Wednesday, January 30, 2013

20 Weeks with Olivia Ruth

Yesterday I had my first appointment with one of the midwives we will be using this pregnancy. I absolutely loved her and her staff. There was no wait to see her (I have waited up to 2 hours at the doctor's office), the medical assistant called herself an MA instead of a nurse (I know that sounds silly, but it's one of my pet peeves because it is illegal, but it happens everywhere. So I was very impressed.), and she had had a water birth that she was willing to talk about and thought was amazing. 
Adam loves being held
I feel like I got big really fast. But I was measuring right at 20 weeks, and I was actually just one day shy of 21 weeks at the appointment. Olivia had a heartbeat of 132, and the midwife said she was moving around and kicking towards the doppler. The midwife did not rush at all, and talked to me a lot about the possibilities for the birth. They do delayed cord clamping, which I like. They also do immediate skin-to-skin. She talked about all the reasons someone may or may not be able to have a water birth (which my heart is not completely set on, but I would love to labor in the water at least!) I am really glad I switched, because I feel like we are on completely the same page on everything, including things that would be high risk and need a doctor or a change of plans.
20 Weeks - about to go to Ladies' Night!

We took a weekend trip down to Austin last weekend, and had a great time. Alan played a couple of church tournament basketball games (they won both, yay!), and we toured the state capital.
Matthew in blue, Adam in red. We are in the Senate Chamber.
We took our official 20 week belly picture at the Capital.

There was a beautiful, hilly, open area in front of the capital building. The boys ran and played until we had to finally leave to go back home. Great way to burn off energy before the 3 hour car ride. (They slept the entire way home)
Alan with his boys.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

It's a GIRL!!!

Adam and Matthew will have a......

We are so excited!!!

The last few days have gone by soo incredibly slowly as I waited for the day of our ultrasound. Last night I  could hardly sleep because of all my excitement and nervousness. I was so worried they would find something wrong with the baby. Then of course I wanted a girl, but didn't want to want a girl too badly, because I didn't want to feel disappointment if it were a healthy baby boy. Basically all the unknowns were driving me crazy!

This morning the hours crawled by as I waited for my 2pm appointment. Finally I met Alan at the Sam's Club next to his work, and we drove to my appointment. I was so nervous as the tech called my name and I walked into the room. I really don't know where all this nervousness came from, maybe I thought it was too much to ask to get exactly what I wanted.. a healthy baby girl. The tech wasn't very talkative, but he slowly showed us the dhead, stomach, heart, umbilical blood flow, arms and legs. I was looking for any abnormalities, but didn't see any. Then he asked us if we wanted to know what it was. Of course I said "Yes!" I tried to see for myself, but I couldn't tell. The tech calmly said, "It's a girl." I said, "yay" and grabbed Alan's and, and we smiled at each other :)

Everything looked great with the baby. She measured exactly 19 weeks, which is what I am today. Heartbeat of 136. Weight; half a pound.

I asked the tech how certain he was that it was a girl. He said, "If it's a boy, it has the wrong parts."

As we were leaving, Alan looked so happy, proud and handsome. He wanted his little girl :)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Thoughts on birth, this time around

I've started thinking a lot about giving birth to this little baby inside of me. In only 5 months I will be a mom to 3. This is very hard for me to wrap my mind around. And really, I don't want any expectations of the newborn stage this time. I don't want to think it will be complete bliss, or the complete opposite. I just hope it's easier emotionally, more restful and easier on our marriage than with the twins :)

But I've been thinking a lot about the birth. With the boys I was with a midwife group through a hospital for the first half. When they found out it was twins at 20 weeks though, they kicked me out! I found a doctor, and she did an amazing job taking care of me and delivering my twins vaginally. But I still had an epidural, pitocin to speed up labor, and my water was artifically broken.

But there is something I have always wanted to experience. Natural birth. No epidural or IV pain meds. Which means I wouldn't want pitocin (unless absolutely necessary) because of the painful contractions it causes. I wouldn't want continuous monitoring, so I could walk around. Etc, etc. But natural birth has always scared me. It means pain. But also, depending on where you deliver, it could mean nurses talking about you behind your back, which I really didn't want. If I am going to try going natural, I want to be as supported as possible, while still feeling I am not risking the baby's safety at all.

I talked to my doctor about giving birth naturally, and she was open to it. But our conversation was very brief, and she said most of her patients choose the epidural. Which is fine, but I wanted someone who had lots of experience without the epidural, because I feel like the skills/knowledge needed by the provider is so different. I also wanted the nurses to be very supportive of the idea too.

So, even though I love my doctor, I started researching. I found a hospital with a midwife group that has great reviews. They allow ambulation during labor, intermittent monitoring, and are very natural birth friendly. Then I found out they do water births. Just the thought of laboring in water made a lot of my anxiety about the pain go away. This sounds like the perfect method of natural pain relief to me! I have mixed feelings about giving birth in water. But the more I think about it, the more I like the idea, as long as they monitor the baby's heartrate so I know he/she is not in any distress. I also like the idea of giving birth in a hospital, where all emergency equipment/personnel is right on hand, so I don't have to stress about that.

Yesterday I had a meet and greet with one of the midwives at the practice. She said basically everything I wanted her to say, so I decided to switch! I have a hard time making these kind of big decisions, especially when I am worried about hurting someone's feelings (my doctor's), so this was a huge deal to me! I am excited though. Thinking about a possible water birth/natural birth has made me more excited about this pregnancy. And due to all these changes, we will be doing the anatomy ultrasound almost a week earlier than before, only 6 days left. That is also very exciting :)

Little update on the boys: Matthew had a fever the last 2 days, and has been very lethargic and cuddly. In some ways it was nice for Mommy. He started getting better around noon yesterday, and he is back to his normal, crazy self today. I felt Adam wasn't 100% before, but no fever. He seems fine today too. It has been a crazy winter today for sickness for a lot of families, so I'm thankful it wasn't more serious.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Snow Day! 12-25-12

Stinker #1 (Matthew)
Stinker #1 (Adam)

I was actually at work for the boys second experience with snow ever. The first was when they were 5 months old. Alan did a great job getting the boys out in it though!
Daddy with his boys
Since it has been in the 80's recently, Alan had to dig out all the winter gear. He couldn't find gloves, so the boys used socks for gloves.
The next morning (after I spent the night at the hospital to avoid the icy roads), I got out with the boys, and we built a tiny snowman with the snow that hadn't melted yet. (They decided to take off their gloves towards the end). It was so so cold outside!!
And for comparison.. here is the boys first and only snow day before this one. 5 months old. 2-5-11.

Pregnancy Update

I haven't written much about my pregnancy with #3 yet. Half the time I forget that I am pregnant, since Adam & Matthew keep me so busy! I feel like this third baby will just be added to the mix, and hopefully that will be a positive thing. I am hoping I will be more laid back and able to enjoy babyhood. I am so looking forward to nursing one baby at a time. Of course I am also nervous about adding a baby to a sometimes already crazy house!
This pregnancy has been harder than my first. Probably because I am chasing the twin tornadoes around. I was extrememly tired the first 14 weeks. But I used it as an excuse to take it easy and snuggle with my boys. The house got messy, and we went out to eat more, but we survived :) I remember being lazy during my twin pregnancy, but somehow the house wasn't quite as messy. I was a little more nauseous with this one during the first trimester, and much more picky about what I ate. VERY picky. Only one thing at a time really sounded good to me, and often it was different for breakfast, lunch and dinner. My nausea started getting a lot better around 12 weeks, and my energy returned around 14-15 weeks (finally). I also had stressful issues I didn't have last time. I spotted quite a bit during weeks 5-8. I was sure I was going to miscarry, but the baby hung on. Then later I thought I was leaking amniotic fluid (of course my mind goes to worst case), but that was a false alarm.

4 Weeks - Still "showing" some from the twins :P
On the balcony overlooking the Smokey Mountains in Gatlinburg, TN where we found out.
I felt the baby move for the first time at 14 weeks. I know it was the baby, and felt it off and on for the the next few weeks. I am 17 weeks now, and I feel the baby move pretty often. It is so neat :) I can't wait until baby gets a little stronger, and we can start seeing the kicks and feeling them from the outside. We find out the gender in a little over 2 weeks, and we are both so so excited to find out. I think most people know I would love a girl, but we are also okay with a houseful of boys. We are done after this one, so this little one will complete our family, no matter what the gender. 
16 Weeks - Tiny Bump!
Adam & Matthew love babies. Everything small or tiny is a baby. A tiny blueberry.. "Baby!" Tiny grape.. "baby!." Tiny ball of playdough.."Baby!". And always with a squeaky, high pitched voice. Then the normal size fruits/objects become "Momma". They know where Mommy is growing their little brother and sister, and I think they understand that baby will move into the nursery across from their room. I showed them a video of a 15-20 week baby developing in utero, and Adam understood right away. He pointed to the video, then my belly, while repeating "Baby, baby." Matthew sort of got it, but he also pointed to his own belly as well and said, "baby" :P
Alan's nickname for the baby is "Little Feti" but thankfully he hasn't nicknamed by belly (yet).
16 Weeks