Friday, February 26, 2016

Pregnancy Weight Gain Round 2

I wrote about the weight gain with Olivia here. Since it's one of my most googled posts - I figured I would write about my weight gain with Emma - a vastly different experience.

First - with both Emma and Olivia, I was sick for the first 5 months. With Olivia, I could barely eat anything. Nothing sounded good. With Emma, I only felt better after I ate. So naturally, I gained more weight earlier with Emma than with O. 

I was starving with Olivia no matter how much I had eaten, what I had eaten, etc. I found it so hard to stop eating - even healthy food. With Emma, I had a month that I was extra hungry in the second trimester, but mostly was perfectly content barely eating. Once I realized that my weight was surpassing my first pregnancy and I was on track to gain 50 pounds, I started tracking everything I ate in an app. I made sure that I never ate over 1800 calories (with a few exceptions like Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas). I monitored sugars and protein - and made sure I was drinking enough water. 

The weight kept piling on.

For a two month span I gained half a pound a day. Half a pound a day!! If 3500 calories is a pound, I would have to be eating an EXCESS of 1750 calories a day to gain that much. The math doesn't even add up. It's not possible.

Dan confirmed what I knew to be true: "you are eating less than when you aren't pregnant." 

Emma's health was the most important thing - but when you constantly hear about mom's that use the 'eating for 2' excuse and packed on too much weight - or how children whose mom's gained more weight than normal in pregnancy have a higher chance of health issues and diabetes as they get older - and that any more than a pound a week gain is a cause for concern - you start to wonder if you are doing something wrong for your baby.

I thought for sure the weight gain would level out. So many people barely gain weight in the third trimester - maybe I would be one of those people?


On the day I delivered Emma, I weighed exactly 50 pounds more than normal. 50 pounds?!?! So many friends had made snarky comments in the past about people who gained more weight than recommended. I know that none would believe me. I know they would think I wasn't being honest with myself. Or I wasn't actually measuring my food (counting every single cracker - measuring berries and greek yogurt - logging each tic tac I ate, typing every recipe into a calorie counter and measuring out every serving size). 

It was exhausting but I never gave up.

I wasn't swollen at all, so I knew it was additional fat. 

I decided that with all the weight I gained. Lugging a 27 pound toddler around who wants me to "hold you" all the time. And trying to walk 2 miles a day. I wasn't going below 1800 calories a day. There's no way I could get in the nutrition Emma needed at 1200 or so calories. Not while pregnant, active, and a lot larger than normal. 

If my body needed 50 extra pounds of baby + fat for Emma, then I was fine with it. And when she arrived, a wonderful size and healthy - I was so thankful for each one of those 50 pounds. For whatever reason, it gave Emma exactly what she needed. 

And now that they have been thanked, I'm ready to see them go. :)

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Two Weeks with Two Kids

I can't believe Emma is already two weeks old. Soon she'll be leaving us for college.

I've been reading through old blog posts to remember what life was like with Olivia at this age (I barely remember) - so I want to take time to document Emma. But time is hard these days.

Dan took a week of vacation after having her and then went back to work. But he still picked Olivia up from school the first week. This week, we've been on our own and doing really well. 

Emma still doesn't sleep much at night. After a few hours of feeding and rocking, I sent Dan in to try for half an hour. She's definitely my child. Come morning and a cup of coffee all is forgiven.

Olivia went from narcoleptic newborn to fussy baby at the 3 week mark. So I think we've got one more week before life goes crazy on us. So I'm soaking up the "two kids is easy!" for another few days. 

Olivia is great with her and wants Emma to be a part of everything that she does. Even when Emma is napping. Poor Emma gets woken up, poked, and 'huggled' at all hours. It will be much harder having her on a schedule than it was with Olivia. We still need to feed O and get her down, pick her up from school, and sometimes Emma's nap or eating will be a little messed up. But hopefully she'll learn to go with the flow, and we'll learn a little more of a schedule that works for both of them.

Emma sleeps in her crib (and Dan and I just ordered the DockAtot, which hopefully will be the miracle that the amazon reviews say it is) and naps wherever: arms, bouncy seat, Moby wrap, swing or carseat. She has a few hours a day where she eats every 30-45 minutes and is pretty fussy. That should go away around 3-4 months. I'm waking her every 2.5 hours to eat during the day and she's making sure to return the favor by waking me up more often at night ;).

I love having a little newborn to cuddle and hold. And love when she's wrapped up the moby like my kangaroo baby. I am also loving every minute with my little sidekick, Olivia. She's getting smarter and more articulate - and FUNNY. By the minute. I need to post an update on her so I don't forget all these little things. But she's turning into a kid - and I am loving this time with her. 

I'm so lucky that Olivia loves her baby sister as much as she does. I think this would be much harder on her if she didn't like Emma. I keep telling her how proud I am of her, and I do tell Emma to "wait, I'm with your big sister now" to help keep Olivia from feeling like Emma gets all the attention. When others are fussing over Emma, I ask Olivia to tell them her name and show them her baby - so Olivia gets attention to. Overall, I think I was just blessed with a two year old with a heart of gold who really cares about her sister. I know we'll have our moments, but, overall, I'm just so proud of her!

Wait about a week and I'll post "what did we do? our lives are crazy. send nannies." But so far, life is wonderful.

Emma's first bath - decorated by big sister.

Making cookies with my big girl:

Monday, February 22, 2016

Swaddle Designs Giveaway

I have a new favorite baby product since having Olivia. I thought all muslin swaddles were created equal. And then SwaddleDesigns sent me two of theirs.

These are the softest muslin swaddles I have ever found. Since we are neurotic (hello breathing monitor) I love that these are breathable, and I don't worry about Emma being swaddled in them in her crib. They are great as a nursing cover because they aren't too hot. You can throw them over the car seat to block germs, rain, or wind - without blocking the air. 

They have some of the cutest prints - including this xoxo print for my little Valentine's baby. 

We also have this Sterling Lillie pattern which goes perfectly with Emma's nursery.

Swaddle Designs Image - Click here to order

But, the best part is the fabric. I wish my sheets were made out of this material. And my clothes. And Emma's clothes. I think I need to try their sleepsacks and crib sheets. 

Dans favorite part? The 'how to swaddle' tag in the blanket that he can reference each time. 

Picture from Swaddle Designs "How to Swaddle" instructional page.
SwaddleDesigns is giving one reader two muslin swaddles of their choice from their black and white collection (xoxo, pandas, hedgehog, and lillies). To enter:

  1. Visit SwaddleDesigns and choose a favorite product (comment here that you did for one entry)
  2. Follow @SwaddleDesings on Twitter (comment here that you did for one entry)
  3. Like Swaddle Designs on Facebook (comment here that you did for one entry)
  4. Follow @SwaddleDesigns and @kelley_lovelikecrazy on Instagram (comment on the Instagram post that you did for one entry)
  5. Tag friends on the Instagram post for additional entries
Winner will be chosen Friday using the random number generator, starting with blog comments and then moving to Instagram. Open only to US and Canada. Good luck!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

My Favorite People

In order from youngest to oldest:

Emma: She is so sweet. She's so teeny. And I love having her lay on my chest and nap with her little newborn purr. I barely remember this with Olivia and I'm trying to soak it all in. She's a great eater and doesn't have much time for sleep - so I think she'll take after her mama and big sister. 

I'm trying to take a million pictures because I know how quickly this time flies by. Having a newborn round 2 is so much easier than newborn round 1. (Don't get me wrong, having a toddler throws in a whole new level of crazy.) But we aren't nearly as worried about Emma. I was obsessively googling how to get Olivia to sleep, assuming every new plan would work, and getting frustrated with her when it didn't work. This time, I'm much more laid back. The first 4-6 weeks there's nothing we can do. She'll eat when she eats and sleep when she sleeps. We are trying to make nights and days different so she'll eventually get that down. And, don't get me wrong, I still get frustrated at 4 am when all she has done is eat and I've had 0 sleep - but I don't blame her. She's just a teeny one and being a week old is such a big change and hard work.

She looks similar to her big sister - but I think she'll look pretty different when she's older. Her coloring is different - with her white eyebrows and eyelashes (compared to Olivia's dark ones). And there's something about her face shape and cheeks that just makes her look like a different baby. But I think we'll be able to tell they are sisters.

She's slowly waking up from that newborn coma and starting to cry more - but she loves a good cuddle. And I know how quickly they go from cuddling to saying "no mama" so I'll take everything I can get. I just love kissing her wrinkly forehead and having her warm heavy self lay on me. And those teeny feet!!

Not worried about holding her too much or spoiling her. As much as I did with Olivia, she turned independent in a heartbeat. I'll never let go, Jack Emma. I'll never let go. 

Olivia: Wow does she seem big now. I know proportionally she's larger than Emma. I have seen her with other babies and she is larger. But, for some reason, I swear she's gotten bigger, heavier and older in just a matter of days. I can't believe she was ever Emma's size. And I wonder where all the time has gone.

She's doing SO well with her baby sister. She always wants to "huggle" her. (Idk what that means - hold? snuggle? hug?) She always says hi and bye to "Emma baby" and wants to know where she is at all times. She is so thrilled to have a baby sister, help with diaper changes, and include her in everything we are doing. I tell her every night how proud I am of her. How things are different right now, but that pretty soon Emma won't need all of mom's time. Pretty soon Emma will be able to sit up and laugh and play. And that once Emma can laugh that Olivia will make her laugh harder than anyone else. And that I'm proud of Olivia for being so patient during this hard time - full of change. She really seems to get it. 

Meanwhile, Livi has been sick. She got sick the day my parents left. Her fever is better, so she's in school, but still has cold symptoms and has been extra tired. We've seen a few cranky nights that we don't normally have and I'm hoping they go away once she feels better. 

BUT - Dan and my parents have been around to give her extra attention, so we'll see if this changes quickly.

Dan: Where to even begin with Dan. Throughout the entire pregnancy, he was going above and beyond. I was so sick the first half, and with the heat of summer - he would always offer to pick up Olivia if I just couldn't make it. With all my hip and back pain, he was the one running around with Olivia outside, jumping on the trampoline, and even going up and down the stairs to get things so I didn't have to. He was also awesome on the nights of "I have nothing planned for dinner - can you figure out something for you and Olivia?" Most of you guessed that he loved the excuse to order a pizza.

Throughout labor, he was my rock. First of all, HUGE points for making me go to the hospital when I did. Second, HUGER points for noticing the epidural wasn't turned on. :) He kept telling me that I could do it, even through the pain. He was an advocate for me when I was feeling pretty weak. He held Emma to make sure she was comfortable when I couldn't. And he was sneaking me shot blocks and not telling me how pale I looked when I needed it most. 

After we both had been up for over 40 hours, he held Emma for a few hours so I could get some sleep without worrying about her crying in the hospital basinet. After he left to sleep in his bed, I kept telling Emma how she had the best dad in the world. That her big sister would tell her, but she didn't know how lucky she was.

Fast forward to life at home with Emma, and Dan is taking on all of the Olivia duties. He's making sure she has just as much attention and fun as she did before. (He's currently playing with her on the trampoline). He's doing drop off and pick up until I finish healing. He's back at work, yet also helping throughout the night. Last time I figured that if he was going back at work, I should do all the night shift so he can get a good nights sleep. With a toddler, you can't exactly sleep in or sleep when the baby sleeps. So he's been wonderful taking over Emma duties, getting her a bottle, or just jiggling her back to sleep when I'm beyond exhausted. 

Its going to be a wild ride with these two ladies, and there's no one else I'd rather have by my side.

My Parents: They had their bags packed a few weeks in advance and were ready for the call. I think it took them about 4 minutes to get in the car when I texted them on Monday. They then slept on the couch (no guest room) in case we were heading into L&D Monday night. (I can't imagine if we had to wait 30 more minutes for them to get up and over to our house from their hotel). They stayed with Livi, got her to and from school, brought her to the hospital, and entertained her so well. 

They cleaned our house, kept everything picked up, did our laundry, cooked us dinner every night (and insisted on them cleaning afterward until everything was spotless). They cooked during the day to stock our freezer with ready made meals. They cleaned up the garden. And then they were graciously kicked out after a few days. I wanted to figure out life with the four of us before Dan went back to work and it was just me. And I know they would have loved to stay and love on these two girls longer. Olivia keeps asking "where Papa and Gaga go?" and I know it wont be too long before they're back.

I don't know what we would have done without all of their help!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Emma's Birth Story

This is going to be a really long and graphic post - but I never want to forget any details. So, you've been warned.

The last week or so of pregnancy I was in so.much.pain. Dan even called my parents a few times to 'get ready' because he thought I was in labor by the way I was walking. I reassured him that I would know exactly what labor felt like.

On Monday I had the ultrasound to see if Emma was 9 pounds (haha!) to talk induction. I woke up that morning unable to walk. Talk about pregnancy waddle. My legs couldn't close - I could mosey sort of. I rearranged work meetings to do as little walking as possible and draw as little attention to myself. I texted Dan "10 minute back massage I'm in labor in 24 hours." You owe me a back massage.

After the ultrasound guessed an 8 pound baby, I went in to see my doctor. He said she's definitely not too large, but my fluid levels were low, which usually means a problem with the placenta, and he wanted to go ahead and induce me the following morning at 7am. I was already 4 cm and she was "SO" low. I called my parents and told them to head our way. 

Then things got serious. I knew we were being induced the following morning, but I just had this fear that I wouldn't make it that long. Dan had picked Olivia up from school so after we put her down for her nap, we were rushing around to get the last minute things finished.

I was exhausted and we went to bed around 9pm. At 1130pm I woke up to one contraction that was kind of painful. I woke Dan up "we should probably head to the hospital now." He jumped out of bed, hopped in the shower and was ready to go in record time. I got out of bed and the contractions got further apart and shorter. I told Dan "I don't want them to send me home for just a few hours - let's go back to bed." After laying down a few minutes, contractions picked back up and at 12 I said "maybee we should go to the hospital." Dan jumped up all ready to go and made the bed AGAIN. I got up and everything slowed down. I googled and it said if your contractions slow down when you get up and moving, its false labor. I knew the feeling, and I knew that this wasn't false - but I still didn't want to be turned away. Or be the girl who went to the hospital after only 3 contractions.

At 1230 Dan said 'get in the car, we're leaving.' He could tell I was in pain and wasn't going to screw around.

I called to let them know I was coming in. I couldn't talk during contractions, so I kept passing the phone between Dan and myself to answer her questions. Dan looked at me "should we take Randolph or Providence? What's traffic like at this time?" Hysterical. 

The nurse said nothing to eat past dinner. Played this game before, honey. I scarfed down a protein bar in the car.

We checked in around 1:30am and since I was their 7am induction, they skipped triage and sent me straight into the labor and delivery room - the same room Olivia was born in! The place was empty, though, so very different than our experience with Olivia.

As we are walking into our room Dan goes "she wants an epidural." I was all, 'slow down, buddy, I still have street clothes on.' But then told the nurse "yes, epidural is the birth plan." The nurse said that I'd have to have a bag of fluids and a blood test. She checked me and I was 7 cm, and after hearing how fast Olivia came, she did her best to hurry through everything. She kind of effed up the blood test and the IV so I was stuck a few times, but I appreciated her speed.

The anesthesiologist was just hanging out waiting for the blood work to come back from the lab. I don't know what the lab was doing, but it took forever. Eventually I said "please - epidural - I'm begggging." The nurse hurried and in just a few minutes the anesthesiologist came in. He had me sit on the edge of the bed while he sterilized my back. 

All of a sudden my water broke and I could immediately feel Emma coming out of me. I said "I'm pushing!" I couldn't stop. My body was pushing her out. (I can see why people say laying on your back is the worst for labor - that if you let gravity do the work, they come right out.) 

They paged the OB immediately to come in and my nurse said "lay back." I said "oh no, I've made it this far, give me the drugs." She said "you are sitting on her head!" I then use both arms to push myself up off the table, curled over like you are supposed to when getting and epidural and said, "put in the epidural!" The anesthesiologist was great and got it in immediately. They flipped me on my back and little miss Emma sure was on her way out. 

(I think the pain would have been more manageable if they told me I couldn't have an epidural. But since I was always so close to getting one, and the anesthesiology was waiting around - I was getting impatient).

On my back, my body was no longer pushing her out and I had to actually work to push. Also, it was pretty painful. When I'm in pain, I hold my breath. So I was running out of energy / air to push. Her head half way out in a few minutes and then she just got stuck. Her heart rate was fine, and I could feel her wiggling around, but she wouldn't go much further.

Then I hear Dan from behind my head "should this machine be on?" They didn't turn my epidural on. I don't know that I had the energy to respond but mentally I was going ape on everyone in the room. "Oh yep - got it on now" the nurse said. I hate you all.

My OB kept saying "one more push and she's out." At one point I snapped "you said only one more push!" He said "I'll stop making promises" and pulled up a chair.

After about an hour of pushing - and about 15 minutes of a working epidural - Emma came out with her little hand right at her face thanks chicka, could have made that a little easier on me at 3:35am. Exactly 4 hours after the first contraction and 2 hours after arriving at the hospital. 

Dan was told to watch a few youtube videos on catching a baby if we ever have a third. Funny.

After she was born, I had lost a bit of blood - and because of my low iron, they had to run a few tests. Dan got to hold her awhile because I was a little weak. Luckily, we learned from our last baby to pack snacks and Dan was sneaking me those shot blocks that marathon runners eat - which I swear brought me back to life. 

It was a whirlwind. And more painful than I had planned on. But Emma wanted to make sure that no one kicked her out - and she came on her own accord. I am so grateful. I was hesitant for an induction. Not the process itself, but, even though it was the doctor's recommendation, I was worried she wasn't quite ready. But she reassured me she was. 

I'm also so thankful that I wasn't at work (in the mornings, with traffic, work can be 1.5 hours away from the hospital). You guys would have seen Emma on the news as a highway baby.

When my actual OB, Thor, came to see us - he said he walked in at 7 and started getting mad at the nurses that his 7 am induction was not on the calendar - said he had JUST scheduled it the evening prior. They informed him that not only had I had the baby, but we had already been moved off of L&D. 

Once she was in my arms all the memories of the pain (from both the pregnancy and the delivery) disappeared, and I told Dan I wanted to do this a million times over. She's so perfect - and I can't believe it was her sweet little self that caused me all that pain. 

Overall - Emma arrived safely, on her own accord, and I couldn't have asked for a better outcome. 

But, next time, can we preorder the epidural?

Monday, February 15, 2016

Happy Birthday!!

Happy birthday to ..

Emma Alexandra

Tuesday, February 9th, 2016
3:35 am
7 pounds 13 ounces
20 inches long

I'll put the full birth story up, but for now we are basking in newborn snuggles.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Catching Up Part 2

Painting with real paint is kind of her favorite thing. This was her finishing up the artwork for her big girl room.

Paintbrush + Finger Paint is extra fun!

Riding Harry in our grocery store. He is one cent. How can I say no?

Helping mama cook dinner. Takes ten times as long but she loves it!

This was during our cringe worthy potty training days, hence the tarp on the floor. But Dan calls her stroller her "homeless cart." Because she packs on everything she can to cart it around the house. Baby. Baby carrier. Other baby. Bracelets. Farmhouse. Stickers. Make up bag. And not pictured, two sippy cups.

She loves her some bubbles.

I was running low on activities so I decided to have her string cheerios onto a pipecleaner and then we could bend them into a bracelet. She was more interested in eating the sample than making her own. Oh well. At least I got to sit for a bit.

Olivia insisted on wearing this 12 month skirt she found. It was the same day her little friend CJ was coming over. Dan was appalled that she chose the shortest skirt possible when she had a boy over and made her wear little bike shorts underneath. I was just proud that she picked out a quilted navy skirt and riding boots. Little fashionista.

Doc McStuffins band aids are the coolest things around!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Catching Up Part 1

Getting all of the unshared Olivia pictures off of my phone!

Sweet little girl sleeping in the car with her pink toes and baby doll.

When we went to my parents this summer, Dan and I could NOT figure out how to get the fan turned on. We did the pull strings, used the light switch, every combination we could think of. Olivia grabs the remote (which we didn't know existed) turns on the fan, and then immediately uses it to call and chat with her friend Lorelei. Probably about how dumb her parents are.

Very rare that we catch her sleeping with enough light in the room to take a photo. 

Most of the time she's like this:

When she insisted on one pink hand and one purple hand. Love this sweet girl.

Crazy hair don't care. And all the pacis. 

More sleeping.

She did all of this and then told Dan she was ready for school. Lunchbox. Check. Mismatched outfit. Check. Bow. Check. Baby stroller and make up bag. Check. Check. Dad's Cole Haans. Check?

Some cucumber water, a cell phone and some truffle fries is all Olivia needs to go out to dinner at the hipster restaurant uptown.