Monday, April 22, 2013

My Hospital Bag Is Packed!

My bags are packed & I am ready to go...

This past weekend I finally decided to pack mine and baby Jewel's hospital bags! At times I still feel like it will be forever until baby Julianna makes her debut but then reality sets in. Last week 2 of my girlfriends who had the same due date as me had their babies! One of them was induced because of complications but the other one's water just broke. After visiting both of these precious babies in the hospital I quickly realized that Julianna could come literally any day now. I am 38 weeks pregnant which is considered FULL TERM and there is no predicting when this little one will come. All of this to say, after having two girlfriends go into labor and after having my mom harass me for the past week I finally decided to get my hospital bag packed.

You would think that I would know what to pack since it was only 20 months ago that I was packing my hospital bag for Josselyn's delivery but believe it or not I completely forgot what I needed to bring! Luckily I blogged my entire pregnancy journey with Josselyn (I was way more consistant blogging the 1st time around). I knew that some where in the archive was a blog about what to take to the hospital. I looked back and came across the old blog Our Hospital Bag Is Finally Packed! In that blog I had a list of what I need to pack, along with what I need to pack for the baby & John. It was actually crazy reading that old blog because I wrote it at 38 weeks pregnant (which is exactly how far I am now).  It is kind of funny because the reason I decided to finally pack my bag back then was because one of my girlfriends who had the same due date as me then went into labor early lol. Well, needless to say I spent this weekend buying a new nursing bra, nursing tank tops, warm socks & some new PJ's for my hospital bag :) I still need to get a few things for baby Jewel to add to her bag but we are basically all packed & ready to go!!!

I can't believe this pregnancy journey is coming to an end. I get a little emotional when I think about it because it really does seem like yesterday that I found out I was pregnant on John's birthday August 29th, 2012. In the blink of an eye almost 9 months have gone by, and that is was makes me sad (not that I won't be pregnant anymore). Josselyn had just turned 1 when I found out I was pregnant and now she is almost 20 months old. Once again I am reminded to cherish every hour of every day becasue life just flies by and there is no way to slow it down. In less than 2 weeks baby Julianna will be here and then before I know it she will be growing up before my eyes! I know I can not freeze time but I can be intentional and make the most of each day I have with my precious girls, husband, family and friends. I think the whole Boston marathon bombing and explosions in West, Texas have also reminded me how precious every single day is. Life is like a vapor and we are not promised tomorrow. All we really have is "TODAY" and I want to make the most of my "TODAYS".

Sorry I got a little sappy on you...I know this blog entry is supposed to be about "packing your hospital bag" not a reminder of "how short life is" haha. But if you need a good hospital bag packing list then here is the list I came up with when I was pregnant with Josselyn...

Mom's stuff
-Warm socks
-Nursing bra/underwear
-2 pairs or yoga pants
-2 tank tops
-Zip-up jacket for going home in
-Flip flops
-Tooth brush, tooth paste, floss
-Shampoo, conditioner, body wash
-Hair brush, make-up, deodorant & chap stick
-Madela lanolin cream (eek!)

Dad's stuff
-Socks, undershirt & underwear
-Warm-up pants & jacket
-Tooth brush, etc
-Gum & mints

Baby's stuff
-Baby gown's
-2 Swaddle blankets
-Burp cloths
-Go home outfit
-Car seat (in the car)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

3rd Trimester California Trip

"I wish they all could be California girls..."

I am a true blooded California girl. I was born and raised in Sacramento, CA. Although I absolutely love love love Texas (and I honestly don't ever want to leave the south) there is something so comforting and refreshing about going home. This past weekend we took a 3 day trip to Los Angeles. Now although Nor-Cal and So-Cal are quite different they are still both apart of the golden state and going back to LA brought back some sweet memories dear to my heart (I lived at the LA Dream Center for 4 months during my 1st year of Masters Commission). I will give you a little recap of the trip...

First of all I will address the question: "Are you allowed to fly at 36 weeks pregnant?" The answer is according to my doctor NO (he doesn't like you traveling past 32 weeks) but according to American Airlines you can travel up to 4 weeks before your due date (36 weeks). So since I was exactly 4 weeks from my due date I was technically allowed to fly according to the airlines not my doctor. I figured since I did not go into labor until 39 weeks and 6 days with Josselyn that I would be fine this time around as well. Was that the smartest decision...probably not lol but I just had to squeeze in one last trip before I become a mommy of 2 baby girls! ;) Now although the flight was really uncomfortable (fat, pregnant women are just not meant to fly) I had an absolute blast these 3 days.

So... why did we jet off to Los Angeles for the weekend? Well, 2 of our precious friends who we have been waiting on and waiting on and waiting on to get married (for the past 5 years) finally decided to get married haha. I thought we would be attending this wedding in August or September after baby Jewel had arrived but last minute things changed! Jessica & Eveni were chose to be featured on David Tutera's reality show "My Fair Wedding Unveiled". They found out in March that the wedding date was April 12th!!! Let me just say that if there is one couple that deserves to have their dream wedding then it is this couple! Jess is a drop dead gorgeous fashionista who has an incredible heart for the Lord and Eveni is one of the most talented, yet humble guys I have ever met. They are both Masters Commission graduates who are sold out for God. Anyways, we almost didn't go since I am 9 months pregnant but then we decided why not?!? We didn't want to miss this awesome couple get married and we did not want to miss getting a chance to see so many of our other friends who are basically family! It was pretty awesome getting so spend time with so many special people from our Masters Commission family. Unfortunately, we no longer all live in the same state we are spread out everywhere (Texas, Arizona, California, etc) so it was really awesome to all come together to celebrate an amazing couple on such a special day. *I can not post any pictures from the wedding until the TV show airs but I can assure you that this was the wedding of the year!!! It was absolutely gorgeous and everything from the decor to the entertainment seemed just perfect for the bride and groom! I will definitely add some pictures into this Blog once the episode airs :) Until then here are just a few pre-wedding pictures!

The Groom & Bride

This trip was a double bonus for me as well! My younger brother Nick has been in LA for the past 4 years. He graduated from the Los Angeles Recording School and has been perusing his dream of music. Nick became a part of an awesome band called "Blow" and right now they are negotiating with 4 different record labels and are about to get signed! Woohooo. It is really incredible to see all my baby brothers hard work paying off. It had been 4 years since I had seen Nick so I was really excited about getting this chance to spend some time with him as well.

My brother & the other members of "Blow"

We ate at some awesome restaurants while we were in LA: Roscoes Chicken & Waffles, The Nickle Diner & The Waffle. I am pretty sure I gained at least 5lbs eating fried chicken, hazelnut donuts, red velvet waffles and so much more!!!

We also walked around Hollywood Blvd and saw the stars and hand prints in front of the Chinese Theater. Now you may be thinking what is so special about that??? Well exactly 10 years ago John and I had our very 1st date right there in LA and we walked along Hollywood Blvd and saw the stars and celebrity hand prints :) I can not believe 10 years has gone by and the crazy thing is we have not been back to LA since then!!! It was really awesome to reminisce and relive that night.

That about sums up our California trip: Beautiful wedding, great friends & family, awesome food & an uncomfortable plane ride haha. Thank goodness baby Jewel did not make her debut in Cali!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Baby Jewel 36 Week Update

I am 36 weeks pregnant!

It is crazy to think that my due date is in less then 1 about the home stretch! Now as I look back over the past 36 weeks I can easily say that this has been a much harder pregnancy then my 1st (especially the last 8 weeks). For the last 2 months basically either Josselyn or I have been sick. Whether it is an ear infection, strep throat, bronchitis, sinus infection, allergies, a cold, a cough, a runny nose, RSV or the latest Cellulitus (which is blood poisoning from an ant bite on my toe!) It is just crazy how sick we have been. Josselyn had never been sick, had an ear infection or been on antibiotics until she was 16 months old, but man these last few months have kicked our butts! I didn't even take Tylenol when I was pregnant with Josselyn and this time around I have been put on antibiotics 4 different times :( Ugh I just hate that!!!! Anyways, not only have we been sick the last few months but I have experienced back pain at a whole new level! I remember having a back pain near the end of my pregnancy with Josselyn (the last 2 weeks or so) but this time I have been in constant pain for weeks. I now see a chiropractor who specializes in prenatal care 2-3 times a week and it has helped some. I think my back pain may have something to do with being 9 months pregnant and still lugging around a 24 pound 1 year old haha. Josselyn is quite mobile but she has a hard time with stairs, etc and since we have a 2 story house I carry her up and down the stairs all day long. I also lift her in and out of her crib for naps, bed time, etc and I catch myself toting her around when we are out and about quite often. I am sure none of that helps with my back problems, not to mention the fact that I do have a former back injury (I fractured my L-5 when I was 12 years old). Now for the last week, even worse then my back pain has been this awful pain on the right side of my rib cage. I will explain that problem momentarily. Anyways, that's enough complaining for now boohoo for me lol I know that millions of women get through 10 months of pregnancy and I too will make it through to the end (I just may have to have a couple pity parties for myself along the way).

Coming up with a delivery plan  
*Warning...uncensored/very descriptive

Well, I haven't really talked publicly about some of the issues/decisions that John and I are having to face when it comes to my delivery this pregnancy. I think I avoid the topic because as women we are all so very opinionated which is not bad at all! Females are strong, passionate beings, who are not scared to voice their opinions and tell you what they believe, think and feel. The problem is that when you talk about babies, pregnancy & delivery no one feels the exact same way and it can be uncomfortable and even akward talking about these topics when 2 women have such different opinions/beliefs. I have friends who are strong advocates for all natural childbirth. I have girlfriends who have had natural water births, at home births & even delivered at birthing centers with a midwife. I also have girlfriends who say an epidural is their best friend and absolutely swear by them. I have friends who choose to schedule a c-section even when they are perfectly capable of having a vaginal delivery. I have friends who have gone 42 weeks because they refuse to be induced and I have friends who just can't stand being pregnant and they some how get their doctors to induce them at 38/39 weeks for no real reason. My point is that we as women are all SO DIFFERENT and we all chose such DIFFERENT birthing plans for our little ones. Is there really a right or a wrong way? And if so, who is there to be the judge? I know I have my personal opinions and beliefs but does that make me right and my other girlfriend wrong? I honestly do not know and I wish I had the answers!

I am going to share my thoughts for me and only me and then explain the dilemma I have been in. If you do not agree with me that is ok! I do not claim to be right or know what is best. Right now I am actually completely torn and I have no idea what to do when it comes to delivering baby Julianna. Let me give you some back ground info on my delivery with Josselyn which was 19 months ago. Josselyn's delivery turned out to be some what of a nightmare. Thank the Lord she was healthy and safe and I was healthy and safe but it was not a smooth sailing delivery at all. To sum it up I went into natural labor at 39 weeks and 6 days, which was an answer to prayer. I did not want to be induced, I wanted my labor to happen naturally but my doctor did not want me going past my due date becasue Josselyn had measured big my whole pregnancy. Luckily I went into labor on my own, my water broke on its own at the hospital and I dilated quickly without needing pitocin etc. I thought I was going to have the perfect delivery. I was at a 10 ready to push when the nurses started to look very concerned. Josselyn's was coming at an angle and her head was getting stuck under my pelvic bone. Every time I pushed her heart rate dropped to a dangerously low level. They began to prepare for an emergency c-section and I began to cry and freak out because I DID NOT WANT A C-SECTION! I was so opposed that the doctor said I will let you push one more time, I will do an episiotomy and I will try to get her out by using the vacuum or forceps and we will see if we can get her out. He then said that if that does not work then we have to perform a c-section because it is not safe for her heart rate continue to drop that low.  I pushed with all of my might, the doctor performed the episiotomy and used the vacuum to shift her head and out she came. To make a long story short, now that I look back I am not sure if I made the right decision continuing to insist on a vaginal delivery when Josselyn was stuck. I ended up having severe 4th degree tearing up through my rectum (sorry if that is TMI). It took close to an hour to stitch me back up because I had 2 large side tears as well. My recovery took around 6 months (lots and lots of doctor visits and specialists) and as a result from the tearing I had major scar tissue develop. Luckily, they did not have to do surgery to remove the scar tissue we approached/dealt with it another way. I would say after about a year I was almost back to normal!!!! Woohoo but it was then that I found I was pregnant again lol 

This brings me to now... What to do??? 

My doctor said from the moment I found out I was pregnant that he strongly recommends a c-section this time because of the previous tearing, rectum problems, scar tissue, etc. and he classified me as "high risk when it comes to delivery". He said scar tissue can easily re-tear and there is no way of knowing if that will happen again or not. He said more tearing could lead to permanent damage and or future rectum surgeries. He believes it is not worth the risk of incontinence, dyspareunia and other issues that could arise if I were to have another 4th degree tear. Now on the flip side I have 2 close friends who also had 4th degree tearing with their 1st born's (maybe not quite as bad as mine) but they both had vaginal deliveries with their 2nd children and had very minimal tearing that time! So I know things could go either way. It is hard weighing the risk factor. I do have a ton of friends who loved their c-sections and say it was the best thing ever. But I am a weeny and I hate needles, pain etc. Thinking about being sliced open and having my baby be pulled out of the incision absolutely terrifies me! I also worry about a longer recovery (6 weeks) because not only will I have a newborn baby but I have a 19 month old who does need to be lifted and carried quite often. I do worry that breast feeding will be more difficult and I just hate that the baby won't be born and then laid right on my chest for bonding. I love my very 1st pictures of Josselyn and I when she was first born and I know if Julianna is delivered by c-section the pictures will be someone else holding her up next to my face not laying on my chest...My reasons may sound silly but they are genuine concerns to me. 

My doctor said if I do really want to delivery vaginally then he suggests that I deliver at 37/38 weeks in hopes that I have a smaller baby this time. He said a smaller baby could help reduce the chance of tearing (although there is no guarantee). Josselyn was 7.7lbs which is considered average however, for someone with my build she was considered a large baby. Now in order to delivery early at 37/38 weeks the perinatologist (high risk doctor) that I have had to see would have to conduct an amniocentesis to make sure her lungs are mature enough for delivery. Although, nothing about a needle going into my stomach to check the babies amniotic fluid makes me comfortable, let me say that there is no risk of miscarriage etc at this point in my pregnancy with an amniocentesis. Both my OBGYN and my Perinatologist said the absolute worst case is that the amniocentesis could make you go into labor (but they have never had that happen) and that would not be that big of a deal becasue the point of this test would be to check the lungs and then induce the next day if  the baby's lungs were ready. They said that the test is 97%-99% accurate in determining lung development. Now my issues with this is that I am personally not comfortable with induction. I honestly do think that the Lord made our bodies in a way that most of the time we do go into labor when the baby is fully cooked and ready. Now I do think that there are many many many reasons for mom's to be induced!!! Health reasons, the size of the baby, going way past due date etc. I was definitely going to let them induce me if I went too far past my due date with Josselyn (even though I did not want to be induced). I knew that I was small to begin with and she was measuring big and I did not think it would be wise for me to let her go weeks past my due date (Luckily she came right on time). Anyways, being induced 3 weeks early does make me nervous. I have a lot of friends who had to be induced for various reasons say things like "I wonder if my baby had been in the womb longer then maybe ________ wouldn't have been such a problem". Whether the baby had a weak immune system, spit up problems, weight gain issues, etc. So that plays in my head as well. I also have friends who were induced and their babies are 100% healthy and fine!!! I Iam not sure if being induced a couple weeks early will effect the baby but I do worry about all the "what if's..."

The last option is simply ignoring both of my doctors (who both have the same opinion which is #1 have a c-section and then #2 deliver at 37 weeks) and having the baby vaginally whenever the baby decides to come. There is a chance that this time around I could have an easier delivery and not tear like before and the scar tissue could all stay intact. I do believe that with God all things are possible but I also do believe that God gives us wisdom... Now there are a few other factors I do have to consider that will greatly affect Option #3.

Baby Julianna Update... 

So I mentioned briefly about the horrible pain on the right side of my rib cage. Well, unfortunately my baby who has been head down since 28 weeks decided to flip into the breech position position breech position 2 weeks ago. They had a sonogram last week and again yesterday and sure enough her head is right up in my rib cage (which explain the awful pain on my right side). The doctor said her head pushing up against them has caused some internal busing. They estimate that Julianna is around 6lbs and they said there is still a chance she can flip back head down although the chances becomes less likely as we get closer to my due date get . Hmmm I have wondered if this is a sign from the Lord saying just have a c-section or if this is just some crazy thing. I do know that if baby Jewel stays breech then being induuced at 37/38 weeks is not an option and although although some women do deliver breech baby's I personally would not take that risk with my previous issues down south.

The other issue/concern is the size of baby Jewel's head. Although her body measures just a bit larger than average (70%) her head has been measuring 3-4 weeks larger for the past 6 weeks. They have extensively looked at her head/brain and there is no fluid, tumor, etc that is making it large (praise God!) They said it must just be genetics and she will grow into it eventually. I am blaming my husband for the big head because my head is sooo small I can't even find hats to fit my peanut head!!!! Grrrr... So big head could mean a greater chance for tearing if I deliver vaginally. Well that about sums up everything I am going through and having to decide. I had 3 delivery options but with baby Jewel in the breech position my options may have significantly dwindled. 

I have been constantly praying that the Lord would give me wisdom & peace about what to do (so if you think about it PRAY for me & Jewel) Also pray that she would flip, because no matter how I end up delivering it is not fun having a large head in my ribcage. If you have a story of your own or any comments/feedback feel free to share! I promise I do not get offended if your opinion seems to differ from mine. In fact, I loving hearing information/advice from other mommas! :)

I will keep you all posted!!!

Baby Jewel may be breech but she is not lacking in size!