Sunday, August 31, 2014

alex's birth story

well i am hanging out at home with alex, getting accustomed to real life again. the past week has been crazy and today is the start of our new normal. a new normal that involves an infant, almost three year old, two dogs, and two adults that don't know what they're doing with all of these lives in their hands! jk.

when i was in the hospital on thursday i actually pulled open leila's birth story so i could remember how everything went down that day. the basics were that i went in for induction at 2cm, took cytotec for 12 hours and made no progress with it, had my water broken at 1pm, went from 5.5cm to 10cm in an hour, and had my baby girl around 7pm.

alex's story is actually quite similar.

jake and i arrived at the hospital on thursday, august 28th at 6am. i was 2-3cm and 80% effaced at that time. they started giving me pitocin at 7:15am and the contractions didn't start right away. i was a solid 3cm at 9am when my doc came to break my water.

the contractions started coming every 2 min then, but as soon as i'd switch positions, they'd stop. around 10am i started walking around my room and listening to music. that got the contractions going, but at 12pm i was only at 4cm. i got an epidural at 1:30pm and figured i was at least at 5cm based on the strength of the contractions.


my doctor came in at 2pm and i was still 4cm. she was scheduled for an off-site surgery and figured she'd be back at the hospital by 3pm. none of us seemed concerned that i'd go into labor in that timeframe, although we knew it might happen quickly based on leila's delivery.

30 minutes later, i felt a huge loss of blood or amniotic fluid, half of my body was experiencing the worst contractions ever, i felt alex's head straight up ready to exit, and i knew i was ready to have a baby. the nurse came in and said i'd indeed gone from 4cm to 10cm in 30 minutes. buuut my doctor was still in surgery.

the contractions were so strong that it took everything in my power not to push. the nurse turned off the pitocin, the anesthesiologist came back to increase my meds, and the contractions stopped being painful. jake, the nurse, and myself literally sat in the room chatting and joking for the next 90 minutes while we waited for my doctor to return.

on one hand, it was annoying because i could've had my sweet boy even earlier. on the other, it gave me time to relax and be super ready for pushing.

when my doctor came back, we immediately got ready for the pushing. i pushed for 9 minutes and our son arrived! no tearing or stitches, thank goodness. just the easy delivery of a 6.5 pound little boy. it turns out alex wasn't growing very well at the end due to the placenta. it was small and deteriorating.

during the 90 minute wait for my doc we joked about who he'd look like. we wondered if he'd have black hair like leila did or brown like jake and myself. none of us ever suggested what we received- a redhead. that was the biggest surprise of his birth. super red hair. apparently the gene has to be on both sides of the family to get red hair. jake's mother and her siblings are redheads, so that wasn't surprising. i didn't know of any redheads in my family though. turns out it's from my dad's mom's side and one of his sisters had red hair.

well that's the birth story! we are beyond smitten with our little lad and can't wait to begin our journey with alex and his sister.

alexander jacob

Alexander Jacob
August 28, 2014 at 4:04pm
6 lbs, 8 oz
19 1/2 in

baby alex: 39.5 weeks

i started writing this post before giving birth to our little man, so i figured i'd go ahead and finish it before moving on to his birth story.

how far along: 39.5 weeks

how big is baby: the size of a mini-watermelon (20 inches long and weighs over 7 pounds)

weight gain / loss: i started at 142.4 lbs and weighed 165.8 pounds at 38 weeks. today, the day before induction, i weigh 166 pounds. i gained 23.6 pounds for this little guy's pregnancy.

symptoms: plenty of contractions, but nothing consistent enough to be labor

cravings / aversions: i'm in solid pumpkin spice latte mode right now

movement: alex's movement has been slowing down, although i think it's supposed to in the final weeks. i had a sono on monday and he hardly moved at all, which was a bit scary. but he came around eventually.

gender: boy

belly button: outie

sleep: finally slept through the night for two straight nights after having bronchitis. what a relief.

what i'm looking forward to: baby alex will be here tomorrow. eeks!

what i miss: being worry-free. after the news that i have intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), i started reading up on it. what a mistake. there is so much information about how underdeveloped babies from IUGR have a more difficult time with labor and there is an increased risk they'll be stillborn. insert panic mode here.

highlights this past week: visiting with my perinatologist and scheduling the induction.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


i can't believe it's almost here. the arrival of alexander jacob. it's been a rough journey; much more difficult than my pregnancy with leila. getting pregnant with leila was harder, but keeping alex and myself healthy has been much more strenuous. from thrombocytopenia to fainting to mastitis to subchorionic hematoma, it's been a wild ride.

but the wild ride should be coming to an end on thursday.

yesterday i went in for a sonogram to check on alex's growth because my belly was measuring a few weeks behind. although i'm 39.5 weeks along, his measurements put him about 36 weeks and under 6 pounds. my doctor wanted to get a second opinion from my perinatologist, so i went there today. their super high tech equipment showed the same thing. his belly, femur, and forearm were all indicative of about 35.5 weeks, but his head was 39 weeks. i guess he'll have a big noggin like his sister! she did say that was a good thing because it means he's keeping up developmentally, just not physically. overall, alex appeared to be in about the 7th percentile for his gestational age, which means he is going to be a little peanut.

i asked the doctor what could've caused alex to stop growing. she said that there are three primary reasons- a chromosomal abnormality, birth defect, or the placenta is no longer working correctly. she said that she is absolutely not concerned that there is a chromosomal or birth defect issue, because they've scanned me so thoroughly in her office since the beginning of the pregnancy and haven't seen any indication. that actually made me very grateful for the monthly sonograms i've managed to have along the way! she said it's more than likely a placenta issue, but they can't know for sure until i deliver. for some people, the placenta just stops functioning as well as it should a little early. for the past few weeks, alex hasn't been getting the nutrients he needs through the placenta.

i asked if there was anything i'd done to cause this and she said no. that made me feel better. it also explains why today i weighed only 166 pounds. i've gained a whopping 2.5 pounds since 34 weeks, which is on par with a baby not growing much.

i'd be lying if i didn't admit i'm a little nervous about inducing on thursday. but boy would i rather be induced in this situation than go into labor on my own! if i went into labor on my own, i'd be terrified that the contractions were too strenuous for him and i couldn't monitor how he was doing with them. they hooked me up to some monitors today to check his heart rate and my contractions. i had a couple of contractions while i was hooked up and his heart rate was great too. because of those things, plus the fact that my cervix is favorable, everyone seems to think alex and i have a good shot at an easy delivery on thursday. i hope that is indeed the case!

in the meantime, i'm soaking up time with jake and my leilybug. i'm going to miss her so much while we are at the hospital! i'm gonna get some rest and prepare for my last day as a mommy of an only child tomorrow. good night!

Friday, August 22, 2014

stupid appointment

last week i had a vision for my 39 week appointment today. we were going to schedule my induction for next week, i was going to show a ridiculous amount of progress thanks to evening primrose oil and red raspberry leaf tea, and i was going to leave with a smile on my face.

then reality set in.

first of all, i have bronchitis. so getting induced on monday is off the table. there shall be no bringing baby into the world with a sick mama. not only do we not want him to get sick, but it'd royally stink to be trying to breathe through labor without being able to actually breathe. i started feeling crappy last friday and yesterday was probably the worst of it. hopefully it'll pass soon, but since we don't know when it will pass, my doc wasn't comfortable even putting me on the induction schedule for next week.

the second thing in the appointment was that we did the typical fundal measurement. i measured 36 weeks and apparently have been since 36 weeks. they ordered a sono for monday to check on alex's growth. he might be growing just fine and has dropped, even though i don't look like i've dropped at all. or it could be that he's very efficiently tucked away in there. or he could have just not grown much in the past 3 weeks due to placenta, fluid, or cord issues. they'll take a look on monday and figure out what to do from there.

i was 2cm and 70% effaced today. so i dilated a bit more, but no improvement on effacement. it's still a bit of progress, but i was hoping for more.

i've always preached that the best "birth plan" on the day you deliver is to not have a plan at all. you should just be open to your doctor's advice and your body's instincts, whether that means vaginal or c-section, epidural or no epidural, etc. but here i am eating my words! i hate not having a plan. i really enjoyed having a date set to deliver leila because it allowed us to get all of our ducks in a row and if she had come early, we were still prepared. this time i don't have that deadline and i'm just waiting.

i'm off for 12 weeks thanks to FMLA, and that 12 weeks started on august 8. everyday that i'm home by myself feels like one less day i'll be with alex later. i don't want to send him to daycare after only 8 or 9 weeks. i want at least 10 like i had with leilybug. :-(

sorry to have such a whiny post today. i was just really looking forward to knowing that by this time next week i would be holding my son. now i don't know if i will. maybe he'll come early on his own, maybe it'll be medically necessary to induce next week, maybe we'll want to hold off because i'm still sick. who knows. not me, that's for sure.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

baby alex: 38 weeks

this might be my last bi-weekly post! there's a solid chance i'll be induced next week prior to a 40 week post, but i'll find out for sure tomorrow.

how far along: 38 weeks

how big is baby: the size of a leek (19.5 inches long and weighs 6.8 pounds)

weight gain / loss: i started at 142.4 lbs and weighed 164.6 at 36 weeks. i weighed 165.8 the day i turned 38 weeks. that's another 1.2 pounds in two weeks. i've gained about 24 pounds so far.

symptoms: the back pain has subsided thanks to all of this maternity leave rest. i get braxton-hicks contractions almost everyday and last week thought i might actually be in active labor. i eventually walked it off so womp womp, no baby. that was also the day i lost my mucus plug.

cravings / aversions: craving sweets and caffeine. probably not in my best interest, but i'm all over those.

movement: alex is pretty active, but he's been getting annoyed with my coughing (i've been sick). sometimes i think i'm going to cough him right out of me, but then he gives me a swift kick in the ribs back to reality.

gender: boy

belly button: outie

sleep: i have felt so rested thanks to early maternity leave! and so not well rested thanks to coughing fits at all hours of the night. i need to kick this cough so that labor and delivery can be healthy.

what i'm looking forward to: meeting our little bambino- hopefully next week!

what i miss: drugs. half kidding. when it's just me and i'm sick, i have no problem taking one claritin a day, mucinex every four hours, tylenol every few hours, cough drops as needed, etc. but right now i'm really struggling with that. i don't want to put all of those medications in my system if i don't have to since alex can be affected too. i'm not taking anything that my doc didn't recommend, but i'm not fond of taking the full dose of everything at once. maybe if i did do full doses i would heal faster. it's a double edged sword.

highlights this past week: the day i had contractions about eight minutes apart and lost my mucus plug was pretty damn exciting. if nothing else, i know that i've made progress since my last cervical check and will be interested to see what they say tomorrow when i'm 39 weeks

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

early maternity leave

i just got home from my 38 week appt (i'm actually 37+4 today) and it went well. i had my first cervical exam of the third trimester and am dilated 1cm and 70% effaced. alex's head was very very low so she had a hard time reaching the cervix. she said i was contracting while laying there, so that seems good. i feel like most of this is standard ops at this stage, and in a good way.

my platelet count is dropping a little, but nothing significant. i went from 263 two weeks ago to 220 last week. those values are both well above the low threshold of 100-150, so i'm not concerned. hopefully today's platelet count stays up in that range and they stop trending downward.

the nurse and doc both commented on how great i look, especially with zero swelling. last wednesday i started sporting cankles and not looking great. then on thursday, while walking to the bathroom at work, i passed out. didn't really feel it coming on, just woke up to lots of people around me and freaking out that something had happened to the baby. i was trying really hard to focus on feeling movement but the whole thing was so overwhelming and scary that i couldn't stop crying, hyperventilating, and actually focus. eventually i felt alex move, but i ended up getting shipped to the ER. jake met my coworker and i there, and they did several tests on me. they could only find that my blood sugar was a bit low and heartrate dropped pretty low at one point. nothing conclusive. then we went to labor and delivery to monitor alex. i loved the doctor there. he said alex's graphs (or whatever they are) were the best he'd seen all day and that except for a few contractions, i looked good too.

the whole thing was enough to put me on early maternity leave though. i have pretty mixed feelings on being out already. on one hand, i feel like this may cut my time with alex short later. but on the other, my body was obviously sending a very clear message- get some rest, mama! less than a week of limited activity later, all swelling has gone away and i feel more energized than i have in months. that feels unreal at almost 38 weeks pregnant! and check it out, i actually have time to blog, lol.

that's all for today. just wanted to make sure last week's craziness made it onto the blog and give an update of the appointment. cheerio!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

looking back

well i'm home on maternity leave - a whopping three weeks early. since i'm going to be home bored alone for the next few weeks, i'll have ample time to blog about that.

but first, a look back! i was reminiscing about this pregnancy and looking at the photos in the sidebar, then thought it'd be neat to compare the photos from leila's pregnancy to this one. i've concluded that:

  • the bumps by week are pretty comparable. i started showing a tiny bit sooner, but by around 18 weeks the bump size is similar between the two pregnancies
  • i sort of miss my long hair, but it made me look a little too young (i was 25, so that's legit)
  • my facial weight gain was way better this time around
  • the new haircut i got halfway through this pregnancy was much needed
  • i think i was more "baby" this time around

without further ado, the comparison.

6 weeks

8 weeks

10 weeks

12 weeks

14 weeks

16 weeks

18 weeks

20 weeks

22 weeks

24 weeks

26 weeks

28 weeks

30 weeks

32 weeks

34 weeks

36 weeks

Monday, August 4, 2014

baby alex: 36 weeks

i looked back on my 36 week post from when i was pregnant with leila and realized i was wearing this exact same shirt. i remembered wearing it up until the end with leila, but after looking at this picture am thinking it may not make it to the end because i'm getting too big!

how far along: 36 weeks

how big is baby: the size of a head of romaine lettuce (18.5 inches long and weighs 6 pounds)

weight gain / loss: i started at 142.4 lbs and weighed 163.4 at my last check in two weeks ago. i'm now 164.6 lbs, having gained 1.2 pounds in two weeks. i'm at the very bottom of the healthy range chart now with a 22 pound weight gain, but i'm sure this kid is going to gain another 2 pounds before delivery, so if i end at a 25 pound weight gain, i'll feel good.

symptoms: back pain is the worst! not like, braxton-hicks or contraction back pain. more like holy cow, gravity is taking over and my back can't keep up back pain

cravings / aversions: eh, i'll eat anything. definitely in the mood for water and cream soda more often though.

movement: plenty of movement, but nothing that keeps me up at night which is nice. it's also kind of entertaining to be sitting in meetings and see this kid moving all over the place. i keep wondering if anyone else in the room has noticed.

gender: boy

belly button: outie. womp womp

sleep: last week was terrible. no matter what time i went to bed or woke up, i couldn't get enough rest. this morning was the first time in a week i've felt well rested. i better wrap this up soon so i can feel rested tomorrow.

what i'm looking forward to: is it weird that i'm looking forward to my appointment next week? at 37 weeks the doc will start checking for progress. i'm interested to know if i'm at all effaced, dilated, etc.

what i miss: holding my girl with ease. i can't really help leila out of her carseat or carry her from the bath to her bedroom anymore. i used to love the snuggles i'd get out of those tasks, but i'm just not physically up to them anymore.

highlights this past week: i realized this weekend that i'm not very swollen (knock on wood!). i've had a simple white gold wedding band for the past 5 years and jake surprised me with a new diamond pave band this weekend. it's a little big so we are going to take it the jeweler to get it fitted before i go to the hospital, plus send my original one off for a deep cleaning. i won't be wearing it for a few days in the hospital anyway, so it'll be a good time. the whole thing made me realize that my fingers must not be the least bit swollen because my rings haven't felt tight at all. i also haven't had to switch shoes yet. i seem to recall making the switch to sandals and flip flops by now last time. but then again, i had gained about 10 more pounds than this with leila, so maybe that's part of it. either way, new wedding band + realization that i'm not very swollen = highlight!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

baby alex: 34 weeks

i kind of like the photo this week. it looks like i merely put a basketball under my dress. obviously you can't see my legs... and i'm quite wide these days too, lol.

how far along: 34 weeks

how big is baby: the size of a canteloupe (18 inches long and weighs 4 3/4 pounds). that's a pound in two weeks, wow.

weight gain / loss: i started at 142.4 lbs and was 162 lbs two weeks ago. i'm now 163.4 lbs, having gained almost 1.5 pounds in two weeks. i'm now slightly nervous that i'm not gaining enough weight or not fast enough for baby's weight gain, so my goal is to start incorporating better fats and proteins into my diet. i just don't like protein much to begin with.

symptoms: the braxton-hicks contractions like to keep me up at least once a week now. also i can't even stand up without having to go pee. when i have to print stuff at work, i'm tempted to let papers pile up for two hours because if i get up every 10 minutes, i will inevitably go pee every 10 minutes.

cravings / aversions: craving fruit again, as usual. seriously not interested in turkey meat. i love deli sandwiches and turkey is grossing me out.

movement: occasionally i think alex's movements are the onset of contractions because my stomach gets crazy hard. but then he moves his butt in another direction and i realize that's all it was in the first place.

gender: boy

belly button: officially an outie.

sleep: i've started falling asleep earlier each night, around 9:30pm but am not ready to get up at 6:30am the next morning. it's not enough sleep. leila's been getting to school a little late this week!

what i'm looking forward to: the arrival of the crap ton of etsy orders i placed this weekend. i bought a wall decal with alex's name and some whales, a print to frame, and some contoured burp cloths. once these things arrive, the nursery should officially be done. yessss.

what i miss: flexibility and lower weight. i sat at my desk at work and tried to reach for a pen on the other side. it involved an awful grunt, painful stretch, and attempt to roll my chair over. rolling the chair was not very successful either. apparently it takes a little more effort to push my body on wheels. le sigh.

highlights this past week: my doctor gave us a timeline for alex's arrival! she said that if my thrombocytopenia starts acting up, they won't induce before august 11. they will try other courses of treatment before allowing me to go into labor before that date. i asked if i could induce closer to my due date if all was well and she said that if my cervix is favorable, they can induce no sooner than 39 weeks. i don't really want to induce until august 28 or 29, so i have a feeling those dates will be options. basically this little boy should be here between august 11 and 29! yay!

baby alex: 32 weeks

i sort of forgot this was sitting in my draft folder waiting for a photo. whoops!

how far along: 32 weeks

how big is baby: the size of a large jicama (16.7 inches long and weighs 3 3/4 pounds)

weight gain / loss: i started at 142.4 lbs and was 160.5 lbs two weeks ago. i'm almost to the twenty pound weight gain mark, weighing in at 162 lbs now. i've gained 1.5 pounds in two weeks which is great.

symptoms: i'm getting full really easily now. is that a symptom?

cravings / aversions: i'm sort of over water some nights and need something with a sweet flavor like orange juice or root beer.

movement: plenty of movement, but not quite somersaults. more like random bulges in my stomach.

gender: boy

belly button: we've moved past half in / half out and are at about 3/4 out. might as well call it an outie now.

sleep: sleeping pretty well, but if i do wake up i can't fall back asleep without using the bathroom first. that's getting annoying.

what i'm looking forward to: figuring out when this kid will arrive. i have an appointment coming up where we should start talking about the timeline for alex's arrival.

what i miss: my wardrobe. i feel very limited now, down to about 5 dresses and 10 tops for work. i realize that means i can wear different things to work for 3 weeks straight, but that doesn't mean i like the lack of options.

highlights this past week: when i asked leila who was in my belly, she FINALLY said "baby alex." for the longest time the response has varied from belly button to food to princess cinderella. i'm considering this a step forward in her understanding that a baby is on the way.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

healthy weight

a 32 week post is coming in the next few days. i got a cute new work dress this weekend that i need to wear tomorrow, so i'm sort of waiting to take a picture then. :-)

i'm in the mood to blog though, so i figured i'd talk about how i've been doing weight-wise this pregnancy. it is probably the topic that i put the most effort into with each survey. when i was pregnant with leila, i gained 32 pounds. that was in the healthy 25-35 pound range and i was very pleased. i didn't have stretch marks and could wear my rings, so all in all it was a victory.

with this pregnancy, i've been striving to say in that range once again. i actually didn't pay much attention to my weight gain at first, especially because i was on modified bed rest for a month. it wasn't until i started checking in on the baby center weight gain tracker that i paid better attention.

around 23 weeks i realized i was eating like crap and decided it was time to monitor the food i was eating. i started doing weight watchers, set up to gain something like 0.5-1 pounds each week. i mostly just used weight watchers because it's the easiest for me to wrap my head around, having done weight watchers a few times in the past.

when i started tracking what i ate, i noticed that i was seriously high on carbs and ridiculously low on fruits and veggies. since then, i've started to make sure i have fresh fruit in the house and at my office every week. i miss the occasional trip to the grocery store and always see my weight spike up when i've skipped a day or two of fruit/veggie snacks. i think it was actually last saturday when i weighed in at 163 lbs and had been eating cereal and chips as snacks in the few days leading up to that. a week and stocked fruit bowl later, i'm 162 lbs. it's crazy how much better snacking options can change things! although, i guess i will often throw in fruit or a salad as the side for a meal too when we have the food around.

since i'm an engineer, i live my life in excel. so what kind of engineer would i be if i hadn't been tracking my weight gain this whole time!? using the aforementioned weight gain tracker (starting weight 142 lbs and height 5'8"), i've been keeping track of if i'm in the healthy range. here is the chart so far:

every milestone of this pregnancy is evident in that graph. trucking along nice and healthy until at 8 weeks, i was diagnosed with a subchorionic hematoma and put on modified bed rest. for a month i was adhering to limited physical activity and around week 12 was cleared. then i did great. and then not because i promptly fell into "zomg, ramen noodles NOW" mode. i turned that ship around at 23 weeks and have been on a nice, healthy path ever since!

leila just woke up from a late nap so we're going to go snack on some watermelon and carrots. happy sunday, all!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

baby alex: 30 weeks

i'm pretty excited to hit the 30 week mark (or at least i was when it happened this past saturday. now i'm closer to 31). it feels like the end is actually in sight.

how far along: 30 weeks

how big is baby: the size of a head of cabbage (15.7 inches long and weighs 3 pounds). apparently this kid has gained an inch and a pound just since my last post!

weight gain / loss: i started at 142.4 lbs and was 158 lbs two weeks ago. i weighed 160.5 this past weekend, which is a 2.5 lb gain. i was actually nervous about that until i realized alex himself has gained a pound. and i think you're supposed to gain a pound a week in the last trimester or something.

symptoms: last week was probably the worst week i've had symptom-wise. i didn't know it was possible to have mastitis during pregnancy but guess what, it is! i'll leave it at that.

cravings / aversions: no cravings or aversions. i'm really quite the easy date these days.

movement: i started doing kick counts a month or two ago but realized yesterday that i haven't been keeping up with them. work has been so hectic. i'm trying to slow down now and actually pay attention to his movements.

gender: boy

belly button: still half in / half out. so still awkward

sleep: i'm actually getting a ton of sleep. aside from those three or four mastitis days, i've been sleeping for 8-9 hours straight and it's glorious.

what i'm looking forward to: i'm officially in "is he here yet!?" mode. i can basically feel a little head in my pelvis and occasionally think he's going to fall out of me when i go pee or something lol. for some reason this makes me think he's coming any day now, except i know it'll realistically be in about 2 months.

what i miss: holding my leilybug. it's become increasingly difficult to help her into her carseat, pick her up, etc. i still pick her up now and then, but it's less often now and i miss our carrying snuggles.

highlights this past week: alex's room is almost done! i washed his bedding, made some little name art, and got all of his clothes put away. i just need to do the chair rail in a couple of weeks, plus buy some additional baskets and curtains. then we should be all set! we got the last big thing as well, which was a second carseat. i feel much more equipped for his arrival.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

baby alex: 28 weeks

yay for the third trimester!

how far along: 28 weeks

how big is baby: the size of an eggplant (14.8 inches long and weighs 2 1/4 pounds)

weight gain / loss: starting weight was 142.4 lbs and i weighed 157.5 lbs at 26 weeks. this week i'm at 158 lbs, having only gained 0.5 lbs in the last two weeks. feeling good.

symptoms: seriously, somebody make the heartburn go away. and remind me never to eat a dark chocolate oatmeal granola bar ever again. that was a painful half hour last week.

cravings / aversions: i had a salmon craving last weekend so the hubs grilled us an awesome dinner that night. i'm craving fish more than other meats (boo mercury restrictions), and really am not in the mood for any meat on its own. i'm down for casseroles and pizza though! i've also had a slight addiction to cereal lately and have had that for dinner more times than i'd like to admit.

movement: baby alex has been kicking up a storm the past few days. i discovered he loves sonic cherry limeades. i thought he was going to break my rib after i drank it.

gender: i'm really warming up to having a little boy. it was so easy for me to envision being a mom to a girl because i knew i'd be good with one. i'll admit that it hasn't been easy picturing a little man in our lives. but every time i hang up a new outfit or wash a new blue blanket, it sinks in more and more.

belly button: awkward half in / half out stage

sleep: i wake up at least two or three times a night because i'm not comfortable, feel myself on my back and freak out, have to pee, or any other number of reasons. i miss the good ol' days.

what i'm looking forward to: my friend stephanie and her daughter celeste are going to come into town from houston in a few weeks and help me install the chair rail in alex and leila's rooms. i also have yet another sono tomorrow. not as much looking forward to the glucose test on friday.

what i miss: the days of no heartburn and abundant sleep. i haven't really felt pregnant this whole time, but now i feel it in the daily symptoms.

highlights this past week: my friend delilah came over and we painted alex's room this weekend. i also have the paint for leila's room and need to tackle that room next. we also bought alex's bedding, so i'm excited to see if all come together. here is his room before the paint and after the paint. we still have to add the chair rail. i love the blue already!

Monday, May 26, 2014

baby alex: 26 weeks

a little late thanks to a trip to the midwest, but not too tardy.

how far along: 26 weeks

how big is baby: the size of a scallion (14 inches long and weighs 1 2/3 pounds)

weight gain / loss: starting weight was 142.4 lbs and i weighed 157.5 lbs at 26 weeks. i've gained 15 lbs and am on track for a healthy 25-35 pound overall weight gain.

symptoms: heartburn, waaaaah

cravings / aversions: craving fruits and healthy foods all the time. almost never in the mood for meat.

movement: i've started doing kick counts every night and can usually get 10 kicks in 5-10 minutes after drinking a glass of ice cold water. i'm trying to remember to do this every night.

gender: a little boy is on the way :-)

belly button: no change

sleep: i've started having insomnia again and it's making me quite tired when i get to work the next day.

what i'm looking forward to: i have a work conference this week, then the glucose test and another sono after that. sonos are seriously my fave. i love seeing little jake.

what i miss: feeling prepared and organized. i'm 2/3 of the way through this pregnancy and everyday i feel further and further behind...

highlights this past week: we took family photos in iowa this weekend, and i'm looking forward to seeing how they turned out. there definitely wasn't a maternity focus or anything, but i have a feeling this will be our last photo shoot as a family of three. next time we take family photos, baby alex will have arrived.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

baby alex: 24 weeks

i actually managed to post on time for the first time in a while. woo hoo! thank you, melissa, for reminding me that people do actually read/keep up with this blog, thus prompting me to prioritize it again ;-)

how far along: 24 weeks

how big is baby: the size of an ear of corn (almost a foot long and weighs 1 1/3 pounds)

weight gain / loss: thanks to weight watchers, i got back on track with the weight gain this week! i use the term weight watchers very very loosely. i've set up an app to help me gain 0.5 pounds a week right now and will boost to 1 pound a week soon. i'm not super strict about my diet, but have always loved using weight watchers when i need a way to track just how unhealthy i eat and kick my fruit and veggie eating into high gear. that said, at 22 weeks i was 155.2. at 23 weeks i hit 157, which was at the tippy top of the healthy weight gain range. today i am 155.4 pounds, having gained exactly 13 pounds this pregnancy. i want to slow down a bit more, but no rush.

symptoms: my body has been getting awfully achy lately. probably has more to do with working so much, but let's pretend like it's the pregnancy too.

cravings / aversions: craving carbs. i've been making much better snack choices with plenty of fruits and veggies and actually enjoy them. but the second someone shows up at work with a cinnamon loaf, i can't say no. as soon as i cut out the pop to opt for better beverages last week, pop naturally become an aversion. no longer interested.

movement: alex is starting to do the funky movements now! i can see my stomach pop out when he kicks now and sometimes i can feel him actually moving his body, instead of just a random kick feeling.

gender: boy

belly button: no change

sleep: aside from terrible allergy congestion, great. i've been sleeping comfortably on my left side with a pillow between my legs for a few weeks. now the position is ideal.

what i'm looking forward to: let's pretend like i finally have plans to get the nursery decorated. if we can pretend that, then that's what i'm looking forward to.

what i miss: having time to do things. this pregnancy is going by much faster than leila's and i feel very behind compared to last time.

highlights this past week: i washed and folded all of alex's little clothes. giant thanks to our friend cassie for giving us literally a hundred articles of baby boy clothing. that was such a burden lifted!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

baby alex: 22 weeks

i am so very late with the 22 week update. i got a promotion at work last month, which has come with a major transition period. couple that with two big work deadlines and i'm working 10 hour days, with all spare time dedicated to jake and leila. sorry that the beach and lake have had to come before this post. :-)

how far along: 22 weeks

how big is baby: the size of a spaghetti squash (about 11 inches long head to heel and weighs a pound)

weight gain / loss: i started at 142.4lbs and at 22 weeks weighed 155.2. i seriously gained like 4 pounds over the course of two weeks, which is unacceptable. i've started to dislike the way my pants were fitting too, so hopefully the 24 week update will include some details on improving these stats.

symptoms: nothing new to report

cravings / aversions: i've been craving pop a lot, which probably contributed to that weight gain! also just generally wanting to eat a lot of anything during the day, ha. is there a correlation between "work hard, eat hard?"

movement: i forgot how much i love the feeling of baby hiccups! they are so cute.

gender: boy

belly button: no change

sleep: pregnancy wise, good sleep! toddler wise, not as good. ha

what i'm looking forward to: a break from all of these doc appts, woo hoo. my perinatologist cleared me until the last month or so of pregnancy, so i don't have to go in every month anymore. i enjoyed the extra sonos, but am pleased to have one less morning to take off from work now.

what i miss: my cute figure. can you see a recurring theme in this post!?

highlights this past week: having another 3d sono. we looked at alex and i swear i can already tell that he looks like leila. which means he also looks like jake. those 3d things are a bit creepy, but it's fun when you can distinguish features!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

baby alex: 20 weeks

we've reached the halfway point- woo hoo!

how far along: 20 weeks

how big is baby: the size of a banana (about 6.5 inches long head to bottom, or 10 inches from head to heel). he is so big now!

weight gain / loss: i guess i made up for that one pound increase last time by gaining 3 pounds this week. i finally broke 150 and am at 151.6 lbs. i've gained around 9 pounds total so far. definitely still in a healthy range.

symptoms: starting to deal with the whole "crap, i can no longer fit between the chair and the wall" and "damn it, bending over is not as easy as it once was" thing

cravings / aversions: i've been eating pb&j and grapes like it is nobody's business. but i'm completely turned off by anything carbonated.

movement: alex moves a lot these days, although it's usually after i eat. :-)

gender: boy

belly button: no change

sleep: i keep ending up on my back in the middle of the night, which makes me wake up a bit in the night. i'm still able to fall back asleep easily, but it's annoying nonetheless.

what i'm looking forward to: august!

what i miss: bending over comfortably. shaving my legs, painting my toenails, and feeding the dogs just isn't the same anymore.

highlights this past week: i had a sort of crazy appointment yesterday. i asked my doctor about their induction policy and she seemed surprised that i'd even ask. she said i'll almost definitely be induced because of the thrombocytopenia. she said that instead of preparing for an august 30 due date, i need to start preparing to be ready as early as august 1. we'll start doing weekly bloodwork around the end of july and if the perinatologist so much as sees my platelets trending downward, they'll induce right away. once they start trending downward, the huge dip in platelet count comes quickly. the huge dip would mean no epidural and possibly a c-section to prevent me from bleeding out. i feel like when you're pregnant, you prepare to be the exception to the rule if you have a baby between 36 and 39 weeks. yesterday i found out i'm now the rule and not the exception. at first that freaked me out, but now i'm excited to possibly meet our son even sooner!

Monday, April 7, 2014


one topic i've been meaning to discuss with this pregnancy is that i'm high risk due to an autoimmune disorder called idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura / immune thrombocytopenia, or ITP. or in laymen's terms, "low platelets." platelets are made in your bone marrow and help your blood to clot. because i have low platelets, i don't clot as easily.

i found out that i had ITP during routine bloodwork with my miscarriage pregnancy. we had additional testing done and discovered that i tested positive abnormal for three types of platelet antibodies. essentially, my immune system attacks and destroys its own platelets.

the diagnosis made a ton of sense after we figured it out. i get bruises very easily and sometimes the bruises are huge. i can recall our dog stepping on my thigh a few months ago, then two days later i had a bruise the size of a softball. i also have tiny red/purple dots all over my chest and top of arms that i used to think were acne but could never be fixed with medicine from the dermatologist. i don't get nosebleeds terribly often, but i often bleed simply from blowing my nose. no matter how much i floss, the dentist always says that my gums are bleeding too much during routine exams. it turns out that all of these things are symptoms of ITP.

it's not a life-threatening illness, but there are a few things i have to be cautious about. for instance, if i ever got into a terrible car wreck or something, i could bleed out quickly because my blood won't clot correctly. the other big ones relate to pregnancy.

it was important to test for platelet antibodies before because they can cross the placenta and affect the baby's platelet count. since i tested positive, alex will have to be monitored closely at birth to make sure his platelet count is not affected. or if it is, that he gets the appropriate treatment.

if my platelet count is low in the weeks before delivery, i'm at higher risk for heavy bleeding during labor. i will see the perinatologist (specialist) every month until the end, when i believe i'll start to visit every week to monitor my platelet count. there are things you can do to raise the platelet count temporarily, like take steroids or have a platelet transfusion. i think some people have to have emergency c-sections or induce labor earlier if the remediation measures don't work.

the other risk is related to epidurals. if my platelets are too low, i can't get an epidural.

insert freak out here.

i feel like i had the easiest labor and delivery in all of labor and delivery, and part of that is because i was induced and had an epidural. i need history to repeat itself! i don't think i can do pain!

anyway, those are my high risk pregnancy woes. i haven't been too worried because my test results have been pretty good and i haven't needed to worry. maybe i'll be a mess toward the end, but for now everything is going smoothly. hopefully it stays that way so alex is healthy and i can have my epidural! :-)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

baby alex: 18 weeks

we had a busy weekend with my firm's annual dinner and family outings to the park, duck pond, carousel, etc. so i didn't get a chance to post this on time. but better late than never.

how far along: 18 weeks

how big is baby: the size of a bell pepper (about 5.5 inches long)

weight gain / loss: i weighed 148.4 lb on saturday, so a one pound increase over the past two weeks and six pounds over the pregnancy. i had another pop out this week, even without much weight gain. weird.

symptoms: feeling great with no weird symptoms

cravings / aversions: still on that mexican and thai kick. i also discovered that two slices of pie, even when craved, can make me feel sick. waaah for my body rejecting lots of sugar.

movement: the movement is off and on, not much to report here. oh, wait, baby is kicking right now. i mean alex is kicking. time to start using his name.

gender: we are having a little boy!!

belly button: no change, but progressively moving outward.

sleep: i've been sleeping great and even waking up on my own after about 8 hours of sleep. i think that means i'm rested enough.

what i'm looking forward to: starting on alex's nursery. although i was originally thinking nautical, we may just go with some sort of other sea-ish theme. i'm loving alligators and whales right now.

what i miss: we're on cloud 9 knowing we're having a boy, so i can't think of a single thing i miss today.

highlights this past week: oh you know, just finding out we are going to round out our family with a son. :-)

Friday, March 28, 2014

baby alex: 18 week ultrasound (anatomy scan)

another awesome ultrasound with my perinatologist. thanks to my thrombocytopenia, i have to start seeing her every month now. it's bad because it means we've already reached the point where we have to watch my platelets more often, but it's great because it means i get to see the baby once a month! so hopefully they'll do print outs every time and i can post lots of pictures here.

date of ultrasound: march 27, 2014

gestational age: 17 weeks, 5 days

crown to rump measurement: apparently they don't do this at this stage, so she said baby is 7 ounces

gestational age based on measurement: 17 weeks, 3 days. again, on track with previous measurements showing me a day or two behind.

due date: august 30th

heart rate: 152 bpm

gender: it's a boy!! no doubt about it. :-)

movement: lots of movement, but when i'd tell baby to move this way or that for the tech to get a better view, he actually obliged! will this child listen to its mother? haha

highlight of the ultrasound: finding out we're having a boy! and one that looks healthy at that.

some photos from the visit

Thursday, March 27, 2014

gender reveal #3: baby names

we decided on the baby's name a few weeks ago, although the funny thing is that it feels more like it was three years ago. you'll see why in a minute.

for a little girl...


*okay, jake informed me last night that although iiii have decided on this name, he has not. i still think it's safe to say this will be the baby's name if it's a girl. so whatever, husband! ;-)

first name reasoning: about two years ago we were driving around town and jake said "what do you think of leila and lily?" we weren't really planning to have another kid yet (or at all) but it always stuck in our minds as a cute combination if we ever had two little girls. two years later, it's our frontrunner. on top of that, my great-grandmother's name is lillian so lily would be named after her.

middle name reasoning: gwen was a last minute selection and a winner from the moment it was suggested (says me, allegedly, lol). jake had liked the name gwen when i was pregnant with leila. i like gwen because my grandma's middle name is gwendolyn and shortening to gwen is a tribute to her. i think maybe i have an aunt whose middle name is gwen too?

runner up #1: lily marie/charlotte
runner up #2: zoe ann
runner up #3: claire marie

why the runner up's were nixed: we both liked zoe, but not as much as lily. claire was more of my runner up than jake's; he is averse to it for some reason. i had two solid middle names in mind for a girl from the start- charlotte or marie. charlotte is my grandmother's name (charlotte gwendolyn, in fact). marie is my mom's middle name and my former middle name. my stepmom's name is mary ann, so i felt like marie covered both of my madres and myself. but alas, not our favorite middle name once gwen arrived on scene.

for a baby boy...


first name reasoning: does that look familiar? that was our boy name from when i was pregnant with leila! we discussed other names, but kept ending up back at alexander. :-)

middle name reasoning: jacob is my husband's middle name. although we aren't particularly fond of its roots, we love the idea of our son having the same middle name as his father.

runner up #1: owen jacob
runner up #2: hayden jacob
runner up #3: aiden alexander

why the runner up's were nixed: owen was my runner up, whereas hayden/aiden were jake's. jake couldn't fully get on board with owen, and i thought aiden was too trendy. jake really likes hayden but after i gave him statistics on hayden being more common for females than males these days, he finally gave up.

i can't wait to find out if we will have a little "leila and alex" or "leila and lily" combo! only a few more hours!!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

gender reveal #2: old wives' tales

tomorrow is the big day! we'll debut baby's name options before we find out what we're having tomorrow afternoon. for today, old wive's tales. :-)

Old Wives' Tales:

1. Is your hair shiny and full of body or thin and stringy?

Shiny and full of body. - BOY

2. Is your hair growing faster or the same?

Much faster. I keep having to get a hair cut every few weeks. - BOY

3. Any morning sickness?

No throwing up, but a lot of nausea. - GIRL

4. Are you craving sweet or salty?

Salty for sure! Bring on the pickles, chips, Mexican food, and Thai food! - BOY

5. Is your butt getting bigger?

Nope. - BOY

6. Hold a necklace over your belly. If it swings back and forth its a boy. If it swings in a circular motion its a girl.

Circular motion. - GIRL

7. What did your mother have? Take a look at the position you are in terms of her children, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. If you are the first born you will have what your mother had starting with the 2nd then 3rd, 4th, etc. If you are a middle child you will have them backwards. If you are the last child you will have exactly what your mother had.

My mom had Stephen (boy), then Stephanie (girl), then Jarrett (boy), then me (girl), then Laura (girl). Since that puts me in the middle, I'll have them backwards. Since this is my second child... - GIRL

8. My mom says she can tell what someone is having based on the clothes they wear once they find out they are pregnant. She says if you wear more girly colors like pinks, oranges, and yellows you're having a girl. If you wear more blues, greens, and neutrals you're having a boy.

I've been buying mostly purple, blue, and black this pregnancy. - BOY

9. Pick up a key. If you pick it up by the thinner end you're having a girl. If you pick it up by the bigger end you're having a boy.

Bigger end. - BOY

10. Are your feet colder than before or the same?

The same. - GIRL

11. Do you eat the heel of a loaf of bread?

Nope. - GIRL

12. Has your breast development been dramatic in pregnancy?

Yes, they are quite lovely, haha. - GIRL

13. Is the baby's heart rate above 140bpm or below?

I've never seen it below 140bpm, and I check at least once a week. - GIRL

14. Do you crave orange juice?

Yes! I've been buying tons of OJ lately. - GIRL

15. Are you carrying high or low?

High. - GIRL

16. Is your tummy shaped more like a watermelon or a beach ball?

Beach ball this time. - GIRL

17. Is your baby active?

Only when I eat certain types of food, but I guess you could say yes. - BOY

18. Is dad gaining weight with you?

No. - BOY

19. Are you gaining weight in your face?

Not really. - BOY

20. Any acne?

It goes back and forth, but mostly no. - BOY

21. Are you feeling graceful or clumsy?

Graceful, except when I knocked our dog off the bed with my belly last night. Whoops! - GIRL

22. Was the month of conception even or odd?

December, so even. - GIRL

23. Mayan Tale - add mother's age at conception and year of conception. Even = girl. Odd = boy.

27 + 2013 = 2040, so even. - GIRL

24. When asked to show your hands do you keep your palms down or palms up?

Palms up - GIRL

25. What do you think you're having based on intuition? It is said that moms to be correctly guessed the sex of their baby 71% of the time.

I think it's a boy, but I also thought that last time and was wrong. At first I thought girl because I had recurring dreams having have girl twins. But then I just couldn't focus on coming up with a girl name because in my mind, this kid needed a boy name. So I guess it's recently been boy. - BOY

So...based on all of this let's see the verdict...

GIRL - 14/25
BOY - 11/25

According to Old Wives' Tales, we are having a GIRL! Last time I was 13/25 for girl and 12/25 for boy and it ended up being a girl.

We'll know tomorrow if the old wives' tales were true once again!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

gender reveal #1: the nursery

i'm going to do a few "gender reveals" this week in celebration of finding out the baby's gender this thursday! today is nursery ideas, then later i'll do old wives' tales and the names we've finally decided on.

anyway, a couple weeks ago i felt like we were so behind on planning for baby #2. then we managed to pick out names, nursery themes, and paint colors last week and i feel much better.

girl stuff just gets cuter every year. leila had a safari theme followed by a lot of owl and ladybug stuff as she got older. if we have a girl, we want her to have something different. we've decided on a bird theme and this is our current frontrunner.

{ photo from }

i like the quilted look to the bedding, plus the striped crib skirt. i'm sure we can find cute bird wall art to match these patterns.

much like leila's nursery, we are going to do a chair rail again. we are going to do the same for leila's new room. we'll keep beige above the chair rail, then paint below it. leila has requested purple for her room and picked out dark pink for a potential little sister. the overall nursery color scheme will be similar to leila's old set, but with more blue this time.

{ swatches from }

bedding was an easy choice for a sweet little son. the moment jake suggested a navy paint color, all i could envision was a nautical theme. jake agreed. we haven't decided on an exact set, but it'll probably be something like this.

{ photo from}

the little anchors and sailboats remind me of the time my parents took us out on a sailboat at my grandparents' cabin in wisconsin and all the summers we spent on the texas beaches growing up. we also like how simple this set is.

again we'll go with the chair rail, but this time with navy on the bottom. leila has quite a bit of green stuff, so it'd actually be nice to find a nautical set that incorporates a bit of light green. we shall see if we can find the perfect set so we can use some of her stuff again.

{ swatches from } 

i hope these ideas end up as cute as they seem in our heads.