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4 months

4 months

Riley was 4 months old on Saturday. I CANNOT believe it has been 4 months. It simultaneously feels like she has been a part of our family for my entire life, and feels like I was squinting at a line on a pregnancy test literally yesterday (side note: that was actually just over a year ago! Holy shit!).

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The thing that is at the forefront of my mind this month (or maybe just this week? Today?) is her skin. She has always had super sensitive skin. She’s just kind of a rashy baby, and clearly would get contact dermatitis whenever someone who was wearing a fragrance or wool or anything irritating would hold her. Over the past month or so, she seems to be having more significant allergic reactions to something and I CANNOT FOR THE LIFE OF ME FIGURE OUT WHAT IT IS. I think about it all day long and my gray hair is spreading rapidly because it is all I think about and I worry all the damn time. The rashes come and go and this is a kind of dramatic picture because it is basically the worst it’s been plus I took the pic right after I rubbed lotion all over her so it’s kind of extra red.

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We tested her poop for the possibility of an allergy to something I’m eating (apparently if that were the case there would be blood – possibly not visible) and it was negative. I don’t think that means that it is definitively NOT something I’m eating, but I think it is less likely. She has also been having liquid poops (like, not that “seedy” look, just the yellow color and totally absorbed into the diaper) for a full month as well. The doctor isn’t concerned about the poop given that she doesn’t seem dehydrated and she is gaining weight, etc. She has never had a fever. I think it could be the dog? But we are being super vigilant about vacuuming all the time and keeping Riley’s things off the floor etc etc etc. I also cut out dairy anyway and that hasn’t helped at all (it’s been almost 3 weeks). My working theory is that it’s the dog and we just have to get an air purifier and be even MORE vigilant, but the poop changes throw me off. Ugh. Anyway, that’s all I think about so, any theories are welcome. Of note, we have already done the following things:

  • We use a free and clear detergent for her things and ours (duh)
  • We use an “extra rinse” cycle on the laundry
  • We bathe her twice/week and use a sensitive soap (Aquaphor baby wash)
  • We hydrate her skin multiple times/day. We used to use Aquaphor but the doc said it has lanolin in it which sometimes irritates skin because it is a sheep product, so we switched to Hydrolatum at her suggestion. That actually helped for like 2 days – she totally cleared up. And then it came back. We use coconut oil on her head for cradle cap/dry skin there
  • I vacuum a lot
  • We got the dog groomed
  • We try to only dress her in 100% cotton and only wear it ourselves.
  • I cut out dairy

Sigh. Anyway I’m sure you didn’t come here for an obsessive mom waxing poetic about baby skin. So let’s talk about Riley at 4 months old.

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She is at such a fun age! She’s learning so many new things

  • She is WAY more aware of everything going on – and very distractible (especially when nursing)
  • She can reach and grab toys and loves to play with her O-ball and little dangling animals on her play mat.
  • She has her hands in her mouth all the time. She has taken to sucking on her index and middle finger and it. is. very. cute.
  • She brings her toys to her mouth and tries to eat them too.
  • She can almost stay in a seated position all by herself, and really likes sitting up (between our legs, in a Bumbo for a few minutes)
  • She likes tummy time for about 5 minutes and then she doesn’t anymore.
  • She is almost ready to roll from front to back. She can do it if I tuck her arm under and kind of coax her to start (she’ll kick her leg over and roll the rest of the way).
  • She smiles and giggles and is just the most fun baby to talk to in the world.
  • She has full-on conversations that are passionate and serious and full of eye contact and awesome facial expressions.
  • She loves music and songs.
  • She is mesmerized by sign language.
  • She loves to facetime and seems to actually recognize people on video chat?? Or at least, she smiles at people on facetime despite not being the type of kid who smiles at the phone when it’s not on facetime. And she’ll have little vocalizing conversations with the phone too. GUH.
  • She recognizes and prefers her moms 😍

Also, on a less exciting note, she is certainly struggling to learn how to sleep effectively as her little brain grows and grows. I hesitate to use terms like “4 mount sleep regression” because I really feel like those things are kind of made up and in general serve more to give parents anticipatory anxiety than to help describe a developmental phase but… Her sleep has suddenly taken a dive. (and she happens to be 4 months old…). She has always been such a good sleeper! And she still does an awesome job of falling asleep- I don’t have to nurse her or rock her to sleep or anything. She goes down awake and swaddled with a binky (my least favorite part but ya win some ya lose some I guess). So she’s still doing that, but now she’s waking between sleep cycles and having a hard time getting back to sleep on her own. We are kind of sort of if starting to sleep teach? We’re doing some extended waiting before going in to give her the pacifier at night. So far I can stand to listen to the fussing and crying for like 7 minutes before I cave. About 50-70% of the time she will fall back asleep in that time, but will often wake back up crying again like 20 minutes later. We’re working on it. She’s also added back in a 2am wake up which I am so not having. She was on a pretty good steak of sleeping about 6:30-10 or so, then nursing, then back down until 4 or 5, eating again, and back to bed until about 7. I know we’re lucky but also that’s our reality so this new habit of crying and walking up in the middle of the night is rough and I don’t really know what to do about it. Sigh.

So aside from my current all consuming worry about her skin (oh, and did I mention she might be coming down with something today? Her little cry is all hoarse and scratchy, her lymph nodes are swollen, and she has a low grade fever of 99.7), this is such an awesome age. She learns new things every other day and is generally so happy and playful. I’m so happy Wednesday is finally over because I get to spend the next 4 days with my little love before I have to go back to work. We are looking forward to her 4 month doctor visit tomorrow (maybe we’ll start to figure all this out) and my parents visiting this weekend! Grandma is on daycare duty next week. Any and all positive thoughts about her poor skin are appreciated! Happy hump day. 

Riley’s birth story

I keep meaning to write out Riley’s birth story before I forget it. Given that it has been 13 weeks already (edit: it’s been like 16 weeks and I take forever to do anything anymore), I’m quite certain that I have forgotten many of the details I wish I could hold onto, but better late than never right?

OK so quick recap: at my 37 week OB visit, I was measuring ahead (around 40 weeks), so they ordered an ultrasound. The ultrasound tech’s measurements estimated that baby at 9lbs 12oz at 37 weeks 4 days, so my OB recommended a planned C-section at 39 weeks. I was scheduled for a c-section at 10:30am on Friday November 4.

Em and I were SO nervous and excited and terrified and all-of-the-feels that morning. We also probably forgot when they told us not to bring everything in with us right away, so we showed up with a suitcase, duffle bag, pillows, etc … it was a little excessive. I actually don’t think what we packed was excessive but we didn’t really think through the fact that it wouldn’t be too hard to go out to the car and bring everything in once we had a room. Apparently Riley was born on a busy day/weekend, because there weren’t any recovery rooms available. So I ended up in a monitoring room for both pre- and post-op until I was ready for a hospital room.

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The last picture of Riley on the inside! This was the little room we were in before and immediately after the c-section.

In terms of the actual delivery, once I knew I wouldn’t be going into labor (unless, of course, I spontaneously went into labor before 39 weeks, which I didn’t), the thing I was most nervous about was the spinal. It was a silly thing to be nervous about, it was totally a walk in the park. Just a little prick for the local and then I didn’t even feel the spinal going in. Em wasn’t in the room for the spinal, and didn’t come in until I was already on the table all rigged up with an IV and numb from the chest down. The anesthesia felt warm and kind of pooled in my feet first and then spread upward. The sensation of knowing my body was there but not being able to control it in any way was really fascinating and gave me a new respect for folks with physical disabilities (what a weird thing to be thinking when you’re about to give birth, right?!). It took maybe 10 minutes or maybe 30 minutes for them to prep me. At the time, it felt like an eternity and also the blink of an eye. Then all of a sudden the OB told me they were starting. I couldn’t feel anything but movement and pressure. It kind of felt like they were taking my pregnant belly and just pushing it back and forth. I remember feeling really nauseous at one point, and the anesthesiologist tweaking something which apparently helped as I felt better within a couple of minutes. I think it took about 15 minutes for them to get to the point where they were ready to deliver Riley. Once she was out, the OB asked if we wanted to know the sex, and when we said yes she asked if we’d like to just look. I have to say that I LOVE that the first words spoken to my child weren’t “it’s a girl!” She held up the baby for Em to see, who took a second and then turned to me and said “it’s a girl?!” kind of incredulously. Em had been so convinced it was a boy for the last couple of weeks. Also apparently she took a second because she couldn’t actually tell if it was a boy or girl – the umbilical cord and swollen genitals were throwing her off haha.

Once she was vacated from my uterus, Em left my side to help the nurses weigh her, get her footprints, etc. Riley came into the world a whopping 10 lbs 4 oz! Our pediatrician later said that c-section babies sometimes have slightly inflated birth weights because they take on some of the fluid that is given intravenously to the mother, which makes a lot of sense.

Although I wasn’t able to do skin-to-skin right away, they brought her back to me and put her on my chest as soon as they finished weighing her and checking her APGARs, etc. I have never experienced such a rush of emotion as I did when I met her.

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The best moment of my life. LOOK AT THOSE CHEEKS.

Overall, I am a little bummed I didn’t have a vaginal birth or go into labor only because I’m super curious. I experienced the whole pregnancy and didn’t get to experience a contraction. But overall, I’m glad I had the c-section. I have really narrow hips and I’m just not convinced all 10+ pounds of her would have come out that way – especially without doing some serious damage. Really, I’m so happy that she is here and that she came the way she did. And I hope that next time I have an opportunity to experience labor and vaginal birth, if it’s in the cards. I guess I really expected to be more disappointed that I ended up having a c-section, but I just can’t bring myself to want it any other way.

Quick aside: I’m pretty sure these are the first pictures I’ve ever shared of my face. Obviously we are not really “in the closet” about any of this anymore so the need to be anonymous has kind of dissipated. Still, feels crazy after 3 years.

Anyway … after she arrived I don’t remember too much of the physical/medical things. Actually all I remember was my nurse coming in to do uterine “massage” which should obviously be renamed “uterine murder” or “uterine punching bag” or something. Basically she put her whole body weight on my uterus and pushed all of the extra crap out. Disgusting and also (mostly) very painful. I had Riley with me in the OR recovery room, where we were for about an hour I think. Then they rolled me down to our hospital room. I got SUPER nauseous and told them so, apparently right as we arrived to the room. Instead of just bringing me through the door and into the room, they stopped rolling the bed right in front of the doorway to let me get less nauseous, which I thought was so weird. Like, just take me into the room – it’s right there.

We were in the hospital for 4 nights (standard for a c-section). For the first 24 hours, I still had an IV, compression things on my legs, and a catheter. Once those were gone, I feel like my physical recovery went really really well. I was able to be up and walking to the bathroom right away, my incision didn’t give me any trouble at all (until around 8 weeks when I started to really up my activity level – then I had a little bit of bleeding here and there for a few weeks). In fact, whenever someone came into the room (a billion times a day), Em and I swear there were more compliments on my incision than the baby. I remember the hardest thing about recovering from the surgery was waiting for the morphine (part of the spinal cocktail) to leave my body because it was making me SO itchy. They gave me Benadryl for it, which helped a  little bit but not a lot. It probably took 2 days to stop itching actually. In terms of pain meds, I just took Tylenol and Motrin for 3 or 4 days and then stopped. I was really surprised at how well the recovery went overall.

Most of my memories from the hospital are obviously about Riley. I was just so in awe that she came out of me and that all of a sudden we were moms. They were testing her regularly for all of the regular things, but also for her sugar levels, which is typical for bigger babies. Luckily, hers consistently stayed normal (apparently they sometimes drop really low?). Our hospital encourages rooming in, so she was with us pretty much the whole time. We did have them keep her in the nursery one of the nights for about 3 hours between feeds so that we could sleep. Other than that, all I remember is feeding/trying to feed her!

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Still my favorite picture of Em and Riley. I love how similar their coloring is, despite the lack of a genetic link.

OK, so the breastfeeding journey … here we go. Her bilirubin numbers were slightly high early on, so they wanted us to supplement with formula as my milk hadn’t come in yet. Our hospital has a wonderful lactation consultant program, and the LC suggested we use a supplemental nursing system (SNS) for the formula – that way Riley was learning to latch and suck at my nipple but also getting the formula. In general, she had a really hard time latching right away. She would get on for a couple of minutes and then pull off/stop. I noticed on the first day that she had a tongue tie. BUT I totally didn’t want to be that person (tongue ties are sooooo trendy, and I know this because I’m a speech pathologist and everyone wants to tell me that their child’s tongue tie is the cause of all of their woes). But seriously, it was significant – her tongue is STILL heart-shaped because it was pulled back by the tight frenulum. And wouldn’t you know, the pediatrician actually noticed it too and had the pediatric surgeon consult. They clipped it when she was just a day old, which is amazingly early (especially given that most pediatricians don’t think revisions are necessary). Anyway, I am quite certain that her tongue affected her latch early on, but so did my nipples and so did the fact that we were both so new at this. Looking back, I wish that I had asked for another day before they had us supplement, because my milk ended up coming in early and I really think that using the SNS affected our nursing relationship. After that, Riley would just get SO frustrated trying to latch onto my nipple without the SNS because she wasn’t getting instant gratification. It took 3 weeks to really get to the point where she would latch on and eat without me enticing her with a bottle first or getting her suck reflex going with my finger.

Anyway, in addition to the tongue tie, my nipples are apparently not protrude-y enough (::eye roll::), so I was also using a nipple shield. For those of you keeping track at home, so far that’s: tongue tie revision, nipple shield, and SNS. Of course, when you are using a nipple shield, they want you pumping to stimulate supply as well (apparently nipple shields can decrease stimulation), so I was pumping every two hours as well as trying to feed her with the nipple shield and SNS. The one thing that went right is that I was able to pump my own milk really early on, and we only supplemented with formula for less than a day. After that, I was able to use my own colostrum and breastmilk in the SNS. Then, on our very last night, we had the night nurse from hell. I asked her to come in and help us get Riley latched (I was having trouble even with the shield and SNS), and she did not even try to help. Instead she lectured me that my baby had lost close to 10% of her birth weight and I just needed to feed her with a bottle or else she was going to lose more weight and blah blah blah I’m a terrible mother. So, obviously, that night I cried for hours on end and ended up feeding her a bottle, which she actually refused later in the night and we had to finger feed her with the SNS. It was just terrible. And we were so overwhelmed with all of the interventions! Pumping, nipple shield, SNS, and now a bottle – it was crazy. That night left us scarred for days! Thank god for the wonderful lactation consultant, who was the first person we saw when nurse-from-hell went off shift in the morning. Our LC helped us make a plan to get her fed and also work toward breastfeeding. We went home feeding her bottles of my pumped milk, and attempting to breastfeed 3 times per day. We also went home with a follow up appointment on the books, which was really the best part. I felt like we had a plan and a check in and everything was going to work out.

Now, everything totally did work out, but it took weeks, and breastfeeding/learning to breastfeed successfully was the single hardest thing I’ve ever done. Obviously Riley had some hurdles to overcome (newly freed tongue, etc), and there was no shortage of intervention which I honestly think served to only confuse Riley. If I could go back and do it again, I would ask for an extra day to try to get her eating from the breast before supplementing with formula. I really think that getting used to the instant gratification of the SNS was the hardest thing to overcome when trying to go back to the breast. For the first three weeks, I couldn’t get her latched onto my breast without first enticing her with a bottle and stimulating her suck reflex. Eventually, I was able to get her sucking on my finger instead of a bottle first, which was great. And then she finally started latching on her own and breastfeeding successfully (still with the nipple shield). After all of that pumping early on, I ended up having oversupply. I was pumping close to twice what she needed, so I was able to get a good freezer stash going early on. But with a good supply sometimes comes an overwhelming let down, so even though Riley was able to feed successfully she would often pull off and cry or get excessively gassy from the crazy let down. We definitely had a rough go of things early on! Thankfully, I was able to wean off the nipple shield at about 11 weeks, and she’s now doing great on her own.

Phew – that was quite a bit of verbal diarrhea. I’m glad I could get it all written down though. I feel like I could write a novel about how hard breastfeeding is but that story has been told (just not to me prior to doing it myself …). All in all, November 4, 2016 was the best day of my life and I am so grateful for every single part of our journey so far. And if you read all the way down to here – good for you, you’re a better blog reader than I!

12 weeks

I’ve officially stopped being surprised at my total lack of blog writing. When I’m home with Riley, it’s just really hard to motivate myself to do anything other than play with her, take care of her, or snag some me time. It really doesn’t help that I don’t have a computer. I hate blogging on my phone.

Which brings me to today, my very first day back at work. Y’all, I feel like I left a body part at home. It is so so emotionally hard. And I really really love what I do. I am happy to be a working person. I want to have a routine and see adults and speech pathologize my patients. But I also feel like I’m missing something major when I leave my baby behind. Yeesh.

All of that said, it is crazy to feel like I have some time to sit and write a blog post. Work suddenly seems so uncomplicated – I  just have to do my job and pump. Simple as that. Being a mom involves so much less structure! And let’s talk about pumping. Do any of y’all get crazy different amounts at different pumping sessions? I haven’t pumped more than once a day (in the evening) since her first few weeks of life so I don’t have a great barometer to go by, but it feels weird that my 8:30am pump I got 8.5oz and then my 11:30am pump I got 4oz. That’s less than half! Is my 2:30 about to be even less? (Update: I got a little less than 4oz in the last pump session). I know that I’m pumping enough overall to make up for what she is eating but I’m worried about her having enough anyway. Like is my supply decreasing while I’m away from her all day? Will she have enough to eat when I get home tonight? I’m probably overreacting. Emotions. Bleh.

So here’s the deal. I have a plan to write a post about Riley’s birth and first few days, and potentially a couple of posts about her development at 1 month and 2 months. But no one wants to read a monster post like that, so I think I’ll start with a post about my sweet Riley at 12 weeks.

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I can’t believe this sweet baby girl is 12 weeks old. Time literally just flies like a jumbo jet. So fast. Slow the eff down, please!

This week Riley …

  • Is super smiley, especially when looking at faces up close. This usually means when she’s facing you in your lap or hanging out on the changing table.
  • Once or twice I’ve even heard a giggle. I shit you not. I have a human child who giggles.
  • She doesn’t love being in a half awake state on the changing table. Once she’s fully awake she’s all smiles. It’s weird.
  • Loves her playmat! During her awake/activity time, she can hang out on her back on the playmat for a good chunk of time, wacking away at her animal friends. (Our best friends’ 3-year-old son refers to the hanging toys as “decorations” lol)
  • Eating: She is super predictable and eats every 3 hours during the day. We get one chunk of 6+ hours between feeds overnight, and then another 4ish hour chunk, which is awesome.
  • Sleep: Riley sleeps like a champ at night, in a bassinet in our room. We put her down sometime between 6:30 and 8pm (depending on her rest-of-the-day schedule), and she falls asleep on her own with minimal fussing. She is napping in her crib (!!) about 3 times a day, and will fall asleep on her own then too (swaddled, with music and a binky). We haven’t gotten a nice long nap in a while. She usually caps out at about an hour and a half, but averages 45 minutes. Is this normal? I wish she’d take a long nap like once a day. It would be superb.
  • Play/communication: Her favorite thing to do is coo and babble like she’s having a conversation. Lots of vocal turn taking and even some imitation (ooo vs. ahhh). She’s also figuring out how to make the “attend to me now!” vocalization that is not actually crying. This speechie mom loves it. She’s also really into her hanging toys – mobiles, playmat, etc. She’ll wack, stare at, and talk to them all day long.
  • Motor: Riley loves tummy time, but only for maybe 10 minutes at a time, then she’s ready to not be holding her head up anymore. She’s starting to refine her arm and leg movements to play with her hanging toys, and has even grabbed on a few times. She’s also getting excellent at bringing her hands to her mouth (she puts them together like she’s praying and then brings them up to suck on) as well as to her head where she scratches. Ugh.
  • Health: Poor thing has the most sensitive skin. She has never really not had a rash somewhere on her body. Currently, she has a very persistent neck rash that is sometimes a yeast infection (smells gross ugh), dry scalp that is maybe hedging on cradle cap, and some itchy dry skin that is perhaps in the eczema family (per the pediatrician) on her head and arms and feet. I just hate that she’s itchy. It’s also a bitch and a half to keep her nails short enough that she’s not constantly mauling herself. ALSO she has already had her first ear infection, last week. She didn’t show any symptoms aside from maybe slightly more fussiness than usual? She is NOT a fussy baby so this presented as minimal fussing that I just assumed was her finally being a normal baby. But then she had stuff coming out of her ear so it was certainly an ear infection. She had a couple of days of antibiotic ear drops that cleared it up, thankfully. I constantly worry about her poops. At the moment, I’m worried that they seem more liquidy. Sometimes I worry about their color. Sometimes I worry about their frequency. I wish I could just chill. She’s also a spitter, which is not helping the neck rash because she’ll spit up while she’s lying on her back, no matter how much burping we do or how long we keep her upright after eating. Anyone else have this issue?

Honestly, she is the. best. baby. And she is my baby. And I can’t wait to leave work early right now and go home to her because I miss her so damn much it hurts. Here’s some more pics because I know that’s what you’re really here for. Now that I’m back at work I play to actually blog, as it’s an excellent procrastination tool 🙂

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Loving her tummy time mirror. Who’s that cute baby?

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Seriously, she loves tummy time. 

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Can’t wait to get home to these smiles

She’s here! Almost 4 weeks later…

I have honestly tried to sit down and write my birthing story just about daily for 4 weeks. Obviously that hasn’t happened! And to be honest it’s not going to happen in depth today because she is going to wake up to eat any second.

So for now … Our precious baby girl R was born by c-section on 11/4 (I was 39 weeks). She was 10lbs 4oz of love, and 21.5 inches long. It seems like her birth weight was a bit inflated from the IV fluids I was getting because it took her about 3 weeks to get back to her birth weight even though she was eating well.

I have about a million things to say about her (and I really want to record this early development stuff because you just know I’ll forget it all by tomorrow) and I have so much to say about breastfeeding and how hard it was for us to get started. But those things will wait. For now… some pictures of our sweet R, who will be 4 weeks old tomorrow!

38 weeks down, 1 to go

Well, I continue to be an awful blogger but what are you going to do? I’m on an every-10-weeks roll at the moment 

🙄To be honest, I feel like I’m going to continue to suck at this for quite some time, but I really miss keeping up with all of you. If any of you are interested in linking up on Facebook or instagram, I’d love that. Just shoot me an email and tell me who you are. Inthebabycloset AT gmail DOT com

I can’t believe how the third trimester has flown by. People kept telling me it would drag, which seems insane to me now. It may have something to do with us having booked all of the things for all of the weekends in the third tri? Either way I can’t believe I’m about to have this baby.

And about that, I am totally about to have this baby. I have a scheduled C-Section on Friday (Nov 4), which is in less that a week. OMG. I should probably start at the beginning of that story though, huh?

I’ve felt so lucky that this pregnancy has gone so well. I feel like I’ve had minimal crappy stuff – not too much morning sickness, I’ve been generally comfortable, no major complications, etc. I think around 33-34 weeks I suddenly felt like I had gotten GIANT overnight. That seemed pretty par for the course with the third trimester but it was the first I had felt uncomfortable. Anyway, fast forward to my 37 week appointment, which I had with a new midwife because my OB broke her ankle (story for another day), and she says that I’m measuring at 40 weeks. Apparently the week prior (36 weeks) I had been measuring at 38 but no one had ever told me what the measurement was prior to 37 weeks. They would just take it and move onto the heartbeat-listening-bit. 

Anyway, they had me go back for an ultrasound to do some more precise baby measuring, which I did on Tuesday. Now, I know that ultrasounds can be off by a pound or so in either direction, but my baby was apparently measuring at 9lbs 10oz at the tender age of 37 weeks 4 days. So that’s how we came to the C-Section. I honestly feel good about the decision. I’m a little disappointed that I won’t have a vaginal birth and that my baby won’t get the benefits of being squeezed through the birth canal, but I also know that a big baby (and honestly, this baby COULD be as big as 11+ lbs when he/she is born) and my narrow pelvis don’t mix, and I’d much prefer to just do a c-section if there’s a chance for trauma to baby and a higher chance that I’ll have failure to progress and end up with an emergency C anyway. My doctor mentioned that perhaps they “missed” me developing gestational diabetes after the 28 week test. They had actually tested me early at 20 weeks because my PCOS put me at higher risk. Then again at 28 weeks. If I’m lucky enough to be pregnant again so,exam, I’m definitely advocating for a late test. GD actually ramps up at 32-36 weeks, so maybe that’s when I got it. It’s odd because (aside from my big baby) I haven’t had any symptoms, and I passed the first 2 1-hr glucose challenge tests with flying colors. But who knows. And my doctor said that at this point it doesn’t make a difference. But either way, this baby will be here by Friday and we will not be using any Newborn size clothes! Good thing I didn’t wash those ones. 

I’m definitely a little nervous about the C-Section and what to expect, so any stories or tips are appreciated! I am glad that I can narrow down my worrying to only c-section related things, rather than worrying about both haha. At this point Em and I are focusing on getting things ready at home and wrapping up a week earlier than expected at lovely thing about a planned c-section is that we have been able to give our out-of-town parents some time to plan their trips. Of course, I could always go into labor on my own between now and Friday. The best laid plans and all that …

For posterity, my bumpdate:

How far along? 38 weeks 1 day

Baby is the size of: Well, the app says a Pomeranian, but let’s be real her, my baby is the size of a 1 month old ACTUAL BABY

Total weight gain/loss: Just over 30lbs 

Maternity clothes: 🙄 never going back

Sleep: I’m sorry, what? What is sleep? Everyone says my body is preparing me for baby but I really wish it would prepare me by letting me get some sleep. I’m up about every 2 hours to pee and toss and turn. Also it’s so hard to get out of bed! 

Best moment this week: Finding out I’m going to meet my baby on Nov. 4

Miss anything? Sleep. I have a feeling I’ll be missing that for quite a while though 🙂

Movement: This baby loves to move. Things are starting to get kind of uncomfortable some of the time. I think it’s because the baby most certainly dropped, so some movements are putting a lot of pressure on my pelvis.

Food cravings: Sugary drinks. Which I’m certain is not helping with the whole big baby thing, so I’m trying to avoid them.

Anything make you queasy or sick? Nope

Symptoms: Lots of swelling in my hands and feet. My right foot/ankle definitely has been more swollen that the left, and I’m jamming my feet into my roomies shoes every day. I’m definitely also feeling lots of pelvic pain and pressure, especially when I stand up/walk after sitting for a while. The peeing all day and night thing hasn’t let up at all, and my lower back hurts every day but hasn’t been debilitating. 

Purchases: After a second (FRIENDS-themed … guys, it was awesome) baby shower and a big Amazon order, I think we have everything we need. Em and I did a little clothing shopping the other day to get some more 3 month sized stuff as well. The nursery is set up and ready to go, and I think we are in business. As ready as we can be to bring home a totally dependent little human!

Looking forward to: Meeting our son/daughter!

29 weeks oh my goodness

Wow, I am a terrible blogger. I am not sure where the last 10 weeks went but I’m here now and that’s what counts I hope?

In all honesty, I totally know where the weeks went. Summer happened, which means that we haven’t stopped to catch a breath for 3 months. Em and I have had something big to do (travel out of town, have guests staying with us, big events) every weekend since forever, and there’s no end in sight. In fact, I think the next weekend we have nothing huge to do is October 22, which give us exactly 3 “nothing” weekends between now and baby’s expect arrival. AHHH

Rather than trying to fill in every little thing that has happened since I was 19 weeks pregnant, I’m just going to go with a current update. Life-wise, I just got back from a weekend in Cleveland where my mom and sisters threw me a baby shower. Em didn’t come because we couldn’t find a weekend where we were both free to actually have the shower (see above) so we agreed to divide and conquer on this one. It was a lovely shower – totally beyond what I expected. Guests were asked to ship their gifts because we live in Boston and taking big things on a plane was basically not going to happen. But everyone brought a baby book to start our library, and the shower was book themed.

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Adorable book-themed foods

My sisters went all out with the Pinterest inspired theme. It was a brunch shower, so they had an egg casserole (Green Eggs and Ham), muffins (If You Give a Moose a Muffin), veggies (Peter Rabbit), fruit in the shape of a caterpillar (The Very Hungry Caterpillar), Hershey kisses (A Kissing Hand), rainbow goldfish crackers (The Rainbow Fish), and a guessing game (Guess How Much I Love You). My sister also made one of those creepy/hilarious/awesome watermelon babies.

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Em and I are both getting more and more excited about baby as things are getting more real. We had a little freak out about daycare but have since kind of maybe figured something out. We are on “the list” for a center that is really close to us. It’s a stretch to afford, but we are able to save some money by doing just 3 days/week and doing under 8 hour days (Em is going to be flexible and drop off just after 9/pick up right before 5). They can’t guarantee us a spot, but seemed confident that a number of spots would be opening in March/April. Given that we need to start in February, we’ll probably end up filling in with a short term nanny or something. We visited a bunch of home daycare providers, and just really didn’t love any of them. The one that we did like required us to come full time (or at least pay for it), so it wasn’t enough less than the center to feel good about. A few of the home daycares were really just awful. Em and I visited all of them together, and Em had set up all of the appointments. One of the places we visited a) forgot that we were even coming, b) was just not a warm fuzzy person anyway, and c) told me to call her when I had the baby and come back to visit with my husband. Uhhhhhh, who did she think Em was?! Just some assistant I hired to do all of my talking for me? What the hell. Anyway, daycare is terrifying and awful and I hate the idea of going back to work enough as it is so I hate the whole thing. I’m sure it’ll all come together, so I’m choosing not to stress about it anymore now that we have a sort-of plan.

So on to the bumpdate …

How far along? 29 weeks 4 days

Baby is the size of: A hawaiian pineapple

Total weight gain/loss: I think I have an overall gain of 8-10 pounds at this point.

Maternity clothes: All of them.

Coming out of the baby closet status: At this point everyone knows because I am obviously pregnant. I actually feel like people didn’t assume me pregnant out loud (they thought it but wouldn’t mention it without me mentioning it first) until about 2-3 weeks ago? I see new people every day because I see patients at a hospital. So I got to see a LOT of people look but choose not to say anything. I’m now at the point where people immediately ask when I’m due.

Have you started to show yet? I’m certainly obviously definitely pregnant.

Sleep: Aw man, sleep is rough. I get up 2-4 times each night. We did end up getting a new mattress – we got a Casper and totally love it. If anyone is in the market and interested in the Casper let me know because I can get you $50 off with a referral. Also my Snoogle is my saving grace. I didn’t have it with me in Cleveland over the weekend and totally noticed the difference.

 

The newest sleep issue is that I’m waking up to hip pain and having to flip over to my other side. Prior to this week, I’ve mostly been waking up to pee/because I was slightly uncomfortable. Now there’s the aspect of pain, which makes it a little harder to get back to sleep.

I feel like it sounds like I’m complaining – really more just trying to document. I actually really love being pregnant.

Best moment this week: The shower was really amazing. I felt so loved. I also came home from the shower to a clean house and to the guest room (soon-to-be-nursery) cleaned out and ready to be nested in. My wife and her dad had moved the guest bed into our office/memorabilia room (don’t ask – Em is a huge baseball fan and collector. And she is selflessly sharing her memorabilia room with our future guests) and cleaned out the now nursery entirely. Now all of our accumulated baby stuff is in the nursery! Unfortuantely, we haven’t yet gotten the furniture so it in no way actually looks like a nursery. We have a rolled up rug that we haven’t put down yet, are waiting on a backordered dresser (should be here in a week or two), hoping to get a Labor Day deal on the crib this weekend so that’s not ordered yet, and waiting 6-8 weeks for the chair that my parents just ordered for us this weekend as a shower gift. I’m so excited to see it all come together and having the room empty and ready to fulfill its new purpose is so exciting. Can you tell I’m feeling the nesting urge hard?

Miss Anything? Wine, sushi, and oysters

Movement: I’ve been feeling kicks consistently since about 19 weeks. Around 22 weeks, Em was able to feel them from the outside and it was such an amazing moment. One of my favorite from this pregnancy. I’ve been counting kicks once a day(ish) when I remember to/have the time to slow down enough to actually track and time it. But I feel a ton of movement these days. I really love love love the feeling of my baby moving around inside of me. It just makes me so happy.

Food cravings: I started having a few real cravings? My first craving, and the most common one since, has been donuts. Can’t get enough of the sugary carbs with no nutritional value ::eye roll::

I’m still eating fruit like no one’s business as well.

Anything making you queasy or sick? Nope

Symptoms: OK so the more weird and annoying symptoms are starting to emerge …
–  Numb thighs: Whenever I walk or stand for too long, my outer thigh(s) (usually just my right one, but sometimes the left or both) go numb. This goes away if I sit down for even just a minute. My OB said that I’m trapping a nerve. It is a really strange sensation and I’ve had to limit activities that involve too much standing/walking.
–  Peeing: Total TMI ahead. Since around 19 weeks I’ve, for lack of a better term, been leaking urine (ugh hate how that sounds). Basically my bladder is obviously squished and kinked or something so I don’t get everything out when I pee. I’ve had to develop some acrobatic tricks – now I have to move and lean in every direction for a minute after I finish and hope I get it all out. I feel like no one talks about this (probably because it’s weird and gross), but I have no time for shame. I do allow myself some time for annoyance though haha. Anyway turns out Thinx (the period underwear) also have another brand called Icon that are designed for this very issue, so I bought a few pairs. I wish that the built in padding went up higher, but I otherwise recommend them if you are having this weird issue and are sick of panty liners. UGH
– Aches and pains: The aches and pains are starting to show up but are manageable. Mostly it’s lower back and hip pain when I’m sleeping.
– Swelling: I’m starting to notice swelling in my hands and feet, but pretty much only after I’ve been standing/walking a lot (especially out in the heat) or on an airplane. I took 2 airplane trips recently so I feel like this symptom is exacerbated by the flights. I am NOT wearing my wedding ring at the moment, but hoping that another day post-flight will get me back to ring-wearing size.

Purchases: Em and I had a fun nighttime adventure in Carters recently, just letting ourselves get excited and buy some clothes. We got only sale items and probably 5-6 things total? It was pretty exciting. And the shower gifts have been rolling in, which we are so grateful for. So we now have the pack n plan/infant station for our bedroom, a Baby Bjorn bouncer, 2 carriers (Bjorn One and K’tan), lots and lots of books, a few clothing items, a Boppy, a hamper, and some other assorted items that I can’t think of right now!

Looking forward to: I’m really looking forward to our Boston shower that our friends are throwing for us in a few weeks. We are also going camping this weekend which I’m excited (and a little trepidatious) about. We are bringing a battery operated air mattress, so hopefully it won’t be awful and uncomfortable.

I really hope I’ll be able to keep us this blogging thing through the third trimester. I really neglected the poor second trimester and want to give this one its due. So hopefully see you back here soon! Happy Tuesday 🙂

19 weeks and other musings

I wrote this first paragraph early last week, right after Orlando. I didn’t post it because I just kind of stopped writing after this paragraph and couldn’t finish. I’m going to post it now as is, but also do a bumpdate because I haven’t done one in forever and I want to remember these things.

First of all, I have so many feelings and thoughts about the tragedy in Orlando. I don’t think that I’m currently in the place where I can articulately share everything I’m thinking, and I know that others have articulated it all, probably better than I can. I’m mourning for members of our queer family whose lives were needlessly taken. I’m angry that people can easily and legally purchase assault weapons in this country, even when they are on terrorist watch lists. I’m confused by how some of the media has covered this tragedy – from not mentioning that it took place at a gay club, to what seems like an obsession with pinpointing one “reason” that this happened (terrorism vs. homophobia vs. mental illness). I’m sad at the deafening silence from most of my straight/cis friends and family members. I’m pissed at the people who are still ranting on about the “right” to own such ridiculous weapons with minimal to no controls or safety measures in place. But I’m also comforted to see some media outlets providing comprehensive coverage and discussing the complicated nature of the crime. I’m happy to see people coming together to support each other and to support the queer community. I’m moved by tributes to the victims and the outpouring of calls for policy change instead of just “thoughts and prayers.” It’s hard to sort through all of these feelings and have something coherent to say. It’s hard to think about my child being born into a world in which this can happen, a world where I was really starting to feel like I was safe. I don’t know how to comprehend but I do know that the way to move forward is with courage to make changes, love driving decisions instead of fear and hate, and pride.

I guess I just hope that we keep doing things now so that the world is a better place when this little one is in it.

How far along? 19 weeks 5 days

Baby is the size of: A zucchini or a mango

Total weight gain/loss: I lost about 7 pounds in the first trimester and have since gained about 8. So I’m +1 total, but I also haven’t gained in at least a week or two.

Maternity clothes: Yep. My pre-pregnancy shirts fit but are too short so I much prefer maternity shirts. Dress pant yoga pants are still working but I have to keep the band below my belly so they fall down a lot. The 2 pairs of maternity pants I have are preferable, so I’m probably going to need to get some more soon.

Coming out of the baby closet status: The info is out there and most people know. Much like coming out as queer, however, it keeps happening every day. I’m not pregnant looking enough for it to be an assumed fact I guess. Just today two people I work with came by and offered their congratulations, having just found out through the grapevine.

Have you started to show yet? I’m getting there. It’s obvious to me, but I was not a skinny person pre-pregnancy, and I tend to carry my weight in my abdomen, so I already looked a little pregnant. I am starting to get the more classically rounded belly look so hopefully I’ll look more pregnant than fat (not using this term negatively for myself – just a fact) in the next week or two. The maternity clothing probably helps my case 😉

Sleep: I’m still waking up at least once, but more commonly 2 or 3 times, each night. I did buy a Snoogle though, and I’m officially obsessed. It was so expensive and already has been worth every penny. I’m just a lot more comfortable. I’m definitely not sleeping on my belly anymore, so I guess my body got the memo that it was time to stop. I think that may be contributing to why I wake up a couple of times – I’m not necessarily uncomfortable, but I’m tossing and turning because I can’t sleep the way my body likes to.

I’m kind of looking forward to the hilarity that will probably ensue when I am bigger and trying to get out of bed with the Snoogle there. I’m hardly affected by the pregnancy now when it comes to mobility, but that pillow is a serious barrier to getting out of bed.

My next task is a new mattress. We’ve needed one for a while and just haven’t done it. Any recommendations? Someone at work highly recommended the Casper mattress today. Have any of you guys tried it?

Best moment this week: For some reason I just sat here for a few minutes trying to decide what my best moment in the past couple of weeks was … then I remembered we had our anatomy scan/fetal survey ultrasound last week!! As promised, it was very long and parts of it were boring/uncomfortable (in particular: trying to lie on my side on an ultrasound table while also watching the screen and not falling off), but getting to see our baby wiggling around in there was just magical. Poor Em was super bored for most of it. In the end, everything looked good. A doctor actually did the whole scan – I was expecting an ultrasound tech and then a doctor to review, but the doctor did the scan which probably made it shorter than it would have been so I’m grateful.

I’m not sure if I’ve discussed it here but we decided not to find out the baby’s biological sex. Mostly because we don’t care and it doesn’t mean anything, but also because we prefer relatively neutral clothing and stuff in general, and because I love a good surprise. The doctor was great about not using pronouns, and had us look away when she was taking  a look at the pelvis. They don’t record the sex anywhere so my no one else will be able to slip up later because they don’t know either. Phew.

We got some great pics of the baby and these are my two favorites:

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Love this profile shot! Saying “hi” to his/her moms 🙂

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LOOK AT THE TEENY TINY FOOT!

Miss Anything? Nope 🙂

Movement: After 2-3 weeks of thinking that perhaps maybe I was feeling something every once in a while … I’ve definitely been feeling the baby move around in there for the last few days (since this weekend). It’s to the point where I can be certain it’s the baby moving and not some other weird bodily function, and it lasts long enough that I can pay attention to it. It makes me so happy to be able to feel him or her rolling around in there. I had Em try to feel the other night while the little one was being particularly active, and she says she felt it from the outside too! We’ve tried a couple of other times without success, but I totally believe her that she felt that first one (it felt big from the inside too). It’s such a weird sensation and I’m totally obsessed with it.

Food cravings: I’m still totally obsessed with fruit and very disinterested in most meat (chicken and fish included). I’m trying to eat protein anyway – I know that a low carb/high protein diet is ideal to avoid gestational diabetes, which my OB has me obsessing about.

Anything making you queasy or sick? I’ve gotten sick first thing in the morning 2 or 3 times since the first trimester ended. The most recent time was just this week. It’s so weird and I’m fairly certain it’s related to a combination of dehydration and a super sensitive gag reflex, because it hasn’t had anything to do with feeling nauseous. Hopefully that’s it though (I keep saying that). Smells still overwhelm me, but not to the point where I’m feeling totally sick.

Symptoms: Movement, trouble sleeping, a little bit of lower back pain, bloating, and headaches (which are probably hydration related).

Purchases: Still obsessed with my Forester … hopefully that doesn’t wear off anytime soon. My mother bought us a bib from the iconic little shop in my tiny little town when we were home for a wedding a week and a half ago. She also “won” some Baby Bjorn swag at a silent auction, so we technically also have a baby carrier and a travel crib. 🙂

Looking forward to: I’m really looking forward to looking pregnant and not maybe pregnant/maybe fat.

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