Sunday, November 3, 2013

Jude's Birth Story: Part 5

I was starting to get very discouraged.  Why can't I be ready to push?  I wanted it to be over so bad. 

"Have you tried any counter pressure?" my midwife asked.

"No," I answered.  Would that take the pain away?? I was willing to try anything.

She showed Adam how to use his fists to apply counter pressure to my lower back.  It was instantly relieving. 

"Now I am going to do circles on your belly," my midwife said.  "Your uterus is very sensitive during labor, and it picks up on any little activity.  So when I rub circles on your belly, your muscles are going to pay attention to that, and pay less attention to the pain.  Does that make sense?" she explained.

I couldn't tell if she was making this up, trying to make me believe it was working, or if it was actually working.  Either way, I went with believing her, and it did help.  I tried my best to focus on the circles, and less on the contraction. 

Adam and my midwife worked as a team over the next few minutes.  Eventually, the counter pressure stopped working. 

"This means that the baby has moved very far down, Amanda.  He is not situated toward the back anymore.  He is in the front now.  We are very close."  I hoped she was right.

I paced around the room.  I was starting to get very hot.  I really wanted to strip off my hospital gown, but I tried to resist.  I'm not into being naked in a room full of strangers.  I asked for a cold rag, and my nurse brought it to me. 

I walked over to the tray table that was by the big window in my room.  I leaned on it and focused out the window with the rag to my forehead.  It looked so pretty outside.  My view was mostly of the parking lot, but the sky was so pretty.  I thought about how this was just a normal day to other people.  It's so strange to be in one of the biggest moments of your life, and to look out and see people driving by, like it's just any other day.  I wish I had a picture of this moment.  It felt like such a private and desperate moment for me.  I thought about the curse that God put on women in childbirth because of  Eve's sin.  I wondered what it would have felt like if there had been no sin.

I gripped the sides of the tray table, trying to control the contractions.  I remember thinking that it didn't satisfy, and that I needed to grip something else.  I felt out of control with the pain. 

"I can't do this anymore," I whimpered to Adam.  I really didn't feel like crying, but I felt like I needed to, to let him know how serious I was.  I never asked for an epidural, but I thought about it, just to let him know how much I was hurting.  Everyone had been telling me how great I was doing with the pain and how calm and collected I was.  I felt like they didn't understand how much I was hurting, because I wasn't showing it.  But at the same time, I didn't feel like I needed to show it.  It wouldn't change anything.  I would have to deal with it either way, so I just kept quiet.

In my head, I started getting upset.  I wanted to start pushing, but I did not have the urge.  I searched my body and found nothing.  No need for bearing down.  No desire to push.  I spread my legs apart and started lightly bouncing and gently bearing down.  I felt like he was low, but I still didn't need to push.  I wondered if I would ever have the urge, or if I should just start pushing.  I continued to hesitantly bear down.

"I want to start pushing.  I want her to tell me it's time to push," I whimpered again.

Adam said something to my midwife to get her to come over.  I don't remember details from here.  She tried to check me while I was standing, but she couldn't see much. 

"What side does she like to lay on?" my midwife asked Adam.

"Her right side, " he replied.  I remember being surprised that Adam knew the answer to that question.  I smiled inside.  I thought it was so sweet that he knew the answer.  I didn't think he paid attention to things like that.  When the boy sleeps, he sleeps!

"Come lay down, Amanda.  Lay on your right side.   I'm going to check you," she said as she guided me to the bed.

As soon as I started to lay down, I jumped up.

"I can't do it.  I can't lay down.  It hurts.  I can't lay down!" I yelled as I tried to pull up on the bed rails.

"I have to check you.  You need to lay down," my midwife said as she gently pushed me back into the bed.  I was surprised that she was making me lay down.  I wondered why she wouldn't let me up.

I don't remember what I said at this point, but she managed to check me and said that I was about 9.5 to 10 centimeters dilated. 

"Let's just see what happens when you push.  Give me a very little push, Amanda."

I gave the slightest push that I could.

There are no words to explain what happened at this point. 

My body began baring down on its own.  I had no control whatsoever.  I had no control over how hard I was bearing down, how long I was bearing down, or anything.  I heard myself scream.  It was a terrifying scream, to me.  I did not recognize my own voice.  It was a mixture of a scream and a groan.  My throat hurt.

"Ok, let's go ahead and get ready," my midwife tried to say as calmly as she could.  Everyone in the room started running around.  "I need someone to grab her legs.  I can't see well enough.  She needs to be on her back."

I have no idea who was holding my legs, and who was where.  My eyes were closed.  My body continued to randomly bear down. 

I bit my wash cloth and kept my head turned to the side.  I continued to scream each time I bore down.  I had no control at all.

"Would it be possible for me to catch the baby?" I heard Adam ask.

"Yes!  Let's get you suited up!  Can we get him some scrubs? Hurry!  He's coming!" my midwife called to my nurse.

"Oh, wow!  Already?" Adam asked surprised.

"Oh yes, he's coming!" My midwife exclaimed.

I was so surprised.  I didn't think he would want to catch the baby, and things were happening so fast that I was surprised he even stopped them to ask. 

I remember hearing the "ding" on the warmer.  At some point, the baby nurse had come in, and the warmer was ready.  There were so many things going on, but I felt so out of it.  So out of my mind.

I felt myself bear down.  Hard.

"There's the head! Look at the hair!" someone announced.

I felt someone start playing with the baby's hair.  How strange, I thought.

"Ok, Amanda, I need you to give me a really good push," my midwife coached.

As soon as I began my first real push (on purpose), my body took over again.  I felt my body curl into a "C" as I bore down.  The pressure was so unreal.  My body must be exploding.  I was positive that I was tearing.  How could I not be? 

"The head is out!  Great push, now we are going to wait for him to rotate," I heard my midwife say.

Adam later told me that this part scared him.  Jude's head was out, but he was completely lifeless and blue.  No breathing, no facial movements, seemingly no life in him. 

"Would you like to reach down and touch his head?" I heard a nurse ask.

"No," I answered very bluntly, eyes still closed.  I was ready to get him out.  I did not want to sit in this moment.

"Ok, he has rotated Amanda," I heard my midwife say.

I knew nothing of babies rotating.  I guess I had never really read or researched about this point in childbirth.  I sat there, waiting for a contraction.  I didn't feel the urge to push.  I laid there peacefully. 

"One more push, Amanda!  You've got to get those shoulders out!" a nurse at my left shoulder yelled.

I remember feeling very irritated at her.  Didn't she know I needed to wait until I had a contraction to push?  I was mad that she was rushing me.

I went ahead and pushed, and I felt my body step in and take over.  The pressure intensified, and just when I thought he wasn't coming out, the shoulders delivered, and I felt his whole body slide out.  I remember thinking about how I thought I felt August deliver with the epidural, but this was nothing like that.

"Look at your baby!"  I heard someone say.

I looked down as he was being placed on my chest.  (Adam did catch him, but I missed that part.  Adam said he was much more slippery than he was anticipating.)  Jude was a mixture of blue and purple.  He had a towel around him, and several nurses was rubbing him vigorously as he laid on my chest.  There was no "white stuff" on him, and he didn't have a lot of blood on him either.  I was surprised.  I realized they were trying to get him to pink up, so I began rubbing his back and talking to him.  Adam later told me that as the head came out, they saw that the cord was wrapped once around his head, and that my midwife had to slip it off of him. 

"It's mommy.  It's mommy, honey.  I love you.  It's ok," I whispered to him. 

He began to open his eyes and look at me.  His color started to improve. 

"He knows his momma!"  One of the nurses said.

I am not sure how long I held him.  I remember feeling his cord rubbing up against my arm.  It was a very uncomfortable feeling.  The cord was so thick and big.  My midwife said it was very healthy.  I didn't like the way it felt on my arm, all rubbery.  But what I really didn't like was the way I felt it tugging inside of me.  I could feel it tugging on the placenta.  I remembered it still had to come out, and I wondered if it would hurt. 

"Ok, Amanda.  It's been a couple minutes, so we are going to go ahead and cut the cord.  Adam, would you like to cut it?" my midwife asked.

Adam said yes, and they handed him the scissors.  I could tell the cord was very tough. 

After a couple minutes, my midwife suggested that I give Jude to the baby nurse to have his vitals checked and his weights and measurements done.  I'm not sure if there was any kind of emergency, but I remember my midwife looking very attentively to things going on down below. 

A nurse came over to my bedside and hooked something up to my IV.  I'm still not sure if it was fluids or Pitocin, but I am betting Pitocin since my placenta still hadn't come out yet.  As soon as the IV was hooked up into the port, my midwife began pressing on my belly.  After a minute or so, I felt the placenta slide out. 

"Was that the placenta?  Can I see it?"  I asked.  Placentas always fascinate me.

My midwife held it up.  It was huge and bright red!  She showed me the hole where she had broken my water.  I couldn't believe how big the hole was!  It was about the size of a baseball.  She said the placenta was very healthy.

My midwife told me she was going to start looking for tears.

"I have found a tear that is about this big." According to her finger span, it was a pretty decent size.  "I would say it's a 2nd degree tear.  I am going to clean you up and look for more tears, ok?" 

I was very disappointed that I had torn again.  My legs were shaking so badly that they were convulsing.  It worried me, but I hoped it was just adrenaline.  My teeth were also chattering pretty badly. 

As my midwife cleaned me, she began to find more tears.  She gave me a numbing shot next to each of the tears before she began stitching.  The shot was very painful.  After the shot, I could feel the tugging of the sewing.  I tried not to cry.  The last 2 stitches she found at the last minute, and had to sew them up without a shot.  That was the hardest part.

During this time, the baby nurse tried to keep me distracted.  She announced Jude's weight: 8 pounds 8 ounces!  20 inches long!  I couldn't believe he was so big. He was the same length as August, but heavier.  And it showed!  He was so chunky. 

When my midwife had finally finished the stitches, I somehow managed to lift up so they could change the sheets underneath me.  They covered me with a blanket and handed Jude back to me.  I began to calm down, and my body started to relax.  I nursed him for the first time, just 20 minutes or so after birth.  He latched right away.  Not a great latch, but we would work on that.  I was just glad we were able to.  I can't even remember if he took both sides or not.  But I remember that we looked into each other's eyes as he nursed, and it was a beautiful moment.  I felt so at peace. 

We stayed at the hospital two nights after that and left without any complications for either Jude or for me.  It was a wonderful experience.  My recovery was so much easier this time around.  I was up walking around very soon after his birth.  I told Adam right after I had him that I would never have a natural birth again.  However, not even a week later, my tune had changed.  I now can't wait to do it again.  It's so funny how that works.  Adam laughs every time I say I would do it again.  But you really can't beat the simplicity and the experience of a natural child birth.  The pain and the work are so worth it.  I am so thankful that I was able to have this experience.  It is forever engraved into my heart.  Every time I look at Jude and he looks back at me, I feel like we have this bond between us that no one else can understand.  I can't think about his birth without getting teary-eyed.  It's such a part of me.  I am so grateful to God for His hand in Jude's birth and to my husband and midwife for their amazing support.  It was such a beautiful experience.  We love Jude so much, and I am looking forward to our life together as a family of 4.....well, 4 for now.  ;)


Hearing Test....passed 100%
Not happy about his first time in his car seat
Took a pic of my recovery room as we were leaving
I wanted to remember what my belly looked like the day we went home.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Jude's Birth Story: Part 4

We walked back into our room, and I was already feeling defeated. 

"What do you want to do?" Adam asked me.

"I don't know.  This isn't going to work.  It's already been over an hour since she broke my water, and nothing is happening.  They are going to put me on Pitocin," I answered.

"Well why don't you try the exercise ball?"

"I guess I can," I sighed.

The nurse walked back in to check on us, and we asked her for a ball.  I had brought my own to the hospital, but we left it in the van.  That morning the nurse had told us that they had exercise balls that we could use if we wanted to.  We decided to use theirs so we wouldn't have to clean ours up. 

I went to the bathroom to change mesh underwear and get a new pad since I still had water leaking pretty heavily.  Adam surfed through the channels on the t.v., and after finding nothing good on to watch, settled for a world news channel.  The nurse came back in with a green exercise ball and ice chips.  She checked on my wireless monitor, told us to let her know if we needed anything else, and headed out.  I appreciated that she didn't hover.  She gave us plenty of privacy.

I sat down on the ball and began bouncing.  Adam and I made small talk about the news and occasionally answered texts from family to keep them updated.  They were all planning to come to the hospital when things were getting close.  I felt silly that we really had nothing to update on.  After a few minutes of bouncing, I realized that I wasn't really bouncing that much.  I wondered how high/hard you were supposed to bounce to actually get things going.  I have heard that bouncing on the exercise ball works for a lot of people, especially once your water is broken.  I began bouncing much more vigorously than before.

Out of nowhere, I had very strong contraction.  Much stronger than any of the ones I had felt up until that point.  There was a very sharp sensation with it.  It felt like a really intense period cramp mixed with a gas pain. 

"Whoa, that hurts," I told Adam. 

After a few minutes, I had another one.

"Maybe we should start timing these," I said. 

Adam pulled up my contraction timer ("Full Term") on my phone.  I had downloaded it early in my pregnancy.

The contractions were coming every 5-7 minutes.  I tried to continue to bounce through them, hoping it would increase the intensity and make them come more frequently.  However, after just a few contractions, I had to stop bouncing during the contraction and just focus on breathing.  I would take a deep breath and a long exhale. I would picture myself blowing the pain away.  It seemed to make me feel like I was doing something to control or cope with the pain.  I already could no longer talk through the contractions.

Somewhere around this time, I noticed the monitor wasn't picking up my contractions.  It was showing a flat line, so something wasn't working right.  I wanted my midwife to be able to see that things were progressing, so we called the nurse in to see if she could fix the monitors.  I remember I couldn't look up at her or talk to her when she came in.  Another nurse came in to help her with the monitors, and she told me that I had a pretty color on my toenails.  I remember I had trouble thanking her, and I felt rude for not being able to smile or make conversation. (Fun fact: My toenails were painted "mint candy apple" by Essie.  The same color I wore on my toes when I had August. It looks baby blue, so I thought it was appropriate!)  

At this point it was around 10:45 a.m., two hours after my midwife had broken my water.

After about 30 minutes of this, the contractions were still about every 5-7 minutes.  I knew they needed to get closer together.  The clock was ticking.  My midwife would be there around lunch time, and I didn't want her to put me on Pitocin.  I tried to think of what else we could do.  I remembered that my midwife had talked to me about nipple stimulation.  I know, I said nipple.  Calm down, it's not that crazy.  I debated leaving this part out, but I really can't.  I have no idea why or how this works, but my midwife suggested as a natural induction technique to stimulate my nipples to bring on contractions.  For some people, it can take hours using a breast pump for this to do anything.  I decided to just use my fingers to mimic a baby sucking.  Yes, it was awkward.  Yes, I kind of felt like a perv.  But I did this for a few minutes while bouncing on the ball.

A few minutes was all it took.  My contractions started coming hard and fast.  They were every 2 to 3 minutes at this point.  I couldn't believe how quickly the stimulation had worked.  I couldn't believe it worked, period.

I had to get up.  I couldn't sit through the contractions anymore.  As I stood up, my water gushed everywhere.  All over my flip flops (the ones I like to wear all the time, not sure what I was thinking), and all over the floor.  The water was so deep that it was even with the top of my flip flops, which have some height to them.

At this time, it was somewhere around 11:30.  I knew my midwife would be here to check me around lunch time.  We put my flip flops in the shower, and Adam wiped up the fluid with some towels.  I started pacing around the room, half trying to walk through the pain, and half trying to make sure things continued to progress.  When I would feel a contraction, I would put my head into Adam's chest, and we would sway back and forth.  I tried to continue trips to the bathroom to keep my bladder empty.  The contractions were at least a minute long at this point, and some were about a minute and a half long.

For the next hour and 15 minutes, I labored.  Contractions stayed 2-3 minutes apart, mostly closer to 2 minutes.  I only felt the need to blow out.  I didn't moan, hum, or make any noise.  I didn't feel like it would help me.  I felt like I was saving energy by not making any sounds.  I paced around the room, only stopping for the contractions.  I pictured a wave rising high, and then falling.  I tried not to think about the future, just to focus on one contraction at a time.

Around 12:45, my midwife arrived.  She looked at my monitor and told me that I had an excellent labor pattern.  I was so glad to hear that she thought things were going well.  I knew they were going as they should, but I was just afraid they would try to rush me.

My midwife had me lay down in bed so she could check me in between contractions.  I laid down quickly because I knew I did not want to feel a contraction while laying down.  It didn't hurt at all when she checked me, and she didn't have to go very far up at all. 

"You're at a 6!  You are doing great!" she said.

I was happy and disappointed at the news.  Happy because these contractions were doing something, and sad because I was hoping to at least be at a 7.  In my mind, I thought I was at a 7 for some reason.

"I'm going to go check on a few other patients, but I will stay at the hospital.  I don't think it's going to be long, Amanda.  You are about to enter transition.  Things are going to get more intense.  Have you had anything to drink?" my midwife asked.

"No, just ice chips," I replied.  The nurses said I couldn't have any liquids.

"Well, I'm going to go get you a Sprite.  Adam, would you like anything?  Coke?"

Adam nodded.  I love my midwife.  I'm not sure how anyone is supposed to labor without fluids or a little sugar.  She was great.

After she brought us the drinks, she headed out of the room and told me that she would be back in a little while to check on me.  I drank the Sprite.  Sprite has never tasted so good.  I savored it as it went down.  It seemed like such a luxury.

I continued to pace and sway, pace and sway.  At this point, it was just after 1 p.m.  I wanted to lay down and rest so badly, but I just couldn't.  I had to keep moving to deal with the pain.  But I was so tired.  So, so tired.  I remembered that a couple of my friends who have had natural labors told me that they labored in the rocking chair.  I really didn't want to sit down, but I needed to take the weight off of my feet for a few minutes.  I sat in the rocking chair.  I asked Adam to get my pink fuzzy socks out of our bag since my feet were cold on the tile floor.  It ended up being quite the fashion statement with my hospital gown.  We now laugh and refer to those socks as my "amniotic socks" since they got soaked with fluid and stayed on for the duration of the day.  (Don't worry, they've since been washed!) I was only in the chair for 5-10 minutes, but I was glad I was able to take a load off.  Adam took this clip with his phone. 

Between 1:00 and 2:00, my midwife came in a couple times to check on me.  Every time she would come in the room, my contractions would stall.  I guess I was getting a little bit of stage fright or something.  I wanted so badly for her to tell me that I was ready to push.  She knew that I was progressing because she was watching my monitor out at the nurse's station.  I didn't really realize that at the time though.  I was kind of out of it. 

By 2:00, my contractions were every 1-2 minutes.  I told Adam that I wanted my midwife in the room.  I wanted her in there because I wanted her to help me or tell me I was ready to push.  I felt like things had to be close, and I felt like I needed her support.  She told me to lay down on the bed so she could check me.  It was so hard to lay on the bed.  It was so painful to be in that position.  She checked me and said that I was a "stretchy 8", and that she could easily stretch me to a 9.

"Do it!" I said.  "Stretch me!"

She laughed and said that she was going to let my body progress as it needed to. 

"This is where you asked for your epidural last time, Amanda.  Do you remember?  And you have always told me that you regretted that.  This is where you are now.  It is very intense.  But you can do it, and you want to do it.  You are doing a great job."  She was so encouraging.

At this point, I told Adam to leave the contraction timer alone because I needed his full attention.  I knew we didn't need it anymore.  Things were getting close.  I remember at this point going into the bathroom to empty my bladder.  My midwife was in the bathroom with me.  I looked into the mirror as I washed my hands.  My face was so pale.  I looked like I had been hit by a truck.  I was so, so tired. 

"Why am I so pale?" I asked.

"Well, I know you have been breathing well.  Make sure you are still breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth though," she said.

I made sure to follow her instructions.  I wanted the baby to have enough oxygen. 

We went back out into the room and I leaned on Adam.  We swayed through a contraction.

"Wait right there!  What a beautiful moment.  May I take a picture?" my midwife asked.

I nodded and had to give a little laugh.  I'm sure I looked great.  But I knew I would want to look back on the moment later. 

I started to wonder how much more I could take.  Things had to happen soon, right?  I was running out of steam.  I searched my body for the urge to push, but found nothing.  I couldn't do it anymore.


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Jude's Birth Story: Part 3

The nurse quickly started wiping up the blood from placing the IV port.  I started to feel faint.

"I'm going to get some wipes to clean this up.  Don't look down," she said as she jogged over to the supply closet.

"This happened last time too.  Why does it always do that?," I asked the nurse as I stared at the wall.

"You just have really good veins!" she answered.

The nurse began cleaning up the tray table (which got covered in blood), the floor, and my arm.  The smell of the alcohol made my head spin.  I thought for sure I was going to pass out or throw up.  Was I sure I could have a natural child birth?  At this point I definitely wasn't so sure.  I started to wonder if I should just ask for the epidural, get the Pitocin, and not feel a thing.  It was something I was considering.

At 7:50, I wrote this entry in my phone: IV port in place.  Hooked up to monitors.  Waiting on my midwife to come break my water.

A few minutes later, the anesthesiologist came in.  She had me fill out some papers in case I decided to get an epidural.  She explained how it would work and how the catheter would work.  I told her that I was planning to try to go without the epidural.  I don't remember what her response was to that, but I could tell that she had heard that before and that she wasn't buying it.  I decided I wanted to have the baby naturally just to show her that I could.

"Well, you will probably still be getting a catheter.  You won't want to be up having to empty your bladder every few minutes while you're in labor."

I looked at Adam.  I have never even heard of that.  I didn't know people got catheters without having an epidural, except for when you are on Magnesium Sulfate or something like that.  That doesn't even make sense to me.  Anyway, I knew she would not be invited back into the room.  I will happily empty my bladder before I will take a catheter.

My nurse came back in a little while later, and for the next hour I sat watching the monitor and answering her questions.  To be honest, I can't remember her name.  She was very sweet and would be my nurse all the way until the baby came.   

At 8:45, my midwife arrived.  I got really nervous when I saw her, but she was very cheerful and upbeat.  She lowered the bed back to check me.

"You are at about a 3," she said.  "I am going to go ahead and break your water.  Take a deep breath and relax."

I saw her remove the amniotic hook from the plastic wrapper, and then I found a spot to stare at on the wall.  I told Adam about the amniotic hook the night before.  He thought the midwife just used her fingernail to pop the bag of water.  I don't think he realized how tough the bag of water is.  It took my midwife a few tries, but she finally got it to break.  I didn't even feel it.  I exhaled a big sigh of relief.  About as soon as I felt the relief, I felt a lump in my throat.  Now he has to come out.  There is no going back.  He will be born today. 

"Alright, I will be back to check on you at lunch.  If you need anything, let them know."

"How long do you think it will take?" I asked, hoping she was thinking somewhere along the lines of a couple hours.

"Well there is no way to tell, but I think you are ready.  It didn't take long with August, right?"

"Right.  I went from 3 to 8 centimeters pretty quickly," I replied.

"Well, it probably won't take too long then," she smiled.  "I'll be back at lunch. Let your nurse know if you need anything."  She gave another smile and a wave as she left the room. 

My nurse explained to me that my contractions would soon be picking up in intensity.  She told me that she would not offer me any pain medication during labor, but I was to let her know if I wanted anything.  She unhooked me from the monitor next to my bed and began getting me on the wireless monitor.  It consisted of 4 sticky pads that attached to my belly and a necklace with a little black receiver on the end to communicate with the monitor next to my bed.  They had to "exfoliate" my belly where they needed to stick the pads to make sure they would stay in place.  They basically used a fine grit sandpaper to do this, and that part did not feel good.

Once the wireless monitor was working, the nurse left us, and I got out of bed to go to the bathroom and walk the halls.  When I stood up, water went EVERYWHERE.  I soaked the entire bed and the floor all around the bed.  We had to call the nurse back in to clean it up.  I felt so embarrassed, and I really felt bad that she had to clean it up.  She told me not to apologize and that it is part of her job.  I still felt really bad.  I went on to the bathroom, put on the giant mesh underwear and pad, slipped on my flip flops, and we headed out to the halls.

The labor and delivery part of the hospital was very small.  The hallway I was on was very short.  We started walking up and down the short hallway.  There were visitors coming down the hallway headed to different rooms.  I wondered if they thought it was odd that I was in such good spirits, walking the hall with no IV cart, in a hospital gown.  They probably wondered what I was doing there.  I started to wonder the same thing.  I felt really silly.

After a few minutes of hallway strolling, I told Adam we needed to step it up.  Power walking or something.  But there wasn't really anywhere to power walk.  My contractions were very irregular at this point, and they still didn't hurt.  I had a little more sensation with them after having my water broken, but still, nothing was really going on.

"I don't feel like we should even be here," I told Adam.  "Nothing is happening.  This isn't working.  I wish we could go home."

I used to always have the same dream when I was pregnant with August.  My plan has always been to go to the hospital at the last minute.  I have always planned to labor at home as long as possible.  But I kept having a recurring dream where I would check in at the hospital and realize that I wasn't in labor.  Once I was there, they wouldn't let me go back home. 

This felt exactly like that. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Jude's Birth Story: Part 2

We woke up the next morning just before 5.  My nerves were already jittery before my feet even hit the floor.  I got up to get ready while Adam caught a few more minutes of sleep.  I had been keeping a labor diary on my phone for the past couple weeks, recording my symptoms and feelings.  I typed this while I was getting ready.

                 August 29, 4:50 a.m. I can't believe this day is here. I didn't sleep much last night.  Dozed off and on. Got up 2 or 3 times to pee.  Kept waking up with a stomach ache.  Very nervous about having my water broken and nervous about pushing the baby out without an epidural.

I remember with August that it didn't hurt when the doctor broke my water.  I wasn't even sure she had done it, even though she told me she was fixing to break it.  I didn't have an epidural at that point, but I was on the Magnesium and Nubain, so I was pretty out of it.  I imagined a balloon popping inside of me.  Wouldn't I feel that?  Wouldn't it hurt if I didn't have any drugs?  I knew when I began pushing Jude out, that I would have adrenaline and all that going, but when they broke my water, it would just be me, sitting there dealing with it.  No drugs, adrenaline, or labor to speak of.  Just me getting my water broken.  I was really scared about it.

Adam started loading the car while I finished up my makeup and straightening my hair.  Yeah, I'm that girl.  I snapped a quick picture once I was all ready.

Comparing this picture to my other pregnancy pictures, I could tell that my face was starting to swell.

We packed a diaper bag, the "My Breast Friend" pillow, a suitcase that we shared, both of our pillows (we figured out from August's birth that these are a must have! Hospital pillows are awful, and you only get 1.), the video camera bag, and my purse.  We were set! 

It was 5:35 a.m. when we left the house, and we were supposed to be there at 6:00.  I of course wasn't hungry, but I knew I needed to eat.  We stopped by McDonald's, and I got a chicken biscuit.  I scarfed it down as we made our way to the hospital.  Our car ride was mostly quiet since we were trying to finish our breakfast.  I analyzed my body to see if I could determine anything.  I was definitely feeling some tightening, but no real pain.  It seemed to be coming about every 10 minutes. 

When we pulled into the parking lot, it was right at 6.  I was trying to keep the tears from coming.  I was so nervous, but I wanted to go into the birth optimistic and excited.  Adam parked the car and said that he wanted us to pray.  We bowed our heads, and Adam prayed for the delivery and for the nurses and our midwife.  He also prayed that my body would progress naturally and with as little intervention as possible.  When we said amen, I wiped a tear from my eyelashes, and we began unloading the car.

As we walked in the front lobby, a nurse was leaving.  She smiled at us, watching us with all of our stuff.  I remember thinking that was really nice of her to smile.  She sees people having babies every day.  I'm sure it's nothing new.  But it's nice that she smiled, and I felt encouraged by her.

When we walked up to the nurses' station, I gave them my name and what time I was supposed to be there. 

"She is so cute!" a nurse said.
"She is adorable" another nurse said.

I felt my face get hot, and I smiled when I realized they were talking about me.  I felt kind of silly being told I was cute and adorable.  Especially when they were about to see me not so cute and adorable.  Haha.  I wondered which of them would be my nurse.

They had me fill out and sign a few (scary) papers.  Then a nurse with a strong northern accent took us to our room.  She made small talk asking us if this was our first, and then when we said no, she asked us questions about August.  We got the same surprised reaction we always get when we told her our son was born last year.  :)

She took us into the labor room.  We were at a different hospital this time.  We would have a labor room and then a recovery room, which is different from our last hospital where you stay in the same room the whole time.  It of course looked more medical looking than I wanted.  I saw the IV cart next to the bed, and I immediately wanted to say that I wouldn't be using it, but I decided to wait. 

The nurse gave me my gown and told me to go ahead and change and go to the bathroom.  I walked into the bathroom and started changing.  Seriously, has no one come up with a better hospital gown yet?  Those things are so complicated.  I was probably supposed to go ahead and take my underwear off, but I left it on.  I wasn't ready for that yet.  I came back out and climbed into bed as the nurse had instructed.

A few minutes later, she came back in and asked if I had a birth plan.  I asked Adam to get my birth plan out of my purse, and he handed it to her.  She left the room to make a copy.  Here was my birth plan:

Adam and Amanda Hare's Birth Plan

Jude's Expected Due Date: 8/29/13

We are the proud parents of a 15 month old baby boy named August (born 5/3/12), and we are excited to welcome our second baby boy, Jude, into the world! August's birth was induced at 40 weeks and 2 days. We had planned on the birth being as natural as possible, but I was diagnosed with Preeclampsia upon check-in at the hospital. I was on IV fluids, Nubain, Magnesium Sulfate, an epidural, a catheter, continuous fetal monitoring, and several oral pain and blood pressure medications. I am hoping this birth will be a much different story. Thank you for reviewing our hopes for Jude's birth! We appreciate everything y'all do! We are looking forward to meeting our sweet boy!

-Adam and Amanda

  • I wish to have wireless fetal monitoring or intermittent fetal monitoring, as I hope to be mobile during labor.
  • I would like an IV port only- no IV fluids or IV medications unless medically necessary. This has been approved by my midwife.
  • I would like to try my very best to labor without an epidural, and I would prefer not to be offered one.
  • If labor is not progressing at a safe rate, I would like to try natural labor induction techniques and use pitocin as a last resort.

  • Birth
  • I wish to sit propped up to push Jude out, since I believe that will help my efficiency with pushing.
  • Please, no episiotomy unless absolutely necessary. I would greatly appreciate it if I could be coached and assisted so that I will not tear. Warm compresses and perineal stretching would be helpful. I had many 2nd degree tears with August, but he was pulled out of me all in one contraction, so I had no time to stretch. If tearing looks imminent, I prefer to tear naturally as opposed to an episiotomy.
  • Adam may prefer to "catch the baby" as long as everything is going well. However, he may decide to stay by my side.
  • I wish to delay cutting the cord for at least a couple minutes and to allow Jude to be placed on my chest after being born.
  • If any emergency assistance should be needed for Jude, I prefer for it to be given to him while he remains on my chest.
  • I wish to hold Jude for an extended period before he is passed off for cleaning up, weight, measurements, and the works. During this time I will give him the chance to nurse if he shows the desire.

  • Jude's Care


  • Transition: I request that his transition services be done in our room. I requested to fill out formal paperwork on this service during our hospital tour, but we were told to just request this service when we checked into the hospital.
    • Jude will be rooming in with us during our stay so that we can establish breastfeeding. I would prefer he be in the nursery (if he even has to be in the nursery) for the least amount of time possible so that he can nurse frequently.
    • Please do not give Jude any bottles or pacifiers. I would like to establish breastfeeding and will not be introducing artificial nipples until I feel that he has mastered nursing.
    • If for some reason supplementation is needed, we will not be supplementing with formula. I will be bringing a manual breast pump, and will supplement Jude with colostrum or breast milk (whatever I'm making at that time), and I will use a syringe, spoon, or dropper to give it to him.

      When the nurse came back in, she told me that she would be off duty soon, and that my new nurse would be here shortly, and she would be with me for the whole labor more than likely.  She walked over to my bed with what I recognized as the IV port.  Yay. I called Adam over to the bed for moral support.

      As she began cleaning my wrist for the port, my stomach turned flips.  I hated the smell of the alcohol wipe.  I tried not to look at the needle or the tubes.  Once she had all of her tape ready, she said the infamous words, "Big stick!"

      I stared into Adam's face as he watched her place the port.  I wished he would look at me and not at what the nurse was doing.  Then all of a sudden, I felt a sharp, stinging pain accompanied by a loud noise that sounded like someone was slurping the last drops out of a straw. 

      "Oh, don't look!" said the nurse.  "I made a mess.  Don't look."

      Sweat started pouring off of face.  Here we go again. 


      Thursday, October 10, 2013

      Jude's Birth Story: Part 1

      Well, I disappeared for the rest of Jude's pregnancy, but here I am with his birth story!  I really fell out of blogging for a few months.  I was so busy enjoying my last few months with August (and I was so exhausted from taking care of August) that blogging fell to the back burner.  However, even though I didn't document the last several weeks of Jude's pregnancy, I want to document his birth.  It was quite different from his brother's!  You can read August's birth story HERE.

      I'll do a quick recap of my pregnancy.  It was so much different than my pregnancy with August.  I was working during my pregnancy with August.  I ate tons of fast food, did not exercise, gained 51 pounds and developed preeclampsia.  I took much better care of my body this time around.  I took vigorous walks several times a week, and I watched what I ate.  I ate healthily for the most part, and I watched my portions on the food that wasn't so healthy.  I also got good sleep every night, and toward the end of my pregnancy, I got a nap every day.  I'm not sure of my total weight gain since I didn't check on it the last few midwife visits, but I think I gained around 35 pounds.  Oh that's another thing, I went with a midwife this time instead of an OBGYN.  Here are a few of my belly pictures with Jude!

      6 weeks ish?

      10 weeks

      13 weeks

      14 weeks

      15 weeks

      23 weeks

      26 weeks

      27 weeks

      30 weeks

      31 weeks

      33 weeks....He was really low that night!  It looks like a watermelon!
      34 or 35 weeks
      36 weeks....ready for my brother's wedding!
      37 weeks
      39 weeks
      40 weeks at 5:30 a.m

      Monday, August 26, 2013

      Jude's birth story starts on Monday, August 26.  I was 39 weeks and 4 days pregnant.  I went to my midwife appointment that morning.  Up until this point, I had been experiencing some Braxton Hicks, but nothing timeable.  My blood pressure was reading a little bit high at the appointment at 140/90.  This was a bit concerning to my midwife since I developed preeclampsia in my previous pregnancy.  My feet and face were also starting to swell slightly, although it wasn't bad at all, just noticeable. I had gained 3 pounds in 5 days, so that was most likely water weight.  She checked me, and I was 1 cm dilated and about 70-80% effaced, same as I had been for weeks.  My midwife told me that she was starting to get nervous.  She said she really felt like we should induce by mid-week.  This was not the news I was expecting to hear.  I had every intention of making it to 41 weeks before I wanted to talk about induction.  However, I knew that if I did hold off, and I ended up developing preeclampsia, then I would have to endure the Magnesium Sulfate and all of the things that came with it (catheter, medications, probably epidural, etc.).  My goal was to have a 100% natural birth.  But, I knew that induction with a little Pitocin was better than an induction with Pitocin and Magnesium Sulfate. 

      I had asked my midwife at a previous appointment what I could do to help things along.  Among other things, she suggested taking black cohosh.  I hadn't taken it up until this point, because as natural as black cohosh may be, I really wanted my body to do everything on its own.  I asked her again if she thought the black cohosh might put me into labor, and she said she believed it would.  I figured black cohosh would be better than Pitocin, so I began taking 1 capsule every 2 hours, per her suggestion.  My midwife wanted to see me back on Wednesday morning, and she said depending on what is going on, we may induce Wednesday night.  I was disappointed but excited at the same time.  I had mixed emotions for sure.  I left my midwife appointment, headed to Walmart to pick up a big brother gift for August and some snacks for the hospital, and then I headed home. 

      By about 6 p.m. that night, I had taken 4 pills.  I would have a contraction about 10-20 minutes after taking the pill, but nothing besides that.  That night I did some cleaning up around the house, and I got August's big brother all wrapped up.

      Tuesday, August 27, 2013

      The next morning I woke up, disappointed to find myself still pregnant.  I took a few more of the black cohosh pills, but I started getting a bad feeling about them.  Everything online that I had read said it could cause postpartum hemorrhaging and potentially other complications during labor.  I quit taking it, and I felt good about that decision.  I texted Adam and asked him if we could go walking that night and try to get things going.  He agreed, and I was excited!  I at least wanted to give myself a good shot at going into labor on my own.

      My parents kept August for us while we went walking.  We went over to the high school and walked the track as we watched pee-wee football practice.  We would walk a lap, climb the bleachers, walk a lap, climb the bleachers.....

      After a couple hours of that, we decided to walk around town.  We did about 3 hours of exercise total.  I was completely worn out when we were done.  It was about 9 p.m. when we finished.  Afterward, we went through the McDonald's drive-thru for a late night supper.  I felt I had earned every bite of that supper!  Haha.  I had several contractions that were stronger than they had been, but nothing timeable.  That night I went to bed knowing that I had done everything I could to go into labor on my own.  We would see what my midwife said in the morning.

      Wednesday, August 28, 2013

      I woke up very nervous knowing today could be the day that we got things going.  I was fully prepared to ask for a few more days before the induction.  I still was hopeful that she may have changed her mind about the induction if I had a good blood pressure reading.  My blood pressure read 134/88, which was slightly better.  However, my uric acid level was 6.3.  I was having contractions about 10 minutes apart, but they were very mild.  Just a tightening of my belly.  My midwife checked me, and I was 3 cm dilated!  That exercise must have done something! She asked me if I would like for her to strip my membranes, and I agreed, hoping it would get things going since I was already so dilated. The pain during the membrane strip was excruciating, and I had to scream!  I'm sure the people in the waiting room were really freaked out.  She said that she had stretched me to a 4.  I was so excited!  I thought maybe she would give me some more time.  However, she told me that she would still like to go ahead with the induction.  I asked her if I could have more time, and she told me she thought it was time.  She really didn't want my body getting sick again.  She showed me how my BP reading was still higher than all of my previous readings, minus the one from Monday.  She said she really wanted me to avoid the Magnesium Sulfate and all of its complications.  I asked her how long she would give me, and she said she wanted to induce by the next morning.  That really threw me off.  I was hoping she would give me til at least Friday since I felt like my body was headed in the right direction.  She told me that if we waited until the weekend to induce, she could not promise me that she would be there to deliver me.  She was not on call, and she had been away from her family a lot lately.  (My midwife works in an OBGYN office with several other doctors.)  I knew I wanted her there since the others in the practice were men. I agreed to induce the next morning.  My midwife told me that I had options for the induction.  Options?!  I was definitely never given options with August's induction.  These were my options:

            1.) Induction with Pitocin: I definitely wanted to avoid this.  I wanted my body to do everything on its own. 

           2.) Induction with Cervadil: She didn't think this option was necessary because Cervadil is a cervix softener, and I was already about 80% effaced and 3-4 cm dilated.  She didn't think it would do much.  I was SOOO glad I didn't need it, because if you remember from August's birth, I hated that stuff.

          3.) Breaking of my water: She said when we arrived at the hospital, she could come in and break my water and see what happens.  We would give my body some time to work on its own, and if nothing happened, then we would move on with the Pitocin.

      I chose option 3.  I was excited that she had given me that option.  I definitely preferred my water breaking on its own, but I would take that over Pitocin since I wanted my body to progress as it wanted to. 

      My midwife said we either needed to induce tonight (Wednesday night) or the next morning.  I called Adam to see which he thought we should do, and we both agreed that we would rather try to get some sleep in our own bed that night.  So we set the induction for the next morning.

      We walked into her personal office, and she called the hospital to get me all set up.  My heart was pounding, and I couldn't believe in less than 24 hours I would be at the hospital (hopefully!) in labor! We were to report to the hospital at 6 a.m., and my midwife would arrive shortly after to break my water.

      I walked out of my midwife's office full of emotions.  I was excited, scared, nervous, feeling guilty about how August will feel, and wishing I had more time with him just the two of us.  I hope that doesn't sound bad, but sometimes I feel like I don't make the best of time with him. 

      That afternoon I got all of my cleaning done, except mopping the floor.  That would have bothered me a lot with my first pregnancy, but this go around, I was just glad it looked clean, haha. That night we went to church where Adam and the rest of the mission team shared about their trip to Haiti. One of our friends snapped a couple pictures of us with his phone after the service.


       When church was over, my parents followed us home to get August's car seat and all of his things for the next few days.  I cried as they were leaving, knowing things would never be the same again.  I had so many mixed emotions.  I think it was so hard because August is so young.  He was only 15 months old.  Still a baby himself.  I felt guilty for taking away his baby-hood.  But I knew having a baby is a good thing, and it would bring joy to our family.

      By the time we had said our goodbyes to August, it was about 9:15 p.m.  Adam and I realized that we never ate any supper.  (We fed August before church, but not ourselves apparently.) The thought of fast food sounded disgusting to me, but I also wanted to get in bed quickly.  We decided we better take advantage of the evening alone though, so we went to Cracker Barrel- the same place we had our last date before August was born.  I guess it's tradition now.  I ordered the same meal as before- blueberry pancakes with eggs and bacon.  My pre-labor meal of choice. :)  I was allowed to eat breakfast in the  morning before I arrived at the hospital, but I knew I would be too nervous to eat much. 

      After we got home from dinner, we packed a few more things and left out our last minute things for the next morning.  I took a couple Benadryl in hopes it would help me sleep.  (This is what my OBGYN suggested before August's birth.)  I don't know that it actually did anything.  I took a shower, dried my hair, and tried to wind down.  We finally made it to bed around midnight.  I tossed and turned all night in anticipation of the next day.  The day we would meet Jude.

      Wednesday, June 12, 2013

      We're Switching Rooms!

      Sooo.... just this week I completely finished the nursery!!!  All that is left to be done is setting up the new crib.  That's all!!!  Newborn clothes are washed and put away, closet has been reorganized to fit clothes for 2 babies, and all of the burp cloths, bibs, and other necessities are neatly organized and in place.

      I also had the glider rocker, all the toys, bookshelves, everything moved into the playroom.  I was getting it set up and had started looking at decorating and layout ideas.  It was looking cute.

      But......I am me.  And I like to reorganize and reconfigure things all the time.  It's what I do.

      Ask my husband. 29 weeks pregnant (tomorrow), we are redoing all of it.  Hahahaha.

      Poor hubby.

      While both the nursery and the playroom have the same amount of square feet, the current playroom just makes more sense as a nursery.  Let me explain why.  Yes, I listed reasons because this is what I had to do to convince my husband to switch the rooms. :) 

      Why the Current Playroom Would Be Better Suited as a Nursery

      1. There are 3 useable corners in the playroom as opposed to the 2 useable corners in the nursery.  In the current playroom, the closet and the door to the hallway are sharing a corner.  So there is more useable wall space in the rest of the room.  In the nursery, the closet is in one corner of the room, and the door to the hallway is in another corner.  So in the current nursery, there is less continuous wall space than in the playroom.  In other words, there is very little wall space for 2 cribs without blocking a window or having the cribs in an "L" shape right up against each other.  I don't want them in an "L" shape, because I don't want August messing with Baby in the middle of the night. :)

      2. The location of the current nursery in relation to the front porch.  The current nursery has a window that looks out onto the front porch.  This has always worried me ever since August was a newborn.  If someone were going to break in, they would likely go through a easy to get to window like the one on the front porch.....or at least that's what happens in my mommy mind.  I am constantly waking up in the night thinking I hear someone in there on the baby monitor.  The window of the current playroom is well off the ground and doesn't share the front porch.  Also, once the boys are a little older, I don't want going out the window at night to be any sort of temptation. :)

      3. Water pipes.  The water pipes run through the walls of the current nursery.  Anytime I run the washer, August always at least stirs if he doesn't wake up completely.  The water running is very loud in there.  So I usually limit laundry to the times he is awake, which obviously is not very convenient.  You would have thought he would have gotten used to the water by now, but the older he got, the more it woke him up.

      4. Location of the current nursery in relation to the living room/front door.  The nursery is currently in the room closest to the entry way/living room.  This means anytime we have people over or the door bell rings, it wakes August up.  The current playroom is further away from the front of the house, so there will be less noise back there so they will sleep better.

      Those are my reasons, and I'm sticking to them. :)

      I have already completely switched the contents of both closets!  Once Adam gave me the go ahead, I was a woman on a mission.  If it weren't for August being in bed, I would be in there right now switching the furniture....but then I would probably go into labor, so maybe that's a bad idea. 

      Previous playroom (New nursery) Closet BEFORE....yep, this closet is our vice.  It's the only hoarding place I have allowed in the house.  It contains a few craft items, high school/college memorabilia, lots of Marine uniforms and gear, back packs and purses, and a few special occasion dresses that I am hoping and praying to fit into again.

      Previous playroom (New nursery) Closet AFTER......Baby stuff!!!!  Ignore the crooked hanging shelf.  Will be fixed soon.

      Here is what the (ex) playroom looks like after all the junk was cleaned out and we moved in the glider rocker, book shelf and toys.  The toys are still in laundry baskets waiting to be put away.  If you want to see where we started with this room (aka- if you want to see my junky room), click HERE.

      The (ex) nursery looks the same as it always has except there is a blank spot next to the window where the glider rocker used to be. 

      So that's a little update for you!  We have plans tomorrow night, so we will be switching all of the furniture between the rooms Friday night, if all goes as planned.  I'm sooooo excited!!!! :)  Thank you, Adam!!!  LOOOOOVE YOOOOU! :)

      Tuesday, June 11, 2013

      3rd Anniversary Weekend Getaway!

      Last weekend Adam and I took an overnight getaway for our third wedding anniversary.  I was very nervous about leaving August overnight since I never had before.  I knew he would be fine with my parents, but I still worried that he would think I left him forever.  Of course that turned out not to be true, and he had a blast with his Nana and Grandpa.  I'm thankful to my parents for taking such great care of him so hubby and I could get away!

      After we dropped August off with my parents, we ate at Applebee's since my father in-law had given us a gift card. I had the most amazing meal!  Seriously, it was soooo good.  It was a new dish there called "Margarita Queso Chicken and Shrimp."  The name doesn't even do it justice.  The shrimp was covered in a lime-cilantro sauce, and the Mexican rice was mixed with queso.  Then the whole thing was topped with sliced avocado.  Oh my goodness.  So good.  It has inspired me to fix several dishes this week using those same ingredients. 

      After we left Applebee's, we headed for our motel.  We stayed at a Comfort Inn close to Lanier World.  Lanier World, where we would be spending the next day, actually has a resort, but for $300 a night, we weren't interested.  We gladly slept in the Comfort Inn 2 miles away for less than a third of the resort price.  Bonus: Comfort Inn included breakfast! 

      The next day we spent laying on the beach!  Yep, a beach in the middle of Georgia.  Who knew?  Lanier World has a water park, board walk, ferris wheel, and even a sand beach.  We basically just spent the day laying out in the sun and swimming.  It was wonderful.  I really needed that getaway just to unwind and reconnect with Adam.  He stays very busy with work and church, so I feel like I hardly ever get to see him.  It was like we got to know each other all over again.  It was much needed.  We also enjoyed the sights from the ferris wheel.  Here are a few pictures and video from the trip! 

      Adam dug me a belly hole so I could lay on my belly!  What a man!

      Beach feet pic fail.  Finger bombed, white feet, new scar on left foot where I dropped my laptop. 


      We made it back home in time to give August a bath and hit the sack!  I slept sooo well being back in our own bed.  I am looking forward to another getaway! :)

      Wednesday, June 5, 2013

      Life Update! 6.5.13

      Well hello!  Long time no chat! I know I have been completely neglecting the blog lately, but life has just been so busy.  I'll make up for it by making this a long post.  :)  I don't even know where to start.  I'll start with pregnancy.  As of today (Wednesday, June 5th), I am 27 weeks and 6 days pregnant.  28 weeks tomorrow!  It really is flying by now, and I can't believe we are approaching week 30!  That's so crazy!  Here are a couple pictures of recent weeks.
      26 weeks....sorry for the quality
      27 weeks
      I'm getting huge!  I feel like my belly is EVEN bigger this time, but I guess that's to be expected with your second baby.  I have gained 16 or 17 pounds so far.  Yeah, my weight took off once I hit 20 weeks.  I had only gained 5 pounds at 20 weeks.  Oh well, I have been eating a lot better (more healthy) than I did last pregnancy, and I consistently walk about 3 times a week.  I'm not too worried about it. 

      This baby is SOOOO LOW.  He doesn't look terribly low in these pictures, but I think he feels so low because I think he is still breech.  I am feeling very very strong and painful kicks down below.  They hurt pretty bad.  I talked to my doctor (the OB I have to see every couple visits), and he said 1/3 of babies are still breech at this point and by 36 weeks only 2% are still breech.  So I am hoping this little guy will turn soon.  I remember I used to complain about August's feet being in my ribs.  That was painful, but this is a whole different kind of painful. 

      I have also figured out that I can't eat pork this pregnancy.  In the past 10 or so weeks, I have had grilled pork chops, pork ribs, and hot dogs.  I have gotten extremely sick each time afterward, so much so that I think I am in labor.  We have almost gone to the hospital twice.  It's that bad.  So I am staying away from pork for the rest of pregnancy, although bacon hasn't seemed to affect me any. 

      I have been waist deep in nursery and play room preparations.  It's a lot less stressful this time having the nursery already mostly done.  I have been cleaning out August's dresser and closet to make room for Baby's things, and I am slowly adding the newborn clothes in.  It's really fun!  I enjoy getting ready for him.  I also just got the playroom cleaned out this week.  It was a junk room.  Here are some progress photos.

      Playroom Before....view from doorway

      Playroom Before....view from doorway looking left

      August's closet Before....yep, it got had gotten messy.

      Nursery organization/clean out in process!

      Here is what the play room looks like today. I would take a picture of the nursery, but August is sleeping  supposed to be sleeping.

      Everything you see, minus the broom, is staying in there, it just needs to be organized.  The rest of his toys are in the living room right now.  Not pictured in a corner of this room is the new crib mattress and a box of picture frames that need to be hung.  I will have to get on that.  I usually get Adam to help me.  I'm not good at hanging stuff.  The bookshelf you can kind of see in one of the pictures is the bookshelf that was in August's room.  (To see a nursery tour right before August was born, click HERE.  Ignore the yellow cast in the pictures.  The room is actually light gray, the same as the color of the play room).  I moved the bookshelf out so we can put all the books in the play room, and it will also have extra space on it for some organizers for toys.  To replace it, I put the organizer from our entry way (remember it from HERE?).  It once held....junk...that we kept right by the front door, and then it held August's toys that we kept in the living room, and now I will have it in the nursery to store burp cloths, hats, no scratch mittens, baby shoes, lotions, and the baby thermometer. 

      For the playroom, I would like to have a little reading corner, a different area for August to spread out with his toys, and I would also like to have an art area.  The art area may have to wait until August gets a little older.  He already loves coloring though.  I have a small wooden table and chairs set that I found at a yard sale.  It's in the garage and needs to be sanded and painted.  He isn't really old enough to use it yet.  I will also put the glider rocker and ottoman in the play room so that I can have a place to nurse Baby while August plays. 

      So that's what's been going on around here! Lots of planning!

      August is doing very well.  He STILL isn't walking yet!  He turned 13 months old on Monday.  I didn't walk til I was 15 months though, so we'll see what he does.  He could definitely do it, he is just afraid.  He is great at walking while holding your hands or holding onto the wall, he just doesn't want to let go.  The boy has safety concerns, nothing wrong with that. :)  His eating is CRAZY.  He literally wants to eat all day long.  I seriously cannot keep up with his appetite.  He gets so excited over food too.  He goes nuts over it.  Speaking of nuts, we introduced peanut butter (and fish) and have had no problems.  Whew!  I am so thankful.  I feel like I am getting in a rut with his meals though.  Lunch is pretty much a turkey sandwich (cut up into pieces) or a peanut butter (and sometimes jelly) sandwich every day with fruit and gold fish crackers.  What do you fix for your toddler to eat?  Sometimes he will eat leftovers from the night before, but we don't always have leftovers.  He loves yogurt, cheese, and milk.  But I'm trying not to give him too much dairy because I don't want him to be constipated.  I could use some new ideas. 

      Here is a video from last week of August walking down the hallway (holding onto the walls)!  This was the first time he had attempted to walk without holding onto furniture.

      His new favorite thing to do lately is to help me unload the dishwasher. Sometimes he doesn't like to give up the silverware though. :)  Don't worry, all knives were removed prior to this video. :)

      Adam and I also celebrated our 3 year wedding anniversary yesterday!  It seems longer but shorter all at the same time.  Longer because we have had SO much happen in the last 3 years, and shorter because the years pass by so quickly.  I actually don't have any pictures because we were really lame for our anniversary.  We have been so busy lately that we were both pretty tired and just wanted to relax together, plus I had a Captain D's craving.  LOL.  I know.  So we drove to Captain D's to pick up supper (with August).  I saw that their "Original" 4 piece fish meal was only $4.99!  I got really excited because I looove their battered fish.  So I got that.  Well, we decided to stop at a kids' park on our way home so we could eat and then let August play some.  Well, when we got to the park, I opened up my meal to find....not battered fish.  It looked like the fish sticks you cook in the oven that you buy from the grocery store.  It was definitely not battered.  I got mad.  Haha.  You don't mess with a pregnant girl's cravings, ok?  So I decided we were going back.  What else could "original" possibly mean?  I mean, when  you think of Captain D's "original" you think of anything besides their regular, battered fish?  I sure don't!  That would be like going to KFC and ordering their original recipe...and then they give you a bucket of hot wings.....say what?!  So yes, I was ticked.  So we go back to the drive-thru. 

      I ask the lady, "Is the 'original' recipe the same as the battered fish that y'all have always had?"

      "No," she says.

      I was so mad.  That is false advertisement, is it not?!  I know I'm worked up over this, but I hate things like this!  You can't say something is "original" if it is brand new! 

      Ok sorry, I'm getting carried away.  So I end up ordering what I really wanted (we forgot to order for August anyway, so he gets the nasty looking fish sticks.  Sorry, August. He liked them just fine by the way.  Poor kid doesn't know any better.)  The battered fish meal was literally double the price!  Grrrr.  I hate Captain D's.

      So we pull around, and I am going to say something to the girl at the window.  I was actually going to ask to speak to the manager.  Adam's head is about between his legs at this point.  But when we get to the drive-thru, we see there is a different girl there, and we actually know her.  She used to go to our church.  So Adam begs me not to get into it.  I spare him the embarrassment and promise I will write a letter to corporate.  Oh the rants of a pregnant woman. 

      So on the way home, I'm trying to put out my fumes.  We are at a red light, and I hear the car next to me honk.  I try to ignore it, thinking it's probably someone I know, and I'm too mad to look cheerful right now.  Adam's points to the car next to us since they apparently were trying to get my attention.  A girl (who is driving) is leaning over the passenger seat, hanging out the window.  I roll my window down just in time for her to yell out, "You got a lighter?!"

      ............"No, no I don't have a lighter."

      She steps on the gas as the light turns green.  Adam and I about fall out of our seats laughing at this point.  Here I am, rolling in a mini van (yes, we got a mini van), with a kid in the back seat, bumpin to our Christian rap, and this lady wants to know if I have a lighter.  It was just kind of hysterical....and weird. 

      So while we are laughing about that, I bring up the subject of baby names.  (I bring this up every day.)  We have it narrowed down to 3 names.  We decide that we both really like one name in particular, but we always come up with a reason as to why it just "doesn't work."  We both suddenly decide that it can work if we want it to work, and who's to say it doesn't?  So we both decide, yes, that's his name!  So then there was a lot of celebrating and laughter the rest of the way home as we talked about our Captain D's trip, the girl who needs a lighter, and our new baby boy's name.  Haha, that car ride alone made it a memorable anniversary.

      We came home and had dinner together, gave August a bath, watched Extreme Makeover Weightloss Edition, stuffed cloth diapers and folded laundry.  :)  It was a great night.  Haha.  We didn't need a fancy dinner.  I couldn't have asked for a better evening.  We do plan to take our first overnight trip soon without August.  It will be very sad, and I know I will cry, but I will be glad I took a little get away when the new baby gets here, I am sure.  I won't be able to go overnight without a baby again for a while since the next one will be nursing.  So I am going to take advantage of the opportunity.

      Well, I guess that's about it for my update.  I need to get busy reorganizing baby clothes into tubs.  I did this last year, but they have gotten messed up as we pull things out and put things back in.  I will leave y'all with some recent pictures!

      Pinky up

      Heidi and Doug (Doug's a girl...don't ask.)

      Favorite breakfast lately...strawberry cream cheese toast topped with strawberries

      Red Robin date night

      Playing in his crib while I work on the nursery

      Think he's tired?

      Yes, I think he is tired.  This is his "I hate lasagna" face.

      Sunday afternoon newspaper reading with Grandpa (my dad).

      My lunch date with myself!  Veggie roll and Glimpses of Grace.  Nana had August since I had a doctor's appointment.

      Images by Freepik