This week brought to you by an extra two hours of sleep and MILK. Lots of milk.

Stats:

Weeks pregnant: 15 and 5 days

Weight: 186 lbs (fluctuating from 185.2-187.0)

Gain: +3 lbs total

Waist : 34 at the skinny 44 at the bellybutton (minus one up top, plus one below)

And bust/hips (just for grins and giggles): 44″ and 44″. Soooo I’m a square. Awesome.

Average number of times I get up to pee per night: does 10 million sound like an exaggeration?

Size of the baby bean: 4-5 inches (AVOCADO)

Weight: 3-5 ounces! That’s like HALF A CUP!

Other pregnancy related crap:

Emotional crap: We’ll talk about that a little further down…

Physical crap: I don’t want to throw up all the time. Yay. But the reflux. UGH. It’s so bad.

What I want to devour: I can’t really say I’ve had ANY intense cravings. Which is actually really good news.

What makes me want to hurl: not much thankfully

Supplements: Red Raspberry Leaf (2 caps). Prenatal (from trader joes). Calcium-Magnesium (with D) pills (2). Papaya enzyme for the reflux/heartburn. It is actually quite helpful

Activity: I’ve been bike riding when I can. Usually 6-7 miles. I am going to take a leisurely walk soon just to be outside.

Boy? Or girl?: Boy. Still boy. 4 weeks, FOUR.

Names: Boy: Maxwell {insert exciting middle name here} Girl: Maggie Anne. Done. Picked.

In other news: I am really kind of alarmed that I don’t feel this baby moving. Like at all. There have been a few isolated times I *thought* I was feeling something but as soon as I stop to see, no more. Of course. I’m almost 16 weeks which is still early by most standards for fetal movement but I personally usually feel something by now (keeping in mind that the fetus weighs SO very little at this point that for it to be able to produce movement strong enough to transmit through to the uterine wall is still difficult. At 12 weeks? {When I thought I felt my first Ella wiggles…} The fetus weighs a HALF an ounce. That’s half a tablespoon. SO you can see why feeling movement that early is unusual and considered impossible by many OB’s.) Anyway. Here I sit. Reading my journal from Ella i see I wrote that I began to feel regular movement around 16 weeks. And from the outside at 19-20. Also I measure far bigger than 15.5 weeks.20-21 at this point so obviously there is plenty of room in there for the little guy to swim around without hitting the wall. Still because I’m a woman and a mother I sometimes get irrationally frightened. The other night I dreamt the baby didn’t have legs. And then last night I was SURE he must have an abnormality that causes muscle atrophy so he can’t kick at all. Yes. This is motherhood. I also have regular dreams that I forget one or more children somewhere. (As i finished writing this I got 3 good kicks from baby. Sigh)

BABY PREP: I’ve cleaned out the small dresser than used to hold my bras and underwear and socks and lingerie, it now holds baby things (currently a few t-shirts and some unisex onesies that I pulled from Ella’s stuff). This was also the small dresser I used for Sean so it’s been around. It’s only got four small drawers but I don’t suspect we will have a whole lot of stuff for this kid unless it does turn out to be a girl (and even then I just gifted all Ella’s stuff to my new niece Pippa). I’m still working on soakers. We’ve (or I’ve I guess) decided to use them with prefolds (or fitteds) exclusively. I am going to buy a couple of AIO diapers for nighttime (groVia most likely because they are all natural fibers). If money was no object I’d probably buy all groVia’s because they are quite nice but alas it is, and at $22 for the one size it’s a little rich for my blood. I listed all of Ella’s fuzzi bunz on eBay this week and once that auction ends I’ll order the dipes we need with that money. The auction should result in enough money to get them all.

Tandem nursing update (BOOBS BOOBS and more boobs. you may skip):

Well if you follow the blog you know that since the last update things have changed dramatically. My milk is all but completely gone. And I’m sad. Really. Really. Sad. This is NOT how I saw things going. Not at all. Yesterday Ella nursed before morning nap. Once in the afternoon. Once before bed. That’s it. Three times in 24 hours. I’m practicing the “offer and don’t refuse” rule but she is really just SO busy that she just isn’t interested in working for something that is just a lot of work with no milk. She likes to nurse and snuggle and she will do that every now and then but mostly. Not. She’s had a real explosion with walking and language this last week. And she is just busy. So busy. She’s always been a never sit still baby looking all around checking things out (when we go to starbucks with other moms and babies SHE is the baby that won’t sit and eat her banana. She has to crawl all over the damned place) but lately this is really magnified. And I don’t mean she walks into another room to explore and play with whatever toys might be in there. I  mean she walks in the other room, then she walks back where she came from. Then she figures out how to open the stair gate and climb the stairs. Then she’s in the bathroom. Then she’s in the boys room playing with their toys. I want so desperately somedays to contain her to one room so I can rest while she plays around me but she won’t SIT STILL AT ALL. It’s been my experience in parenting that there are two kinds of intelligent kids. There are sit still and quietly observe kids. They don’t make a lot of noise. They don’t demand constant attention. They are content to watch others. And THEN there are the Ella’s.The kids that insist on exploring their surroundings. My 13 year old was just like that. He went to bed late. Woke up early. Walked early. Talked early. Never sat still. Never took the simple answer. Poured over books. Asked a constant barrage of questions.  This is Ella. And not surprisingly, me. Anyway, I feel like while she loves to be near me and to to cuddle, she loves her momma, she’s also balancing that with being a really inquisitive kid who doesn’t WANT to sit still to nurse. Especially if there isn’t milk there.

So where does this leave us (sorry that was WAAAAY off topic)? Well I really want to tandem nurse these two babies. I want Ella to nurse until she’s two for lot of reasons but mostly because my milk is her best insurance of health right now. I also hoped that the tandeming would make the transition to having another baby a little smoother. And? I really just love the idea of nourishing them both. I know this baby is our last (for SURE) and I want to treasure his (or her) infancy but ALSO Ella’s. We opted to have another baby as soon as we did because I don’t want to be having kids into my 40’s (though there is NOTHING wrong with that, I’ve just been having babies since i was 20 and I’m tired, also I want to spend time with my awesome husband before we are 75). So I’m rushing her out of infancy I feel sometimes and I want to hang on to that a little while longer. I hope my milk (or colostrum) comes back well before the end of the pregnancy (varied from mom to mom from 20 weeks up til a week or two before birth).

In the meantime, I don’t know if she’ll wean completely before then. I hope not but what happens will happen and I’m trying hard to embrace that these things happen as the should. Of she does wean then well, it was meant to go that way, and if not well then that. Not knowing what the future holds is hard for a person like me who likes order but I really appreciate the opportunity to learn to trust that things will be as they should. It’s an exercise in patience and faith.

And here’s the belly photo:

baby baking , breastfeeding , operation Baby #5 , second trimester

Week number 2 in the baby baking series. This week brought to you by chamomile tea and afternoons naps.


Stats:

Weeks pregnant: 6 (presumably)

Weight: 185 POUNDS ( Yes. That is two pounds up from last week. I don’t think it’s a genuine gain though. My weight tends to pop up a couple of lbs when I ramp up on the exercise, which has been happening. My eating habits haven’t changed, except for the better. I made chocolate chip cookies and only had part of ONE. Who eats PART of a cookie? More on weight later.)

Gain: +2 lbs

Waist (I said belly button but I MEANT at the skinny part): 36″ today

Average number of times I get up to pee per night: 2-3

Size of the baby bean: Lentil (.25 inches)

Weight: TEEEENY TIIIIINY

Other pregnancy related crap:

Emotional crap: Still with the crabby. Still with the emotional. The kids chewed almost all of my gum this week. I almost died. Seriously do NOT stand between a nauseated pregnant woman and her minty freshness. DO. NOT.

Physical crap: Still with the bloated. I look pregnant. Not a fan. Nausea off and on with no real rhyme or reason. Though the heat does NOT HELP.  Not as bad as with Ella at this stage but very inconvenient in any case.

What I want to devour: Only craved spicy tofu one day this week. Two days later spicy tofu made me want to gag.

What makes me want to hurl: Only the *thought* of things makes me want to hurl. Hot dogs. Hurl. Corn dogs. Yum. Weird.

Activity: Still walking 2.5-3 miles 4-5 times a week now (45 minutes) when the Mister is away at work and last week twice with him once he was home (I think I only took one day off). I even RAN a bit. Ok it was a sad 4 minute jog at an 11:30 pace but still. Also yoga. We ride our bikes in the evening when the Mister is home (and I ride alone or with the other kids when I feel up to it). My bike had a very unfortunate breakdown last week. It was devastating. The new parts have arrived and I’m hoping the Mister can fix it soon. I have been riding his bike. It’s heavy and has fat tires. Add 26 lbs of Ella and me = a really challenging workout. Also chasing Ella around the house should count. Trying to keep her from falling down/climbing up and THEN falling down the stairs could be a full time job. Gates on order.

Boy? Or girl?: Still with the boy. Or twin girls. Pretty sure boy though.

Names: I think we’ve firmed up a boys name. We were absolutely SET on Benjamin Joseph or Eli but I think we’ve tossed those both out now. I like Jack. So maybe that but the firm name I’m keeping under wraps for now :) (there’s really no REASON to keep it secret. I just am to be ornery). I perused my family tree and found some GREAT names on my mom’s side. My great great grandmother? Her name was Winnary. No lie. Also Amos, Riley, Saralia, JOHAN. There’s a Hattie a Cornelius AND a Heinrich. We are all over the board with girls names but I think it’s a boy so irrelevant. I hope. Otherwise we might have a daughter with 5 names. Definitely love Clara and Maggie (Margaret) though. Those are on the top of the list. I also love Ruby, but it’s not well received. Those of you with older children… did they offer an opinion on names? Because we’ve got a whole HOUSE of opinions over here.

In other news: Let’s talk about weight. I am LAMENTING my not losing weight before I got pregnant.  I am not pleased with my size. I don’t like buying XL clothes and I don’t like that my maternity clothes from Ella will not even remotely fit (not that it matters because they were all spring and summer anyway). What I mostly don’t like is by this stage with Ella I already had what was obviously (to me) a pregnant poochy tummy and with this baby I just look lumpy. And I don’t want to be lumpy. It’s all my own fault for not being more disciplined earlier but let me tell you it takes DISCIPLINE. It is HARD for me to lose weight.  When I was 20 I used to look at overweight people and say “Oh I’ll NEVER be like that. It won’t happen. Because I’m skinny. TEE HEE Where’s the CHEESECAKE?” Well guess what? Skinny people get chubby too sometimes. Also it is not an exaggeration when people say it gets harder to lose weight as you age and after more kids. This is FACT. If there is no data to back it up I’m here to say it’s FACT. I AM THE DATA. With every pregnancy it has gotten harder and harder and taken longer and longer to lose the weight. Anyway it’s too late now so all I can do is be careful and eat well and do what exercise I can. .

That all being said, because I marvel at the wonder that is the human body and the ability mine has to even grow one baby much less feed a WHOLE OTHER baby, this is no time to bemoan my physique. Lumpy or not. And to be frank ladies there really is nothing more UNattractive than a woman walking around complaining about how she is fat and ugly all the time. Act fat and ugly. Be fat and ugly. So you won’t hear me mention this again. Head up. Shoulders back. Smile on. Period. Next item of business.

We, in case you were unaware, are planning a homebirth. We will be meeting with our wonderful CNM Rita Barron in August for out initial visit and labs/ultrasound. We plan on having concurrent care with her for these kind of things. And in the event we need to go to the hospital for any reason she would care for us there. I have known Rita for many years and she is a big proponent of homebirth. She’s also a very nice lady. :) Also we’ve spoken with the midwife who will do our homebirth, Jacque. She attended Ella’s birth and is awesome. And I think she’s is about as excited as us!

Tandem nursing update (still talking about boobs. you may skip): Well there isn’t much to say. Ella is still nursing day and night every 2-3 hours (sometimes all night). I’ve been sore on some days but on some days she spends so much time attached to me that I’d be sore if I were pregnant or not. It helps to nurse frequently and switch sides often.  ALSO you should know that I am taking a prenatal vitamin and calcium-magnesium. I am not really a big fan of vitamins. Mostly I think they just give you expensive pee. I’ve taking enough physiology and nutrition classes to know this… If your nutrition is good (read: optimal) you shouldn’t really need supplementation BUT in this case I feel like I’d better protect my bones because of the tandeming (and folic acid is always important so there’s that). And I would offer this recommendation to other mothers as well. If you can’t take a multi take calcium for YOU (and folic acid for your baby ) because in the end the body will protect fetus first, baby second and you, yeah you’re last. Awesome. Also notable  I think the tandeming definitely plays in to my being  tired DEAD EXHAUSTED . I’ve said it before I’m sure but having an infant relying on you while you’re building another one is no joke. I’m being really aware of what I eat and drink and making sure to take care of myself to try to protect my milk supply. The thing I KEEP hearing over and over is “My milk dried up at 8 (10, 12, 18, 20) weeks.” I know that this is a REAL possibility but if it happens I want to be able to say I did everything I could to try to have it not happen (though hormones are hormones and you can’t change those).

And here’s the photo (I can’t suck it in this week):

Also note: being photo bombed by 13 year old’s hand and baby’s head.

 

first trimester , operation Baby #5 , pregnancy , tandem nursing

Yes. Not so much in the blog as some of you may have suspected. More so in my LIFE. But thus in the blog. Without further adieu…

 

OH HAI TWO LINES.

Yes. That is what you think it is! We are expecting another baby in March 2012. I had a VERY faint positive test over the weekend (only about 8 days past ovulation) but truth is, I knew about 4 days *before* that. It’s probably the first time I every really *knew* that early. But I did. It almost killed me to keep it under wraps only this long (FIVE WHOLE DAYS). I am abysmally bad at keeping things like that private (to a fault?). In fact I *almost* envy people who can hide a pregnancy for months, I alas, can NOT. I just can’t and I don’t really see why to. Share our joy. Go ahead!  Because if there is pain (and that’s why we hesitate to share isn’t it) I’ll share that with you too. So here we are. I’m all of about 5 minutes pregnant (seriously my period is only due today. So honestly, FOUR WHOLE WEEKS) but modern technology allowed me to know only a week after conception

And Ella. Who doesn’t really know I’m pregnant and just thought this was a pencil but made for a cute photo montage.

And now to answer the top ten inevitable questions that are going to be asked.

1. Yes, we got pregnant on purpose. We wanted the babies closer, rather than further apart. I enjoy pregnancy. (No, really.) Plus, I’m not 25 (I’m just about 37). SO there’s that. I don’t really want to continue to have children into my 40’s. Though that is perfectly awesome, I’ve already been raising children since I was 20 so you know. I’m getting tired. Dead corpse tired.

2. It took ONE month of trying. One. This is not meant to stab at you who struggle with infertility. I’m so truly sorry for you because I HAVE felt the disappointment of a month after month after month negative test. This is rather just a fact I’m sharing. One. Month. Yeah, I couldn’t believe it either.

3. Yes, Ella is still nursing. She big puffy pink hearts boobies. That’s cool.

4. She nurses about every 2-3 hours all day (more if she is feeling particularly velcrobaby that day) and about the same during the night but with less vigor and more..eh, sucker fish.

5. No, I’m not planning on weaning her. Nursing is a great joy to me. I can’t imagine not liking it though I know there are plenty of women who don’t. I do. Keeping on. Keeping on.

6. Yes, she does eat food. Breastmilk is good insurance though. It’s full of everything she needs so if one day all she wants is pinto beans that’s fine.

7. Yes, that means I will be nursing two babies at once (three if we have twins). If Ella wants to continue, which presumably, and hopefully, she will, I will continue to nurse her.

8. I’m excited about this. Really. The thought of nursing multiple children does not seem dreadful to me. It seems, well, awesome.

9. Yes, we are planning another homebirth. Yes, that means no drugs. Yes, that includes no epidural. This does probably include pancakes and most likely Bob Marley.

10. Yes, it may very well happen in the kitchen.

There will be more to come regarding the tandem nursing. It seems a little weird to some so hopefully I can show you it’s not some hippie weird-o thing (though that’s awesome too) but rather, just a natural thing I’m doing.

I wasn’t keeping a blog when I was pregnant with Ella but I do now (mostly) and I plan to continue. Look for a weekly update (starting NOW) with stats and info about how things are going (struggles, goals and the like) and photos OF COURSE. The internet has remarkably few blogs with moms sharing tandem nursing/homebirthing experiences so I’ll fill up that niche. I’m happy to take all of you along with us on the journey.

first trimester , operation Baby #5 , pregnancy , pregnant