blissed out of our minds!

i’m the worlds worst blogger!! i was keeping up so well and then our little man arrived and bam… i lost it!

Archer Andrew arrived on July 17th @ 38wks 4days (5 weeks ago already!! omg!)! i woke up to contractions at 1:30a that bounced between 5-15 min apart until mid-day. by 3p they were 2-3 min apart and we headed to the birth center. throughout the day and even at that point i was still convinced the contractions would stop! but i was 4cm dilated and fully effaced upon arrive. by 6p i was 7cm and officially in “active labor”. At 9:55p our 7lb 15oz bundle of perfection made his arrival earth side. i got my birth center birth – it was absolutely amazing and everything i had been dreaming of. the only complication was my hemorrhaging after – but that was an expected situation and i bounced back quickly.

we had a birth photographer join us, and omg i am so glad we did. the images are amazing! and my memory is such a blur that it’s wonderful to see the whole thing unfold via photo.

Archie is doing wonderfully! he’s obsessed with nursing and is starting to sleep like a champ (i got 2 – 4hr chunks last night with just 45 min in between them!). breastfeeding is going ok… i got hit with mastitis at about 3 weeks and we’re just now getting my supply back up and nursing without much pain. i wouldn’t wish that nasty infection on anyone!!

here’s a few pics of our little prince:

it was a hell of a journey getting to this moment, where my sweet guy is asleep on my chest while i type. i continued to be overwhelmingly humbled and grateful. and while it still hasn’t sunk in that i am no longer pregnant, i’m so excited for the next part of this journey and watching our boys grow.

i’m hoping to keep up with updates, i’m just now starting to get back in the general swing of things in life, but this blog has meant so much to me – i have no intention of stopping! thank you all so much for the encouraging words along the way!

we’re totally blissed out ūüôā

so much love,
j

37 weeks and it still hasn’t sunk in.

as of yesterday we’re “full term”! it’s so crazy… i still catch site of myself in the mirror or feel him move and my immediate reaction is “holy crap, i’m pregnant!” he could arrive any time now and i still haven’t fully accepted that i’m in fact (very) pregnant… it’s just gone so fast. so surreal, even after 8 months of knowing he’s in there.

we had our maternity pics done 2 weeks ago – we’ve only seen 2 so far and they are beautiful. not that i doubted my photographer (she shot our wedding and is all around amazing), but i doubted i could look pretty being this big… i was wrong. and my wife looked even more amazing – the joy on her face is just overwhelming.

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we had our baby shower just about 2 weeks ago. it was lovely. it was ridiculously hot here, so that kind of put a damper on the desire to have a backyard bbq, as i couldn’t be outside very long without getting overheated, dizzy, and a bit faint. but the generosity and love we felt from our family and friends was overwhelming. and with my nesting urges getting stronger and stronger, i spent a very satisfying sunday in the nursery putting things away.

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this past weekend, the wife and i spent all day sunday shopping for all the last minute necessities that we didn’t receive at that shower & washing all the baby clothes. we also installed the car seat bases in both cars and packed our bags for the birth center. it’s getting so real! we took mr. beans to a parade and the city carnival on the fourth of july and then came home to set off our own little batch of fireworks. it was a fantastic long weekend and i was glad for the special fun we got to have with mr. beans as his days as our only child are coming to a close.

my pain has been a bit better this week. i think little man may have been in an unfavorable position for the prior weeks and perhaps moved off my pubic bone this past week. when i say unfavorable, i mean in terms of my pubic bone, but i think he was actually in a more favorable position for birth. at our appt last week he was head down and i was measuring right on time for the first time in like 10 weeks. yesterday, he was still head down but slightly¬†slanted (head sort pointed/resting on my left hip bone and i was back to measuring 2 weeks ahead… so my guess is he came out of the pelvis a bit giving my pubic bone less pressure and my size a bit of a lift. obviously i’m not complaining about a break in the pelvic pain, because oh.my.god. even the slight relief is amazing. however, i am anxious about him popping back out of where he should be.

anyway, the midwife said he’s not engaged (despite me feeling and looking like he’s sitting super low), but he is head down and i had a contraction while i was there – so things are at least looking good for now.

we went to the Adele concert last night, i’d be almost willing to bet he’s a bit more engaged now. i stood for almost the entire 2+ hours and even did a little dancing. by the time we left he felt significantly lower (if that’s even possible) than he did when we got there. there was so much pressure in the nether region and i had a handful of contractions during the concert – followed by a slew more overnight. things seem to have calmed back down now, but oh man… the pressure remains and my hips are so sore from standing. worth it tho, it was an AMAZING concert.

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we’re leaving tmrw afternoon for a little weekend getaway. it should be very relaxing and i’m very excited for the time with my wife. but once sunday hits, we’ll be working on all the tricks to get this little boy to come on his own (i’m still super nervous about not going into labor on my own).

all in all, we’re ready. i have a package of last minute labor “necessities” being delivered tmrw, but beyond that… we’re all set to meet our baby.

How far along? 37 weeks
Total weight gain/loss?¬†10lbs! i can’t believe it… the first midwife was so particular about telling me i was overweight and needed to keep my weight gain between 15-20lbs, which sounded rude and impossible (i gained almost 40lbs my first pregnancy), but it seems like i might actually be able to do it.
Maternity clothes? almost entirely. i can still get by with my regular pants w/ a belly band if i have too, but i try to avoid it now because it pinches a bit. my maxi skirts/dresses and leggings are basically what i live in at this point!
Stretch marks?¬†i have SO many from the first time around, i can’t really tell.
Sleep?¬†slightly better with the little bit of pain relief i’ve had, but turning over still pulls and hurts, so i am for sure still waking up a lot. tylenol pm continues to be my best friend as it keeps the insomnia away.
Miss Anything? sleeping. white wine.
Movement?¬†still a lot, but the movements are a bit smaller now – he’s running out of room!
Food cravings?¬†still finding myself with a lack of interest here. i’m usually pretty hungry and ready for any kind of food in the morning, but by mid afternoon i find myself feeling permanently full and uninterested in meals.
Anything making you queasy or sick? the iron supplement if i don’t eat food with it.
Have you started to show yet?¬†i’m huge.
Gender? little mister
Labor Signs? some solid contractions
Belly Button in or out? out.
Wedding rings on or off? on. still no swelling in the hands, yippee!
Happy or Moody most of the time?¬†mostly happy. the pain, when it’s bad, really gets to me as it’s so limiting.
Looking forward to? our mini babymoon this weekend!

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35 weeks & all the pain

The past 3 weeks have been… rough. just after my last post i had what felt like an effective adjustment at the chiropractor and an hour long pregnancy massage. i felt gooey and wonderful just after, but then everything went downhill, fast. my pain stopped being manageable. sleeping is impossible when no position provides relief and/or creates more pain. between being exhausted from lack of sleep and exhausted further from constant pain… i don’t think i’ve been real fun to be around. i’ve cried, a lot. mostly out of frustration… i feel useless and defeated because i can’t do anything with the pain.

my sister in laws wedding was smack dab in the middle of all this… the ceremony was outside and it was a billion degrees. i almost passed out and felt generally ill the rest of the evening. that night was followed by the single worst night of sleep i’ve had during this pregnancy. every time i even slightly moved, i woke up and had to bite my tongue so i didn’t yelp out in pain. i barely moved the next day and had to call into work the day after that because i still couldn’t walk without crying.

i saw the chiropractor again, finally, this past weekend. ya’ll my chiropractor is amazing, he always calls out my problem areas before i even have to say a word. he worked his magic and i won’t lie, i’ve never had an adjustment feel so brutal. i felt like i had gotten beat up afterwards. he told me not to wait 2 weeks anymore in between appts and to tell the scheduler to block extra time for my appointments because we now need to work on more areas to keep me lined up. i am both relieved and frustrated… why is my body failing to hold up?

after that appointment and finding out that my pubic bone was more than an inch out of place (hello SPD and that would explain why walking was the worst thing ever) and specifically having that knocked back into place, i feel a bit better. i’m still sore a lot, but it’s better than the previous 2 weeks. thank god. i started feeling my hips falling out of place yesterday already, so i’m glad we’ve increased my appts to every week and i’m very much looking forward to saturday.

aside from all that, things are alright. little mister is still VERY active and we’re seeing some very big movements and a lot of my belly contorting. i’ve been having contractions, at least a few a day, that take over my whole lower belly and actually require some focus to ease through. i’m hoping this is a good sign that little man doesn’t intend to wait for his due date and that i’ll go into labor naturally. on the same note, i’m praying the boy waits at least 2 weeks from today. i need to get past 7.6, as i’ll be 37 wks that day and we need to be that far or we aren’t allowed to go to the birth centre… also, we’re seeing Adele in concert on 7.6 and i REALLY don’t want to miss that!!

we have maternity pictures tmrw night and i’m so excited! i didn’t get the chance to do them the first time around so i’m really excited that we’ll get to capture this moment in our family’s life. we also have our baby shower on saturday and we’re both very excited to get to celebrate with a lot of our favorite people.

How far along? 35 weeks
Total weight gain/loss? -8lbs in 1st tri, +12lbs in 2nd tri, +1.5lbs in 3rd tri = 5.5lbs gained from pre-pregnancy weight
Maternity clothes? almost entirely. i can still get by with my regular pants w/ a belly band if i have too, but i try to avoid it now because it pinches a bit. my maxi skirts/dresses and leggings are basically what i live in at this point!
Stretch marks?¬†i have SO many from the first time around, i can’t really tell.
Sleep?¬†terrible. pain, acid reflux (i have to sleep at an incline now – which hurts my hips, but it’s that or choke on acid all night), too hot. tylenol pm is my best friend and i was so relieved when my midwife actually told me to take it as often as i want.
Best moment this week? getting adjusted this past weekend and finally getting a little pain relief.
Miss Anything? sleeping. white wine.
Movement?¬†so much! he’s so strong!
Food cravings? i actually seem to be going off food… my appetite is pretty petty. i’m guessing in part to the heat around here, but also the acid reflux makes me nervous to eat anything because everything seems to set it off.
Anything making you queasy or sick? the iron supplement if i don’t eat food with it.
Have you started to show yet?¬†i’m huge.
Gender? little mister
Labor Signs? contractions, baby appears to have dropped
Belly Button in or out?¬†out. and little mister looooves to push out right behind it so it sticks out even further… ūüėõ
Wedding rings on or off? on. still no swelling in the hands, yippee!
Happy or Moody most of the time? lately, moody. i try to make myself focus on how happy i am to be pregnant and to be soon meeting our baby, but boy the pain really sucks the joy of my day.
Looking forward to? maternity pics tmrw night! our baby shower on saturday!

Baby DIY projects 

Since I mentioned all those projects in my earlier post… I thought I’d post photos of all the DIY projects we’ve done for baby (I don’t have pics of the bandana bibs, giraffe rattle, changing pad covers, or taggy blanket – I’ll post those later).

These are almost all the paintings, refurbishing, and sewing projects from the past 6 months for baby + the thank you quilt gift for Beans’ teacher ūüôā

32 weeks & the nesting struggle is real!

time is passing so quickly. i know i say that every time… but each time i go to post and realize how long it’s been since my last post, i don’t believe it! it feels like the past 2 weeks were just a few days!

32 weeks hit on wednesday, something about saying “8 weeks left” or “2 months to go” feels so close to the end! it’s bittersweet, how fast it’s going and how close we are to meeting our second son. i’m eager to see his face and hold him, i’m also eager to kiss pregnancy pain good bye. but i’m not so eager to see pregnancy in general end… i waited so long and we worked so hard to get here, it’s just going by maybe a little too fast. i’m trying to really enjoy it and spend quality time soaking in the moments of feeling him move and the special closeness there is with a baby in the womb. i’m just so grateful.

the last 2 weeks have been pretty good. my pain seems to be hovering around manageable, and the chiropractor appts seem to be keeping me in a pretty good rhythm. either that or my tolerance is just reaching amaze-balls levels ūüėČ
nesting kicked in really early on with this baby, i get almost a bit obsessive when i decide something needs to be done. in the last two weeks this has amplified to aggressive levels! seriously you guys, i can’t stop. most of the nesting energy is driven toward sewing/crafting projects for baby man or for anyone else i can think of. in the past two weeks i’ve sewn:
– 7 burp rags (6 for us, 1 for a friend)
– a 60in x 60in lap quilt for Mr. Beans’ teacher (as a thank you/retirement gift)
– 2 baby quilts (one very simple, the other one of the most complicated i’ve done)
– 2 bandana bibs (for a friend)
– finished a crochet quilt
– a¬†second¬†crib sheet (i made baby’s bedding – sheet, skirt, crib quilt, breathable bumper, and matching changing pad cover – weeks ago)
– a second changing pad cover
– soft block toy
– giraffe rattle (for a friend)
– 2 nursing infinity scarves
– a taggy blanket

can’t stop. won’t stop.

i have several more projects in mind… a few more soft blocks, a kitten rattle, more bandana bibs, more burp rags, more nursing scarves, carseat covers, a quilt for our soon-to-be niece or nephew, some other little toys, little baby shoe/slippers… some for us, some for friends/family, there is lots of babies being born around us. i live in my sewing room lately and i’m so happy in there. the wife spends time in there with me, typically painting – she recreated and absolutely adorable print for baby’s room and she’s been repainting/recovering some decor we found at thrift stores/on clearence for baby’s room. we’re almost done with the nursery – i’ll be sure to share pics when we finish, it’s AMAZING.

other than that, we had another midwife appt last night. things continue to look mostly good. my iron levels were found to be low at the 28 wk screening, so i’ve been on a supplement for that. the midwife commented that my heart rate seemed a little fast yesterday and that’s common with anemia… i hope that doesn’t mean the supplement isn’t helping. my level was 10 at 28 weeks, she said they want it above 10.5 to birth at the birthing center… i’ll be checked again at my next appt (at 36 weeks). it’s encouraging to know i’m so close to the cut off and surely i’ll make it at least that .5 point. but it’s also causing me some anxiety…
that mixed with finding out that little mister is breech (kind of… he’s sort of diagnol currently – head near my right ribs, butt near my left hip bone) and a lot of talk about making sure i start doing specific activities now to encourage him to turn, has me pretty anxious. i know he still has 8 weeks (but more like 5 as if he’s not head down by 37 weeks they will try to manual turn him) to turn… and he is a SUPER active baby… but if he doesn’t turn, no birth center birth for me.

so i’m trying to remain proactive and positive that the iron level will rise and little man will get himself in the position he’s supposed to be in, so our birth center dream can be a reality… i’m nervous, but trying not to dwell and just to have faith.

How far along? 32 weeks
Total weight gain/loss? -8lbs in 1st tri, +12lbs in 2nd tri, +1.5lbs in 3rd tri = 5.5lbs gained from pre-pregnancy weight
Maternity clothes? almost entirely. i can still get by with my regular pants w/ a belly band but am starting to stick with stretchy skirts/dresses and leggings.
Stretch marks?¬†i have SO many from the first time around, i can’t tell. i don’t think there are any new ones yet.
Sleep?¬†continues to be hit or miss. tylenol pm is a dream come true, but i don’t like taking it too much so i limit that. i keep waking up with acid/bile coming up my throat… like i’m puking in my sleep. both gross and disturbing – luckily i wake easily so i don’t think there is a choking hazard there – but i’ll be really upset if i don’t wake soon enough and end up tossing all that in my bed!
Best moment this week? completing so many sewing projects, getting our rocking chair cushions back from my MIL (they’re sooooo cute!), short work week w/ memorial day
Miss Anything? sleeping. beer. and cold cut sandwiches.
Movement?¬†so much! he’s so strong!
Food cravings?¬†fountain pop. specifically diet pepsi. it’s so bad, i literally dreamt last night that i was pouring diet pepsi into my coffee… what?!?!
Anything making you queasy or sick? the iron supplement if i don’t eat food with it.
Have you started to show yet?¬†haha i’m smuggling a basketball here.
Gender? little mister
Labor Signs? a handful of mildly painful contractions
Belly Button in or out?¬†out. and little mister looooves to push out right behind it so it sticks out even further… ūüėõ
Wedding rings on or off? On… except the other night when it fell off my finger in my sleep. riddle me that?? don’t most woman have swelling? i’m over here finding my fingers thinning out and jewelry falling off!
Happy or Moody most of the time? mostly happy. occasionally the pain and/or lack of sleep gets me and i have to have a little cry.
Looking forward to? pregnancy massage tomorrow morning!!! YAAAAASSSSS!!!!

30 weeks and so busy!

we hit the big 3-0 today! only 10 (i hope) weeks left… it’s really flying by.

the past 2 weeks have been so busy! i had my glucose test done at my last midwife appt (2 weeks ago), took the a week to get my results, even though they told me they’d have them within 24 hrs. that was an anxious week! i passed the glucose test, but as expected it was found that my iron levels are low. same thing happened with mr. beans, so i was prepared to hear i’d need to start a supplement. i’m a little anxious about it this time because if it’s below 10 i can’t give birth at the birth center, it’s currently… 10. yikes. so hopefully the supplement will at least bring it up a point or two and we won’t have to worry about our plan being ruined. midwife seems optimistic that we’ll be able to get it up to the save zone, but any positive thoughts on that one are welcome!

last week was my 28th birthday ūüôā the wife and i took the day off and spent it strolling around an old town here. stopped into a few antique and boutique stores, ate delicious food, went to my most favorite toy store and bought our niece a special gift (she lives in London so we rarely ever see her, but she’ll be here next month for a visit to celebrate my SIL’s wedding). had a lovely dinner with my parents and then topped the night off watching mr. beans’ soccer team win their game. i was worried my body wouldn’t cooperate with the walking around and all the fun but i kept a slow pace and it stayed mostly tolerable. it was a fabulous day and i feel so blessed to be so loved and i’m so excited to see what the 28th year of my life will bring.

the day before my birthday, i had a handful of contractions. i’ve been having braxton hicks since like 18 weeks or so, but these were real ones. luckily only about a 3 on the pain scales, but they held on and had a bit of a rhythm for about an hour before tapering off. they kicked back up again just as i went to bed, but i was able to fall asleep and was not woken by them so they clearly stopped again. i felt anxious, especially knowing our plans for the next day did not include relaxing at all, but the contractions stayed away and since then i’ve just had a sporadic one here and there. on one hand it makes me excited, like i really will go into labor on my own this time and not have to be induced (i never had one ‘uninduced’ contraction last time). on the other hand… it’s too early so i hope it doesn’t mean i’m headed for a preterm birth.

my pain has been a bit more manageable the past 2 weeks. i’m still experiencing quite a bit of rib pain, but i think i’m learning how to off set it a bit. my hips have felt pretty good for the most part since my last adjustment and the pelvic pain seems to just flare up when i’m really pushing it. little man has felt very low the past several days. i feel a lot of jabs right to the cervix – not a super pleasant feeling hahaha and with that has come some additional pressure to that poor pubic bone – but despite that, it still seems to be holding up ok painwise. it would seem that either the adjustments are working or my body is just finding a way to move around the pain. either way, i’m glad to be sitting slightly lower on the pain scale, at least for now.

we attended a birthing class last weekend for 2nd (or more) time moms. it was awesome! i wasn’t sure what to expect as i did not take any classes with my first, but it was really worth the time (5 hour class) and money. we learned some great comfort techniques, which was my main point in going as i didn’t go naturally last time i’ve been really concerned about having an arsenal of tricks to get us thru med free this time. there was a good bit of refresher stuff – which was excellent since it’s been nearly 9 yrs since my last birth and also because this is the wife’s first experience. the teacher was thorough, humorous, and seriously helpful. being they keep the classes small (only 4 couples in ours) it meant a lot hands on involvement. good stuff, feeling really good about it.

whew… that was a lot of info. sorry about that guys! if you’re still reading – here’s the regular update:

How far along? 30 weeks
Total weight gain/loss? -8lbs in 1st tri, +12lbs in 2nd tri (as of now i’m about 4lbs over my starting weight – pre loosing any – do i go off my starting weight in terms of tracking my overall weight gain or do i go off my lowest weight? of course i’d much rather say i’ve only gained 4 of the 15lbs they suggested i gain instead of 12!)
Maternity clothes? almost entirely. i can still get by with my regular pants w/ a belly band but am starting to stick with stretchy skirts/dresses and leggings.
Stretch marks? i have SO many from the first time around, i can’t tell. i don’t think there are any new ones yet.
Sleep? still pretty bad. acid reflux has kicked in, so if i don’t prop myself up – i wake up with a throat full of acid. but if i prop myself up then it bends my body funny and increases the rib pain… i can’t win.
Best moment this week? hearing i passed the glucose test, celebrating my birthday, an excellent birth class, and mr. beans’ soccer team winning the first game of the season.
Miss Anything? sleeping. beer. and cold cut sandwiches.
Movement? so much! he’s so strong!
Food cravings? mostly sweets… Popsicles have been a big hit lately…
Anything making you queasy or sick? the iron supplement if i don’t eat food with it.
Have you started to show yet? haha i’m smuggling a basketball here.
Gender? little mister
Labor Signs? a handful of mildly painful contractions
Belly Button in or out? out. and little mister looooves to push out right behind it so it sticks out even further… ūüėõ
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or Moody most of the time? mostly happy. occasionally the pain and/or lack of sleep gets me and i have to have a little cry.
Looking forward to? getting some more of the little things done in the nursery (we’re sooo close to done) and getting our newly reupholstered rocking chair cushions back from my MIL.

Here’s the 30 week bump:

j

the birth center woes continue…

i’ll start by saying, i’m probably being overly sensitive…

when we decided to go to the birth center instead of a traditional hospital birth, i knew i’d get some pull back. i knew i’d hear a lot of the “what if something happens?!” “you’re crazy, you should be somewhere where there is access to pain meds, you’ll NEED them.” that sort of crap. and i’ve gotten a ton of it, in all different forms.

what i didn’t expect was to be so overly annoyed by this conversation:

person: “where are you giving birth?”
me: “the ________ birth center”
person: “oh what hospital is that at?”
me: “it’s not a hospital, it’s a birth center.”
person: “yeah… i gave birth at a birth center too, it was connected to the hospital.”
me: “right, that’s not a birth center, that’s a hospital that calls their maternity ward a birth center… but it is a hospital.”
person: “same thing.”
me: “no… not even remotely close. there isn’t a doctor (just lovely midwives), an OR, pain meds, long term stays (you leave 4-6 hrs after baby is born)… its not the same. it’s not connected to a hospital, in fact it’s a few miles away from one.”
person: “… well it’s just a different kind of birth center then.”

dear god in heaven. it infuriates me. why?
maybe it’s because the whole point of going to the BIRTH CENTER was because i wanted to be no where near a hospital setting… and when someone insists it’s the same, it makes me insane. if it was the same, why would i bother?
maybe the reason this conversation happens is somewhat along the same reasoning people respond to the no drugs thing on the defense… like somehow by me saying “i am choosing to birth naturally” i’m actually saying “you are a weak person for using drugs”. maybe when i say “birth center” they’re hearing “better than your stupid choice to go to the hospital”… which of course i am not saying anything remotely close to that.

how do i lay things out in a way that people stop jumping on the defense? never once have i said anything negative about the way any other person has chosen to go about their births. all i’ve ever said was “this is how we are choosing to do it.” i’ve explained that i went the hospital route the first time, but felt so uneducated about my options and ended up feeling very controlled and unhappy with my experience and that because of that i knew i wanted to do things differently this time. i’ve always been careful to say “FOR ME this feels right” because i don’t want anyone to assume that i think less of anyone who does it differently. the only hope i have for pregnant mothers is that they know their options, they’ve weighed them out and chosen what feels right FOR THEM, and that they have the support of the people around them.

has anyone else experienced this full on assumption that by not doing the “traditional” hospital birth, you’re somehow flipping the bird to¬†everyone who is/has gone that route?

i’m just so sick of feeling like i’m offending everyone by simply answering when i’m asked where i’m birthing and subsequently what that means my birth will look like (god willing, everything goes ok). i’m also sick of feeling like i have to then defend myself and constantly be on guard to explain that no a birth center is not the same as a ‘birthing center attached to a hospital (aka a fancy name for a maternity ward); i’m doing what feels right for me; yes i know anything can happen – we’re prepared for that too; and on and on and on.

i’m so frustrated. why is something that feels so special and right to us having to be something i now dread coming up in conversation… i actually find myself wincing when someone asks where we’re having the baby…¬†i wasn’t ever looking for validation and i could’ve gone the whole pregnancy without ever discussing our birth choices. it’d be ideal if people just stopped asking now… how sad is that?

j