Mommy Monday: 32 weeks pregnant with number two!

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Hi friends!

I don't know about where you are, but it has been HOT here! I mean, I'm probably way more sensitive to the heat than most PLUS I'm very pregnant... but I'm kind of miserable! haha I feel like I can hardly function - hence the lack of new blog posts! But, I do have some really fun content planned for the upcoming weeks, INCLUDING the much requested Cleaning Schedule and some cool collaborations, so definitely keep checking back!

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This past weekend was a very busy one, packed with social activities for James! We went blueberry picking with friends again on Saturday, and then on Sunday we went to another of James' friend's second birthday party! It was a fun weekend!

Yesterday, I posted on Instagram (@annamcohenblog) and Facebook a picture and a whole thing about my experience with trying to breastfeed James. The feedback was so incredible. So many women shared their similar stories, feelings, experiences, and words of encouragement and love. It was so beautiful and I'm so thankful for all of you!

Come find this picture on my Instagram to read the post!   Click here

Come find this picture on my Instagram to read the post! Click here

As far as my pregnancy goes, I'm feeling great! Thank the Lord! Still no issues, or concerns, or problems or anything at all! Aside from feeling huge, and from my lungs and organs being compressed - I'm feeling really well and I couldn't be more thankful!!

We set up the baby's bassinet this weekend (or should I say, Ben did) and it is so exciting to start getting his little area in our bedroom ready for him!

Click here for the bassinet we are using this time around

Ok, here's this week's survey:

How far along: 32 weeks 2 days

Total weight gain/loss: Up nearly 30 lbs as of my last appointment 2.5 weeks ago.

Maternity clothes? Yes!

Stretch marks? All around/above my belly button. Getting more and more every day...marks of this beautiful gift of being able to carry two sons!

Sleep: It's been ok!

Best moment this week: Blueberry picking with James and our friends, doing the "baby shark" dance that James learned at his friend's birthday party - Ben, James, and I danced around the kitchen blasting the song and it was just such a happy wonderful fun moment that I'll remember forever. I love my sweet family!

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: So much! :)

Food cravings: Everything, haha and also nothing. Very confusing. So hungry, but also my stomach is being squished so can't eat that much!

Anything making you queasy or sick: No.

Have you started to show yet: Yes, I'm huge!

Gender: Boy!

Labor Signs: Braxton Hicks.

Belly Button in or out? Mostly out, but the top is still sticking out a bit more than the bottom!

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

Happy or Moody most of the time: Pretty happy! But definitely moody/sensitive/cranky...etc...

Symptoms: Leg cramps at night, frequent peeing, 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, tired, achey, and I officially waddle now. haha

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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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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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