Category Archives: pregnancy

The news today…

One of the “pleasures” of pregnancy is the gestational diabetes test.  Between week 24 and 29 you get to drink a glucose solution to see how your body reacts with insulin.

I passed, no problem when pregnant with Caitlyn.

I was surprised when I was pregnant with Sue when I failed the 1 hour glucose tolerance test and had to go for the three hour test.  And after drinking that nasty concoction, I was subjected to several hours of blood draws so they could see how my body responded to the glucose.  It turned out, one of the hours my body did not provide enough insulin to counteract the sugar in the appropriate time.  I then had to meet with a nurse to learn how to test my sugar levels and follow a special diet for the remainder of my pregnancy.

I was heartbroken.  I felt like my body had betrayed me and like I had let myself down.  My only risk factor was the extra weight I carried.  I was scared at what it meant for my baby and what it could mean for my future, as gestational sugar issues can be a precursor to type 2 diabetes.

I followed the diet, my baby was not large, I kept my sugar in check and all issues disappeared once Sue was born. 

Between Sue and this baby, I started jogging, going to the gym and lost not only the baby weight, but also an additional 15 pounds before I got pregnant again.  I still carried 10 extra pounds, but I had done my darndest.

And I have kept going to the gym and walking while pregnant.

Last week it was time to do the 1 hour sugar test for this baby.  My midwife and I had talked about my risk of sugar issues being raised because of having them with Sue, but that my one hope was I had lost all my baby weight plus some extra.  I wanted to hope I would not need to do the extra tests and diet, but I just wasn’t confident.

Today I e-mailed my midwife to see how it had turned out…and I passed the test!!!!!  I passed!!!!!  I do not have to do additional testing and that is a good sign for my future risk of diabetes…let me say it again, I PASSED!!!!!

All that hard work between babies and while pregnant has paid big dividends!!!!!  I cried, I was so excited, and sooooo motivated to continue exercising and making decent eating choices while pregnant. 

My wonderful midwife put it best…”Great Job.  Keep up the exercise.”

Insomnia, oh no, not quite

Over the years I have had bouts of insomnia for many reasons…when the Multiple Sclerosis was at it’s worst I was in the hospital 15 times in three years for steroid IVs.  That will cause major insomnia.  Then I found a doctor that would do the IVs outpatient, so it was two more years of them going to the clinic, much better than the hospital, but still causes insomnia.  Then there are random bouts everyone gets.  And my favorites, seriously, are the ones caused by pregnancy.  Insomnia is actually my first clue I might be preggo.  This time around my husband even noticed and when I told him our family was growing, he said “what made you test, the insomnia?”  It is worst during first and third trimester, but that’s okay.  It is totally worth it.

But today I have been up since 4.  Insomnia, nope.  My girls are sick again.  This time with horrible colds.  And I woke up to Sue coughing.  And the poor thing is so confused.  Think about it.  The gagging of throwing up can be an awful lot like a cough and she just stopped that about a week ago.  So now, when she coughs from her cold, she cries for her “bowl” that she lived with while battling her stomach virus.  It is sad, and cute.

But being up with her, while miserable, is still nicer than the insomnia from the MS treatments.  That was horrible.  I would be sooo tired and then all the sudden I was awake.  The steroids would have me all revved up.  And your mind, after a few days of steroids, is not quite “normal”.  I found with those meds, I obsessed more.  Something would start to bug me that unmedicated I could brush off, but with 3 days of 1000 mgs per day steroids, and that little thing became huge.  It would make me so angry.  Or sad.  Or sometimes, when I was lucky, maybe something would strike me as funny and I could not stop giggling about it.  (That did not happen often!)

And yet, I would do all those steroids again.  It was better than the options when I first got sick.  I was originally tentatively diagnosed at age 15, though it was 4 years more before someone would say it officially (ask any MSer, that is normal and frustrating).  But in the beginning, it didn’t really matter if they officially diagnosed me or not, because there was really nothing they could do.  I remember that first neurologist, looking at me, and saying, “there is nothing I can do for you. I hate teenage MS because I can’t do anything.”  Gee thanks lady. 

She kept her promise, she didn’t do much.

It was a little better when I went away to college, a few years had passed and new meds were coming out.  The first preventive medication was Betaseron interferon 1b. It was, and still is, an injection you did yourself every other day.  It’s goal was not to treat the symptoms but to decrease chances of flares, which are times the MS gets worse and there is more potential for permanent damage. 

It did decrease my flairs some, but not to nothing.  But it was something, it was something I could proactively do. I could give myself the flu every other night.  Okay, not really, but that is what the side effects felt like for about the first month. 

And I continued on Betaseron for almost 5 years.  And it helped to varying degrees. 

Now, when someone is diagnosed, there are not only medications, there are several, 5 main ones for prevention of flares and, hopefully, disability.

I am thrilled to not currently need any treatment.  Pregnancy is often a great treatment for MS, 90+% of women go into a remission while pregnant.  Nursing the baby often prolongs that in women.  (I think I will nurse my last baby for 20 years or so, that will work, right?)

And many of the above options were helped along by the National MS Society, either because of awareness they raised, funding they provided or support they give/gave to patients walking the MS road.  And for that I am very grateful, so as I have said, I give at least an annual nod to the MS by participating in the MS walk in May.  This year it is May 2nd.  I am thrilled beyond words to be walking it with my beautiful family.  The family I thought I would never have because of the MS.  We will walk to let the MS know it can not keep us from moving forward.

If you would like to be involved by supporting me financially in the walk, please see my link at the bottom of my blog. It will take you to my personal page.  I would greatly appreciate it, as would the other 16,000 people living in my state alone who have MS.  We need you to help us keep walking.

Here is a picture of Caitlyn from the walk 2 years ago.

More Random Pregnancy Thoughts

So, in case you were wondering, this coming baby is real (hey sometimes I pinch myself because I must be dreaming) and while some parts of this pregnancy have been very different than with my girls, there are some similarities shining through.

Differences:

Morning sickness was more intense and made it’s appearance off and on for much longer than with the girls.  16 weeks is when it finally left.

I’ve had more headaches with this one.

But I think I have more energy this time around.

I definitely have less time to obsess about some of the ins and outs of the pregnancy.

I get to share it this time with my girls.  Caitlyn was too young when Sue was born for us to even tell her ahead of time.  This time I think Caitlyn asks me at least once a day, what’s the baby’s name? When she asks that she means what is the boy name, she is sure this one is a boy.  As she explained the other day, “we already got a girl last time mommy, we got Sue!”  Of course today she told me this one was a boy, the next one was going to be a girl…uhhhh, next one?????

People keep telling me how crazy I am to be having/wanting a 3rd child.  Apparently, having 2 is fine and acceptable, adding a 3rd puts you in the running for a trip to the funny farm where they have padded rooms.  I got lots of comments when I swore I was only having one child and now I am getting lots for wanting 3.  Hmmmm….

Similarities:

I still have the best midwife in the world.  She is fantastic.

I still manage to completely freak myself out at least once a week that something is wrong with the pregnancy, the baby or that people are right and I am NUTS for wanting a 3rd child.

I am still a bit worried about getting nursing well established with the new baby, though I have now successfully nursed two and learned lots about the “mechanics” of nursing, and how God designed our bodies to feed our babies and even some ways it is (typically) easier with each child…

I felt this baby move for the first time right around 13 weeks. 

My morning sickness started right at 5 weeks with this one too.  That is my magic number.

I took strange comfort in having morning sickness, though that does NOT mean I enjoyed it.

I managed to gain a fair amount during my first trimester even though this time I was sicker and was working out at Curves (go figure).

My Braxton Hicks contractions set in about 20-21 weeks along just like last time.

Rolling over in bed is getting to be an awakening experience.  Ah well, just means there is a baby needing those ligaments to stretch as he/she grows.

And the big similarity today was the tingly feeling in my right leg as either baby or uterus or something sits on just a certain nerve…birthing ball, my dear friend, here I come to get some wonderful relief!

Finally, the biggest similarity, I know how wonderful this is and how privileged I am to be carrying this baby.  I thank the Lord daily and pray for our family often.

Mamas and midwifes

I was awake several extra hours last night.  And that’s okay.  With the colds we have been fighing around here, I finally succumbed to an earache. I have always been a little prone to them due to how my ear tubes grew, or actually didn’t grow, and sometimes when a cold gets a mind to, I end up with an earache.  So hubby sent me to bed with a movie and heating pad to put my ear on. 

I slept great until about 1:30 this morning.  Then I drifted in and out for awhile.  I realized at some point that hubby was not upstairs, so I went looking for him.  He had crashed on the couch after putting Caitlyn to bed.  I told him to go to bed (poor guy had to get up at 4:30 to go to work today).  Only problem was, he fell asleep before I did and I was awake enough that his snoring kept me up.  I ended up on the couch.  Then the littlest family member decided to practice his/her kickboxing. 

It, by itself, while very distinct and noticable, is not enough to keep me awake, but enjoying it, is.

This baby is the most active of any I have carried.  My Sue was a good kicker, but this one makes her look lazy.  And a baby that kicks good is a great reassurance to me.  So Thursday, the little one decided to have a rest day.  So not fair to mama.  I freaked.  I had woken up with a headache, and since I have a history of blood pressure issues in pregnancy, I checked my BP right away. It was great!  So I chalked the headache up to the weather.  But I just could not shake my unease of the day.  Things just didn’t seem right with the babys’ activity.

I e-mailed a friend that I knew would understand more than anyone should have to.  She encouraged me to contact my midwife. I waited a while, but I just could not settle down.  So I finally e-mailed my midwife (everyone should have a midwife with a blackberry!).  She was her normal wonderful self.  She e-mailed me right back and reassured me that many of her mamas that have children contact her with the same concerns “I hear this often from women who have children. [You] just want everything to be fine.  You really understand and are thankful for what you have.”  And told me to come see her the next day.  That by itself calmed me as I knew in less than 24 hours I would have concrete reassurance (hearing the heartbeat) that things were progressing.

Then the braxton hicks contractions set in.  Yes, I know they are on the early side, at 21 weeks 3 days, but they are right on time for when I got them with Sue.  That was wonderfully reassuring, though it reminded me how long the next trimester plus is going to be.  Those contractions may not hurt at this point, but man, they are distracting.  It is hard to think about anything else when being reminded that the much more important work of baking a baby is happening.  “Oh, and littlest Cole, this better mean you are going to be a quick delivery like Sue.  I am more than willing to pay my dues for the rest of the pregnancy if you do your part and make it quick in the end!”

Friday morning I got some good activity from the baby and that had me feeling much better, and knowing now I was just hours from hearing my little one was added comfort.  And I was excited about Caitlyn and Sue getting to hear him/her as they were going with me to the midwife.

My midwife found the heartbeat right away, so clear and strong.  I got Caitlyn’s attention and she heard it to.  When it sped up a couple beats, Caitlyn said, “I hear it kicking.”  And she might have.  Regardless, this mama heard what she needed to, the music of a heartbeat. 

I asked my questions, which for once I had remembered to write down, she gave me some tips, like drinking cranberry juice to help drain fluid stuffing up my ear, and much reassurance.  It was so nice.  It was exactly what I needed.  Just thinking about it as I type brings me to tears.  She didn’t ignore me or dismiss my concerns, she cared, reassured me and was more than a midwife, she was a friend.

And my kids, were themselves, their funny, funny selves.  Sue sang her ABCs for everyone.  Both of them quizzed me on why I was peeing in a cup. Ummm, ever tried to explain that to a 2 year old and 3 year old? 

Sue said, “are you going to drink it?”  No, they are going to test it to make sure everything is okay with the baby.  “Is the baby gonna drink it?”  No, they are just going to check it.  “Are they going to pour it on the baby?”  Nope, just check it.  “Are they gonna pour it on their heads?”  Nope.  “On their feet?”  Nope.  “All over their body?”  Nope, just check it honey.  Mama doesn’t quite know how to explain it.

Catilyn insisted to the midwife the baby is a boy.  As you might remember, we chose not to find out at the ultrasound.  But Caitlyn is adamant it is a boy.  She asks me over and over what the name is if it is a boy.  She couldn’t care less what the girl name is.  When the midwife said, “whether it is a girl or boy you will love it.”  Caitlyn responded, “it’s a boy.”  Several times.  My midwife said, “well you could use a boy in your family.”

We may have some disappointment to deal with if Caitlyn gets another sister, but a good friend of mine, who has twin boys, offered some playdates so Caitlyn can get a dose of boys if she needs it.  Whew, we might need to have that plan in place.

Then when I was asking my midwife several questions, I asked Caitlyn if she had any, and she did.  She wanted to know why the baby kicks and moves in mama’s belly.  So we explained the baby is exercising to get stronger and likes to dance, just like she does.  Caitlyn did not ask anymore, but the child has some concerns about that, which we have talked about many times. 

Every time she asks me why the baby is still in my belly, I tell her it needs to grow and get strong.  She says, “no, I don’t want it to get big and strong. I want it to be little.”  Sue loves to torment her sister, maybe Caitlyn is afraid this baby will ‘get big and strong’ and join Sue in torturing her…

After the appointment, Caitlyn saw this big poster near the reception desk that had views of women carrying their babies differently.  She pointed to one and said, “that lady’s belly is REALLY big!”  To the next, “that lady’s belly is smaller big. And that one’s belly is little big.”  I thought the lady at the desk was going to fall off her chair laughing.

It, all in all, was probably the best midwife appointment I have ever had.  It was reassuring, informative and, thanks to my kidlets, hysterical!

And then about 12 hours later, the littlest family member decided to add it’s 2 cents worth, by kicking up a storm. I think it was baby morse code for, “see I’m in here and okay. Be careful what you wish for, I might decide to reassure you when you would rather be sleeping.”  Oh trust me little one, that is okay by this mama!

And just so you don’t forget how cute my little comedians are:

Please, oh please, ignore my terribly messy kitchen.  Here is how it looks today:

Much better, wouldn’t you say?  Though not as fun as the girls had using an entire container of “stickies” to make their daddy a present last week.

The big announcement, kid style

So I was thinking maybe people were tired of my blog, but today I got a topic “request” (thanks Jessica!).

I think I mentioned in an earlier blog entry that we didn’t tell Caitlyn she was going to be a big sister before Sue was born.  Caitlyn was only 15 1/2 months old when she became a big sissy, so it didn’t seem necessary.  We just went and had the baby, then daddy brought her up to the birthing center.  Here is a picture from that first meeting between the girls:

She cared more about the balloon and apparently the baby’s feet than who that was in there…
But this time the girls are 3 1/2 and 2, so it seemed like we should tell them; I had thought we would wait longer so it didn’t seem so far away to them, but people were starting to ask them if they were excited for the baby, and frankly, I was getting excited about telling Caitlyn, so we decided after the ultrasound to break the news. 
I got a book from Borders that I remembered reading as a child, The Berenstain Bears’ New Baby.  (Did you know that was published in 1974!)  Saturday night, for our night-night book I got that out and daddy got the video camera. 
First we read the story, then we talked about new babies.  I asked them if they would like a new baby (glad the answer was yes), Caitlyn declared “everyone would enjoy it, but there is no bed for it.”  So we talked about the baby could sleep in the cradle Sue used to sleep in (Caitlyn said Sue was boring).  Caitlyn first declared we should get a girl baby, a sister, but then decided we should get a baby and a sister (mama stopped that thought). 
I asked Caitlyn if mommy’s belly was getting bigger, she said yes.  “Why is mommy’s belly growing bigger?” mama said, Caitlyn said, because you have a baby in there.  Then I showed them the ultrasound pictures.  Sue said, “that’s silly.”  And laughed a few times.  We talked about it being a long time til the baby came, not until summer time near Caitlyn’s birthday.  Sue’s reaction was to pat my shirt and say “baby nurse.”  Maybe she will be okay with sharing mama!  (okay, you mom’s out there, let me hold on to the dream til it is shattered by reality)
The girls have been really cute, telling people about the baby.  I had a midwife appointment this week and when I got home Caitlyn said, “where’s the baby?”  I explained the baby was still too little.  Then she said, “Mommy’s belly is getting REALLY big.”
Lovely.  Thanks kid!
It was really fun to tell the girls and has been fun to talk to them about it since.  Now, let’s see how many times I get asked in the next 20 weeks, “Is the baby coming yet?”  “When is the baby coming???”

Baby #3…..drum roll please, it’s a baby!!!

Well, I really, really thought about it this time around, but decided to stick with our plan to not find out gender until our newest family member is born in 20 weeks, give or take a few.

So last Wednesday was our midpoint ultrasound, a bit early at 18 weeks, 2 days.  Due to my midwife changing practices in a new hospital system, this ultrasound was done at a different place than my other two.  I drank all my water, 32 ounces an hour before the ultrasound, drove there–knowing full well it was likely the water had made my bladder too big for the scan to be completed, and it was.  The tech kept saying, “this baby moves SOOOO much.”  To which I replied, “it has 21 weeks to calm itself down!!!”  We’ll see.

True to nature for our babies, this one did not want to show off the ventricales of its heart.  My girls were the same way.  Apparently my kids think hearts should be kept private and hidden!  With Caitlyn we had to go back 13 weeks after our first scan to get it completed after trying the walking around and pushing and prodding to get baby to cooperate.  With Sue, all was accomplished in the one visit, but there was walking and prodding involved.  This one was more stubborn yet.  The scan took twice as long, included me going to the bathroom twice, 2 technicians trying, and 3 walks around the radiology area to see if baby would move into a good position….and FINALLY they got enough views.  I am not kidding you when I say they bruised me.  My muscles still hurt 3 days later.  But they got it all 🙂

It was amazing to see our little one.  Hubby had a better view of the monitor and got to see baby practicing swallowing and moving a lot.  Daddy was suprised I did not feel any of the little ones movements.  I do feel baby several times a day now, but if there is counter pressure from outside, baby isn’t quite strong enough to get it’s point across, but I KNOW that will change soon enough.  Even now, a week later, I feel the kicking and movements stronger than I did the day of our scan.

But I do have 6 pictures to show for our time (and my pain).  It is definitely worth it.  For those who did not see them on facebook, here they are:
both feet
baby left foot
baby head to left in all profiles–>baby sucking it’s thumb

Random Pregnancy Thoughts

So I don’t have a lot to say today, I am really tired.  But that’s okay.  Baking a baby takes a lot of energy.

I sit across from finance people at work.  I am not a finance person.  When we had our ultrasound for the baby yesterday, they said the baby is 10 ounces.  That may not sound like much but it is actually a little above average.  I told one of the finance guys about the 10 ounces today and he did the math, if my baby continued to grow at this rate, it would be 22 lbs when full term!!!!  Boy am I glad the baby is now at the point in the pregnancy where it’s growth slows down.  I don’t think I could deliver a baby the size of my 2 year old!

We got some great pictures of the baby yesterday during the ultrasound.  I had hoped to share them with you tonight, but I realized after I did it, I scanned them in wrong and they are in PDF format, not picture format.  Do you think needing to post them on my blog is a good enough reason to go buy a scanner?

We are going to tell the girls about the coming baby this weekend.  Caitlyn is 3 1/2 and Sue is 2 years, 3 months.  How much do you think they will understand?  We actually never told Caitlyn she was going to be a big sister when Sue was coming.  She was only 6 1/2 months old when we found out Sue was coming and only 15 1/2 months old when her sister arrived. I think Caitlyn will kind of get it, we have been talking about the baby sister one of her Church friends will be “getting” any day.  I think we’ll get to tell Sue over and over.  We will be like the Duggars, but instead of announcing lots of children, we’ll announce one child many times!

Caitlyn just told me I don’t need to worry, she is changing Sue’s diaper.  I of course went in to check on the situation.  Sue was on the changing table, with Caitlyn standing on the edge of the changing table. The old diaper was off, Caitlyn had wipes and was in process…I was allowed to help wipe and then asked to hold Sue’s legs so Caitlyn could get the diaper on. 

Nylons are not comfortable at any time in life, but today I thought, for some crazy reason, that I should wear CONTROL TOP nylons.  Late afternoon comes and I can’t figure out why my clothes felt so tight on my waist when they were loose…it took quite a while to realize it was my nylons.  They got destroyed.  They are now in the garbage can where they belong!

Pregnancy brain, or mommy amnesia, is really messing with me this pregnancy.  I had the date wrong on my ultrasound.  Got that right.  Then I got the time wrong.  And I got the wrong date for our daycare lady’s granddaughter’s 4th birthday.  So embarassing.  But she will be getting a beautiful doll carrier for her birthday (check them out here).  Caitlyn wants to get her a pretend bird feeder, but I am sure she will like the doll carrier MUCH more.

Thank you Lord for letting me have a seat on this crazy, wild pregnancy ride!

(17 weeks 5 days along)

I am a nursing mama….one of those nursing mamas

When you were a little girl did you imagine the kind of mama you would be?  I did.  I have to admit I do not remember all of my musings, but I do a few…  I thought I would be one of those mamas that would take my maternity leave and then be thrilled to leave my kids at daycare while I went to work.  Wrong.  I hate leaving my kids and we are praying about how we can change things…but that is not for this post.

Back to the type of mama I thought I would be.  I remember one time I was dressing my baby doll, I was probably 7 or 8, and I put her on her head to get her pants on.  My mom saw it and told me “you can’t do that with a real baby.”  Well, I have found she was kind of right and kind of wrong.  You don’t put them directly on their head, but they start moving a lot earlier than you expect, so you have to dress them while they put themselves all over, sometimes I think they will end up on their head.

What I did not ever consider was whether I would nurse my babies or give them formula bottles. I was not nursed and only those “natural people” we knew did any of that.  You know what I mean?  The ones who used honey instead of sugar, had healthy tasting snacks.  Those people.

Fast forward many years.  I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at age 15.  You can not control most risk factors for MS, it is most prevelant in women, in climates like Michigan, in Middle Class families, etc.  It is wierd.  But there is at least some research that at one point said those who were breastfed as babies were less likely to develop MS.  So I decided since I could not control many of the other risk factors, that I would “at least” nurse my children.

Fast forward more years.  I went into remission from the MS and my husband and I decided we would like to start a family.  And our first daughter was born.  The first 2 weeks of nursing were hard, really hard.  And then we got into our groove and it was great! 

Caitlyn was exclusively nursed or given pumped milk until 9 months old.  My milk then dropped significantly due to my bonus pregnancy with Sue, so we supplemented.  Man I hated it.  I cried.  I felt so bad that Caitlyn was not getting to nurse as much as I had planned.  But she was happy to nurse part-time until 11 months old, when she weaned on her own.  At the time I thought I had failed her, but later learned it is normal for nurslings to wean when mama is about 18-20 weeks pregnant as the milk changes taste.

So fast forward 20 weeks and 3 days…and Sue arrived.  I really thought since I had just weaned a baby that nursing this time would be like old hat.  But I felt again like all thumbs; like I had never done this before.  It caused some stress.  Okay, I’ll be honest, I felt like freaking out.  Thankfully the lactation consultant and my midwife calmed me down.  They assured me it was normal, that I was not the only learner here…nursing is natural for babies, but there is still a learning curve.

Then the next two weeks were hard again.  I kept saying to my hubby, it gets better right?  And he said over and over, yes, in about two weeks. And you know, it did. 

And this time I pumped milk like a crazy woman.  I wanted to make sure I had plenty and I did.  Sue did not have cows milk regularly until 20 months old.  Now, I have nothing against cows milk, but I had the stash and my Sue is very small for her age.  She thinks gaining weight is optional.   She can out eat her sister and still sits around the 3rd percentile for weight.  Breastmilk is great for just such a child as ounce for ounce it has the most perfect caloric load for a little one.  The milk can be used completely by the body, everything it takes in can be used, rather than taking in fillers that are eliminated.

Now fast forward to 27 months old.  My Sue still loves nursing.  Does she get much nutritionally, no.  It is a comfort thing for her.  She is an incredibly confident, confident child, but a couple times a day she likes her mama minute.  When I first found out baby number 3 was coming, I was incredibly sick for several weeks.  I wanted to wean Sue soooooo bad.  But she would have none of it.  She would cry so pitifully.  The only way to deal with it was to put her in her room, and it just seems wrong to “punish” a child for wanting to nurse, so we made it through mama being sick with the baby and now we are back to nursing some days, other days she gets too busy, and that’s okay. 

I am again just about 18 weeks along.  It will be interesting to see what happens with Sue.  Will she wean like sissy did?  Is she even getting enough milk to realize the change in flavor, I doubt it.  So I don’t know how we will proceed.  I really don’t.  But I know that right now my heart is not ready to force her to wean. I have held a strong belief in child led weaning since I was pregnant with Caitlyn.  And that has not changed…so it is as much a “dilemna” for mama as it is Sue.  And I am very glad there is nothing really forcing me to make any decision at this moment.  So I continue to think about it, weigh my options and pray.  We’ll see.

Please feel free to ask questions about nursing, pumping, etc.  I love to help mamas with nursing, whether it is a challenge they are facing or trying to decide what is best for them.  I love it.

And just so you don’t forget what my cuties look like, here they are:

More pregnancy advice you may not need or want…

Upon announcing pregnancy, every woman opens herself up to advice, whether it is her first pregnancy or her third…I am guessing even when you have been pregnant more than 3 times, but wouldn’t personally know.

I thought today I would add my 2 cents worth to that pile of advice:

Remember pregnancy is a gift.  It is.  One that some days you will treasure, and some days you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy.  Enjoy the days you can, endure the days you can’t enjoy and give yourself a break to sometimes feel crummy and whine.  It’s okay.  It really is.

Drink your fluids the best you can.  This is not my strong suit, but I do try.  With my first pregnancy I was very dilgent with giving up caffeine.  I tried so hard.  I also worried about the dye in my food…then morning sickness hit and it didn’t matter what went in, it all came out, so it became just survival mode.  Once morning sickness improved at 14 weeks I got better about my fluids and eliminating some foods, but not perfect.  I decided I had to pick my battles.  I had to pick what things I was going to obsess over and what things I would just do my best.  I realized there were restrictions I needed to follow, so those, I would really stay attuned to. Beyond that, I could make some good choices, but I had to be able to live with that…  Some of what I worked on was limiting caffeine, over the counter medications and artificial sweeteners.  I would say with my second pregnancy I did not worry at all about caffeine, I was trying to keep up with a infant/toddler and be pregnant, I chose to have caffeine for that.  With this pregnancy, I am limiting my caffeine a little more, but not entirely by any stretch.  I know that will come naturally as the baby gets bigger and its movements get stronger; caffeine makes my babies kick even more, so to spare my internal organs some beating, I cut out more stuff that makes the tenant antsy.  It is a natural choice and honestly feels less like being deprived!

Be flexible in your decisions.  I decided while pregnant with Caitlyn I wanted an unmedicated birth in a birthing center.  Due to complications at the end, I was unable to be in the birthing center and did end up with an epidural.  Now with Sue, all went as planned and it is a good thing I didn’t want meds, she was born 2 hours after getting to the birthing center, there was no time for drugs (and it really was as awesome and empowering as the natural birthing books I had read said it would be!) 

But probably even more important than the birthing portion, be flexible with things after the baby is born.  I didn’t think I would ever be a co-sleeper, but I was part-time.  The girls were in their cradle probably about 40% of the time, the rest of the time, it was just so much easier to have them next to me for those night-time nursings.  With Caitlyn, I had decided I wanted to do cloth diapers.  We lasted about 2 months–and then became Pampers parents.  I still wonder about that and keep kicking around the idea to try again, but hubby is not real interested…we’ll see, but I think Pampers will continue to get our investment at least part time!  I also swore we wouldn’t use binkies.  Yeah, I was wrong.  Caitlyn used hers for 10 months and Sue still hoards them.  They saved my sanity and in my experience, did not harm the nursing relationship in any way whatsoever.  (Sue still nurses too and we are closing in on 27 months old)

All of the above is nice, but honestly I think the thing that matters the most to me, is treasure the time you are pregnant as much as you can.  This is the closest you will be to your child.  You alone feel all the kicks, all the movement.  You can sometimes invite the daddy to feel from the outside, but it is not the same.  You get this close bond.  And for the time being it is yours alone.  From the minute he or she is born, you have to share them.  The daddy expects to hold them, the midwife needs to check them, the nurses need them…and it just continues.  It is your job from the minute they are  born to help them grow into their own person.  And ultimately to strike out on their own.  The thought of them leaving me used to terrify me, now I have come to a place where I want them to grow up and be on their own (not yet of course, and they don’t have to hurry) some day.  And I will relish the job of teaching them so many things, but while I carry each one, that is my time to hold them the closest and that I treasure, and I hope all the pregnant mommies out there can too.

What advice have you gotten with your pregnancies?  What was the best advice you got?  What were some of the ridiculous things?  What was that thing you thought, “if I hear this one more time, I am going to scream!”