Marc and Megan Logo

family photo family photo family photo family photo family photo family photo

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Labor-inducing Foods

As I'm approaching the 39 week mark of this pregnancy, I've started to consider what measures I'd be willing to take to help speed things along a little. I don't know that I'd ever be desperate enough to try castor oil, but I've started to make a list of things that seem like they'd be both safe and appealing, in the face of desperation... or even just curiosity.

Lemon Drop Cupcakes

There's the bakery in Virginia that has it's own growing list of success stories with their labor-inducing Lemon Drop Cupcakes. Lemon cupcakes? Sounds delicious to me! Even if they don't do the trick. Here's a recipe I found, in case anyone else is interested in trying them out - Lemon Drop Cupcake Recipe.


Have you heard of the Prego Pizza? Skipolini's Pizza has it's own legend going of a labor-inducing pizza. And, since this pizza place isn't too far from where we live, I might just have to convince Marc to take me out to a yummy pizza dinner one of these nights. Or maybe we'll just make our own and throw every topping we can think of on top, since that sounds like it's basically what it is.

Fresh Pineapple

When I was pregnant with Hugh I read somewhere that eating fresh pineapple would help soften/open the cervix and help induce labor. I admit that I ate a lot of pineapple in the weeks before he was born, but mostly because it was delicious. Here's a more detailed explanation of it's labor-inducing properties.

Spicy Food

Another thing I ate a lot of the week before Hugh was born was enchiladas, the spicier the better. Who knows if it helped or not, but I didn't mind having an excuse to eat good Mexican food.

And, here's a list of nine foods that claim to do the trick. I'm thinking the Eggplant Parmesan and the Chocolate Cake look pretty tempting.

I don't know... this week's menu is looking kind of exciting! Are there any other foods/recipes I should add to my list? Anything that has worked for you?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Soaking up my boys

The last few days I've really been trying to soak up all the extra time I have with my boys. I know once baby girl arrives, it just won't be quite the same. Not that it'll be bad, it'll just be different. I'm not sure exactly how much they understand about how our lives are about to change. We've done things to help prepare them and I really hope it's been enough to make the transition a little easier.

As I've been doing more to be present and playful with Ben and Hugh, I've been taking note of their growing personalities and finding so much joy in who they are and how they're different.

Ben is constantly in motion and bursting at the seams with energy. I admit that at times it drives me nuts - like mealtimes when we can't get him to sit still long enough to finish his plate and have to literally follow him around the house feeding him bites of food. Then there are days, like today, when sickness strikes and he is lethargic and lifeless and, while I really love the extra cuddling, I really miss my active little guy running around the house and climbing on the table and jumping off boxes. I guess the things that drive me the most nuts are also the things that make him so darn loveable. I have to remember this tomorrow, assuming that he wakes up feeling better in the morning.

And, then there's Hugh. He is feisty and more opinionated than I thought possible at this age, whether it's about what to wear or what to eat or when it's a good time for a diaper change (never!). In public he shows this very serious side, but at home and with people he feels comfortable he is the biggest clown. He loves doing silly things just to make people laugh and then he'll do it over and over again to keep the laughter going. And, if things are just a little too boring or calm, you can always count on Hugh to instigate some drama with stealing a toy from Ben or trying out some new head-butting wrestling move. We're working on eliminating that unnecessary drama, though.

Today I had the rare treat of having some time alone with Ben for a little bit. Two days a week he goes to a play group that's intended to help him improve his languages skills. On those mornings, after dropping Ben off, Hugh usually tags along with me on my errand-running. This morning I dropped Hugh off with my parents and then took Ben to his play group, planning on doing my errands on my own today.

But, as soon as I tried to drop Ben off and he acted much more clingy and needy than usual, I realized that he really wasn't feeling well and decided to skip play group for today. I really needed to pick up a few items from the store, so we made a quick stop before heading home. And, I loved loved loved having that one-on-one time with my little Benjamin! I realized how much I value and appreciate that precious, individual time spent with my boys... and decided I really have to make it a priority for it to happen often.

The coming weeks and months are going to bring some new expectations and changes to our normal routine and schedule. I'm just hoping that I'll find a way to help my boys feel secure and loved through it all. I adore my two little guys more than I can express, even when their two-year old antics drive me a little bit crazy at times. I really do need to remember that those same things that drive me crazy are also pieces of their personalities that I love so much.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Keeping perspective

I don't know if I'm remembering the final weeks of my pregnancy with Hugh wrong or if I really am a whole lot bigger and rounder than I was with him. At this point I'm on track to gain the same amount that I gained while pregnant with him, but it seems like the clothes I was wearing in the final weeks with him are barely covering my belly at this point... and I still have three weeks left (give or take). It's making me feel pretty self-conscious and I've started to like the idea of disappearing to some private location for the final weeks, where I don't have to listen to all the unwanted comments about my size and how very pregnant I look. Wouldn't that be nice?

But, really, as uncomfortable as these final weeks can be, I'm trying to just enjoy these final moments of special bonding that only she and I will share. I was really grateful for a random moment at the grocery store last week that put things back into perspective for me. I was picking out a watermelon when another young-ish mother came over for some watermelon-picking herself with a young toddler in her cart. I'd been feeling very large and somewhat uncomfortable and dreading how much worse it's going to get in the next few weeks, seriously questioning how my belly can possibly get any bigger. She turned to me and said something along the lines of "I sure miss feeling like I was carrying a watermelon." I kind of laughed, thinking she was being a bit sarcastic. But, then in our brief exchange I realized she was being completely sincere.

As I walked away I was reminded of how special and miraculous the whole process is and how deeply grateful I am to have been blessed with this most incredible blessing. Not to mention how much I dreamt and hoped for the chance to be largely and uncomfortably pregnant not too long ago, honestly not knowing if it'd ever be something I'd get to experience. I'm hoping to keep that perspective in these final weeks and allow my wonder and awe at every movement and hiccup to keep any discomfort from distracting me from the beauty of it all.

I am so excited for those first moments with my baby girl when I'll find that familiar feeling of just knowing we've known each other all along. It's the same feeling I felt with each of our children and it always leaves me feeling so overwhelmed with love, for them and for an incredibly merciful Father in heaven who has blessed me beyond measure.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


This pregnancy is quickly approaching 37 weeks and nesting is in full swing. I've spent the last couple of days washing loads and loads of pink and flowery clothes. Hugh was helping me sort through it yesterday and as I'd point out a butterfly or a flower on a little dress or shirt, I'd say "look how cute", which then made him say over and over in his high-pitched yet still raspy voice "cute!"

Today I finished getting all the clothes organized and either ready to be worn right away or carefully boxed away for the coming months and years of anticipated use. It feels good to have that all done.

I also have my hospital bag packed, hoping that I've included things that I'll want and need and wondering if there is anything major that I'm forgetting. The big thing I remember really wishing I had while recovering from Hugh's birth was ear plugs. It was torture to be unable to sleep in the middle of the night because of the screaming woman in labor next door. The nurse offered me cotton, but that just didn't do the trick.

I've packed the basics - toiletries, lotion, chapstick, bath robe, fluffy towel, baby clothes and other baby necessities. Then there's the items that I'll pack last minute - cell phone, ipod, laptop, chargers, etc. Am I forgetting anything? Is there anything you would never go to the hospital without?

These nesting urges also had me cleaning the bathrooms this morning and making a mental list of all the little chores to do between now and baby girl's arrival. I would add them to my actual written list, except that there's already enough on that list to keep me busy and semi-overwhelmed. I've just decided that I'll do what I can in the time I have and make sure the most important things are taken care of, and let everything else go. It really isn't a big deal if I don't get the cereal cupboard organized by box size and brand. Joking here. But, I know there are some things on my list that are just about as ridiculous as that.

Overall, the nesting has me feeling extra grateful for my blessings - knowing there is a little girl on her way to our home and knowing I am so completely undeserving, by any merits of my own, of this and all my other blessings. Somehow, some way, I hope to live my life in a way that reflects how deeply grateful I feel for all that I've been given.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Prayers for a friend

Just after we lost our twins, I came across another couple's blog who had also just recently lost their baby boy. Cali and I exchanged emails in those first few months and she was an incredible source of strength for me during that time. Since then, she and her husband have added a darling little girl to their family and recently found out they were expecting another baby boy.

There have been some complications during this pregnancy and in the last couple of days things have taken a terrible turn for the worst. I haven't been able to think of much else tonight and hoped I could solicit some extra prayers on her behalf.

If you go to Cali's blog, here, you can read more about her situation, as well as the link on the most current blog post to her sister-in-law's blog about her current status.

I feel completely unable to express how much my heart hurts for what this family must be going through right now and I know that any and all prayers offered on their behalf will add to their ability to get through whatever lies ahead.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Preparing for birth

Now that the nightmares of car buying have ended, my dreams are mostly dominated by scenes of birth and all the possible scenarios that could come this time around. For those of you who have been around for the last few years, you know we haven't had the smoothest rides when it comes to our babies being born. And, while in my waking hours I don't feel like I'm feeling a lot of fear or worry about what's to come, I know deep in my subconscious there are fears and worries lurking there.

I'd dare to say that between all that happened with the twins and then with Hugh, we've faced a lot of our worst-case scenarios (although I hesitate to say that, afraid it'll only dare fate to show us some new worst-case scenario I haven't yet considered). In some ways I think we're able to approach this time around with less fears about everything that could go wrong. Partly because we know that no matter what happens we'll find a way to get through anything that might possibly go wrong. And, partly because we've learned from experience that sometimes, no matter how hard you try to be prepared and try to make all the right choices, just sometimes the final outcome is completely out of your control.

Hours after Hugh was born via emergency cesarean and would soon be transported to a hospital two hours away to be treated for his severe case of MAS, I told Marc I was done. If every birth of our children was going to come with some form of drama and/or trauma, I didn't want to do it ever again. And I was serious.

Discovering in early November that we were expecting another baby came with it the uncovering of a lot of emotional scars I didn't feel quite ready to face. Since then I feel like I've confronted a lot of my fears and worries, but I can't deny there are still some lingering. I think they mostly stem from the unknown.

Right away I knew I wanted to try for a VBAC with this birth. I found a great doctor and group of midwives that have been super supportive of my desires and I feel very comfortable in their care. I've also done tons of reading about VBAC, hoping others' stories and experiences will be helpful in preparing me, and mostly just to try to replace any feelings of doubt with confidence and optimism.

And, it just made me wonder if there are any of my readers out there who have had their own VBAC experience and what kind of advice you might have to offer. If so, please share!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Car buying - the good and the bad

Tuesday morning we were busy putting all our ducks in a row to finally finalize the purchase of our first family-sized vehicle. After months of researching and searching and making contacts and negotiating prices and having nightmares about not being able to bring our baby girl home from the hospital because we didn't have a car big enough, we finally found something that we felt good about.

The main problem, or perhaps the biggest inconvenience was that it was being sold by a dealership three hours away. But, that was also a stroke of good fortune since my super awesome friend, Annie, lives in the same city. So, we made plans to meet up and the two little boys and me to stay the night and spend part of the next day with her and her two boys, while Marc would make his way home with one of our cars on Tuesday and I'd come home the next day in our other car.

Without going into all the nitty-gritty details, the whole process ended up taking longer than we anticipated and the purchase wasn't finalized on Tuesday and we all stayed the night.

As long of a day as it was and with everything taking much longer than expected, it actually felt kind of like vacation. While the car was being checked out by a mechanic, we met up with Annie and Jack at a train park, where the boys had tons of fun running around and exploring. I'm pretty sure the very best part, though, was that Daddy was there running around with them. And, when their faces were red and energy mostly spent, we went to the cool and comfort of Annie's home. As we left to go test drive the car, the boys were so happy to be playing with Jack and Scotty again, and of course all of their cool toys, that they didn't even notice when we left.

And, even though the day ended without new car keys in hand, it did end with yummy pizza and salad and helium balloons, making us really wish our local Round Table had the same buffet deal here. I'm pretty sure the boys wouldn't mind at all. They were in heaven!

Fortunately, Wednesday morning came and everything came together smoothly to make the purchase final and by noon-ish we were caravaning back home with Marc and Ben in our new Sienna and Hugh and me in our Honda. Hugh slept for most of the drive home, but woke up at different intervals and would start crying out "new car" and "Daddy", clearly not happy that he was missing out. Poor kid! I had no idea it was going to be so traumatic.

It was such a relief to finally have everything come together and eliminate that extra little burden of stress from our minds. And, even though the entire process and being three hours away was a huge hassle, having such great friends to spend the extra time with made it fun and relaxing. It was a huge blessing to have ended up in their city under such unexpected car-buying circumstances. We have really been blessed with some of the greatest of friends!