Oliver's Birth Story

In the days leading up to the evening I went into labour, I had been suffering from some nasty pre-labour contractions in the wee hours of the nights. They were a consistent time apart and lasting for hours before fizzling. So when I felt my first contraction around dinner time the night before Oliver was born, I was understandably skeptical that it would go anywhere.

For about an hour the contractions were fairly mild, about 10-15 min apart. Once we got Molly to bed, I was feeling quite achy and decided to take a bath. While in there I felt something leak out of me during a contraction…
“Um, either my water just broke or I peed…” I said to A.

I got out of the tub to find out. No more leaking. False alarm. It appeared I had peed. Never mind that I had peed, in the toilet I might add, before getting in the bath. Pregnancy is so glam 🙂

We made our way downstairs to watch some TV and I started timing my contractions. At 8pm they were about 10-15 min apart still but starting to get stronger in intensity. I headed up to bed at 9:30, hoping to sleep, just in case, but they started getting stronger and closer together as soon as I laid down. For the next few hours I timed them, noticing them get closer together and feeling them get stronger, to the point where I had to focus on breathing through them.

I think it was around 1am where the average for an hour was 4.5 minutes apart, 1 min in duration. We decided to go to the hospital and I put in the call to my mom to come watch Molly.

It felt weird to make the decision to go to L&D. With Molly, there was no question as to whether to go in, since my water broke at home and it wasn’t clear (she passed meconium in the womb). But having had false labour the previous two nights, regardless of the fact that my contractions never got as close together or as intense as I was having them at that moment, I was worried this was another false alarm and we would be sent home. Still, I was conscious of the fact that second labours tend to progress faster than your first and I had gone from having contractions 10 min apart to sometimes 2-3 min apart in a matter of just over an hour. Birthing at home was not part of the plan and so to the hospital we would go!

My mom arrived at 1:30 and we packed up the car and headed out, making sure to stop at Tim Hortons for coffee and a snack on our way. By 2:30 am we were in triage listening to the baby’s heart rate as they monitored my contractions. After a half hour or so the doctor on call came in to do a cervical check, my first of the entire pregnancy. I was expecting to hear that I was only 1 cm, blah blah, go home, blah blah blah but was shocked when I heard her say I was 4 cm and that it looks like I would be admitted. I was definitely in labour! The only drawback: baby’s head was still quite high. But there was time to work on that.

The doctor did say something that gave us pause. She asked how big my first baby was. When she heard that Molly was 8 lb 12 oz, she said “oh good, you’re used to delivering big babies” Um, say what? My doctor had mentioned he was a bigger baby but said not to worry, that he was average. The way this doctor phrased things made us wonder if we should be concerned…

By 3:30am we were in our room and I was hooked up to an IV. I realized on my way to the hospital I would want an epidural. I was already exhausted and it just makes labour more pleasant. Why shouldn’t I try and enjoy it? I remember liking the pushing process with Molly and was able to focus well because I wasn’t in pain.

Once we were settled, A and I started walking the halls, hoping to encourage our little man to move down. Turns out I wasn’t a fan of walking and stopping with contractions though, so we headed back to our room so I could recline a bit and relax. I’d been uncomfortable on my feet for weeks at that point, so it made sense.

I’m quite proud of how I handled the contractions for the next hour as they got stronger. I would hold A’s hand and just focus on breathing and relaxing. The great thing about this labour was that there was a few minutes gap between them, giving me a chance to relax and recover. When I was just 3 cm with Molly they were one on top of the other without relief. This time I often felt positively grand between contractions. Still, I knew it would get worse and I was exhausted. At 5 am I asked for the epidural and by 5:30 was living the good life! I can’t say I slept (hubby did though…men!) but I dozed and was able to rest.

At 7am the day nurse came on and told me that because the baby’s head was still high (“that happens with big babies” she said…seriously, how big was this dude going to be??), my doctor had recommended an oxytocin drip. It’s purpose was to strengthen my contractions and help move the baby down. I knew the pros and cons of this drug, but the biggest issue to me was the likelihood of a c-section if he didn’t drop. I was willing to try it rather than risk a section. I have nothing against c-sections, and if I had ended up needing one I would have made that choice with no regrets, but with a toddler at home who would not even remotely understand if mommy couldn’t pick her up, I wanted to avoid it if possible. The oxytocin kicked in almost instantly and I began feeling the pressure of the more intense contractions.

At 8am I felt what was like a huge punch from the baby and a gush of fluid shot down between my legs. My water had broken! I woke A to call the nurse. A brief exam confirmed it: my membranes had ruptured. She also confirmed that I was still 4-5 cm dilated but that the baby had come down a bit. She upped the dosage of oxytocin and the next hour was a whirlwind! My contractions got stronger and a lot closer together. Little man also got finicky about what position I was in. Every couple of minutes the nurse had me turn from one side to the other when his heart rate would dip, not an easy feat when you’re partially numb. But we managed. I was given oxygen a couple of times to ensure adequate air was reaching the baby. At 9am I was feeling a lot of pressure in the bum area. Another cervical check revealed I was almost fully dilated and the oxytocin had done it’s job in encouraging our wee man to descend into the birth canal. His head was engaged! I woke A up and preparations began for delivery.

I started pushing at 9:22. At 9:30 the nurses commented that they didn’t think the doctor would make it! But a minute later he showed up. Turns out my own OB was on call. “Where’s the baby?” He joked. Funny man. He did a quick assessment and suggested an episiotomy to help things along. I consented and 30 seconds later at 9:34 am, Oliver Gregory entered the world!

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Because there was question as to whether there was meconium present when my water broke, the medical staff erred on the side of caution; I didn’t get to hold him right away and instead he was taken aside to see a respiratory therapist (this happened when I delivered Molly as well). He was never out of my sight though. Once he was given the all clear, the nurses proceeded with their exams. One of them commented when he came out that he was a big boy. The respiratory therapist actually stuck around to see how much he weighed. They placed him on the scale and A was so shocked he couldn’t speak to me for a few seconds! Finally the nurse said “tell her” and he revealed our little man was in fact 10 pounds 1 ounce! Good god. I cannot believe I birthed a baby that big! No wonder I’d been so uncomfortable towards the end of my pregnancy.

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I was finally able to hold him and they placed him on my chest, skin to skin. A few minutes later we started to breastfeed. He latched fairly well and we stayed that way for a bit. Peace followed. Our family was complete.

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It was sometime before we got our first visitors, my parents and Molly. They came after her mid day nap, around 3:30. Their first meet could have gone better. Oliver was in the midst of having his blood sugar tested and screaming his lungs off. That scared miss Molly and it broke my heart to see her lips quiver and turn down. My poor little girl! She gradually warmed up to him, and to me being in that weird place, and by the time they left she willingly gave him a kiss, though had yet to really interact with him. Which was fine. I was patient. She’s so little and I didn’t want to push her!

We had hoped to go home the day of, but our big boy had some blood sugar issues, apparently common in larger babies. We had to stay until he passed three tests in a row. I’ll be writing a post more about how we managed to get those positive tests, since it involved a bit of a change to my preferred way of feeding.

Luckily by noon the next day his sugars were back up and despite an elevated bilirubin, we were given the go ahead to go home as long as we came in for an outpatient follow up for the jaundice.

And that friends is Oliver’s birth story. Blissfully shorter than Molly’s and with no regrets. I’m left feeling that things happened just as they should have and am confident in the choices I made throughout the process. In the long run,  labour and delivery is such a tiny blip considering the years of parenting we have ahead but I’m so lucky that the birth of both my children was a positive experience for me.

36 Weeks Baby #2!

How Far Along? – 36 Weeks – Less than a month to go!

Size of Baby – I’m guessing between 6.5-7 lbs. Length I can only guess at, probably 20 inches or close to it.

Gender – It’s a boy!

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Here I am, all dolled up for a date night out with the hubby! I wish I had time to straighten my hair every day. It’s so polished looking!

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Maternity Clothes – I need to pick up some new nursing bras. I still have the ones I wore with Molly but 16 months of use takes a toll!

Stretch Marks – No more than I already have.

Weight – 34 pounds gained! I’m 10 pounds less gained at this point than I was with Molly, though since I started 8 pounds more than when I got pregnant with Molly, I’m coming out even.

Sleep – Ugh. Sleep. I both love and hate it right now. I’ve determined I have pregnancy rhinitis, which means I’m constantly stuffed up.  That makes things uncomfortable. My ligament pain is worse when I’m lying down, so that makes things uncomfortable too. My little guy HATES it when I lie on my side and I can feel him stretching out the side of my gut, which also makes things uncomfortable. I’m just uncomfortable. Last night I ate too much and had the worst acid reflux all night long. Just a few more weeks…that’s what I keep telling myself! Then I’ll be a different kind of tired, but at least I’ll be more comfortable lying down!

Movement –Some people focus so much on kick counts but both with Molly and with this dude, I don’t have to count at all. I constantly feel him moving. Even when he’s not moving I feel him moving, if that makes sense.

Symptoms – Ligament pain, sleeplessness, achy lower back, swelling of my legs and feet and I’m hot all the time. Phew!

Cravings –Root beer was big this week. So was kettle corn.

What Do I Miss – Everything!

Nursery –No action here this week

Emotions –Frustrated that I’m so uncomfortable. A bit stressed that I only have two weeks of work left and so much to do!!

Best Moment of the Week – Date night out with my hubby to celebrate our second wedding anniversary (which is tomorrow!)!!

Let's Talk Toilet

We have started the grand adventure of potty training. Or potty learning. Whatever the hip and cool term is to use these days, there is a lot of toilet talk happening in our lives right now! It’s been on our radar for quite sometime that Molly is gearing up to start using the potty. A couple of months ago she started indicating to us when she went poop in her diaper. So we pulled out the potty insert for the toilet and started showing it to her. At first she expressed zero interest in actually getting on it, and we didn’t push the matter. We would ask before bath if she wanted to get on it, and she would usually decline.

But then, a couple of weeks ago, all of a sudden, she was desperate to not only set up the potty, but get on it (fully clothed) and insist on having some toilet paper to shove down into it.

It was adorable.

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Just look at my big girl!! Since then, most days requires the potty to be set up at least once (and sometimes in both bathrooms on the top floor) and we’ve started putting her on it naked to see what happens. So far nothing. What’s important is that she’s starting to understand what her feelings are when she needs to ‘go’ and that the toilet isn’t something to be afraid of.

We’re kind of letting Molly take the lead at this point. A slow momentum suits me just fine. With me being almost 9 months pregnant and a newborn on the way, the last thing I want to worry about is having to rush to the bathroom with her to avoid accidents. If we don’t start to potty train in earnest for another few months, closer to when she’s two,  I’m ok with that. She is only 18 months and her world is about to change with the introduction of her little brother after all. I want to minimize the disruption as much as possible.

I’m also keen on waiting a bit because of an article I read recently. In it, a doctor describes his experiences with kids who are potty trained too early. He sees a lot of bladder infections and constipation as a result, because the child is too young to understand you shouldn’t hold it. And what toddler do you now who wants to take time out from playing to use the potty? I’m not saying I think he’s 100% correct; I think every child is different. But when we embark on something,  I like to understand the pros and cons, the good and the bad and thought this was something to take into consideration.

But who knows! Our child is stubborn and head strung and has pretty much completed milestones of her own accord since birth. I may be potty training whether I’m ready or not!

So that’s where we sit (ha!) with the toilet right now. As with everything, it’s all about doing what’s right for you and your family 🙂

Big Sister Preparedness

I’m constantly being asked if Molly knows she’s about to become a big sister. My answer? No. She has absolutely no clue.
Oh she’ll pat and kiss my belly and call it baby, but she doesn’t grasp that there’s an actual baby in there that will be coming out of mommy in just under two months. And she certainly has no idea how it’s going to affect her life.
I’m hoping that because she’s so little she won’t be too aware of the changes and will go with the flow. Still, there are things I’m doing to help her along, just in case she’s onto us!

  • I’m A Big Sister by Joanna Cole – I picked up this book a few months ago and we’ve been reading it to her. It talks about becoming a big sister and how the baby will act when it arrives. I substitute a bit when it talks about giving the baby a bottle (I’ll be nursing and don’t plan on using bottles) but it’s really quite sweet. I tear up ever time it talks about how special the big sister is. She sits through the whole story, so that’s a bonus.
  • Introduce a baby doll – A’s parents got her a baby doll for Christmas and I’ve been trying to show her how to be gentle and that the baby will sleep and cry and eat. It’s pretty funny when she gives the baby a kiss then throws it into the toy cradle.
  • Simply talk to her – I talk about her brother coming and mention his name. When she plays with all the baby stuff we’re getting out I explain that’s for her brother and show how it’ll be used. I also try and explain, when she sees me topless and points to my breasts, that mommy will be feeding baby with those things. We weaned not long ago so she may understand that one. Funny side story: a month or so ago I was sorting through the laundry, au natural, and she comes running up to me, mouth open, ready to latch on! Haha. Instinct is a powerful thing!
  • A big sister gift – I’m not sure exactly how much she understands about recieving gifts, but we’ll get her  a present from the baby to receive at the hospital when she meets him.

And that’s really it. I know there are gads and gads of ideas and suggestions our there, but our reality is she’s only 18 months old. Something I say or do today could be lost on her tomorrow. We’ll basically be winging it, which is 99% of what parenting is anyways!

The one thing I’m not sure about is whether to bring her to the hospital to meet the baby. When I had the stomach bug and was in labour and delivery, I heard a dad bring a big brother to meet his new sibling. It was all happy at first but when they went to leave, the poor little guy got so upset and was yelling for his mommy as they left. I’m not sure I can handle putting Molly through that. Since I’m hoping to be out of the hospital as soon as possible, I might just wait for the introduction to happen at home. Ach. Another thing to decide at the time rather than now. DSC_7080 (1280x1024)

35 Weeks Baby #2!

How Far Along? – 35 Weeks!

Size of Baby – To quote my doctor “you’re definitely not having a six pound baby!” lol

Gender – It’s a boy!

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35 Weeks with baby #2…

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And 35 weeks with Molly for comparison…

Maternity Clothes – My tummy runneth over. Some of my maternity tops are starting to pull up over my belly, which means those are only worn at home 🙂

Stretch Marks – No more than I already have

Weight – 33 pounds gained as of this morning (I’m 35 weeks 3 days as I write this). I’m happy with it! I was over 40 at this point with Molly. According to several sources (hubby included, who is quite honest with me about such things), I don’t look pregnant from behind, so that’s good.

Sleep – Not so great. I’ve been hot lately and so achy in the middle of the night.

Movement –Baby is head down, which means I’m feeling lots of light tapping down near the girl parts from his hands, and tons of pushing and shoving up near my ribs from his bum/feet/lets. Not comfortable at all

Symptoms – Aches, pains, trouble sleeping. I’m thankful that my ligament pain isn’t as bad as it was with Molly but it’s still hard to roll over in bed and put pants on. I’m swelling a lot more in my legs and ankles. And I’m so freaking hot all the freaking time. Good. God. At least it’s winter and I can cool down outside!

Oh and I think I lost some of my mucus plug. Which is totally normal and does not mean labour is imminent (I double checked).  It just means that my cervix is starting to open, something that can happen earlier in women who have already had a baby.

Cravings –No major cravings this week. I’ve been super thirsty for water lately, especially in the evenings.

What Do I Miss –What don’t I miss…the ability to get down on the floor and play with my daughter, sleeping without hurting, walking fast, kissing/hugging/etc. my husband without my tummy getting in the way…

Nursery –I have started painting the name sign for the baby’s room. I’m hoping to get the curtains made before he comes, but there’s no rush if I don’t.

Emotions –Great. Tired and frustrated, but overall really great. I do get weapy reading some of Molly’s stories to her, so I’m trying to avoid the sappy ones (Guess How Much I Love You is the WORST offender!).

Best Moment of the Week – Um, the women and men’s olympic hockey teams winning gold of course!!! We kicked some serious butt and I couldn’t be more proud of our country!!

34 Weeks – Baby #2!

How Far Along? – 34 Weeks :)

Size of Baby – Big…lol

Gender – It’s a boy!

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This is me with baby #2 at 34 weeks 2 days (excuse the hair)…..

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For comparison sake, this is me around the same time with Molly…

Maternity Clothes – I’m sooooo bored with my wardrobe but it’s way to close to D-day now to do any shopping. I’ve pinning outfits on Pinterest, dreaming of shopping post-baby 🙂

Stretch Marks – Not more than I already have

Weight – Still sitting at 30 pounds gained. My appetite has been off this week with my head cold

Sleep – Sleep has been elusive and uncomfortable. My head has been the main culprit…I’ve been stuffed up!

Movement – The force is strong with this one. His pushes and shoves are starting to hurt!

Symptoms – Ligament pain, insomnia, fatigue, slight swelling of the ankles and legs, my rear end issue. Acid reflux. Happily I can still wear my wedding rings!!

Cravings –Asian food

What Do I Miss – Being comfortable and able to move quickly. I feel awful that it’s so hard to get down on the floor to play with Molly.

Nursery – Nothing new there!

Emotions –I’ve been bummed this week because I’ve been sick. I’m so tired of not feeling well.

Best Moment of the Week –Valentine’s day with my two Valentines, this one in particular:

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33 Weeks – Baby #2

How Far Along? – 33 weeks. 7 weeks left unless he’s early in which case…whaaaat? He could be here that soon???

Size of Baby –probably around 19-22 inches long and over five pounds.

Gender – It’s a boy!!

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See below

Maternity Clothes – I’m tired of wearing the same clothes. But it’s pointless to but new stuff now, especially since I won’t be pregnant again.

Stretch Marks – no more than I already have

Weight – up 30 or so pounds, five pounds less than I had gained at this point with Molly. Pretty good! I’ve got a lot of water weight now, with swollen legs and feet. That’s inflating things a bit.

Sleep – Horrible. I’ve had a mild cold over the last few days that’s made sleeping even more uncomfortable.

Movement – lots and lots! A and I were watching my tummy bounce around earlier. So funny!

Symptoms – Ligament pain, hip pain, insomnia, fatigue, swelling of the ankles and legs, my rear end issue (improving slowly), elevated body temperature

Cravings –I’m into eating apple slices with cheese right now. Oh and iced tea is super yummy!

What Do I Miss – Walking fast, moving comfortably, sitting comfortably…I need a “pregnant lady walking” sign to pin to the back of my coat so people don’t get as irritated walking behind me 🙂

Nursery – nothing much this week. I hope to get started on making the baby’s name sign for his room this weekend!

Emotions –Just grand! Other than being tired, I’m emotionally sound

Best Moment of the Week – seeing my baby girl when I get home from
work. She’s been asleep still the last few mornings when I’ve left.

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Baby/Toddler Apps

There’s a thread currently on my baby forum about whether or not to let babies/young toddlers play with smart phones etc. It’s not a heated debate but most of the moms think it’s a bad thing. Me? I lean towards the “it’s not that horrible” camp.

We let Molly play with our smart phones and even got an iPad for Christmas from my parents for that express purpose. That’s not to say that she plays with it all the time. She has a very short attention span and might spend five minutes on it before she moves on to something else. But it comes in handy for moments when I just need her to sit still for a bit or for first thing in the morning when A and I are trying to wake up. Our child literally pops up as soon as she opens her eyes. We need a bit more time to adjust 🙂

I also happen to believe it’s a great educational tool and is helping her with coordination and communication. Her skill at moving her finger across the screen is growing exponentially! I thought it would be fun to share her favourite apps at the moment. It’s astonishing to me that she knows exactly where to find them on both the iPhone and iPad!

Molly’s favourite apps:

EduKitchen – there’s a free version that we’re currently trying out but I think we’ll purchase the full version soon, as Molly really loves it. This one has activities like setting the table, load the dishwasher, gather the vegetables, arrange from big to small or vice versa etc. The characters are a bit creepy but she’s so proud when she accomplishes the goal!

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Sound Touch – probably her most favourite app of all time! There is a free versions and a paid version but we definitely upgraded to the full paid version for this one. It’s basically flash cards with sounds. Molly can touch a picture of an animal and it’ll pop up with the sound the animal makes. She calls this app ‘cat’ because that’s her favourite animal. In addition to animals there are musical instruments, every day house hold items etc.

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Animals and Tools for Babies – we’ve had this one since she was very young. It was a lifesaver on those long drives to A’s parents. It’s similar to Sound Touch in that it’s like a series of flash cards, but in addition to the sound the animal makes, a voice also names the animal and you can choose from several languages. The best part is that the cards will play on a loop, key for just handing it back for them to play with while you’re in the front seat.

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Little Writer – I think A’s mom found this one and it’s quickly becoming a favourite. It’s a free tracing program, where a letter (or number or shape) comes up and using their fingers, they press a cute little icon and trace what’s on the screen! She needs a bit of help but really enjoys doing it.

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The Wheels on the Bus – this is a fave and worth it to pay for the full version. There are math games, puzzles, vehicle sounds and of course and interactive version of the infamous song! “Bus” Molly will say to play this one!

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Oh and if you weren’t already aware, there’s a cool feature on iPhone’s and iPad’s called ‘Guided Access’. If you enable this feature, you can turn it on while in an app and little one’s can’t escape! It’s located in Settings/General/Accessibility.

Have fun!

31 Weeks – Baby #2

How Far Along? – 31 Weeks – We’re into the single digit countdown!!

Size of Baby – Length I have no clue, but over 18 inches long. Weight is around four pounds. I had my bi-weekly OB appointment last Monday and my doctor told me I’m measuring two weeks ahead! Not surprising really. I measured ahead all through my pregnancy with Molly. I asked him if in his experience second babies tended to be bigger. He confirmed with a smile and a nod.

Gender – It’s a boy

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Maternity Clothes –maternity yoga pants are my best friend right now.

Stretch Marks –No more than I had before

Weight – I’ve gained 29 pounds…I was up 32 at this point with Molly, so I’m doing ok.

Sleep – Not great. I’m tossing and turning a lot. Ugh.

Movement –Oh yes. I’ve got another little wiggler on my hands! He’s head down, so I’m feeling him a lot up near my ribs and sides.

Symptoms – Ligament pain, lack of sleep, swelling of my legs and feet after working all day; the rear end issue I suffered with Molly has sadly returned

Cravings –Asian food! Last weekend I had dinner with M1 and M2. We went to a Japanese/Thai restaurant and had a great time! But I was torn at first as to what to get. I wanted pad thai, tempura, california rolls and spring rolls all at the same time! But to order that many individual dishes would have been way too much and far too expensive. It was quite the dilemma, UNTIL I noticed the vegetarian combo platter which came with all the things I wanted, just in smaller quantities and was only $14!! Score!

What Do I Miss – Being able to just relax. This pregnancy is so different from being pregnant with Molly; I didn’t have a toddler to look after! A is a huge help, but it’s still exhausting.

Nursery –I went to Fabricland with my mom today to buy lining for my curtains and the fabric for the crib skirt. There was a 50% off sale for members and my mom is a premiere member!

Emotions –Not too bad! We’re still dealing with the Lemons we were given a few weeks ago (still not ready to talk about that) but we’re moving forward and are doing well I think.

Best Moment of the Week –We had a family dinner last weekend at my parents and as we were all leaving, my niece CJ came up to me and said “I think the baby needs a hug” and she proceeded to wrap her arms around my protruding belly, hugging the ‘baby’ and gave him a kiss. Cutest. Thing. Ever.

28 Weeks Baby #2!

How Far Along? – 28 weeks – 12 weeks until my due date! Holy cow!!

Size of Baby – According to the averages, around 17 inches long and close to three pounds!

Gender – It’s a boy!! And we’re 99.9% sure we’ve settled on a name.

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This is me at 28 weeks with Molly…

And this is me at 28 weeks with baby #2…

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Maternity Clothes – I think I’m going to need a few more work maternity tops. The ones I have are tight feeling and I hate that. I don’t like loose maternity tops but I like them fitted.

Stretch Marks – No more than I already had!

Weight – 24 pounds gained. If I stay on the average of 1 lb a week, I should hit the upper limit of the 25-35 recommendation by the end. I gained 46 with Molly. Since I started this pregnancy about 8 more than when I got pregnant with Molly, I’m hoping I don’t gain that much again.

Sleep – Not fabulous. My hips are starting to ache, which makes getting comfortable and staying comfortable tricky. But on my days off and on weekends I’m napping for at least one of Molly’s naps (she’s still on two a day, thank God). That helps a lot!

Movement – There’s less kicking now and more rolling and pushing. Little man is running out of room!

Symptoms – Ligament pain, fatigue, aching hips, boobs getting bigger and fuller, backaches…typical third trimester!

Cravings –None really. I’m not sure whether to be surprised by that or not…

What Do I Miss – Being able to move comfortably 🙂

Nursery –Nothing this week. I did get some clothes from my sister which were fun to go through!

Emotions –Pretty good. No weepy moments this week!

Best Moment of the Week – Listening to my hubby sing me happy birthday with my daughter sitting on my lap and my son rolling around in my tummy. Life is great!