Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Things that are My Experience Using a Doula

I had thought about hiring a doula long before Chase and I got pregnant. My mom had a doula with all 3 of her kids. So having a doula was something I wasn't foreign to.

I had also heard about hypnobirthing from a college friend. She used it twice with her two kids with pitocin and no epidural.

So in my hypnobirthing class our teacher had encouraged us to hire a doula. I was a little hesitant at first thinking that Chase and I could handle labor on our own and that he may not be open to the idea. But after much thought Chase agreed to hire one. I think he realized that he might want that extra help and support. It also helped him to know that this was what I wanted.

I searched "Utah doulas" and found a webpage with lots of doulas. I'll be honest, I first went off of looks. If I got a weird vibe with their picture, then I didn't contact them. I know I’m pretty vain.

So I had a list of 5-6 doulas we were going to interview. I looked at how much they charged per birth, and then I reached out to all of them either calling or by email. Some said they were on maternity leave and I didn't hear back from one until after we delivered. I had a list of questions and the website had a list of good things to ask. The website encouraged us to interview them and make sure they were a good fit with us, since we were hiring them. We interviewed two and I talked with the third on the phone. The first one Chase and I loved, the second had a personality that I felt was very similar to my own. I imagined that would make things difficult in labor and I didn't want to argue with my own personality, so we opted for the first.

We had two prenatal visits with our doula once we hired her. She came a week or two after we hired her and then again at 36 weeks. She and I chatted and discussed mine and Chase’s birth plan. She gave us suggestions and things we should do and ask for once we got to the hospital. And by 36 weeks she was on call. I could reach her whenever. I gave her a few updates and asked several questions during that time.

When it came to my last 40 week appointment with my OB and learning that he would induce me the following week, I let her know. I had no desire to be induced and she had several at home labor inducing things to try; Getting a prenatal massage, using clary sage essential oil, and using caster oil mixed with protein to eat. Those all combined were supposed to help get labor started and progressing.

We called her when we thought labor had really started. She came over and was with us for all 40 hours of labor. She was the biggest trooper. Since I had really bad back labor both her and Chase would help use counter pressure every contraction I had. She was up the whole time with me. The only thing I wished she would’ve helped encourage me to change positions more often. BUT I also was confined to a little area due because they didn't have a cordless heartbeat monitor. That ended up being annoying, because I really wanted to be able to walk around instead of sit on my birth ball. But that was the only position that felt comfortable.

She was very encouraging (though one time I got really frustrated with labor not progressing fast enough and being tired, and said some not nice things) and helped me decide that it was best to get an epidural (after 30-36 hours of doing it all on my own) so I (and both of them) could get some much needed rest.

What are my reasons for hiring a doula?

- I wanted someone who was knowledgeable about labor and birth. Someone who could guide Chase and I with any issues or concerns we may encounter during labor. 

- I wanted additional outside support for Chase and I. We really wanted it to be the two of us without family around.

- I wanted someone who was encouraging with helping me stay positive and focused. Chase does great at that normally, but when I'm in a stressed situation I tend to become upset at him.

Would I hire a doula again? Yes of course! She was a great help and we both couldn’t have done it without her help.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Things that are update on life with a 4 month old

Kason seems to be the light of everyone he meets. He scowls at first, but he eventually opens up and smiles. Lots of people comment on how he always scowls, which is funny because he smiles all the time. He started rolling over from belly to back and has started pulling his legs up to see them. He just recently started leaning side to side while on his back. He seems close to rolling over. He eats every 2 hours, and we recently started him on oatmeal and rice cereal. I noticed him intently watching me while I would eat and figured if he was watching me so closely I ought to try him with a spoon. He loves eating it and wants more and will cry when finished. He has also started holding onto toys longer. It's been fun watching him grow and see new developments.

Here are his 4 month stats:
Head: 17.4" and puts him in the 98%tile
Length: 25.25" and puts him in the 57%tile
Weight: 16.12" and puts him in the 66%tile

Emotional: When I first had him I was on an emotional high. I enjoyed caring for him even though I was exhausted. I had a few break downs due to lack of sleep but once I cried and took a nap, I felt much better. When we brought him home I tried hard to breast feed him. But his jaw was tilted from the way he was positioned in the womb, it made latching super difficult (probably from my inexperience too). It was always one side that he wasn't able to latch. He had lost a pound at his 1 week check up and the Pediatrician suggested I pump, continue to try and breast feed and supplement to get his weight up back up. Because of that and my nipples hurting too much due to trying to feed him, I decided to just pump. Pumping didn't hurt like breast feeding did. I do feel 100% guilty that I didn't try breastfeeding longer with him. I'm sure it would've made it easier in the long run.
When I look back over the past few months and understand how much babies nurse the first few months (every 1-3 hours) I think I would've gone crazy the first month he was home and that would've caused more emotional breakdowns. Due to feeling tied down and not able to get out.

Physical: I had a fairly good recovery. Aside from the first couple of weeks being pretty hard, and my feet were overly swollen and refused to go down. After I started walking regularly and drinking LOTS of water one day after a walk, they had magically disappeared. So weird. I was worried about getting diasistis recti and so far my abs feel like they're being put back together. I had a friend tell me all the things that go with recovery I knew what to expect. Like I said the first few weeks were hard, and between 3-4 weeks I felt pretty back to normal.

Marriage: Having lack of sleep, not knowing what to do or how to care for a baby, really has tested our relationship. Chase and I have gotten short with each other for the stupidest things. We are constantly having to apologize for our behavior and our short temperedness. We had our ups and downs going through infertility and this is the same. We just have to remember that we need to take care of our relationship so we can take care of Kason.

I think one of the hardest things for me the first few months was the prep it took to get us out the door. I had to figure out when I needed to pump when he needed to eat/diaper change and by the time I was ready it was time to start the cycle over again. I was so worried about my milk supply that I didn’t workout hard. I got mastitis twice in a 2 month period and after that I read up and got some “sunflower lecithin” and that has helped. I take 1 capsule daily and take two on days where I feel like I’m getting clogged up.

I am not sure where the time has gone because I blinked and he's 4 months!

Friday, September 29, 2017

Things that are The Finished Nursery

I'll be honest, decorating is NOT my forte. So when it comes to getting a room ready, I am SO indecisive. I like too many things to pick just one. It's crazy how having a little human can change that. I'm now deciding what to do on a daily/hourly/minute basis. I kind of hate it, but I better get used to it cause it's never gonna stop.

There were a few things that I felt like I needed to put in his room; a temple, a picture of Christ and the saying "I Am a Child of God." I'll post links for where I got the items below all the pictures.

Chase made the bookshelves, and it took a few hours (including painting).

Dresser is from ikea, bassinet was used by me and my siblings, shelves were made by Chase (super easy), I prayed for this Child, Glider Chair, Pillow on chair is from TJ Maxx, Crib, "I Am a Child of God," ABC's, Temple Pic, Avengers Pic, Iron Man Pic, Picture of Christ I got at a ladies night out event (and it's signed), and frames are all from Hobby Lobby.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Things that are He's Here - Kason's Birth Story

I had my NST and ultrasound (amniotic fluid check) on Thursday June 22, two days after my due date. Baby boy was not in distress and my fluid level was beyond great. My OB said if I hadn't gone into labor on my own by Monday then I would go in and get prostaglandins to help soften my cervix and start the induction Tuesday June 27. I was pretty emotional leaving the appointment. Upset that I may have to get induced when I really didn't want to. I wanted him to come on his own without medical help.

I texted my doula (Emily) and told her what was going on. She called me and gave me her 3 helpful tips to start labor on its own. The first was using the essential oil clary sage, get a massage, and the last would be to use 2 tbsp of castor oil with protein. She dropped off the castor oil and clary sage. I had castor oil egg sandwich for dinner and used clary sage on my belly and tried napping. I couldn't sleep and was a bit restless. The caster oil didn't work and the clary sage (as Chase puts it) smelled like barf in a bottle. The next morning we tried castor oil Kodiak cakes for breakfast. I texted my friend who has been massaging me (who has also had unmedicated births) all through this pregnancy to see if she could massage me in the next 2 days to help labor progress. She had me come Friday afternoon and used all the labor induction pressure points as well as cup my lower back (tailbone) since that was where I was feeling the most cramps (and it turned out that I had bad back labor).
Last picture being pregnant

By Friday night around 11pm we were sure I was in labor. Contractions were close together and I had to focus my attention to breath through them. Emily came over and suggested I labor in the bath to see if they would increase or stall to try and get some rest. Every time I would close my eyes to rest another contraction would happen. So we decided at 8am Saturday to go into the hospital and see where I was at.

I got checked by one of the nurses and was only dilated to 3cm. They wanted to ask my doctor if I should be admitted, and he agreed. By 10am I was in my room that I would labor and deliver our baby boy in. I labored all day with no medication using the hypnobirthing methods (relaxations) I had been practicing. By shift change I hadn't made much progress, and I think I was only to 5cm if that. Emily recommended getting in the tub and labor stalled. In the middle of the night some time I said yes to a narcotic to help get me some rest, but it didn't work. I was drowsy, but I still felt the contractions. There was a few times where I would fall asleep and my contractions would start up again and throw me into a panic. I was so tired that I would immediately fall right back asleep. Emily again suggested I try the peanut ball (exercise ball shaped like a peanut) and as soon as I used it, my water broke. Which was the weirdest sensation ever! Because labor wasn't moving as quickly as they would like (and now on a time crunch with getting baby here before he turned septic) I was put on a low dose of pitocin to help move contractions along. The nurse said she would increase it every half hour - which really freaked me out. She started it with a low dose of 4, and after a while it started putting a lot of stress on the baby and I could only lay in one position. It got to a point where I had to be on oxygen to help with getting enough for the baby and to make sure he wasn't in distress. And of course it was in the worst position possible.

I kept at contractions and Chase and Emily would do counter pressure on my back since I had severe back labor.

The shift changed at 6am (Sunday) and I got a different nurse. This nurse mentioned getting an epidural so I could get some much needed rest. After talking it over with Chase and Emily I consented. I needed my sleep! I was so emotional, cranky and ready for this baby to be here.

Around 8am the anesthesiologist showed up and gave me an epidural. The only thing I felt was the lidocaine before the actual epidural was placed. The anesthesiologist was impressed and a little nervous that I didn't feel anything. I guess he's never met anyone like me before. But after 34 hours of pure back labor on my own I'm sure that's why I didn't feel anything. As soon as they gave me a catheter and put me in a comfortable position I was out!

I got 4-5 hours of sleep. It was so good to feel a bit refreshed before having to push. They checked me again and I was still only dilated to a 9. Finally around 2-2:30 my nurse checked and said I was dilated to a 10. So my OB came in and checked me and I wasn't quite there. Finally around 3pm my OB said I was ready to start pushing. Since I still had some epidural in me I was doing doctor directed pushing. They wanted me to hold my breath and push, but I swear it would've been more natural (and productive for me) for me to breath out and push (which I did do on a few pushes without thinking) with all I've got. Well I still had an anterior lip on my cervix that wouldn't relax and fully open so I felt a lot of pressure with each push as my OB tried to open me more. It got to a point where baby wasn't coming so they had to use a vacuum to get him out. He was also caught on my pubic bone and wasn't going under (plus he has a huge head) so that was to help guide him. My doc said if the vacuum pops off 3 times then they will need to rush me into a c-section. So I was determined to push him out and thankfully it only popped off once.

I pushed for an hour and a half. About halfway through I felt sick like my blood sugar levels were low. I hadn't been able to eat anything since Friday so I was running on empty (though the nurses and Chase and Emily would sneak me some crackers). Up until that point Emily had been helping me push on my right leg (while my nurse was on the left) but she went out and got me apple juice and ice chips and was put on oxygen in between pushes because of how I was feeling. So Chase was helping me push on my leg. A few pushes before he came I started to feel pressure like I was going to tear (the wrong direction), so he gave me a teeny episiotomy to direct it down and I tore on my own the rest of the way. Finally after what seemed like an eternity pushing, they said he was almost there, and Chase confirmed that he could see his head. It gave me hope that I was nearing the finish line because I had been told for days that I was doing great and I was moving along, which I didn't believe. So once Chase confirmed he was almost there, only 2 pushes later and he was out. Chase got to cut the cord and was pretty emotional (I'm one to be delayed on emotions). Baby boy screamed and the nurses took him and laid him in a bed while having a NICU doctor watch him from a camera. He wasn't breathing through his nose and was making grunting noises so they were going to put him on a cpap machine and also take some blood. Before they took him to the nursery I asked them if I could hold him. He did grow inside me for 10 months and I did labor 40 hours to get him here. They have to at least give me that much. They consented and I got to hold our baby.

You can see how tired we are in this photo
Chase left to go be with our son in the nursery and I laid there getting stitched up. Which happened to be more painful than birthing him. Chase came back because they were putting an IV and he couldn't handle seeing our newborn in pain. We also hadn't officially decided on a name. We both really liked the name Kason and Evan from our long list. So we named him Kason Evan Palmer.

Here are his stats:
Weight: 8lbs 6oz
Height: 20.5 inches
Born at 4:39pm on June 25, 2017

That night after Chase went home to shower the nurse came in to check on my incision and bleeding. I told her I didn't feel so good and felt like I was going to pass out. She started pressing on my stomach and I felt a gush of blood, several in fact. She checked my BP and the top number was 76, normally I am 109-120 average. I was scared. They weighed how much blood I had lost and said that it was about 23% of my overall blood volume. If it had gone up to 25% then I would have most likely gotten a blood transfusion. They put me back on pitocin, and gave me rectal suppositories (I can't remember the name) to help stop the bleeding. After calling my OB, he wanted me to get me a shot to also help stop the bleeding. Thankfully with those measures (and the nurses were calm) they were able to get the bleeding to stop and my BP went back up. But for about 15-20 minutes I was scared, because I had never lost that much blood.

After taking my hypnobirthing class and listening to the daily affirmations, one of them continues to be a reminder to me, our birth is the perfect birth for me and my baby. No, birth didn't go exactly how I wanted it to go. I was given pitocin and an epidural, 2 things that I really didn't want. But after talking it over and realizing that I needed rest and I needed to still progress I was okay with my decisions. I'm sure it was a blessing for my doula and Chase to get some much needed rest while I was having an epidural. They also hadn't slept and were working just as hard.

Will I try unmedicated again? You betcha! Cause I know I have it in me and I'm bound and determined to do it again! Do I want to give birth again anytime soon? No, lol. That was SO hard. Much, much harder than any race I've run in the past. I kept thinking after he came that it was more like running an ultra marathon, rather than running just a marathon.

We are so grateful he's here, healthy and safe.

Side note: It was the best decision to hire a doula. That was by far her longest birth she's attended and she helped with decisions and helped calm me down. There were a few occasions through those 40 hours that I got really frustrated with her choice of words of encouragement, but other than that it was such a blessing to have an additional person helping. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Things that are Happy 10 Years of Marriage!

10 years is here!? Where did the time fly?

Like I've done in the past here's a recap of what we've done each year for our anniversary!

Our 1st Anniversary we went to Park City, UT.

Our 2nd Anniversary we went to San Francisco, CA.

Our 3rd Anniversary we had a staycation here in good ol' Utah County.

Our 4th Anniversary we had another staycation in Salt Lake County.

Our 5th Anniversary we had a low key night to ourselves, but then went to Vegas with Friends who happen to share the same week as ours for Anniversaries.

Our 6th Anniversary we flew out of the country to London, England.

Our 7th Anniversary we celebrated at home in July by seeing wicked and going to the temple, but then in September celebrated together with a Disneyland trip.

Our 8th Anniversary we kind of forgot about celebrating with a trip or vacation. We ended up just hanging out and enjoying the sun.

Our 9th Anniversary we were undergoing IVF #2 and just kept things low key and around home. Though we did go on a hike since it was one of the last days that I could be active. We were also in the process of becoming debt free so we were trying to keep things cheap.

Our 10th Anniversary we have a new addition to the family so we'll be celebrating together. Or get away for dinner? Not sure, since we've been in survival mode here.
I wanted to tell about our experience about the day of our wedding, because it's always fun to remember every year!

It was a Thursday morning, and I woke up super early to have my friend Katie come over and style my hair before Chase and I were supposed to be at the temple (8:30am), and our sealing/marriage would be performed at 10am with family and friends waiting for us.

After I got all dressed and lookin' pretty (not in my wedding dress - a really pretty purple dress that I still have and wear often) I drove from my mom's house to Chase's parents house. Then Chase and I drove over to the temple together. 

Once we got there, we took care of paperwork with the temple and then waited for what felt like a few hours, to actually be married. During that time I reflected on if this was the right decision (cause this is a BIG deal) and I was SO nervous. I mean this was going to be life changing for both Chase and I, and I wanted to make sure I had made the right decision - I'm not sure why I waited until that moment, and why I didn't reflect on it earlier. But after 10 years of marriage I can officially say that I made the right choice!

The sealer had to marry us 3 times, because he kept screwing up my name. He kept saying Theodore, instead of Theodora. Essentially he was trying to marry Chase to my dad. Can I say awkward?! After going through 3 times of trying to marry us, it was a beautiful ceremony and I always try and remember it so it stays active in my mind.

Afterwards we went outside the temple and met up with those who could not join us for the ceremony. We took a lot of fun pictures, and it was such a beautiful hot sunny day. After we got all our pictures we met up with the same family and friends at Magleby's in Provo for a luncheon.

We ended up having a reception the next night at a friend's backyard, which turned out to be gorgeous. The cake was amazing!! The only really sad thing about the reception was that our photographer didn't show (I guess she had a family emergency come up and couldn't find the house where we were having the reception). Chase ended up getting his camera and having his uncle take pictures for us.

Because his uncle is so tall we both look like midgets.

We did have a lot of fun - and I wish now that I had SHOVED cake into Chase's face instead of kindly letting him eat it. I think he would want to do the same now and shove cake in my face too.

After the reception Chase and I drove to St. George for the night, and then headed to Palm Desert, California to enjoy a nice relaxing honeymoon.
Happy 10 years to the love of my life!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Things that are Celebrating 9 years of Marriage!

I realized that I never posted about our anniversary last year (2016). It was a bit of a downer since we were undergoing IVF. But we still tried to make the best of it.

Chase and I have ventured to Donut Falls in the winter:

We've never hiked to Donut Falls during the summer and wanted to experience the hike after having been more active. I also try and do different things each year, instead of the same ol' stuff.

So to start off the day we went and got sushi! Even though we both had to work.

Then after work we headed to Big Cottonwood Canyon:

It was nice up the canyon and wasn't too cold

We saw a lot of pot guts who were so fat!

I was thankful I wore my Chacos so my feet could get wet

This is infertility and having to give yourself shots in the mountains

After we hiked back down to our car, we drove up a bit further to Silver Lake which neither one of us had been to before. 

It was beautiful and nice to get out and enjoy nature. Afterwards we went out to The Habit for dinner which was delicious!

And unfortunately a few weeks after we found out our IVF cycle failed.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Things that are 40 weeks

How far along: 40 weeks + 5 days (when I would have posted on June 25)

Total weight gain: 30-35ish pounds gained.

How I’ve felt in my workouts: I kept walking every day trying to get baby boy here.

Stretch marks: I've got them on my stomach and found a few on my inner thigh too.

Best moment(s) this week: Obviously, it was birthing Kason. Though, that is a story for a different day.

Miss anything: Nothing this week.

Movement: He was moving like crazy up until birth.

Food cravings: Carbs have been my friend.

Anything make you queasy or sick: Nothing this week.

Have you started to show yet: Yep! From behind you can't tell, but you sure can't miss me!

Happy or moody most of the time: I've been happy for the most part. 

Symptoms: Swollen ankles and calves, which got worse during labor.

Belly button in or out: Not sticking out.

Buys for baby: I think we had everything that we needed. So we haven't bought anything.

Prayer Requests: For that current week, it would've been for me to go into labor on my own. Which I eventually did.

Looking forward to: I was looking forward to birthing Kason, and moving forward with our new edition.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Things that are 39 Weeks

How far along: 39 weeks + 5 days

Total weight gain: Still hovering around 30-35 pounds weight gained.

How I’ve felt in my workouts: I worked out quite a bit this week. Monday and Wednesday I went to barre. Chase and I also took the dogs on a few walks. Trying to stay active.

Stretch marks: I've got them.

Best moment(s) this week: Getting in the pool and floating for a while at Chase's work party on Saturday. Though it's hard for me to float, its nice to take the weight off my joints.

Miss anything: Being able to put pants/shorts on. It's gotten a lot harder over the past week.

Movement: He's still moving, and now plays with me if I scratch my belly, he'll push out. It's pretty cute.

Food cravings: I've been trying to not eat a ton, but there are days where I eat a lot and days where I don't eat that much. I'm still loving sweet foods (sugary candy and fruit), and spicy. We've made this buffalo keto chicken recipe a few times and the sauce is hot, but oh so good!

Anything make you queasy or sick: Not anything this week.

Have you started to show yet: Yep! From behind you can't tell, but you sure can't miss me!

Happy or moody most of the time: Overall I've been happy, just exhaustion gets the best of me.

Symptoms: Swollen ankles and calves, and feeling very large.

Belly button in or out: Not sticking out.

Buys for baby: I didn't buy anything this week, just trying to finish up decorating the nursery.

Prayer Requests: That this little baby ray will come on his own (preferably before an induction date gets set) and that I will be ready and able to have him.

Looking forward to: I don't really have anything planned for this week. I'm just taking it one day at a time. I'm sure I'll find a few things to do this week to look forward to. But until then, we're just going to look forward to baby boy coming.

And please just a friendly reminder...

Chase and I are asking to wait patiently with us and not asked for updates or asked if I've had the baby yet. This goes back to my prayer request of remaining calm and relaxed. Getting messages from friends and family asking if I've had the baby can do the opposite and even discourage me. We will let you know as soon as we do have the baby. TRUST ME!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Things that are 38 Weeks

How far along: 38 weeks + 5 days

Total weight gain: My weight has kind of tapered off, and I'm told that that is normal.

How I’ve felt in my workouts: I haven't really been working out much this week. I have been feeling extra tired, and sleep does not come easily. I did manage to go for a 1.21 mile walk Thursday and a 1.85 mile walk on Saturday. I didn't attend barre, because we went out with friends instead.

Stretch marks: I've gotten a few of them. 

Best moment(s) this week: I got to go to my friends sons birthday party on Saturday (which included swimming), and enjoyed a dance concert for City Days on Friday night.

Miss anything: Being able to sit in comfort, it's getting harder to be in any position. Even laying down still puts pressure on my hips. Being able to see my ankles.

Movement: It's decreased some, but I have increased in Braxton hicks. When I asked my doctor about the decrease with the BH he said those are like giving your baby a big bear hug.

Food cravings: I've been avoiding some foods still like eggs, and pasta. I've been liking colder foods like fruit, shave ice and salads. :)

Anything make you queasy or sick: I've been nauseous a few times on and off. But it's mostly loss of appetite.

Have you started to show yet: Every day.

Happy or moody most of the time: I've been pretty happy this week. I have been trying to stay positive and relaxed.

Symptoms: Exhausted and very swollen ankles. I've tried everything for my ankles, but not even compression socks are helping now.

Belly button in or out: I won't be an outie. 

Buys for baby: I have bought quite a bit of items. Muslin swaddles, more burp cloths, a baby nest, and trying to buy things to finish up decorating the baby's room. I will show pictures when its completed (hopefully before he comes).

Prayer Requests: That I remain calm and relaxed and that I will show some progression at my next appointment.

Looking forward to: If he doesn't come this week I'll be looking forward to some yummy strawberries and cream from Strawberry Day's, and Chase's work summer party. If he does come this week then we'll have to get out and enjoy those things too. :)

And please just a friendly reminder...

Chase and I are asking to wait patiently with us and not asked for updates or asked if I've had the baby yet. This goes back to my prayer request of remaining calm and relaxed. Getting messages from friends and family asking if I've had the baby can do the opposite and even discourage me. We will let you know as soon as we do have the baby. TRUST ME!

Monday, June 05, 2017

Things that are 37 Weeks

How far along: 37 weeks + 5 days

Total weight gain: At least 40 pounds per doctors visit.

How I’ve felt in my workouts: I ran/walked the Memorial Day 5k with Chase, Brad, Alli and Owen this past Monday. Then shortly after the run my right ankle really started to hurt. I couldn't put any weight on it, and walking up and down the stairs was a nightmare. I tried massaging it out and then Alli came over and massaged it which I think helped speed up the recovery. I finally went to the gym on Wednesday night and did a pregnancy arm workout, I would've gone to barre, but I didn't feel comfortable putting all my weight on one foot. I went for a short walk on Saturday morning and helped clean the church so I figured, both were beneficial.

Stretch marks: I've got them now. I knew they would come, it was just a matter of time. 

Best moment(s) this week: We took my dad out for his birthday, and I got to eat sushi. I'm good for another few months.

Miss anything: Being able to sleep in any position I want to and not having it feel like a huge chore just to get out of bed.

Movement: He's been moving quite a bit. I did notice on Wednesday he hadn't moved as much, but that he goes 5 days with lots of movement and then 2 days of quieter movement. My doctor didn't seem concerned, but reminded me to do a kick count if I was concerned with it.

Food cravings: I have an aversion to eggs now. Which is a bummer because I really enjoy our naked burritos.

Anything make you queasy or sick: Sometimes when I'm sitting I'll get nauseous or have an upset stomach. I think it has to do with where he's positioned.  

Have you started to show yet: A little too much. I measured at 40" at my last doctors visit. It could've been because I had eaten lunch? We'll see this week. 

Happy or moody most of the time: For the most part pretty happy, with some moodiness. I really think that these relaxations are helping me with not be stressed about the upcoming birth. I was reminded by my doula this week to make sure to stay calm and relaxed.

Symptoms: Swollen feet won't go away, even with wearing compression socks. I can't wait to see my ankles again.

Belly button in or out: Belly button is flush, doesn't look like I will be an outie.

Buys for baby: I bought a car seat cover, but unfortunately it doesn't fit. I have to get my sewing machine out and tighten it up.

Prayer Requests: I will remain calm and relaxed the next few weeks to allow pre labor to progress. 

Looking forward to: Another doctors visit, and hopefully to go play in the pool to cool off this week.
Chase and I are asking if you waited patiently with us and not asked for updates or asked if I've had the baby yet. This goes back to my prayer request of remaining calm and relaxed. Getting messages from friends and family asking if I've had the baby can do the opposite and even discourage me. We will let you know as soon as we do have the baby. TRUST ME!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Things that are Pasadena California Mini Vacation

Chase and I had planned to attend the American Fertility Expo that was held in Pasadena, CA the last day of National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW) April 29, 2017. We were attending for our nonprofit, The Hope for Fertility Foundation

When we first set out to make plans for this event, we had no idea we were pregnant. Then we found out and knew it could be a hit or miss for me attending the event. We were originally planning on driving the 12+ hours to and from California. With Chase's brother getting married the day before, our only option was to fly. Thankfully Chase has been saving his miles from all his business trips and we were able to save more money by using points rather than paying cash.

We boarded our dogs for the weekend as family was unable to watch them. I think that was the hardest thing we had to do. Thankfully we were able to text and check up on them throughout the trip.

We flew out Friday night around 10pm. I opted out of the metal detector and body scanner, which meant I had to get pat down. I have to say that was the most interesting thing to have done to date. I feel bad for those TSA agents that have to pat people down. It was very awkward for both parties involved.

We arrived at our hotel late and had to get up fairly early to get to the expo to set up.

Once at the expo I met up with a few Instagrammers to give them some free tickets. I was a little sad that I wasn't able to meet more of the ladies that lived there. At the expo we met a lot of other fertility clinics and other businesses relating to fertility.

After the expo we met up with Justine from "Finding Joy in Infertility" and we had a great chat.

The next day I wanted to be adventurous and hike to the Hollywood sign. We ended up not being able to find the trail head. It ended up working out because it was hot (for me) and we didn't have sun screen, hats or water with us. 

We then headed down to Venice Beach, and realized that parking was outrageous! By that time it was 12-1pm and there were small parking lots wanting to charge $30 for a full day's rate. It obviously wasn't a full day, and I was not willing to pay that much. I asked if they had half a day's rate, and they said no, and I said no thanks and drove off. They had an empty lot with no business. We ended up finding a parking meter that was a few blocks away from the beach, and the Venice Canals.

Chase and I took our time walking through the canals. It was unfortunate that it was low tide, and there was hardly any water in the canals. Regardless it was still fun.

 A Flamingo! Love this!

 This house was a nice bright color.

Then we saw all these cool plants and succulents:

We walked on the boardwalk in Venice Beach and I got to put my feet in the ocean, which felt so so good (especially when you have cankles).  The sand was SUPER hot, and was burning my feet, and I didn't bring my flip flops to the beach. I ended up running to get out of the sand as quickly as I could.

I did make an observation while at the beach... I saw maybe 1-2 women who were pregnant, everyone else was young and appeared to be single. I'm not sure if that's because it was a Sunday and there were still people attending a church service? But I thought it was odd. 

We then drove out to have dinner with my old roommate, Angelynn and her family. Though we didn't have a long visit, it was still nice to briefly catch up.

The following morning we met up with my cousin, Alexandra, for breakfast and had a short visit with her before our flight left.

It always amazes me how busy LA is, and the airport was not any less busy.

Overall it was a nice quick trip, but being 32 weeks pregnant really took it out of me. I'm amazed at what I thought I could do before getting pregnant (weekend warrior type person) to now just being able to go for a walk or cleaning the house.