Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Reflection of 2014

I think it is safe to say that upon reflecting our year in 2014, it has been a really big year for us, and 2014 will be bookmarked as one of the best years for Russ Family. It has been a whirlwind ride consisting of so many life-changing events. 2015 might pale in comparison to this year, but we will see what 2015 will bring for us, right? 

For the first two months in 2014, we dealt with a lot of polar vortexes, and we were getting sick of winter. January-February, and sometime March tend to drag on, and make Wisconsin winters seem so, so long. We kept ourselves occupied by visiting our friends, family, and supporting Stu through his graduate school semester. 

March rolled around with no sight of spring coming anytime soon. Ordinarily, this would have put us in the doldrums, or a cabin fever, pining for spring weather to arrive already. However, in early March, I had gotten a very exciting news, and it was going to change our family dynamics once again. 

I had just learned that I was pregnant with Frankie! Thrilled, I informed Stu that we were going to be parents once again, and that Frankie was estimated to be due in late November. It was a blessing to get pregnant when we did, because of the craziness that ensured shortly after. If we had gotten pregnant earlier, then it would have thrown a wrench in the chaos, and made it even crazier. So, it was truly a perfect timing that we got pregnant when we did.

In may, Stu graduated from Marian College with an administration degree. He had been looking for a job for awhile, even before he graduated, and landed a few job interviews. While the interviews went very well, and Stu felt confident with his interviews; he often came in as a second choice, and did not get a job with the places he had his interviews at. I was pretty sure that we were going to stay another year in Ripon, which I had not minded, because I loved living in Ripon. However, at the same time, I understood that we really need a new opportunity to support our growing family, and for Stu to climb up the ladder in his career. Then Stu had informed me that he had a job interview with Shawano High School. I was excited about this possibility, because it meant moving closer to Green Bay.

While Stu was in graduate school, we talked about what we had hoped to see happen from Stu's job search. It was our ideal plan in a perfect world scenario to move back to Green Bay. We had a lot of friends in the area, and my OB-GYN doctor was located there. I wanted to give birth at the same hospital where Forrest was born, and had hoped for a natural birth. If we moved closer to Green Bay, then my hope to have a natural birth was more likely going to happen.

At the same time, we also liked the idea of staying in Ripon area, and to raise our kids there. Ripon was our second choice after Green Bay area. Even though we wanted to return to Green Bay, the idea of leaving Ripon was also really sad, because I had come to really love the place. After all, it was where Stu, and I met, and fell in love. That place had a lot of special meaning for us.

In early June, while we were waiting on the word from Stu's job interview with Shawano High School; Stu, and I left Forrest, for the first time since he was born, for a long weekend to attend one of my best friends' wedding, and it was a wonderful time! My favorite part of their wedding was when Monis sang a beautiful song to Teri. Tears were definitely shed at this amazing heartfelt surprise he did for Teri during the vows. I was able to catch up with our "Three Musketeers" best friends, spend time with them, and enjoy our friendships for old time sake. It was a beautiful wedding, and I felt honored to stand up for Teri, and Monis. And the best part was that, later in the year in the fall, I learned that Monis, and Teri were expecting their first baby (and I'm guessing the baby is a girl)!

In late June, we got the news we were waiting for! Stu got a job through Shawano High school! We were thrilled! On the other hand, I was a bit daunted by the idea of moving, because as much as I hate to admit this, I was slow to accept new changes. We also learned that Stu was starting his new job on July 1st, and we just found out that he got the job a week before! Fortunately, Spencer, and Wally (Stu's brother, and fiancee) lived in the same town, so Stu was able to crash with them until we found a place to move in. It meant our summer was going to be a bit hectic with packing, commuting, and finding a new house to move in.

Stu came home to us on Friday afternoon/evening, and stayed with us until Sunday evening. Before Stu left every Sunday evening, he always made sure he helped me out by bathing Forrest, and putting him down to bed. He wanted to make it easier for me, and to savor every moment with Forrest. During the week, I had to be a single mama to a very active toddler. I definitely gained a lot of respect for single parents after this experience (not that I never had any before--it was just that I had no idea until then how hard it was to be a single parent).

It was equally hard on both Stu, and I. For Stu, commuting, living away from his family, sleeping on his brother's sofa in the living room, and finding a perfect house for us placed a lot of stress on Stu's shoulders. For me, a lot of packing, cleaning, and tending to Forrest while pregnant was difficult. I did not sleep well at night without Stu with us at home. Thankfully, my mom stepped in as much as she could to help with packing, and kept us a company. For that, I was grateful to her.

Forrest also went through a change over the summer. I had hoped to start weaning Forrest off his Nuk after we had moved into a new house. However, Forrest started chewing through his Nuk pacifiers. I made a bold decision not to purchase any new Nuk. Once Forrest chewed through his last Nuk, then he was done. I figured it was not going to happen after we moved. How wrong was I! One night, I discovered that Forrest did chew through his last Nuk. Frozen in the indecisiveness, I debated running to Walgreen's, and decided against it. I told Forrest that he was becoming to be a big boy, and no longer needed his pacifier. I prepared for a long night ahead of me. To my great surprise, after 2 hours of fussing, Forrest fell asleep, and slept through the night with no problem! The next day, Forrest inquired for his Nuk at his nap, and I gave him an answer that he was not getting one. He napped just fine. That night, he did not even bother asking for his Nuk! Mission accomplished for this such a big boy!

We continued to look for rental homes. It was becoming more stressful, because every house we looked at, there was something wrong with the house, the rent was too high for a shoddy place, the size was not right for our growing family, and there was always something that we did not like. It was when we decided to look into buying a home. We spent about 2 weeks looking at homes, and did find one potential home that we liked. However, we got cold feet, and did not quite want to make a huge commitment. Our reasoning was that we did not know the area very well, and we were not sure how long we planned on living in Shawano. We did not have a long-term plan, and retracted our decision to purchase a home. We were back to square one. The deadline loomed over our heads. We had to be out of our old home by August, and Stu wanted us to be settled in before school year began.

In the midst of house search, and packing; we took a hiatus from both for a long week to attend my brother, Alex's, and his wife, Alex's wedding. Yes, my brother, and his wife shared the same first name! I had a wonderful time, and it was a beautiful wedding. I loved the food, music, and company. The decor was beautiful. It was also bittersweet to see my first brother to get married, because I had a lot of nogalistic memories from our childhoods. Nonetheless, I had a blast spending time with my brothers, and sister, along with the rest of family. On the same weekend, I also helped Sam, who was a maid of honor for my sister, to host a bridal shower for Lauren! She got a lot of lovely things, and was showered with a lot of love by everybody who attended her shower.

By early August, we still had not found a house to move in, and the crunch time was on. However, first, it was time to participate in Lauren's, and Joey's wedding! It was a beautiful late summer wedding, and as tired as I was, I had a great time dancing, and eating. Lauren and Joey had their wedding at a rustic center with old building in middle of a beautiful garden. It was just a perfect fit for them to have a cozy, almost fairy-like wedding. We really enjoyed ourselves, even though Forrest was not wild about his duty as a ring-bearer!

Then, Stu found a house for us, and asked me to join him to see the place. The house did not have much to look at on the outside, and I was a bit apprehensive with what I was going to find inside. To my great surprise, I immediately fell in love with our home as we walked through the home. It taught me not to judge anything by its cover!

We met with our landlords. Initially, they were trying to sell their home, and the market was not doing so well. They were suggested by a Realtor to rent, but our landlords didn't quite want to make a plunge, due to horror stories with awful tenants not taking care of the home. At our meeting, we all clicked so well. Our landlords felt so comfortable with renting the house to us, and even informed us that if we decided down the road, then they were willing to sell the house to us! We sat down, and agreed on a date for us to move in, and start paying monthly rent. It meant a crunch time for me to get our house in Ripon cleaned up, and our things to be packed up to go! We were also relieved, because we had to be out of our old house by end of August for the new tenants to move in. Whew! It was when I got a lot of kindness in return from strangers, and friends to get boxes for our things to be packed up in.

Not even two weeks later; it was time to move into our new house, and unpack everything. It was a lot of work. Our family came together to help us move in, which was pretty awesome, and Forrest had a blast playing with his cousins. We worried a bit that Forrest might regress a bit with being in a new house. Fortunately, we only had one tough night with Forrest not wanting to sleep in his new bedroom, and after that, he took to the new environment with no problem! On the other hand, our pets; they took a while to adjust, and become comfortable with our new home.

In early September while the weather was still warm, and nice, we celebrated a birthday party for Forrest's 2nd birthday bash! I tried my hand at making an Elmo cake, and it turned out better than I thought it would. Forrest liked the taste of the cake more than the appearance of the cake itself, ha. We found a really nice pumpkin patch that sold pumpkins for good price! I was able to gather eight little pumpkins to be pureed, and made into pies, or any recipes that called for pumpkin puree!

Forrest also had his allergy tests done with Dr. Warpinski to find the numbers for his allergies to both dairy, and peanuts. We learned that Forrest had outgrown several of very mild allergies, which was great, and made us happy! We were explained by Dr. W that the milk allergy may be outgrown by the time Forrest started elementary school, which was the best case scenario, and the worst case scenario was Forrest not outgrowing his dairy allergy. The number for peanut allergy came back quite high, which was not surprising at all, and it was something that we already prepared for. I felt better knowing how severe his allergies were. We made an appointment for the following year to retest Forrest for tree nuts, and milk allergies.

October rolled around. With the weather finally becoming cooler, we harvested our tomatoes, and we got about good twenty pounds of tomatoes out of our garden! Matter of fact, we had so much that we had to give a lot away to our neighbors, family, and friends. Dad taught me how to juice tomatoes, and gave me an awesome starter kit for canning for the next summer. I was so thrilled to receive this amazing gift, and knew it was going to be put to a good use in 2015!

Stu, and I celebrated our 10th anniversary as a couple! We went out for our traditional date at Red Lobster for pre-baby celebration. With my pregnancy, I had a lot of craving for sea food, and I was quite glad to be able to enjoy a feast of seafood. Nom Nom.

Stu, Forrest, and I dressed up for Halloween. We had a great time passing out safe candies along with non-treats to the trick-n-treaters. Our outfits were such a hit, especiallly the duo costume that Stu, and Forrest wore (Trailer Park Boys; Bubbles, and Corky). Forrest enjoyed seeing all kids dressed up, and often wanted to help pass out the treats. We were asked by few people about Teal Project (allergy free treats). It was so successful that I decided to maintain Teal Project for Halloweens yet to come! 

Finally, Jellybean's birth date month arrived! Since we kept our baby's gender a surprise from everybody else, including ourselves; I dubbed the baby as Jellybean, because we announced our pregnancy around Easter. The nickname stuck ever since.

I had spent the last two months trying to turn Jellybean into a correct position for giving birth, because he was a breech baby, and I tried variety of methods. I stressed a lot, because my platelet level was erratic. It went to being really low, to being normal, then back to low. I held hope to have a natural birth, and tried to accept that it may not be in the cards for us. We had a few ultrasounds to determine the position of where Jellybean was in, and to check on the fluid level. Finally, we were given a green light in mid-November to have a natural birth! I was ecstatic! Suddenly, we were hit by an AWFUL stomach virus, and it was not fun at all. As result after we recovered from it, I got a burst of crazy energy to clean, clean, and clean. People told me that it meant Jellybean was going to be born soon. I shrugged it off, because I was so convinced I was having a December baby based on the fact that Forrest didn't come early when I was pregnant with him. I figured Jellybean was not going to be early, or on time either.

On one snowy evening, about a week early, Jellybean decided it was time to come into the world, and I had a natural birth that I wanted. As soon as Jellybean was delivered, we saw that he was a boy, and Frankie was born on the 24th at 10:25 pm! We became a family of four that night. In the coming weeks, we adjusted to a new family dynamics, and Forrest loved his new role as a big brother. Forrest had his crib converted into a toddler bed, and did so amazing. It was clear that he was more than ready for this change. We also purchased him a chair booster, and had him hand down his space saver high chair for Frankie to have. Forrest loved being a big boy, and a big brother to Frankie.

While we were not quite complete as a family, we were very content with being a family of four for the time being, and started to enjoy being parents of two boys.

Overall, it has been a really exciting, and big year. I am not sure how 2015 will top 2014, and I have a feeling that 2015 may be a bit slow compared to this year. However, it is okay, because I think we need a break from chaos to enjoy we reaped from 2014. I look forward to watching Frankie grow by doing monthly post updates on him, to get Forrest ready for potty training so he can get enrolled in 3K in the fall if we decide to do that, work on becoming healthier, start saving up for a van (yep, it's that time), start saving up for a house (maybe this one we are living in, we shall see, won't we), introducing new ideas for my blog (thinking about bringing back 7 on 7 photos for every month), and creating new memories in 2015!

Have a very safe New Year's Celebration tonight, and a happy 2015!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

FDR is 1 Month Old!

Dear Frankie,

You are a MONTH old today. A lot has happened in a month. It is hard to believe that you came into the world just a few weeks ago. Mama has discovered that, like with Forrest, it is an odd combination of joy, and sadness that you are growing so fast already.

You have been steadily gaining weight. At birth, you weighed 7 pounds even, and went down to 6 pounds, and 9 ounces. Nursing was a struggle for both of us in the beginning. Fortunately, it was not Mama's first rodeo with nursing, and she was as determined with you as she was with Forrest to make it work. Mama met with a wonderful lactation specialist, and gained tips how to keep you awake, to stay latched on, and to encourage you to eat. With many thanks to Pam, Mama was able to make it work with you, and you gained weight like a champ. You went up to 6 pounds, and 13 ounces!

You are definitely littler than Forrest as a newborn. Matter of fact, you are taking on after Mama for skin tone color, hair color, and size. However, Mama, and Daddy have noticed that you have inherited Daddy's long fingers, leggy legs, and possibly eye color! Your true eye color will be permanent when you are a bit older, seeing that many newborns are born with blue eyes, unless if they are already born with brown eyes. Then babies with brown eyes already have permanent eye color. It is what happened with Forrest.

At your 2 weeks check up, you had returned to your birth weight, and went up to 7 pounds, and 2 ounces. According to WHO chart, that put you in 9 percent of your peers, which meant you were pretty a small guy, and had a bit of growing to do yet! Your height put you in slightly bigger than average. Like Forrest, you were pretty tall for a newborn, measuring at 20 and half inches for 2 weeks old baby. Your head was measured to be at 35 CM, and that put you in 23% of your peer. Because of that, you were considered to be a petite guy.

Due to you being a breech from week 18 to week 37, just 2 weeks before you were born, an ultrasound was ordered for your 6 weeks wellness check to observe your hips, and to to rule out hip dysplasia. Dr. Karbon felt that your hips was in a good shape based off your physical exam, however, she wanted to be through with an ultrasound. Your left foot had finally relaxed, yet your right foot had not relaxed. As result, your foot also needed to be looked at by an orthopedic specialist to determine what has to be done.

Aside from this, you were given a clean bill of good health!

Oddly enough, Mama is not feeling sleep deprived with you as she did with Forrest. You are a wonderful sleeper, and gets up between 3 to 4 times in the night to nurse. It allows Mama to sleep longer stretches between the nursing sessions. You love to sleep quite a lot. Just like in the womb, you are most awake in the late evenings, and stay awake for 2-3 hours at time. You are not easily affected by coffee, which makes Mama very happy, because drinking coffee is what helps her get through days, especially the tough ones. However, you are sensitive to certain food in the breast milk. Both spicy, and high acidity in food causes you to projectile vomit. To avoid that from happening, Mama has drastically reduced both in her diet, and it appears to have helped you to keep milk inside your belly.

You've recently developed a baby acne. It is quite normal for some babies to have acne. The cause is usually the estrogen hormone found in the mother's breast milk. The acne should vanish by the third month.

You have an amazing head control right from birth. You are able to hold up your head for a few seconds time. It is quite amazing. With your doctor's permission, you have already been doing brief stints of supervised tummy time. Turkey enjoys watching you lay on your belly, and lays down nose to nose with you. She watches you quite diligently.

Forrest is enjoying you as his little brother. Forrest has been adjusting so well to having you in home. He has his moments of being a toddler, which is challenging, and testing boundaries, more rather than being envious of you. The only time Forrest has expressed his envy of you is when you are busy nursing, and Mama has to divide her attention from him to you. He dotes on you so much by kissing your head, and petting your silky hair. He claps his hands in excitement when he realizes that he is doing something wonderful with you. He has taken you out of your bassinet twice, much to Mama, and Daddy's dismay, and tries to so hard to be like them to carry you! Fortunately, you have not been harmed during the process. Thank goodness that babies are pretty resilient! Nonetheless, Mama, and Daddy have been reminding Forrest that he has to wait for either one of them for him to hold you.

More often than not, he is pretty content to sit next to Mama, and you while you are nursing. Once in while, Forrest likes to give his baby doll to Mama to be fed while you are nursing, and announces this: "baby eat, baby eat".

Mama, and Daddy are quite excited to watch you grow, develop a bond with Forrest, and become your own person.

We absolutely love you, little guy.



Monday, December 8, 2014

Two Weeks

Patooties Photography
 (the picture has been already copyrighted with the logo in upper right corner) 

Today marks two weeks since Frankie came into the world to be with us. I am still processing the fact that Frankie is already here! The weeks have gone by like a blur. I remember when Forrest first came home with us, the first  3 to 4 months of his life is just a blur, and I only remember the "snap shot" moments of that time period. I am sure it is what probably happens when I try look back at this time with Frankie as a newborn, and raising both of our young boys.

For my whole pregnancy, I worried that Forrest would end up struggling with accepting his new role as a big brother, because he was very adamant that he was the baby while Frankie was a "pig". Yes, Frankie was a pig for a longest time. Hey, it was how Forrest related to my strange growing bump, and us being in the dark about Frankie's gender probably made it a bit harder for Forrest to relate as well.

On the night when Frankie was born, I struggled with the idea of losing Forrest as my only baby, and it was hard on me emotionally. The guilt ate at me, Oh my gosh, I am doing this poor kid a disservice! The sadness enveloped me, Forrest isn't going to be my only baby anymore. Denial played a part in this as well, I don't think Jellybean will be here until early December, and this is probably a false labor...after all, I have no idea what natural labor feels like, and I feel pretty good. So this can't be labor. A fear gripped at me, I really want Jellybean, but am I ready to be a mom of two, and what have I gotten myself into?! I had a bit of worry if I would love Frankie as much as I love Forrest. 

I did cry on the way to the hospital. It was such a life-changing experience, and I was not the one to adapt so quickly to new things. Looking back, if I had only known, then I would have told myself not to worry so much. It really did work out for the best. Forrest did not feel singled out. He did not feel rejected. My relationship with Forrest did not change. Stu, and Forrest bonded more, which made Stu happy, and it made me happy to see their rapport become deeper. Forrest spent the whole time doting on Frankie. He took every chance to kiss Frankie, and to pet Frankie's head. Forrest liked letting me know when Frankie was making noise.

We did have some bumps with Forrest adjusting to our new roles in the home. It was more of a typical toddler thing, than it was about having a new sibling in the home. Forrest doesn't like time outs in his corner, and is learning how to apologize when he is in wrong. It is a bit of a learning curve. However, in a long run, it will pay off for Forrest.

Matter of fact, I felt that Forrest liked the fact that he was getting to be a big boy. Forrest had recently transitioned from his crib to a toddler bed! It was time. Forrest had no problem taking to his toddler bed, and loved having his new found freedom reign around the bedroom during his nap time. We also had Forrest pass down his high chair space saver down to Frankie, and received a big boy booster chair for the dining table! Forrest still needed a bit of growing up to go yet to be able to meet the table level at his chest. It did not seem to bother him though!

The next step was to transition Forrest out of diapers into big boy underwear after Christmas, most likely around New Year's. I figured that it would be a good idea to start encouraging Forrest to start using potty, and go from there, rather than pushing him into being toilet trained. Ideally, it would have been great if we could get Forrest potty trained by summer of '15 just a bit before his third birthday. Ugh, I don't want to think about Forrest turning 3 just quite yet. Anyway, it would be great if we can have Forrest out of diapers, especially with his eczema flaring up so bad from his skin not breathing well through diapers, and have his skin issues managed better by using underwear instead.

Forrest is loving the fact that he is no longer a "baby", and is a big boy now. We reinforce constantly with him that he is doing so great as a big boy.

Frankie has been such an easy baby. He is so different than Forrest from when Forrest was a newborn. I can't help but constantly compare their experiences, and I have to remind myself that they are two different beings. While I do not expect them to be exactly carbon copy of each other, I still kind of expect to have similar experiences between those two.

I am rather surprised at how well I've been recovering physically from giving birth to Frankie. Within hours of giving birth, I am able to get up, and walk around with no problem. It is even better with postpartum bleeding this time around, despite one scary large sized clot (it is ONE of things that people DON'T TALK about postpartum recovery, and I wish they had so I would have been prepared about it instead of freaking out thinking I was dying), and the tear is healing up just fine. I won't be surprised if I get a clean bill of health from Dr. Mbah today.

I've been losing my pregnancy weight without much qualms, thanks to nursing. I still do not fit in my pre-pregnancy jeans, thanks to my hips, but that is okay! I will take Frankie over fitting into my jeans. I do see that I have to do a bit of work to tone up in order to get back in the shape this time around, however, I don't feel a pressing need to do it immediately. After all, my boys' needs come first, and I want to give myself time to bounce back without it impacting my milk supply. I will probably start focusing on my health, and toning up in the spring rather than now when my boys are still really small.

Hormonally, it is tougher this time around with Frankie than it is with Forrest. I do find myself getting overwhelmed by my anxiety. I have cried far more often than I care to let on. I am lucky to have such a supportive husband to quickly give me chocolate, word of support, a hug, and a kiss as needed. Stu has been taking care of Forrest while I focus on Frankie. He is very willing to take off from work as needed to help if I need it. Also, I find it very helpful to avoid people that are less than healthy to deal with. I have left several mommy groups on Facebook, reduced my time with toxic people, and surrounded myself around positive people. Also, being in cue with my body, and my emotions have helped. For instance, I often find that I am weepy when I am most tired, and I just end up going to bed early as soon as Frankie is down for bed.

Instead of getting very emotional about it, or rather after being emotional about a matter, I find humor in it, and laugh. Matter of fact, the other day, unrelated to going out with two boys, I forgot my poor hound dog outside for two hours in the cold!! Oh, I felt HORRIBLE for forgetting the poor thing in the cold, and definitely cried about it. However, I did find humor in it, and ended up laughing about it (after spoiling Turkey with bacon strips, and a very warm electric blanket for her to lay on--which I think she really did not mind about)!! Fortunately, Turkey has forgiven me as well.

Aside from being a hormonal mess once in every while, I am more relaxed with motherhood this time around, and I find that Frankie has brought a lot of harmony into my sense of being. With just Forrest, it is easier to micromanage everything, because he is the only child. With two kids, I can't do that. I don't have time for that! I have to trust that everything will be okay, and it usually does turn out just fine. I don't check on Forrest as frequently when he is sleeping, or follow up on him to make sure Stu took care of everything for him, and I most certainly don't constantly check on Frankie to make sure he is breathing. I trust my instinct, and listen to myself when I think something is up.

In home, things are adjusting wonderfully, and I am able to get my routine down in the morning without feeling like I have no handle on things. It's easy with two kids, and Stu getting ready for work. Going out, however, is a whole other ball game. The last two outings have been dismal, and chaotic. Not good at all. Not because my boys are the reason of dismal outings. My inexperience is the reason why. However, I am NOT deterred at all. Matter of fact, it has made me even MORE determined to go out again, again, and again, until I have it down to "T". It's the stubborn nature in me not to give up on myself, on my boys, and on the situation.

Once I get more experience, I should be able to handle outings much better, and be able to take my boys around without feeling like a chaotic mess. Of course, I laugh about it now, but in the moment, it is just AHH. Anyway, it also has definitely made me more softer toward parents of multiple kids! I look forward to warmer weather already so I can take my boys out for a walk, and enjoy the weather.

It is amazing how much my life has changed, as much as Stu's, in the past 2 weeks. Like I have mentioned in Frankie's birth story post, it has definitely been an adventure with two boys!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Welcome to the World, Franklin Dexter!

We welcomed another beautiful boy, Franklin Dexter, into the world on Monday November 24th at 10:25 pm. Frankie, as customary throughout my whole pregnancy with him, chose to surprise us, because I was so sure I'd go overdue with him. 

I started having contractions a few nights prior, and it only lasted half hour. Then the same thing happened on early Monday morning around 3 am, and the contractions lasted for quite some time. I managed to sleep through most of it, and was surprised to see that it did not go away when we got up for the day. I informed Stu that he should keep phone close to him when he went to work...just in case. The contractions did stop, and didn't start up again. I shrugged, and brushed it off as my body going into pre-game mode. Forrest had his lunch, and napped. I relaxed and started sewing. The contractions started again. They were inconsistent. Stu checked on me throughout the day. Around 3 pm, the contractions were getting more crampy, and stronger. Of course, mother nature had to throw a wrench in our plans by dumping a snow storm, promising 5 to 7 inches of snow that night, and Stu worried a bit about me having contractions. After all, our hospital was 35 minutes away. Stu called Dr. Mbah, and Dr. Mbah said not to come in until my contractions are 10 minutes apart, or if my water breaks. I assured Stu it was not the night we were going to have our baby.

It was mainly because with Forrest, I had labored the whole time in a hospital, and the contractions I had with piction was very painful. I kept expecting to be in that kind of pain in order for me to go into labor. As it was my goal to labor naturally, I had no idea what to expect, and what I was experiencing was not very painful compared to piction contractions. Despite having to walk through my contractions, I was feeling great during the breaks, and continued to wait for that "OMG I'm going to die" contractions to start. 

At 5 pm, the contractions were getting stronger, and frequent. I decided to start timing them very closely. Stu went outside to snow blow the sidewalk, and driveway. I fed Forrest dinner, and started walking through my contractions, because they were not pleasant enough for me to sit it out. By 6 pm, I continued to walk through my contractions, and saw that they were getting closer together by 15 minutes. Stu, and I decided to wait until 7 pm, then leave to the hospital just to be monitored. I contacted C, my interpreter, for the birth, and informed her. I packed Stu's bag and finished my hospital bag. C cautioned us about the road condition being poor. Stu bathed Forrest, and got him ready for bed, then we waited for his brother's fiancee to come to watch Forrest. By 7 pm, my contractions were 10 minutes apart. It was time to go. Spencer came over quickly to watch Forrest. I kissed Forrest good bye, told him I loved him, and shed a few tears over the fact that he was not going to be my only baby anymore. That was a bit hard on me emotionally to leave Forrest, even though he was in a very good hands with Spencer, and Wally. 

Wally came in when we were about to leave, and we were on our way. Stu had to drive carefully on HWY 29, because the snow was coming down hard, and the road visibility was bad. I cried a bit over leaving Forrest, and knowing our lives were going to change. I continued to time my contractions. They were now 7 minutes apart. I found it was a bit trickier to sit through my contractions, because I had been walking through them earlier. My pelvis was hurting bad, which was worse than my contractions, and once a contraction was over, I felt fine. I felt good. It took us an hour, and ten minutes at most to finally arrive at the hospital! By that point, my contractions were 5 minutes apart. 

Stu pulled up in the front of the hospital in the valet parking section. I got out of the car, and got hit by a painful contraction. There were a bunch of people waiting in the lobby entrance for their cars to be brought back from the parking lot by valet guys, and they had their eyes on me. It was probably obvious to them that I was having a baby soon! The valet came up to us, and grabbed a wheelchair for me. I sat in it, and the guy literally ran to the elevator with me in the wheelchair! It was funny.  I was surprised at how I found humor while laboring! We went to the maternity floor, and got checked in, then met with C. We were brought to the triage room to be monitored. I was changed into an ugly poorly made gown. Poor Stu had a hard time figuring out how to button it up on me! Then I was strapped with contraction monitor, and put on the bed. 

The nurse we had was really sweet, and her name was Lara. She saw that I was having consistent contractions, and checked me. To our shock, I was 6 CM, almost 100 percent effaced, plus 2 station (plus 4 meant pushing time), and the water bag was about to be ruptured. It was GO time, based on the history of fast labor, and delivery I had with Forrest. Lara paged the nurses to let them know to set up my room immediately. I was going to have a baby SOON. Lara also paged doctors on the call, and Dr. Temp responded (my doctor, Mbah was not on call that night). She wanted to break my water if my body had not broken it before then. I opted out for an epidural, knowing that my body was going to deliver this baby fast, and went completely unmedicated. 

By 9:00 pm or 9:10 pm at latest, Dr. Temp came in, and broke my water. We all waited for Jellybean to make debut. We were laughing, joking around, and having jolly good time between my contractions. Lara said that I was making labor seem so easy, and that I was made for birthing many babies! C asked us what we thought we were going to have. Matter of fact, he had to use farm analogy (can't get rid of inner farm boy inside of him) by saying I was going to have a heifer, meaning a girl. I said a boy. 

It was not until last few contractions that I got really serious. I had a game face on. It started to really hurt all over. My pelvis was what killed me the most. I held--okay, I destroyed--Stu's hand, and griped on the bar with my other hand throughout those contractions. The last contraction I had lasted for good 5 minutes without stopping. C went to get Lara to see if that was normal to have a contraction that long. Lara came in to check on me, and waited for me to finish that contraction. I finally got a brief break, and told Stu that the baby was ready to come. Unlike Forrest's birth, there was time to prep my bed into delivery bed, to prop me up, and have Dr. Temp come in without rushing. It was pushing time! 

Pushing was very different this time. Franklin was born face up instead of face down with his hand on his face. They didn't call it "labor" for nothing. It was a work! Someone suggested a mirror to watch the baby to be born. I said yes, sure, and hoping it would motivate me to push harder. It did! It really helped to see that I was bringing a baby into the world, and that I was doing something incredible. Later, I was really happy I did. Dr. Temp coached me through it all by counting to ten for each push. Suddenly,  Jellybean was born into the world. As soon as Dr. Temp lifted Jellybean up, I saw that he was a boy! My mommy intuition was right! He was placed on my chest right away, and everything else was taken care of (I don't need to go into details here, and gross people out about after birth procedure)! After that was taken care of, Franklin was weighed, measured, and looked over. Frankie was announced to be between 7-8 for APGAR score, which was pretty good, for a little baby like him. 

Franklin Dexter weighed 7 pounds even, 20 inches long, and perfect in every literal sense. He was beautiful, and looked just exactly like his big brother, Forrest, at the birth! We were amazed by how alike they looked like!! On top of my amazement at how beautiful Frankie was, I was also proud of myself for getting through my labor like a champ, and to get a natural birth I have had always wanted. I was up, and walking around shortly after giving birth. I surprised myself by being able to do this, because I had a harder recovery with Forrest, and expected the same with Frankie. However, it was not the case at all. 

Franklin was born into the world very calm. He was tested to be at risk of Jaundice, and had trouble with nursing since he was so sleepy.  I had to coax Franklin quite often to latch on, and nurse. He continued to improve, despite his trouble, and I was quite glad that this was not my first rodeo with nursing. Otherwise, I would have been overwhelmed. However, I had nursed before, and it gave me a lot of patience with Franklin. This was when our amazing lactation nurse came in, and taught me how to get Frankie to nurse. For that, I was grateful to gain more knowledge how to feed Frankie, and allow my body to nourish him (a very hippie statement, I know, ha ha). 

Upon asking by a few people, absolutely no, I am not disappointed that I did not have a girl. I had an inkling I was going to have another boy, and I've always wanted two boys. Franklin is an awesome gift that I am so blessed to be bestowed with, and it is not just me, but our family as well.  We are pretty content with family of 4, even though we yet to feel completed as a family, and in a few years, we may be welcoming another little boy, or girl.  As for right now, let the craziness begin!! 

Monday, November 24, 2014


How Far Along: 39 weeks, & 3 days. With Forrest, I had him a week later via induction. However, with JB, we are waiting it out with him/her. I have a feeling that JB will arrive in early December, but who knows, Jellybean has been full of surprises with this pregnancy. 

I am Feeling: Pretty good for being 39 weeks pregnant. I may have to start wearing some of Stu's shirts, or same few shirts over, and over again, because my belly is getting low, which means I no longer fit well in my regular maternity shirts. I look like I have a beer belly with my regular maternity shirts! I don't feel like constantly pulling down my shirts, or wanting to buy new bigger maternity shirts, because I'm almost done with this pregnancy. I'll just grin, and bear it until the baby is evicted! 

Weekly Milestone: Jellybean is as big as a watermelon. Jellybean's fingernails may extend past his/her fingernails, and continues to practice breathing. 

Movements: JB hiccups a lot, and the whole body vibrates. It's a funny feeling, and I remember it very well from Forrest. JB has a very distinctive time now of sleeping, and waking. Jellybean tends to sleep all morning into the day with an occasional movement, then hiccup like crazy around dinner time, and sleep, then start hiccuping when I am in bed until 10 pm or so. I think JB is a night owl like me. 

Gender Prediction: Some people are guessing a girl, and some others are guessing a boy. We will find out soon enough, won't we?

Symptoms: Tired, feeling very pregnant, sore hips, sore lower back especially if I am overdoing it or on my feet quite a lot, and feeling anxious about oncoming labor.

Labor Signs: I was awoken by contractions at 2:30 in the morning a few nights ago. It lasted for a half hour in intervals before stopping. So it was not the show time for Jellybean to make his/her debut. Then last night, I was awoken up by contractions, and they lasted between 20 to 40 minutes from 3 am until 6:45 am. We will see if it gets closer together as the day goes on. Otherwise, it's just my body warming up! 

Best Moments of the Week: Finishing up two baby quilts, and I am absolutely excited to be giving a quilt to a wonderful friend of mine at her baby shower in the spring. I started on a lot of hand-made Christmas gifts for my side of the family. I decided it would be a good idea to get that started, and keep myself busy until JB is born! 

Update: I chose not to be checked for dilation at my last appointment. So I have no clue! I'll find out at the next appointment if there is any change.

Next Appointment: Tuesday November 25 at 1:45 pm.

Monday, November 17, 2014


How Far Along: 38 weeks & 3 days. We are gunning down to D-Day (Due day). Only 12 more days! Again, I'm determined to keep this baby in for as long as possible until JB is ready to come out, even if that means carrying him/her until 42 weeks (let's hope it won't come to that point because I'd be SO SICK of being pregnant by then).

I am Feeling: Excited, tired, and anxious. I'm tired, because I've been getting up frequently at the night to pee. I'm both excited, and anxious about the birth, especially now with things finally falling into its place for a natural birth I wanted all along. I have no idea what to expect seeing that I had been induced with Forrest. I'm not eager about the pain aspect of the birth, but am really excited to meet JB. I'm also bored, because I forgot how HARD it is to wait in the last few weeks of my pregnancy, and I have literally everything done. So, I don't know what I should do in the next couple weeks. I'm a bit sad, because I have to take my wedding ring off! I never had to do that with Forrest, and I weighed more with him than I do with this baby. I learned that it is more common in colder months to need take rings off than it is in the summer months. Kind of weird, because you'd think it would be more likely in summer, not winter! Anyway, I've been sans without my wedding ring, and it feels weird. 

Weekly Milestone: Jellybean is as big as a pumpkin. His/her head is also as big as his/her abdomen. Jellybean's skin is now smooth, and fattened up. At this point, there is not much Jellybean is doing developmentally wise. The biggest job Jellybean has now is to gain weight. 

Movements: Jellybean is not moving as much. That poor kid just has no room to move. It's usually fingers palpating, or wiggling into more comfortable spot. 

Gender Prediction: People still are saying a girl, and I had a dream that JB was a girl. I'm open to possibility of having another boy, and even so, I think having a girl would be fun as well. It's the best part of being surprised...finding out who Jellybean is! 

Symptoms: Our latest bout with stomach virus triggered me to go into an overdrive to ensure that everything.was.clean! So things did end up being very clean, and disinfected, which made me feel tons better. I had a full day of intense nesting. In the days that followed my intense episode of nesting, I made a bunch of freezer meals, stocked up on snacks, and bought a small turkey breast for Thanksgiving.  I also started packing my hospital bag, and figured I would add more later when it's a go time. People claimed that nesting meant the baby was on its way soon. 

Labor Signs: I have been having more contractions inconsistently. I had been checked once again at my recent appointment, and no change. I did expect that, and decided I would rather not to be checked again until 40-41 weeks--no reason to, really! 

Best Moments of the Week: Seeing JB on the big screen. Getting the house clean, and prepared for JB's arrival. Spending time with Forrest, and Stu. Made a bunch of delicious snacks, and stocked up for when the baby gets here. 

Looking Forward To: Meeting JB in a few weeks! 

Update: Jellybean was still in the head down position. The fluid level went up from 7 to 13.1!! So all the drinking water, and Gatorade helped! I loved this shot so much--JB's first duckface!

Next Appointment: Thursday November 20th for a regular check up. No ultrasound from this point on since everything checked out great. 

Monday, November 10, 2014


This was taken right before a stomach bug hit all of us! 

How Far Along: Week 37 & 3 days.

I Am Feeling: Very pregnant. I'm ready to have this baby, but I'm really determine to keep the baby inside for as long as possible. It is easier to take care of the baby when the baby is inside, ha ha. I also want an early DEC. baby. I think that would be cool, but JB will come when JB comes either for a medical reason, or natural. I'm anxious to find out about the fluid level is at the next appointment, and to meet JB soon! We are also battling an awful stomach virus that is making its round in our household. Thankfully, I'm feeling a lot better, and hydrated so I can take care of Stu, and Forrest.

Weekly Milestone: Jellybean is as big as a winter melon (looks like an overgrown cucumber). Jellybean is now considered full-term! The baby is starting to pack on 1/2 pound per week, which means I am also gaining weight! Jellybean is now very restricted with the movements, and if Jellybean is uncomfortable with the position I am laying or sitting in, Jellybean will will jab, or poke at me until I move, and Jellybean can settle into a comfortable spot. Interesting fact: Laungo, fine hair that has been covering Jellybean for almost the whole pregnancy is now absorbed into the guts, and it will end up in the baby's waste at birth. The white greasy substance covering Jellybean is also absorbed into the skin! Crazy, huh? 

Movements: Jellybean is not moving as much these days. When JB does move, it is to stretch out, and palpate around. 

Gender Prediction: Most people are claiming that JB is a girl. 

Symptoms: My hips are starting to bother me at the night. I often toss, and turn to try be comfortable. My lower back aches when I get up to walk around. Yoga ball is my saving grace for my hips, and back.  I've been feeling a bit nauseous again; not sure if it's related to indigestion seeing that I ran out of Prevacid recently, or it's related to last few weeks of pregnancy thing. 

Labor Signs: I had a few contractions here, and there that really took my breath away.  Those were real contractions since they were painful, and made me stop in my track from whatever I was doing at that moment. However, they were inconsistent, and did nothing pretty much. I was found to be 50% effaced; this is the membrane that thins out to allow dilation to happen, and dilation is to open the cervix for the baby to pass through the birth canal. I was only at 1 CM. While all this was exciting to hear, I also realized that I may be sitting on that exact same numbers until either induction, or when the baby is ready to come out. 

Best Moments of the Week: Installing the carseat in my Jeep for JB with the help from my Aunt Ro. It is becoming more real that JB will be home soon! Getting my new purse that I got from 31-Bag party. Mom, and aunts visit was really lovely, and I enjoyed having them here. Buying Forrest a present; we got him a counting beads thing, and he loved it. Cold Stone Birthday cake ice cream--yummy!!! As early as it was, I had Stu help me set up Christmas tree, and some decorations, because I wanted to make sure that it got done before the baby came. Seeing JB on the big screen; he/she looked so precious!!

Looking Forward To: Seeing JB once again on the big screen. I loved seeing that kid! I think the baby looked somewhat like Forrest. 

Update: The ultrasound appointment turned out a lot better than we anticipated. Jellybean was found to be in a head-down position, and to be 6 pounds even. Everything looked great with the baby's heart, and head. However, of course, there was a but, the amniotic fluid was found to be on the lower side of a normal range. The lowest was allowed to be acceptable was 7, and I was at that. Mbah wanted to be through with the prenatal care, so she ordered yet another ultrasound for the 14th. If the fluid level dropped to 5-5.5, then induction was most likely going to happen over the weekend, or the following week. I was ordered to drink, drink, and drink a lot of fluid (around 6-8 pints a day) to see if that was going to help with the fluid level. If that did the trick, then everything was going to be cleared to let the baby come on his/her own. I also had my blood taken, and to my great surprise, my platelet level went up from 109 to 130! Mbah decided she was not going to have me give blood from now on since I was most likely not going to drop below 100. Yay! I also had Group Strep B swab done--that was not a fun part of the appointment.

Next Appointment: November 14th for an ultrasound appointment to determine fluid level. 

Monday, November 3, 2014


How Far Along: 36 weeks & 3 days. We are now in 9th month of my pregnancy! It is also less than 30 days until my due date! The baby can come earlier, or later during this month...or even go overdue.  

I am Feeling: I am holding up alright. I'm still doing plank exercise to help the baby to turn since that did work the last time (despite Jellybean flipping back up). The peppermint oil made my stomach break out so I'm careful with it now. I'm nervous with what our ultrasound appointment will show. While I am excited to see Jellybean this late in my pregnancy, I also don't like the reason behind needing the ultrasound, and yet, I am also anxious to get answers. Then I can better prepare myself for what kind of birth experience we will end up with Jellybean. Ideally, I would love to go natural, but I am surrendering to the bigger plans to roll with the punches instead of sticking with one ideal plan, and end up with a disappointment. I'm also kind of freaking out, because I'm 26 days away from my due date...the baby could come earlier or later, and it is hitting me that I will be a mom of 2!! 

Weekly Milestone: Jellybean is as big as a Honeydew Cantaloupe! Jellybean's liver, circulation system, immune system, and kidneys are in working order. The skin is now smooth, and gums are rigid. Jellybean's lungs are preparing for Jellybean to start breathing once Jellybean is delivered into the world. In other words, Jellybean is almost done baking! 

Movements: Jellybean is definitely moving less. I can tell that the space inside is running out for my little one. Jellybean has been hiccuping a lot these days. I remember that with Forrest. Jellybean is most active between 7 to 11 pm. 

Gender Prediction: We are thinking a girl. However, we will be as blessed if we end up with another boy! The anticipation of finding out at birth is mounding up, and I am beginning to feel that it is worth the wait! 

Symptoms: It is starting to get uncomfortable to sleep at the night with my big belly in the way. I find it helpful to use a pillow underneath my belly to support the weight. I find that I am out of breath quite often, and the fatigue feeling from 1st trimester is slowly creeping back in. Nonetheless. I find that I still have a lot of energy. 

Labor Signs: Braxton Hicks is pretty common. Sometimes, it starts up on its own, or Jellybean causes it to happen by moving around. 

Best Moments of the Week: I felt so much to have my  Jeep cleaned, and prepped for Jellybean to come home in. Trick N Treating, dressing up, and being festive for Halloween was fun! 

Looking Forward To: Seeing Jellybean on the big screen. It's a bit exciting to see our baby this late in our pregnancy, because I never got to with Forrest (I had 2 ultrasounds in first trimester, then one big ultrasound in 2nd trimester with Forrest, then that was it). It will be interesting to see how big Jellybean is, and get a rough idea of what he/she may look like.

Updates/Next Appointment: Friday November 7th is our big ultrasound to determine the position where Jellybean is lying in, the position of the placenta, and check on Jellybean's growth. Three outcomes can come out of this: One, everything is set to go, and nothing to worry about. That one I am hoping to get. Two: If Jellybean is in unfavorable position, but placenta is in a good spot, then we will discuss about manually flipping Jellybean into the head down position, the risks that comes with this procedure, and be prepared for Jellybean coming out that week with emergency c-section. Three: Both Jellybean, and placenta both are in unfavorable position, or the manually flipping procedure fails, then we will have a c-section. Now that one, I don't really want. So send us a lot of positive thoughts, good vibes, and prayers. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


How Far Along: 35 weeks & 4 days! We are gearing to enter 9th month of my pregnancy. It is crazy, because it doesn't feel like I am almost 9 months pregnant, but I am! Surprisingly, I feel comfortable for being almost 9 months pregnant. 

I am Feeling: Doing good despite feeling very pregnant. I am surprised with how far I've gotten with this pregnancy without feeling dragged down. Aside from feeling dizzy from time to time, I'm doing good. 

Weekly Milestone: Jellybean is as big as a Coconut! The crazy thing is that my uterus has grown 1,000x its size by this week. It does sound like a pure exaggeration, but it is not, and it is to accommodate a baby inside me. If Jellybean is a boy, then his testes have already been descended by this point. If Jellybean is a girl, then she has been just hanging out all along since her reproductive health has already been taken care of for several weeks now! The amniotic fluid is at its peak this week, and will start to diminish in the upcoming few weeks to prepare the baby for the labor. DHA, and Omega are critical at this time, because Jellybean's brain is hardest at work right now with mapping, building, and connecting everything. From now on, Jellybean might be moving less strongly, and more prone to stretch out due to the cramped nature of the home that Jellybean has been living in for the past 8 months. 

Movements: Jellybean's movements has changed, due to the space running out, and my belly still shakes like crazy (especially if I eat a lot of sweet food). Jellybean now likes to jab as hard as possible out of my stomach. It sure smarts. This kid is trying to bust out already. 

Gender Prediction: A human. People have been guessing gender of the baby based on variety of old wives' tales, and the shape of my belly. I just smile, and shake my head. We will see who prevails in the end; team blue, or team pink! That's the fun part. 

Symptoms: Feeling really dizzy from time to time. Lack of appetite--as much as I want to eat, I just don't have a room in my belly to stuff myself, which is a good thing I guess because we won't be able to go anywhere for Thanksgiving, and I can't enjoy Thanksgiving food with how limited space my body has for my stomach. I find it easier to eat a bit at time. Just feeling very pregnant. 

Labor Signs: Braxton Hick contractions are still happening. It is happening more regularly on a daily basis. I remember having those a lot about a month to a month, and half before Forrest is born as well. 

Best Moments of the Week: Seeing my side of the family, and spending time with them. My aunt's 31 Bag party; I got a really nice purse for myself, and a tote storage box for Jellybean's room. I had so much fun learning how to juice, and can our tomatoes with Dad. We made about 6 quarts of juice out of 20 pounds of tomatoes! Dad, and Jess got me a really awesome canning starter kit, which I am so thrilled about, and can't wait to use them! Eating out at Red Lobster to celebrate our 10-year dating anniversary (we don't really celebrate dating anniversary every year--just big ones), and to continue our tradition of eating there before the baby is born.

front view of my bump! 

Looking Forward to: Trick n Treating with Forrest, and Stu! Dressing up. I LOVE Halloween. We are doing TEAL project--do google it, and find out how you can make Halloween safe for kids with allergies! Making pumpkin pies for my loved ones, and friends! One of the best thing about pies is giving them away, and spreading happiness to others. Carving our pumpkins, and harvesting pumpkin seeds!

Update from the Last Appointment: The appointment from yesterday, 10/27, was an interesting one. Dr. Mbah was unable to find Jellybean's head, or the position that Jellybean was exactly in. So, we all had no idea where exactly  Jellybean was at. His/her heart rate came up quick on doppler, and it was strong at 140! My belly was measuring a week off once again--instead of being at 35 weeks--almost 36 weeks, I was measuring at 34 weeks. I talked with Mbah about what to expect from our November 7th ultrasound. She said that it was to determine how well JB  has been growing because my fundal height measurement (how big my belly is) has been off during my whole pregnancy, and to determine where exactly Jellybean is positioned in. I will be tested for Group Strep B, and platelet count--all that yada stuff you get during 36th week of your pregnancy. Then we will discuss about what is our next step; whether manual flipping Jellybean is possible, and when we should schedule for that to be done at our local hospital (apparently, you have to be in a hospital for this procedure in case if you end up having a baby that day), or to discuss a possible c-section.

Next Appointment: November 7th for an ultrasound to determine what position Jellybean is in. Let's keep our fingers crossed that he/she is in a correct position, and that all the crazy stuff I've been doing is paying off. 

Monday, October 20, 2014


Excuse my Einstein hair. I didn't realize it was THAT messy. 

How Far Along: 34 weeks & 3 days.

I am Feeling: Tired. Stu has not been around much this week, and Forrest has been a wild little man (especially the witching hours). Aside from that, I have surprisingly decent amount of energy during the day to do things.

Weekly Milestone: Jellybean is as big as a Butternut squash! Jellybean's laungo (a little peach fuzz of hair) is slowly disappearing this week, and the protective coating called Vernix Caseosa is still layering on thick. Most of this substance should go away when Jellybean is closer to his/her due date. Jellybean is peeing a pint a day--and it explains why I am making frequent trips to the bathroom! 

Movements: Jellybean is a little wiggler. He/she likes to wiggle, wiggle, and wiggle! Jellybean is most active at the night as opposed to during the day. Jellybean has his/her days of being quiet, and resting a lot more than usual. It happens on the days when I am experiencing more BH contractions, or when Jellybean is going through a growth spurt. 

Gender Prediction: My friend convinced me to do baking soda method to guesstimate the baby's sex. It was kind of inconclusive. It did not fizz very much, but bubbled up a few bubbles to the surface. There was no foam on the top. If I was to guess based on this method, then the baby was determined to be a girl. According to the nub theory; the baby at 11 weeks ultrasound will have a little nub in the genital area, and it means the nub will be formed into either a clitoris or penis. So if the nub is angled, then it confirms a boy. If it is parallel to the spine, then it is a girl. I checked Jellybean's 11 weeks ultrasound, and sure enough, the nub was parallel to the spine. It meant Jellybean could be a girl. According to old wives tales, I've been craving for sweets, and that means a girl. But...the heart rate myth points to a boy, since this baby's heart rate is between 130-150. My belly is carrying low so that means a boy. Mayan Tale says a boy, yet the lunar Chinese calendar says a girl. Having break outs during pregnancy means a girl. I had that all way from conception until recently (around 30 weeks). So maybe a girl. If your first born's first word was mommy, then a baby girl, but if your first born child's first word was daddy, then a boy. So, in this case, a girl. If you have a raging hormonal angry teen moody boy's attitude, then a boy, and opposite means a girl. In this case, a girl. So, the majority points to a girl. We will see if it is right in a month, and a few weeks from now! Those old wives tales are hilarious though. ;)

Symptoms: This week has been a breezy easy pregnancy week. There has been a couple days in there when I felt really physically out of it (platelets are probably out of whack including my low BP). I've been feeling more pressure at the bottom of my belly. Hopefully, that's a good sign that Jellybean is head down, and staying in put?

Labor Signs: Still getting Braxton Hicks contractions, especially if I am not drinking enough water, or overdoing it.

Best Moments of the Week: Cuddling with my little boy in the mornings, and slowly wake up together is always the best way to start my day. Pureeing pumpkins into glop for pies--it's a lot of work, but so worth the hard work. Stu's 30th birthday luncheon with his family. It is hard to believe that we are entering a new decade! 

Looking Forward To: Stinker roo, Turkey, and I are heading down to my hometown for a week to spend a week with other side of the family. I figure it would be good to spend time with my side of the family before I go into the baby lock-down, and not be able to go anywhere for awhile! Learning how to can tomatoes with Dad. Fried Green Tomatoes--gosh I've been craving for that for my whole pregnancy, and now I have several on the hand! Making a lot of DIY gifts for Christmas--I want to get an early head start on them, because there's no way I can do it once the baby is here. 

Update from the last Appointment: My appointments are all changed up because I saw Dr. Mbah on the 13th for a follow up. Dr. Mbah thinks Jellybean MIGHT be in a correct head-down position, but can't confirm without an ultrasound. My 22nd appointment is cancelled, and changed to the 27th. So that means my appointment on the 31st is cancelled, boo, but I still get to dress up for the 27th anyway! Then I have an appointment on the 7th of November for an ultrasound to determine the position of where Jellybean is resting in. Let's keep our fingers crossed that Jellybean is in a correct head-down position, because Jellybean does flip around a lot! 

Monday, October 13, 2014


How Far Along: Week 33 & 3 days.

I am Feeling: I have a lot of mixed feelings going on, and it is making me emotional more than usual. I'm trying to think positive, and put faith that things will work out the way it is meant to be, even if it's not quite what I had hoped for. 

Weekly Milestone: Jellybean is as big as a Durian fruit. There is not much going on developmentally wise this week aside from brain still being busy at work! Jellybean is practicing breathing by hiccuping, and blinking eyes open and close while wake hours.

Movements: Jellybean likes to stretch out, stick butt in the middle of my stomach, and head-bang my ribs. The little flutters are fun to feel at my hip (from his/her little feet kicking). Jellybean has moments of where he/she is quiet, then others, he/she goes crazy! 

Gender Prediction: Thinking that the baby could be a girl. Then again, the baby could be a boy. I don't have a very definitive feeling. It is hard with this pregnancy, because with Forrest, I just KNEW I was having a boy from the conception (I swear for real), and for Jellybean, I am unsure. I don't have a real strong preference toward either gender as long as Jellybean is healthy. Sometimes I do think it would be fun to have a girl, just to see how different it is from having a boy, then I also think it is a lot of fun to have 2 boys!

Symptoms: Heartburn is less bad this week. Thank goodness.

Labor Signs: Nothing this week aside from same old Braxton-Hicks.

Best Moments of the Week:  Seeing Forrest carry his little doll everywhere, and being nice to his doll--we had bought him a baby doll to help him prepare for a little brother, or sister! Getting the dresser in the mail for Jellybean's nursery room (thanks Grandma Tree), and had Stu build the drawer for me! The baby room got organized, and set up. The only thing left I needed to do is add You are My Only Sunshine posters! Prepping our garden for a long winter ahead, and harvesting a good 5 pounds of tomatoes! Seeing Forrest enjoying yard work with his Daddy. 

Looking Forward To: Prepping, and pureeing pumpkins for the pies, and other yummy pumpkin-based meals/desserts. Getting my order of Jamberry nail wraps from my recent hostess party with my wonderful sorority sister as a consultant (love those stuff, because there's no smell, it's latex free, and easy to remove unlike Sally Hansen wraps--those are HARD to get off).

Next Appointment: October 22--this may change though, and October 31st--I am excited about my appointment on Halloween, because I get to DRESS UP for the whole day as opposed to just for evening during trick n treating hours! I'm a big kid at the heart when it comes to holidays. 

Update from last appointment: My platelet count has dropped from 130 to 109. That drop did surprise me, because it never got that low with Forrest. When it drops below 100, I am no longer eligible for an epidural, and/or spinal block. Jellybean is still a breech baby! He/she has until 36 weeks to turn head down by himself/herself. I am thinking about contacting a prenatal chiropractor, since I've heard that sometimes tweaking hips, and back will assist the baby to enter into a right birthing position. I have been doing a lot of silly, idiotic exercises that makes Forrest laugh to try turn Jellybean! There will be an ultrasound for 36 weeks check up to determine the position of Jellybean, and there will be a discussion as in what will be done next since I am not an ideal candidate for a c-section. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


How Far Along: 32 weeks & 3 days.

I am Feeling: Pretty good, aside from the awful heartburn I've been having all week. I think Jellybean is going to be born with head full of hair! I had a little of heartburn, nowhere as bad as this pregnancy, with Forrest, and he did have a head full of hair when he was born. So I can only imagine how Jellybean's head looks like!

Weekly Milestone: Jellybean is as big as a squash. Jellybean is gaining weight...which means Mama is also gaining weight! Hopefully, Jellybean should be head down seeing that he/she is now filling out inside the cramped space. It explains why my whole belly shakes like crazy these days. This week, Jellybean's bones are calcifying, which means the bones are hardening, and it is critical that I eat all the good stuff to make sure the bones are good and strong!  

Movements: Jellybean likes to make his/her presence known. My whole belly hiccups, shakes, and bugles out. Jellybean moves so hard that he/she wakes me up in the middle of the night, and keeps me up for good half hour to forty minutes. 

Gender Prediction: Everybody seem to think I am having a girl based on varying old wives' tales. The check-out clerk even told me that she thought I was having a girl based on how low I have been carrying this baby (she had all 3 boys herself, and said she carried them all high--and I carried Forrest high as well). It is kind of funny when you don't know the gender of your baby, because so many people will offer insights, opinions, and thoughts about the gender of your baby! I've also recently learned that many moms who have opposite genders end up with similar heart rates. So now I can fully debunk the heart rate myth, and I'm back on fence whether I'm having a boy or a girl. Well, we all have 50% chance of getting our guess right, right?! 

Symptoms: Sore lower back. My hips are getting sore from being in one position for too long when I am sleeping. I find that I toss, and turn a lot. I get up frequently in the night to pee. Stu jokingly says that I am like an old man with a lousy bladder, and a bad prostate. Very funny, dude, it may come back to bite him in the bum someday! Heartburn has been kicking my butt again lately. I've been relying on Prevacid, and Tums to get through them.

Labor Signs: Braxton-Hicks are still happening.

Best Moments of the Week: Getting things completed for Jellybean's room. Shopping, and spending time with Mom. She has been kind enough to purchase some baby things for us, such as dresser, and some items. I guess this goes to show you no matter how old you get to be, you will always be your Mom's baby! I have a few things left, such as Solly wrap, a few new nursing tanks, diapers, wipes, and a laundry basket, then I'm all set for the baby's room! I'm pretty excited for the quilt clips I ordered from; it's a hand made yellow clouds, and it should go with the quilt pretty well. Forrest got his favorite book in the mail! He had destroyed one of his favorite books in the process of wear, and tear. So we had to replace it with a new one, and also purchased a farm themed book. He has carried it everywhere with him since. Forrest cracked me up the other day by insisting that I am having a pig, instead of a baby, because according to a toddler logistic, Forrest can be the ONLY baby of the family. Therefore, the baby inside me is a pig (it's a compliment, my dear Jellybean, seeing that Forrest reserves his best kind of love for family, and farm animals). Also, I've learned that Dad, and Jess are bestowing me a beginner canning supply, an early Christmas gift, and I am absolutely geeked about it! 

Looking Forward To: Setting up Jellybean's nursery, and organizing everything at last once the dresser gets here. Completing my DIY teething rail guard once the fabric gets here in the mail, which should be today. Making one last trip out to my hometown to visit my family, because after that, I won't be able to go anywhere long-distance for awhile! 

Next Appointment/Updates: Next appointment is on October 22nd.

Monday, September 29, 2014


How Far Along: 31 weeks & 3 days.

I am Feeling: Excited, and a bit emotional just thinking about our D-Day (delivery day) coming so soon, and meeting Jellybean for the very first time. A bit sad in knowing that it won't be just us, and Forrest anymore, and I remind myself that we are giving Forrest a huge gift of having a sibling. 

Weekly Milestone: Jellybean is as big as a Pineapple! At this point, Jellybean is getting a bit crowded, and as result of that, I am feeling the weight of the baby, especially around the rib cage area. Jellybean is somewhat done growing in length, however, he/she is continuing to pack on the weight. The baby is entering a longer period of REM sleep (it's a sleep cycle), and Jellybean may have more consistent waking/sleeping times. There may be a distinct pattern of Jellybean being active, and sleeping from this point on. Jellybean's brain is hard at work at mapping sounds, lights, and experiences that are being filtered through the womb. 

Movements: Jellybean is starting to be more active at the evening/night, and sleep a lot in the morning. This baby may be a night owl just like me!! 

Gender Prediction: Team Blue. I suspect that Jellybean is a boy based on the heart rate of 150s (Forrest was in high 150s when I was in 8th month of my pregnancy with him). On the other hand, Stu thinks we are having a girl. 

Symptoms: I have occasional flashing in my vision once in while. I've discussed it with Mbah, and she is not overly concerned about it. If my blood pressure suddenly increases to unsafe point, then that flashing in my vision would be more concerning. Right now, my BP is perfect. I suspect this is more related to my GT more than anything else (I've had that with Forrest as well). I can start feeling the weight of the baby when I lay down to go to sleep, or rest. The weight  puts a strain on my diagram, and the muscles will end up sore. It's when my handy pillow comes in handy to prop up my belly to balance out the weight. Viola, problem solved! 

Labor Signs: Braxton Hicks are happening. It has been happening for a while now for about a few months. It's basically practice contractions. It doesn't happen very frequently. I forgot to ask Mbah if Jellybean is head down or not. Oh well! Next time! I think Jellybean is head down based on the location of the hiccups. 

Best Moments of the Week: Completing two projects for the nursery room: the quilt, and cloud with rain drops! I am feeling so accomplished about those two. Spending the weekend with the family up north, and seeing Forrest having a wonderful time with his cousins. Enjoying beautiful autumn days. Having my mom come up for a visit! Harvesting even more tomatoes to be eaten, and some left over to be frozen to be used at later date!

Looking Forward To: October! It's my FAVORITE month! Making DIY teething guard rails. I'm thinking about going with yellow to mix up the gray and white theme in the nursery room.

Next Appointment/Updates:  October 6th. It is also when I begin the dreaded blood draw. I remember that from being pregnant with Forrest. I hope I get good nurse every time for blood draw!