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Pregnancy Journal

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S: 9 Months in 2011-12: My Pregnancy Journal for Harper Ann McCants

FC: A baby is something you carry inside | you for nine months, in your arms | for three years and in your heart till | the day you die." ~ Mary Mason

1: Our Family

2: How We Found Out | Sunday, May 9, 2011 Yes. It looks like we are expecting #2 much to our surprise. This test was taken on Friday and we took another Saturday morning just to be sure. Riley's going to be a big sister!!! I have a doctor's appointment on Wednesday at 9:30am to confirm it and get a due date. Looks like she'll be due within a couple of weeks of Riley's birthday. Christmas time from now on is going to be.... interesting, to say the least. LOL.

3: 1st Doctor's visit | Wednesday, May 11, 2011 Well, it's officially official. We are pregnant! I'm a little over 5 weeks along and due approximately January 7th. They scheduled an early ultrasound to confirm the dates for June 9th, in four weeks. Every thing looks normal so far. I've just got to stick to a nutritious diet, take my prenatal pills and keep healthy. Same as last time. :-)

4: January 7

5: Friday, May 13, 2011 Yes, it has begun to hit me. Nausea all day and the exhaustion hits by 1 in the afternoon. Fun, fun, fun! I just want to sleep for the next 8 weeks. Wake me when the 1st trimester is over please. hahaha Monday, May 16, 2011 Not much to report. This weekend was kind of blah. Nothing going on out of the ordinary. Riley and I went to dinner with some of my friends Saturday evening. That was about it. The morning sickness steadily gets worse as each day goes by and of course, it lasts all frickin' day long. I'm cringing knowing that it'll peak at around 10 weeks. I'm only 6 weeks along! **whimpering**

6: Tuesday, May 17, 2011 | Another day in paradise Since I use this blog as a kind of diary of memories and not just a convenient way to update our family and friends, I figured I'd tell you what's been going on the last couple of days. It's not very exciting so if you've got better things to do, then please... go ahead and do them. I won't be offended. This is mostly just a reminder to myself that TWO KIDS is plenty. In case I ever get the urge to get pregnant again after this. LOL. So, yesterday, I left work early at 2:15 because if I looked at the computer for one more second I was going to be hugging the work toilet for Lord only knows how long and I really didn't want to do that. So with a can of ginger ale and some deep breaths, I hopped in the car to drive home. Once I got home, I crashed on the couch and slept for two hours. I was only interrupted once when the phone rang. It was my previous workplace asking if I could possibly come in and work on the 29th. Nope. It's my anniversary weekend. Sorry.... And back to sleep. I got up around 5 and went to get Riley from daycare. She seemed happy and energetic when I picked her up and so I decided to stop by the store and pick up a 12 pack of ginger ale since it seemed to help settle my stomach a little. Of course, just after I parked the car and got Riley out, I noticed her pants were a bit damp. I didn't smell anything so I kept going. We were just a couple minutes from the house and I really needed this ginger ale. About 5 minutes later, as I stood in line to checkout, Riley was squirming a lot and so I took a peek at her diaper... sure enough... mess was everywhere. Luckily, it wasn't coming out of her pants but it was definitely messy. I rushed to pay and get back to the car so I could get home to change her. Once we got home, I cleaned up the mess, changed her clothes and fed her dinner. After dinner, I heard Shanks make heaving noises and went to investigate. Sure enough, Shanks had puked... in her food bowl, on the counter and down to the floor all over Jimmy's sandals. Great! Riley and Divot then wanted to investigate so I had to distract them both long enough to get it all cleaned up. As soon as the nastiness was in the trash, I hear Shanks heaving again. What the hell? Yep, she puked in the spare bathroom on the counter and onto the floor. Fabulous!!! After that whole fiasco, I finally lay down on the couch with Riley and by 8:15 she's sound asleep. I prepare to pick her up and take her to the crib when I notice a foul odor emanating from her butt. Seriously??!!! You pooped again??!!!! Yep. I had to change her which of course woke her up and for the next two hours she was wide awake and uninterested in going back to sleep. By this time, the "morning" sickness was really attacking me and I decided to just take Riley to bed with me. It was a very close call. I didn't even get to brush my teeth. If I hadn't gotten us into the bed when I did, I probably would've been hugging the toilet with Riley watching over my shoulder. Oh God. I chanted "Please be still please be still please be still" for about 10 full minutes before Riley and my stomach both finally settled down and to sleep we all went.

7: Monday, May 23, 2011 | I spent the ENTIRE weekend on the couch or in bed... miserable. From the moment I wake up, the nausea hits me and nothing makes it go away except sleep. Poor Jimmy cooked a couple of different meals and I had to give my plate back to him cause my stomach immediately rebelled. Man, this really does suck. I just went back to the very beginning of this blog, when I was pregnant with Riley to see if my first pregnancy had any comparison to this one. I wrote back then of being nauseous all the time, from 6 1/2 weeks to over 12 weeks along, but I never really talked about it too much. And the funny thing is, I don't remember much except the occasional moments when it was really bad while at work. I think this time around is worse, but I could just think that because I'm going it through it right now. haha. How did I do this the first time? I mean, seriously, I made it through 6+ weeks of this? HOW??!! Wish all of us luck. We'll need it to make it through another week. On a nicer note, next weekend is our 1st Anniversary!!! I can't believe we've been married a whole year. I can't believe Riley turned 17 months yesterday. I can't believe we're pregnant again. LOL

8: Thursday, June 9, 2011

9: The ultrasound and Dr.'s appointment both went really well this morning. Baby Jelly Bean is measuring right on schedule and is officially due January 7th. The little thing was wiggling around like crazy and I had to laugh. The heartbeat was 177 bpm. One interesting little tidbit we also found out... the technician actually told us she thinks baby came from the right ovary. What?? I had no idea that was something they could tell. Apparently, based on measurements and location and whatnot, she said she was pretty sure it came from the right ovary. Hmmmm. Makes me wonder which one Riley came from. hahaha. My appointment with the doctor wasn't all that exciting. He went over my labs and blood work from my last appointment and everything looked perfect. He mentioned keeping the weight gain down as best I could and scheduled another appointment for me a month from now. The nurse gave me a couple of suckers that were supposed to help with the nausea as well as some more prenatal pill samples. Here's a pic of our little bean (head is to the left). | First Ultrasound

10: Thursday, June 16, 2011 | Labor Prediction for Baby #2 Just cause I was bored and curious... I found a site online that predicts your labor and birth. Totally different than the one I found for Riley (THAT one was waaaaaay off. lol). Here is what is predicted for this upcoming baby: You won't need to try any secret recipes to bring on labor. Have your emergency numbers ready. Don't wait until the last minute to get your nursery ready. We predict your baby will come 1-2 weeks early. Your baby will most likely be born in the morning. predicts that your baby will weigh approximately 8.0 pounds and that your labor will be about 11 hours long. Of course, I'm definitely okay with things happening like that cause it would mean he/she would be born before the new year.... which means I won't have to rebuild my insurance deductible and pay for so much out of pocket. Woohoo. Lets cross our fingers that all of the above happens. LOL. And just in case YOU were curious about the labor prediction for Riley... here, have a good laugh (the reality is in red): The day you deliver, outside will be cold (not really). Your baby will arrive in the mid morning (early afternoon). After a labor lasting approximately 25 hours (15 hours), your child, a boy (a girl), will be born. Your baby will weigh about 8 pounds (yes), 12 ounces (1 oz), and will be 17-1/2 inches (19 1/2 inches) long. This child will have light amber eyes (blue eyes) and barely there auburn hair (dark black). --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Just give me what I want darnit!! One tragedy a day is all I can handle.... yes folks, the last remaining Sonic near me closed over the weekend! The one that was just 5 minutes from my workplace. :-( Today, for lunch, all I wanted was a simple milkshake. I didn't care what else I ate, but I desperately needed that milkshake. Sonic has a pretty good variety of meal options to go with that milkshake, so that's where I decided to go. I pull in and the whole place is deserted. I was there just last week and they said nothing! They even gave me a coupon for $1 off a combo meal. ::sigh:: What is this economy coming too??? That's okay though. I take a moment to silently mourn the loss of the last Sonic Drive-Thru and then go to McDonald's which was only two buildings over, knowing that at least their milkshakes are pretty tasty... and their milkshake machine is down!! Fine, I cancelled my order cause the milkshake was the most important part, you know! I did a u-y and went to Burger King instead. Hallelujah, they have milkshakes!... and the guy at the window tried to give my milkshake to the driver in front of me!!! Oh my ever-loving God. There was almost a justifiable homicide right then and there. Being pregnant really sucks sometimes. | Monday, June 20, 2011

11: Friday, July 1, 2011 How is it possible that in one month alone, my monthly bills suddenly increased by over $1000! Between our daughter's insurance which now has a monthly premium, my school loans coming out of deferment and medical bills from pregnancy building up until I meet the $2500 deductible, we are basically screwed right now. Nearly my entire paycheck was already going to bills and now I'm supposed to pull another $1000 out of thin air and STILL get groceries and gas and make it an ENTIRE month until I get paid again. I'm NOT made of money people!! And I don't need my hormones kicking in every five minutes and making me cry, yell or want to throw up on top of it all. Gah. Plus, I'm still nauseous all the time, have awful food aversions and my sense of smell doesn't help. I'm supposed to start the 2nd trimester tomorrow. I could really use some mercy right about now. Seriously. ::sigh:: Okay, I'm done venting. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Thursday, July 7, 2011 I had my monthly check-up at the OB office today to see how baby is doing. Good news is they found the heartbeat right away and it's good and strong. Bad news is that I gained 4 pounds according to THEIR scale. Hmph. According to MY scale at home, I'd only gained 2. ::sticks tongue out:: That's what I think of that. Yes, I got another lecture on not gaining any weight. ::sigh:: Can't help it. More good news is that in less than 3 weeks, on July 26th to be exact, I have my next ultrasound and if baby cooperates, we'll find out the gender!!! Yippee!!

12: July 26th | Doctor visit - Find out gender

13: Tuesday, July 26, 2011 We were not able to find out the gender during this morning's ultrasound. The tech couldn't get a clear look at the vital area so couldn't determine for sure if we are having a girl or a boy although she did say it might be a girl. The tone of her voice said she was just guessing though. Guess we will all have to wait and see. She was able to see that the placenta is low and to the right. The doctor said that normally fixes itself, but that I'll need to have another ultrasound at 32 weeks to make sure the placenta has moved up appropriately. Lets pray that it does. Placenta previa is not a good thing by any means. My blood pressure is good. I've lost 2 lbs which means I've now only gained a total of 5 lbs so far. The doc is happy. Yay. lol. Baby's heartbeat is nice and fast and he/she is measuring a day behind, but doc says that's right on target as far as he's concerned. I mentioned to him that I'm going on vacation Thursday through Sunday which involves a flight to Dallas followed by a 3 hour drive. He said that's not a problem but that I should take a one to two hour nap every day. Gee, I don't know... let me think about that... okay! hahaha -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Tuesday, August 2, 2011 General update So, after all the traveling this weekend (which included some heat exhaustion, diarrhea, and general wooziness) the last flight home ended with swollen ankles... just like two years ago with Riley. Now I'm back to work and sitting with my feet propped up on another chair to keep the circulation going so the swelling doesn't get too bad. Nice huh? Again, just like two years ago, I'm only 17 weeks and shouldn't be swelling up yet. I'm sure the doc will have a few words for me next time I see him. I also have acne worse than any teenager I know. Oy vay. The pimples just keep popping up. I'm going to pick up a new face wash today (one my sister uses) and see if it helps at all. Yuck yuck yuck.

14: Tuesday, August 9, 2011 My pregnancy is progressing well. I haven't had any further issues with my ankles swelling since last week. I am definitely feeling baby move around and kick more throughout the day and at night, which is very reassuring to me. My morning sickness and food aversions are pretty much over and done with, thank God. Now, though, the weird dreams have definitely kicked in. I'm having them nearly every night. Sunday night, I dreamt I gave birth to a full term baby at only 6 months. I went in to the doctor's office for a regular check up and the doc pushed down on my uterus and a foot popped out of me. He said I might as well give birth since I wasn't feeling the contractions and baby was breech. He rolled me over onto my stomach and pulled the baby out. Baby was perfectly fine and full-grown, ready to take home. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Tuesday, August 16, 2011 Bit of a rough weekend... Saturday, Tina and her daughter, Riley and I all went to the Glazer Children's Museum for their back-to-school fair. It was pretty fun, but very crowded. The line wrapped around the building when the museum opened. I had a little bit of an episode when we entered the building. It was really hot outside and when we entered, the change in temp from heat to A/C apparently didn't sit well with my pregnant self. I nearly passed out. I finally had to step out of line and drink some water from the water fountain, then eat a couple of Tina's crackers that she brought for the kids. After a few minutes, I finally felt normal again, but it was a close call. On Sunday, I had a bad headache all day long and felt nauseous every time I stood up. It was a good thing daddy was home all day to take care of Riley. I think I can count on one hand the number of times I actually got up from the couch. Yuck. By the time we went to bed, Jimmy wasn't feeling great either and woke up in the middle of the night to take some Theraflu in order to sleep. :-( ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Monday, August 29, 2011 This morning, I had my monthly OB appointment. I gained 7 lbs in the last 5 weeks. Yikes. The doctor gave me the title of a book he said I should buy. Picture Perfect Weight Loss. And he told me about a European study that just came out stating that overweight women who lost weight in pregnancy actually had a better outcome regarding birth and childhood obesity. Nice. Baby was doing wonderfully well. Good strong heartbeat. I'm measuring exactly on target and my blood pressure is good. No swelling either. All in all, a promising report. My next appointment is on Monday, September 26th. The one after that involves the glucose testing and then the next appointment will be another ultrasound to determine if the placenta is still low and hopefully find out the gender!!! Yippee!

15: Thursday, September 15, 2011 | Pregnancy dreams.... ACK! I just had to make a post on this for posterity sake. Monday and Tuesday night this week, I was plagued with some crazy pregnancy dreams. I thankfully don't remember all of them, but there were two that had bits and pieces that really stood out. When I told my husband what I had been dreaming after the first night, he again questioned me on what I watched before bed. (This is because my prior dreams had involved Chef Gordon Ramsey as the main character... after having watched Hell's Kitchen. hahaha) After the second night's dream, my husband forbade me from dreaming anymore. LOL. So, anyway, Monday night, I dreamed a mommy friend and I went on a cruise with our little girls. Nothing overly exciting about that.... until we reached our destination. Then, come to find out, my mommy friend was apparently a single mom and in need of finding a husband... this of course resulted in us jumping on our broomsticks and fighting flying monsters and witches throughout the remainder of the night. Hmmmmm.... where were our kids during all this? The dream did not see fit to include them once the cruise was over. I hope they slept through the chaos. haha. Side note: I watched Hell's Kitchen before bed and fell asleep while watching Seinfeld. Harmless... at least I thought they were. Tuesday night was the kick in the pants. I actually knew exactly what day it was and what week of my pregnancy I was in. (This is noteworthy because normally my dreams don't acknowledge the present day and time.) It was September 13th and I was a little over 23 weeks pregnant. I started cramping and Jimmy took me to the doctor. My memory blurs here, but I do remember that the doctor decided to induce my labor by shoving pills up my hoo-hah.... because I was having twins! After much chaos, crying and scared questions with no answers, I think I ended up getting an emergency cesarean. We had two healthy babies (one girl, one boy) both weighing 6 lbs 6 ounces. They immediately whisked the babies away though. I only got a brief glimpse of blood and mucus covered babies through my tears before they were out of my sight. I found out they would have to spend the next 20 days/weeks? in the NICU at a hospital in Colorado. (At this point, I felt like we were living in Texas, so this didn't seem too strange of an occurrence and it didn't seem ridiculously far away.) I was upset because we couldn't leave immediately to be with our babies. I couldn't breast feed them and sadly, it was two days later before I realized I hadn't even started pumping to get my milk going so I could store it for them in the future. Then, I really began to panic because.... we didn't even have any names picked out!!! Another friend and I decided that the name Alaina Renee would be good for a girl or that Taylor Renee and Tyler James might be good names for both since they were twins. The last thing I remember is anxiously waiting for Jimmy to get home so we could make a decision and see our babies. Side note: I went to sleep watching According to Jim.

16: Progress | Friday, September 16, 2011 | It's my birthday! Oh yeah. It's my birthday. 33 years old and still counting. Yay me! Do you feel the enthusiasm in the room? LOL Sadly, though, no birthday cake for me this year. I'm pregnant and dieting cause the doctor is not liking the fact that I've gained 15 lbs and I'm only 24 weeks along. Seriously... pregnancy & dieting... isn't that oxymoronic? Yeesh. Have I whined about this enough yet? Anywhoo....

17: Saturday, October 1, 2011 | I LOVE shopping sales!!! If you read my post earlier this week, my mom and I went to a consignment sale last weekend when everything was 1/2 off. We hit the jackpot with a Graco double stroller that we got for only $40 among other things. Today, I went to another local consignment sale and found a couple of things. Then, I went to a community garage sale and hit the jackpot again with a 3 drawer dresser that I picked up for only $10!!! Here are some pics of the goodies I've grabbed over the last couple of weeks...

18: Sunday, October 2, 2011 Sunday fun... What's more fun than shopping with a fellow mommy friend and THEN painting our bellies with fun Halloween designs.... yeah, I can't think of anything at the moment. WE HAD A BLAST!! I found three or four more fun things for Riley and the new baby at the 1/2 off consignment sale. (I got four more pieces of wall art for the baby's room, a baby memory book and a set of alphabet blocks for Riley.) Here are some fun pics of my friend and I getting our bellies painted by our husbands. They were such troopers. LOL. I drew the outline while looking in the mirror and Jimmy helped with the filling in of the color. He did an awesome job!! --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Monday, October 3, 2011 26 Weeks... Yes, I'm 26 weeks, just another week or two and I'm officially in the 3rd trimester. Yikes! As much as I'm looking forward to baby being here... I'm definitely not looking forward to the next three months of pregnancy. I'm just going to get bigger and bigger and more and more uncomfortable. Fun, fun, fun. Anyway, on a lighter note, I found this info about week 26 on a website (Alphamom) and thought it was quite amusing... BABY - Is almost two pounds. Celebrate this milestone with a two-pound box of chocolates. You know, in order to really get a good VISUAL. (I'm thinking maybe a two-pound bag of candy corn. Yummy!) - Remember those early bubbly butterfly kicks? Yeah. Those have been replaced by something akin to a rabid mongoose flippin’ out inside a burlap sack. (And for some reason, these crazy movements are entirely in and around my crotch. What the hell is up with that?) - All five senses are fully developed. Whoa. YOU - Are in the last and final week of the second trimester! (At least according to the books I’ve chosen to listen to — some mark the beginning of the third trimester as week 27, while some make you wait until week 28. Look, we’re all big and lumpy and ridiculously cranky, let’s get this final trimester STARTED.) (Excited, but not. Yeah, I'm a walking contradiction of emotions. Go figure.) - Of course, the end of the second trimester also marks the end of the so-called “honeymoon” phase of pregnancy, as the final three months can get awfully uncomfortable. Back and joint pain, swollen ankles, restless nights and Braxton- Hicks contractions, ahoy! (My poor husband. I'm sure he'll read this and immediately think "What Honeymoon phase?! There was no honeymoon phase. This isn't fair." LOL) - You’ll gain about 1/2 inch in belly/fundal size EVERY WEEK from this point on, oh mah gah. (cringe) - The books say we’ve gained about 16-22 pounds, so long as we’ve been following a “nutritious and sensible diet plan.” Bite me, books. (I'm right at the 20 lb mark... much to my doctor's frustration.)

19: Sunday, October 2, 2011

20: About Our Family | Thursday, October 6, 2011 | Thank you for all of your wonderful advice... I just had to share this because it's so dang funny. Bottled Shiny, a very funny lady from the January 2012 BabyCenter board posted this today and I couldn't help but laugh out loud. Thank you to the general public for clearing up all of my concerns, and sometimes even informing me of things when I didn't even know they could be issues! - Breastfeeding is the best way to go. - So is formula. - Cloth diapers are gross. - Disposable diapers are gross too. - You can be a responsible mother by taking parenting advice only from your family. - You can be a responsible mother by taking parenting advice solely from the internet. - You can be a responsible mother by living by a "How-To" book, and it will cover everything you will ever encounter. - There's no point in being squeamish about anything ever again because apparently baby poo is the most ick thing in the world. - Baby poo doesn't bother you when it's your own child. - Dogs and cats are terrible to have around babies. - Dogs and cats are great around babies because it teaches them consequences. - Dogs and cats are great around babies because they babysit for free. - Your diaper bag will never be as cool as my diaper bag. - Diaper bags aren't cool. Unless they cost $300. - Strollers aren't just strollers, they're travel systems. - Don't put that big old stroller/travel system in the car, just buy a lightweight one for the quick jaunt to the grocery store. - If you can't calm your crying baby, you're an asshole. - If your baby keeps crying, the baby's an asshole. - If you take care of your appearance, you aren't a good mother. - If you don't take care of your appearance, you're a loser and can't take care of your child. - If your husband takes care of his appearance, he's successful. - If your husband doesn't take care of his appearance, he's still more successful than you are because men don't do shit like that. - Your body pillow is your best friend. - Your body pillow is completely obsolete and should be replaced by a real pregnancy pillow. - Your body pillow is your new husband. - Your body pillow is getting flat and needs to be replaced. - Your body pillow is going to be a point of contention for the next 9 months. - Back when your neighbor's sister's mother-in-law was pregnant, she didn't use body pillows. - You cry a lot because of hormones. - You're not supposed to cry a lot because it's not good for the baby. - If you aren't crying there's something desperately wrong because there's no such thing as a happy pregnant person. - Men suck and their dicks should be cut off. - Unless you have a higher sex drive. Then men suck and should just shut up and let their dicks do the talking. - You shouldn't plan your nursery now because what if you get free stuff at the baby shower a month before you're due? - If you don't start your nursery now, you're a bad mother who isn't ready for motherhood. And that's only a sample of the pearls of wisdom found in your local grocery store/church/workplace/doctor's lobby! I don't know how I managed to get through life this long without knowing all of this. Thank God I've been enlightened.

22: Friday, October 14, 2011 | Interesting Factoid of the day.... My best friend, Jennifer, who lives in England discovered this interesting little tidbit and posted it on her blog. I laughed out loud when I read it. I had to post it too for posterity, since I plan to show everything I've written in these posts to my children one day. I really wish my best friend wasn't half a world away from me, because I just know our kids would have so much fun growing up together! Despite the distance, our children WILL one day meet and play together, I can promise you that! Interesting Factoid of the day... As of today, I have been pregnant with our 2nd child for 27 weeks and 6 days. My best friend, Jennifer, who is also pregnant with Baby #2 has 27 weeks and 5 days left until her baby is due! :-) I was also pregnant with Riley at the same time she was pregnant with her daughter, Charlotte, and our pregnancies overlapped in much the same way. I was 33wks and 5 days along with Riley when Charlotte still had 33wks and 4 days left to bake! Yay for babies and best friends!!!

23: Tuesday, October 18, 2011 | Bad Dreams... Let me start off by saying I am well aware that with pregnancy, typically comes pregnancy dreams. I wasn't plagued by too many of these when I was pregnant with Riley, although there were a few very vivid ones. But... this time around, I seem to get them ALL THE TIME.... AND they aren't always good. In fact, I seem to be having several that involve me having this baby very early for no reason at all. Last night, I dreamt that I went in for my doctor's appointment (which is, in fact, this coming Monday) and the doctor said we had to have the baby right then. I was only 29 weeks! (Which, in fact, I will be on Saturday... see a pattern?). The last dream I had like this, I was being forced to have the baby at 23 weeks. I'm really not liking this trend at all... Anyway, back to the dream. The doctor (which happened to be a very serious and stern Ellen Degeneres) informed me that they needed to get the labor started with Pitocin, but that I had to have an epidural in order to receive the medicine. So, there I was stuck at the hospital, my daughter with me, my husband in Ocala working (2 hours away) and I'm being stuck with a needle in my back for an epidural to mute the pain of contractions that will begin when the Pitocin is administered. I could still get up and walk around a little bit, but I was attached to the bed via the line attached to the needle in my back. Very weird. Anyway, I finally call my mom to ask her to come help with my daughter and she's pissed that I didn't call sooner and she calls my husband's sister who calls her parents and EVERYONE is angry at me for not having called sooner and I still hadn't gotten a chance to call my husband! I was so afraid I'd have the baby and he wouldn't be back in time. I kept asking the doctor WHY did I have to have the baby now and did that mean he/she would have to go into the NICU and likely have lifelong health problems. No answer on why, yes baby would have to go into the NICU and yes baby would be hurting health-wise. I STILL DIDN'T KNOW THE GENDER cause my ultrasound wasn't for another week. I was really getting frustrated and upset and then someone posted on Twitter that I was "using" them for attention or something and couldn't believe that I waited so long to let them know we were having our baby. I was absolutely devastated and that was the last straw. I couldn't stop crying after that.... and then I woke up. Nice huh? And I was watching Friends when I fell asleep. I don't see any connection there. I just don't understand all this dream anxiety I'm having. **sigh**

24: Friday, October 21, 2011 Monday is my next OB appointment and I just can't WAIT for that. Well, yes I can. I have to take the glucose test so I'm not overly excited about that part... nor am I overly excited about standing on the scale and hearing the doc lecture me on weight gain again. **sigh** I am excited to hear how we are progressing and to listen to baby's heartbeat. On a good note, only ONE MORE WEEK until we get to see baby and possibly find out the gender!! WOOHOO!! ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Monday, October 24, 2011 This morning was my doctor's appointment and glucose test. My blood pressure is good. I've gained a total of 24 lbs so far. Baby's heartbeat is great and baby is measuring right on target. The nurse drew my blood for the glucose test and I hopefully will NOT hear from them this week. (Crossing fingers and toes). If I hear from them, it means I failed the test and have to take a 3 hour one. Ugh. Here's hoping not! Anyway, I'm eagerly waiting for Saturday to get her so I can see baby again and find out the gender so we can FINALLY start discussing some names. My next three appointments are now every two weeks and then they will move up to once a week. Wow, time is flying. My next appointment is on Wednesday, November 9th and then I have a follow-up ultrasound to make sure my placenta has moved up on November 22nd. Other than all of that, nothing much else to report. Hope everyone has a great week!!! ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Tuesday, October 25, 2011 NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO... It's not FAIR!!!! My blood sugar scores had to be under 130 to pass the one hour glucose test and they came back at 148. Waaaaaaaaaaah! I have to schedule a 3 friggin' hour glucose test now. ***crying pitifully*** Just shoot me now.

25: Sunday, October 30, 2011 | The BIG REVEAL.... Baby #2 is a.... So, our party ended with a big reveal that came in the form of cupcakes with filling in the center that was colored to indicate the gender of baby #2. The answer we've long been waiting for is.... All in all, this weekend was really wonderful! Yesterday, my mom, Riley, Jimmy and I all went to the 3D ultrasound. I will post pics tomorrow once I'm able to scan them. Amazingly, this child looks smaller than Riley did and we did the ultrasound 3 weeks later into the pregnancy with baby #2. Riley saw the big screen where baby was and immediately said "Barney!", then she saw the technician working on mommy's belly and was immediately upset. Omie had to sit with her beside the bed mommy was on in order to calm her down. Other than that, I don't think Riley understood what was going on at all. Oh well. Today started off with a bike ride with a few friends to an arts & crafts fair at the Tarpon Springs Spongedocks. It was only a couple of miles to the fair and back so I figured I'd be okay to try one last bike ride. Yeah... this is definitely the last bike ride til baby is born. I ache all over. LOL. After the bike ride, I spent the rest of the day making food, hanging decorations and getting ready for the party. Unfortunately, our camera took one decent picture of the food table but refused to work after that. The flash wouldn't come on at all no matter what we tried and every single picture came out almost solid black. :-( I was disappointed I couldn't any good pictures, but one of my friends managed to take a few with her iPhone. No, we don't have a name picked out for baby girl #2 yet... to be continued...

26: Tuesday, November 1, 2011

27: Here are some of the pics that were taken during the ultrasound on Saturday and a comparison between Riley when she was only 27 weeks along and baby girl at 30 weeks... enjoy! | 3D Ultrasound

28: About Our Family | Tuesday, November 8, 2011 | HAPPY NEWS!!! Okay, I can't wait so I'll just share the happy news first.... I PASSED THE 3 HOUR GLUCOSE SCREENING! Woohoo! Just like with Riley, my first blood draw numbers are always high. The one hour test always shows me around 20 points higher than the norm so they send me for the 3 hour. With Riley, the first number was again high but the next two blood draws were normal. Same this time. My first draw was about 10 points higher than normal, but the next two numbers were well within normal range. YAY ME! Now, I just need to get through the next ultrasound in two weeks that will determine whether or not my placenta is still lying low. Because I haven't had any symptoms (knock on wood) or bleeding (knock on wood), it's highly likely it moved up and out of the way like it was supposed to. If that's actually the case, then it should be smooth sailing from here on out. Cross your fingers and think lots of good thoughts for me. The ultrasound appointment is on Tuesday, November 22nd at 8am. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- It's official!... Baby girl's name is..... Although the vote was tied 5 to 5 here on the blog, our Facebook poll received an overwhelming vote of 15 to 1 in under 2 hours. So, we've decided.... drumroll please..... that our baby girl's name will be...

29: Wednesday, November 9, 2011 A reminder... (as if I needed one. lol) The doctor's appointment I had this morning went well. It was just a checkup. Baby is measuring right on target, heartbeat is great, blood pressure is great, weight is okay (but watch it -- my question is, watch it what... keep rising?... okay. haha). All in all, everything looks great. My next appointment is in two weeks and we will be checking the location of the placenta via ultrasound. Yay!

30: I was reading another mommy blogger's post this morning about the first day home from the hospital with a newborn. I had to laugh at what she posted because it definitely brought back memories... and got me thinking about how different it will be this time around with a 2 year old running around. What will we need to do differently exactly? Obviously, I won't be able to leave baby sleeping in the bassinet if I have to run to the bathroom or something. Riley could all too innocently accidentally pull the whole thing over while trying to peek at baby. Scary thought. Yes, thoughts like these have been running rampant through my mind the past couple of weeks. My solution to the above situation would be to set up the pack n' play and set the bassinet basket inside the pack n' play. The bassinet stand would stay in our bedroom for bedtime. I'm 90% sure little miss Harper will definitely be spending quite a bit more time in the pack n' play than Riley did. **sigh** I just can't stop thinking about possible horrifying scenarios we may encounter this time around... then again, it could be smooth sailing and an easy transition. The scariest part is that we won't know until we get home with baby!!! Oy vay. What Happens on the First Day Home from the Hospital Leaving the comfort of the hospital to venture into the unknown of parenting is a scary thing. The first day home usually goes something like this: Wake up to breakfast in bed provided by the hospital cafeteria. Have the lovely nurses in the nursery wheel in your precious baby and spend the morning bonding. Talk to the Dr., who tells you the great news: you are being discharged today. Panic. Realize you left the car seat in the car. Panic. Send hubby to get said car seat while you are alone with the baby. Panic. Realize you don't know how to work the car seat. Panic. Finally get the baby in the car seat only to realize that it looks like you just placed a mouse in a cage fit for an elephant. Panic. Say goodbye to the lovely hospital staff and thank them for all they have done. Panic. Get wheeled down to the car while realizing that this is it: no more pushing a button to get help when you need it. Panic. Get yourself, the hubby and the baby in the car. Panic. Drive five miles an hour on the car ride home. Panic. Get home and feel like a strange man in a strange land. Panic. Get unpacked and wonder what to do next. Panic. | Wednesday, November 9, 2011

31: The baby cries. Panic. Try to figure out what the baby wants. Panic. Figure out what the baby wanted only to have it start crying again. Panic. Try to figure out what the baby wants. Panic. Figure out what the baby wanted only to have it start crying again. Panic. Realize that you have been home for eight hours and haven't eaten or used the bathroom. Panic/get faint. Decide it is time for everyone to try to go to bed and put the baby down for the night. Panic. Obsessively watch the baby sleep and analyze every twitch and breath. Panic. Baby wakes up crying. Panic. Feed baby and put it back to sleep. Panic. Obsessively watch the baby sleep and analyze every twitch and breath. Panic. Baby wakes up crying. Panic. Feed baby and put it back to sleep. Panic. Obsessively watch the baby sleep and analyze every twitch and breath. Panic. Baby wakes up crying. Panic. Feed baby and put it back to sleep. Panic. Obsessively watch the baby sleep and analyze every twitch and breath. Panic. Baby wakes up crying. Panic. Decide that it is finally time to call it night and start your day. You made it! One day down, 18 more years to go.

32: Domestic Enemies of the Pregnant Mom... Courtesy of fellow mommy blogger over at Rants from Mommyland. I just HAD to share this because I've already met most of these silly people. LOL. Enjoy! The Stephen King Storyteller. Gather round kids, it's birth Story Time. Want to hear about a horrible episiotomy? No? Tough, you're pregnant so that means that it's compulsory for you to hearing about every disgusting birth detail from the woman in line at the bank. After all, it's important to know how your next door neighbor lost her mucus plug at a BBQ. (Gork) The Lame Namer. It’s doubtful that you and your partner have put a lot of thought into choosing a name so it’s important these folks weigh in on this decision with a couple of names they thought of on the way into work. Plus, they hate the name you were thinking of because if reminds them of a girl in high school that had a funny birthmark on her chin. Just nod and say you'll consider KanDi with a heart over the "i" and leave it at that. The XS XL Examiner. This is the person that will ask you if there's two in there or are you sure you aren't due tomorrow instead of three months. This is the same person that will point out how tiny you are if they feel this the case as well. "Where are you hiding it?" "It looks like you've swallowed a grape." It's hard to say if it's supposed to be funny or a compliment but they usually make you feel like you should either be shot and mounted over a fireplace or that something is wrong with your now creepy, peanut baby. The Eliza Boo Little. Just you wait Henry Higgins! This person jumps in anytime you look like you're just a little too happy about having a baby and says "Just you wait until the baby comes. You'll never sleep, eat, laugh, breathe, screw, or go to Cincinnati again!". Clearly you don't realize how difficult it is to have a baby so it’s up to them to make sure you don’t get too excited. Babies are awful. Stupid babies. Dr. Oz. It really is amazing that you made it as far as you have considering how reckless you're being with your diet and daily routine. Normally they wouldn’t care of course, but seeing as there’s a baby involved, they'd better get in there and smack that coffee out of her hand; or better yet, just give some dirty looks and shake their head. That will teach you. After all, they don’t want their tax dollars going towards your kid’s tail removal someday. The Accidental Whorist. Such a charming question to ask someone if their pregnancy was an accident. It's important for these folks to let you know that they don't approve of your reproductive schedule and perhaps you should consult them next time. Clearly you are too, young, old, fertile, fat, funny or tall to have a baby at this juncture in your life and frankly they are surprised at your utter lack of judgement. These are the same people that say, "Didn't you see that?" when you stub your toe and who don't like pizza. They're just pointless.

33: The Sex Obsessed. Surely if you already have a girl, you're going to want a boy and vice versa. If you don't have any children they may assume you want a girl and your partner wants a boy because that's how it works. These are also the people that will swallow their tongues if you say you aren't finding out the sex. "Don't you want to know?!", "That would drive me crazy!" Perhaps it has, Asshat. Perhaps it already has. The Egg Inquisitioner. This is the person that asks you if you've conceived naturally. It's classy because, if you're used fertility treatments you have to reveal a very person, private part of you life and if you didn’t, then you also has to reveal a very person, private part of you life. It's a delicious catch 22 and there is no tactful way to answer this so feel free to just fart and walk away. The Surprised Blow Up Doll. These are the folks that chime in around 37 weeks and say things like “Are you STILL pregnant.” and “Haven’t you had that baby yet?” and extra helpful “I guess it just doesn’t want to come out” – which is nice because it points out the delivery you are *clearly* putting off and it’s a little gross too. The Silver Back Belly Toucher. Oh, you just knew if was coming. We all love the folks that just walk up and start molesting your stomach. It's especially nice when you're sister-in-law's boyfriend that smells like cheese does it and makes a “MMmmmm” noise at the same time. This is my personal rule of thumb with this one: if you would be comfortable with them touching your thigh when not pregnant, then they would probably be okay to touch your belly.... with permission..... and a hazmat suit...... holding chocolate. You know, like when your girlfriend taps your leg at the movie theatre and says, "Oh my God, I forgot to tell you that I slept with David Beckham!" – I feel she would be okay to touch your belly. Most of you are going to totally get this list yet there are always a few people that think they just can't win when it comes to pregnant woman. I would argue that pregnant gals have to deal with things like heartburn, nausea, hemorrhoids and learning what perineum is and none of us should have to know about the taint, so no. No, you can't win. Sorry. I hate to be the one to break it to you but it's best you know [insert thigh pat here.]

34: Tuesday, November 22, 2011 | Quick update... The doctor's appointment and sonogram went really well this morning. Baby Harper is measuring right on target and apparently, like Riley, has long legs. :-) She already weighs approximately 5 lbs and she's already head down and in the perfect birth position. I gained another 2 lbs so now have gained a total of 29 lbs for this pregnancy. All of my measurements were good as well. The doc seemed surprised that I passed my 3 hour glucose test which just made me smirk. He is obsessed with weight gain and was surprised when I passed with my first daughter as well. At least from this point on he'll go easier on me about the weight gain as long as I keep it within reason. Whew! On a side note: one new thing that just came out is that the CDC is now recommending all pregnant women (and anyone that will be around baby on a regular basis) get a dTap vaccination (Pertussis/Whooping Cough) as well as the flu shot. There has been an outbreak of whooping cough in California that has already caused 19 infant deaths and they say it's headed this way. Yikes. Of course, they don't carry the vaccination at my doctor's office. I have to go to my primary care physician for that. Yeah, I don't have a primary care physician. **sigh** Anyway, the morning has started off great so far. The doc even gave me some samples of Miralax to help me out with my plumbing now that we are at the tail end of the pregnancy. Yay for stool softeners! LOL. Now, I can happily look forward to all the yummy food we'll be eating over Thanksgiving! :-) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ A small vent.... I swear, I wish the US would get into the European frame of mind on maternity leave. Ugh. The owner of my company came into my office this morning and informed me he was not comfortable with me working from home an entire month before I am due to give birth and in fact, didn't even remember the conversations we've had previously regarding my work schedule. (I was supposed to start working from home next week - same time schedule as I did when I was pregnant with Riley.) None of it was in writing because all of the conversations happened in his office. So, now, I actually have to work in the office up until I go into labor or my doctor instructs otherwise. Grrrr!!! Once I give birth, I can only take 2 weeks of vacation and then I have to start working again. Which was the plan, but I originally intended to work from home until at least March 1st after my vacation time was up. Now that's not looking likely anymore either. **sigh** I definitely did NOT want to put Harper in daycare before she was at least two months old and now I may have to put her in much earlier! It's just not fair. I want to spend time getting ready for Harper's arrival and then spend time bonding with her after she's born and I won't get to do either because we can't afford for me not to work and I only have limited vacation time. Gah. Okay, vent/pout over.

35: Wednesday, November 30, 2011 | Million Moms Challenge: My Contest Entry The Million Moms Challenge Pregnant women share their wishes and dreams for life with their little one in 5 words or less, in the “IMAGINE ME & YOU” Million Moms Challenge contest. Pregnant women due to deliver by 11:59 p.m. PST, February 14, 2012, are eligible. One grand prize winner will win a trip for 2 + baby to Sydney, Australia, for a portrait photo shoot with Anne Geddes.

36: About Our Family | Thursday, December 1, 2011 | More fun all around... Yeesh I went to bed last night at 8 pm! Can you believe it? I was sitting on the couch after getting Riley to bed, watching the end of Jeopardy and it hit me. Complete and utter exhaustion. I figured I might as well get a good night's sleep or try to. So I went to bed. Around midnight, heartburn hit me. Holy crap it sucked. I had to arch my back, neck and head and breathe deeply over and over or I thought I was gonna puke. Gah. Woke up at 6 am when the alarm went off and did NOT want to get up. Oy vay. Did I mention that on Monday night, I had a dream that baby girl arrived next week after my doctor's appointment? LOL. That dream is looking really good right about now. haha. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Tuesday, December 6, 2011 35 weeks, 3 days... doctor's appointment... Well, we are still going strong and right on track. I gained two more pounds and am officially at 31 pounds weight gain. Exactly the same weight gain as I was at this time with Riley. Yay me. My blood pressure is great. I'm measuring right where I should be. As soon as the doppler touched my belly, we heard a nice strong heartbeat. The doctor did some strep cultures and checked to see if I had progressed at all. Regarding the cultures, no news is good news so we will have to wait and see if I hear anything from the doc's office this week. I am not dilated or effaced at all yet which is a good thing since I'm not even 36 weeks yet. From this point on, I have an appointment every Tuesday until baby arrives. In the meantime, it's December 6th and the 12 semi-finalists for the Million Moms Challenge have been announced and voting has begun. Unfortunately, our photo "Dream Big, I'll Help" was not one of the 12. :-( Boo hoo. Ah well. It was fun to try and now I have a couple of great belly photos for Harper's memory book. Hope everyone has a great Tuesday!!!

38: Harper's Newly Decorated Nursery... | Monday, December 12, 2011

39: Tuesday, December 13, 2011 I went for my weekly checkup at the OBGYN this morning and things are still right on target. Blood pressure is good. Heartbeat is good. Weight is not so good, but what's new there. I have now gained 34 lbs. *sigh* I told them next week, I was going to weigh myself at home, write down the number and give it to them for their records when I come in so we wouldn't have to hassle with their very obviously inaccurate office scale. Yeah, they didn't go for it, but hey, it was worth a try anyway. No progress in the lower regions. Harper is still high up and I'm not dilated or effaced yet. The strep cultures came back negative so no worries there. Doc told me if I go into labor at this point, they will not do anything to stop it from happening because I'm pretty much full term. When Harper is ready to arrive, she'll be here. He also said he was optimistic she would follow the same pattern as Riley by being early and labor will probably progress faster this time. Wouldn't THAT be nice! He said I should be able to push her out quicker as well..... um.... obviously he doesn't remember what happened last time. Riley shot out of me like a bullet when he said push. I don't think it would be very safe for Harper to come out any faster. hahaha. Anyway, it's just a waiting game now. Think lots of good thoughts for us!!!

40: Friday, December 16, 2011 | "We don't do that here!" Yesterday, my head congestion moved down into my chest and resulted in coughing ALL DAY LONG which was not fun for me or baby. I called my OB to see what I could take to help me get through it besides Tylenol. They said the only thing I could take was plain Robitussin. They also said I needed to see my primary care physician to make sure it wasn't something more serious than a cold that would require antibiotics. **sigh** 1) I don't have a primary care physician. 2) I hate going to the doctor for anything other than serious stuff. Apparently this was serious stuff simply because I'm nearly 37 weeks pregnant, so I picked Riley up from daycare after work and took her with me to Med XPress (formerly Doctor's Walk-In Clinic). I walk up to the receptionist and she gave me a weird look then asked "Can I help you?" I told her I was here to get myself treated, not my daughter. Her eyes got really big and she told me very adamantly (after looking down at my very pregnant belly), "We don't do that here!" I had to laugh out loud at that one. "No, I have a bad cough. I'm not having this baby yet. Don't worry." Too funny. After being seen in the Triage room, the nurse walked me to a private room and on the way, I must've stepped on a wet spot cause my foot slipped out from under me and I fell to one knee.... which of course, sent everyone into a bit of frenzy to make sure I was okay. The doctor's assistant finally came in to check me out and it turns out, I have Acute Bronchitis. Thank you Riley for sharing. haha. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 37 1/2 weeks..... come on Harper!!! My doctor's appointment went pretty well this morning. Nothing all that new to report. Blood pressure is good. Harper's heartbeat is good. She's measuring right on track. BUT NO PROGRESS. Ugh. She's still high up and there's been no change at all to my cervix. Seriously?? What are you doing in there girl? Do I need to give you an eviction notice? I gained another 2 lbs which seems to be the trend. I am now at 36 lbs weight gain which is 6 lbs more than what I weighed with Riley. Doc didn't mention it though, thank the lord. I asked about the possibility of an induction right before the new year (to avoid another deductible and going back to work to save my vacation time for right after the birth) and he said he'd only consider induction if there was some opening of the cervix to show that I'm ripe for labor. Then he started talking to me about the Salem witch trials and how they attached women to levers and lowered them into water. If they came up alive, then they weren't witches and if they died under water then they were witches. WTF?! Yeah, my doc has some wild stories that just pop up in conversation at times. I'm kind of glad this is going to be my last pregnancy. I'd have to change doctors otherwise. haha | Tuesday, December 20, 2011

41: Wednesday, December 28, 2011 | 2 year well-check & 38.4 week update Yesterday, I had my 38 week OB appointment. I sat in the office for over an hour waiting on the doctor to arrive. Turns out, the nurse that worked in the office was over at the hospital with her daughter who was having a baby right then. SHE was due January 6th, one day before me and this was her first child. **sigh** Yes, I'm jealous. I'm so ready to have Harper out already! lol. I shouldn't be so impatient, but I can't help it. I can't wait to be able to just bend over again without huffing, puffing and cringing from the hip pain. Anyway, the doc finally came in to the office a little after 8 am once the baby was born. I only gained one more pound this week for a total of 37 pounds overall. My blood pressure is good. Harper's heartbeat was good, but she was squirming all over the place. I'm measuring right on target, but, once again, I have not progressed at all. Her head is still high and my cervix is still closed. Booohooo. This means no inducement before the new year. I'm just hoping Harper will decide to make her appearance on her own as soon as possible. Think lots of good thoughts for us!!!! --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 39 weeks and STILL counting.... Still no appearance of Harper although my level of uncomfortableness and pain has definitely increased indicating SOMETHING is happening, just not birth. ha ha. Guess my hope for her arrival before the New Year is a futile one. Oh well. I just can't wait to meet her already. Thursday night, I was kept up most of the night with Braxton Hicks contractions and last night my back REALLY started hurting. Today, the back pain was to the point that I actually had to turn on a heating pad to help me out. Walking was torture a couple of times throughout the day. But still nothing. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- STILL counting.... but there's an end in sight! So, my doctor's appointment went well this morning. No weight gain this week. Blood pressure is good. Baby's heartbeat and size are good. I've dilated 1 cm (a fingertip) and my cervix is very soft. The doc said it felt like mush, which while gross, is encouraging. LOL. While he was checking me, he "stripped my membranes" as well. Now, I've read about this being done to help try and induce labor, but I had no idea what was involved or how this happens. Basically, he just swirls his finger around my cervix to stimulate the membranes. Nothing crazy, just a bit uncomfortable. Supposedly it sometimes works. Well, something's going on cause I've been really crampy ever since. Now, does that mean I'm starting to labor? Who the heck knows. Guess we will have to wait and see. I'll keep everyone posted. If not and if Harper doesn't arrive by the weekend, the doctor has scheduled an induction for next Tuesday at 5 pm. So, no matter what, Harper will be here by next Wednesday at the absolute latest. YAY!!!! | Saturday, December 31, 2011 | Tuesday, January 3, 2012

42: About Our Family | Saturday, January 7, 2012 | 2nd Christmas.... and STILL waiting for Harper.... We celebrated our 2nd Christmas today now that Aunt Kelli and Uncle Chris are here. We got to ransack our stockings and open LOTS more presents. Yay! Unfortunately, Harper is still not here to enjoy the festivities with us. She's content and comfy to hang out in mommy's tummy indefinitely. We are hoping the full moon may have an effect soon. Keep thinking good thoughts for us. I'd really rather NOT be induced on Tuesday. It would ease my mind a lot to have her come naturally before we force the issue. **sigh** It's up to her I guess. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sunday, January 8, 2012 Still no Harper and we're 1 day past her due date... So yesterday, around 6pm, I started having contractions 3 minutes apart. I kept track of them for over 2 hours and when they continued even after having eaten dinner, I called my doctor to see if I should go to the hospital to get checked out or if I should wait and see if my water broke. He said to go ahead and head over to labor & delivery, that labor was probably kicking in. Jimmy and I gathered our stuff and headed out while mom, dad, Chris and Kelli stayed at the house to keep an eye on Riley while we were gone. Jimmy and I got to the hospital and got checked in. The nurse took me back to Triage and checked my vitals and checked to see how far along I'd progressed. I was only 2 cms. My cervix was still mush but also still had a little thickness to it and Harper's head was still fairly high up. It also looked and felt like my contractions had spaced out again. I told the nurse I wanted to try and do things as naturally as possible, so she called my doctor to let him know her findings and he told her to send me back home to wait it out. Seriously??!!! Grrrr. So here we are.... at home again... contractions continuing off and on all night and all day today. Mom, Aunt Kelli, Uncle Chris, Riley and I went to the beach for some fun and so I could walk around a bit to hopefully get things going some more. It didn't work, but we did have a lot of fun.

43: Tuesday, January 10, 2012 | Today is the day! So, I had my ultrasound and my last checkupthis morning at 11:30. I am now 40 weeks and 3 days along. The ultrasound tech said Harper's head is definitely in the birth canal and she's definitely "ripe." I said, "Uh, how ripe would that be?" She says.... approximately 9 lbs.... (give or take a lb). Oh. My. God. Riley was only 8 lbs 1 oz at birth. This child could potentially be 10 lbs. Oh help. I am still only 2 cms and my cervix is still rather thick. We are scheduled to be at the hospital by 5 pm to start the induction. It'll start with triage where they will monitor me for a little bit and check my vitals. After that, they will insert Cervadil into my cervix to help ripen it up and hopefully kickstart labor. My doc wouldn't give me a time frame on how long til the next step would be begun. He said "it all depends." **sigh** If the Cervadil doesn't work, he will eventually have the nurse start me on Pitocin to help get the contractions going. At that point, there will be more waiting until baby is lower down into the birth canal. If my water hasn't yet broken, then the doctor will come and break my water which will definitely start labor. I've gained 2 more pounds which brings my total weight gain for this pregnancy to 39 lbs. I managed to stay below 40 lbs. Yay me! Blood pressure is good as well. Now all that is left is to bring Harper into the world. It breaks my heart that my sister and her husband couldn't be here to meet her, but they had to leave to go back to Missouri today. The plan is to Skype each other once Harper is here so they can at least see her live. Anyway, wish us luck.... it's almost time!!

44: 1/11/12 | 5:50 pm | 21 inches | 9 lbs 11 oz

45: The Story of your...

46: Progress | Thursday, January 12, 2012 | Harper is here! We arrived at the hospital at 4:45 pm on Tuesday, January 10th. At 6:15 pm, the nurse, Cheryl, inserted the Cervadil. At 8:15 pm, I was allowed to eat dinner and go to the bathroom. I slept off and on through the night and my contractions were 3 minutes apart but not intense at all. On a scale from 1 to 10, they were around a 2. At 6:15 Wednesday morning, the nurse, Polly, removed the Cervadil. I got to take a shower and eat some breakfast. At 7:00 am, my doctor came by and checked me. My cervix was so far posterior he could barely reach it, but he said it had softened a little. At 7:30 am the nurse, Cheryl returned and started me on Pitocin. At 1 pm, the doc came and checked me again. I was 3 cms and baby's head was lower down. He said he'd let me progress a little more over the next few hours and then he would come back and break my water. Contractions were 2 mins apart at this point and maybe only a 3 on the pain scale. Cheryl came and checked me again at 4pm and I was 4 cms with baby's head far enough down that the doctor could break my water and we could get this party started. The doc came in around 4:30 pm and did just that. My very next contraction was insane. I went from a 3 to a 10 on the pain scale. It was horrible. I realized if the contractions were going to continue like that, I would definitely not be doing this naturally. Especially considering how long it took to get to just this point. The doctor ordered a shot of demerol for me to help with the pain and said it would allow me to sleep between contractions. What the hell ever. HA! They gave me the shot of demerol and I swear it had no effect on dulling the pain AT ALL. I do remember at one point the doctor commenting that the demerol had taken effect because my eyes were closed between contractions and I was sleeping. Yeah, no. Totally NOT sleeping. I knew there was no way I could handle that kind of pain. It was HORRIBLE. I begged for the epidural and the nurse kept saying I was doing fine, that I just needed to make it through this part and I would be home free. Oh hell no. I could NOT handle that. I just couldn't. There is no adequate way to explain how painful those contractions were. They would start in the back and wrap completely around to the front. I felt like I wanted to puke or pass out after each one. I know I cried. Jimmy said it sounded like I was speaking in tongues a few times. I wanted to kill them whenever they would try to get me to do something right in the middle of a contraction. Impossible. I couldn't focus on anything, much less whatever it was they were trying to tell me to do when those contractions hit and they were right on top of each other. I maybe got 3 or 4 deep/panting breaths before the next one would start to roll in. They finally called someone to get me the epidural. Let me just say, I wish I'd had the same man to do my epidural that I did when I was in labor with Riley. With Riley, an actual anesthesiologist came in, got set up, stuck the needle in, started pumping the medicine and I didn't feel another contraction until I was complete several hours later and ready to push. This lady took FOREVER to get set up, apparently made a mess with whatever she was doing, took FOREVER to give me the shot, took FOREVER to get the epidural medicine and then fucked it up anyway. It only worked on the right side of my body. ALL THE PAIN shifted to my left. Every time a contraction hit, my left side from the top of my knee to the middle of my back felt like it was suddenly on fire.

47: When the nurse told me I was complete and ready to push and that I needed to push with the next contraction, I honestly thought that would be impossible to do. It made the pain even worse to push. With Riley, it felt GOOD when I pushed and I did a damn good job of it. With Harper, I did NOT want to push at all, but I knew if I wanted the pain to eventually stop, that I absolutely had to. I screamed and the nurse kept yelling at me to close my mouth, hold my breath and push. I swear I thought my head would explode or my eyes pop out, one of the two. After about 3 or 4 pushes, I could tell she was coming out and the doctor confirmed she was crowning. They kept telling me to push and I did NOT want to. I kept having to tell myself to just do it. I thought I'd never get her out. Apparently her shoulder was stuck at one point and it managed to cause a small tear on the inside of my vaginal wall. On a good note though, I was able to control the pushing a bit and did not tear at all on the outside. With Riley, I had a 3rd degree tear on the outside. Harper was born at 5:50 pm on January 11, 2012. Once Harper was out though, the pain still didn't stop. I couldn't focus on the fact that they had laid Harper on my chest. I couldn't cherish that moment because I couldn't get past how much I was still hurting. They took her away fairly quickly to wipe her down and get her measurements. Once I pushed the placenta out, the pain finally backed off but man, my cooter hurt. I swear it felt like I'd just taken a 10 ft drop and landed on a bike without the seat. Holy hell. Anyway, after all of that, our Harper measured 21 inches tall and weighed 9 lbs 11 ozs. Holy moly!! Riley was only 19 1/2 inches tall and 8 lbs 1 oz when she was born. That's insane. Let's just say, I'm really glad this is the last time I ever have to do this. :-) I love my girls to death, but I do not EVER want to do that again. Riley met Harper for the first time this morning and I was amazed at how well she reacted. I was worried that she'd be really upset with me holding Harper while she was there. In fact, it was actually time to feed Harper and Riley just curiously watched while she breastfed. Riley was more upset seeing me in the hospital bed than she was seeing me with Harper. Just before she left for daycare, she even sat on daddy's lap next to Harper, then got up, leaned over and gave Harper a kiss goodbye. It was beyond sweet. This afternoon, when Riley and Omie returned, we even got a good pic of the three of us together.

48: Progress | Friday, January 13, 2012 We were happily discharged from the hospital this morning. The pediatrician gave us two thumbs up for Harper even though she was showing some very minimal signs of jaundice in her chest area. Her weight was around 9 lbs 6 oz (only a 5 ounce drop from her birth weight so far). I was given the heave ho by my doctor. hahaha. I'm supposed to return to see him in exactly one month. Harper has an appointment with the pediatrician for this coming Monday at 10:45 am. Once we had everything packed up and ready to go, we left the room and headed towards the exit. We were caught by a nurse's assistant who informed us laughingly that baby and I were not allowed to leave unescorted. Whoops! Forgot about that. We got the wheelchair VIP treatment to the car. Yay us! We made it home by 10 am. Riley was at daycare already so we just settled in and relaxed for the rest of the day. Daddy and I got our first decent shower in days. Those hospital showers really suck. I'm definitely looking forward to my first night back in a decent bed as well... even if Harper wakes me up every hour on the hour to be fed. | Omie made us enchiladas for dinner. Daddy went into work for a few hours but was home in time to put Riley to bed. Riley was wonderful with Harper when she got home from daycare. She kept pointing to her and saying "Baby?" Even when she sat down for dinner, Harper was asleep in the bassinet behind her and Riley looked at me and said "Where's baby?" It was too cute. I was breastfeeding Harper when Riley first got home and she climbed right into my lap, gave me a kiss, pointed to Harper with a smile and carefully sat down in my lap to play with Omie's iPhone. Things are going very very well. | Bringing Home Baby

50: I am severely sleep deprived, in a lot of pain (above and below), my feet and hands are very swollen from water retention but I am truly blessed with two AMAZING daughters. Harper sleeps rather well during the day for the most part, but at night, she fusses just about every hour on the hour. As a result, last night, I spent the night with her in the recliner in the living room. I breastfed her so much, I think a blood vessel burst in my left nipple and I have been unable to latch her on to that side for the entire day. I started pumping today because her latch has become so painful. I'm only able to pump about an ounce at a time and my milk still hasn't come in. I'm a little concerned because with Riley, my milk came in on the third day. I hope and pray it comes in tonight or by tomorrow at the latest or we may have to start formula. Think good thoughts for us. Riley was absolutely amazing today. She held Harper several times and even helped give Harper a bottle this evening. If Harper got upset and started to fuss, Riley would bring her her pacifier and if that didn't work, she'd find her blanket and bring it to her. She'd even come over to my mom or I and say "Baby hold! Baby hold!" so we'd let her hold her. She would sit in our lap and wrap her arms around Harper's head gently and sit there for as long as we'd let her hold her. It was too sweet for words and I was so proud of her! Here are a few pics... | Saturday, January 14, 2012

51: 2nd Day Home

52: Sunday, January 15, 2012 | Well, Harper was absolutely a blessing to me last night. SHE LET ME SLEEP! She woke up every 2 1/2 to 3 hours, but slept solidly between each feeding which let me get a pretty decent night's worth of sleep compared to the last three nights. I've been doing a lot of pumping because of my poor cracked/bleeding nipples and her bad latch. I'm trying to heal quickly but there's no speeding up the process. In fact, I was really shocked when I started pumping from my left breast and after a few minutes looked down to see a bottle full of milky red fluid. Yikes. I dumped it out, let Harper feed from the right side, then pumped the right side some more. I got a fresh bottle to pump the left side again and there wasn't a drop of blood that time. Very weird. I had to stop breastfeeding Harper entirely the rest of the night and all day because my right side started bleeding after that as well. My milk came in overnight so she's getting plenty to eat now and I even have some left over to start stocking up. Yay me! Riley is still being a fantastic big sis. At one point, she was holding Harper on the couch with Omie and started playing on Omie's iPhone. Omie tried to take Harper away from her so she could play and Riley immediately wrapped her arms around her and said, "Nooooooo.... my baby!" Too cute! Riley fed Harper for the first time today and really did a great job with that as well. AND she helped Omie give Harper a bath this evening. Tomorrow morning is Harper's first pediatric appointment. I will make sure and update you all with all of her stats when we get home.

53: 3rd Day Home

55: SO SORRY! Yesterday was a bit crazy all day and evening and I didn't get online at all. I apologize for the delay in posting Harper's stats. Yesterday morning was Harper's first pediatric appointment and it went really, really well. She's only lost 9 ounces from her birth weight and is currently 9 lbs and 2.5 ounces. The doctor was really impressed because said most babies that large at birth lose quite a bit more weight. Her height was measured at 22 1/2 inches which is an inch and a half taller than what they measured her at birth. Yikes. She is off the charts for height, obviously and is at 90% for her weight. The doctor was really impressed that nearly all the bruising to Harper's face was completely gone and there was absolutely no sign of jaundice at all. Also, she said Harper's umbilical cord was probably one of the largest she'd ever seen. It also had a little bit of pus showing so she cleaned it with alcohol. Harper also got a Hepatitis B shot and definitely didn't like it. She got over it pretty quickly though. After the pediatric appointment, we went home and spent the afternoon with cousins Ashley, Chris and Roark as well as Aunt Carole and Uncle Dean. A fun time was definitely had by all. Harper charmed everyone with her cuteness and around 2:30, Omie picked Riley up from daycare so she could see and play with everyone. Riley was a bit stingy with her toys, but she did let Roark play around a little with them. LOL. Last night was an interesting night for me. Riley was really fussy before bedtime. She woke up a couple of hours after going to bed and wouldn't stop crying. It seemed her left eye was really bothering her because she kept rubbing it. I finally got her back to sleep and in bed when Omie decided to go to bed for the night. About 20 minutes later, Harper was getting fussy in my lap and I lifted her up to a sitting position and she suddenly projectile vomited all of the milk she'd drunk earlier. Wow, what a mess. On top of all that, her umbilical cord had dried blood all around it. I got probably a total of 3 hours of sleep throughout the night. Ugh. Plus, when I went to change Harper this morning, she had actually lost her umbilical cord and there was quite a bit of dried blood on her belly and diaper. Luckily, there didn't seem to be any damage done or anything and when we gave her a bath later this morning, her belly button looked just fine. | Birth Announcement | Tuesday, January 17, 2012

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  • By: Jennifer M.
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  • Title: Pregnancy Journal
  • My 2011-2012 pregnancy journal for our 2nd daughter.
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  • Published: over 6 years ago