He will be 2 months next Tuesday, May 22, but his 2-month well-child checkup isn’t until June 1, so I decided to do an 8-week update, and will do another update at the beginning of June (since babies change so fast in so little time!).
Corbin is starting to outgrow his 3-month shirts and sleepers. He has short little legs though, so 3-month pants are still kind of long on him. And he switched to size 2 diapers when he was about 5 weeks old.
Eating & Sleeping
Similar to Emma, Corbin is pretty much all over the place in terms of how long he goes between feedings, and how long he naps for. But in general, he goes 2.5 to 3 hours between feedings during the day and has at least one 4-5 hour stretch at night. The night before Mother’s Day, he slept from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. He knew just what I wanted! A few nights, he has slept so well that after nursing him at 5 a.m., I’ve stayed up to go on a run. What a great way to start the day! (But that doesn’t happen very often yet.)
Corbin can stay awake for about an hour between naps (including the time it takes to nurse) and then he naps for 1.5 to 2 hours, sometimes 3. His fussiest time of day is actually the morning. He’ll nurse between 6 and 7, and then be just generally unhappy. Travis has tried many times at that time of day to get Corbin back to sleep by swaddling and bouncing–unsuccessfully–so we’re conceding that it’d just be easier to put him in the Baby Bjorn in the morning (because he has come around on that, and is usually fairly content in it for at least one nap). I usually nurse him again around 8:30 or 9, and then he’ll take a decent 2-3 hour nap.
Usually he’ll nurse around (give or take an hour) 12 p.m., 3 p.m., 6 p.m., and sometimes when he falls asleep at 7 p.m., he’ll sleep straight through until midnight or 1; other times, he’ll wake up again between 9 and 10 p.m. for another feeding. For some reason, after his nursing session between 4 and 6 a.m., he’ll usually go back to sleep for only about an hour, then he’s up for his morning fussing. Good thing Emma taught us how to go with the flow!
After my last post on Corbin, our neighbor offered that we could borrow their Rock ‘n’ Play with built-in vibration, and I think that has been a huge help with getting Corbin to sleep longer. We just leave the vibration on the whole time he’s sleeping and have white noise from a fan in his room. He still loves to be swaddled and bounced (or carried around while I make lunch, get the girls dressed, etc) while held horizontally. He can take or leave the pacifier, but he loves sucking on his hands (which he does often in the Baby Bjorn to soothe himself). He doesn’t like being rocked in a chair and he’s not a huge fan of the baby swing (though he does really enjoy swinging to sleep in the chair swing we have outside!).
Also since my last post, we met with a dentist that specializes in treating lip and tongue ties in infants, and found out that Corbin does have mild lip and tongue ties. But because he can still breastfeed without causing me any pain, it’s not necessary, and they can’t guarantee that treating his lip and tongue ties would solve his fussiness/swallowing air/spitting up a ton. So we decided to wait and see if things improve as Corbin gets older before going that route.
We did, however, start Corbin on acid reflux meds just to rule that out as a potential issue. For the first few days of giving him the meds, it didn’t seem to be doing much so I contemplated stopping them (since I don’t *love* the idea of giving him meds in the first place) but over the past week, his fussiness has decreased considerably (though he still hates his carseat unless he’s swaddled in it), his periods of being alert and content have increased (he’s even started cracking some smiles!), and he is overall easier to get to sleep. So for now, we’re going to continue the meds because they just might be working!
Like I mentioned above, Corbin has started smiling. Those moments are just so precious! It’s so fun when you can tell that your baby sees you, and likes you. (My baby likes me!) Corbin has also made a few babbling noises, (baby noises are the best!), and started to enjoy looking at the star on his playmat that blinks and plays music, and batting at the dangling toys (by accident).
Corbin has also stopped pooping so much–thank goodness! Now he’ll poop every couple of days, but his toots are super smelly! Before we figured out it was just gas, we changed his diaper expecting to see a blowout, but only found little skidmarks.
A few firsts for Corbin in the past week were his first walk in the woods (at 8:14 a.m.), first road trip (to the Cities), first night in a hotel (he didn’t know the difference), and first time at Cabela’s (one of Daddy’s favorite places). And he has finally taken a bottle from Travis! The girls got to help feed him too when Nana was down here the first weekend of May.
Little by little, I’m getting the hang of three kids. I’ve become a lot more flexible with where I nurse Corbin (in the hallway during bathtime, outside when the girls are playing in the yard) and also resigned to having him in the baby carrier more often. Some women love wearing their babies; I enjoy it to a point. I also enjoy being able to bend down without squatting, and take a shower every now and then.
I’ve posted postpartum updates with both of my other pregnancies so why stop now? I’m technically 7 weeks postpartum today but kept this as my 6-week update because it sounds better. Anyway…
This pregnancy was my easiest physical recovery by far. The afterpains of uterine shrinking were a b!tch (Tylenol with codeine was a lifesaver) but that was really the only issue. My bleeding was much lighter with this recovery than the first two (though it lasted slightly longer) and I made sure to be diligent about taking a stool softener for about the first month, since I learned the importance of them the hard way after having Annabelle. I didn’t even have the abdominal pain that made it hard to be up walking around after giving birth this time.
Nursing has gone well overall, despite Corbin’s swallowing a lot of air. The fact that he has a weaker latch because of his lip tie means that I haven’t had any nipple discomfort or pain. TBD on whether we do anything about his lip tie. It’s unique in the sense that breastfeeding is going well and he’s gaining weight.
Weight / Body Image
I’m about 5 lbs from my pre-pregnancy weight.
It’s all concentrated in my stomach, but this time I started doing ab exercises at 2 weeks postpartum so I can actually fit into several pairs of pre-pregnancy pants. I did also buy a couple new pairs of jeans though so that I could put my maternity clothes away (and even though the weather is warmer, it’s still jeans weather).
I also bought three nursing shirts from Latched Mama. They are awesome to use, though I have mixed feelings about the fit and fabric. I plan to do a separate post on the nursing tops and bras I bought in the next month or two.
I’ve gone on a handful of runs so far and done some strength training (squats, lunges, pushups) a few times. I’ve been fairly consistent with my ab exercises, only missing a few days (it helps that they only take 5-10 minutes). I’d like to get out biking soon too! It feels good to be active again, and with Corbin starting to sleep longer stretches at night, morning workouts are starting to be a possibility.
The first week postpartum was rough. Life just changes so. much. when you’re the mother of a breastfed newborn. The father gets to more or less go back to life as normal (sleep for a full 8 hours, go to work each day) but the nursing mother is now tied to a child 24/7 (even those who use bottles still have to pump). So I was having a hard time with once again staying home full-time and not being able to “accomplish” anything besides caring for children all day. And between nursing and trying to sneak naps in, I was feeling isolated from my husband and girls too. I still feel that way sometimes–I love family time more than anything so when they’re having fun without me because I’m sleeping in or going to bed early, I feel left out and a little lonely. But I know it’s just for this season, and even a little more sleep will help me be a nicer person.
The recurring theme of my life over the past 8 years or so has been “The meek shall obtain fresh joy in the LORD” (Isaiah 29:19). What that verse means to me is that joy is not found by demanding my life be a certain way, but by embracing the life and circumstances God has allowed. I will never find joy if I am “one foot in, one foot out” in my own life, if even part of my heart is lusting after How Things Should Be or What I Want Instead.
And what I’ve found to be true is that ironically, when I give up dictating what my life should be like, instead of feeling trapped and limited, I find great freedom and abundance. Living within God’s limits on my life brings freedom. Denying or begrudging those limits leads to bitterness and resentment.
These truths have proven to be very helpful and I call them to mind often, especially when I feel like I’m completely in over my head, have absolutely no idea what I’m doing, and fall so far short of the kind of mom I want to be (which is every day). Because parenting well is hard. Frankly, without God, it’s impossible. The last thing I need is a bunch of unrealistic, guilt-producing expectations about What I Should Be Able to Handle and What I Should Be Doing Besides Parenting.
In this season of my life, parenting is all-consuming. That’s ok. God knows that. He sees me in the midst of it. And He empowers me to keep on sacrificing my life and my desires for the good of my family. I have full confidence that I will look back on these years, from old age or heaven, with absolutely no regrets, but instead joy and gratitude to God for strengthening me to persevere. It will all be worth it because Jesus is worth it.
Little man is already a month old! He was 4 weeks last Thursday and 1 month on Sunday 4/22. Some nights are super long but the time has actually gone by fast.
Shortly after he was 2 weeks old, Corbin outgrew his newborn clothes, and is now wearing all 3-month size. He has also been wearing size 1 diapers since we came home from the hospital, and I’m contemplating moving him to size 2 already…
At his 1-month well-child checkup yesterday, he weighed 11 lbs 13 oz (95%!!!), was still around 21 inches long (14%, but they have measured him shrinking since he was born so who knows!?!), and had a head circumference of 15.55 inches (97%).Eating
Corbin has gained 3 pounds on top of his birth weight since he was born, so it’s obvious little man loves to eat! He still eats every 3 hours pretty much around the clock, though he has given me a handful of longer stretches at night.
During one of those longer stretches, I woke up before him, so I got up and pumped, partly to not inundate him with milk after 4 hours, but also so that we could start feeding him a bottle. And he has done great! He’s taken a bottle from my mother-in-law a handful of times now, which is so encouraging, since I’ll be heading back to work in the next month or so.I met with a lactation consultant yesterday because even though Corbin seems to nurse really well and is obviously growing, he is fussy and unhappy often. Almost the only way he’s happy while awake is being tightly swaddled, cradled horizontally in our arms, and jiggled/bounced — and he can tell if you sit down (and doesn’t like it), which makes for some very sore arms and back for whoever is holding him. The lactation consultant observed a partial lip tie and referred us to a dentist in a nearby town who will do a consultation for free, so I think we’ll look into that.
However, starting last night, I started only nursing Corbin on one side for each feeding. That seems to help him be more comfortable and it doesn’t majorly decrease the amount of time he goes between feedings, so I think I’ll stick with that for a while and see if it continues to help, or is just a fluke.
Corbin may be a fussy baby but his one saving grace is that he will let us put him down in the Rock ‘n’ Play once we get him to sleep. We have a vibrating pad that fits in a pocket at the bottom of the Rock ‘n’ Play, and turn that on whenever we’re putting him down — I think it helps the transition. But that vibrating pad burns through 4 AA batteries every week! Still, it’ll probably end up being cheaper than buying a whole new Rock ‘n’ Play with vibration built in.
We’ve tried Corbin in the Baby Bjorn several times — both of our girls loved it, but he does not seem to be a fan. My sister-in-law loaned me a Moby wrap, though, and he seems to like that so there’s that.Similar to Annabelle, Corbin will fall asleep in his carseat on car rides, but wakes up immediately when we try to move the carseat inside. Yesterday, I took a nap in the car with him while the girls played outside in our driveway. It was glorious.
Corbin is starting to be awake for longer periods of time, but still mostly just eats, sleeps and poops. There are times that he has been awake for an hour or more, but only because he’ll be almost asleep and then gets woken up by what appears to be gas pains, and it starts all over again. A few times, I’ve had to wake Travis up in the middle of the night and ask him to take over because Corbin has taken over an hour to get back to sleep, between pooping, burping, and squirming in pain. Poor little guy.We have noticed, however, that one thing that gets Corbin to sleep faster than anything else (once you have him swaddled, cradled, and bouncing) is for him to hear people talking, either in person or on the TV/radio, or even the girls screaming. I had been avoiding watching shows at night out of fear that the noise would stimulate him and keep him awake longer, but it actually has the opposite effect on him. He also seems to like being carried around (swaddled, cradled) while I tidy up and out toys/clothes/dishes away, which is nice because then I can at least stay on top of the housework (for the most part) while holding him.
There’s not a ton to report on development yet, because Corbin still pretty much sleeps all day. He still hates his carseat, but will tolerate it when the car is moving. He doesn’t mind baths, but hates getting his face washed. His hair is as awesome as ever, but he has a little bit of baby dandruff from a flaking scalp (though I expect that to go away in the next couple of weeks).
He hasn’t smiled while awake yet, but he does smile a fair amount in his sleep, which is just the cutest thing ever.I will say that the hardest thing about having a newborn this time around is not the newborn himself, but our other kids. Two kids was a juggling act, and three is even more so. It is very helpful that the girls are as old as they are. Emma can get snacks and drinks for her and Annabelle while I’m nursing (as long as she’s in the mood to be a helper and not a helpee), and Annabelle is about 75% potty trained, so we don’t have to change her diapers/pullups very often.But because the girls are older and capable of more things, they are also harder to wrangle. Emma will take off on a walk through the woods, or climb up a snowbank in her tennis shoes and regular pants, and I can’t race after her because I am holding a baby (and Emma is pretty stubborn/defiant so she doesn’t listen to my pleas or threats). Annabelle is better about sticking in the driveway or yard around the house, but is also more needy in terms of getting her shoes and jacket on, and getting hurt doing stuff she sees Emma doing but can’t quite do herself.
Then there are the dinner and bedtime struggles, and the middle-of-the-night wakings with our other kids that make having a newborn even more challenging. Travis and I have agreed that in general, I will take care of Corbin at night while he will get up with the girls–in the middle of the night if something happens, but mostly in the mornings when they rise at the ungodly hour of 6:30. I’ve usually just gone back to bed around 6 AM after nursing Corbin, so Travis gets up with the girls (and often Corbin too) and lets me sleep until around 8 AM. I relish those extra two hours of sleep, and am severely devastated if/when they don’t happen. But after a cup of coffee and the reminder that God’s mercies are new every morning, I soldier on.
This is just a season. It will get easier. This is just a season. It will get easier.
“It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, for his compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)
Corbin is already 2 weeks old!Corbin is nursing well. He was discharged from the hospital on Friday 3/23 at 8 lbs 9 oz and when we took him to the doctor the following Monday, he was down to 8 lbs 6 oz. But my milk came in late Sunday so by his follow-up appointment on Thursday, he was up to 8 lbs 10 oz. He had been tested for jaundice on Monday but his level wasn’t high enough to be treated, and since he was gaining weight and having plenty of wet/poopy diapers, his doctor felt he was headed in the right direction.
He eats every 2-3 hours around the clock. During the day, he sleeps like a champ and I sometimes have to wake him up to nurse after it’s been 3 hours. He almost always nurses himself back to sleep but the past couple of days, he’s sometimes alert after nursing so then we let the girls hold him or give him a bath, and then swaddle and rock/bounce him to sleep. He also likes to suck on his thumb. Sometimes he finds himself (by accident), but sometimes we help him. He also seems to like vibration like Annabelle did, but not so much swinging in the swing.We had a couple of rough nights that first week, with him feeding every couple hours and/or being awake and hard to get back to sleep (so I was only getting an hour of sleep here and there) but the last several nights, he’s given me one 3-hour stretch of sleep and gone right back to sleep after nursing.
Corbin is hard to burp so he has a fair amount of random spit up, and seems to struggle with gas pains (he sometimes cries at random intervals). He is also a poop machine!! During our roughest nights, I’d nurse him on one side, change his diaper to wake him up, then while I nursed him on the other side, he’d poop. So I’d change him again and he’d poop again while nursing. And there have been several times when he has peed or pooped all over his outfit in the middle of a diaper change. But I think I’m *finally* getting the hang of changing a boy’s diaper!The girls are enthralled with Corbin and give him loads of affection by patting his head and stroking his face. They love holding him and try to help other ways, but are limited by how young he is and how much he sleeps. (He has to be in his room to get good sleep, because the girls won’t leave him alone if he’s out in the main room with us.)
When Corbin is awake, he loves to look around and seems very content. He only cries when he’s hungry, cold, getting his diaper changed, or being held by the girls when he’s tired. But those things can probably be said about any newborn, and like I said, in just the past couple of days, he’s started being more alert and not just sleeping all the time. So we are just beginning to discover what he’s like!Corbin wasn’t a huge fan of the sponge baths he received before his umbilical cord stump fell off when he was about a week old, but he doesn’t seem to mind a real bath (until he has to get out).
* Held lying down in arms (vs. upright)
* Being bounced/walked around
* Sucking on his hands or thumb
* Being in his car seat (unless the car is moving)
* Tummy time
* Diaper changes
* Tight swaddles
We’re getting Corbin’s newborn pictures and family pictures taken in a little over a week! I’ll be back with his one-month update in a few weeks.
Well, tomorrow I’ll be 39 weeks. I was really hoping baby boy would decide to come early like Annabelle did but no such luck, even with three bouts of false labor trying to suggest otherwise.
The first instance happened on our way back from Eau Claire on March 4 (I’ll talk more about that trip shortly). I had been feeling sick all day, with what I assumed was bad acid reflux. Once we got to around St. Cloud (an hour from home), I started having contractions every 5-10 minutes, and my back was killing me. I texted my friend Brenda to make sure she’d be around to watch the kids in case I got home and it was the real deal, but alas, when I laid down in bed at home, the contractions stopped.
The second was the following Wednesday night. We had gone out to dinner at a restaurant so I once again had fairly bad acid reflux (but it was from my favorite dinner of Tequila Lime Chicken Tacos, so #worthit). I was woken up around 2 am with contractions that were consistently every 8-12 minutes, but they didn’t increase in intensity or pain, so after about an hour, I stopped timing and figured if they were the real deal, I’d find out eventually. They pretty much continued the rest of the night, but when I got up in the morning to take a shower, they stopped. (So annoying!! I tried googling “Does acid reflux cause contractions?” but couldn’t find anything.)
The third time was the following Saturday night. I didn’t have any acid reflux this time, but was woken up by sharp pains on the side of my belly. I got out of bed to see if I could relieve the pain by a change in position, but the pain and cramping continued. I drank 3 glasses of water and tidied up the kitchen counter and downstairs to see if being up would make it go away, but it didn’t. Finally, around 4 am, I woke Travis up and told him to pack a bag just in case. No sooner did he have his bag packed than the pain subsided, and we both went back to bed.
Thankfully, since then, my contractions have been very obviously Braxton Hicks so we haven’t had any more fake-outs (even though some of them produce so much downward pressure that I’m amazed my water hasn’t broken yet!). It’s hard to wait when you keep being taunted!
So our trip to Eau Claire… we left Saturday morning and came back Sunday night. While we were there, we visited my brother, sister-in-law, and niece that was born in December. My dad was there too, and we saw one of my other brothers, sisters-in-law, and niece born in September on our way back through the Cities. The drive out there went well, and the girls had fun seeing their baby cousins. We booked a hotel that had a waterpark, and Emma had a blast swimming and going down the big waterslide. Annabelle, true to form, was more conservative and not so sure about all the splashing and swimming. The waterpark was definitely geared toward bigger kids, like Emma’s age.
My SIL in Eau Claire also threw me a surprise long-distance baby sprinkle by asking friends and family (info provided by Travis) to send gifts during the week of February 26. It was very unexpected but so thoughtful! We received several boxes of diapers and quite a few adorable outfits, plus a few extras like boy blankets, boy towels, baby sunglasses (I die!), and a picture frame. We’re borrowing boy clothes from friends who have 5 boys, but it’s nice to have boy clothes that we can keep, and Travis appreciates getting some hunting-themed ones. I got all the clothes washed and put away this week, and thank you notes written and mailed, so now we’re just waiting for baby boy to make his debut.
Last weekend, Travis took the girls up to Bemidji for our nephew’s Eagle Scout Court of Honor. I had been planning to go, but after the rough drive home from Eau Claire, I decided to stay home. I did our budget, took a long shower and a long nap, and did some shopping. It was a nice day!
I’m going every week now, and my doctor has done 3 pelvic checks. After my bout of false labor on the way back from Eau Claire, I was dilated 2-3 cm. Jellybean’s head is very low and my waters are bulging. At my most recent appointment, my doctor said that I’m 3 cm and 50% effaced. Progress! With both girls, I was still at 1 cm, even when I checked in to the hospital after my water broke, so I’ll take any forward progress I can get (even if it doesn’t mean I’ll go into labor soon).
I tested positive for Group B Strep again. No surprise there. I’ve also decided that if I get to the hospital and am dilated to 6 or 7 cm, I’m going to try to give birth sans epidural again. But if I’m only 4 or 5 (or still at 3) cm, I’m going with my half-med epidural plan still. We’ll see how things go down, hopefully sooner than later! I’ve been doing some anecdotal research online about timing tendencies with third babies (because that’s what majorly pregnant women who are sooo ready to be done do), and read that the third child can tend to be a wild card, and not follow suit timing-wise. Emma was born on her due date, and Annabelle was born at 38 weeks 2 days, so Jellybean will either be born between them, or late!
Acid reflux has gotten better with the combination of Tums and Zantac (though I am still trying to be more mindful about what I eat for dinner).
I’ve had a little sciatic pain with Jellybean’s head being so low, but overall I’m still feeling pretty good (as long as I’m sitting down, ha!). I have a little bit of swelling in my legs and ankles, but I can still wear my wedding rings so the swelling is less with this pregnancy than with my previous ones. I have a very faint linea negra, and have noticed more stretch marks this time around (boo). Sometimes it feels like the skin on my stomach can literally not stretch any more, so I guess stretch marks are not surprising.
Jellybean still moves around a ton, and when he pivots his head, it’s not a very pleasant feeling (right on top of my bladder and pelvic bone), but it’s reassuring that he’s still healthy and active.
My hips are definitely feeling the weight these days. I usually go to bed propped up against 3 big pillows, plus 2 smaller ones (one for head support, the other for lumbar) and sleep that way for the first couple hours. Then I throw the little pillows on the floor and sleep on each side as long as comfortable. Usually somewhere around 4 or 5 am, I get my pillows set back up for sleeping sitting up and stay that way until morning.
The weirdest thing about sleep (and actually about this pregnancy in general) is how sweaty I’ve been. I’m not normally a sweaty person (and wasn’t when pregnant with the girls), but I have been during this pregnancy. Usually in winter, I wear a long-sleeve shirt and pants to bed, but the last couple of weeks, I’ve been wearing either nursing tanks and undies, or nightgowns, to bed, and I still wake up sweaty. I can only imagine how sweaty I’ll be after Jellybean comes.
Food & Cravings
Still loving cereal. If it were advisable to eat it for three meals a day, I would (but it’s not). And I’ve been eating more sweets lately (Girl Scout cookies, anyone?)… I’ve also been craving juice–specifically orange juice–but don’t dare drink it because of the acid. I can’t wait to eat cold deli sandwiches like they’re going out of style. (I’ve eaten a few this pregnancy, but am trying to behave.)
I’ve been trying to do some cleaning and organizing as I have energy and time. I cleaned both bathrooms, the kitchen (including the oven), and the rest of the windows upstairs that I hadn’t gotten around to cleaning a month or so ago. I’m also wanting to figure out Easter and family picture outfits, but we’ll see. I did buy these adorable shirts from Etsy for the girls and Jellybean to wear in the hospital for sibling pictures (and probably for family pictures too).
Over the course of our marriage, Travis and I have been fortunate to receive lots of free furniture and find good deals on Craigslist. When we moved into our first house, we bought a brand-new queen-size bed, and moved my full-size bed from college into the guest room.
The rest of our furniture was hodge podge. We had my grandparents’ old bedroom set, plus a dresser bought from a garage sale (which was so beat up that you had to hold up one of the drawers with your knee to get anything out of it). We used a garden table and wicker hamper as night stands, which we replaced with cheap, tiny Target night stands when selling our house, just to have something that matched. The assortment of couches and futons we had over the years were all given to us (with the exception of a new futon for the guest room before Emma was born, and the couches downstairs in our current house, which we found for an awesome price on Craigslist).
All that to say, last year when we had saved some extra money from Travis working so much overtime and were wondering what to do with it, buying a nice, quality bedroom set came to mind. Travis’ main desire was to have a nightstand taller than 2 feet with more surface area than a dinner plate; mine was to improve the aesthetics and functionality.
But as we always say with having kids and dogs, “We can’t have nice things.” So when we were looking at bedroom sets, we were drawn to the rustic, imperfect designs–I love that look in the first place, and they would hide chips and scratches easily. After looking at several stores and quite a bit online, we had decided to buy a floor model dresser and bed frame from HOM in St. Cloud that was made with reclaimed wood from an old tobacco mill (the brand-new prices were out of our range), but it was sold before we could get back down to buy it.
Then I saw a Costco flyer with a bedroom set I really liked. It was about the same price as the floor model we had wanted, but it came with two nightstands, a bed frame with two drawers, a 6-drawer dresser, and a large mirror. After several weeks of consideration, we finally decided to pull the trigger.
We had a great experience ordering from Costco. Almost right away, we received an email from a customer service representative, giving us a delivery timeline and number to call if we had any questions. The delivery team worked around our schedule and showed up exactly when they said they would. They set up the furniture where I asked them to, and were very efficient and friendly.
The brand of furniture we bought is aspenhome and we love it. The drawers slide easily and between the six dresser drawers, bed frame drawers, and large nightstands, we easily have enough room for all our clothes. The headboard has buttons on each side for turning on lamps, as well as two outlets on each side. The nightstands have indirect lighting with 3 settings underneath them that work great as night lights when one of us comes to bed later than the other. We didn’t expect to use those features much, but we do all the time.
ANYWAY, since we bought a new bedroom set, we decided to paint the walls (before the furniture came) and finally do something with the TV built-in between our closets (which was just being used as a dumping ground to keep things out of reach of the girls).
Without further ado, here are the before and after pictures.
The wall color was MEH.
Lots of clutterAfter
Comforter is the Avondale Manor Ella Pinch Pleat set; bedroom set is the Audrey 5-piece Queen set from CostcoPrints from Hobby Lobby and cotton wreath from AmazonI plan to replace the toolbox for Travis’ stuff once I find something.
It’s the home stretch, baby! I’m 36.5 weeks along and ready to DO THIS THING!OB Appointments
I’m going every week now. At my appointment this past Tuesday, my doctor verified that Jellybean is head down (yay!) and swabbed me for Group B Strep. Since my labors with Emma and Annabelle were so similar, I’m pretty much expecting the same thing this time around (though who knows, Jellybean could surprise me!): positive for Group B Strep, water breaks in bed, lack of natural contractions leads to Pitocin, labor happens slow and steady (with Emma, my labor was 12 hours; Annabelle, 8). This time, though, if labor is slow (as in, I have time to get pain meds), I’m planning to get an epidural with just half the meds to start — enough to take the edge off but still let me feel what’s happening. I didn’t get an epidural with Annabelle and was so absolutely exhausted by the time she was born, I felt almost delirious. And then to start taking care of a newborn and 2 other kids?
I’m still tired but my daily naps really help. My main complaints at this point are just a general feeling of heaviness/whale-like-ness, acid reflux, and Braxton Hicks. Holy cow, the Braxton Hicks. It’s hard to appreciate them when they do nothing in the way of dilation. But my doctor said that Jellybean’s head is low, so maybe I have Braxton Hicks to thank for that (my doctor with Emma said they helped with that). They’re mostly just uncomfortable, but some of them are actually a little painful, and I get them a lot at night, which sometimes limits my sleep positions.
As for acid reflux, I’ve been taking Zantac morning and night, and that has helped some, but not taken care of it. My doctor said I could take Tums at the same time, and I did notice a difference when taking Zantac before dinner, as opposed to afterward (now I just need to remember to do that).
I’ve gained about 25-30 pounds so far.
After seeing their ads pop up on Instagram a bunch, I bought a couple of dresses from Wren & Ivory that work now for maternity, and can be worn after baby comes too. So far, I am very impressed with them! The fabric is super soft, they both fit well, and they wash well too. I bought the Liza Floral Faux Wrap in Mauve and the Floral Maxi with a Twist in Raven. I’ve also continued my quest for maternity leggings and ordered these under-the-belly ones from Amazon, and love them. They don’t attract dog hair like magnets, they haven’t pilled at all even after washing, and I can wear them even after baby comes! I’m planning to buy a couple more pairs. I also ordered these maternity leggings but ended up returning them because the top elastic around the belly was a little too thick and tight at this stage of pregnancy, and I’d also rather spend my money on something I can wear even after baby comes.
Food & Cravings
Probably my biggest craving during the last month has been cereal–specifically Honey Bunches of Oats with Strawberries and Honey Nut Cheerios–and glasses of milk (especially when eating PB&J mixed in oatmeal). I’ve also been digging canned mandarin oranges (but I have always loved these), grapes, and blackberries. I just realized during this pregnancy how much I love blackberries. I can polish off a pint on my own in one sitting.
I’ve pretty much thrown in the towel at this point. Just picking up the girls’ messes every day is plenty. I’m looking forward to getting back into running outside this spring though, and would love to train for a race, but that depends on how good of a sleeper Jellybean is.
As much as I would love to have Jellybean’s nursery perfectly organized and ready for him to make his debut, I know it’s an exercise in futility because of the girls. They get into eve. ry. thing. So we hung a couple things on the wall, bought some diapers that are being stored in the closet, organized baby clothes in the makeshift bookshelf dresser, and are calling it good. #thirdkid
We focused more of our energy on other house projects. We finally finished redoing our master bedroom–only took us 9 months. We bought a bedroom set and painted last July, I replaced our lamps and comforter at Christmastime, and we finally got things hung on the wall and curtains + rod replaced in the past couple of weeks. I’m planning to do a separate post on our bedroom soon.We also made a playhouse for the girls under our stairs. The previous owners left a giant TV behind that was built into the wall. When we got rid of the TV, we had a giant hole to deal with. It stayed like that for oh, about 2 years, until I finally had the idea to just close the hole off with a homemade chalkboard. Easier than sheetrocking (which is our long-term plan, to be done at an unknown time in the future), but better than nothing. We turned the spot they had used for a DVD player and stereo into the kid door (there’s a real door too), added plexiglass to the speaker hole, and added some trim to the outside wall to make it look like a house. We painted the inside bright pink and bright purple (the girls’ choices), added some wall stickers and battery-operated lights from Costco, and three weeks later, voila! A playhouse. And that’s pretty much it for 9 months!
The whole year, my mantra was, “I just have to get through this/finish this/do this… THEN life will slow down and I can spend more time with my kids/have a consistent quiet time/read more books…” Except that following each one of those “had-to’s” (some my own doing, others expected of me) was another, and another, and another.
Don’t get me wrong, I was busy with good, worthwhile things…
I decluttered our whole house, did a garage sale with friends, and we donated $500 to the Lakes Area Pregnancy Center.
I co-organized and hosted a pallet-painting craft night. I organized several events for our church group. I threw a baby shower for my brother and SIL.
I brought meals to families with new babies and other needs.
I served on the leadership teams of both my local MOPS group and our church group.
I worked 2 days a week and served in the church nursery once a month.
But the more important things suffered…
I had no consistent quiet time with God. I’ve been using the same journal since June of 2016, which for me is unheard of. To me, that shows how poorly I’ve prioritized my relationship with God as well as my mental health.
I went months without actually playing with my kids, or spending time outside. There were too many “When I finish this” and “I can’t right now” responses to my girls’ pleas to do something with them. Too many days of errand-running and just keeping the kids “occupied.”
By the end of the year, I was feeling crushed by obligations. I deeply desired a day to just BE and not have anything I had to do, but it seemed I always remembered something that was either already overdue or would be overdue if I waited. I felt bitter and boxed in by my life.
Life actually slowed down in December, giving me the chance to reflect and decide that this year…
I’m choosing White Space.
I’m going to Say No and Do Less.
I’m giving myself permission to not bend over backwards to meet every demand, see every person, milk every opportunity, and take every chance.
I’m letting myself step back from being the responsible person, and the person responsible.
I’m promising myself (and my husband) that I won’t plan any events this year, and will never do a garage sale again.
I’m setting up boundaries, limitations, and borders on my time and my family’s time, so that we can live out a schedule that aligns better with what we say our priorities are.
Because that’s the thing about busyness and no margin, regardless of how good the reason: they squeeze out the important for the sake of the urgent.
Things may fall through the cracks. Balls may get dropped. Opportunities, untaken. Fun things, undone. Expectations, unmet.
But I’ll be gaining my own sanity. And spontaneous memories. Time with my family. Relaxation. Refreshment. Freedom from responsibility.
That’s not to say I won’t ever Say Yes and help others. I don’t think that’s what God wants. But I will Say Yes with a much more intentional mindset, remembering that a Yes to one thing is a No to something else. My time is finite, and I can only do so much. And I want to Say Yes to my family more.
I was 32 weeks this past Monday, and my due date was 2 months from the previous Friday.
I’m both ready and not ready to be done. Ready, in that pregnancy is not my favorite thing ever, especially the last few months. Not ready, in that the end of pregnancy means the beginning of taking care of a newborn, which comes with challenges and limitations of its own.
I had 2 appointments 2 weeks apart but my OB said that since my pregnancy is going so well, I don’t have to go back in until I’m 36 weeks. I did ask her about Jellybean being breech, and she said that only 3% of babies are still breech at 37 weeks, so it’s not a concern until then. And the fact that I’ve had 2 babies who were head down is encouraging that baby boy will turn.
I still get a decent amount of Braxton Hicks contractions, which make me walk bent over like a grandma. I’ve had fairly bad acid reflux with this pregnancy (more so than with the previous two)–more foods give me acid reflux and even Zantac sometimes doesn’t help. The only thing that helps is sleeping in a sitting position in bed, which does not result in great sleep. So I’ve been trying to be extra vigilant in avoiding foods that give me acid reflux, even if they’re some of my favorite things.
I’ve been having crazy dreams similar to previous pregnancies, and I’m still ridiculously tired. So far, minimal swelling and very little inner thigh pain (I think it helps that instead of sitting at a desk all day like I did during my pregnancy with Emma, I’m up running around after kids, even if I’m doing less official exercise). I use a heating pad on my back and belly every night though.
I’ve also thankfully avoided the linea negra and facial acne that I had with Emma.
My wardrobe is little by little becoming more limited, and the maternity leggings that I bought from Motherhood Maternity are unfortunately pilling hair collectors like I had feared they would be. They’re still comfy, they’re just relegated to being worn at home.
Food & Cravings
My latest cravings have ice cream and fruit (specifically berries, grapes, clementines and peaches), but otherwise my eating habits are pretty similar to what they are when I’m not pregnant. So far, I’ve gained a little over 20 pounds, which is pretty much on par with my other pregnancies.
When I walk on the treadmill, it’s usually between dinner and bedtime, and my belly feels huge and heavy. As a result, walking is not so enjoyable and I’m often not motivated to do it. But yoga and Pilates can be done then too, and they feel better, so I’m hoping to do that more. Honestly, though, I’m prioritizing sleep over exercise, and I’m totally ok with that. I’ve been here before, and bounced back after pregnancy, so even though I am not as active as I would ideally be, I’m ok with that.
I’m still taking naps most days that I’m not working, and they are glorious. Sleep at night is becoming more and more elusive. I miss sleeping on my stomach so much. This is my least favorite part of pregnancy.
I got Jellybean’s clothes assembled and organized, and his nursery (which is the room Annabelle is sleeping in right now) is mostly organized. I am planning to paint our old dresser and move that into the girls’ room, so that they can both share one dresser (right now, they have a smaller dresser and a 3-drawer nightstand for their clothes). Then I’ll move the nightstand back into the nursery for storing burp cloths and blankets (and we’ll probably just store the other dresser).
My main nesting instinct right now, though, is cleaning. I finally found the motivation (and the weather cooperated) to clean out our disgustingly filthy windowsills. Seriously, they had not been cleaned since we moved in (and who knows when they were cleaned before then?) and they are just so gross. I also find immense satisfaction in cleaning things that I don’t plan on cleaning again for at least a year or two (as opposed to a bathroom that gets dirty again by the next day).
But my girls are mess-making maniacs so who knows how long my energy for cleaning will keep up.
And that’s pregnancy #3 at 8 months!
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