Birth Story - Baby Girl #2

I'd hoped to write this sooner, but what can I say...I've been hibernating and recovering rather than writing a blog post. But alas, here it is.

Monday, September 20th we went to Overlake for an ultrasound to make sure that the womb was still a healthy environment for our baby to remain in. The tech who performed the ultrasound had said that our babies femur bones were so long they were "off the charts". Her head was measuring big too. She also came up with a 8lb 14oz guess for size... So a big and tall baby was the prognosis - that didn't sound fun. Then the doctor came in, took a look, adjusted some measurements and guessed that our baby was somewhere between 7 and 8lbs. I liked the sound of that much better! Since everything showed up healthy on the ultrasound it was determined safe to continue pregnancy into the 42nd week (if I was really that far along).

So the following day we went to the birth center for a 41.5 week appointment and had my membranes stripped again (they also did this the previous Thursday at my 41 week appointment). I was hopeful this time it would help start labor.

That evening I started noticing contractions as we sat down to dinner around 7pm. I'd had contractions like this before so I tried not to pay attention to them this time. They were close together, but not painful at that point. We continued on with our night...put Hailey to bed and then settled into bed for some TV time. We started timing contractions at midnight and after an hour and a half of timing them, my contractions were all between 3-6 minutes apart and a minute long. Since we were preparing for a quick delivery, my midwife had said to call if contractions were 7 minutes apart or at 1:30 we paged our midwife Nicole. She called back and said that another couple was going to be meeting her at the birth center at 2:30am so she told us we could arrive at the same time and labor there (at this point I was really confused as to how early/late to go to the birth center - my last experience consisted of arriving and then promptly pushing Hailey out). My mom came over to get Hailey and we gathered up our bags and headed out the door.

We got to the birth center around 2:30am and found our birth suite to be a calming oasis. It was like a hotel but with candles burning and music playing! We chose a different birth suite than we had with Hailey. I wanted new memories of this birth and didn't want to be expecting things to go as they did for Hailey's birth. Since there were 2 of us in labor at the same time, we talked with the team about how the resources would be used (an extra student and midwife were brought in to provide support in case we were both delivering babies at the same time). The other couple had met with the other midwife more times than we had, so it was determined that the other midwife would attend the other birth if needed and I would have my normal midwife. So on we went.
They checked vitals and at 3am they told us to try and sleep for a bit if we could. The plan was to break my water in about 3 hours and at that point it sounded like a good plan. Pete and I laid down and my contractions seemed to space themselves further apart (though they slowly grew in intensity). I began to feel a bit of stress and worry "oh no, did we come too soon? what if this isn't really labor?!! I'm supposed to sleep through this??". Pete was able to sleep a bit. I was not. I was worried and also wondering why I should try to sleep if it put my labor at ease - the opposite of what I wanted to have happen. Shortly before 6am my contractions got to be quite uncomfortable. Laying down wasn't comfortable so I got up and started pacing around the room between contractions and was feeling much better that I was obviously progressing. I opened the door to find my birth team...only to find the place to be empty. I heard a baby down the hall cry and realized that the other baby had just been born. The midwives eventually walked out of that room and said "one down, one to go!". They told me to eat some food while they caught their breath. I ate a granola bar and had started on a banana (yuck!) when they came in to attend to me. At this point, my contractions were really getting strong. I was in active labor - no doubt about it.

My labor was progressing, and for that I was glad. Breaking the bag of waters seemed like a good way to get things really moving, but I wasn't prepared for it. I'm not sure how I could have prepared better...

At 7:15am I was at 7cm and they broke my water. You could say a state of panic swept over me. My body responded and I suddenly went from hard contractions to "oh my gosh I don't know what to do with myself it hurts so bad" contractions. I wouldn't say that these contractions were any different than what I had with Hailey's birth - but through Hailey's 7 hours of labor I was able to naturally progress and apply the pain management/coping techniques I'd learned in various classes I'd taken. I wasn't ready for the change of pace that breaking my water brought on and in looking back, I wish we hadn't gone that route. When I labored with Hailey I didn't use Pete at all, I was in a zone - a spaced out and focused zone that didn't require anything but a dark quiet room. This time, I clung to Pete as contraction after contraction hit me.

They put hot water in the tub and I got in. I was holding Jacki's hand (student midwife) and squeezing like crazy while Pete ran to get a cold washcloth to put on my forehead and also brought some water for me. I felt like pushing, and they said I could. So I did. But I didn't know how close the baby was to coming I didn't want to waste my resources pushing. I had crazy thoughts and was fighting the pain instead of working through it. I hit a point where in my head I called myself stupid for trying to do this naturally again. I was screaming in my head "cut the baby out, just get it out of me! This is the stupidest thing I've ever done, why am I here?!". Mentally I wasn't doing well. I had a moment like this during Hailey's birth, but this time it seemed to last longer and I was really beating myself up. As I was having crazy thoughts about the whole situation I managed to stop myself and say "how did you do it last time?". This was huge. I realized that I needed to change my state of mind. I finally muttered out loud "I can do this!" and everyone told me back "you CAN do this!!" and so at some point after that I took a deep breath and with all my might and determination I pushed. I really wanted to get her out and end the crazy business. And what do you know...with that big push - out came her head. Until this point, no one had even seen her head so they were quite surprised to see it there so suddenly. She was born at 7:57am (42 minutes after breaking my water).
Pete caught her and brought her to my chest. She let out a little cry and then was quiet and content. We finally got to meet our little girl! I held her for a while in the tub and admired her. Pete cut the cord and then held her skin to skin while I got cleaned up and moved over to the bed. 20 minutes after she was born she nursed and proved to be good at it!
At our request, my parents brought Hailey to the birth center to meet her little sister. Pete and I ate the breakfast my parents brought us while our little girl had a newborn exam.
We headed home and it was a beautiful clear blue day (just like it had been the day Hailey was born!). We didn't name her right away. Well actually, I'd be lying if I said she was officially named as of today (3 weeks later). Another post to come (soon I hope) on that topic...

Sweet Baby Girl
September 22nd, 2010 - 7:57am
7lbs 12 oz - 20 inches long

41 Weeks Pregnant

Here I am. Pregnant. I don't want to complain...because as far as we know, this little girl inside me is healthy and I have much to be thankful for. But understand that I'm feeling compelled to document my feelings at this time so here comes the bit that might be construed as complaining.

Waiting for this little one to arrive has been a bit tiresome. I've had 2 different nights over the past week where I had some decent contractions and thought, "this is it" and then I wake in the morning to discover absolutely nothing going on with my body and I feel a little sad and recently, a little bitter about the situation. The picture above is from Thursday night. I'd started having contractions and they were getting a bit strong and uncomfortable so we decided that Pete should take Hailey to my parent's house just in case things progressed. Taking her at 11pm seemed easier than waking my parents up at 3am to have my mom drive over and wait for Hailey to wake up in the morning. I made sure to get a good cuddle in with Hailey before Pete took her. Maybe trying to 'prepare' jinxed the whole thing. I went to bed feeling a little uncomfortable, but figuring I should try to rest before I needed all my energy to push a baby out...and I slept until 8am the next morning. Okay, well...I was up every hour or so to pee, but that was pretty much the extent of it.

Hailey was such a nice and early surprise - everyone thought this new baby would be arriving early and with a fast labor (still hoping for that one!). That will teach us not to assume (you know what they say about assuming...)! Now I'm fearful that the newborn clothes I packed in my bag won't fit her. My labor bag has been in the car for a month...

I have to keep telling myself that due dates are an estimation and that they can be up to two weeks off. So I wait..

My 41 week appointment on Thursday went well. We had a fetal stress test and all was well there. I also had membranes stripped and was sure I would be having this girl soon after. I was dilated to 4-5 already and my cervix had less than 1/2cm to thin. Things were seeming ripe and ready. We've been trying all those at home 'tricks' to start labor...but to no avail. Obviously.

I know the baby will come out when she's ready. I don't think my body forgot what to do... I have to keep telling myself that. It's been a struggle for me as I wait for my body to naturally start labor. The great 2010 Battle of Ways. Do we try to induce labor or just keep waiting for my body to do it's own thing?

I am supposed to get an ultrasound of the placenta on Monday to make sure it's still healthy and providing nutrients to the baby. I 'forgot' to schedule it yesterday as I was hoping labor would start and I wouldn't make it all the way to Monday without giving birth. Now I'm not so sure this baby is ever coming out on her own and I'm feeling a bit guilty for not having my ultrasound on the schedule (I honestly did forget to schedule it and by the time I remembered, it was past 5pm).

So here I am. Waiting. Each morning is a little more frustrating than the last. I'm trying not to dwell on it, but it's hard waking up to a completely quiet uterus.

At the end of this, I can't wait to hold my little girl....and the waiting will all be worth it I'm sure. At this point I'm just getting a little worried about her size...and getting her pushed out is sounding more and more daunting. Prayers would be much appreciated.

In case you are curious, Pete and I have been married 31 months in total and for 28 months of our marriage I have been either pregnant or breastfeeding. I'm very ready to be done with pregnancy and to go down the road to being a somewhat normal person (lose the baby weight, have energy, etc). Thankfully I'm married to the most awesome guy on the planet and he hasn't thought the last 28 months to be out of the ordinary.

Here's hoping my next post is a birth story...

The end of pregnancy

I haven't written in a while so I thought I should quickly jot down my thoughts as I'm in the final days of pregnancy with baby girl #2.

The first go round of pregnancy was always so exciting - well, other than the puking. I would count each week and read up about what was going on in the womb. Then surprise! Before I thought possible, Hailey arrived. I didn't have any anxiety about birth, I wasn't expecting it so soon...and it was a pleasant surprise to meet our little girl so early (16 days before our due date).

Round two has been interesting. Been there, done that...I'm ready to meet the baby and skip forward a few months to the point where we're getting some sleep. It sounds so heartless I know. But really, do you look forward to multiple late night feedings every night and not getting a full 8 hour stretch of sleep?

This time, I'm nearing my due date and anticipating labor. Actually getting quite a bit anxious about it the more time passes. How long will it be, will we make it to the birth center, how am I going to push out a baby bigger than Hailey was (she was only 6lbs 6.5oz), will everything go well, will there be complications, etc. All these questions of wonder... And every time I have a weird 'sign' of labor, I get a bit more on edge. Every time I sit up in bed I find myself wondering "is my water going to break when I get out of bed this time?" (that's what happened last time). It's strange.

Meanwhile, this little girl is still very active and her knees/feet/elbows/hands all seem so huge as they shove at my sides. It has been so sweet to watch Hailey learn to say 'baby' over the last couple months and even sweeter when she comes over to snuggle on my belly with 'baby'. She has even picked up on us poking and pushing at my belly and will often pull up my shirt and do the same as she says 'baby' over and over. She gives baby lots of kisses and even talks gibberish to her once in a while. There are times when Hailey is 'all done' with baby and will make it known by signing and saying 'all done' as she's pulling my shirt back down. Boy will it be a surprise when we can't just be all done with the baby once she's in the outside world!

So... I'm excited, anxious, and curious ...and ready to get a move on. I'm so looking forward to holding our new baby girl and examining her little face and seeing what color (if any) hair she has (I'm voting blond due to my early 'girl' gender dream in which she was blond). I want to count those little toes and kiss those little hands. I am looking forward to watching Hailey and her sister grow up together. So many things I am looking forward to (just not the sleepless nights!).

But for now...patience will have to do.

Home Birth

It took me a bit off guard at an appointment when the midwife asked me if I am considering a home birth., hmmmm....maybe? They gave me some suggested reading and since then, I've been pondering the idea a bit more seriously.

Hailey's birth was such an amazing event for us, it could have only been better (at the time) if the car ride hadn't taken place. There I was, ready to push, hovering in the passenger seat as Pete was going 80mph up 405. I was in so much pain at the time that my thoughts had turned to 'I need drugs!'. I knew in the back of my head at the time though, I was much too far along for drugs to even be an option and so I released that idea and focused on my hovering technique as I haphazardly laid there hoping not to have Hailey in the car. We made it to the birth center in time and after they filled the bathtub I had the peaceful birth I had hoped for. In looking back, the car ride is now a great part of the story and I truly can relate to all the women who have had to travel in a car as they are laboring. That being said, all but that one part of my birth experience was pretty calm and dare I say relaxing. Okay, okay, so it wasn't really relaxing, but my mind through it all was at peace as I felt like I knew what was going on with my body and I let my body do what it needed in order to expel my baby.

Ah right, back to the question at hand - to have a home birth or not. There's this teeny little itsy bitsy fear I have and I believe every woman must face this when looking at childbirth as a whole - no matter where child birth takes place. The big 'what if' question: What if something goes wrong?

Home births are only midwife assisted for normal and healthy pregnancies. Being that Hailey's birth went so well, the worries of having complications has been much reduced for me. So now I'm left with the big question - do we plan for a home birth? I'm thinking so at this point.

Just for my reference, here are some books I was recommended to read in order to help me with the home birth decision:
Ina Maye's "Guide to Childbirth"
Ina Maye's "Spiritual Midwifery"
Barbara Harper's "Gentle Birth Choices"

I have been reading a bit online and thought I'd share some links to sites I've been reading:
Is Home Birth for You?
Citizens for Midwifery (this isn't specifically about home birth, but it's a look into what midwifes provide)
Gentle Birth

As part of the decision making process I am planning on talking to a couple people who have had home births. I really want to hear their stories and I hope that this will provide the final inspiration I need.

Pregnancy eating habits, projects and other things

So....I'm 32 weeks pregnant and still feeling quite tired all the time (as in, winded upon going up 5 stairs). I'm not sure my iron supplements are doing the trick - even though I'm on double the dose. Maybe I should be tripled up at this point...which reminds me that I'm out of my iron supplements after I take one more dose tonight (guess you know what I'll be doing tomorrow!). I think the underlying issues here are my dislike of grocery shopping and cooking (other than breakfast, for some reason I love making breakfast). This great dislike causes me to 'get by' with my eating, and therefore, I don't fill my body with all the proper nutrients. I struggle in this area. Big time. I will do well for a while and then...I fail.

I never really feel hungry. I think I'm eating out of habit at this point (in the 1st trimester the motto was 'eat or barf' so I chose to eat). I snack through the day (not usually on junk, but on nuts, raisins and things like that) ...and when it comes time to eat dinner (which is where I imagine I should be working on that iron intake), I'm not hungry. It's not until Pete walks through the door that I think, oh right...I need to make dinner. Then it's a matter of, "what should I make??" and by this time, I'm so worn down that I look for the easiest possible thing and badda bing, I make something somewhat bland and boring and by the time I start cooking and we eat, it's usually pretty late and I'm left feeling unsatisfied because I feel like I should have provided more nutrients to my family at mealtime.

It seems I don't have much brain power to figure out what to even make for dinner these days. I have good intentions, really, I do - sometimes it just doesn't pan out. Example: I bought some ready to grill steak kabobs at the local market last week thinking, "I need to eat more meat!" and I ended up forgetting about them sitting there in the fridge and had to throw them out today. I also had some peppers and onion to add to the grilling...and since I didn't use the steak, I didn't use the vegi's and now those are also going bad. A waste of money and good food. :( I guess all this to say....I need to be eating better and it's like my brain has totally shut off on how to do that without being in the kitchen all day. Somehow I manage to give Hailey (and sometimes Pete) the right stuff, but even tonight as she ate spaghetti w/meatballs and steamed broccoli, I couldn't bring myself to eat the same because they were leftovers (I don't know why, but I'm really turned off by leftovers!).

I guess I'm realizing that I need to do something to fix this problem, but it takes so much energy to do that. That's the big issue. My lack of energy is caused by my malnutrition and since I'm already so low on energy, it seems to be an even greater task to get enough energy to fix the problem.

When I do make a delicious meal that I know is packed with goodness, I feel great about it. But it just doesn't happen near as often as I'd like.

So. There you have it. My thoughts. My frustrations. This topic came about as I sat here reflecting on my meal choice tonight. I had a microwaveable bean burrito (it took all of one minute and 15 seconds to cook) and some goldfish crackers for dinner. Ug. I knew it wasn't helping me, but it was easy and I was tired and knew I needed to eat I went for the easiest thing i could get my hands on.

Why can't I just be an amazing grocery shopper/chef and whip up the right kind of stuff for my family like it's no big thing? I just wish I had a personal chef so I could eat all the right things and not have to think about it. That would be SO dreamy....
Back to the iron problem. I did get a cast iron pan in hopes that it would help me get more iron in my body. I thought it would be a pain to use, but after making pancakes, eggs and even grilled cheese sandwiches in it today, I LOVE IT! It's super easy to use/clean and I hope hope hope that this new pan will help me get some extra iron in my body. After looking at this linky I think I'll be making my scrambled eggs and everything else in my new pan every time!
Other pregnancy news is that my hips and general pelvic region have been doing some widening this past week (or that's how it feels). I woke up one morning and was like, "woah, um....OUCH - wha happen?!". It was a bit painful to walk around that day...youchy, I don't remember it being so sudden when I was carrying Hailey, but this time I guess my body just knows what to do and thought it would prepare - seems so early... My jeans are still fitting, so I guess the hips haven't really moved that much, but ouchy ouchy it feels like things are getting ready for a baby to head on through (pun intended...).
We are pretty sure we settled on a name for our little one. Pete keeps bringing back Hamburglar, but don't worry folks, I won't let that get on the birth paperwork!! I don't want to jinx the whole thing though, so I'll say we're still discussing (and we I have to keep telling Pete the name is NOT going to be hamburglar!).
This little girl is crazy busy inside me. At night she likes to practice gymnastics. I think she's getting pretty good at headstands. Speaking of, she's head down and has been for a couple weeks. The day she flipped was wEiRd. I felt like my water was going to break at any moment and wanted to puke (okay, I didn't WANT to puke, I just felt like I was going to...). After that day I noticed that her little feet and hands had swapped places and well, that was confirmed at my midwife appointment.

House projects are coming along. We now have ALL of the doors replaced/installed! Only a few closet doors are painted and none have handles or knobs yet, but all of the doors are in and the trim is being worked on as I type! The house is still a total wreck in certain areas. I finally got the kitchen back in order and that feels good to have one room done. Well,'s not even done, but it's closer to done than the rest so I guess that's something to smile about. :) Pete's painting the dining room trim right now and hopefully we'll be able to get that room back to normal so we can eat together once again. When the weather is cooperating we eat outside, but lately the mornings have been really cold and we've been eating in the kitchen (where there's only room for one adult to sit at the moment).
Other big news is that we bought a boat this week...and no, you can't have a ride - yet. ;) I have always said that I only want a boat if it has a place to sleep and prepare some food. I don't have much interest in ski boats (fun to go out on, yes, but I have always wanted a cruising boat - one we can go visit the San Juan islands on and that the girls could nap/play on in a spot out of the sun) . Not that we were looking for boats at this point in our life (though I always joke about how Pete's old car is taking up space for our imaginary boat)!

I don't know why Pete was looking at boats on craigslist. Well, okay...I guess I know him well enough now to know that he's always looking at things on craigslist and so when he found this boat for sale for a reasonable within budget (which was very low) price....he left my browser open to the ad so I would see it in the morning. The next morning I discovered what he'd been eying and he promptly IMed me from work to ask if I saw the boat he found on CL. So....yes, I saw it and agreed...sure, let's go look at this project boat. We took my brother Jason and away we went to look at this potential driveway space hog. Oh boy. A project it is.

Pete announced that he would (finally) sell his 1992 audi (that has been sitting in the driveway for too long not being used) and that he would work on getting rid of the motorcycle we still have in the garage (that one needs a little work before he can sell it, but he said he'll get it done).

So. With these statements made and a couple nights of discussing and sleeping on the decision....Pete took his mom and step dad Kenny to look at it (Kenny has done boat restoration stuff before - so I really wanted his opinion on the thing) and home they came, boat in tow.
The good news is that the boat only has about 20 hours on a rebuilt engine and the engine sounds great. I guess the engine it has is a very good engine and pretty common, so he's not worried about the engine being an issue at this point. And he likes tinkering on ya. The major work that needs doing is replacing all the upholstery, installing some seats and painting the boat (it's mostly sanded down, the guy that sold it was mid-restore and his job has taken him traveling all over and left him with no time to work on the boat). looks a bit crappy right now, but the idea is that with some 'quick and easy' (yeah right) fixing up it should turn a decent profit. Of course we might keep it as a nice little family boat for a while before the profit... The other reassuring thought behind the purchase was that we could probably get our money back out of it easily selling it as is if we decide it's too big of a project.

I had no hopes of it getting it in the water this year (I think we'll be a little occupied with a new baby!), but Pete is sure he'll be testing the waters sometime this summer. And by testing the waters, I really mean...he'll be testing his boater skills (currently very low) and will be praying that he doesn't crash into anything or that the boat doesn't sink as he takes the boat on a test run in the marina. The idea would be to stay near land/dock in case of malfunction. Oh, also the goal is to go during the week in the middle of the day when it's really overcast and the launch area is empty. It might take a while to learn how to do all this. Pete will be taking the online boating safety course and will I'm sure be reading lots and lots of stuff on the web about boating to get more familiar before he takes the big plunge....

Anywho, so things are crazy around here and we (as always) have a ton of work to do on various projects. We might be crazy for buying an old project boat (did I mention that the boat is older than I am?!)...but I guess crazy or not, we are always up for an adventure (we tend to likes ones that have potential to turn a profit) and Pete likes garage projects - so I just hope the boat doesn't become a nightmare of a project.
I should probably mention Hailey at least once in this here it is. It appears that she likes to cook (at least someone in this family does!). I guess it's a little too early to tell if it will stick, but for now, she likes to dump things in her pots and stir them around. It's cute. She's cute. :)
If you have made it this far, go you! There's a lot of text this time and I'm sure I could write a bunch more, but it's past that time where I'm extremely tired and really need to catch some z's...

Fathers Day #2 & other random updates

We had a nice Fathers Day despite the rain.

Hailey and I got up nice and early (okay, this part I wasn't so thrilled about) and made a big breakfast for Pete. Our new favorite way of having eggs is scrambled with fresh basil, mozzarella and some red pepper thrown in. Yummy. We also had waffles with strawberries and since it was Pete's special day, we had some bacon. I've been really into making breakfast these days and I just love eating it. I have a feeling my pregnancy weight gain is going to pick up a notch with all the maple syrup I've been consuming. I thought about eliminating the syrup and having a whipped cream topping...but call me lazy or just plain addicted to syrup...we have yet to try the whipped cream option. I did however finish off the box of fruit loops I bought last week and have vowed not to buy any more sugared cereal during this pregnancy. It was a weak moment at the grocery store and having those in the house was horribly good - as in...2 bowls of sugared cereal a get the picture.

We skipped church and Pete slept in until 9am (we usually go to the 9:00 service so Hailey can take a late morning nap after church). I cleaned up the kitchen after breakfast while Pete and Hailey played together downstairs. When Hailey went down for a nap I made oatmeal raisin cookies - one of Pete's favorites!
We went to the kid's museum in Factoria after Hailey's nap and played around. The water play area is her favorite part - surprisingly she managed to stay mostly dry today. Then we went to good old red robin where Hailey charmed our table neighbors with smiles and funny faces. We got a balloon and headed to the rack for some Hailey shoes. I still haven't found the pair of Stride-rite's I bought and had all of 2 weeks before I lost them. It's driven me nearly insane. I hope I find them at some point for baby #2 to wear in the future. That gives me some time to uncover them at least - if I lost them in the house that is (I can't seem to figure out how they could possibly be here though - I've searched EVERYWHERE!!).

We headed home nice and worn out and all three of us took naps. It was soooo nice to nap.

We woke up from our naps around 5:15 and loaded up to go visit my dad and have a nice dinner with him (thanks mom!).

Pete is now playing the xbox and enjoying his 'do nothing' day. I'm calling it a do nothing day because we have a list of projects that are constantly looming over our heads and today I thought he deserved a day off from even talking about them. :)

Last night we were painting doors in the garage together (earlier in the day yesterday we picked out and brought home base trim for the whole house). Pete didn't want to install the doors (which we've had for over a month now) until we had all the trim so now we're one step closer. We still have to paint all the doors and all the trim... Projects galore to get done before this baby arrives I tell you!! Last weekend we managed to fit some housework in before and after graduation celebrations for Pete's little sister Kendra (she graduated from high school - and celebrate we did!). :) Then back to scrubbing the deck and weeding we went...
So anywho... I've felt a bit off today - my baby belly is HUGE now and it felt as if it was contracting all day. Well, this evening I am pretty sure little baby #2 (name still not final) has flipped and is now head down. I guess it was quite a process because all day I felt short of breath and like my belly was 50 lbs (even picking up Hailey has seemed like a huge chore). Baby #2 seemed to be in the same position for quite a long time as I've only ever felt kicks on the lower left side and an occasional tapping of hands on the right. Dinner tonight was filled with large objects (pretty sure they were feet) surfacing on the right side (pretty high compared to where they were on the left) and now there is lots of lighter tapping down lower (hands I'm assuming). It was strange feeling those feet on my right side!

So speaking of the baby, baby #2 that is, Pete suggested a couple names today: Bunny and Hamburgler. Yup. This is the reason we have not been able to settle on a name. Pete still has so many great suggestions up his sleeves he just doesn't want to call it quits before he gets them all out there for consideration. We have 2 good finalists as of now - until Pete comes up with something better than Hamburgler anyway...

My midwife visits have moved from once a month to every two weeks - ACK! This is flying by. I'm 28 weeks now and at my appointment last Thursday my midwife went over the 'what to pack' list and told me I need to be prepared early in case we're well, early. What to PACK?!? It hit me on the way home from my appointment that this really could happen any day. I mean, I hope baby stays in there for a while longer (2 months please!), but really....the way she's been so active makes me think she's going to break the bag of waters too early. She was head up at my appointment btw and her feet were on my left and hands on the right as I already described above.

We had finally decided that we would like to go to the birth center for the birth and then I found out from my midwife that we can change our minds the day of and tell them to come to us if I don't want to face the car ride. Hmmm...good to know I have that option. I've been so up in the air over the idea of having a home birth - maybe when I'm in the moment I'll be ready to commit one way or another. ;P

In other news, Hailey has been under the weather all this past week. She had a fever last Sunday night and still has coughs and a runny nose as of today. It's gotten better and better as the week has come and gone so I'm hoping it clears up all the way real soon. She's been a bit off and seems to take after me when I'm sick. What am I like when my immune system is under attack you ask? Just a little helpless and pathetic. :) I like to be cuddled and spoiled and it seems Hailey likes to take advantage of the situation and get as many cuddles out of the deal as possible. I like that part. Sometimes she just wanders around hugging my legs as I'm trying to cook dinner... The part that's been rather funny has been the fake fits she throws. I haven't decided if this is just a 'sick' thing or if it's just a new tantrum trick she will continue to use. I want to get a picture of her face when she does it...she wrinkles it up all funny and wines like she's miserable (but the next minute she is totally fine). She seems to do this if say...she doesn't get what she wants immediately. We are currently reading Love and Logic and hoping to get a good foundation to build from so we start off on the right foot with discipline and all that goes with raising nice well behaved kids. It can be confusing to figure out just how to handle some situations (i.e. the food throwing she does to indicate that she's done eating - telling her 'no' doesn't work and honestly sometimes we have a really really hard time not busting up laughing because she's so cute and funny when she misbehaves)!

So I guess those are my thoughts for now. This pregnancy is flying by. I feel huge. And I will sign off leaving you with a cute picture of Hailey. I just love her soft hair - it's getting so long!

20 weeks, or something like that...

So, I never posted the follow up to the gender announcement. I just haven't had the focus to sit and write I suppose.

We went to our 20 week ultrasound and it was great, the baby looks healthy, though small. So based on the ultrasound, my due date has moved. The doc didn't know what date it would be, he wanted to "run some numbers" and would communicate the new due date to my midwives. He guessed that my due date would end up somewhere around mid-September, like the 18th or so. I haven't been to the midwives yet, so I don't really know my official due date at the moment.

It was neat to see our little girl. It really made it all that much more real. And now that I'm feeling rolling and kicking much more frequently, it's really hard to ignore.

I just started getting noticeable braxton hicks the other day. I felt nauseous and had sharp painful cramping - this was a new feeling for me. I had lots of braxton hicks with Hailey, but they were never like this. They were always a simple locked tight belly and there wasn't pain with them (until a couple days before I delivered when they got stronger and stronger). This new stronger braxton hick thing seems to come predominately in the evening starting around the time we're cleaning up dinner. Kind of strange...but I've heard that the 2nd go round can bring on new things so I'm assuming that's what's going on.

update (I have had this post and a couple others sitting as a 'draft' for a week or so): The strong braxton hicks have faded a bit this week and returned to a more normal level.

The Gender Game - Round 2

I will be 20 weeks pregnant on Friday (I can hardly believe it!!) and we go in for our first ultrasound tomorrow.

So far I've had between 6-8 girl dreams - I lost count after 6, but last night I was pregnant with a girl in my dream (also in the same dream my evil twin sister had slit my throat and left me in a ditch...but let's move on to more fun thoughts...). I think after the first girl dream, my mind told itself to keep having girl dreams and that's why so many (or it's a girl and I really am physic).

We'll be happy either way. A boy would be super fun and well, we love our girl so another one would be a blessing too (especially in the clothing department!). Most of all, we're hoping for a healthy baby - gender isn't a concern for us (good thing since we have no control!!). I mean, one or the other would be nice...but you know, we'll be happy with either.

We will once again be asking the ultrasound technician to leave the room with the card we made (okay, so I made it on my own this time) and to throw away the extra gender card, leaving the big answer inside for us to discover after we build up the anticipation over dinner that evening.

We are in luck because it's Seattle Restaurant Week!!!! Now to decide where to go - there are so many good restaurants to choose from (not that I've been to any of them)! I called a few today and they were booked I'm hoping we can get lucky at the last minute tomorrow. It's going to be a busy day with U/S, swimming lesson and the big reveal. I'm excited!!

I was holding off on setting up the new crib since how we're still 4 months away from even possibly using it, but today I just had to get it out of the dining room and what better place to put it? I asked Hailey if she wants it to be her new bed and she said yes. So....we'll see who goes where when the time comes. Maybe we'll play musical cribs for now - I mean, why not? :) Don't worry, I'll put the other side on eventually. I set it up today in about 5 minutes - right before I headed out the door to meet Pete for lunch.

(Pay no attention to Hailey's finger in this pic. She was protesting bedtime...excuse her.)

So....stay tuned. I hope to be posting up our 'news' story here sometime tomorrow night or Friday. Now let's hope the wee one doesn't hide from us....I guess that part is key in finding out the gender.
Oh ya, and here's my first pregnancy pic this time around. For some reason I have these 'take a picture' ideas right as I'm in the middle of changing into my PJ' ignore the sweatpants and tired expression. The point belly is growing. This shirt helps emphasize it and today I felt a little more validated when someone looked at me and actually knew I was pregnant. Truth be told, I've felt pretty frumpy lately and once in a while I ask Pete if I look fat or pregnant - lately the answer is a definite "pregnant" - woohoo!

Pregnancy #2 - 16.5 weeks

I noticed that I haven't posted much about being pregnant this time around, so here goes.
This pregnancy started off with lots of nausea. At one point near the beginning I was pretty convinced that I was having twins because my nausea was so bad. I think after you have a baby things get busy, and you tend to forget just how bad the first part of pregnancy was....because when I dig deep into my 1st pregnancy memories - I do remember that the nausea was horrible and I didn't understand how anyone would ever get pregnant again after going through that much suffering. But then comes the baby and things are blissful and you go on with life and forget all about the nausea you once had...and then BAM! you get pregnant again and are reminded of the fun thing called the '1st trimester'.

Well, I will say that this pregnancy has been filled with early bedtimes and lots of nausea - but much less throwing up! I think this was due to me always reminding myself that I needed to eat before I got hungry. The problem always was that I never really felt hungry - and I think that's what got me in trouble with the throwing up. This time, I made myself eat even when I didn't want anything...and there was much much much less throwing up involved. I felt nauseous, but the total times I actually threw up was far less! I mean for a while in the first pregnancy, I was throwing up almost daily. This time it was like once a week or less!!!
My energy is just coming back and I'm enjoying staying up until 10pm some evenings (though I'm usually in bed by 8pm).

Sleepy Shauna is back. :( I randomly asked Pete if I've been talking in my sleep because I did that a lot during my first pregnancy...and he said, "Actually, yes. You yell at me in your sleep when I come to bed." So I was like, what??! And he explained that almost every single night when he comes into the bedroom I yell at him about having laid awake for hours or that the lights have been on for hours keeping me awake or I complain that he's been sooo loud while I'm trying to sleep.... he said at first he didn't realize that I was asleep and he sat there trying to understand me and once he figured out what I was saying he tried to explain to me that he had just turned the hall light on, or that he had been reading a document on his computer for the last 2 hours and couldn't possibly have kept me up. But he said my words were all jumbled and after trying to figure out what I was saying, he finally realized that I wasn't awake and he couldn't reason with me. I was leaving out vowels again (Pete says I leave out only vowel sounds when I am sleep talking). So.......sorry Pete! I have no recollection of these wonderful late night exchanges and I'm sorry to be so mean!!! It's not me, I swear - it's Sleepy Shauna, she's out to get me!!!

For a while there I was having these horrible nights that were filled with stress over the babies well being. I would lay awake for hours in the middle of the night feeling like something was wrong with the baby. I felt this way in the daytime too, but it was easier to ignore during the day. I don't know why these feelings were so strong. These weird feelings have slowly diminished as I've now heard the heartbeat at two different appointments (thank you Lord!). I never went through such strong emotional swings about Hailey not being okay when I was pregnant with her... I am just assuming that a combination of stress and more stress caused these scared/worried feelings. I'm really glad they're almost all gone though!

Just this morning Pete felt the baby move! I was laying there quite amazed at how much movement I felt inside of me and so I grabbed Pete's hand and put it on my belly. He felt it moving about! The little one was very very active this morning and it was the most noticeable it's been so far. I've had the flutters off and on for a couple weeks now, but this felt like a little baby bouncing around and around. It was pretty awesome. :)

So far I've had 2 dreams about us having a baby girl. If it's a boy I will be surprised - mostly because I have no idea what I'd name a boy. I don't have a preference one way or the other, I'm just hoping for a healthy baby. But for some reason these dreams come and I start to feel like it's a sign (thanks for that Kari!). Weird I know. But remember, I had a dream about Hailey being a girl and in my dream she was a dark haired girl - just like Hailey was. In the latest dream the baby was a girl and had light features (blond hair). I was researching home births and came across a name I've liked for a long time and it made me tear up a bit. I put it together with the middle name we would probably use for a girl and Pete actually likes it so we'll see! I keep trying to come up with boy names and well, nothing is hitting my creative palate. The names I've thought of are pretty boring and unexciting. I guess we have some time...and in just 3-4 weeks we'll have an ultrasound and will know what gender we have to focus the name game on. ;)

Speaking of gender...I am thinking about running to Walgreen's to pick up a gender test. One part of me doesn't want to ruin our special 'big reveal' date night as I have such fond memories of our big reveal last time. I will never forget the moment I opened the card, teared up and then embraced Pete as we celebrated together. Anyway. I will probably believe the pee-in-a-cup-gender-test if I take it now...and then will the excitement be the same when we do our big reveal? I so want to try it and see if it's right though! Argh. What to do...

Lets see belly is sticking out a bit now and I haven't gained weight yet. Well, okay so the scale might have been up one pound this morning. I have been going back and forth over this one little pound, so I'm not sure if I can claim it yet (not that I want to!). I did claim it at my last appointment, but then the next day I was back at my original weight. I'm wearing pregnancy jeans now - but I only have one pair that fit me at the moment. The rest are too big! That excited me. I am fine if I never fit in the bigger sizes. I know, keep dreaming...right?

I think I've posted enough pregnancy stuff for now - it was a brain dump of sorts. I'm going to go try to figure out what to make for dinner...over and out!


We went for my first appointment at the birth center (link) today. We got to see Heike (the midwife who helped deliver Hailey). It was really great to see her. I had been in a little bit of denial still - just wondering, am I really pregnant?

We went through all the normal questions and stats. There were a lot of questions about screening that I had forgotten about. We opted out of most screening (like last time). I'd rather not carry the stress of finding out I could be 'possibly' carrying a down syndrome (or some other problem) baby. I'm not a fan of abortion, so if God places a challenge in our hands, we will accept it when our baby is born and move forward from there. Ignorant? Maybe a little. But ignorance is bliss, isn't it? The chances of getting a false positive on these tests are there and I've heard stories - so I'd just rather go about pregnancy trusting that God will dish us what we can handle and hopefully no more than that.

Pete needed to get back to work, so the student midwife brought the doppler out so we could hear the heartbeat. She tried and tried to find it, but failed. My heart sank a little and those nagging questions crept in "is everything okay? Am I still pregnant???". Heike took charge and quickly found it hiding behind my own heartbeat. Swoosh, swoosh, swoosh. YAY! There's really a baby in there!!

Whelp, I'm feeling the pukes. So.. over and out!

Pregnancy - the 2nd go round.

Due Date: September 10th

Well here I am, about to head off to Maui. But first, I feel the need to get some of this important info out there. :)

Towards the very end of December I started having very wild dreams again - they had gone away once I had Hailey so the first thing I thought when I had my first crazy dream was "oh my gosh, I'm pregnant". I took tests. It was too early. They said negative. I knew something was up and I wasn't going to give up so easily.

On January 4th or 5th I took another test and this time there was the faintest of lines indicating pregnancy. The next morning I took the 2nd test and the line was just a little more visible, so we determined that it must be true. I'll mention that this was right after I had my fake period (that's all I'll say about that).

So anyway. We decided that we are pretty blessed (okay, I didn't really think of it as being blessed at first, but knowing that others in the world don't have it so easily...I have come to accept the 'blessed' status) and aren't one of those couples who have to try and try for months and months. When we got pregnant with Hailey we were a bit shocked at our one hit wonder...and well, here we are again.

Enough of those details - on with the fun. Puking.

I first threw up the week before last and it was then that this whole pregnancy thing hit me. I'd been extremely tired and nauseous all of January, but when I actually threw up it was yet another sign - it's true. Baby number 2 is really in there. I have only thrown up a few times - so I'm pretty happy with that. With Hailey I threw up almost every day. I think the key to not throwing up is to eat ALL the time and to eat even when I don't feel hungry - which is pretty much all the time. So I have saltines by the bed and of course my water...and I've given up on having clean teeth when I sleep because I seem to always need an extra cracker or two before I really fall asleep and by that point I'm much too comfortable to get up and brush the teeth yet again.

I will say...when I was first throwing up I was almost convinced that I had twins in there, because I was sure my morning sickness was much worse than it had been with Hailey. But now that I've remembered the morning sickness I had last time, this time isn't all that different, so I've passed that thought into the background.

I will say that I feel as if I'm in a constant state of motion sickness (this part is new). Pete tries to rub my arm and though it's out of love, I find myself feeling dizzy and need him to stop immediately. Poor guy. He's just trying to be supportive - but for now the touching is just not okay.

Ahhh.......I'm pregnant.

I know I am complaining a lot here, but I really do want to remember all of this, so bear with me. I'm sure things will get better in a few weeks and then I'll be feeling great and my little belly will be popping out (not that it hasn't started a teeny bit already....). Actually, speaking of my belly...I never really got rid of the belly fat layer from last time - so now with my uterus fluffing up again, my little fat roll is hanging over my jeans (SO gross). I think I'll be wearing my maternity jeans here soon. Ew.

As for Maui - I'm wearing my yoga pants on the plane and not even taking jeans - comfort before fashion for me! :)

Oh, and one last thing - I just told my family (and everyone here) this week. I haven't told work, and I'm hoping I don't have to for a while - but I don't know how long that will last. People keep making weird comments hinting at me getting pregnant again soon. Or there's the time this week, when one of my employees told me "I thought you were announcing that you were pregnant" after my boss told everyone I had big news in our all hands staff meeting. In the staff meeting I replied "Me?? No, no news here....I don't have any news....NOPE." and then my boss finally helped me figure out that he was meaning I should announce to the team that Pete had turned in his notice. I was so confused.

Anywho. Thanks for reading. Off to Maui we go!

Birth Story

I am in awe of our birth story and the beautiful little reward at the end of it all.

The prior 2 days I started having really bad hot flashes while at work. We're talking...sweat dripping behind my knees....I had a feeling something was going to happen soon, but I was thinking March 1st sounded like a good day for things to happen.

Around 1am yesterday I thought I was going to throw up, sat up and a gush happened and I hurried to the bathroom. I started shaking - my whole body convulsing. We paged the on call midwife and while we waited for the call, I called Kim to express my shock/concern/freaked out/ack feelings. Heike called - Pete talked to her and then he put me on the phone with her. I told her I was shaking like crazy and she told me to breath deep and that it was a surge of hormones causing the shakes. She asked if I'd had any contractions and I told her nothing other than braxton hicks had happened. She told me we should go to sleep and she'd hear from us in the morning (it can take up to 24 hours for real contractions to start after your water breaks so she wanted us to get our sleep in while we could). I laid back down in bed and felt very uncomfortable and then at some point, a contraction. I knew at that point that I wouldn't be getting any sleep that night as it was very uncomfortable to lay down. I got up, brushed my teeth and wrote my prior post. Then I went and sat in the glider in Hailey's room. I put the blanket my mom made on my legs and Wesley (our cat) came in to cuddle on my shoulder while I glided through contractions (3 minutes apart from the start says Pete). I figured I would try to let Pete sleep as long as possible since I had prepared myself mentally for this challenge and knew I just needed his presence, but not much more for the laboring bit. I guess you could call this early labor... I sat in the glider for about 2 hours gliding and focused on my breathing. In the nose, out the mouth. There I sat in the dark. The glider was becoming uncomfortable so I worked my way downstairs to bring up a medicine ball so I could sit on it (thank goodness for our amazing birth class I learned all sorts of laboring techniques that proved to help get me through).

By this time things had gotten pretty intense and I asked Pete if he could join me as I was at the point where I couldn't talk through the contractions (they say you shouldn't 'go in' to the birth center if you can talk through). I felt like I was already in active labor, but the short timeline made me have my doubts. Pete brought in all our books and we flipped through them in between contractions to read up on 'early' labor and 'active' labor. We knew that for early labor we were to try and conserve as much energy as possible and to find or make a distraction. Pete took the big clock off the wall (another great thing I learned from my pregnancy fit class!). This ensured I wasn't watching the time. I thought it would be neat to paint Hailey a picture while going through this experience... turns out that just setting up for the activity during the breaks kept me busy. The contractions got real hard...I soon could only sit on the medicine ball, push don on the sides with my hands and grimace through while keeping the end goal in mind. Pete just laid on the floor. The lights were out. I just needed him there with me, but I didn't need him to do anything. In fact one time he tried to touch me to comfort me and I chased him away with my actions. After that contraction I told him, just be here, don't touch me. He did just that. He hadn't timed my contractions in a while, but I was sure we should be getting going to the birth center at any time now...and for a bit I freaked out telling him "load the car - grab this that and the other thing". He didn't quite believe me and took his sweet time loading the car...I wanted him to run and do it and he was walking around gathering things. Around 5:55 or so I convinced him to call the birth center and tell Heike what was going on. She called back and wanted to talk to me to hear me through a contraction. I must have been on the phone with her for 10 minutes or so...and I didn't have a single contraction during this time. She said 'if I'm able to distract you this much, I think we should give it an hour and then we'll talk again'. As soon as we hung up I of course had another huge contraction... Pete said it was hard to watch me go through these contractions. I went through the shaking again, I requested lots of blankets be put around me...then I got hot and would throw them off only to want them back on again. I forget which part of labor it is where you fall asleep between contractions, but I went through that (I know this because I woke up almost falling off the medicine ball a couple times). It's amazing our bodies do this to gain a little bit of energy to help make it through the tough parts. I noticed it getting lighter outside and was hoping an hour had passed so we could call Heike back. Worried about hitting the morning traffic, I convinced Pete to call her (it was around 50 minutes later). She told him we could head in (they don't want you there too early because they'll turn you around if you aren't dilated far enough - this is why I was waiting so long at home - I did NOT want to be sent back home).

The car ride was horrific. I developed a pattern in the car...window down between contractions and window up during. I carried this out for a while, then between contractions I asked Pete to keep on doing it. I wanted it shut during so I could focus, but I was so hot that between contractions I wanted it open. By the time we were nearing Kirkland I was completely out of my seat, holding the seatbelt out and bracing my arms and legs as I fought through contractions. By the time I saw the exit sign, I knew her head was very low and I got the urge to push - but determined not to have her in the car - I did my best to focus on breathing through the urge (thank you class!). We ran a red light and pulled into the birth center parking lot at 7:45am. I very slowly got out of the car...and stood outside freezing while another contraction or two came and went. We hobbled into the birth center and I headed to Suite 1 (our first choice room). I ripped off my pants and not knowing what else to do, hovered over the toilet. Pete went to find someone. There was another birth happening and our midwife wasn't there yet. The student and midwife attending to the other birth came to the rescue, set up a birth stool and finally convinced me to get off the toilet and to come to the birth stool so I didn't have the baby in the toilet. I wanted to labor in the bath and they couldn't fill that thing fast enough. The midwife checked me and told me if I wanted to push, I had permission to do so. I didn't want to have her while on this stool thing, so resisted pushing until I could get in the bath. Finally...with Pete's help I got in the bath. Heike and Keri (student midwife) arrived around the same time. Pete overheard the midwives talking and learned that Hailey was at +3 - which means that she was already in or through the birth canal (from what I understand the scale goes from -3 to +3 in terms of where the head is in the whole birth canal - I'm fuzzy on this topic though).

Heike told me I fooled her on the phone and she was impressed that I came in so late in the process. They told me I could push...I was scared. I finally mustered up the strength to push. Pete kept a cool washcloth on my forehead and held the ice water near so I could drink between pushes as I was pretty dehydrated. There were no lights on in the room, just natural light from the windows. I wanted it quiet and it was perfect. I focused and bore down and pushed. Pete told me she had lots of dark hair and Heike told me to feel her head of hair. I felt a bit weird feeling her head but not having her out, but it gave me the urge to push more so I could really see her head of hair. Finally I pushed and pushed and her head made way. They told me to stop pushing as the cord was around her neck. Keri worked for a while to get the cord off, after we were through it all she told us it was really tight and she was a little worried because she had a struggle getting if around her head. Then they told me to push again and 'schfloop' - out came her body and Pete caught her and brought her to my chest.

She was covered in Vernix and looked blue. She gasped for air and made a really cute little girly squeaking noise. I was worried and shocked and in awe and told her hello and I love her and that she's beautiful and perfect.

Pete cut the cord and blood squirted onto my chest. They rubbed her down a bit while she was on me - meanwhile I pushed out the placenta ("shlop!"). The water filled with blood at this point and they gave Hailey to Pete so they could wash me off. Scrub a dub, I got out and laid down in the bed and they gave me my girl and she took right to breastfeeding (about 15 minutes after she was born). I was shocked there was anything there for her. She ate for a good hour or so.

She didn't get weighed or measured until about 2 hours after she was born. In the meantime Pete and I just laid on the bed with her...looking at her, talking to her and taking it all in.

We packed up and headed home from the birth center at 12pm. Determined to rest for the day, we asked people not to come until we called them to give them the okay (we really wanted this day to rest and be together as a family). We napped for about 6 hours - well, Hailey did...Pete and I were in and out of napping - I think due to the excitement of it all. Now we've had visitors and are getting the hang of changing teeny diapers and all that. I agreed to a week of bed rest in exchange for I'm trying to lay low. Pete has been amazing through it all.

We're so in love with our new little angel!!

The start

I typed this earlier and thought I'd post it for you all to have a glimpse into how our little Hailey arrived into the world at 8:46am today.

After a pleasant girls night at Sarah's....I drove home and passed some time surfing the interwebs (while Pete was playing COD). At about 11:50 we finally got ourselves in order and laid down to sleep. By this time I started experiencing some mega heartburn and blamed it on the pizza I ate at Sarah's. I usually get heartburn right when I get in bed, so I chomped on a couple Tums and laid down. I read a little bit from one of our pregnancy books (the part about feeding schedules when you bring the baby home) and then we shut off the lights. I wasn't comfortable and I felt like throwing up. I got up a few times to stand over the toilet, but throwing up didn't sound like I went back to bed. I tossed and turned a bit and then sat up thinking I was really going to throw up...and there was a gush and I said something like "babes...I think my water is breaking" and I waddled to the bathroom to sit for a while. I started shaking a ton...and got real scared. I called Kim and told her my water broke and I wasn't sure what to do. She told me 'you're going to have your baby soon!' and well, honestly I didn't know what to think because I had yet to experience a real contraction.

Pete paged the birth center and Heike called back right away. Pete talked to her and then I did and explained what had happened and told her we didn't know what to do... she said to try to get some sleep and to call back if the color of fluid turns green. I wasn't having any noticeable contractions at this going back to sleep sounded like a nice idea. Even after talking to her, I still didn't really believe/comprehend that our baby would be coming soon...and that I'm done with work.

Well, here I am typing. It's 2:22am. When I lay down I feel really gross...and I'm pretty sure the contractions have started. Pete was just hollering for me to come to bed...but I feel much better sitting up so I'm trying to decide if I will try to go rock myself in the glider or just how to get a bit of wink eye.

I thought I'd document this I don't want to forget. Pete also did a little video tonight and I explained the details I'm trying to type.

I just had another contraction. Yikes, I'm kind of freaked out.

Flexing & Status

So....this is a gross picture of me, but it's pretty amazing of my belly. Jenny had posted a pic of her belly from the top down with abs flexed - so here's a new perspective. Once Pete took this picture and I saw it I couldn't stop laughing at how silly it looks. I was hoping I wasn't crushing our poor girl...Pete reminded me that her bones are soft. haha

Also, we went to the birth center today. In order to have a birth center birth my iron level has to be above 30. Guess what it was??? 30.1! They did another draw today to see if it's still up - I'm hoping it is despite not getting the shot last week. Her heart rate is still 140 (same as always) and she's in position sitting nice and low. I got my shot of iron and it was all good news today (other than getting a shot and a blood draw - but I'm getting used to all the poking now)!

36 Weeks - place your bets!

Here's your chance to place your bets! Leave your estimated birth date, weight and length in the comments and we'll see who comes closest!

Due date is March 11th if we go by the 7 week ultrasound (which was done to measure gestational age).
Due date is March 14th if we go by the calendar dates (this is what the midwives use as they want to have the max amount of time before calling me 'late').

Our Birth Stats
10 days overdue
7lbs 8 oz
20" long

3 weeks early - scheduled C-section
8lbs 10 oz
22.5" long

My Guess
March 6th
7lbs 10oz
21" long

35 Weeks

Looks like I have a bowling ball under my skin doesn't it?

It's hard to believe I'm 35 weeks already - this Wednesday marks 36 weeks - which means I COULD have a birth center birth (36-42 weeks is the 'ok' time to have a birth center birth)! :OThis past Thursday I went to the birth center to get an iron shot (in the rear). As it stands my levels are too low to have a birth at the birth center. They told me "it's serious, but we have time to try to fix it". I should have paid more attention to that statement because I got a bit sad and went into a little bit of a panic - we haven't toured the hospital! I hate hospitals! Ack!! But then I calmed down a bit and realized that the goal of these shots is to get my levels up to a safe place so that we CAN go to the birth center when the time comes. If my levels still aren't high enough at the next blood draw, I will be going in 3 times a week for iron shots. I'm REALLY hoping we don't have to go there...I hate shots - but if it's better for little Hailey and me, it's easier to accept the needle.

Anyway, we have been eating lots of red meat and spinach salads (hence the picture above).

We picked up this little number today and I already got 2 coats of paint on it (it was a bluish gray color). Kim M. suggested using mod podge to put some letters & numbers or story book pages on the back wall of the shelves. Or to use wallpaper. I love the idea. I can't wait for it all to dry and get it set up in Hailey's room! Next task is to find some cute door handles - the ones that were on it aren't very cute at all...