Category: pregnancy

Pregnancy 2.0 Update: 32 Weeks

It is has been a shamefully long time since I’ve posted an update on pregnancy #2, and I have a myriad of excuses you don’t want to hear. The most common are: I didn’t fix my hair or put on make up so I can’t take a picture or Jed’s not home so I can’t take a picture. I apologize for the photo quality above, but I cannot procrastinate another day or this child will be here.  Poor second child, already lacking the documentation of the oldest child. It stops today. I’m 32 weeks along and feeling great most of the time. Here’s the rundown:

32 Weeks Update
Feeling: great, alternating with tired, large
Wearing: anything that fits, lots of flowy skirts, wide shoes
Weight Gain: not telling, but significantly less than last time
Pregnancy Side Effects: feet swell when I walk too much, tons of Braxton Hicks contractions
Belly Button: Still in.  It never popped with Bear so I’m assuming that it won’t this time either.
Craving: Sweets! But I gave them up for Lent… 🙁
Baby: weighs close to 4 pounds and is about 17 inches long,
moving around like a champ
Gender: Girl!  (We sure hope that ultrasound was right or we’ll have a lot of pink stuff going to waste.)
Name: undecided – We have a few front runners, but haven’t decided on a final winner.  
Nursery: We have the paint, but haven’t painted.  Bear will continue to live in there until he is ready to move to a big boy room this summer.  Mini Bear will room with us for the first few months for convenient night time breastfeeding and mommy’s paranoia.  
Preparations: We toured our new hospital Monday, and will meet with our doula in the next few weeks to prepare the birth plan and work on pain management techniques.  We are trying for a VBAC.  We’ve stocked up on cloth diapers and have a few more things to buy for our sweet girl.  
To-Do List: work on decorations for the nursery, make headbands and bows, practice relaxation techniques for labor
What is one thing you did to prepare for the birth of your child?


Frugal Friday: Shopping Big Consignment Sales

 Have you ever shopped a BIG consignment sale?  We are thrift store regulars, but have fallen in love with the world of big consignment sales.  This time around I’m consigning at the upcoming Rhea Lana sale in Frisco and hoping to make money.  I’m also planning to shop.  When you consign you get to shop early, and let me tell you that these sales get competitive.  I’m hoping to find a birthday present for Bear, as well as summer clothes for both kiddos.  To see details about the Rhea Lana Frisco sale or find a RL sale near you check out the website here.

 So, you might be thinking that the big sale atmosphere is a little intimidating.  The first time around is, but you get the hang of it.  Everything is marked down to at least 70% off retail, so the prices are fantastic. I also feel good about helping other families to clear out their stash and make money, all while saving money myself.  We all win.   These sales are especially great for pregnant mamas because you can find maternity clothes AND tons of newborn to 6 months clothes because they wear them for such a brief period of time.  I’ll give you a few tips to succeed at a big sale like Rhea Lana.
1) Arrive early.  Do your research and find out if you can get an early shopping pass.  Most sales have these available online for pregnant or expectant adopting mamas.  You can also volunteer or consign at the sale and get to shop REALLY early.  Whatever your time slot is, get there before it starts because there will be a line.
2) Bring a collapsible laundry hamper.  Trust me on this.  You want a lightweight carrier for all your finds.  That way you can toss everything you like into the basket and sort through it while you are in line.
3) Bring a list of everything you are looking for so you don’t get confused or forget something important.  I would break it down like this: big items to look for first (strollers, ride on toys, playhouses,etc); small toys; clothes by age/gender/season.  For instance, I’ll be looking for a tricycle, board books, summer shoes in size 6 & 7, 0-6 and 6-12 month soft leather girl shoes, and 3T summer clothes for Bear.  I will have a list of everything detailed and in my purse, so my pregnant brain doesn’t have to concentrate too hard.
4) Come back for the Half Price Sale.  Most big sales have several half price time slots at the end of the sale, so again check online and find the time slot for you.  Everything will drop from 30% of the retail price (70% off) down to 15% of the retail price.  Heck yes.

Have you ever shopped a BIG consignment sale like Rhea Lana?
What is your favorite big consignment sale?

Trying for a VBAC: Risks vs Benefits

Today I’m addressing the most common question about our quest for a VBAC: What are the risks and benefits of a VBAC vs a repeat cesarean? A little about this series: Our second baby is due at the end of April, and we are hoping and trying for a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean section).  There are many reasons why we are heading this direction and I hope to share them with y’all over the next few months.  You can read the other posts in my Trying for a VBAC series here.  You can read the Bear’s full birth story here to see what our first child’s birth entailed.  If you read that story you will get a little glimpse into why we are now on this journey to VBAC and a normal birth.  This process has been all consuming for me and this blog is my space to express the way I feel about the whole situation.  Many folks have strong opinions about VBAC vs. repeat cesarean, and I hope that whatever your opinion might be you will respect mine.  VBAC is not the right decision for every c-mama, and it doesn’t always work out no matter how you prepare.  Our hope and prayer is that we can have the best birth possible for our little girl.  I am not in any way a medical professional, just a mama who loves nerding out over research.
Risks VS Benefits of a VBAC or Elective Repeat Cesarean Section
First lets look at the risks of both, lined up together.  I’ll start with what I like to call the “Big Scaries”.
Big Scary #1: Risk of Baby Dying
VBAC – 0.2% vs C-Section (ERCS) – 0.1%
Both rates are very low, but slightly higher for VBAC.
Big Scary #2: Risk of Uterine Rupture
VBAC – 0.4% vs C-Section (ERCS) – 0.2%
Did you know you could have a rupture with an ERCS?  I didn’t either.  The next facts really shocked me.  Let’s look at the risk of uterine rupture for 1st time moms in natural births vs those induced and augmented with pitocin and/or prostoglandins.
Natural, spontaneous labor – 0.012%
Spontaneous labor augmented (prostoglandins, pitocin, etc) – 0.9%
Induced Labor – 1% (WHAT???)
When I read those numbers from multiple scientific studies, I was seriously angry at my previous OB who mentioned none of the risks of induction.  If you were induced or had augmentation during labor, did your OB mention the more than doubled risk of uterine rupture?  I’d really like to know.  I’ve asked a lot of mamas and across the board I’ve not heard of anyone being told this by their OB.  Not cool.
Big Scary #3: Risk of Mom Dying
VBAC – 0.02% vs C-Section (ERCS) – 0.04%
Both rates are very low, but slightly higher for c-section.  The problem is that this rate increases greatly with each repeat c-section, limiting the potential of family by putting mom at risk.
The other risks of VBAC are the same as normal first time birth, but many other risks increase greatly with a repeat c-section and continue to increase even more with a 3rd, 4th, etc c-section.  I’ve found that most women are told the risks of VBAC I mentioned above but not the risks of repeat c-section. Why is this? Many birth professionals believe it because of 2 things: 1)the bad rap VBACs got during the 1990s when it was common to use drugs like Cytotec to induce labor, greatly increasing the risk of uterine rupture and 2)because a c-section is easier to control for the physician, takes less time, and makes more money. A VBAC or other vaginal birth costs around $3-5000 while a c-section costs upwards of $25,000 for the patient.  I support every woman’s right to choose the birth that she feels is best for her baby and herself, but I believe we also have the right to know the risks and benefits of each choice.
Risks to Baby that Increase with Repeat C-Section:
being cut during the surgery
premature birth (and all the risks that come with that)
respiratory problems at birth and lifelong
readmission to hospital or NICU time
risk of death in first month of life
Type 1 Diabetes
problems breastfeeding
Risks to Mom that Increase with Repeat C-Section:
unintended cuts or damage during the surgery
major infection
emergency hysterectomy
blood clots
ICU time
complications from anesthesia
depression and other negative psychological issues
problems breastfeeding
future pregnancy issues including placenta previa, stillbirth, low birth weight, and ectopic pregnancy
There are plenty of benefits to both choices.  Let’s take a look at them.
Benefits of Repeat C-Section:
scheduled birth – easier to have support network and preparations in place
controlled situation
time to prepare a support network for post op
much faster method for emergencies that threaten the life of baby or mom
less liability for the doctor and hospital
Benefits of VBAC:
faster recovery
better immediate bonding with baby (lack of drugs, etc)
better breastfeeding results
avoid major abdominal surgery and all the risks that entails
birth the way God created our bodies to function
much less expensive
less hospital time
fewer complications for mom and baby
Every mama has to weigh these risks and benefits and come to a decision with their partner and an OB they trust.  My former OB told me I was a great candidate for VBAC but that she didn’t do them, so I looked to my local ICAN chapter to find recommendations for VBAC friendly OBs in my area.  I found an awesome doctor and am so happy with the prenatal care I’ve received.  The information that helped me make my decision to try for a VBAC is the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology’s (governing body of OB/GYN) recent statement on VBAC.  The most important quote is below and you can find a link to the full statement under the resource links at the bottom of the post.
“The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) agree that that most women with a history of one or two uncomplicated low transverse caesarean sections, in an otherwise uncomplicated pregnancy at term and with no contraindications to vaginal birth, are candidates for and should be counseled about VBAC.”
If your OB tells you differently, they are going against the policy of their own governing body and you should probably question their motives.
Looking for resources and information about birth, VBAC, and cesarean  recovery?  Try these:
ACOG Statement about VBAC vs ERCS
International Cesarean Awareness Network
Birth Without Fear
VBAC Facts
The Unnecesarean

Best of Bare Feet on the Dashboard: Baby and Pregnancy Edition

Looking back over my Best of Bare Feet on the Dashboard series I realized I left out a crucial category, baby and pregnancy posts from the last 3 years.  We remedy that situation today.  I have so many baby and pregnancy posts I love so I’ll break them up by category below.  Enjoy and please feel free to share the love.  
Cloth Diaper Posts:
The Great Cloth Diaper Trials: 11 Brands Tried and Tested
We do the leg work so you don’t have to.
Choosing Cloth Diapers
Why did we choose them over disposables?
Our Easy Cloth Diaper Routine
Figuring out how to wash cloth diapers can be complicated, so I show you our simple routine. 
Saving Money with Reusable Cloth Swim Diapers 
One simple change can save you up to 90% on the cost of disposable swim diapers.  
Breastfeeding Posts:
*Cute nursing cover by Hope Springs Etsy Shop
Our Breastfeeding Battle Part 1
Our Breastfeeding Battle Part 2
The Big Latch On
Pregnancy Posts:
The Top Ten Things I’ll Miss About Being Pregnant
My Hometown Baby Shower
Maternity Photo Shoot from My First Pregnancy
Frugal Pregnancy Tips
Taking the 3 Hour Glucose Tolerance Test: What is it like?
Weirdest Pregnancy Dreams Ever
Our Homemade Baby Book with Free Printables
A Big Brother T-Shirt to Announce Our 2nd Pregnancy
A Morning Sickness Cure with No Side Effects
My Postpartum Fashion Crisis
The Battle of the Baby Weight
Child Birth Posts:
The Bear’s Birth Story
Trying for a VBAC: Why?
Saving Big Money on Medical Bills
We saved 20% on Bear’s birth bills!
Decorating the Nursery Posts:
Birds in Flight Nursery Mobile with Tutorial
The Bear’s Nursery Part 1
The Bear’s Nursery Part 2
The Bear’s Nursery Part 3
The Bear’s Nursery Part 4 
A Ribbon Mobile for Baby’s Nursery
I hope you enjoyed my Best of Bare Feet on the Dashboard series.  I have so much more planned for this blog and can’t wait to see what the next 3 years bring.  I’m now accepting sponsors AND swapping ads with other bloggers.  Check out my Sponsor page for more info.  Thanks so much for reading!  

Trying for a VBAC: Why?

Our second baby is due at the end of April, and we are hoping and trying for a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean section).  There are many reasons why we are heading this direction and I hope to share them with y’all over the next few months.  You can read the Bear’s full birth story here to see what our first child’s birth entailed.  If you read that story you will get a little glimpse into why we are now on this journey to VBAC and a normal birth.  This process has been all consuming for me and this blog is my space to express the way I feel about the whole situation.  Many folks have strong opinions about VBAC vs. repeat cesarean, and I hope that whatever your opinion might be you will respect mine.  VBAC is not the right decision for every c-mama, and it doesn’t always work out no matter how you prepare.  Our hope and prayer is that we can have the best birth possible for our little girl.
Why try for a VBAC?
After a ton of research and prayer, we feel it is the best option for the health of our baby and my health.  I want a normal birth because it is the way God designed my body, and He made me this way for a reason.  I struggled with the trauma of Bear’s birth for months afterward, and breastfeeding was a HUGE battle.  I’ve since learned those issues are typical with c-section.  If you have had a cesarean and fought through the emotions of losing the birth you hoped and planned for, you are not alone.  C-section is meant to be an emergency last ditch option when the life of mom or baby is in jeopardy.  There are many occasions when it is completely necessary and in those cases we thank God it is available. Having had a prior c-section is just not always one of those.  It turns out that induction without medical reason increases your chance of a c-section by up to 75%.  My previous doctor failed to mention that when she tried to schedule Bear’s birth around a holiday.
C-section can be a literal life saver, but it does not come without cost.  Any c-mama will tell you that recovery is a beast.  I don’t remember the first few weeks of Bear’s life because of the pain medication.  The only things I could do were sleep and try to nurse.  It was rough, people.  I’m hoping this time around will be very different.  C-section babies have higher rates of asthma and allergies, as well as many other risk factors.  I’ll go in to those in another post.  Even if Mini Bear’s birth does end a c-section because of medical necessity, at least I will know that is a possibility going in and be prepared for that alternative.
I hear a lot of the same questions over and over about this road we are on. Why not just schedule a repeat c-section?  Aren’t you putting yourself and the baby at risk?  What do you have to do to get a VBAC?  I hope to answer those here on the blog over the next few weeks.
You can read more about our breastfeeding battles here: Breastfeeding Part 1 and Breastfeeding Part 2.  The great news is that even though it was a battle at first, we fought through and Bear nursed until he was a little over a year.
Looking for resources and information about VBAC and cesarean recovery?  Try these:
International Cesarean Awareness Network
Birth Without Fear
VBAC Facts
The Unnecesarean

We’re Having A…

Will Mini Bear be a brother or sister for our little Bear?
Will it be a bow or tie in our Christmas box?
Can you guess?
 Mini Bear’s tiny little foot

Still don’t know?
I’ll let Bear show you…

He approaches the box…
opens it up..
 and we see a hint of pink…

We’re having a precious little girl, and we couldn’t be more excited.  She should arrive near the end of April.  As you can see, I’ve already started her accessory collection.  The majority of y’all guessed correctly, so congrats on your good instincts.  You should probably go buy a powerball ticket.  🙂  Now we just have to figure out a name…

A New House, a Move, and a Baby

So, a few things have been happening around here lately.  If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook (which you definitely should) you know that we bought our first house, moved in, and have baby #2 on the way.  You know, just a few small things.  It has been crazy, exciting, stressful, and great, all at the same time.

At least this guy is the sweetest little Bear ever.  

The house is 1970s one story cutie that backs up to a creek and needs a LOT of work.  I’ll post before and after pics of each of our projects as we check them off our list, but it is going to be a looong process.  So far we have dealt with major plumbing issues, residual cat dander and pee, and some serious wood paneling.  We’ve asked ourselves many times, “Why did we buy a house again? and have yet to come up with a satisfactory answer.  We know deep down it will all be worth it eventually, but on most days I feel like we will be surrounded by boxes FOR-EV-ER.  We are doing most of the work ourselves, and let me just tell you that HGTV makes it look way too easy.  This junk is hard.  Crazy hard.  If you’re interested in coming over to remove wallpaper, I’ll love you forever.  I’ve decided to affectionately call the house the Duck Creek Ranch, so that it will grow on me a little faster.  Why Duck Creek Ranch? We live on a super cute creek filled with ducks, it is a ranch style house, and everyone in Texas loves a ranch.

For the first time ever, we hired movers.  I’m a bit of a gypsy and have moved at least once per year since the age of eighteen.  I’m now 33.  That’s a lot of moves, people.  I once could move all my worldy possessions in the back of my car.  Alas, those days are gone.  It took weeks of packing, 3 guys + us, a BIG moving truck, and many hours to get all of our crap into the new house.  I was pretty much useless because of my first trimester sickness and generally being pregnant, plus herding a toddler.  Poor Jed worked all day at his teaching job and then came to DCR every day after school to work until 9 or 10 pm.  He is the best, that man of mine.

I can’t believe I’m already almost half way through this pregnancy.  We found out the gender last week and have been slowly revealing it to family and friends.  I’ll share it on the blog tomorrow, so vote now in the gender poll.  After all, you have a 50% chance of being right.  Mini Bear is growing well, and I’m feeling so much better now that I’m firmly in the 2nd trimester.

How many times have you moved?  Share your craziest moving story in the comments.

Pregnancy 2.0 Update – Months 1 and 2

I’m almost to the end of my first trimester!  I can’t believe it has flown by so fast.  I’m so ready for the energy and lack of nausea that comes with the second trimester.  It was so fun to announce the pregnancy and start to pray and plan for Mini Bear.    
After The Bear’s birth, it took me almost a year to lose the 42 pounds I gained during his pregnancy.  It was HARD work losing that baby weight.  I was back a few pounds below my prebaby weight, but still hadn’t rid myself of the dreaded c-section tummy.  The second I found out I was pregnant again, my uterus said, “Oh yeah, I got this. ” and proceeded to pop back out.  I made a promise to myself that I would not eat everything in sight this time and gain weight at a healthy pace.  So far I’ve kept that promise.     
 Month One
I felt great and was super excited to be pregnant again.  No big cravings took hold, and I was just a bit touchy because of the hormones.  
Month Two
All hell broke loose.  I was nauseous all day every day, and dizzy as well.  I couldn’t even get it together enough to dry my hair for this picture, which is a snapshot into the crazy.  I was so hormonal and snippy, I probably need to apologize to Jed and Fisher daily for years to come.  Still no cravings to report.  I had my first OB appointment and had a sonogram, which showed a little bleeding near where the placenta was forming.  This freaked me out and she ordered me to have no strenuous activity for 2 weeks.  She also told me about the wonder treatment for pregnancy nausea, Sea Bands.  Things got a little more manageable after that.  
I’ve created a little poll in the top right corner for you to vote for Mini Bear’s gender.  What do you think Mini Bear will be?  Vote in the poll and you have a 50% chance of being right.  

A Big Brother T-Shirt to Announce Our Pregnancy

When we found out we were expecting our 2nd wee one, I tried to come up with a sweet way of announcing the pregnancy to our friends here in Dallas, our family far away, and my bloggy folks.  I decided to hand embroider the announcement on to a t-shirt for The Bear to wear.  My hand embroidery skills are… not strong.  But hey, what’s life without a little imperfection?  

 I shot a few pics of The Bear in his t-shirt after I finished it, and sent them out to friends and family that live far away, with the caption, “The Bear has an announcement.”

 It took some of our friends and family a bit to figure out they had to read the shirt to get the announcement.

 Later we put the shirt back on The Bear to go see some of our friends at our regular Taco Thursday dinner. Such great reactions.

 The Bear also wore his shirt to my Young Life “retirement” party to share the good news with all our YL friends.

 Finally, I used the the pics to announce the pregnancy here on the blog.

 To make the shirt, I used a plain navy blue shirt that was already a part of The Bear’s wardrobe.  I have a collection of vintage felt and embroidery floss from and estate sale purchase years ago.  I used orange felt and navy blue floss and an embroidery needle that was waaaaay too big to stitch the design.  I fastened the felt into an embroidery hoop and stitched away after drawing the words with an disappearing ink pen.  I used the hoop as a guide to cut out the circle, and then stitched the circle onto the shirt.  Done.

How did you announce your pregnancy? 

I’m sharing this design over at Prudent Baby’s Embroidery Contest and at some other fun craft parties.

A Morning Sickness Cure – Seriously.

Y’all.  I have been down for the count for the last 2 weeks with morning (all day) sickness from the sweet baby growing inside me.  During my last pregnancy I was really sick from week 5-14.  My former OB prescribed Zofran, and it worked to an extent, but I was still pretty miserable.  This time the nausea, dizziness, and all around awful kicked in between 7-8 weeks.  I went to my new OB, whom I already love, last week and she recommended I try Sea Bands.  She also called in a prescription for me because I seemed so doubtful of the bands.  Friday night I was really sick and I sent Jed to CVS to get said prescription.  It wasn’t there.  Out of desperation I had him pick up the Sea Bands.  I did not think they would work.  At all.  But, it was worth a try.  The minute I put the 2nd band on, it was miraculous.  I immediately felt better.  I’m so not kidding.  I’ve been wearing them every waking moment since then.
The question I keep asking is, “Why didn’t anyone tell me this last time?”  Seriously people, WHY???  So, I’m telling you now.  If you are suffering, go NOW and get a pair.  We paid $11, but as you can see in the Amazon link below, you can get them for $5-7 online.
This is not a stigmata.  Don’t canonize me.
The one negative I’ve found for the Sea Bands is that because the beads are constantly putting pressure on your pressure points they leave a mark on your wrists and can be uncomfortable at first.  Trust me when I say I’ve tried every other “morning sickness cure” out there, and this is the only thing that works for me.  I’m ok with a little discomfort.  Other than that there are no side effects, which cannot be said for any nausea medication.  I’m now on day 4 and I hardly notice my Wonder Woman Bracelets of Power any more. Find Sea Bands on Amazon here.

You can buy them off Amazon for $6-7, or at your local CVS for $11.

What morning sickness cures have you tried?  What worked for you?  What didn’t work?