meet nella

Nella Joy
October 04, 2016
2:09 pm
6 pounds 5 ounces
19.25 inches long

I feel like I’ve been waiting to write this post forever… even though our sweet girl actually surprised us all by being two weeks early!

She is absolutely perfect in every way.img_20161005_110215-01-02 I’ve once again been struck with that overwhelming, tear-jerking love that only a mother can feel for her child. She has already filled our home and hearts with so much joy._mg_5776

She was a missing piece to our family puzzle, and I’m so grateful that she arrived here safe and sound. Our older girls are completely infatuated with her, and love holding and kissing her all day long.img_20161005_140722I feel closer than ever to my little family, and I’m so especially grateful for my sweetheart, who cared for and supported me during this whole journey of pregnancy and birth. We had a long, but beautiful, labor and delivery, and I’m healing so well. Nella is strong and healthy, and we even got to come home from the hospital early.

We are so very blessed.

baby #3: 37 weeks

(written September 29th)37weeksBaby’s size: We had our growth scan this week, and the ultrasound technician estimated her to be around 6 pounds 2 ounces. However, her disclaimer was that she personally usually overestimates size, so her real guess is that the baby will be about that weight at delivery. This puts her in the 20th percentile, so she’s where she needs to be, just on the smaller side.

Funny enough, we had a scan with Kaelyn at 36 weeks, and she supposedly weighed 6 pounds 2 ounces too. Obviously, she came out a bit smaller!

Maternity clothes?: Yeah.

Gender: Sweet baby girl!

Symptoms: Still some sciatica, but usually only at the end of the day.

Labor signs: I think I’ve been having some contractions when I’m running… There’s just so much tightness and pressure! I should obviously know what they feel like by now, but sometimes it’s hard to tell. The first time I felt one, it almost felt good… I’m ready for my body to start working toward getting my baby here. I haven’t had my cervix checked, so I have no idea if I’m dilated or effaced at all.

Sleep: I wake up several times at night, and I’m always up before my first alarm these days. I absolutely need a nap in the afternoon, otherwise it’s really hard to make it through the day. I’m really hoping that this baby will take good naps, or that I suddenly have so much more energy once she’s born…

Movement: She is still wild and crazy, but I think she’s slowing down a little. There’s just not too much room left for her to dance.

Cravings: None.

What I miss: Not feeling humongous!

Anything making you queasy or sick?: I’ve had a few nauseous moments, but definitely nothing serious. I actually want to eat (which is something I haven’t felt for most of this pregnancy), so it’s almost strange to have an appetite again!

Belly Button in or out?: Flat and sometimes poking out.

Exercising?: Ran 19.9 miles. Fitbit total: 77,759 steps.

Mood: I got to see my favorite midwife (who delivered Kaya!) at my 37-week appointment this week, and her optimism really put my mind at ease. She’s so supportive of natural birth (i.e. no painkillers), so while she does want me to come to the hospital as soon as my water breaks due to the Group B strep, she told me to do whatever I need to to feel as comfortable as possible (especially since this could mean I labor at the hospital for much longer than I’d hoped). I’m planning on bringing essential oils, my own blanket and pillow, music, snacks and my water bottle, and my own lamp. I’m praying she’s the midwife on call when I deliver!

Best moment this week: Seeing this little girl at our ultrasound and hearing that she’s a good size, her organs look healthy, and amniotic fluid levels are in normal range. Also… seeing this beautiful little face made my day! It’s not the best picture (and it was easier to see her in person), but I already love those squishy cheeks and her sweet little nose. She reminds me a whole lot of Kaya as a baby… but I guess we’ll know who she looks like for sure in a few weeks!37weekultrasound_face

Looking forward to: My in-laws visiting this weekend, General Conference, and maybe taking the kids pumpkin picking this weekend.

Big sisters: Somehow, Kaya still insists on her middle name being “Sunshine”. We’ve already jokingly been calling her “Baby Sunshine”, so we’ll see if that nickname sticks once she’s born. Her real name actually has a meaning that has to do with light, so it almost kind of goes together! Haha.

Comparison: 37 weeks with Kaya; 37 weeks with Kaelyn.

baby #3: 36 weeks

36weeksBaby’s size: Around 6 pounds and 19 inches long. Every book/app seems to say something different, so I try to go with whatever the most average measurements are. However… I had my 36-week appointment, and my fundal height measured at 31-32 weeks. Suddenly I’m four to five weeks behind? I’m scheduled for a growth ultrasound this coming week, so hopefully we’ll get a good look at her actual size.

Maternity clothes?: Yep. I’m hoping I can still wear tees and shorts for these last few weeks (I have maternity jeans, but no long sleeves). I’m okay with the fall weather waiting to get here until I can fit into my jackets and sweaters again.

Gender: Sweet baby girl!

Symptoms: Still some sciatica. It seems to strike out of nowhere, and it doesn’t seem to matter if I’ve been sitting or standing for most of the day.

Sleep: I wake up a lot at night, but when I’m sleeping, it’s actually pretty good-quality shut-eye. I dream about holding her almost every night, and I had another dream about what she looked like this week. I’m holding on to that image of her sweet, chubby cheeks and big beautiful eyes as I get through these last few weeks of pregnancy.

Movement: Still lots! Her movements are getting more painful though.

Cravings: None.

What I miss: Just having running/getting around being easier.

Anything making you queasy or sick?: I’ve mostly felt good this week!

Belly Button in or out?: Flat and sometimes poking out.

Exercising?: Ran 19.9 miles, walked 1 mile. Fitbit total: 76,842 steps. Somehow it seems like I need a bathroom break after the first mile of running, but after that, I’m usually good for another 2-3 miles. I’m still not sore or in any pain when I’m running, which amazes me, because I think I had some serious hip pain with my other babies by this point. I think the support belt and better shoes have a whole lot to do with it.

Mood: Phew. I have been pretty emotional about everything this week. More details on that below.

Best moment this week: Taking Kaya out on her real birthday and celebrating her!

Looking forward to: Seeing this little girl at our ultrasound this week, and hopefully hearing that she is growing well in there.

Big sisters: They practically squabble over who gets to kiss my belly first/for the longest amount of time. They love this little baby so much. I can’t wait for them to kiss her for real when she arrives!

Comparison: 36 weeks with Kaya; 36 weeks with Kaelyn. Same shirt, same weight, such different bellies!comparison36weeksbaby3

Anything else?: Since my fundal height measured 4-5 weeks behind, I have a growth ultrasound this coming week. One of the midwives warned me that if the baby is under the tenth percentile for size, they’d discuss inducing at 37 weeks. I know that is a big “if”, but it has made me so nervous! Induction is something I’d like to avoid, but I also just want to know my baby is okay.

I also found out this week that I tested positive for Group B streptococcus (GBS), so that complicates my hope for an unmedicated birth a bit. I really would have liked to labor at home for as long as possible, but I need to get there at least four hours before she’s born to receive the required antibiotics. It just makes things a little trickier.

baby #3: 35 weeks

35weeksBaby’s size: About 5.25 pounds and somewhere around 19 inches long.

Maternity clothes?: Yes yes yes! Also, I really love the dress I’m wearing in this week’s picture!

Gender: Girl!

Symptoms: I’ve started noticing a bit of mild sciatica this week. I seem to always get it around this time with all my pregnancies. Sometimes, my legs just feel a little tingly, other times, I have sharp pain shooting down my leg (usually my left). It’s been interesting going up and down the stairs with this going on (we didn’t have stairs in our old apartment, so this is a new challenge)!

Sleep: I’m taking naps any time I can! I have hard time winding down for bed, but eventually I pass out and usually sleep pretty well. I had a dream about this little girl’s cute face this week- I can’t wait to see what she really looks like!

Movement: She is still pushing as hard as she can on me most of the time, but it does seem like her movements are getting a little less crazy due to her running our of room in there. I’ve had a few people joke that this baby girl is going to be a runner, since she’s so active.

Cravings: Pumpkin bread? I haven’t made any yet, but I’ve been thinking about it for at least a month.

What I miss: Just being comfortable and moving around more easily.

Anything making you queasy or sick?: This has been the best week in a while! I still wake up a little nauseous, but it’s been better.

Belly Button in or out?: Flat and sometimes poking out. Kaya asked me what happened to my belly button this week when I told her it has disappeared!

Exercising?: Ran 17.8 miles (I missed a run due to feeling sick)… Fitbit total: 62,727 steps. Running is starting to feel difficult, and I suddenly have this desire to stay close to home and not go too far down the trail. I also can’t seem to run more than 3 miles before I need to stop for a bathroom break!

Mood: Whew. I’ve experienced a whole range of emotions this week. I’m moved to tears so easily and I think hormones are mostly to blame!

Best moments this week: Taking family pictures, celebrating Kaya’s birthday, and seeing family.

Looking forward to: I’m getting close to finishing her blanket! I will be so relieved

Big sisters: They both run to me to kiss the baby goodnight. Kaya has been excited that the baby is coming so soon, since we’ve been telling her this entire time that she’s supposed to come out sometime after her birthday party.

Comparison: 35 weeks with Kaya; 35 weeks with Kaelyn.

Anything else?: I washed the car seat and the newborn clothes this week! Folding those teeny tiny onesies makes me feel so excited and nervous, all at the same time. Babies start out so very tiny! It’s just easy to forget that my kids were ever so small.

a PinkBlush Maternity review!

I was so excited when PinkBlush contacted me to ask if I’d like to review an item from their maternity clothes line. I had already been looking for a dress to use for our family photos (without much luck), so their offer came at the perfect time!_mg_5058

Honestly, I had a hard time choosing something, just because they have so many seriously gorgeous maternity dresses. After much debate, flipping through dress pictures, and asking Michael for his opinion about a hundred times, I chose this dress! This is my first-ever maxi dress, so I was a little worried about the fit, but the company’s measurement chart is true-to-size. This dress couldn’t be any more perfect!_mg_5016

It’s made of a soft, high-quality fabric that will stand up to a lot of wear- and let’s be honest here, I’m going to wear it as many times as I can before this baby comes (although I think it will work well as a nursing-friendly dress, too)!_mg_5052

The dress is lightweight and I never once felt hot wearing it, despite being outside when it was around 80 degrees._mg_5060

I love the vibrant colors and how easy it was to coordinate my girls’ outfits with mine!_mg_5079

This dress is fancy enough for family pictures, yet still comfortable enough to wear to church. I love feeling good in what I’m wearing, especially with this (sometimes awkward) big pregnant belly!

Thanks PinkBlush!

baby #3: 34 weeks

34weeksBaby’s size: Somewhere around 19 inches long and about 4.75 pounds! I keep getting comments about how big I look. This baby doesn’t feel tiny to me (I was still relatively comfortable with tiny Kaelyn at this point), but I actually still weigh less than I did at this time with my other two pregnancies. It will be interesting to see how big this little girl really is!

Maternity clothes?: Yes, and I’ve abandoned wearing a lot of my “smaller” maternity tops for the ones that are larger-sized. It’s nice to know your belly isn’t hanging out of the bottom of your shirt!

Gender: Girl!

Symptoms: I still had that sinus thing going on this week.

Sleep: Good, but I always want a nap!

Movement: She’s still sticking her feet high up in my ribs, and she loves to kick the bed if I lay down on my side.

Cravings: Nothing in particular this week.

What I miss: Feeling truly athletic. I’m getting the miles in, but I miss looking and feeling fit!

Anything making you queasy or sick?: This was a really hard week with nausea. When I wasn’t queasy, I just had no appetite for most of the week. Michael even came home early from work one day to help me take care of the kids, and another day, he went to the store and got a few things that he knows I can stomach eating. He’s the best.

Belly Button in or out?: My belly button has pretty much disappeared…

Exercising?: Ran 22.8 miles. It’s slow going and I feel a lot of pelvic pressure, but I’m proud of myself for getting out there and trying hard. Fitbit total: 75,869 steps.

Mood: I feel like I start to feel overwhelmed when I’m sick for a few days in a row. There’s too much to do to just rest!

Best moment this week: Getting paint for the nursery and having some extra time with Michael!

Looking forward to: Kaya’s birthday party next weekend! Also, if this baby is as early as Kaelyn was, we only have exactly one month to go. I can’t wait to finally kiss those little cheeks!

Big sisters: They were both rubbing my belly and kissing it during church this morning. I love seeing them love on their baby sister before they’ve even met her!

Comparison: 34 weeks with Kaya; 34 weeks with Kaelyn. I think my belly is looking a lot like it did with Kaelyn!

baby #3: 33 weeks

33weeksBaby’s size: About 19 inches long and a little over 4 pounds. As the Ovia app says, “she is getting HUGE!” I certainly feel like I have a giant baby in my belly!

Maternity clothes?: Does this still have to be a question? Obviously, YES!

Gender: Girl!

Symptoms: The rest of my family got over whatever congestion we all had going on last week… but I still have a sinus infection! I really don’t think it’s allergies because sometimes my muscles ache right along with it. Hopefully it goes away soon!

Sleep: I’m starting to get really restless at night! I have so many things to get done that I don’t want to go to bed, even when I know I’m exhausted. I basically work on my to-do list or read until I pass out, and then I’m up once or twice to use the bathroom in the middle of the night.

Movement: Wild and crazy, as always! I don’t think she ever really stops! She’s also had some serious hiccups this week. I keep joking that she must be tall, because she can get her feet all the way up in my ribs. I will be surprised if she isn’t!

Cravings: Hershey’s chocolate.

What I miss: Running faster? I think that’s always my answer at this point, haha! I also miss being able to get in and out of bed/turn over without so much difficulty.

Anything making you queasy or sick?: I’ve had some nausea again this week (the congestion actually seems to make it worse), and no food really seems appealing to me.

Belly Button in or out?: Part of it sticks out and part of it is flat… so weird-looking.

Exercising?: Ran 21.9 miles. I did one run without my belt because somehow it fell into the hamper and I couldn’t find it in time, and honestly, I have NO idea how I ran without one during my last two pregnancies. It makes a HUGE difference! If you’re a pregnant runner looking for a belt, this one has served me so well! Fitbit total: 81,674 steps.

Mood: I’m in full-on “nesting mode”, and I think Michael is too, because we have been getting so much done on the house! I’m so grateful for his willingness to help make all my crazy ideas come to life (even when I change my mind several times in the course of a project)!

Best moment this week: Getting my dress for family pictures! Now I just have to hope the weather cooperates and we get some great lighting!

Looking forward to: All the visitors we’ll be having soon! We have different family members each coming up for the weekend in the next three weeks. After that, it will be almost baby time!

Big sisters: Kaelyn is still obsessed with my belly and has been taking good care of her baby doll. Kaya still loves to tell me that she can or can’t eat something because “her baby does/doesn’t like that.” Hahaha.

Comparison: For the record, I didn’t even plan to wear the same shirt this time as I did at 33 weeks with Kaya; and I was at the beach at 33 weeks with Kaelyn. Take me back!

baby #3: 32 weeks

32weeksBaby’s size: About 18 inches long and nearly 4 pounds! I’m also excited (and a little surprised) to report that my fundal height measurement is back on track! I measured 31 centimeters at my 32-week appointment, and my OB is happy with that. Yay for catching up!
Maternity clothes?: Yes… and my belly basically feels humongous at this point. I haven’t gained any more weight than with my other pregnancies, but the bump seems a million times larger this time around.
Gender: Girl!
Symptoms: We’ve all had some congestion/colds this past week and a half. Here’s to hoping that clears up soon!
Sleep: I’ve been having good, deep sleep this past week. We still go to bed too late though… but that’s old news!
Cravings: Nothing really!
What I miss: I miss feeling like I could get more things done in a day. There are so many items on my to-do list, but I pretty much always need to take a break to rest/nap, and I feel like that really hampers my productivity.
Anything making you queasy or sick?: This has been a much better week as far as nausea goes! There have still been nights where I just want toast for dinner because food in general doesn’t appeal to me much, but hey, that’s better than feeling constantly sick.
Belly Button in or out?: Flat.
Exercising?: Ran 21.5 miles; walked 3.2. Fitbit total: 86,966 steps.
Mood: Excited! I feel like we’re in the final countdown now!
Best moments this week: Getting the big girls’ room painted, picking out their furniture, celebrating Michael’s birthday, and seeing my mom-in-law for a day!
Looking forward to: Reviewing some of the natural birth books I used last time, and also reading “Birthing From Within“, which I just got in the mail this week. Anything that encourages me to have an empowering birth experience is what I really need to focus on right now.
Big sisters: Kaelyn gets SO EXCITED when she sees my belly for the first time each morning. She’ll stop whatever she’s doing and say “MOMMY! Baaaaaaby!” She’s also completely obsessed with taking care of her baby dolls, so I think she’s going to be a great big sister. Kaya is as sweet and tender as always, making sure she kisses my belly every night before bed and nap time.
Comparison: 32 weeks with Kaya; 32 weeks with Kaelyn.

baby #3: 31 weeks

31weeksBaby’s size: About 17.5 inches long and around 3.5 pounds- about the size of a head of Romaine lettuce!
Maternity clothes?: Yes, and my support belt has been awesome. When I wear it, it makes me feel a little “less pregnant”, since I don’t have to haul this big belly around all by myself.
Gender: Girl!
Symptoms: Nausea and fatigue.
Sleep: I’m feeling grateful that my kids are willing to nap/rest in the afternoons. I get a good 2-hour nap most days, and I really don’t feel so great if I don’t.
Movement: It’s a rare moment when she isn’t moving! It’s going to be so weird when she comes out and I don’t feel constant flutters or feet poking me in the side!
Cravings: Cookies and ice cream… and I’ve totally been indulging in both of those this week!
What I miss: I love this miracle and am SO grateful that I can grow a baby… but honestly, there are so many times I want to just fast forward to the end of this pregnancy and have her out of my body. I want to feel normal and be able to do the things I need/want to do! I don’t remember feeling quite so uncomfortable and sick with my other two pregnancies.
Anything making you queasy or sick?: YES… lots of nausea on and off, and I threw up once this week. This is my sickest pregnancy for sure.
Belly Button in or out?: Flat.
Exercising?: Ran 23.5 miles; walked 2.1. Fitbit total: 86,162 steps.
Mood: I’ve been feeling kind of guilty about resting so much and having Michael take over a lot of things… but he is the best. He’s actually painting the girls’ room right now and has been working on that for most of the day. He snuggles with me when I feel sick, and even woke up in the middle of the night to massage my leg when I started to get a charley horse. Pregnancy is rough but I’m grateful that I have a best friend to go through it with.
Best moment this week: Getting a refund for our old apartment’s rent/deposit in the mail. With the decorating and furniture-buying we’re doing in the older girls’ room, it’s really a big help.
Looking forward to: Finishing up the kid bedrooms and deciding what kind of blanket I want to make for this baby girl. Also, celebrating Michael’s birthday next week!
Big sisters:
Kaya keeps calling her “Baby Sunshine” and saying that that is going to be her real name! We’ll see if that nickname sticks. 😉 Kaelyn has started saying “baby!” so often now, and even hugs and kisses my belly. So sweet!

Kaya also really wanted a “bump picture” this week too, so Michael snapped this one, haha! _MG_4583Comparison: 31 weeks with Kaya; 31 weeks with Kaelyn.

baby #3: 30 weeks

30weeksBaby’s size: Book value is about 3 pounds and close to 17 inches long, BUT my fundal height measured at about 27-28 cm at my appointment this week, and my midwife is not concerned. I’m starting to think this baby will just be petite like Kaelyn, and I’m fine with that! The midwife did say that if I keep measuring small, we probably will have another ultrasound at some point, just to check on everything.
Maternity clothes?: YES! I’m wearing my support belt more and more often too- I definitely feel a difference at the end of the day when I’ve been wearing it versus not.
Gender: Girl!
Symptoms: Just nausea and fatigue.
Sleep: Napping every single day this week… and this will sound terrible, but as of last night, Michael started sleeping on our guest bed. I’ve noticed for a couple of weeks now that I just do not sleep soundly when I have to share space, so nighttime was rough. He pulled the extra mattress into our room, so at least he’s nearby. I did sleep so much better having the bed to myself, though. He’s seriously the best (even though I feel pretty bad for practically forcing him out of our bed…)!
Movement: Yep, she’s still moving all the time, and I think I noticed her very first hiccups this week!
Cravings: I feel almost ashamed to admit this because I know how very unhealthy it is, but when I’m nauseous, all I want is a Wendy’s spicy chicken sandwich. Michael brought one home for me last night and it was amazing.
What I miss: Nothing really!
Anything making you queasy or sick?: I try not to complain, but in all honesty, I’ve had SO much nausea this week. I usually feel a little queasy in the morning, but the worst of it is in the evenings. I even skipped out on going to our Young Women activity on Tuesday night because all I felt like I could do was lay on the couch. My midwife recommended 50 mg of vitamin B-6 three times a day, so I might be headed to the store to pick some of that up this weekend.
Belly Button in or out?: Flat.
Exercising?: WOW I am slow… but I’m still moving, and I think I should be proud of that! I also realized that a lot of my aches and discomfort during my runs have resulted from me being too obsessed with my pace and pushing myself too hard. If I listen to my body, I actually feel pretty great. I ended up with only 19.1 running miles due to traveling and missing a run. Fitbit total: 76,250 steps.
Mood: I’m just starting to get anxious to get things ready for this sweet baby. When I think of how many weekends we might have left until we meet her, I really feel like I have nothing prepared for her at all…
Best moment this week: I met one of the “new” midwives at my OB’s practice, and I was relieved to hit it off with her right away. There have been several new hires and at least one midwife that left the practice since I had Kaelyn, and you never know who will be on call when you’re ready to deliver, so it’s great to know that there’s one more midwife I feel completely comfortable with.
Looking forward to: I’m really hoping to get the girls’ room painted and pick out some furniture for them… hopefully this week!
Big sister: Kaya will kiss and touch my belly and say “awww, she knows it’s me!” I think they really are going to have a sweet bond right from the beginning.
Comparison: 30 weeks with Kaya; 30 weeks with Kaelyn.

Just for fun (and not the highest quality photos, since I was too lazy to pull out my external hard drive)… Three baby girls, three bellies, same shirt!30weeks3bumps