Baby Sister!

Flora

June 11, 2020

Details and birth story coming soon. For now, just know that we are all doing so, so well. Our hearts are full as full can be. We have already been so blessed by having this sweet little girl in our family! I can’t wait to share more of her with you later. In the meantime, I’ll be soaking up all the newborn snuggles, smells and sounds because this is my heaven on earth!

My ECV Experience

On June 4th, Craig and I went into the hospital to get Baby Sister moved from a breech (head up) position to a head down position. This was so I could have a much better chance at vaginal delivery and a VBAC. It was also because we didn’t want to possibly risk another experience like Emmett’s birth, which was a bit scary (thankfully only for a moment). We had a few different options of how to go about this all, but ultimately, Craig and I felt best and most peaceful about attempting to move her, and now that all is said and done, and she’s still head down, I feel that it was all very worth it and I’m glad we had the procedure done.

My experience with an External Cephalic Version, or ECV, was painful, but good. Here is the quick recap of how that day went.

Early in the morning we went to the hospital and got all registered and situated in a labor and delivery room. I got into a gown and was hooked up to the heart monitor to track Sisters heart, and a contraction monitor, just in case. I was hooked to an IV and then my doctor came in to explain to us what was going to happen. He told us about things that could go wrong and how they would handle those situations. An anesthesiologist came in, also just in case I needed to be whisked away to have an emergency c-section. The anticipation of the procedure about to happen was slightly nerve wracking, but I knew, I truly knew, I was in good, prepared hands.

I was given some muscle relaxer drug that kicked in really fast and made me feel so loopy and a lot more relaxed. It definitely wasn’t anything that muted any pain, but it did help my stomach stay soft and easy to work with. I was also given a shot in the back of my arm (not sure what that was?) and then a few nurses came in, the anesthesiologist stood nearby, Craig stood near by head and my doctor positioned himself beside me and began the ECV.

Overall, the whole procedure took less than ten minutes. It went smoothly and thankfully the baby cooperated with everything going on for the most part. My doctor definitely knew what he was doing and I was grateful to see how often he checked the ultrasound to make sure she was doing ok in there with all this chaos. Right towards the end when she was nearly all the way head down, her head was being a little stubborn and getting into place, and then all the sudden it was like a puzzle piece fitting perfectly where it should, I felt her head pop into the exact spot it was meant to be. I don’t know how to explain it except that all the sudden she just fit really well where she was at. The procedure was not comfortable at all. It hurt really bad. I kept my eyes closed the entire time and just tried to focus on breathing. I got so hot and felt so sweaty. I could feel my feet flexing hard (nurses later commented on that, too) and my hands were squeezing my gown as hard as I could. It was tolerable pain, but it was not fun at all. I was terribly sore the next couple of days and am still sore in one specific spot. It was rough, but thankfully, not long.

When it was all finished, I was monitored for the next hour, as well as sisters heartbeat. We both checked out just fine and were able to be discharged!

I was told to take it easy the next couple of days and be mindful of good fetal movement (which thankfully there was so much of). Now that it is all said and done, I am grateful for the experience. I’d say it was totally worth it and I’d recommend it to someone who was faced with that possibility with a breech baby.

10 Best Things About Pregnancy

I’m just about to have my third child and have officially reached the point of just being done. Every night and every morning, I plead/pray that labor will start within the next few hours, and I’m not going to lie, when it doesn’t, I get pretty bummed. I’m ready. I’m so, so ready. I want this baby out of my belly and into my arms.

As my attitude about being pregnant feels like it’s steadily declining here at the end, I decided this morning that I was going to try my best to change the way I’m viewing it for today at least. Today I want to dwell on all the things I love about pregnancy and the miracle that it is. I want to remember how very fortunate I am to be able to carry children. I want to have the blessing this phase of life is, no matter how uncomfortable or long, at the front of my mind.

So with that being said, here are

The 10 Best Things About Pregnancy (according to me):

1: The Movement. It’s both magical and crazy all at the same time. Admittedly, it’s also a little painful at times too. But to feel all the kicks, rolls, stretches, jabs, hiccups and twitches is something truly phenomenal. That is a real life, living, human baby inside of me growing and wiggling! It’s amazing.

2: The Connection. Before baby is born, no one is connected to her/him like you. It’s this special bond only the two of you have until they make their debut into the world. I love that currently, I’m the only one that really knows my daughters movements or the only one that really has (the tiniest) grasp at what her personality will be.

3: The Belly. I know women have varying opinions on pregnancy bodies and big growing bellies, but I personally adore mine. I really do. I feel most confident in my skin when I’m pregnant and I am dang proud of my giant belly! With my boys I never got stretch marks, but this time around I have a couple small ones and I’m strangely excited about them! I love what my body is doing and the crazy changes I’m going through. It’s a blessing that I’ve wished for since I was a little girl, and to be living it now is a dream come true.

4: The Food. I’ll be honest, not being judged on what you’re eating or how much you’re eating because you’re pregnant? Ah-mazing.

5: The Stories. I could talk pregnancy/birth all day long for the rest of my life. I love creating all these memories that I can share with people. One of my favorite things ever is sitting around with fellow moms and sharing stories about our pregnancies, births, etc. It’s bonding and it’s beautiful and it never ceases to blow my mind just how different each experience can be.

6: The Daydreaming. I love imaging the baby. Who will she/he be? What will their name be? What will they look like? What will their personality be? What will their interests be? Will they be born with hair? Who will they most resemble? It’s thrilling.

7: The Anticipation. Ok, anticipating your babies arrival can also be terrifying or feel excruciatingly long, but when looked at with the right attitude, it’s exhilarating. Waiting to add another little soul into your family is so special and exciting!

8: The Shopping. Buying tiny baby clothes and accessories is the. best. It also helps makes things feel real. Once you get a significant little stack of items for them you’ll find yourself obsessing over them and looking through them frequently.

9: The Attention. I’m just being honest here – you get special attention when you’re pregnant and hey, it’s kinda fun! You’re a tiny bit of a celebrity when you’re walking around with a big bump. People treat you a little kinder. It can be awkward for sure, but it’s also kind of sweet.

10: The Space. My current favorite thing is just starting at the space my daughter will take up once she arrives. Her nursery. Her bassinet in my bedroom. Things like that. She is going to figure out quickly how she fits into this family and fill that space so beautifully and I am beyond thrilled to watch it all take place. I know she’ll change the dynamic in our family and rock our world in the best possible way and seeing her spaces helps me remember that and get SO stinkin’ excited!

ECV

Today I am going to the hospital to have what will hopefully be a successful External Cephalic Version. In other words, today I am going to the hospital and my doctor is going to attempt to spin my baby. If you didn’t know/didn’t remember, she is in a breech position with her head straight up and her little bum straight down. Ideally, she should be flipped the complete opposite way of where she currently is.

Since we have learned she’s breech, we have just been planning on a c-section. But apparently a c-section wouldn’t be able to be scheduled for me until 39 weeks, and with my last pregnancy (which was frank breech and ended up being kind of a scary delivery I’d rather not re-experience) I didn’t even make it to 39 weeks. My water broke just a little after 38 weeks. So my doctors concern was if we waited to schedule me until 39 weeks, there was a very good chance I’d go into labor before then.

There is a lot more detail to all of this and all the different options that I’m choosing to leave out, but ultimately, Craig and I decided to go in and attempt to have her moved. If this all goes successfully, I’ll have a shot to have a regular vaginal delivery – something I truly believed was just out of the cards for me this time around. So this could really be exciting, but I’m also not trying to get my hopes up either way.

Overall, we are just hoping and praying that our sweet girl will be safe. We pray that her heart rate won’t do anything it shouldn’t and that her umbilical cord will cooperate. If possible, it’d be awesome if she decided to stay in the head down position. Then we’d just be able to wait for me to go into labor and have a vaginal delivery, which is what I’ve always wanted deep down. But this all comes down to her. Just as long as she is safe and healthy, I don’t really care how she comes into the world. But right now, the ECV is what feels best to both Craig and I.

Wish us luck!

Ode to Mothers

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I know I’m a few days late, but I couldn’t let Mothers Day slip by without saying anything.

I am so, so grateful to be Harrison, Emmett and Baby Sisters mom. I am eternally grateful for their pure, sweet, genuine love for me. I am grateful for their patience with me and for how highly they think of me. I am grateful for the way they look at me and for the ways they can make me feel so happy and for the ways they can soothe my soul. Its easy to think you aren’t good enough for your precious kids, but these guys do their best in their own unique ways to remind me that I am exactly what they need – and they love me so much. They’ll never understand just how much I love them and just how thankful I am for them. I am blessed beyond blessed and don’t take the gift of being their mother for granted.

I’m so grateful for my own sweet mom who has always been my best friend, closest confidant, go-to ride partner and safe place. She is an angel woman with a heart of gold. She’s somehow found the secret balance of how to be a really good mom and a really good friend all at the same time and I can only hope to have half of the same kind of great relationship with my own kids as they grow up as my mom has with each of her kids.

I am so grateful to my mother-in-law who became an instant friend the day I met her and who has always been a source of joy and help in my life ever since. She is crafty and clever, hilarious, friendly and a great listener. I’m particularly grateful for the fact that she had Craig – the perfect person for me.

Ramblings of an Anxious Mama

I woke up this morning to the aftershock of an earthquake. This, coming after a terrible nights sleep because of a two year old who was having random ear pain all throughout the night and having so much anxiety all throughout the night because its like suddenly it clicked to me that I’m a pregnant woman during a pandemic. Then I started having these scary thoughts – we already know we won’t have anyone come in and visit after I deliver baby sister (even her brothers *cue sobs*), but then I started thinking about, what if Craig gets sick and he’s not allowed in either? What if I have to do the whole thing without him?

Then I remembered I find out soon if I have gestational diabetes again. Everything I’ve been reading has said that basically, jury is still out if being a pregnant woman makes you high risk for Covid-19, but I have read since the beginning of all this that being diabetic does put you at high risk. Does that include gestational diabetes? Not to mention, I just really don’t want to have gestational diabetes again – that was a low point in my life haha. The only food I can consistently rely on during my pregnancies is candy, so you can imagine how that just really, really sucks for me.

Anxiety is fun, folks.

This is all kind of ticking me off, because up until last night, I really haven’t let the stress and panic of everything get to me. I really haven’t, and thats incredibly impressive for me! I’m not great at remaining calm, but somehow I have been. Then I went to bed last night and my anxiety and dumb brain that won’t shut up got the best of me. Then, like I said, I woke up to news of an earthquake. Now I’m making a plan on what to do with my kids in case another one comes soon (or ever), and let me tell you, for an anxious person, making a plan like this does not necessarily calm you down!

I’m just trying really hard to be mindful and aware of things lately. Pay attention. Don’t let unimportant things distract me. Hug my kids tighter and, as always, wash the crap out of our hands.

25-ish

I very recently hit 25 weeks with Baby Sister and this ones really feeling like an exciting milestone. 25 weeks! Thats 15 weeks left of this pregnancy at the longest! I’m so glad time is passing – and moving a little faster every day. I think thats a benefit of subsequent pregnancies. You don’t have as much time to dwell on time and how fast or slow its moving when you have other kids to chase around. Its a pretty great thing that I’m grateful for.

I’m feeling so thankful for a healthy baby girl growing inside of me. She’s already blessed my life and is starting to give me hints of her personality stronger than she used to, and I’m loving getting to know her better and better. I can’t wait to meet her and get to know her even better. This little girl is really going to change the dynamic of our family – I can just tell and I’m eager to witness it all happen. Craig and I are making great progress in her nursery and I need to start working on organizing her closet/clothes/bows/etc and I know thats going to make it feel all the more real and exciting!

Now, just to mix up these periodic bump update pictures, here is a little collage of my three pregnancies, all at 25-ish weeks! You have Harrison first, Emmett in the middle and baby sister on the right!

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Little Ones in Disneyland Q&A

By far the topic I get asked the most about when I’m talking Disney with someone, is about babies/toddlers/little ones in Disneyland Resort. I need to start working on blog posts for each subject I get asked about pertaining to small ones in Disney so when I get asked about it I can send them a post where I’ve given my in-depth answers, but for now while I slowly start working on those, I thought I’d do a little Q&A involving the questions I get asked most frequently. I asked on Instagram for people to send in questions they had about this, and I’ve compiled a list of the questions I get asked most often when people are planning their trips to Disneyland and picked the questions I get asked the very most/I feel are most important to know. If I didn’t answer your question in this post, please reach out to me and ask! I love talking about this – Disneyland and little humans?! My two favorites!!

 

Is it worth taking my little one to Disneyland? 

I will forever and always answer yes to this. Yes. It is always worth taking your little people to Disneyland. I know, its another person to watch, another mouth to feed, another person to care for, another factor to add to stress – but if you let it, its also another source of absolute magic. I know it sounds cheesy, but its true. The youngest I’ve taken my kids to Disneyland is at two months old, and even at two months I think its worth it. I know they aren’t going to retain any of the memories, but they still are taking stuff in. I think about my tiny babies in Disneyland and seeing them stare at lights and watch their little limbs flail around when they get excited about these new things they see. Its also adorable to watch their reactions to the new sounds. When they’re a little older, even though they still won’t keep these memories throughout their whole lives, they still will have the time of their lives in the park and you will take the cutest pictures of that. Walt Disney said that Disneyland is for people of all ages. He meant it. All ages can love and appreciate this wonderful, magical place.

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What shoes should my kid wear?

Wear what’s comfortable. Sometimes my kids wear sandals, sometimes we play it extra safe and wear comfortable sneakers. I recommend wearing what you know they walk well in and what doesn’t hurt their feet.

Is it worth it to wait in character lines? 

If you want those adorable character pictures, then absolutely. I love character pictures, so I definitely try to make it into several character lines, but my current problem right now is that my boys want nothing to do with characters right now and do not want to meet anyone. Such a fun phase. So right now it isn’t a priority for us (unless I’m in the mood to wrestle them a little bit), but you can bet as soon as they show even a little bit of interest in characters, we’ll be back in line!

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Where do I nurse my baby? 

Wherever your heart desires! I mean really, there are so many good places to breastfeed in Disneyland. There is also a Baby Care Center in both Disneyland and California Adventure (click on my link to it – this place is amazing, I love it) where you can privately nurse in a nice, quiet area. I, personally, am a fan of nursing on Small World, Pirates of the Caribbean or the Disneyland Railroad because they’re long enough that my little one gets a good feed and I don’t feel like I’m depriving myself of activities while nursing. (does that make sense?) There are also benches galore, spots at restaurants to sit, you name it – I’m sure you could nurse there. I was also asked if there are any places you can’t nurse. To my knowledge, no. I am more comfortable nursing with a cover, so I feel totally fine nursing anywhere.

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Umbrella stroller or our big stroller?

I am team big ol’ stroller. I absolutely get the appeal of the umbrella stroller because its smaller and in theory, you could move around the park quicker, but I will never use an umbrella stroller because I refuse to sacrifice the comfier seats for my kids, the storage and the drink holders! I will happily accept that I’ll move a little slower in crowds with my big stroller (I use the Baby Jogger City Select Double stroller) knowing that my kids can take better naps in their reclinable seats, I can stick my bags, etc underneath and can store drinks, phones, etc in the drink holders.

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What are the stroller measurements now? 

Strollers can’t be larger than 31 inches wide and 52 inches long.

What rides have no height restrictions? 

Way more than you think. Read this postI did earlier that maps out all the non-height requirement rides in Disneyland and California Adventure. (I know its a little dated – still has Bugs Land, etc, but you’ll get the general idea!)

Is it an issue if my toddler has a tantrum? Will they ask me to leave the park?

Disneyland Resort is so loud. More than likely, your kid, even while tantrum-ing will blend right in. Don’t worry about your noise, everyone is making their own noise and if you ask me, people need to be more accepting of the fact that kids will be kids! Also, I’ve never heard of a family being asked to leave the park because of a tantrum. I’m like 99.9% sure it doesn’t happen.

What age is the best time to go with a baby?

This one is tricky for me to answer because I love taking all ages, but if I had to choose one, I’d say 2 and older (broad, I know). Before age 2, I don’t know that they get into it quite as much, but once they’re two, they can understand rides, lines, characters, parades, fireworks, etc. Also, they’re still free when they’re two! (you start paying for their tickets at three).

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Should I do the rider switch/baby swap passes for rides? 

Absolutely. My husband especially swears by these – I think he’ll be real sad when we no longer have babies to use for this! With the rider switch passes you and your group go up to the Cast Member at the entrance of the line and tell them you need a baby swap pass. Then they’ll give you some kind of slip of paper. Then the first half of your group will go through the regular line and ride the ride. When the first group is done, the second group will then take the slip of paper to the Cast Member at the entrance of the ride and be able to go through the Fast Pass line and get on the ride. Thats the very simple explanation of how to baby swap. If you have questions on how it works, ask a Cast Member! They are friendly and ready to answer your questions!

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How do you do naps in Disneyland?

This is half the reason I love bringing my nice, big stroller to Disney – so my kids can take a nice nap in them and we can stay in the park. I’ll recline them in their chair, pull the shade over them, bring a light blanket for them to use if they want and let them snooze. Sometimes we’ll still walk around and do our regular Disney things, or sometimes we’ll sit somewhere quiet and let them sleep in semi-silence. However, I also think sometimes going back to the hotel for nap time is a beautiful thing. We don’t do that nearly as often, but when we do I never have regretted it. You know your kid the best though – you know how they’ll nap the best!

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What do you recommend we don’t miss with little ones?

I’m going to be broad here – but if its a ride that your child is tall enough to ride on/has no height requirement, I say go on it! I’d especially be sure not to miss Jungle Cruise, Small World, Disneyland Railroad, Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, Casey Jr. Circus Train, King Arthurs Carousel, Storybook Land Canal Boats, Disney Junior Dance Party, Ariels Undersea Adventure, all the parades, fireworks (if they’re not too scary) and all the Main Street shows!

Are there good food options for little ones in Disneyland?

I will bring baby food in (pouches, juice, etc) when my babies are at that certain age, but with feeding my little ones in the park, I typically just let them eat what I eat. I’ll break it down into little pieces and give them what they’ll eat.

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Can I bring baby food/snacks/juice in?

Yes! You can bring any food in you’d like to. Also, if your baby is a baby food eater and you’ve forgotten to bring it into the park, they also sell baby food at the Baby Care Centers!

Should I try to get there at rope drop even with a baby/toddler? What about for staying until close?

This one is hard to answer because again, you know your kids better than anyone else. If you kid can handle getting there early at rope drop and it won’t make them overly tired or cranky or hard later in the day – totally try to get there at rope drop so you can get there when the park first opens and the lines are a little shorter. If your kid can stay up late without ruining their night, or will sleep good in the stroller while you wait it out until close, go for it. Just do what you know will be best for your little ones! I personally just play it by ear every trip because as parents, we know sleep schedules can change weekly!

Tips for going to Disneyland while pregnant? 

Its totally doable! Just be prepared to move a little slower and take extra breaks. When I’m in Disneyland while pregnant, I know that I’ll have limited rides I can go on, but I also give myself permission to eat extra treats 😉 I get pretty sick when I’m pregnant, so I also make it a point to know where the nearest restroom is at all times so I can run there to throw up if needed (fun fact: I have a list of my favorite restrooms to throw up in, in Disneyland). Other tips I have would be to stay hydrated, don’t be ashamed if you need to go back to the hotel for a nap, sit a lot – watch the parades, go to the shows, etc, eat a lot and don’t rush yourself! If you go when you’re big pregnant, I’d recommend renting a wheelchair, too. That was a lifesaver for me when I went at eight months pregnant.

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*****

I’d just like to wrap this up with saying, Disneyland can be so extra magical with your little ones there. I promise! Its more work, but its 1,000% worth it. Again, I promise. Seeing the magic through your little ones eyes, no matter the age, is something you’ll remember for the rest of your life! Also, if I didn’t answer your question here – like I said, please reach out to me!! I’m happy to answer you!! I just tried to answer my most frequently asked questions!

Have a great time in Disneyland!

xoxo

17 Weeks and So Stinkin’ Thankful

Yesterday I had a doctors appointment – just the usual one to check on baby and make sure everything is going fine. I’m very gracious to say that all is looking well with our sweet baby. For some reason hearing its little heartbeat this time around was extra special and so exciting for me. It was such a peaceful and exhilarating feeling.

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I just feel so thankful right now. I’m grateful for a great husband who supports me and loves me endlessly – he means more to me than he’ll ever know. I’m thankful for my little boys who are the epitome of joy. They inspire me to be better, they are kind and friendly and they make me so proud of them. Then there is my sweet baby who I can’t wait to meet in several more months. I’m just very lucky. Very thankful. Very blessed.

First Pregnancy Update!

I’ve been really excited to start these baby updates! I don’t know why, but keeping this pregnancy a secret for those first several weeks, was particularly tough for me this time around! I mean, first of all, my bump made its debut so fast, and I’ve just been so eager to share the news!! I know a lot of people were suspicious, so it was also a relief to finally tell people they weren’t crazy and I wasn’t getting chubby – its a baby!

Much like with the boys, I’ve felt pretty miserable. Lots of throw up and so much body pain, especially in my pelvic area, upper thighs and lower back. Oh, and my c-section scar has been hurting a lot too as it stretches – thats something new.

I have been graving sweet/sugary things. Candy and fruit are my current cup of tea and some of few things I can keep down. I also have gone through phases of craving chocolate milk, hot chocolate, greasy fast food and mashed potatoes.

I have lots of aversions. Sometimes I feel like absolutely everything sounds revolting. The worst thing for me has been the smell of my fridge and the smell of smoke or heat (ha that sounds so weird, I know).

At first, sleep was coming easy, but I’m now reaching the point where sleep is rough. Laying on my sides hurts my hips so bad, laying on my belly isn’t possible and laying on my back gives me instant heartburn.

I’m very low energy, low motivation. I feel like maaaaybe that is starting to ease up a little bit, but for the most part I just feel like a slug.

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I’m so very excited to add this baby to the family. Three kids! Thats so awesome!! It will also be really fun to have a warm weather baby! Life is good!