Thursday, March 28, 2013

Hello Second Trimester!

Today I officially entered my second trimester with our sweet lil' September Baby. 14 weeks and counting!  I am very grateful to have made it this far and I look forward to the weeks and months to come with this little baby.  I found this picture on and it shows just how far this little baby has come in 14 short weeks...amazing!

Tuesday I had my cerclage surgery and everything went great.  I am in recovery mode now, and thankfully I haven't really had any pain aside from back pain at the site of the anesthesia injection and a headache from the meds.  I've had my wonderful mother-in-law with me since Tuesday, helping out with the boys and stuff around the house.  My sweet mom will be here tomorrow to help me finish out the week.  It's so nice to have family close by!


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Celebrating {10} Years!

Yesterday Aaron and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary!  Our actual anniversary was Friday, but yesterday was our big day to really celebrate it.  We had some good times, and had a much needed break from our sweet, but crazy little dudes.  ;-)  It's always fun to get to hang out alone and find out just how much we really still do have fun together!  Sometimes during the daily hustle and bustle it's hard to just enjoy each other, there are so many other commitments and distractions, so yesterday we had a blast!  And, I must say, for a pregnant lady yesterday couldn't have been any better...we made 7 stops during our day/night together, and 5 of them involved food, haha!  :-)  My belly was happy!

We first visited a sweet little gift shop/painting workshop and as soon as we entered there was a vendor asking if we'd like some samples...Um, yes please!  So I had some chips and salsa, some spicy crackers, some sweet and spicy pecans, a small cup of coffee and some chicken noodle soup!  That lady had no idea that she was dealing with a hungry pregnant momma when she asked!  Haha!  We did end up buying quite a few things from her stall so at least the samples really worked!  We browsed the store and there were so many cute ideas in that shop...we didn't make any purchases aside from the food, but I got a lot of good inspiration!

Then, the samples not quite being enough to satisfy my hungry belly, we headed over to a local specialty taco shop and I had THE BEST pulled pork taco EVER...YUMMY!  It was sooooo good...I think I'm craving another one right now!  It was so nice to be able to sit and talk to each other without having to talk over the boys or keep them from destroying things! :-)

After that we stopped by a little old-timey type candy shop to grab a few treats for the boys.  We found all sorts of unique gum balls, lego looking candy pieces and huge gummy frogs.  We were so excited for them to be able to see all their fun treats...even when we're away from our children we can't help but to think about them!  :-)

Then we went birthday shopping for Johnathan...that was fun!  Usually I am the one who does the b-day shopping so it was nice to have Aaron along with me and we were able to find him some pretty cool stuff!  (Can you believe our baby will be 5 next week?!!)

After birthday shopping we visited the most unique restaurant we've ever been to.  It was called Potager, and was a small, cottage looking restaurant with fresh herbs and lettuces planted all along the outside of it.  Inside an older (but not too old) woman was standing behind a counter cooking up various dishes.  She reminded me of a peasant in those old English movies by the way she was dressed.  She looked very warm and grandmotherly.  The philosophy of the restaurant was provide fresh, grass fed and free range food, to not waste anything and to pay for what you think the meal was worth.  They call the way they cook things/do things as "slow food"...which is pretty much the opposite of fast food.  It was pretty interesting.  The menu changes daily depending on what locally grown foods are available.  I had a broccoli and mushroom soup, "some kind of quiche" as they called was yummy with fresh green beans in it...and I had some fresh french bread.  Aaron had the quiche, some pork, fish and a fresh green salad.  They serve your portion right up at the front counter so you can let them know how much or how little you want.  Then, if you're still hungry you come back for more so you don't waste food you aren't going to actually eat.  They used all fabric linens (no paper napkins) and each table was set with a large glass carafe of water.  They had an assortment of dishes and glasses (no matchy-matchy stuff) and the whole atmosphere was very humble and low-key.  There was a man playing guitar, very quietly in the corner of the restaurant, which really set the mood.  After we finished eating we asked how to pay...this whole pay what you think it's worth concept was completely foreign to us. Aaron was handed a small envelope pouch and was told to just put whatever he thought the meal was worth inside and then to place it anonymously inside of a slotted old can.  They do provide you with some suggested prices, which was about $2.50 per serving of each regular sized item, so it was very reasonable.  We put what we thought our meal was worth (plus a little extra) inside the envelope and dropped it in the slot on our way out.  It was a pretty unique experience, and we can't wait to go back again to see what kind of food will be on the menu next time.

After that we just went by Lowe's to look at some stuff for our new house...oh yeah, I haven't told y'all about that yet!  Well, another post sometime soon!  And then we stopped by the grocery store for some dessert that we were going to eat after we got home and got the boys in bed.

It was a very fun day, and I can't wait for our next date...which I hope will be before our next anniversary, lol!

-----Thanks so much to Nana and Papi for coming over to watch the boys while we enjoyed our time together!  Y'all are awesome, and we appreciate you so much!-----

Today it's back to the regular grind with two little sick boys...poor babies.  Hopefully they feel better soon!


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Vaginal Birth vs. Cesarean Section: My Experience

When you're pregnant inevitably the question of how you're going to birth your baby comes up.  Most people don't mean any harm by offering their advice, most of it based on their own experience, even when they have no clue of your medical history.  I suppose if I was a "normal" pregnant patient then I would probably do the same thing to other mamas.  If I had had all pregnancies that ended smoothly and ended up with healthy children then I would want to share my experience with expecting mothers, hoping they would have the same, beautiful outcome.  But, I didn't.  My first four pregnancies ended in heartache, two little gravestones marking the end of the two lives of our first two sons, and I have just the memory of those two pink lines on a pregnancy test for our two angel babies.

Whenever I was pregnant with Johnathan I really wanted to have a vaginal birth, I mean there really wasn't any other option.  I was excited to attend my birthing sessions and to learn how to focus, to breathe through the pain and to birth my healthy child the way God intended women to bear children.  During the latter part of my pregnancy we learned that having a vaginal birth might not be an option.  I had a massive cyst that could potentially rupture during labor and cause complications for me.  So, we had to decide, To "C" or Not To "C"...I wrote a post about it during my pregnancy with our little monkey.  In the end, for my health's sake, we decided to have a C-section around 38 weeks or so.  However, when I was 37 weeks along I got preeclamptic and ended up having to undergo an emergency Cesarean.  As it happens, when I had my sono before my surgery to see how the baby was laying the cyst had moved and was blocking the birth a Cesarean would have been inevitable anyways.

For Eli's pregnancy we went into it understanding that I would have a repeat C-section, and I was totally fine with it.  I didn't really consider having a VBAC, one, my doctor wasn't comfortable doing that considering my history and two, I had a really positive experience having Johnathan...although, believe me, recovery from a Cesarean is no picnic.  When I did end up delivering Eli at 35 weeks I was so grateful for medical technology, the fact that my Dr. was able to come in a deliver him in mere minutes via C-section saved his (and my) life.  Preeclampsia combined with partial placental abruption is not a recipe for a happy ending in most cases.  I Thank the Lord that He was with me that day, guiding me to seek help for my baby.

After having Eli, however, I did feel a little "less-than" for not being able to have vaginal births with my boys.  At times I felt like I didn't get the full experience of having a baby, like I wasn't quite a "real woman" one really gets proud of a new mom that underwent a c-section like they do a mom that had a "natural" birth...especially if no pain meds were involved.  There isn't that bragging right...oh, I did it all without an epidural and got the baby out in 5 pushes or whatever.  So maybe my pride was getting the better of me, but I did feel like I wasn't quite measuring up to what society seems to consider the proper, healthy way to have a child.

So what did I do...I made up for it in other ways (in my mind at least)....I nursed them both until almost 2 years old, did baby-wearing with Eli and did the cloth diaper know, the things that natural, "with it" moms do.  I didn't want to feel like having a Cesarean made me less of a mom.  I didn't want to adhere to the idea that having a C-section made my children less likely to bond with you so often hear from those touting the benefits of vaginal delivery over Cesarean.  But the root of it all is that I think that I was just a little jealous.  Jealous of the experience of having children that I would never get to have.

Somehow, during my jealousy, I had forgotten the first two experiences I had with giving birth.  And with good reason, they were the two hardest things I have ever had to do in my life.

When I was pregnant with our first son, Gideon, things were going along swimmingly.  My pregnancy was picture perfect, not too much nausea, good weight gain, baby and mommy going along right on track...til 16 weeks.  My water broke during the middle of the night over the weekend.  At the time I didn't know what had happened, but later recalled that same scent (amniotic fluid) that I had smelled when I watched my mom deliver my little sister at home.  A visit on Monday confirmed what I am pretty sure I knew in the back of my mind.  My water had broken...and preterm delivery was imminent.  We opted to try to do everything humanly possible to save the baby and get further along in my pregnancy for the possibility of a healthy delivery.  I went on strict showers, no walking around, no nothing except for laying down and just getting up to potty.  During that time my husband and sweet family (we moved in with my folks) took exceptional care of me.  Getting my food for me, keeping my spirits up and even bathing never know how much you trust someone 'til you let them shave your legs!  It was a hard, but very sweet time.

At around 21 weeks my body went into labor, and sometime mid-morning on December 19th our sweet Gideon went to be with Jesus.  I still remember time last time I felt him kicking inside of me...I had been having contractions throughout the night and by morning I hadn't felt him move in quite a while.  I prayed for Jesus to let me feel his sweet little kick just one more time before he died.  Immediately following my prayer Gideon kicked...and then he went to be with Jesus.  My labor with him and delivery was something I'll never get over.  I didn't want to have any pain meds because I wanted to be able to recall every second I had with my sweet baby.  Even with pitocin to help my labor  progress I didn't fully dilate.  So my doctor had to reach up inside me and pull my baby out.  It was the most gut-wrenching, heart-wrenching pain I have ever felt in my life.  I could literally feel my doctors hand inside of me, ripping out the only life my body had ever held and nurtured.  I screamed, I cried, I blacked was pure torture.  And I felt every bit of it.  A part of my soul was ripped out that day too.  And that was my first experience with vaginal delivery.

With Daniel my pregnancy progressed much the same as Gideon's did.  Everything seemingly fine until about 16 weeks.  At  16.5 weeks I started to leak a little fluid and my body went into labor.  When I arrived at my doctor to check on things I had already dilated to about a 4 and I was sent right over to the hospital.  During my labor the nurses told me to prepare for the baby to be born alive and to die shortly after because it the lungs would be too immature to breathe.  I prayed for the baby to die before he was birthed...I couldn't imagine watching him struggle and not be able to do anything about it.  It seemed like the cruelest thing to have to watch.  Our sweet boy slipped into Heaven before he made an appearance on earth, and I was thankful for that small gift.  My delivery with Daniel wasn't nearly as physically painful.  He was much smaller so it was easier for him to come out.  The heartache was still unbearable, especially since it had just been a mere 9 months since his older brother had passed away.  Two tombstones in one year...and that was my second experience with vaginal delivery.

So I guess you could say I have experienced both ways of delivery with extremely different outcomes for each.  For me my only memories of vaginal births are full of heartache.  While my Cesareans represent two, sweet healthy boys.  Most scars are a reminder of pain, but for me, my C-section scars remind me of my two most cherished gifts.  They are my glory marks, the place where life was brought forth from my body and nothing to be ashamed of.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

3rd {Prenatal} Visit with September Baby

Last Thursday I had my 3rd prenatal visit with my OBGYN. Even though I wish I was able to have a pregnancy free of complications, I do enjoy the extra peeks inside my belly to see what baby is up to!  We were able to see our precious little baby.....

  .....this view is from the top of the head.  You can distinguish the head, left shoulder, arm and sweet little hand.  During tho sono my doctor was pointing out the baby's knuckles and toes and cute little legs.  Precious!  Baby's heart beat continues to be nice and strong as was beating away at 172 beats per minute at my visit.  ***fingers crossed for a GIRL!!!***wink***

Next Monday I'll have a sonogram done by a Perinatal Specialist to thoroughly check on all the baby's parts/organs/measurements.  Then about a week or so after that I'll have my cerclage.  I am so looking forward to getting that done and over with.  After that point I am almost a "normal" pregnant woman, haha, although I'll still have frequent visits and will get some other treatments done to help this pregnancy progress as long as possible.

So anyways, things are going well and we're very happy and excited about our little blessing.  September seems like it's right around the corner, and I'm looking forward to all the fun changes that will happening in our home before baby arrives.

Happy Tuesday!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Craving of the Day:

Chocolate!  So of course I indulged!  I received a yummy chocolate brownie cookie at church today during our monthly ladies Bible/Fellowship meeting.  AND I couldn't help but to sneak a few M&M's that we just happened to have in the pantry after I put the boys to bed...I was good tho, I just grabbed a medium sized handful!  ;-)

So that's what I'm craving today.  *Maybe* I'm having a girl...supposedly if you crave sweets you're having a girl.  However my long-standing craving has been mild cheddar cheese, which is not sweet, so who knows!  :-)

Anyways, that's it for now.  Good night, y'all!


Sunday, March 3, 2013

10 Weeks & 3 Days With Our September Baby

I just took my first belly pic with our sweet little September Baby.  I am 10 weeks and 3 days along so far and I'm *enjoying* (experiencing more like-haha!) the many symptoms of first trimester and smell aversions, morning/day/night sickness, crazy -like out of this world crazy dreams, (maybe mood swings, you'd have to ask Aaron, heehee!), and other symptoms which are too unladylike to discuss! ;-)

So here we are at 10 and a half weeks!

Have a blessed Sunday y'all!