Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Replacing the old school "baby book" 1 Month

When I had Vashon my mom would always ask me "did you put that in his baby book?" or " is his baby book up to date?" I don't know when and where she found the time to do ours but we have very clear and very full baby books and it's actually really nice to look at them even now as an adult. For some reason I can't help but comparing my children to myself. I thank my mom for taking the time to keep such memories of us because even now with Vashon only being 3 yrs old I can't remember things about him from the 1st year.


Vashon's baby book is pretty well filled out and the missing pcs have been photographed and put online with a short explanation as the caption. The things I failed to include are things that I probably wont forget, but I should sit down and fill it in. I notice myself going back to Vashon's book to see if Varen is bigger, longer, or has similar sleep habits as Vashon.

I have a baby book for Varen and as I sat down today to fill it out I noticed that it's not laid out like Vashon's baby book. Then I thought about it, I document everything else about my life online why not use this blog as a modern day baby book.


So here goes


Varen @ 1 month - December 21,2010


Weight - 6 lbs 14 oz : Height -19 1/4"


Sleeping Patterns - Sleeps all day, awake most of the night, but overall a good sleeper as long as someone is holding him

Eating Habits - Nurses on demand usually every 2 hrs , gets about 1-2 (2 oz) bottle of expressed breast milk a day with a vit D supplement in one of them.


New foods he likes - Just Breast milk



New discoveries - His fingers are always touching his face


New Milestones - Doing everything a 1 month old should be doing

Places baby went - To the Dr. office, to meet Santa and to Target. I'm not big on taking newbies out in public.

Anything else - It seems like my days fly by and before I know the day is over. I enjoy Varen but I am still trying to catch up from the holidays, the visitors and master breastfeeding. I still find time to snap photos of my baby as he grows but the 20 min long photo sessions that I used to have with Vashon are no more. lol. Varen also is a bit of a fussy baby only allowing brief moments where my hands are free. I love him so much and his lil cry is just so sad, I only get this time for a lil while so I'm going to enjoy holding him. But he loves to be held.

How is older brother? - Vashon still wants lil to do with Varen, but he is very protective over him. If anyone tries to take Varen out of the house Vashon will make it very clear that they may not take the baby anywhere. I am also trying hard to balance the time between the boys. Vashon is in the "helpful" stage (by helpful I mean always wanting to help, but making a bigger mess for me) so I try to let him help as much as possible but he always wants to help. But of course when I really need him to help me he doesn't want to.

Christmas 2010

With lil time to blog I thought I'd take this time to get the pics up from Christmas. Not much to say about this year we all had a great Christmas and all three of our boys were very blessed.




Vashon with his Christmas blessings



Varen with his Christmas blessings


Vayden with his Christmas blessing ( gone but never forgotten)












Monday, December 6, 2010

So How is Breasfeeding Going????

Months ago I wrote a post about my struggles with buying a breast pump and breastfeeding all together. I got wonderful support and encouragement about the idea but even days before delievery I contemplated saying "forget it all". It seemed like the closer I got to Varen being born the more I would think that maybe breastfeeding wasn't worth it. My goal went from 1 year to 6 months, then to 3 months and I even once said "if I could at least make it two weeks."


The Thursday before I went in to labor Van and I attended a breast feeding basics class and at the time both our spirits were lifted about the choice to breastfeed our baby. When I was asked if I had a birth plan all I said is I would like to breast feed and I would like skin to skin soon after he was born.




Varen didn't latch on until 12 hours after he was born, but once he did he was a pro at it. With the help of a great lactation support team and a supportive husband breastfeeding didn't seem all that bad. Until we realized that Varen wasn't just a little tired, he was lazy. He didn't wake up for his next feeding until 10 hours later despite my efforts to try to wake him. Breastfeeding Varen was becoming quite a chore. The lactation team at the hospital continued to support and encourage me and we began to use lactation aids and finger feeding little Varen. At one point even they suggested we supplement with a little formula. By the time we got home I was in charge of pumping while Van finger fed Varen with a small tube (I was unable to do it because of my finger nails). I was happy he was getting my milk, but my heart was broken that my own child was too tired to feed from his mother. I felt defeated and was even a little jealous of my husband. I now understand how some fathers feel, when the mother breastfeeds.



Here I was the person who once wanted to exclusively pump heartbroken that my baby wasn't breastfeeding. But my sweet Varen overcame, in fact he is the baby that I wanted him to be. He latches onto the breast and now takes bottles too. He does fine with the flip flop of bottle to breast and as long as he gets his food he really doesn't care.

Van got what he wanted, I got what I wanted and breastfeeding is an amazing thing. I can't believe I'm saying this but I LOVE IT. I've made it passed what most call "two weeks of hell" and if it only gets better from here then I could end up one of those women that breastfeeds until her child is 3 yrs old. Just Kidding. :)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Weather Man Called for a Rainbow - Birth Story

Once I made it to 36 weeks I was wondering when labor would start, each day I would wake up feeling just as normal as the last and assumed that for once I could possibly carry a baby to term. I must admit I was a little tired of being pregnant, I never had to go through the painful joys of pregnancy when you are running through the last few weeks, my body ached, my mind was out of whack and I was bored with being pregnant. Still afraid that I was not ready to have a baby just yet, I tried my best to take it easy and allow nature to take it's course without any additional help from me .

On Saturday (11/20) my family had a lazy day, we just hung out at the house watching TV and being lazy. While Van was down stairs watching a full day of college football, I decided to go upstairs to watch some movies. I joked with my husband when he saw what movies I was taking upstairs. Baby Mama, Knocked Up, and Fools Rush In. I said "maybe if I watch enough movies about babies being born this boy will come out."

It was about 11pm and I was watching Knocked Up for the 2nd time when I started having sharp pains down my right side, it was worse than any pain I felt and lasted for about 45 seconds. I felt about 3 of those before I forced myself up to walk downstairs to have Van start timing these "pains". I wasn't sure if they were real contractions but I was in pain. Van began the clock and the pains ranged from 4-6 min apart. I was in a bit of denial but knew that I probably should get ready..."just in case". I phoned my mom to tell her I thought I may be in labor and while we were talking I started to cry. I wasn't ready to be in labor, I wasn't ready to have my baby. I got myself together and went upstairs to put the finishing touches on my bag and take a shower. At the end of my shower the contractions moved further apart and were spaced between 10-15 min and they weren't very painful. Van asked if I wanted to go get checked I said no I'll just try to get some rest and maybe go in the morning. I didn't get any sleep that night, off and on the pains continued. It was 530am when I woke Van up and said maybe we should go get checked. We didn't want to inconvenience anyone for a false alarm so we woke Vashon up and took him with us, the contractions were not so bad that we wouldn't be able to get care for him in the event I was in active labor.

We got up and got ready and were at the hospital around 630am, they hooked me up to the monitor and came in to check me at around 730am I was 3 cm dilated. She said they were going to watch me for one more hour to see if I was worth admitting. I waited as my contractions seemed to slow down and thought I'd be going home but coming back in the next couple of days. The nurse came in at 845am to do another check and I had went from 3 to 6 in 1 hour. WOW!!!!

I was admitted and taken to a L&D room. On Wed at my apt, my midwife told me that I had to hold the baby in until Sunday, because she was going away from Thur - Sun. I thought to myself well he listened to her, I guess.


The on call midwife was the same midwife that worked on call the day after I had Vayden, she was also the one person that actually sat in my room and really talked to me after my loss. Most of the staff would be quick and short, but she came in to ask questions and she allowed me to laugh and cry with her, she also told me the story of her loss to ensure that I did not feel alone. Out of all the midwives she would have been my next choice.

The delivery was very different from my other two. I was dilated to 7 1/2 and still smiling as you see in the photo above, I probably could have gone all the way, but my water bag had not been broken yet and I was just too afraid to do it all natural. I never mentally prepared myself to go without and epidural, I went back and forth when they told me that if I wanted one I'd have to get it now otherwise it would be too late. I chose to get it and I think I kind of did wait too long because I felt EVERYTHING. lol.

They broke my bag and I progressed within the hour & was ready to start pushing. In the room it was the midwife, 1 nurse, my husband and myself. The lights were turned down low and the Cowboys game was on, the midwife said you can push whenever you feel like it. It was such a serene experience, aside from feeling LIKE EVERYTHING. I pushed for about 15-20 min and Varen Jacob Stewart was born on November 21,2010 at 1:57pm. A few min after he was born the Dallas Cowboys won and my die hard Dallas Cowboy fan husband was in a very happy place.

We wanted immediate skin to skin to help promote successful breastfeeding and that close mother baby bond. They wiped him off a lil, let Van cut the cord and put him on my chest. Then something that has never happened in any of my deliveries, they left the room. They just left us with our baby, the gave us time to bond. It was about 20 min before we even knew his birth weight. It was amazing, he was our baby and that made it very clear. We gave all the glory to God for bringing him into this world with a strong cry and peeing. He looked so tiny and and just like Vashon and Vayden. Varen weighed in at 6 lbs even the biggest baby I've ever had but still smaller than I expected.


This is a picture of our new family. I hesitate to say it's complete because we're always missing a special someone. We include him through photographs and Brother Bear, but this amazing photo would be 10x more amazing had the real Vayden been in the middle.



Varen is at home now. He was having some issues with being a lazy baby, he gave me quite a scare yesterday when I noticed he had no poop or pee diapers but was eating. I took him to the ER and they ran a series of test and ruled out that he was just a lazy baby and maybe needed some time. That night we got home, he gave out the biggest poop and pee diaper ever, he's starting to latch back on the breast but still a lil sleepy head. We had to finger feed him my expressed milk and even give him a few bottles of formula to supplement. He's doing a lot better with breastfeeding and I am pumping like a mad woman. I want to use as little formula as possible.
We are so blessed to have little Varen home and we are truly in love. Vashon doesn't like but doesn't dislike the baby. He will speak to him but he wont touch him. He wants nothing to do with him and he usually wont be in the same room with him. We are trying extra hard to make sure that Vashon is helping out, feels loved and not left out now that the baby is home. In fact every time Van leaves and comes back now Vashon asks "daddy what did you buy me?". Van has got him use to something we can't keep up, so the gifts are getting smaller and less frequent.
Emotionally I still have a huge kick of adrenaline and I am in business mode, I am determined to give him as much breast milk as possible, I am determined to keep order in my home and I don't want to fall behind on things or schedules. I'm more anal now than I've ever been. I've had a chance to cry over the loss of Vayden, cry over the overwhelming feeling of having two kids in the house and accept that my body will probably never be the one it was when I was 21 yrs old. But I'm pretty sure that once my boost falls I will be a mess and yet another blog post will come.
One thing that is very different from my other babies is I am not really ready for company. Of course I want to show off my beautiful baby but at the same time I want to feel settled into something before my house is flooded with guest wanting to see baby Varen.
I hope I will be able to keep up with blogging because it truly is therapy for me, but I know that 2 in the house is harder than 1 so we shall see.
Thank you for reading my birth story, Varen is a story of hope, and he is our testimony that God is good and all things work together for good those that love God. -

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I Made It To 35 Weeks

I'm 35 wks 2 days and still pregnant, this is somewhat of a milestone for me my last two pregnancies were ending around this time.



So what's going on with baby VJS3? I've been being closely monitored by u/s to check my fluid levels. They are still in the high normal range, but they are going down slowly with each u/s which is a good thing. I've been seen by two specialist who both agree that this issue is idiopathic and maybe he's just overcompensating for his older brothers lack of fluid.



He's still very active in there and I'm not helping much, I've developed a new love for eating ice and drinking ice cold water and that upsets him. But anytime I feel he's sleeping too long, I know how to wake him up and that comforts my emotions. I am getting so close and given my past history I could have him anytime or I could still have 4 or 5 weeks left, but either way I'm both excited and nervous.


We had a name picked for baby VJS3 and while my mom was in town I had her help paint my belly with all my boys names. The day after I took this photo with the name Varien under my belly button, Van came home to tell me he thought all day about his name and no longer likes it. He wants to go with my original name choice of Varen. I was in shock but the only thing I could think about was I had my belly painted and out of the 50 pics I took I got this one perfect shot. grrr. I asked a friend to photo shop it for me and she removed the name completely. As of now I really don't trust Van so we're going to stick to the original plan of calling this baby VJS3 or Bean until he's born and then his final name will be reveled. (photo taken at 35 wks)

I really wish people would stop thinking that having all boys is a death sentence. Today at Wal Mart getting some last minute baby items a lady with a baby boy walked by and took to how cute Vashon was singing Christmas songs. So of course she noticed I was pregnant and said "is he getting a lil sister?" I said "no, a little brother" she says (keep in mind she has a baby boy) "oh that's horrible, baby girls are so special" I say "maybe, but baby boys are sooooo fun" I think then she realized that she had a baby boy and looked at him and said "boys are good too, mommy loves you" umm yea sure. She's clearly still unhappy with the choice that God made for her. I need a really good snappy come back to the many people who will say rude things like that, or ask me if I'm gonna try again for a girl. Any suggestions?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Dipe N Wipe Party (Baby Shower)

Yesterday was our baby shower which was actually a diaper and wipe party. A few friends asked to throw me a shower for this baby, but I only said yes to one of them. Not because I didn't want multiple showers but this is probably our last baby and last shower and I wanted it to be very special. I knew she would work with me to host the party rather than come up with all the ideas. Call me tacky but I played a major role in throwing this party and it was the best shower, I got what I wanted, which was to bring my close friends together and celebrate this pregnancy for what it truly is our rainbow after a storm..........
(The theme of our party)
Each guest was hand picked to attend the shower based on the support they offered us through our journey with Vayden. Some knew me before Vayden was even thought of and others I met during or after Vayden, but in some way each and every one of those people played an important role in my healing process. They are special to me and they know how special VJS3 is to our family.


(The party favors with the description of what a rainbow baby is)
I asked everyone to wear blue, it's not often that you role the dice 3 times and get the same gender. Having 3 boys is not a curse or a bad thing, it's a blessing. God knows what is perfect for our family and that is what he's blessed us with. Van's shirt says "Dad of 3", Vashon's shirt says " Big Brother" and I even bought a shirt for Brother Bear that says "Middle Brother".

(The Stewart Family 2010)


(My Boys)

Oh did I tell you? My mom flew out for my shower. It was amazing to have her celebrate this time with us and she really made it complete.


(Brother Bear chillin by the gift table)
I am extremely blessed and I have great friends out here in OKC, I was so happy with the way my shower turned out that I would almost consider having another baby. lol Just Kidding. Special thank you to Victoria my host for putting up with my Momzilla mentality,lol I wasn't that bad.





Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween 2010 with the Stewart Family

We are not BIG on Halloween,but we do think that it can be a fun day. As Vashon gets older and understands more I get excited about his involvement and excitement. This year he was super excited to visit the pumpkin patch, but when it came to carving the pumpkins he let V$ and I do all the work.
As much as we aren't Halloween ppl, we do try to do either a family costume theme or find a super cute costume for Vashon. Since we didn't agree on dressing up as a family, I was ready to just let Vashon pick his own costume this year. When I took him to the store we got into a HUGE argument because he wanted to be an adult white and pink unicorn. As I tried hard to show him costumes in his size and gender he went off on me. I was done and we left the store. A few days later I stumbled upon a DJ Lance Rock costume (the guy from Yo Gabba Gabba) online. I showed Vashon the costume and he said he wanted to be him. I was thrilled because it was so cute. When the costume came he told me he didn't like it, didn't want to try it on and didn't want to go Halloween.

The weeks passed as Halloween got closer and Vashon showed no signs of caring about dressing up. Since it's lands on a Sunday our church and the base chose to celebrate it today and about 30 min before go time we tried to get Vashon dressed in his costume. He refused! and REFUSED! and REFUSED! finally I showed him how trick or treating went, because he LOVES candy, and his daddy told him you can't do that if you don't wear the costume. He agreed and sadly put on his costume, but once it was all on we made a big deal about how awesome he looked and gave him a lolly pop. :)

Vashon and DJ LANCE ROCK


I said I wasn't going to dress up, but at the last minute and I mean last minute, I found myself online looking up cheap easy costumes for pregnant women. I at first wanted to be "an old lady that swallowed a fly" but I'm a horrible artist and couldn't paint all the many animals on my belly that she swallowed.
I was ready to just say forget, at least our boy would be a hit, and then I remembered that I had two yo gabba gabba iron on transfers downstairs. So I quickly found and old shirt and ironed on the characters at belly level. Above it I wrote "Party in my tummy" one of their songs.

I was surprised the ppl noticed my shirt and it was a great hit, especially when I stood next to Vashon.


You know we'd never forget about Vayden, but so wish he would have been with us to trick or treat.


Vashon and his daddy, I really wanted V$ to dress up like the big version of DJ Lance Rock, but the costume was over $50.00 and we really didn't feel it was worth it.


We had a great time and Vashon was a very polite trick or treating, saying "thanks" or "thank you" to everyone that gave him candy and not asking for more than what was given to him. I was so proud of him for not only putting the outfit on but keeping the hat and glasses on the entire night. He usually hates hats and it really made the costume. We didn't see any other DJ Lance Rock costumes and Vashon was surely a hit at the places we went to. Truly a one of kind costume, made perfect for him.
We got home and Vashon asked to have candy and take off his costume, while V$ checked his candy I got him undressed but about 45 min later he asked to put the whole costume back on. :)






Tuesday, October 19, 2010

32 week pregnancy update

This week I decided I will do a video log to update you on my 32nd wk of pregnancy. Sorry I'm still new to video blogging. lol.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The 31 Week Bellies

I didn't take very many belly pictures while pregnant with Vashon, but I did manage to find photographs of each of my pregnancies at 31 weeks. So lets see how the bellies progress from baby to baby.





31 weeks pregnant with Vashon Jordan




31 weeks pregnant with Vayden James

(no amniotic fluid at this time)



31 weeks pregnant with VJS3

(too much amniotic fluid)


So I think we all can agree that the 3rd pregnancy has definitely caused some changes, I mean aside from the belly look at the boobies I'm rocking this time around compared to with Vashon. 3 bellies all taken at 31 wks pregnant 3 boys.

Reality Check - Sad Story - Strong Msg

I follow many blogs, with the exception of a few very close people the bulk of my blog list used to be infant loss families. When I started this blog I also started following other blogs that didn't always end with infant loss. I don't know how I stumbled upon this blog but I became a follower of this new mom with a beautiful baby boy. I'm sad to say that on Tues her sweet lil boy passed away at 4 1/2 mo old. I couldn't believe it when I read it, I don't know this mother personally and even through blogging we aren't close, but my heart aches for her and what she is dealing with right now.

As I went through her blog trying to find out if he was sick of anything like that, I noticed that she took so many pictures of her sweet baby. It seems like she posted a new pic of him every other day, most of the time without any text, just these super cute pictures of a very happy baby. As hard as this loss is for her right now I know that in the future she will look back and be so grateful for the many pictures she took of her sweet baby boy. In just 4 1/2 months I bet she has over 1,000 pictures, she also has some great video feed and all of these things are going to provide her lasting comfort and memories of her angel.

I've always been a big picture taker, everyone always "sighs" when I make them wait until I get my camera, all I say is " I'm capturing the memories". Every time someone has their 1st child I always say to them "take lots of pictures of anything and everything", but for some reason I've noticed with most when their 2nd and 3rd comes along the picture taking comes to almost a complete stop. I don't know how many years I'm going to have with my family, but I do know one thing, when it's their time or even when it's my time, I want a million pictures to provide lasting memories.

People have asked me why I have so many FB albums? or why I take so many pictures? But after seeing the amount of pictures she took of her lil one just sitting on the couch, I realized that maybe I don't take enough. I have lots of pictures that I don't post but I could always take more.

I can only imagine that having two in the house will be hard and very time consuming. I probably wont blog as often and may not make multiple fb post each day. But I'm going to do everything in my power to keep my camera close and keep that battery charged. I'm going to take more pictures of Vashon, VJS3 and Van, I'm going to take more video feed of the little things my kids do like laughing or dancing. I'm going to capture every moment and memory.

I hate that it took a loss like this to realize that time is precious and sometimes short. My heart really hurts for this family and every time someone experiences a loss it really makes me think.

What Have I Been Up To?

Ok, so I guess I've been away for a little while. I haven't really been updating on FB that much either, so all in a nutshell here goes.......


On the 6th I went to have an u/s because my midwife said I was measuring a week ahead, even though they have always had my due date set one week behind what I know is correct. I know due dates are not an exact science but I knew my LMP, I knew the dates of baby dancing and I knew that the due date that they gave me was most likely not possible. But who's going to pass up another u/s?

Baby at 30 wks (they say 29) weighed about 3 lbs 4 oz and looks great. Still very much a boy and seems to have my nose and lips. He likes to sit with his legs stretched out and ankles crossed which is why I'm always so uncomfortable.

Dr. R comes in and tells me that I have a slightly increased amount of amniotic fluid. My heart didn't sink but it did skip a beat or two, he goes on to say that he doesn't think it's anything serious but they want to watch me more closely from now on. I kind of feel like they handle me a little, they know me well and they know all I went through with Vayden I just feel like sometimes they may protect me more than other patients. I left a little blind sided and didn't ask the proper questions before leaving the office. Needless to say I went home and got on google and that is when I freaked out. I read about all the possible causes for elevated fluid and drove myself so nuts I didn't sleep that night. When I woke up I called my midwife to let her know I was freaked out but wanted more information on my u/s. She told me that my fluid levels were high but they were high normal, normal fluid ranges from 5-25 my fluid was at 24.8. She also told me that it fluctuates often and in two weeks it could be back at a mid normal level, they are going to continue to watch me closer and they want me to take the 1 hr Gluco Tolerance Test again to see if I've developed gestational diabetes later than most. I'm grateful for the caring staff and I guess grateful that they all felt I was 29 wks calling for them to issue another u/s, otherwise we'd never know this.


So as of right now I don't know much, I'm up to bi weekly apts now and will be having another u/s to see our boy on the 20th.
I've also been busy tying up the loose ends of My Very Own Angel, when I started this foundation I suppose I didn't consider that I was going to have another child and what would have been Vayden's room or a baby room turned into my home office and inventory station. That room was filled with teddy bears, t-shirts and comfort pack supplies. I've been working on a new t-shirt design after putting all my in stock shirts on sale at a low clearance rate. I've had a strong creative block and that design is still being worked out, but I've decided that before I bite off more than I can chew I'm going to put a hold on t-shirt sales and only do what is manageable with a new baby and a 3 yr old. Once I get into the swing of life with two at home I will re open the angel store. I still plan to send out CTT comfort packs and do teddy bear donations, in fact I just dropped off another donation of bears to OU Children's about 2 weeks ago.






On sat Oct 9th I went to the annual walk to remember that the hospital does every year. I wrote all about it on Vayden's blog so you can stop by there to see more pics and read how everything went. http://vaydenjamesstewart.blogspot.com/





Where was V$? He was away on a TDY and although he was supposed to be back before the walk, that's the AF for you and he didn't make it. I was blessed to have two wonderful friends attend and walk in his place to remember Vayden.
Vashon, what can't I say about Vashon? lol. He's getting to be such a cute big boy and he's learning how to push my buttons beyond belief. How can something so cute be so mean sometimes? He's getting smarter everyday and it's amazing, honestly amazing to see your child say new things and do new things. The child you once had to do everything for can now do so much on his own. It's a true blessing. That being said the more they talk, the more they talk back. Vashon seems to think we're on the same level and he's become quite bossy with me and his father, don't worry we're quick to put him in his place, but that doesn't mean he doesn't still try. We're trying really hard to get him ready for baby, so unlike the first few months of my pregnancy where we wanted to spend as much quality time with him and take him everywhere, we're now down playing that and trying to get him adjusted to playing on his own because when the baby comes we're going to be busy.
We're also trying to get him to use his inside voice, not run, jump, or throw things in the house. In return we're trying to remember that he's only 3 and that in most cases the "bad" things he does are not intentional. So for first offense things like hmm yesterday when he took his sidewalk chalk and wrote on the carpet, I didn't get upset. I let him know that what he did was wrong and I asked him to help me clean it. We don't want him to associate his new baby brother with getting in trouble for every little thing, but trust me it's hard.
About a week ago we moved our dinning room table into the dinning area of our living room and turned our dinning room into a playroom for the boys. This room is full of arts n crafts, toys and even has a tv in it. I was so tired of always seeing toys and crayons in my living room, I was tired of always having to watch Dora. Sometimes I like to sit with the tv off and read a book without Vashon throwing things all around me. I have banned all toys from the living room and my bedroom. Of course Vashon doesn't follow those rules but we're working on it and I hope that within 2 months he will understand that he has two rooms in this house that basically belong to him. Wow kids today!



So that's what is going on in my life in a nutshell. I'm 31 weeks now and I could have anywhere from 4-6 weeks left in the pregnancy or I could actually go to 40 wks, who knows. I'm shooting to make it to at least 37 wks, because if I follow in the footsteps of my last two boys 35 weeks in when they demand out.




Thursday, September 30, 2010

Think About It ~ Thursday

I love Craigslist, you can actually sell and buy some great stuff on there. I mostly use craigslist for outdoor play items for Vashon and some of those expensive baby toys that make sound, light up, and are highly overpriced when they only get used for a few months. But I draw the line at some things I will buy and most of the things I will sell.

Over this past week I spent some time on the site and some of the things that people put up for sale really made me say "C'mon now ppl think about it". Here are some of the REAL listings I've seen in the past week.


Used Sippy Cups for $7.50 - 1st of all why the .50cents? Really? 2nd USED sippy cups! I understand that you were basically selling them at under $1 a pc but I personally draw the line when I'm going to buy used sippy cups or baby bottles. Sorry.

Toddler 3T spiderman underwear, USED but in very good condition no stains or holes - $5.00 - Ick!!! are you kidding me. When you grow out of your underwear do you look at them and say well they are in good condition still so I'll just sell them online? umm no throw those things away and please don't put them for sale on craigslist. C'mon ppl think about it.....

Used Electric Breast Pump, I paid $300.00 for it, but I'm selling it for $275.00 - First of all it's frowned upon to buy used breast pumps, but to each is own. I've read about many women buying used and getting new tubes and stuff so basically all they buy is the unit used. But if you're going to sell your used breast pump for only $25.00 less than you paid for it new, umm you have something that you need to think about......

Used Crayons and Coloring books -20 coloring books slightly used and about 150 crayons - $3.00 - Yea it's a good deal, but slightly used? What does that mean when it comes to coloring books. The way I see it is you can go to wal mart and get a box of crayons for .25 cents brand new. Does the $3.00 really mean that much to you? You'd do better just donating this to a children's church class or daycare.


All I'm saying is there are things that are honestly worth the sell and there are things that you just need to chop up as a loss and say "I enjoyed it when I had it and now it's time to go". So the next time you're going to post something for sale on craigslist, really think about.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Verdict on the Stessful Breast

So a few days ago I posted how stressed out I was about which pump was best for me. I was a little stressed about breastfeeding in itself but my heart is in that and I really am determined to breastfeed. My worries centered around my unrealistic views of breastfeeding and breastfed babies along with which pump was right for me. I got a wonderful out pour of support from comments to messages on fb and some personal emails. It was encouraging to see that so many of you breastfed your babies like it was just something you had to do. It makes a world of a difference when you have a choice and when you don't. So that is my first approach, although I am not going to jump off the ledge if this doesn't work. I'm going in with the mindset that breastfeeding is my goal and like women that refuse pain reliving drugs during L&D I plan to treat formula the same. (I know that there are exceptions to the rules, and if all else fails then we will supplement, but that is if I somehow fall into the rare group of breastfeeding horror stories).

Yesterday when I got home there was box on my door step that said Medela, my breast pump finally came in. Today I took it back to the store for a full refund.

After reading review, after review, on so many different pumps I came to the conclusion that the $57.00 that I saved buying this pump on sale was not worth it, if it turned out that I didn't like the pump or need a pump of that magnitude. I realized that there were many options out there for me, like using a pump at the hospital, or renting a pump. I also came to the conclusion that pumping probably shouldn't be my main focus in the first few weeks, but if I did REALLY need a pump the store was not far. I need to mentally prepare myself for what everyone calls 2 weeks of Hell. Even the best breast feeders said that the first 2 weeks are a little funky and often that's when many mothers give up.

I just have a few questions, which I'm sure I'll ask while I'm in the hospital. I understand that colostrum is very thick and very filling for a new baby, but I've read of a few women that didn't get their milk in for like 5 days after delivery. What happens if I'm home & my baby is clearly hungry and my milk hasn't come in? I ask this because my husband can't stand to hear babies cry and I can only imagine what type of argument we'll have when he's reaching for a bottle insisting that I'm starving the baby and I'm crying about nipple confusion and the baby never taking my breast again. So please if this happened to you, tell me what to do.


I know it seems like I'm leaping so far ahead, but he's a man, and there are some things he just really doesn't understand. He's also in the military so he thinks very straight forward, if the baby is hungry then feed it, if you have no milk than buy some. I try to think about what he may think before hand so that I can be prepared to explain to him what's right and wrong.

So in regards to the pump, I'm happy with the decision I made, and even if it turns out that I will want or need that exact pump after baby VJS3 is born at least i'll know for sure vs the waiting and wondering.

Thanks again for all the wonderful support.

Think About It ~ Thursday

The other day I was talking to a friend who doesn't have children yet, but she's planning to have some very soon. It was so funny to hear her say things like "my child would never do that", or "I don't understand why parents allow their kids to act, say or wear that".


Vashon has now become somewhat vocal about his wardrobe. I am the parent that looks at a kid wearing snow boots, jean shorts and a pajama top in Wal-Mart and thinks....."what the H&*% is wrong with his parents and why did they let him go out like that". Vashon and I currently have a battle of the crocs going on. Everyday no matter what he's wearing he wants to wear these blue crocs. I've grown to hate the shoes I once loved so much. On Saturday we went back and forth over the crocs not matching his clothes for 20 min (tears were included) when finally I said "fine, we're just going to Wal-Mart, put the crocs on". Of course he was happy and that made his day and I was disappointed that I became one of the parents that I talk about.

So if you are not yet a parent think about not setting your hopes too high with the "my child will NEVER" because although some things are worth the fight, in the case of the crocs I had to learn to pick my battles.

If you're already a parent think about all the "my child will NEVER" things you said before you had kids.

*funny huh?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Stress Over The Breast

I have to reach out to my readers because I'm stressing myself out far too much about this. I never thought the most stressful part of my pregnancy would be used on breastfeeding. (So if you know anyone who is an old pro can you pass this blog along to them, I'll welcome all the help I can get.)

I have overloaded my brain with all things breastfeeding. From regular old fashion breastfeeding, to exclusively pumping. My hopes were set very high or shall I say I was wishful thinking about this whole thing, but was soon brought down to reality and now, once again I've confused myself into a stressful battle over my choice to breast feed baby VJS3.

Vashon was not breastfed at all. I was young, dumb and never really thought about it while pregnant. I thought I'd try it in the hospital and if it didn't work.....then hand me the enfamil. Of course that lack of preparation made it very unsuccessful and I quit before I got started. I had bigger plans for Vayden, but God's plans were bigger so breastfeeding once again was not on my mind.

Third times the charm and I really want to breastfeed baby VJS3, but the more and more I educate myself the more and more I freak myself out.





Here WERE some of my wants and don't wants about breastfeeding. (most are unrealistic, I'm seeing this now)
I want my baby to have my milk, but didn't really care how he got it. Breast or bottle
I want to save money, the cost of formula is CRAZY
I did not want to have a baby attached to my boob 24/7, making it impossible for me to go anywhere or do anything
I want a baby that will take the breast but also take the bottle, so that daddy would have a chance to feed him, and I would have a chance to sleep.
I am aware that it is painful for the 1st few weeks and willing to push through
I don't want him to be totally dependent on me. I have a friend that breastfeeds her baby and the lil girl will hold off on eating (pumped milk from a bottle) until her mom gets home to breastfeed her.
I was hoping to breastfeed and pump for about 7-8 months and store up enough milk in my deep freezer to last me until he was a yr old.


I read great reviews about the Medela Pump in Style double electric breast pump, too bad I made up my mind about pretty much exclusively breastfeeding before I actually read about exclusively breastfeeding. Although this pump is heaven sent to these women most of them hate being constantly attached to a machine and would prefer to just have baby on the breast. So then I got the bright idea that I would breastfeed when I wanted to and pump and (bottle feed) when I wanted to. Umm yea that was shot down pretty quick as I've never heard about nipple confusion, supply and demand, and pumping at night even while the baby is sleep.





Still wishful thinking I begged V$ to buy me this expensive pump. We went back and forth about it and I had my mind made up, that this was the best pump for me. After a few days of tears, he finally agreed and I ordered this pump on sale from target.com. I saved $57.00 and was pretty proud of myself. With a 90day return policy and only 98 days left in my pregnancy from order date, I was confident that I made a good buy, but would continue to research and if it wasn't the right pump we could take it back.

I don't even have the pump yet and I'm already talking about returning it. I talked to a friend who is PRO breastfeeding and she basically told me that my hopes were set pretty high in regards to the exclusively pumping with a little bit of baby to breast mixed in. She gave me a small slap in reality and of course freaked me out and got me all worried. But when I asked if I should keep this BIG expensive pump she didn't know what to tell me because she only ever used a pump once with her kids and it was a cheap Manuel.


So I talked to a friend who has 3 under 3 and is going strong breastfeeding her youngest for 8 months now. The longest she's ever gone and she's loving it. I can't imagine how she can even breastfeed with 3 under 3 a teenager and she's in school, but she does it and I figured she'd be my best encouragement. She scared the CRAP out of me, telling me the hard, rough and painful truth with a little added sweetener at the end. I asked her if I should keep the pump and she said yes, but she uses a manual pump. hmmm

I've read great reviews on this pump also by Medela - Harmony it's a manual pump intended for occasional use. This pump is way cheaper and probably fits my needs but pretty much crushes my dreams of storing up enough milk by 7-8 months. I'm ok with that now as I've learned that beast feeding is a daily choice, so aiming for a year although great may be pushing the goal and experience.


Or I could try this one the Medela Single Deluxe Battery/Electric Pump which I've read pretty good reviews on and is cheaper than the double but a little less work than the hand pump.



Here ARE some of my new wants and don't wants in regards to breastfeeding (Some may still be unrealistic)


I want my baby to have my milk for as long as possible

I want to save money.....the cost of formula is CRAZY

I still want a baby that will take a bottle and the breast allowing others to help with feedings, but I'm afraid of what they call nipple confusion.

I want to pump milk, but don't want to be hooked up to a pump every 2-3 hrs

I want a baby not totally dependent on me and my breast.

I'm still aware of the pain and discomfort and I'm still willing to push through it.

I still want to store milk, but maybe in small quantities.

Although, not my first choice I will not beat myself up if breastfeeeding just is not for me.

I want to take a breastfeeding basics class before and after I give birth.



So I come to you guys to help me chose the best pump for me and my needs and wants. We have no plans of having anymore children so whatever we get will not have a chance to be reused. I also come to you guys for advice, words of encouragement, and a few slaps of cold hard truth. Everyone needs some every now and then.




Thanks






Thursday, September 16, 2010

Think About It ~ Thursday

Forgive me if I don't keep up with this but I will try. It's just some quick things I wish people would actually think about. Some will be serious, while some will be funny. - Enjoy


This week I wish people would think about the cute little travel sections that most stores have now days. With winter just around the corner and every ones allergies on overdrive, I've been out and seen way too many gross fluids freely fly out of the mouths and noses of people. ugh


So the next time your snotty, sneezing kid is touching all the toys and candy at Target, think about at least bringing some tissue to catch it. The whole allergy bit, I totally understand. I live in Oklahoma, but even though it may not be contagious, bodily fluids are gross, so think about it....and carry travel tissue and sanitizer at all times.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Pregnancy Update 27 weeks

How far along? 27 weeks


Total weight gain/loss: I actually lost a lb since my last OB apt. I was wrong by 2 lbs on my last update guessing I was up 18 total but it was actually 20, so now that I've lost a lb. My total weight gain thus far is 19 lbs. (don't know how on earth I lost a lb. lol)


Maternity clothes? Yea I guess you could say that.


Stretch marks? None that are new


Food Cravings? I have a major sweet tooth still, but nothing specific


Food Aversions? None


Best moment this week? IDK if this was the best, but it was really funny and made my day. I was at the grocery store picking up some stuff. I paid at one of those self check out stations. The guy who watches over all of them came over to me and said " miss, are you gonna pay for that watermelon?" We both laughed it was cute to me. :)






Any Worries or Fears? I've been really worried about breastfeeding for some reason. Vashon was not breastfed at all, and I really want to breastfeed this baby, but I'm so freaked out about it. I will be speaking with a lactation consultant at the birth center where I plan to deliver.


What I Miss? Sleeping, walking normal, not peeing on myself every time I laugh, cough, or sneeze. I miss being able to keep up with Vashon.


What I Look Forward To? Having this baby. My hips hurt so bad


Movement: I'm getting to know his movement patterns. He has the hiccups often, but is a rockin it out night owl. He sleeps most of the day and is up all night....which is why I miss sleep so much.


Gender: BOY!!!! haven't had a 2nd u/s to double check, but the first one was very clear.


Labor Signs: Nope


Weekly Wisdom: None this week



Milestones: I'm in my 3rd trimester......Welcome to the HOME STRETCH.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Everyday....

Everyday I wake up and tell myself I'm going to be a better mommy than the day before. I tell myself things like "you got a full nights sleep, you're going to go have a wonderful breakfast and plan a full day of activities for your son". But...........



I assume that everyday Vashon wakes up and says to himself......."how can I push mommy's button today?"


Everyday me and Vashon seem to get into some type of battle with each other. Everyday he asks me the same 3 questions 50 times, and everyday I answer him. Everyday he says he's not going to take a nap, or wont eat what I've given him and everyday I tell him that he is not the parent and I'm in charge. Everyday I ask him to clean up his toys and everyday he acts like he doesn't know how to. At least once everyday I find myself in my room counting to 10 and some days to 20. Then everyday he tells me he loves me and seems to forgive me for yelling or walking away from him.


V$ and I were watching The Back Up Plan last night, and there was scene where a father to be asked a father of 3 about being a parent, his response had me and V$ laughing for a few mins. He said " It's awful, awful, awful, awful, awful, and then in a moment something happens and it makes it all worth it, then it's awful, awful, awful, awful, then another moment happens to make it all worth it again...."


I hate to say it, but he speaks the truth. If given the choice to trade Vashon and have no moral backlash, I still wouldn't do it. I love him so much, but no one ever told me how hard it was to be a parent.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

All The Family

We were able to teach Vashon the members of his family by drawing stick ppl a few months ago. When he got it down I took out individual pictures of us and tested him, he got everyone right except we used to refer to Vayden as "baby brother" now that we know he's going to have another baby brother on the way, we wanted to stop all confusion. It's so cute to hear him say all his family.


video

He usually says Daddy, Mommy, Mommy belly, Dashon and Bayden. :) This time he left out the mommy belly.

*stick ppl drawn by me, I'm not the best artist*

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

24 Weeks - Pregnancy Update

How far along? 24 weeks - YAY!!! If anything happens now I can actually go to Labor and Delivery vs going to the ER. I feel that when you're pregnant and you go to the ER they take care of you the patient but not you and the baby.


Total weight gain/loss: OMG!!! I gained about 7 lbs in the 2 wks I was in Cali, just eating all the wonderful foods I've missed, lol. I don't have an official count but I'm almost sure that I'm total up 18 lbs :)


Maternity clothes? Yes, V$ actually made me go buy clothes, he said he refused to let me walk around like a person from People of Wal Mart. lol I was so upset about it, I went looking high and low for as many bargains I could find.


Stretch marks? Still the same only the ones left over from the 1st two, but I feel them coming.


Best moment this week? See Food aversions


Movement: Oh Yes!!! This lil guy is very active, which worries me because I really thought I would maybe get a calm child, but I'm pretty sure that was Vayden...can you imagine me having 2 Vashon's. Oh Gosh lol


Food cravings: I think the crazy week long food cravings are finally over. It was nice while it lasted.


Food aversions: I actually have none. I am now eating all of the things that I used to hate. Even chicken. I'm happy about this because I can finally give my baby some of the good stuff that he needs. For a while he was living off Cream of Wheat, Oatmeal, and fruit.


Gender: Male - There are still a bunch of ppl that think that we are actually having a girl and we are playing the ultimate practical joke on everyone. That is not the case, as it stands this baby is a boy and I'm still taking beautiful photographs.


Labor Signs: I think I've had a few braxton hicks but I still really can't tell the difference between those and gas. I'm pretty sure that once again I'm not going to know I'm in labor, I'm just going to think it's gas. lol



Photo of my belly at 24 wks




Belly Button in or out? Out and smooth, it's almost like I have no belly button.


What I miss: Sleeping normal, and moving quickly. I really can't remember my pregnancy in full detail with Vashon and with Vayden I didn't have fluid so I just feel very very heavy with this baby.


What I am looking forward to: I love being pregnant and I'm kinda sad that this is going by so fast, but I'm looking forward to when Vashon actually has someone to play with. So if I could just hold him in, until he's about 9 months or so that would be really nice. lol


Emotions: Not an emotional mess, but not as hard up as I was early in this pregnancy


Weekly Wisdom: STOP WORRYING ABOUT WEIGHT GAIN!!!!!! I'm on mommy chat group online and I really am so sick and tired of the multiple post about weight gain. So far I've gained more than I did with both Vashon and Vayden...guess what I don't care! I lost 20 lbs shortly before getting pregnant this time around and I finally figured out what worked for me and was within reason considering I had a child, a foundation, and a husband to take care of. Whatever I gain I will lose and then some and if I don't, well......I've had 3 kids in 3 yrs.

The way I look at this is simple, I gained 18 lbs total each time with both Vashon and Vayden, by 6 weeks post partum I had lost 12 lbs doing nothing (not even breastfeeding). That left me with 6 lbs to lose. My pre pregnancy clothes fit and I felt I looked great, 6 lbs is hard to notice, so I never changed anything. As the months would go on and my eating habits didn't adjust I would start to pack on the lbs. By the time Christmas came around after having Vayden ( 7 months post partum) I was weighing more than I did on the day I delivered him. The weight snuck up on me. So if I at 6 weeks post parturm had maybe 10 lbs to lose, I would have been more motivated to stay on track. This is the last time I can say "but I'm pregnant" when I eat 4 cookies instead of 2, so when I want 4 four cookies I eat 4 cookies. I don't over indulge but I do treat myself far and beyond the treats I had when I was "watching my weight". So really I am so annoyed at the complaints about weight gain, you will lose it and look hotter than ever.


Milestones

Your baby's growing steadily, having gained about 4 ounces since last week. That puts him at just over a pound. Since he's almost a foot long (picture an ear of corn), he cuts a pretty lean figure at this point, but his body is filling out proportionally and he'll soon start to plump up. His brain is also growing quickly now, and his taste buds are continuing to develop. His lungs are developing "branches" of the respiratory "tree" as well as cells that produce surfactant, a substance that will help his air sacs inflate once he hits the outside world. His skin is still thin and translucent, but that will start to change soon.


Anything else to share - V$ and I are somewhat at odds on naming this lil guy. In my mind his name is Varien Jeremiah, but still nothing is set in deep stone. oh I wish he could have a real name. I'm giving V$ a deadline of 28 wks to agree on the name I picked or come up with something other than Vamarion Jebediah. So we shall see. (and yes the middle name that he came up with is JeBEDiah. yea I know)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

FuN iN CaLi

So me and Vashon took a trip to Cali for 2 weeks to see my family and enjoy the nice weather. This is more than likely our last trip to Ca before the new baby comes so I wanted to make the most out of our entire trip. Family has always been very important to me, but after moving away from them I've realized just how IMPORTANT family really is. I try to make it a point to see some of the key members of my family when I visit. It's also very important that my children know their extended family and know them well. I have lots of pics but I'll share a few of my favs.............



We flew into Las Vegas, NV for a day to visit some of the Vegas family members my mom picked us up from the airport.









Ok this soda machine was so freakin cool at a restaurant in Cali called BEX. The soda machine was digital and had a touch screen. I totally looked like I was from the country taking pics of this but it was really something I've never seen.

We had a great time seeing friends and family




Vashon and his cousin Jasmine at the baseball game in CA & dinner with some old HS and work buddys





Vashon is so blessed to have both sets of his great grandparents in his life. To me this photo is priceless





Me and My bestie Monet @ the ballpark










Vashon and his great aunt in NV & with his cousin S in Cali






Having a lovely convo with his great grandmother. lol







The Food was AMAZING
I honestly gained about 7 lbs in just the two wks that I was down there. Something I can't help but do is eat whenever I go to Cali. There are many things I can't get in OKC and I take full advantage of it when I go visit. Yes food is that important to me. lol
A list of the places I ate at
In N Out Burger (twice)
Chipotle (twice)
Del Taco
Grandma Hazel's house (you can't get this food unless your family)
My moms cooking (same rules as above)
Queens ( amazing pastrami sandwich)
Krispy Kreme Doughnuts
Coldstones Ice Cream


This is a pastrami sandwich, something I'm not able to find in OK. A REAL pastrami sandwich. It's greasy and meaty and Oh My Gosh so GOOD.

Yummy!!!!
So my mom wanted to keep us busy like every single day, but it was worth it. I guess.....lol
At the La Brea Tar Pits









You should be PROUD I let Vashon run across the field at the baseball game with his cousin Jasmine. I must admit I was freaking out the whole time there were so many kids and I just couldn't help but think about Vashon getting trampled. But he had a good time and I was so PROUD of him.





Vashon running across the baseball field with cousin J







Here we are with the mascot - Stealth.











My trip was amazing and I had a great time, I was happy to get back to "my home" and V$ of course but at the same time sad to leave. Something about going back to Cali always makes me so happy and carefree about things. Something about being at home with your parents makes you feel like a child again.


An updated photo of my Family. Dad, Mom, older brother Terron and Me.