Tag Archives: pregnancy

Pregnancy #4: 36 Weeks

20 Apr

Only 1 month left! I waffle between being totally ready for baby to be born (and to be done being pregnant), and wanting baby to wait until we can get some more stuff done. Not like I have much choice in the matter though!

OB Appointments

I went in at 32 weeks, and my OB told me I didn’t have to come back in until 36 weeks, which honestly surprised me a bit. I feel like I had more appointments with my other pregnancies, but oh well, they are most often pointless until the end anyway. I have my next appointment this Friday, when they will test me for Group B Strep. I tested positive during all my other pregnancies, so am guessing I will during this one too.

Symptoms

I’m still having a lot of Braxton Hicks, but they have been very obviously not real contractions, so I haven’t worried as much about going into labor early. I still have quite a bit of downward pressure, and when I go to bed at night, it often seems like baby is trying to escape by punching my cervix and bladder. Everything I read online says that baby doesn’t drop in subsequent pregnancies until you go into labor, so I must just carry low, because I really am not sure how baby could get any lower without being in the birth canal.

My inner thigh/pelvic pain hasn’t been bad the last month. If I use my legs to move or close something, or carry something that is too heavy, it comes back with a vengeance for a few days, but otherwise, I’m feeling pretty good. Unless I have to pee. Then I can barely stand up and have to walk like a grandma to the bathroom.

I’m actually sleeping pretty decent at night — I’ve been taking 1 mg of melatonin, and it is a lifesaver! I have also been using my wedge pillow for the entire night. I sleep mostly on my back, and alternate with my sides a little too.

Similar to pregnancy #3 with Corbin, there are times when it seems like the skin on my belly cannot stretch any further. I see a few new stretch marks around my belly button (boo). I’ve gained about 25 lbs so far. It’ll be interesting to see how big baby is when she’s born. Emma was 7.7 and born on her due date; Annabelle was 7.15 and born at 38 weeks 2 days; and Corbin was 8.15 and born at 39 weeks 3 days.

Clothes

The number of shirts that fit over the belly continues to decrease. I have 4 pairs of leggings and 2 pairs of pants, but only 4-6 shirts that I wear at this point. I actually just broke down and bought a pair of maternity yoga/bike shorts to wear underneath the maternity dresses I have (just in time for winter to return, go figure!). It seems like wearing some type of bottoms helps hold the belly up, and it is just a good idea with kids (I had actually started wearing shorts under dresses even before this pregnancy). Hopefully the weather warms back up soon.

Food/Cravings

I have reached the point of pregnancy where nothing sounds good, and I just wish I had a personal chef to make all my meals. If someone else is making the food, I am fairly easy to please. But alas, even my husband who enjoys cooking is currently too busy with work to think about dinners, so we have been eating a hodge podge of frozen food and easy dinners. Whenever I get busy or tired, dinners are the first thing to drop off the priority list. I don’t mind going grocery shopping; I just don’t carve out the time to plan the meals. Fail to plan, plan to fail.

I do still have a fairly strong sweet tooth, though (and with the kids’ 3 birthdays back to back, we have eaten a lot of cake in the past month!). For breakfast every day, I have been eating an English muffin with PB & J with a glass of milk.

Nesting

The nursery is FINALLY set up. It’s not 100% done, but it’s so very close. The only thing I really have left to do in there is hang a couple shelves above the changing table. I will post more pictures when that is done. I am really loving how it has turned out so far though!

I also set up the baby swing that we borrowed from a friend, and pulled the rest of the baby stuff we’ll need right away (like the infant bathtub, Rock ‘n’ Play, baby toys, etc) out of our utility room. (It is very exciting to think that I will never be putting that stuff back into storage. Once baby is done with it, it’s gone!) I also got all her NB and 0-3 month clothing washed and put away, and bought a box of size 1 diapers at Costco (it seems like we always come home from the hospital with enough NB size ones — babies grow so fast!)

The next thing I need to get done is start packing my hospital bag, and make a list of all the last-minute things to pack.

Other things I want to get done before baby comes are:

  • Decorate the girls’ new room (there’s nothing on the walls in there yet)
  • Deep clean the house
  • Finish school/do standardized testing. That’s on the schedule for the first week of May.
  • Get the barnwood up on the new wall we built in the basement
  • Organize Travis’ office (it is still a disaster from moving upstairs for a couple months and then moving back to a different room in the basement)
  • Make a run to the dump
  • Find places to store the stuff I got from my dad and stepmom

I’m guessing that we won’t get all of that done, but having things to get done helps me be more patient in these last weeks of waiting.

Pregnancy #4: 28 Weeks

22 Feb

Hello from Florida! As of today, I am 28 weeks and in the third trimester! Only 3 months to go.

OB Appointments

I had my follow-up ultrasound on January 20, and even though Baby Girl still didn’t completely cooperate, the technician and my OB felt like the views they got were better, and good enough to be satisfied. The only thing they noticed on the ultrasound was a “small echogenic focus of the left ventricle”, which apparently could be an indication of Down’s Syndrome, but the genetic test for that came back negative, so neither the radiologist or my OB is concerned.

I go back in on March 8 for my gestational diabetes test. Even though I’ll be 30 weeks by then, and they usually do the test between 26-28 weeks, my OB said that since all my previous pregnancies have been healthy, and I’m at a healthy weight and blood pressure, she wasn’t concerned about waiting.

One other praise here is that when we had first gotten the genetic testing done at 13 weeks, we got a bill from our insurance for $1,100, saying they didn’t approve it because we didn’t get pre-approval. But the genetic testing place resubmitted it and somehow got it fully approved a different way, so it ended up being no cost to us! That’s a relief.

Symptoms and Exercise

I’m probably going to jinx myself but honestly, most days I feel pretty good. I do notice that if I overexert myself, my pelvis starts to hurt, making it hard to stand from sitting and I walk like a granny. There was one day down here in Florida that we went to a state park where the walk to the beach was 7/10 of a mile, mostly through loose sand. Travis was working, and Corbin wasn’t cooperating, so for quite a bit of that walk both ways, I was carrying Corbin and a 15-lb backpack. Uff da. I definitely felt it the next day. Thankfully it went away after a day or two. That unfortunately means running or even long walks are out for me from now until giving birth. But I am still getting 8K – 10K steps in a day down here!

I had been pretty consistent with doing my Prenatal Barre workouts on Beachbody a couple times a week from 20-24 weeks, but since we’ve been in Florida, I’ve only done one Beachbody workout — for two reasons: 1) We are on the second floor of a condo building, and our downstairs neighbors have complained about the noise, and 2) The Beachbody workouts are effective but also tiring, and I need all my energy just to keep up with these kids who are constantly wanting to go swimming. I definitely think the workouts have given me more core strength at this point than I have had in previous pregnancies, though, so I will getting back into those workouts once we get home!

Other symptoms I’ve had besides the occasional pelvic pain are occasional hamstring tightness, more stretch marks on the belly, a few varicose veins (getting old is a b!tch!), and some acne. Sometimes my belly feels small and manageable, other times it feels like it has its own zip code and weighs a ton of bricks.

Baby Girl has overall been super active — seemingly more active than my other pregnancies. Or maybe I just can’t remember.

Sleep

Sleep quality has been hit or miss. The first couple nights we were in Florida, I slept amazingly because we were so exhausted. Since then, I haven’t been sleeping the greatest at night. My back and hips start to ache, I roll over every hour or so, and anything in my bladder makes me feel like I’m going to pee my pants, so I sometimes get up to pee 3-4 times a night. Several nights, I look at my watch to find it’s 1 AM and feel like the night is lasting forever (but that could be because I’ve been going to bed with Corbin between 7:30 and 8:30…). I still take a 30-60 minute nap with Corbin each day when he goes down (Travis manages the girls while he works).

Food and Cravings

I really have missed being able to drink copious amounts of coffee and wine. There’s just something about relaxing with a beverage! I’ve been drinking more coffee than I probably should… 2-3 cups a day. And I’ve been eating too much candy and doughnuts. (Maybe that’s why Baby is so active?!) But hopefully the extra activity cancels that out… ?? I don’t have a scale down here, so it will be interesting to see how much weight I’ve gained when we get home!

Nesting

Before we left for Florida, I bought a floral swaddle and matching headband on Etsy, as well as a few adorable outfits that I couldn’t resist (but since we have all the girls’ old clothes, I’m trying to behave myself and not buy much more). Since we’re out of town right now, I haven’t been able to do any nesting or buy anything, though I have looked at ideas for family picture outfits a bit.

But when we get back at the beginning of March, it will be game on and T minus 2.5 months!

Pregnancy #4: 20 Weeks

2 Jan

I was 20 weeks this past Monday (halfway!!), and just had my 20-week ultrasound on Thursday. The ultrasound tech confirmed that Baby looks like a girl!

OB Appointments

We are moving life to Florida for the whole month of February (!!), so I had an OB appt in the middle of December and a short follow-up after my ultrasound this week. Baby Girl didn’t cooperate for views of the heart (though everything else looks great!) so I will have to go back in sometime in January for another ultrasound. Then I’ll go back at the beginning of March for my gestational diabetes visit (I’ll be 30 weeks by then, which seems crazy!).

Symptoms

Travis and I both tested positive for COVID-19 right after Thanksgiving. We quarantined for the required 10 days, and kept our kids home from things for another 10 days after that (they never had symptoms, and the girls’ tests came back negative, but it’s what the CDC says to do). Travis’ symptoms were body aches, low energy, and loss of taste and smell. I had a low-grade fever, headache, mild cough (that might be more related to acid reflux than COVID), upset stomach, and low energy. It took us pretty much the whole 10 days to feel back to normal, and even then, the lack of energy lingered some. But it wasn’t too bad for us. My OB wasn’t at all concerned with me getting COVID (since it wasn’t serious for us), and said that it was actually better for me to get it now than in later pregnancy.

Other symptoms I’ve had since my last post at 13 weeks have been constipation (my biggest issue with all my pregnancies), a hard time falling back asleep in the middle of the night, and exhaustion. I pretty much take a 30-45 minute nap every day when Corbin goes down for his nap. The girls either watch iPad or just continue playing downstairs; Travis is available if they need anything.

Name

We have pretty much narrowed our first name options down to two that we both like, and we know what Baby’s middle name will be. Not sharing yet though!

Maternity Clothes

I have been wearing maternity pants since about 8 weeks. Between the constipation, bloating, and this being my fourth child, I probably looked just as pregnant then as I do now!

I still have several pre-pregnancy shirts I can wear, because I have bought quite a few longer, looser tops over the past couple of years. Which is good because my style has changed since having Emma (my first) and some of my original maternity clothes are meh to me now.

Food and Cravings

My biggest craving this pregnancy has been Asian food. I have been loving chicken fried rice from Costco (freezer section), chicken or pork dumplings, and sushi (the cooked kind!). I have also eaten McDonald’s more often than I should, though I am trying to behave myself. I bought an 8 lb bag of crinkle fries from Costco hoping that might satisfy my craving for French fries at home.

Travis has lamented that our once-healthy diet has morphed back into more processed and frozen food, but it is so hard to eat what you “should” and not what you WANT when you’re pregnant!! I do enjoy big salads, though, (with lots of dressing!) so trying to eat those more often, instead of what the kids are eating for lunch (usually mac & cheese, quesadilla, or PB&J).

Exercise

I haven’t been exercising as much as I would like, but I have been doing the Prenatal Barre videos on Beachbody 1-2 times a week. I really like those videos because the instructor is super encouraging (even if she does talk maybe a little too much) and I can tell my core is stronger at the halfway point than it has been in previous pregnancies when I’ve only done cardio for exercise.

Last weekend, I walked/jogged on the treadmill for the first time in 3-4 months, and it actually went really well. So hoping to do that some more too!

Sleep

My sleeping habits so far haven’t changed a ton from pre-pregnancy. I start the night on my wedge pillow (for acid reflux) sleeping on my back or side. Usually somewhere around 2 or 3 AM, I get up to go to the bathroom and ditch the wedge, keeping my two main pillows. Then I sleep on my stomach until morning. I’ve still been getting away with sleeping on my stomach by rolling slightly to one side and propping myself up with the opposite leg, but unfortunately I don’t think that’s going to last much longer. Sad day.

Nesting

I boxed up all our boy clothes that Corbin has grown out of almost immediately after we found out we were having a girl, and was able to organize the girls’ bigger sizes (we were running out of room and totes!).

Then Thanksgiving weekend, we sold a bunch of stuff on Facebook Marketplace, moved the girls’ beds and dresser down to their new “room” in the basement, and started repainting their old room. We (I mean, Travis ) just finished painting it this past weekend and he’s now trying out that room as his office. If he stays there, Corbin will move down to his old office, and Corbin’s current room will be baby’s. If Travis decides to stay downstairs after all, the newly painted room will be baby’s. We will decide all that after we get back from Florida!

I would LOVE to finish off the girls’ new room (the space could be a legal bedroom, but the previous owners didn’t make it one) before baby comes but that ball is really in Travis’ court. It’s a big project – we need to build a wall, fix and add electrical, do a bunch of sheet rocking, replace the flooring, and then paint. He has already prepared me for it to not happen before then so we’ll see!

Pregnancy #4: First Trimester

12 Nov

We are expecting our fourth child in May! My official due date is May 17, two days before our wedding anniversary. But since our first three kids arrived either early or on their due date, I highly doubt the date will be shared.

That means I am 13.5 weeks along. So far, this pregnancy has been very different than any of the others, not so much in terms of physical symptoms but in mental experience. (Though I am showing much more at 13 weeks this time around!!)

Back in June, I had an ectopic pregnancy. We caught it before it got bad. I had had weird bleeding for a while, then when I started having stabbing pain, I took a pregnancy test. It was positive, so I went to the ER pretty much right away. I had surgery within a few hours, and went home the next morning. Because of COVID, I was in there alone. It was a lonely experience but I felt God increase my faith and reliance on Him.

They took out the whole Fallopian tube that was affected, but assured me I could still get pregnant with just one. I didn’t know how long it would take, but after waiting two cycles to try again (what the doctor had told me to do), we got pregnant that first month. I took the pregnancy test on September 9 and it was positive!

Another reason this pregnancy has been different is that we had wanted to start trying back in the summer of 2019. Unfortunately I had been on the depo provera method of birth control, and I discovered after going off of it, it can take up to 18 months to get pregnant. It took 9 months for my period to come back. And then I had the ectopic. So this pregnancy/baby was waited and longed for far more than any of my others. We had given ourselves until the end of this year, and if I didn’t get pregnant by then, we figured we were meant to have only three biological kiddos. (Which is still a huge blessing, don’t get me wrong!)

Another way it’s different is that at age 37, I am now of “advanced maternal age” and insurance (supposedly) covers extra things like genetic testing at 12 weeks, and a detailed ultrasound and fetal echo at 20 weeks. We have already done the genetic testing and know that we are having another GIRL. Honestly, we were hoping for a boy to even things out, but we trust God’s wisdom. And baby is healthy so I am incredibly grateful about that.

Because of my history with the ectopic pregnancy, I had ultrasounds early. My first was at (what we thought was) 6 weeks. But unfortunately, only the gestational sac and yolk sac were visible. The tech explained that it could just be too early — maybe my dates were off. (I do think that I ovulated slightly late.)

So I had a couple of HCG tests to make sure things were trending in the right direction (which they were, but I had had a miscarriage back in 2017 so this was bringing up bad memories and lots of anxiety), and we went back for another ultrasound a week later. That was such a long week!! This whole first trimester has felt like waiting on pins and needles for more information. We hadn’t planned on telling anyone for a while but I needed my friends to know what was going on and to pray, so I told my Bible study ladies and another close friend.

Thankfully, at my second ultrasound, there was baby with a heartbeat. Baby measured 5 days behind where we thought I should be, but apparently you have to be more than 5 days off at that point for them to change it. So my original EDD of May 17 was kept.

Physically, I felt sicker with this pregnancy than my others, but I have noticed a correlation between being really active (maybe “overdoing it”) and feeling sick, so I’m guessing it has something to do with the fact that this time around, I have 3 kids, am homeschooling, and am just that much older (Corbin will be a couple months over age 3 by May).

My cravings, on the other hand, have been practically the exact same as my other pregnancies — salty foods and fruity things (including fruit itself). Probably my number one craving is Asian food, followed very closely by French fries. Sweet things have lost a lot of their appeal.

My acid reflux is NOT loving my pregnancy cravings. Interestingly, since getting pregnant, my acid reflux hasn’t manifested itself in a burning in my throat, but instead, my chest just feels tight and it’s a little harder to breathe. Which also makes it hard to know when I’m having acid reflux. But I will say it’s a lot more comfortable.

My biggest goal in this pregnancy is to keep exercising, even when I don’t think I have the energy for it. I found a Prenatal Barre program on Beachbody that I’ve been doing, and the best part is that the instructor has a whole bunch of 10-minute workouts (the regular workouts are 30 minutes long). I’m hoping/planning to do one of those 10-minute workouts most days. They are definitely effective, even if they’re short!

My other goal in this pregnancy, and the main reason for finding out gender so early, is to purge clothes and organize our utility room. Clothes take up so much room! We need more space for other things.

I’m also trying to convince my husband that we should frame and drywall a wall to close off our extra bedroom space downstairs so that the girls can move into that space, and baby can have her own room. (Corbin would keep his room.) We’ll see how it goes.

Emma and Annabelle are totally pumped about having a baby sister (they’ll have just turned 8 and 6 when baby arrives). Corbin is just starting to notice my belly is getting bigger. I think he’ll start to understand more when I’m obviously not just getting fat.

We did a piñata gender reveal for the kids, but apparently Emma had overheard Travis and me talking earlier that day, so she already knew it was a girl. (Stinker!) The girls still had a blast hitting the piñata— and getting the pink candy!

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.

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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. 😉

Pregnancy #2 Update: 9 Months

17 Mar

I am 37 weeks today, and boy do I feel it. I don’t remember the end of my pregnancy with Emma being this uncomfortable but it probably was. Regardless, I am so incredibly ready to be done being pregnant. Everything is five times harder with a giant belly and all the fun side effects that go with it.

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*Commence whining.*

Standing up makes me out of breath and hurts my back. It seems I’ve developed a pulled muscle on one side of my belly that is fairly painful if I twist wrong or get a Braxton Hick contraction standing up. Baby has dropped so I’m now getting up 3-4 times a night to pee — not because I really *have* to go that often but because having anything at all in my bladder makes my belly rock hard. In addition to that being extremely uncomfortable, it also makes me feel like I have to pee more than I have to. Baby being low also means I’m dealing with some sciatic pain. My tailbone is mostly healed from my fall down the stairs, which is good because that was very limiting.

*Whining over.*

I AM thankful to have a healthy baby, healthy pregnancy and to be finally getting some energy back! I think the nesting instinct is finally kicking in a little bit. I’m not going crazy rearranging closets and deep-cleaning our house, but I at least have had the energy to get the nursery organized, start packing hospital bags, pull out our infant carseat, and keep our household running with some semblance of order and healthiness.

But exercise… that has fallen by the wayside. Last week, the weather was absolutely gorgeous so I did get out on a few short (very slow) walks, but this big old belly is too large and in charge for biking anymore, and going to the gym to swim sounds like a lot of work. So yeah. Triathlon training hasn’t advanced as much as I was hoping but such is life. I definitely haven’t had the energy levels with this pregnancy that I did with my first. I blame running around after a toddler, and having not only my own sleep issues to deal with, but hers too. Oy.

I’ve gained pretty much the same amount of weight with this pregnancy as I did with Emma (a little over 30 pounds thus far), but it seems to all be in the belly. Shirts that fit me my entire pregnancy last time no longer fit this time, so getting dressed is a fun challenge! I looked for some more maternity clothes at Target but they always have the cute stuff when I’m not pregnant. I’m also so. over. pants going over the belly so I might just start wearing dresses more often, now that it’s nice outside (nice meaning in the 40s and 50s). Thank goodness I can wear flip-flops finally. Shoes were getting tricky. I have had less swelling this time around too, which has been nice, though the cankles have made an appearance a few times (usually on days when I haven’t been as good about drinking enough water, which makes sense). I did take my wedding rings off though, just to be safe.

At my prenatal appointment last Friday, my doctor tested me for Group B Strep and checked my cervix. Nothing is happening so far, but I’m pretty sure I tested positive for Group B Strep again. It’s not a huge deal — I had it with Emma and got antibiotics during labor — but I was kind of hoping to avoid that this time around. Ah well. My main goals for labor/delivery (after a healthy baby of course) is to not need Pitocin or a c-section! Other than that, I don’t really have a “plan”.

The nursery is finally done! I am planning to take some pictures in the next week or so, and post a little nursery tour here on the blog. I wasn’t so sure about how it was going to turn out but I like it a lot now that it’s done. Travis and I are also mostly decided on names, but I’m going to wait to share until the baby arrives.

And that’s pretty much it! Emma’s birthday party is this coming Saturday, so I have lots to do this week getting ready for that. It’s gonna be fun!