Tag Archives: Baby

Milk (particularly fat) Production Solved!

Have you struggled with breastfeeding? Milk supply low and baby not gaining weight? Do know someone who has? Well so have I but I’ve found something that works for me!

I am so excited about what we’ve found because I never thought anything could be done about it.

So travel back in time with me to my first two babies. Ben was a couple weeks old and quickly starting to look like a ghost. He’d lost a lot of weight but wasn’t gaining it back. My milk sucked. Enter formula supplementation and eventually breastmilk dried up altogether. I don’t even think it lasted 4 months. Maybe only 3.

Baby Ben

A couple years later with William, mastitis twice and clogged ducts and just overall breastfeeding struggles, including very low supply, enter formula again. It probably lasted only 6 months this time which was better than with Ben but still a disappointment.

I then had 4 years to learn things that would help me this time around and I wanted things to be different! I learned what mastitis actually was and how it happened. I learned more about how milk is made. I realized just how dehydrated I was those first two times and how much water you actually  need! This along with making sure I was getting enough protein (not enough protein, milk’s gonna suffer!).

So after Henry was born I was excited to implement all these things. I was drinking water like a horse and I also was not missing my protein drinks and meals which I also wasn’t doing before. I made sure that even though I was sore and cracked the first few days that no infection was able to get up  there and cause mastitis by using coconut oil as a cream and it worked like a charm! Coconut oil is amazing isn’t it?

Once my nipples healed I was still struggling with a yeast problem on them and was worried about it passing to Henry’s mouth so I nipped that in the bud with a prescription nipple cream (Newman’s) that was like magic. Side note: not wearing a bra for a day or so really helped with that also. Problem was I couldn’t just not wear a bra.

Things were going great. I had milk for my baby Henry! Plenty of milk! And just to ensure that it never stopped we have rented a hospital grade pump from the hospital and I pump when I feel it’s needed. I’m certain that if I didn’t have the luxury of a pump that I’d already be on a downhill slope with my milk…especially since my right breast is basically retarded. All these things have worked together to help make my milk supply ‘enough’.

Around 3-4 weeks however, I noticed that maybe  Henry was ‘skinnier’ than he should be. He had lost a lot of weight in his face and his limbs weren’t filling out like I guess babies would normally. Weighing him at home and with the midwife ensured us however that he was gaining weight so I tried not to worry.

Baby Henry

But I remembered something I saw online and wanted to try it. So I pumped my milk and let it sit overnight allowing the cream to settle at the top so I could see how much FAT my milk had! Turns out not very much at all! It had just the thinnest line at the top so duh no wonder he wasn’t getting chubby! Ya, he had plenty of milk but not enough fat within that milk.

The question now was how to increase the fat content of my milk?  The obvious answer was to start eating more fat, good fats. So I did that but it didn’t change anything. At this point I enlisted the help of my research junkie husband who spend a few minutes online and came up with a plan that he was pretty sure would work. I was so excited to try it because I knew it was probably our last resort before needing to supplement. Even though he was gaining weight it was at such a slow rate it was still a bit concerning.

The trick? Sunflower Lecithin!

It is an emulsifier of fat which means in layman’s terms, it makes the fat ‘slippery’ and easier to come out in the milk. This also may help prevent clogged ducts. So as they say it is supposed to increase the percentage of polyunsaturated fats in the milk.

On top of doing this I started taking a lipase enzyme to help me digest fat in general which I’ve always struggled with and have been meaning to do for years. Basically whenever I eat something with a high fat content like butter or cream etc I would not feel so great a few hours later. I just sorta suffered through it and mostly avoided too much but now that I’ve started taking this enzyme I’m kicking myself that I didn’t start sooner because it works for me! Bring on the cheesecake!

That layer of fat on top has more than doubled! And I’m sure it would increase more the longer I let it settle out. 

So, the ability to digest the fat I’m eating on top of taking the lecithin was the key! It’s working! My fat content has literally doubled and my babe is getting some noticeable chunk to him. Ok, he’s still  no Pumba but he’s getting there.

The only down side? The lecithin in liquid form (much cheaper than the pill) is downright gross. But I’ve found I can stand it if I mix it with my butter and put it on toast and cover it with jam or cinnamon sugar or mix it in my protein shake. So I deal because it’s working!

It’s only been about a week so I’m anxious to see just how much it increases or if it’s topped off at doubling it. And I guess unless I eliminate one or the other I wont know if it’s exactly the combination of the two or maybe it’s just the lipase or just the lecithin. I’ll update you later.

For now, if you’re struggling with your baby gaining weight run out and grab you some sunflower lecithin! It worked for me! And let me know if it worked for you!

Henry’s First Trip

Yesterday was monumental for Henry. He took his first ride in the car, out of the house to Mimi’s and Papa’s! It was actually my first time out of the house since he came too but it’s not as monumental for me. 🙂

I was really nervous. Was he going to hate his carseat and cry the whole 25 min drive? Was he going to be unhappy the whole time we were there because it was out of his ‘routine’? Would it throw everything off and make our night horrible? Would it do me any good mentally or would the stress make it worse?

Well I’m happy to report that it was a very successful trip! The moment we got into the car he fell asleep and stayed asleep the whole time. Then when we got there he ate good and then was happy while everyone took turns holding him. He took a little power nap while we were all watching Elf and then even and then fell asleep again on the way home!

And as for that night, he was dreamy. We got home and he ate again and then slept for 5 hours, ate again and slept another 3 hours. The excessive stimulation didn’t seem to upset him too much! So needless to say I woke up pretty happy today.

Tomorrow we are scheduled to have another 2 outings, the first to see our midwife for his 2  week checkup and then again to Mimi’s for dinner because Clarky is in town! Yay!

So today, I’m staying in my jimmies. We both are. It’s going to be a chill day sandwiched between what I hope will be TWO very successful outing days.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In other news Lucie is here and we got some Christmas lights up! This will be a very memorable Christmas indeed! My whole family together with a very special addition.

I love my crew!

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He’s Here!!

I still can’t believe it because the last week has been a whirlwind of emotions and just all around newborn craziness and wonderfulness (is that a word?).  But he’s here!

It started Wednesday night the 29th. My braxton hicks turned into something very different. Different enough that I couldn’t sleep. This was about 10 pm. Consequently I didn’t sleep much that night. We called Chris my midwife around 3:30 am and she was on her way to our house and was there around 4:30. She talked to me and set up her stuff then was able to go downstairs and sleep until we needed her. Since she lives an hour away it was comforting to know she was already close.

My mom and my sister in law, Mericar showed up around the same time too and just snuggled in for the show. I noticed around this time that my pressure waves were starting to be very inconsistent. They were strong but inconsistent and short. So at some point we woke Chris up and had her come check me. Turns out I wasn’t really as far along as I had hoped. 🙁 She said she would probably leave and come back as needed. I was sad. SO everybody left the room so I could try to sleep since this was around 6 am or so. At some point the boys woke up and they came in for hugs and kisses and I got to tell them that baby brother was on his way!

But something exciting happened! As soon as they left something changed again! My waves got more intense and longer! Something must have kicked in when she checked me?! Once I was sure they were different this time I ‘ran’ downstairs and was pleased to find everyone still here! They were all just chatting in the kitchen.

Chris and everybody else was so glad she didn’t leave because sure enough things started progressing after that. When she first checked me I was only a 2 and when she checked me again I was a 7 in only a matter of a couple hours! Whoop! So my dad showed up to watch the boys, eventually the other midwifes showed up and I got into my hypnobabies zone. I can honestly say that the ‘labor’ part of my birthing time was cake. So easy. I have hypnobabies to thank for that. I was able to just let go or ‘release’ as they say and allow my body to open and do it’s thing.

Transition or ‘transformation’ as they call it in hypnobabies was different however. It felt a little ‘off’. Well I guess he was turned in such a way that he was kind of stuck so while pushing, Chris adjusted him. At least I think that’s what she was doing. That part was hard.

Things started getting more intense and I was able to start pushing with each wave. It was more intense than I remembered it being and it kind of scared me and I fought it a little at first. But once I was able to mentally focus I was able to put real effort into pushing him out and before I knew it he was crowning! I couldn’t believe it!

He came so quickly and beautifully I couldn’t believe it still when he was placed on my chest. He was here! It really happened!

Soon after everything was checked and put into place, papa got to bring the boys in and see him and my brother Brian also. I was sorta shocked when they weighed him and he was only 7 lb 15 oz! Compared to my other two boys, 9 lb 12 oz and 9 lb 4 oz this guy was a shrimp! Oh how I love my tiny baby!!

He has been a dream. Just last night for the second or third time (mama brain) he slept 5 hours straight and then another 2.5-3!  He eats good and poops good too so in baby world he’s a 10. I feel so blessed with this one. My other two babies were good too but this time around I am somehow less stressed about well, everything and it’s making such a difference in my life. Go me! Stress and worry is what I do best so I am pretty proud of myself.

This is such a special time and I am keenly aware of it. I already am sad that every moment is fleeting and I’m trying to soak it all in the best I can. Before I know it he will be sitting up and crawling and then running around driving me nuts! So for now I strive to live in the moment. Every diaper filled, spit up, sleepless, snuggles and baby sounds moment.

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M.I.A….again

It’s clear that I am not great at this blogging thing. This is why my blog could never be something big or important. I’m ok with that. I think that if I tried to turn it into a money maker it would lose its charm for me. Or just stress me out.

Life has been a bit crazy for me these last few weeks. Seems like all I’ve been doing is running around crazy trying to get the last minute things ready for baby. Yet, there still seems to be a lot more to do. But I’ve accepted that everything I want done, probably won’t be done.

Breathe.

It’s OK.

The most important things are done.

I really do feel ready for him to come. I am so ready to snuggle him and smell him and feed him from the outside and see his cute face!

One of the things that I got done that I felt was important was getting a little office area set up for all of us. This included finally getting my own computer!! Yay!

This will (or I should say SHOULD) help me become more consistent at blogging instead of depending on David’s computer in those fleeting moments.

I feel pretty giddy about it. I haven’t had my own computer since college. I’ve laid awake at night with excitment at what I can do and how I can organize my life on here…pictures etc.

Also a project that has been ‘haunting’ me for years I can finally get done! It consists of converting all my families home videos (VHS) to digital. I am probably going to upload them to youtube as well as have them backed up elsewhere. I’m excited about that.

To do this, I needed a stable desktop where the VCR could stay plugged in while I tackled a little bit of it everyday.  It’s going to take a while.

The next biggest news in our life is that we have decided to homeschool Ben!

This was another reason the office area was so important to set up. He needed a place to ‘homeschool’.

We didn’t come to this decision lightly. And I’ll be the first to remind you that I was always one of those women who when the topic of homeschool came up in conversation said something like, “I could never homeschool! No thanks! Send them away! I am not that cool and organized etc etc.”

So this is as much a surprise to me as anybody else. But that’s what having kids do to you! Unpredictable! They come with their own personalities and needs…throw your own plans out the window…you need to do what’s best for them.

I might be writing a post on this decision alone. It’s a big one. The decision. Not necessarily the post but we’ll see. There are a lot of factors and other things that go into this and even as I type this I still have questions regarding whether this is the right thing.

You may wonder how could I have made such a huge decision unless I was absolutely certain it was the right choice? Well at this point all I can say is it was the more right choice between the two choices.

And we’re going from there.

Thanksgiving is fast approaching. Will I be there contributing a cake or pie? Or will I be home in bed with a brand new baby in my arms. Who knows? Either way sounds good to me! Bring it on!

Happy Thanksgiving friends!

What a blessed world we live in!

What is Hypnobabies?

Most of you probably know that I’ve done Hypnobabies to have my babies at home and plan to do the same with this one.

People wonder what the heck hypnobabies really is. What is hypnosis and how does it work. Does it really work? What if you don’t believe in that kind of stuff?

Well I didn’t. Neither did my PhD, scientist husband. Not the kind of hypnosis that I was accustomed to anyway. The kind where the dude who hypnotizes people stands on a stage and randomly calls volunteers up to make them look like idiots. No, I never could believe it.

But this is different. I am glad that I put those twisted notions of hypnosis aside for a moment so I could learn about something so real and beautiful. I can’t say that it’s something that has changed my life because I don’t have any other experience of childbirth to compare it to…so there was no change per se.

If you want to read about my first two experiences with hypnobabies go here and here. But if you want the best third party witness you need to read my mom’s account. It’s pretty hilarious as well. She was silently quite skeptical. Go here for that.

When going through the classes the first time, the thing that clicked first and made the most sense to both my husband and I was this small article. It rings true to me each time I read it and now especially since I’ve experienced it. ps. it’s not about epidurals.

An Excerpt from The Epidural Express: Real Reasons Not to Jump Onboard

By: Nancy Griffin, courtesy of www.gentlebirth.org

One main cause of pain in normal childbirth is… the “Fear-Tension-Pain Syndrome”. Our biology provides us with powerful instincts during birth. The first is the need to feel safe and protected. All mammals will instinctively seek out a dark, secluded, quiet and most of all, safe place in which to give birth. While birthing, mammals give the appearance of sleep and closed eyes to fool would be predators, and they breathe normally. Some (those who don’t perspire) will pant in order to cool down, but humans will most easily achieve a relaxed state through closed eyes and abdominal breathing. This relaxation slows down the birthing mothers brain waves into what is called an alpha state, a state in which it is virtually impossible to release adrenaline, the ‘fight-flight’ hormone. Physical comfort become critical, along with the need to have a ‘nest’ ready for the baby. Hospital environments often unintentionally disrupt the birthing atmosphere by introducing bright lights, lots of people, noise and fear inducing exams and machines.

Fear/Tension/Pain

The uterine muscles are beautifully designed to deal quite effectively with danger, fear and stress in birthing. The uterus is the only muscle in the body that contains within itself two opposing muscle groups – one to induce and continue birthing and another to stop pressure waves (contractions in hypnobabies talk) if the mother is in danger or afraid. Emotional or physical stress will automatically signal danger to a birthing mammal.  Her birthing will slow down or stop completely so that she can run to safety. In modern times, this goes haywire. We can’t run from our fears – which may include the ‘horror story’ our best friend told us about her birth – or even from our hospital or physician. Instead, we may release adrenaline, which causes the short, circular muscle fibers in the lower third of the uterus to contract. These muscles are responsible for stopping birth by closing and tightening the cervix. The result is that we literally ‘stew’ in our own adrenaline. At the same time that the long, straight muscle fibers of the uterus are contracting to efface and dilate the cervix, the short, circular muscle fibers of the lower uterus are also contracting to keep the cervix closed and ‘fight’ the pressure waves. The result? The very real pain of two powerful muscles pulling in opposite directions each time the birthing mother has a pressure wave.

By learning to deeply relax mentally, physically and emotionally; actively dealing with fears about birth; and choosing a birthing environment that feels safe and protective, birthing women will not have to experience the traumatic pain caused by the ‘Fear-Tension-Pain Syndrome.”

I experienced this real pain for brief moments during both my babies births when I panicked at the intensity I was feeling (because let’s be real, it’s intense). I quickly reverted back to the ‘letting go’ way instead which is much more preferred.

It’s a strange phenomenon. I’ve experienced it since at the gym believe it or not. When my muscles would tighten up so much from all the work I was putting them through, my trainer would administer what he called ‘rolling out’. He would do this while laying on my belly and taking a steel poll to my hamstrings and calves and applying extreme pressure as he rolled up and down. Ouch!! I sure wish I had been practicing my hypnosis techniques for those experiences! I constantly told him how much more painful it was than my childbirth experiences. And it was true!

The reason I bring this up is because during that time  whether he mentioned it or it just came to my mind, I can’t recall, but it was to just let go and let it happen. Sort of open yourself up to the experience and face it head on. A total mind game. And when I did that, more progress on loosening the muscle was made. It was extremely hard to do but I experienced brief moments of being able to do it. But not enough because obviously as I said it was the most painful thing I’d ever endured. I’m not a big sweater but I made ‘pain’ sweat marks on the bench I was lying on thru 2 shirts and a sweater! Yikes!

Just to clarify, I am not comparing rolling out to childbirth! The two are very different. One very much painful and one more intense. But could that be because I wasn’t using my relaxation techniques? HMMMM.

So after that, an even deeper connection was made to this fear-tension-pain syndrome! I remembered how much of this childbirth thing with hypnosis is about letting go and not fighting what is happening to your uterus muscle! If you do…you are making it SO much worse!

The childbirth experience is intense, yes. The most intense thing I’ve ever been through…but I can confidently say that I did not experience pain. Pain and intensity are two very different things. The definition of intense if you look it up is…

in·tense
inˈtens/
adjective
  1. 1.
    of extreme force, degree, or strength.
    The definition of pain is…
  2. pain
    pān/
    noun
    1. 1.
      physical suffering or discomfort caused by illness or injury.
      “she’s in great pain

Childbirth is powerful. It’s incredible. The body is accomplishing something amazing. It’s not sick or injured. Childbirth is not a disease that needs to be cured or helped. (Although that’s how a lot of caretakers treat it). It certainly takes force and strength to bring a baby from it’s safe place in the uterus out into the world.

But it’s not in our control. The body is accomplishing it. I think that’s where a lot of us get scared and freaked out. Once it starts (and we don’t know when that happens…it’s like roulette) it can’t be stopped and it’s not something that we are consciously doing on our own, not something we are making happen. It just happens, at it’s own time and own pace.

Intense experience? Yes. Painful? Doesn’t have to be.

So now that you know just one small but important aspect of Hypnobabies, how do you actually DO IT?

Well first you retrain your brain in regards to childbirth vocabulary that your used to, childbirth thoughts and emotions that might be negative and fearful. There is a lot of visualizing and repetition.

But to break it down so you know exactly what it requires…

Each week you read a lesson. There are 6. The lessons are chock full of information and pages are oozing with positive vibes about childbirth. You can slowly start to see your whole perspective changing about childbirth. It’s not brainwashing, it’s actual information and education about childbirth, the way it’s supposed to be, naturally.

Then after you do your reading, you are assigned one or two tracks to listen to interchangeably throughout the week. For example, the first week you listen to the ‘Special Safe Place’ track on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, where you create and visualize a place you can go to in your mind where you feel the most safe and comfortable. The second one is called, ‘Easy Comfortable Childbirth” you listen to on TTS. They are different each week and progressively introduce you to new techniques. I’ll give an example of a technique in a minute.

All you do for each of these sessions, which are 30 minutes each, is get really comfortable somewhere (usually for me it was lying down in my bed or couch) and you turn on the audio. You listen and relax. You try to follow the relaxation suggestions as best as you can and you find yourself more relaxed than you have ever felt before. It’s heaven.  You practice relaxing so much that you become a master relaxer. It will amaze you how relaxed you can get.

Anyway, to give you an example of a hypnosis technique you learn and use in your childbirth is something called the fingerdrop technique. During the first few weeks you are guided to ‘enter’ this deep state of relaxation very quickly by dropping your finger. Once it hits the surface it’s on you automatically can be in the deepest state of relaxation you know. This happens because of something that you visualized earlier in your sessions. Let me explain.

While relaxing with your eyes closed, the voice on the audio suggests that you imagine there is a light switch at the base of your neck. When you mentally turn this light switch off (with the finger drop) it’s like shutting down the connection between your brain and the rest of your body which means your nerves, muscles etc don’t work anymore. So if you follow that suggestion and believe it for the sake of easy, comfortable childbirth then your body really can’t move while your switch is off and you can’t feel anything. It’s called hypnoanesthesia.

I’m not going to go into how powerful the brain is at controlling the body. It’s basically a servant to your mind and this stuff works.

I’ll never forget the exercise at our first set of classes when we were all a little skeptical still but following the suggestions to the best of our ability so our teacher decided to do a little experiment on us. We used our finger drop technique and went into a state of hypnosis, our light switches off. Not being able to move or feel anything our birth partners or husbands pinched us. No big deal. Or so we thought. David told me later that she demonstrated on them just how hard to pinch us. It hurt he said! When we turned our switch back on and could sit up and move she had the husbands pinch us again in the exact same way and pressure as they did before. I nearly hit my husband I was so offended by him hurting me so! There was no way he pinched me that hard when I was in ‘hypnosis’. It barely felt like anything at all! I couldn’t believe it and neither could he. It works.

So this finger drop technique is only one example of something that is to help you have a more comfortable childbirth experience. Hypnobabies is full of them.

It’s also full of knowledge and education like I said before. Having taken this course for my first child, I never experienced a hospital birth and all the things that come with it. So all the hearsay I read and heard about was just that…something I read about and heard about. A lot of times, we looked at each other as said, could it really be that bad?

Well for the first time this last month when I was in the hospital making sure everything was OK with baby boy, we saw one small part of it with our own eyes…our lovely doctor was literally shocked that my body was able to deliver a 9lb 12 oz baby. He couldn’t believe it. If I had had Ben in the hospital I would have had a C-section. That proved it right there.

This is only one example of the conceptions and views that hospitals/doctors have about childbirth and most of them lead to unneccessary c-sections. Our bodies don’t produce something ‘too big’ for us to handle.

Was it a lot of work pushing out an almost 10 lb baby? Yup. It took 2.5 hours. It was the hardest, most intense and grueling and strenuous thing I’ve done. Painful? No. Just hard work.

So what is Hypnobabies?

It’s learning to relax. It’s learning to let go. It’s brain boot camp baby. And it produces relaxation masterminds out of you! Being able to control your mind and your body with such ease and confidence.

If I can do it. ANYBODY can do it. Just ask my mom. 🙂

Today – Midwife Appointment

Today my midwife met me at my house for our appointment. We don’t always do this but it’s pretty nice when it happens. I love having a midwife.

I guess I’m feeling that way most especially since today’s visit went so well. I can remember all too well what it felt like when I thought something was wrong and how at that point an OBGYN was my safe place….my savior.

We realized today why there was such a discrepancy in his apparent ‘size’. For some reason she had me due on October 23rd!! So that would make me an entire month off! Ya, I think she had reason to suspect that he was small. Duh!  Anyway, everything is cleared up now and we have a perfectly healthy 28 week old baby.

I guess that’s just some of the stuff you deal with when you go the midwife route. No initial ultrasound in the very beginning to approximate the very best guess of how old your baby is. And then very few to no ultrasounds thereafter to watch the progress. It’s old fashioned I guess and ya it caused some heartache but I would still much rather be on this path than another.

So that is why I am going to cancel my appointment with the good Doctor. I feel there is no need to have another ultrasound when I know he is growing just fine. I can actually see it and feel it now. And Chris my midwife can also see it.

During that scary unsure time however the doctor’s time and words did A LOT for me which is why along with my cancellation I wanted to send him a letter to express my appreciation. This is what I’ll say…

Dear Dr. Horsley,

I apologize for cancelling my second ultrasound appointment with you but I hope you can understand that in light of a few things which I wanted to share with you, I feel there is no need for further ‘looks’ at my baby.

The first being that today with my Midwife, as she performed her regular checkups on me, pointed out that her original due date written in my file was October 23, not November 14. You can see then why, when she measured me she came to the conclusion that he was small. According to her we weren’t just a couple weeks off in gestation but nearly a month!

The second being that along with the priceless and helpful information that you provided with your ultrasounds, my midwife Chris is very confident that he and I are perfectly healthy and he is measuring a strong 28 weeks! It all makes sense now due in large part to you.

Like I mentioned before the information you provided us (which I know you didn’t have to do and were uncomfortable doing) was so completely reassuring and priceless. I will never regret coming to you and wont hesitate to do so in the future if ever needed. You said and did all the right things to put us at ease and at the time you were the only one who could do so. THANK YOU FOR THAT.

I completely respect what it is you do and wish you the best in everything.

Sincerely,

Anna Sherwood

Now as a fun side note, the only name for this little guy that we have come remotely close to agreeing on is Calvin!

Ah! I’m still not sure about it but we’ll see!!

Let me know what you think! Unless of course you hate it…then maybe keep it to yourself. 😉 HAHA!

Baby Update

So, everything seems to be fine. That blessed doctor at our appointment said all the right things and did all the right things to put me at ease. I am so grateful for that.

I will be just that much more at east however when we know he is continuing to grow…which will be in a week when my midwife measures me again.

But I have a good feeling. Everything will be OK.

Thank you everyone for your prayers, text messages and kind words.

I will continue to update as needed.

My conundrum right now is whether I keep the second ultrasound appointment with the nice doctor man in 3 weeks; 1 weeks after my midwife appointment? If I feel comfortable everything is going well then maybe it would be easier to not mix two different medical worlds together.  Yet the comfort of an ultrasound is appealing. Hmmmmm…..

 

28 weeks?

The last 33 hours have been rough. No, that’s not the right word. They’ve been horrible.

It started out with my routine midwife appointment on Tuesday morning. Everything looked good. Then she measured my belly. Listened to the heartbeat. Said something like, “Wake up little guy!”  it sounded slow to me and that was it. Then she casually mentioned something about possibly needing an ultrasound just so she can be sure he’s growing properly and is the right size. I never had ultrasounds with Ben and William.

They (team midwife) explained that with my previous two babies I measured the same weeks gestation the baby was but with this one he’s measuring smaller. She said something about intrauterine restriction or something…and then that was it. An ultrasound was scheduled for two days later to have some questions answered and I was off.

My amazing midwife later apologized for not reassuring me more as I left that everything was fine and not to worry. Not sure it would have helped much anyway because that’s just what I do.

I found myself driving home (this was the ONE apt. David didn’t make it to) bawling my eyes out with worry.

His heartbeat was slower than normal, he’s smaller than he should be…all these possibilities running through my mind.  It got bad.

Despite the fact that I later called my midwife back and heard her tell me that his heartbeat was actually just perfect and normal (this is when she apologized for not reassuring me more), I was still struggling.

To be compact, I had myself convinced that something was terribly wrong with my baby. Here’s the kicker though…I let myself believe it so wholeheartedly BECAUSE I believe(d) that my ‘trial’ had come.

You hear that everyone has trials, no one will be void. Life is hard and it’s supposed to be. You can’t progress and grow with out them. So my thinking has always been, “Ok, well I haven’t had any major trials in my life so something big must be coming…I wonder what it will be…and when.”

(Is it ironic that my song of the week is about life being too good that it must not be real?)

I was convinced that this was it. Here it was. It made sense! I’d been waiting and wondering what my trial(s) would be and here they were. No more wondering.

What is wrong with me?

To make things worse, this morning after the craziness of the morning (where btw, it didn’t help when Ben’s kindergarten teacher who when we met with her this morning for Ben’s assessment said, “you are so tiny for 28 weeks! I know she meant well but man for this situation it’s not what you want to hear) I started to realize that my baby hadn’t been moving around like he usually does. I didn’t want to panic unnecessarily so I waited some more. Besides, he WAS moving but only in one defined area and very weakly and not very often.  I laid down for a while because that’s usually a time I can count on him becoming more active. Nothing. I finally shared my concerns with David through tears and he suggested drinking a sugary drink so I did. I laid down for a while longer…about an hour. Still nothing. Not like normal. Not his rolling and shifting and really moving…just a faint little kick every once and a while.

So by this time I was a complete mess. I thought it was over. I knew something was terribly wrong. I was gone. David called our midwife and updated her. She told us to head into the local labor and delivery at the hospital. She called ahead and got us an apt with the on call doctor.

The drive there felt like an eternity. Thankfully my mom and dad were able to tag team it and watch the boys last minute.

I was able to get it together on the drive but once we were there I just broke down again so David had to take over doing most of the talking. I will say however that our particular nurse that got us settled was incredible at making me feel better and more comfortable.  She might never know what a difference she made for me today.

All the nurses were wonderful. They got me hooked up right away to the fetal Doppler thing and there it was, just what I needed to hear…his strong heartbeat. Tears of gratitude. He was OK. At least for now I could know that.

A little later they did an ultrasound and found that everything looked normal. They said he didn’t do a practice breath which they were hoping to see but that just because they didn’t see it means anything’s wrong. He’s still young.

His amniotic fluid is plentiful, his organs etc all fine. BUT he is measuring small…about 26 weeks instead of 28 like we thought I was.

We don’t know what this means yet. There is a possibility that I am only 26 weeks and I am doing my darnedest to be open to that possibility (even though I’m very skeptical because with conception dates in mind and a few other factors at play it doesn’t seem right to me – but hey I’ve been terribly wrong up to this point). If that’s not the case then he is a small 28 week old baby and we go from there. Could that mean intrauterine growth restriction? Something else?

We wont know anything until a second ultrasound in a few weeks to compare his growth from the one we got today.

The doctor that came in to answer a few of our questions was nice enough to do so even though it became clear the moment he came into the room that he knew we were ‘midwife people’ and that he didn’t intend on helping us much.  We heard about his morals and the mess that comes from trying to blend two different philosophies…blah blah. We told him that we understood.  Which we really do…to an extent. He answered our questions to the best of his ability.

When his time with us was drawing to a close however he said, “You two seem like awesome people though, so Ill have you come in about 3 weeks and I’ll do another ultrasound and see what I can see.” And that was that.

When I got home it wasn’t much longer before I got a phone call and it was Dr. Horsley asking if I had any other questions. He was very nice and suggested that I actually come in on Friday afternoon for a free of charge ultrasound just so he could get another look and kinda start over with a due date etc. He said he wanted a deeper history of my previous pregnancies and that we would go from there. (I’m trying SO hard not to worry that it was because of something concerning he saw after we left. See…there’s that fear over faith thing again.)

Nonetheless, it was very kind of him to call. I just hope he’s not trying to ‘save’ us from midwifery. Ha. The truth is I have always been grateful for the option of modern medicine…what a blessing if needed.

So that’s my story. I feel about 80% better than I did but there are definitely still some questions I have. Why is baby boy small? Now we wait.

So far what this experience has taught me is that I may seriously have something wrong with me. Not really new news.  I need to figure out why I view the world and God and our trials in the way I do. And why do I allow my mind to take control so heavily.  I mean I really really let myself believe there was something wrong. Why can’t I be positive and have faith instead of fear? Is mother’s intuition a real thing because mine was shooting red flags all over the place…maybe mine is just under the weather….and I guess the story isn’t over yet so who knows.

All I know is I have a lot to learn still. Oh and I love my husband…a lot.

What are your thoughts on trials in our lives..or the lack thereof?   How do you find reassurance through difficult potentially devastating times?

All I have for now….

Snapshot of our backyard from our little balcony. The black plastic is where our future garden will be.

I have been terrible about taking pictures since we’ve moved into our new house; both of the family and of the house itself.  This is all I have for now. It’s going to be a while before the house looks like I want it to. And the habit of picture taking needs to be reheated. Moving into a big empty house that needs to be filled just before a baby is born is not the easiest thing to do.  So many things on my to do list or my want list.

That house you see between the trees in the background the one with the white pillars is ours

Even though we are doing the midwife thing again which apparently is waaay less expensive than a hospital birth, we still have to come up with that extra expense somehow, not to mention all the baby stuff that I’m basically starting over with. I have a crib (minus the mattress) and some blankets…but that’s it.

We have 3 nice little apple trees that make for a nice shady spot in the back yard!
I love the Wellsville mountains so close!

Thankfully I have an amazing friend who spread the news to another mutual friend who just had a baby boy and is looking to pay it forward with baby clothes! I can’t believe how lucky we are with that! What a blessing.

But I do love this house.  Ya, it smells like old house (built in 1909) and it has more cracks in it than the great wall of China which allows all sorts of bugs in.   It does have it’s quirks and I’d probably never buy it but I love all the space. I love the charm is has with it’s 10 ft ceilings and wood trim around all the doorways and the 1.5 ft baseboards. I love the kitchen cabinets to the ceiling that I thought I’d hate because of the color. I love the huge porch that someday I’ll get to decorate. I love the huge yard with the old barn and horse. I love that Lucie finally has her own room. I love that it’s already becoming home.

The plans for the future are uncertain. Our ultimate goal is to someday build our own house (it’s a dream of David’s) and I think that it’ll happen. We just don’t know exactly when…or where for that matter. So for now we are setting up shop here.

I’m excited to bring baby boy no name into the world in this home. Here’s to hoping that I can have the ability to ‘nest’ to my liking as it’s a big part of giving birth comfortably, naturally and painfree at home (more on that later).

 

Life Happens

Wow. I am not very good at this blogging thing. Life happens and I stop. Obviously it’s not the biggest priority in my life….or maybe it’s just that life has been extra crazy? I will catch you up and you decide.

Hmmmmm ……

It might not seem like a big thing but the cold!!! Ah! It’s been so cold and so wet here! It really dampens my mood. Ugh. My face tells you how I feel about driving in snow in April.

I guess we will start with our living situation. One normal night we were in our beds sleeping with the window open letting fresh cool air in and all the sudden I hear this horrifyingly loud noise coming from outside. I was frozen. Was it an earthquake? Was it a car crash? Was it a car crashing into our apartment? Was it something I just couldn’t comprehend? All I knew was I frozen for about 20 seconds . David however spring out of bed quicker than a cat and was at the window frantically trying to see what was happening.

Then it was over. We still weren’t sure. He said he was going to go outside and look around. I called him back and said I had a yucky feeling and that I wanted him to stay here for a minute.

After a while of looking out windows and speculating we finally saw our neighbors (who happen to be the managers) outside talking with our other downstairs neighbor.

Longer story, shorter…a drunken, high physcho boyfriend of our downstairs neighbor had kicked in her window, (2 layers if thick glass!) crawled through it (without hurting himself) and strated to beat her.

He apparently took off because his story to the managers was that someone else broke in and he had to chase them off. Eventually the cops came and questioned everyone and then the search was on. They caught him which was great BUT the darn judge set his bail very very low and so he was released that very same day. Now she has a restraining order for him.

They day they brought a photo of him around to everyone and said “keep an eye out for him and if you see him on the premises call 911 right away”…was the end if it for me. We moved out that night.

Thankfully my parents were kind enough to let us bunk with them if only temporaryily.

My sweet neighbor is doing ok. I feel pretty guilt about leaving her there but I knew sleeping good would be over for me if we stayed.  She had a good bruise in the side of her head but she is tough.

So now we are on the hunt for our own place.

We were planning on moving out this summer anyway, so I guess this experience just hurried things a bit.

The next big news is that we are expecting baby #3!!!!

I am about 13 weeks right now. I am finally starting to feel a little bit better.

During this whole scary moving experience I was not feeling well at all…it was rough. And all new to me because with my first two babies I felt pretty darn great.

Grrrrrrrrrrrr. This is hard. I have so much more empathy for women who are sick during pregnancy.

But we are so excited.

Around this time we also had to plan David’s Graduation party. I had sent out invites already and it was happening! Don’t get me wrong I was so happy this was FINALLY happening but since I had become pregnant and not feeling great my motivation and umph to get this party going basically disappeared.

THANK HEAVENS FOR MY SIL MERICAR!

She took over and saved me.

She is an amazing party planner and cook and the party was more than I could have imagined! I may have to save that for another post altogether.  What a great day !

This is where I announced I was pregnant to all the family and friends that were there. It was fun.

So anyway you can see now maybe why I have MIA from my blog.

The only stress I feel now is finding our own place which is not an easy thing to do in cache valley right now. The competition is fierce.

Wish us luck, send a prayer or two. I don’t know but hopefully things work out…I know they always do the way they are supposed to.