The Most Brilliant Way to Naturally Induce Your Labor

I have been pregnant for 1,786 days to date….one-thousand, seven-hundred and eighty-six days…

I’m not complaining. Just merely stating a fact.

However, many many many of those days, were spent wishing that I were not so pregnant anymore. This is a feeling that I’m pretty sure 99.999% of all expectant mothers eventually feel. There just comes a time when we are DONE.

I’m 25 weeks pregnant with my 7th baby right now, so I haven’t reached the point of no return just yet, but I’m getting there a lot quicker this go round. I’m already starting to waddle and swell when I sit for too long. I was walking/waddling up to our barn this afternoon and I couldn’t believe how tough the last few steps had become. It made me a bit nauseous.

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The 20 Week Ultrasound…My Bump is Over the Half-Way Hump!

Last week marked my 20th week in this pregnancy and you know what that means…..my time for the big ultrasound had come.

I used to get excited about having ultrasounds, but the more pregnancies I have, the more I sort-of dread them.

Well, I don’t really dread them. That’s probably pushing it a bit, but I definitely get that nervous gut feeling as it approaches.

During my earlier pregnancies, I knew very little. Well, I wasn’t stupid, but let’s just say that I was very naive. I just expected to go in and see the baby’s body parts & hear the heartbeat, you know…that sort of stuff. I didn’t even think about the possibility that something might not be just right, but the older I get, the more I fear that I’m going to find out that something is wrong with the baby.

It’s probably mostly because of my age.

Oh. I should probably not announce that on Sunday, I will turn thirty-eight. 38, people! Go ahead & round that one up. It’s absolutely depressing. I never thought I’d ever get this old. I use to joke about people getting “Over the Hill.” Geez Louise. It’s been bothering me all week…and Rooster started celebrating it last night…five days early. Thanks, buddy.


Please accept my apologies for having a mini blog breakdown.


So, here’s a profile picture of our newest chick. Or rooster. If you read my blog regularly, you know we don’t find out the baby’s gender. Sorry, y’all, that’s just the way it is. Here’s for surprises!

Do you see that big blob at the top? That is my placenta. Well, some of it. The medical term is anterior placenta. It has caused me much stress this go round & here’s why…

The location of an anterior placenta is in the front of the uterus, closest to your skin. As the 20 week mark approaches, we expect to feel some kicks in there. Well, if your placenta is attached in the front, it’s like a big, soft, fluffy pillow for your baby, and karate chopping through that thing just-ain’t-gonna-happen when the baby is that little.

I usually feel my babies kick around 17 weeks & those kicks become much stronger as the 20th week draws near, but it was not so this time. I had an anterior placenta with my last pregnancy as well, so I had a pretty good idea that was the reason for me not feeling much movement.

Anyway, the ultrasound, which I found out is actually called the Anatomy Ultrasound, was quite long. And I go to them alone because, well, someone has to stay with the kids.

And because it gives me some time alone, which I so desperately need these days.

Thankfully, all was well. The baby has all his or her fingers & toes, and the heart, kidneys, brain, spine…etc…are all developing as they should.

The nose and lips are fine, so there’s no cleft lip. I always worry about this because a dear friend of mine had a baby with a cleft lip and cleft palate. She didn’t find out until just weeks before he was born & it was devastating for her. She couldn’t nurse him & had to actually learn how to feed him using a special bottle. Surgeries and speech issues were all things she had to learn about in a short amount of time. I ask them to please check mainly because I know I would need a lot of time to prepare for that situation before delivery.

The baby’s heart rate was 143 bpm, which makes me wonder if it’s a boy. 🤗 Baby was squirming all over the place, so it wasn’t a resting heart rate. My girls all had heart rates of 155 and higher, no matter what, and Jack’s was always much lower. That really is a thing, y’all. It’s not 100%, but it’s really exciting seeing that big of a difference, even if I am carrying another baby girl.

The baby measured right where it he or she was supposed to. My due date stayed exactly the same, and his or her weight was 12 oz, although that’s not always very accurate on ultrasound. I believe one of my books reads that 9 oz. is average for 20 weeks.

My amniotic fluid was good…once I measured 4 weeks ahead & found out that my amniotic fluid was high, which didn’t cause a problem, but had to be checked a few times.

My cervix was thick and closed and my anterior placenta wasn’t low-lying, which is concerning because that situation can cause problems. And that’s another post all together.

And that was pretty much it. Seeing the little miracle growing inside me was nothing short of amazing. No matter how many times I see it, it never loses its luster.

So now that the ultrasound is over and my bump is over the half-way hump, I finally feel like this is all really happening.

Again. ❤️

Lisa

Having a Miscarriage…Stories and Signs

One of the hardest things about pregnancy, for me, is worrying that I may miscarry.  When I see those two pink lines, I’m elated! but then the fear starts to take over and getting to that “safe” point seems like an eternity.

I worry about having a miscarriage because I’ve had four of them.  I actually miscarried my very first pregnancy, which was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever been through.  If you have been in my shoes, my heart breaks for you.  It is truly devastating.

If you’ve read any of my posts, you may have figured out that I kind-of enjoy having babies.  It’s only, like, my favorite thing to do.  So, becoming pregnant for the first time ever was absolutely the most exciting thing ever.

I remember that day…it was surreal.  I could not WAIT to wear maternity clothes.  I could not wait to feel the baby kick.  I could not WAIT to tell people that Rooster and I were expecting, so I didn’t.  I believe the secret–that was never going to be a secret–was out just days after I had a positive pregnancy test.  I wanted to the whole world to know.

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Breastfeeding…How to Push Yourself Through the Pain.

If you’re reading this, I’m guessing that you’re having trouble dealing with the pain of breastfeeding. Or maybe you’re pregnant and wanting to nurse your baby after she’s born. Oh, wait. I know. You’ve done it before and you’re dreading the pain and frustration of having to go through it again. Been there, done that.

So, let’s just go ahead and say it. Breastfeeding can hurt. It’s one of those things many women look forward to when they’re pregnant, but after three or four days of nursing every two hours, they begin to question if they can keep going. The pain becomes just too intense and that, combined with pregnancy hormones, can be the means to an end.

I’ve nursed all six of my babies, so it’s a breeze for me now, but in the beginning, I dealt with a lot of the issues you can read about in any book on pregnancy or breastfeeding. Pain. Dry, cracked nipples. Bleeding nipples. Clogged milk ducts. I remember it like it was yesterday.

When I was pregnant with my first child, Maggie, one of my biggest goals was to breastfeed her exclusively until starting solids. I was not going to give her an ounce of formula if she was able to nurse, no matter how much it hurt in the beginning. I was determined to do whatever I had to do to make it work. End of story.

The first few days were fine. She was doing a great job…and I thought I was doing a great job, too, but then things started to change drastically. I started out feeling just somewhat uncomfortable, but that feeling quickly spread to a hurt I had never felt before.

The pain was unreal. Every single time I would get ready to feed her, I would tense up and just hold my breath while she latched on. Sometimes I would do a long little squeal with my eyes tightly shut & I’d try to count to ten. Seemed like it took forever.

In the very beginning, I was taking a narcotic that I was given in the hospital after she was born. It covered up the pain in a magnificent way. But, when I stopped taking it, everything became very real. The honeymoon was over.

I’m not going to tell you how to nurse correctly or how to successfully latch your baby on so that the pain is minimal. You can Google a plethora of information and you may, or may not be prepared enough, but before I go any further…

Not all mothers can nurse. Not all babies can nurse. Sometimes what’s naturally supposed to happen just doesn’t for some reason. If your baby is not gaining weight, or worse, losing weight, something is wrong. If your baby nurses & doesn’t fall asleep, but instead cries after every feeding, something may be wrong. The good signs in the beginning follow a pattern: fuss, eat, sleep, poop…fuss, eat, sleep, poop. And the scale should be going up.

Okay. Now I’m going to tell you what you can do when the discomfort truly begins because getting through the pain is the hardest part physically, mentally, and emotionally.

  • Come to terms with yourself. If this is something you deeply want for your baby, you must mentally be ALL IN.
  • Realize that this is a huge awakening for your poor boobs. They aren’t use to feeding a baby. Even if your baby is the best nurser in the world, there will probably be pain in the beginning. Your boobs have got to toughen up. And they will.
  • Learn the tricks of the trade. I have a favorite: Get your nipples nice & cold with ice packs right before you get ready to feed your baby. This will numb the pain. It was the only thing that made latching on bearable for me. It really does work, girls.
  • Remember that you are going to have a huge hormonal shift. Getting emotional is going to happen. Your going to cry…you’re going to doubt yourself. But you can do this. You can. If you decide to quit during your most vulnerable time, you may regret it.
  • Don’t don’t Don’t give your baby a bottle just because you need a break. Pumping hurts worse, in my opinion, and the nipple on a bottle will cause nipple confusion. Pacifiers won’t. You can try one if your baby keeps sucking, but is clearly dosing off. Your baby won’t get confused when there’s clearly no milk coming out of a pacifier.
  • Get to know your lactation specialist. They are wonderful and will support you in every way. Call them if you feel the need.
  • Take a pain reliever around the clock. It will not hurt your baby, I promise.
  • I don’t buy nipple shields or anything like that because I just feel like it prolongs the goal I’m trying to accomplish, but if you hear that it’s helpful, then by all means..
  • Believe me when I say that one day soon, you’ll feed your baby & realize, Oh my gosh…that wasn’t so bad.

And it gets easier & easier. There is no magical potion. There is no set time frame. All it really takes is love and patience from you…

And a little bit of squeezing and high-pitched squealing from time to time…

And ice. Lots and lots of ice.

Lisa

What Mamas Really Need for the Hospital…and What They Really Don’t

If this is your first baby, you’ve probably looked at a million lists of things you need for the hospital when you have your baby.

It’s been a long time since I’ve actually looked at one of those lists because I’ve got my “absolutely must-have” list and my “don’t-even-bother-with-it-because-you know-you-never-even-get-it-out-of-the bag” list permanently embedded into my brain.

Some items change with each rodeo, but there are staples that have made my later stays so much better than the early ones.

I’m not just going to give you a “what you need” list. I’m going to add the “why you need it” part, so that you can see why I recommend it, and then decide whether or not it’s something you want to include.

Packing my bags and the baby’s bags is a time I so look forward to, cause that means you can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

OK! So, let’s do this.

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What To Expect After a Hospital Delivery…The Stuff No One Talks About

There is so much that I could say in this post. There is so much that no one talked about before I had my first baby–I mean, SOMEONE could have told me these things that I’m about to tell you. You can thank me later. (wink)

Ahhh….after delivery….the baby is here…everyone is elated! You’re so in love with this new bundle of joy and it’s smooth sailing until real life begins at home. Well, not quite, pretty mama.

Now don’t get me wrong, Rooster and I LOVE our post-delivery stay at the hospital. I mean, it’s like a vacation to us. Come on–no kids for 3 days…you get to order whatever you want for breakfast, lunch, and dinner…they bring it to you and pick it up when you’re finished. Family & friends bring you food, drinks, gifts, flowers…hospital staff take out your trash & replace the trash bag….they bring you your pain meds….give you diapers and a bunch of other baby stuff…they clean up your accidents, mamas (more on that soon)…nurses help you to the bathroom…I mean, what’s not to love?

Well….there are a few things that aren’t so pleasant. I think I’ll just make a list and see how many I can come up with.  All I know is what I know, though, so this list is just an idea of some things you can expect. (more…)

The Danger of Low Progesterone Levels in Early Pregnancy

One of the scariest things that often occurs in early pregnancy is spotting.  Any amount of blood, any color of blood or discharge draws concern to a new mother.  Worrying about losing the baby takes over and the worst thing about it all is the fact that once it starts, you really just have to wait and see.  Knowing that you have no control makes you feel helpless and desperate.  Praying for everything to be okay is really all you can do, but sometimes what was hoped for..what you had fallen so in love with, suddenly ends.

The reason for miscarriage is often unknown.  Sometimes it happens because something went wrong very early on.  Sometimes it happens because the baby never even really began to grow.  Sometimes it is due to complications with the mother.  And then sometimes it occurs because of low hormone levels, many times low progesterone levels.

In all seriousness, this post should have been the first one that I published.  There are so many women who have no idea of what low progesterone levels are or what those three words even mean.  I certainly didn’t know until I did extensive research on my own, trying to find answers to some major problems that I was having.

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