Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Baby Jacob is here!

This is coming a few days late, but we are excited to announce that our sweet baby boy finally arrived! Jacob Elias Laidlaw was born Saturday, April 25th, 2009 at 8:02 pm, 3 days after his due date. He was a big baby at 9 pounds and 21 inches long! The delivery went great (and quickly!) and Jacob is in perfect health. He is so beautiful and he looks more like his big brother every day.

Jacob after his first bath at the hospital

Thomas is so excited his little brother is here at last, and he always calls him "Baby Jacob" or "Baby Brother Jacob." He's always begging to hold Jacob and whenever Jacob makes little baby noises, Thomas asks us, "What's he saying?" Its so cute to watch him with Jacob. We love seeing how much he already loves his baby brother.

I'll be trying to post more photos and details about Jacob soon, as soon as I find the time! =)

Friday, April 24, 2009

A Rough Day

I'm writing this at 2 in the morning. I know, I'm nuts...I should be getting my sleep while I have the chance! But it was truly a rough day, and not really because our baby boy hasn't arrived yet.

Last night...or night before last night...Wednesday night, that is, since now its technically Friday morning...we put Thomas to bed and I noticed that his voice was a little raspy, and that he had coughed suspiciously a few times. We were worried he might be getting sick, and sure enough, at 2 am, he wakes up with an awful-sounding, barking turns out he has the croup.

I hate the croup. Colds and runny noses are bad, but the croup is miserable. Thomas has had it twice before, and its torture to listen to him cough/bark so hard and have so much trouble just breathing. It makes me want to sob to see how hard it is on his little body, when he's intermittently racked with coughs and then the next minute rasping and gasping and struggling to get enough air to even produce a cough. At least we knew what to do from past experience...we wrapped him up and took him outside in the cool night air, which opens up the airways and helped noticeably every time. He even started asking to be taken outside. We took him out every couple of hours or so starting at 2 am, whenever he would really start struggling again, and in between we mostly let him sleep in our bed...though there wasn't a whole lot of quality sleep to be had by any of us. I felt so bad for him...he would cry because he was so miserable, but the crying only made it worse and harder to breathe. He coughed so hard several times that he gagged and vomited. The croup scares him, and it scares me too...its hard for me to hide. It literally seems like he can't breathe at all at times, and that makes me want to freak out. I remember when Thomas got it the first time at around 8 months, I just cried and cried as we sat holding him, wrapped in blankets, out on the front steps of our house in the middle of the night. I kept thinking it sounded like he was dying! And its so cruel...the croup is the most miserable in the middle of the night.

Of course, on top of my misery for Tommy, I'm terrified about the baby getting croup when he arrives. I can barely handle hearing my robust almost-3-year-old so miserable, much less my tiny, brand-new, fragile little newborn. I kept thinking, "Luck is really being cruel to me. I'm one day overdue with a baby, he could be here anytime, and my toddler has the croup." Before, I was hoping the baby would come soon and I wouldn't have to be induced next week, but now I'm praying this baby waits as long as he can to arrive so Thomas can get better. I'm tortured about the idea of having to keep Thomas away from his brand new baby brother...I know he's going to be so excited and want to hold him and hug and kiss him, and to have to deny him that will feel so unfair. And croup is a virus, so it will just have to run its course.

I took Thomas to the doctor in the morning, hoping there was something/anything they could do to help him feel better and speed up his recovery. In the past when Tommy got the croup he often sounded pretty good during the daytime, but in the morning Thomas' breathing was still really labored and raspy, so I was pretty worried. The nurse practicioner saw Thomas and said he did sound pretty bad for the daytime, and that if he got a shot of steroids it might help, especially with the time it had to kick in before nighttime. He got the shot in his leg, and poor Tommy cried and cried afterwards...he was inconsolable for a couple of minutes and it just made his "barking" sound worse and broke my heart.

I think the shot is definitely helping though. The doctor warned that the 2nd night is usually the worst, but tonight I put Thomas down and fell asleep with him for a couple of hours, and he didn't wake up coughing once, and he still hasn't....knock on wood. His breathing sounds worlds better than last night too. I really hope the croupy symptoms will pass quickly...the CNP said he'll probably still have a cold after the croupiness passes, but I would gladly trade the croup for a cold. And the longer its been since the croup has passed, the more confident I will feel with Thomas around the baby...I know there's probably no way he'll be back at 100% before his brother arrives, but the doctor said the most contagious time will be these first few days, especially when he still has croup symptoms. We talked about the kind of care I'll have to take with Thomas and the baby, depending on when baby decides to come, and I really do hope this little one waits...if he arrives now, or quite soon, the CNP said she wouldn't want Thomas within 5 feet of him. I would feel so cruel to have to keep Tommy away like that, so I'm praying the baby will just wait...if Thomas is over the croup and just in the cold/recovery phase, she said it would probably be okay if Thomas had clean hands, a clean shirt, and a mask on when he comes to the hospital to meet his baby brother. Maybe its a blessing in disguise that our baby hasn't arrived yet...if he had, Thomas could've gotten sick when we had already brought him home, and then the contagiousness would be incredibly hard to avoid. *sigh* I wish I didn't have to worry so much now about something I've been so excited about...seeing my little boy meet his baby brother, letting him hold him and watching them together for the first time.

After I took Thomas to the doctor, we got lunch to eat in the car and then I took him home and put him down for a nap...or rather, carried him from the car to his bed, since he was exhausted from the night and had fallen asleep in the car (he had also fallen asleep 5 minutes before we arrived at the doctor's office, too). Ryan was working at home, so he listened for Thomas while I ran to make one more grocery shopping trip. I felt so depressed as I walked around the store, thinking about my sick boy and worrying about my baby. I felt so conspicuous too...even though I didn't see a single soul that I knew there, I kept feeling like people were looking me and my belly and thinking "Sheesh! When are you going to have that baby?" I was feeling incredibly eager to get out of there, yet I felt so down and so preoccupied I could hardly think as I stared at stuff on the shelves. I got home and when Ryan first came out of his office and saw me I just went over to him and had a little breakdown and started crying. It is so hard, wanting to be finished being pregnant, yet afraid to be finished for the baby's health's sake. I pray that Thomas sleeping well (so far) tonight is a sign that he will recover quickly, and that our baby will make it through his first days and weeks (and as long as possible!) without getting sick too.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

My Due Date Update

I can't believe its my due date and our baby boy is still not here! I'm incredibly surprised because I truly expected to be at least somewhat early again this time. Now it looks like he's going to be late...nothing is really happening with me today so I highly doubt he will arrive before midnight tonight (though nothing is impossible!). At my doctor's appointment on Monday I had only slightly progressed from the previous week (from 2 cm to not quite 3 cm, from 60% effaced to about 70%, and -2 station to -1). My doctor doesn't want me to go more than a week past my due date, so we made another followup appointment for this coming Monday and if the baby hasn't arrived by then, he will schedule me to be induced Wednesday, April 29th, exactly one week after my due date. I really doubt I will make it that far though, and I'm hoping I don't...I would like to be done being pregnant sooner than that of course, and I would prefer to go into labor on my own over being induced. But, I am completely fine with being induced if he's a week over...I definitely don't want to go over more than that. I think I would just be a glutton for punishment at that point! Plus the doctor said that babies can actually have problems if you let them go much past 41 weeks. So, at least I have a timeline I can count on...this baby will be here sometime between now and next Wednesday!

I have these driving-me-crazy, intense feelings of anticipation I didn't have when I was pregnant with Thomas. With Thomas, I was expecting to be a little early, but when I went into labor 13 days early, it was so early that I was caught off guard, and I hadn't really worked up the feelings of high anticipation yet. This time I'm going nuts with anticipation! Its like I know someone is giving me a huge surprise and it could be sprung on me the middle of the night, anytime at all...but I have no ideas or indicators of when! I'm still having mini-contractions here and there that can be a little painful or uncomfortable, but nothing is ever consistent enough that I feel something is really happening. I walk around all day every day thinking my water is just going to break, and then I'm going to have to high-tail it to the hospital!

So, a week left at most! I think its so crazy my first baby was so early and now my second is going to be late. I'll have no idea what to expect with #3 someday!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Baby Classes

To feel a little more prepared for this baby I decided to sign myself and Ryan up for a one-night prenatal refresher class, meant specifically for people who had already had a baby before. I wondered when I signed up if it would be very helpful or informative at all, but when we went about a week and a half ago it actually turned out to be very, very good, and I ended up feeling so glad I decided to sign us up and take the time to go. I was surprised at the number of questions I actually ended up having for the nurse who was teaching it. On a different night we also took a tour of the maternity ward at Orem Community Hospital, even though we've already been there since its the same place I delivered before. It was nice to get reacquainted with the surroundings. The rooms are SO nice, and I'm so excited to deliver there again. I absolutely loved it there the first time around...the maternity ward is pretty small and intimate, and the nurses were awesome. The nurse giving the tour shared a lot of great information as well, and I ended up having quite a few questions for her too. I think there were several things that I just didn't think much about or know much about with my first pregnancy and delivery. Its nice to feel more "in the know" this time, both from my previous experience and from things I realize now that I wish I would have known about or asked about the first time.

Another class we took, several weeks ago now, was with Thomas. It was a "sibling" class, to help older kids (ages 2-8ish) adjust to the idea of becoming a big brother or sister and to share information with them about what's happening in Mommy's tummy and what will happen after the baby is born. Thomas got distracted several times and would run around the room or keep trying to talk and get everyone's attention, but the nurse teaching was very nice and the class was very loose and informal, so it wasn't a big deal. One funny thing was that Thomas kept raising his hand to talk (though it wasn't always after a question and he often started talking before being called on anyway)...I don't think I even knew he had learned about raising his hand to speak! It was cute. At one point the nurse gave all the kids a chance (if they wanted) to hold a little newborn-baby sized doll. Thomas loves holding real babies, like his new baby cousin Avarie, so he really liked holding the doll. He was so cute to watch. (Sorry, I know I say "cute" a lot!). I can't wait to see him hold his little baby brother for the first time!

Probably the funnest part of the sibling class was when the nurse actually took us up into the maternity ward and let us look through the nursery window at 2 new brand new babies. Tommy was pretty fascinated as we pointed things out about the babies, and it was fun for me to see the brand new little ones too...I was thinking, "I want one!" The nurse also took us into an empty room so the kids could see the kind of room their moms would be in. I was a little disappointed because the sibling class was only offered at Utah Valley Regional in Provo, not at Orem Community where I'm delivering, so Thomas didn't get to see the actual place his brother and I will be, but I still really liked the class. I called Orem Community before Ryan and I took our tour of the maternity area there to see if we could bring Thomas along, but they said children weren't allowed on the tours there. So, when the nurse said we would be going up to the maternity ward at Utah Valley Regional during the sibling class, I was totally surprised. Although, the nurse did have all the kids put on hair nets, gloves and masks...they looked so cute! I didn't bring along my camera and totally regretted it, but a really nice mom who was there with her daughter (and who was having triplets!) heard me lamenting and offered to take a picture of Thomas with her camera and email it to me, which she did (I love nice strangers!). Tommy looked so cute in his little get-up...I was surprised that he left all of it on and wasn't trying to yank the mask off or something!

I was glad I decided to take some classes and the tour again this time really helped me rev up my memory and feel more prepared after almost 3 years. Even though I'm a second-time mom, I'm feeling pretty nervous and anxious about this baby...whether his delivery will go well, taking him home and adjusting to having two children, and learning to care for a newborn again. I'm feeling pretty rusty about that last one, but everyone assures me it'll all come back pretty quickly. I know they're probably right, or at least I hope so!

No Baby Yet!

Still pregnant! We are quite surprised he hasn't arrived yet. I totally expected him to be here by now, since Thomas was 12 days early. But I guess just because that happened the first time around doesn't mean it will this time! And I'm still due date is Wednesday, April 22nd, so we're still 5 days out. I've been having "practice" contractions, especially the last couple of days, which feel a little uncomfortable at times, but I know they're common in the weeks and days preceding delivery. I haven't felt anything drastic enough yet that has made me think, "Oh, its starting, we're going to the hospital today." At my doctor appointment on Monday (April 13th) I was no more dilated or effaced than the previous week. I am feeling in extreme anticipation, wondering when the big day will be! I wake up every day thinking, "It will probably be today." And then I go to bed that night surprised! So, we'll see what happens!

It has been nice to have more time than I expected to get some things done, but I have to say I think everyday about how excited I am to not be pregnant anymore. This pregnancy hasn't been miserable or has pretty much been easier than the first...but the last month of pregnancy is just so not fun in general, and I can't wait for my body to start getting back to normal (though *truly* getting back to normal will take some time). =) I'm particularly excited for my bladder to have some more space again! I am so tired of constant trips to the bathroom!

And of course, the number one thing I'm excited about is our Baby. It is still so surreal to me, even as pregnant as I am, that we will soon have a second child. I don't think it will feel entirely real to me until I have him in my arms!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Tools & Batteries

Whenever Ryan goes out into the garage to work on his dirtbike or something, Thomas always gets excited about going with him and "helping." He loves helping Ryan tinker on stuff and has a grand ole time playing with (safe) tools and just hanging out with Daddy. He would stay out there forever...he never wants to come inside! And he's actually pretty mechanically inclined and good with his little hands...Ryan says Thomas can even put a nut on a bolt and then tighten it with a wrench all by himself. He's so cute to watch because he really concentrates on what he's doing. Our little man's already becoming a toolman!

Tommy has also been on a big battery-replacing kick lately. Any toy he discovers that he knows is supposed to make noise or music or produce lights, that isn't working right, he will bring to me and tell me, "needs new batteries, Mommy!" Many of these toys were probably ones I was happy to see lose their noise-producing powers, but I like watching him get excited when they come to life again. I have this cute little tool that came in a pack of batteries I once bought, that actually looks exactly like a AA battery, but it has a little screwdriver on the end. Its perfect to use for toys and Thomas is always looking for it when we go to replace batteries...he always says "Need the tool-battery!" He's a little battery-happy though... yesterday he told me his little wooden drum needed new batteries. Silly kid! But its fun to see how such small things make him happy. =)

One Thing I Gave Up On (For a Time)

Well, I can't say I really tried that hard to start potty-training Thomas. It was something I had really wanted to accomplish before the baby arrived, but some weeks ago now I simply decided I didn't have the energy and time to commit to it right then, with everything else I was trying to do. I think I had hoped he would potty-train super easily...we spent a LOT of time talking about it before I ever got him a potty seat, and he seemed really excited and eager, but when I finally got one he was more excited about the idea of the seat than actually sitting on it. He's only sat on it twice, maybe three times, but he's never actually "gone" at all. Once I managed to snag a few photos before he hopped off...he's not "exposed," I promise! I originally really wanted to get him a little potty chair instead of a seat to put on the toilet, but when we went to check out the potty chairs at the store he was already too big for all of them!

So...I'll have two kids in diapers for awhile, but hopefully only a short while. I don't want to wait too much longer...Thomas turns 3 in July...and I truly do think he is ready if I will commit to really working at it. We'll see how it goes when we really take a crack at it...any tips about what worked/didn't work for you experienced parents would be great!

Baby Update

I started to write this more than two weeks ago and never posted it! So now I'm updating my update about how Baby Boy is coming along. =) I'm currently 38 weeks and 3 days along...I took this baby belly photo right at 38 weeks. My last appointment was last Monday, April 6th. The doctor said I was dilated 2 cm and about 60-70% effaced. So, my body is starting to get ready for game time, but I haven't had any real or painful contractions yet (I'm scared for those!). I'm very curious about what the case will be at my next appointment on Monday, or if I'll even make it that far...I seriously feel like the baby could be arriving any day now, since by this time in my last pregnancy, Thomas was already born!

This is kind of old news, but on St. Patrick's day I had my third semester ultrasound, and the technician said everything looked great! She estimated at that time, when I was almost 35 weeks, that he was about 6 lbs 7 oz. I was very excited to see images of my little guy again. Ryan came and Thomas came along to the appointment for the first time. In the days leading up to the appointment and that morning I kept telling Thomas that we were going to see pictures of baby brother. He was pretty interested and watched the screen for the first minute or two of the ultrasound, but then he got distracted with all the gadgets in the exam room. I can't blame him, since he probably didn't understand what he was seeing...even I still had a bit of a hard time distinguishing details in the ultrasound without the technician's help! She got a really good view of the front of the baby's face, and he has the cutest full lips and a little nubbin chin! I hope he will have the dimple in his chin like his daddy and Thomas both do. She also got a really good image where you could actually tell that he has a whole bunch of hair! Thomas was born with a lot of hair too. If that old wives tale is true, that pregnant mothers get heartburn when their baby has a lot of hair, this baby must have tons of it, because this time around my heartburn has been killer! With Thomas it was only occasional and mild. This time it comes around all the time, out of nowhere, no matter what I eat...let me tell you, I am so tired of chomping on berry-flavored chalk, A.K.A. Tums. Bleh.

Besides the heartburn, I have to say that pretty much everything about this pregnancy has been at least somewhat easier than my first. I've gained less several appointments the doctor has said that I'm measuring slightly small, though the following appointment I'd often measure right on. At my most recent appointment he said that I was measuring small. That is so strange for me to hear...with Thomas I went to every appointment convinced that the doctor would tell me that I was gaining too much weight! I have to admit that the measuring small has gotten me a little worried, just wondering if I'm eating right or if the baby is growing okay, but my doc keeps saying he's not concerned, and said from my ultrasound that the baby was actually measuring big...he estimated he would be around 8 lbs at full term. (Thomas was 8 lbs 2 oz at 12 days early). I think I must really just be carrying differently this time. I definitely think I'm smaller at this point in my pregnancy than I was last time...I can even lie on my back (though its not a good idea and I don't prefer to) without very much pain or discomfort, which was definitely not the case with Thomas!

Other things have been easier feet and ankles have been swollen again this time around, but not nearly as bad as last was summertime during my third trimester of my first pregnancy, and the swelling was so bad it was frightening! My feet were so tight I felt like they were going to explode! So now, when someone notices my swelling and says something like "Oh, your poor feet!" I just think, "This is nothing!"

I've also been having an easier time getting around this time, hence my ability to still run around like a crazywoman. Not that I don't have aches and pains...I certainly do, and they're not fun. I definitely have the pelvic pain and I have to be careful about the way I move and how quickly I move so I don't get those sharp stabbing pains, but its not as bad as last time. With Thomas I always said it felt like the bones in my pelvis and my hips were just going to come apart....this time it just feels like a have a big bruise on my pelvis, and my upper legs are sore like I just went to the gym for the first time in forever or something! I've also been sleeping better...I haven't had nearly as many comfort issues with sleep this time around. Halleluia!

I think I can attribute the easier pregnancy and my smaller weight gain to the fact that my lifestyle is so different this first pregnancy was spent sitting at my work desk 8 hours a day and snacking constantly! This time I'm almost always moving, cleaning and running errands and chasing around a toddler all day, and I haven't been as big on the snacking all the time. So though I haven't really been going out of my way to exercise, I think exercise has just been more built-in to my life this time around. I am really looking forward to trying to *truly* exercise, losing the baby weight and becoming comfortable in my body again.

It really just blows my mind how fast this pregnancy has gone. The weeks and months have just slipped through my fingers. I have to admit I'm freaking out a little bit about how soon I will be a parent of two, and what the challenges of that will be. I especially worry about Thomas and how everything will affect him. I know he'll be a great big brother though. He's always talking about how his little brother "Will play wit' me, and talk 'a me, and read books wit' me, and watch shows wit' me," and so cute. He likes to give my tummy, or "Little Brother," lots of hugs and kisses, which I love. I also love to watch his face light up when he feels the baby moving in my tummy. I told him to talk to the baby the other day, to say "Hi Baby!" and "See you soon!" I love watching his enthusiasm. I can't wait to see him interact with his little brother in person! It won't be long now. =)

Here's a cute snapshot of my handsome little boy, who fell fast asleep on the way home on the day of the ultrasound and did not want to wake up when we got home (though it was too late to be napping but too early for bedtime). So, I laid him on the couch and let him sleep awhile. How did my first little newborn grow into this tall kid?

Friday, April 10, 2009

A Race Against Time

I am amazed. My second pregnancy has simply flown by, and my due date is rapidly approaching. I'm not expecting to make it to my due date...Thomas was born 12 days early, and I really think I'll be early with this one too. Its crazy to think that if this baby had arrived as early as Thomas he would already be here! I've been panicking to be honest...I still have at least a few things I really need to do before baby boy arrives, yet I feel he could be coming anytime. I was running around the house like a madwoman yesterday trying to get things done, and for some reason I was so convinced my water was going to break (though there was no real indication that would be happening).

I'm upset at myself for not being completely ready seems I've been trying for months and weeks to get my house organized and everything ready, yet here I am, still scrambling and stressed out and praying the baby gives me just a few more days before his arrival! When Thomas was born so early I was caught off house was a disaster and I was so disappointed with myself for not having everything in perfect order. I think I've just given myself way too many things to try and accomplish. I know if everything doesn't get accomplished it will be ok...just like it was with Thomas, when the world did not end!...I just wish everything could get accomplished so I could be at complete peace with my surroundings and concentrate entirely on my new baby boy after he arrives, and on his big brother as he adjusts to the change.

So, like I said, I've been running around like a crazywoman. I'm not very content to sit and put my feet up and relax lately, even though I probably should be. My mind is constantly racing with to-do lists and thoughts about what I need to do next. I think its all a result of the crazy case of "nesting" I get...its seriously so intense, it drives me nuts. It was exactly the same with Thomas. The last weeks of my pregnancy I was spending a lot of time running around then too.

Anyway...on my too-long list of Things Still To Do is to catch up on the blog! I know I probably won't be able to do that fully, but there are things I really want to write about before the baby arrives, because after that all I will probably be writing about for awhile is him! So hopefully I will be getting a bunch of new entries written that I've fallen way behind goes nothin'!