New Molly Pictures

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Posted by robin | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 10-04-2014

Just for fun here are some recent pictures of Molly

Pictures from the Half

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Posted by robin | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 10-04-2014

Here are some of the pictures from my race. I wish I would have gotten some more/better ones when I was running on the Golden Gate, but I was pretty focused on my run and just couldn’t break my stride to stop and take a better photo. But I’ve got really good memories. Enjoy what I did take though. IMG_0327IMG_0330IMG_0331IMG_0333IMG_0345 IMG_0351

 

San Francisco Half Marathon Recap

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Posted by robin | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 09-04-2014

Yesterday was the half marathon in San Francisco and to say it was amazing would be an understatement. It was a very hard race but oh so beautiful.

It started on the Great Hwy by the coast. The sun was just starting to rise as my corral (way in the back I’m pretty slow) made it’s way to the start line. I had read online about the course and I knew that leading up to the Golden Gate Bridge was pretty hilly  but I had no idea what I was in for. When we made our first turn I was hit with hill number one and somehow we never really went down. It was a pretty steady climb until just after mile 4, but as much as these first four miles were hard they were the most beautiful. At one point I turned a corner and all of a sudden the bridge was right there. We could see the water and on a sunny morning it was just perfect. Just after mile four was the Golden Gate Bridge it was pretty funny to actually run through the toll plaza that I’ve driven through many times. They had two lanes shut down for the runner one in each direction. This made for a pretty tight run on the bridge it was hard to really enjoy what I was doing because I was so focused on finding a pocket to pass someone or what my next move was. Luckily for me since I was towards the back of the race by the time I turned and headed back on the bridge and got about halfway through we were able to space out across all lanes since there was no one running in that direction. I’ve been wanting to run the Golden Gate since we moved here and this was an awesome way to make that happen. I was able to actually run on the bridge not just the sidewalk next to it. And we were so fortunate to have a clear day so I was able to see Alcatraz in the water, the city skyline, and Marin county while running. I will never forget that. I wish I could have gotten some better pictures, but I was scared to break my running groove and I was also terrified of falling behind the time limit and getting picked up by the truck. It was about mile 8 when we finished the bridge and then we had a few miles of downhill and then also flat. These were some great miles we had beautiful views of the water and marina and for once I wasn’t fighting a hill. At this point the sun had been out for awhile so it was starting to heat up, and I was starting to feel the fact that I really didn’t train as much as I should of but i was quickly approaching mile 10 so that felt good. I was getting a little worried though because I was feeling pretty fatigued and I knew I still had some hills ahead of. Miles 10 -12 were extremely hilly again, I tried my best to run the hills but at this point I knew if I was going to finish I would need to walk some. So I started walking up the hills and running down and when it was flat. It was during this time that I fell behind the 3 hour pacer and I realized that I wasn’t going to beat my previous race time. I never really thought that I would have been able to, but in those miles I knew. At this point we had turned and were making our way back into the city, there were still cool houses and buildings to see but no more water views. Finally I got to the 12 mile mark and we hit the downhill of all the hills I had been climbing up. So I was able to happily run to the finish line at mile 13.1. I got my official time later that night and I managed to keep it under three hours at 2:56. Not my finest, but I’m still proud that I did it. Unfortunately I finished with no cheering squad Mike and Molly got stuck on the BART train, but were able to see me on Mike’s phone and knew that I had finished. They joined me at the finishers festival and we ended up having a really nice day in the city. And honestly had I seen them at the end I would have started to cry so I’m a little happy they weren’t.

All in all it was a really good day. It was a beautiful run the weather was perfect, and I got to spend the afternoon with my two best people.  Couldn’t have asked for more.

Miles that Matter

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Posted by robin | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 04-04-2014

A while back I read on acoursetothefinishline.wordpress.com about a race that she ran and she kept a list of people to focus on, meditate to, or just think about during her run. She was making her miles matter, and I thought that it was a really cool idea. I have since seen others complete a similar list for their races and decided that I would do the same. So here’s who’s on my list and why they are important to me.

Mile 1 – Mike and Molly: this is fairly obvious but I really couldn’t do this without Mike’s help. Having him watch Molly anytime I need to do a long run is amazing and I couldn’t do it without him. And Molly well she is the reason I do everything that I do. I can’t wait for the day that we can run in a race together.

Mile 2 – My big sister Erin: Erin started running a few months or maybe even a year before I did and she always inspires me and pushes me to do more. I have no doubt that if it wasn’t for her I never would have completed my first half marathon let alone a second.

Mile 3 – My mom: She is always so encouraging and always my cheerleader.

Mile 4 – My little sister, Ashley: Ashley also is always in my corner, always encouraged, and supported me when one day I decided that I was going to be a runner.

Mile 5 – Grandma Wieczorek: My grandma is seriously amazing, she is living with my uncle on the farm even in her late eighties. She also have broken her hip twice and both times healed perfectly and is still walking without a walker or a cane. So inspirational.

Mile 6 – Grandpa Wieczorek: Like my grandma he was one of the hardest working men I knew, up farming every morning even after he “retired” He also came back from a pretty nasty bull attack like it was nothing. Those two were so strong in their relationship it was so beautiful. Good thoughts just before the halfway point.

Mile 7 – Nancy McGee: My old boss at Apple who is an amazing businesswoman, mother, and athlete. When I think of her I always push harder because I know Nancy wouldn’t quit and neither will I.

Mile 8 –  John: Because he is simply the best dad I could ever ask for, and I know he is so proud of what I’ve achieved

Mile 9 – Runners everywhere: For inspiring me to run, and to run further than I ever thought possible.

Mile 10 – Running Bloggers: like acoursetothefinishline.com and dogmomchasingthestork.com I can read their training, their up and downs, and I work harder knowing that they are doing it and so can I.

Mile 11 – Our First Baby: Because you first made me a mother, and I will always love and think of you.

Mile 12 – Nancy McGee: Yes again, because Mile 12 is going to be hard the last mile is always hard but I know Nancy would push through it and get to the finish line so I will think of her and push too.

Mile 13.1 – Mike and Molly: Everything I do starts and finishes with these two. They are my world and I’m so lucky to have them.

I’m getting very excited about this race. I of course haven’t trained as much as I probably should but I’m feeling ready. Sunday morning will be here soon.

April 6th

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Posted by robin | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 01-04-2014

April 6th will forever be a day that makes me stop, think, and reflect a little on what could have been but isn’t. I haven’t opened up a lot about this and I think it’s been long enough and time to share my story, hopefully by sharing my experiences I will help someone else who has experienced this kind of loss….

April 6th was the due date for Mike and my first baby. Way back in the summer of 2010 we decided like many couples do that it was time to start a family. We were fortunate that we only had to “try” for a couple of months. I will never forget the morning I took a pregnancy test….and two lines appeared. Something happened in that moment I became a mother. We were having a baby, everything was changing and I couldn’t be more excited about that. We told my sisters and a couple of close friends and I secretly made plans about what clever way we would tell our parents that they were going to be grandparents. This little baby would be the first grandchild on both sides of our family I couldn’t wait to share our exciting news. I had my first prenatal doctors appointment and was told that all was good and was given our due date….April 6th. I was so excited to have an April baby since my birthday is in April I always loved the idea of a spring baby.  I was told by the nurse that I may have a little spotting after the appointment and not to worry but if it continued past a couple of days or got heavier than just spotting to call them. So at first when I started bleeding a little I wasn’t too concerned it was exactly as the nurse said just some light spotting, but it continued for longer than I liked so after a couple of days I called the doctor. Since it wasn’t heavy bleeding and I wasn’t cramping the doctor assumed it was just from my doctors exam a few days earlier, I tried not to worry but I think deep down in my gut I knew something wasn’t right. I was starting to really get scared. I remember I went to work at Apple during this time and had to secretly sneak into the bathroom to call the doctor I can’t even imagine how crazy I must have seemed. Since the bleeding was continuing I called the doctor a second time and they scheduled an ultrasound for the next day just to make sure everything was okay. Once again I went to work explained to my supervisor that I needed the next day off but I didn’t tell him the specifics of what I was dealing with.  And then during work that day the cramping started and in that moment I think I just knew this wasn’t right. I stayed at work as long as I could but dealing with customers at Apple yelling and being mad about their iPhone was more than I could handle when I was dealing with potentially losing my baby. So I went home early I will be forever thankful that I left when I did because things went from bad to awful quick. I got home and tried to eat some dinner with Mike and Ashley (who was living with us at the time) but I was really uncomfortable so they sent me upstairs to bed. I was in tears partly from the physical pain of the cramps but I think mostly it was because I knew it was over. Ashley convinced me to call my mom even though at that point she didn’t even know about the pregnancy. My mom convinced me that if I was in that much pain I needed to call the doctor again. At this point I was bleeding pretty heavily I remembering going to the bathroom and there was so much blood and large clots of tissue and in that movement I knew my baby was gone. But I called the doctor and she encouraged me to go to the ER, since I hadn’t had an ultrasound yet she was concerned about the possibility of an eptopic pregnancy. So Mike and I went to the ER….it was the absolute worst. Everyone at the hospital was amazing and I received the best care but I was so sad. I didn’t want to be there, this wasn’t how this was supposed to go. I was supposed to be thinking and planning about telling work and my parents, this was a joyful time not one where I was consumed with sadness but sadness was my reality. We left the hospital with a miscarriage diagnosis and I was told to follow up with my doctor the next day. I remember getting home late that night waking up Ashley and just crying on her shoulder it was over and it was time to figure out how to live after the loss of the baby.

The next day Ashley went with me to the doctor that was even worse than the ER the night before. The last time I had been in that office I was having my first baby, I looked at all the other pregnant bellies in the waiting room and was excited that was going to be me in a few months. And suddenly I was back but my baby was gone and suddenly those bellies were just a reminder of what I had lost. But like anything I got through the appointment and was told officially I had had a miscarriage my hCg levels which had been taken at the ER and then again that morning were going down, and I would have to return to the doctor each week to have my levels monitored until they were at zero to make sure the miscarriage completed on its own. Worst thing ever returning to the pregnant bellies week after week. I think that went on for five or six weeks before my levels were at a normal level.

I think the months following the miscarriage were the hardest. I felt everyday that I shouldn’t still be sad over my loss. That I needed to just get over it and move on I hadn’t been pregnant for that long. But no matter how much I felt like I should feel better I just didn’t. Every pregnancy announcement was a reminder that I didn’t get to announce mine, all the pain of that night would hit me all over again. Work became almost unbearable. I would sit trying to teach people about their Macs and anytime someone got upset with me all I could think was my baby died and you are yelling at me about your contacts I cannot deal with this. Eventually I found an amazing counselor who helped me navigate these feelings, I went part time at work, and we started trying again. But I was no longer the blissful wife excited about the possibility of starting a family I was desperate to get pregnant again to wash away the loss. I thought if I just got pregnant I would feel better but that didn’t happen either.

After the miscarriage we struggled to get pregnant again. I can look back now and understand that maybe my body knew better than me and I needed that time to heal but that year and five or so months after the miscarriage before we got pregnant with Molly were some of the hardest months of my life. Each month when I started my period I would slip into this dark place for a few days then I would start charting, tracking and planning when would be the best days to try the next month. Then I would sit and obsess about whether or not we got pregnant that month and ultimately be disappointed when it didn’t happen again. I can’t even imagine how many OPK’s and home pregnancy tests I peed on during that time. I would check Facebook tentatively because it seemed there was always another pregnancy announcement or some status update about someones pregnancy. I would cautiously answer the phone if it was a someone I hadn’t heard from in a while, convinced they would tell me they were pregnant. And all I could think was that was supposed to be me…what if it’s never me. Our baby’s due date came and went, mother’s day also came and went, and I struggled with those days. Eventually we did get pregnant again but I had changed no longer was I simply excited to be having a baby, I was excited but I also was terrified what if I had another miscarriage could I go through that again. When we starting telling people about our pregnancy with Molly I would keep tally of who knew so I would know who I had to untell if I had another miscarriage. And unfortunately I know any future pregnancies will also have that fear, I will never be that blissfully unaware mom who just hears about miscarriages but doesn’t expect that to happen to them.

I wanted to share this story about our loss because it was a time in my life when I felt so alone. I felt like it was my loss and mine alone because no one around me knew what the pain of a miscarriage really felt like. It is completely isolating and that was horrible. I think if I had reached out for help sooner maybe I wouldn’t have struggled with the sadness for so long. I also think there is something so therapeutic by just putting the whole truth out there, so that’s what I’m doing and if someone reads this and it helps them feel less alone, less isolated, less sad then that’s a win for me.

Today while I type this up Molly is playing with her toys, she is an amazing 18 month old, but there are days (usually around the due date or the day we lost the baby) I think about the baby that didn’t make it. We would have a toddler who would be turning three soon. I wonder if we would have had another girl or if it would have been a boy. This year on April 6th I will be running in the half marathon in San Francisco and I’m sure during one of those miles my mind will wonder to our first baby. But I’m so thankful that today after so much sadness I am able to think about that child and not be consumed with sadness and guilt over not being able to successfully carry that baby. I can think about the baby send love it’s way and move on, but it has taken me a really long time and a successful pregnancy to get there. Because no matter what the moment I saw those two lines a positive pregnancy test, my life changed I was someones mother and that doesn’t change after a miscarriage. It is a loss that needs to be grieved just like any other and I’m fortunate to have been able to do that.

18 Months

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Posted by robin | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 24-03-2014

Molly is one and a half…..can you believe she will be two in six short months. So crazy time is flying by. I haven’t done a Molly update in a long time and thought it would be a good time since she is doing lots of super fun things these days.

  • She officially started walking on January 2nd just after she turned 15 months.  And is now walking, running, spinning in a circle, and “flying” (walking with her arm out front)
  • She has lots of new words like Dada (Mike is very happy she is finally saying Dada), cook, milk, airplane, cracker, and puppy and is starting putting some words together like Oh No and Peek a Boo. She can also name and label different parts of her face and body.
  • Molly will tell you what different animals say and it only takes us telling her a time or two for her to pick up a new animal or body part.
  • She sleeps about 12 hours at night and she has a little stuffed Elmo that sleeps with her.
  • She loves the run and dance with Daddy and LOVES going to the beach and playing in our backyard.
  • Molly isn’t a picky eater exactly but she is definitely finding things that she prefers like crackers. This girl loves crackers.
  • Not really sure how much she weighs or what her height is right now but she is definitely taller than a couple of months ago. She little pants don’t have to be rolled nearly as much.
  • She is mostly wearing 18 month clothes but there are some 12-18 month stuff that she still wears and I’ve got some 2T stuff that isn’t too terribly big that she can wear too. And she is in size 5 shoes.
  • We officially stopped nursing about 2-3 weeks ago. It was a pretty easy transition on both of us but my hormones were a little crazy for a couple of days.

Molly is so much more little kid than baby. She is a lot of fun to hang out with. We’ve got a busy summer and I’m so excited to see what else she learns to do.

Knowing That it’s Right

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Posted by robin | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 24-03-2014

Just over a year ago when Mike and I were deciding if a move to CA was the right thing, and we pretty much knew right away that our answer would be yes, but anytime you are making such a big move there will be questions and some hesitation. This first year here has been amazing, there have been a lot of challenges but there is no doubt in my mind we made the right decision. While we were living in our apartment in Millbrae it never felt right, never felt like home, we just couldn’t really settle in there, but after being in the house on the coast for just over a month we are already feeling more and more like this is the community for us. Our afternoons outside in the backyard, our days at the beach, and the look on Molly’s face when we head outside I know that we made the right decision. She is teething and fussy but I can still see that she has never been happier.

I try not to compare what our life would have been if we would have stayed in St. Louis but there is one thing I’m certain of we would not be this relaxed or at ease. We were getting increasingly unhappy with our house in the city. The amount of crimes were going up and up and getting closer and closer to our house. Not the type of situation you want to be in with a new baby. We loved our house and we loved living in the city but it was time to leave and making this move forced us to take the loss and walk away which was absolutely the right decision.

It’s hard to leave friends and family but when we are walking on the beach and Molly is smiling from ear to ear I know in my heart that even though it is hard sometimes it was the right thing to do.

Cloth Diapering 18 months later (give or take a month or two)

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Posted by robin | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 18-03-2014

I’ve had this post in my head for awhile but finally had a chance to sit down and get some thoughts down. We have used cloth diapers for Molly since she was about 6 weeks old and I wanted to write up what has worked really well for us, what are some awesome cloth diaper products and what it really looks like to use cloth diapers for your little one. I think a lot of people misunderstand how much work is involved so I wanted to shed a little light on what is really is like. So here’s my thoughts and experiences on cloth diapering….

First the diapers that I use are BumGenius 4.0 pocket diapers and BumGenius Freetime diapers. I really love the BumGenius brand and started using them because back in St. Louis Cotton Babies has two brick and mortar stores and were great with helping a clueless pregnant soon to be mom get started. These two diapers are really similar but with the 4.0’s there is an insert that gets removed before washing and stuffed back in before using with the Freetimes it’s all built in together.  There’s pros and cons to both but I really like have a combination of both. We also have about 26 diapers which is enough that I can wash diapers every third day which is two extra loads of laundry a week, that’s it. I also made a commitment to myself that I would buy only as many diapers that I need. I wanted to use cloth diapers to save money and if you are constantly buying more diapers because they are cute you really aren’t saving, so that’s what I’m sticking too. Maybe if we have another baby in the future I will splurge on some new diapers.  Some other products that we use daily or almost daily are Plant Wise large wet bags (I have two so one is always available when the other is in the laundry), a Planet Wise medium size wet bag that I keep in the diaper bag. I also use a Prince Lionheart cloth wipe wipe warmer, and cloth wipes. The decision to use cloth wipes was a fairly easy one since I would be washing anyway it was easy to use cloth wipes and wash those along with diapers. Also when needed we use California Baby diaper rash cream because it is cloth diaper safe and no liner or anything is necessary. At nighttime Molly wears one of her Freetime diapers but we include a hemp insert so additional absorbency overnight. Finally I wash my diapers with BumGenius detergent and I have the dryer balls that Target sells. There are so many other cloth diaper accessories but again my thought is always been to try an save money so these are the essentials that we use. Some of those other things could certainly make life easier but this is what we have worked with.

Day to day I don’t think cloth diapering is really much different than using disposables especially in the beginning if your baby is exclusively breastfed. This is going to sound a little crazy but baby poop of a completely breastfed baby is water soluble and completely washes away and is safe in your washing machine. I know sounds nuts but it is absolutely is true. So for us before Molly started on solid food we simply changed her diaper and instead of putting it in the trash it went into the wet bag and then twice a week I would wash and dry. Also when I use a 4.0 diaper I remove the insert before putting it in the wet bag so that when it is time to wash I just dump everything into the washer wet bag too and wash. After starting solids things get a little more interesting with the poo. No longer could I just put her diapers in the wet bag, the poo needed to be dealt with. And this is when I bought my first convenience product. I got Bummi’s diaper liners which are just a really thin liner that goes on top of the diaper to catch the poo. Now these aren’t a perfect solution but they work well enough and make clean up so much quicker. Are they totally necessary no and there are plenty of times Molly has had a dirty diaper and I didn’t have a liner in the diaper and it’s fine, but it takes a lot longer to dunk the diaper in the toilet and swish it around to get the poo off. The liners make it so I can just take the liner and poo with it and flush it down the toilet. Sometimes a little dunking and swishing is still necessary but it’s pretty easy. I have heard of a lot of people installing a diaper sprayer and if we owned the home we are living in I would totally invest in one of these. Seems like it makes poo clean up much easier.

So when it comes to washing there are just a couple of steps….First the diapers get a rinse without soap, and then a complete hot cycle with detergent, and finally one more additional rinse. Sometimes it takes a couple of tries to figure out if you need more rinses or anything but if you have a traditional top loading washing machine your wash routine will look very similar to that. It gets a little more tricky if you have a front loader, not impossible but you have to sometimes trick your washer into thinking you have more in it so that you get enough water. Luckily there is a wealth of information online and when in doubt I have called Cotton Babies customer service line and always gotten great help. Once my diapers are clean the outer shells, Freetimes, and wet bag get hung up and set outside to dry in the sun, and all my inserts and cloth wipes go into the dryer with dryer balls to dry. I love drying in the sun because it will get out most of your stains. It’s pretty amazing. After everything is dry (and lets be totally honest here often clean dry diapers sit for a day or two on the drying rack) inserts get stuff, all diapers get folded and back into the drawer to be used once again.

That’s basically what we have and what we do. I absolutely love cloth diapering and I think the benefits completely out weigh the additional loads of laundry. It is such a convenience to never run out of diapers, no late night trips to the store when you realize you are out of diapers. I also love that I’m not constantly throwing diapers out. Babies go through so many diapers and it feels really good that Molly’s dirty diapers aren’t just sitting in a landfill somewhere, we just keep washing and using again. And I think that a cloth diapered booty is about the cutest thing ever.  There are so many colors and prints so freakin cute, but also a little bit of a danger zone.

Finally I’ll leave you with just a couple of things to consider if you are thinking about using cloth diapers…not exactly cons but just things to consider. First the upfront cost of cloth is more than just buying a jumbo box of disposables, but since once you buy your diapers you are done so you end up saving tons of money over time initially it is a bit of an invest. I spaced out this cost by buying 6 diapers at a time and each time I got them I purchased when they were on sale for Buy 5 get one free. I also purchased one size diapers with snaps that way Molly is using the same diapers from day one they grow with her, and everything I read is that the snap closures hold up better over time. So far I would agree our diapers are still in great shape. Another thing is a cloth diapered booty is a little fluffier than a disposable one, so pants are going to fit a little different. Typically Molly wears pants a size bigger than she does shirts. There is a brand of jeans called Project Pamona that has jeans designed to fit a cloth diapered baby and they are awesome.

I think that just about covers it….we love love love our cloth diapers don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions about cloth.

Love and Sometimes Hate Facebook

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Posted by robin | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 08-03-2014

I have a very love/hate relationship with Facebook. I love that I can see pictures of my friends new twin girls or that I can share pictures of Molly. I love that I can connect with other moms and ask questions or get advice. But I also kind of hate Facebook….I hate that people post the absolute stupidest crap or they put stuff up there that seems like it’s only there to make me feel bad (ie. I can’t believe you would feed your baby rice don’t you know it’s practically poison) super annoying, but this past weekend I saw exactly what I needed to see on Facebook.

We were having a super hard weekend with Molly. She wasn’t sleeping well, and screaming when we put her to bed, which was so unusual for her. During the day she was crying a lot, so frustrated and clingy. Not our finest moments, but I stumbled across this article and it was exactly what I needed in that moment. A little reminder that I am Molly’s mommy and there is a reason for all the crying, frustrations, and clingyness even if I don’t know exactly what that reason is. These days won’t be forever and she won’t always need me to hold her before she falls asleep, but whenever she does I will try to remember the beauty in those moments.

So every once in awhile there is something perfect waiting for you in your Facebook feed.

Weaning

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Posted by robin | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 20-01-2014

I thought that I would be able to let Molly self wean from breast feeding and to an extent she did. We got down to nursing first thing in the morning, before each of her naps, and then before bed, and we just kind of got stuck there. Mike and I are planning a trip for the two of us in May and I really didn’t want to have to bring the pump. So I decided to start weaning Molly so we could slowly cut out all nursing sessions. We started a couple of weeks ago and I cut out nursing before her second nap and jut yesterday we dropped nursing before her first nap. I’m thankful that so far it seems to be going good. Molly is still going down for naps and doesn’t seem to miss nursing. Hopefully that continues once we cut out the morning and then nighttime sessions. She seems more dependent on them so fingers crossed it keeps going smooth but we’ve got plenty of time so if she needs a extra week or two it should be okay.