- How far along: 32 weeks
- What's new: I'm starting on an iron supplement because my iron levels were borderline anemic at my last blood draw and because I have symptoms of it (I want to bite my toothbrush and chew my wet laundry...so weird!). I have always had trouble with iron so I think it's a good idea. I took a supplement with my last pregnancy as well.
- Baby's size: Squash, and still head down!
- Total weight gain: 12 pounds
- Baby's heart rate: 150 bpm
- Maternity clothes: I'm starting to outgrow some of my maternity clothes! My full-panel Gap jeans are feeling too tight on my belly now. The H&M MAMA jeans are my current favorites when I actually feel like wearing pants, which is more often than I thought I would. I am excited to wear shorts once it gets a little warmer outside!
- Baby names: A few more names I think are cute but we're not using: Pascal, Ferris, Atlas
- Movement: He sleeps a lot, and it's fun to be his mama and know his schedule of when he is typically awake. I have been tracking his movements at night and really like the Count the Kicks app!
- Itchy belly
- Sore tailbone
- Braxton-Hicks contractions
- Large appetite - my coworkers laugh at me for finishing all their food!
- Sleep: I have not slept as well the past week...getting up to go to the bathroom, and having lots of crazy dreams, too.
- What I miss: Keeping up with Rooney
- Cravings: Water! Hummus! Ice cream!
- Nursery update: Here's a look at our painted crib!
- Mommy thoughts: Wednesdays with Rooney are getting more difficult as I get bigger and more tired, and as the weather warms up. A simple walk to the nearby park wears me out! I'm getting nervous how the next eight weeks will go, and then the six weeks while I recover.
There are things I look back on from Rooney's first months of life and think, "Wow, that was a defining moment in our parenting journey." Not regrets, but times when we adjusted our course and went a slightly different way based on unexpected circumstances. We were learning what it was really like to be parents and feeling all the feelings that come with it. I think we are planning to do a lot of the same things with baby #2 as we did with Rooney, but here are a few changes (realizing this baby boy will be a completely different baby/person and we'll have to adjust to his specific needs as they arise):
- No mailed birth announcement. Via smartphones, social media, texting, etc., most of our family and friends will be able to see a photo of our baby within an hour of his birth. I will probably print a couple photos for my grandparents to have, but I don't see the point of spending $200 on mailed birth announcements to all our family and friends. It would be old news by the time it arrived. Plus, who has time to lick all those envelopes?
- Eric will take two weeks off. Last time he had one week off, and we wished it was a little longer. Problem is, homeboy has trouble sitting around. During my nine-week maternity leave with Rooney he bought and installed a storm door, landscaped our yard, and bought a minivan. So...we need to discuss what his time off will look like. (I totally get it...I think I went to Target every day of my maternity leave, starting when Rooney was three weeks old.) Or, maybe it will be completely fine with me this time for him to be doing basement projects while I figure out breastfeeding, but just having him around will be nice.
- Not freak out about baby's weight/breastfeeding. Who knows if I can actually follow through on this one, but I'm hoping I'll feel more confident with my motherly instincts this time and not freak out if he loses weight in the hospital, even if it's 10% of his birth weight. I am planning to breastfeed again, and hopefully I won't carry as much guilt this time if it doesn't work out. Rooney only got breast milk for the first month of her life and she turned out awesome.
- Hold him more. I remember when Rooney was two days old, the day we were discharged from the hospital, I barely held her all day because of visitors and going through the discharge process. By 5:00 pm when we got home, I was a complete mess. My body ached for her. I know there are so many benefits for the baby, too, to be held by his or her parents. Hormonally it is very important for the mother, for bonding and milk production. I want to watch out for this better this time.
- Placenta encapsulation. I've mentioned it before, but I'm planning to encapsulate my placenta. Basically, your placenta is turned into pills that you take for a couple months following delivery. I've heard amazing things about it and I'm hoping it helps me with my physical recovery, hormone balance and milk production. You can learn more here.
- Ask our moms to come help ahead of time. Last time, Eric and I both called our moms from the hospital the night Rooney was born, begging them to come stay with us and help us adjust to our new life. We were so tired and knew we couldn't do it on our own. This time, we've already talked to them about when they are available to come stay. Perhaps we won't feel like we need as much help this time, but with a toddler around, you never know!
- Delay baby's first bath - possibly even until after we get home. Rooney's first bath was about four hours after she was born. No big deal, but I would like to delay baby boy's first bath for at least 12 hours, possibly even a few days. The vernix on babies' skin helps them regulate their body temperature and has proven to increase breastfeeding success.
- Check his tongue more closely. Rooney was tongue-tied at birth, which was noticed by our lactation consultant the day we left the hospital, and we had her tongue clipped by an ENT when she was 6 days old. I believe this affected our breastfeeding experience and wish we would have looked for it sooner and perhaps even had it cut in the hospital (which also would have saved us money). Anyway, because of our personal experience with it and because it's hereditary (Eric has it too), it's something I want to look for sooner.
- Have baby adjusted by our chiropractor before we leave the hospital. When Rooney was born, we weren't seeing a chiropractor on a regular basis. At her 2-month check-up, her pediatrician diagnosed her with torticollis and I later realized while watching our birth video that her neck got pretty twisted when she came out. Anyway, we are believers in chiropractic and each go at least twice a month. I think birth can be traumatic for both the mom's and baby's bodies and can cause stress and pressure and things can get out of place, so it's beneficial to make sure everything's aligned and working properly as soon as possible. We respect and use both medical and chiropractic care for each member of our family, so it makes sense to begin that as soon as possible after birth.
A couple more changes I considered were opting out of the optional Hepatitis B vaccine at the hospital (so baby will be more alert for breastfeeding) and opting out of the eye ointment (since I don't have an STD), but I don't think I feel strongly enough against them to cause a big stink. So we'll just see what happens there! Rooney had both of them.
What would you do differently with your next baby?
P.P.S. Our parenting style.
My parents have had two cribs at their house since my sister had twins eight years ago. With seven grandkids arriving in eight years, they've always been used when we come to visit. But the kids have grown and this baby boy will likely be the last, so they no longer have a need for two.
So a few months ago, my mom kindly offered to let us borrow one of the cribs in case Rooney wasn't out of hers by the time baby boy arrived. Well, Roo is out of her crib now, but I was already sold on the idea! I love the style, and Eric and I both got excited about painting it black.
The crib was made by Lullabye in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, probably in the late 1970s. I love it and is a classic example of "they just don't make 'em like they used to." This sucker is sturdy and in great condition. It's the same crib I slept in as a baby (as well as both my siblings), and what Rooney has slept in when we visited my parents the past three years.
We assembled the crib so we could paint all the sides in one day (and not have to wait for one side to dry before spraying the other). It had a light finish on it so Eric sanded it by hand and then wiped off the dust before painting.
We used spray paint from Lowe's. If you are concerned about your baby chewing on the wood and eating the paint, I have read good things about Lullaby Paints.
There is also a matching changing table/dresser that we painted black at the same time, which you can see in the photo below.
Four hours and 10 cans of spray paint later...it's done! :-)
P.S. I've gotten a few comments regarding this crib being a drop-side crib. I have found Products America to be an amazing resource, and after speaking with a representative, I learned that this drop-side crib in particular was not part of the recall on drop-side cribs. They recommended that we do not alter the crib because we have all the parts. I am not saying this is what you should do; I am just relaying what I heard. If you do not have all the parts to a crib, Products America is the first place I would try. If you have an older drop-side crib and would like to make the sides stationary, I found some great step-by-step instructions on how to fix a drop-side crib. Use your own judgement on this!
Rooney is taking a big sister class at the hospital tomorrow! I hope she loves it and feels proud of her certificate. She is going to be such an awesome sister. Can you even believe that three years ago she was the one in my belly???
- How far along: 31 weeks
- Baby's size: Length of pineapple / weight of coconut
- Maternity clothes: The dress in this photo is actually not maternity, but most of what I wear is.
- Gender: Boy. Someone asked this week if we have a back-up name for a girl, and I was like, "We've had seven ultrasounds and it's still a boy so, ...no." :-)
- Baby names: Still not sharing! But I did find someone on Instagram who is also 31 weeks pregnant with a boy who is using the same name! :-/
- Movement: Oh yeah, this little guy is crazy! When he's awake and moving, my entire belly jumps! It always catches me off guard.
- Symptoms: Carpal tunnel is setting in and becoming painful. Isn't that such a strange symptom? I must be starting to swell. Last time I could see the swelling at 34 weeks. Also, forgetfulness.
- Sleep: I can't complain! I get about seven straight hours and then when Rooney wakes me up in the morning my bladder is like HELLO! HELP US OUT HERE!
- What I miss: Being able to race after and carry Rooney without the extra weight. It just gets in the way sometimes! I also feel a little clumsy and a little nervous anytime she or Eric are playing rough around me.
- Cravings: sour candy, ice cream
- Nursery update: I spent some time in his room this week, going through the hand-me-downs we have received and sorting them into sizes. He has a lot of pajamas but needs some clothes! We have decided that we will probably keep his room as a guest room until shortly after he comes, so that my mom can come and stay with us for a week. Mentally I think it was good for me to just realize that this arrangement will be better and it takes a lot of stress off. Rooney slept in our bedroom for nine weeks so I think he will be in our room for a while too.
- Mommy thoughts:
- We started re-watching our birth class DVD last week and it brought back so many memories. Rooney's birth was a very physical and emotional experience for both of us last time.
- With Rooney, I never got to the point when I was so done being pregnant that I wanted to give birth to her RIGHT NOW. This time, I've already had a few feelings like that. :-/ At times I'm very tired and uncomfortable. I can't tell for sure if it's because I'm three years older now or because I have a toddler who requires my energy or because I'm ready to complete our family, but I'm getting pretty excited to meet him. But deep down I know it won't be any easier once he's here (at least not for a while) and that he still needs to grow and develop for at least six more weeks - which really isn't that long! Ahh!