Thursday, October 15, 2015

Birth Story - Brooks

Here we are with a sweet 5 week old baby boy already!  I wanted to get the story of how he joined us down while its all still pretty fresh.  I know everyone says each birth is so different, but it was really hard to believe his was going to be any different than Reese's.  In the weeks leading up to it I had my mind made up he was going to come early, earlier than she did really, but it just didn't happen that way.

I had been having braxton hicks my whole pregnancy and they really started getting stronger and a little painful the last few days maybe week before he was born.  I also started loosing my mucus plug over a week before he came.  Both signs, among others, that made me think he was coming any day.  The final month of pregnancy makes your mind go all over the place analyzing every little feeling, wondering when that sweet little baby will arrive. 

Two days prior to labor, Saturday the 1st, I woke up and just felt off all day.  I felt like I was nasueas as well as coming down with a head cold.  I was also having strong and somewhat painful braxton hicks that I decided to go ahead and time.  They were getting close to the 10 minutes apart range and stayed that way or closer for that evening.  I wondered if labor was coming or if I was just getting sick and dreaded not feeling well if it was going to happen soon.  Thankfully by the evening I started to feel better and me and Corey were able to enjoy a date night out to celebrate our 6th anniversary that night. 

The next day, Sunday, I felt the same contractions, but more painful.  However I was still unsure if they were real ones or not.  I continued to time them throughout the day and noticed they were in the range (under 5 mins apart, lasting over 1 min long) to head to the hospital, however I still felt unsure as they weren't too painful.  We had planned to have Reese's 3rd bday party that night, so we decided to move it to our house in case things picked up, and head to the hospital after depending how I was feeling. 

My contractions majorly slowed during the party and after, however with how quickly my labor moved with Reese we decided to go ahead and head to the hospital to get checked after speaking with the doc on call around 930pm.  I felt sort of rediculous heading in as my contractions were so slowed and almost painless.  We left dissapointed, as we discovered I was still shy of 3 cms, exactly what I had been at my appt Wednesday.

We headed home around 11 and headed straight to bed.  The next morning, Monday the 3rd, I woke up around 630 needing to use the restroom and immediately noticed a painful contraction unlike any I had the days prior.  I had 3 while up, but knowing my experience the night before (and still being tired), I crawled back in bed to go back to sleep.  I tried to lay there through 2 more very painful contractions and thought to myself, holy cow if the next one is this painful, I have to get out of bed.  And oh it was.

I got up immediately after the 3rd one and headed downstairs to walk around and start timing them.  They very quickly got increasingly painful and I realized they were coming around 2-3 mins apart and lasting over 1.5 mins long.  I started getting a little scared as I realized I wasn't getting too much of a break and they were pretty intense.  I ran up to wake up Corey around 7 and we were out the door and on our way in morning rush hour traffic.  When we arrived around 730 to triage, they found out I was already 7 cms.  I was starting to freak out at this point that I was going to have to deliver this baby without an epidural. 

I couldn't tell you what time I got my epidural, but I know right after I was 9 cms.  Oh the wait was excruciating!  I just felt like everyone around me was moving so slow and no one seemed too concerned where the anastetialagist was.  Thankfully in the car on our way to the hospital, Corey told me to breath through the contractions and I'm so glad he did.  He got me focused on that early and I think that is what saved me and made them managable (and the fact that my water hadn't broken yet).  This labor seemed much more under control to me than Reese's.

I was so happy to have my epidural, but quickly discovered that it wasn't working on my right side.  We tried everything to get it to flow to that side, they gave me as much as they could and also gave me another med to try and numb the pain.  Eventually it worked and I couldn't feel a thing.  I had the most amazing nurse, she was so compassionate and knew exactly what to do to help me relax and get through each contraction.  I was so thankful for her that day! 

She left us to hang out and relax for a bit after that as the baby looked great in there and my water still hadn't broken.  They wanted to just let him move down the birth canal on his own.  However, I quickly started to feel extremely tired and numb and was mentally freaking out a bit.  I kept almost drifting off to sleep, but then thought to myself what if I don't wake up!  I was so out of it and not feeling right at all.  I called the nurse back in to ask her about it and she went ahead and checked me again, which broke my water.  I was 10 at that point and he was ready to come out so she called the doc in.  I pushed for 5 minutes and Brooks was here at noon, August 3rd (two days early), all 9 lbs 15 oz and 22 inches.  I was able to have immediate skin to skin and nursed him for almost 2 hours.

I can't describe the feelings we had when they pulled him out and placed him on my chest.  I was in immediate tears, filled with so much love, relief, and gratitude.  This sweet baby boy we had prayed for and waited for, for so long, was finally here.  There is nothing like that moment. 


Sunday, August 2, 2015

39 Weeks


Wow, I can't believe I haven't posted since 33 weeks...I also can't believe I'm still pregnant at 39 weeks.  I completely expected to deliver at least by when Reese came, but really even earlier.  The end of this pregnancy has been rough at times emotionally and physically.  I just feel like its been a long road to get here and I can't wait to meet the little man.  I wish I hadn't allowed myself to be so impatient because it has really made the end drag on for sure.  I have been analyzing every little feeling this time thinking -maybe this means I'm going into labor, etc.- and have just been thinking about everything- maybe this is the last time for this before baby comes, etc.  I don't remember doing this with Reese and its going to drive me crazy.  I think I'm just way more excited to hold him in my arms than I was with her where I just didn't really know what to expect.  Well he's still not here and so I just need to stop doing that and trust in God's timing for him.  I know that He is sovereign and He will redeem.

I was 1 cm at 36 weeks, 1.5 at 37, 2+ at 38, and almost 3 today at 39 (so following pretty much exactly what I was with Reese, except I had her at 38 + 6 days).  She said my cervix is about 70% effaced as of now and baby is sitting low in my pelvis.  I also started loosing my mucus plug Saturday, the 25th.  She went ahead and stripped my membranes for me, hoping that would help my body go into labor if its ready (which I didn't feel a thing!).  She has also scheduled me for induction August 4th, one day before my due date and Reese's birthday.  I was feeling so uncomfortable with induction a week ago, but after talking with her about it today, we are going to go forward with it and I feel much better.  She said there is no increased risk for a patient like me (who has had a baby previously, and who's cervix is dialated and softened) for any complications (including C-section which I'm paranoid of) vs going into labor naturally.

I am feeling pretty darn well I would still say!  I stopped exercising at 37 weeks because I was feeling flat out exhausted after doing it.  I have been walking everyday at least once to try to help encourage baby to come and its just nice to continue doing something physical with my body.  Reese, Buster, and me are really enjoying this time in the mornings each day!  I think I still have good energy most days, but am getting more and more uncomfortable.  Its really day to day and even notice I feel pretty good in the mornings, but seem to be getting uncomfortable and run down in the afternoon and evenings.  I have started getting that awful rib pain I had with Reese (but thank goodness it didn't start near as early as it did with her, holy cow).  Its totally when he is up in my ribs and its just awful.  I have been sleeping pretty well, just waking a million times a night to go pee, but can usually go right back to sleep.  I haven't had too much insomnia and the heart burn is pretty managable, but rolling over is basically impossible.  The braxton hicks are still coming strong and much more frequent and intense lately.  I am so glad I don't have to deal with any swelling though.  I am happy with my weight gain, I was nervous at first at how quickly I grew, which goes along with the weight climbing early.  But towards the end I've had appointments where I've stayed the same for a few weeks, leading me to gain 26 pounds so far.  This really doesn't matter as I know my body will do what it needs to, but has just made me feel like I've had healthy pregnancy and it will know what to do again after its over.

33 weeks 6 days

34 weeks 6 days

37 weeks 3 days

38 weeks 2 days

39 weeks 1 day


33.5 Weeks


Whooo!  Am I ready!  I'm reaching the point in the last few days where my attitude has shifted to being fully over being pregnant and getting so uncomfortable.  Thinking I am feeling how I was around 36 weeks with Reese.  Its probably just a second pregnancy and coming off of a busy week with Grace kids camp.  I'm just feeling so much pressure down there, especially anytime I get up from sitting, lower back pain, and scrunched up under my ribs when sitting.  We are really thinking he is going to come early again like Reese, maybe even earlier, but we'll have to wait and see - probably just wishful thinking!

Reese's big girl room is almost finished and I am just really in love with it.  We are blessed with amazing friends.  My friend Ally gave us the most adorable shabby chic bedding, Lindsey gave us a beautiful antique chair, and Heather made a perfect wreath to hang over her bed.  I promise some day I'll post pictures.  Baby boy's room is getting close too.  Just waiting on prints to put in picture frames, then hang his gallery wall up.

I am nesting like crazy and just really love washing baby clothes/blankets, organizing his things and shopping for last minute needed items.  We were so blessed by great friends and family who threw us little "sprinkles" and gave us some baby boy clothes and needed items like diapers, etc.  In a few weeks I'll start packing my hospital bag, get the car seat installed, and set up the pack n play in our room.

29 weeks

33 weeks 6 days

28 weeks


I had my 28 week appointment today, whoo hoo!  Praising the Lord for making it to this wonderful milestone of the third trimester.  While I'll be honest that this pregnancy hasn't been as enjoyable as my first at times, it puts things all into perspective when I reach points like this is realize how truly amazing it is.  A year ago, we were still fresh from our first miscarriage and all the pain and healing that would come, and today I am celebrating the third trimester and being so close to baby all of a sudden!  It sure has flown by, and I couldn't be happier.

All looked good at my appointment.  I will find out in the next couple of days the results of my glucose and anemia lab tests.  I am feeling so much movement, which is incredible, and tonight I felt the baby have the hiccups for the first time as we were reading Reese a book before bed.  I have noticed that the braxton hicks have begun in the last few weeks, and they are still very dependent on how much activity I've done that day and not too common at this point.  I am still feeling really pretty great, but have noticed that if I overdue it I feel some pressure and try to take it easy.

We finally switched Reese over to her big girl room (and bed!) last night and its gone great so far.  I've been working on getting her new room cleaned out for a while.  We painted her dresser and were gifted some adorable bedding and finally had everything ready.  I had so much fun doing this move and organizing all her stuff into her new room which is so not my normal type of fun activity so clearly I must be nesting.  I was then able to get out all the baby stuff in the process and start stocking the nursery dressers with cloth diapers, burp clothes, and baby boy things.  Two of my friends have given us some of their newborn and 3 month baby boy clothes to use so I had so much fun going through and hanging all of them up.

We can't wait to meet you baby boy!!!

26 weeks 1 day

28 weeks

24 weeks


Oh baby boy, how much of a joy it is to feel your movements.  Your daddy got to feel you move for the first time a week or so ago which is really fun.  I feel you move sooooo much more than I remember feeling Reese at this point.  This pregnancy has been a lot different than it was with Reese, harder in some ways, but holding my belly and just knowing you are growing in there is so special.  After quite a long road, it sure makes me very thankful.

My belly has grown SO quick this time, I mean, I swear its as big as it was around 30 weeks with Reese already.  Which leads to me feeling constant pressure on my bladder and other aches and pains I don't remember feeling so intensely this early with Reese.  But, I would say my biggest complaint has been my hormones.  Ugh, I'm so tired of them ruining good weekends or occasions with Corey.  Also, I find myself longing for this baby boy to be here constantly.  I just have to remind myself to be thankful that I am even pregnant with him and that he is growing healthy in there when the fears and jealousy creep in.

This weekend we celebrated my 30th birthday and it was so special!  My bible study girls surprised me with some of my favorite treats at our play date Thursday.  Corey took off work Friday and let me sleep in while him and Reese went to get us breakfast for us.  Then he planned for me to have a massage and pedicure that afternoon where he had my mom and sister surprise me and join me for the pedicure.  It was so much fun.  That evening we had dinner at Public Greens and dessert at Cake Bake, both were so great.  Saturday morning we woke up and headed to Chicago for the night.  We did lots of walking around and sightseeing and lots of good eating.  It was the perfect way to celebrate.  He really made me feel special. 

18 weeks 1 day

21 weeks 1 day

17 Weeks


Wow 17 weeks, its pretty incredible!  This pregnancy is still flying by and I'm just so excited to meet this little one.  I have been paying close attention because I remembered this is around when I felt movement last time and I have definitely noticed some in the past week.  Just every once in a while, but it feels so special.  I had my appointment last week and got to hear baby's heartbeat which was in the 150s and my weight gain was 11 pounds.  It was a breath of fresh air to find out baby is healthy.

Our doctor told us about a new blood test this time where we were able to find out the sex as early as 9 weeks.  So we opted to do it and Corey's sister Laura offered to throw us a gender reveal party with our families.  It was just so much fun and I'm so grateful she did it.  It was so sweet to find out with everyone and just made it feel a lot more special.  SO.........we are having a BOY!!!!!  We are pretty dang excited.  We were so completely shocked.  We were both convinced it was another girl and I guess its just hard to imagine having a boy when you are used to a girl - but now, I can't wait and just feel so blessed.

I am feeling great, just have been struggling with the pregnancy hormones.  I just really need to get a handle on them and not let them rule my mood.  Not really having too many symptoms yet, just noticing how quickly my belly is growing this time.  I'm thinking I look around 24 weeks with Reese.  Having tiny bits of back pain and starting to feel the weight of the belly at times, guess things just happen quicker with number two.

17 weeks

11 weeks


Well here we are 4 weeks later for another update, I figured it would go this way for baby number 2.  Its crazy how much faster this one is flying by, I guess it just has to do with being distracted with Reese.  But I welcome every new week that comes with such joy.  Can't believe we are almost clear of the first trimester!

So far we have been blessed to be able to see baby 3 times on an ultrasound.  Once at 6 weeks, you couldn't even tell what was the head/body.  Second at 9 weeks, baby's heartbeat was 181, same as Reese's (another girl? that's what we're thinking!), baby was moving a little, you could now see little nubs for arms/legs and we saw baby's spine from behind.  Third was yesterday at 11 weeks, heartbeat was 168, and baby was moving like crazy!  It was incredible to see the development from 2 weeks prior.  Baby had fingers and toes and fully develpoed legs, its all amazing. 

I am feeling wonderful lately!  I would say the morning sickness lasted for a week to week and a half then I was hit with digestive pains in my stomach.  It was no fun feeling pains and bloating all the time, no matter what I ate/didn't eat.  But thankfully, once again that cleared up by probably 9 - 9 1/2 weeks.  I am one lucky pregnant lady, that's for sure.  Now I am just feeling back to normal, except for fatigue that hits after lunch time usually for the rest of the day, but I can definitely handle that.

The biggest difference this time is within the past week or so, my belly has officially pooched out.  Corey noticed it the other day and it made me realize it is for sure real.  I'm thinking maybe what I looked like at 16-17 weeks last time.  Its a little scary, but not really.  I'm just happy its a sign of a healthy baby being in there and I've heard that tends to happen earlier in subsequent pregnancies.

10 weeks 6 days

8 weeks, 6 days


Peanut #2 (7 Weeks along)


Well here we are once again!  I won't get all sappy on this post, just want to record how we found out and how I've been feeling so far.

We took a trip to Charleston right before we found out and it was the perfect little get away.  We were on our second cycle of Clomid and were hoping we had a pretty good shot this month.  We saw there were two mature follicles (eggs) on the ultrasound around day 14 and I got the "trigger" shot to make me ovulate within the next 24 hours.  We were told to test on day 30 (16 days after our ultrasound and hcg shot), but there is no way I could wait that long.  I had planned to test Monday or Tuesday when we returned from our trip, but was too excited and tested late Sunday night (12 days after ov) when we got home -- and it was POSITIVE!!

But, when testing early with the hcg trigger shot there is always a risk that the hcg showing up as positive on the test is just remaining hcg from the shot.  So we waited and continued to test Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday morning and thankfully the line kept getting darker.  Wednesday (the day before Thanksgiving) I called my doc and they let me come in for a blood draw.  My hcg level was around 70, then around 150 on Friday.  We felt confident after the Wednesday test and told our family on Thanksgiving.

We got to go in for an early ultrasound this time (thanks to our doc) at 6 weeks, Dec 11th and saw there was a tiny baby in there with a heartbeat (118)!  They pretty much just look like a little blob that early but it was so nice to know that this was a real pregnancy.  We go back in at 9 weeks, on Dec 30th.

This pregnancy has felt different than my first.  I have been a lot more nauseous this time, but honestly I sort of welcome it knowing it means our baby is growing in there.  Whew, it makes me feel for those who have really severe morning sickness though, because it is brutal.  If I'm not feeling like I'm going to be sick, I have no appetite and nothing usually sounds good to eat, and a whole lot of things sound so unappealing, ha.  I have no desire to make dinner, poor Corey.  I would say the tiredness hit pretty hard early, but the sickness wasn't until 6 weeks and I've felt less tired maybe because all I can focus on is feeling sick or maybe because I have been napping every day! 

6 weeks 1 day - baby is that tiny thing at bottom left of circle, can't even distinguish head and body at this point!

Pregnancy after Loss

written in October 2014

I just wanted to share a little bit about our journey and God's faithfulness through all of this.  It has been very helpful for me to be very open through the process.  It makes me feel comforted to talk about it with others and know that others care and have been praying for us.  And I really wanted to write it down because it was an incredibly shaping season of my life and maybe it will encourage someone else in a similar situation.

To be completely honest, I am writing this portion before I am even pregnant.  But I have so much faith that it will happen soon!  Don't get me wrong, there are sooooo many days where I feel so defeated and that it will never happen.  But I know my God says to have faith in him and I know he will provide through his plan however that may happen/look.  I am currently in my first cycle using clomid and have an ultrasound in a few days to find out whether my follicle(s) are fully mature (which means there is a possibility I could get pregnant this month).  This has been a long road.

A couple weeks after Reese turned one, we went on a vacation just the two of us.  It was wonderful and we decided we were ready to start trying for baby #2 when my period returned.  I had just weaned Reese before the trip and it ended up taking about 6 weeks for my first cycle to start.  We tried for 5 long cycles and finally got pregnant!  It was so wonderful and we were so ecstatic.  Then we went in for our first appointment and ultrasound around 7/8 weeks and found out there was no baby.  I had had what my doctor called a blighted ovum.  In my limited understanding, it basically means your body thinks your pregnant, but no baby ever develops.  We were going on vacation less than a week later, so after discussing with my doctor (and having multiple more tests and ultrasounds to confirm), we decided the best option was to go forward with a D&C procedure to end the pregnancy and move on to trying again after a couple cycles.

This hit me so so so hard.  It was hardest to be honest just accepting and realizing the fact that I wasn't pregnant anymore.  It was so shocking and devastating.  I had two good friends who were a week or two apart from me and it was really hard thinking about how I wouldn't be having a baby or celebrating any pregnancy milestones along with them.  It still hurts my heart thinking that November is right around the corner and knowing I probably would have been due somewhere around Thanksgiving.  I know it will heal tremendously once I do become pregnant (hopefully that is soon).

We waited a couple cycles, due to the doctor's orders, then were able to try again.  I quickly got pregnant again the second cycle we were allowed to try and once again was over the moon, but very hesitant this time to believe it was the real deal.  My doctor did more blood work this time to check my levels.  About a week and a half in, my hcg level went down to a 3 and I got the phone call saying I would probably miscarry in the next few days/week (I did the next morning).  My doctor was so sweet and called me from home that night to discuss everything with me and make sure we were doing ok.  She said it was most likely just a chemical pregnancy and the baby was unable to implant due to my lining not being thick enough so soon after the D&C.  It was heartbreaking, but at the same time much better than the last loss.  We were so hesitant to believe it was real this time and finding out so quickly was much better.  I was so comforted to know that its not uncommon after that procedure and that it didn't mean I'll never be able to carry another baby (the scary thoughts that run through your head!).

We did the same thing and waited a couple cycles and decided to try naturally for a couple more cycles just in case.  My doctor suggested clomid on the phone call, but I was scared of increased chances of multiples and just wanted to try a little longer on our own.  No luck, so now we are onto our first cycle.  From how my doctor has explained it, it will help me ovulate a mature egg (not something I probably do every month on my own) and increase our chances of having a successful pregnancy.  I've taken clomid days 3-7, estrogen days 8-12 and will go in on day 15 for an ultrasound to look at the follicle(s).  If it looks able to be fertilized, I will receive a shot that will make me ovulate in the next 24 hours, then will take progesterone through the end of my cycle or all the way through the first trimester if it happens this month.  Clomid also helps your body have a regular/predictable cycle.  I can't describe how excited I am for this and to know when I will actually ovulate!  My cycle ranges from 30 days to 50-some and even though I use those ovulation kits, they can be very hard to read.

All this to say, I am finally thankful for this season.  It has been a season of waiting and trust and just incredible growth for me.  Its been incredible to walk through it with Corey and grown us so much closer.  But it has brought me to a new place of faith.  I've never felt closer to God.  I've never felt so held by him.  You know through this journey so many people have said to us, just trust in God because he has a plan, and so on.  My response in my head (and in discussion with Cor) has always been, trust me I know!  He has been the only thing keeping my head above water!!!  And I just want to say I am not writing this to say oh my life is so hard, I know there are so many people who have walked through much worse/harder seasons.  But I do think its ok for me to have been deeply sad during parts of our walk.  And I want to share it because I want to share how He carried me through.

This season has been so much about growth for me.  Its been about learning to trust and learning to love others and not be angry or jealous and to be thankful for this moment right now and all that we have in this life and so many other lessons.  And I can't even begin to describe how special its been with sweet Reese.  I am truly so thankful for this season of just the three of us, even though this is not what we planned or how we would have picked it to go, God knew what was best and how special this time would be.  He is all sovereign, and for that I am thankful.