Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Abrielle at 5 months!

Oh Abbi.... how are you so big?

You're five months old!
- You wear size 2 diapers.
- You wear strictly 6-9 month clothes, with some 12 month sleepers and outfits
- You wear a size 1 shoe, on that very narrow foot of yours!
- You're VERY close to sitting on your own!
- You sleep 80% of the night with Mommy and Daddy still. We start you in your crib, but you really only stay there about an hour.
- You take 3-4 naps a day.
- You nurse every hour to every hour and a half.
- You are JUST now starting to look interested when we eat around you.
- You LOVE chewing on Sophie the Giraffe, and playing with your Lamaze giraffe we bought.
- You are entranced by your sister. You simply adore her!
- Your shirt/onesie is constantly soaked to your belly button in slobber. You are the droolingest baby!
- You are still toothless, and I have a feeling that you'll follow your sisters foot steps!
- You like staying up late with Mommy.
- You really just like Mommy in general.
- You squeal and carry on constantly.
- You still make ADORABLE grunting noises when you want to nurse.
- You smile with your WHOLE body. You get excited all over.
- Abrielle, you aren't the best sleeper in the world. You nap pretty fantastic, but when it comes to bed time, you sleep very lightly and nurse 50 times during the night.

You are beautiful, perfect, and the snuggliest baby around. We wouldn't be complete without you. You're growing SO fast, yet I can't wait to see how different you are from your sister as you get older. Love you Abbi Jean.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Keevia 2.5 year post

Keevia, how are you two and a half?

You weigh about 30 lbs and are 34 inches tall. Who knows how big your head is, but it is hard to get 4t shirts over your head at times...

You wear size 5 diapers and are ALMOST potty trained! You can go all day at home without having an accident, but you still wear diapers at night and pull ups when we go out.

You wear 2t shorts and pants and 3t-4t shirts. You're so long waisted!

You have the biggest vocabulary. I couldn't even put a number on it. You speak in full sentences, and usually full paragraphs. You know things that just blow my mind.

You can say, and identify all your ABC's and numbers up til 20.

You know your colors and shapes (even some shapes Mommy doesn't know!).

You LOVE playing outside, and are completely fearless. I have to watch you like a hawk because you'll just do/go wherever!

Around the time Abrielle was born you began going to bed in your bed by yourself. We take a shower or a bath, put your jammies on, get a sippy and a paci, and read two stories. Then I turn out the lights and "sit in that chair" until you fall asleep. Bedtime is so much easier!

You are absolutely the BEST big sister. If Abbi is crying you go to her and say "It's okay Baby Abbi... I'm here.. It's okay... I'm here" over and over. You love on her, you talk to her.... you are just wonderful!

You ADORE to draw. We have a big easel in the living room and you play with it several times a day!

You still ride rear-facing in your carseat.

You are currently obsessed with cheese sandwiches. You make cute little "mmmm, mmmm" sounds with every bite.

You still have three molars to pop through.

You love to read. Or, well, to be read to.

You simply adore Blues Clues, Fresh Beat Band, Pocoyo, Mickey Mouse Club House, Dinosaur Train... and many others.

You're turning into a very big Daddy's girl, and that makes Mommy very happy!

All around, you are the sweetest, most loving little girl. You want to please, and very rarely have to be disciplined. You adore your sister and are very gentle with her. You're becoming more and more outgoing (You go around Wal-Mart saying "Hi! I'm Keevia! I'm 2"). You love Mommy snuggles, even when you don't want to be worn much any more. I'll love you for always my baby.

Abrielle's 2 Month post (way late!)

Abbi! You're two months old (or, well, now you're 2 and a half months old, but I'll try and remember two months stats, ha!)

You weigh 11lbs and 7oz. You are 24 1/2 inches long! Which means your the average weight of a two month old, height of a three month old, and head circumference of a three and a half month old!

You still fit in your 0-3 month clothes, but not the sleepers! You're soooooo long! You have the longest legs and arms (and fingers and toes!). (and at 2.5 months old you're basically in all 3-6 month clothing).

You've JUST started sleeping in the crib for a few hours at night. But only when you sleep in the crib, and not the co-sleeper. So you made your poor, poor daddy take the crib apart and move it into our room. :)

You love to be held. In fact, you demand it.

Mommy cannot eat hot wings. Your belly does not approve of them at all.

Mamaw apparently has nails and spikes on her chest and lap, because whenever she gets you for some reason, you scream bloody murder.

You've started to get colicky, and really like to be in Mommys arms or nursing from 7pm on.

You love taking baths with your big sister!

You've started cooing and laughing, and squealing occasionally!

You still wear size 1 disposable diapers, but you're starting to grow out of your newborn/small cloth diapers. You tolerate cloth better than Keevia did! (At 2.5 months old you're juuuuuust about grown out of size 1 diapers as well...)

You still don't like to be cold. At all. Where I had to dress Keevia as cool-ly as possible, I have to dress you warmer than I would think.

You'll take a pacifier (MAM) but not as much as K did!

You're the sweetest, snuggliest little girl, and I cannot imagine my life without you!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

We're still alive!!

Hey everyone!

We're still alive! I swear!

Abbi is 8 weeks old as of yesterday. HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE? She's doing fantastically. Still a super easy baby. She's in 3-6 month sleepers already! Growing like a WEED.

Keevs is in the middle of her 2 year molars. She has two through and two to go. I am SO READY for them to be through! In the midst of this, however, she has started going to bed SO EASILY!

I have a ton of posts in my head, but hardly any time to sit down and write. I'd love to blog about our breastfeeding journey thus far as its been...challenging to say the least. But we're still doing it! I also need to talk about my COMPLETE baby carrier stash churn and how I've gone from Soft Structured Carriers to wraps and ring slings! I also want to talk about my wheat-free lifestyle and how its lead to weightloss, and helping my PCOS. Plus I need to spit out a 2.5 year post for Keevia and a 2 month post for Abrielle!

To tide you over, for your viewing pleasure...

Monday, March 12, 2012

Polar Opposites

I realize I may look back on this post in the months to come and laugh my tuckus off, but as for right now Abbi and Keevia are complete and utter polar opposites.

Abrielle was SO active in utero, and now that she's out she is the calmest, quietest baby EVER. She cries when she's getting a diaper change (sometimes) and occasionally when some gas crosses her stomach... but other than that, she makes little whimper noises. Keevia screamed. Constantly. Our entire hour and a half car ride home from the hospital was a complete scream fest with Keevia, while Abrielle NEVER MADE A SOUND.

Keevia is super long waisted, with short(er) legs (and a honking huge head). Abrielle has a normal sized torso and looooooooooooong legs (and long fingers and long toes)(and a huge honking head).

I can put Abrielle in the bouncer awake, and she will fall asleep. To date, (I'm not even joking here people) excluding a very few rides in the swing, Keevia has fallen asleep outside of someones arms TWICE. Both of those times were watching TV. She did FINALLY learn how to fall asleep in the car after she hit 6 months, but those first 6 months had me singing to her, rocking the carseat... basically doing anything I could to get her to sleep.

Abrielle sleeps like her father (read: the dead), Keevia sleeps like me (read: any noise within a 1 mile radius can wake her up).

Keevia took a pacifier (voraciously) from day one. Abrielle will (sometimes) take one in the car, or in the middle of the night when she doesn't really want to nurse but has that need to suck.

Keevia nursed every hour to every hour and a half. Abrielle nurses every 2-3 hours (this may have something to do with the fact that I nurse them differently. I didn't ever do ten minutes on side A then switch to side B for the remainder of the feeding with Abbi. I offer one breast, let her nurse as long as she wants, burp her, then offer the second breast if she wants it. If not, I start the next feeding on the second breast. I had oversupply issues/milk imbalance issues with Keevia, and I think a good bit of the screaming she did was because of belly ache).

Keevia wouldn't let ANYONE but CLOSE family hold her from day 1. Abrielle could care less who has her as long as Mommy gets her back to nurse.

All in all, Abbi seems to just be a calmer baby. I've said numerous times in the (*SOB*) almost two weeks she has been here that I didn't realize how high maintenance of a baby Keevia was until I had Abbi. I could NEVER have considered laying Keevia in a bouncy seat and taking a shower, and with Abbi I would have zero qualms about it. And it's not just a second time mother thing, it's totally a child's temperament thing!

I can't wait to see how Abrielle grows and changes... like I said, I could be laughing in a few months!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Abbi's Birth Story

Abbi's birth story is a long one. Prodromal labor kind of indicates that, but hers was almost annoyingly so. Still, we got the best present at the end. :)

On Friday, February 24th, I went in for my 37/38 week appointment with my midwife. My blood pressure and weight were fine, and Abbi's heart beat and fundal height were measuring perfectly. Melissa (my midwife) checked my cervix. The previous week I had been a 3 and now I was a 4, 75% effaced and had "bulging waters". She asked if I wanted my membranes stripped, and I said yes. I know there's controversy about stripping membranes, but living almost two hours from the hospital, I usually choose to have it done so I'll at least be closer if I do go into labor. I started having stronger contractions (I was having contractions constantly, but they weren't strong enough to be considered active labor) almost immediately.

We shopped a little, then headed to the Winchester Wal-Mart. While walking around, I began to feel like I was leaking fluid. The contractions were every 4-7 minutes apart, and I continued leaking. I called Carl and told him to head to Lexington and we went to the hospital to be checked.

Initially I tested positive for broken membranes. However, the nurse checked the stuff on her gloves that was closer to my cervix and it tested negative, so she had me pee in a cup and my pee tested positive (meaning my urine was as alkaline as amniotic fluid normally is). However, I was still having the strongest contractions to date. She checked me again after an hour or so, and I had progressed from 4cms to 5cms. The first time she checked me she said that she didn't feel bulging waters, but the second time she checked me she said that she did. They gave me the option of going to my sisters house for a bit and coming back when I was more "in labor" (letting Carl sleep some and me eat something), or stay at the hospital. We chose to go to my sisters. They "reserved" the room (with the TUB!) for me for a few hours, because they just knew I'd be back in the wee hours of the morning.

We went back to my sisters, I ate a bowl of oatmeal and took a long shower. I then laid down to "try" and sleep.

I woke up several times throughout the night with contractions, but nothing regular. Mom said (because she slept with me) that she could hear my breathing change and get faster, and she assumed that was when I was having one. I woke up around 9-10 the next morning and was only having my very minimal contractions.

Both Carl and Melissa wanted me to walk around some before heading home, so Mom, Keevia and I went to the mall for a few hours. I never had much of any more leaking, and the contractions I had were my usual ones, with very few strong ones thrown in. We called it a day a few hours later and headed back to my sisters. We started packing up to go home, and I went to use the bathroom before we left.

Holy lots of bloody show, Batman.

We decided to stay another night. Carl went out and got a big exercise ball, and I spent the evening bouncing away. Nothing. Went to bed and got up the next morning...still nothing. We went to Cracker Barrel for breakfast, where I had more bloody show. Frustrated, we headed home.

We literally hit our hometowns city limits and I started having stronger contractions. I had strongish contractions all that evening and the next day. I called my midwife on Monday afternoon to ask about the continual bloody show I was having (it was mainly mucousy with streaks of blood), and she asked to see me on Tuesday instead of Friday (when my next appointment was).

So, Tuesday morning we got up and headed back to Lexington. We got to her office around 10am. Again, weight, blood pressure, fundal height and heartbeat were all perfect. I had progressed to 6cms and was 80%+ effaced. She said my cervix was SO super soft she didn't see how I hadn't had a baby.

We decided, that since I was already 6cms dilated, and my body was so ready, and I lived 2 hours away, that we would go ahead and break my water. I called Carl and told him to head our way, then we went out to grab something to eat and some fruit and snacks for the delivery room. We got to the hospital, got checked in, and started getting settled in the room. Unfortunately the tub room was occupied.

Carl didn't get there until after 2pm because of a double wide trailer that was PUT TOGETHER traveling down the mountain parkway. There was no way for him to pass. My midwife was super understanding though and said she'd come and break my water once he got there. She got held up herself, so my water wasn't broken until about 3:30-4.

Funny story. I didn't have much water to break. Like, at all. I barely wet a chuck, and it took several, several tries to break it. My Momma thinks that it actually did at least leak on Friday. I don't know. I know that either the breaking of the water, the cervical manipulation, or SOMETHING catapulted me into much harder labor. 

I had a super sweet nurse who put me on the monitors directly after my water was broken for about 20 minutes. She then came in and started talking to us about books and Kindles, and Nooks while I bounced away on the birthing ball. I began noticing I had to reaaaaally concentrate to get through a contraction. I really only wanted to be sitting on the toilet because I felt like I needed to pee constantly.

I don't think Mom or Carl either one really realized how fast the contractions were getting more painful. Mom was talking to someone on the phone and was talking about how they were getting "a little harder". I remember thinking " freaking hurt..." and Carl was ordering a pizza (and asking me if I wanted any....). An hour after my water was broken, the nurse came in and monitored me again (just Abbi's heartbeat for 1 minute. LOVE THAT HOSPITAL). As soon as she was done, I stripped off and got in the shower.

The contractions were much more managable in the shower. I either sat on the chair in there, or stood with the water hitting my back. A week or so before I had watched this video that a doula friend of mine had posted on Facebook, and being very, very musical I decided to give it a try. I began singing any hymn I could think of. I sang "Just a Closer Walk With Thee", "Amazing Grace", my favorite "Come Thou Fount" and more. Literally anything that popped in my mind I started singing. And it worked. It worked very, very well. If I sang, I didn't notice the contraction as much. If I didn't sing it was muuuuuuuuuuuch harder to concentrate through it. I stayed in the shower for over an hour (the nurse came with a handheld doppler and checked me while I was in there!). I only got out because I was starting to get very, very hot, the contractions were beginning to come on top of one another, and I couldn't sing through them anymore. I was pretty sure I was in transition.

I got out and had them move the bed so that I could lean on my hands and knees. ALL of my pain was right over my bladder area, and it was agonizing. There for about 10 minutes I was having contractions on top of one another, and then they slacked off to about every 3 minutes. The pain at this point was almost unbearable. My Mom started pushing on my low back (even though I wasn't having back labor like last time) and the pressure or something made it bearable again. Funny thing was that my chiropractor (who had came in about this time) couldn't do it like Momma could. I was checked somewhere in here and was at a 8 or a 9. My midwife told me the way I was sitting might actually be putting MORE pressure on that area of my stomach, so I moved onto my left side. I tried to rest as best I could between contractions. Looking back, I think I was ready to push here, but I didn't really have a strong urge. I weathered several contractions on my left side, and finally started sobbing that I couldn't do it anymore. My midwife recommended that I start pushing and see if that helped.

Oh, sweet relief. If I pushed through a contraction the pain went away. They got things ready, and I started REALLY pushing. In about 2 pushes she was crowning and I began feeling the ring of fire. I started pushing steadily and gently (when the midwife told me to) and then around 2 big pushes later, she was out! I didn't have any ripping or tearing again!

They laid her on my chest and started cleaning her off. She was slightly reluctant to cry, but they got one out of her pretty quickly. Throughout the entire birth I didn't really have very much fluid at all come out.

Keevia was in the room the entire time. Mom says that when it started getting intense she handed K her iPhone and Keevia climbed up on the couch, with her back to me, and watched Blues Clues. Either right before I gave birth or right after, I started crying, and she got a little upset that Mommy was crying... So Mom picked her up, and she was fine. I remember her going "That's Baby Abbi!" as Abbi was laid on my chest.

We delayed cord clamping until the cord had stopped pulsing, and then we snuggled with Abbi a little longer. I delivered the placenta with no pitocin and it was MUCH more pleasant than when I delivered it with pitocin with Keevia.

Because she came SO quickly (about 4 hours after my water was broken) and in only 4-5 pushes, she was bruised to pieces. She had broken blood vessels in her eyes, bruising on her eyes, nose and forehead, and big bruises across her back. I'm a mean old Mommy. They took her and weighed and measured her, then brought her back and she latched right on to nurse. She nursed about four times in the next two hours.

All in all, it was a much less painful birth than Keevias. With K's birth I kind of hypnotized myself and was silent. I was much more vocal with this birth (I even asked for a C-Section when she was crowning), but I was able to be more aware. I was more vocal because I could BE more vocal. If I opened my eyes with K I started hyperventilating. I was able to reach down and feel Abbi's hair and head as she came out this time. I think a lot of my pain was from being ready to deliver, but she just hadn't dropped fully. When I started pushing, I dropped her myself. Melissa had told my Mom and Carl while I was in the shower that she could stretch my cervix to a 10 when she broke my water, it was THAT soft.

I don't regret them breaking my water at all. I went so quickly it would have been difficult for us to get to the hospital if it had broken at home (especially if I had dilated more before then!) and almost impossible for Carl to get there. I have a beautiful healthy baby, and I couldn't be happier. I honestly never felt like I had a baby at all. The only real pain I felt after birth was from my tailbone, I think I pushed it out a little.

So there it is. If you read it in its entirety you deserve a medal! Ha!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Meet the new Diva!

On February 28th (yes, I know, I'm a horrible person because that was 8 days ago...), miss Abrielle Jean made her debut.

She weighed in at 7lbs 10oz, and was 20 inches long. I was 38 weeks on the nose.

She's absolutely perfect in every way. I think God smiles down on parents and makes the second child much easier than the first....that or I'm in trouble as she grows a little more :) Keevia absolutely adores her, and was telling everyone that came in our hospital room that that was her "Ittle sister!" I am so, SO blessed by my girls.

Her birth story is in the works and coming soon!

Monday, February 20, 2012

I'm still pregnant

Most of my contractions are manageable... in fact, they've slacked off SOME. Friday I was having quite a few strong ones (why is it already a Friday?) and I have, in fact (cover your eyes if you get grossed out easily) lost my mucus plug over the past few days. I got all excited because I lost a big piece this morning and then started having like crampy contractions and I was all "THIS IS IT!" but it wasn't. Sad face.

I'm really torn right now between desperately wanting her to hurry up and come, and wanting to soak up these last few days of Keevia being an only child. I'm SO ready to meet her and snuggle her and nurse her and wear her.... but Keevia is my baby too. And her life is about to forever change. For the good, but it's going to be a huge change.

Carl and I got to get outside with K some today (we had the first REAL snow of the year last night) and take her sledding some. It was nice to be outside, just the three of us. She had a BLAST and I wish (only for her sake!) that the snow would have stayed around a little longer. I detest winter, but I remember how much fun it was as a kiddo. Honestly, I swear she had fun. She FREAKED OUT when Carl first sent her down the hill, but a few minutes later she was going "We try again?" Then she and Carl both got snowballs to throw at Mommy, and everytime they threw them, she'd go "Try AGAAIN??". Her little personality is just SO huge. And she really is the sweetest kid. If she thinks she's upset you, or she thinks that she's done something wrong she goes "OH I sawwie Mommy! I so sawwie!" If SHE gets hurt and you say something about it, she apologizes! She also picks up her toys, a lot of times, without being asked. I call her my little Monica (from Friends). I don't know how we lucked out with her, I honestly don't.

I also worry about how much I'll compare the girls. Babygirl#2 (I want SO BADLY to tell y'all her name, but we're still semi indecisive about it, so I'm not announcing it here or on Facebook until we've named her). doesn't seem to be quite as sensitive to noises in utero as Keevia was, but she also seems to be WAY more active. I remember Keevia kicking and moving, but she never kept me up like Bean does.

I can't wait for these girls to grow up together, and I can't wait to meet little miss...According to my calculations I'll be 37 weeks tomorrow, according to the midwife I'm also 38 weeks (she goes by my LMP which isn't 100% accurate I don't think). So she's welcome to come at anytime!

Keep us in your prayers!

And a picture of Carl being an AWESOME Daddy today!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Labor Frustration: Prodromal Labor

I know I haven't posted much recently. No excuse other than exhaustion and my hubby stealing my laptop at night.

Last Monday, at my 35 week appointment, I had my Group B Strep test (negative!!! CAN I GET A WOOP WOOP!!!) and went ahead and let my midwife check me for dilation. I was iffy on whether or not I'd do cervical checks until 39+ weeks this time, but considering I went to 6 cms not in active labor last time, I decided that it might be a good idea to know if anything was happening. So she checked me and said I was at 2-3cms, 50% effaced and a -1 station.

The Friday before that I'd began having contractions, fairly regularly from 5-10pm. Obviously they did something.

Last night I performed my first "walk of shame" at the hospital. I'd been having contractions since 1pm, felt horrible, had had several loose bowel movements, and was nervous about the weather. At 6pm, as we were heading to stay with my sister, I began having semi-strong contractions that were happening every 4 minutes. We went to dinner, and they kept up. Finally it had been almost 3 hours, we were already in Lexington, so I went into the hospital "just in case."

My dilation hadn't changed, and the nurse who hooked me up to the monitors was, well, annoying. There's one nurse at my hospital who refuses to work with my midwives patients, so I don't know if that is who it was, if she was having a bad day, or what. When she was asking me all the normal questions, she said something about my last delivery. I said I had an abnormal labor, and she asked what was abnormal about it. I told her, and she said that my labor hadn't been abnormal, that I didn't have prodromal labor, and that I had an irritable uterus.

The way she acted made me kind of cry-y. I was already frustrated we had made a pointless trip, that with this labor it's difficult to know when "this is it" and she was just NOT helpful. Plus, when she checked my cervix, it freaking HURT.

We went back to my sisters house and I googled both irritable uterus and prodromal labor, and dear Miss Nurse, I beg to differ. An irritable uterus is contractions caused by activity and other factors that do NOT change the cervix. Prodromal Labor are contractions that can go on for hours or days (to weeks) at varying intervals, but usually DO change the cervix.

With Keevia, I began having contractions at 35 weeks. At my 35 week appointment I was 3 cms, 50% effaced at a +2 station (sound familiar minus the station??). 36 weeks was the same. 37 weeks I was 4cms and about 60% effaced. Same at 38 weeks. 39 weeks I was 5cms and 75% effaced. I had my membranes stripped. Next day I went to the hospital (before a 2 hour trip home) and was at 6cms. They kept me, even though I wasn't having "actual labor". They broke my water the next morning, and I eventually had Keevia at 11:10pm. With Keevia, I never went into labor on my own (or at least "active" labor). Keevia was posterior until I started pushing, and I just KNEW that that was my whole problem.

I have been very proactive of making sure this little lady is anterior, and yet at 35 weeks (almost on the nose!) my contractions started up again.

The thing with prodromal labor is that you DO have contractions. Most of them aren't so strong that you can't talk or walk through them, but they are there!  And unlike Braxton Hicks contractions, they don't go away if you lay down, or drink water, or rest. Sometimes activity brings them on, sometimes it doesn't. Usually you have a period of time every day that they get worse (mine is from 6-10pm), but you can have them at other times as well.

Contractions can come as often as every two-three minutes, or come every ten to twenty. Sometimes you'll have a contraction at 6:05, 6:08, 6:15, 6:17, 6:25.... sometimes (like mine were last night) they're like clockwork.

What I'm dealing with most is exhaustion (because lets face it, contractions are tiring. Especially when you have them just about all day every day), and frustration. I'm frustrated that my body does this. I'm frustrated that I'm 2 hours from the hospital. I'm frustrated that I may make it to a 5-6cms again and not be in active labor. What would we do then? My husband can't just take off work and sit at my sisters with me, waiting for something to happen. I don't necessarily want to break my water like I did last time. I'm frustrated that I might miss the beginnings of "active" labor because I'm so used to constant contractions that my husband might not make it to the hospital. Last time we had a wonderful full hospital room when I delivered (me, Carl, my Mom, my sister, my Mother In law, my sister in law and my chiropractor). This time, I honestly don't care who makes it, as long as my hubby does. I'm even scared that WE won't make it to the hospital.

So please forgive me if I don't post often. I'm really living day to day. I'm trying to just live my life and continue preparing for this little girl to make her appearance, without letting the contractions rule my life. On the bright side, I have little to no pain with the contractions, and therefore have little to no pain getting to 5-6 centimeters. If I lived, you know, 10 minutes from the hospital, it would be fantastic! But living close to 2 hours....well... not so much.

Prayers would be MUCH welcomed. Pray for peace of mind for me and my family, and pray that labor makes itself known when it's really time. Pray that I make it to the hospital, and Carl does as well. And pray for my frustration levels, as they seem to be out of control right now. I really, really appreciate those prayers!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Weaned? Maybe Not...

I had fully intended on nursing Keevia past two years. That was my goal. So I was a little heartbroken when, due both to my supply tanking and her teething, she weaned at 17 months.

Back in September my husbands first cousin gave birth to a BEAUTIFUL little girl. She decided to breastfeed (really, in our family it's not a choice. Everyone does it. It's just what you do. This is why I love my family), and so Keevia got her first real view of nursing.

Let me just state now that I am SO glad that B (Carl's cousin) isn't shy about it, because my kiddo likes to stick her face two inches away from B's boob and be all "What she dooooooooing?" and then I explain how she's eating, and she's nursing her mommy, and do you remember nursing your mommy? And Keevia always answers yes, and continues to stand two centimeters away, kind of just staring in awe.

Well since she's been exposed to it more, she now wants to "nurse" mommy again. Not in the literal sense, but she snuggles down (usually when she's going to sleep) and just presses her face against my breast. She'll even whisper "I nursing mommy" and close her eyes. It's quite possibly the cutest thing in the world.

Earlier this week, on a night when she was fighting sleep particularly hard, we talked about when baby girl comes out, she's going to nurse mommy's boobies. And she was SO excited. She even leaned over and hugged my belly while saying "I love baby ____ SOOOOOOO much!" It's moments like this that I just want to stop time and be in this moment forever. I can't wait to have TWO girls, but I know how drastically my life is going to change -- and how it's going to change my relationship with Kee.

I'm so happy that she remembers nursing (however much she does) and that it's something that still, almost 10 months after we stopped, brings us both such joy. I can't wait to nurse her sister, and any other babies we have.

And if she really does want to nurse when the baby gets here? I think I'd be okay with that too!

32 weeks!


I just wrote that. 32 weeks. That means I have 8 weeks to go. 8 weeks is two months.


Plus, if you take into account the fact that I went at 39 weeks last time.


I still haven't gained much, if any weight (in fact, from 28 weeks to 31 weeks I lost a 1/2 lb (thanks stomach virus). I started this pregnancy out at 245ish (my scale) and now I'm 235ish. My face has slimmed down SO much, as have my ribs and my legs. SO not complaining! I'm hoping to keep it up and actually LOSE weight while breastfeeding this time!

Keevia (or well, my uterus) always measured a week behind (so if I were 30 weeks, my uterus measured 29 weeks). This little lady always measures a week ahead. So, um, I'm 2 weeks bigger than I was with Keevia.

I definitely FEEL bigger. I'm having "issues" right now that I didn't have for at least another month last time (turning over in bed, bending over, picking things up). I also have SO much more shortness of breath this time around, but it gets better if I lay down, so I have a feeling its my uterus pushing against my lungs (that and the fact that neither my asthma inhaler NOR my oregano oil helps). I'm excited for her to drop so I can breath better, NOT excited for her to drop because of that "falling out" feeling!

I'm big on drinking chocolate (Ovaltine) milk right now. Also big on bananas (trying to keep foot cramps at bay) and other fruit. I have a hard time thinking of food to eat (that doesn't have wheat). Meat is still an issue, I really have issues eating it some days.

I have a knee or a foot or a something that likes to try and push out right under my right rib cage, that can be quite painful. She ALWAYS wakes up when I lay down and is extremely active.

Knowing that I'm possibly 5 weeks away from meeting my sweet girl is just mind blowing. I'm not scared about delivery at all, just scared/worried about what we'll do with Keevia. My mom and Carl will (hopefully!) both be at the hospital with me, but I need both of them in the room with me. My dad is going to drive up from his work if I go into labor while he's at work, but that's an hour and a half away. If, for some reason, he waits until we GET to the hospital and then leaves, well, I just hope he makes it. I don't have a problem with Keevia being in the delivery room when I deliver at all, in fact I think it would be pretty awesome... but I don't want her freaking out either. I know my sister will be near, and my mother in law and sister in law will probably come up, as well as friends... it's just I don't know how quickly this labor will go. I hope it's quicker than last time (24+ hrs in the hospital before delivering) but I also hope it's not like SUPER fast (we live an hour and a half from the hospital, and my hubby is, at times, 3 hours away). But as for the actual DELIVERY, I'm not stressed at all! ha!

It's crazy how much our lives will change, but I can't wait. I'm starting to really get into nesting mode though, I can feel it!

Monday, January 16, 2012


Having a miscarriage is hard. When it happens you think that it can never get any better, and you just feel....empty.

But it does get better. It takes time. Sometimes it takes getting pregnant again. Sometimes not. But one day you look up and realize you haven't thought about it that day. Or that you're smiling. And that it's okay.

But, even as you begin to heal, you never FULLY get over it. Just like with any loss.

I'm tainted.

I hate seeing friends announce their pregnancies on facebook, and then in the comments section state that they're only 5 weeks pregnant. My mind AUTOMATICALLY thinks horror thoughts, and I think how they should have waited to announce. Every time I see an update from them I cringe a little. And OH!!! Oh how I pray and stalk their feeds when they go to that first appointment.


Even with this pregnancy, I held out and held out announcing it until we had that first appointment. I NEEDED to see that heartbeat on the screen. And the fear? Oh the fear. No expectant parent should ever have to go into a ultrasound and not really feel excitement, just an overwhelming, heartwrenching fear.

Even now, at almost 32 weeks pregnant, I still feel like I'm holding my breath. And this is my second pregnancy after a loss. I'm actually SO much calmer and more relaxed than I was with Keevia. I've allowed myself to chill out more, and not overanalyze every little symptom... but it's still there in the back of my mind.

I just really wish sometimes, that I could go back. Go back and not have this fear in the back of my throat at every appointment. Not have to go into my first prenatal appointment almost in tears. Just be able to look at pregnancy normal. But I can't. I'm tainted.

And that's okay.

Because now I have a heart for the miscarriage survivors. I have a heart for the baby loss moms. I can minister to those who have lost a baby. I can pray hard for those going into their first appointment. I can honestly tell someone "I know how you feel" as I cry with them, be it over the internet or in person.

I'm tainted, but I'm tainted for a reason.

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Basics of Babywearing

I already talk about babywearing on here a lot, so forgive me if you're an experienced baby wearer, or just not interested at all, but it's such a HUGE part of my life and HUGE part of my parenting style, I have to try and share the love!

I'm writing this post because I feel like I've either emailed or facebook messaged this to several of my friends in the past few months, so I thought it would be nice to just direct them here instead of typing it out numerous times! And maybe you can do the same for your friends if asked. :)

If you are pregnant, or have a newborn, go ahead and start reading here. If you have an older baby (15lbs+) skip ahead a paragraph! If you already know about babywearing, but want my money-saving tips, skip to the bottom!

My number one choice for a newborn carrier is a Moby wrap or a Boba wrap (same concept, two different companies).  This wrap is made out of a t-shirt like material. You don't have to treat it special (like you would have to with a non-stretchy woven wrap) and apparently it's perfect for newborn snuggles. I never had one with Keevia (mainly because I'm cheap, and they aren't) but I've managed to score two for this new baby. I love wrapping, and I think a stretchy wrap would be PERFECT for tiny ones! There IS a learning curve for a wrap of any kind, but finding someone who has used it before, or merely spending a few minutes on Youtube can usually help! I tried out one of my wraps at a babywearing meeting this week and I cannot WAIT for my little girl to get here! The only downside to this wrap is that it IS a stretchy wrap. Therefore a lot of moms have complained about it not being comfortable past 15 lbs (although moms I talked to at the meeting were wearing 1 and 2 year olds in them!). You can also use smaller Mei Tei's for newborns (which is what we did with Keevia. She made her babywearing debut in a Wal-Mart at 2 days old in a home-made Mei Tei!). I do NOT recommend using a Bjorn or Snugli style carrier (these carriers have whats called "crotch dangle" which is A) not comfy for mama and B) can be detrimental to baby's spine) nor a pouch sling. I have absolutely no experience with ring slings (something I need to try, ha!).

If you have a bigger baby, a stretchy wrap may not be your best option. If you're looking to transition into baby wearing, or out of a stretchy, you have a TON of options. If you wrapped with your newborn and simply adored it, you may want to look into a woven wrap. While these can be the priciest of carriers, they can also go from birth until the end of your babywearing days. I don't personally own a woven wrap (I would LOVE to, but just don't right now) I have numerous babywearing friends who swear by them. The difference between a woven wrap and a stretchy wrap is simple. Moby and Boba wraps, which are made out of a stretchy t-shirt like material, well, they stretch -- a lot sometimes, and that causes them to be less supportive with an older child. A woven wrap does NOT stretch (or has very minimal stretch) and allows you to wear throughout your toddler years. There are a TON of options with a woven wrap, from brand, to colors, to the material it's made out of. I've heard at a 100% cotton wrap is recommended for beginners. Some brands to look into are Didymos, Girasol and Vatanai. There are also a variety of sizes when it comes to wrapping. It's kind of overwhelming when you first start looking into it... but wrapping is definitely the most versatile of carriers. You can wear the baby on your front, back, or hip, and there are numerous "carries" for each position. Again, youtube is your friend! :)

If wraps are a little too daunting for your taste, then a Asian Inspired or Soft-Structured carrier may be a better choice for you. In my opinion, these are the most user friendly. All of these carriers snap on at your waist (just like, say, a fanny pack) then you sit the baby against your chest (or your back for an older baby) and pull the carrier up over your arms. They wear just like a backpack (if you're doing a back carry), and are very comfy. They all include a "chest clip" that clips to ensure the straps don't slip off your shoulders and also adds more support. I own (or have owned) four of the major brands. They're very similar, but have a lot small differences. The ones I own are the Boba 2g (I now own a 3g, but a review will have to wait until this little lady makes her appearance!), Beco Butterfly 1 (Ahem, I would really like to try out a Gemini....) and a Ergo Carrier. I also own an Onya Baby Carrier, but as of yet haven't really got to use it (I have to purchase the waist extender and just haven't done so yet...). Check out my reviews of the Boba, and the Beco & Ergo. All of these carriers are anywhere from $125-150 when purchased new. With the Boba 3g and the Beco Butterfly 2, you can go from birth (7-8 lbs) through toddlerhood. With the Ergo, you need to purchase an additional infant insert. The Onya is only marketed for 15lbs+ (The Boba 2g is the same way). Onya recommends you use as wrap for the newborn stages. The MAJOR difference between these carriers is the rise (how tall) the carrier is. Onya baby has made up this great, handy little chart that is oh so helpful! That chart also gives you an idea of HOW MANY different SSC's there are. I simply listed the ones I own (or have tried).

The Beco Butterfly (I'm unsure about the Gemini) has a inner harness that allows you to get the baby on your back with less stress. However, if you plan on nursing in the Beco, it is slightly more difficult to do. The Onya has a neat little feature that allows you to use the carrier as a high chair by using certain buckles. The Onya and the Beco Gemini allow you to criss-cross the straps when using a front carry for extra support. The Boba 3g also has a hand dandy purse strap thing that lets you snap your purse/diaper bag straps onto the shoulder of the carrier. SO nice.

I highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend either doing a carrier trial (both Heavenly Hold & PAXBaby do this) or finding a baby wearing meeting near you. All of these carriers have their positives and negatives, but honestly, you need to find which one works for YOU and fits YOU the best. The Ergo does NOT work for my body type. The Boba does. I have friends who are the exact opposite. I had HUGE buyers remorse on my Ergo because it fit me so poorly, but they fit other mamas perfectly! It's not a fault with the carrier in any way, it's just that certain carriers fit certain body styles better. So please, before you buy, either do an $8 trial (through Heavenly Hold) or buy through PAX where you can return it within 90 days. Or, like I said, go to a babywearers meeting. I went to my first one earlier this week, and would have been able to try both a Boba and a Beco there. Most places that sell them also let you try them on, HOWEVER, make sure that you put your baby IN it and let them STAY in it for at least 10+ minutes. That's the only way you will know if it works or not. Seriously DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP!

Now, I realize you're a new mom. And I realize that all these carriers I listed cost $40+. That's if you buy them new. I have purchased one carrier (my Ergo) at full price. The rest of them I have either won (Onya and Boba 3g) bought on sale (Boba 2g from Zulily), or purchased used (Moby and Beco Butterfly). You have to be patient, and you have to be watchful. Stalk your local children's resale places. I scored a Moby at Once Upon a Child for $20 earlier this week. Stalk Craig's List if you live in a city. Stalk Spot's Corner (as of right now there are Beco's and a Ergo on there for around $60, and a Babyhawk Mei Tei for $50).  Join The Baby Wearer and stalk their For Sale or Trade forums. You may not be able to get the EXACT pattern you want (unless you're patient, or lucky), but you probably will get a fantastic deal (half off or better!). Spot's is probably my top choice here. I see Beco's on there ALL the time, and have seen numerous Ergo's and Boba's recently too. There have even been wraps on there. Save up your money ($50-80 or whatever you're willing to spend) and then be ready to POUNCE.

So... that's babywearing in a nutshell. Stay away from Bjorn's and Snugli's. Invest in a good carrier and you will thank yourself SO MANY TIMES OVER! And please, PLEASE email me if you have any questions! Feel free to leave comments as well, but if you want a response, make sure your email is listed in your profile!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Food Fight!

I have a problem. It's something that drives me crazy, and yet its something that is SO changeable.

Everywhere we go, whenever we eat somewhere, I always hear people say "I wish my kid would eat like yours!" which is ALWAYS followed by "My child will only eat chicken nuggets!" I've also heard other foods, but throughout this post I'm using chicken nuggets as an example, because honestly it's what I hear the most.

Well... they could eat as well as mine. Honest.

It just bugs me. I don't feed my daughter an all 100% vegan organic diet. Not by a LONG shot. But she doesn't demand JUST one food either. Why? Because she isn't offered chicken nuggets at every meal. In fact, she MIGHT be offered them once a week. And then she usually eats a few bites and is done.

I think part of it comes from the fact that I don't buy much (if any!) processed food for around the house. I can't. I can't afford it. If she DOES have chicken nuggets at home, it's ones I've made (and by the way, she goes crazy for those!). One of my favorite ways to fix them is to cut of chicken tenders or breasts, dredge them in an egg, then dredge them in a mix of flour (or cornmeal now that I can't eat flour), salt, pepper, garlic, paprika and shredded Parmesan cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for about 10-12 minutes (until done in the middle and brown on the outside) and viola! Chicken nuggets! It might take, oh, I don't know, 20 minutes tops and is SO MUCH HEALTHIER than processed meat! Plus you control EVERYTHING that goes into them!

You have to OFFER healthy foods for your child to EAT healthy foods. Yes, K eats mac and cheese. Yes she eats carrots, broccoli, Brussels sprouts. Yes, sometimes her lunch is a few bites of apple and a string cheese. But you want to know what her favorite food is? What she cries for? Soup. Yes, soup. It doesn't really matter to her if its vegetable beef, chicken or chili. She simply loves soup. And it's so easy to make HEALTHY soup from scratch!

I just don't understand stating "I wish my child would eat like yours" when they WOULD if you simply offered them different things. Stop offering chicken nuggets (unless you make them yourself) and start offering healthy choices. Chicken nuggets and fries can be healthy if you make it yourself and bake both instead of deep frying! Step out of the frozen aisle and start shopping around the outside of the grocery store (dairy, meat, bread, veggies). It usually only takes 10-20 minutes longer to make it from scratch than it does to heat it up in the microwave.

No time for that? Heck! Cereal is healthier than fast food. That's what we had for dinner last night! Even my husband!

Your toddler or child is not going to starve themselves. We have a rule that K has to try ONE bite of something new, if she doesn't like it, she doesn't have to eat any more. It's not about forcing your kid to eat something they hate, but about encouraging them to experience new foods and new flavors. If she turns her nose up what I've fixed, that's fine. But she's not getting junk food fifteen minutes later either. She's welcome to have something else (cheese sandwich, peanut butter, apple, etc), but not candy, chips or the like.

So yes, sometimes my toddler has cheerios and brussel sprouts for dinner. Sometimes she has salsa, chicken and cheese dip. The point I'm trying to make is that she eats a VARIETY of foods. Some super healthy, some not so much. But she'll try foods, because we OFFER foods. She's not stuck on eating ONE thing (other than those little Cutie oranges right now...), but will eat a variety of different foods. She's a toddler, so sometimes a long time love (eggs, oatmeal, peanut butter) suddenly drops from her love cycle.... but we have many other old favorites, and a LOT of new foods to try.

Monday, January 2, 2012

We survived!

This holiday season has kicked our butts.


K came down on Christmas day with a 103.7 fever and vomiting. With the help of my mom, we made it through that night. She felt better the next day, then slowly started declining. Her temp was around 99.1 and she had sinus issues. The drainage would make her throw up, and she just felt SO bad. Also, there was a boil forming in her groin area. On Thursday we headed to the chiropractor (her C2 vertebrae was out) and then we headed to the pediatrician. The pedi wasn't in (holidays), but the nurse practitioner that we saw this time LAST year was. She gave us a round of bactrim (to cover the boil and the sinuses) and some decongestants.

Keevia threw up again that night. The next day she acted like she was feeling better. On Friday evening she fell asleep in our bed, and we stayed up a little bit. She woke up around 10pm coughing. I was having some, shall we say, intestinal difficulties myself. We knew she would end up throwing up (She always coughs before puking) so we didn't try to put her back to bed. I had just went back to the bathroom when Carl had to set her down to get a sippy. She came in to the bathroom with me and started coughing. Next thing I know she's throwing up IN MY HAND. I'm pregnant. I was already having tummy troubles. I turned and started throwing up in the bathtub. She kept throwing up, as did I, and I managed to croak out "call mom!"

Mom came over and sent me to bed shortly after, when it was evident that I had a virus. She slept with K that night and had to change her diaper about 3 times. I stayed in the bathroom all night, and chilled, but never ran a high fever (99.6 was where I topped off). Mom took K back to her house on Saturday for a little while, where SHE started getting sick. We stopped the antibiotic to try and make the diarrehea better (or at least not worse). K started feeling a lot better by Saturday evening, the rest of us (Carl came down with it on Saturday as well) not so much. On Saturday night I ended up pulling her toddler mattress in our bedroom because I desperately wanted to sleep that night, but I didn't want her all the way across the house in case she started throwing up again. It worked WONDERFULLY. She slept on her mattress from midnight until six am, then came in bed with us.

Sunday morning Mom and I woke up feeling bad, but by that afternoon we felt decent. I even did 2-3 loads of laundry and cleaned the living room last night! Carl still feels/felt horrible. My Dad got it VERY mildly (he's been pushing probiotics and vitamin D like crazy for the past week or so though because people at work were so sick).

I brought Keevia over to Mom's this morning (per usual) to have breakfast, and as she was changing her diaper, she said "Bring me a sharp pin and some medicine." Keevia's boil had (PRAISE THE LORD)came to a head! It took me, Mamaw & Papaw to hold her down, but with one little prick she drained it. NO SURGERY!!!!!!! We started the Bactrim back up and started putting Bactriband on it with a small bandaid. I gave her a hot bath and changed the bandaid earlier today (very traumatic). It's not easy, but so much easier than surgery would have been.

Keep the boil in your prayers. It's looking so much better, but it could still flair back up. We're so thankful that we look to be not having to deal with a surgery!

I had to reschedule my 30 week appointment (Um... THAT MEANS I ONLY HAVE 10 WEEKS TO GO!)today because of our sickies, but the positive is that I'll actually be in Lexington on the same day as the babywearing meeting! I've NEVER got to go because of scheduling conflicts and I am SO freaking excited. They're doing newborn carries as well! I'm hoping to get to feel a "real" wrap!

I hope your holiday season was better than ours!!!