Wednesday, June 26, 2013

23 weeks!

And today will be a pool day! So at 23 weeks Asher is the size of a grapefruit! He can hear much better now (he can even hear that obnoxious car that speeds up and down my street... sorry Ash!) and his face is fully developed, sans the cute, chunky baby fat. He's so much more active now and has finally moved up and away from my cervix instead of keeping his head tucked in, which is nice. Well, for now, up until he can reach my ribs and lodge his little piggies in there. 
Me? I can't stop peeing. Ever. I'm forever excusing myself to get up because "I have to piss like a racehorse, I'll be right back." I mean really, I didn't know my body could make so much and I apparently didn't learn from Noah. You never realize how awesome your bladder really is until you have a fetus squishing it and severely decreasing its capacity.
Sleep is so eighties. Or rather, so January. That's the last month I could sleep comfortable and there's no end in sight just yet. It's getting worse by the day, but it's totally worth it. If I get somewhat comfortable on my side, my hips and knees hurt. Fix that with a pillow between my knees, and my shoulders hurt. Adjust my pillow to compensate and my neck hurts. There is no winning.
You know what I do have that's pretty neat though? Besides what looks like an alien creature stretching out in my stomach? Boobs. Finally! Haha, I don't have these unless I'm pregnant or nursing - so I guess I'm set for the next 3 and a half years or so.
I had an OB appointment the other day, which was nice. I found some organic prenatals but I'm still probably not going to take them. My midwife gave me a kickass list of vitamins to buy so I'm getting everything I need and nothing I don't. My OB isn't worried about my placenta in correlation to my cervical opening. It's not even close enough to be considered a low lying placenta (yay!) but the ultrasound techs often get confused with this, I guess. They did some bloodwork because it never got done at my old OB's office, which sucked as always. Those needles hurt for being so tiny (but I can get through natural childbirth? I'm a walking oxymoron) and she only took 3 vials of blood but it was enough to make me really dizzy. We'll see what my bloodwork holds on July 22.
I also got the okay to go back to babysitting and to go back to taking on clients for my business. Yay! And I have two potential clients right now, which is awesome. I love my job and it makes me so happy to know my body can handle it. I can go back to my long walks, and to light jogging, and chasing a 2 and 3 year old around the park. No limits on dancing or yoga or picking up my 26lb bubs - yay again! This week is choc full of all kinds of great news and I'm loving it. Despite the heartburn, peeing and difficulty sleeping, I feel wonderful. This is probably my best point in this pregnancy! Woo-hoo! Now to go get Bug ready for the pool :)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

22 weeks today!

Yay! Today makes 22 weeks, and only two more weeks until viability!
I can't believe how much bigger I look and feel than last week. I'm not sure how noticeable it is in a picture, but I can feel it and all I've heard the last two days is how huge I am. It's crazy! I think this pregnancy is going by a little faster than Noah's did, and I'm gonna chalk it up to having a two year old to play with and chase around and take care of. I have someone to focus on besides my pregnancy, and things to do to pass the time. It still feels like just yesterday I was only eight weeks along and still hadn't told anybody!
Asher is like my secret best friend, we just play "tag" all day and nobody even notices. I poke my belly and wait for him to poke me back, and then I poke him again, and this will go on for about an hour at a time.
So, about the baby!
He's about 11in long now (rough estimate as we've reached the point where fetuses grow and develop differently) and the size of a papaya. The average fetal weight at this point in pregnancy is 12-20oz. His eyes and lips are more developed, so he's looking less like an alien fish and more like a baby! He's also developing sleep cycles now - sleeping for roughly 12-14 hours a day. His lungs are developing and his fingernails are finished developing. His pancreas is now making it's own hormones for his body and brain! 
And about me? My back is starting to ache more, which is to be expected. Fortunately it isn't unbearable and a little prenatal yoga and belly dance make it feel loads better. My uterus is now above my belly button (feeling for fundal height is normal for me so I've been able to tell where it is for a while haha) and my new "outtie" belly button is sticking out even more. Yipee! Can I roll my eyes on here? If I'm not at risk (and so far I'm not) I'm skipping my glucose test again. I've been eating way better than before I got pregnant - less sugar, less junk, less processed foods - and I get a lot of exercise between walking, playing with Noah, yoga, dancing, and babysitting. My OB has made it clear that the glucose test will more than likely be optional for me. I'm happy about it, I've heard terrible things about it. Mostly that many women puke from that ridiculously sugary drink they make you drink beforehand and how you have to fast for eight hours before your appointment. Fasting for any amount of time isn't really my thing, especially when I'm pregnant.
I've also been feeling much better as far as the cramping that landed me in L&D is concerned, but I do have to wear a support band if I go on longish walks so I don't get crampy. That, though, I believe is due to stretching out faster because your ligaments aren't as tight with second, third, fourth pregnancies as they were with your first.
My little breakdancer is bustin' out some new dance moves in there and Noah wants me to watch Thomas the train with him, so that's all for now! :)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Belly dancing in labor - revisited

It's been raining here all day (again). Wasn't this supposed to happen in April, not June? Mother Nature, you've got your months mixed up! We've been bored all day, watching TV, watching the rain, snuggling, dancing, everything.
I also found a couple of videos on Youtube about prenatal belly dancing. We did a lot of that today! There are some moves you can do that sort of massage the baby in utero, Ash seemed to like it. It helped relieve pressure in my back and made everything loose and relaxed, it was really, really nice. 
I still fully intend to use belly dancing moves during labor to help relieve pain/pressure from contractions. If it works this well before I'm in labor, I can only imagine how nice it will feel when I am in labor! 
My skirt feels really, really neat when I'm belly dancing, haha. It just sways with me and feels all whooshy and stuff. God, I'm such a little kid when it comes to skirts. I love to dance and spin in them and feel them move and twirl. It's pretty awesome. If you wear skirts, I know you understand.
I also found some nifty new prenatal yoga videos I want to try out tonight. A lot of standard poses, which I'm okay with because that's what I usually do, but there's some new stuff mixed in and I'm excited to try it. 
I'm not quite sure what feels better right now, prenatal yoga or prenatal belly dance! But since I've been dancing my way around the house all day long, I can't wait to get my stretchy on later tonight when I get to do my yoga. I think the easiest way to make me happy is to do yoga with me or show me some new poses to try out. It just makes you feel so great! Centered, grounded, and it's nice to be a bit more flexible than I normally am. I can actually almost do a split now - and I couldn't pre-pregnancy! In fact, I haven't been able to do a split since I was maybe eight years old and enrolled in gymnastics.
It's kind of funny though, I'm so flexible now that -- will walk into a room where I'm watching TV and find me in the weirdest, most uncomfortable looking positions, but they feel really nice and comfy! Take for instance, yesterday I was watching the Food Network and the sun was in my eyes... solution? Prop my leg up halfway behind my head so my knee would block the sun from my eyes. Or the fact that I now find myself sitting in butterfly pose nearly every time I sit on the ground. It's just all really natural to me at this point, and my back feels ten times better than before I started doing yoga again.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Anxiety, stress, and yoga.

As a person with a lot of stress in her life (it's always been this way and I don't see that changing anytime soon) I'm always looking for a way to calm my anxiety. However, while there was a short period of time that I was okay with being medicated for my anxiety, I would now rather find an all natural way to deal with it all. I guess it's a good thing I never saw the same therapist/psychologist long enough to be prescribed something, now that I think of it.
I've found two, very powerful, yet very simple ways to ease my stress and anxiety at home - as well as a quick, easy way to deal with it when I cannot remove myself from the situation. These do not always work. There are exceptions... and though they work for most people when done properly, there are some people who just can't make it work.

The first way: Yoga. Relaxing, deep breathing, stretching, becoming more in tune with your body. Yoga improves your posture, your flexibility, and your well-being. I absolutely adore yoga and while I can't find time to involve it in my daily life (it's hard with a two year old, can't imagine when Ash gets here!) I try to do it 3-4 times a week. Doing yoga has helped immensely with my stress and anxiety levels. It also helps me calm my Pregzilla hormones.
The second way: Meditation. Listening to relaxing music, grounding yourself, breathing deeply. Everything about meditating promotes relaxation. You go into your own peaceful, little world... before I had a baby I could get to a point where you could probably drop a bomb next to me and I wouldn't notice. I was completely oblivious to the outside world, almost as if I was asleep. It's pretty stellar.

The third way: Focusing on your breath. This is what I do when I'm in public, panicking, and can't leave the troublesome situation. I take deep breaths, I count, and I focus on each breath. Every breath in, brings with it positivity, peace, and happy. Every breath out removes negativity, anxiety and anger. It takes about five minutes and is usually enough to tide me over until I can leave, but it doesn't work every time. Nine times out of ten, though, it does work, and that's enough for me.

I hope this post can help at least one other person!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Someone's sleepy!

We managed a short walk to Subway and the swings on the way back today. He was so excited to get out even though we only stayed inside all day for one day... and even then we sat on the front porch and he dug for worms in the front yard. He was running and jumping everywhere, picking up rocks and telling me "Mama, hold 'em, no pockets," because his shorts didn't have any pockets. He picked me probably about 20 flowers along the way, too, because he's a little sweetheart. He hugged every tree we passed and stopped for a good twenty minutes and asked me to sit down with him so he could toss rocks in a puddle. My tattoo shop is also on the path home so he begged to go in and talk to my tattoo artist and he showed off some dance moves, said hello to each and every fish in the tank and to each artist that was working today, and then we made our way back home.
We got back and he asked if he could watch TV, so we turned on Nickelodeon and watched some Spongebob (and I know Spongebob isn't the best show for a two year old, but it's still much better than The Regular Show and he likes it). He was sitting on the floor playing with his magnets and watching his show and slowly but surely made his way all the way down to the floor. I saw his eyes starting to close and asked him if he wanted to come up on the bed, and he tells me "No mama, I play." And then he starts nodding off again, and I ask again, "Buggy, come snuggle with mama and take a nap," to which he replies "No, mama, I not tired, no night night." Well, sure enough, less than five minutes later he's passed out on the floor in front of the bed. Of course I took some pictures before I moved him, he's too cute not to.

As for me and Asher, we're doing pretty well. I'm not very crampy at all today, and my back feels fine. I've been resting the entire time I've been home. He's kicking away, all day long, and soon enough I'll have video of him moving for you guys. Noah watching him move some limb across my belly today and his jaw dropped, and he goes, "Oh no mama, what happened?!" with such alarm on his face. I can't get enough of this kid. When I told him it was just Asher moving, he got a super stern look on his face, pointed his finger at my belly and said "Be nice to mama!" He's so protective of me haha. I did explain to him that he wasn't being mean, he was just stretching, and Noah deemed it an acceptable explanation and went on his merry way.
I love, love, love being a mama!

Friday, June 14, 2013

I'm worried... and blessed.

I'm worried beyond belief although everything should be okay. My greatest fear in this pregnancy and in my last was going into labor before we reached viability, and yesterday's scare and the fact that I'm essentially on bedrest just makes that fear so much more real. I'm trying to relax, to keep calm and just take it easy. 
There's only so much to do on the computer and there's nothing on TV, my house is clean, Noah's clean and fed. I've already showered. There's nothing left to do. I want to go for a walk more than anything but I'm not going to, because what matters more? A 30 minute walk or a healthy baby? The answer is obvious. 
I'm 21w2d (21w3d by my new due date) and I have about 3 weeks until we reach viability - a big goal. I have three main goals in pregnancy:
  1. Fourteen weeks. Once you reach your second trimester your chances of carrying to term skyrocket.
  2. Twenty-four weeks. This is when you reach viability. At this point, all will be done to help your baby survive if you go into labor and they're unable to stop it. At 24 weeks the baby's chance of survival is 39% and at 25 weeks it shoots up to 50%.
  3. Forty weeks. This is considered full term (though due dates can be off up to 2 weeks in either direction, so 38-42 weeks could also be "full term").
I would much rather go overdue than have any of my babies prematurely. I don't wish for any of my babies to come before their due date, no matter how uncomfortable I may be. That's the whole point of being a mama - you sacrifice for your littles. When we chose to keep the baby, I made the decision to sacrifice my own comfort to keep this baby safe. If I couldn't do that, I wouldn't get pregnant.
I just want more than anything for Asher to stay put until the end of October. I want him to grow big and healthy. Of course we want to meet him but it's way too soon to meet him right now. Even at 23 weeks a baby's chances of survival are only 17%.
Even with these issues, I'm reminded every day that I'm blessed to even be able to carry a baby. I know so many women who can't even get pregnant, who have been trying for years to get pregnant with no luck. I'll take bedrest over not being able to conceive any day. I'm so lucky to have a healthy two year old and I hope to have an equally healthy baby boy in October, no sooner! So please, baby boy, just stay in there. Keep baking, bubba! You need to get big and strong like your big brother! <3

*Edit made for me by a BG mama :)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Just got back from L&D...

I've been crampy all day in my lower back/abdomen, and even after drinking lots of water, lying on my side and napping it wasn't really letting up. So after about 4 hours of giving it time, I went into L&D to get monitored.
They admitted me, hooked me up to the monitors and gave me some ice water. They got his heartbeat on the doppler (upper 150s) and then gave me a vaginal exam. I'm dilated to 1cm externally and closed internally with a thick cervix, which is good! My contractions were mostly BH contractions - also good. They tested my urine to see if the pain was from a UTI, bladder infection or kidney infection. Negative to all three, so again, good news. So I asked why there's still pain if there's no infections, no real contractions? My OB says the pain is probably from Asher being super active and irritating my uterus.
They discharged me and let me know that, while I'm not on bedrest, I do need to take it easy. No watching the 3yo boy that I watch and no long walks or strenuous activity until at least 25 weeks, because he wants Asher to be viable and that happens at 24 weeks. This means no income of my own for the next four weeks, but it's worth it to keep my baby boy in and baking. 
The one really nice thing to come out of today was that my mom finally got to feel him kick! He hated the fetal monitor and kept trying to kick it off my belly because it was invading his space. Yup, he's our kid alright haha. And now I'm home, relaxing on my couch and keeping hydrated. We're usually so active, the next few weeks are gonna drag by. I'll be looking for lots of arts & crafts type things I can do at home with my Bugman. 
Come on, Asher, stay in there and bake! We wanna keep you in till you're full term, so we have a nice, big, healthy bubba! We wanna meet you too but we want you to be alright when we do meet. It's not so far off, enjoy it in there while you can. Nothing beats womb service ;)

Rain, rain, go away!

Today is so, so boring. No park, no 3 walks like we take every day, no rescuing bugs or digging in the dirt or going out to learn about flowers and ducks. I hate the rain. I left my strollers outside too, so they're gonna be soaking wet tomorrow even if it's nice out, but it's okay because I have my ring sling and Noahbug has two legs haha. I wish I had a picture of him looking out the window because he's too cute, but every time I get up to get my camera he jumps up to ask if we're going bye bye yet.

I think all we have on our agenda today is yoga, blogging, movies and blanket forts... and he's probably going to continue trying to figure out this knight helmet. Oh, Dollar Store, how I love you! So many toys and so inexpensive... and he likes 'em 10x more than what I get him at Target or Walmart.
Maybe I'll be able to get some cleaning in today? That is, if I can turn off the birth videos without him yelling at me! As a birth doula/aspiring midwife I watch a lot of birth videos and Noah loves to watch them with me. It's a good thing, I think, for him to be used to seeing a woman give birth. He's going to be present when I have Asher and I'm glad he knows that the mama isn't yelling 'cause she's mad, she's yelling 'cause "she wants baby OUT!" - in his words. I told him that the mama yelling makes it hurt less, but he's convinced it's just because she wants him out. Anyway, all he's wanted to do all morning is watch birth videos and occasionally read a book. I hate the rain, we're going stir crazy in here and it's not even noon!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

21 down, 19 to go!

So today we're 21 weeks! That means we've only got roughly 19 left to go! Asher is getting more and more active, I'm beginning to think I'm growing a breakdancer in there. I'm still sick at night (boo) and occasionally during the day, but I've been Sea Band-less for I think about two weeks? A week and a half? I got this! Anyway, this week Asher is the size of a pomegranate. He's roughly 10.5 inches (we stopped measuring CRL last week and now we measure head to toe) and 12.7oz.
Noah felt him kick for the first time the night before last! He came in the room and laid on the bed next to me and asked "Mama? I 'nuggle brudder?" and you know I'm not gonna tell him he can't. So he put his head down on my belly and put his hand on my belly next to mine, where I was feeling him kick. All of ten seconds later, his jaw drops and he gets wide eyed and yells, "Mama! He hit me!!!" I just about died laughing. He loves his little brother already.
We have like two boxes of boys clothes, we have binkies, we have bouncers and blankets and everything! We're getting prepared ahead of time this time. Noah picked out all his newb jammies and outfits and socks and says "I give Ashes?" and it's super cute. He finds something new for him every day.
Oh yeah, did I mention he can't pronounce Asher so he calls him Ashes? It's too funny. He'll go up to people when we're out walking and tell them "My brother Ashes, in mama's belly!" He's so proud and loves to tell everyone about him. I'm so happy he loves him so much, I just hope he still does when he finally gets here!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Why I'm not (and never would) fake a pregnancy.

I'm growing very tired of hearing day after day how I'm apparently faking this pregnancy. In order to do so, I would have had to walk into an OB's office on TWO separate occasions and been like, "hey doc, wanna throw a picture of a fetus up there and put my information on it?" I wouldn't have wasted $20 on a belly band, wouldn't have bought any baby items. To be faking this I'd have to have forced myself to puke regularly for the last twenty weeks. I'd also have some weird, swelling tumor in my abdomen considering I've lost weight and my stomach is now protruding quite noticeably. I have my paperwork, I have my ultrasounds, I have my appointment cards, I have my midwife and my plans on where I'm having this baby, we have his name picked out, we have a double stroller, we have a car seat, we have a bouncer, we have binkies, teething rings, etc. So why have all of this if we only have a two year old and no bun in the oven? It's getting a tad ridiculous, especially now that I'm being accused of faking it to "hold -- down." Can I roll my eyes on the internet?

Well, onto the point of this post. I would never, ever fake a pregnancy, for many reasons.

Reason #1: There are many women in the world who cannot get pregnant, and who want a baby of their own more than anything in the world. Women who would gladly take my still-raging morning sickness, hormones, round ligament pain and heartburn to be able to grow their baby within themselves. I know some of these women personally, I've seen them cry, I've seen their hearts ache every time a friend falls pregnant. It is offensive to them, and to myself, to fake something as sacred, as beautiful as pregnancy.

Reason #2: Karma. I am a firm believer in karma and no, I don't need it to come bite me in the ass anymore. I've made my fair share of bad decisions, as everyone has, and I don't feel the need to make more. Nothing good comes from lies.

Reason #3: Are you kidding? I'd look so ridiculous come October if I didn't have a baby in my arms. Really, how long would it take for someone to catch on? "Oh remember how you were pregnant two years ago? Whatever happened to that?" No thanks, I don't really like ridicule.

Reason #4: This baby was a surprise. We didn't plan him because quite simply, we didn't feel ready just yet. Everyone knew we weren't trying for a baby until Noah was at least 3 and a half. Other people knew we weren't ready. Wouldn't it be foolish to put us through all that judgement, for something that wasn't real or true?

Reason #5: I know many women who have lost their babies. The wounds are still fresh in their minds, it still hurts them and it would be absolutely horrible of me to remind them that there are women having successful pregnancies if I weren't really pregnant. What a cruel, heartless joke...

Reason #6: Faking a pregnancy is flat out stupid. If you think you're gonna continue to convince people throughout the next nine months, let alone afterward when you should have a baby in your arms, you're not the brightest crayon in the box. Most women (there may be some exceptions, I'm not sure) cannot physically make themselves appear to be 40 weeks pregnant. That is a lot of uterus, baby and amniotic fluid to account for.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

My Noah-Bug

I just had to share this picture of me and my Bug-man! I can't believe how big he's gotten. I feel like he came home yesterday, and he's two and a half - and soon to be a big brother! He's so excited. We finally decided on a name today, so he's been walking around since then going "osh-din? brother!" and it's adorable. We co-sleep and as he was falling asleep he told me he wanted to snuggle with Ashton so he laid down next to me and wrapped his arm around my belly and said "night Ashton, love you!" and ugh, cutest ever. I say that a lot, but if you knew him, you'd understand! And our goodnights are equally adorable:
Me: "Night night Bug, I love you!"
Bug: "Night night mommy, love you!"
Me: "Are you my baby bear forever?"
Bug: "Ever and ever mommy!"
I just can't get over how cute this little stinker is. He's my best friend, my partner in crime, my confidant! He's my yoga partner, my bug picker, my stinky butt. I love him to pieces and can't imagine my life without him. It's been a rough journey and it will only get harder before it gets easier, but it is SO worth it. He's so excited to be there when his little brother is born. He knows where babies come from and has asked me a couple times now, "baby come out gina now?" He doesn't understand that they need to bake a bit longer to be happy and healthy, he just wants to hold him. It's still hard to believe our little family of three is soon to be a family of four, out on our own again. It's still hard to believe my favorite little guy will no longer be the favorite, I don't think I could ever love one of my kids more than another, though. It's even harder to believe he's going to be a big brother!

It's a...


We had our anatomy scan today, hence why the 20 week post is a little late! Le Fetus wouldn't open his legs so we could see what was going on so we were there forever! He's healthy and still extremely active, and still prefers to sit very low. His placenta is on the bottom (opposite from Noah, who's was on the top and he used it as a pillow) but not covering my cervix so it's all good. He hates the ultrasound wand! And the doppler... and anything touching his "house" haha. Oh, I'm so excited! Noah loves the fact that he's having a little brother :) And Curtis is very happy as well! Today is just such an exciting day. We're waiting for my mom to get home so Bug can surprise her with his "It's a BOY!" balloons :) I'm itching to go shopping for this little peanut, too. We're thinking of calling him Silas, the only name we can agree on that I'm coincidentally in love with. I just can't even put into words how happy and excited I am! And apparently all the adrenaline tuckered Noah out too because he literally just fell asleep on the floor next to the couch. Playing with trains one second, snoring the next! Now starts the 20 week countdown til I can hold my next peanut in my arms; but for now we're just gonna enjoy the couple months left with our 100% focus on Noahbug. I'll update more later!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Pool time!

Went swimming with the Bugman and Le Fetus yesterday! The water was FREEZING but it felt so good. Bug loved putting his feet in the water and standing on the top step and on the ladder but did not want to go in, at all. We put him in a floatie that he could just sit and float in, and he screamed bloody murder. I carried him on my chest with his legs in the water, more crying, so I put him back down on the edge and he was more than content dangling his legs in the water. He hated the life jacket but insisted on hanging out by the edge of the pool so he didn't have much say in it, and it wasn't tight or uncomfortable, he just doesn't like wearing anything haha it was a fight to get him in pool clothes instead of being naked. The baby loved the water though, every time I got in it was kicking away! And my back already hurts this time around but it calmed the back pain and the round ligament pain. I love feeling so weightless in the water! Bug kept asking me if the baby was okay or if she was cold (we don't know the gender, but he decided it's a "she") and I reassured him that mommy's belly kept the baby nice and warm. Then he didn't want me to let my belly go underwater because he thought she couldn't breathe. It's so cute how he looks out for his new brother or sister. :)
OH! And we have this new 99% natural sunblock from Purple Prairie called SunStuff and it's AWESOME. It's expensive because it doesn't contain retynol palmitate/vitamin A or any of those other phototoxins and it's only a 1 on the hazard scale set by EWG. It's unscented and has no artificial dyes or anything so it's safe for my Bug who seems to be allergic to everything, and it works! It's $12 plus S&H for a 5oz bottle but I went with it and it's worth it, just a little bit goes a long way, even reapplying every hour. Just wanted to brag a little about finally finding a brand of sunscreen I feel safe using!