16 Weeks – Baby Dolan #3

So, here we are at 16 weeks pregnant already!  (Well, I guess I shouldn’t say “already” because time has gone by so.slowly.)  I’ve really struggled with morning sickness this time around, starting like clock work at almost 6 weeks exactly again.  It reminded me a lot of my pregnancy with Kate, although then of course I could just come home, lay down after work, and sleep!  To be honest it really took a toll on me for awhile…it started to affect my mood and I just felt like an all around bad mom/wife/employee/friend.  Thank goodness Brian has been so understanding and helpful, as I’m sure I haven’t been the most pleasant person to be around the past 3 months.

Thankfully around 13 or 14 weeks I started to feel good in the mornings, and only sick in the evenings.  Now I’m down to only getting sick a few times a week, so I’ll take it!

Now that I’m through the worst part of pregnancy (for me…hopefully), I’m more excited than ever to experience the fun parts.  The baby moving (my favorite), seeing my belly grow more and more each week, and seeing the girls get to feel the baby, too.  It really is the best thing in the world, and I love imagining both girls as big sisters to their new sibling.

So without further adieu, here’s my first official update this pregnancy.  I thought about changing things up and not doing the same format this time around, but for consistency’s sake, I’ll stick with it.  I don’t want Baby #3 to think they are being cheated already. 😉

Weight gained: About 5 pounds so far.

Symptoms:

  • A little nauseated in the evenings.
  • Headaches are becoming fewer and farther between…thank goodness!  I had one last week that lasted about 3 days.  Whew.
  • More tired these days, but I’ll take that over the nausea!

Movement: Not yet, but I hope soon!

Food Aversions: Meat still doesn’t sound *great*, although I’ve been able to eat some intermittently in the past week or two.  Peanut butter also doesn’t sound too good (but almond butter does…go figure), which is strange since it’s usually one of my favorite foods.  And vegetables…I’d say I went a good 6 weeks without eating a single vegetable.  I really do miss them, believe it or not…especially my salads!  I would say overall, it’s still pretty hit or miss with my food these days.  With Kate and Colleen, I could usually find at least 1 food that consistently sounded good during the first trimester….but this time around, it’s been pretty unpredictable!

Food Cravings: Early on in my first trimester I was all about pizza and cheese sticks.  Thank goodness for the pizza place here on our campus at work!  It’s about all I could stomach, even though it didn’t always sit well with me afterwards.  Chipotle has been my latest craving over the last few weeks…those burrito bowls, man.

Sleep:  Sleeping pretty well, although getting up at night to go to the bathroom started pretty early on.  Other than that, can’t complain!

Stretch marks?  Not yet!

Miss Anything?  I miss enjoying food, but that is getting better by the day.  Other than that, not really!

Fun and/or Interesting Things from the Week:  I got to hear baby’s heartbeat this week (152 BPM), which was music to my ears!  I saw Dr. Dupler, one of my favorite doctors in the world.  No questions or concerns so far in the pregnancy, so fingers crossed it stays that way.

Since I’m finally feeling better, I’ve also started to re-introduce my workouts…slowly but surely.  I lifted weights 2 weeks ago for the first time in maybe 6 weeks, and I was sore for 4 days!  I didn’t realize how much I missed it.  I also NEED to be better about getting my steps in!  I usually averaged 10K a day up until January….now I’m lucky if I can average 6K.  This is my goal over the next couple of weeks–to change that!

Belly Button in or out? In but on it’s way out….already.  Yikes.

Wedding rings on or off? On.

Happy or moody most of the time:  Pretty happy!  Since I’ve started to feel better, my mood has improved drastically.

New Baby Items:  None yet!  Obviously we are all set on baby items, and clothes-wise we have plenty of gender neutral things for the baby in the first few weeks, at least.  I’m happy we won’t have much to buy this time around!

BabyoutfitLooking forward to:  Feeling the baby move, hopefully soon!

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Little One

(*Written January 24, 2018)

Dear Little Baby,

It’s been 10 days since I found out you would be joining us!  I still cannot believe we will be a family of FIVE.  You are the one who is going to complete our family!

It’s funny—you’d think with already having 2 healthy babies and (luckily and thankfully!) very uneventful pregnancies, I would be less worried this time around.  But…not so much.  I am DEFinitely more distracted (hello, two young kids!) and don’t have as much TIME to worry, but the worry is still there.  Just today at work I was furiously Googling “5 weeks pregnant no symptoms”.  Then I go back to my blog post when I was pregnant with Kate and read over and over again the part where I state I didn’t have any symptoms until week 6.  We shall see!

*It’s a bit ironic that as I was typing this I left to head into a meeting, only to notice I missed a call from my doctor’s office.  I spent the WHOLE meeting convinced it was bad news…ugh.  Thankfully I just got off the phone with the nurse who said my HCG levels look good, as do my progesterone levels.  I get checked tomorrow and they should know more then–fingers crossed!

Trying to think positively, though, we are absolutely THRILLED to have another little one joining our family!  For a while after having Colleen, and especially in the last year (age 1-2 is REALLY hard for me and Brian!), we just felt so content with our family of 4.  That, and I couldn’t possibly fathom having our chaotic house currently with a newborn in the mix.  Um…no thanks!

But in recent weeks things have seemed to calm down just a bit, and more importantly, it just felt like it was time.  While I am incredibly happy with both of my girls and our little family, I KNEW our family wouldn’t feel complete to me without just one more little person.  I told Brian I needed to get through the holidays (who wants to be sick and nauseous at Christmas?!) and January/February seemed like good times to “hunker down” and stay on the couch.  Honestly I didn’t expect it to happen right away (although with my history…why am I surprised?!), but it did!  And, again, I feel VERY lucky in that aspect.  I told Brian, if there’s only one thing to be good at in life…I guess that’s a pretty good one.  🙂

So, here we are.  I can’t wait to see who this little one will be!  When I found out I was expecting Colleen, I experienced a wave of emotions.  Kate still felt so young, and as a mother of one child you simply can’t fathom loving another child so much.  And then you meet your next little one…and BOOM.  You can’t imagine life without them as SOON as you meet them.  So I know it will be the same way this time around—and in fact, so much of my excitement comes from thinking of giving Kate and Colleen another sibling to love!  Yes, it’s true…siblings fight and drive you MAD.  But to see them play together and giggle and comfort each other?  There is really nothing better than that.

Coco Loco

Colleen, Colleen….you have no baby book and hardly any blog posts, but I will try to make up for it!  It’s so incredibly cliché but having 2 kids AND working full-time…well, sorry, kiddo. 😦

So.  Where do I begin with our little Coco?

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When Colleen first came into our lives almost 2 years ago, it was too long after her arrival that it was hard to imagine our family without her.  Now she has grown into a spunky, curious, active, ADORABLE (I mean…I know I’m biased, but MAN she is cute!) little toddler.

Some funny (and not so funny) things Colleen is doing currently:

She’s been taking off her clothes for quite some time now, and this has become a problem especially at bedtime. We’ve probably gone in to find her naked in the morning maybe 10 times or so?  Thankfully she hasn’t resorted to what her father did at this age – smearing her dirty diaper all over the wall….(Needless to say, we’ve been putting her jammies on backwards and cutting off the “feet” on her footie pajamas).

When you ask her, “where is __?” sometimes she’ll do the raised hands and shrugged shoulders. It’s just the CUTEST thing you ever saw.

While she’s still not saying many words, she LOVES to jabber quietly to herself. I love when she plays with her toys and “talks” or hums.  Makes me laugh!

She might be incredibly busy, but this girl sure loves to “speed snuggle”! She’ll come up a give you a huge bear hug and it’s enough to brighten anyone’s day.

She’s had quite a few haircuts already (maybe 4 or 5?). It’s so hard to keep out of her face (and with cold/runny nose season? Ughhhhh….), but I love her hair so much.

She loves to “dance”, or really just walk/run around in circles.

While she’s getting a bit pickier with food (I know it’s this age), overall she is still a GREAT eater!

Coco, we love you to pieces.  You might always be looking for ways to destroy our house, but you sure do love life (and THAT is contagious)!

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Kate-isms

Kate and Colleen have begun the struggle of sharing toys…oh, what fun. 🙂 The other day, Kate was saying (yelling?) to Colleen: “You can’t play with this! It’s mine!” I looked at Kate and gave her the look, and she repeated the same phrase in the same tone. I looked at her sternly and said, “Kate! You CANNOT speak to your sister that way. Be NICE.” She promptly looked at me, smiled, tilted her head, and said to Colleen in a “southern nice” voice, “You can’t play with this. It’s mine.”

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Our friend, Steve, has been staying with us for a bit as he completes his cross country road trip (so jealous!). Kate’s formed quite an attachment to him, and he’s been so good to do puzzles, color, and play with her.  The other night we were leaving our house to head to my parents’ house, and Kate asked, “Where are Steve and Dacks?” I told her they were staying at our house but coming to Grandma and Grandpa’s soon.  She immediately frowned, looked out the window, and said, “Oh. I love them.”

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Kate finally has gotten the hang of Facetiming, thankfully. Well, for the most part. 😉 She loves to Facetime with Grammy, Gramps, and Aunt Katie. The other day she was Facetiming with Grammy and proceeded to put the phone on a little box lid (facing up). She then had a crazy Dance Party with Grammy, randomly popping her head back over by the phone. It was the funniest thing!

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Yesterday we headed to the Doctor for Colleen’s 1 year checkup, and I had been telling Kate the past few days that we need to give extra love to Colleen when she gets her shots. When I laid Colleen down on the table to hold her arms down, Kate immediately scrambled and pulled up the stepping stool. She climbed up and grabbed her sister’s hand, then nuzzled her face down by Colleen’s. It was one of the sweetest moments as a parent, to see her truly comfort her sister.

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Lately Kate has just been so sweet. At times so very ornery, but then she’ll turn around and say the sweetest thing to make up for it. I’m easily reminded why I love this age (even with its trials and tribulations) in these moments. She’ll randomly say to me, “You’re my friend, mommy.” It makes me want to cry!

Oh, how I love this little girl.

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Colleen Erin: One Year!

As cliché as it sounds, I really cannot believe Colleen is already 1!  It goes by SO much faster the second time around…it’s unbelievable.

Weight & Height: Colleen weighs 19 lbs. 3 oz. (41%) and is 29″ in tall (43% – same as her sister at this age!). Her head measures 46 cm (79%).

Eating:  This girl LOVES to eat!  She also loves cow’s milk which we started introducing just before her birthday.  I’ve only found a few foods she doesn’t like – bacon being one of them.  (Neither of our kids like bacon….whatttt?!)  In fact, she isn’t a huge meat eater at all, but she’ll usually eat chicken, ham, and turkey.  She also isn’t super keen about foods with a lot of spices, which is hard because…that’s mostly what we eat. 🙂  She’s drinking about 16 oz. of milk each day, as well.

Sleeping (naps):  Two naps a day, each anywhere from 1-2 hours long.

Sleeping (at night):  She was going to bed between 7:30 and 8 p.m., but here in the last month or so it’s moved up to 7:15/7:30 p.m.  After a few attempts at sleep training and some regressions with teething, she FINALLY started sleeping through the night around 10 months!  Praise the LORD.  She’ll usually wake on her own between 6 and 6:30 a.m., but occasionally I have to wake her up in the mornings at 6:30 or so.

Clothing:  Mostly 12 month size, Size 3 diapers.

New this month:  Saying “mama”…a lot!  And I’m loving it.  She started saying it maybe around 10 months old or so.  She’ll also say “ba” and “da”.  She was waving a month or two ago, but now you have to work for it. 😉  Still crawling (LIGHTENING fast!) and most recently has stood up on her own without holding onto anything.  I’m so surprised we don’t have a walker yet, but it’s also…kind of nice.  We’ll need to get her over to the convertible car seat soon (which means…buying her big sister the next one!), because her little feet are almost dangling over the edges.

Nicknames:  Co-lene, Coco

Colleen likes:

-Her blankie…just like her sister!  They sleep with them the same way–with their faces nuzzled right into them.  So sweet.

-Music–she LOVES to dance, and even if you sing a measure or two, she’ll likely start bouncing along right away.  It’s just the cutest thing!

-Food/bottles.  All the time, any time!

-Mommy.  I’m not gonna lie…I love when I pick her up at Michelle’s and she speed crawls over to me!

-But no one can compete with her favorite person in the world–KATE.  She just giggles and laughs and adores her big sister.

Colleen dislikes:  

-Sitting in her high chair too long…which is often difficult to avoid, because it’ll often take her 30-45 minutes to finish a meal!  She’ll let you know when she’s done, that’s for sure.

-Her teeth have been bothering her, but she’s usually good to go after some ibuprofen/tylenol.

-Getting into her car seat.  THANKFULLY she’s usually okay once we get going, but we definitely have the back arch going on while trying to get her in.

 

Oh, Colleen….you have brought such immense joy to all of us.  It’s truly hard to imagine our lives without you!  You are such a curious, busy, easygoing, happy, FUN little girl.  I cannot wait to see what the next year brings!  We love you more than you’ll ever know.

Things I’ve Learned as a Mom

With some new friends and family members (!) in my life having babies, it’s really gotten me to think about the things I wish I would have known going into parenthood.

  1. Don’t compare your child to someone else’s.  This is probably one of the hardest things about parenthood for me, and something I’m continually having to work on.  I have a friend whose daughter is Kate’s age, and I remember comparing every.single.developmental milestone as they hit.  Kate isn’t talking yet…what is wrong?  Kate doesn’t know her numbers….holy shit, she’s never going to graduate high school!  Seriously…it’s ridiculous.  Kate was a late talker, and now she’s talking up a storm.  It took her a full month to really walk full-time after her first steps, and soon after she was running (away-ha).  Every child develops at a different pace, and if you compare them to everyone else….well, you will go crazy!  So just don’t do it.
  2. Find a group of mom friends-ones with babies about the same age, if possible.  Three of my girlfriends had their first babies within a year of me, and I can’t tell you how helpful it was to text and meet and “bounce” things off of them.  Any mom friends are going to be incredibly important, but I found it so helpful to have all of our babies around the same stages.  Everything that we’re going through is fresh in our minds, and we share big tips or ideas or frustrations all around!  Also…play dates!
  3. If you delivery vaginally, prepare to not feel “normal”…for awhile. Especially if you have big babies. Or babies with big heads. (Or both).  I knew it would take awhile to recover after delivery, of course, but I wasn’t quite prepared to be 6 weeks out after delivering Kate and still uncomfortable.  It wouldn’t say I was still in pain at that point, but at my 6 week check up, I was incredibly uncomfortable being examined.  Thankfully, over the next few weeks, I started to feel more like myself again.  And with Colleen, I felt completely normal after only 2 or 3 weeks!
  4. Get out of the house.  Often!  And not just to Target.  I think this was the hardest part for me during my maternity leave.  With Kate, it was a. during the summer, and b. I “only” had one child-so it was 100 times easier to get out of the door.  With Colleen, it was still cold and rainy that first month…and man alive. It’s obviously MUCH harder to get a toddler and a newborn out the door.  But for me, this was crucial and had a HUGE impact on my mood.  I know some people are content at being in their homes for days, and that is completely okay–but my mood is drastically improved with a little fresh air.  Plus, kids LOVE to be outside.  And it’s good for them! (Also, nothing against Target–sometimes, that’s your only option!  But seek out parks, go for walks, go visit a friend, even just go for a drive).
  5.  You must rely on your partner–and do NOT be afraid to ask for help.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I don’t know WHAT I would do without Brian.  Now that I’m “older”, I’ve seen far too many of my friends assume traditional stereotypes in their marriages after kids come along.  You know, the wife does most (if not all) of the cooking, cleaning, and child-rearing.  The husband is only “on call” for those desperate moments when she is going to lose her shit.  I’m sorry, but it’s 2017.  This should NOT be okay, in my opinion. Yes, I understand it’s hard for some moms (including myself…) to “let go” of some of those tasks.  But honestly, it is much better for your marriage in the long run to be a PARTNERSHIP.  When you’re out to eat with a fussy baby, take turns with who walks around with him/her.  Take turns with diaper changes while at home, bath time, bed time, clean up after meals, the list goes on and on.  This is something I’m VERY passionate about, and I often have a hard time keeping my mouth shut when I see friends close to me slowly losing their minds because their partner won’t pitch in to help.  Trust me…it won’t do you (or your marriage) any favors by trying to do it all on your own.
  6. Breastfeeding is HARD. This is something I’d heard but didn’t realize just how difficult until I was in the thick of it. It goes beyond cracked, bleeding nipples–at least there is a fix for that.  It’s painful, it’s different for every person AND every baby, and don’t even get me started on how hard it is to work and breastfeed/pump.  That being said, I am SO thankful I was able to do it for as long as I did with both girls.  Knocking on wood, but neither girl has ever been on an antibiotic in their lives…and I know the benefits of breast milk have had a lot to do with that.  On the flip side, I’ve had friends who’ve been unable to breastfeed after trying, and of COURSE you have to do what is best for YOU and the baby.  It’s not worth weeks of tears and beating yourself up emotionally.  “Fed is BEST” – no matter how you do it.
  7. You will be doing a shit ton of laundry. (<– see what I did there?)  I’m very particular about the girls’ clothes and work hard on alllll of the stains that we come across.  First you have blow outs, then baby food, then table food, then mud/dirt/the marker they someone found hidden in the junk drawer….you get it.  I’ve learned it’s important to work on stains QUICKLY and never, ever, ever put clothes in the dryer unless you’re able to completely wash the stain out–the dryer “sets” the stain, and then it becomes almost impossible to get out.
  8. People will always suggest your baby is teething, tired, hungry, etc. whenever he/she is crying.  Sometimes, they are just fussy!  And fussy is okay and completely normal.  Both our girls experienced “the witching hours” for a few weeks:  between the hours of 4-7, they were more likely to be fussy.  We knew this and were just prepared to walk around with them during those times.  Yes, crying does often indicate one of the above issues, but NOT always.
  9.  There’s no “perfect formula“.  If there was….wouldn’t we all be not need to read lists like this? 😉  But really.  What works for one parent may or may not work for YOU.  Take advice, talk to others…but know that YOU have to make the decision for your child in the end.  It’s scary to someone like me who struggles with even choosing what to wear each day, but it does get easier.
  10. If you aren’t friends with a doctor or nurse….become friends with one. NOW. I cannot tell you how many times I have texted my cousin (a school nurse who previously worked at Riley) and friend (an excellent ER nurse whose dad is a doctor/mom is a nurse). Of course I always called our own doctor with the big concerns/questions, but you’ll have approximately 1,000,008 questions/things that come up where you’ll need advice.  I still continue to bounce things off of these 2, and thankfully they are ever so happy to help!

Transition to Two

All during my pregnancy with Colleen, my number one concern (other than the baby’s health) was–how on earth can I love another child as much as I love Kate?  Well, funny how what EVERYONE says is true–as soon as you see that baby, you forget that was ever even a concern.  I can honestly say my heart grew in that moment I met Colleen, and I absolutely love both of my girls with all of my heart and soul.

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One thing I didn’t really think so much about was how the transition to two would go.  I mean…yes.  I knew it was going to be difficult.  I knew we’d be drowning in diapers for several months.  I knew the house wouldn’t be as clean and our laundry would seem to double overnight.  But I really, REALLY couldn’t have prepared myself for how hard it was going to be.

Whether it was Kate going through the terrible two’s early, or our difficulty breastfeeding, or Kate just being bored AF sitting at home rather than playing with her friends everyday–those first few months were HARD.  I knew this maternity leave would be drastically different, and it absolutely was.  It wasn’t until the end of my leave that I felt like I was fiiiinally kind of pulling things together.

Honestly, I think a lot of it came from our breastfeeding issues with Colleen.  I could write a whole post just about that (and just might), but basically, she gained weight evvvver so slowly those first few months.  It took her 3 weeks to get back to her birth weight when they like to see it at 2 weeks, and when we met with a lactation consultant, she only was getting a couple ounces at our feeding.  I gave her a few ounces of formula each day, but the rest I was able to supplement with pumped milk.  (Usually about 10-12 ounces extra of pumped milk and 3-4 ounces of formula).  At her 4 month appointment we FINALLY got the okay to stop supplementing unless she seemed hungry in the evenings, so that has made the world of a difference!  Especially after going back to work–the last thing I wanted to do in the evenings and weekend was to spend MORE time pumping.

Yesterday I took the day off of work unexpectedly as our sitter had to close, and let me just tell you.  It was a VAST difference in staying home with them now, at these ages.  We had the best day–we played inside, went for a walk, went to the store (where the girls were ANGELS), went to the park, I was able to make a nice lunch, they both took good naps…I tell you what.  I just couldn’t believe how much easier it was at this age…even though it’s only been a few months!

I’d LIKE to think that, if we have a third child, the transition won’t be as bad or difficult.  Mainly because a. we’re already used to chaos, and b. the oldest will help to play with/distract/occupy the middle child.  But…who knows. Only time will tell that. 😉

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