March 23, 2014

Starting 39 Weeks With a Bang

As you can see, we made it another week. Even after all my natural induction methods, nothing sent us into labor. It did send us into false labor though.

Thursday night at 11:00 pm I started to have some regular contractions that lasted until 1:30 am. I started to time them and they were 1-2 minutes long each, coming every 5-6 minutes. People always say "you know" when you are in labor, however I really didn't know. With Noelle my water broke two weeks early, without any pains beforehand, and it was obvious. Water breaks = go to hospital. Thursday night I had no idea if this was the real thing or not, I just knew that my contractions were taking my breath away and walking, eating, moving, etc. was not stopping them. So I called the BabyLine and talked to a nurse. After a series of questions she declared that I should go to the hospital to be evaluated. 

We really didn't get our hopes up because we've heard so many stories of people being sent home after getting to the hospital to be checked. We left our bags in the car, thinking we wouldn't need them and headed to the maternity assessment center. This was approximately 2:00 am. We were surprised to find out that I was dilated to a 4! (I was a 3 on Monday.) This was encouraging. The nurse then told us to walk around the hospital until 4:00 am to see if my contractions and dilation would progress. After Joey and I walked until I thought the baby was going to fall out of me, we headed back and the nurse said I was at 4.5 cm and that was good enough to be admitted! I have to admit, we got our hopes up a little bit at this point and were excited. We were sent on our way to a labor room, all my stats were put into the computer, and I was hooked up to the monitors. Joey was directed to go get our bags and to get us settled. Wow. Was this the real thing?

I watched my contractions on the screen, and I couldn't believe it - I wasn't in massive amounts of pain. They actually felt less painful then when I had arrived, although they were still coming every 5 minutes. Something seemed off. We weren't the only ones who noticed that it seemed weird. Our midwife came in and decided to have us do some more walking. At this point it was 5:00 am. Joey and I returned to our room at 7:00 to get monitored and it looked like my contractions had slowed down to every 10 minutes and they were much weaker. 7:30 I was checked again, and found out the devastating news - I hadn't dilated at all since 4:00 am. Worse news? We were getting sent home.

After I got over the urge to cry, I just got crabby. Joey and I had just spent a whole sleepless night at the hospital to be sent home. The contractions had been real at first, and did dilate me, but that was it. They were not regular, progressive, labor contractions - and they stopped. Depressing!

So that was the start to our (hopefully) last week of pregnancy. I'm really bummed by what happened but have learned one thing; I probably will not be trying to self induce myself again! I think those tricks definitely did help me contract, however that's it. It might have moved things along, but it didn't "induce labor." I don't want to confuse my body like that again or try to start something that won't lead up to anything. Getting discharged from the hospital was frustrating, sad, and not encouraging! 

People always talk about the "baby blues" after pregnancy but no one seems to discuss the emotions you go through before labor. The last weeks are hard. You feel terrible physically, you are large, things hurt, things are uncomfortable, people keep on asking you if you are still pregnant, your hormones are out of's an irritable, sad, time. It's a waiting game, and it's boring. It's been a hard couple of weeks lately, and now after the hospital visit, I'm feeling more dumpy. I try not to get down about it, but it's hard. I've been just trying to rest, indulge in some naughty foods, do some mild exercise, and enjoy the time I have before the baby comes...but the feeling is always in the back of my heart. I just really want my baby, and my mind, hormones, and emotions to return to a more stable state!

Our due date is officially 5 days away - hoping to either go before that, or to get to 5 days in one piece. I can't even fathom the thought that realistically I could go OVER 5 days...even being pregnant for 2 more weeks after my due date! Eeeek!!

Starting 39 weeks was rough, let's hope the rest of the week gets easier!

March 17, 2014

How To: Induce Labor Naturally...Or At Least Try!

So, yesterday came and went - obviously, no baby. Darn it! Baby #2 did not want to follow in her older sister's footsteps!

I went for my 38 week appointment this morning and found out that I am dilated to a 3, and that I am 75% effaced. This is a lot more progress than my 38 week appointment with Noelle! With Noelle I was dilated to a 1, and 70% effaced two days before she came.

I've got to be having this baby this week! My midwife encouraged me to try "natural inducing" methods, which I have been doing for a couple weeks anyways. I'll never know if my dilation and thinning cervix is from these methods or just nature but I guess it doesn't hurt to try them out. So far, my progress has been gradual and I've been doing a bunch of these methods throughout the last month.

Here are the natural inducing methods:

  • Pineapple: I eat a lot of pineapple. The proteolytic enzymes in the pineapple are suppose to ripen the cervix, making it thin and also stimulates muscle contractions. It gives me really bad heartburn, but it's so yummy! I eat some almost every day. Oh, one tip? Don't eat the canned stuff. Eat it fresh!
  • The deed: We've all heard this. I'm not going into detail but the story behind it is that the oxytocin released can start contractions, and the prostaglandins help soften the cervix. 
  • Acupuncture: I have not done this and don't plan to, but it's been said to induce a lot of overdue women. If I was desperate I may try this but I don't know if I believe the hype.
  • Acupressure: There are a few pressure points where you can massage that supposedly will help ignite contractions. This is far fetched to me, but I guess it doesn't hurt to try. There are a lot of nerves in your feet, so they say getting a foot rub or a pedicure will help. Also if you massage and press the area in between your pointer finger and your thumb that should help too. I have no idea. I've been massaging my hand for days when I remember.
  • Spicy foods: The concept here is that spicy foods move your bowels, which may also move your uterus and cause contractions. I think this might work for people who don't usually consume spicy foods, but since I do normally, I don't think this does anything to me. 
  • Ginger: Again, the spice in ginger is suppose to stir things up. I ate ginger cookies all weekend and real organic ginger ale. It was spicy and delicious, but who knows if it did anything?
  • Eggplant parmigiana: It's not the eggplant that is said to put you into labor, but the oregano and basil in the recipe that gets your body going. Juries out on this one for me. I'd eat it if it was available but I haven't gone out of my way to get my hands on it.
  • Nipple stimulation: Typing that even makes me uncomfortable. In efforts to not be TMI, all I'll say is that it's suppose to mimic breastfeeding, which naturally makes your uterus contract.
  • Bouncing on a yoga ball: I did this with Noelle - and it might have helped some. I haven't this time though, since I've been avoiding the yoga ball like it's the plague. (Too many bad memories of bouncing a colic Noelle on the yoga ball for hours on end.)
  • Exercise: I've been doing lots of walking and carrying Noelle around. I think this definitely has helped push the baby down lower and put pressure on my cervix to open, but no, I don't think you can "walk a baby out." 
  • Evening primrose oil: This is something that I wanted to try, since it's talked about a lot when discussing inducing labor. It's said to thin and soften the cervix. I saw it at the grocery store and couldn't stomach the $20 price tag.
  • Castor oil: I will never do this. Well, I shouldn't say never. I might do it if I was at 42 weeks or something, but definitely not now. It is an extreme laxative, that will really stir up your stomach and uterus. Contractions will probably for sure happen, but so will violent diarrhea. One of my best friends did it and she was in the bathroom all night with horrible contractions. She went to the hospital and was sent back home because it wasn't real labor. So yes, it probably did dilate her, but at that cost? No thank you!
  • Raspberry leaf tea: This is a uterine tonic that not only ripens the cervix but makes your uterus walls stronger to aid in labor. I've been drinking lots of this. It's affordable, doesn't taste bad, and it can't hurt. 
  • Get a massage: If I had time I'd totally be getting a prenatal massage. It relaxes you, which is sometimes all you need to kick start labor. I'd get it for that, as well as the benefit that it would feel so good for my back pain! However, since I don't have the time, I just have Joey massage me sometimes and I have to say the last time he gave me a massage last week I had horrible contractions that night! (Horrible, but strong! You have to take the bad with the good!)
  • Hot baths: I tried this for the first time a few nights ago and have done it twice now. You aren't suppose to "cook" the baby and raise your body temperature, so when you do, it may kick start contractions. It did cause me some contractions last night, but mostly, it was so relaxing on my muscles! It's also said that the warm water will help soften your cervix. 
Tonight my plan is to do a few of these methods (especially the hot bath - loved that), maybe get a pedicure, and eat lots of spice on my pizza! Fingers crossed baby comes soon! There is suppose to be a snow storm tonight, which makes me think that will be exactly when baby decides to make her entrance! 

March 16, 2014

MN Tot Spots: Barbie Dreamhouse Experience @ MOA

Noelle and I decided to head out to the MOA last night for a last minute visit to the new Barbie Dreamhouse Experience. It's a new exhibit that just opened about a month ago and will be at the mega mall for the next 2 years. Noelle has never played with Barbies or been exposed to them but last time we were at the mall we walked past it and she was mesmerized by all the pink and wanted desperately to go to the "dollhouse." They weren't open when we came that morning (heads up they don't open till noon M-Th) so I promised we would be back. Anyways, last night I had some extra spending/spoiling money and asked her if she would rather go get a new toy or go to the Barbie House. She said Barbie House and told me "this time they open mama." She remembered! So off we went!

I'm not going to lie. It's spendy. They make adults who accompany children pay, which I think stinks since whose children can attend alone?! Obviously none, so they get you there. It's $23.99/person, $19.99/adult accompanying child, $16.99/seniors, and children under 2 are free. What the website doesn't tell you? Everyone, even free kids, need an interactive bracelet to do majority of the things in the dreamhouse, and those are $5/piece. You need the bracelet to play all the games, to take special photographs inside the exhibit and to unlock a bunch of things. The only thing that eases the pain is that if you return the bracelet at the end of your visit you get your money back, however the line to return the bracelet is brutally long and kind of slow moving.

Here's Noelle with her bracelet before entering the exhibit. We needed to eat our snacks first because there is no food or drink allowed in the dreamhouse. What else you can't bring? A camera. I was so, so bummed. I took plenty of pictures, as you can see, with my phone but those pictures didn't turn out as well. 

Noelle had fun in this room. We called it the "Frozen" room. It was where they displayed all their Christmas and snow themed Barbie dolls. Although we were in Barbie's house, Noelle said she was riding Elsa's sleigh.

Making digital cupcakes. A lot of the games are like this - just like apps on tablets/phones. The games usually produce something at the end that the kids can print out and take home. (For a price!)

Here's Noelle running through Barbie's kitchen. I was disappointed there wasn't more to do in this room. The only thing there was to do was make the digital cupcakes. I thought it may have been fun to actually have play food so the kids could actually, you know, play!

Here we are entering Barbie's living room. This room was cuter, and more fun. 

Noelle was excited to see Tawny the pony.

Noelle really liked the grand pink piano, which had buttons on it that played different Barbie music videos. This was her first time watching Barbie and now we have started getting requests for Barbie at home. 

This was one of Noelle's favorite things in the whole exhibit. This was Barbie's shoe closet and it was filled with, duh, shoes, but also a bunch of lights on the ground that changes color when you push the lever. Noelle thought it was so cool and couldn't get enough. She climbed and ran through there multiple times. 

This is Barbie's master closet, where you can "try on" Barbie outfits. 

You stand in front of these mirrors that dress you in different outfits that Barbie has worn, like ballerina, astronaut, chef, firefighter, etc. Noelle thought it was funny, but she must have also thought it was creepy because she wouldn't do it alone. 

This was one of the silliest things of the house, that of course, Noelle thought was amazing. Apparently there's an episode of Barbie Life in the Dreamhouse where Barbie gets a pet dolphin, and the aquarium also connects to her plumbing. Her dolphin swims through the plumbing and scares her friend who is using the bathroom. Anyways, they included that in Barbie's bathroom and when you push a button the dolphin pops out of the toilet. Noelle thought it was hilarious. I think we had to return to the bathroom 5 times because she couldn't get enough. She thought it was SO funny. We have also now watched that episode on youtube at least 3 times. 

Ahh, Noelle's dream come true...getting pampered. She loved getting her makeup done but I wish I had dictated a little harder when letting her choose her eyeshadow. She picked wasn't flattering. 

Aqua blue eyeshadow...great...

Glitter! Mama's okay with glitter.

Lipgloss to seal the deal.

Admiring herself afterwards. Oh...that blue eyeshadow...

Here Noelle's styling one of the Barbie heads. I loved these growing up. I can't wait to find a good one in stores for Noelle! That way she can stop doing mine and Joey's hair!

Coloring Barbie pictures.

That blue eyeshadow is still haunting me.

On the Barbie bus they played Barbie episodes. There were two kids taking naps in there when we sat in there. LOL! Barbie's dreamhouse is exhausting!

I thought the cutest thing there was the fashion show and stage. They had an area where the girls could dress up in play clothes, like boas, hats, wands, tutus, etc. and they had a pink runway they could walk down and/or a stage where they could dance and sing. This was so adorable and I really wanted to get Noelle to do it but I think she had reached her maximum amount of play once we reached it (of course, they save the best for last and my two year old was already running out of gas from being there for 90 minutes). She didn't want to and I didn't want to push her. She said she wanted food and since you aren't allowed to snack in the exhibit we had to go!

On our way out Noelle did a dance with Barbie.

She really wanted to pose with Tawny.

Then she got really into it and wanted to pose next to everyone. Lol.

On the way out she had to play with the actual dreamhouse...and now we have a Barbie fan!

Would I do it again? I don't know. It was expensive and there wasn't tons of "hands on" activities. I liked that they had the coloring area, the dress up, the Barbie heads, and some other things but 70% of the dreamhouse is digital. There's tons of computer and touch screen activities, which is great since we are living in that world, but I wish that wasn't the emphasis. I think older children would have a blast here, especially ones that can work electronics really well, but a young toddler like Noelle just wants to climb around and play with toys. I was hoping for more actual Barbie dolls!

If your girl loves Barbies then she will love this! Or if she is older, she will probably love this as well. Noelle at 2.5 liked it but not more than she likes going to the Children's Museum, or even the library. Personally, I would wait to take her again in a year or so when she's older. Even then, I'm not sure because I think for the price there should be more to do. 

They also nickel and dime you for pictures as well. You know how you can't bring in a camera? So they have all these cool props for you to take pictures with (like a giant diamond ring that you can stand under, a bunch of fancy Barbie doll boxes you can stand in, etc.) in the exhibit and it gets loaded onto that bracelet you got in the beginning. Then if you want it, you can pay a hefty $10.99 per picture!! Or for $18.99 you get all your pictures in a package. Bizarre! Needless to say Noelle and I didn't get any of those pictures, which is too bad because they were really cute, but it was just too expensive! 

So bottom line? Unless you or your child is a die hard Barbie fan, it's not worth the high price tag. See, if it has been a Princess Castle for Noelle, it could have been a whole different story... ;)

How To: Pack For Labor, From A Second Timer!

Sitting here at 38 weeks I finally decided it was time to pack the hospital bag. I have no idea why I haven't packed yet, since I should know from the first pregnancy that I could be rushing to the hospital at a moment's notice. Last time I wasn't packed either and when my water broke Joey and I had to pack last minute. Needless to say, I packed my whole life. I was a first timer and didn't know what I really needed or wanted with. I followed the list in one of my baby books which pretty much named everything in my house. I think Joey and I brought 3 bags. Geesh.

Now, I know what I really want with me. Here is my revised list of what I think you need to bring with you. Of course, every one is different - but this is what I'll be bringing!
  • Comfy, fluffy socks. Unless you don't like things on your feet, socks are nice. Easier and lighter than bringing slippers. I'll actually be bringing the same socks that the hospital gave me last time. They are super ugly, big, and have big grippy things on the bottom and they are just perfect for the hospital.
  • Hair binders. Do not forget these!
  • Your own toiletries. (I go and buy the little travel size stuff - less to take up space in your bag.) After you give birth the last thing you want to do is take a shower because you can barely move but man, do you feel better and more like yourself afterwards! And it's nice to have your own stuff. 
  • Super comfy, loose clothes. And bring several. And don't bring anything super nice in case you get blood on it. Realistically, even if you want to look cute in your hospital pictures, your t-shirts and yoga pants will probably feel best.
  • Large maxi pads. This is depressing but you will need them. And as icky as it is, you're not going to survive with "light" ones or liners. You are going to need the ones that are a couple notches below an adult diaper. The hospital will have tons too, so you don't NEED to get your own but you might like your own because the hospital ones are HUGE and will bulge out of your underwear.
  • Big underwear. Seriously. Either buy briefs a size larger than you normally would wear, or some larger boy shorts. You need room to wear those giant pads. The hospital gives you one pair of large and in charge boy shorts that are awesome, but one isn't going to cut it. And once they are soiled, you might just want to toss them. (It's not like you're going to wear them again anyways if they are larger than your normal size.)
  • Tucks. You don't know your first time, unless someone has (bless their heart) told you. These aren't a want, these are a need. You'll understand later.
  • Camera. Don't forget to charge the battery or bring the charger with you.
  • Cell phone chargers! We hardly ever forget our phones, but we do tend to forget that they die, especially after a day or two at the hospital.
  • Lap top and charger.
  • Nursing tops/bras if nursing. Or if you aren't nursing, bring a tight sports bra. (To help ease engorgement.)
  • Chapstick. I did not have this last time - and it's needed. My mouth and lips got so dry!
  • Journal or baby book that you want your baby's first footprints in. The nurses take their footprints anyways so it's convenient. 
  • Baby's going home outfit. You really don't need to bring the baby any clothes but one outfit to go home in. The whole time they are there they will be swaddled up anyways. I didn't know what to expect the first time and brought Noelle 3 outfits. She wore the hospital's onesie and the swaddle blanket the whole time.
  • Baby blanket.
  • Your own towel. The hospital has plenty of towels but they are usually scratchy, thin and small. 
  • Contacts and solution, if you wear them.
  • Flip flops. This sounds dumb but if you don't like public bathrooms/showers this is a must. I like to go to the Sitz Bath and I just can't go barefoot.
  • A little make up (just blush and mascara), for those pictures! This is something I did not care about the first time, and looking back, looks like I needed some, lol. 
  • Baby wipes...just in case. I've heard that some hospitals only have dry wipes that you have to wet to use. This wasn't the case for me but you want convenience. One thing you can do too is call the hospital and ask beforehand, or ask when/if you have a hospital tour. Saves you some more space in the bag.
  • Insurance info, ID. Save yourself time by pre-registering at the hospital but if you end up having to go somewhere else because your hospital is full, you'll want to have all this on you. 
I found that there are a few really common items that appear on lists, but honestly I just felt like I didn't need. For example:
  • Dressing gowns. I don't feel like you need to spend money on dressing gowns (unless you really want to or already have some - I don't) because the hospital gives you a gown anyways that usually is all you need. I didn't even wear mine because I spent most of the time laboring in my sports bra. The only time I had on the hospital gown was after the baby was born and I wanted to cover up for pictures.
  • Robe. I feel like these are just so big, take up so much room in your bag and may not even be used. It may bring comforts of home, or make you feel more comfortable if you are pacing the halls, but the hospital has a light robe that you can use.
  • Birth ball. Don't bring your own, the hospital has them.
  • Snacks and drinks. of course you can bring these, but if you are in a rush remember that the hospital has all this stuff. It's nice to pack light!
  • Diapers. The hospital has plenty for you to use! They are usually always a sensitive brand so your baby's bottom will be all good.
  • Extra pillows. Do it if you must, but I like to leave it at home. I asked for more pillows and no one objected or denied my request. Saves me the hassle of bringing it, plus sometimes they get ruined too.
  • Stopwatch. I laugh when I see this on lists. The hospital will be monitoring your contractions. Neither your companion or you will be timing your own contractions.
  • Your breast pump. This is a huge load to bring. The hospital has plenty.
  • Your nursing pillow. Just my opinion but pillows will work. It's not a little thing to bring!
Anyways, these are just my thoughts. Take or leave it as you wish. I hope I get to use my hospital bag soon!! Fingers crossed!

March 14, 2014

Come On Baby!! - 2 Weeks Or Less!?

Here we are at 38 weeks. I can't believe that I am here to be honest. (I thought I was going to go earlier!) Noelle was born 38 weeks and 2 days which was a Sunday. What's weird is that if Baby #2 comes this upcoming Sunday the 16th, that will also be 38 weeks and 2 days! I'm actually really hoping for this date, although it doesn't really matter. It just so happens to be the 1st anniversary of my Great Aunt Yen's death and we are planning on giving Baby #2's her name as the middle name (Yen - which means peace). It would be just a great coincidence if the baby landed on the date!

However, with that being said, I wouldn't object if baby came earlier! For whatever reasons, Joey and I really thought that baby was going to come earlier! With the first pregnancy I never really experienced painful Braxton Hicks contractions. They happened, but never hurt. This time I've been having strong, painful contractions on and off for weeks. A few times I thought I was in labor!

33 Weeks

I'm so glad that I journaled my first pregnancy because it's so fun to read back and compare it to this one. Reading back gives me a good idea of what I could be feeling before this baby pops out! (They say, every baby is different, just like every pregnancy, but I'm really hoping this baby comes early like her older sister!!)

Comparison Chart:
Pregnancy 1:
31 Weeks: Unbearable pain in pelvic area and pressure starts. Doesn't go away until Noelle is born.
35 Weeks: Dilated to 1cm, heartburn, Braxton Hicks each morning.
37 Weeks: Still dilated to a 1. 70% effaced. Legs and feet swollen. Midwife Colleen said I was probably going to go that upcoming weekend. (I did.)
38 Weeks, 2 days: Water broke, game on!

Pregnancy 2:
31-32 Weeks: Nothing to report.
33 Weeks: Starting to feel fatigued and heavy.
34 Weeks: Braxton Hicks are killing me, mostly at night, starting to come during day hours as well. 
36 Weeks: Underneath the ribs hurts the most, and some pelvic pressure. Dilated to a 1.
37 Weeks: Dilated to a 2. Contractions came to a halt. Heartburn starts.

There are some differences and some similarities. You would think from being dilated more this time around that I'd go early! Oh well. Counting on this weekend! :)

 37 Weeks. (Working at the cleaners, just like I did last time!)

Look at that baby!

Something I did differently these past few weeks that I never did with Noelle is that I tried to move my pregnancy along. With Noelle, I really didn't want her to come early because I had a final exam to take. I tried to take it easy and stay off my feet as much as possible. I also slept a ton. I worked a few hours the week before she came and that was the extent of my exertion. Alas, she came early (before that exam) anyways. 

This time I'm ready and bored. I've been off of work for almost 2 weeks and my mom's been here for a week and nothing is going on. Out of impatience I started looking up ways to naturally induce contractions to move things along. After I found out I was dilated to a 1, I started eating tons of pineapple, spicy foods, drinking raspberry leaf tea, walking more, etc. Now I'm currently dilated to a 2 (who knows if that stuff helped), and find out on Monday (if I don't go into labor by then) how far I'm dilated. I'm so ready for this baby. As I type this I'm thinking about picking up some more pineapple. 

38 Weeks - This is it!! Come on baby!!

Anyways, long story short, we have two more weeks till I hit my due date. It's possible to go two weeks LATER than your due date (god forbid), and there's a chance I can go early. We are wishing for the later!! Come on everyone, let's pool our energy together and get this baby out on Sunday!! She and her older sister can both be born 38 weeks and 2 days! :)

March 13, 2014

MOA with Grandma Tuyet

My mom arrived last Wednesday night from Austin and has been staying at our house! It's great to have her here and we are super lucky to be having her help, as she plans to stay for Baby #2's birth and the following month afterwards! My mom came a bit earlier this time than last, since last time she came 2 weeks before my due date and my water broke literally the morning after she arrived. We wanted to prepare this time so my mom came almost 4 weeks before my due date to give me time to get rest and get ready for baby. She has been spending a lot of time with Noelle, trying to bond with her, and make up for lost time. This past Tuesday we went to Mall of America for our usual Toddler Tuesday. Pictures below!

Coloring pictures with grandma at the Disney Store.

Watching songs from Frozen!
Getting presents from grandma after her Disney Store trip! So spoiled!

Pascal purse!

Her adorable Snow White shirt! (That she has now worn two days in a row. By demand.)

She LOVES her Aurora doll so much! Thank you grandma!!! She has been sleeping with her every day for naps and at night!

Ready to walk the mall with my new favorites!

This is what I get when I asked her to smile for the camera. 

There's a real smile!! So happy getting her Happy Meal with grandma!

More fun days to come!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...