Children's Journals

This is my journal, with posts mainly about myself. If you want to see posts specifically about Maia or Liam, check out the links to their journals under the "My Interests" section on the right side of my blog page.

Belly Picture Comparison

View Belly Picture Camparison for Second Pregnancy!

Monday, March 28, 2011

37 Weeks - No longer premature!

I have now reached the point where the baby would no longer be considered premature if it was born now. It's all fair game at this point. I am nearing the finish line and who knows when the baby will actually make it's appearance. It's exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. I still have things I want to finish up...knitting the baby blanket, picking out middle names for the baby, putting away the last few items in the baby's room, putting up shelves in the baby's room and getting the cube organizer for it, practicing my natural child birthing techniques more...and just having some time to breathe and think about the baby coming. *sigh*

Physically, not much seems to have changed. The baby is pretty low inside and head down, so there are many times when the baby's head pushes on sensitive/sore areas and it's hard to walk...sometimes there are sharp stabbing pains. The baby also pushes it's feet (or maybe knees) against my belly, somewhere above my belly button, and while it's cute, it often hurts. I am being abused. And even though the baby is dropped lower and supposedly I should be able to breathe easier, I still get out of breath pretty quickly...some days are worse than others. And of course, I have to use the bathroom pretty darn often. At least at night it's not so bad...usually one, maybe two, trips. One woman in my prenatal yoga class is apparently up about 7 times a night...sheesh!

Mentally...well, depends on what you focus on. As I said above, I feel like I am running out of time to get things done before this baby comes, and I am not quite mentally ready for the big changes the baby will bring. I want some time to get things settled and be able to just chill for a bit. But, I guess with only 2-4 weeks to go, I don't really have much time for that. *sigh*
Regarding labor itself, I am doing much better. Matt and I had someone come over to our house for two one-on-one natural child birthing classes, and those did a world of good for me. I have been worried about how this labor experience would go, given that my first one went so badly (don't ever let yourself get induced unless it really is medically necessary and you get a second opinion). I was worried that things would just go downhill again, and I would end up with another c-section. But thanks to the classes, I have been able to let go of a lot of that fear and worry and to get excited about this upcoming birth. And confident that I can have the labor/delivery experience I am hoping for.

For those not familiar, my first experience was to be induced a week early due to worries about Liam's skull fusing together too soon (which it wasn't, and CHOP confirmed that there was no reason I should have been induced over that, so it was completely unnecessary). My body wasn't really ready, so progress was slow, and eventually I was running out of energy and the doctor convinced me to go for the epidural, which I gave in to (and was upset about)...and then Liam's heart rate went up, which is one of the things that can happen. And that resulted in a c-section, which is something epidurals are known to lead to. I am very bitter about the whole thing and feel like I was cheated of a great natural experience.

So, this time around, I am doing VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) and planning to go natural again. And before you say to yourself "wow, she is crazy", ask yourself why they heck you feel you aren't capable of handling a normal birth yourself (well, if you are a female...obviously males don't need to deal with it the same). I am not trying to "be brave" or prove anything. I am trying to experience birth the way it was meant to and in the safest way. So many cultures are not afraid of childbirth, but ours has become one that is. Most women having a baby for the first time have never witnessed someone else having a baby and so all they have to go on are TV shows and movies, and the horror stories that other women seem to like to tell. So childbirth is the big, unknown, scary thing to them by the time they are pregnant. So they go into labor expecting it to hurt worse than anything, and they want to avoid that, so they are all ready to go for the drugs, without really caring much about the consequences or taking time to think if they could really just do it on their own. I believe ALL women are strong and capable of handling natural childbirth. And read up on epidurals and the like...there are still way too many negatives with them...they really should just be used when you really can't stand things anymore, or if medically necessary (needing a c-section). To me, the lessening of pain in that manner is not worth the risks it involves...not when I can use natural methods to lessen pain almost just as effectively. Go ahead, watch some you-tube videos of natural births, especially those using techniques like hypnobirthing, and see how amazing they are. Woman aren't writhing in pain or screaming bloody murder, they do quite fine, and some even seem to be in a trance-like state (deep relaxation, and they only feel intense sensations, not pain). And when they have the baby, they are so much more aware and happy and fulfilled. I am really looking forward to that, and being able to add my personal accounts to birthing stories.

Anyway, don't want to get carried away. Just want people to think about it more, instead of just assuming or jumping to conclusions. Just about everyone I meet thinks I am weird or crazy for wanting a natural birth, and that just doesn't make much sense to me, since "I" am the one doing the normal, natural thing. Heh.

So...enough for's the official baby info.

Your Baby This Week
Baby's weight continues to increase, reaching around 6.5 pounds (3.2 kg) now. While baby is about 21 inches (53 cm) long, his limbs and tummy are all growing rounder and chubbier every day. His skin is less wrinkly now, and most of the redness has turned to a hue that reflects your baby's ethnic heritage.
By this time, most babies descend down into your pelvis, head first, getting ready for birth. In about 3% of pregnancies, babies turn in the other direction, a situation known as a breech presentation. If this is the case for your baby, don't worry as this often changes--sometimes just hours before labor!

Your Body This Week
You are probably not seeing much change in the size of your tummy now, and your weight should be close to the maximum that your health care provider predicted or recommended. You can expect your caregiver to perform a pelvic exam around this time to help determine the progress of your pregnancy and better judge your due date.
Your due date is so close that you could easily deliver at any time! Chances are very good that delivering from this week on, your baby will be healthy. Take a deep breath. Labor, delivery and motherhood will all be amazing and wonderful experiences!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Halfway done

Now that I am home on maternity leave, I am starting to make a bit more progress on the baby blanket. I was hoping I would be further than I am, but at least it's moving. And if this baby waits another two weeks or so, I think I might actually finish it in time. I just need to keep knitting as much as possible. I am finally at the halfway point, and it's looking pretty good, I think. Here, take a look:

Not too bad, eh? I can't wait to see the thing finished. Of course, I will have a million ends to weave in (okay, more like 58 or so...but that's a heck of a lot. Way more than the multi-colored baby hats I do which I usually feel have too many ends to weave in...*sigh* I should weave in ends as a I go, save myself some crying). And then there is a crocheted edge and blocking. day at a time. If that has to be done after the baby is born, so be it.

So, hopefully I will be able to post a new picture next week, with even more progress on it. Here's to quick knitting!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

What's in a name?

For months now, Matt and I have been trying to pick out names for the baby. I really thought we would have picked out two names a lot sooner. I figured this time would be easier somehow (not sure why, this time we had two to pick out, plus middle names, instead of just going with Matt's to start a tradition), and that we would be done a lot sooner. Instead, here we are at 36 weeks and 3 days, and we just now have settled on the two first names. I had a list of 20+ girls names, and almost as many boys names. Matt's lists were a bit smaller...but despite their sizes, NONE of our boys names were the same, AND only three of the girls names happened to be the same. *sigh* So began the process of narrowing down the lists. And when we finally got down to a handful on either, it became really hard. Because we had our favorites and neither really wanted to give them up, AND because the ones we liked the most, the other didn't really like it at all (my favorite names were some of his least favorite, and vice versa).
Finally, today, we came to a compromise. Out of 5 boys names, we went with his favorite and my 3rd choice. Out of 4 girls names, we went with my 2nd choice and his 3rd choice (both our favorites for girls were names that the other really didn't like). *sigh*
And I am finding it hard to just accept them. I guess I really wanted to go with my names. I am trying to imagine naming our son with Matt's choice, and it's not really my ideal. But I can't always get my way, and I sort of won with Liam the first time around. But even with the girl's's not my first, ideal choice. But Matt dislikes that one enough that I would feel weird going with it. So...we both had to compromise a bit on it...not either of our first choices. So, again...I am not all that happy. But again...why should I get my way? I tend to get my way a lot. I want a certain color for a's that color. I want to do a specific thing on a given tends to happen. Etc...either because Matt doesn't really have a preference, or because he doesn't feel it's worth it to voice his preference...or I just really can't give in. (yeah, I am spoiled...but that's probably for another post...need to work on that)
So...I am here, now...trying to accept these final names, trying to accept that neither of my favorites have made it, and that with both I am giving in a little (or a lot more). I know I will get used to them, and after a while, the names WILL become a part of who the baby is, and we won't be able to imagine the baby with any other name. The baby is who the baby is...regardless of name. It shouldn't really be a big deal, should it?

And no, I am not yet going to post the names. We still need to figure out middle names...and it's been less than 12 hours since we decided on the names, so there is still room for change. The names will probably be announced when the baby is least, the one name will be. So...stop thinking about it. heh.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

When cleaning up is wonderful!

So, I took advantage of the great weather today and cleaned up my garden. Something I always enjoy (although by the end of it I usually am annoyed at just how big my gardens are and I wonder why I put in the extra garden). It's nice to clear out the dead stuff and to see the new stuff starting to grow in, to smell the clean earthy scent mixed with mulch. To no longer see the cluttery mess that is this:

But to see large stretches of earth-colored mulch with new beginnings of life springing from it:

(I LOVE purple flowers!)

(see the new life poking out of the ground? *smile* Those are hostas in the making.)

Monday, March 21, 2011

OMG, at 36 weeks!

I am now 36 weeks pregnant...which means I have 4 weeks to go (give or take). For some reason, it seems like another mile marker. I guess only having one month to go. Holy crap. It's just around the corner, and if I go early like I want to, it's even closer.

Let's see, what updates do I have? Well, I am now on maternity leave. Friday was my last day of work. So today is my first day of being at home instead of work. And it feels...AWESOME! It feels freeing! Like I have tons of time to get stuff done! I don't just have evenings to try to cram stuff into. I have the whole day to get things done. AND, I don't really have any major projects now. The baby's room is pretty much ready (just need to finish unpacking the shower gifts and putting away baby laundry), Liam's birthday party is past (just a little post-party clean-up left), and it's mainly just getting caught up with laundry and a few things now. And knitting. I do have that baby blanket to finish and need to get a move-on with that, BUT now I have full days in which to do it, so there might be hope yet.

Anyway, I actually have to run off to an appointment (got a prenatal massage booked...mmmmmmmm), so I will post this week's belly picture and official info, and post any other updates later in the week.

Your Baby This Week
Nearly 21 inches (53 cm) long and weighing in at 6 pounds (3 kg), your baby is rapidly approaching her birth weight. You may notice your "belly" seems to have dropped and may seem slightly smaller. That's because your baby has dropped lower in your pelvis, relieving some of the pressure on your abdomen.
While she may still move around a bit in the weeks to come, generally she'll settle comfortably in the lower part of your uterus. In the meantime, baby's brain tissue continues to develop, and finally, the lungs and respiratory system are nearing maturity.

Your Body This Week
Well there's no getting around it--you're feeling like you're carrying a beach ball! Driving will become more difficult, as will sitting in the front seat of a vehicle; going up and down stairs will start to feel like climbing a mountain! Even though you have a few weeks to go, your weight may stabilize around this time, so you won't get much larger. Stay off your feet as much as possible to minimize swelling and cramping, and rest when you can.
You will probably visit your health care provider on a weekly basis now--a sign that the delivery day is drawing near. Although your appointments will be frequent, they'll also be short; bring a list of any questions you have, particularly about labor and delivery.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Finally! It's here!

It's official. Today is the day. A day I've been waiting for. Not much different than yesterday, technically. But still, a special day nonetheless. the First Day of Spring!

After all that winter brought...all that snow and ice and cold and bleakness, to day I can finally say it's Spring. True, Thursday and Friday's were much more along the lines of Spring, in the 60's and 70's. Today was a high of 52. But still...TODAY is officialy Spring. TODAY. And given that the highs for the next 10 days are all in the upper 40's to the high 50's, it looks like we are out of the truly cold weather. And I am a MUCH happier person for it!

I am going to celebrate this week by clearing out all the dead stuff in my garden. Needs done anyway and if I wasn't so busy preparing for maternity leave and my son's birthday, I probably would have done it already. But, this seems like good timing (and both the party and last day of work have passed), so clean-up it is.

*happy sigh*

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

35 weeks (late post)

Sorry, I was 35 weeks on Monday (14th), but things have been so hectic this week that I haven't had time to post. I am MAKING time to post right now, but as a result don't have time to really add much personal stuff. Basically, this is my last week of week before Maternity Leave and I have a HUGE amount of stuff to get done before it's over.
Did the hospital tour on Saturday with my mom (Matt was geeking it out at PAXEast in Boston the entire weekend). Maternity area is older and more narrow-feeling than Underwood and the whole process there is a bit more confusing, with a lot more room-moving and rules and such going on. And the impending move to the new facility in May (we'll miss out on that by a month) has generated some confusion as well. Guess we'll figure it out as we go. Hopefully I won't be at the hospital long at all, anyway.
I had my OB appointment on Monday and everything looks great. Baby sounds and measures fine, I am doing fine, the baby hurting me a lot is normal, and even though I swear there will be a permanent footprint inside my uterus in one spot, it's all good.

On to the official info:

Your Baby This Week
Well over 5 pounds (2.5 kg) and more than 20 inches (51 cm) long, your baby is continuing to grow at a rapid pace.
If you were to give birth this week, your baby would probably need the warmth of an incubator to survive. That's because he still doesn't have enough fat cells to keep his body warm. But he will have the warmth of your tummy for just a little while longer!

Your Body This Week
As the anticipation builds, you're beginning to feel more like a "mother" every day. If you haven't already picked out a name, start narrowing down the list now! As the time draws near, your anxiety may build and you might find yourself experiencing the mood swings of early pregnancy. You probably feel frustrated as your size keeps you from your normal routines and makes sleeping more difficult. It's also normal to worry about your baby's health, the anticipated pain of labor, and potential problems with delivery. If these things are bothering you, talk to your health care provider, along with your mother, sisters or girlfriends. You'll soon discover that everyone had the same fears and got through it.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Today is a very special day. It's March 10th.

Four years ago today, my son was born, and I became a mother. It seems an eternity ago, so much has happened with him. He's grown up so quick, and so big. No longer a little baby or even toddler, but a little boy. And it seems like he won't be little for much longer. The things he says, the things he remembers, the concepts he grasps, the imagination he's all so amazing. It just blows my mind. I am so proud of him.

This... now this...

(sorry for poor quality, will upload better one when I can get one)

I could go on and on about him, but where do I stop? There is just so much to tell about him, so much to share. I suddenly am overwhelmed with how much there is to share. His love of pirates and everything Pirates of the Caribbean. His love of firetrucks and rescue vehicles. The way he smiles. His hugs, and his kisses. His reasoning, and lack thereof. The way he snores softly when asleep. How he dresses and undresses himself, and even how he uses the potty like a big boy. His imagination, his point of view, and his memory of things. All unbelieveable. Completely...

Monday, March 7, 2011

Now at 34 weeks

The weeks keep ticking by and it seems like they are speeding up. Things are slowly getting done for the baby, but not as quickly as the weeks are flying by. *sigh* I am only now a quarter done with the blanket and almost half of the time I had left has passed, so I need to pick up the pace. And we really need to go over baby names and narrow them down. *sigh* The baby's room needs to be painted and the rest of the furniture pulled together, and we need to get a dresser in there so the baby clothes aren't just sitting in a big basket on the floor. CRAZY!

On a upbeat note, my Baby Sprinkle (mini baby shower) was this weekend, and it was fun to hang out with all the ladies. As soon as my mom gives me her pictures, I'll post them up here.

Here is the belly picture and official info for this week, since I am out of time for much else:

Your Baby This Week
Your baby is almost ready to greet you and the rest of the world. A bouncing bundle of joy at 5 pounds (2.5 kg) and nearly 20 inches (51 cm), your baby's organs are almost fully matured with the exception of the lungs, which will continue to develop almost until birth.
Though you can't see your baby, her skin is turning from red to pink. While her fingernails are fully formed, the toenails still need more time to grow. Some babies will even have a full head of hair by this point.

Your Body This Week
You're probably starting to give serious thought to ideas like breastfeeding, labor and delivery. Now is a good time to begin discussing all your options with your health care provider. Meanwhile, baby is snoozing a lot, letting you run the show for a little while longer.
If you have been experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions already, they may become more frequent now (or you may start to experience them for the first time). These can be intense, but are much shorter in duration than the contractions you'll experience during real labor. Because your pelvis is rapidly expanding, it may begin to ache; your lower back is also feeling the strain of your growing baby. Getting off your feet as much as possible and lying on your left side will help a lot.