Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Weeks 8 & 9 | Pregnancy Update

Weeks 8 & 9

Sept 3-16



Week 8 Photo courtesy: i-am-pregnant.com



Week 9 photo courtesy: medicalnewstoday.com

Warning: these pregnancy update posts are going to get pretty deep into the TMI, mkay?

Your body functions differently when you are pregnant...and some of these changes can be alarming for some of us who have never experienced them before.

Many women are too embarrassed about these changes to talk to anyone about them...even their doctor. (Please note: NEVER be embarrassed to talk to your doctor/midwife about ANYTHING!! Your experiences and situations will not shock them and may possibly be much more normal than you think!) However, I want to throw open the doors on pregnancy & all of its goings-on and symptoms I'm experiencing...even the more taboo things that may have other pregnant mamas thinking that something may be wrong with them.

Both these weeks are brought to you by intense hunger, sleepiness and no energy to do anything.

To combat the sleepiness and no energy, Antonio has had to remind me to be sure to take my prenatal vitamins. I have never taken them for my other pregnancies on any sort of regular basis and have never felt like I needed them (this is not to say that you shouldn't take them!! You should!! I'm just horrible with remembering to take pills)...but this pregnancy is really taking its toll on my body. As I write this post (in the middle of Week 9), I realize that after a few days of actually remembering to take my vitamins, I can actually feel a difference.

A big one is, and I'm not sure if its related, but I've been FINALLY able to sleep at night! After weeks of middle-of-the-night insomnia, last night I slept so good!! Do you think it was the vitamins??

Thanks to the hormone, progesterone, which causes muscles to relax, I am still experiencing looots of gas. Thanks, baby. I really appreciate it. hahaha

Occasional bouts of heartburn, even though I am hardly eating anything spicy.

Speaking of spicy, my dreams at night have been getting quite....interesting. Lots of weird sexy dreams (yeah, not going into TMI with that....use your imagination) and other extremely vivid dreams that aren't necessarily sexy but pretty weird. I have been dreaming about friends that I haven't seen in 20+ years, guys!! What?!! But, thanks to raging and fluctuating emotions, pregnant women are definitely more prone to wild and crazy dreams!

I've also (for weeks) been experiencing this nasty taste in my mouth. Like a sour sort-of metallic taste. I had no idea what to think about it....until I found out that it is actually a totally normal pregnancy symptom: Dysgeusia. Dysgeusia is just basically a sour or metallic taste in the mouth that is caused by pregnancy hormones. Hormones. Again. Sheesh. These things don't let up, do they?!

Here's a couple of more tidbits of TMI (but still need to be addressed because they are normal goings-on of pregnancy)...I am beginning to experience slight constipation and slight vaginal discharge. Both are completely normal. The constipation is due to that lovely relaxing hormone Progesterone I mentioned earlier. Be sure to drink lots of water and high fiber foods to help combat it! The vaginal discharge is just your body's way of preparing for birth. See? Your body knows what it's doing. It starts preparing way before we're even ready to think about it! hahaha (Please let your doctor/midwife know if your discharge smells foul or is discolored, as it could be a sign of infection that needs to be treated right away)

I read my copy of Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin and also ordered another of her books, Ina May's Guide To Childbirth. Both have opened my eyes to a whole different side of labor. It has explained the stages of labor and proven coping mechanisms...in easy to understand terms and in the form of dozens of birth stories from real-life moms. She even explains the "phenomenon" behind how you can be in pretty steady labor, get to the hospital and suddenly the labor seems to all but stop! She explains why this is completely normal (it's probably not the reason why you've been told it happens, though) and how doctors sometimes will try to convince you that something must be wrong with your body and how you need to have Pitocin/be induced, which leads to lots more unnecessary medical interventions. Yeah, I am just amazed at how awesome Ina May is!!

I think that EVERY woman needs to read Ina May's Guide To Childbirth. I had so many friends pop into my head that I thought could gain so much knowledge from this book...friends that are in the nursing field that I *know* did not recieve this sort of information. It will help them understand childbirth and how to help women relax and deliver their babies. Even if they aren't labor and delivery nurses! They have friends that are (or will be) pregnant...or even they themselves may be pregnant one day. This book has the experience of thousands of childbirths in it.

Which brings me to (in case you missed it last week) the fact that I have decided to have a natural non-medicated childbirth. You can read my blog post about that HERE.

I also ordered the movie, "Birth Story: Ina May & The Farm Midwives" on Amazon and got it the other day. I watched it last night. It is GOOD!! I had watched several episodes of "Call The Midwife" this week (my first time ever watching the show) and was pretty discouraged by all of the screaming and crying that the women were doing while in labor. I began to doubt if I could go the natural route. Then I watched "Birth Story". It showed real women in real labor. They weren't screaming and crying. They were strong, powerful and at peace. They were confident in their bodies. That's how I want to be. You should really buy this movie. They even showed an unmedicated home birth of a breech baby and one with shoulder dyostasia. BUY THIS MOVIE and be empowered!

I was also reminded back in Week 8 of another thing that I had said I had wanted to do if I ever had another baby. I want to encapsulate my placenta.

Thaaaaat's right, folks: I'm going to be eating my placenta!

Muahahahahaha!!!

I can say this, though, I can definitely laugh at myself...because I am leaning towards the option of the encapsulation package offered that includes a postpartum placenta & fruit smoothie. The part I find the most humorous in my decision: the face that I am more freaked out that they might put banana in it than I am about any placenta pieces floating around in there.

I really hate banana.

....just when you thought that I maybe wasn't quite weird enough, right??... ::wink::

I'm planning on doing a more in-depth post on the reasons behind placenta encapsulation later on, 'kay?

Oh!! We also went and had a non-medical unoffical ultrasound done!! Check out the details and the first pictures of our baby HERE!

I also went shopping for maternity clothes! I'm planning on having a haul post and try-on pics coming up soon.

And that pretty much sums up my last two weeks!

How have you guys been?!

xoxo

Thursday, September 15, 2016

First Ultrasound!!



A few days ago, I got a call in the morning. It was Laura, the amazing woman I spoke with at the Pregnancy Center I went to a couple of weeks ago.

She had remembered how I had wanted an ultrasound but that they didn't have any appointments available for quite some time.

But then, suddenly, she heard that they were looking for pregnant "models" that would be willing to let their ultrasound tech-in training do an ultrasound on them. Would I be interested in coming in that evening?

Heck yeah I would be, I exclaimed!

The kids were all thrilled to be able to go in and see the first images of their new baby brother or sister! Unfortunately, everyone was so darned excited that no one remembered to take pictures while we were there! hahahaha

Just to clarify: this was a non-medical and unoffical ultrasound.

They were able to, however, give me the heart rate and approximate age of the baby.

I'm not going to lie: I cried during this ultrasound. Out of both happiness and relief. I had been so worried that there wouldn't be a heartbeat. That maybe there wouldn't even be a baby.

So when we saw our little peanut bouncing around, kicking his legs, happy as a clam, that put my mind at ease.

And the heart rate? 166 beats per minute.

A strong heart and happy baby.

He is measuring pretty much how far along I have been figuring (about 9 weeks). There was a 3 day difference but it's not an exact science.

And, without further ado, here is our beautiful little peanut:


 Okay, so I have to confess. I had 3 ultrasound pics. But they aren't loading into the system! What?! Grr!! Okay, well, I'm not going to get frustrated. After all, baby still looks like a warped peanut in the ultrasound pics, right? hahaha So, rest assured that everything looks great but my stupid computer isn't processing my memory card. Whatevs. The pic that is showing up is a pretty great shot, right? He kept kicking his little legs up and down. Antonio swears the baby smiled. Yes, folks, we are getting all sappy and emotional up in here.

Until next time...xoxoxo

Thursday, September 8, 2016

I'm Not Getting An Epidural

I am planning on having an unmedicated labor and delivery.

No induction.

No epidural.

Does the prospect of this scare me? Yes.

BUT

I am reading my copy of Spiritual Midwifery that I bought years ago but never really got into until now. It is so inspiring and encouraging, as it is filled with tons of birth stories of mamas who went naturally, most at home. Even breach and twin births!

It focuses a lot on "smooching" your partner with every rush (contraction) and having your partner squeeze your breasts to help with dilation and natural oxytocin production. I know first-hand that nipple stimulation works to progress labor...I tried it while in labor with Levi and my midwife (I delivered both Christian and Levi in hospitals with a midwife) freaked out because I was already being given pitocin. Apparently, you're not supposed to do both. Ooops. hahaha But I've never EVER thought about being romantic in the throes of labor. Ina May Gaskin (world renowned midwife) puts it this way (and I'm paraphrasing): Being romantic got the baby in there and being romantic is going to get it out. I guess I just need to change my perpective, my attitude or my outlook...whatever it is that is holding me back and having me view childbirth as something that is not to be enjoyed.



The book is really allowing me to believe that I can do it. That this is what my body was designed for. The women in the book...most of them explain how their worst pains came when they got scared and didn't want to let themselves fall into the the labor completely. But once they did so, the pain turned into some different. Something primal. Something that made them stronger than they ever knew possible.

The philosophy is

Fear = Pain

No Fear = No Pain


So, my plan is to continuously study natural childbirth, watch videos on it and read stories about it for  the duration of my entire pregnancy.

Facts: I am healthy. I am strong. My body has safely birthed 4 full term babies. No forceps. No vacuums. The only complication I ever experienced was actually from the pitocin causing Austin's heart rate to drop.

I can do this.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Week 7 with Baby #5

Week 7

August 27-Sept 2




This week has been trying for me.

I am exhausted. Like, my arms are even tired when I just go to open my blinds.

I thought the morning sickness was beginning to let up a bit...but then, in the middle of the week, it roared into overdrive. Still no vomiting. THANK GOD!! But, still...being nauseated and feeling on the brink of throwing up all day really isn't a bowl of sunshine, ya know?

My appetite has increased big time.

Thankfully, I didn't buy too unhealthy of snack foods. I mean, I did buy some crackers and Nutrigrain bars...but I also bought a lot of pre-sliced apple slices and grapes. I don't know why but cutting an apple up myself sounds "meh"...BUT a cold crisp apple slice from the fridge sounds delightful. Weird, right??

I've been crying. A lot. I try to hide from the kids when I cry because I don't want them to worry about me. But poor Antonio has to listen to me sobbing on the phone. hahaha He asked me today "Is it the hormones that are making you so sad?" and I told him "Well, they're not really emailing me and letting me know that it's them...but I'm pretty sure they're the reason, yeah." I find it necessary to still maintain some modicum of a sense of humor. ::wink::

Not much in the sense of cravings. Except....Earlier in the week, do you know what was sounding good to me? (I'm gagging now, as I type this and am thinking about it) Raw meat! WHAT IS THAT ABOUT?!! I figured I probably needed iron. Who knows. No, I didn't eat any!! But I checked to make sure that my newly bought prenatal vitamins contain plenty of iron...and they do. 100% of the recommended daily amount. Since I've been taking them pretty much every day, the "oooh, look at that hunk of bloody meat" feeling has sailed far, far away.

I'm not a big nighttime/bedtime eater...but this past week has found me wanting to eat a bowl of cereal when Antonio gets home, which is usually around bedtime. I need to nip that in the bud. Need to reach for the apple slices instead.

We've also decided that we are not finding out the sex of the baby!! I think it is going to be so exciting in the delivery room if we don't know!! My friend Lydia isn't finding out, either...she's due any day now....and she said she has not regretted waiting. I'm hoping to say the same!

I need to buy maternity pants. I bought one of the be-baby (I think that's what it is called) things that fits around the top of your regular jeans. Like a full panel that is on maternity pants? Do you know what I'm talking about?? I got it for a little under $20 at Target. At first, I loved it. My jeans were no longer squeezing my tummy and squishing both baby and I! But after just 2 or 3 days of wearing it, it seemed to be getting looser. Maybe I should have bought a smaller size? I went with the recommended size, though... But I don't like having to continuously pull up and readjust my pants and the panel. If any of you have used one of these things, let me know how you liked yours! Did it stretch out rather quickly? Let me know in the comments!

If you follow me on Facebook, you know that I went to a local pregnancy resource center. I'm not going to lie: I mainly went for the free limited ultrasound that they offer. Unfortunately, they didn't have any ultrasound appointments available until the end of September. But I met some really wonderful ladies there, so that was really nice. I think it was the one day this week that I actually felt human.

We also started our official homeschool year this week.

On a sad note, I received 2 horrible phone calls today (Friday). My mom had to deliver both. First, she called and told me that my cat (who she stole adopted from me had to be put to sleep today. Jellybean was 16 years old. I got him when I was pregnant with my first baby.

The second call came just minutes later...she called to tell me that my grandpa "Papa" was rushed to the hospital because he had a heart attack. I called my grandma, who said that he is doing okay and that they are still in the ER. He is being transferred to a room and will have to stay overnight for testing. Years ago, Papa had quadruple bypass surgery.... I am praying that everything goes okay and he is going to recover quickly!

I want to thank you for taking the time to read this. To share in this journey with me. I have been feeling rather sad and down lately...but reading your comments and messages really do cheer me up. Thank you so much!! xoxo

Until the next time!! Much love!!

P.S....sorry I don't have a lot of pictures of me and the bump to show...I've just been sick and in bed/on the couch in a ratty old t-shirt most days. That is not a sight anyone needs to see! hahaha


Thursday, September 1, 2016

Telling The Kids I'm Pregnant!


In our family, we try to make it a special occasion when we tell our children that we are expecting a new baby.

My older kids like to talk about the restaurants they were sitting in or activity that we were doing when they found out that I was pregnant.

I wanted to continue that tradition with this new baby.

I made each child a little gift box that held a stuffed baby hedgehog with a tag pendant around its neck,revealing the news and a baby bottle filled with candy.







Here is the video of their reactions....


Monday, August 29, 2016

6 weeks along! with Baby #5

Week 6
August 20-August 26





I'm doing much better than I was in my first post.

Boy, let me tell you, that was quite a surprise that landed in our laps and I needed a day to just sort through my emotions.

Not to say that (thanks to raging and fluctuating hormones) my emotions aren't going to go up and down...but I am now so excited to look at those tiny pink lines on the test.

According to a pregnancy calculator, I am in my 6th week.

EDD of April 15, 2017.

The day before Easter.

Which is just 9 days after Levi's 5th birthday (April 6)!

That was a tough pill to swallow....I hate to think that the miserable last days of pregnancy may drag down his special day. Or that baby could possible be born on his birthday! Yikes!

How I'm Feeling This Week:

All day morning sickness.
No vomiting...just feeling nauseated all.day.long.

Heartburn
Not horrendous but it's showing up usually about once a day, typically in the evening

Gassy
hahahahaha...sorry....but it's true

Loss of appetite...but still hungry.
How is that even possible?! It's just that I'm hungry but nothing sounds good.

Sore breasts...and larger
I've never had this issue with my other pregnancies, but I've heard that lots of women experience it. I mean, my breasts have always gotten larger and fuller...but not this sore, yo!

Extremely tired.
I'm usually taking a nap every day. Levi cuddles in bed with me and we call it our "Date". hahaha

Cold Chills & Hot Flashes
Usually, I get cold chills most of the day...but then when I fall asleep, I wake up covered in sweat and burning up. All night long is spent bundling up and then taking off my clothes...putting them back on and cuddling under the blankets again and then waking up again all sweaty.

My stomach is HUGE.
Seriously. I look like I'm several months along!

Anxieties
I am just so worried that I am going to lose this baby

Mood Swings?
I am not having the angry outbursts I usually have early in pregnancy....sometimes I'll find myself wanting to cry randomly, but not too bad.







I think Gypsy knows I'm not feeling well...she's not leaving my side.
Even when I'm laid up in bed.