Wednesday, August 21, 2019

WEEK 34


How Far Along: 34 weeks! It is hard to believe that I am 8 and half months pregnant already. It feels like this pregnancy has been flying by so quickly. It is both good, and bad thing. It is a good thing, because I would feel better with our pumpkin out instead of in and to meet her! It's bad, because I feel like I don't get to enjoy it as much as I should. 

I am Feeling: Moody. It has been up, and down with my emotions. It ranges from impatience to annoyance to being happy. It's just a roller coaster of emotions! Third trimester is hard in this sense where you are physically struggling, then throw in emotional challenges too. I have found first, and third trimesters to be difficult in their own rights. Stu asked me the other night if I would miss this as I laboriously rolled over the bed with my big belly. I told him that I was MORE THAN ready to have our pumpkin. But will I miss this? Most likely, yes. 

Movements: The same old. She's running out of space, and her movements are getting more painful than not. I keep telling myself that we gotta hang in there, and she will be here before we know it. 

Symptoms: Lessening appetite. I am just not very hungry these days. Sore hips. Constipation. Yay! It is back! Time to pull out Benefiber again. Breathless. Frequent BH contractions. Sunday was a tough one---contractions lasted all day long non-stop, and it tired me out. Sore lower back. Just feeling very pregnant. 

Labor Signs: Just a lot of BH contractions. Stu thinks that pumpkin won't make it to her due date. We shall see! 

Best Moments of the Week: Celebrating Forrest's birthday! Loving seeing Forrest being happy with all of the gifts, and being loved on. Getting even more of our maternity sneak peek pictures. Seeing Pumpkin again via ultrasound. Just spending time with the boys, and Stu. 

Looking Forward to: Gosh, I am eager to set up the bassinet, and car seat in our van. First, I need to get the seat belt extender in the mail, then I will be able to install the car seat. Selling off remaining of our cloth diapers. I've decided to not cloth diaper Pumpkin due to time constraint, and the mounting laundry! I already do 8-10 loads of laundry on our laundry days, and adding cloth diapers to that is just too overwhelming. Getting a CD of our maternity pictures. I can't wait to be able to see all of the pictures, and print pictures to be hung up in our home! Going to Wausaukee Fair this weekend. I'm hoping to find out which teachers our boys will get for school this year soon, and I will be able to introduce myself to them, then have a firm schedule for the school year! 

Next Appointment: Tuesday August 27th at 2 pm. Hopefully NST will go well this time! 

Update: Pumpkin is officially head down. She's in a perfect delivery position (fetal position with her arms tucked by her face). Everything looked really good with her measurement-wise, and at this point now, it's just a matter of fattening her up for birth. She's currently in 4 LB range; if this estimate is correct, and she makes it to 39 weeks, then I think she might be between 7-8 pounds. It's average for a newborn! 


Forrest is SEVEN years old

Dear Forrest, 





You are SEVEN years old.

Seven entire years have revolved around the sun. Those seven years have gone by with a blink of eye. When Mama looks at you, her heart aches at the memories of little snippets of you growing up through infancy, toddlerhood, and an early part of your childhood. It is such a bittersweet emotion. It has been beyond amazing to witness you growing into a boy with your own interests, dreams, goals, and feelings. You have brought Mama and Daddy a lot of joy for just being YOU.

You are 50 pounds, and four foot tall. You've gone through a recent growth spurt, and Mama joked that you would eat right through her food budget! Thankfully, your crazed eating has resumed back to normal! Mama suppose that this will come and go throughout your childhood and teenage years! Your favorite food remains to be pizza, eggs with chopped up (real, mind you, since you always say so) bacon bits, and junk food. You turn your nose up to "healthier" version of food, even though you are getting A LOT better at being willing to eat different food. It can be still a struggle on some days, especially when you are overtired and crabby, and your pickiness shows through more with eating. Aside from that, it has been pretty good with you trying food, and finishing your plate with variety of food.



You have been wanting to lose your tooth. Alas, it has not happened yet. In a due time, it will! Mama is not surprised about the delay with losing teeth, because you, as well as your younger brothers, developed teeth later in your lives. Naturally, losing your baby teeth will happen later. Mama anticipates it may happen sometimes within the next year!

You still have a severe peanut allergy. You have been a GREAT advocate for yourself, always asking people about whether there is peanuts in the food, and doing a great job of avoiding peanuts. Thankfully, you have outgrown tree nut allergies! However, Mama and Daddy still stress about not eating nuts in general, because more often than not, those are already contaminated by peanuts in the shared facilities. However, it has been nice to be able to introduce almond milk for you to drink, as encouraged by your allergist, to prevent your tree nut allergies to come back. Sometimes, it can be a challenge for you to deal with social situations involving with peanuts/nuts, and it has left you frustrated that you must stand apart from your friends. Mama hates that so much for you, and often reminds you (and herself) that those instances are far and few in between!

You've been recently tested for environmental allergies, and you passed those challenges. It remains a mystery why you have flare-ups every July. In the meanwhile, it just means your eczema has to be managed with lotion, and steroid cream as needed. Thankfully, your eczema is easily managed, and has not been a problem for you.

You have recently made a big step in your small life. Mama, Daddy, your brothers, and you have moved into a new house in the same neighborhood. The house is much more spacious, and provides a lot of running space for you guys! You brag how much bigger your bedroom is, and how you're able to find many hiding spots. You love the fact that there is a large family den downstairs so you can sneak away from your younger brothers if they become "annoying", and have your alone time to play Mario Go Kart or Pokemon switch games.


You are adventurous, funny, nerdy, stubborn, bossy, challenging, fascinating, amazing, intelligent, kind-hearted, thoughtful, particular, and extremely curious. There are so many facets about you that Mama and Daddy love about you. You are always sharing your wealth of knowledge, and love of reading with your brothers. More often than not, every night Mama would find you reading a book to Franklin in the bed together. You enjoy sharing facts with anybody that is willing to listen to you, especially about Pokemon! You enjoy fishing, nature, and Pokemon TV shows. You love reading about Nature, Science, animals, and Pokemon. Have you noticed a pattern yet? Yes, Pokemon is a BIG thing for you!

Dinosaurs has been replaced by Pokemon. Mama is a bit sad to see the era of dinosaurs to end with you, because you absolutely LOVED dinosaurs growing up. In a way, it feels like a part of your early childhood has ended with the dinosaurs. It is a bit sad. At the same time, it is also fun to see you developing an affliction for Pokemon. You collect cards, and carefully sort them in your binder. You take them out to battle with your friends or Franklin. Franklin, while he loves dinosaurs, also loves Pokemon (mainly because he looks up so much to you). You love reading about Pokemon, sharing the facts, and it is mind-blowing how much you know about Pokemon. You correct Mama and Daddy if they get a character wrong, because it is consequential to you that the information is correct. You page through Pokemon books so much that they often fell apart, and asks Mama to replace those books. Mama believes that at least two of your books have been replaced already!



You can be shy at times, or rather you like to play coy. You hide behind Mama when people approach you, and you smile bashfully when they ask you questions. Then you will warm up, and talk their ears off about whatever that interests you. Sometimes, you would talk about how Llamas are actually in the family of camels rather than sheep, or about Pokemon (of course), or a situation that has recently happened.

You have a very little fear when it comes to water. You love to swim, boat, and recently you've taken up tubing! You just love being in water. You're a regular old fish! As for new things, you can be a bit hesitant at first, but end up jumping right into it, and you love it. You love people. It is clear that you are not an introvert, but you aren't quite all way an extrovert either. You're somewhere in the middle, and it brings out variety sides of your personality to each person you are with. You make friends rather easily, and your friends find that you are easy to get along with.


You are such a wonderful big brother. You are extremely patient with Fox, which is something Mama wish you would bestow upon Franklin sometimes, and you just adore him. You let Fox push you around on a pirate boat around the house, and you tolerate his "beating" more often than not. You make sure Mama knows when Fox need his diaper to be changed, or to be fed. You are not always so willing to share food with people, but with Fox, you begrudgingly give him some pieces, but you secretly love doing it so. You just don't want adults to know that! You remove Fox from dangerous situations, and make sure he remains safe. You are his protector, and Fox loves you so.

As for Franklin, your relationship with him is rather intense. It is what Mama calls a "love-and-hate" relationship. You love and hate how Franklin emulates you so much. You find Franklin's questions annoying at times. Daddy often has to remind you that Franklin wants to know so much of what you know, and admires you for your knowledge. On some days, you and Frank fight like cats and dogs! It makes Mama want to send you both to the zoo!! On other days, you and Franklin are thick as thieves. You might not want to admit this, but you two are quite best friends, and it makes Mama's heart full.



When you learned that you will be a big brother again, you became so excited at the prospect of having another sibling, and you made it CLEAR that the baby was going to be a girl, because "god knew there were too many boys in the house and we needed a girl". Mama and Daddy gently told you that there was a possibility that you would have another brother, but you won't hear a word of it. You were quite adamant that the baby was a girl. You spoke to Mama's belly almost daily, and kissed her belly good night every night. Then you learned that you were definitely going to be a big brother to a baby sister, you were thrilled, and wanted to name her Emerald. Mama and Daddy were quite excited to see you to become a big brother once again, and bestow the same kind of love you have for your younger brothers upon your sister!

Over the summer, you and Frank went to Camp Grandma for a week in late June to spend time with Gramma Theresa and Grandaunt Rosalie. Then We recently went on our first family vacation to Dubuque, Iowa for a family reunion. You guys did great in the car for 5 and half hours (bathroom breaks factored in with time length with Mama being pregnant, and you guys). It was such a great trip with Grandpa Dave and Nana Jess! You, and your brothers often went up north to the Farm with Daddy, and sometimes Mama to visit Gramma Bobbie and Grandpa Mike. It had been a wonderful summer with so much fun activities, playdates with friends, and trips. 


You love fishing. You enjoy going out to fish with Dad, and Franklin. You enjoy putting bait on the hook, catching the fish, then releasing them back into the water. It makes Daddy quite happy that you are beginning to enjoy what he loves doing, especially with hunting and fishing. Nature and animals have always been important to you. You want to treat nature in the way they should be treated...with respect, and understanding. Through fishing and hunting, you are learning about the value of animal's life, and to not inflict pain/suffering upon them. You learn how it is necessary to utilize everything of an animal instead of allowing it to go waste. It is pretty cool to see how you combine that with your knowledge you've learned from school about nature, weather, and environment. You are definitely becoming a mini-biologist!

You love school. You are always coming home with what you've learned, and you love showing off your assignments. You are always inspiring your friends, and classmates to read at the level of where you are reading at currently. At the same time, Mama and Daddy are cautioning you to use your "smarts" to help others rather than discouraging them from succeeding as well. You've grown a lot from being in Kindergarten in term of socialization, resolving conflicts, maintaining friendships, encouraging others to grow as well as they encourage you to grow in your areas of weaknesses, and advocating for yourself. You have a close knitted friends that you call your "team", and you get along with everybody quite well. It is not very often that you end up having a conflict with someone in your class, and when that does happen, Mama and Daddy take steps to help you to resolve them. Your teacher always had wonderful things to say about you, and it is very assuring to know that you are exhibiting helpful traits. Of course, it is not surprising with how great you are as a person!


You are not big into sports. You prefer reading, and gaming. However, Mama and Daddy are looking into enrolling you in soccer to see if you like it. You have tried wrestling, and liked it, but said it is not your thing. The important thing is that you did try! You don't know what you like or not like unless you try it, right? Until you find something that interests you, it is okay to enjoy what you like now as long as there is a balance to everything in moderation. However, you've learned how to ride your bicycle recently! It is a great experience for you to be able to get out, and ride your bicycle around the neighborhood. You enjoy doing this, and ask to go biking almost daily with Mama and Daddy.

In a few weeks from now, you will be starting first grade, and it is exciting for you to start a new year with a new teacher! It will be fun to experience new milestones, and to welcome your baby sister this fall. We look to year SEVEN with you.

Love,

Mama, Daddy, Franklin, Fox, & Baby Pumpkin

Sunday, August 18, 2019

WEEK 33



How Far Along: 33 weeks! 7 more weeks!! Give or take a few days. 

I am Feeling: Happy. I got my maternity pictures preview, and I absolutely loved them!! I am trucking along with being pregnant, and I am trying my best to not focus on negativity. It has been hard with increasing symptoms, and tending after 3 boys! I just want my energy level back. 

Movements: She's a fan of stretching out, and hiccuping. She has a very consistent pattern of waking, and sleeping these days. It's nice to be able to "clock" by her cycle. Some days, she is lazier than others. Sometimes, she loves to sleep with her butt up, causing my belly to be lopsided! 

Symptoms: Feeling out of breath a lot these days, BH contractions are increasing and they're becoming more of annoyance because when my belly gets hard, it is hard to detect Pumpkin's movements, fatigued, not sleeping as well at night, irritability, nausea comes and goes, achy lower back, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, and increasing pressure in my crotch. My patience level is dropping as the weeks go by. Boo. I don't like that.  Yay!! Isn't pregnancy glamorous?! 

Labor Signs: Increasing BH contractions. I have had some "real deal" contractions thrown in the mix, but nothing major. 

Best Moments of the Week: Seeing Pumpkin on an ultrasound! It was unexpected though, because she failed her first part of NST test (high heart rate which I attributed to drinking coffee, sorry baby girl), but it was so much fun seeing her (even though the reason for it was a bit scary). Having our maternity shoot done. Gosh, the boys were a bit tired, and uncooperative, but they did listen in the end. Michelle managed to capture a lot of beautiful pictures!! Getting presents from Jody. It matched the nursery theme, and GOSH I CANNOT WAIT TO DRESS BABY GIRL IN THOSE CLOTHES. Pumpkin is officially head down! 

Looking Forward to: Getting more pictures back from the maternity shoot, our ultrasound on Tuesday with Dr. J, and being week 34! Celebrating Forrest's birthday. I can't believe he will be 7 years old. Ugh, I remember when I was pregnant with him, and boom, he's now 7?! Kinda sad yet happy moment. Going to Wausaukee fair, and finally selling off remaining cloth diaper stash! 

Next Appointment: Tuesday August 20th at 3:45 pm. It's an ultrasound with Dr. J. I can't wait to see Baby girl again. It will probably be our last ultrasound if there's no more scares with NST. 

Thursday, August 8, 2019

WEEK 32



How Far Along: Baby Girl is getting closer, and closer to her birthday. 32 weeks!

I am Feeling: Pregnant. I am trying to enjoy my last few weeks, because it is my last pregnancy, and I am 100 percent sure that we are completed. I'm getting antsy, and cleaning a lot these days, because I want everything to be clean, and ready for her arrival, despite her birthday being a bit over a month and half! 55 more days!!! Oh lord!!! I am not at the point where I am uncomfortable, and want her out. I'm easily fatigued, so I tend to reserve errands in the mornings, because that's when I have most energy! 

Movements: Baby Girl is crazy. She loves to roll, kick, stretch, and hiccup. She has her lazy days when I am busy doing errands, and running around. Her pattern is very consistent throughout the day. I can clock her movements by those pattern, and know she's doing well. She has a tendency to be crazier when she is being given sugar! 

Symptoms: I have been dealing with heartburn, indigestion, and sore hip/lower back. It's annoying, but it is what it is. I am dealing with some kind of stomach bug too, and am thankfully recovering from it. I am not sure if the indigestion is a result of that, or a separate entity. I take baths to alleviate my lower back pain. I find that I am drinking a lot more water than usual, and that's as to be expected!

Labor Signs: I have been having a lot of BH contractions. At my NST test, contractions did show up, but I didn't feel them, and the doctor said it was definitely BH. It confirmed what I thought pretty much. Otherwise, all looked great!

Best Moments of the Week: Getting 31 bags that I ordered for Baby Girl (llama print), maternity picture shoot, arranging our van with changing the car seats--it's hard to believe that Forrest is now in backless booster, cleaning out the van (it was gross with how dirty it got, wow), pre-registered with the hospital (wow wow wow), and knowing that we are getting closer to the big day! 

Looking Forward to: Having my maternity picture shoot! I am so excited about that, and I am hoping the boys will cooperate, because I'd love a beautiful maternity family picture. Michelle is pretty awesome at what she does, and I'm just excited about it. 

Next Appointment: Tuesday August 13th at 9 am with NST. 

Update: The NST was interesting. I was hooked up to a monitor that observed my contractions, and fetal heart rate. I also had a little button, and had to click every time Baby Girl moved. She passed the test with flying colors. The doctor said she looked great, and everything was good. I had my blood drawn, and my result showed that I was 2 points away from the cut off for platelet count. It sounded like I will be restested again at 36 weeks for platelet count as well as Group Strep B. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

WEEK 31



How Far Along: Week 31! I had a mini-freak out the other day. because I realized we had only 66 days until my estimated due date. I was like holy shit, when did we enter double digits!? How did I miss this?! I was so focused on the weeks that I sort of forgot about the days countdown. Crazy!! So now, we are officially 63 day away from meeting our little pumpkin. It blows my mind that we have 2 and half months left. I am ready, yet I am not! 

I am Feeling: Exhausted. Pregnancy insomnia is no joke. The lack of sleep sucks so much, because every time I successfully fall asleep, I end up waking up, because one of our kids needs us. Isn't parenthood glamorous! I am finding that this pregnancy is very hard on me physically, more so than my previous pregnancies, and I hate it. I want to be able to always love being pregnant, because the truth is, I DO love being pregnant, but sometimes, I hate it too. I am discovering that the subsequent pregnancies you have, the harder it is on you, and I don't know how some people can have 6-8 kids! Not me. I'm pretty sure that we are completed. 

Movements: Baby Pumpkin ranges from being really rough to gentle. She has her days. Some days, she rolls a lot more, and is gentler. Then there are days when she just goes crazy, and stretches all over the place. Her movements can be quite painful. I don't recall any of my pregnancies with the boys being this painful! They probably were, but I forgot. She's definitely a tough one! 

Symptoms: Insomnia, sore lower back, round ligament pain, and hips. Basically, same old shit, but on a different day. I forgot how hard third trimester can be, especially when you have older kids to tend after, and errands to do around the home as well as outside of home. I gotta grin and bear through it though! 

Labor Signs: I am noticing that my BH contractions are picking up more, and more. I am not worried at all. It is just my body's way of getting ready for the big day, and sometimes to serve me a reminder to SLOW DOWN, and rest. 

Best Moments of the Week: Finalizing things for my maternity picture shoot. I'm really excited about that. I think the boys will look handsome, and I look forward to working with Michelle again. She's amazing. 

Looking Forward To: Gosh, I can't wait to get my 31 tote bag, thermal bag, and a zipper bag for baby pumpkin. As soon as I get it, probably most likely next week at some point, I plan on slowly filling in the bag for our hospital visit. I want to change Forrest's carseat into a backless booster, since it's time, and I've been putting it off for ages, and to install pumpkin's carseat. Then I want to set up halo bassinet for her arrival, but I am trying my hardest to wait until end of August, because it's still really early to set up those last two things. I'm excited to see everybody at the family reunion, and to spend time with family. I'm also eager to learn the result for Fox's speech evaluation this coming Wednesday. 

Next Appointment: Tuesday August 6th at 1:40 PM. I have a NST that day. It will be a long appointment that day. I am not sure exactly what to expect, or how long it will take. At least I have child care lined up for all of my scheduled appointments this month! It will be kind of "me time". I think starting that Tuesday, it will be a weekly appointment, even though I don't recall having my biweekly appointments to be cut that short with my previous pregnancies? Who knows!