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I’m going to post this without pictures for now because I haven’t uploaded them yet and don’t have time right now, but I’ll try to post them soon.

 

*This is the TMI version of the birth. Blood, amniotic fluid and all. If that disturbs you, I’d recommend skipping this post.*

 

*Birth isย usually aย beautiful event. It is also a painful and sometimes dramatic event. This birth was mostly calm, but I don’t sugar-coat the pain. Just know that it was all 100% worth it and I wouldn’t change a thing because this is the way that my baby came into my arms and I am so thankful and blessed to have him here.*

 

I have a few spare minutes so I thought I’d try to get the birth story written down. It’s already getting very fuzzy on timelines and details but that’s ok. It was an absolutely beautiful birth. Horribly intense but very short labor. 38 weeks 5 days, the day before I was going to be induced, I spent the day at home with the boys just spending time together, cleaning up the house and getting the last items thrown in the hospital bags. We skipped nap time in favor of an early bedtime. The boys were in bed by 8pm and DH and I went to bed a little before 9. Of course, despite taking Unisom and a natural sleep supplement my sister L gave me, I didn’t fall asleep until after 11 and sleep was very fitful after that. I had to be up at 2:40am to get ready to leave for the hospital, but I woke up a little after 2 with pain in my leg and nervousness running crazy, so I got up around 2:20 and got a shower, curled my hair and had breakfast. We left the house a bit after 3:30 and got to the hospital at about 5am.

 

 

Once we got admitted to our room, the nurse hooked me and baby up to the monitor, asked 20 million questions and tried to start an IV. She couldn’t get it after 2 tries, so she had another nurse come in and get it started. That whole IV process took over half an hour! At that point, she flushed an entire bag of fluid through me and started the pitocin at 2 at about 7am or a little after. She checked me to get a starting point and I was 3cm, 60% effaced and baby was -2 station.

 

 

The contractions started soon after but were very mild, very short and not too frequent. (registering around 50 on the toco monitor)The next set of nurses came on shift right after that. One was in training and had only been there a few days and the other was so young, she couldn’t have been there long herself. They came in every half hour to increase the Pitocin by 2 and check my blood pressure. At 8:59am, I texted my mom to tell her that the contractions were getting stronger. At 9:04, I told her they were close. The Dr come in right after that to talk about breaking my water. I told her I didn’t want to yet and she asked when I would want her to. I told her, maybe in 4 hours. She said that was ok, but a long time and maybe 2 hours would be better and she would come back to check later. I asked her how high we were going to go on the Pitocin since I was VBAC and she said that they don’t usually induce VBACs so she couldn’t answer that. Then she left. At that point I had cycled through laboring in the bed, in the rocking chair and was now on the birth ball.

 

 

By the time they had bumped me to 6 on the pitocin, I told the nurse that I wouldn’t be able to stand much more. My contractions were over 124+ on the toco and happening very frequently. (From my labor with Levi, I knew that the pitocin on 3 was already too much for my body and they had to turn it off. Pathetic I know, but my uterus responds very very strong to just a tiny tiny bit.) I texted my mom at 9:25 that the contractions were much worse and very close, then at 9:33 I told her she should leave the house to come to the hospital soon! (They have a 1.5+ hour drive too) The nurse bumped the Pitocin to an 8 and I knew I couldn’t go any higher. The pressure and pain were horrendous by that point and I asked them to turn it down. I was trying to labor kneeling over the bed, and later standing while leaning on the bed. They kept saying that we wanted this kind of contractions and it was good, but from having been in labor before, I knew this was wayyy too intense for my body. Labor with Levi was very manageable. I could walk around and stop to squat with the contractions. I could breathe through them (until transition) but with these, I couldn’t bear it. I was breaking down crying and moaning very loudly and no matter how hard I tried to relax into the contraction and breathe through it, I couldn’t. They were coming very fast and the pain was completely localized on my c-section scar and intense downward pressure. Finally the nurses asked the Dr what to do and came back to the room to flush another bag of IV fluid through me and turn the Pitocin down to 4. Which helped space the contractions just a bit, and dimmed the pain enough that I stopped hyperventilating. My face and then my legs had gone numb from not being able to slow my breathing down, and my vision was getting weird, which was exactly what happened in my labor with Levi during transition. I kept saying “I’d think I was in transistion if it wasn’t so soon.” And the nurses and DH kept telling me that I probably was and that I should let the Dr come check me. I decided to try getting in the shower first because I couldn’t handle hearing that I hadn’t made any progress yet.

 

 

I got in the shower to sit on the seat for about 5 minutes, if that. It felt amazing and calmed me down, but the Dr came in the room again and asked if I wanted her to check me now or in 2 hours. I decided to do it now, even though I hated to get out of the shower, because I couldn’t imagine 2 more hours of this kind of labor. I had asked her at my first check, when I should get the epidural line placed and she said I didn’t have to. But at this point, hearing me while I was working through the pain and having 3 more contractions just getting out of the shower, she said I should go ahead and get it placed. I’m not sure if she became concerned because of the pain I was having or what, but all the pain was still localized to the scar area and downward pressure. She had talked earlier about putting a pressure monitor in my uterus to make sure I wasn’t rupturing, (never knew any such thing existed!) but said my water would have to be broken first. I didn’t have any scar pain with Levi, so that was new! Anyway, the Dr checked me and said I was 8cm, then she left the room with no other comment. I thought that was weird since I knew she wanted to break my water soon, but she was very respectful of what I wanted and I appreciated that she wasn’t pushy at all. It was just so completely different from my experience with the Dr who delivered Levi. Night and day.

 

 

So, the anesthesiologist showed up right away (DH took a call from my mom right about then at 10:47am) and I was thrilled to see him! All through my pregnancy, I had been on the fence about getting the epidural dosed this time but I had decided I would go with whatever felt right at the time. I asked him what my options were for pain if I still wanted to get out of bed. (I had been to the bathroom about 800 times at that point and didn’t want to be stuck in bed or have a catheter.) He suggested a dose of fentanyl through the epidural line and said that would probably hold me over till the birth since the birth would be soon. I thought that was a great option! What I didn’t know was that it would make me itch all over and feel very warm, but it was worth it! He also gave me a shot ofย pepcid which was supposed to help the itching. I felt so much relief from the fentanyl! I was able to lay down in bed and rest my body. I had been shaking really badly through the pain and I finally calmed down and could breathe. At that point, my MIL, FIL, SIL and niece arrived. I was calm and able to talk to DH and my SIL between contractions for a little bit while everyone else waited in the waiting room. Then the contractions started hurting like crazy again and I was back in the dire pain situation again. I’m not sure how much time had passed. Maybe an hour? I could feel a warm sensation with each contraction. It felt like the water was flowing out of my body, but it hadn’t broken yet. I think that was the water bag bulging….

 

 

My parents arrived and I continued to work through the pain and contractions. My Dad stood by the bed looking quite helpless. I halfway felt bad for him and halfway found it quite humorous. He eventually left to go sit with my FIL. When I went to use the bathroom, there was quite a lot of blood and I got scared but the nurse said it was normal. After a little while, I was clinging to the bed rail, half sitting during the contractions, crying and starting to freak out again. The nurse checked me and said I was 10cm and my water bag was bulging. She said if we could break the water, baby would come fast. I was so scared to get my water broke, mostly because I didn’t know how I could cope with any more pain, but I agreed to let the Dr come break my water. My mom, DH and the nurses were all telling me to just let the Dr do it so we could get the pain and delivery over with. Right after the nurse left the room, I felt two pops around my belly button. A couple of seconds passed and then water started gushing out. It wasn’t nearly as much water as I’d had with Levi, but it was much less painful to have it break on its own rather than having a Dr digging in there with the hook. I was so relieved that the Dr didn’t have to break it. At this point, the contractions were so incredibly intense with pressure, but I still didn’t have the urge to push. DH went to get the nurse and she came back in the room a few minutes later. I don’t think she was at all convinced my water had gone but she called for the Dr. I told the nurse I wanted the pitocin off because I was contracting so fast and hard. She wouldn’t turn it off and I was like “I am obviously having the baby now. My labor isn’t going to stop.” But anyway, when she left the room, I turned the drip off. I know I shouldn’t have, but it seemed so stupid to have it still running and causing me so much extra intense pain.

 

 

At that point, a few minutes before 1pm, I told the nurse that I wanted another dose of fentanyl. The anesthesiologist said that wasn’t allowed so I asked for a small dose of the epidural. Everyone was all “You don’t need it! You’ll be having the baby in a few minutes!” But I insisted that I did want it. I had pretty much made up my mind that I wanted something to take the edge off during pushing and in case I ended up with a million stitches again. So, the anesthesiologist came in again and I explained that I wanted only the very smallest amount of medicine possible. I wanted to be able to move my legs and change positions and push in whatever position felt right. Not to be numb entirely or unable to move my legs. He said he had just the thing and gave me a shot through the line. He said to lay on my back for 7-10 minutes to let the medicine work. I couldn’t though. I had to sit up. I couldn’t handle even one contraction laying down.

 

 

The Dr arrived right after that and checked me. She told me to start pushing. I had been sobbing and saying “I don’t want to push!” over and over. I feel kind of silly looking back now. ๐Ÿ˜‰ But I realized later that the reason I didn’t want to push was because I was so worried I would hemorrhage again. That and I was afraid I would tear. Anyway, I still didn’t have the urge to push, just the incredible intense pressure I had felt all day. That and the horrible pain in my incision which was overriding every other sensation in my body. But the Dr just started counting, so I pushed. 3 pushes and his head was right there. I think I pushed through 4 contractions, 2 or 3 pushes each time. Once his head was halfway out, she said to stop and let my body stretch so I wouldn’t tear (with Levi I wasn’t told to stop and that probably caused a lot of the tearing). She said he would come out on his own with the next contraction. I impulsively reached down and felt Zane’s head. It was so warm and soft. I couldn’t wait to get him out! Once I had another contraction, out he popped at 1:09pm, with his right hand up by his face just like it always was in my ultrasounds. I think I pushed about 6 minutes. The nurse had covered my belly with a towel and I kept pushing it away and she kept moving it back. I was getting so annoyed! I wanted the baby right on me. His cord was very short so he couldn’t go on my chest until DH cut it about a minute after birth. (I wanted to wait longer but the Dr said they will only wait 1 minute – oh well) FINALLY, they moved Zane up onto my chest and it was such an incredible feeling. He cried, I cried…. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

The placenta was out a minute or 2 later with no issues. The Dr said I had a tiny tear (Yep! I felt that happening!) and needed 2 stitches. Thankfully, the epidural had worked its way to where I needed it and the stitching wasn’t painful. During the pushing, I had sensation but not so much burning as I had with Levi. I’m not sure if that was due to the epidural starting to take effect or if it was just an easier birth. Either way, I was very happy with how everything went. I wouldn’t change a thing!! I lost very little blood and was up and walking to the bathroom less than 2 hours later. I felt amazing! Not like I had just had a baby. I have had seriously almost no soreness down there at all. I can’t believe the difference in healing this time. I am so thankful for how God worked everything out!! I know DH was praying all through the labor and so was I. I had my mom, MIL, SIL, and sisters S and M and of course, DH there during the birth and it was perfect. I had been on the fence about having so many people in the room again, but I don’t regret it at all. I know they were all praying for us and it just felt cozy and happy. I am also so happy that I got the Dr that I had that day. When I had a prenatal check up with her, I had told DH that I would be happy with her at the birth and she really was great. ๐Ÿ™‚ And honestly, even though we had young and very fresh nurses, they did a great job and I am happy that they got to see us all the way through the labor and birth.

 

So, all told, I had 6 hours of labor, but only 3.5 hours of hard labor. If I had went into labor at home and waited to see if it was the real thing and called my sister to come watch the kids and had DH come home from work and then drove over 1.5 hours to the hospital – we likely would have either barely made it in time, or had the baby in the car. Of course, it’s possible that labor would have been slower without pitocin, but who knows how much more I might have dilated before labor started. I think it was a good call to induce and I don’t regret it even though I thought I might. And I am happy Zane was born without any distress aside from a few minor dips in heartrate during the labor. Just so thankfulย he was born safeย and happy. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

We stayed in the hospital for 2 days. We were going to go home the next day but Zane’s bilirubin came back at 5.1, so we opted to stay at the pediatrician’s request because of how bad Levi’s jaundice had gotten. They wanted to watch him another night just in case. The next day it was 7.8 but my milk was coming in at that point and he was out of the danger zone. ๐Ÿ™‚ It was nice to have another day in the hospital, mostly because Zane had come so fast that he choked on the mucus all night that hadn’t been squeezed through his lungs. I felt better having the nurses nearby because I ended up buzzing them once when I couldn’t get the mucus suctioned out and I started to get scared. Obviously, he was fine. Also, he was so sore after the circumcision that I was glad he had a day to heal before coming home and being passed around and held by his big brothers. We missed Tru and Levi so much and they missed us too and ended up crying on the second night but we talked to them on the phone and they were alright. ๐Ÿ™‚ Little Zane is 1 week old today!! He is such a calm and happy baby. He has woken up about 2 times a night, every night since he was born. Hoping that he keeps doing so well. I am so thankful for my Third Gracious Gift of God. ๐Ÿ™‚

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How far along? 31 weeks 5 days (9-22-17) Yes, I missed my 30 week update. Last week was crazy! I’ll try to do a little recap below.

 
Symptoms? Queasy, breathless, some swelling that comes and goes. Restless legs and the occasional grab of round ligament pain. Pain in the front of my pelvis…. I know there are a few other things but I’m drawing a blank right now….. I guess I still feel pretty good. ๐Ÿ™‚

 
Weight? I forgot to weigh myself today. I think about +33-34ish. It’s hard to tell with the swelling. I was +31 and then dropped to +29, then up to +34 overnight and have been bouncing up and down. All I know is, I am definitely feeling the extra pounds!

 
Sleep? Not so good. For some reason, Zane will oftentimes push his feet out really hard if I try to lay on my right side. (I looked back on my updates with Levi and he didn’t like me laying on my left side.) It’s almost like he isn’t comfortable that way. So I have been sleeping mostly on my left but waking up on my back a lot.

 
Exercise? I got in 2 days last week but only 1 this week. It’s getting harder to motivate myself to exercise instead of taking advantage of the boys’ naptime to catch up on some rest myself!

 
Cravings/aversions? I am definitely feeling more aversions to foods. I am not able to eat as much at a time (FINALLY!!!!!) and lots of stuff just doesn’t sound as good. I am totally ok with that as I feel it is a good thing at this stage of pregnancy (and weight gain). ๐Ÿ˜‰

 
Bump? Oh boy! I feel like it stayed modestly sized for quite awhile after the initial bump poppage happened. But now it is definitely feeling larger and heavier and much lower! Next week is the start of our weekly (for now) NSTs. The Dr asked me at my appointment last week if I wanted to do them once a week or twice. I told her, let’s start with once and if my anxiety gets the best of me or if anything comes up, we’ll go to twice a week. She was happy with that plan. ๐Ÿ™‚ I also asked her if she is comfortable with me going to my due date and she said no, she wants to induce by 39 weeks. I was/am hoping to avoid induction (and definitely hoping we can safely birth baby without a C-section) and I knowย my Drย would much prefer I go into labor on my own as well. So here’s hoping that labor starts on it’s own before the induction date if baby is ready and happy to come out.

 

 

Ok, so last week was so busy and I’m already forgetting the majority of how it went…. Sunday: Went to church, stopped at the store so I could buy some glue on nails (to match the dress I bought for maternity pictures), picked up a pizza for lunch and drove to the park for our family/maternity pictures. After that was done, we went to my parent’s house (my mom had beenย overseas on a tripย for almost 3 weeks at that point) and I helped Dad get stuff cleaned up. He had been working on the brakes on our truck since they had went out on me a few weeks prior, so we took our truck home.
Monday: I sat around the house all day worrying about the baby because he hadn’t moved much. I debated whether I should go get checked out and finally by 7pm or so, I decided to go to triage for peace of mind. DH stayed home with the boys, which was good because I didn’t get home till midnight. Baby was fine, obviously, but they did comment on his heart arrhythmia which was very pronounced that day. The Dr said to follow up with them about it. They also checked his fluid which was good at 12.1cm.
Tuesday: Up bright and early for my check up and growth ultrasound. My brother went with me to watch the kids because I didn’t have anyone who could babysit. The ultrasoundย measuredย baby’s fluid around 13cm. Zane weighed approx 3lbs 14oz. I was shocked that he is that big already but the tech said that was *only* the 61st percentile and wasn’t too big. They watched his heart for a long time because of the arrhythmia. Unfortunately, the Dr didn’t have the ultrasound report before I had my visit with her, so I don’t know if everything looked good or not. I’m hoping that it is all well. I mentioned that the soles of my feet have been itchy so she sent me for labs and they came back good. ๐Ÿ™‚
Wednesday: I took the kids to story time in the morning and we hung out at home the rest of the day. In the evening, I was just getting ready to start supper when DH called on his way home. That’s rather unusual so I knew immediately something must be wrong. He did, in fact, go off the road into a ditch. The roads were wet because it had been raining all day. He did a 360 through a soybean field and took out a road sign. Thank the Lord, he was not hurt at all! He missed a power line pole by just a few feet. That could have been significantly worse! His back was a little sore but that was it. His car looks worse for wear with the passenger door smashed and the mirror missing, but aside from ripping the brake lines out, it is fine. He managed to get it out of the ditch and into a very sweet family’s driveway. The man helped him fix the brakes so he could drive home. We were so thankful for his help and for God keeping DH safe. ๐Ÿ™‚
Thursday and Friday: Are totally coming up blank in my memory… Oh dear…. OH! I remember now… I cleaned for 6 hours straight on Friday. I went into full-on nesting mode and everything that seemed *gross* had to be cleaned.ย (Note: Everything seemed gross.)ย DH got sucked into my cleaning frenzy and we didn’t eat supper until super late. But the house was clean(er) and I was happy(er)…..Until the next day when I woke up so sore I could hardly function and had to take Tylenol just to move. Which wasn’t good because…
Saturday: The big walk/fundraiser for our local pregnancy center. They provide so much incredible help and resources to the moms, dads and babies/young children in our area. I didn’t know how I would make it for the whole walk, but I did! DH played music at the event also. Afterwards we went home and relieved my MIL from babysitting and I laid down for a short but extremely needed nap. Then we went to DH’s cousin’s wedding. I was wiped out at the end of that day!

 

 

Shew! That was longer than I realized. This week was less crazy but still a little busy. My sister came and stayed a couple days with us and babysat Levi while I took Tru to his follow up with the Pediatrician. He gained a half pound and hasn’t had an unexplained fever or belly pain in awhile, so we are supposed to go back in December to check in. ๐Ÿ™‚ The church had prayed over Tru a fever weeks ago and he has been doing great. We very much want to continue on with him feeling better!! The Dr just said to keep him on stool softener for now. He is back on moderate amounts of dairy and not taking Prevacid. ๐Ÿ™‚
We did a little shopping after the appointment since it was just me and Tru. I plan to have a one-on-one day with each of the boys in the next week or so. They desperately need to have my full attention for a day! I can’t believe how mature Tru is lately. Like today, we were going to a little street fair type of thing and he asked me if there would be rides there and if so, would that make his hat blow off. I was surprised that he thought ahead like that! He moved to a big boy bed last night and was so excited about it! He was asking to go to bed a full hour+ before bedtime. Awhile later he decided he didn’t like it and was scared, so I went and snuggled him for a bit. He still couldn’t sleep so I promised him we would go buy a nightlight for his room today. I arranged all his 500(ish) stuffed animals around his feet like he likes to have them and he finally fell asleep. He woke up this morning and announced he likes his new bed and wants to sleep in it tonight! Levi asked him “Why?” (of course!) and Tru said “All my animals are waiting for me.” SO CUTE!!! We went and bought him and Levi both a nightlight for their rooms and they were even excited to take naps. Score!! ๐Ÿ™‚ The plan was to get Levi moved to the crib-converted-to-toddler-bed tonight, but I didn’t get it done yet. Maybe tomorrow.

 

Ok, this is getting too long.

 

Dear God, thank You for your protection and provision for us these last two weeks. Thank You for keeping DH safe. Please continue to watch over and protect each and every one of us. In Jesus’ name, amen.

 

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How far along? 23 weeks 6 days (7-29-30) Just hours away from viability! I was reading online the other day and a girl who is due around the same time as me commented that she is almost to the third trimester and I was thinking “Well, that’s still awhile away really.” And then today it hit me, that’s only a few weeks! (3-4, depending on who you talk to.) Like, tomorrow is 6 months! (Also, depending on who you talk to.) That’s just…. incredible.

 

 

 

Symptoms? Lightheaded several days this week. Random, short bouts of queasiness. Restless legs. Braxton Hicks contractions, which are surprisingly strong at times. Brings back thoughts of labor like a tidal wave!

 

 

 

Weight? +22

 

 

 

Sleep? I realized I cut this question out without meaning to. Until recently, it’s been about as good or bad as it usually is, with a few extra wake ups to pee. But the last few nights, Truett keeps waking up randomly and not being able to sleep. And in turn, once I’m back to bed, I can’t fall back to sleep as quickly as usual. It takes at least 3 to 4 pillows to be comfortable on my side at night or else I get pelvic pain. With my pillows, I’m fine. It takes a bit of arranging but it works. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

 

Cravings/aversions? Nothing new. But I’ve got Truett and Levi both begging for freezes now. ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

 

Baby buys? I had $30 off in coupons to a local store that sells baby clothes etc, so I stopped in there this week and bought Zane 3 outfits and a 2 pack of stretchy baby blankets for around $11 altogether! I was so excited. So were the boys because they love snuggling the new blankets and “trying them out”. Haha. Levi desperately wanted to try on the baby clothes and stripped down to try to put the pants on. Of course, that didn’t work too well. ๐Ÿ˜€ I also picked up another 2 pack of thermal baby blankets. And I got white shirts for Tru, Levi and myself and I’m hoping to use them in our maternity photo shoot…. although, the photographer didn’t get back with me on the date yet so…

 

 

 

Bump? Baby’s kicks are so much more forceful this week! I think I said that last week as well but this week, they catch me by surprise. He’s started those lovely “cervix kicks”. (Not sure if that’s actually what is going on, but that is what it feels like.) He gets my belly shaking around and sometimes he’s sticking out more on one side, usually the right. I feel like my belly is always changing shape, size and height but I’m pretty sure he’s still breech since the majority of his strong kicks are in my low abdomen. But the hiccups are also low down so… who knows. This morning, DH was talking to Zane with his face against my belly and Zane popped him right in the nose several times. It got us quite to laughing. I love those bonding moments. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

 

Exercise? I used the elliptical 3 days this week! I increased my time to 30 minutes and I feel good keeping it there now. That’s enough time that I am sweaty and ready for a break, but not feeling over-tired. I’ve been taking advantage of the boys naptime to shower, have Bible study and prayer, maybe rest or catch up on laundry, depending on the day and to exercise. Which is a total change from the first trimester when I couldn’t keep my eyes open once they laid down. I am happy to have (most) of my energy back. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

 

I think I have hit the “obviously pregnant” stage as people are no longer hesitant to ask about the pregnancy. Yesterday, a lady pulled up beside me while I was getting the boys in the van and asked “Are you having another boy?” And today, another lady asked me if it was a boy or a girl. I’m quite fine with these types of questions and it doesn’t offend me personally, but I know some women find it super annoying.

 

 

 

Levi has been a bit more clingy to me lately. He wants me to pick him up and carry him around sometimes, which is a bit difficult since he’s about 30 pounds now. He also runs up to me and says “Kiss you” multiple times a day and kisses me. He climbs in my lap many times a day to “smuggle you”, but only for a minute before he gets bored and runs off again. And he is very attached to the baby already, talking about him all the time and asking to kiss him or hug him or feel him kick. Levi was singing in the van on the way home last night “I wanna hold the baby”. He also told me he is going to help with the baby and help potty train him. ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

 

Truett, on the other hand, is not at all interested in feeling the baby or kissing my belly. He will talk about Zane quite often but if I ask him if he wants to hold him when he’s born, Tru usually says no. And if I ask him if he is going to help with the baby, he also says no. But he is usually doing this little goofy smile when he says it so I think he is excited in his own way but not as interested in the process as Levi is. Which, of course, is perfectly normal and understandable at the age of 3! I have found it so interesting to see and hear the boys’ reactions to having another baby on the way!

 

 

 

Dear God, thank You for another beautiful week and for the wonderful weather we have been able to enjoy and the time with our families. Thank You for all of Zane’s precious little kicks and for this amazing opportunity to experience pregnancy again and carry another miraculous little life. Please watch over and bless him as he continues to grow. In Jesus’ name, amen.

 

 

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These are the outfits that we bought.

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Tru quickly claimed this blanket for watching tv on. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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And Levi chose this “bassetball” blanket to be wrapped up and “smuggled” in. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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My sister bought me these gladiolas last year and they have been absolutely gorgeous this summer. I’ve had some white and some pink ones bloom. Love them!

So, last week I typed up a nice update for 16 weeks, and my computer ate it. Second time it has done that to me. So I have no 16 week update or picture since we were too busy to take one last weekend. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

We went to the work picnic for DH’s job last weekend and had a blast! The kids rode on lots of kiddie rides and really enjoyed themselves. It was a long day and I was exhausted that evening and still pretty worn out the next day. But thankfully the weather was pretty cool, and with lots of hydration, I felt really good all day and only had a few minutes where I felt lightheaded. When that happened I just went and got more water. It was so fun to watch the boys enjoying the rides. ๐Ÿ™‚

And also lost in the 16 weeks update is the news that we chose a name for our new little boy. Zane Trey; because Zane means God’s gracious gift and Trey means third. Zane was actually a name we considered for Levi and we like it for it’s meaning most of all, but also, we can call him Z. And how cute is that!! ๐Ÿ™‚

How far along? 17 weeks 5 days (as of 6-16-17)
Symptoms? Feeling really good the last couple weeks. My only real complaint is restless legs syndrome. Which I have regardless of pregnancy, but it does seem to get worse during pregnancy. Right now it is really constant. I’m doing lots of stretches to try to help it, and to some extent, it does seem to help… or at least give temporary relief. Aside from that, I am at that stage where I feel pretty much myself.ย  *Side note: I skipped taking unisom the night I wrote this update and I was quite queasy the next day. So I’m definitely staying on that for now.*

 

Sometimes I look down at my belly and I’m kind of caught by surprise. Wow! There is actually a little person in there, growing and living their life. Stretching, kicking, rolling, sucking his thumb, sleeping and waking up, having hiccups… even going pee, if everything I’m reading is correct for this stage. That’s amazing! Because most of the time, I don’t really feel like all of this is going on in there. I mean, I know it is, but I’m just going about my day, rushing to get stuff done, focused on a million other things…. and I look down at my belly and I’m just struck by the wonder and the miracle of life. It’s truly a gift. Every moment.

 
Weight? I actually forgot to weigh myself today. Earlier this week I was +11 pounds.
Bump? Some days, the activity I feel is still pretty minimal. I’ve had a few days where baby just moved all day and then I’d hardly feel him. I still have to be sitting or laying pretty still to really notice the movements. But one day this week I looked at my belly when he was kicking and I could actually see my belly move! I think it got lost in the update my computer ate, but DH felt him kick once by surprise. He put his hand on my belly to shield the baby when we were all playing on the floor and he was afraid one of the boys would accidently knock my belly. Well, DH got quite the surprise when baby kicked him! ๐Ÿ™‚

 
Baby and maternity buys? I’ve started buying a few more maternity/nursing items. I had almost no summer maternity clothes since I was so small with Tru, and with Levi, I was pregnant during the winter. So, I’ve ordered a few more shirts online to come in next week. I hope they fit! I have bought 1 pair of capris and I’m making do with those and maxi skirts, but ideally, I hope to get a couple more pairs or maxi dresses. I’ve bought lots of nursing bras. I found a bunch on clearance for $2-3.50!! Talk about a bargain! I don’t know how much more the girls are going to grow though… I may have to switch entirely to stretchy sleep bras full-time like I did when I had Levi. I just couldn’t find comfortable nursing bras anywhere over a D. I’m super picky though.

 
Cravings? No use talking about aversions now. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thankfully! I’m still hitting the salads almost daily. That’s about the only thing… oh… bean burritos. I love those! ๐Ÿ™‚

 
Best moment? This morning I asked Levi “Why is my belly getting so fat?” And he smiled and pointed at it and said “There’s a baby in you body!!” which just melted my heart. I think he actually gets it now. I mean, I’m sure it confuses his little 2 year old self, but he knows there is a baby in there and it’s growing and it kicks my belly. I’m really looking forward to the boys being able to feel the baby but so far, they don’t have the patience to hold their hand there that long.

 

Next appointment? This coming week at 18+3 is the anatomy scan and check up. It’s over 5 weeks between appointments this time but I feel like it went pretty fast! I do want to ask the Dr about the baby’s heartrate. I have recorded a clip for her where it’s skipping beats. I remember the boys both doing that and it resolved, but just to be safe, I want to run that by her since this is happening all the time.

 

I really want to get an update posted about Truett. I decided to stop monthly updates at 3 years old, but I feel like I need to do an annual update or something. This little boy is growing and changing so much all the time and I feel like I’m cheating myself by not writing all his cuteness down. And I need to do a general life update too!

Dear God, thank You for another wonderful week. For how well I’ve felt and for all the kicks and movement I’ve been able to enjoy this week. I pray that this sweet baby will continue to grow and be healthy and strong. I pray that our appointment and ultrasound will go very well. In Jesus’ name, amen.

 

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DH keeps cutting these pictures too short so the bottom of my belly is hardly in the shot… must talk to him about that. ๐Ÿ˜‰

How far along? 9 weeks 5 days (4-21-17)
Symptoms? I’ve had both good and bad days this week with the nausea. My best time is still in the morning most days. Which seems silly because it’s called “morning” sickness, after all. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I gradually feel worse as the day progresses and by bedtime, I’m ready to fall asleep to get some relief. Some nights I feel sick throughout the night but not always. I know I followed this pattern with both of the boys but to a lesser extent. I’m having some minor breast tenderness again. It seems that they are growing some more. Fine by me! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Still pretty emotional – I can cry about practically anything – happy, sad, totally neutral, it makes no difference. The acne is way out of hand! Enjoyng my second go at my teenager face. HA! Still a bit more tired than usual. I think that’s pretty much it for this week. 


Weight? After freaking out last week about being up 4 pounds for the pregnancy, this week I was surprised to see that I actually lost 2 pounds so I’m +2 at 137lbs. That feels better for how far along I am. 

Bump? I think it looks smaller this week. Probably in part because of the Miralax finally working. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Haha. TMI, sorry. I gave up on my regular jeans around 7 weeks because I just really don’t like that tight feeling on my belly. But the maternity capris I pulled out are still way too big although I’ve worn them a couple times with a band around then to keep them up. Otherwise, I’m enjoying the looseness of maxi skirts. ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Sleep? Not as good as it was. I’m tossing and turning alot and having so many weird dreams. I have been taking a nap during the day when I get the chance. 

Cravings/aversions? This week I only want to eat salad. At first it HAD to have Italian dressing. Now it HAS to have Ranch. I’m not even sure I want the salad as much as the dressing, although the crunch is really satisfying. I could go for a Coke Freeze anytime! That’s about it. All else is gross. 

Gender? Everyone is still enjoying specualting. It’s funny how pretty much EVERYONE is sure it’s a girl. Some people have flat out told me they are praying it’s a girl! I am being 100% honest when I tell you that I really do not have a prefence. We do have a girl name picked out (for 9 years now!) but nothing so far for a boy. But if we have a boy, we have absolutely everything we need. (Clothes, toys etc.) It just really doesn’t matter to me. My boys are great and I enjoy being their mom. I can’t imagine it being better or worse to parent a girl…. though I think it’d be really fun to have a daughter. 

My appointment with the new OB is in 3 days. I am nervous but also excited to see how we get along. I decided to write down a list of what I usually have vs what I would probably feel comfortable with as far as monitoring goes. I plan to ask her if we can work something out along those lines. I figure that if the MFM practice thought it was necessary, then we really should keep at least most of it. Not to mention, I just know myself and I would feel totally out of the loop and anxious. Here’s the list… After 12 weeks, I usually have: 

  • Anatomy ultrasound at 20 weeks w/ cervical length 
  • Growth ultrasound every 4 weeks until birth 
  • NSTs twice weekly after 32 weeks 
  • Weekly AFI after 32 weeks 
  • Bi-weekly BPP after 32 weeks 

Here’s what I think I would feel comfortable with: 

  • Obviously they would still do anatomy ultrasound at 20 weeks but I also want the cervical length, mostly because of the damage that Levi’s birth could have caused and I’ve never had a super long cervix. 
  • Growth ultrasound every 4 weeks. I really don’t think I could see myself being comfortable without this. 
  • NSTs once a week after 34 weeks. I figure that weekly appointments start around that time anyway. We might as well do an NST. I can’t imagine being comfortable with no NSTs at all. 
  • Bi-weekly BPP. I figure with this, I won’t be too concerned about AFIs, mostly because they proved highly inaccurate with Levi, although neccessary with Tru. 

My guess is the OB is going to think I’m crazy, but I’m ok with that. She will have to understand that I have had way extreme babying during my previous pregnancies and that is simply what I’m used to/comfortable with and it’s really not that excessive….. is it? If all else fails, I already scheduled an intake appointment with my old practice AND made sure that the Dr who was my primary before (the one who delivered Levi) will no longer be my primary and I don’t ever have to have an appointment with her. So that’s all taken care of. ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Dear God, thank You for another week of pregnancy with this sweet little baby. Please continue to watch over and sustain it’s life according to Your will. Please help things to continue to go smoothly. In Jesus’ name, amen. 

Haha! That acne is cracking me up!

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Have you ever stopped to notice how pretty dandelions are? I hadn’t until the other day. So vibrant! And also, so tasty! I’ve already fixed them 3 times this spring. Yum! ๐Ÿ™‚

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I bought this beautiful Easter Lily the day after Easter on markdown. I hope it comes back next year! I love my lilies. And incidentally, we had a great Easter but I never got around to posting about it. Oops!

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Yesterday I had my second ultrasound. It went great! Baby has nearly doubled in size from 10 days prior. Still measuring 5 days ahead! And with a beautiful heartrate of 166. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank You so much dear Lord! Please continue to bless this pregnancy. In Jesus’ name. 

The SCH is still very much there. Maybe even a bit bigger. But it looks like it’s healing and the Dr seemed very unconcerned at this point. He kept saying that everything looks good. ๐Ÿ™‚
I seem to be starting with a UTI despite daily suppression with Macrodantin. So the Dr switched me to Macrobid for a week. 

Aside from that, he said I can stop progesterone support at 10 weeks if my bloodwork comes back good. I’m still waiting on that to come back but I’m definitely looking forward to weaning off of that. The prometrium is so icky and messy, though I’m mostly used to it now. I usually take the 2 pills at 11pm once I’m laying in bed. Then I take the next dose of 1 pill at 7am and try to stay laying down at least another hour. Then I take the PIO shot in the evening. I was taking it at 3pm but it was getting difficult giving it to myself as my butt cheeks are kind of hard to reach myself with a 1.5″ needle. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’m still taking Zofran, usually 4mg around an hour before getting out of bed. If I can make it through the day on just 1 dose, that makes me happy. ๐Ÿ™‚

Since I’ve been released from my RE’s office, I have to find an ob. I am very hesitant to go back to the practice that delivered both of my boys. On the one hand, they are familiar to me and I’m mostly comfortable there. But then, Levi’s birth was a huge hours long battle between me and the ob who just couldn’t comprehend an uncomplicated natural vbac. She pressured me for hours to get an epidural (Nearly shouting “Get the EPIDURAL!” at me) even though I pacified her by getting the line placed sans meds. I wasn’t in enough pain at that point to want the meds and the only reason she wanted me to take the epidural was so she could speed up my already great labor with pitocin. In the end, and only by the grace of God, I avoided another dose of pitocin. After the birth, the Dr pulled on the umbillical cord trying to remove the placenta just seconds after I delivered the baby. I begged her not to but she continued. Whether that caused the placenta to tear and then become a piece of retained placenta followed by hemorhage or not, who knows?! But it didn’t help. I almost lost my uterus. They were this close >โ€ข< to doing a hysterectomy to stop the bleeding. The best part? I have it all on video. 

So all that to say, if I go back there, I’ve requested a different Dr for my primary. But here’s the thing, that is an MFM group. And aside from taking blood thinner, I’m certainly hoping that this pregnancy is not going to be high risk. I’m not sure how I’ll handle my anxiety if I go to a regular ob practice though. I probably won’t get nsts or growth scans or afi checks. And if you remember, we found out Tru was in distress at one of my nst/afi checks and delivered him via c-section right away. So going without that will scare me, because it could have gone completely different without that appointment. But on the other hand, if I find a compassionate dr, I’m confident that we can work together to find something that fits for us all. And the bottom line is just placing my trust in God. That He will make sure we get any testing we need and provide for a safe, healthy pregnancy and birth. 

SO, today I scheduled an appointment with a regular ob. This time, when/if I’m met with ignorance (as I have been in both previous pregnancies) and am told to stop my Lovenox, I have my wonderful, knowledgable hematologist to back me up and say that it is absolutely neccessary!! She will gladly send them a letter confirming that my combo of clotting disorders makes treatment a no-brainer. BUT, because I’m afraid this regular ob may not work out for me, I also called the MFM group to set up an intake appointment. The descision remains to be made until after my first appointment with the regular ob in 2 weeks. If we click and I love them, I just might stay there. They deliver at the hospital I had the boys at which is an absolute neccessity because that hospital has been so wonderful to us in the past. Very pro-family and focus on keeping mom and baby together. They are also very helpful with breastfeeding etc. 

Shew! I had no intention of writing a book! I guess I just needed to write it all down and sort through everything. If you made it this far, you rock! Not only that but you probably also think I’m crazy. ๐Ÿ˜‰ 

Ok, maybe not really. But it kind of feels that way right now. My sil asked me to read this book every day and she and her bff are also reading it. The book is “Love Unending” by Becky Thompson of the blog Scissortail Silk. I can’t link you to it at the moment and to be entirely forthcoming, I don’t follow her blog. But my sil does and she is in love with Becky’s writings. 
So I bought the book online and yesterday we started reading it. It’s basically a 21-day challenge for your marriage to get back to were you were when you first fell in love. “Rediscovering your marriage in the midst of motherhood.” 
Now, personally, I believe that having kids was vital to our marriage. But I know that it also does create a bit of a space between parents. Infertility drove a huge wedge between us, so having kids was a colossal relief for us. I understand that many couples don’t have that initial hurdle so having kids is not the healing balm that it was for us.
That said, yeah, romance is often times the last thing on my mind. And motherhood has a way of leaving me “touched out” at the end of the day and just kind of done in general. I’m snappy with the kids and DH. I’m not in the mood to think about what DH wants and needs. I’m selfish. There, I said it. It’s true. And the point of this challenge is to stop trying to “change” DH into the perfect husband, and instead, refocus my outlook so that I can be the positive change that I want to see in him.
Today’s challenge was to speak kindly. It was not an utter fail, but I could have done better. What I realized today was that I have set the tone in my family that nobody listens when I’m being calm and nice. I have to start getting snappy to get DH’s attention when I need help and I found that the boys respond similarly. I think I needed this wake up call because I don’t want to be that way! I want to speak calmly and respond peacefully and set that tone for my family. 
I haven’t told DH that I’m doing this. I feel like my sil and her bff are enough accountability and I don’t want DH to see me fail on a challenge and possibly point it out to me. I think that would make it alot harder. Also, I thought it would be interesting to see if he notices my efforts and thought that if he does, that might be a good indication of what I need to keep working harder on. 
So yeah. It feels like a bit of an undertaking at the moment because today was hard. And I see that I have a long way to go before I become the person that I expect DH to be. Becky made a great point; the change has to start with someone. Why not start with me? 

I like the fact that I can journal along in the book while I go through it. I think it will help me absorb the material better. And gives me space to add my own thoughts and feelings.

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It’s late and I should be sleeping but my mind is racing… maybe it’s just because I drank coffee too late… enjoying that kuerig a bit too much lately! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Anyway, I haven’t done a “life update” in nearly a month so, here goes.

  • I made it to the gym 8 times in January, which is ok considering I didn’t get to go the whole first week. I also worked out a whole ONE time at home. (Don’t laugh) I do feel good right now, strength wise. I have been doing 3ish +/- miles on the elliptical, 6ish miles on the recumbent bike and 1 mile walk/run on the track per session. My goal is always 500 calories but lately I think I’ve been exceeding my goal by a bit which makes me happy. I also do lunges, squats and wall squats. I usually take about 1.5 hours so I’m going relatively slow. So far all my exercise is leg-focused but that’s only because I don’t burn as many calories doing upper body. I need to suck it up though and start back on my arms again or I may look off balance someday. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Haha. 
  • I haven’t mentioned this before that I recall because I have been hoping it would go away, but I can’t keep my heart rate down during exercise. As soon as I step on a machine, it’s already in the 120s to 130s. I don’t know what my resting HR is but I will literally check my HR 2 minutes after I start WO and it’s already that high. By 5 minutes its anywhere from 155-180. And I can’t make it stay down. As I mentioned, I go very slow. I talked to my Dr about it in July last year and she said to give it a few months to see if it improves, but it’s not or if it has, its been very mildly. So, I guess I’ll have to talk to her again. At first I felt sick and would black out and have to lay down. Now, I feel fine generally. Maybe this is my norm? I just know that I can’t go to the cardio classes because when I have, I felt horrible, blacked out and had to stop. 
  • Enough about exersize! I just realized that I never concluded Truett’s fever testing. Basically, we are still watching and waiting to see if the fevers continue. I’m frustrated. His tests (ESR, CRP, hemolysis) came back worse this time but the Dr couldn’t rule out his cold throwing the results off. I’m not so sure because that fever was 6 days long. Seems unlikely to have been the cold, especially considering all of us had it and didn’t have fevers (aside from Levi running around 100ยฐ 1 night). But then again, everyone responds to illness differently. So, in 6 months if he doesn’t get any more weird fevers, he doesn’t have to go back to rheumatology. If he gets any, we are supposed to journal them and discuss them at a follow up. I’m mommy so obviously I’m still concerned. But I’m also trying to trust that its nothing and Tru just is more prone to high, long fevers. 
  • I’ve been watching my cousin’s 14ish month old baby this month and aside from waking up at dark:30, the boys and I have enjoyed having him here. It is so fun to watch them play with N. I notice that Tru watches out for N and gives him toys. Levi bosses N and steals his toys. ๐Ÿ˜‰ This is good though because I’m getting the chance to teach Levi to share. I make Tru and Levi share all the time of course but their dynamic is a little different.
  • DH is finally supposed to start in the office at work full-time next week. It’s been months since he was promoted but they only just got someone to replace him on the truck. DH has been training this week and loves it so far!! 

Ttc update for my records and the 2 people who want to read it. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Feel free to skip.


Meh, I don’t think the Femara worked this month. I don’t really think I ovulated… I never got a positive OPK and I never felt ovulation. I’m late for AF now but dragging my feet to call the RE. I know I should… he told me to if I went over 30 days on a Femara cycle, so I’d better I guess. I think I have a cyst though because I feel this feeling in my left side that is unusual and harkens to cyst-growing activity. :/ All HPTs (and there have been many) are 100% bfn. Not even the benefit of an evap. ๐Ÿ˜‰ So, yeah. That’s about it. 

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I’m going to recap 21 months since Levi just turned 22 months a few days ago. I do have to confess though, I spent the last month thinking he was 22 months already. Eep! 

At Levi’s last well check up (December 1st), he weighed 26lbs 15oz (72nd percentile), 34″ tall (73rd percentile) and 47cm ( 28th percentile) head cirumference. Since then, I’d say he has grown at least another inch taller. His pants are all becoming too short on him and he has moved almost entirely into 2T clothes and some 3T shirts. 

Vocally, Levi is quite an overachiever! There is almost nothing he can’t say now. He talks quite a bit but definitely isn’t as talkative as Truett is. About a month ago I heard him say his first 3 word sentence “My wear it.” Now he tells me all the time “I wuv you too.” He almost always says “too” after “I love you” even when he is the first one to say it. He must tell me 20+ times a day that he loves me. Which melts my heart and makes my day every time!! Yesterday as we were driving I was cracking up listening to Tru and Levi fight over a sippy cup. Levi kept saying “Ask Mom!” to Truett and I was just thinking “Where did this big boy come from all of a sudden!?” 

Speaking of what a big boy Levi is, I still can’t get him to give up the boob. He will go days or even a week without nursing but he asks for it every so often. Usually I tell him no, but sometimes he cries and sometimes he’s just sad and needs comforting. Lots of the time when I am holding him and he’s all snuggly, he wants to nurse. I almost always tell him no in that case. I think he looks and acts too old to nurse, in my opinion but then I think “Well, it’s natural and he’s not even 2 yet so…” I’m not sure when we will finally be completely done. 

Levi has become a very bossy little guy toward anyone younger than him and toward River. River can hardly breathe without Levi yelling “stop it!” and “NO!” at him. I am working on this with Levi to be nice and not yell at the dog. Also, when I babysit my cousin’s 14ish month old boy on Fridays, Levi bosses him around too. It’s actually pretty cute, but I know it’s behavior that we need to work on so he can be assertive without being rude. 

Levi is a bit obsessed with my hair. He holds it in his little hands and lays his face on it. He rubs my hair and says “Wuv you too.” He even moves his hands around in my hair and says “Cut!” over and over. Sadly for me, his curly hair is almost all gone now. He’s has 3 haircuts and the curls kept staying but after the 3rd hair cut, his hair is much less curly but still has nice body and wave in it. I definitely prefer Levi’s hair longer and Truett’s shorter. Levi has much more fine hair whereas Tru’s is really thick. Interesting how siblings can have features that are so different. Aside from the boys having the same color eyes and hair, they don’t really look much alike to me at all…. 

….But that doesn’t stop Levi from imitating every.single.thing. that Tru does. Whenever we walk to the car from the gym, they have this little pattern they like to do. First, they want to touch the trash can. And even though it only started because Tru (and then Levi, of course) threw away some trash once, Levi thinks he has to touch the can every time. Then a couple times Tru stuck his foot in this crack inbetween the side walk and the building. So now Levi has to do that too. And they HAVE to walk in the gravel beside the building. If Tru asks for a banana, Levi asks for one too. If one of them gets their sippy cup, they both have to have a sippy cup AT THE SAME TIME. And they ask for their cups every time we get in the car. Every time. Every single time. …. If Tru gets his blankie, Levi runs to his room crying for his blankie too. DH remarked last night “You guys aren’t twins! You don’t always have to do the same things!” Oh yes. Yes they do. It’s quite hilarious to me and I have grown used to making sure everything is fair and equal and they always have the same things at the same time… Now that I type that up, I wonder if that is healthy or if I should work on teaching them that they can’t ALWAYS do the the same exact things….? Hmmmm. 

Levi is usually pretty calm but a few times recently he’s let his temper show. A few weeks ago we were going into the grocery store and in the parking lot he started screaming about something, I’m not really sure what. He started throwing himself on the ground and I had to half-drag him into the store as I had my hands full. Once inside, he continued his temper tantrum throwing himself on the floor and screaming like the world was ending. I picked him up but I couldn’t hang onto him because he was doing that classic arms-in-the-air, worm manuvuer that kids do. So I’m carrying him to the bathroom as fast as I can so I can try to figure out what his issue is, with his coat sliding up over his head, his body flailing and him screaming at the top of his lungs. The shoppers were parting like the Red Sea to make a path for us, horrified looks on their faces and I, in all my Mom-of-the-year wonderfulness, just burst out laughing and couldn’t stop. We were a horrible sight. No one, including me, knew why this kid was screaming, and by all accounts, it looked like he was being mishandled even though I was doing my best. As soon as we got to the bathroom, I walked right in to the open stall, totally not noticing that there was a lady waiting in line for it. When we came out and I saw her, I appoologized and she just smiled and said it was ok. After that, Levi was cool as a cucumber. He calmed down like it was no big deal. Toddlers… gotta love ’em. ๐Ÿ˜‰ 

I’m thankful for how snuggly Levi is. From time to time he will sit in my lap and just snuggle. He asks to “Hold you!” (But it sounds like “Holchu”) constantly. Especially if he thinks he will get crried around. He begs DH to carry him around every evening. It’s their bonding time, I guess. 

Also, he still asks to use the toilet quite a bit and I try to take him whenever he asks. It’s not real consistant yet but he does recognize when he needs to go, especially number 2, and tells me so I can take him. I’m really happy about that! 

Dear God, thank You for this beautiful little boy. Thank You for the things he’s learning and for the relationship that he is already starting to have with You. Please watch over and protect Levi and keep him healthy. In Jesus’ name, amen. 

Our tree survived with not one broken ornament. If fact, the boys left the tree alone almost completely. I was shocked!! I told Levi to touch the ornament in this pic.

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Mommy’s chubbers little boy

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These boys are serious about their water

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I told Tru to pack 2 cups… but I mean… you wouldn’t want to get thirsty or anything.

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Levi stole a cadbury egg while I was in the checkout line. I turned around and it he was eating chocolate.

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But he rocks a manitail!

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I grew up very sheltered.

That’s actually an understatement.

I was homeschooled and there were times that, aside from going to church on Sunday, I didn’t leave the house for weeks or even a month at a time. I feel, as an adult, that it affected my ability to form friendships with people because I usually go through this incredibly awkward phase when meeting new people. I don’t know what to say and I get so nervous that I stutter and it’s embarrassing. Once I am around them awhile, and especially if they are good at making conversation, I feel much better. And actually, I think I am beginning to improve in this area. But it has definitely taken concentrated effort from me. Part of that is my personality, I’m sure. But I definitely think some of it comes from not having a whole lot of experience in social settings.

Side note: I don’t regret the fact that I was homeschooled. That wasn’t an issue. In fact, I actually liked that aspect of my life a lot because I didn’t have to get up super early every day and we often got extra time off from our homework because we were able to finish early. I graduated a year early too, so that was nice. One thing that I would maybe change for myself and would definitely do differently for my children if I homeschool them, would be to use different curriculum. I had to get my GED because the curriculum we used did not give us a diploma, even though we had good grades. It just wasn’t part of the program. I passed my GED easily but I always felt a bit embarrassed that I didn’t have an actual diploma. I know I shoudn’t feel that way and I don’t feel that way about other people who work hard to get their GED…. Anyway…..

My parents, espescially my mom, worked hard to shelter us from bad influences. I respect them for that. At the same time, I feel like I can speak from my past experience that issolating (versus protecting) your children from virtually everyone may keep them from learning things you don’t want them to learn, but only for a time. Kids form their own ideas and opinions about things and what they asssume to be true may very well end up being worse than the actual truth. That is why I will always try to be open and honest with my kids about the hard to talk about things, like drugs and sex and so on. I’m not sure what the appropriate age is to talk about these things with your kids but I know I certainly had some ideas about what sex was by the time I was 10 years old. When my kids ask me about it, I hope I will be able to explain these things to them in an age appropriate but honest way.

Even though I appreciate how hard my mom (and dad in his own, less extreme way) worked to keep us safe and innocent, I really don’t ever want my kids to live that shut off and recluse of a life. I was lonely sometimes. It helped a LOT that I had siblings. However, there is 5.5 years betweeen me and my older sister and almost 5 years between me and my next younger sister so I didn’t really have anyone my age to talk to, though I was/am very close to my sisters. I did have friends but I just didn’t see them often enough. When we finally did have plans to get together with friends, I was always grounded because I was a rather angry and mouthy teen (cussing my parents out would be the tip of the iceberg, unfortunately). It is/was obvious to me why I was so angry… because I was mad that I could never do anything or go many places. I just don’t think my mom was able to understand that because she grew up so differently that maybe she didn’t realize how it would feel to be that closed off. My younger siblings have SO MUCH more freedom than I ever did!

I think a big part of why my mom kept me at home so much was fear… Fear because she had bad past experiences. Fear because of things that happened to her sisters. I get that. And being vigilant is a good thing and I hope to always be aware and vigilant so I don’t put my children in compromising situations. But letting fear take over and letting it dictate your life is never a good thing. I don’t blame my mom at all and I’m not mad at her. I know she was just trying to keep her kids safe so they wouldn’t face any bad situations. She loves us and wanted to protect us. That I understand. But you can take a good thing way too far. Which I also understand. As a parent now myself, I am able to give her grace for her mistakes as a parent because this job is hard and I get that now. I struggle with my own fears for my children, which are different than hers but just as present, I would imagine.

I’m not really sure what I’m even trying to say here. I guess I’ve just been thinking about it a lot lately and trying to use my childhood experiences to say “This is what was good and this is what I didn’t like. What can I do to find the right balance for my children?”

jonsie13

living in the middle | navigating infertility

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