Thursday, December 27, 2012

Nora's 2012 Christmas Letter

Momma always says she’s tired, and Daddy’s busy finishing school, so they’re making me, Nora, at 15 months, write the Christmas letter this year. I’ve never done this before, but Momma says I just tell you what we did this year (just in case you’re not in the Facebook loop, and aren’t caught up on every little thing that happens around here). 

Well, to the important stuff, the stuff about me. In January, Daddy and Grandpa Jack were trying to teach me how to crawl, and when I was 6 months in February, I could do it all by myself. I liked finding new things that Momma wasn’t always thrilled about me finding. (I think I still do that, because they keep putting things up higher & higher.) It was around that time too that they started letting me eat real food! Squash, avocados, carrots, applesauce… I love it all! (Now that I’ve got teeth, they don’t mash it up for me, and I get to feed it to myself or throw it on the floor – that’s usually followed by a “no, no” though.)

For my 8-month birthday, Momma took me swimming for the first time, and I loved it! It’s just like bath time, but the tub is way bigger, and Daddy didn’t keep trying to scrub me down. A couple weeks later, Momma and Daddy left me with Grandma & Grandpa overnight while they went to Daddy’s cousin’s wedding. It was great! Momma says that Grandma always spoils me… if that means “lets me have lots of fun and give me lots of treats,” then yes, yes she does!

On May 19th, we went to a cemetery and released balloons. It was fun to see them fly away. Momma & Daddy said we were sending notes to my big sister for her birthday. She’s the one in the pictures around the house. I like to point at the pictures and say, “bebe,” then Momma tells me, “baby Danni.” (Doesn’t she know I’m still learning to talk? “Bebe” is the best she’s getting out of me!)

In June, when I was 10 months old, Momma & Daddy were babysitting my baby cousin, Reese, and I was jealous that they were giving her all this attention, and not me. I got their attention alright though. I walked straight across the living room! I probably could have done it a while ago (I’d take a step or two, here and there), but, man am I glad I saved that trick until that day! I got their attention back real quick!

Sometime in July that I started noticing Momma’s tummy getting bigger, I thought she was just eating too much, but then she started pointing at her tummy and saying “baby.” I can’t figure out why she would eat a baby, they’re so much fun to sit on the floor next to and watch. (Sometimes I like to poke their eyes and say, “Aye!” Then Momma always grabs my hand and tells me to be gentle, I do it to myself all the time though, and it doesn’t hurt, so I don’t know what she’s so concerned about.) One day, Momma showed me her tummy and asked me to kiss the baby. I felt bad for the poor baby, so I did. I even gave him a hug. Daddy says I get to meet the baby shortly after Christmas.

Oh! Let me tell you about all the places I went! Momma & Grandma took me to Oregon again to play with my cousin, Madison. I liked checking out Great-Grandpa Joe’s wheelchair too. I just can’t get over how cool that thing is! Momma & Daddy took me to Duluth in August, after my 1st birthday. I fell off the hotel bed, and hurt my arm. But, I had a lot of fun playing with the pebbles by this really big lake. Then, they took me up to Daddy’s uncle’s cabin. Boy, was it cool walking around in the woods, watching the big guys cut up wood, and play with my cousins. We also went up to the farm to get pumpkins and visit Momma’s Godmother. I loved seeing the cows (they say, “moo,” you know), and the kitties.

In September, Momma started leaving me with Daddy in the evening sometimes. She said she was going to work, something about tutoring kids at Mathnasium. I don’t know what that means, but I don’t like it when she leaves, and I don’t get to go with her. Daddy, too, has been leaving the house a lot lately dressed up really nice. Momma always tells him, “Good luck with your interview.” I don’t know what that is either, but I like giving him kisses when he leaves.

Nora, Daddy, Momma, “Bebe” Danni, and the “bebe” that Momma ate

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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Ender, the Little Bugger

Alright, so if you've read the book, you'll find the title of this post amusing. Though, I don't mean that Ender is an alien trying to take over planet Earth. Although, maybe that's how the world ends on December 21, 2012...

So, I kind of have a lot to post about. With both girls, I was so much better about staying on top of posts. Although, I will admit, I never actually finished the post about Danni's last appointment. I think I wrote a sentence or two, and afterwards, I didn't want to go back and write about it.

To start, I had an appointment last week. At this point, I don't remember a lot of the details, but I do remember that Dr. Mahan said he was breech, and we were going to schedule the c-section for December 26th. Monday, I had an ultrasound (oh, boy, was that a long appointment!), and yesterday, I had another appointment with Dr. Mahan.

Adam and Nora came with to the ultrasound, and as we were sitting in the lobby, I asked Adam if I had remembered to ask to be scheduled for Krista's room, when Jill, a new ultrasound tech with Allina, called my name. She said that she was going to start the ultrasound, and Krista would come in at the end. Well, when she first scanned, Ender was breech. She went around checking over the usual things they check at a level 2 and a growth ultrasound (though, she only needed to check the growth). She got two pictures of his foot for us while she was scanning, and found that the placenta hasn't really moved. :( She also found that his heart rate was 128 bpm.

Eventually, Krista came in, and Jill asked her a few questions about how to get good pictures of certain parts (being as he was breech, it made some things hard to see). She had problems with parts of his heart (everything is fine, she just couldn't see, if I remember correctly, the RVOT very well, but Krista found it just fine), and with his diaphram. Not that I know much about how to hold the probe to get the pictures they want, but I did know that what she was looking at was not a good picture of it. She was angled wrong, I guess. I just knew it didn't look right, since I saw Danni's diaphram so many times when they would do BPP and check for practice breathing. Krista gave her some pointers though (like looking for the bright white circle of his ribs) to make sure she was at the correct angle.

His big foot up by his head
Before we wiped the jelly off my belly, Krista pulled out the 3D probe, and told Jill she had promised to get some 3D's at this ultrasound, since she couldn't at the last one. At this point, Ender had decided to move to a transverse position facing downward. I'm not sure it made the 3D's any easier to capture though, since he had his hand in front of his face most of the time.

A little distorted since she had to crop out his arm.
Cuddled in, sleeping on his arm.
Once Krista had gotten a couple pictures for us, she told us Dr. Ledella, Dr. Ledella!, would be in to chat with us. I saw her through most of my pregnancy with Danielle - and love her, but only once with Nora, since she was out on medical leave (and I was being seen at Comprehensive for my appointments - just ultrasounds at Perinatal). I guess she had gotten tied up, and was running a little behind (Krista came in twice to let us know her status). But she eventually came in, and scanned again to see that the placenta still had about 3 cm to go, which meant it wasn't going anywhere in time for delivery, and to find that Ender, the little bugger, had now moved to a head down position. Holy buckets kids, do you ever sit still?!

I think one reason I love Dr. Ledella is that she is a woman of faith. While we were chatting, she commented about how Ender was a blessing from God. He is, and it's nice to hear a doctor say it. She talked the same way with Danielle, and how the small victories each week at her appointments were God-given.

Alright, onto yesterday, our appointment with Dr. Mahan. She found his heart rate to be about 160 bpm, and that he was in a head down position still - or probably again... I'm sure he had done several back flips between the ultrasound and the appointment the next day. We talked to her about the possibility of moving the c-section to December XX instead of the 26th, since that would be exactly 37 weeks according to the due date that they have (mine is a little off from theirs, though I tend to believe mine). So we did. I also asked her about his position again (I did at the last appointment too), and how they would have to slice me open. (With a bikini cut, you can VBAC, but if they make a "classical" cut, then you can't.) She said the only way that she would have to make a classical cut is if he is transverse and face up, since there would be nothing for her to grab to pull him out. I told her how he was doing acrobatics at the ultrasound, and she said that they might end up having to scan me before hand to make sure of his position. I'm kind of afraid that he won't be in the right position, and I won't be able to VBAC again. (Prayers for optimal positioning would be nice!)

How far along?: 34 weeks 3 days
Total weight gain/loss: About 22 pounds. I think that's the most I've gained with any of the kids, but I also started at a much lower weight this time, since I was still nursing Nora.
The Bump: Large & in charge. Though, I feel like when I wear my extra big winter jacket zipped up that people might not be able to tell.
32 weeks 4 days
32 weeks 4 days

What I’m excited about/looking forward to: The big day when we meet baby *blank.* (Yep, I think we have a name picked out other than Ender! And, nope, we're not sharing)
Maternity Clothes: I don't even feel like this should be a question anymore...
Symptoms: Just 3rd trimester uncomfortable-ness. Back pain, sleeping, rib kicks...
Belly Button in or out?: Out... I wonder how long it will take to go back in.
Food Cravings/Aversions: Still milk/ dairy. I've been making warm milk with flavored creamers lately. Once in a while hot chocolate, but mostly warm milk.
What I miss: Being able to play with Nora like I used to. I've found other ways to make her giggle & laugh, but still.
Milestones: Supposedly at this point baby is supposed to be "head down and preparing for birth." Not that Ender is, but his lanugo hair is disappearing.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Ender's All Over the Place, and So Are We

I had two appointments this week. One was my regular OB appointment, the other was an extra ultrasound I decided to get for free from Argosy University to see if the placenta has moved at all.

Tuesday was my OB appointment. Adam stayed home with a napping Nora and got ready for one of his interviews, so it was just me. I met the new RN, Justine Politz. I really liked her. I guess she works at Woodwinds also, and used to work at Abbott, but said that the "abnormal was becoming normal," and she didn't like that. It's kind of funny, because even though this is "normal baby #2" for me, the normal routine of appointments still seems somewhat strange to me, as the abnormal with Danni was my normal. (Maybe that's another reason I wanted another ultrasound... that's my "normal.") She measured my tummy, and felt my tummy to find that the baby was in a transverse position (laying across my tummy instead of in a head-down position). She said that was actually good, since I have placenta previa. Then he's not putting as much pressure on the placenta and my cervix. Then she pulled out the doppler, and found is heart rate to be in the 140's again. She mentioned that at my next appointment they would do the Group B Strep culture, but I asked if that was necessary if I am having a scheduled c-section, and I never had one done with Danielle. She said that since she's new there, she would ask Dr. Mahan. So as she walked me out, we stopped and asked. Dr. Mahan said they still do it, just in case my water breaks or something.

Then, on Thursday, we had our free ultrasound at Argosy University. When you sign up for one you have to have already had your 20-week anatomy scan, and you have to bring proof (a picture from it works fine). So we grabbed our ultrasound pictures and off we went! One of the students (whose name was also Sarah) came down to get us, just like if you were going into a clinic. (At the end, we were asked to fill out a survey about how professional they were, and she did great!) When we got up there, I laid down on their table, and she asked if we knew what we were having. We told them we were having a boy, but wanted to know if my placenta had moved at all. She looked right away, and said it was still covering my cervix. I asked her if she could measure to see how far it would have to move yet, but she said her professor, Heidi, would have to do that at the end. Sarah had about 15 minutes to take some anatomy pictures that she needed off her list. She found that he was breech that day... moving all of the place, I guess! She did ended up getting a really great picture of his little boy parts! Since Krista couldn't get him to sit still long enough to get a good picture, I was kind of excited to see that he is indeed a boy! Then two other students had their turn to scan and take pictures off of their lists as well. They gave us a CD with all of the pictures, but they are mostly boring pictures of arm or leg bones, the spine, or a couple of the heart (alright, so I think the heart ones are still pretty neat, with all 4 little chambers!). After each student had their turn, Heidi, the professor had her turn to take some fun pictures. She took some profile pictures and checked how far the placenta would have to move. She said about 3 cm. :( That means in ten weeks, it has moved about 1 cm, and now has another 10 weeks to move 3cm... I don't think that's going to happen anymore, so it looks like I'll be sliced and diced again.

Ender's profile
Looking right at us
He's gonna be chubby! :)
Must be flexible!
He's got hair, just like his sisters did!

How far along?: 31 weeks 2 days
Total weight gain/loss: About 19 pounds... 1 1/2 pounds of which are just in the last day... I think I might need to check my scale again.
The Bump: Well, there's definitely no denying that I'm pregnant... It's funny that it changes shape from day to day (or sometimes hour to hour), because he still isn't sure if he's more comfortable transverse, breech, or head down.
What I’m excited about/looking forward to: I think at this point, just getting to see Nora meet him and interact with the "bebe." She's kind of jealous when Adam or I hold another baby, but if someone else is, or if the baby is laying on the floor, she very fascinated by them.
Maternity Clothes: Yep. I'm so glad I've had 2 wonderful people lend me some of their maternity clothes. I feel way more fashionable this time around than with either of the girls! (Thanks, Jacque & Theresa!)
Symptoms: Not sleeping through the night, and sciatic nerve pain... that's about it, I guess.
Belly Button in or out?: Out. With both girls I remember people telling me how back in the day when they were pregnant women would put band-aides over their belly buttons so people wouldn't see them sticking out. No one has said that this time around.
Food Cravings/Aversions: Milk. Hot chocolate sometimes, but the past few days if my tummy's not happy, I drink some warm milk with vanilla & nutmeg (like my mom would make us when we were kids), and my tummy is happy again.
What I miss: The hope of having another VBAC.
Milestones: He's about 11.4 inches long and weights about 4 pounds at this point, and gaining weight more rapidly... maybe that's why I gain 1 1/2 pounds in a day!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Getting Closer...

I had another appointment almost a week and a half ago (Oct. 23rd), and am now starting appointments every other week. (That means we're getting closer! :) ) Since it was my 28-week visit, I got to drink the lovely orange-flavored Glucola before going in. I had eaten lunch right before and had an apple (higher in sugar than the rest of my meal), and after I drank the stuff I started feeling slightly dizzy/ light headed, so I was kind of worried that I wouldn't pass the glucose test. But, at the same time I was fine with the first two, so I wasn't super concerned.

We waited in the waiting room for a little bit, and then were called back to the lab. I couldn't remember if it was a blood draw or a finger prick, so I asked the nurse (in case it was a blood draw, I needed to lay down). She said she already checked my chart, and that I'm Rh+, so it was just a prick. I asked why Rh- people had to have a blood draw instead, and another nurse in the lab told me that since they have to check for antigens (or maybe antibodies... I'm not even sure what the difference is), they just do it all at once, so that you can get the RhoGAM shot. While she nurse was getting ready to prick my finger, Adam & Nora stood in the doorway, watching and waiting for me. Nora must have remembered a similar setting from her one-year check-up, because any time Adam got close to the doorway, she started fussing. So they ended up walking up and down the hallway, with Nora peering in to check on Momma. I kept smiling at her, hoping that it was reassuring her that everything was okay, and leaving a better impression on her. Then maybe next time she goes in it won't be as scary for her. I waited for my results, and they came back fine (well below the allowed amount), and I guess my hemoglobin was also fine.

On the way back to our room, she asked if I wanted a flu shot while I was there, so she came back with that as well. Nora, again was a little leery when she saw what was coming at Momma, but didn't fuss this time, just clung to Daddy. Then we waited for Dr. Tumaneng.

We had a long list of questions for her, many concerning some preterm labor signs I have been having, and what bed rest should all entail for me. It seemed more like pelvic rest, with taking it easy (especially when I'm starting to feel more contractions or back pain), but she said I could still walk around the mall for an hour or two, as long as I wasn't there the whole day. With preterm labor/ deliver on our mind, we also wanted to know where we would end up going at this point, since we knew Woodwinds can't handle all premies. I was hoping St. John's, as that would probably be my second choice, and it was. Woodwinds can handle 34 weeks gestation and beyond, so once we hit December we'll be able to go there no matter what.

Since our experience with a c-section at Abbot left much to be desired, I wanted to know what to expect at Woodwinds for a c-section, so I had her kind of walk me through it. It turns out usually (unless the rooms are all full) you're only in two rooms: your room, and the OR. They do all the surgery prep in the same room that you will be recovering in, and staying in until you leave. We liked the sound of that, since at Abbott we were in 4 different rooms (plus Danni's room, of course, but that was kind of a special circumstance).

Once we got through all our questions, Dr. Tumaneng pulled out the doppler. I will miss how great she is with kids at appointments when she leaves. When she was using the doppler, she held it out for Nora to see and touch while she used the wand to find her little brother's heartbeat (it was about 148 bpm). Nora was thought this new "toy" was pretty interesting, and touched it and listened.

This was my last appointment with Dr. Tumaneng, and on the way out I scheduled my next couple appointments with the other providers. I'm trying to meet with each one again (and meet the new one, Justine) before we schedule the c-section.

How far along?: 29 weeks 6 days
Total weight gain/loss: About 17 pounds.
The Bump: I'm starting to feel big, especially since I'm doing the pregnant waddle more often now.
27 weeks 1 day
What I’m excited about/looking forward to: I scheduled an ultrasound for this coming Thursday at Argosy University to hopefully see if the placenta has moved. I'm not sure if they'll look or tell me, since it's considered a "fun" ultrasound, but I'm hoping they will. (And I'm hoping it has moved!)
Maternity Clothes: Oh yeah! Pants all the time, shirts most of the time. I can still wear a few of my non-maternity clothes, but it's getting to be fewer and fewer. (The day before Danni was born, I was wearing a non-maternity tank, so I'm sure this answer will be pretty much the same from here on out.)
Symptoms: Well, the whole time I've been complaining about back pain, and it seems to be less -or, dare I say, gone. I know lower back pain often accompanies placenta previa, so I'm hoping this is a sign that its gone! I still have worse sciatic nerve pain than I did with either of the girls (with them it actually got better!).
Belly Button in or out?: Totally out. There's no going back!
Food Cravings/Aversions: I was on Pinterest and found a yummy looking pumpkin bread with a cream cheese filling that I was craving. I found a similar pumpkin bar recipe that I had the ingredients for and made it, but then found I really wasn't craving it all that much. (They're still really good though!)
What I miss: Sleep. I wake up most nights and can't fall back asleep. Though it's helped now that I have Adam getting up with Nora if she wakes up in the middle of the night.
Milestones: At this point he has rhythmic breathing (but his lungs aren't fully developed), his bones are fully developed, and his eyes respond to light. He's getting ready to come out and meet the world! :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Bed Rest? What's that?

When I was pregnant with Danielle, I never went to an appointment alone. With Eleanor, I went to one appointment alone (right after Adam's mom died, and they were planning the funeral). Two weeks ago, I went to my first appointment with Ender alone. It was with Aimee, the nurse practitioner, and all went well. She measured me for the first time (right on track), and checked his heart rate (150-155 bpm). I didn't really have any questions for her, but she reminded me that at my last appointment Dr. Tumaneng put me on modified bed rest since I have placenta previa. I asked her what that all entailed, since I had forgotten I was on it, and since I really didn't have a good explanation of what I could and could not do. She said she wasn't the best person to ask, so I ended up Googling it when I got home. Pretty much everything I had been doing, I shouldn't have been doing. I started a new job, and you're not supposed to be working, let alone driving. While I've still been driving and working (where I think I actually get to sit more than I do at home!), I've tried to lay off the housework a bit. It's tough though, because I like a clean house, I like checking things off my to-do list, I like making dinner for my family... However, it's starting to get a lot tougher to do many of these things. While its tough to do when you're pregnant often anyways, I'm finding that if I do my "normal" stuff, I get super sore, and have more contractions. If I take it easy and don't do much, I have maybe one or two, and sometimes none at all. I know it's probably best for the baby at this point, but I think if I get put on strict bed rest, I will go mad! I can't sit still that long!

How far along?: 26 weeks 2 days
Total weight gain/loss: About 12 pounds.
The Bump: I still don't feel super big, and I was telling Adam that the other day. I was telling him that I wonder if it's because out of the 3 1/2 years we've been married, I've been pregnant for almost 2 of those years.
What I’m excited about/looking forward to: Oh golly, I don't know... maybe seeing Nora interact with her little brother when he arrives.
Maternity Clothes: Pants, yes. Tops, mostly (my tummy is starting to show out the bottom of most of the ones that aren't).
Symptoms: Back pain, back pain, back pain... oh, and did I mention, back pain.
Belly Button in or out?: The other day I was laying on my back and it went in a little, but it's still totally out.
Food Cravings/Aversions: With Danni, I'd say it was apples. With Nora, I don't think I really had one. With this one, I'm thinking it's chocolate & sweets, but mostly chocolate.
What I miss: Since I'm supposed to be on modified bed rest, I miss being able to do my normal things. I don't like that making dinner is sometimes such a chore and effort. It drives me nuts that I have stuff I want to get done, but I'm afraid of what I'll feel like afterwards (see "Symptoms" above).
Milestones: Well, his eyes open and he can cry this week. And I didn't realize it until I looked at chart, but Sunday ends the second trimester! This pregnancy seems to be going a lot faster than the girls' did...

ICAN Meeting

Even before we scheduled our c-section with Danielle, I had gone to the ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network) website. I wanted to be informed about how I could have a c-section and make my chances of having a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) the best they could be. I used information found at their website and other places I researched to write a birth plan and talk to my doctors. I knew they had meetings, but never even thought about going to one, until yesterday.

My doula that I had with Nora, Ashley, had posted on Facebook to see if anyone wanted to go to next month's meeting. It turned out to fall on Adam's birthday, so another friend of mine (who has also had a c-section and VBAC, and is expecting again in December, similar to us) and I decided to go to this month's meeting last night. While I fully support the efforts of ICAN in making mothers more aware of their choices in birth, and letting them know that a VBAC is, in most cases, an option, I, myself, will not be going to another meeting. I want you to know while reading this that I understand that going though a c-section can be a traumatic event, and some women do suffer from postpartum depression (and some, who go through traumatic births, apparently suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder). These are often chemical imbalances in your body, and you aren't really able to control them.

At the beginning of the meeting we went around and did brief introductions (Hi, I'm Sarah. My first was a c-section, my second was a VBAC, and I'm pregnant with number three, who will likely be another c-section.) Most of the women said something such as, "mine was your typical reasons for a c-section... not progressing in labor properly." I didn't even mention that mine was scheduled, mine was because my daughter had a severe heart defect, mine was much different from all of your stories.

While, everyone (sans me) was sharing different parts of their birth, their feelings during and after their c-section, what they wished the medical staff would have done, and such, I stayed quite. I don't usually mind talking about Danielle and her story, but I didn't feel comfortable doing it here. Just about every woman in the room said that the worst thing people had said to them in reaction to their traumatic birth was, "at least you and the baby are healthy," and every woman said how much she hated it when people said that, and how much it hurt them in different ways. The first time one of them said it I thought about chiming in, but soon they were all saying it or agreeing with the statement. That is the point at which I shut myself off at the meeting. I couldn't handle not saying, "Well, yeah, they're right." There were a few points where I felt as though I needed to get up and walk out (not leave, because I still needed to give my friend a ride home!), but I stayed, and in hopes of getting something out of the meeting.

After that, I listened to them share how they had problems bonding with their baby for months and months, breastfeeding issues (or successes and how it was healing), and other things. One women shared how she had preeclampsia and her baby was in the NICU. She said that she didn't get to hold her baby until hours later when they wheeled her recovery bed over to see her baby. I was at least able to tell her that she's lucky she got to hold her baby the day he/she was born, as they wouldn't let me hold my daughter while I was still on the bed, and I wasn't really able to get up until the next day. What I didn't say is how in the few hours that I held her or was with her, I didn't get much of a chance to bond with her. I knew the moment I laid eyes on her that I loved her so much my own heart could burst. But I never got to build that nursing relationship, since I only nursed her once for a few moments (even though the doctors didn't want me to, the nurse let me).

I really didn't get anything out of the meeting, and I would never go back, but it was a funny coincidence that three and a half years after our wedding, I ran into our wedding photographer, Danica, (who was there, I'm assuming to drum up business, as she doesn't have any children), at this meeting. Worth it? Maybe, maybe not. But making it through the meeting was an experience, and one I will choose to not have again.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Look What Nora Can Do!

I kind of wanted to make a list of things that Nora has learned how to do so that when she's older and has kids of her own she can see how much trouble sweet she was. I wanted to do it at a year, but never got around to it... So at 13 1/2 months, Nora can...

- point at a puppy/ dog and say "PU-pe"
- say "be-be" when she sees a baby (she has been very gentle and nice to babies thus far, and I'm hoping it continues when her little brother arrives)
- say "mama," "dada," "gmpa," "abby" (or "addy," we're not really sure which) and babble ALOT
- makes a new noise that I can't even replicate (no idea where or how she came up with it, but she really thinks its fun to make!)
- walk
- climb upstairs and she's starting to walk downstairs (like an adult!) when she's holding onto something or someone
- climb from the kneeler in church onto the pew
- bring you the stuffed Tigger grandma bought her, when you ask "Where's Tigger?"
- "bounce" by bending her knees when asked "What does Tigger do?" or "Can you bounce?"
- dance by stomping her feet to any one of her toys that makes music
- give dolly or Momma (or anyone/ thing) a hug or kiss when asked (and sometime when not asked) :)
- point to her nose when asked "Where's Nora's nose?"
- point to someone else's nose when asked
- point to your eyes and say "hi-e"
- point to her eyes when asked
- show the sign for eat when asked if she wants to eat
- go to her highchair when asked "Where do we go to eat?"
- go to the gate going upstairs for bedtime or naps, diaper changes, or just when told "Let's go upstairs"
- go to the gate going to the main floor when told "We're going downstairs"
- say "hi" and wave
- wave bye-bye
- wave bye-bye to Daddy when we I tell her we are leaving (making sure he sees her and waves back), then goes to the gate to go to the basement
- point to things she wants when asked, "What do you want?" (mostly food, but sometimes other things)
- try to put lids on containers (never the right ones though!)
- run to the garage door from the car, walk over the door threshold (with a hand from Momma), and run over to the stairs to climb up before I can even put down the diaper bag
- walk backwards until she feels a "chair" (like grandma's front step) and sits down
- shut drawers or cabinets when told to "shut" (then claps because she did a good job)
- put things "in" or "on" other things when asked to (drawers, shelves, etc.)
- pulls things our then *sometimes* puts them away again
- use a spoon to put things in her mouth (but someone has to put something on the spoon for her)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Lots to Cover!

So it's been quite a while since I've written a post about this pregnancy with Ender, so I'll try to keep it short, but I'll try to remember everything.

We had an ultrasound on August 22, and were able to find out the gender (right before the City Wide Garage Sale! I'll talk about clothes in another post). We had Krista (our ultrasound tech) put it in an envelope, and I gave it to my friend, Amanda, who blew up either pink or blue balloons for us, and put them in a cute box that she decorated.

Then we were able to open the box up and see the BLUE balloons fly to heaven for Danielle to see. Here's another sneak-peek of our baby boy from the ultrasound!

BEAUTIFUL! :) Love seeing this!

The note from Krista with the proof!
You have read a couple times in the "What I'm excited about/looking forward to" part that I wanted to know if I still had placenta previa. Well, we found out the answer to that at the ultrasound as well. The placenta is still covering my cervix by 4.21 cm. Krista seemed doubtful that it would move enough to avoid a c-section by the time I deliver, so the thought of it doing it again haunted me for several days. I posted in a mom's group on Facebook that I needed prayers for peace of mind, and hopefully that the placenta moved. My mind was eased a little from their prayers and supportive comments. But, I think after our appointment with Dr. Tumaneng last Tuesday, I felt better about it, and started to accept it as the likely outcome. I asked her quite a few questions... She thought there was still a chance for it to move, but I also wanted to prepare myself for another c-section, so I told her that I wanted Adam to be in the room with me when they did the spinal. She said that most anesthesiologists at Woodwinds don't mind, but if or when the time comes to schedule the c-section, that they would make sure to put a note on my chart about it. There's still a couple other things I want out of a c-section birth with this baby (especially since he is healthy and all), and some that the doula I had with Nora, Ashley of Gaia Birth, brought up as well, such as being able to hold him and breast feed him while they stitch me up. With Danielle, I was okay with not being able to do that, since I knew, for her, it would be best to get her hooked up to her new lifelines.

I've been going back and forth on whether or not we want to use Ashley, or really a doula at all, this time. I am 100% happy that we had her for Nora. I felt that having that extra support made my VBAC successful. This time, if I VBAC, I think I want to just have Adam there. He was wonderful support, and I think Ashley helped guide him a lot of the times, but I think he learned a lot and can probably do it on his own. If I have a c-section, then I guess we've "been there, done that" too. Of course, this time there's quite a few things I want to do differently, but I feel like, after having Danni, and feeling like I didn't have a voice with some things, and finding that with Nora, I was in control, that this time, I would be able to make it the best c-section that I can have (even if it's not my ideal birth situation).

How far along?: 22 weeks 4 days
Total weight gain/loss: Well, after our Duluth vacation, the State Fair, and the cabin on Labor Day, I was up about 12 pounds, but now that I'm back to eating normally, it's right around 11 pounds.
The Bump: While I don't feel super big, when I look at my belly pictures, I see that I actually am!
22 weeks 2 days
What I’m excited about/looking forward to: The consignment sale at the State Fair grounds! I'm excited to find lots of cute boys' clothes (and maybe a few things for Nora too)!
Maternity Clothes: While I had to wear my maternity shorts, because my regular ones weren't fitting, now that it's getting cooler, I have few pairs of regular capris that I can still wear (though some are elastic waist-ed... maybe that's cheating in this category! lol) Maternity tops I haven't even touched yet, but I'm getting low on tops that are long enough to cover my belly!
Symptoms: Keeping my tummy happy is always a "symptom" and, I know I've posted about it before, but with this one I seem to have a lot more lower back pain. Maybe it's from holding Nora, or maybe it's where the placenta is with the previa... either way, back rubs are good!
Belly Button in or out?: Yep, all the way out! At least this one didn't actually kick it out!
Food Cravings/Aversions: We were talking about split pea and ham soup the other day (mom's homemade stuff!), and it sounds pretty good to me! (Could be the fall weather too though!)
What I miss: Not having my belly get in the way maybe? It's difficult to bathe Nora, and doing the dishes is starting to get tough.
Milestones: I guess he's on a somewhat regular schedule for sleeping, and being awake. That sounds about right with the movements I'm feeling All. The. Time. :)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Nora's Thank You Notes

Almost a month after her party, I finally made Nora's thank you notes and had my little one-year-old sit down and write them. ;) I couldn't decide how I liked them best, so I made a couple variations. Since the gifts were for Nora (not me), I wrote them as if she were writing them. I thought it might be fun for her family to see what she thought of the toys and money that she got. I think next year I will try to have her write an "N" or her name, depending on what she can do at the time. But at this point, if she's holding a crayon, she thinks it looks tasty, and it ends up in her mouth. :-/

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Gender Debate

Originally written August 14, 2012

Alright, so it's been almost a month since I've written a post. With both the girls, I was much better at writing close-to-weekly posts, but I guess it gets put on the back-burner when I'm chasing Nora around and planning her birthday party. Oh well, such is life!

We had an appointment today (that's what prompted me to actually sit down and write). They did the second blood draw to check the chances of the baby having spina bifida, and checked the heart rate. It was 157 bpm this time, but the baby was also squirming around a lot!

If you believe in the folk lore of the heart rate, then we're having another girl (140 bpm and above is said to be a girl, anything below is said to be a boy). If you believe the folk lore of the necklace, then we're having a boy (followed by another girl down the road). You hold a necklace with a pendant over the mother's hand, and if it moves up and down it means a miscarriage, if it moves left and right it means a boy, and if it moves in a circle it means a girl. When my friend, Maria, did it to me after we lost Danni, but before we got pregnant with Nora, I got miscarriage, girl, boy, girl... Danni, Nora, this little one, and maybe someday down the road...

How far along?: 18 weeks 2 days
Total weight gain/loss: About 7 pounds, I think.
The Bump: Well, I think I had a food baby and a baby baby after this weekend with Nora's party & Valleyfair!
What I’m excited about/looking forward to: At this point, finding out if it's a boy or girl.
Maternity Clothes: Just depends on the clothes. I haven't busted out the tops yet, but I might have to, or at least find some longer ones soon.
Symptoms: Just being hungry more often, and not being able to eat as much.
Belly Button in or out?: Still half out.
Food Cravings/Aversions: I like mom's homemade yogurt with fruit and granola as a snack just about everyday. It's so yummy!
What I miss: I don't know at this point. I think I often forget that I'm pregnant unless it comes up or I'm doing something physical and get out of breath... maybe that's what I miss... my breath.
Milestones: The baby is sucking and swallowing.

Monday, August 20, 2012

My Birthday and the Facebook Announcement

Originally written July 20, 2012

Well, I had another appointment at Comprehensive on Tuesday. We went over a couple questions we had with Dr. Tumaneng, like how long I could keep playing softball. She didn't think it was an issue to finish the season, as long as I don't have any complications. When I asked her about the placenta previa, she was kind of surprised. I guess it didn't say that in the report she got. It said it was on the back wall. I am kind of wondering if it was just barely covering my cervix, and with the little bit of spotting I had while we were in Oregon, maybe that was the placenta shifting off of my cervix. I guess we'll find out in about a month. It makes me a little less nervous though if it wasn't mentioned. But I know sometimes there are mistakes, so who knows. My Pampered Pregnancy gift this time was a meeting with their nutritionist. I'm not sure yet if I'll take advantage of it yet or not though. I'm sure she's going to want me to gain a lot of weight, and try to jam pack me full of calories and food. I've tried it before, trust me, it doesn't work.

Yesterday, my birthday, I signed up for one of my other Pampered Pregnancy gifts, my 1/2 hour massage. I enjoyed it, but it wasn't as good as the third trimester one was with Nora. And actually, my lower back actually hurt more once I got up off the table. :(

Since Adam was finally able to get a hold of his dad and tell him the news, we were able to announce it to the Facebook world. I had seen a picture on Pinterest, kind of like what we did, but didn't really think about it. While I was in Oregon though, Adam found a similar picture somewhere and decided it would be a fun way to announce the news online. And I put the caption, "Here's a math problem for you... If you have 2 Gibsons and you add 3 Gibsons, how many Gibsons do you have? (Extra credit if you can tell me the property illustrated from the word problem to the picture)." Adam wrote, "Expecting #3. This child is doomed to a life a nerdiness......" Lots of people commented on the creativeness of it. It fit so well for a math teacher and an engineer.

How far along?: 14 weeks 5 days
Total weight gain/loss: Yesterday, I actually hit the 100 mark on the scale! Sounds pretty pathetic, I know, but I haven't been back up there for a while with nursing Nora still. I think I started right around 95-96 pounds, so 4-5 pound weight gain. :)
The Bump: It's there. Pretty hard to hide at this point, especially since it's summer. (With Nora I could hide it longer under bulky sweaters.)
What I’m excited about/looking forward to: I guess still finding out if the placenta shifted up, and the gender, but probably more the position of the placenta.
Maternity Clothes: I'm loving the maternity shorts. I've got 2 pairs from Nora. I could still wear my regular shorts or capris, but why when they're so comfy? :)
Symptoms: Still the lower back ache... making it hard to sleep. That can go away any time now.
Belly Button in or out?: The top half is still out a little.
Food Cravings/Aversions: I've been more thirsty lately, not for anything in particular though. I think it's just the * ahem* lovely heat we've been having. (That can go away any time now too!)
What I miss: Having more energy. Isn't that supposed to come back during the second trimester?
Milestones: The baby has meconium in his/ her intestines.

Kicks for Daddy!

Originally written August 1, 2012

Well, while we have been pretty busy throughout the month of July with my trip to Oregon with my mom and Nora, there hasn't been a ton going on with the pregnancy. So, I guess not having time to write means that you're not going to be bored with my uneventful posts. But! I do have something new to report! Last night I felt one strong kick from the baby, and about 30 seconds later, another. So I put my hand on my tummy to see if I could feel it from the outside, and I did! Though I do remember with both the girls feeling them kick on my hand, but Adam not being able to feel them. So I figured when I told Adam to put his hand on my belly that he probably wouldn't feel the kicks. But, he did! I think with both the girls I was just starting to feel the little flutters myself at this point.

How far along?: 16 weeks 3 days
Total weight gain/loss: About 6 pounds, I would say.
The Bump: A couple people have been commenting that it's really popped (some of them see have seen me like every week, and now all of a sudden I guess I'm really showing to them).
What I’m excited about/looking forward to: I still really want to know what is up with the placenta. We find out on the 24th of this month.
Maternity Clothes: I go back and forth with the pants. My jean shorts don't fit anymore, so that cuts out a lot of the clothes for my lower half. So I'm wearing the maternity shorts and some of my other shorts that still fit.
Symptoms: I am happy to report that the lower back pain is pretty much gone. Now it's just the normal pregnancy comfortableness (not that its too bad at this point).
Belly Button in or out?: The top half is still out a little. Maybe this one will suck it back in for me at some point since Nora kicked it out kind of permanently.
Food Cravings/Aversions: Nothing really. Not a huge fan of water (mix it into juice or something and its fine though), but it's not making me feel sick like it did with Nora.
What I miss: Nothing really at this point. :) Maybe my jean shorts... lol.
Milestones: Well, I think feeling the little guy move is a milestone! But I guess his/ her ears are also in the proper place at this point.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Nora's Rainbow Birthday

Well, today is our little Rainbow Baby's first birthday! It's hard to believe how little and helpless she was and how big and not-quite-so-helpless she is now!

I spent a lot of time planning her birthday party. I decided I wanted to do a rainbow themed party when I saw a friend from Faith's Lodge pinning rainbow things for her Rainbow Baby's first birthday. Most of it was fairly easy, but the cake is what took the most time and effort!

Another thing that took a while was making some decorations. I took 8 1/2 x 11 inch colored card stock that my mom had and cut it into 1 inch strips, then sewed them all together down the middle, leaving about an inch space between each so that they could spin in the breeze. Super easy!

For the birthday girl, I wanted her outfit to match the theme. I have seen tutus for little girls' birthdays, and kind of liked the idea, but thought of ribbon instead. My mom suggested adding tule to give it more "volume,"
so she put it together for me. She also found a pretty white onesie with rainbow colors at the top. Then I had to paint her toe nails to match! :)

I pulled out any rainbow bowls or serving ware I had and used it (easy-peasy!), printed some labels for the fruit & veggie dips, and put colored paper in the mason jars that held the "plasticware."

Made a fruit tray and a veggie tray in rainbow color order (that took a little though and planning trying to find cheap fruit and veggies in the right color, plus some of them fell through when I couldn't find good produce!).

My mom made rainbow jello cookies, and rainbow layered jello (and helped with a lot of other stuff!). She also found little cupcake cups that were kind of rainbow-ish, so we put Chex Mix in them on the tables.

The weather turned out perfect (we usually host parties in our garage and yard), so the kids were able to play outside. I had chalk out for them, along with bubbles (in rainbow colored little bottle, no less), and a coloring sheet I had made with a rainbow.

 I think everyone had a great time, and I know I enjoyed planning it all, putting it together, and watching my Rainbow Baby grow to be ONE!

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Originally written July 15, 2012

I haven't had time to write for over 2 weeks now! Goodness! My mom took Nora & I out to Oregon to visit her Great-Grandparents, Great Aunts & Uncles, and a bunch of cousins. Since we were out there over mom's birthday, I wrapped up the ultrasounds we just got in wallpaper (Grandma didn't have wrapping paper, so we improvised.) and gave it to mom as a birthday present.
Nora helping Grandma open her birthday surprise!
Grandma said she already suspected!
She was very excited, of course, but not terribly surprised, she has suspected that we were expecting when we went garage sale shopping and I was looking at baby boys' clothes. (Not that we know it's a boy yet.) She was excited to have her family there and be able to share the news in person though!

While we were out there I also got a phone call from Joan, the genetic counselor, and so I told my very confused cousin, Jen, that the results from the first trimester screening came back, and looked pretty good. She thought I was talking about the results from Nora's screening, and was wondering why they were so late, until her mom, my Aunt Carla, pointed at my belly.

When we got back from Oregon, I was the personal attendant for a friend's wedding. I Deacon Tom & Mary, Maria, and a couple other people that I knew at her wedding about Ender, but I made sure that they didn't tell the bride. When she opened her gift from us the next morning, it was signed, "Love, Sarah, Adam, Danni, Nora, & baby-to-be." I guess she didn't catch it right away, so Maria had to tell her to read it again.

How far along?: 14 weeks
Total weight gain/loss: Right around a pound or so... I thought I would have fattened up more at Grandma's in Oregon, because I'm sure Nora did!
The Bump: Getting harder to hide, but since we've started telling people, I'm not so worried about it.
What I’m excited about/looking forward to: Finding out if the placenta has moved up, so I won't have to have another c-section. (I don't think it has yet, because I still have a lot of lower back pain.)
Maternity Clothes: I pulled out a pair of maternity shorts today, because they looked more comfy than jean shorts, and I'm all about laziness today!
Symptoms: Lower back ache, and tired. I think the tired is from the time change from our trip, and from running around all weekend with wedding stuff.
Belly Button in or out?: The top half is still out. My cousin, Kassidy actually made a comment about it while we were out there.
Food Cravings/Aversions: Nothing really lately.
What I miss: Right now, probably not waking up with a back ache every morning, and having more energy to get things done!
Milestones: This week the baby starts "practice breathing."

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Making Nora's Rainbow Cake

I knew I wanted to do a rainbow themed party for our Rainbow Baby, and the cake was no less a part of the theme. I had seem lots of rainbow layer cakes pinned on Pinterest, and read a few of their ideas and such, then went to making my own! I will warn anyone wanting to do this, that it takes quite a lot of time. I started at 1pm and didn't finish until 7pm. (Granted we had some down time when it was baking, and we ate dinner in there somewhere too, but it's still time-consuming.)

Don't look in the background, you'll see my secret recipe!
 I read that weighting the cake batter was a good way to split it up evenly into 6 parts for coloring. So I borrowed my mom's scale, and weighted it out. If I remember it was close to 12 ounces for 2 boxes of cake mix. (I mixed them together even though they were slightly different.)

I wasn't exact with the weighting, but got fairly close. Here are five of the six bowls of batter. (One was getting dyed red.)

Pretty rainbow batter! It took a while trying to get the right colors and getting the red dark enough not to be too pastel-y pink. I think it's still kind of pink-ish, but the red food coloring I had was getting a little dried out and was hard to mix in, so I settled for this, and I thought it still looked nice.

I baked the cake kind of according to package directions. (It said for two 9-inch rounds, but did't say for three, so I baked them for slightly less time). My mom had borrowed me her layer cake pans, but it turned out hers were 8-inch, and mine were 9-inch. Since I didn't want the cake to be super tall, so I went for the 9-inch and had to put three batches in the oven. (It took quite a while!)

Once the cakes were baked, I sliced off the tops for two reasons: I wanted to make a miniature cake for Nora to smash, and I wanted my layers to sit more flat. The tops weren't perfectly flat like the bottoms, but they weren't very uneven either.

I took the parts that I had sliced off, and took an old can to cut them in circles to layer them (they're upside down right now, but it made it easier to stack them as I frosted them.

I put a crumb coat of frosting (see below) between each layer for Nora's cake. I didn't add extra frosting, because I didn't think she needed the extra sugar (and I was right... she didn't need the sugar she did get!).

For the crumb coating, I just thinned down some of my mom's homemade frosting with milk so it would spread more easily, and not catch the crumbs and make it look all icky. For Nora's cake, I also did the side, since it was all scrap bits of cake, but for the big cake, I just did the top. I probably could have done the sides, but when I went to frost it, it wasn't too crumby. 

The crumb coating on the tops of the big cake layers. Make sure to refrigerate them to let the frosting set and get hard.

For the big cake, I put frosting between each layer (it helped to make the layers more even). And then frosted the whole thing with white. I was going to decorate it and write "Happy Birthday, Nora" on it, but ran out of homemade frosting. I had a jar of store bought that I thought about using, but ran out of time. I think it looked just fine without though.

Nora enjoyed her smash cake.
And the layers looked just about as pretty as the big cake.
The finished product!
(My sister-in-law is cutting into the cake for me.)
Pretty layers!
Pretty cake!