Archive | Pregnancy

My Hospital Bag with Bio #3 {Low Supply & Planned C-Section}

Over the years I’ve read countless lists for what you should include in your hospital bag, but never one that really pertained to my situation–one of both a planned c-section and one with low supply (meaning I don’t make enough breast milk).

I thought maybe I would share my packing list and it would help some mama somewhere out if they were in the same boat as me.

First up: the basics.

What do you need for your baby? Well, technically I guess nothing. The hospital will provide diapers, wipes, onesies, blankets, hats, formula, and bottles. But that’s no fun! Here’s what I bring:

  • Two blankets (sometimes three)
  • Two hats/headbands
  • At least two sleepers–I find this more important if I have a winter baby and socks if the sleepers don’t have feet
  • Going home outfit
  • Specific paci if I have a preference (only MM has loved pacis)

What do you need for you? I guess nothing. The hospital provides gowns, disposable underwear, and pads. Here’s what I bring (my hospital stays have been three nights in the past; I’m allowed to shower 12 hours after a c-section when my catheter is removed and I change out of my hospital gown then, for what it’s worth):

  • Three pairs of pajamas. I have brought gowns before but I like PJs (that are very big in the waist as to not hurt my swollen, tender tummy). I try to bring at least one pair that buttons down the front for easier feeding/pumping, I just bought these (shirt.pants) and really like them.
  • SOCKS. I always forget to bring them.
  • Slippers for walking the halls (super important to do if you have had a c-section) because, ewww, the germs.
  • Going home clothes that are maternity-size ’cause duh.
  • The biggest granny panties you own.
  • This time around I’m also bringing a robe. Just because I’m getting old and mature like that.
  • Toiletries/flat iron/anything that makes you feel feminine/vitamins.

What do you need if you know you are having a c-section?

  • Like I said above, either gowns or PJ pants that are very loose.
  • A pillow so you can hold it to your abdomen when you laugh, cry, get up, or walk around those first few days. (I’ve had five major abdominal surgeries. Trust me.)
  • Stool softener. The hospital will give you one a day. No, girlfriend, no. You’ll need a lot more than that. I could give you gory details but trust me when I say you do NOT want to be constipated after an abdominal surgery.

What do you need if you know you’re going to have low supply or need to pump or want to supplement at breast? This is one I think most people don’t tell you about so women go in blind. We think that breastfeeding is so “natural” (and I guess it is to some, you lucky women know who you are), but for many it’s painful and confusing and disappointing. Here’s what I learned from breastfeeding Lala. (I am considered a low supply mama because I only made half of what he needed. I had a breast reduction (J-cup to a C-cup in 2000) so I am just amazed my body can produce even half of what a baby needs considering over five pounds of breast tissue (and milk ducts) were removed from each breast! I also have PCOS which makes your hormones wacky and doesn’t do me any favors in the breastfeeding department!)

I highly RECOMMEND talking to a lactation consultant *before* you give birth if you think you might have low supply. You can never be too prepared!

This is what I’m bringing this time.

  • My own pump. Last time it took the hospital over 12 hours to bring me a pump (and Lawson was in the NICU for 36 hours). I personally use both the Spectra S2 and the Medela Symphony (that I rent from the hospital). I find them both very comparable to each other.
  • A pumping bra. Again, just trust me. You do NOT want to sit there all hunched over and sore and holding those flanges on your boobies. I love the Dairy Fairy ones. I used this one with Lawson and got this one to try with Baby B (it has a little bit of underwire so I can wear it out of the house; I got a size ‘3’ since I’m a 36D).
  • Supplements if you so choose. Goats rue will be in my bag. (If you have any questions about supplements–I’ve tried them all–feel free to ask)
  • Frozen colostrum. I’ve been collecting 1- and 3-mL syringes of colostrum since 35 weeks (I use these syringes¬†to store it; make sure to get ones with caps). It’s important to get permission from your doctor first, of course (some won’t let you until you’re 37 weeks, but given that I had my last two babies at 37 weeks I was allowed to do it earlier). This is very important if you have gestational diabetes because these syringes can keep your baby’s blood sugar up after birth if it dips (your milk doesn’t come in for 24-72 hours after birth so many babies of gestational diabetic mothers need formula or sugar water to keep their blood sugar up during this time). Some hospitals won’t allow you to bring in your frozen colostrum or donor milk and none will let you store it in their refrigerators (they will if you pump it in the hospital though) so I bring my own cooler and don’t tell them what’s inside.

Baby B has two milk donors (including sweet Angelica who also donated for Lawson for an entire year!)–and this is the colostrum I have on hand already. If you’ve never breastfed you won’t understand the magnitude of this–this is like winning Super Bowl AND the Power Ball jackpot, colostrum-wise!

  • A large drinking cup. Yes, the hospital will most likely provide one, but I have my own Tervis ones that I love. When breastfeeding I try to drink 100 ounces per day.
  • Nipple cream. You can thank me later. ūüėČ
  • My Breast Friend Pillow. With MM and Moseby I used a Boppy to hold them and I loved it, but with Lawson I realized it didn’t provide enough support for the baby when nursing (it made my arms tired!) so I found this pillow and I love it!
  • Bottles with slow flow nipples. If you need to supplement with formula (or choose to put breast milk in a bottle) you’ll want to bring your own bottles if you want to go back and forth between feeding at the breast and bottle. The bottles they provide at the hospital are “newborn” bottles and the flow is faster than that of a real nipple (especially in those first few days when the baby has to try very hard to get the colostrum out) so I suggest bringing a couple of Dr. Brown’s bottles (I like the 2 oz size the first 2-3 weeks and then I pump into that size (they fit the Symphony; Avent bottles fit the Spectra S2) with a premie nipple. With Lawson I used premie nipples until he was NINE MONTHS OLD since he went back and forth between breast (with my very slow letdown thanks to my reduction) and bottle.
  • A Supplemental Nursing System (SNS) or a Lact-Aid if you are wanting to supplement at breast. Paper tape to tape the tubing in place. A nipple shield if you think you may need it. (NOTE: some hospitals provide both of these, but with Lawson the two lactation consultants I saw hadn’t EVER used an SNS (and they were no spring chickens themselves so they should have had plenty of experience with them) so thankfully I had brought my own. They did provide me with a nipple shield but Lawson was 48 hours old at that point! I say from a breastfeeding perspective go in expecting the worst and then you’ll usually be pleasantly surprised).

Other random items you might like to have:

  • Laptop and charger
  • Phone and charger
  • An extension cord for all those chargers ’cause you never know where those outlets will be
  • Camera and USB cord to connect to computer
  • Protein shakes or other snacks you don’t think the hospital will provide
  • A sign for the door (and door hanger)–is that just a southern thing?
  • Any other signs/props/special blankets, etc. for baby for photos

I think that’s it. Of course, I’m “only” 35 weeks, 2 days so I have “plenty” of time to pack more, HA! So tell me, what did I forget that was a necessity for you? Let me know and I’ll add it to my list!

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Time to Place Your Bets!

Today I am 34 weeks. I remember crying when I reached this milestone with MM. When I went on bed rest with her at 26 weeks, 6 days our first goal was 28 weeks (for 90% viability) and our second (and final goal) was 34 weeks (for lung development).

And here I am again!

So in celebration of this milestone I’m having a little contest!

From now until October 16th you can vote (on here, or on my Facebook page, or on my Instagram–but just once) for gender, date of birth, time of birth, weight, length, hair color, and hair length. You can just enter the info in a comment or you can fill out the form below.

hbp_0087_babyforecast_Natalie Cooper_final

Now, you do have to get gender right before you’ll be able to win (so if you say girl and it’s a boy you’re automatically out).

And what does the winner get? A (not too big) Starbucks gift card!

So whatcha waiting for? Get those votes in!

 

1


A Pregnancy Update: The One Where I Moan and Groan

You have been warned.

I am currently 32 weeks, 4 days (guesstimate of course–we call this the “Jesus Baby” because in actuality we have NO IDEA when he/she was conceived & joked at the beginning that God must’ve just put it in there, all divine-like).

Yesterday at my appointment I measured 32 weeks, 3 days (fundal height–a little measuring tape the doctor uses to measure the outside of my belly).

That sounds awesome, right? Baby is perfectly average.

Wrong.

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. WRONG.

Baby is really more like 34.5-35 week size (17.5″ long and over five pounds). Baby is 99th percentile in length, head circumference, and belly size.

I think just its cheeks weigh over five pounds!

So where is this giant baby hiding if on the outside I’m average?

That would be in my lungs. And back. And stomach. And kidneys. And intestines. And poking his dadgum head out of my shredded left oblique muscle half the day (baby is either transverse or breech at all times).

I get that pregnancy is not fun in the third trimester, believe me. Been there, done that (twice) before. But this one is the worst. Blame it on the muscle repair from my tummy tuck–my ab muscles are literally sewn shut and are pushing this gigantic baby back inside my body. I can’t even really describe it because it’s nothing like my other two pregnancies. I can’t breathe and my stomach is so sore–like I’ve done 1000 sit ups or slept on a cement floor.

(So if you’re reading this and thinking you may, just may, want to have a baby after a muscle repair I’ve got news for you–DON’T. It’s torture 24/7 that doesn’t stop. It only gets worse–I can’t imagine how this will feel in 5-6 more weeks honestly.)

And then there’s the whole gigantic baby thing and the guilt I have over it.

See, when you have gestational diabetes you’re told over and over that if you don’t control your blood sugar you will have a giant baby and that is very bad. Therefore big baby is a sad and sick baby = mama who didn’t follow the rules/didn’t eat right/horrible piggy of a person.

Now, the doctors have never called me a horrible piggy of a person, but it’s how I feel each time when I’m told my baby is big. I remember always being so proud that Lawson was on the small side (20-30th percentile) because I knew it was because *I* was doing something right. So to hear this one is in the 99th percentile (it’s been 95th percentile since 11 weeks) it makes me feel like *I’m* doing something very wrong.

I record every bite that I eat. (I eat 1,200-1,400 calories a day and less than 50g total carbs). I record my blood sugar religiously. I workout every single day. I take a minimum of 15,000 steps a day. My blood sugar numbers are perfect (other than my fasting 2-3 days a week, but you honestly can’t control those). I’ve been told by both my high risk OB and regular OB that I’m the most active patient in their practice right now. We did another A1C last week to see how controlled my blood sugar has been the last three months and it is 4.5 (which is unheard of perfect, if I do say so myself). I’ve gained 18.5 pounds at 32.5 weeks which is completely average.

Yet.

My baby is huge (predicted size if I made it to 40 weeks…which I won’t, thank the lord…TEN POUNDS).

And the guilt I feel is unreal.

My OB got frustrated with me yesterday after I listed everything I was doing to try to keep this baby small/average size and said, “Look. Some babies are just genetically big. You have a genetically big baby. There is absolutely nothing else you can do about it. Let it grow and stop worrying. No one is blaming you for its size.”

And yet I still feel guilty.

Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.

 

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Second Trimester Purchases

august 28. baby purchases_0006_edited-1

For Me:

  • I bought a belly support band for exercising (the Maternity FitSplint) which is 100% amazing at stabilizing your belly during those bouncy exercises. I can’t recommend it enough!

For Baby Bee:

  • I bought the baby its first outfit/ensemble–a hat and matching blanket. Well, actually my friend Emily did (she monograms stuff for me so she knows what we’re having–see this post for the explanation on how she knows). I gave her the Etsy listing and the money and she ordered the correct set for me. How sweet is she?! In just a couple of months or so we’ll all get to see Baby B either in pink or blue in this set, eek!

august 28. baby purchases_0003_edited-1

  • A couple of unisex bee outfits (one from Burts Bees (front) and one from Kissy Kissy, similar here).
  • A box of newborn diapers and size one diapers.
  • A Rock ‘n Play that was one of my necessities for Moseby and Lawson, but that I gave away last year. Oops!

For the Nursery:

august 28. baby purchases_0001_edited-1

  • “God Knew Our Hearts Needed You” sign was a custom order I placed through Pickles Painting Company. I gave her the quote and she did the rest (we’ve said over and over that God just knew we needed this baby even though we thought we were finished growing our family). I think it turned out perfect.
  • Framed song lyrics was an order I placed through Finch & Cotter. I told them one of¬†my favorite songs and which lines I wanted in bold and they did the rest. (“May we all grow up in red, white, and blue little towns; May we all know that nothing ain’t cool ’til you wear the new off”)
  • The hexagon shelf came from Reclaimed Waco.
  • The bee pillow is 20+ years old and was in my bedroom in high school.

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  • This is part of the mobile. It came all the way from England!

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  • I’m still trying to decide on wall paint colors–I’m leaning towards a greige (and would LOVE your suggestions on a specific paint color). I can’t decide if I like this painting (from Hobby Lobby) for above the crib or not. I love the size…the rest? Not sure.

And somehow I didn’t get a picture of the bedding. Grr! I’ve got the dust ruffle and bumper, but haven’t received the sheets yet–I’ll just show you everything at once, okay?

So that’s what I’ve bought second trimester for the baby and I. This last trimester will be spent doing the nursery (and getting the boys transitioned to their new room, including putting Lawson in a big boy bed, ack!) and getting last minute things together–I gave away (or loaned) out so much baby stuff I don’t know what I have or not. I also need to get a few baby girl outfits just in case (I’ve got some newborn clothes of Moseby and Lawson’s left over, but none of Mary Margaret’s, eek!). And I’m waiting on the quilter to finish Baby Bee’s quilt so I can sew the binding on.

Monday marked 29 weeks for me so I have right at 8-9 weeks to go. Which seems like a really long time when you’re living it day to day, but not very long at all in reality! Lots to do around here!

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Second Trimester Fitness

Since I’m now in my thirdd trimester (DO WHAT?!) I thought I would talk about how my fitness routines have changed in the second trimester.

What you should know: prior to pregnancy I did four types of workouts. Those were cardio machines (elliptical, stationary bike) five days a week, Zumba three days a week, yoga once a week, and sometimes spin. Yes, I was a gym rat. ūüėČ

Now let’s talk about how that routine changed from weeks 14-27.

Yoga started changing for me around 14 weeks. Everything got a little harder and my balance got worse. Now that I’m in my third trimester I laugh when I look back at my notes that say it got harder (oh girrrrrrl, it’s hard now!). At 18 weeks I added a weekly prenatal yoga class to my routine to learn which poses were safe and how to modify certain ones. I LOVE my prenatal yoga classes. So I increased my yoga from once a week to twice a week. I did get a thicker yoga mat to go underneath my standard one to add more cushion (it’s glorious! It also comes with its own carrying strap) and some blocks since my belly is getting in the way more now and I can’t reach the ground in some poses (of course Lala gnawed on one of them (?!) and now every time I use them in class I see his little teeth prints).

RPM (spin) started getting difficult for me around 16 weeks. I couldn’t lean forward and “race” because it felt like I couldn’t breathe. The instructor helped me find a six pound ball in the weight room to put on top of the handle bars so even when I lean forward to race I’m not really leaning forward. Finally I could breathe again! …but it was short-lived. By 24 weeks I couldn’t catch my breath. I don’t think it’s the baby though; if I had to guess I would say it’s the whole muscle repair acting like a corset that pushes the baby up in my lungs. I haven’t been to spin since 24 weeks. And I’m okay with that.

Zumba hasn’t changed for me…yet. I’m sure it will. I do sometimes cough a bit during it–I think my body is just trying to suck in more air and that is its response. I purchased a Maternity FitSplint band to wear that I read a lot of good reviews about for my third trimester–it seems like it’s a must for runners or those that bounce a lot when they exercise. You can wear it three ways including one band above and one below your bump to really keep it stationary. I’m keeping my fingers crossed it will allow me to do Zumba until I deliver. I still go to Zumba three times a week.

I’m still doing five days of cardio machines, but I have bumped down the levels. Pre-pregnancy I was a level 12 on the machines I use, but have now dropped down to a 7 or 8 because the first blood pressure medicine I was put on at 20 weeks (Aldomet) made my leg muscles so sore. And now I’ve gotten used to those levels so I’m being kind of lazy even though I changed BP meds, haha. #justkeepingitreal I do the machines for 45-50 minutes on my “lunch break” during the week.

At 19 weeks I did start doing Body Jam a couple of times a week to replace boring old cardio machines. It’s a Les Miles program and very dance-minded. ..and for someone who has ZERO background (and zero coordination and is tone deaf) it’s been really interesting, haha. I stopped at 25 weeks when I went back to work (they only offer it in the mornings at my gym), but I’m thinking I’ll try it again on maternity leave (after the 6 week healing phase is over of course).

I’m not going to lie, I’m pretty proud of myself for keeping up my pretty intense fitness routine while pregnant–especially when I started the Aldomet/methyldopa which left me feeling like I had mono 24/7. In fact, this entire pregnancy I’ve only missed one session because of “laziness”/fatigue/whatever and I felt so guilty afterwards I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again.

Unfortunately, I can’t say my activity level has made my pregnancy easier. Nope, still have pregnancy-induced hypertension and gestational diabetes like always, BUT I’m hoping that my recovery will be easier–that my body will bounce back to pre-pregnancy fitness level quicker because, y’all, I canNOT wait to get my body back. Not the size (though that will be nice) per se, but the actual “ownership” of my body. Pregnancy (and to some effect, breastfeeding) makes me feel like someone else is in control of my body. I can’t control my blood pressure, or my pancreas, or the amount of air I can breathe in, or sleeping on my stomach, or my bladder, etc. Everything is being controlled by something else and it’s just so uncomfortable (but I do love the kicks and I realize how amazing it is to carry a baby so please don’t think I’m being ungrateful when I complain).

So, that’s my second trimester fitness routine. Hopefully when I check in for my last update in nine or ten weeks I can say the same things! Fingers crossed.

 

 

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Second Trimester Recap

It’s that time! Today marks the beginning of the third trimester which means I’m now in the single digits (weeks-wise) until we meet him/her. And I’m about to start freaking out now that I typed that.

My lord, I am growing! Eek. What’s even crazier is that I only have ONE MORE of these pictures (I’m taking them every nine weeks) before the baby is here!

How I’m Feeling: I can’t really breathe. It’s the dadgum muscle repair acting like a corset making the baby go all up in my lungs. Ever since about 16 weeks I’ve felt like I’m 34-ish weeks pregnant–you know that point in pregnancy where you get majorly winded just from walking up the stairs? Yep, been that way for three months now and that’s real fun.

Also, because of my blood pressure I’m on BP meds and they have me feeling all sorts of out of it. I’ll talk about that more below.

20 weeks pregnancy comparison

20 week comparison with my three bio babies. 

What I’m Craving: Right around 16 weeks all my weird pregnancy cravings went POOF!¬†thankfully. I don’t have any cravings anymore, but I do get ravenous sometimes. Before this pregnancy I would do intermittent fasting and would go 16-20 hours at a time not eating. Now I want something to eat as soon as I wake up–my stomach is literally growling the moment I open my eyes.

22 weeks

22 weeks and waving at the camera.

Any Movement: YES!! I finally felt it at 22 weeks–I was starting to think it would never ever happen. My muscle repair + scar tissue + anterior placenta meant it was really hard to feel the baby. But right about the time we went to the beach I started feeling it (never any “flutters” but more kicks) and now I feel it all the time (the most between 9-11am and 9-11pm)–and I gotta say, this baby is an acrobat. It can go from head down to transverse to breach within a couple of minutes. C. has felt it flip several times now (if I sleep on my left side, but flip on my back in the mornings it’ll spend five minutes or so flipping around and getting comfortable). It’s crazy.

22.5 weeks along.

Weight Gain: I haven’t looked, but I know since my gestational diabetes diagnosis (see below for more info on that) a little less than three weeks ago I’ve lost weight in my arms and thighs thanks to a low carb lifestyle. I’m STILL buttoning my pre-pregnancy pants, some easily…and some not so easily, haha. Not sure how long I’ll continue to be able to do that, but it’s nice while I can, not going to lie!

24 weeks comparison

24 week comparison carrying my bio babies.

Complications: At¬†21 weeks, 3 days blood pressure was 130/100 at my OB appointment. I had been expecting it (with MM it suddenly spiked at 20.5 weeks and with Lawson it spiked at 19.6 weeks), but it was still disheartening to see it happen yet again. I have a new OB this pregnancy and he put me on Aldomet (Methyldopa) 500mg (twice/day) and I started getting horrible side effects after a week or so. Basically I felt like I had full-blown mono 24/7. I was exhausted like I had ran a marathon, sore like I’d been lifting weights, and just kinda depressed all the time. But it kept my blood pressure controlled so under the persistence of my OB I stayed on it for 7 weeks. Last week I got my high risk OB to prescribe Labetalol (200mg twice/day) which is what I’ve been on the last two pregnancies. The problem with it is it leaves me feeling a tad “out of it” or “fuzzy” and my heart rate is low (it’s a beta blocker so it’s to be expected). For instance, during a normal Zumba workout my heart rate will be in the upper 140s – 160s, but on Labetalol it never gets out of the 130s. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it makes me feel very strange and I sweat very easily. I have to make sure my heart rate stays in the 50s at least while resting (I have a low heart rate normally because I’m so active) so I now have to take my blood pressure multiple times a day to make sure my BP and heart rate stay in a safe range.

And so far (knock on wood!) I’m not spilling any protein so I’ve held off a PreE diagnosis! SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS!

At 15 (16?) weeks I took my first gestational diabetes test and my blood glucose level was 85 at the one-hour mark. My OB remarked that it was as perfect as it could get. I just smiled because I knew what was coming (he also said that about my blood pressure at all my appointments the first 20 weeks–I swear he thought I was making up these complications, ha!). At 24 weeks we repeated the test and my blood glucose level was 174 at the one-hour mark. Yep, it doubled. I declined the three-hour and began tracking my blood sugar. And because I’m a crazy lady I created a spreadsheet (I’ll share it with y’all soon) that not only records my blood sugar, but also every bite I eat, every glass of water I drink, all my activity, and the grams of protein/carbs/dietary fiber/fat I eat in a day. So far I’m not on insulin, but my fasting is too high for my liking and if I had to bet I would say I’ll be on insulin within the week. Not a biggie–this ain’t my first rodeo. ūüėČ

27 weeks, 4 days

27.5 weeks along.

About the Baby: Basically, he/she is big. Since 11 weeks it’s been measuring 95th percentile length-wise. Last Monday it weighed 2 pounds, 4 ounces and was 15″ long. It’ll be interesting to see if it’s big like MM (21″, 8.0lbs) or small/medium like Lala (19″, 6lbs7ozs) when it’s born. It will also be interesting to see if they deliver it at the same time–both my other babies came at 37 weeks, 5 days.

27 weeks pregnant

27 weeks and already has cheeks for days!

So that’s what’s going on with me! Wednesday I’ll talk about my second trimester fitness and Friday I’ll talk about my (way too many) second trimester purchases (there’s been nursery shopping, eek!).

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Pregnant Woman Stuff: Real Talk About Preeclampsia & Gestational Diabetes

I was going to save all this for my second trimester recap post sometime next week (I’m 26 weeks today, eek!), but since my latest complications have consumed my life I thought I would share them with you.

{For a short recap: with MM I was diagnosed with pregnancy-induced hypertension at 20.4 weeks, preeclampsia at 26.6 weeks, and gestational diabetes at 28 weeks. I couldn’t control my gestational diabetes (I’ll refer to it as GD–bad acronym, I know) even though I never cheated on the diet (seriously never) given to me by the diabetic nutritionist at the hospital and ended up on four insulin shots a day. My blood pressure (BP) wasn’t well-controlled either and by the time I delivered at 37.5 weeks I had been in the hospital five times, had been on bedrest for three months, and my BP during delivery got up to 240/170. ¬†With Lawson I was diagnosed with GD at 18 weeks (it was controlled by diet (yay for Keto!) and exercise except for my fasting number and I was on one insulin shot/day), pregnancy-induced hypertension at 19.6 weeks, and preeclampsia at 28 weeks. I was never on bedrest (my BP was well controlled with medicine), but delivered again at 37.5 weeks when my placenta started detaching (common PreE thing). Wait, sorry, this was supposed to be a short recap.}

24 weeks comparison

24 week comparison with my bio babies.

Fast forward to this pregnancy. I’m 95 pounds lighter (than with MM and 55 pounds lighter than with Lawson) and started this pregnancy at an “average” weight/healthy BMI and a VERY active lifestyle (working out six days/week hardcore). Every person that I mentioned my concerns over my old complications flippantly said something along the lines of, ‘Well, you’re so much healthier now so I’m SURE you’ll have a normal pregnancy this time!’

And while part of me hoped they were right, part of me always got my feelings hurt–because those people were implying that my weight gave me the complications of my last two pregnancies. That I caused and deserved them.

And I, too, bought into it. I fat shamed me. I always felt guilty for what my body did (or didn’t) do, all because of my weight.

But here’s the kicker: I STILL have pregnancy-induced hypertension (21.3 weeks when I was diagnosed this round) and I still have gestational diabetes (25.1 weeks when I was diagnosed this round; at 15.3 weeks my blood sugar was perfect (85) on the one hour test–2.5 months later my blood sugar more than doubled on the same test). Now it’s just a waiting game to see when I start spilling more protein in my urine so I can get my PreE diagnosis (I’m guessing in the next three weeks). I’ve only missed one workout my entire pregnancy so far (the BP meds make me feel like I have mono 24/7 (totally not kidding) and I skipped one of my yoga classes because of it and then felt crazy guilty afterwards), I eat low carb, and I’m crazy active and I STILL got the same complications.

While I feel vindicated (yay! my weight didn’t cause the problems!) the complications still suck big time (wait, my body stinks at pregnancy!).

So that’s where I am now. Smug and depressed, ha!

2


Pregnancy Reveal Photos & First Trimester Purchases

I’m going to be honest here: my favorite thing about pregnancy (other than the kicks–I LOOOOOOOVE the kicks) is buying stuff.

I know you’re sitting there shocked right now.

Yeah right…

So I thought I’d share with you purchases I’ve made during each trimester–for me and the baby. But I didn’t buy too much this first trimester…mainly because I didn’t even figure out I was pregnant until 8.5/9 weeks and then I sat there in utter disbelief¬†for two weeks!

For Me:

Due to my abdominalplasty and muscle repair last June I have a very tight stomach–there is no loose skin which is a beautiful thing unless you’re pregnant. I’m not worried about stretch marks (been there, done that thanks to MM & my genetics), but I do want my skin to be as moisturized as possible for the stretching it has to do as the baby grows. I bought l’occitane almond supple skin oil¬†at ten weeks along and religiously apply it twice a day all over my tummy and on my belly button and tummy tuck scars. ¬†My skin definitely doesn’t feel dry and the smell (almond) is nice too.

For Baby:

When I found out I was pregnant I was shocked. And not a good kind of shocked. More like the I’m-the-smallest-and-fittest-I’ve-ever-been-and-I-have-a-flat-tummy-and-now-I’m-pregnant shock. I found myself scared (the preeclampsia and my muscle repair holding during this pregnancy are my two biggest worries) and pretty bummed about it all. But I realized the more time I spent on Etsy looking at baby items, the more okay (dare say excited) with this pregnancy I became. (It’s amazing how many new items there are on the market, like those precious blankets for monthly photos or baby turbins or the dock-a-tots, etc.) So once we decided on names at ten weeks and I realized that both started with a ‘B’ and that got me to thinking about doing a gender neutral bee nursery since I love bees. I started looking on Etsy and found SofiaBedding who would make custom crib bedding for me (I ordered all the fabrics and had them sent to her directly).

And I love it. Stay tuned for sneak peeks in the upcoming weeks (it’s currently sitting in the upstairs hallway waiting for the boys to switch rooms).

For Someone Else:

First, let me tell you how we told our kids.

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When I was almost 12¬†weeks or so we decided it was time to tell the family (we really were that in shock those first few weeks!) so I planned a special dinner for the kids. We went with a yellow and black bee theme for Baby B. Thankfully my “good china” is yellow and black so I didn’t have to buy anything special. ūüėČ

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It’s hard to read but the menu says:

Appetizer: Baby carrots with ranch dressing

Entree: Baby back ribs, new potatoes with baby spinach, and warm buns in the oven

Dessert: Baby Ruth candy bars (and these bee cookies pictured above)

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And, y’all, my super smart, inquisitive eight year old had NO idea the entire meal. So after dessert we told them to lift up their placemats where we had put an ultrasound photo. Their faces were priceless.

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Moseby kept saying, ‘O.G.M.! O.G.M.!’ (instead of O.M.G., ha!!)

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The next day we met my parents & grandmother and C.’s parents at P.F. Chang’s for lunch before MM’s art show (coincidentally this is where we announced we were due with Lawson on her sixth birthday–she always picks P.F. Chang’s for her special occasion meals, haha).

I had brought grandparent gifts to announce the pregnancy–these puzzles–but they had to put them together first.

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My mom actually put the word ‘Baby’ together first and then ‘2017’ and figured it out. We gave each set of grandparents this gift (ornaments found here).

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And what’s a celebration without cookie cake?! ūüėČ

To announce to the world (at 21-ish weeks) on July 4th that we were having a fourth we did a whole ‘Happy 4th’ theme–the kids shirts were done by my friend Tracey, C.’s shirt came from here, and my shirt came from here. I bought a “Cooper, Party of Six” sign too.

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cover final

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For Baby AND Me:

I was in Sams one afternoon and saw these comfy-looking fabric-covered loungers for the pool. I swear the baby spoke up and said, ‘Get us one of those NOW!’ So I did. We are having a great time floating around my parents’ pool in it, let me tell you. The baby has good taste in pool floats.

And a random purchase I wasn’t planning on yet: I always debate on whether or not to even get a diaper bag (I always end up ditching them after a few months), but decided to get Frye Melissa Shoulder bag (in Cognac)¬†like my cross body (that’s now on sale!) since it was on sale for $199 (almost 1/2 off and Frye never goes on sale!). It can be a diaper bag, sure, but it can also be just a bigger purse down the road.


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First Trimester Recap

Written on Tuesday, May 23rd at 14 weeks, 1 day. 

Pregnancy

I took these when I was 8.5 weeks pregnant (yep, I had no idea before then!)…think I was just a wee bit¬†pregnant?!

So by the time you’re reading this I’ll probably be mid-second trimester, but I thought I better write it while it’s fresh on my mind.

Pregnancy

A little over 9 weeks. 

How I’m Feeling: Other than the past Sunday (our last day in the northeast) when I puked, I can’t even tell I’m pregnant. Well, other than lusting/needing/craving a mid-day nap (that of course I never get) something fierce. I’m also almost always cold (I’m not anemic and my thyroid is good for all y’all armchair doctors, haha). And I have had a constant runny nose for the last month, ugh. Oh, and my hair is dull and my nails are thin. So maybe I CAN tell I’m pregnant. I haven’t missed my normal gym routine {other than going out of town}–still doing five days of cardio machines, plus three Zumba classes, and one¬†yoga class a week¬†currently (I’m at the gym every day but Sunday). I even added RPM (spin) back to the my weekly rotation at the end of my first trimester so I’m working out even more than before. Take that, first trimester exhaustion!

A little over 12 weeks. 

What I’m Craving: A wide-range of things! Some days it’s quiche or chicken pot pie or chicken salad. It’s random and has no rhyme or reason. Though the craving for a McDonald’s cheeseburger or a chocolate chip bagel with strawberry cream cheese nags at me 24/7, not going to lie. Oh, and peanut butter. Always peanut butter.

(With MM I craved watermelon, sweet tea, and chocolate-covered potato chips. With Lala I craved avocados, steak, and frozen peach margaritas. So this baby is trying to keep its gender a mystery with its cravings.)

Pregnancy

14 weeks (measuring 15 weeks, 1 day)

Any Movement: Nah. And I found out today at my appointment with the specialist that my placenta is anterior (in the front) again which means my placenta will act like a buffer for baby kicks. Which stinks because that’s my favorite part of pregnancy! Plus the muscle repair has left me COMPLETELY numb down the center. It’ll be a while before I feel this kiddo.

Pregnancy

Pre-pregnancy

Weight Gain: I’ve decided not to weigh–or well, look at my weight–during this pregnancy. I’m crazy active and I eat fine and I’m not going to worry about the weight. To be honest, my body changing and getting rounder again is hard on me emotionally. I can’t add the worry about a number on the scale to that. As of now I’m still in all my pre-pregnancy clothes, but the waist is getting tighter (but they’re still buttoning, woohoo)!

Pregnancy

Nine weeks pregnant. 

Complications: None yet. It’s just a waiting game because we know they will come. I’m taking my first 24-hour urine collection right at 14 weeks¬†(to get a baseline¬†for protein spillage–I’ll do these urine collections often during pregnancy to look for protein spillage which indicates preeclampsia–if you see me carting around an orange jug you’ll know it’s just me and my pee, HA!).

Pregnancy

12 weeks pregnant. 

I’m taking my first one-hour glucose tolerance test next Tuesday (so I’ll be 15/16 weeks-ish) because we want to catch my gestational diabetes as soon as I start having blood sugar issues. There’s a chance I might not get gestational diabetes again (I do weigh 95 pounds less than I did with MM and 55 pounds less than I did with Lawson), but given my history with PCOS (and the insulin resistance it causes), I’m not holding my breath. In fact, I’m starting Keto (or at least low carb) again in the next couple of weeks so adios carbs.

13.5 weeks pregnant (on a jetty in Plymouth).

Oh, and I’m now 36 so there’s a good chance I’m getting an amnio since I’m old (AND adopted (lack of genetic history)). Fun times.

Oh, and I just had an extensive muscle repair less than a year ago and I’m going to need another csection. The amount of worry/stress/craziness I have over this is ridiculous. I’m sure I’ll talk more about in the future.

Oh, wait, I forgot (that’s how used to pregnancy complications I am!), I have two large cysts on my 1/2 ovary. With my other two pregnancies I had one large cyst (the corpus lutuem) but it went away once the placenta took over (10-ish weeks). Nope, this round they keep growing! One is 3.5cm and one is 4cm which is pretty uncomfortable. There’s talk of surgically removing during pregnancy if they continue to grow.

Oh, and I found out I am a CF carrier. Now we’re waiting to get C. tested and if he’s also a carrier then we’ll have to have an amnio for that.

About the Baby: It is measuring 95th percentile and 8 days ahead. They promised me it wasn’t gestational diabetes making it big (way too soon–and this is 95th percentile in LENGTH, not weight) that it looks like this will just be a big baby. Oh, goody! ::insert eyeball roll here:: #gimmemeatinybabyplease

Oh, and because of my pregnancy we had to change our Costa Rica trip that was planned in mid-May (which was to make up for our ten year anniversary/babymoon trip to Italy in 2015 that we couldn’t go on due to C.’s dirt bike accident, ahem!) to a northeastern trip because of the possible Zika risk in Costa Rica. When I mentioned to my OB friend that we had a trip planned there (a level 2 risk country by the CDC) she literally laughed in my face and was like, ‘Uhmmmm, NO!’…so off to the northeast we went because there is certainly no Zika in Maine. HA! (This baby better be appreciating all my sacrifices!)

 

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Is #4 a He or a She?!

I know it’s the question on everyone’s mind (and it’s always on my mind). ¬†So drumroll please…

Baby is totally smirking at us and all like, ‘I know what I am, but you don’t! HAHAHA!’ It’s a sarcastic baby, I can already tell. At least I know it’ll fit in where with out brood!

We know (and have since 14-ish weeks) the gender.

But we don’t know.

That’s not confusing or anything, huh?

At our 14 week ultrasound I told the sonographer we weren’t going to find out, but that I wanted her to find out if she could and print off 5 copies of the gender shot (I had brought 5 envelopes with me) so I could give it to my embroidery ladies and Etsy shops.

Pregnancy

Because y’all know me too well…I’m going to slap that baby’s monogram right on it as soon as it pops out.

And she easily found out what we’re having (which would lead me to think it was a boy, but who knows).

It’s been confirmed with another ultrasound and genetic testing…but we don’t know.

C. wavers back and forth between boy and girl. My dad, mom, mother-in-law and myself say boy. The kiddos and my birth mom say girl. C. had his tarot cards read in Salem (random!) and the man predicted a boy without even knowing I was pregnant. ¬†Even those prediction charts don’t know!

baby prediction

{I found this little poster here, by the way.}

{I have been buying a few girl things though *just in case* (I have plenty of boy stuff, but sold or gave away all of MM’s things last year so I have absolutely nothing). Oh, how I’m trying to rein in the urge to buy every Well Dressed Wolf, Matilda Jane, Sweet Honey, Persnickety, Blue Dove piece I see…oh, the list of little girl brands I love goes on and on. Must.stop.shopping. (’cause this baby may very well have a penis and won’t be able to wear a dress! HA!)}

As for names we’ve chosen Bonnie Grace or Benji Harris. ‘Bonnie’ means both baby and beautiful–our beautiful baby. ‘Grace’ is after my grandmother, Mama Grace. We chose ‘Benji’ because it sounded like the perfect name for a big, cuddly bear of a guy. ‘Benjamin’ does mean son of my right hand¬†and many Jewish families name their last son¬†Benjamin and this IS our last baby…. ‘Harris’ is after my grandfather, Papa Cleve (his and Mama Grace’s last name was Harris). We’re calling the baby “Baby B” until it arrives since both names start with the letter B.

And going with the whole Baby B thing we’re doing a bee-themed nursery since I love bees. Lots of tan/natural with black accents. I’m actually really excited about decorating the nursery (Moseby’s old room once he and Lawson move in together in the next month or so) and you’ll probably get tired of me talking about it!

 

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