Thursday, November 7, 2013

Grayson's Birthday--My Labor Story

I was fully convinced that Grayson would come early. I was expecting him as soon as 36 weeks. But as each week rolled by and still no baby, I began to go to the other extreme and started feeling like he would just never come. I was destined to forever be waddling around with swollen feet and hip pain. I felt so ready to have him! I had done all the research, I had my bags packed and the car seat installed, I had scrubbed the house from top to bottom, and my birth plan was typed up, printed, and even laminated (thanks to my hubby)!

The day before his due date, we met with our doula to do some acupressure in hopes of starting contractions. She and Scott spent about an hour pushing on my feet and ankles and wrists. I was actually sore for almost a week from it! I didn't feel any contractions during the session, but was hopeful they would start soon after. During the night I woke up a few times with menstrual like cramps, but they faded quickly and I went back to sleep. Then, around 4:30 AM I woke up and realized they could be contractions! I stayed awake, timing them, unable to go back to sleep. They were coming about 20-30 minutes apart. When Scott woke up for work at 6:30 AM, I rolled over to his side of the bed and said, "Hey...I think I'm in labor!" We kissed and laughed and rejoiced that we may be meeting our little boy soon. Scott called in to work. Then, I immediately started to doubt myself. What if these weren't real contractions? Or what if they lasted like this for days and he called in for no reason?

Alas, we got up and ate a big breakfast, then I went back to sleep until close to 11. When I woke up, I didn't feel any contractions for a couple hours. I was disappointed to say the least. We ate leftover burritos for lunch (with extra jalapenos!) and then we went for a 2 mile walk at the park. After that, the contractions started back again. I happened to have an OB appointment that afternoon since it was my due date. We went ahead and put the hospital bags in the car, just in case!

At the doctor, they did a non-stress test and hooked me to the fetal monitor. The nurse came in and told me the heart rate was great, but I was not having contractions. I was shocked because I thought I had at least 2-3 during that time. She looked at the chart and said, "Hmm...these are more like speedbumps. Nothing to get excited or pack your bags about!" To which I flatly responded, "Too late."

While waiting to see the doctor I was upset and disappointed that I may not be in labor after all. The doctor came in and determined I was only 2 cm dilated. He asked if I would like him to sweep my membranes to try and start contractions. He assured me there were no risks involved. As he started to procedure I felt a warm water broke! We were all shocked. The doctor told me that had never happened to him in 15 years of practicing. Apparently my water was going to break soon anyway. I was immediately sent to the hospital to have my baby! But this was NOT the plan. The plan was to labor at home as long as possible to avoid any unnecessary interventions and to be comfortable. But I was not allowed to go back home. I went to the hospital in tears. I was informed if I did not go into active labor by morning I would be induced. I had envisioned my labor at home, soaking in my tub, pacing in the living room, listening to worship music and breathing through the pain. Suddenly I was in a hospital room in an unflattering hospital gown with a hep lock in my arm and a huge diaper like pad between my legs. Great.

Our doula arrived soon after and sought permission for me to eat dinner since they weren't expecting me to go into active labor anytime soon. Permission was granted so Scott went and got me a salad and milkshake from Zaxby's. Meanwhile, I walked the hospital halls with our doula, breathing through the contractions as they came. Before Scott returned, the nurse checked me. I had gone from 2 to 4 cm in close to two hours! By the time I was eating, I was unable to finish because they were coming on stronger and I was losing my appetite.

We planned to continue walking the halls after I finished eating, but I found that I didn't want to walk through the contractions anymore. I sat on my ab ball and leaned over the side of the bed, rocking my hips during the contractions. Scott and our doula massaged me with lavender essential oils. The contractions kept coming harder and quicker. A few times I started to feel nauseated and light headed. My doula rubbed peppermint oil on my chest which quelled the feelings of nausea.

When the contractions got so intense that I started moaning in addition to heavy breathing, we decided to move to shower. I put on my swimsuit and sat on the chair in the shower while our doula sprayed me with warm water and Scott stood in front of me, allowing me to lean into him and squeeze his arms during contractions. At this point I was completely in the labor zone. The contractions were consuming and coming quickly. I did not talk anymore, I just focused on the contractions and moaning through them. I had to be reminded to make low sounds, not high pitched ones because they take less energy and keep me calmer.

The nurse came in and told us she needed to hook me back to the monitor (I had to do 20 minutes for every hour). So, we moved back to the bed. I didn't bother taking off my suit. I was shivering from coming out of the warm water and from all the hormones and adrenaline. They just wrapped me in towels and blankets and moved me to the bed. They determined I was now 7 cm dilated. I laid on my side and continued to focus on the contractions. At this point, they became almost unbearable. I was giving a hair comb to squeeze during contractions--the pain in my hand would help shift my focus. It did help a little, but the pain was more intense than I could have imagined. They kept telling me that soon they would ease up and I would get a break. Everything I read said that after transition there would be a few moments where I could rest, maybe even nap, before it was time to push. But there was no sign of that happening! I kept saying, "Why won't they stop? I need a break! I can't do it anymore." And I meant it. I did not think I could do it anymore. I just kept thinking that this could continue for hours before it was time to push. And then I could spend an hour or more pushing. And I didn't think I had any of that left in me.

I got to the point where I was basically growling during contractions. Our doula paged the nurse and asked her to check me again. She checked and said, "You ready to have a baby?" I said, "" Sure enough! I was 10 cm and it was time to push! I got on my knees in the bed, leaning over the ab ball and holding onto the headboard. The doctor arrived shortly after I started pushing. With each push I growled...I never thought I would make noises like that! But at that point, I wasn't thinking about anything but pushing that baby out! I only pushed a couple times before everyone excitedly told me they could see the head crowning!

That was the motivation I needed to push with all my might! That next push, I pushed longer and harder than I thought I could, determined to not stop until there was relief from the growing pressure and burning I felt as his head was emerging. And just like that--his head was out! One more big push and out came his shoulders. The rest of him slithered out like a fish.

The doctor passed Grayson to me between my legs. I looked down and saw this grayish, slimy, cone-headed little angel. I always thought I would cry at that moment, but everything happened so quickly and was so surreal, it was all I could do to turn around, lay on my back, and pull my baby up to my chest. As I delivered the placenta and then the doctor sewed me up (yes, I tore, but not much!), I watched my little one grunt and coo and root around to my breast. It was amazing how alert and active he was. And calm! He wasn't crying, just making sweet little baby sounds. Our doula said she had never seen a more talkative newborn (and he hasn't stopped talking since!).

He was born at 10:32 PM on October 9th (his due date). From the time my water broke until he was born was only 7 hours. It was so intense and completely unlike what I had envisioned. But it was awesome! And I'm so glad I didn't use any pain medication or have any interventions at all. :)

I will write more about the days following his birth soon. The little boy is waking up from his nap and needs to eat! :)

Thanks for reading! It's hard to really capture all the facts, details, and emotions. I can't even begin to explain the feelings and the full experience. If you have any questions, please let me know! :)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Yes, he is here!!

Okay, so this has only taken me a month to post... ha!

Yes, the little boy is here! :) Believe it or not, he came on his actual due date! And I was not induced. Crazy! He is very punctual! ;)

I am hoping to write my labor story and update you on how things have been going, but it's hard to find time with a newborn who constantly eats! :) When he naps I either nap with him or shower and tidy the house like a ninja!

Anyway, without further ado... here he is...Grayson James Curley! :)

Right after delivery...hadn't had his bath yet. 

all clean and swaddled! He was 8 lbs 1 oz of pure perfection! :)

his going home outfit :)


a few days at home. So relaxed! :)

now he is 10 lbs 14oz!!

Happy Halloween
Well...he just woke up! Gotta run!!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

38 Weeks! Are we there yet??

Grayson Updates: 
+ Had an OB appointment this morning and everything is good!
+ His heart rate was in the 140's this morning--strong and steady!
+ Still head down. Extremely unlikely for that to change now.
+ He is definitely running out of room in there. He stretches and pokes out of both sides of my belly pretty much all the time. It's more uncommon now for me to not feel him.
+ Gets hiccups pretty frequently. It's a feeling I'm not crazy about.
+ We chose a pediatrician! This little boy officially has a doctor for when he comes out! :)

Mom Updates:
+ Had my first exam today to check for dilation. I'm slightly dilated, but still not quite 1 cm. Fortunately this is not an indicator of how soon I'll go into labor, but I admit I was hoping to be a little further along.
+ Experiencing TONS of pelvic pressure and pain, bladder spasms, and sporadic BH contractions.
+ Had quite a bit of swelling, particularly in my hands, over the weekend. I noticed as we were walking around the mall after lunch. I started to get a little worried because the swelling seemed to increase quickly and I could feel extra pressure in my joints. Fortunately we were able to find a blood pressure reader and I was relieved to find I was still in the totally normal range. It went back down later (though no where near normal, but that won't happen until after delivery at this point). I think it was because of a high sodium lunch, combined with lots of walking around. 
+ Overall I guess I'm feeling mostly good, all things considered. I still manage to sleep at night, even though I wake up every 1-2 hours to pee or move my achy body into a new position. I haven't had any major complications. I am blessed!
+ Getting anxious and impatient to meet my little boy! But trying to stay as patient as possible. I know it could still be up to 4 more weeks, worst case.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

37 Weeks!

It's official. I'm full term! 
I could technically go into labor at any time and the doctors would not try to stop it or slow it down.
Of course, Grayson could still put off his arrival for another 5 weeks or so.
I'm hoping he doesn't feel the need to wait that long, though!

Baby Grayson Updates:
+ I had a doctor appointment a couple days ago, and all is still well!
+ He's head down and ready to go!
+ He has dropped further into my pelvis, increasing the pressure I feel there, but I have more room for breathing and eating, which is always a plus!
+ Heart rate is still strong and steady.
+ He's about 6.5 pounds. He's not measuring as far ahead as he used to, which is a good thing. This means he's much less likely to be 10 pounds at birth! We're still thinking around 8.
+ We discovered the protruding body part from my right side is actually his feet, not his bottom. I just thought bottom because it felt so big and round, but I guess I'm just feeling the roundness of my belly and uterus. But he still LOVES stretching out and kicking me there.
+ My amniotic fluid is measuring just fine, so no need to worry about inducing at this point. If I reach my due date before going into labor I'll have another ultrasound to make sure he still has enough fluid in there. If he does, they'll let me go up to 2 weeks past my due date before inducing. 

Mommy Updates:
+ Braxton Hicks contractions are getting more frequent and more intense, particularly since yesterday afternoon. No other signs of labor so I don't think this is the real thing, but it is making it more challenging to get up and go to work when I'm dealing with painful cramping every hour or so.
+ The swelling in my hands and feet has increased (which is perfectly normal), and I have one toe that is starting to feel kind of numb. :/ The doctor says this is also normal. Fun times.
+ Our meeting with our doula was AWESOME! I'm so excited to have her there during labor and delivery! She taught us some great labor positions and some techniques/massages that Scott can do throughout. She also gave me some tips about ways to get prepared. 
+ I finished my birth plan and showed the doctor. All my requests were deemed reasonable, assuming there are no medical emergencies. Hooray!
+ My weight gain, fluids, and blood pressure have been just fine
+ My Group B Strep test came back negative. 
+ Getting more and more eager to meet this little guy! Feeling excited and empowered about labor and delivery!


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Maternity Pictures!!

Hello, everyone! 

Today I want to share some of our maternity pictures with you. 
We took them a couple days ago, so this is just the "sneak peek" that our photographer posted on Facebook.
We will have a disc of all the images, in their highest quality, by the end of the week.
I'll be sure to share our favorites then, too.
We took the pictures on the GSU campus and in downtown Statesboro.
It was 90+ degree, extremely humid, and there were gnats everywhere.
Needless to say, not the most pleasant conditions! 
I was soaked in sweat the whole time and my hair would not behave! 
But our amazing photographer still managed to get some shots 
of us looking halfway decent! ;) they are! Enjoy!

I think this is my favorite, so far!

Pregnancy updates coming soon. I'm 37 weeks tomorrow! Eek! :)


Thursday, September 12, 2013

36 Weeks!

At this point it's basically all I can do to keep up with these weekly (or semi-weekly) pregnancy updates. Work is extremely busy and I'm trying to get as much accomplished as possible before this little boy decides to make his debut. So, without further adieu, here are the updates!

36 Weeks
It must be the shirt or the angle or me being crazy, but I feel like the bump looks smaller in this picture than the last one! Oh, well! I assure you, Baby Grayson is out there, loud and proud! :)

Baby Grayson Updates:
+ He likes to stick what I believe is his little bottom out my right side, right under my ribs. I often feel like I'm stretching out so much I might burst! 
+ When his movements become too uncomfortable, I always ask Scott to calm him down. He just has to rub my belly and talk to him and he usually stops moving, or at least is more gentle. A couple times Scott has touched his little protruding bottom and he's retreated, slipping away like a fish! (He NEVER does that for me!!)
+ At my appointment last week he was still in the correct position and his heart rate was in the 150's. He goes nuts when they do the doppler and starts kicking all over the place. I don't think he likes it.
+ According to Baby Center, he's around 6 pounds now and gaining about an ounce a day! He's been consistently measuring ahead by a week or two all along, so I'm wondering how big he really is.

Mommy Updates:
+ Feeling pretty good the past couple weeks, all things considered.
+ Walked around downtown Statesboro for hours last Friday night during the Taste of Downtown Festival. It must have been all the yummy samples that kept my stamina up! I did notice some ankle swelling afterwards, but nothing too drastic. 
+ Speaking of swelling, I no longer wear my wedding rings. :( I have very, very thin fingers (and ankles, for that matter) so even slight swelling makes a difference.
+ My biggest complaint right now is lower hip/pelvic pain. It hurts down the back of my butt cheeks (best way I can think to describe it) and even worse on my inner-thighs, like around my bikini line. It feels like I've done hundreds of reps on the hip abductor machines at the gym! 
+ I try to stretch and exercise regularly to help with the pain. Prenatal yoga and pilates are my friends. I workout on my lunch break and after work. "Workout" might be a bit of an overstatement. We're talking 10-20 minutes of light stretching and movements, just to keep my blood moving and to keep from being so stiff. + I still manage to sleep at night, but I wake up so stiff that pulling myself out of bed feels nearly impossible. + Definitely having Braxton Hicks contractions, some of which are even a little painful (or rather, uncomfortable), but they are still infrequent and random. Usually 1-2 a day, mostly early morning or in the middle of the night.
+ I have my next dr appointment on Monday of next week and we'll do my final ultrasound. I should also get the results from my Group B Strep culture that they took last week.
+ I have our next meeting with our doula on Saturday. We'll go over our birth plan (which I just wrote yesterday!) and labor positions, etc. I'm so thankful to have her on my birthing team! :)
+ We're trying to set up pediatrician interviews next week. I know, we should have done that like...a month ago...but whatever, we're doing it now! 
+ We have our pregnancy photo shoot on Sunday! :) So excited!
+ Was surprised with a mini-baby shower at church on Sunday and again at work today. I'm so thankful for all the friends and support I have during this time. So many people are excited to meet the little boy! 
+ I had a small little emotional breakdown last night, which started due to my hips locking up while I was trying to get out of bed, and somehow (thanks to hormones!!) culminated into crying about how it's hard to be pregnant but how not being pregnant means that we'll have a baby and everything is going to change and what if it's too hard or we don't like it or I miss how our relationship was before the baby??? Yeah, fun times. {I feel MUCH better about this today, after talking with Scott and praying together.}
+ Fact is...this little boy could come any time now. Could be today, could be in 4 weeks around the due date, could be in 6 weeks when they finally have to induce me, or any time in between. We just don't know. So keep us in your prayers as we prepare and await his arrival! :)


Thursday, September 5, 2013

35 Weeks!!

It's hard to believe I'm already 35 weeks! 
Only 5 more weeks until I reach the due date, 
and only 2 more weeks until I'm technically considered "full term." 
Crazy pants!

34 weeks

35 Weeks (this week)

Baby Grayson Updates:
+ I'm wondering if he's dropped, or maybe in the process. I've started having a lot of pressure and pain in my hips. Although I still have trouble breathing which is supposed to ease up when he drops, so I'm not so sure. I have a doctor appointment this afternoon so maybe they can tell me.
+ He's still pretty active, but not as much as before. I think he's running out of room!
+According to Baby Center, he's about the size of a honeydew melon now. Big boy!

Mommy Updates:
+ As I mentioned, hip pain! Oh goodness the hip pain! It didn't really get bad until this week.
Now it hurts to walk, sleep, put on pants... pretty much anything but sitting up right. 
+ I had to break down and buy more maternity clothes. Both outfits above are new. :)
+ I wake up multiple times to pee at night. I also have a pharmacy regime that happens sometime in the middle of the night... a couple Tums, some nasal spray b/c I'm always congested at night, some lotion on my itchy belly, and sometimes a dose of Tylenol (a necessity the last two nights!)
+ I'm still working out, mostly doing prenatal yoga and pilates. As much as I don't want to do it some days, I do think it helps with the pain.
+ Taking walks is not really fun at all anymore. Along with the hip pain, difficulty breathing, and the fact that it's 100+ degrees outside, I have terrible bladder spasms from my condition (IC) and I think I've even started having Braxton Hicks contractions. I'm not fully convinced that's what it is, but my belly gets really tight and sometimes sore, like a cramp. Then it goes away. It happens more when I'm walking in the heat.
+ I've had two baby showers in the last two weeks and they were both awesome! We got so many nice gifts and it was so much fun to hang out with family and friends and celebrate Baby Grayson! :)
+ I think I'm noticing some slight (very slight!) swelling in my ankles now. 
+ I'm getting super excited about meeting this little boy, and I'm starting to hope that I don't go a full 40 weeks.
+ Speaking of, I asked Grayson when he thought his birthday would be. I counted off some dates and he started going nuts when I said October 5th. We shall see! :)
+ The nursery is coming along more and more! I'll be sure to post pictures of the final product. 

Hope all is well with you guys! I'm hoping for some good results and updates at the doctor this afternoon. Other than that, just making it through each day as best I can. Prayers are greatly appreciated! :)


Thursday, August 22, 2013

33 Weeks!

I know, I'm way behind on bump pictures and seemingly have abandoned my pregnancy must-haves series. I finally moved into my actual office at my new job, and classes started back this week. So, all in all, I've been completely swamped with work and life. But here are the pictures from the past 3 weeks, as well as some updates on what's going on with me and Baby Grayson.

31 Weeks

32 Weeks

33 Weeks (this week)
Grayson Updates:
+ He moves all the time! Most of the time I love it and find it fun. But other times it can be uncomfortable (hey, those are my ribs, little boy!!) or even a little distracting (Mom needs sleep now...). You can see his movements, my stomach bulging out in different directions. It's insane! Scott is especially impressed by this. :)
+ I can feel him in there, even when he's not moving sometimes. I can push around on my belly and find all the hard places and I know that's where he is. Sometimes I gently push on him to try to get him in a more comfortable position. Sometimes this works, sometimes not. 
+ He's still head down and ready for delivery! Such a relief!
+ We had a doctor appointment this week and his heart rate is still strong and regular.
+ I can tell he's growing like crazy! I feel like my belly is exploding in size! And his kicks and shifts are stronger and stronger each week.

Mommy updates:
+ Third trimester is no joke. I know for some women, the first is the worst. But for me, this has been the biggest challenge so far.
+ I have a bladder condition called IC, which causes inflammation, sensitivity, and spasms...which feels like being stabbed either in my lower belly or urethra. This is something that I've been able to manage pretty well with diet and drinking lots of water. But now that I have a heavy baby putting all kinds of pressure on my bladder, it's been a real problem. Throughout the day I have random spasms that can sometimes cause me to gasp in pain. It's worse when I'm walking, which makes getting the proper exercise difficult.
+ Speaking of bladder, I have to pee a lot! I get up at least 4 times a night to pee. 
+ I deal with a lot of back and hip pain. It's worse towards the end of a workday if I've been sitting all day, or during the night when I'm trying to sleep. I still manage to sleep all night (other than getting up to pee), but when I get up I feel so stiff and achy that I literally groan as I push myself out of bed and walk to the bathroom.
+ I've been using an ab ball to sit on while I watch TV at night and that has helped with the pain some.
+ It's increasingly difficult to get a good, deep breath. 
+ I'm tired a lot. Sometimes I get so tired that I just can't help but cry. I rely on weekends to rest. And by rest, I mean sleep in really late AND take naps. I'm pretty useless. But working full-time has never felt so challenging. 
+ Speaking of crying, I do that a lot now too. I feel like a teenager again. Sometimes I feel on the verge of crying throughout the day and I don't even know why. And if I get angry or my feelings hurt, it's all over. I just cry and cry. It's a mess. I'm not a very hormonal person and I don't really get PMS, so this is all pretty new territory (other than when I was a teenager) and it's certainly new for Scott! Poor thing.
+ Not really having cravings.
+ I gained more weight than usual between doctors appointments this last time. He checked me for excessive swelling because it was so unlike me. But fortunately, I'm totally fine. No swelling really at all. The bad news is, that means it is real weight that I've gained. But look at that belly! Between 31 and 33, Grayson has clearly grown a lot!
+ I'm going to need more dresses and/or maternity clothes. I didn't want to do it, especially this late in the game, but I have no choice. I'm running out of things to wear!!
+ Scott has been reading a Bradley Method book and is learning how to coach me. We've already started as he's coaching me on prenatal exercises. And he bought me two prenatal yoga DVDs that we've been doing, too. And he constantly reminds me about kegels...which I'm really bad at doing. :/ 
+ Still no stretch marks! :) My belly button hasn't popped, but it's getting flatter and stretching more. I'm very itchy and a little sore around it. I've been putting extra lotion on it throughout the day to ease the discomfort.
+ I listen to my birthing playlist all the time and it makes me so happy. I can't wait to use it during labor. :)
+ we have our last birthing class at the hospital tonight. I'm feeling more and more prepared!
+ I have my second baby shower this weekend and my third next weekend. Looking forward to both! :)

Wow, those were a lot of updates, huh? And so many negative ones! 
I will say that I'm SO blessed to be growing this little miracle inside me. And I'm lucky to have such a complication-free pregnancy so far. All these things are normal. I really have no good reason to complain. And the majority of the time, I'm so happy and in love with my little boy, I can't even stand it! 
But it's also nice to be real with you all and admit that it's not easy. 
I admire every woman who has ever had a baby! 


Friday, August 2, 2013

Pregnancy Must-Haves: First Aid

Okay, let's be real. A large portion of pregnancy is just dealing with the various side effects, right? So here are the things I have needed throughout my pregnancy. Sorry if some of this is TMI, but I figured we should be real about it. If you are pregnant or will be in the future, some of this might come in handy for you to know!

Coconut Oil
Coconut 101 Uses for Coconut Oil
I haven't actually started using this yet, so maybe it's silly to list it, but I have plans! 
My doula recommended it for perennial massage to avoid tearing during labor. 
Yes, we're getting real right away!! ha!
It's recommended that you start this about 5-7 weeks before labor.
So, that's coming up! 
I've also found an awesome website that shares all the uses of coconut oil, and it's a lot! 
Another thing is for sore or cracked nipples during breastfeeding, but there are
tons of non-pregnancy related things out there. Check it out!

Tums & Pepcid
Oh my, the heartburn!! 
I was eating Tums like they were candy for a while there!
My OB finally prescribed me Pepcid, which I take 1-2 times a day to keep from getting heartburn.
It still happens after certain meals, but it has been a life saver! 
If you struggle with heartburn and Tums ain't cuttin' it, 
check with your OB about what other medications you can safely take.

Prenatal Vitamins
I started taking these when we started trying to get pregnant.
I used to take them in the morning, but was advised to switch to before bed 
to help with nausea during the first trimester. 
Not sure if it helped or not,
but I've continued to take them at night.
These are super important for you and your baby to get all the nutrients you need.
Different stages of pregnancy require more of certain things.
It's important to try and get most of your nutrients from food,
but this can give you peace of mind that you're still getting a good dose of everything regardless.

Tucks Wipes & Preparation H
Okay, I realize how TMI this is. 
But if you suffer from this, you'll want to know that both of these are helpful!!
I've also found that a warm bath, cold compresses, and trying to lay on your side also helps. 
And of course, a high fiber diet and lots of water!
But anyone who knows anything about being pregnant knows that things don't always...
go as smoothly as they otherwise would! 
Okay, I'm done with this!

Coco-butter Lotion
This is actually the brand I use
There is no proof that using this will help with stretch marks,
but heck! It couldn't hurt, right?? (I don't have any yet. Coincidence?)
I bought a really cheap kind and I use it all over my body.
It's soothing and feels nice to be soft and smooth all over,
plus I like the smell. 
And it definitely can help with itchy skin, which tends to happen as the skin on your belly stretches. 

Panty Liners
One final personal thing! 
I'll just say it, 
discharge happens.
And as most of us move further along in our pregnancies, it tends to increase.
I finally decided that rather than being uncomfortable and ruining 
perfectly good underwear, I would just wear panty liners all the time.
Maybe that's not for everyone, but it's been a good solution for me. 

And that's it for my First Aid must-haves! 
I know this one wasn't very fun, 
but it needs to be said. 
Most of us pregnant mommies deal with these things,
so why not talk about it? 
(Hey, at least I posted on a Friday so probably no one is really going to read it anyway! ha!)
Have a great weekend! :)


Thursday, August 1, 2013

30 Weeks!

Yep, 30 weeks. 
Only 10 more to go (if I carry 40 weeks)!

+ The quality of this picture is even worse than usual because our camera's battery is dead, so we had to use our old camera.
+ Feeling pretty great this week! No major complaints.
+ Going to the doctor every 2 weeks now. I have an appointment this afternoon. It's not nearly as exciting when I know we're not doing an ultrasound.
+ I'm starting to get excited about the big day! I started working on my labor playlist. Anyone else have one of these?
+ Still working out a few times a week. Went for a walk in the park with Scott last weekend and then laid on a blanket in the shade and did a devotional. It was pretty perfect (minus the gnats!). 
+ I'm starting to be able to tell (or at least guess) what Grayson is doing when he's moving around in there. I can feel what I think might be a foot or an arm or a big stretch. 
+ I wish other people could feel him move like I do! I always try to get Scott to feel, but Grayson usually stops moving as soon as Scott puts his hand on me. I joked that maybe he has the calming touch which will hopefully come in handy once he's born! 
+ All the clothes in the above picture are maternity, but I still wear a combination of both.
+ No new cravings or side effects. I'm enjoying being pregnant, but getting more and more anxious to finally meet my little boy! :)


Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Playlist for Grayson's Birth Day


Something people have been asking me about is my playlist for labor and delivery.
Do I have one? Do I want one? What kind of songs will I include?

At first I just answered with, "I have no idea!"
I know that sometimes when tensions are high, any kind of noise at all, including music, can become annoying. And not knowing how I would react to labor, I wasn't sure if this would be the case for me or not.
Of course, I still don't know for sure.
But as I get closer to my due date (10 more weeks!!!), 
I'm starting to feel more in touch with how I think I will react to things.
And I think I will want music. 
(Even if I don't, there's no harm in making a playlist and then not using it!)

And really, it just makes sense.
Music has been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember.
When I was little, I always carried around a battery-powered boom box
and played tapes of kid songs.
I played it at my great-grandma's house,
at my neighborhood playground,
at friends' houses,
all the time.

I loved hearing my dad play guitar and sing.
I danced to Paula Abdul and Madonna with my mom.
And music playing in the car was essential.

Growing up, I always had music on in my room,
and was always plugged into a walkman or discman on family trips.
My friends and I would stay up all night playing our CDs.
Any spare money I had would be spent on music.
I used to even sleep with the radio on.

Even today, I always turn the radio or Pandora on when we're cooking
or just hanging out and drinking wine (pre-pregnancy, of course!).
And I love to make playlists for each vacation we take.

So, it seems only fitting that I have a playlist for labor and delivery.
Of course. Why wouldn't I?
It would seem I don't like to function without music,
so I think it'll help to have it playing during everything.
We'll see.
Worst case, I turn it off or switch to another playlist.

But now--I need some suggestions!
I already have 59 songs on my list,
but I want it to be as long as possible.
Who knows how long I'll be in labor or
how long I'll want to listen to music?
But the last thing I want is to get sick of the songs being on repeat the whole time.

I'm going for mellow, happy, relaxing, and/or uplifting.
Not so much the energizing work-out type songs,
although I am tempted to add "Push It." :)

Some artists I already have include:

Kristian Stanfill
Chris Tomlin
Butch Walker
Jason Mraz
Matt White
Ben Rector
James Morrison
Casting Crowns
Tim McGraw
Meredith Andrews
and many more!

Suggestions, anyone?
Did you or do you plan to use a labor playlist?
What kind of music did you include?

Thanks for the ideas! :)


Friday, July 26, 2013

29 Weeks

+ Yes, I chopped my hair off! :)  It was a much needed change!
+ Feeling less achy this week than last. Maybe it's because we didn't have SOAR sessions this week so I wasn't on my feet as much at work. 
+ Sometimes my belly feels SO heavy! I feel like someone strapped a bowling ball to me!
+ Less hot flashes this week, but still some random shortness of breath. I'm usually a very deep, slow breather, so any change in that feels strange to me. 
+ Digestion sucks. Period. 
+ Still wearing many of my pre-pregnancy clothes. Nothing in that picture above is maternity. Neither is what I'm wearing right now (other than my belly band that lets me wear the cute yellow capris I'm currently rocking!)
+ I'm so thankful that I lost 20 pounds a couple years ago. Now I'm right around that same weight again. If I hadn't lost that weight, I would have weighed an unhealthy amount during pregnancy and I'm sure everything would be more challenging, including losing the weight afterwards. (though the ease of that remains to be determined!! ha!) 
+ Grayson has been moving around quite a bit lately, but less kicking and more squirming and shifting. I'm guessing he's starting to run out of room to move around too much. Still haven't felt any baby hiccups or anything. 
+ I've been reading a really good book on breastfeeding that my doula recommended, and I would recommend to all of you pregnant or nursing mommies as well. It's called Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Breastfeeding Mothers. Scott and I also attended a breastfeeding class at the hospital this week. I want to be as prepared as possible!! :)
+ Sleeping through the night other than waking up several times to pee. I've felt much more rested this week! 
+ I'm tired at night like I was in the first trimester. I went to bed at 7 PM on Monday! It was glorious!
+ No new cravings to report.
+ For the most part, everything is still going great! With each passing week I'm more and more eager to meet this little boy...and to no longer be pregnant! ha! Not that I'm not enjoying it, but there are definitely things I being able to sit up in bed without having to slowly roll over the edge and prop myself up with my arms! 


Thursday, July 18, 2013

28 Weeks

I am officially in my 3rd trimester, by everyone's standards! Woohoo!

Baby Grayson-
+ we had our 3D ultrasound yesterday and I got to see my sweet baby! 
+ He weighs a whopping 3 pounds, almost 2 whole weeks ahead of "schedule." This puts him in the 76th percentile for size and weight. The u/s tech said to expect him to be around 8 pounds at birth. We shall see! Scott was 10 pounds so I'm hoping he does get THAT big!
+ He has nice, long legs. Perfect for stretching out and kicking mommy! 
+ I not only feel him moving throughout the day, but I can SEE his movements. So crazy!
+ Scott felt him kick for the first time a few weeks ago, but he is still surprised whenever he happens to catch a really strong kick! Grayson is still stubborn and doesn't like to move on command. :)
+ He already has hair on his head, and may have a head-full by the time he's born.
+ during the u/s, he started opening and closing his cute little mouth...likely tasting the sugary stuff I had to drink for the glucose test. It was the cutest thing! 

+ I won't know anything about the glucose test for a while. But no news is good news as they're only going to call if the test is abnormal.
+ The Dr said my weight gain is perfect and I am right on track
+ the u/s tech commented that my belly looked a little small for 28 weeks, but that it's probably because I have a long torso. She also said baby size has nothing to do with belly size. Big babies come from small bellies all the time, and vice versa. 
+ Still experiencing quite a bit of back pain. Stretching and exercise seems to help, but it's still pretty unpleasant.
+ Sleeping is more challenging due to achy muscles, crazy Charlie Horse type calf cramps, having to pee, and weird, stressful dreams. I still manage to get a full night's sleep, but I don't always feel very rested.
+ It's harder to make it through the work week without feeling exhausted. I really rely on the weekends to catch up on sleep and rest.
+ I've started experiencing some pretty bad hot flashes from time to time, and shortness of breath. The doctor assured me all this is normal. He said in about a month the baby will drop and I'll be able to breathe regularly again. Of course then walking will be more challenging! ha!
+ no new cravings other than sweets and sweet tea. Sometimes I really want fast food, but it's something we eat so rarely, I don't even really consider it an option. So the temptation doesn't last long.

I think that's about it for my preggo updates! 
I'll be continuing my pregnancy must-haves series soon! I've got them all planned out; just have to actually write them!


Monday, July 15, 2013

My Pregnancy Must-Haves: Clothes

If you're just joining me, I'm doing a series on my personal pregnancy must-haves. Last time, I talked about resources (books, videos, websites, etc). Today, let's talk about something a little more fun, shall we? Clothes!!

Oh, clothes during pregnancy. Always an adventure.

As I moved toward the end of my first trimester, my clothes didn't fit the same anymore. My midsection was thicker. I felt huge. I experienced a lot of bloating during this time, so not only was my midsection thicker, but it was uncomfortable. My pants didn't want to button comfortably anymore, and I basically always worried that people were going to think I was just getting fat. I was not obviously pregnant yet, not really what people call "showing," but my body was certainly changing.

I thought I would try buying some maternity clothes, but that didn't help. Nothing fit! I was still too small for everything I tried. These were my must-haves for my first trimester and (for some of them) beyond:

Yoga Pants
C9 by Champion® Womens Extended-Sizes Bootcut Athletic Pants - Assorted Colors
buy them at Target
These were comfortable, stretchy, and MUCH more flattering than sweats or baggy PJ bottoms.
I wore these around the house, to bed, to workout, and just as regular pants. 
As my belly grew, I just folded down the waistband. 
I haven't worn them in a couple months, mostly because it's so hot here, but I'm betting they would be a little snug now. Not sure. But I HIGHLY recommend them for early pregnancy. 

Maxi skirts
Mossimo® Women's Knit Maxi Skirt - Assorted Colors
Buy it at Target
They have stretchy waistbands that can grow with you, and then you can wear them under your belly as you get bigger. These were a lifesaver during that I don't look pregnant, just fat stage. 
Now that I'm full-on preggo belly, I still enjoy wearing my maxi skirts. 

The belly band
Buy it on Amazon
This is my personal favorite. Saved my life. Seriously. You need one, too!
It was perfect from the moment it felt better to leave my pants unbuttoned
all the way until where I am currently...pants unbuttoned, unzipped, and not even close to coming together!
This bad boy has allowed me to continue wearing all my pre-pregnancy pants.
Maternity clothes are not cheap. Especially not pants.
And since I work in an office setting, it would be expensive to buy all new work slacks.
So far I have only had to purchase one pair of maternity slacks. 
Thank you, belly band! 

About halfway through my 2nd trimester, I started wearing actual maternity clothes. Just a few pieces here and there. Mostly because I wanted some better fitting shirts, and larges were too big up top. Maternity tops are built to be bigger in the belly and still small in the arms and chest (if you are a small pre-pregnant size). I only bought a couple shirts at first. Towards the end of my 2nd trimester, I bought more pieces which I now wear frequently. My recommendations for maternity shopping are:


These are the places I have used for maternity clothes and have been quite successful. 

And now here are the other clothing/accessory items that have been essential during my pregnancy thus far:

Skinny Jeans 
I know this seems contradictory,
but I've found that my skinny jeans are the only ones that still fit.
I don't even need the belly band on one pair! 
(Granted they were from before I lost my weight, so they had some room to begin with)
They are a stretchy material and they sit below my belly.
So I still wear them! And they look great! 

Long camisoles
My 27 week picture. Notice the white camisole .

These allow me to wear my pre-pregnancy shirts without fear of them riding up and showing
the bottom of my belly.
I don't wear any shirts that come way up on my belly,
but some do sit right at the bottom and if I 
move around a lot I would probably be showing skin. 
The camis help with this.

Dresses (especially wrap or A-line style)

17 Weeks vs. 26 weeks...same dress.

These leave plenty of flowy room for my bump to grow.

And that's about it! I've just entered my 3rd trimester so there may be more clothing items I've yet to need or discover. We shall see!!

Happy shopping, mommies! :)


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