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Friday, September 7, 2012

Big Boy Crib!

Oh my goodness, I am sorry that it has been so awfully long since the last posting. I have been busy setting up and getting acquainted with my new work-from-home gig of writing articles about Veganism in Orange County ... no, I am not a vegan, but I appreciate the lifestyle and want to tell people about it ... opening up a whole new world to those who may not know about it.  :)   Anyway, enough about me for now. Let me update you on my baby boy :)

James is growing fast! He is almost (if not already) 17 pounds. He will be 5 months on Monday ... can you believe it?! As you know, James has been making noises and sounds for a while now, but over the past month he has gone from vowels and high pitched fun screams to adding the consonants of 'G' and 'H' and he also likes to gurgle :)  He rolled over for the first time last week. I had him on the floor on his stomach and he really wanted to see the TV and so rolled over to do so! He hasn't done it since, but I know he will when he is ready.
James had his first bite of solid food. It wasn't much, just to taste. It was the rice cereal by Gerber baby and he seemed to like it. After the next doctor visit, we look forward to him trying avocado, bananas, carrots etc ... it will be a very exciting time for James! (the appointment is in 2 weeks).

I swear he got some food in his mouth!
James got to try the swimming pool for the first time last Sunday. He was with me, Josh and my dad. Josh brought him into the water and James started crying almost immediately. But the water was cold, so I understand since I want to cry trying to get into the water sometimes too. We have ordered a floaty for him so that we can all be in the water and James will be safer and happier. Hopefully that will go better!

Not a happy chappy  :-/
Perhaps the most exciting news over the past month is that James no longer sleeps in our room. On Monday of this week he moved into his own room into his big boy crib :)  Tonight is night number 5. He took to it the very first night. He really likes his crib and sleeps a lot better in there. Probably because there is more space, and less noise (snoring, talking etc). The second night he slept for 8 hours straight! When I woke up at 3am and realized it had been 8 hours, I jumped out of bed to check on him. It freaked me out, but he was sleeping peacefully  :)  The next night he slept 8.5 hours. So we will hopefully get a full night soon (babies sleep up to 12 hours without waking ... so from 7:30pm - 7:30am). I'm so proud of my baby boy! <3

I, myself, have been substitute coaching, writing articles and secret shopping when I can. I get some exercise when I can (I know Shelly ... I know). I also try to get out of the house in the evening for a walk with James and Brutus and out of the apartment complex once or twice a week for fun and to see other people. Life is good :)
Hopefully it wont be forever before I write again ... but time does fly when you're having fun and have a baby :)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Who needs teeth?!

There is nothing worse than seeing your baby in pain. Nothing worse than him screaming at the top of his lungs because his mouth hurts and there is nothing you can do to help.
My poor baby boy started teething about a week ago. I knew by the red cheeks, the extra drool and the fact that he kept chewing on his own fingers. Some babies aren't bothered by teething where as some suffer horribly. James has maybe 2 bad days a week and is fine for the other days. So I guess that puts him somewhere in the middle.

We bought some teething gel but I am very weary about medicating him at such a young age. I have used it on him once ... when the screaming was becoming unbearable. I don't want him to be in pain, but I also don't want to overwhelm his little system with anything other than milk. So fingers crossed that he continues to have more good days than bad.

Other than the teething, James is doing great. His motor skills are increasing. He now picks up his Binky, passes it from hand to hand. He also picks up a ball pretty well and can shake the rattle. Much to my dad's surprise on Sunday, he also loves to grab hair with a death grip, hahahaha! (If you don't know my dad, he has a very long beard). I am so proud of my little guy and love him more than words could ever describe.  :)   He is also giggling a lot more which makes my heart sing!

Mommy update: After having some issues with my knees, I took a break from running. I have also decided not to do the upcoming mud run. I may have tried to do too much too soon. So now that my knees are feeling much better, I have started the road to fitness a lot slower. I had lost 2 pounds in a week, but having the slow down I gained 1 pound back the following week. So I have decided not to worry about that right now. As long as I am not gaining weight it's all good.
When I can, I like to strap James into his stroller and walk around the apartment complex. I walked 2 miles last time and it felt awesome. This week, however, it has been too warm, so I've been keeping the little guy inside in the air-conditioned apartment.
Other than that I, too, am doing fabulous  :)

We have a doctor's appointment next week, so I will try to update you all after that :)

With Opa at 14 weeks and 6 days old (Aug 5th, 2012).

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Where does the time go?!

I just realized that it has been weeks since I have posted anything! Time really has been just flying by. So let me try to update you on everything. :)

James has been amazing. He is as vocal as ever and has been throwing giggles at us from time to time though not consistently yet. It seems the more I try to make him laugh, the less he laughs out loud ... so I try to be patient, but it is the best sound in the whole wide world! Before I know it he will be giggling non stop :)
He is also starting to sit up by himself. Even if I sit him in his swing he is lifting up his chest and head to try and get into an upright position. So I pulled out the highchair today and strapped him in. He absolutely loved it! He loved being tall and in an upright position, not to mention that it was the perfect height for him to watch his Baby Einstein DVDs in the TV. He loves the music and changing colors on the screen. Those DVDs keep him occupied for at least 25 minutes or so :)
On the bummer side of things, he has started teething. We can feel his top teeth coming through the gums. This explains all of the drooling! So far he hasn't been too fussy. He has just been feeling a little warmer than usual and shows a little more fussiness than usual. But we are just starting this journey, so we'll see how it plays out. Hopefully it wont cause him too much pain.
Back on the positive end, James is on a sleeping schedule (kind of). He goes to bed somewhere between 8pm-9pm. Sometimes he wants to go earlier and he lets me know. He still wakes up quite a bit during the night but at least he is not getting more quality sleep rather than semi-sleeping on me in front of the TV until 11pm or 12am! He usually wakes up for the day somewhere between 7am-9am. Now if we can just get him sleeping through the night! :)

I am loving being a mom more than I have loved being anything in the world. Yes it can be hard some days, but that's all a part of it and I wouldn't change anything. He is the light of my life.
I have been hitting the gym pretty regularly for about three weeks now. My dad, Josh and I are hoping to do a mud run at the end of September so I am trying to get back into shape for that. I have hit a snag though ... my knees. This past week both knees have just ached. It doesn't matter if I am walking, running, using the stairs, carrying James, they just ache. I cannot tell if they are stiff or if its an injury pain, either way I have backed off for a little bit. It is very possible that I lost the muscle mass that I had in my legs protecting my knees. In which case I just need to build that back up carefully and over time.
In the meantime I have been trying to remain patient. I have been hard on myself but this is because exercise is my stress release. Running is what I do to feel like me is we've had a few hard days. I love the sweat, the runners high and the results that I get from running ... so yeah, not being able to run has been very difficult.

I have kind of started working again. Because child care is too expensive I have set it up so that I will work on some of the days that Josh has off. I will be a substitute coach for a while, offering my services on days that Josh will be home to care for James. It gives me the opportunity of a few hours per week to make a little extra money and get out of the house.
I have also applied to be an amature journalist of sorts. It would give me the opportunity to get paid to write and we know I love to write. If I am accepted I will pass on the link :)  

Anyway, life is busy. Life is good :) I will try to write again soon!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Back in the Gym

The title of my blog is "From Running Shoes to Baby Socks." --- From here on out I am retitling it to "From Running Shoes to Baby Socks and Back Again."

I am getting back into a workout grove. I have been using some of my workout DVDs, the gym in my apartment complex and the also the complex pool (junior Olympic size). My workouts were very sporadic at first, but starting today I am planning my (and Josh's) workout schedule a week in advance. I feel that if we don't have a set schedule that it will leave room for excuses. Today, for example, I had decided I was going to do yoga, but as I was feeling last night's lack of sleep I could feel myself starting to make excuses ... so before one stuck I hopped up and did my 35 minute Jillian Michael's Yoga Meltdown DVD. That was when I decided that every Sunday I will plan the whole week's workouts based on Josh's days off and other events.

If you can read it (I know it's kind of small) you see that there are '1 mile jog' days where both Josh and I run a mile on the treadmill (taking turns so that James is entertained). In a week or two I will up it to 1.5-2 miles. There are two days that say 'swim/off'. Those are on Josh's days off. So one of the days we will swim and the other day we will both have off from working out. There is one day in the week with yoga. That will be another day off for Josh while I work on getting my core strength back because I have lost a lot of that after giving birth. And of course there is just one more day off to make sure that we are getting enough rest/recovery time!

I am excited to get into a schedule. I know it will be hard to start out, but I cannot keep using sleep deprivation as an excuse to not get moving because that is how many new moms pack on more pounds and lose themselves. I want to make sure that I am healthy because a happy, healthy me will make a happy, healthy James (and Josh too, of course). Now if I could just control those cravings for junk food!

Just incase I start to lose motivation, we (Josh, my dad and I) are signing up for a mud run. It will be at the end of September and will be my first race since having James. I absolutely love to run and race, so that will keep me in the gym. The mud run will be 3.37 miles with 16+ obstacles, so I know that in order to finish it I will need to get into shape and regain my strength. I want to run the whole thing and not skip a single obstacle!

So in the next few months we'll be saying good-bye to the last 10-15 pounds and hopefully hello to my old muscle mass  :)  Wish me luck and send me strong vibes ... I'm going to need them!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Baby Babble

Over the last week or two James has become very vocal. It sounds like he is singing to himself and I love it! It's all oooo's and aaaaah's right now but I could listen to it all day long (sometimes I have to haha!). He doesn't just make the sounds, he makes all these funny faces too. Some of them are serious looking and others are happy. He often does it while staring at the TV, like he is chiming in with whatever is going on.

My favorite babble moment happened today. I was breastfeeding him and while he often nurses with his eyes closed, sometimes he stares at me. Today he was staring at me and after just a few minutes he unlatched and stared softly ooo-ing and aaaah-ing at me. It was softer and quieter than usual and his eyes were just so loving. Not only that, but he was smiling and staring straight into my eyes. I have no idea what he was saying, but I could feel a deep connection and a lot of love. I couldnt stop smiling at him as he kept babbling as if telling me something very important. After a few minutes he stopped and just continued feeding  :)  I love little moments like that!

He also loves to talk to Sheepy Sheepy, who lives on the changing table and Mr. Bear who he plays with when I have a few things to do around the house. He often chats with and sings to himself in the morning when he wakes up. Even when he does it at 6am, there is no way I could ever get mad. I love listening to him. His voice is so sweet and almost angelic :)

I read that it can be entertaining for him if I mimic him, so I do it all the time. It also encourages him to continue babbling so he can work on those vocal skills. I have no doubt that during the day, anyone who walks past our apartment must think we are insane. On days when Josh is working I speak very little English ... I just speak James-ish  ;-p  Even Brutus (the dog) gives me funny looks from time to time.
When I am folding laundry etc I love to have James in the room with me. I describe almost everything as I'm hanging it up (this is daddys blue shirt). Right from birth babies take in a lot of vocal/vocab information for when they start talking so I want to load him up with lots of words to help with that process. That and he loves to stare at the colorful clothes as I fold them.

Anyway, I love all these firsts and I love to watch him as he starts to explore the world around him. I love my little boy so much <3

Saturday, June 30, 2012

It's time we had a little talk.

There is a subject I havnt really touched on yet, but I feel that now is the time. That subject is the 'baby blues'. The baby blues are basically a less serious/intense version of postpartum depression.The reason I am bringing it up is because for the first two months post partum, I had the baby blues. Of course I didnt want to talk about it at the time because I didnt want to admit to it. But now that I am past it, I think it's time to be honest. After all, that was the idea behind this blog ... honesty.

The baby blues started pretty much right away. I think it was really a continuation from the heightened hormones that I was already dealing with at the end of my pregnancy. I was aware that it was common to feel very hormonal right after delivery, but I wasnt prepared for it to continue past that.
It started with feelings of being overwhelmed because I was learning so much in just a few days and was trying to recover at the same time. The thoughts of going home were scary because I was afraid I wouldnt know what to do. These are all normal for a new mom.
The first few weeks I had a lot of help with the house and with James, but despite that I was still feeling overwhelmed and often cried at night. The tears would build and build during the day but not wanting anyone to worry about me, I would hold it all in. Some days I found myself watching the clock, waiting until it was an acceptable bed time so I could turn off the lights and let it out.

I started feeling guilty about the way I was feeling. I felt that if James saw me crying that he would think it was because I didnt love him, which couldnt be further from the truth! I would feel anxious and thought there was something wrong with me because this was supposed to be the happiest time of my life. I started thinking about how some mothers have depression so bad that they hurt their kids. I started feeling guilty about that too, even though I could never harm a hair on his head. In other words I was feeling guilty for things that I hadnt even done and would never do! I thought I was going insane!

Then the guilt turned towards my relationship with Josh. Because I was spending so much time caring for James and hiding my baby blues, I felt that I wasnt paying enough attention to him and was afraid he would think I didnt love him when the truth was that I needed him more than I ever had. But of course I didnt want him to see me sad, because I knew it would make him sad and make him worry. I was a mess.

I also avoided friends and came up with excuses as to why they couldnt visit because I didnt have the energy to entertain anyone. I just wanted to be left alone with my little baby. Who knew that letting them in would be the key to feeling better.

I did eventually open up about it. I told Josh and my mom how I'd been feeling and they both immediately started making me feel better. I became more honest about where I was each day and started feeling less alone, less isolated.
It was when we hit the 2 month mark that I really started feeling like myself again. I started inviting people over more, going out more and started having more motivation to do stuff :)  Of course I still have my moments, but being a new mom is a tough job so it's to be expected and I am learning to be more patient with myself.

This is all normal and women shouldnt feel ashamed the way I did. I am very happy to be past it and now can just enjoy each day with my little boy! :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A few of my favourite things!

Two months have gone by and I have learned so much! Some of my favorite things so far are James's smiles and giggles, his little toes and the way he holds on to my finger. I love how he lays his head on my shoulder when he is sleepy and the faces he makes as he figures out the world around him. I love the sounds he makes as he is falling asleep and way he stretches first thing in the morning. His baby breath and soft skin. His little nose and the way he kicks his legs constantly as if dancing and the way he has started to sound his voice. And that list doesn't even begin to describe all the things I love about my baby boy :)

Of course I also love how he has started to sleep through the night (3 nights of 6 straight hours and last night was 7.5 straight hours!). And one of my most favorite things of all is watching the interactions between James and Josh. Their father/son bond is already so strong and continues to grow. Nobody makes my baby smile like Josh does ... perhaps it's how he sings every action they are doing or the faces I didn't even know he could make haha!   :)

I don't even mind that James likes to pee or poop in his new diaper before I even take him off the changing table or how he will puke on me right next to the burping cloth.

The only thing that makes me sad is when he cries and I cannot seem to soothe him. When he screams due to painful gas and tears are running down his little cheeks and there is nothing I can do except hold him until it passes. And the most recent thing that I dislike is watch him get frustrated because I am not producing enough milk for him.

James has been going through quite the growth spurt to where he is wanting to nurse every 30-45 minutes or less! First thing in the morning I have plenty of milk for him because it has been 6+ hours. But as the day goes on he is getting less and less because he is constantly attached to me. It's tough for a new mom to feel she is not meeting her baby's needs. But all you can do (before supplementing formula) is to keep nursing and pray that your body catches on soon and starts producing more milk due to high demand.
James and I have been struggling back and forth for over a week now. Some days we seem to do very well and other days it's tears all around. I know formula makes for healthy babies also, but I love that the breast milk is 100% natural. There are so many wonderful benefits to him drinking only breast milk for the first 6 months and so I really want to try doing it that way. But if it comes down to it then of course I will do what is best for my baby boy and choose the best formula that I can.

Today, so far, he has slept a lot which could indicate an end to the growth spurt. He also seems more content. So hopefully it means that my milk production has caught up to his demand and we will have a few days (or more!) of smooth sailing :)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

How Time Flies!

It is amazing how time flies with a little one in the house! I keep meaning to blog about many different topics and I just don't get around to it. Oh well, I am here now :)

So James is 7 weeks and 2 days today. He is growing fast. Last week we had a pediatrician appointment where we found out that he is now a whopping 10lbs 4oz and has grown an inch. I am sure he already weighs more than that now!
As you may remember from the last blog, we were struggling with colic so I decided to cut out the foods that I read can upset the tiny tummies (chocolate, iron supplements, caffeine) ... and sure enough, just a few days later the colic started to ease. Chocolate was hard for me to give up, but it is very much worth it. I have stopped craving chocolate for the most part and it has only been a week. I now plan to pick some more junk foods to wean myself off of so we can eliminate them from the house completely and bring James up in a healthy environment :)   Chocolate was one of my favorite things in the whole wide world ... so if I can give up that, I can give up anything! Of course it can be a treat for special occasions in the future ... but for now its quitting cold turkey!

2 hours later: Okay, so I was in the middle of a blog and James got hungry haha, but I am back!
At the moment James is going through a thing called 'cluster feeding'. It's usually in the evening time and it's where he demands to be fed every 45-60 mins. It can be frustrating for a mother at first because she doesn't always have the milk supply to keep up with the baby's demand at first. I am one of those moms. He will suck and suck and nothing will come out. So of course he gets frustrated because he is hungry and I feel guilty because I am not meeting his needs.
It has been this way for a few days now. But instead of getting frustrated, I am trying to just stick with it because the more he tries to feed the more my body will start to produce. And this will happen any time he has a growth spurt because the cluster feeding tells my body that it needs to produce more milk to meet the demand of a growing baby.

We had our longest car trip so far with James this past week. We drove the 2+ hours to Santa Barbara to visit my parents and attend my sister's high school graduation. James was great! Despite the cluster feeding phase, he slept the entire trip up and back :)  He is an awesome little traveller!

Anyway, my time is running low again! He is starting to babble at me which means he may be starting to get hungry AGAIN! lol. Will try to blog again soon!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Baby Tummies.

The past few weeks has been a little bit of a roller coaster ride. Our poor little peanut has been suffering with colic on and off for over 3 weeks. In case you haven't heard of colic before ... it's classified by constant (at least 3 hours) fussiness and crying due to bad gas and cramping as his digestive system continues to mature. Luckily there is stuff called gripe water that relaxes the entire baby digestive system giving them some relief. It has to relax the entire system because the baby cannot tell us where the pain is. So instead of using different medications for indigestion, upset tummy and intestinal cramping we can use this one homeopathic remedy. It contains stuff like fennel, ginger and chamomile so it's all natural.

As awesome as the gripe water is on most days, it doesn't always give us much relief. I say 'us' because listening to your little baby cry and knowing there is very little you can do about it can be upsetting. There were times when a cried with him just because I felt so helpless. But thankfully I found another remedy ... breastfeeding. I think it's called 'comfort nursing' though. He doesn't always feed when he is latched on, sometimes he just pacifies ... which is fine with me because it means he isn't crying. However, that has it's own downside.

The last two days were rough as far as the fussiness etc went and the gripe water wasn't giving us very much relief so I just kept attaching him to a breast when I couldn't stand the crying anymore. Yesterday morning I woke up with a bruise and cracks on my nipple from all the pacifying. It does make actual breastfeeding painful, but its worth it if it makes my baby feel better.

I am not yet sure how today is going to go. He is currently napping, and since its only 9am I have yet to really see what his mood is like. I do hope that he is feeling better today so that we can both get some relief from the colic and crying.
Yesterday I started cutting some gas causing foods out of my diet. Foods that cause me gas and foods that are known to upset the baby tummy through the breast milk. Chocolate, caffeine and iron are known to cause upset tummies, which sucks because I have been eating chocolate like it was going out of style for weeks! Hopefully cutting those out will help. I am also cutting down on dairy products since I am lactose intolerant and wheat products due to the high roughage content. Of course there is also the obvious brocolli, cabbage and onion! So I (ummm ... Josh) will be getting creative in the kitchen!

Fingers crossed! As long as colic could go on for, I could never get used to listening to my poor baby cry  :(  Thankfully it's just a phase that a lot of babies go through and even if it wasnt a phase, he will learn to talk eventually and can tell me where it hurts :)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Slow down the time, it's going too fast!

Okay, raise your hand if you can believe that in 2 days James is already 1 month old ... nobody? nobody? Yeah .... me neither!!! After the last month of pregnancy being the slowest month in history, we have just completed the fastest month in history!
Even though the majority of my days are spent at home feeding, sleeping and diaper changing, time just seems to be flying. And you would think that because I am awake more hours in the day than I am asleep that time would go even slower than usual, but nope ... I still cannot believe that I am sitting here with a month old baby!

The first month has been wonderful! It has been all about learning and getting to know each other. There have been times of frustration (why are you crying), times of anxiety (you are making me cry with all your crying), but above all, there have been times of love, love and more love. I still cannot believe that you can love one tiny little person so incredibly much. There have even been times where I just look at him sleeping or feeding etc and cry little tears of joy. I still cannot believe that this perfect little boy is my son :)  What a perfect mother's day gift  :)

Stuff that is new for James in the past few weeks: He is already smiling! Can you believe it ... and I am not talking about gassy smiles, I mean real smiles. He is even starting to react to our smiles with a smile. I thought babies couldn't do that for months! He makes my day every time he smiles :)  His crying is accompanied by tears now. They were all dry cries at first and I must admit that it put a lump in my throat the first time I saw a tear. He is completely astonished by Brutus (our dog) and stares at him any time he is near by ... they are going to be best friends! He is finding his voice and has started making noise just to make noise ... sometimes it sounds like he is talking to himself, I love it! And finally, he can hold up his head for about 10 seconds and turn it sideways. He is my strong little boy :)

Stuff that is new for me in the past few weeks: His crying no longer makes me anxious. Baby cries used to scare me and make me want to run the other way, but now I just pick him up and talk to him until he feels better. I have come to realise that if I figure out why he is upset we can fix the problem and he will most likely stop crying :)  I am sort of getting used to the less sleep, though there are still many evenings where I get cranky. Physically my stitches have healed (hurray!). My tailbone is still excruciating at times ... hopefully it will heal soon because that frustrates me more than anything right now. I already fit back into my jeans (best day ever!) and my boobs are huge haha!

Just loving being a mommy right now. I love my little family :)  For those of you who live near by ... I am starting to feel ready for visitors if you want to come and meet little James. But please, only if you are 100% healthy and only if there are no sick people around you because it's a few more weeks before he gets his shots.

Hopefully it wont be this long before the next blog ... I have my 6 week check up in 2 weeks, as does James. So I will try to update you all then :)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

This too shall pass.

It has been a week and a half since little James was born and I feel like we are settling into a nice little grove. I am starting to understand his cues and find myself not getting anxious when he cries and I don't know what's wrong. My mantra has become, "This too shall pass" when I start to feel overwhelmed. He cannot cry forever, and I will figure out what he needs/wants ... there fore the crying will pass. I do believe that it is possible that because I am more relaxed that James has become more relaxed and so we are learning eachother so to speak. (I hope that makes sense!).

James is doing great. We are in a routine of feeding every 2 hours during the day and every 3 hours at night time (so mama can sleep a little). He is peeing and pooping just as he should and becoming more and more alert every day. He is starting to respond to our voices and making eye contact. He loves lights. We have a lamp in the nursery with all different colors that he loves to stare at and last night he spent a good deal of time staring at the kitchen lights too. He has gotten to the point where he can sit in his swing and be completely content by himself as I eat or do stuff that needs to be done.
He has taken to his basinette like a fish to water. As soon as I lay him down and wrap him up, he settles down and starts to fall asleep. Sometimes he is still wide awake, but he doesnt fuss unless he loses his binkie. We do have a night time game that I am not very fond of. I call it the 'binkie game'. It's where I can spend anywhere from 30-45 minutes re-applying his binkie because he keeps spitting it out and then making half crying sounds because he wants it back. This game is usually played in the dark which means I reach into the basinette, gently search for the binkie and then gently search for his mouth.
I am very proud of how well he is doing :)

I, myself, am doing well also. Recovering nicely from delivery. Unfortunately my dislocated/fractured tail bone still hurts a lot, especially when I am sitting :-/  but that, too, will heal. I think I read that it can take upwards of 6 weeks, but I'm not going anywhere. (Fractured/dislocated tail bones are a regular occurance in the delivery room if you are a petite lady or your baby is particularly big).
I am starting to adjust to the less hours of sleep, so I am less like a zombie and less emotional. It's been less than two weeks and I've already lost 90%+ of the weight I had gained. This happened without me even trying, I guess breast feeding is a workout all on its own!

Anyway, I am going to go spend time with my little guy. Luckily I have had mom here all this week to help me further settle into motherhood since Josh had to go back to work. (Thank you mom! I dont know what I would have done without you this week!). Next week it's just myself and James, and I know that we will do just fine :)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

I'm a Mommy :)

Monday, April 23rd at 9:27am is when my life changed forever. A little bundle weighing 8lbs 5oz and 21.5 inches long came into the world ... came into my world :) I would like to introduce you to James Thomas Epps, my perfect little boy :)

I spent 26.5 hours in labor. It started when I woke up at 7am on Sunday to use the restroom. When I was about to leave the bathroom I suddenly left a puddle on the floor. I wasn't wearing my glasses at the time, so I went to get them because I couldn't believe that I had just peed on the floor! But, alas, it was not pee ... my water had broken :)  All I could say to Josh was, "It's time."
Since I had not yet started contractions I decided I should have breakfast before heading the hospital because once admitted I would not be allowed to eat, and at the time we didn't know how long I would be in labor for.

The first 13 hours of labor were easy ... I was having some contractions but didn't really feel them. They were light menstrual cramps at worst. Not to mention that was wonderfully distracted by Josh (the best labor and delivery coach EVER!), my parents, whom I couldn't have finished the delivery without and cousins Jeni and Luanne who made the 45 minute drive to hang out through the beginning stages of labor.
The doctor decided at that point to induce my contractions because once your waters have broken you have 18-24 hours before your risk of infections go up.

Dr. Samawi arrived at 7am on Monday and with that being the 24 hour mark it was time to start pushing. I had had an epidural around 3am but sadly they had done something wrong and the feeling was coming back into the right side of my body very quickly. The contractions were becoming very intense and the anasteseologist tried to fix it in time, but it was too late. So I guess I can say that I half gave birth the natural way  :-/   I was pushing for 2.5 hours before I couldn't do it any longer. Little James was very close but just couldn't quite make it out. So we decided to use the vacuum after which he was born about 10 minutes later. I had never felt pain like that before. But once they put him on my chest, it was like the pain had never existed.

The following I will share only so that you know that it's normal and that most women go through this during labor and delivery ... you can, however, chose to skip this part  ;-)

First, the gas during labor was unnatural ... I wasnt aware that the body could produce so much of it! I got lightheaded when they were inserting my IV and drawing blood. I did poop during delivery ... yes it's normal! You might be horrified by this, but by the time it's time to give birth, you wont care ... I promise! I swore infront of my parents for the first time during delivery. I threatened to smack my dad because he was being positive to make me feel better (sorry dad!) and I think I may have growled at Josh for rubbing my leg supportively. I wanted to give up on more than one occasion. On my first trip to the bathroom about 2.5 hours after delivery, I completely blacked out and had to be carried back to my bed. And lastly, I got a 2nd degree perenial tear. I will let you look that one up ... but it ended with me getting many stitches after delivery :-/

I have loved every minute with my little guy. And he is getting fussy now, so I will leave this blog and write again soon!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

My extra special boy.

Alas, it has been 48 hours and James has not yet left the building ... uh, body. Sadly, I guess the sweep didn't work, but it was worth a try. The only thing it did do was make the last 48 hours more interesting. I've had blood, mucus (hmm maybe I should have warned about graphic details again), cramping, contracting, pain and emotional highs and lows. The contractions have changed, however. So I am dealing with a new set of sensations and wondering if they are normal ... of course they are. All of it just means that James was not yet ready to greet the world, though I cannot imagine why with this beautiful weather we've been having.

For anyone who knows me, they know that I don't take too well to the 'unknown'. I hate not knowing what to expect, I hate not knowing what comes next and I hate not knowing when something is going to happen. I have always been like this, and I am sure that I will continue to be this way - at least to some extent - for the rest of my life.
But I made a conscious decision today (After being up since 4:30am, taking one walk and two naps) that I am going to let it go. I am causing myself unnecessary stress and anxiety when I should be relaxing. So I am currently sitting in my rocking chair not wondering why he is late and not stressing about every little pain wondering if its a stronger contraction or if they are more frequent ... I am just rocking next to the open balcony door, enjoying the fresh air and sunshine. Because guess what, I will know when I am having stronger contractions and my body will tell me when a pattern is starting to emerge. It's not like I can miss the window of opportunity of him being born ... when he decides to come, he is coming whether or not I am ready!

Another thing that was greatly stressing me out was Josh's paternity leave time. Unfortunately it's something that he had to put in for ahead of time to make sure that he was covered ... after all, he is the big boss man and not just anyone can cover his time off. So he started his two weeks of paid time off on Monday since that was the due date. So every day that James hasn't arrived is another day on the other side of Josh's two weeks that I will spend alone with our newborn. I'm not going to lie, the idea scared me. While we are both going to be brand new parents, Josh has more experience with babies than I do.
The reason the two week thing scared me, I think, is because everywhere you read that the first two weeks are the toughest as there is a huge adjustment in the family dynamics as well as routines etc. Not only that, but I will still be recovering from labor and delivery, will be sore from learning how to breast feed and may be over whelmed at the huge demands in my sleep deprived state. Not to mention that I'll be dealing with the mother of all periods after not having one in ten months and re-adjusting to my settling hormone levels. Yeah, lets just say that a new momma needs her support.
But regardless of whether or not Josh can be here for a two week period after the birth of James, I know that I will still have his support for the times of the day that he is here and the times that I call freaking out over something or other hahaha.

If nothing else comes of these two weeks with Josh being home, I think that we got some much needed quality time together which may prove to be more beneficial to our changing relationship and family in the long run. Now that I have chosen to join Josh in vacation mode, I think that we will be better prepared for our bundle of joy. No baby can be soothed by stressed out parents. And not to mention that it has been amazing having Josh here during the most difficult time of my pregnancy because, let me tell you, the last month is a roller coaster ride!

So to those of you who have told me to enjoy my last days of naps and relaxation and to have patience ... I am finally listening. All the extra time in the uterus just means that James is going to be extra special ... after all, Rome wasn't built in a day :)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Quite an exciting doctor visit.

**** WARNING: This blog entry may be graphic ... I am really not sure yet, but I wanted to give you a heads up just in case  ;-)  ****

Today's doctor visit was quite the exciting one. After spending yesterday dealing with back labor and other pains for almost 9 hours I was praying that my cervix had made some progress in the dilation area. If the doctor did an exam today and told that my cervix was still completely closed I probably would have cried. Nobody should have to go through all that cramping and throbbing pain and discomfort for nothing!

So the doctor did an internal exam, which is always pleasant  :-/   and gave me the good news ... I am dilated 3cm and 50% effaced. So I am well on my way. Just in case pregnancy is new for you: You need to be 10cm dilated before you start pushing the baby out. Of course there is no way to know where you are without an internal exam, but chances are that you will already be laboring fast and hard before you get to 6cm or 7cm ... don't quote me on that one, just because I do believe it is different for everyone. I think some women even get admitted to the labor and delivery ward at 5cm ... so I suppose it really depends on whether or not you waters have broken and what your contractions are like.
Effacement was something I had never heard of until a few months ago. This is the thinning of your cervix. So with mine being 50% effaced, it means that mine is half the thickness that it was to start with. But before your cervix starts to efface, it goes through a period of softening.
There is no set time for any of this process ... every single woman and every single pregnancy is completely different. This can all happen over a few days, a few weeks or even a few months! ... For me it all happened within 2 weeks. So those were two pieces of good news :)

Since I am 40 weeks and 1 day pregnant, my doctor offered me the option of having my membranes stripped (aka sweeping). Since it can be quite painful and uncomfortable (as are internal exams right now because James is putting so much pressure on my nether region) I said that we could revisit that idea when he was in there checking my cervix ... sorry, this is where it gets graphic :-/ 
I ended up deciding on a yes. I figured whats 5 more seconds of pain and discomfort if it brings the pregnancy to a happy end. So in a nut shell (if this is new to you), the doctor basically sticks one finger inside your cervix (so into your uterus) and gently ... though it didn't feel very gentle ... removes part of the membrane from the inside wall of the uterus. By doing this a hormone is released that makes the uterus think that you are in labor and can start the contractions. For more information:

Unfortunately stripping your membranes is not a guarantee. It will work if your body is already getting ready for labor. But after hearing all of my symptoms from the past week he decided that it was definitely worth a shot for me. If it does work then labor will kick in within 24-48 hours after the stripping. Though some women go into labor as soon as during the night because they are relaxed, or the next morning after a good night's sleep. I am very much hoping that the procedure worked for me because I don't want to be induced (that would happen at 41wks 6 days ... so April 28th) and I really don't want to be pregnant for that long!

The last thing that the doctor told me was that all the cramping etc that I am feeling is no longer false labor. He strongly believes that it is early labor now that I am 3cm. So that's awesome :)  Though early labor can last for a few days.
Since the doctor visit today I have been quite uncomfortable with cramping and some pain near the cervix etc. I have also had some bleeding which is normal. So I cleaned the house a little bit to keep moving and stay distracted. I also showered which made me feel tons better (the doctor's exam made me sweat!).

So with any luck, my next post will be a while from now and it will be about the birth of our little boy :)  Unless I feel the urge to blog during labor .... yeah, probably not going to happen.  ;-)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Who am I?!?!

I know I am in the homestretch, but that doesn't stop the hormones from ruining my day. There are moments when I don't recognise myself ... I don't understand how hormones can change one person so much, and so quickly. Unless something majorly stressful is happening in my life, I am only used to feeling like this maybe a day or two (tops) out of every month ... but 9 months of this has been ridiculous and I'm coming to the end of my rope.

I guess it would be okay if it only effected me, but that is not the case. My sudden change from happy to sad, to angry, to downright depressed, to excited, to anxious effects those around me too. The fluctuations cause me to snap at people I love, cry over the dumbest things and get overly excited about the smallest things and I cannot seem to control it no matter how much I try, and sadly I feel like it is taking its toll on some of my most treasured relationships.

The most difficult emotion for me is the sadness and crying. I have always been a person to keep my tears to myself whenever possible because once I've cried out whatever the frustration is I automatically feel better and move on without anyone ever knowing. I still have my private crying moments to allow for some of the hormonal craziness, but unfortunately there are still loved ones that get caught up in the cross hairs of my tears. Sometimes I feel like the tears are just sitting there waiting any dumb reason to get out, and sadly it seems to be when there are others around to witness the break down. Not only is it frustrating, it can be downright embarrassing to have to explain the dumb reason that I am upset.

It also seems that the tears like to stick around until I am completely dry. I could seriously cry for hours, especially if it's night time. The darkness and silence of the night can swallow you whole if you're careful ... I hate night time on nights like this ... I am already assuming that I wont get much sleep. But that's okay, because I'll just sleep all day tomorrow.

There are women out there that seem to enjoy every minute of pregnancy ... or is that just what they show in public? If they really are happy the entire time, why cant I be like them? I wish I could have spent my whole pregnancy being happy, comfortable, feeling beautiful, and getting along with everyone. I just want to be done. I want my beautiful son to be here, I want my body back and I want these emotional break downs to disappear.

I want to be ME again ... I want all my friendships/relationships to go back to normal ... and did I mention that I just want to be me again?

Friday, April 6, 2012

From one concern to another.

So for those of you who have been pregnant, you know that pregnancy can be one worry after another, especially when it comes to the first pregnancy because you don't always know what is normal and what is not. As new moms-to-be we spend a lot of time looking up all the aches and pains on google and calling our doctors about our new found symptoms.

Now that I have reached full term most of those worries have gone away. Reaching week 39 has alleviated a lot of concerns as I just sit back and wait for those telling signs of labor. Last night, however, I found myself laying in bed surrounded by a whole bunch of new concerns.

I often go back and forth between feeling ready for labor and delivery and completely terrified. Of course its the fear of the unknown ... I have no idea what is going to happen in that room. Every mom in the world could share her experience and I could still experience something very different. The pain that I might feel also scares me, even though I plan to have an epidural. Also tearing scares me for obvious reasons. But I am also aware that I will be surrounded by the best support I could ask for. Josh's hand will be in mine for as long and as much as I need it, my parents and sister will be there to cheer me on and encourage me to keep going when I am completely exhausted and my doctor, whom I trust beyond words, will be there to talk me through the whole process. So while I am scared at times, I am also confident that I can get through the whole labor and delivery without a problem.

Something new that I have started worrying about as the big day approaches are my abilities as a mom. Babysitting was never really my thing, though I did it often. Crying babies have always made me uncomfortable. What if James has a crying day ... how do respond if he doesn't respond to any kind of soothing? I know that it will be different because he is my child ... but I want the best for my son and wouldn't want to see him sad or uncomfortable.
I know that these are common concerns among new moms, so I am trying to let it go and understand that it will be a learning process and as I get to know James I will learn what soothing techniques work and what don't.

Having said all of that ... I am ready for James to arrive ... so James, we are just waiting for you little buddy :)

Friday, March 30, 2012

False Alarm

Yesterday was a whole new adventure in pregnancy ... not one that I really enjoyed, to be perfectly honest.

Josh got up to get ready for work at 6:30am. I woke up at 7am with what felt like menstrual cramping. I paid no attention to it at first because the Doctor told me that it could be due to dehydration which happens more in the mornings now that I am a snorer  :-/  So after sleeping for a little while longer I got up to drink some water thinking that it would ease my discomfort ... it didn't.
I continued about my morning with no real change to the cramping. So I text Josh just so that he was aware of what was going on just in case it was real labor. I started paying more attention to pain to see if it got worse and if there was any pattern to the frequency ... there wasn't any pattern and the pain stayed the exact same all day long.
The pain was in my lower abdominal and lower back ... but I had no bloody-show, no more mucus plug shedding and no water breaking, so I wasn't quite sure what was going on. I did decide to go to work, but only made it through 1.5 classes, after which Coach Elly took over so that I could go home.
The discomfort continued and settled in my middle/upper back for the evening. Thankfully Josh was able to give me a back rub. After going to bed I did have to get up to walk around a little bit before turning out the light to try ease the back pain so that I could get comfortable. It wasn't until about 3am or 4am that the cramping finally stopped. So I dealt with the cramping for just a few hours short of 24 hours. I understand that actual labor will be worse etc, but at least it will be worth it because I will get to hold my son when its all over. When this false labor was all over, all I got was relief with that nagging feeling that that wasn't the last time I would be dealing with that.

Here is a little bit of information on False Labor ... something that I didn't really know about or pay attention to until yesterday.

Signs of false labor include:
  • Irregular and unpredictable contractions (for example, intervals between contractions of ten minutes, six minutes, two minutes, eight minutes, etc.)
  • There is no progression of labor
  • Contractions are felt as a generalized abdominal tightening
  • Change in activity or body position causes contractions to slow down or stop
  • There is no evidence of bloody show
  • Membranes have not ruptured
Where do you feel the contractions? With true labor, the pain tends to begin high in your abdomen, radiating throughout your entire abdomen and lower back, or visa versa. In the case of false labor the contractions are often concentrated in the lower abdomen and groin.

Needless to say, I feel like a whole new woman today and got lots of stuff done around the house etc. I have had two or three contractions all day long and nothing more than that. And I do look foward to real labor so that James can come out and into this world  :)   It wont be long now!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Seriously Getting Ready Now.

My friend, Pam, gave birth to her son yesterday. She was at exactly 39 weeks.
Since she text me to say that her water had broken the day before I have been moving a lot faster. It has lit a fire under me because we have gone through this whole pregnancy together. And now that she has given birth, I know that I am next.

I spent yesterday and today doing the first baby laundry. I washed the crib and bassinet sheets as well as all the swaddles and enough clothes to get us through the first week or so. Once all that stuff was dry and folded I picked the outfit that James will make his trip home in. I also picked a blanket for the occasion and a blanket that will be presented to our dog Brutus with James' scent before we bring James home. (It is proven that your furry family member will be less stressed at the arrival of a new human if he/she has had some time with the baby's scent before their arrival ... that blanket will forever become Brutus' blanket ... like a gift from James).

I also but the bed pads and sheets on both the crib and bassinet and have extras ready to go. The crib is now also complete with the musical mobile that matches the decor of the nursery :) So if James were to arrive tomorrow, we are ready :)

I have also completed my birth plan which I will share with my doctor at tomorrows appointment. My birth plan isn't specific and I know better than to expect it to be followed to a tee. It is for when I do have options. I havnt made any medical decisions on there except that I will, at some point, be requesting an epidural. My birth plan is basically "If it works for the nurses and doctors, THIS is what will make me most comfortable."

I, myself, I am now 37 weeks. This is considered full term, so it's up to James as to when he wants to come into the world. My symptoms vary from day to day. I have really good days, okay days and awful days. It usually has something to do with my physical comfort. My ribs and pelvis take a regular beating and my comfort that day really depends on where James has made himself comfortable. I am back to having random bouts of nausea and cannot eat like I could a few months ago. But thankfully, my emotional ups and downs have lessened and pretty much just coinside with my physical comfort level ... meaning that if I am physically uncomfortable all day, I am probably in a crappy mood.

Through out this entire blog (how ever many posts that has been), you'll be happy though perhaps a little surprised to know that there is much I have left out. If I have left something out it is probably due to the grossness factor or wanting to keep some things private. Though, unfortunately for my mom and Josh ... I have shared absolutely everything with them! What I am getting at is that I am not sure who said that pregnancy is beautiful, but I am guessing they had yet to experience it for themselves. Don't get me wrong ... I believe that pregnancy is a miracle, but there are many more beautiful things in the world.

To give you an idea of the kinds of things that I have kept from you  ;-)  Here is a quick list (without any details of course): Diarrhea, Urethra Pain, Gas, Mucus Plug, Other Vagina related stuff, Other kinds of Mucus ... and the list goes on. If those words alone don't gross you out then maybe I should have a seperate blog for you ... Though I am not sure that I could write about it without feeling grossed out myself  ;-)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Just 3 more weeks! Oh My!

I am 37 weeks pregnant today ... and no, I can't believe it either! Time has gone by so incredibly fast. Though I must admit that starting last week it has slowed down immensely. This is either due to the fact that I am finally ready for him to be here OR because I have entered a phase of perpetual discomfort.

James has lodged himself ... well his little butt at least ... right up inside my ribs, so much so that slouching of any kind causes great discomfort. Maybe I should have been paying attention when I had aunts telling me not to slouch as a kid, then perhaps sitting with good posture wouldn't feel so foreign. Until just a few nights ago I got relief by getting into bed and stretching out but now I am getting to the point where I can still feel him in my ribs while trying to sleep. Last night I couldn't sleep until around 1am and was wide awake again just before 5am. After staring into space until 6:20am I finally just got up. The only thing worse than not being able to sleep is getting frustrated about not being able to sleep. I figure I can take a nap later or just sleep like a rock tonight  :)

As you may know from previous blogs, I was having horrible indigestion until I started taking Prilosec OTC. Don't worry, the Prilosec still works great, however, with my stomach being squashed by my ever growing son I have run into a new problem. When I eat or drink anything I may not lean forward, bend over or even think about reaching down for anything for at least 30 minutes. Here is why: whatever I have ingested will try to make a quick escape as soon as I am not completely vertical. Now don't get too grossed out ... I am not throwing up. It is just like the stomach opening has turned from a one way door into a swinging door :-/
The worst part about this is that sometimes the ingested 'stuff' makes it back up far enough that some of it slides down my wind pipe rather than back into my stomach causing me to cough uncontrollably for five minutes or more. The best part about this is that I have been dealing with it for long enough that should I need to bend over for any reason, I know the feeling that something is about to make a re-appearance and can swiftly return to an upright position  :)

Something new to me in late pregnancy is snoring. Josh calls it karma from all the nights he has kept me awake, but I still feel bad any night that I know I've been snoring like a fog horn. How do I know? Because my throat and other parts of my airway are incredibly dry and sometimes a little sore. I am sure I have snored in the past especially when I had a cold or something, but nothing like this! This is probably due to a combination of the extra weight (I have now gained a whopping 30 pounds!) and the fact that pregnancy causes congestion and stuffiness for some odd reason. I just hope it stops as soon as James arrives!

Other than that stuff I am still thrudging a long ... or waddling rather, which more than one person has felt the need to point out (thank you, by the way, I love knowing that I walk like a duck!). I am not referring to family of course because I dont take any of that to heart when they say it ... if family cant make fun of you then what's the point in having family  ;)  But as a stranger or acquantice it is your duty to keep your pie hole firmly latched or I will most likely reply with something you wont like. LOL!

Anywho, upwards and onwards as they say. We are almost there and I just need to keep reminding myself of that  :)

Monday, March 19, 2012

WIC Program

The WIC Program is something I never heard about until I became pregnant. I found out about it at the beginning of my pregnancy, but didnt start taking advantage of it until now. WIC stands for "Women, Infants & Children" and is a program for pregnant women and children up to the age of 5 years. With the program you get WIC checks monthly or bi-monthly for groceries. The program is to ensure that you are eating healthy and getting what you need nutritionally based on the month of pregnancy you are in.

Up until now I didnt want to take advantage of the program because I was working full time and so was Josh and I didnt want to drain any funds that might go to another mother than needs it more. Now, however, I have stopped working at one job and will be done at the other on in just two weeks and I wanted to take off any kind of stress that that may cause. Not to mention that when you have a new baby, every little bit helps :)

I used the first of four (for the month) checks today and it was really very easy. They give you a book with lists of what you can and cannot buy and you just pick and chose based on what is on that particular check. Today, it saved us over $20 for some of the things that we get every time we go grocery shopping :)

You might be wondering why I am telling you all of this. I want to make sure that every pregnant woman who is elligable for the program takes advantage! I realize that not every doctor is going to remember to tell his/her patients about the program, so I am telling YOU so that you can take advantage or someone you know can take advantage. They will check your income etc to make sure you dont make too much money already, but if you are on the Medi-cal insurance you automatically qualify :) 

So take the help ... its a little bit of help, but its help none-the-less! And as mommy's-to-be we need to take advantage of all the help being offered ... it's good practice for once the little one has arrived!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Cankles don't look good on anyone.

Cankles don't look good on anyone ... so it's a good thing I can only see mine when I bend over.

It has been quite the roller coaster week! The week started off well, with an awesome pregnancy photo shoot with our cousin Jeni Allen  <3. The photos from that day look amazing and will be memories that we can share with James when he is older :)

However, the week went downhill from there. I started getting sensations in my lower abdomen that felt very different than the Braxton-Hicks contractions I started getting a few weeks ago. They started feeling more like menstrual cramps ... for my male readers, menstrual cramping is like a dull, achy and at times throbbing pain in your lower abdomen and lower back. These are the pains that we are told to watch out for as pregnant ladies ... these are the pains that should they become more painful, rhythmic, and closer together usually tell us that are heading into labor. But mine weren't at all rhythmic and the times they lasted for varied widely. So I lay on the couch trying to decide if they were just a new level of Braxton-Hicks or if they were indeed labor contraction. But after about 30-45 minutes, the pain slowly wore off and I was fine for the rest of the night. So I decided to stay home.

Along with the new abdominal pains, I have also been experiencing intestinal cramping (like I really need to go to the bathroom), some nausea and sharp stomach pains and an increase in water retention (nothing like toxemia, just more that I was having before). When I wake up during the night or first thing in the morning my knuckles are sore from the swelling trapping the nerves. My feet are also sore to walk on first thing in the morning and I haven't seen my ankles in quite some time. If I am standing at work too long, my feet, ankles and shins start to feel really tight from the swelling, which tells me that it is time to start cutting back on my working hours.

So yeah, it has definitely been a week of discomfort. Also because I am quite a small person and James is about 5pounds now and continuing to grow, most of his movements are sore. His kicks are no longer cute and tickly, they are sometimes downright painful and at times it feels like he will make his way out the side of my body.

I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow so it will be interesting to see what he has to say about all these new symptoms etc. I have a feeling he will tell me to work less. He will no doubt check my cervix to see if I have dilated at all (which will be normal) with having had the menstrual cramping. But we shall see!

All I can say is that I look forward to seeing my ankles again really soon!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Its getting a little cramped in there!

I am now 33.5 weeks along in my pregnancy. I have started growing quite rapidly ... to the point where if someone doesn't see me for a few days they notice a difference in the size of my belly. While I have started growing rapidly, my weight gain has slowed down. I was gaining 2+ pounds a week for a little while --- I am assuming it was while James was going through his growth spurt --- but I am back to gaining just a pound or so per week. I believe my total weight gain is now around 26 pounds  :)   I will post a picture on Thursday.

So I don't know if James has just been more active lately or if I am just feeling it more because he is bigger and stronger. Watching my stomach move and be deformed at times can be a little freaky, but entertaining for sure. Though a lot of his movements are uncomfortable and sometimes painful where before they were barely noticeable or just a tickle. He spends a lot of time kicking or pushing against my ribs and also pushing on and punching my bladder. There is nothing like walking out of the bathroom only to feel like I need to go back in.

When he is at his most active, it seriously looks like he is trying to get out. If he continues to get stronger, I'm afraid he will push out through my skin just to get more space. Josh doesnt think that he will wait until April because my body will only allow for so much growing and James will get fed up of trying to fit in there. He will, after all, be full term in 2.5 weeks (36 weeks), so being born any time after that is fair game. And to be completely honest, I will be okay if he wants to come out a little before his due date because I am becoming tired of the continious discomfort (lower pelvis, ribs, upper back, lower back, hips etc etc etc). Our friend Heather thinks he will be here on March 17th because he is Irish after all, but our friend Shelly wants him to wait until his due date of April 16th because that's her birthday  :)   So we shall see.

If I had to pick a date, I would pick March 21st because that is my grandfather's birthday  <3   But as we know ... he will come out whenever he is ready to. I just really hope that it is on or before April 16th!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Baby Shower.

Can you believe that it has been a week and a day since our baby shower and this is the first time that I've had a chance to sit and write about that awesome day! It was a lot of fun and thank you again to my parents for putting the whole thing together and inviting everyone into their home. Josh and I very much appreciated their generosity, love and support.

Josh and I couldn't believe how much we got at the shower! We weren't expecting so many wonderful gifts. We were really feeling the love that day. It took me a week to organize and put the gifts away into their new homes. I think it also made everything seem a little more real. And can you believe that we received over 1400 diapers?!?!?!?! Oh my gosh! And they are split pretty evenly between the 'newborn' size and sized 1 and 2. So we are pretty set for a little while. I couldn't believe it when I organized and counted them. That is a ridiculous number of diapers and I love it!

Thank you everyone for your kindness, generocity, love and support. James is going to be one lucky little duckie! <3

Seeing everyone that was able to make it to the party was awesome. There were people that I hadnt seen in a very long time. I tried to catch up with everyone at some point through-out the afternoon/evening, but there were about 40 people there at one point, making it difficult to to get to everyone. So I do apologize to anyone that I didnt get a chance to sit down with. Again, I was blown away by the amount of people that came to celebrate with us  :) 


The food from Silvergreens was delicious! And by the looks of it at the end of the night, everyone agreed with me  :)  Silvergreens is one of my favourite places to eat in Santa Barbara. The cake was also amazing. I love carrot cake and again, everyone agreed with me :)  It was very pretty and also very delcious! I do believe the whole entire cake was eaten in the week following the shower.

I was completely exhausted for about 3-4 days following the shower. I slept a lot and took naps. I was much like Brutus after all the excitement hahaha. Now the next milestone in this journey is the birth of our son. I can't believe it and I cant wait!  <3  Bring on parenthood!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Feeling Under the Weather

In just a few days I will be 8 months along in my pregnancy ... and this morning I woke with my first cold of the pregnancy (and hopefully the last). I think I am very lucky to have gone this whole time without a single cold because when you're pregnant, your immune system is down and so it is a lot easier to catch illnesses. The reason I feel lucky is because I am around people all day every day ... all kinds of people at the restaurant and then children in the afternoon and I have come in contact with a lot of sick people. So my immune system deserves a standing ovation  :)

However, it still sucks that I have a cold. At 4am I got up to use the restroom, and that was when I realized that it wasn't allergies I was dealing with yesterday evening when I was sniffling and sneezing. So when Josh got up at 6:30am he brought me 2 tylenol. I took those before even getting up because I knew getting rid of the headache and some of the aches and pains would help me get up, eat breakfast and get ready for work in a timely manner and that all of that would hopefully make me feel better. It made me feel well enough to get myself to work.
Unfortunatly it was downhill from there. Moving around, communicating with guests and standing made me feel quite a bit worse and so I spent my shift counting down to 2pm. Thankfully though, I managed to get my 2 gymnastics classes covered, so that I could spend the rest of the day resting. And I honestly dont think it wouldnt have been fair to my girls for me to try teaching them while feeling as bad as I did.

Before becoming pregnant I loved to medicate my colds because I dont like to slow down. Some of my favorite cold meds were decongestants, anticeptic throat spray, excerdrine, and niquil ... all of which are off limits. So I had to find a whole new way to get better. I dont think I have been doing too badly. While I probably could have eaten a lot healthier, I did drink a ton of water and am still downing it. I also took some extra vitamin C along with my prenatals - Don't worry, I had asked my doctor about extra vitamin C a while ago because it's my 'go to' when I think I may be getting sick - and took those two tylenol pills. I took a nap before work this morning and again this afternoon when I got home. Despite feeling pretty warm I have kept myself covered up but have also been getting plenty of fresh air. I have spent the majority of my afternoon/evening lying down and just resting ... all chores may wait.  And of course Brutus has been keeping me company and has been my couch and nap buddy.

I plan on getting to bed at a decent time tonight after I drink some tea with lemon and honey, and I dont have to be up in the morning. So I am really hoping that all of this rest will help me feel better as soon as possible. Especially before this weekend, because I want to be able to fully enjoy the baby shower :)  I think the excitement for that will help me recover sooner too.

In the mean time I am going to keep resting. I will take 2 more tylenol and a vitamin C before bed and use vick's vapor rub if breathing becomes a problem. --- Watch out Josh, you thought being pregnant made me snore more ... let's see what level fog horn I can be tonight  ;)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

If it's not within reach ... I don't need it.

I am starting to feel the pregnancy exhaustion for real now. Yeah, I got tired before ... but oh my goodness, now I just feel like the most unfit person in the world. I shall give you a few examples ... and feel free to giggle cause I cant help but laugh at myself on most days.

Just a few minutes ago, I realised that I was getting uncomfortable and could really use a cushion behind my back (I am sitting on the couch). However, the cushion is waaaay over there - on the other side of the couch - and so I decided to see if I would just suddenly become comfortable by sitting here long enough. The thought of having to use my stomach muscles to sit up, swing my legs around and reach is just too much work. Keeping in mind that I said the thought alone was too much work.

There are days when I am coaching and am just exhausted for no other reason than I am carrying an extra 24 pounds on my midriff, and so when the girls are warming up I'll pop a squat on the floor. On more than one occasion, I have accepted help from my 10 year olds to pull me up off the floor (I really need to not sit on the floor anymore!) which is a little embarrassing, but I am also very proud that they would offer  :)
There are other days when I try to think of what we can work on in that particular area of the gym so that I don't have to get up ... yeah, it can be a little pathetic.

Running errands has become my least favorite chore. Simply because it can involve so much walking and standing. There was one afternoon where my last stop was Walgreen's and I got to the point where I was literally shuffling around with squinty eyes. I am pretty sure I could have stood still, closed my eyes and gone to sleep right there in the middle of Walgreen's.
Those days are the toughest, because the exhaustion can become so overwhelming. Those are the days where I usually take 1-2 hour naps. I used to limit my naps to before 5pm, but now I could nap from 8pm-9pm and go to bed without any trouble at 10pm. I guess this is a good thing because I really need to be taking advantage of naps and bed time etc ... which I am :)

The last example I have of my growing laziness is when I need to turn over in bed at night. As you may well imagine the position of laying on my back is very uncomfortable (and not allowed in pregnancy). So I spend a lot of time on my right and left sides. Even though turning over requires just seconds on my back, it takes such an effort and puts a ton of pressure on my bladder that I really have to think about whether or not the turning will be worth it.
Dr. Samawi gave me a new technique to ease that pressure and that would be to turn onto my hands and knees and then to the other side ... and boy does that sound even more exhausting at 3am!
So there are nights when I gladly take a dead arm or leg over the inconvenience of turning over. Lazy right? But I'm pregnant, so I'm allowed to be lazy.

Though the only time I am not lazy at night or during the day is when it comes to going to the bathroom. If I get the urge to go, I go! I have not had an accident yet and don't plan to!!! Apparently it's very common for women to pee their pants while pregnant ... I understand why, because when James makes a sudden movement I sometimes get that feeling of when you are just about to pee. Even Dr. Samawi warned me about that at my last appointment so that I don't confuse my amniotic fluid leaking with my urine ... um eeuw! And even though Josh has so kindly offered to go out and buy me some (on multiple occasions), I will not being wearing Depends any time in the near future ... or ever!  :)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Updates :)

I am 31 weeks today and I had my 4 week prenatal check-up.

Dr. Samawi said that I am right on track. We listened to James's heartbeat which is at 145 bpm ... perfect! I also had Dr. Samawi feel to see if James is already head down because any time he gets the hick-ups now I can feel it really low down and he has been kicking my ribs. And sure enough, he is head down. Because I am only 31 weeks, there is a possibility that he will turn again and again, but if he is comfortable he will just stay where he is.

With the size of my uterus thus far, Dr. Samawi is predicting a 6-7 pound baby which would be awesome. But due to my small stature, he said that if it looks like James will be any bigger than that, that they will offer me the option of a c-section, which I am open to. I will do whatever it takes to ensure my health and the health of my baby  :)

As far as my own weight gain goes, I have gained a total of 24 pounds. Dr. Samawi said that I am right on track and that because I gained the weight at a steady rate and haven't over done it so far that the weight will fall off me in the first month after birth. Can you believe that during birth I will drop around 10 pounds?! Between the baby and the fluids etc. And then with breast feeding etc I will drop another 10 pounds within a week of that first 10. So he said I'll be back to myself in no time.
Because I have been feeling so uncomfortable lately - between the swelling, the heavy tummy and the hardship of moving around etc - I very much look forward to getting back to myself :)

We are in the home stretch now ... 9 weeks and counting! I can't wait to meet our little guy :)

Friday, February 3, 2012

Surviving the Third Trimester.

I cannot believe that we are in the 3rd trimester! Today I am 30 weeks and 1 day pregnant ... when you break that down, it means that I have 10 weeks - give or take a few weeks - to go before birth, and just 6 weeks before I could start my maternity leave. I cannot believe how fast this has all been going! It seems like only yesterday that I crawled into the bed next to Josh at 730am to tell him we were pregnant and now we are starting our sprint for the finish line.

I started the third trimester 2 weeks ago (28 weeks) and believe it or not, a whole new set of symptoms started around that time ... maybe even a little bit before. I have started growing at a significantly faster rate, and with that have come feelings of physical heaviness, some lower and middle back discomfort, sore, tired and swollen feet, physical tiredness and a growing sense of anxious excitement.
I am incredibly excited to finally meet my son, though am increasingly nervous about the whole giving birth part! hahaha! For the most part I am just taking the aches and pains as they come because I knew I would hit this point. Also, I know that it will be very much worth it  :)

So I have put together (in my mind) a new set of survival skills to help me finish out this pregnancy as comfortably as possible. Here are some of the ones that I follow on a daily basis:
  1. I start each day with a big breakfast ... a bowl of cereal (usually a mix of a healthy and sweet sweet cereal) with my lactose free milk. And I also have a side of 2 slices of whole grain toast and a nice big glass of water to wash that and my prenatals down.
  2. I drink plenty of fluids through out the day ... mostly water, but sometimes juice and tea also.
  3. If I am working all day, I make sure to take sit down and snack breaks whenever possible to take the pressure off legs and feet and lower back. And of course to stop me from turning into a bear when my blood sugar levels drop.
  4. When I get home, the first thing I do is sit down and put my feet up.
  5. I do my best to get a decent amount of relaxation time every evening and get to bed at a good time to ensure a full night's rest.
So I am doing what I can to take care of myself. I have also taken to just accepting my emotions. If there is a time (when I'm alone) where I feel I just need to cry, then I do it. I almost always feel tons better afterwards. And I havent been depriving myself of any foods except the foods that are dangerous while pregnant. I am just doing what I need to do to feel good.
I do try to get some exercise in when I can. It's usually walking, prenatal pilates or prenatal yoga. But I no longer push the exercise ... if I am feeling up to it then I do it, but if I am too tired then I feel that resting is much more important.

Before I sign off there is a cool fact that I learned recently that made me feel good. Did you know that once you are in the third trimester, should the baby be born as a pre-me, the survival rate goes up to 90%  :)   Not that I want him to be born early, but it puts the whole preterm labor fear more in the back of my mind rather than right up front any time I feel a cramp or a new sensation. I cant wait to meet my baby :)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I'm allowed to complain ... I'm pregnant!

I feel like for the majority of this pregnancy I haven't done much complaining about my aches and pains ... of course I mean in person because on here (this blog) everything is exaggerated as I am pretty selective as to what I write about and when I want to write. But there are days when I just need to complain ... I would like to take this chance to use my free complain pass  :)

So a few appointments ago my doctor told me to start taking Pepsid AC for my heartburn. Up until a week or two ago it worked great ... and then it started losing its effectiveness and I ended up back where I started ... feeling like a fire breathing dragon every evening (at the same time, no matter what I ate that day) and through out the majority of the night, who's esophagus is filled with an acid slowly burning a whole near the entrance to my stomach. I spend my evening and night alternating between tums and glasses of milk.
So the next step was Prolisec OTC. It's a 14 day treatment that reduces the amount of acid in your stomach and repairs any damage caused by the acid that tries to make its way to your throat. This morning I took the first dose, though sadly it takes 1-4 days to take full effect and I am currently sitting here wishing I hadn't eaten at all today ... though I would probably still have acid indigestion.
Anyway, fingers crossed that it starts to take effect soon and that it fixes the problem ... because I cannot feel like this every evening for the next 2.5 months .... I will become one very very angry fire breathing dragon.

As you know, if you have seen me lately, I have gained quite a belly. Especially in the past few weeks. Though I am now starting to gain a little more weight in the breasts, buttocks, and face. So despite what we all say about the pregnant woman being beautiful, I have not been feeling very pretty lately.
Between the periodically swollen feet, the round face and the ever expanding waste line, I am looking more and more forward to getting back in shape after the pregnancy (when it's safe and in a timely manner).

It doesn't help that the other day a person who sees me every couple of weeks made a comment about my rounder face. She didn't mean it in a bad way ... I think she was trying to tell me that I look good because she threw in words like 'motherly', but never the less, I ended up feeling a little crappy. I expect to gain weight in my midriff etc, but I really don't need to know that you can see a double chin forming. Just tell me that I am glowing or something.

Anyway, my mom and dad are coming to visit this weekend and mom has offered to give me a pedicure to help me feel pretty. And even though there is no way in the whole wide world that I would wear flip flops right now, knowing that my toes are pretty will help me feel pretty. I think every pregnant woman should feel pretty ... heck, I think every woman should feel pretty ... And sometimes its the little things that help ... perhaps a face mask will help also  :)

Friday, January 20, 2012

I Tested it ... It Passed!

For pretty much my entire pregnancy I have dealt with a dry nose, congestion, bloody nose and a whistling nose. While it happens 24/7, it can be worse at night when I am trying to get to sleep. And as I am sure a lot of you know, there is nothing like a whistling nose when you are trying to relax. I don't know about you, but it drives me insane!

So I decided to check my options. If I wasn't pregnant, I would use decongestants among other stuff to ensure a good nights sleep. But being pregnant, I have to check the safest options. I read that Vick's Vapor Rub is safe, but I am not a big fan of that stuff unless I have a really bad cold where your nose is completely blocked when you lie down, and I am definitely not that bad.

So then I found a message board where someone mentioned using Vaseline Petroleum Jelly. You blow your nose and then take a Q-Tip, dip it in the Vaseline and put it on the inside walls of your nose. That sounded like something I could try. So two nights ago I gave it a try and it worked! My nose felt clearer, the whistling stopped and I felt like I was getting more oxygen. So just to make sure that it wasn't a fluke, I tried it again last night and it worked again! Who knew that something so simple would work so well!

There is only one negative side to using the Vaseline, and that is the initial smell of the petroleum jelly when your nose clears. But that passes pretty quickly. I have also noticed less morning nose bleeds because the Vaseline helps to keep my nose moisturized which in turn stops the bleeding caused by a dry nose.

I will continue doing this until I stop having a congested nose. It's safe and doesn't involve any medical chemicals and because I am not ingesting anything, neither is James.  :)  I love finding little home remedies!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Cannot sit still for Five Minutes!

Nesting Season has begun! ... This means that I constantly have the urge to clean and organize every corner of the apartment, but the nursery more than anywhere else. I will sit down for maybe five minutes before thinking of something else that I just MUST do at that very moment. It is an exciting feeling and also cool in the sense that I am getting stuff done before I become too uncomfortable to move.

The Bassinet will be moved into our room either before James arrives or when we have a crib (which ever comes first), but for now it looks lovely in the baby room. The chest of drawers will contain all of Jame's little clothes and don't you just love the lamp?! I think it's awesome! It's flexible and has multiple settings.

Gifts from my registry at Babies R Us started to arrive today (thank you!) and that gave me even more motivation to get stuff ready. So I have been unpacking things to make room for more baby stuff and have been putting items, such as clothes, in the chest or drawers.

I have organized the towels, wash cloths and burping cloths on top of the chest of drawers for now, but I plan on moving those into the hallway closet before James arrives. For now, I just like seeing everything out in the nursery where I can look at it. It makes me feel very excited :)

I love the little bassinet. At the moment I do have a blanket on the side and teddy bears sitting inside the crib, but that is just for me again. Once James is sleeping in the crib, all of that will be removed for safety. But seeing the little crib with the little teddies makes everything so much more real (just incase my bulging stomach didnt!) and is just another step that I think every mother-to-be has to go through.

We all go through our moments of anxiety and disbelief and feeling like it's a dream. But I believe the nesting period is almost like a period of acceptance. It is the time where we stop pinching ourselves and truley realize that we are about to become parents. There are still moments when I get those excited butterflies and find myself thinking, "Oh My Goodness, I'm having a baby." But that is because I am now less than three months away and realizing how much time has just flown until now, I cannot imagine that time would slow down ... and I most certainly don't want it to.

It feels good to be getting things done in preparation for the arrival of our son. I feel like a little girl waiting and preparing for the arrival of Christmas ... which until the birth of my son will have been my favorite time of year. :)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Look at that little smile!

I have had two doctor appointments in the last two days. Yesterday I had my ultrasound which is always amazing. It was the last ultrasound for this pregnancy, so the last chance to see James before he makes his way into the world in just over 3 months.
Everything looks great according to Nikki, the technician. James is in the 64th percentile as far as his growth goes, so that is a little above average. Hopefully that doesn't mean an 8 or 9 pound delivery weight!!! Hahahaha, though babies who are born bigger tend to sleep through the night a lot sooner which would definitely be a plus. At the moment, James is about 2.5 pounds ... so tiny!

James Thomas at 26.5 weeks. Can you believe that he smiled for the camera :)
Today's appointment was one of my routine monthly visits with Dr. Samawi. We do the same thing every visit: I pee in a cup, blood pressure, weight, temperature, baby's heart rate, uterus measurements and questions. Dr. Samawi said that everything is going really well and he couldn't be happier. He is an awesome doctor and I am excited to have him in the delivery room when the day arrives :)

So you remember when I was tested for anemia? It turns out that I am anemic and had to start taking iron pills twice a day. Anemia is very common among pregnant women, especially around the 27th week, which is right where I am. Here are some of the symptoms of anemia:

  • Easy fatigue and loss of energy  --- Yes!

  • Unusually rapid heart beat, particularly with exercise  --- Sometimes.

  • Shortness of breath and headache, particularly with exercise --- Sometimes.

  • Difficulty concentrating --- No more than usual, lol.

  • Dizziness --- Yes, but not too often.

  • Pale skin --- A few people mentioned that I was looking pale.

  • Leg cramps --- Especially at night time!

  • Insomnia --- Only in the past week or so.

  • So as you can see, I experienced most of the basic symptoms. The ones that bother me the most are the fatigue and the leg cramps and then more recently the insomnia.
    With the fatigue there are days where I feel completely useless and just want to sleep. There are days when I might take multiple naps and go to bed early. My head barely hits the pillow and I am out like a light!
    The leg cramps haven't been very bad, just more of an annoyance and discomfort when I am trying to relax at night. Some nights I toss and turn with a lot of frustration.
    And with the insomnia, it is where I will wake up between 4am-5am and not be able to get back to sleep for quite some time.

    So hopefully the iron intake will alleviate some of (if not all) these symptoms. The doctor also prescribed me something to hopefully ensure that constipation wont become an issue due to the added iron.

    So that's me. No more doctors appointments this week. So it will be nice to have a break from the doctor's office. :)