Showing posts with label pregnancy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pregnancy. Show all posts

Saturday, September 23, 2017

it's so different {what it's like to try every type of prenatal care available}

My pregnancy and birth history is complicated, which means I have never delivered with the same person or in the same location more than once. The constants at my birth have been Jonathan and my first midwife, but my first midwife has acted as a doula / support person / shoulder to cry on during my subsequent births.

Here's a quick outline of who I've seen and where I've delivered:

Birth # 1: Midwives only, stand alone birth center, all natural

Birth #2: Prenatal care from midwife and maternal fetal medicine doctor (high risk OB), hospital, MFM doc delivered, Pitoicin given, zero pain meds

Birth #3: Prenatal care from midwives and maternal fetal medicine doctor, different hospital from #2, midwife delivered, Pitoicin and epidural used

Pregnancy #4: Prenatal care from OB and completely new maternal fetal medicine doctors and clinic, hospital delivery (different from birth # 2 & 3) and ... who knows the rest. We'll see what happens, but as of this moment I am not planning on a natural birth because this mama has had enough birth trauma / let's try all natural / I can get through this with prayer and deep breathing etc.

This week I had an OB appointment and it was so impersonal. I went through the whole vitals check thing with the medical assistant and then after a while the doctor came in. She spent the visit reading the maternal fetal medicine doctor's notes, asking how I was feeling, checking the heartbeat and then that was it - after she asked if I had any questions.

I feel like I am floating out in the ocean by myself, guys. I know I'm not, but it sure feels like it. I have a GREAT doula and my midwife is going to do her best to be at the birth. Both are available for support via text, which I do require and use, but it's just not the same. I need tea, hugs, shoulder rubs, and heaps of understanding during a prenatal appointment. Ten minutes of interaction where the doctor mostly looks at her computer screen doesn't equal my favorite appointment.

If you need emotional support in pregnancy is that the best environment to receive it in? I'm not even trying because I have others to lean on, but if you don't have that is the ten minutes you get with the OB enough time to get out all the thoughts and feelings you have? And my next appointment isn't even with the OB! I see the nurse practitioner next. AND when I deliver I get the OB who is on call, NOT the one I've been seeing for my prenatal appointments. This system just seems all out of whack to me.

I'm sure some of you are reading this and thinking, I have the best relationship with my OB! We talk for hours and I feel so amazing after every appointment.

For me that is not the feeling I carry out of the office with me. I feel relieved the appointment is over (I hate that still moment - or ten - when the doctor is looking for the heartbeat) and surprised I was only at the clinic for thirty minutes.

This is my first pregnancy where the doctors I am rotating between don't know me and my story. They haven't walked with me for years. They don't understand just how anxiety inducing pregnancy and birth is for me. In fact, in the middle of our first consult the maternal fetal medicine doctor said, "Then we'll start non-stress tests, because that often helps with anxiety, but you, well, you seem remarkably calm."

I am excellent at pretending I am calm during appointments, but inside I just want to be done and get OUT, so there's a good chance the doctors will never know how anxious I am. (Well, until birth. Then I just lose my ever loving mind and any sense that all will be well) Holding all my feelings in is on me. I know that, but I am not a person who is going to open up about all my feelings during a twenty minute consult so I'm not sure that is going to change.

Now that I've vented for a solid twelve paragraphs I do have to say this:

I am so grateful for access to medical care, specialist doctors, insurance and hospitals. Thank you Jesus for options and help and doctors who care. It sounds like I think they don't care, but I know the ability to connect gets lost in the mess of our medical system. Doctors today are incredibly busy and under intense stress because our insurance system makes practicing medicine difficult and hard to navigate.

So yes, I am at sea here, but it's not like I'm going to have to deliver this baby in my backyard fifty miles from the nearest clinic with no way to get there other than my own two feet. I recognize and am very grateful for that.

This is just way more difficult to navigate than I thought it would be. I always try to be a normal pregnant mama, but that goes out the window as soon as I start the journey, because the truth is I have had a difficult relationship with birth and pregnancy. I hope as time progresses I connect with the OB a bit more, and maybe develop a relationship with the maternal fetal medicine doctor. I'll let you know how it goes.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

surprise, surprise ... baby #5!

I know baby #4 was an early loss, but I believe every life matters so I am currently expecting our fifth baby.

Now let me give you a moment to recover from the shock ...

Still breathing?

(I'm STILL recovering)

I'm due in March so I'm a couple days shy of 14 weeks. In 5 short weeks we have the all important mid-pregnancy anatomy scan with the maternal fetal medicine doctor. Keeping this pregnancy under wraps has made it zoom by. I've been super sick, because that's how I do pregnancy, but I haven't thrown up as much as I normally do so that's positive!

Since I like to make things uber complicated I am delivering with an entirely new set of doctors. With the kids nearing 4 & 6 life has become a bit more complex: preschool, homeschool, gymnastics and church programs will fill our weeks this fall and I simply don't have time to drive 45 minutes to an hour to see my previous doctors. Also, my maternal fetal medicine doctor retired and the midwife that delivered Ainsleigh moved to a freestanding birth center.

SO - I'm trying a traditional OB this time and the maternal fetal medicine doctors at the local hospital. I've hired an amazing doula and my midwife from my first birth will hopefully be able to be there as a doula as well so I think it will all be fine. With this birth I'll have delivered in 4 different places without moving from our fine city, so that's something of an accomplishment I suppose.

Also planning on an epidural at 4 cm (is that even allowed?) because I am over birth trauma and getting through it and breathing and trying to go natural. Just get this baby out, please and thanks!

I wouldn't say we are excited, but I would like to get to that point, so we are starting to share about this pregnancy. Hopefully if others are excited for us we'll get on board. With that hope in mind I finally posted about the pregnancy on social media last night.

Everyone present thought this was a fabulous announcement idea, but we were on eclipse party day 3 and all feeling a bit rummy so our judgement was questionable. I *almost* didn't post this picture, because we all look a bit rough, but that's us! In our jams, un-showered (I was too sick to host people for the eclipse and shower; it was literally too much) at 10:30, hanging out in our backyard for a monumental event. We are not a well put together family at the best of times (why get dressed when you could be reading?) and this summer has been quite a mess with B going through a massive diet change and me feeling so ill. We went to the doctors in our jams more than once this summer, so this picture feels quite appropriate!

I believe God has a plan for our family and for this baby. And I believe our family is meant to have a third little one to raise, because that is the only way I can wrap my mind around this year of surprise babies. Everyone who has read here, or known me, or talked to me for more than 10 minutes knows the more babies question was off the table. Pregnancy and birth is so traumatic for me I couldn't fathom choosing to do it again. We have two beautiful kids we are raising and that was enough. But through Christ all things are possible, so here we are, expecting another blessing, and hoping we are done with surprises for a while.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

modern medicine // prenatal care // disappointment // frustration

It's been hard, and more than a little strange, to transition to a traditional maternal care program. My first experience was way off the normal track - midwives, out of hospital birth (if anyone gives me a hard time about that right now I will lose it), while my second experience was a very unusual hybrid - I saw a midwife from my first pregnancy in tandem with a high risk doctor, both attended the birth (in a hospital). And now round three: I'm going to a traditional practice, but doing things my own way even though it drives the office staff mad and makes them stare at their computer screens in utter confusion as they mutter, "but we don't do things that way ..."

I had my first encounter with an OB at the practice this morning. I did not like the experience AT ALL. I'm not going to get into full details with dialogue here because I'm tired and have ranted a bit on facebook already, but my goodness, if that kind of care is what most women experience I am SO sorry.

{Now I know the midwife vs OB vs hospital vs home birth topic is a hot one. I'm not commenting on your experience. I'm sure your OB is a very nice person and you wouldn't hesitate to invite him/her to your house for Thanksgiving.}

There is no way I am going to birth outside of a hospital now. Not after what happened with Charlotte. It just doesn't seem wise - and some would argue it wasn't wise the first time around, but I am in no mood for that so you just hush - but the alternative is so unfriendly.

Today I was

- left on the monitors FOR AN HOUR (a non-stress test usually takes 20 minutes)
- stuck in a room without a clock, my phone just out of reach, staring at the screen and trying to ascertain if something was wrong, or if I had been forgotten
- forced to make the very uncomfortable decision to call the front desk from the exam room to inform them I was still there and waiting to see a doctor (this task only accomplished by hauling myself out of the chair, holding the monitors on and waving my hand around wildly until I managed to grab my purse) 
- talked down to
- ignored
- informed of an induction that I didn't consent to or ask for
- told by the scheduler who I have seen three weeks in a row now that I could not see my midwife in a week's time because "that's not how it's done," even though I have told her that is how it is done in my case every. single. week.
- pushed to the point where I eventually snapped, "my baby died ..." etc. which I absolutely hate doing

I am so annoyed. And I know some of that is because I'm pregnant and easily annoyed, but that has to be one of - if not the - worst medical office experiences I have found myself in. All because the midwife I normally see was out delivering a baby, which happens sometimes and is no fault of hers!

Somehow I came away with an induction scheduled, which I'm still not sure about, plans to check my cervix next week, though I declined, and a raging headache from listening to my sweet girl's heartbeat on the monitors for a solid hour (don't get me wrong, it's a lovely sound, but they had it turned up way too high).

Will you please say a little prayer for us? For a healthy baby who comes on her own, for a delivery that is a little easier than the last, for peace and calm and sleep? (A lot of this rant brought to you by a severe lack of sleep due to anxiety and overwhelming feeling of terror). 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

it's not going to happen

The lists are piling up. I have at least three going right now: things to do, food to make, important things to remember. I might have more. I can't remember, and I can't find them, so we'll say I have three going.

Today I wanted to:

make and freeze a double batch of winter stew - it is in the crock-pot!

take Bennett to story time - they need to cap the number of people who can come. Things have quieted since school started, but this week the room was swarming with toddlers and caregivers. I'm sure fire codes were broken.

clean out Bennett's room so J can tape it this evening (tomorrow is painting day!!) - done!



general tidy (toys all over the floor drive me crazy. we've just started working with Bennett on picking up before bed because I don't like waking up to this in the morning)


clean the bathroom

Those last five probably won't happen. Until J gets home and does half of them for me while making dinner (I have an appointment with the chiropractor). 

It's hard for me to admit I can't do everything I would like to. That list isn't very big, it would normally be easy for me to get it all done, but this 34 weeks pregnant third time around business is rough. I could push myself to get it done and then make everyone's lives miserable this evening because I'm in pain. Or I could accept that I can't do it all and stop trying.

I am so thankful for J and my mom. They help a lot. I don't know what the state of things would be without them. My mom did some of the deep cleaning chores on my to do list last week and this week she is helping me paint the nursery. J works full time and then comes home and helps around the house. I get frustrated because things aren't as clean or tidy as I would like, but at least we have clean clothes and a mostly clean kitchen.

I can't believe how tired I am. I have six weeks left (at the most!) and there's still a lot to do. And some of it is really important (packing a hospital bag, making a detailed care guide for the person in charge of Bennett when I'm in labor). I think I need to prioritize things so I stop working on projects that don't have to be done (rearranging Bennett's bookshelf) and accomplish the ones that really matter.

But all I want to do is eat (but I feel so sick!) and pretend delivering this baby isn't right around the corner. In four weeks I could have a newborn. Now that is something to panic about, and there is not a list out there that will take that anxiety away.

Thursday, September 5, 2013


Our last appointment with the maternal fetal medicine doctor was this morning. He was really pleased with growth and progress so we are cleared to deliver with the midwife at Corvallis hospital.

Baby girl is almost 4 lbs (which isn't very accurate but still fun to think about) and WAY low. The sonographer said she couldn't believe how low she was at 32 weeks. She wasn't able to get a clear shot of her face, or even her head really, because she is so low. And I had to be tilted way back just for her to get an idea of head measurements. So that might explain why my pelvis hurts so bad.

Bennett enjoyed seeing his baby sister. He did great, he made it through the entire appointment. The doctor doesn't even think we need to do extra testing. I'll have a NST at every prenatal appointment, but he doesn't think anything beyond that is necessary as long as her kick counts are good.

With well wishes and a hug from the doctor we're done with specialist care for this pregnancy. Yay! Now we just have to hit full term and then we'll wait and see when she decides to be born. I imagine we will be somewhere in the 38/39 week range. I have an October 20 something birth date in my head for her, but we'll see what she decides. 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

ten weeks of nesting

The slightly crazed clean everything top to bottom phase of this pregnancy is starting. The only problem is my lack of energy and inability to do much before I have to sit on the couch for a few minutes two hours and recover. The other day I washed the outsides of two kitchen cabinets before giving up. I haven't resumed that project.

But I have cleaned out Bennett's closet and washed/sorted clothes for baby girl. While doing that I discovered we have fifteen sleep sacks (give or take a handful) but no diapers. Somehow I completely overlooked the fact that this little one will need diapers.

And this afternoon I cleaned and reorganized the front closet while Bennett was napping. One of the things that made me want to buy this house was the great storage. We have closets galore, which is nice since the house is older and the bedroom closets tiny, but that front closet has been more headache than asset. Every few months it gets so messy and crowded I can't find my shoes or get to the mail (although I'm pregnant enough now it's best to just send Bennett in for the mail) which means I have to haul everything out and reorganize. When Bennett woke up from his nap I was still in the middle of my project. He came out to the living room and declared it a "mess!" but was happy to help me finish my task.

Before                                 After

Much of the overcrowding in the front closet stems from our abundant love of jackets and my complete lack of control when it comes to reusable bags. I love them all, even the ugly ones, but I don't even use them for groceries anymore. I can hardly remember everything on my list at the store - and usually I forget at least one thing/bring home ten items not on the list - so reusable bags have fallen by the wayside. When I cleaned the closet out this afternoon I finally hauled most of the reusable bags out and shoved them in the closet at the top of the stairs.

This is how I clean. Stuff that won't fit in the front closet moves upstairs. Random items that are cluttering up Bennett's closet get shoved in a plastic bag and tucked in the hall closet. In a few days when I tackle the hall closet I'll sort through that bag make it fit somehow and all will be well and organized.

I am way too cranky to manage deep, deep cleaning. I would love to hire a service to deep clean the house before baby comes, but that seems overindulgent as I am able bodied. Able bodied and exhausted but I can still do the work if it must be done. Although this afternoon when I bent over to rearrange some shoes I threw up a little. Really. It was the perfect example of adding insult to injury: you're already cleaning the closet, why not create a little extra work?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

through the lenses

My computer was out of comission for a few days, which means I didn't blog for a bit. I could've used my phone, or J's computer, but I prefer writing from mine. How's that for particular?

I'm in the middle of planning Bennett's second birthday party. I can't believe he's been with us two years. In fact, two years ago tomorrow I was 36 weeks pregnant and in labor and delivery for a night.

I'm trying to hold the perspective I gained from Bennett's birth over the sorrow of Charlotte's. Her birth altered me, but so did his, and as I anticipate a third birth I am using everything I have to hold the lenses created by each experience in place: positive over negative, joy over sorrow, a baby who comes home over a baby who became ashes.

All the little moments that make up my life inform what comes next and how I respond, but my prior birth expereiences are the most powerful number in this equation. I haven't been blogging as much partly because of computer issues, but also because I'm stuck in an endless loop of third trimester worry and excitment. To be honest it's a little boring and emotional around here lately with a lot of random tears and frequent grumpy spells.

Wash the baby laundry. Hyperventilate while folding. Think about how I can give birth again as I've done it twice without medication and can easily choose a little help if needed this time. Panic at the thought of feeling like I did during Bennett's birth.

And on and on and on.

Keeping the lenses aligned and forcing the positive outcome to consistantly hover over the negative is exhausting. Sometimes peering through the dark to the light feels overwhelming. I have to remind myself that Charlotte's life wasn't all dark. Within her story there was life, beauty and joy. And the way Charlotte changed my life is incredible. Within the changes she wrought there is light and I have to seek it out and rely on it to help me see through to that second lens I developed when Bennett was born healthy.

And I have to keep squinting and holding the lenses in place because when they are properly alinged I can see hope and strength. I can see the little one kicking away as I write coming home. I can fold her laundry without fear. I can wonder if we'll ever settle on a name. I can talk about when she is born, not if. I can imagine her here. I can dream. I can believe. I can trust in the faith that has sustained me. I can make it through the upcoming weeks with anticipation and a soul that lifts hope over worry and fear.

Light over dark. Life over death. Hope over fear. It's a precarious balance and my perspective as I peer through the lenses is shaky at best, but there is strength to be found in my children, what they have brought into my life and how they have shaped my heart.

Friday, August 9, 2013

for the growing one

Darling girl, you still don't have a name. We'll get there, I promise. I think we have a top three, but your daddy is wavering/on the fence/undecided/can't find the perfect one.

Last night I dreamt that I discovered the perfect name. I eagerly texted J at work (who replied right away which is how I knew it was a dream):

"I have the perfect name! Sacred Heart!"

"That's the hospital where Bennett was born."

"I mistyped, I'm so excited. Sacred Hope!"


And then I tried to convince him how perfect it was, but I'll spare you that. My brain is really going haywire right now. If I introduce you to "Sacred" eleven weeks from now please gently tell me that names can be legally changed.

Since we don't have a name I've been calling her the growing one, which seems to work just fine. Not as cute as the other nicknames we bestowed on our littles (Charlotte was blueberry, Bennett little spark) but she's the third so we're a little lazy.

I have nearly everything I want/need for the growing one. It was so fun to go shopping last weekend and buy things (at full retail price! ish. I had a few coupons) just because I liked them. I thought a little about what I needed, but mostly if I liked the look of it I bought it. Like these hats from H&M. So adorable, right?

My parents bought us the swaddle blankets I wanted. I have a set of Aden + Anais swaddlers for Bennett, but I wanted a girl pattern for this baby.

I would like to buy some Baby Legs, a girly sheet or two, two-three warm sleepers (the ones I bought for Charlotte are lightweight for spring/summer) and a tiny headband or two. I want something simple, sweet and small for her newborn photos. I'm thinking a tiny white flower, or maybe a white and pink flower. Even if I find a tiny one it may not fit her head if she is sized like her siblings.

My mom and I (more like my mom) need to paint the nursery more of a gender neutral color (cream maybe) and J has a few things to hang and then we will be ready! 10-12 weeks left! I suppose I could go over 40 weeks this time, but I don't like the thought of that so I'm not entertaining the notion.

Are you getting excited?

Thursday, August 8, 2013


I finally have it set up so I - or anyone - can reply to comments. Oh my word, that took me forever to figure out. Know how I solved the problem? I asked someone else to fix it for me. I was hoping to include a facebook comment box as well, but that, my friends, is never going to happen. I know some don't comment because it's difficult or doesn't work. I tried changing to the Disqus platform for a while, but that didn't work well at all so we'll just have to stick with this for now. I've contemplating a move to WordPress (as I do every few months) but I don't think it will happen - even though it would make a lot of things easier.

How was that for a boring paragraph?

I had my gestational diabetes test this morning. I had a 2 hour one, which will soon be the new requirement, but is new enough that everyone was confused as to what I was doing and why. Apparently it's taking too long (as in weeks) to do the 1 hour test, then the 3 hour, then set up nutritional counseling for those who need it so the new deal is going to be a 2 hour test and that's the only one you do.

I hate that test. I should've refused. The drink burns my throat and makes me sick. And I had to fast 12 hours before the test. Making a pregnant woman go without food for 14.5 hours is not nice.

My mom watched Bennett while I did the test. When I arrived home they were out front and both were quite wet. My mom is very easy going, which is necessary with a kid like Bennett. "He knows how to turn on the hose," she said. And not only that, he knows how to aim it at people. Oops. Sorry, mom. We've been trying to break him of that habit, especially since he trapped us in the house while he decorated the front stoop with hose water. My mom has a lot of grandchildren, she can take a lot of hits, but she looked a little worn out. I feel for those who receive the full Bennett treatment. Smarty Pants McGee outwits me on a daily basis, but I'm used to the constant chaos.

And now I really need to get off the couch, stop eating chocolate chips, and clean. Or maybe I'll make the cinnamon rolls I impulse bought at Trader Joe's yesterday ... I have to get my sugar fix just in case the test comes back high, right?

Monday, July 8, 2013

on embracing a little chaos

This pregnancy is hard. It is by far my most difficult physically. I hurt all. the. time. I can't keep up with everything because I'm tired and just want to put my feet up. Something is always left undone, which doesn't seem to bother anyone but me.

This pregnancy is different than my last two in that I have a toddler to chase around. Yesterday we went to three grocery stores (side note: how will I manage that with TWO?) and it went fairly quickly but by the time we arrived home I was tired and cramping a little. I unloaded the groceries onto the porch, let Bennett out of the car and reached in to grab his diaper bag. By the time I stood up he was gone, tearing down the street for our neighbor's house yelling the name of his little friend who was standing outside. Thankfully he headed straight there so I didn't have to chase him too quickly, but nearly every day there is a moment when he gets away from me and I have to sprint after him. I love when J is around because I can send him after Bennett and he's a lot quicker and less awkward than me.

It's hard to balance being a good mom and wife with taking care of myself. Yesterday I did the grocery shopping, unpacked, tidied and cleaned the house, made dinner and then I was grumpy, grumpy, grumpy because my back hurt and my pelvis ached.

Some days I am able to let things go, but eventually having toys and books scattered around the house, five loads of laundry to do and a cluttered kitchen table makes me crazy. And there's a sneaky voice in my head that does not hesitate to tell me every other mama is doing a better job than me.

Sometimes I have to let things pile up so Bennett gets everything he needs. Most days it's best for me, Bennett and J if I rest while Bennett naps. J doesn't care if the house is a little messy. Bennett doesn't care if his room isn't vacuumed this week. Somehow I have to shake the notion that people are looking in through the windows and judging me because the truth is: no one else cares either.

I don't know where the notion that women have to do it all, and do it all well, originated, but it's annoying and impossible to accomplish. And I am totally guilty of buying into it. I compare myself to mama friends far too often, but it's not really a fair comparison because I have no idea what goes on in their lives most of the time. I just see them at church or the park where they look like they have it all together and aren't nearly as exhausted as I am.

I have to remind myself it's okay to be tired and there's nothing wrong with sitting a while. Living in a little bit of chaos doesn't make me less of a wife or mother. It makes me human. There's a whole lot of love in this house and I think that's what Bennett will remember when he's grown. And J has a terrible memory so twenty years from now I can probably convince him the house was always pristine when the kids were young.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

22 weeks

I'm soooooooooooooooo tired. I had to crop my face out because I look quite exhausted and worn out. This is mostly my fault because I stayed up until 11:45 last night writing, but I'm placing some blame on the baby's shoulders. I'm back to writing, which always feels good, but I need more hours in the day.

My brain is useless. I missed a dental appointment on Monday because I wrote it down for July 24. I asked a friend to watch B on the 14th of July, a Sunday, so I could go to a prenatal appointment. When she replied that she was out of town that weekend, and was it normal for my doctor's office to do Sunday appointments?? I realized the appointment is on the 12th and J will be home that day so I don't actually need help.

We have a couple trips coming up, all of which require bringing food for B of course. I have three different packing lists going right now. Well, I did, until I lost two of them. I am trying lots of new recipes as we prepare for our trips. One is a family reunion which I have helped plan and since we hope to roast marshmallows I am determined to make ones B can eat.

B is up from his nap and in the space of three minutes he has drawn on the bedspread with ink pen and captured my phone. I shouldn't have put him down for an early nap, but he was tired after a busy morning at the library (pretty sure fire codes were broken this morning. our library needs a bigger (and cooler) room for story time). Now it's 2:00 and I have no idea what we'll do for the next two hours. The weather has been terrible so we've been spending a lot of time inside, but this is Oregon and tomorrow we are expected to transition from 60 and rainy to 85 and boiling. B found another pen. Now I really have to go.

Don't forget to enter to win a fabulous new lullaby album!

Monday, June 10, 2013


It didn't take nearly as long as I expected to settle on a name. We have two at the top of the list, but we're having a hard time deciding which one we prefer. I asked B his opinion, but he just said, "the bus!"

I'm sure I've explained why I want to share the name before birth, but I'll tell you again anyway. We decided to keep Charlotte's name a secret, but I regretted doing so when she died because I felt like friends and family weren't as connected with her. They didn't know her as Charlotte like we did. Now I want my babies to be known and spoken of as soon as possible just in case our time with them is limited.

Therefore I present our top two name choices:


Saturday, June 8, 2013

so ... it's a girl

I was pretty sure this babe was a girl. I had my gut feeling, which has been correct all three times. When I had a scan at 12 weeks the tech said if she guessed, which she does not, she would guess girl. At 16 weeks, when J did a quick scan, baby was curled up in a ball and then I looked up at the screen and said, "Oh! Three lines, just like with Charlotte! That's a girl!" And yesterday the tech confirmed (99.9% sure) that we are, indeed, having another girl.

When we found out Bennett's gender I was by myself and I cried through the entire ultrasound. I thought I might cry when we officially knew it was a girl, but I didn't. I just feel really, really, really happy. If it's possible I want to carry the happy feelings through the rest of this pregnancy.

This is difficult to admit, but I haven't connected with this baby. I haven't put my heart into it because I didn't want to get hurt. But now? I'm all in. Last night all I could think was, "I can't wait to meet this baby!!" 19 long weeks into this pregnancy I finally feel connected and in love with our little girl.

I want to enjoy the remainder of this pregnancy. I want to be excited about labor (um, as excited as you one can be about excruciating pain) and delivery. I don't want to be afraid, or worried or so busy protecting myself from hurt I fail to enjoy this baby - the last one.

J and I were laughing and talking on the long drive home and I realized it's been a long time since I've felt so unburdened. I don't know if it's possible to release all of the fear and worry so I can rest in joy and peace, but I'm going to try. Trauma is tricky. I know that. I've lived within it for quite some time now. It tends to knock you down when you least expect it, which means a big crash could be coming, but I'd like to stop living in anticipation of the crash. I want to start living in anticipation of how beautiful our lives will be in a few short months when we have two sweet children to raise.

I think this is part of going forward. I think I have to allow myself to let go a little bit. Releasing the negative emotions doesn't mean forgetting. I have to make room for a third baby. I have to clear space to focus on raising the ones who are here. And I have to let go of the fear that doing so means loving Charlotte less. My first girl is planted so firmly within me I can't lose her. It doesn't work that way. I can shift her over, make room for new life, but she always has her home within my mama heart.

Yesterday we went to dinner then stopped at the hardware store. When we left there were birds flying around a GMC truck. "Hey look at that bird sitting on the 'C'" I said to J. A few seconds later I thought to myself If I believed in signs I would take that as a big, fat be joyful! from heaven.  And then I decided, why not believe in signs, just this once?

So I'm going to enjoy what remains of this pregnancy.

We don't need to prepare much, but I am so excited about baby girl clothes!! I sold most of Charlotte's clothes to buy things for Bennett, which means I have some shopping to do. I've bought a few things, but I can't wait to fill the other half of B's closet with all the pink I can find.

We also need to agree on a name. Mediation may be needed for this one. We had a girl name, a boy name, a second maybe boy name, but few options for another girl name. Once we know I'll share it.

Friday, June 7, 2013

it's a ...

Healthy baby girl! We got one picture and then the balloon popped. Not the picture I imagined, but beautiful all the same. And that makes me three for three on knowing the gender of my babies.

Friday, May 31, 2013

back to meal planning and a sleep update

I finally sat down and planned out a month of meals. With morning sickness and general pregnancy tiredness I've been really lazy about meal planning and grocery shopping. A few months ago I got frustrated with out budget because we were always over in the food department. Instead of adjusting to the additional cost of Bennett's food I threw the entire plan out the window. This month I'm going to keep track of everything we spend and then we will redo our entire budget. Blah. I seriously wish I could hire someone to do this stuff for me. I hate it.

If you have a little one with dietary restrictions, or if you yourself have them, how do you manage the food/money issue? We buy mostly organic fruits and vegetables as well as local, organic meats (most of the time). Add in Bennett's specialty foods (and my cravings) and there goes the grocery money. I wish using coupons was an option, but every time I look at coupons I get frustrated because they're for foods we don't eat.

My mom went shopping with me yesterday, which was so nice. I could have left Bennett at home with her and gone by myself, but I like to have company. We went to three stores to buy everything for the month. I could have gone to a fourth, but didn't have the energy. Then I left a bag of groceries in the car and didn't realize it until the milk in the bag had been sitting out too long. Oops.

On the sleep side of things progress is being made. Phase two has not been as bad as I expected. In fact, Bennett is doing really well. We're down to one or two night wakings - usually one - and he settles within 10-15 minutes of waking. We go in, readjust his covers, pat his back, then leave his door open for 10 or so minutes to make sure he's asleep. Most nights he sleeps until 4 or 4:30 before needing settled.

Bennett is putting himself to sleep as well. We do our nighttime routine then leave his door open for thirty minutes or so while he puts himself to sleep. It's only been two weeks since we began the gentle sleep training process. I can't believe how far we've come. I'll write a post with tips and ideas in the next few days and then I will stop writing about sleep.

Until the next one comes along.

Speaking of that, we have the big scan a week from today. Eeek. I don't feel ready. The 20 week scan is so nerve wracking. I'm always worried something will be found, and then there's the whole gender issue to contend with as well. Now that I'm nearly halfway through this pregnancy time is speeding by. If this little one comes early like Charlotte and Bennett I'm already halfway done.

When I mentioned the approaching halfway mark to J the other day he said, "I'm sorry."

"Why are you sorry?" I asked.

"Because you have to birth that baby."

Thanks for pointing that out, J. I'm trying not to think about that part of the process. I'm going for the ignore until I can't ignore any longer method this time. Seems like a good plan, right?

Saturday, May 18, 2013

nervous, but brave enough

This morning we stopped at J's work before doing the grocery shopping. J thought it would be fun to take a look at the baby, see if we could guess the gender. I was reluctant because we did the same thing with Charlotte and I'm wary of repeating anything I did while pregnant with Charlotte. I was also terrified of seeing a still baby with no heartbeat, but I heard the baby yesterday and felt the baby today so I knew things were most likely okay.

Having J do a quick scan is a fun way for him to be involved in the pregnancy. He doesn't come to appointments - though he will be there for the anatomy scan this time - because of his work schedule so he doesn't have nearly as much interaction with the baby.

B enjoyed seeing the baby and helping J scan. It was difficult to tell what the gender was because baby was curled up in a ball. And J brings home the bacon by scanning hearts and veins., not babies. He's only scanned a couple baby bellies so he doesn't have a lot of skill in that area. He's 80% sure we figured it out correctly. I'm 85-90% sure.

SO -

What is it B????

Brother or sister?

Look at that sweet hand! Hard to tell, but this is the tummy and there's a knee in there somewhere too.

We're not telling.

We'll share after the official ultrasound.

What do you think?

Boy or girl?

Friday, May 17, 2013

baby three: 16.5 weeks

First of all: how in the world am I 16 weeks already??

I finally heard baby's heartbeat via doppler today. I have no idea why my babies like to hide from the doppler until 16 weeks (it's not placenta placement) but goodness is it nerve wracking. I was feeling a little worried today when it took the midwife a while to locate the heartbeat, but I felt the baby moving around quite a bit last night (first really strong movements!!) so I knew things were most likely fine.

Our anatomy scan will be here before too long, and the week after that will be the halfway mark. Unless this little one comes early like its siblings. Then I'll hit the halfway mark in a couple weeks!

I feel completely calm about this pregnancy and the baby's arrival until I think about B turning 2 in four months. A month or so after he turns 2 we'll be bringing another baby home! (fingers and toes crossed, of course). Thinking about it that way makes me want to start planning and organizing.

This pregnancy is so different from my first two. I don't have the words to explain it at the moment, but it is very, very different.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

names - blurgh

I needed a bowl of cereal thirty or so minutes ago, but I hopped onto a baby name website and now I am in a panic. J will not discuss baby names until we know the gender, so I have to turn to you for whining purposes.

When I was pregnant with Charlotte we were leaning heavily towards Madison, but Charlotte was high on the list and once we called her by that for a few days it stuck. I knew our boy would be named Bennett, so when we found out baby number two was a boy naming him was easy peasy. And it was made all the better by its meaning (blessed / blessed boy from heaven).

I am driving myself crazy trying to find the perfect meaning for this little one's name. Right now I'm only looking at girl names because I've got the feeling and the feeling has been 100% accurate so far. I'm focusing on meaning more than the actual name, which is silly, but I can't seem to stop myself.

Every now and I again I find myself wandering down a strange name path - Willow Piper?? - but when I think about the meaning - basically, a tree who plays the pipes - I can't bring myself to write it down. Also: J would not go for it.

Then there's the idea of including Charlotte's name - or Ava, her middle name - somehow, which I've blogged about before, but honestly I don't think that's right for us.

This evening I've found a few names I love the meaning of, but they are African or Irish or Greek in origin and I think knowing how to pronounce your child's name is important. I LOVE the name Genevieve, but everyone I know has shot that one down, so I'm moving on from it.

What a wonderful problem to have, yes?

I best eat my cereal before 9:30 hits. Baby does not like food after 9:30, although, that 10:00 Taco Bell run the other night was a wonderful exception to that rule. (I haven't had Taco Bell in years, please, please don't tell me what's in the meat.)

Is it hard for you to choose names? How about if you've had a loss? Does that make it more difficult? Do you fret about the meaning, or just go for something you like? Does your spouse shoot down every suggestion you make?

Sunday, April 7, 2013

the great jeans hunt: a review of sorts

This is it, people. The last pregnancy, the last hurrah, the last time I have to wear maternity clothes. It's strange, it doesn't feel final, and I think J may have a different opinion on the matter, but I'm calling this the last one. (Let's not mention my firm belief that I wouldn't have more children after B, mmmkay?)

My first two pregnancies I wore mostly Motherhood Maternity, even though the clothes didn't fit all that well. This pregnancy I wanted comfortable pants that actually fit, so yesterday J (who has a horrible toothache) little man B and I went on a hunt for maternity pants. Did you know selling maternity pants in store is rare these days? I didn't either until we drove to a mall an hour from our house.

I wanted to go to H&M because I believed it would come through for me. I had tried going to a different H&M a few weeks ago, but they don't have a maternity section. This H&M had two pairs of jeans, size 16. They had tons of leopard print skinnies lying around, but almost no jeans. Can you see me in leopard print skinny jeans? Yeah. didn't think so. I was so disappointed. After trying Gap (online only, or a different location a few miles away) and Nordstrom (online only) I gave up.

We went to our next destination (Columbia Sportswear Employee Store, hospital employee benefit) then on to lunch. At lunch I realized we were less than a mile from the other Gap. J was so kind to agree to another stop even though his tooth really, really hurt (most likely needs a root canal).

And there, in the back of Baby Gap, was a little room with a wall of maternity jeans! It was a beautiful, expensive sight. I found a pair on the clearance rack as well as a full price pair. Both demi panel, which I didn't think I wanted, but these are so comfortable. I think it will be nice to have the demi panel because the full panel was pretty warm during those last months of my second pregnancy.

The entire store was 30% off, but the full price jeans were still super expensive ($50.00). The clearance jeans were $25.00, which I felt really good about. The jeans are true to size and come in ankle, short or regular length, which is SO nice. I bought a size 6 ankle, which fit perfectly right now and size 8 short which fit, but have a little room for growth.

So, here's a quick sum up of my thoughts on maternity pants:

Motherhood Maternity: Uncomfortable, unflattering, don't fit very well.

Gap: Comfortable, not too roomy around the thighs and hips, well worth the extra money spent.

It felt so good to put on pants this morning that a) fit and b) don't make me look like a frumpy mom (even though I so am a frumpy mom).

It feels a little early to be buying maternity clothes, but I can't get anything else over my hips which are spreading at an alarming rate this time. I need to buy a pair of pants I can work out in and then I can stop looking for maternity clothes. Forever. I hope. 

* This might be the most boring post I've ever written. Sorry!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

that awkward phase

I keep trying to come up with posts that are not pregnancy related, but I got nothing so you're going to have to be patient with my single mindedness.

I'm in that awkward phase where my regular clothes don't fit, but maternity clothes are a bit too much. I have a belly band, but wearing it just irritates me. This pregnancy is exactly like Charlotte's in that having anything too tight on my stomach makes me sick. I'm not nearly as big as I was with Bennett, but I definitely have a little bump.

9 weeks with B

8 and change with this one. I'm not sticking my belly out, I just have bad posture. And that is so totally my girl belly, but I'm still not clear on the gender.

I have maternity jeans from my previous pregnancies, but I don't like any of them. They don't fit me very well at all. This pregnancy I want to buy one pair of jeans that will fit well and be comfortable until the end. Well, until September, then I'll switch over to all yoga pants all the time.

I want a pair of jeans with a full panel, not too much extra room in the rear and thighs (seriously Motherhood Maternity, I don't gain much in that area) and a skinny-ish fit. I don't want TRUE skinny jeans though. And if I pay $70.00 for them J may keel over and I need him standing so he can make me food and clean the house so no designer brands please. I need a personal shopper who can go out and find me the perfect pair of jeans because I can barely move off the couch. Since I don't know where to find one, and don't want to pay one, I'm relying on you. What's your favorite pair of maternity jeans? What brand has the best fit? Right now I'm thinking I'll go with Gap, but I have to buy online if I do that and that makes me nervous.


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