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Corbin Travis: 2 Weeks

5 Apr

Corbin is already 2 weeks old!Corbin is nursing well. He was discharged from the hospital on Friday 3/23 at 8 lbs 9 oz and when we took him to the doctor the following Monday, he was down to 8 lbs 6 oz. But my milk came in late Sunday so by his follow-up appointment on Thursday, he was up to 8 lbs 10 oz. He had been tested for jaundice on Monday but his level wasn’t high enough to be treated, and since he was gaining weight and having plenty of wet/poopy diapers, his doctor felt he was headed in the right direction.

He eats every 2-3 hours around the clock. During the day, he sleeps like a champ and I sometimes have to wake him up to nurse after it’s been 3 hours. He almost always nurses himself back to sleep but the past couple of days, he’s sometimes alert after nursing so then we let the girls hold him or give him a bath, and then swaddle and rock/bounce him to sleep. He also likes to suck on his thumb. Sometimes he finds himself (by accident), but sometimes we help him. He also seems to like vibration like Annabelle did, but not so much swinging in the swing.We had a couple of rough nights that first week, with him feeding every couple hours and/or being awake and hard to get back to sleep (so I was only getting an hour of sleep here and there) but the last several nights, he’s given me one 3-hour stretch of sleep and gone right back to sleep after nursing.

Corbin is hard to burp so he has a fair amount of random spit up, and seems to struggle with gas pains (he sometimes cries at random intervals). He is also a poop machine!! During our roughest nights, I’d nurse him on one side, change his diaper to wake him up, then while I nursed him on the other side, he’d poop. So I’d change him again and he’d poop again while nursing. And there have been several times when he has peed or pooped all over his outfit in the middle of a diaper change. But I think I’m *finally* getting the hang of changing a boy’s diaper!The girls are enthralled with Corbin and give him loads of affection by patting his head and stroking his face. They love holding him and try to help other ways, but are limited by how young he is and how much he sleeps. (He has to be in his room to get good sleep, because the girls won’t leave him alone if he’s out in the main room with us.)

When Corbin is awake, he loves to look around and seems very content. He only cries when he’s hungry, cold, getting his diaper changed, or being held by the girls when he’s tired. But those things can probably be said about any newborn, and like I said, in just the past couple of days, he’s started being more alert and not just sleeping all the time. So we are just beginning to discover what he’s like!Corbin wasn’t a huge fan of the sponge baths he received before his umbilical cord stump fell off when he was about a week old, but he doesn’t seem to mind a real bath (until he has to get out).

Likes

* Held lying down in arms (vs. upright)

* Nursing

* Being bounced/walked around

* Sucking on his hands or thumb

Dislikes

* Being in his car seat (unless the car is moving)

* Tummy time

* Diaper changes

* Tight swaddles

We’re getting Corbin’s newborn pictures and family pictures taken in a little over a week! I’ll be back with his one-month update in a few weeks.

Corbin’s Birth Story

28 Mar

Corbin Travis (aka Jellybean) made his debut on Thursday, March 22, four days before his due date. He was 8 lbs 15 oz and 21 inches long with a head circumference of 14.25 inches.IMG_2938 (Large)

IMG_2932 (Large)I went into labor the evening of Wednesday, the 21st. I had actually seen the doctor that morning, who said I was still 3 cm but now 70% thinned — my cervix was doing what it was supposed to, and it could be any day, we just didn’t know which one.

After Travis got off work, he went on a run and showered, then we went to Costco for dinner in the food court (I had a major craving for pizza) and some groceries. My hips and inner thighs were killing me, and I was walking as slow as a grandma.

Bedtime with the girls went as usual and I got to bed around 9:30. I woke up again around 11 from a few strong Braxton Hicks with a lot of downward pressure (which I had been having almost every night), and a small pop similar to when my water had broken with the girls, only this time nothing came out.

About 5 minutes later, though, I had my first real contraction. I laid in bed for a few more contractions, just to make sure they were consistent and that first one hadn’t been a fluke.

It hadn’t been. The contractions were all strong and about 6-7 minutes apart. I got up around 11:45 and moved to the couch to watch some episodes of Modern Family while continuing to time my contractions. I also reviewed my list of stuff to bring to the hospital, put my nursing pillow and the Rock n Play by the door, and retrieved the infant car seat from its storage spot in the garage (and discovered the straps had gotten moldy, so I washed those too).

Around 3 am, the contractions were still coming every 6 minutes and strong enough to require some intentional breathing so I ate a bowl of Cheerios with strawberries and then woke Travis up. “I think it’s time to have a baby,” I said. “Oh goodness,” was his response.

He asked if my water had broken. I told him no, I was just having contractions painful enough to know they were real. So he got up and took a shower while I finished packing my bag, and then I jumped in the shower while he finished packing. After getting dressed, I called my friend Brenda, who had graciously volunteered to be our middle-of-the-night childcare.

She arrived at our house around 3:30 and we got to the hospital around 3:45. Since it was the middle of the night, we had to go through the ER entrance. They immediately asked if we were headed upstairs to the family birth place, and a nurse escorted us up. I totally accepted her offer of a wheelchair so that I could be sitting during any contractions that I had on the way.

I was wheeled right into a room, and the nurse had me change into a hospital gown and then hooked me up to the baby and contraction monitors for 30 minutes. By then, my contractions were more like 2 minutes apart and I was 5 cm dilated. They seemed to take their sweet old time getting everything set up but by 5 am, I had my IV in and was getting my first round of antibiotics (for the Group B Strep), as well as the liter of fluid required to get an epidural.

The contractions were quite painful by that point, and I was panicking just a little at the thought of having to wait a whole hour to get an epidural (that’s how long the liter of fluid takes) so I asked about the possibility of using nitrous oxide in the meantime. My nurse, Kathy, asked the anesthesiologist, who approved it, so they got that going and it definitely helped. At the very least, it gave me something to focus on during that hour besides just the pain of the contractions.

A little after 6 am, my nurse, Kathy, checked me again. I was 6 cm dilated and decided to go ahead with the epidural. The anesthesiologist arrived around 6:15. I was worried about the pain of the epidural but needn’t have been. The numbing medicine was a sharp pinch, but I barely felt the actual epidural being placed. I told Travis later that the most painful part of the whole thing had actually been getting that darn IV put in my arm.

After the anesthesiologist was done, Kathy had me lay down in the bed, tilted to the side, which I have to admit wasn’t the most comfortable position ever because of how heavy my belly was. But overall, the epidural worked perfectly — I could feel the pressure of the contractions but they weren’t painful, and I could still move my legs and feet. They checked me again shortly after the epidural was placed, and I was 8 cm.

A little before 7 am, one of my contractions must’ve pushed Corbin’s foot up into my ribs and it was so painful that I demanded to change positions. So Kathy tilted me the other way, and that helped. At 7 am, there was a shift change and my new nurse, Shawnna, gave me a pillow to prop up my belly, and I was actually fairly comfy that way (though I would’ve preferred to lay on my side instead).

Because I was positive for Group B Strep and my first round of antibiotics had been started at 5 am, they wanted me to wait until at least 9 am to have a baby, because the antibiotics need 4 hours to take effect. So we had a couple of hours to just rest. Travis fell back asleep but even though I was relaxed and was really trying to sleep, I just couldn’t turn my mind off. It was nice to rest anyway.

Around 8:45 am, the on-call doctor, Dr. Senica, came in, introduced himself, and talked about the game plan. He’d come back down around 9:15, break my water, and then we’d have a baby. Shawnna checked me again around 9 am, and I was still at 8 cm because my water still hadn’t broken, so Dr. Senica broke my water around 9:15. By 9:45, I was almost fully dilated, and I was starting to feel pressure by 10 am. Because the pushing stage of labor with the girls only lasted a few contractions, they weren’t planning to have me start pushing until the doctor came back down. Just to be sure, Shawnna had me push a little while Dr. Senica was on his way, and confirmed that yep, we want to wait until he’s here to start pushing.

He got into the room a little after 10, got all set up, told me that we were going to push until the baby’s head came out, clean baby’s nose and mouth with a bulb syringe, then push the body out. When the next contraction came, they told me to go for it, so I took a deep breath, and with three pushes, Corbin’s head was out. A few minutes later, they were ready for me to push again, and his body came out with a huge gush of amniotic fluid. Then Corbin peed all over the doctor while he was clamping off the umbilical cord. 😉

After wiping Corbin off a little bit, they put him on my chest for skin-to-skin. He was covered in vernix and very purple. He cried a little bit right away, but once he was snuggling with me, he was totally content. Too content. It was taking him a little too long to pink up — Shawnna had to keep rubbing his feet to make him cry and exercise his lungs. After 10-15 minutes, they took him over to the warming station and gave him some oxygen to help get his oxygen levels up (they started out at 60, and were up to around 80 by that time, but they wanted them between 85 and 95). Eventually, his oxygen levels got up to desired number, and they brought him back.

Within an hour of birth, Corbin started making motions with his mouth like he wanted to nurse, so I put him to the breast and he did a great job sucking. He nursed for about 45 minutes straight, then wanted nothing to do with it until the next morning because he was so sleepy. When he wasn’t being poked and prodded with needles, oxygen sensors, and stethoscopes, Corbin pretty much slept the whole time we were in the hospital. We were grateful that he was willing to sleep in the bassinet and didn’t need to be held the whole time.

Having a child born in the morning was a new experience for us–both the girls were born at night. About 2 hours after Corbin was born, he got his first bath and the Hep B vaccine and erythromycin eye ointment. The epidural had worn off by then, so I was able to walk to and use the bathroom on my own strength.

I was starving and parched by then (since you can’t eat or drink during an epidural) so we ordered breakfast–french toast for me, eggs and bacon for Travis. And I drank a whole bottle of Gatorade, plus two glasses of apple juice, and a bunch of water.

After eating, we decided to try to get some rest, so we closed the shades and laid down, but I still couldn’t sleep! Ugh, it was so frustrating. I just could not stop thinking about anything and everything.

One of my co-workers came to visit around 3 pm with balloons and gifts for the girls, and a card for us. My boss came to visit around 5 pm. They both stayed about 20 minutes. Travis and I ordered dinner, then around 6:30 pm, Travis’ parents came with the girls. They were very excited to see Corbin, and wanted to hold him for about 5 minutes, then they were interested in checking out the room. Having kids in a hospital room is chaotic. They left around 7:30, with Emma crying because she wanted to stay with us at the hospital, or have us come home with her.

I ate an amazingly delicious sub from Erbert’s and Gerbert’s, then my Bible study ladies came to visit around 8:45. They stayed for about half an hour, then left so that we could get some sleep. I tried to nurse Corbin once more before going to sleep, but he wasn’t interested.

For the first few hours after “going to bed,” I was able to fall asleep but was woken up by intense cramping (afterpains). I paged my night nurse, Jena, and asked for pain meds. She gave me some Tylenol, and then an hour later, some ibuprofen, but even after both of those, the cramping was still really painful, so I asked if I could have anything stronger. The doctor on call approved Tylenol with codeine for me, so sometime between midnight and 2 am, they gave me some of that with a heating pad to place on my belly, and that helped a lot.

After that, the night is a blur but I recorded on our breastfeeding and diaper log that Corbin woke up at 2:45 and nursed for 10 minutes on each side. He nursed again at 6:45 and 9:30. Sometime during the night, Jena took Corbin for his hearing test and baby pictures, and Travis and I were able to get some sleep then too.

A little after 7 am, our day nurse, Katie, came in to let us know that the pediatrician would be coming by soon. I was also starving so I woke Travis up and asked him to order french toast, bacon, eggs, and coffee for breakfast. Since we were trying to leave the hospital before noon and knew that there was a slew of things that needed to get done before then, we decided to just get up. It was sunny that day, so that helped wake us up (the day Corbin was born was cloudy).

After the pediatrician looked Corbin over and gave the green light, I took a shower. Dr. Rice, my OB, popped in a couple times while I was in the shower, but I didn’t actually end up connecting with her (not sure if this was an oversight?). She did write me prescriptions for a breast pump and Tylenol with codeine, though. Then we worked on getting all our stuff packed up and loaded onto a cart.

Right before discharge, Katie did Corbin’s newborn PKU screening and the CCHD test. When the girls arrived with Travis’ parents, we quickly had Katie take some sibling pictures and while they printed those out, Travis and his dad took a load of stuff down to the car.

Finally, it was time to go home! We had always been required to stay for 48 hours in the hospital (I think because my water was broken so long with both girls?) so it was nice to get to go home earlier, and stop being monitored constantly by nurses.

We ate lunch when we got home, then took nice long naps. And the rest I’ll talk about in Corbin’s 1-week update, coming soon! He’ll be a week old tomorrow already! We are in love with our little sweetheart already.

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Pregnancy #3: 39 Weeks

18 Mar

Well, tomorrow I’ll be 39 weeks. I was really hoping baby boy would decide to come early like Annabelle did but no such luck, even with three bouts of false labor trying to suggest otherwise.

The first instance happened on our way back from Eau Claire on March 4 (I’ll talk more about that trip shortly). I had been feeling sick all day, with what I assumed was bad acid reflux. Once we got to around St. Cloud (an hour from home), I started having contractions every 5-10 minutes, and my back was killing me. I texted my friend Brenda to make sure she’d be around to watch the kids in case I got home and it was the real deal, but alas, when I laid down in bed at home, the contractions stopped.

The second was the following Wednesday night. We had gone out to dinner at a restaurant so I once again had fairly bad acid reflux (but it was from my favorite dinner of Tequila Lime Chicken Tacos, so #worthit). I was woken up around 2 am with contractions that were consistently every 8-12 minutes, but they didn’t increase in intensity or pain, so after about an hour, I stopped timing and figured if they were the real deal, I’d find out eventually. They pretty much continued the rest of the night, but when I got up in the morning to take a shower, they stopped. (So annoying!! I tried googling “Does acid reflux cause contractions?” but couldn’t find anything.)

The third time was the following Saturday night. I didn’t have any acid reflux this time, but was woken up by sharp pains on the side of my belly. I got out of bed to see if I could relieve the pain by a change in position, but the pain and cramping continued. I drank 3 glasses of water and tidied up the kitchen counter and downstairs to see if being up would make it go away, but it didn’t. Finally, around 4 am, I woke Travis up and told him to pack a bag just in case. No sooner did he have his bag packed than the pain subsided, and we both went back to bed.

Thankfully, since then, my contractions have been very obviously Braxton Hicks so we haven’t had any more fake-outs (even though some of them produce so much downward pressure that I’m amazed my water hasn’t broken yet!). It’s hard to wait when you keep being taunted!

So our trip to Eau Claire… we left Saturday morning and came back Sunday night. While we were there, we visited my brother, sister-in-law, and niece that was born in December. My dad was there too, and we saw one of my other brothers, sisters-in-law, and niece born in September on our way back through the Cities. The drive out there went well, and the girls had fun seeing their baby cousins. We booked a hotel that had a waterpark, and Emma had a blast swimming and going down the big waterslide. Annabelle, true to form, was more conservative and not so sure about all the splashing and swimming. The waterpark was definitely geared toward bigger kids, like Emma’s age.

My SIL in Eau Claire also threw me a surprise long-distance baby sprinkle by asking friends and family (info provided by Travis) to send gifts during the week of February 26. It was very unexpected but so thoughtful! We received several boxes of diapers and quite a few adorable outfits, plus a few extras like boy blankets, boy towels, baby sunglasses (I die!), and a picture frame. We’re borrowing boy clothes from friends who have 5 boys, but it’s nice to have boy clothes that we can keep, and Travis appreciates getting some hunting-themed ones. I got all the clothes washed and put away this week, and thank you notes written and mailed, so now we’re just waiting for baby boy to make his debut.

Last weekend, Travis took the girls up to Bemidji for our nephew’s Eagle Scout Court of Honor. I had been planning to go, but after the rough drive home from Eau Claire, I decided to stay home. I did our budget, took a long shower and a long nap, and did some shopping. It was a nice day!

OB Appointments

I’m going every week now, and my doctor has done 3 pelvic checks. After my bout of false labor on the way back from Eau Claire, I was dilated 2-3 cm. Jellybean’s head is very low and my waters are bulging. At my most recent appointment, my doctor said that I’m 3 cm and 50% effaced. Progress! With both girls, I was still at 1 cm, even when I checked in to the hospital after my water broke, so I’ll take any forward progress I can get (even if it doesn’t mean I’ll go into labor soon).

I tested positive for Group B Strep again. No surprise there. I’ve also decided that if I get to the hospital and am dilated to 6 or 7 cm, I’m going to try to give birth sans epidural again. But if I’m only 4 or 5 (or still at 3) cm, I’m going with my half-med epidural plan still. We’ll see how things go down, hopefully sooner than later! I’ve been doing some anecdotal research online about timing tendencies with third babies (because that’s what majorly pregnant women who are sooo ready to be done do), and read that the third child can tend to be a wild card, and not follow suit timing-wise. Emma was born on her due date, and Annabelle was born at 38 weeks 2 days, so Jellybean will either be born between them, or late!

Symptoms

Acid reflux has gotten better with the combination of Tums and Zantac (though I am still trying to be more mindful about what I eat for dinner).

I’ve had a little sciatic pain with Jellybean’s head being so low, but overall I’m still feeling pretty good (as long as I’m sitting down, ha!). I have a little bit of swelling in my legs and ankles, but I can still wear my wedding rings so the swelling is less with this pregnancy than with my previous ones. I have a very faint linea negra, and have noticed more stretch marks this time around (boo). Sometimes it feels like the skin on my stomach can literally not stretch any more, so I guess stretch marks are not surprising.

Jellybean still moves around a ton, and when he pivots his head, it’s not a very pleasant feeling (right on top of my bladder and pelvic bone), but it’s reassuring that he’s still healthy and active.

Sleep

My hips are definitely feeling the weight these days. I usually go to bed propped up against 3 big pillows, plus 2 smaller ones (one for head support, the other for lumbar) and sleep that way for the first couple hours. Then I throw the little pillows on the floor and sleep on each side as long as comfortable. Usually somewhere around 4 or 5 am, I get my pillows set back up for sleeping sitting up and stay that way until morning.

The weirdest thing about sleep (and actually about this pregnancy in general) is how sweaty I’ve been. I’m not normally a sweaty person (and wasn’t when pregnant with the girls), but I have been during this pregnancy. Usually in winter, I wear a long-sleeve shirt and pants to bed, but the last couple of weeks, I’ve been wearing either nursing tanks and undies, or nightgowns, to bed, and I still wake up sweaty. I can only imagine how sweaty I’ll be after Jellybean comes. :/

Food & Cravings

Still loving cereal. If it were advisable to eat it for three meals a day, I would (but it’s not). And I’ve been eating more sweets lately (Girl Scout cookies, anyone?)… I’ve also been craving juice–specifically orange juice–but don’t dare drink it because of the acid. I can’t wait to eat cold deli sandwiches like they’re going out of style. (I’ve eaten a few this pregnancy, but am trying to behave.)

Nesting

I’ve been trying to do some cleaning and organizing as I have energy and time. I cleaned both bathrooms, the kitchen (including the oven), and the rest of the windows upstairs that I hadn’t gotten around to cleaning a month or so ago. I’m also wanting to figure out Easter and family picture outfits, but we’ll see. I did buy these adorable shirts from Etsy for the girls and Jellybean to wear in the hospital for sibling pictures (and probably for family pictures too).

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!

Pregnancy #3: 6-7 Months

2 Jan

I was 28 weeks yesterday, which means I’m officially in the third trimester!

OB Appointments

I had my gestational diabetes and hemoglobin tests two weeks ago, and passed both of them. My hemoglobin is slightly low, but it has been in my other pregnancies too. (I could probably do a better job of taking my prenatal vitamins…)

As I was looking my test results up online, I happened to glance at the “results” of my 20-week ultrasound and it noted that as of then, Jellybean was in the frank breech presentation (meaning head up, butt down)–and I’m guessing he still is because I don’t feel much movement in my upper belly, mostly on the sides and lower toward my hips and pelvis. For grins, I looked up what Annabelle’s position was at my ultrasound with her, and she was in the transverse lie presentation, which is more ideal. None of the doctors or nurses have mentioned Jellybean being breech to me, I’m guessing because the vast majority of babies end up turning on their own before 36 weeks. I do plan to ask about it at my next appointment, though.

Symptoms

I’m having a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions, both during the day and at night. Getting up from sitting down and standing for a long time are getting harder. I slept on the floor in Annabelle’s room for a few hours one night and it didn’t seem too bad at the time but I had shooting lower back pain for the next couple of days, so I won’t be making that mistake again. And the tiredness! So. tired.

Name

We have decided to go with the name we had picked out for a boy before Annabelle was born. But we’re going to keep it a secret from social media for now. 😉

Babymoon

We went on a babymoon to Las Vegas the weekend before Christmas! We flew out early Saturday morning and got back late Tuesday night. All the grandparents watched the girls at our house while we were gone. On Saturday, we ate Chipotle for lunch, did some outlet mall shopping, and then went to a free Corb Lund concert at the Tropicana (the National Rodeo Finals were in town). Sunday, we drove 4 hours to the Grand Canyon and saw the sights there until sunset, then ate dinner and watched cheesy Christmas movies in our hotel room. Monday, we saw sunrise at the Grand Canyon (and froze! It was only 32 degrees outside), did a little more walking and sightseeing there, and then drove back to Vegas, with a short-ish stop at the Hoover Dam. Tuesday was beautiful–60s and sunny–so we went on a short hike and read outside before heading to the airport. It was a very nice trip, with a good mixture of activity and relaxation.

Clothes

While we were in Vegas, I went to Motherhood Maternity and bought two pairs of amazingly comfy leggings, and another t-shirt. I also ordered a nursing bra and tank from Kindred Bravely, which I’m super excited about. They are also super comfy and surprisingly supportive, but the jury’s out on how well they hold up after a lot of washing and wearing–the bra and tank are hand wash only, which could be annoying, but I have high hopes!

Food & Cravings

Overall, I don’t have any cravings other than for chocolate (which is similar to my pregnancy with Annabelle at this stage) and the forbidden (deli meat and wine). Nothing ever really sounds good; it’s just a matter of, what am I willing to eat? Or, what doesn’t sound gross? Countless nights, whatever I had planned for dinner sounds MEH (and I just can’t bring myself to expend energy on making a dinner I won’t personally eat) so we hodge podge something together, Travis makes dinner, or Travis eats leftovers while the girls and I have breakfast for dinner.

Exercise

Travis and I have gotten better about our exercise schedule again, and I’ve mostly been walking on our treadmill (since it’s frigid outside and/or I’m exercising after it gets dark) but I have done Pilates and strength training a couple times. There’s still room to improve here, but it’s better than nothing.

Sleep

I am so. over. sleeping on my sides. Between the difficulty of getting comfortable, needing to roll over every hour or so, having weird dreams, getting up to go potty, getting up to help Emma go potty (she’s a zombie), and Annabelle waking up at odd times, I am not sleeping the greatest at night. On the days I don’t work, I almost always take a 1-2 hour nap while Annabelle naps and Emma watches iPad. On the days I do work, I hit an afternoon slump like it’s nothing funny. But still, if this is my biggest problem in pregnancy, I am pretty blessed.

Nesting

I am excited to start getting the nursery and stuff ready for Jellybean! I pulled out all the 0-6 month gender-neutral clothes I have last week and have been looking at nursery ideas on Pinterest. We’re leaving Annabelle’s room pretty much how it is (since it’s decorated gender-neutral) but I want to hang up some antlers and a couple of canvases with a woodsy/deer theme and Jellybean’s (real) name.

Pregnancy #3: 22 Weeks

21 Nov

This pregnancy is flying by! I can’t believe that I’m over halfway already.

23722368_1675810179115964_8792944856374028945_nThere’s not a whole ton more to talk about in the past 4 weeks that I didn’t address in my first bump update but we did have our anatomy ultrasound at 20 weeks and found out that…

WE’RE HAVING A BOY!

We actually had the ultrasound technician write the gender down on a piece of paper without telling us what it was, then we gave it to our neighbor, Andrea, along with a black balloon and both blue and pink paint, and she filled the balloon for us. Then we pinned the filled balloon to a blank canvas and shot it with a shotgun (a little overkill?). The paint was blue! I posted the video on Instagram if you’re interested in watching (@specialkkluthe).

Travis is very excited about having a boy, and I am too, though ever the practical/responsible one, I’m also thinking through all the clothes, blankets, etc. that we’ll have to get for a boy, since all of our stuff after having two girls is pink and ruffles. But I’m trying to look at it as being exciting and not a chore. 😉

Annabelle had no reaction to the news that Jellybean is a boy, but Emma started sobbing over how she had wanted a sister (even though whenever we asked her before finding out, she said she wanted a brother). She’s not that sad anymore (though she still refers to the baby as a “she”), and I’m sure she’s going to have a blast with a little brother. I did remind her that I grew up with a younger brother, and I dressed him in dresses, put makeup on him, played Barbies with him–just because he’s a boy, doesn’t mean he won’t do stuff like that. But he’ll also think of fun games to play with Emma that she wouldn’t have thought of. And she likes rough-housing and getting dirty, so I’m guessing they’ll get along just fine.

Name

We had a boy’s name picked out for Annabelle (since we didn’t know what gender she was until she was born) so both Travis and I had assumed that we would just use that name, since we both still like it. But we apparently can’t agree on whether the full name would be what Jellybean goes by, or if he would go by a nickname. Travis says nickname, I say full name. I feel very strongly that we should name him what we want him to be called (that was the same case with Annabelle…she is not Anna or Belle, her name is Annabelle). So the jury is still out on the name.

Movement

I started feeling Jellybean kick around in my belly around 18 weeks. At first, it was just when I was lying down or being still, but now it’s pretty much all day long. It’ll be fun when his kicks are strong and consistent enough for the girls to feel them from the outside! (We took both of them to my 20-week ultrasound, thinking they’d find it interesting, but their attention span lasted about 5 minutes. Live and learn.)

Clothes

I’m pretty much fully in maternity clothes now. I still have some pre-pregnancy shirts that fit, but most mornings, it’s just easier to put on a maternity shirt, since I know it will fit. I bought a few more maternity shirts from Target, but they’re the kind without ruching on the sides, so I can wear them even after baby comes. 😉

I’m definitely needing more maternity pants, though. I lamented this when pregnant with Emma, and it’s still an issue–you would think that finding maternity pants that fit would be easier than finding regular pants because of the whole stretchy waistband thing, but nope, it’s just as hard. I looked at the limited stores around here with no luck, which is not surprising. I do love the jeans I bought from Old Navy a few months ago, and am probably going to just buy another pair since I know they fit well.

I also really want some maternity leggings and ordered some from Blanqi, but I tried them on and even though they were super comfy, they attracted dog hair like no tomorrow. So back they go. They’re not something I would wear to work, and if I can’t wear them around the house without being covered in dog hair, they are pretty much useless.

Food & Cravings

I don’t really have that many cravings these days, though I have been loving raw veggies and dip, and spinach artichoke dip. My main challenge these days is that I’m so tired, and have been so busy (way, way too busy), and Travis has been traveling for work, so I haven’t been meal planning like usual. But after Thanksgiving, my schedule is a lot more open, and Travis is done traveling for a while, so I’m hoping to get back into the habit of actual dinners.

Exercise

This is also something that has suffered with Travis’ travel schedule. I just do not have the energy to work out and watch the kids at the same time, or get up early/stay up late to work out when they’re sleeping. And since I usually end up falling asleep with Annabelle for her nap, that time doesn’t work either. So I haven’t been working out really at all. With Travis back now, I’m hoping to start doing at least 1-2 days of Pilates, and walking on the treadmill or outside. The girls and I haven’t played outside in weeks! (yikes) We’re due.

Sleep

The last couple weeks of sleep have been less than stellar. I’m already sick of sleeping on my sides, but my belly is not really comfy anymore, and my back is only comfy for so long. But if this is the worst of my pregnancy woes, I’m still lucky.

And that’s about it for 22 weeks!

Pregnancy #3: First 4 Months

12 Oct

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve already seen our announcement about expecting Baby #3 (whom we’re calling Jellybean) around March 26 of 2018. If you don’t, surprise! We’re having another baby! My due date is the day before Annabelle turns 3 and two weeks before Emma turns 5, so Jellybean will also be enjoying shared birthday parties with the girls until they are old enough to plan their own.

IMG_2705

IMG_2708Finding Out

I found out I was pregnant on July 23. Travis requested to be the one to check the pee stick this time, so he could know for 5 seconds before me. I had a hunch I was pregnant before I even took the test because I was just feeling off. I had been taking birth control, but not consistently (I frequently forgot to take it on the days I worked). We knew getting pregnant was a possibility (but seriously, what are the odds?). I think deep down, we both wanted another biological child, even though we are now officially licensed for foster care and are just waiting for a call.

Spilling the Beans

The experience of our miscarriage back in January made me very cautious about telling people this time around—not because a miscarriage (if it were to happen again) is something to be hidden, but because I didn’t want to get really excited and talk with others about a pregnancy if it wasn’t going to work out (obviously nothing is a given, even after a good ultrasound, but the odds are better).

So after we had been able to hear the heartbeat at my first OB appointment around 10 weeks, we told my immediate family when we saw them for my oldest brother’s 40th birthday. I told the ladies in my Bible study around 11 weeks, when I was going to have family (and announcement) pictures taken by one of them. We also told Emma and Annabelle then (more on their reactions below).

At 12 weeks, I had an ultrasound for dating purposes (my cycles on BC were wonky because I had been so inconsistent with taking it, but I was pretty sure about the date we had conceived). The baby’s measurements were within a day of what we had thought, so my original estimated due date of March 26 was kept. We called Travis’ parents and told them the good news around 13 weeks—we wanted to tell them in person, but just couldn’t find a time when we were all together. We texted Travis’ siblings that same night. And then announced it on IG and FB the next day.

Emma & Annabelle’s Reaction

The girls are very excited about getting a new brother or sister, and regularly ask me if the baby is still in my belly (since I’m just starting to show). They also pretend that they have a baby in their bellies, especially if they just ate a lot. Both of them love little babies, and showered the foster child we had briefly with loads of affection and attention, so I know they’re going to be awesome big sisters. We’re going to bring them to my 20-week ultrasound. Annabelle might not get it, but I think Emma will be fascinated!

Pregnancy Symptoms

I’m now 16.5 weeks and so far, this pregnancy has been pretty much on par with my pregnancies with Emma and Annabelle. I didn’t have morning sickness—just more of a general icky, nauseous feeling all day. Coffee and most food sounded disgusting, and I was super tired (Every day I was like, “Can’t we just stay inside and watch a movie instead of playing outside all the time?!?!”).

The thing that has been the worst with this pregnancy is bloating and constipation. I tried prunes, fiber bars and cereal, Metamucil (yuck), stool softener, prenatal vitamins with no iron, salads, drinking more water, you name it. The only thing that worked consistently was choking down a cup of coffee right away in the morning on an empty stomach. And the bloating—at night, I look like I’m 5 months pregnant. In the morning, I’m back to “normal”. Thankfully, this isn’t so bad now that I’m farther along.

I’ve gained about 10 pounds so far. Baby is measuring at the expected size and has a strong heartbeat. We find out the gender on November 8! But Travis is convinced that we need to have the technician write it down and figure out a creative way to be surprised along with our family. So we’ll see. My initial idea is shooting either pink or blue paint balls at a target (he says we should have something that explodes). Men. 😉

Food & Cravings

Even though most food sounded gross for the first 6-8 weeks, I did have a few cravings things I was willing to eat:

  • Frozen pizza
  • Cucumbers dipped in French dressing
  • Cheesy eggs
  • Chai tea lattes
  • Bagels with cream cheese
  • French fries
  • Potato chips
  • Chicken nuggets

More recently, my cravings have been:

  • Caesar salad or salad with ranch dressing
  • Asian food
  • Soup with salty broth

Similar to my other pregnancies, I have barely any sweet tooth. Instead, all I want is salt, salt, salt. For a bedtime snack, I would much rather have a bowl of pretzels or chips over ice cream. Unfortunately, most salty things are not the healthiest. I’m trying to maintain my regular eating habits as much as I can during this pregnancy, because I know from my previous pregnancies that getting out of the habit of eating healthy and practicing moderation is REALLY hard to break later. It’s just so hard when you’re craving fast food, you’re tired, and your husband is out of town!

Exercise

I’ve been running here and there, not for any distance or speed, but just to get out and enjoy it while I can. I have noticed a few aches and pains already, so I plan to start doing Pilates or yoga more consistently. We bought a treadmill last winter, so I am planning on putting that to good use for walking when it gets too cold or icky outside.

Sleep

Sleep has been pretty normal so far. I have been sleeping on my belly still quite a bit, soaking it up before it’s over for far too long. I’ve also been enjoying near-daily naps (on the days I don’t work) and usually fall asleep in the girls’ room around 9 PM while Annabelle is rolling around, fighting sleep. I have managed to get up around 6 or 6:30 quite a few mornings, which is nice. I’m a much happier person when I get some quiet time to drink coffee and read the Bible before having to interact with anyone (besides God).

Maternity Clothes

I put off wearing maternity clothes as long as I possibly could this pregnancy, and I’m still not wearing maternity shirts (though I do have a few tanks that are technically maternity, but I love them so much that I wear them regularly even when not pregnant). I just know that by the end, I get so sick of the limited wardrobe I have to wear that I’m really trying to not dip into them until I absolutely have to. And over the past couple of years, I have accumulated quite a few shirts that are longer and looser, so they actually work fairly well in these early days of “Is she pregnant or just gaining weight?”.

I have a couple pairs of non-maternity pants that still fit, but most of my pants give me major muffin top action (and are frankly no longer comfy) so I have mostly switched over to maternity pants, just in the past week or so. I bought a couple new pairs of skinny maternity pants (dark denim and black) from Old Navy, and plan to buy 3 plain t-shirts (black, gray and olive green) that I can pair with cardigan sweaters and scarves. Even though I still have my previous maternity clothes and the seasons are the same this time as before, my style has changed over the past 5 years.

And that’s the first 4 months! Like my pregnancy with Annabelle, I plan to only do monthly updates instead of weekly ones. We’ll see if I can even get that done. 😉