Thursday, June 25, 2009

We Interrupt This Blog...

... to move.

Some of you already know this but, for those who may not, we found out 12 hours before I gave birth that my husband was offered a position in Connecticut. He starts Monday. Our baby will be 2 weeks tomorrow. We're heading halfway across the country starting Saturday. I am still not allowed to drive. It's been an exciting, busy time!

And when I'm not working on the move? This is what I've been up to:

Can't beat baby snuggles. And this little girl is good as gold.

I'll be back- I promise. But, for the moment, please excuse me as I keep my priorities in check during this busy season!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Baby Update: 3 Days Old!

Our sweet baby girl is doing just great! She gets to room with us now and, as of this morning, is completely wire-free. She spent yesterday hooked up to a monitor to track her oxygen level. It was not a big deal but it was also not particularly helpful since it would often read her O2 level as being in the 70's when she was perfectly pink and happy. As you know, we had a baby on monitors for months and we KNOW that a baby who was truly satting in the 70's would have blue lips. It was driving us- and the nurses- crazy since we all knew she was doing great. So now? It's gone. Hooray!

Baby G. is nursing very well and seems like a very content baby. It's so wonderful to have her with us and be able to snuggle her sweet little self whenever we please.

A. and C. got to meet their new baby sister yesterday and they were both so excited. A. was jumping up and down exclaiming, "I have TWO baby sisters! TWO of them!" He's maintained all along that he would be having another sister. He was right! C. is just fascinated and loves to stare are our new little girl. It will be wonderful to have them all together soon.

Mama is doing well but the doctors are recommending that I (and the baby) spend one more day in the hospital which means getting released tomorrow instead of today. I'm still pretty slow to get around and they're monitoring my blood pressure. My usual 103 over 62 BP returned after my c-section but, as of last night, it has started to climb. It's not dangerous yet, but it's higher than mine has ever been and, thus, merits a close eye.

Daddy has spent plenty of time snuggling his newest little one. So sweet.

(Oh, and guess what? This is the first of our three babies to look like ME! :) After the births of my first two, all I heard was, "Wow- no denying who their daddy is! They don't look a THING like you!)

Friday, June 12, 2009

It's a...

5 lb 8 1/2 oz
18 1/2" long
born at 9:02 am
Little baby G. is doing very well. She's in the nursery getting a bit of supplemental oxygen because, being rather small and being delivered via c-section, she was having a bit of trouble clearing all the fluid from her lungs. But she's doing wonderfully now and the doctors and nurses anticipate she can move in with me tomorrow!
So, so much more to tell you all, but this will have to do for a preview. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your prayers and well wishes. I have found much strength through all of your support over the past months.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

That's SO "Last Season"!

My advice for today? When you're faced with the need to buy a big ticket item and you don't have a lot of time to wait for sales...

say, just for instance, if you go to get out the infant seat/ stroller system a week before you're having a baby only to discover that rodents have built a nest in it...

anyway, if something like that happens to you, look for discontinued colors.

We recently saved well over a hundred dollars on the above Chicco system simply because the color had been discontinued. Will our baby be out of the loop for using last season's colors? I'm not too worried about it. But I'm thrilled to have left that extra cash in our account!

(Oh, and, by the way? The baby who will be using that brand new seat is being delivered TODAY! So be sure to stop by soon to get the details!)
This post is linked to Frugal Friday.

Thirteen Things Happening Tomorrow

  1. I'll be getting up at 4:30 am.
  2. I'll check in to the hospital at 5:30 am.
  3. I'll be getting a spinal.
  4. Hubby will have to wear scrubs again.
  5. My kids will probably wake up about 7:00 am and will be thrilled to have grandma ("Eema") there with them!
  6. My family will be getting ready for work out in Connecticut, wondering when they'll be hearing the big news...
  7. I'll be hoping not to have a horrible anesthesia reaction... but not really counting on it.
  8. By 7:30 am, I'll be in the OR, likely with far less than the sixteen medical personnel present for my last c-section!
  9. Our newest little blessing will be delivered.
  10. We'll learn whether we've become a "two boys/one girl" or "two girls/one boy" family!
  11. My husband and I will get to see and snuggle this little bundle who has been such an energetic delight for the past few months.
  12. My son and daughter will finally meet their baby sibling.
  13. I will again give thanks to God for the many, many blessings I've been given... not the least of which is making it full-term in this pregnancy.
This post is linked to Thursday {Thirteen}.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Having a Happy Third Trimester

In case you've never been here before and might not know, I'm having a baby in two days. And you know what? I feel great.

While some of that is simply "luck of the draw", it can't be ignored that some of it just stems from attitude and another good portion is the result of decisions I've made during this pregnancy.

So, for what it's worth, here are some things that work for me in terms of having a happy, comfortable third trimester:

  • Drinking plenty of water- I tend to have very frequent, rather intense Braxton-Hicks contractions. The best way to keep them under control? Drinking tons of water. That's not always easy when you feel bloated and full, but it has to be done! Flavored seltzer helps me drink more of the stuff.
  • Eating small meals- Again, I hardly ever feel hungry anymore, but I still need to nourish this little one! I eat small meals and try to make every bite count with nutritionally dense food.
  • Changing sleep positions often- Have I been sleeping soundly lately? Hmm, not exactly. But I do okay. I wake frequently and, every time I do, I make a conscious effort to change positions so that my back doesn't take a beating. This definitely makes a difference in how I feel in the morning.
  • Staying active- I still walk all over the place. I still water and weed my garden. I have to slow down a bit now and sometimes I need breaks. But I make sure and keep my body moving which I think makes me feel better in the long run.
  • Exercising regularly earlier in the pregnancy- I walked two to three miles a day right up through the beginning of my third trimester. Eventually it got to be a little too much for me and I gradually eased off of that for now. But I am absolutely convinced that exercising (as long as it's permitted by your doctor) is nothing but helpful. Carrying a baby is WORK. Labor is WORK. It helps to be in shape.
  • Gaining an appropriate amount of weight- I don't want to be preachy about this, but it simply makes sense that gaining a LOT of weight is going to be harder on your body. Your joints are likely to hurt more if you put on 45 lb vs. 25 lb. Dieting is never appropriate during pregnancy, but it does make sense to try to be reasonable...
  • Limiting salt and caffeine- I'm not super strict about my salt intake, but I do try to avoid going overboard. And I choose decaf every chance I get. I think limiting these two substances helps my body maintain a more consistent level of hydration and also helps regulate my blood pressure.
  • Not being a martyr- This is very hard for me. I am definitely one of those, "Oh, I'll just do it myself!" kind of women. And not necessarily with a smile on my face. Shameful, but true. Giving up some control and taking some help makes my life AND my husband's better right now. So I happily let him handle bath time, for example. And you know what? Maybe the soap ends up on the wrong shelf, but everyone's clean and happy at the end of the day.
  • Making use of energy bursts- I think most of us have our "peak" times each day. I tend to be very bouncy and energetic in the morning hours. These are good times for me to clean and prepare food ahead. In the afternoons? I'm better suited to running some errands. And in the evening? Well, I'm fairly useless... but if I MUST accomplish something, I can handle unloading the dishwasher, folding laundry, or mending.
  • Always, always, always remembering what it's like to have a preemie - No matter how uncomfortable you get during the third trimester... and I mean, no matter what... it is not as hard as having a baby in the NICU. It can't even compare. Being tired, achy, miserable, sick... it all pales next to worrying that your baby could die at any moment.
Don't get me wrong- I'm far from perfect. My husband can tell you that I've certainly had a few complaints and discomforts along the way. But I can honestly say that I am more sad that this pregnancy is almost over than I am happy to be almost done. Though I AM pretty excited to meet this little boy or girl!

What tips or tricks do you have for feeling better and more comfortable in late pregnancy? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This post is linked to Works For Me Wednesday.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Oddball Snacks

If you were to ask me what I'd like for a snack, I have to admit I'd probably mention something like Doritos or a brownie. If I were really feeling healthy, I might suggest some fruit and a glass of soy milk.

When it comes to offering snacks to kids, I recommend a balance. My kids often get (and enjoy!) cheese, fruit, yogurt or wheat crackers for a snack. But you know what? I'm a cookie-mama too. I absolutely let my children have sweets. And sometimes cheesy snacks with a dubious orange color. I pride myself on the wide range of things I offer...

But even more important perhaps? Let your kids be your guide once in a while. When I let my son "name his snack" the other day, do you know what he came up with?

Dry spaghetti. Seriously.

It could be worse.
This post is linked to Kitchen Tip Tuesdays.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

"My Story..." Monday: A Hard Day For Mama

Have I mentioned a thousand times yet how much I love having my first two children so close together in age? It's true, it really is.

Nonetheless, I had many days that looked a little bit like this too...

... especially in those first few weeks.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Baby Guessing Contest!

Less than a week and our baby will be here! Doesn't that seem incredible?? Or is it just me? :)

In honor of such a wonderful occasion (and the fact that this one made it full-term!), I thought it would be fun to have a little contest...

Here's all I need from you--

Leave a comment with your guess as to how much this baby will weigh. (For fun, put your gender prediction in there too, but you won't be judged on that!) Please do not duplicate a previous commentor's guess. Whoever ends up closest to baby's actual weight will win a $10 Speedway gift card! If your town's prices are like mine, they've been headed UP lately. Any little bit can help!

To give you all the best opportunity for an accurate guess, here's some additional info:
  • I will technically be 37 weeks 1 day pregnant when this baby is delivered.
  • I've measured about a week ahead for most of the pregnancy.
  • My first baby weighed 8 lb 0 oz and was born at 41 weeks.
  • My second baby weighed 1 lb 5 oz and was born at 24 weeks.
  • I carried small with each of my pregnancies, though my babies were good sizes (even the 1 lb 5 oz baby was a pretty good size for her gestational age!)
  • I've gained 23 lb (as of yesterday... although I DID walk around a zoo for over four hours today so I may be a tad lighter now! ;))
  • You can see what I look like, as of five minutes ago, in the above pic!
Good luck! I can't tell you how much I look forward to the guesses. I'll let you know my guess and my hubby's guess as the day gets closer...

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Portrait of a Pregnancy After a Preemie: Being Full-Term

Well, I am officially 36 weeks pregnant, but I measure at 37. Sounds good to me!

I had another check-up with my OB today and everything still looks great. Our (busy) baby's heart rate was in the 140's and my weight and BP are still great. I'm still very comfortable and really have no complaints! While I am certainly excited to be welcoming this new little life just one week from tomorrow, I still feel very patient about it. And I'm determined to cherish these last days with my two older kids too.

Both my kids were along for the check-up today and they were fascinated to hear the baby and, admittedly, to watch me have blood drawn (sadistic little ones! ;)) I signed all the paperwork today and so, at 5:30 in the morning on Friday the 12th, I'll be reporting to the hospital. Still kind of hard to imagine...

We've been very busy around here with "baby prep". There's not actually that much that needs to be set up ahead of time for a newborn (despite what we all seem to think with our first babies...), but there are things that need to be in place. We did a big grocery shopping trip yesterday to make sure we were all set. I wanted some more "convenience-type foods" on hand for my first few days post-op when hubby will likely be handling a good portion of meal prep. The newborn-size clothes are all washed and folded (both colors!) and the cradle is set up in our room. I checked our supply of newborn and size 1 diapers and started packing a hospital bag. The infant car seat is installed in my minivan. We have a good-size stash of food in our freezer to make life easier after baby's arrival.

I can't begin to express how thankful I am for making it so far in this pregnancy. I am utterly delighted to think that my baby is already over six pounds and a foot and a half long. It makes me want to weep with gratitude to know that it is highly unlikely that this child will need to spend any time in the NICU. I have been so incredibly blessed to have a happy, healthy, full-term pregnancy. I didn't realize what a gift that was the first time around. I am appreciative of every single moment this time... every ache in back from being heavy with child, every Braxton-Hicks contraction that makes me lose my breath for a second, every sudden sharp kick that almost brings me to my knees... never in a million years would I trade any of it. You haven't heard me say "I can't wait for it to be over!" and you won't. I promise you that. Because I am blessed. And lucky. And I thank God that I am able to realize those things this time around...

"Three Things You Should Know" Thursday

(originally posted 7/24/08)

Today's "Three Things" involve the size of micropreemies... many people refer to any baby born weighing less than two pounds as a "micropreemie". Babies that small are tiny preemies to be sure. But, to be more accurate...

1. The term "micropreemie" medically refers to the gestational age of the preemie (<26 style="color: rgb(102, 51, 102);">

2. That being said, over 95% of micropreemies are born weighing less than 1 lb 11 oz.

3. Micropreemies are so small, their weight is always measured in grams, not pounds. Parents of these tiny miracles quickly learn that 454 g = 1 lb. I am a master at metrics conversions now.

I look forward to sharing more tidbits about these tiny babies and the parents who raise them!

(Side note-- Way "back in the day", I had planned to open up "Three Things You Should Know" Thursday as meme with a Mr. Linky... so you all could share three things the rest of us should know about the topic of your choice. Would anyone be interested in this? Please leave a comment or email me if so!)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Technical Difficulties...

I apologize for the lack of new material around here. For some reason, I am unable to copy/paste, attach links, or add pictures to any posts. Makes it a tad challenging! In the meantime, I'll be "re-running" a few early posts (from the days when I my daily visits were in the single digits :)). If you haven't "known" me since July of '08, chances are there will be some stuff you've never seen before...

I'll also be posting a pregnancy update later on today.

I hope to have some new posts up very soon. Thanks for bearing with me.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Greasing Pans

(Originally posted 9/30/08)

I bake. A lot. I love the process and I love knowing I have control over the quality of ingredients my children consume. And when I feel like my children would rather carbo-load and abandon all healthy fruits and proteins, I sneak them in their snacks. I'm famous for dumping assorted dried fruits and nuts in the their favorite granola bar recipe. As long as there's a handful of chocolate chips in there too, they'll eat anything. This is especially handy for C. since, well, she's still a little string-bean and they're always after us to get her to gain weight!

To keep my bars from sticking, I spray the pan with non-stick cooking spray (translation = canola oil in a can). I love cooking spray for jobs like this. It's so quick and so much cleaner than greasing the old fashioned way. What I don't like, however, is the greasy, misty film that it leaves all over the counters, stove, floor, and anything else that may be "in the line of fire".

What I do? Lay the pan on the inside of the dishwasher door and spray away.

When I'm done, I just close the door and the next time I run the dishwasher, the film is washed right away. Easy greasing. Easy clean-up. Happy Mommy.
This post is linked to Kitchen Tip Tuesdays.

Monday, June 1, 2009

"My Story..." Monday: The First Outing

We brought our preemie daughter home on a Tuesday and, by Thursday, my NICU-release instructions demanded that we get our little girl into the office of her "regular pediatrician". The Wednesday in between those days is a blur of phone calls, to be honest. I had so many appointments to make and/or confirm that I felt like the phone was attached to my ear all day long. When I called our pediatrician's office, I learned we would have to see one of our doctor's partners and that they wanted us there at 1 pm (less exposure to sick kids at that time and no waiting time since it was the first appointment after the lunch break). Our doctor is about 35 minutes away, so I was happy to have a "later" appointment to avoid a frantic morning.

Still, even with a one o'clock appointment, I started getting the kids ready well before noon. After all, I had two babies to load up- one who was thirty pounds and not yet walking, another who had tons of equipment to juggle. Also, because of her prematurity and the fact that she was fed through an ng-tube, C. was on a very strict feeding schedule and, wouldn't you know it, one her meals needed to fall right around 1 pm. This meant that I had to somehow rig the tubing to hang from a garment hook so that I could pull over about halfway to our destination and start the flow of milk through the tube. I also needed to fill the portable oxygen tank, make sure her apnea monitor battery was charged, and replace the leads (the little pads that attached the monitor wiring to her chest) and tape all over her. Ah, yes. And, like any mommy, I had to make sure the diaper bag was stocked. For two babies.

Finally, I was ready to hit the road. I had driven less than five times over the past four months. Between restrictions after my surgery, being within walking distance of the hospital, and only having one car with us at the Ronald McDonald House, there simply weren't many occasions for me to get behind the wheel. So, to be honest, I was pretty cautious as I headed out.

I had never been to this particular office before. We had been unhappy with our previous pediatrician and had been fortunate enough to "get in" with a truly exceptional doctor. (The office hadn't been accepting new patients for some time but agreed to take on our family because of our daughter's unique circumstances.) I had directions scrawled on a paper on the passenger seat and managed to find the building with no difficulty. But where to park? I took a gamble, headed right, and found a spot.

It was not even a quarter 'til one, but I still had much to do. I didn't have a double stroller yet, so I got my son out and put him in the single stroller. My daughter was in the infant seat, so I carried her with one hand. The apnea monitor, oxygen tank, and diaper bag all hung across my chest and over my shoulder. I can't even tell you how much weight I had hanging on me. I pushed the stroller with one hand and hauled the seat with the other. Slowly (very slowly!) I started making my way across the parking lot. As I got closer to the nearest entrance I realized...

I was at the surgery center.

I needed to be about half a block over to the left. Now, that probably doesn't sound very far, but it seemed insurmountable to me at the time. I also couldn't even fathom heading back to the car and reloading all that equipment. I pushed forward.

A youngish man in a white coat approached me. Turns out he was a surgeon, returning from lunch. He saw my juggling act and offered to carry the diaper bag and push the stroller, that is, if I felt comfortable letting him.

"It looks like you know what you're doing with all that specialty gear, so I wouldn't want to interfere with that."

I cannot tell you how pathetically grateful I was. As we walked, he asked about my little girl and told me that he and his wife had had a preemie daughter, but that she had been born at 30 weeks (a far different scenario, to be sure!). He ended up going with me the entire way to the ped's office... up the elevator, down the hall, everything. I will always be thankful for the kindness shown to me by this stranger...

We got in to see the doctor rather quickly and, as a whole, she was very impressed with how well C. was doing. We made an appointment to come back in a week and a half for our little girl's four-month check-up. My son would have his fifteen-month check-up at the same time.

As I again re-checked all our gear before heading out the door, I breathed a sigh of relief. It appeared we were all going to survive our first outing...