Tuesday, October 30, 2012

8 months

Why hello there 32 weeks!

What a milestone!

We are 1 week away from passing how pregnant I was when Matthew was born.  We're one week closer to a full term baby.  After today's injection, I only have two more left.  I know I wasn't the only one excited about that when both nurses pointed it out in the hallway.  Today, I also received my flu shot.  So, basically the whole left side of my body is going to be sore now because of muscular injections.  I should have thought ahead and had my flu vaccine on the right side...

My appointment went well, uterine growth is great, heartbeat and blood pressure are both good, she's a moving and a shaking in there.  I've lost two pounds since my appointment two weeks ago, so I need to eat more.  Easier said than done.  I swear, heartburn has made absolutely everything sound disgusting and while I sometimes feel like I'm starving, a couple bites later I don't even want to look at more food.

This baby is really low.  At least she feels that way.  You can see her flip flop around in my belly, my skin pulled so tight that it feels like she is going to karate chop her way through it.  I think she might be a better sleeper than Samantha.  When I try to get her to move, she just kinda flips over and ignores me.  And when she's awake and active, she's active alright.

My symptoms are increasing.  I have to pee a whole lot more often.  My heartburn is worse than I ever imagined it could get.  Thank goodness for Zantac, Tums and Maalox.  And milk.  My feet are so not happy with me most days.  They swell so bad by mid afternoon.  I have a feeling I will be in flip flops until delivery day.  Everything else, regardless of the size gives me blisters.  And I'm exhausted.  All I want to do is have the luxury of taking a nap once in a while.  I would also settle for sleeping through the night.

The only thing I'm waiting for now is the assistant to call me and schedule Charlotte's delivery.  We're looking at the 21st or the 22nd of December.  I'm hoping more for the 21st and increasing the likelihood of going home before Christmas.

Only 55 days left until Christmas!

Monday, October 29, 2012

What are we going to watch now?

When I was growing up, I was never much of a baseball fan.  I would watch my brother's little league games, but that was about it.  Growing up, we watched a lot of Nascar in our home.  My dad was a huge Dale Earnhardt fan, and the Daytona 500 was almost a holiday in our house.

Dusty grew up a baseball fan.  He grew up a Giant's fan.  Since I loved Dusty, I wanted us to share some common interests and I began watching him.  We watched nearly every game together from about 2001-2003.  I was a HUGE Benitgo Santiago fan.  His comeback from a tragic car accident was so motivating.  And I loved Jeff Kent.  I still love Jeff Kent.  We watch Survivor just because of Jeff Kent.  He cracks me up, I'm pretty sure we would get along just fine.

We didn't watch much when Felipe Alou managed.  Dusty may have, but I was so frustrated with so many of my favorite players being traded that I almost hated the sport.

We started watching again in 2009.  By this time, Dusty brought up points that made the game even more interesting to me.  Such as the strategy involved.  I had never looked at it from quite that angle before.  I had usually thought of it has 27 innings, not the whole "well, if you have X pitch against Y, then X may not be able to pitch tomorrow against W."  And so on.

We've watched every single game since 2010.  Well, Dusty has.  I've watched a good majority of them, but I'm the type where I'm ok to watch the highlights and follow the game online inning through inning instead of staying up late to watch them on DVR.  Of course, if I do this, I have to stay out of the room when Dusty watches the game so I don't smirk, smile or get an angry look on my face when I know what's coming up.

We spent game 5 of the World Series in 2010 in Labor and Delivery thinking Samantha was trying to make her appearance.  We debated waiting until after the game to go in and get checked out.  In hindsight, we probably easily could have...

When we found out we were having a girl this time back in June, I told Dusty that the Giants were going to win the World Series this year.  Guess who was right?

I've spent the season watching the trade rumors, disappointed and shocked when Melky tested positive, inspired by Buster Posey's amazing comeback, emotional for how much Vogelsong has gone through to get where he is, wondering if Bochy is drunk or in need of blood pressure medication, watching for Wilson's crazy actions in the dugout, waiting to see how Romo was going to interrupt the next interview and wishing Sandoval would just please lose some darned weight!

So here we are.  There aren't any more games to watch until Spring Training.  It's likely that Huff won't be back, we'll never see Freddy Sanchez play again and to so many, it will still be a fluke win by a mediocre team.  While I didn't want to see Cain lose, I wouldn't have minded watching it go to 7 games.  Take the season into November...  

Instead, it looks like we'll DVR our shows and spread them out through the week.  Thank goodness for Boardwalk Empire, The Walking Dead and Survivor.  Maybe we'll get caught up on the shows we missed?  Big Bang Theory maybe?

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Poop Conundrum

As mentioned before, Samantha has issues with her bowels.  She was constipated once really bad when we were in Las Vegas and she was about 9 months old.  It was bad enough for me to think we were going to have to take her to the ER to fix it and finally she was able to get the stool out.  It involved a lot of crying, warm water, some bleeding and her just miserable.

Since then, Samantha has always had really hard stools.  Like rocks.  And if she doesn't go frequently, they are large rocks. 

In July, she had a fecal disimpaction.  It was after several attempts to "clear her out" using massive dosages of medication resulted in absolutely no relief for her. 

The general thought was that she was holding her poops because she was scared it would hurt.  You could physically see her trying not to poop.  How do you explain to a 1 1/2 year old that not pooping will only make it worse.  She just couldn't understand it.

So, we were given a referral for a different pediatric GI in September when it was discovered that she was getting backed up again. 

The earliest they could get us in is November 14th.  Since then, we've been working on trying to help her stay regular on her own.  This means twice a day, she gets a fiber gummy, once a day she gets a full cap of mirilax, she drinks 10 oz of apple juice, undiluted, a day, as well as a bottle of pediasure with fiber and has an apple, with skin, once a day.  We also try to limit her meat, pretty much cut out bananas, and she can only have two cups of milk a day.  It's not easy.  And up until this past week, it had been helping.

One word of advice her doctor had was to not even think about potty training until the issues were resolved.  One reason why was that we want her to get used to easily releasing her bowels.  It should be as easy as possible for her.  When potty training, we teach them to hold it.  Which, she can do quite well. With a lot of the latest research suggesting until the age of 3 to potty train for long term health reasons, I had already planned on waiting until at least 2 1/2 before starting.

This week, she's been backed up.  So, I doubled the apple juice.  It cleared her out.  And it gave her a massive diaper rash.  The kind of rash where no medication or baking soda baths or frequent changes were helping.  She was in pain, hated diaper changes, would kick and scream, and her poor bottom was bleeding.

So, at least half of the day today has to be diaper free.  No choice about it.  But, I also know she's old enough to know we don't just pee on the floor.  And if she didn't realize we don't pee on the floor, I certainly didn't want her to think we do.

So, the potty chair come out.  I barricaded us in one room.  I showed her the potty.  She sat on it.  I told her if she went pee pee on the potty she would have candy.  At first, that sounded awesome.  She would run over to it every 30 seconds, pretend to strain and then scream "CANDY!"  Of course, the toilet would be empty, so there wouldn't be any candy.  That went on for about half an hour.

Then, she was over it.  She didn't want anything more to do with it.  We had one accident on the floor.  She realized what was happening and tried to run away.  After that, I set a timer and encouraged her to sit every 5 minutes to go potty.  After about half an hour, she went.  She freaked out and tried to jump up.  Then, she didn't want to move.  She was irritated that I interrupted her watching Cailou to dare clap for her...

So, I gave it a little longer and put a diaper back on her.  Hopefully if we can do an hour a couple times a day the rash will clear up faster.  If she goes on the potty, great, if not, oh well. 

Being a parent

No one ever said being a parent was easy.  If it were, you wouldn't see so many tired moms and dads, struggling with the question of whether they are doing it wrong or right.  You wouldn't see the foster care system overwhelmed with more children than there are homes for them. 

Sometimes, I cannot help but wonder if people think having a dog first is a good step in learning the responsibilities of being a parent?

I used to think the first year was the hardest.  Then, I had a nearly 8 year old and realized every year is hard for entirely different reasons.  It is the hardest, most tiresome, demanding job there is.  But, it is also the most rewarding.

Maybe it's because of our history, but I do my best to appreciate every single moment of it.  Even the moments that convince me I can actually feel my hair turning gray.  Even the ones where I am so tired that all I want to do is crawl into bed and fall asleep.  Because for every bad moment, there is a good one.  For every tantrum, there are hugs, kisses and memories to be thankful for.

Kaitlyn was an easy baby.  I mean, super easy.  She slept 12-13 hours a night starting at 7 months.  Self feed effortlessly before she was 18 months, and while she was stubborn about potty training (and we should not have pushed her considering all the trauma she went through from June of 2007 to October 2007 with losing her mother temporarily to a long hospital stay and losing her brother to SIDS), once she tried, it took a day for her to be complete.  She's well behaved in school and until recently in public.  She's smart as can possibly be, but she needs help working on self control.  She has a tendency to say she cleaned her clothes off the bathroom floor, only admitting she didn't when I threaten to check.   She makes her own lunch every day, but needs to be reminded to put the peanut butter away when she's done.  She is an amazing big sister and is awesome at using entertaining her sister as an excuse to not do homework, clean her room or eat her dinner.

Matthew was not an easy baby.  He did not sleep well unless he was being held.  He was a slow eater, he was incredibly fussy and cried so much.  But, he was so worth it.  He was worth being tired for, he was worth listening to the ear piercing screams, he was worth the tiresome efforts to nurse, he was worth every single moment we had with him and I would have gladly had a gazillion more just like that to still have him in our lives.

Samantha is an in between baby.  She is not a great sleeper.  She has started to get better about putting herself to sleep at night, but usually stays up past 11.  And lately she has given up naps of any significance.  She hates being woken up.  Until she was 1, I was still getting up with her several times a night, changing her diaper every couple of hours and trying to pacify her back to sleep, and she was a spitter.  Not a little bit of spit-up once in a while, but massive amounts after every feed, a dozen times a day.  I had to clean the carpet every day.  She freaks out over the littlest of things (the other night at like 1 AM, she screamed Daddy! Daddy! Daddy! like she was hurt.  Nope, she had a boogie on her finger and wanted it off ASAP!)  She demands to use a fork but refuses to learn how to use it, instead screaming and throwing it at things.  She is a great communicator, loves baths (especially the part where she dumps buckets out of the bathtub so that I not only have to dry her off and get her dressed, but also have to soak it all up, mop and then do the laundry), and is great at cleaning up.  Seriously on the cleaning up, she cleans her room better than Kaitlyn. 

Charlotte is already showing she's stubborn.  She refuses to let me ever be comfortable.  She hates ultrasounds, and she likes to karate kick me at every chance she gets.

Children are work.  A lot of work.  More work than you could ever imagine before having one in your life.  The require constant cleaning, attention, praise, discipline, encouragement, supervision and they make messes.  Some days I am so sick of cleaning the same messes up over and over again.  Each and every day, cleaning the same gunk off the high chair, picking the same clothes up off the floor, washing the same dishes in the sink, going another night with limited sleep, having my dinner interrupted to add more ketchup to the high chair tray or having Samantha wait until I finally get a bath to decide to poop. 

But, I'm quickly reminded of how grateful I am to have all of the above.

Because I have all of the above, I have a nearly 8 year old who still calls me mommy and who tells me about her day every single day.  I have the memories of holding and snuggling a 2 month old that was never supposed to live past birth.  I have the joy of a nearly 2 year old who runs to me as fast as she can to show me her toys.  And I get to share it all with my best friend.  At the end of the day, it's all beyond worth it. 

I've also learned that there is no such thing as a perfect parent (despite what you may read on facebook).  Some nights, I may not get all of the dishes clean.  Some days, there might be clean laundry on the couch waiting for me to fold it and put it away (ugh, my least favorite thing to do!), and some days I might use disposable diapers instead of cloth, feed everyone pizza instead of cooking and let them scream at each other for half an hour while I ignore them and read a magazine.  And that's ok.  Because I'm not competing with anyone.  I'm raising a family.  I'm creating a home, and in 10 years, the little things I let slide once in a while are not going to matter nearly as much as the extra time spent laughing, cuddling and making memories.

Being a parent is far from easy.  It requires dedication and work.  But, it's absolutely amazing and worth every spit-up, poop covered, tantrum throwing minute.

Voting at School

Kaitlyn brought home this nifty coloring book from school explaining all the great aspects of voting and how important it is to our society.

I was talking to Kaitlyn about it and asked her who she was going to vote for.  Kaitlyn is going through an ornery "stage".  I really hope it's a stage.  Please be a stage.  She informed me she was going to vote for Obama "just to mess with you."

I asked her how that would mess with me.  She said because I don't like Obama.  Which began a deep discussion about it being her vote to use wisely and on who she believes is the best candidate.  If she can back up why she feels that was the best candidate, then I completely and totally support her decision.  About 2 minutes into the conversation, she was bored and I could tell she regretted trying to "mess" with me and wishes she would have answered any other way.

My vote is mine.  It is entirely mine.  I do my best to educate myself on all of the issues reading arguments both for and against propositions.  I do not always vote party lines, I do not always vote the same as Dusty, but I vote in a way that makes the most sense to me.  With candidates, it's a little different.  You have to take them at their word.  And you have to trust a presidential candidate with one of the most important roles: choosing supreme court justices.  A responsibility that lasts long after their 4-8 years is up.  A responsibility that truly shapes our country.

I remember the first time I voted.  I was just over 18.  It was 2000.  I voted for Al Gore.  He had the most convincing commercials.  I remember being disappointed that I couldn't vote for Bill Clinton.  I remember being even more irritated that George Bush won.

Then, September 11, 2001 shook everything I knew to be true.  It changed everything.  I saw the look of bewilderment and sadness in our president's eyes as he was told the news.  I saw the devastation.  I was introduced to talk radio and a lot of things made sense.  Of course, I started out listening to Opie and Anthony, which was absolutely not the best place to get information on political aspects of our country.  But, it led me to wanting to do my own research.  It made me not want to just follow all the commercials on TV or the radio when voting.

I like to think I've evolved as a voter.  I care about the issues.  I care about the propositions.  I want to know who wrote them, why they wrote them, what repercussions could happen if they are passed.  I've learned that you do not have to agree with 100% of a party to vote for it and I learned you will never agree 100% with a candidate. 

I do not feel guilty for voting for Al Gore, but I do feel that when I voted for Bush in 2004, I was making a more educated decision for myself. 

I hope the one thing Kaitlyn learns from voting at school is that being educated on who or what you're voting for is just as important at voting.  I hope she always follows her mind and her heart.  I hope that she understands it's completely ok to disagree with her parents, her friends or her teachers.  I hope that she finds a voice to back up why she believes what she believes.  I hope that her compassion and empathy continue to grow regardless of the constant hounding of political ads at every twist and turn.  I hope that she learns to love the political process regardless of the ridiculous claims by the candidates or scare tactics of campaigns.

I hope that when she votes in her first presidential election in 2024, she does it intelligently and with pride.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Single Digits

As of yesterday, we're officially in the single digit weeks until Charlotte's due date.

As of today, there are 8 weeks and 6 days until Charlotte's due date.  61 days until Christmas people!  Um, what???  How is that possible?  Well, I know how it's possible, I just have a hard time believing it's possible.

Our tentative delivery date is 39w3 days.  Which, is only 57 days away.  Charlotte (do you know how many times I accidentally type Samantha and have to delete it?  It feels like we were just here) is measuring larger than any of our previous babies at this age, by quite a bit.  She is about 4 1/2 lbs right now and entering the gestational age where most babies begin their growth spurts.  So, we may be able to move that day up.  We should be able to schedule our delivery day on Tuesday.  Obviously, she could decide to come before then, but, we're hoping she stays put until 38 weeks.

My weight gain is steady, my heart burn is getting worse by the minute, and she is a moving and a shaking in there.

I don't think Samantha has any idea what is about to happen in her world.  I think she'd be perfectly happy to just keep saying "nice baby" while petting my stomach for the rest of toddlerhood. 

Charlotte's "take me home" outfit is all purchased, washed and ready to be packed.  I'm trying to wait until 35 weeks (which is only a month away!) to pack my bag.  I already know what to pack, I just want to iron my maternity hospital gown, and make sure everything smells nice and fresh. 

I am definitely feeling heavier and more tired at this point.  I get winded just from picking up a couple of rooms when cleaning.  I have to sit down more often and make sure I drink water or I end up just absolutely miserable for the rest of the day.

For those that have asked, we are not having a baby shower this time around.  While I am a big believer in celebrating every baby, I just do not think there is enough time in the calendar to do something before I'm too miserable to want to socialize.  ;)  This weekend we have cheer playoff games, next weekend we have cheer competition, the following weekend is Samantha's birthday, the next is Kaitlyn's, the next is Thanksgiving, then Dusty and my dad's birthdays, and after that we're in December and I'm 37 weeks pregnant....

Here's hoping that everyone is having a wonderful October and as excited as I am for Christmas this year!

Monday, October 22, 2012

What a weekend

This weekend was boderline insane.  It makes me grateful that today is a nice rainy day, the first of the season, and I can spend a good chunk of it in sweats at home.

Some of it was just emotionally draining.  I guess the emotional draining part started on Wednesday.  Kaitlyn loves cheering.  But, she really wants to be a flyer.  She wants to be high in the air and have everyone look at her.  But, she is on the tall side, and while not even remotely close to overweight (50" and 57 lbs,  50% for height and 54% for weight with a BMI of 16, which is right in the middle of healthy), she is very muscular.  It's crazy to see her legs sometimes lol.  And since she is a taller girl on the team, it makes more sense for her to be a spotter than a flyer.  So, that has been her role.

Until Wednesday.  When she was told she *might* get to be a flyer in competition and they worked on the routine with her flying.  When she came home, she was beaming.  She has been practicing to be a flyer since she started cheering.  She does this by balancing on every tiny thing she can while doing cheers.  And she practices at school, which she got in trouble for. 

She was excited to go to practice, and then I picked her up.  As soon as we got in the car she started bawling.  Hysterically.  More than I had seen her do cry in a really, really long time.  Through the hiccups, "I can't breath" and loud sobs, I concluded that it turns out she would not be flying for competition.  She was ready to quit, she burst into tears as she ate and just wouldn't stop crying. 

On Friday, she was still upset about it, but also excited for the Fall Festival at her school that night.

We spent about an hour trying to get her make-up to look like Abbey Bominable from Monster High.  She wore the wig, her outfit, hated the new shoes I got her and refused to wear them and then I woke Samantha up about an hour and a half early from her nap.  I dressed her like the "warm" version of her cat costume.  She did not like sitting still for whisker application AT ALL.  I might try something different on Halloween to make it faster and easier.  And harder to rub off!

Up until photo time, Samantha's bow was tied lol.  And she refused to smile.  Or stand next to Kaitlyn.  She really wanted that extra hour and a half of sleeping...

Kaitlyn's fall festival was fun.  Crowded, but fun.  She ran off with a few different groups of friends a few times, and when they did the Mad Science show at the outdoor theater, she was picked to be a volunteer.  This year, she even went through the haunted house.  Last year, she didn't get to since the fog machines kept setting off the smoke detectors.  She was thrilled.

Saturday was an early morning.  She had her last regular game of the season for cheer.  The mapquest flyer that was handed out said it would take 29 minutes to get there, so I left 35 minutes before that.  I should have looked at my own maps before assuming it would only take half hour to get there.  Instead of arriving at 10:15, we were there at 10:35.  I HATE being late.  Hate it.  It made me feel a little better that we won't the last, or even close to it, but still.

The game was a hot mess on some levels.  The kids all played and cheered their hearts out and did awesome.  Some of the parents lacked the ability (in my opinion) to remain calm and teach their children good sportsmanship.  The yelling, cussing and booing was disheartening to say the least. 

But, Kaitlyn was thrilled because she was able to be a flyer during half time.  She did great.  She had a blast, smiled and it was a good game.

We headed to the mall to get Kaitlyn some jeans (which irritated her since she hates trying on clothes and on Sunday, announced she hates jeans) before the rain started and headed home. 

We met Dusty at home and prepared to head to his parents for dinner that night.  We try to go to each of our parents once a week, family bonds with the girls are super important to both of us.  Sunday dinner is done with my parents and siblings and we typically go to Dusty's on Fridays, but sometimes Saturdays if there is an event on Friday.

On the way, Dusty wanted to visit Big 5 and check out their ammo sale, so we went a slightly different way.  We were going straight on  a popular street, in the far left lane.  A car decided to turn right on a red light as we crossed the intersection.  Instead of turning into the right lane, or the middle lane, he went at full speed into our lane.  I laid on the horn and slammed on the brakes.  He finally noticed us and swerved out of the way after hitting our mirror.  Then, took off flying down the street.  We followed to get his license plate number.  After several blocks he pulled over.

I asked him for his insurance and license information.  He became irate and said "these things happen, I didn't even hit you."  I argued that he did hit the mirror and he replied that it didn't count.  I tried remaining calm, but firmly stated I wanted the information.  Dusty backed me up.  He asked us to follow him to his house since he didn't have anything to take our information down with.  I refused.  For obvious reasons.  Kaitlyn by this point was crying.  I offered a pen and paper.  Samantha is freaking out.  Dusty has calmed down and that guy was being a major jerk and just kept arguing.  If there is one thing I've learned in life it's that if you argue with a fool, bystanders would have a hard time distinguishing who the fool was.  After being questioned if I was wearing restrictive lenses (I wear contacts) and explaining I was, it's how I saw him hit us!!  Um, duh?  I informed him there was no point in continuing a conversation.  Write down the information, give back my documents or I could call the police and report a hit and run.  Eventually we were able to go on our ways.  Of course, with Kaitlyn crying and explaining what a jerk he was and how bad he could have hurt Samantha and daddy. 

We went to Big 5, saw the sale was nothing impressive and went on our way.  Of course, Samantha screamed about getting back in the car and Dusty had to pretty much force it.  :(

The rest of the night consisted of owies, yummy food, and Kaitlyn being emotional.  A game of Yahtzee seemed to take her mind off things for at least a little while though.

Sunday morning started before the sun.  Kaitlyn was not even remotely close to happy about the idea of getting up early.  Neither was Samantha, but by 7:10 (and only 10 minutes later than I had hoped for), we were in the car ready to go to the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk.  Considering how warm it has been lately, it was chilly.  And cloudy.  Kaitlyn sported some bright pink hair, and Samantha wore a warm pink jacket over her outfit.  She napped maybe 10 minutes out of the whole ride.

After, we went to a late breakfast, where Samantha threw her milk at the floor.  She was upset it wasn't a "Cold Hot Chocolate" and no amount of whipped cream was going to convince her it was ok lol.

I wish I could say naps were in the cards for everyone after, but everyone refused.  I didn't refuse, but I didn't have much choice...

I did help Dusty with the gutters and down spouts though, so we were super prepared for the rain!

We enjoyed dinner at my parents' house, where Samantha fell asleep literally 2 minutes from arriving at their front door.  She slept through most of the visit, all of dinner and only woke up after being forced too...  We did get to watch the Giant's game, which was exciting.  We've watched nearly every game since 2009 (Dusty watched a lot longer than I did lol).  The last time they won the world series, I was pregnant with Samantha, here I am pregnant with another little girl as they prepare to go again.  How awesome is that?

By the time we got home, I was exhausted with a terrible headache.  I managed to watch The Walking Dead and Boardwalk Empire with Dusty before going to bed.  And when my head hit the pillow, I slept so good for at least a few hours before waking up every hour or so.

Tomorrow we hit 31 weeks!  Woo Hoo!  I will get my 16th p17 injection!  Which will leave me with only 3 more.  Woo Hoo!  Only 9 weeks and 1 day until Christmas and her due date!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A compulsive planner

I like to plan out my week. Even the simple stuff like what time each day I will put away laundry, go to the store, pick up dog poo or work on eBay orders.

I plan it in my head on Friday's for the following week. The schedule takes into account the obvious things like my weekly doctor's appointments, Kaitlyn and her school and cheer schedule, late start Wednesday's and, while I hate to allow it, flexibility.

The last couple of weeks I've become obsessed with the idea of getting the walls, carpets, baseboards and every nook and cranny scrubbed clean.

After Samantha's Desitin incident last week, I lost momentum.  I did not feel like it anymore.  But, I decided that finishing would be in my to-do list.  This is how this weeks schedule looked:

On Monday, I knew that I wanted to go to the cemetery, I didn't add to much else to my list because I knew I may not feel like it.  I had originally planned to try and go to Hobby Lobby to pick up some material for a friend of my sister-in-law's baby.  I didn't.  I put it off. 

On Tuesday, I knew I had a doctor's appointment in the AM, I wanted go to Hobby Lobby and possibly Walmart after.  And clean like crazy to get all the living room dusted.  Then, cut out the pieces for the costume I was making, make sure all the laundry was put away and be done.  Yeah.  I went to my appointment, made it to Hobby Lobby and that was it.  I was having a rough "pregnancy" day and just had no injury and was in physical pain all day.  So, nothing else got done.

On Wednesday, it was a late start day.  I planned on picking up around the house, maybe cleaning Samantha's room again, getting all caught up on laundry, starting the costume and that was it.  Yesterday, was the opposite of a lazy day.  Once I started, it didn't stop.  I was able to dust the entire living room.  That can be a feat without a pregnant belly.  It involves Dusty's liquor collection, a thousand DVDs, pictures, reorganizing some shelving and lots of nooks and crannies.  I cleaned all the hard floors through the house.  I not only got all caught up on the laundry, but put it away.  I scrubbed the whole house and it's done.  Except for the carpet, which I had planned on doing Monday.  And, I nearly finished the costume.  It's about 15 minutes away from being done and mostly waiting on the postman to deliver the socks I need to make the baby legs.

Today was going to be a sewing day.  I allotted enough time to run by Walmart and the fabric store to finally decide on Samantha's and then pick up supplies.  Then, I would come home and sew both costumes for the rest of the day, and follow up by cleaning up the dog poo in the backyard.  Normally, I do this every day since they poop so much, but our scooper broke and I needed a new one.  I could have used a shovel, but my back begged me not to.

Friday was going to be a finish up on sewing (since I planned on not being done) and scrubbing the house so I can clean the carpets on Monday.

Well.  With one costume just about done, the whole house cleaned, Dusty having done the dog poop last night and my schedule freeing up, I almost don't know what to do with myself!  Today, I'm going to still decide and create Samantha's costume, which is going to be fairly easy since both costumes I have it narrowed down to require minimal sewing.  And tomorrow I am going to clean the carpets and then be out of the house for the day.

I have no idea what I'm going to schedule for next week.  More obsessive cleaning?  Getting ready for a couple of birthdays?  Getting ready for Christmas?  I know there are some rain storms on the way, finally!

This Saturday is Kaitlyn's last cheer game of the regular season.  She is so excited she found out last night she might get to fly either Saturday or in competition and practiced several times last night.  She kept telling me in the car, "I can't believe how fast this year is going" and all I could do was agree a thousand times over again.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

30 weeks

This is it, after today, I can count down how much longer to my due date in single digit weeks.  Tomorrow, I will be 9 weeks and 6 days from her EDD.

I had my 30 week appointment today.  I didn't look forward to it.  I had such horrific cramping yesterday, last night and this morning I very nearly went to Labor and Delivery to get checked out first.  But, I know that I had an appointment this morning and I knew I would be in L&D forever, and I knew it was most likely normal.

My weight gain is at exactly 30 pounds.  Which means I probably won't hit 40.  I bet I'll stay around 35 lbs.  Which, would be less than Samantha and Matthew and more than Kaitlyn.  It sure does feel like a lot more than that. 

Just to be sure the cramps were not doing anything productive as far as the cervix goes, I had a cervical check.  All was normal and the same.  The doctor believes that this is just a bigger baby than my body is used to at this point and I have a lot of scar tissue, not to mention she is ridiculously active.  You can see body parts sticking out all over the place.  So, it's likely going to be a painful remainder, but that's ok.  It's far better than having a premature baby or being stuck in the hospital on bed rest for the remainder of the pregnancy.

I had my p17 shot today.  I need to get a flu shot still and a whooping cough vaccine in the next two weeks.  I only have 4 more p17 injections remaining!!  Woo-Hoo!

I am a conservative

And no, it's not because I'm racist.  I don't dislike Obama because of the color of his skin, or even the fact that he is a closet smoker.  I dislike most policies of the democratic party.

I'm conservative because I believe in smaller government.  I do not believe government needs to be in every aspect of our lives.  I do not believe we need "common sense" laws.  I do not believe the government needs to tell us what we *should* do in regards to our children. 

Does the government really have the right to impose vaccinations on our children?  Force them into car seat laws that may or may not benefit them?  Why not instead just work on educating parents?

I strongly believe in the second amendment.  I believe in my right to own a firearm, regardless of the brand name, the caliber of the ammunition it fires and my right to make decisions for my family regarding how we protect our home without someone who has never met us dictating whether or not we are responsible enough to own a weapon with a large capacity magazine.  What if I'm hunting zombies one day??  (I kid, I don't think there will be a zombie apocalypse.  And if there is, I'm hiding out, those things are creepy!)

I believe in fewer taxes and fewer services.  I believe in donating to charities that are near and dear to me and my heart and not being forced to pay taxes and having my money go to organizations I don't agree with.  I believe that welfare, food stamps and unemployment should be temporary stepping stones for those truly in need.

Despite being a conservative, I do not believe the government has any right inside of our bedrooms or our uteruses.  If you decide to have a homosexual relationship or marriage, I see no reason why the government should interfere.  If you decide that an abortion is the right decision for you, regardless of whether I would chose the same, I have no right to tell you what to do with your body.

I completely and totally understand that there are plenty of intelligent people, that I love, who believe the exact opposite of how I do on these issues.  I'll tell you, I have so much respect for those that can express their opinions in ways that shows respect to other beliefs and ideas.  I have absolutely no tolerance for those that belittle or make assumptions regarding those who are not voting the same as them this election year.

I personally would have loved Rick Santorum to run for president, but it wasn't in the cards.  I also personally hate that we have such a strong two party system, I do believe that will be the downfall of our country if we do not figure out a better way to take care of things.  But, this November, I will likely vote for Romney.  While I may not agree with all of his ideologies, I believe in more of them than I do in Obama's campaign. 

At the end of the day, I think we all want the same thing: A strong country, job security, economic growth and a safe place to raise our children.

Monday, October 15, 2012

5 years since good-bye

5 years ago today, on a Monday, in the early hours of the morning, Matthew slipped away from our physical lives forever.

To me, he simply slept through his 2:30 am feeding.  In reality, he was gone forever.  No amount of CPR, emergency care or praying would bring him back to us.  We would walk out of a hospital without him once again, and this time we wouldn't be able to go back and visit him every day.  His short life was over.

A week later, on October 22, 2007, he was laid to rest.  Never again would we have the opportunity to stare into his face, study his sweet head, kiss his tiny toes and wrap his little fingers around ours.

Our lives have forever changed in 5 years.

Kaitlyn lost a brother.  That innocence of childhood was ripped from her a month before her third birthday.  She's since questioned, as we all have, why do some babies die?  Why do some get to live while some do not? 

How do you answer that? 

Our answer has remained the same over time, I don't know.  I don't know why some babies die.  I wish that I did.  I wish I had a good answer for you, a reason to make it all make sense, but I simply do not.

I do know that love knows no distance.  Family bonds extend far further than our eyes can see.

I've learned so much in the past 5 years.  I've learned that family is so much more than a blood bond.  Blood is not only required to be family, but also does not mean family.  It means blood and nothing more.  I've learned that good friends are more valuable than their weight in gold.  I've learned that time is so precious and each moment should be treated like the gift that it is.  I've learned that life holds no promises.  Tomorrow is not guaranteed and each sunrise and sunset we are blessed to see should be celebrated.

Life is too short to waste.  It's too short to dwell on the would haves, could haves and should haves.  It's too short  to spend on people and things that bring negativity to your world.  We only get one life, it's our responsibility to make the most of it.

While we can never get Matthew back, and we can never have more time with him in this world, we can carry his memory in our hearts.  We can make a difference in the world in his memory.  Our lives are forever better for knowing our sweet little man and nothing can take that away.  He is the reason the sky is so blue, the rain is so sweet, the reason we are so passionate about the work the March of Dimes does and is the reason our hearts as large and as warm as can be.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

In 1988, one of my favorite presidents, Ronald Reagan, determined that October would forever be known as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.

Pregnancy and Infant loss is still so prevalent in our society, yet it's still something we do not talk about nearly enough.  I do, however, believe we've made progress over the last few decades.  Thanks to the internet, there are communities that have been created to support families as they go through the loss of a pregnancy or an infant.  There are books galore available, and out in public in most places.

We've been watching Boardwalk Empire and ever since the first season, I've been fixated on how premature babies were cared for less than 100 years ago.  I found the way women were treated with regards to prenatal care and the loss of a pregnancy appalling.  While I know it is a dramatization on television for "entertainment" purposes, it did lead me to research more about how far we have come.

Just 2 generations ago, when a woman delivered a baby, their spouse was not allowed in the room.  If a baby was born still, the mother NEVER had the opportunity to see their baby.  They did not have pictures taken to keep of their child, they did not have the opportunity to have a service for their baby.  While there were exceptions to this rule, they are not that common.

I find myself forever grateful for the medical care we received during my pregnancy with Matthew.  I remain forever thankful for the photos that we have of Matthew, the lock of hair the funeral home was able to give us, the footprint we have hanging on the wall that reminds me of just how tiny he was and the fact that we are able to remember him publicly. 

I do believe that the stigma over baby loss has lifted by leaps and bounds when compared to the shame of miscarriages.  It is becoming less and less common to be questioned about what you did wrong to cause your baby to die.  Typically, when people learn that we lost our son to SIDS, they will either offer their condolences, or lecture on the causes of SIDS.  In nearly 5 years, I've learned that you can do everything absolutely right and it can still go terribly wrong.  Normally that's a lesson I tell the lecturers. 

1 in 4 of all pregnancies end in miscarriage.  And we know of so many more of them now that you can test for pregnancy just a week after you ovulate and just days after the egg is fertilized.  You can literally find out if you are pregnant at 3 weeks now, when just a couple years ago that wasn't even remotely possible. 

When becoming pregnant, one of the most common questions is "when is it safe to tell everyone."  And the truth of the matter is, there isn't a safe time.  I've seen so many follow up with "I don't want to have to 'untell' everyone about a pregnancy."

That, to me, is disheartening.  For starters, there isn't anything to untell.  You were pregnant.  A life was beginning to form inside of you.  Even if you suffered a miscarriage, you were still pregnant.  There is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.  Nothing.  In 99% of cases, there is nothing you could have done differently.  And you are not alone.

Those are lessons that I hope are taught through the month.  I would like to see fewer angry political ads and more awareness that a miscarriage is not something to be ashamed of.  It does not make you less of a mother.  It does not make you less of a woman.  It is sadly something that continues to happen no matter how much we do not want it to. 

We've suffered 3 miscarriages.  Kaitlyn knows of 1.  After the first one, I did not want to put her through even more heartache than she'd been through.  And while that miscarriage was nearly 4 years ago, Kaitlyn still asks about it.  She wants to know what we all want to know: Why.  Why do babies die? 

One day, I hope we not only have that answer, but also a solution.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

That Desitin Bastard!

Last week, I set a goal for this week to get all the deep cleaning around the house done.  I wanted to clean all the ceilings fans frames, walls, baseboards, cupboards and the like in the three bedrooms, 2 and a half baths, dining room, kitchen, playroom and living room.  My original goal was to be done by tonight and clean the carpets and deep clean the tile floors tomorrow morning.  Then, I could go have lunch with a friend and be out of the house while it dries.

By today, I realized that while I was super proud of my progress, I wasn't going to be ready by tomorrow and I could just do the floors on Monday.

I had finished our room, the hallway, our room, playroom, bathrooms, dining room and kitchen.  The kitchen cupboards took WAY longer than I anticipated.  All I had left was the living room, Kaitlyn's room and Samantha's room.  I decided to wait until tomorrow and Friday to finish the rest of the rooms.  I was tired.  But, I loved how sparkly everything looked, so it was worth.

Then, after dinner, Samantha grabbed Kaitlyn's lemonade, took it into her room and dumped it all over her toddler bed and the floor.  So, I decided to work on Samantha's room.  I changed the bedding on both beds, cleaned the baseboards, did all the dusting, organizing and cleaning.  I got Samantha in her jammies and all ready for bed.

We're big on independent play.  So, usually, after Samantha's ready for bed, she plays in her room for about half an hour to read her books, play with her toys, sing to her dollies and so on.

Well, a couple hours ago, I was tired.  I was ready for bed.  I was getting ready to get off the computer and go put Samantha in bed when she came running out into the living room.  Covered in white from head to toe.  Thick.  Between her toes, in her ears, under her nails, in the strands of her hair, between her eyes, in her belly button, everywhere.  I carried her to the bathtub.  On the way, I saw parts of the damage.

Those pretty and clean dining room walls, the freshly cleaned hallway walls, all the doors, the door handles, her book case, her crib, her toddler bed, all of her dolls, her toy box bin, her dresser, her changing table, the clothes in her closet, her shoes, her bedding, her toys, her carpet, her curtains.  Everything.  It was all bright white.  Thick and bright white.  And greasy.  An entire tub of desitin had been clearly wiped along every freshly cleaned surface.

She's had a bath, with as much of it cleaned off of her as possible and every other surface cleaned like crazy.

Desitin is not my friend tonight.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

29 weeks

As of today, we have officially hit the 29th week in pregnancy.  How awesome is that?

Only 11 weeks until Charlotte's due date and Christmas.  Only 10 weeks and 3 days until she should make her appearance.  Hopefully, 11 weeks from today we'll be at home celebrating Christmas morning with three little ones under the tree.

I haven't really had a lot of new symptoms.  I can feel her twist, kick, jump and punch during the day.  Her movements are a little slower, a little stronger and a little less frequent.  You can make out hands and feet a little more clearly. 

Heartburn is still there.  Slowly getting worse.  I'm fortunate that I'm carrying her so much lower than I did Samantha.  I'm sure if she was any higher, the heartburn would be even worse and then I might just cry several times throughout the day.  It does make me less excited about eating a lot of yummy food, but, my weight gain probably appreciates that.

I am up about 30 lbs. With Kaitlyn I only gained 25.  But, she was also only 7 lbs and 3 oz, I was younger, it was my most active pregnancy and I wasn't hungry a lot of the time.  With Matthew I gained a little over 50 and with Samantha I gained 40.  Considering I typically stop gaining and start losing around 36-37 weeks, I think I'll end up right under 40.  Maybe even less, one of the side effects of the p17 injections is increased hunger and weight gain.  This time I will stop them two weeks sooner.  Time will tell.

After today, I have 5 more p17 injections.  Then, I get one week where I shouldn't have to visit the doctor at all: week 35.  After that, I'll go back to every week.  I bet my gas tank will like that...

The prematurity epidemic

Every week, I look forward to Tuesday's because it means I'm a week further along and a week closer to meeting our newest princess.  I read a few different articles on what's going on this week in development and lately I've found myself so incredibly infuriated with some of the "developments."  I really should stop reading them, basically the next 11 weeks is about fine tuning development, gaining weight, working on lung development and brain growth and growing.

I understand that pregnancy, no matter how amazing one finds it, no matter how much you want and prayed for your baby, or how much you love being pregnant, is hard.  Pregnancy often means weight gain, swelling, heart burn, feeling tired, sleepless nights, indigestion and your body being affected in ways you cannot understand being related to making a baby.  I completely and totally relate to wanting to be at the end of it, wanting to hold that baby in your arms and meeting them.  I get it.

When I was 36 weeks pregnant with Kaitlyn, I went to my appointment and my doctor said I was ready to have her and I probably wouldn't make it to my next appointment.  I did everything we found to be safe to naturally coax her out and into our arms.  I wanted to meet her.  I wanted to touch her and kiss her sweet head.  She was born at 40 weeks and 3 days.  So yeah, maybe she wasn't quite so ready.

With Matthew, I wanted him to stay in.  At the time, that was the safest place for him.  I was scared for him to be born because it meant so many unknowns.  It was so soon.  And we knew then what every extra day in there meant for him.

With Samantha, I wanted to get as close to 40 weeks as I safely could.  I wanted her to be full term, chubby, in our arms and going home with us, no doubt about it.

I feel the same way this time.

In the last two weeks, my weekly updates ended with:

"If born today, your baby has a 90% chance of surviving without major deformities.  Your baby will likely have a little trouble breathing and tire easily."

The first sentence doesn't bother me.  Although, if you are part of that 10% the 90% seems like such a tiny number.

What bothers me, is the simplistic way a 11-12 week premature baby is looked at.  It is taken so lightly as though your baby will just need some oxygen and get to go straight home with you.  I think this is part of why people just do not get the seriousness of prematurity.

A 28 week baby is going to have more than a little trouble breathing and tire easily.  A 28-29 week baby is going to need assistance breathing, is going to need to learn how to regulate their body temperature, is going to need to be fed through a tube until they can learn to use a bottle, is likely going to need multiple medications to help their lungs finish maturing and to help their heart finish developing properly.  They will still be at risk for infections in their intestines, risk of bleeding on their brains and a risk of not surviving.  A 28-29 week baby is going to be in the NICU for 2-3 months.  If you think pregnancy is hard, try living with your little one outside of your body and outside of your home for that long while a team of doctors and nurses are the ones responsible for their care, diaper changes, feedings and know your baby better than you.

It just makes me so sad that no matter how much information is available to the public, websites that first, second and even fifth time mothers look to for information about their pregnancy do not offer such a candid look at prematurity.

I do believe this is why so many women believe that it is totally safe and ideal to delivery your baby at 36-37 weeks.  That's full-term, right?  But it isn't.  A baby needs the full 40 weeks to continue developing. 

Recent research shows that even when babies are born at 37-38 weeks, they can suffer from lower IQ scores, and have trouble in math and reading

There are obviously plenty of reasons why babies are sometimes born prior to that and I completely understand and support that.  There are a lot of reasons why a woman and her doctor may decide that delivering prior to 39-40 weeks is necessary or ideal.  Everything from not being able to prevent delivery, the health of baby and mom, the well being of baby and mom, a history of full term still births and I am sure plenty more.  But, a discomfort or "sick of being pregnant" should not be reasons for early delivery.

At the end of the day, Healthy babies are worth the wait.  And, once that little one is in your arms, you'll realize how quickly your pregnancy actually went by.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Some ramblings...

In 2008 and 2009 I got past August through the holidays with my friend Tylenol PM. It helped me get through the nightmares, flashbacks and nights where I couldn't sleep.

In 2010, I was pregnant with Samantha and in 2011 she wasn't quite one, not sleeping through the night and Tylenol PM just wasn't an option those years.

I figured out ways to get through the nights. Sometimes sleeping and sometimes not. I also learned some ways to be able to stop clenching my teeth when I got upset. Which, helped my jaw out tremendously.

Most of those techniques had been working so far this year. I was still getting through nights, not always sleeping, but doing ok.

The past week hasn't been as easy. Balancing the schedule of a nearly 8 year old, keeping up with a nearly 2 year old and carrying a 3-3.5 lb baby in my belly has left me exhausted. And, horrible nightmares gave ensued. The kind that keep you up trying not to blink for hours at night, the kind where I wake up soaked in sweat. The other night, I felt so sweaty, I had to convince myself my water hasn't broken. I've spent a lot of time the past several days from 2-5 am watching infomercials on the food network and browsing the Internet on my iPad. One of these nights I'm going to treat myself to some unisom and try to get caught up.

In other news, both girls are keeping us busy.

Kaitlyn hit her toe on her bookcase while doing flips in her room. Her toenail turned dark black. Dusty told me I needed to poke a hole in it but didn't. 6 months later and there has been minimal growth. It was still ugly. And super dark.

I was cutting her nails Saturday when I noticed the toe was worse. A lot worse. And she was in pain. The nail had split horizontally down the middle. That dark black blood was trying to ease out. The toenail had lifted. I freaked out. Dusty tried to look close at it. We couldn't see a new nail growing.

I called the advice nurse who suggested she be seen immediately to rule out infection, bone fracture or nerve damage. I took her to the ER. It was busy. Lots of preteen boys with concussions. There wasn't an infection, they didn't think it was broken and suggested we should really have it removed. But, with her age, they felt more comfortable with her pediatrician or a podiatrist removing it. We taped it up and went on our way.

Sunday, we taped up her toe and headed to Cheer Showcase. She did awesome. Her team was amazing and you could see how hard they have been working.

This morning, we went to her dr. He doesn't think we should remove it. It would cause her a lot of pain and likely mean she would be off her feet for 3 days. So, we will keep soaking and taping it until it falls off. The best news was that there is a fresh toenail under there!

Samantha is now repeating everything she hears. She is really sensitive to crying and scary things. Even cute little scarecrows. We've had no improvements on her bowel movements, but she has an appointment with a new GI next month.

The girls' birthday invites have been completed and sent. Since I will be undoubtably more tired and uncomfortable by next month, we did scale back. A lot. Instead of my normal 40+ invites per party, I limited myself to 15 per party. Kaitlyn got an extra 4 for school friends. We are trying to stick to family mostly. Of course, I'm so excited about decorating for both and presents.

We've decided on Samantha's gifts, but only one of Kaitlyn's. It is so hard trying to come up with two back to back great gifts. I've also ordered their Christmas outfits. I just need to get Charlotte a white velour jumper. Wish me luck. I finished both girls' fall outfits and am just waiting for us to have time for the pumpkin patch so I can get done pictures and make some fall cards.

4 years and 51 weeks

Next Monday marks 5 years since Matthew left our home and never returned.  5 years since we last touched him, kissed him, hugged him, nursed him and breathed in his sweet smell.

5 years ago on Monday, our sweet prince, our only son, became an angel.  He left this world to be a part of another.  A better one I'd like to think. 

Through the years, the pain has remained, but changed.  It isn't the feeling of being constantly punched in both the stomach and the neck at the same time.  It's more of a dull ache.  A bruise.  And like all bruises, while it's always aching, there are times when you touch it, or hit it on something and the pain intensifies and catches you off guard. 

In 5 years our family has grown.  Matthew has a big sister who talks about him just about every day.  He has a little sister who would terrorize him from sun up to sun down if she could and another little sister on the way in less than 3 months.

He has a family that loves him and adores him more than words can express, even if he isn't here physically.  He is missed.  He is thought of.  He is our little man.  Never to be replaced and never to be forgotten.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

28 weeks- "Out of the woods"

Today, I had my 28 week perinatologist appointment.  And, I am officially 28 weeks and in the third trimester.  Woo-Hoo!

This week has been horrific when it comes to actually having appointments.  Yesterday I was supposed to have my 28 week OB appointment complete with p17 and rhogam injections.  As I pulled into the parking lot my phone rang to say my doctor was called into emergency surgery and my appointment was cancelled.  They offered to schedule me instead with another doctor in the practice.  But, since I like my blood pressure to not be through the roof, I declined.  I requested to just have the injections and be done and over with it.

Once I finished my injections, I attempted to schedule my next appointment.  I explained I would rather not schedule a 28 week appointment for next week because it would screw up all my weeks.  I would much rather just skip it (knowing I had a peri appointment today) and schedule a 30 week appointment.  The receptionist tried to explain that you go every 4 weeks until 36 weeks, then you go every 2 weeks.  I told her she was wrong.  At 28 weeks it goes to every 2 weeks and at 36 weeks it goes to weekly.  She argued.  I smiled.  She got a total attitude and with the snottiest tone of voice said we should just do what I want since that is all that will make me happy.  I'm glad she's learned...  And I have a 30 week appointment.  Hopefully at this appointment we will officially schedule my cesarean and know more details.  And, I only have 6 more p17 shots.

After that headache, I expected today's appointment to be nice and easy to make up for it.  It's the first ultrasound appointment Dusty has been able to attend and I was told we'd do a fun 3D part since it would hopefully be my last appointment.  Nope.  We got there and I had never seen the waiting room so full.  I asked if there was a long wait, the receptionist informed me that a machine broke and they were backed up.  Nice.

I was surprised to only have to wait 20 minutes past my time.  That's my normal wait time.  I was disappointed when I went into a room with a portable machine that doesn't offer 3D and has the most uncomfortable chair/table for me to lay on. 

I know and I preach that the point of ultrasounds is not for fun of it.  It is a diagnostic tool and used for medical screening and ensuring that our little girl is doing well.  But, I also know that this office respects how stressful high risk pregnancies are and does what they can to help with the bonding experience.  We have not gotten a single halfway decent photo of this little one, she's stubborn as can be.  And this time her face was finally not snuggled up to the placenta, so I had hope.  But, she would not turn to face the wand.  :(  So, we have a lot of "zombie baby" ultrasound pictures that creep even Kaitlyn out...

My appointment went pretty darn good as far as all the health stuff went.  Our main concerns are my cervix: we want to be sure that it is long and strong to help keep her in! and growth: because of the blood clotting disorder we want to be sure we do not need to make any changes to medication to help her thrive.

My cervix goal was 3 cm.  Just the "mucous plug" measured over 4.5 cm.  The cervix extended past that.  My doctor (and my favorite one was on today) strongly believes that we should easily get to 32-34 weeks with the p17 injections!  Which would be awesome.  He still suggests we stop them at 34 weeks, but expects we'll likely have a repeat cesarean.

For fetal weight, our goal was 2 lbs 3 oz.  That is about average for a 28 weeker.  Charlotte measured at 2 lbs 15 oz!!  Nearly a whole pound bigger than average.  Even if the ultrasound is off by .5 lb, she's still measuring large.  Let's just hope it isn't off by .5 lb the other way...  She averages the size of a 29w5d baby.

So, our peri said we're likely "out of the woods" which I know doesn't mean anything, but at the same time means so much.  She's large enough where he said if we were contemplating a vaginal delivery, he would suggest we return in a few weeks to check her growth.  And I was asked a few times to be sure I had done my gestational diabetes test.  I did and I passed.  She just likes to grow...

Only 83 more days until Christmas and this little girl should be cozy in our arms!