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I know that a lot of people stumble across my blog, thanks to google. Many of them are looking for hope and encouragement in their fertility journey. Since infertility will always be a subject close to my heart, I want to get this information out there in case it might be of help to someone. 

When we were trying to improve DH’s sperm count, motility, and morphology, I researched natural ways to help. It seems there is an overwhelming amount of information on the internet for natural supplements, but it’s all scattered around here and there and takes forever to sort through. As I sifted through everything, I compiled this list. 

Keep in mind, I have no medical degree and I certainly am not advising anyone to take this huge pile of supplements. In fact, I can’t even tell you that it will up your count or quality at all. All I know is, whether or not it contributed to the miracle conceptions that God blessed us with, it certainly didn’t hurt. Most of these supplements are good for your general health, regardless and are things DH needs to be on to keep other health issues at bay. So, here goes.

Vitamin C – 1,500mg

Vitamin E – 800iu (I prefer to use the natural version of vitamin E, vs the synthetic)

Zinc – 60mg

B12 – 100mcg (We actually take a b-complex that is methylated for better absorption. I’ll gladly tell you what it’s called if you want to know.)

Selenium – 200mcg

CoQ10 – 100mg

L-Carnitine – not sure of amount

Vitamin A – this was in a multi he was taking at the time, so I’m not sure on the dose of this either

Flax oil and/or Fish oil – 1,200mg 

L-Arginine – 500mg

Vitamin D – 5,000iu

Astaxanthin – 12mg

Obviously, you should check this list over with your dr before taking these things. Particularly if you are on medication as the supplements and meds could interact. I just wanted to put this list our there in case it could help someone else. 

*For reference, DH’s last semen analysis (he’s had many) was 1million, sub par motility and 0% morphology. We have gone on to have 3 successful pregnancies through ivf and spontaneous conception since that test. 🙂 

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Since the little guy is sleeping on my lap right now, I thought I’d type up a quick update. 🙂 

Zane has been growing up by leaps and bounds the last few weeks. He has his 2 bottom teeth now, which came in within just a few days of each other. (June 3rd and 8th) They caused quite a disruption to his sleep (and mine) and gave us lots of uncomfortable nights trying to co-sleep. Bless you if that’s your thing and you can sleep comfortably. I cannot. It leaves me sore and tired, but you do what you gotta do when the teeth are coming in. Right? Anyway, I’m happy that Zane is feeling better now and hopefully his other teeth will play nice. 😉 

Zane is in full army crawl mode with lots of rocking on all fours and the occasional crawl-step forward which usually causes him to face-plant. He can get anywhere he wants with his super fast and efficient army crawl. The other morning I brought him to the family room and laid him on the floor. I ran to the bathroom and when I came back, he was nowhere to be found! He’d crawled into Tru’s room. Ever since, I’m constantly having to go retrieve him from various places. He’s definitely into exploring! 

This kid has a great sense if humor. His brothers absolutely crack him up. His favorite is scooting over to their bedroom doors at night when they are supposed to be in bed. Instead I see them sticking their arms under the door and making Zane laugh. It’s gotten to be quite the thing lately and definitely a great bedtime stall tactic. 😏

Zane is quite the eater now and eats at least one jar of baby food per meal, 3 times a day. I still usually add a bit of rice or wheat cereal to it because he likes it better that way. I’ve also been adding a bit of formula powder to beef up the calories. The little guy is about 17lbs 9oz now in the 30%ile. He’s growing great though on his own more petite curve, so it’s fine. 🙂 DH is tickled that Zane is on the smaller side because he’s staying little longer. 🙂 His iron is also great at 11.3. 

I’m still breastfeeding but Zane usually has other things he’d rather do, unless he’s tired, sad or is snuggling in my bed. He was getting up as much as 4 times at night to nurse when he wasn’t feeling well. Lately it’s been just once, or occasionally twice. During the day he nurses about 4 times. I have the feeling that he will self-ween earlier than I’d like, but whatever is best for him is fine for me. I do cherish our time to just snuggle though, just me and him. 

Sleep is interesting now. He started rolling over during the night about 3 weeks ago. Off came the swaddle!! It wasnt as hard a transition as I feared but I do have some stress with it because he likes to sleep NOSE down. I’m constantly checking his nose in the night…. Naps are still either in the swing (asleep in 2 seconds with his music on and swing set on 4) or in my arms. Never without a blankie of some sort except on the rare occasion when we are driving and forget to bring one. He also loves to snuggle his head against his stuffed elephant at naptime. Binkies are an absolute must now too! He used to not be in love with them, but now?….

Zane’s favorites are: 

  • Dumping his toys out of his toy basket and tasting every single one. 
  • Finding every miniscule crumb on the floor and trying to eat it. 
  • Sitting in his walker and driving around while he eats puffs (broken up) and melts (also broken).
  • Taking baths and splashing the whole.entire.time.
  • Smiling and laughing at the baby in the mirror.
  • Playing with his brothers and just being one of the big kids.
  • Snuggling in my bed in the morning. Biggest smiles ever. 🙂 
  • A couple fuzzy blankets that are just so soft that he can’t even with them and he falls right to sleep. 

Zane’s dislikes: 

  • I’m having a hard time thinking of any. He’s so happy…. Well, one thing is, he doesn’t like his brothers kissing on him when he’s tired. 
  • Doesn’t like laying still for diaper and clothing changes. 

I noticed today that Zane looks at each family member when I say their name. It’s so crazy and neat that he knows who everyone is and understands what I’m saying when I ask where they are. For a long time now he’s tried to mimic sounds that we make. He’s a very observant and curious little person. 

Dear God, thank You so so much for this beautiful little person. Thank You for all the joy he brings to everyone he meets. Thank You for his quick and vibrant smile and for all the fun we have with him. Please protect and bless him all the days of his life. In Jesus’ name, amen. 

Hair tent on his ears lol

I don’t know how to start this post, so I’ll just jump right in. 
As I’ve mentioned before, I grew up with 5 sisters and 4 brothers. That makes for lots of built-in friends. Over the years, I haven’t felt the desire to make/maintain many friendships because, honestly, I’ve had all my siblings and didn’t need more relationships to cultivate and nurture. It’s not that I didn’t want friends too but I just didn’t hardly have the time. And, more to the point as I’ve also written about before, I am just rather awkward and uncomfortable in social situations, so I’m not great at making friends to begin with. 

I’m at a really weird place in my life now though. 3 of my sisters and 1 brother are leaving over the course of just a few months to live in various places, some long term and the others for unknown lengths of time. They are all moving for different reasons but since they are all close in age, everything is happening all at once. One of my sisters already moved an hour away 10 years ago. I know it’s not that far, but it kind of is. The one sister still at home is almost 15 years younger than me. I love her dearly and we have good chats, but we are in vastly different places in our lives. The same with all of my younger brothers. 

In a word, I’m lonely. 

I never really thought I’d find myself in this place. Sure, I can still text and call them. But gone are the days of having them drop by to see us or play with the kids. Gone are the days of piling in the van and running errands together. It’s weird. I’m not at a place I thought I’d ever be. We were always going to live nearby and hang out. Our kids were going to grow up together and we were going to be each other’s babysitters. But now? …. Sure, they might eventually move closer but for now…. I’m lonely. And I don’t want my kids to also become lonely. 

So, I find myself sitting here, my best friend living 24 hours (by car) away… 4 siblings moving states away. And I’m wondering, can I make friends? Am I just too awkward? Too weird? 

I take my kids to storytime week after week and I don’t make friends. I have lots of “friends” who I very dearly love, at church, but we don’t really hang out much. Of course, I don’t try… I’m friendly but I’m not outgoing. I don’t generally strike up conversations. I’m always afraid I’ll bore or inconvenience people, so I don’t try to set up play dates etc. I’m not a “girly girl”, so I never know what anyone is interested in currently to talk about. (I’m the mom who takes her kids fishing for fun.) I’m not animated or interesting. And of course, there’s the nervous tripping over of words…  Basically, I’m a hot mess! 

I know that I can be a fairly cool person once you get to know me. I’m pretty chill. I’m acceptably humorous. I don’t pretend to have it all together. If your kid throws tantrums and eats their boogers in front of me, it’s not going to bother me at all. You don’t have to clean your house to have me over because I’m definitely not going to go out of my way to clean for you. I just want REAL friends… people who will be real with me and not put on an airbrushed front. But I don’t know how to get past the initial awkward phase and start making friends! 

Eczema isn’t fun at any age…. The itching, stinging uncomfortableness that goes along with it. The struggle to not scratch the itch….. It’s very upsetting to see your baby’s beautiful, smooth, flawless skin be transformed into scaly, dry, bleeding skin. But that is exactly what has happened with Zane. 

It started with just a little dryness. I thought it was just a little cradle cap at first. It was no time at all before it spread and by around 3 months, it was pretty severe. By 4 months, I had stopped using any soap of any kind on his skin and had started bathing him in coconut oil. After his bath, I would slather his skin with a range of different oils and ointments, looking for one that would soothe his skin and not worsen the rash. 

We tried daily baths, weekly baths, baths every other day… Oil, no oil, nipple balm, healing balm, belly balm, and in our more desperate moments, hydrocortisone cream. Nothing helped. For a day or two we may have seen improvement but then it would plateau and worsen again. Hydrocortisone gave us the most relief but it certainly doesn’t make me happy putting that on my baby, particularly his face. And coating his entire body in it was definitely not an option. 

I wish I could say that we found something that helps, but so far, we haven’t. However, Zane had a checkup today and we have some new weapons in our arsenal to try. First off, the eczema is showing signs of secondary infection. For lack of a better analogy, Zane smells like toenail jam. Fresh out of the bath even – toenail. The Dr said this is probably due to the rash being infected with yeast, and possibly staph as well. For that we are trying a prescription shampoo that treats yeast, 2-3 times a week. In between, we are supposed to use Selsyn Blue. 

To control the itching (since no matter how often we cut Zane’s nails, he can’t help but scratch his head and face), the Dr prescribed Zyrtec twice a day. Along with that, he also gave us a steroid cream to use on Zane’s body. It’s too strong to use on his head and face, so we have to mix hydrocortisone with Vaseline for those areas. 

I have $50 of various ointments that I bought in a moment of despair. I plan to keep trying those out on small areas to make sure there is no reaction. Hopefully one of them will work to lock in some moisture. Vaseline works decently but is so greasy! He had a bad reaction to Aveeno eczema cream which has colloidal oatmeal in it, so anything with that active ingredient is out. 

Trying one different cream per limb. Isn’t he too cute!?!

I hope I can come back and update that he’s healing up great and his skin looks and feels healthy again. Until then, prayers are appreciated!! 


Or maybe not your kids cause chances are your kids aren’t as weird as mine. But anyway, Rocky is 0% interested in store bought dog biscuits (picky Pete) and that’s kind of no fun for me because I like giving him treats. So I decided to be all creative and invent some he would actually enjoy. It was a great success! Rocky loves them! Since they are made with all people-safe food ingredients, I agreed to let the boys try them. Which was a mistake. They also loved them and were sneaking dog treats to eat. Tru liked them so much, he asked if we could eat them “At the morning” for breakfast. ….😯 (We didn’t)
So, in case anyone is interested, here’s the recipe I invented. 
1cup all purpose flour

2 small bananas, mashed

1/3 cup peanut butter 

1 egg
I threw it all in the bowl together and mixed it up. On a heavily floured surface, I kneeded in more flour. The boys had fun flattening it out and cutting shapes. I baked them at 350° (but 325 may have been better) until they were done. (can’t be more specific… It was maybe 15 minutes?) 

Can we just pretend Levi isn’t about to fall off the highchair (he didn’t) and focus on how cute they are making dog treats?! ☺️

Happy to say this is a mostly good update. 🙂 In the last couple weeks I’m seeing more positive changes in Rocky. We are not accident free inside yet, of course, so as a result he spends a good bit of time outside where he mostly runs around the yard for a few minutes at a time and comes back to the porch and stares at us, wanting to come in. I feel bad about that but I can’t watch him 100% of the time and I hate to crate him too much during the day (but maybe I should?). The rest of the time he stays in the kitchen, or if I’m able to be dedicated to watching him, in the family room too. This is his absolute favorite and nothing makes him happier than snuggling up with his boys on the floor and falling asleep. 🙂 

The best change has been that he no longer panics in his crate! It’s amazing! He went from fighting being put in it, panicking and clawing frantically, crying, barking and even peeing and pooping on himself from anxiety to now calmly walking in ON HIS OWN!! Once inside, he lays down and is perfectly quiet. No crying!! He even chooses to go sleep in his crate on his own sometimes when he wants a break. It’s amazing. I seriously never thought we would get to this point. I don’t know why the switch flipped for him where he likes it now but I’m so happy!! 

The only downside is that he still occasionally pees in his crate. I think this probably has something to do with how he was forced to live as a young puppy. Obviously he didn’t get the memo about not peeing in your bed area. But I think he will probably come around on this eventually. I do my best to make sure he doesn’t NEED to pee while he’s in his crate, that way we can reinforce the idea of a clean, dry bed. The problem with this is that it makes crate training hard since he doesn’t see the problem with peeing and even pooping in there sometimes vs learning to hold it longer because he’s confined. Still working on figuring out that issue… He does hold it in more than he used to. Progress? Or just age? I don’t know…

As far as he is doing with the kids, we have some normal hyper puppy issues to deal with in regards to jumping and play nipping but generally it only takes me watching and correcting a time or two before he remembers his manners and stops. Then he plays gently. He is most in love with Tru and wants to be with Tru at all times. Which is really good because they bonded so well the first day we brought Rocky home. I’m happy to see their relationship. Levi is a little nervous still about the jumping etc so he usually waits till Rocky is tired and then pets and snuggles him. 

I’m really happy that Rocky is showing less separation anxiety now, but that’s still an issue to a degree. When we leave the house, he panics, so I leave him at my parent’s house when possible. If he sees one of us driving away, he runs to the vehicle and cries and gets right against it. I was trying to leave the other day but Rocky was crying and freaking out, pawing at the van trying to get in. DH was home and got him inside so I could leave. So now whenever someone leaves, I make sure Rocky is in the house. He must have been dropped off at some point is all I can think. He was also terrified to get in the van at first but now he wants to go everywhere with us. He jumps right in and sits on the seat, on Tru’s lap or lays on the floor. I’m glad he’s happy with the car now because we like taking him places with us. River loved going places too but hardly ever could because he had extreme car sickness, even on short rides. 

Rocky is so not a fan of puppy chow. He much prefers adult food. I figure it’s better if he’s eating, so I’m just feeding him a high quality meat based adult food. He’s finally gaining weight! Despite the fact that the shelter had given him worm medicine, he was infested with tape worms. Once we got rid of those, he started gaining weight well. He looks so much better! 

It’s hard to see how skinny he was here, but the pictures below are now that he’s started gaining weight.

Wow! This ended up being longer than I meant! I’m just really glad things are better now and I hope we don’t see any regression. Hopefully things just keep getting better! 

The boys were playing on their tablets. Rocky just sat with them with his favorite bone. 🙂

Movie time buddy.

December 31, 2015

I wrote a post about a E.P.T. male fertility test I bought. You can click on the link above and read it if you don’t remember. This post will make a lot more sense if you read that first. I’ve had that test tucked away for over 2 years now, and to be honest, it is expired. But I should think it’s probably still accurate. It’s not as though a test sealed in a foil pouch knows the exact day to expire, but nonetheless, I’ll go ahead and put that disclaimer out there. 

So, I’m extremely thankful that we didn’t use the test back when I bought it. I didn’t have a peace about it at that point so we just chose not to use it. But a lot has happened since December 2015! Namely, 2 very early losses, a diagnosis of PCOS for me, failure to respond to Femara to induce ovulation, and most notably….Zane. 🙂 (I have some new followers recently so here’s a quick recap for you: Baby number 1, Truett, conceived via our second ivf/icsi. Baby number 2, Levi, conceived spontaneously to our great surprise just 9 months after Tru was born. Baby number 3, Zane, conceived spontaneously a month after a failed attempt at ovulation induction with Femara. I found out I was pregnant with him just 2 weeks after being diagnosed with PCOS.)

Ok, so we finally decided to do the test. Obviously we have gotten pregnant multiple times, praise God, so regardless of what the test said, we know that God has either worked a miracle of healing in DH or has chosen to give us babies regardless of the sperm count, morphology etc. 

It appears that the later is the case! The test well is supposed to turn blue equal or greater to the reference well if the sperm count is equal or greater than 20mil/ml. A lighter blue or white indicates a lower sperm count. The test does not measure morphology or motility, etc. 

DH’s test came back stark white. Not even a hint of blue! He’s still clinically infertile if this test is right, and I’m sure it is, yet God has done miraculous things by giving us these beautiful boys. Regardless of how they came to be, they are all miracles and precious gifts. I am so very thankful for them and I just praise God for the amazing blessings he has given us. 

Test kit, minus the collection cup

Completed test

… unless you are fortunate enough to be able to afford a dog trainer. I’d be lying if I said I don’t have a tad bit of buyers remorse right now. Not necessarily that we got Rocky… He’s sweet and cute and really fun to play with. He curls up in my lap and falls asleep and he loves playing tug of war and eating treats. The boys, especially Truett, love him so much. He’s a good dog. He’s smart and is quick at learning useless tricks like giving us his paw. 😉

It’s not him I regret, it’s his age. I know the puppy stage doesn’t last forever, but while I’m sitting here in a very exhausted state at 1am trying to keep him quiet so DH and the boys can sleep, I’m reminded of why we intended to get an adult, house trained dog. My baby sleeps through the night but the dog has me awake!! 

While I’m cleaning up the umpteenth puddle, I remember why we specifically wanted a house trained dog. I am having a hard time house training Rocky for all the many reasons that I’m sure you can already imagine for yourself. We are trying but I’m not sure we are making much progress. My beagle, River, trained easily and I guess I was quite lucky for that! Once he was trained, I could trust him to go months at a time with no messes. Hopefully we get there with Rocky eventually. I’m certainly taking him out more than enough but he’s not making the connection and it’s impossible to keep my eyes on him at all times while he’s indoors….

Yes, get a dog. A nice house trained, tired, old dog. But cover your eyes and walk away from the adorable puppies as fast as your legs can carry you. You’ll thank me later. 

But I mean, this is really seriously cute….

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 is usually a 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 of 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. 😉 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…. 🙂

 

 

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. 🙂 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 thankful he was born safe and happy. 🙂

 

 

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. 🙂 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. 🙂 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. 🙂

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. 🙂

 
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). 😉

 
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. 🙂 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 know my Dr 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 been overseas on a trip 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 ultrasound measured 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. 🙂
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. 🙂
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. (Note: Everything seemed gross.) 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. 🙂 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. 🙂
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!! 🙂 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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