It Flew By …

It’s a shock that maternity leave is over and I’m back at work.  I don’t know how it happened so fast.  I know why I’ve neglected this space – I’ve been under a spell cast by this guy:

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We had a wonderful time with my family over the Christmas holidays.  We spent a lot of time with my folks and my brother and his family.  Troy had to work quite a bit so we weren’t able to be together as a family as much as we would’ve liked.  Davie discovered she LOVES to open presents.  It doesn’t matter what the present is, she just loves opening them.

Troy’s family couldn’t come – in fact, we haven’t seen them since the day Isaiah was born.  Troy’s mom Marilyn married a year after we did.  Her husband has two adult twin daughters, one who lives with them (both are single).  Both of the girls have been in and out of the hospital through the holidays and one is still in.  We tried to go see them twice but both times they called and cancelled.  I know it’s been a really stressful time for them but I hate it that Marilyn is missing out on Isaiah.  Troy is her only child and Davie and Izzy are her only grandchildren.  We’re hoping everyone’s health improves and we’ll all be able to get together soon!

Maternity leave was a dream.  Days flew by – Isaiah and I would get up in the morning and nurse, and I would smell his head while he slept on my chest, and somehow it would suddenly be two in the afternoon.  I cooked every dinner, had a clean house and all the laundry caught up.  I even caught up a bit on the DVR!  Isaiah seems to like the Property Brothers  but he sleeps through Lost Girl and Supernatural.  He’s not a fantasy/sci-fi guy yet, I guess. 🙂

I got all kinds of crafty during leave.  Mom and I started making wreaths with geo mesh.  It’s so fun!  I LOVE having a creative outlet.  I even gave up couponing for the whole two months!  It was so much more fun to snuggle with my Squishy and be artistic.  I could really get used to being a stay-at-home mom, if only we could afford it.

Davie is adjusting pretty well.  She adores Izzy and loves all over him – then she gets bored and wants to put him away in the toy box.  She’s still a baby herself and needs some good one-on-one time with each of us every day.  It seems impossible she will be three in just a few weeks!  She seems so smart and grown-up already.  We are working hard on potty-training.  She loves to go potty, but then she’ll get into playing and forget to tell us she needs to go.  So for now, we’re still using Pull-Ups but we’ve got to have her completely trained by the start of the school year in August.  It’s a requirement for the 3-year-old class.

Coming  back to work was easier this time since my folks are just 15 minutes away from our house and they are watching Isaiah and Davie.  Still, I have weepy days where I can barely bear to leave him.  Especially since he will most likely be our last, which is a whole other (debatable) topic.  It helps getting texts and pics from mom during the day.

Breastfeeding has been so much easier this time.  With Davie, I had a vaginal birth, but it took 10 days for my milk to come in.  I pumped constantly and we used the PSS system and tried everything, but I dried up at four months.  This time, even though I had a c-section, I had milk the day he was born!  Of course we supplement and the majority of his intake is formula, but he loves the boobie and I love the bonding time.  I’m so grateful it’s been so much easier this go ’round.

As a family, we seem to be falling into a new routine.  As long as I have lunches made and clothes laid out for everyone and we all get baths the night before, mornings seem to go smoothly.  I get up, nurse Isaiah, then get ready for work and get Izzy changed, dressed and in his carrier.  Troy gets ready and dresses Davie in the clothes I’ve laid out, then he takes the kids to my folks’.  I pick them up after work, start dinner, and get their bags re-stocked for the next day, lay out clothes and pack lunches.  When Troy gets home he helps me finish dinner and clean up.  Then the kids get baths and sometimes we do, too.

The only bad thing about routine is that it makes the days fly by so fast!  Davie and Isaiah are just so cute and fastinating and wonderful.  I want these days to last.

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38 Weeks

Yesterday I went to see Dr. Breen for my 38 week appointment.

I have to admit, as nostalgic as I’ve been about the end of this pregnancy, the side effects are finally getting to me.  I haven’t been in charge of my right arm in almost a month.  I don’t remember the last time I slept more than an hour at a stretch.  I’d love to eat dinner – and not have to burp it up for the next twelve hours.  I’m about ready to put in an eviction notice. 🙂

But – still no signs whatsoever of labor.  The baby is still floating freely (not engaged in the birth canal) and there is no dilation or effacement.  I had thought the plan was that if I wasn’t showing signs of labor by now, we were going to plan a c-section.  But I think we might be victims of Dr. Breen’s holiday plans.  He has decided to give me until Wednesday, Dec. 4th to see what happens.  It just so happens, he is out of town starting tomorrow until Sunday.  Coincidence…?  Hmm.

But that’s ok.  If there’s still any chance I can have him vaginally, I’ll take it!  Dr. Breen has discussed my case with all of his colleagues.  If I go into labor before next Wednesday, I’m to go to the hospital immediately and they will re-assess at that time if I can try vaginally or if they should go straight to c-section.  They have decided that they will not try any interventions – no vacuum, no forceps.  If he doesn’t slide out on his own, it’s back to c-section.

So, if I don’t go into labor today, I definitely don’t want to before next Sunday when Dr. Breen is back!  If I go in Wednesday the 4th and show no signs of labor, the c-section will probably be Friday the 6th or Monday the 9th.  The baby’s due date is Dec. 8th, so that’s just about right.  Once next Wednesday rolls around, it’s really like the clock is off.  Since there’s no chance of a vaginal delivery after that, we might as well let him cook ’til he’s ready.

So that’s where we’re at with the pregnancy!  I think we’ve got everything else ready.  The house has been scrubbed top to bottom.  the car seat is adjusted to newborn and the bases are installed in the cars.  Troy, the baby and I all have bags packed.  There’s a plan in place for Davie.  Last Saturday mom and I went to Target and bought enough groceries for a week’s worth of meals, Thanksgiving dinner for the whole family, and a big snack bag for Troy and I to take to the hospital when I’m in labor.  With coupons and deals, I saved $105! 🙂  I think I could’ve saved more if I had gone to Walmart and HEB and gotten some things there, but I knew I didn’t have the energy for it, so spending a little more to get everything in one place was worth it.  Plus, we got an extra turkey at $0.50/lb for Christmas.  So we’re ahead of the game!

Saturday evening Troy, Davie, mom, dad and I put up our tree and decorated the house for Christmas.  It finally got cold here in Austin – down to the 30’s at night! – and it felt so Christmasy! 🙂  We even lit a fire in the fireplace.  The house seems so warm and cozy!  I just love it!  I made potato soup one night and chicken & dumplings the next. 

Mom came back Sunday to help me finish.  We also wrapped all the presents I have bought so far and gathered up all the props I’d like to use for newborn pics of Isaiah and Christmas pics with Davie and Isaiah together.  It’s so good to have everything done!  I couldn’t have done it without my folks.

I don’t know why it’s still so hard to call the baby by his name.  I guess it’s the infertile in me, terrified that if I give him a name he won’t come to be.  Even now, on the verge of his birth, I know the risks, the chances that things may not turn out the way we plan or hope.  I’m trusting in my doctors, trusting in the Lord, but I still get scared.  Oh Lord, please help my faith grow strong.  Please bring my son, your creation, safely into this world.  Thank you for the time we have had together.  It is so precious.  Amen.

 

37 Weeks

I turned 37 weeks at some point this week.  I used to think it was every Tuesday but now I think they’re changing it every Sunday.  Who knows, at this point?  ‘Almost to goal’ is how I like to look at it. 🙂

Honestly, despite a few side effects, I really wouldn’t mind being pregnant at this point if I could just stay home and enjoy it.  It’s the trying to work full-time while 37 weeks pregnant that is about to do me in. 

Insomnia and difficulty sleeping is probably the hardest part.  Not only is it hard to get comfortable, but when I finally drift off, I’ll have crazy dreams, or have to pee, or get too hot, or my hand and arm will start to hurt.  I sleep deepest and best from about 4am to 9am, but of course, I get up at 5:30 every day.  So not a lot of great deep sleep going on.

The numbness and shooting pains in my right arm have gotten worse (similar to carpal tunnel symptoms, I think).  It’s hard to type or write or put on my bra or do my hair in the mornings.  Even when everything is loosened up I still can’t clench it in a tight fist.  All that will go away after the birth, though. 

Last week at my 36 week appointment with the perinatologist they did the Estimation of Fetal Weight ultrasound.  Yesterday at my 37 week OB appointment, Dr. Breen went over the results with me.  He came into the exam room asking, “Are you eating Miracle Grow?  If so, it’s time to stop that!  I saw your estimation of fetal weight report and thought, Holy Toledo!  That’s one big baby!”  He did a cervical check and determined that there is nothing going on – my cervix is closed, and although the baby is in the right position, he’s still floating freely (not engaged in the pelvis).  So basically, no signs of labor at this point.

We began to discuss options.  Dr. Breen feels that if I go into labor in the next week to week and a half on my own, it’ll be safe to deliver vaginally.  He says that experience and research has shown that it’s not wise to induce before 39 weeks unless the body is already showing signs of labor progress or medical necessity.  I’ve read the same and appreciate that he started right out acknowledging that!  (With Davie, we induced at 38 weeks, but I was already effaced and had high blood pressue issues.) 

However, once we get to 39 weeks, if I have shown no signs of labor, he will schedule a c-section.  The risks to the baby are just too great.  We could assume the estimation of fetal weight is off by as much as 10%, but that’s only 5 oz either way.  And he’ll continue to grow over the next three weeks, and will stay in the 90th plus percentile for growth.  There’s the fear of shoulder distocia, broken collarbone, or of tearing the nerves that run from the head down the neck (causing life-long arm and upper body weakness).  Dr. Breen stated that the worst case scenario would be if I was able to deliver the baby’s head, but couldn’t get the shoulders out, so they would have to do an emergency c-section and force the head back up through the vaginal canal, compressing the bones of the skull.  Of course, I want to avoid any danger to the baby.

So for now, I’m praying that God’s timing will be for me to go into labor in the next week to week and a half.  With my first delivery, I was so scared, but it turned out to be such an amazing experience!  With all my heart, I am really looking forward to another vaginal delivery – one I can experience without being afraid!  This time I know I can do it, and I know what to expect, and I trust that the epidural will work, and I know what to expect from Dr. Breen.  I hate to be facing a c-section, which means being terrified again!  But of course, I will choose the safest option for the baby.  Say a prayer for us that this will be our week!

Over the years, I’ve read about so many benefits of vaginal delivery over c-section, both for the baby and for the mom.  The baby gets immunities, hormones and a good squee-geeing out as it passes through the tight canal.  The mom’s body prepares for the exit of the pregnancy, and makes the hormones to start milk production.  I worked so hard to breast feed Davie, and it would be such a blessing to get to try again with this baby.  I feel like a c-section will just delay getting a good start on that.

On a positive note, I finally got the nesting bug!  Troy and I worked our butts of on Sunday, and got 2/3rds of the house done.  We got back to it Wednesday afternoon, and now we’re all done!  We even got the baby seat and bases out of the garage.  Bathrooms are scrubbed spotless.  All floors are scrubbed, and the carpets shampooed.  We even did the baseboards and the windows!  It shocked us how nasty it was under the couch, ugh.  It feels so good to have it all done!

This Saturday I’m going to meet my mom at Target and we’re going to get all the Thanksgiving dinner shopping done.  I’m also going to get a bunch of snacks to take to the hospital for while I’m in labor.  After that, my dad will meet us at our house, and they’re going to help us get out the Christmas tree and decorate for Christmas.  Once that’s done, I think I’m ready to meet this baby!

34 Weeks

I.  Am.  So.  Tired.

Things are going good, moving right along.  It just seems I am so tired by about 2pm every day.  I think pregnancy insomnia has a lot to do with it.  My back hurts a lot and my left hip and leg often goes AWOL.  But everything is going great with the pregnancy and that makes me super happy.

My dad got a job in the ministry!  A real answer to prayer for us.  He is preaching part-time for a little church not far from us in Milano, Texas.  Of course we will stay with our church in Georgetown.  We really love our church and Sunday School class, as well as the marriage class we go to on Wednesday nights.  And Davie goes to school there Tues., Wed. and Thurs.  But once a month or so, we will go to Milano to worship at dad’s church and hear him speak.  Last Sunday we went, and the people were so welcoming and friendly!  They really seem to adore dad.  I’m so happy for my folks.

Davie is sick again. 😦   Last Friday about 2am she came into our bedroom crying, coughing and choking, then bent over and threw up.  I put her in bed with me and she was burning up.  It was a long night. 😦  As soon as they opened I called the pediatrician and took her in.  Turns out it’s not her ears this time – this time she has a viral chest infection.  They put her on steroids, antibiotics and breathing treatments.  It helped for a day or two, then we were back in the dr’s office on Monday when her fever came back.  They took an x-ray to rule out pneumonia and it came back clear, which is a relief.  We’ve just gotta get her well before they put the tubes in her ears next Tuesday!

Thursday we’re going to our church in Georgetown after work to help with the annual Fall Festival and Trunk or Treat.  Davie is going as a pink sock monkey.  I hope it’s cool enough so she can wear the costume (and that she’s feeling good)!  My mother-in-law made her a beautiful sparkly black and orange tutu, so if it’s too hot for the sock monkey we’ll just put her in the tutu. 🙂

I had a great couponing trip to Walmart this weekend.  I got $270 worth of groceries for $113.  I was really happy!  I should note, though, that I didn’t get two of the most expensive items, diapers and meat.   My total would’ve been much higher if I’d gotten those items this trip, but we had just gotten a great deal on diapers on Amazon Mom Subscribe & Save, and we got a great deal on fresh chicken from Zaycon.  If they deliver to your area, you can’t beat their quality and price for fresh chicken! 

I’ve been finding cannisters of Similac formula on mark-down at Target, from $17 down to $11.45.  I signed up on the Similac website before Davie, and occasionally we get $5 coupons from them, which make the discounted cannisters only $6.45.  The expiration date is 2015, and we’ll use them up by then!  It feels good to finally be stocking up on formula.  We’ve got a good stash of diapers going, so pretty much all that’s left for me to get is sensitive-skin bath wash, powder and lotion.

Oh my gosh, thank God it’s almost 4:30.  Just 15 minutes to go, then I’ll pick up Davie.  Hopefully I can get her in bed by 8:30 – if I can last that long!

No Tubes Yet & Good Deals at Target

Troy and I took Davie Ann to see the ENT yesterday.  I didn’t realize all they take into consideration – their anatomy, age, whether or not they go to daycare or school, frequency of past infections, affects on hearing, to name a few factors.  Davie came out on the higher risk side, but the good news is her hearing hasn’t been affected.  So the doc said he was in favor of tubes, but felt we could be more conservative and take a wait-and-see approach.

The same doc put tubes in my niece Kinley’s ears last week.  The poor kid is always sick.  I’ve never seen her well.  Even if she’s not “officially” sick, she still pours snot constantly.  I wonder if it’s an allergy thing.  She goes to daycare M,W,F but my mom keeps her T & Th.  When Davie was with my mom full-time, she had the most ear infections she’s ever had (almost 5 months straight) – right along with Kinley.

But now Davie is in “school” Tues. & Thurs. and only sees Kinley for a couple of hours before I pick her up.  And now that Kinley has tubes, there’s a good chance she’ll get less ear infections.  So, Troy and I decided to give it four weeks.  If Davie doesn’t get an ear infection or cold in the next four weeks, we’ll see if she can make it through the cold season without one.

But – if she does get one, Dr. Connelly said to call and he will schedule the procedure immediately.  We don’t even have to go back in.  So, I guess we’re in wait-and-see mode, but we’re ready to pull the trigger at a moment’s notice.  I just know I don’t want to see her suffer the way she has this past year.

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When I first started couponing, Target was my go-to store.  I got soooo many good deals there, I couldn’t believe I’d been spending so much all these years!  Then, they got super strict and conservative on accepting coupons, even their own!  They would fight every deal and make me feel like a criminal for using coupons.  So I just stopped going and Walmart became my #1 store for good deals.  Occasionally there will be deals I can’t pass up at Randall’s, HEB, the dollar stores or pharmacies (CVS & Walgreens), but the most deals in one place went to Walmart.

The past week, though, I’ve gone back to Target for some “can’t-pass-up” deals.  Oh my gosh, I’m amazed at how well the shopping trip went!  Mom and I pooled our resources together.  We used Target iPhone text coupons, Target Cartwheel, Target printable coupons and manufacturer coupons.  I got $70 worth of groceries for $26, and my mom got $57 worth for $23! 

We got huge bottles of 7th Generation dish soap for $0.99, 6 packets of a new Campbells Skillet sauce product for free (we’ve tried the Sesame chicken so far and it’s good!), 12 boxes of a new Campbell’s Crock Pot sauces product free, 8 free Monterrey frozen beef burritos, Betty Crocker cookie mix for $0.33 a bag and 6 boxes of Kashi crackers for $0.80 each.  I got 2 Tidy Cat litter jugs  for $3.30 for the large jug.  I can’t remember all the deals, but I’ve been really happy with them!

I am going to a different Target, though.  The one close to my house (Pflugerville Stone Center Target) is bigger and has more to choose from, but often by the time I get off work anything on sale is cleared out.  And even if you find the product, they will fight you at the register to not give you the deal or to take your coupons.  Not worth the effort!  Instead, mom & I have been going to a smaller Target near her house in the Wolf Creek shopping center in Georgetown.  The selection isn’t as big, and sometimes it takes them longer to get new products on the shelf, but they almost always have everything in stock that’s on sale.  And – they actually HELP you get the most out of the deals at the register!  They helped me use Cartwheel for the first time and reminded me to use my Red Card (a Target debit card) for an extra 5% off my entire purchase.  It’s worth the extra drive for the customer service alone!

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Tonight is the women’s Sunday school social for the women in my Sunday school class at church.  We’re making fall wreaths.  I’m so excited!  I’ll take pics to post later!

It’s a Deal!

I had two great CVS coupons, so I ran into the store to see if I could get a good deal on diapers.  I really wanted to get newborn and size 1 diapers, but I found a deal on diapers for Davie that I just couldn’t pass up!

They had four large BOXES (not the little bags, the big boxes) of Huggies size 5T Pull-Ups discounted to $5.99!  Normally they’re $23 a box!  I got all four boxes and a bag of 5T Pull-Ups.

I used a CVS coupon for 20% off my total purchase (but I had to have an item that wasn’t discounted, thus the bag of Pull-Ups).  I used a $3 off Huggies coupon, a $2 off any Huggies coupon and a $1.50 off Pull-Ups coupon.  Plus, I had $5 in CVS bucks.  All together, I paid $25 for four boxes and a bag of diapers!  Score!

Then I got home and our Amazon diaper order for Davie had arrived.  That’s ok – we won’t have to buy diapers for Davie for a while!  Hopefully by the time we wade through them all she’ll be potty trained! 🙂