Archive of ‘Motherhood’ category

Baby #2 Bumpdate // 18 Weeks

It's A Girl!If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve already heard our exciting (and surprising!) news…IT’S A(NOTHER) GIRL! I say “surprising” because I was actually convinced that we were having a boy. This pregnancy just felt so different. I was so shocked when the nurse called and told me. So shocked, in fact, that I called back a few hours later to make sure I heard her correctly! Despite my surprise, I am so excited! This baby will be the 5th GrandGirl on both sides of her family so she has a big sister and five (soon to be six!) first cousins waiting to play with her and teach her all about playing dress-up and watching Frozen and baking cupcakes. So with all of that said, let’s get into the bumpdate…

How far along with you? 18 weeks, 1 day

How big is baby? According to the apps, she’s as big as a sweet potato or artichoke. According to the anatomy scan I had today, she’s 9oz and in the 64th (or 66th? Can’t remember the exact number), percentile. As the mother of a 4lb 14.9oz baby, I love hearing that she’s measuring bigger than average. I hope she stays that way!

Total weight gain? I’m sure all of my fellow pregnant ladies are tired of hearing this, but I still haven’t gained any weight. I asked my doctor about it today and she said that as long as the baby is gaining weight and measuring well, she’s not concerned about my weight. So I’m just going to enjoy it while I can!

How are you feeling? Overall, I feel pretty great. But I am experiencing a few typical pregnancy symptoms. I am dealing with lots of hip and groin soreness. I took most of last week off from exercising because Harper was sick so I’m thinking that’s why my body was feeling so sore. I’m determined to get back to walking and doing prenatal yoga this week. I’m also having bladder issues. I have to pee constantly and if I sneeze, cough or laugh too hard, I literally have to run to the bathroom. I guess I need to start doing my kegel exercises! Baby girl is already head down and my kids tend to hang out pretty low so I know this is a symptom that’s here to stay. I’m sure I’m forgetting something, but those are the symptoms that immediately come to mind.

Best moment this week? Telling Harper and her cousins that we’re having a girl! Harper obviously has no idea what we’re talking about, but she was still super excited (as seen here). I made a girly fun box (pictured above) for Harper and her cousins and they had a ball with it. I included pink baby bottles filled with “It’s a girl!” confetti, a pink tiara, pink Minnie Mouse lollipops and more pink confetti. They played with all of it for at least an hour. We also picked a name (I’ll share it soon!) and everyone in our family loves it which makes me very happy.

What are you looking forward to? I’m really looking forward to the halfway point (20 weeks). October feels very far away right now, but I know how quickly time flies after hitting that halfway point. I’m also looking forward to feeling more distinct kicks. I can’t wait until Sam and Harper can feel them too!

 

Baby #2 Bumpdate // 17 Weeks

18489678_10103883743957849_7203614002429505215_oIt’s crazy how many things can change in a week (or two) during pregnancy. I have SO many things to update you all on so let’s jump right in…

How far along are you? 17 weeks, 1 day.

How big is baby? The size of a pomegranate. According to The Bump, the baby is 5.9 ounces, but at my ultrasound last Monday (16 weeks, 1 day), baby was measuring at 6 ounces so who knows how big this baby actually is.

Total weight gain? None. I fluctuate a pound or two depending on the time of day, but I’m still two pounds down from my starting weight. This is so baffling to me because my belly is growing everyday. A stranger congratulated me on the baby yesterday so I know I’m definitely showing, but it isn’t showing on the scale. Weird. But I’m not complaining! Based on my last pregnancy, the pounds won’t start packing on until the end.

How are you feeling? You guys! Is this what normal pregnant women feel like during the second trimester? I feel really great. It’s not all perfect of course; I still get tired and achy. I still have headaches every now and then. I still feel nauseous when I wait too long to eat. But I have energy during the day, I have a healthy appetite, and I even started exercising! My main complaint is just that my body tires out easily. Carrying Harper up and down the stairs leaves me completely out of breath. And my hips and lower back scream at me when I’ve done too much. But overall, I’m feeling really great.

Any food cravings or aversions? I’m still not a huge fan of fish and seafood. My sugar cravings are back, but that’s not pregnancy related – I have a major sweet tooth anyway. I eat a lot of carbs: oatmeal or toast for breakfast, baked potatoes with dinner, etc. Nothing too exciting in the food department though.

Best moment this week? In order to tell you my best moment, I have to give a little backstory. Last Monday, I had a pre-anatomy scan and cervix check at my Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist’s office. During the ultrasound, the baby was curled up in a tiny ball so we couldn’t see the sex, which I was totally bummed about. When the doctor came in, I told her I was upset and she said, “Well don’t worry because we’re doing a Cell Free DNA test so you’ll know in about a week.” She then proceeded to tell me that the ultrasound tech found a small spot on the baby’s heart that, in rare cases, is associated with Down’s Syndrome. She also explained that the spot wasn’t worrisome and would disappear before the baby is born. I think she said it was a calcium deposit or something like that? (Does anyone else completely zone out when getting seemingly scary news at the doctor’s office?) My first trimester screening had shown that the baby was low risk for chromosomal abnormalities, but she wanted to do the Cell Free DNA test (or NIPT screening) just to be completely sure. I was nervous, but she assured me that it would all be fine so I just focused on finding out what we were having. This morning, exactly one week later for anyone wondering how long the results take, I got the call that the baby is still low risk for Trisomy 13, 18 and 21 and I know what we’re having! But you’ll have to wait until I tell the rest of my family before I post it here. So sorry to be a tease! So that’s my best moment this week! I cannot wait to share the news with everyone else!

What are you looking forward to? Revealing the gender to the rest of my family. I’m also excited about my full anatomy scan next Monday. I hate having to go to the doctor so much during this pregnancy, but I always love seeing our little nugget during ultrasounds. It’s so cool to see how much the baby changes and grows throughout the pregnancy. I’m also really looking forward to shopping and planning everything now that I know who is joining our family in October! So many things to be excited about!

Thank you all for following along! Have a great week!

 

 

Baby #2 Bumpdate // 15 Weeks

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How far along are you? 15 weeks, 2 days.

How big is baby? Baby is the size of a navel orange. Or a pear, depending on which app you ask.

Total weight gain? I’m 2ish pounds down from my starting weight, but I don’t think I’m losing weight anymore which is a good thing. Somehow, it’s very clear that I’m pregnant when you look at me, even though I haven’t gained a pound.

How are you feeling? I experienced a real miracle this weekend: my husband and a family friend from our church prayed for me and my vomiting stopped the next morning. My acid reflux has also greatly diminished. Praise the Lord! I had gotten to the point where I dreaded going to bed at night because I didn’t want to wake up in the morning and have to throw up again. I think it was worse this time because I knew how long it lasted with Harper and the thought of facing months of that again was depressing. But I am so blessed to say that it is gone. With Harper it came and went a few times, but I have full confidence that it’s gone for good this time. Other than that, my body is feeling the wear and tear of being pregnant while chasing and carrying a 22 pound toddler. Also, I got a random symptom I never had with my first pregnancy: foot cramps. Does anyone have any remedies for this? I’ve been trying to avoid bananas (which I know are full of potassium and help with cramps) because they give me heartburn. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Any food cravings or aversions? My biggest craving this time is Japanese food. I could eat a bowl of miso soup every single day. I’ve also really been craving Lebanese food, specifically this chicken shawarma salad I used to eat multiple times a week when I lived in New Orleans. So weird, I know. I haven’t been able to find a good one here yet and it’s killing me. I don’t currently have any food aversions thankfully.

Best moment this week? I had a prenatal appointment yesterday and, when my midwife was using the doppler to hear the baby’s heartbeat, we heard him/her kick the doppler away. The baby was moving so much that it took forever to hear the heartbeat for more than just a second. It was such a cool moment.

What are you looking forward to? Hiring a doula. I just started my search this week and I’m really looking forward to finding someone who can help me achieve a natural birth this time.

That’s it for this quick bumpdate! I’ll have a lot more to share in the coming weeks as I start my progesterone shots and begin bi-weekly visits with my Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist. I also have a few posts planned about other pregnancy and motherhood topics. If there’s something specific you’d like me to write about, please let me know in the comments below!

 

 

Baby #2 // First Trimester Bumpdate

Pregnancy #2 AnnouncementIf you follow me on Instagram, you already heard our exciting news: we’re expecting baby #2 in October! And now you probably understand why there’s been radio silence on the blog the last few months. I am so so excited for this baby, but this pregnancy, like the last, has been wearing me out. By the afternoon, all I can do is lay on the couch and pray that Harper will play in one spot for a little while. But now that the secret is out, I wanted to summon the energy to sit down and write my first “bumpdate.” This one will cover everything from the time I found out until today. Going forward, I’ll probably do bi-weekly or monthly bumpdates.

How far along are you? 13 weeks, two days.

How big is baby? The size of a lemon which blows my mind. Time seems to be flying this pregnancy and, when I remember to check, I’m always blown away by how big the baby is.

Total weight gain? I’m actually down 3ish pounds from my starting weight. With Harper, I only gained 10 pounds and I lost it all within 2 or 3 weeks after she was born. But before you start hating me, I was overweight to start out with. I had goals to lose weight before I got pregnant again, but those plans failed and I started this pregnancy exactly where I was the last time. Thanks to my morning sickness, which I’ll discuss more below, I’ve lost a few pounds since the torture started.

How are you feeling? This pregnancy is very different from my first in many ways, but one thing that’s exactly the same is the vomiting. Every morning since just before 10 weeks, I wake up at 6:45am and throw up. Every. Single. Morning. Last time, I had constant nausea from 6 weeks until about 16. This time, the nausea comes and goes, usually after I eat. I have lots of heartburn and indigestion this time again, but I take Tums and Papaya Enzymes religiously so it never gets too bad. Overall, I feel better this time than I did with Harper so I try to focus on that.

How’s your sleep? I’m already sleeping with a pillow between my legs which is crazy to me because my baby is still so tiny. In the last week, the middle of the night bathroom visits started as well. So sleep isn’t fantastic right now. I also spend half the night afraid to wake up because I know that I’ll have to throw up when I do. Ugh.

Best moment this week? Announcing our pregnancy to the world. I’ve been telling close friends and family as I see them, but it’s always so fun to tell everyone. Now I can talk about it freely and stop worrying about whether people are wondering if I’m gaining tons of weight in my midsection for no reason.

What are you looking forward to? Our anatomy ultrasound next month. I cannot wait to find out if this little nugget is a boy or a girl. I find that I can bond with the baby so much more when I can call them by name (we already have names picked out). I’m also super excited to start figuring out what we’re going to do with the nursery and picking out clothes and all of that.

Any milestones this week? Last week, I met with my Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist for the first time. Because Harper was premature, and I have a high chance of having another preemie, I’ll be seeing a group of midwives and OBs as well as a Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist. The MFM specialist will set up my progesterone shots (every week starting at 16 weeks) and check my cervix every two weeks to make sure that it isn’t shortening prematurely. All of that on top of my regular prenatal appointments. Just thinking about it all made me really stressed out, especially since I won’t be seeing any of the OBs or midwives I saw during my last pregnancy, but I am so happy with the team I’ve selected. I’ve been praying everyday that this baby will come in God’s perfect timing and I feel fully confident in that which is a huge milestone for me.

I think that’s it for my first bumpdate! I’m sure I’m forgetting something (pregnancy brain is real!) so if you have any questions or specific topics you want me to address in upcoming pregnancy posts, please let me know. Thank you to everyone who has already sent us congratulatory messages. You are all so sweet!

 

#MomLife // 5 Tips For NICU Moms

Everett & Elizabeth // Tips for NICU MomsLast week, I shared my general tips for new moms. Today, I wanted to share some special tips for my fellow NICU moms. As many of you know, Harper was born six weeks premature and spent a week in the NICU before finally coming home with us. I know that we are extremely blessed that her stay was relatively short, but it was still the hardest week of my life. I had no idea that she would come early. I had no pregnancy complications like gestational diabetes or preeclampsia. My water just randomly broke the night after Christmas. Because of this, I wasn’t prepared at all and I had no idea what to expect after she was born. I hope first and foremost that none of you will ever have to experience preterm labor, but if you do, I hope that sharing the things that helped me the most during that time will help you to get through it if that day ever comes.

1. Take breaks. // You are going to want to spend every single minute in the NICU with your baby. But try to remember that you just gave birth. You need time to rest and recover. Spending every minute in the NICU might also be too much for your postpartum emotions. In the first few days after Harper was born, while I was still in the hospital, Sam spent more time in the NICU with Harper than I did. In fact, he changed her diaper and bottle fed her before I did. I spent the majority of my time in the hospital resting and pumping. When I was discharged, I would come to the hospital for her feedings. I would feed her, hold her and then head back home to get everything ready for when she was discharged. It was just too much for my emotions to stay there all day and I felt much better when I focused on her coming home.

2. Ask the nurses to teach you everything and then do as much as you can yourself. // I was very familiar with babies before Harper was born, but I had never seen or held one as small as she was. The first time I changed her diaper, I got so nervous and flustered (she was crying and my milk came in and I just panicked), that I had to ask the nurse to finish for me. I got help with feeding (both nursing and bottle feeding), burping, bathing, everything! But after I watched them do it once or twice, I did it myself the rest of the time. After a few days, I would come in, close the curtain around us, and pretend that it was just our little family in there. Nurses are so amazing, but you can’t take them home with you. You want to feel as confident as possible when you walk out of those hospital doors and the best way to do that is to get your practice in while you still have professionals around to help you and answer any questions you may have. (more…)

 

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