memory

3 Months of Catriona

3 Months into our newest adventure in parenting finds us falling more and more in love with our little girl every day. ¬†I can’t imagine a life without her.

At 3 months Catriona has mastered:

  • Rolling from back to belly as well as from belly to back
  • Sitting up with support
  • Grasping toys and bringing them too her mouth
  • Cooing

She loves:

  • Mom and Dad
  • Staring at her puppy brothers
  • Her little toy bunny
  • Endless walks in the baby carrier (as long as she is facing out)

She hates:

  • When mom works more than 3 days in a row
  • Being moved after she falls asleep

She is stating to:

  • Notice her brother and sis-co, and to enjoy interacting with them
  • Play for longer periods
  • Enjoy people other than Mom and Dad
  • Laugh
  • Settle into a nap schedule

That last one is my favorite thing of all ūüôā

36 Weeks and Counting!

We have reached 36 weeks in this pregnancy and are slowly trudging our way towards 37!  Catriona has spent the last few weeks stubbornly not growing (she ended up dropping 4 weeks of growth total prior to this weeks doctors appointment).  So this week we did an ultrasound to check on her growth and the amniotic fluid levels.  Thankfully everything came out well.  She is estimated to be around 6 pounds 11 ounces at this point (which is amazing considering how small my bump is compared to when I was pregnant with Liam!) and while my amniotic fluid levels are on the lower end of normal they should be fine for the remainder of the pregnancy.  Her head is down, the contractions are becoming more frequent, and we are playing a waiting game to meet her.

I continue to have (what has become) my normal migraines, tachycardia, and passing out. ¬†For the last week my symptoms have been somewhat relieved, I even had 3 good days in a row where I was able to be up and about without any chest or head pain, but for an added treat these last few days I have been enjoying some third trimester sickness (which is amazingly just like the first trimester was). ¬† I have a cardiology consult tomorrow and am hopeful to find some answers to what can be done for this chronic chest pressure, shoulder pain, and episodes of tachycardia. ¬†That said, I am very aware that any medication that could be given to relieve those symptoms for me has to wait until after Catriona’s arrival, so I am learning to live with it and take it easy when things really start to act up.

On Monday my sister-in-law came over to the house to take some maternity picture for us since we are currently unable to travel to the photographer that we used to do the maternity shoot we did when pregnant with Liam (Linden Photography in Central NH). ¬†I spent some time this morning playing around on Photoshop and touching up the lighting on the pictures. ¬†I am pretty happy with the results, and so thankful to Aunty Moonshine for taking them for us. ¬†Though this has been a difficult pregnancy we are planning on it being my last pregnancy and I want to be able to look back on this time and remember how it has helped us grow as a family later on. ¬†I wish I had enough Photoshop talent to reduce the (well-earned) shadows and bags under my eyes… you would think someone who spends as much time in bed as I have been lately wouldn’t have any but I can’t seem to sleep for more than two hours at a time thanks to our little girls efforts to escape the womb.

We continue to be grateful for everyone’s prayers and well wishes. ¬†The support of our family and friends¬†¬†has¬†truly have been an amazing help in us pulling through this pregnancy!

27 weeks and counting!

We have hit the 27 week mark and celebrated the last week of the second trimester with a big appointment at the OB office, complete with a follow-up ultrasound. ¬†I have spent the last week in frequent contact with my OB office and on frequent bed rest due to a headache that wouldn’t go away, blurred vision, and high blood pressures. ¬†All of these are unfortunately signs of preeclampsia. ¬†Preeclampsia is a dangerous condition that can affect 5-8% of pregnancies, but that typically starts later in the third trimester¬†(Preeclampsia Foundation). ¬†For me to be having signs of this condition this early into the pregnancy was scary to say the least. ¬†Thankfully my blood pressure has been staying down with bed rest. ¬†Unfortunately Tylenol has not been effective for the headaches or blurred vision for me and I stopped taking it after a few days due to the ineffectiveness and some right upper quadrant abdominal pain (which can indicate liver problems). ¬† ¬†So I ventured into this appointment with my Mom at my side (my husband was unable to take the day off of work) with a bit of trepidation.

First up was the ultrasound. ¬†Catriona is a bit of a mover and a shaker so it created a challenge for picture-taking, but everything look great. ¬†The fluid levels were good, the placenta is healthy, her head is down and she is ready to roll and the best news of all is that the membranes fused! ¬†Although there are still some (slight) risks for early delivery that go along with a late fusion we are now talking a week or two early as opposed to months early which technically means we have an excellent chance for a full term (after 37 weeks) healthy and happy baby. ¬†Now lets just hope that she doesn’t come on Liam’s birthday! ¬†Thank you everyone for your thoughts and prayers for the last few months that we would get our miracle, they certainly helped to get us through this stressful time. ¬†We feel so lucky to have this great news to share and to see how healthy our little girl is now that my body has decided to behave properly!

Next up was the visit with the nurse midwife and the OB.  It was a tag team visit due to the high blood pressures today, that ended up with a trip to the hospital.  While we have an excellent health care system up here in the Northeast, and some of the best prenatal care in the country, it is still very concerning to have more than a week of high blood pressures and headaches, so it was off to the hospital for me to test for preeclampsia ( a set of tests that includes a urine collection, liver function panel, creatinine, and CBC), and calling out of work for at least the next week until my next OB visit.  The midwife and OB were hopeful that the headaches, blurred vision, and high blood pressures (because they were not critically high and were only pre-hypertensive) could be due to a migraine headache caused by increased estrogen levels rather than preeclampsia because it was so early in the pregnancy.  After a couple of hours in the hospital, and a couple of blood draws we had our second round of good news for the day, no preeclampsia!  I am now on migraine medication and monitoring side effects, but my blood pressure is almost back to normal and right now I am pain free for the first time in 8 days (though a bit foggy and tired from the medication).

 

 

For me the best part of the day was being able to make it home in time to tuck my little guy into bed.  He loved seeing the new pictures of his sister and was so happy to get some extra Momma snuggles tonight!

Conan and I are thrilled with the news, and are very hopeful that after the next week life will get back to as close to normal as we can!  Thank you again to everyone for the thoughts and prayers!  Lets hope the remainder of the pregnancy is now stress free!

 

*****Preeclampsia is a pretty scary and potentially life threatening condition that affects 5-8% of pregnancies in the United States and accounts for approximately 18% of maternal deaths in this country.  To educate yourself more on this condition please visit preeclampsia.org which provides excellent resources in learning the signs and symptoms of preeclampsia.  Also keep in mind that while giving birth does solve the problems caused by preeclampsia for your infant it does not always solve the problems caused by it for mothers.  Be aware and educate yourself on the potential post birth problems that can occur for mothers who experience this condition.*****

Preeclampsia Foundation. (n.d.). Preeclampsia Foundation. Retrieved February 19, 2015, from Preeclampsia Fact Sheet : http://www.preeclampsia.org/pdf/Preeclampsia%20Fact%20sheet%20v2.pdf

 

24 Weeks and Counting, an update

Well, it has been a rough couple of weeks for me. ¬†As it turns out, I am REALLY bad about taking it easy without constantly giving myself reminders. ¬†My husband has become a professional at telling me not to do things I am not supposed to do, and reminding me to stop and take breaks. ¬†I have become crabby, which is not a usual thing for me and I don’t like it. ¬†The kids, well, they have really taken to the encouraged independence. ¬†Liam and The Bean now put themselves to bed at nap and bedtime. ¬†I am trying to not miss the snuggles I use to steal when carrying them upstairs too much.

For Catriona things are going well, or at least as good as we can hope for!  We had a very positive checkup at 23 weeks where she measured exactly on target (which is amazing for a little girl who is most likely going to be tiny!) and her heart rate was a lovely 145.  Her kick counts have been perfect.  The only concerning thing that has come up recently have been frequent Braxton Hicks contractions.  Thankfully they are not following any pattern at this point and have only been over the 6 an hour allowed at this stage of pregnancy a handful of times.  At the 23 week appointment they found an infection so I am hopeful that after a week of antibiotics things will calm down in the contraction department.  Our next ultrasound is at 27 weeks and I am still hoping for a miracle!  At this point, however, I am simply thankful to have made it this far.

At 23-24 weeks babies begin making a substance¬†called surfactant. ¬†This is used by the body to help stabilize the alveoli in the lungs (The alveoli help oxygen get from the air to the bloodstream, but in order to do this they need to be nice and plump like a grape, surfactants help keep them from collapsing when you exhale). ¬†With the production of surfactant comes the chance for survival with pre-term births, so if something were to happen tonight Catriona would have a fighting chance, especially with the awesome hospitals in this area. ¬†24 weeks was a big milestone for us. ¬†I celebrated with a braided chicken pot pie bread with¬†Ben and Jerry’s ice cream for dessert ūüôā

On a personal note, because I am carrying so low this time (thanks to the less than stable environment my body created for Catriona) life is becoming uncomfortable. ¬†There are definitely times where it already feels like the last (everlasting) month of pregnancy. ¬†clothing is also becoming uncomfortable. ¬†Maternity pants with the cloth panel fall off of me because my belly isn’t quite large enough for them, but the ones with the low band are too tight for me to wear and do essential things like breathe, or not walk like a penguin. ¬†My go to pants of choice for this pregnancy are becoming yoga pants. ¬†I could sing a song for how much I love them lately. ¬†I see a lot of dresses coming up in my future as well. ¬†The plus side? My maternity scrubs are the most comfortable articles of clothing ever (even if one pocket does oddly fall right on the center of my expanding stomach).

15 months later…

I can’t believe how the time has flown, Liam is 15 months already! It has been so exciting to watch him play, grow, and learn these last few months. Everything happens so fast at this point, it’s like a neural explosion. Over the last 3 months Liam has:

  • Gone from stumbling to run-stumbling
  • Learned to say over 25 words, although he mostly refers to animals by the sounds they make, except our youngest dog, Bruise, who he calls Rooze.
  • Learned how to walk backwards and spin in a circle
  • Begun helping Conan and I with simple tasks (carrying light things mostly)

His favorite things right now are:

  • Reading… By himself, to the bear, to Conan and I… This little boy loves to be the one reading the story.
  • His big white bear, “Baby”… When Liam was born Conan’s company sent us a present, a giant white polar bear which I never named because I figured it would be too big to drag around. Liam has proven me wrong and he has named it “Baby”. The other stuffed animals are babies too, but there is only one Baby and he goes everywhere with Liam.
  • Yogurt, cereal bars, and berries
  • Going to the park
  • The tub, this little guy loves his baths (and his bath toys)

He has had a lot of adventures over the last three months, including:

  • His first sleepovers with Grammy and Grampy F.
  • His second annual Flynnstock with Conan
  • His first trip to the beach!

While I have tried (desperately sometimes) to be there for every single event it just hasn’t been possible and sometimes Conan and Liam are a two man team while I am at home with the puppy brothers doing homework or at work. ¬†We do our best with the time we have and try to make every moment count.

Today the three of us went out to lunch to one of our favorite Mexican restaurants and then to the park for some quality time (and to exhaust¬†Liam¬†before his nap). ¬†It was suppose to rain all day today so it was a pleasant surprise to be able to get out and about. ¬†My park plan however backfired as it was not just Liam that needed the nap when we got home ūüėČ

And now a parting message from Liam himself and a few more of my favorite pictures from the last few months….

mddddddddddddddddddddddcnn vvvvvvvvvvvvmvb nffkbgghashgklbjcv b hvfghm jk df6988888888888888888

I can’t wait to see what the next three months brings!

Artsy Toddlers

Liam and The Bean have been exploring their artistic side this week.  For the most part we have been playing with crayons and stickers, using this exploration in art as an opportunity to learn shapes and colors.  Today I was tired of drawing green circles and purple squares so I decided to be brave and break out the finger paints.

I set up this activity with one color of paint only placed onto a plate for easy dipping for their small hands, I also prepared by grabbing a roll of paper towels and a bowl of water in advance for emergency clean ups (surprise! there were a few!). ¬†We started out by taking turns and making hand prints (for Momma’s memory box), then it was a finger painting free for all. ¬†All in all it was a great time and entertained them for about 30 minutes total. Even the clean up afterwards wasn’t all that difficult thanks to being prepared with water and towels. ¬†The kids had a blast!

And now for the photos… this is the last few days of art activities ūüôā It looks like the Grammy’s and Grampy’s are going to be getting LOTS of presents!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 40

Day 40 of the selfie challenge

Today is just going to be one of those days…

It started with Liam waking up for the day at 6:30… In the morning… After I didn’t get home from work and settled into bed until 2am. Awesome.
Then after breakfast Liam went and his in the corner to poop and the. He brought the poop to me. In his hand. Awesome.

I am just going to keep this smile plastered on my face and fake it until I make it.

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At least he brought the poop to me instead of hiding it or tasting it, right?
It could always be worse.

Currently I have escaped to study at Panera (really, I accomplished a ton before taking this break). Hopefully there won’t be anymore diaper prizes for me when I get home ūüėČ

Day 39

Day 39 of the selfie challenge

It’s lunchtime, and since I missed breakfast thanks to a wonderful sleep in (thanks to a wonderful husband) I am starving. Liam has started fully feeding himself this week. It is messy and wonderful all at the same time. It also consists of frequent reminders that he shouldn’t be putting his spoon in the dog’s mouth. I console myself when he does this by reminding myself that it is just helping him have a well developed immune system.

At this rate he might have the strongest immune system in the world.

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The bonus for me in all this is that I can now eat more of my lunch in one sitting!

Day 37

Day 37 of the selfie challenge: 365 Days of Momma

It’s Sunday! AND! I have the day off!!!!

That’s right, its my weekend off… I firmly believe that having to work every other weekend makes me that much more appreciative of the ones I have off.

This morning Liam took off after breakfast, grabbed a book and his teddy bear, and then proceeded to set himself up on the couch next to me to “study” with me. ¬†That’s right, I used the “s” word. ¬†Someone though it would be a brilliant idea to take a full course load in the summer during the most gorgeous weather of the year because the semester is shorter and it would be nice to just get the work done with. ¬†The same someone is now incredibly worried that maybe, just maybe, she might not be able to keep up. ¬†I don’t know who comes up with these brilliant ideas but they probably should have less of them.

So the adorableness ensued this morning and Liam and I studied together for about 10 minutes before my urge to snap a picture completely overcame me. ¬†Of course as soon as I picked up the camera phone he had to climb into my lap to get it…. The result is this:

Today’s selfie is less of me and more of us, but it is an awesome memory that I want to hold on to…. especially with the puppy photo-bomb in the second shot!

 

I do promise an update soon on my personal progress towards self acceptance of myself in photographs.  This project has turned into more than I originally planned.  What started out as something that was just for me has also evolved into a mechanism to show Liam my memories from his early childhood.