Anxious Anticipation

Rabbit Rabbit! Welcome to April. This is going to be the best month of my life, Little Man is (no matter what) making his big debut this month. And it’s looking like sooner rather than later.  Last Wednesday made me officially 39 weeks pregnant,39 Weeks and with that came our requisite weekly OB appointment.

We knew we were having another ultrasound this week since, once again, I was measuring small. Any time I have to have a growth ultrasound I go into a sort of worry spiral that I know can not be healthy for my mental health. Add to the that the fact that our doctor was on a cruise this week so I was going to have to see someone who I had never met before. Ugh! All week it was just, Hurry Up Friday Let’s Get This Over With!!

The whole week Hubby had been taking bets over how big Little Man has gotten and wether, if he was still on the small side, they would want to go ahead and induce me this weekend. He’s really ready for Little Man to make his arrival (I ,however, teeter back and forth between I’m really ready to meet him and pure fear over impending labor)! Well, I’m still pregnant. But that could have more to do with the fact that our OB was getting a tan this week than anything else.

The ultrasound showed that he is definitely on the small side…about 6lbs 1oz…and right over the edge of being growth restricted. Basically his arms and legs are a bit shorter than normal but his stomach is a good size so they are not overly worried but are leaning on the cautious size. It’s so hard to hear anything other than “your baby is perfectly average”. I know that there are SO MANY other families in this world whose children are below the “norm” and who lead perfectly normal lives, and even beyond that.  And of course if Little Man was or is anything besides what is considered normal he will be loved and cherished just the same, no matter what.

And so we’re waiting…

Our doctor gets back on Monday and we have an appointment with her that afternoon to discuss the results of the ultrasound and to “talk options”. So once again all we can do is say a prayer and wait. Maybe I’ll go into labor today and not have to deal with this anxiousness any longer…but probably not!

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Diving Into Fluff

When I first found out that I was pregnant I immediately started trying to find ways to save money…these little buggers are expensive!!  What I found, and was shocked by, was just how costly disposable diapers are.  And then I discovered cloth diapers and all the benefits that come with them. Not only will we end up saving at least $1000 over the course of Little Man being in nappies, but the health and environmental benefits alone are worth at least taking a look into for any new parent.

And these aren’t your Grandmomma’s (or Mother’s) cloth diapers either.  No sir.  CDs (that’s Cloth Diapers not Compact Discs) have come a long way baby! But I have to admit that since they’ve come such a long way there’s a lot of information out there, and a lot of options too. Anyone who has ever cloth diapered in this modern age knows that all that information can be insanely overwhelming and totally confusing. There are countless systems: All in Ones, Prefolds, All in Twos, Pocket Diapers, the list goes on and on, and there are abbreviations for everything! Abbreviations that CD vets bandy about with wild abandon as we newbies stare at our computer screens with eyes that are glazed over and slowly going crossed. I once spent SIX HOURS doing cloth research. And once you’ve finally decided on a system (we’re going to be using prefolds with several all in ones for when we’re traveling, going to the dr.’s, need to be able to change in a flash) there are about a million different brands to figure out which ones are best.

So with all this information and the preconceptions of the cloth diapering days of old it’s no wonder that almost everyone I’ve told looks at me like I’m a crazy person. Bless my hubby, he just lets me do what I want and goes along with it. Friends and family have not been so encouraging…my mother makes snide comments on an almost weekly basis about how she’s sure I’m going to get  frustrated after week in and give up. At this point, regardless of how frustrating I may find it, I’ve put so much effort in already that there’s no way I’m going to give up!

And so I’ve compiled my newborn stash of fluff. Four AIOs, seven covers, 30 prefolds, a roll of disposable liners, old receiving blankets cut and sewn into wipes, a spray bottle of home made wipe spray, and several Snappis. I’m also lucky enough to live in a city where we’re getting our own store completely dedicated to Cloth.  Modern Cloth will be opening a store in May!  When it came time to order my fluff stash and I found their fantastic website I could have done cartwheels to find they were based in Charleston.  If you aren’t lucky enough to live in this fantastic city don’t despair…they ship anywhere in the US, so go check them out if you’re even thinking about starting to use Cloth.

There’s exactly one week till my due date (!!!) and once Little Man makes his debut I’ll be sure to continue updating on my adventure into Cloth Diapering.

Has anyone else used CD on their kids? Were you successful or did you give up? Any tips you can give me?

Shower Time!

My (and Little Man’s) baby shower was on Saturday. It was hosted by my amazing best friend, Sarah, and had a (loose) English Tea theme. I say loose because there ended up being no hot tea served. Instead, everyone but me got a bit saucy on white wine! But there were lots of scones, cucumber sandwiches, and other staples all needed for proper high tea. And, really, what more can one ask for at nine months pregnant than lots of snacks?!

When Jesse and I got married we had to plan everything in such a short amount of time…I was determined to fit into the wedding dress I had bought in August when I was a size 2…that we didn’t have time to have a wedding shower. Ironically, the baby shower was held the day before our original wedding date!  Sometimes no matter what your plans are, regardless of how specific and well organized they are, if The Man Upstairs has a different idea for your life’s path you better just hold on for the ride. If you had told me nine moths ago that instead of getting married on March 10th I would be having a baby shower I probably would have laughed at you. Now, I wouldn’t change a single thing; happily married for (almost) three months and three weeks away from being a mommy. The proof is in the pudding…He always knows what’s best for you and the turns your life will take.

Before the shower I was concerned that I was going to have to go on a major shopping spree in order for Little Man to have a suitable wardrobe. The ladies in my life know me well. He is going to be one of the most stylish infants out there (watch out Mason Disick), he even has a blanket and hat to match almost every outfit he’s got. Not saying I don’t think he needs more clothes, I mean, this is ME we’re talking about. There’s always a need for more clothes. But I’m trying to be practical and I realize that if I buy him many more he’ll probably never be able to wear them as he will have grown out of them before I have time to put them on him. 

It was such a great day spent with some amazing ladies. We all had so much fun oohing and ahhing over the many adorable baby gifts and laughing about all the embarrassing moments that pregnancy and beyond forces you to deal with. It was such a blast listening to the stories of labor, and I no longer feel alone in the “My insides have become a punching bag” department. The gifts were all wonderful and, of course, adorable (and useful!) but the best part of the day was spending time with all the ladies in my life who are there for love and support.

Leave it to Southern women to throw parties…they always do it right. Heck, Momma and her best friend are already planning the christening luncheon….

Nose, Chin, or Forehead

A childbirth prep class is a pre-requisite for every first time expectant couple.  Usually these classes are taken over a period of several weeks and last about an hour per class.  However, if you’re like me you procrastinate signing up for the class, wait till you’re 32 weeks along, and end up having to cram it all into one six hour long class.  Goodbye, Saturday.

Needless to say, when we woke up yesterday, neither Hubby nor I was particularly excited about the prospect of sitting in a room for six hours learning how to breathe and watching seriously graphic childbirth videos.  So when we got to the hospital we were pleasantly surprised to find that we were not in for half a days worth of Lamaze and that our instructor was, well, pretty hilarious.  You know your favorite Aunt?  The one who tells it like it is while sipping her glass of chardonnay and wearing a crazy hat or patterned pants you’d never have the nerve to wear in public but secretly covet?  That was our instructor.  She’s an OB/ Mother and Baby nurse at St. Francis and I really hope she’s assigned to us when it’s time for Little Man to make his debut.

We did watch a few videos, though thankfully none of them were too graphic, and there were about 20 minutes spent on learning how to breathe through contractions.  We certainly did learn a lot about the stages of labor, what to expect when we get to the hospital, etc…But mostly we spent the day laughing while Miss Lonnie did her best to make sure we all weren’t scared shitless of this impending thing called labor.  Cause let’s face it, if you’ve never done it before it’s pretty much the scariest thing a woman will ever face.

Some highlights of the day:  Teaching our partners how to judge the strength of contractions by comparing the hardness of our tummies to our nose (not so bad), chin (ouch), and forehead (give me drugs NOW!!).  Everyone, men included, standing up and practicing Kegels.  Miss Lonnie letting us know that she had been doing Kegels the whole time she’d been talking to us.  And, during the tour of the Labor and Delivery Unit, telling us about a husband who decided to see if the windows really weren’t see-through and consequently being taken into security while his wife was moments away from giving birth.  Hubby’s favorite part of the day…finding out he could order pizza while I’m in labor and not able to eat a thing.

More than anything I feel so much more comfortable about the inevitability of labor and delivery.  When you’re pregnant, and beforehand, you hear horror stories about 36 hour deliveries or all of the terrible worst case scenarios that can happen.  It’s enough to give any woman a complex!  Why do we try to scare each other like that?  Yesterday gave me the confidence to be able to get through what’s coming in the next five weeks or so, and most of all to be excited about it and not terrified!  Thanks Miss Lonnie!!

Chubby Cheeks and Sighs of Relief

He’s ok!!!

I started breathing again, for the first time in two weeks, yesterday.  As we sat in the waiting room before our ultrasound I could feel the anxiety pulsing through me.  Mom and Hubby are just chatting away and all I could think was “How are y’all being so nonchalant about this??  We’re about to find out if Little Man is developing correctly or not!  AM I THE ONLY ONE FREAKING OUT HERE???”  But of course, Hubby says I worry enough for the both of us.

As we walked into the ultrasound room I could feel myself shaking.  Then the sonographer put the wand on my belly and Little Man appeared on the screen and all my worries just flew out the window.  And the most beautiful words I’ve ever heard came out of her mouth,  “He looks perfect.  Right on track.”  I cried, Hubby cried, Mom cried.  Proof that prayer is a powerful thing.  I am just so thankful and feel so blessed that my sweet baby boy is ok.  He currently weighs in at about 4 lbs 10 oz and should get up to 6 1/2-7 by the time he’s born.  He is in the 25 percentile but because I’m so small the doctor assured me this was a good thing so that I’ll still be able to give birth the natural way (the way I want to!).  All his organs are functioning the way they should be, his brain is developing at the right track, and he’s even in the right position…head down and continuously kicking me in the ribs!

Then the fun part started.  We got a chance to take a look at his handsome face.  I know every Mom says this but, he is so cute!  His cheeks are seriously chubby and I cannot wait to squeeze them.  He’s already got a full head of hair, you could see the fuzzies sticking up on top, and unfortunately for him he’s inherited the “Kluttz” toe (his second toe is longer than the big toe, a feature almost everyone on my Mom’s side of the family has…except me.  And something I’ve teased my cousin about our whole lives.  PAYBACK!)  I’ve never felt a rush of love like the one I experienced while looking at him up on the screen.  He is so amazingly perfect and beautiful that it gives me chills.  If I feel this way now I can’t imagine the emotions that will swell up when I hold him for the first time.

The ultrasound was scheduled for 11:15 which is Little Man’s usual mid-morning nap time.  This means he did not want to cooperate for pictures whatsoever.  And he was not happy about being woken up.  The sonographer would shake and poke my tummy to try to get him to put his hand down away from his face and he was not having it.  At one point he stuck that bottom lip out in a full on pout, scrunched up his face and started “crying”.  It was like he’s already developing a personality…one just like Daddy, temperamental about being woken up!

I am beyond relieved that he is ok, and now I’m even more excited to meet this little guy.  Yesterday made the pain of the needles being stuck in me for the Iron infusions 100% totally worth it.  I would go seven days a week if it meant that Little Man would keep on being as perfect as he is now.

The Human Pincushion

It’s been about a week since the OB told me she was worried about Little Man not developing on track and ordering the growth ultrasound that I’ll have done on Tuesday.  I had finally started come to terms with the fact that there was nothing I could do except rest and wait, and was making a real effort not to spend every second of the day worrying myself into a panic.  And then on Wednesday the OB Nurse called with the results of my blood work.

They needed to refer me to a hematologist because, frankly, they didn’t know what was going on.  Thankfully the hematologist’s office called about an hour later and they were able to schedule me in for Thursday morning.  Needless to say, it was hard for me to sleep Wednesday night.

When we got to the hematologist they drew more blood (the fourth time I’ve had it drawn in two weeks), and then we waited.  Good news, my blood pressure has come up a little bit.  It’s been low the past few weeks, but it could have come up because of stress…When we finally got to see the physician’s assistant, who was just so nice, we finally got down to what they think is going on.

Basically, my blood is becoming a medical mystery (so comforting!!).  I’m still anemic; my ferritin and hemoglobin levels are low, and the iron supplements and my exhausting efforts to ensure absorption aren’t working.  This should make my red blood cells small.  Weirdly, my red blood cells are normal sized.  This means I’m also deficient in something else…they just don’t know what.  Probably something like B12 or Folate, but they’re going to to have to run more tests to narrow it down.

In the mean time, because the supplements aren’t getting the job done, I’ve been started on a course of IV iron.  And because I’m so far along I have to have the infusion twice a week!  So every Monday and Thursday I’ll be spending an hour in a chair hooked up to an IV for the next six weeks.  Hence the “Human Pin Cushion” feeling!  As if I wasn’t already tired of being stuck!  But it’s all for Little Man, and that’s what matters above all else.

These complications and the stress that comes along with them makes my Survival List  all the more important.  Especially a good support system.  There is NO WAY I would have been able to get through the past week without Hubby, Mummy, and the rest of my amazingly wonderful friends and family who have been nothing but concerned and full of the love and support that we need right now!

32 Weeks

Good news and bad news this week.  I feel like I say this constantly but, this third trimester is a real doozy!  I suppose this is what I get for having such an easy first and second trimester but I am at my wits end.  Not only with feeling poorly but also with worry about Little Man.  But to the good news first….the nursery is really starting to come together!  After changing my mind about 15 times I finally decided to go with a “Forest Friends” theme for Little Man’s room.  Before that it was safari, puppies, preppy, Harry Potter, etc., etc.  It was hard to make up my mind, but once we got the bedding everything else started to fall into place.  It’s far from done but it’s coming along really well!  The rocker/recliner is being delivered on Wednesday (Oh My Gosh is this thing comfy!!), and the reading corner needs to be set up, and of course the organization of clothes, accessories, and blankets is an ongoing process.  To me though, it’s looking great!  Sometimes I just like to sit in there.  I know that’s weird, but it makes me happy…

And I could definitely use some happiness today!  Yesterday was my 32 week doctors appointment, and it did not go well.  My iron levels have only come up one point (from a 7 to an 8, normal is above a 10) and I’m measuring small for how far along I am.  Because my hemoglobin levels are so low the doctor is concerned that Little Man may not be getting the amount of oxygen he needs in order to be developing on track.  That may be the worst thing anyone has ever told me.  I didn’t sleep at all last night, and I’ve practically made myself sick worrying.  I have an ultrasound appointment on the 21st (how am I going to make it through the next 10 days???) to find out his size and to check that everything is on track.

I’m doing everything I can to ensure I’m getting all the iron I possibly can; including drinking a giant glass of OJ with my pills.  Oh the heartburn!!!  I literally feel like dog poop for at least an hour after I take the pills, but if it helps I’m willing to do anything.  The Dr. mentioned that if my hemoglobin levels don’t come up significantly by my next appointment we need to talk about the possibility of having to have iron injections and going on bed rest.  I’ll do whatever it take to make sure he’s healthy, and I’m praying harder than I ever have before.  Hubby is doing his best to support me and not show his own worry.  For now, I’ll keep praying and try not to imagine all the things that could go wrong.  

Please keep all three of us in your thoughts!!  If you’ve ever been through anything similar please feel free to share your story!  It would be big help to know we’re not the only ones going through this!!!!

The Importance of Sweat Pants…and other things essential to the third trimester.

Someone should invent a third trimester survival kit.  It’s probably out there somewhere, but I have yet to find one so I’ve come up with a list of things that are indispensable at this point in my pregnancy.  I was lucky to have an easy time of it up until now, but whew has it hit me like a ton of bricks just how rough being preggers can make you feel!  So, without further ado…here’s my list of can’t live withouts…

1) Several pairs of REALLY GOOD sweatpants.  Before I was pregnant I loved the style of celebs like Victoria Beckham, now when I see Miss Posh Spice  all I can think is “Oh Hell No!!”.  God bless the women who wear heels and mini skirts through all nine months.  I am not one of them.  Comfort is key.  They may not be the cutest option when it comes to maternity wear, but when you’re feeling like a grizzly bear who’s on the verge of hibernation they are the best things on Earth.

 

2) Comfy shoes.  Like I said, comfort is key!!  I wore heels up until half way through my seventh month.  But then one day my feet decided to go up a size and the Jimmy Choos went to the back of the closet and the Rainbows and Uggs came to the front.  This wasn’t really a huge change for me.  I’m naturally clumsy and heels weren’t exactly an everyday thing.  I’ve always pretty much lived in flip flops (what girl from SC doesn’t??) but never have I appreciated them so much.

3) A good book.  At my 30 week doctor’s appointment I was diagnosed as anemic.  This means I’ve had about zero energy.  All I can keep thinking is how glad I am that this is my first pregnancy, and that I still have the luxury of being able to spend the day resting in bed.  But there’s only so much reality tv I can watch.  Books are so important to my sanity, and it’s fun to read to my tummy too!

 

 

4) A body or pregnancy pillow.  It’s hard enough finding a comfortable temperature to be able to fall asleep in.  Add to that the three to five times you’re getting up to tinkle.  So if your ever-growing belly doesn’t have any support and you don’t have a good position to sleep in….just forget about it.  The downside to the pillow is that it literally has created a wedge between the hubs and I in bed.  But that’s a small price to pay for precious sleep.  If I don’t have my body pillow with me I can only guarantee myself an hour of sleep, versus at least five with.  Life changing!  There are some seriously fancy pregnancy pillows out there (with seriously fancy price tags to go along with them) but a good old fashioned body pillow does the trick for me.

5) A GOOD SUPPORT SYSTEM!!!!  By far the most important thing on the list.  If I didn’t have my amazing husband and truly wonderful friends and family I have no idea what I would do.  If it were up to the hubs I would live in a plastic bubble.  While that’s not exactly the most practical thing in the world, it makes such a big difference to know how much he cares.  Not only about me, but Little Man too.  If ever I’m having a day where I just can’t function (thanks Anemia!) he’s quick to jump to action, making sure I’m in bed resting and even cooking dinner.  And the women in my life?  The best!  “Fat days” are a pretty common occurrence as of late, and the hormones that are prerequisite to this stage of life make crying just as common.  Sometimes you just need a girl’s day to make you feel like a million bucks.

 

This is my list of the things I can’t live without.  Without these five things the third trimester would be totally unbearable!  I don’t know what I would do!!  What are some of YOUR absolute necessities???

 

 

Scare Them All

It seems like reproductive issues are taking up a lot of headlines as of late.  Planned Parenthood is at the forefront of the Republican race for the GOP nomination; not to mention the whole Komen Foundation debacle (which they later went back on).

Every time you turn around one of the girls from Teen Mom are in the news for something.  Half of them are in and out of jail  or are in and out of rehab on a weekly basis.  While the other half are glamorized on the covers of magazines.

Then last week South Carolina announced that our teen pregnancy rates had dropped to the lowest percentage they’ve ever been at.  Despite this major achievement we’re still 12th in the nation (!!!) for teens who become pregnant.  Not a good statistic.

All this really got me thinking.  Are teens really getting the information they need when it comes to unprotected vs. safe sex and the consequences that accompany those decisions?  Do they pay attention to the troubles and drama the girls on MTV are going through, or do they just see people on TV who are now famous for getting pregnant before they’re out of High School?  And then it hit me.  I realized a way to make girls, at least, think twice before hopping into bed with someone unprotected.

The majority of schools have sex education.  Even my far right wing parochial school had sex ed to at least teach us about the birds and bees.  We need to add an essential element to this day of school….bring in a pregnant woman and let those girls in on just what the reality of pregnancy is like.  Not the “beautiful experience” it’s made out to be by our mothers and the movies, but the gassy, uncomfortable, body destroying reality of it all.  Teenage girls are selfish and conceited, you show them what it’s like to wear a bikini at eight months pregnant it’ll be as good as putting on a chastity belt.

As I write this I am laying in bed at 4 in the afternoon because of how terrible I feel from drinking a glass of orange juice (oh the heartburn!!!).  I’m far beyond being able to wear normal clothes, and anyone who’s been preggers knows that A) maternity clothes are not cheap and B) they may have come a long way from the days of our mother’s mumus but that doesn’t mean they’re flattering in any way!  Sometimes I’m afraid to move in front of Jesse for fear of what kind of uncontrollable noises my body might make if I do.  All of this will sound like torture to a teenager!  What’s YOUR opinion on the issue?

Hello Third Trimester!

I am 30 weeks and 2 days pregnant today!  Gone are the days of bump envy (I didn’t start showing till the middle of my sixth month and it was really making me sad, I’m still “small” but you can definitely tell I’m preggers!)  Back are the days of extreme exhaustion.  Continuing are the days of torturous heartburn (If there’s one thing that’s been a constant in my pregnancy it is serious heartburn!!  If the old wives’ tales are true I’m going to give birth to a seriously furry baby!).

The closer I get to my due date the more I worry; it’s killing me!  Is this what motherhood is like?  You’re just one big ball of nerves all the time?  I’ve been counting my kicks like a good pregnant chickadee, and despite Little Man being extremely active, I swear he’s not as active as he should be.  And I should really not be allowed on pregnancy websites.  My doctor says they are the bane of her existence.  My mantra at this point is “Women have been giving birth for thousands of years”  as long as I remind myself of that, about a hundred times a day, I tend to remain relatively calm.

I had my routine, every-two-weeks, OB appointment yesterday and the Dr let me know that I am severely anemic.  I knew being THIS tired wasn’t normal, and I’m glad to have an answer as to why.  I had a feeling I would become anemic at some point in my pregnancy; I’ve been borderline my whole life so it was bound to happen.  My doctor put me on a supplement and I should be feeling better soon.  And thank goodness, I’m just so tired of being tired!!

On a seriously brighter note….my Mom and I also did some serious baby shopping yesterday!!  We managed to get a crib, stroller, nightstand, pack & play, crib mattress, and lots of other baby and new mommy accessories.  I was exhausted by the time we were done that I fell asleep at around 7 last night!  But not before Jesse and I (mostly Jesse) put together the stroller and pack & play.  We had such a good time putting them together, although I definitely heard the hubby mutter a few choice words and there was one outburst of “Who designs these things?!?!?!”

I’m so excited to be in the home stretch!!  Every day brings more anticipation and I truly cannot wait to meet Mason.  It’s so amazing how much I love him already…and we’ve never even met!