Wednesday, September 29, 2010

"Good God! Why..."

Today is Wednesday, which means I get to go, see my doctor and get a shot to help prevent pre-term labor.  This morning I went in, found a parking space easily (score!) walked in and got on the elevator.  It looked like a pretty easy day at the doctor's offices this morning.  Instead of having a packed lobby of people waiting for the elevators and then being squished in there, the lobby was empty and there was only one other person to share the elevator with me.

Considering that my stomach has grown, I get a lot of comments from a lot of strangers.  Most are the common questions "when are you due?"  or "is this your first?" and things of that nature that are usually done with a smile and then an unwelcomed rub on the stomach, which is only unwelcomed because it is a complete stranger who I have no idea is a nose picker or not.

Today wasn't that way.  He was a grouchy old man, trousers up to his armpits and all.  His question was almost more of a statement "First or Second" to which I responded "third" and he got even grouchier with his "Good God!  Why would you do that?" statement after.  Rather than dignify his rudeness with any response I gave him the smile.  You know, the one that has your lips turned up, forcefully and your eyes are shooting dangers as if to say "You are so lucky I was raised better than that."

Seriously, considering that you are not feeding, diapering, schooling, paying for or raising any of my children I could have 90 and it wouldn't be any of your damn business.  And if you are from a generation where it was more common to have closer to a dozen kids in your family than a half a dozen, I really don't care to hear your negative opinion.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

33 weeks, 49 days until my due date!

How far along? 33 weeks.  Only 2 more weeks until we could deliver her and likely take her home with us, when I go home.  Only 4 more p17 shots to try and prevent labor.

Weight gain/loss: 36 pounds
Maternity Clothes?  Every day :)
Stretch Marks?  My tummy is clear, but earlier today I noticed a few tiny white ones on one boob :(
Sleep? Most nights I go to bed at 9:30, get up once around midnight to use the restroom, again at 4 to use the restroom and am out of bed by 6.
Best moment this week?  Samantha is getting so big, when she kicks you can literally grab a hold of her foot.  She has hiccups all the time.  Her nursery is ready, all of her clothes are clean and put away, the hospital bag is packed, my camera bag is ready, we are all set for her :)
Food Cravings?  Milk.  And that's it really.
Belly Button, in or out?  Out, really out.
What I miss?  Not having heartburn :)
Weekly Wisdom? Enjoy it.  Even if it means you have to stop what you are doing, sit down and enjoy what you are going through.
Upcoming Appointments?  Wednesday is p17.  It's a super early appointment, before Kaitlyn goes to school.

Matthew was born at 33 weeks.  We know first hand what a 33 week baby looks like.  Their full head of hair, their long fingernails, their perfectly formed lips, their expressive eyebrows, their tiny little nose and of course, their big personality.  It makes it so exciting for us to know how far Samantha is and how much like a newborn she really truly is in there.  She's just taking a little longer to get stronger, fatter and help those lungs get as strong as possible.  We know how important another week or two of pregnancy can be, how much development and growing they do and they need.  We can only wish that Matthew had the same opportunity.  The difference could have been life saving.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


That's what we are.  I know it, Dusty knows it and Kaitlyn is learning it.  We like to do more than what is expected of us, we like to accomplish our goals and then some, we like to be the best at whatever we do and that is just how it is. 

With that comes some down falls that sometimes it can be hard to overcome.  It can be hard to accept that sometimes average is perfectly normal and perfectly fine.  You don't always have to win.

Wednesday brought us a few examples of how we are such overachievers.  Kaitlyn's teacher has been really impressed with how good she is doing this year.  She was even more impressed when she found out that she still has a couple of months before she turns 6 and is easily the youngest in her classroom, by quite a bit.  We received her first ever progress report yesterday as a first grader.  Progress reports do not have grades, instead they get marks for "Above Grade Level" or "At Grade Level" or "Approaching Grade Level" or "Below Grade Level" in Reading/Language Arts and again in Math.  Then, they get marks between outstanding, satisfactory and needs improvement for homework, classwork, quality work, respect & responsibility and cooperation.

Kaitlyn received Above Grade Level for reading (which we are more than aware of and really push her on) and At Grade Level for Math.  For everything else she received outstanding.

Her teacher's notes:  "Kaitlyn is making great progress!  She is doing well in all areas and is a wonderful citizen.  It is hard to think of how she might improve  Bit if I am pressed, one area of improvement I can suggest for Kaitlyn is to try to write longer sentences in her journal.  Her sentences are quite simple and don't have a lot of details.  Another area is listening a little more carefully for directions (example: sometimes she doesn't hear me tell the class where to put their papers and hers doesn't get put where it need to go).  But these are little things!  Kaitlyn is a fabulous student and a real pleasure to teach."

Which is a great report and we are very proud of her and told her as much.

Of course, at the same time, as Dusty and I read it we both said "we need to work with her more on math" which is something we do constantly as it is.  We are constantly giving her math problems in the car, at home, at dinner, all the time.  And of course I immediately started working on how she can extend her sentences in her journal.  It just seems like we always want better for her, which I'm sure can be hard on her, even though I think in the end she'll benefit.

Then of course, in the same packet came her new fundraiser envelope.  Her school is having a walk a thon.  The kid in each class that raises the most money gets a school t-shirt.  The one to raise the most in the whole school gets a school sweatshirt.  The first words out of Kaitlyn's mouth "Mommy, I know we'll win my class, but how are we going to win our school?" 

Gosh I love that kid lol.  So, if you're interested in contributing to our obvious problem of competition, let me know :)

32 week OB appointment

Really, appointments at this point are still kinda boring.  You go in, pee in a cup, stand on a scale, get your blood pressure taken, get your p17 shot in the rear, listen to the heartbeat on the doppler (which, when Kaitlyn went this time, she said it sounded like someone was knocking on the door really fast!), get measured, get told "wow, you're doing great, I never thought you'd get this far this time!", wipe the doppler goo off your belly and go schedule your next appointments.  Pretty simple stuff lol.

So let's see, urine was normal.  It didn't show signs of infection yesterday, which is great since I've been on antibiotics for nearly 6 days now and it should be mostly cleared up.  It also didn't show signs of protein, which is also great since pre-eclampsia is not something I want to add to my "been there, done that" list anytime in the near future.

Weight was ok, up 35.5 lbs.  My doctor said even if I gained 100, he wouldn't make a comment, it's all fine with him.  Of course, that doesn't make it easier when Kaitlyn asks if she can call me "fat mommy" or "big mama" until the baby comes.  Which lead to a conversation about how not nice the word fat is.  And the lady at JC Penney who said I looked like I was about to pop is lucky I was in such a good mood yesterday that I didn't attempt to retaliate her comment.

Blood pressure wasn't as great.  I'm consistently a 110/60 kinda girl.  It's just how I am, in pretty much all situations.  Yesterday, it was a little stressful picking Kaitlyn up (I HATE their pick up policies and how the school is set up for that) and from there we had to make a mad dash to the doctor's office to get to my appointment on time.  So, it was elevated slightly to 124/70.  He said that it's within the normal and reasonable range, but high for me, and with the swelling, we just need to be sure that I continue to rest, rest, rest and drink as much water as possible.

The shot wasn't bad at the time.  This time I didn't feel it go in or feel the thick oil being injected.  It did, however, hurt worse than it has ever hurt before afterward.  To the point where I couldn't sit on that side at all and it still hurts this morning.  And when I took the bandaid off today there was a lot more blood than there has ever been.  Fortunately, we only have 4 more!!  Crazy I tell you!

Heartbeat was good.  It was nice and strong, she was rolling around in there.  But, she's in the head down position and pretty much out of room, so it's not like she can go anywhere to run from the doppler like she used to try to do.

Baby is measuring big.  Like, really big.  Like, I might need to rethink VBAC big.  She's more than likely closing in on 5 lbs now, when most babies are measuring close to 4 lbs by the END of 32 weeks.  And it is so crazy, my skin on my stomach is stretched so thin, I'm shocked I don't have stretch marks yet.  But, you can literally feel and make out just about every part of her body.  You can tell where the heel of her foot is, where her bottom is, where her spin is resting.  And when she flips sides, it takes my breath away, I have to stop for a minute because it hurts.  This is in no way complaining, I'm thrilled she's growing so well, but it does make me think again about our delivery options.

When I was in the first trimester, my Doctor asked if I wanted a VBAC.  I was surprised he asked since the year prior, when I was pregnant with our first m/c, he said that he wouldn't feel comfortable with me having one then.  But, this time he said that with as much time that has passed since my cesarean (over 3 years now) and with me having a textbook pregnancy previously, I would be an ideal candidate and he would support one.  I told him "Of course, but lets get through the first trimester first before we even begin discussing the last."

When he asked again at 16 weeks, again I told him I just wanted to get through the big milestones and then talk about it.  And I'm now at a point where I need to make a final decision.

Until yesterday, I was 100% pro VBAC.  I want to give this baby the best possible start and I know that a vaginal delivery gives a baby that (in most cases) and allows their lungs to properly expel all the gunk before they are born.  And I also want to enjoy labor and delivery.  The cesarean was so miserable and so painful that there wasn't anything to enjoy.  I had to wait forever to see our baby, to eat, to enjoy visits from family and friends, to walk, to use the bathroom, to be off pain meds and on and on and on.  I don't want to repeat that.

But, if i get to 40 weeks, this baby could easily be over 9 lbs.  I haven't ever delivered a 9 lb baby.  Ever.  And I'm not sure that I want to or that I can.  And I would hate to go through labor and the pain and pressure of pushing to end up tired, exhausted and in a cesarean anyways.

What to do, what to do?

If it wasn't a VBAC, induction would be an option, but it isn't.  The risk of uterine rupture increases with an induction and while I'd love a VBAC, I wouldn't love having my uterus rupture, risk brain damage to Samantha and put myself in the position of needing a hysterectomy.

But, with a VBAC we could be surrounded by family and friends when Samantha entered the world.  Kaitlyn could be there when her little sister was born, she could be placed on my chest, we could nurse after, I could eat within an hour, I could get up on my own to use the restroom, we could go home sooner, I could heal sooner, I can go to the gym sooner, and we could have what I believe is a more peaceful delivery.

So, right now, I have no idea.  Scratch that.  I have a general idea.  If I go into labor before she hits 8 1/2 lbs (obviously, an estimated 8 1/2 lbs) VBAC it is.  If she's close to 9 lbs or more, I just don't think it's realistic to deliver her vaginally and really, I like living in the real world.  So, we would have a cesarean.  I think.  I just don't know.  But, we have some time to decide, right?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Samantha's Nursery

Well, it's done.  There are one or two tiny things I want to do, but I haven't decided if I am going to actually do them right now or not or I have to wait for her to get here.  I might want to add letters to the bottom ribbons of the bow holder to spell out SAM and act as weights, and I need to wait for her to get here to fill all the picture frames :)  But, other than that, we're finished.  Clothes are washed, dried, sorted and put away (with the exception of the last few I need to get hangers for), diapers are sorted, some in the changing table ready to go and some in the closet, shoes are in the shoe rack, diaper genie is put where it goes, furniture is all put together and art is on the wall!

This is the view you see when you first walk in.  There are blinds on the window, but I like the light shining through, even if it makes for an awful picture lol.  You can see two of my attempts at being creative.  One is the wipe case.  Which, I think I got lazy and tired halfway through when trying to cover it with fabric.  I wish I would have just painted it.  To the left is her bow holder and my first attempt at painting :)

It is so hard to photograph in here, I need to get my normal lens out and use that instead.  The room is just small to photograph.  This is the wall that has the crib and wall art.  The corner between the crib and the dresser is where I have the car seat, stroller and bath for now.  I will move the bath into the bathroom once she arrives and of course the stroller and car seat will be able to come out once we start using them.

Inside of Samantha's crib we have some of the beautiful blankets made for her.  The first is the quilt my Aunt Beth made her with the matching doll and the second is one that Christina's soon to be Mother In Law made her.  Both are so beautiful!

Next to the wall decal is the wreath at the party for Samantha's upcoming arrival.  The birds are all written with words of love by family and friends who were there on Saturday.  I want to put a picture of her in the center once she gets here.

This wall is on the side of the door.  Kaitlyn has drawn so many pictures for Samantha, she was so excited when I put this one in the frame for her.  It is a rainbow with the tree and matching love birds.  The bird house is one Aunt Beth made to match.

Samantha's dresser is next to the door.  Here are some more frames to fill and bird houses that Aunt Christina painted for the party.

This was a last minute decision and is on the wall next to the closet.  She just has too much stuff and not enough room.  We filled the cubes with swaddling blankets, towels, small toys and carriers/slings.  Then, you can see our beautiful new diaper bag (thanks Jamie!), some wipes (what wouldn't fit in the closet lol), and the middle shelf is filled with the starts of what is going in the labor bag.  Which I plan on doing Friday!

Above the new cube storage unit.  Picture frames, more bird houses and another bird decal :)

The left side of the window with some wall art and her bow holder.  Now that I have a place to buy bows, I don't have to have an ounce of guilt in buying them :)

The right side with more wall art.

And finally, the closet.  It is all sorted by size.  There are a couple more pieces that need to be hung, but I didn't get enough hangers so I have to get some more this week!  Also there are 2 boppys up there, a back up bath, a back up bouncer, and a ton of diapers and wipes.  We still have a lot more and hopefully we won't have to worry about running out to buy any until February :)

And now, I'm ready for a nap!

Monday, September 20, 2010

32 weeks- 8 months down!

How far along? 32 weeks!  8 months pregnant!  And honest, I have no idea how we got here, it feels like just yesterday we were in that state of "ok, all we have to do is get to 8 weeks and see a heartbeat" and then the "now all we have to do is get to 12 weeks and have it still be there" and then "ok, lets try to get to 24 weeks without my water breaking" and every day since then has been such a blessing!
Weight gain/loss:  35 pounds
.  Strangers say I look small for how far along I am.  Sometimes with that hint of disapproval in their voice.  Which, of course irritates me.  And Kaitlyn asked last week if she could call me Fat Mommy or Big Mama since Samantha made my stomach so huge.  We had a talk about fat not being a very friendly word.  Really, I started this pregnancy out at the highest weight I've ever been pre-pregnancy (which is a good thing!) and only a couple pounds under my ideal weight for my height (and technically, I was in a normal range with a BMI of 18.8), so the doctors recommendation of 35-40 was more than adequate.  Especially considering that I'm not really supposed to be exercising or exerting myself in a way that keeps the muscle muscle.  So really, I will, more than likely, end up gaining a few more than I should, and that's ok.
Maternity Clothes?  Every day :)
Stretch Marks?  Nothing so far, knocking on wood!
Sleep?  I'm starting to get more.  Of course I'm on UTI number 4 since July, so I'm back on the medication you have to take every 6 hours and that interrupts my sleep.  And I have to get out of bed by 7 or the heartburn is so bad all day that nothing will cure it.  Last night Dusty and I set up the co-sleeper next to the bed so I can start getting used to it being there, and of course, in case she decided to come home in 4-5 weeks, it's ready for her and we don't have to do anything to get ready.  That has made it a little more difficult to get in and out of bed :)
Best moment this week?  We had an amazing celebration on Saturday that was so much fun!  I enjoyed being able to celebrate this little miracle with so many people that mean so much to us. 
Food Cravings?  Milk.  And that's it really.
Belly Button, in or out?  Out
What I miss?  Not having heartburn :)
Weekly Wisdom? No matter how slowly time seems to be going, all of a sudden that light at the end of the tunnel seems to completely and totally sneak up on you.
Upcoming Appointments?  Wednesday afternoon I have my 32 week appointment.  Next Wednesday I will have my p17 shot and the Wednesday after that will be my 34 week appointment.  I *might* start weekly OB appointments then.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Samantha's Upcoming Arrival Party

First I want to thank Christina, Samantha and my mom for all of their hard work and efforts in putting together such a beautiful celebration.  Everything was absolutely beautiful and I didn't even have to lift a finger, until I got to open a gazillion presents of course :)

Here are some of the details of the party that matched her nursery so perfectly:

The beautiful center pieces

These birds were all over the place, through the trees, branches, and placed here and there and all throughout.

One of the favors were Freesia bulbs wrapped up in tulle, so the guests could plant them and watch it grow as Samantha does.

Christina made this cute and matching diaper cake:

Christina also painted these matching bird houses, which I plan on adding to the nursery:

Samantha made these adorable and yummy cupcakes to match everything:

The candy bar, loaded with lots of yummy candy, boxes to fill with it and stickers to seal the boxes with:

In lieu of a guestbook, there was a guest wreath.  Those same birds were available for everyone to write on and place onto the wreath and now we can put it in Samamtha's room.

Everything was great, there are so many more pictures on both facebook and in our picasa albums, and being uploaded to shutterfly :)

I started in on the new baby laundry last night :)  I've finished 2 of the 3 loads and the third should be done in just a bit!  Then, I get to put it all away!!  Because of how generous everyone was, there is so little that we need to get or do before her arrival.

I am going to get a cubby thing to go in her room and some baskets to add, both for books, decorations and sorting out some of her little toys.  And some more baby hangers.  I just ordered some closet dividers from the greatest online store, ever, Etsy! which will help a lot :)  I need to pick up a diaper pail and I think that's about it.  And a baby book.  And that's it, we're ready for her.  Well, I still need to pack my hospital bag, but I'm trying to wait for Kaitlyn's custom made scrubs to get here before I do that :)  But, it will be done next week and it will be in my car at all times lol.

Her room is almost all the way ready too.  All I really need to do in there is start filling some of her picture frames.  Kaitlyn has been helping, she's been drawing pictures for me to put in the frames to keep in her room, and of course, Matthew's picture is already there.  Once we finish it up and move the co-sleeper (yes I already set it up) into our room, there should be more pictures of it up :)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Kaitlyn's Surgery update

Kaitlyn's surgery was August 9, she was supposed to have a follow up within a month, but the only time I seemed to remember to call to schedule the appointment was when I would wake up at 3:00 in the morning and say "Crap, I need to make her an appointment!" and obviously couldn't do anything about it, well except to forget again until 3 AM two mornings later.

Thursday I finally remembered to make the appointment during the day, and finally called.  Luckily they were able to see her yesterday after school.

Her appointment was short, sweet and to the point.  We haven't had to use her inhaler, singular or nasal spray at all since the surgery which is great!  She also hasn't been on the headache medicine at all and has only had 1 headache in the last month which is really impressive for a little girl who was having 2-3 a week.

She is completely healed from her surgery, which is great.  To be sure that the surgery was effective in allowing her sinuses to drain and therefore relieve the pressure, we have to go a year.  If she can go a year without a sinus infection and keeping the sinuses from getting inflamed, we're in the clear!  She has her next appointment in 4 months, so we should be able to have an idea by then how she does with her sinuses!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Yes, I'm fully aware I have a google addiction...

I use google for EVERYTHING.  I love it.  I can just be sitting here with my feet up and randomly come up with something to google.  Dusty could probably kick butt at random Giant's trivia because while I sit here and watch the games with him, I google a player as they do something amazing (great job last night Aubrey Huff!) and look for funny or interesting facts to share with him as he tries to watch and listen to the game (hee hee).  I google health questions, I google stuff to entertain Kaitlyn, I google for random things like "creative ways to make breakfast" and about a gazillion other things.

I use google images for making announcements (yes, mine are ready and waiting for a picture), invites and all things like that, I use google shopping to find the best prices on anything, and I use google video to find hilarious videos of Anthony Cumia from the Opie and Anthony show doing karaoke while holding a gun.

But every week, I try to convince myself that I need to wait, I need to hold off until Sunday to google my pregnancy that upcoming week.  And every week, by Friday, I fail.  I try to convince myself that on Friday, I'm closer to the next week and having baby doing those things than the week I am in.  I google that upcoming week and soak in everything, every bit of information.  I wasn't such a google addict with Kaitlyn and with Matthew, I always googled but even 3 years ago the information wasn't as great AND I was always inserting the words preemie or premature in there and learning more about the risks of delivery at that stage, the positive aspects of getting that far and not really any of the fun stuff that I get to now.

So, this morning, as always, I failed.  But, I did get to read this, and seriously, how amazing is pregnancy and our bodies? 

Ever wonder what your baby is doing in there these days? She's busy blinking, looking around, grabbing things, making faces, practicing her breathing, peeing and listening to everything around her—pretty much exactly what she'll be doing for the first three months of his life, sans the adoring audience and the flashing camera.

Seriously, it's like a little Look Who's Talking movie action going on in there :)  And how in the world did that site know that I already have two cameras ready to go into my labor bag?  Which I get to start packing next week....

Thursday, September 16, 2010

"Rainbow" or "Healing" Baby

For those that are not deep in the world of baby loss, they refer to the baby you have after you lose your child.  I understand why people use it, I understand why people like it and I understand what it means.  To many, it represents the rainbow after the storm, a touch of brightness after so much darkness.  Which, I do think in some ways a child born after a tremendous loss is, but in so many ways, at least in my mind, they are such separate events.  And it could be different for me because in many ways we had a "rainbow" next to us all along through our journey.

There are parts of this pregnancy that I knew would be hard.  If I was asked before how many children I had more often than I preferred, compound that exponentially.  Or the question to Kaitlyn when she is with me "Are you excited to be a big sister?" when she and I both already know that she is.  Not to mention what a great big sister she was and is and would have been.  And I know that sentence makes absolutely no sense, how can one both be something and would have been something?  Sometimes watching her with kids in Matthew's age range can be so hard because I can see how loving and how gentle she is and feel how much she was robbed of.  I know she would have been great to him and both of their lives would have been enriched by the experience of growing up together.  And she was a great big sister, she shared absolutely everything with Matthew, she doted on him, loved on him and if she could have she would have stayed by his side 24 hours a day.  Looking back, I wish I would have let her.  She never once showed a jealous bone in her body.  She continues to be a great big sister, she talks about him all the time and is so protective of him and his memory.  She helps tremendously with the March for Babies to help other babies from dying and she takes personal pride and responsibility in helping with the balloon release for his birthday.  Over a month after his third birthday and 5 months after the March and she is still talking so proudly and so excitedly about who was there and how much they love her brother to be there and in return how much she loves them for loving him.  And for those that weren't yet alive when he was born, she loves to talk about him to them and show pictures.  With those same events, she holds sadness for those that were local and didn't go and takes it as a personal attack on her brother and a sign that they just don't care and you can see in her eyes and her face how much that hurts her.  It's also hard knowing that Matthew gets to be a big brother, but he isn't here to enjoy it.  No one gets to ask him how he feels about a baby sister and being outnumbered, or if he's ready to share his baby toys.  And this common myth that some seem (not many) to think that now everything is going to be hunky dory is so incredibly frustrating, as though life is going on and we can just get over our loss.  In reality, some days it still feels like it was yesterday while others it feels like a million years ago and both ways hurt.  And there are times still when this wave of grief just hits you like a sac of potatoes and you have to stop to catch your breath.  And that doesn't make it wrong, it is never wrong to miss and mourn your child, the baby that you grew inside of you or the little man that you felt kick inside of your wife's stomach while you made dreams for the future.  It is not something that you get over.

Last night we got home from Dusty's softball game (where he won and played awesome!) and got home around 10:03.  I guess it isn't fair to say around when I know it down to the minute, but, I digress.  Dusty had DVRd the Giants game and I had been keeping track of the score privately because, unlike him, I don't actually need to watch the game, for my mobile phone does a great job of giving me the details, and I had went to bed to watch the Top Chef Finale.  About 20 minutes later, he text me (yes, we are that couple that has no problem texting from other rooms in the house) to tell me that Aubrey Huff's son was born.  My first thought was "poor kid, dad is a great player and he's born in the middle of September!" and then I looked at the date on my phone to see what Jagger Duff's birthday would be.  September 15.

3 years ago on September 15 we had found our routine.  I was just about completely healed from both the cesarean and 10 weeks of complete bed rest.  Dusty was still off work and every morning had time with Matthew while I got Kaitlyn ready for school and then took her to pre-school.  Then, I had 3 hours with him, nursing, cuddling, resting, relaxing and just hanging out at home.  He would stay with daddy while I went to pick her up and then we would all get to cuddle, relax and read stories.  We had beaten the odds.  We had proved the doctors wrong, he was born alive, he lived, he breathed, he cried, boy did he cry.  And he grew, he found his hands, started getting stronger with his neck and was on the cusp of smiling.  We took so many pictures.  We had no idea that we only had one more month with him.  We had no idea just how precious those moments would be or how limited they were.

They say time heals all.  And I really don't believe that.  I believe that it takes time to find relief, it takes time to figure out your new normal, it takes time for the constant excruciating, stabbing pain to become more of a dull constant throbbing pain.  But, the pain is always there.  It's always lurking and sometimes it's hard to control it. 

Right now we are excitedly planning for Samantha's arrival, we have this bright spot that we are truly looking forward to.  But, that sadness is always there.  And there are new heartaches that come with it.  Never again will we have a picture of our family whole.  Our picture with Matthew at the pumpkin patch was our family unfinished and the pictures we have taken with Samantha will be incomplete.  We will always be one person short.  While Kaitlyn is excitedly wearing her scrubs awaiting Samantha's entry into the world, Matthew should be standing next to her in a matching pair.  We should be debating if Matthew and Kaitlyn should share a room or if Matthew and Samantha should share a room and which preschool Matthew would be going to this year.  And what do you do with that information?  What do you do with the what if's and if onlys?

We're one month out from Matthew's angel day.  Three years ago today I never thought we would be where we are now.  Never.  And now that we are approaching 3 years from when we were separated from our miracle, and approaching 9 1/2 weeks before meeting our new miracle, remembering him and having him remembered hold such a deeper meaning.  He is always our son, the baby that made Kaitlyn a big sister, the one that proved miracles can and do happen, the one that showed that life is full of surprises (both good and bad), the one that showed that no matter how right you do everything, how much you love someone and how hard you fight for them, you can still be forced to say good-bye, the one that is now our middle child instead of our baby and the little boy who is painfully missed each and every day.

Monday, September 13, 2010

31 weeks!!

How far along? 31 weeks!  We're down to single digit weeks until Samantha's due date!
Weight gain/loss:  34 pounds

Maternity Clothes?  Every day :)
Stretch Marks?  Nothing so far, knocking on wood!
Sleep?  I'm getting a bit more sleep, not getting up as much, but the heartburn is so bad at night that nothing is stopping it, so by 6 I want out of bed and in the recliner just to stop the burning.
Best moment this week?  We were released from the MFM doctors and are still doing great!
Food Cravings?  Nothing really sounds good
Belly Button, in or out?  Out
What I miss?  Not having heartburn :)
Weekly Wisdom? Rest, Rest, Rest!!
Upcoming Appointments?  On Wednesday I have my p17 shot appointment.  Next Wednesday is my 32 week appointment!

This Saturday we're really looking forward to our "Welcome Baby" party!!  We are so excited to have this opportunity to celebrate Samantha's upcoming arrival with those nearest and dearest to us.  

Some info on pregnancy at 31 weeks:

Your Baby in Week 31 of Pregnancy
Weighing in at three-plus pounds and measuring 18 inches long, your baby is quickly approaching his birth length — though he's got to pack on another three to five pounds before D-day. Also developing at an impressive clip: your baby's brain connections (he's got to make trillions of them!). He's now processing information, tracking light, and perceiving signals from all five senses. He's also putting in longer stretches of sleep, which is why you're probably noticing more defined patterns of wakefulness (and movement) and rest (when he’s pretty still).

Your Body in Week 31 of Pregnancy
Chances are your diaphragm is feeling a little cramped these days. Okay, a lot cramped. That's because your uterus is pushing up against it (and all the other organs in there), crowding your lungs and making it more difficult for them to expand fully. The result: Your body is spare on air and will be until your baby drops near the end of pregnancy in preparation for birth. But don’t worry: Your baby is as happy as a clam because he’s getting his oxygen from the placenta.

Week 31 Pregnancy Symptoms
More frequent urination: Your uterus puts more pressure on your bladder in the third trimester, giving it less room to store urine. Cut down on the bathroom trips by double voiding: Pee, then when you’re done, pee again. That’ll make sure you’ve emptied your bladder completely.
Occasional headaches: If tension is twisting your head up in knots, try spending a few minutes in a dark, quiet room. If you’re at work, close your eyes and put your feet up for 15 minutes.
Varicose veins: Your growing uterus is also putting pressure on your blood vessels, which along with pregnancy hormones and increased blood volume creates the perfect set-up for varicose veins. Take a walk (or even better, several) during the day, or make sure to get in some other form of low-key, circulation-boosting exercise.
Possible nasal congestion: As if a swollen belly, feet, and fingers weren’t enough, now you may be contending with swollen nasal passages, making for one stuffy feeling. You’ll get relief when you deliver, but until then saline sprays or nasal strips can help clear up the stuffiness. (Antihistamines and nasal sprays are usually off-limits, but check in with your practitioner for other recommendations).
Lower abdominal achiness: Blame that growing belly of yours again for those growing pains around your middle. The best thing to do? Yep, you know the drill: Get off your feet for a while.
Backaches: That burgeoning belly can also do a number on your back as it curves to accommodate the load. If you haven’t already, now is the time to incorporate some prenatal yoga into your exercise routine — the stretches will relax your back (and your mind!).
Increasing clumsiness: Your shifting posture (not to mention your increasing girth) and lack of concentration (see below) may make you clumsier these days. Take it easy when you’re climbing into the shower or tub and roll up any area rugs that could trip you up at home.
Forgetfulness: Welcome to mommy (to-be) brain — a condition that’s a result of shrinking brain-cell volume in the third trimester (don’t worry — your brain cells go back to normal a few months after delivery). Don’t stress out about your foggy memory (stress just makes it worse). Write things down (or program them into your smart phone) and delegate responsibility (if possible).
Difficulty sleeping: This is another common third-trimester woe, caused by a constellation of other conditions, such as leg cramps, heartburn, frequent urination, and plain old anxiety (with a dash of pregnancy hormones). If tension keeps you tossing and turning all night, talk it out with friends (or other WTE members) or your partner during the day.

Whew, What a busy weekend!

Last weekend, Kaitlyn and Dusty only had a 3-day school/work week.  They were both off Monday for Labor day and then Friday Kaitlyn had an inservice day at school, so Daddy took the day off to spend with her.  What prompted this Daddy/Kaitlyn bonding day?  Well, I had to go to a bachelorette party of course!

Friday we celebrated Samantha's last "hoorah" before becoming a married woman.  We started the day out with our matching "Team Bride" shirts and buttons and headed out to a winery in Clarksburg for a private wine tasting and barrel room tour.  While I didn't get to taste any wines, I did get to enjoy their delicious home made jellys spread over cream cheese, and smell a couple of their offerings.  Once they finished passing out samplings of their wines, we had a private tour of the barrel room where they had just picked their pinot grigio grapes the day before.  We heard all about their squishing process and how they ferment their wines. 

Once we finished, they brought out more glasses of chardonnay and it was time to unpack the delicious lunch Christina packed!

We finished up lunch and headed back to Christina's to get ready for the next part of the day: dinner.  Tess was a fabulous personal chef who came to cook for us.  Christina had put lights out on her patio and Brian had set up the fire pit, so once the sun went down, it was really pretty.  Tess stared our meal with an apple, endive, blue cheese and walnut salad that was absolutely delicious.  Next came honey and prosciutto risotto with a really tasty honey crisp prawn.  For desert she made some tasty honey and lemon cupcakes with candied lemons on top.  It was all so good and left everyone pretty full.

After dinner everyone signed Samantha's "Mrs. Born" apron and they began to get ready for their night on the town.  While I passed on the club in exchange for my nice and comfy bed, I hear they had a fun scavenger hunt of sorts and enjoyed a  fun night out!

The next morning, Dusty packed up for the guys turn of fun!  We dropped him off at Samantha and David's so that he could be part of the guys night of camping!  Kaitlyn decided that she wanted to go shopping with the $11 she earned from the tooth fairy and from playing store at Nana and Papa's house the day before.  Grandma came over and off to Walmart we headed.  We practiced math and she was able to get the new Strawberry Shortcake movie she's wanted, a strawberry shortcake coloring book and of course a Berenstein Book to read in the car.

Kaitlyn also made a decision that her birthday would now be Scooby Doo and not strawberry shortcake, so mommy has been busy changing plans, invites and working on new fun stuff to do during the party!

After Walmart, we got some yummy lunch and headed to Grandma and Grandpa's house.  Christina eventually joined us before we headed to Chevy's on the River for dinner.  Kaitlyn ended up so excited to be able to have a sleep over at one of her Best Friend's houses and left me all alone :P

Once I dropped Kaitlyn off, I started the task of creating my Cookie Monster shirt for little Miss Carmen's birthday party on Sunday!  And then off to bed I went!

Sunday morning, I picked Kaitlyn up bright and early.  She was absolutely not ready to leave, but did a great job getting in the car.  She talked and talked and talked and talked about what a great time she had and how she cannot wait to do it again!  We got a bit lost on the way to El Dorado Hills, but when we made it there it was well worth it!!  Carmen was so super cute and had a great birthday party!

While we were enjoying the yummy food, festive balloons and fun of the playground (and of course AMAZING company!), Daddy made his way home.  We were so excited to go and see him.  Kaitlyn kept asking me if he had fun camping and didn't seem to get that I had no idea, but I'm sure he did :)

Once we got home, we all watched the end of the Giant's game together before we headed over to Grandma and Grandpa's house for Sunday dinner.  By the time we got home, we were all seriously exhausted and most of us went straight to bed.

With nearly every minute of this weekend consumed by good times with great people, I think today is going to be a relaxing day with little time off of the couch :)  Tomorrow I start volunteering in Kaitlyn's class every Tuesday and Thursday for an hour, so I need to get all caught up on my rest and get all the yucky swelling down.

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend :)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

My 30 week appointments

At 30 weeks pregnant, the average babies weighs in at just about 3 lbs.  At 31 weeks pregnant, the average baby weighs in at 3 1/2 pounds (3 lbs, 8 ounces) and at 32 weeks pregnant, the average baby weighs in at 4 lbs.  By this point in pregnancy, the baby grows at about 1/2 a pound a week.

At today's ultrasound, I was 30 weeks and 4 days pregnant and little miss Samantha weighed in at 3 lbs 11 ounces!!  Her head is measuring perfectly at 30 weeks and 5 days, but she has put on some serious weight!  Her femur bone is measuring at 32w4d, so she is seriously long like her big sister!  If she gained the average 1/2 pound a week, by the time November 14 rolls around she should weigh in at nearly 9 lbs!!  Holy cow!

Today ended up being my last perinatologist appointment.  They are so happy with Samantha's growth and my behaving cervix they have lifted the title of "high risk" from my pregnancy and deemed me as a text book pregnancy.  While you cervix typically starts to shorten around 28 weeks, mine hasn't at all.  They believe that I have less than a 2 % chance of having my water break early or going into preterm labor! 

As soon as they put the wand over my belly today and I saw her face, I could seriously see how chubby she has gotten.  Right then, I wanted to make an appointment for a fun 3-D/4-D place for pictures.  We tried in the office today, but she is already head down and out of room.  She still refuses to move her hands away from her face and when she finally does, the umbilical cord floats right in front of her lips!  So, it's too late to even bother.  But, with as big as she is and her already being head down, there is absolutely no need for a cesarean and I will be having a VBAC!

My appointment yesterday also went fantastic! Weight gain was great, we know I passed my 3 hour test, and I got my p17 shot.  He also told me that if it wasn't for my history, I would be a perfect pregnancy.

As of right now, the general consensus is I will get to 40 weeks, maybe even a couple days over :)  She will be born via VBAC (unless something unforeseeable goes wrong obviously) and she is absolutely 100% girl :P  Only 66 days to go!

And we have a ton of pictures from our last and final ultrasound, here is a sneak peek of one of the 3-D's :)

Stay tuned for more pictures soon!

Monday, September 6, 2010

30 weeks!!

Holy Moly!  It is so hard to believe that we're already in the final stretch.  We are 75% done with what is considered the standard 40 week pregnancy, and only have 10 weeks until my due date.  10 weeks is not that long at all, it can go by in the blink of an eye.

Here we are by the numbers:  3 weeks until the gestational age where Matthew was born, 4 weeks until Samantha's wedding (or so), and also to the point where if my water were to break, they would not consider holding off delivery at all and I would deliver, 5 weeks to the point where if I delivered, more than likely Samantha would be able to go home with us, 6 weeks until my last p17 shot and 6-7 weeks until *they* predict I would deliver! 

How far along? 30 weeks!!  Only 2 1/2 months until my due date!
Weight gain/loss:  33 pounds!  If I continue and gain 2 pounds per week and get to 38 weeks, that's about 50 pounds total, which really isn't that bad.  It is getting so much harder to eat, my stomach feels tight long before I'm full, so I'm guessing it'll come back down to 1 lb per week.

Maternity Clothes?  Oh yeah!
Stretch Marks?  Nothing so far, knocking on wood!
Sleep?  I'm getting a bit more sleep, not getting up as much, but the heartburn is so bad at night that nothing is stopping it, so by 6 I want out of bed and in the recliner just to stop the burning.
Best moment this week?  Dusty could feel the outline of her foot, I've been feeling  it for a bit yet, but it was his first time.  And we got to celebrate my 10 year reunion!
Food Cravings?  Milk.  It helps the heartburn!
Belly Button, in or out?  Out
What I miss?  This weekend I really missed wine lol
Weekly Wisdom? No matter how slowly each day feels like it is creeping by, when you look back at it, it feels like it went in the blink of an eye.
Upcoming Appointments?  Wednesday I have my 30 week appointment, p17 shot and some vaccines.  Thursday morning I have my next u/s.  It should be my last cervical scan since after this the cervix should start shortening to make way for labor.  With her head still being so low, this scan probably won't really tell us much, she is obviously putting pressure on the cervix and it's normal for it to not be as long after 28 weeks.  We should also be doing a growth u/s to make sure that the baby aspirin is helping to provide enough blood flow to Samantha and there isn't a need for us to start heparin shots.

Friday, September 3, 2010

We have a Winner :)

So, our winner is Leila :)  Let me know what prize you would rather have :D

And thanks so much everyone.  I'm really looking forward to answering some fun questions next week.  :)

Last Chance for free stuff :P

So, tonight, probably around 8, I'm going to use the random selector to select a giveaway winner :)

300 post and a giveaway

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Good Morning September!

Today is the first day of September.  Today, if someone asks me "when are you due" I can honestly and safely answer "she will probably be here at the end of next month."

September proves to be a really busy month!  This weekend, we have my 10 year reunion and dinner for a friend's birthday the following day.  The following weekend we have Samantha's bachelorette party followed by Carmen's birthday party!  The weekend after that we are having a baby celebration party for Samantha and maternity pictures.  The next weekend is birthday parties and good times and of course the weekend after that puts us in October and at Samantha and David's wedding!

I will probably get my last p17 shot on October 20 and I could have her anytime after that.  I will be 36 1/2 weeks and just days away form officially being full term.  She would go home with us.  That is only like 50 days away from now!!  We need to get started on our birth plan.  It should be pretty easy and I'm sure will basically end up reading "get her out safe!"

Dusty and I were talking about this yesterday, she is so close to being here, and if I thought I was going to be one protective mama, I've got nothing on Dusty.  I also learned that while I was upset by Kaitlyn's feelings being hurt, Dusty was even more upset by how hurt she was.  He really is a protective Daddy.  We started working on our plan of attack, how we're going to do things and the "rules" we're gonna have regarding this little princess.

We both agreed that after October 20, I'm not going further than 30 minutes from my hospital.  I am absolutely terrified of delivering in the car.  If you think about it, Kaitlyn's labor was pretty quick for a first time, total time was like 9-10 hours, and had I of known I was in a crappy position we could have easily knocked an hour off of that.  Matthew's labor was so fast, I mean, I went from first contraction, not at all dilated to him nearly pushing himself out within 3 hours.  And that was bottom first, imagine if his head was there to push on the cervix!  So, my 2nd labor only took a third of the time of my first.  If we go in that pattern, and I wait even a while to see if my contractions are real...  I seriously have nightmares lol.  And I always deliver in the car, on Elkhorn Blvd right in front of a school across from a Jimboys.

And we're gonna be homebodies.  Everyone is welcome to visit our princess, but we aren't taking her anywhere.  I don't care what anyone's opinion is, I am completely confident in our decision to keep our youngest daughter germ free until she is older.  I see no reason to introduce a subsequent SIDS sibling, during cold and flu season, who will more than likely be born prior to her due date to any germs.  So, while everyone is welcome to come over, if you've been exposed to sickness within the previous 3 days stay away :)  And of course, if you smoke, be sure to bring a clean change of clothes and be prepared to wash up.  The risk of third hand smoke just isn't worth our daughter's health.  Luckily, Dusty will be home with us for 6 weeks and Kaitlyn's school in the morning is a 15 minute round trip :)

September is going to be a really exciting month, it brings the start of fall, our possible last full month without a baby in the house, and of course, Archie's 7th birthday ;)