Saturday, April 30, 2016

Baby 3.0: 18 Weeks + Placenta Banking

We've made it to the 18 week mark already. I'm still not feeling that-was-without-a-doubt-a-kick movements yet and yes, that makes me a bit nervous. I've heard two schools of thought: one, since you've had multiple pregnancies that you should feel kicks sooner since you know how to recognize them or two, you might end up feeling/recognizing kicks later in the pregnancy seeing as you're busier with two kids unlike your previous pregnancies. I'm going with the second! Plus, I looked to see how I was around this time in my second pregnancy and read I hadn't felt any kicks yet and I was worried back then, too. Even still, I'll probably end up calling my doctor's office for some reassurance on Monday.

As far as cravings/aversions go, coffee has really disgusted me lately. Normally I look forward to coffee every morning so this is a bit sad for me. Any craving I've had so far hasn't been very healthy - Taco Bell soft tacos, hot Cheetos, a big juicy burger... oh and there was also raspberries! I'm also craving a solo vacation full of sleep, reading books, and laying in the sun. Still working on that...

We've got under two weeks until we find out this baby's gender and I can hardly wait! We've finally been working on some names and I'm coming up with some real contenders thanks to some wonderful Facebook friends! For the first time ever our boy name list is looking better than the girl options. I know I will be overjoyed either way!!!

Not exactly my best angle, but it'll do.
I figured if I waited to write a post until we got a normal/decent picture of my belly then it might accidentally be a couple more weeks before another update. So I'm improvising and using a photo from our trip to the Memphis Zoo from earlier today. Now, there is something else I'd like you to know if you didn't already...

Placentas are amazing. (How's that for a segue?)

While in the womb, your placenta is the link between you and your baby. It's your baby's lifeline. Again ladies and gentlemen, a woman's placenta is an incredible, AMAZING organ! And most of us think little to nothing of the placenta throughout our pregnancies or after our deliveries, mostly because it's a temporary organ that our body expels when it's purpose has been completely served. But we are finding out more and more benefits from paying a bit more attention to this beautiful organ. And I love that! For example, studies have shown that waiting a few minutes to clamp and/or cut your baby's umbilical cord allows more iron-rich blood from the placenta to reach your newborn baby.

After I had Presley I thought nothing of my placenta until months afterward. I started to hear more and more of power behind this organ and I wondered, what did mine look like? Was it healthy? How did it compare to other placentas? Might seem silly but it's something I did wonder about. When it was time to bring Molly into the world I asked Tony if he would take a photo of my placenta afterwards - but this was as far as my interaction with my placenta went. And yes, I am fully aware that I'm weird. But I'm pretty awesome, too!

Thanks to lots of celebrity moms bringing this to light, many of us are now familiar with placental encapsulation... or really, consuming your placenta. Sounds insane, right? But when it can increase your milk supply, chase away the baby blues, help heal your body, aid in regaining energy, and reduce bleeding - most moms wonder where can I sign up?! I'm absolutely considering encapsulating my placenta after this delivery.

What you probably haven't heard much about is placenta banking. The blood left inside your placenta is full of stem cells that may help heal damaged tissue or organs. The same applies to the blood found within your umbilical cord. LifeBankUSA offers both placenta banking as well as cord blood banking. The stem cells found in both the placenta & cord can be used to treat at least 80 differnt diseases (including leukemia and lymphoma). Stem cell transplants work by replacing other cells in the body that have been destroyed or have stopped working properly. The first cord blood stem cell transplant happened nearly 30 years ago in Paris. (Side note: How is it that it's been 28 years since 1988?) The transplant took place on a boy who was only five years old with a severe, rare type of anemia and it was a success! This little boy is now a healthy adult thanks to advanced medicine. There are ongoing clinical trials to study how stem cells may help treat a wide range of diseases including stroke, cerebral palsy, Parkinson's disease, diabetes, heart disease, and spinal cord injury.

With this type of banking, you only have one chance at collecting and storing these stem cells from your umbilical cord and/or placenta so it is important to be prepared. You can call and learn more at 1-877-543-3226 or visit LifeBankUSA to request a free guidebook. Banking with LifeBankUSA can cost as low as about $53 per month, though this does not include the annual storage fee - which applies after the first year.

If you haven't already, give placenta banking and cord blood banking a moment of your time. I've got two great reasons to consider it and a third one on the way!

Read more on The Power of Placenta Blood Banking with LifeBankUSA.
You can also visit them on Twitter @LifeBankU.

I was compensated for writing and sharing this post. 
I have shared my thoughts and my authentic thoughts alone. 
The facts I shared are true to the best of my knowledge.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Baby 3.0: Sixteen Weeks

Nothing too exciting has been happening - not seeing or feeling any baby kicks yet. We're well out of the first trimester woods and I am so grateful the all day nausea has subsided. My energy is slowly coming back! Thank goodness! Though by the end of the night I have no trouble falling right to sleep and if you know me very well, you know I usually have sleep difficulties at night. And during Molly's nap time every afternoon I am struggling to keep my eyes open. My sweet Pres usually lets me get in a little cat nap... anything as long as she doesn't have to go nap herself!

Sixteen weeks along with baby Duggan #3
We are 3.5 weeks away from my next appointment... this is THE big one... the ultrasound appointment where we will likely find out the gender of this babe. I keep feeling pulled in both directions - it really would be exciting to find out what we're having in the delivery room but it would be so comforting knowing beforehand what to expect! (Tony has no desire to leave it as a surprise.) And of course it'll be so nice to share the news with the girls... especially Presley since she understands everything so clearly at her age. She's certain it's a girl, though.

I have NO clue what kinda kid I'm carrying in there. I've got the craziest acne on my face, which I didn't experience the last two pregnancies, and it just feels like I'm carrying this kid so differently. Though I've never experienced a third pregnancy before so of course it would seem different than the others - because it IS different. The last few appointments the baby's heartbeat has been on the lower side of the spectrum whereas the girls' were a bit more high.

Here are all three pregnancies side-by-side at the 16 week mark
As far as the "what are you hoping for" question - I don't really even think I know. I'm not sure if I truly just don't have a preference (beyond happy and healthy) or if my preference keeps changing subtly or what! At first I 100% scared at the idea of bringing home a baby boy. After thinking through most of the illogical reasons, I really would be okay with it. Obviously I am inexperienced in the boy department but it would be different, fun, and exciting. I really enjoy being a girl mom and I come from a family of 3 girls so I would feel like I would fit in perfectly with having another baby girl. Either way, we are elated.

I'm not having any huge cravings yet but I've been ordering several Italian sandwiches lately - which is not something I usually order - it has just been sounding (and tasting) so good! And as I said before, I am just happy food has been sounding good and cooking is no longer so offensive.

We tried to be cute an include both kids in the picture and... well... we probably won't try to do that too often because things got a little crazy. Molly decided to fly backwards after giving no warning and when I tried to catch Molly then I started to lose Presley! Somehow we walked away with no injuries from this one.

So with that, I'll leave you with our baby pool. You can guess what you think we'll end up bringing home! Just a fair warning - Tony has won with both kids in the past (no pressure, dear!) so even though there will be a prize for the winner, don't anybody get too attached to the idea of winning!! You can put in your guesses right here!