This week, the girls and I adventured to the outside world for the first time without Andrew. It was interesting (see previous post about the runaway stroller).
Actually, it was really nice to be outside and hang out with family. On Tuesday we went to the zoo with Stacey and her daughter Clara. Grace and Clara are only a few months apart, and as they grow it is fun to see how their relationship blossoms. They shared snacks and rode on the carousel together. At one point, Clara started tickling Grace and they both laughed their heads off about it. Their friendship is super cute!
The next day we ventured out to farm country with Heidi and her kids. Heidi's son, Parker, is another one of Grace's favorite cousins. He can always get her to giggle. Grace loved petting the goats and bunny rabbits. She was also obsessed with the baby chicks. But I think her favorite activity of the day was sitting on the gravel and moving rocks. haha. (Why are non-toys so clearly more engaging and fun to play with than actual toys created for kids?)
Some other random highlights of the week include:
Being a parent comes with so many learning curves. Of course, we are going to make mistakes along the way. But there are some mistakes that you wish could be avoided....like the run-away stroller incident I experienced this week.
It all started with a trip to the zoo. This was my first outing by myself with both babies and a new stroller. As I parked, I started trying to play how I would get everyone out of the car.
I decided to proceed in the following order:
It seemed like such a simple plan, but things took a turn for the worst when I failed to engage the break properly.
I had just strapped Grace into her seat and had turned back to the car to get the bassinet when suddenly I heard someone screaming across the parking lot, "YOUR STROLLER!!! YOUR STROLLER!!!" I glanced to where I had just left Grace and instead saw her rolling away.
I freaked out and ran after her. Luckily, the parking lot wasn't busy, so Grace wasn't in any danger, but STILL! As I pushed her back to the car, I could feel the embarrassed tears filling my eyes. I tried to breathe deep and continue assembling the stroller, but I was flustered and feeling a bit overwhelmed.
The man who had yelled at me came over with his family. He was an older gentleman, with his wife, daughter (who was probably around my age), and grandson (about Grace's age).
"Sorry," he said as he approached. "I didn't mean to scare you. I would have grabbed the stroller if I had been closer."
"No, don't apologize. I am very grateful you yelled." I reassured him through my tears.
His wife smiled at me. "You'd be hard pressed to find a mom that hasn't had a similar experience."
Their kindness calmed my tears. They wished me luck on my outing and left. I said a silent prayer of thanks that everyone was safe, packed up the rest of the stroller, and headed into the zoo to meet up with my sister-in-law.
So, everybody survived and I learned the invaluable lesson of the importance of stroller breaks.
Please tell me if you’ve ever had any similar parenting mistakes... let’s bond through our weaknesses :)
Andrew returned to work this week after enjoying 3 weeks of paternity leave. It was difficult for all of us, but I think Grace found it especially rough. Her daddy is her favorite person right now. His name is the first sound off her lips every morning as I open the door to her room, and she loves climbing all over him or sitting in his lap to stack blocks.
When people asked me how the day/week was going, I sent them this first picture with a caption: This is my view while nursing Madelyn.
A picture really is worth a thousand words sometimes.
It was brutal, but we made it! I just have to keep reminding myself that as long as everyone is safe, it's ok if someone isn't perfectly happy. Mom only has so many arms to go around.
Today, I was supposed to be induced. Instead, I'm sitting on my couch next to my little 2 week old baby. It's crazy how plans change when it comes to babies :)
Madelyn Estelle Macey zoomed into our lives on Saturday, August 24 at 1:07 in the morning. I say "zoomed" because I was only in labor for about 4 hours (but more on that part of the story in a minute). She weighed in at 6 lbs 11 oz and was 19 inches long. She has a full head of dark hair and big eyes, and I think that she looks very similar to how her big sister, Grace, looked when she was born (although family and friends swear she looks more like me). We are so in love with our little Maddy.
At about 9 pm
On Friday evening (Aug 23rd), Andrew, Grace and I went out. We visited with family and stopped by Crumbl to get some cookies to celebrate the end of Andrew's Birthday Week. While waiting in the car for Andrew to pick up the cookies, I started to feel grumbles in my stomach. I wasn't sure if they were contractions, but I started wondering what we would do if they were: Who would watch Grace? How long would it take for baby to arrive? Would my mom be able to make the birth this time? How would this labor compare to my last? These questions all ran through my mind, but I seriously doubted that what I was experiencing were true contractions.
Well, as we drove home and the pains continued, Andrew urged me to text some friends and neighbors to see if any of them would be willing to come sit on our couch so that Grace wouldn't be home alone if we had to go to the hospital. My friend Wrenn gave me an enthusiastic "100% Yes!" and I laughed as I reminded her that I wasn't so sure this was the real deal. In the mean time, I started tracking the pains on my contraction counter and decided to try taking a warm bath to calm my muscles. The pain continued to intensify. And by this time, I was sure these contractions felt very similar to my experience with Grace's delivery. I hopped out of the bath, got dressed, and hobbled downstairs to Andrew to tell him the situation.
"Hey babe," I mumbled through the pain of another contraction. "We should probably put the bags in the car and head to the hospital soon."
"Ok. When does the book say we are supposed to go to the hospital?" he asked as he casually cleaned up the kitchen.
"When contractions are at least 30 seconds and about 5 minutes apart."
"How far apart are your contractions?"
He looked up, shocked. "Seriously?! Oh wow, we really do need to leave." Suddenly, cleaning the kitchen was no longer the priority.
The next few minutes were a rush of calling my mother-in-law to ask her to drive out and stay the night at our house, calling Wrenn to come stay at the house until my mother-in-law arrived, grabbing the hospital bags, texting my parents to let them know we were heading to the hospital, and checking on Grace to make sure she was asleep. Finally, we got into the car and drove the glorious 5 minutes to the hospital (I am very grateful we live so close to our hospital).
about 10:15 pm
We arrived to the hospital and I waddled to Labor and Delivery. The nurse led us to a small room and instructed me to change into the hospital gown. As I changed, I told Andrew my big fear, "I'm going to be seriously upset if these are not real labor pains!"
But after a few checks, it was clear my body was definitely preparing to bring baby girl into the world very soon. We were moved into a bigger delivery room and I immediately asked for an epidural. (What can I say, I am a fan of the medical miracles provided through drugs). Pretty sure the anesthesiologist arrived by 11pm and quickly provided a healthy dose of medication to help numb the pain. I was grateful, and I'm pretty sure Andrew was grateful too because up until then I had been rather indecisive and demanding (not a good combination).
"Andrew, come here."
"Andrew, rub my back."
"No, stop. That doesn't feel good."
"Ahhhh, shiz, do something!"
"I don't know what."
"Andrew, push on my back again." ....and so on.
Honestly, Andrew is a saint! Through all my pain and complaining, he lovingly and patiently tried everything to help me through the contractions. He put counter pressure on my back and rubbed my shoulders. He reminded me to breathe when the pain was getting extra brutal. He held my hand and let me squeeze as I got the epidural. He said such sweet and encouraging things, and I am so grateful that he is my husband and partner through all the craziness of life.
After the epidural kicked in and I was no longer writhing in pain, Andrew left to get the bags from the car. I sat, talking to the nurse when I suddenly felt a gush.
"Um, I'm pretty sure my water just broke."
And it had. The nurse checked my body's progress and announced that I was dilated to about a 6.
"I'll come back in a little bit to check you again," she announced, and then left to let me rest a for a while. Andrew and I tried to get some sleep, knowing that it could very likely be a long night.
At about 1 am
Before we were even able to fall asleep properly, the nurse came in again and announced that I was fully dilated and that she was calling for the doctor. Dr. Black (who happened to be on call that night) came in, I pushed for about 5 minutes, and out came our little girl. It was crazy fast and wonderfully uncomplicated.
As I held my little Madelyn close to my chest, I could hardly believe that I had just given birth to my second beautiful daughter. Childbirth is such a special and sacred moment. It's something I truly cherish. I am so grateful for all the people who helped along the way. My husband, the nurses and doctors, our family. Everyone played such an important roll in making this experience what it was.
And now a lifetime of adventures with Madelyn begins!
When I was pregnant with Grace, I wrote a little blurb about my pregnancy every single week. The highs, the lows, the changes in my body, and my thoughts, hopes, fears, and dreams for becoming a new mother.
This pregnancy, I've only written a few key updates throughout the months, but I want to do a better job at writing in this last trimester. I feel like writing will help me connect and mentally prepare for this other little human to enter my life (who we affectionately refer to as "Peanut").
So here are my weekly updates about our little Peanut during the third trimester:
Technically, this is the end of the second trimester, but it has been a crazy week that can be described in one painful word:
Not Braxton hicks or pre-labor cramps. No, no, no. These are death-grip Charlie-horse spasms in my legs that violently wake me in the middle of the night and cause me to scream out in pain. This week, I got them for the first time this pregnancy, and it was in both of my legs at the same time. Sadly, I had no one to help me relieve the pain, so I scrambled to the floor and tried to press my feet against the wall in an attempt to stretch out the pain. It was miserable. Even now, a few days later, my legs are so tight that I find myself walking like a zombie in the morning. Charlie-horse cramps are definitely not one of my favorite pregnancy side effects.
But, on a more positive note, one thing I do love about pregnancy is when I get to feel my little one move inside me, and this little girl is a big-time squirmer. At around 24 weeks, Andrew was able to feel and see her move. She pushes on my belly and does flips practically all day long! I love it :)
While we are well into the summer months, this June has been unusually rainy in Utah and therefore not as hot at normal. I'm definitely not complaining! Grace, Cali, and I enjoy sitting outside on the grass throughout the day, and I catch myself wondering how I will manage this little circus once baby #2 arrives. I remember trying to juggle my 4-month old Gracie and a puppy so that we could sit outside before the weather turned cold last October. But this October, I will have a newborn and a walking toddler to manage. (Luckily, Cali will be staying with my parents for a few months while we get used to a new baby in the house.) I am so excited and so nervous! Motherhood is going to be so different with two little ones to care for.
I went to the doctor last week. Dr. Black, my normal doctor, just had a baby last month, so I met with a midwife instead. She was great; everything looks good with baby. But the bad news was I didn't pass my 1-hour glucose tolerance test. My blood sugar levels were just a little elevated so they wanted me to do a 3-hour test.
3-hours!? Fasting all morning!? Getting poked and blood drawn 4 times!? Not able to walk around or do practically anything!? Ew, it sounds terrible.....
By the time I arrived at the hospital, registered at the main desk, got called back for my first blood draw and went through the whole process, it was more like 3 1/2 hours. I had brought movies and books and a blanket to keep me occupied while I waited between blood draws, so that helped pass the time. Andrew was at home with Grace, and we talked on the phone a few times while I waited. And I had some crackers and fruit snacks waiting for me in the car when I finished. Honestly, while it wasn't a super fun morning, it wasn't as terrible as I thought it would be.
And the good news...I passed! I do not have Gestational Diabetes :) Yay!
Another doctor appointment this week with a different midwife. She pressed my belly for a bit and was able to tell me that baby girl is already turning into birthing position with her head down. It's crazy to me that they can tell where the baby is just by feeling around my stomach.
We started decorating the new nursery this week. My sister-in-law, Olivia, came and helped me put up wallpaper, and I love it! Big pink and purple flowers now greet you as you enter Miss Madelyn's room. Now we need to start moving furniture in and hanging curtains and decorations on the walls. I am so excited!
The 3-digit hot summer weather has finally arrived so Andrew and I decided to take a drive up the mountains to escape the heat for a few hours.
Turns out, long, winding car rides don't mix well with pregnancy for me. We drove all the way up Guardsman Pass and I started feeling queezy. To break it up, we got out of the car and walked around Park City Main Street, but even that didn't feel good. So we packed back into the car and drove home. I fell asleep for most of the car ride back, but about 15 minutes from home I started feeling really nauseous. Sure enough, I threw up (which wouldn't be terrible if it wasn't accompanied with me peeing my pants in the process).
We had an almost identical experience last time I was pregnant (except for that time I didn't have a bag to throw up in, and it ended up mostly on my lap and on the car door. Yuck!). Final verdict: no more road trips while I am pregnant.
Well, little girl's nursery is almost finished! The flowery wallpaper is a great contrast against the dark baby furniture. We moved the crib and dresser from Grace's room and replaced it with a new white crib and bookshelf. In the nursery, we set up the crib against the wallpaper wall and then hung a few decorations above the dresser and changing table. We still need to hang a few shelves that will be used to display books and move in the rocking chair from Grace's room, but it's getting close to being finished! I'm sure baby will love it because Grace loves it. She is captivated by the flowery wall or the wreath above the changing table. Yup, this room is officially baby-approved.
Doctor's appointments were our jam this week. Grace had her 15 month wellness check on Tuesday, and then I had my appointment with a midwife on Wednesday. Long story short, although we had to wait FOREVER for the doctors to come check us, everything is looking good. The only slightly concerning thing on my doctor's radar is that my blood pressure has been slightly elevated during the last few visits. If it is still high next time, they will send me in to do some blood work (PLEASE NO!). Honestly, I blame the high blood pressure on the stress induced by bringing my 1 year old to these appointments and having to wait a long time. There is only so much a bag of Cheerios and cup of apple juice can do for a girl!
Well, I just got back from another doctor's appointment. Dr. Black has returned from maternity leave, so I was able to meet with her and discuss baby's upcoming arrival. My body is already preparing for Peanut to come into the world; I am about 2 1/2 dilated and 80% effaced. Sheesh! I would like to say that this baby is probably coming soon, but my body had similar measurements for WEEKS before Grace was born. The doctor also did a quick ultrasound to take some measurements. Baby girl is looking good and is weighing at at a little over 6 lbs at this point. Another month cooking and she will probably add another pound or so.
Andrew and I planned a little "stay-cation" babymoon for last weekend. Unfortunately the Marriott hotel in downtown Salt Lake messed up our reservation, so we ended up just coming home. Still, we had a nice night out. We went to dinner and walked around City Creek and watched the kids playing in the splash pad. It was chill, but it ended being an enjoyable evening.
At my doctor's appointment this week, we scheduled a date to be induced. My official due date is September 10, but I am scheduled to be induced on September 6th. (That is, as long as I don't go into labor before that date.) Dr. Black says that she thinks I will have this baby earlier than that, but I'm afraid to get my hopes up. Last pregnancy, she said something similar to me becuase I was also dialated and effaced (pretty much the same measurements as this pregnancy now), and yet I stayed pregnant for WEEKS. And let me tell you, they were some of the longest weeks of my life.
And.....I never made it to 38 weeks. I had little Madelyn at 37 weeks and 4 days.
Andrew and Maichael
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