Sunday, July 31, 2016

Weeks 23 & 24 of My Pregnancy

I'm starting to get back into the swing of blogging again. I'd love to post more often, but sometimes I just can't muster up the energy or the creativity! I do have several posts waiting for pictures and editing that I will be sharing hopefully sooner rather than later!

I am now 24 weeks preggo. I did have to check via an online due date calendar...I kinda lost track of time for a second. I'm finding it harder to put my shoes on, even worse for my military boots! I can't walk as fast everywhere, but I'm a speedy walker by nature, so I'm sure most people haven't really noticed. Climbing the stairs to get the boys to bed is getting harder. I just tell myself that it's great for staying in shape, so I need to resist the urge to avoid the stairs!

I had a second ultrasound last week, and though the baby was curled up in a lil ball, they still think it's a boy, so I'll plan for that! It was really amazing to see him moving and hear the heartbeat. Gets me every time. He is now the size of an ear of corn apparently! I feel a lot more movement all throughout the day, so that's been a delight.

Update: I have the Army maternity uniform, yaaay! (Sarcasm) Finally went into Central Issue Facility to sign for 3 sets. It is more comfortable as far as the pants go; no more belt but instead that super sweet giant pouch to sling my belly in. Feels like I'm wearing granny panties all day...super sad face here....The jacket looks like a tent or a poorly made dress that's too short to be decent. Okay, I'll stop. I'm just disgruntled over the new look, but as promised, I provided a picture. You're welcome.

I'm staying on track with eating. Today I felt really odd and nauseous so I didn't eat much...until this evening. Then for some reason the only thing that sounded bearable was chicken top ramen...and then an hour later for dinner, french toast and cheesy scrambled eggs with the boys! I feel much better now, so maybe it was a carb thing. Sometimes you just gotta go with the weird days.

On a side note: I haven't been sleeping that great lately, so out of the blue I took one of my daily fish oil pills a bit before bed and found I slept much better. I had no idea before hand to try it, nor was I thinking it would help. I just noticed I slept much better and my analytical brain was trying to figure out why.,,low and behold, there's been research done that links fish oil to helping sleep issues. Well, it has been working for me most nights, so I thought I'd pass it's the brand from Amazon I'm taking:

Friday, July 29, 2016

Week 1 Postpartum

Now my journey to getting back in shape begins! Here is my first week postpartum and what I'm doing to get back in shape. I have a lot of obstacles ahead of me, but I know with a little determination and lots of baby steps, I'll get there eventually.

24 hours after giving birth
Let's start with my 24 hour postpartum routine. I'm going to be as direct and concise as I can...and probably a little tmi at times, but this is messy business!! Talk about not feeling sexy for awhile lol....

Right after Cendricc was born, I cleaned up, put on an adult diaper, no shame, as well as this softer elastic band waist trainer... I drank a Powerade, took 3 Tylenol and ate some Pizza Hut breadsticks lol. I stayed awake until I felt just tired, waiting on signs of possible hemmorrage or feeling faint/dizzy etc.

As I sat up rehydrating myself, I stared at my beautiful baby and immediately started Kegels. I could actually feel my muscles clenching down there, which I believe to be a great sign. With a few of my other births, I had to go through the motions believing I was doing them because I couldn't really feel it. Off to a good start!

The next morning, I did a shallow postpartum herbal bath soak. The more potent the better! I also took the picture above later on that day...I know I still look pregnant in that picture, but that's the wonderful real life way postpartum works lol!

I used my Peri bottle with warm water and the Peri Cleanse to help ease the pain of urinating/bowel movements. This helped SO much, I never want to be without this postpartum! By day 3 I knew I hadn't torn because I could pee without using the Peri bottle and it didn't burn.

I changed pads constantly. Everytime making sure to clean with the Peri bottle mixed with the postpartum healing herbs and oils.

My little boy 1 week old
My abs were SO sore my first week postpartum, and I had a painful pulling sensation. The area around my belly button was painful to even touch and coughing or sneezing hurt so much without a wrap on. I had to wear a belly wrap almost round the clock. I couldn't sit up or get out of bed unless I was strapped in. Zero core strength. I wore the black squeem waist trainer during the day and my soft elastic one at night, otherwise I couldn't even turn over in bed. I let my skin breath for an hour in the morning, and an hour in the evening. I also put coconut oil on my skin at these times.

I drank lots of water!! I also kept taking prenatal vitamins. Because of breastfeeding, I worked for a healthy well rounded diet, eating when I was hungry. Strict dieting will come later.

Week 1 postpartum down! It feels so good to be my own person again! Thank you for reading and please check in again as I work my way to getting back in shape after baby. Also, please feel free to leave comments or questions. Would love to hear from ya'll!

~Caroleena Kay

Thursday, July 28, 2016

My 4th Unassisted Home Birth

Last day being pregnant! I'm
188 pounds at 9months
I finally had my sweet baby boy. With God there in the room every step of the way, and my husband being the biggest most amazing support ever, we buckled down and I gave birth to my son Cendricc (pronounced Kendrick) Levi at home, unassisted, in our bathtub early morning of May 14th.

I'd like to walk you through it all. It wasn't easy. I had moments of fear and wanted to give up.

My body is odd when it comes to labor. A week before Cendricc was born, I had at least 3 false labor moments where I believe fear and a sense of not feeling ready stopped it from progressing. I tend to overthink and I've also found that I don't forget what it feels like to have a baby and this in and of itself chases labor away!

I knew I would feel most comfortable with him coming at night. The kids are in's just me and my's dark and quiet and I knew I'd feel more relaxed. Sure enough, Friday the 13th I started feeling contractions later on in the evening, around 6pm. Early on that day, I found I couldn't sit down on the couch, it put too much odd pressure on my insides, so I stayed sitting on a yoga ball when I wanted to rest.

My husband was at work until 10pm, so I busied myself taking care of the kids and baking cookies, not wanting to ask him to come home early due to the false alarms before. The contractions got progressively worse. At around 9pm, I put my 2 year old to bed and my 9 year old son asked me if I was okay. I had to breath through the contractions and couldn't hide it from him anymore. I told him he'd probably be meeting his new baby brother tonight!

After I sent him off to bed, I went upstairs to our bedroom and started cleaning the
My bathroom where I gave birth
bathroom in between contractions to keep my mind busy. I didn't want to stall the labor again. My husband came home and asked me for an update. I had to breath through a contraction before I could answer. His face changed and he said "This is the night, isn't it." I nodded.

Originally, I had bought a cheap blowup pool from Wal*Mart thinking I wanted to give birth downstairs, but now that I was in labor, I found I preferred the more cozy closed feeling of our bedroom and master bath. My husband Chris started lighting candles and brought his dinner and my yoga ball upstairs. It was now around 11pm.

For about the next hour or so, we just talked and enjoyed each others company, pausing while I worked through contractions. My sciatic nerve was throbbing through them and my pelvis ached as well. New sensations to me, never had this with the other 3.

I also felt the urge to switch it up a lot. After the ball for a bit, I leaned over it while he massaged my back. Then I got into a hot shower for a few contractions. Then back out to stand by the bed for a few. At around I think almost 1am, I went to the bathroom and discovered sitting on the toilet with my legs spread apart to be comfortable but also productive. Chris filled up the tub for me and I then transferred to the tub.

The contractions were intense, however, I noticed that they came further apart. The relief was wonderful in between but instinctively, I knew this was too good to be true. I wasn't progressing. I got back on the toilet and immediately felt Cendricc shift and felt a bearing down pressure. Not necessarily an urge to push, but just to let go and flow with it.

I won't lie, it hurt and took a lot for me to keep breathing through them, especially to breath in through my nose so Cendricc got the most oxygen. I also couldn't seem to settle on a position. "I need the yoga ball," I told Chris.

Again, instinctively, I felt I needed to lean over it, legs spread, and just relax into contractions as much as possible. The last time I felt the urge to lean over something was with my 2nd birth and the cord ended up being around his neck. Because of this, I calmly started talking to my husband about checking Cendricc the second he emerged. Chris grabbed the Heart and Hands book and started reading about what to do. I kept reaching down to make sure the cord hadn't slipped out already. I felt something wasn't 100% okay but no signs of anything being wrong either.

I felt mucus and saw a little bit of blood on the towel beneath me. With my last birth, this had been a sign he was coming in the next hour or so.

I stood up. Contraction hit and I couldn't stay silent. Chris came in and I put my arms around him through the next few. I looked up at him and remember saying I was scared and not sure I could do this. He told me I was doing wonderful and God would give me the strength to keep going.

At some point he set up the laptop in the bathroom and softly played Christian radio for encouragement. A candle was the only source of light in the bathroom. I remember looking at that candle and knowing just a little while longer and I'd look at it again while holding my son.

I moved to the tub. Contractions were serious and hard. Pelvic pain, sciatic nerve all compounded to be worse than the other 3, at least from what my memory told me. My husband sat on the ball right outside the tub and I grabbed his arm through the monstrous contractions, moaning and trying hard not to get loud or high pitched. The lower moan is much more productive for contractions, while the higher pitched you get, the worse the pain and the more the muscles tighten up making labor longer and harder.

Chris kept telling me not to fight it. Keep working hard, we were gonna see our baby boy soon. I knew I was fighting my body. It was so hard not to with the pain and fear...which looking back is what added to the pain of my labor.

I kept switching positions in the tub trying to find something that felt right. At one point, I turned and my legs were closer together. I felt my water break. I asked Chris to turn on the light real quick. He did and I looked down to see waters that weren't perfectly clear. They were slightly cloudy. I knew that wasn't the best scenario. My fear turned into determination: it was time for him to come.

I turned sideways in the tub, legs spread and started pushing with the bearing down feeling I got with every contraction. It wasn't long before I felt his head coming down. I pushed hard and felt on fire. I reached down thinking I had crowned his head out. Nope. It took me 3 long hard pushes to finally get his head out. I was sweating and breathing SO hard, trying to stay calm and breath through my nose. This was so much harder than my last one!

I felt his little head. Chris saw him and said "He's got a head full of hair! He's almost here." I felt a laugh/cry of relief as I got up on one knee. I pushed with the next contraction but nothing was happening. I pulled my body up straight, tucking my pelvis in, then lowered myself and I know I did like 3 other things while pushing and saying "He's gotta come now," as I pushed and wiggled my hips, spreading them as far apart as I could. I think he might have been stuck...but after lots of maneuvering, he popped out and slid gently into the water.

I immediately pulled him out and brought him to my chest, laying him on his side across my bosom. I started massaging his back and Chris grabbed the bulb syringe and I suctioned him out. We were both panting in the hot air, telling Cendricc to start crying. His eyes were open, his color was good. He sputtered and let out his first wail. We both laughed with relief, me crying as I gently pinched him and kept massaging him to keep crying.

Cleaned and dressed, almost 1 hr old
We cleaned him up a little in the tub while waiting for the cord to turn white before cutting it. It was about 25 minutes later before my husband cut his first cord ever! We clamped it and used cord cutting scissors this time around (which was easier than regular ones). I handed him off to my hubby to diaper and dress while I focused on passing the placenta and cleaning up.

Everything came out in a timely manner and intact. I cleaned up and put on an adult diaper with a loose nightgown and a soft elastic postpartum belly wrap. It felt so much better not to be pregnant! I took 3 Tylenol and drank a Powerade with some pizza breadsticks as I found myself kind of famished.

It was almost 4 in the morning, and after waking up the other boys to introduce them
to their new brother, Chris and I cuddled up in bed with Cendricc. I can't tell you how relieved and proud I was! It felt so good to just lay there and soak in my baby's beautiful little face.

I know after this time around, I really want to have some moral support from another female...or 2. I think it would've helped make me more comfortable during labor to have that female encouragement (not that my hubby didn't do an excellent job).

Cendricc was 8.8 pounds and 21 inches long.

I'd love to hear from you, so please don't hesitate to comment or ask questions! :)

Now for postpartum recovery and getting back into shape!

~Caroleena Kay