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  #1  
August 28th, 2007, 11:44 AM
Carliegirl's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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So, here I am starting another pregnancy journal! I can't believe it! I'm 19 weeks along right now, but only writing my first entry because we only just found out that you were coming! I took a pregnancy test a week ago Friday, almost two weeks ago now and got a postive! So exciting! Your daddy and I immedietly had a squealing-jump-up-and-down-hug right there in the bathroom, with your big brother Ru smushed between us in my arms. We are all so thrilled that you're coming!

I should back up a bit and talk about how I suspected I was pregnant and how the pregnancy has gone so far...as much catch up as I can do.

I decided to go get a pregnancy test because it was your daddy's idea. Believe it or not, he noticed that I was pregnant before I did. One night we were lying in bed about to fall asleep and he reached over and started feeling my stomach. I said, "What are you doing????" And gave him a quizzical look. His reply was, "You have a lump in your stomach. A big lump! Do you think you could be pregnant?" I brushed it off, pushed his hands away and said..."I do not! And, no, I'm not pregnant!! Geez! Go to sleep!" And both of us chuckled about it a little and went to sleep.

But his suggestion niggled at me. All day the next day I thought about it. I spent a lot of time feeling my stomach and looking at myself in the mirror and thinking over what he'd said. During the afternoon I laid down on the floor next to Reuben to read him a story and I noticed that it was super uncomfortable. I remember thinking..."Okay, I'm not imagining things and neither is he. There's a lump in my stomach. Laying down that way makes me feel like I'm laying on a grapefruit!!"

By the time Daddy got home I had decided that we needed to do a pregnancy test but I felt a little sheepish bringing it up and we had a date scheduled for that night so, that made it hard to rush out to the drugstore to get a testing kit. After thinking for a while on the drive to the movie theater, I finally worked up the courage to eat crow and told Daddy that I thought he was right, I did have a big bump in my stomach. I also told him that I thought I might be pregnant and that I'd like to do a pregnancy test together and find out. Before we walked in to see the The Bourne Ultimatum we'd agreed to go buy a test together later that night. I also mentioned to Daddy that I was a little nervous that if I wasn't pregnant something serious was wrong with me...that lump was pretty big and if it was a tumor then I was a goner!

When the movie let out it was later than we expected and we rushed home to get your big brother from the sitter talking about the pregnancy test and the possibility of another baby all the way. After we picked Ru up we hurried over to our local pharmacy to see if they were still open. Alas, they were closed and Daddy had to get up quite early for work in the morning. It was so hard to wait but we knew that we had to head home and get a pregnancy test in the morning.

The next day I packed Reuben up and jetted out to the drugstore to pick up the test kit as soon as I could! It was so hard to wait until Daddy got home to do the test. I remember that I opened the test and took all the wrapping off and read the instructions several times before he got home because I could hardly wait to test. The longer I waited, the surer I became that I was pregnant.

The of course, he came home and I was pregnant and we had a little celebration together as a family! We were all so elated to find out that you were coming. Here's a picture of the positive pregnancy test!



That night we left town for the weekend and stayed in Boston for a little sightseeing. It was a wonderful time to savor the exciting new news together and celebrate the idea of a new baby.

All weekend I thought about how exciting it was to be a Mommy again and how thrilling it was to find out that we were going to have another child. I also thought about how far along I was. There were two big reasons why I hadn't noticed that I was pregnant:

1.) I didn't have a period to miss because I'd just stopped nursing Reuben two months earlier.
and
2.) I felt great!

Since my first real inexcusable symptom had been the baby bump we knew I had to be pretty far along. I felt my uterus and realize that it was almost up to my bellybutton! Wow! I knew that at your bellybutton you're considered to be about halfway through the pregnancy. That might mean the baby was coming soon! If I was that far along...I thought to myself...then maybe I could even feel the baby. So, I spent a lot of time lying awake at night paying attention, and lo and behold! I could! I felt so silly that I'd missed all the signs and hadn't even noticed you kicking and turning around. What a funny way to "start" the pregnancy.

This is what Mommy looked like that first weekend.



Here's the "bump" that Daddy noticed.



Once we got home we realized that we had to find a midwife right away and also decided that although normally we'd wait to tell our families about a new little one...this time there didn't seem to be much point in waiting...there wasn't a lot of waiting left to do! So, we called all the relatives. Everyone was very excited to find out and very surprised to find out how soon you might be here. Your Grandpapa Williams laughed and laughed at my story.

We contacted three homebirth midwife practices in the area to schedule introductory appointments with them. We met with Anne first, on Tuesday night. She was a kind woman in a long brown skirt and glasses. She met us at her office in her home. We enjoyed our meeting and she felt Mommy's stomach and guessed that you were about 18 or 19 weeks along. I was so excited to hear that! Imagine...so little time until our new one would be in my arms! We also all got to listen to your heartbeat with the Doppler. It was so fabulous to hear your steady little beating heart clicking along. Your big brother got scared by the loud noise and the woman touching his Mommy with that funny tool, so he just cried in Daddy's arms, but Daddy and I were thrilled.

After our appointment with Anne we talked on the phone with the secretary of another midwife, Valerie. Valerie's secretary said that since it looked like I was due in January or February they were unable to take us as clients. Valerie had so many babies to deliver that she was already full for those two months!

Next we had appointment on Sunday was with Martha. She met us in her office too. She told us all about her practice and her approach and we asked her lots of questions. She also showed all of us some beautiful pictures of some of the births she's attended. We left her office and had to make a decision. It was really tough to decide. We talked about it and prayed about it and then we called cousins Gene and Andrea to ask their advice since they were the only other homebirthing people we knew. That was last night.

Then this morning after a good bit more talking we decided that we wanted to work with Martha. We felt like she would work the hardest to help us have a homebirth, seemed the most like our advocate and would be the most prepared to deal with the issues if Mommy's platelet numbers were down during this pregnancy like they were when she was pregnant for Reuben.

We've started talking about names and so far Una, Eleanor and Calandra have all been eliminated for girls. We're still thinking about Alanna and Liesel. For boys we're considering Keith and Theodore.
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  #2  
September 13th, 2007, 02:34 PM
Carliegirl's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Feeling a little more pregnant these days. Feeling you move a good bit more. Lots of little wiggles and kicks. You seem to be a little night owl. I don't feel you a lot in the afternoon or evening until I lay down to go to sleep and then you usually have a good wiggle session. Reuben would do this kind of thing in the morning when we woke up. You usually don't move much in the morning until after breakfast. You're a late riser. I'm to the point where I can feel little body parts although I'm not perfectly certain if I'm feeling a little head or a tiny bum sometimes. I still feel great...no nausea or other negative side effects.

I'm following Dr. Brewer's pregnancy diet and have been mainly quite successful at staying on track and nutritious although I was a bit lax on vacation. I'm excited because I feel so much healthier this during this pregnancy than I was with Reuben. I think starting at a lower weight helps a lot. I'm also doing two exercise videos...I'm alternating them so that I don't get too bored with a daily exercise program. I'm doing The Perfect Pregnancy workout and a Vinyasa Yoga routine. I like both of them pretty well although I have to confess to vastly preferring the stretching sessions to the muscular building. I'm just that much of a wimp.

I am still not out of all of my regular clothes. I'm wearing too pairs of jeans that aren't maternity although they are admittedly several sizes bigger than what I wear normally (size 9/10 instead of 4/6). I can still wear several regular shirts too, the longer styles that are in right how make that possible. Honestly, I expect that many of them could work right through the whole pregnancy. We'll see. Maternity clothes still look a little silly and tentish on my right now. I'm wondering if I should go buy some smalls since most of what I have is mediums and larges from Reuben. Or maybe I should just hold off and wait to grow into them.

I've felt hiccups several times now. I love it. I love hiccups anyhow...they always feel so silly to me but, hiccups in a teeny, tiny baby...is just too cute.

My belly button is holding out and hasn't quite popped completely, although there isn't much innie left to it.

Here's the latest in pictures.

Me at 19 weeks in our living room:


And then Aunt Grace and I...comparing bellies this past weekend. She's due in the end of December.



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  #3  
September 20th, 2007, 09:52 PM
bostoncreampie's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Wow what an amazing story! Thanks for sharing with us!
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  #4  
October 21st, 2007, 07:15 AM
Carliegirl's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Had my second midwife appointment yesterday morning, 10/20/07. Saw Martha again...I love that there's only one midwife at this practice. I also think we really made the right choice. I wasn't sure if Martha was going to be too out there or if she'd be able to connect to us but I feel quite safe with her and even Aaron was telling me that he thinks we chose the right midwife. At the last appointment (a month ago on September 20th) she wrote up a lab order for a blood test for me and last week I finally got that done so we went over the results. One of the things I'd been most concerned about was my platelet levels since last time that was what was my undoing for a homebirth. True to form it looks like my numbers are dropping again. Normal range for platelets is between 140 and 450. In my first pregnancy I started out at 185 and then eventually dropped to 78. I just knew my platelets were going to do the same thing this time. The other midwife we almost went with told me she'd risk me out to the hospital if I did have dropping platelets even if it didn't seem to present any real health risks and Baby and I seemed otherwise healthy. That scared me because I just had this very sure feeling that it would happen again. I think this is an idiopathic thing that just happens to me when I'm pregnant, something my body does when I'm making a baby. I have no real concrete reasons to believe this, its just my feeling...and I've done enough reading to know that such a thing is possible and happens not terribly infrequently.

So, anyhow...back to the appointment...

She said my platelets are at 108 which means they are dropping but all other blood factors...iron, etc. are normal and I feel great and the baby is doing just perfectly fine so we plan to not do any further testing unless some health problem arises that indicates a worsening condition. She did tell me that from now on I need to take all the supplements that I took last pregnancy (chlorophyll, beet extract, alfalfa, extra vitamin C and do all my cooking with sesame oil). She also asked that I add yams to my daily diet. Drat. Figures it would be a food I don't like. Oh well...could be worse...I know they're super good for me and I won't have to worry about making sure I get a vitamin A source every day anymore! I started looking up recipes for yams last night when we got home...found some that look promising...yam pie, yam flan, yam brownies. Maybe it won't be such drudgery! *wink* She also mentioned that she works with an Eastern medicine expert who recommends something else but she can't remember what it was so she's going to check on that and get bac
k to me. I'm taking a massive load of pills these days. I started out taking a prenatal vitamin, fish oil and extra calcium. Then I did some reading about eliminating strep B from your system through supplement use and since I did have it last time and hated the i.v. during labor. I added extra vitamin C, garlic capsules and acidopholis. So, now its time to kick up the pill count even more. Time for another trip to the health food store. As annoying as it is to take all these pills I'd far rather take them and have a healthy homebirth with a gorgeous baby than avoid and end up like last time.

Martha assured me several times that she wouldn't risk me out unless there was a serious reason and that she planned to fight for my chance to have this baby at home. I feel so reassured by that.

I looked up Aaron's blood type and found out again that he's O+...I am B- which means that our blood types conflict and we have to think about how to handle the rhogam shot again. Last time I got it at 28 weeks but not after the birth because Reuben turned out to be B- too. You only have to be concerned with getting sensitized to antibodies when the baby's blood type conflicts with yours. Martha also did an antibody screen as a part of the blood test and I tested completely clean...no antibodies. Since Reuben is B- (which I had forgotten...we had to look it up in his baby records) that means that Aaron has to be O+-. Not particularly useful to know but interesting. That means our kids could go either way with blood type. I decided that this time around I'm going to skip the 28 week shot and only take it if some sort of injury occurs (would be most likely in a car accident scenario) and then we'll test the baby's cord blood at birth and find out what blood type he/she has and if its positive then I'll get the shot to prevent antibodies if I feel I need it. If the birth is sufficiently non-violent then I'll just make do without. We'll see what happens!

I feel like I know a lot more about blood after researching all this. Who knew the stuff was so complicated?!? Martha lent me a book on the Rhogam shot and I launched from there into much article reading and research. I love going on little research jaunts like this! Makes me feel so empowered and knowledgeable.


We have not had any ultrasounds this pregnancy either and Martha has just been using the fetascope to hear the baby's heartbeat. This time she had an apprenticing midwife student with her and she wanted to listen to the heartbeat too. It was fun passing the earpiece back and forth around the table so that we could all take turns hearing. We all wanted two rounds. So fun! Martha, Aaron, myself and Arianna all smiling and doing that zen like pose that you do to catch the faint pitter, pitter through a fetascope...eyes closed...slight smile...full concentration. Its fun to be the other people waiting your turn again too because you know how hard it is to catch that little heartbeat, what concentration it takes to find it and how exciting and dear it is when you finally catch it tapping in your ears. I couldn't really hear it last appointment and Aaron wasn't sure if he caught it either. But, this time the sound was much stronger, more assertive and it took seconds each time to find the tiny sound. Great fun! Reuben wasn't scared about the exam anymore either which makes me very happy. He played happily around our feet while Martha pumped up the blood pressure cuff and wasn't worried about me laying down on the exam table at all. Very nice to see how he's relaxed and learned that I'm in no danger. Arianna had fun feeling my uterus. Its super clearly outlined right now. I think I'm not carrying as much extra fat as I was last time which makes it a lot easier to feel both the baby and the uterus. Very cool stuff.

Speaking of weight! I weighed myself at the last appointment and found that I was at 141. Sort of worrisome to me...I think I started out at somewhere around 120 or so. That's a lot of weight to have gained already. But this appointment I was pleased to see that I weighed 145. Only four more pounds in a month. That's not too bad. I also looked up what I weighed last pregnancy and found that at just 24 weeks I weighed 160 pounds already. I'm doing a lot better! I'm super proud of myself. Now, I just need to get back on the exercise track. I plan to get myself back on the Brewer diet again...I slipped off and started eating junky things willy nilly this week and last. Time for more health again.

I'm feeling you move a lot lately...little kicks and turning around. Daddy even feels you kick him sometimes in bed. This morning when I woke up he'd awakened earlier and had poked you till you woke up to play with you since I wasn't up yet. You were playing a little kick, poke game together when I opened my eyes. You still like nighttime best and don't usually get up to play until at least 10:00 am...maybe as late as noon.
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  #5  
December 10th, 2007, 11:55 AM
Carliegirl's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I need to take more pictures again. Its been weeks and weeks since I took any at all. And I think I've had two midwife appointments since I posted last. Gah! Lots to catch up on here.

Martha has continued to be wonderful, we're so glad we chose her. I feel so happy and secure, knowing she won't risk us out unless there's actually an emergency. The last two times we've met with her have been fairly uneventful. I weigh myself, I check my urine for protein and glucose (so far always perfectly normal) and look over the notes to see if there's anything we're missing. Then we all get to listen to the heartbeat together, she checks my blood pressure and you get a little midwife massage as she does some palpation to figure out how you are positioned and how big you are feeling these days. That's the fun part!

At our last appointment in November she noticed that you were head down and asked me how long you'd been that way. I told her that I noticed I'd been getting kicks to the ribs for a couple of weeks or so prior to the appointment itself. You haven't moved since then and have stayed solidly head down. It makes me feel a lot more secure to know that you're early making it to "the blocks" and getting in position. I know that a breech baby is do-able and that there are ways to change your position even late in pregnancy but, it sure is great to have things go smoothly.

Its interesting to notice that Martha doesn't check fundal height. When I was having Reuben the midwife we did our prenatal care with always whipped out her measuring tape to measure me. Martha has once or twice compared the uterine height to other anatomical markers like my belly button but she's made no attempt to put down numbers or chart my progress and compare to the ideal. Kind of interesting. The top of my uterus is just under my rib cage now.

I'm feeling a lot of movement these days of course...you seem less markedly evening preferring in your movement now and it seems like I feel you moving so often now that I'm not sure what kinds of patterns there are anymore. I wonder if you had a phase of liking evenings and now you're over it or if I just was spotty about when I could feel you and I couldn't? Curious. It will be interesting once you're born to see what your preferences are. I have been feeling a lot of kicks to the ribs and some wedging up under my ribcage on one side or the other (usually my right side) and I often feel hand movements now too. I can feel your hands playing with my hip bones...particularly my left hip. I suppose if I knew my fetal positioning charts well I could figure out your position based on that kind of feedback. Maybe I'll look it up at some point.

I've been doing more getting ready for your arrival in the planning department. I bought a snuggly little white snowsuit with a soft fur lining. When your big brother was born we didn't need a snowsuit because it was warm so fast right afterwards. I also bought a little car seat cushion to snuggle you in so that you don't do quite so much slouching down into a little ball in the corner of it, and we also got another car seat. I got some wooden teething toys for you that are made with non-toxic paints and have moving parts and bright colors. I didn't like the idea of you chewing on plastic, especially since the latest scares about lead paint on children's toys coming out of China. *shudder* I also got a couple of books to read up on and I have started chewing through them. One of my big hopes is that we'll get a rocking chair to use upstairs in our bedroom for late night soothing when you have trouble sleeping soundly in the early days. I had Uncle Bernard's recliner for Reuben but now its downstairs in the living room so it won't help much at night if I don't feel like trotting down the steps.

I started a music list on Itunes of songs I'd like to put on a labor album to play while we're waiting for you to be born. I don't think I'm done with that yet...I'll have to keep adding to it.

I've been having a lot of Braxton Hicks lately too...I think part of the reason is that I've been a little lax about making sure I drink enough water but, I'm sure part of it also is that we're getting closer and my body is working hard to get ready. Its nice to know that there's a lot of physical preparation that happens before birth and also nice that I don't have to consciously work at making myself do it. Handy how God worked that all out.

We're working on names a little more again finally and I think we have a list of nine for each gender although no middle names matched with anything yet. Your daddy wanted to throw out the list of options we had before and start over from scratch. I wish I could get him to sit down with me and think things through in a thorough and careful way. He seems much more interested in compiling spreadsheets, zipping through the name book once and calling it good and sending out surveys to the relatives. I have kind of given up trying to get him to dream with me and think through names together in a cozy kind of way. Lets hope you end up with a fabulous name in spite of it all.
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  #6  
December 21st, 2007, 01:12 PM
Carliegirl's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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We had a midwife appointment on Saturday (Its Friday now) and I meant to post but didn't get around to it. Everything looks great! Martha was very warm and kind again of course and so was a very nervous midwifery student of hers who sat in on our meeting. My urine tests were negative again just like usual and I'd gained a little more weight.

I'm 160 lbs on the nose now. I'm starting to get to the panicky stage where every pound makes me want to freak out. Somehow getting beyond 150 lbs is scary for me. I guess because the heaviest I've ever weighed "naturally" was 155 and my mind wants to stay under that number because then I won't be "fat." Not necessarily logical but, at least my brain has reasoning.

Martha asked me what positions I was feeling you in first and got some verbal feedback (always head down now by the way, and mostly sunny side up with some hip facing poses....no dropping in sight) and then she felt you herself to see if I was right or not. I was! I've been having fun playing around with belly mapping lately and trying to figure out what position you're in at any given time. You are the perfect baby to practice this sort of thing on, you're so so easy to feel for some reason. I expect part of it has to do with having a thinner fat layer on my stomach this time around combined with my stomach muscles having separated so much that there's a gap there with just skin and tissue in the way of feeling right through the uterine wall. Particularly by my belly button its super thin and easy to feel you so clearly. Martha told her assistant that she wanted to be sure to feel the head and make certain that even though you were facing down you weren't dropped yet so that she could feel good about letting us drive home to Michigan for Christmas. Both of them felt you and Martha was able to reassure us that you were still floating high despite the downward posture and still a bit small too which meant good things for the possibility of traveling. The midwifery student was so nervous about the palpating. I encouraged her to feel you since you presented such a great case study for learning situation...so easy to feel and so clear. She was fine until Martha wanted her to try to feel your head and she had to keep dipping her fingers lower and lower down my belly to try to find it. I think she was embarrassed to be touching my pelvic area. I didn't mind though. I kept trying to reassure her and encourage and give feedback about where to put her fingers and describing what the head felt like to me. At the end she claimed that she found it but I never was sure that she actually did or if she just said she did so that she could quit. When I suggested that she try feeling the baby, Martha said "Yes! I'd like her to. Its a great baby for feeling but also you're a fabulous patient to learn on. I don't know whether she knows it or not (this to the student) but she's a future midwife!" At which point your father interjected "She knows it." smilingly. Made me feel pretty super good. Maybe someday. I'd sure love it.

So, anyhow...she listened to your heart...we all did...even Reuben and noted that its slowed down which means that you're getting bigger and maturing. She did say though that she thought you were going to be a smaller baby than Reuben was. He was 9lbs. 8oz. so smaller wouldn't be incredibly hard to hit but, I did find that interesting. She guesses that you're about 4-5 lbs right now and hopes that you'll stay in for 3-6 more weeks and keep cooking. I kind of think you're a smaller baby myself. Your father isn't convinced. He pointed out that judging by my weight gain I've gotten just as big with you as with Reuben. I gained 45 lbs with Reuben total and even though its super hard to say how many pounds I've gained with this pregnancy since we weren't paying much attention at the beginning of it..we're estimating that I've gained about 40 lbs now. And here I was hoping to gain less. *sigh*

We went out to dinner for my birthday and the owner's wife came to our table to chat and inquired about when I was due and what were having. I told her that we didn't know and she asked me what my palate was like now, indicating that sweets meant a girl and salty foods a boy. I'm sure craving the sweets this time around. Trash, pure trash...that's all I want to eat these days. I'm not sure into meat...but candy, and cookies, and white bread, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and mac and cheese from a box. I'm so curious to see what you turn out to be! I keep telling everyone...we can't lose.

I was ironing this afternoon and I think you might started dropping. Your bottom seems pretty low in my belly...a whole hand or two away from my ribcage and I was feeling lots of downward wiggling and some pressure. I'm curious to see what we find out when we come back from Christmas and have our next appointment.

We wrestled with what to do about Step testing and I think we're going to go ahead and test and if I'm positive do some prenatal treatment with antibiotic cream and homeopathics. We're hoping that vigilance is worth the cost of annoyance. We'd rather be inconvenienced than lose a baby in a freak infection accidentally.

Mike and Grace had their baby (2 weeks early although, perfectly healthy and as planned at the Birth Center with no transfers). They named her Eowyn Raine. We've seen pictures and webcam footage and she's gorgeous. I have to admit that the hormones took off when I heard she'd been born. I was giddy and felt like brain had dripped out one side of my ear. My focus and concentration were just gone for the day. So amazing to have their baby be outside now in the big wide world with all of us. They're coming home for Christmas so even though she was born just 8 days ago we're going to get to meet her in person. Breathtaking.

Because Grace talked about how great the hot jacuzzi was for late labor for her, I decided to broach the subject of water birth with your daddy. Both of us were interested and open to the idea and mentioned it to Martha to see what her reaction was. She was super positive and said, "Waterbirth is a fantastic idea! Do you own a tub?" We said no, we'd thought about checking on rental and she said..."Fabulous. I have one. I'll send you home with it today!" I think both of us were surprised for several reasons, the immediacy of it all, her enthusiasm, and the incredible deal she gave us on a rental price. We got the tub for 60 dollars! Incredible. 300 dollars is more than par for the course normally. So, when we left we packed all the parts of the tub into our car and drove it home to live in our dining room, waiting for you to come.

Tonight we leave for Michigan. We'll be gone for a week and half and I'm carefully packing, pillows for my back, water bottles, my yoga video, snacks, and phone numbers of midwives to contact in Michigan if I go into labor. We've gotta cover all the bases.

I'm getting much more prepared "stuff-wise" too. A pouch sling arrived in the mail, another book or two, I bought some baby milk bath and I started voting loudly for the purchase of a rocking chair for our bedroom. Not much more time to prepare!
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  #7  
January 10th, 2008, 10:07 AM
Carliegirl's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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We had another midwife appointment with Martha this past Saturday (today is Wednesday). It was our home visit. She came in the morning after breakfast after a little bit of a delay due to a birth the night before. She even brought Reuben a gift...a little paper kite! She is super thoughtful and nice.

She checked my blood pressure (normal) and I checked my urine for protein and glucose (also normal) and then weighed myself. I'm huge! I weighed 170 lbs. I know for sure that I'm retaining water though...my feet feel tight, my ankles look puffy now and I have taken off my wedding ring. So, I know that has to be part of my massive weight jump. Still pretty scary though. I hate looking down at the scale and seeing a number that big. Gah! She asked me if there had been any changes in my life, activity, diet or schedule since last appointment that might point to some other cause but I couldn't think of anything. She told me that she would like me to start taking parsley and garlic capsules. I'm already taking garlic but I plan to add the parsley whenever our car gets out of the shop and I get a chance to hit the health food store. If you don't arrive before then that is!

I told Martha that we'd decided we'd like to test for Strep B and treat with Cleocin cream if I'm positive. So, she had me take a culture to send to the lab and told me that she'd get back with me when the results for that came in. She also gave us a lab sheet for getting a clotting test done. Even though I've been watching myself carefully to be sure that I clot whenever a cut appears, Daddy would feel more secure with a clotting diagnosis on paper. So, we were thinking to go get that done sometime soon too...I'm kind of waiting on the car for that one too. Also, Reuben spilled water on the paper and stuck it to the dining room table so I'm not sure how possible it will even be to get it off and use it. We may have to wait until the next appt when we can get another copy from Martha.

I have had two rounds of frequent contractions some of which are mildly painful now. Both of them were on Sundays, this past Sunday and the Sunday before. I wonder if I'm more physically active or more stressed on Sundays because of a busy schedule full of activities or what. I'm curious to see if it hits again this weekend. Normally though, I'm feeling some gentle Braxton Hicks contractions but nothing uncomfortable and nothing very frequent. Some days pass without any "noticeable" contracting at all. I'm not sure much is happening in the way of progression towards labor. Must mean you're not ready yet, eh?

Martha gave us a checklist for a few additional things to gather to put with our birthing kit we ordered and I made mental notes about a few other things I'd been trying to remember to grab for the birth myself. The birthing kit arrived in the mail sometime last week so, now we just have to take that upstairs to our bedroom which is where the birth will likely take place.

I asked Martha where she thought I should set up the birthing tub. I was waffling between the living room in front of the fireplace and the slider or the upstairs in our bedroom near the bathroom. She said that she'd lean towards the bedroom herself for comfort's sake. That was kind of the direction I was favoring anyway so I think that's what we'll do. We have to get it up there sometime soon.

I also still need to pack a bag for you and I to have sitting by the door in case we do have to head for the hospital. Heaven forbid, but its best to be prepared.

I ordered some nursing shirts this week and they have started arriving in the mail. Last time I never bought any nursing clothing and I regretted it sorely. Nursing in regular clothing sort of works but it can be super awkward. Its been a search to locate any nursing gear that I'd be caught dead in but, if you look in the right places online you can find it. You pretty much can't find anything that's American. Its almost all made in other countries and if it is American its small label and not available in stores. I can't exactly try on for size what I've gotten in the mail so far but the material is nice and soft and it all "looks" good. Lets hope I'm as happy as I think I will be.

I haven't had much trouble with leg cramps during this pregnancy...I had quite few with Reuben although still nothing to really complain about. I think I may have had about five or so this whole pregnancy and none of them in the last few weeks. I would expect that they'd really pick up at the very tale end here but they haven't...they've dropped off. I have occasionally gotten funny cramps in my hips lately but only during the day time and not down in the calf area like "normal" pregnancy cramping. Its this shooting kind of tight pain running diagonally down my hip joint when I'm moving in some particular way. I can usually alleviate it or make it go away just by changing position or the angle I'm bending at. Funny stuff.

I have not had any more but in the middle of the pregnancy I had a few canker sores too. I remember being so elated with Reuben because as soon as I was pregnant I magically had no more trouble with cancer sores. It didn't work quite that simply with you...I still got them but only during the middle part of the pregnancy. Pretty much as soon as 3rd trimester started they were gone and I haven't had any trouble since then.

Martha felt you and your position at this appointment and verified that you had indeed dropped. She said that you're nice and low now, all nestled down in my pelvic bones...ready to descend. Not too much longer.

I finally decided that I'd really like to have a real rocking chair and so I told your Daddy that it was the one thing I really, really wanted before you were born. So, the other night we picked up a glider rocker with padded seat and arms in a nice natural oak finish. We're going to have get that assembled sometime soon. The To Do List is far longer than I'd like. Seems like we'll never get it all done.

We bought some little white t-shirts for you the other night when we were out on a date...and some soft little pants to go over onesies. I debated about buying some gender specific stuff but Daddy said he'd run out and do some baby specific shopping once you arrive. I think he'll enjoy doing that and I'd love to see what he picks out especially for you.

I ordered some pads for postpartum recovery and some sets of extra sheets on Amazon today. Now I think the only things we still need are a net for the birthing pool, and those parsley capsules.

I am getting to the point where I'm so huge that I no longer feel anything like pretty. Its getting quite hard to find clothing to fit into and everything looks funny, hangs out, bulges in strange places and doesn't wear properly. Daddy still says I look good and to remember that its all baby but it doesn't feel that cozy. I feel like going into hiding. I'm looking forward to looking like myself again and holding you in my arms and wearing normal clothing that makes me feel pretty.

I bought Reuben his own baby doll a month or two ago and he's been having a lot of fun toting it around the house, talking about you and kissing my stomach and playing baby things. His baby has his own bouncy seat and stroller which get some heavy use and Baby has to be in bed with him every night now so that he can sleep properly. I'm so happy to see him being so affectionate and interested in babies. I hope he'll be a terrific big brother and take care of you carefully.

We worked on baby names last night again for one of the last times. We now have four names for each gender and four middle name choices picked out for each name. Daddy sent surveys out to all the family again with the middle name choices. We'll see what people think, mull over the responses and then cull them down to our very favorite choices. Hopefully, we'll have a list of best options in our hands on the day you make an appearance. We have some lovely names picked out. I really love Galatea Rose, Iris Electra and Gideon Wilder. Alice Pearl is also pretty high on the list. We're still having a much easier time with girl's names this time around than with boys. With Reuben the boy choices seemed to just appear to us and we agonized over girl options. We're still wondering if that means that you are a girl or not....

Yesterday I finished filling out the preliminary sections of your baby book. I've now written in everything I can until you arrive! That's pretty exciting!

Here are the last pregnancy photos I took. I took these just before Christmas....a couple of weeks ago now.





This is my very favorite!

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  #8  
January 12th, 2008, 08:24 AM
Carliegirl's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Yesterday I got a call from Martha with the results of the lab testing on my Strep B swab. I'm negative!!!! Hooray! No antibiotic treatment for me. I'm super relieved. I think the big thing this will do for us is let off a little pressure. It was one of the things that Daddy really worried about, knowing I'm negative will set him at ease which will really help me feel more supported.

What a cool thing to be working with a midwife who would even be willing to test me separately this pregnancy! I was positive with Reuben and most doctors would say that's proof that I'll always be positive (even though the opposite has been proven in studies) and I'd be refused repeat testing this time around and they'd insist that I have i.v. antibiotics during labor. How liberating to be cared for by a person who actually is willing to check and make sure that you need to be treated instead of just insisting on uncomfortable and inhibiting measures during birth. I feel really respected and well cared for.

Have been having a few more contractions yesterday. Nothing painful but more frequent tightening and distracting enough that I couldn't walk or hold Reuben while they were happening.

At the base of my ribs, right where they meet each other I have this diamond shaped section of skin that feels funny sometimes. Maybe about 2-3 inches across in this area of my skin I feel tingling, sort of a bubbly sensation and sometimes heat or cold. Its strange. Not sure what that could be about. Must be a nerve thing. Some nerves getting pressed by the baby or the uterus or something I guess.

We might set up the birthing tub today.
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  #9  
January 23rd, 2008, 02:47 PM
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This past Saturday we had a midwife appointment again. She said that you're still very low which is good. She also measured my fundal height which she hasn't done all pregnancy. She said I'm measuring 33 weeks which is obviously a little shy but she's not worried because apparently you lose a little of the measurement when the baby really drops low. She also felt you moving which was encouraging, nice to have a good active baby. Especially towards the end. She felt all over you and said that she would guess you're in the seven pound range. I had only "gained " one pound since the last appointment which puts me at 171 lbs. I feel like that number is depressingly massive but she doesn't seem too bothered by it at this point.

I checked my urine for proteins and such although she said she's not too concerned with keep on top of it at this point, it feels negligibly important to her at this stage, especially since I've been clean through the whole pregnancy. Things were all normal as usual.

We all listened to your heartbeat and it sounded great. My blood pressure was a little high, 135/70 so she told me to take it easy, get some naps, take long baths, keep my stress level down...etc. We got another copy of the paperwork we need to go in for the clotting test since Reuben spilled milk on the other one that we had. I meant to go in for the test yesterday and forgot. Will try to go tomorrow although it will be too late for results to be available by the time of our appointment I expect. Our next one is scheduled for this coming Saturday although Martha said that she'd be fine with skipping a week and seeing me every other Saturday.

Last night was the full moon and I was really, really hoping it would mean I'd go into labor but no such luck. We've had a couple of evenings this past week when I started having contractions (although nothing super serious) and we thought...."Maybe this is it???" But no. No luck. At this point all activity has really tapered off and there hasn't much of any kind of marked progress.

I set up the changing table area and Daddy put my new rocking chair together. Things are basically all ready. We're just down to the twiddling our thumbs while we wait stage.

I have checked my cervix to see if there's been any noticeable progress there. The only hitch is that I don't have much experience so its hard for me to interpret what I find. I think that I'm starting to efface and maybe starting to dilate. I'm a little fuzzy on the findings. I've lost mucus in small chunks twice now but I'm not sure if it was actually my mucus plug or just normal pregnant type vaginal mucus. No bloody tinge to it or anything...just creamy white. I was kind of optimistic at first but now I'm thinking maybe it was nothing. Seems like if it was a sign of anything we'd be seeing some progress here.

You've been pretty active for the last few weeks but just this week I've noticed the movement really tapering off. In fact several times a day I'll stop and prod you to get you to move a little just to be sure you're doing alright. I'm not sure if that's common towards the end because the baby is sleeping a lot to store energy for birth or just because movement gets so difficult or if that should worry me. Overall you've been a more active baby than Reuben was. So busy...little feet and hands just a going all the time. Mostly pushing against my right rib.

Have been feeling so emotional lately. Your daddy feels quite detached from the whole birth and baby subject in general and would rather talk about his new headset or the piano he wants to buy. I feel a little rejected, sad that he doesn't feel a stake in the whole venture himself and a bit scared that he's kind of abandoning me emotionally to Baby Land. I wish he felt more personally involved. Its hard not to be jealous of other pregnant women who talk about how their husband is looking forward to the baby coming and making this for the baby and reading that about babies and prepping himself for childbirth in this way. I'm also way more emotional than normal. I'm having a much harder time with moodiness this pregnancy than I did Reuben. When I was pregnant last time I almost felt like I was more stable than I am "normally." Ah, but not this time. I'm on a serious roller coaster. I'm doing great and feeling inspired and full of energy or I'm exhausted, depressed and feeling super fat. Drat the moods. I hate feeling so dependent on hormones to dictate my feelings and I hate admitting that they effect me.

We finally worked out a nice long list of people who will be available to watch Reuben when the baby comes. We have Susannah and Jeff or Erica and Phil for during the week. And then on weekends we can call the Colonistas or Beth. And we also asked Audrey if she'll come take pictures during the birth. I'm debating about asking her to bring along her guitar too just in case musical accompaniment sounds soothing. I'm still really hoping secretly that we don't have to take Reuben anywhere. I'd like to go into labor in the evening...have Reuben go to sleep and then sleep through delivery and wake up to a new sibling. I think that's a pipe dream though. I just worry about him feeling left out and upset. He's so seriously freaked out about separation anxiety right now. I hate to ditch him at someone else's house while his new sibling makes an appearance.
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  #10  
January 25th, 2008, 01:47 PM
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Went yesterday over to Quest Labs to have them draw my blood for a clotting test. They said it should only take overnight to get the results back so hopefully Martha will know what my numbers are by tomorrow for our appointment. Feeling proud of myself for actually getting over there and getting the test done, especially in time for our appointment.

Am just baking myself a batch of Baby Blues Brownies. So losing hope that you will ever come. Started telling Daddy last night that you were coming in April and we just got our dates a little mixed. *sigh* Almost funny.

Have been so tired this week. Not sure why...I like to believe that its my body saying "Rest up. Labor's coming." but I'm afraid to hold out hope any more. I also heard there's supposed to be a snowstorm headed our way this weekend and my mind say "OOOo!!!! Maybe that's your ticket!" But again...I feel like I'm grasping at straws here at this point. I'm sick of getting my hopes up and then going..."Oh well. Maybe some other time." Gets disheartening to do it over and over.

Have been posting on the January DDC on justmommies.com but as it gets later and later and everyone has had their babies or are busy madly scheduling inductions and c-sections I have also started posting on a board over at mothering.com (geared towards attachment parenting and natural childbirth) and the Natural Childbirth board on Just Mommies. I'm looking desperately for support anywhere I can. Trying to find ways to boost my mood and keep my patience for slipping away altogether while I wait. I remember with Reuben I was so worried about being induced that I was good and ready to wait as long as it took for him to be fully finished on his own. Maybe being in a situation where I don't have that option looming in front of me has made me more impatient? Ick. I hate to think that of myself. I'd like to just be infinitely flexible and willing to hold out happily as long as it takes.

I'm not the only one who's sluggish around here. You're also really taking it easy. I usually have a good bit of movement all day long but this week it feels like you've just kind of nestled down low and gone to sleep. I can tell you're still in there by the occasional bout of hiccups and some foot movement but you're totally on hibernate drive generally. That could mean something, right? Maybe you're resting up before the big storm. I do really feel like you're in charge of things, not me.
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February 3rd, 2008, 09:19 AM
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I wrote out my fantasy birth situation the other day in response to a prompt on the Natural Childbirth board and then ended up sharing it with Daddy shyly to see what he thought. Turns out it was great idea! He was totally enlightened to learn what I was wishing for and what was important to me. And we actually had quite a little discussion as a result and made a shopping list and To Do List based on some of the ideas I had. I think I'll do this every time now. Such fun to share together, and even if only a few of the things I dreamed of end up happening I feel like it helped us communicate and dream together a little! Here's what I wrote out....

"I'd imagine going into labor at night. I'd like to put my son to sleep cozily and go to bed myself, sleep deeply and then wake up about an hour or two later with heavy contractions. I'd love if all this drawn out lead-up to labor meant that I'd been slowly dilating for a long time and then I'd start heavy labor already open to at least 2 centimeters. I'd like to labor by myself as long as I could stand to and then wake up husband who would leap up excitedly and fill the birth tub for me and call our midwife. Then he'd rub my back with massage oil and sing to me while we listen to the music I've prepared and I labor through my contractions relaxedly, not fighting the process. I also have this fantasy that the birth room (our bedroom) will be filled with vases of spring flowers...hyacinths, tulips and daffodils. I'd love that scent in floating in the background all around me. I'd love to be able to watch the sunrise out our bedroom window between contractions while I wait for the midwife to arrive and then have her comfort and encourage me with the news that I'm farther along than she thought I would be and doing amazingly. I'd like to recognize transition myself and feel super present during crowning and then feel my baby's head emerging with my hands to encourage myself through pushing. Then perfectly, slowly and gently birth my new little one into his/her daddy's open, waiting arms. I'd love to see the baby float softly out into the water...maybe even still in his/her amniotic sac, un-punctured. I'd love to have the baby placed in my arms and discover the gender myself and I'd like it if the baby never even cried but just opened his/her eyes and looked up at us placidly. I'd like it if Aaron cried though *wink* and then wrapped his arms around me and kissed me and told me he was unspeakably proud of me and so in love with our new little one. And right about then I'd like my son to stumble out of the nursery with a sleepy smile on his face and say..."Baby?" and give the new little one hugs and kisses. Then of course I'd love to be helped out of the tub and dried off. The midwife would weigh the baby and give him/her a solid 10 for an Apgar score and the photographer would click away taking breathtaking photos of us together. And then we'd snuggle into our clean, freshly made bed together with a hot water bag. I'd nurse the sweet little new one who would latch on perfectly of course and then we'd all drift off to sleep in one big snuggly bundle. Aaron behind me with his arms wrapped protectively over the new little one and I, Reuben snuggling up against us both and me with my new baby in my arms. And when we woke up...I'd have a luxury lobster dinner delivered to our door. And then, surprise!!!! a giant bouquet of fresh gardenias would arrive from my siblings."

Have been having contractions more or less steadily now since Friday afternoon (it is Sunday morning)! Yesterday had a great midwife appt. Everything looks great. Your heartrate is fabulous, size is healthy, movement is fabulous...and I look robustly healthy too. You are definitely all the way dropped...down as low as you can go without more dilation occurring. I think Martha said 0 station? Had contractions that were pretty strong driving over to the appointment but they really dropped off while we were meeting with Martha. The last strong one was as I was trying to walk up the steps into the office. Then we left the appt...and had contractions pick up again suddenly in the car to the most intensity I've felt so far this pregnancy. Aaron suggested we head to the mall for dinner and a long walk later that night.

Then he dropped Reuben and I off at home where Reuben napped and I contracted some more while he piano shopped. Then he came home and picked up up and we headed to one more piano store where Daddy actually picked out the piano he wanted and we officially became owners of a shiny new upright. It will be delievered sometime in the next week. Your daddy is already dreamily picturing himself playing you lullabies on it while I rock by the fireplace. So sweet.

Next we headed to the mall. We alternated climbing stairs, strolling the halls and trips to the bathroom and got ourselves well exercised. Every trip to the bathroom I had lost a little more mucus plug (but all creamy with no color to it) and contractions kept up strongly. We also dropped by The Body Shop and bought some massage oil for use in more intense stages of labor. Finally wore ourselves out and went home. On the way we stopped at the drugstore near our house to pick up a hot water bottle which sounds like a cozy thing to snuggle down with after the birth. Then we went back to the house and put Reuben to bed then sat up reading The Red Tent together through more contractions. Went to the bathroom again and lost more mucus plug...the biggest chunk so far, this time finally with brown old blood in it. Martha gave me the okay for Daddy or I to check my own dilation as long as nails were carefully trimmed, we were gentle and slow and scrubbed up with hot soap and water first. So, have been checking that...I started on Friday at just slightly dilated (I'm guessing a 1?) which is where I have been for some time...a couple of weeks I'd say, and also not really effaced much if at all...still very thick cervix (perhaps 2 inches thick or so). Then last night we checked again before bed and I was definitely more dilated...open now to the diameter of a penny or so (2 centimeters perhaps) but still not very effaced, couldn't tell much change if any in that way. It got to be 11 last night and we decided to try to turn in and get a good night's sleep so, went to bed and I hoped I'd be able to rest and not stay awake from excitement but also hoped things wouldn't die off completely in the night. Daddy and I prayed together before we fell asleep and asked God to protect both you and I, to give us a wonderful birth and to help us sleep deeply and wake up refreshed and we thanked Him for the excitement of a new little one to love.

We all slept soundly and this morning I'm still contracting although not as frequently as when we went to bed. When I woke up I went to the bathroom and then checked my dilation again. I must have been still contracting in the night even though I slept so well because I'm now slightly more dilated (maybe a 3?) and quite a bit more effaced (maybe a half an inch thick now). Also, I lost more mucus plug this morning, and this time it had a little fresh red blood in it, so things are happening now for sure, no question. I've effaced enough that I can now reach through my cervix and touch the amniotic sac with my fingertip and feel your head right through it. So cool!

After checking myself again I called my parents to update them on the current state of things, updated the blog, emailed Martha the news and left IM reports for Aunt Jen and a message on the boards I frequent. Lots of fun to have other people to share the excitement with!

So...at the moment Daddy is still sleeping but when he wakes up we are hoping to have breakfast and then take a little walk down the road together to see if we can get things going stronger again. And maybe we'll take some family portraits of the three of us for the last time. Last moments of having an only child...we're almost four. Hooray!!!!!! We're having a baby!!!! Maybe not tonight or even tomorrow but, I bet sometime this week I'll be holding you in my arms!

A picture of me yesterday before we headed to the midwife.
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