Monday, August 27, 2012

You know you're pregnant when...

1) #pregnancy, #pregnantgirlproblems, and #pregnancycravings are the three things you search most on Instagram.

2) Icecream can be eaten any time, including 4am.

3) Everyone wants to know who this Braxton Hicks guy is and what the hell he did to make you so angry.

4) The most exciting thing you straddle in bed is your body pillow.

5) Shaving your nether regions makes you feel like Helen Keller.

6) You feel like you are growing a traveling tv tray and use your bump as "counter space" whenever possible.

7) Staying up late is 9:30.

8) The choice between sleeping in or going to Cracker Barrel for breakfast is a serious dilemma.

9) The phrase "rolling out of bed" couldn't be more appropriate.

10) You save the weekends for the really strenuous things, like folding laundry.

Pregnancy is so glamorous.

Friday, August 24, 2012

29 weeks

29 WEEKS!!
 
 
 
How far along?  29 weeks and 2 days.

Total weight gain/loss?  Up 16lbs total.

Maternity clothes? Can I just wear maternity clothes forever, please?
 
Stretch marks? Zilch!
Sleep?  Ugh, sleep. I am as exhausted as I was in the 1st trimester, but can't sleep anything like I did then. This resless leg thing is really getting the best of me. I started taking a magnesium supplement, and maybe that will help, but I have pretty much just chalked it up to part of pregnancy.

Best moment last week? Can't think of anything in particular, but the frequency of her movement is becoming more and more enjoyable. I feel like she is starting to respond more to being pushed on, which is cool to watch!

Movement? I don't think she ever stops moving! And baby girl is definitely a night owl, just like her father. I wake up several times a night to strong kicks, mostly on my bladder. I guess she is training me for the future.
 
Food cravings?  Still cannot get enough peanut butter, but now that Summer is almost over and Fall is on the way I am finding myself craving pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Maybe it is just wishful thinking that Fall will hurry up and get here. Mmmm pumpkin smoothies :)
Gender? Baby girl.
 
Labor signs? Nothing yet, but things are definitely getting cramped in there. I notice some tightening in the evenings, but doesn't seem strong enough to really be considered Braxton Hicks.
Belly button in/out? In.
 
What I miss: Having more clothing options. While most of my clothes still 'fit' none of my shirts are long enough to cover the bump. Luckily I found an awesome consignment store where I live that has TONS of maternity clothes for amazing prices, so I will need to visit it again here pretty soon. I think I am down to maybe 3 or 4 shirts that fit comfortably and I am really considering packing up my closet for the time being.
 
What I am looking forward to: Our next birth class tonight. I went into the class thinking I knew so much about birth already that maybe I didn't really need a class, but man was I wrong! I have really learned so much from the class already and it's something I look forward to all night long. On top of that, it feels good to get to spend 2 hours every week with Aaron to get ready for our daughter. I sometimes feel like all I talk about or think about is Laura Lynn, so it is nice to have that devoted time every week.
 
Milestones: Starting the 3rd trimester. We are almost there!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

CURRENTLY..

Tonight's agenda includes wasting hours on my new favorite website...


This site is crazayyy. People actually believe this crap?

I'm also stalking the Weather Channel.
Good thing I am getting married on the beach in 9 DAYS.
Oh brother.


I am dealing with the stress by eating way too much of this.
Let the judgement begin.

Happy Thursday Y'all!

A birth plan dissected.

Ultimately I am striving for a 100% natural and intervention free birth.

Please keep in mind that this blog is written as a personal account of my own thoughts and experiences. My preferences on birth, combined with my lack of actual experience, should speak for themselves in that I do not in any way object to women who birth their children with pain medication, or in any other way than the ideas I have for our birth. I do not post to discuss the merits of natural birth, so please do not take anything I say as judgement against your personal birth choices. At the same time, please do not take this as an invitation to tell me why or how I am wrong. I have spent time and energy on these choices, and don't feel the need to debate them.

Women are incredible creatures, and should be celebrated for bringing children into this world, regardless of the manner. I cannot repeat this disclaimer enough.

That being said....

Now that I am in my 3rd trimester, I felt it was time to start collecting everything I have learned in the past 29 weeks, and piece together some semblance of a birth plan. Many think birth plans are pointless and a waste of time, and I have heard first hand from labor & delivery nurses that many of these birth plans are mocked or even thrown out. I think a birth plan is more important for the parents more than anyone. Writing out my ideas, collecting them like a road-map of birth is a great way for me to visualize what I want for the birth of our daughter.

I think most importantly your labor experience is determined by your expectation of the experience, and so with that I am going to be prepared as possible for the experience I want. I know myself better than anyone, and I know if I went into labor with a mindset of "I will only get pain medication if I really need it" then I am going to end up getting everything they can give me. I've never given birth before, but countless women will tell you it is one of the most painful experiences you will ever endure, so the statement about getting meds only if I really need them is almost comical. Of course I am going to feel like I need them! With that in mind, I have viewed birth with a totally different idea from the very beginning. I want medication if it is necessary for medical or safety reasons only. That statement alone pretty much covers everything I believe about labor.

I have compared planning labor to building a house on an unstable foundation. You can't build a house without a blueprint or plan. Building the house, especially on a shaky foundation, is bound to require room for flexibility or change, but ultimately knowing what you want the house to look like and how you want it to function is going to guide the decisions you make throughout the process. So in collecting my birth ideas, these are the most important things for me in our labor blueprint...

I don't want pain medication. - This is the most obvious of my choices. I have read enough and learned enough to know that this is not an option I am considering. I don't even want the card on the table. This is the moment where many of you are shaking your heads at me....

My primary labor suppor is going to come from my husband.  - Aaron is my rock, my best friend, and the first person I go to for guidance and help. There are going to be times during labor where I am going to seriously doubt my abilities and Aaron will know how to get me back on my feet. Our midwife is a crucial person, but Aaron is going to be the most influential. He will be the most level-headed should the time come to make decisions about medical intervention.

Aaron and I will be the only ones present at the birth of our daughter. - Family and friends will be visiting us once we are home from the birth center. We feel like this is an incredibly intimate time in our lives together and want to share the moment, just the two of us.

I don't want drugs used for the purpose of speeding my progress. - Outside of any unexpected circumstances I don't want anything that is going to further my progress unnaturally. I want my body to do what it is built to do. If a safety issue arises that requires Pitocin or a C-Section, we will make that decision when the time comes.

I want to labor at home as long as possible. - I am a hermit by nature, and home is where I am most comfortable. I don't feel the need to lurk around the birth center for hours not knowing how long my labor is going to be. I originally wanted a home birth, but I didn't feel comfortable delivering at home due to the fact that this is my first birth and that we rent and do not own our home. Home birth may be an option for future children.

I don't want my progress measured. - This is a big one for me. In my opinion, labor is measured and tracked much more than it needs to be. Our birth center doesn't do constant fetal monitoring and allows mom to labor and progress on her own timeline. I don't mind if my cervical checks are recorded, I just don't want to be told what they are. I want to listen to my body. When I run the last thing I want to do is look down at my watch and see how much time or distance I have left. It defeats me and makes the struggle that much harder. I know labor is going to be no different. If I am having a particularly hard time and our midwife tells me I am only 4 or 5 cm dilated I know it will kill my motivation. So many moms have told me that your body has a keen way of telling you where you are at, and that the urge to push is inevitable. In the end, those measurements are just numbers.

I plan to decline an IV for hydration purposes. - I plan on being vigilant in maintaining good hydration by drinking lots of water and keeping my body fueled during labor.

I don't want my bag of waters broken manually. - My baby is in them for a reason. It's not medically necessary, therefore I see no reason to have it done. I will let it break on its own.

I am hoping for a water birth. - The birth center has these amazing big tubs you can labor and birth in, and coming from someone who takes a bath vs a shower almost daily, I can tell you that the warm water is going to be a very important pain relief tool for me.

I prefer to tear naturally vs having an episiotomy. - Many of my choices are based on what is natural, and this one is no exception. I don't plan on forcing pushing and I have been doing months of preparation to help with minimal tearing so I don't plan on opting for any slicing to help the process. If I am going to tear, then I am going to tear.

Post-partum bonding and early breastfeeding are extremely important to me. - I could preach on this for hours, but I won't. I think the benefits of skin-to-skin contact and that early bonding are crucial.

Delayed cord cutting. - Aaron and I want to delay cutting of the cord until it stops pulsing on its own. You can read more about the benefits of this here: http://academicobgyn.com/2009/12/03/delayed-cord-clamping-should-be-standard-practice-in-obstetrics/

I plan on going home from the birth center as soon as I am able. - Our birth center requires we stay a minimum of 2 hours and be able to complete a certain number of tasks before going home. Once those criteria are met we are free to go, much unlike the 2 day stay typically required by most hospitals. Alternatively, our birth center allows us to stay as long as we need to feel comfortable. As long as baby girl and I are healthy, I want to go home as soon as we are able.

That pretty much sums up the most important things to me regarding our birth. I could go on and on, but I won't bore you with my crunchy mama antics about candles, and dim lighting. Right now I envision myself calm, and relaxed, but I could just becoming a raging birthing animal. Only time will tell.


Monday, August 20, 2012

This is life.

I heard a quote today that I have heard a million times, but I don't think I have ever really listened to its meaning until now.

That quote was "Be happy for this moment, because this moment is your life."

I am going through a year of changes, changes that will be some of the biggest of my life, and all within a year's time. I'm becoming a wife, becoming a mother, and getting back into the swing of things with school and career. My calendar is full of baby appointments and reminders of things I have to cross off my list. My phone homescreen has countdowns until important dates that I look at everyday and squeal "12 MORE DAYS UNTIL THE WEDDING"! And when the wedding is over the countdown until baby girl is expected will take its place.

I feel like I am always counting down to something, and while I am a generally optimistic person, I have a tendency to get caught in the race. I don't often stop and smell the roses.



Today I took the day off from work to tackle my to-do list. We had a baby appointment this morning, went to the courthouse to obtain our marriage license, and then I spent the afternoon finishing a few odds and ends that are difficult to do when you work 8:00-5:00pm. And while I am happy my to-do list is slightly shorter, I feel like it is only a matter of time before new things replace the old, and I am spending my life constantly working on a to-do list.

Laura Lynn will be here in no time, and I don't my life as a mom to be surrounded by keeping ahead of our to-do list. I want to enjoy every smile, every giggle, every moment with her that I possibly can. So I'm making a mid-year resolution to put down the to-do list, and start trying to take in more moments, even the little ones that seem the least important. Blogging helps that, it helps me remember the little things, like a digital memory bank.

More memories, more moments, and no more lists.

Monday, August 13, 2012

27 WEEKS

27 WEEKS!

How did we get here already? This pregnancy has really FLOWN by.




How far along?  27 weeks and 5 days. (but who is counting?)

Total weight gain/loss?  Up 10lbs total, which seems to be right on track. I never thought I would see the day that I would be happy to see weight gain on the scale! But it is a good reminder that little miss is growing her little heart out.

Maternity clothes? Love my maternity clothes! Still wearing most of regular jeans, with the help of the Belly Band (seriously love those) but most of my shirts are no longer long enough to cover the bump.

Stretch marks? Still none! :)

Sleep?  It's hit or miss. I have been struggling the few weeks with something called Restless Leg Syndrome that apparently is pretty common in this stage of pregnancy. It is really messing with my ability to sleep. Our midwife gave me samples of this stuff called Natural Calm, which is a magnesium supplement, and they seemed to help. Now I just need to go get the full-sized bottles and start inhaling the stuff.

Best moment last week? Laying in bed with the pup, and Aaron and giggling while LL kicked her daddy HARD. I was convinced her was NEVER going to be able to feel her, so finally getting to share that moment together was so heart-warming. It was like the first time our little family had connected.

Movement? Constant, constant, constant, and I LOVE IT!

Food cravings?  Still craving peanut butter all the time. A new craving has been milk, which is so odd because I HATED milk before pregnancy.

Gender? Obviously, at this point we know our little LL is a girl.

Labor signs? None yet, although I am starting to notice some tightening pulses randomly. I am assuming those are the beginnings of Braxton Hicks.

Belly button in/out? In still.

What I miss: Being able to breath. I feel so out of breath all the time, and I still have a whole 12 weeks to go. My chest has really been hurting this week and I am attributing it to my ribs expanding to accomodate the new growth spurt. I feel like I am carrying so high!

What I am looking forward to: Our next Bradley class, I love them so far (even though I totally forgot our workbook last week like an idiot).

Milestones: Feeling constant movement, completing the 2nd trimester, and having Aaron finally be able to feel the kicks.

Bring on the third trimester!!

Little Letters


Dear August,
I braved your intense heat, almost 7 months pregnant, to wave signs with the folks. You will not defeat me.



Dear wedding hair/makeup,
I love you. Baby sister and I had a trial run this weekend to test out looks for our wedding (19 days!) and I am sooooo happy with what we came up with.




Dear pregnancy cravings,
You are testing my will power to eat healthy! But cereal and brownies are so good.





Dear childbirth class,
I never thought I would be so excited to do 'homework'. I absolutely LOVE our Bradley Method Class and HIGHLY reccomend it to anyone preparing for a natural birth.

I plan on doing a full Bradley Method review both pre and post delivery.






Dear baby girl nursery,
I have yet to find the motivation to finish you yet...but I am starting to culminate decor. Soon. Soon.








Thursday, August 9, 2012

About Daddy.

Dear Laura Lynn,

I want you to know who your father is outside of being 'dad'. He is a pretty cool dude.

So about Aaron...


-Has better hair than I do in every possible way. It's thickier, shinier, healthier, and pretty much meets every criteria to fall into being considered Disney-worth hair. He is a like a real life Eric from Little Mermaid. I hope you have his hair, and not mine.

-I think it is literally impossible for him to gain weight. I've seen him eat his weight at the chinese buffet and still have a cut stomach in the morning. What makes it even more infuriating is that I have NEVER seen him exercise.

-Daddy knows something about everything...just wait, you will see.

-He is entirely freaked out by homemade ice.

-He wears three colors when it comes to shirts...white, black, and grey.

-He laughs quietly to himself when you take his picture. I think it's his own version of a nervous twitch.

-He has the most amazing smile in the whole world, but you'll never see it unless it is genuine.

-He is the most convincing person you will ever meet. So much so that he once convinced a homeless person to give him a dollar. True story.

-Tomatos are a seperate food group to him.

-He has impeccable taste in movies. My list of top 5 favorite movies all consist of movies he introduced me to.

-He makes eating into an art form. I've never seen someone leave a plate so clean.

-He will do anything for you.

You are so lucky to have him a father.
So lucky.

Friday, August 3, 2012

SUNSHINE

It's hard to believe how many big events in my life are near culmination. Becoming a wife, a mother, two very new roles, roles I have been waiting for my entire life are right around the corner. And I just can't wrap my head around it. 
Last night I laid in bed and stared at the man that within a month's time will be my husband, and shortly after a father of our beautiful little girl, and I just smiled and soaked up the sunshine coming off of him. Nothing is more important in life than marrying your best friend and in less than a month I am going to dip my toes in the sandy beach I grew up on and tell that man how much he means to me and how I plan to devote my life to making him feel half as loved as I feel everyday being near his warm smile. The man who turns all my darnkess into light will soon be called my husband. I feel privileged to know him.

The wedding will come and go, and we will be on to our next chapter, parenthood. What a year! Aaron and I are anything but conventional and our story is dotted with curveballs and sidetracks, all leading to these few moments I will hold in my heart for a lifetime.

I'm feeling nostalgic today. I'm feeling lucky today. I'm feeling blessed today.