Thursday, May 14, 2009

Baby pictures!

Here he is!!!

Just born!!

8 lbs. 6.4 oz.

Snuggle with Daddy

Andrew meeting his little brother for the first time.

My three boys.

Naked before his first bath.

Mama love in recovery.

Heading home!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Ethan is HERE!!

Hooray!! Ethan Ryan came into the world at 8:12a.m. on Tuesday, May 12th weighing 8 lbs. 6 oz. and measuring 21" in length. His Apgars were 9 and 9 and he is by all accounts completely healthy. We are now home with him and enjoying settling into life as a family of four.

Wow, that seems weird to even type that..."family of four." Aaaaahhhh....

He was six days "past due," just like his brother was, and only 2oz. heavier. At least I'm consistent! My OB said, "Next time, we'll just plan for you to be six days late and to have an 8.5lb. baby!"

Instead of landing on our "family number," he chose his own number! Not only was he born on the 12th and at 8:12a.m. but our room number was 1112. So we think he chose 12 as his very own special number.

I'm uploading all 300 pictures we've taken in the last two days so it may be a while before I post any! :)

I had a really great birth experience--almost the complete opposite of the last time--with a labor that started out at 7:00p.m. Monday night. The first "real" pain wasn't until almost 3:00a.m. (after I slept restlessly through minor "cramps" for several hours) when I woke my husband up to help me time them. I was in triage at the hospital by 6:00a.m....admitted and in a labor/delivery room by about 7:00a.m....started pushing at about 8:00a.m....and then there he was!! It was truly an amazing and blessed labor and birth, thank the Lord!

I'll be posting a more detailed version and the complete birth story here soon for those who are interested.

I am thrilled to no longer be pregnant and so happy with the experience we had. Plus, I have a beautiful baby boy to show for it! He is gorgeous and the first baby born into our family in a very long time that has a head full of light hair!! It is exciting to get to know him.

Andrew loves being a big brother and is quite happy that we all got to come home together. Seeing my three boys just fills my heart with joy!!

Now I hear him...gotta run! :)


Monday, May 11, 2009

OB update, five days past-due

Here are pictures of me from Mother's Day weekend. It was a lovely, relaxing day!

My folk's got me my favorite bottle of wine to celebrate Ethan's arrival, plus a two-pack of OPI nail polish (in the pink bag around the bottle).

My mom used the pink polish and gave me a poolside pedicure!!

As for the baby news, obviously Ethan is not here yet! I saw my OB today and she said I'm soft and dilated to 4 cm. She stripped my membranes since I'm already getting "false" contractions, so that may help. She thinks he'll be here in 24 hours--my guess is Wednesday. He and I are both healthy--so now it's just a matter of waiting!! I'm feeling emotionally GREAT and physically weary and definitely ready to "get the show on the road." I'm so excited to meet him and to know he is healthy!!

And I'll update more as we know more! Thanks for your well wishes and prayers-

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

OB update, almost 40 weeks

I honestly cannot wrap my brain around the idea that my due date is TOMORROW. It's still surreal, that we're HAVING A BABY IN THE NEXT TWO WEEKS!!! Andrew was six days past-due, that's a week from now! My doctor has agreed to "let me go" to 41 weeks, then we'll be taking it two days at a time after that (checking amniotic fluid levels, seeing how he's coping, etc.). I have an appointment for Monday, 5 days past-due...and I'm REALLY hoping to see her before then!!

So today I had lost a little weight again, which seems impossible...I just need to eat two of everything to gain at this point, I suppose. She isn't concerned, however, and says he's growing just fine. My belly measured 37 cm for 40 weeks, his heart rate was in the 130s and my blood pressure was normal. She said we're doing great!!

Looking at me, she said twice that I "look done." I said, "Maybe that's because I'm not wearing make-up." She said, "Nope. You look done." I'll take it!! Who wouldn't, though, at 40 weeks pregnant?? When you've had that due date in mind for so long, it's not much fun to get to the PLUS "x-number of days" phase!

So I am dilated now to 3.5 cm, so that's an improvement! He's still pretty high, as is my cervix, so she again couldn't do the membrane sweep. I'm glad, actually, and would rather nature take its course. I'm not at that really, really DONE phase of, "Do anything to get this baby out!!" so a little more waiting is fine with me. I'm hoping he gets things going on his own soon, though!

The best part was that when I was heading down the hall, she looked up from my chart and said, "My bet is you only have a few days left." I said, "I'll take that bet!"

I think just last night was that turning point of "being done." We took Andrew to the park so I was walking, of course, and going up and down steps, sliding, climbing, etc. and all evening, was crampy and not feeling great. By the time we were headed for bed, I was getting tons of weird sensations and pains, lots of cramping (even low) and plenty of BHCs. At about 1 a.m., he started moving like crazy--more than EVER before--and causing me all kinds of discomfort. I finally got up and sat on the ball for a while, and realized I was feeling some pulsing down low--so I think he was so squirmy because he had hiccups, but I couldn't feel them laying down! Either way, I definitely felt "different" and like things were moving along--and from today's report, I guess I was right.

Still today, I'm feeling different and he's moving different--so hopefully we're making progress! We have Bible study tonight but afterward, I'm thinking we need another trip to the park and more walking!! I also have a ton of energy, so that's interesting.

So...we wait. Could be any time now!!

Thursday, April 30, 2009


**** UPDATE!! ****

5:25 pm...definitely continuing the "practice contractions" but they've moved lower and to the sides and are VERY tight. Feeling energized but a little nauseated.

5:56...still a lot of tightness all over and some radiating downward. Will keep my eye on them tonight.


While I feel like I'm on "high alert" for signs of impending labor, this one almost escaped unnoticed...DRRRR!!

It's almost 2:30 and I JUST realized that, while I've been having plenty of the up-high contractions (BHs, no fact, I'm having one right now!), they have NOT been accompanied by the "can't breathe deeply/lung tightening" sensation I've had for weeks now, where I have to lean over or stretch out to find relief.

AND, I've been going potty an awful lot today. Hmmmmm. Sitting on my bladder more, perhaps?? Has he "DROPPED??"

My doc asked me yesterday, when I asked HER if he'd dropped at all--"Can you breathe more easily??" cuz she knows I'd been complaining about that for a while. Yeah, ah..."NO." Hardly. But TODAY...yeah, none of the feelings of my lungs being squeezed and like I wanted to be on one of those torture devices that stretches you limb from limb, like I need more room in my diaphragm. I can breathe!!!!

Has he settled a little lower, perhaps?? Dropped somewhat??

Also, I found Andrew's birth story on-line, so I'd have a point of reference with this birth...and my BHCs were at their worst on Thanksgiving, a mere two days before Andrew was born. Mmmm-hmmm. Two days! Looking back, I'd had them off and on for a month or so, but nothing very noticeable--but the last few days, they've definitely been noticable!!

All good signs...but I'm still allowing for the possibility of this going on for another two weeks or more.

In fact, when I calculate my due date from conception, almost every source puts me due closer to May 11-13. The 13th was my first prediction, too. So if I were to still go a week past that, I'd be looking at May 20 (if my doc and I "let me go" that long). Wow. That's almost three weeks! Then again, that's only three weeks.

Either way, we're in the true "final stretch!" Could be any day now!

In honor of this new development, enjoy this song I heard on a different blog. It's beautiful! Here's a YouTube link.

Mat Kearney's "Breathe In, Breathe Out"

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

39 weeks, OB update

So the story is, I've been having contractions for the last week or so...enough to time them and take notice. Yesterday, I started getting this tight ball at the top middle of my belly when I'd feel myself tighten--like a baseball! NOT a baby body part, either, because it wasn't moving--it just tightened, then loosened. So we started thinking, "Oh, goody, contractions!" and thought things might be moving. We remember when I was in labor with Andrew that I had Drew feel my stomach tighten in the same way...the difference with him was, it was also accompanied by the contractions in the lower abdomen.

Alas, I saw my doctor today and she said, yes, different parts of the uterus contract at different times...but it doesn't do anything to actually change your dilation or cervix--they're just uncomfortable and annoying!!

So, yeah, the "contractions" aren't doing anything except making me semi-miserable off and on all day! BUT, the good news is, I know what to look out for--the lower, menstrual-like cramping I had when labor started with Andrew. My first contraction when I woke up that day was low and felt "different," and sure enough--labor time! They just got more intense and closer together and all that--so that's what we're waiting for now.

In other news, I haven't dilated any more and may be even dilated less because of how he's sitting. In fact, my cervix was so high that she couldn't be sure even of the 2cm and she had planned to sweep my membranes--but said it would've been hard to do, and really uncomfortable for me. Obviously that wasn't a good option and she really prefers to "let nature take its course" so I'm glad for that.

He hasn't moved any lower and things haven't really progressed in a week--except that I FEEL better and gained .5lb. instead of losing! I know I've eaten SO much better in the last week, and now I can imagine how much more he needed and how much I needed even more than that. I definitely wasn't "eating for two" and I regret the time I spent feeling so miserable and not understanding that my body just needed more fuel. Live and learn. It helps that the anxiety is so much better--that makes a huge difference. In fact, the last couple of days I've felt super-energized and clear-headed, which has been nice--and my appetite is back! YEAH!

So no real "news," except that we're probably looking at another week. Well, and my blood pressure and his heart rate and all of that were all beautiful--which is a HUGE blessing!!

I've got a women's luncheon to help out with at church Sat. (I would like to be there--it should be fabulous!) and hopefully my Blessingway with a few close friends Sat. night--looks like I'll make it! I go back to the doc Tues...then Wed. is my due date--and after that, I'll be getting pretty antsy! I don't mind going past-due--I told my doc I'm totally OK with going to 41 weeks. I would, however, like him safely in my arms by Mother's Day!!

So here's pictures from today--it's getting hard to find tops that cover my enormous belly, so I opted for this dress--but it made me look massive!!

39 weeks and HUUUUGE!!

No wonder people looked at me warily in Target--I truly do look like I'm about to POP!!!

At least here you can see that I do still have a waist!! :)

And the neked belly yesterday.

We'll see how many more of these updates I'll do--my doctor said she'd love for today to have been the last day she sees me in the office!! Good thing GOD IS IN CONTROL!!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

9.5 months/38 weeks...what's happenin'??

This feels an awful lot like those days before you know for sure that you're pregnant, when you think you might be, and you hope you are...but you don't want to get your hopes up or end up looking silly...but, gosh, you think that you really could be...

And that's how I'm feeling today.

Sarah and I looked at my belly this morning and, changed. Flattened. He kinda disappeared a little. To me, it's obvious that I look different--less of a "watermelon belly." Almost like I did a month ago!

And, whoa, Nelly...all day, there's been cramping and pressure and he's definitely sitting lower because his feet aren't reaching up as high. He's been VERY active as well. I dunno...I just feel a little different. The pains and strains are different.

So maybe he's warming up.

Oh, and my back hurts, too, even as I sit here. Drew could even feel my belly tightening earlier today. Nothing we can track or anything conclusive, or akin to what I felt when labor started last time...but I do feel different. Something has changed.

Oh, how I'd love to go into labor tonight!!

I figure a nice, slow warm-up would be nice, too...then things really get rolling, but with a head start, making labor faster and easier...

My real prediction is that he is warming up (I'm getting warm just thinking about it) and I go to the doc Wed. having changed slightly. Maybe he's more engaged or has "dropped"...maybe I'm effacing...he's at like a 0 station...I'm more dilated...something! She strips my membranes, labor gets going and we've got ourselves a baby by next weekend (or ON the weekend), still a few days before my due date. I can take him to the women's luncheon, he's here for Mother's Day...oh, that'd be nice!!

Then there's a chance that tomorrow I'll feel normal again and I have another couple weeks to go!! I have to allow for that possibility.

In other appetite has finally returned and I'm trying so hard to eat well and eat a LOT, so that Ethan is sucking me dry. Our new theory is that I was eating just enough for him--therefore, I was left with very little energy or nutrients, thus my feeling lousy. My new mission is to bulk up a few pounds and eat healthily, and as much as I can--especially protein. I've done well for two days now and hopefully it will continue.

And now...PICTURES! It's hard to get the same angle, but I swear, today my belly just looks different!!! Here ya go.

37 weeks/full term.

37.5 weeks.

38 weeks.

38 and 3 days. See how it's less pointy and more "flat?"

Not convinced?? Try the other angle.

Maternity portraits, 36 weeks. Very "Watermelon-ish."

37 weeks


38 weeks

38 weeks 3 days

So...we shall see!!