Sunday, September 28, 2014

Introducing Our Baby GIRL!!!

On September 13th at 1:52 am we welcomed the newest member of our family!!

Eliza Mary
September 13, 2014
1:52am
8lbs 2oz
19.29 inches
 
She has been such a wonderful addition to our family and we are thrilled that she is here at last.  It is hard to believe that she is 15 days old already.  So cliché but I feel like she's been here forever and it's hard to remember what life was like before she got here.
 
It has been quite a transition to 3 kids but I feel like overall we are doing great.  Samantha is absolutely in love with having a baby sister and I am so so happy that she got the sister she desperately wanted.  Zach is finally starting to do better with her.  The first day in the hospital he came in to meet her, sat on the couch, smiled and gave her a swift slap on the head.  So nice he is!!  He has given her many more slaps since then but they have drastically decreased in the last week and now he enjoys giving her hugs and kisses and pointing out his baby.


Hopefully I will be able to get her birth story written up in the next few days!  It is quite exciting in my opinion and I can't wait to have it written down so I can always remember it.  I will leave you all with a few pictures of her from the past two weeks!


Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Longest Pregnancy!

Today I am 39w2d pregnant and this is officially the most pregnant I have ever been!  When I was exactly 39 weeks with Samantha I went to the hospital for an ultrasound and ended up being immediately whisked away to L&D to be induced and Samantha was born at 12:47am at 39w1d.  I really have no gut feelings as to when I'll go into labor but I'm hoping it is soon!  I am so anxious and excited to meet our baby, find out if it's a boy or a girl, and not be so sore and uncomfortable all the time.  I am however getting a little bit nervous about all the pain and how I'm going to deal with it. 

With Samantha, I was favorable so they started with Pitocin right away.  Things went great until they broke my water and then the pain became unreal.  I ended up getting an epidural which was great, however, I was still numb two days later when I was getting ready to be released from the hospital.  With Zachary, I was unfavorable so they started with Cervidil.  The cervidil did its job so well that it sent me into full blown labor.  The nurse didn't believe I was in labor and by the time I convinced her to check me it was too late to get an epidural and Zach was born before the doctor even made it to the hospital!  It was great afterwards and I'd love to do it again, however I won't kick myself down if I do end up deciding to get an epi.

Now I'm getting off track!  Hard to believe that this is my longest pregnancy and I'm curious to see just how long it goes!

Monday, September 8, 2014

5 years...

No farewell words were spoken, no time to say goodbye.
You were gone before we knew it and only God knows why.

September 8, 2009.  A date that will forever be etched in my memory.  In December of 2008, Chris and I decided to start trying for our first baby.  Shocked as could be, I found myself pregnant the very first month.  December 27th my first ever big fat positive.  I couldn't believe it!  Shortly afterwards I developed a pain in my shoulder.  Since my mom had passed away quite suddenly only 5 months before my heath anxiety was sky high and I immediately consulted Dr. Google who told me that it was most certainly an ectopic pregnancy.  Cue me freaking out.  I called every OB/GYN in Northern Virginia but since it was a holiday (New Years Day) everyone was closed.  I finally got a hold of a nurse who told me to go to an urgent care center.  I called Chris home from work and off we went.  All they did that day was a confirmation pregnancy test, which was also positive, and gave me a referral to a radiologist to have an ultrasound performed.  I was pretty upset they didn't do one right then and there, but oh well.

A few days later I had the ultrasound which unfortunately didn't show much of anything.  Thankfully at that point I was still only a few weeks pregnant so it wasn't too surprising.  The sac, not in my tube, was measuring on track but there was no visible fetal pole or yolk sac.  I was sent on my way and I made my first prenatal appointment with an OB/GYN.  Another few weeks later I had my appointment where the nurse assured me that everything was going well.  I had mentioned the pain and how I had the ultrasound and she set me up with a follow up ultrasound just to see.  I went to that ultrasound and was SO nervous.  The entire walk back to the room the tech kept saying that there was nothing to be nervous about but I just had a gut feeling.  She turned on the ultrasound machine and all of a sudden I saw our baby up on the giant screen.  So cute, I wanted to breathe a sigh of relief.  However that quickly turned to fear when I saw a flat line going across the bottom of the screen.  I asked what it meant and the tech wouldn't say anything.  After that she quickly left the room and came back a few minutes later saying that my doctor was on the phone to talk to me.  The doctor basically said that the baby had no heartbeat and that the chances of the baby surviving were slim to none.  I was devastated.  I left the appointment in tears just knowing that our baby was gone.  I was scheduled for a second follow up ultrasound a week later but I knew I wouldn't need it.

The following weekend the bleeding started.  Alone at home on February 1, I passed our perfect little baby.  Quite traumatically I was instructed to bring the tissue to my OB's office so it could be inspected and then disposed of with the hospital waste.  How awful.  Unfortunately, I didn't know any better and didn't ask for it back so we could bury it or do something a little more humane.  I will always regret that.

September 8, 2009.  The due date of our first child.  Today our baby should be turning 5 years old.  Instead we are left with an unfillable void.  Thankfully since then we have been blessed with Samantha and Zachary and in a few short days or weeks we will be welcoming our third little blessing into our family.  But no matter how many children we have, we will never forget our first and what could have been.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

38w4d

Today marks 38w4d of pregnancy.  On this day in my pregnancy history, Zachary was born!!  Hard to believe that at this point in Zach's pregnancy, I had a baby in my arms.  As with Samantha, Zachary had a dangerously low amount of amniotic fluid and I had to be induced.  The induction started around 4:00pm (I really don't remember, but it was late afternoon) so last night as I was laying down trying to fall asleep all I could think about was being in labor and the excitement of welcoming a new baby into our family.  It's making me really excited to go through the process again!  I am not looking forward to the pain, but a healthy baby in the end makes it totally worth it! 

Although I am feeling "done", I'm still having trouble processing that in a few days or weeks our baby will be here.  I know I've said it a million times but this has seriously been the fastest pregnancy ever.  I don't know where this year has gone!  I have been trying to enjoy it to the fullest because as much as I would absolutely love to have a fourth baby, I don't know if I'll be able to get Chris on board.  For as long as I can remember I have always wanted a big family.  When we first got married it started out with wanting 5 kids, but I abandoned that thought A LONG time ago!!  Definitely don't want that many but I would love to have 4 though!  I guess we will see what the future holds.

At this point in time, I am feeling somewhat conflicted with going into labor.  I have never gone into labor on my own before so part of me doubts that my body can even do it, which I'm sure is not the case!  I feel like everyone has their own opinion on what you can do to jump start the process and well, I can't deny the fact that I have been thinking about trying some of them.  I'm in the mindset that if my body is not ready I can try all the things I want and they just won't work.  Today I was all set to do some exercising and got my WiiU Fit all set up, then I started playing and Zach decided to push every button on the TV he could.  So unfortunately that didn't go over too well.  (Right now the XBOX 360 is turned on and Zach is nowhere in sight!  Speaking of XBOX, maybe Just Dance would be a better way to get me moving, that one really gets me sweating.)  I may attempt it again tonight after the kids are in bed!   At this point in time, I think that's about as far as I want to go with a "natural induction".  Well there is one other thing I'm willing to try, but I'm not going to mention that here.  :-P  All I know is that the only one I refuse to try is drinking castor oil.  No thank you!  Hopefully the baby will decide to come on his/her own terms and I won't even have to think about doing other things to jump start the process!

Have you tried any natural induction methods?  Did they work?

Friday, September 5, 2014

A Family "Tradition"

The big question on my mind, other than when the baby will come, is if it's going to be a boy or a girl!  There are plenty of old wives tales about gender, but truthfully, I don't pay much attention to them.  Sickness wise this pregnancy was more like Zach's.  Pain wise, it was more like Samantha's.  I really just don't know what to think, and I don't have a gut feeling one way or another.  Then you have family traditions.

Going by the family "tradition" this baby is going to be a boy.  Looking back a few generations is my grandma.  She is one of 4 children.  Of the four there are three boys and she is the only girl.  Then she had three children.  Of those three, my aunt is the only girl.  My dad and my uncle each had two children.  Of the four, there are three girls and my brother.  This brings us to the generation of our children.  At this point there are 7 great grandchildren between the 3 girl cousins.  You guessed it, my Samantha is the only girl out of the seven!  I know there is no basis to this tradition since the dad provides the X or Y chromosome but it is still interesting to see.  I'm so eager to see if this baby will break or uphold the family trend!

Are there any patterns in the genders of your families members?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

38 Week Update!

Today marks 38 weeks, wow!!  According to my ticker the baby is this size of a pumpkin now.  It's almost the right season for pumpkins, haha.

This morning I had my weekly biophysical profile and check up.  The BPP went well and baby passed with 8/8.  My first fluid measurement was 11.8 which was 1.1 lower than last week, but then she found a better pocket of fluid and it jumped up to a little over 14.  That was great news since Chris and I were both thinking I was going to be sent to the hospital today.  She got some cute pictures of the baby, however the printer wasn't working properly so they are a little screwed up.  It looks like baby is going to be a chunker, so different from Samantha and Zach!
 
Look at those lips!!  I just want to kiss them!!  I can't wait.  After the ultrasound I met with the doctor.  I think I actually lost 2 pounds since last week which is good.  I'm so done with this diet and can't wait for baby to get here so I can eat what I want again.  I have an entire list of junk I want to eat once the baby comes haha, starting with all the pumpkin flavored goodness that is starting to come out now.  Pumpkin is seriously my favorite!!  So if you come to visit me...pumpkin is always welcome.  ;-)  I got checked and was seriously expecting to be the same as last week, but to my surprise I am 2-3 cm dilated and 70% effaced!  I know it doesn't mean anything but it's still exciting to know that things are starting to happen.  Maybe I actually have a chance of going into labor on my own.  I would LOVE to go into labor on my own.  Only time will tell!
 
Tonight we took my 38 week belly shots.  Still getting bigger and bigger!  I don't know how much bigger I can get.  I'm really praying this baby isn't too huge.  Under 8 pounds would be great.  Samantha was 6 pounds 12 ounces and Zach was 6 pounds 15 ounces and they were just so cute and tiny.  I love tiny squishes, though of course I'm sure I'll love a chunky baby if I get one too.


These past few days I've been starting to get really impatient and I just really can't wait to see who has been residing inside of me for these past 9 months!!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Hospital Bags

 
These past few days I've been working on getting my hospital bag all packed and ready to go.  With Samantha I never packed a hospital bag and ended up needing an emergency induction so I had to send Chris home to get all the stuff I needed.  While he did do a decent job, it stunk not having everything that I wanted with me.  With Zach, I packed most of my bag before hand just in case.  Turns out that was a good thing since I needed to be emergency induced with him as well.  Since I was induced for the same reason both times (very low fluid) I decided this time I'd be proactive and pack early.  Finally I think I am just about finished.  I do have a few last minute things that will go in the day of but I'm not too worried about it.
 
To start, I am using my All Pro Tote from 31 Gifts.  This bag is awesome and the perfect size to be a hospital bag.  It has an outside pocket, two inside mesh pockets, an inside regular pocket, a pocket for shoes, and a "tab" for jewelry.  Definitely room for everything we'll need.
 
For me I've packed (probably overpacked!)
  • two nursing tanks
  • two tops
  • two pairs of shorts
  • two pairs of pants
  • one skirt (for coming home)
  • two tank tops (for coming home)
  • toothbrush/paste/scraper/floss
  • hair brush
  • deodorant
  • body wash
  • body splash
  • lotion
  • shampoo/conditioner
  • razor
  • sandals
I'm pretty sure that's everything that I have in there for me!!!  I need to also pack some breast pads (though I don't recall ever needing them in the hospital but I suppose I'll pack some just in case) and I think I should be good.
 
For the baby I've packed (double each item since I've packed each list for both genders):
  • two sleepers
  • two outfits
  • one swaddle blanket
  • coming home outfit
  • bag of headbands
 
We've also got the Build-A-Bear set and ready to go.  This is Twinkle, named by Samantha.  Sam and Zach made it at Build-A-Bear for the new baby.  The left picture is Twinkle for baby boy and the right picture is Twinkle for baby girl.  In the girl picture Twinkle is also sporting a Disney princess shirt but Samantha's hug covers it up!  She is so excited for the doggy!  We also have small gifts for Samantha and Zach that will be from the baby.


I will have a list of things for Chris to pack in my backpack in the event of another emergency induction but hopefully that will be avoided and I can pack myself.  My backpack is usually my electronics bag and I'll probably have that bag with me in the labor and delivery room.  I haven't packed it yet since I am obviously still using everything.  It will include:
  • computer and charger
  • cell phone charger
  • book
We will also have the camera bag with associated chargers, extra battery, lenses, etc.  I am also planning on bringing my new My Breast Friend pillow.  I've always hated having to prop myself and the baby up with a million little hospital pillows so I'd like to give it a go with a nursing pillow in the hospital this time.  Hopefully it will make things a little bit easier!

I am fairly certain this is everything I plan to bring to the hospital with us.  Is there anything I'm forgetting?  What did you pack in your hospital bag?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Full Term!


Today marks 37 weeks and I am officially full term!!  So exciting.  I feel like this pregnancy has flown by which is crazy since the first two seemed to go on and on forever.  Today we went and got a new lens for my DSLR so we can take pictures in the hospital once the baby is born.  The lens has been broken since before Samantha's 2nd birthday so I'm thrilled that I finally have a working one again.  Phew!!  I am also in the process of washing the coming home outfits and then I'm going to wash the swaddle blankets and the hospital bag will be ready to go!  Thank goodness!

Today I had my 37 week check up and biophysical profile exam.  The check up went well, though I felt sort of silly having to ask what to do if I go into labor!!  You'd think since this is my third baby I would know, but I had emergency inductions with both Samantha and Zach so I'm kind of clueless.  She said to call when contractions are 10 minutes apart, which seems kind of early to me.  I see a different doctor next week so I will ask what her opinion is also.  I am Group B + though so I know I will have to get there somewhat early so that I can get the IV antibiotics.  I don't know how to compare my first two labors but with Samantha (Pitocin) I labored for around 9 hours and with Zachary (Cervidil) I labored for around 11 hours.  I know I need two doses of the medicine and I can't have penicillin as I am allergic.  I guess we'll see.  I had my cervix checked for the first time and as I expected nothing has happened.  She said I was a little effaced but didn't give me any numbers.  No dilation and my cervix is still long.  I never had any signs of labor with Sam and Zach so I'm not really expecting this to be much different.

The biophysical profile went well also.  Got to see baby in 3D again which was awesome.  At this point I think s/he looks a lot like Samantha as a baby.  In previous ultrasounds though, I think s/he favored Zach!  It will be neat to see who s/he looks like at birth.  Baby passed the BPP with flying colors.  My fluid has dropped some, it was slightly under 13 and it was around 18 a week ago.  I've been averaging between 96-128 oz of water per day so I do think that I'm drinking enough.  Definitely a LOT more than I drank with Sam and Zach.  We'll see where my numbers land next week.  The ultrasound didn't measure the weight, but according to my tickers the baby is the size of a winter melon, whatever the heck that is!  At the scan next week the guess was 6 pounds 8 ounces.  I'm hoping it was an over guess, I don't want a huge baby!!  Samantha was 6 pounds 12 ounces and Zach was 6 pounds 15 ounces.  I think right around that size again would be perfect.


At this point I am still feeling pretty good.  Been having some uncomfortable Braxton hicks contractions but nothing too painful.  I'm feeling motivated to get things done though I do have to take frequent breaks to rest.  I am super anxious to meet our baby but still trying to really enjoy these last few weeks of pregnancy!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Pink or Blue?!


As our baby's arrival gets closer there is still one big question looming in the back of everyone's mind.  Or if you're like my neighbor, it's at the very front of your mind ready to get on my case at every available opportunity.  ;-)

Finally this past week I found coming home outfits for both a boy and a girl.  I feel so relieved to have it out of the way!  This will also be the outfit we use for the newborn pictures in the hospital.  I also purchased the Aden and Anais B Jeweled swaddle set to bring to the hospital with us.  I am still debating which two to bring along but at this point I am leaning towards the purple and the blue.


I will probably pack and old sleeper or two from Samantha and Zach so that we have other outfits available to use during our stay.  I also plan to purchase the "I was born at ______" shirt in the gift shop!  It's a tradition!

Back when I was pregnant with Samantha I knew I wanted to know what we were having.  She was our first baby and I wanted to plan plan plan.  Chris on the other hand was completely indifferent and didn't care either way about knowing.  I was glad we found out though and it was so fun collecting girl stuff and buying personalized items before she was born.  Again with Zach, I just had to know.  I was so excited going to his ultrasound and had a huge day of shopping planned afterwards.  We got clothes for him, made him a Build-A-Bear, and had fun planning.  However, after we found out Zach was a boy, I decided that for baby number 3, we were going to go team green and not find out.  I mean we already have one of each so why not?

The first half of the pregnancy was relatively easy.  Since I had had it set in my mind since finding out with Zach so many months before it wasn't even a question that I'd be tempted to find out at our 20 week ultrasound.  Then, at our 12 week ultrasound, we found out that our baby had a 1/40 chance for being born with Down syndrome.  I opted to take a non-invasive blood test that showed that our baby will not have Down syndrome.  The test was also able to tell us if we were having a boy or a girl!!  Thankfully, I was able to stop the nurse just before she gave me the results over the phone!  I didn't have much temptation at the 20 week ultrasound either.  However, as time has gone on, I'm getting more and more anxious.  Though not anxious enough to cheat and find out!  (We had the ultrasound tech print out the "money shot" at our 20 week ultrasound just so we have it.)  I have the envelope sitting on our kitchen counter and it's so fun to torment my friends with the knowledge that the info is RIGHT THERE and I refuse to look!!

At this point we have a little over 3 weeks until the due date and I feel like nothing at home is prepared.  I am still in the process of sorting through all of Samantha's outgrown clothing (and I still can't find the newborn bin!) and I then I can move on to Zach's clothes.  It's so overwhelming!!  Once I am done, I think I will wash a few outfits for each gender so we have enough to get through a few days at home and then once we return from the hospital I can wash the rest of the gender specific clothes.  Thankfully the clothes are really all there is to it.  The other items we need I don't care about being a certain color...I put Zach in Samantha's pink high chair and moses basket.  It's not a huge deal!!

While it's been fun, and made the end of pregnancy that much more exciting, I don't know that I could do it again.  Actually, I can say with 100% certainty that I will not do it again.  If we do have a 4th kid, and I'm really hoping we do, I want to be able to have things set and ready to go by the time baby arrives.  Plus, since a potential baby number 4 would for sure be our last I want to have time to prepare and get rid of baby stuff we don't need before I have to throw a newborn into the mix as well.  Just seems like it would make things so much easier!

For now though, I am enjoying not knowing and I can't wait to push this baby out and get the big "IT'S A ______" announcement throughout the delivery room!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Finally A Yay for Insurance!

It seems like in the past few years our insurance has gone downhill.  Deductibles are higher, coverage is lower.  Only good thing we've got going for us were $0 copays...or so I thought!  Back when I was pregnant with Samantha I knew I was going to breast feed her.  Unfortunately, immediately after her birth, we realized that that wasn't a possibility.  I learned how to pump from the lactation consultant in the hospital and left with a rental pump from a company in town.  So began my pumping journey.  We learned when Samantha was 9 days old that she had a rather severe posterior tongue tie.  She had it clipped by a top rated pediatric ear nose and throat doctor at Georgetown Hospital in Washington DC.  We had high hopes that breast feeding would come more naturally after that but sadly it didn't.  At her follow up appointment when she was 2 weeks old we realized that she still had a slight attachment of her tongue to the bottom of her mouth so she had a second procedure done.  Even then, she struggled to nurse.  At this point, it became evident that nursing was going to take a lot of work and that pumping was a better solution for us.  I ended up choosing to purchase a pump since it was a goal to give her breast milk long term and renting was rather costly around $60/month.  I trekked to Babies R Us and purchased a Medela Pump in Style Advanced which was an awesome pump!  In the end, I only ended up needing to pump for Samantha's first 10 weeks of life.  In June of 2011 we travelled to Chicago for a wedding and I did NOT want to deal with bottles and all the extra luggage.  I brought my pump just in case, but no bottles and I used our time away from home to really work with her on latching.  She did amazing and we never looked back, as a matter of fact, as time went on she grew to hate the bottle!  I ended up nursing her for just shy of 16 months when she weaned since I was pregnant with Zach.

With Zach, I planned to breast feed as well and hoped that we wouldn't face the same challenges as we did with Samantha.  Sadly, he got an even shorter end of the stick.  He was gaining weight poorly and went on a few feeding strikes so I made an appointment with a lactation consultant.  She discovered more ties!  Turns out he had a tongue tie, upper lip tie, AND a lower lip tie!  We had these issues corrected with laser surgery at a pediatric dentist.  Thankfully the procedures were fairly easy and he had a quick recovery.  Yet again, we didn't see immediate progress.  Thankfully though, he was able to nurse enough that I did not need to pump regularly.  I still relied on my Medela while I was away from home.  Zach was a stellar nurser and actually just weaned a little over a month ago, at 19 months.

I am currently 36w3d pregnant with baby number three and I am yet again planning to nurse.  Hopefully we won't run into the same issues we did with Samantha and Zach but you just never know.  I recently found out that through our insurance I can get a new breast pump covered at 100%!!  How cool is that?  My Medela PIS has been an amazing pump but I think it's always great to have a back up.  Plus, I have no idea where the AC adaptor is for my Medela.  I called our insurance a few weeks ago and they gave me a long list of websites that I could visit to choose a pump.  I ended up choosing the Hygeia EnJoye pump through Lucinacare.  I just had to wait until 30 days before my due date to order.  Once we hit 30 days I placed my order and it was shipped almost immediately.  My new pump came today and I couldn't be more excited.


The pump is very light weight and while it is a little bit on the large side, it isn't overly bulky.  It also came with a large insulated tote bag which will be extra helpful if I'm ever away from home and needing to pump.  Another awesome thing about the Hygeia is that they are the only company endorsed by La Leche League International and every Hygeia pump purchase comes with a free Annual Supporting membership to the LLLI!!  I can't wait to try this pump once our baby arrives and I'm hoping it's every bit as good as I've heard it is!