Thursday, May 21, 2015

Baby 2 Pregnancy Journal: Week 36!

This baby deep inside of me, ever so small, is a child of God. A child that God gave to me to take care of whether for a day or for years. That care began at conception. Whether he or she lives or dies each day I am with him or her is a gift and has a purpose with eternal consequences. My baby is now a part of my life, my testimony. -Brenda Rodgers, "New Rules for Announcing a Pregnancy"

How far along: 36 weeks!
     I'm still in disbelief we've made it this far! One more week and we'll be considered full term. No preemie situation. No NICU. She can stay in my room and then go home with us. It was a long, hard road to get to this point, but I'm so glad we're here.
"Right now, most of the baby's systems (from circulatory to musculoskeletal) are just about equipped for life on the outside. Though the digestive system is ready to roll, too, it hasn't really gotten a work out yet." -What To Expect When You're Expecting, Fourth Edition
Baby size:  
"Weighing about 6 pounds and measuring somewhere around 20 inches tall." -What To Expect When You're Expecting, Fourth EditionGender: Girl!

Belly: Oh, this belly! It, and I, feel huge! Can it possibly stretch any more?! When I sit, it sits on my lap. haha.

A nurse had a funny "foot in mouth" moment at my last appointment. She had commented on how I carry. (I don't gain or show anywhere except my belly. It's like a big ball sitting there! haha). She then told of how her sister in law carried the same way and it looked so weird. Then, she realized her error. Whoops! I'm not self-conscious about my pregnancy belly and/or weight, so I just had a good laugh about it.


Sleep: Sleep just doesn't happen anymore. I'm so uncomfortable and my hips ache so bad at night that I'm up all night long. I typically get up every hour or two to walk the hallway to move a bit. I need a daytime nap to be fully present and productive in the day.


Clothes: I'm going to wear my last pair of maternity pants out by the time she arrives. They are all I have left because I've out grown the rest of them! But even they are getting tight. Shirts are in a similar situation. Many of them are getting too short. (It's hard to see in the picture above but this shirt is like most in that it leaves the band portion of the pants exposed.). Goodness! Haha!

Movement: Waddle, waddle, waddle!

     Now that the weather is gorgeous, Tennyson and I take a walk (he rides in the stroller) around the neighborhood each day. It's a short walk, but I am enjoying every step of it. I love being outside in this amazing springtime weather. It will definitely be so nice to be able to get out with both kids in the coming months!

  Though, I think my greatest exercise comes in the form of being Mama to a toddler and keeping the house tidy! It can be rather tough to keep up at times! haha.

Baby Movement- She is quite the active little one still! She's remained head down and her feet are up towards my ribs on the right side. She'll sometimes move them over towards the left. Sometimes she'll move entirely (not my favorite at all). My OB reminds me about kick counts and labor signs at each appointment. I've yet to even have to do specific kick counts because she moves and kicks so much that she without a doubt exceeds that number. haha.  

    She's also been getting the hiccups more and more.

Food aversions: I don't think there are any anymore. Anything and everything sounds and tastes fantastic.

Food cravings: Absolutely everything! I'm always hungry and always eating something. I feel like I could just insert my own name into Tennyson's book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar!

     "The very hungry Mama... and she was still hungry!" haha

Symptoms: Reflux is raging. I don't even always have to have eaten something to trigger it. Often times, just bending over makes me a fire-breathing Mama. haha.

What I'm excited about: I'm so excited for her to be here with us! My excitement may even be clouding any anxiety or nervousness of delivery. My focus is entirely on her and the joy I have for her to be here as a part of our family! 

     I've debated delivery options for quite a while: scheduled C-section or VBAC. Both have risks. On the positives, a C-section would allow us to have more planned arrangements for Tennyson's care. (I'm really nervous about him staying with someone else especially at night). I also know exactly what to expect from a C-section. A VBAC, however, would decrease my recovery time tremendously. It would be great to be able to be the kind of Mama and keep the house the way I'm used to doing. Plus, I would at least like to try a non-surgical delivery if given the opportunity.

    I expressed my great debate with my doctor recently and he reassured me that I could make the choice at any point and change my mind at any point. If I decide to do a C-section then it would be scheduled at 39 weeks. If I decide to do a VBAC, then we'll wait until labor. If I change my mind and want to do a C-section, then they'll switch gears and we'll do that. It's really nice to know that I don't have to make that decision too far in advance and that I always have other options available.

     Since she's still head down and everything looks good, my current choice is to go for a VBAC. However, I'm remaining very open to the possibility of needing a C-section. I'm accepting and at peace with either option. (A stark contrast to my all-natural only approach to my first pregnancy and delivery. I was so unprepared for a C-section then!). We shall see what happens when it happens :)

In Other News: 
     I'm ready for her to be here. 36 weeks...we're close enough, Annelise. Let's go! haha!

36 weeks completed! How many more to go? :)

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Blogging and Motherhood

     Blogging has taken a backseat in life since becoming a mama. As much as I enjoy creating posts and sharing with others through blogging, I've found that my attention, energy and time are called elsewhere more often. 

      I've learned that for our day to go smoothly I need to have myself and my day in order. In other words, I need to wake early, get myself fully ready, and have breakfast ready before everyone else is awake. Considering I'm in a season of disrupted sleep with little ones, I need to partake of naptime myself in order to stay energetic and positive throughout the day. I also need to utilize moments in the day to take care of housework so that we may live in peace, instead of chaos. I need to take a moment to plan and prepare activities so that idleness doesn't lead to destructiveness or otherwise undesirable behaviors. My days are rather full with the daily necessities of life!

     I've come to see life as a mama in terms of seasons. Right now as a mama of a young toddler (and soon to be infant as well), my time and energy are directed towards caring for him and our home. I've learned to come to terms with the fact that my "me time" for personal interests is severely limited currently. That's okay! In time, he'll be more independent and we will all have gained more independent time. Right now, though, he's still quite dependent upon me. When he's awake, I want to be fully present with him and in our home. I want to soak up these fleeting moments together, even at the sacrifice of my personal interests.

     I've also learned to come to terms with the fact that just because other mamas can balance blogging and motherhood, doesn't necessarily mean it's appropriate for me to do so as well. I'm assuming they have found a way to blend the two interests in a way that is suitable to her and her family's life. I have not found such to be the case for myself or our family life. It is not a worthy effort for me to try to be like or do like someone else. I must do according to what is best for me and my family. I've determined that that must mean that blogging and other personal interests will simply have to wait until another season in life.

      With that said, I still really miss getting to document our day/life and share the journey. It's so sweet look back through past posts and reread with fondness on those times. Without pausing to create that record, I feel like time and life passes me by even faster. I want to hold on to these moments with my husband and child(ren) (and this mama's memory isn't so great without written record!). I also enjoy sharing the ideas and practices that we've found helpful along the way. I've always eager to learn from others, and have found such encouragement from bloggers. My hope has always been that perhaps what I've found to be helpful will in turn be helpful to someone else. Finally, blogging and connecting with others on a similar journey can be a lot of fun!

       So, yes, as much as I've come to accept the limited opportunity for interests such as blogging as a mama, I've also missed it. Occasionally, I can find a moment to create a post, and will continue to enjoy doing so. So, I suppose the sum of this post is just to express my longing desire to create more blog posts but reaffirm my decision to accept the limited opportunity and continue pouring my greatest attention, energy and time into that which matters most to me- home and family.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Our Favorite Breakfast Meals

  
 
Of course, Mama's cup is preferable to his own!
   Breakfast is my favorite meal occasion. I like to try to have a good, balanced start for our days. I also like to keep things rather simple for myself. I don't cook every morning or make everything homemade. I also have a rotating set of breakfast meal options that I choose from when menu planning each week. My goal is to have a protein, grain and fruit for each breakfast meal. For the most part, Tennyson eats exactly what I do. There are some things, though, that require an extra step or two to make them easier for him (and I've noted those instances to the side of the options below). David joins us for breakfast on the weekends, and we have whatever he'd like (and that's usually when we might have breakfast meats like bacon or sausage). It's nice to know that we always have a healthy and balanced breakfast each day without an excessive amount of my time or energy spent cooking and cleaning it!

A Few of Our Favorites:
    *yogurt with strawberries, cereal with milk (Tennyson isn't quite proficient enough with a spoon for either of these. Therefore, I make a "smoothie" by blending the yogurt and fruit. Then, I thin it with water so that it will go through the straw of his cup. He eats the cereal dry.)

     *whole wheat pancakes with (homemade) strawberry syrup, milk (pancakes can be frozen for later convenience)

     *yogurt with granola, grapefruit, whole wheat bagel with cream cheese (I blend or leave out the granola for Tennyson)

     *oatmeal, banana, milk (I dice the banana and mix it in Tennyson's oatmeal. Until he's more proficient with a spoon, his oatmeal is made to be of a thicker consistency so that he can easily pick it up and feed himself. )

     *egg-in-a-hole, orange, milk (I cook Tennyson's egg completely)

     *scrambled eggs, whole wheat toast, grapefruit, milk

     *yogurt with strawberries, cinnamon raisin bagel with cream cheese  (For Tennyson, I make a "smoothie" by blending the yogurt and fruit. Then, I thin it with water so that it will go through the straw of his cup)

     *yogurt with blueberries, cereal with milk (Tennyson isn't quite proficient enough with a spoon for either of these. Therefore, I make a "smoothie" by blending the yogurt and fruit. Then, I thin it with water so that it will go through the straw of his cup. He eats the cereal dry.)

     *scrambled eggs, whole wheat toast, orange juice (fresh squeezed)

     *oatmeal with apples and cinnamon, blueberry muffin, orange juice (fresh squeezed), milk (muffins can be frozen for later convenience)

     *whole wheat banana pancakes topped with peanut butter, milk (sometimes we'll do frozen multi-grain waffles topped with banana and peanut butter)


Monday, May 4, 2015

Baby 2 Pregnancy Journal: Week 34!


This baby deep inside of me, ever so small, is a child of God. A child that God gave to me to take care of whether for a day or for years. That care began at conception. Whether he or she lives or dies each day I am with him or her is a gift and has a purpose with eternal consequences. My baby is now a part of my life, my testimony. -Brenda Rodgers, "New Rules for Announcing a Pregnancy"

How far along: 34 weeks! We've officially made it past the delivery date of my first pregnancy! Whoo hoo! We're in all new territory now! It's hard to believe she will be here within 41 days! 41 days! Ah, I'm so excited to meet her!


"those tiny little fingernails have probably reached the tip of his or her fingers by this week-What to Expect When You're Expecting, 4th Edition

Baby size:  "Your baby could be as tall as 20 inches right now and weighs about 5 pounds-What to Expect When You're Expecting, 4th Edition

Wow- 5 lbs?! That's almost unfathomable compared to my little 3lb Tennyson! I won't know what to do with such a big baby! haha!


Gender: Girl!

Belly: Oh, this belly! It, and I, feel huge!

Sleep: Sleep just doesn't happen anymore. I'm so uncomfortable and my hips ache so bad at night that I'm up all night long. Most days I get through, but there have been some in which I've asked David to come home early to help because I'm too sleepy to be functional. 
 Soon, there will be other reasons for sleepless nights.  

Clothes: The tops I picked up from a recent consignment event are already getting too short. Oh, this belly! If we go much longer I'm going to have to get some tunics just to be adequate in keeping covered. haha!

Movement: Now that the weather is gorgeous, Tennyson and I take a walk (he rides in the stroller) around the neighborhood each day. It's a short walk, but I am enjoying every step of it. I love being outside in this amazing springtime weather. It will definitely be so nice to be able to get out with both kids in the coming months!

  Though, I think my greatest exercise comes in the form of being Mama to a toddler and keeping the house tidy! It can be rather tough to keep up at times! haha.

Baby Movement- She has more defined resting and active periods. She can still get in some pretty strong kicks and punches. Her favorite spot to reside lately has been my ribs. Occassionally, she'll shift entirely to one side or completely transverse, and my belly will take on quite the interesting shapes! I love all those wiggles and kicks! I already know that I'm going to really miss feeling them after this pregnancy, especially if she's our last child. It's such a special feeling.

Food aversions: I don't think there are any anymore. Anything and everything sounds and tastes fantastic.

Food cravings: Absolutely everything! I'm always hungry and always eating something. I feel like I could just insert my own name into Tennyson's book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar!

     "The very hungry Mama... and she was still hungry!" haha

Symptoms: Reflux is raging. I don't even always have to have eaten something to trigger it. Often times, just bending over makes me a fire-breathing Mama. haha.

What I'm excited about: I love looking down at this growing baby belly and feeling her there! It's hard to believe we're so close to meeting her. I've been keeping track according to weeks, but then I put it into days and wow. 41 days seems much, much sooner than 6 weeks. I'm so excited for her to be here with us! My excitement may even be clouding any anxiety or nervousness of delivery. My focus is entirely on her and the joy I have for her to be here as a part of our family! 
    
 I'm down to the last shot! I'm beyond thrilled to finally be finishing them. I've done all that I can to endure and give her the best chance. I really, really hope that we can consequently skip the NICU stay. I would really like to have the dream come true of us being able to bring her home immediately. (And um..yes, I will be enjoying a rather over-indulgent dessert in celebration of this occasion. 20 weeks of awful shots is worthy of celebration).

In Other News:
     My mind has been fixated on her arrival. Since we know that she could arrive any time between now and six more weeks, I've been in constant prep mode. I keep thinking, "okay, if we were to need to suddenly head to the hospital right now: 1) are our bags close enough to being packed that finishing them would be quick? 2) do we have adequate food and/or meals in the house? (because I'm not going to want to do grocery shopping or cook soon after returning home) and 3) will whoever that comes to help us following her delivery be seeing our home as tidy and well managed, or chaotic and messy? (This one may not be the most critical concern, but it does mean quite a bit to me). These concerns and more are ever present. It's tough having such a long period of anticipation! On the plus side, I feel like I've gained greater training in managing our home and daily schedule/routine than ever before! It's actually been really, really nice to see the result of a peaceful and joyful day and home despite this being a season of busyness and exhaustion. :)


34 weeks completed! How many more to go? :)

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