Friday, December 19, 2014

Russell is THREE!

Happy third birthday to my little Russell Sprout!

Russ is a pretty chill kid.  He completely skipped the terrible twos.  (But yeah, the threes were more terrible for Caleb, so I'm not holding my breath.)

Here are a few things about Russell these days:

  • He weighs 25 lbs 7 oz ( 4-pound gain in the past year) and measures 35 inches tall (a 3-inch gain in a year).  He's one pound heavier than Caleb was at age 3 and is a quarter of an inch shorter than Caleb was.  Russ sure is a shorty!  He doesn't have his check-up until next week, so I'm not sure where he lies on the growth charts, but I'm fairly certain he isn't on the charts at all.  I think that's where his "healthy" is, though.  I'm more than ok with his weight, hydration, willingness to eat, etc.  I guess I just have small kids!
  • He wears size 18 month clothes.  Most of them fit him just fine, but a few of the shirts are getting small and a good handful of his pants fall right off.  Some 2T shirts look just fine on him, but he's just not quite ready to take the leap and wear all 2T clothes.
  • Speaking of growth and eating, Russell is a fantastic eater.  He loves every kind of fruit, veggie, and meat.  He is a super adventurous eater and willingly eats things like curry and spicy foods (he loves to have Tabasco sauce to dip his foods in).  He demands to have his own green smoothie at lunch when I make them for myself (with apple juice, carrots, spinach, chia seeds, strawberries, and blueberries).  He always wants to snack on things like nuts, fruit leather, and applesauce.  He's a seriously healthy eater.  But he also has a sweet tooth that's hard to ignore!
  • Sometimes when I'm telling Russ what he can have for a snack, he'll tell me, "I don't want that because it won't make my hungry go away."  He wants something more filling.  What a cute way to say it!  When he's done eating, Russ will declare, "My hungry is gone.  I'm done."  And he always clears his plate from the table without being asked, which is greatly appreciated.  
  • Speaking of food, Russell appears to have outgrown his corn intolerance!  A few months ago, we reintroduced corn into his diet (we added gluten back in earlier this summer) and he had no problems!  His stools have been exactly the same as they were without corn (when he was intolerant to corn he had blood and mucus in his poop and complained of tummy aches all day long).  It's amazing to not have to worry about what I feed him!  Although, he has been complaining of tummy aches for the last few days, such as when I offered him a piece of toast (which he had the morning before) and he said, "Yes!...No, I don't want it.  Yesterday when I ate it it made my tummy hurt."  He has said the same thing about other foods, too.  I don't know what the deal is, but I don't like it!  He's very in tune with his body--always has been--but I'm really hoping it's nothing.  Coupled with the super dry skin on his chin, I worry, naturally.  But I'm hoping the rash is not food-relates and is just from the dry weather and that some moisturizer will take care of it.
  • Speaking of eating anything, before I came down with awful morning sickness Russ and I would go out to eat once a week while Caleb was at preschool.  Let me tell you, this kid was the best behaved 2-year-old I'd ever seen in a restaurant!  He always behaved like a little adult, making polite requests of the waitresses all by himself and everything. 
  • A few weeks ago, Russ learned how to climb out of his crib.  We converted his crib to a toddler bed and the first few weeks were torture.  He would not sleep.  Naps were done with.  Bed time took forever.  We would check on him and find him dilly dallying around his room and when asked why he wasn't asleep he would say, "My eyes aren't tired and they won't shut!"  After two weeks of this we finally decided he needed a "motivator."  So we told him, "If you stay in your bed and don't turn on your light, you can have a skittle in the morning/when nap time is over."  It worked like a charm and he's now napping better than he was when he was in his crib!
  • He's been potty trained for 11 months now.  That's so crazy to me!  He's completely independent in the bathroom these days, able to do everything on his own without prompting.  It's dreamy.  :)
  • Russ is already facing forward in his car seat.  We made the switch this summer.  We switched him much earlier than we did Caleb, but it's working out fine.
  • Last Sunday, on the way home from church, Nate asked Russ how his day was.  Russ answered, "I had a rough day."  When Nate asked why, Russell said, "Because they didn't have bubbles in nursery."  The kid loves bubbles!
  • Russell is super excited to be a big brother.  Without prompting, he has already started caressing my belly and giving the baby kisses through my belly and talking to the baby.  The other day he was rubbing my belly and then snapped his hand back and said, "Ouch!  The baby bit me!"
  • He is in a super obsessive animal stage.  He pretends to be an animal almost all day long.  Lately it's been turtles.  Russell is a turtle and Caleb is his owner (brings him food and water, keeps him in a "cage" with toys as a fence, etc).  The other day, Caleb let his turtle out for a walk and the poor turtle somehow got flipped over on his back.  Russell the Turtle had to lie there with his legs up in the air until his owner flipped him back over.  Poor Turtle would have died there on his back if someone hadn't flipped him over!  It made me laugh so hard and I eventually learned that the boys have an app on the tablet where they're veterinarians and have to help wild animals--and there's a turtle who is stuck on its back and you have to help it by turning it over.  Russell is so clever to have thought of that!
  • Russ is super boyish these days.  He loves to make jokes about poop.  Poop!  Where did he get that from??  Caleb never did that.  Russ will literally pick up a brown crayon and say, "Mommy, this crayon is like poop!  HAHAHAHAHA!"  Anything is made funnier to him by saying "poop" or "poopy."  We have to remind him all of the time that it's "inappropriate to joke about poop."  Mostly when he calls someone poopy (nicely, of course) then laughs his head off. 
  • He has had two haircuts in his life now, and both were exclusively to get rid of wispies over his ears and the wispy mullet.  I'm happy to say that his hair seems to be thickening now that he's gained those most recent two pounds.
  • He's a huge fan of jumping lately.  He'll jump off of the couch and land on both feet, jump over a throw pillow on the floor, clearing it completely and landing on both feet, etc.  He's a very good jumper!
  • Russ also likes to rhyme.  He notices when words rhyme and he makes up words all of the time to tell us that they rhyme (thinks like, "Caleb and Baleb rhyme, Mom!").
  • He's also a super good communicator.  Talking has always been a strong suit for both of my kids, and this kid just blows me away with some of the sophisticated things he comes up with.
  • I'm pretty sure he's tone deaf.  It makes me a little sad, I must admit.  The only two songs that he knows all of the words to are Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and I Am a Child of God (because he used to request that we sing them to him every night).  By this age, Caleb knew the words to a ton of songs, and could sing them without missing a note.  Russ enjoys music, but he doesn't seem to enjoy singing.  He maaaaybe gets a few notes right when he sings Twinkle Twinkle.  But not more than a few.  
  • In my mind, Russ has some qualities that make him unique from other kids his age.  The biggest one is his desire to seek harmony and avoid confrontation.  For example, if I'm bringing a blue cup and an orange cup to the table, Caleb will automatically tell me that he wants the color that I'm about to hand to Russell.  If they both declare that they want the orange one, Russ almost always changes his mind to say that he wants the blue one.  He absolutely does not want the one Caleb wants, because that would cause a fight.  How many 2-year-olds are that mature?  And he does that with so many things.  As long as he's not in a super tired/cranky mood, he mostly lets Caleb take toys from him.  Whenever I see it I make it right (I absolutely don't want Caleb to think that's ok), but for the most part Russell couldn't care less.
  • Russell has a "friend" that goes with him everywhere.  It's a little black bear that he calls Baby Bear.  He went through a phase for a few days where he changed his name to Baby Jesus, and today he started telling me that it's just Baby.  He would bring Baby Bear with him everywhere if he could, but he's pretty good about when he needs washed or when I tell him he can't bring his bear with.  He also has a favorite blanket, just a soft brown baby blanket with an elephant on the corner.  He's pretty attached to both his Baby Bear and his Elephant Blanket.

And now for a fun tradition that I started when Caleb turned 3!  Here's an interview to show you what 3-year-old Russ is like!

I've never known another child so young who is so in tune with the feelings of others, so aware of himself, so pleasant, so mature, and still so silly!  You bring balance to our family, Russ, and I'm so glad you joined us when you did!  Happy birthday!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Pregnancy Update: 15 weeks 3 days

I had an ultrasound today and it appears I have three separate (yet likely related) things going on.

1) I have a placental abruption, where my placenta is separated partially from the uterine wall, which has been actively bleeding for two weeks now;
2) a subchorionic hemorrhage, where there is a hemorrhage (or possibly a blood clot) between the wall of my uterus and the amniotic sack (I could literally see a sizable bubble in there); and
3) partial placenta previa, where my placenta is partially covering the cervical opening.

This could get complicated, but since my bleeding appears to be stable (even though it hasn't stopped), hopefully it'll just clear up eventually and not be an issue.  If the bleeding gets worse by the time the baby is viable (24 weeks) then I'll end up on hospital bed rest.  Worst case scenario, the bleeding gets so bad that they have to deliver the baby super early to save its life.  The placenta is kinda vital to the baby's survival.  ;)  For now, I'm going to "take it easy" as much as possible and only do the most necessary daily tasks in hopes that the bleeding stops, or at least doesn't get worse.

Also, the placenta previa could be a big deal (it could be the reason I'm bleeding), and it could eventually cause me to need a c-section.  But since it's not a "complete" previa, there's a good chance the placenta will migrate upward as my uterus stretches and grows.  They were taking so many measurements of my placenta because it was super long.  So I guess it's just kinda getting in the way.  But once the uterus gets bigger, it'll hopefully move away from the cervical opening and it won't be an issue.

So there it is.  A lot of wait-and-seeing.  And hoping that this bleeding and these cramps go away.  I started my weekly 17p (progesterone) shots today, which are supposed to keep me from going into early labor (I took them with my last pregnancy as a precaution since Caleb was born so early), so we'll have to see if that helps with the cramps.

Alright, I'm off to "take it easy" some more.

Oh yeah, and we found out today that...


I seriously couldn't be more excited about the prospect of having three little boys.  It's gonna be awesome.  Every day is gonna be a party at our house.  :D

Saturday, December 13, 2014

First Trimester Placental Abruption

This blog post will have lots of details that may gross you out.  It goes along with my policy of "if it's medical, it's not personal."  Be warned.

Thursday morning, December 4th, I was exactly 13 weeks 4 days.  It was around 3:30 AM when I awoke feeling like I was wetting my pants (see, personal details already).  I was a little embarrassed, thinking this is waaaay too early in my pregnancy for that to start, right?  I mean, it's not like I have 6+ pounds sitting on my bladder.  So I got out of bed and felt a gush.  I was like, seriously?  Can I not control my bladder?  So I went to use the toilet and was pretty darn alarmed at what I saw.  There was blood.  So much blood.  In my pants, turning the water red.  Blood everywhere.  It seemed kind of watery, too.  But then there was a blood clot, not huge, but certainly big enough to be alarming.  Oh crap, I think I may be having a miscarriage.

So I got cleaned up and woke Nate up.  I told him that if I start having cramps then I'm going in to the ER (after all, bleeding, blood clots, and cramps are symptoms that are pretty hard to ignore).  At that moment I felt a tiny cramp, so I was like, "I'm going."  Of course, it's 3:30 in the morning, so who would we call to watch our kids??  We decided that Nate would stay home and I'd drive myself to the hospital.
They were able to get me back for an ultrasound after not too long of a wait.  The ultrasound tech didn't let me see the ultrasound much at all, but after a minute of taking a look at things he said, "It's squirming around in there."  Whew!  What a relief!  He was also extremely surprised that I was only 13 weeks (and 3 days) because the baby was consistently measuring at 14 weeks.  He also informed me that I have a posterior placenta (it's implanted on the back of my uterus).  Good to know.

So after taking a look at a bunch of things, he brought me back to my ER room and they started an IV.  Or I should say, they tried to start an IV.  They were successful on their third try.  It turns out my forearms have deceptively nice-looking veins, but they blow extremely easily.  I'll be warning anyone else who ever tries to put an IV in my forearm.  
This is how it looked almost 9 days later.  I also recall how it took three tries to get an IV in my forearm when I had my tonsils out.  So after five total attempts in my lifetime, only one of those attempts was successful.  Yes, I think I'll have them stick to my elbow joints from now on.

To make a long story short, the doctor eventually came in and told me that I had a mild placental abruption.  My placenta is partially detached from the uterine wall, which shouldn't happen until after the baby is delivered.  He said it could bleed for a bit, then reattach itself and heal.  Or it could detach more and more until I miscarry.  He said to go home and stay on bed rest until I could follow up with my regular OBGYN within the next week.  He was very kind about it, but basically told me not to come back unless I was losing so much blood that I was dizzy.  There's really nothing the ER could do about a miscarriage, anyway.

So I made it home around 6:30 AM feeling very relieved that my baby was still alive and glad that there was something I could do to protect him/her.  

So I stayed on bed rest, with the bleeding getting better and worse and better and worse.  Literally every other day.  I could periodically feel my uterus contract and stay rock hard for a few minutes, but I never had any cramps.  Judging by my still-existent nausea and the fact that I could literally feel the top of my uterus growing higher and higher each day, I knew my baby was still ok in there.  All the while, Nate did a seriously amazing job taking care of the boys and me.  

I saw my regular OB on the next Tuesday.  Well, I saw the nurse anyway (the OB had just left for a delivery).  We located the heartbeat (always a relief) and she told me that there's a pretty good chance that the baby will be ok.  She gave me a 90 percent chance that the bleeding will stop on its own and the pregnancy will proceed as normal.  She wanted to wait for two weeks after the beginning of the bleeding before doing an ultrasound, to give my placenta a chance to fully heal.  She also said I didn't need to be on strict bed rest, but "modified bed rest," where I can be up and about and doing things, but don't do more than what's necessary and most importantly don't do any lifting (no more than about 6 pounds, she said).  Also pelvic rest.

Since going from strict bed rest to modified bed rest, I have been having loads of cramps.  As of today the bleeding still hasn't stopped, but it hasn't gotten worse, so I'm taking that as a good sign.  But the cramps are quite painful, and since my placenta is posterior, I get awful lower back cramps.  And then there's the overall soreness associated with placental abruption.  My abdomen is just plain sore.  Really sore.  And then there's the 10-minute-long contractions that I get when I do something as simple as bend over.  That was pretty "normal" for me when I was pregnant with Russell, so I was expecting it this time around.  But I sure hope that that doesn't harm my placenta any farther.

Also, oddly enough, the bleeding is always worst first thing in the morning.  I don't know if the baby likes to kick his/her placenta all night long or what, but after a day of milling around the house things always seem slightly better (except for those darn cramps).  

So now we wait.  There's a slight chance that the bleeding won't ever stop and then we'll just have to hope that it doesn't get any worse until I can deliver.  If that's the case, I'll be lucky if I can go full-term.  So let's just hope that it resolves!

I'll keep ya posted.

Friday, December 12, 2014

One Trimester Down, hopefully two to go!

I'm glad to have that first trimester over with.  It wasn't my favorite.  Here's a little run-down of what it was like:

I felt awesome until I was 5 weeks and 6 days pregnant.  That's when the morning sickness came on strong.  I started out throwing up an average of twice a week.  Not so bad, really, except that I wasn't able to eat much.  I went through a few different cravings (not so much cravings, really, but more like things that I thought I could stomach better than other food).  Raisin bread toast with butter, orange soda, and summer sausage are what I lived on for a while.  If I tried eating other things, I usually felt like the food was stuck in my throat for about 10 hours before throwing up.  It was soooo rough.

I ended up losing 5 or 6 pounds, and haven't gained any of it back yet.

I couldn't walk through a grocery store without looking for a place to throw up.  The sight of all of that was just too much.

I realized just how much Nate thinks about and talks about food.  He would try to tell me what free lunch he got at work that day, and I'd have to cut him off for fear of tossing my proverbial cookies right then and there at the thought of food.  It was pretty bad.  And it happened at least once a day.  I had to scroll through my facebook news feed extra fast so as to avoid seeing any pictures my friends shared of food.  I just couldn't handle it!

I required a lot of medications...zofran, phenergan, vitamin B6, unisom, zantac, tylenol, colace, and mirilax (which I could have sworn didn't have a taste until I became pregnant).  Ugh.  I hate taking medication, but I seriously needed it for survival.

As far as pregnancy symptoms go, my list was short this time, compared to my first two pregnancies.  Yes, the nausea and vomiting was pretty miserable, but that, constipation (also miserable) and post nasal drip are pretty much all I've dealt with, with a little heartburn/reflux thrown in there.  I'm so relieved to not have the mood swings that haunted me with my boys.  I still feel like myself!  It's amazing.  I get headaches from time to time, but they're well controlled with a tylenol or two, which is nothing compared to how debilitating they were with my first two pregnancies.  SO glad to not have that to deal with (knock on wood).

Now let's talk more about the post nasal drip.  I remember having a stuffy nose through my whole pregnancy with Russell, and I thought that was no fun.  HA!  This time I have had so much mucus draining from my sinuses down the back of my throat that TWICE I would try to swallow a pill and it would get STUCK!  Talk about gross!  I'm supposed to take my thyroid pill on an empty stomach every morning, but I had to eat something first to try to clear my throat.  And even then it got stuck!  Thankfully thyroid pills aren't bitter, because it ended up back in my mouth.  Gag.  The other pill that got stuck...that one was pretty nasty tasting when partially dissolved.  I can tell that my gag reflex has eased up a bit, because I can talk about it now.  At the time, just thinking about it was enough to make me hurl!  And then there were the many times where I would just try to breathe, and the mucus would be overwhelming and I'd almost throw up.

I also caught a 24-hour stomach virus that our whole family got, but I got it worse than anyone by far.  I ended up throwing up about 15 times (if you include dry heaving) in half a day and couldn't keep down even a sip of gatorade.  So to the ER I went.  The fluids and IV zofran helped immensely and I was all better by the next day.

These days, my favorite thing in the world is pears.  Canned pears are my favorite.  I drink the juice with a straw.  Yummmm!  It's good for hydration and fiber, two things that I really need.  Otherwise, it seems that the cravings and aversions have eased up a ton.  I can kinda just eat whatever, as long as I don't eat a ton of anything (it makes me sick).  I also have to eat constantly.  I'm talkin' if I go more than 30 minutes without eating, I had better pop a cookie in my mouth ASAP to get my blood sugar back up before I get so sick that I can't eat anything.  It's so odd.  I've learned to keep oatmeal squares (the cereal) around, as well as pretzels.  And little chewy candies are also good to pick me up when I'm on the verge of being sick.  Skittles and sour patch kids are what I've been using lately, and they've helped a lot.

Now, right at the end of this rough trimester is when I had my little placental abruption drama goin' on, but seeing as this is getting pretty long already, that deserves a post of its own.  Stay tuned.

One day shy of 10 weeks:

One day shy of 12 weeks:

One day shy of 13 weeks:

I only take pictures on Sundays when I'm actually dressed nicely (usually the only day of the week where I'm dressed nicely).  My due date is on a Monday, so my pictures will always be one day shy of whatever week that is.  Aaaaand, I've been hanging out in pjs since the abruption, so I promise, next time I'm actually wearing real clothes, showered, and wearing maybe a little bit of makeup, I'll snap a picture.  But it might be a while.  Sorry/not sorry.  You should try wearing pajamas for a week straight.  It's kinda awesome.