ONE DAY: Let’s Get Real

This is happening. Tomorrow I am having a baby. Wow. Ready or not, here she comes!

Honestly though, it still doesn’t feel real. I remember feeling the same way with Tate. Heck, even to this day there are times that I look at him and think “You are my child?! That’s crazy!” It’s just such a weird concept, but amazing at the same time! :) And in the end, whether it feels real or not we will be bringing a newborn home before we know it! :)

So much of Tate’s first few days are a blur, so I feel like in some ways this is a new experience. There are definitely things I do remember about Tate’s birth… The things that I hated! :) Here’s what I hope DOESN’T happen tomorrow:

1) Party in the delivery room! I don’t think I’ve shared this completely before, but I apologize if I have. Our experience with Tate’s actual birth was absolutely crazy. Part of it was because a nurse accidentally walked out of the L&D area with one of the baby monitoring bracelets in her pocket, setting the area into lock down mode. Any of our family who was in the L&D area was stuck there, and anyone out was out. Still, we probably could have stood up for ourselves a little more and told people to step out for a bit. I was wheeled back into our room after my c-section and greeted by both Corey and my extended families. It was very awkward. Our plan this time is to not be pushovers and have a little bit of alone time with our little girl first, then bring Tate back to meet her, and THEN have extended family visit as they’d like. Even then I’m hoping things don’t get as crazy as it was with Tate. Everyone and their brother visited us, and while it was nice to be thought of and all, it was also exhausting!

My little baby burrito!

My little baby burrito!

2) Jaundice. I know this is entirely out of my control, but much of our hospital stay with Tate was spent with him under the light and it broke my heart! I really hope we don’t have the same experience this time!

Our poor, sweet little jaundiced boy!

Our poor, sweet little jaundiced boy!

3) Painful recovery. I’m a little terrified of this part. Ultimately it is what it is, but man was that pain awful! My goal is to try to get up and get moving a little bit sooner than I did last time, since they say that the sooner you try to get going, the better. We shall see! :)

No one warned me I would still be poofy and look pregnant when I left the hospital, so at least I know this time! :) This is our first family photo- look how young and naive Corey and I look!

No one warned me I would still be poofy and look pregnant when I left the hospital, so at least I know this time! :) This is our first family photo- look how young and naive Corey and I look!

Even though there’s obviously hopes I have for this birth, I will be happy as long as little baby bee is healthy! In the end I’ll end up with my precious newborn, and really that’s all that matters!

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Two Days: Exhausted, Large, and Not So Much in Charge

Seriously, I feel like I could go curl up in a ball and sleep for, well, until the baby gets here. Of course, I probably wouldn’t be able to sleep once I tried… Oh, the joys of pregnancy! But seriously my body is so drained! Sadly this will probably be the new normal for awhile. Just keep that in mind, friends, if you happen to encounter me during the next few weeks! :)

On top of being exhausted I also feel like a blimp. I know, I know, it comes with the whole pregnancy territory. Man, though did I forget how huge I get when pregnant. Not only with weight gain, but with swelling! I’m so poofed up it is uncomfortable to do anything! And I almost cried when I stepped on the scale at the doctor’s office today- 196.2. Please, dear Lord, do not let me break 200. But do you realize that means I’ve gained fifty pounds this pregnancy?! 50!!! Granted I gained sixty with Tate, but I initially lost weight when I got pregnant this time around. That makes it even more depressing. And with Tate, I had the motivation of my wedding to lose the weight. This time it’s just me. Sigh. I CAN DO THIS!

And let me tell you I am SO ready to have bladder control back! There’s not much else I can even say there. It’s just plain ridiculous.

So yes, pregnancy isn’t so fun. There’s a LOT of things I hate and will not miss even a tiny bit. But then there’s things like the beautiful feel of baby bee kicking inside my belly, the joy I feel when her heartbeat is picked up by the doctor at my appointments, and my little boy everyday wanting to know how many days till his baby sister is here so he can sing his countdown song that make even the worst parts okay! :)

I know this post is shorter than normal- I have other thoughts I could express… Like how I’m hoping the hospital visiting portion of this childbirth experience goes better than last time, or how it still doesn’t seem real that we will be having another child so soon, or how part of me wants to be a crazy rule nazi when the baby gets here even though I know I will end up just being a big pushover like always. Maybe tomorrow. I’m too tired to think!

Three Days: The Worry of a Mama

I remember growing up thinking many times that my mother was crazy. She worried about everything it seemed! Driving in cars, going to school, thunderstorms, and the list could go on, all made her antsy. I can’t remember the number of times we would pray for safety before and during various events.

Then I had my own son.

Isn’t it funny how women tend to become their mothers? Sure, I’m very different from my mom in a lot of ways, but I’ve also grown to adopt some of her character traits that I swore I would never have. Yep, like worrying.

Driving in the car used to be relaxing to me. I do still enjoy it, but whenever Tate’s in the car, I’m instantly more uptight. I see accidents everywhere. Thunderstorms used to be my favorite sleeping weather. While I do appreciate a good rain or mild thunderstorm still, the second there is a chance things might get severe, it’s not fun anymore. All I can think about is making sure I keep my son safe.

And now I’m adding another little one to worry about.

Of course, there are plenty of worries just getting her here in the first place. This pregnancy had way less worries than my pregnancy with Tate, but there still have been plenty of concerns. In the beginning there were fears of miscarriage. I think that’s one of every mommy-to-be’s greatest worries. Then, when you get past that stage, it’s still in the back of your mind that things could go wrong. Not only that, but you have to make all these big decisions- like how you’re feeding the baby, diapering him or her, even parenting your little one! You feel like every choice you make has the potential to alter his or her entire life, and you don’t want to mess up! It may be a little crazy, but I’m pretty sure most mothers can at least somewhat relate.

And then you get to the stage I’m at now. I’ve been a mess of worry the past few weeks, though I’m pretty sure I’ve done a decent job hiding it. Since I’ve had the non-stress tests and biophysical profiles, I’m constantly wondering if baby bee is moving enough, if my blood pressure has spiked, if my swelling is within “normal” limits, if any little pain or discomfort is cause for concern. It’s almost worse knowing she will be checked up on every week because a)that means there was a problem in the first place and b)I’m constantly counting the days until I am told all is good for another week. I worry she will have unforeseen medical issues when she is born. I worry she could be stillborn and how I would ever manage to cope with that. I worry that she will be a he… Which seems silly compared to my other concerns, but still!

It’s the life of a mother… Always worrying, even when a part of you knows you’re a little insane!

Thankfully I’m down to three more days of the inside my belly worries… Then she can join her brother in thinking I’m crazy with all of the outside the belly concerns! Bubble wrapping them into safe little protective boxes is acceptable, right? :)

Five & Four Days: Enjoying the Quiet & the Loud

My body has gotten used to waking up at 7AM everyday regardless of what is going on that day. Interestingly enough, even though I’ve NEVER been a morning person, I really don’t mind it. That’s especially the case on days like today.

Both of the boys are still sleeping, so I snuck downstairs and am enjoying the peace and quiet of this beautiful Sunday morning. I could be making breakfast or something somewhat productive, but then it dawned on me that in five days, these quiet mornings may very well come to an end, at least for the time being.

Corey and I have been extremely spoiled with Tate’s sleep patterns. After a very rough start to breastfeeding, I switched over to formula with him when he was a month and a half old. Since then, he has slept through the night. He is a sleeping champion, there’s no other way to say it. We’ve never had fights at bed time, middle of the night wake up parties, or way too early up and at ’em experiences. He goes to bed when he’s supposed to at night, sleeps soundly through, and then wakes up when Corey or I wake him in the morning. It’s awesome.

Not only that, but he is also incredibly self-sufficient for a three year old. If we tell him to do something, 99% of the time he does it, no problem. And most of the times he doesn’t is because he can’t find something or has some other physical limitation. Most days though he can get dressed on his own, go to the bathroom by himself, clean up his toys, and even get himself snacks and food sometimes. Tate has been my go-to drink guy this pregnancy… I tell him what I want and as long as its either a canned beverage or I have a cup out already, he can fulfill my order! :) He loves being our little gopher.

I’m going to go out on a limb though and say these are all probably not things little girl is going to do. Sad, yes, but true. My days of good sleep, peaceful nights and mornings, and being spoiled are definitely numbered.

The above is what I wrote yesterday morning before little man woke up and life got busy. I meant to come back and finish it up and post, but between church, going out for lunch with my little family, and getting together with some friends it just didn’t happen. It’s kind of fitting though, because while yesterday was somewhat peaceful and quiet, today has been anything but! Such is life with a toddler, especially a boy toddler… They can definitely get loud! And here I am adding to the noise with a baby.

I’m really looking forward to seeing the differences between baby bee and Tate. Obviously there are inherent differences in boys and girls that I’m interested in seeing how they play out in my children, but I also look forward to seeing what physical traits little miss picks up that are different from Tate (who is a mini Corey) and what personality traits she has, too.

For instance, Tate is a talker. He loves to tell stories and make friends. Literally EVERYONE he meets is his friend. He does NOT get this from Corey or I- both of us were the reserved children who hung back in the shadows. We have few close friends and are okay with that. For those of you who know me well, it’s a funny thing that I am the outgoing one in my marriage! Anyway, I don’t see baby girl being social like Tate. I picture her more like Corey or I, but who knows!? Maybe she will blow us all away and be an even bigger social butterfly than Tate. To be honest, the thought of THAT terrifies me… But I guess only time will tell! And if her and Tate spend their lives carrying our family’s conversations and pushing their parents out of our comfort zone, that’s probably not all bad! :)

I guess ultimately even though there will be changes to adjust to with little girl’s arrival, it might not be THAT different after all. I’m sure we will still have some quiet, peaceful moments where I can enjoy just taking in the little blessings God has given me. And there is no doubt we will also have crazy loud moments where Tate is babbling away and baby bee wants attention and I just want to escape to a secluded island! Either way will be perfect in its own way, as crazy as that may sound. Tate will still be my big helper, and the baby will find her spot in our little family too. Yes, I think it’s going to be all good- quiet OR loud! :)

Six Days: Tate’s Last Only Child Weekend

One of my biggest concerns this whole pregnancy has been making sure the transition for Tatum goes as smoothly as possible and he never feels ousted or less because of his baby sister. Granted, I understand that learning he isn’t always going to be the center of our world is part of bringing a new baby home and that it will be good for him, I just want to make sure he always knows he is mega loved and will always hold a special place in our family. Part of that is making sure we make the most of the time we do have before little miss is born. Today was all about celebrating our last weekend as a family of three, and we let Tate pick some extra fun activities:

1) Bake a cake- what’s a celebration without a cake!? :)

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The biggest “adventure” of this was Tate getting to crack an egg for the first time! :) It was pretty cute and he actually did really well until he freaked out because some got on him causing him to drop the shell!

2) Eat lunch at McDonald’s without going around the circle! :) We typically go through the drive-thru when we go there to avoid the whole play place hassle and pretty much every single time Tate says, “I don’t want to go around the circle!” He’s mega excited to be able to go inside and play on the red and green slides! :)

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3) Swimming! We have a little fishy boy! Unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures displaying his fishiness- I was too busy enjoying the wonderful effects of water on a pregnant body! Here he is though after the swim when we loaded up to leave:

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4) Outside Mario Kart fun! Isn’t everything better on a big screen, outside, late at night?

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I was blinding him with the flash, as you can see, so we quit with the pics and just had fun! :)

Overall I would say it was a pretty good day! I think Corey and I will both cherish our last few days with just our boy and the memories we have and will make, and I hope Tate will too!

One Week: The Final Countdown Begins

I promise this is not becoming a pregnancy blog, or children blog, or any of that. I’ll get back to the DIY and all that we’re up to as we make our house our home soon. Right now though, the projects are on the back burner as we wait for our little girl to arrive. Of course, part of the joy of pregnancy is little ones coming when they see fit, but barring her deciding to arrive early or medical issues, we will be meeting little miss in exactly one week. And yes, praise The Lord, that means this is my last full Friday of being pregnant! We haven’t decided if this will be our last child or not, so it’s even possible this could even be my last full Friday being pregnant EVER. As much as I am ready to be done and am hating every additional day of being miserable, there is a certain bittersweetness that comes with knowing the end is near. As a result, I decided I’m going to try to blog for the next week purely about my pregnancy experience overall, how I feel each day, and all of that, more as a reflection for me to look back on one day than anything else. You’re welcome to join in the fun, or ignore! :) And I promise to try to update on here fairly soon after she makes her appearance, even if it’s just a picture or something small!

Anyway though, what got me thinking about this being my last week of pregnancy (well, besides just me celebrating that I’m almost done!) was that I took my last “weekly” picture this morning. I’ve done awful this pregnancy (and didn’t really do too hot for Tate’s either) at taking regular pictures to document my baby bump. Part of this is because who likes to take pictures when they feel like a blimp? Another part is because my husband doesn’t understand how to take flattering pics, so I just go the selfie route and that’s kinda lame! :) I thought it might be fun though to share the pictures I do have of both this pregnancy and my pregnancy with Tate and what little pieces I can remember from each one. So, without further to-do, here you are:

My Pregnancy with Mr. Tatum-

14 weeks pregnant with Tate.

14 weeks pregnant with Tate.

17 weeks pregnant with Tate.

17 weeks pregnant with Tate.

19 weeks pregnant with Tate.

19 weeks pregnant with Tate.

32 weeks pregnant with Tate.

32 weeks pregnant with Tate.

33 weeks pregnant with Tate.

33 weeks pregnant with Tate.

39 weeks pregnant with Tate- the day I went to the hospital to be induced!

39 weeks pregnant with Tate- the day I went to the hospital to be induced!

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but my pregnancy with Tate was awful. Including delivery, I was in the hospital ten times. I couldn’t keep anything down the majority of the time. At the end, he was growth restricted so I had to have weekly non-stress tests and biophysical profiles. Throw in I was a full time college student an hour away from home, and it was a little crazy. In the end though, it was all so worth it! He is one of the greatest blessings I’ve been given!

My Pregnancy with Little Miss-

15 weeks- ah! So tiny!

15 weeks- ah! So tiny!

19 weeks.

19 weeks.

25 weeks.

25 weeks.

Almost 28 weeks.

Almost 28 weeks.

30 weeks.

30 weeks.

31 weeks.

31 weeks.

34 weeks.

34 weeks.

36 weeks.

36 weeks.

38 weeks- TODAY! :)

38 weeks- TODAY! :)

This pregnancy has been ten bajillion times easier than my experience with Tatum. I was sick for just a few weeks in the very beginning, and then it was smooth sailing. I still wouldn’t go so far as to say I’m one of those crazies who love being pregnant, but it hasn’t been a bad experience in any way. In fact, the worst part has been the last couple of weeks. My blood pressure was high at I think my 37 week appointment and we had a little “she might be born today” scare. We managed to get it down and my tests came back normal, but once again we are doing weekly non stress tests and biophysical profiles. I’ve also been having contractions since Sunday that are completely regular, but every time I’ve been checked there is no progression, so still we wait!

And that is that! We will see what tomorrow holds- we are hoping to have a “Last Weekend as an Only Child” celebration for Tate, so that should be fun! :) And we will see what else I decide to talk about or what thoughts and memories are triggered during this last week! :)

Let the countdown begin! :)

Yes, I’m Pregnant… Now Shut Up.

Okay, okay, that’s probably a little harsh. And really, I don’t mind talking about my pregnancy and all that goes along with it most of the time. Most is the key word, though. And now y’all get to hear a little bit of venting… Feel free to skip this post if you’d like! :)

First off, my number one pet peeve with pregnancies is people think it’s acceptable to ask completely unacceptable questions… Did you get pregnant naturally? Do you want a boy or a girl? How many kids do you plan on having? Are you breast feeding? Doing an all natural birth? What about circumcision? Co-sleeping? Skin-to-skin contact? It’s like all of a sudden I have a sign on my forehead that announces to the world ASK ME ANYTHING!

Even worse though is when people feel they have the right to judge your answers. It’s absolutely infuriating. I don’t care if you are a complete stranger or my childhood best friend, unless I ask for your opinion, your only concern should be that I raise my child in a loving and safe environment. Period.

I think part of why this gets on my nerves so is because my answer to some of these questions is not what is currently “popular.” For instance, my little girl will be born via c-section. Today, all natural is the way to go. Don’t you know drugs are bad for you and the baby and c-sections are from the devil? If you loved your child, you would do everything in your power, including fight with a doctor who went to school for years and has been practicing longer than you’ve been alive, to make sure you had an unmedicated, natural birth. Never mind all the perfectly healthy individuals born via c-section. Never mind that your son’s heart rate dropped significantly and you had a c-section for his own safety. Never mind that your hospital doesn’t do VBACs because of the dangers associated with them and the fact that it is a small enough hospital they don’t have the staff on hand to rectify the situation if something were to go wrong. You obviously are a bad parent.

And breast feeding!? Talk about a hot button issue! Breast feeding my son was a miserable experience. I wasn’t convinced I wanted to breast feed when I had him, but it was pushed and pushed and pushed, so I gave it a try. He was miserable. I was miserable. Corey was miserable. Heck, probably everyone who came into contact with me was miserable. But never mind that life became 100% easier and happier once you stopped. Never mind that your son was (and still is) the epitome of health. Never mind that he has displayed higher than average intelligence on a regular basis. I’m obviously a bad mother who ruined his life, took away his health benefits, bonding experience, and chance to be academically superior. And I’m not breast feeding my daughter at all? How dare I!? Can’t I at least give her a chance? What does it matter that the idea of breast feeding alone stresses me out? What does it matter that plenty of children have done just fine, excelled even, on formula? It doesn’t. Good moms breast feed. Breast is best, don’t you know!? (Side note- I do know there are legit medical findings showing breast feeding has significant benefits- I’m not arguing that at all! What I’m saying is shouldn’t the bigger concern just be that I am feeding my child!? And shouldn’t there be educational resources for moms who choose to formula feed the same way there is for breast feeding- my hospital offers a breast feeding class, and that’s it… Can’t it be a feeding class that goes over my other options, too?)

And then, once you get past the inappropriate questions, it’s on to the “the last days are the hardest” sympathizers… Which would be great… If it hadn’t started a month and a half before my due date! Maybe you should ask that piece of information first! And please don’t tell me I’m so big- that’s never an acceptable thing to say to a woman. And asking if I’m sure it’s not twins is pretty much the same thing! Yes, I’m huge! I don’t need you to tell me.

I think this is my last thing… I HATE “FALSE LABOR”! It does not feel false. And I feel very discouraged when I’m told the contractions I’ve been feeling for hours, spaced evenly at five minutes apart (which is when I’m told to come to the hospital) are doing nothing. All Saturday night I couldn’t sleep and did everything I could think of to stop them, but they kept right on coming. I go to the hospital to learn I have no progress and that yes, I should return if I have contractions five minutes apart (while I’m having contractions five minutes apart), but they apparently need to be stronger. Awesome.

Obviously, I’m just ready for September 20th. Praise The Lord it’s only ten more days.

Thank you for listening to my venting (or ignoring it and patiently waiting for my next post related to our forever home). I truly appreciate it… And will be back to normal SOON! :)