Mommy Monday: 36 weeks pregnant with number two - cerclage removal!

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Ok, I've come to a conclusion: GETTING A CERCLAGE REMOVED SUCKS. haha I had hopes that this time around would be a more pleasant experience than last time, but - it wasn't really. Which leads me to believe that cerclage removals just suck in general. And that's that. haha And that's fine. It is what it is.

Bottom line is, MY CERCLAGE IS OUT, hooray!! And this time around, the doctor was able to get the entire stitch out, versus last time part of it was still left in because my doctor couldn't get it all. So I am very thankful that the entire stitch was able to be removed this time! My doctor showed me the stitch after it was taken out and it was much different looking than I was expecting! It was HUGE and thick and black...I was expecting something daintier and less horrifying looking haha.

Anyways, the removal was painful and unpleasant, but it's done and I am so happy to have the stitch out and to be completely "normal" and ready for this baby to come! :)

After removing the cerclage, the doctor checked my cervix and said I am 2 cm dilated and about 60% effaced - about exactly what I was after I got my cerclage removed with my first pregnancy.

Oh, before I forget: last week I had an ultrasound to check the baby's growth and position. Everything looked great! Baby boy is head down (woohoo!) and was estimated to be about 6lbs 6oz. James was a big baby at 8lbs 11oz when he was born, and the doctor said she thinks this baby will be not *quite* as big, but still over 8lbs. His belly was also measuring big, but the doctor said "not in a concerning way...in a CUTE way!" haha Which I think is adorable. I can't wait to kiss that big belly!

I've been really stressing out about going into labor and about getting to the hospital on time and about being able to get an epidural in time - and MOSTLY about having to leave James when I'm in the hospital. I've never spent a night away from James, and I know he'll be fine with my parents (they're coming to stay with him at our house). But I'm still stressing about it and so sad to have to be away from him!! I was "induced" in that my water was broken with James, so I never experienced going into labor on my own, unexpectedly. I'm pretty nervous for that! I hate when things aren't planned out and I just hope it happens at a convenient time and that I realize what's happening in time to get to the hospital!! I'm stressing big time, guys!! Prayers please! I'm really trying to just trust God and put it all in His hands and NOT WORRY. It will all be fine, I know. :)

Also, I know I express a lot of fears and worries and discomforts here in this blog, but I want you all to know how genuinely grateful I am for this pregnancy and for how smoothly it has gone and for my healthy baby boy. I thank God every day that we made it this far without any complications or scares! I am so thankful to have been able to experience a more "normal" and worry free pregnancy! I'm praying the duration of this pregnancy and the labor/delivery/postpartum recovery go just as scare and worry free!

Ok, on to this week's survey:

How far along: 36 weeks 3 days

Total weight gain/loss: Up around 40lbs.

Maternity clothes? Yes! Living in my maternity leggings and big t-shirts!

Stretch marks? So many above and below and around my belly button!

Sleep: Insomnia, frequent peeing, stress...it's been rough! But it's all part of the journey!

Best moment this week: Having my cerclage be OUT!

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: SO MUCH! He's a very active little boy, and he particularly loves punching and head butting my cervix and pelvis area while simultaneously kicking my ribs. haha

Food cravings: Doughnuts, pizza, fruit...

Anything making you queasy or sick: No.

Have you started to show yet: Yep!

Gender: Boy!

Labor Signs: Back pain, period-like cramps, Braxton Hicks

Belly Button in or out? It's pretty much flat now.

Wedding rings on or off? Off! Wearing a place holder ring.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy for the most part! But definitely moody and cranky and emotional as well.

Symptoms: Upper back pain on the right side - super horrible, pelvis/hip/groin pain, leg cramps at night, frequent peeing, heart burn, light-headed, out of breath, THIRSTY, stretch marks, spider veins, EMOTIONAL, hormonal, feet starting to hurt if I stand on them too long, tired, achey...

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Mommy Monday: 31 weeks pregnant with number two!

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Happy Monday!

I hit the 31 week mark on Saturday, and I am so incredibly thankful to be feeling so well still! This pregnancy has been such a blessing...easy, fast, "normal"... I can't stop thanking God for this experience.

Today, James was sitting next to me on the couch and I felt the baby kicking. I asked J if he wanted to feel the baby, and placed his little hands on my stomach. James felt kicks and looked at me with this really amazed smile on his face and his eyes gleamed. Then, he laid his head on my stomach, and wrapped his arms around it, and just held his baby brother...it was seriously so special and so sweet. But THEN, as if that wasn't adorable enough, J jumped up, ran over and grabbed his water cup. He brought it over and held it up to my stomach, giving his baby brother a drink. I almost died, it was the most precious, sweet thing I have ever seen. I'm so proud of James...he's a truly one-of-a-kind little boy and he is already the best big brother!

James and I made no-bake toddler cookies and they turned out so yummy! James had so much fun making them and he did a really great job. He was very focused, haha. Baking is serious business! You can get the recipe we used for these cookies HERE

Now, for this week's survey:

How far along: 31 weeks 2 days

Total weight gain/loss: Up nearly 30 lbs as of my last appointment 1.5 weeks ago.

Maternity clothes? Yes!

Stretch marks? All around/above my belly button.

Sleep: Not great!

Best moment this week: James hugging his baby brother in my tummy and sharing his water with him. I mean, what more could a mama ask for? :)

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: So much! :)

Food cravings: Peaches

Anything making you queasy or sick: No.

Have you started to show yet: Oh boy, yes haha

Gender: Boy!

Labor Signs: Lots of Braxton Hicks.

Belly Button in or out? Half in, half out...it looks kind of like a unicorn...haha

Wedding rings on or off? Off! Wearing a place holder ring.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy. But a little cranky. And A LOT emotional. haha

Symptoms: Leg cramps, at night heart burn, light-headed, out of breath, THIRSTY, hungry all the time, stretch marks, spider veins, EMOTIONAL, hormonal, feet starting to hurt if I stand on them too long.

Thanks for following along! I love all of the e-mails and messages that I get from you guys! This is such a fun community, and I am so grateful to have connected with each of you!

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Mommy Monday: 27 Weeks Pregnant With Number Two!

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27 weeks pregnant, and feeling great! Although, some new symptoms: bloody noses (I had these  A TON when I was pregnant with James!), and heartburn!

So, last Monday, I had my one hour test to check for gestational diabetes. I found out the next day that I had failed that one hour test and therefore had to go in and do the three hour test. The same thing happened when I was pregnant with James, so I wasn't too worried about it. It was more of just a pain, because for the three hour test I had to fast (no coffee even!!), and it takes ...THREE HOURS. So, just kind of miserable and inconvenient.

But I did it last Wednesday, and I found out on Friday that I PASSED! Woohoo, so NO gestational diabetes for me! Hooray! Bring on the doughnuts! ;)

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Today I got my hair cut - three inches off and it feels SO much healthier!! The last time I got it cut was...November?? haha So it was WAAAYY over due. Here are some before and afters - nothing drastic, but just way healthier!!

I think that's all for now! This is my last week in the second trimester - so next Mommy Monday post will be the start of my THIRD TRIMESTER! Seriously, where is the time going? I've started sorting through James' baby clothes and getting them all moved into the dresser for baby boy number two. It's making me so emotional but also so excited. James has been helping me go through his old clothes and it is just so so cute! He has so much fun looking at them all, haha.

I'm really feeling emotional about the fact that there are less than 13 weeks left in this pregnancy, meaning only 13ish weeks left of it JUST being James. I know it will be so great and fun and happy (and hard, haha). But I can't help but think about how precious this time is with just James - just me and him, one on one every day. I will miss this era. It's such a special time in life that we wont get back and I'm so thankful for it. I love that little boy so incredibly much! How is he going to be TWO YEARS OLD in a few weeks?!?!?!

Alright, onto this week's survey:

How far along: 27 weeks 2 days - almost to the THIRD trimester!!

Total weight gain/loss: Up 19.4 lbs as of last week's appointment.

Maternity clothes? Yep! All maternity at this point! I'm big, guys. Real big. haha

Stretch marks? A ton around and above my belly button! Aaaahhh, motherhood. :)

Sleep: Fine!

Best moment this week: Finding out I passed the glucose test!

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: All the time! He is an active little boy! So much fun! I will miss feeling him move once he is born, since we aren't planning on having any more kids. It's such a special experience!

Food cravings: Pasta, doughnuts, fruit, ice cream... HA

Anything making you queasy or sick: No.

Have you started to show yet: Yep! Big time!

Gender: Boy!

Labor Signs: Some (very few) Braxton Hicks.

Belly Button in or out? The top part is out, the bottom part is in.

Wedding rings on or off? Off! Wearing a place holder ring.

Happy or Moody most of the time: MOODY/emotional

Symptoms: Bloody noses, heart burn, light-headed, out of breath, THIRSTY, hungry all the time stretch marks, spider veins, EMOTIONAL, hormonal, tired, crying at nothing... It's great! hahaha

Thank you for your continued prayers and good vibes! It is SO incredibly wonderful to be able to experience a "normal" pregnancy!! Only 9ish weeks until I get my cerclage out! Woohoo!

 

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Mommy Monday: 23 Weeks Pregnant With Number Two!

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Happy Monday! Less than one week until viability - WOOHOO!!

That was SUCH a huge goal/landmark/accomplishment when I was pregnant with James, and even though this pregnancy isn't scary or high risk, it still feels great to be almost at that critical point!!

This has been a really great week...time spent with friends, quality family time, a doctor's appointment to hear the heartbeat, etc...it's just been a good one! :)

I'll keep this brief, but some highlights from the past week have been:

-A bbq playdate with James' friends from music class

-Family day at Ben's work and getting to see the building he works in

-A doctor's appointment and checking in on little man numero dos

-Taking James to his first play and him scooching his way up to the very front... he loved it!

-Family walk over the weekend

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My dress was sent to me by a company called Beachcoco and it is the COMFIEST, prettiest maternity dress. I love it A LOT. You can click here to get the dress ... it comes in 14 different colors and is under $25!

Here is this week's survey (and yes, I finally have a weight gain number for you this week haha):

How far along: 23 weeks 3 days

Total weight gain/loss: Up 19 lbs so far

Maternity clothes? Yes! Like this dress, for example: click here

Stretch marks? Yes, all around my belly button!

Sleep: James is waking up at around 5am these days...so that's not ideal. haha But I'm sure it's just a phase...RIGHT!?!?!?!?

Best moment this week: Seeing James having so much fun and making new friends at the play this morning! He is so much fun and so confident and SO sweet! I just love him!!

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: Yes, a lot!

Food cravings: Savory things! Pasta, cheesey things, gravy, meat...

Anything making you queasy or sick: Not really! Thankfully!

Have you started to show yet: Yes, getting bigger and bigger by the day!

Gender: Boy!

Labor Signs: Nope!

Belly Button in or out? Half in, half out still... haha

Wedding rings on or off? Off! Wearing a place holder ring.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy AND veeerrrryyyyy moody. haha I alternate between so serene and happy and pleasant, and then a cranky raging grouch. So, it's been fun.

Symptoms: Hungry aaalll the time, shortness of breath, thirsty, tired. Not too intense in the symptoms department, which I'm thankful for!!

Thanks for reading and for following along on this journey!

OH! Before I go: Ben and I are now leaning towards having the boys share a room. We'll have the new baby sleep in our room in the Snoo for the first three to six months. But after that, we're thinking of just moving the baby right into James' room. Any other parents have experience with a toddler and a baby sharing a bedroom/any tips? Thanks in advance!

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Mommy Monday: 22 Weeks Pregnant With Number Two!

My USA shirt:  ILY Couture  (  click here for the shirt  ) // James' USA sweatshirt:  Old Navy  (  click here for the sweatshirt  )

Hi everyone! Happy Tuesday!

Sorry that no post went up yesterday, but I took the day off due to Memorial Day. I just wanted to take a moment to say how incredibly thankful I am for the men and women who have given their lives to defend our great nation and to protect our freedom. Their sacrifice will never be forgotten or taken for granted.

I just finished reading The Nightingale which was really really good! I definitely recommend it. You can get the book here. But I was in tears for a lot of it because I just kept thinking about how blessed I am to live in the United States of America, where I am free and safe and have plenty of food and clean water and where my children can grow up safe and with endless possibilities ahead of them. The book really made me realize how good we have it.

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Ok, now onto the point of this post! I'm 22 weeks pregnant and still feeling great! I'm trying to think if there is anything new at all since last week as far as my symptoms go or anything...but there really isn't!

Something really exciting, though! Ben was finally able to feel the baby kick! I'm so glad! It's such a special thing and I'm really happy that he was able to feel the baby at last!

I have my monthly appointment with my OB tomorrow. I can't wait to hear little man's heartbeat! These appointments are always so short - about 10 minutes or less, haha. But I always love checking in and hearing that my little boy is doing well!

I did want to share these maternity tank tops with you guys ...they are SO COMFORTABLE! They are also very affordable. I sized up one size and they are just absolutely my favorite thing right now - so comfortable!! Click here for the tank tops.

Wearing   the tank top   in this picture!   Click here for the tank top    - comes in so many different colors!

Wearing the tank top in this picture! Click here for the tank top  - comes in so many different colors!

Alright, here's this week's survey:

How far along: 22 weeks 3 days

Total weight gain/loss:  I have lost track, but I'll be weighed at my appointment tomorrow so I'll update you in next Monday's blog post!

Maternity clothes? Yes! The comfiest!

Stretch marks? Yes, all around my belly button!

Sleep: It's ok! James has been waking up pretty early in the morning and I'm not good about going to bed early, so it's been a bit rough. But not too bad!

Best moment this week: Ben feeling the baby kick for the first time! And watching James and Ben play out in the backyard together this weekend.

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: A lot! It's really picked up in the past week!

Food cravings: Savory things! Pasta, cheesey things, gravy, meat...

Anything making you queasy or sick: Not really.

Have you started to show yet: Yes, getting big!

Gender: Boy!

Labor Signs: Nope!

Belly Button in or out? Half in, half out still.

Wedding rings on or off? Off! Wearing a place holder ring.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy! I was reeeaallly moody last week though! Like...CRANKY. haha

Symptoms: My restless leg has gotten better, thank goodness!! Starving all the time! Fatigued muscles...like, walking up the stairs makes my legs feel like they are going to fall off. haha

That's all for now! Still keeping up with my Knocked Up Fitness Prenatal Workouts, although definitely not every day. I'm really listening to my body and just doing what feels right...which has meant a lot of rest days. :) Click here for the prenatal program!

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Mommy Monday: 20 Weeks Pregnant With Number Two!

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I hope all of you mamas out there had a wonderful Mother's Day!

We headed to the family cabin in Montana and unplugged for a long weekend...it was so refreshing and nice. We spent time reading, hiking around, and breathing in the fresh mountain air. No phones, no internet, no e-mails, no work. Just being in the moment with each other.

I'm 20 weeks pregnant now ... half way through this pregnancy and I can hardly even believe it! This pregnancy is FLYING by! It's seriously going so fast, I kind of want time to slow down a little bit. We aren't planning on having any more children after this, so this is my last time being pregnant and it is bittersweet. I feel so blessed to be able to experience pregnancy - TWICE! And I feel so incredibly blessed and thankful that this pregnancy is going so smoothly!

Ok, can we just talk about spider veins for a quick sec?? Um, I have gotten SO MANY lately! I only got a few after my pregnancy with James, but this time around my legs (particularly my knee area) is covered with them! Oh the joys of pregnancy symptoms. I'm not complaining...like I said I'm really thankful for every single part of this experience. I'm more just throwing that out there for those of you who may be experiencing the same thing. I am covered with spider veins and ever-growing stretch marks. But hey, my boobs are bigger so there's that!!

I've been feeling the baby move so much over this past week! It's really fun! I can feel his kicks and rolls getting stronger and more substantial and I think we'll be able to feel them from the outside any day now.

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I'm soaking up every second with my sweet little James. I'm so excited for him to have a little brother. I know adding another baby to our family will only add to his life, rather than detract from it. But it is still a bit sad to think of him not being the only baby any more. I know it will be an adjustment for us all! I am so excited to see James as a big brother!! He'll be so sweet with the baby, I just know it.

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Here's this week's survey:

How far along: 20 weeks 2 days

Total weight gain/loss:  To be honest, I've lost track. I'll update this next time I get weighed at the doctor!

Maternity clothes? Pretty much exclusively!

Stretch marks? Some new ones...all of my stretch marks are around my belly button.

Sleep: Fine!

Best moment this week: Playing in the mountains with Ben and James.

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: Yes, feeling a lot lately.

Food cravings: Mexican food, fruit

Anything making you queasy or sick: Not really.

Have you started to show yet: Yes, getting big!

Gender: A boy! Hooray!

Labor Signs: Nope!

Belly Button in or out? Half in, half out still.

Wedding rings on or off? Off! Wearing a place holder ring.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy!

Symptoms: Spider veins, stretch marks, bigger boobs, heart burn, always thirsty, congested, lower back is sore

Have a great week, friends!

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I know I look horrendous in this picture, but I just LOVE how James loves giving me kisses! He is seriously the sweetest!!!

I know I look horrendous in this picture, but I just LOVE how James loves giving me kisses! He is seriously the sweetest!!!

Mommy Monday: 18 Weeks Pregnant With Number Two!

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Happy Monday!

I'm 18 weeks, two days pregnant and feeling great! I had an ultrasound last thursday to check my cervix since having the cerclage, and all looks perfect. My cervix was still over 4 cm and completely closed! I'm so thankful! I also got the clear to begin (gentle) workouts again... woohoo!

We go in next monday for our anatomy scan, so they will check my cervix again at that appointment. With my last pregnancy, we discovered my shortened cervix (only 1.2cm!!) at my 20 week anatomy scan, so it will be nice to pass that point in this pregnancy with no complications! Read about my experience during my last pregnancy here.

We also will be confirming the gender at the anatomy scan, so expect our gender reveal next week! We are so excited to FINALLY share what we are having with all of you! Go ahead and leave your guess in the comments: Boy or Girl?!?! :)

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It feels so nice to be able to start easing into some workouts again! I've been doing prenatal workouts from Knocked Up Fitness... click here to learn more about the workouts. They are amazing for pregnant mamas! Definitely check it out!

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I love this comfy, cute maternity top that I got from Target recently! I linked it and a few similar tops below!

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Alright, that's all for now! Here is this week's survey:

How far along: 18 weeks 2 days

Total weight gain/loss:  As of my last week, up 10lbs since beginning of pregnancy.

Maternity clothes? Yes! Constantly on the hunt for cute, affordable pieces!

Stretch marks? Still no new ones yet!

Sleep: Super congested so it hasn't been great this week!

Best moment this week: Seeing the new baby flip and move around on the ultrasound last thursday!

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: Yes! The past few days I've felt a ton of movement!

Food cravings: Doughnuts. :) And Mexican food.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Not really.

Have you started to show yet: Yes!

Gender: Yes, announcing next week!

Labor Signs: Nope!

Belly Button in or out? Half in, half out. haha

Wedding rings on or off? Off! Wearing a place holder ring.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy/ Moody/ Emotional ... you name it!

Symptoms: Acne, round ligament pain has really amped up, tight muscles, tired, irritable, shortness of breath, forgetful...I'm a mess, haha.

See you back here next Monday, friends! Be sure to check back because we'll be announcing the GENDER!! HOORAY!

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Mommy Monday: 16 Weeks Pregnant With Number Two!

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Happy (very late) Mommy Monday!

Don't mind the above pictures - I realized today that I had no pictures to share from this past week, haha... so I had my mom take these of me real quick! This past week has been pretty uneventful, really. Which is good! Fine by me!! I want this pregnancy to be as uneventful and boring as possible!

Honestly, nothing really new to report. I'm feeling great! All recovered from my cerclage, although my lower back is really sore ever since I had it done.

James and I are staying at my parents' house this week because Ben is at a training thing for his new position at work. We have lots of fun things planned for this week and I can't wait to tell you all about them in next week's Mommy Monday post!

Here is a fun little comparison I did the other day. The first picture is one I took back in January around the time I got pregnant. I was trying on swimsuits for our trip to Hawaii. The second picture is about 16 weeks later. Kind of cool to see the change in such a short amount of time!

Right around when I got pregnant, and then about 16 weeks later!

Right around when I got pregnant, and then about 16 weeks later!

Oh! I also wanted to mention that lately James and I have been doing so many more crafts and fun learning activities together! I love letting him play with different materials and he's been practicing color and letter matching! Let me know if you would like me to share any of the crafts and projects that we do!

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Ok, onto this week's survey:

How far along: 16 weeks 2 days

Total weight gain/loss:  I didn't weigh myself this week but I'm assuming around the same as last week, ~6 lbs

Maternity clothes? Yes, some!

Stretch marks? No new ones yet! But my old ones are out in full glory, haha

Sleep: Fine! I have to get up quite a lot to pee, and my crazy dreams are back though.

Best moment this week: Watching James be the center of attention at music class! He has gotten so confident and is just thriving in that class, it's adorable! I'm so proud of him!

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: A little bit, off and on!

Food cravings: Thai Food!

Anything making you queasy or sick: Vegetables :(

Have you started to show yet: Yes!

Gender: Yes, but still not announcing quite yet!

Labor Signs: Nope!

Belly Button in or out? Mostly in...starting to poke out on top though. So cute.

Wedding rings on or off? Off! Wearing a place holder ring.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy/ EMOTIONAL!!!!

Symptoms: Acne, weird dreams, having to pee all the time, constipation, congestion, back aches.

That's it for this week! Sorry it wasn't a very fun or exciting update, but as I said, that's fine with me!! No excitement please! Just a boring, standard, uneventful, safe, healthy pregnancy! See you back next Monday!

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Mommy Monday: 15 Weeks Pregnant With Number Two, Cerclage!

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Hi there, friends!

Friday I had my cerclage put in. I was so nervous for the surgery, even though it was planned this time and the whole thing was very relaxed. As of Friday, my cervix was still very long and normal looking, so that was great to hear, and I'm so glad that we did the cerclage before anything started changing or going south.

Even though I was super nervous, I also felt overwhelmed by a sense of peace and the knowledge that everything was going to be ok. It was such a great feeling - all of the prayers were really felt, so thank you to everyone sending them our way!

As I was waiting in the hospital room to be taken to the OR, I was overcome with emotions. I felt so incredibly thankful that I was able to have this surgery and that I was able to go through all of the scary hospital stuff in order to protect my new baby and keep it safe before anything went wrong.

Also, when I first checked in to the hospital, they sent me to the lab to get blood work done. I am a Certified Medical Assistant and have tons of experience drawing blood, but let me tell you - I HATE having my blood drawn. Like, HATE IT. I get so anxious and nervous and sweaty and so I was dreading having lab work done. Well, I got to the lab and check in, and the phlebotomist came out and said, "sorry to disappoint you, but you don't get to have a blood draw today!" I WAS SO HAPPY!! Already my second cerclage experience was going amazingly! haha

Then, I met with the anesthesiologist to discuss options and a game plan. With my first cerclage, I had a spinal, where I was numbed from my waist down and couldn't feel a thing. But I was wide awake and totally aware of what was going on and so stressed and nervous the whole time. The anesthesiologist this time said he could put me under with general anesthesia, or do a spinal. Although, he said that there was a nation-wide shortage of the medication they usually use for a spinal, so he'd have to use a different medication that takes a couple of hours longer to wear off. I told him whatever he thought was best for the baby. He decided to do the spinal, but said he'd give me something to help me relax too.

Well, whatever he gave me, the last thing I remember is being wheeled into the OR, rolled onto my side on the operating table, and the OR nurse rubbing my back as I *think* they gave me the spinal. The next thing I remember is being wheeled into recovery. I asked the anesthesiologist, "did I just fall asleep on my own or did you put me under?!" and he laughed and said, "I helped you out a bit!" haha I was SO CONFUSED!! I thought I had slept through the whole thing! I remember nothing! What I now think happened is that he gave me a sedative, so I probably was awake but just so relaxed and don't remember? I don't know, haha But it weirds me out to think that I was maybe chatting away saying who knows what during the surgery and don't remember ANYTHING!! HAHA

But, I am totally fine with whatever they did because it wasn't scary at all since I wasn't aware of what was happening and I don't remember a thing. I just remember going into the OR and leaving the OR, haha. Very pleasant!

I then had to wait a few hours for the spinal to wear off and to be able to move/feel my legs again. Then I got to go home. The whole thing was very easy and really no big deal. SUCH a different experience than the cerclage I had with my first pregnancy!! I'm so thankful for how everything went the day of my surgery and for my wonderful husband and my parents for taking such good care of me and of James during all of this!

Now, I'm 15 weeks pregnant, and everything is going well and I'm praying that the rest of this pregnancy stays as normal and uneventful as it has been thus far!!

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I've just been taking it easy the past couple of days. I'm feeling great, just sore. My back hurts a bit from the spinal, but it's getting better every day. I'm waiting on a call back from my doctor today to give me the "OK" to start lifting James and resuming my previous activity level. I'm dying to get outside and go for a walk around the neighborhood!

Yesterday afternoon I started having Braxton Hicks which I had basically MOST of my pregnancy with James (I think I may have irritable uterus), but since they started happening so soon after my cerclage I was of course freaking out a little. But they stopped and there was never any pain or bleeding so I'll mention it to my doctor when I talk to her today, but I'm pretty confident it's nothing to be concerned about. Braxton Hicks are oh-so-fun and I'm just preparing myself for  a lot of them over the next few months!

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Time for this week's survey!

How far along: 15 weeks 2 days

Total weight gain/loss:  6 lbs

Maternity clothes? Yes, some!

Stretch marks? No new ones yet!

Sleep: Pretty good at the moment actually!

Best moment this week: Watching James and his little friend on their play date!

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: Yes! I've felt a few thumps over the past few days!

Food cravings: Pineapple, crunch wrap supreme, doughnuts :p

Anything making you queasy or sick: Not really!

Have you started to show yet: Yes!

Gender: Yes, but still not announcing quite yet!

Labor Signs: Some Braxton Hicks over the past day or two since the cerclage.

Belly Button in or out? In

Wedding rings on or off? Off! Wearing a place holder ring.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy/ EMOTIONAL!!!!

Symptoms: Congested, round ligament pain, emotional, peeing all the time, haha.

Thank you, again, for all of the prayers and positivity being sent our way! Please keep them coming!

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Mommy Monday: 14 Weeks Pregnant With Number Two!

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Click here for my dress (Comes in so many colors and under $100! It's my favorite dress ever!) // Click here for my shoes // Click here for my necklace (It's customized with James' name on it - you can get any name put on it! I love it so much!)

I hope you all had the happiest Easter!

We had such a fun weekend! Saturday we had a lazy morning and we all watched Homeward Bound together in our jammies and it was just such a nice, cozy day. Yesterday, James and I went to church with my parents. Then later, Ben James, Gunner, and I headed to my parents' house for dinner with extended family and an Easter egg hunt for little James. It was James' first Easter egg hunt and he did SO well!! He loved it! My cousins set it up for him and it was the cutest most fun thing!

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I was seriously dying over James' Easter outfit and how CUTE he looked!! His little tie was just the most adorable thing. I want to dress him up in fancy clothes every day!! His shirt is my favorite color - mint! And his slacks are a bit big so they will fit him for all of our events coming up through the summer!

I'm also so obsessed with the dress I wore - it's not a maternity dress. I barely squeezed myself into the dress and had to have Ben zip me up, haha but it worked with my little bump!! It's just the most feminine dress with such pretty detailing and I love the length. It's very classy and elegant and perfect for any occasion. It comes in a lot of colors and is under $100 which is SUCH a great price for the quality!! (Click here for my dress)

So, I am officially in the Second Trimester now!! Hooray!!

This week, I'm getting my cerclage, so please send all your thoughts and prayers and good vibes my way! I'm pretty nervous for the surgery and just want to get it over with!

Oh also, I found the BEST maternity jeans ever...seriously. If you're pregnant, GET THEM!

They are really comfortable (like leggings), and are super cute and actually fit well unlike a lot of maternity jeans. They come in several colors/ washes. Click here for the jeans!

Now, for this week's survey:

How far along: 14 weeks 2 days

Total weight gain/loss: 6 lbs

Maternity clothes? Yes! Like these maternity jeans I've been raving about!! (Click here for jeans)

Stretch marks? No new ones!

Sleep: Not great - SO congested!!

Best moment this week: James doing his Easter egg hunt! And watching James during the church service yesterday! He's so sweet!

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: I *think* a few little flutters - but none that I'm absolutely positive about yet. I have an anterior placenta this time, so it will probably be harder for me to feel movement until later on.

Food cravings: Pineapple!

Anything making you queasy or sick: Not really!

Have you started to show yet: Oooooh yes. ;)

Gender: We know! But we're not announcing yet! ;)

Labor Signs: No.

Belly Button in or out? In

Wedding rings on or off? Off! Wearing a place holder ring now! :p

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy!

Symptoms: My weird dreams are gone, yay! Now symptoms include congestion, weakness, shortness of breath, and moodiness.

Have a great week, friends!!

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Mommy Monday: 12 weeks pregnant with number two!

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Dress: Soprano (Exact pattern sold out, same dress in different color here and here) // Shoes: Target

Happy Monday, friends!

Welcome to the first round of Mommy Monday for pregnancy number two!

You guys: I started showing SO QUICKLY this time around!! Seriously, I think the moment I got pregnant my uterus was like, "Ok, this again!" and blew up. haha I was showing when we were in Hawaii and that was only at six weeks...granted I'm sure a lot of it was bloating, but still. I started showing waaaayyyy sooner than I did my first pregnancy. I'm glad I've announced that I'm pregnant because now I can just let it all hang out, haha.

This week I am going in for a pre-op consultation with Maternal Fetal Medicine because...yup, I have to get a cerclage again.

As of my eight week appointment, my cervix was still looking perfect and hadn't started shortening or anything, but my OB told me "once a cerclage, always a cerclage". So I'll be getting one put in at 14 weeks as a precaution. And at least this time around it wont be an emergency or a scary unknown hurried thing. I can plan ahead, prepare for it mentally, go in to the hospital in my pajamas and glasses (last time I was wearing tight jeans, high heels, and contact lenses...NOT COMFY POST-OP, haha). Oh, and this time I can tell the anesthesiologist ahead of time that I puked on the operating table last time, so they can plan ahead and give me medicine for that haha. Anyways, this time should be a much more pleasant and calm experience, God-willing! :)

So, this week is my pre-op consultation for all of that. I'll fill you guys in on all the details of that appointment in next monday's post. I'll be getting an ultrasound so I'm really looking forward to seeing the little one!

As I mentioned in my last post I'm not experiencing any morning sickness any more, so that has been wonderful! So much better in that regard, compared to my last pregnancy!

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You guys all know how much I love and adore the Core Rehab Program from Knocked Up Fitness, right? (Read about my posts on it here and here) Core Rehab helped me heal my abdominal separation postpartum and just helped me to get my body back to looking and feeling it's best after having James. Well, I'm so excited to be doing the Knocked Up Fitness Prenatal Program during my pregnancy this time around!!

You can learn more about the Knocked Up Fitness Prenatal Program here. I'd love it if some of you other pregnant mamas did it along with me! Let me know if you're doing it and we can hold each other accountable!

Ok, now to the weekly survey, which I'll be filling out each Monday, just like last time:

How far along: 12 weeks 2 days

Total weight gain/loss: Not sure! I haven't been weighing myself. I was 107lbs before I got pregnant.

Maternity clothes? Some! They are way more comfy, and like I said, I am getting so big so fast with this pregnancy that already some of my non-maternity clothes are getting too tight!

Stretch marks? Just the old ones so far!

Sleep: Not great! Having so many weird dreams and such bad allergies. I keep waking up with an itchy nose, haha.

Best moment this week: Hitting the 12 week mark! It just feels like a milestone, as we're basically out of the first trimester now!

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: Not yet!

Food cravings: None really! Sour candy has been my jam though!

Anything making you queasy or sick: Vegetables, unfortunately. Just the thought of them makes me gag. :(

Have you started to show yet: Yes, SO quickly this time around!

Gender: Don't know yet!

Labor Signs: No.

Belly Button in or out? In/flat

Wedding rings on or off? On.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy but SO emotional!!

Symptoms: Weird dreams, dry skin, acne, tired.

Baby After Bedrest? My Thoughts On Baby Number Two

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Warning: This will be a long one, guys! It's probably the most personal blog post I've ever written.

If you've been following my blog for awhile, you know that my pregnancy with James turned out to be a really challenging and scary one, leading up to an even more frightening birth experience.

To summarize, I was given an emergency cerclage and put on bedrest at 20 weeks due to having a shortened cervix. Being on bedrest for the next 16+ weeks was the most challenging experience of my life, both mentally and physically. It was 16 weeks of being terrified for my baby's safety, my body deteriorating, and being bored and antsy and...it was just a really really emotional and hard time.

I ended up having my cerclage removed at around 36 weeks and I was taken off of bedrest at that time. At 39 weeks 3 days, I went in for my weekly check in with my doctor and he noted that my right leg was waaay more swollen than my left leg. He said he wanted to have me induced and to check for a blood clot. I was sent right over to the hospital where I was admitted and was told I would be given an ultrasound on my leg to check for blood clots. The doctor on call who would deliver James came in and basically told me that there was a good chance I would die suddenly and that she was very very concerned. When I told her I was scared she said "I think that's reasonable, I am too." Um. Without going on and on too much here, what AWFUL bedside manner. It REALLY messed me up, to put it lightly. I burst into tears and was horrified (read more details here). Bottom line, I DID NOT have a blood clot. They went ahead and broke my water and I went into labor and delivered James without any further complications. (Click here to read our birth story)

I haven't opened up too much about the mental aspects of how all of this affected me. I'm not sure I really want to. I have shared with my close family, because I DEFINITELY had (and still do have) a lot to work through. It was a traumatic experience from the moment I was told my cervix didn't look right at the anatomy scan. Then after all of that and being told I would die, I was thrust into the throes of new motherhood which is a huge life-altering experience on its own, let alone after all I had been through. I still struggle with everything that happened. I'm scared. My anxiety is through the roof. I'm more emotional. I'm more aware of how very quickly life can be taken away, and how fleeting and fragile and precious life is. I'm still healing emotionally, and probably will be for a long time. My experience, without trying to be too dramatic, has forever changed me - has forever changed my mind - and it will haunt me for the rest of my life in some form. BUT I ended up with the most beautiful little boy, and I am absolutely so grateful for how everything turned out!!

At first, Ben and I were pretty scared to even think about the possibility of having another baby. We both want more kids, but we are also SO SO SO VERY happy with just James. James is EVERYTHING. He is our perfect blessing - healthy, happy, strong, whole, beautiful, smart... we are so thankful for him and for the fact that we were blessed with a son and that we all came out of that pregnancy and labor and delivery SAFE. We are so thankful to be parents, and we thought "why mess with what we have?" Because what we have is perfect. Why risk having to go through that again? Why risk me dying? Why risk losing a baby if all didn't go well? I was suffering from PTSD and so so unbelievably scared to even consider doing that again.

As time went by, and James turned a year old, I began to feel a pang of baby fever. My little boy was becoming a toddler and babyhood was slipping away so quickly. I pictured having another little one close in age with James for him to play with. Ben and I talked, and decided that I should sit down with my doctor and talk about if it was a good idea for us to get pregnant again, or if it was NOT recommended. We didn't want to be selfish by getting pregnant again just because we wanted another kid, and then put the new baby at risk because of a shortened cervix, or risk me dying, or upset James' perfect, happy, charmed little life.

I met with my doctor and laid out all of my thoughts, concerns, fears, questions... he looked at me, smiled and said "have a baby!" He explained that bottom-line: I DID NOT HAVE A BLOODCLOT. Bottom-line: Nothing happened to the baby. Bottom-line: Everything turned out FINE and I made it nearly to my due date, and maybe would have longer if they hadn't moved things along. Bottom-line: we will NEVER know if I even NEEDED a cerclage and bedrest at all, because my cervix never changed and I maybe would have made it full term even without all of those precautions. Bottom-line: I may not even have any issues with my cervix next time around. My doctor said, "If you were my wife, we'd be having a baby. Hopefully I'll see you back here soon pregnant!"

I was relieved, but still skeptical. My doctor recommended that I meet with Maternal Fetal Medicine, since high risk pregnancies and all of that are their specialty. So I did. I met with ANOTHER doctor from MFM, and he basically told me the EXACT same things that my doctor had. This doctor told me that if I get pregnant again, I wont be put on bedrest because it has been found to do more harm than good in most cases, because of inactivity and how it can increase the risk of blood clots, and also how bad it is for a person mentally. He said I also wouldn't have a cerclage again. He explained that there is no scientific evidence that a cerclage or bedrest do any good or make any difference. He told me to get pregnant.

A number of emotions went through my head after my meetings with the doctors. I was relieved and excited. I felt a bit angry that I had been through a cerclage and bedrest for maybe no reason, but then quickly I felt guilt for feeling angry because God knows I would have done ANYTHING ANYTHING ANYTHING in the entire world to keep my son safe inside of me until he was able to survive in the world. I felt confused. I felt a LOT of skepticism. These doctors were not the doctor that did my cerclage and put me on bedrest and monitored me up until I was around 30 weeks pregnant - did they REALLY know??

Ben and I have discussed everything at length. Most of all, we don't want anything to negatively impact James. But having received such adamant and confident assurance and encouragement from two separate doctors, we feel very encouraged and excited that we have the option of trying for baby number two, if we choose to do so.

A lot of prayer is going on over here. Prayer for guidance and for strength and for the right decision to be made and for God's will to be made known. We will see what happens. We will see what we decide to do. But for now, I am clinging to the words of each of my doctors, telling me that I have to remember that EVERYTHING TURNED OUT TO BE OK. My son was born full-term and healthy, and I did not have a blood clot. I wouldn't be considered high risk going into another pregnancy.

I'm ok. James is ok. I am ok to get pregnant again.

But I'm still scared.

So we'll see. But that is where we are at. We have been given the go-ahead by two different doctors, and Ben and I would both love to have more children. But we'd also be SO SO SO fine with just having our bright, sweet, shining little boy! I am an only child and I loved it.

Whatever we decide to do and whatever happens, I pray that it is God's will.

So that's where we're at!

Have any of you had another child after having a scary or hard pregnancy and/or birth experience? I'd really love to hear your story if you have.

 

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Mommy Monday: 36 Weeks, Cerclage Removed - It's Getting Serious!!

First of all, happy 4th of July!!

We made it to 36 weeks...and then some!! Can you believe it?? I can't! And even more incredible, I'll be 37 weeks TOMORROW. Wow. Thank GOD! :) 37 weeks is officially considered "term" so he wont be considered premature any more, no matter when he is born! Full term is technically not until 39 weeks now, but 37 is considered term and not premature, so I'll take it! Baby boy will no longer be considered a preemie if he comes now! Yay!! I am so relieved!

36 weeks, woohoo!

The night before my cerclage removal, Ben and I went for a little walk at a beach near our house and let Gunner swim. It was so nice! We weren't sure if that was going to be our last night before our son arrived or not, so it was special. :)

On Friday morning, I had my cerclage removed. I had it put in urgently at 20 weeks due to a shortened cervix that was discovered via ultrasound at our Anatomy Scan.

EXPECTING MAMAS: PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE GET YOUR CERVIX CHECKED EARLY ON IN YOUR PREGNANCY! AND HAVE IT CHECKED AGAIN AT SOME POINT TOO...WE HONESTLY COULD HAVE LOST OUR BABY BOY IF THEY HADN'T CAUGHT MY SHORTENED CERVIX WHEN THEY DID!! PLEASE INSIST THAT YOU GET CHECKED!!

I am so thankful that the cerclage did it's job for these past 16 weeks and kept my cervix closed and kept our baby boy safe inside, so that he could grow strong and healthy!

I was really really nervous to get my cerclage removed. It's just done in the doctor's office, no pain meds or anesthesia or anything. The doctor just inserts a speculum, like a pelvic exam, and goes in and snips out the stitches. I was told it would be uncomfortable, but probably not painful, and that it would take just a minute or two. But I was still scared, just because...I don't know, I guess you can imagine why. It just sounded unpleasant.

I was so excited to be done with the cerclage though. The whole time it was in was a bit nerve-racking just because if I happened to go into labor while it was in, it was time-sensitive and pressing that I got to the hospital or doctor ASAP because the stitches could hurt me (I wont go into more detail, but I'm sure you understand!) So to be getting them out so that I wouldn't have to worry about that was SUCH a relief!!

Ben and I went into the appointment ready for anything! We had our hospital bags in the truck, the car seat installed, and we were mentally prepared for me to go into labor that day.

To make a long story short, my cerclage removal didn't go very smoothly. The doctor had trouble getting my stitches out and it took a long time and it was very painful and unpleasant and just kind awful. But. They are out now, bottom line. So, YAY! And I am off of all of my medicine now so I am officially NORMAL! A normal pregnant person, yippee!

Once the cerclage was FINALLY out, the doctor told me that I was dilated to 2cm and pretty thinned out already. He said, "You could have the baby tonight." I think my jaw dropped. I had known that it was a possibility to go into labor right when the stitches came out, but to hear that said out loud was still so shocking, haha. My doctor said there was a 50/50 chance that I'll make it to next Friday...so we'll see!! The point is...this baby could likely be showing up any time now! Which is so exciting!! Ben and I just can't wait! I mean, obviously we want our boy to stay in as long as possible so that he's as healthy and strong as can be...but at the same time we are SO anxious and excited for him to be here! :)

I'm still continuing to take it easy to try to keep him in as long as possible, but now that we're so far along, it's really fine if he comes now! Which is SUCH a great feeling! :)

There is a little sneak peak at the nursery! We got a lot done this past weekend! I'll do a whole post about it once it's completely finished! :) A BIG thanks to my parents for helping us get all the furniture moved and for helping to set things up and get everything organized!! <3

We're ready for you, baby boy!

How far along: 36 weeks 6 days

Total weight gain/loss: Up about 37lbs

Maternity clothes? Yes, but NOTHING is comfortable any more! haha

Stretch marks? None!!

Sleep: Slightly better now that I don't have alarms going off to remind me to take medicine!

Best moment this week: Setting up the nursery!!

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: A lot! :)

Food cravings: Ice cream, doughnuts, fruit, fries!

Anything making you queasy or sick: No!

Have you started to show yet: I can't imagine getting any larger...help.

Gender: Boy!

Labor Signs: Braxton Hicks, period-like cramps.

Belly Button in or out? Flatish.

Wedding rings on or off? Off, but wearing a place holder ring!

Happy or Moody most of the time: Both! Emotional, cranky, happy, sad, mad, excited, giddy, scared, enraged, frustrated, sweet, mean, laid back, psycho... you know...

Symptoms: Braxton Hicks, VERY swollen feet and ankles, achey, fatigued, lightening crotch, shortness of breath, cramps.

Thanks so much for following along on this crazy journey! We are coming down the home stretch and I am SO thankful that we've made it this far and that we have so many people cheering us on! :) Thank you thank you! Until next week!!

xo, Anna