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  • Reading materials

    Posted by Nikki Montgomery


    booksWhen Josh and I first decided we were ready to start a family we bought some baby books, a question and answer book, a nutrition guide, and an exercise and fitness guide. When we shared the news that we would in fact be parents Josh's boss gave us a baby book from Mayo Clinic. We also signed up for Parenting magazine. Our insurance company has a program for expecting mothers that provides reading materials too so we got another book from them. Oh and don't forget all the reading materials provided by the hospital. We are surrounded by books, pamphlets, magazines and guides.

    Josh and I like being well informed, but boy oh boy this is a lot of books. The funny thing is that out of all these books not a one of them is written for dad. Josh is going to be a great dad and he's so interested in everything that's going on right now. He's being so helpful around the house so I can focus on my most important job building this baby and keeping her safe until her due date. He's keeping up with his phone app so he can follow along with how the baby is developing and he never misses a doctor appointment. I know there are books aimed at new dads, but I don't know the best one.

    What is the best book for expecting dads?  

  • Fuddfest

    Posted by Nikki Montgomery


    fuddfestI am officially in my 3rd trimester and I am moving slower and getting tired more easily again (probably because I'm not sleeping well at night). Last week the heat and the fair took a toll on me, this week at least the weather is cooler, but I'm going to be even more busy with Fuddfest. 

    I am not camping at Fuddfest this year because I know that if I can't even sleep in my own bed there's no way I am going to be able to sleep in a camper. So I'll be driving home each night which might be a bit daunting, but hopefully I will be well rested. Besides after the shows there's really not a lot for a pregnant woman to do out there so I won't be missing anything.

    Fuddfest is so much fun, but it keeps those of us who work it on our feet most of the time I just hope that the rest of the staff understands my need to take frequent breaks to sit and put my feet up and they don't think I'm just being lazy. 

    In the 3rd trimester I'm at a higher risk for developing Preeclampsia which is a very serious condition that can be dangerous to me and the baby. For now it doesn't look like I'm at risk for this condition because my blood pressure is generally on the low side of normal, but things could always change if I don't take care of myself.

    If Preeclampsia develops in a severe case it can affect many organs and if this is the case the baby must be delivered early. This is what happened in the case of one of my closest friends. She had such a severe case that by the time she got to the hospital her liver and kidneys were already shutting down so they had to deliver the baby 4 weeks early. Both mom and baby are great now, but it was pretty touch and go for a while for mom. She is always calling and reminding me to rest and put my feet up so the same thing won't happen to me.

    Some of the symptoms of Preeclampsia are:

    • Swelling in the face or sudden or excessive swelling in hands, ankles and feet.
    • Severe or persistant headache
    • Vision changes
    • Intense pain or tenderness in the upper abdomen
    • Nausea or vomiting

    So now the question is how to prevent Preeclampsia:

    • Use less salt
    • Drink more water
    • Don't eat fried foods or junk foods
    • Get plenty of rest
    • Exercise regularly
    • Elevate your feet several times throughout the day
    • Avoid alcohol
    • Avoid caffeine
    • If you have high blood pressure before getting pregnant your doctor may prescribe medication be sure to take it.
    So my plan for Fuddfest is to bring a cooler full of plenty of water, I'll get my exercise by running around, going home for my best chance at a good night's sleep, putting my feet up every chance I get and of course avoiding alcohol and caffeine which I have been doing without fail since I found out about being pregnant. I don't use salt, I didn't before I was pregnant and there are some good choices for food at Fuddfest so I should be OK with meals. I did pack some convenience foods for snacks which isn't the healthiest, but it's that or nothing and I need to snack. A nurse at Ministry Saint Michael's Hospital thinks that might be what caused my dizzy spell and we certainly don't need that happening again.
    Did you or anyone you know get Preeclampsia?
  • Baby can dream

    Posted by Nikki Montgomery


    feetToday I read on my What to Expect When You're Expecting calendar, which was a gift from my husband's boss, that the baby can dream. It got me thinking, what in the world could the baby be dreaming about she hasn't experienced anything yet. She hasn't seen anything yet other than the inside of my womb and herself to create any images. Perhaps her dreams consist of sounds. She's heard my voice a lot, I do talk for a living after all. She's heard her daddy's voice, Lee's voice, our parents' voices, our siblings' voices and of course all of my coworkers' voices, even some of your voices, maybe she's creating a story in her head incorporating the voices she's heard. Maybe she's dreaming about who they are and how they will be a part of her life. 

    It's just amazing to think of all that's happening inside my basketball sized belly right now. This whole experience is a miracle and I'm so blessed to be able to experience it.

    I am enjoying my pregnancy very much and so is my husband. He told my friend Alayna who was over at my house visiting yesterday with her 6 month old baby girl that I've been a dream through this pregnancy. Maybe I've been so good because he's been amazing! He's been so helpful around the house. He insists I take frequent breaks to put my feet up on house cleaning day. He restocks my bottled water every morning before he leaves for work. He cooks and cleans up the kitchen for me too! He rubs my feet and even offered to clip and paint my toenails, but I talked him into buying me a pedicure instead. As far as husbands go Josh is a 10 out of 10!


  • So tired

    Posted by Nikki Montgomery


    I'm so tired! I already blogged about the fact that I haven't been sleeping well, but this week I'm even having trouble resting. It's fair week and of course I'm on my feet most of the time. Yesterday while Lee and I were on stage introducing Sawyer Brown I looked down and noticed how swollen my feet were. Not only that, but my ankles were killing me! This extra weight though not excessive is really weighing on me. I walk slower than usual and I get out of breath faster beyond the feet thing.

    I wish I could just sit home with my feet up for one afternoon and go to bed early, but there are a couple more days of the fair and next week is Fuddfest. When Fuddfest is over though I'm just chillin'.

  • Shower

    Posted by Nikki Montgomery


    First I have to thank the nurse at Ministry Saint Michaels Hospital in Stevens Point who called me yesterday after reading my baby blog to let me know that I would not be thought of as a hypochondriac if I called the clinic about things like my dizzy spell. She let me know that I should in fact call them anytime something feels off. In this case she told me to make sure that I'm eating and drinking enough, which could've been my problem because we were busy setting up for the fair I didn't get my midday snack so I didn't eat anything between breakfast and lunch. I really appreciate the phone call and I really appreciate the staff at Ministry Saint Michael's Hospital in Stevens Point taking such an interest and reading my blog too. I'll say it again and again, I'm so glad I've chosen to work with them.

    Today I'd like to talk about baby showers. My mom and BFF Felicia are helping me with my shower. My mom and I worked on invitations last weekend and she and I have both already purchased prizes for games we have yet to decide on. I am going to leave the game planning and the decorations up to my mom and Felicia because Josh and I have to focus on cleaning the garage and renting tables. The three of us and my sister and sister in law are going to work together on the menu though we're clueless what to make for approximately 40 people.

    Here are some shower related questions for you:

    Where should we rent tables from? (in the Mosinee/SP/Wausau area)

    What games should we play? We are definitely doing gift Bingo and the candy bar diaper game, but we need one or two more to play (keep in mind 40 people)

    What are some ideas for good shower snack food? (we're not doing a meal just snacks)

    Where is the best place to shop for baby shower decorations?

    Are traditional showers passe? I've heard of a lot of people doing coed showers lately is this the new fad?

  • When should I call the doctor?

    Posted by Nikki Montgomery


    DizzyI don't want to be a hypochondriac, but since this is my first pregnancy I'm not sure what I should call the doctor about and what I should brush off as no big deal. I brushed off the cramps I experienced and the Nurse Practitioner made it into a big deal and told me that if it ever happens again to call the hospital right away because it could be serious. 

    Yesterday I was sitting at the salon getting my hair done when all of a sudden I felt dizzy, started to sweat and felt like I was going to pass out. It passed rather quickly, but I'm not sure if this is something I should've called the doctor about or if it was no big deal. I have heard that lots of women have bouts of dizzy spells during pregnancy. One of my friends would actually pass out because the baby was laying on a vein. I don't wanna call the doctor over nothing, but I also know that dizzy spells can be caused by a change in blood sugar or a sudden change in blood pressure. Both of those things can be dangerous to me and the baby. 

    I was just in last week and my blood pressure is on the low end of normal as usual and I wasn't under any stress or pressure yesterday that would cause it to spike, but I guess you never know. I go in for my gestational diabetes test on the 23rd so we'll see if blood sugar is an issue.

    After my dizzy spell I did not call the doctor, but I did decide that if it happens again to call right away.

    Did you have dizzy spells? Ever actually pass out? What was the cause? Did you call the doctor or just brush it off?

  • Sleep

    Posted by Nikki Montgomery


    sleepIf you come to the Wisconsin Valley Fair this week you may notice dark circles under my eyes. It seems that I'm running a little low on sleep lately. It's partially because I have a hard time getting comfortable because I'm dealing with a little back pain, it's partially because I have to get up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night and it's partially because I just can't fall asleep. 

    I'm a pretty good sleeper in general. I fall asleep pretty much when my head hits the pillow and I stay asleep all night and can sleep through almost anything. So for me not being able to sleep is really a shock to the system and I have some serious dark circles. In fact I am going to have to stop at Walgreens to pick up some concealer before I go to the fair so people don't think Lee sucker punched me. 

    My sister in law Katie suffered from insomnia when she was prenant with my nephew Cole. I remember she would get up in the middle of the night and clean the house or play on the computer and the poor thing was run down all the time.

    This is not a good time of year for me to be run down. We have so much going on at work in the summer. This week we have the Wisconsin Valley Fair next week is Fuddfest and it's pretty much non-stop until October. I sure hope this passes, but I know it probably won't. 

    Stop by our booth outside the grand stand at the fair and you may catch me snoozing in my chair.

    Did you have trouble sleeping when you were pregnant?

  • Nephew and the Baby

    Posted by Nikki Montgomery


    babyI think it's so cute how interested my 4 year old nephew is in the baby. Over the weekend he asked me if I could push him on the swing with the baby inside me. He asked me how the baby is going to come out of there to which I answered, "The doctor cut you out of your mom's belly and your grandma pulled you out." I don't think he's quite ready to hear how it really works yet. He made a really loud noise and asked me if it scared the baby. It was really cold in my mom and dad's house on Sunday (they have a turbo air conditioner) so he asked me if the baby was warm enough in there and pointed to my belly. We were playing on the floor and I had to change position because my back was starting to hurt and he asked if the baby was uncomfortable and when I said, "No, the baby's sleeping right now" he told me that I'd better lay down then. So we both layed down on the floor and started naming all the animals we could think of in the catagories that he picked, animals in the zoo, animals in the forest, animals in the ocean, etc.

    I just love it. He is so excited about this baby. He even told his mom he's a good big brother even though he's not a big brother yet just a big cousin. My sister is worried about the age difference between her kids with Hayden being 4 already. I think it will be fine because he's so ready to help.

    What is the best age difference between children?

  • Bit of a scare

    Posted by Nikki Montgomery


    I had a little bit of discomfort on Saturday which I shared at my appointment on Tuesday and the Nurse Practitioner jumped all over it. She did an exam and ordered a bunch of tests and kinda freaked me out a little bit. 

    She was worried that at worst I may be in danger of preterm birth! Anything before 37 weeks is considered preterm and there are lots of complications that go along with preterm birth so you really want to do everything in your power to prevent it.

    I researched some of the causes of preterm birth so I know what to be on the lookout for. Here are some of those causes:

    • Infection. Certain sexually transmitted infections, urinary tract infections, and bacterial vaginosis. Every pregnant woman at least at Saint Michael's is tested for the STIs before they become pregnant so they didn't retest me for that, but they did run the tests for the other infections and they came back clean.
    • Problems with the placenta which would show up in an ultrasound and there were no problems with mine.
    • Having an excessively large uterus which I don't.
    • Structural abnormalities of the uterus or cervix. I was sent in for an ultrasound to specifically look at the shape of my cervix to make sure everything there was good. It was. After the ultrasound tech checked that out she let us check in on our baby girl again. It was so cool to see her kick and feel her kick at the same time. She's so much bigger than last time and she has more meat on her bones so you can see her features much better now.
    • Having abdominal surgery during pregnancy like an appendix removal. Which I obviously didn't have.

    So after she scared me half to death thinking this this thing I thought was no big deal could really be a big deal I learned my lesson. The next time I have any discomfort or unexplained pain I'm going to get on the phone and call the doctor immediately. It's better to be safe than sorry. 

    Did you have any scares during your pregnancy, during or after delivery?

  • Our Crib Came!!

    Posted by Nikki Montgomery


    CribThe day after we told my in-laws that we'll be having a baby my mother in law called and told me that they would like to buy us the crib. A couple of weeks ago Josh and I went online and picked out the crib we wanted and discovered that we needed order it online because they don't carry it in the store. On Sunday afternoon my mother in law and I sat down at the computer and ordered it. Yesterday it came!

    When I got home yesterday there were two big boxes in our entry room delivered by our friendly UPS man (he always leaves treats for the dogs). One of the boxes was the crib mattress and the other was the crib. I could carry the crib mattress box so I brought that one to the landing on the stairs. When Josh got home just the crib box was in the entry room. He could hardly wait to rip the box open and start assembly. Once he had the box open and all the parts out I made him take a break to eat dinner and then we both went up stairs to put it together.

    Our Boston Terrier Kolby was hanging out with us the whole time just watching us assemble what looked like a giant cage, occasionally licking us to remind us that he too is our baby. We got the crib together in about an hour and a half. It would've been faster, but we mixed up the sides because we were putting it together upside down. 

    Our good friends Caroline and Brandon gave us the bedding set and decor that they had in their daughter's room when she was a baby so we got the skirt and the fitted sheet on the crib and it's so cute! 

    We discovered one little problem though after assembly. It doesn't quite fit. We have a loft bed set in that room that used to be my sister's when she was small. When we moved and mom wanted it out of her house so I got it and put it in the spare room. It's great because it's a twin bed, two dressers, a set of shelves and a desk. It was a great spare bed for small company and it did get used a few times.

    We intend to use the dressers and the shelves for the baby's stuff so we need to keep it. We can move the loft set about 5 1/2 inches closer to the wall which will give us just enough room to get the crib past the door trim, but would still put the crib right up against the ladder to the loft (you can see the crib up against the ladder in the picture). Because of this Josh has suggested we take the bed down for now because we won't be needing it since no guests will be sleeping in the nursery with the baby. Without the bed on top we can put the dresser up against the back wall and turn the desk allowing us plenty of room for the crib. The only thing I'm worried about is storing the mattress and the wooden frame for the bed. I think we'll need to store the mattress in plastic to protect it from dust, but it's not like I have mattress sized plastic bags lying around. I have no idea where to even go to get one. I think the wooden frame should be fine unwrapped in the rafters of the garage for now. They won't get wet there and shouldn't get damaged.

    We can't do anything about the loft until someone can come help us though because it's way too heavy for me to help lift the bed and move the furniture. Good thing we both have amazing parents that will help us with anything. 

    Thank you wonderful in laws for the adorable crib and mattress! We so appreciate it. Love you!

    When I came in today and told Lee that how long it took us to put the crib together he was shocked. Apparently it took him a lot longer to assemble his cribs. How long did it take you? Did you have many problems?

  • Declare all medications

    Posted by Nikki Montgomery


    medicine cabinetIt is important to declare all medications over the counter and prescription at your first doctors appointment. 

    I got to thinking about this because of these TV commercials about the prescription drugs that cause birth defects. Of course they don't know they're dangerous to a baby until after so many cases of problems occur so you have to be careful. I've seen these ads for Zoloft and Topamax most recently. 

    Luckily I don't take much medication, but I do have athsma and the daily medication I was on originally was not a good one to use while pregnant so when I told my allergist that I was trying to get pregnant he switched me from Advair to Pulmicort right away. I'm glad I told him though I'm not sure why I did I don't recall him asking.

    Medications are made to mess with your body so you know that if they can have a significant effect on you they will have an effect on the baby so you want to make sure that you are taking medications that are safe. 

    Even herbal supplements can cause complications with pregnancy. You wouldn't think something natural would cause problems but they sure can. Here's a list from the American College of Nurse Midwives:

    Alkaloid Containing Plants: (May constrict blood vessels, cause increase in blood pressure.)
    Golden Seal

    Bitters: (May cause fetal defects and/or miscarriage.)
    Cascara Sagrada
    Golden Seal

    Diuretics: (Encourage water loss)
    Juniper Berries
    Uva-Ursi (large doses)

    Emmenagogues: (Induces loss of uterine lining -- may cause miscarriage.)
    Angelica spp.
    Basil, oregano, marjoram (Okay in "normal" amounts, used as spices)
    Black Cohosh (last six weeks okay)
    Blue Cohosh (last six weeks okay)
    Ginger (okay in "normal" amounts)
    Motherwort (OK in small doses)
    Squaw Vine (small amounts okay)
    Shepard's Purse

    Some of these herbs may be safe when used by skilled practitioner in appropriate doses and some may be used in late pregnancy to help prepare for birth. Make sure you know what you're doing before using any supplements during pregnancy!

    Read More 

    Always talk to your doctor about medications and supplements and only use prenatal vitamins prescribed by your doctor.

  • Mosquitoes and Pregnancy

    Posted by Nikki Montgomery


    bug sprayMy husband thought of a wonderful question to ask the doctor at our last appointment that hadn't even crossed my mind, "Is it safe to use bug spray while pregnant?" It's summer in Wisconsin so we all know those evenings are filled with mosquitoes. 

    DEET the active ingredient in most bug sprays is pretty serious stuff and anything that touches your skin can be absorbed into your blood stream and passed right to the baby. Luckily a normal person uses DEET so sparingly that it has not proven to be a risk to the baby.

    The doctor told us that using bug spray containing DEET is much better than going without simply because it's less harmful than the bug bite itself. Bug bites can be scratched open and get infected and mosquitoes carry diseases. He did suggest using Skin So Soft because it's an effective deterrent as well and it's best to avoid using DEET on babies. Luckily my sister in law sells Avon so I'm all over that!