Saturday, May 30, 2015

2nd Pregnancy: Week 39

When talking about having kids, my mom has told me over and over that I will have fear of the unknown with my first child and fear of the known with my second. She is so right. My fear of the unknown is minimal. I'm scared of Shepherd having a completely broken heart as attention is divided between him and his new sibling. I'm afraid this baby will wake him up during the night, and I'm afraid I won't be able to breast-feed very well like I experienced the first time around. I'm scared I won't go in to labor naturally and have to be induced or get a c-section, or that I will go in to labor naturally and won't make it to the hospital before I have the baby. I'm terrified something will happen and the baby won't be healthy. 

The list is minimal when it comes to the unknowns about having this sweet baby, but I am more scared of the known. I know and completely understand what it feels like to get up in the middle of the night every 2-3 hours for at least 30 minutes for six months. I know how dependent a baby is and how they need you to meet 100% of their needs. I know I am going to have to go through the brutal work of establishing breast feeding. The painstaking hours of rocking, dancing, bouncing, etc.. to pacify the baby to sleep. I know all the ins and outs of having a newborn. Yes I am fearful, but I am so excited to sacrifice that sleep. I'm ready to to do anything to establish breastfeeding and find the perfect dance to soothe baby Hurst 2.0. It is terrifying to have a newborn, and there is no way to fully prepare because each baby is completely different. But I am ready. 

I pray that God grant me grace when something doesn't go according to my plan and baby 2.0 doesn't fit my crunchy, breast-feeding, baby-wearing, cloth diapering, natural mothering that also allows my son to eat gooey sugary donuts every Saturday. WHAT IF THEY ARE CELIAC?! Regardless, I pray this baby comes soon. I pray the delivery is smooth and FAST. I pray breastfeeding goes well and that I have plenty of milk. Lastly, I pray that Shep transitions with ease as we welcome the 4th Hurst to the family. 

How far along? 39 weeks
Baby is the size of a: Mini watermelon (20 inches)
Total weight gain: 38 pounds! I am now at the same weight I was when I was full term with Shep. I gained quite a bit this past week, but I think it is due to me cutting down on coffee. I decided to cut all caffeine because I realized how dependent I was on that one cup to get me through the day. I didn't want to have to have caffeine to get me through labor and I didn't want to intake anything that would potentially dehydrate my body. This week went great without it - no headaches, but I was ridiculously sleepy by about 2:30pm every day. 
Update from the midwife: I didn't get checked this week, because I didn't feel like it, but the fundal height was 37.5cm and the baby's heart rate was 155bpm. 
Waist Measurement: 42 inches. 
Maternity clothes? Absolutely. I am excited at the thought of wearing normal clothes again!
Stretch marks? Still the few below my belly button and one just above it. 
Best moment this week: This week was my last official week as a full time speech-language pathologist at my work. It was so bittersweet. I was to the point where I was absolutely exhausted and didn't want to work full days, but my coworkers helped me through! We celebrated my last day by eating amazing BBQ and they all contributed food that I could either eat now or freeze for later for when the baby comes. The therapists signed a card and I actually got another card in the mail from the staff at the nursing home wishing me good luck, etc... I feel as though I left my job well, but I am sad to leave my work family behind! I am glad that I will still be working there on occasion to fill in as part time. They made me feel so loved!
Movement: There has been lots of movement. At times when I'm laying down I've actually worried that the baby has flipped to breech. 
Food cravings: Nothing in particular, but salmon has sounded disgusting and Josh asks me every night if I want him to cook some for dinner. 
Miss Anything? I'm missing being able to chase after Shep, roll around with him, and let him lay on my stomach. He constantly wants to give the baby a kiss so I do love the belly kisses he offers. 
Gender: We'll find out soon enough!
Symptoms: A little bit of indigestion, but the biggest symptom this week has been Braxton Hicks. Last thursday, the 28th, I had them all day long varying from 30 minutes apart to 15 minutes. I was unable to time them though, which confirmed that they were BH not actual contractions (Josh was convinced I was going in to labor). 
Belly Button in or out? Out
Wedding rings on or off? On
Mood? Just completely ready and praying to go in to labor. 

Saturday, May 23, 2015

2nd pregnancy: Week 38

I think I've mastered the appropriate response to, "You look ready to pop" or "getting so close" or "Your belly is getting so big," when I walk down the hallways of my work, the atrium of my church, or the sidewalks of my neighborhood. Each time in my mind I have a very sarcastic thought to say "you are soooooo observant!" Instead of letting my sadistic mind take over, I have come up with what I think works best. I just basically repeat what they say. 

Person, "you look so ready to pop!"
Me, "Sooooo ready to pop."

Person, "you're getting so close!"
Me, "So close!"

Person, "Look at that big belly!"
Me, "Sooo big!"

Then I usually get a rub down on my belly, which doesn't bother me at all, and I go about my way. There is no rule in the invisible etiquette book on what you should say to a pregnant lady that is clearly ready to have her baby. Although there are a RIDICULOUS amount of phrases and sayings that people come up with to react to a massively pregnant woman approaching their way, but I have yet to have an encounter when their saying wasn't slightly awkward. I can handle awkward. It is just generally weird to talk about how much you resemble a whale on a regular basis and it be socially acceptable, which it is. 

I really should get a rose pinned on my nose every time I am greeted about my belly/baby. My house would smell like the freakin' Rose Parade on New Year's Day. 

So what could we establish as acceptable to say to a woman close to her due date? 

Let's start with nixing what I do look like. I know I look "ready to pop," "ready to bust," "like a whale," or "like I am having twins," but that doesn't mean I want to hear it 50 times a day. I also know that my boobs have doubled and my bootie has quadrupled. There is no need to comment on that unless you are my African American co-workers who swoon over my "black girl butt." Coming from them it is a compliment, but from everyone else it just reminds me how many inches I will need to lose after I squeeze a baby through these hips. 

I actually don't mind when people note that I look lower now-a-days or that the baby has dropped, because that lets me know they have been paying attention and know how I've been carrying the baby throughout my pregnancy. So this can stay on the non-nixed what-I-look-like sayings list. 

Here is a good question: "How much longer do you have until your due date?" I don't mind this question, because I know exactly how many days I have left as I CANNOT wait to meet this sweet baby. 

"You're glowing." This is a saying I appreciate. Regardless of the fact that I know you are lying through your teeth, because my skin is actually drier than it has been in years, I still like a little positive physical affirmation despite my all-over-swollen body. 

Let us not forget the best wishes, prayers, and good lucks on labor/delivery, transition to a bigger family, etc... I am ALWAYS down for these little sayings. With a 45 hour labor with my first, I welcome these with vigor as I pray for this labor to go smoothly and way faster than last time. I constantly worry about my son accepting his new baby brother or sister or how I am going to do staying at home with the two. I worry about how breast feeding is going to go. I worry about my two babies waking each other up in the middle of the night and how we are going to live as a family of 4 in a two bedroom. These are things I most definitely want best wishes, prayers, and "good-lucks" thrown my way. 

Lastly, I think it is okay to say, "you are carrying that baby so well" or "you look great pregnant," even if you don't mean it. Again, I am happy to accept and diligently waive this lie as true gift for my soul. So to all you people who aren't sure what to say to severely pregnant women, heed these few tid bits and quit telling me that I look ready to "pop." My skin literally feels like it will burst as baby stretches about in my womb, so the thought of popping sounds terrifying. Don't terrify me, people. Let's just hem and haw about how NOT huge I look and ignore the dry skin on my forehead by exclaiming the glow I exude! Just until I have this baby...sound good? (; Then you can tell me how exhausted I look after I have him or her, which I am certain you will. We'll talk about that later...

How far along? 38 weeks
Baby is as long as a: Leek (19 1/2 inches) 
Total weight gain: 34 - 35 pounds 
Update from the midwife: At my appointment this week I was 2 cm dilated, 80% effaced, and the baby was at 0 station. When she checked me, the first thing she said was, "oh, the baby is really low!" Fundal height was 36.5cm. 
Waist Measurement: 41 inches. I am staying the same, but I think the baby is still getting bigger just dropping lower.
Maternity clothes? It is crazy to me that even my pregnancy shorts are unbearable. Maybe is is the way my swollen belly hangs over my girth now, but the bolt stays locked so that I can be pant-less as much as possible.
Stretch marks? No new ones. Although I keep checking to see if I have more since my skin sears during the day as the baby stretches and kicks. There is only so much more swelling this belly is going to do.
Best moment this week: I have loved getting to see two of my friends have babies this week! Each of them became a family of 5 and it excites me knowing I will be there one day as Josh and I plan on having another after this one comes along.
Movement: Tons of movement. Baby 2.0 is actually pretty calm, but when he or she does move, it is a LOT of movement. 
Food cravings: Still not a big appetite this week. Part of that is because I haven't been able to breathe from my sinus infection. Thank the Lord I got a Z-pak.
Miss Anything? I miss sleeping through the night. 
Gender: I keep imagining a girl, but Shep almost perfectly said the baby boy name that we picked out. It kind of melted my heart. The thought of Shep having a baby brother also makes my heart so happy. They would be best buds.
Symptoms: Zero sleep, indigestion, heart burn, swelling feet. This is getting real.
Belly Button in or out? Out
Wedding rings on or off? On
Mood? Anxious!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

2nd Pregnancy: Week 37

Can we just talk about the most uncomfortable things that we go under in pregnancy that NO ONE warns you about? I mean... just don't read on if you don't like real, raw, and vulnerable taboos of a woman with child. If, however, you are saying "I don't need/want to know this", but your eye balls keep scrolling through the words with your eyelids jammed open, may God bless your traumatized soul afterwards.

Group-B Streptococcus screening or better known as Group-B Strep test.
This infection can colonize in your lady parts and thus cause your little own to contract it causing serious infection or even still birth. 10-30% of all women get this during pregnancy. So, I get it. It is serious and the screening needs to be done. I just wish someone warned you that they jab a giant looking q-tip in your lady parts and bum hole. I forgot the process from my first pregnancy and was quite shocked even though there was no actual pain involved. So just to let you know pregnant women, none of your area is safe from inspection! 

After my midwife did her duty of screening me, she asked if I wanted to be check. I told her since she was already all up in my business that it would hurt to be checked, but there was no difference from the week before: 1cm dilated & 60% effaced.

Another unpleasantry about pregnancy that no ones really warns you about that also involved the area we just spoke of above. No one tells you that wiping after going #1 or #2 is really hard after a while. I work with physical therapists and occupational therapists all the time and they have amazing gadgets for putting on your shoes, reaching for things out of reach, special utensils for eating and so much more, but I have not once noticed a gadget to help you wipe if you can't reach. I guess working in a nursing home it is assumed a nursing aid will just wipe someone if they are unable to do it independently. I, however, have not asked Josh to wipe me.....yet. It just takes a few extra seconds in the bathroom and reposition, but I am successful every time as of now. Ladies, wiping is hard and it is okay to admit it!

Lastly, getting "checked." No one tells you, or at least they never mentioned it to me how uncomfortable having someone check to see if you are dilated or effaced. The last time I was checked, it took everything I had not to slap my legs together and double kick the sweetest lady on earth (my midwife) away from me. I would say it is a little past "uncomfortable." It is straight painful and super sweet at the same time as they have said each time, "I can feel the baby's head!"

There are so many more uncomfortable experiences including the need to wear panty liners towards the end of pregnancy, the inability to not pee your pants when you cough or sneeze, or the perennial stretches that are necessary if you're trying to avoid ripping during child birth, but we don't have to get in to all that. My main point for new mommies who don't know or even men who don't understand that it is more than getting stretch marks and huge areolas, pregnancy can be super uncomfortable regardless of the extra weight we are carrying and our lack of ability to roll over at night without a little groan. It is uncomfortable, but it is also beautiful and completely worth it.

How far along? 37 weeks
Baby is as long as a: Medium sized pumpkin (6 1/3 pounds and the baby is about 19 in long)
Total weight gain: 34 pounds
Update from the midwife: 35cm fundal height and the heart rate was 136bpm
Waist Measurement: 41 inches still.
Maternity clothes? I still have not pulled out those summer maternity clothes from our storage, but I still have a few weeks of pregnancy (I am guessing, because wishing the baby to come early just isn't helpful for my anxiety).
Stretch marks? Just a few. Josh can't even see them; only I can see them when I turn to a certain angle letting the shadows overtake them.
Best moment this week: I loved seeing Shep swim in his swim lessons for the first time. It took a while for him to actually get comfortable in the water, but his favorite activities during the parent/child swim lesson was throwing the rubber duck and kicking after it. He also like their version of "The Wheels on the Bus" where I moved him round and round, up and down, and open and shut. 
Movement: Movement is everywhere! In my ribs. In my pelvis. Maybe both at the same time when baby is stretching. phew... 
Food cravings: Nothing.. I have actually had no appetite. I think I'm too full with baby to get full with food.
Miss Anything? I miss peppermint! I love peppermint oil and even peppermint candy, but it isn't good to use it or eat peppermint as it can affect milk supply...*sigh*
Gender: I keep imagining a girl, but Shep almost perfectly said the baby boy name that we picked out. It kind of melted my heart. The thought of Shep having a baby brother also makes my heart so happy. They would be best buds.
Symptoms: Dear Lord, I never realized how bad heart burn could be, but it has been waking me up every other hour at night!!!! I am so over it. This baby's head should be covered in hair, right?
Belly Button in or out? Out
Wedding rings on or off? On

Saturday, May 9, 2015

2nd Pregnancy: Week 36

Photo taken by Rugged Joy Photography.  Click here to see more! 

Has "nesting" been medically confirmed as a diagnosis? Maybe not, because the only remedy is to decorate, rearrange, buy things, and rearrange some more. No medicine or essential oil can cure this, but I am pretty sure the Mayo clinic should include this diagnosis as a very real one as it hits new moms like a rash hits a baby after you keep him in his diaper too long. Here is my dilemma, I don't have a spare bedroom in this two bedroom home of ours to fully "nest" in for this new baby coming along. The poor child will reside next to my bed for 1. as long as I can handle it or 2. Shep somehow handles sharing a room with his baby sibling. I will wait until baby 2.0 can sleep through the night to transition him or her in to Shep's room, which will soon be donned "the babies' room" as they are both still babies. 

Josh and I have lived in this home for 2 and a half years and the only rearranging we've done was move the sole night stand from Josh's side of the bed to my side of the bed, and that happened in another bout of "nesting" the first time around when I was pregnant with Shepherd. So to make this nesting fever settle, I completely rearranged the bedroom, cleared out a three shelf bookcase, added the glider to the room, and set up the bassinet. 

I added 4 baskets to the lower shelves of the bookcase for cloth diapers, wipes, bibs, swaddling blankets, and burp cloths. On the top shelf (after lowering the bottom two to the lowest level), I added a tension rod to hang up clothes. I'll take a picture of the bookcase when I finally have clothes to hang up. All our newborn clothes are currently being stored in Texas with Granna and ready to be flown in for baby 2.0's arrival. I set the bassinet up next to my bed, but Shep has loved playing in it by bringing his stuffed animals to occupy the bed until baby 2.0 comes. 

These may be the smallest ways to "nest." No, we don't have a room to paint, and, no, we didn't set up the crib yet, because that will be in "the babies' room." No, we didn't buy new baby bedding. We plan on using what we used for Shep's crib. I wouldn't say my nesting diagnosis has subsided, but I would say it is being treated as I slowly set out bottles, get out my pump, fill the diaper bag, etc... The nesting will stop, I'm sure, when I have a baby chick to fill that nest. 

All of these photos were taken by Josh, but click here to see photos taken by Rugged Joy Photography

How far along? 36 weeks
Baby is as long as a: Swiss Chard Stalk (18 1/2 inches)
Total weight gain: 34 pounds
Waist Measurement: 41 inches
Maternity clothes? Somehow I am missing all of my summer maternity capris and shorts. Don't doubt that I will be pulling out all of my tubs with clothes in them from our storage to find them! 
Stretch marks? Just a few tiny ones close to my belly button, but with Frankincense essential oil, I've noticed they have started to disappear. 
Best moment this week: I mean getting your makeup done and having one of your best friends make you feel like a stunning model even though I'm carrying 30+ pounds is always going to be a best moment for me. 
Movement: Movement is all over the place and regular. 
Food cravings: To quote Josh - "Elise doesn't have a specific craving. She more has a specific idea of what each meal should be and she can't get her mind off of that idea."
Miss Anything? I miss rolling over without moaning from the effort.
Gender: I am still leaning girl. Forgive me baby 2.0 if you turn out to be a boy and all these post have me guessing wrong!
Symptoms: Heart burn and indigestion only when I am laying down. I would prop myself up from this happening, but who likes to lay inclined while they lay on their side? I am already super uncomfortable as it is. 
Belly Button in or out? Out
Wedding rings on or off? On
Mood?: Pretty good, I would say. These weeks are flying by as I've been in my daily grind and haven't had time to a bad attitude. 

Friday, May 1, 2015

2nd Pregnancy: Week 35

***Disclaimer: There is a small portion of this post that is slightly graphic, but it makes this experience all the more awkward so I just can't leave it out.

Have you ever had a prenatal massage or heard of them? I have always heard how amazing it is to receive one while pregnant, so of course I volunteered immediately when my friend asked if there were any pregnant women out there wanting a free prenatal massage at a school for massage therapy. I assumed a student would be giving the massage, but I had no idea what all this "free" massage included. 

I walked in to the academy and joined 7 other pregnant ladies all seated with papers and a bottle of water in hand. We all filled out our paper work together, and those of us who have had a previous baby talked about our birth stories and encouraged 1st time mommies. It was a nice wait with these cordial ladies. In my mind, I imagined we would be escorted to individual rooms accompanied by 1 or 2 students and possibly an instructor. I was so wrong.

The instructor announced that it was time, and one by one they called our names off to join the 1 or 2 students that would be our individual masseuse. My name was called close to the end, and I was ushered in to what looked like a large classroom with a whiteboard at the front of the room. The room was filled with 8 massage tables all covered in different colored and patterned linens. The walls were lined with backpacks, extra pillows, notebooks, and suitcases. I felt like I was joining a glorified sleep over especially when I saw one of the tables had Star Wars sheets.

Heat ran through my cheeks as I realized we were all getting our free massage and we were getting it all together... in the same room at the same time. I only had one student assigned to me. She sat me down opposite her and nervously asked me some questions. Since my "problems" list was short and only included "pregnant with occasional lower back or shoulder soreness," she didn't know what to ask me other than how often I had lower back pain and if I was going to have a girl or boy. This part wasn't too bad and I offered help when she was finished interviewing me, but the rest of her class was chatting away.

The next part was...just the best. The instructor cued the students to wrap up the interview and leave the room for us to get undressed. As soon as all the students left, only one instructor stayed and gave us the go ahead to "just undress and get under the sheets on table." Did I mention there were 7 other pregnant ladies in this large room with me with no dividers? These are strangers. We are not besties. We all looked at each other and just started laughing as I am sure we were all thinking, 'are you serious?'

One girl, trying to lighten the mood I'm sure, said, "let's have a competition to see who has the darkest nipples! I bet I'll win." Although there were a few laughs throughout the room, it made things go from awkward to a little strange. We basically agreed to just take our clothes off and not look at each other. The instructor did sweetly offer to "tent" us and hold up a blanket for us to change, but knowing that would take forever for us all to be "tented," we just went for it.

Now the massage in itself was AMAAAAAZING. I didn't get a prenatal massage with Shepherd, and now I regret it. I am considering getting another one in a couple weeks before my due date. BUT next time I'll just pay for that individual private room! (; This massage will easily be the most memorable though.

How far along? 35 weeks
Baby is the size of a: Honeydew
Total weight gain: Back up to 32 pounds. 
Waist Measurement: 40.5 inches
Maternity clothes?  I am almost exclusively wearing maternity shirts now that I have more, but I just wear larger dresses or maxi skirts
Stretch marks? YES!! I am so sad, but Josh likes them. There are only a few developing just under my belly button. They are small and about half an inch. I did not get these with Shep.
Sleep: Well sleep has not been great since Shep has decided to get up at 5:30am EVERY MORNING. We've been putting him back down, but he doesn't stay "down" for much later than 6:20am.
Best moment this week: I mean... getting a prenatal massage! Hello!
Movement: I am surprised this week at how much I have felt baby 2.0 up higher! I feel movement all the time above my belly button.
Food cravings: Sour Punch Straws... I've had way too many to even tell you how many I have had. I am such a child.
Miss Anything? I miss walking and not being able to catch my breath. Seriously though, walking is serious business!
Gender: Okay I am back to thinking it is a girl, but maybe that is because I perused through all the little girl clothes in a couple stores this week.  
Symptoms: I have felt the baby a few times move lower making it hard to walk, but I don't feel like this all the time. I still have the itchy/burning belly feeling every once in a while from the stretch marks, but I have started carrying around my belly butter all the time. 
Belly Button in or out? Out
Wedding rings on or off? On
Mood?:Just a little stressed. I definitely over committed to several things this week and I am ready for a break.