Tuesday, December 16, 2014

James' Birth Story

I feel so behind in writing this! I better get to writing - some of this is already getting a little fuzzy and I don't want to forget a single moment of this beautiful day. Also, let me just say how wonderful it is to have text messages from that day to go back and look at to help remind me of when certain things happened! Beware, this is long!

Saturday, November 8th was a busy day. We got up, got ready for the day, and then Cam ran out to get donuts. Cam's Aunt Tricia and Uncle Mike were in town and came by our house to visit for a bit on their way out of town. After they left, my mom came and picked me and my sister up so we could go visit my grandma in the hospital. On the way we stopped at our favorite Mexican food restaurant to eat lunch and pick up some food to take to my grandma. I can't remember the last time the three of us had a meal together without kids...it was so much fun!!!!! Between this and the Torchy's the night before, I was hoping all the spicy food would get something going!

We had a good visit with my grandma. She was doing better after a scary few days. When she'd gone into the hospital that Tuesday, she was pretty close to death. It was a very odd feeling to have my one remaining grandparent in such dire health circumstances right when I was about to have my baby. It felt very "circle of life" and more than anything, I hated the thought of my mom having to go through those conflicting emotions. While my grandma wasn't completely out of the woods yet when I saw her that day (one never really is at 91 years old), her condition had improved. It gave me peace to know that I had gotten to see her...I'd worried all week that I wouldn't get to before the baby came and then something would happen to her and I'd always regret it. My grandma was at was the hospital where I had been born. As we left, I joked that maybe coming back to the place of my birth would send me into labor! Little did I know...

By the time I got home I was wiped out...way too tired to figure out dinner, so we went to eat at Longhorn Steakhouse. Yes, I completed the trifecta of eating out for every single meal that day. I'd been doing a fairly decent job of cooking and preparing dinner at home at the end of my pregnancy, but the wheels fell off those last few days!

Cam had been putting Claire to bed most nights, but I did it that night. It was pretty tough for me to get up and down off the floor by her bed, and in hindsight my first inkling that something was happening was when I got up from the floor and felt a dull ache in my lower back. I also should have known something was up when I went directly from her room to get into bed. As anyone who knows me well can attest, I'm a huge night owl and basically get a second wind when my kids go to sleep, but not that night! I was miserably full from dinner and having pain in my lower back. I went straight to bed around 10 pm and slept until about 1, when Cam came to bed after falling asleep on the couch. I told him I thought something might be happening, but wasn't sure. We went back to sleep and I slept off and on for the rest of the night. I have a tendency to doubt myself and what I'm feeling in situations like this, but I had a feeling that I was going to be having a baby later that day!

We were up early the next morning, but stayed in bed for awhile trying to figure out what was happening. By then, the pain in my back was coming and going and included pain and cramping in my stomach too. It was contraction-like but not intensely painful. I was trying to time my contractions on an app on my phone, but it was hard to define when they were starting and stopping. Again, I wasn't sure that this was "it" and I didn't want to set a bunch of things in motion if I wasn't sure! Around 8 am we let our family know things might be happening. With Cam's parents being in Houston, I was nervous to call them because I didn't want them to travel all that way for a false alarm. Cam called them and just told them to be aware that I might be in early labor so they could be prepared to leave quickly if this was the real deal. Things continued to get more intense and around 9:30 Cam called his parents and told them to come. I think my contractions were about 3 minutes apart by now.

Now it was time to get ready to go to the hospital! Cam fed Claire breakfast while I showered and got ready. My mom came over around 10:00 to help us and take Claire back to her house. Our bags were packed and laid out on the dining room table, but there were still some last minute things to gather. This whole process seemed to take forever...partly because my nerves were making me very inefficient and partly because I kept having to stop during my increasingly intense contractions.

We got to the hospital around 11:00 or 11:30. I think the triage rooms must have been full because they took me directly to a labor and delivery room. They started the process of getting us checked in and determined that I was 4 cm dilated! I was relieved to know that I was, in fact, in labor but not so far along that Cam's parents might not make it in time. My contractions were coming every couple minutes by this point. My most memorable symptom at that point was feeling like I had to pee every few minutes. I recognized the nurse who checked us in. Her name was Laurie, and she had been one of my sister's nurses when she had Gracie and had helped take care of me when I spent the night in labor and delivery after breaking my ankle. We spent a long time with her answering questions to get all checked in and getting my IV started. She was the charge nurse that day, so after we finished up our initial stuff, she handed us off to another nurse who wouldn't be as busy that day. Her name was Robin and she was lovely...kind, funny, and knowledgeable. She had a strong accent that I think was Canadian and she looked a lot like Trixie, a character from the show Call the Midwife. At some point I also met Dr. Rodriguez, the on call doctor that weekend. I was bummed Dr. Orth wouldn't be there to deliver my baby...we've been through a lot together and there is just no better encourager when it comes to this stuff! That being said, I really really liked Dr. Rodriguez! She was young, capable, and calm. It felt really nice to know I was in good hands.

My memory of the order of some of this is a little fuzzy, but I think around this time my family came in and visited for a bit. They were a big, lively bunch and it was fun to see them! It was my mom, dad, sister Elizabeth, brother-in-law Corey, niece Grace, and my sweet Clairebear. Shortly after, my mother and father-in-law, Jennifer and Jamie, arrived from Houston and came to see us for a bit. It was great to have them there! Everyone was very excited and we felt so much support and love!

Next it was epidural time! The anesthesiologist, Dr. Patel, was young and friendly. Random, but I remember him asking me if I was a football fan because we had the Dallas Cowboys game in London on the TV. Maybe that's unusual for a woman in labor?!? HA! Anyway, getting the epidural was more uncomfortable this time around than I remember it being with Claire. Shortly after, Robin installed a catheter and broke my water. Now, it's hard to compare directly with Claire's birth since I was induced with her, but I had suspected my water would break on its own this time around since it broke before we even started pitocin with Claire. I thought I might be part of that small percentage of women whose water breaks on their own. This turned out not to be the case...in fact, when Robin broke my water, the bag was so thick and tough to break that there was a loud, audible pop on the monitor when it finally did rupture! She'd never had that happen before and was excited to tell the other nurses! By the time this was all wrapped up, it was 2:00 pm and I was 6 cm dilated.

When Dr. Patel left, I was feeling some numbness and heaviness in my legs, but it wasn't full-on. I'd told them that my epidural with Claire hadn't been fully effective, so after he left Robin kept checking in with me to assess how it was working. It never did become fully effective, or even somewhat effective. I vividly remember laying in bed during this time and I was miserable. Feeling painful contractions, still feeling like I had to pee every five minutes despite the catheter, and being able to feel that I was laying in wet sheets soaked with amniotic fluid. It was awful and I was so bummed. I knew it wasn't working like it should, but I wasn't sure how to handle it. Maybe this was just what epidurals were like (in hindsight: NO WAY!)...maybe they just don't work for me...not wanting to be too much trouble to the staff...and so on. I was having major flashbacks to my epidural with Claire and was miserable at the thought of having to labor the rest of the way like this. Robin called Dr. Patel. When he came in and heard the latest update, he said he could either add more medicine to the epidural or he could start completely over. I wasn't sure what to do. On one hand, we'd added more medicine to my epidural with Claire and while it afforded me some temporary relief, it never fully did the trick and I felt every single stitch after she was born. On the other hand, the idea of doing the whole epidural process over again did not sound appealing. Dr. Patel asked me if I was to stand up right then if I felt like I could walk. I told him, "Well, yeah I think I could..." and he immediately said he thought we needed to start over. I was nervous, but also happy to have a second chance at some pain relief.

After removing the first epidural and starting the new one, I could tell pretty quickly that this one was different. Dr. Patel said he did something a little different this time. I'm not sure what he did (probably should have asked!)...but whatever it was, it worked and it was glorious! A working epidural is amazing! I couldn't get over it! After two flaky ones, having one that worked was just incredible! From here on out, things were really chill and blissful. I'm so so so so glad we redid it...it made for a much different experience. Yay Dr. Patel, yay science!!! (Can you name the show that's from?!?)

At this point, I was very relaxed and we finally had some time to rest. We turned off all the lights and dozed off and on for awhile. It was great to rest a bit, since I hadn't gotten a ton of sleep the night before. My mom, Elizabeth, and Jennifer came in and visited for a few minutes. We spent a lot of that time marveling at the wonders of the epidural. I can't really overstate how happy I was! Now it was just a matter of time and we'd get to meet our sweet baby boy!

Around 4:00 I was almost fully dilated. The baby needed to come down a bit, so around this time Robin rotated the bed to where I was more upright with my legs crossed and facing down so that gravity could help things along. I started to feel a little bit of pain at this point and Robin gave me the refresh button for my epidural, and it helped a lot. Right before it was time to push, Robin left for the day. She was so awesome that she stayed about 2 hours past when her shift ended at 3:00 to be there for us. Unfortunately she couldn't stay any longer, so she handed us off to another amazing nurse named Lauren. Lauren had been one of my nurses for a couple short stints during my labor with Claire. She was wonderful - so positive, experienced, and encouraging. I was so blessed with amazing nurses that day!

I was fully dilated shortly after 5:00 and by 5:30 it was time to push. Dr. Rodriguez came in and at first, it was just her and Lauren in the room with me and Cam. Initially Dr. Rodriguez just sat on the side of the bed while I pushed. Cam and Lauren held my legs and were so encouraging! I cannot overstate how peaceful and calm this experience was. Inbetween contractions/pushing we chatted about our kids, the differences between having boys and girls, Dr. Rodriguez's gorgeous Kendra Scott earrings (which I've shamelessly copied and added to my Christmas wish list...hint hint!), etc. Cam said I would look at him during these breaks and just smile. Everything was extremely relaxed and we were so excited to meet our Sweet Baby James! Once we were getting close, they removed the bottom of the bed, Dr. Rodriguez suited up, and a couple of extra people came in. One of them was Laurie, the nurse from when I'd arrived that morning! She was there to take care of James once he was born. It was go time!

At 6:00 pm on the dot, James Strutton Todd was born. It was love at first sight for me and Cam. I cried sweet, happy tears! It felt so good to hold him on my chest, tell him how much I loved him, and study his precious face. It was clear from the beginning that he was a sweet boy. He had a little fluid in his throat/lungs so they suctioned him a couple times before he really cried. Cam and I couldn't get over how much he looked and sounded like Claire! It was so wonderful to finally get to see this perfect little addition to our family.

Little is a relative term, of course. After a bit, they took James off my chest to check him out. I remember peering across the room at the scale as they weighed him. I saw the 9 and the 1...and said "9.1...wow", thinking what a big baby he was. That's when several voices said, "No, 9.14!"....um, what?! Our heavyweight champion weighed in at 9 lbs, 14 oz and was 20.5 in long. We suspected he'd be big, but not that big! He checked out perfectly healthy. We are so thankful.

I'm happy to report that the placenta and it's much-discussed extra lobe came out easily and without issue! My placenta with Claire was very stubborn about coming out, but not so this time. I tore in a couple of places, so Dr. Rodriguez stitched me up while James was getting checked out. I felt a little pain during a small part of this, but overall it was fairly easy. Cam got to hold his boy...we were both just completely smitten...and still are, of course! Once we were all taken care of, I got to hold my sweet baby again and nurse him. He nursed really well for a good 45 minutes! Cam got to go share the happy news with our family, which is one of his most favorite things to do! After we finished nursing, our family came in and met James. It was such an awesome, sweet thing to experience!!! Everyone was overjoyed and immediately taken with him.

It was so good to see Claire! She was very sweet to her baby brother, and even gave him a kiss on the head! It was fun giving her the big sister gift...a Carebear, a mini Magnadoodle, and two Pioneer Woman storybooks with big sibling themes. I was worried she'd be jealous, but she hasn't been at all. She was a little distant with me for a few days after we got home, but she forgave me for having another baby pretty quickly. :) She's been a dream with the baby...she ohhs and ahhs over him and calls him "Doll" and "Baby".

As I've mentioned earlier, James' birth was a wonderful, peaceful experience...exactly what you'd expect on a cozy Sunday evening. We came home from the hospital that Tuesday. James wore the same Feltman Brothers outfit that Cam wore home from the hospital almost 30 years ago. We listened to the song "Sweet Baby James" on the car ride home. Cam was able to take off from work for three weeks, which was great for all of us. I will never forget that special time with my sweet little family.

James is a precious baby and has stolen all of our hearts. He has such a calm demeanor, sweet smile, and happy spirit. We are so blessed that he's ours and look forward to all the fun things to come!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

He's here!!!

James Strutton Todd arrived Sunday, November 9th, at 6:00 pm on the dot! He is a beautiful and healthy baby, weighing in at 9 lbs, 14 ozs and measuring 20.5 inches. 
He looks and sounds very much like his big sister Claire, who has taken to calling him "doll". In the pictures below, James is the top picture and Claire is the bottom one. 
Early labor started late Saturday night and we went to the hospital late morning on Sunday. His birth was a really beautiful and peaceful experience, kind of what you'd expect from a baby arriving on a lazy November Sunday. 

We are totally in love with this precious little blessing. We are really enjoying adjusting to life as a family of four! There have been a few challenging moments, but overall we're just treasuring this special time with all four of us at home, tucked away from the bitter cold outside. I'm so in love with my little family.
More to come!!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

39 Weeks


Total Weight Gain: Another week, another pound. Up 31 total.

Size of Baby: Baby James is the size of a mini-watermelon.

Sleep: I don't want to jinx anything but the time change seems to have totally reset my internal clock for the better. I'm going to bed earlier and waking up earlier on my own, instead of dragging myself out of bed in the mornings.

Movement: Yep!

Cravings: I am just hungry! For everything!

Gender: It's still a boy...James.

Mood: I've been a little down and discouraged the last few days. We thought things might be starting to happen over the weekend and when they didn't, I felt let down. Then I was convinced there'd be signs of change yesterday at my appointment, but nope! I think the waiting game is just getting to me. Also, I found out yesterday morning that my grandmother is in the hospital and not doing well. She's 91 and very, very weak. She's dealing with very low blood pressure (80/40!) and low potassium, and weighs 75 lbs. Hopefully the fluids and medications they're giving her can help her perk up. Obviously the timing of all of this makes it a bittersweet time for my family. 

Symptoms: I had my weekly check-up yesterday and I'm still 1 cm dilated, just like 2 weeks ago. I'm pretty surprised, because I don't think this kid could possibly be sitting any lower than he is right now. I'm slightly more effaced, about 70%. My doctor tried to strip my membranes today, but my cervix was too posterior. She encouraged me by saying that this stuff means nothing and can change in an instant! 

Still having the same end-of-pregnancy symptoms: very uncomfortable, swelling, lots of aches and pains. There are times when I feel relatively good and then I'll just feel terrible, especially as the day goes on. I'll have random sets of contractions (not sure if they're the real thing or more Braxton Hicks). Last week I tried to time them, but it was difficult, and with time, water, and activity, they went away. Saturday I felt awful all day...my stomach was upset and then in the afternoon I got a really bad headache. I rarely get headaches when I'm pregnant and my doctor always warns me about if they don't go away with Tylenol because that can be a sign of pre-eclampsia, so I took notice. When it didn't completely go away with Tylenol, I borrowed my sister's blood pressure machine and started checking. Later I spoke to the on-call doctor, just to be safe. When I told her my blood pressure, she wasn't at all concerned. By then, the headache had moved into my sinuses, so I was pretty sure it was my allergies rearing their ugly head...ugh! To finish out the day, late evening I started having really bad cramps. As they went on I was convinced this could very well be early labor. Cam and I decided to try to go to sleep and see if things continued. I slept all night and woke up to no pain. 

I had another headache on Monday that didn't go away with Tylenol and one of my blood pressure readings climbed into the range of concern, but then immediately went back down. When I took a second larger dose of Tylenol that evening, the headache went away. I think I just needed 3 pills instead of 2! I talked to my doctor about it at my appointment the next morning. I'm not really showing any signs of pre-eclampsia and if I did have it, that one high reading I got wouldn't go right back down like it did...it would stay up. So I'll keep an eye on my blood pressure, but don't have any real reason for concern. 

The new and very uncomfortable symptom I'm having is that the lovely stretch marks on my stomach have become very inflamed! Up until recently, these stretch marks had been just an unsightly annoyance, but now they literally looks like bright red raised welts! It is driving me crazy and making me feel like I'm going to itch my skin off! Lotion and hydrocortisone cream help, but I think I won't get true relief until this baby boy decides to make his exit!

We should just change that entire section to "complaints and things you'd like to bitch about"...haha! Sorry, I guess it's just the nature of the beast at this stage in pregnancy. I'm trying to remind myself that things were much, much worse at this point in my last pregnancy! It usually helps me regain some much-needed perspective. 

Milestones: Reaching 39 weeks! 39 weeks is the new 37 weeks...the milestone doctors really want you to reach. Despite all my moaning about being uncomfortable and wishing labor would happen, I do recognize that I'm incredibly lucky to get to carry my baby to term. 

Best Moment this Week: Cam got some great news at work...he's being promoted and hired on by Dell for a permanent position! He's been a contract employee at Dell up until now. This is huge for Cam and such a blessing for our growing family. I seriously couldn't be prouder of my husband...he is amazing!!! 

What I'm Looking Forward to: I want to meet my baby boy...he is the sweet and perfect prize at the finish line, and I just can't wait to hold him! 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

38 Weeks



Total Weight Gain: I gained two more pounds, so thirty total. My doctor attributed it to swelling...it's probably more the Halloween candy and the fact that I've been eating like there's no tomorrow!

Size of Baby: James is the size of a pumpkin! How appropriate for Halloween!

Sleep: It's okay. Lots of tossing and turning due to hip pain.

Movement: He's definitely slowing down as we get closer to the finish line. A couple of times recently I've worried about lack of movement, but it's been okay. His heartrate was in the 150s yesterday at the doctor's office so he's doing well.

Cravings: I'm craving juice of all kinds!

Gender: Boy...sweet baby James!

Mood: Pretty good, definitely antsy. I have that nervous feeling like I need to have everything perfect at home because it could happen at any moment. I'm excited and ready to meet my baby!

Symptoms: I'm uncomfortable and swollen, particularly in my hands. In the mornings when I'm waking up, my hands are very numb and to borrow a Pink Floyd song lyric, "feel just like two balloons". Once that passes, it hurts to stretch out my fingers. The baby is sitting very low and I have quite a bit of nerve compression and pain. Also, it's so random but I have this really awful pain in my upper left rib...I had the exact same thing with Claire. So weird...I guess your body is your body, no matter the pregnancy.

I had my weekly appointment yesterday and all is well. The baby's head is very low so my doctor said she could possibly see me back there as early as tonight, but there's just no way to know. Effacement is the same, about 50%. Because of the way things are tilted at the moment, it was too difficult and uncomfortable to get a reading on dilation. I'm really curious how dilated I'll be at my next appointment, if I make it that far. Since we've made it to 38 weeks, I think I'd like to go ahead and make it 39 so he'll be fully full term. Of course, there are also moments I'd like to be done being pregnant immediately! 

Differences from Last Pregnancy: So many things are different! It's so incredible being able to walk this time around. When I get to feeling whiny about being in that uncomfortable, miserable phase at the end of pregnancy, I try to keep in mind that last time was so much harder and that I'm so blessed. It's really weird not having any frame of reference for what this is like, despite it being my second pregnancy. When I think about being in the hospital, I always picture myself confined to the bed, because that's how it was last time. I have to keep reminding myself that while I'll certainly be in pain after giving birth, I'll be able to get up and walk around...it's just crazy wonderful to think about!

Milestones: We are finished with the nursery!!! It's been a labor of love for me and Cam, and we're so happy with how it turned out. I'll try to post pictures soon. Cam painted a beautiful mural for our son, and it's so special that our kids have these works of art that were custom designed for each of them by their daddy. I seriously don't think I can ever paint over them...or move. Everything's washed and set up, me and the baby are packed, and thanks to some wonderful help from my mama, there are a several meals in the freezer for when we come home from the hospital. It feels really good. Now that most of the work is wrapped up, I'm ready to snuggle my sweet baby boy!

Best Moment this Week: We had a wonderful weekend with Cam's parents in town. It was a lot of fun and Claire loved getting to be with her beloved Gigi and Poppy!

What I'm Looking Forward to: I'm looking forward to meeting my son! In the (likely) nearer future, I'm looking forward to trick or treating with my adorable little Minnie Mouse Claire!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

37 Weeks


Total Weight Gain: I'm up 28 lbs.

Size of Baby: Baby James is the size of a bundle of swiss chard.  
                                      
Sleep: Pretty good. 

Movement: This is going to sound very non-maternal, but at this stage in the game the movement is weird and uncomfortable. He is just so big and so out of room! Finding these hard spots sticking out of my stomach that are feet or whatever is a little bizarre and almost painful. I guess we're both just feeling some growing pains. ;)

Cravings: I'm craving Mexican food!

Gender: It's a boy...James!

Mood: Pretty good, getting really excited! I can't wait to see his sweet face!

Symptoms: I'm feeling okay, just more of the same aches, pains, and discomfort, along with uncomfortable Braxton Hicks. I had my appointment yesterday and it went well. I'm 1 cm dilated, my cervix is very soft, and 50-60% effaced. My doctor says I'm definitely contracting and while there's no way to know the timeline, she thinks I'll just slowly go into labor. She, along with Cam and I, don't think I'll make it to my due date. His head is way down low. In fact, when she measured my fundal height last week it measured 37 weeks, but this week it was 35 weeks because he's dropped so low. It kind of makes me wonder if something could happen soon. I'd like him to stay put until I'm 38 weeks so that his lungs can keep developing, we can finish our last few to-dos, and because my doctor will be out of town until Monday. 

Best Moment this Week: We had a great time taking Claire to the pumpkin patch on Saturday. It's fun doing things like this with her while she's still the only child, and also neat to think about what it will be like next year with two! She is so so cute and getting to the stage where she cracks us up daily. Love that girl. 

What I'm Looking Forward to: Cam's parents are coming into town this weekend and we can't wait! Also looking forward to our sweet baby boy's arrival...it won't be long now and I can't wait to see how it all unfolds. Will Baby James be a Halloween baby? Or a daylight savings time change baby? Or an election day baby? We shall see!!! :)

Friday, October 17, 2014

36 Weeks

                      

Total Weight Gain: I've gained 25 lbs.

Size of Baby: James is the size of a head of romaine lettuce.

Sleep: It's okay. I'm having some trouble falling asleep at night. Thankfully, one benefit of Claire moving out of the crib is that she's sleeping later in the morning (b/c it takes her so long to go to sleep at night) so I've been able to sleep in. It's pretty nice timing with the third trimester exhaustion!

Movement: Some days he's more subdued because he's running out of room, but then others he moves around a lot.  His movements feel very dramatic, I guess because he's so big at this point.

Cravings: I'm craving sub sandwiches. I've been super hungry these past couple weeks!

Gender: Our little boy, James Strutton Todd. I can't wait to see his sweet face and hold him.

Mood: Pretty good. I'm ready to not be pregnant anymore, but I'm also trying to enjoy these last few weeks. Pregnancy isn't always easy, but it is a special experience. I'm definitely enjoying being mobile after what happened last time...perspective is an amazing thing.

Symptoms: We had a growth ultrasound and 36 week appointment yesterday. Baby James looked great and very healthy on the ultrasound! His estimated weight is 6 lbs, 10 oz, which puts him in the 70th percentile. I had my first exam today: I'm about 40% effaced and not dilated yet. My cervix is soft, which Dr. Orth says means I'm contracting (not sure if that means Braxton Hicks or real contractions). His head is down where she could feel it. She thinks I'll probably go to 39 weeks. It'll be interesting to see when he does decide to make his appearance! After being induced with Claire, it's a new and exciting experience to get to go into labor on my own!

I'm feeling alright, just having the typical end-of-pregnancy symptoms. I have lots of tightening/Braxton Hicks. One spot I really notice it is in my left hip bone...feels very odd. Still dealing with pretty bad allergies on the daily...I'm convinced congestion is worse when pregnant. Breathe Right strips and Claritin have become almost daily companions. My hands feel/look so swollen and have been going numb a lot at night. I can definitely breathe better and have less heartburn now that the baby's dropped. Walking can be pretty painful and it's definitely getting tougher to get up from the couch! I think some of my walking discomfort is sciatic nerve pain, among other things. It is soooo nice to be able to walk though! It's so crazy to think about where I was at this point with Claire...I had just broken my ankle and was preparing to have surgery. Just so so so thankful to be able to have a more normal experience this time around.

Milestones: While 37 weeks is technically considered full term, 36 weeks feels like an important point. We're about a month out and it seems like if he came soon, he'd be in good health. Still want him to cook for a couple more weeks though!

Best Moment this Week: My pregnancy brain got the best of me last week and I didn't mention it, but two friends and my sister gave me a suprise sprinkle at a playdate recently. It was so sweet and fun! Baby James got some very cute things and I felt very special! Love my girls!

What I'm Looking Forward to: We're planning to take Claire to the pumpkin patch this weekend. I'm also looking forward to getting more baby clothes washed and organized ...we've been working hard these last few weeks in the nursery and we've almost got everything ready. I'm also looking forward to my next appointment on Tuesday!

And here's a bump selfie (bumpie?!?) from last weekend!



Wednesday, October 8, 2014

35 Weeks

Size of Baby: James is the size of a honeydew melon.

Sleep: It's been better the last few days since I've stopped choking. I'm really going to try to be more mindful of going to bed earlier. Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a total nightowl...night is "my time" to do what I want and I really relish it. Because of that, I'm pretty good at surviving on not a lot of sleep, but I'm realizing that this is not the case when I'm 8 months pregnant! Not getting a decent amount of sleep really wrecks me...plus these might be the last few nights of uninterrupted sleep I have for a long time!

Movement: Yes! Sometimes it is really painful...not sure if that indicates that he's out of room or Braxton Hicks, but I'm definitely have those too.

Cravings/Aversions: I'm craving pizza. I've just been really hungry for everything though! 

Gender: Sweet baby boy James! Everyone tells me that boys are super sweet, especially to their mamas, and I'm just so excited to experience that for myself. Really looking forward to newborn snuggles...nothing like it! 

Mood: Good, but a little moody, which I think is just inevitable at this stage of the game. Sometimes I have to give myself a little reminder to get over myself - haha! Claire has also decided to make things extra interesting by diving headfirst into the "terrible twos". In addition to the frequent fits and cutting of the dreaded two year molars we've been dealing with for weeks, on Monday she escaped from her crib, so now we're making a very unexpected transition to a toddler bed. This isn't something I wanted to do right before adding a second baby to the mix, but oh well. The first night went great (likely because she was exhausted from her escapee antics!) but nap and bedtime yesterday were much more challenging. Last night she finally gave up playing in her room and fell asleep on the floor at 11 pm and then we moved her to her bed. While I'm glad she's sleeping at all, I'm nervous and hoping we can get her settled into a routine before James is born. I need at least one kid to be sleeping! 

Symptoms: I can say with almost complete certainty that the baby has dropped! Hallelujah! Claire also dropped around the same time, although I had no clue until my doctor told me! It's really odd: late last week I had two days where I just felt awful...I felt really strange, uncomfortable movements, I couldn't sleep, and I just felt "off". Coupled with the fact that I started having to pee all the time, I figured baby had dropped. I could also kinda see that baby was sitting lower...as the days have passed, I can see it more and more. Then I got a little nervous when I googled "Can you feel baby drop?" (yeah, I know...bad idea) and several people said that second babies don't usually drop until right when you're about to go into labor. Combine that with how weird I'd been feeling and I got a little worried I was about to go into labor way early. I called my wonderful nurse and she told me what I already suspected was true...this is really individual and there are no hard and fast rules about such things. So now I'm just really enjoying the relief...no choking at night and I can breathe much easier! Plus Sir James is doing what he needs to do to get ready to join us in a few weeks!

Differences from Last Pregnancy: I don't fill out this section very often, but I wanted to this week because this is the last week where there will be anything comparable between my two pregnancies. This is the week in my pregnancy with Claire that I broke my ankle. After next Monday this pregnancy will be an entirely different experience, one I'm really looking forward to! But as for the here and now, I feel like this pregnancy has been fairly similar to my last overall, with a few differences. I definitely have more pain in my hips and pelvis this time around and much earlier. I think this is totally related to this being my second pregnancy. My swelling and blood pressure have been so much better this time around...definitely a result of not teaching anymore and not having to deal with a monster boss on a daily basis. Can you tell I don't miss my old job one bit? 

Milestones: On Sunday, it'll be one month 'til my due date! Crazy! 

Best Moment this Week: Baby dropping! And my Dad got some good news today. For the last several weeks, he's been having trouble with his vision in one eye. He's been to several doctors and never been able to get a clear diagnosis, until yesterday. He saw the best cataract doctor in Austin (who also happens to be Michael Dell's brother!) and he confirmed his cataract needs to come out soon, and that doing so will give my Dad a ton of relief! The doctor could also tell that some gel that naturally occurs in the eye had gotten displaced and was contributing to the issue. Thankfully that will resolve itself in time! Woohoo! We're so relieved! Waking up one day with significant blurred vision out of the blue is pretty scary, so it's really reassuring to hear that this is fixable! 

What I'm Looking Forward to: My ultrasound and appointment next Wednesday! Can't wait to see baby boy one more time and find out what he's up to! I'm also looking forward to Saturday being over...Cam is going to the A&M football game Saturday night. Not only does it mean him being on the road by himself very late coming home, but there's almost no cell service at the stadium! While the odds of something happening with the baby at that exact time are low, it still makes me nervous. Plus my parents may be out of town too. Stay put, baby James!