Saturday, March 17, 2018

Great Strides 2018

Our 2017 Bloomington team! :-)
Great Strides season is upon us! This year, the foundation has condensed several of it's walk sites in IL, so it took me a bit to decide which one our team should attend (the two we normally do are now gone). This year we're going to try to help Champaign's walk grow with our large team.

This year is also a special year for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. This is the 30th year of Great Strides! It also happens that I'll be turning 30 years old this summer! When I was born, in 1988, I don't think anyone expected me to live this long, let alone be thriving!

Since this year marks 30 years of living, thriving and beating CF, I'd love for this to be our biggest Great Strides year yet!

*Most number of people registered
*Biggest turn out in Champaign
*Largest amount raised for CF -- our team goal is $5,000 (or more)

To reach these goals this year, I need YOUR help. If you'd like to walk with us in Champaign this year, please make sure that your register online for free:

If you're unable to attend the walk with us, but would still like to make a donation:

If you're interested in walking at another location around the state or country:

Whether you can join us or not, to help raise awareness of CF and it's need for donations, feel free to share the link on your social media with friends, family, co-workers, etc. The more we make people AWARE of CF, the more likely we are to collect DONATIONS. And as we know, DONATIONS go to RESEARCH for MEDICATIONS and hopefully one day, A CURE!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Calvin, One Month

Dear Calvin (who am I kidding, you still go by Brother about 90% of the time),

This was the fastest month ever! I feel like you've grown so much right before my eyes!

Our first month with you has already been an adventure. You came home from the hospital and were so calm and relaxed, and about 10 days in you realized this is a lot different than the last nine months in the womb. Thankfully, you only gave us a hard time for a few days. :) The last couple of weeks, you're starting to be awake more during the day and just within the last couple of days you've started to become a bit interactive. I've gotten three real smiles out of you this week and you're beginning to track things with your eyes, although you go cross-eyed quite a bit and make the funniest faces!

You are the noisiest baby I know! You grunt like no other, your cry is loud, you fart like a grown man, your burps can be quite powerful and you like to hum when you nurse or when you're relaxed. It cracks me up! One night you were humming so loud while you were nursing, you woke Daddy up. And your farts...ha! Let's just say you fit right in, buddy! :) But sometimes those farts are hard on your little body and you get so angry. You squirm, claw at your face and turn yourself red until it finally comes out. I've started burping you in the middle and at the end of your feedings which seems to have cut back on your gas lately, so that's good. Speaking of clawing at your face though, the first week or so home you scratched yourself several times, even drawing blood a couple times. Thankfully, many of your shirts and PJs have built-in mittens on the sleeves - those have been wonderful. Because you struggle to control those silly hands, swaddling you at bedtime is a must! Luckily you've been good about falling asleep without your paci because you don't hold it in very well. You usually just like it to comfort-suck.

Things you love: cuddling/being held - you love human contact (you're so my child, Daddy's calling you a mama's boy and I'm totally okay with that for now), sleeping on your tummy, being worn in the carrier, nursing

Things you don't love: being gassy, being put down, when my treatments turn off (you fall asleep every time they're going and instantly wake up when I'm done...every time!),  getting your diaper changed, getting clothes on, getting lotion on, your first bath (your second one was a little better - less tears)

This month we've done a lot more than I originally expected when I was pregnant. Although I still worry about germs, we've gone out in public quite a bit. You've been to many stores and you've met lots of people. It hasn't been too bad because you're either in your carseat under a blanket or being worn in the carrier, so your exposure to unknown human contact has been very limited. I appreciate those who have limited their contact because they weren't feeling well or had a family member not feeling well. Technically, it's still flu season, so we are still trying to stay as healthy as possible.

You have been nursing so well! You were born at 7lbs 5.5oz, went home from the hospital at 6lbs 14oz and were back up to 7lbs 1oz at just 4 days old. Now, at a month old, you weigh 9lbs, 7oz and are 21 1/4 inches long! That means you have gained 2lbs and grown almost 2 inches!
Within minutes of you being born, you were rooting around, and you latched on so well the first time that you nursed for an hour! My milk supply came in pretty quickly, Friday night into Saturday. It came in so quickly that I had to pump several times within the first week or two just to not feel so engorged. With all of that pumping, and using my Hakkaa overnight, I have 20+ ounces in the freezer already.
During the day, you typically nurse every two hours. I've been trying to get us to bed between 9:00-10:00 and you've been sleeping til about 1am which has been nice. That's usually your longest stretch, and then they get a bit shorter/closer together as we get closer to the morning.

I've been much more comfortable nursing this time around and it really helped my confidence when you just knew what to do. I've also been more comfortable this time around because while I was pregnant, I came across a clothing line called Latched Mama that makes nursing-friendly clothing. They're super cute, comfortable and make nursing discrete and easy. We've successfully nursed at Menards, Lowes, the library, JC Penny, and Barnes & Nobel thanks to my awesome nursing tops! :) Although I don't look forward to pumping when I head back to work next month, I'm hoping our nursing relationship continues to thrive and lasts a least a year.

Brother, you were a long awaited addition to our family. Everything about you being here is right. I can't wait to watch you and Anna grow up together. <3 p="">

Monday, February 26, 2018

Life With Two Kids

Calvin is just over two weeks old and I feel like he's already growing right before my eyes!

This kid loves to sleep on his belly (don't worry, we never leave him unattended)
The first week home, Calvin was so content and relaxed. He loved tummy time and it would often put him to sleep. He ate about every two hours, sometimes 3-4 hours overnight and was very easy going. Around 10 days or so, we hit a rough patch where he got really gassy and fussy in the evenings, sometimes being awake, uncomfortable and sometimes crying for hours. I was getting a bit worried that we were going to have a colicky baby on our hands, but right around two weeks old, it stopped. Just in case, we stocked up on gripe water and I made sure to burp him extra during and after feeds to help try to ease some gas. Thankfully, the last few evenings have been better....but not the overnights.

In typical newborn fashion, Calvin's been getting his days and nights mixed up. He sleeps a lot during the day, having maybe only an hour or so of awake time, and then he wants to be awake late in the evenings or even in the middle of the night. There have been a couple nights when he's been wide awake in the wee hours of the morning when I am so tired.

I definitely forgot how exhausting it can be to have a newborn at home! But man, those baby snuggles make it well worth it!! This little guy loves to be cuddled! Between feeding and changing his diaper at least every two hours, it's hard to get things done around the house, but we're adjusting.

Calvin's first trip to Menards, 4 days old
Anna has really taken to her role has big sister, especially over the last few days. When we first brought Calvin home, she was kind of indifferent to him being here. But once she realized the habits and demeanor of a newborn, she quickly learned to get excited about the little things like when he lifts his head really high during tummy time, when he smiles (even if it's just in his sleep) and when he's awake with his eyes open (she wants to take a picture every time).

She's great about helping out which has been so nice! She loves to be responsible for putting his pacifier in when he's crying or it falls out, she likes to pick out his outfit for the day or jammies, and has even helped change a couple diapers.

Tim and I are adjusting to our new roles as well. It's still weird to think we have two kids. The other day I was talking about going somewhere "with the kids" sounded so different, but so good! Anna's been learning how to be patient when she wants me to do something when I'm feeding Calvin. She's also learning that Daddy is pretty awesome at doing things with her, too. With Tim back at work, I am happy to say that I've been able to successfully get out of the house with both kids more than once - swim class when Calvin was a week old, and, of course, a Target run. :)

The first few days after having Calvin home, I wanted to be up and moving - back to normal. I forgot how much I needed to let my body recover. Monday after he was born, we took Anna to school, ran some errands and took Calvin to the doctor. On Tuesday, I felt like I got hit by a truck. I had to remind myself that my body went through a huge ordeal of childbirth and that it was going to take time to feel "normal" again. Now, about 2.5 weeks later, I'm starting to feel like a normal human being again. Calvin's nights are pretty inconsistent, so I'm learning how to survive off of broken sleep, and I'll admit that we spend a lot of time cuddling on the couch, watching TV (currently watching lots & lots of Forensic Files).

This is how we spend a lot of our time during the day :)
Overall, the last 2.5 weeks have flown by! Life as a family of four just fits. I love the way everything has been going and I'm so excited for this new chapter in our lives.
The whole family, even Archie got in on this one!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Anna - 3 1/2

It's been two weeks since you officially became 3 1/2, but Mommy was a little busy that day having your brother, so I wasn't able to get around to this post. That's right - you're a big sister now!! Calvin was born on the 8th of February which makes you two exactly three and a half years apart, to the day. :)

Meeting Calvin for the first time in the hospital
Three and a half is full of sass...still. Some days are more so than others, some days you're just as sweet as ever. You're quite opinionated when it comes to things, but I have to just remind myself that I'd rather you be striving for independence than relying on Daddy and I for everything. Sometimes I have a hard time staying patient when you're trying to get things done on your own, but I'm working on that. You amaze me every day with how much you can do and will try on your own. You're also starting to understand sarcasm which Daddy and I think is pretty awesome.
You love making silly and different faces/poses and having us take your picture, then you love to laugh at them! You remind me so much of your cousin Isaac when you do this! :)

You still love school and have finally opened up and shown your personality while you're there. Your assistant told me one day as she was getting you in the car, "I heard Anna's voice today! She went in the bathroom and just started singing!" You had no idea that anyone on the other side of the door could hear you! She said it was the cutest thing ever and she was so happy that you were finally coming out of your shell. You talk about all of the different friends you have at school, and are also learning to mimic behaviors, so we've had to talk several times about doing what's right, not what other people do....I have a feeling we're going to have that conversation a lot as you grow and learn about how to be your own person. Its fun listening to you talk about the work you do at school ("Mommy, we don't play at school, we work!") and I love seeing your papers you bring home. You love to do Play-doh, painting, writing and sometimes scooping/pouring. You know all of your letters and probably about half of your letter sounds. You can write almost all of your letters independently without a model, you're very curious how things are spelled, and you've started talking about rhyming words recently. You seem to be equal parts interested in academics, but also very creative. You love to color, draw, sing and dance.

You're adjusting to being a big sister pretty well. When you came to meet Calvin in the hospital, within about 10 seconds of seeing him, you sneezed in his face! :) You asked me to put him on the ground to see if he could crawl, and you wanted to know why he wasn't laughing when you were tickling him. You really had no clue what a newborn would be like. The first couple days at home, you were pretty indifferent to him being there, although one of the first mornings, you laid in our bed next to him and held his hand for a while - it was adorable! Every now and then, you'd stop what you were doing and run to see what he was doing. You wanted to bring him toys to hold and play with, but didn't quite understand why he wasn't interested or grabbing them from you.
After a few days, you've starting to warm up to the idea of him sticking around. You love when you get to be a "big sister" or "helper" and help out with anything -- picking out his clothes, grabbing things for me while I'm nursing, putting his paci back in for him, etc. It's sweet listening to you talk to him and I'm so excited to watch your relationship grow!

You've grown so much in just six short months, physically and independently. You're now too tall for most 3T pants, so you mostly have to wear 4T leggings. And since you're in some 4T pants, you insist on wearing ALL 4T things, so we have to remind you that some of your 3T stuff still fits -- you look at the tags and let me know what sizes things are all the time, it's pretty funny. You've also really shown some independence this fall/winter by insisting on getting yourself dressed every morning before school. You have come up with some very unique combinations, lots of layering, and sometimes you even like to style your own hair. It gets a laugh out of Daddy and I (and I'm sure your teachers love it, too!), but I figure, why not?! You think its wonderful that you can wear whatever you want and I love that you're getting yourself ready in the morning.

You've got the term "threenager" down to a tee and you keep us on our toes. Although you insist that you don't, you still need a nap in the morning to make your evenings pleasant. According to you, when you turn four, you won't have to take naps anymore and when you're six, you're going to get a wiener dog. You're already planning your fourth birthday party to be a "nail party", so we'll see if that theme sticks around for the next six months or if you decide to change it. Sass and all, I love your personality....well, I could do with a little less sass. We are so proud of you and I'm so excited to see you grow into your new roll as big sister! :)


Friday, February 16, 2018

The Day I Became A Mother, Again

Wednesday morning, I woke up with a dull ache in my back along with the lingering discomfort from the days before. At first I thought it was because I decided to wear my boots to work the day before instead of my tennis shoes, but when it was coming in random waves with contractions, I realized it could be the lovely "back labor" I've heard about.

It was a scheduled half day of school, which meant that Anna didn't have school, so Tim decided to take her to Bloomington to hang out with Grandma, Shirley, Liam and Xavier for the day. I went to work determined to make it through the half day without too much pain. Thankfully my sub had been hanging out and shadowing me for the last few weeks, so she was very willing to step in and help me out on Wednesday with the kids. I was happy when 10:40 rolled around and the students were dismissed because that just meant the rest of the afternoon was sitting around in meetings.

My contractions started to become more noticeable towards the end of the meeting, maybe around 1 or 2 o'clock. When they didn't back off, I decided to download a contraction timer on my phone and start timing them while at work around 3:00. They were coming every 8-10 minutes, lasting about 30-45 seconds. I ended up staying at work til about 4pm, just getting a few things together (but mostly talking to my teacher friends). When I got home, the contractions continued, and my friend Kristen, who's studying to become a doula, recommended I take a warm bath to see if that changed anything. The contractions remained steady, still about 8-10 minutes apart and it was getting closer to 5 o'clock.

Since Tim still wasn't home from Bloomington and I knew it took him an hour to get home, I decided I should probably let him know that I was having contractions for the last several hours. I also decided to contact my doctor to let them know. I really didn't want to get my hopes up that this really was labor. My OB said it sounded like I was in "early labor" and she wanted me to come in and get checked since I lived so far away and active labor could begin at any time (or not at all). I let her know that Tim wouldn't be home for at least another hour and that we'd come in as soon as he got home. I was torn between getting excited and thinking we were heading to the hospital for no reason and that they'd send me home.

The contractions started picking up a bit in intensity while I waited for Tim to come home. Thank goodness Kristen was there to coach me through everything, even if it was by phone. She gave me tips on how to handle the pain of back labor and what positions might be helpful. This was all new to me because I didn't have this type of labor with Anna.

Tim dropped Anna off with my friend Natalie, on his way home from Bloomington. Anna wasn't too excited about not coming home, but Natalie assured us that she was fine as soon as Tim left. When he got home, we made sure to have everything we needed in case we ended up staying at the hospital. I was not looking forward to the drive because sitting through the contractions and back labor was very uncomfortable. At home, I had been walking and then leaning against something during contractions because that's what felt the best. My contractions moved up to about 4-5 minutes apart on the way to the hospital - I was starting to feel like this was the real deal.

When we got to the hospital around 7:30-8, I made Tim park in the parking garage so that I could walk a bit to the entrance, hopefully to progress things along. Thankfully, since I had contacted my OB, they knew I was coming and check-in was pretty quick. The wheeled me up to the labor & delivery floor and put us in a triage room. I wasn't officially admitted to the hospital yet, I was just there to be monitored to see if I really was in labor. They hooked me up to the monitor, checked my cervix (3 cm) and watched my contractions for a little while. I was super uncomfortable just sitting in the bed, so I finally asked if I could be unhooked from the monitor so I could walk around. The staff was great and very supportive of me doing whatever I needed to do to be comfortable. With my beautiful hospital gowns on, Tim and I walked the halls for a while. I leaned against the handrail on the wall whenever I had a contraction and Tim rubbed my lower back to help distract me from the pain. I don't know how many laps we made around the floor, but it was working. My contractions continued and when I got tired of walking, we went back to the triage room and I sat on a labor ball which helped a lot. After being there for about 2 hours, they checked me again and I was 4cm dilated, so they decided to admit me and put me in a real labor/delivery room! I was SO excited! After roaming those halls and feeling the labor progressing, I told Tim, "they are not sending me home feeling like this!" There was no hesitation from them after they checked me, so that was good. The nurse was going to wheel me down to the labor room, but I asked to walk so that I could keep everything progressing. We had to stop a couple times along the way, but we made it to the other end of the hall into room 318.

They hooked me up to the monitor again, so I sat on the labor ball and continued to labor while they began getting everything ready. It took three nurses and four pokes to get my IV in (that sucked), but once it was in, I had to get through at least 1/2 a bag of fluid before they would come do my epidural. The anesthesiologist came in around midnight or 12:30 to get my epidural started. I was so ready for some relief! Getting the epidural itself wasn't too bad - some stinging and some poking, but I knew it would be worth it. The anesthesiologist told me it would start working soon....but soon never came! After an hour, I only had some tingling from my knees down. The anesthesiologist was surprised, but had an idea. He decided to put a different, stronger medication through the epidural to see if that would work. He said it should be working within 10-20 minutes. After 20 minutes, nothing. My legs were feeling a bit tingly and a little heavy, but I could still feel every contraction. I was getting SO frustrated and exhausted. We decided it was time to pull the current epidural and try a second one. When the nurse helped me move, my legs started feeling different - heavier. It was like it was slowly starting to work. My contractions were fading! The anesthesiologist waited in the room for a few minutes and since things were looking like they were working, we decided not to start a new epidural. The anesthesiologist was completely baffled by what was going on, saying he's never seen anything like this before. I was just glad to finally have some relief. Since they had the epidural working, they gave me some Pitocin through my IV to try to help me keep progressing.

Unfortunately, the relief didn't last very long. Slowly, the feeling of my contractions started coming back. I called for the nurse and she decided that I needed to keep switching the side I was laying on in order for the epidural to be effective. I was miserable laying in the bed and I was starting to have intense pain in the left side of my pelvis, right under my hip. They thought it was just the way the baby was positioned. After flipping back and forth forever, I think I was around 6cm. I couldn't handle the pain anymore and asked if I could go on my hands and knees. The nurse seemed a bit reluctant, but I was desperate to try anything for some relief. She and another nurse got me situated on my hands and knees, Tim rubbed my back when the pain was really bad, and I just stayed in this position for a little while (maybe 30-45 mins?) hoping it would help. After a while, the pain/pressure was terrible. They decided to flip me over and check me -- I was 10 cm and Brother was right there, ready to come! I WAS SO RELIEVED! I couldn't wait to meet him after this long night of labor!

The nurses got everything set up - my legs in the stirrups, the mirror pulled down, and everything ready for the doctor. I was so excited! They told me as soon as I felt some pressure, I could push. I think before I even started pushing, I could see his head a bit. With that first push, I could definitely see the top of his head. The nurses were very encouraging and after 3 pushes, baby was here!!! They placed him on my chest and I was in awe! I couldn't believe how tiny he was and what an adorable round little face he had.

They let me hold him for a few minutes while they worked on getting my placenta out. It was still up quite a ways, so they needed to push on my tummy to help get it out. The nurse took Brother to get measured and weighed while they worked on me. It took longer than expected because when it finally did come out, it wasn't all there. After lots of pushing on my belly (not numb) and digging around (numb, thankfully), they were able to get all of the pieces. While they were doing this, Tim was holding the baby and I was just staring at his cute little face on the mirror. I tossed around both name choices we had, in my head, and decided that he definitely looked like a Calvin. It just fit.

When they were done working on me, Tim was able to give the baby back to me. He immediately started rooting around, so I was able to start nursing him right there - it was so cool! He knew exactly what to
do. Over the next hour, he nursed while Tim and I agreed (pretty easily) that his name would be Calvin. *We never discussed middle names during my pregnancy, so his middle name was discussed over the next day or so and only decided on about a 1/2 hour before we were discharged.

Calvin Ronald was born on Thursday, February 8th at 5:16am. He weighed 7lbs 5.5oz and is 19.5 inches long.

The rest of the morning went smoothly. Surprisingly the crappy epidural took forever to wear off in my legs. Slowly we started calling, texting, and notifying family and friends. Because Calvin was so healthy, he was able to stay with us in the room, which was really nice and started our breastfeeding off very, very well. Although my labor was long, painful and exhausting, the fact that I only had to push three times made the ending a lot happier. :)

**Fun Facts: Anna and Calvin both came on their own at 39 weeks exactly. They were both born on the 8th of the month and within the same hour of each other. They are exactly 3 1/2 years apart.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

38 Weeks

Thursday, February 1 - 38 weeks
This is it, Brother! We're in the homestretch! You did excellent on your ultrasound today - you were breathing a lot, way head down and facing my back. The tech said "baby knows how to exit!" After the ultrasound, I met with the nurse practitioner who checked my cervix. She said I'm about 2-3 centimeters dilated, that my cervix felt a lot lower than two weeks ago, and she could even feel your head. I asked her if she could help move things along a bit, so she went back in a swept my membranes. This means she tried to separate the fluid sac from the uterine lining. Sometimes this helps encourage contractions and labor, so I'm hoping it'll work for us. Since having that done this afternoon, I've had several contractions and some cramping. But now that I've been sitting for a bit tonight after doing my treatments, it's seems to have slowed down. Part of me wants to go straight to bed, another part of me wants to walk around the house to get things moving again. I'm just so antsy to meet you! We'll see how it goes tonight...

Oh, and how could I forget?! Your cousin, Adler, was born this afternoon!! I'm so excited to watch you two grow up together with your other cousins. :)

Friday, February 2 - 38w, 1d
Well, unfortunately nothing happened overnight except me being uncomfortable while I slept. I'm still having some bloody, mucus-y discharge every now and then, so maybe being up and moving at work today will get things going.

Sunday, February 4 - 38w, 3d
I'm still pregnant! All signs of labor beginning have tapered away. I've given up that you're going to make your appearance this weekend. I'm still really uncomfortable, but planning on trying to keep busy today to keep my mind off of not going into labor, and maybe tricking my body into go into labor, haha! Either way, I have five more days of work and just over a week until you're being evicted, so there is an end in sight! Daddy and I have also narrowed your name choices down to two, which is kind of exciting. Now to discuss a middle name....

Monday, February 5 - 38w, 4d
I had my last non-stress test today which was fairly uneventful. I did have about 4 contractions in the half an hour I was hooked up, but they didn't seem to care. I also had them every eight minutes on the drive back home, but then slowed down once I was up and moving for the evening. Even if you decide not to come on your own, it's very reassuring to know that you'll be in our arms in a week! I'm actually starting to look forward to the induction because I know the end result will be SO worth it, even if I don't necessarily want to be induced.

Today also marks one year since our twin boys were born and left this earth. I thought about them quite a bit today, and a lot over the weekend. It's hard to believe an entire year has gone by since we were able to see their faces, hold their tiny little bodies, and kiss their little heads. I'm really glad that Brother did not make his appearance today because I really wanted our boys to have separate birthdays. I'm also very thankful that this pregnancy has been going so much smoother than theirs. It's wonderful to see that my body still knows what to do after such a tragedy. Not a day goes by that I don't think about those two little sweet faces. I am so happy to have their footprints permanently on my body to remind me of our two boys who are no longer with us, but never, ever forgotten.

Tuesday, February 6 - 38w, 5d
It's been a rough day for me. I woke up feeling very uncomfortable and basically remained that way all day. Brother was sitting super low, so I tried to balance sitting down at work for comfort, but walking/standing to try to help convince him to come luck. This evening I tried to take a bath to relax, but with a 3 1/2 year old in the house, that didn't go over so well. I spent the next hour or so trying to catch up on work and homework -- got all of my work caught up, not so much my homework that's due Sunday night. I am SO ready to have this baby! Three more days of work this week and then we just have to get through the weekend. Monday cannot come soon enough right now!

Sunday, February 4, 2018

One Year Later

As we are approaching the one year mark of losing the twins, I can't help but feel many mixed emotions.

Some days I still am in disbelief that this even happened.

Some days, like earlier this week, the grief comes over me so strong (even if just for a few seconds) that it hurts.

Some days I feel content and know that there was nothing anyone could have done.

Some days I get angry because I used to believe "everything happens for a reason" and this did not.

Some days I sit and wonder how our lives would be different right now if the boys were born later in the pregnancy and lived. How would we be handling two mobile babies? How messy would our house really be with toys? Would Anna be an amazing big sister, or going a little crazy trying to keep up with them? Or would Tim and I be going a little crazy, too?!

Some days, I relive the day they were born and the guilt comes back full-fledge.

Some days I wonder why our family just wasn't allowed to keep these babies?

I still struggle with the though of how many children do we have? Two? Four?

Some days I just look down at my tattoos and smile. I remember our little babies and am thankful for the opportunity to hold them before we had to let them go.

Some days people see my tattoos for the first time and ask about them. When I explain, they awkwardly apologize.

Not all days are bad. But there is not a single day that goes by that I don't think about the two children we lost.

Tomorrow marks one year since our twin boys were born and left us. It's been a long year, but also it's flown by so fast. It's crazy to think what our family has been through, but we are so lucky to have the support system we do to help us through.

This weekend will always weigh heavy on my heart, for the rest of my life. I hope, as the years go by, the pain will change somehow - maybe, more to hope, more to love, but today and tomorrow, I'm going to think about those sweet little boys, their tiny little faces, fingers, toes and bodies. I'm going to soak up every little squirm and movement from Brother reminding me that he's safe inside my belly, even if just for a few more days. I'm going to be extra thankful for the family I have and hug my baby girl just a little bit tighter. <3 nbsp="" p="">

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

36 & 37 Weeks

Thursday, January 18 - 36 weeks!
9 months pregnant, here we are! I didn't know if this day would ever come again for me after having the twins so early. I didn't know if my cervix would ever be able to carry another baby to term, but we've made it (technically, full term is next week, but still). I can't wait to see how big you are today, they're finally measuring you again. A month ago you were estimated to be just over 4lbs. I wouldn't be surprised if your'e right around 6lbs today, we'll see. A lot of people have commented on how big I've gotten over the last couple weeks, so you're definitely growing enough that people are noticing.

Thankfully, I'm still feeling pretty good. I have to waddle whenever I walk, but I'm really not that uncomfortable while at work. I've been pretty good about balancing my sitting, standing and walking around which helps. I just have to make sure I wear comfortable shoes, otherwise my back does begin to hurt after a while. Sleeping hasn't been too terrible - I think I'm just getting used to having to turn over several times a night. It's very uncomfortable if I wake up on my back, so I try my best to stay on my side all night. I just have to flip (which is a process!) back and forth all night because my hips get sore. My contractions are still very inconsistent, but I've noticed over the last day or two they are getting a little lower in my uterus and a little more uncomfortable. Brother is also getting so big that he sometimes stretches and/or kicks way down in my hips which does not feel good. Really though, these are all pretty small things. I am very happy that I am still able to work and plan to work up until I go into labor, basically. I've even joked with my coworkers about my water breaking at school! I'm going to start keeping mine & Brother's hospital bags in my car, I think, just in case that really does happen.

Friday, January 19 - 36w, 1d
We had a good appointment yesterday, Brother! I've gained about 16lbs this pregnancy and it seems like a good portion of that is you right now! You passed your biophysical profile - you were moving a ton during the ultrasound, practicing your breathing and you had a good level of fluid. The ultrasound tech also took your measurements and you're estimated weight is already over six pounds (6lbs 8oz, 64th percentile)!! Now, I know that ultrasounds are not the most accurate, and I did ask for a tech who could speed through my ultrasound yesterday because I had to get Anna to swim. I'm guessing you're closer to just six pounds right now, but we'll see. Either way, you're growing very well and the doctor said that you'd be just fine if you were born any time now.

After the ultrasound, they did my Group B strep test (a swab down below) and then she checked my cervix. She said it was way back there, but it's about half way thinned out and about one centimeter dilated. She said if she pushed a little harder, she probably could have felt your head, but she didn't want to make me too uncomfortable. You were way head down during your ultrasound, so that's good, too.

There's been talk of inducing me a little early due to my gestational diabetes, but I'm still on the fence about it. Although it would be nice to have an "ending date", I'd really like you to come on your own when you're ready. But, on the other hand, the doctor said that if we wait too long, it could cause some complications due to the gestational, you're already getting big (but they are not concerned about your size, you are not "too big" right now). So, it's a discussion that we will continue each week at my appointments and just kind of see how things are going. I was scheduled for an induction with Anna and never ended up needing it because she came on her own, and I'd really like the same for you, but we'll see. Either way, you'll be here in just a matter of weeks!! :)

Friday, January 26 - 37w, 1d
37 weeks seems so close to the end, yay! As usual, I had an appointment yesterday and, as usual, you're doing great. Your head was way down low so there was no chance of seeing your little face. Your booty is up high and always wiggling around. Your fluid level still looked good, you were moving like crazy and practicing your breathing -- everything you're supposed to be doing.

I'm still hanging in there, luckily, still not terribly uncomfortable. I'm big, I'm waddling, but I'm not in pain. I'm just inpatient and ready to hold you!! My contractions have continued, but still irregularly. A couple days this week, I thought I might have been dripping some fluid, but it turns out I might have just been dripping some pee instead...oh the joys of the end of pregnancy!

My group B came back positive (did with Anna, too), so I'll be sure to get a round of antibiotics during my labor to help keep you healthy during delivery. We have an induction date set - I reluctantly agreed. Originally they wanted it to be at 39 weeks, but I pushed back a little and we compromised for a few days later. Doctors do not want me going past my due date because the risk of you being stillborn increases because of my gestational diabetes and my need for insulin. As I've mentioned before, as much as I can't wait to see you and hold you, I really don't want to have to be induced. I'm worried it'll not work or lead to a c-section. I voiced my concerns, but my doctors feel I'll do well with an induction because my body is already (very slowly) beginning to prepare for labor and because I've had a successful vaginal delivery in the past. So, if you could come on your own any time now, I'd be totally okay with that! :)

I'm very lucky to have an awesome maternity leave sub who's going to fill in for me while I'm gone at work. She's been coming in to watch me, get to know the kids better, and see what we're doing for the last week or so. It's wonderful having an extra set of hands around sometimes, and it's been really nice getting everything set for her. Unfortunately, I'll only be able to take six weeks off because that's all I have sick time for. So really, the later Brother comes, the better for me because it'll get my maternity leave that much closer to backing up to spring break.

Wednesday, January 31 - 37w, 6d
Tomorrow is officially baby month! I am so ready! Last night I was having inconsistent contractions for a couple hours, but eventually they slowed down and disappeared overnight. Brother felt a lot lower this morning and I was pretty uncomfortable at work today for the first time. I'm hoping the contractions keep up so that he can make his appearance soon. :) Tomorrow I am going in for my scheduled appointment and the NP should be checking my cervix. I'm hoping that'll help get things moving along, too.