Monday, March 31, 2014

Baby #3 - Gender Reveal!

Instead of doing a weekly post (I am 23 weeks today!) I have decided to let the pictures and video from this weekend's festivities do the talking.

I am overjoyed and still very emotional about finding out that we are expecting another baby boy. I will be the first to admit that we were hoping for a girl, until the moment I saw that first piece of blue confetti. Just like with all of my babies I am so ridiculously in love, there is no room in my heart for even the tiniest pang of remorse. I am so glad that we made a big show of the reveal! I think my friends and family really enjoyed finding out with us. Honestly, it was one of the best moments of my life...and yes I cried like a baby...and am getting teary eyed now thinking about it now. 

A BOY! I don't know what I did to be so blessed. 

My only regret is that Lily is back-to in the video, her face was priceless. We will all laugh for YEARS as we recall her tiny scowl. She was initially very disappointed but turned it around pretty quickly and as of now is very excited to welcome another baby boy (whom she would still like to name 'Bob')  to our family. I am feeling extremely at ease with the news. A daughter and two sons, this is my family. Amazing. 

Name is still very much TBD. Now that we know we are having a boy I would like to lock in a name, like yesterday. Dingle doesn't seem to share my same sense of urgency! 

A special shout out to my sister and my dad for keeping our big surprise a secret for over a month. Bonus points to Kate...the engineering marvel that is the 'reveal box' would not have been possible without such a creative, selfless, and dedicated sister. I love you. 

A boy (sigh), how wonderful is that!?! 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Baby #3 - 22 weeks!

Remember when my blog used to be more than bump updates? Me neither. On the plus side I am succeeding beautifully in documenting the crap out of this pregnancy. This is going to be a short one.

Baby stats: This week the baby is about 11 inches long and (finally) weighs about a pound! According to babycenter, baby has been working hard on developing her pancreas this that is a relief, haha.

Bump picture: I got my hair cut. It is short and easy and with the exception of today when it was ridiculously dry, it has been pretty easy to maintain.

Again this week, no complaints about the old bump-a-roo. I am feeling LARGE all of the sudden. Matt worked in the city Wednesday through Friday this past week and when he got home on Friday afternoon even he said, "Whoa, when did that happen??"

How you doin'?Great. Still waking up tired which is the pits but otherwise feeling good. My sister is here this week for a visit! Not only do I have an extra set of hands this week, I also get to laugh a lot with my best friend. We are having a great time hanging out with the kids, lounging on the couch watching TV, running errands, and just goofing around. Lily's birthday party is on Saturday so we have a bunch of party related things to do this week. Oh and there is the tiny matter of THE GENDER REVEAL! Getting so close now! Kate has done a great job keeping the secret so far. All that's left is setting up the surprise for the kids (and us of course).

Aversions/Cravings: Food, food, food. Give me all of the food in the universe. I will eat it.

Sleeping: I started sleeping with a king size pillow lengthwise down the middle of the bed. While it may not be the most romantic gesture ever, it does keep me from rolling into the middle of the bed and cursing my husband all night in the end it really is in his best interest.

Movement: Kicks and wiggles all day long. Can't even tell you how much I love this stage of pregnancy. There was a moment in the grocery store when the baby rolled and all of my organs felt like they had been thrust into my throat that I could have done without. For the most part...bring it on baby!

Milestones: Nothing comes to mind this week. I survived my dentist appointment, does that count?

I am looking forward to: BOY OR GIRL !?!?! Saturday is the big day!

Worries: Sunshine, lollipops, and worrying this week.

Let's compare: 

I think this, and the next few weeks, have been the sweet spot for each of my pregnancies. Not too big to enjoy running around with the kids but big enough that people have started to notice AND I can feel the baby moving all day. Sweet spot for sure.

Best moment of the week: Waking up in the night to baby kicks as opposed to toddler screaming. Don't get me wrong, there is still toddler screaming, but at least a few times it was the kicks that woke me.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Baby #3 - 21 Weeks!

Baby stats: This week the baby weighs about 3/4 of a lb and is approximately 10.5 inches long from head to toe. The fact that the baby is still less than a pound is sort of confounding considering how much weight I have gained! She now has eyelids and eyebrows :)

Bump picture: What do you know...late night tired momma...again.

I really can't complain about the bump. I love 'looking pregnant'. I am carrying high and despite the fact that I am definitely putting on weight in places other than my belly I feel good when I look in the mirror. If this is my last pregnancy I would like to embrace the fact that I will probably be bigger in the end with this baby than I was with my other two. The weight will eventually come off and for the first time in my life I sort of get what all the fuss is about when it comes to food. Over the next few months I fully intend to eat whatever I want!

How you doin'?: I will start with the best news of the week. I got my quad screen results back everything looks great. All of our risk factors are very low and I do not have elevated AFP!

Now on to other much less important news. I am ridiculously tired...and super frustrated about being so tired. This past week there was not a single day that I didn't want to take a nap. I get it, during the first trimester when morning sickness is kicking your butt, you're tired. I get it, during the third trimester when your body is no longer your own and sleeping through the night is virtually impossible, you're tired. BUT this is the glorious second trimester and I am not supposed to be this tired. I am not sleeping great at night, as I mentioned I hate our mattress, but I am sleeping okay. In fact the past few nights I have slept through the night without getting up. For some reason though as soon as 2:30pm rolls around I crash...just in time for the kids to get up from nap. I am not a good napper. I sleep too heavily, for too long, and wake up feeling hungover. I don't have a solution and I promise I will stop whining about it. Being tired just makes everything harder and I am already freaking out a little this if this baby isn't a good sleeper I will have to be institutionalized. For. Real.

Aside from the insanely tired feeling, I feel great. No aches and pains. I had a little heartburn this past week but that is to be expected when you put spicy mustard on your breakfast cereal. (No I haven't actually done that, yet)

Aversions/Cravings: Same. I am currently contemplating making some extra spicy guac...if only we weren't out of chips.

Sleeping: See above. Sleeping pretty good at night. Not getting up to pee. Waking up wishing I could stay in bed for two more hours anyway.

Movement: This past week was officially the start of consistent movement. For the most part if I want to feel the baby move all I have to do lay down and wait. Like with Ben I also feel a lot of movement when I ride in the car.

Milestones: I had my first stranger comment today at the mall. A woman in the food court (yes my kids and I ate junk food for lunch today...see above about weight gain!) told me the kids are beautiful and I thanked her. She then said, "And I see more congratulations are in order!" I must have smiled extra big because she laughed and said, "I'm glad to see you are still smiling." Should I be worried?!?

I am looking forward to: I have a dentist appointment tomorrow morning...I will be happy when it is over, haha. Babywise I am really looking forward to all of the kicks and jabs. Feeling the baby dancing around in my belly is something I really want to lock away in my memory forever.

Worries: That I will never feel rested again. I have also started to really think about how a baby will change the dynamic of our family. There is a longer post here (I know...add it to the queue lady). Let's be honest, kids change from week to week (ahem minute to minute) and Ben and Lily will not be the same kids they are now by July. There are some fundamental things about their personalities that won't change. I am a little worried that Ben is going to be super jealous of the baby whereas Lily will only give me the time of day when she needs something. Only time will tell and like I said, I have more to say on the topic.

Also if this baby is a boy it could be awhile before we chose a name. Lily likes Bob.

Let's compare: 

This baby has given new meaning to the word 'craving'.

I have far fewer day to day symptoms this time around than with either of my previous pregnancies.

Both Ben and this baby love to kick and wiggle when I am in the car.

I am carrying high, per usual.

Quad screen is clear, just like Ben's. Praise God.

Best moment of the week: Getting my results was a huge weight off. Non-baby related I had company both Saturday and Sunday.  While it is fun to show my friends the house, it just filled up my heart to spend a few hours with two of my closest friends and their kids. Lucky for me both of these amazing ladies have ties to Maine so visits to their own families, as well as mine, will be part of their lives for a long time. It is going to be hard to make new friends when the ones I have already have are so perfect...if only I could convince them to move!

I really do have several nearly completed posts in the queue, none of which are bump related, I promise!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Baby #3 - Half Baked

20 weeks! Such a fun milestone, we've come so far and at the same time have so much farther to go!

Baby stats: This week the baby weighs about 10.5oz. and is approximately 10 inches long from head to toe. She is practicing swallowing and her body is now producing the tar we all know and love...meconium!

Bump picture: I got all dolled up yesterday (I blew dry my hair and put on makeup) to go out to lunch with my husband, my sister in law, and her boyfriend...but of course I didn't think to take a picture then. So for the 9th consecutive week you get a 10pm tired mama bump pic. Oh well.

For some reason with this pregnancy I really have absolutely no perception of just how pregnant I look. Several of my family members have indicated that I am, in fact, a planetary body. At the same time the teachers at Lily's school claim to not have noticed that I was even expecting. I really don't feel all that big, but I do think I am a little bigger than I was with Ben. (It is hard to tell from this picture because of the scarf)

20w with Benjamin

How you doin'?This past week was similar to last, full of unpacking and juggling two kids who are way off their "normal" routine. We are all happily settling in to the new house (posts to come I promise) but we are all t-i-r-e-d. Ben has been taking 2.5 hour naps every day, which is at least an hour longer than his usual. Neither of the kids even noticed daylight savings time with the exception of the fact that Lily has asked us twice why we are eating dinner during the day. I have been hopelessly tired in the afternoon the past few days which is frustrating because Matt has been home and I would love to use the kid's nap time to be super productive.

Other than the afternoon crash I have been feeling great. No aches or pains. No headaches or heartburn.

Aversions/Cravings: Spicy, spicy, spicy. This baby brought to you by tacos and guacamole. It has been so long since I haven't wanted to eat the entire contents of the grocery store I can't even imagine what an aversion feels like anymore. I wish I craved high iron foods, I eat them, but I do not pine for them.

Sleeping: We are officially back to the mattress we bought in August and I officially still hate it. I have never regretted a purchase more in my life. I really think that at some point we are going to have to just admit that it is terrible and buy a new one, but man that is going to sting. In any case I spend half the night climbing my side of the mattress to escape the trench created by husband sleeping blissfully next to me. Maybe we could buy a mattress topper or something. I can only imagine that the more the belly grows the more uncomfortable I am going to think our bed is. I could always sleep in the guest room if things get desperate.

Movement: Finally much to my adoration the baby's movements are becoming more consistent throughout the day. There are definitely specific times of day (meal time!) and specific positions that get this little bean jumping. Matt finally felt a few tiny kicks this morning!

Milestones: Half way! Matt getting to feel kicks from the outside!

What I am looking forward to: I am officially dying to know the baby's gender. My dad and my sister both know but neither of them are giving up the secret. (I am still thinking boy but only because I am not positive it is a girl) We are definitely doing the gender reveal at Lily's birthday party on March 29th...three more weeks!

Worries: I get my quad screen results in a few days but I have hardly even thought about the results since last week. I have a dentist appointment coming up, not at all baby related, but I still don't want to go.

Let's compare: 

It was before Christmas when I was half baked with my other two. I am already finding it really strange that this baby will not (God willing) be born in the spring.

Definitely more tired overall but having so few 'pregnancy symptoms' that some days I forget for hours at a time that I am expecting.

Movement was more consistent earlier with both Lily and Ben...this baby is clearly going to be super laid back, right?  Haha!

Best moment of the week: Every single day waking up in this house is the best moment of the week. Matt getting to feel the baby was pretty great too. 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Baby #3 and PTSD

There are SO many joyful things happening in our lives right now. Like with anything else however when I have a bummer of a post brewing I can't write about those happy things until I get this off my chest.

My appointment last week got off on the wrong foot when the office called me at 9:05 to inform me that my ultrasound had been canceled. Since I was schedule to have my blood work and u/s done in conjunction for the quad screen without the u/s there was no reason to drive all the way to MA, yet there I was, over half way there. I was so irritated. I know that this is going to sound bratty, but they know I am driving from almost 2 hours away and I am sure they could have bumped someone else. Selfish, totally. I know it is my choice to drive from so far away but in four years of being their patient I have never once rescheduled or failed to show up for an appointment. In the end the sonographer agreed to see me during her lunch break (which I was very grateful for). As a result instead of having my u/s and then my ob appointment I had my appointments the other way around. I called Matt, who had been following me in his own car, and told him to just go to work. We agreed that he could just meet me for the u/s at 12:30.

Seeing the midwife first meant that I had not seen the baby or heard the heartbeat in the office since I was 12 weeks. We made our usual chit chat and I met her new student. As the midwife entered some data into the computer her student measured my belly and got the doppler ready to listen to the baby. I was lamenting that I have not been able to feel the baby as much as I would like as the student started looking for the baby's heartbeat. It was taking her a long time, too long. I started to feel the panic rising up in my chest. I took a few ragged breaths and then told the midwife I couldn't handle it any more and I wanted her to take over. She got up from the computer and took the doppler...and there was nothing. She locked in on my heart rate which was way too high and then started searching for the baby again. There was just nothing. No matter where she moved the probe she could not hear that baby.

I had a panic attack.

I couldn't breath, I started shaking, and I was talking but wasn't making any sense. I felt like I was drowning. Tears started rolling down my cheeks, big uncontrollable tears. The midwife tried to assure me that sometimes dopplers don't work but I was already in a panic spiral. I think what I said was, "No, I cannot do this again. I cannot find out like this. I cannot be here alone. I need to call Matt." I grabbed my bag and walked out of the exam room. I did not call Matt. I went in the bathroom and cried into my coat. After a minute or so I started to feel like I could breathe and I pulled myself together. I went back out to the waiting room and texted Matt, as casually as I could, that I was about to go into u/s and I really wanted him to get there asap.

The u/s tech came out and called my name about five minutes later but Matt was still a few minutes away. Before she had even closed the door I told the tech what had happened and without even skipping a beat she had that probe on the baby's heart before I could even lay all the way down. The baby was fine. I started to cry again and then she suggested that I use the bathroom (which I was dying to do!) and we could get started when Matt arrived. I thanked her no less than 10 times for being so kind and understanding (and for giving up her lunch break). She had just gotten started when the receptionist brought Matt in. I downplayed what had happened but I am sure he saw right through me. We held hands and oooh and awed over the baby for the next 20 minutes. I just couldn't shake what had happened though and it was hard for me to fully enjoy the appointment.

If nothing else, my reaction to not hearing the baby made me sad. Sad for myself. Sad that I am forever scarred by what has happened to me. I met with the midwife in her office after my u/s. She thinks I have PTSD. Honestly a few weeks ago I would have said that is ridiculous. Of course I am sad about my losses and of course as a result I am more anxious about my pregnancies. I really would have said that my grieving was healthy and that for the most part I had put my losses behind me. And then I had a full blown panic attack because of a doppler check. All logic went out the window. I had just heard the baby on my own doppler the night before and I had felt some tiny movements on the drive down. In that moment neither of those two things mattered. I know that plenty of expectant mothers are nervous during their appointments but my reaction/actions in that exam room surprised and scared me. I had no idea that those feelings were even there.

I don't know a lot about PTSD but from what I have read it does not accurately describe my day to day life. I am not paralyzed by fear that there is something wrong with this baby. I am not excessively anxious (though I do frequently admit to having some anxiety). It was just in that moment that I couldn't separate what had happened in the past from this pregnancy.

I don't have a neat and tidy way to wrap up this post. I had a panic attack and it scared me. The baby looked great and I haven't used my doppler since last week. I am happy and excited to be in my new house and I can't wait to share those details here. But, I had to write about what happened. It was eating at me. I am feeling slightly embarrassed to go back to the office in a few weeks but there is nothing I can do to change the way I reacted. All I can do is learn from what happened and if at all possible use that information to handle the situation better in the future. God willing something like that will never happen again.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Baby #3 - 19 Weeks

Baby stats: This week the baby weighs about 8.5oz and about 6 inches from head to bottom - about the size of a big potato (??). Baby is working hard on fine tuning her senses, there is a chance that she can hear my voice...she may as well get used to it now.

Bump picture: First Monday in the new house!

We had a crazy long 72 hours of non stop moving, unpacking, and settling in. More than once this weekend my body reminded me that I am in fact (almost) five months pregnant and that I had better slow down and have some water!

How you doin'?This whole week was a whirlwind and I wish I had made a point to blog on Wednesday afternoon after my doctors appointment so that this post wasn't so long and rambly but I just didn't have it in me. There is a longer post coming so for now I will just say that the baby looked perfect once I got into ultrasound but I had a full on panic attack in the exam room beforehand when the doctor couldn't find the baby's heartbeat. It was awful and it really made the whole ultrasound feel scary, despite the fact that there was nothing wrong in that exam room. The baby was in a weird spot, or has an anterior placenta, or the doppler was a piece of junk. Plenty of simple explanations, and yet the panic grabbed me and wouldn't let go. It was about the last thing I needed to have happen for my nerves if only because I couldn't just relax and be grateful that the baby looked fine. I get the results of the quad screen on 3/13 so there is still some waiting to do but a few hours after the appointment I was finally feeling better and really haven't 'worried' about the baby since. We have a healthy baby on the way!! We are so ridiculously blessed. I am over the moon in love with this little one and I can't wait to get settled in our new house and get to working on the nursery.

On the topic of gender, I have decided how I would like to find out (which of course I am keeping a secret for now) and we know roughly when we are going to do it. Matt is dying to know and I'd be lying if I said I was disinterested in finding out. The more time goes by the more and more I am thinking boy. I didn't see (or see for that matter) anything at any point during the ultrasound so it is nothing more than a mommy hunch. I have been bouncing boy names off of Dingle for the last few days but we are no where close to choosing one should we need it!

Aversions/Cravings: I had my half glass (in a red solo cup) of champagne and it was everything I had dreamed it would be. It was definitely just what the doctor ordered. I know that drinking any amount of alcohol during pregnancy is somewhat taboo. I do not think that one small glass of wine or a few sips of beer here and there could possible do permanent damage to the baby. If I did, then obviously I would abstain.

Sleeping: I have been so spun up about the house and the move that I don't think I slept more than a few hours any night last week. Now that we are all moved in I am hoping that my sleeping improves dramatically!

Movement: We found out at the appointment that the baby has an anterior placenta, meaning the placenta is in front of the baby and acting as a bumper of sorts. In some cases this does make it harder to feel the baby and may explain why I can't feel her more often. I am feeling stronger kicks this week and when I am laying down I can definitely feel them from the outside. Matt has not been able to feel anything yet.

Milestones: Made it through the anatomy scan, even if it was just barely.

What I am looking forward to: Next week baby is half baked! I am really excited about our gender reveal and deciding on a name!

Worries: Honestly even though I do not have the results of my quad screen I feel so much better that it is done and off my todo list. I really haven't worried much this past week at all.

Let's compare: 

I didn't make it out of my anatomy scan without a scare like I had with Ben but baby looked great.

I am measuring right on track. With Lily I was way 'behind', and with Ben I was measuring on the small side but I had gained 2 more pounds than I have this time.

At this point I knew whether we were having a boy or girl, not this time...yet!

Best moment of the week: First and foremost was the tech finding the heartbeat right away in U/S so that I could breathe. Second best moment...getting the keys to our forever house on Friday afternoon!