37 weeks, 2 days….

ImageThat’s me at 37 weeks! I can’t believe I am 37 weeks, but I am so ready for this baby. I am ready to not be pregnant, but I am so scared for the labor and the adjustment for my daughter. I have been so worried about her while I am in the hospital, getting the room and house ready, and preparing meals that I haven’t even thought about labor. Yikes! I had a very strange labor with my daughter and I am concerned that it will be similar. The contractions part was EASY. My contractions were very strange and were 5 minutes apart then 30 minutes apart. They thought I wasn’t in active labor until they checked me and realized that I was 5cm and then 6cm an hour later. They were very strange contractions. They ended out breaking my water to try to make my contractions more regular, but that did not do it either. They had to give me pitocin to try to regulate them before I started pushing. You can’t really push with contractions that are so unpredictable. I got an epidural before the pitocin thinking that it was going to make it REALLY intense, but it didn’t. THEN…. I got this horrible stabbing pain in my rectum. It was very scary and clearly the epidural was not doing anything for this pain. My midwife realized that the baby was posterior (face up) instead of her facing my back. This apparently causes bad back labor and the epidural cannot reach this area. It also makes pushing VERY, VERY difficult. It took me nearly 2 hours of pushing and 14 stitches later. I guess I should be blessed that my contractions were so easy, but damn the pushing was awful. I thought I was going to die or pass out the whole time. The amount of energy and strength it took was more than anything I could have imagined. Luckily, posterior babies are not that common and I am hoping for a much easier delivery this time.

Now.. onto my recent symptoms/changes from last week. I am still peeing A LOT. I didn’t think it was possible to pee more, but it is. Bowels are still inconsistent and frequent. Heartburn has subsided once again. Appetite is growing again, but when I do eat I get full very fast. Sleeps is awful. I am still waking up around 5am. The achy, dull pains in my pelvis and cervix are much more apparent. Braxton Hicks contractions are much more frequent and strong. Every time my bladder is full or just emptied I get very strong contractions. Baby’s Movements have decreased slightly. Weight has decreased over the last week which is common during late pregnancy. All of these things are telling me that my body is getting ready. All great things….

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36 weeks, 5 days— Early labor signs?

Wooohooo… I am in the home stretch now. I decided that I am going to blog frequently over the next several weeks so I can keep track of my symptoms. Last time friends/other pregnant women asked what my symptoms were leading up to labor and it was hard to determine or I forgot. This time I figure if I blog about it and then go into labor days later I will be able to tell everyone specifically what my early labor signs were.. Make sense? I feel like I am rambling, but oh well. FYI: This will be major TMI…

In the last week this is what I have experienced…

  1. Peeing: I am getting up now 3-4x consistently every night to pee. I also find that I am emptying my bladder A LOT more during the day but it is just little dribbles at a time. At night usually after I put E to bed I notice that I have to get up every 15-20 minutes to go. My stomach will get really crampy before and after urinating as well.
  2. Bowels:They are much more inconsistent over the last week. I used to be VERY regular and now I am having much more frequent, small BM’s. Also… Lots of gas…
  3. Heartburn: My heartburn is back. It went away a few weeks ago and has now suddenly returned. I get it no matter what I eat.
  4. Appetite: My appetite has slowed down a lot. I used to be hungry 24/7. Now I am still hungry, but when I eat I find that I have less and less room and get full quickly.
  5. Nesting: I keep feeling the need to make lists and prepare for baby. I have an overwhelming urge to stock up on grocery, freeze meals, finish the baby’s room and CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN!
  6. Sleep: I am having a really hard time staying asleep at night. I wake up to pee for the 3rd or 4th time around 5 or 6am and usually cannot fall back asleep. I am WIDE awake.
  7. Swelling: Most people are probably thinking feet or legs… Nope. You may remember me talking about the swelling down south in previous posts. Well…. This has now become 10x more swollen. The baby must be very, very low causes a lot of pressure.
  8. Aches & Pains: My lower back is very achy. My pelvis feels sore and even my cervix has a dull ache.
  9. Temper/Patience: I have absolutely none. Everything frustrates me. Everything is becoming more and more difficult including bathing and dressing E (who fights me the whole time). My husband doesn’t close the cereal box and I literally want to punch him.
  10. Baby’s Movements: His movements have become a little bit less frequent, but when he does move I feel like I have a full grown adult inside me rolling around. He is definitely getting strong.

I hope this helps some of you who may be wondering what are some late pregnancy symptoms.

Ways to save money

Pregnancy and having children can certainly cause a strain on bank accounts and our wallets. Whether you decide not to return to work or now have the cost of childcare you are likely a little stressed about where money is going to come from.  I am going to share a few of my quick tips for cutting back monthly costs.

  • Start couponing: Some of you may think that it is tedious or annoying, but I save anywhere between $10-$15 a week on items that I normally buy. There are great websites out there that teach you how to coupon and show you what deals are at which stores. My favorite is Hip2save.
  • If you plan on using formula at all sign up on the Similac/Enfamil/Gerber websites. They will send you great high value coupons to use on formula.
  • Even better… breastfeed. This will save you roughly $2,000. Need a breast pump? Check with your insurance company plan. Many plans will pay for the cost of a breast pump.
  • Diapers: Amazon Mom or an Amazon Prime account is an amazing deal. I buy almost all of my diapers and wipes through here and they are shipped directly to my door. You can find the deals on deal websites like Hip2save.com and Jungledealsandsteals.com. You can also find great deals on these websites on other items like household cleaning supplies, toilet paper, paper towels, dog food, etc. The price of a prime membership is $79 a year, but it is well worth the cost. You get free 2-day shipping and special discounts.
  • Get rid of your home phone. If you are paying for a home phone, chances are you rarely use it. Call your cable/satellite company and see if you can get a discount for removing this service. Also, ask if there are any current promotions that you can take advantage of. I did this recently and saved $15 a month.
  • Check out your cell phone plan. Look at what you are paying for and see if you need a package that large. I checked out our data usage and realized that I was paying for 2 more GB than we needed! I switched the plan and saved $20 a month here as well.
  • Auto and home insurance: Call the company and ask about new discounts. I received several discounts worth 20% off my total bill just for making an online account and for signing up for an auto-payment. It saves me time and money. Win-Win.
  • Student Loans: Talk to your lender and see if there are discounts available for paying on time or doing an auto-payment. Apparently, my husband and I both qualified for a rate discount and rebate because we had never made a late payment. Then we signed up for auto-payment and saved .25%-.50% on the loan rates. This lowered the monthly payments. You have to ask for these rebates and discounts though. It will not happen automatically.
  • Tax Returns: I know, I know… No fun… But someone has to say it. We all want to go out and spend money and buy a new tv, new outfit, etc…, but if you use this money to pay off loans you will be much better off. You can pay off individual student loans, car loans, credit card debt, etc. This will save you interest and a monthly payment. Don’t have any debt? (Congrats if this is true!!) Stash it away for savings if you need some extra cash for an emergency. You would be surprised how many people don’t have enough savings to sustain them for a few months in the event of a job loss.

These are all really big things that are simple and save you a lot almost immediately. When I realized I was saving several hundred dollars each month just by doing these simple tasks I felt stupid! It was like I was throwing money away. Now I take the money I save and put it in an account for my daughter. I hope someone finds this helpful.

26 days and counting…

I am officially 26 days away… and trust me I am counting every second. I had my 36 week appointment this morning. I am measuring 35cm at 36 weeks which is much better than the 30cm I was measuring at 34 weeks. I think baby finally had a little growth spurt and he was just in a different position today. They did a sono because it appeared that he had maybe flipped and thank God he did not. He is still head down and at this point it likely that he will stay that way. I am so excited to meet my little man, but I am beginning to get very nervous about having 2 babies!

Here is my update.

Symptoms: Heartburn has returned and it is awful. I thought because he had dropped down so low that it was gone forever. Unfortunately, I think the growth spurt has caused him to push on my stomach again. I had a bad episode with morning sickness again last week and I am hoping to have some relief again. My pelvis and cervix are really sore. I am starting to cramp a lot more and the back pain is worse than before.

Weight Gain: I am at about 19lbs, so it looks like I will be right around the 25lb mark when I deliver.

Clothes: I am almost entirely out of regular pants with my bellaband. But I am pretty happy that I was able to wear them as long as I did. I have less than 4 weeks and I only have about 4 maternity work pants. I am definitely not buying anymore so I’m going to have to make this work.

My daughter: My daughter is becoming closer and closer to potty training. She goes 2-3 times a day on the potty and wakes up everyday dry from her naps. This is a huge success, but I am worried that she will go backwards once the baby comes. Oh well… All I can do is continue to give her praise and encouragement.

Left to do:

Finishing packing hospital bag–need to pack camera, cell phone charger, etc. Mostly things I can’t pack until the last minute.

Finish baby’s room– We have one more picture to hang and I need to buy a changing pad cover since we still use E’s in her room.

Carseat installed

Baby Clothes washed

Stock up on groceries

Mani/Pedi

Keep up with housework/cleaning– Want to keep up with this stuff as much as possible so when the baby does arrive I am not returning to a messy house.

Buy Big Sister Gift for my daughter

The Terrible Two’s Begin…

Oh… yea…I am pleased to announce that my 20 month old daughter has started the terrible two’s within the last month or two. What perfect timing when I have another baby due in 4 weeks. I am really trying to get a handle on them before the baby comes. My daughter has always been ahead with milestones so I should have guessed that she would start them early. She is a determined, strong-willed, smart, independent little girl. I love these things about her because it is what makes her just like me, but damn… It also makes her tantrums not so fun. Everything we do whether its getting dressed, pouring cereal, filling up her sippy cup, giving her a bath.. All I hear is “mommy I do.” Which is great because she wants to be independent, but if I am in a hurry or it happens to be something that she cannot do on her own (pouring milk in her sippy) she has a complete melt down. I feel bad telling her “No” for these types of things because it is not like she is doing something wrong. I try to calmly explain to her that Mommy has to help her with certain things. This usually results in her screaming “No.” At this point, I walk away and let her cry. She sometimes will lay face down and periodically look up to see if I am paying attention. Then within about 2-3 minutes she has calmed down. I know this doesn’t seem like a big deal, but I am just fearing that these will only get worse. They seem to be getting more frequent. I guess I should count my blessings that she is able to calm herself down because I have heard that some children go on forever and need reassured after a few minutes because they cannot soothe themselves. I am also worried that a new baby will only make these matters worse. Any advice?

What to pack in a hospital bag

Some of you may be wondering what all you need to pack in your hospital bag. Trust me when I tell you that there are so many items that I never touched in my bag when I had my daughter. There are also items that I wish I would have packed. Here is my list for my 2nd baby:

  • Hospital admissions paperwork (pre-registration forms) Many hospitals offer these forms via their website or from your doctor’s office. I highly recommend having them filled out before you go. The last thing you want to do is fill out tons of paperwork right when you get to the hospital when you are trying to breathe in between contractions.
  • Insurance cards
  • Cell phone and charger– So many of my friends forgot their charger. I’m sure you will want to send photos of your baby to your family and friends.
  • Camera– Make sure the batteries are charged up before you go
  • Snacks– I cannot stress this enough. Pack granola bars, pretzels, etc. Most hospital food is less than desirable and the portions are small. You won’t be able to eat while in labor, but your partner may get hungry. Plus, you will want them for the hospital stay afterward. You get 3 meals a day, but if you are nursing you will be starving!
  • Comfortable clothes/nightgowns– Make sure you wear dark colors because they will get ruined. Do not buy anything nice or expensive. You will bleed A LOT and it will leak.
  • Robe– I also packed a robe to be a little more covered when it was drafty and also to cover up when certain visitors came.
  • Toiletries– Yes they will provide you with these items, but nothing is worse than the cheap brands they give you. Trust me the first shower you take after delivery will be the best shower of your life. You will be covered in blood, sweat &  tears (literally) and being able to use your own toiletries and soap will be comforting. The sandpapery chemical smelling soap that they provide will not be soothing. (shampoo, conditioner, body wash, razor, toothbrush, toothpaste, lotion, a little make up) Yes I put makeup here. I felt like I needed a little cover up for the bags under my eyes, plus there are lots of photos being taken. Don’t forget contact cases/glasses if you wear them!
  • Warm fuzzy socks, maternity/nursing bras–I love those fuzzy socks and they just make you feel cozy while you are in the hospital. Make sure you bring nursing bras if you are planning on breastfeeding. It is hard enough learning how to breastfeed without trying to fumble with a regular bra.
  • Hair ties, brush, clips– Nothing is more annoying than sweaty hair in your face when you are in labor.
  • Your own towel and wash cloth. Trust me on this. The towels are AWFUL. Sandpaper
  • Clothes for you to wear home. You may need maternity clothes still or just bring yoga pants. No need to get dressed up just for the drive from the hospital to your house.
  • Baby’s going home outfit The same goes for baby. So many first time moms put their babies in these elaborate outfits with hats, bows, shoes, etc. Its ridiculous. You are taking your baby from the hospital to your house. Bring a sleeper for them to wear. If it is still cold out don’t forget hat, blankets, etc.
  • Magazines or an iPad– I really didn’t have time to look at either of these, but if you think you won’t get a lot of visitors then maybe you will want to bring something.
  • Underwear to go home in (maybe). They provide these mesh underwear that you throw away. I recommend just wearing these while you are bleeding heavily the first few days. I even took a few home because you don’t want to ruin any of your underwear.
  • Carseat, carseat cover (if its cold)
  • Overnight items for your partner or spouse
  • Gifts for old siblings! I plan on bringing some coloring books/crayons and maybe a new book. This will not only give her something to do while she is visiting, but also make her feel special.

Things NOT to bring:

  • Nice clothes for you or the baby
  • Breast pump
  • Curling iron, flatiron, etc. (A little make up, hair dryer maybe to make yourself presentable, but remember you just gave birth you aren’t entering a beauty pageant)
  • Diapers, wipes, comb, shampoo etc for the baby. The hospital will provide you will all of these things.
  • Valuables (wedding ring, jewelry, etc) Just leave it at home. You have too much to keep track of plus with the fluid and swelling from the labor you might get your rings stuck on your fingers

Things you should never say to a pregnant woman

Over the last few years I have heard so many different things that people have said to pregnant women whether it was to me directly with this pregnancy or my first one or things people have said to my friends. Feel free to share your story with me!

  • “Can I touch your belly?” — ummm No.. The answer is always no. Unless I invite you to invade my personal space and touch my belly.. NO..
  • “I can’t picture you have a girl.”– WTF does that mean?
  • “Did you test for genetic problems or Downs Syndrome?”— A. None of your business. B. Way to put more worries and fears into a pregnant woman’s mind
  • “Wow! You have your hands full, just wait until that one comes (pointing to my belly).” — This was said to me while my one year old daughter was crying in the grocery store. I replied with, “Thanks, I wouldn’t have it any other way!”
  • “Are you worried about losing the baby weight?” — No, I’m worried about having a healthy child.
  • “Are you getting drugs during labor? I would never do that!” (said to me by someone who has never had children)– Thanks for your input, but I don’t care.
  • “When I had my child I ripped all the way to my ass.”–Umm WOW TMI and thanks for that image
  • “Oh wow you still get sick at 35 weeks. That sucks. I never felt nauseous or threw up.”—Fuck you
  • “Did you really plan to have another one that soon?” — They are going to be 21 months apart. I really don’t think that is that outrageous.
  • “WOW! You look really pregnant!”– Uhh yea dipshit thats what happens
  • “Wow! You didn’t waste any time! Are you sure you want a child right now?”– Said to me because my husband and I got pregnant on our honeymoon with our daughter. I got this at least 25 times during pregnancy and then it was followed up by… “Are you sure it didn’t happen before you were married?” Like WTF is wrong with people. A. Yes I’m sure b/c we stopped using birth control on our honeymoon. B. I would never change how our life turned out. I was told I had PCOS and would have a hard time getting pregnant. I felt beyond blessed to get pregnant when I did.
  • “You don’t look pregnant yet. You just look like you drink a lot of beer.” — No words for this
  • “How much weight have you gained?” —Never.. never ask a woman this

Please share your outrageous comments with me!