest because the pain is pretty bad. It's hard to stay seated or standing for longer than about 1/2 hour. Sleeping is hit or miss. 

Rosie's movement is out of control. She is wild, and from what I can recall, even more active than Lila. I know movement is good, but I worry about her getting tangled in the cord like Lila did which was the cause of the c-section. I know I need to block out negative thoughts, but this is truly a concern of mine! I also apparently make long umbilical cords which leads to hyperactive babies in the womb and could lead to more cord problems cause they can get tied up. I am seriously considering asking for an ultrasound to check on the cord before delivery!

This weekend Lila is getting ready to go and spend some time with all of her grandparents while Neil and I have a child-free weekend to get ready for the baby, work on projects and have some time to ourselves before baby arrives. I'm so thankful my parents were willing to do this!! I hope it goes well!

Here is my update for 33 weeks, I'll have more to share next week when I go back to the doctor for my 34 week checkup.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Baby #2: 32 Weeks

Well, it's now November, and I can officially say that my due date is next month! I had my 32 week appointment and ultrasound yesterday and everything was great. The choroid plexus cysts are GONE (so this might be my last ultrasound), baby is head down and her heartrate was in the 130s. She is measuring right on track at around 32 weeks and was estimated at 3 lbs 14 oz. Lila even went with me to the appointment and she was super cute and good during the ultrasound part. She kept saying, "That's my baby! Where did her face go? What is she doing in there?"

Everything else is going fine. Sleep is great some nights, awful on others. Some nights I'm only up once, sometimes twice. I am feeling a ton of big rolling movements from baby girl. I'm starting to get pretty uncomfortable when I walk around a lot and getting a little more swelling in my feet and fingers and stuff. All normal I think. I actually didn't wear my rings today because I was scared they'd get stuck!

My body is feeling more and more cramped, I have this weird almost a hot/tingly/burning feeling in my ribs almost all of the time. I'm not sure if this is heartburn related or just all of my organs being squished up there or if it's some kind of nerve pain. Baby Rosie's feet are also nearing closer to my ribcage. These are the joys of pregnancy, let me tell you!

I didn't take a photo this week, but I will be sure to share this giant belly next week for my 33 week update! I cannot believe that the I am only 53 days from my due date and 32 days until full term (37 weeks)! It's crazy!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Big Diaper Bag Debate

One of the last big purchases left to get before the baby gets here is a new diaper bag. The one I used with Lila literally ripped apart so I need a new one! I think as a second time mom, I won't feel the need to pack as much stuff into the bag as I did the first time around. But, I will have a few things for Lila in there (usually a snack, wipes, extra panties and pants) in addition to whatever I need for baby (btw, what do I need!? I totally forget!). I also will not spend over $100 on it (my wonderful mom has generously contributed to the cause!) but I'd like to keep the cost at $60-75 if possible.

I'm leaning towards black and white mainly, but I love pink of course as well.

I had decided on this one, the JJ Cole System 180 bag... but I'm not super excited about the pattern/color and the reviews aren't stellar. But I like that it is a messenger/crossbody style bag with a flap on the front.

I love this JJ Cole one because it looks like a super cute purse!

I also really like this Ju-Ju-Be HoboBe Bag.

This Ju Ju Be BFF bag is awesome because it can be a backpack and a messenger bag depending on how you put the straps.  

This Timi and Leslie bag is another messenger/backpack style:

Eeek! I don't know! I guess I need to go back to BuyBuyBaby and look at some of these in person. I really want to get a nice durable bag this time around!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Baby #2: 31 Weeks and some Hypnobabies highlights

Now that it's getting colder and getting closer to Halloween and the other holidays, my due date is feeling more and more imminent. I am 31 weeks today! 9 weeks to go until Christmas. I'm getting really excited to meet the baby and to be done with being pregnant! I'm so ready to get this weight off and start running and moving again! I'm obviously getting bigger and slower and even though I'm trying to walk and stretch a lot, I am truly looking forward to a real workout whenever I can start that up again!

I'm feeling pretty good, honestly. Yes I'm 8 months pregnant so things hurt and I have some discomfort, but we're getting so close! I am sleeping pretty well, but of course I have my nights where I can't get comfortable. 

Something that is making a huge difference in my sleep is the fact that I'm listening to my Hypnobabies tracks each night. So instead of trying to fall asleep with a thousand random thoughts and worries in my head, I doze off with positive thoughts about the birth or guided relaxation and hypnosis. I love it! I was pretty dubious in the beginning (as I am with most things, being the analytical skeptic that I am) but I truly believe that I am going to have a wonderful birth and that Hypnobabies will help me deal with the fear that I have leftover from Lila's delivery! 

Ok, I know what you must be thinking... seriously? The only way Lindsay can give birth is by being hypnotized?! What a crock.  Yeah, I was there, too.  I was very skeptical. First, this is NOT what you think of when you think of hypnosis. I'm not going to be under someone's hypnotic control and unable to think, talk, or move around for myself.  Hypnobabies is self-hypnosis which allows me to be mobile, open my eyes, and to go in and out of a deeply relaxed state when my pressure waves come and go.  I am able to come in and out of hypnosis at my choosing. I have tracks to listen to to prepare for birthing time and also specific tracks to only listen to when the actual birthing time begins. There are even tracks you can download for VBAC, stopping pre-term labor, helping with nausea and one called "Come Out Baby!" which I just might have to order if we are approaching 41 weeks again this time.

One simple thing I've learned with my two weeks of Hypnobabies practice is the power of positive thoughts and also positive language and phrasing. Instead of contractions, I will experience pressure waves or birthing waves. Labor is called birthing time and words like pain/hard/etc. are rephrased positively such as strong, powerful, intense, etc. I am also protecting myself from negative thoughts and birth stories and I'm trying to only surround myself with people and stories that are positive and uplifting and supportive. 

I also wanted to share some of my favorite positive pregnancy affirmations. These are from the Joyful Pregnancy Affirmations track that I have listened to every single day since I started Hypnobabies and plan to until birthing time. It's a 33 min track of positive statements about pregnancy and birth and I can't tell you how much it's helped me, especially the sentences in bold!

 I deserve an easy and completely comfortable birthing.
 With every breath I exhale from now on, I feel more confident.
 I stay centered and balanced in my birthing time.
 This is a new birth and a new baby, unique unto itself.
 Through birth, I find healing.
 My job is to simply relax and allow my baby's birth to happen.
 I see myself birthing beautifully, calmly and with confidence.
 I look forward to giving birth with happiness and excitement.  
 I deserve to have an easy and completely comfortable birthing, and I will!


I plan to share more about Hypnobabies as I move through the program. But so far, I am really loving how much it is preparing me for my birthing time. It's much more than just the tracks and hypnosis itself, but there are readings and a lot of other information including nutrition and exercises that are extremely helpful as well.

Here is my update pic for 31 weeks, and my first cold weather outfit! It was cold enough today to wear gloves. And yes, I'm pretty sure my face is getting fat/swollen! Ugh! I'm reminded of another positive affirmation: "I love my pregnant body and accept it everyday!" I'm really trying!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Rosalie June: 30 Weeks

Baby Rosie is still baking away in there and she is getting bigger and stronger everyday. Her movements are becoming way bigger and it feels like she is rolling from side to side a lot. She is extremely active, just like Lila was (and is!). So I am 30 weeks today. Less than 10 weeks until Christmas and my due date. Six weeks until full term. So exciting! It's getting closer!

I had a good quick appointment today. I am measuring right on at 30 weeks. Her heart rate was 125. My blood pressure was great and my "official" weight gain is 26 lbs. It's actually more than that in my eyes because my first appt. wasn't until 8 weeks, so that's where they were getting my starting weight I think. I think I gained 3-5 lbs between finding out about the pregnancy until the first appointment. This is the first appt. where they've said I single thing about my weight.

Oh well! I have gained around 30, which puts me on track to gain about 40. I think that's just what my body likes to do. I gained 46 with Lila and was back under my pre-pregnancy weight within 12-18 months. If I was more motivated earlier, I'm sure I could've gotten it off sooner. I think I will be more interested in getting back to normal quicker this time.

Everything is going well. We just had our family/maternity photos done (so much fun, I LOVE them and will be sharing some soon!) and we've just been having a lot of fun with Lila going to fall festivals, pumpkin patches, carnivals and just hanging out watching movies and playing.

I'm starting to really get prepared for the birth of baby Rosie. I'm getting very excited and I'm SO positive about it. I just started the Hypnobabies Home Study program, and so far it is awesome! I'm just in week 1 of the 5 week program which continues on after that until birthing time. I love how positive and motivating it is. Because I have a lot of anxiety and fear left over from Lila's traumatic c-section birth, I wanted to do something extra to prepare for this baby's arrival. At first the idea of doing self-hypnosis for birth sounded crazy, but now I'm really getting in to it. It's more about positive affirmations and positive thinking, deep relaxation and visualizations. Eventually I'll get into controlling discomfort and managing pressure waves (contractions). I'm actually looking forward to the birth now instead of being terrified.

Here's my 30 week photo. If you can't tell I'm attempting to grow out my hair and bangs and it's a pretty painful process especially on rainy humid days. I don't know how long this will last. Actually today in the car Lila said, "Mommy, your hair is getting long like a princess!" I think we might both grow ours out for a while.

And here are a few pics of my lovely little Lila bean:

And a sneak peak of our family photos from the wonderful Joseph Danzer! We went out to the gorgeous campus of Miami University where I happen to work and where Neil and I both went to college. It was awesome to take our family/maternity photos there and to have so many awesome shots taken by our friend Joe! We LOVE them and can't really pick favorites yet!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Baby Rosie: 29 Weeks

Another week down and we are at 29 weeks and just about 75 days to go until my due date! Crazy! I'm getting more excited than nervous, honestly. It's getting so much more real that we are going to have two precious little girls soon! I'm so excited to meet this baby that is rolling and kicking in my tummy. I truly cannot wait to see her face and have her join our family.

I've been working on a ton of crafty projects for the baby's room, so I'm hoping to share some nursery pictures at some point. Things are coming together at last! I'm still thinking about a crib mobile, a wreath for her door and some more of the art for the walls. Then of course I have to get Neil to help me hang everything. That is sometimes the hardest part!

Everything is really going pretty well. I feel pretty good most days but then sometimes I have a rough night's sleep and I wake up very sore and grumpy. My hips and legs hurt a lot. Rosie is very active and she wears me out honestly. I am getting kicked and headbutted most of the time! Get some sleep in there, child!

Things at work should be slowing down here in the next few weeks. My weekly class is wrapping up on the 24th, my other classes are dying down and then I have a conference presentation on Oct 25th. After that my schedule is much more open. I'm thankful for that! It's getting much harder to teach for a lot of the day and be on my feet like that.

Here is my update. Sorry for the blurry image, but it's the only one I've got! Someone was coming into the restroom so I think I shook my phone! Haha.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Baby Rosalie: 28 weeks

I had my 28 week appointment this morning and it went really well! I had another ultrasound to check on the choroid plexus cysts on the baby's brain. Looks like they are gone or have shrunk so much the ultrasound tech wasn't concerned. I will have another ultrasound in 4 weeks to check again. I'm not sure it's really necessary, because no one (including me) is very concerned, but I'm not going to refuse an ultrasound! I love getting to see my baby girl! I think they are just covering their bases.

Baby Rosie was doing great in there. She was moving a lot and everything looked good. She was head down but still obviously moving and switching positions a lot. Her heart rate was in the 140s and they estimate her at 2 lbs. 11 ounces, which is just slightly bigger than average for 28 weeks (2.5 lbs). I am also measuring 28 weeks and so is baby. We didn't get very many good photos because she had her hands over her face most of the time. It was really cool to see her moving around in there as I felt her kicking and moving.

There are 10 doctors in my OB practice and I've been trying to see all of them. I saw a male doctor today and he was one of the most supportive of VBAC so far! He was so casual about it. He was like, "You'll be great. You're not going to rupture." Which sounds a bit glib, because I could, but I like the confidence.

He basically said I'd be treated like any other laboring mom, except I'd need an IV placed and they will want to keep me on the monitors most of the time. He said I can have breaks from them to go to the bathroom, take a shower, get in the bath, etc. But I'd need to be monitored most of the time (contractions and baby's heart rate) but not constantly. He also said they have wireless monitors so I can move around!

He also said that I should really let my labor progress a bit before I come in and that I should wait until I'm in active labor to show up and there is no need to get there early to be monitored. If I have weird pain or bleeding I should get there quick, but otherwise I should labor at home for a few hours before I go in and definitely know I'm in labor. This was awesome news!!! I feel pretty good since I am only 15 minutes from the hospital. I'm honestly so relieved and optimistic about the birth at the moment. It's such a relief!

Otherwise, I'm doing well! I've been trying to take it easier and I've been sleeping okay. My symptoms are the same as always: heartburn, back pain, peeing a lot; but I've added some Braxton Hicks into the mix. Just a couple times a day.

Here's what I'm looking like now:

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Baby Rosalie: 27 weeks

I am 27 weeks now which puts me in the third trimester and 2/3 of the way through this pregnancy! It's a relief to get to this point, because if something crazy happened and the baby came early, most likely everything would be fine. That viability point is a huge milestone.

I'm feeling pretty good right now after my awesome 80 minute pregnancy massage on Friday! Great 30th birthday gift Neil! It was so relaxing and I felt like my posture was so much better after too. I would love to get another massage before the birth! I had a really nice birthday weekend. I treated myself to some new earrings and makeup for my birthday. Neil and I had a great date day on Friday and my mom and I shopped on Saturday afternoon (yay for new shoes and jewelry!) On Saturday night Neil and I went to Oktoberfest downtown. Fun!

I'm still sleeping okay, sometimes even through the entire night. I think I could use an extra hour or so each night, so I really should try to get to bed earlier. I haven't been doing much on the exercise front. I'm just totally spent and sore by the time I get home I never make it to do anything. I really need to be walking and stretching more.

I have one new, slightly weird symptom. My belly feels like it's buzzing. Like a cell phone on vibrate. It's so odd. It's a very weird thing to describe. I can't figure out if it's the baby breathing or doing something new or my uterus shaking/growing. It's usually very low down in my belly/pelvis. Lasts for 10-20 seconds then goes away. No clue what that is about.

We have officially decided on the baby's name! She will be named Rosalie June Miller. We are having a harder time using the name in conversation than we did with Lila, but I really love it and I think it is perfect! We can't wait to meet miss Rosie June!

I just ordered her monogram letters to go over her crib, so we better be sold on the name! The will look like this below, but with RMJ. I'm not sure if I will paint them pink or yellow. I will share pics of the nursery soon! I've been working on some other artwork in the last few weeks.

Everything else is going pretty well. Work is busy but that helps to keep my mind occupied from going to crazy with baby planning and thinking. If you read my VBAC post you know that I'm an active (over)-thinker, so having work to focus on is definitely good at keeping my crazy mind at bay!

Our friend Joe is going to take some maternity/family photos next weekend, so I'm excited about that, and I'm thinking about what we'll wear and what type of shots I want him to take. I'm also busy getting my fall decorations out, planning fun fall activities for Lila and trying not to eat everything pumpkin that has ever been made!

Here is my 27 week update!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Thoughts on Birth: VBAC vs. C-section

I'm doing a lot more thinking about the birth. (FYI: This is going to be a LONG post and I've been writing and adding stuff to it for a while!) This is a huge place of anxiety and worry for me. I am so torn about the decision of what kind of birth to have and all the little decisions that go into that. Because Lila arrived by emergency c-section, it's my choice if I want to do a repeat c-section (RCS) or vaginal birth after c-section (VBAC). I'm apparently great candidate for VBAC because I went into labor on my own, got to 5 cm and because my c-section was due to cord and heart-rate issues and isn't something that should happen again with this baby.

Most people in my situation opt for a RCS and I don't blame them. If you've had a traumatic delivery experience where you were told your baby's life was in danger - a planned, calm surgical procedure sounds pretty good. It's not an easy choice by any means though, because even if your first c-section recovery (like mine) was fine, it's still surgery! A c-section means at least 2 nights in the hospital but likely 3 or more, longer recovery with restrictions on lifting, stair-climbing and driving, greater chances of complications for the mom during surgery (as compared to a vaginal birth), and some studies have shown more breathing and breastfeeding issues in newborns born via c-section. 

The concern with VBAC is uterine rupture. Because I have a scar on my uterus, there is a small chance that the scar could come apart during labor or really anytime during pregnancy which could be fatal for the baby. This is very scary but a rupture happens in only .6% - 1% of VBAC attempts. A smaller percentage of that percentage actually have a catastrophic outcome for baby or mom. 

I truly believe VBAC is the best choice for me and that is what I'm leaning toward now, even though I'm pretty sure I would have a perfectly fine c-section with an okay recovery. I am mainly concerned about the affect that a longer hospital stay and recovery would have on Lila and her adjustment to the baby. I also had a lot of difficulty nursing Lila in the first 3 months which might have been related her birth, but could also be due to other things. I really want to do everything I can to make breastfeeding easier this time around.

The other issue with a second c-section is that with each subsequent c-section the risks grow greater. So if I was planning on more babies, I should really think hard about doing another c-section because it would make my 3rd birth a much riskier proposition. We are planning on this being my last pregnancy, so it doesn’t really play much into my decision.

So with all of that considered, I think I want to try to have a VBAC. Neil's biggest concern with me attempting the VBAC is that I will feel like a failure if I end up having to have a c-section anyway and that an emergency c-section will be a lot harder to recover from than a planned one. I think I'd be no more disappointed than I was last time. I actually think I'd be more disappointed if I didn’t try at all and just elected to have the surgery. Giving baby and me a chance at a vaginal birth is what I really want.

Earlier on in my pregnancy I was considering switching hospitals and doctors to increase my chances of successful VBAC. I sought out advice from the International Caesarean Awareness Network (ICAN) group here in Cincinnati, and many of those ladies encouraged me to look at a more supportive provider, specifically Dr. Daniel Bowen, and a potentially more VBAC-friendly hospital (Bethesda North).

In the end, I’ve decided that sticking with my original doctors and delivering at Mercy Fairfield will ease my anxiety about actually going into labor: Not driving to a different hospital, worrying about whether my solo practitioner doctor will make it to my birth, etc. I am sticking with what I know, and hopefully that works out okay! They seem very supportive of VBAC and I like knowing that if something bad does happen I'd have skilled doctors right there at the hospital.

Enter the next complication. My due date (40 weeks) is December 25. With Lila, I didn't have her until 9 days after my due date, or 41 weeks and 2 days. There is a good chance I will go "overdue" with this one as well, although usually not as long as the first time. Most of the OBs in my practice have been fine with letting me go 7-10 days over my due date. But they will not induce me if I go that long, I will just go in for a c-section. Induction can cause more stress on the uterus and is more likely to cause a rupture. I haven't asked about other non-chemical induction/augmentation like Foley catheter, membrane sweep or even low dose Pitocin. All of those I've read are the safest options for getting labor going in VBAC births.

Now, personally I'm fine with going over my due date and waiting until baby girl is ready to come out. I've done it before I can do it again. I'm not all that concerned with Christmas because Lila doesn't know any different and we can celebrate on any day. My parents will be around during the holidays anyway, so it will be fine if I go into labor during that time. The real issue is insurance and the costs of the birth. It’s pretty unfortunate that this has to be a consideration for us and what type of birth I will have.

If I go much past my due date, there is a chance that even if baby is born in 2013 that my hospital stay could extend into 2014. I’ve checked with my insurance company and if my birth and hospital stay spans into 2014 I will likely have to pay two out-of-pocket maximums. So instead of a $4000 cost for birth (which we have saved up for), we could be looking at $8000. I am already going to have to take 2 months unpaid leave to take off as much time as I want, and I’m afraid this cost will cause me to have to go back before baby and me are ready.

So “worst case” scenario, I go into labor on Dec 30, am not released until Jan 1, and have to pay two deductibles and two out of pocket max amounts. If I make it to Jan 1 without going into labor, no problem I just go overdue into 2014 and have the baby vaginally or end up with a RSC. But is it worth the financial risk to possibly go into labor between Dec 28-31? It’s not like it’s easy to keep a baby IN if it wants to get out, and vice versa.

I know this is SO much information, but it’s actually really helpful for me to type it all out instead of having all of it just spinning in my head.

So after thinking it through I think I will try some natural induction techniques (which probably won’t work) starting at 38 weeks. Nothing crazy, just staying active, lots of walking etc. As it gets closer to my due date I may try more drastic induction techniques and ask my doctor to sweep my membranes (which put me into labor last time) or if there is anything else they can do to augment my labor or induce.

I'm also looking into some other things that can make my labor better/easier/quicker, such as taking Evening Primrose Oil (EPO), drinking Red Raspberry Leaf Tea, doing Spinning Babies techniques for good positioning and possibly even Hypnobabies, chiropractic care or acupuncture which I've heard and read can help.

I think what I may have to do is schedule the c-section for Dec 27, which will likely have me out of the hospital by Dec 31, but hope to go into labor before then. I just don't think I want to risk it otherwise. Neil suggested complete bedrest from Dec 28-31 to try to not go into labor and try to make it until the new year. I don't think either of us are really comfortable with that idea. 

The decision is tough. Birth is unpredictable and scary, especially when you have had a traumatic birth in your past and a giant scar on your uterus. I know another c-section is not the end of the world, and as it gets closer and things change, I may even opt to do the RCS. But right now, I think I need to put my energy into having a successful vaginal birth if that is in the cards for me. It's MY decision and I am going to do my best to listen to myself and what I think is right for me and my family.  

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Baby #2: 26 Weeks

Less than 100 days to go until my due date! That's a pretty cool milestone, I think. I'm getting so excited to meet this baby girl! I am almost in my third trimester and things are going pretty well.

This week has been better than last, pain and discomfort wise. No charlie horses, back spasms or horrific heartburn. I've slept better this week and haven't had any insomnia or frequent wake ups due to pain or having to pee! It's pretty awesome.

I've tried to take it MUCH easier this week. My house looks a bit disheveled and I'm behind on laundry, but I think I feel better because I'm letting myself rest in the evenings. Working and commuting pretty much wears me out and it's been nice to try to lay on the couch and read or watch shows on Netflix after Lila's in bed instead of running around cleaning or cooking. I still have to do some of that of course, but I'm just letting some things slide this week.

Some other good news, I passed my glucose test! Last pregnancy, I failed the 1 hour test and had to take the 3 hour test (which takes much longer than that, and you have to fast for a long time). I'm so happy to have avoided that this time around. It was horrible and one of the worst parts of my pregnancy with Lila!

Not much more to add, really. Lila is doing great. She is SO stinkin' cute these days. She is getting into princesses and Disney movies, which I just love. She even slept in a tiara the other night. She is so sweet and girly, I love it! She also loves having birthday parties for her dolls and toys, acting like a baby, playing with babies, dancing and singing to music and making up funny stories. She has such a great imagination and I just love talking to her and watching her play. So much fun. She seems so ready to welcome her baby sister into the family! She wants the baby to sleep in bed with her and says she is going to feed her and will kiss and hug her if she cries.

Well, tomorrow is my 30th birthday! Pretty exciting. It's not phasing me at all. I'm honestly pretty happy to be 30. I am SO lucky to have a happy marriage, a wonderful daughter, a healthy pregnancy and family and a nice home, job, car, etc! Part of me wishes I was in Vegas celebrating it up big, but I think I'll take a normal day in my pretty awesome life. I am super excited about a date day with Neil on Friday and a pregnancy massage! YAY! :)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Ughh, it's those working mommy blues

Lila was just acting off this morning. Laying on me, laying on the couch/floor, not eating, saying her belly hurt... after cuddling her and watching her as long as I could and getting her to eat a few bites of toast, I got her dressed and in the car. She had perked up enough to go to daycare and because she was not feverish or throwing up, just acting a little off, I decide to send her.

I hate days like today. I have a class to teach and 2 hours of desk time and really can't take the day off unless she is actually full blown sick, not just acting a bit under the weather. It's a horrible feeling. I think she just needs a lazy day at home with me with some extra cuddles. I'm hoping that sending her today doesn't throw her into an actual sickness this week.

Because I cuddled her most of the morning, I didn't get to pack my lunch, I forgot her jacket (it's about 65 degrees, so I hope she'll be fine at the park this morning) and I got to work so late there were no spots and I had to park in the pay parking garage.

Some mornings are like this - you leave your child, jacket-less in the sitter's car bound for the playground (with a puke bowl, just in case), while you pay $5 to park and $10 for a not-healthy lunch and try not to worry about her all day. I absolutely hate it.

Meanwhile I sit down for a moment at my desk and feel the baby kick, and remember, oh yeah, hi baby #2! I try to drink some extra water before this next class I'm teaching and take a moment to think about this baby a bit. I know I will feel this exact torn, horrible feeling multiple times a week when I leave two little girls at daycare in just a few months.

I feel like I'm in a constant state of hurry and chaos and of being pulled physically and emotionally in 6 different directions. Is this how every working mom feels sometimes? Or is it just the working moms with 35 minute commutes each way? How will I do this with two?

Friday, September 13, 2013

Baby #2: 25 Weeks

Baby girl is 25 weeks along, and I'm going to do my first real whining/complaining of this pregnancy! It goes without saying that I'm extremely lucky and thankful to have a healthy baby and an uneventful pregnancy so far. I know lots of people would love to be in my shoes. With that said, I am allowed to complain once in a while. Pregnancy sucks, let's be blunt. It's ridiculously cool and miraculous too, but I'm started to get all the aches and pains and annoyances and I still have over 3 months to go (14 wks and 5 days til Christmas, ya'll!)

Yesterday was bad. I woke up in the middle of the night (it ended up being about 4:45am) with the worst charlie horse of my life! Imagine being awakened out of a dead sleep with excruciating pain! I've been trying to hide my sweet limp since then and it hurts to walk! The charlie horse was brought on by me trying to flip myself over in bed, because I'm getting increasingly uncomfortable. My hip goes numb if I lay too long on one side and I need like 5 pillows to be comfortable for any length of time.

In addition to those two the sleeping issues and charlie horses, I am having extreme tailbone pain. It hurts (like wincing in pain) to stand, lay, sit, drive, bend over, pick up Lila, pick up stuff off the floor, etc. Walking is the only truly comfortable position/movement at the moment. I have been trying to stretch, do yoga, take it easy in the evenings (sorry Neil), not do as many physical things at work, get more sleep, etc and nothing is really working. I really hope this goes away!

I am getting A TON of movement from baby, and she is kicking/punching down low, up high, on the sides and everywhere. Some of her kicks are actually pretty painful and surprising! Strong little girl. I really don't remember Lila being this strong and active at 25 weeks. 

All and all, things are good. I'm looking forward to my birthday next week and my 28 week ultrasound on Oct 2!