Life with Vera Charlotte

It’s been two whole months since we welcomed our sweet Vera Charlotte into the world. I’m trying to savor every single moment because I know she’s our last baby. Each night-time waking, each nursing snuggle, each little smile and even those heart-breaking pouts and sobs. She’s a sweet chub of a baby, so different than her older sister. I remember Emerson feeling so fragile in my arms whereas Vera feels so hefty – so solid.

We’ve all fallen into what feels like a good routine. I know the routine will constantly be changing, just as quickly as little Vera. But for now I feel like I’m slowly getting my groove back.

Emmie has been overall wonderful in the transition of being an only child to suddenly having to share her parents with another little human, who really doesn’t do much but sleep & cry. Emerson has already fallen comfortably into the role of big sister. She is constantly informing me when Vera starts to fuss that I need to either “pick her up,” or “give her breastmilk.” And my sweet, tenderhearted Emmie will tear up and join in the crying if Vera is left fussing or crying for too long. Car rides are the worst, when I can’t actively soothe Vera, no matter how loudly Emmie demands it.

Slowly and surely I’ll get back into writing more for the blog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Silent Night: CPAM diagnosis for baby #2

It’s been particularly quiet over here and while I’d love to say that we’ve been wrapped up in the holiday hustle and bustle, we’ve actually been wrapped up in something a bit more somber.

A few weeks ago on a regularly scheduled ultrasound our second baby was diagnosed with CPAM, congenital pulmonary airway malformation. A rare diagnosis of 1 in 30,000 but a diagnosis with a good outlook. Instead of normal lung tissue our daughter has a malformation in the lower left lobe of her lung. This tissue won’t function as normal lung tissue and it most likely will need to be surgically removed. Once it’s surgically removed, the life outlook is fabulous with no real restrictions or complications down the line. For this, I am so incredibly grateful. Terrified, nonetheless, but grateful beyond words.

We were scheduled for a follow-up ultrasound to see what the mass would do over the next two weeks. Sometimes they disappear altogether, sometimes they don’t. Her’s didn’t change. Her latest ultrasound revealed that the mass was still there and we are in the process of being referred to a pediatric surgeon.

Whenever you receive a diagnosis, or told there might be a problem, you automatically go through a process of “would-have,” “could-have,” and “what if’s.” There is no rhyme or reason to why a child develops CPAM and they stress that it’s nothing we could have prevented. This does nothing for a mother’s guilt. For my guilt. Immediately thoughts of all my maintenance medications I take for Cystic Fibrosis crept into my mind. Was it one of those that caused this malformation? Was it the daily Dr. Pepper I have been treating myself to? Was it the lack of spinach I was eating? Or was it truly just luck of the draw. I don’t seem to be particularly lucky when it comes to genetic abnormalities.

Needless to say, I’ve been tired. Physically tired. Emotionally tired. Our days have been jammed with daily appointments: for me, for baby & for Emmie (she started twice a week speech therapy). And our nights are laden with quiet anxieties while we toss and turn pretending to sleep. The house and dog have fallen into the category of borderline neglect and an already hardworking husband has been picking up my slack without saying a word or heaving a sigh. Yes, these past few weeks have been hard on everybody.

All we can do at the moment is try our best to go about our daily lives. We’ll be surrounded by close friends and family for the holiday season and there’s nothing more healing than laughter and love.

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10 Surefire Ways of Getting More Much-Needed Sleep in Pregnancy.

Having trouble sleeping in pregnancy? Try these 10 easy ways to get more sleep during pregnancy.

I’ve hit that stage in pregnancy where sleep has become oh so elusive. You better believe I’m implementing every strategy I know to get more sleep! If you’re having trouble getting enough sleep during pregnancy try out some of these fail-safe ways get more sleep:

1. Body pillows: As you progress in pregnancy you’re no longer supposed to sleep on your back. You can’t sleep on your stomach, because, well, you’re pregnant. And they recommend you favor your left side. You can use body pillows to support your belly while also supporting your knees. Having a second body pillow can give your backside some support as well. Basically make yourself into a body pillow sandwich.

2. Sleep by yourself. Pregnancy is a time when rolling over takes a momentous amount of strength. Sharing a bed makes this even harder. Space is limited and your partner’s movements could keep you awake. If you’re really struggling, kick out your significant other. You’re growing a human, it’s hard work and you need sleep. You might find you sleep so much better solo.

3. Essential oils: A soothing scent can help relieve stress and help you drift off easier. Lavender is known for it’s calming effects. Not a lavender fan? Try a mix of orange, clove and lemongrass.

4. Hypnosis apps: If you don’t have an issue falling asleep at the beginning of the night, but anxiety or restlessness keeps you up after those early morning wakings, try a hypnosis app. Having a soothing guiding mediation can help keep your mind off whatever it is that’s keeping your brain awake. It’ll help you focus – just enough– to relax back into sleep. Don’t want to wake your partner? Try these Cozyphones.

5. Limit hydration at night: Curb those nighttime wakings for frequent bathroom trips by limiting drinks in the evening. Stop drinking a couple hours before bed.

6. Exercise: Keeping up a regular exercise routine can help you get a more restful night. Short on time? Even something as simple as a quick walk or a gentle 10 minutes of yoga before bed can help you fall asleep easier.

7. Use white noise: Tune out those background night noises with a white noise machine.

8. Keep a cool room: Your blood volume increases by 1/3 during pregnancy so you might find yourself running warmer than usual. Keep the bedroom cool and comfortable for sleeping. A bedside fan could be just the thing you need for a more restful night.

9. Receive a massage: Have your partner give you a quick rub down. Even something as simple as a 5 minute back massage can help release any tension your body may be carrying that would prevent easily falling asleep.

10. Have a bedtime routine: by creating a simple bedtime routine, and sticking with it, you set your body up with these cues that help signal it’s bedtime. This can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.

11. Take a nap: Sometimes you just can’t log enough ZZZ’s during the night. Make time during the day to catch up. A power nap has been proven time and time again to increase concentration, focus, and productivity.

12. Skip the caffeine: If you can, cut out caffeine completely. If you can’t live without your morning coffee, make sure you cut off your caffeine supply no later than 2pm. This also includes things like chocolate!

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First Trimester Must Haves For Your Second Pregnancy

Now that the cat’s out of the bag, I wanted to share the things that really helped me get through the first trimester, the second time around! I consider these the 1st trimester must haves for your second, or third, pregnancy.

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1. Water Bottle for you and for your little. Staying hydrated is so important when you’re pregnant. Not only do you need the extra fluid to start making extra blood, amniotic fluid, and help flush out toxins but staying hydrated can make sure you’re combating pregnancy fatigue to the best of your ability. Dehydration can make you feel sluggish & slow. A thermos, or water bottle, is the perfect way to always ensure you have something to sip on. If your little one is anything like mine, having a second – smaller- water bottle can help curb tantrums and help your first baby feel special. Plus, if your nausea is out of control you can easily hide ginger ale in your water bottle while serving water in your little’s bottle.
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2. Doggie Bags. Towing a toddler around is trying in by itself, but have you ever tried to actually get somewhere fast with toddler in tow? It just doesn’t happen. Especially when it’s important. By keeping a roll of doggie bags you can feel assured that you always have a fail safe plan in case that “morning sickness” sneaks up on you and the nearest bathroom might as well be back at home. It’s not the most glamorous but works well in a pinch! I tote around these scented bags.
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3. Lotion. The second time around your body knows what it’s doing. Muscle memory from the first pregnancy takes over and you start growing sooner. I found my skin to be much itchier this time around simply due to things expanding earlier! Regularly applying lotion helped keep the itchiness at bay.

4. A great-smelling candle. During the first trimester my gag reflex is so much more sensitive. Combine that with a heightened sense of smell and a toddler on hand… well, I often found myself lighting a candle to help mask the smells of daily tasks such as making my toddler lunch or changing a diaper.
5. Snacks. Keep them with you at all times. I loved things packed with protein to keep my blood sugar levels stable. I tried to find snacks that I didn’t mind sharing with my toddler. I saved the Oreos and Doritos for nap time.
 
6. A soft, stretchy cami-styled bra. Again, your body remembers pregnancy this time around. With my first pregnancy my chest grew slow and steady over the whole 9 months. This time around? Not so much. I’m already at the same size I was when my milk came in with Emerson. Needless to say having a larger sized, soft, stretchy cami-style bra has been essential. It doesn’t feel restrictive like a traditional underwire bra, and having the lightly lined soft cups has been helpful for my sensitive and itchy skin.
 

7. Meal replacement drinks. I always find these handy to keep around for those days when you just can’t eat a single thing. You still need to get high quality nutrition, but if you can’t keep solids down, this is the perfect solution. Some of my favorites are Svelte and Orgain.

What were your must haves for your second pregnancy?
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Tea for Two: A New Baby is Due

Tea2Bfor2BTwo2B12BwordsTEa2Bfor2Btwo2B32Bwords2B2 tea2Bfor2Btwo2B42Bwords2B3 Tea2Bfor2Btwo2B72Bwords2B4Tea2Bfor2Btwo2B62Bwords2B5 Tea2Bfor2Btwo2B82Bwords2B6 tea2Bfor2Btwo2B132Bwords2B7That’s right! We’re expecting baby girl #2 in early February. We’re very excited to add a new addition to our family. I’m currently 18 weeks along and finally feeling good. I struggled a lot more with morning sickness this pregnancy and lost a bit of weight, which for someone with Cystic Fibrosis is the worst! I’ve finally managed to gain it back so we’re headed in the right direction. I was so thankful during the first trimester that Emerson is still a great napper because first trimester exhaustion was a struggle! Beth2B2BKyle2B3Beth2B3
All in all, we’re all very excited and looking forward to baby girl’s arrival in the new year. I hope you’ll follow along as we continue on our new journey as a soon-to-be family of 4!
PS: We had a blast taking these pictures for our announcement. Emmie thought our tea party was the most amazing thing of her life.
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