Joy and Sorrow



Yesterday was a day, family. My beautiful, amazing, wonderful, God-fearing, God-woman, Proverbs 31 epitomizing, dynamic, special, loving, and treasure of a mother in love (MIL) transitioned into her eternal resting place. What a beautiful thought that is. And how absolutely heartbreaking is the joy and sorrow it brings.

Hits and Misses

In my professional career, I've had some hits and I've had some misses. Today, I got hit with a miss. Something careless that I should have caught, something that 17 years in this business should have prevented from happening. That being said, once bought to my attention, I didn't defer. I didn't excuse. I took full responsibility, made a note of where the failure occurred, and made modifications to the plan to make sure it never happens again.

Afterwards, I sat down really heated at myself. The error was truly careless and I wanted to send emails and follow-ups to make sure “my name” was still intact professionally. Mentors advised against it. So, I did some scripture and Google queries for what I was feeling.


I presently came across 1 Peter 5:6-7- Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. I’m aware these verses were referring to something different entirely, but they helped me today. Transparency. My error was not doing a final review because “I’ve done this thousands of times” and “I have this”. I took a moment and put myself in a loftier place and I believe God allowed me to be humbled to remind me not to think more highly of myself than I should. I receive it and am appreciative of it. I never want to get to such a place that I do less than I should or present a poor representation of a client, an organization, myself, or God.

I’m writing all of this to share that I am certainly growing. There was once a time I’d have made every excuse in the world for why things happened as they did. But I’m in a place of owning my mess, even the professional ones, because I know that God is there with me. If I trust and follow Him, He’ll see me through every time--uncomfortable or not.

The Thankful Tree

I am so very excited to share with our “Thankful Tree” with you! You have no idea how many years I have wanted to do this and I never get around to it. I always feel sad and dejected about that when the Thanksgiving season is over. I was determined not to feel that way this year. So, even though we didn’t have a lot of time with it up, it’s the sense of accomplishment I’m most excited over.

So excited!

What I packed in my hospital bag, what I actually used, and what I wish I had included

This post contains affiliate links.  For full disclosure, click here.

Hello everyone.  Well, our little one is currently two months old and we were recently asked about the hospital bag and its contents.  I looked back at the blog and realized I wrote a draft post, but never posted it about what I was packing this time around.  Well, I reviewed that post today and decided to share what I packed, what I actually used, and some things I wish I had.  Hope it helps someone and happy reading.

Baby's 2 month well-baby visit

Hi guys! I just wanted to drop a quick one to let you know how Miss A. is doing and how she did at her two month check-up. I went in a bit sad because I knew she would have to get shots and it would make her cry. Let’s face it. No mom wants their kid in tears. So, we went in and met with my favorite nurse and got A.’s height and weight. She is now 11 pounds even and is 23.5 inches long. That’s great considering she was 7 pounds, 4 ounces at birth. I answered all of her milestone questions and was pleased to see she is pretty on target with everything. I did have one concern and that’s the baby eczema she seems to have. Bless God it is nowhere near where her sister’s was and she seems okay with it. The pediatrician came in and looked it over and gave us a cream to put on it. Since she knows how much interaction was had with my elder daughter, she trusts that I will use it as needed, but will also continue to use shea butter and coconut oil as well.

Our nurse re-entered with an oral vaccine, which A. took readily especially after getting some milk to wash it down. However, the others… (3 shots that combined inoculated against DTaP, Hib, Polio, Hep B, and Rotavirus) were administer via shot. A. was heartbroken and the look of hurt on her face that I’d allowed it to happen broke my heart. She even stopped and thought about it for a while and then got the saddest pout and cried some more as I comforted her. Poor baby. The good thing is she was over it pretty quickly and slept most of the evening away just getting herself together. That meant no Joy Night for her because we didn’t want her out and about if she was cranky. We’ll take pictures and post later.

So, that’s that. Have a great day and we will be posting again soon.

-K

Weekend Recap: The Pumpkin Patch with the girls.




Someone enjoyed their pumpkin patch adventure
It’s no secret that I am a HUGE fan of Fall. I love fall foliage and the beautiful colors. I love crisp sweater weather and kettle corn. I love tractor rides and I love pumpkin patches. It’s my jam. It’s been an annual tradition to go since my son was about 2 and could really enjoy running around and seeing all the new sights and sounds. I have been looking forward to being able to take the family out for a day of fun Fall activities, and letting the baby see a bit of different scenery. Alas, this weather has been so uncooperative. High heat. Lots of humidity. It didn’t seem to be playing out for us and then….This weekend. The weatherman hinted to a great Saturday with true Fall temps and fun activities. It’s also the last weekend we could really go, so…off to the Patch we went! We even took a special guest…our cousin and fantastic sitter R. (who BTW is the most fashion forward young adult I’ve seen in quite some time). Anywho, let me give you the recap!

Baby update: 2 months old


Wow! It’s hard to believe that we are already in month two, but it’s true. Our little bean turned 2 months on Wednesday and started it off with a big grin. I love those! It’s easy to see that she can now differentiate familiar voices. She puts big grins out for Mommy, Daddy, Big Sister, and Big Brother. She seems to find her big sister especially entertaining and will follow her with her eyes and head until she becomes annoyed with her sister’s attention. With her big brother, she just gazes into his eyes and listens. He stares back and they seem to communicate without saying a word. He’s such a great big brother. She’s starting to chortle and give responses to some of our ‘conversations’ and I am loving the interaction.

She’s still sucking on her fingers on occasion and it usually triggers the countdown before ‘feed me’ begins. She recently discovered the pretty colored lights on her activity center and she lays on the blanket looking at it for a few minutes before becoming bored. Bless God, she’s started to sleep through the night! On Wednesday night, she went down about 10PM and slept until 5, when I woke her to change her and fed her still semi sleep. She then went back to sleep and slept until 8. Last night, she went down at 9:30PM and slept until 7, though she started rooting at 6. She crushed three ounces and then went back to sleep for about twenty minutes and was then up and ready to see the world.

 She’s still nursing, but is often still hungry afterwards. That means formula. So, I nurse her when she wakes in the morning, then follow up with formula. She gets about 12-16 ounces of formula while I am at work, then I nurse her after I get home from work. I follow that up with another couple of ounces and then she gets a final nurse/bottle session before bed.

 I have noticed her skin is developing patches similar to her sister’s and will be speaking to the doctor next week about it possibly being eczema. She isn’t annoyed by it, but I want to have it checked for sure. She’s about to get her first shots (ouch) and experience her first Hallelujah Night (if we go). So excited for all that she is and is becoming. We’ll be sure to update you in the meantime!


-K

Weekend Recap: Let’s #ENDALZ

Hello everyone! This weekend was one of the most important and meaningful events in my family’s calendar. This weekend, we participated in the annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s. This walk raises awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s research and has the ultimate goal of one day discovering a cure for the disease. For those of you who have been following for a while, you know that Alzheimer’s runs pretty heavily on the maternal side of my family and strikes our females ferociously. I’ve seen it take my great-grandmother, great-great grandmother, a host of great-aunts, and cousins. It’s so prevalent that I find myself a bit nervous when I can’t remember things. I’ve been leaning toward genetic testing to see if this disease may be in my future, but for now I’m moving forward to see if we can’t find a cure.

Yesterday morning, we woke up, donned our purple, and made our way over to the city pavilion to prepare for the walk.  I was nervous about getting there on time as our little lady waited until we were just about out the door to decide she wanted to nurse.  No amount of formula would sway here.  Fifteen minutes later, we were out the door and about forty minutes later made our way to the Pavilion.

There's An App for That..

Wow, things have been pretty busy around here.  We’re adjusting to a new normal that includes scheduling, feedings, one-on-one time with the kiddos, and life.  There have been some successes and some misses as well (like my almost forgetting to purchase the chorus shirt for little S.’s chorus uniform and my forgetting to schedule my postpartum visit), but we keep pushing through and we make it work.  One of the things that has been a great help is the inclusion of apps in our lives.  Let me start with the ones for our middle schooler.

Midday Musings

"...Looking back now I think God saw that if I went too long without love that it would become increasingly difficult for me to submit to the authority of a husband after being set in my own ways."
-Tiff Hornton

I read this in a post this morning of a young woman in the public eye who is receiving backlash for re-marrying a couple of years after her husband died in a car accident. People were calling into question her love for her first husband and her need to move on. The entire post can be found here. I love the post she wrote, but the line that spoke to me the most was the one that I placed above. I was a single mom for several years. I also grew up in a household where fiercely independent and self-sufficient Godly women were my normal. They did it on their own without husbands in the household. They never threw shade to men, never disrespected the idea of marriage or of men, but they did it by themselves.

When I became pregnant and initially did it solo, I developed a “us against the World” mentality. It was my son and I against everything and everyone else. It became my norm. Everything was he and I. My rising. My fall. My thought process. My motivation. My reason for breathing became him and him alone. He kept me going. Literally. When I didn’t want to get up or move, he was the one who kept me up and running. Eventually it became an evident truth that I didn’t care if I ever got married. I was fine in the time and space that I was in. Yes, I was lonely at times, very lonely at times, but I was focused on raising my son and I couldn’t see any man understanding or making space in that. I mean every move I made was calculated to ensure that he had amazing experiences and an amazing life. It was easy to become stuck in my role of independence. I knew I could do it solo. My mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother all lived without the influence of a husband and raised their children. I felt sure I could too.

The return to work

You know it would be more than awesome if the mothers in the United States of America had the same maternity leave rights as mothers in other developed countries.  Canada and countries within Europe have up to 12 months to bond with their baby and it's fully paid.  I wouldn't even need 12 months.  But man, I would have loved to have had three months just to spend time and bond with baby girl.

Last week was my first week back at work. I walked in to clients' excited over my return and a mountain of catch up.  I immediately missed the baby, but I dived back into the tasks at hand and it definitely helped the time pass quickly.

Our sitter, who also happens to be a highly qualified and loving cousin, kept me smiling by sending pictures of the girls while I was away.  Before you know it, by week's end, I'd amassed quite an impressive to-do list.  Sigh, work sucks.

In pumping news, I have managed to get up to four ounces.  Yep, four whole ounces.  It's frustrating to say the least.  The good thing is I've been able to nurse the baby for several minutes and then I follow up with formula.  I nurse several times a day.  It just never seems to be enough to boost my supply.

I'm actually afraid of a repeat of what happened the last time I was pregnant.  My supply dried up.  It just decided that it didn't want to play any more.  It didn't matter how much I pumped or how much water I drank.  The supply went away. I think this time is going to be the same.

The great thing is I'm only fifteen minutes up the road and away from the baby.  The bad thing is I'm fifteen minutes up the road and away from the baby.  Man, this sucks.

Four weeks later...Baby blues and breastfeeding

Hello everyone!  I apologize for disappearing.  Quite honestly, I've been debating if I wanted to continue since this blog was initially started as a #TTC space.  I  didn't want to inundate readers with baby overload, but I still wanted to be able to share some information with everyone--especially since it has been a decade since my last birth experience.  After some self debate, I decided I would continue until I felt the opposite.  So, here we go.

Today, I feel pretty good.  Our beautiful baby girl is four weeks old.  She is starting to display her personality.  I recognize the warning "ah" she gives before launching into a cry if she isn't fed quickly.  We've finally gotten the hang of this nursing thing but we still have to supplement with formula because I'm just not producing enough for her appetite.  I was pretty bummed about that initially, but I'm much better about it now.  Plus, I needed the additional rest time because she did a number on my nipples (TMI).  Thankfully, Lansinoh has been a great tool!



I wish I could say it has been that great the entire time.  I developed baby blues this pregnancy.  I suppose it was a release of hormones and a combination of lack of sleep in the hospital.  It may have been the massively stupid disagreement that I had with S. in the car on the way back from the hospital or a hidden disappointment of how I thought things should have gone versus how they went when we got home.  Whatever the trigger was, I found myself overwhelmed and weepy.  I tried breastfeeding and the little one couldn't get the latch correct.  My nipples were a raw and bleeding mess.  I kept trying because with our first, I had no issue.  This time I could barely hold the baby on my chest because of the pain.

Fast forward to her first post-birth appointment and I was still feeling overwhelmed.  S. had already returned to work, so it was just my oldest (who was kind enough to accompany) and I.  The baby had lost so much weight, but was slowly gaining.  She wasn't at birth weight and the pediatrician, while not worried, wanted me to come back in two weeks to ensure the baby was continuing to grow.  Fortunately for me, she's a great eater and has gained much more already.

Back to the baby blues.  My mother came to visit her new granddaughter when the baby was about two weeks old.  Bless her for recognizing that I needed a bit of alone time to get acclimated to the baby before visiting.  When she arrived, I was just getting into the hang of scheduling (or attempting to), but felt more than a bit overwhelmed.  She sat beside me on the couch and I started crying because I felt woefully inadequate and honestly, things have been a bit strained in my household lately.  She gave me the biggest and best hug, told me it would be okay, and tried to assist in whatever way I needed while she was here.

I only needed her to be available, not necessarily do anything.  I just liked the idea of her being able to if needed.  Mama's baby indeed.

Right now, the baby is nestled snugly in her bassinet.  I am catching up on Cosby Show and blog posts and looking forward to the couple of hours that I'll have to sleep.

I promise to be in touch soon!

Have a great evening.

-S

A birth story!!

I've always loved birth stories.  I didn't really write one for my first born. I regretted it. This one, however, is different because we all journeyed together.  We fought for this one.  Medications, hormones, tears, blood, faith.  This one was a battle against infertility.  This one has a following.  So, here we go...

All week long, the people at work were taking their bets about when I'd go.  My due date was 26 Aug and no one, including the Program Manager, believed I would work up to my due date and I was determined to prove them wrong.  I almost achieved it. :)

Contractions woke me at about 2:30 Friday morning.  I'd been sleeping downstairs on the couch because it'd been the most comfortable for my back.  When they started, I wasn't too worried.  I'd had them off and on for the past week and usually they would stay for two hours and then go away.  I figured these would be the same way.  I didn't even bother to wake S., but I noticed these were a bit different though.  A dull ache that didn't seem to go away.

I had my final doctor's appointment scheduled for 9:30 that morning, so I figured I would just go to the doctor's office and let them check me.  My contractions started getting more intense at 5:46 AM and  I began pacing floors and timing them with my app. I went to the bathroom, wiped and there was bloody show (which I'd never had with my first pregnancy).  Contractions started coming every 4 minutes and lasting about 2 minutes in duration.  Silly me, I should have gone then, but I figured they would stop soon and I could still just go to the doctor appointment and kill two birds with one stone.

I'm not ready! (Nesting)

I haven't written in a while.  Truth be told, I've been tired and haven't felt like writing.  I'm still working and when I get home, I would much rather sleep than write.  Still...I'm late in update.

Today, I woke up to a flooded bathroom and dirty toilet water everywhere.  This is on the day that I have two meetings scheduled and a lot of prep work before maternity leave starts on Friday.  There was no way I would make them.  So I asked someone to cover for me and spent my morning with bleach, Clorox wipes, Pine-sol, and elbow grease.  That led to an extreme case of nesting.  I mean it was horrible.  Horrible.  I cleaned the bathroom then went through the kitchen.  I've been rearranging stuff.  It's a mess.

My three year old comes to me after I overdid it and was sitting in the living room chair only to tell me that the baby will be here soon. Specifically, she says "the baby wants to come out".  Um no, little one.  I have way too much to do for that.

The hospital bag is packed and in the car.  I do have to pack some snacks and make sure my charger, phone, and tablet are ready to go, but other than that, it's ready.  Still, I am not ready to have this baby.

Truthfully, I'm nervous about it.  I'm older, more out of shape (acknowledged), and I'm just nervous.  What if this one is more complicated?

I haven't discussed this with my husband yet.  But I'm nervous this go round.  My first pregnancy was so easy.  It was a decade ago.  I felt great.  This time.  Not so much.  I'm sleepy.  I'm not being able move as quickly as I was before.  I gained 30 pounds with the first pregnancy.  I'm pushing 37 this time around.

I hope this time I can have a quick recovery.

We'll see.
-K

37 weeks

DISCLAIMER: This post contains information about our pregnancy. Because I know all too well how these kinds of posts may affect my fellow #ttcsisters and #ttcbrothers, I include this disclaimer to forewarn you. I understand how much these posts can sting and promise to continue to add the disclaimer on any post that may be related to this pregnancy (assuming viability) so that you may have the option to bow out of reading. I understand.

Our baby is now the size of a stalk of Swiss chard. Because baby is running out of room, there are mostly stretches and wiggles instead of big kicks

Baby's Weight: 6.30 lbs

Baby's Length: 19.13 in

Total weight gain/loss: I am officially 187 pounds. Total Weight Gain is now 30 pounds.

Maternity clothes?: Yes and some of those are having to make room to accommodate this belly.

36 weeks update and appointment

 DISCLAIMER: This post contains information about our pregnancy. Because I know all too well how these kinds of posts may affect my fellow #ttcsisters and #ttcbrothers, I include this disclaimer to forewarn you. I understand how much these posts can sting and promise to continue to add the disclaimer on any post that may be related to this pregnancy (assuming viability) so that you may have the option to bow out of reading. I understand.

Our baby is now the size of a head of Romaine lettuce.  The skin is filling out.

Baby's Weight: 5.75 lbs
Baby's Length: 18.66 in

Total weight gain/loss: I am 187 pounds. I'm not happy about that number.  The doctor is thrilled with it.  I feel quite large at the moment.

Maternity clothes?: Yes, I'm in them everyday.  I do wear pre-pregnancy yoga leggings and they work pretty well.

Stretch marks?: I've never seen so many in my life.  My belly looks tiger striped.  Fortunately, I'm comfortable with the skin I'm in.

Sleep: I've been waking every hour on the hour for the past couple of nights to go to the bathroom.  One drink of water and I'm back up consistently.

Best moment of the week: Turning 36 weeks.  I realized that the clock is ticking.

Not so great moment of the week: Hearing that weight being read.  I'm going to have to put in work to get back to pre-pregnancy weight.

Symptoms: BH contractions, still craving blueberries and watermelon every day.

Appointments:  Appointments are now weekly.  Appointment on Monday has me 50% effaced, -1 station, 1.5 cm dilated, 117/45 BP, with fetal heartbeat at 150.  Appointment on Tuesday featured biophysical sonogram.

Miss Anything?: Not really

What I'm loving?: It's due date month!

What I'm not loving?: There is so much left to do and I haven't even started.

Movement: Pretty consistent.  Especially after strawberries and blueberry.

Anything make you queasy or sick: Not really, which is a great thing.

Food cravings: Blueberries, Watermelon, Strawberries, Cucumbers

Food aversion: Chicken, blech!

Gender prediction: #teamgreen I honestly have no idea what this baby will be.

Belly Button in or out?: Stretched in

Wedding ring on or off?: On

Happy or Moody most of the time: Pretty happy

Preparations for baby: I have the bag for the hospital.  I just haven't packed it yet.  I plan on doing some washing of clothes and liners soon.  I also pre-registered online for  L&D.

Looking forward to: the start of maternity leave.  I still have a while to go, but man am I getting tired of getting up for work.  I love the work.  It's the walking that is kicking my butt.

I've met my temp!

Hello everyone.  So, I know you aren't really supposed to be excited about meeting the person who will be taking your place while you are absent from work, but I was super excited when mine showed up today.  It was her first day of work and she is to begin shadowing me in preparation for my start to maternity leave.

This was great for a number of reasons.  Number one means time is getting close!  I currently have 5 more weeks and I'm excited about that.  Number two is there is a great chance there will be additional opportunity for placement if all goes well.  Considering we've been short handed for a while, I think that's awesome.  Finally, hope.  Lol, it means there is light at the end of the tunnel.  I may actually be starting maternity leave soon.  I can hardly wait.

So, we have a lot of work to do.  I've already introduced her to the team and relevant customers and stakeholders.  Now comes the work of meetings and my day to day stuff.  By the time I leave, she'll be good to go and I won't have any issues about it at all.

Have any of you started prepping for maternity leave?  Have you written your out of office statement yet?  Feel free to share.

K

Birthday celebrations

Hello everyone.

I suppose I should have written quite some time ago, but I'm noticing less readers and more fatigue. It's kind of evening out.  But that's okay.  We're getting close!  This past weekend was my birthday! Woohoo!  It was nice to celebrate another year of life, but I have to tell you last week was a doozy.

We're currently prepping for a major meeting at my job.  It's a pretty big deal with some pretty big VIPs coming in.  As such, we are having meetings for the meetings.  Last week, I was in more meetings than I was out of.  Combine that with a massive heat wave with oppressive humidity and I was more than a little irritated.  Heat makes me not too happy these days.


When I was finally finished with the work of the day, all I wanted to do was go home and take a shower or a cold bath.  I'd just picked up our daughter when I received a text from S. asking me to meet him for a date night.  Because traffic was already so yucky, we ended up meeting at the gym S. attends and dropping our little one for a date night.

We went out to dinner and enjoyed a yummy meal of seafood, salad, garlic cheddar biscuits, and appetizers.  It was nice just getting out and spending some time with each other talking about the events of the week, upcoming childcare plans, etc.  After a lovely dinner, we went up the street to catch a movie.  Both S. and I are superhero fans, so catching up with the new Spider-man movie made sense.

I liked the movie though it was a bit long.  I think these days the movies tend to run longer just to add fluff.  The movie itself was pretty good.  I just could have done without some of the longer sequences.  Movie over, S. and I finally hopped in the car to pick up our daughter.  When we got to the house, it was after midnight and we were surprised to see our mother in love there!  She was supposed to have already left to visit her sister.  My father in love was running behind, so she was waiting for him.  About five minutes after we pulled up, so did he.  He and my husband loaded the car.  He came in and suddenly disappeared.

Three minutes later, he walked into the kitchen with a huge birthday cake!  How thoughtful!  The family sang happy birthday and then my in loves left to start their trip.  I went upstairs to the bedroom and found a gorgeous bouquet of deep purple roses, a cute new purse, a card that housed tickets to a play I've been secretly hoping to see, and a love note.  Awww!  I wasn't expecting that at all.  I felt very special!

I was also very tired.  S. and I called it an evening and I slept ALL DAY on Saturday!  Sunday, we woke early for early service, praise and worship, and Sunday School.  Then, I took our son (who'd returned from a summer visit to his paternal family's home) to meet my mother for a week with her.

When I got home, I was super exhausted but managed to make it in time to celebrate a dear gf and the arrival of her baby girl.  It was a nice time and nice event and I made sure to catch a nap afterwards!

Overall, it was a wonderful birthday and I wouldn't change it for anything.

How about you?  How was your weekend?

K

Scary moments

Hi everyone.  Sorry, I've been offline lately.  Things were pretty quiet.  So much so that I didn't have much to write about.  That changed this morning.  I had an appointment scheduled for today, a regular check up to see how Baby is doing.  I noticed when I woke this morning to leave for the appointment and drop off our daughter at daycare that I hadn't felt the baby move as often as I usually do.  In fact, minus one tiny movement this morning, I hadn't felt baby move since about 10PM.  I was nervous.

My appointment wasn't until 1030 and there was a full house this morning.  By the time I got in the exam room, I'd counted one movement in over an hour.  Baby usually gives me 3-5 in the same time duration.  It's pretty active especially around times I usually feed (breakfast, snack, lunch).  I mentioned to the nurse that I hadn't felt the baby and that it was probably sleeping, but I was a bit concerned.  She took note and promised to share with the doctor.

The doctor came in and listened to baby's heartbeat and it was a normal 141, as it had been for the past few appointments.  The doctor asked about the note about the movement and noted that the baby hadn't kicked the doppler like it usually does.  She asked when was the last time I felt a movement and I informed her I felt a tiny one when I woke that morning, several hours earlier.

She immediately scheduled a sonogram for me in house.  She said with the heartbeat she wasn't too concerned, but was concerned enough that she wanted to check it out.  Suddenly I got really nervous and started almost willing baby to move.  Nothing.  The sonogram list was also heavy so I'm sitting there updating my IG and texting my husband asking for prayers because by now it was pushing 1140 and I'd felt nothing.  I prayed myself and maybe five minutes later, I felt the baby start hiccuping.  I was so relieved just to feel hiccups that I found myself teary eyed.

Finally, it was my turn in the sonogram room and the tech explained what she was looking for--baby movement, good amount of amniotic fluid, baby practicing breathing, proof that it is not in distress. When the baby came on the screen, the tech smiled and said she could see the baby practicing breathing just fine.  She continued checking and realized baby was in fact resting, but had woken.  He or she was sucking its thumb and just resting.

I felt so much better.  The baby was fine.  The relief I feel at this moment is amazing.

After the sonographer dismissed me, I was directed to rest up for the rest of the day, so I'm in my bed working from home with feet up.  Anything for baby.

I thought I would share with you all.  Thank you for the prayers.

-WinterMommy

32 weeks pregnant

 DISCLAIMER: This post contains information about our pregnancy. Because I know all too well how these kinds of posts may affect my fellow #ttcsisters and #ttcbrothers, I include this disclaimer to forewarn you. I understand how much these posts can sting and promise to continue to add the disclaimer on any post that may be related to this pregnancy (assuming viability) so that you may have the option to bow out of reading. I understand.

(Disclaimer 2: I actually turned 32 weeks on 1July, but didn’t want to miss anything in the update, so I have decided my update posts will be the following Monday of the week).

Our baby is now the size of a Napa cabbage.  Because taste buds are developed, the baby may acquire a preference for the foods you eat, which it samples when she swallows amniotic fluid.
               
Baby's Weight: 3.75 lbs
Baby's Length: 16.69 in

Total weight gain/loss: I am 182 pounds.  I actually lost two pounds, which is probably a combination of the cold I caught and the fruits I've been consuming without delay.

Maternity clothes?: Still wearing them everyday though I have also worn a couple of pre-pregnancy maxi dresses with success.

Favorite maternity outfit: The maxi dress I wore for one of the church deacon's surprise birthday party.  I wore the same for my surprise baby shower and enjoyed having move to move around.

Stretch marks?:  Yes, sigh.  Yes.

Sleep: Minimum.  I caught our daughter's cold and am very stuffy.  Combine that with summer heat and I'm not getting much rest at all.

Best moment of the week: Seeing the look of surprise on the church deacon's face when he entered his party.  He's such a genuine spirit and it was so wonderful to see everyone honoring him.

Not so great moment of the week:  There were a couple.  The first was after the party I had major back pains and contractions for quite some time.  That was painful.  The other was our son is visiting his grandparents and paternal family in NC.  I miss him but know he is having a great time there.

Symptoms:  Back pain, BH contractions, feet swelling, inability to get comfortable at night, cravings for water foods (watermelon, carrots, blueberries, cucumbers).

Miss Anything?: Not being so irritable and tired.  Truthfully pregnancy was a bit easier when I was a single mommy because I didn't get on anyone's nerve nor anyone on mine because I was in an apartment by myself most days.

What I'm loving?: It's my birthday month!

What I'm not loving?:  Pregnancy hormones.

Movement: Pretty consistent big moves.  As I write this, baby has been moving quite well.  I believe it may have to do with the blueberries and strawberries I ate earlier.

Anything make you queasy or sick: Heat.  Too much heat makes me sick.

Food cravings: Blueberries

Food aversion:  Chicken, blech!

Gender prediction: #teamgreen Okay, okay, I think it's a girl...maybe

Belly Button in or out?: Stretched in

Wedding ring on or off?: On

Happy or Moody most of the time: Pretty happy

Preparations for baby: Went to the doctor for our anatomy scan and everything went well.  The baby is actually measuring 4 pounds right now and has rolls, which is too cute.  I've never had a baby with chunka rolls.

Looking forward to: Feeling more like myself and our son returning home.

Social media etiquette

Hello everyone!

So, I've posted about this before.  Well, I've shared it on Instagram.  You all know how I feel about spilling the beans before family right? Well, it happened again and this time, I just HAD to share about it.

Literally, the day before yesterday, I saw yet another post on one of the pregnancy boards I follow of a tiny graphic reminding people not to share parent’s baby announcement news before the parents could do so themselves. I looked at it and thought that no one would really be that crass, but I was wrong. 

Last night, I logged on to FB to see that the parents, sister, and friend of one of my associates had just posted the news that the associate had given birth. They gave name and time of birth. I looked on her page and saw no mention from her at all. I suddenly felt annoyed for her.  I am not there so I don’t know the situation. Maybe she asked them to post. Maybe she gave them permission. But the only thing I could think was this beautiful mom and dad had just given birth to their first child and were basking in the glow of that child while simultaneously trying to recuperate and a great and personal moment was taken from them.

I would be furious. S. and I have tried to conceive this child for 4.5 years. Calendars, positions, blood work, needles, hormones, surgeries, retrievals, transfers, lab work, prayers. We did it all trying to get to this moment. I would be so hurt if I wasn’t even allowed the opportunity to share the moment with the world in a way and time I chose. S. probably won’t care, but I would love to have a mini collage. One of the new baby, one of each of the kids holding the baby, and then one of the entire family. Or not even. Just one of the baby. If my mother or sisters in love posted before I was ready, I’d be more than hurt. I’d be livid.

I wondered if this was just an isolated case. Sadly, it isn’t. Google it. You’ll see tons of posts where parents were hurt, angry, furious, heartbroken that someone had overshared. I would hate that. A while ago, I posted that S. and I were discussing not letting anyone know the baby was here until after we were back home. He has the large family. I have a pretty good size of extended family, several of whom are clamoring to see the newest blessing.

That’s just more than I want right now. I know people will be upset but I’d rather have the peace of mind of knowing that should I want to share, I can do so…on my own time. So, after deep discussion, S. and I have decided that we will keep the news of our little one's arrival private until we get home.  Because I know that my husband can be emotional (it's so amazing to see him tear up) and may change his mind about sharing, this following text message would be sent to our parents only. Siblings will be told later.

Good morning/afternoon/evening! We just wanted to let you know that Baby XXX has made his/her arrival at _______am/pm. Mom and baby are doing____________________. Right now, we are only telling immediate family so PLEASE do NOT post on ANY social media or share this text about the baby until we are ready to do so ourselves. It took us quite a bit of time to get to this moment and we would like to bask in it privately for a while. Also, Mom’s a little tired right now, so please give her a few hours before calling or making plans to visit.

We think this will work.  How about you?  Any one doing a delayed announcement for fear of family spilling the beans?



31 weeks pregnant


 DISCLAIMER: This post contains information about our pregnancy. Because I know all too well how these kinds of posts may affect my fellow #ttcsisters and #ttcbrothers, I include this disclaimer to forewarn you. I understand how much these posts can sting and promise to continue to add the disclaimer on any post that may be related to this pregnancy (assuming viability) so that you may have the option to bow out of reading. I understand.

(Disclaimer 2: I actually turned 30 weeks on 17June, but didn’t want to miss anything in the update, so I have decided my update posts will be the following Monday of the week).

Our baby is now the size of a large butternut squash.  The skin is still wrinkly, but as fat accumulates, the baby will fill out.
               
Baby's Weight: 3.31 lbs
Baby's Length: 16.180 in

Total weight gain/loss: I am still 183 pounds.  Total Weight Gain is now 26 pounds.

Maternity clothes?: Every single day.  Every single outfit.

Stretch marks?:  Yep.  Tons of them.

Sleep: Not very well at all.  I usually wake up at midnight and stay awake until 3 because I cannot get comfortable at all.

Best moment of the week: Leaving work on Friday.  I was more than ready for a three day weekend.

Not so great moment of the week:    My hormones were all over the place last week.  I preferred being left alone to communicating.

Symptoms:  Back pain, round ligament pain, feet swelling, inability to get comfortable at night, cravings for water foods (watermelon, carrots, blueberries, cucumbers).

Miss Anything?:  Walking without waddling.

What I'm loving?: Getting closer to our due date.

What I'm not loving?:  S.'s comments about my weight.  He has no idea how close he is to my wrath.

Movement: Pretty consistent big moves.  The baby still rests low so I feel it in my pelvic region a lot unless it wants to float up.  

Anything make you queasy or sick: Heat.  Too much heat makes me sick.

Food cravings: Blueberries (refrigerated) and cucumbers

Food aversion:  Chicken, blech!

Gender prediction: #teamgreen 

Belly Button in or out?: Stretched in

Wedding ring on or off?: On

Happy or Moody most of the time: Pretty happy

Preparations for baby: None really


Looking forward to: Sleep!

30 weeks pregnant


 DISCLAIMER: This post contains information about our pregnancy. Because I know all too well how these kinds of posts may affect my fellow #ttcsisters and #ttcbrothers, I include this disclaimer to forewarn you. I understand how much these posts can sting and promise to continue to add the disclaimer on any post that may be related to this pregnancy (assuming viability) so that you may have the option to bow out of reading. I understand.

(Disclaimer 2: I actually turned 30 weeks on 17June, but didn’t want to miss anything in the update, so I have decided my update posts will be the following Monday of the week).

Our baby is now the size of a large butternut squash.  The skin is still wrinkly, but as fat accumulates, the baby will fill out.
               
Baby's Weight: 2.91 lbs
Baby's Length: 15.71 in

Total weight gain/loss: I am 183 pounds.  Total Weight Gain is now 26 pounds.

Maternity clothes?: Yes.  I have a couple of pre-pregnancy shirts that I wear, but beyond that everything is maternity.

Favorite maternity outfit: Didn’t really have one, but the white coverall and white pants was pretty cute.

Stretch marks?:  Yes, sigh.  Yes.

Sleep: Waking every 3.5 hours to go to the bathroom at night.

Best moment of the week: Attending graduation parties and having the most amazing dip I have ever had in life.

Not so great moment of the week:    After the party, my legs and feet were so swollen, I could push and see the imprint of my fingers

Symptoms:  Back pain, round ligament pain, feet swelling, inability to get comfortable at night, cravings for water foods (watermelon, carrots, blueberries, cucumbers).

Miss Anything?:  Summer sangrias.  I usually kick off summer with a nice sangria at one of my favorite restaurants.

What I'm loving?: Our friends gifted us with a bouncer and bassinet for the baby

What I'm not loving?:  Deciphering if it’s my hormones that make my eyebrows raise at a comment or if the comment legitimately deserves the eyebrow raise and correction.

Movement: Pretty consistent big moves.  The baby still rests low so I feel it in my pelvic region a lot unless it wants to float up.  

Anything make you queasy or sick: Heat.  Too much heat makes me sick.

Food cravings: Cucumbers and carrots?

Food aversion:  Chicken, blech!

Gender prediction: #teamgreen This week I think it’s a boy

Belly Button in or out?: Stretched in

Wedding ring on or off?: On

Happy or Moody most of the time: Pretty happy

Preparations for baby: My SIL has me generating a list because she wants to host a shower for S. and I.


Looking forward to: Date night.  I’m hoping S. and I can go someplace nice.

29 weeks pregnant-SORRY FOR THE DELAY

DISCLAIMER: This post contains information about our pregnancy. Because I know all too well how these kinds of posts may affect my fellow #ttcsisters and #ttcbrothers, I include this disclaimer to forewarn you. I understand how much these posts can sting and promise to continue to add the disclaimer on any post that may be related to this pregnancy (assuming viability) so that you may have the option to bow out of reading. I understand.

(Disclaimer 2: I actually turned 29 weeks on 10 June, but didn’t want to miss anything in the update, so I have decided my update posts will be the following Monday of the week).

Our baby is now the size of a large butternut squash.  The skin is still wrinkly, but as fat accumulates, the baby will fill out.
               
Baby's Weight: 2.54 lbs
Baby's Length: 15.20 in

Total weight gain/loss: Ugh!  I am 179 pounds.  I couldn’t even tell S. when he asked.  I pretended I didn’t know.  (Thank goodness he doesn’t follow this blog). Total Weight Gain is now 20+ pounds.

Maternity clothes?: Yes.  I have a couple of pre-pregnancy shirts that I wear, but beyond that everything is maternity.

Favorite maternity outfit: The pastel yellow maternity dress I wore from zulily.com on Sunday.  I received a lot of compliments on it and I felt very feminine in it.

Stretch marks?:  Yes, sigh.  Yes.

Sleep: Still working on it.

Best moment of the week: This week our son ‘graduated’ from fifth grade!  Can I tell you how absolutely proud I am of him?  You can check out all my feelings on this post here.  Yes, I cried.  Hormones did not contribute.  Just proud!

Not so great moment of the week:    Back pain and feet swelling have returned this week.  Combine that with a heatwave that has 100 degree heat indices and I’ve been trying to stay indoors.

Symptoms:  Back pain, round ligament pain, feet swelling, inability to get comfortable at night, sweets cravings.

Miss Anything?:  Not waddling.

What I'm loving?: The thoughtfulness of my siblings and this pretty chill weather

What I'm not loving?:  Urine leaks.  I sneezed and peed all over myself in the car with S. beside me.  Not a great moment lol.

Movement: Lots, especially at night.  The baby is definitely his or her daddy’s child.  It will stretch and will move into a position that is sorely uncomfortable.  I’ll shift position, feel it float into a new spot, and then ostensibly float back.  This baby has personality for sure.  

Anything make you queasy or sick: Heat.  Too much heat makes me sick.

Food cravings: Sweets and cucumbers.  MAN, Do I want cucumbers?

Food aversion:  Chicken, blech!

Gender prediction: #teamgreen Still think it’s a girl though

Belly Button in or out?: Stretched in

Wedding ring on or off?: On

Happy or Moody most of the time: Pretty happy

Preparations for baby: Lovely friends gave us a bouncer and an activity center.  I’ve been scouring Pinterest for breast pumping schedules, for make ahead freezer meals, and for décor ideas for a future nursery as soon as we clear up the space since my MIL is in the guest bedroom.

Looking forward to: Celebrating my son’s graduation.  Crack!  I have to go and order a cake for him today!

The Young Graduate

Hello everyone.  It's been a busy couple of days in our household, but I am so very pleased to share with you that our son is officially a 6th grader!  Last night, our family watched as he and his fellow fifth graders crossed the stage with certificates in hand.  They have completed their academic requirements.  They have succeeded.  I am so proud.

I started this journey with just my son and I.  It's amazing to see where God bought us from. Congratulations to my heart string.


28 weeks pregnant update



DISCLAIMER: This post contains information about our pregnancy. Because I know all too well how these kinds of posts may affect my fellow #ttcsisters and #ttcbrothers, I include this disclaimer to forewarn you. I understand how much these posts can sting and promise to continue to add the disclaimer on any post that may be related to this pregnancy (assuming viability) so that you may have the option to bow out of reading. I understand.

(Disclaimer 2: I actually turned 28 weeks on 3 June, but didn’t want to miss anything in the update, so I have decided my update posts will be the following Monday of the week).

Our baby is now the size of an eggplant.  The baby is beginning to open its eyes and blink.
               
Baby's Weight: 2.22 lbs
Baby's Length: 14.80 in

Total weight gain/loss: Sigh.  I'm 179 pounds.  Plus 9 pounds in two weeks :(  Doctor says this is fine and it's all belly/belly from the looks of it.  I disagree.

Maternity clothes?: Yep.  Every day, all day.

Favorite maternity outfit: This week it was the outfit I wore to my doctor’s appointment.  A black long sleeve shirt with gray maternity pants and silver accessories.  It was comfortable, flexible, and looked cute.

Stretch marks?:  Yes, sigh.  Yes.

Sleep: I am still able to sleep pretty well as long as I have a pillow positioned properly.

Best moment of the week: Our surprise birthday party!  It was beautiful and my sisters hosted it.  I’d just posted about how I didn’t think anyone was interested in having anything and they did this!  I will share a post in a couple of days.

Not so great moment of the week:    My feet were huge by the time I got home from visiting NJ.  They didn’t hurt, but man they looked funny.

Braxton Hicks?: Yep!  And combined with back pain and round ligament pain, they hurt for about an hour on the way back from NJ.  Then, they went away.

Miss Anything?:  Not really.

What I'm loving?: The thoughtfulness of my siblings and this pretty chill weather

What I'm not loving?:  Urine leaks.  I sneezed and peed all over myself in the car with S. beside me.  Not a great moment lol.

Movement: Yes.

Anything make you queasy or sick: Heat.  Heat makes me sick.

Food cravings: I want ice cream a lot more now.  I try to have an ice cream sandwich at some point every day.

Food aversion:  Chicken, blech!

Gender prediction: #teamgreen Still think it’s a girl though

Labor Signs: No!

Belly Button in or out?: Still in, but stretched

Wedding ring on or off?: On

Happy or Moody most of the time: Pretty happy

Preparations for baby: We have baby onesies and baby stuff from the shower!!! We haven’t started on a nursery yet because we are either going to move our son into the larger bedroom in the basement or we are going to keep the baby with us for a while.


Looking forward to: Celebrating my son’s upcoming 5th grade transition.  

Second Trimester Favorites

Hi everyone!  I completely apologize for being behind on this post.  I know I promised it a couple of weeks ago, but I wanted to get input from others just in case I missed something.  So, because you reminded me in DMs and because I try to be transparent as I can be in these posts, here are my second trimester favorites.

1.  Preggie Pops. Oh my goodness! These were STILL required during second trimester and were a life saver!  I kept waiting for the “second trimester is awesome” energy that everyone speaks about (and I remembered from pregnancy number one), but it seemed to evade me for quite some time. I would still find myself getting nauseous especially if the weather was warm or if someone were brewing coffee around me. These little candies helped a LOT.




2.  Maternity Tanks from Target.  I popped quite a bit sooner than I did with pregnancy number one. By week 16, people were pretty much in the know. Suddenly, about the same time, my shirts became increasingly difficult to put on and remove. After one particularly hard battle with a church organization shirt that I love dearly, I begrudgingly admitted defeat. Target Cartwheel just so happened to have a 20% off maternity tanks on top of a clearance sale and I decided to see if I could find a couple of tanks to hold me over. I did and they were perfect! Comfortable, roomy, stretchy, and looked great with a cardigan. Woohoo!



3.  Maternity/Nursing Bras.  Oh my wow. I tried to avoid these. Don’t ask why. I just did. A coworker who’d recently given birth gave me several just to be nice and my goodness. I practically lived in them. The breasts didn’t hurt so much at the end of the day. I didn’t want to hit my husband when I hugged him in the evenings. And they were flattering.  The only thing I didn't like was that a great majority of them are thinner, so you could see your nips if you were wearing a thinner shirt.



4.  Baby Apps. While trying to conceive, my husband and I both downloaded the Glow app for conception. It kept up with fertility appointments, basal body temperatures, egg retrieval, egg transfer, etc. When we received a positive beta, I hesitated a bit before confirming the pregnancy and upgrading to Glow Nurture. I’m so glad I did update though. I am able to keep track of weight, appointments, symptoms, complaints, etc. It’s been very helpful.

Equally helpful has been Full Timer, which lets me count baby kicks and time Braxton Hicks contractions.  That came in handy a couple of times when I did too much and those Braxton Hicks actually had a bit of rhythm to them.


5.  Peacock Tumbler.  I love this thing. No, seriously.  I love it.  My niece gave it to me as a Mother's Day gift.  It comes with a straw and the cutest peacock design which is my thing because I LOVE peacocks.  Anyway, I fill this tumbler with water several times a day, drink my quota and then some, and keep coming back for more.  It actually motivates me subconsciously to stay hydrated. It's definitely coming with me to L&D on delivery day.


So there you have it.  These are my favorites for the second trimester.  Any definites on your list?  Anything you were surprised to see?