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! 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

34 Weeks

Total Weight Gain: I've gained 24 lbs.

Size of Baby: Baby James is the size of a cantaloupe.

Sleep: Terrible. Between really bad allergies (breathe-right strips are a nightly requirement), leg cramps that send me leaping out of bed at all hours, and reflux choking episodes nearly every night, sleep has become a miserable experience. When I do sleep, I wake up in the morning covered in sweat. I think at this point I would rather be getting up every two hours all night to feed a newborn baby.

Movement: Oh yeah. My little wiggle worm has moved his way back into head-down position...yay!

Cravings/Aversions: I'm craving ice cream, but have been resisting the craving fairly well. Yesterday I noticed I was just really hungry for everything in sight!

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

Mood: I'm totally tapped out in every sense of the word. My mind feels like one never-ending to-do list right now.

Symptoms: It ain't pretty! Lots of reflux and choking. Sweating and burning up 24/7. Having a lot of pain in my pelvis and hips, as well as sharp nerve pains. While walking is a pretty painful experience, I am so thankful I can do it.

I had a doctor's appointment yesterday and it went great! James' heartbeat sounded strong and clear on the doppler and my doctor could tell he'd moved into a head-down position. When we go back in two weeks, I'll have another growth ultrasound and she'll check to see if I'm dilated...eeek! Hard to believe we're already almost at this point! From there, we'll start weekly appointments. As long as baby doesn't look super big on the ultrasound, I'll get to go into labor on my own! After being induced with Claire, I'm really looking forward to getting to experience going into labor spontaneously.

Milestones: 34 weeks is the point at which my doctor won't do anything to stop things if I go into labor. Crazy! James...don't take that as an invitation to come anytime soon...you need to stay put awhile longer!

Best Moment this Week: Getting to have a kid-free night on Friday. I'll be honest...earlier in the day before Claire left, I almost cried thinking about how weird and empty my house would seem without her, but of course it was very nice to have some time to ourselves. My parents were really sweet to keep Claire for us, and I'm happy to report that she did great. I think we were all a little shocked by how well she did...she didn't even cry when my mom put her down for the night! Thank goodness - it gives me so much peace of mind about leaving her to go to the hospital to give birth.

What I'm Looking Forward to: I'm looking forward to meeting my sweet son! I'm kind of over the preparing phase and I'm ready to move onto the next part, although I want James to stay in awhile longer. I'm also really looking forward to him dropping so I can hopefully get a little relief from the reflux.

And here's a bump picture from Sunday. I hardly have any pictures of myself during this pregnancy so I'm going to try to take some over the next few weeks so James can have some photographic proof that I actually carried him - ha!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

33 Weeks


Size of Baby: Baby Boy is the size of a pineapple.

Sleep: Overall I'm sleeping really well, but I've been having some choking episodes that wake me up soon after falling asleep. They are relatively minor and I think totally related to the baby being positioned so high up. I'm also having some leg cramping again.

Movement: Yes, lots! Lately the movement often feels like tightening...I'm not sure if that's Braxton Hicks or if he's just running out of space so it feels cramped when he moves. 

Cravings/Aversions: Most of my cravings are for sweets.

Gender: Baby Boy James!

Mood: Pretty good overall, but a little overwhelmed, worried, etc. Today I sat down with my calendar and looked at the next few weeks and it really hit me how close we are. While most of the big stuff is done, there's a pretty long to-do list of little things. There's also just a lot going on this time of year and life is busy with something always going on, something to worry about, etc. Claire is cutting her two year molars early and in the early phases of the "terrible twos" and dealing with that while being 8 months pregnant isn't easy. *I just went back and read this paragraph and I sound pretty whiny! I'm so thankful to have a sweet little girl like Claire and have all this stuff to do to prepare for another sweet baby to enter the world and join our family! I don't mean to sound negative, but sometimes life can be....well, a lot! ;) 

Symptoms: As I mentioned above, I've been having more reflux lately. I'm also having some hip/leg pain as well as sharp nerve pains intermittently. 

Best Moment this Week: We had a great weekend visiting Cam's family. It's crazy to think that the next trip we make will be as a family of four!

What I'm Looking Forward to: Two things! 
1) The baby dropping in a few weeks.
2) My parents are keeping Claire overnight on Friday night. I'm looking forward to spending time with Cam and getting some extra rest. This is only the second night Claire and I have spent apart so Big Sister needs a little sleepover practice before we go to the hospital to have James. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

32 Weeks


Seriously, how are we two months out? Wild!

Total Weight Gain: I gained a pound since my last appointment, so 22 lbs total. 

Size of Baby: Sweet baby James is the size of a large jicama.

Sleep: I'm sleeping okay. Thankfully no leg cramps this week!

Movement: Yes, he is very active, especially at night. After finding out his position at our ultrasound yesterday morning, I think a lot of his strange-feeling movements make a lot more sense (more below)!

Cravings/Aversions: Tater tots

Gender: Baby Boy...James Strutton Todd

Mood: Last week was a bit of a rollarcoaster and stressful, but the rainy, cool weekend did me a lot of good. My emotions/hormones are a bit all over the place still, but I feel like I'm not getting so bogged down this week. If something upsets me, I get upset and then I'm too tired to hold onto it - haha! 

Symptoms: I'm definitely starting to feel it! I have very little energy and I'm having some pain in my left hip due to ligament stretching. A few times recently I've had these weird shooting pains in very uncomfortable places that almost make me double over. Dr. Orth said these are nerves getting compressed. All of this stuff is normal end of pregnancy stuff. I suspect some of the tight-feeling "movements" I feel at night are actually Braxton-Hicks contractions. Since this ain't my first rodeo, I feel a little stupid admitting that I don't know, but I feel like my Braxton-Hicks with Claire felt different. 

My appointment yesterday went swimmingly! We had a growth ultrasound first and Sir James is looking very healthy and very cute. The placenta stuff is definitely not obstructing his growth...my doctor jokes it's actually a blessing because he'd be huge without it! He currently weighs 4 lbs, 13 ounces (84th percentile) and measures about a week and a half ahead. They say he is big, but not too big. We had an ultrasound at this same point in the pregnancy with Claire and I went back and read her 32 week post today and she weighed 4 lbs, 14 ounces! Seems like they are on par with each other so far. It'll all depend on when Jamesie decides to make his arrival. 

He has moved into an odd position. He's no longer head down...right now it's way up at the top of my uterus and his bum is down on the lower left. His hands and feet are all up by his head! Sounds terribly uncomfortable to me! We nearly couldn't get a view of his face today because there were so many limbs in the way, but when I moved onto my side we got some pictures of his face. He is so precious and looks a lot like Claire with the same pouty lips. I can't wait to meet him! 

Dr. Orth said babies change positions all the time and that there's plenty of time for him to move back into head down position. If he hasn't at 36 weeks, I'll start doing some exercises to encourage him. Hopefully he will move sooner than that - I feel like his current position is part of why I've been feeling so uncomfortable lately. 

Best Moment this Week: Getting to see James yesterday! He is my precious pumpkin! 

What I'm Looking Forward to: We are going to Sugar Land to spend the weekend with Cam's family. It will be our last trip before babytime. Can't wait to see everyone! 

Here are a couple pictures from the ultrasound!

And here's Claire, also at 32 weeks. Fun to compare!


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

31 Weeks


Size of Baby: James is the size of a coconut.

Sleep: It's pretty good but I need more of it! It's my own fault though...I am such a nightowl. I get really tired as the day goes on, but then right when I should start winding down or sometimes even after I fall asleep for a bit, I get a second wind and stay up way too late! I'm really trying to talk myself into going to bed earlier. This could be the last couple months of good sleep I get for an entire year if this baby is like his sister!!

Movement: Yes, it seems like he is turning somersaults regularly. It feels crazy! 

Cravings/Aversions: I had a craving for pecan pie and my wonderful mama made it for me this weekend. It was delicious! 

What I Miss: I guess just having more energy and being comfortable, but it's all totally worth it!

Gender: Baby Boy James...so excited to see my little guy!

Mood: Okay, up and down. Today almost sent me over the edge though!

Awhile back I mentioned on the blog that I'd found out I was a carrier for a blood disorder called hemochromatosis. We got Cam tested to rule out that he was a carrier/affected by this gene mutation to help us know what the genetic possibilities are for our kids. The plan was to wait to test them until they're older, as long as Cam was unaffected by this. Well, we got his results last week and he is also a carrier for a different type of gene mutation for hemochromatosis. I mean...what are the odds??? Actually, it's not that unusual...turns out these gene mutations are pretty common, especially among people of British lineage. Being a carrier is not that big of a deal, especially in Cam's case because his gene mutation is associated with a much milder form of this disorder, which he won't even develop since he is only a carrier.

This does bring up new questions for our kids though. If our babies ended up inheriting each of our bad genes, they could develop hemochromatosis. Luckily, they'd know from a young age and medical peeps call this the "good news disease" because there are things you can do about it. But I hate that my babies might have to deal with any of this! Of course, they could also inherit each of our good genes and have no concerns whatsoever! 

Claire's pediatrician referred us to a genetic specialist to get her tested, so this morning I set out on the seemingly innocuous mission of making her an appointment. Little did I know I'd spend hours on the phone and end up crying my eyes out! I couldn't even get an appointment without getting Claire's medical records sent over, which is understandable. Then I got the runaround and was bounced back and forth on the phone between the specialists doctor's office and our insurance company. Even getting the most basic questions answered (Is this doctor in our insurance network?) was like asking someone to solve the Middle East peace crisis. And trying to find out if any of this genetic specialist stuff would be covered by our insurance? Forget about it...that was like asking someone to explain the meaning of life. Apparently, in the totally screwed up state of our healthcare system, we (the patient, the people paying the insurance company an obscene amount of money every month) are responsible for seeing that these doctors code everything in a very particular matter in order to get it covered at maximum benefit. Don't even get me started on this issue - I could write a dissertation on the absurdity of a code making the difference in coverage for a very medically necessary test for my child, but just know that I have MANY THOUGHTS ON THIS ISSUE. After realizing that we were stepping into a minefield, I talked Claire's pediatrician into ordering the test herself (I even knew the correct covered code to tell her, y'all!). That way we are pretty confident the test will be covered and will know where we stand before going to see a specialist. Chalk it up to hormones, chalk it up to the insane state of the American healthcare system, chalk it up to Claire throwing an absolute shitfit when I tried to talk on the phone with her pediatrician...but this mama was in tears before it was all said and done. And in the back of my mind, part of those tears were for families who have to navigate these tricky waters while finding out their kids have serious, pressing medical issues. I can't imagine what that is like and I pray for those people. 

Symptoms: I'm pretty exhausted and uncomfortable. Even sitting upright is becoming a challenge! I've been having some pretty bad leg cramps in the middle of the night. Strangely, they seem to be happening in the muscles in my right leg above the metal plate in my ankle. It feels so freaky! If there was a camera in this house in the very early morning hours, you would see a big old pregnant lady pacing around the loop in the kitchen and living room trying to work out a cramp. That'll scare any potential burglars away...haha! I haven't had anymore "seeing spots" episodes, so that's good news!

Best Moment this Week: Getting the bedding set up in the crib. It looks so sweet! Back when I was pregnant with Claire, before we knew she was a girl, I bought some bedding for a boy that was being discontinued. I obviously didn't use it with Claire and held onto it for Baby #2, so we've been able to use it this time! I feel like the nesting I mentioned last week is paying off! The nursery is slowly coming together and I got the final parts of Claire's big sister gift yesterday. 

Also, I was very excited to hear that my favorite couple, William and Kate, are expecting again! 

What I'm Looking Forward to: Fall weather arriving this weekend!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, September 5, 2014

30 Weeks

Total Weight Gain: I'm up 21 lbs total.

Size of Baby: James is the size of a large cabbage! My little cabbage patch kid!

Sleep: It's okay.

Movement: Yes, he is quite a wild man these days. I think when I'm walking around it rocks him to sleep, but when I'm sitting or laying down he is very active. Last night Cam and I watched my stomach just move around, which is cool but a little freaky!

Cravings/Aversions: Kit Kats and junky stuff from Sonic. You know me...all about the healthy stuff.

What I Miss: I miss being comfortable!

Gender: A son! I still can't believe it! I don't know if it's the fact that I already have a girl, grew up with a sister myself, or secretly kinda always saw myself having two girls...but a boy is just a whole new world that I'm very excited to experience. I can't wait to see his sweet little face. I hope he looks like his Daddy. :)

Mood: I feel a little all over the place and overwhelmed. Nesting has kicked in again in full force and I feel like I need to do a billion things right this second! For example, I started Christmas shopping on Monday. This is something I fully planned to do early because I know that with having a brand new baby at home and recovering from childbirth, there won't be any time left for shopping in that month or so between babytime and Christmas. We also have a billion birthday, wedding, and baby presents to get for various things this Fall, so I just started knocking stuff out. I have ordered so many things online in the last week, it will be a small miracle if I can keep everything straight! I'm also working on getting the nursery finished up and feeling like I just can't seem to keep my house clean enough. Like I said...NESTING.

Symptoms: I've definitely hit the third trimester wall in the last few days. All that nesting I mentioned before...it's being met by a pretty strong dose of exhaustion. I'm having trouble getting out of bed in the morning. It's still so hot outside and I feel so uncomfortable. Yesterday we had a family from our Sunday School class over for dinner. I was finishing up dinner, visiting with my friend, and trying to negotiate a very clingy Claire who didn't want to to be put down so I could get everything ready to serve (fit throwing/clingyness when I'm trying to prepare food seems to be one of my daughter's specialties). Anyway, I don't know if it was just a lot going on, being dehydrated, or just plain overdoing it...but while all of this was going I started seeing black spots for about 20 minutes. I could see, but about half my vision was just spots. I didn't say anything because I didn't want to scare people, and having experienced this some during my first pregnancy, I knew I just needed to finish up, sit down, drink some water and eat. After doing that, I got to feeling better, but boy was it disorienting and a little scary! I know I need to cool it a little bit. 

In more upbeat news, I had an appointment on Tuesday and it went great! My doctor seems really happy with how everything's going. When I go back in two weeks, I'll have another growth ultrasound due to the placenta issue. It will be fun to see how our little prince is growing and changing! Another good news item is that my swelling has been so much better this week.  

Best Moment this Week: The last week is a blur somehow! I guess it'd be having a good appointment on Tuesday. 

What I'm Looking Forward to: Doing some shopping for essentials tomorrow at Babies R Us! :)