So I realize I’ve definitely fallen off the blogging bandwagon. Elise keeps me on my toes! I have lots to write soon, but for now- Merry Christmas from our new little family!
Well this is a week late- but when you have a newborn, I have discovered- nothing is going to be on time for a while. Week 2 was amazing- “little bug” and I got a chance to really bond- it was our first week alone together.
Big Events: We had newborn pictures on Tuesday. I was a little model. Mommy took some pictures on her phone, and they look amazing. We cannot wait to see the final product from the photographer- Morgan Matters. She was Mommy and Daddy’s wedding photographer- and one of the best in Indianapolis! I also got to visit where Mommy and Daddy work and meet all their friends. On Saturday, I went to my first wedding. One of Mommy’s best friends got married- and it was beautiful.
What I ate: Still breastfeeding and using the nipple shield.
New Words: Lots of cooing and crying.
What I weigh: Nothing official but Mommy said I’m definitely over 7 lbs now.
New Milestones: I am starting to figure out my night and days.
Sleep: I am more awake during the days now, and am trying to sleep longer at nights.
Favorite Toy: My Grandpa Sir got me a monkey rattle and I’m using my mat to do some tummy time and look around.
Best Moment of the Week: Meeting lots of new people and getting shown off- also watching the Bengals (Mommy’s team) beat the Steelers (Daddy’s team)
Our first family photo with my bonus boys
Worst Moment of the Week: Not having Daddy home during the day any more, but I love my mommy time.
I had debated whether or not I wanted to continue a weekly blog after she was born, and while I know it is going to be hard- I definitely want to catalog her weekly achievements in life.
First day home!
Big Events: We were discharged from the hospital Tuesday afternoon. Daddy was able to be home with us all week, which was so nice. Mommy was so happy to have him there to help out. Thursday I went to the pediatrician for the first time. Everything checked out well! My height is in the 44% at 19.5 inches, my head is small- 2% at 12.5 cm, and my weight was almost back up to my birth weight at 6 lbs- which is 12%. But, Mommy and Daddy think I’m just perfect. I got to take my first walk in my stroller. I also got my first bath at home. We got to meet my new cousin who was born 6 days after me. Daddy’s cousin Jarrett lives in town, and he and his wife Carrie had baby Drew on Saturday.
Out for our first walk
After my first bath- thanks Grandpa Sir for my sock monkey towel
What I ate: I’m a breastfed baby- Mommy is finding it harder than she thought it would be- but we are toughing it out and using a nipple shield to make it easier.
New Words: None yet!
What I weigh: Nothing official but I know I’m over my birthweight by now.
New Milestones: Mommy is figuring out when I want to be held or when I want to eat- we are getting there.
Sleep: 1-4 am seems to be my witching hour. I don’t want to sleep, or be held, or eat. I just want to be awake- which makes Mommy anxious because she wants to help me.
Favorite Toy: No favorite toys yet, but I do like my blankets. We use the Aden and Anais swaddle blankets, those seem to be a hit.
Best Moment of the Week: Coming home, and meeting my dogs. Marlow and Mayleigh really seem to like me- I think we’ll be best friends.
The moment we headed home!
Marlow and Mayleigh watching over me
Worst Moment of the Week: Mommy got the baby blues for 2 days- she cried over nothing. She kept telling me she was happy I was here, and she didn’t know why she was crying. Good thing that only lasted a couple days.
She is here!!! She is here!!! I plan on writing a separate post regarding Elise Marie’s birth story, but I wanted to announce her early arrival.
Quick version- my water broke around 4pm on Saturday, September 7th. 9.5 hours later- baby girl had made her arrival. Elise made her grand entrance into the world at 1:23 am on Sunday, September 8th- 10 days before my due date (or 12 depending on which one we follow). I was successful in my goal of doing an un-medicated, natural child birth- an accomplishment my husband keeps talking about.
I am still in an alternate universe, and just stare at her for hours in awe. I can’t believe she is perfect, healthy, and mine. I now know what unconditional love is, I know I would do anything and everything I could to protect her and make her happy and safe. I love my husband more and more, he was there through the whole thing, and was the best birth coach a girl could ask for. It truly brought us closer together, and the love I see in his eyes that he has for his new baby girl is just amazing.
I can’t wait to see what and who she becomes, but I don’t want her to grow- this is the best most precious thing that has ever happened to me.
Now, I am normally not one to complain, I do try to take everything in strides… but this week was an extra special test of my emotions.
The weekend itself was great! Celebrating Charlotte turning 1 and having my sister make her special announcement was definitely a highlight. Monday, labor day, I turned into full on nesting (or just really necessary cleaning). With the help of my mom, we completely reorganized the pantry and fridge, as well as a few of our kitchen cabinets. This was something I have been wanting to get done- but the kitchen sink breaking down made it a must do. Not really sure what happened to the sink- but luckily with some tips and tricks JJ read up on, it cost very little to get fixed. That night I got to spend time with my “first born”- Marlow my pup, she has been acting super clingy as of late!
On Wednesday we were set to meet with the sitter we had lined up, it is the same one my sister is taking Charlotte to. However, after we drove there- we were informed there wasn’t any room for us after all. Not really sure why she wanted us to come there for her to tell us that. We had the appointment lined up for weeks. That defeated me. I thought there was one thing I didn’t have to worry about and was taken care of, only to be thrown back onto my plate- 2 weeks before delivery. Needless to say, I am at square one and in a bit of a panic.
I was really excited for Thursday, this was the day of our 38 week appointment. I love going to the Dr. weekly, just for the fact that I get to hear how wonderful she is doing. They asked me if I wanted to have an internal exam, I declined since they don’t really matter much at this stage any way. I didn’t gain any weight this past week and a half- hooray!!! We listened for the heartbeat, and it was in the 130’s. Much lower than it has been this whole pregnancy. Then it was time for the fundal height measurement. The Dr. kept pressing, and pressing trying to feel the top of my uterus. I could tell by the look in her eyes, something wasn’t right.
She put down the measuring tape and told me I’m measuring really small. I should be measuring 38 cm since my 38 week mark was the next day, but instead I was only measuring 35 cm. This was odd, especially because a week and a half ago I was already at 36 cm. She said I needed to have an ultrasound done immediately to see why the growth stopped, slowed, or was off. Her main concern was that I was leaking amniotic fluid, which was plausible since I lost my mucus plug a week back.
Talk about the longest 30 minutes of my life waiting in the room for the ultrasound tech to be ready for us. I was just happy they got us in that morning. Had we had to wait, I would have had to have a non-stress test right then and then come back for the ultrasound.
During the ultrasound she measured my fluid levels- they were ok, I was at 11.5 and they need to be above 10. Then she took the measurements of the body, everything was equally small. Her head was the smallest- measuring in the 12th percentile. And her overall weight was low, in the 12th percentile as well. She is approximately 6lbs at this point. She checked to make sure the cord wasn’t clamped, and it wasn’t- so she is able to get the nutrients she needs- thank goodness! She also told me that she is pretty head down, so that could have decreased the fundal height measurements since she isn’t as high anymore. But, I don’t really feel like she has dropped.
She informed the Dr. of her findings, pretty much that I just have a petite baby inside. I have to have another ultrasound right before my 40 weeks, on September 16th. It was ironic, I was telling JJ as we were waiting to even be seen for our appointment, that I would just like to see her one last time- since it had been so long. Well, be careful what you wish for I guess!
Her perfect little profile
Besides getting to see her pretty face, she did reconfirm it was a girl. I realize this is silly, but one of my biggest fears was that she would be born, and they told me it was actually a he. Well- I’m glad that is one less thing to worry about! She also confirmed what i had expected all along, one foot of hers is lodged underneath my rib cage. She said it’s no wonder I’ve been in so much pain sitting at work. At least I’m not imagining it! Needless to say, I’m anxiously awaiting Wednesday, September 11, which is our 39 week appointment. She did tell me I needed to decide on an induction date, just to get it on the calendar. Normally, she doesn’t let you go past 41 weeks, but she offered me October 2nd- and I’m now due the 20th- so that does bide me a bit more time to be able to go into spontaneous labor. I really hope she doesn’t make me wait until October!!
Here is to hoping for a much better week! I have some stuff on my final “to-do” list, and then I will officially be “ready” for her to make her grand appearance. I can’t believe it really is almost that time!
What is happening with the baby?
This week she is the size of a pumpkin (well apparently a very small pumpkin). The average size is anywhere from 18.9 inches to 20.9 inches long and 6.2 to 9.2 lbs. By now she may have an inch of hair, however, I didn’t really see any on the ultrasound. It wasn’t 3D though, so maybe that’s why? Hopefully she will continue to gain an ounce a day, or a half pound a week.
One of the days I was praying I wouldn’t go into labor was this past Saturday, August 31st. A year ago, I got to watch my sister welcome this sweet perfect baby into the world. Sara delivered Charlotte naturally, and within 7.5 hours of her water breaking. I pray I have a delivery that quick! I didn’t want to foil a birthday party, with a birth of my own!
At first, I didn’t understand why Sara would forgo what modern medicine has given us, and not use an epidural. I was naïve and didn’t quite understand the whole process. Watching her deliver is what helped me decide that I, too, wanted to have a drug-free natural birth.
This past year Charlotte has been the light of everyone’s life. She was born 2 months after Josh (my brother in law) lost his mother unexpectedly. Sara found out she was pregnant the day after Melanie was diagnosed with a rare form of lymphoma. She passed away 6 months later. Knowing Charlotte was going to be around was comforting for everyone, it was something to focus on and look forward to in such a deep dark time. All Melanie wanted was to hold Charlotte, and while she didn’t get a chance to here on earth, we know she helped her come into the world.
Charlotte is seriously one of the funniest people I’ve met. She is constantly learning new words, and new expressions. She is really good at saying no. However, her favorite word is “doh”. This always comes with her pointing at something, and then saying “doh”. We say the word she pointing at, but she doesn’t care 🙂 She is also really good at saying bye bye and waving. Her new word is uh oh, and does this before she purposefully drops whatever item she is holding.
Watching Charlotte go through these milestones and how much fun she is having, really gets me excited and curious to see what Miss Elise is going to turn out like. I only have a few weeks left to wonder, then that precious little babe will get to be another object that her cousin points to and says “doh.”
Just relaxing until someone takes her out of the high chair
Wow, we actually made it- the end is in sight. I honestly think it is worse knowing that we are full term than before. The reality has set in that she could literally be here at any time… and be ok! It’s surreal to think she is a fully functional being in my belly, just bidding her time on making an appearance.
Everything is pretty much “done” but I would definitely like her to hang about for at least 2 more weeks. There are still some “nice to haves” get done around the house before she gets here. I really want her to make it past the 13th so our carpets can be cleaned. We are supposed to get our glider today… but I have yet to receive the call that it is here. My sister and my mom are both going out of town on the 14th- so I really hope she stays in until they get back the next day. I also want to deep clean a few rooms. I’ve started on some, just have a few left to go! I also need to make it past a few key birthdays in the family, then I’ll “allow” (haha right) her to come at any time.
I’m still working, trying to get a few projects completed- as my boss made mention we are working on borrowed time. I’m the only one who knows how to do my job, so transitioning my work load should be super fun 🙂 The recruiter conference I went to was fun, but boy was I tired. However, it was actually nice to sleep in a hotel bed by myself with no one snoring next to me (obviously I’m talking about the dog… not JJ- ok maybe both!)
I get to work with my best friends… how lucky am I?!
With the summer coming to a close- we took my step sons to a water park, and let me tell you how nice it felt to stay in that lazy river for hours. The boys had a blast, and I enjoyed being in cool water, with the pressure off of my hips. I’ll have to remember this next time I’m pregnant in the summer. I might live in that thing.
Our 37 week appointment went well. They did the Group B Strep test, but I don’t find out the results until my 38 week appointment. I am really hoping it is negative! One less thing to worry about if my water breaks before contractions start. She also did an internal exam- I was 1.5 cm dilated and 50-75% effaced. I realize that really doesn’t matter to when I’m going to go into labor, but it is nice to know that my body is doing what it should to prepare for the big performance. Her heart rate was still hanging out in the 150’s and my BP was at 118/70. Glad to see I’ve kept the scary high blood pressure at bay for this long! I hope it stays this way for the next few weeks.
What is going on with the baby?
She is the size of a winter melon. She is likely measuring around 18.9-20.9 inches and weighs 6.2 to 9.2 lbs (let’s hope for the former, not the latter!). She is gaining about a 1/2 oz each day. She is practicing inhaling, exhaling, sucking, gripping, and blinking. She is also getting the meconium ready for the first diaper- oh joy! The vast majority of babies have turned head down (she has). The baby is beginning to run out of room, so I will feel less frequent movements, but still feel activity every day. The baby may have dropped by this stage, putting more pressure in the pelvis and on the bladder (I don’t think I have dropped just yet).
For now… we wait!
Well, it’s happened- I turned 30. I didn’t grow any gray hairs, or warts on my chin, but I’m officially in “that” club. It was definitely easier knowing that it meant a month countdown until baby girl shows up.
My birthday weekend was fun- Friday night we went to dinner with a few of my friends. I have one friend due October 3rd, so just a few weeks after me. She was all belly- that bitch 😉 Then Saturday, JJ was in a charity golf outing, so he gave me my present a day early and I got to go get a manicure and pedicure, followed by dinner with my sister and my family at Cooper’s Hawk winery.
Sunday was the big day, and we have done the same thing the last 4 years since I have moved to Indiana- we celebrate at the Indiana State Fair. No matter the day it falls on, JJ and I will take off work if we need to and head on over. Nothing like eating fair food all day long. I really didn’t do that bad, I split everything we ordered which was only a few things. I had my list of my “must-haves”- Indiana Sweet Corn (amazing), a milk shake from the dairy barn (which isn’t so much a milk shake as a frosty, but whatever it was delicious), and an elephant ear (my favorite fair food of all time). My sister, her husband, and my niece Charlotte met us there, and we just walked around and around. JJ kept saying it was going to put me into labor, but we all survived.
Such a fun day at the fair- I know I felt like Charlotte did at the end
We had our 36 week appointment on Monday. I got all ready for them to check me and do my group B strep test, but they did neither- they just said they would wait until next week. Fine by me, less poking and prodding the better. I gained another 3 lbs, which is what it is. My heart rate was still good at 110/78 and her heart rate was back up in the 150’s. She was super active that morning, so she must have been getting a good work out in. We discussed our final birth plan with the doctor. She was on board with everything and didn’t have any issues. As I have mentioned before, we have mentioned our natural birth preferences at every appointment, just so they understand and are aware. I really feel it has helped. We now have reached the point of weekly doctor visits!! It definitely feels more real at this point. The dr. did confirm that she is head down- one less worry for me!
Everyone keeps asking me if I’m ready, or if I’m over being pregnant- the resounding answer to both is NO. Is anyone ever really “ready” for their first born? I’m not nervous, I’m excited- but not to the point where I’m ready for her to be here just yet. Sure, I’m curious to see who she is and what she will become, but I like having her on the inside for now. Maybe I’m being selfish? Right now, she is mine, she is safe, and we get to work together. When she is on the outside, worry happens, life happens. I’m not nervous for the birth, I’m not scared about the pain, we’re a team, and we will get through it. Maybe it’s a sense of naivety, I have nothing to compare this to.
I’m still feeling really good. The only issues I have been having are the continual numbness on my right side where her foot or butt is. The dr. said it is the uterus getting pushed out and the skin is expanding so the nerves are getting stretched. It hasn’t been as terrible lately, I think she is “dropping” some. I also have a bit of swelling in my right ankle, it’s not terrible either, so I just elevate it and it goes away.
I haven’t had many cravings, my appetite is still here and there. I talked to my cousin the other day and she said that even though the baby is really gaining weight these next few weeks, I may actually lose weight. I hope so, b/c I really struggle to make sure I even get the amount of nutrients I need on a daily basis. I’m just not hungry, and when I do eat, it’s only a little- I just think there is no more room for it to go at this point! I don’t have any stretch marks that I can tell, and my belly button is still in- though the bottom half is now out. I’ll be very interested to see what we end up with! I have definitely been sleeping like crap still- could be part baby, could be JJ’s snoring 🙂 It’s not a deep sleep like I am used to, and I wake up at early hours and struggle to fall back to sleep. I’m sure this is just my body’s way of getting me prepared.
Tonight we get our maternity pictures done- I cannot wait to see how they turn out! And then later this week I will have a work trip, it’s in my city- but I still have to stay over night one night. Maybe that will give me a good night’s sleep 🙂
What is going on with the baby?
This week she is the size of a honeydew melon. She is still in the 17.2-18.7 inch range and around 4.2-5.8 lbs range. She can probably breathe on her own if she was born right now. Most of her systems and her organs, such as her liver and kidneys, are in working order this week. She should continually gain 1/2 lbs per week. Her toenails reach the end of the toes, and most of the fine hair on her body has disappeared. The amount of amniotic fluid has also started to decrease by getting absorbed back into my body, so I may feel less movement from her. The survival rate of babies born at 36 weeks is at 99%+ and the rate of serious medical complications is down to 5%!! Only one week left until she is considered full term! Since the baby is head down, I’m definitely feeling more pressure “down there”- which has caused me to have the typical pregnancy waddle- oh joy!
Full body shot, since I never do one.
Well not right now, but reality is setting in that she is coming soon. I even said to JJ yesterday, we’re having a daughter… he just looked at me like I was crazy. I’ve known this whole time, obviously, that this little bug will eventually be here and in my arms, but it just seemed so far away. My 30th birthday is on Sunday, which is also 1 month away from the due date (September 18th– or 20th depending on what ultrasound we are going off of). All along I’ve known I would have her when I’m 30, and now that 30 is almost here- well it just is making it more real. Starting on Monday we will be getting our weekly checks… yikes!
We are putting the finishing touches on the nursery. My mom is almost done with the bumper, and has the bed skirt completed. I spent a few hours in hell yesterday trying to figure out the gallery wall above her crib. To no surprise to anyone that knows me, I’m a perfectionist (when it comes to certain things)- and this was much to JJ’s dismay. I read up on all the pinterest tips to make this project be “easy”- haha, I must laugh at that. Nothing about this was “easy” and it’s mostly because I was involved with it. The tips themselves actually worked out well. I traced all the sizes of artwork and frames on kraft paper and painter taped them to the wall:
After hating how it looked with about 7 different arrangements, I just laid on the floor and gave up. I enlisted the virtual help of my sister, best friend, and cousin to see what their ideas were because I was at my breaking point. My best friend sent me some ideas she saw on pinterest, so we made something work- and I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. Also, courtesy of her is why I have half of these printables anyway! The empty blue frame will be Elise’s birth announcement when she arrives. So for now, we will get to have a pretty picture of an unknown couple.
This last week was pretty terrible on my body. I started to swell a bit, as I mentioned previously, in Nashville. My middle back has been absolutely killing me- enough so I woke up in the middle of the night crying it was so bad. I’ve been seeing a chiropractor during this entire pregnancy, and as I’ve said before, she is a godsend. The weight on my small frame is simply just causing havoc and there is really nothing I can do about it. The way she is positioned in my stomach is pinching a nerve I believe. There is a spot slightly to the right of my upper abdomen that goes numb if I sit too long at work. I now have a giant exercise ball I sit on, but it’s not perfect. I also have to said, kneel, or roll over on the ball to try to get her to move out of that spot. I know there is only a limited time I have to deal with it, so that’s what I am doing. It’s best when I just lay on my side or on all 4’s but neither one of those I really can do at work (well without getting stared at anyway). I have yet to breakdown and take any Tylenol either, I keep telling myself if I can’t get through this, then how will I get through natural labor without giving in… so I’m sticking to it!
As far as how the pregnancy is treating the rest of my body- I still have no stretch marks (woo woo), I use cocoa butter daily, so I’m hopeful that helps. I am unsure of my weight gain since I don’t see the Dr. until Monday. I have not had much of an appetite, so I am hopeful it helps in that department. My belly button is still an innie- which simply amazes JJ. I am starting to feel the lack of energy setting in, my motivation for my walks have decreased- but that could be because I’m in pain also. I’m going to try to turn that around though. I have not had many food cravings, just food in general doesn’t ever sound that great- well except cereal, I love cereal.
What is going on with the baby?
This week we have reached coconut status. Nothing much is really changing with her size- the range is still the same as last week- she is still around 17.2 to 18.7 inches, and between 4.2 and 5.8 lbs. She is mostly just plumping up in these final weeks. Her hearing is fully developed, the circulatory and musculoskeletal systems are compete and her lungs are pretty much mature. Her kidneys are completely developed and her liver is functional and capable of processing waste products. The survival rate of 35 week babies are 99% and about 8% have a serious medical complication.
It’s no surprise to anyone my absolute love of country music. So, combine that with a friend I would do anything for- and we have a trip to Nashville for Dara’s Bachelorette Party. I got my clearance from the Dr. at my 34 week appointment to be able to travel that far, so we were good to go! It’s a little bitter sweet knowing that these next 5.5 weeks I’m going to be on Indianapolis lock down.
Julianne and I set off on our 4.5 hour adventure bright and early Saturday morning. Most of the girls went down Friday night, but neither one of us could pull off 2 nights down there. We stayed at the DoubleTree thanks to my dad. It was a great location, and everyone seemed to enjoy it.
We started the day off by going to the Arrington Vineyards which is co-owned by Kix Brooks (half of the Brooks and Dunn duo). It was a quaint winery, but so, so pretty! Obviously, I did not partake in the tastings, but I did buy a bottle so in a few months I can taste the goodness everyone was talking about 🙂
Some of the girls at the vineyards
Some of the best friends I could ever ask for
Julianne is showing us her middle finger ring– which is Dara’s new obsession
We then hung out at the hotel for a bit, for a little pre party and Dara got to open up her goodies. We then all hopped in some cabs to make our way to an amazing restaurant called Sambuca. It was DELICIOUS. They had a $21 minimum for food, and the food I ordered (which was quite the pregnancy craving of a margarita pizza and mashed sweet potatoes) didn’t add up- so I had to get dessert of course. HOLY CRAP- I ordered the cheesecake sopapillas- literally some of the best things I have ever tasted in my life. If there is this restaurant close to you- go, just for that.
Group photo after we ate- please excuse my awkward arm- I never know what to do with it in relation to my giant stomach
We then ventured our way to Broadway Street, which has all the trendy Honky Tonk bars. We went to The Stage, which had a super long line. We needed to pass the time (and not think about the heat and humidity that was about to kill all of us), so Dara had some picture dares- below you will find her pretty face with Elvis.
Once inside, it was PACKED. Still, I love country music and that is my happy place. I tried to stay there as long as possible. But, really- I only made it until about 11 (which is 12 my time). I was happy I made it that long! 🙂
Please excuse my sweaty nature, it was freaking hot.
All the walking around mixed with the heat and humidity made for one swollen ankle. See below. I’m not sure why only one decided to puff up, but it wasn’t comfortable. Welcome to being 8 months pregnant during the summer.
The right one looks awful- it looked worse in person I promise.
I’m glad this was my last big trip away from JJ. I was just so nervous something bad was going to happen without him there. I do have one more night away from him next week- but it’s for a local conference, and I’ll just be gone one night. Luckily I’ll be in downtown Indianapolis, so just 20 minutes from home.