Thursday, November 29, 2012

37 Weeks and Why I'm Choosing a C-Section

Weekly doctor visits really make the reality of what's about to happen sink in. With only 1 maybe 2 visits left I'm starting (yes, starting) to realize that maybe asking some questions about things might be a good idea. You see, I usually just use the avoidance tactic when an uncomfortable experience is on the horizon. If I don't think about it, don't talk about it then it's not going to happen right?


Um, no.

Pretty sure this c-section thing is going to be happening again and very soon. And yes, I'm a planned c-section. No, I'm not trying for a V-BAC. I know *some* people frown upon planned c-sections. It's like they think it's the easy way out. No work, just lay there and have the baby cut out of damage to ahem certain areas below. 

I did not want a c-section the first go around. I cried when they told me there was no other option. I tried to wait for Ethan to come on his own, I had to be induced and went through all the motions...even the pushing and he just wouldn't come out. A big baby plus a small pelvis equaled c-section in my case.

I felt like I failed.

I felt like people thought I'd given up.

Sometimes things just are what they are.

This time around I expected a c-section. I did not investigate a V-BAC all that much. There are some people out there that really have a strong desire to have a natural birth and have that true birthing experience and that is amazing. I personally am concerned with the baby getting here and everyone being healthy. I'm not saying that the other people aren't...I completely understand where they are coming from and fully support it...but my desire for that just isn't quite as strong. I see a V-BAC as a risk to both my health and my baby's health. Situations could arise that would land me not just in a c-section, but an emergency c-section and could possibly take away my chances of having more children and those risks are just not something I'm willing to take on.

With that said, I have to admit that I am beginning to get extremely nervous about this upcoming surgery. I didn't have much time to think about what was going to happen when I had one with Ethan, but this time around I feel like everything is going to be so...well...operational. I get nervous about getting my blood drawn, so you can imagine the anxiety I feel about having my abdomen sliced opened. And yes, I've done it before...and no, that doesn't make me feel any better about it.

Last week we had an accidental ultrasound. I was seeing a nurse practitioner instead of my regular OB and somehow landed in the ultrasound room. I asked why I was there, but I guess my confusion did not seem to matter to them. I found out that my fluids were just fine and that I have a BIG healthy boy growing inside. At 36 weeks he was weighing in at 7 pounds 6 ounces and is on track to be a 9 pound baby. Of course those are just estimates, but it would not surprise me any seeing as how Ethan was 8 pounds 7 ounces although he was born at 41 weeks and Jackson will be at 39. 

Those numbers kind of solidified things for me. There is no way this baby would have even been able to come out the natural way with numbers like that. My body just wasn't made for it. My hips just never widen. A c-section is definitely the right choice for me

Birthing and raising babies are so very personal. Everyone has different ways and beliefs and that is just a-okay. In the end, there are no trophies handed out. And I wish there was no judgement passed, but there is. All that matters though is that we get to come home with our little (or big) bundles of joy and do our very best to raise happy children. We all just take different paths to get there and that should be respected.

Linking up with Things I Can't Say for Pour Your Heart Out.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

2nd Child Syndrome

We are 16 days away from Jackson's scheduled arrival date. Yes, that's roughly two weeks. Hello, Laura....are you reading this? You have 2 weeks to get your arse in gear! People are constantly telling me I will go early and at one point this weekend that little possibility hit me hard. Don't they know this freaks the mother out? Oh that's right...they aren't thinking about that.

Yes, he is low. 

Yes, I look like I could pop at any moment. 

No, I won't have this baby in your can now relax and leave me alone to do my shopping.

I've reached the point where a shirt that reads "Please keep comments to yourself" would come in very handy. 

My head is swirling with to-do lists. Mommy brain is already in full effect. I'm pretty sure I'm in denial that this kid is not going to just wait around until I get everything checked off my list. 

At this point with Ethan I was busy scrubbing baseboards and freezing countless amounts of casseroles. 



Oh how things have changed. 

The good news is that if this baby did decide to come tomorrow I have all the essentials. They aren't prepped and ready to go...but I have them.

It will be a miracle if everything comes together in time, but honestly, I'm not freaking out...a lot anyways. I do twitch from time to time, but it usually subsides fairly quickly. 

Last time I was scared. I had no idea what I was getting into. This figure things will just work themselves out.

Who have I become?!?! 

Is this what being a parent has made me?

As much as I want things to be the same for Jackson as they were for Ethan, I know deep down that they just won't be.

I've changed. I've grown. I can't possibly do things the same way.

I might not be as on top of things as I once was, but I am more relaxed. I can roll with the punches a little more easily. 

I probably won't have time to take 800 pictures in one month of just Jackson like I did with Ethan, but I'll get the important things. They will be less blurry, they will be of better quality.

Jackson will have to wear hand-me-downs, but he will get new things too and probably of better quality since I don't have to buy mass quantities of things this go around.

I probably won't write as much about Jackson's life as I did Ethan's. It doesn't mean that I don't care, it simply means that I got things figured out the first go around. Every little stage won't be such a traumatic change.

Yes, there is such a thing as 2nd child syndrome. It's called being an experienced parent (ahem...I say that very loosely). Things may not always be tied in a pretty little bow around here, but Jackson is going to have it pretty good. No worries there.

Monday, November 26, 2012

A Holly Jolly Giveaway

The lovely November Sponsors of The View From 510 have come together to give one lucky reader a $25 Starbucks Card, $25 Erin Condren Gift Card and a Mint Teardrop Necklace.

Good luck and Happy Holidays everyone! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Another Christmas Mis-Adventure

As a mom, I feel like one of my roles is to make sure childhood is special for Ethan. People often tell me "He's two, he's not going to remember any of this." and they are probably right. He won't exactly remember every little thing we do for him, but I do feel like it will make some sort of impact on him in the future. Traditions will be ingrained, thoughts and feelings will be formed and if all else fails there will at least be photographic and written proof for him to look back upon one day. 

Sometimes though I wonder if I'm forcing things too much. Take for example our Christmas tree adventure this year. And no, this isn't our first Christmas tree fact, it tends to be a fairly consistent thing for our family as described in this very old post

Being back in East Tennessee made me want to introduce Ethan to the whole chop your own tree down experience. The past two years we've tried but failed (due to my utter hatred for pines) to find anywhere amazing to take him to get a tree and the experience has been a little lack luster to say the least. So this year I decided to make it extra special.

It turns out that our new home is only a mere 2.5 hours away from the home of the beautiful Frasier Fir tree (my absolute favorite type of Christmas tree). It only grows in North Carolina and possibly Colorado due to the elevation requirements so it is sort of an unique experience. I envisioned a pancake breakfast, a fun ride of Christmas carols, Ethan being in awe of so many trees and maybe some hot chocolate. 

Obviously you can tell where this is headed. 

Apparently I had forgotten I had a two year old. 

The pancake breakfast that I was sure would be a hit ended up with me mostly eating alone (not that I minded) and my husband taking wild child toddler outside so we didn't disturb the other patrons. The Christmas carols were sung amidst the screams of an unhappy car rider who insisted on telling us he was "stuck" in his carseat the whole way. Yes kid, you are strapped in and have been all your life. 

We arrived frazzled, but hopeful to one of the largest tree farms I've ever seen. As we received our instructions on tree hunting Ethan spotted a tractor and was overcome with joy. As we headed for the trees he began pulling back saying "Tractor! Tractor!" and I knew that our trip had ended before it have even begun. 

He could have cared less about the trees. There was no magic. It was a battle of wills until the end. Quickly the special tree hunt became like one of those bad grocery store trips in which you just grab and go. Except tree hunting is a little more time consuming and difficult. 

It wasn't all a total loss though. He did become fascinated with the farm animals long enough for me to finally find a tree. And of course we finished off the experience with the hay ride he was just dying to take. 

The trip home isn't even worth mentioning. It was a complete disaster due to an overly hungry toddler and our lovely Garmin taking us in a direction of absolutely no civilization what so ever. 

Life with children is such a delicate balance. Sometimes even the best laid plans can turn disastrous.

As my husband started to lose his cool, I wondered why the heck I had even tried. I began to feel sorry for myself and even began to question my true reasonings for the trip. Was I just being selfish and trying to do this solely for myself? Instead of a magical trip of fun, everyone was just frustrated.

As a parent, I'm realizing that special memories and traditions don't just happen on their own. There is always some effort that has to be put behind it. I guess I never saw that as a kid. I look back so fondly on my own childhood Christmas traditions now although I'm sure my parents have some stories like these of their own. Visions dashed, frustrations high. It might all seem to be a lost cause at the time.

Deep down I know that I do partially do these things for myself. I want to experience special moments with my kids. I don't want to feel regret for not putting in the effort. I want my kids to feel loved, to feel special, to have wonderful memories. I know in years to come that Michael and I will be laughing about this trip just as we have with all our other Christmas Mis-adventures. And no, Ethan won't remember this particular trip, but hopefully over time (and many more trips) he will develop a love of Christmas traditions and pass that on to his own family one day. 

The toddler years are tough, and sometimes I have to remind myself that it's truly the simple joys that make him happy. I know that elaborate plans aren't always necessary, but the effort is always worth the memory. I don't regret a single moment of this trip. Everything may not have been picture perfect, but I know that one day we will all look back upon it fondly. The memories of frustration will fade into laughter and the spirit of tradition will hopefully live on. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Choo-Choo - Win a train set from Melissa & Doug

Ethan's big Christmas gift this year is going to be my old train set I had when I was a child. I've been browsing for some fun add-ons like extra trains, tunnels and bridges for quite some time now so when Melissa & Doug contacted me about their Magic Mine Wooden Train Tunnel Set I jumped at the chance! 

I obviously haven't given this to Ethan just yet, but I just know he is going to love it and your little one will too! The set comes with 5 pieces that connects to most brands of wooden tracks. I googled to find out if my old track would work and fortunately it does! The engine and empty cars pass through the tunnel to magically reappear filled with treasure! Magic treasure? I'm sold!

Melissa & Doug's wooden toys never disappoint me. I am always in love with their quality and look and this set is no different! Please use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. Contest ends Sunday at 12AM EST. Winner must respond to my email within 48 hours or someone else will be chosen. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

What Happened to the Calm Before the Storm?

You know the old saying..."The calm before the storm"? 


Well, it's lying.

I'm pretty sure that having a baby is considered a "storm" in some ways. And by storm I mean the sweet, cute bundle of non-sleeping constant diaper changing type of storm. At exactly one month until D-Day you would think I would be entering the calm phase right?

Well, it looks like life has other plans for me.

Kid #1 has decided to no longer sleep past 5ish AM. You know what happens when your kid wakes up every morning at 5AM? You begin to look like a zombie. Black eyes, swollen face, you lose your ankles and have a huge growth in your mid section...oh wait...that's really all to blame on 3rd trimester pregnancy. You might also get told by your two year old son that you have "shoo-shoo hair" because you never get to shower.

He's also decided that napping in the big boy bed is for the birds. So, he's still in Jackson's room which crazily enough besides paint still looks like Ethan's old room. I refuse to put new bedding on that crib until E is officially out and I'm beginning to wonder if I will even have a finished nursery by the time Jackson arrives. 

We also have a billion projects going on in the house that are all half finished. The house is constantly a disaster zone and every time I think I can check something off my to-do list at least 3 new things get added. 

Sometimes I wonder how in the hell we will be able to make it with two. I mean...who thought this was a good idea...(**cough, cough** all elbows pointing at this gal). I'm beginning to wonder how I will ever have hope of getting life under control with new baby if I can't even get it under control pre-baby. 

I know we will make it.

I know things will be fine.

Yes, this post is a whine-fest.

Did I mention the lack of sleep??? 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Melissa & Doug Terrific Twenty List and Giveaway

If you are a parent then you probably already know all about the awesome products Melissa & Doug has to offer. Some of Ethan's favorite toys have come from this company. His favorites being the metal shopping cart, the construction truck puzzle and wooden tool box. With Christmas right around the corner, I know we are all looking for great toys to give to our little ones and Melissa & Doug has come up with the perfect way to tell you about twenty of their top products! 


Melissa & Doug is currently doing a twenty day giveaway of their favorite toys. Just check out their Facebook page to find out how to enter! Want some more awesome news??? Melissa & Doug has also graciously offered to do a giveaway just for MTU readers! I'll be back with more details soon on that one so stay tuned! You won't want to miss it!

**I was gifted a toy to keep in return for sponsoring this post however all thoughts and opinions are my own.**

Monday, November 12, 2012

32 Days

We are officially 32 days away from Jackson's arrival. I'm fairly sure by this point I had every single thing I needed for Ethan's arrival last time. Room done. Necessities purchased. Basically I was twiddling my thumbs.

This go around?

Room isn't done. Things are ordered, but nothing is here. Hell, there is still a kid in the room. Try as we might to get him switched to his big boy room, Ethan is just not fully there yet. Nap times would be non-existent and mama needs those nap times! 

I could not go to sleep last night just thinking about what all I might possibly be overlooking and turns out it's a lot. Well, I say that, but in all honesty I have the necessities just not all the little extra touches. As of early this morning I put in an order for more burp cloths as I realized all my old ones had E's name monogrammed on them. I also begged a lady from Europe to rush knit baby Jackson some cute booties to come home in. As much as I'm against trying to keep shoes on babies, I've realized that I'm going to have to succumb to that debacle with this December baby.

I have yet to drag out any of our old baby stuff so I have no idea what we have clothing wise. I did finally make a few new clothing purchases for Jackson over the weekend though. Kid needs some new things of his own right?

My lack of preparedness isn't the only difference this time around though. I think overall I've been waaaaay more laid back about this pregnancy. After all the fight of trying to get to this state, I think I decided to take a backseat and just go with the flow. I haven't read a single baby center email. I barely even remember what week I am when asked. In fact, there have been several times when I've forgotten I'm pregnant all together. 

For whatever reason, this pregnancy has been so much easier on my body. I feel I'm in better shape. I weigh less...I'm gaining the same amount, but overall...I still weigh less. It probably helps that I"m not having a nightly ice cream sundae every night like I did with E. Whoops. My rings are still on so swelling has been less than last time around. Tiredness isn't as prevalent. My boobs are at least twice as large as last complaints there! And instead of the baby being on my chest like Ethan was, Jackson has decided to hang out soooo much lower. Although I am enjoying breathing this time around, I do have to say that a low baby has some disadvantages of its own.

I think I've been so caught up in everything else going on around here that I just haven't had time to freak out about the fact that I'm about to have 2 kids. TWO! How we are going to keep everything together is a mystery to me. I think my motto this year has just been to tackle things as they come and this will be no different. 

In 32 days....we will be parents of two. I keep repeating that little tid bit to myself, but I'm not quite sure I believe it just yet. 

Monday, November 5, 2012


At 5:30 this morning I was awoken by a knock on our bedroom door. My husband opened it to find my two year old standing there with two opened yogurts in his hand. He apparently had escaped his new big boy room. He had climbed over the baby gate and gone down the stairs in the dark, made his way to the kitchen, climbed into the fridge and retrieved his beloved yogurt. He had taken the tops off and helped himself to the silverware drawer to grab a spoon all while my husband and I were blissfully sleeping.

At what point did my child get so dangerously independent?

Two days ago, out of the blue, he told my husband he wanted to poo-poo on the potty. We have haphazardly been putting him on the toilet to pee every now and then with success, but we have never poo-pooed (or shoo-shooed as I like to call it). Low and behold he shoo-shooed! In fact, he did it twice that day. And here I was thinking I wasn't going to potty train until spring when I got this newborn thing under control. 

I remember the days when I was pushing Ethan to do things faster, maybe before he was ready and now...he's the one pushing me. I feel like my baby is speedily turning into a self sufficient kid and that scares the living shit out of me.

I know that sounds crazy. I clearly remember the newborn days when I was all "I can't wait until you can just get your own food and wipe your own butt!" and now that my kid is on the verge of doing those things himself I realize how scary your own child's independence can be. 

Ethan is determined to learn to do everything by himself. In fact, he's capable of quite a bit I would have never dreamed he'd be ready to do. It's exciting but sad at the same time. 

I'm beginning to see the edges of the future. The future that does not require mommy's help for every little thing. 

His feelings and understanding of situations around him are starting to kick in. Conversation has gotten more complex. Questions have begun. I thought I had more time to prepare for all this. I'm realizing now how much more responsibility is involved when trying to protect your child from certain feelings and being exposed to too much. They are sponges that soak everything in, but can't always make sense of what's going on. 

Where did my baby go? 

When did he start acting like a kid? 

Parenting is tough. It makes you do things before you are ready. It reminds you of how quickly time goes. It makes you feel like you have no time for yourself only to quickly remind you that there will soon be a day when you are barely needed at all. 

What an emotional roller coaster!
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