things I wish I had known before my first C-section (plus some recovery tips)

things I wish I had known before my first C-section (plus some recovery tips)

I am a three-time C-section mama and proud of it. Of course, it wasn't the type of birth I pictured when I got pregnant for the first time, but after going through the procedure 3 times, I've realized it's not so bad at all. In fact, I've even grown fond of my C-section memories, because it's how my babies made their way into the world safely. Now that I'm a Veteran C-section Mom, I've picked up a few tips and tricks for making recovery a little smoother. 

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what to pack in your hospital bag for a c-section

what to pack in your hospital bag for a c-section

I'm under two weeks away from heading into my third scheduled C-section, and with all the Braxton Hicks contractions I've been having, I know it's important to get my bags packed early, just in case we need to head in earlier than planned! As I make my list for the hospital, it occurred to me that I am much more prepared this time around, since I know what to expect, and figured it might be helpful for mamas-to-be who are trying to pack for their first birth experience or their first C-section.

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37 week pregnancy update

Full Term! We made it! I am feeling more than ready to meet our little guy, and am starting to get really excited about adding a third child to our family. I know it will be a giant transition, but I feel like maybe if we don't even try to leave the house at all for like a month after the baby is born we'll be fine? You can order everything online now, right?

size of the baby: baby is the size of a large cantaloupe or a head of romaine lettuce. Yes, I'm sure there's only one in there. 

gender: baby boy!

maternity clothes: down to 2 dresses, 3 tank tops, 2 skirts, and 1 pair of shorts that fit comfortably. Talk about a capsule wardrobe! 

movement: still lots of movement, but more like slow rolls than jabs and punches. Love the occasional baby hiccups, too! The belly is still taking on strange shapes when knees or elbows poke out. 

sleep: sleep is hit-or-miss lately. Some nights I sleep like a rock, and other times I wake up at 4 a.m. and can't fall back asleep. Rolling over in bed is near impossible at this point. Getting up out of bed is a 10 step process. 

prenatal fitness: Does getting off the couch count as a workout? No? Still trying to fit in nice long walks a few days a week. Other than that, chasing Pippa and Teddy is my cardio and weight training. 

missing: clothes that fit, not being swollen in the hands, feet, and face, and margaritas.  

craving: cereal - specifically Honey Nut Cheerios with almond milk, cold fruit, chocolate protein shakes, and lots of water.

symptoms: I've been having lots and lots of Braxton Hicks and extra pressure on my abdomen, so feeling pretty uncomfortable most of the time. 

My feet and hands are definitely swollen, and the wedding rings are officially off. 

I'm also experiencing aching joints, fatigue, and mood swings. 

baby purchases: we are finally stocked up on newborn and size 1 diapers, and thanks to a surprise baby shower thrown by some local friends, baby even has a few cute new outfits that are all his own. (And by outfits I mean onesies). We picked up a few pacifiers just in case this baby takes them, and I have a few nursing essentials in my cart on Amazon that I should probably go ahead and order. 

looking forward to: a week off for Easter break! I'm hoping to take Pippa out for a girl's day sometime this week to see a movie (and consume so much popcorn), paint our nails, and do facials (that part will be at home). Let's be honest, I'll probably take her to Target, too. 

best moments: we spent Saturday afternoon in Daytona Beach. The weather was in the mid 70s and it was absolutely gorgeous out! We shared some ice cream with the kids, and just enjoyed the atmosphere in general. I savored only throwing one diaper and a few wipes in my purse before we will have to transition back to a full fledged diaper bag. 

Experienced mamas of 3 or more: any tips for transitioning from 2 to 3 kids?


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third trimester must haves

third trimester must haves

Ah third trimester. That magical time in your pregnancy when time seems to fly by and simultaneously drag on for eternity. In one sense you're trying to enjoy the last days of peace and quiet before your life turns to chaos by adding a baby to the mix. In a stronger sense, you're so ready to meet your little one and be done with pregnancy and the discomforts that go along with the third trimester. If your pregnancy is like mine, at this point you're swollen, your joints are aching, you can only eat a few bites of food at a time, the heartburn is raging, and you're exhausted but having trouble sleeping at the same time. Here is what is keeping me relatively comfortable during the third trimester. 

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33 week pregnancy update

It seems like I was just sitting down to write about the struggles of the first trimester, and now I'm  6 weeks away from meeting our little guy! This pregnancy hasn't always been easy, but with two other kids, a part time teaching job, and running my home based business, it truly has been a whirlwind. 

size of the baby: baby is the size of a pineapple, or a head of celery, and is probably just over 4 pounds. No wonder I'm struggling to carry this belly around!

gender: baby boy!

maternity clothes: basically wearing the same 2-3 dresses every day. I find them to be a lot more comfortable than any sort of waistband. Plus a lot of my maternity shirts don't even cover the bump anymore!

movement: some crazy gymnastics are happening in there, and it is a sight to behold. My belly is taking on strange shapes, and it's been a fun game to guess which body part is poking out. I've been showing Pippa how the baby loves to move about 45 minutes after dinner when I lay down, and she's been loving "playing" with the baby. 

sleep: I've actually been sleeping very well, just waking up a few times a night to go to the bathroom. I've also stocked the bed with tons of extra pillows, which has been helping with the hip pain I tend to feel when I lay down. I sometimes wake up with sharp round ligament pain, but am usually able to fall right back asleep.

prenatal fitness: It's been a weird week for my health. I got the stomach flu twice in the past week, so my normal daily walk didn't happen quite as often. In addition, my family visited last week, and Justin's family is in town this week, so naturally there has been some going out to eat and extra treats involved. Basically I've vacillated between not keeping anything down and indulging in foods I don't normally eat. 

Having said that, the past week not included, I'm very much a creature of habit when it comes to eating. I've been diligent about having 1 or 2 superfood shakes each day to up my protein intake and get extra nutritious calories. I've packed lots of fruits and vegetables for lunches, and consumed lots of water. I also make sure to walk 2 miles each day with the double stroller and the dog. My weight gain has been almost pound for pound the same as my other pregnancies, even though walking has been my only workout this time. Crazy how our bodies know exactly what to do!

Finally, I'm starting to think about postpartum health. Forefront on my mind is the diastasis recti that never quite healed from my second pregnancy, as I didn't realize until too late that I had it. I plan to ask my doctor for a good physical therapist recommendation, and to utilize a belly band after giving birth (like I talked about in this post). I also love that I have a nutrition plan in place for losing the baby weight safely and consistently, even when nursing!

missing: wearing cute clothes. Not waddling. Not grunting every time I stand up. 

craving: not many cravings at this point besides cold water and sometimes fruit. Mostly I'm just trying to find the balance between extreme hunger and painfully full. There is no in between.

symptoms: where oh where to begin? 

First of all, I have been nesting with a vengeance. I don't really remember feeling the urge to clean, purge, and organize with my other two pregnancies, but to give you an idea of where I'm at, I texted Justin last week making a sweeping declaration about throwing out everything in our house. His concern was palpable. Then this past weekend we got rid of about 10 bags of junk and clutter in one afternoon, which left me feeling nauseous and exhausted, but extremely satisfied. 

Another symptom I've been experiencing is intense Braxton Hicks contractions. Basically anytime I'm standing or walking for more than a few minutes my stomach gets rock solid and starts cramping. Usually some water and changing positions helps, so I haven't been too concerned about it. I did have a little scare this past weekend, though, when I got hit with my second round of the stomach bug that's been going around. No matter what I did, the Braxton Hicks wouldn't stop, probably due to dehydration. I was very close to calling the hospital, but the contractions started to subside later that afternoon when I was able to nap and keep some fluids down. Stay in there for a few more weeks, baby! 

Finally, crazy heartburn, aching joints, and the occasional swollen feet have been my normal the past few weeks. Third trimester, I will not miss you when you are done. Not even a little bit. 

looking forward to: a relaxing week and weekend! We're on spring break right now with family visiting, so it's been nice to have the extra help with Pippa and Teddy. I'm hoping to get ahead on school and blog work in the next few days!

best moments: getting to spend time with family! 

That wraps it up! Only six more weeks until our scheduled C-Section (which hasn't actually been scheduled yet, but I have an idea of the time frame. So weird to be able to pick out your child's birthday!) Now excuse me while I go Google "how to handle the transition from 2 to 3 children."