Tuesday, September 30, 2008

No News is Good News

We just finished up an exciting overnight stay at Presbyterian Hospital of Plano. Yeah! I started leaking fluid (again) on Saturday and went in to have it checked out. Our doctor is very much the "better safe than sorry" kind of guy so he had me admitted until today (Tuesday). Nothing exciting, no Carolina yet- just a little fun in the hospital. And also very exciting, when I asked about my polyhydramnios our doctor said I had the most amniotic fluid of any patient on the floor. Who could ask for anything more???

Rebecca was nice enough to keep Clay on Saturday afternoon and spent the night until Sunday night. Clay loves his Aunt Rebecca and she is on our VERY short list of those we entrust with him for longer than 2 minutes. Thanks Aunt Rebecca and Happy Belated Birthday!

Clay and his Aunt Rebecca

Poor Mike! Because I am trying to be cautious and save up all of Mike's time off until I have two little people in my house, I made him go to work on Saturday and Sunday. He would have much rather taken care of Clay and me BUT Rebecca did great with Clay and I handled the hospital bed rest with a couple of visits here and there. We're just glad to be home all in one place and we're hoping the next time we go in (at full term, hopefully) that we can bring Miss Carolina home with us.

Here are a few pics from our stay:

Mommy and Clay

Clay loves to play "Where's Baby?"

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Carolina Update

We went to the specialist yesterday and he confirmed that there are no abnormalities with Carolina. Good news! She was super cute with her yawning and stretching on the ultrasound. She looks like a little girl now, though, and not so much of a skeleton on the screen. Her little features are so filled out- and they should be as she now weighs 5 lbs. 15 oz. She's gained 13 oz. since Friday!

The polyhydramnios (or too much fluid around the baby) is still present and they'll continue to monitor it with frequent ultrasounds.

With Clay, I was in it for the long haul. I was all ready to go past my due date (May 30) and prepared to have a June baby. The day he was delivered (3 weeks early), I was still telling the doctor, "Now don't just take him because you think I'm tired. I'm all ready to go another month." But it wasn't meant to be and he was delivered by emergency c-section. Oh well.

With Carolina, though, I am ready to have this baby! I haven't slept in I don't know how long and this polyhydramnios has some not so fun side effects. My body is totally exhausted and I still have eight weeks to go. Yikes.

If anyone has any sleep ideas, bring them on! I've tried sleeping on my side, with the maternity pillow, on the couch, in a chair and on the Aerobed. Clay better watch out because he's got the only bed in the house I haven't tried! I've done warm baths, massages and relaxing music- no help. Yesterday the doctor suggested I take a small dose of Benadryl but it did absolutely nothing for me. I think the hardest part is laying there at night thinking I still have eight more weeks of not sleeping (and then I'll be on a newborn nursing schedule...).

Oh well, this too shall pass. It's getting so close and we can't wait to meet Carolina. I know it will all seem worth it then.

Thanks for all the sweet comments. I'll keep you updated as we get closer. Only 8 weeks and 1 day to go....

Friday, September 19, 2008

Quick Update

We went in to see the OB today because I had been leaking some fluid. I was SO worried that he would make me stay in the hospital for the rest of the pregnancy but everything turned out fine. They did another ultrasound and Carolina is measuring 34 weeks, 2 days (so exactly 3 weeks ahead). Her current weight is 5 lbs. 2oz.
Our doctor is still saying there's too much fluid but they'll do more measurements at our appointment on Monday with the perinatologist. But for now I am very, very grateful that I didn't have to stay at the hospital for good. I have no desire to be in a hospital and away from Clay for the next 8 weeks. We're praying for good results on Monday and a continually healthy outlook. Updates to come...

Friday, September 12, 2008

Just My Opinion...

I read a lot of baby blogs to get ideas about new products and great deals on baby things. I thought it was ironic that after my post on the things I can't live without as a mother that one of the blogs I follow listed the "Top 10 Most Worthless Baby Items". And guess what?? Six of my favorite things are on their top 10 most worthless list! It just goes to show that everyone sees things differently.

I still plan on giving my own list at some other point (and post) in time but for now I'll just tell you their list vs. mine. Here's theirs:

Top 10 Most Worthless Baby Items

#10 Diaper Pail (Genie and Champ)
#9 Shopping Cart Cover
#8 Boppy Nursing Pillow
#7 Infant Shoes
#6 Hanging Diaper Stacker
#5 Bumbo Baby Seat
#4 Baby Robe
#3 Crib Bedding Set with Bumpers and Quilts
#2 Wipe Warmer

And the most useless thing of all?
#1 Bottle Warmer

And here's mine:

Things I LOVE (in no particular order)
#1 Diaper Champ
#2 Shopping Cart Cover
#3 Boppy Nursing Pillow

#4 Hanging Diaper Stacker
#5 Bumbo Baby Seat
#6 Crib Bedding Set with Bumpers and Quilts

But that's just my opinion....

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Oh, Pretty Baby

Today we got to see our sweet Carolina in person (or it feels that way when you're looking at these 4D pics!) Two weeks ago when we tried to look at her she had her umbilical cord in her face but today she was modeling for the camera. We think she's pretty cute!

She has gained a pound since her last visit. Her new weight is 4 lbs. 5 oz with 10 weeks to go. Mike weighed 4 lbs. 6 oz. at birth and he was 8 weeks early. We think she might be a big girl....

Our doctor was pleased with her progress (still measuring almost 3 weeks ahead) but he still won't budge on the due date. I pleaded to no avail.

His one concern was that she has too much fluid around her. I have something called polyhydramnios. He says that the most common cause of this is large babies but we have to monitor her closely from now on because of it.

We will have to go back to our specialist who did our 12 week and 20 week sonograms. He will check her from head to toe to make sure there are no abnormalities (another concern of too much fluid). Thus far, they have never seen anything abnormal about her on any of our sonograms so we're hoping that she just has too much fluid because she's big.

The other part about polyhydramnios is that between the extra fluid and the large child it causes "big mamas". Here's a clip from an article on it and one of their suggestions to the problem of feeling "big":

"You're likely to feel very anxious as well as very large:

• Try and distract yourself. If you don't want to be seen in public because you are self-conscious about your size, invite friends to your house. Get hold of the videos you've been wanting to see for ages, and enjoy them! "

I thought it was kind of funny! I never thought about not wanting to be seen in public but I guess having polyhydramnios explains why I've been looking like I was ready to pop when I still have so far to go. So if I start inviting everyone to my house all of a sudden....

Seriously, though, the good thing is that means we have more sonograms. I am definitely getting stir crazy so sonograms are always kind of fun to look forward to and help pass the time.

So, on to the fun stuff...
Here are the pictures of Miss Carolina Blair:

As you can see, she likes to keep her hands by her face. Isn't she sweet?

P.S. You should have seen her daddy beaming when that little face was on the screen. I think we might have a daddy's girl....

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Things I Couldn't Live Without Part 1: Laundry 'Biz'ness

I know, I know- 3 posts in 3 days. I've gone post crazy- don't worry, the trend won't continue.

As I get things ready for Carolina, I keep thinking about the things that were invaluable with Clay. I had a good friend give me a list of things that were helpful to her and I used that to create my registry and get some other ideas.

I'll never forget when I was pregnant with Clay and I asked someone whose baby was just a couple of months older than Clay, "What has been the one thing you couldn't live without for your little one?" Her response- "Formula." Not exactly the kind of answer I was looking for!

So I thought I would post some of the things I have really loved and maybe they'll be helpful to someone else. My post today is about something super exciting- laundry. Okay, you can all stop cheering now.

As a nanny and aunt I worked very hard on my stain fighting skills and thought I was ready for my own little mess maker. Wrong. He brought with him stains I'd never seen before! Food stains and diaper mess stains didn't seem too bad in the beginning and I thought I really had it all under control. Then came the kicker.

We had packed all of Clay's outgrown clothes in diaper boxes and put them in the garage until I had enough to move into storage containers. When I packed them away, I had them washed, ironed and ready for our next little boy's use. I was so excited to have them all perfect and cleaned up and ready to go- until I opened the boxes back up. Most of the clothes had ugly yellow stains all over them. I was SO upset. All of the clothes I had worked so hard on (and spent money on!) were ruined.

The first thing I did was call a few people and see if anyone had had this problem before. No dice. So I got on the internet and googled it- still not a lot of help. What I could gather was that if you don't wash clothes with a detergent that contains some kind of oxy fighting power then all of the drool, spit up and other stains that were completely invisible when you packed them away will show up if they are stored in certain temperatures.

I also had the same problem with some clothes that a friend lent us. Clay never even wore the clothes (wrong size for the season) but when I was packing them back up they had the same yellow spots (and these were stored inside the whole time).

The process for treating these yellowed clothes is NOT a fun process. I spent days working on the same outfits and most of them finally came clean. Here's how it works: You have to buy Biz (not a detergent but a powdered stain remover) and make it into a paste. Then you rub this paste into the clothes until it hardens (this happens in less than 5 minutes). You wash the clothes in your regular detergent and repeat this process until the stain comes out. Yay.
Some of the outfits I've washed have been treated and washed more than 5 times. I like to think I'm more stubborn than the stains (and I would probably cry if I had to think about throwing all of the clothes away!). Sometimes I use a scoop of Oxi Clean or I pre soak them in it before I put them in with the regular detergent. After cleaning 2 large storage containers of yellowed clothes, I am on break for a while. I still have a whole pile to go but I figure the stains won't be going anywhere without me.

I only wish someone had told me BEFORE I packed all of those clothes away that all I had to do was add a scoop of Oxi Clean to the laundry and I would avoid days of applying paste to clothes. Hopefully, you'll never have this problem but if you do- it's Biz and Oxi Clean (both of which are fairly cheap and found at the grocery store) to the rescue!

Not all of my laundry stains stem from yellowed clothes but I do love Biz for all kinds of stains. If you take a peek in my laundry area at any given time, I have Clay's laundry divided into three piles: needs to be ironed, needs to be bleached or needs stain remover. For whites which need a little touch up, I always use a Clorox Bleach Pen. For regular stains that just need pretreating, my favorite is Shout .

So there is my boring post of laundry. I've honed my skills and I'd like to think I will have this stain fighting thing under control at some point (like when my last kid goes to college...) but hopefully, some of my tips will help you and your little mess makers.

Happy Stain Fighting!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Yep. Only one...

Mike and I took Clay to the Bass Pro Shops today for some animal fun (for Mike AND Clay). Since Carolina has chosen her seat on my bladder I had to use the facilities a couple of times. Each time I would go I would pass the same lady greeter at the exit door. The second time I was in the bathroom I heard someone come in shortly after me. While I was washing my hands the lady greeter comes up to me and says, "So how much longer do you have?" "A long time. She's not due until November 19th." She just stood there for what felt like forever (really more like 5 seconds) with her mouth open and then she shook her head. Then she said, "So there's only one??" "Yep. Only one."

I know I keep telling these stories on my blog about how people keep asking about my big belly but it always amazes me. I know I'm not the only pregnant woman on the planet who still thinks people might not notice. I think it's because I'm not a super observant person BUT Mike reminds me that you don't have to be a super observant person to notice someone who's 7 months pregnant (thanks, Mike). Fortunately, I'm not too sensitive or easily offended so I don't mind comments about being so big.

Another irony of me being so big is that anyone who knows me knows I have a strong desire for an itty bitty (but healthy) baby. The whole time I was pregnant with Clay the doctor kept talking about how big he would be and would say, "Just look at who you married." I couldn't argue with that but I still hoped for a little one under 7 1/2 lbs. You can imagine my surprise (and delight!) when Clay was born three weeks early and perfectly healthy at 6 lbs. 4 oz. The only downside-- I didn't have a single thing that fit this child that was going to be huge.

So this time I am prepared. I have a preemie wardrobe and a 0-3 month wardrobe (and those tags aren't coming off until I see this child in person!) Even after every visit where they confirm that she is still measuring weeks ahead, I'm still holding out hope.

So, here's to 11 more weeks of questions, comments and stares. I know this is something I'll only experience a few times in my life and I'm going to enjoy every little "big" moment .

*Update* I forgot Rebecca sent me this picture from our San Antonio trip (a blog on that later). So here's a Carolina pic from 26 weeks:

Rebecca, me, Jessica, Emily

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

An Update

I was waiting to have some new pics before I posted again but that's not happening right now so here's a quick update post anyway.

We went to the OB last Tuesday and tried to have a 4D sono of Carolina. Her umbilical cord was in the way the whole time so we rescheduled for next week- more pics then. As of last Tuesday, her weight was 3 lbs. 6 oz. (average is 2 lbs. 2 oz.) so she is currently measuring 3 weeks ahead, sitting breech (we saw her bottom planted directly on my bladder) and has a huge head. Think that's funny? Not when you're 5'2". We do feel blessed to have a healthy baby girl, though. Her little face is cute as can be.

I took the gestational diabetes test and failed so I had to return for the 3 hour test. If you've never done it, here's what it is: fasting for 12 hours, then having your blood drawn + drinking a sugar filled drink and having blood drawn every hour for the next three hours. It's a real party.

Mike was Father of the Year and brought Clay along so I wouldn't have to be by myself (he's never missed a doctor's appointment with either baby). They dropped me off and spent the first hour at McDonald's, we toured the newly renovated Labor and Delivery for the second hour and played wrestle-your-tired-baby-on-a-small-couch in the waiting room for the third hour. What a lovely morning it was...

We got the results back today and I don't have gestational diabetes. We were so excited to hear that news! This pregnancy has gone so well and we know that we have been blessed, yet again.

We've made it to the every 2 weeks stage of visiting the doctor so that means we're on the home stretch. Each time we see the doctor I hope he will look at the info and mention something about moving her due date up. The last three ultrasounds have shown her to be 2-3 weeks ahead (she's getting further ahead each time). I always ask about it and he just says "She's looks great." Not what I wanted to hear. Maybe as we get closer...

Clay is getting to be such a big boy, now. He's almost 16 months and he's the cutest thing. He's been a babbler for about 6 months now but we couldn't understand a darn thing the child was saying (except for Dada and dog).

Since his 15 month appt. is coming up (did you catch that he's almost 16 months and he hasn't had his 15 month yet? Great mothering, I know.) I decided to investigate what kind of skills our pediatrician would be looking for. Turns out we needed to have some Baby Babble Bootcamp.

Mike and I got tough (and very annoying) and starting repeating everything a dozen times. It worked! In the past week, he's started saying duck, hot, cat and shoes. He also points to his ears, nose and shirt. It seems like he's repeating more every day.

Now don't think I haven't been trying to teach this child all these things for the past six months but for some reason he just turned a corner one day. Not that I thought there was anything wrong with my child but I'm glad to know he can say more than two words (and now his doctor's not going to put me in time-out).

So that's the rundown at our house. Hopefully, next week I will have some pictures!