Friday, June 29, 2012

Finally Adjusting

When we brought Jillian home we knew there was going to be an adjustment period, specifically for Shaylin. She's 2 so that already makes things interesting (side note: We don't use the term "terrible two's").  But for 26 months of her life she was an only child.  Now she was going to have to share our attention, especially mine.  And we've definitely had some rough days.

Her behavior changed a lot after Jillian was born.  That was hard to watch.  Shaylin would really try to push the limits.  Or not getting my attention would turn into near meltdowns.  I say near because we've always tried to stop them before they start.

One reason why I was at peace about holding off on potty training was because I could tell that she was still adjusting.  Getting a baby sister is a major life change so there was no need to add another one.

Lately I've seen a change in her though.  There's been less defiance, less attempted meltdowns, more immediate obedience, & more independent play.  Today we had to go to Walmart & it was the least stressful shopping trip with both girls that I've had yet.  She wasn't running up the aisles.  She was staying by my side or at least by the cart.  When looking through the kids' clothing section she wasn't hiding in the racks.  She was close by & looking at clothes with me.

Shaylin's also been extra helpful around the house.  We've always tried to encourage her to help, especially when she offers.  Sometimes it slows down what I'm doing or I have to re-do it.  But we never want to discourage that helpful spirit.  Today she helped pull laundry out of the dryer without me asking.  At one point I was going back for another armful & she wanted to beat me to the dryer so she could get more first.

Naptime isn't a huge ordeal like it used to be.  There are still days where she cries when I tell her it's naptime.    But she's not getting out of bed constantly & needing discipline.  She's going right to sleep.  Today she didn't even get upset about having to take a nap.  She went right into her bed without a tear!

The independent play has also gotten better & that's been especially helpful for me.  I love playing with her but I can't play with her every moment that I'm not taking care of Jillian.  I still have a house to clean, laundry to fold, & meals to make.  So if she can quietly play with her dollhouse or her farm & animal while I take care of some things then I can get those things done quickly & then get to play with her.

I'm getting into a good routine & adjusting as well, but that's for another post.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Slow & Steady

Tomorrow Jillian will be 13 weeks old.  That means I'll be 13 weeks post-partum.  And at 13 weeks I'm still working on losing the baby weight.

I know most women don't lose all the weight that quickly.  Most of the weight has come off.  Right now I'm 7 pounds away.  That's not too bad.  But it's gonna be a hard 7 pounds to lose.  Part of me isn't sure I can.  I was in the middle of training for a marathon when I got pregnant.  I certainly wasn't under weight but my metabolism isn't what it was in high school or college so getting to my desired weight takes a lot of work.

But I'm trying to not focus on the number on the scale.  What matters more is how I look in my non-maternity clothes & fitting into my jeans.  It's probably a good thing that our hot summer has hit because I have no desire to wear jeans now anyway.

It's my stomach that's gonna need the most work.  It's not terrible but I can't help but get discouraged.  Even though I'm 13 weeks post-partum I feel like I look 13 weeks pregnant.

And it doesn't help to hear of celebrities who had a baby & lost all the weight in a matter of weeks & are on magazine covers wearing bikinis showing off their perfectly trim bodies.  Yes, I realize these women have the money to hire dieticians & personal trainers & nannies to watch their babies.  And I bet most of those pictures are doctored.  But it's very discouraging to us normal moms.

There's a little bit of ab muscle forming in there & I know as I continue running & eventually add mileage that it'll get stronger.  It's just very frustrating that it's going so slowly.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

My Laboring Playlist

In the post of Jillian's birth I said that I listened to music during most of my laboring.  The selection of songs were pulled from my original running playlist which was about 5 hours of music.  I narrowed it down to an hour & a half.  I've now decided to "reveal" my laboring playlist.  It wasn't some big secret.  Some might find it weird though.  But I don't care.  

I'll include comments on some of these to maybe explain why I run to them & maybe why I left it for labor.

"Bad Romance" by Lady Gaga - Ugh.  Ok, first one & I'm slightly embarrassed.  But when running it had the perfect rhythm so that's why I left it for laboring.  Just took me back to some good runs.
"Born to Run" by Bruce Springstein - Every runner should run to this song.
"Bring me to Life" by Evanesence - I like running to this one because I remember it in the movie Daredevil.  It was a pivitol moment in the movie.
"California Gurls" by Katy Perry - Just a good rhythm.  I actually like running to a lot of Katy Perry's songs.
"Christmas TV" by Slow Club - Not a very fast song but has a great build towards the end & is also just a special song to me & Jeremy.
"Curbside Prophet" by Jason Mraz - It was always one of my favorite songs to run to.
"Dog Days Are Over" by Florence & the Machine - The chorus says "Run fast for your mother. Run fast for your father. Run for your children, for your sister & your brother."  Enough said.
"Eye of the Tiger" - Um, it's from Rocky.  How can you not run to this song?!
"Fighter" by Christina Aguilera - When I reached the last .2 of my marathon this is what I listened.  So it's very special & I had to include while laboring.
"Fix You" by Coldplay - Great build in the song.
"Hearts on Fire" by John Cafferty - It was in the Rocky sequel when he was preparing to fight the Russian.
"Hero of the Day" by Metallica - The version I listen to is actually a live performance with Metallica & the San Francisco Orchestra.  It's another special song from a running memory.  It was a few years ago but I listened to it as I finished a 5 mile run, the longest I had ever gone at that point.
"Let's See How Far We've Come" by Matchbox 20 - Doesn't it seem like this should be played while the doctor or nurse is checking how many centimeters a laboring momma is?  Maybe it's just me.
"Livin' on a Prayer" by Bon Jovi - I should have listened to this when they said I was 5 cm.  You know?  "Ooooooh!  We're halfway there!"
"Lose Yourself" by Eminem - Love running to this & I felt like it helped get my mind off the contractions.
"Rule the World" by Take That - This song is at the end credits of the movie Stardust.  Love this song!
"Stolen" by Dashboard Confessional - Another song I just plain love, even though the rhythm isn't quite fast enough.  Plus, I kinda felt like this was what I'd sing to Jillian once I finally got to see her.  "You have stolen my heart."
"Stronger" by Britney Spears - The chorus says "And now I'm stronger than yesterday".  Always a boost during a run to know that I was stronger than the last time I ran.  And now while in labor I was stronger than the last time.
"Teenage Dream" by Katy Perry - Just more Katy Perry that I like.
"Under Pressure" by Queen - Kinda makes me laugh now that I included this for labor.
"We're not gonna take it anymore" by Twisted Sister - Just makes me wanna roar.
"You're the Best Around" from the Karate Kid - Who wouldn't want to hear this while running or when you've reached transition & feel like you're losing it?!

So there you have it.  This was just one of the ways that kept me strong.  My doula often said I was rocking it & I guess in a way I was!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Halfway through Couch to 5k

I've started week 5 of couch to 5k so I'm halfway through now.  Technically the program is 9 weeks long.  But the 9th week is just 30 minute runs.  So in my mind I'll be done after 8 weeks.

I didn't quite finish week 2 when I got sick from allergies.  Nothing terrible but enough that I didn't feel like running.  So I had to repeat that week.  No biggie because the 5k I want to do isn't till the end of Oct. so I've got lots of time.

I started the program setting the runs at a 10:00 pace.  This used to be a fast pace for me.  But now it was easy.  This has just shocked me.  Not only had I been on a 9 month hiatus, but I was on that hiatus because I was growing a baby!  If this is all because I walked & did yoga during the pregnancy, then I'm even more convinced of the benefits of exercise while pregnant.

So I bumped up the pace to 9:31.  Then that became too easy.  Crazy!  So now I'm at 9:13, which is 6.5 mph on the treadmill.  And now it feels like a workout!

I've been having some longer runs now so I don't intend to be increasing the pace anymore.  I'm actually wondering if I need to back off.

Yesterday all the runs were 5 minutes long.  Tomorrow I have a couple 8 minute runs.  But Saturday will be the big one.  After a 5 minute brisk walk warmup, I have to run for a solid 20 minutes!  I'm a little nervous since I'm kinda struggling with the 5 minute ones already.  But I'm gonna go for it.  I'm trying to remind myself that I once ran for almost 6 hours & I've birthed a baby drug-free.

If Saturday's run is too hard I'll either repeat the week as it is or I'll back off on the pace.  Even if I go back to a 9:31 pace it'll still be a fast enough pace to guarantee a sub-30 5k.  But I'm hoping to just keep going & be able to see that not only can the program make a runner out of anyone but also that it can make a faster runner out of an experienced runner.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Just Another Day in Paradise

10 years ago this month Jeremy & I drove from Greenville, SC to Texas.  A straight 15 hour drive in one day.  He had to get his wisdom teeth out.  It also gave me the chance to get to know his family & for them to get to know me.  We had been dating for 6 months.  The long drive plus the 2 weeks together confirmed that we wanted to be together.

Today we celebrate our 9 year wedding anniversary.  I think what gets me more is that next year it'll be a double digit anniversary.  I love that we've been together so long already.  I look at the 54 years of marriage that my maternal grandparents shared & pray that we are blessed with that & even more.

When we prepared for that long road trip 10 years ago, we made a few CDs for our listening pleasure.  There was a pretty wide variety but we included a couple CDs of just country music.  When we crossed into Texas we popped one in with the first song being "If you're going to play in Texas".  It was fitting.

Anyway, another song was this one:

We said back then that this was a picture of our future.  And now with 2 little girls, bills to be paid, a squeaky dryer, & getting take-out Chinese for dinner, we made a pretty good prediction.

We promised each other for better or worse, for richer or poor, for sickness & in health.  And we've been doing just that.  And there's no one else I would have wanted to do it with.  I love you, Jeremy!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Potty Training - Attempt #1

*If you don't like reading about potty training & all that goes on with it, then this post is not for you.

Yesterday was supposed to be the beginning of potty training.  I had gone shopping with Shaylin & let her pick out her own big girl underwear, set up her Elmo potty in the living room, & covered the love seat with trash bags & a sheet (that's her tv watching seat).  I was nervous about the extra work it was going to give me when I'm already caring for a toddler & a 9-week-old, but I was so ready to get her out of diapers.  She's still in cloth diapers & I'd really like to pass them on to her baby sister.

It started fine.  She was excited to pick out the pink pair of undies.  At first she wanted shorts too but I just said she wasn't wearing shorts today & she was fine with that.  This girl really prefers having clothes on, something her daddy couldn't be happier about.

My plan was to have her sit on the potty every 30 minutes.  She drank a lot of milk with her breakfast & then started drinking a lot of water.  I've always felt that if she could just actually pee in the potty & see the praise she would get for us she'd pick up on it real quick.  She's a smart kid!  So I was hoping that keeping her bladder full would cause her to pee in the potty at some point.

But an hour into it she had her first accident.  There were a total of 4 #1 accidents & 1 #2 accident, all before 12:30.  And that's when I decided to call it quits for the day.

I still think mentally she's ready or at least almost ready.  She's been able to tell me when she needs to go #2 for a while now & then tells me after she's done it too.  But I'm thinking physically she's not there.  She doesn't seem to get how to make her body do this stuff.  And she apparently doesn't know the sign of needing to pee & to hold it till she's on the potty.

She's also an extremely heavy wetter at night.  So bad that I finally decided to put her in disposables just for nighttime because I was tired of her cloth diapers soaking through her pajamas.  I just couldn't stuff those diapers enough to make them that absorbent.  But even yesterday morning her diaper was so heavy & that was after not having anything to drink after dinner.  So I can't imagine how nighttime would have been since I wanted to still keep her in undies at night, too.  Between that & Jillian still waking at night I wouldn't be getting any sleep!

I know I'm not a failure but I still don't like to quit something.  What doesn't help is when you read up on developmental milestones for 2 years old, potty training is on the list as one of the things most 2 year olds start to do.  So I think it makes moms feel like they have to get their kids potty trained before they turn 3 or else their kid is developmentally behind.  That's just not fair!  Some kids are ready sooner & some just aren't.  It's not fair to the kid to force them to do something they just aren't ready to do.  I don't make Jillian walk because she's not ready to walk (wouldn't that be amazing to have a walking 2 month old?!).

My plan for now is just to casually potty train.  She's already been used to sitting on her potty before she takes a bath.  So I'm going to add in some other times.  This morning I had her sit on it after she got up.  Then I'll add in other times like after naps or after meals.  But she'll still be in her cloth diapers.  If she can show any better signs of being ready, I'd like to try again in August.  We have family that will be in town through the month of July which will have us away from the house a lot.  I'd also like to give it a try while it's still hot since I want to still go the route of just undies & a shirt.  Good thing Texas summers last so long!

Until then I'm going to focus on the things she can do.  She may not know how to use the potty yet but she can speak in clear, complete sentences, does some crazy stunts on our king-size bed, & can eat better than some adults!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

June 4, 5, & 8th, 2009

Yesterday I posted on Facebook that it was the 3 year anniversary of when we found out we were pregnant with Shaylin.  I know I posted plenty about it on my old blog but I thought I'd post again here & focus on those first few days.

One friend of mine said she loves our story.  That made me smile.  We have a story!  Shaylin will have a story to tell someday of how God answered the prayers of her momma & daddy & turned their sadness & dispair into hope & joy.

On June 4, 2009 I was at work by myself.  I had a nagging feeling that I was pregnant & walked to Albertson's next door to buy a test.  Took the test at work in the bathroom & that little plus sign popped right up.  But I wasn't happy.  This was the 7th time I'd seen that + & it never ended well so my first thought was "Here we go again".  Believe me!  It breaks my heart that this is my first thought knowing now that it was my first daughter.  But it is what it is.

I called Jeremy.  He still had some hope that this one would stick.  He always had more hope than me.  Then I called my fertility doctor's office but they were already closed for the day so I had to wait another day for bloodwork.  The next person to find out was my friend Lisa.  I sent her a message on Facebook.  We had bonded over the past year through our losses.

The next day I called the fertility doctor again & they sent me to a lab for bloodwork.  It was to be ordered stat.  Loved that!  I went on my lunch break & not 2 hours later I got a call while I was at work.

I still remember that moment.  I was in the filing room in the back filing paper.  It was a Friday & I always filed papers on Fridays.  The nurse said I was definitely pregnant & my numbers looked good.  I asked what they were (why don't nurses just tell patients without us having to ask?!).

In past pregnancies my HcG numbers weren't very good.  Pregnancy #2's numbers were only 12 & then I miscarried a few days later.  So I was used to low numbers with sad results.


The first words out of my mouth were "Holy crap!"

Yes, I know.  I'm classy like that.

22 would have been normal for me. Not two thousand two hundred seventy-five!

I called Jeremy & he knew that was good.  Not too many men understand things like HcG count but a husband in the midst of multiple miscarriages understands them.  He tried to not get too excited but he was.

A few minutes later I called that nurse back.  I wanted to be sure that she was reading my results & not someone else's.  I was just in disbelief.  Hopefully she wasn't offended.  It wasn't that I didn't think she was doing her job right.  It just wasn't normal for me.

Some women can go on from there & not need another blood draw.  But given my history we had to have another to be sure the numbers were doubling.  You want to see the number at least double in 48-72 hours.  Since the first draw was on a Friday & 2 days later would be a Sunday when labs were closed, I had to wait till Monday.  That was one looooooong weekend!

Monday came, blood drawn & done stat again, & I quickly got my results called back.


In case you're not good with math, that's more than doubled.

And in case you're not noticing, those are some crazy high numbers.  I've sometimes felt that God gave me those high numbers because that's what we needed.  We needed something huge like this to tell us that this one was going to be different.  I was obviously going to be scared for a long time (I think it took me till about 20 weeks to stop checking for spotting!) but this gave me some sort of "proof" that a baby was actually sticking & growing inside of me.

In the days to come we got more "proof" - fatigue (we were at a retreat with our church the following week & my memory is that I pretty much slept through the whole thing), nausea (at exactly 6 weeks & everyday till 17 weeks), & of course those first 2 sonograms.  The first at 7 weeks where we saw that tiny heartbeat.  Shaylin looked like a tadpole on the screen.  And then another sonogram at 10 weeks, this time with my wonderful OB who never gave up hope on us, where we saw Shaylin's arms moving around & her tiny legs kicking.  We could even see her brain!  And she was probably only an inch or so long!  Amazing!

But it's those first few days that I will never forget.  As I sit here remembering them I still tear up.  I've said many times that with 6 miscarriages the odds were that we would never be able to carry a baby to term.  But God is bigger than those odds.

I know my story has given hope to other women who've struggled with some form of infertility.  I have friends who've dealt with it.  And I'm beyond thrilled for those who've been given their miracles & have their own story to tell.  For those who haven't yet, I pray for them whenever I think of them that God will someday bless them & they too will have a story to tell.

"For you formed my innermost parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb."  ~ Psalm 139:13

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Jillian - 2 months old

10 lbs., 7 oz. (25-50th percentile)
23 3/4" long (97th percentile!)

-Jillian seems to definitely be getting her daddy's height.  She's a whole inch longer than Shaylin was at this age. She's also a whole pound & ounce heavier.  No doubt that she's thriving!
- She's "talks" & coos a lot.  And smiles all the time.  She's such a happy baby!  I love coming to get her when she wakes from naps & seeing a big smile on her face.
- She holds her head up really well.  She started trying at only 3 days old!  I have a feeling she's going to be doing a lot of things early so she can keep up with her big sister.
- She occasionally sleeps through the night.  And I considering sleeping through the night when she sleeps till at least 6:30, which is the earliest I wake up during the week.  But most nights she still wakes up once for a feeding & goes back to sleep quickly.  Overall I'm getting better sleep than I thought I would be.
- Jillian rarely spits up.  And when she does it's not much.  Probably explains why she's putting on weight so well.