Tuesday, May 31, 2011

41 weeks, 4 days

And still pregnant.

I will confess, I have been cranky and grumpy lately as I wait for this little one to make her appearance.  I feel like I just get up in the mornings and go through the motions of the day, waiting for contractions that get longer, stronger, and closer together.  I have plenty of contractions...but they just do their own thing and don't amount to any changes whatsoever once I am at the midwife's office.  I had contractions pretty much all day yesterday, and I was sure something would have changed when I got checked today.  Nothing.

We spent yesterday morning at the town Memorial Day parade.  It was hot!  But it felt so good to get out of the house and experience all the sunshine and the happy faces of others.  Then Tim was home for the afternoon, the princess took a great nap, and we grilled chicken Santa Maria-style for dinner.  Yesterday was a great day.

Today I had another checkup with my midwife.  Still nothing has changed.  I find that hard to believe, but it is the truth!  So we set an induction date.  THERE IS AN END IN SIGHT!!!  I am so excited and happy to know that we finally have an end date.  If the little one is not here by Thursday (June 2), I will be induced at 9am.  While I want more than anything to go into labor on my own, I cannot handle this mental game anymore.  Baby is getting the boot from my womb.  We'll see if this goes any quicker than the induction with the princess.  Hers was a 30-hour ordeal.  So we are being realistic and saying Baby should be here by Friday the 3rd!

Please be praying for us as we look forward to meeting our little one.  I still have a few days to go into labor on my own!  :)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Not a Fan: Book Review

Not A Fan - Kyle Idleman, Zondervan PublishersI have heard it time and time again:  "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved.  That's all there is to it.  Are you ready to make that commitment?"  This question is usually followed by droves of children flocking to the front of the church sanctuary, ready to commit their lives to Christ...some of them for the second or third or fourth time, "just to be sure".  While this is beautiful if their commitments are authentic, I wonder how much harm we are doing by not clearly presenting the sacrificial side of following Christ.

In his book Not a Fan, Kyle Idleman addresses this issue with candor and a plea to the reader to truly examine his or her own life.  He asserts that to truly believe is to follow, and the first seven chapters of his book are devoted to posing questions to determine whether you are a fan (simply an enthusiastic admirer) or a follower of Christ. 

Idleman dedicates the next four chapters of his book to walking the reader through Luke 9:23 and its implications:  "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me."  The final three chapters pose the challenge to follow Christ wherever, whenever, and whatever He may call you to.

This book is not one to be read lightly.  It poses so many questions and thoughts that every Christian should think through at some point in their life.  While I do not agree with the author on what it means to be "spirit-filled", this is definitely a book that I would recommend and pass along to others to read.

*This book was given to me for review purposes by Zondervan Publishing, and I do not have to return the book to the publisher. All opinions expressed in this post are mine.

Friday, May 20, 2011

40 Weeks!!!

So today is the day.  Yes, all along I have said the 21st is my due date.  Actually, it's the 20th.  I just like saying the 21st better.  So today is the day!  Come on out, Baby!

I had a checkup yesterday, and of course not much is happening.  I am at 1cm, which is better than last week.  Baby is still head-down!  She still hasn't dropped yet though, so I was encouraged to do some walking.  I did some gentle bouncing on an exercise ball last night while I watched American Idol (go Scotty!).  Maybe that will count for something!

I am writing this around 12am because I just have a burst of energy.  I know I'm supposed to go scrub the floor of the baby's room or something, but this is more fun.  Maybe this is the pre-labor energy burst that people talk about?  Or maybe I am faking yet again.

Faking?  Yes, I have faked having an energy burst at least twice this week.  It didn't send me into labor, but it did result in a clean floor under my refrigerator, an organized lazy susan, and a half-organized closet (interrupted by a curious 2 year-old). 

I am still feeling pretty well in this pregnancy.  I have a lot of hip pain from sleeping on my sides at night, and most nights the couch is more comfortable than my bed.  Other than that, I don't have many complaints. 

In the life of the princess:

We have had quite a few beautiful days recently and have been able to get outside to play.  One of her favorite things has been to "clean clean dirty green beep beep".  I am not sure how she got to be so fond of cleaning, but she LOVES it.  :)

Girlfriend LOVES to brush her teeth.  I have to limit her to 3 times a day, and she has daily fits over not being able to brush her teeth more.  Again, I am not sure where she gets this!!!

We have a new addition to our toy collection:  Charlie.  That's right, Charlie Horse.  :)  He was sent home with us from a friend's house, and he receives much love and attention here.  I just wanted to include a picture so I could mention his name.  My husband's a creative genius.  :)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Inducing Labor: Home Remedies

Around this point of pregnancy, many women begin to get antsy about when "The Big Day" will occur.  I am no exception.  I find myself on the internet several times a day, Googling "early labor symptoms", convinced that my running to the bathroom every 1 hour has more to do with being in early labor than the fact that I am drinking crazy amounts of water.  I have also Googled "home remedies for inducing labor" and found some interesting ideas!

You really don't have to Google home remedies though.  Many women freely offer information on what worked for them.  Some of these ideas are weird.  Some are crazy.  Some are plain dangerous.  But some just make me laugh.

Two examples: 
"Mexican food worked for me"...spoken by someone who was induced.  Perhaps it was actually the induction that worked for her?
"Eat pineapple.  It worked for me."...spoken by someone who later said, "Recreate the moment of conception.  That's what worked for me."  Hmmmmm...so was it the pineapple or not?

I decided to try my own home remedies for inducing labor.  I have been keeping a friend posted on my attempts every day via Facebook, but I think these are fabulous ideas that should be shared with everyone.  So here are the things I have been doing to bring on labor.  One of these is going to get the credit for being "the way to do it", and I will share my idea with every pregnant woman I meet.  :)

Thursday 5/12:  I went to Old Country Buffet and made myself a taco salad with lots of jalepinos on top. I heard about this one girl that did that and then went into labor the next day.

Friday 5/13:  I just got back from a 30-minute walk. I heard about this girl who did that every day for a week, and then she went into labor.

Saturday 5/14:  I just got back from eating Mexican food and ice cream. I heard about this one girl who did that and then had her baby the next full moon.

Sunday 5/15:   I went to church this morning. I have heard about so many women have done that and gone into labor the same week. I think I will even go back tonight!

Monday 5/16:  I went to the grocery store AND shoe shopping with a potty-training 2 year-old. I had to run across the parking lot carrying my 27-pound girl because the shoe store didn't have a bathroom. We made it to Taco Bell in plenty of time for her to be successful. Pretty sure someone I know had the same scenario and went into labor later that week.   Note:  I didn't get any shoes. I also didn't get any Taco Bell.

Today I also bought a pineapple.  I intend to eat the entire thing.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Product Review: BrytonPick

I am not a fan of flossing my teeth.  I really do not know why.  I love the clean floss feeling.  I know the importance.  But I just hate the process, and I only do it when absolutely necessary.  Gross, I know.
That is why I was curious when I heard about BrytonPick - the "floss in seconds" that is reusable up to 30 days.  Made of flexible stainless steel ends and a colored center grip, BrytonPick claims to be more socially acceptable than typical products.
I love that this product comes with a carrying case and fits into my purse (or wallet for a man).  I would never consider carrying a packet of dental floss, but the BrytonPick is in my purse at all times.  I am also a sucker for a product that comes in stylish colors, and I look forward to purchasing a pink one when my 30 days are finished with Mr. Red. 

The day my BrytonPick arrived, my husband and I happened to be going out to eat.  I ate my delicious steak dinner, and afterwards, instead of improvising and using a straw to clean my teeth as I have done on occasion, I used my BrytonPick.  It was great!  I did not feel disgusting doing that in public, and my teeth were clean.  I have some teeth that are close-set to each other, but the BrytonPick worked well even with those.

Are you interested in trying BrytonPick for yourself?  Visit their website for more details, to order online, or to get information about what stores sell this product.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com created by WebBizIdeas a Minneapolis SEO and Web Design firm. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Tomoson Product review & giveaway Disclosure.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Product Review: Elle Belle's Bows

I love to dress up my little princess.  She is at an age right now where she still allows me to pick her clothes out for her, and she is beginning to leave fancy little pretties in her hair for extended periods of time.  This Easter, I decided to take advantage of her compliance and purchase some hair bows that would match her dress.

I have been a follower of Elle Belle's Bows for awhile now, and I am a fan of her work.  She makes the coolest Ohio State Buckeyes headwear for little girls, along with all sorts of headbands and hats, flower bows, and cause ribbons.  I browsed her selection and decided to order a set of 2-inch flower bows from her spring and Easter collection.  I could not find the exact colors I wanted, so I e-mailed and she did a special order at no additional charge!

I was excited when I received the following items in the mail:

The colors of the Easter bows matched her dress perfectly (true colors represented in photos below), and the princess was ecstatic over her "Go Buckeyes" bow.  I was impressed with the professional packaging and cards that each bow was attached to, and the quality of the bows was terrrific.  Each had no-slip grip attached, and the alligator clips were covered half-way with ribbon.  Perfect for staying in my little one's hair.

Easter Sunday, I dressed her up in her bows and new dress, and of course took many photos.  She looked like a little princess.  :) 

Are you interested in any of the Elle Belle's Bows products for your little one?  She has a referral system for friends and family.  If you make an e-mail purchase of $25.00 or more (before shipping and handling), you will receive $5.00 off your first order!  Take a look at the links on the top of her blog, and see if there is anything you are interested in.  Be sure to include my name as a reference in your order e-mail!

I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am not being compensated in any way for this review.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sunday Scrappin'

I am pleased to announce that I have completed my pre-baby scrapbooking goal:  The princess' scrapbook is complete, up to her first birthday!  Woot!

The pages for this week just needed some words and embellishments added to them, so it was not much work. 

Here is the princess at 11 months:

Her first Christmas:

And her first birthday:

Monday, May 2, 2011

37 Weeks

I am 37 weeks pregnant!  I could go into labor at any time and it would be considered full-term.  In fact, that's what I thought happened Saturday night.

We had a group from church at our house Saturday night, and I was sitting there noticing some Braxton Hicks contractions.  Then I realized they were consistently 8 minutes apart, lasting 30 seconds or so.  I told my husband about it, then we went to bed.  I woke up several times and was still having contractions.  Around 1:30 or so, I got up to time them again.  They were 3-5 minutes apart, lasting a full minute each.  They didn't hurt at all, and I really didn't think they were "the real thing", but I didn't want to be wrong.  Especially since I didn't know for sure if the baby was head-down yet!!!

I hadn't had the conversation with my midwife about what number to call after-hours if I thought I was in labor.  I called the office and talked to a "registration specialist" who advised me to go to the hospital.

At 3am I gave in and initiated our birth action plan.  My husband picked up the lady who was going to stay at the house with the princess, and we headed to the hospital.

Once at the hospital, I mentioned to the nurse that the baby had been transverse but had flipped recently and we weren't able to tell for sure if she was breech or cephalic.  They brought in an ultrasound machine and guess what?  Breech!  Ahh!

My contractions were steady on the monitor at 3-3.5 minutes apart, and Baby was doing well.  However, my cervix wasn't dilated at all.  We walked in the halls for awhile, but still no dilation...therefore, not true labor.

We then talked about our options and decided to schedule another session with the massage therapist to see if she could help coax Baby into a heads-down position.  If that didn't work, we would schedule an external cephalic version.  Basically, a version involves a doctor manually flipping the baby into a birthable position.  He grabs the baby through the mother's stomach and turns the baby until she is in the proper position.

My midwife came on duty at 8am, and she came in to see me.  One of the doctors that does the versions was actually coming on duty as well, and she brought him in to talk to us.  He asked if he could go ahead and try it, and we said okay.

The doctor was pretty awesome.  I am a big fan of him because my baby is now heads-down.  After reading online and seeing that this procedure has about a 50-60 percent success rate, I realize that mine was actually pretty easy.  It took less than 3 minutes, and there was pain, but it was manageable.

After the procedure, Baby and I were monitored for 2 hours to make sure there was no disruption to the placenta.  One of the risks of having this done is that the placenta can be disturbed and require an emergency c-section.  We were happy to head home with after our 2 hours of being monitored with no difficulty!

Things are still going well.  Baby has not made any major flips.  We are praying she stays head-down until delivery!  I see my midwife Tuesday, so she'll be able to check her again then.

All in all, this entire experience was such a blessing.  Generally. women don't want to admit going to the hospital for false labor...and I am the same way!  But if this had been true labor, it would have resulted in a c-section.  You cannot do a version during labor.  Breech babies are not delivered vaginally...at least not at my hospital.  Also - we did not know the baby was breech until this ultrasound!  We were blessed to have a doctor on duty who was able to do the version, and we are so happy to know that she is now in a birthable position.

May Flower...

It's May!!!  That means...this should be Baby's birth month.  I say SHOULD, because you never know...

Who has a guess on what Baby's birth date will be?  She is due the 20th-22nd, depending on which ultrasound you go by.

Background info:  Big sister was 8 days late after an induction.

I love guessing due dates.  Guess away!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sunday Scrappin'

I have a feeling I will not be doing much scrapbooking in the near future.  Already, things like cleaning baseboards and searching for the perfect wall border for the baby's room have taken over as my priorities.  :) 

I did find some time this week to do a 28-week ultrasound page for Baby 2.  I searched for ideas online and kept coming across the idea of including a silhouette of a pregnant woman.   I ended up taking a photo of myself from when I was 28 weeks pregnant, enlarging and printing it, then cutting the outline from a piece of black paper.  I was pleased with the result.

I tried to use darker colors on this page to complement the black and white ultrasound pictures.  I did want a bit of "girly" colors in there, so I chose a dark purple.  I used the Plantin Schoolbook cartridge on my Cricut for the letters and embellishments.

The writing on this page says, "02/24/11 - We got to see your beautiful face today.  You liked to keep you arms by your face, and you were very active.  You actually smiled at one point, and they captured it on film.  Precious!  You measured at 2 pounds 8 oz.  That's the 50th percentile."
I also finished 2 pages for the princess' scrapbook a few weeks ago, and I just realized I never posted them!  Here are months 8 and 9!

The wording on her 8 month page says, "You have to be walked to sleep.  You know Monkey's name and attack him on command.  You let go and hold objects while standing.  You crawl with your belly off the floor.  You carry Bluebeary in your mouth as you crawl."
Her 9 month page says, "We moved from California to Ohio this month and are living with Nana and Papaw while Daddy looks for a job.  You get to see both sets of grandparents on a daily basis right now.  You adore your cousin Drew.  New words:  Mama and buh (ball).  You eat table foods and like to feed yourself.  You like to put a blanket on your own head and play peek-a-boo.  You still have to be walked to sleep, and you wake 2 times a night for milk."