The Taynors

The Taynors

Friday, October 13, 2017

3 months old!

Late again, same old story... but here are the notes I made about Thomas at the 3 month mark.

Month 2-3 was a great month.  Thomas became very smiley and very happy!  I loved this turn around in him.  Basically he only cries if he is hungry or tired, and just gets a bit fussy if he is overwhelmed or bored.  But know matter what I am able to help him and he is back to happy again.  I do believe he is my happiest baby.

-Thing he likes: baths, diaper changes, flirting, being help upright, trying to sit

-Car rides are getting better, finally!

-He is also starting to like tummy time in short increments.  No rolling yet, but he will push up and look around.

-We moved him to his crib right after 2 months.  It wasn't a super hard transition.  I elevated the head of his crib for his reflux, and made a little nest under his sheet to help him feel cozy and it was pretty smooth.  He is normally in his crib from 7:30pm-4-5am, if he wakes up after 4 am its hard to get him back into his crib and he ends up sleeping with me or in the rock n play next to our bed. 

-His sleep is very inconsistent.  Some nights he goes right to sleep between 7-7:30 and other nights it takes me an hour to get him to really sleep.  Some  nights he sleeps til 4am without waking up, and other nights he is up at 11:30pm, 2am, 4am, etc.  When I go to bed I never know what I am going to get.  I am having a hard time getting over these wake ups, and everytime I think things are going well, he will change it up again.

We also stopped swaddling him about half way through the month.  Out of no where he was miserable at bed time, and would cry even if I tried to nurse him or rock him.  So one night out of frustration I took off the swaddle, put him in a Zipaddee sack and that was that.  I think he was trying to tell me he didn't like the swaddle anymore and he likes his hands by his face.

-Naps are pretty terrible.  30 minutes, exactly, almost every nap, no matter where he is sleeping.  Car, swing, baby wearing, stroller, crib... 30 minutes his eyes pop open.  I totally know that this is a brain sleep wave thing, and that if he could get past that 30 minute mark he would probably sleep longer, but its really hard to nap train with our schedules.  One day he is with me, one day a babysitter, one day my inlaws, running around at sports on the weekends... it all makes nap training difficult.  I am going to just go with it until he hits about 4 months.  At that stage our schedules let up a little, and he is a little bit older to get into a routine, and then we will see if I can help him get better naps.

-Even though naps are short, we are at least falling into a better Eat, Activity, Sleep routine.  The routine is quick- he really only goes 2 hours between feeds most days, but its a routine and I can predict what he will need next.

-In the beginning of the month, he had the tongue tie procedure done.  It was super simple and much easier than I anticipated.  The goal is to help his tongue move better, so he can nurse more efficiently, and help make sure I have a strong supply.  So far so good.  I think I will have a better idea if it made a big impact as he gets older (like 6-8 months).  That is when I really started to struggle with the big boys and I couldn't keep up. 

-Pumping is going much better this time around.  When I pump I actually get what I am leaving him in bottles.  If I miss a feeding I always pump at the same time he is getting a bottle.  And then I also pump every night around 9:45 before I go to bed.  by doing this I have a great freezer stash of over 60oz right now and it is gradually increasing.  Having that stash makes going to work and appointments so much easier.  I really really really hope to be successful and make it to his 1st birthday still nursing !

- He found his voice and loves his hands this month.  I feel like he tries to talk to me, and repeat sounds I am making.  He also is starting to reach out and grab things.  I love all of these little mile stones. 

-He was Baptized on September 24.  He pooped through his white outfit and cried through the whole service, but otherwise all went well haha.  His God Father is Mike's brother Matt and his God Mother is my cousin Lauryn.  We had everyone back for lunch after the church. Other than it being 90 degrees and humid, it was a nice day.

-Lastly, Thomas loves to be sung to as a way of calming down or falling asleep.  He is my first baby that likes that.  If he is getting fussy or squirming a lot, I just sing "Hush Little Baby" and he immediately calms down.  I guess he likes my beautiful voice.

So life is good.  He is a trooper being dragged around town to soccer practice, baseball games, school pick up and drop offs, meetings with Mommy... you  name it and he tags along. They say 3rd babies are easy for this reason, and as of right now it is true for him.  He is just going along with our madness.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Thomas's Birth Story

Finally getting around to tell my story.  I am so mad that it has taken me 12 weeks to finally write this out, because we all know the details around childbirth slowly fade away as time goes on.  I guess better late than never.

Thomas's labor and delivery was by far my best birth!  It all went so smoothly, shockingly so.  In fact my first words as soon as he came out was not ones of love for my son, but "Wow that was awesome!"  So here is the story in all the details I can remember.

Before hand-

While pregnant with Thomas I did a few things different, and who knows if it made a difference in his delivery but I think its worth noting.  I stopped running completely, and I stopped doing any kind of strength training with my legs and hips.  Instead I did a lot of walking, prenatal yoga, and hip opening stretches.  I stayed very active (I mean I had no choice, I had 2 other crazy boys to deal with) but was careful about not doing anything that would tighten up my hips, low back, and pelvis.  I also got adjusted regularly and got occasional acupuncture.

When I was about 16 weeks pregnant I started getting regular braxton hicks contractions.  Almost every night I would have them for a few hours.  It was annoying but not painful.  Then about 2 weeks before he was born I started getting contractions.  These became more and more uncomfortable and regular, but never enough to signal I was in labor.  I really think all of these early contractions were preparing my body for labor way before real labor even started.

The day before I went into labor we had a busy summer Sunday.  Spent a lot of time outside, went to a birthday party up the street, and had a nice family day.  But at about 4pm I really just started not feeling well.  I was very very tired and lethargic and just felt physically done.  It was exactly 1 week before his due date.  At this stage in pregnancy you know anything can happen so I tried to take it easy and I went to bed a little earlier than normal just in case.


The whole time I was pregnant I would make jokes saying he could come whenever he was ready to be born, just not on June 26.  June 26 is our wedding anniversary and I kind of wanted to keep that a special date for just Mike and I.  I already share my birthday (Halloween) with my kids, I really wanted to keep my anniversary.  Well you guessed it, at 4:30am on June 26 I woke up with intense contractions and almost immediately knew this was the real deal.

At first the contractions were strong enough to take my breath away, wake me up, and prevent me from laying down, but they were also quick and only every 5-6 minutes.  I woke Mike up and we started to reach out to our parents for support about 5am.  The plan was for both parents to come to the house, my mom first so she could let us leave for the hospital whenever we were ready, and then Mike's parents would get there a bit later and stay with Ryan and Patrick for the day.  Then my mom would join us at the hospital.

I then spent from 4:30am-6:30am just walking around the house, eating small snacks, staying calm and just letting my body do its thing.  Mike sent a few frantic work emails since clearly he wasn't making it to the office that day.

At 6:45 am we decided to head to the hospital for a few reasons- first the contractions were starting to get very painful and intense and come much closer together. But also because I thought it was a good idea to leave before the boys woke up.  I realized if they woke up, it was going to be a big dramatic goodbye.  I was in enough pain to know that I couldn't handle that, and Ryan is so emotional I didn't think he could handle it.  So we snuck out just in time.  My mom said they woke up within minutes of us leaving.  My inlaws also arrived at that time and all 3 grandparents got to tell the boys that Mom and Dad were off to have their baby brother.

The car ride is always the worst part to me.  Every bump feels terrible, its so uncomfortable to sit still, and at this point I was in full blown intense labor.  When we arrived at the hospital I found out why the car was so rough- I was already 7 cm and going into transition!

I decided I wanted to get the epidural this time.  I really debated this decision for the last few months of pregnancy.  I didn't want to get one, I knew I could deliver the baby without one, but I also know how stressful and chaotic Patrick's delivery got without having one.  My first baby the epidural did not work, and caused problems with delivery.  The second baby I choose not to get one, but then had a very very long labor and pushed for over 2 hours and it got very scary and stressful.  My main goal was I wanted this delivery to be peaceful.  That morning when labor was still just starting and I was clear headed, I decided to go ahead and get the epidural, in hopes of a peaceful calm delivery.

The only problem that occurred was that I arrived at the hospital right at 7:00am - shift change!  So by time we got admitted, got set up with the IV, got the bag full of fluids, and my blood work done, I a 8-9 cm dilated.  My doula and all the nurses pretty much said there was no reason for the epidural at this time, I was doing great, baby was in great position and they thought he was going to be born very soon.  But I am stubborn and once I make a decision, its hard to change my mind.  So I opted to get it anyway.  Looking back, I do kind of wish I choose not to get it, I didn't think I really needed it BUT it did help me have the peaceful calm delivery I wanted so I guess it was still a good decision.

While waiting for the epidural I walked around a lot, sat on the yoga ball, did all my breathing techniques and pretty  much just labored on.  Mike laughs that I was very zen and looked like a hippy (maybe I am a little hippy like these days haha)

Almost baby time-

After the epidural (around 9-9:30) things got calmer again.  The epidural worked exactly like it should (I hadn't experienced that before).  For about 20 minutes I just rested and we waited for my water to break on its own.  While laying there I decided to try some of the breathing exercises that someone taught me were effective while pushing, a way to "breath the baby down."  Well after the very first time doing it, my water broke.  I guess it works and the breathing pushed baby down enough to break my water.

This next phase is why I loved my midwife Karen and my Doula Sue- I was 10 cm dilated, my water broke on its own, baby was in good position...technically I could have started pushing.  But instead of making me push just because I could, they encouraged me to just continue to rest and relax until I really really felt the pressure that he was ready to come out.  The epidural took away the intense pain, but I could still feel enough to know when I was having contractions and know when I was ready to push.

So we all just hung out and chatted.  I was using the peanut ball to move in different positions so I was not just laying flat (thats never good for getting baby in the right position). After maybe another 30 minutes I really felt I was ready to push and so did my midwife.  This was the part I was the most anxious about.  I pushed for 45 minutes with Ryan and ended with a vacuum delivery, lots of tearing, and an episiodome and with Patrick I pushed forever and it was terrible.

We looked at the clock, it was 11:04 and decided next contraction I would push.  After the first push the midwife said she could already see his head, and after the second push she said I was almost there (and I responded, don't mess with me, its never this easy).  But sure enough the third push he was out.  It was unbelievable.  The relief and excitement was incredible.  He was born at 11:13am!  Under 7 hour labor and only being in the hospital for about 4 hours.  It really was amazing.

After he was born-
Thomas Michael was finally here- 7lbs 13 oz, 21 inches.  He had a head full of darker hair, and beautiful eyes.  He had long skinny legs, wrinkly knees, and big feet!  Of course, it was love at first sight.

Immediately following I was able to have skin to skin time and he nursed within minutes.  Then the nurses did all of the measurements and tests and Mike got to hold him while I was stitched up.  Lots of stitches again, but my midwife did a good job and everything healed well.  This part is all kind of a blur- delivering the placenta, getting stitches, new born baby cuddles, waiting to go to the bathroom for the first time, and all the grossness that comes after having a baby.  I will forever think of childbirth when I smell witch hazel!

We were moved into our room by about 1pm and we planned to have the boys come visit that afternoon.  Everything just went really well.  Mike and I had some time to rest, the boys got to visit by mid afternoon, and then we had the rest of our hospital stay to just recover and bond with Thomas.
Thank you to all of my birthing squad and the hospital staff for an amazing labor, delivery, and maternity care.  It was a great experience.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Thomas 2 month check in

Hey hey- back already with the 2 month stats.

Huge changes from month 1 to month 2.  He is a much happier baby these days.

- Lets start with sleep because that is the popular topic when they are this age.  He is not sleeping great over night yet.  He normally goes to bed around 7:30-8pm and wakes for the first time between 11-1am.  After this feeding he goes back to sleep pretty easy.  Then he wakes again between 3-4am, but after this feeding he really struggles to get back to sleep.  From 4-6 am is the hardest part of our night.  He fights sleep, wakes frequently, and just seems uncomfortable and unsettled.  By about 6 am I give in, and I let him sleep in my arms while I doze off.  At this time Mike is getting out the door to work and the boys are waking up, so its hard to get him into a real sleep.

- He is still sleeping in the Rock N Play in my room (we moved him into the crib the day after his 2 month mark) and he is still swaddled.

-Day time sleep has gotten better.  Sometime during this month, he started to fall into the Eat, Activity, Sleep routine.  He nurses, then he has about 45 minutes to 1 hour of happy awake time, and then once he starts to fuss he likes to be rocked and he will fall asleep.  A lot of times he will let me transfer him to his swing and he will sleep for a while.  If its a cranky day he will nap on my chest or in the carrier.

-Nursing has been a little bit of an issue.  I have had a reoccurring plugged duct that lead to mastitis on one occasion.  It made nursing hard for Thomas and lead to some supply issues, especially on one side.  Also he nurses VERY quickly, like only a few minutes on each side.  He is definitely gaining weight and healthy, but  needs to nurse more often because he won't stay latched on and get a full feeding.  Its like constant snacking.

-I had a lactation consultant come in and help post mastitis.  She thinks the short nursing session and plugged ducts are because he is tongue and lip tied.  She suggested going to see a specialist and possibly get it taken care of.  So we are doing our research and have a consultation set up for 2 weeks from now to hopefully get it taken care of.

-I am totally dairy free for now.  It seems to be helping Thomas a lot with his skin, diaper rash, gas, and reflux.  Its super hard to avoid all dairy- I really want a huge ice cream sundae- but its worth it to see his  improvement!

- Car rides are getting a tiny bit better.  I just need someone to sit in the back seat with him or time it perfectly.

-Overall its been a pretty good month.  We are settling into life with a new baby.  I am looking forward to getting back into the school routine and hope that helps Thomas continue to find his own routine.

-He is about 12 lbs and wearing 3 month clothes and size 2 diapers.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Thomas 1 month stats

I am late on this post, 3rd baby problems.  But I still didn't want to skip it all together, I love looking back on the monthly updates of the other boys to see what they were doing in the early stages.  So even though Thomas will be 7 weeks in 2 days, I am writing this as if it was his 1 month birthday (a lot has changed in the past two weeks, more about that in his 2 month update)!

I forget how hard the early newborn days are, when the baby needs you every minute of every day.  It is physically and mentally draining.  But its also so special at the same time.  The newborn cuddles and sleepy times don't last long.  The excuse to stay in your PJ's all day.  It is a special time in motherhood that goes by REALLY REALLY fast.  But damn its hard!

The sleep part is not bothering  me as much as it has in the past.  I heard someone use a great analogy- first baby the lack of sleep is shocking!  Its like running a marathon when all you have ever run before is a 5k.  But by time you get to the third baby, you haven't been sleeping well for years.  Your body has adjusted.  So it feels much more like I am well trained for this lack of sleep. I have been training for this marathon.

The hardest part about the early days for me is the cluster feeding in the evening and losing the adult time after the kids go to bed before I go to bed.  Thomas is a serious cluster feeder, its not joke!  He starts at about 4:30-5pm and either nurses or cries all the way til about 9pm when he goes to sleep for the night.  This makes any and all night time activities impossible.  Spending time with the boys, making dinner, eating, putting the other kids to bed... its all really challenging and exhausting.  By time I get Thomas to sleep for the night, I am so beyond tired that I go right to bed too, knowing that his first wake up is only a few hours away.  I struggle with this.  Normally from 8-10pm is my "get shit done" time frame.  Finish cleaning up from the day, finish any work that needs to be done, spend time with my husband, order that thing online that I have been meaning to get, etc.  Becoming totally useless (except for the important role of nurturing a brand new baby) from 5pm til bedtime every night makes me a bit crazy.  Luckily I know this phase is short, and once bedtime for Thomas gets a little earlier, I will have some adult time back, but for now its rough.

The boys have been busy in camps and playdates with friends or hanging with grandparents.  I appreciate all the help, but I sure do miss them.  I know I need this time to take care of myself and Thomas, but I still am sad about losing the time with Ryan and Patrick.  Ryan said to me one day "mom I am so sorry you have to miss doing all of the fun things with us" which made me burst into tears because of guilt and appreciation for his empathy.

I actually do feel like we have still been doing a lot as a family- Blue Claws games, Kite Night, going out to Dinner, birthday parties.  We have really been busy.  I guess life doesn't stop when the new baby comes, you just bring him along to all the chaos.

And because its been brought up before, I can now officially say I like having a summer baby WAY more than a winter baby.  Being able to go for walks outside, sit in the backyard, take him with me to summer activities, its been really nice.  I am generally a happier person in the summer and struggle with a little bit of winter blues, so it has definitely been better on my postpartum stability to have this baby in the summer.

I have been exclusively breast feeding and its going really well.  I think I developed a pretty good milk supply right off the bat.  I had a few days of concern when he was so fussy during his night time nursing, I started to worry he is not getting enough.  But in reading more and more about cluster feeding, its all very normal.  He is gaining great weight, he is thriving, pees and poops frequently- all is good.

The other most challenging part about this particular phase is Mike's work schedule.  In taking a new job this winter, his hours and commute changed.  He now has a 1.5 hour commute each way, and thats on days with no traffic.  The ride home normally ends up being closer to 2 hours.  He has been leaving the house around 6am and getting home at about 7pm.  This has been hard on the whole family.  The boys miss him a lot, he feels like he is missing out on time with Thomas, I could really use him around more (especially in the evening when I am by myself with 3 kids, dinner and bath and bed time, and a cranky cluster feeding newborn!!!)  We believe this is probably just a transitional job for him, but for now its really challenging.  To quote Mike- he feels like he is falling short on both sides.  He is missing family time and bonding with his new son because of work AND he is missing opportunities with his new job because he needs to be home more with his family.

Here are some stats for the month-

-I don't have his weight and height by me- but I know he is 50-75% in all categories.

-I think he has reflux.  He does a lot of gurgling, crying out in pain after eating, spitting up, and just generally seems uncomfortable.  We are watching this to see if it becomes more of a problem.

-I suspect a dairy or egg sensitivity is causing the problem, so I am going to cut it out and see how he reacts.

-He nurses constantly.  The longest stretch he has ever gone during the day is 2 hours, and that is pushing it.

-Right now he is sleeping like a normal newborn.  He goes down about 9pm and gets up between 12-1 and then sleeps again til about 4am and then up for the day around 7.  I can't complain.

-He has been pretty cranky, especially the last 2 weeks.  If he is awake he is crying and fussing, we haven't really seen a happy baby yet.  But he is able to be soothed most of the time and will sleep in my arms or nurse on and off to stay calm.

-This is frustrating to visitors who want to come see a cute cuddly baby and all he does is cry if they hold him.  I feel bad but right now he really only wants mommy.

-He has been very spot on with "growth spurts".  Any time he has a day that he is extra fussy and wants to eat constantly, I look up a newborn growth spurt chart, and its been 100% accurate.  It lasts a day or two and then he goes back to normal patterns.

-It doesn't happen often but we have seen a few real smiles from him!

-He has beautiful blue eyes!  I really hope he keeps them.

-He loves being in the baby carrier (ergo or baby k'tan), baths, being held upright, and occasionally the green bouncy chair.

-He HATES the car!  Its terrible.  He screams like we are torturing him every time we drive anywhere.  It sure can make me insane.  It also makes doing anything a bit more challenging because even the simplest errand becomes more stressful because of the car screaming.  Lets pray this is a quick phase.  Third babies need to be able to be in the car a lot, they don't have a choice.  They will be dragged around to all of the other family activities which equals many car naps.  Fingers crossed.

-Lastly, Ryan and Patrick have been great big brothers. They seriously surprised me.  They are both super helpful, understanding that they need to be patient, no jealousy, its been great.  The love to hold him, and talk to him, and are just happy to have him in our family.  Its been a great transition.

-And one more thing- I am already back to pre-baby weight!  I seriously can't believe it.  Thank you breast feeding and having an active pregnancy!  Don't get me wrong, my body is no where near looking the same as it did before baby, but the pounds are gone.  Now to get back to a few workouts a week and I might just feel like the old Shannon before I know it.  I had gained a total of 25 lbs this pregnancy.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Random Taynor Family Updates

Its officially Baby Watch 2017.  Baby Taynor should be making his appearance any day now, so I am trying to fill my days keeping busy, with the occasional rest, so I don't get to stir crazy.  What a perfect time to blog about some of the random things going on in our family.

- Yesterday was Ryan's last day of Kindergarten.  I can't believe how fast that went by AND how great of a year it was for him.  I was filled with anxiety about how the year would go.  Would he make friends, would he be able to handle the full day schedule, would the teacher get frustrated with him and his lack of ability to focus and concentrate??  Would he love going to school or would it be torture?  Well as many people assured me, everything ended up being just fine.  He had a teacher that totally understood his personality and loved that even though he could be a bit distracted and anxious, he was a "really great kid".  He made plenty of friends, and he really loved getting on the bus each morning.  Academically he did pretty well.  Not top of the class, but definitely did not struggle.  He learned so much in school, and as I knew he would he continued to learn and pursue all of his passions outside of the classroom (sea creatures, dinosaurs, outer space).

-On the topic of Ryan, he is finishing up his soccer and baseball season.  Another area of Big change this year.  Up until this year we did organized activity to keep him busy and because lots of other kids his age were starting to play sports.  But he didn't really love any of it.  We are so excited to see that change big time this year.  All of a sudden he was playing actual soccer and really having fun.  And baseball was even better, he LOVES going to baseball and practicing baseball all the time with Dad in the backyard.  Maybe we just start kids to young, they need a couple more years to mature, but this spring season was a great success.  Now he wants to try a swim team, wrestling, basketball, and do gymnastics again this summer.  Clearly we can't do it all, but I will let him try to all at some point to see what becomes his favorite.

-  Patrick is  totally your average 3 1/2 year old boy.  Big personality, lots of potty jokes, loves to play in the dirt and with bugs, has a bit of a threenager attitude and temper, and wants to do everything and anything his big brother is doing.  His favorite expression right now is "me too" after every single thing Ryan says.  I want cereal- me too!  I want to go to bed- me too!  I need to go to the bathroom- me too!  Its super cute actually.  He did amazing at school, and his best buddies were the two girls in class.  I hear about Anna every day, his first little crush.  We have caught him a few times wearing tutus at pick up and telling me he wants to be a princess ballerina when he grows up.

- Both boys are OBSESSED with Mike.  Like seriously worship the ground he walks on.  For a while, Patrick was glued to me but all of a sudden he is a self proclaimed Big Kid and Dad is totally the cool one around here.  Its amazing how much they love him.  I do think its a little bit because "absence makes the heart grow fonder"  and Mike has been working very long days and traveling much more than he ever has, so when he is around the boys just can't get enough of him.  Whether is cuddling in bed on the weekends, helping him with the yard, wrestling (lots and lots of wrestling) after dinner, or just relaxing watching movies... its all so much more fun with Dad.  I have a love hate with this dynamic.  It is amazing to watch and so sweet to see how they look up to him.  But I am a bit jealous, I'll admit.  I am stuck being the life coordinator for the whole family, while Mike gets to be super hero.  But in all seriousness, I'll take it.  I love to watch their love for him.

-House projects, an every day conversation around here. This winter we checked off a few more boxes!  The biggest one being that Mike finished out basement!  And it is awesome!  I'll post pictures when I can but it turned out great.  We have an adult hang out space, a kids play room space, and still left lots of storage space for my seasonal things, a workout area, toy overflow, and kitchen overflow.  We are 96% finished.  We are  waiting on counter tops for the bar area, a few new light fixtures, and to finish the ceiling over the play room, but even without those few things, it is a fully usable space. This was a huge project that took over 6 months to complete and had a hefty price tag, but it was worth it.  And as with all projects, the completion of one leads to the need to start a new one.  Now that the toys are in the basement, we have a large living and dining room area that are ready to be renovated.  New floors, light fixtures, furniture, built ins... thats the next big project.  BUT that needs to wait for a little while.  I think we will be living with empty space rooms for the near future.

-We also replaced our roof this year- that is one of those not so glamorous projects. A lot of money, but not a lot to show for it.  People don't come over and say "wow I love what you did with your roof".  But it needed to be done, and we can check that off the must do list too.  Unfortunately it took a chunk of money that could be used for the other things on my wish list.  To help balance it out, Mike did all the landscaping work himself and that is growing in so nicely and adding a lot of life to the front and back of our house, and he is spray painting our worn out shutters to give them a fresh look without spending much money.

-Still on the list of things I dream about doing to the house - a back deck and patio area, putting in a pool (major dream world), living/dining room renovation, kitchen remodel, and master bath remodel. And on a smaller scale, changing all of the door handles and light fixtures throughout the house.

-Last but not least, our summer plans.  This summer our plan is to not have much of a plan.  The boys will go to camp twice a week for 6 weeks to give me a little bit of one on one time with the baby.  But other than that I wanted to be free and flexible to enjoy actually having the summer off from work.  If we get invited to go swim with friends, we can go.  If we feel like having lazy pajama days, we can do that too.  I am looking forward to enjoying this family time.

Will post pictures of the renovations, and the boys, and hopefully our new baby very soon!

Monday, June 12, 2017

The Final Stretch: 37/38 weeks pregnant

I can not believe how fast this pregnancy went.  I spent the first half not really believing I was pregnant and just praying a lot.  Then the second half has been so busy with my new job, Mike's new job, and a crazy schedule with two very active boys, that the nine months pretty much flew by.  I frequently here things like wow I look great, or I am carrying so well... I pretty much contribute this to my non-stop movement this whole pregnancy.  There hasn't been any time to relax and put my feet up, and no time to add on those extra pregnancy pounds.  I can't complain about that.

Generally I feel good.  I am swollen- my rings have been retired to the safe and only certain shoes fit my feet.  I wake up in the morning feeling pretty good.  I have energy and ready to be productive.  Then I hit about 2-4pm and I am tired and sore, and then by 8pm I am officially super pregnant and uncomfortable with lots of pressure all through my low back, hips and down my legs.  I did stop working about a week ago, but managed to fill my extra time playing catch up on all the things I didn't get to do while working.  Plus I am not taking an official "maternity leave" from real estate, so I am still doing a couple hours of work each day for that.

I am full of emotions right now- I'm nervous (whats life going to be like with 3 kids?  How are we going to manage all of these kids?  Will Mike be around to help or is it all going to be on me?) and I am anxious about the actual delivery (Will I be able to have another natural un-medicated delivery?  When will labor start? How is everything going to play out?) and of course excited (We have prayed and hoped for this baby for several years now, so excited to finally meet him).  But I also have a batch of mixed feelings because we are pretty sure this will be our last baby.  I will never say never, and of course we need to see how the next several months plays out before really deciding, but if you asked us now we would probably say we are done making babies.  So that is adding a whole new set of emotions, knowing that this may be my last time ever pregnant.  I love being pregnant and all of the excitement that comes along with it, so its hard for me to wrap my brain around this stage of my life being over.

But I am not going to get to caught up in those thoughts, I need to focus on all positive happy healthy baby and labor vibes, I can think about the future in the future.

Details about this pregnancy-
- They switched me from Lovenox to Heprin which is a twice a day shot.  It hurts.  Like a lot.  My poor tummy is very bruised and battered and sore.  The shots have officially become emotionally and physically draining.
-Heart burn is my enemy.
-I get braxton hicks contractions all day every day.  This is pretty standard pregnancy for me.  They start around 20-25 weeks pregnant and continue and get more intense throughout the weeks.  They are in high gear right now.
-This baby is sitting LOW, but also pretty standard.  He never moved up under my ribs like the other boys did, he just likes hanging out low in my Va Jay Jay.  Most of my pressure and discomfort is in my pelvis, cervix, and shoots down my legs.
-I have been doing lots of yoga, stretching, and trying to get outside for walks as much as possible.  All to help baby find a good position.
-I am loving my midwives.  Its a new group right now, and I love each of them more then the last.  They seem to practice very similar to how I hope to deliver this baby.  I am glad I made the switch.
-People say the STUPIDEST things when they hear I am having a 3rd boy.  Seriously, people have no tact.
-He is a mover, this baby.  He is one of those babies you can see moving in my tummy from the other side of the room.   Every doctor and ultra sound tech I have seen always comments on how much he move.  And he gets nightly hiccups right as I am getting ready for bed every night.
-We did get a chance to set up a nursery for him, we did a cool old airplane theme which I am loving right now.

The boys take on things:
-Ryan is very excited.  He can't wait to be a helper, and already has plan for what he can do each day to be the best big brother.  He tells everyone he sees that his brother will be here soon.
-Patrick has warmed up to the idea of the baby.  He still says "baby should stay inside" and "I don't really want baby to come out yet" but he is coming around.  He likes to feel him kick, and to rub my tummy, and give kisses to "my brudder Thomas".
-Ryan and Patrick have been playing together sooooo well recently.  This could be a great thing or a bad thing.  I hope this continues, and they can be buddies all summer and really enjoy each other while I'm in baby mode.  But I also hope that the addition of a new baby in the house doesn't mess up their great dynamic.  I guess only time will tell.

That's all I can come up with off the top of my head.  Its going to be 95 degrees tomorrow.  I hope to go float in a pool and try to relax as much as I can, while enjoying this final leg of pregnancy.  Next time I blog, hopefully it will be about my wonderful peaceful and easy natural delivery with lots of pictures of my beautiful baby boy :)  All good vibes going on around here!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Finally Made Some Career Moves

Finding a new job/career has been a frequent blog topic for me.  Its been a couple years that I don't feel excited or motivated by my job, have been searching for better options, weighing out ideas of going back to school.  I know based on our family situation, I have to work, BUT I have the ability to work part time and with a flexible income.  On a personal level, I want to be motivated, have the opportunity to make decent money, and to feel like if I am leaving my kids to go to work and juggling crazy childcare schedules, it better be worth it.  

Going back to school for Occupational Therapy or Counseling was an option, going back to teaching (really never wanted this to happen), going back to working in a salon... all possibilities.  But the one that kept coming back to me and seeming to check off the most boxes in my career goals was Real Estate!  So winner winner, I finally decided to take the leap.  Something hit me in December that I needed to make this change, stop talking about it and actually do it.  I have been interested in real estate for years.  I was jealous when Mike did it a couple of years ago.  It was an attainable goal to get my license without spending a fortune on tuition.  And I really think I could be good at it.  I didn't want to look back a year from now and think, man I really wish I had already made the change.

December, the decisions was made.  January, I took the 2 week intense licensing class and passed my test.  By February I was hired by an amazing group.  And in March I was officially working as a real estate agent.  So far I love it.  I am really excited that I finally made a change and I can see myself doing this and succeeding at this for a long time!  Lets hope I am right :)

Thank you to my wonderful friend Erin, I was able to get in with the Ocean 6 group with RE/MAX.  They are a group of 10 agents that are all super successful and young and work their butts off.  She loves working with them and has been asking me to join the team for a couple years.  I knew I wanted to be part of the team as soon as I met them the first time.  Its a super supportive group, lots of training, everyone backs each other up... perfect opportunity to learn as a new agent.  

I am currently still working for the chiropractor while I am also working real estate.  Its a bit crazy right now, I am working pretty much every day of the week at one of the two jobs (and Mike is starting with a new job that has very long hours, lots of travel, and requires him to be away from home overnight several nights a week- ahh things are a bit stressful lol).  But I know its all important and helping us both make progress towards our goals so we are figuring it out.   The plan is for me to work at the office up until maternity leave, about June 1st.  Then take my official time off, but probably not return to the office after maternity leave.  I can't make that decision officially yet, I need to build the real estate business and make sure its a smart decision for our family, but my goal is to be able to stop the office work and work Real Estate full time.

Ironically, just like when I was pregnant with Patrick 3.5 years ago, its a year of transitions.  New job and new baby!  We never let things get boring in the Taynor House!  

Anyway, wish me luck on my new career venture.  I feel really really good about this decision.  The business career women deep down inside me is motivated to kick butt and make some money for our family!  I have lofty goals, but I think I can hack it.  Now I just need to get my first deal to closing and get this new agent monkey off my back!  


Friday, March 31, 2017

Third Trimester Pregnancy Update

I am officially 27 weeks pregnant as of Sunday, that is considered third trimester isn't it??  I can't believe how fast this whole thing is going.  I think I spent the whole first 20 weeks being worried, thinking about my health, babies health, and just praying a healthy pregnancy continued, that I never really sat back and experienced being pregnant.  So now I am 2/3rds done, and just now really feeling pregnant.  Some random facts and happenings.

-  I feel really good right now, I have been calling it the sweet spot of pregnancy.  The headaches and vomiting is finally over.  I look pregnant (not just fat and bloated) but not big enough to be super uncomfortable yet.  I have decent energy and still sleeping okay.  Generally speaking, I feel great and am enjoying this stage of pregnancy.

- Heart burn has kicked in big time again.  This is about par for the course for my pregnancies.

-I am really liking my new midwives I switched too.  There are 5 of them, and I have liked each one more than the last.  They seem super supportive of my natural delivery goals, they are welcoming of me having a doula, and they are very easy to talk to about any questions I have.  I am super glad I finally found a good practice.

- I did officially hire a doula again for this pregnancy and birth.  She is not the same one I used last pregnancy, but another women I have worked with a lot through my job and that I connected with.  We will be having our first official meeting with her soon to start the birth preparation process.  I am really excited about having her.  I think it will be really supportive for me, and really great for Mike too.

-We think we picked a name.  I am 99% sure this baby boy will be Thomas Michael.  We narrowed it down to Thomas or Harrison, but both Ryan and Patrick really seem to be connecting to Thomas and now refer to the baby as Thomas all the time.  It just feels more natural.  But I am not committing to anything yet.

-The shots pretty much stink.  They are getting harder as I get bigger.  I have less skin to grab, so the actual injection is harder to get in my skin.  I am also bruising a lot more and they just sting a lot.  No fun at all.  But hey they seem to be working so I can't complain.

-Ryan is loving everything about my pregnancy and prepping for his baby brother.  He comes in every morning when he wakes up to check on the baby and kiss my stomach.  He can't wait til Sunday's when we can read the new "baby report" on my pregnancy app.  He likes to feel the baby move and has lots of questions.  Its really sweet.  Patrick isn't quite as thrilled, but is warming up to the idea.  He is now excited that there is a baby in my tummy, but doesn't want the baby to actually come out and live with us.

-I plan to keep working til about June 1, and then take the month leading up to baby's arrival off.  I also starting working a new job, so I will balance the two jobs until maternity leave and then figure out the plan after baby is here (see next post about that!)

-I really need to start getting organized for this baby.  I was just thinking today and realizing how much stuff I actually need.  Almost all of my baby gear is old or expired or outdated.  They survived Ryan and Patrick but are now past their prime.  So I need to figure out what I MUST have, what I would LIKE to have, and whats really not needed for baby 3.  I also need to get into the nursery, get the walls painted, decorate, sort through the closet and bins of stuff to see what I actually have.  Right now the room is just a dumping ground of baby stuff.

-And most importantly, I just found out today that the Friendly's Ice Cream by my house delivers!!  Can you believe it?  How did I never know this?  So I am enjoying a pregnant woman's dream come true and eating a huge ice cream Sunday that was delivered to my house on this rainy night :)

Pictures from our little babymoon to Mike's parents house in Florida.  A few days of relaxation and sun.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Gender Reveal and Pregnancy Update

We decided to do things differently this time around and find out the sex of the baby ahead of time.  This is a new concept for us because I am totally Team Surprise!  I love love love waiting til the baby arrives to find out if its a girl or boy.  There is something so special about that moment for me.  But this time the circumstances were different.  With already having two boys, everyone had a comment about how much they wanted it to be a girl.  Plus if it was a girl, we would need to do a little more preparing, where if it was a boy, he could just jump right into our tribe of boys.  Most importantly, and the reason I think I was persuaded to find out, was because Ryan really wanted to know.  He didn't care if it was a boy or a girl, he just couldn't wait to find out.  He kept saying "you know Mom, you can just take a test and find out, you don't have to wait anymore!"  So we did it, we took the test and found out.

I really didn't want to do the whole gender reveal party.  My emotions have been all over the place, and I didn't think I could handle dealing with everyone else's feelings and emotions as I was processing my own.  But since this is our only time finding out in advance we did want to do something special.  Mike picked the gender reveal balls that explode when they hit something hard, and I picked to do it just the 4 of us (plus a friend that came for video taping purposes).

Gender Reveal Balls from Etsy- Awesome!

I polled everyone ahead of time and we were all on team girl.  Based on how sick I was feeling, how awful my skin looked,  the babies heart rate, gender prediction charts, and how different this pregnancy was from my others... I was 100% team girl.  And it seemed like the whole world agreed with me.  I would walk past people randomly and they would say, "wow you are definitely having a girl, I can just sense it".

Surprise- We were all wrong!  It is a boy!!

I was shocked, legitimately in shock.  I really really really felt like this baby was a girl.  Of course we are excited about having another boy, being a boy mom is the best.  And watching brothers grow up together is really awesome.  And above all, having a healthy pregnancy and baby trumps everything.  But I would be lying if I said that I didn't also have a moment of sadness.  Not at all because we are having a boy, bring on the boys I would take 10 of them, but since we are pretty confident that this is our last baby, I had to mourn the idea of never having a daughter.  The hours after finding out was all excitement and celebration.  Then around 9:30pm it hit me like a ton of bricks that I will never have the daughter that I have dreamed about having my whole life.  The person to share the bond with that I do with my mom.  The daughters wedding to plan or the dance recital to do hair backstage for.  Also getting to see Mike be a father to a girl, and sending them off on Daddy Daughter dates.   Relationships are different between mothers and sons and mothers and daughters (same for fathers with sons vs daughters).  They are each special in their own way.  So I am blessed to have three boys in my life, but also sad not to experience the other side.  I cried for about 24 hours straight.  Which of course made me feel guilty, but an emotion I had to process to move forward with embracing our family.

I am glad I had that moment though, I needed it, because since then I really am back to just being excited.  What an adventure life is going to be with 3 sons!!  I use to be so worried I would never find a guy to love me (back in my sappy single college days) and now look, I will have 4!!  We are soooo blessed, and know that this was the baby God wanted for me and we can't wait to meet HIM!

In other pregnancy news-

I am so happy to be about 20 weeks and finally feeling good.  The first 16-17 weeks was rough.  I was so sick to my stomach every day all day.  I threw up frequently, spent all day gagging at the most random things, couldn't eat anything but bagels, and my I wanted to sleep all the time.  Plus I have the throw up every time I brush my teeth condition I had with the other pregnancies (unfortunately that normally lasts the entire pregnancy).  Luckily that has all slowly faded away and I am feeling back to normal.

The baby's heart rate has been about 160 at each checkup and the ultra sound tech said "wow that is an active baby" (of course he is, he is my son).   I have been measuring exactly a week ahead of my estimated due date, which makes more sense to me based on my ovulation schedule (thanks Turks and Caicos for helping us get pregnant!).  The official date on the doctors records is July 2, but based on my cycle and all the ultra sounds, the better estimated due date is a week earlier June 25.

Ryan has spread the news to the whole world, and can't wait to be Mom's helper when the baby arrives.  He practices every day and tells me all the jobs he will do once baby arrives.  Patrick has finally warmed up to the idea and has stopped saying "No I am the baby" every time someone mentions I am pregnant.  I think by July he will be excited and ready too.

I am starting to prep for actually getting this baby out.  I am going to prenatal yoga more often and recently reaching out to a Doula to work with towards the end of pregnancy and delivery.  We are also starting to plan Baby Boy's nursery, we are going with an antique airplane theme this time around.  Nothing major, just sprucing the room up so it doesn't exactly the same as when it was  Patrick's nursery.  Next on our agenda is to pick a name.  I am so bad at names, especially boy names (I have had Charlotte Elizabeth in the waiting for 6 years now!).  Some maybes are Harrison, Charles, Thomas, Andrew, Alex... who knows.  But I seriously want to decide soon.  I hate having that decision hanging over my head.   I'll keep everyone posted.
Life is good right now.  We are all excited and happy and can't wait to see what life in zone coverage parenting will be like!

We are Pregnant!

This post is long long over due.  But after our struggles this year, I was holding off on posting until we had more answers and were sure things were progressing and baby is healthy!  My last post was mid October, and a lot has happened since then.  Just a week or so after posting I found out I was pregnant again.  Of course my first reaction was one of hope and excitement, but it was very quickly followed by fear and anxiety.  Then within a week a week of getting the positive pregnancy test, we met with the hematologist and finally got some answers as to what was going on with my blood work.

The doctor results were that I did have a mutation of the MTHFR gene and have anticardiolipin syndrome.  As my OB suspected, my levels where high enough to put me at risk for blood clotting, and most likely the clots where leading to the past miscarriages.  The hematologist suspects this is a new condition, not something I had when I was pregnant with the boys.  I have a ton of questions, like why would I suddenly develop a new blood clotting condition, but at this particular moment my bigger concern was what can I do to help keep this pregnancy.

The doctor recommendation is that I need to do daily injections of Lovenox in my stomach every day til 4 weeks after the baby arrives.  This is a blood thinner that is safest for pregnancy, and apparently the common treatment for a condition like this.  I hate shots, and needles, and I knew I wouldn't be able to do the injections to myself... but you gotta do what you gotta do.  That night Mike and I started our daily ritual of him giving me a shot in the tummy every night before bed.  Its not fun, it stings, and its getting harder as my belly gets bigger.  But we do it with no complaints because we know its helping baby.  Thank God for my husband.  This is definitely one of those moments that I appreciate him even more than usual, because he stepped up without any hesitation to give these injections, even though I know its something he is uncomfortable with.

We pretty much told our family and close friends right away that we were in fact pregnant again, and taking it one day at a time.  We were holding off on celebrating, praying a lot, but still hopeful for a healthy baby.  I was kind of stuck in a weird funk.  I wanted to be so excited about being pregnant, to talk about it and plan for baby, but I was so scared to get attached and scared of getting hurt again, that I resisted all urges to just let myself be an excited pregnant momma.  I had a variety of doctors appointments pretty much on a weekly basis for the first few months just to make sure things were progressing.

The week before Christmas, I had a 12 week ultra sound and all the genetic testing blood work, and I had a follow up with the hematologist.  Everything checked out great, so we decided we could officially start spreading the news and more specifically tell the boys that they were going to be big brothers!  On Christmas Eve we told the boys, Ryan was so excited, Patrick not so much.  And then we let them tell all of our friends, family, cousins, as we saw them throughout the holiday week.  It was great to finally get to celebrate the new baby.

In January, at 15 weeks pregnant we did have another scare.  One night as I was getting ready for bed, I started bleeding very heavily.  I have it about and hour to see if it continued and see if I had any other symptoms (based on my OBs recommendation).  About an hour later the blood was still very heavy and I was officially freaked out.  Mike happened to be sick with the flu that night, so I called my mom and off to the ER we went.  At that point I just wanted to hear the babies heart beat, I needed to know baby was safe.  We spent the entire night in the hospital, blood work, ultra sounds, monitoring, and the baby seemed to be doing just fine.  The ER docs were not able to identify the cause of the bleeding, just that it was not a miscarriage or the placenta, THANK GOD!  He sent me home at 5am and told me to see the OB first thing in the morning.

I followed instructions and was in the office about 10 am.  They did another ultra sound and found that I was pooling blood in my cervix, which is why it was bleeding like a heavy period.  Long story short, for some reason my body was not reabsorbing blood the way it should, and it was causing it to pool in my cervix instead.  The remedy,  modified bed rest, stay calm and quiet and relaxed as much as possible, and give myself the chance to heal.  If the blood was reabsorbed, that would be great and we can move forward, if the blood continued to pool, it could lead to early contractions and labor as my body tried to get rid of the extra blood.  So on doctors order, I did just that.  I modified all my activities, asked for extra help from anyone around that could help, and tried to rest and relax as much as possible.  Luckily it worked, and the last week of January we confirmed the issue went away, baby looked great, and I could return to normal activities (as long as I still remembered that yes I am pregnant and yes my body needs to take it easy).

I am now officially 20 weeks pregnant!  Anatomy scan ultra sound looked perfect this week, and I am feeling the 2nd trimester high!  We can not wait to meet this baby in June/July and complete our family!

Next post... finding out the gender!  And other pregnant fun!