Tuesday, April 19, 2016

26 Week Updates: Baby 2.0

How far along? 26 weeks today!

How big is baby? Baby is estimated to be around 13.75 inches long and 2 pounds in weight. Her lungs are now fully formed and her fused eyelids will start to open this week.

How big is Mama? Up just shy of another pound from last week, at 134.6. Slow and steady. It doesn't help that I can't really do ANY exercise due to my sore hips… though I am still doing nightly stretches to ease the pain. Baby girl moves a lot on and off throughout the day, and at this point it appears she still has a lot of room in there, as some days I feel her moving up high near my ribs and other days she's way down low by my cervix.


Sleep? Doing well overall- though I did have a pretty long bout of insomnia last night in the middle of the night (possibly due to the cookies consumed before bed?)

Food cravings/aversions? I was reading back on Iyla's updates and saw that I couldn't stomach tomatoes during her pregnancy- and interestingly enough, she has a tomato allergy. This kid definitely doesn't want me to eat seafood (still!) so I am curious if that may manifest in her preferences once she is out in the world.

Symptoms? The Symphysis Pubic Dysfunction continues to plague me. Lots and lots of burning, ripping, and tight pain across my pubic bone, inner thighs, and hips. It's worse after sitting for awhile or standing too long and from everything I've read, BIRTH is the only real "cure."

Big Sister? My online Mama group had a challenge this week to post pictures of us alongside our kiddo when we were their age. People tell me ALL THE TIME that Iyla is my mini me, and I do see it in moments (mostly in the eyes), but overall think she looks like her own unique person (and also my mom).

However, I did dig up a picture of me around her age where the resemblance is definitely there- again in the eyes:

According to my Aunt Sheri (who is holding me)- this was my "Princess Leia" phase

A few more photos of Iyla from the past week:

Prepping for breakfast out with Papa

Ready for a rainy day at school

Rainy day ringlets! She requests her hair to be done in "Dumbo ears" all the time now, which means two either half or full ponytails.

Boat safety day at swim lessons

Weekly ballet class- one month countdown until her recital! And she still almost NEVER does what the teacher asks. Should be a hilarious show to watch!

Zilker Park train ride

She loves this concrete wheel at the park and always does little shows on top of it

Nursery? It was a big week in that we finally ordered the nursery furniture! At this point with Iyla's pregnancy we already had the furniture fully assembled in her room. This kid's furniture? Scheduled to arrive sometime in late June (ha!). I'm really not worried about the time lines, since I know from experience that baby will be sleeping in our room for the first several months. However, I do NOT want to be assembling a nursery AFTER baby arrives, so onward we go with the preparations.

Step 1 will be selling the current guest room furniture, step 2 painting the room, step 3 installing curtains, step 4 putting in the furniture, and then finally we'll finish out the room with art, decorations, a rug, filling the dresser drawers, etc.

Baby girl's crib (we got a matching dresser as well)

This is the pattern that will be on the chair I ordered (which will be a different style). I plan to have this sucker in our room initially for middle of the night feedings.

Most looking forward to? We leave in just a few days for California! I honestly haven't had much time to actively think about the trip, but AM excited to have a full week lounging with BC. Given my (mostly) inability to walk much these days, I'll be happy to just go on beautiful drives, lie in our hotel bed, read books, and have delicious meals.

We are also excited for Grandma to arrive! When we tell Iyla it is almost time for Grandma to be here, she'll exclaim "TODAY?!" to which we have to explain it will be a few more days still. : ) I told her Mama and Papa will be getting on an airplane for a trip to California while she and Grandma have a sleepover party, then we'll be back to see her again. To which she'll either reply: "I'll miss you!" or "you'll be so glad to see me again!" She gets it. So much so that last night at bedtime she regressed a bit and did NOT want me to leave the room like I usually do. She's one smart kiddo.

I also cannot WAIT to walk/exercise/hike again once this baby girl joins us in the outside world. I do love being pregnant (love feeling her inside me and watching my body transform)- but it will be oh so nice to be able to move and sit normally again.

On that note I scored a HUGE deal on a brand new BOB Double stroller this week- found one at our local baby store that was marked 10% off. I had a 20% off coupon on top of that, and upon noticing that one of the wheels wouldn't inflate (likely due to needing a new tube- super easy and cheap to fix) I negotiated another 10% off, for a total of 40% off! That got the price down to what these strollers typically sell for on the used resale market. SCORE! 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

25 Week Updates: Baby 2.0

How far along? 25 weeks today!

How big is baby? My baby apps estimate her around 13.5 inches, 1.5 pounds. She's apparently starting to look more and more like a newborn, with baby fat accumulating. This week capillaries start developing in her lungs to ready them for life outside the womb, and her nostrils- which have been closed up until now- open, allowing her to practice "breathing" in the womb. Amazing!

How big is Mama? Up a little more than a pound from last week (1.4 pounds), for a weigh in this morning at 133.8 pounds.


Sleep? Actually pretty decent this week! Still taking 1/2 a Unisom nightly. I've also started a nightly routine of purposefully "connecting" with baby before I fall asleep; putting my hands on my belly and breathing in energy directly to her, setting my wishes and intentions for her life (things along the lines of good health & a long life, joy, and having a strong sense of self and self-love). I also have a pact with her that she needs to be at least 37 weeks along and 6 pounds before she can make her debut! Amazingly enough, every time I do this little ritual she starts moving and kicking like crazy. It's pretty awesome.

Food cravings/aversions? Nothing new or notable…

Symptoms?

*Good gracious has BABY BRAIN taken over. I have no idea what the official scientific reasoning for this phenomemom are, but my amateur observation is that there seems to be a direct correlation between the size of my belly and how much blood flow actually makes it to my brain. Last night I had to get up out of bed no less than 4 times to do routine things I'd somehow forgotten (like taking my magnesium pill and taking my 25 week photos, etc).

*The baby apps talk about how I might be noticing thicker, more luxurious locks of hair during pregnancy. Well, I seem to be LOSING hair at a rate reminiscent of the Great Postpartum Hair Loss with Iyla. That stuff isn't supposed to fall out until after you give birth- so what gives? It makes me very nervous for the postpartum hair loss with this kid….with the way things are going I may legitimately end up bald.

*Hips/back/thighs still constantly a struggle. I did venture out on a walk to the park with Iyla yesterday for the first time in a LONG time… and… I made it. It wasn't pretty, it wasn't fast, but I was very proud of myself (and very sore by the end of the night).

Big sister? A couple of my favorite recent Iyla quotes:

"I love you in the moonlight." We have no idea where that came from, but it is soooo sweet!

Whenever I tell Iyla something about 'when I was a little girl,' (as in: 'those were my ponies when I was a little girl!) she always, ALWAYS says to me: "I loved you when you were a little girl." Cue my heart exploding! And my frou-frou ways wondering if this little soul has always been watching me and connected to me during my time here in this life.

A few shots from Iyla's past week:

Breakfast out with Papa

Excited for another school day!

Teaming up for swim lesson back floats

Big girl swing at the park

Sass before school

Most looking forward to? We are going to take Iyla on her first ever camping trip this coming weekend (weather permitting) for a little friend's birthday camp out party! I am a bit nervous about tent sleeping at 6+ months pregnant, but excited to see Iyla experience the magic that is camping.

I'm also excited to start going shopping for nursery furniture. I've been collecting ideas on a Pinterest board, and my 'vision' right now is to paint the walls a subtle blue-gray (Restoration Hardware's "Silver Sage")- and have white curtains, a white or gray chair, and a white rug. The baby's bedding is primarily turquoise with pink and yellow accents, so I'll play off those colors in the room as well. I had been planning on dark wood furniture like the rest of our house has, but this week have done a 180 and think we may go with a white crib and dresser!

Baby's bedding

Inspiration picture

This is very close to the color the walls will be

I'm definitely enjoying the creative challenge of putting a new room together!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

24 Week Updates: Baby 2.0

Nothing like starting the 24th week with a BANG and a good scare…..

I've been having a LOT of issues lately with constipation, and this morning took the cake- very reminiscent of the events that happened around week 25 with Iyla. I essentially felt like I was- *AHEM* giving birth in a whole different way this morning- and much to my alarm, after the "birthing," there was a LOT of red blood in the toilet. I assumed it was from whence the exodus had come, but no, upon further investigation, it was definitely vaginal bleeding. Which NO pregnant woman ever wants to see at any point in her pregnancy.

My first thoughts were rational, that of course this had been caused by my straining. However I quickly snowballed into very fearful irrational thoughts, especially after I purposefully laid down, ate some apples, and jiggled my belly to get baby to PLEASE OH PLEASE kick or move.

Nothing.

Now, she typically isn't noticeably active first thing in the morning, and I did feel her kicking all over last night, but still. Red blood at 24 weeks followed by no evident movement = good grounds to FREAK OUT.

I called my doc's office and they said most likely it was some kind of slight vaginal rupture, as those veins are full of extra blood and prone to this during pregnancy- especially from straining. Nonetheless- the lack of movement was enough for them to schedule me to come in for a heart check on baby.

I had breakfast scheduled with a friend prior to the doc appointment, and THANK GOD halfway through breakfast baby girl started kicking away. Oh was I relieved! And at my doc appointment they were able to find her heartbeat, though not easily due to all the moving she was doing. The nurse concluded that the straining had likely just ruptured some vaginal veins, causing the bleeding. Since I hadn't had any further bleeding, hadn't had any cramping, and baby's heartbeat sounded good, it looks to (hopefully) have been just a one time freak scare.

I WILL for sure be upping the colace tonight, as I absolutely don't want a repeat performance of this morning's events!

And…. now to the official 24 week updates.

How far along? 24 weeks today!

I had the realization hit me yesterday that there are pretty much only THREE months to go until baby arrives, which given my planner Type A personality, signals it is time to start the wheels in motion toward active preparation for baby. This includes:

*Locating, re-familiarizing myself with, and sterilizing all bottle parts
*Doing the same with the breast pump
*Ordering nursery furniture (we need everything: crib, dresser, chair, curtains, rug, shelves, etc)
*Converting the guest room into a nursery (likely in May)
*Locating, washing, & organizing all of our newborn baby clothes
*Designing and organizing the guest room/now nursery closet (additional clothes rods, shelves, etc)
*Locating & re-familiarizing myself with all baby equipment (bouncy chair, Rock n Play, swing, Pack n Play, carriers, etc)
*Deciding what we will have baby sleep in upon her arrival (she'll be in our room initially)
*Purchasing a double stroller? (I am not 100% sure we will need this, but am thinking we likely will- given Iyla isn't much of a walker or biker. Hoping to find a used double BOB to save $$)
*Purchasing & starting to read books about being a big sister to Iyla
*Coming up with a BIRTH DAY plan concerning who will be on call to come stay with Iyla. Labors often start in the middle of the night, so I may need a hierarchy of people on my "get here NOW" list to call.

I figure if I space these things out over the next 3 months, with the goal to have everything ready to roll by July 1st, we'll be in good shape!

How big is baby? This is a big week for baby and one of my favorite milestones: VIABILITY! This basically means that at this point baby is developed enough to possibly survive outside the womb, should the situation arise. Now- this little lady is not allowed to even think about exiting until July- preferably MID July at the earliest, but this is still a very reassuring milestone to hit.

The baby apps say she should be around 1.5 pounds at this point, 12 inches long (as big as a cantaloupe!), and that her facial features are pretty much fully formed with eyelashes, eyebrows, & hair.  Her brain is growing rapidly, and her taste buds are fully developed.

How big is Mama? I weighed myself before AND after this morning's event, thinking there would for sure be a difference. But low and behold- same weight both times… confirming another TWO pound gain from last week! Maybe the growth/gain isn't going to slow…. and so be it. I was at 132.4 this morning, so a 22.4 gain total overall this pregnancy, with an estimated 16 weeks to gain go!

And as usual, this is very on par with what I looked like and had gained at 34 weeks with Iyla (almost to a T!)- showing I am still measuring about 10 weeks ahead on everything this round.

24 weeks with baby girl #2, 22.4 pounds gained

34 weeks with Iyla, 21.8 pounds gained

Sleep? No big changes there. Feeling sleepier overall this week during the day.

Food cravings/aversions? Still haven't gotten back into seafood, and lately haven't really been desiring salads or greens much either (hmmm, correlation to this morning's events?)

Symptoms? 

*I had a couple days this week with vertigo and nausea, which was an interesting combination.

* Extreme constipation (but you knew that already)

*My 'baby brain' is in full effect, and I find that as soon as I enter a room to tell BC something I've already forgotten what it was I wanted to say. I have to write things down immediately or they will be gone into the ethers forever.

*Oh so achey. My hips/thighs/back are super delicate, aching when I sit or stand or lie down too long. I am also having more trouble getting comfortable at night; every time I creak turn over to change position I feel pain and tightness.

Big sister?

Iyla had a very fun and full weekend! On Saturday we had my company's Client Appreciation Party, where Iyla spent the afternoon running around, dancing, making new friends, and enjoying the spoils from the kids' piƱata:

New lollipop buddy at the party

On Sunday while I attended a baby shower for a friend, BC took Iyla out to breakfast and to the Honk Festival- where street musicians performed and paraded up and down the streets of East Austin. She loved it!

Here are a few more shots of Iyla from this past week:

Here she'd called me over to announce that "Santa is back for another Christmas!" Her imagination is awesome these days.


Most looking forward to? Our trip to California in just a couple of weeks! We were able to shift around some of the lodging (saving SO much money), so happily the trip is ON. One full week of just BC and I relaxing, while Grandma comes to have some lovely quality time with Iyla. I told Iyla that Grandma would be flying in from Kansas for a special, long "sleepover party." Not sure who will be having more fun- BC and I or Grandma and Iyla!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

23 Week Updates: Baby 2.0

How far along? 23 weeks today!

How big is baby? We got to see her last week at an in-depth heart ultrasound appointment (yes- it's another girl! Haven't gotten around to a post related to that reveal yet). Thankfully all looked great and healthy and our little lady measured around 1 pound, 2 ounces- everything right on track for our end of July due date.

One of my favorite shots from the ultrasound- baby girl chowing down on her little hand

How big is Mama? The weight gain has slowed to a steady crawl: I am up just a little over a pound from last week (1.4 pounds) for a total weight of 130.4, so 20.4 pounds total gain in the pregnancy so far. Seeing pictures of my belly lately astound me; it is definitely out there for the world to see!

Fun fact: the room I took this photo in will eventually be the baby's nursery!

I LOVE this shot my brother took at Easter. This is the expression Iyla had when I asked her to 'hug her baby sister.' Ha!

Sleep? I'm falling asleep pretty easily, but in the last week have been waking at some point in the very early morning (I never let myself look at the clock) and having trouble falling back asleep.

Food cravings/aversions? Nothing specific. The food that rocked my world over the Easter weekend was my mom's shrimp dip (served with good 'ole Lays potato chips) and the monkey bread I made for Easter brunch. All super naughty and delicious holiday treats!

Symptoms? 

*I'd forgotten to mention in my last update that around my 20 week point the Braxton Hicks contractions began. They aren't too bad or frequent (yet) but definitely make themselves known upon arrival. 

*Having the same issues with my hips and thighs… if I sit too long or stand too long I end up waddling around feeling tight and in pain. Lying down is really the only thing that alleviates this, so I've been trying to recline on our couch as able on and off throughout the day. 

*I've been experiencing increased energy over the past week, which is a welcome surprise!

Big sister? Iyla is full of energy, creativity, joy, & feist these days. I guess that equates to your typical 3 year old! She is such a conscientious, empathetic, intelligent girl… and we just adore her. Some items of late to note:

*She has been really into rhyming lately, and is quite good at it! She'll ask me things like "do sew and doe rhyme?" and definitely knows the difference between rhyming and non-rhyming words. Future poet perhaps?

*One really sweet thing Iyla's been doing for quite awhile now that I keep forgetting to record: when she first sits down on her little floor potty, she always wants to "snuggle" BC or I, which looks like her wrapping her arms around our necks and giving us a big hug as she does her business. As soon as she is done she'll release us and go about singing and playing for as long as we will let her sit there.

*She is very methodical in her room organization and routine. In her bed she has a tall pile of blankets and assorted stuffed animals at one end of her bed (and knows exactly which animals are to go where), and has recently been making a 'cave door' at her bed's opening with stuffed animals. Her water has to be JUST SO at the base of her bed, and all doors need to be strategically shut before we leave her room for nap or bedtime; first her closet, then the bedroom door, then the locking of the gate outside her bedroom. She is definitely an organized little lady who likes her routines.

Here are a few shots from her past week:

This was how she spent the entire Easter weekend: putting on 'shows' with her feather boa and pom-pons

Ready for breakfast with Papa before school drop-off

Little mermaid waiting for her swim lesson

Ice-cream date! She wanted sprinkles and gummy bears on her sundae

Post ice-cream sugar high ride

Her class got to try on their recital outfits at dance class this week. She was SO excited!

Most looking forward to? Figuring out and finalizing our trip for the end of April. Due to recent budget changes we are having to rethink everything, and it is proving to be a creative challenge! I'm curious to see what we end up with. The goal is for BC and I to have a quiet week with just the two of us connecting and relaxing.

In parting, a couple sweet shots of my little lady and I. We hardly ever get good pictures of the two of us together, so I am loving having several from our Easter weekend!

Love love LOVE this shot my brother took at Easter

That Easter photo reminded me of this sweet one from 3 years prior

Monday, March 28, 2016

Easter 2016

We have a track record for hosting infamous Easter celebrations here at our home, and this year was no different.

The first year after Iyla was born (2013), I ended up taking her to an after hours Emergency Clinic the day of our celebration due to her relentless crying & discomfort. After enduring a catheter, lots of poking and prodding and many tears, I was told she must be teething (which is hilarious in retrospect, given she was 4 months old and didn't get her first tooth until 15 months!) . She spent the rest of our celebration clinging to me in misery.

2014? Thankfully and miraculously drama free.

Then on the eve of our 2015 celebration, Iyla ended up splitting her chin open on the way to bed and we spent 4 hours at the ER, where our poor little lady had to get 5 stitches.

This year? At least for once it wasn't Iyla bringing on the excitement... it was BC.

The night before we were to host 16 family members at our home, he announced he hadn't been feeling well for most of the day. I promptly sent him up to bed and told him to stay away, rest, and wash his hands religiously.

He ended up spending the ENTIRE day of our celebration sequestered in an upstairs bedroom sick with some kind of achey/feverish virus. Which meant I had to assume the hosting duties for the both of us. My parents thankfully came up early and were a huge help, but I was still exhausted from it all. Being almost 6 months pregnant (and looking/feeling more like 8-9 months pregnant) + being on my feet all day + entertaining left me incredibly sore and spent.

Despite all of that we did manage to have a lovely celebration. True to my Easter tradition I had the meal catered (thank GOD!)- and Iyla was absolutely on Cloud Nine all.day.long, being bathed in love and attention and sugary treats.

Iyla had fun helping me decorate our Easter eggs in preparation for the big day:


On the morning of our gathering, I took Iyla with me to a client appointment (BC was supposed to be watching her during this, but alas, was too ill to help) and then out to run a few last minute errands. While we were at Target Iyla spied a fancy pink Easter dress in the toddler section and point blank told me that THIS was what she was going to wear for Easter. Never mind that I already had a dress purchased and waiting in her closet; I knew better than to tempt the Toddler Gods and the dress came home with us (thankfully on sale).

Iyla was absolutely thrilled to wear it, and insisted that I style her hair in a bun to complete the look. Then, when I inquired about which shoes she wanted to wear, she promptly informed me that "bears don't wear shoes." 

Alrighty then!

She then declared herself a "pink bear" and wore this ensemble for both days of the Easter weekend:


Mimi and Grampy brought her a special Easter basket, and her favorite spoils from it were gummy bears, a Sofia the First Clover bunny, and a wand toy:


When the rest of the family arrived, it was all I could do not to literally eat up our little cousin Samantha. So much cuteness!


Here, a few more shots from our gathering (where we also celebrated Uncle Doug and Shanny's birthdays):


We had our family celebration on the Saturday before Easter, and on Easter proper the "Easter Bunny" dropped off another basket for Iyla:


Hands down her favorite things in this basket were the new books: 101 Dalmations, Beauty and the Beast, Ella Bella Ballerina and Cinderella, and a Mermaid sticker activity book. Mimi, Grampy, and I took turns reading to her for the rest of the morning:


And much like Jesus, BC had his own miraculous resurrection on Sunday- arising from his sick bed with enough energy to go play golf with the boys (!).

So there you have it, another infamous Easter in the books!