Happy three months into the New Year everyone! I hope 2017 has been good to all of you so far! I have been meaning to write an update for months but somehow the holidays and travel and family visiting got in the way and this blog once again got pushed to the back burner.
Since my last post, so many things have happened with this pregnancy and with our miracle toddler too. I apologize in advance for this is kind of a long update…
Update About Our Miracle Toddler
Little man is now two! Daily life with him is such a blast. He’s so much fun and is such a little goofball. He’s also very much a two year old now and there are definitely a lot of new challenges these days, but for the most part his temper tantrums are very short-lived and are usually resolved with a redirect. When that fails I sit him down and ask him if he’s mad or frustrated. And of course he says yes and then I ask him if he needs a hug and he will usually say yes and then he calms down. Some days nothing works and we ride the storm, but this is life with a toddler and we accept that.
In terms of growth and development, he’s still at the top of the charts for height and around 85th for weight. I actually have people asking me why he’s not in school yet and they’re shocked when I tell them that he only just turned two. Developmentally, he’s really doing well too. There isn’t’ much this kid can’t do physically. He’s constantly climbing on everything and running around everywhere, and getting into all kinds of mischief. For the most part it’s all good fun, but we did have one incident where he was racing around and fell that was pretty scary. It happened just after Thanksgiving and a couple weeks before his birthday. We had been traveling all over for the holiday and had just arrived at my in-laws house in Wheaton, IL late on November 28th after a long car ride from Buffalo, NY and my father in-law and brother in-law were downstairs with the kids (Archer and his cousins), and I was upstairs with my sister in-law and mother in-law getting the kids’ beds ready, when I heard Archer screaming and crying. I flew down the stairs and found him in my brother in-law’s arms and blood was gushing from his head. He had apparently been running around and tripped on a rug and hit his head on the coffee table. So after driving for 10 hours, we had to get back in the car and drive to the hospital. It was such a long day and night. After a short exam, the doctor told us the cut was really deep and little man had to get 5 stitches. It was the second hardest day of my life so far with this little guy. Watching them have to strap him down so he wouldn’t move and hear his screams and cries as they gave him the stitches was the worst thing ever. I honestly wonder if the lidocaine worked properly or maybe they didn’t give it enough time to properly numb him because every time the needle punctured his skin, he screamed and cried out. Thankfully, the whole process didn’t take too long and he only needed to keep the stitches in for 5 days so we were able to get them out before we flew back home and for all the hell he went through that night, he was back to his normal self by the next morning.
Back to his development…
We were a little worried about his speech. He had a lot of words by his second birthday but he really didn’t like to use them other than his top 10 favorites. But it seems like age 2 was the magic number for him because from his birthday on, he’s been talking up a storm and using so many words now and new ones every day, so that’s a huge relief! Now the newest big thing we’re working on is potty training. This is still a major work in progress. We do potty time several times a day and he’s peed in the potty several times now, but it’s usually from sitting there for a while and it finally just happens. He’s starting to tell us he as to pee and we’ve successfully gotten him on the potty in time for him to pee twice now. A couple times he told us but by the time we got him on the potty he had already peed in his pull-up so we have to get better at acting quickly. Poops are a whole other story. He will tell us after he’s pooped but not before and we haven’t been able to time it for it to happen when we’re having potty time yet so there have been no poops in the potty yet. So… we’ll see how it goes over the next couple months. I’m hoping he’ll be mostly potty trained by the time baby girl comes, but I’m also being realistic about it and know that he might not be quite there by then. We’re only 8 weeks out until baby girl is here now so it may not be a realistic dream.
Another exciting thing on the horizon is I’ll be enrolling him in a pre preschool program at Wondertree. It’s a baby and toddler play and learning center where he would go twice a week for 3 hours and they learn through play and art and music with other 2-3 year olds. Other than the 1-2 hours I leave him at the gym daycare while I workout, he hasn’t been in daycare or anything so this will be a big step for us. It’s a step that I really think is necessary though because other than the occasional play date or when we go to the park or gymboree and places like that, he really doesn’t get a lot of interaction with other kids. It’s the one downfall of him being at home with me. I love that we’ve been able to make it work so that he’s home with me, but he’s getting older now and really needs to spend time with other kids on a regular basis. So I think this will be a good transition for him before we start preschool when he’s 3. We’re thinking we’ll enroll him in August or September once everyone adjusts to baby girl and new routines that are sure to happen for everyone.
Speaking of routines, Archer really is a creature of habit. He gets up around 7 every day. We snuggle and watch a bit of tv while he wakes up and has his morning cup of milk, then he has breakfast which is usually just fruit and bread or cereal because he never seems to want to eat in the morning, then he sits on the potty for a bit and we see if anything happens. Then he gets dressed and we either play in the backyard, go to the park or for a walk, or on the less fun days, we run errands. He usually eats lunch around noon and we try potty time again after lunch and he’s usually down for his nap by 1:00 -1:30 and he sleeps for 2-3 hours. This is when I get some client work or housework done. I have no idea what I’ll do about client work when he doesn’t nap anymore but for now he still really needs that long nap in the afternoon and I’m all for it. Then he usually gets up around 4:00 and we play for an hour and then he eats dinner around 5:00 (lunch and dinner are usually his better eating meals but he is not the same eater he was a year ago – he’s very picky these days). After dinner he plays for a bit and then he’s in the bath by 6:30 – 7:00. He has a big cup of milk before bed and we let him watch a bit of tv and he’s usually asleep by 8:30 – 9:00. This is another big change from a year ago. Last year, he would be sound asleep for the night by 7:30, but he would wake up sometimes as early as 5:00 so in order to get him to wake up a little later, we decided to push his bedtime to an hour or so later. We don’t have to rush out the door early every day so it just made more sense to do this. We’ll probably have to change this again when he starts school, but for now this is the best schedule that works for everyone.
It will be interesting to see if this schedule keeps up after baby girl arrives. I’m hoping the bedtime/wake-up schedule will stay the same, but I imagine everything else will change quite a bit once we have another little person to take care of and fit into daily life. For now, we are being even more strict with the routine so that he feels secure and hopefully we won’t have to mess with it too much after his sister arrives. I really want him to continue to feel that he’s number one with us. I know it will be hard with another baby here to also be made to feel that way, but I guess that’s the challenge all parents have. We have to make sure they feel our love equally. I know it’s not going to always be easy, but he is our everything and I always want him to feel that way.
Sorry this post is so long. Now a quick update about my pregnancy and baby girl.
Miracle Baby 2 | Second Rainbow | AKA Baby Girl
To recap from my last post, we had the NT scan and NIPT blood test and found out we are having a baby girl. Since then, we had the anatomy scan at 18 weeks and our second trimester screening blood work and everything came back normal. Subsequent appointments have all been good and she is continuing to measure 2-3 days ahead of schedule. All in all, baby girl is doing great. She’s very active and I’m constantly feeling her move throughout the day which is very reassuring.
I’ll be 29 weeks tomorrow. For only the second time in 8 pregnancies, I have made it to the the third trimester! It’s such a huge milestone for us. We almost made it with Holdon, but ended up delivering him just shy of it at 27 weeks 5 days. I am now more than a week past that point and baby girl is already measuring so much bigger than Holdon was when he was born. It’s so reassuring especially since Archer was measuring ahead too. It gives me a lot of hope. Everything about Archer gives me hope for baby girl. Before Archer, I only had experienced loss and I lived in constant fear during my pregnancy with Archer, but this time, I know it can work out for us, and I’m so hopeful we’ll be meeting this little girl in a couple months time safe and healthy. And for the most part we’ve been sailing through this pregnancy with not too much to report on. The only really major thing is that we are going to be delivering her at 37 weeks. The protocols have apparently changed and due to the classical incision from my first c-section, I am not allowed to go past 37 weeks because the risk of uterine rupture is too high if I should go into labor early. Basically they do not want me to go into labor at all so the c-section will be scheduled early to hopefully prevent that. We have our next prenatal appointment next week and we will be confirming the delivery date then but it’s looking like May 4th or 5th. So it would be seem that both Archer and baby sister will be born at just the full term point. With Archer, the protocol wasn’t the same so we weren’t scheduled for the c-section until 39 weeks, but he had other plans and my water broke at exactly 37 weeks. Now we’ll be delivering his sister at exactly 37 weeks too. It’s kind of funny how it worked out. What’s even funnier is Archer was born on December 16th which is mine and the hubby’s wedding anniversary and baby girl will either be born on my in-laws wedding anniversary which is May the 5th or on May the 4th which is just the coolest day ever to be born on. 🙂
One kind of scary thing to mention, is we have an appointment with a Perinatologist on March 27th. Everything is fine with me and with baby girl. So far my blood pressure has been amazing and we haven’t been too worried abut a re-occurrence of HELLP because it didn’t happen with Archer and I’m feeling fine, so these are not the reasons why we need to see a specialist. It’s because I have an anterior placenta (in the front) this time and my OB wants to make sure the placenta isn’t growing into the scar tissue from my two previous c-sections. From what she can tell on her small office ultrasound, it looks like it’s not, but she wants the specialist to take a look and make sure. This may or may not involve also having a fetal MRI. He will take a look first and if it all looks good then we won’t need the MRI, but if anything is questionable then we’ll have the MRI and likely several follow-ups before delivery day. I’m trying not to worry about this too much right now because hopefully it will all be fine, but there is the possibility that the placenta could grow into the scar tissue and therefore into the wall of my uterus and if this happens, then it will be a more dangerous c-section delivery with likely a lot more bleeding.
This is a pretty terrible prospect for me because if this happens, I will not be permitted to be awake during the delivery, and the far more concerning issue is there’s a big possibility that they may need to give me a partial hysterectomy and remove my uterus if the placenta cannot be removed from the uterine wall. So that is definitely a scary prospect. Praying it does not come to that! As of right now, it’s just as likely that the placenta is growing normally in spite of it’s location and everything will be okay. And if not, well we’ll take it as it comes. The loss of my uterus would be devastating, but hopefully it doesn’t come to that no matter what. Yes, in reality, we are very likely done trying for any more babies after baby girl. This has been an almost 8 year journey and there were so many times when we thought we’d never have one baby, let alone be expecting our second miracle, so I know that the hubby and I are done after this. But the idea of possibly losing my uterus is pretty terrifying to me. I feel like it will be just one more thing to add to the long list of ways by body has failed me on this journey.
First there was the HELLP Syndrome, which could have killed me and caused me to have an emergency c-section at 27 weeks and a severely premature and growth restricted baby who didn’t survive. And because of that really early c-section they had to do a classical incision that made it so that I could never have a vaginal delivery and caused me to have subsequent c-sections, and therefore caused the scarring that could lead to this possibility of losing my uterus. Then there’s the 4 miscarriages after losing my first son and finding out in the middle of it all that I had diminished ovarian reserve and my eggs were aging faster than I was. Then, even after we welcomed our miracle boy, my body still failed me with a poor milk supply that wasn’t enough for my baby even with constant pumping day and night to make more milk. And then because we hadn’t had enough loss yet, I had another miscarriage before becoming pregnant with baby girl. All of it just seems unreal. Why body, why? But I won’t curse my body too much because it somehow managed to create and carry my living son and my soon-to-arrive daughter. In the end, I conceived both these miracles with my own eggs, which is truly amazing given the fact that we were told donor eggs would be our best chance at a healthy living child, and we conceived those pregnancies naturally even though previous attempts with IVF and PGD failed. I was able to carry and deliver my living son healthy and safe into this world and hopefully will continue to carry my daughter through the next 8 weeks and deliver her safe and sound in early May.
I am constantly thankful for these beautiful and amazing things my body has done, and I am especially thankful to God because I think my hope and determination to not give up through sheer faith gave me the strength to keep going and facilitated all of this happening. While my body may have been delinquent, if finally got it’s act together. Albeit kind of late, but better late than never. I’m now 40 and pregnant, something I never thought I’d be when we began TTC in 2009 when I was only 32. It’s rather surreal to think about, but here I am, and for the most part, I feel pretty good. Praying and asking for prayers that everything continues to go smoothly and baby girl doesn’t make an appearance until the scheduled c-section at the beginning of May. I’m also praying that all is good with the placenta and we have a safe and normal c-section where I’m awake like I was with Archer and can hold baby girl soon after. And most of all, regardless of when she is born or how, I’m praying baby girl continues to grow healthy and strong and comes into this world healthy and strong.
And if it’s not too much to ask for, I’m also praying that my milk supply is better this time and I can exclusively breastfeed, but I’m realistic about it and waiting to see what happens. If it doesn’t go well again, I think I’ll just go with exclusive formula feeding rather than pump like I did last time and still have to supplement anyway. I just don’t think I’ll have the energy to be up all night long pumping like I did last time, but we’ll see. Every pregnancy and baby is different and therefore I’m hopeful that breastfeeding and my milk supply will be be better this time.
Once again I have written a very long post. I hope someone is still reading. It seems that with the move from WP .com to WP .org, my .com readers no longer see my posts in their reader feed so I’m not sure how many people will even see this post, but I will continue to update. I also have finally started writing Archer’s birth story and plan to post it very soon. My goal is in the next week or so, but definitely before baby girl is born! Stay tuned!