Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Name: Brielle Riann

Just a short post about the name we chose for our second daughter :)

Brielle Riann Miller

Brielle: Meaning: "God is my strength." While the name Brielle has a lovely meaning, we honestly just chose it because we liked the name :) I had made a lovely long list of names I liked and Ben looked it over and chose a few that he liked. But he didn't love any of them. So then I went and looked at different websites to see if I might find a name we hadn't yet considered... and I found Brielle. I asked Ben if he liked it, and he did. And thus, around 18 weeks, we decided on a girl name... Brielle!

Riann: Sophie's middle name is Darlyne, which is my middle name and my mom's first name. Since we honored my mom with Sophie's middle name, we wanted to honor Ben's mom with Brielle's middle name. Ben's mom's name is Lori Ann... I didn't love Brielle Lori or Brielle Ann though. So I got creative, and combined the two and took off the L and O... and waa-laa, we had Riann.

Miller: Oh, she just got stuck with that as her last name. No choice :)

Brielle's Birth Story

Brielle Riann’s Birth Story

Born: January 25, 2013

Time of Active Labor: 4 hours

            I had my 39-week appointment (one day early) on Thursday, January 24 in the afternoon. The midwife checked me and said I was 4cm dilated! I was excited because this meant I was almost half-way done with dilation already, and I hadn’t even had any real contractions! While some women hang out at 4cm for several weeks, I felt fairly certain that I would be having a baby before my due date.
            I went home that night and went into crazy nesting mode, knowing I didn’t have long left. I got the house cleaned, did laundry, washed the carseat cover finally… and then laid down to bed at 11:30. I didn’t sleep well, but I hadn’t been sleeping well for the whole week prior as I constantly felt a lot of pressure down low.
            Around 4:00am on Friday, January 25, I realized I was having contractions, and by 4:30, I decided I wasn’t going to be able to go back to sleep. The contractions weren’t awful, and they were fairly inconsistent, but along with the low pressure, I wasn’t able to sleep. Ben woke up at 5:30, and I had gone back to bed for a few minutes to see if I could sleep (which I couldn’t). I told him to keep his phone on him at work because I was having contractions and thinking that we might be having a baby that day.
            I got up at 6, when Ben left for work, and began making sure everything was packed. Sophie woke up early at 6:30… she must have heard me, but I didn’t mind. I wanted to enjoy her since I thought it’d be the last day with just her. I called mom then, and she came down at 9 as she was going to take Sophie. I also had called Ben, and he was planning to be home at 10. My contractions were still fairly inconsistent. They were coming between 7-11 minutes apart for the most part, and they were between 20-40 seconds long. They didn’t hurt much, but I did have to breathe through them a little.
            When Ben got home at 10, Mom left, taking Sophie to her house. I called the birth center, and they told me to wait until my contractions were a little longer in length and then to call back. I was worried because I was already 4cm dilated, we live 45 minutes from the birth center, and I was Group B Strep positive which meant I needed time to get antibiotics into me. At the same time, I didn’t want to get there and it be false labor. So we waited.
            I realized they were starting to get further apart, and I decided I needed to do something to take my mind off of the contractions. So Ben and I went to Walmart and Aldi to get groceries and roamed around Lowes as well.  They continued to become further apart. When we got home, we took a nap. During the two hour nap, I only had three contractions, so I figured all of the contractions had just been false labor.
            I got up at 4pm. My friend Abbey and I had been trying to get ahold of each other all day, so I called her around 4:15, and she picked up. I had just started noticing I was having contractions again, and so I paid attention to them while I talked to her. I realized they were coming about 3 minutes apart, and they were feeling more intense. I mentioned it to Abbey, but I wanted to make sure they were going to stick around, so we talked for 20-30 minutes. By time I hung up, I felt sure that we should head to the birth center. I called in, and the midwife agreed that I should come. Ben and I grabbed our things, and by 5pm we were on our way. I texted my sister, Nikki, who was coming along to help at the birth.
            At this point, I was a little worried about getting there in time to get the antibiotics, and I also was bummed that I had to go through contractions three minutes apart that were getting more intense while strapped in the front seat of the van. I was glad, however, that they were progressing, and it seemed like this was the real deal. We got to the birth center at 5:50pm. We dropped our things, and I the midwife set up the bed for me. She then checked my temperature and my blood pressure. She checked my dilation, and I was at 6cm (I had been guessing 7cm), so I was glad to hear that I was definitely in labor and progressing but wondered how long I would have to go through contractions that were close together, and they were certainly only getting more intense.
            My midwife, Julia, began setting up the IV in order to give me the antibiotics for the Group B Strep. I labored through a few contractions standing up, and I breathed a sigh of relief when each contraction was gone. When Julia was ready, I climbed into the bed, and she looked at my veins and commented on how tiny they were. Everyone always comments about my small veins, and whenever I have had to have an IV put into me, the first attempt is almost always messed up, so I expected that. Unfortunately, I didn’t expect nearly an hour of it. Julia ended up calling the backup midwife, Tina, and even though Tina had worked years in the ER, she struggled as well to get a vein, and they ended up going to the OBGYN office across the driveway (where I had all of my prenatal appointments) to get a smaller needle. By time they finally were able to get the IV in, I think I had been poked around 7 or 8 times. Thankfully, needles don’t bug me. Laboring in bed for an hour was difficult though. I breathed through some pretty heavy contractions that came every 1-3 minutes during that hour. At this point though, I was just so thankful the antibiotics were going in. While the baby contacting the Group B Strep from me is fairly uncommon, it was just one less thing I had to worry about.
            She checked my dilation once the IV was in, and I was hoping she’d say 8cm. I was surprised when she told me I was in transition, and that I was over 9cm dilated. Transition definitely was feeling more bearable than with Sophie (but, of course, don’t get me wrong- it was painful and took a lot of concentration and controlled breathing).
            Once the antibiotics were all in, I was able to get up from the bed, and my plan was to get in the birthing tub. I had already communicated with the midwives that I wanted to get in, and since I was close to pushing, it was good timing. I had been feeling pressure during my contractions while the antibiotics were dribbling their way into me and was really wanting my water to break. By time I got in the water, I was feeling stronger pressure and realized that I was beginning to feel the need to push. With Sophie, I never felt the need to push (I just had to push each time I had a contraction), so it was such an odd sensation to not only feel like I needed to push, but also to not be able to control the pushing. It was 7:25pm by time I got in the water. The midwife called the birthing assistant as well as having Tina come back because she was afraid the birthing assistant might not get there in time. This was encouraging for me to hear, but I was still remembering pushing for 3.5 hours with Sophie and wasn’t going to get my hopes up that it would go too quickly.
            At 7:30, my water broke. At 7:37 Julia checked me and told me I was complete and could push (I was glad because I already was feeling the need to do so). I pushed whenever I felt the need to, and I could feel progress each time. While I hated pushing, I was so encouraged that I knew she was coming much faster than Sophie did. At 7:59pm on January 25, 2013, I pushed out a beautiful baby girl.! She weighed 7 lb 7oz and was 20 ¼ inches long. I was able to enjoy holding her in the bathtub for half an hour. Delivering at the birth center was truly a peaceful and enjoyable experience. Welcome to the world, Brielle Riann!

(Thanks to Nikki for taking many of these pictures)

Extra Thoughts:
- I had a very enjoyable hospital birth, overall, with Sophie. But I loved the birth center! Now that I’ve had a baby at a birth center, I never want to go back to a hospital!
- I feel very grateful that my babies come when they do. Sophie came just one day after her due date, and Brielle came exactly one week early. With wanting to deliver naturally, I’d be willing to wait two weeks after my due date if I had to, but thankfully I haven’t had to.
- Second babies rock as far as the labor aspect goes- much faster!
- I’m glad I got to deliver in the water. It was a very neat experience. While pushing is never enjoyable, I think doing it in the water made it a little less awful (oh, and probably that it was 3 hours shorter this time helped too).
- Nursing is going WONDERFULLY! I really struggled with getting Sophie to latch in the beginning and ended up having to use a nipple shield. I am so thankful that Brielle is latching really well (and did right from the beginning!) and swallowing well. Of course, it’s still a bit painful, but it’s so much less stressful knowing she’s getting good feedings. (And good feedings = better sleep).
- Sophie is doing well so far. She’s definitely shown some signs of jealousy, but she also has gotten excited about the baby a few times. She was very confused at first when we told her that Brielle was the baby in my belly and that now she was out. She stared at the baby and my belly for a long time and then said, “Stuck… all done!” (She used to always say the baby was stuck). I know adjusting is going to be a little rough on her, but I’m also excited to watch her experience all of this.

For Sophie's Birth Story, Read Here

Monday, January 21, 2013

Comparison Belly Pictures

For those interested in seeing comparison shots of my pregnancies... the top pictures are from when I was pregnant with Sophie and the bottom is this pregnancy. Both are at 38 weeks. The funny thing is, I think I look bigger in the bare belly picture with this pregnancy (some of it is probably the shadow on the wall that makes me look bigger), and I think I look bigger in the "shirt" picture with Sophie! I technically think I'm actually similar in size, but just a little bigger this time (based on weight gained). I do think by pictures that it looks like I dropped earlier this time, but I don't have a dramatic drop like some women do, so it's hard to tell. My guess is that I'll have a high 7 pound baby (Sophie was 7lb 5oz), but we'll all find out soon!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Baby Miller #2 [38 Weeks]

Sickness: My heartburn has actually been better for the past two weeks, although I still do get occasional bouts of it. Midwife said the heartburn could be better because she's dropped some.

Movement: She still pokes out a lot, but she's definitely getting more squished inside. Her head is REALLY low now, so I feel hiccups and pressure down really low. The last two days she has been pushing her foot out CREEPILY far. You know in movies or TV shows sometimes how there is sometimes a mouse that is creeping under a carpet and you can follow it's movement under the carpet even though you obviously can't see the mouse itself? That's what I feel like her foot is doing under my skin. At my last two appointments, my midwives (two different ones) have said, "WOAH, hello baby!" as soon as they touch my belly, so apparently they think that this little girl is active and defined as well.

Pain: I'm having some braxton hicks, but nothing very serious, and I haven't had any of the tightening contractions that I remembered having all over my stomach while laying in bed during the last week or two while being pregnant with Sophie. I do get some heavy pressure down low that sometimes makes me gasp a little, but it's not really painful so much as uncomfortable and surprising.

Other Symptoms: I still have the bloody nose stuff, although it seems like it may be a little better. I also had an appointment yesterday where I learned that I am 2cm dilated, 80% effaced, and baby girl's head is REALLY low (they couldn't feel her head from the outside ... could only tell when they did the cervical check). So my body is definitely gearing up for labor, but now it's just the waiting game to see how long it's going to take to "gear up."

Weight Gain: I weigh 150 now! I've gained quite a bit more with this baby than with Sophie, but I'm only a couple of pounds more than my end weight with her, so it'll be interesting to see if she weighs more at birth or not.

Other Thoughts: I found out I'm Group B Strep positive again with this pregnancy. It's not a big deal- just means they have to administer medicine into me as soon as I get to the birth center to keep the baby from getting it (they'll do this through a hep lock IV, so I won't have to be hooked up to anything). 
In the last couple of weeks, I have been getting lots of things done for the baby. I have gotten things set up for the baby, Ben and I have rearranged things, I've frozen some meals, and I have a lot of my hospital bag packed. I'm feeling mostly ready for this baby to come!
I'm excited about meeting this baby, but I don't get super anxious at the end to be done with the pregnancy like some women do. Between weeks 33 and 37, I get somewhat anxious and hope the baby will come early, but then once I hit 37 weeks I start to freak out some and don't mind waiting. This time, I'm particularly getting a little sad that Sophie won't be our only baby anymore, and so I want to enjoy all these last precious moments with her and not wish them away. I also am not extremely uncomfortable, so I don't mind waiting. I also try to take advantage of the wonderful sleep I'm getting as I know I will soon have less sleep and less time to get things done. I also usually schedule quite a few things at the end of pregnancy so that I'm keeping busy and not just sitting at home, thinking about the baby and being bored (wait, I'm a mom to a toddler now... who has time to be bored?). All that to say... I'm excited for this little girl to come, but I'm fine waiting too as well.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

From Baby to Little Big Girl

It's hard to believe that this little girl...

has turned into this little big girl...

I don't spend a lot of time being sad about Sophie getting bigger and older because I love every stage with her, and really, I love her more with each new stage. But if I think too much about it, I can be a little sad. Lately, with the new baby coming soon, we have had a list of things we have wanted to do to transition Sophie.

1. Move her to a big girl bed
2. Get rid of the pacifier
3. Potty train

We planned to wait until we got back from our trip to Papua New Guinea before making any changes, as heading to PNG would be transition enough for Sophie. Then we also needed to wait until Christmas was over. The only problem is that that gave us about 5 weeks. 

We decided to switch to the big girl bed first. We had to move things around anyways with new Christmas toys and moving in little newborn baby things, so we took down the crib and put up the twin bed. We moved out toys Sophie had outgrown and set up her new fun toys. Daddy bought her fun new minnie mouse sheets and added a bedrail. So now, this is what her room looks like... 

So how did she transition to the big girl bed? Wonderfully! She only tried to get out of the bed once- when I put her down for her nap on the 2nd day in the bed - she was told twice to stay in the bed (the second time with a spanking), and she's stayed in bed every other time. She seems to like her big girl bed, and she seems to understand well that she doesn't get out of it without mommy or daddy getting her (unless it's morning and it's light out- the other morning she slept in until almost 9am!!! (she's getting over a cold - that's not usual), and she woke up the same time Ben got up. Ben heard her getting up, so he headed to her room, and she was climbing out of her bed and heading toward her fan. She turned it off, then turned around and saw Ben and said, "All done!" It was the cutest thing).

The paci was next. I was dreading taking away the pacifier. It's been a life-saver way too many times, and I was imagining hell on earth when we took it away. Well, she was sick, so I figured we had to wait until she was at least done being sick. Ben thought differently. He said, "Why don't we just take it away now since she's not sleeping as well anyway." I thought it was a terrible idea, but I told him that as long as he would get up with her too in the night, that if he really wanted to, we could. So Tuesday, January 1 was the big day. Ben cut off the tip of her paci. She was so sad right away. She tried putting it in her mouth once and then never would even try after that. She would whine for her paci or hand it to me and say, "No" in a sad voice. The first couple nights it took her a while to fall asleep- up to 40 minutes. She fussed on and off those nights, and really, her cough that she had is what made it worse because she would almost fall asleep, and then her cough would wake her up again and she'd fuss. The first night she slept in our bed for half the night. 

The first nap was the worst. She refused to nap (well, she fell asleep, but then coughed 10 minutes later and wouldn't go back to sleep). She was so cranky. Finally, around 4pm, she fell asleep on daddy while watching a TV show. 

Every other day has gone well! She's fussed for less than 10 minutes for every nap and bedtime since then, and she's slept in her own bed until morning. She also doesn't ask for her paci anymore. So 3 days of success now! Feeling optimistic that we are on the uphill. I thought it would be much worse, so I'm feeling thankful. (And I'm thankful that Ben just made us do it and take away the paci- I probably would have tried to push it off forever.)

Potty training is our last thing to tackle. She's gone on the potty, but nothing consistent. I actually thought this would be the first thing I would tackle months ago when I started thinking about all of this, but I'm feeling much less motivated in this area than I thought I would. It would be wonderful to only have one in diapers and not two, but I'm also 36 weeks pregnant and not feeling super motivated to be on top of potty training. So we'll see if it happens before Baby Girl comes or not.

Overall, Ben and I are so thankful for little big girl Sophie. She is such a blessing to our lives and she really is a good girl. My mom likes to tell me that this means the next one will be a terror. I know we'll love our next little girl for whoever she is, but I really wouldn't mind another one like Sophie :)

Friday, January 4, 2013

Baby Miller #2 [36 Weeks]

Sickness: Continuing to have heartburn. Otherwise, feeling pretty good in this category. 

Movement: She still loves to poke her body out, and she particularly likes to poke her leg and foot out on my left side. I feel her hiccup down low which makes me so glad she's staying head down! I feel her the most at night when trying to go to sleep (go figure). 

Pain: I'm still not really having pain. I haven't had braxton hicks contractions yet. I did have this weird pain right under my right breast while at the end of my pregnancy with Sophie, and I always thought it was her foot or something lodged in a rib until I went in for NST (non stress test) at 40 weeks pregnant. Everytime I had that feeling (it's not very painful- it's more like a weird numbing feeling), the screen said I was having a contraction. So it must somehow be related to me starting contractions! But anyways, I started having that same feeling in the same spot this past week.  I also am feeling a lot more pressure down low, especially when I first wake up in the morning... it's not so much painful though as it is uncomfortable.

Other Symptoms: I've had the bloody nose thing for a couple of weeks now. It happened at the end of my pregnancy with Sophie too. Mostly it just gets bad overnight, but my nose feels dry all the time.

Weight Gain: I'm at 146 now, so I'm up 26 pounds. I think my end weight with Sophie was 148, so I'll be close to the same.

Weird Interesting Fact: So I never had any cravings with Sophie or with this one, but I feel like this could be considered a craving since it's weird. I've had this weird desire to eat snow when I see it (which I never do when not pregnant) or to chew on ice when it's in my cup (which I never usually do). I suppose this "craving" started right before coming home from PNG- I was sitting one day in the 110 degree heat, thinking about how we would be coming home to snow, and I thought, "hmm, I would like to eat some snow right now" (not surprising, since I was sweating and hot). But now I'm home, in the cold weather, and I want to eat snow and chew on ice whenever I see it. I suppose it's not a bad thing- since snow and ice are ultimately water, and I never drink as much water as I should... but it's just so funny to me because I think I finally know what a craving is like.