13 Weeks

11.28.2011



I think I'm only doing monthly pictures from here on out (in the same outfit and place and yada, yada, yada) because those show changes a lot more than weekly and I'm going for the dramatic this time around.  Or something like that.  I'm just lazy?



But the hubby commented on how pregnant I was looking today, so I went to the mirror and what do you know?  BAM.  There's a giant pregnant belly.  Not that it wasn't big before.  But now?  That's a definite pregnant belly.



Not much to report this week considering I spent the better part of it in bed trying to will myself to die recover from a stomach bug.  Now I don't really know if I've still got morning sickness or if this is just lingering illness.




I'm still wiped.  If you ask some people, I'm now in the second trimester.  But some books say it doesn't start until 14 or even 15 weeks, so I don't even know.  I'm giving my exhaustion the benefit of the doubt but putting up an eviction notice come 15 weeks.  My house has never been more disastrous.


Frustration.

11.23.2011

My heart is breaking.  My little baby girl can no longer get what she needs from me.


I had supply issues with Ben.  I might have caused them by thinking I had supply issues when I actually didn't and supplementing.  Who knows.  I never will know.  But I do know that around 7 months, I had totally dried up and he was exclusively formula fed.  It was really tough for me.



As a mom, we often wrap our security up in how well we can (or can't) provide for our children.  Just as I've heard some moms talk about the depression that accompanies premature birth - feeling that their bodies aren't capable of carrying their babies as long as they need to be carried - I've heard many moms talk about the failure they feel when their bodies don't produce enough milk.



I'm one of them.  I made it my mission to make milk this go 'round.  And things were going beautifully until I unintentionally got pregnant again.  Shortly after getting the positive test, I noticed some serious changes in the nursing department.  About a month ago, I suddenly went from being able to pump 4 ounces to only drops.  While they say pumping output isn't indicative of the amount of milk baby is getting, when one goes from pumping 4 ounces to pumping nothing overnight while also being pregnant, it's pretty safe to assume there was a massive supply drop.  This accompanied a sudden loss of letdown (haven't felt it once since that day a month ago when I was able to pump only a few drops) and the gut feeling of emptiness.  She only swallows once or twice during an entire nursing session.  She wakes up 5 or 6 times at night to eat.  She's only having a couple of wet diapers a day.  I want to think it's in my head, but I can't anymore.



And so, with a heavy heart, I called her doctor yesterday.  Her clothes seem to be getting looser, she doesn't have enough wet diapers and she absolutely, positively WILL NOT drink formula.  I even tried the Dr. Sears recipe for goat's milk formula, which just tastes like sweet milk.  She absolutely, positively WILL NOT drink that, either.  People say, "Oh just give it time!  She'll come around to it!"  They don't seem to understand that this has been going on for two months.  If she hasn't come around to it yet, can I have any faith that she will?



Maybe if she ate tons of food, I'd feel less like a failure as a mama.  But just as she's picky about her milk, she's picky about her food, too.  She eats mostly purees, though she has begun to dabble in the world of real food in the last week or two, eating tiny bites of things like bread and fruit.  I still can't get vegetables in this girl to save my life, but I'm trying not to lose hope on that, either.



It's tough for me because I already failed once.  I thought after 8 months of successful breastfeeding with Adalyn that we were golden.  What could possibly go wrong?  I even read that most pregnant women don't see too much of a supply drop right away, so I figured I'd make it to her first birthday before watching this disaster unravel.



Being able to provide for your children in such a basic way is something I wanted so, so badly.  I wanted to be like all the other women I know who have no problems being the sole provider for their children.  And once I was five or six months into breastfeeding this time, after reading article after article, I was convinced that I never would have had supply issues with Ben if I had had more support.  As a first-time mom, it's so easy to be scared you're not making enough.  After all, we can't visibly see how much our babies are eating, so how can we be certain they're getting enough?  Couple that with the weight gain issues Ben experienced and the hypoallergenic formula the doctor had us put Ben on when he had blood in his poop around 1.5 to 2 months and I was totally dejected.  I just knew I didn't have enough for him, so I continued supplementing with formula, and then not pumping enough, and I probably was solely responsible for my loss of supply with him.  Since I had that all figured out, I had just come to assume I would be nursing Adalyn until at least a year, probably longer.



I was wrong.  And I think it stings a little more because I thought I had it all figured out.



There are many reasons we shouldn't get pregnant before our babies are a year old.  Our bodies need time to recuperate (I just read recently that a study shows this baby has a 40% chance of being born premature because I got pregnant too soon - awesome, Chelsea).  And our babies need breastmilk!  I guess my body is so focused on making this baby that it just can't make milk, too.  One would think that the very fact I've gained nine pounds already says I'm eating more than enough to be making milk and a baby, but I guess not.



The reality is that she'll live.  I know that.  She'll get hungry enough that she'll take formula or she will get by on purees until she learns how to eat more real food.  Hopefully the doctor can give us some pointers to get more liquid in her so she doesn't get dehydrated.






Please God, if you're listening, let me be able to provide for this next baby.  I don't think I can take a third failure!

For anyone else who has also had supply issues, how did you get past the feeling of failing as a mama?

EDITED FOR UPDATE: So the doctor says stop nursing, give her cow's milk.  Since she hates formula and goat's milk, I'm not assuming she'll love cow's milk but it's worth a shot, right?  But STOP NURSING.  Stop nursing.  :(

That was the last thing this hormonal pregnant gal wanted to hear today.  I don't know why, but ending nursing is one of the hardest things I've ever had to do and I'm not ready to go through that again.  I wasn't hormonal and pregnant the last time I had to do it and even then I about had a breakdown.  I can only imagine how swimmingly well it'll go this time.

Blue Swirl Headquarters!

11.20.2011

A consequence of adding a fifth member to your family when you have a four bedroom house is that you no longer get a whole room to sew in.  Over the weekend, I took up residence in our laundry room.  It sounds worse than it actually is.



We actually have a pretty big laundry room and it's really bright and cheery in there.  My space was still cut in half, but I'm kinda diggin' it.








Here's the old Blue Swirl headquarters.  Now home to the kids' playroom.  :)










Sometimes when you have more room, you have more room to be messy.  And disorganized, like these old pictures show.  So I'm looking on the bright side.  Less room = less clutter.  Right?  Right.  :)

12 weeks

I finally took a picture!  I've failed miserably at my vow to take a picture every week.  But maybe it's more effective if it's once a month.  Right.  That's what I'll tell myself.  I mean, let's be honest, how much of a difference can you really see in one week?





That is one DIRTY mirror.  Sorry.  Ew.



Mostly I just got fat in the last 5 weeks.  True story, I've already gained nine pounds this pregnancy.  NINE.  In 12 weeks.  Yikes.  If I'm hungry for even a second, I get so sick.  So...I stuff my face.  And nursing while pregnant gives you an insane appetite.  Right.  That's what I'll tell myself.



The past week has been the worst so far.  For a few days there I was just worthless sick.  Like, couldn't get off the floor, couldn't move a muscle without being certain I was going to throw up.  But the past two days have been so much better.  Maybe I've finally reached that glorious second trimester break.




We heard the heartbeat this week at the midwife's appointment.  It was music to my ears after a scare a few weeks ago.  Praise God for this precious little babe who seems to be growing just as he/she should.  Love you, sweet baby!

Weeks 9 & 10

11.13.2011

I'm not doing very well with my goal to take a belly picture every week.



Or even blog.



Weeks 9 & 10 were rough.  My fatigue is through the roof.  My morning sickness is persistent, showing no signs of going away.  I've had some issues.  Things are looking up, albeit veeeerrrrry slowly.  I see light at the end of the tunnel - the twelve week mark is fast-approaching!  Usually that brings a lot of relief with it.




I had my first Braxton Hicks this past week.  I already have heartburn.  I already have pelvic pain.  I already have sciatic pain.  It's unreal how quickly this is all happening the third time around.


A friend who is in practically the same position as me (pregnant and her youngest two will also be 17 months apart) told me this week that her doctor said when your body only has 7 or so months of rest between pregnancies, it's no wonder things happen at warp speed.  Your body hasn't even gotten over the last pregnancy and you've already hopped right into a new one.  Right.  I guess that makes sense.


At least this next week we'll hear a heartbeat!  Can't wait for Wednesday!


I'll have a week 11 picture in a day or two.  I hope.  :)


Let's support women!

11.09.2011



Yesterday, in case you were living under a rock and didn't see, a monumental vote took place to try to pass Initiative 26 in Mississippi.  The intended purpose was to ban abortion, but the bill had a lot of other implications like the potential to ban birth control, IVF, and even bring cases against doctors who aborted an ectopic pregnancy or women who had miscarriages.  None of these were guarantees.  Not even outlawing abortion was a guarantee.  The bill only served to define a person, it said nothing about abortion, nothing about birth control, nothing about IVF.  The results of the bill could only be speculated on.

That wasn't good enough for a lot of people, obviously, and the bill did not pass.

I have a proposition: instead of devoting all this energy to a bill like this, and until we can all agree on a proper bill with proper wording, let's redirect our energy to ramp up the efforts that do exist in our country, albeit on too small a level, to support women.  Let's open more pregnancy crisis centers.  Let's offer more support to each other.  Let's offer less hateful words to mothers considering abortion and more love (after all, as Christians, we should be striving to do this every single day to every single person - more love, less harsh words).  Let's offer to support more children in foster homes.  Let's work on changing the adoption system in this country so that so many children don't end up in foster care.  Because one thing I can guarantee is that if abortion is ever outlawed, there will be a flood of unwanted babies.  That's not an if.  We love to talk about the idealistic banning of abortion, but we don't follow through with propositions to handle the problems that will create.

 

Will we just ban abortion and then move on with our lives, refusing to do anything to then help the babies who end up in dumpsters or in terrible, dangerous homes or born addicted to crack?  I'm all about an abortion ban, but if we want to get serious about it, then we must get serious about the results.

 

I hear women say that unwanted babies shouldn't ever mean we allow abortion.  Again, idealistic.  I can agree with the logic, but not the refusal to propose we do anything.  Idealistic women say to me that it doesn't matter if babies are born into unloving homes because that's always better than not being born at all.  Idealistic women say to me that there are tons of families who want to adopt.  While I agree with ALL of that logic, it's not the reality and it's time we be brutally honest about that.

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