Over halfway done!


How far along?: 24 weeks

Maternity clothes?: Not wearing maternity clothes this time around! They are too big and frumpy. My regular jeans don't fit anymore, so I'm rockin' the b-band, but everything else still fits because I'm all belly again. Lucky me!

Stretch marks?: No. Cocoa butter works miracles.

Sleep: I can't sleep with all the acid reflux and the endless bathroom trips. And then I have a toddler who makes sure I'm out of bed by six in the morning. Oh, well. It's not like I'll get any sleep once the new baby gets here anyways. *Sigh*

Best moment this week: Kamryn kissing his little brother by giving my tummy a smooch and getting to roll around in a wheelchair at the zoo for Kamryn's birthday. My doctor has restricted all my activities because of the placental issue, so even moderate walking is a no-no.

Movement: He sleeps during the day and then he's up all night. The kicking usually begins as soon as I lay down in bed. And the kicks are getting pretty powerful. He also hiccups...alot.

Food cravings: Drumstick Ice Cream Cones. And PB & J. And frozen Cokes. So weird.

Gender: Another bouncing baby boy! I am so outnumbered.

Labor Signs: I am happy to report that I have not had any contractions for a week now. Let's hope it stays that way for awhile.

Belly Button in or out?: On the verge of being completely popped out. Yikes!

What I miss: Being able to eat without burning my esophagus.

What I am looking forward to: Getting the nursery completed! We're so close. And I'm anxious to talk to our doctor again about getting some of these restrictions lifted. Well, one in particular...

Milestones: Now that we've made it to 24 weeks, the baby's chances for survival have gone up to about 50% if he were to be born now. Hopefully he'll stay in there for at least another 12 weeks or more.

Kamryn's New Room

We finally finished Kamryn's big boy bedroom! I'm so happy with the way it turned out. His furniture is so adorable and super kid-friendly and there is still a huge amount of floor space for him to play!

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This picture is of his new bed and night table and his new set of shelves. He picked out the Wall-E sheets himself and he's been sleeping in the "big boy" bed for about a week now. I was expecting the transition to be a nightmare, but Kamryn shocked me. He goes to bed...and actually stays there. It's amazing. Now if we could just get him to give up the binky. And get him potty trained. Ah, dare to dream.

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We bought Kamryn his very own "thinking chair" for his birthday. (He's a Blue's Clue's fan) He also got the desk that looks like it was made from pencils from Matt's grandma. I love how all his furniture is tiny, it fits him perfectly. We also added Scooby-Doo accents (Kamryn picked those out too) above his window, his closet and along the back wall of his room.

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The nursery for the new baby is almost finished. I'm just waiting on an order of accents that I'm going to put above the changing table. Otherwise, the furniture is all in place, the closet has been reorganized and the crib is now readjusted to accommodate a newborn instead of a toddler. I'll post pictures as soon as I get the wall over the changing table done.

Visit to the High-Risk Maternity Center

We took a trip to the High Risk Maternity Center at the hospital last Monday for the fetal echocardiogram. The baby's heart looks perfect! No dextrocardia! (Which means that the baby's heart is not reversed. My mother has dextrocardia with total situs inversus, so all of her organs are a mirror image of a normal person's. Because this is a genetic disorder and I may be a carrier, all of my children are scanned for this during pregnancy.) However, the doctor we saw there seemed to be a little concerned about my low-lying placenta and the bleeding, so he mentioned that he would talk to my doctor when he submits the baby's heart report about going back to the center so they can monitor me. I doubt I'll have to do that unless the placenta issue gets worse. Hopefully, that won't happen. They did not do a confirmation of the baby's sex at the echocardiogram, but Matt and I kept referring to the baby as a he, so maybe the fact that the tech didn't disagree with us was another confirmation. We've already had two different ultrasound techs saying it's a boy and we have a sonogram clearly showing the goods, so how much more proof do we need?

The most exciting thing that came out of the echocardiogram (besides the clean bill of heart health for the baby) was the sonogram pictures we got to take home. The first and last one are profile shots of his handsome little face and the one in the middle is a zoomed out shot where he has his feet right in his face. He looks like he already has some long legs. Pretty sure he doesn't get that from me or Matt.



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The rest of the week was pretty uneventful. I managed to get Kamryn into a booked sibling class at the hospital. We thought it would be a good idea to help him get ready for the new baby. I also ordered him a "Big Brother" t-shirt online to wear to the class and to the hospital when he comes to visit after the baby is born.

Last night things got a little freaky again. I had overdone it yesterday, taking Kamryn for a walk and exhausting myself doing housework. So, it makes sense that my body would get angry. I ended up having contractions all night long, I threw up twice and my thighs were achy. All are classic signs of pre-term labor. The contractions settled back down shortly after I woke up this morning, but now I know I have to be extra careful. Too much of anything seems to provoke contractions and I need to keep this baby in here for as long as I can. We'll be at 24 weeks in just a few more days and that's just at the age of viability. We're hoping he doesn't decide to come out until at least the 36 week mark. I'm also one step away from being on total bed rest and I'm not a fan of that, so I'm going to be taking it extra easy from now on.

Now I'm off to celebrate Kamryn's 2nd birthday this weekend! My little boy is growing up so fast!

Panic Attack.

Yesterday was one of the scariest days ever. Matt and I went to see the doctor early in the morning for a routine prenatal visit. Everything went great. I went home, fed Kamryn breakfast, and we both went down for a short nap. When I woke up, I went to the bathroom and started bleeding. Bad. So I frantically called Matt to come home from work and I phoned the doctor's office to find out what they wanted me to do. I was also starting to have cramps, so the nurse there told me to go straight to Labor & Delivery at the hospital. I was shaken up on the way there, but I could still feel the baby kicking, so that eased my fears a little bit.

When we got to the hospital, I was admitted immediately to the maternity unit. The first nurse tried to hook me up to the fetal heart monitor, but couldn't find any tones. (It turns out that it is very difficult to find heart tones on a 22 weeker using that kind of monitoring, but do you think she told me that? No, I was just lying there wondering what the hell could be going on. Nightmare.)

Shortly after that, I was sent down to radiology, where they did an ultrasound on the baby. He was doing fine and had a good heart rate at 144 BPM. Thank god. We also ended up getting a second confirmation on the sex, which helped to distract me temporarily from all the anxiety. He is definitely a boy. I saw the proof. And now we have a money shot to go along with all the rest of our sonograms.

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The ultrasound tech also discovered that I have a low-lying placenta. In addition to that, when I got back to my room and was hooked up to the monitoring equipment, they also discovered that I was having contractions. I was terrified. I had stopped bleeding by then, but the contractions felt pretty strong and were all over the place. The nurse gave me two shots of medication to stop the contractions, but it caused me to have a highly elevated heart rate and non-stop jitters. It was like drinking a few gallons of coffee. Turns out it had the same effect on the baby. He started moving around like crazy and his heart rate increased to 177. Poor little guy.

The contractions finally settled down and I was given the option of staying overnight for further observation, or I could go home. I decided that my bed was more comfortable, so I opted to leave. The doctor explained that I'm pretty much on house arrest at this point and I have to take it super easy. He thinks that I may have had a small tear in the placenta that caused the bleeding. The tear probably occurred because the placenta is in such a low position. He also said the the bleeding may have been an irritant that caused the contractions. So, I have to be really careful because he explained that if I tear again the bleeding is less likely to stop and I'm nowhere near far enough along for delivery if something goes awry.

Here's hoping that the placenta moves up more so I don't have any more scares.

Newest Addition: An Overview of the Past 21 Weeks

Matt and I found out on January 7, 2009 that we were expecting again. It was the news that we had been waiting for since I had suffered from a miscarriage back in April '08 that was caused by a severe viral infection. The loss was devastating, so naturally we were nervous when we conceived for the third time last Christmas. We waited out the first two months a little on edge, although we were optimistic because this time I wasn't sick. At nine weeks, we had our first doctor's appointment. The ultrasound instantly put my fears to rest, the baby looked great and dated perfectly for it's gestational age.

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However, there was a problem. The hormones from the pregnancy started making me terribly sick almost immediately. It ended up getting so bad that I was diagnosed with hyper emesis. I was put on home nursing care and had to have an I.V. for fluids and was also put on a pump that administered medication through a small tube inserted in my leg. For almost two whole months, I could barely function. Luckily, once the first trimester ended, I started feeling almost normal again.

At our next doctor's appointment, we had another ultrasound for nuchal translucency screening, which checks for Down Syndrome, heart, and other abnormalities. It's an optional test, but Matt and I opt for all the screenings. We figure that the more screenings and tests that come back normal, the less we have to worry about. I was at 14 weeks by then, and the ultrasound tech determined that I was too far along to complete the screening. We still ended up getting a sonogram out of the deal, and I love to have pictures of the baby.

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We also knew from the beginning that we were going to find out the sex of the baby as soon as we could. And I was super jealous when an old friend from high school who is due a couple of days before me found out the sex of her baby weeks before my 20 week ultrasound was even scheduled. The wait was so insane and I have zero patience when I'm excited. Finally, the big day came and much to our surprise, we were told that we were having another baby boy. Matt and I (and everyone else) had guessed that it was going to be a girl so I thought that I might be a little disappointed if it turned out otherwise. I actually was so overwhelmed with happiness while I watched the baby on the ultrasound monitor grab his tiny little foot that I couldn't have cared less about what sex the tech called out. He is beautiful and amazing. And he's ours.

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Now we're one day away from 22 weeks and another doctor's appointment. We have a fetal echocardiogram coming up in a week, which is done during all of my pregnancies because of my family history of heart abnormalities on my mother's side. It sounds scary, but because my sisters, myself and my son have all been born with normal hearts it is likely that this baby will be fine too. We also will probably get a second confirmation on the sex of the baby at the echocardiogram, so that's something to look forward to.

So this is the most updated belly photo I have. It was taken the day after my sister's wedding when I was 19 weeks. The guy standing next to me is my dad.

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BrEAKiNg bRitTaNy™

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a little insight.

I follow a lot of infertility and baby loss blogs.

I’ve gotten a few curious inquiries in the past about this, so I figured maybe it was time that I explained why.

As a mother of three healthy boys, it probably looks like I am just a crazy blog stalker who gets some sort of enjoyment out of co-opting other people’s pain.

I assure you, that is not the case.

For the most part, I have kept much of what I have in common with the writers of those blogs a secret on here.

I still am not ready to share much of this in great detail, but I have struggled in the past with almost a year of infertility and I have suffered through three heartbreaking losses.

That is the reason that I follow the journeys of these other women.

I can relate to them.

And sometimes it really does help to know that you are not alone.

The Best of The Suburban Princess Diaries

At the office and need to kill a little company time? Bored and in need of some amusement? Just love this blog and can’t get enough?

Then, by all means, kick back and read on:

What I learned from Superman.

The List.

The Great Midget Debate.

The Lost Blog Archives: The Brittany vs. Britney Death match

What is Twilight Teaching Me?

Scary?

No, I am not one of those girls from that MTV show...

You can borrow my oven, but I'm keeping the buns.

BrEAKiNg bRitTaNy™

Meet the Suburban Princess.

duchess



I
am short and blonde, and after years of being teased for my lack of height, I finally proved that I am not a “midget”. To view the research, click here.

Ironically, even though I am not a little person, I have two sons and a daughter who have been diagnosed with pituitary dwarfism.
 
I am a wife to a (self-proclaimed) comic book geek and a stay-at-home mom to three boys and one girl. All born within four and a half years.

And none of them are multiples.

Absolute chaos, I tell you.

I am a neat freak, but my children have blown any chance I have of having my house featured in Better Homes and Gardens. I am slowly overcoming the anxiety associated with this realization.
 
I love writing, photography and graphic design. I created this entire blog myself and after endless nights of HTML coding and several migraines, I think it has really paid off.
 
I have a degree in journalism, but the only career I ever had was the 7+ years that I worked as a cartographer. I slaved over maps until right before I gave birth to my second child and I am glad that I finally gave it up. (Although I have to admit, I miss how quiet the office used to be.)
 
My days now consist of changing diapers, doing laundry, going to the gym and trying to stay on the hubby’s good side. And every once in awhile, I give up an hour of sleep and stay up late to write on this blog.
 
(Oh, and I’m also a die-hard Phil Collins fan.)
 

momView

As a mom, I have been a voluntary test-subject for a vast array of products designed to make my life with kids a little bit easier. Some of these products have worked miracles while others have made me suffer from bad cases of buyer's remorse. The following product reviews (and occasional mommy ramblings) are my own opinion, given in the hopes of helping other moms decide what's worth their money and what's not worth a second look. I plan on covering every item I have ever encountered- from conception aids and maternity essentials to baby gear and beyond.

I plan on updating this section regularly, so check back often!

If you are interested in having me review your product for my blog, my contact information can be found here.

To view my full disclosure policy, click here.

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Fetus to Fifth Grade

by Dr. David Schapira

When I started my journey into the world of motherhood, I found myself approaching it the same way that I would tackle anything else.

I went seeking out any and every bit of worthwhile information that I could find on pregnancy and parenting and I researched the heck out of it.

That’s me. I’m a total bookworm.

Now as a mommy blogger, I have the wonderful opportunity to read and review books about child-rearing that I may not have discovered otherwise.

And recently I was given a copy of the book, Fetus to Fifth Grade by Dr. David Schapira for review.

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This book is unique from other parenting books that I’ve read because it gives helpful advice that is supported through scientific studies and statistical analysis. It holds a wealth of useful financial information, such as how to effectively budget for baby, and it even has a breakdown of how to determine whether going back to work after having a baby is really financially beneficial for the family. (We always figured that it wouldn’t be for us, which is why I ended up leaving my job shortly before my second son was born. Seeing the calculations in this book made it obvious that we really  had made the right choice).

In addition to the economic topics that are covered, the book also covers other important subjects such as post-partum depression, interpreting a baby’s cries, and making the decision to breast or bottle-feed.

There is also a great chapter about the actual science involving vaccinations and Autism. Other chapters include recommendations for promoting healthy child development and battling out temper-tantrums.

Overall, I was impressed with how much information Dr. Schapiro was able to include in an average-size paperback. With pertinent content that is well researched, comprehensive and informative, Fetus to Fifth Grade is an essential read for any parent.

Especially one like me, who enjoys doing their homework.

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BuildASign.com Vinyl Banners

I am always looking for things that I can do for my boys that are creative and special, so I was super excited when Build A Sign contacted me awhile back and asked if I would be willing to try out some of their products.

They make a variety of products that you can customize for personal or business use. I decided to design a vinyl birthday banner for each of my boys.

Build A Sign’s website makes it super easy to customize every detail of the product that you design. I was able to create these amazing banners:

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The banners are huge and they look fantastic. They are also very sturdy, so I think that they will probably be durable enough to last for a very long time. I cannot wait to use them every year at the boys’ birthday parties!

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Intelligender Gender Prediction Test

The wait to find out this baby’s gender has been driving me crazy!

Thankfully, IntelliGender was nice enough to send me one of their Gender Prediction Tests to help me pass the time between now and that highly-anticipated 20 week ultrasound.

They also sent me a bottle of elasti-oil from their IntelliCeuticals line of natural remedies for moms and babies.

And just look at how the package arrived. So adorable! They even sent a tiny elephant for baby!

copyright-suburban princess diariescopyright-suburban princess diariesI had to wait until the next morning to use the Gender Prediction Test because it requires the use of first morning urine for the best results, but I tried the elasti-oil the same day I got it. I have no idea if it will actually keep those dreaded stretch marks away (here’s hoping!), but I already like it better than that blah cocoa butter lotion. The elasti-oil is a therapeutic, aromatherapy massage oil. I heated the bottle in hot water according to the instructions, so the oil was warm and silky when I applied it and it smells like an absolute dream.

I did the Gender Prediction Test the next morning. The test can be taken as early as 10 weeks into a pregnancy, and I was at 15 weeks when I took it.

The test was easy to use and being the POAS queen that I am, I loved the opportunity to once again crate a makeshift science lab in my bathroom.

So, according to the IntelliGender test, I am having a…

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Another boy?! Oh, say it isn’t so!

According to IntelliGender, the test is 82% accurate. We still have another month to go before we find out if the test has predicted correctly. We will have to wait and see…

In the meantime, the test has made the wait for the big ultrasound much more interesting. It was an exciting experience to have during the pregnancy.

And it is a lot more fun than that stupid needle-on-a-string test.

Update: The test works (at least for me anyways). We welcomed another bouncing baby boy to our family!

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Baby Bjorn

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If you are serious about ever leaving the house once the baby arrives, I highly recommend picking one of these carriers up. We bought ours when I was pregnant with my first and it was a wise investment. I like it because it’s sturdy, the baby is in full view at all times (and can face toward you or away from you) and it keeps your hands free.

After my second son was born, I thought about switching to a wrap because they seemed a little more comfortable, but I gave up on that when a lady at a baby store tried showing me how to wrap the baby around my body using just a strip of fabric. I knew there was no way I could do that without the baby falling out…it was a ridiculously complicated-looking process.  At least in the Baby Bjorn, I have peace of mind. My kid is not falling out of it. It has clips that snap securely and the material is heavy-duty. And I never have to tie or wrap anything myself.

It adjusts easily so my husband and I can both wear it and  it’s so small that I just keep it in my van so I have it with me wherever I go. It’s super handy for those times when you don’t want to haul out the stroller (or in my case- the hefty, he-man double stroller that I also keep in the back of the van).

Both of the boys have seemed to enjoy being toted around in it as well. If it holds up through two more kids, then I think it will be worth the eighty bucks.

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Pampers vs. Huggies

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After almost three years of endless diaper changes, I consider myself somewhat of a connoisseur of disposable diapers. And sadly, I am a little bit of a diaper snob. I’ve used the “pricey” brands since Day 1 and unlike the ladies in the Luvs commercials, I never “got over it”.

I know that some will argue that a diaper is just a diaper. And maybe in the grand scheme of all that is important in life, they are right. I’m a mom of two boys that are not toilet trained, so I’m still sweating the proverbial “small stuff”.

To me, the almighty diaper matters.

I am split down the middle on this one. Pampers is my diaper of choice because they are much softer and more flexible than the stiffer and bulkier Huggies. Both appear to contain the chaos equally well, but the Pampers just seem so much more comfy. Also, the Preemie, Newborn and some of the Size 1 Pampers have a wetness indicator ( a little line that changes color) on the front of the diaper so you can tell right away if baby is wet. This may not seem like a big deal, but anything that doesn’t require the use of my neurons at this point is a lifesaver.

While I am not a big fan of Huggies in the diaper department, (even though we will break down and buy a package if we have a coupon) I prefer Huggies wipes over Pampers. The same principle applies here. The Huggies wipes are thicker and sturdier and the Pampers wipes are thinner and softer. The Huggies wipes hold up much better and can get the job done quickly when you find yourself cleaning up a sticky and smelly mess in the wee hours of the morning.

Thankfully, my boys rarely poop in the middle of the night anymore.

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Clearblue Easy Fertility Monitor

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This amazing little gadget is definitely your best bet if you are tired of playing the waiting game while trying to conceive. It took my husband and I ten whole months of trying before I ended up pregnant with my oldest son. After the  first eight months of temperature-taking and mucous checking (ugh) proved to be fruitless, I invested in this monitor.  It is a bit pricey, around $150 for the monitor itself, and then about $50 for a three-months supply of test strips. However, it is worth every single penny. I used it for two cycles and viola! -- I was pregnant.


The monitor works by testing your urine each morning and then it displays your level of fertility for that day. Depending on your usual cycle length you test for 10 to 20 days each month and the monitor tells you when your estrogen levels increase and when you have an LH surge.


Both of my children were conceived using this product.
I am not a huge fan of hormonal birth control, so I use the monitor now to track my cycles in an effort to prevent any surprises from happening. The instructions for the monitor advise not to use this device as a form of contraceptive, but if you are following the rhythm method this product is bound to make your calculations a little more accurate. That said, my husband and I are planning for a least a few more children, so if this option isn't the most effective way to prevent a pregnancy we would still be overjoyed to have another addition to the family.  :)


If you are TTC, I highly recommend picking one of these up. It'll be your best friend.

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1001 Healthy Baby Answers

by Dr. Gary Morchower

Sourcebooks sent me a copy of this book for review right after I found out I was expecting my third child.

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This book covers every medical condition I’ve ever heard of and some that I haven’t. It even has a section on pyloric stenosis (which really made me wish I had had this back when Bronx was having his tummy troubles).

Each section in the book covers a different medical condition or disorder and has questions answered by specialists. There is an index for quick reference and the topics are divided into two categories: newborn/infant and child/adolescent. (Although, the section on Umbilical Cord Stump Inflammation is in the child/adolescent area of the book, which is confusing to me).

As a soon-to-be mother of three with many years of doctor’s visits in my future, I know that this book will be a useful reference tool. Especially since I’m too busy changing diapers right now to find the time for med school.

To find out more about this book or to order a copy, click here.

Contact me.

If you are interested in having me review or host a giveaway for your product, I would love to hear from you. Any other inquires are also welcome. Please feel free to leave a comment below or send me an email @  copyright-suburban princess diaries 

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