Monday, November 23, 2020

Second Trimester: Weeks 32 - 35 | Baby #2

Happy Monday! Today, I am 37 weeks and 5 days pregnant with Baby #2! I am soaking up every minute of this sweet liminal space; the space between what was and what is to come. While it's really easy to succumb to the fear and worry of the world in such a vulnerable time (being very pregnant during the height of a pandemic), I've been fixing my eyes on Jesus; staying close to Him in prayer. He has been so good to comfort me in this time.

I am enjoying every bit of time I get with Piper and my husband, while its still just the three of us. I have had so many precious moments of being fully present in this gift He has given me; this family, our community of friends, and His presence in it all. God has been so good to us!

We cannot wait to meet this little soul that will be joining our family soon! Here is a little recap of weeks 32-35 of this pregnancy.

Week 32:

- Weekly sonograms and non-stress tests begin

- Had a great chiropractor appt, feeling good

- Went on some walks by myself, prioritizing self-care

- My mom threw us a "Drop-By Baby Sprinkle"! So many people blessed us with gifts and love that day

Week 33:

- Didn't pass my first round of NST but passed the second round

- Figured out the trick to passing the NST is to drink juice, it helps her wake up

- Sonogram showed baby girl has hair, she is head down and face squished against my placenta so not pictures to share

Week 34:

- Sonogram has baby measuring at 5 lbs. 8 oz. nearing the 50th percentile

- I've gained a total of 13 pounds so far in this pregnancy

- Baby should be gaining about 1/2 lb a week from hereon out

- Nesting is in full swing between cooking and organzing things

- Celebrated Halloween with the family at Zoo Boo

Week 35:

- Worked on storage solutions for baby items

- Super tired; slept for 12 hours straight (aside from bathroom breaks of course) over the weekend

- Braxton Hicks contractions begin increasing

- Cervix is soft but not dilated, yet

- Passing my non-stress tests with more ease these days

Please keep us in prayer in the coming weeks! Prayer for peace, safety and protection for our families. Prayer for the hospital staff; all of those who are helping the infected and also all that are helping mothers bring new life into the world. Please be in prayer for my surgery (baby is coming via c-section soon), for our baby to be born healthy and for a good, speedy recovery. Thank you!

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Pre-Baby Quarantine: Days 1 - 3

About 20 days prior to expecting our arrival of sweet baby #2, we decided to self-quarantine our family. COVID cases are rising at an alarming rate in our area. We have chosen to do our best to keep our family healthy and safe in the days leading up to delivery and this is how we feel we can do that best right now.

During this self-quarantine, my husband will continue to go to work, but we will not be having any visitors at our house and we will not be visiting others. We will also be doing all of our grocery shopping via pick-up. However, we both agree that if we get a nice warm day in the days leading up to delivery we will absolutely meet up with family outside with distance and masks. We went into this quarantine knowing it was coming, and so we were able to have some final visits with family before we locked down.

Being 9 months pregnant at the height of this pandemic is an unimaginable situation to be in. While we have so much joy in our hearts, we also battle an intense amount of fear daily. Spending time with God each morning is not an option; it’s a requirement for survival in our household at this point. As we seek Him, He has been so good to meet us exactly where we are and give us exactly what we need for each day.

DAY 1:

On the first day of quarantine, I had my husband bring all of the clothing bins we had stored away from when Piper was a baby up to me in the nursery. I sorted through all the clothes, washed the clothes, put away some clothes and came up with a good system for both set of kids clothing moving forward. 

There’s still some work to be done on the clothing front but overall it felt good to begin tackling that big task on day one of quarantine.

DAY 2:

On the second day of quarantine, my true love gave to me... a full day of unexpected and extreme nesting! What started as just going to the basement to swap the laundry ended up being a total overhaul of the basement. We ended up spending 7 hours cleaning out the basement that day! 6 bags of donation, 2 bags of trash, and a big bonfire of burnables later, it was time to swap the laundry again. This has definitely been the biggest incident of my spontaneous nesting to date!

In between all of the cleaning, I also made ham and bean soup for lunch and chili for dinner. This made plenty of leftovers for lunches during the week! 

Day 2 of quarantine was very productive and it wouldn't have been able to happen without an intense amount of help from my sweet husband.

DAY 3:

We had to break our quarantine just a little on the third day of quarantine to take Piper to the eye doctor. Piper needed her eyes rechecked and her glasses fitted. We were the first customers of the day and were as safe as we could be! 

When we were all finished at the eye doctor's office, we saw the local coffeehouse across the street only had 1 customer in it. This coffeehouse goes beyond the 6ft distancing rule; the tables are probably spaced 12ft apart. They also have a couple different rooms for seating. Needless to say, we felt safe enough for a quick visit since we were already out, and we were so early in our quarantine. So, we celebrated Piper's new glasses with decaf coffee for mom and a chocolate donut for Piper.

The rest of the day included the normal things that come with schooling from home. While it hasn't always been easy, we are in such a great rhythm with remote learning and we feel so blessed to have Piper safe at home during this time when cases are on the rise.

Monday, November 16, 2020

36 Weeks with Baby #2

Today, I’m 36 weeks and 5 days pregnant! I’m officially in my 9th month of this pregnancy and I am feeling so incredibly blessed and grateful. Over the past 9 months, I have felt this baby girl grow, kick, wiggle, and hiccup inside of me. I can already tell she is a sweet soul. My heart is jumping for joy at the thought of holding this sweet girl in my arms in just a few short weeks!

In so many ways this pregnancy has gone incredibly fast. I don’t have my hospital bag packed yet but that is definitely on the list of things to do asap! We have scheduled our csection but part of me wondering if this little one will start trying to come on her own before our scheduled date. She has been head down for many weeks now and I have been experiencing an influx of Braxton Hicks contractions over the past week. The contractions aren’t really painful, just uncomfortable. Overall I am still feeling really good physically, which is such a blessing!

While all is going well, I must admit that preparing to welcome a baby into the world during what seems as the height of this global pandemic for our country has been challenging in many different ways. 

I know postpartum will be extra lonely this time around as we’ll self-quarantine for a while to keep our newborn safe. There will be no Christmas gatherings this year. These couple weeks leading up to delivery we are on self-quarantine as well. We won’t be celebrating Thanksgiving with anyone outside our home.

While the weather was unseasonably nice early last week, we took advantage of it by visiting with some family and friends for a final time before our planned family quarantine began.

During my Friday prenatal check up, we learned there will be no visitors allowed in the hospital after baby’s arrival. I am allowed to have 1 support person with me during delivery and recovery, which I hope doesn’t change as COVID cases continue to increase daily. My husband is planning on being with me in the hospital as long as the care person for our daughter stays healthy and well. 

We have a plan in place but we’re highly aware that things can change at any minute leading up to delivery. If at the time of delivery we don’t have a healthy care person for Piper, I may be going through a majority of the delivery and recovery in the hospital alone. This is also true if hospital regulations change between now and delivery. While that is all very anxiety-inducing to think about, I do feel a sense of peace at my core. On the surface I have a lot of anxiety and fear about how this pandemic pregnancy will conclude. But, at the core, I can rest in knowing God is with me, and He will not leave me.

I am at the point in pregnancy where I so desperately want her to be in my arms but I will also miss having her with me in this way. The 9th month of pregnancy is bittersweet in that way.

Monday, November 2, 2020

30 Week Maternity & Fall Photos | Baby #2 Update

These past few weeks have been flying by at record speed! We have been preparing for baby's arrival while also soaking up all the family time we can get! 

The nursery is almost complete, and I've been nesting in my usual way of cooking freezer meals for postpartum and organizing all the things. It seems like we've been shopping for bins and new storage solutions once a week. When I'm not shopping, I'm planning! Nick is always such a help with these kinds of things. I can't wait to share our nursery reveal. He did such a great job and worked so hard to make my vision for the room come to life! It's such a cozy space. I love to rock in the chair and look up... more storage solutions. This is nesting at it's finest :)

The countdown to baby time is getting real over here! We've got some 30-ish days left until I'm due with baby girl #2! This has been such a sweet time for us. I am making sure to take some time each day to appreciate life as it is right in these moments; while it's still just the three of us. Life is about to change in some big and amazing ways for each of us!

I am so grateful that we will be able to have Nick home with us for a few weeks after baby arrives this time around. Last time, we went into labor and came out with an emergency c-section. Nick was still in school at the time and needed to be back to work right away. This time around, we know I will be getting a c-section and we know I will be needing extra help; especially since I am facilitating Piper's remote Kindergarten at home. Nick and I will be sharing the schooling and baby care those first few weeks, which should help things to go a little more smoothly.

I am going to try to keep updating the blog more regularly these next few weeks! We are about 5 weeks away from welcoming baby home with us and I want to make sure to capture as much of this time as I can.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Third Trimester: Weeks 28 - 31 | Baby #2

Things are starting to get real over here! I am 32 weeks pregnant tomorrow. I am feeling a big mix of excitement, gratitude, anxiety and love!

Every Friday from here on out, I will be having weekly sonograms and non-stress tests at my OBGYN's office. I am so grateful Baby D will be so closely monitored and just a little anxious about passing all of the tests coming my way. I will continue to be tested for preeclampsia each week, so please send all the prayers against that diagnosis!

It's time for another pregnancy recap and for this one we are going all the way back to Week 28!

Week 28:

  • Doctor couldn't find the heartbeat by doppler so I got a sonogram 
  • All is well with baby! 
  • Celebrated 11 years married with a romantic anniversary date in the woods 
  • Lots of bloodwork this week 
  • Got my hair done :)

Week 29:
  • 3 hour glucose test wrecked me
  • Intense contractions in the middle of the night on my upper right side of my torso. Assuming this happened from the fasting and dehydration from the 3 hr glucose test
  • Found out I passed my glucose test! No gestational diabetes for me!

Week 30:
  • High blood pressure at prenatal check-up
  • Tested for preeclampsia
  • Doctor upped my appointments to 2-3x/week until baby arrives (including weekly sonograms and non-stress tests)

Week 31:
  • Clear of preeclampsia so far!
  • Had a great chiropractor appointment
  • Overall feeling good this week
  • Had some maternity/Fall pictures taken
  • Carved pumpkins with the family!

Only a couple more recaps to go until baby arrives! We can't wait!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

30 Weeks with Baby #2

It's been a week since you last heard from me here and, I have some good news and some bad news. Good news is, I do not have gestational diabetes! Bad news is, I am now waiting back to hear if I have preeclampsia.

During my last prenatal appointment, I had really high blood pressure and they couldn't find the baby's heartbeat by doppler, again. I wasn't too worried about the heartbeat because I felt baby moving around and knew she was okay. We've just come to learn that it's tricky to find her by doppler. They sent me in for a sonogram for a couple reasons. They wanted to see the heartrate (148bpm) and check on her growth.

Praise be to God, all was well with our little pumpkin! We found she is growing perfectly on track (just under 4lbs, in the 45th percentile) and was positioned head down and very low. There's a part of me that feels like she wants to come earlier than December 9th, but time will tell. We just don't want her to come too early!

Before I left my prenatal appointment, they insisted on some testing for preeclampsia and needed to take my blood pressure again. It was still high when I left but it went down a little bit during my time there. I rechecked my blood pressure this weekend and it was much better at 124/78. I also saw that my urinalysis came back with no sign of proteins, which is a good thing! I am just waiting on the call back from the office now. 

I am not sure if I will be tested weekly for this condition or if it's just a pass/fail type thing. I am learning as I go with this one! Either way, I will be monitored weekly throughout the remainder of my pregnancy. The doctor had me schedule 2-3 appointments with them per week from here on out, which includes a weekly sonogram and non-stress test. It's a lot but, I am very glad that I will be so closely monitored these next couple months! And while I was very anxious about the possibility of preeclampsia on Friday, I am feeling much better now after reaching out to some ladies for prayer and having them speak some truth into my heart. God is faithful!

Despite the recent hurdles with these possibly diagnosis', I have been doing pretty well in this pregnancy! I have been bonding with baby more and more over these past few weeks. I love to spend time in the nursery, rocking in the chair or just laying in bed, feeling her movements. She gives me such peace and joy with every little (or sometimes not so little) kick! I love her so much, already! Our little blessing.

Monday, September 28, 2020

3 Hour Glucose Test at 29 Weeks Pregnant | Baby #2

Happy Monday! It's an extra happy Monday over here because I got some good news from the doctor. Last week, I had to go in for a 3 hour glucose test (for gestational diabetes) and I just recently found out that I passed the test. No gestational diabetes for me!

The testing itself was a challenge. I had to be fasting for the appointment so I didn't have anything to eat or drink since 6pm the night prior. My testing was scheduled to begin around 9:45am (but didn't start until 10:00). I got a blood draw every hour, ending at 1pm. By the time it was all over, I was essentially fasted from food and water for 19 straight hours. Being 29 weeks pregnant and without food/water for that long really messed me up.

Later that night, I woke up at 11pm with the most intense and painful contractions and back pain. At one point they were so bad I was bent over crying in pain, trying to breathe through the contractions. We considered calling the doctor but we knew they would send us in to the hospital and we were trying to avoid that until we saw how long this all lasted. Nick did a good job trying to keep me calm and comfortable. He timed my contractions and they were so irregular. I had about 3 intervals of contractions for 15-20 minutes at a time with 5 - 10 minute breaks in between. I was finally able to get some rest around 1:00am. 

I have my next appointment with my doctor this Friday, at which point we'll discuss this all with him. Our guess is that I had these contractions because I was so dehydrated from fasting and bloodwork earlier that day. I've increased my water intake to a gallon each day since and we've been contraction free! If the contractions were to happen again prior to my appointment this week, I would call the doctor because then our theory of dehydration would be out the window.

This morning, baby girl is kicking up a storm! Praising God for getting us through that rough night and for these sweet (and strong) baby kicks this morning!

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Anniversary Date in the Woods

This past weekend, my husband and I celebrated 11 years of marriage with a date in the woods! When trying to decide what we wanted to do for our anniversary, we knew one thing - we wanted to avoid a crowd. 

Between COVID-19 and being 28 weeks pregnant at the time, we felt most comfortable staying local and wanted to be fairly secluded for this anniversary celebration. An intimate date in the woods met our comfort level perfectly for this particular season in our lives!

We dropped our daughter off with my mom around 3pm on Saturday, and our anniversary date started right away! First, we went to Walmart where we gave each other 15 minutes to split up and search the store for small gifts that represented each of the 5 senses. We saw the idea on Pinterest and thought it was cute! What we didn't realize was how much fun it would be!

After the gift hunt, we ordered take-out from one of our favorite restaurants. Nick deferred to my pregnancy craving for dinner, which on this particular night was pasta and chocolate cake! We had just enough time to stop by our house and wrap the gifts for one another before picking up the food and heading out to the woods!

In order to get to the location of our date, we had to drive through a field. This is where a SUV really comes in handy, as well as a husband who use to drive around in a field car when he was younger. When we arrived, we both got started making the woods our own little retreat for the evening. Nick strung the lights while I set up the gift and food table. We both scattered comfy blankets and pillows in the back of the truck and then, it was time to eat!

It was a chilly evening outside, which kept the bugs at bay. The back of the truck stayed nice and warm. We listened to the woods around us and a playlist I made on Spotify. It's really hard to put into words how peaceful and intimate that evening was for the two of us. While back in the woods, it truly felt like the rest of the world fell away and it was just him and I (and baby girl in my tummy, of course). 

We got to reminisce of where we've been (together since 15 years old), share about how proud and blessed we are to be parents to our girls, and we got to dream about what's to come. We prayed with each other, we laughed, and I cried happy tears (pregnancy hormones).

It was an anniversary date that we will not soon forget!

Friday, September 18, 2020

Second Trimester: Weeks 24 - 27 | Baby #2

Right now, I am 28 weeks pregnancy and doing so well! I can't believe I am in my third trimester with sweet baby #2! The second trimester was truly incredible. The honeymoon stage of pregnancy did not disappoint! 

I can't tell you how many times in these past couple months my husband has stopped me in my tracks to help me with something I probably shouldn't be doing while pregnant (like carrying loads of laundry down two flights of stairs). All because I felt so normal during my second trimester that I would sometimes forget that I'm pregnant! Now that I'm in the third trimester, and baby girl is getting much larger, there are no more moments of "forgetting that I'm pregnant" these days. 

Week 24: 
- Nick was able to come to another appointment with me (a luxury in a pandemic) 
- During my sonogram, baby girl kept her hands by her face, it was so sweet

Week 25:
- Heartburn is visiting after meals during the day, causing mild discomfort
- Still able to get a good amount of sleep with only a trip or two to the bathroom
- Craving homemade food from my childhood at Nana's 
(Salisbury Steaks + Mashed Potatoes on repeat)

Week 26:
- Bump is growing
- Rolling from side to side at night is just starting to become a challenge
- Kicks are getting stronger (and sometimes a little painful)

Week 27:
- I can't believe I'm in the third trimester already!
- Tying my shoes is starting to get harder
- Nursery is very close to being finished (just need baseboards & decor)

I can't believe I'll only be posting 3 more recaps like this before baby girl arrives! I am so in love with her already.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Second Trimester: Weeks 19 - 23 | Baby #2

With the end of summer and the ramping up of Fall, I have fallen a little behind on my pregnancy updates! Today, I'll be sharing a recap from weeks 19 - 23!

Week 19:
- Baby kicks are getting stronger this week
- Getting super excited to find out the gender next week!
- Making more progress on the nursery!

Week 20
- Nick was able to attend my 20 week sonogram!
- We found out the baby is a GIRL!
- We had a joyful week, sharing the news with family and friends!

Week 21:
- Starting to feel the baby grow larger
- Loving the soft little baby kicks
- Still able to get a decent amount of sleep without issues

Week 22:
- Aches and pains begin (especially in the pelvis)
- Feeling and looking noticeably bigger

Week 23:
- Aches and pains continue but thankfully only feeling them more-so in the evenings
- Baby is very active at night and around 4am
- Grateful to still be getting a decent amount of sleep at night!

The second trimester was such an amazing season for us! I'll be posting the final update for my second trimester in just a couple days!

Monday, September 14, 2020

Our Remote Kindergarten Schedule

Due to the global pandemic, we have chosen to school our daughter from home this year. We had multiple choices to pick from when it came to schooling Piper during the 2020-2021 school year. Ultimately, we picked a virtual option offered through our school district. 

We will soon be welcoming a newborn into our home in about 3 months, which played a big role in our decision for the type of schooling we're providing in the midst of a pandemic. We will continue re-evaluate our decision as the school year progresses, keeping Piper and our family's best interests in mind.

We picked remote schooling for Piper this year because we felt it would work best for our current family situation. We understand every family has different circumstances they are considering when choosing the type of schooling for their children this year. Please don't fall into the trap of comparison when it comes to picking schooling options. We're all just doing the best we can to navigate this all, given our individual circumstances. 

Piper's teacher provides pre-recorded lessons for Math and English each day. Since a majority of Piper's lessons are pre-recorded, we have the flexibility to create our own school schedule. For those who are interested in learning more about how we're making remote learning work from home with Kindergartner, I'm sharing our schooling and family schedule below.

Monday - Friday

7:00 - 8:00
Slowly Wake-Up 
Get Dressed
Brush Teeth
Free Play

8:00 - 9:00
Mom Lesson Preps Materials

9:00 - 10:00
English Lesson & Assignments

10:00 - 11:00
Snack & Wiggle Break (outside when we can)

11:00 - 12:00
Math Lesson & Assignments

12:00 - 1:00

1:00 - 1:30
LIVE Calendar Time with Class

1:30 - 3:30
Free Play / Outing

3:30 - 4:30
Family Time
Homework (LEXIA / Moby Max)

4:30 - 5:30

5:30 - 8:30
Family Time (outside when we can)
Bath Time
Bedtime Routine

We spend about 3.5 hours on schooling each day. Sometimes my prep time takes longer, and I've clocked in about 5 hours of school time on the longer days.

Obviously, this is what our weekday routine looks like prior to adding a baby to the mix! I am not sure how it will all look once Baby #2 arrives in three months. However, I'll be happy to share an update of how we end up making it all work. Who knows, Piper may be back to in-person schooling by that time but, for now we are feeling at peace with keeping her home and her current learning environment. As hard as some days may be, we are blessed to be facilitating Kindergarten safely at home.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out! I have a heart for helping others and I want you to know that no matter how you're choosing to school your children this year - we're all in this together!

Monday, September 7, 2020

Labor Day Weekend + Baby Prep Project

Hello, and happy Labor Day! This weekend was filled with a good mix of fun, down-time, and baby prep projects! 

Now that we're a couple weeks into remote Kindergarten, I especially enjoyed the three-day weekend off from lesson prep and facilitation. As much as we are growing to love our new adventure with schooling, it was good to just be "mom" this weekend!

I do look forward to sharing more about our remote learning adventure, soon! To be honest, it hasn't all been easy or fun; especially during the first week! There were many nights where I would cry because I wasn't sure if we were making the right decision and because I was worried about how we were going to make it all work (especially with a baby due in a couple months). However, now that we're settling into our new routine, we are growing to love all sorts of things about remote learning! I have been thinking about recording a new "day in the life" type vlog surrounding a full school day at home. At the very least, I will make sure to share the schedule we've settled into soon, as it's been working so well for us!

As for Labor Day weekend projects, there have been quite a few! Some of which happened in the nursery for Baby #2! While I'd love to show you some progress on our nursery, I think I want to save that for another post. Instead, I will share a different project we accomplished this weekend which was on my baby prep checklist.

We took advantage of the Labor Day sales and bought ourselves a brand new dishwasher! Our dishwasher stopped working about three years ago. I did have a functional dishwasher when Piper was a baby, which was amazing to have for baby bottle sanitation purposes! Not to mention the overall convenience of a dishwasher, and how amazing it is to have in general. 

My husband did the entire install himself in just a coupe hours. We are so blessed by his talents!

Tonight, I am looking forward to running our new dishwasher for the first time! But first, we need to get some dishes dirty from our Turkey Chili dinner.

Monday, August 31, 2020

Piper's First Day of (Remote) Kindergarten

Happy Monday, everyone! It's been a little while since I've checked in and that would be because school has started up! This past week we have been creating and settling into some new routines. 

Last week, I wrapped up everything for my job before handing in my laptop and such. Today officially begins my first week of being a stay at home mom, again. For more on that, you can read my post: Everything is Changing | Stay at Home Mom x2

For multiple reasons (providing consistency during a pandemic being a large part) we have decided to start the new adventure of schooling Piper from home this school year. Piper started remote Kindergarten last Tuesday and it's going much better than I anticipated!

Piper had the chance to meet her teacher in-person the day before school officially started, which was really nice. We were given a ChromeBook during our visit along with all of the paper assignments and materials needed for the first 30-45 days of school.

Piper receives pre-recorded video lessons from her teacher 5 days/week for English and Math. As her learning coach, I am with her during all of her lessons and I help facilitate her written assignments. 

Before school started, I was worried Piper might fall behind in doing remote learning but, from the material we're covering that will certainly not be the case. She has been learning and applying so many new things already. It's so exciting to witness and facilitate. I feel very blessed to see a side of Piper that would usually be reserved for her teacher at school.

As we settle into our new routine, I'll be happy to share our current schedule and how we're making it all work. More to come on this new learning adventure, soon!

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Piper's 5th Birthday Party at Chuck E. Cheese

This is definitely considered a throwback post since Piper's birthday party happened SEVEN months ago! I can't believe I never shared about Piper's birthday party this past winter. I love sharing these memories for our future-selves to look back on, so I decided not to wait another day!

A few months prior to the mere thought of a world-wide pandemic, when life as we knew it was normal, we gathered some friends and family at Chuck E. Cheese to celebrate Piper's 5th Birthday!


This video and these photos serve as such sweet memories, even more-so now that we know we will not be able to gather with friends and family in this way anytime soon.

We were all blessed with a fun-filled celebration for Piper's 5th Birthday!
We are so proud of our 5 year old!