TTC #2


I can hardly believe that my sweet baby’s second birthday is right around the corner.  We will be so busy with the holidays that the time will seem to pass even faster.  That being said, we have decided to try for another child.  We both want a few more children, but we will be perfectly happy and whole if J is our one and only.

We haven’t done anything to prevent having another child since J was born, but with extended breastfeeding, I didn’t have a cycle for a long time (about 16 months, I believe), and I haven’t taken any OPKs to see if I’m actually ovulating now.  We just felt like we would put the timing in God’s hands.

However, I feel like once you decide to try, there’s a whole new element of pressure and disappointment.  Each time your body doesn’t do what you want it to, you can’t help but feel a twinge of frustration.  I don’t know how the PCOS will come into play this go around, but I’m going to really try to not let it get me down.

I have just been praying that if it is God’s will, then we will have more kids.  If not, I’m so very blessed by the one I have already!

Anchored: A Book Review

  

This post contains affiliate links.

If you love a good Southern mommy blog (and I hope you do , if you’re here), then Kayla Aimee’s would be one you would love.  She writes all about her life as a mom to her micro-preemie-turned-sassy-toddler Scarlette, and her writing is like talking to a friend.  She just released her first book last week, a memoir of her family’s uncertain time in the NICU following Scarlette’s birth, and how that time has shaped her and her understanding of her faith.  It is not only a beautiful story of a mother’s love, told through both tears and laughter.  It is also the story of a Father’s love for his children, and His constant presence in our lives, through good times and bad.  I remember when I became a mother, the biggest epiphany I had was my greater understanding of God’s love for me mirrored in my love for my own child.  I feel like that’s something Kayla writes about too.  AND…it’s on sale through Amazon right now! Pick up a copy <a href=”here

Crazy Dreams

Since having Jake, who cosleeps with us, I rarely dream, or at least remember my dreams, because I sleep much lighter than pre-baby. Last night, though, I had a really crazy, really vivid dream… In my dream, I was in the shower, and kept feeling a fluttering feeling in my stomach. I looked down, and I could see the imprint of what looked like a tiny hand on my belly, which was weird because I didn’t think I was pregnant. I got out of the shower and went to show Brian, but when I showed him, the hand pushed through the skin. So I had a tiny baby hand hanging out of my abdomen, and I’m bleeding. Then more and more of the baby starts trying to force itself out of the hole made by the hand. And, even though I’m pretty sure it is literally going to kill me, all I can worry about is that the baby is too small to come out yet. Brian decides he needs to take me to the hospital, and I keep telling the baby as we are driving to please just stay in, because it’s too soon to come out yet, but the baby keeps coming anyway. Before we can even get down the road, the whole entire miniature baby has forced itself through my abdomen. Then I woke up. Isn’t that strange? Just to clarify, we aren’t expecting in real life as far as we know…

Our Birth Story – Part 3

The doctor arrived for delivery, but my epidural still hadn’t really kicked in yet.  We pushed through the contractions for a little while, and the hubs did a great job coaching me and helping me through it.  Honestly, by that point, pushing felt like a relief.  I was partially numbed by the time the baby was crowning , so I could feel some pain, but I could tell it was a duller pain than before.  The doctor said she would not be doing an episiotomy, but that I might potentially tear.  She told me that as soon as he was born, as long as everything was okay, she would place him on my stomach immediately.  His head came out fine, but his shoulder stuck and his heart rate dropped, and suddenly, everyone started acting very urgently.  One nurse was pressing very hard on my stomach, while the doctor finally applied vacuum suction to help him out.

Finally, at 12:24pm, Jacob Brian made his glorious entrance into the world.  The nurse took him to a small bassinet in our labor and delivery room to help him start breathing, and I told Brian to go be with Jake.  From that moment on, through the whole hospital stay, Brian never left Jake’s side.

In the meantime, I was delivering my placenta, and having my second-degree tear stitched up.  It seemed like things were taking a long time, and the nurses kept looking at each other and whispering.  Suddenly, I realized I was hemorrhaging.  They had to give me several shots to help slow the blood flow, and the doctor had to put several stitches in my uterus, and finally it seemed to be helping.  We were scared, and they wouldn’t let me hold baby Jake yet, so I was also really sad – I hadn’t even seen him yet.  Finally, they let Brian bring Jake over and stand next to me so I could look at him.  He was the most beautiful baby I had ever seen.  I had heard people say that before, of course, but I had been so worried at the end of my pregnancy that I wouldn’t know my baby once he arrived.  It couldn’t have been more the opposite – as soon as I saw him, it was like I known him forever.  Every detail of his tiny face was cemented into my brain immediately, and my heart was so full, it felt like it might explode.  Almost an hour after he was born, I finally got to hold baby Jake in my arms!  He was just perfect.  He was 7 pounds, 8 ounces, and 19 inches long.  Our families got to come in and see him and then they let the Mr. take him up to the nursery for his first bath. 

During that time, my mom stayed with me, and everyone else went back to the waiting room.  The nurse came in to ask me if I could try to go to the bathroom, and then I could be taken upstairs to the recovery room and the Mr. and J could join me there.  I told the nurse and my mom that I was still feeling very woozy from all of the blood loss, but I would try.  I made it into the bathroom before I lost consciousness.  Fortunately, my mom and the nurse caught me. It took several attempts with ammonia smelling salts to bring me back. I finally started feeling a little better and got to go up to my recovery room with Jake and Brian.

We were required to stay for 24 hours after delivery, and between breastfeeding and the nurses checking on us all night long, it was a long night. I couldn’t get comfortable enough to sleep because they insisted on leaving the epidural in place in case I started bleeding again and required emergency procedures. When we finally got to go home, we were so happy and excited – it was the first day of the rest of our lives!

Our Birth Story – Part 2

Our induction was scheduled for Tuesday, January 14.  The night before we had a big dinner with my family and celebrated the almost-birthday of our little boy.  The hubs and I had to be at the hospital at 5:30 the next morning, so we headed home and tried (unsuccessfully) to sleep.

The next morning we put our bags in the car and headed to the hospital.  We got there at 5:30, and by 6am, I was in bed with a Pitocin drip.  Brian asked our nurse what her best guess would be of when our baby would arrive, and she estimated it would be early evening because first time labors tend to take longer.  We had planned for him to be there with me the whole time, and that the rest of the family members would arrive throughout the morning.  At about 7am, they broke my water, and we hit our first speed bump shortly thereafter – our baby’s heart rate dropped.  The nurses told us that if his heart rate responded poorly to the Pitocin again, they would be taking me for a C-section.  Scary!!  At this point, they decided to place an internal fetal monitor, and he seemed to be doing well, so we continued with the induction plan.

Not long after, my parents, my older sister, and my youngest sister arrived, and then a little while later, Brian’s parents arrived.  The contractions started coming harder and harder, although my monitor didn’t seem to be working properly.  It was so hard to breathe when I had a contraction, and in spite of myself, I found myself holding my breath and bearing down when they would hit.  Brian, my mom, and my older sister took turns rubbing my back and helping me try to breathe through contractions.  I had a lot of back labor, and that was so hard.

Finally, about 5 hours after arriving at the hospital, I decided I would really like some pain relief.  The nurses called for the anesthesiologist, and we waited for him to come place my epidural.  By this point, I had dilated to about a 6, and was fully effaced.  We struggled through about another 45 minutes before the anesthesiologist arrived, and everyone except the Mr. had to leave the room.  The nurse asked me when the anesthesiologist came in if I was having any pressure.  I lied, and said no, because I had been having pressure for over an hour, but she hadn’t seemed to believe me before.  The anesthesiologist was placing my epidural, and I was still having horrific contractions every 2 minutes the whole time, but Brian held me and I tried to stay as still as  I could.  As soon as he was done, the nurse checked me again, and I was fully dilated and she had to immediately call for the doctor to come for delivery!

National Infertility Awareness Week – Resolve

While I’m a little late getting on the bandwagon, I wanted to write a post for NIAW. Infertility is a real struggle for many couples, and I think raising awareness is a wonderful thing. Not only can we help encourage our healthcare system to treat infertility just like other diseases, we can also help couples who are struggling feel more hope and less alone.

The word resolve is both a noun and a verb. When I think back about the beginning of our journey to parenthood, I felt resolve in both senses – I was determined, and I had come to a definite decision – I wanted to have a child more than anything. We were incredibly fortunate that in spite of my known reproductive issues, we conceived in just 8 months. My older sister and my childhood best friend were both less fortunate. It took my sister 5 years and fertility treatments to get pregnant with my niece, who is now 10. She has never been able to get pregnant again. My very dear friend, who I’ve known since the fourth grade, discovered she was pregnant several weeks after me. She and her husband has been trying for about a year, but just a few weeks in, she miscarried. The heartache was so bad that she could hardly be around me through my pregnancy.

Although my pregnancy was sometimes difficult, I am acutely aware that at the end of the day, it was a miracle that I conceived at all, much less without treatment. We were some of the lucky ones. So, with that in mind, let’s all resolve ourselves to learning more, reaching out, and standing up so that we can give hope to the many couples who are struggling in silence.

For more information, please visit http://www.resolve.org.

Our Birth Story – Part 1

I think there is something universal about moms wanting to share their birth stories – the good, the bad, the ugly.  Here is ours.

I had decided very early in my pregnancy that we did not want to be induced.  I wanted to birth as naturally as possible, but I was open to the idea that I may change my mind regarding pain relief during labor, and I was okay with that.  But when I hit week 37, I was DONE being pregnant.  Of course, I wanted little man to continue growing and be born healthy, but it was at that visit that I went ahead and asked about induction.  The end of my pregnancy was hard because of my work.  In addition to the fact that I had to work a 14 hour shift once a week, the fact that my job was pretty much forcing me out the door at 39 weeks , whether he was here or not, really contributed to wanting to be induced.  I had a limited amount of maternity leave, and wanted to actually spend it with my baby, as opposed to sitting on the couch waiting for him to get here.  Also, toward the end of my pregnancy, I developed some pretty intense anxiety issues.  I have a history of anxiety problems, and have even been medicated in the past, but managed during my pregnancy with no medical intervention.  However, as the last few weeks of my pregnancy dragged on, the anxiety (and even some mommy guilt) really started to wear on me.  My OB really felt like it was in the best interest of both myself and the baby to go ahead and schedule our induction for 39 weeks.

In the meantime, we started trying everything to help me go into labor naturally.  My mama and my mother-in-law had experienced both natural and induced labors, and both whole-heartedly agreed that natural was WAY easier on them.  The internet (source of all knowledge) suggested a variety of things to help naturally induce labor, so we started our way down the list.  I had my membranes stripped by my doctor, I ate spicy food, I ate pineapples, we had sex, I danced myself into a sweat, Brian and my sisters tried rubbing accupressure points.  No luck.  I had contractions alright, but I had been having contractions off and on since 25 weeks.  My cervix had dilated to a 2 and stubbornly stayed there.  We finally resigned ourselves to the idea that our baby was not coming before our induction date, and we started the waiting game for the big day.

Weekly Bump – Week 19

How far along? 19 weeks

Total weight gain/loss?  Still zero pounds gained.

Maternity clothes? Yes and no. I still fit in my regular clothes, I’m going to try to push them until at least week 20.  We might just make it!

Stretch marks? Nope, still none.

Best moment this week? I really enjoy watching people “interact” with him.  My sisters and my niece were rubbing my belly and talking to the baby this week, and I just think that it’s so nice that so many people love him already.

Miss anything? I guess I hadn’t really though about it too much, but I kind of would like to go get my hair done.  That’s not something I really do regularly, and I know lots of people say you can still get your hair colored when you’re pregnant, but I just would rather not.  I’m not super frilly and high-maintenance, so I don’t get the urge to do this sort of thing often, but I’m just feeling kinda frumpy right now, and I think it might get me out of this funk.  Maybe I’ll just go get a new haircut or something.

Movement? Not yet, but I wish I could feel him; I try to bribe him, like “If you just wiggle for mama, I’ll buy you such fun toys when you are born.”  Haha.

Food cravings? Nothing in particular; I actually haven’t had much of an appetite lately.  My family and the hubs yell at me to feed the baby more.

Anything making you queasy or sick? Not really.

Have you started to show yet? Yes, but I don’t wear very form fitting clothing, so it’s still fairly hidden.

Gender? It’s a BOY!

Labor signs? Nope, I’m just apparently going to have cramps through this whole pregnancy.

Sleep? I am pretty tired still, so I sleep all night and sometimes take a nap in the afternoon.

Symptoms? Really tired and still having a lot of anxiety.  Also, I’ve had a little bit of round ligament pain when I try to change position too fast, and a pretty good bit of dizziness when I’m at work on my feet all day.  The doctor really wants me to get support hose for work.

Belly button in or out? In.

Wedding rings on or off? On.

Happy or moody most of the time? I had kind of a bad week in terms of my emotions this week.  I am so overwhelmed with all that’s going on in our lives right now.  We are still trying to find a house to buy (our lease here ends in November), my husband needs a new truck, my house is messy because I worked so much last week (and I’m not the most domestic person ever anyway), and I just am feeling mentally and physically exhausted.

Looking forward to? Just him getting bigger and bigger – I can’t believe we are almost halfway there, y’all!

The Weekly Bump – Week 18

How far along? 18 weeks

Total weight gain/loss? This is getting to be a sore subject for me.  I still haven’t gained any weight, but I pretty much got the impression from my doctor last week that I’m too fat?  I hate to disclose such personal info on the internet, but I’m 5’7″ and 165 pounds.  Yeah, I know my ideal body weight is closer to 140-ish based on my height, but it’s not like I’m severely obese or something, and because of PCOS, I have had a lot of issues managing my weight the last few years.  Even people who are overweight are recommended to gain a little during pregnancy, but I almost feel like the doctor comes across like he wants me to lose weight, which I don’t plan on doing.  I have really struggled with my weight my whole life, having some disordered eating patterns as a teenager and negative body image issues, and I thought for a few months I could just be okay with whatever weight I was as long as my baby was healthy and growing well.  It’s frustrating.

Maternity clothes? Yes and no. I still fit in my regular clothes, I’m going to try to push them until at least week 20.

Stretch marks? Not yet, thank goodness.  I’ve started using cocoa butter on my belly, hips, and boobs recently.  I don’t know if it will really help, but it can’t hurt.  🙂

Best moment this week? I had a patient at my work ask me if I was expecting, which means other people are starting to be able to tell – that makes it more real.

Miss anything? Time off work?  I have a really crappy schedule this week and last week, so I ended up only getting 1 day off in 2 weeks.  Boo!

Movement? Not yet, but I wish I could feel him; I try to bribe him, like “If you just wiggle for mama, I’ll buy you such fun toys when you are born.”  Haha.

Food cravings? Nothing in particular.

Anything making you queasy or sick? Not really.

Have you started to show yet? Yes, I believe I have.

Gender? It’s a BOY!

Labor signs? Nope, I’m just apparently going to have cramps through this whole pregnancy.

Sleep? I am pretty tired still, so I sleep all night and sometimes take a nap in the afternoon.

Symptoms? Really tired and still having a lot of anxiety.

Belly button in or out? In.

Wedding rings on or off? On.

Happy or moody most of the time? I have been a mixture of both, I think.  I’ve been mostly happy, but when I get overly tired, I get pretty cranky and sensitive.

Looking forward to? Hopefully, Brian and I are going to start our baby registry this coming weekend when I’m finally off work again.

Pregnancy – The Real Story

This post is not to tell you how I have loved being pregnant, how I have that “glow,” how I get to eat whatever I want, and the end result is a beautiful baby. This post is to say that I am 17 weeks pregnant. I spent the first 15 weeks hugging a toilet. I also spent the first 17 12 worrying that I’d lose my baby. I have not gained a single pound, but I was overweight before I got pregnant (thanks PCOS!), and was informed today by my doctor that I am not fit enough for his liking. I work 44+ hours a week on rotating shifts, including one 14-hour shift a week, and I can’t find time to do my laundry most days, but now have to start a regular exercise plan. I don’t eat whatever I want, because after vomiting every single day for several weeks, not much is all that appetizing. And my job? I don’t get a lunch break. Also, I have to worry about gestational diabetes (another shout out to my BFF – PCOS). I am exhausted, my head hurts, I can’t decide on a name for my son, my husband needs a new vehicle, we are supposed to be moving out of our rental house in November (did I mention I’ll be 7 months pregnant?), we can’t find a house we want to buy, I have both constant anxiety about my child and a constant urge to pee, and I have realized that I am too neurotic for this.

Today, I am 17 weeks 2 days pregnant. So, just in case you thought everything was Pinterest-perfect over here, it’s not. This is real life, y’all. It’s messy, but it’s still a blessing.