Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Friday, December 7, 2012

The last 7 weeks...

Since Owen did in fact arrive a little early (36 weeks and 2 days), it appears that I have about 7 weeks from my pregnancy that got missed on this little blog. I'm very disappointed in myself, but what's done is done. I'm going to do my best to give the briefest of brief weekly updates to bring this thing up to speed.

Week 30
This was the week following my day of contractions at work that got me sent home and got my doctor saying things like "modified bed rest". The only other thing I remember from this week is that my doctor and I decided that it would be a good idea to go ahead and give me betamethasone. For the non-medical folk out there, this drug which is just a steroid injection is given in two doses, 24 hours apart. The steroid is given to increase surfactant in the lungs of a preterm baby. Surfactant is the lubricant that helps the lungs expand to fill with air following delivery. A baby begins making its own surfactant around 32-33 weeks. The medical belief is that the injections provide about two weeks of effectiveness. Thus, I would be in the clear until the little bean started producing his own surfactant.

This was actually taken at 29 weeks, but it's close enough I guess.

Week 31
This is the week that life began to get a little crazy, slightly stressful, and exciting all at the same time. It was decided that we would have work done on our house. New hardwood floors, a new deck, and a couple of other changes were headed our way the following week. In preparation for these changes, Patrick began ripping up carpet and I began packing up everything in our pantries, our living room, and our basement. This was also the week that I picked out a paint color for the nursery. I remember walking around Lowe's feeling like I was about to drop this kid at any second. I spent about an hour picking up everything that I needed, which is way slower than my pre-pregnant paint purchasing pace. Funny... I can't even remember what the color is called right now. I'll have to update on that later when I post about the nursery. I had to work that weekend, but while I was gone, work began. My sweet sister and her friend came over Saturday while I was at work and painted the nursery for us. Patrick's parents, brother, and friend came over to tear down the old deck and rip up more carpet. I came home after work on Saturday to a house that was a complete disaster area.

carpet removal in the basement

Week 32
After my weekend of work and house upheaval, I decided to escape to visit my family for a few days. I was hoping that while I was away, the whole house would be put back together. It didn't quite work out that way, but I'm glad I managed to get away. I had yet another ultrasound done while I was with family and everything looked great. He was measuring a little over 4 pounds and looking chubbier.

Week 33
Work continued on the house and I had to face the reality of living in a renovation zone. Baby and I took a tumble down the stairs in our house on Thursday morning of this week. I think the cause was twofold... 1) my boots and 2) the lip at the top of the stairs from where the flooring had been removed. I quit wearing those boots for the duration of the pregnancy and the workers fixed the lip while I was away at work. Don't worry, Owen and I were okay. The only thing going through my head was "don't hit your stomach" the whole way down and I didn't. My knees and shin were bruised up and I was really sore the next day, but he was okay and that is all that mattered to me.

instagram photo
Week 34
Towards the end of this week I quit taking the procardia that I'd been taking to slow contractions. It was amazing to me how much better I felt, too. The work on the house was for the most part finished (we still have a minor punch list to tackle) but it was nice to be able to put the house back together. My mom and sister both came by at different times to help me put things back. In terms of nesting, it was this week that the crib arrived and Patrick put it together.

Week 35
I quickly started making progress on the nursery this week. My nesting went into overdrive. I washed clothes and bedding, organized, cleaned, and started purchasing things that I needed. It was during this week that I went to the doctor and was officially called 2cm, 75% effaced, and -2 station.We also had two showers within this week. One shower was with the youth and the other was with Patrick's family. I was starting to feel like Owen was taking up every bit of space that I had available. I was also feeling like he was sitting really low. I remember telling Patrick that I was afraid that I was crushing his head when I tried to go up stairs. Also, when Owen would get the hiccups, I could feel them in my tailbone.

Shower with Patricks family... 35 weeks!
Week 36
I had a doctors visit the day that I changed to 36 weeks. Owen was still measuring big (about 39 weeks at this point) and I was starting to get concerned. I had no interest in delivering a 10 pound baby. My doctor assured me that everything would be okay. She said that, worst case scenario and if I was still pregnant at 38 weeks, she would scan me for fluid and growth. If he still looked big at that point then she would induce because she was certain that my cervix would be what they call "favorable". She then added, "but I don't think you'll make it to 38 weeks." I left the appointment that day really worried that Owen was going to be huge. I told myself that I was going to start walking at least 30 minutes every day to see if I could get things stirred up. I didn't have to wait very long... Two days later, I was in labor.

36 weeks and 2 days... taken before leaving for the hospital
Pregnancy Stats:
Length of pregnancy: 36 weeks and 2 days

Weight gain: 25 pounds

Chief complaint: Contractions

Secondary complaints: Probably heartburn

Main food craving: Does chocolate milk count? I had a glass every morning and then sometimes more later in the day.

Main food aversion: I'm really not sure... sometimes chicken sounded terrible.

Annoying pregnancy symptom: my linea nigra... hope it fades quick!

Stretch marks?: Unfortunately, I managed to find one about a week after delivery. I'll take it though. One isn't anything to freak out over. I've seen way worse.

Last meal before going into labor: I'm pretty sure I skipped out on real dinner and ate popcorn that night and then fell asleep on the couch. Patrick woke me up at some point and I moved to the bed.

Last minute nesting: Patrick put the carseat bases in the car the night that my water broke! He thought I was being ridiculous because I wanted to figure out exactly how they worked and double check that they were level. Apparently, something in me knew it was time to get things ready.

Length of labor: If you count from the time my water broke, it was a little over 14 hours. If you count from the time I actually started painfully contracting, it was about 7 hours.

Well, I think that about covers it (or what I remember at this point). I'll probably post the "birth story" at some point but it may take a while. Right now I'm adjusting to this new, exciting, and slightly exhausting role of mommy. It's been a little crazy at times, but I've been amazed at God's provision and blessing. All that waking up in the middle of the night to answer nature's call must have prepared me somehow for middle of the night feedings, diaper, and sometimes outfit changes. It's all worth it though. I'm blown away by the amount of love I have for him.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

He's here!

Owen Patrick Bush
Born 11/18/12 at 7:20pm
Weight: 7lbs 2.6oz
Length: 20.5 inches

Don't worry, there will be many details to come. I especially need to explain my prolonged absence and lack in postings, but that will come another day. For now, just know that he has safely arrived, he is healthy, and his mom couldn't be happier! Here are a few more pictures:)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Pregnancy Journal: 27, 28, and 29 weeks

I've fallen way behind on this and I feel like so much has happened. I'm going to try my best to fill in the past few weeks and not skip over any details.

Week 27
This was the week following my trip to the maternal evaluation unit for preterm contractions. I had been instructed to take it easy for a few days and see my doctor for a follow up visit on Friday (my change day to make me officially 27 weeks). I worked that Monday and Tuesday without too much difficulty from what I can remember now. During my off days, I mainly focused my energy on sitting, eating, and drinking. However, I still would have contractions but never as frequent as they had been the afternoon that I went to the hospital.

During my visit Friday, my doctor prescribed procardia to hopefully help ease the amount of contractions that I was having during the day. She told me that I may not even need to take it on my off days, but that I may find it helpful to take on the days that I'm working. The side effects of the medicine kind of freaked me out though and so I was slow to start taking it. I got the prescription filled that Friday, but decided to put the meds in my work bag so that I'd have them if I needed them that weekend while I worked.

Week 28
I got busted. My doctor just happened to be scheduled to work that weekend and she asked me if I'd even gotten the prescription filled (she must have sensed my hesitation with it). I was nervous about how the medicine would make me feel. Also, I was wondering if I really even needed it since the contractions don't hurt. She encouraged me to take the medicine and not come up to the hospital and "spit out a 29 weeker." So I took the medicine for the first time Saturday night before leaving from work.

Now I have a picture to update you on the size of my abdomen as of that Sunday morning. I think baby is growing!

27 weeks and 2 days, taken before I left for work.
After working Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, I was exhausted to say the least. I will also add that this is when I started to notice my energy level drop just a bit. I thought it was just from working 4 in a row, but as I look back on it now, this week began a steady decline. It was around 28-29 weeks that I realized I move slower... and I kind of waddle sometimes. Embarrassing but true.

Size of baby:
Baby is now the size of an eggplant! At anywhere from 1.5-2.2 pounds and 13.6 to 14.8 inches long. We also got to go to Dalton and visit the family which means that I have some pictures of the little guy.

28 weeks, profile shot with hand by his face.
Best shot we could get of his face.
Apparently, he's measuring a little over 3 pounds. I was shocked to see that he looked like he has some fat on him. His right kidney still looks all better with the left one still looking about the same as it did during my previous ultrasounds. My cervix also looked good. We enjoyed getting to see him moving around in there. He spent most of his time rubbing his hands over his face.

29 Weeks
This was a busy, busy week. I worked Monday and Tuesday. On Wednesday my mom came in town to help me finally make some progress on the nursery. She has a way of getting me to make decisions and we got a lot done. Wednesday night I had my first baby shower. Thursday I worked to recover from all of the activity. Of course, Friday I went to work exhausted, started contracting, saw my doctor who checked me, and got sent home from work. I'll get into those details more in a minute. Lets go over some fun stuff first.

Size of baby:
Baby is now the size of an acorn squash. I wasn't really familiar with what that looked like until I saw the picture so for those of you who might be wondering the same, here you can see a picture.

Apparently, an acorn squash is about 2.5-3.8 pounds and 15.2 to 16.7 inches long. It sounds to me like this is more along the lines of how our baby measured last week. I think we were 3.3lbs and around 16 inches then.

Size of me:
Unfortunately I don't have a picture of myself. I should be able to upload one later from the shower we had on Wednesday. So check back because I hope to get a hold of one. I'm up almost 16 pounds now which shocked me because I think I gained almost 2 pounds in a week. I think baby had another growth spurt.

Pregnancy symptoms:
My stomach has been so itchy lately even though I put lotion on every morning, sometimes a second time during the day, and bio oil at night. So far no stretch marks though. We'll see if that lasts. I also noticed a sad symptom this week- vericose veins. I think the procardia is partially to blame. I've noticed that after I take it my legs, feet, and sometimes by cheeks look really red. It vasodilates everything. I'm hanging in there though. It's way better than having a premature baby so I'll do whatever it takes.

On Wednesday I completed the following: ordered a crib (set to arrive sometime the first week of November), a glider (about 4-6 weeks), a dresser (we can pick up any time since it was the floor sample), purchased curtain panels, and found a cute quilt that matches the bedding Patrick and I picked out.

Highlight from the week:
My first baby shower which was thrown by friends from work was Wednesday night. It was incredible. I was truly overwhelmed by their generosity, love, and support. I almost cried when I sat down to start opening gifts! I work with some pretty awesome people. I will also add that many of them have been looking out for me at work. I can't tell you how many times I'm told to sit down while I'm at work. They want to help keep this little guy in too!

Low point from the week:
Of course, as I mentioned earlier, Friday was a bust. We were extremely busy at work, short staffed, and I started contracting. I knew that I'd been feeling some and finally decided to start writing down the times. I had 8 contractions in an hour and was completely torn over what to do. I knew that I needed to do something, but I didn't want to leave my coworkers in a bind. However, motherly instincts kicked in and I realized what was most important and at that moment it wasn't work.

I went upstairs to see my doctor (yes, a nice perk of delivering where you work), she checked me and kind of made a face (like one of those eyebrows raised in surprise type of faces). My heart sank as I said, "Tell me I'm closed." She said, "You're closed, but you are 50% effaced." I felt better, but was still wondering what the face had been for. She then went on to describe that my cervix felt labored, she could tell that I was contracting, and she thought maybe I should take some time off from work.

It wasn't that she thought I was going to deliver, but she talked about the importance of staying ahead of the game and that less contractions is better. Obviously, I have more contractions at work and so she said she would rather me be at home having 2-4 and hour than at work having 8-12 an hour. I still wasn't really happy with this plan. I don't want to take any time off before delivery. I want my full 12 weeks with this little boy after he comes into the world. I started crying.

Eventually, we came up with a different plan. I would leave work that day, stay restful during the weekend, take my medicine, and if everything stayed calm, then I could try to work Monday and Tuesday. However, I was instructed to call in sick Monday if I continued to have too many and then let her know so that she could fill out the necessary paperwork for me to be off for a few weeks.

I went home, took my medicine, and slept. The contractions slowed once I got in the bed and I had a pretty good weekend. This concluded week 29 of my pregnancy. I'll pick back up with this little journal in another post because this one is way long and I'm sick of writing it and if you are still reading, then I'm impressed.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Pregnancy Journal: 26 weeks

This week started off great. Patrick and I enjoyed a slow Sunday for a change. Due to the holiday, there were no youth activities going on. I had normal work days Monday and Tuesday. Then baby threw us a curve ball on Wednesday. Well, I say baby, but really it was my uterus.

Sometime around 3:30pm I realized that I was beginning to feel a few contractions. I grabbed my water and started drinking but noticed a couple more. I then laid down in the bed so that I could focus and time them better. Over the next hour I counted 8. I took Tylenol and called my dad. He, of course, told me to go to the hospital. I knew that's where I needed to be, but I just really wanted someone to tell me that this wasn't happening. However, I knew that I needed to go get checked out and that if something bad happened I would never forgive myself for ignoring the symptoms.

The good news is that I wasn't dilated. The bad news is that I was indeed contracting- quite a bit actually. None of them were painful, but I could tell that they were there. Very quickly they gave me benadryl and terbutaline. Let me tell you, that makes for a very odd combination once it starts to kick in. The benadryl made me drowsy headed like I was having an out of body experience, but the terbualine amped me up like someone had given me a whole pot of coffee. It was pretty crummy actually. Here I am after getting my first dose of meds.

25 weeks and 5 days

Patrick and I had a little free time while sitting there waiting to see what would happen next. It was very odd being on the other side of things. I tried to be a good patient. And here's a contraction on the monitor with baby boy just chillin out.

Then the contractions started increasing in frequency again (I think the doc said every 3 minutes) and so they gave me some more terbutaline and a bag of IV fluids. Thankfully, it worked! After an hour of no contractions they let us go home.

I feel a whole lot better knowing that the contractions didn't dilate my cervix. We ended up leaving the hospital around 10:30 that night. I was so happy to have my bed instead of that stretcher. Thursday I was told to take it easy, which I did. I think it helped a lot. I had most of my contractions that morning, but the more I rested and hydrated, the better they seemed to get. Thursday afternoon I got a phone call from one of the nurses that works with my doctor. She asked me how the day had been and I was completely honest. Then it was decided that I shouldn't work today... not the answer I was expecting. However, I'm letting go of my superwoman tendencies and have decided to enjoy the unexpected five days off in a row.

Size of baby:
Baby boy is now the size of a head of lettuce at 13.6 to 14.8 inches long and somewhere between 1.5 and 2.5 pounds. Grow baby, grow! I'm happy that he seems to be doing well in there. He didn't seem to mind the contractions the other night when we watched his heart rate on the monitor. He didn't even really mind the medications they had to give me which can sometimes make a baby have an episode of tachycardia.

Size of me:
I think I look about the same this week as last week. That's what I think anyway. The scale seems to have been stuck this week, too. I guess baby boy had himself a little growth spurt between weeks 24 and 25 and is now prepping for the next one.

26 weeks

Diet changes:
Patrick has decided that part of the problem is that I haven't been eating enough. In some ways, I think I agree. I get busier than I mean to be sometimes and forget to listen to my body. Work has been busy lately but I can't blame it entirely on work. For example, the other day I ate a late breakfast around 10:30 and didn't eat again until after 3pm (yeah, I was starving by that point). I was running errands and had my water with me, but I know that baby and I need more than just water. I hope to do a better job with this in the coming weeks.

We are slowly making decisions about the nursery and slowly discussing names for this little one. It's hard to name another person. It feels like a big deal.

Looking forward to:
I'm beginning to get excited about the fall. I'm ready for cooler weather, football, game day food, and I'll just add that the pumpkin spice lattes are back at Starbucks. Pretty awesome!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Pregnancy Journal: 25 weeks

This pregnancy is flying. I can't believe I'll be in the 3rd and final trimester in a couple of weeks. Scary... and really exciting. We returned from the beach Sunday evening, I worked Monday, Tuesday, and Friday. Thursday we had another visit with the doctor. Everything looked good. She did urge me to do a better job timing my contractions. She said she wouldn't torture me with an internal exam just yet, but that preterm contractions are not something to mess around with. I've got strict instructions to call immediately if I have 6 or more in an hour. So far, so good!

Size of baby:
This week seemed like an odd choice to me. We couldn't think of any other type of produce other than a head of cauliflower? I'm also stunned by the weight range for a 25 week baby. Did anyone else catch the one pound difference? I guess this is when every baby really takes off at its own rate of growth.

Size of me:
I'm feeling pregnant. I was up 10 pounds at my visit, which is good. It was funny to me that in 5 weeks I gained what I had gained in the first 20 weeks of my pregnancy. Must have been all that shrimp:) I'm feeling good about it though. I'm right on track and if I keep this pace then I'll have gained the appropriate amount by the due date. I was bad and didn't get a picture this week.

Pregnancy symptoms:
I really hope I haven't sounded like too much of a complainer by reporting this every week because this pregnancy really hasn't been that hard. I would say it has gone really well so far. I just want to keep track of what symptoms I do notice each week. For example, there are some weeks that I don't really have any heartburn but feel really exhausted and emotional. I'm just wanting to track whatever seems to be the most predominate symptom. This week it was probably lower abdominal pressure and the occasional contractions. This little guy just seems to sit really low on me. He is right on top of my bladder. My urinary frequency has never gone away due to the way he sits. When standing and walking, my lower belly feels really tight.

Funny moment from the week:
On my way to work the other morning I got on the elevator with a couple of ladies that were talking to each other. Then one of them looked at me and said, "You got a bun in your oven?" I smiled and said, "Yes ma'am." She then said, "How many months?" I get this question a lot and it always throws me for a second because I am so used to thinking in weeks and forget than many non-healthcare people don't. After thinking for a second I responded, "Six months." "What?! That just makes me sick. I never looked like that at 6 months." I wasn't sure what to say to that... Thank you? I'm sorry?... When the elevator doors opened I went with a smile and a "Have a nice day."

I think we picked out crib bedding and curtains:) and yes, I said we. I wanted Patrick to be a part of this process as much as he wanted and was pleasantly surprised that he had opinions. Of course, as usual, he said that he trusted me with whatever I really wanted, but he was willing to give feedback. I really appreciate that I have a husband that wants to be involved. He's going to be a good daddy and I'm looking forward to watching him with our son.

Looking forward to:
I'm really enjoying getting into the nesting phase now. It's been kind of fun looking at baby stuff and trying to imagine our life with this new addition. It's exciting. To the best of my knowledge, my registry is complete. Now we get to focus on and look forward to coming up with a name for this little guy. We'll also continue the nesting process by doing things like picking out the crib, the dresser, and the glider.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Pregnancy Journal: Weeks 23 and 24

Well, here I am doing another 2 week update (and it's a little late too given that I'm 25 weeks). Somehow I got way behind again. I think it's because the past few weeks have involved a lot of traveling during my off days and I refuse to blog while with family or on vacation. It's been a good few weeks with a lot of growth!

Week 23
The highlight from this week was visiting my family for a couple of days. It was a short trip, but I'm glad we made it. We left early Wednesday morning and returned late Thursday evening. I would have loved to stay until Friday, which was our original plan, but then I realized I had some mandatory classes scheduled at work that I had to be back for.

Because I'm way behind but still want to keep track of this pregnancy, I'm doing a much abbreviated version of this weekly update. These were some of the things that I found most memorable.

Size of baby/kidney progress:
Well, visiting my family meant we got to have yet another ultrasound. We even got some 4D pictures. They aren't very good due to my anterior placenta, but it was a nice try. Baby man was looking good in there. He grew out to be 1.25 pounds and 12 inches long, which seemed really big to me! This week the bump says he's the size of a grapefruit.

The other good news was that his kidneys are looking good. One kidney was completely normal and the other was still looking about the same, which is fine. My dad felt that if one kidney had already cleared up, the other would soon follow. My dad also made sure that they measured my cervical length. I've been contracting some at work and so he wanted to make sure it was adequate. Everything was fine. It's about 4cm. I'm pretty sure that the contractions are due to my being on my feet for such long hours. We've also been really busy and that makes it hard to eat and drink regularly. I'm working on it, though! We definitely don't want this little guy to make his arrival too soon.

Now for some pictures. Like I said, they aren't very good and if you aren't into the 4D stuff (I'm not a big fan either), then skip the next few pics.

He's still a boy...:)
You can see some of his face in this one. Like one eye, and a mushed up nose and mouth.
Pregnancy Symptoms:
Well, the contractions are there. I don't have but a few on my off days, but I've noticed that walking a lot and working out seem to make them get going for a little while. They aren't painful, just annoying. I've been reassured by knowing how long my cervix was on Wednesday. I think I'll feel better too once I'm a little further along (come on, 24 weeks!). Just knowing that I will be what we call "viable" in a few days makes me feel better. It also freaks me out a little! I have a lot to do!

There are the beginning stages of a registry. Patrick and I worked on it Friday. We spent 2 hours in Buy Buy Baby and that was more than enough. That place is overwhelming! I need to go back and tweak it some, though. There is a room in our house that is partially cleaned out so that it can become what I hope will resemble a nursery. That is probably where our preparations have stopped, though. We have kind of taken a break from the name thing. I guess we're both hoping something will just come to us one day. Likely, right?

Looking forward to:
The beach! Can't wait for a little rest and relaxation with Patrick in a few days. I just have to make it through my four twelves at work. We (and by that I mean mostly I) plan to unplug from the world, sleep in/go to bed early, sit on the beach for hours, and eat some seafood.

Week 24
This week we traveled down to Gulf Shores for some beach time with Patrick's parents. It was wonderful especially after working 4 days in a row. I got home from work Tuesday night and helped Patrick finish loading up the car. We were on the road by 9:00 and made it to the beach sometime around 1:30am... I think (I slept pretty much the whole way). It was glorious waking up to the ocean and knowing that we were going to have 4 full days to enjoy it. The weather couldn't have been more perfect. If we hadn't known, due to today's technology, then we would've had no idea that a hurricane was approaching. Even better, it wasn't even that hot.

Size of baby:
Baby is now the size of a cantaloupe.

Sounds like a big jump from last week and I'm feeling it. It seems like my tummy is a lot bigger than last week and his kicks are a lot stronger. I enjoy watching and feeling him move around.

Size of me:
Well, I guess you can have a look for yourself. I think I've grown a lot since the last picture. Please forgive the photo quality and my slightly glistening look. We were at the beach and we are still trying to figure out this new camera. The flash is really not my friend here, but that's the best we could do.

Pregnancy symptoms:
This week seemed to carry with it a lot of heartburn. It probably had something to do with all that fried shrimp we ate. I've noticed that breakfast is often my best meal of the day because I can eat normally without any pain or discomfort. The contractions happened a lot less since we were just hanging out on the beach. I noticed a few while I was working out one morning, but I think that's pretty normal.

Given that we unplugged from the world, we are pretty much in the same place as we were last week. We had one or two name discussions with not much progress. We also spent a little bit of time discussing how in the world we want to manage childcare when I go back to work. That wasn't a very fun discussion either but I know it is something we will have to think and talk about more.

I'm very glad that I only work 3 days a week, but it's hard imagining leaving our baby with anyone other than us. We are praying that we can find someone that wants a part time job keeping him so we can avoid daycare and its expense. Most day care centers don't offer part time options and it would be silly for us to pay for full-time care. My preference is to find one person that can take care of him on my work days so that he doesn't have to get juggled between people during the day. I just feel like that could be disruptive to a little guy especially if he's napping.

Looking forward to:
I'm ready to start planning this nursery I think. Now that I've hit the 24 week mark I feel like I can start to be more of a planner. It's not really in my nature, but I know that these things can take time. Plus, a friend pointed out to me that sometimes cribs take a while to be delivered depending on what you want. That kind of gave me incentive because at this point I have no idea what I want.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Pregnancy Journal: Week 21 and 22

Okay, this can't be right... 22 weeks? Excuse me for a second while I practice my deep breathing. I'm still feeling pretty good and I'm getting used to this growing abdomen. For about a week I was startled when I'd pass by a mirror and catch a glimpse. It's the strangest thing having complete strangers begin to notice my pregnancy. I had a lady ask, "Well, when are you due?" and I was stunned for about two seconds as the thought went through my brain, "Do I know this woman? How does she know?" It's just taken me a while to wrap my head around the fact that I now look pregnant. While I haven't been the best at blogging this journey for the past couple of weeks (hence, the two week update), I do have pictures to share this time!

Size of baby:
For 21 weeks the bump says baby boy is the size of a pomegranate at 10.5 inches and 12.7 ounces. For 22 weeks it says that he's the size of a papaya at 10.5 to 11.8 inches and 12.7 to 20.8 ounces. Apparently he's having his own sleep cycles in there. I also think it's funny that the bump can't decide if this baby grew or not. Did you catch that? I'm pretty sure he did judging by the changes I'm seeing and feeling. His kicks have gotten a lot stronger this past week.

Size of me:
Just look for yourself! I'm definitely growing for all those people out there that tell me I'm tiny (which I totally don't mind- keep it coming!) I feel anything but tiny at the moment and I know it's just the beginning. I've started to really pack on the lbs over the past few weeks so baby boy must be growing by leaps and bounds. I'm pretty sure I'll be up 10lbs by the end of the week.

21 weeks and 5 days

You may have also noticed that we changed up the location for these photo updates. Plus, we have a new camera! My sweet husband bought me a Nikon D3100 for my birthday. Isn't he the best? I've only had it since Monday night, so I haven't gotten to play with it too much. I'm really looking forward to taking better pictures and playing around with editing. This blog might just explode with photos now:)

Pregnancy symptoms:
Mostly, the same old stuff I suppose. I've definitely noticed that my mood is much better now. It might have something to do with having my hubby home though. My legs were really hurting a lot this week especially when I'd get home after my 12 hour shift. It makes it hard to wake up in the morning on an off day and work out because I'll often wake up still aching. Tylenol does nothing to help. I'm learning to be okay with afternoon workouts though. Other symptoms include, leaky boobs (sorry), occasional lower back pain, waking up in the middle of the night to pee, and I've even started noticing braxton hicks contractions. It took me a while to realize what it was and then admit to myself that I was indeed having them. I now know why people say that their baby is just "balling up". My little uterus turns into a tight little ball that I can watch and feel. It's really not painful, just annoying sometimes. It's usually after a workout or late at night after work. I'm trying my best to drink plenty of water.

Anything is pretty much a go at this point. I can even eat chicken:) However, I can't eat a ton in one sitting. It doesn't all fit in my stomach. I have noticed a slight increase in my appetite this past week. I feel like I want to eat more and more frequently. This is probably why I'm gaining weight faster now, huh. There are no real cravings that stick out in my mind, but I've been desiring more sweet things than usual. I'm usually such a salty snack fan, but there have been several times this past week when a cookie or a rice crispy treat sounds just perfect. I mean, doesn't that sound good to you?

Best moments from the weeks:
Wow... Where do I start? It's been a good couple of weeks. Patrick got to feel the baby kicking sometime around 19 weeks and 4 days. That was a lot of fun. Now, we can not only feel his little punches and kicks, but we can see them too. A few nights ago, I lifted up my shirt and we just sat and watched him do his thing. It's totally fun watching my belly move. We can't help but laugh. We also had a quick visit from my dad, which I really loved. I miss my family a ton. He came bearing birthday gifts (since my birthday was only a couple of days away) and it made me feel very loved and supported. My birthday ended up being the major highlight from this week. I had to work on my birthday and the day after but I really didn't mind. It's kind of fun welcoming babies into the world on your birthday:) Plus, I have a sweet husband who surprised me with a wonderful dinner, desert, flowers, and an awesome gift (my Nikon camera). Yes, I cried. I woke up Wednesday morning ready to start snapping pictures. Patrick didn't want to be photographed first thing in the morning so I went and found a more willing participant. Guess who?

Don't worry, he's excited for mommy. Just look at that precious face!

Nesting instincts:
My nesting still hasn't kicked in full force, but I'm noticing more of an urgency on some things. For example, I started a registry. I'm sure it will be tweaked like crazy, added too, and taken away from in the coming weeks, but it's a start. The room that will be the nursery is cleaned out for the most part so I may start planning that over the next few weeks. I haven't looked very much at bedding, cribs, and that sort of thing which is surprising since I love painting and stuff. Plus, we've starting discussing baby names. They are brief conversations and sometimes end with us just making up silly ones and laughing. We're getting there though! I'm hoping to stay laid back about most of this stuff.

Most looking forward to:
I'm looking forward to a couple of things actually. We are going to try and visit my family soon which I am beyond ready for. Also, we have officially made plans to join Patrick's parents at the beach for a few days. Speaking of which, I need to go swimsuit shopping... That should be interesting.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Pregnancy Journal: 20 Weeks

So I'm a little late with this post given that I'll actually be 21 weeks on Friday. Oops... I'm also a failure because I have no bump picture to show off this week. However, I do have something way better!

19 weeks and 6 days.
 and I'm totally just stalling on you. Actually, the fun news is that...

It's a BOY!!!

and another "toilet shot" as they call it.

Patrick returned home on Monday night which was so great. I'm glad to have him home for a while. Then Thursday we got to have a little visit with the "man child" as Patrick has now decided to call it. I guess we need to come up with a name quick!

As my doctor put it, all of the important things checked out great on our little man. He was in the 53rd percentile for growth, had a heart rate in the 150's, and grew out appropriately for his gestational age. They are going to do another ultrasound at my next visit to take another look at his kidneys though. It's nothing terribly concerning. He had something they call pelviectasis. I think the other name for it is hydronephrosis. It's just a few fancy words for some extra fluid in our little guys kidneys. Apparently it is a pretty common finding in little boys and I've spoken with one doctor who said she would guess that she sees it in about 10 percent of pregnancies. Even if this little issue were to stick around until delivery (which they think it won't), the only thing it would mean is a renal ultrasound after birth and close monitoring for urinary tract infections.

Every day this pregnancy seems to get a little more real. As his kicks get stronger and stronger and as I get bigger and bigger, reality is starting to set in. We really haven't starting making any preparations for this little guy except for the fact that I did a little cleaning while Patrick was in Belize. It's hard to believe that I'm halfway through this thing. My guess is that in a few weeks (once summer ends) we will start getting a little more serious about everything.

One funny moment from the week was when I decided to organize all of the ultrasounds that I've had during this pregnancy. It's a little excessive. He's probably the most photographed child in utero. However, I will say that the long strip (3rd column) is all because of my dad. He had a little bit of fun looking at his grandchild. I think that strip is about as tall as I am.

Well, I think this update is long enough. It's a little outside of my traditional weekly update, but it will have to do. For those of you who are crazy about the fruit thing though... Baby was reported to be the size of a banana this week. Now to me a mango seems bigger than a banana but whatever!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Pregnancy Journal: 19 Weeks

This week has been a tough one. I'm not going to lie and say that having a husband that's been out of town more than he's been in town this summer isn't wearing on me. I'm not making this up. I counted. Since May 20th, he's been away from home 36 days and home 28 days (ridiculous). That's not even counting the 7 days he was away at the beginning of May for some man beach time. This hormonal (and slightly more emotional) pregnant girl is over it. I'm pretty sure that Patrick is exhausted too though. Words cannot even begin to describe how ready we are for Monday night when he returns home.

Size of baby:
Baby is now the size of a mango at about 6 inches long and 8.5 ounces. It is still kicking around in there and at times I can feel it really strong. Last week I mostly only felt it when I was lying down, but this week I've felt it while sitting too.

Size of me:
I feel like I'm getting big and that baby really started to pop out this week. I guess you can be the judge when you see the pictures. I'm still only up 7 lbs though. I feel like I've gained a bunch more than that.

I'm also a little sick of taking these pictures against a blank wall (with terrible lighting) so maybe we will start changing this up a bit for some variety. Plus, my camera is really blurry and I can't figure out why. We might need to look into purchasing a better one especially with a baby on the way.

Pregnancy symptoms:
My back has felt way better this week. I rested it for a few days, took Tylenol, slept on a heating pad, and stopped my zumba for a bit. It seems to have done the trick. I've still had some occasional heartburn that usually hits me late afternoon before I leave work. My chest continues to grow along with my midsection and I guess I'm going to have to bite the bullet and purchase a couple more bras here pretty soon. I still have one breast that likes to leak and I'm probably going to have to start wearing a pad on that side. It frustrates me, but I guess I should be happy that my body is doing what it's supposed to do. Also, I'll add that I've been more weepy than ever before. Seriously, I think I've cried at least 5-6 times this week. Oh, and thanks mom for putting up with one of those episodes over the phone. Love you! I've found that it really doesn't need to be anything serious to make me cry. For example, I was watching a show on TLC today where a lady was moving out of her house after 35 years. She started crying and before I knew it I was too.

I can definitely say that I crave salty things rather than sweet things. I've been wanting popcorn really bad lately, but haven't caved and purchased any yet. There aren't any real aversions that stick out in my mind at this point. Apples with peanut butter have become one of my favorite snacks this past week too.

Most exciting thing from this week:
I finally got a little bit of nesting instinct (or maybe it was just boredom with Patrick being gone). I'll have to show those pictures later though. Let's just say that our guest bedroom looks a little empty right now.

Most looking forward to:
Besides Patrick getting home on Monday, I'm looking forward to my anatomy scan on Thursday. We will get the official word on the gender of this little baby. Can't believe we're about to hit the 20 week mark! I mean, halfway... really?

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Pregnancy Journal: 18 Weeks

Size of baby:
The size of a sweet potato according to the bump. Holy cow... that sounds big! This sweet potato is 5.6 inches long and 6.7 ounces. He or she is yawning, hiccuping, and swallowing in there. No wonder I've started sporting a bigger bump this week.

Size of me:
I'm starting to feel more and more pregnant every day. Buttoning certain pants became completely uncomfortable this week so I started trying to use one of those bella bands. I'm not sure that I like it or that they work all that great. Maybe I'm not using it correctly. I can't decide if I should wear it all the way up, doubled over around my unbuttoned pants, or half under and folded over the top of my pants. I feel like I'm most comfortable with it all the way up, but then it gets really hot. My other issue is that it rides up my back so it ends up not holding the back of my pants up. Any other moms out there had a good experience with these things? If so, please tell me how you wore it.

18 weeks and 1 day
and those are maternity shorts

Pregnancy symptoms:
Let's see... heartburn, backaches (possibly pulled a little something at work), leg cramps, a little round ligament pain, mood swings, a growing chest and middle, and a little fatigue.

I don't feel like I was very hungry this week which may explain why the number on the scale hasn't really moved from last week. I'm still eating pretty normal stuff except for one unusual item. Cucumber and tomato salad has been one of my favorite side dishes. I never really ate much of either prior to pregnancy, but I'm loving it right now.   

Most exciting thing from the week:
I've officially started feeling this little one kicking, punching, and rolling around in there! I had actually been feeling it for a couple of days without realizing it. I kept thinking it was muscle spasms or twitches. It wasn't until I was at work ultrasounding (yes, yet again) that I put two and two together. I watched the baby kick on the screen and felt it at the same time. It was awesome. Now that I know what it is I notice the movement more. It's also easier for me to feel it when I'm lying down. For the record, that would be 17 weeks and 4 days that I knew for certain I was feeling our baby kick.

Most looking forward to:
I'm ready for next Monday when Patrick is home from his last out of town trip for the summer. He's been gone more than he's been home and it's wearing on me. It really stinks that his last trip has to be the longest. 10 days? Really? I'm over it. I'm also starting to wonder how this is going to work in the future with a little one at home. I guess we'll figure it out as we go!

If you think about it, pray for Patrick and the rest of the Belize team this week. They are helping with some building/repair work for a school as well as leading a VBS all week. I haven't gotten to talk with Patrick yet, I've just received a couple of texts (it's cheaper internationally). They arrived safely, got some good rest, and are hitting the ground full force in the morning.

Sweet boy...
At least I've got my Hurley bear to keep me company. He's missing Patrick too though.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Pregnancy Journal: 17 weeks

Can't believe I'm already 17 weeks. This feels like it is flying. I'm sure it won't at the end, but for now I'm really wondering where the pause button is on this thing! I've felt the return of some energy this week which came in handy since Patrick was in New Orleans all week on a mission trip. I worked Monday and Tuesday, celebrated with friends and family for the fourth, my sister came in town to visit Thursday, and Patrick finally returned home to me Friday night after I worked another shift. I'm glad that he is going to be home for an entire week before leaving for Belize on Saturday.

Size of baby:
Baby is now the size of an onion at a little over 5 inches and about 5.9 ounces. I'm definitely feeling more pregnant this week, so our little one must be growing! Our baby has been working on developing strong bones this week so it can kick me a little bit better. No, I'm not really feeling it yet. There have been a few moments when I've been resting and thought for a second that maybe I felt something, but then again, maybe not. It's too hard to say at this point. I did get a pretty good picture of our baby and those growing bones this week.

16 weeks and 4 days.
That is a picture of the head, an arm, and fingers. I'm still in shock every time I look at our baby and see how much bigger it is getting. It really is amazing how quickly a baby develops. I'm in awe of God's design.

Size of me:
Apparently, our baby isn't the only one getting bigger. I had been feeling really chubby all week and slightly frustrated as dressing my new curves became a bit of a challenge.  Then Patrick snapped these pictures and I was like, "Oh, I look pregnant." He just laughed. For some reason I can look in the mirror and see nothing but chubbiness but then look at a picture of myself and see pregnancy. I'm just in that awkward in between stage where I don't need maternity clothes but I can't wear all of my normal clothes either.

17 weeks

I was also shocked by the number on the scale this week. I'm now up almost 7 pounds from my pre-pregnant weight and I didn't eat anything different this week. It seemed like a really big jump from last week, but I guess it's normal?

Pregnancy symptoms:
The girls are still growing (along with my middle) and they can stop whenever they feel like it as far as I'm concerned. My normal appetite is back. I feel kind of moody at times. Oh, and my fatigue is steadily disappearing. I guess I can't expect it to go away completely. I mean, I am growing another human being here. I suppose I should expect that to be exhausting at times.

There really hasn't been anything that different this week. I've been having either an egg or a slice of quiche for breakfast (my sister made me one and brought it to me), tomato soup is still my go to lunch along with some nuts, fruit, and yogurt. Dinner is still a toss up and will probably remain as such until the summer is over. When Patrick is gone, I usually eat raisin bran for dinner. It's really hard to cook for just me.

Most frequently asked questions:
Are you excited?- Um... duh! Of course we are overjoyed (and definitely a little scared) about becoming parents. We still have our moments when we are in shock, but for the most part we are giddy with excitement about welcoming this little person into the world.

How far along are you? Well, I guess the title of this post answers that question. This question mostly comes from people at church that I don't see very often and a few coworkers that are still just recently discovering the news.

Are you going to find out what it is? Well, we are and we did. As many of you know, I've ultrasounded this child just about every week. It's been a shy one and only given little glimpses here and there to where I wasn't very confident in the predictions. However, this past Tuesday, it was like our baby decided it was time to let mommy get a really good look. We're probably not going to make it a public thing until after our 20 week ultrasound though. You would think that we were trying to kill some of our senior high girls by not spilling the beans just yet. It's kind of funny.

Most looking forward to:
Wow... For once, I'm not even sure. I think I'm getting excited about this little bump that continues to grow. It's the first true physical reminder that I'm pregnant. However, other times I feel like I'll be okay if it doesn't pop out just yet. I'm looking forward to those first baby kicks, but completely freaked out by it at the same time. I've talked with one mom who said that she got a little nauseated the first time she really felt her baby move. I hope I don't have that response! All of these changes will just be evidence that this is real (something I've had a hard time wrapping my head around).

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Maternity Clothes

I have officially made my first baby-related purchases- maternity clothes. My sweet sister-in-law tipped me off that kohls would have a ton of their fall/winter stuff on sale right now. I ran in there thinking that I might pick up one or two things and this is what I walked out with.

I think I paid $5 for that dress. Pretty awesome, huh? I love a good sale- or clearance rack. It felt a little strange picking out these items and walking to the dressing room with them. I'm pretty sure I got a few curious looks from other shoppers. It was also really odd to put on a pair of jeans that have elastic for the waistband. I kept looking for the zipper and button. I had to use my imagination a little and pretend that I have a bigger baby bump. I'm pretty sure I'll wear all of the items I picked up. The best part has to be the money I saved. Yep, the receipt says $210.40 saved!

I know I'll end up spending some more dough on dressing this bump, but this gave me some encouragement that I don't have to spend a ton of money on a new wardrobe. It just seems silly to spend so much on something so temporary. Thankfully, I've already got several shopping bags full of borrowed maternity clothes. Thanks Mary Katherine for your generosity and for the shopping tip!

I'm starting to realize that my abdomen really is growing. It'll be interesting to compare pictures this week because I feel like there is a huge difference. I'm a mixture of emotions about the whole thing. I know I should embrace it, but I feel fat not pregnant. Most of my clothes became uncomfortable this week. I can wear all my shorts, but they just don't feel great because they dig into my stomach. The "girls" are still growing and I find that frustrating as well. I have to keep reminding myself that all of these changes are good and that they are for a very good reason.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

New dresser

A few months ago I made an online furniture purchase for our bedroom. We've been in need of a dresser ever since I removed the one we were using and placed it in the dining room (where it belonged in the first place). My thinking was that it would motivate me to pick out a dresser for the Master bedroom. Well, it only took about 8 months or so for the pile of clothes on the floor to motivate me enough to bite the bullet and pick something. The dresser arrived while we were in Hilton Head. It sat in our garage for a few days until Patrick and I found time to carry it upstairs into the bedroom. Mission almost accomplished.... Go ahead a take a look though!

It's a little darker than our current furniture, but I like it. It fixed the pile of clothes on the floor pretty nicely. My next goal was to get that mirror, that you can see a little of in the photo above, hung above the dresser. That mirror has been against various walls of our home ever since we moved in. So on Wednesday morning I decided to get er done- yes, all by myself. Let me tell you, it was an epic failure. I spent about an hour finding the appropriate wire to hang it with only to read on the back of the mirror later that I'm not supposed to use wire. Instead, the company recommends using their hooks that have already been attached. At that point, I was still thinking I could do this.

After carefully measuring the length between the hooks, the height of the dresser, the height of the hooks on the back of the mirror, and leveling the nails on the wall in what I thought was the appropriate place, I realized that I had gone about the whole thing wrong... I forgot to factor in that I wasn't going to want the mirror to touch the dresser.. duh... So I remeasured to give myself about a 4 inch clearance and I re-nailed. Then it was time to hang the heavy mirror. I ran into a little snag, but I was determined. I actually managed to get the mirror hooks up to the nails (don't ask how, it wasn't my brightest moment) but then realized yet again that I am an idiot. Call it placenta brain if you want, but I failed to realize that two little nails in dry wall aren't sufficient to hold a 50 plus lb mirror. At that point, I gave in. I had no choice but to abort mission.

After some research that night and a conversation with my mother, I had a plan- toggle bolts! Also, I decided a little help from the hubs might be a wise decision. So on Thursday we made a quick trip to Lowes and by late that afternoon we had a mirror hanging correctly above our brand new dresser!

That dresser and mirror are so much prettier than a clothing pile! I can now check this off my to-do list which is now growing along with my midsection.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Pregnancy Journal: 16 weeks

Friday, June 29th- I'm finally caught up to real time now!!!

Four months down! It's getting kind of real. I'm feeling better and more motivated to get things done around here. So maybe little projects will be popping back up here and there. I successfully made it through my 4 shifts at work and I'm happy to have Patrick back home for a few days. It's going to be short-lived though. He's off again on Sunday for a mission trip to New Orleans with our senior high. I'm thankful for how our schedules have worked out this summer though. Luckily, I tend to work when he is out of town and have time off when he is in town. It's making this summer much more manageable. Now, I realize we have a lot ahead of us, but I'm hopeful.

Size of baby:
Baby is now the size of an avocado. Hmm... guacamole anyone? It's about 4.6 inches long and 3.5 ounces. Apparently it can hear us talk to it too! The hair is growing and he or she is developing taste buds. I have the creepiest picture to show you of our little one. It's a shot of it's face! I only say that its creepy because it looks like a skeleton.

15 weeks and 2 days and looking right at us.

Size of me:
We have a belly picture this week! I finally have a little bump going. To people that don't know I'm pregnant, it wouldn't be obvious, but it's there. I will confess that this picture was taken late at night (I have more of a pooch then) and it was taken after a meal of Mexican food. So I guess it is part food baby and part real baby but whatever. We're going with it!

Thanks, Laurie for showing me how to properly hold my abdomen!
I think the boob growth helps camouflage the belly growth.
I'm now up 4 pounds on our home scale so I think this little one is starting to pack on the lbs. Someone at work said that I should expect to be up 10 pounds by 20 weeks. I was a little shocked, but we'll see I guess. I'm doing pretty good I think about not stressing over the weight gain anymore. I've accepted that it is part of pregnancy and that the weight will come on its own without me trying to manipulate it. I'm just trying to ensure that my calories come from good sources. Well, except for our weekly Mexican food night- I splurge then!

Pregnancy symptoms:
I'm doing better with the heartburn. I think it was all about determining the triggers (mio, large amounts of water late in the evening, and/or large amounts of water with a meal) and avoiding it. The most freaky symptom I've experienced occurred this morning and I'll warn you, it has to do with breastmilk. It was only a drop, but it was there. Even though I know it is normal, it shocked me. Talk about a dose of reality! My body really is rapidly preparing for the arrival of a baby.

I'm eating pretty normal and having to make a point to do some planning and shopping before Patrick leaves town. During the school year Patrick usually cooks dinner on the nights that I work. I've learned that I have to have a clear meal plan for each day that he is away. Otherwise the Arby's across the street from the hospital is pretty tempting when I'm starving and leaving work at 8:00pm.

Boy or girl?
Pretty much everyone I meet tells me they think it's a boy. I even had a patient this week that told me I was having a boy. I asked her why and she said that it's because you carry boys low, which I am and that boys give you shape. It cracked me up to have a patient notice the size of my chest! She went on to explain that boys make you pretty and girls steal your beauty. I thought her assessment was interesting. She also asked me if I craved fruit or ice cream. I looked at her and said, "I'd rather eat fruit." and she said, "It's a boy then."  

Interesting moment from the week:
Well, our air conditioning went out on Wednesday and that was frustrating to say the least. We are in the middle of a heat wave and I was just praying (literally, multiple times a day) that God would get someone from our homeowners insurance to our house quickly and that they would just replace the darn thing. It broke last summer but they repaired it. Also, it's 15 years old. God does answer even what seems to be the most trivial of prayers though.

I put the request in Wednesday morning with our insurance and they called me within a couple of hours to schedule an appointment for the very next day (that has never happened). Then the unit actually went out a few hours after we had our appointment scheduled. My next prayer was that the guy would arrive early not late (our appointment was anywhere between 8am and 1pm). Well, the guy called us at 9:00 the next day to say that he was about 45 minutes away. While I did thank God for the answered prayer, I was still praying that the man would just have to replace it, but that didn't happen. He was able to fix it though, so I was pleased. However, the crazy thing was what Patrick told me when he came in from talking with the guy. Apparently, the repairman said he had no idea how we got a spot so quickly. He said that due to the heat wave, they are booked for the next week.

I could've cried. In fact, I'm teary eyed right now. The whole thing was a sweet reminder of how God cares for me. I had spent so much time the day before worrying- not just about the AC unit, but about finances and home repairs in general. Seriously, just ask Patrick. It's amazing how the very next day God gently reminded me of his provision. It had me thinking about Matthew 6 where Jesus teaches about worry. It never ceases to amaze me that the creator of the universe would not only choose to save me, but he goes so much further as to look after me in such small ways. He loves me enough to take care of an AC unit and you can't convince me otherwise.

"Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?"- Matthew 6:26

Most excited about:
Spending the next couple of days with my sweet husband. We got to hang out a lot yesterday too. We've learned over the past few years to take advantage of our time off especially in the summer months. It's good to reconnect and have some fun together. Our afternoon date yesterday was to steel city pops.