Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Manic Monday

Yesterday was not a good day. I had my OB appointment scheduled for 10:30, it was pouring down rain, the dogs escaped from the door being left open and I backed into the garage door on our way out. It didn't start well, and it didn't get much better.

I had my final ultrasound to check for placenta location and although it was nice to see our baby and his/her chubby little cheeks, I was devastated to find out that my placenta had not moved. At all. It is still at 1.7 cm from my cervix. I tried really hard not to cry, but I just couldn't hold it together. My doctor came in and basically told me that I was going to have to have a c-section. He tired to make me feel better about the whole thing, he answered all of my questions and gave me as much information as he could, but he was not hopeful that things would change in the 9 days leading up to my induction date. He did tell me that he would call Duke and get a second opinion but neither of us had very high hopes of getting a different outcome.

I went home in tears. Dan took the rest of the day off and I basically spent the next few hours holed up in my bed crying. Here's the deal with me......I know that there are valid medical reasons to have a c-section rather than a vaginal birth. I totally get that in emergency situations drastic measures need to be taken and I think it's good that we have the ability to save the lives of mamas and babies through surgical birth. But I think that the medical community has gone a little crazy with c-sections. They are being done more and more out of convenience and to protect doctors and hospitals from being held liable for anything and everything that could happen. And once you have a c-section you are put into a category where all future babies need to be delivered by c-section.....you know, because of the liability of possible complications. I understand that low lying placenta is a valid medical issue and could be a problem during delivery, if I had placenta previa (where the placenta is completely covering the cervix) there would be no question that I would need a c-section, but I don't have that and although there could be complications, there also could be no complications. Where do you draw the line? If c-sections are supposed to be done in an emergency situation then I don't qualify because I am not in an emergency situation.

I got a call yesterday evening from my doctor. He said that he had contacted a perinatologist at Duke like he told me he was going to. I really didn't think that anything would come from it because the medical community usually agrees with each other on things like this. But.....he told me that the specialist said there has been a lot of debate going on in regards to low lying placenta and how many centimeters really are necessary between the cervix and the placenta for a vaginal delivery. For a long time it has been standard that 2 cm was needed but recently the number has changed to 1 cm as long as there hasn't been bleeding during the pregnancy. I have had zero bleeding this pregnancy and at 1.7 cm I am closer to 2 cm than to 1 cm! My doctor told me that after speaking with the specialist he feels comfortable letting me try for a vaginal delivery!!!! I will be induced because they want me in a controlled environment to monitor me for hemorrhaging and I will have very little lee-way when it comes to bleeding......pretty much any abnormal bleeding and they are going to do a c-section. But I'm totally ok with that! If there is a necessary medical reason to do a c-section, do it! If there's not, then put your scalpel away!

So, I went from getting really bad, heartbreaking news to getting awesome, sigh of relief news.....all within a few hours. Roller coaster day! I know I may seem overly dramatic to some in regards to my feelings about c-sections, but it's really not about me wanting my "perfect" birthing situation or even an ultra natural hippy dippy no intervention, no drugs birth. I look at it from the standpoint that a c-section is major abdominal surgery.....there are lot's of medical complications that can arise from the surgery alone not to mention the recovery time being much longer and the complications that can come from the healing of the incision. The bonding/breastfeeding relationship is delayed and can be affected. And there are often respiratory problems for a baby that has not been squeezed through the birth canal. And one of the biggest issues for me is that I'm not necessarily done having kids and a c-section with this pregnancy could change our family planning. I don't take it lightly thus my big reaction yesterday. If I NEED a c-section, by golly I'll have one, and it will be fine and we'll heal and move on, but I am so grateful that I get the chance to deliver naturally. October 7th is the big day, mark your calendars!!!

For your viewing pleasure......
Baby Schultz
He/she is measuring @ 7.5 pounds.....WAY smaller than my last 2
We'll see! :o)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Bring it on

Dan and I were chatting last night about how unbelievable it is that we are going to have another baby in a mere 10 days! It does not feel like 9 months have already passed by! Where did the time go? I think because this pregnancy was so easy for me and other than some nausea in the beginning and now the last couple weeks feeling huge and uncomfortable I've really felt great pretty much the whole time! Feeling good apparently makes time pass by faster. We are ready for this baby. In all the ways that parents can prepare, we are prepared! Clothes and diapers have been washed, neatly folded and put away in drawers.....they've been ready for weeks. Linens and towels and baby blankets have been laundered and organized. Boppys and bouncy chairs and swing covers have been cleaned and set up. The co-sleeper is set up in our room and ready for bed sheets and then a baby! We are set.

But it doesn't feel like it should be baby time already. I mean physically I'm ready to not be uncomfortable, not be waddling around and incapable or bending over to pick things up. Emotionally I feel like we're ready to meet this little baby, to get to know him or her. So, I guess its just the mental aspect that's tripping me up. I know how hard newborns are, how exhausted we are all going to be, how hormonal I am going to be and I just feel like I could wait a bit longer to jump into all of that. Things have been running so smoothly in our household for such a long time, it is hard to imagine going back to square one and doing it all over again! Don't get me wrong, I know this baby is coming.....and soon.....and I am over the moon excited, but it's a little bit scary to be doing the baby thing all over again, a little bit scary to think about having 3 kids four years old and under.

I am so blessed that I have such great moms who are willing to come and help out! My mother in law is going to be here to watch the girls while we are at the hospital. Maddie and Charlotte love their grandma and I know it will make them feel secure to have her here while we are gone. She is going to stay with us for about 5 days and I know that having her here when we bring the new baby home will be so incredibly helpful both with entertaining the girls and with an extra pair of hands for holding our tiny newborn. My mom is coming out on October 20th and she will be staying with us for one whole MONTH!!! I am so looking forward to seeing my mom, it's been since May that we've seen her, and I miss her. She has come out and stayed with us after each birth (the visits have gotten subsequently longer with each kiddo) and I can't imagine not having her here during the early weeks with a new baby. I don't know how I'm going to manage 3 kids on my own, but I don't have to figure that out for quite some time with all the help we'll have!!

So, we're ready! I have my OB appointment on Monday and we'll find out if I'm dilated, if my placenta has relocated and what the game plan is for having this bambino. I'm praying that everything is a-ok and that I'll be able to have a natural birth.....if you have a minute, send a shout out to God for me, I could use all the prayer I can get! Until then we're living life, cooking, cleaning, sewing, playing and generally trying to stay comfortable. I'll keep everyone updated as things progress!

Approximately 10 days till baby Schultz!! OH MY GOODNESS.

The babe will be in our room for a while
Here is his/her dresser (next to my side of the bed)

Changing table (in the same old spot)

Top of dresser with accessories
Burp cloths, shoes and booties, medical things, diaper doublers, prefolds

These little drawers have our nasal bulbs,
thermometer, snappis, butt cream, babylegs, lanolin cream etc.

Doublers for extra absorbency in cloth diapers
(my MIL and I made the colored ones and I dyed them!)

Dyed prefold diapers

XS diapers, covers and wool

Small diapers and covers

0-3 month onesies, pants and shirts
I have boy/gender neutral and girly things segregated
but all in the drawers....we'll just pull out what we can't use

0-3 month outfits

0-3 month pajamas

Sleep sacks, sweaters, jackets, OS pocket diapers and wool longies

Shoes and booties

A whole drawer full of socks!!! There are a zillion pairs.


And by request (Cheri!) here is the free Ikea dresser we got off craigslist
It is bigger than Dan's old dresser so he gave the baby his old one and now uses this one.
We are planning on stripping it and staining it red.....eventually.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

End of summer and bustin butts

Technically summer is supposed to be over. But apparently no one has informed mother nature of this change.....it has been in the 90s all week and today it hit 94! Bleh. I am so ready for summer to be over and my lovely most beloved fall to be here. It really seems unfair that near the end of September we are still dealing with hot summer temps.....at least it's not really humid anymore, that makes it more tolerable.

We have been bustin' our butts to get projects done around our house in preparation for our new little bundle of joy. Most of these tasks are things that need to get done before winter arrives but we are aware that after we bring baby home we will have little to no time to tackle major chores......so for now we try and hustle. Dan cleaned our garage this past weekend and for anyone who has seen our garage, that was a big task! It is all nice and organized and clean (as clean as a working garage/shop can get) and I am no longer frightened to go in there. Dan also finished staining the remainder of our backyard fence and stained our deck and screened in porch. That was a major job but it needed to be done before the wood got beaten by another weather filled winter. We also got a whole bunch of old baby stuff out of our attic space and took pictures and listed it all on craigslist. We've only sold a baby walker so far, but every little bit sold is less junk being stored in our home. I was able to get chicken tortilla soup, 15 bean soup and a bow tie pasta casserole made and stored up for post baby eating. The casserole weighed nearly 5 pounds and my soup recipes garnished 5 bags of soup!! I also washed and lanolized all of my wool covers and longies for the new baby and actually got around to making my own wool longies out of sweaters.....I have been procrastinating on that all summer!!

As of tomorrow we have approx 13 days until baby day which means that we have 2 weekends left! I'm hoping to get some more cooking done this weekend, we plan on getting the last few necessary baby items out of storage so I can launder them and hopefully we'll have lots of family togetherness time! I also have to go on a hunt for a missing library book......I was able to renew it, but I've searched the house from top to bottom already and have not been able to find it. It has got to be here somewhere!! I'm also gonna keep plugging away at making wool diaper covers. I feel like we're very ready for baby, but also not quite there yet. We'll just keep on truckin' and what gets done gets done.

These pictures were taken a couple days ago when we had all of our craigslist items out on the driveway cleaning them up and photographing them. The girls had home made popsicles.....possibly the last this season and they had fun messing around with our old baby stuff. Not anything too exciting, but pictures of my beautiful growing girls none the less.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Random musings from an almost mother of 3

I have truly sucked at blogging this summer. I feel so ashamed......blogger may kick me out of the cool kids club. We're just not doing very much of interest so I haven't been taking many pictures, because who wants to see pictures of boring everyday things?!? And really, who wants to read a blog without pictures? I find pics to be close to necessary in blogs....otherwise it's just a bunch of words and my faux ADD comes out. So, yes Ive failed at blogging this summer, but I have high hopes for the next couple months! Fall is my most favorite time of year, we usually do a lot of fun activities and we'll have a new baby in the house....imagine all the pictures I will be taking! Don't give up on me faithful readers, I will return in full force.....eventually!

Beware!! This blog is going to be one of those boring, no picture blogs. As I inch closer to the arrival of my third child (18 days!) I have lots of thoughts bouncing around in my head, so I figured I'd get some of them out! Bring on the random.......

-I've been craving ice lately. All day long I munch on crushed ice! I am normally not an ice eater but for whatever reason I've been lovin' it as of late. Hopefully it doesn't do anything bad to my teeth!

-This has been my easiest pregnancy and it has gone by the fastest. I'm sure that its because the girls keep me busy and distracted, but I've also experienced fewer negative pregnancy symptoms. Being pregnant is still not my favorite, but this one has been far more enjoyable than the last 2!

-I am really looking forward to finding out what gender this baby is! It'll be fun to hear the doctor actually yell out, "It's a........" because normally they don't do that since most people find out what they're having before the birth. We've now done it both ways (finding out and not finding out) and I have to say that I like the not finding out a lot better! I highly recommend it.

-Every so often I think about how hard labor is and how painful it is and it makes me want to just stay pregnant. I know it's only one day, and it really isn't that bad, but just the thought of all that pain makes me hurt. Man, labor is painful!

-There are quite a few things I want to accomplish before this baby arrives, but very few of them actually involve preparing for the baby. I have to get my boppy and bouncy chairs out of storage and wash the covers, install the car seat, set up the arms reach co sleeper and buy a few pacis (you never know what a new baby is going to like when it comes to pacis!) Other than those few things I'm pretty much set when it comes to baby stuff. On the other hand, we need to finish staining our fence, finish winterizing our garden, strip and stain 1 dresser and paint another dresser (not 100% necessary before baby), get our carpets cleaned and clean the garage. Did I mention that I have approx. 18 days?!?!?!

-I have been really on top of keeping my house clean and picked up for the past few weeks. Laundry is being done regularly and actually being folded and put away instead of sitting in baskets clean. Dishes are being done every night, sweeping is happening way more often, and we're having the girls keep their spaces neat and orderly. I hate the idea of bringing a new baby home to a messy disorganized home. I know eventually it'll get that way because it always does, but I'd like to start out with a clean slate. My house is looking really good!

-I've already had thoughts about baby number 4! I know this is insanity because once baby 3 arrives I'll not want to have another baby for a very long time......I generally say I'm not having any more after I give birth and for a good 8-12 months after but the planner in me is already thinking about what would be a good age difference between 3 and 4 and when might be a good time of the year to be pregnant etc. Yes, I am insane!

-I need to start cooking meals and freezing them in preparation of baby's arrival. I did this before having Charlotte and it worked out SO well. Between my mother in law and my mother staying with us, meals brought over by friends and the meals I had frozen we didn't have to think about making dinners for a long time! Which is super nice when sleep deprived and dealing with a screaming baby.....here's hoping this baby is not as vocal as Charlotte was. It's also nice to have home made meals instead of depending on fast food or take out when the evening is crazy and I don't have time to whip something fresh up. So, I'm thinking that I should make myself a schedule and make 3-4 meals every weekend until baby arrives.....which at this point gives me 3 weekends and 9-12 meals.

-I'm wondering if there is anything I need to do to prepare my kids for the arrival of a new baby? We talk about it all the time. They see and play with all the baby stuff as we get it out and set it up, we get books from the library about babies and new siblings. I feel like they have a good idea about what is going on, and that soon there will be a baby in the house and that they are going to have a new brother or sister. I just don't know if I'm missing anything, or if there is something special I could/should do with them to prepare them emotionally for this big life change. Any ideas?

-I have some baby stuff that I need to sell on craigslist. If I don't get around to it in the next 2 weeks I'm going to just donate it all!

-We still don't know yet what the outcome will be with my placenta issue. At my last ultrasound it was 1.75 cm from my cervix. it needs to be 2 cm for them to let me have a vaginal delivery. My next appointment is on September 27th and I'll be having my last ultrasound.....hopefully it's moved up enough! At that point I'll be so close to delivering it's not like I could get a second opinion or a new doctor. We're hoping for the best.

-I don't do birthing plans. I guess I understand people who do, but it never works out the way you plan, so I say why bother. It is good to be informed and do your homework ahead of time of what the options are, and to know what you'd like to happen! My "plan"......Hopefully no c-section, I want the mirror this time, no episiotomy, no in hospital vaccinations, no bottles, rooming in. That's about it. The rest I am pretty flexible with as long as the wee one comes out and is as healthy!

-I'm nervous about having the baby sleep in our room for such a long time. Since our bedroom is downstairs and the other bedrooms are upstairs, and neither Dan or I want to trek upstairs for every night feeding and diaper change, this baby will be in our room indefinitely. With both Maddie and Charlotte they were in their own crib in their own room by 3 months. I am a very finicky sleeper and I am ultra alert when I have an infant which makes it difficult to sleep well. I'm hoping this babe is sensitive to my needs (lol) and is a good sleeper otherwise he/she might have a nursery in our walk in closet. Haha.

-I really, really hope that this baby is more mellow than Charlotte was. Charlotte seriously cried all.the.time for the first 7 months of her life. I don't blame her for my post partum depression, but I know that having a high needs baby did not help the situation. I know that life is going to be chaotic with 3 kids especially in the beginning and it would be sooo nice to have a mellow go with the flow baby. I have a feeling that this may actually happen this time......not sure why I feel like that, but I'm staying optimistic. Besides, this baby is going to have built in entertainment and 3 mamas fussing over him/her!

-I can't believe that I'm about to be the mother of 3 kids! There are lots of people my age who don't have any kids and I'm going to have 3!!! It's hard to wrap my head around that. But I'm really excited to meet this kid and have another member of the Schultz family!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

And she's four

It amazes me how quickly time passes by. It feels like such a short time ago that I was pregnant for the first time and anticipating the birth of my daughter and now today she turns four! What can I say about Madeline that hasn't already been said? She is a spitfire, she is energetic, outgoing, and kind hearted. She is strong willed and sensitive, smart and has no boundaries. Maddie is good at problem solving, serving her time in discipline and an excellent hugger. She never ceases to amaze me with the things that come out of her mouth!

I can't believe how big she has gotten. Maddie no longer resembles a baby or toddler in any sense! She is tall and getting lean. She has huge feet and is really very strong for her size. The girl has boundless energy and never seems to stop moving, except for when she is sleeping, and she sleeps deeply! She also has turned into quite an eater.....I guess to keep up her energy. She went through a picky stage this year where she informed us that she didn't like anything, but she's since come out of it and now always tries things. Her most favorite things to eat are peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, cheese and pickles and if you ever ask her what she wants to eat for a meal she'll tell you exactly that! She also likes anything sweet.....cake and ice cream being at the top of her list. We are still having a hard time keeping Maddie in clothes and shoes that fit her. It amazes me how quickly she outgrows pants and shoes! She is currently in 6x clothing and size 11-12 shoes. I don't have stats on how much she weighs and how tall she is, but Dan and I can attest to the fact that she is huge (tall enough to ride adult carnival rides) and seriously heavy.

It's really exciting to watch as Maddie learns. She is really smart and her brain works in a completely different way than mine does.....she is totally like her dad in this aspect! She likes to know how things work and has a very analytical mind. She picks up on sequencing and rules very quickly and is very good at following directions.....when she wants to. I really feel like she is going to excel in her studies as she gets older, but I'm also seeing quite a little artist coming out in her. She likes painting and drawing and really enjoys sculpture. She also has been very interested in photography and constantly wants to use my camera, which honestly terrifies me. I think we need to get her a digital camera of her very own that she can actually learn the art of photography on. Maddie knows all the typical things that she is supposed to know at this age.....very basic addition, easy spelling, how to write her name and she is getting very close to learning how to read. She has a serious memory on her and not only does she never forget things you tell her, but she can also memorize an entire book after just a couple readings. We should probably work more with her on academic things, but I really feel strongly that kids only get one childhood, and they have years and years to learn academically......she should be spending this time in her life acting like a child and having fun. Plus, there is plenty of learning going on through play.

Maddie has grown into such a wonderfully caring girl. I've watched her become a gentle (most of the time) and loving big sister and I can't wait to see her with another baby in the house. She is extremely helpful to me and will almost always do tasks for me, especially when my requests are prefaced with "will you do me a favor," for some reason she really likes that. You can get the child to do ANYTHING with a bribe of sweets....even a couple chocolate chips will get her to accomplish the hardest tasks, but she also really loves to be praised and told that she is a big girl and great helper. Maddie is in that stage where she likes to be involved in everything that I'm doing, even cleaning! So, I've been trying to use this willingness to help to my advantage and teaching her how to do small household chores. She has learned to fold (mostly blankets and towels) and vacuum and we've been having both girls clean up their bedroom and the TV room every night before bed.

It has been a joy to have Madeline in our family. She brings enthusiasm and high energy to our household. She is sensitive to the people around her and she genuienly cares about her family. I can't believe that time has passed so quickly and my first born baby is four already, but I have a feeling that every year of her life will feel like that. My prayer for Maddie is that she learns patience this 4th year of her life. That God works in her life and expands on her natural ability to love and show compassion. And I pray that she will always know how much her family loves and appreciates her!

Food: Peanut butter & jelly sandwiches and cheese
Drink: Chocolate milk
Toy: Pet shop (she got today for her b-day)
Outside activity: Play on swing set
Inside activity: Watching TV
Treat: Lolly pops
Movie: Mickey Mouse movies (the old ones)
Song: Victor Vito
TV show: Phineas and Pherb
Word: All of them
Animal: Elephant
Outfit: Pony shirt and lucky pants (and underwear)
Place: School
Book: Eloise books
Shoes: Croc sandals
Season: Winter
Color: Pink
Cartoon character: Phineas and Pherb
Game: Candyland
Candy: Chocolate
Restaurant: Chuck E Cheese

Happy birthday my sweet growing girl! May this year be your best yet!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

First day of school 2010

Today was the first day back at preschool for Maddie and the first day ever of preschool for Charlotte. We'd been talking about it for a while now so the girls were good and excited! Maddie got a new backpack (Charlotte got Maddie's backpack from last year) and both girls had new lunch boxes. This first day of school seemed to sneak up on us because the girls were gone for the 5 days leading up to it so when they got up this morning and I told them it was school they were a bit out of sorts. Maddie told me exactly what she wanted to wear....her I love ponies shirt and Charlotte didn't care what clothes she wore as long as she could wear Maddie's mary jane crocs that are 3 sizes too big. I humored her and she got to wear them all the way until we got to school and then I made her wear shoes that fit. Neither one of the girls was sad or clingy at school.....not one tear was shed by any of us. I think that after a long summer they were really ready to get back to school, and goodness knows that I was really ready for them to get back to school!! I left them in their classes, drove back home, and got back into bed with my book and actually was able to fall asleep for about an hour and a half. It will be really nice having some time off for the next couple weeks while the girls are away and before this new baby joins our family. I'm starting to feel really worn down in my pregnancy at this point and the option of taking a morning nap, or just putting my feet up for a few hours a week is very appealing!

So, the day went smashing. Both girls had a great time and both were well behaved (says their teachers) I think Charlotte transitioned into preschool really easily and I know that both girls will have a great year. And there was even success on the cloth diaper front! I introduced Charlotte's teacher to cloth today and diaper changes went really well and she hasn't been scared off.....here's hoping that it continues to be easy for her and that we can continue bringing cloth to school. Cheers to a wonderful start to the school year.....we're all looking forward to tomorrow!

Maddie 1st day of school 2010 (almost 4)

Charlotte 1st day of school 2010 (almost 2.5)

She was EXCITED!!

Backpack shot

In front of the school waiting to go in

In front of school

Mrs. Bailey welcoming Charlotte

Maddie jumped right in.....check ya later mom!

Maddie on the first day of school 2009

Look at little baby Charlotte in the background!!

County McCounterson