Tuesday, April 18, 2017

10 Month Update

Easter 2017

My little lady!  It's my favorite when she crosses her legs 

This is the only way I can get my bump in the picture without a mirror.  33 1/2 weeks!

I now have a 10 month old!  Man, how time flies.  It seriously feels like I gave birth to her yesterday and here I am, six weeks from birthing our second daughter and I have 10 month old.  What the heck is going on in my life????!!!

I laugh at myself when I look back and think about how na├»ve my thinking was when it came to pregnancy/birth/child rearing.  I had no clue what I was getting into and no amount of anyone telling me was going to come close to preparing me for reality.  We’ve done the all-nighters, the sickies, the vomit/poop parties, teething and all the pretty standard stuff that people think about when it comes to parenting.  We’ve also got to experience things we would never have thought about – like finding a car seat that would actually fit in my car behind the front seats.  We put Hadley’s car seat in the middle because it wouldn’t fit but now that we need to add another car seat to the mix we’ve had to improvise.  Who thinks of things like this before they have kids???  We sure didn’t.  Heck, we didn’t even measure Hadley’s car seat before we just bought one. 

It’s been an incredible, albeit frustrating at times, journey so far.  We just took Hadley in for a checkup and she’s measuring at a 1 year old level developmentally.  She has 8 teeth and more coming in, she started walking and standing up on her own (not pulling herself up) at 9 months, she can clap and high five, gives the sweetest kisses, drinks out of a sippy cup and a straw, and has the most amazing laugh.  Hadley has a mind of her own and there is no making her do anything she doesn’t want to.  She weaned herself off her binky, pureed baby food, and now she’s weaning herself off her bottle.  She will eat anything and everything in sight.  In fact, it wasn’t until we started daycare a few weeks ago that we realized just how capable she is of feeding herself.  We may have been a little bit over protective and I wouldn’t let her eat a ton of solid foods.  It wasn’t until she started refusing baby food and her bottle that I was forced to start feeding her solid food.  Since starting daycare, she’s thrived and now eats solid food on the regular.  She was way ready before I was.

I thought we would have more time to adjust to feeding an extra body regular food.  Leave it to Hadley to prove me wrong.  It’s a whole different ball game when you are 100% responsible for what goes in someone else’s mouth.  I have to make sure she’s getting the proper nutrients and getting of what she needs to grow.  It’s a bit daunting at times.  She also wants whatever mom and dad eat so I am forced to be conscientious of what I eat.  At times, it’s been daunting.  Especially when I’m tired and I don’t feel like cooking or cleaning up.  It’s way too easy to slip back in the routine of stopping somewhere and getting something.  However, if I do that I either get something for Hadley or she goes without any solid food.  I refuse to feed her crappy fast food and a bottle just isn’t enough to satisfy her anymore.  We eat at home now.

Thinking about all this long term is kind of scary.  My number one goal when I found out I was pregnant with Hadley was to make sure that she had a different relationship with food than I did.  Right now, it’s going well.  She tells us when she’s hungry and when she’s had enough she pushes her food/bottle away and stops eating.  Somewhere along the way I have lost that and I don’t want to take that away from her.  We let her eat when she wants and how much she wants.  We just offer her the leftovers later if she gets hungry again.  Tim and I both want to make sure that she knows the difference between healthy and unhealthy.  However, I also give her macaroni and cheese and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  She doesn’t get it regularly or every day and she usually gets it with a vegetable and/or fruit.  I guess my point is, I want my children to grow up with a balanced relationship with food.  I want them to experience and enjoy it all but to also know what the word moderation means. 

Hadley is just learning to eat and appreciate the wide varieties of food.  What we teach her now will create the relationship she’ll have with food for the rest of her life.  It’s daunting, at times, knowing that I’m responsible for that when I have my own food struggles.  It makes me want to do better for her and the child coming.        

Friday, February 3, 2017


This is kind of an in between post and doesn't really have anything to do with weight loss.  I'm excited because I finally sat down and figured out how to create the Picsart #treeoflife photo and I wanted to share mine!  I think it became a big thing because it was meant to make people aware of breastfeeding.  I myself didn't have a long breastfeeding journey.  From the beginning, I struggled with Hadley to get her to latch and eventually ended up exclusively pumping for her for four months before my supply diminished.

I struggled for the first month to nurse Hadley before I had to go back to work and we switched to bottles.  Once she started taking a bottle we didn't nurse as often and I eventually just started pumping.  Because of this, I have two or three photos in total of me nursing her.  I'm thankful that I have those because it's empowering to look back at them and know that I tried to do that for her.  Amidst the struggle, we did have some incredible successes.  It's awesome knowing that I provided her with the nutrients she needed and I gave her the best start in life that I could.  I wanted to do something to commemorate so I created the following photos from Picsart.  I couldn't decide which I liked better so I posted both.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Is Winter Over Yet?

I’m not usually the biggest fan of Winter because I hate driving around when the roads are icy and snowy.  I love everything else about it, however.  The way the entire landscape changes and the cool temperatures.  I was really excited for this Winter especially because it would be Hadley’s first snow.  And boy did it snow.  We got more snow this year than we had for over 30 years!  Everyone was calling it record breaking – schools closed, garbage trucks couldn’t get into subdivisions to pick up trash, mail wasn’t being delivered, and stores were sold out of everything because power kept going out.  It was utter chaos and driving around in it has been hellacious.  God definitely made it special for Hadley – holy cow.  Apparently, there is another winter storm coming our way and we’re supposed to get another 6 inches of snow by Friday.  I just want to cry every time I hear the words “more snow”.      

Some good things have happened this winter though.  With all the cold and yuck, we haven’t been tempted to eat out so we’ve been planning and eating all our meals at home.  YAY!  My sweet girl is 7 months old and she can say Ma (usually at the top of her lungs when she’s pissed), she has two teeth, she’s happily eating solids along with her formula, she’s rolling around like crazy and is almost ready to crawl, and she can pull herself up by grabbing on to the side of something.  Once that girl can crawl/walk we are in some serious trouble.  Her favorite things to play with are the surround sound speaker cords and the cord to her swing.  We’ve celebrated some big milestones with Hadley this Winter which has put a brighter perspective on the whole situation. 

We’ve also celebrated some new things with baby girl number 2.  We’re now 23 weeks along and baby is super healthy and growing just like she should.  I’ve been doing all the same things I had with Hadley but this pregnancy has been markedly different.  I’ve gained weight with this pregnancy when I didn’t with Hadley.  I’m now up to around 295.  I complained so much about it at all my prenatal appointments my midwife had to explain that women normally gain weight during pregnancy.  Luckily, I haven’t put on anything else in the last few weeks.  I started showing earlier and I felt the baby move way sooner – which was awesome.  I have a posterior placenta this time around so the movements alone have been so much different.  My diabetes and sugars have been well controlled and it shows in the size of the baby.  If everything is good there and she is healthy, I’m not too worried about weight gain – if it doesn’t keep going up.  I’m trying so hard to keep myself away from 300, in a healthy non-dieting way while I’m pregnant.  It’s not a number I ever want to see again.

Aside from those things, I’ve been giving considerable thought to becoming a stay a home mom.  Right now, my mom has been watching Hadley for us while Tim and I work which has been such a huge blessing.  I’ve loved not having to put her in daycare and she loves spending time with her Grandma.  But, I’m having a harder and harder time leaving the house to go work when my girl is at home.  With the new baby coming I have been struggling with the thought of going back to work.  The problem we have is that it takes two incomes for us to pay our bills.  I don’t know how long my mom is going to be able to watch both girls, especially since they just bought a house farther away from us.  I’m trying to come up with some options that would allow me to work from home and set my own schedule.  So far, I haven’t come up with a solution.  Hopefully something will happen soon but until then we are just living day by day.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Almost Christmas

I can't believe that it's almost Christmas!  Where has the year gone??  The first six months of the year seemed to drag, probably because we were waiting on Hadley.  I swear each day seemed to just drag by.  Then she got here and I can't get time to slow down and now here we are.  Hadley will be 6 months old in 4 days, there's only 12 days left until Christmas, and only 18 days until the New Year.

This year, the holidays have been amazing.  Tim and I hosted our first Thanksgiving for our family this year.  Tim did almost all of the cooking and his turkey turned out amazing.  Everyone ate so much food that nobody had room for desert.  It took us five days to get rid of all the pies and breads.  I'm slightly ashamed to say that Tim and I finished off all the deserts by ourselves, haha.  We started getting into Christmas the day after Thanksgiving.  My boss is a HUGE Christmas guy so he plays non-stop Christmas music everyday, all day, and has since before Thanksgiving.  It really got me into the Christmas spirit this year though and I haven't really had that for a long time.  We're having our family over for Christmas day and we're going to celebrate with some holiday ham and all the trimmings.  I'm really excited for it.  We also got a real tree this year instead of our traditional fake ones.  I can't believe how beautiful it turned out.  Hadley spent days just staring at the lights.  

My weight loss has been pretty steady.  I was losing weight pretty rapidly and I got down to 279 before I plateaued.  And by that I mean stopped.  Nothing happened for weeks.  I tried everything I could think of to lose weight and nothing happened.  Then my milk supply started to dry up and I had to start supplementing with formula for Hadley because I wasn't producing enough.  Once again, I tried everything I could think of to increase my supply and NOTHING worked.  I hadn't been dieting at all because I was breastfeeding so I knew that it couldn't be because I wasn't eating enough.  I couldn't figure out what it was.  Then I started to get queasy throughout the day.  Tim started to joke that I could be pregnant so it prompted me to take an at home pregnancy test.  Turns out that was exactly what was wrong.  Apparently pregnancy can decrease your milk supply.  Who knew, ha.  

We just announced it to our family a couple weeks ago.  We decided to wait until we found out the gender so we could surprise everyone with both news at once.  

My doula, Melissa, took the pictures for us and we couldn't be happier with how they turned out.  It was so cold outside that it was only about a 20 minute mini shoot but we did get some good family shots too.

Hadley the thumb sucker!

I love how chunky she looks in this picture!

It turns out that Hadley's baby sister is due a few weeks before Hadley turns one so they'll be 11 months apart.  Whoops!  Haha.  I will admit that I was very shocked when we first found out.  I mean, this was definitely not planned at all.  In fact, we were trying for this NOT to happen.  Kind of ironic considering we never thought I would ever get pregnant.  Look at me now!  We're pretty excited though and I'm so glad that Hadley is going to have a sister so close in age.  

This pregnancy has been a lot rougher than the first go round, however.  I've been so sick and so lacking in energy.  However, my blood sugars have been great and my weight is consistently at a 285.  I'm hoping to lose more now that I'm in the second trimester and I can eat a little more.  I pretty much lived on crackers and Ramen my first trimester because I couldn't keep anything else down.  This pregnancy also seems to be flying by which makes sense since we have a 5, almost 6, month old in the house.  She sure keeps us busy and life interesting.  It's going to be so weird trying to juggle two of them.      

Friday, August 19, 2016

Better Late Than Never!

When I said in my post last week that I would update everyone on Friday I didn't mean this Friday.  Anyway, I guess it's better to do it now than not at all.  If you remember, I had said that I wanted to try and hit a workout goal of at least 3 days of activity during the week plus something extra on the weekend.  My week stacked up as follows:

Monday:  Walked 2 miles plus 30 minutes of Sworkit
Tuesday:  Rest
Wednesday:  Ran 3/4 of a mile plus stadium bleachers.  I think it was 16 sets of bleachers.  (Up and down is one set.)
Thursday:  Rest
Friday:  Walked 2 miles

I'm excited that I hit that goal but I'm bummed that we didn't get a chance to do anything this weekend.  We were so busy running around and trying to get stuff done for the house that we just didn't have time to go on a walk.  It was beautiful out too so it would have been the perfect time to get outside.  

This week, I've got nothing done.  I haven't worked out once.  I'm about to overshare and it's probably TMI so be warned.  I spent most of my week either in bed or on my couch because I got my first period since giving birth and it has been freaking terrible.  Foregoing the hormone part for a second, just the physical stuff alone was awful.  My cramps felt like contractions and I had to double up my pads because one wasn't enough.  You know, in all the books I've read to prepare for being a mother the postpartum stuff is really not talked about a lot.  I really wasn't expecting to have it this bad and I especially wasn't expecting for it to return at eight weeks postpartum.  

I had read that breastfeeding could delay your period for months.  I didn't know pumping when I went back to work could trigger the return of my menses.  It did.  I also wasn't planning on all the extra emotions/hormones I had.  I got super crabby and angry, mostly at Tim, for no reason.  I was just super bitchy.  Then I got incredibly sad.  I went through this period where I felt like I had done something wrong because my period came back.  Then I was just sad because it was the final nail in my pregnancy coffin.  It was that one thing that just affirmed that I'm no longer pregnant and that chapter is closed.  Once you go into labor and you deliver your baby there really isn't any time to process that you aren't pregnant.  You now have this baby to take care of and in the beginning you're exhausted and this person consumes all of your awake time.  Plus my body has changed so much that I don't even really feel like myself anymore.  Getting my period made me come face to face with these issues.  In a way I think I had to process all of these changes and maybe even mourn the ending of my pregnancy.  I don't know if that even makes sense to any of you but it was a very emotional and taxing week.  

Now that I'm feeling better, I hope to get some activity in this weekend - even if it's just some walking.  I just need to be active and get outdoors.  Hopefully next week is a better week.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Weekend Recap

We had such a busy weekend and it went by entirely too fast.  Friday night we left the baby at home (with my mom) and went with some friends and saw the new movie Suicide Squad.  It wasn't bad but if I had to do it over I don't know that I would pay to watch it again in the theaters.  With all the hype about this movie I was really expecting it to be better written.  I felt like it jumped around a lot and the movie was more about introducing the characters than an actual plot line.  I was a little disappointed.

Saturday we went to my old work's summer picnic with some friends that still work there.  It was fun to see some of my old co-workers and show off the baby.  I left that job right before I found out I was pregnant, literally.  My last day was on a Friday and I found out I was pregnant the Monday after.  Now, almost a year later, I got to show off my daughter.  It was so hot out though that we pretty much stuck to the shady areas so that Hadley didn't get to hot.      

Saturday, we got up early and took the baby and the dogs for a long walk at our favorite greenbelt.  We ended up walking 3.28 miles, the longest we've walked to date.  Tim had the brilliant idea to incorporate some extra workouts in with our walk so we added in some lunges, squats, jump rope, intermittent jogging, and I did some step ups and Tim did some jump ups.  By the time we were done even the dogs were exhausted.

My legs are so sore today it's unreal.  I haven't been this sore in a long time.  It's crazy because I've really missed having the aching muscles after a good workout.  I didn't even realize how much I enjoyed being active until we started exercising again.  It's satisfying in a way that eating isn't.  I really like the fact that Tim is on board 110%.  In fact, he usually pushes me when I'm faltering.  This is the kind of stuff we were doing together when we were dating and somewhere/somehow we lost that part of ourselves.  It feels gratifying to be getting that back.

Anyway, I want to keep this momentum going so my plan is to get a workout in at least 3 times this week, not including the weekend.  The weekends we do a longer, separate workout.  Plus we have all day to get it in, unlike during the week when we have to push ourselves to get it done.  On Friday I'll post my workouts and we'll see if I accomplished my goal.    

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Getting Back In the Habit

That's right people . . . my fat behind has started running again!!

Let me back up a tad.  Since my last post I got so down and so upset because I just was in a funk.  The only thing that seemed to make me feel better was going for a exercising.  Tim and I took the baby and the dogs and we walked this weekend on our favorite greenbelt.  I find it so peaceful to walk there.  I can clear my head and refocus on my goals while we walk.  Plus my cravings lessened and eventually kinda went away.  It helps that I stuck to my meal plan and didn't eat or drink anything off plan.
After our Sunday morning walk

Part of the greenbelt
Monday came and we weren't able to go on our walk.  Nor were we able to go Tuesday or Wednesday.  Guess what?  I started to slip up and I started eating small things off plan.  Like diet Coke.  I started to justify to myself why that was okay to have.  But, those cravings for sweets came screaming back in with a vengeance and I was finding it harder and harder to say no and I kept finding more excuses to eat things off plan.  I really think that not exercising (and artificial sweeteners) had something to do with it.  I kept having this urgency to get out and walk and every night that we didn't do it made the next day worse.  Tonight I decided that we were going no matter what.  

Tim and I decided to go back to the high school track we used to run on when we first started hanging out.  Our intention was to just walk, since I haven't ran or really worked out in 3 years, but when we got there we decided to try and run.  We both ran a 1/4 mile without stopping.  I can't even describe the feeling I got when I started to run.  It was like my body knew exactly what to do.  I immediately started regulating my breathing and it just felt so good to be running again.  I have zero muscles in my legs though so they got tired before I did.  But I did also run four sets of bleachers.  (Up and down is one set.)  I'm extremely pleased with what I accomplished and I feel good for the first time this week.  I really needed to get out of my house and just be active.  It makes all the difference in the world.
I earned that red, sweaty face
It's amazing to me how good my body feels after I exercise.  My spirits are lifted and I have renewed determination to do something better.  I just feel different about being active this time than I did after HCG.  Before it was something I had to do and now it's almost like a need to be outside doing something.  I really hope that I can keep that feeling and I start to crave exercise more than I do food.

Friday, July 29, 2016

It's Friday!

Happy Friday!!

As I'm typing this at work!  Haha

Man, this week has been a tough one for me.  I've been working really hard to get the baby on a good schedule so we're both getting some sleep and I'm still making it to work on time.  It's been going pretty well, I was only late 2 days this week instead of 5.  I'm excited to report that now it only takes me two and a half hours to get ready instead of the four it was taking me.  I finally realized that I CAN put the baby in her swing and let her cry for a minute while I get dressed - it's helped out a lot.  Usually I just pump her full of boobie juice breast milk before I set her down so she's kinda milk drunk and doesn't really notice that mom's not holding her.  It's a good strategy.  

The food struggles are real though people.  This week has been kicking my hiney!  My emotions have been a little bit more intense this week and, as we all know, I comfort with food.  It's been really hard to try and resist that temptation this week.  It's amazing how many excuses or justifications that I can come up with to talk myself into getting something off of my meal plan.  I get so angry with Tim because he won't let me eat crap when I want to.  I'm not one of those people that can just have a candy bar or a coffee from Starbucks on occasion.  If I have those things, it's not just once in a while.  It becomes a weekly, then a daily thing.  I start to obsess about getting the next one.  I want more than anything to have a healthy relationship with food but the truth is that I just don't know how and I'm frustrated because of it.  I'm overwhelmed.  There's SO many resources out there but they all say different things.  I don't know which one to follow.  I hate meal planning because I don't know what to buy and it's easier to go to a restaurant and order off of a menu.  That option isn't available when I'm cooking at home.  I'm really struggling with that right now.

I know I have to get it together for Hadley.  Right now I just feel lost and a little desperate.  I know how to eat unhealthy.  I can tell you every restaurant within a 50 mile radius and I could probably quote their menus.  But if you ask me how to eat healthy and how to prepare it - I couldn't tell you to save my life.  Don't even talk to me about portions.  I couldn't tell a a single serving from Adam.  That makes me incredibly sad and I get down on myself.  What's worse is that I know that I self medicate with bad food but I still want to do it because I'm feeling low.  I wish I could get out of my own head sometimes.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Postpartum Progress

I'll be honest, since I gave birth the last thing on my mind has been my weight.  It's been hectic trying to get settled and figure things out with the baby and that's really been my focus.  For the first few weeks my eating habits were atrocious, basically I ate whatever whenever I could fit it in.  A lot of times that was whatever other people would bring over or takeout.  We didn't cook a meal once the first three weeks after we brought the baby home.  I hate typing that because I feel like a failure.  For nine months my sole focus was making sure I was eating what was necessary for the baby to be healthy.  I tested my blood sugars everyday, three times a day, my entire pregnancy to make sure they were in line with the foods I was putting in my mouth.  Then the baby came and it was like that just went right out the window.  The problem is that I'm still making her food and she's still getting all her nutrients from the foods I'm eating.

I've been thinking about that a lot these last couple of weeks.  If anything, Hadley is my biggest motivation to be better and knowing that what I'm putting in my body still has the potential to affect her has really been weighing on my mind.  I don't want her to have to face the same struggles that I have.  My relationship with food is my biggest struggle and I've struggled with that my entire life.  I DO NOT want that for my daughter.  I want her to have a healthy relationship with food from the start and the only way to accomplish that is to teach her.  I can't try to teach her something I don't know myself.  It just doesn't work that way.  So, these last couple of weeks have brought some better changes in my eating habits.  Tim and I stopped going to eat out and we started cooking at home.  Okay, by we I mean Tim - he does most of the cooking around here.  We have also tried to cut out processed foods and sugars.  He has done way better in that area than I have.  I have a bad sweet tooth and detoxing from sugars is super hard for me.  I may have had a few slip ups here or there.  Tim does a really good job of keeping me accountable though and I've been doing a lot better in that area.

My focus this time around has changed a bit.  I still want to lose weight but it's not even what I think about anymore.  I've weighed myself twice in the 5 weeks I've been home.  I used to weigh every day.  At this point, I just want to be healthy and I don't really care what my body looks like.  I know that my body will follow.  Right now I'm just concentrating on nutrition and trying to figure out how to eat.  It's sad that I'm 28 years old and I really don't know the first thing about eating healthy.  When I saw success before it was because I had someone or something telling me what to eat, be it the HCG manual or a trainer.  This time I'm on my own and I have to figure out how to do it in order to see the long term success I want.  Eventually I want to get back to the gym and start exercising but for now I'm content just going on evening walks with my family.  We try to get out and walk at least every other night if not every night.  For now, that's good enough.

Anyway, all that being said I still think it's a good idea to have an awareness of my progress, because weight loss is still good motivation, so I've uploaded some visual aides.  Before I got pregnant I weighed 337 pounds, as far as I know. These pictures (below) were taken in August of 2015 when my Aunt and Uncle came to visit us.  I really hadn't weighed myself for a few months before these pictures were taken so I'm guessing I was above the 337 but I can't say for sure.  Either way, I was huge.          

  This picture was taken while I was pregnant, two days before I delivered, and I weighed 311 pounds.  I got all the way down to 301 but those last four weeks of pregnancy saw an increase in weight.  My midwife assured me it was water retain-age and normal baby growth.  (This picture makes me miss my bump a little.)  It was the healthiest I'd felt in a long time.  I actually felt beautiful when I saw this picture.   

These pictures I took today - five weeks postpartum.  I weighed in this morning at 290 - that's 47 lbs down from 337.  I haven't seen numbers like this since I did HCG back in 2013.  This time I haven't even been dieting - just trying to eat better and walking around the neighborhood.  It's invigorating knowing that I accomplished this on my own.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

One Month

It's hard to believe that my baby is already a month old!  Time goes so fast and she's already changed so much in the short four weeks that we've had her.  Every day brings something new, be it a new sound she makes or her starting to focus on moving things around her.  I swear she's already trying to laugh at us.  For the most part, she's such a happy baby.  Although she does take her food seriously.  If we don't feed her exactly when she wants to eat she makes sure to let us know about it.  She doesn't like interruptions to switch sides or to burp halfway through a bottle.

It's so weird how our lives completely revolve around her and whatever she needs at the moment.  We just try to fit the rest of the daily stuff in around her, and sometimes it doesn't happen at all.  You need to poop mom?  Oh sorry, I'm gonna scream the entire time until you come and pick me up.  Shower?  Don't even think about it.  I went back to work this week and I'm actually pretty grateful my dad is my boss.  I've yet to get to work on time.  I have to alot myself a few hours time frame to get myself and the baby ready to go to work (she goes with me).  Gone are the days of getting up and just going.  I still wouldn't trade it for the world.  We'll get on a schedule and eventually we'll figure it out.

The hardest part so far has been our eating.  I'm sad to say that our eating habits have turned to shit.  We need to make a better effort to meal plan and cook at home.  We were so tired the first few weeks, and I didn't feel like even leaving the house, that we usually just ordered takeout.  Not a great way to start off and I've been kicking myself in the behind ever since.  Both Tim and I are dedicated to healthier lifestyle - even if only for her.  We committed and did it my entire pregnancy so I know we can do it now.  It's just so easy to get takeout when you're tired.  Anyway, it's something that's really been weighing on my mind - especially since I'm breastfeeding.  It's so important to me to eat healthy so Hadley has the best chance at being healthy herself.  I don't want her to be predisposed to obesity or diabetes because I can't get myself under control.

We still haven't had time to actually make it to the grocery store for an actual shopping trip but we did stop eating out.  Usually one or the other of us runs to the store to buy a couple meals at a time.  Now that I'm back at work I have to start planning for lunches there as well.  The eating habits at my work are atrocious because everyone eats out all the freaking time or the owner caters in food.  It's going to be hard to resist that temptation.  Luckily, Hadley is there as a reminder of what I need to be doing.  Hopefully I can get back on track, sooner rather than later.    

Monday, July 4, 2016

I'm A Mom!

Hadley Faith was born June 17th, 2016 at 10:14 pm.  She weighed 7 lbs 5.4 oz and was 20 inches long.  She was (and is) perfect.  Giving birth was an incredible experience - even though nothing went as planned.  When we talked about our birth plan we, Tim and I, decided that we wanted to do things as natural as possible.  I didn't want to be induced, I wanted labor to come on it's own, and I wanted to labor at home with Tim and my doula as long as possible before going to the hospital.  I didn't want any pain medication and I definitely didn't want an epidural.  None of that happened.

I had a doctor's appointment Thursday the 16th to do another ultrasound.  At our appointment the week before, my midwife brought up the possibility of inducing at 39 weeks.  Apparently it's standard care for women that have gestational diabetes to get induced at 39 weeks to prevent complications to the baby.  My blood pressure was slightly elevated but still within a normal range.  However, my blood sugars had been so good and baby was looking healthy so there was no medical reason to induce.  But, as a precaution, she wanted to check everything again on the 16th and take another look at the baby to make sure she was still growing normally.  When we went in on the 16th to do our ultrasound, Kristi (the midwife) had us do a non-stress test to listen to the baby's heartbeat.  We'd been doing these for the last couple weeks at the beginning of our appointments to measure baby's heartbeat, check for contractions, and so on.  When she took my blood pressure it was significantly higher than it had been previously.  I've not had any blood pressure issues my entire pregnancy so my midwife was pretty concerned that it had been increasing and was so high.  We talked to the OB and decided to induce to prevent any further complications.

Sitting on the labor ball while Tim rubs my back
We left Kristi's office and headed home to get our bags, which were luckily packed, and headed back to the hospital where we were admitted.  We called Melissa, my doula, and she met us there.  We got admitted at 8pm and I got my first dose of Cervidil at 9 pm.  Cervidil is a gel that is put on the cervix to induce labor.  It is the closest thing to natural labor that there is and it works almost immediately.  Kristi started off with a very light dose to get things started.  She didn't want my contractions to be too intense right off the bat so that I could rest through the night since we induced so late.  I had been having mild contractions all week anyway but the first dose made them much closer together and slightly more intense.  Melissa stayed with us until about midnight and then she left so Tim and I could rest.  She came back the next morning at 7 and never left my side.  Kristi gave me the second dose of Cervidil at 8 am Friday morning.  My contractions went from mild to super harsh within minutes.

Here's the crappy part about Cervidil.  When it's put on your cervix, you have to be lying flat on your back.  Then you have to stay flat on your back for 30 minutes so it stays put.  Then you can sit up, but you still have to stay in the bed for another 30 minutes so the staff can monitor your contractions to make sure they aren't too intense and too close together, which can happen if too much Cervidil is used.  If  they are too intense then I would have to get more medicine to make them slow down.  Luckily Kristi knows what she's doing and my contractions were fine - from their perspective.  For me, I went from 0-60 in 10 seconds - or so it felt.  Mind you, I was flat on my back and unable to move at all for an hour while I was getting monitored.  Laboring on your back is freaking awful!

Anyway, I suffered through that first hour of monitoring and then I was able to get up and walk around.  My favorite place to labor was at the end of my bed, sitting on a birthing ball.  Melissa would sit in front of me, under my hospital bed, and push against my knees while Tim sat behind me rubbing and pushing on my back and hips.  It didn't get rid of my pain but it did help relieve some of it.

That mask didn't go far
My labor was actually going pretty well, painful, but I was managing okay . . . until I had to get back into the bed so they could monitor the baby.  I only had to be monitored for 20-30 minutes but with my contractions being so intense it felt like freaking forever.  At that point I started talking about getting an epidural.  I had talked to my birth team and Tim about this situation and I asked them to remind me, in the event that I did ask for it, why I did not want to have one.  They did exactly as I asked.  They did not tell me I couldn't have one or that I shouldn't - they simply just reminded me why I didn't want one.  Right around this time my water broke and my contractions got a lot more intense.  Once my water broke, we realized that there was meconium in my amniotic fluid.  Baby was still doing great so there wasn't a lot of concern but they did call Kristi to come in and check on things.  When she got there I was in so much pain, and still talking about an epidural, that she suggested we try nitrous oxide.  I guess this is something they offer laboring women, though I had never heard of it.  Kristi told me it doesn't take away the pain of labor but it would help get my mind out of it without any side effects to the baby.  I decided to give it a try.  I had this little portable tank with a mask that I could use as liberally as I wanted.  Apparently, I used it very liberally because things got fuzzy for me after this because it really took my mind out of it.  I couldn't really focus and it made me very sleepy.  I really wasn't aware of who was in the room or not - the only focus I had was every contraction.  I would sleep in between and then when I had a contraction I would breathe in the nitrous.  I continued this pattern for some time until I had to get back into the bed to get monitored.

Discussing the epidural w/Kristi, the first time


That bed was my enemy!  I hated having to lay down because it made every contraction so much worse.  Once I got back into that bed it was over for me and I knew I needed an epidural.  At this point, I was just so out of it and I was so tired.  I had such amazing support from Melissa, Kristi, and Tim.  They all knew I didn't want an epidural and when I got to the point that I was asking for one they made sure it was what I really wanted.  They didn't want me walking away with regrets.  For that alone, I am so thankful for all of them.  They helped me to be empowered and knowledgeable about the decision I made.  More than that, we tried everything else before that decision so when it came down to it, I knew what I needed and I was okay with it.  I'm pretty sure I still cried though.

After my epidural
 I ended up having to get two epidurals.  The first one only numbed my right side and for some reason all of my pain was centered on my left side.  Every contraction seemed like it was intensified by 100 on that side.  I can't even describe how awful that was.  So, the anesthesiologist had to come back in and redo the epidural.  After it was done, my left side was more numb than the right.  The epidural is an amazing thing.  I didn't feel a thing, including my legs, once I got it.  I pretty much went right to sleep and slept for a couple hours.  Once they gave me the epidural my blood pressure bottomed out and the baby's heart rate dropped to 70 beats per minute from 150's.  Things got really serious for a minute and Kristi ended up giving me an epinephrine shot and my blood pressure and the baby's heart rate returned to normal and stayed that way.  My contractions also slowed down to about 7 minutes apart though the intensity didn't change (not that I was feeling them).

First look at Hadley
From there, things were pretty relaxed.  I got some much needed sleep while Tim and Melissa kept vigil.  When it was time to push I was alert, finally, and relaxed.  The epidural had worn off enough that I had some feeling in my legs and I could feel the contractions - though they were not nearly as intense as they had been.  I could feel the baby moving into position with every push.  Kristi got me a mirror so I could see her head emerging as I pushed.  It really gave me a focus on what I was doing and it was incredible to see.  Once the baby was crowning Tim stepped aside and a nurse took his place holding my leg.  He stepped up next to Kristi so he could catch Hadley as she came into this world.  He held her head while Kristi unwrapped the umbilical cord from her neck and suctioned out her nose.  Once her shoulders came out,  he put her on my belly and I saw my daughter's face for the first time.  Her eyes were wide open and she was screaming.  Her cry was so loud - she did not sound like a typical newborn.  She was pissed and wanted the whole world to know it.

That moment was truly something else.  Nothing could ever compare to the rush of feeling that entered my body the moment that I touched Hadley for the first time.  Tim and I just looked at each other in absolute awe and everyone and everything else just faded away until it was just the three of us.

She was so alert!

My labor and the birth of my daughter didn't go as I had planned, at all, but looking back I wouldn't change it.  Well, I wouldn't do nitrous again just because it took me out of it so much.  I think that's why I ended up getting the epidural.  But, I'm absolutely okay with having gone that route.  I'm so thankful for Melissa especially.  I think everyone should have a doula, specifically her because she's amazing.  Kristi couldn't be there the entire time - she was delivering two other babies at the same time as mine.  Melissa was there the entire time.  Not only did she give me support and encouragement but she was 100% there for Tim as well.  He was able to rest when he needed to, and when things got scary she was there to reassure him.  We both agree that we could not have gotten through this without her and should we have more children we will make sure she is there again.  When Kristi was able to be with me she was nothing but encouragement and comfort.  She validated my concerns and gave me choices.  She also did everything she could to give me the vaginal birth I wanted.  This girl did not have to have an unnecessary C-Section!!
And Tim.  What an amazing thing it is to have such a great partner.  I couldn't be more lucky.  There wasn't a moment in the 26 hours that I was in labor that he wasn't there.  I don't think he ate, drank, or went to the bathroom the entire time.  He was always within reach and in all the photos that Melissa took the one constant is that we were touching each other.  Either he had his hands on me or I was reaching out to him.  I took great comfort in his presence and I still do.

Proud Papa

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Baby Update

Yesterday we went for our usual checkup and our 36 week ultrasound.  This appointment was extra special because it's our last ultrasound before the baby makes her debut and we also had to take measurements to determine how she's growing.  Tim and I have been pretty anxious about this appointment, specifically in regards to how big or small she is.  There's some risk that the baby could be getting too big because of my diabetes.  We've been controlling my blood sugars really well this entire pregnancy, which is why we didn't have to go on insulin (thank you Lord), and we've been staying active and have been super careful about what we eat.  However, her other ultrasounds have always shown her to be slightly bigger by a couple pounds than what the national average has been.  The doctors have never been worried because we've been right on track but it's been so long since we've checked her progress that we didn't know what to expect.

Hadley's Face.  Chin, lips, and nose
 Luckily, everything checked out and she's perfect.  Better than perfect.  The national average says she should be at 6 pounds and she's measuring at 5lbs 14oz.  The amniotic fluid levels are right where they are supposed to be.  (Having more fluid around the baby can be a sign of poorly controlled diabetes - it means the baby is peeing more than she should be.)  The doctor says that it definitely shows how hard we've been working and he has no fear that she'll be anything but healthy.  We were hoping for a better look at her face but there wasn't enough fluid around her head to get a 3D picture and she was being stubborn in her 2D pictures so we still only have a partial look at her face.  The next time we see her will be in person so I guess we'll just have to wait until then and be surprised.

As far I'm doing, everything is still going great.  I stopped losing weight but I haven't gained either.  Both my midwife and the doctor are extremely pleased with that.  In fact, losing 30 pounds this pregnancy has most definitely helped.  I haven't had many aches and pains, just pressure now that the baby has started to drop.  My blood pressure and everything else has been great.  We had to do a Group B Strep test this visit so we're just waiting on those results to come back.  I'm hoping everything goes ok there but my midwife assures me that if it does come back positive it's not anything to worry about.

Tim and I are getting excited and anxious for Hadley to get here.  We are so ready to meet her and hold her.  I'm so ready to not be pregnant anymore, haha.  Things are definitely starting to get more and more uncomfortable the lower she sits.  So far she's head down and in position so everything looks good and ready for the "BIG DAY".  Cross your fingers for me that it's soon!  (But not too soon.)

Monday, May 9, 2016

34 Weeks & Counting

These last few weeks have just dragged by, or so it seems.  But here we are with only 6 weeks left until my due date.  These days if I think about that too long I get super emotional when I think about her being here.  However, thinking about her does keep me from worrying about labor and delivery.

Speaking of, we did have to go into labor and delivery a couple times these last couple weeks.  Her movements slowed down and we got a little worried so we had to go get monitored for 30 minutes.  Turns out she's just a stink and completely healthy.  As soon as the monitor was put on she started kicking it, HARD.  She was making my whole belly roll with her movements.  I'll admit it was a welcome relief after not feeling her for a few hours.  Tim and I are so close to having her here that we may have panicked a little bit.  Well, I did most of the panicking while he stayed pretty calm.  I thank God on a regular basis for Tim.  He's been my rock this entire pregnancy.

This pregnancy so far has been amazing.  The first trimester I was really tired all the time and had some slight morning sickness, second trimester was an absolute breeze, and the third trimester has been fun and relatively painless.  I have some discomfort just because she uses my bladder as a pillow but other than that I haven't had any complaints.  In fact, most people have been asking me if I'm ready to be done being pregnant.  The answer is yes, but not because I'm uncomfortable - I just want to hold her already.

I think this trimester has been the most fun just because we've been getting things prepared for her arrival.  We had the baby shower - which was absolutely amazing and way exceeding any expectations I had.  We were able to complete the baby's room and it turned out so cute - the picture doesn't do it justice.  We still need a couple of shelves and I want a rocker to go in the empty corner.  But overall, it's pretty much done.  Other than small items I think we're pretty much done shopping for the baby altogether.  She's already got a TON of clothes to last her the whole first year of her life.

Now it's just a matter of getting the last little bit of things together and then just waiting.  I've started to read labor and delivery books and my doula and midwife are trying to get me as prepared for labor as possible.  We did our hospital walk through and decided on our birth plan.  Tim wants to start getting the bags packed for the hospital for both the baby and us.  We're going to get the car seat ready in the car in the next couple weeks - just in case she decides to come early.  Other than that we are as done as we can be.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

30 Week Update

I can't believe that I'm 30 weeks already.  When this pregnancy started it felt like we had forever to go but now we've only got ten weeks left and I'm starting to worry that it's going by to fast!  I'm happy to report that things have went along perfectly so far.  We had our 30 week checkup yesterday and I'm down 30 pounds this pregnancy.  The goal that my doctor and I set was to not gain any weight during this pregnancy so she's ecstatic that I've actually lost weight.  I'm so happy that I've not had to go on insulin - I've really been staying on top of my blood sugars.  It helps that Tim has been so supportive during this pregnancy and these last couple of weeks he's completely revised our eating plan again to make sure that the baby is getting what she needs and I'm eating what I'm supposed to.  I think getting pregnant and realizing that our choices are immediately affecting her has really motivated the both of to exercise and eat better.  It's payed off too because she's measuring right on time.  Having a bigger baby is a huge concern because of my diabetes.  Anyway, things are looking great and I couldn't be happier.

Of course, now that we've only got ten weeks left I can't stop thinking about labor and delivery.  It seems forefront in my mind these days.  I'm sure that's a natural concern for most pregnant women but it's scary to think that she's coming out one way or another.  There's no going back now.  I really want to have as natural of a birth as I can and I'm worried I won't be able to handle the pain so I'll choose an epidural.  There's nothing wrong with having an epidural and I don't mean to make it sound like there is.  I just want a different labor - I want to be able to walk and move and not be stuck in a bed.  Plus, I'm terrified of needles.  Anyway, my midwife assures me that no matter what happens during labor whether it's a natural birth, an epidural, or even a C Section that it will all be okay.  She told me to be open to any possibility.  That's amazing to me because when I first found out I was pregnant I thought for sure the only way she was getting here was through a C section.  I didn't think my body would be able to deliver at all.  But my body is strong and even though I'm carrying around extra weight I'm fully capable of having a normal delivery.  That alone is reason to celebrate.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Spring Is Here!

I'm so excited that spring is finally here!  It may still be cold out but we've had more sunny days than not.  I love spring; it's my absolute favorite time of the year!  Winter can be kind of a downer and then spring comes, everything is blooming, new babies are being born, it's green, and the sun is out.  I love it!

We decided to celebrate the first day of spring with our first outside barbecue in the new house.  It was such a perfect day for it too because the sun was shining and it was warm enough outside that we could sit in the backyard and enjoy ourselves.  I haven't actually barbecued myself in quite some time so we were pretty excited to get our new grill set up.  It only took us four hours to set it up but when we finally got it together it was perfect.  Our friends came over and we just had a nice time just visiting.

Tim and I actually had a hard time decided what kind of grill to get.  He prefers charcoal and I prefer propane.  I say that and everyone thinks I'm crazy.  I think I like it but it's an easy on and off - I'm not leaving hot coals to go out on their own.  Plus, I've never used charcoal before so I suppose that was part of it.  Anyway, we decided to go ahead and get a dual propane/charcoal combo to have the best of both worlds.  We used charcoals for our barbecue last night but the plan is to get the propane set up so we can test that out next.  Either way, I'm relatively excited that there's going to be a lot of barbecuing in my future.  My side of the family is big on grilling and they'll barbecue all year long.

It was the perfect way to bring in the 1st day of spring.