Wednesday, February 29, 2012

32 Weeks

Today I hit the 32 week Goal we had set! That is great news and at 32 weeks a baby has about the same odds of survival (with NICU help of course) that a full term baby has! That is a huge relief although my ultimate goal is to avoid the NICU altogether this time.

Once again, blood pressure looks good and baby sounds good - blah blah blah.

I had my final FFN as they aren't effective tests to run at 34 weeks. Got the results tonight, showing I am still positive. Doctor was pleased that I am not dilating anymore but is still pretty concerned about some other things. In her words, my body is just saying it is tired and ready to be done with this pregnancy and after back to back pregnancies I can't really blame it. It seems that baby has completely dropped into my pelvis now in anticipation of delivering soon. But the no dilatation is a good sign, even if the FFN is a not so great sign. She said just to maintain very strict bed rest and mentioned that she may release me from bed rest at 34 weeks.

I am still very hopeful of making it to at the MINIMUM 35 weeks which would be March 21st, but it sure would be awesome to get into April. Either way, it is really starting to hit me that we are going to be having another little baby here very soon!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Bag Packed - Check!

Well, life on bed rest is pretty boring (31 1/2 weeks though - yay!) so not much to report on life these days. But over the course of this week I did get a few things checked off of our to-do list. I got pre-registered at our hospital but I must make it to 35 weeks in order for that to even be a possibility but in my mind I am going to make it that far and beyond! I am just not even letting my mind think of the possibility of delivering before that!

I also got most of my hospital bag packed. This was something I was running around trying to finish up when my water broke last time and I will not be caught off guard with it this time (even though I literally used 2 things out of it since I was in and out of the hospital so fast).

My favorite part of the bag and of not finding out what we are having is packing up baby clothes and wondering what we will be using for this little one! As long as this baby gets to stay with us at the hospital, we will get to dress baby right away and I love to play dress up with the kids so I am looking forward to that this time!

I was really drawn to the pink stuff, I have to admit it. But then I started looking at all of those tiny little outfits and memories of Eli wearing them came back and I have to admit I would love to have another little baby boy to wear all those cute things Eli wore. I also packed a few unisex gowns just for good measure :)

I also "think" I have figured out coming home outfits but I may change my mind. We'll see!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

31 Weeks!

Well, we have survived week 1 of bed rest and 1 week closer to our goal of a full term little one!

Bed rest is interesting. Actually, this last week has felt like the longest week of my life! I am so used to the boys keeping me so busy that time feels like it is creeping by now that I can't do anything. Bed rest is not easy or fun. It is boring and I have more aches and pains from the lack of movement, but it is all worth it to be a week closer to an at term baby.

There is NO WAY I could survive all of this without the help from my mom. She comes over in the morning, loads up the kids and I and we go over to her house where I lay on the couch all day and she takes care of the kids. I like this, because I am at least able to be around my kids with this system. She does our laundry and cooks all of our meals and we have pretty much turned her entire world upside down because we occupy all of her time. It would be impossible for me to stick to strict bed rest without all of her help. Peter comes over there after work, and we eat dinner with them, my mom gives the boys baths and then Peter loads everyone up and takes us home and gets everyone in bed. It just seems so strange (and hard) for me to not be able to take care of my own family and have to rely on those around me so much.

The kids are adjusting pretty good to the new schedule. At home, we've always followed a pretty good routine and so putting the kids in a different situation and routine has taken some time for them to figure out. It is great because Malachi will still climb up on the couch and give me much needed snuggle time and lots of kisses as does Eli, which I really enjoy. So it is working out pretty good because I don't feel like I am missing out on being with the kids. Malachi is having a verbal explosion right now and loves to dance and sing and show off so it is nice to not miss that. Eli is learning lots of new things - he is pointing at everything now and learning body parts - and I'm right there to at least see it. The kids being happy makes me happy!

As far as the pregnancy goes we are surviving. I am still having quite a few contractions, especially in the evening hours even though I chug water all day long. I have also been feeling more pelvic pressure which worries me quite a bit, but we've made it a week closer and that makes it all worth it.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Well, my FFN came back positive this time so the orders are strict bedrest. I admit I was very surprised by this result and it is hard not to feel somewhat stressed out scared. The good news is that the FFN just says that there is a risk of going into labor within 2 weeks, not a guarantee so if I am careful hopefully we will get this baby to full term.

The news was a little hard to swallow, as strict bedrest is a big deal when I have two little guys already to take care of. But it didn't take long to work out a plan to get us through these next several weeks. I will be retested in 2 weeks but have a pretty good feeling that this bedrest will remain until I reach full term at 37 weeks or deliver.

I am trying to just take it a day at a time, but I admit I am nervous about the possibility of having another preemie. 30 weekers tend to do really well if born early, so that is great but just one week in the NICU broke my heart with Eli and I can't even imagine having weeks or possibly months in the NICU. I also stress about what it would be if we do have to try and balance being there for a little one in the NICU and and trying to be there for the two at home. It was hard enough to balance that for a week and it is almost too much for me to think about. So I just try to remember what has gotten me through the first trimester of both pregnancies - today I am pregnant! Today there is a baby baking inside of me, growing bigger and stronger by the second. Who knows what tomorrow holds and it is still possible for me to make it to full term so we are on the take it one day at a time plan!

30 Weeks

Well, here we are finally at 30 weeks! All along I have been most worried about the stretch from 30-36 weeks and here we are - time to be on high alert!

My appointment today did not go great. All the usual stuff was fine - blood pressure, weight gain right under 20 lbs, heartbeat sounds great! I was telling my doctor about how I am not having braxton hicks anymore and have been drinking a lot of water. She confirmed that I am well hydrated. Then I was telling her about how I have had some really uncomfortable cramping and that I had an episode of 3 hours with crampy contractions 5 minutes apart. I also had another similar episode a couple nights ago that lasted about an hour. So she decided to do another FFN to see if am at risk of labor within 2 weeks. So we await those results once again and hope it will be negative. In other news, she was not thrilled that she could feel the baby's head which is putting additional stress on my cervix and there is now also concern that my cervix may be shortening too early. Now I am off my feet until the results of the FFN come and we will take it from there!

I admit I am starting to get really nervous. About the health of this baby if it doesn't bake long enough. I am so afraid of having another NICU baby but I know we would get through it if that is what happens. I am so afraid of all these restrictions and being able to take care of my boys that are at home or what if this baby has a NICU stay and being pulled between my boys at home and the baby in the hospital and Peter having to go back to work. All these cares that are not mine to worry about. I just have to take this a day at a time and do my part to ensure this baby stays in as long as possible. Will update with FFN results once I get them.

In good news, we are mostly prepared for baby. My goals for the next two weeks are to get pre-registered at the hospital and to get my bag packed and bags packed for the boys. These are two things I waited until the last minute to do with Eli and do not want to have to be worrying about with this little one. So better to just get them knocked off the list!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

My Precious Little Valentines!!!

Last year I had a chunky 9 month old Valentine and a teeny tiny 10 day old newborn Valentine. This year, I just can't believe what my lil Valentine's look like.

Seriously, I have watched this little boy grow up before my eyes these last few weeks - break my heart!

And look who decided to take off full on walking on this Valentine's Day! There is no stopping him now and the craziest part of all of this is the very same day that I have written down that 1 year ago today Malachi took off walking - how cool is that ?!?

These beautiful boys, I am definitely hurt my heart in love with them! I feel so lucky to be their mommy!

Last year, since we had just been released from the NICU and were still getting our bearings on the home front we didn't really do anything. We were kind of in Zombie land I think with deep bags under our eyes.

This year, we still kept it very low key but still made it a special day. I made this super yummy dessert which I have to say Baby #3 has really enjoyed and has been bouncing around for hours!

Our Romantic Valentines Dinner may have changed just a little bit, but I honestly don't mind it at all! I loved having my boys be a part of this love day! Malachi enjoyed his candlelit dinner :) (Eli was just off to the side of Malachi). We cooked some steaks and Homemade Mac and Cheese which is always a hit with ALL of my boys!

And the beautiful flowers my wonderful husband got for me. I truly love him more everyday! I look forward to many many many more Valentine's Days with him!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Gender Guesses

One of the best parts of not finding out boy or girl is getting to spend the entire pregnancy guessing the gender. With Eli all the Old Wives Tales were pretty much split 50/50. With this pregnancy almost every single old wives tale has pointed to girl. Now, it will be really funny to look back at this after baby comes if it does end up being another boy.

The two things that have convinced me most of a girl are: Placement in 8 week ultrasound. Now this is one I always use on people and so far it has been very, very accurate. If baby is implanted on the right side it is a boy and if it implants on the left side it is a girl. Here are my 8 week ultrasounds for comparison:

The other one is how different I am carrying this baby. The theory is that boys are carried low (and boy did I carry Eli LOW!) and girls carry high. I wasn't too convinced by this one, because I still don't feel like this baby is that high. I'm definitely not getting kicked in the ribs or anything but that probably has more to do with the fact that I think this baby is laying transverse right now. I was actually surprised though, when I did this comparison because I am definitely carrying much higher based on the pictures:

Now, not to completely take away from the boy side. The only old wives tale that has me thinking that this may be a boy is the heartbeat. This baby is steadily in the 140's or 150's at doctors appointments which is a lower heartbeat than a lot of girls.

Some other old wives tales predicting girl:

Lots of morning sickness in 1st trimester = Girl (now I did have some intense morning sickness with this baby but I also had it and it lasted much longer with Eli so I don't put a lot of faith in this one)
Craving sweets = Girl Now this one is very true for me. Last pregnancy I lost my sweet tooth but this time I pretty much want something sweet at least once (or twice) a day!
Chinese Gender Chart = Girl Some people swear by this one!
Your last son or daughter said Mama first = Girl Now I find this one totally ridiculous and funny, but yes Eli's first word was mama!
More emotional = Girl

Honestly, I couldn't find any other ones besides heartbeat that indicate boy. But that doesn't mean I am going to go out and buy a bunch of pink. (although I would be lying if I said I haven't bought a few girly things just in case!) Just a short time now before we will know for sure!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Big Boy Bed

For months now, Peter and I have been discussing the big transition for Malachi from crib to toddler bed. I have been much more eager at the idea of this transition than Peter has been. So the plan has been to buy him a toddler bed with our tax refund and get him in it. Then over the summer we will move Eli into Malachi's room with the vacant crib and put the new baby in the nursery.

I have become a little more panicked about everything lately as the weeks go by as I don't want to be doing this transition after the new baby comes. I had a wonderful plan where we would keep the crib up and also have the toddler bed in Malachi's room where we could slowly acclimate him and make the adjustment as easy as possible on all of us.

Well, that all went out the window when I walked into Malachi's bedroom yesterday morning and found him outside the crib trying as best he could to pull his beloved Stinky Elmo out of the crib. I didn't want to risk him getting hurt, so I decided it was time to do this thing cold turkey and get the boy in his big boy bed. I spent the morning moving the bookcase out of his room, converting the crib to a toddler bed, and doing some final baby proofing of his room (I did take a few breaks as to not completely ignore doctors orders).

I figured it would be better to have his first time in the bed at naptime than to have to wait for bedtime. I showed him his bed, played up how awesome it was that he was now a big boy with his own big boy bed! I pulled the covers up, handed him Elmo, took a few quick pictures, kissed him, told him it was time to go night night and walked out the door.

I sat out in the hall watching him with the video monitor. It didn't take him long to decide it was playtime. So I walked back in his room, put him back under his covers, kissed him, and told him it was time to go night night.

Again, I barely made it out in the hall before I was back in his room doing this again. I fully expected a battle with him, because this was all very new to him. After going in a couple more times, I couldn't help but laugh as I watched him slowly go to the foot of his bed. Slowly climb out of the bed, then jump back in bed. Then slowly climb back out, walk a few feet further from the bed before bolting back into the bed. He was definitely testing the waters. After about the 4th time going in I became more stern with my warning that he must go night night.

After 20 minutes of waiting and about 6 total trips in his room, the boy was out and stayed that way for 2 1/2 hours! When I went to get him up, he told me no that he didn't want out of bed.

I was worried we would be in for a bigger struggle at bedtime, but he did really good last night. I think the room being totally dark makes it much less appealing to get up and play. He didn't even try to get out of bed and was asleep within 5 minutes!

Such a big boy he is!

I don't think we could have asked for a better first day with his new bed. Apparently he is more ready for this transition than we had thought. I still fully anticipate some battles with him staying in his bed, but so far we are off to a great start!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

1st Birthday Recap

Elias had a wonderful first birthday party. I still can't believe a year has already passed since he was born! Look at my little snuggle bug all ready for his first birthday party :)

We had a really simple party and I think it all turned out really well. His party was giraffe themed! My mom makes all her grand kids their birthday cakes and when I saw this cake online, I just knew it was perfect for Eli!

Opening presents! Eli LOVES to play with balls and well, he got a lot of them for his birthday (including a ball pit) so he is in heaven!

I wasn't sure how he would like all the attention when it came time to sing, but he enjoyed it :)

And enjoyed smashing his cake!
Boy oh boy have we been blessed with these boys!

Eli had another big month of development going into his first birthday! We transitioned pretty much completely to whole milk now and are just about to give up that nighttime bottle. He remains completely on people food and boy can that boy eat! He is not picky, one little bit!

He sleeps about 12 hours at night, from 7:30-7:30 and takes about a 2 hour nap during the day.

At his appointment yesterday he was 20 lbs 10 ounces (10-25%) and 29" tall (10-25%). So he is just sticking with that steady growth in those ranges. Pediatrician said he may just be one of those boys who waits until middle school and then has a huge growth spurt.

He has reached a lot of milestones in just one month. They include: Playing How Big is Eli, and blowing kisses. New words are "touchdown, yay, tickle" He also finally got his very first tooth and took his first steps this month. He is standing for long periods of time and can take between 5-10 steps at a time. We're very proud of him and all he has accomplished and endured in his first year of life!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

1 Year Old

To our precious Elias:

One Year Ago today you entered this world, and boy was it a rough start for you.
It destroyed my heart to see you struggle and have to be taken so far away from me. I wanted so badly to be able to comfort you through those first rough days.

But now here we are, a year later! A year behind that amazing and oh so difficult first day of your life!

You are so precious little man! Precious is truly the word used to describe you.

You have such a sweet demeanor about you and I can't wait to see how God uses your tender heart.

Elias, we are so blessed to have you, our second precious boy in our lives. You light up our lives with your precious smile and eyes that sparkle!

I know it isn't too manly to be a momma's boy, but for now I will enjoy every second of the snuggles you save just for mommy!

So happy birthday to my lil peaches and cream! We love you more than you can imagine and we look forward to your wonderful second year of life!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

28 Weeks

Today I had my 28 week prenatal appointment. I also had my gestational diabetes test, which I had last pregnancy but based on testing I did on my way out the door, I feel very confident that I don't have it this time. But we will wait for the official word on that!

My appointment went okay. Baby is still sounding great and doing great! I on the other hand may have a few issues going on. I will spare the details, but things are starting to change already. So with that news and the fact that I have had a lot of contractions she decided to run a FFN (fetal fibronectin) test. Basically a negative on this test would mean that I am not at risk of going into labor within the next 2 weeks, whereas a positive test would mean that I am at higher risk of going into labor within 2 weeks, but not necessarily that I would in fact go into labor.

So I should have those results sometime tomorrow. My doctor said we really need to just focus on making it to 37 weeks. That is now my goal and hopefully beyond that! For now I am to limit activities as much as possible, and avoid lifting as much as I can with 2 babies at home. If the results come back positive tomorrow (which I am optimistic that they will not!) the game plan will be changing.

So for now, we just wait until tomorrows results and plan on my next OB visit in 2 weeks. We're to the 2 week appointments!!!

UPDATE: Got my results tonight! No GD this time - YAY! And most importantly the FFN came back negative so that means I am pretty much free and clear that the next 2 weeks I won't be delivering a baby. Still have to take it easy, but glad that all of the "what-ifs" aren't coming true!

Day to Day in January

Well, there really isn't much to report on our end right now. I cannot believe how fast January passed by and here we are into February! Although I do admit I am quite eager for the next few months to pass by!

In my continued saga of trying new things with Malachi, this week we made homemade finger paints.

I haven't been brave enough to open the jars and let him at them, but I did take the eztra paints and put them in a ziplock bag so he could play with them. It kept his interest for a couple minutes :)

In other fun news, I was able to buy a rug for the "playroom" that I have had my eye on for quite some time. A year ago, we tried to use those foamy ABC blocks for the floor, but Malachi was an expert at pulling them up so it never worked out. So I decided what we really needed was a big ole rug! Big ole rugs are expensive and not something we have room for in our budget, so I started saving up my survey taking money and we were able to purchase the perfect one last week!

Our playroom is nothing more than our formal dining room, but it works out just fine for us. Like we needed a formal dining room anyway! We have decluttered a lot of stuff over the last week and I am loving how the house looks and feels! We may have hit the spring cleaning a littler early this year and it has been so worth the result!

Another area we are focused on this year is budgeting. I was really looking forward to starting fresh and staying focused in January. Well, murphy seems to hit our house just about every January, so we should have expected his visit this year - but oh well. Can I just say how happy I am to be in a new month, with a new clean budget! The areas we had control over in January we did pretty good, but it was the added, unanticipated expenses that really added up. From our first expense of the entire year having to do with a car repair to getting hit at the end of the month with an unexpected emergency vet bill. Oh well, that is why Dave Ramsey preaches having an emergency fund in the first place - we just never want to have to dig into that Emergency fund. So we start fresh in February and should still be on target to meet our yearly goal of completing Baby Step #3!