Saturday, June 7, 2014

Pregnancy Necessities

Ooh - I found this post that I have listed as a "draft" from when I was pregnant with Sophia. Maybe I'll see if I can polish it up and publish it. 

Here are some things that I have learned are absolutely essential for pregnancy. At least, this is the way it was for me.

1. A belly band (at least one).
2. This goes will belly band kind of, but it is necessary to have different stages of maternity clothes... some of my "not pregnant but just fat" clothes from early pregnancy would look very much kind of bare-foot-and-pregnant-with-the-belly-hanging-out now. 
3. A body pillow (this really is a necessity. Really really really.) Actually, this should perhaps be #1.
4. A heating pad
5. FOOD. Never ever ever ever ever be anywhere ever without some kind of food. Something. Anything. I always have a granola bar, and some kind of snack like jordan almonds, and always try to keep dried or fresh fruit with me as well. It is essential because you never want to be stuck without food ever.
6. Water. For both of my pregnancies I have tried to be very conscientious about drinking AT LEAST 64 ounces of water per day (usually I am closer to 80-100) and I find that it seems to make a big difference in how I feel.
7. Some type of safe and easy to access exercise. Like a stationary bike. Or walking, which is lovely if you are pregnant in the Spring or Summer but if you are pregnant in the winter in Minnesota walking might just not happen. I prefer the stationary bike. It's also great for getting in some reading.
8. A good pair of lounge yoga pants. Old Navy has a fabulous pair for pretty inexpensive, and it's great because unlike my sweatpants (which start to get snug) these always fit well and are just wonderful for those days when I am not dressing up.
9. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. Now, obviously I have not mastered all (any) of the "fruits of the spirit", and the one that is particularly difficult at times is "self control" and "peace". However, it helps to take a step back, especially when something weird happens like those first Braxton Hicks contractions, and just take a deep breath and relax. The baby is in God's hands, and I wouldn't want them anywhere else.

I'm sure everybody has their own list of "necessities", but here are mine :)

Growing Up, and other ramblings

I'm sure that could be the title for just about every post I make on here regarding Sophia, so I guess I'll just have to get more creative in the future.

Recently, the weekend after her second birthday to be exact, Sophia was transitioned from a crib to a toddler bed. I am hoping that the transition was soon enough that she doesn't feel as though the crib was "taken" from her when baby sister arrives. I'm sure it was. Anyway, of course the first few nights were rough, but then she was able to sleep like her normal self through the night and for hours and hours.

About 2 weeks after she was transitioned into the toddler bed, she discovered mobility. Prior to this, she would cry if she woke up in the night in her new bed. One night while Chris and I were sleeping, our bedroom door creaks open. I was instantly wide awake, because I think that's just how "Mommy brain" works. However, I sleep on the far side of the room from the door and when I glanced up, I didn't see anything. Ultimately I just decided that the door had opened from a draft. About 3 seconds later, we hear "Hi Daddy" from a little voice. Just about scared the living daylights out of me... I'm not used to her being mobile either! She never did learn how to climb out of her crib.

On occasion, maybe once every 10 days or so, Sophia will wake up in the night and come into our room. Depending on who takes charge, she will either snuggle in bed with us for a little bit (daddy) or she will be walked back into her room, maybe rocked a bit, tucked into her bed, and put to sleep again right away (mommy).  My typical routine with Sophia if she wakes up in the night is to rock her for a little bit, say a prayer with her, and put her back into bed. Last night, she came into our room in the night. Daddy let her snuggle on the bed with us, and she was sitting right in the middle of the bed. She looked at me and said "pray, Mommy?" My heart MELTED. It was the sweetest thing I think I have ever heard.

One other Proud Mommy note. Starting about 3 days ago, Sophia can officially count from one to ten. Yes, my daughter is a genius. ;)

Something I do need to work on is a regular nap routine. We have just never been in the habit of making sure to set aside time in the day for a formal "nap time" because typically if I am home with her we are out and about or our schedule changes.  Often she will just sleep in the car and occasionally if she is really tired she will sleep through hours worth of errands (including sleeping IN THE CART at Costco sometimes). However, on days where we are home all day (like today where it has been rainy and icky), not having a naptime habit is very wearing. Eventually when we get to the early evening, around 5 or 6 o'clock, she just about breaks down crying over EVERYTHING. Time to institute a formal nap time. Tonight is a great example of why: like I said, one of those icky rainy days, and she starts to just fall apart around 6. Well, we put her down for a little nap and she is just gone to the world. It's just about her regular bed time now. I woke her up and asked her if she wanted dinner (and also she needs a bath) and her response was to fall back asleep.

We are going to read Psalm 149 and Psalm 150 at Sophia's next bedtime, which will officially finish off the Psalms. Chris and I read them from a Precious Moments children's bible, which is a very sweet version. I am ashamed to admit that at times that is the only Bible reading I manage to get throughout the day, but at least there is something if I manage to miss time for other devotions. She really tends to enjoy reading, and lately has been insisting in reading books to us at nighttime. Some of them she has memorized, like Olivia's Opposites, and it is quite fun to watch her go through the book and "read" it to us. I'm not sure what we'll read next, maybe start in some New Testament, maybe parables, before hitting Proverbs?

In other news, I am about 33 weeks along with my pregnancy now. Feeling overall pretty good, though I think extreme fatigue hit a little bit earlier on this time around than it did when I was pregnant with Sophia. I find myself exhausted throughout the day. Of course, part of it could be following around a 2-year-old and/or working, depending on the day. Heartburn like crazy again as well. On the Tums bottle, it says not to exceed taking more than 10 Tums per day. I read that and thought to myself "that's great! I'm sure I never have that many in a day". Then I read the next line down, where it says if you are pregnant you should not exceed 6 Tums in a day. Yeah, life is fair. The one time in my life I get regular heartburn is when I am pregnant, and the only thing I can really take OTC for it is Tums...and I am more restricted. Sigh. It doesn't seem to matter what I do or don't eat either, sometimes not eating makes me get heartburn, and I almost always get it after eating as well. The only thing that does help is cold dairy - yogurt, ice cream, etc... so I have consumed more ice cream in this pregnancy (stereotypical, eh?) than I have in most of my life prior to this point. I've had the occasional nerve pain down the leg as well, but I have been fortunate (so far) to avoid back pain. I didn't really have back pain with Sophia either. I think. My memory of my pregnancy with her is a bit foggy. I am getting to the point where it is difficult to clean my lower legs/feet when standing in the shower, or put socks on, or roll over in bed. And I tend to wake up about 3 times in the night and usually can't fall back asleep... prep time for baby to arrive, I suppose. One thing that I don't remember from Sophia is how strong some of these fetal movements are. Maybe they were this strong... or maybe she was just positioned differently. This time around, however, I can tell very clearly that the baby is upside down and her bottom almost always pushes out at the top of the "bump" between my rib cage. Sometimes, it must be her little feet, she'll give me massive kicks in my ribs. Other times it feels as though she is just grabbing onto my bladder or something in there because she'll squirm and then I'll get a pain inside of me.

I did almost pass out at work, which was a scary thing. I have never actually fainted before, but I think I have come close two or three times, and this was one of those times. I was in the middle of a hearing aid evaluation with a patient (an hour long appointment) and when there was about 5 minutes left in the appointment, I started not feeling well. My face flushed bright red (or at least it felt like it did) and I was sweating from head to toe and nauseous. I adjusted my position and tried not to look like I was feeling as bad as I was, and told myself to just get through the appointment. Next time, I think I'll just leave the room. Anyway, the patient leaves and after I walk him out I stagger back into the lab and sit down on a chair and tell Linda, a lovely front-line lady at work, that I think I might pass out. Fortunately, my office-mate Brooke had brought bagels in for my birthday so I grabbed a bagel and some cream cheese, while Linda brought me some water and nursed me back to health. I felt weak for a couple of hours afterwards... it was bizarre. I happened to have a doctor appointment the next day and I asked him about it - he said it is actually pretty normal, and it is probably just the baby sitting on a vein so if it happens again to try to lay down on my side. Noted. Which is why I will just excuse myself for a couple of minutes if it happens again.

Chris has decided that it is time to have a healthier lifestyle. I think this is more likely to happen in the summer anyway when fresh fruits and vegetables, which are cold, tend to sound more appetizing than in the winter. But since I have gained more weight this time around, and I have been feeling unhealthy myself, I am totally on board. I've been eating much more fruits and veggies, and trying to grab for healthier snacks. I even started making my own hummus, and bought "Tahini" from an organic grocery store. Woot. However, I still tend to prefer buffalo sauce for a dipping sauce for veggies. But the homemade hummus is actually pretty good, and not overwhelmingly garlic-y like some of the store bought stuff. It's a good feeling, and a good habit to get into, especially for when after baby is born.

Chris' work is going well. He is still doing some training at work in addition to his supervisory role. Last month he worked a week on third shift to spend time with a different department, and this week he worked a week on second shift.  It will be nice to have him back onto his regular schedule. It is probably nice for Chris as well, because he has his regular work to catch up on now too.

My parents are coming into town in 4 days! I cannot WAIT to see them.  I'm sure Sophia will be just as excited. Lots of Nana and Papa time. Mom recently was hired for a new teaching position (goodbye to Kindergarten!) where she teaches 3rd grade at a year-round school, which seems like a pretty awesome schedule. She teaches for 8 weeks (I think that is how long the rotation lasts) and then is off for a couple of weeks, and then does another rotation. Anyway, because of the new schedule she won't be able to be here for the birth because her teaching position starts in July. I'm bummed about that, because I can't imagine what it would have been like if she had not been here when Sophia was born. This time, though, Chris has some paternity leave through his work. And Meghan and Stephen (Meghan's boyfriend) will be visiting in early to mid August (HOPEFULLY I have a baby by that point) and can be a help to me. I have not officially met Stephen in person yet, so I am looking forward to that. they are both working at a camp back east this summer (one of the Carolinas, I can never remember which one).  Plus, with Mom's new schedule she will be able to spend time with us out here at Christmastime, which will be wonderful because I am not going to be able to head to California and see the rest of the family.

One final note before heading out. Today was the Amnion Crisis Pregnancy Center Walk for Life! This would have been our 5th walk in a row. When I was up in the middle of the night tonight I could hear some pretty severe lightning and thunder. It didn't seem like it was clearing anytime soon either. When I woke up this morning in time for the walk, it was still raining pretty heavily, as well as some thunder and lightning and occasional hail. I let Chris and Sophia sleep in, and headed for the walk by myself. I figured that even if they did continue with the walk (which I figured would not happen), I would just stay behind and help with clean-up or something. Well, they ended up canceling the actual walk part so we will have to do two miles on our own.  On the bright side, we raised $555 - our goal was $500. Very exciting! It is such a great organization to support, and I am proud to be a part of it in some way even if I do have a small role. Overall the total for today was $45,000+, with a goal of $50,000, which is pretty awesome considering there were probably still several individuals who did not show up because of the rain and will still be turning in some of their donation sheets.

Well, that'll do it for ramblings tonight. Off to bed for this very pregnant lady.