Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Pregnancy Update :: 37 Weeks!

I'm finding much more focus as the days continue to pass. I have graduated from bed rest and, although I'm supposed to "limit" my activities, it's nice to feel a little more like myself. My doctor has not yet released me back to work. I am getting quite a few things done around the house as my parents and in-laws have continued to take Kid during the day.

Baby and I are technically full term, at 37 weeks and 3 days. It feels like such an accomplishment! As you may (or may not) know, Kid was born at 33 and 6, my water broke at 33 and 5.

This little miss continues to grow each day, and is moving quite a bit. I'm so thankful for every single movement. It's a little reassurance that she is still there and hanging out. Well. She's not just hanging out. She's doing quite a lot of work right now! And this mama is so much more prepared than with the first one.

Our hospital bag is already in the car!

The car seat bases are installed in both vehicles!

The bassinet is ready to go!

The nursery....uh. Well, I haven't done anything to it yet. Little Miss and Kid will be sharing a room (which I am very nervous for!), and there just hasn't been the right time to update the room. I have the gallon of paint. I have some decor. I just haven't gotten there yet. It will come, I know. And some day, it will be finished. Maybe by her first birthday!

Either way, I'm inching closer and closer to 40 weeks pregnant and am as happy as can be (okay, I'm lying. I'm a little bit impatient). Kid will be a big brother before I know it and Sister will be here warming our hearts.

And I can't wait!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Tips & Tricks :: Surviving Hospitalized Bed Rest {A Guest Post}

Through an amazing Facebook Mom's Group, I met a fellow bed-rester when she posted a question to the group about her water breaking at 23 weeks pregnant. She and I connected through Facebook and began swapping stories and tips for surviving our (very different types of) bed rests. I asked Jess of Mama Drama to give everyone some tips for surviving a hospitalized bed rest. How difficult! I couldn't imagine being cooped up in the hospital for any period of time. But, Jess has some fabulous tips for survival - both for mama and for family!


Hi, I’m Jess from I’ve been sentenced to a slightly different form of bed rest than Lizzy- in the hospital, but with shower and bathroom privileges (so it could always be worse!) for up to 11 weeks. Currently completing week 2 of my sentence. While I am no expert, when you are away from home, there are a few things you need to figure out pretty quickly on how to survive in the hospital, so here is what I’ve come up with.

Managing Visitors
Most people can only visit on weekends, due to their work schedules. If it can be managed, having a few visitors on week days can help break up the monotony. If not, having visitors spaced out as much as possible is a great idea. Even though you might be bored and not doing anything all day, having a lot of people come visit can be exhausting- either emotionally or just because you aren’t used to so much stimulus. It can also put a real damper on the rest of your week, if you have 6 visitors Saturday and no one for the next 7 days. But pay attention to how you feel, some days too many visitors is better than none, and other days you may only want your partner with you. That said, always make sure you get alone time with your partner to connect and discuss things you may not be comfortable talking about in front of guests or other family members. Also, call the chaplain even if you just want to chat and not necessarily pray. They are very friendly and a new face always makes for a more interesting day.

Request food for your family. My husband has a demanding job, and just asking him to suddenly be the sole provider and daycare-picker-upper of our 3 year old is an intense change for him. Asking him to cook is almost out of the question. He and my son come every night to see me and after the first 2 nights of watching them eat fast food, the Mama Guilt set in. So, when well-meaning friends and family asked what I needed, I asked if they could put together some small freezer meals. The response was dramatic. Somehow, the entire school my husband and I both work at found out and there is a sign up list. We get 3 home-cooked, freezable meals a week. It’s insane how amazing our work family is. It has helped my husband, and it is great when he brings the food by, because after the first 3 meals, you figure out the only good food in the hospital is breakfast. (Bring Tabasco/Chulula/Sriracha/Tapatio ANYTHING to disguise the flavor of over-microwaved, prepackaged chicken breast… Btw, I’m from Texas, can you tell?)

You know, you could always make good friends with the nurses, MAs, and your doc so they can smuggle you left over food from office baby showers (that just happened, and it was the best bagel I ever had).

I do want to add, if you are on bed rest, studies have shown that you actually lose a lot of weight and this can increase the chances of your baby, who may be a preemie, being smaller. So I have tried to increase my protein intake. The only problem is, your appetite significantly decreases when you don’t do anything all day, so that has been a real challenge to eat more.

Talk to your doctor before you start any kind of physical activity. If you are on bed rest, clearly you are being asked to limit your mobility.

The internet is seriously lacking in variety on “bed rest exercises.” The main encouragement is avoid using abdominal muscles, and nothing too strenuous. After a week of doing nothing, 12 ankle rolls were exhausting. Also, bed rest can cause serious muscle loss after just 3 days, so any small amount of movement can be good!

Youtube and Netflix are my best friends. My hospital has good WiFi (videos never buffer) so I have a list of shows to watch. That said, I also have to have non-tech stuff to do while I watch. Those giant trivia/puzzle books are great, and I am currently trying to teach myself to knit/crochet on YouTube. There are also plenty of video tutorials on hair and makeup, and for Tomboys like me, this is like watching aliens learn to dance. Stick-on nails are fun, I don’t trust myself to not drop a bottle of nail polish in my bed (and I don’t want to guess how long it would take a nurse to come change my sheets). If you have a Nook or a Kindle, this is better than having a stack of books. Your bedside table can only hold so much, so very little is readily accessible. Friends who feel bad for you might lend you books, magazines, DVDs, or the best: their HBO Go password (Game of Thrones, anyone?) Also, every woman on bed rest I have met online has a blog. There’s a reason. We are bored and we have a lot to say! Try it, you might like it!

This is one I cannot figure out. Earplugs and eye mask have been requested and we will see if this helps. I sleep, I just can’t get to where I feel like I’m getting good sleep. Nurses come in every 3-4 hours to take my temperature and blood pressure and I am a light sleeper, so it takes a while to fall back asleep. I also think they check in on me in between since I had an incident on Wednesday where I nearly blacked out. It’s fun to scare nurses, that should be added to the entertainment section… joking! But seriously, I am trying to maintain a sense of normal schedule so I try not to nap more than 30-60 min a day, just in case that messes up my sleep more. I have been offered sleep drugs, but I am pretty sure that is not an addiction I need to start now with a preemie on the way.

The biggest thing you can do for yourself is keep your spirits up. Doctor Google is good for informing, but if you are feeling the doom and gloom set in, GET OFF THE INTERNET! Worrying and stressing and crying is ok for a little bit, but if you dwell on “what could happen,” you’re in for a really long, awful hospital stay. I have found that concentrating on the small good things helps- a food service operator that asks me why I don’t want more dessert, nurses that love to talk, family and friends who text me nonstop to keep me entertained, pooping… that’s a big one, eat your fiber, girls! Hopefully this post helps someone, and if not, it certainly was therapeutic for me! Thanks for the opportunity, Lizzy.


Thanks so much, Jess! I am so happy to hear that things are going well and that your little miss continues to grow!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Tips & Tricks :: Helping Your Toddler Survive Your Bed Rest

Was it just last week that I posted about surviving bed rest? Two weeks ago? I can't tell. The time is all flowing together. Either way, I recently gave some tips on making it through bed rest at home.

Instead of focusing on my own survival, I realized that my toddler needs to survive bed rest, too. He isn't quite two, but he knows what is going on. Kids are quick to notice change and it can easily throw them off.

Of course, I knew that bed rest would be hard on Kid. He's at that age where his parents are his everything. And to have one parent suddenly become bedridden has definitely taken its toll. The second week of bed rest was more difficult for Kid than the first. He got so frustrated with me one morning that he bit me. And not just a small nip. Oh no. A sink-your-teeth-in, I'm-royally-pissed-off-at-you chomp. I still have a bruise as evidence.

That's when I realized there was more to be done in terms of helping Kid survive this bed rest.

1. Snuggle as much as possible. Hubs gets Kid up each morning and plops him in bed with me as he gets ready and loads the car. Kid nestles right in and we get some quality one on one time. I think it is the physical contact that Kid misses most. Hugs just aren't the same when I can't lift him up. Bed time isn't the same when someone else puts him in his crib. So we have carved out lots of extra time for snuggles. We also warned his caregivers about this and they have been generous with their snuggles, too.

2. Don't lower any expectations. The rules you had in place before bed rest should remain. Kid goes to bed at the same time. He still has to ask to be excused from the dinner table. hitting is still an automatic time out (and biting!). Our expectations have not changed, which keeps life a little more "normal" for him. You always hear the experts talk about a child's need for predictability, and it is oh-so true.

3. Structure and routine will make life a million times easier. The fact that kids need (and thrive upon) structure and routine is well known. When life throws unexpected things at kids, they often guessed it...unexpectedly. Now, obviously, it might be difficult to keep up all routines on while on bed rest. But, try. Try, try, try. Even simple things - like our typical Saturday morning pancakes. We still have pancakes, but the Daddy makes them know. If you usually meet some friends and their kids at the library on Tuesdays, see if one is willing to bring your child too. And don't worry about asking. People truly want to help!

4. Have a movie night (or 3) each week. We started this after I received a comment on my last Tips & Tricks post. A fellow bed rest mama left a comment with that idea, and it has been so fun! Granted, Kid doesn't have the attention span for a full-length movie, but it has been so fun! We all get cozy with a few snacks and everyone's beverage of choice. And Netflix pulls through with the Sesame Street win every time. It has been the perfect way to wind down after a long day - truly something we all look forward to.

How did you help your older kids survive bed rest?

Friday, March 6, 2015

Tractor Party Planning

My dear sweet cousin came for a visit the other day. With her, she brought lunch and her adorable 5 week old baby C. I loved the cuddle time with baby C as we chatted about life and the transition to motherhood. She brought up Kid's upcoming birthday. And I realized that Kid will be 2 in about six weeks. Holy cats that will be here soon!

We chatted about Kid's birthday, and how I was feeling conflicted. Can I begin planning it? But the baby is going to show up at any time! How will I pick a date?!

Smarty-cousin of mine reminded me that I can plan everything except the date. Then, once baby gets here, I can choose a date and plug that into the invites.

Done and done.

Kid loves tractors, and the Hubs loves John Deere. It has been decided that Kid will have a tractor party.

First things first, the food. That really is the most important thing, anyway. A few years ago, I threw a John Deere baby shower for a friend, so I plan to use a lot of those ideas. And, of course, Pinterest. I love Pinterest. But at the same time, it is impossible to have an original idea because it's probably already on Pinterest. I digress.

1 |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6*

*I couldn't locate the original source of this image! Someone, please help!!*

1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7

And then, of course, there are the activities! I'm not putting together a collage of activities because those are going to be a surprise. That, and, Kid is 2. We aren't having a "friend" birthday party. The only kids that will be there are his cousins (he has 6 of them) and two buddies. Most of the kids will be Kid's age or younger and I truly don't believe that activities are necessary. We will offer some tractor rides on the Hubs' John Deere tractor. That'll definitely be Kid's favorite part!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Bigs & Littles

Once again, I joined the Bigs & Littles party happening over at Southern Beauty Guide. This was my second time, and it was just as good as the first.


If you're not familiar with it, bloggers get paired up depending on their size and reach. A big blogger (not me!) is paired with a small blogger (definitely me) to talk shop and learn a few things.

My first time around, I was paired with Brittany of Everyday Thoughts. It was so wonderful to get to know her via email and through our blogs. She really helped me to realize that I truly can make this space whatever I want. And! She just announced that she is pregnant with number 2. I can't wait to follow along with her pregnancy and life stories!

This year, I was paired with Rebekah of Blue Giraffes & Concrete Jungles. Truth be told, it was really hard to connect with Rebekah at first. Not because she was hard to talk to, or unapproachable. No. She was the opposite. We just quickly realized that our schedules were exact opposites. While she had more @free time" (I put it in quotes because that was when her kiddos were at school - there was still work to be done!) during the day, I was booked solid until after bed time. Teaching during the day, and a husband that often works evenings, made it difficult to connect.

But then! I was put in bed rest. Suddenly, I had nothing to do. Rebekah and unconnected a lot over email, but it was so nice to talk with her face to face. No, not in person. That would have been cool. If only I could afford and impromptu trip to New York! We spoke via FaceTime.

It was perfect and I feel that I learned so much. I even made myself a few goals to work on over the next couple of weeks from our conversation.

1. Leave a meaningful comment on at least one blog a day. I'm keeping this one small because I do not want to go to any ol' blog and leave a generic comment. No. I want to find posts that really speak to me and leave a meaningful comment.

2. Become more actively involved in the Minneapolis blogging scene. There are a lot of great bloggers in the metro area and I need to put myself out there. Meet up with some of the amazing women that I first met at the MN Bloggers Meet Up. 

3. Advertise. I've known that I've needed to do this for awhile. In fact, Beittany and I talked about it, too. But for some reason, I just haven't committed to it. Now is definitely the time.