Friday, July 24, 2015

We'll Be Seeing You...

Dear Second Baby,

I haven't seen you yet. Your momma likes to limit ultrasounds to just what is needed, so I didn't get to see you as a tiny little bean around eight weeks like most pregnant women. It's torturous, not having a picture of you and tangible proof that you are there. Sure, I feel you kicking and rolling around in your temporary home. And of course, the breakouts and nausea remind me that you are there, but a picture makes it so real. So do the kicks. Feel free to kick it up anytime you want. I won't complain! You can even kick my bladder. I love the reminders and so does your dad! He didn't get to feel Shepherd that much, because he was a bit terrified by it all. But this time around, he gets it. He even told me the other day that when I was asleep, he put his hand on my belly and thought he felt you! I was about 16 weeks, so that would be way earlier than with your brother, if it's true!

We are so excited for this afternoon. I am beside myself anxious/giddy to see your little black and gray face. I'll be a few days shy of 19 weeks, but I couldn't wait until after our trip to see you! I haven't been able to sleep, knowing that it's so soon! They'll check to make sure you are developing just fine and they'll see if you are a sweet little boy or a precious little girl, but we won't know until Saturday.

Your aunts and Grandma are making us do a gender reveal and it's been trying my patience. I just want to know what you are! I want to be able to say "she's kicking the heck out of me!" or "he's pressing on my bladder and I need to pee ALL THE TIME!" Mostly, I want to give you a name (if your dad and I can ever agree on one.) and to tell your big brother that he is going to have either a little brother or sister around Christmas time. Instead of asking Shep, "Where is our baby?" and have him point to my belly, I'll get to ask "Where is your sister?" or "Where is your brother?".

But...I'll work through my impatience. I'll wait an extra seventeen hours so that we can all find out together. It will be special and will give you your own moment, just like your brother had his. This time, it's just going to be our immediate family - your grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. It'll be more intimate this way and less stressful on me. We are leaving to Oregon the next day so there is enough stress to go around!

I hope you know that I'm doing everything I can to give you the very best start on the day you decide to come (preferably near your due date or later - NOT earlier! Listen to your mother.) I'm making big changes so we can have a natural, easy birth. I want nothing more than for you to come into the world in a safe and welcoming environment. I'm praying and working towards a different start for us, baby, but no matter what, we are in it together. Pre-eclampsia or not, we'll make it work. It'll be worth it all to hold you and love on you.

Your dad and I will do anything we need to do for you to be happy, healthy and to thrive.

You are loved, our precious second! See you soon.

xoxo,

Momma

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Whole Health

I'm doing everything I can to get my nutritional needs and overall health in check in preparation for our second baby. Pre-eclampsia has a whole lot to do with malnutrition and stress, so those are two of the areas that I can focus on and see change in. I knew that I needed help though, so after speaking with my midwife, we decided that I would go see a new doctor that was a proponent of holistic healing and health through nutrition. He ordered a bunch of labs last week and I finally got blood drawn on Monday.

Why does this make me feel old? 


He put me on new prenatal vitamins and a fish oil supplement. He did some reflex testing and my liver didn't perform well so he suggested a supplement to help my liver function. (If you are looking for a fish oil supplement, I've been really pleased with this one. I haven't had any fishy burps which is a WIN in my book!) About a week and a half in I broke down and bought a pill box. I had to. I was carrying around three bottles in my purse and it was killing my back! I just got it Monday at CVS. It was less than $6 and it has a safety feature in case my boy gets a hold of it. I filled each day with an entire days rations of vitamins and I've been doing really well with remembering to take them! 

The new doc is a proponent of ZERO fast food from low-end places like Taco Bell, McDonalds, etc. More home-cooking with natural, non-GMO veggies and fruits. When he asked me what I usually eat, I said I typically have a small bowl of cereal in the morning and he said he'd rather I not start my day out with cereal, but maybe steak and eggs instead. (!!!) Aside from cowboys, who eats steak and eggs for breakfast?! Do cowboys even eat steak and eggs for breakfast? It sounded right in my head. Anyways, That is going to be tough. Every meal I should have one protein, two veggies and one fruit. Last week we didn't eat townfood once until we were out of town and even then, we made good choices. Monday for lunch I ended up having In-N-Out, but I would say their burgers are on the higher end of "fast food". Not healthy by any means, but better than a Big Mac... you get what I'm layin down?

Random Picture: Bryan fell asleep with his phone up like he was reading it. I was on my phone watching makeup tutorials and he started snoring. He's even in 'phone mode' when he sleeps!


Also, he wants me to incorporate less "new" wheat into my diet and more "old" wheat, which I can find on Amazon. "Old" wheat is the wheat of our ancestors, from 5000+ years ago. Anything within the past 5000 years is considered "new" and our bodies don't tolerate it as well. Of course, this means that "old" wheat is more expensive. It's so hard to eat naturally when you are poor. Seriously. I'm building a wishlist on Amazon so I can easily keep track of what I buy and if I like it so I don't waste money. 

I told him I was ready for a change and that I'll do what needs to be done for me and the baby. He asked me what my overall goal was and I didn't even hesitate when I said I wanted balance in my health and in my life. While I definitely don't want pre-eclampsia or a cesarean again, I also want to be healthy long term. I'm not just trying to skate away from pre-eclampsia, my goal is much bigger than that. I want to feel better, physically, spiritually, mentally. 

Getting to the doctor and getting some professional help as to how to tackle my physical health has been really freeing. It's hard to overhaul your life all by yourself and finding a doctor that doesn't want to just stuff pharmaceutical drugs down your throat was a game changer for me. It was honestly the most important step I had to take for this pregnancy, for this baby and myself.

I've also been getting incorporating other changes in my lifestyle to help with the stress. Once I figure out what works and what doesn't I'll be writing about those! I'm still in the trial phase so I'll keep you updated on how it goes! 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

A Weekend at the Coast

This post is late because we were at the coast this weekend! Bryan had a gig in Cayucos and SLO, so we didn't get back until late last night. I was just way too burned down to sit and recap the weekend so I was like... #yolo. Does anyone say that anymore? I'm thinking not.

Bryan's cousin-in-law, Brooke had her 40th birthday party on the beach in Cayucos and wanted Bryan as the entertainment! Everyone had such a great time and the weather was seriously perfect. Shepherd behaved for the most part and while it was tough chasing him around a large area with multiple fire pits and lots of s'more stakes it was a lot of fun.  



Bryan's uncle Steve took the picture above and I swiped it from Facebook. Sorry about the poor quality! I have such a hard time posting unflattering photos of myself but this is me, living my life. That involves unflattering photos. I've decided to just embrace it and enjoy the fact that we have a memory captured! 


There were three different fire pits in this area surrounded by chairs and they had put something (copper, maybe?) in the fire pit to make them glow green! I wish I could have taken a picture when it got dark, but I was on Shepherd duty and my phone was the last thing on my mind. The set up was really great though!


We stayed at our friends, Stan and Tammy's house in Los Osos. I love being with them. Their home just feels like home. They are wonderful, loving people and we adore them! Their backyard is so cute too! It started to rain in the middle of the night, with lots of lightning and thunder! It ended up raining until 2:00pm, just when we had to leave their house for Bryan's gig in SLO. He sounded so great!




Here is a little video clip from one of the mashups he does that I love!
A video posted by Megan Vickers (@meganlauriana) on
All in all, it was a great weekend. Beautiful weather, much needed rain and lots of family time! It doesn't get much better than that. Hope you all had a great weekend!!

xoxo,

Megan

Friday, July 17, 2015

The Second (Part 3)

I'm only 17 weeks along, but this pregnancy has already been so different from my last. Not only is my life vastly different from the chaos that it was when I found out I was pregnant with Shepherd, but Bryan and I have gotten into a better routine, our relationship is better and overall, less stressful. More than that, we're back in church, which has changed us and shaped us over the past year and the relationships we have in our lives are different. I suppose it's that time = wisdom thing, but I feel more optimistic about life then I did last time around. Last time, I felt less stable emotionally and mentally. I feel more grounded in truth and in life these days, and that helps. Especially when physically I've been feeling so horrible.


Symptoms
My overall mental health is much better this pregnancy, but I am also more moody and emotional this time around. I've cried and teared up about really dumb stuff. I go from 0-60 really fast, one minute I'm happy, the next I'm frustrated and then I'm crying. It's AWFUL. Pretty much everything Bryan says makes me want to punch something or cry. I am also ridiculously tired. I go to bed at 10:30pm and wake up at about 6:30am and by 4:00pm I need a nap to get through the rest of the day. An hour and a half will usually get me through without being a raging jerk. I toss and turn a lot at night but I haven't been waking up much to go to the bathroom yet, so that is nice while it lasts. Other than some severe nausea in my first trimester, I haven't experienced much more of that unless I let too much time pass before I eat something. 

 I've been obsessed with water, I must have it with me at all times and I tend to drink about 72-96 ounces a day. I seriously get panicked when I don't have it with me. I am turning into my mother. I didn't drink coffee during my first trimester but I have about 2oz of half caffeine coffee with 8oz of milk a day, lightly sweetened. I've had Java Heaven twice. I haven't had a Dr. Pepper or any soda other than Ginger Ale since I found out I was pregnant. I'll take little sips of Bryan's DP every once in a while, but other than that, I drink nothing but water or iced tea. The Shaken Black Iced Tea from Starbucks is amazing and Bryan has been making homemade sun tea which is bomb. I broke the sun tea jar on Tuesday and almost started crying. 

One thing I have "going" for me is that my appetite is almost nonexistent, so I've lost about 10 pounds. Unfortunately, that weight loss and water intake hasn't done much for my appearance because I look as haggard as I feel. I have been battling acne (for really the first time ever) and I feel the exact opposite of radiant. When I was pregnant with Shepherd, I felt beautiful. My hair was so voluminous and my skin totally clear. With this kiddo, I feel like I look sickly. The difference between the two pregnancies is like, the entire movie of Legally Blonde, where Reese Witherspoon looks gorgeous: 



Until the very last scene, that Reese had to re-shoot when she was in her first trimester and sick as a dog. There is a noticeable difference between the entire movie and this scene and the Harvard speech scene.

And that difference is the same difference with this pregnancy. I am sickly Elle Woods, not cute peppy gorgeous haired Elle Woods. Life is hard for the preggo people. 


Foods
I have been trying to stay away from bad foods/drinks and only treating myself here and there. My biggest weakness has been Milk Duds. I've never been a huge Milk Dud fan but for some reason, I'm all about them. I need to find a dark chocolate, healthier version. 

BLT sandwiches have also been a huge hit. Lots of tomato and lots of lettuce. Ah so good. I've been eating mostly beef, some pork. I was eating fish fairly regularly but I got a migraine and got sick. I haven't really wanted to eat it since then. Shrimp has been okay, but mostly I've been going for beef. Salads have also been huge. My favorite meal is the Round Table lunch buffet, get a big ol' salad with lots of varied veggies, and then a slice of pizza. So, so delicious. A blend of both worlds, bad pizza and a healthy salad. Most of my meals are really small and I've been having about four small meals and two snacks throughout the day. 

Now that I am in full on prevent pre-eclampsia mode, I've been watching my diet, eliminating bad foods and big news! I went and saw a new doctor. My midwife wanted to me to see him to get some extra support in the overall health and nutrition. 

On the grand scale of pregnancy symptoms, I feel like I got lucky both times. I still have a long way to go, so things could change, but overall, If I'm not throwing up every two seconds, I'll take whatever else this growing baby has to throw at me.

Names
We have had one boy and two girls names picked out forever. Since we got that positive test result, we have been trying to figure out a boys name. We haven't had any luck. Everything I like, he doesn't Everything he likes, I don't. I really wanted a name picked out by the time we knew what the gender is, but I don't see that happening. We might be the type of people who have to see the child to figure it out! Oh well. It sure was nice having two announcements ready for Shepherd. Bryan made two. One with the boys name and one with the girls. As soon as my mom announced that it was a boy, we immediately said his name and we posted it later on social media for our extended family. It was so fun. I suppose we will do the same thing with our girl name but just have 'Baby Boy Vickers' for the boy, until we figure it out. Hopefully we can come to a conclusion!

I'm so excited and so ready for this baby. I can't wait until December! 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Second (Part 2)

I immediately text my midwife. She said that they were planning to take December off, but they'd push it back to January because of course she wanted to be my midwife.

I needed to figure out what we were going to do. Concurrent care with a physician just in case I needed another cesarean? Follow the same process as last time? Plan for a cesarean?

There were some no-brainer no's to those questions. I was not going to have concurrent care. I was not going to schedule a procedure. I don't feel comfortable with any of those options and I shall not be labeled a "high risk" pregnancy because I'm not. I don't feel high risk and pre-eclampsia rears it's ugly head early enough that I will know the signs and so will my midwife, who I know will be extra attentive.

My plan of attack was the following:

- Focus on completing school.
- Survive the first trimester.
- Finish school.
- Research pre-eclampsia again.
- Freak out over having to pump for almost 11 months and having that be a possibility again.
- Get a high protein food plan together
- Freak out over the possibility of having another hospital birth
- Resolve to VBAC
- Stay positive about pre-eclampsia
- Chill the eff out.

Focus on completing school & Survive the first trimester
I was so incredibly nauseous in my first trimester. I felt like crap all the time, was in a super bad mood and my face was (is) breaking out like crazy. It became exceedingly clear that the baby did not like coffee, so ginger ale and water became my best friends. The few that knew about my pregnancy were sworn to secrecy and I didn't even really talk about it much. I tried to just deal with one thing at a time. If I started getting into pregnancy mode, then fighting SB277, working, schooling, mothering and wife-ing would all be too much. Pregnancy brain had to wait.

Finish School
I finished school with most of my classmates unaware that I was pregnant and my instructors completely in the dark. After I was done with Capstone, I felt comfortable telling people. I wanted people to talk to be about the course, not about babies. Once it was over and they knew, the questions started and I loved it. I'm glad I kept it on the DL.


I decided that I wouldn't announce it on any social media until I was done with the program and once I had the family picture of the four of us, I couldn't keep it in any longer! It was a great day to celebrate and announce our the new member to our family and Shepherd was stoked because he got Skittles before lunch. It was a happy day for all. 

Research pre-eclampsia again. / Freak out over having to pump for almost 11 months and having that be a possibility again. / Get a high protein food plan together / Freak out over the possibility of having another hospital birth / Resolve to VBAC / Stay positive about pre-eclampsia

I'll be honest and say that I have a good chance of having pre-eclampsia again. It's about a 70% chance, so my odds aren't great. However, there are a lot of factors that trigger pre-eclampsia and some of them are in my control, so what is, I will give my best shot in handling. I'll also be honest in saying that while I accept my odds and I am doing what I can to minimize them, there is also fear. I don't want another birth like I had last time. This time, I want to birth my way. I want to experience natural childbirth and a natural recovery.

So, I'm trying to eat better when I feel well enough to eat. Some days I just don't feel good. I don't want to eat much and there are days that I feel great so I try to make good choices on those days. I'm trying not to stress out over it because that's another trigger. I feel that I have a healthy balance of caring about my end result but also not riling myself into a tizzy over food.

I think this time, my breastfeeding journey will be different. I don't want to pump again but I will if I have too. I did it before and I'll do it again. But this time, I want better. For myself, for my baby, for my pregnancy, for my body. I plan to be way more prepared for breastfeeding and now that I know about lip/tongue ties, I think I can make it happen.

I am a good candidate to VBAC and so that is the plan. Even if I don't have my home birth, even if I have pre-eclampsia, I felt in control of every decision Bryan and I made along the way in our first birth and if I have to do the entire 40 hour labor all over again to try to VBAC, I will. If it ends with the same result, well.... there are worst things. I'm comfortable with the decisions I made during birth last time. I gave a vaginal birth a hell of a shot, but shit happens. And it may happen again this time. I'm ready for the journey, wherever it takes me.

THAT SAID.

I will still plan my home birth. I will still set myself up for success. I can't control everything but I what I can do, I'm doing.

I'm so happy for this baby. I can't wait to know if it's a boy or a girl. I can't wait to feel the strong kicks and get a belly. I long for those quiet moments with precious baby noises and cuddles. The awkward smiles and the giggles. I'm blissfully happy. My situation isn't "ideal" but it's mine and it's beautiful. This baby is wanted and loved.

This baby will also never live down the fact they have caused horrible acne breakouts, super tired/cranky/moody days (poor Bryan) and go the longest period of my life without coffee - TWO WHOLE MONTHS. I mean jeesh! Give Mom a break, kiddo. A Portuguese girl without coffee is like a beach without the ocean.

Super weird and a tad frightening.

Monday, July 13, 2015

The Second (Part 1)

Whew! I have been a busy girl. Work has been intense and every day last week I came home and worked on blog stuff! I'm still trying to figure out a schedule for blogging and incorporate more videos, so thanks for sticking with me during the transition!

If you watched this video, you know that we are expecting a baby in December. We are super excited and the timing could not be better. I'm so happy to have a winter baby! With Shepherd, it quickly became too hot for us to baby-wear. I would be sweating like crazy and so would he, and it just wasn't good for us. I wore him a lot when we went to movies but outside of that, it was miserable for us both! 

This baby has an estimated arrival of December 23, so it'll be nice and cool for 4 or 5 months (hopefully) so we'll get lots of baby-wearing time in. I'm jumping the gun though, lets go back to the beginning! 

I found out I was pregnant on April 25, a mere 17 days after my boys two year birthday and the first day of my last period was March 18 (about 39 days prior to taking the test). I found out really early and it was totally by accident. Bryan and I had been not trying/not preventing, as we do, and prior to finding out, I was coming down with a sinus infection. I wasn't eating much and just generally felt like crap. That Saturday, we went to a yard sale for some church friends that were moving to New Zealand (follow their recent journey here) and I, as I am wont to do, picked up a coffee on the way. Because...duh.

The problem was that, the coffee was not doing it for me. The longer we were there the worse I felt. I was getting super ticked because Bryan just kept talking and talking and I kept giving him the "wife look" and he ignored me. It was raining that day so I took Shepherd outside and he jumped in puddles while I just tried to stay calm and not hit Bryan over the head. Finally he was done and we decided to go to breakfast at Ryan's Place.

Except, all of a sudden, I was not hungry. I was feeling worse. I was a bit dizzy and disoriented. I thought maybe I had a fever. I tried to eat a little of Shepherd's fruit but I was green. I wanted to go home fast. When they were done, we left and booked it home. I went straight to use the restroom with the plan to get in bed immediately after. When I walked in, I saw the Dollar Store pregnancy tests right on the shelf and was like, hmm.. why not.

I honestly figured it would be negative. I was sick, not pregnant. After all, I'd been pregnant before. This was not pregnant. But there, on my counter, shown by the cheapest pregnancy test you could possibly buy, was a very, very faint, second line.

Finding out this time was not unlike finding out last time. Bryan was on the couch, and there were no children around because Bry had just put Shepherd down. I walked into the living room, just as I did with Shepherd, and I said, "There is another line. It's faint. I think I'm pregnant." And Bryan sat there, disbelieving. He didn't say much of anything, other than, "I don't think you're pregnant."

I texted a picture to my sisters and was like A SECOND LINE IS A SECOND LINE RIGHT? ITS FAINT. DOES IT COUNT? And my oldest sister, Alison sent back a resounding yes. She then picked up a digital, more reliable test and it flashed pregnant within seconds. I was pregnant.

A super unflattering picture of a sick Megan,
who just found out she's for real pregnant. 4.25.15


It didn't take long for me to spiral. I was in the last leg of my program.

I went from incredulous to overwhelmed in .2 seconds. I was in SCHOOL. I was in school, and growing a baby. I couldn't have stress. School is stressful. Growing a human is stressful. This pregnancy needed to be stress-free so I didn't get pre-eclampsia again. I NEEDED TO NOT HAVE PRE-ECLAMPSIA AGAIN.

But I couldn't change that I was in school, that I was stressed, or what I was still fat. I was pregnant. I needed a plan.

Stay turned for part 2!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

A Tale of Two Razors (A Random Review)

Hi all! I'll be on a consistent schedule soon, but I'm still trying to get into the swing of "normal" life after school. The summers are my craziest time of year and this summer is no exception.

I randomly have a review on razors today and I decided to do a video! I've mentioned that I want to incorporate more video, so this is the first step. We'll see how it goes. Be gentle. ;) Also, this video contains a little special announcement - so if you didn't know already, make sure you watch!!

If you like my video, make sure to give me a subscribe on YouTube and a thumbs up! It helps me out so much and is also super encouraging. Let me know if there is any content you'd like to see from me and I'll see what I can do! I'm open to feedback.

Enjoy!





ps. Take a shot every time I say 'like' and you'll be blasted in no time! ;)