Welcome Little Brother!

I had initially planned on posting this relatively shortly after his birth, but our daily life turned into a permanent tornado from the moment he arrived, so here’s the big update … almost 6 weeks late …

It’s funny how he turned out exactly as I felt and imagined him in my belly. He has a high “mama’s boy” potential. Hehe 😄 Nothing like Emery, who’s had a fierce sense of independence from the start and clearly prefers spending boy time with his daddy instead of cuddling with me. Hah! I love how different and unique they are, and I truly hope those differences will make them a good match in terms of how they will function together as brothers later on.

The past few weeks haven’t been free of stress and worries though. We quickly noticed that he is incapable of sleeping on his back, and that his breathing is often erratic. We ended up at the hospital for this, and they confirmed that he breathes faster than he should and that he also appears to be tense all the time, with his fists tightly closed, even while he seems to be resting peacefully. After numerous tests and scans, they couldn’t find anything too worrisome and concluded for now that – most likely – the cartilage around his trachea hasn’t hardened enough yet like you would expect by now, and may still be too soft to really protect his windpipe properly, which causes breathing difficulties in certain positions, such as on his back. They didn’t want to jump straight to more invasive tests in order to confirm this hypothesis, as more urgent and threatening possibilities have been ruled out for now. They told us that if this is the actual reason for his breathing issues, we should start noticing an improvement within the next few weeks, and that it will eventually resolve itself on its own. But they also said that we should call them right away if we notice it getting worse instead. *sigh* 😟 Obviously, I’ve been a worried mess lately. Gert and I hardly get any sleep anymore. We are constantly checking his breathing and are about to give up laying him on his back. The rule of thumb in SIDS prevention these days is to put babies on their back at night. But what if he’s struggling to breathe and can’t sleep at all in that position? We do have a monitor connected to his mattress, which triggers an alarm if he gets into trouble, but I don’t blindly trust this thing. Since the tummy position is not recommended at all if no one’s around or awake to make sure he can still breathe properly, Gert and I are now kind of taking shifts at night. So here I am … sitting here at 4 in the morning while he’s peacefully sleeping on his tummy. Needless to say we are dead tired by now. Especially with an almost 2 year old to take care of during the day. Thank God Emery sleeps through the night, at least. But boy is this hard!

At this point I’m considering buying this fancy little piece of technology:

Unlike the monitor we have now, which is basically a sensor we put under his mattress, this Owlet “smart sock” monitors both his heart and his breathing, no matter where he is. So the monitoring isn’t just restricted to his crib in our bedroom. I also like the fact that it monitors the heart as well. It seems like a sound investment anyway, considering that the risk of SIDS peaks at about 6 months old if I remember well, so we’re not even close to the riskiest phase yet.

Parenting is hard, you guys!!

Pregnancy – Week 38 … D-day is right at our doorstep

I know this has been a super long hiatus. And quite frankly, it has been nice to stay away from the internet for so long. I’ve been focusing on my babies, myself, my home … All the little things in life that keep me busy around the clock these days. It’s about to get a lot more hectic as of Tuesday, which is when our youngest one is scheduled to arrive. I really can’t wait to meet him! I can already tell his personality will be radically different from his big brother’s. It will be so interesting to see how Emery will react, and how our daily life will change with this new arrival.

I’ll be quite honest: I think I’m done having babies. I guess one should never say never, and I suppose I could still change my mind later on. But for now, I’m like, nope, not happening again! I’m looking forward to going on with my life now and enjoying my little family. Those pregnancies have been so draining, both physically and emotionally. I’ve had to go to the hospital so often ever since Sam passed away. They obviously wanted to make sure that this would never happen again, and it was all just precautionary, which I’m thankful for. But I sure won’t miss those weekly checkups for months on end.

This pregnancy has also been the scariest one so far, because the baby was positioned very differently and I hardly felt him move, up until maybe 3 weeks ago. We had a really bad scare around Christmas when I no longer felt him move at all, no matter what I tried. We rushed to the hospital and literally relived the exact same trip we made when Sam was no longer moving. They hooked me up to the monitor right away, and we instantly heard his little heart beating. What a relief! The ultrasound showed an active baby with lots of movement … I didn’t feel a thing. It was so bizarre to see it on screen while my body didn’t register any of it.

So yeah, I’m done. I don’t want to go through this again. And each new pregnancy feels like tempting fate once more, waiting for that one time too many when tragedy will hit us again. But then, who knows, never say never I suppose … I don’t know.

This blog is going to have lots of quiet moments again this coming year. However, I am looking forward to updating it regularly again later on. I have decided not to include the children in my future content. I went back and forth a lot about it, because I like to journal my daily life here. It’s such a fun way to keep memories. But, apart from sharing a few newborn pictures, I realized I don’t feel comfortable showing their faces once they’re over a few months old. Maybe I’ll be creative about it and manage to include them more subtly, without showing their faces. We shall see :-)

As for now, I feel totally ready for this little boy to arrive! I still have a couple things on my to do list that I’d like to finish by Monday evening at the latest, but most of the important preparations are complete, and that makes me feel ready and serene.

What a rollercoaster this will have been! I will definitely post an update once he’s here :-)

Pregnancy – Week 16

Finally, a picture! I regret a little bit not having taken any picture during my first trimester; unlike during my other pregnancies. Although quite frankly, there was absolutely nothing to see anyway, besides some early pregnancy bloat. I seem to have suddenly popped overnight at the beginning of week 16. So I felt like now was the time to take a first belly shot.

Also, because it was suddenly becoming so obvious, we decided to announce it to our closest family (my mom, Gert’s parents, and Gert’s brother). More distant family and friends still don’t know. I’m in no rush to share the news. I feel pretty much the same as I did when expecting Emery; it’s nice and refreshing not to let people know and keep a low profile about it.

I’m not planning to take weekly pictures like I did the previous times. It’s becoming a bit redundant. And when comes that time of the year when I go through all my pictures and decide which ones to get printed, I never print every single one of the weekly belly shots anyway. So I’ll take just enough to document this pregnancy, but no more than necessary. Besides, I don’t exactly have tons of spare time on my hands anymore, like before Emery was born.

I have to say, except for the fact that my hair looks like shit these days, I am quite pleased about this first shot. I should take some time in the near future to continue improving my camera skills. It’s so worth it.

Anyway, enough chit chatting. Here’s a little health update: no more hospital checkup planned until the end of October. I still don’t feel this baby move at all. And I mean, nothing. Nada. With Sam and Emery, I could start to feel some subtle flutters and little things here and there. So, even though it was subtle and still made me doubt whether that was really it or not, it’s such a radical difference this time around. I literally don’t feel ANYTHING. God, that stupid placenta better move around a bit soon. Being able to monitor baby’s movements is what I try to focus on in order to keep myself calm. Now I feel like I’m blindly progressing into this pregnancy, without any clue at all as to how things are going in there. I initially thought the doppler might be a good solution, so I’d be able to hear his movements and his heartbeat whenever I want to. But, because the placenta is so much in the front, the doppler can’t seem to get through it and pick up anything. My last hospital appointment revealed the exact same issue with their professional doppler. We were waiting for the heartbeat to sound through, and nothing happened! I was seriously starting to sweat. Luckily, the doctor didn’t drag things on and went ahead and pulled out the ultrasound machine right away. We saw baby on the screen moving beautifully, with a perfect heartbeat. But good God, this anterior placenta is an annoying issue!

In other news this week: I caught a cold from Gert. I felt like absolute crap on Saturday, and was even starting to worry that I’d have to monitor my temperature, for baby’s sake. My symptoms were 10 times worse than Gert’s. Then luckily, despite being much heavier, it all cleared up quite fast. I seriously need to get our yearly flu shots at the pharmacy next week.

That’s about it for now. More later!

Pregnancy – Week 14 – It’s a boy, again!

We found out our baby’s gender last week, but it was such a hectic week that I didn’t get to post any updates. So apparently, Gert and I are only capable of making boys … 😂 Haha!

The gender never mattered to me. But it’s so fun to know already, and being able to imagine our little family in the future. A little girl would have been fine too. I was just slightly worried that big brothers and their little sisters generally don’t get along that well. At least, that’s what I’ve always noticed all around me. I’m sure there are exceptions. But yeah, strangely, the opposite (= big sisters and their little brothers) seem to be a better match. And since we don’t have any older daughter, the best case scenario is having a little brother for Emery to play with and do boy stuff with.

I’m kind of hoping little brother will be completely different from Emery, yet be compatible enough for them to get along well. I love how unique each child is. And I can’t wait to meet this new little guy. We love him so much already. 💕

Gert was super happy about it being a boy again! I couldn’t believe his excitement. I thought he was neutral about it, like I was, but I guess that the perspective of raising sons (emphasis on “plural”) does tend to boost a man’s ego. It was funny to see Gert looking so proud of himself! Hah! No pink princess stuff in this house!

From a more practical point of view: it will save us quite a bit of money, as we’ll be able to reuse absolutely everything we already have. No need to buy dresses, or anything pink. It’s nice to know now that everything I buy for Emery will be used again by his little brother. I sometimes tried to get a more neutral color scheme for Emery’s clothes and blankets, just in case we’d end up having a girl afterwards. But now I can go full-on boy mode and know for sure it will be used again. I mean, babies grow out of their stuff so quickly. There are certain outfits Emery has literally only worn once, due to sizing and weather compatibility. And some clothes that family and friends had purchased for him have remained untouched, because they hadn’t really thought about the age he would be during which season … So we ended up with newborn Winter gear, while he was born in June. lol Those things will definitely be used for his little brother, since he’s expected to arrive at the end of February.

I’ve been feeling slightly worried since yesterday about my lack of weight gain, and the complete absence of belly growth. I just looked through Emery’s pregnancy updates, and I guess it was sort of similar. I don’t know. Sometimes I do look 5 months pregnant, but I’ve learned that this fluctuates a lot based on my digestion. So, it’s all digestion, basically. And my belly has been almost flat for several days now. It’s weird and it puzzles me.

Speaking of digestion, it’s been quite a mess for weeks now. I suffer very painful abdominal cramps on a regular basis. It’s like even the most common food doesn’t get digested normally. The doctor told me last year, before Emery was born, that pregnancy hormones can really mess up one’s digestion. I guess that’s what I’m dealing with now. Blah!

My next appointment is in 10 days. I hate that it will not include an ultrasound. I will have to sit there with my heart racing, while they try to find the heartbeat with a doppler. God, I hate dopplers. They never find the heart right away, and it’s nerve wracking!

So instead of waiting for my next appointment in fear, I decided to go ahead and try my home doppler for the first time this afternoon. I suppose I felt like facing my fears head on and get it over with. Even though I realized that, despite the fact that my doppler is labeled “as of 12 weeks”, it was probably going to be difficult to find baby’s heart today. I tried that same doppler with Emery when I was 2 weeks further along than I am now, and it was still quite hard to spot. I decided before I started that I would allow this session to be a dud, and to accept that no detected heartbeat this early on wouldn’t really mean anything, since this is not a professional tool, and I’m not exactly qualified to use it optimally. So … I basically spent 20 minutes hearing absolutely nothing and sort of wondering if there was a tiny dead body floating in there, until, at the very end, I sort of heard this very familiar sound that I recognized from the hospital. The beat itself seemed fast enough from what I could hear, but the sound was quite faint. I’m afraid that stupid placenta is still positioned in the front, like the doctor said during my last appointment. This can make it harder to find the heart with a doppler, and it’s also going to make it more difficult for me to feel movements later on. *Great* 😒 She did say that it could move into a better position later on in pregnancy. Let’s hope so.

We still haven’t announced it to anyone. Our initial plan was to wait until we knew the gender, which we do now … And now I still don’t feel like sharing the news with anybody! I mean, I haven’t even told my own mother yet. Now I’m thinking I might try to wait until our next appointment is over. I just want one more reassurance that baby is growing fine in there. It’s hard to feel confident about it anymore. I sure miss my first pregnancy with Sam, and the confidence and happiness I felt back then. It was such a lovely time. Now I constantly feel like I’m tempting fate, and like I should refrain from getting too excited because it might blow up in my face again. It sucks. No mother should ever have to feel that way about the baby she’s expecting. But, I got through it with Emery. I guess can do it again.

Baby 2018: Pregnancy Week 12

I’ve officially started my second trimester now, and I’m well aware that this is only my second update so far on the matter. It’s not neglect, and it’s not a lack of enthusiasm or anything like that. I’m purposely trying to keep my anxiety at bay, while trying to remain as laid back and relaxed about it as possible. It’s not easy. Fears and worries tend to surface quite easily. I found that keeping myself busy with other things is the best remedy. Appointments still cause a lot of stress, and I can feel my heart beating really fast before the ultrasound starts. I imagine we’ll find no heartbeat, or that the baby will be way behind in terms of growth, or that they’ll find something wrong with the heart, or brain, or any other major organ.

Our last appointment to date was this past Tuesday, August 29th. We had a very detailed ultrasound, which kind of dragged on for a little longer than I would have liked. They kept trying to remeasure things. At one point, a professor joined in and redid the entire ultrasound. They weren’t saying much, except for the occasional “that looks fine”. I believed them at first, but as it dragged on and on, I started to wonder what the freaking problem was. At the end, they basically confirmed that everything seemed normal. We clearly saw a little something between the legs … lol The doctor said that both genders have this at 12 weeks, but it looked so much like Sam and Emery at that exact same stage that I’m thinking we might be having a boy, again. Haha! We’ll see. I’m cool either way. I was thinking a girl at the very beginning of this pregnancy, but it was by no means a preference. Just a hunch. If it’s a boy, I’ll be just as happy. Besides, we’ll get to reuse all of Emery’s clothes, which will save money.

We’ll know for sure next week when the blood test results come back. They didn’t do that before. It was different with Emery, less than 2 years ago. But the system has changed, and so now they do a much more thorough blood test to check for any potential issue. Accessorily, the gender is also included, but only revealed if we want to, of course. Which we absolutely do! Hah! If finding a name for this one turns out to be as big of a headache as it was with Emery, we’ll need all the extra time we can get. One thing I’m very much set on is to not recycle any names we had in mind for either Sam or Emery. Before Emery was born, any names that were on our idea list for Sam were discarded and we came up with a bunch of other new options. I’m planning to do the same with this one.

So anyway, here are the adorable profile shots we got to take home:

I really love 12 week ultrasounds. The baby is still small enough to get beautiful shots from any possible angle. It gets more difficult later on in pregnancy to see the face as clearly. Baby was moving really gently and beautifully. There was something very soft about it. It kind of reminded me of Sam. Nothing like Emery, who was an absolute firecracker. The little hands moved around the face, then they crossed in front of its chest. That baby looked so sweet and peaceful in there.

As for the stats: the little heart was beating at 171 BPM, and Baby measured 6cm. Emery was 5.9cm and Sam was 6.6cm. Interesting, right?

I’m not planning to post weekly updates about this pregnancy, because it’s a little too much and I’d rather focus on other things for now, while (hopefully) Baby keeps growing well in there. But, who knows, maybe at some point I’ll change my mind and start updating more frequently. We’ll see. I’ve become less strict about my blogging regimen, and it’s been a nice break, to be honest. Even though I have to admit it is nice to have all the old blog posts to look back on and reminisce. It is less of a priority once there’s a live baby to take care of at home. That’s a good thing! 🙂

More later!