Monday, December 23, 2013

Weekly Update

Another week in the books.

This week I had my check up with my OB and got the all clear to exercise again. I was 3 weeks out but she said I healed up and looked like I was at least 6 weeks out. I feel really good this time around compared to Colin's delivery. I haven't had the extreme moodiness or crying episodes. I keep thinking "today is the day I am going to fall apart" but it hasn't happened yet. Makes me wonder even more if I had post-partum depression last time around and maybe it wouldn't have been so miserable in the beginning if I had talked to my Dr. about it. I also haven't had a Lupus flare up, which surprises both me and my OB. I had really bad joint pain and swelling soon after delivery last time and ended up on a steroid for a little over a year.

I'm going to go this week and take my Y membership off of its "hold" status (along with every other person adding physical activity for the new year...yay...Andrew says don't buy new athletic shoes at the beginning of the year b/c it looks like you are one of the ones that said exercise is your new year's resolution. Ha!) The childcare won't take Charlie until he is 6 weeks so I won't be able to go during the day for a while. I will have to work out a schedule with Andrew to do it in the evenings on nights he isn't running. I probably won't go during the day until I feel like all the sickness is passed and Charlie will go without getting any serious viruses. I'm looking forward to being active again and can't wait until the day he can ride in the bike trailer with Colin. I miss my bike!!

Charlie met Miss Emily, Nate, & Abby this week and Colin had a ball playing outside with Nate and showing him his favorite video game. Wish I had taken some pictures.

Charlie had his first bath this week (that stump finally fell off!) and did lots of napping on his belly on the play mat during the day while I could watch him. He loves belly sleeping, so I look forward to the day his neck is really strong and he can flip on his own. He hung out in the Moby Wrap some, but I got a new baby carrier this week that I am looking forward to using. I'm waiting for the infant insert so he won't fall out, but hope he likes this one and I get a lot of use out of it. Big brother even tried out the new carrier for me. LOL

I got to get out of the house on my own for the first time and did a little shopping for the house. My table (finally) came in so I ordered my curtains for the kitchen and picked up a curtain rod. I also got a new quilt for my bed and I'm starting to pick some paint colors for the master bedroom and the media room downstairs. I don't know when the painting will actually get done, but it is nice to be actively decorating the house and making a little progress. (Little and slow...I'm too tired to do a big overhaul just yet!)

Pictures from the last week.

Monday, December 16, 2013

3 Weeks Old

Charlie will be 3 weeks old tomorrow! At his 2 weeks appointment he weighed in at 9 lbs and measured 22.75 inches. So far he has been a pretty easy baby. Even an "easy" baby is tiring and challenging. But it has been so different from Colin.

He has a fussy period in the evenings and it makes dinner a little hard but I'm getting it done. We've been eating easy meals or I wait on nights Andrew is home a little earlier and not going for a run to make something a little more involved.

Charlie sleeps in our room right now, but has gotten moved to our closet, per Emily's suggestion. =) He is quite the noise maker in his sleep. He grunts and moans and whimpers. so cute, but can make falling asleep difficult. It also made me think he was awake and ready to eat earlier than necessary. He still gets up the same amount of times in the middle of the night to eat, but my quality of sleep for those small blocks of time have greatly improved! Since our closet is at the front of the house and has a window and air vent, I justified it as being a tiny bedroom. It also got me in gear to get it all cleaned up and organized. So two birds with one stone.

I've been keeping busy with Colin by doing puzzles (he is getting really good!) and we made gingerbread houses. He has his neighbor friends over to play often and they hang out in the playroom downstairs and keep the top floor nice and quiet for me.

I'm getting good at multi-tasking. Letting Charlie sleep in my lap while I wrap gifts. Or yesterday when I let Charlie nap on his belly in my room on his play mat while I put Colin in my big bath tub and washed him up. I let him play in the bath while I showered, dried my hair, and then cleaned the bathroom. Today I'm going to try hitting up Aldi with both boys. Wish me luck!

A few pictures from the last week.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


Just a few pictures I finally got off my camera.

And here is a picture of Colin and then Charlie. They look so similar. Andrew said I could show him photos of both and he probably couldn't tell me which was which. Ha!

Friday, December 6, 2013


We like super heroes in our house. I wasn't much into them until I had a little boy who was interested in them. Since then, I have really enjoyed all of the movies and even beat my first ever video game (I know, right...) - Lego Batman. Colin would grab a controller and even play along. We are so looking forward to the new Lego Marvel game.

We call Colin "Captain America." He is one of our favorite super heroes and every time Colin gets dressed, his skinny little body in his boxer briefs looks just like Captain America did when he was enlisting and before being beefed up.

When Charlie got here Andrew asked what we call him - Superman? I said, "Nope, Ironman. Because of his heart." Now, Ironman didn't have a heart defect. He had shrapnel or something in his heart and something made to keep it beating even with the metal in it. So it isn't like they have the same heart thing. But the glowing light on Ironman's chest makes me think of Charlie because for 3 months all I could think about what his heart and what might be going on with it.

Here's the latest on my little Ironman. We went to the cardiologist yesterday. The PDA (heart murmur) had closed, as expected. Yay! We then had an EKG and an ultrasound of his heart.

When he was in my belly, they diagnosed him with Bicuspid Aortic Stenosis. His aortic valve appeared to be narrow, which made it hard for his heart to pump blood through that valve to his aorta. They would measure velocity and that normal reading would be 90. Charlie would typically be anywhere between 160 and 240. So it was working hard to get it where it needed to go.

Along with the narrowing, I found out at 37 weeks, when I saw the cardiologist, that his valve had another small defect. Instead of opening and closing with three flaps when it pumped (like a Mercedes logo), two of the flaps were fused together (or never separated).

Since he was so big at that point, the ultrasound couldn't show as much because angles were hard to get to. So we knew we would find out more after he was born and we could do an ultrasound on his chest, outside of my body.

At yesterday's ultrasound we learned that he definitely has the bicuspid valve. But he does not have the stenosis! Praise God! He can still develop it, but I am so thankful that at this point he does not have that narrowing.

Since the blood is being pumped through that valve and the opening is uneven, it is causing dilation in that vessel. This is what might cause the stenosis at a later date. So the plan right now it to have monthly appointments to see how his heart is doing and if there are any changes. I was worried that it could change fast and I would need to watch for symptoms at home, but the Doctor assured me that monthly ultrasounds would be enough to catch any problems because it would be a slow process.

If he does develop stenosis, he would need a procedure that would open up that valve to allow blood to flow more easily. I can't remember what it is called, but they use a balloon type thing to open the space. Cardiologist said there is a 50/50 chance he will need to have this done in his first year of life. I am so thankful he didn't need this right away when he was born.

That is the update so far, and I feel so much better now that the initial appointment and final diagnosis is made.

Here are some pictures from my phone, as I'm still working on getting them off my camera. =)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Charlie's Birth Story

My little man is finally here! Charles William was born on November 26th at 11:29am. He weighed in at 8 lbs 2 oz and 20 inches long. (Before pushing Andrew and I both made guesses on his weight. He guess 8 lbs 4 oz and I guessed 8 lbs 2 oz. I was dead on.)

I was scheduled for an induction, for a couple reasons, for Tuesday the 26th. The week before I was only dilated to 1 cm, so I was a little worried that my body wouldn't cooperate and I'd end up with a c-section. I have no issues with c-sections, but knew recovery would be much harder and now that we live in a house that is on a hill, with stairs, and a wild pre-schooler, it made me even more nervous.

Luckily when I got to the hospital to get all set up I was already dilated to 3 cm and having contractions every 10 minutes. My Doctor came by to check on me first thing and to break my water. They started pitocin and let me know that when I was ready I could request pain medication or go straight to the epidural.

My labor with Colin was long (13 hours, which I didn't think was long until people recently kept saying to me that it was...) and I pushed for 2 hours before having to use the vacuum to get him out. I got my epidural around 5 cm with Colin. I wanted to wait as long as possible on the epidural because I was afraid it might stall my labor and I wanted to avoid a c-section.

About 1 1/2 hours into labor I requested to have my progress checked as the contractions were getting stronger and closer. They weren't intolerable, but I wanted to get an idea of how far I had come. I was about 4.5 cm dilated. I decided to just do some pain meds as I really wanted to get past 5 cm on my own before getting the epi.

To make a long story short, I ended up getting an epi, but waited so long that I was 9 or 10 cm by the time they placed it. Not really sure because she decided to wait and check my progress after the epi was placed so I would be more comfortable (I was pretty miserable at that point). When she checked me right after the epi was started I was complete and ready to push!

I am not sure how long I pushed for, but not long at all and they made me stop pushing because there was no one there but my one nurse. =P I felt like a rock start and was so proud of what my body did so easily.

This labor was so different from my labor with Colin. My Dr told me this morning that she couldn't believe it went so fast. She had expected and planned to be around until 8 that night for my delivery. No one expected him to arrive before lunch.

He spent a few days in the NICU for some monitoring of his heart. We've know about a heart issue with Charlie since about 28 weeks or so. We only told a few people who kept him in their prayers and it look like, although the heart defect still exists, it may be on the minor side and something we just have to watch. We go back to the pediatric cardiologist on Thursday to look at his heart again (outside of my body this time!) to see what exactly he has going on now that the murmur is closed. He seems to be doing well and the NICU doctor didn't seem overly concerned so I am not as worried as I was before he was born. =) But I'd still appreciate prayers for when we go Thursday to check on the little guys ticker.

I have pictures to post but the card in my camera decided it needed to be reformatted. So Andrew is trying to find all the photos on that memory card before reformatting it. Hopefully he finds them all and I will post some pictures soon!

Monday, November 25, 2013

39 Weeks

That's me today at 39 weeks, 1 day pregnant. I added this picture to my smugmug album like normal and saw a picture from the beginning of the pregnancy. I can't believe how skinny I was (or that I ever called myself fat).

I've done really well through this pregnancy with my weight, but still feel like a huge cow, which I think just comes with the territory. I am so looking forward to getting back to a workout routine that allows me to sweat and get my heart rate up. For comparisons sake, here I am at 4 weeks, 24 weeks, and then 39 weeks.

Not much longer now!!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Pregnancy Update - 38 Weeks

I've been too tired to do my usual Tuesday updates, but this will be a quick one!

I'll be 38 weeks tomorrow. And I am SO READY. All I do is make noises when I try to move, and when I just sit still. I am not having any issues with swelling hands or feet (still have on my wedding band this time around!) but everything between my neck and thighs is just uncomfortable. There are places I didn't realize could hurt. Or maybe they did last time and I forgot.

My shirts are getting too small and my bras are definitely crying to be traded out for ones a tad bigger. But I am so close to the end that I don't want to spend the money on a bra for just a few weeks.

I'm eating pineapple, spicy foods, and plan on walking up and down the stairs in our foyer after this post. =) I want to get things moving. I know he will come when he's ready, and that if I go into labor after eating the 2 lbs of pineapple I bought, it will just be coincidence.

My next appointment is set for Tuesday and I have a growth ultrasound that day also. My last one was at 34 weeks and he was estimated to weigh 6 lbs 2 oz. I'm interested to see if he is really gaining 1/2 lb a week like all the books say they do at the end. If so, his estimate would be around 8 lbs 2 oz since it will be fours weeks time. =0 Like I said in previous posts, I'm not really to worried that he will be huge. I still am thinking he's long. I hope to find out soon.

I still keep track of my weight even though my exercise has been almost non-existent. And I told Andrew I find it funny because the past month I've been gaining exactly 1 lb per week. Not an ounce more or less. I'm doing so much better this time than I did with my weight last pregnancy.

Here are my 38 week pictures!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Tummy Tuesday

I'm doing this as a quick update. Nothing new to report, so just adding a picture to show you what I look like at 36 weeks pregnant.

And because he's a cutie, a couple pics of Colin. He and daddy at his first birthday party here in Alabama (a bouncy house place - his favorite!) and in one of the costumes I got at Target on clearance the day after Halloween.

And if you look closely, I don't have a card table in my kitchen anymore! I have REAL chairs. No table - because it is on back-order. But chairs that don't fold up. Finally starting to feel more like home.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tummy Tuesday

How Far Along: 34 Weeks, 2 Days

How Big is Charlie: I think the size of a cantaloupe.

How Momma Feels: I'm at the point where I feel done. I'm big and uncomfortable. I can't give Colin his baths anymore as of this week - it just isn't possible.

Nothing specifically is hurting or bothering me. My back doesn't ache and I'm still not swollen, I just don't feel like myself in my own skin anymore.

I got a killer headache this weekend and we think it was triggered by me painting. My OB list said painting was OK in a well ventilated place. I painted our small guest bath, and took tons of breaks, but I'm thinking that wasn't enough. I even trimmed one day and rolled the next. I was really careful. But Sunday after church we were making lunch and I got what we only can assume is a nasty migraine. I was having vision problems and I couldn't form sentences. It scared me and I honestly thought I was having a stroke. My blood pressure was normal and no swelling, so I rested and did every single thing a friend that suffers from migraines suggested and finally got relief. Needless to say, I'm done painting until Charlie is here.

Baby Bump: It's so BIG! And still 6 weeks to grow! I have a scan Friday morning and so I am hoping I get an update weight estimate.

(pic update later)

What I'm Eating: I really like those Quaker Oatmeal bowls right now. I eat one pretty much every morning. But the only one I like is the blueberry and hazelnut. And I got my first baked good from Edgar's Bakery in over a month! A delicious pumpkin muffin.

Exercise: I got in 2 whole days last week. Not much. And one of them was Colin's field trip to the pumpkin patch. HA! But this wasn't like Lucky Ladd Farms. You don't walk across the parking lot to the fun. I had to freaking hike in the woods. And they gave this warning about yellow jacket bee stings before embarking. I really would have skipped had I known. I don't do hiking when not with child - adding my clumsy round body to those woods was a disaster waiting to happen. I survived and had people constantly asking if I was OK...which made me feel like one of the 4 year olds...but I'm so glad I got to watch Colin interact with his classmates and new friends.

Movement: He's been kind of quite the past few days. Must be running out of wiggle room.

Big Brother: We were getting ready to run errands yesterday and were putting on our shoes. Colin plops down and says, "know what we should name baby Charlie? Ice Ice Baby."

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Tummy Tuesday (late!)

How Far Along: 33 Weeks, 3 Days (day late, oops!)

How Big is Charlie: The size of a pineapple - 17.2 inches and about 4.5 lbs. I had an ultrasound at my appointment yesterday and he was estimated to weigh 5 lbs 11 oz...

How Momma Feels: Only complaint is sleeping.I have to fully wake up to change positions and then it is hard to fall back asleep. Oh, and it's also getting harder to breathe. This big boy isn't allowing Mommy to get as much air in as before.

Baby Bump: I've started feeling huge. And bending over. All of the sudden I can't. =) My nurse made my day yesterday and told me I looked good and was pretty small. I really needed that. God must have known!

What I'm Eating: I'm so boring! Nothing weird. Looking forward to some Halloween candy that Colin said he would share.

Exercise: I walked 1 or 2 days last week. I just do it when I can. I've had a lot of Dr appts and deliveries at the house. Our neighborhood isn't great for walks for me since it is so hilly - it just gives me contractions. I was in Murfreesboro last weekend and cheered on Andrew during the Middle Half, and I look forward to trying to run again after Charlie is here. Or bike. I tried the spin bike last week and my legs kept hitting my belly. It didn't last long.

Movement: He's still a strong one. And I really don't think he is as big as the ultrasound says - at least weight wise. He feels very long, not heavy. The ultrasound tech said she agreed, that while he was probably big, he wasn't actually 5 lbs 11 oz. His legs are super long and she thinks it was throwing off the measurements. She also said his head was really low (which believe me, I know!) and his butt was stuck up in my rib. So he is nice and spread out in there. I get movement all over and it still stops me often and takes my breathe away.

I'm so excited to see how big he actually is!!

Big Brother: He loves to put his hand on my belly and wait for Charlie to move. I'm so glad he is a little older during my pregnancy so that he is excited too. This picture was from when we were waiting outside Barnes & Noble for it to open. I told him Charlie was dancing this morning. And he placed his hand there and patiently waited for some movement.

A good profile from yesterday's ultrasound.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Tummy Tuesday

How Far Along: 32 Weeks, 2 Days

How Big is Charlie: 16.7 inches, the size of a Bok Choy (I know what that is...but wish they had used a fruit/vegetable I knew better)

How Momma Feels: I'm not sure what is related to pregnancy and what is related to my cold. Overall I still feel pretty good. No swelling or back pain. I think the joints in my feet are relaxing because they look and feel wider. I see it in my sandals and feel it in a couple pairs of shoes. They are not swollen, not even at the end of the day, so I think that hormone that loosens up your joints for birth is just at work.

I've felt crummy the past week as I caught the cold Colin had. So I've not been sure if the breathlessness and exhaustion is due to the cold and my terrible cough or just being 32 weeks pregnant. I've been sleeping with a humidifier and that has helped so much. I feel like I will be back to normal tomorrow or Thursday.

Baby Bump: I feel it getting higher as taking deep breathes is a little more difficult. He's putting on more fat now, so I guess it is only going to get bigger!

What I'm Eating: Normal things still. =)

Exercise: I can't seem to get healthy long enough to get a whole week in! I went this morning, which was the first time in a week since Colin has been sick and now me. I just rode a spin bike for a bit and then walked on the treadmill.

Movement: Lots of rolls and quick jabs. I swear one two occasions now, He was moving and I heard a pop noise. Like joints cracking. It freaks me out a little cause it isn't me...but surely it isn't him.

Prepping for Charlie: His room is a disaster! We found so many tubs of baby stuff while cleaning and organizing the garage. So I'm tackling that a little each day. I did find a bunch of newborn and 0-3 onesies and sleepers that were Colin's! I got them all washed up and have a nice sized pile of baby clothes now!

32 Weeks with Colin

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Tummy Tuesday

How Far Along: 31 Weeks, 2 Days

How Big is Charlie: 16 inches, and 3.3 lbs (the size of a coconut). But at my ultrasound last week at 30w4d, he was already weighing in at 4 lbs!!

How Momma Feels: I get lots of braxton hicks contractions through the day. I drink plenty of water and try to take it easy. I asked my Dr about it and she said it was common with 2nd pregnancies and maybe he will be a little early. I really don't feel 31 weeks pregnant yet. I have been so lucky not to have consistent back pain or any swelling. My wedding ring still fits and I sleep relatively normal. I can tell my sleep is getting lighter and I wake up more to pee or adjust, but I still feel like I get a decent amount, so no real complaints about that yet.

Baby Bump: It is now in the way! Tying my shoes is hard. Ha! I have to have a stool to get stuff off the second shelf in my laundry room now because I can't reach that far without my belly hitting the washer or dryer and restricting how far I can reach.

What I'm Eating: This week I've liked Tootsie Pops and fruit salad. I get those fruit cups that are cut up chunks of mango and I blueberries, strawberries, and banana slices. So good!

Exercise: It was a slow week again =/ I've been doing less weights and more walking. I'm OK with that. I just want to keep moving!

Movement: He's still strong. Ultrasound tech wasn't surprised that his movements hurt me sometimes as she watched his during the ultrasound. He had his butt up by my ribs, and his feet by this hands near my hips.

Prepping for Charlie: Colin has been keeping his clothing in Charlie's changing table. His new dresser comes this week so after we get all his stuff settled into his room I am going to to wash most of Charlie's stuff and get is set in his drawers. I love all those sweet newborn clothes and swaddles! I did buy more plain stuff this time around. Like, I bought plain white onesies. Boring, but practical!

I am having a hard time finding those burp cloths that are actually cloth diapers. I think they are Gerber and they look like they have three pieces to them. They are my favorite. I hate those tine strips of cloth Carter's calls a burp cloth. Colin had reflux and I needed something absorbent. These fit the bill and I can never find them! And they make great dusting cloths. =) Anyway, that's my mission right now.

Monday, September 30, 2013

2 Weeks at Home

We've been in the new house for 2 weeks now, and still have so much to do! We have pretty much all the boxes unpacked, but every single room seems to be in a chaotic state. I'm trying to accept that as my reality right now and just go with it. =) I find if I start to do too much I get really tired or bring on a lot of braxton hicks contractions. Even putting clean sheets on the bed this morning made them strong and kind of uncomfortable. So right now I'm sitting on our deck with the iPad watching Colin play in his sandbox and on his play set.

He loves his new house. We turned one of the basement rooms (we have a split foyer) into a play room. It holds all his toys and the majority of our furniture from our old living room, plus the computer. It was the first room we finished as I knew it would get the most use. I didn't do much to it. It was already painted a neutral color so I just left it, even though it isn't my favorite neutral. I painted one wall in there with chalkboard paint and we have so much fun with it.

The playroom being finished has worked out great since we have a set of 4 year twins right next door! Colin wakes up asking to play with them first thing. All three like to play outside on the play set or sandbox and put the playroom to good use. It gets a little chaotic, but I think I've started to control the crowd by making the rule that all toys stay down stairs in the playroom.

The only room that has been painted is Charlie's room. Colin's room is already the blue I want, but needs a fresh coat of paint. The last boy had lots of stuff on his walls, but at least that is one room I don't feel rushed to complete. We did order him a new dresser and it will be here next week!

All the rooms in this house need a paint job but I'm kind of overwhelmed at where to start. So right now I'm just trying to enjoy the house as it is and decide what I want it to end up looking like. Baby you will be able to tell from the card table in my kitchen!

A few random pictures from my phone:
First thing we did was replace all the appliances. It was a headache in a half, but I LOVE all of them!

Treated Molly to a new food/water bowl.

The chalkboard wall right after painting. So clean and shiny. Now it is covered in art. I love it.

Colin is getting so good at writing his name. I am so impressed at his school. It is kind of a drive from our house now, but totally worth it! Not only does he have music class, chapel, and PE, but he also has Spanish class and computer class once a week. And we LOVE his teacher.

With all our paint swatches I decided to practice his scissor skills. Impressed me again!

Playing with the neighbor twins in the sandbox. I sipped coffee of the back deck. I love our neighborhood.

And you can't see him, but he is up in the fort part of his play-set.

(I wrote this Friday and forgot to post. Between then and now we've spent a lot of time inside as Colin has had a fever all weekend. I think we are healthy and ready for a new week!)