Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Duke Gardens

Jason's sister, Michelle, and her husband, Jason, came to visit us over the past weekend.  It was great to catch up with them.  Michelle is due with her first baby just a month before me, so we enjoyed talking about pregnancy and babies.  On Friday, the weather was gorgeous, and we spent the morning at the beautiful Duke Gardens.

Thanks for visiting us, Aunt Michelle and Uncle Jason!  It was great to see you, and we can't wait to meet your baby boy soon.  We love you!

Running Again!!

So I'm running again.  I surprised myself last week.  I ran 4 miles 4 times over the course of the week.  I have noticed that if I settle into a comfortable pace (11 - 12 minute miles with the stroller), then I can run continuously for 4 miles without stopping, except for walking up the really steep sections where the path meets the road when my heart rate just seems uncomfortably high. 

I'm still doing prenatal Pilates and yoga, and I also tried an Xtend Barre class that I really enjoyed.  I feel like I have a very well balanced workout now, and I'm still able to challenge myself physically without going overboard.  I hope that I can keep this up for a while longer through the pregnancy.  I know I'll do the Pilates & yoga until I deliver, but I also hope that I can keep up the running or at least keep walking.  It will get much more difficult when the heat of the summer sets in.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Natural Childbirth

With Miles and Vivienne, I had a wonderful birth experience.  I started labor around 2 AM, got an epidural around 6 AM and delivered my children vaginally around 11 AM.  Everything went smoothly with the epidural.  I was able to feel the contractions, and I was able to push strongly.  I didn't have any negative side effects of the anesthesiology that some women experience.

However, with my twin birth, I felt that I basically had no choice but to have an epidural.  Our physicians recommended that we do this, because the likelihood of having a Caesarian birth is much higher with twins.  Without an epidural, if I had an emergency Caesarian for the second baby, they would have had to completely anesthetize me, meaning that I would be completely unconscious for my children's arrival to the outside world.  I didn't want to take that chance.  Because of all this, I didn't even consider natural childbirth.

This time around, I would like to have a natural childbirth (meaning no epidural or other anesthesia).  This is for a few reasons.  Firstly, I think this is the most natural and healthiest way for me to give birth (in my benefit and the benefit of our Baby Girl).  Secondly, this is just a life experience that I would like to have.  This is likely to be our final biological addition to the family, so it may be my last opportunity to experience a natural childbirth.  Lastly, I feel that it's something that I'm designed to be able to do.  I know it won't be easy, but it's a challenge that I would like to face, and I know that I have the capacity to do it.

If you go back and read my twin birthing story, you will notice that I mention how difficult the contractions were around 6 AM.  I remember what that felt like, and I remember being very glad to see the anesthesiologist.  However, this time, I am going to be equipped with natural pain management techniques that will help me to deal with the pain of labor.  Also, I think that taking the "safety net" of an epidural off the table will help me to push past the pain further.  I know that this will be painful and will be hard work, but I also know that I don't have to suffer, and an epidural is not the only option for pain management.

I'm in the midst of reading some books and practicing some methods for natural pain management (mostly breathing and focusing techniques).  Of course, an epidural would be easier and seems "fool proof", but I think that there are a lot of options for natural pain management that can be very effective.  I have many good friends who have had natural childbirth experiences without suffering through the delivery.  That's not to say that this won't be hard work, but I'm ready to do it.

I like knowing that this time around, everything will not be new.  I know what the room is going to look like, what the hospital staff are like and what the general experience is going to be already.  I know what to expect.  I think that all of these things make this time around a lot less intimidating than the first time. 

It will also be nice to deliver in a labor room (versus the operating room with the twins), and have more freedom to move around as I need to.  When I was delivering the twins, I stayed strapped down to the bed for the first few hours.  I didn't even sit up until the anesthesiologist came in.  When I merely sat up to prepare for the epidural (before anyone had even touched my spine), I noticed that the pain of the contractions diminished considerably.  Just changing positions made a huge impact.  I wondered why the delivery nurse hadn't suggested that I change positions (perhaps it was due to all the monitoring devices).  I'm glad that this time, I will have a lot more freedom to move around and find positions that are more comfortable for me.

I ask all my friends and family to be supportive of this.  I know that I can do this.  If something turns out to be different than my plan, I'm not going to be embarrassed or feel like a failure.  I'm going to do the best job that I can to deliver this baby, and she and I are going to come out on the other side one way or the other.

I don't think that there is anything wrong with having an epidural.  My first birth experience was wonderful, and I wouldn't change anything about it.  I just have different plans for this Baby Girl, and I can't wait to go through this process and meet her face to face.

Side Note:  If you have something discouraging to say, please don't.  If you have a story about a last-minute, unexpected natural delivery that was hellish, please don't share.  That's not helpful, and that's not the experience that I'm going to have.  Someone having an unexpected, natural delivery (when they were hoping for an epidural, feeling out of control and helpful) is much different than someone who has been preparing for it for months.  However, if you have something encouraging to say, please comment to your heart's content and flood me with emails.  =)

No More Car Seats

No, of course, we haven't gotten rid of our car seats.  We haven't even turned Miles and Vivienne to be forward facing yet.  But last week, after Jason got home from work, the kids were climbing around in his car playing.  They got in the back seat and Jason buckled them in.  I think they look ready to go!  It will be quite a few more years before they are allowed to ride like this, though.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

It's a Girl!

On Thursday, we had our anatomy ultrasound.  It was so wonderful to see our Baby C's precious little face, and incredible to learn that we're going to have another beautiful baby girl!  Of course, we would be thrilled whether the baby was a boy or a girl, but it's so nice to have a sense of what our family is going to look like in a few short months.  Now I can picture the three car seats in the back of the van with my son and two daughters screaming smiling at me..  And I enjoy calling her "her" instead of "it."  Without further adieu...


Front View

Both Feet (toes pointing to the left, viewed from the bottom of the foot)
Can't wait to meet her!

17 Week OB Appointment

Last week, I went in for a standard OB appointment.  These have been quite different this time around.  They don't give me ultrasounds every time (which is kind of disappointing).  They just have me pee in a cup, weigh me, listen to the baby's (I just typed "babies'" and had to erase it) heartbeat, and ask me how I'm doing.  This last time, they actually measured my belly with a measuring tape.  I have never had them do that before (I guess with twins it's somewhat irrelevant), but I've seen it on TV.  =)  I suppose I will get lots of belly measuring this time around.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday Lunch

After church today, we went to lunch with a great group of friends.  I love getting a table for 11 and 3 high chairs.  =)  On the way there, Vivienne was showing off her flexibility in the car seat (forgive the bad focus with the iPhone).

Not to be outdone, Miles hammed it up for the camera with his pita.

His eyes are so blue.

Out of focus, but OMG could she be any more adorable???

North Carolina Museum of Life & Science

A couple weeks ago when my parents were visiting, we took Miles and Vivienne to the North Carolina Museum of Life and Science.  We spent our time there entirely on the outdoor activities.  Next time, I'll have to check out what's inside.  They have farm animals, a fort to climb in, a caboose, a dinosaur walk, a train (which puts the Pullen Park train to shame - this one is much faster and longer), bears, lemurs, foxes, a butterfly house... it's great!  And they have more stuff inside, but we just didn't get to it.

Viv LOVED the train.

Tunnel shot in honor of Elise and Greg.

Did I mention she liked the train?

A bird's eye view of the butterfly house, courtesy of Granddad.
We had such a great time at the museum that we got a membership.  It takes us a little longer to get there (25 minutes), but it's totally worth it.

Nature Walk

A few weeks ago, we walked to the playground across the street to play with the kids on another beautiful North Carolina "winters" day (notice that Jason is wearing shorts in late January).  There is a very short trail through the woods beside the playground, so it was our first official nature walk as a family.

You can see the true glory of Miles' surfer hair.

Two cutest bottoms I ever did see.

And a drink from Mommy's bottle to stay hydrated.
I hope this is the first of many (hopefully much longer) walks that we take through the woods as a family.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

One, Two, Three!

Last night, Jason was reading the kids a counting book.  He started counting, "One, two, three..."  After a couple pages, Vivienne started saying "two" with him, and she even said "three" before him once.  After that, she just said "two" and "three" with him.  I doubt that she really has any concept of counting things yet, but it was cute that she was able to copy him and anticipate the next number.

I tried to catch this on video, but by the time I grabbed the camera, Vivienne had lost interest.  Maybe next time.

Yoga and Pilates

Because of my shortness of breath and unusually increased heart rate while running, I have had to change my workout routine.  I'm a little disappointed, because I feel like I should be able to run 6 miles a day until this baby is born, but apparently that is just not the case.  But, something very good has come of this.  I have started doing yoga and pilates at a studio near our home.

I go to a prenatal yoga class most Saturdays, and it is such a wonderful time for me.  I really enjoy the stretching, and I have been surprised by the amount of real toning work involved as well.  One of the greatest joys of the class is that it gives me a little one-on-one time with Baby C.  It has been hard to focus on the baby as much during this pregnancy because I spend so much of my time and energy with Miles and Vivienne.  I really enjoy my Saturday mornings to meditate and just be in the moment with me and Baby C.

On Tuesday nights, I go to a prenatal pilates class.  I have enjoyed this class so much more than the bad floor pilates classes that I used to do at my old gym.  We use the reformers and the towers, and it is a very good toning and stretching workout.  I have definitely felt sore on Wednesdays lately, and I'm loving it.

I'm also trying to walk about 5 times a week.  This varies depending on the weather, but we seem to be having more warm, dry days lately, so I have been able to spend a lot of time outside with the kids in the stroller.  And even if it's not running, pushing nearly 100 lbs (kids combined with stroller) 4 miles is still a great walking workout. I mostly love just spending time outside with Miles and Vivienne, pointing out the dogs (they usually scream "Dog!  Dog!" and point like crazy when they see a dog, receiving a huge smile from the dog's owner as they walk by) and the buds starting to appear on the trees and the birds.  Vivienne has been fascinated with pine cones lately.  If she starts to complain about being in the stroller, I can give her a pine cone and she's usually quiet for the rest of the ride, inspecting her new natural toy.

So workouts are looking different these days, but I feel like I'm still doing what I can to keep my body healthy before this baby comes.  I'm up 11 lbs at 17 weeks.  I'm not sure whether that's good or bad, but hopefully it will ultimately be less than the 55 lbs that I gained with Miles and Vivienne.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

As If the Pneumonia Were Not Enough...

More blue ribbon parenting today...

The kids have shown more interest in the potty lately, so they often follow me in there.   They like to pull off the pieces of toilet paper and flush the toilet.  (Exciting, I know!!)  Today they both were in there, and I was trying to get them out.  Vivienne walked out first, but Miles dragged behind, wanting to get more toilet paper.  I eventually ushered him out of the bathroom door and shut the door.  I completely shut the door.  I mean, the door latched. 

Then I turned around behind me and saw Vivienne doing the silent scream.  Her little fingers were in the door - on the side with the hinges.  I had shut the door on her tiny fingers.  I quickly picked her up.  She was crying so hard that she was shaking.  I knew that it hurt and there was nothing I could do about it.  She cried and I cried and tried to soothe her (which probably did nothing for her really, but at least made me feel a little better). 

It didn't break the skin, but made some bad indentations.  She was using her fingers to hold onto her Piglet, so I knew that they weren't broken.

It's been a rough couple of days around here.


Miles and Vivienne have both had head colds on and off for the past 2 or 3 weeks.  Actually, it kind of feels like someone either has the sniffles or congestion throughout the whole winter, but they always seem to be feeling fine (and always love going out on the playgrounds even in cooler weather). 

A few days ago, Vivienne's congestion increased considerably.  She still didn't have a fever, though, so we didn't do anything about it.  We have a humidifier in their room to help with the dry air, but I always wonder how much of a difference that really makes.

Yesterday, Vivienne woke up with this horrible cough.  She was coughing constantly, and she would cough so hard that she was actually gagging herself.  She was crying a lot, but still had no fever.  I called the pediatrician, and they recommended that I bring her in.  Our wonderful neighbor, Jessie, stayed with Miles while I took Vivienne in.  (Huge thanks to Jessie for helping out at the last minute!)

When we got there, they did all the usual stuff - temperature (still no fever), pulse-ox, etc.  The doctor listened to hear lungs and could hear some whistling.  She said,"Well, she's got a little pneumonia in there."  A little pneumonia?!?  Apparently, Vivienne has a mild case of pneumonia.  At first, this sent a sense of shock through me, but I realized that it's not as dire as pneumonia usually sounds (usually makes me think of hospitalization and people dying).  We have her on amoxicillin twice a day now.

Yesterday became a Sesame Street Marathon day.  I think we honestly watched at least 5 episodes.  Vivienne wouldn't nap, so I just rocked her in the recliner and we watched Elmo.  Lots and lots of Elmo.  When Jason got home from work (and the Hallelujah Chorus could be heard from above), we discovered that Vivienne had a fever over 102.  (Funny that I wrote 2 posts ago about how she has never had a fever.  So much for that!!)  We gave her one dose of Tylenol, and the fever hasn't come back since then.

She seems to be eating fairly well.  She is upstairs resisting a nap right now, even though I know she's exhausted.  I'm hoping that she gets some good rest today.  Both she and I could probably use the break.

Apparently, pneumonia isn't as crazy contagious as a lot of people think.  We're probably more likely to get the virus that caused the cold that turned into pneumonia than we are likely to get the pneumococcus or other bacteria from her lungs. 

I'll be glad when my sweet baby girl is feeling like herself again.  Poor little Viv.  She was pretty pitiful yesterday.

Monday, February 6, 2012


Around week 12 or 13, I started feeling the little flutters of Baby C.  It has been much easier to recognize the second time around, because I know what I'm looking for.  I'm on the move so much that I probably miss a lot of the baby's movements, but I do feel him (or her?) when I'm lying down to take a nap or sitting in the recliner at night. 

Can't wait to meet our precious Number 3!

First Fever

We had our first detected fever last week.  The kids and I and my parents went to the NC Museum of Life and Science (which is AWESOME - we ended up getting a membership) in the morning.  Miles and Vivienne had a great time walking and exploring the dinosaur trail and butterfly house and riding the train.  On the way home, both kids fell asleep.

When Miles woke up from his nap, he felt noticeably hot to me.  I took his temperature and it was over 102 degrees.  We have never got a high temperature reading on Miles or Vivienne.  We should consider ourselves lucky, because we got to playdates at least 3-4 times a week and they stay in the nursery at church, so they have ample opportunities to get germs from others.  We have had lots of colds and the very rare instance of vomiting and diarrhea (only a couple times), but no fevers yet (at least not fevers that we have caught with the thermometer).

I gave Miles a little Tylenol, and a few hours later, he was back to his normal self.  The fever never came back and I only had to give him the Tylenol once.

Here's to hoping that we can keep our "fever free" stroke going with Vivienne for as long as possible.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

First Night Without THE Piglet

I have written before about how we bought back-up lovies.  Miles will gladly take either of his identical Pooh Bear lovies.  Vivienne, however, quickly recognized that we were presenting an impostor and completely rejected him.

Yesterday, we went to the Farmer's Market with our friend, Pam.  While I was pushing the babies around in their stroller, holding their lovies (I know, I know... bad idea), Vivienne dropped Piglet.  Of course, I didn't realize this until we were about to leave.  We backtracked and asked vendors along the way if they saw her little Piggy Wiggy.  But, alas, Piglet was not to be found.  We even asked at the Farmer's Market office and left them our number in case they found our little pink friend.

Vivienne didn't nap very well at all yesterday without her Piglet.  But last night, she seemed to sleep just fine.  Hopefully she forgets the familiar smell of her old saliva-soaked oinker and develops an attachment to her new Piglet. 

I guess it's time to order a Piglet back-up back-up?