Tuesday, December 29, 2009

growing like a Joshua weed

We just got back from Josh's two month check-up.  He is doing great!

Here are his stats:

2 months 1 week old
weight - 14 pounds 11 ounces
length - 24.25 inches
head circumference - 16 inches

Still at the top of the charts for height and weight and in t he middle for head circumference just as he was at birth.  He has been growing beautifully and everything checked out fine.  He got three shots and one oral vaccination for rotavirus.  He took it all like a champ though and was easily comforted afterwards. 

He's a tad congested today and coughing up a little phlegm.  It's so pitiful when you can't do anything to make a baby feel better.  Julianna never got sick this early so it's hard to deal with, but of course since he's the second kid he's going to have a lot of firsts earlier than she did.

We've been working on letting him soothe himself to sleep a little.  Not letting him cry himself to sleep, but we just put him down when he's getting sleepy and let him grunt and sigh and kick around a little until he falls asleep on his own.  It doesn't always work, but he's certainly getting better at it.  That's something we didn't know how to do with Jules and I wish we had because it helps tremendously.

So all is well.  How are you?

fingerpainting fun

Monday, December 28, 2009

two links I love

I just discovered WiseStamp and I'm in love.  WiseStamp lets you customize your email signature with whatever design you like (including graphics) and you can even add RSS feeds and Twitter/Facebook/Other Social Media links.  It works with bunches of different email services.

Only problem is that it's currently only available for Firefox users.  I used to be a huge Firefox fan until I discovered Google Chrome a year or so ago.  I've been using Chrome ever since.  However, I may have to switch back to Firefox just to use WiseStamp because I love it so much.  We'll see.


I'm also loving Triad Smarty Pants, a site I just recently started reading.  Turns out they've profiled a couple of people that I know and besides the information they provide on events happening around the Triad they also hold some pretty awesome giveaways.  If you're in the Triad area you should definitely subscribe to the blog

Thursday, December 24, 2009

cookies for Santa

break and bakes for Santa

look what i found in the tent this morning

Jonathan has been wanting to take Jules camping but it has been entirely too cold.  Maybe they will be able to go in the late Spring or early Summer.  So anyway, Julianna and Daddy built a "tent" and camped out in the family room last night.  Jules had to get all of her stuffed animal friends down from her bedroom and put them in her sleeping bag.  They went to sleep at about 11pm and woke up as usual at about 7:15am.  I'm sure they'll both need a nap today, but that's OK because Mama can use the peace and quiet!  :)  Merry Christmas everyone!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

two months

Dear Joshua,

Yesterday you turned two months old.  Oh child, it is so obvious that you are our second.  We let you cry a little more than Julianna did.  We understand your cries a lot more than we understood your sister's.  You have hand-me-down everything.  This letter is late (as most of them probably will be).  We are just different parents.  Of two kids.  And you are a happy baby.

I guess I have to go ahead an apologize to you for something I'm certain you'll deal with your whole life.  It is almost impossible to not compare you to your sister.  We'll always love the two of you equally, but we can't have an experience with you and not think of a similar experience with Julianna or be reminded of the way it was with her.  Sometimes the two of you are the same and sometimes you are as different as can be.  She was our first baby and now you are our first baby boy.  You are both unique individuals and you are both loved tremendously.

Anyway Buddy, you are HUGE!  We haven't gone for your two month check-up yet due to the holidays, but we'll go next week and find out how much you weigh.  I'm guessing around fourteen pounds.  You are so long, but in a different way than Julianna was.  Your torso is extremely long while her length was in her legs.  This gives you much chubbier thighs than she had at your age.  Oh the rolls!  I love them.  One thing I almost cannot believe (but will probably have trouble forgetting) is that you're wearing 6-9 sized month clothes at only two months.  We've already had to remove the U-shaped baby head rest in your car seat because you just don't fit in it or need it anymore.

I suppose we'll have to wait to see if you can handle your shots as well as your sister does.

You smile and laugh all the time.  You are generally content every time you wake up and you give us the biggest grins automatically.  My favorite part about your smiles is when I just lay you down horizontally on the boppy pillow you instantly smile from ear to ear and your fat cheeks turn red from happiness.

We've given you a few bottles of breast milk now and we let Julianna do the honors with the first one.  You hesitated a little bit each time at the beginning, but eventually catch on and don't object.  You eat very well and I have learned to easily tell when you are satisfied (one of my greatest challenges with your sister who I felt used me for a pacifier).  You still haven't had formula since the hospital and I hope it stays that way for a long time.

Earlier this month I had a nasty run-in with mastitis.  I woke up one morning after you'd given me a pretty good night's sleep and I knew instantly that something wasn't right.  I was in a lot of pain and you couldn't latch on.  I thought I'd give it a few feedings to see if it wasn't just engorgement from you going so long without nursing.  Unfortunately, I started getting body aches and running a 102 degree temperature so I started antibiotics, fed you often, and things were back to normal in a few days.  You, me (and the Zoloft) make a good team.

You're sleeping usually from 10pm to 4am and then again until 7 or 7:30am.  I can't complain too much.  You love the paci, unlike your sister.  You don't even mind the pink ones.  Whenever you're up against someone's shoulder you constantly lick their shirt if you don't have a pacifier in your mouth.

Your eyesight has greatly improved and you are turning your head in the direction of voices.  All we have to do is just speak in your general direction and you will break into a HUGE grin, shake your head back and forth furiously, and nearly wiggle your arms and legs right off in excitement.  You can even push off with your legs now like you're wanting to roll over.  You absolutely HATE your car seat though.  You would much rather be carried in the sling or the front carrier and when you have to be in it in the car you scream the majority of the time.  The only time you have fallen asleep in the car and stayed asleep was when we drove to the NC Zoo the other day.

Mostly you are an easy baby.  On Thanksgiving Day so many people were holding you and passing you around and after a while of it you just wouldn't go to sleep and wouldn't stop crying.  I kept saying that I thought you were just tired, but every time we'd get you to sleep you just wake up again and scream.  Finally we figured out that you were just tired of being held.  You've even fallen asleep and stayed asleep a few times on your own, something I don't believe Julianna ever did at two months old.

Josh, I cannot believe how fast your first two months have gone by.  I think -  no, I'm sure I said that with Jules, but I believe it's so much more true with you.  Because I am enjoying you as a baby more and because I'm not a new mother anymore and because I'm actually throughly enjoying being the mother of an infant, it seems like the time is just zooming by.  I'm afraid that I'll blink and you'll be packing for college.

Thank you for making me feel like a wonderful Mama.  Thank you for loving me for loving you.  Thank you for being content to just be my precious baby boy.

Love you,

camping out with daddy tonight

Saturday, December 19, 2009


I used to play around with coding a lot more than I have the patience for now and I can't get this screwy header to line up right.  I'm ready to go to bed!  Can anyone help me figure out how to move my header over so it lines up with the background?  Thanks a million.

Friday, December 18, 2009

it's been snowing since 11am

but Josh doesn't care
next year he will though
We were driving by the new baseball stadium yesterday and we told Julianna what it was that they were building.  She said, "Someday I would like to go there and see baseball, but not on the Wii."

Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday night fun

Today was supposed to be our date night with Jules. We went to Chick Fil A (her choice) and then headed to the movies. The Princess and the Frog was sold out so we took Julianna bowling instead. It was her first time and I was actually surprised at how well she did. Of course she's had a little practice with the Wii but that ball weighs a lot less. :)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

night on the town

Sister just made ornaments for her teachers at the arts and crafts place and now Mama and I are waiting on take out for dinner.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


After a truly exhausting day I am thankful for the Dove chocolates hidden in the side pockets of our glider.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

All I Want For Christmas

Jules read her Christmas list to Santa this morning.  Josh was not very interested in Santa, but was absolutely precious in his Christmas outfit!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

one month

Dear Josh,

Oh my.  You are already one month old.  The time has flown by and I have really cherished this first month with you.  Things have been so different than they were with your sister.  In my experience, it has been a lot easier to care for a baby the second time around and it is truly a joy to take care of you.  Maybe that's because I had a better idea of what to expect with you, but I really feel like I can savor these early weeks with you because I already knew about the bad parts and because I know that this will be the last little baby I have.  I'm finding it easier to be much more laid back with you and we just go with the flow.  Plus, I'm pretty certain that having you has made me love your sister even more although I never thought it possible.

I can already see changes in you despite the fact that it has only been a few short weeks since you were born.  Your face looks different.  Your vision has improved and you make eye contact with us now.  You will find a face or catch sight of a moving hand and follow it back and forth from left to right.  I'm pretty sure that you're already smiling in response to people now especially when we goo goo at you.  You've grown so much and gotten so much stronger.  You lift your head high off my shoulder and you push off with your hands.  You even amaze me with the strength you're developing in your legs already.

When we first came home from the hospital my milk had just come in and we had a rough first night.  You were gassy and fussy and we didn't sleep all that much at a time.  Luckily, after that we quickly fell into a routine with you waking to eat every two hours and gradually you have gotten to the point where you'll sleep from about ten until two or three which mommy loves.  One night you were so tired from an exhausting day without much sleep that you made it all the way until 4:30 am.  It makes such a difference when I only have to get up one time to feed you each night and I know that it will only get better.

You haven't had a drop of formula since that first 36 hours in the NICU and you breasfeed like a champ which makes mommy really proud.  Lately Julianna, who has never cared for baby dolls much, has taken to carrying around a baby she likes to call Yoda.  She feeds him from a bottle she holds up to her chest and "fills with milk" and it is the sweetest thing.  She even says she gets up to feed him in the middle of the night.  All of this is inspired by you Josh.

So Daddy has started calling you Tud and Jules immediately started telling people about her brother Joshy after she first saw you.  You see, you had to wait to meet everyone except for Daddy and I after we left the hospital because of the strict rules in the NICU.  But I'm pretty sure everyone loved you the instant they laid eyes on you.  You have the most beautiful head of dark brown hair and the sweetest deep blue eyes.  I'm finding that it's hard not to keep comparing you to your sister.  Your feet are much smaller and your fingers and legs are much shorter even though you weighed almost a pound more than her at birth.  You burp and poot just like a boy but thankfully you don't spit up half as much as Julianna did.  You go back to the doctor in a month and I am already anxious to see how much you weigh since I can tell that you are gaining quite a bit.

There are so many blessings that I have realized concerning your birth.  I really wallowed in self pity after my miscarriage last year when I realized that my children wouldn't be any closer than four grades apart in school.  It has turned out to be really wonderful to have such a mature 3.5 year old as your older sister.  She is so gentle with you and she helps out quite a bit when I need her to.  Plus, she's in preschool five days a week and takes dance on Tuesdays so she gets those extra doses of attention.  We wouldn't have any of that with a two year old and for that I am thankful.

Also, I thought it would be awful having a baby at the end of October (and it still may be hard to have a baby in the winter) but so far it's been great.  You'll be a good age at Christmas and you'll be five weeks at Thanksgiving so Daddy will have a little extra time off to spend with you and Jules.  I'll hopefully be all set to go back to work after the first of the year.  The timing was just... right.

Baby Joshua, it is so obvious to me now that you were a part of God's perfect plan for our family and I am so very thankful for you.  We adore you.  At only one month old you've already fallen into a comfortable rhythm in our house and you are the perfect completion to our family.

Love you baby.

Friday, November 20, 2009

sweet swinging baby

He finally decided he liked the swing. This is the first time he's been in it and not screamed the whole time.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Joshua's birth story

written by Jonathan
edited by Courtney

Monday 10/19 and Tuesday 10/20, Courtney told me on my way home from work that she wasn't feeling too good and that she may be in labor. Both nights the contractions went away later in the evening. On Wednesday 10/21, I had a big day with a tour group of 94 people coming to Marsh. Needless to say, I was a little tired when leaving work around 5:15 pm. When Courtney told me again, that she hadn't felt good all day and that her contractions were about 8 minutes apart and regular since 2:30 pm (for three hours), I gave it little thought. I get home, we eat dinner, and Courtney's parents take off for church. 

By now (around 6:30 pm) the contractions are about 5 minutes apart and still regular. Fairly quickly, they become 2-3 minutes apart so we decide to go to the hospital and get checked out. We dropped Jules off at Courtney's sister's house on the way to the hospital and get there around 7:45 pm. The lady at the desk told us it would be a little bit before we could get into a triage booth, but they ended up calling us back by 8 pm. 

The nurse checked and Courtney was 5 cm dilated and having contractions steadily every 2 minutes. So they prepare a room for us. As the good Lord would have it, Dr. S was on call (Courtney's preferred OB). She came by around 10:30 pm and broke Courtney's water. She saw some meconium in the water and decided to have the pediatric team come in to be ready to check the baby out when it was born. She also told us that she would not be in a hurry to get him crying in order to have the chance to suck as much fluid out of his mouth as possible. 

Labor came on pretty quickly and Courtney was 7 cm dilated and was doing great at managing the pain but by 11:30 pm, it was getting tough. Around midnight, the nurse checked her and she had progressed to 8 cm dilated.  She decided to get an epidural since she felt it had taken so long to go from 7 to 8 cm. The nurse had asked her earlier if she'd like stadol but she declined.  When she decided to get the epidural we told the nurse and of course, it took them a while to get there. 

By 12:30, I pushed the button to call the nurse.  They answer and while I'm asking to see our nurse, Courtney blurts out "I NEED STADOL." The nurse comes in, checks her, and because she's 8 cm dilated she told us that the drug would go straight to the baby so she couldn't give it to her. She said there were two people in front of us and two doctors working on the epidural before they'd come to our room. 

At this point, Courtney was having the strong desire to push. The nurse told her that she couldn't push or she would tear her cervix. Courtney kept explaining over and over again the need to push.  The doctors came in and gave her drugs around 1 am, but as the anesthesiologist asked what she felt Courtney said she still felt strong contractions and a huge urge to push.  She kept telling them that it wasn't working, so the doctor did some things to get her hooked up quicker. 

Finally, he got the meds to work and the nurse checked and Courtney had progressed from 8 to 10 cm while they were trying to administer the epidural.  Then Courtney got to rest some so we both took it easy for about 45 minutes. 

At 2:05 am the doctor came back in and we started pushing.  Immediately I saw a little head peeking through with plenty of hair. With the second push there was not much change, but on the third push the head came out. Then we stopped and waited for another contraction.  Finally, with the fourth push he was out at 2:13 am on the second contraction. 

Of course, he started crying too quickly and was grunting as opposed to screaming (indicating fluid in the lungs). Dr. S suctioned his mouth and nose and the pediatric team wisked him away to their table.  They started sticking a vacuum tube down his throat and nose and sucking out fluid. 

His apgar scores were 8 at 1 minute and 9 at 5 minutes. The team left and Courtney was able  to hold him.  We were able to have Nanna, Mamaw, and Memama come in to see him for just a minute. He was still grunting so they took him to NICU for testing that was supposed to last four hours. At 4 am, we were moved downstairs to a mother-baby room. Around 5 am I went to check on him in the NICU and was told he wouldn't be done until 8ish. Aunt Whitney came by around 7:30 am and she and I went to see him on the way out but no one was allowed in the NICU except for me and Court. 

It was then that the nurse had a doctor come talk to me. He told me that Josh's blood test showed a "marker" that could mean infection and they would be giving him precautionary antibiotics for 48 hours. This meant no family, no in-room stays for 48 hours while they kept him in the NICU. Therefore, we made a trip down the hall every 3 hours to feed him. 

The first two trips, I took Courtney in a wheel chair since it was a good distance to walk. From then on, she could walk it on her own. Josh did great and continued to improve. Courtney felt 100% within 24 hours.  It turned out to be a blessing in disguise to not have a lot of company and to let baby bond with mother while we were in the hospital. Breastfeeding was easier, and things just seemed to click. 

Saturday morning 10/24, we got word that there was no infection and Josh would be released as soon as we could get a hearing screening done and when his circumcision was complete. Courtney was discharged at 11:30 am and Josh was finished at 12:15. The nurse wanted to wait until he peed after the circumcision before letting us go. We waited and waited, anxious to get home and introduce him to Jules.  At 2:30 pm, the doctor felt we'd had enough waiting and we were discharged to bring Josh home. It was a great experience and God has once again poured out so many blessings on my family.

Joshua William Tucker
Born 10/22 2:13am
9lbs 3.5ozs. 21" long

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

i adore this kiddo

he only woke up at 3:30 and 7:00 last night and he's not even 4 weeks old yet

Friday, November 13, 2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

quick update

Josh's two week check-up last Wednesday went almost perfectly.  He was about half a pound above birth weight (9 lbs 10.5 oz) and everything else checked out great.  I took Jules with me because we'd had trouble getting her a flu shot and had been told that if we could get her in the office when she was well then they could give her one.

Well, needless to say, Jonathan had already gone back to work and mom was meeting with someone at church so I had to take both kiddos myself.  Everything went fine in the waiting room and then when we were taken back to an exam room Julianna immediately told the nurse that she was going to get a shot.  The nurse looked at me with an expression on her face like, "She is?" and I explained that we were hoping to get one for her while we were there.  So the nurse went to get the consent form and asked me to undress Josh down to a dry diaper and meet her out at the scale.

So of course, I was blessed to have a boy this time around and as I was changing his diaper he decides to pee all over his own face, outfit, and blanket.  I clean his face off and wipe down his hair with a baby wipe.  Meanwhile, my three year old is playing with the height chart on the wall and making the metal thing slide all the way off and down onto the floor and then she's spinning around on the doctor's wheelie chair and all that sort of thing, but hey, there was a bottle of hand sanitizer right beside me so I figured as long as she wasn't injuring herself I'd tend to the boy first and then we'd clean her hands and everything would be all good.  Well sure enough as I get diaper number two out and start getting that ready to put on Joshua, he decides to poop all over that clean one so out comes diaper number three plus a clean outfit.  (And here's the Zoloft talking: I looked at Josh and glanced over my shoulder at Jules and then just chuckled at the entire situation.)  But it gets better... because after I placed diaper number three under that little hiney Josh apparently decided that he wasn't done peeing.  He'd just paused to take care of the poop business.  Then I let him finish peeing, get out diaper number four, and get him in a clean outfit to get him out to the scale before the little booger can distribute any more bodily fluid anywhere else in the room.

The doctor said he looked great.  No need to check for any more jaundice and all measurements were good.  Julianna got her flu vaccination and we set up a two month well-check appointment and got the heck out of dodge.  Another day as a rockstar mommy.  All on less than six hours of sleep.

Then today I realized that whole ordeal wasn't so bad when I look over and see Julianna popping Josh's umbilical cord stump in her mouth after she found it laying on the table where Daddy put it after he discovered it inside a diaper he was changing last night.

I suppose she thought it was a raisin.  Or something.

Ahhhh the joys of parenting two.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

want to know how to feel like a rockstar mom?

First, nurse the 12 day old baby so he's calm and content.  Warn the three year old that it's almost nap time.  Then take her and the baby upstairs to read a book before nap.  Take the baby into the other room and get him to sleep.  Put him down and jump in the shower but make sure you're out in time to catch him if he wakes up.  As he wakes up, which will inevitably happen with a newborn, try offering the pacifier.  When you can't get him back to sleep try rocking him a while back downstairs.  Finally, give up and decide to bathe him since it's been a few days since his last bath and then you know you'll be able to nurse him again and get him back to sleep before the older child wakes up.

This was the highlight of my day yesterday.  It is absolutely amazing how spectacular it can make you feel to successfully get two kiddos to sleep and then be able to take a shower yourself before five in the evening.

While these first 12 days with Josh haven't been a cake walk, they have indeed been a lot easier than my first few days as a new mom to Julianna.  Joshua is such a good baby and I was certainly better prepared for the difficulty of parenting two children so that helps of course.

He eats every two or three hours throughout the day and will go one long four hour stretch at night, but mostly I am just thankful that he nurses well.  I'm sure it has something to do with the fact that I went to the NICU every three hours to breastfeed when we were in the hospital and my milk came in on the third day instead of the fifth like it did with Jules, but it has been a lot easier this time around.  He seems so much more satisfied than Jules did any time I breastfed her.  I also pumped the first couple of days after we got home from the hospital this time and I'm taking Fenugreek now as well.  I don't know how much each of these things have contributed to making bfeeding easier, but I think they all have in some way.

So overall we are doing well.  When we went to the pediatrician last Monday (he was five days old) he was almost already back up to birth weight (two ounces short) and the doctor saw no reason to test him for elevated bilirubin levels.  He'll go back again this afternoon for his two week check.

It certainly helps to have my parents living with us this time around.  Just having an extra pair of hands helps so much.  Plus mom has been available to drive Jules to school each morning and that takes a huge burden off of me.  I realize that I am so fortunate to have all of their help.

As far as the PPD goes, so far for some reason with this baby it is easier for me to see farther into the future when I'm up in the middle of the night.  Instead of thinking, "I'll never have a normal life again.  I'll never see eight hours of sleep again" I think, "Won't it be fun when Josh and Jules and Jonathan and I can all go..." or "I can't wait until he's old enough to trick or treat with Jules..."  I can't wait to hear him giggle with her and I know that this time will go by fast.  I guess it's a combination of the Zoloft and having been there before and knowing that it does get better, easier eventually.  I find myself saying prayers of thanksgiving every night multiple times and just really cherishing my sweet little boy.  I wish I had had that with Jules, but I know that I am lucky to have it now with Joshua.

Monday, October 26, 2009

and then there were four

Today Joshua is 4 days old and he's almost back up to birth weight.  He's just two ounces short of his 9 lbs 3.5 oz at birth.  We just got back from the pediatrician and got a great report.  I am so thankful that things could hardly be going better.  Right now he's asleep on his daddy's chest and I'm trying to get started on his birth story.

I just wanted to say thank you again to everyone for the kind wishes and emails you've sent.  I really appreciate that we haven't had tons of visitors yet as we try to get adjusted to life at home as a family of four.  I can't wait to share more with you, but right now it's nap time.  :)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

my precious boy

Home at last. I'll try to get back to regular blogging soon.

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Friday, October 23, 2009


When Courtney asked if any of us wanted to blog while she was caring for her newborn, I said I would love to.  I knew I would be able to write all about what Julianna was doing here at home without her Mama and Daddy and what she was saying about the baby.  Of course we didn't know that the swine flu would prevent us from taking Julianna to the hospital to see her new sibling and that the new sibling would be in the NICU so no one but Mama and Daddy could see him, much less even hold him!!  All of that has been so very hard, but this too will pass.

Courtney and Jonathan are doing good.  I believe Courtney is getting more sleep than Jonathan and of course he is staying at the hospital with her.  They all might get to come home tomorrow, so give them a few days to get adjusted to a new one at home.  

I showed Julianna the pictures of Joshua on the computer this morning and she just beamed and said "oh, my little Joshee".  She is going to be one precious big sister.  She has already picked out a small pumpkin to give him.  She told me and Pap yesterday that she is going to tell him to dust the whole house when he gets home.  Hmmm...wonder where that came from??

We cannot wait to hold the little guy and welcome him home!


Thursday, October 22, 2009

thank you

Thank you all for your kind words. We are doing pretty well. Josh is
in the NICU due to some meconium in the amniotic fluid and a possible
infection because of the fluid in his lungs. He'll be there for at
least 48 hours so he can get antibiotics just in case and we're the
only ones who can see him. There's not even a window to look through
into the nursery. Other than that we are doing great. More pictures
soon. We love you all!

Finally! Joshua is here!

9 lbs 3 oz
2:13 am
arrived on his due date

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

still no baby

I think I would feel better if a tractor trailer ran over me.

Also, I officially HATE Braxton Hicks contractions.

That is all.

Friday, October 16, 2009

I think Ursula the sea witch took her voice

After 24 hours of antibiotics, Julianna is finally getting back to her old self.  She hasn't had a voice for 7 days now and could only whisper to tell us what she needed.  Imagine her pleasure when she woke up this morning and discovered that she was somewhat getting her voice back.

The problem is, instead of napping today she decided to TALK THE ENTIRE HOUR AND A HALF.  I am not even exaggerating one bit.  She talked non-stop!  She is still really weak and running a low temperature (100.4) but clearly feeling better.  When I went up to get her from quiet time I told her that she'd have to go to bed a little early tonight since she didn't take a nap.  She replied, "OK, I will go to bed early.  I just wanted to have the day off."

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Still here.  Nothing's going on.  I have several long posts to write but can't seem to find the motivation or energy. I promise I WILL write something if the baby comes.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Oh my what a boring day!  Julianna is NOT doing better.  She is actually very sick and we are going to get her back to the doctor tomorrow morning.  Friday they tested her for strep and the flu but both were negative.  I don't know that anything will come of it but because since she hasn't gotten better at all, we are going to have her seen again.

I am starting to feel really icky myself and I don't know if it's just paranoia or what, but I called the doctor and they put me on Tamiflu immediately because Jules has all of the H1N1 flu symptoms.  They said that I need to notify them immediately if I start running a fever or have coughs and body aches.  I already feel so gross anyway, but I don't know how much is because I am 38.5 weeks preggo or how much is actually an illness.  I am going to try to get an earlier weekly appointment with my OB tomorrow morning instead of my scheduled appointment on Thursday.  I know it's possible, but I would be surprised if despite all of these contractions that I haven't progressed further from the 5cm I was dilated on Thursday.  We'll see!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Friday, October 9, 2009

no baby yet

At lunch time yesterday I had a very strange contraction that didn't seem to want to go away.  This was after a morning full of irregular contractions.  Then I felt a small trickle and thought my water had broken.  I called the doctor and they wanted to see me whenever I could get there.  Mom and I called Jonathan and met him at the doctor's office.

When the PA there checked me she said there had definitely been some change in my cervix.  She didn't say exactly how thinned out it was but she did say that the baby's head had come way down and that I was now dilated to 5cm.  She said they would do a test to see if my membranes had ruptured and that she thought they might be sending me on to the hospital.

Well, the test was negative.  She checked with the doctor on call and he said that I should go home and wait for the contractions to become regular.  I was disappointed but I guess not too surprised.  I was more irritated at the PA who told me on the way out the door, "See you next week!"

I apologize to those of you who heard we were headed to the hospital.  We weren't ever told to go on to the hospital, probably because I'm not 39 weeks yet and also because my water hasn't officially broken.

From the minute I got in the car I started having a lot more contractions.  They became regular and were starting across my lower abdomen and back then spreading up to the rest of my belly.  They were a lot stronger than what I had previously been experiencing and felt like bad menstrual cramps.  Again, I started thinking, "This is the real deal" and I was just waiting for my water to break.

This continued until I decided to call the doctor's office again before they closed.  I called around 4:20 and the nurse said they'd seen the last patient for the day already.  She asked many questions and couldn't determine if I was in true active labor or not and she told me that it was my call about going to the hospital or not.

I knew that I didn't want to get to the hospital and then be sent home and I also know that I don't want them to have to give me Pitocin to speed up my labor so I decided to wait some more.  We went to the fair to walk around some and then entire time I was having strong contractions about 5 minutes apart.  They definitely felt better when I was walking as opposed to when I was sitting down so I kept walking.

On the way home Julianna started saying she felt sick.  I immediately assumed it was a ploy for a little attention since she certainly knew that something was going on with mom, but instead when we took her temperature at 9pm last night it was 103 degrees.

After a rough night of vomiting, fever, motrin, tylenol, and me trying to avoid close contact with my baby girl we decided to ask my mom to take her to the doctor this morning to get checked for the flu.  She has not had the flu shot yet and although I have, I have not had the H1N1 vaccination yet and the doctors keep stressing to me that I need to get it as soon as it is available and to call them if I think I've had any exposure to the virus.  We figured it would be better to find out for sure if that's what Julianna has or not.

Jonathan wins the dad of the year award for going to the fair when he most certainly didn't want to after a long day of work where his wife made him run around the country after another false alarm and also for getting up and tending to the sick 3.5 year old.  My mom wins the mother of the year award for taking a sick grandchild to the doctor so I could stay away.

Now I've had regular contractions for many, many hours (even though they do slow down when I lay down) but no ruptured membranes so the waiting game begins again.  I'll be posting anytime something happens around here so stay tuned!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

another pregnancy update

I'm still here.  I am getting aggravated to say the least.  I always thought I'd be prepared for the baby to come late just like Julianna did, but this time around things have been so different and I have gotten my hopes up about going into labor early so many times now that it's a lot harder to be patient than I thought it would be.

I have been having so many contractions and I have thought a handful of times that "this is it" and I'd be heading to the hospital soon.  Unfortunately, every time the contractions have stopped before anything else has happened.  We walked around the fair for hours on Monday and then Monday night I had contractions for five hours straight.  They were irregular, but some as close as 3 minutes apart.

Last night (or early this morning rather) I had strong contractions from 2am-3:45am.  I would have one and the pressure on my bladder was unreal.  I would have to jump up to pee and then just as I laid back down and got comfortable enough to drift back off to sleep I would have another.  I kept thinking that I was going to have to go to the hospital, but then apparently it all stopped because next thing I know I was waking up again around 5.

The contractions don't hurt, I just feel a little lightheaded or something like that.  I can feel the heat rise up my neck and my belly gets super tight.  It even takes on a new shape and I feel pressure everywhere.  When I walk or stand up sometimes now I feel a shooting pain go up my inner thigh as if I've pulled a groin muscle.  Yeah.  It's about as fun as getting an eyelash stuck under a contact lens.

I don't really like all this.  With Julianna, I didn't really have contractions until the night I went into labor.  I wasn't even sure then that it was a contraction I was feeling.  I just felt bloated and went to the hospital to be checked.  My water broke on the way.

This time around all of these contractions and timing them and just the whole process has been more anxiety inducing.  I have finally just decided to try to stop paying attention to them.  I figure I will know to go when my water breaks and that is better than sitting around nervous.

My parents were in the mountains this week and due to come home Saturday but came home last night instead.  So now that childcare is easily available and nearby I can relax more.

I went to the doctor Tuesday morning and I have gained a total of 42 pounds and everything they routinely check was normal (blood pressure, belly measurement, urine, etc).  When he checked me, he said I was already 4 cm dilated but only 60% effaced.  Progress, obviously, but the baby's head was still pretty far up so not enough progress.  The doctor offered to strip my membranes and get things started (and since they did this for me with Julianna I strongly considered it), but he also said that it wouldn't hurt to give the baby another week just to make sure that there would be no respiratory problems or anything like that with the baby.  We decided to wait another week to do anything and he said that I could go into active labor at any time so that was encouraging.

I am very ready.  I really didn't expect to have this little patience towards the end this time since Julianna was late and I even bet on 10/23 as the birth date.  I'm just very ready to have my body back.

I had also forgotten what it was like to have everyone calling to check on you a hundred times the last few weeks.  It's so nice, but at the same time it gets annoying when there's nothing to report.  It will be the same way once we have a baby to bring home from the hospital.

Jonathan has said that all of these false alarms have been good for him because it's made it seem more real and made him feel like he really needs to get ready for a baby.  Julianna is as ready as I think she'll ever be.  The other day when I was helping her out of the car at dance she asked the funniest question.  She said, "Mama, when is that silly baby EVER going to get out of your belly?"  It was so cute that I 'bout died.

We are going to the fair again tonight partly because we still have tickets left and partly because it's seemed to do the trick in getting my contractions going both times that I've been already.  And besides, it's been so nice to spend some fun times with Julianna these last few days.  (I have a post coming on the preschool day at the fair, complete with pictures of her and her little "boyfriend.")

I think that's about it.  I'm sure there's more, but I can't really concentrate well these days.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

dentist starts with d

Julianna went to the dentist today and she did so well.  I cannot believe how old it made her seem to be such a big girl doing such brave things.  She went briefly to the dentist once before when she prematurely lost a baby tooth in the Spring, but today she actually had her teeth cleaned and she did a great job.  

She picked out a purple toothbrush and chocolate chip cookie (ew) toothpaste and then opened wide.  She laid down on the chair just as she was supposed to.  She didn't seem afraid at all and although she was a little confused about the "straw water sucker" and forgot to let go of it at one point, she did everything the hygienist asked her to do. 

When the dentist came to look at her teeth she said they looked great.  There appears to be plenty of room for her permanent teeth to come and and she had no cavities.  They still don't really know what caused her tooth to fall out a while back, but she said there's nothing to worry about at this point.  After it was all done, Jules told me it was my turn and then she also asked if she could stay and watch Noggin.  

I know it's silly, but I am just so proud of her I can hardly stand it.  

More to come later.  Been having tons of contractions and went to the doctor this morning so I'll have to give an update soon...

Friday, October 2, 2009

it's finally here

Overheard just now at the Dixie Classic Fair: "I bet that was an NC State graduate that grew that one."

The largest pumpkin was almost 1300 pounds.  Amazing.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

another pregnancy update

I went to the doctor again today.  They didn't even check me for dilation or anything so it was a pretty uneventful visit which I guess can be considered a good thing.  I am still measuring normal and have normal blood pressure.  The baby's heart rate was down again this week to 140 bpm which the nurse told me could mean that the baby is descending into the birth canal.  Sometimes the heart rate drops at the end.  I've definitely been feeling some lower movements and more pressure... yippee...

I also found out the results of my group b strep test and this time it was negative.  It's rare that a woman tests positive for the first baby and then negative for the second, but after talking the options over with the doctor, I asked not to be put on IV antibiotics during delivery this time unless it was truly warranted (like if I had a fever or something).  If at all possible I want to avoid ever facing c diff again (I'd link to my blog post about that but I still haven't transferred it over from the old blog yet).  Anyway, he was very agreeable and I am so thankful.

Nothing else really to report except that I am feeling irritable and exhausted (what's new, right?).  I haven't been sleeping well AT ALL and I feel really yucky from my flu shot yesterday.  I am also really tired of working but know that we need the money so I keep taking jobs anyway.  The earliest date in our baby pool is October 15th and I don't even want to think about how I'll feel by then.

I just read Moxie's post on how to know when you're about to have a baby and am fascinated by the comments.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

unloading pumpkins at The Pumpkin Church

the alphabet song

My cousin gave Julianna a Jumpstart Preschool PC game last year for Christmas and she has thoroughly enjoyed playing with it for the last few months.  She went from playing Level 1 with relative ease to being bored playing Level 3 and now I think she's ready for a new game.  Before she forgot one of the songs she learned from playing the game, I made a point to get her recorded singing it.  Now, I present Julianna and the Jumpstart Preschool Alphabet Song:

A is for apple
B is for bone
C is for cookie
D is for donkey
E is for elephant
F is for frog
G is for gorilla
H is for hog
I is for ice cream
J is for jam
K is for kangaroo
L is for lamb
M is for monkey
N is for nose
O is for owl
P is for potato (with sour cream and lots of butter)
Q is for queen
R is for rabbit
S is for shoe
T is for tomato
U is for umbrella
V is for violin
W is for window (that looks out on the world)
X is for x-ray
Y is for yellow
Z is for zebra (that you see in the zoo)
Oh let's all sing the alphabet thing
Make a word with every letter

Untitled from c525600 on Vimeo.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

pregnancy update

Two Saturdays ago I started having contractions all throughout the day.  They were not really strong and definitely not regular, but I could tell that something was going on.  We had a really busy weekend that weekend, with something like a zillion places to be.  Everyone joked that I would miss my baby shower on Sunday, but fortunately I didn't.

The contractions continued pretty frequently throughout Saturday and Sunday, even getting as close as every 15 or 20 minutes.  I could feel my belly tighten and when I touched it it would be as hard as a rock.  Then the back of my neck would get warm sometimes.  By Monday and Tuesday the contractions had slowed down a lot.  Yesterday and today I haven't had any that I know of.

When I went to the doctor last Wednesday I had to get the group B strep test done so they just went ahead and checked me as well.  I was 2 cm dialated and 50% effaced.  Of course, that means that I could go into labor at any time or I could still be walking around pregnant past my due date.  Who knows?  My belly was still measuring pretty normal size-wise and my blood pressure was fine.  I will admit though, that it was exciting to hear that the contractions had caused some progress.  When I described the contractions to the doctor she confirmed that they were just false labor contractions, but I never felt Braxton Hicks at all with Jules so it's all new to me.

I go again on Wednesday.  I have about three weeks left and I am ready.  I am beyond ready.  I have no desire to cook a thing.  I am so ready for fall weather I can hardly stand it.  I couldn't take one more second of my long hair being down my neck so I had it all chopped off.  I would love to be able to see my feet again and not feel like a double-wide trailer walking around.  I can definitely tell that being on my feet all day at school makes a difference in how many contractions I have and how badly my body aches that night.  Needless to say, I am enjoying the flexibility of being a substitute so that's one good thing.

Anyway, that's about it.  More news after my appointment tomorrow and every week until we have a new baby to coo over.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Philippians 4:13

Here is a short clip of Julianna saying her Bible verse for this month. And it happens to be my favorite scripture verse. Moving up to the three year old class at church has been a very good thing for her and I'm so proud of her for learning it.

Untitled from c525600 on Vimeo.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

an open letter

Dear Tums,

I love you. You work like magic.  I am thoroughly amazed at how quickly and effectively you stop the stomach acid from rising into my throat and granted, you don't work for extended periods of time, but you do bring instant relief and for that I am grateful.  Whoever invented you is considered a genius in my book and my hugely pregnant body thanks you.

Yours for at least another 3 weeks,

Friday, September 25, 2009

three point five

Three and a half is

  • using big words like "concocted" and "multicolored"
  • independence shown in fun-for-mommy ways like, "I'm never gonna drink that milk"
  • writing letters all by herself and drawing pictures that are beginning to resemble real objects instead of just scribbles
  • adventure seeking
  • wearing 5T clothes and STILL growing like a weed
  • imagination and creativity - making up and telling lots and lots of stories to yourself each day
  • lots of pretend play - doctor and house
  • embarrassing your parents by saying things like, "Let's go over there and see that old, old, old man."
  • obsession and fascination with the unusual (i.e. bloody, scary faces and masks out for Halloween)
  • prancing, posing, and eye-lash fluttering for attention
  • able to type on the computer and change the font color and style, plus play kindergarten and first grade level games with ease
  • still ornery without a nap and ten hours of sleep at night
  • old enough to dress herself

  • mean as a snake
  • pre-reading (making the first letter sounds of each word as she sees it and then declaring proudly what other words begin with that letter)
  • still has trouble sharing, but certainly has the concept down
  • full of love and the desire to please others

Happy Half-Birthday, Jules!

waiting for the preschool doors to open

Happy Friday everyone!
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