Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Body after Baby Challenge

So I've decided to do the Body After Baby Challenge since Elli was officially our last and I really need to loose the weight. I'm not making excuses as to why after 3 months I'm not back to my pre-pregnancy weight. Right now I weigh 135lbs which most people would say isn't bad at all for my 5'4" frame. Ultimately I would like to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight of 125 but for this challenge my goal is to loose 5lbs.

Other goals for this challenge are:
  • To get my hypoglycemia under control. Right now with nursing for some reason most days I don't feel really good or in control of my blood sugar. The odd thing is I seem to do better when I'm at work rather than at home. Its something I have struggled with for a long time and I really want to get a better control over it and how my body handles food.
  • Get more exercise. During the week a co-worker and I spend half an hour walking which is really good or at least I think so. Also on January 14th I am going to start playing ice hockey again. I would love to start going to the gym in our apartment but in all honesty the only time I have to do that is early in the morning and most of the time I would go to the gym I'm awake with Elli.
  • Better control my portion size. At times I loose focus (especially at dinner) and have portions that are way too big. I would like to focus on getting them back under control. Also I need to make sure my snacking portions during the day stay in check.
So starting in January I'm not making resolutions since I never keep them, more just working toward a goal to get healthier for myself and my kids. Its an on going process and I figure taking small steps such as this can help along the path.

This is how I looked before being pregnant this last time and its my goal to get back to that.

A better version can be seen here.

Oh and many others are doing a daily food journal. While I will post the +/- on my weight I will not be keeping a detailed food journal. A few years back I had major problems with weight loss and lost a good bit too quickly. I became obsessed with what I ate and ended up with an eating disorder. To maintain my sanity and mental health I will not be keeping a food journal but more looking at just eating healthy and controlling portion size.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Elli 3 months old

Well she is 12 weeks old this week. She is starting to sit in her Bumbo seat more and more and prefers that over tummy time. She has also become quite the talker. She loves gto lay in bed with me at night and talk until she falls asleep. Right now I'm guessing she is around 12.5 lbs and has probably grown about .5 to 3/4 of an inch. She is now starting to fit into 3 month clothes and most all of her 0-3 month clothes as well.

She is sleeping pretty good now. Normally she goes to bed around 9 or 9:30 and sleeps until between 2 and 4am then eats and goes back to sleep for about another hour or two. During the day she tends to stay up for 2 hours, take a 2 to 3 hour nap then back up again.

The only thing is her reflux is still getting the best of her some days. You can just see it on her face when its bad. Also she spits up a lot when it gets bad. The worst thing on her is that after she eats we have to hold her upright anywhere between 20 and 30 minutes then we can lay her in a swing or rocking chair. If anyone has any experience in other things to do to help her please let me know.I think we have it down but I'm always open to ways to make it better for her.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Elli 2 months old

Elliot turned 2 months old this week and had her pediatrician appointment. And the stats are:
11lbs 2 oz
22.5 inches long

She is in the 25th percentile for both at the moment but no worries. We constantly joke at home that it took 3 kids for W to make a small one with hair.

She is really starting to show more of a personality now. She recognizes us more and responds to our voice. She also is more interested in playing and swatting at toys hanging above in her swing or bouncy seat. She also seems to think she has more head control than she really does and tends to want to flop around all over the place when she is on our shoulder being burped.

We found out shortly before I returned to work that she had reflux. She’s been on medication for a few weeks now and doing much better. Its so good to not see her in pain every time she eats.

Speaking of eating she is taking about 3 to 4 bottles while I’m gone of 4oz at a time. I’m pumping plenty at work and keeping up with her but yet I am still concerned about my supply. Just to be on the safe side I eat oatmeal almost every morning since its known to help with milk production.

Butters is doing well with her too. He recently started trying to give her a bottle when she gets upset. Also he will lay down on the floor and say “I love baby”, but will not call her Elli for anything. He will read the name, but won’t call her by her name. We think he knows and just wants to be stubborn. No surprise there. He does though however have a very bad habit of bringing us his empty cup or bowl and asking for something right when one of us sits down to feed her.

And now for the pictures. I apologize for the poor quality. My camera died a few weeks ago and I am taking all of these with my Blackberry. W did just get me an early birthday present so hopefully I can get a few with the new camera and post here soon.


Returning to work

On November 16th I returned to the office after my 6 week maternity leave. With Butters I was very torn on coming back, but with Elli not so much. I guess this time I just had a better handle on how things would work and more confidence that we could do all of this. Still the morning I left part of me just felt bad. This would be the first day that she was on a bottle all day. I had no clue how much she would eat while I was gone. I left what I thought would be enough pumped milk in the refrigerator at home and told W that there was frozen bags in the freezer incase she powered through all of it.

Now returning to work this time was a little easier in one respect. When I went back after Butters was born I was determined to nurse as long as possible, but there was no place for me to pump at work except the bathroom. So up until the day I was laid off I pumped 3 times a day in the handicap stall. I had a metal folding chair in there but it was still not ideal at all. I would routinely have women come in and get irritated that I was in there pumping. My pump wasn’t really loud, but for some reason it bothered them that I did that. When I got hired at Sikorsky I did something similar because I honestly thought that if I raised questions with HR that something would happen to me.

That all changed when I went to the home office. There they actually have a lactation room that you can schedule with in outlook. The room is equipped with a chair, small couch microwave (for steam cleaning), sink, and small refrigerator. I was extremely impressed! So this time when I found out I was pregnant I asked at my office what could be done and was basically given the brush off and told the bathroom again. After talking to W and a local nursing mom’s group I decided to contact HR and ask if there could be some kind of arrangement made. Luckily since the laws up there are different than here (and better) the HR representative told me that they would help me. When I returned I was informed that one of the unused offices had blinds put up and I could go in there and pump and lock the door.

Since returning this has been great!! I pump 3 times a day and I’m not on an exact time schedule. I generally pump somewhere around 0630, 0930 and 1230 then head home around 1500. The door has a basic lock on it and I’ve never been bothered by anyone regarding the 10 to 15 minutes I’m gone to pump. When I’m done I transfer all the milk to a large container and take the parts to the bathroom to be rinsed out. I’m happy to say that at this point in 3 pumping sessions I’m getting somewhere between 18 and 20 oz a day and she is eating between 12 and 16 a day while I’m gone. This allows for some of the milk to be frozen every week.

So in general things are going well and its been good to get back to work and on somewhat of a schedule again.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

1 month old

I've been wanting to do so many posts lately but they always come to me in the middle of the night while I'm nursing Elli or other wise trying to get us both to sleep.

She turns one month old today and its gone by really quick like I know it would. She is sleeping around 3 hours at a stretch during the day and between 1.5 and 3 hours at a time at night. We have gotten her to take a bottle which is great since I will be going back to work on the 16th and we needed to know about how much she would be eating at a time.

Nursing this time around has been easier with her than with Butters but its still had its challenges. With Butters I never knew about the cluster nursing at 1.5 to 2 weeks. There are times right now where she will nurse off and on for anywhere between 3 and 6 hours with only a 20 minute nap in between. These are the times I'm glad that I got rid of all the formula we were given in the hospital. During her last marathon session we did how ever give her a bottle of pumped milk from that morning.

I have kept pumping at different times during the day so that we have plenty stored up for when I go back to work. Right now we have around 15 bags of 7oz a piece stored in the deep freezer.

Speaking of pumping I was able to work something out with my situation at work. There is an open office that apparently has a privacy curtain that can be pulled across the window that I will be allowed to use. This is a huge improvement from having to pump in the bathroom. The only down side is that I will have to use quick clean wipes between pumping sessions and if there is an executive in town I will have to work around that schedule but luckily I will not be made to go to the bathroom and pump which is a huge relief.

Having the time off has been nice but I'm ready to go back. I'm not exactly one to stay home and take it easy. I'll be going back to the office on the 9th to get my free flu shot then back full time on the 16th. The odd thing is I had already scheduled my vacation for the next week so that I am off the week of Thanksgiving! W is really ready to get me out of his house and will be relieved to have a week with just him and the kids.

At her last visit to the pediatrician she gained a full pound in 10 days and she was 25 percentile in weight and 50 percentile in length. This week I was able to weight her and at a month old she is just over 9lbs and has gotten much longer!

So here are some pictures of things over the past month including halloween and her first hockey game series.

Finally sleeping in her bed. She doesn't do it often right now. Normally she sleeps on one of us or in the swing.
Content with her paci on the changing table.
Halloween shirt.

Sleeping through a hockey game just like big brother used to.

Where she normally ends up at night on my chest.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

After a morning at a Rocket City Slingers meet up I got a lot of help with how to use my ring sling with Dot. As you can see Butters had to get in on the action as well!

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Grunt heard round the world...the second go around

The birth of Elliot was in some ways ironic and similar to her brother's two and a half years ago.

Things all started last Sunday Oct 4th. We spent the morning watching the UAH hockey team's open practice at the iceplex. I actually really enjoyed walking around with Butters and watching his fascination with the defensemen's practice. He was so involved that he wouldn't watch the forwards practice at all.

After the practice we ran a couple of errands and grabbed a late lunch on the way home. The contractions had been off and on all morning but around 1400 they started getting more painful and closer together. They stayed like this until around 1700 when they tapered off. W went ahead and made dinner but I didn't feel like eating at all. Around 1800 they picked back up and around 1830 I called my ob's office. The on call doc said to go on in to L&D. We packed up the car and called my mother in law to come get Butters from the hospital. Once back in L&D the nurse checked me and hooked me up to the monitors. Contractions were every 1.5 to 2 min apart and strong. I was bout 2.5 cm and 50% and -1 station. After an hour I hadn't progressed at all so the on call doctor gave the order for me to leave and come back when things got more intense. I was once again crushed and annoyed. I wasn't allowed to walk around and help things but made to stay in bed.

When we got home I tried taking a warm bath which didn't help much at all. I tried sitting up and rocking which helped just a little. Laying down was the worst and finally aroun 0030 I was able to get my body to relax enough toget a little sleep. I woke up about every hour from strong contractions. Being the stubborn individual that I am when my alarm went off around 0430 I decided to go ahead and get up and go into the office. I had a doctor's appt at 0915 that morning and thought that maybe working on things would take my mind off of what was going on. I got to the office around 0530, moved the small refrigerator that was in a common area with the guys to under my desk and got to work. Surprisingly being pissed off Igot a lot of work done that morning. I did feel really nauseated and tried to just eat some oatmeal which made me even sicker. I finally caved in and sent W a text message asking him to come get me and take me to the appt. By this point the nausea was bad and any kind of touching of my belly really hurt.

Once in the office my doctor went ahead and checked me and I was 3 to 4, -1 and 50% effaced but very soft. I told him everything that had gone on and his response was that he completely saw how I was feeling so bad and could feel me having contractions. He then asked if we wanted to hve her today. We were a little shocked to say the least. I got dressed and we met him in his office. He went ahed and called over to L&D to tell them we were on our way. We drove over and on the way I called work and family to let everyone know that we would have her by later that afternoon or early evening.

When we got to the room IV's were started and monitors attached. I was still having contractions regularly. They were about 1.5 minutes apart and alternating strength. I would have one big one followed closely by one strong one. The order was given for a low dosage of pitocin to be given to help them become consistantly stronger. I was started on the lowest dose and about 45 minutes later my ob came in to break my water. About an hour after this the contractions were to the point that I could no longer talk through them and had to turn the tv off. They were about every minute and really starting to hurt more and more. Soon after I reached this point the anasthesiologist came in to give me an epidural. It took very quickly and the only small problem was my left hip was still in a lot of pain. After rolling 45 deg to my left the pain subsided and I sat up in bed to better help my body to what it needed to do.

This is where things got interesting. About 10 minutes after sitting up I said something to W about feeling a lot more pressure. Like everythng else I thought it was nothing and just figured it was her getting lower. My nurse came in followed by my ob who decided that they needed to check again. Good thing they did because when he checked I was on the verge of her crowning. He quickly changed while the nurse set things up. She had me do one practice push with a contraction and quickly told me told me to stop and not push anymore until my doctor was ready! I rested through couple while they finished getting ready and 2 contractions later at 4pm weighing in at 6lbs 15 oz and 19.5 inches long Elliot Avery was born. She had a head of hair and was a little slow to cry.

She was taken over to the warmer and dried off and that is where the nightmare began. I heard the same words I had heard 2.5 years ago. She's grunting. Great. They continued to work with her and got her crying good but the grunt was still there. The NICU was called for a consult and the decision was made to take her to the NICU for obersvation. Luckily I was allowed to hold her for a few minutes. I was in complete amazement of how tiny she was. Then W took her and followed the nurse up to the NICU.

I was patched and cleaned up and after what felt like an eternity as my nurse was taking me up to the 5th floor W returned. The nurses were hopeful that she would be with us soon so we really weren't too worried. After getting set up in the room at 1930 I got the call from Dr. Dworsky. She was being admitted. They tried everything they could but the grunt was still there. At this point I was hysterical to say the least. All I wanted was to room in with her and have her be healthy and once again she wasn't.

At 2000 we went to go see her. I have to admit she looked really good compared to how Alvin did. I got to hold her and the nurse went over everything. She was amazed at how much we remembered. An old friend from Space Camp now working there came over to see us. The NICU was a bad place but it helped knowing someone working up there. Far too soon it was time for us to go so we left our little girl. Luckily when we made our way down the next morning we got wonderful news that she had already been moved to the progressive side. Apparently she screamed all night and the grunt completely went away.

Over the next few days there were highs and lows. We were told many different dates about when she would go home and how many rounds of antibiotoics she was being given. I broken down many times during it all. I was mad, frustrated and just genearlly depressed that she wasn't with me. I was discharged on Wednesday and continued to go to every care time barring the midnight and 4am ones. Thursday morning I got the news that her weight had dropped 4oz in one day and she had jandice. I fed her pumped breast milk in a bottle and she was wrapped in a billi blanket for 12 horus.

On Friday we got the best news yet. I had been told the day before that there was a possibility she would go home. At the 8am care time I was sitting beside her bassinet feeding her a bottle when the neonatologist made rounds. Her bilirubin had went down and they were ready to discharge her! I waited to call W and tell him until I spoke with Dr. Dworsky personally. He was impressed that given the news the day before I already had her a pediatrician visit ready and said that she was ready to go home.

The next 2 hours went by so slowly. I ran outside the NICU and called W. He was of course also thrilled to be having his "little peanut" coming home. While I waited I sat and just held her, and slowly got her dressed to visit the outside world for the first time. Finally it was time for discharge and after signing the paperwork I pulled the car up and packed up her and all of the clothes, bags ect and headed to the doctors office.

Her peditirican was happy with her. At that point she had lost 5oz but he said it was to be expected. His only concern was her jaundice but he gave us instructions to keep her in sunlight when we could and call if we noticed her being more yellow.

The days that have followed have been sleepless but very good. She nurses wonderfully and sleeps around 3 hours at a time then wakes to nurse and nurses for about an hour off and on. Duing the day she sleeps great in her bassinet but after her 1 to 2am feeding only wants to sleep on my chest. I can't argue too much though. I can deal with that as long as she is home now.

I've been posting pictures on my flickr site that you can see here.

Today she turns one week old and I am very happy that I've found the time to tell her story even though it was a much longer post than I expected.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Elliot Avery is here!

The entire story of her arrival will have to wait until later but I wanted to do a quick post to update what has happened.

She was born yesterday at 4pm weighing in at 6lbs 15oz and 19.5 inches long with a head full of hair. She came out screaming but the NICU was called for a consult due to grunting. She was taken to the NICU and W was told that she would probably be down with us later that night. At 7:30pm we got the news we dreaded. She was being admitted because the grunt would not subside. We went down to see her at 8pm and I was amazed at how good she looked compared to Butters when he was there. We spent about an hour there holding her and talking to her. Also we are very fortunate to have a friend we previously worked with at Space Camp working nights in the NICU. Elli was very responsive to everything we did and our voices which was great.

This morning I woke up early and went to go see her again. To our surprise she has already been moved to the progressive side of the NICU. The nurse was confident that she would get to start bottle feeding today which is great news.

Right now it looks like she will be here until sometime on Thursday at the earliest while we will go home on Wednesday.

I'll be posting more on twitter later today as we get more news but I wanted to try and summarize things here really quick.

Thank you for all the well wishes and I will post more in a couple of days on this site once we get more information.

Here's a link to a picture W took last night just so you can get an idea of how she looks now.

Monday, September 28, 2009

36 weeks No news is good news right?

So after our little scare going to L&D for the night I’ve been laying low. I had another weekly appointment last Monday and today.

Last week my OB checked me and said I was 2cm and 50%. This was kind of irritating after I was told in L&D that I was 3 and 75%. He brought up the meds and said to stay on them for a while longer. Granted he says this after the day before we went and walked around Bridge Street and I was really hurting later that night. After talking to W about it all we decided that I would stop taking the meds. They were causing more side effects and they were getting worse.

So it’s been a week and I seriously think I’ve had fewer contractions off the meds than I did on them. On Sunday I didn’t even feel one. This is after I took Butters to Rainbow Mountain and we went exploring on a hiking trail and played on the playground for about an hour. Also that morning I took the infant swing out of his closet which meant removing the crib pieces and the hanging organizer. After all this activity during the day all I felt was a little tired that night. No major cramps or anything.

So today I went back for another weekly appointment. The stats so far are:
My BP 130/70 ( a little high for me)
Her HR 137 (a little lower than normal for her)
Weight 157lbs
My doctor checked again and I’m about the same as last week. I asked him about her size since at this point with Butters he was worried about his size. He said she is pretty small still and measuring a couple of weeks behind. He said in a couple of weeks she might be around Butters birth weight but at the moment not even close.

He would like me to hold out one more week but at this point we are in the clear if I go into labor on my own. He wants to see me again in a week or as he put it “I’ll see you in a week assuming you make it that far”.

I’m trying to not get my hopes up. We’ve spent the last few months on edge about when she would arrive. Now it is officially a waiting game.

I’m going to end this post on a positive note. We have now officially reached the point where our chances of seeing the NICU are very small with her. Boys born at this point still have a good chance, but girls tend to do much better. The running joke is that if she doesn’t end up in the NICU W and I will be kind of lost and not sure what to think. We know how the NICU works but being discharged with her will be a very welcome but odd adventure.

Anyway things are still good and we are all just anxious to meet her.

Friday, September 18, 2009

34 weeks going to Labor and Delivery and Antepartum Units

So let me start by saying earlier this week I was having a lot of prelabor. Meaning I was up half the night with contractions that were between 4 and 7 minutes apart but not getting any stronger. Thursday at work things started to pick up a little but I still thought nothing of it. Finally round noon I called W and said I might need him to come get me if things didn't calm down. At this point the contractions were between 4 and 5 minutes apart. Well I guess I just got used to them until about 2 when they started getting between 2 and 3 minutes apart. At 2:30pm I decided I needed to go home. I called W and told him I was on my way.

I got home and even after laying down they were steady. So I called my OB's office and they said to go onto L&D. We left around 3:30 after getting the last few things together. Once we got to the hospital we checked in and were taken back to a room. After being hooked up to monitors there was no doubt that I was in labor. The contractions were coming about 1.5 minutes a part. They were varying in intensity but felt pretty uncomfortable to me. When I was checked I was 3cm, 70%effaced and -2 station.

The on call doctor came in to talk to me while W took Butters out and told me they were going to do what they could to stop the contractions and after a couple of hours re-evaluate. I was given a shot of terbutaline and an IV was started. The terbutaline did very little and once my bloodwork came back I was given procardia again. After a little while longer the nurses did shift change and my new nurse came in and gave us the news. The on call doctor wanted to keep me over night in the antepartum unit and give me a cocktail of terbutaline, procardia and ambien to help me sleep and see if I progressed any further.

So we were taken to the new room around 2030. The nurse there was shocked I never ate dinner and grabbed me a sandwhich before I had to take my meds.

Ok let me say this. Ambien was no fun. I'm not sure how much I got but after about 5 minutes I started seeing double and passed out. Not my kind of drug.

The rest of the night was filled with having to constantly get up to go to the bathroom due to all the fluids they were pumping into me and having to call my nurse to reset the pump. Where the IV was placed in my arm cause the pump to go nuts everytime I bent it.

Around 0800 this morning I was checked again and had made no progress so they decided to send me home. More procardia was given and I was told to make an appointment with my normal OB very early in the week next week. I have an appointment Monday morning assuming I don't end up back in the hospital.

The last thing the OB on call told me was that he didn't think it would be much longer.

So we are home now. The procardia is having about the same effect it did in the hospital. I still have contractions about every 8 to 10 minutes. Now though I have developed the lovely problem of very bad low back pain. The only way to describe this as gross as it may seem is like being very consitpated and you can not go. The pain comes and goes but is pretty constant all the time. I have no appetite and have to remind myself that I need to eat at times.

I'm incredibly frustrated and I am doing all I can to just tell W how I feel and not take it all out on him or Butters. I'm frustrated with this mess that keeps happening. I hate being on drugs and developing a tolerace to them and people not believing me. I hated being discharged today without having held her in my arms.

So now we wait again. Right now I just keep thinking about what the on call doctor said to keep me going. It won't be too much longer and I really hope he was right.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

33 week stats

So I went for my appointment today and here is what I found out.

weight 156lbs
blood pressure 116/70
Dot's heart rate 151 bpm (normal for her)
She is measuring right at 33 weeks

My doctor wanted to go ahead and do an internal exam this week due to all the contractions, cramps and pressure I have been having this week. Here's the verdict:
70% effaced
1.5cm dilated

When I heard this I had to go back and look at where I was with Butter's at 36 weeks:
2cm dilated
50% effaced
We found this out on Thursday and he was born on Sunday.

So what does it all mean for Dot? Well it could mean nothing other than my body is preparing for labor. Or if she follows the same pattern that Butters did it could be fairly soon. Also it turns out that she had one major growth spurt these past 2 weeks and dropped in the process.

As far as when things will really pick up, we don't know. My doctor said that at this point if I have steady contractions 7 minutes apart for 30 minutes to go ahead and call. She said to go ahead and have our bags ready just incase.

So now we wait. When my doctor left the room today she said that she would see me next week if not sooner. I still have to rest as much as I can. I have an appointment scheduled for next Friday if I make it that far.

So that's about it for now. If something major happens in the next week it will more than likely be on twitter before I get a chance to post it here, but I will post an update as soon as I can.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


That’s about the only word I can use to describe how I felt this past weekend. I’m not frustrated at W, Mac or Butters, but more with things that keep happening with this pregnancy.

I know the longer she stays put the better, but this past weekend really continued to test my patience.

For the past 3 days, I’ve had contractions off and on. I’m not talking about just Braxton hicks, but real ones. They come between every 10 and 15 minutes for a couple of hours then stop. This happens normally about 3 times a day.

So when I get them I do what I’ve been told to do to stop them. Rest, eat something and drink plenty of fluids. I do this and they get worse but when I’m just a little dehydrated or hungry I don’t get them at all.

Between those and the waves of nausea that hit for no reason it was a rough weekend for me. The nausea is normally triggered by the smell of cooking food which just seems really odd. At times it feels like the same mess that happened in my first trimester is happening again.

I’m at the point where I am emotionally spent right now. I can’t seem to trust the signals my body is giving me anymore. I’m tired of feeling the contractions get closer and thinking we might end up in the hospital just to have them die off. Its exhausting to have them at work and still try and concentrate on what I need to do while getting up a few dozen times to deal with them.

Ok sorry for yet another post where I complain but I just had to vent yet again.

Monday, September 7, 2009

33 Weeks

So we had another appointment at 31 weeks but nothing much changed so I didn’t do a post about it. Things are still about the same. He increased the frequency of my medication, which has caused more side effects. Due to the increased amount of the drug in my system, my feet stay really red and swollen. Other than that, he wants me to stay on the med until 36 weeks. The longer she stays put the better our chances are of limited intervention after her birth actually are.

I think the medication though is losing its effectiveness. I still have contractions break through during the day and more at night. I’m averaging about one strong one an hour. Also, these are getting to the point where sometimes I can’t just sit down in my chair at work and get through them. I have to get up and walk around or do something else to get through them.

One thing did happen this past week. I felt her drop and even W could feel the change in position of her. She is down very low and at this point I feel like things could start at any time. I mean it could be 3 days from now or 3 weeks, but we just don’t know.

This past week I finally got all the paperwork squared away for my maternity leave. Last time that I had it all done Butters decided to make his arrival a couple of days later. Hopefully getting all this done isn’t a sign to Dot to do the same thing.

So right now mine and Butters bag’s are packed. W hasn’t packed his bag, but he proved last time that it will take him all of 10 minutes to pack his clothes and the electronics we will need.

Now we are officially in a waiting game. There are baby showers planned for us on the 12th and 13th and hopefully we will make it to those! My next appointment is this week with my nurse practitioner since my doctor will be out of town. Hopefully she will be able to give us some good news such as I’m not progressing like I feel like I am and how big Dot is now.

We still think about the possibilities of her ending up in the NICU due to being born early. W and I were talking about it one night this past week after someone said something to me at work about it and we figured out how feel about it all. We are both just numb to it at this point. We both know that the chances are good that she will end up there for a little while, but we still hope for the best. If she does have to go to the NICU we know what to expect and we know what it will take mentally, emotionally and physically to deal with it. We joke that if she does get to room in with us it will be shocking!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Cloth Diapering- Our Stash So Far

This is a post I’ve been thinking about doing for a while but finding the time (and motivation) to actually write it has been a problem.

I recently bought the last of what I am going to buy of the cloth diapers until after Dot arrives. I was talking to someone at work about my latest purchase off diaperswappers she was asking about why I didn’t just buy everything brand new. I got to thinking about it and I came up with a couple of reasons.

First off if you ask W he will tell you one thing. I am cheap. He made the comment one time that he thought when they give you an engineering degree you automatically become very cheap. The truth of it is that I have bought a lot of these diapers used and have been able to make minor repairs for very little. Things like sewing on new aplix tabs and putting on snaps don’t cost much. It just takes me getting the motivation to do it all at night when my exhaustion level has hit its high point of the day.

The second reason is that some of these things are expensive at first. As much as I love the BumGenius and Happy Heiny diapers one of them costs between $17 and $18. The upfront costs add up so I started doing daily searches of and to see what was available. In addition, I found a good online store moms milk boutique that does free shipping and recently started stocking “pre-loved cloth diapers.” Now this might sound a little odd or gross, but when I get these in they get washed like the other diapers and also stripped (adding a little bleach to the wash cycle and an extra rinse). I have yet to have a problem with doing this so far.

So after thinking about all this I totaled up what I’ve spent on all of these things so far. The cost was right around $315. This includes:
5 BumGenius 3.0’s ( new)
4 Happy Heiny’s (used off craigslist)
20 Bum Genius 2.0’s used (needed new aplix which was free from the manufacturer)
1 Bummi’s wet bag (came with the Happy Heiny’s)
6 Babyland (used.All with snaps)
12 Gerber 3 ply prefolds (new)
24 Gerber flat fold diapers (new)
1 snappi (new)
6 Gerber 6 ply prefolds (new)
2 large thirsties covers (new)
1 size 2 thirsties duo cover (new)
2 size 1 thirsties duo covers (new)
1 Bummi’s organic prefold (used)

I was pretty impressed when I actually looked at how much I got for around $315. I then went and took a good estimate of what everything would have cost brand new. Here is where the shock came in to play. I looked and if I had bought all of these new, the total would have been $760! This amounted to a savings of around $480. For this cost I now feel that we have enough diapers and supplies for baby Dot and Butters together.

We do still occasionally buy disposable diapers. W tends to want to use disposables at night and when he is out, which is fine with me. Generally doing this we go through one box of size 6 Huggies every 2 months, which is far better than going through a box every 2 weeks! For me this is an acceptable compromise considering the overall cost savings.

Also, to make life easier on all of us when I go into the hospital to have Dot we will be packing disposables with Butters then too. Partially because the people keeping Butters aren’t too familiar with them yet and because I don’t want to come home and have to do a load of diapers right away.

So all in all I’m pretty happy with the stash so far. I know that when Dot arrives we will find more of what works and what doesn’t with an infant but for the moment I am happy with what we have and feel prepared for her arrival.

Now for some pictures!
Drawer with prefolds, flats, and covers for both Butters and Dot.

W's drawer. I make sure is always stocked with BumGenius diapers with Imse Vimse Liners inside the pockets ready to go.

Overflow drawer for Butters.

Dot's drawer with everything sized all the way down ready for her arrival.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

29 weeks and more mixed news

I’ve had a couple of people ask me about what is going on with all the things I’ve posted on twitter so I am going to attempt to put it all here.

This week started out fine. Monday when I went to work I had a couple of contractions off and on, but lately that’s been about the norm. We had an all hands meeting at noon where they provided lunch. Normally this statement would be pointless, but as we were sitting there I felt 2 stronger than normal contractions. They subsided and I ate lunch (Domino’s pizza). Later I kept feeling them along with feeling nauseated. I just figured it was the pizza not agreeing with me and didn’t worry. Around 2:30 pm they still hadn’t stopped so I called my doctor’s office. I told the nurse what was going on and she said that I needed to go home and take 5mg terbutaline and try and rest. So I tried to do what she said as much as I could with a 2.5 year old who wants to play. The contractions were every 10 minutes or so even on the terbutaline and finally around 8:30 that night they started to subside and I got some sleep. I was then woken up at 3:30am with more so my night of sleep was cut quite short.

I went into my doctors office on Tuesday and when the nurse saw me she asked what was wrong and I told her. So she goes ahead and does the normal checks. When she gets to Dot’s heart rate it was much higher than it should be (170’s) so she stood there monitoring me for a few minutes and eventually the heart rate went down and then back up. She said it was most likely from the contractions.

So when my OB came in once again he seemed very concerned. I talked to him about what happened the night before and what was going on. He checked me again and I’m the same as last time (fingertip dilated but cervix is still high and thick) which is good. After talking for a few minutes we came to a verdict:
1.change of medication from terbutaline to procardia that I take every 8 hours around the clock.
2.I will take the medication like this until I hit 34 weeks. At that point if I go into labor he won’t stop me.
3.not on bed rest, but limited activity. So no more walks at lunch and I have to take it easy. He did ask if he needed to take me off work which I told him no to since I have a desk job and I don’t really do anything strenuous. Basically the last thing I’m really allowed to do is the Swim for Melissa this weekend but after that is over I have to come home and rest for a while.

So now the new goal is to make it to 34 weeks not 36 weeks. He has no clue why this is all happening though. I’m healthy, but my body just isn’t tolerating the pregnancy for some reason. That puts me having her more around the middle of September. I have none of the history or other previous conditions that would predispose me to preterm labor so this is all still unknown as to the exact cause.

So now we wait. I honestly haven’t figured out what is worse though; having the unexpected surprise that Butters had to go to the NICU, or the knowledge that there is a good chance if Dot is born before 36 weeks that she will also have a short stay in the NICU. Honestly I don’t want to find out but I have a feeling that we will understand once again too well about the things and procedures and routines there.

So how are we coping? Well at times I’m not sure. Butters is too young to understand at this point. Right now the only thing he probably notices is that I can’t be up as much or go on long walks with him anymore.

With the events of the CCHA rejecting the UAH Chargers application this week W has been kept very busy with helping organize a fan base ( and @saveuahhockey on twitter). By his own admission, this is helping keep his mind off things. Its better that he have this distraction right now than let himself think about what is going on too much.

I’m coping but sometimes not too well. I go to sleep every night and wake up and it’s the first thing on my mind. Every time she moves I am reminded of what is going on. When I can stay busy at the office, things are better, but lately work has been up and down. Some days I’m really busy and others I’m just not and that’s where my mind starts drifting back to what is going on with my body and her. The medication has stopped a good bit of the contractions but tends to let them through when its about an hour before my next dose. Also I've learned that I can't be up for more than about 3 hours before I start getting bad cramps/ contractions and have to rest. Generally, the side effects are not too bad. The worst of it is the swelling in my legs from my knees down and the hot flashes. Other than that, I don’t feel near as bad as I did on the terbutaline.

I guess right now we have come to accept the fact that there is a good chance we will see the NICU again. With the possibility of her being born early we are just preparing ourselves to see it again. I am actually seriously considering going and buying a pack of newborn onsies and leaving them in the package with the receipt. I figure if she is bigger or doesn’t need them I can always return them and if we do have them I’m sure we will be able to do a small load of laundry and get them washed if needed.

So that’s where we stand right now. I know this was much longer of a post than anyone probably ever cared to read but there has just been a lot going on and I didn’t feel like breaking it up into multiple posts.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Butters and other things

This is my second blog this week which means I've had a little too much free time!!

One of the things I haven’t talked about on this blog lately that I used to is Butters. He is now almost 2.5 years old and slowly turning W grey during the day. When I get home he acts like the entire day he has been starved to death. Now I vividly remember when he was an infant the minute I walked through the door he wanted to nurse. At the time I thought it was cute but its continued on through the toddler years.

One thing I can say that we are very happy about is at least right now he is not a picky eater. Given the chance he will try anything and everything. Most recently he and I both had our first gyro from a local greek place we love. He inhaled the entire half of it I gave him. Then after he was done went back in his high chair searching for piece he may have left behind. He has had many greek foods and loves all of them so far. He will eat salad as dinner with no problem and loves to try new things. I am loving this since my nieces and nephews all tend to be picky eaters. I know it might not last forever, but I am sure enjoying it while it lasts!

Also we have very slowly started potty training with him. Granted we weren’t planning on really getting into it until after Dot is here, but he is showing interest. He isn’t really consistent yet, but I tend to ask him a lot if he needs to go. Many times he is still dry which is nice. We aren’t doing any major rewards just yet except for a lot of praise. I think he is starting to understand when he is wet and will pull at his diaper. Most of the time that means its too late, but as I said we aren’t doing this full blown right now. When he goes that’s great and if he doesn’t that’s ok too.

I’ve been really preoccupied with how to prepare him for Dot’s arrival lately. I’ve read many schools of thought and honestly don’t know what to think. Thanks to a local nursing moms group and friends that have babies he has defiantly been exposed to babies. Normally he wants to see them, looks and laughs then goes on about doing something else. I know that this won’t last once Dot is here but part of me hopes that having been at least exposed to other babies will give him an idea of what is going on.

Oh and much to W's dismay he was right about something. Some time in the coming weeks I am planning a blog post about how I have toddler proofed some cloth diapers using snaps and velcro. I hate to say it but this was W's idea so I have to give him all the credit.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

28 weeks and an update from last week

So its been a week since I last went to the doctor and got the news that I never expected. In some ways I am really shocked that I’ve taken it so well. Granted the thought of Dot having problems does scare the hell out of me, but for some reason I have come to be at peace with it. Normally this would really not be how I am, but in some ways I am just trusting in my body. I know that I am eating right and staying as active as possible. Also much to everyone’s relief I haven’t been climbing on top of any Chinook helicopters this time too which helps.

The terbutaline that I was prescribed I only take when the contractions get bad. Meaning if I have 3 in an hour then I take it. Luckily, I have not taken it too many times. The problem with the terbutaline is it causes me to shake nervously, my heart races, I generally can’t think straight and at the same time it makes me drowsy. None of these are fun and when they are all together I have a hard time getting to sleep and just generally feel confused. Still the contractions are not linked to any activity or anything that I can figure out. When I get them is still very random.

This week I had my glucose tolerance test. Translation I think this is my least favorite part of any prenatal tests or things that are done. I was not allowed to have even water after midnight or after I drank the nasty stuff. The “glucola” last time was orange flavored which caused me to never touch Sunkist since. This time it was fruit punch which was even worse. It tasted like bad flavored cough syrup. I nearly threw up trying to drink it if that tells you anything. Hopefully I’ll get the results next week at my next visit and not have to do the 3 hour test. Once per pregnancy is plenty!

Also this past weekend my Palm Centro died a death from a hardware failure. Its something that Palm has known about apparently and will do nothing to fix. So luckily I was able to upgrade my phone early and I have a new Blackberry Storm. First impressions so far are that I now see why they are called “Crackberries”. 2 days with out a phone about drove me crazy and this one is really nice and has a ton of functionality.

Other than all the doctor stuff I have slowly started getting clothes and diapers ready for Dot. I found a bunch of the clothes that I saved from when Butters was little and have started sorting them and washing the 0-3 and 3-6 month sizes. Many of them are really boyish, but the onsies are great layering so I’m just going to let her wear them. I also found Butters old Nashville Preditors 0-3 month set with a hat, onsie, pants and a bib. I can tell you right now that Dot’s first hockey event (game or coaches’ luncheon) she will be wearing this! That is unless we get a UAH one that she can wear.

Also I am working on fixing up some old Bum Genius 2.0 diapers and fitting them with snaps at the waist instead of the aplix they came with. It’s a pretty slow process but its coming along and hopefully I’ll have it all done before she gets here. I'll post some pictures once I get some completely finished.

I’m not getting ahead of myself though. We have a baby shower planned for this weekend back in Moody so I am trying not to do too much nesting until after the shower so I can see what exactly we will need.

I guess that’s about all for now. Hopefully after my appointment next week I will have good news. In addition, I am really looking forward to this weekend’s baby shower. This will be the last time I travel to Moody until after Dot is here due to the very good possibility that I will go early.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

27 weeks and another doctors visit

So I had my next appointment this week and things were mixed.

First off the good news. Baby Dot is doing great. My doctor was happy with her measurements and her heart rate was right at 140bpm.

My wieght is climbing, but no big worries. I'm up to 146lbs and my blood pressure was 120/70 which is all good. For once this past month I didn't weigh myself at all. I actually just knew that I was maintaining a healthy diet, walking about a mile and a half 4 to 5 days a week, and generally staying active. So when I saw the weight gain I wasn't worried at all for once.

So here's the news that wasn't great.

For the past month I have been having some problems. At my last doctors visit I mentioned that I had felt some pretty uncomfortable contractions and Dot seemed to be very low. At the time no one thought it was a big deal but over the past month things have stayed the same. I've had on average 5 contractions a day with a lot of braxton hicks and the low pressure has gotten worse. I havent said much about this because I didn't want to worry or scare anyone but W and I have been dealing with things day to day as they happen.

So when I went into the office today I mentioned the contractions to the nurse and then to my doctor. Luckily my doctor is great and took my concerns seriously. He immediately said he wanted to check and make sure I wasn't progressing and that the contractions while real were hopefully having no affect. He did check and I have started to dialate already. Not even a centimeter yet, but as he put it finger tip. Luckily other than that everything else is fine and I am no where near ready to have this baby (cervix high and thick which is good). He also prescribed a drug called Terbutaline. Basically its a drug normally used to treat asthma but is also common in treating preterm labor contractions. The plan is to take it only as needed to stop the contractions. The side effects are tolerable so far in that the main things that happen are my heart racing and feeling flushed. I think I can deal with these as long as the contractions ease up for a while.

The odd thing about all this is I wasn't told to stop any of my daily activities. Since the contractions come if I rest or active he said there was no reason for me to stop walking everyday or staying as active with Butters as I can. Also now we are offically going to every 2 week visits. He originally said a month, but reconsidered after what we talked about. He is starting to want to keep a closer eye on me for a while just incase these contractions don't get any better.

Also now there is more talk of me making it to 36 weeks rather than full term. With all the contractions and what not the goal is now more than ever to just make it to 36 weeks. For me that means 9 more weeks of being pregnant and I will have reached a goal. This also means that after my baby shower in Moody on the 9th I am not traveling out of Huntsville at all. With everything going on its just not in my best interest to go very far.

The news today was shocking for both W and I. I hated calling him on the phone after it all and having to tell him. I hated going back to work and trying not to think about it. Right now we are doing our best to stay positive about it all. We are doing our best to take things one day at a time and not think about the possibilities of having another NICU experience.

So while this was news that I debated sharing here I think its for the best. I'm not asking for anything but understanding that I had to get this off my chest and talk about it in some way, shape or form. I'm sure both baby Dot and I are going to be fine and in some way she is just trying to beat her older brother in how many grey hairs she can give daddy early on! :0)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Swim For Melissa

As I have talked about on many occasions when Butters was born W and I were introduced to a world that we never thought we would experience. The Huntsville Hospital for Women and Children's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Ever since that day I have wanted to give back in some small way. Most of you know that every Christmas we go to the tree lighting in front of the Women and Children's Center. For the past 2 years Butters has gotten a commemorative ornament where all the proceeds go the help the NICU. I feel that getting him this kind of ornament as his for the year is a small way to give back to a unit that we never thought we would see and for the wonderful doctors and nurses that helped us in a very rough time.

This year Butters will be participating in a fund raiser called Swim For Melissa. You can read more about the basics of the program here. Butters isn't old enough to actually swim this year but he is participating as what is called a paddler. He will be there getting to play with other kids his age and just helping out with any money we raise. A link to his page can be found here.

I am still working on getting everything up and running on his page so please bear with me.
While I am not doing this post to ask for donations, I am doing it more to get the word out about the event in general. It should be a fun day for everyone involved and I know we are really looking forward to it.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Since I have babies on the brain:

Butters in the NICU one day old.

First hockey game

Now at 2 years old

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Thinking about the upcoming UAH hockey season

Let me first note that from now until she makes her debut our little girl will be known as “Dot”. We are waiting to reveal the name until after she makes her arrival in late September or October sometime. I just hate saying “little girl” or baby girl all the time in my posts and had to use some kind of name.

It should come as no surprise that when I say we are a hockey family that it comes to our kids as well. Some may remember that Butters was inadvertently planned around an entire hockey season and born right after UAH lost to Notre Dame . Butters went to his first Blue/White game at 6 months as well as his first UAH home game. While I was pregnant with him he was very active during the game, but during intermissions he sat quietly. Sometimes the movements were so strong that I had to leave my seat and stand up in the stair well below.

When we found out Dot’s due date we had to laugh. The timing of her is right around the time of UAH’s first hockey games of the season. While the official schedule hasn’t been released yet the one that USCHO has posted puts our first home game on October 23. This was just a little too amusing for us when we first heard. Now with her due date coming anytime at the end of September or first of October it looks like I might possibly not have to worry about going into labor during a game.

So one night this past week after Butters went to bed W and I got to talking about hockey once again. With the season approaching the topic comes up more often than not about what to expect with the season, our chances of getting into the CCHA and the last year in the CHA and of course trying to teach Butters to say “Bemidji sucks!”

But this time the conversation was more around Dot. W asked me if I was ready to take a 2 week old to her first hockey game and that stirred some conversation and worry on my end. Granted thanks to Stephanie's generosity I have the perfect ring sling to keep her in during the game and for when she gets bigger I have a mei tai that I’ve used with Butters for a long time and love. I figure that I’ll be able to dress her in a couple of layers to keep her warm as well as have a blanket if needed. My worry is learning to nurse in the sling. I’ve heard many people say that it is very easy but I need to get it down first hand. Also if I need a backup I have a good nursing cover I can use. So as long as I can keep her with dry diapers and fed I think she will be ok. Its Butters I’m more worried about. Last year it was a full time job during the game keeping him occupied. I am really hopeful that Alvin will be a little easier to control during games this year.

I’m just not sure how I am going to handle it all. I hate to say it, but I have even thought about not going to all the games this year depending on how Butters acts. Basically if anyone has advice on how to control a toddler with an infant please let me know.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

23 weeks and an answer

This week marked another visit to my doctor. It was for a basic checkup and the infamous scan to hopefully determine if this was a little boy or girl.

First let me say this. I really like my doctor. He is pretty non interventional. He believes to a certain degree to just monitor things and not use medical intervention unless needed. His staff though at times is different. This time the nurse the brought me back weighed me (up 5lbs) then got the heartbeat and measurement as well as my blood pressure. She never did tell us what the heartrate, bloodpressure or measurement was. She went about it and just ignored that I was trying to ask her. Oh well. I can put up with a mediocre staff for a doctor I like.

The only real problem I had to address at this appointment were the bad cramps that I started getting last week. At first I thought it was just all in my head but 2 afternoons and nights of it convinced me otherwise. I called the office and the nurses were great on the phone and told me to take it easy this past weekend, drink plenty of water and fluids and stay out of the sun. So this weekend that's what I did. It mostly worked but it was still happening a little. So today I asked my actual doctor. I gave him all the symptoms that I've been experiencing and he agreed that it sounded like I've been having contractions. He said to just watch it but didn't put me on any restrictions (besides reminding me not to climb on helos). So right now I still have them when I'm up for too long, but I also know that I did the right thing by calling in the first place and he encouraged me to call again if it gets bad.

So for the big news. We had the ultrasound. He checked the head, spine, feet, hands and face and everything looked good. Of course he also checked the parts. And lets just say that my gut feeling was right.

The big news is Butters and Mac will have a little sister.

Yes to my absolute shock it really is a girl. Even though my gut was telling me one thing its been wrong before so I was doubting what I really thought. So right now it looks like we will have a little girl due right around the time our beloved UAH Chargers should start home games.

Poor W is outnumbered and I am trying to get it through my head that we are actually going to have a baby girl around here!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

cloth diapering bug

So a while back I posted about the new hair brained idea that I had about cloth diapering the next one and Butters as well. Its not that I'm out to save the planet, but more to save money.

Since then some things have happened. While I like the BumGenius 3.0 diapers we have, Butters is at the top of the weight limit for them and they really don't fit as well for an active toddler as I would like. So I took a gamble and got a pack of prefold diapers and 2 thirsties covers as well as some Imse Vimse flushable liners. I don't use pins or a snappi with them, but just fold them into what I've seen called the newspaper fold and the cover holds the inside in place and on top of the pre-fold I put one of the liners. So far this has become a favorite way of diapering Butters during the day. The large thirsties cover fits him really well and the flush able liners are amazingly sturdy. I had heard that you could actually throw them into the washer if they weren't dirty and was skeptical but shocked at the result. I've washed liners through both the pre-wash and hot cycles every time and they hold up really well. Most of the time I can get 4 to 5 washes out of each liner if its not dirty.

Right now I actually like the system we have. I use primarily the thirsties covers and pre folds at home. I really love being able to just swap out the liners and only have to use one cover for the day unless it get dirty. The BumGenius are still good for at night. They generally work well even though he is a little big for them. Also I tend to keep one extra insert as well as one BumGenius when we go out in my purse or diaper bag. The system works well for us and right now I am only doing diaper laundry ever 2 days which to me is very reasonable.

Also I've read a lot about wet bags and such. Right now we aren't using one. I find that the plastic bags we have left over from grocery shopping work well and when they get dirty or just nasty then they get thrown out. I know its not the most environmentally friendly thing, but it works for us.

So I'm 23 weeks pregnant and lately I've been giving a lot of thought to what to use for the new baby. Right now I think a version of the system we use with Butters will work well. Recently Thirsties came out with a new cover called the Duo Wrap. I love this idea and they are very affordable. I am planning on combining them with pre folds like I do now. Since an infant tends to need more diaper changes I think this will work well with changing just the prefold when needed. Also I would like to get about 4 more one size diapers. The question is if I am going to get the BumGenius or another brand. Right now I am looking at the FuzziBunz and Smartipants as well as the BumGenius. I of course want to get the best most durable and have been slowly doing my research on everything.

So these are my thoughts on everything so far. If anyone has any recommendations or advice I would appreciate it.

Monday, June 8, 2009

An emotional check up

So last week marked my 19 week check up and things got a little emotional as they can during pregnancy. I didn’t have W by my side this time to stop the on-flux of tears that soon came but I got through and when I met him at the airport the tears started to flow and flowed more once we go home.

So first the good news. I of course had a list of questions and luckily was able to manage Butters and my niece long enough to get them all answered. First thing are the results of the quad screen all came back negative. So what does this mean in normal terms? Basically that the indicators that they can check for in my blood that would show possible downs syndrome, spinal defects and other chromosomal abnormalities. All the results for me were negative so no worries on that end. Also I need to add that my ob operates on a no news is good news philosophy. So if something had of come up positive I would have known before yesterday but I wanted to ask anyway.

There was the first question regarding if I was feeling any movement and that was a definite yes. Some days it more like a ball pushing out on the right side of my abdomen more than anything, but there is defiantly movement there! Also this kid is pretty low so many times the movement is centered on my sciatic nerve in my back or bladder! But either way I and W have been able to feel quite a bit of movement which is reassuring many days!

The next question was regarding the much more prevalent cramping and pressure I’ve been experiencing with this one. He assured me it was a normal thing to happen with the second and not to be alarmed unless they turn into contractions.

The final question that I had was about scheduling my next appointment. He won’t do the gender screen until 22 weeks exactly so I wanted to schedule the appointment for that week so that Mac could still be here to see for herself. He said that was fine and we will hopefully be finding out the gender on June 30th. I am very excited to finally have a day set!

The last thing that actually happened at the first of my visit was my weight gain. When I went back I stepped on the scale and it said 134lbs. This is up 9 total pounds in 19.5 weeks and the nurse said something along the lines of wow you’ve gained a lot of weight. Now most people know that my weight is a fairly sensitive issue so when she said this it killed me. We went back to the room and took my blood pressure (didn’t get the exact reading but it was around what it normally is) and the heartbeat which was in the upper 140’s to 150’s which was fine. She measured me and for about 19.5 weeks I was measuring 22 weeks so that should say something right there. The nurse asked about my diet and I assured her that I wasn’t eating huge portions and nothing out of the normal. I exercise as much as I can and stay active. I actually only have small cravings for junk food (and only eat a small amount when I do crave it) which is nice and normally stick to dried fruit as my major craving. She said something along the lines of well maybe you just hit a growth spurt and it will even out. By this time though the damage was already done and all I wanted to do was crawl into a ball and cry.

So next my doctor came in and after we discussed everything else I asked about the weight gain. He told me that I was doing everything right and that every pregnancy is different. As long as I’m not eating junk food every day and just maintain a healthy lifestyle I will gain the weight that I am supposed to. So as reassured as this makes me I can’t help but still wonder if I’m doing the right things. Then after W got back I collapsed in tears. I just completely had a melt down and cried for a good 5 or 10 minutes. I know its hard for him to see me that upset about something but he understands that my weight is a sensitive issue and being told by a nurse that I gained too much really hit me hard. He tried his best to let me completely soak his the shoulder of his shirt with tears and calm me down. The truth of it was I just needed to cry and get it out and I think he of all people understands that.

So now I have a month to look forward to with 2 kids. W went out to get Mac from Sacramento for a month and after a long travel ordeal that I’m sure he will be blogging about later.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

NICU memories

The thoughts and memories of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Huntsville Hospital for Women and Children never seem too far from my mind these days. I can still vividly remember where his small bed was on both the critical and progressive sides of the unit. The procedures that we went through just to be able to go to his bedside every time we went to see him are still vivid memories. I in great detail remember the care routine that became second nature every time we went to see him. I remember the shock and almost laughter when they told us we had to complete a checklist of baby care items and even do a car seat test. Then there was the shock of the neonatologist asking us the morning he was discharged if we were ready to take him home. The memories are pictures in my mind as well as from W’s camera that I will never forget.

I’m not saying all these things to be nostalgic about how Butters once looked so frail and now is the 35lb toddler that bulldozes everything and everyone in his path. I talk about this because in some ways I am mentally preparing for it become a reality again.

Since my doctor is already talking about this baby following in his/her brother’s footsteps in being big and possibly coming as early as 35 weeks or so hence the reason I feel that it’s best to not forget those things that happened with Butters. Sure I hope for the best. Of course I hope that we will have an uncomplicated birth and this one will be able to room in with us at the hospital then be discharged with me. But, there is a part of me that after Butter’s birth and sudden onset of breathing difficulties knows the routine and doesn’t want to forget it all just in case we see it all again. I don't want the surprise, shock and fear that all went along with his sudden admission to the NICU. I want to be prepared and remember what happened last time just incase it happens again. I am almost half way through my pregnancy and I have had these thoughts on and off since I found out. I guess I just want to be prepared for what I know could happen.

I don’t know what it is about me, but having been through the experience once before the more I know about the situation the more it bothers me. I know that what happens is out of my control and I try to keep that in mind, but it’s really hard. I’m just one of those people that want to be prepared for everything and this is no exception. I guess its an engineer thing. :0)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

A change in diapers for us

As some of you know that follow my twitter feed the last few weeks have been talks about what to do as far as diapering for the next little one. After doing a good bit of research and number crunching I came to the conclusion that the BumGenius 3.0 diapers would be best due to how much they resemble disposables. The diapers say that they will fit babies to toddlers from 8 to 35 lbs and being that Butters is at the high range of that weight limit I decided that since I had a 4 day weekend I would try the four of the diapers I had out on Butters and see how they worked.

I got one of the diapers from A Nurturing Moment (shown above while Butters was napping) here in town and the other 3 (pictured) from with a $10 off coupon. I knew I would be washing them a lot but I wanted to give it a good shot.

My goal was to go from Friday to Monday night with only using the new diapers. As of tonight I can now say that I accomplished my goal. I wanted to do this with just the diapers and liners I had to be sure that I liked them and that they would work.

So in the process I learned a few things:
1. Changing them while out isn't bad at all. I just kept a balled out Walmart or Publix bag with me and the dirty diaper went in there and was tied up. Once I got home it went in the bag with the other dirty ones or straight in the laundry for washing.

2. I got some Bummi's flushable liners but so far they are just ok. They tend to stick to his bottom along with the poop and I just take a wipe and wipe the whole mess off. No big deal but I was just hoping to be able to flush all of it. If anyone knows of any better liners or a better way to use them please let me know.

3. Butter's diaper rash all went away with no cream. I just kept the diapers on him and the red baboon butt that he gets all went away with no treatment. That was great to see!

4. Blowouts happen no madder what. I learned this Sunday night when Butter's stomach wasn't feeling to good and his diaper got nasty. While luckily most of it was contained in the liner and diaper we still had a blowout situation but I think that happens with any diaper at some point.

5. At night Butters requires at least 2 doublers. He tends to be a heavy night wetter so having the diaper stuffed a little more than during the day seems to help.

6. I really need to increase my supply of these diapers. 4 diapers is just not enough for him to get through a day. I say this but the laundry part really wasn't a problem. It took a pre-wash cycle in cold, full wash cycle in hot, then one extra rinse followed by the dryer on medium. This is what the website recommended and so far worked well.

Overall it was a great weekend experience. I would like to do laundry a little less but that is just going to require us to obtain more of them. Right now I have some on our Target registry and I am passing the word around that as far as new baby gear that would be helpful. Last is a picture of him being as active as always. The fit was still good even though he is at the top of the weight limit. At this point we haven't gone to not using disposables at all but I am starting to work these into rotation with the Huggies that we have and hopefully start saving a little money.

Just as a side note. I estimated that he uses about 5 to 6 diapers a day. So to have a good toddler supply where I only have to wash every other night we would need about 12 to 15. But I estimated this weekend that I saved 24 disposable diapers (average) which amounts to the price of one of the Bum Genius 3.0 diapers. Not too bad for a 4 day weekend!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

15 weeks

So this week marked 15 weeks and another doctor’s visit. The basic stats were blood pressure 118/80 (which I was told was good), +2lbs and we did get a good heart beat that was right at 156bpm. The nurse was skeptical about getting a heart beat so early on but luckily since I’m so small it wasn’t a problem. The 2lb weight gain was kind of a shock considering how sick I’ve been in the evening and at night. I asked my doctor about size concerns. He looked at my chart from last time and after everything that happened said that he wouldn’t be surprised if I went early. He said that since Butters was big my chances of having another big baby are pretty good. He did say that he would be happy if I went into labor at 37 weeks (which would put this one being born right around W's birthday) with no intervention depending on how big this one is. I wanted to ask a lot of what if questions but I know it’s far too early for that and there’s no need to at the moment. Also we found out that we won’t find out the gender of this little one until around the first week of July. Hopefully we will still have Mac for the big day.

So far my main food cravings are tuna salad (made with low fat mayo and plenty of sweet relish), decaf iced coffee, instant oatmeal, sweet breakfast cereal, Tommy’s Pizza and anything with a strong citrus flavor (orange juice, chunked pineapple ect). The citrus seems to be linked to my nightly battles with getting to sleep. It seems as if I don’t have enough acid on my stomach so eating a few bites of citrus gives me enough acid to digest food and not get so sick. Ironically I don’t want soft drinks at all right now. I’ll normally have a couple of sips then they just don’t taste good anymore. I am much more preferring crystal light iced tea, lemonade or Capri suns to drink rather than soft drinks.

I’m still with out an appetite most of the time though. I eat last at night around 8pm and normally can’t manage to even think about eating until after 8am the next day. I know this isn’t entirely healthy but I’m doing to best I can. After around 9 I tend to snack on stuff that I’ve got at my desk to keep me out of the vending machine. Oddly enough I haven’t really wanted sweets that much. A random sweet craving can normally be tamed with a chocolate chip granola bar. I honestly do find myself snacking more at the office I think due to only having this type of food around and not as home as much. I have snack stuff at home but the stuff I really crave is at work. I don’t consider what I snack on that unhealthy. I’ve been really working to not look at a clock so much when I eat but rather eat when I feel like I need to. I’m mainly doing this so that I can not worry so much about when I’m eating but rather focus on just eating when and what I need to (with in reason).

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Respect or lack there of (vent)

One of the things that I deal with in my job and throughout my career as an engineer or in school is respect. During my undergraduate days it wasn’t a big deal. Around the time that I got to my upper level classes the guys I was in class with generally got the idea that the women left could cut it and basically gave us the respect we deserved. The same stands true for graduate school. I receive the amount of respect that I should and am very rarely talked down to in a class setting or talking to a professor

When I got my first engineering job I expected for there to be a lot of problems with the guys in the office and hanger but I was surprised at what I found. I was respected and seen as someone who knew what they were talking about. I got a little bit of resistance from guys when I went on trips but a few hours into it that faded and the problems were no longer an issue. In part I have to say that this was easier for me since the manager that I had was a woman and had in a way cleared the path. Granted we were complete opposite personalities but I think she did make it so that when I was starting out in the field it wasn’t as hard as it could have been.

At my current job it’s all different. Apparently I scare the guys I work with to a degree. When I initially got here things were fine. The boss I had at the time was great and I had no problems except for another woman in my group (but she has since left and that’s a whole other story). When this boss decided to leave the guys up north appointed one of the other guys in my group supervisor until someone else could be found. This is when things started getting bad. The comments about my eating started, the guys in my group started talking much worse. Things just snowballed very quickly. With in a few months of him leaving I found myself in a bad situation. The lack of respect that I got and continue to get when it comes to school and my knowledge of things would amaze you. I sit next to a guy who mainly complains about his older daughter. Calling her all kinds of names and even cussing her out on the phone right beside me is a little much. I also at least once a week get treated to a rather heated argument with his wife. The other guy that sits right on the other side of the cube wall from me has basically proclaimed that he has very little to do with his three kids and considers himself a sperm donor and the kids are his wife’s problem. This is the same guy that had the bravado to say that W must give Butters Benadryl sometimes so he will sleep and W can play video games!

I used to be able to overlook all this stuff, but after having Butters I could never imagine talking like his. Yes W and I have our disagreements but I try not to have them in the office and not bring it into the work place at all. I’m also not saying that Butters is always an angel and does no wrong. What I am saying is no madder how bad of a night I have with him or how much his 2 year old antics frustrate me I don’t talk bad about him at the office. Same goes for Mac when she’s around. I would never talk to others about how bad they are or what all they did wrong. That kind of stuff to me is meant to stay at home and not air out your “dirty laundry” at the office.

Also I want to make a distinction here. Talking to friends that have kids the same age about the interesting behaviors and quirks that are going on is completely different than talking about your kind in an entirely negative manner.

I’m not trying to sound feminist or anything about the respect issue but I get a little irritated when I hear the same things every week at work. I do my best to show these guys respect but at times it’s very hard when they show basically none to me in return. I guess I feel that inappropriate comments and complaining about your wife, kids, dogs ect should be kept out of the workplace to an extent and not voiced so loudly that everyone around can hear it. Also I really wish these guys would show a certain amount of respect in the work place towards myself and their own families in the way they talk about them.

Friday, April 10, 2009

12 weeks End of the first Trimester

So here I am 12 weeks pregnant. One of the big ultrasounds was this week and everything went great. W and Butters didn’t go to this one due to the really long weekend we had just completed. The wait was much longer than normal but when I was brought back I went through the normal round of 100 questions with the nurse about my medical history and various things. After that was the moment of truth. I was brought into the ultra sound room ready to see our little boy/girl. Thankfully he/she is doing great! I saw all 5 fingers and toes on each hand and foot. My OB took a look at the spine and profile and saw no gaps so everything looked great. The heartbeat was good and strong and the flow circulation of blood looked good. There was one tiny thing he noticed though. Just like Butters this one is already measuring big. As in about a week ahead! It’s not a big deal right now but its something to keep an eye on. He is going to monitor me more closely as far as the baby’s growth so that hopefully we can avoid what happened last time. But then again W just makes big kids so we will have to see. He just wants to try and avoid us all having to go through the NICU experience for the second time and we appreciate that! Once again he got a laugh out of my continued activity and we agreed that this week would be my last week playing hockey.

The only major symptoms I’ve had are nausea and exhaustion. I get pretty sick in the afternoon no madder what I do or eat so I’ve just come to accept that for now. I also have to eat a small snack about every 2 hours or so or the nausea gets much worse and I end up getting full blown sick. The lack of energy has been tough too. With 6 hours of grad classes and finals approaching I need some form of energy. Luckily I have found a way to make iced half caffeine coffee in the morning and that has helped tremendously in getting me up and moving in the morning (and afternoon some days).

This past week also marked my last week of being able to play hockey. I played my final scrimmage on Wednesday night. The women were split up with the men which made it really interesting. At the end of the game while the coach was making some announcements someone made the statement that I would be leaving the team until around December. Afterwards a lot of the guys were asking me why I was leaving and when I told them I was 11 weeks pregnant they were a little shocked. It was apparently quite surprising that I would play hockey all the way through my first trimester. I was really surprised that the guys were sad to see me go. I really enjoy skating with most of them and working the clock will be ok, but I am still really going to miss the physical activity of it all.

Now I just need to find something else to do to keep in shape besides running after Butters outside in the afternoon and on weekends.

This will also more than likely be my last post until after finals are over at the end of the month. Luckily in Uncertanty analysis there isn’t a final but my compressible aero exam is not going to be easy. In fact I expect it to easily be the hardest of the semester and want to be completely prepared.

One last thing I need thank Stephanie over at Adventures in Babywearing. Below are a couple of pictures I managed to get while out shopping last weekend. A question I get a lot is why I still wear Butters even at 2 years old. Last weekend was a perfect example. We were in a place he wasn't sure of at all and needed the reassurace. So wearing him in a place like that made him feel more comfortable. Also he didn't want to go to either my mom or sister that were with us. I tried to encourage him to walk but when I saw it wasn't working and he was about to have a tantrum I just put him back in the sling and wore him where we were going. We have a stroller but really don't use it too much just because the sling is so much easier to get on and off and keep him close. I plan on wearing him as much as I can until I just get too pregnant to continue.