Archive | February, 2018

Pregnancy #3: 9 Months

28 Feb

It’s the home stretch, baby! I’m 36.5 weeks along and ready to DO THIS THING!IMG_7166OB Appointments

I’m going every week now. At my appointment this past Tuesday, my doctor verified that Jellybean is head down (yay!) and swabbed me for Group B Strep. Since my labors with Emma and Annabelle were so similar, I’m pretty much expecting the same thing this time around (though who knows, Jellybean could surprise me!): positive for Group B Strep, water breaks in bed, lack of natural contractions leads to Pitocin, labor happens slow and steady (with Emma, my labor was 12 hours; Annabelle, 8). This time, though, if labor is slow (as in, I have time to get pain meds), I’m planning to get an epidural with just half the meds to start — enough to take the edge off but still let me feel what’s happening. I didn’t get an epidural with Annabelle and was so absolutely exhausted by the time she was born, I felt almost delirious. And then to start taking care of a newborn and 2 other kids? :\

Symptoms

I’m still tired but my daily naps really help. My main complaints at this point are just a general feeling of heaviness/whale-like-ness, acid reflux, and Braxton Hicks. Holy cow, the Braxton Hicks. It’s hard to appreciate them when they do nothing in the way of dilation. But my doctor said that Jellybean’s head is low, so maybe I have Braxton Hicks to thank for that (my doctor with Emma said they helped with that). They’re mostly just uncomfortable, but some of them are actually a little painful, and I get them a lot at night, which sometimes limits my sleep positions.

As for acid reflux, I’ve been taking Zantac morning and night, and that has helped some, but not taken care of it. My doctor said I could take Tums at the same time, and I did notice a difference when taking Zantac before dinner, as opposed to afterward (now I just need to remember to do that).

I’ve gained about 25-30 pounds so far.

Clothes

After seeing their ads pop up on Instagram a bunch, I bought a couple of dresses from Wren & Ivory that work now for maternity, and can be worn after baby comes too. So far, I am very impressed with them! The fabric is super soft, they both fit well, and they wash well too. I bought the Liza Floral Faux Wrap in Mauve and the Floral Maxi with a Twist in RavenIMG_7035I’ve also continued my quest for maternity leggings and ordered these under-the-belly ones from Amazon, and love them. They don’t attract dog hair like magnets, they haven’t pilled at all even after washing, and I can wear them even after baby comes! I’m planning to buy a couple more pairs. I also ordered these maternity leggings but ended up returning them because the top elastic around the belly was a little too thick and tight at this stage of pregnancy, and I’d also rather spend my money on something I can wear even after baby comes.

Food & Cravings

Probably my biggest craving during the last month has been cereal–specifically Honey Bunches of Oats with Strawberries and Honey Nut Cheerios–and glasses of milk (especially when eating PB&J mixed in oatmeal). I’ve also been digging canned mandarin oranges (but I have always loved these), grapes, and blackberries. I just realized during this pregnancy how much I love blackberries. I can polish off a pint on my own in one sitting.

Exercise

I’ve pretty much thrown in the towel at this point. Just picking up the girls’ messes every day is plenty. I’m looking forward to getting back into running outside this spring though, and would love to train for a race, but that depends on how good of a sleeper Jellybean is.

Nesting

As much as I would love to have Jellybean’s nursery perfectly organized and ready for him to make his debut, I know it’s an exercise in futility because of the girls. They get into eve. ry. thing. So we hung a couple things on the wall, bought some diapers that are being stored in the closet, organized baby clothes in the makeshift bookshelf dresser, and are calling it good. #thirdkid

We focused more of our energy on other house projects. We finally finished redoing our master bedroom–only took us 9 months. We bought a bedroom set and painted last July, I replaced our lamps and comforter at Christmastime, and we finally got things hung on the wall and curtains + rod replaced in the past couple of weeks. I’m planning to do a separate post on our bedroom soon.IMG_7173We also made a playhouse for the girls under our stairs. The previous owners left a giant TV behind that was built into the wall. When we got rid of the TV, we had a giant hole to deal with. It stayed like that for oh, about 2 years, until I finally had the idea to just close the hole off with a homemade chalkboard. Easier than sheetrocking (which is our long-term plan, to be done at an unknown time in the future), but better than nothing. We turned the spot they had used for a DVD player and stereo into the kid door (there’s a real door too), added plexiglass to the speaker hole, and added some trim to the outside wall to make it look like a house. We painted the inside bright pink and bright purple (the girls’ choices), added some wall stickers and battery-operated lights from Costco, and three weeks later, voila! A playhouse. IMG_6209IMG_6315IMG_6565IMG_6863IMG_6866IMG_6870IMG_6878And that’s pretty much it for 9 months!

2018 Focus: White Space

6 Feb

whitespace copy2017 was a crazy year…

Because of me. I made it one.

The whole year, my mantra was, “I just have to get through this/finish this/do this… THEN life will slow down and I can spend more time with my kids/have a consistent quiet time/read more books…” Except that following each one of those “had-to’s” (some my own doing, others expected of me) was another, and another, and another.

Don’t get me wrong, I was busy with good, worthwhile things…

I decluttered our whole house, did a garage sale with friends, and we donated $500 to the Lakes Area Pregnancy Center.

I co-organized and hosted a pallet-painting craft night. I organized several events for our church group. I threw a baby shower for my brother and SIL.

I brought meals to families with new babies and other needs.

I served on the leadership teams of both my local MOPS group and our church group.

I worked 2 days a week and served in the church nursery once a month.

But the more important things suffered…

I had no consistent quiet time with God. I’ve been using the same journal since June of 2016, which for me is unheard of. To me, that shows how poorly I’ve prioritized my relationship with God as well as my mental health.

I went months without actually playing with my kids, or spending time outside. There were too many “When I finish this” and “I can’t right now” responses to my girls’ pleas to do something with them. Too many days of errand-running and just keeping the kids “occupied.”

By the end of the year, I was feeling crushed by obligations. I deeply desired a day to just BE and not have anything I had to do, but it seemed I always remembered something that was either already overdue or would be overdue if I waited. I felt bitter and boxed in by my life.

Life actually slowed down in December, giving me the chance to reflect and decide that this year…

I’m choosing White Space.

I’m going to Say No and Do Less.

I’m giving myself permission to not bend over backwards to meet every demand, see every person, milk every opportunity, and take every chance.

I’m letting myself step back from being the responsible person, and the person responsible.

I’m promising myself (and my husband) that I won’t plan any events this year, and will never do a garage sale again.

I’m setting up boundaries, limitations, and borders on my time and my family’s time, so that we can live out a schedule that aligns better with what we say our priorities are.

Because that’s the thing about busyness and no margin, regardless of how good the reason: they squeeze out the important for the sake of the urgent.

NO MORE.

Things may fall through the cracks. Balls may get dropped. Opportunities, untaken. Fun things, undone. Expectations, unmet.

But I’ll be gaining my own sanity. And spontaneous memories. Time with my family. Relaxation. Refreshment. Freedom from responsibility.

That’s not to say I won’t ever Say Yes and help others. I don’t think that’s what God wants. But I will Say Yes with a much more intentional mindset, remembering that a Yes to one thing is a No to something else. My time is finite, and I can only do so much. And I want to Say Yes to my family more.

WHITE SPACE. It’s about time.

Pregnancy #3: 8 Months

1 Feb

I was 32 weeks this past Monday, and my due date was 2 months from the previous Friday.

I’m both ready and not ready to be done. Ready, in that pregnancy is not my favorite thing ever, especially the last few months. Not ready, in that the end of pregnancy means the beginning of taking care of a newborn, which comes with challenges and limitations of its own.

OB Appointments

I had 2 appointments 2 weeks apart but my OB said that since my pregnancy is going so well, I don’t have to go back in until I’m 36 weeks. I did ask her about Jellybean being breech, and she said that only 3% of babies are still breech at 37 weeks, so it’s not a concern until then. And the fact that I’ve had 2 babies who were head down is encouraging that baby boy will turn.

Symptoms

I still get a decent amount of Braxton Hicks contractions, which make me walk bent over like a grandma. I’ve had fairly bad acid reflux with this pregnancy (more so than with the previous two)–more foods give me acid reflux and even Zantac sometimes doesn’t help. The only thing that helps is sleeping in a sitting position in bed, which does not result in great sleep. So I’ve been trying to be extra vigilant in avoiding foods that give me acid reflux, even if they’re some of my favorite things.

I’ve been having crazy dreams similar to previous pregnancies, and I’m still ridiculously tired. So far, minimal swelling and very little inner thigh pain (I think it helps that instead of sitting at a desk all day like I did during my pregnancy with Emma, I’m up running around after kids, even if I’m doing less official exercise). I use a heating pad on my back and belly every night though.

I’ve also thankfully avoided the linea negra and facial acne that I had with Emma.

Clothes

My wardrobe is little by little becoming more limited, and the maternity leggings that I bought from Motherhood Maternity are unfortunately pilling hair collectors like I had feared they would be. They’re still comfy, they’re just relegated to being worn at home. :\

Food & Cravings

My latest cravings have ice cream and fruit (specifically berries, grapes, clementines and peaches), but otherwise my eating habits are pretty similar to what they are when I’m not pregnant. So far, I’ve gained a little over 20 pounds, which is pretty much on par with my other pregnancies.

Exercise

When I walk on the treadmill, it’s usually between dinner and bedtime, and my belly feels huge and heavy. As a result, walking is not so enjoyable and I’m often not motivated to do it. But yoga and Pilates can be done then too, and they feel better, so I’m hoping to do that more. Honestly, though, I’m prioritizing sleep over exercise, and I’m totally ok with that. I’ve been here before, and bounced back after pregnancy, so even though I am not as active as I would ideally be, I’m ok with that.

Sleep

I’m still taking naps most days that I’m not working, and they are glorious. Sleep at night is becoming more and more elusive. I miss sleeping on my stomach so much. This is my least favorite part of pregnancy.

Nesting

I got Jellybean’s clothes assembled and organized, and his nursery (which is the room Annabelle is sleeping in right now) is mostly organized. I am planning to paint our old dresser and move that into the girls’ room, so that they can both share one dresser (right now, they have a smaller dresser and a 3-drawer nightstand for their clothes). Then I’ll move the nightstand back into the nursery for storing burp cloths and blankets (and we’ll probably just store the other dresser).

My main nesting instinct right now, though, is cleaning. I finally found the motivation (and the weather cooperated) to clean out our disgustingly filthy windowsills. Seriously, they had not been cleaned since we moved in (and who knows when they were cleaned before then?) and they are just so gross. I also find immense satisfaction in cleaning things that I don’t plan on cleaning again for at least a year or two (as opposed to a bathroom that gets dirty again by the next day).

But my girls are mess-making maniacs so who knows how long my energy for cleaning will keep up.

And that’s pregnancy #3 at 8 months!