Zachary’s Birth Story Part 1

2 Mar

Finally getting around to documenting what happened over 5 weeks ago!  I actually thought I would get around to it last week, but then after reading about a birth story of former classmate/friend of mine from my childhood that had a very different outcome than mine, I just couldn’t get myself to write about my experience.  I felt too much sorrow for her and for all women who so very much desire for children but for whatever reason are unable to or have experienced a pregnancy loss.  I cannot imagine the pain, and I’m so sorry for what those of you who have or are experiencing this must be going through.  And I’m sure social media makes it worse, with all the pictures of pregnancy announcements, birth announcements, and of people’s children.  I am guilty of all such social media posts, and I am sorry if it inflicts pain on anyone.

However, I still want to share Zachary’s birth story for both documentation purposes for myself, as it is a very big and important moment in my life, and for others who are interested, as I myself love reading about other people’s birth stories.  Just know, though, that if you’re someone who is experiencing sorrow regarding pregnancy or there lack of, you are in my prayers.

So here it is:

Zachary’s Birth Story Part 1

My last day of work prior to my scheduled maternity leave was Friday, January 22nd.  My actual 6 weeks of maternity leave was to start Monday, February 1st, which was my due date according to my first trimester ultrasound.  However, dating by date of conception-which I was quite sure of-had me due January 25th.  Because of the confusion with my due date, I was allowed to use one of my vacation weeks to extend the beginning of maternity leave in case I delivered before February 1st.

There were a lot of long days at work during that final week, as I made sure everything was squared away prior to my time off.  When I walked out of the hospital that Friday, I was exhausted and relieved to finally be able to catch up on some rest.  I was hoping to deliver the upcoming week in order to maximize the time I was to have with my son, but at the same time, I was sorta hoping Zachary would wait at least a few days before coming so that I could fit in a little extra of that rest I wanted.

However, I’m not always the best at “resting”–haha–although in my definition, “resting” also means “rejuvenating” which means doing things that you enjoy doing.  Running outside in the fresh air is something I love to do, and something I don’t get to do too often; the only time I am usually able to fit in runs is very very early in the morning, which in part due to safety reasons forces me onto the treadmill.

So when I awoke early Sunday morning and Dean and Addison were still asleep and the sun was about to rise, I was like, “yes! I can run outside and see the sunrise!”

And so that’s what I did.  I quickly changed, got in the car and drove myself and my ~39 week pregnant belly to the lakefront and headed out for a run.   It was crisp, refreshing, beautiful, and I felt great.

I normally get frequent Braxton Hicks contractions when I work out.  However, during my run I noticed that my Braxton Hicks contractions were a bit more frequent and intense compared to normal, forcing me to stop several times during my run.  At the back of my head I jokingly thought wouldn’t it be funny if I went into labor today?  But I quickly dismissed that thought as being unlikely.

After 5 beautiful solo miles along the lakefront, I made it back to my car, rushed home, and got ready for church.

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I treasure my solo outdoor runs and being able to experience seeing the sunrise….an introvert and outdoor lover’s dream.

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Picture of me at the completion of my run. For the record, it was snowy near where my car was parked, but the actual lakefront running path was clear…if there was a lot of ice outside, I wouldn’t risk running outside when pregnant.

At church, I again noticed that my Braxton Hicks contractions seemed more frequent than normal for this pregnancy (they were VERY frequent and intense during Addison’s pregnancy, starting as early as 20 weeks, but much less so during this pregnancy), but I still didn’t think it meant anything.

That night after putting Addison to sleep, Dean and I sat down to watch our TV obsession:  the Walking Dead.  At around 11:00, my (Braxton Hicks/early labor) contractions were occurring regularly and frequently…around every 3 minutes.  Again, frequent contractions were very common for me during Addison’s pregnancy, but not this one.  I also noticed that I was feeling the contractions down lower…as if my whole uterus was contracting, not just the middle and top parts as it would often feel like to me during a Braxton Hicks contraction.  It wasn’t at all painful at this point, but this was exactly how my contractions felt the day I went into labor with Addison…they felt lower in the pelvis (in addition to being felt up higher).  It was at this point that I turned to Dean and said, “I think we’re having this baby tomorrow!”  I don’t think Dean was expecting this, and he started to get nervous/excited!

We finished the Walking Dead episode we were watching and then went to bed, perhaps around 11:30?  During Addison’s pregnancy, I developed these contractions very early on the Friday morning before her birthday.  I went to work, worked through the contractions all day, went home, developed more painful contractions that evening, went to the hospital around 10-11 at night, and then delivered Addison at 11:22 am the next morning.  So there was a lot of time between the start of the early labor contractions and the actual delivery.

Not so much this time.

Dean quickly fell asleep after we went to bed, but I did not.  The contractions were becoming more intense, and I was starting to feel them in my back.  They soon started to become uncomfortable, around 12-1:00 am.  I also noticed that it kept feeling like I was peeing in my pants (sorry if TMI).  Turns out that I later discovered this was my water breaking, which was more of a leak than an actual gush of fluid, but I did not realize this at this point.

At this time, I thought there was still time, and I irrationally thought I’d just wait it out to the morning, drop Addison off at her Montessori School at 7:30, and then head over to the hospital.  haha, yeah right…not according to Zachary’s plan!  The contractions were then starting to become downright painful, forcing me to tense up whenever I had them.  I then realized we would have to go to the hospital much sooner than I thought.

I woke Dean up and told him to start getting ready.  Luckily, his family is nearby…he called his family around 2:00 am, and his brother immediately jumped in the car and drove down to our place to be with Addison (thanks Paul!).

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Final bump picture before heading over to the hospital. For those interested, my total weight gain this pregnancy was exactly 25 pounds. With Addison it was about 22-23 pounds total.

At around 3:00 am, Dean and I were on our way to the hospital.

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The streets of Chicago at 3:00 in the morning! Actually, the only reason I took this lovely picture was to document the time we headed over to the hospital.

To be continued…

 

 

 

 

 

Zachary 2 week update

11 Feb

Finally getting around to attempting to write about Zack’s birth story, which I will probably post sometime in the next couple of days.  Until then, I’ll do a quick update:

Zachary is now a whopping 17 days old!  Not sure where the time has gone, which I’m pretty sure I’ll be saying for the next 18 years.    IMG_2927

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These pictures were technically taken less than a week a part, but I feel like I can already see a change in him in that short period. They grow and change so quickly!

Zachary is doing very well!  He is super cuddly and loves being held.  In fact, he is lying on my chest sleeping right now as I type this.  I am absolutely loving all the cuddle time and would keep him in my arms all day long if I could.  I even bought a wrap to help me do this:

Bought the Ergobaby wrap to carry Zack in.

Bought the Ergobaby wrap to carry Zack in.

Regarding feeding, I am of the belief that what is best for the mom and family as a whole is what is best for the baby, whether that be breastfeeding, formula feeding, or a little bit of both.  If you’re happy and the baby is loved and fed….that’s what matters.  I have decided to pursue breastfeeding for now, because I actually really enjoy it when I don’t have to deal with the stresses of trying to pump at work.  So far it has been going extremely well.  Zachary is a little breast feeding champ.  He was 6 lb 8 oz at birth and weighed 7 lb 11 oz at his two week visit!  I knew he was feeding well, but both his pediatrician and I were pleasantly surprised by just how much weight he had gained, as they usually just hope to see the baby back at his/her birthweight by the 2 week visit.  Her response, “do you have whip cream in there or something?!”  haha.  For working moms (or really any mother who will also be pumping and storing milk) out there, I have some suggestions regarding breast feeding and going back to work, just based on my own experiences, which I will save for another post.

I, on the other hand, have not done quite as well, at least not the past week.  I developed some mystery illness last Friday in which I was spiking fevers up to 103.5 for 5 nights in a row.  I can’t recall ever in my life having a fever that high.  I was miserable.  I had myalgias and headaches, and when the fever spiked, I would start shaking uncontrollably (trust me trying to breast feed a baby when you’re so chilled that you’re shaking is not fun).  Then I would break out into drenching sweats.  It was exhausting, and I felt like I just needed to sleep to recover, but with a newborn at home, that obviously is not going to happen, and perhaps that is why it dragged on so long.  I have now been fever free for over 24 hours, so it looks like things are getting better.  Still no idea as to what it was.

I was paranoid about getting Zack sick and was convinced at first that I had the flu even though I had gotten the flu vaccine, but I tested negative for the flu.  We then thought it could be mastitis, and I was treated for that, but the only real breast symptom I had was what I presume was just a very painful blocked duct that happened to coincidentally occur at the same time I was sick, after the systemic symptoms had already started.  So who knows, but the good thing is I’m feeling much better today…I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that if this was something contagious, that Zachary remains healthy (a fever in an infant in the first 28 days of life is a big deal).

Breastfeeding and cuddling with Zack when I was sick. The mask was hot and uncomfortable to wear, but at that point when I thought I had the flu, I was willing to go to any length to keep him healthy.

Breastfeeding and cuddling with Zack when I was sick. The mask was hot and uncomfortable to wear, but at that point when I thought I had the flu, I was willing to go to any length to keep him healthy.

More misc. pictures from the first ~2 weeks at home with baby Zack:

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Dean’s parents and nephews.

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My mom holding Zachary for the first time when he was about 1.5 weeks old. My parents post-poned their trip out here a little bit, because of my grandmother’s funeral.

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My father meeting Zachary for the first time.

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My sister with Zachary.

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Dean and my first night out with two children, with Zachary less than a week old. It may have only been to Whole Foods, but we were pretty excited to be out of the house and proud of ourselves for making it there!

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The chaos of having two babies ….my dad is holding Zachary while I am running over to rescue Addison from climbing and falling over the sofa. You can’t take your eyes off of your children for one second! Even with family help it can be crazy! I will say this: it’s been about as “easy” it can be so far, because Addison is at her Montessori school during the day when Dean is at work, and at night Dean is a huge help and takes care of and showers Addison with attention while I’m with the Zachary. It’s still early, but Addison seems to be adjusting quite well.

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Posting this pic of Addison just because I think it’s cute. It’s so much fun seeing more and more of her personality coming out each day.

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That’s it for now!  More on Zachary’s birth story coming shortly, as well as pictures of Dean’s family meeting him for the first time!

Welcome Zachary Frederick Ordzowialy

29 Jan

We are now a family of four!  Zachary Frederick Ordzowialy arrived Monday, January 25th, 2016 at 8:55 am:

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6 lbs, 8 oz

21 inches

He’s a little peanut weight-wise compared to Addison when she was born, but he sure has a lot more hair:

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We picked his first name, Zachary, the same way we picked Addison’s name:  it was simply a name we both liked.  His middle name, Frederick, is in honor of both of my grandfathers and my father, all named Frederick.  Zachary’s birthday also happens to be the birthday of my grandfather on my dad’s side, who passed away last year at the age of 94.

We are so in love with this little guy and are so grateful that God delivered him safely into our arms!

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With the birth of new life comes the completion of older life:  two days after Zachary was born, my grandmother passed away unexpectedly.  It has certainly been an emotional roller coaster!  But death is as much a natural part of life as birth, and while her physical loss obviously brings my family and me grief, her life is one to be celebrated.  She lived to be 91.5 years and was able to meet her great-grandson via FaceTime the day before she died.  My grandmother was happily married to her husband Frederick (the one who’s birthday is shared with Zachary) for 67 years before he passed away almost exactly a year ago….now they can be together once again.

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My grandparents on their wedding day on September 13, 1947.

 

 

34 weeks

21 Dec

I started this post about a week ago but never quite got around to finishing it.  That seems to happen more often than not these days when it comes to doing blog posts.  And if you’ve left a comment on a prior post, I love reading them and will respond!

I am now 34 weeks pregnant, which comes out to between 7.5-8 months pregnant (7.8 to be exact:  34 weeks x 7 days divided by 30.5 average number of days per month.  Just in case y’all were wondering how I do my math.  It annoys me when people divide the number of weeks by 4 to come up with how many months pregnant they are…folks, there are more than 4 weeks in a month.  Don’t ask me why that bothers me #randompregnancypetpeeve)

34 week bump pic:

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I spy Addison snooping around in the background! The shirt btw, I think makes me look smaller than I actually am.  It’s from the Gap fit section.  I’m obsessed with the Gap athletic wear.  The stuff works great during pregnancy and is way cheaper than Lulu in general, and then especially if you purchase them on one of Gap’s many sales days.  

Due Date:  2/1/16 by ultrasound

Name:  We have a name picked out!  Finally!  We literally came to an agreement about 3 weeks ago.  Boys names are hard!  Not revealing it until the baby is born, though ; ).  But now I can at least call him by name.  I totally respect people who wait to find out the sex of the baby when it is born, but I like knowing ahead of time and being able to name him/her…it gives him/her identity and I don’t know…it makes me feel like I’m closer to the baby…that he/she is already part of the family.  Plus, it was still a surprise at the time when we found out at Addison’s birthday party.

Clothes:  definitely running low on clothing options, but I just don’t want to spend more money on pregnancy clothes that I won’t be wearing in a few weeks, so I’ve just been wearing a lot of what I wore last time around, except with a black sweater over it since most of my pregnancy clothes from last time were worn May-July.  Yoga pants are a life saver (I have several pairs from Gap which I practically live in right now).  I have purchased a few non-pregnancy shirts a size up from what I would normally wear so that I can still get some use out of them after the delivery (again, from Gap, as described above).

How I feel:  Right now I feel good, but a few weeks ago, things were rough…I’m not sure if the baby was going through a growth spurt or what, but everything felt uncomfortable:  eating was uncomfortable because I would feel uncomfortably full even after a small meal, I had right sciatic discomfort and numbness shooting down my leg, my stomach felt like it was uncomfortably getting stretched out (and I’m pretty sure my rectus diastasis has worsened this pregnancy), my Braxton Hicks contractions were really strong, taking my breath away and making it hard to walk through, and I felt really tired.  Things have improved since then, and I actually feel pretty good right now, as I said above.  However, I will say this:  given that I’ve spent more time pregnant than not over the past two years, I’m ready to not be pregnant, and if there is a next one, it would be nice to plan it so that I’m not pregnant during the holidays (oh wine and beer, how I miss you ; )

Exercise:  The limiting factor with exercise has been time, as always these days.  The balancing act called life is constantly in flux, constantly evolving and changing.  I feel like everything I do, I’m constantly trying to figure out how to multi-task better and be more efficient.  What works one week may not work well the next week, and I just sorta try to go with the flow and do the best that I can at fitting everything in.  What seems to be working best for me at the moment is to fit in my run in the morning AT the hospital.  I aim to be out the door in the morning by 5:15-5:30.  My commute at that time is only about 22 minutes (yes, I have it timed precisely), so leaving at that hour ends up cutting my commute time in half, allowing me more time to do other stuff with that time.  I then run 3-4 miles on the treadmill, maybe do a few weights, and then get ready at the hospital, which is a lot less stressful and hectic than trying to get ready at home knowing I still have a long commute.  I have been aiming to do that at least a couple of days a week on my lighter days.  On my busier days, I’ve been aiming to still leave at that time and just get to work early to get extra work done.  It requires a very early alarm, but I’d rather get the work done or the run in early early in the morning when the world is still sleeping and quiet than stay late and sacrifice the limited time I have each week day with Dean and Addison.

Awkward moment from this past week regarding the running:  I was on the treadmill running at the hospital when one of the OB doctors came in at the end of his night shift to fit in a brief run.  He looked at me like I was crazy, and then was like, “are you pregnant?!”  And then he was like, “how many centimeters dilated are you…oh, I mean…how many months are you?”  haha.  I was like, well I hope I’m not dilated yet!

Other misc. updates:  Two weeks ago Dean and I went on our trip to NYC, just the two of us!  It took a lot of planning and help to pull this off without the baby, but a huge thanks to Deans parents and my parents, we were able to spend 5 blissful days on our own.  Dean’s Mom and brother helped watch Addison the first 2 days, and then my parents drove up and watched her the last 3 days.

We had a wonderful time!  I just absolutely love that city!  There is just an energy to it that is like nowhere else.  It was so nice being able to sleep in until 9-10 every day and to be completely spontaneous….sleeping in and doing things spontaneously is something that is very difficult (impossible) to do with children!  We would sleep in every day, slowly get ready, go grab  coffee and a croissant at our favorite neighborhood coffee shop, stroll around Central Park while finishing our coffee, and then just go and do whatever the heck we felt like doing.  We had a few plans, like visiting my grandmother and uncle in Connecticut one day and going to the Seth Meyers show another day, but we left things open so that things would be flexible and we could just do whatever we wanted.  One day we literally walked some 12-13 miles … just taking in the sights and sounds of the city.

Pictures from our NYC trip:

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I took a snapshot of my phone documenting the time we woke up our first morning in NYC, because really, when is this ever going to happen again?!

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The street where we were staying. My sister helped us find the place we stayed at on airbnb. It was a lovely little place and was much cheaper than any hotel we would’ve stayed at. The cool part was that it was 3 brownstones away from where my sister lives, so we were able to hang out with her a lot.

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We walked daily in Central Park after our morning coffee. The weather was great while we were there.

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I walked around NYC with my belly sticking out of my jacket…can’t button that thing up!  Luckily it’s been a mild winter.  Despite the reputation that New Yorkers get for being rude (something I’ve never understood), every time I got on the train, someone immediately offered up their seat.  I was impressed.

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So Dean and I don’t watch a bunch of TV shows, but one of the shows we love is Impractical Jokers….and guess who we ran into on the streets of New York?!

Other Misc. Pictures:

What our table and the floor looks like when we take Addison out to eat.  God bless our servers and the cleanup their stuck with.

What our table and the floor looks like when we take Addison out to eat. God bless our servers and the cleanup they’re stuck with.

Addison's recent obsession are shoes.  She loves getting me my shoes and trying to help me put them on.  The other day I had just gotten out of the shower when Addison brought me my gym shoes.  I didn't want to hurt her feelings because she was so proud of herself for bringing them to me, so I put them on.  Dean then walked into the room and was like, "are you ok?"  because there I was, pretty much naked, walking around in my gym shoes.  : )

Addison’s recent obsession are shoes. She loves getting me my shoes and trying to help me put them on. The other day I had just gotten out of the shower when Addison brought me my gym shoes. I didn’t want to hurt her feelings because she was so proud of herself for bringing them to me, so I put them on and continued getting ready. Dean then walked into the room and was like, “are you ok?” I was like, “uh, yeah, why?”  Dean:  “I hope you’re not planning on going downstairs like that!”  Because there I was, pretty much naked walking around in my gym shoes. : )

Dean is the one to get Addison ready every morning during the week....well the other day I was trying to get her ready and to put her hair into a little ponytail.  She kept squirming away and I just couldn't do it.  Then Dean was like, "here, let me show you how to do it."  And then he successfully put her hair up in the cutest little ponytail.  #mommyfail

Dean is the one to get Addison ready every morning during the week, and he has gotten good at it!  The other day I was trying to get Addison ready and to put her hair into a little ponytail. She kept squirming away and I just couldn’t do it. Then Dean was like, “here, let me show you how to do it.” And then he successfully put her hair up in the cutest little ponytail. #mommyfail 

Addison's pony tail, done by Dean : )

Addison’s little pony tail, done by Dean : ).  Doing a pony tail in a squirmy toddler with little hair is way harder than it looks!

This past weekend we spent in Michigan with Dean's extended family for a pre-Christmas get together.  Lots of fun hanging out with everyone!

This past weekend we spent in Michigan with Dean’s extended family for a pre-Christmas get together. Lots of fun hanging out with everyone!

A cute video from Addison’s Holiday Party at her Montessori School.  She’s playing the bells and then goes and hugs one of her little classmates.  Made my heart melt : )  I unfortunately wasn’t able to make the show, but thankfully Dean did and recorded it for me.

 

 

 

29 weeks

16 Nov

2.5 months more to go.  I can’t decide if that seems really soon or still a really long ways away!

  • The baby is now the size of a small cabbage according to What to Expect, weighing in at 2.9 lbs and measuring 17 inches in length.
  • He’s very active at night, much less so during the day.
  • His kicks are more blunted compared to Addison’s, as I have an anteriorly placed placenta this time.
  • According to my OB, he’s already well behaved, as his head is down.  Let’s hope he stays that way!
  • I feel like the end of 2nd trimester and beginning of 3rd trimester so far have been more difficult this time than last time, although it’s difficult to say what is due to the pregnancy and what is due to the differences in my overall life situation when compared to last time.   I can tell you I’ve been way more fatigued the past month.  It’s hard to get up in the morning, and I pretty much always fall asleep on the couch at night when Dean and I are watching TV after Addison is put to bed.  Everything just seems so much more draining.  Maybe it’s because I haven’t quite recovered from the mental and physical drain of boards and/or because this time with #2, I still have #1 to take care of at the end of the day.  I want to say I’m looking forward to getting my energy back after the pregnancy, but I’m not sure if that’s going to happen any time soon with a newborn to take care of!
  • Running:  running is becoming more difficult to fit in and less fun.
    • Running is more difficult to fit in because of the above mentioned fatigue–I just can’t get up in time to fit in a run before work without then having to get ready like a mad woman.  It’s just too tiring and stressful trying to squeeze it in before work.  Instead, I’ve been trying to leave for work early (5:30-5:45) on some days in hopes of actually getting done by 4 so that I can try to squeeze in a quick run or workout before picking Addison up.
    • Running is less fun because it’s getting harder to breathe (presumably from the added weight as well as less room for my diaphragm to move), my stomach has been feeling very uncomfortably stretched out lately, and the baby’s head feels like it’s compressing my bladder.  For instance, I will stop by a public bathroom to pee and then realize the sensation is still there because it’s coming from the baby’s head, and then 10-15 minutes later I feel like I need to stop again.  All this being said, I still feel that the benefit of running and exercising for me far exceeds these negative aspects of it, so I’m committed to keeping it up as long as I can.  Running and fitness is obviously something I’m passionate about and is a big part of my life, so I think stopping would be difficult on me from a mental standpoint more than anything else.  Also, I know by keeping a baseline up now will make it easier to get back in shape after the baby is born.  Right now, I’d say I’m averaging ~4-6 mile run 3 days a week, but that’s variable.
  • Other thoughts:  This whole ISIS/Paris situation has really shaken me up.  It is so hard for me to comprehend how a human being(s) can have complete disregard for life.  I just can’t even wrap my mind around the evil that is in this world.  This event has also made me do some soul searching regarding my reaction to other events going on in this world.  Saturday morning someone posted an article regarding our selective grief and outrage to the Paris attacks over other attacks and horrific situations worldwide.   I thought it was a good article and perspective.  I reposted, and I hope people don’t interpret the article or post as being meant to shame people for their support of the people of Paris.  I love seeing all the French flags and colors in support of the French people.  It reminds that there are good and caring people in this world and gives me hope that we will team together to fight what is wrong and evil.  I think it is wonderful.  We need to be united.  But the article I read did make me reflect on some things about myself:  I didn’t pay any attention to the Beirut bombing, I barely recollect the Kenyan shootings, and I am numb to the shootings and murder that go on in my very backyard here in Chicago every day.  Why?  It’s not that I don’t care, but I guess I get so caught up in my own life bubble and (trivial) stresses that I’ve turned a deaf ear to what’s going on to other fellow humans around my city and in the world.  Is that wrong?  I mean, we can’t solve all of humanities problems and we can’t always just focus on what’s negative in this world, but I don’t know….I just felt a little bad about my ignorance.  Maybe I can pray more or learn to live and see beyond my comfort zone/bubble so that I can do more to help those in need.
  • One reaction there is no denying, at least for me, is a sense of fear.  I guess my fear stems from the fact that Dean and I are traveling to New York City in 2.5 weeks for a little baby moon before #2 arrives.  In the past, I’ve not been someone to worry excessively about safety things, but becoming a mother has changed that (yes, mom, you can tell me I told you so ; )  ).  Not to sound morbid, but now, the thought of something ever happening to me doesn’t worry me because I’m afraid of death in and of itself, but because I cannot bear the thought of Addison growing up not knowing me or how much I love her.  Does that make sense?  Am I being irrational about suddenly feeling worried about our trip to New York?  Maybe it’s the pregnancy hormones causing me to overreact (poor pregnancy hormones….I use them as a scapegoat for whenever I feel like I’m acting out of line, haha).  We’re probably going to continue as planned, but I can’t deny I am a little nervous about it and being separated from Addison.  I keep reminding myself, though, that my chances of dying in a car accident on my way to work is far greater than being the victim of a terrorist attack, and we can’t live our lives in fear.
  • I hate to end on such a negative and somber note, so I’ll throw in a positive thing, at least for me:  I passed my boards!  I actually found out about 2 weeks ago, and it was quite terrifying:  we got the email that the results were back, but then the website crashed and no one could log on for about 45 minutes.  I was so nervous I was nauseated.  What a relief, though, when I was able to log on and see that I passed.  In the past 10 years I have taken 3 USMLE (medical licensing) examinations, a clinical USMLE exam (part of step 3), and now 2 radiology board exams…that’s 6 major medical licensing and board exams plus countless others during medical school….now I am finally board certified in my specialty and don’t have to take another exam for 10 years!!  Woohoo!  On with life : )

Misc pictures:

The obligatory bump picture, taken in a hotel bathroom.  My runs are strategically planned by where I know there will be public restrooms available.

The obligatory bump picture, taken in a hotel bathroom. My runs are strategically planned by where I know there will be public restrooms available.

This happened the other day:  Addison slept throughout Dean and my entire brunch.  It made eating out so relaxing and stress-free!  haha.  This rarely happens anymore, btw.

This happened the other day: Addison slept throughout Dean and my entire brunch. It made eating out so much more relaxing and stress-free! haha. This rarely happens anymore, btw.

A carefree afternoon strolling around Lincoln Park.  I just love these days and moments.

A carefree afternoon strolling around Lincoln Park. I just love these days and moments.

This girl can eat, omg.  I feel like I'm feeding a teenage boy.  j/k.  sorta.

This girl can eat, omg. I feel like I’m feeding a teenage boy. j/k. sorta.

Our family friend gave this to us when Addison was born.  The financial realities of now raising two children are starting to hit me as I look ahead to the future, and I'm trying to do as much reading and research as possible regarding personal finances and raising a family.  Admittedly, having spent so many years studying medicine and delaying entering the "real" workforce that I feel like I have a lot of catching up to do when it comes to personal finances.  Better late than never!

Our family friend gave this to us when Addison was born. The financial realities of now raising two children are starting to hit me as I look ahead to the future, and I’m trying to do as much reading and research as possible regarding personal finances and raising a family. Admittedly, having spent so many years studying medicine and delaying entering the “real” workforce, I feel like I have a lot of catching up to do when it comes to personal finance knowledge. Better late than never!

I can't believe only 3 years ago Dean and I weren't even married yet and I was looking for wedding dresses.  This Timehop app can be really shocking in making you realize how quickly time flies and how much can happen in a short period!

I can’t believe only 3 years ago Dean and I weren’t even married yet and I was looking for wedding dresses. This Timehop app can be really shocking in making you realize how quickly time flies and how much can happen in a short period!

A few misc. pictures from my runs.  We've been lucky to have such great weather this October and November!

A few misc. pictures from my runs. We’ve been lucky to have such great weather this October and November!

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Addison 15 months

31 Oct

Addison is now 15 months old, and I am a few days away from the start of 3rd trimester with her brother…it’s so weird saying “brother”!

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Sneak peak from our family pictures last Sunday. Can you guess who loved the idea of all wearing plaid?! (for those of you who don’t know Dean well, a plaid shirt and jeans is Dean’s “signature” look, haha…I think it dates back to his Abercrombie modeling days). I was surprised I was able to find a plaid shirt of mine that fit over my almost third trimester bump!

Changes since her 12.5 month update:

She started walking at around 13 months.  For the longest time we kept thinking she’d start walking, because she had been pulling herself up and “cruising” amongst our furniture forever, but it wasn’t until 13 months that she got the confidence to actually take some steps on her own:

She quickly progressed to running (as well as a baby can run) and getting around quite well on her own…even pushing her own large stroller:

She is a little Miss Independent.  She doesn’t like to be picked up as much anymore.  Now when I pick her up from her school, she walks right past me with her bag to the door, and when I open the door to let her out, she starts racing down the sidewalk on her own, and I have to run after her.

Still hates being put in the carseat, although once she’s in it she’s usually fine.

She LOVES books…but she doesn’t really like being read to.  Instead, she likes to hold the book and flip through the pages herself and babbles away as if she knows exactly what she is saying.

“Reading” to me.

I’m honestly not sure if she really knows specific words well yet.  She says “Mo!” when I believe she means “no.”  She’ll say mama and dada…but I still think it’s sorta random, although our friend thought it was pretty deliberate.  Who knows.  She does do a lot of talking in her own little babble language, though.

We’ve started introducing potty training to her.  She has a little toilet in the bathroom that we sit her on for a few minutes during diaper changes or before her bath.  She’s gone to the bathroom in it a few times for us (like maybe twice, when she actually stayed put on it for several minutes).  Usually what happens, though, is that she lasts a few seconds on it and then gets up and runs around the bathroom while I’m getting the bath water ready, and then when I turn around to get her she’s peed on the floor.

She hates diaper changes in general and won’t lie down for them…diaper and clothes changes now involve me chasing her around the room and trying to do them with her standing and on the move.

She knows how to throw away her diapers.  I had left a diaper wrapped up on the bathroom floor a few weeks ago during her bath.  When I got her out of the bath and was dumping the water and cleaning up, I looked back and realized she was no longer in the bathroom.  I walked into her room and there she was lifting the lid on the diaper bin and throwing away her diaper.  Now she does that after every diaper change.

She is down to one nap a day.  Her bedtime has typically been at 8, but we are starting to move it up a little bit now now because of the one less nap.

We are now training her to take sips out of a cup like an adult (which what they requested at her school).  What we do is at dinner, we give her her sippy cup without the cap on.  She usually does well at first drinking out of it this way, but then she inevitably ends up dumping it on herself or on the floor…or she decides she wants to take her food and put it in the cup of the water.  Seeing chunks of turkey meatballs and cauliflower in her cup of water is not an appetizing site.

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In the process of dumping water all over herself.

There’s not much food she doesn’t like…I guess I would say she’s not crazy about eggs?

Our nighttime routine involves a team effort on Dean’s and my part:  I bathe her, change her, and put her to bed while Dean mops up the floor and does the dishes.

Some nights I place Addison in her crib when she’s still awake…other nights I hold her and rock her to sleep.  Supposedly you’re not supposed to do that according to some sleep training methods?  Well I don’t really care…there are so many theories on sleep training and what not, none of which I have read…I love getting to hold her in my arms when she goes to sleep, and so most of the times for MY benefit.  I could and about half of the time do put her down within a few minutes and walk out and she usually does just fine, but other times I stay in there with her sleeping in my arms for a half hour or even longer.  It’s the only time of day I have to really slow down and just “be”.   I treasure this time with her, cause I know one day she won’t want to cuddle anymore.  She sleeps through the night just fine so I see no problem with this.   I’m going to miss my quiet nights when #2 comes along!

My treasured moments with her at night.

My treasured moments with her at night.

She is pretty fearless, which means I have to be very attentive at the playground…she’s gotten to be a very good little climber and will climb to the very top of playground equipment and then walk straight over to the ledge.  Yikes.  Definitely isn’t afraid of heights.   IMG_1945

She is getting feisty and knows what she wants and doesn’t like being told she can’t play with something or do something.  God forbid she gets ahold of my phone and I take it away from her…all Hell breaks loose.

Addison, at least for the past week or so, has seemed to be favoring Dean.  Like the other night she kept moving away from me on the couch and crawling into Dean’s lap.  I have to admit, my feelings were a little hurt : /.  At least she still lets me rock her to sleep in my arms.

Cuddling with Daddy. I was a little hurt that she didn't want to sit in my lap to read, but this was pretty darn precious to watch ; )

Cuddling with Daddy. I was a little hurt that she didn’t want to sit in my lap to read, but this was pretty darn precious to watch ; )

We finally got an inexpensive umbrella stroller (Summer Infant 3-D Lite) which we really like so that we don’t have to lug our Bob Stroller everywhere.  Haven’t decided what double stroller to get yet for when #2 comes along…City Select?  There are so many stroller options that it’s overwhelming.

We haven’t decided what type of childcare we are going to use when her brother comes along.  She’s now in a Montossori School and is doing really well.  I love that she learns to be around other kids, to not be the center of attention, and to learn to entertain herself and do other things independently, but with two kids to put in daycare???  It becomes similar in price to having a nanny, and then you don’t have to worry about getting both out the door in the morning (which would fall on Dean’s shoulders in my situation), or calling off of work when they get sick, or hiring a sitter for when they have their summer/fall/winter/spring week long breaks, or me hiring a morning a sitter to drop them off when Dean is out of town traveling, which is not infrequent…it would just be so much easier, and that’s what we’re leaning towards, and will have to make a decision very soon.

Tomorrow we are taking her on our first plane trip (back home to KC) since she’s become a mobile, active, independent toddler.  I’m honestly terrified.  She’s happy when she’s up moving around on her own, or is ok when we hold her standing up, but for some reason she hates sitting.   Like we couldn’t even get her to sit down in our laps for our family pictures last weekend.  The second we sat down with her she started squirming around and crying.  I have a feeling it’s going to feel like a very long flight and we’re going to get a lot of dirty looks….

Questions:

  1.  Any advice for toddlers age 15-18 months?  What to expect?
  2. I think I may have asked this before, and if so, I’m going to ask again:  double stroller recs?  As much as I love our Bob, I’m afraid the double one will be impractical for every day use since it’s so wide and doesn’t have a lot of storage space underneath.
  3. Two babies (under two):  will I survive?  Tips?  I did ok returning to work last time at 6 weeks, but I’m scared I’m going to be a lot more worn out returning to work at 6 weeks with two babies (don’t even get me started on the state of maternity leave for many physicians and other women in this country), although maybe in a sense it will be easier since I get a “break” during the day (hardly a break since my job is really busy, but you know what I mean).  I already feel like doing everything is so challenging with ONE kid, like there’s already so little time to just relax, and now we’re going to add a newborn to the picture?!  Don’t get me wrong, I’m super excited, just a little scared of how we’re going to manage!  Lots of coffee I suppose…and wine ; )

Misc pictures, mostly from the past month:

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At the pumpkin farm.

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She liked the little stroller for the most part, but those edges are so darn low, and she rolled right out of it onto her head at one point! haha. She was totally ok : )

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She was intrigued by the goats.

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Our little Royals fan! And Dean actually got her to keep that hat on for several hours without taking it off, a true sign she likes the Royals.

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Facetiming with her from work on one of the Saturdays that I was working. Around her neck are “her” running medals that I got for her when I was running with her pregnant. She loves running around our house with them around her neck, and I absolutely love that she loves doing this : )

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At Lincoln Park Zoo with my dad.

Video of her Halloween costume…funny story, several weeks ago Dean texted me a picture of the Halloween costume “he” had gotten Addison.  I was shocked….Dean remembered to do something in advance?!  Like what?!  haha..turns out I later found out that someone he worked with was ordering one for her child, and he got in on the buy one get one free deal, so that’s why he actually got her her costume way in advance : )  Dean, I’m still proud of you for getting the costume ; )

25 weeks and Pregnancy Essentials

21 Oct

It’s so hard to find time to just sit down and write these days!

So  I’m now 25 weeks.  According to my What to Expect app, BabyO#2 is now 1.7 lbs:

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Am I the only one that was like What the hell is a Rutabaga??  In case y’all were wondering:

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I guess it’s like a turnip?  I learn something every day, I tell ya.

Weight gain:  13-14 pounds.  I have mixed feelings about posting this.  I think it’s interesting more for myself to see the progression throughout the pregnancy (if I don’t document it here I will never keep track of it), but I don’t want anyone reading this who may be pregnant to ever compare themselves to my numbers or anyone else’s numbers.

Bump pic:

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But I swear today, one day after taking that pic, I feel twice that size.  Funny how variable it can feel, probably depending on what you’ve eaten over the past few days…I mean the baby/uterus just takes over your body, pushing aside all organs, so if you have a lot of food being processed in there…well there’s just no where to hide it, haha.   Today my stomach feels uncomfortable stretched out : /

How am I feeling?  Every once in awhile, I get a little revisit of first trimester.  It was the same with Addison.  It has been a little more frequent the past 2 weeks, where I’ll feel a bit nauseous and am repulsed by food, and then 5 minutes later I feel fine and am hungry.  Fatigue has been way more intense the past few weeks, but I think it is more just burn out from the past two months catching up to me.  Before my boards, I was only really averaging 5 hours of sleep a night. Now, by the time Friday rolls around, I want to do nothing but sit and stare at the TV like a zombie, and I feel like I need a whole day to just recover mentally and physically from the week on Saturday.

Running:  I cut back on the running right before my boards and the 1-2 weeks afterwards because I was so exhausted.   This past week went as follows:

Wednesday:  3 miles

Thursday:  5 miles

Saturday:  6 miles

(A great 10 miler today, but that counts for next week’s numbers : )  )

I wanted to run Sunday morning but did not get up in time.  I feel guilty doing my runs once Addison and Dean are up, so I try for the most part to do them very early in the morning.

I have now hit the point in my pregnancy where running is starting to get harder, both from a physical stamina standpoint and from a physical discomfort standpoint.  Since I am now carrying more weight, I am finding myself getting winded more easily, so I have lowered my pace into the 9:00-10:00 range for the most part.  I have also now started to get pubic symphyseal and sacroiliac pain, which is exacerbated from the running.  This also happened around this time with Addison. Basically what it feels like is like someone punched me really hard in the pubic symphysis, which for my non-medical friends, is the bone/joint that is basically right above your crotch.  The sacroiliac pain is discomfort that occurs laterally in your lower back/pelvis.  The pelvic pain became pretty severe last time and prevented me from running at a certain point until I saw a PT, who recommended a compressor belt.  That belt was a life saver!  I wear it around my lower hips when I run, and it keeps everything “held together” in a sense…prevents more strain on the loosened ligaments.  Now I get only mild discomfort in those areas.  Had I not had this last time, I probably would have had to stop running during the last 1.5 trimesters, but was instead able to continue up until a few days before my due date.

So, in light of commenting on my much needed compressor belt, I figured I would list a few of my pregnancy essential items:

For running:

-Compressor belt as described above

-Bump support belt:

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Awkward picture for the point of showing my bump belt (the top belt) which I wear right under my bump, and the red and white compressor belt, which I wear lower around my hips. The bump support belt is from Motherhood Maternity.  Please ignore our unmade bed : )

-I use my Garmin to track miles, but I do NOT use a heart rate monitor.  I personally think it’s best to rely on yourself to make a judgement call on your exertion level rather than some set heart rate number.  I run at a conversational pace.  If I were to stop running, within a few seconds you’d have no idea I was just exercising other than the fact that I would be in workout clothes.  In other words, I am not huffing and puffing, and if I do start to breathe heavier, I slow down or stop and walk.  I am pretty strict about this.

-Favorite workout tank:  $14-15 tank from Costco (I’m wearing it in the picture above).  They’re long and stretchy, so perfect for pregnancy.  And you gotta love the price.  Haven’t seen them recently at Costco, though : (

Other pregnancy favorites:

-Gap maternity jeans

-Gap running/yoga pants, which I wear as regular pants with boots/flats and a nice shirt.  Just bought a second pair, because I pretty much only wear these and the pants listed below to work.

-A nice pair of maternity black work pants I bought at Pee in a Pod.  I in general find this store to be overpriced, and these pants are the only thing I have purchased from this store, but well worth the cost.  In general, I really like Motherhood Maternity for maternity clothes, as I find their prices more reasonable.

Work:  

-As I wrote about in my prior post, it’s challenging trying to balance it all.  Working full time and being a mom is probably the most challenging thing I have ever done, as you feel you are always multitasking and trying to keep afloat of everything that needs to be done at work and at home (I am in no way implying that being a full time mom isn’t challenging…it’s a 24/7 job…I am only writing about my experience).  You have these expectations of yourself of how you want to be as a mother and a wife and a physician (or whatever your job is), and yet it’s impossible to always live up to those expectations.  I think the most challenging aspect is learning to let go … to let go of trying to control every aspect of your life, of the “ideals” you envision yourself living up to, and to just do the best that you can.

QUESTIONS

I’m curious to hear about you what items you found/find essential during your pregnancy?

~

Misc pictures

Of course luck would have it that Addison would get sick and sent home from her Montessori school right before my exam. Dean had an out of town meeting that day, so I had to call off of work last minute the day before my exam. I of course wanted nothing more than to be with her, but felt so much anxiety about calling off...I was convinced everyone would think,

Of course luck would have it that Addison would get sick and sent home from her Montessori school right before my exam. Normally Dean has flexibility with his job for situations like this, but had an out of town meeting that day, so I had to call off of work last minute the day before my exam. I of course wanted nothing more than to be with her, but felt so much anxiety about calling off…I was convinced everyone would think, “sure…the day before her exam…she’s just trying to get some extra studying in.” But what could I do?

Trying to multitask and squeeze in a little studying the day before my exam while sick Addison snuggled and napped with me.

Trying to multitask and squeeze in a little studying the day before my exam while sick Addison snuggled and napped with me.

How a pregnant woman celebrates completing her board exam (who knows when I'll find out the results, though)

How a pregnant woman celebrates completing her board exam (who knows when I’ll find out the results, though).

My shirts are now starting to acquire spots on my belly from bump catching spilled food and toothpaste or whatever. haha

My shirts are now starting to acquire spots on my belly from my bump catching spilled food and toothpaste or whatever. haha.

Facetiming with Dean while he was out of town for a business meeting. On the days when he's out of town, we have a sitter we hire to arrive at our place by 6:15 (around when I leave for work) and drop her off at school. I then pick her up at the end of the day.

Facetiming with Dean while he was out of town for a business meeting. On the days when he’s out of town, we have a sitter we hire to arrive at our place by 6:15 (around when I leave for work) and drop her off at school. I then pick her up at the end of the day.

When running when non-pregnant, my rule is: Never pass up a hill, as you never want to miss an opportunity to challenge yourself. When running while pregnant, my rule is: NEVER pass up an opportunity to pee : )

When running while non-pregnant, my rule is: Never pass up a hill, as you never want to miss an opportunity to challenge yourself. When running while pregnant, my rule is: NEVER pass up an opportunity to pee : ).  Once the lakefront public restrooms close…well I’m just going to have to hope I can find a bush somewhere.  haha.

Seen on the run!

Seen on the run!

Dean and my time to ourselves after Addison is in bed. Our new obsession: The Walking Dead. I think the Saturday after my boards we watched 5 episodes in a row, or something like that.

Dean and my time to ourselves after Addison is in bed. Our new obsession: The Walking Dead. I think the Saturday after my boards we watched 5 episodes in a row, or something like that.

An absolutely lovely day at the Pumpkin Patch.

An absolutely lovely day at the Pumpkin Patch.

I’m hoping to get an update up soon on Addison, as she is almost 15 months!!

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