Monday, November 19, 2012

Hand Turkeys and Playing in the Park

As I've written quite frequently in the past few weeks, I'm attempting to prepare for Evie to go from "only child" to "older child."  At this point, the transition is harder for me that it probably will be for her.  I am just worried.  I want her to be happy, and I don't want her to feel like we are not giving her the attention that she has always had from us.  However, I know that is impossible.  All of our lives are changing in a big way, and there's nothing we can do to stop it. 

I didn't know I'd feel this guilty about it all though.  I've probably been coddling Evie a bit more lately that I had in the past, and I feel like she's been more clingy that before too.  She needs me to do things that M used to do for her.  Honestly though, it hasn't bothered me.  I am happy to know that she still wants me, and as much as that might be a burden in the near future, I'm cherishing this time when I can indulge her.

For me, I feel like so  much is changing already, and the baby isn't even here yet.  My maternity leave sub started on Friday, and I'm having a hard time letting go of my kids at school.  I had a particularly rough day on with him being there, but when I got to daycare to pick up Evie, she gave me this. 

Evie's first ever "hand turkey"

My heart melted.  An older kid helped trace her hand, and then she colored it (in spectacular, two-year-old fashion).  Evie was so proud of herself!  It is now displayed on our fridge.  :)

I'm also grateful that the weather was beautiful here in Wisconsin over the weekend (highs in the 50s!), and we were able to spend time outside.  M put up the outside Christmas decorations yesterday while Evie and I did some yard work.  After her nap, we were able to go to the park for a while too.

Going down the slide

Just running around

We have no idea how much time we have left like this (two weeks at the most!).  As much as I'm excited and ready to meet this baby, I'm also enjoying every moment that I can just me and Evie. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

39 Weeks (-1 day)

As of tomorrow I will be 39 weeks pregnant.  If this baby is born at the same point in my pregnancy as Evie was, I will be having a baby on Tuesday.  HOLY CRAP!!!  For work reasons, I'm hoping that I can hold off until Wednesday at least (like I have any control over this...HA!).  We only have two days of school this week because of Thanksgiving, and I just want a clean break with the kids.  I dread the idea of just not coming in one day.  (I'm planning to write more about this tomorrow.  :)

Like I posted last week, I'm ready.  I really am, but it's still a little tough to wrap my mind around the idea that these are our last days as a family of three.  As much as I'm excited to meet this baby, I am mourning the loss of our time as "just the three of us."  I know that our family of three was not complete, but we had some good times, and this baby is going to change everything.  In the end, I know that it will be for the better, but the big adjustment is scaring me right now. 

Taken at 38 weeks 3 days

Weight gain/loss: +39 lbs. at my doctor's appointment last Monday. 

Fruit of the week: This week baby is the size of a watermelon.

Feeling: Ready!  Excited!  Sad! (about life changing so drastically so quickly)  Nervous!  Happy!  Pretty much every emotion...followed by an exclamation point!

Sleep: Last week was actually really good.  Evie has finally begun to sleep better since getting over her cold, and I have been able to mostly turn off my brain and sleep.  If I can make it through school on Tuesday, I know I'll sleep better too. 

Food cravings: Nothing really.  I'm excited for Thanksgiving though!!  Mmmmm....stuffing! 

Movement: Less than last week, which is great because I'm feeling pretty confident this baby is stuck head down.  Woo hoo!!  He is still moving around enough to reassure me that things are fine, but it has definitely decreased from a few weeks ago. 

Labor signs:  We were a little freaked out on Friday night when I had contractions about 4 - 6 minutes apart for a couple of hours.  They weren't incredibly painful, but they weren't Braxton Hicks either.  If it had lasted much longer, we would have been on our way to the hospital!!  Other than that, I was dilated 1.5 cm and 50% effaced at my appointment last Monday.

Name:  Miller??  Brooks??  Tyler??  We don't have a clue!

What I miss?  Nothing really right now.  I'm looking forward to being able to sleep comfortably on my back and tummy again soon...for the couple of hours of sleep that I get each day.    

Best moment this week: Seeing Evie play with her cousins last night at my in-law's.  Evie is pretty funny on her own, but with another two year old, and a six year old *attempting* to form some sort of organized play, it was hilarious!

What I'm looking forward to:  Getting through school on Tuesday.  Again, I know that I have no control over this, but I really just want to make it that far. 

Next Appointment: Tomorrow at 39 weeks. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Prepping for #2

The countdown is on.  I'm officially less than two weeks from my due date, and physically I am VERY ready to have this baby!!!  (I'm sick of the indignity of my husband hoisting me off of the couch, among other pleasant symptoms of being 38+ weeks pregnant.)  Sleep is no relief anymore because I'm so uncomfortable, and I hate being winded from getting out of my car.  

I'm ready to meet this kid.  

Baby boy at 9 weeks
Preparing for this little one hasn't felt too much different that preparing for Evie.  There has been less stuff to buy.  We already owned the boppy, breast pump, bottles, neutral newborn clothing (we didn't know that Evie was going to be a girl until she was born), burp rags, etc, and we were fortunate that many friends and relatives gave us hand me down clothing after we found out that we were having a boy this time around.  But overall, getting a room ready was about the same and the overall pregnancy experience has been about the same.

Then there's Evie.  That's been the big difference.  I am more concerned about her than the baby at this point.  I have taken care of a newborn before, so I know what to expect with crying jags (from both of us!), sleep deprivation, sore nipples, and constipation fussiness, but I am so worried about Evie it actually makes me feel a little sick inside.

Part of it is probably guilt.  I give her my everything right now.  How can I give everything to two kids???  I know that having a younger sibling isn't going to damage her for life (my younger sisters are two of my best friends), but how will she adapt in the present?  We've been reading books about becoming a big sister and she helped decorate the nursery.  We've tried to involve her every step of the way, but I know that the baby is still very abstract to her at this point.

Evie is baby crazy right now.  She loves helping my sister with my niece.  She holds the bottle, she helps change diapers, she plays *gently* with the baby.  She loves her baby dolls.  She has to take one of them to bed with her every night and she cuddles with her and reads stories to her, but I know it won't be the same when it's a real live baby that Mommy is taking of too.

Evie and Baby
I don't want to over-think this.  "Mom guilt" is probably just getting the best of me right now.  We're all going to be fine.  I'm ready to have this baby and begin the adjustment to a family of four.  Evie will love her little brother, I just hope that it doesn't take her too long to realize that.  :)

Moms of two (or more): What did you do to ease the transition for your older child(ren)?  How did they adjust once the baby was born?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

37 weeks (3 days)

I know I haven't posted a weekly update in a while.  Probably because I fell off of the blogosphere for a while, but now that I'm back, I thought I'd write weekly updates while they still last.

So here I am at 37 weeks and 3 days.

What's funny is that looking at this picture, I don 't know if I look significantly huger (even though I feel significantly huger) that I did my last "weekly" update at 27 weeks

27 weeks 1 day

I feel like I just look thicker all around.  My face, my hips, my meaty man hands...  But the bump seems to stick as far out ahead of my boobs as it did back then.  Am I just delusional???  I guess that's why so many people reacted in disbelief back then when I told them I still had 3 months to go.  Ha ha ha!!

Weight gain/loss: +37 lbs.  I had hoped not to gain as much this time as I did with Evie, but I've packed it on slow and steady just like I did last time.  At the time Evie was born at 39 weeks 1 day, I had gained a total of 42 lbs.  I look like I could pull that off again.  I am comforted by the fact that my beginning weight this time was about 10 lbs. less than before I got pregnant with Evie, and hopefully breastfeeding will help me take off the weight like it did last time.  

Fruit of the week: This week baby is the size of a watermelon, but with arms and legs that keep jabbing me from the inside.

Feeling: Ready to have this baby!!!  The house is as ready as it's going to be.  Evie is as ready as she's going to be, and M and I know what to expect from a newborn, but we're ready to jump into the unknown of a newborn and a toddler.  

Sleep: Not so great.  I wake up from the pain in my hips and then I flip myself over to the other side, just to lay there awake for a couple of hours because I'm worried about school, labor, Evie...  At 2:00 a.m., everything always seems more worrisome!

Food cravings: None lately.  I get full really fast these days, and I've been battling a little bit of reflux too.  My throat feels like it's burning if I haven't eaten or drank anything in a few hours.  I think that it just acts up when my stomach is empty. 

Movement: I'm surprised by how much movement I'm still feeling.  It also worries me though, I want this baby to stay head down.  He was still head down at my 37 week check up on Monday, and I'll find out this coming Monday if he still is.  The baby and I have officially been labeled as having an "unstable lie."  This just means that the doctor is uneasy about the fact that the baby flipped on his own this late in my pregnancy.  She was very explicit that if I go into labor I NEED to tell the admissions team at the hospital to do a quick ultrasound to make sure he's still head down before they allow my labor to progress.  Basically, if he flips again at the wrong time, I will have a c-section.  :(

Name:  Still unsure.  We've narrowed it down to 2 choices though...

What I miss?  Being able to see Evie when she hugs my legs.  ;)  She kind of disappears under my bump these days.  

Best moment this week: When we found out that the baby had flipped head down on his own, and we didn't need to have the ECV procedure!

What I'm looking forward to:  Thanksgiving!  It's my favorite holiday of the year.  I have been hoping to have a Thanksgiving baby.  Maybe not on Thanksgiving Day this year, but I have a week time period to have the baby so that his birthday will fall on Thanksgiving every 5 - 6 years.  Does anyone out there have a holiday birthday?  Is it really annoying and I should stop hoping for that???

Next Appointment: Next Monday, November 12 at 38 weeks. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Halloween 2012

Halloween was definitely more exciting this year with Evie than it has been for the past couple of years.  She knows what candy is, and she wants it!!

Mi bailaora de flamenco (My little flamenco dancer)
This year, Evie was a flamenco dancer.  I found the outfit on our trip to Spain over the summer, and I couldn't pass it up.  Bonus: it was only 10 euros (about $13)!!

No one really got the costume, and many people looked at me funny when I told them that Evie would be a flamenco dancer for Halloween.  But I guess that's the burden of having a Spanish teacher as a mom.  I'm sure she'll encounter more moments like this in her life.  : )  I tried to teach her a few flamenco moves (see clip of Sevillanas flamenco here), but she wasn't really interested.

She loved wearing the dress...once she found out that people would give her candy if she was wearing it.  We didn't trick or treat too much, we just walked around our small, suburban block and stopped at the houses of neighbors that we know fairly well.  Evie had just as much fun handing out candy to other kids when we got home.

I'm sure we won't be able to get away with that much longer.  Next year, she'll probably understand there is much more candy to be had if we stop at more houses.  M and I wanted to put that off as long as we could though.  Next year, we'll also have her little brother with us, and I'm sure she'll be more than happy to take his share of the candy since he will be much too small to eat it himself.

I'm sure that Halloween will become a bigger deal as Evie (and little brother) begin to understand it better.  For now, M and I enjoyed the relatively quiet evening of seeing our neighbors and taking Evie trick or treating.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

ECV Update

I'll start right off with the good news: the best possible scenario played out for us on Friday afternoon.  When the resident at the hospital did the ultrasound prior to performing the ECV, they found that the baby had flipped to head down. They did not have to do the procedure...which would have required an IV, muscle relaxing drugs, and a ton of pain for the 2 out of 3 chance that the baby might turn head down. 

I started crying I was so relieved.  Then I joked that we should look to see if he's still a boy.  The resident appeased me, and yup, still a boy.  :)  This time, I saw boy parts.  At our 20 week ultrasound, I didn't feel very convinced.  I have been having a lot of dreams lately that the baby is actually a girl, and this confirmation was kind of nice. 

So, now that he was head down on Friday, I just have to hope that he stays that way.  I have no idea when during the week he turned over.  Apparently, it was not such a momentous movement that I was able to notice it.  This baby has always moved a lot more than Evie ever did, and it's difficult for me to tell what's what most days.

Because we were discharged from the hospital so quickly, and we had free day care (thanks to my wonderful mother-in-law), M and I went out for a nice, late lunch together.  Since we were at the hospital, we were near all of the great restaurants near downtown/campus area in Madison.  We haven't just walked down State St. in forever, and we ate at a campus restaurant that we haven't gone to since my days long ago (11 years now!) at the UW. 

View of the Wisconsin capitol from State Street
What could have been a potentially really tough day, turned out kind of nice. Hopefully this baby has settled in the way he's supposed to (head down!!) and everything will go smoothly from here until the end. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Make like a fetus and head out

Sorry for the somewhat graphic reference, but that's what I'm hoping will happen anyway.

We found out at my 36 week appointment on Monday that baby boy is heads up.  The doctor had a heck of a time trying to check my cervix (you know...she was REALLY up in my business), and she couldn't tell which way baby was turned.  She brought in the ultrasound and confirmed that his head was squarely below my left ribs.

She immediately began talking about scheduling a c-section.

::Commence freak out::

I know that this baby's birth will be nothing like Evie's, but holy cow, this is definitely not what I expected.  She said that we could schedule something for a few weeks from now, and hope that the baby turns on his own before that, in which case, I will not need the c-section.

She then began explaining my other option(s).  She explained an external cephalic version (ECV) to me, in which she and another doctor will try to flip the baby from the outside.  I've heard of this before, and all I know is that it's supposed to hurt.  But, I told her that I'm willing to do anything to avoid a c-section, so I'll try it.

She left the room to call the hospital to schedule the procedure.  I quickly got dressed and went to get M and Evie from the waiting room.  I was pretty upset, and I wanted him to hear her explain everything, just in case I missed something.

The ECV is scheduled for Friday afternoon.  I will prepped as though I may have a c-section if the procedure goes very badly (i.e. baby is so distressed that they feel it's in his and my best interest to deliver immediately).  My doctor has only had this experience twice in her 16 years as an OB, which helped calm my fears.  She also seemed to feel that this is an appropriate step.  She did not discourage my decision at all, and she explained that my chances of success are better because it's my 2nd pregnancy (thanks for stretching my out Evie!), and because of the placement of my placenta.

Since Monday afternoon, I've done a lot of internet research (for better or worse) about methods of trying to get the baby to flip spontaneously.  One recommendation was a chiropractic technique, so I made an appointment for Tuesday morning, and I have another appointment this morning.

I just truly feel like the baby is not settled in any one direction quite yet.  He still moves a TON, and big movements too.  I feel like he may have already repositioned, but I don't know if that's just wishful thinking.  I'm trying to remain positive.  Even if he hasn't moved yet, even if the ECV is unsuccessful tomorrow, there is  still a chance he could flip on his own before I need to deliver.  And I know that no matter how this baby enters the world, that he is happy and healthy is my number one concern.

I'm just keeping my fingers crossed and praying (which is new for me) that it all works out that way.