Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Random Tidbits

  • About four times a day, this little baby in my belly moves so much that it throws itself in to a fit of the hiccups. 
  • Baby C gave my belly a kiss the other day.  It was the sweetest thing I've ever seen!
  • I'm really hoping my battle scars (i.e. stretch marks) don't get any worse this time around.  
  • Yesterday the baby kicked so much that my belly actually felt sore!
  • The nursery is coming along sooo well.  I am falling more in love with the choices we made as we see everything come together!
  • I went through my newborn-6 month clothes this morning with Baby C at my side.  This is all I came up with for gender neutral:
  • I realized through that clothes sorting experience this morning just how different it is to not find out the gender.  With Baby C, we were over prepared and had so many clothes that I don't think he even got to all of them.  
  • And even with the above picture and the difference in not knowing if we need pink or blue, I am at such peace with not knowing!  I can't WAIT for their birthday so I can see who God sent to us. :)
  • Have I told you that Vari-Gone really helps with my vein?  It has taken so much of the aching away.  I am so grateful for getting that recommendation.
  • My appetite is picking up.  We went and ate a huge meal of Mexican food after church last sunday around 1pm.  By 3pm I was hungry again.  That's a weird feeling.  Maybe it has something to do with the baby putting on like half a pound a week now?
  • Speaking of, even though I ate lunch just 2 hours ago, I'm hungry.  Off to find a snack! 

Friday, January 27, 2012

32 Week Happenings

32 weeks today!  Can't believe that I'm only 8 weeks from my due date and 6 weeks from the final trip to Texas for the birth.  Time is flying by and this baby in my belly is getting bigger and bigger.  I realized something this past week... women want to get pregnant again because they remember the SECOND trimester.  Other than my leg getting worse, I felt so great the second trimester.  I had this cute belly, could feel the baby and more or less felt like my usual self.  Now that we're well under way on the third trimester, I have feet in my ribs, can't breathe when I bend over and my stamina is shot!  I'm not complaining, don't get me wrong, but I just forgot what it felt like!  haha

Here's the proof that this baby is growing:

I travel to Texas next Friday for an appointment and then Aunt K, Amiga C and two other close friends are being sweet enough to throw my a baby shower to celebrate this little one on the way.  I'm really looking forward to seeing some of my favorite friends and family.  Look how cute the invite is! Amiga C had them made and I'm simply in love with them.

(edited to remove all personal info)

I am so blessed to have women in my life who love me and my children enough to want to throw a second baby shower for me.  It is not necessary, but very appreciated!

I'm getting more and more excited for the birth.  Like I said before, I'm not looking forward to the time away from Baby C and Daddy B, but I'm really looking forward to meeting this new baby and experiencing their very unique birth story.  I had a long talk the other day with Doula M about more of the details I'm concerned with surrounding the delivery day and she made me feel more at ease about everything.  I know she and Dr. C will support me through the entire process in ways that only they can do as professionals.  I'm already wondering how people do it without a doula!  I'm so thankful she is experienced and knowledgeable and I can text her "Why do I feel the baby's hiccups high up if they are head down?" and "How much raspberry leaf tea should I be drinking?"  You know, things I can google of course, but it sure is nice to have a person I actually know that I can ask the questions to and not feel dumb!  haha  So if you're reading, thanks Doula M! :)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Ugly Truth

I like to think maybe I'm making too much of this vein on my leg.  Then, this morning before I got out of bed, I was looking at my leg thinking how it really almost looked normal in some places.

So I took a picture:
I mean, yeah you can see some of the blue parts of the vein under my pale skin, but for the most part, it looks relatively normal.  Behind my knee is the worst part, so I am happy that when I rest or elevate my leg, it looks so much better.  Gives me hope for post-pregnancy!

Then... I got up.  I stood just long enough to make the bed.
This is what my leg looks like a lot of the time.  
I'm sparing you the parts of my leg that are higher up, as no one really wants to see that. 

Anyway, thought maybe this would give it all some perspective.  
I sent the pictures to Doula M and her reply was "Oh E... sit!"


Pity party for Mama E.  Reservation for one.

P.S.  I did start the herbal supplement Vari-Gone yesterday.  I hope that helps improve my leg some.  My mom also told me she was talking to my grandmother yesterday and was told that my great aunt and my great grandmother had similar vein issues during pregnancy, so I guess it really is just hereditary.  There are lots of "reasons" why you get these in pregnancy, but I don't really fit in to the categories for those causes.  The only one that really seems to make sense is genetics.  Although I did have a varicose vein "higher up" (if you know what I mean) towards the end of my pregnancy with Baby C, it never progressed in to something like this.  

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Logistics

So now we have our doctor, our doula and a pretty good plan for delivery.  The next things to think about are the details on my trip back at 38 weeks.  We only have one family car, as Daddy B has a work truck and we enjoy not having a car payment after paying off our car last year!  Daddy B's mom, (I'll just refer to her as MIL on here), has a very small, two-door mazda sports car.  I kept thinking about my sweet two year old in that and just didn't feel safe about it!  Not to mention that I have had a few break downs in the past couple of days when thinking about having to be away from Baby C for so long.  I'm hoping it's only a couple of weeks, but it could be a MONTH.  Did you read that?  A MONTH.  I don't know how my mama heart will handle it.  I know that looking back on everything, Baby C won't remember the time apart and I'll be thankful for a positive birthing experience, but you have to realize, the longest I've been away from my baby boy is like 3 days during house-hunting here in Louisiana.  So with all that in mind, I would just feel better if our family car was here and if it takes awhile for this sweet babe to make his/her appearance, Daddy B, MIL and Baby C can comfortably take a road trip in our car and come see me so I can get some much needed cuddles and kisses! :)

I called Aunt K and we brainstormed about the idea that I don't need a car while I'm in Texas.  I will probably be pretty content with watching netflix at her house with my 38 week belly and plus, my nephew (who is 5 and in kindergarten) has spring break my first full week there and he's just going to stay with me, so I'm not going to be going many places.  On the days of my appointments, Aunt K or my brother will probably want to go with me just so I don't have to drive myself.  It also helps that Aunt K works 2 miles from their home and I can always take her to work if I feel like I'm going to stir crazy and want to get out of the house for the day.  At first, Aunt K and I were like "Oh you can just fly here."  Then we realized that I can't fly at 38 weeks pregnant!  haha  Luckily, I have a very dear friend who is a chef and works a crazy schedule anyway that I called and asked if she'd be willing to make a trip from Texas to Louisiana to pick me and my very pregnant belly up after a short visit and take us back to Texas.  She said she would!  I'm pretty excited because she is the MOST fun on a road trip and we were already laughing at the mental pictures of me being verrrry pregnant and us making our hourly stops to stretch my leg.  We both hate to stop when traveling and imagine it being more like a nascar pit stop with me running a lap around her car!  haha (Don't worry, I'll do the required 10 minutes...)

The next piece of the puzzle is getting home.  A lot of that depends on how the delivery goes, but let's assume everything goes great and I have a natural VBAC and get discharged quickly and feel good.  Well Daddy B will bring our car to Texas when I call him to tell him I'm in labor and after being discharged, we will probably stay the first night at Aunt K's house and then start the journey home the next day.  Even though I'm going to miss Baby C like crazy, I know we will appreciate a few days being able to concentrate on our new little one.  I can't tell you how thankful I am to my MIL for keeping Clint during the time I'm in Texas.  It blows me away how much she must love us!

What I've worried about with Baby C is that it will be the longest we've been apart and then to top it off, I will come home with a new baby.  We've done our best so far to get the idea of a new baby in to Baby C's head, but he still thinks there is a baby in his belly too!  My plan is when we come home with the new baby, we will give Baby C his very own baby so that him and I both have one.  I hope this helps!  My parents did this with my brothers and my mom really recommended it.  I'll give it a try!

Now it's on to nesting like crazy.  We've painted the nursery and are ordering all the furniture soon.  I can't wait to see it come together and share pictures with all of you!

Okay, here's a sneak peek of the color we chose:

No, it's not blue.  It's aqua! :)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

29 Week Appointment in Texas

After we made the decision to stay with Dr. C and talked with his office to arrange the beginning of the details for my prenatal care, I started to need to think about all of the logistics of having the baby back in Texas.  The first thing that crossed my mind was that I needed to find my doula.  I already had a couple of fabulous women in mind that I had met in ICAN, but one in particular was at the forefront.  Doula M (as she will be referred to on this blog) has been a support to me since I joined ICAN.  She was one of the first people to write me in response to what type of questions to ask a potential care provider and when I had major questions about the Nurse-Midwife group I visited back in April, I called her and she helped talk me through the pros and cons of the practice.  Of course you know after I heard Dr. C speak, we made the decision to go with him!

I've definitely learned a lot through this journey so far, not only about birth, but what is important to me as a birthing mother.  When I thought about what I feel I need on delivery day, I knew that I wanted that continued support I've always felt from Doula M.  I also knew that she wasn't taking as many clients as she is a super busy mom to four and I was only giving her a couple months notice.  But as God's plan would have it, I e-mailed her and explained our crazy situation and for some crazy reason, she wanted to jump on this roller coaster!  haha!  I really felt peace after her and I talked because I truly felt like God was in control of my situation.  Isn't funny how you try to live by that mantra and are continuously surprised by God's grace in your life?!

My 29 week appointment was set for this past Friday at 3:35pm.  I hit the road around 7:45am and had to stop every hour or hour and a half because of my leg (more on that in a minute).  I arrived to at Amiga C's house around 1:15pm and got to visit her, her 18 month old and her sweet little 6 week old boy.  I could only stay for an hour and it was super hard to leave!  I got to Dr. C's office at 3:30pm or so and then Doula M joined me shortly after. I was so glad she was able to come to the appointment!  She has done plenty of deliveries with Dr. C and it was good for her to see first hand the details being made between myself and Dr. C and get a full scope on what was going on with this particular pregnancy.

Health wise, everything looks great.  My blood pressure was 119/60, I put on a few pounds over Christmas, the baby sounded great at 148 bpm and is head down now.  The only thing I've been concerned about is the large varicose vein that has developed on my left leg.  I'm pretty sure I've mentioned it on here before, but it starts in my groin area and wraps around behind my knee to continue on my calf.  I did not have it before becoming pregnancy and it showed up about 8 weeks in to the pregnancy.  It has only gotten worse and now aches quite a bit of the time.  I told the nurse about it when she asked me if I had any concerns before seeing Dr. C and she had me undress from the waist down so he could take a look.  What was funny is that Dr. C walked in and said to me, "I have to tell you, you look great!  But why are you not wearing any pants?"  haha!!  He did a really thorough exam on it and wasn't too pleased with how nasty it looked.  What scares him is what he can't see that could be deeper in my leg.  I had worn those support hose he prescribed, but they would bunch up behind my knee and hurt the vein, since that is the worst part.  When he looked at the hose he told me they were useless and even though I was fitted for them at a medical supply store, they were too big and to stop wearing them.  Unfortunately, now I'm forbidden to lay on my left side and he told me that any time I don't "need" to be standing, I need to be sitting or lying down with my leg elevated.  If you know me, you know I'm a busy body and a clean freak.  This is going to be a big lesson in humility because I have to ask Daddy B for a lot more help around the house than I'm comfortable with. :(  I'm also going to start taking the herbal supplement Vari Gone, which should help with the aching and appearance of the vein.  I pretty much have no choice but to listen to my doctor on this one, as the biggest risk is developing a blood clot in my leg, which would put me on bed rest and also runs the risk of the clot traveling to dangerous places.  No fun!  It's really frustrating to me because I feel really great this pregnancy with the exception of my leg.

Dr. C spent an hour with us at the appointment and I realized that his entire staff now knows me as "the one from Louisiana."  That's not how I saw this pregnancy progressing, but I'm thankful they all care!  Dr. C truly is amazing and we talked about all the "what ifs" of me going in to labor.  He told me or Doula M to call him directly if anything concerning happens or if I go in to labor before 38 weeks.  The plan right now is to see him again at 33 weeks, 35 weeks and then I'll be there full time at 38 weeks.  He was so encouraging about my decision to stay with him as a doctor and told me simply that I'm committed to my VBAC, which was encouraging to hear. He also said that he expected me to come back.  He had hoped that I would find a supportive care provider in Louisiana, but truly didn't think I would.  He also told me that Louisiana isn't even the worst state in the south not supporting VBAC and places like Mississippi and Alabama pretty much outlaw it completely.  That makes me so sad for the moms there!

After the appointment, Doula M and I talked for another hour about what I want for the birth, what happened with Baby C's birth and what she suggests in preparing for everything.  I'm really thankful to have her as such an integral part of our birth team!

I got home yesterday around 3:30pm and had a really nice evening with some of our new friends from the Birth Rite Louisiana group.  We invited them over for dinner since they just had baby #3 on December 23rd and I hadn't gotten around to making her a dinner to take over because of the craziness of Christmas.  Its so nice to have a friend in the neighborhood!  We can literally see each other's front doors!

Finally, here's the monthly belly comparison.  Sorry the new picture isn't positioned as well as the 24 week.  In our bathroom in the new house and I can't stand as far back from the mirror!

Next up, I'll fill you in on some of the details of this crazy birth plan!