Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Our Growing Family

A good friend of mine took a few photos of our family of three just weeks before we became a family of four. I'm a little behind in getting them posted, but here are a few of my favorites!

Baby B2: Week 38

How far along: 38 weeks/4 days old (he was born at 37 weeks and 4 days gestation)

How big is the baby: Weighs 5 pounds; 20 inches long

Sleep: Baby B2 (Stephen) is a sleeper but I've been ordered to wake him every two hours to feed day and night. He needs to grow!! He loves sleeping as soon as I try to feed him, which makes my job a lot more difficult.

Best moment of the week: I love watching him open his eyes and look around. Its a rare thing because he sleeps through just about everything. Also, not having to stay in the hospital more than two days! I was very ready to go home.

Worst thing: The fatigue. Waking up every two hours to feed him. So very tired.

Symptoms: Symptoms of pregnancy are gone, with the exception of the postpartum stuff (you know what I mean). Symptoms of motherhood: fatigue, constantly thinking of everything that needs to happen when I'm not nursing, and not getting anything done but nursing.

Movement: Baby B2 is not as squirmy as B1 was, but we still have mega face-scratching and kicking during diaper changes

What I miss: Sleeping. 

Food Cravings: I don't really have cravings, but chocolate and ice cream always cheer me up. I am hungry all of the time.

Food Aversions: none

Maternity Clothes: Basically just for comforts sake. I can't quite fit into my normal jeans yet, but I can wear my normal shirts again. Now I need to find some nursing tops!

Things People Say: William says "He's so cute!" and loves to give him hugs. He hasn't met too many people yet, most comments refer to his size (he is very small).

Exercise: Non-existant. I haven't left the house except to go to the pediatrician, I've thought about it a lot, but then remember I'm suppose to rest.

Last Appointment: May 17. I had a check up the day before Baby B2 was born. All looked well, they didn't check to see if I was dilating or anything, they said it was too early. I had thought I may have felt a contraction or two the night before but wasn't certain. The nurse told me to make sure to call if they became more regular. . .which I did within 36 hours.

It's a Boy!

(click photo to enlarge)

Sunday, May 8, 2016

"Sprinkle" for Baby B2

This weekend was full of celebrations. Yesterday, my friends threw me a Baby Sprinkle (instead of a "shower"). Some of my dearest friends gathered together and that in itself was present enough. We hadn't all been together in ages and it was so good for my soul to be in the same room as such lovely ladies.

 We had lovely food and conversation, amazing cake and then presents! I do love presents and these friends went above and beyond with both cute and necessary things. I felt so blessed by their care and generosity. And when you feel swollen, emotional and exhausted, feeling loved is extra special. And it helps to feel a little more prepared (and excited) to be having Baby B2 in just a matter of weeks!

Mother's Day: Feeling Celebrated

This is the first year that William has been able to really partake in celebrating his Mama. Yesterday while I was at my baby shower, Chris took him on a "secret adventure" to get ready for today. So this morning, I awoke full of anticipation!

They made me french toast and then brought me my gift. William told me what it was as he handed it to me, but Chris just played it off like he was only talking about a drawing. Then William tried to open the present while I read the cards. Practicing patience is hard! The cards were so cute! A Dr. Seuss themed card from "Thing 1 & Thing 2" with a drawing by William in side just about had me in tears and Chris's card was very sweet and made me feel very loved (as they always do).

The present was a wood frame with wood letters decorating the boarder saying: "Always Mom's Little Guy" with a photo of William and I from Easter.  I could not believe that my husband made a craft with my son just for me! And Chris picked up a really great bath soap/scrub for me as well. It is beautiful and made me feel beautiful and loved and teary-eyed. . . all before 8 a.m.

Earlier in the weekend my cousin had brought me flowers so our table is graced by bright pink peonies and at church all the moms received a flower as well!

It was a lovely day. I am so grateful for my family; so thankful they think the job I do is great . . . not good enough or just okay like my thoughts often tell me.

Baby B2: Week 36

How far along: 36 Weeks

How big is the baby: 19 inches long and 6.5 pounds (give or take, these stats are from the internet)

Sleep: This is getting a lot harder. My back pain has increased and most often I lie in bed feeling wide awake after feeling exhausted all day.

Best moment of the week: My friends threw me a Baby "Sprinkle" party. It was so fun to spend the afternoon with women I hardly ever get to spend time with (much less child-less time). I felt blessed by their support and adorable gifts for Baby.

Worst moment of the week: feeling all of the emotions. I've had a hard time keeping the tears at bay this week. There are fears I'm having to deal with and a lot of unknowns and it all just feels a little overwhelming right now.

Symptoms: growing belly (that moves) and my ankles are starting to swell some and legs seem stiff. Even though I'm not sleeping well, my energy seems to be up so I'm grateful for that.

Movement: The other day, the baby stretched out and I nearly yelped out loud. It was quite painful. Movements tend to be at night and last a very long time. I try to live in the moment, notice that I'm feeling my unborn child actually live within me and notice him/her in my day. And remember that very soon, I will be holding this baby in my arms!

What I miss: wine, deli sandwiches, and pain-free body.

Food cravings: cereal, chocolate, ice cream . . . you know all the healthy things

Food aversions: healthy things

Maternity clothes: Yes and loving it. Although I find myself staring at all the clothes in my closet that don't fit and wonder why I still have them. Hope to put them back into circulation soon.

Things people say: "You're not very big yet." They ask how I'm feeling. Yesterday I ran into my hair dresser on the sidewalk and he said "Soon? Come get your hair cut before he comes!" (I think it might bother him that I walk by his shop every day and don't fix my hair . . .)

Exercise: None. Just walking . . . and looking at my workout stuff taking up space.

Last appointment: April 25. All is well. Pretty routine appointment that didn't last very long. I also met with a lactation consultant to go over my questions about pumping and timing and everything I had doubts about when I struggled to nurse William. She was super helpful, although revealed some things that might continue to be a challenge for me. I'm praying I don't have supply issues this time around, but after that appointment I was left with a lot of doubts and concerns (see comments about emotions above).

Next Appointment: May 12

Mother's Day Tribute

This Mother's Day feels a little different for me, its hard to be away from my mom right now. Two weeks ago, she went through major (somewhat of an emergency) surgery. After it was all done, my sister posted the following on Facebook:

My beautiful mother went in to see the doctor for some left sided weakness. They found a subdural hematoma in her brain that resulted from a fall on the ice in February. She was able to have surgery the next morning in Grand Forks and is recovering remarkably. We are all sporting the half shaved head look. Thanks for the prayers and well wishes. God is good. My mom is bad ass.
I'm so grateful that my siblings all pulled together to be with her in the hospital and take care of her when she got to go home last Wednesday. But it's hard to be so far away, unable to help, unable to do much of anything but pray. (btw, I did not shave my head.)

My mother has always been there for each of us, no matter what was going on. Whether it was our own doctor's visits, trips to the hospital, taking us to all of our activities or just listening to us cry after a hard day at school/work/life, she has always been there. Willingly giving of herself. And when we had babies, she was there as fast as she was able to get there, taking care of us all.

When my mom called me to tell me she was having surgery, I felt like I was in shock a little. Here I sat, at my desk, 34 weeks pregnant, not sure if I should be getting on a plane or falling to my knees in prayer. I was scared. I'm a worst-case-scenario thinker/worrier so of course my mind went to the dangerous "what if" questions. I called my sisters for support. The next day, my phone played terrible tricks on me while I missed phone calls and text updates, leaving me in a most frustrating place. Three hours after the surgery, I was finally able to hear the news that she had made it through and all had gone according to the plan. Whew! 

And now she is home, recovering with the help of her children (the good ones who didn't move so far away). Follow up tests will be done next week so your prayers are still coveted during this time.

But today, on Mother's Day, I want to share my gratitude for this lady who not only gave me life, but taught me just about everything I know. She was my shining example of a good mama and wife. She demonstrates what love, selflessness and service look like to me and everyone around.

Somehow she made it look easy to raise four kids, work outside the home and have time for school activities and sporting events. After having a child of my own, I can honestly say I don't know how she did it . . . any of it.

Thank you Mother, for all you have done for me and with me in my lifetime. I am so glad you are my mother. So thankful you are recovering well. So excited to see you this summer!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Giveway Winner Announced

Thanks to everyone who left comments on my giveaway post! Its always encouraging to hear from my readers! I'm glad to hear that people feel more connected to me through my writing/sharing.

The winner of the giveaway is: Sarah D.

Sarah wins a CD of my new favorite artist, JJ Heller "Sound of a Living Heart"

Stay tuned for more updates on how we're getting ready for Baby B2 to arrive in 30 days (give or take a few), and our housing search updates. Living in San Francisco is rarely boring!