Tuesday, April 24, 2012

17 (er, 18!) Weeks

This post is so named because I took this pic last week when I was 17 weeks preggo, and now I'm technically 18. When you feel as crappy as I do, every week counts.

In case you can't tell by the pic, or you just haven't seen me in person in a while (ever?), I've lost almost 15 pounds so far. Yup. Fun stuff. Between the daily vomiting and the constant nausea and food aversions, I just can't seem to eat enough. Not that I really feel hungry much.
I hate that I really don't enjoy pregnancy. It makes me feel guilty, and I'm sure anyone who's dealt with infertility hates me (she gets pregnant at the drop of a hat! and has short, easy labors!) But the truth is that while I *love* the process of labor and birthing, and I *adore* my newborn babies, pregnancy itself is just no fun for me. That's what hyperemesis does to you, I guess.
On the bright side, everything looks like it's lining up for my homebirth. I have a midwife, my tax refund will cover the costs, and as long as no major complications arise, it looks like we'll be good to go. After years of fighting for it, it's almost unbelievable that I now actually have a chance.
When it comes to breastfeeding...yep, both girls are still nursing. I'm sure that's not helping with my weight gain, but I went through the same thing when I was pregnant with Lucy, and I'm confident that I'll be able to eat more soon. Besides, the baby needs so few extra calories at this point, I try not to sweat it. I really feel as though my body would tell me if I needed to wean.
I really thought Lucy was moving towards weaning completely...but then my supply rebounded a bit and her interest was renewed. She's only nursing *maybe* once a day, sometimes skipping days, but it's clear she's not ready yet- and that's fine with me. That's the beautiful thing about extended breastfeeding- by the time your kids are older, nursing is so infrequent that you can just enjoy the time you have together and not stress the "are they getting enough?" part. Emotionally, I'd be okay with her weaning now or later. I am only hoping that she is satisfied with occasional nursing once my milk comes back in, rather than going back to wanting to nurse more frequently. I need to get one more picture of them nursing together before she does, though.
Junie is still nursing several times a day, and I can tell she's still getting milk. She nearly always nursing to sleep for bedtime and naps, and besides signing "milk," she also calls nursing "nums," which I find adorable. I'm so happy we've been able to continue our breastfeeding relationship with very little stress on my part. She's old enough and so great with eating regular food that I haven't had to worry about her weight, unlike Lucy who needed to be supplemented towards the end of my pregnancy with Junie.
Well, that's all for now. Junie is already napping, Lucy is about to doze off, and even though dinner's already cooking in the CrockPot (LOVE that thing!), there's plenty that needs to be done. This whole "stay at home mom" thing is much harder that I anticipated! But more on that later.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I have chickens!

Lots of upcoming posts about our move and new home...but I'm excited to talk about our new pets, so here we go.

For my birthday this year, my awesome in-laws gave me the gift cards I needed to purchase my long-awaited chicken coop and run. With the girls in tow, I ran over to Tractor Supply about a week after we moved in to pick up the kit and other necessary chicken supplies.

Next, I scoured ads (mainly Craigslist) for chickens. Initially I planned on getting new chicks, but none of the local stores carried the breeds I was interested in, and the minimum order from hatcheries is 25- about 22 more chicks than I was able to handle. Additionally, I realized that chicks would take more equipment and care than I really cared for, and it would be several months before they started laying. For these reasons, I decided to purchase older pullets or younger layers.

After a few days, I saw an ad pop up for Ameraucana chickens- exactly what I wanted. Ameraucanas are reputed to be cold and heat hardy, good layers, and handle confinement well. Of course, their most famous characteristic is the fact that they lay blue eggs! Brett made the trip while I took the girls to Mass, and when we arrived home, we met our new hens: Hettie, Bettie, and Nettie.

The breeder told us that our girls were *almost* ready to lay. We were reassured that they like their new home when they started laying a few days later. Right now, we're averaging 2 eggs every-other-day, as two of the three are now laying pretty regularly. I haven't eaten any of the eggs yet, so I will update as soon as I do. So far, I've really enjoyed having them around, and I'm looking forward to starting to give them free-range time in the yard soon.