Brody’s Birth Story Part 1: The Birth

At 40 weeks and 4 days pregnant, I was so done. I was emotional, exhausted, hurting and just ready to meet my baby boy. My body has shown signs of progression for several weeks, yet it wasn’t kicking into active labor. I had done everything possible to prepare my body and get things going. I even dealt with a day of prodromal labor and was sent home after going to the hospital at 40+1. Luckily the following Monday was my doctor’s appointment where we planned to discuss what the next steps were, and this is where our story begins…

10:45am: I had my final OB appointment where I planned to waltz in and beg her to induce me! And that is exactly what I did. My doctor came in and asked me how I was holding up. I told her that I concede and would love to just be induced as early as possible! {For those of you new around here, I really wanted to go into labor naturally and not have to deal with the evil pitocin. I was induced with my daughter and knew the pain of pitocin contractions. Since I wanted to have a medicine free delivery, an induction free delivery was ideal.} She said she’d call the hospital as soon as she checked me. She checked and I was still sitting at about 3.5cm dilated, but she could stretch me to a 4. I had been walking around at 3cm for over 2 weeks! She also did another membrane sweep to hopefully help jump start things before she went straight to her phone to call the hospital. Meanwhile we waited for the ultrasound tech to call us back to check my fluid levels. My doctor had said if they couldn’t get me in today that she would schedule my induction for the following night which pretty much was my worst case scenario. I needed that baby out! Only a few minutes later, she called me back and asked if I could go to the hospital straight away. Ummm…OF COURSE!

11:10am: We went straight to the hospital which was only about 10 minutes away. First, we called my dad who was working from home to see if he could come grab Chloe. He had a call to jump on, but luckily my sister-in-law Corbette was there and able to come grab her for us from the hospital before driving back to San Antonio for work! Then we called or texted the rest of the family to let them know what was going on and where to meet us once they got to the hospital. I was also texting all of my friends like crazy letting them know this was the real deal. I was going to have a baby soon!

11:30am: While JP waited for Corbette, I checked into hospital! My mom was working that day, so she walked from postpartum to labor and delivery to meet up with me. {My mom is a lactation consultant and former NICU nurse at the hospital where I delivered!} I waited for just a few minutes in the lobby before they called me back to my room. Luckily the VIP Princess Suite was available and ready for me! It’s not really called that, but that’s my name for the room because it’s the largest L&D room and it even has it’s own waiting room area attached.

I got all dolled up in my super sweet hospital gown and was ready and excited to get things going!

12:30pm: After answering all the questions and getting situated in my room my Pitocin and Penicillin were administered. I’m GBS positive, so I needed two doses of Penicillin in my system before baby was born to ensure that I don’t pass it onto him! While it’s harmless to adults, it can be deadly to babies. My pitocin levels were started at a 2 and could go as high as 36, but they gradually increase it in increments of 2 to slowly ramp up your labor.

My awesome nurse, Stephanie, was very supportive of my desire to have a med free delivery and presented me with several options to help aid my cause. First she brought in wireless monitors! That’s right, I didn’t have to stay in the bed with two monitors strapped to my belly reading baby’s heart rate and my contractions. Instead, I had them taped to my belly and they were waterproof in case I wanted to get in the bath tub. Then she brought out the yoga ball for me to sit on if it felt right. In my case, it definitely did!

1:00-5:00pm: These 4 hours are kind of a blur as far as exact times go. There wasn’t really anything too exciting about them other than the fact that I was indeed in labor and my people started arriving. Contractions over those hours gradually get more intense, but are manageable. They started as mild cramp about 5 minutes apart and picked up to a more moderate pain in the first couple of hours. My mom came and went as she had patients, and my sister arrived around 1:00pm. You know what else came at 1:00pm? That awesome tray of goodness you see in the picture above! When I was induced with Chloe it was ice chips only. This time my doctor allowed me to have clear fluids! I was all about the jello, sorbet and apple juice. Thank you Jesus. I know those sugars helped me to keep my energy up over the next several hours.

Around 3:00pm, my in laws arrived at the hospital from College Station. It was nice to have another mother in the room with me!

During this time, I labored standing up or on the medicine ball. Laying in bed was easily the most uncomfortable position I could possible be in! As the pitocin and my contractions picked up, I had to focus more on my breathing through the contractions, but they weren’t the incredibly painful contractions that I knew would be coming. I was just wondering why they weren’t here yet! At 4:00pm my sister left for her OB appointment. Funny story, we have the same doctor! I had a feeling that once my doctor was finished with my sister’s appointment, she would be headed my way to break my water.

5:15pm: Emily returned from her appointment and only a few minutes later, my doctor comes in to check me and I’m only 3.5cm still! It was incredibly discouraging, but I knew that after they broke my water that things would pick up since that’s what happened with Chloe. Brody had plenty of water in my tummy, so he wasn’t able to descend and put pressure on my cervix, until some of that fluid was gone.

Luckily after both my doctor and nurse checked me, my doctor did indeed brake my water. This is where things picked up. Immediately my contractions were much worse. Literally the very first one after my water broke was painful. Instead of breathing through my contractions, I was moaning through them. I knew I couldn’t stay on the bed, and my doctor again was awesome and encouraged me to get on the ball or stand whatever I needed to do except get in the tub. I was thankful because some doctors would prefer you to stay in bed after your water is broken. She was so respectful and encouraging of my wishes!

The ball became my happy place and I found a nice rhythm with my support team. With each contraction, JP would press his thumbs {and eventually decided his fists would be better} into my lower back while I push back with counter pressure. I kept my hands on my mom’s legs and she helped me to breathe or moan through each contraction. It was incredibly empowering. My sister was also in the room taking pictures as well as my mother in law who was encouraging me the whole time.

7:00pm: It was shift change, so my lovely nurse was leaving me and I was introduced to my new nurse who turned out to be equally as awesome. She checked my cervix and I had progressed to 5cm, I was completely effaced and my cervix finally moved to an anterior position. I was bummed that I was only 5cm though because I started to feel like I was going through transition. You can see in the picture above that I’m in quite a bit of pain and transferring into the bed was the last thing I wanted to do!

At this point, JP turned on the Astros game for some distraction for me and entertainment for everyone else. {Yes, this turns out to be an important tid bit of information!} Then quite rapidly things began to change in the room. I was in an immense amount of pain and began shaking.

7:15pm: In between contractions, I talked with my mom and sister and decided that 3-4 more hours of contractions like that would be excruciating for me. I didn’t think I could continue on if I was only 5cm dilated! I called my nurse and let her know that I decided that I wanted an epidural.

7:30pm: The anesthesiologist was actually nearby and finishing up with another patient, so he was in my room in 15 minutes. Getting from the ball to the bed was intense. I was shaking uncontrollably as I was sitting on the bed, but my nurse was amazing. She got me situated in the place I needed to be and just help me and helped me breathe through everything. She held my head to her chest and just encouraged me and made me feel safe, Poor JP didn’t know what to do, so he just sat on the couch while everyone sat in the waiting room.

Then all of a sudden sh*t hit the fan. The anesthesiologist stuck me twice with the shots of Novocaine when I said, “I need to push right now. I’m pushing!” Just 30 minutes prior I was only 5cm! The anesthesiologist quickly stuck me with the epidural needle and I honestly didn’t feel a thing. I was slowly doing little pushes to relieve the pain and pressure I was feeling.

They laid me back down and the room got frantic. All of my people in the waiting room didn’t know it was showtime. My mom helped my nurse get everything ready by calling the nursery while my nurse got my doctor and everyone else necessary. During this time, the anesthesiologist was able to push the smallest dose of medicine through my epidural to take off the edge. Essentially it allowed me to feel calmed down and it numbed my butt. I still had full control of my entire body and I felt every single push.

7:45pm: Speaking of pushing, it was less than 15 minutes after the anesthesiologist arrived that I began my real pushes! I was able to hold my legs and give it my all with each contraction. Some people say they don’t like it when the nurse or doctor counts to 10, but honestly it really helped me to concentrate on what I was doing. Pushing felt so amazing. Don’t get me wrong, there was pain, but it was the greatest relief after going through transition. After the first few pushes, my doctor asked if I wanted to feel his head! Ummm…ABSOLUTELY! It was the greatest feeling knowing he was there and feeling his head of hair. I gave another couple of pushes after that and delivered his head. Just one push later my baby boy was here! Despite his quick delivery, I didn’t even tear.

7:56pm: James Brody Gougler was born! He was immediately place on my chest and my legs finally got a chance to rest on the stirrups. I was so completely in love and flooded with emotions. I went from ugly tears and joyous laughter!
During this time, the Astros game was playing in the background. We were down 0-4 against the A’s before I started pushing. By the time I finished pushing and Baby Brody was here, the Astros were up 5-4! JP was so proud and told everyone that I was the Astros good luck.
Now times get really fuzzy, so I’ll just share the details. After a few moments on my chest, the nursery nurse had to take him from me because of fluid in his lungs. He came so fast that he didn’t have time to descend and push the fluid out of his lungs. They suctioned 18 cc’s of fluid from him, monitored his breathing, wiped him down, weighed and measured him!

Brody’s grandpa arrived as I was pushing, so he was stuck out in the waiting room with the other gentlemen until I was decent. As you can see, he was itching to come in!

They only had Brody away from me for a few minutes. It didn’t bother me too much because he was in the room and my mom was helping. Knowing she was there with him gave me a sense of ease. It’s kind of funny because in all of these pictures, she looks like she’s one of the nurses working since she had been working earlier that day!

While Brody was on the warmer, I easily delivered my placenta with a little push and no problems at all. I asked my doctor if I could see it, and not only did she show it to me, but she explained the different parts to me and my sister. It was so neat and fascinating. She also gave me one stitch because there was a loose piece of skin that she wanted to encourage to tighten up, so although I didn’t tear, I had one stitch down there. The difference in the healing process tearing vs not tearing is incredibly different. I feel like I’m healing so much faster this time!

The only issue I had with Brody being away from me was the uncontrollable postpartum shakes! I was shaking like crazy when he wasn’t on me. I needed him to help regulate my hormones!

James Brody Gougler was born at 7:56pm in Sugar Land, TX. He weight a whopping 8lbs 7oz and was 20 1/2 inches long.

My mom was able to hand him to me after his examination. If my mom hadn’t been there, Brody would have gone to the NICU. It’s standard procedure to take them if they have a certain amount of fluid on their lungs, so thank goodness for my mom and her expertise. I would have been devastated if he had to leave me!

After some skin to skin bonding, it was time for Brody’s first breastfeeding session! How convenient to have a lactation consultant in the room with me. I was so overwhelmed with emotions that I kind of forgot what to do! It was nice to have my mom there to help with the first feed. After that, everything came naturally to me again.

Needless to say, Brody is a natural and a pro at this breastfeeding thing just like his sister!

Once we were situated, the whole gang was let in to meet the newest grandson and nephew! But I’m going to stop here for now. I promise to come back with Brody’s Birth Story Part 2: The Recovery soon! I still have so many pictures and stories to share, but this is the perfect stopping point. My baby is here and we are so in love! 

10 Day Unbumpdate

In the blink of an eye, my baby is now 10 days old and we’ve spent over a week at home as a family of four. It’s been a wild 10 days with lots of emotions and doctor appointments, and we know there is even more to come.

I thought it would be fun to do a postpartum update or an Unbumpdate as I’ve decided to call it! I no longer have a bump, but a baby! I also think it’s incredibly important to be real here about how my postpartum recovery is going. I was real with y’all about pregnancy, so I’d like to continue on through my 4th trimester. I’m going to take the categories I used during my weekly Bumpdates and tweak them to make them more postpartum friendly. I hope that this will help someone out there realize that you aren’t along in your postpartum journey. It’s hard for everyone. Even though we have these amazing precious lives that we would do anything for, not every moment or every day is pretty!

How Old is Baby? 
10 days old as of 7:56pm last night.
Size of Baby: 
8lb 14oz
He was born at 8lb 7oz and dropped to 8lbs even when we left the hospital. We have a hungry boy on our hands!
Weight Loss: 
20lbs
This is based on my home scale. I have my first postpartum follow up at the doctor on Monday which will be my official weigh it. I’d also like to note that I did end up gaining 34lbs in total during my pregnancy with Brody. 1lb more than I did with Chloe and I know that with hard work, breastfeeding, and time, I’ll be back to my old self once again.
Stretch marks: 
Just the ones under my boobies from their first great expansion when I was pregnant with Chloe. Going from a barely B to a DD will do that to a girl.
Postpartum Aches and Pains: 
The postpartum cramping has been so much worse this time around. Apparently it’s common for your cramping after birth to be much worse after the first. Who knew? I definitely had to stay on top of taking my medicine the first week. It’s gradually getting lighter, but seems to be the worst at night. I’ve only been taking my medicine right before bed to help with that. Otherwise my perineum pain has decreased exponentially. I didn’t end up tearing this time, which has made the healing process much easier and faster.
Emotions: 
For the most part, I’m feeling really great emotionally. There are definitely weepy moments here and there that mostly revolve around Chloe and the fact that she doesn’t want to have anything to do with me and is changing so much right before my eyes. It’s been a very busy and emotional couple of weeks for all of us. I’m definitely on high alert for postpartum depression/anxiety symptoms because I know it can happen to anyone. I’ve told my husband and my mom to keep an eye on me and let me know if they sense something off. I may be mad at them in the moment, but I know I’ll get over it. I dealt with some postpartum anxiety with Chloe and went undiagnosed until about 9-10 months postpartum. After taking some medicine for a few months, I was back to normal and able to wean off without a problem.
Sleep: 
Well I’m not waking up to go potty 4-5 times a night, but I am waking up to feed Brody about 2 times every night. We were told yesterday that we no longer have to wake him every 3-4 hours to eat, so I’m hoping we can start to get a solid 5 hour stretch each night. Luckily Brody is a really efficient eater and seems to love his sleep, so we are getting some sleep! Definitely more than we did with Chloe. We have a solid night time routine going on: We both wake up when Brody does, JP changes his diaper while I go potty and get situated, I feed Brody and get him back in his SleepSack, if Brody decides to be fussy, JP will help soothe him to sleep so I can get some rest. It just works!
Our first family photo and Brody’s first nursing session!

Breastfeeding:
I am one of the fortunate ones that has a pretty easy time breastfeeding. Chloe and Brody were both great eaters that just seemed to know what they were doing. Neither had tongue or lip ties either, which I know is a blessing. It’s also a blessing to have a lactation consultant mom! Any questions I have can be answered instantly and trust me, even though this is my second time, I still have questions! I love breastfeeding and the bond that it gives mother and baby. It’s such a special time and I hope to be able to nurse Brody for at least a year, but ideally up to two years!
Now just because it’s easy for me and I love it doesn’t mean I don’t feel the aches and pains! I definitely have tender nipples especially when he’s cluster feeding. Take a look at my postpartum favorites post to see what I use to help that!
Cravings: 
Taco salads, Honey Nut Chex Mix, cookies, cake, spaghetti squash (random I know), lots of water, watermelon, coffee. Breastfeeding cravings pretty much involve a lot of carbs and more sweets than I care to admit!
Workouts: 
I’m still not cleared to workout and likely won’t be until 6 weeks postpartum. I’ve been trying very hard to take it easy and rest while I allow my body to heal these first two weeks. I think I’ve actually done a really great job at that! I haven’t gone on an outdoor walk because of lots of rain and crazy humidity. I’m hoping to get out there soon for a slow and steady walk. Otherwise, I’ve made an effort to get out to the grocery store, Target and Hobby Lobby just to walk around a bit more this week.
Best Moments The Past 2 Weeks: 
Bringing Brody home and starting life as a family of four.
Watching Chloe grow closer to her brother each day. I love seeing her interact with him and show him her love!
Be sure to check back Monday for Brody’s Birth Story! I can’t wait to share one of the most amazing and painful experiences of my life!

My Favorite Postpartum Must Haves

Hey y’all! I’m back! I hope everyone had a wonderful Labor Day weekend and that it wasn’t too hard to get back to the daily grind this week. My Labor Day was quite laborless which is a good thing since I was only 1 week postpartum! That’s right, if for some reason you didn’t know, I gave birth to my baby boy, James Brody Gougler, on August 27, 2018 at 7:56pm. I promise to give you all the dirty details as soon as I am able to get all of my thoughts and emotions written down and pictures edited. Until then I thought I’d share a post for all of my postpartum mommas and mommas-to-be!

Today I bring to you, my first week postpartum must haves. These are the things that I probably couldn’t have done without over the last few days since having Brody.

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links with Amazon. This means that at no cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase!

one. Lansinoh Soothie Gel Pads
Every breastfeeding momma needs these to help soothe those tender nipples! The cooling gel truly soothes you tender or cracked nipples after each feeding. They are reusable for several months and work their magic every time. You can store them in your diaper bag or in the fridge. I recommend the fridge for added cooling and soothing. I also recommend packing them in your hospital bag to use right after giving birth if you’re still pregnant!
two. Silicone Breast Pump
There are several brands out there, but I purchased this silicone breast pump from NatureBond for only $14.99. I bought it after several mommas from my August Baby Group recommended it, and I can’t rave about it enough! While nursing your baby, you attached the pump to your other breast using a bit of suction. Then as you nurse, your milk will let down and the suction will help the milk continue to drain into the pump. The best part is that it doesn’t hurt or make your nipples swell like pumping will! It will help to increase your supply as well as your freezer storage. You can still offer the pumped side to baby if they’re still hungry after draining your first breast. There will still be milk in there for them since they are the most efficient at draining your breastmilk.


NatureBond Silicone Breastfeeding Manual Breast Pump

Edit: It looks like the pump I posted isn’t currently available on Amazon {though it should come back}, so I’m going to link to the original silicone breast pump called Haaka. It’s the same concept as the one above and costs $13.99. It just doesn’t include the pump stopper.

three. My Brest Friend
I know most everyone knows about the Boppy, but and even better, lesser know breastfeeding pillow option is My Brest Friend! I personally prefer this pillow because you bring it around your body and clip it as loose or tight as you would like. This means you don’t have to deal will it slipping away from you as you nurse. You can also stand up and walk around with it on. When I do this, my dad refers to it as my baby shelf because I can rest the baby’s bum on it while I carry him around. Some other reasons I love this pillow are the lumbar support and front pocket! The lumbar support helps my lower back so I can lean back and not hunch my shoulders forward, and in the pocket I keep chapstick and nipple butter so I always have it on hand.
four. Bravado! Nursing Tank
You can find nursing tanks from tons of different stores. I have a few from Target that I like, but my favorite are these Bravado! nursing tanks. I feel like they provide a little more support and I don’t have to wear a nursing bra underneath it. Some of my others require the tank and bra for me to feel like everything is being held in place. In those early days, extra support is so necessary! It’s also comfortable enough to sleep in!

five. Earth Mama Organics Nipple Butter
This stuff is where it’s at. It costs about the same amount as other nipple creams, but is so much better! Earth Mama has the formula just right because it’s so soothing on your nipples. It’s smooth and creamy instead of thick and sticky like other nipple creams. It 100% okay for baby to digest, so you don’t have to wipe it off before feeds. You can also use in when pumping! Just put a little nipple butter inside the flanges and it makes the whole experience much better. And as an added bonus, it smells delicious, kind of like cocoa butter.


six. Earth Mama Organics Perineum Spray
Earth Mama Organics does it again with this perineal spray! This is a cooling spray that helps to relieve postpartum soreness. The natural ingredients help to reduce swelling and speed up your recovery. It also comes with an awesome spray bottle that you can use while tipped upside down so you can get to all the hard to reach places. You can start using this while you’re still at the hospital so be sure to add this and the nipple cream to your hospital bag!

Earth Mama Herbal Perineal Spray

seven. DockATot
I cannot rave enough about the DockATot! This is by far my favorite baby item that I received! I loved the Boppy Lounger for Chloe {and still do!}, but I can use the DockATot in more locations and I don’t have to worry about baby falling out. This allows me to co-sleep without worry and he’s always an arms reach away. We also have it laid out on the couch for when we’re lounging around watching tv to allow him to nap more soundly at least once during the day. Because let’s be real, some nap times, I just want to hold him!

eight. Desserts
Okay this isn’t necessarily a product, but let’s talk about how great postpartum treats are! We’ve gotten cake, cookies, brownies, peanut butter bars and more from our loved ones who know all about my sweet tooth. It’s not my fault that breastfeeding cravings are so much more intense than pregnancy cravings! I wish I had taken a picture of my pile of desserts at it’s finest, but let’s just say we still have some and I haven’t inhaled them all…yet.

There you have it! I’m sure there are tons of other products that I could share with y’all, but these are the ones that I can’t stop raving about in our house. I even asked my husband which ones seem to be my favorites and he agrees. If y’all are interested in other baby items that I’ve loved over the years, let me know and I can do more of these posts going forward!
I’ll leave y’all with a pic for cuteness and to show off his awesome DockATot! I wasn’t joking when I said it was my favorite baby shower gift! Until next time y’all. And hopefully next time is soon and I can get his birth story down in writing!

40 Week Bumpdate

The day is finally here! The day that I’ve had a big heart around on my calendar since the morning of December 15th when I found out I was pregnant. Today is officially my due date. I didn’t make it to my due date with Chloe due to a couple of reasons. I chose to be induced at 39+5 for severe back pain and the fact that my dad was starting a traveling job that would have him in Denver for a few weeks with no chance to get back to meet his first grandchild. {You can read more about Chloe’s birth story here if you haven’t already!} That being said, I’ve never been this pregnant before! I’d get into the emotions of it right now, but scroll down a little further and you’ll see how I feel.
One thing to note, all of my momma’s babies were late. I pretty much wrecked her poor world coming a whopping 2 weeks late. Emily was a week and a half, Ben about a week and Matt was 2 days. Each baby came a little earlier, but never before their due date. Maybe Chloe was going to come late too? Who knows? Technically this little boy still has time before he’s considered late. I’m not giving up hope yet!

How Far Along? 
40 weeks y’all! Today is my due date!
Size of Baby: 
A watermelon. That’s right, a big ole watermelon is currently hanging out in my uterus.
He could range from about 7-9lbs and lengths from 19-21 inches. Now we just have to wait and see how big he’ll be! My doctor thinks he’ll only be a little bit bigger than Chloe was at 7lb6oz. We’ll see soon enough!
Weight Gain: 
Something like 33-34lbs. I’m retaining water pretty bad this week!

Stretch marks: 
I’m lucky enough not to have any! Just the ones under my boobies from their first great expansion when I was pregnant with Chloe. Going from a barely B to a DD will do that to a girl.
Symptoms: 
The hip pain and pelvic pressure has been really rough the last few days. My pelvic complex feels so loose because well, it is. All of the relaxin in my body is working hard to loosen my ligaments and open up my pelvis for baby boy’s exit. If only he’d decide to descend and make his debut! Other than that I’m dealing with mild nausea when I wake up and LOTS of Braxton-Hicks contractions every evening. 

Cravings: 
Tacos, cereal, peanut butter, sweets and other things that really aren’t good for me.
Mood: 
All over the place. Did you know that in the last few weeks of a woman’s pregnancy she produces the same amount of estrogen that a normal woman produces in a year? Yeah, that’s why we’re crazy! The raging hormones are no joke. I can go from happy to bawling in a matter of seconds. Emotionally I’m so ready to meet this baby. I can’t wait to see his face and watch his sister interact with him for the first time. I know I’ll be a hot mess. I also know that things will get harder once he’s here {as people are constantly reminding me these days…I don’t need this advice y’all, I just want to be unpregnant!}, but I knew this going into getting pregnant again. I’m as ready as I’ll ever be for these changes. I know I’ll have to take it one day at a time and that I’ll be incredibly sleep deprived, but it too will pass. Right now I’m just uncomfortable and want this beachball to come out. End mini rant.
Nursery: 
In case you missed the reveal post, check it out here!
Movement: 
Can’t stop, won’t stop. A lot of babies slow down their movements at this time in pregnancy because they’re running out of room. Not this guy! Apparently he still has plenty of room thanks to all of the fluid I still have. We did an ultrasound yesterday to make sure his fluid levels were safe. Not only were they safe, but they were double what my OB wanted to see!
Sleep: 
I’m lucky enough to still be sleeping pretty well all things considered. I’m trying to soak it up while I can because I know that will be changing shortly! I’m still getting up 3-4 times a night to go potty,  and I have trouble falling asleep after at least one potty break each night. I always fall asleep eventually though!

Workouts: 
Walk, walk, walk, walk, walk! If you follow along with me on Instagram, I have been posting updates every morning after my walk. I actually didn’t post the other day and I got so many messages from people asking if I was in labor. Nope, I was just grumpy and over being pregnant so I didn’t post. That backfired! But yeah, I literally walk 2-3 miles every morning for the last 4 weeks. I think I’ve only skipped a handful of mornings for one reason or another. It’s definitely getting harder and I’m getting slower, but it’s so worth it.
What I Miss: 
Tying my shoes without wincing in pain. Laying on the couch in whatever position I want. Wine. Margaritas. I think wine and margs would definitely help my state of mind these days!
Labor Signs: 
Contractions every night that are inconsistent and always die off after about an hour or so. I’m currently dilated to 3.5cm and 60% effaced. My doctor said that baby boy has descended some more, but my cervix is still high. We’re both honestly shocked that I’m still pregnant at this point since I started progressing weeks ago. We did an ultrasound yesterday to check fluid levels since my fundal height came back a bit smaller than the week before. She was worried that my levels may have dropped and wanted them to be above a 6. Well it turns out they’re at a 15! No wonder he’s so comfy in there, he still has a nice cushion to relax and hang out in. On the plus side, we’re both incredibly healthy and willing to wait it out a bit longer!

Best Moments The Past 2 Weeks: 
Soaking up moments with my baby girl before she officially becomes a big sister from couch snuggles to outings. She’s been a bit of a mess lately which definitely stresses me out from time to time {just kidding it stresses me out at some point daily lately!}, but I know it’s because of all of these changes headed her way. She doesn’t even realize what’s truly about to happen.
Looking forward to: 
Going into labor, giving birth and meeting this baby boy!

There you have it! My 40 Week Bumpdate which I wasn’t even able to do with Chloe. I’ll admit, I was reaaaallllly hoping that I wouldn’t get to do it with this baby either, but here we are! My next doctor’s appointment is on Monday and at that point we’ll discuss induction options. Until then I’m going to keep up with all the old wives tales and hope that eventually something will work and he’ll come out on his own!

Missed a bumpdate or want to compare stats?

39 Week Bumpdate

I officially made it to 39 weeks! Only 7 days until my due date and who knows how many days until his birthday. Chloe was born at 39 + 5 and I’d be okay if he follow suit and came a little early like his sister. Overall I’m feeling good. I’m in a good headspace and really looking forward to labor and bringing my son into the world. Now we just wait and see what happens!

How Far Along?
39 weeks today! Houston, we have a full term baby!
Size of Baby:
Little man is the size of a watermelon, mini skateboard or pumpkin depending on who you ask.
I feel like he’s going to be bigger than Chloe, but my doctor seems to think that he shouldn’t be much bigger than her! At this point babies weights range from about 7-9lbs and lengths from 19-21 inches. Now we just have to wait and see how big he’ll be!

Weight Gain:
Somewhere between 30-32 lbs. I was just shy of a 32 lb gain at my appointment yesterday. 
Symptoms: 
Holy pelvic pressure! This week baby has dropped…finally! He’s been all up in my ribs and at some point on Tuesday I could just feel him descend. I’m also having Braxton-Hicks contraction every single evening for a couple of hours. They’re all over the place and never get more intense which is why I’m obviously still pregnant!
Cravings: 
Peanut butter and jelly, ice cream, sno cones, carrots, 
Mood:
Depends on the time of day. Mornings are great! I’m usually in a pretty good mood and feeling my best. As the day goes on I get more irritable and uncomfortable. I’m not particularly proud of my attitude in the evenings! I’m so uncomfortable and just over the day. The BH contractions are uncomfortable and frustrating, and I’m usually just achy and tired. God bless my husband for being one of the most patient men on the planet. He ignores the fact that I am kind of a jerk and even rubs my feet and back!
Nursery: 
All done and I am completely in love. Check out my full nursery post to see all of the details!
Movement: 
He is the most active kid ever! He is constantly rolling and kicking and punching. His movements have gotten much bigger over the past couple of weeks. He’s so strong!
Sleep:
Hit or miss these days. I’m still falling asleep with ease and waking up between 2-5 times every night for potty breaks. My bladder is just preparing me for those middle of the night feedings! Sometimes I fall back to sleep with no problems at all, and sometimes it takes me an hour to actually fall asleep again. The nights where sleep is rough makes for an interesting next day chasing around a toddler!
Workouts: 
Last Monday was my last class at the Health Club where I taught for almost 5 years. It was so bittersweet! I’m happy to have been part of such a great place, but I know it was time to move on. Driving into downtown Houston just won’t be as reasonable once we have two kiddos and JP is working in the office again.
As for my workouts, I’m all about the walking! Last week I walked 2 miles or more 6 different days! This week I’ve already racked up 4 walks, so you could say that I’m determined to stay active, keep moving and walk this baby out. I’m also trying to do lots of squats, but I’ll admit, I haven’t done any upper body since my final class last week!
What I Miss:
My body. While part of me loves this baby belly, another part of me misses feeling like myself. I want to be able to tie my shoes and lounge on the couch comfortably!
Labor Signs:
I’m currently 3cm dilated and 70% effaced. My cervix is still pretty high, but baby boy has dropped! Baby steps. My body is doing what it’s supposed to so now we wait. I did have a membrane sweep at my appointment yesterday to see if that would help give him an extra push!
Anything making you queasy or sick: 
Nothing in particular. I get nauseous randomly and its usually in the evenings on days that I do too much. 

Best Moments The Past Weeks:
Just doing as much as we can as a family of three before baby boy comes!
Check out our “maternity shoot” that we did on my iPhone in my parents’ backyard!
Looking forward to:
Going into labor
Experiencing labor
Meeting our little boy
{And yes, I’m excited about labor. I know it will be hard, but I’m really looking forward to it at this point!}

Missed a bumpdate or want to compare stats?
We’re Pregnant | Gender Reveal | 1st Trimester | 18 Weeks | 20 Weeks | 22 Weeks | 24 Weeks | 26 Weeks | 28 Weeks | Traveling Pregnant | 30 Weeks | 3rd Trimester Must Haves | 32 Weeks | Baby Shower | 35 Weeks | Nursery Reveal

An Impromptu Maternity Shoot

Why hello friends! I’m still here and still pregnant getting bigger and bigger by the day! Today I’m 38 weeks and 5 days. I have my weekly OB appointment tomorrow and I’m hoping to do a membrane sweep to help jump start labor. We’ll see what happens. Stay tuned for my 39 week bumpdate later this week to see!

Today I wanted to share some special pictures with y’all, but first a little explanation behind them. When I was pregnant with Chloe, I did maternity pictures around the 32-33 week mark. I loved capturing that phase of life with my little bump, and we have several of the shots captured framed in our home. This time around I decided not to a professional maternity shoot. I honestly can’t tell you why I made this decision, but lately I started to regret it! I think my original thought was that we did a family shoot when I was 13 weeks pregnant and got some sweet announcement shots, so we didn’t need to do another one. I also kept saying that this is my second pregnancy, so I didn’t need to do it again. Ummm…wrong on both accounts. Family pictures are great anytime and are always worth it, and every pregnancy is different and deserves to be documented and remembered forever! That being said, this Sunday, my little family was all dolled up from a Sunday baptism of my dear friends’ twins, and I had to take advantage! We were stopping by my parents’ house to hang out for a bit after the baptism, so we snapped some quick pictures in their backyard. Luckily my sister was there to help out.

Now that you know the back story, let me show you what we came up with on a whim! Now remember, these were all taken by my sister on my iPhone 7 and edited by me in Lightroom. Nothing fancy, but I love how they turned out and that we were able to capture this stage of life!

There you have it! These were taken at 38 weeks and 3 days. You can definitely tell I’m towards the end of my pregnancy! My face is starting to swell a bit, but I’m so thankful to have these memories! To top it off, we did this in all of about 10-15 minutes.
It’s crazy to think that he could be here literally any day now. Chloe came via induction at 39 weeks and 5 days due to a week of nearly constant prodromal labor and my desire to get her out before my dad left to start his job in Colorado on August 2nd! So I want to know…

What are y’alls guesses…when will this little boy make his debut? What will his birthday be and how much will he weight? Reminder, I’m 38 + 5 TODAY and Chloe weighed 7lb and 6oz at 39 + 5 to help you guess!

World Breastfeeding Week 2018

World Breastfeeding Week is wrapping up tomorrow and I had to take a moment to reflect on the beauty that this week represents. While I’m not actively breastfeeding this particular week, it’s only a matter of days before I am in the throes of the early days of breastfeeding! Not only that, I spend most of the year helping my mom prepare for her annual WBW event at the hospital, but we’ll get to that in a minute.
Breastfeeding was something that I knew I wanted to do as soon as I found out I was pregnant with Chloe. Having a mom as a lactation consultant definitely helps not only when it comes to making the decision to breastfeed, but also when it comes to having the appropriate support needed to succeed. Breastfeeding isn’t easy in the early days. The difficulty coupled with hormones can often break mommas down and cause them to give up. Another factor is support. You need the support and encouragement of everyone around you to succeed. That’s what gets you past those hard days and hormones. Even though it was 3 years ago for me, I remember it all too well!
I wanted to look back on my breastfeeding journey and share a couple of posts from the past few years that I thought y’all may enjoy. 

This past Thursday was the Community Baby Shower hosted by my mom at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital! This is the 4th year for the event and it was by far the best. We say it every year, but each year truly gets better and bigger.

We had several community partners come like The Lactation Foundation, GiGi’s Playhouse, the local library, WIC and La Leche League! Everyone brought lots of good information, handouts and giveaways for our mommas.

This year was the first year that vendors were allowed to set up booths for moms and moms-to-be to shop around and learn about new products.

We also had the Sugar Land Police Department there to discuss car seat safety. He showed parents the proper way to have baby buckled into their carseats. He was able to examine any babies that had their carseats there to confirm or adjust if necessary, and he even went out to people’s cars if they asked to assess the carseat bases! I feel like he is such an important part of this event year after year.

Another one of my favorites is Baby Wearing International! They bring various types of wraps and carriers for moms to try out and see which ones they like! It was because of them that I found out how much I liked the Tula with Chloe. I wish I would have known more about them when she was an infant. This year they helped me with my new ring sling and showed me how to thread it and wear it so that I can start using it safely as soon as baby boy arrives. My sister and other moms were also able to test out the different types of carriers to see which one best suits them. One of the ladies said that structured carriers are like a good pair of jeans, you just have to try on several to see which on fits your body best! 

The event itself was incredibly successful. We had over 250 people attend with 18 baskets to raffle, 10 vendors, about 15 community partners, tons of hourly giveaways and hundreds of burp cloths and reusable breast pads for every mom that attended. Not only did every mom that attended receive a burp cloth and set of pads but we sent 100 to WIC, 100 La Leche League and 100 to the Lactation Foundation! There may even be more that I’m missing, but my mom has all of those stats.

Breastfeeding has been a special journey in my life. I nursed Chloe for the first 18 months of her life before she decided to self wean completely on her own. I love breastfeeding and I can’t wait to start the journey with my baby boy. I know the beginning will come with its challenges and I’ll have to face some adversity, but I can’t wait! Here are just a few pictures I found from my days nursing Chloe.

While I haven’t had many negative experiences with people making rude comments to my face about breastfeeding, I know that many women have. I hope that with time we can continue to normalize breastfeeding and the beauty that comes along with it. It is such a magical bonding experience between mother and baby. There are countless benefits! Just because someone doesn’t understand it, doesn’t mean they have the right to bring down a mother who is just trying to feed her baby. So here’s to breastfeeding!
Do you want to share your breastfeeding story? I’d love to feature some on my blog over the month of August! Write a comment or shoot me an e-mail at acgougler@gmail.com and we can figure out how to share!

37 Week Bumpdate

Today I am officially early term! If baby boy came now, he would likely have little to no problems at all. On the other hand, as much as I’d like him out early, I know that it’s better for him to cook in there a little bit longer. I’ll probably be singing a different tune next week! Let’s dive in and see how the last couple of weeks have been! I had my first internal check at my appointment on Monday and have lots of fun info to share!
How Far Along? 
37 weeks today!
Size of Baby:
Little man is the size of romain lettuce! I’ve also seen some other comparisons like a winter melon or a Cabbage Patch Doll!  
He’s likely close to 19 inches long and according to our ultrasound on Monday, he was estimated to weigh 6lbs 13oz! That same ultrasound told me that he is measuring about 4 days ahead which he has been since the 20 week ultrasound.

Weight Gain:
Up just shy of 30lbs and starting to slow down a bit.
My appetite is hit or miss, and there’s not much room left for food especially by dinnertime.
Symptoms: 
Currently dealing with lower back pain especially in the evenings. Some days it isn’t terrible and sometimes I’m doubled over with JP rubbing my back and heating up my rice heating pad. Luckily it seems to be okay throughout the day. I’m also starting to swell a bit in my ankles and lower legs, but nothing incredibly noticeable. 
Cravings: 
Like I said earlier, my appetite is hit or miss, but here’s what I’ve been wanting when I’m hungry:
subs with turkey, salami &mayo, tacos, sno cones, peanut butter toast, cheese & Ritz crackers, watermelon, kettle corn

Mood:
I think I’ve been fairly level headed lately. My extreme emotions around meeting this baby and Chloe’s role as a big sister have evened out and I’m really looking forward to seeing her grow. Honestly I’m just excited and ready to meet this baby! I will admit that I’m still grumpy in the evenings and God bless my amazing husband for not only putting up with me, but helping me through the end of this pregnancy!
Nursery: 
All done and I am completely in love. Check out my full nursery post to see all of the details!

Movement: 
He’s still moving all the time. He is now rolling, stretching and trying to escape his tiny living space. His movements are much more painful these days. They seem to be the worst when I’m driving and in the evenings. Evenings are rough y’all!
Sleep:
I’ve been falling asleep on the couch while reading/watching TV between 9-10pm and JP wakes me up when he goes to bed. Then I shuffle into bed and conk out from complete exhaustion. I’m currently waking up about 2-3 times per night for potty breaks which is annoying! Whenever I move in my sleep, my bladder wakes me up. I’m usually up and moving in the morning between 6-7am, but deal with middle of the night insomnia at least once a week. Not terrible and getting way more sleep now than I’m about to!
Workouts: 
I am determined to walk or squat this baby out! Just kidding…kind of. I’m still walking as much as I can and I’m averaging a 2-2.5 mile walk about 5 days a week! This week I even got a long 4 mile walk in with my girlfriend. It’s amazing how much further you can go when you have someone with you to talk to the whole time! 
As far as other workouts go, I’m still getting 1-2 strength workouts in. Of course my Monday afternoon Tabata class and usually a simple body weight circuit at home one day. My exercises are much easier and I’m only going for about 20-30 minutes. This coming Monday is actually going to be my very last class at my current gym. I’ve been there for nearly 5 years, so it’s bittersweet!

What I Miss:
Feeling like me! I’m just feeling out of sorts being so exhausted and pregnant these days. I’m looking forward to being able to breath deeply, eat normal meals and lay on my tummy!
Labor Signs:
My body is doing what it’s supposed to! At my appointment on Monday I was 2 cm dilated and 50% effaced. My cervix is still pretty high, but baby boy is slowly starting to descend. I was shocked to hear that I had already started to progress. That being said, I could continue to progress and still not deliver until my due date or I could deliver sooner. It all depends on when my body and my baby are ready, so I’m trying to be patient and just wait it out.
Now that I’m 37 weeks, I’m going to use Evening Primrose Oil to help my cervix completely efface. I’m also starting to drink red raspberry leaf tea to help prep my body for labor!

Anything making you queasy or sick: 
Nothing in particular. I get nauseous randomly and its usually in the evenings on days that I do too much. 
Best Moments The Past Weeks: 
Finding out that my body is starting to prepare itself for labor!

Looking forward to:
World Breastfeeding Week! This is a huge passion of mine and the biggest week of the year for my mom. I love helping her and setting up her big community baby shower event! The event is actually today, so I’m probably a busy bee while you’re reading this. I can’t wait to share how the event goes with y’all!

Missed a bumpdate or want to compare stats?
And just for fun, a little compare contrast. Today on the left and 3 years ago on the right!

Chloe Grace: 3 Years Old

Another year has gone by with my little sidekick always a step behind me. It’s hard to believe that my BABY girl is now a big THREE year old! My heart tells me that she couldn’t possibly have been here with us for that long, but my mind and memory definitely tell me otherwise. We’ve been through so much together these past three years. Watching her grow and become the little person she is has been such a joy.

Two was a pretty wild year for Chloe! We did so much and really just took off running. This last year Chloe:

  • traveled to Norway, Sweden and Denmark for a 3 week adventure just weeks after turing 2!
  • was a flower girl in my brother and SIL’s wedding in Colorado.
  • started her very first day of school in a two day a week Mother’s Day Out program.
  • went trick or treating for the first time!
  • found out that she was going to be a big sister!
  • battled her first bout of the flu…over Christmas 🙁
  • started potty training during the big Houston freeze…and was successful!
  • road tripped to Dallas with just Mommy for a girls weekend to see Auntie Julie and meet baby Alexandria!
  • traveled the world again as we jetted off for a week in Amsterdam!
  • play for 4 days at DISNEYLAND PARIS!
  • transferred from her crib to a BIG GIRL bed and got a whole new bedroom set.
  • finished her first year of school and actually learned to love it.
  • helped mommy and daddy prepare to meet her baby brother!

Anyone who has met Chloe knows that she has such a big personality! She’s a bit of a hot mess sometimes, but she knows exactly what she wants and how to get it. She is just as strong willed as she was last year if not more now. She loves to test boundaries, see who she can manipulate and find a way to make things work in her favor. It can be incredibly frustrating, but sometimes I’m impressed with her determination. Sometimes. Mostly when it doesn’t involve her tying to manipulate me.

Chloe has a short list of people that she actually likes these days. To say she has a healthy fear of strangers is an understatement. Grunting, groaning, growling and yelling at strangers who ask her sweet questions happens more often than I care to admit. I’m not sure how to stop this behavior, but surly she’ll grow out of it. Pretty much if you aren’t on her short list, she doesn’t want to talk to you. For a while I was really concerned with this, but with time I’m learning that my daughter is shy and that’s okay. Once upon a time, I was shy too. My husband is much more shy than I am, so in time hopefully it’ll become less intense. I will say that she’s definitely a one person kind of girl. If you can get her one on one without a crowd, she’s in a much better mood and you can see her personality shine.

Chloe’s favorite place on the planet…and remember she’s been quite a few places…is her own home! She’s a bit of a homebody and loves being in her own space and own environment. She likes sleeping in her own bed, playing in her own game room, watching movies on her own couch and eating dinner at her own table. I totally get it kid. I like home too! Her second favorite place is probably her Nonna and Poppa’s pool because we spend a lot of time there during the summer months!

Speaking of Chloe’s favorite place, here are a few of Chloe’s favorites these days:

  • Swim lessons with Mr. Juan! My little girl can really swim y’all!
  • Swimming all day at Nonna and Poppa’s
  • Movies: Monsters Inc, Frozen, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Cars 3
  • Shows: Anything Mickey Mouse, Sofia the First, Muppet Babies, learning shows on Amazon Prime (a Monster Truck show called Brain Candy TV is a summer fave!), Dino the Dinosaur
  • Coloring with chalk
  • Visiting the animals at the zoo
  • Reading one of her many books!
  • All things dinosaurs, princesses, mermaids, cars/trucks, unicorns
  • Stacking things and playing with blocks
  • Dressing up! Super heros and princesses are her current faves.
  • Gymnastics class. Jumping on the trampoline is her favorite part.
  • Playing pretend with her kitchen or her princess castle. I love listening to the conversations she has with her dolls!
  • Going on walks and runs with Mommy or Daddy to the park

I know I will continue to say this every year, but this past year she has shown the most change. She really started to grown up before my eyes! Her verbal ability went from her limited 2 year old vocabulary to being able to say anything she wants. Her physical ability has changed drastically too. I can see her coming into her own and really figuring things out. Swim lessons and gymnastics has helped a lot. Mentally she’s learned more than I could have imagined this year! She can identify letters and numbers by sight and loves learning about them. Reading is one of her favorite things. Her love of books makes this book nerd’s heart happy. I’m just so proud of her! I know there are definitely areas that we can work on, and she’s definitely still a three year old, but that’s part of life.

I’ve gone through her monthly updates, her birth story and all of her birthday party photos over the past few years. My raging hormones have me a bit of a mess sometimes, but I can’t help it! I just love this little girl so much! In case you’re interested in taking a peek back, here are allllll of the Chloe updates I’ve done over the years!

Did you miss an update?
birth story 1 | birth story 2 | one | two | three | four | five | six | seven | eight | nine | ten | eleven | twelve | eighteen | two years
Happy Birthday my little girl! You’ll always be my baby!