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.

Pregnancy Journal: 15 Weeks

Friday, June 22

This week has been a good one. I have felt like my energy is starting to return and I'm having less trouble figuring out what to eat. All of my phone applications keep saying that this little one is about to start putting on weight like crazy and I guess an appetite would help with that. It's funny because I really thought that I would have gained a couple more pounds while I was traveling and eating funny foods, but I had my third OB visit yesterday and I'm only up 2 pounds (down a pound from my last visit). We got to hear the heartbeat this time which was fun. It was right at 145 which is where it was when I checked it at work a couple of weeks ago. I also have good ultrasound pictures to share from this week while I was at work.

Size of baby:
I'm carrying around a navel orange according to the bump with a length of 4 inches and an average weight of 2.5 ounces. On ultrasound this baby looked so big compared to the last time I looked. It's whole body hardly fits on the screen now. I also learned this week that I have an anterior placenta so I shouldn't be alarmed if I don't feel this little one move for a while. Don't worry though, it is moving tons!

14 weeks and 3 days
Another one from the day. My placenta is the giant grey-white blob right by the face.

Size of me:
Once again, I have no picture to show off. There was one morning this week that I woke up and was like, "holy cow... there is a bump!" Then I went to the bathroom and emptied my bladder and like magic, the bump was gone. I'm still wearing my regular clothing but I can tell that there is a tightening around my middle. While I am short, I have a long torso, so I think that has something to do with not popping out just yet.

Pregnancy symptoms:
Tums and I are becoming good friends. It goes everywhere with me in my purse or work bag just in case the heartburn strikes. The girls are not hurting anymore, but they are big. My uterus only cramps occasionally like when I have to use the ladies room and I've actually started sleeping through the night and doing so more often than not. My energy level is up and down. I have really good days and days when I have to slow down. I think I am starting to turn the corner though.

My normal appetite is returning, but I'm finding that I can't eat as much as I used to. I guess that is why they recommend 6 small meals throughout the day for pregnant women. I can only eat half of what I used to in a sitting and then I'm hungry again in a few hours.

Boy or girl?
I got a pretty good look at the goods this past week, but I'm still not 100% convinced. This little one really likes to keep its legs crossed. Plus, there is umbilical cord that hangs down between the legs. Because we used the good ultrasound, it was easier to distinguish between cord, baby legs, and baby bits. My anatomy scan is scheduled for 20 weeks so we probably won't be announcing until then.

Most nervous about:
I'm nervous about making it through the next 4 days while working and being without a husband. Patrick is leaving for a Jr. High retreat and I will be working the entire time he is gone. I just know that it is going to be exhausting and I hope I'm up for it. I don't really have a choice though do I?

Most looking forward to:
I'm ready for this time next week when I am on my stretch from work and the next few shifts are behind me. We received a delivery in the mail while we were at breakaway and I am anxious to get it settled into the house. Don't worry, I'll post about that later. I'll go ahead and tell you that it's not baby furniture. I'm still not ready for that yet!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Pregnancy Journal: 14 Weeks

Sunday, June 17

This week we were in Hilton Head, SC all week for Breakaway. I left Sunday morning with a few other wonderful ladies so that we could purchase the food for the week and make sure the condos were set before our students arrived on Monday. Then Monday afternoon, two greyhound buses unloaded our students and the week began. It was a lot of fun, but definitely exhausting too. On Friday my family picked me up and we headed to North Carolina to visit my older brother, his wife, and my new little nephew. He was precious! On Sunday, I flew home to Birmingham and it was back to business as usual.

Size of baby:
The bump says that our little one is now the size of a lemon at 3.4 inches and around 1.5 ounces. He or she may even be sucking his or her tiny little thumb. Isn't that cute? Also, this week is when they say baby starts to grow some peach fuzz (also known as lanugo) all over that tiny little body which would explain why heartburn kicked in this week!

Size of me:
This week I had girls saying that they could see a bump, but I really think it is just wishful thinking. I don't feel any different. There is a slight hardness way down low in my lower abdomen, like pelvic region really. I've gained around 3 pounds I think, but I'm almost positive that half of that is in my boobs. I'm being really bad at the picture taking thing so I'll try to do better. I know that I'm going to be mad at myself later for not documenting this better. Everyone keeps telling me that in two weeks, I'll have a little bump. I just don't see that happening though.

Pregnancy Symptoms:
As I stated, heartburn has begun. I couldn't believe it could start this early. It's not every day or even all day when it happens. I'm trying to figure out what triggers it and I think it may be drinking too much water in one sitting. Also, that drink mix, mio, or however you spell it is out. I've never had heartburn before so I didn't really know what it felt like. I could have kept it that way...

Well, the short answer is no. It was hard to eat healthy and/or enough food while traveling, but I think I managed pretty well.

Boy or Girl?
Well, around 12 weeks when we were playing with the ultrasound one of my work friends thought she saw boy parts, but I've since done some research and determined that unless you are using a really good ultrasound (we weren't- it was our usual dinosaur as we call it) and have an experienced ultrasound tech, then it is nearly impossible to determine the sex of the baby that early.

Most nervous about:
I think I'm beginning to wonder if this is ever going to feel more real. There is a part of me that is concerned that I'm never going to get to the point where I want to look at baby things, clothes, and decorate a nursery. I'm just not there yet mentally.

Most looking forward to:
I am getting excited about finding out what this little one is going to be. I think it will help it me in the reality department.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Pregnancy Journal: Weeks 11, 12, and 13

Alright, people. It's time to play a little catch up so that we can get on real time. Warning: this post is probably going to get long because there is a lot to fit in here! Week 11 consisted of our second doctor visit and telling my family our news. During week 12 we spilled the beans a little more with the youth staff, some friends, and some select students (aka: most of my discipleship girls) on a youth trip. During week 13, we finished telling important people, I started sharing the news at work and of course, made the announcement to the internet world. So let's get started.

Week 11
Friday, May 25, 2012

Work was pretty tough this week (it was a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday for me) and so I was extremely exhausted by the time Thursday rolled around. However, we made plans to go visit my family and share our news before summer hit but we couldn't do that before going to the doctor. So we had our second OB visit at 9:00 in the morning on Thursday. It was pretty uneventful. My blood pressure was fine this time. I guess I've managed to chill out a bit. I was up 3 pounds according to their scale, but still only 2 here on my home scale We discussed how I've been feeling, which is basically fine except for fatigue and then they tried to doppler the heartbeat. They tried, but couldn't get it. However, I didn't freak out. Thankfully, I can ultrasound this little booger any time I want and I had done that very thing on Tuesday. So I knew that this kid had a strong heartbeat as well as arms and legs that move and kick around a ton just two days before. They wanted to do an ultrasound to confirm that everything was indeed okay but I ended up declining because I wanted to get on the road and I knew that my dad would be ultrasounding this kiddo as soon as he could.

We ended up sharing the news with my family later that same night. We had just returned from dinner and were all sitting in the living room talking when my dad started talking about needing to go out and get coke or something. My mom immediately started telling him no and that we didn't need to go anywhere. I had my in. So I spoke up and said, "Well, we might actually need to run a few errands." They all looked at me confused except for my dad who responded with, "What do you need to get?" Perfect setup... "I thought you might want to ultrasound your other grand baby." There was about 3 seconds of silence when my mom barely had time to say, "Wait, are you...?" and squealing and yelling ensued. I'm also pretty sure that my sister ended up on her knees in front of me with her arms wrapped around my waist and her cheek pressed up against my lower abdomen. Yes, she's a fun one. It didn't take long before we were off to get an ultrasound.

10 weeks and 6 days
This ultrasound was a lot of fun. I loved that Patrick finally got to see our little one in action. Apparently he or she enjoyed the mexican food. My dad also seemed to enjoy himself. I have a roll of pictures that are about as tall as me. Patrick later told me that he had been a little concerned going into it since we hadn't heard the heartbeat at our appointment that morning. He's a sweetheart and didn't say a word of it to me though.

It was so much fun getting to share in our joy with my family and having them celebrate along with us. I also called my brother the next day to share the news since he is in North Carolina waiting on his bride to give birth to their first. It was a great weekend and I was sad to leave.

Week 12
Friday, June 1, 2012

This week has flown by. I worked Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. I thought three in a row was tough before but let me tell you these three 12 hour shifts really take it out of me now that I'm pregnant. Then Wednesday morning I woke up early and headed to the beach for what we call 1st week. It is a trip for our recent graduates (which includes many of my discipleship girls). I left early and made it down there by 12pm. It was perfect. I was able to take my afternoon nap on the beach. I really can nap anywhere these days.

On Wednesday night we shared our news with the youth staff and a couple that has been so faithful to the youth ministry through the years. They have a house down there and were so kind to feed all of us. By Thursday night we had devised a plan to tell the students who were with us on the trip. We decided we would set up to take pictures and then make the announcement with a "say baby!" instead of a "say cheese!" The girls didn't really get it at first. I think they thought Patrick was playing a joke on them.

"Say baby elizapat!"
"Why?".... "This isn't funny..."
Looking at me for confirmation because they don't believe him.
Getting surrounded, hugged, and asked a million questions.
Notice the hands on my stomach! They were too cute.

One more that kind includes a little of everyone.
The guys were pretty happy too. They just celebrate a little differently. A simple thumbs up.
We swore them to secrecy for a few days (not that we were really expecting much but we figured it might slow the information a little). We still hadn't told a few people that were important to us. So when we returned home on Saturday that became our mission. Beat the gossip!

Week 13
Friday, June 8th, 2012

Time to say goodbye to the first trimester! It kinda freaks me out that it's already over. This train just doesn't slow down for anything. On Sunday we finished sharing our news with everyone we could possibly think of that would need/want to hear the news from us. Patrick announced the news to the senior high during youth that night. On Monday when I returned to work I began the process of sharing the news at work. It has been a lot of fun sharing the big news with everyone!

Size of Baby:
Baby is now the size of a peach according to the bump. This just cracks me up because you think I'd feel like there was something in there with it being that big. I can sometimes feel a little bit of a bulge right along my panty line, but sometimes not. It's a vanishing baby bump. Maybe I'm feeling something else like my bladder or bloat. I had an ultrasound done this week by one of my coworkers. It's still dancing up a storm in there.

12 weeks and 3 days
In this ultrasound the baby is facing us. The little legs are bent up so that you are looking at the knees and lower legs. My placenta is the light greyish blob at the upper left.

Pregnancy Symptoms:
I'm still fatigued most of the time but I also think I've been busy. When you are married to a youth minister there is no such think as a relaxing, slow summer. It's go, go, go, wash clothes, and repeat. 

Boy or Girl?:
It has been a lot of fun sharing the news with our students and it is so funny to hear their reactions and receive their input. Most of them see us having a boy and/or think it's a boy. 

Pregnancy Cravings/Aversions:
I'm doing a lot better with meat, but chicken is still a no go for the most part. I have days when I feel like I've eaten normal like I did before pregnancy and then I have days when I eat the most random stuff that is not particularly healthy. The scale still tells me I'm not going overboard though. I'm now up 3 pounds on my home scale which they say is completely normal and acceptable weight gain for the first trimester.

Best moment from the week:
Telling my friend Laurie that I'm pregnant. I've known about her pregnancy since the day after she took her pregnancy test, but I didn't share my news (which I discovered a few days later) until this week. Our due dates are 4 days apart. Her reaction has by far been the most entertaining. I'm not sure if she'd want me to share the whole thing for the internet world, but trust me, it was funny. I'm also very excited that we are going to go through this together and that more than likely we will be on maternity leave at the same time.

Most looking forward to:
I'm looking forward to Breakaway (high school youth conference) next week in Hilton Head, SC. I have taken off from work for it and I'm guessing it will be the last time I use vacation time for a while. I've looked into my maternity leave at work and I have more than enough hours to get paid while I take my leave, but I want to make sure I don't go crazy with it this summer just in case. I'm also going to visit my nephew who was born on June 7th! I can't wait to meet him!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Pregnancy Journal: 10 Weeks

May 20, 2012

Last night was a big night. We spilled the beans to Patrick's parents over dinner- a dinner of beef tenderloin, mashed potatoes, my favorite salad, and brownies I might add. Besides the fact that the dinner was a pregnant girls dream come true as far as the menu was concerned, it was also a perfect evening to celebrate our big news. Before his parents arrived, I set the table and placed ultrasound pictures inside of the napkins (I have plenty at this point because I can't resist taking a look every week at work). It was a lot of fun to see their reaction as they realized that something was in the napkin and the huge smiles that went across their faces as the realization set in.

Size of baby:
Our baby is about 1.5 inches long or about the size of a prune. Bones and cartilage are forming and baby continues to kick and wiggle up a storm. Of course, I can't feel a thing. Baby is also already producing urine and if it's a boy, he's producing his own testosterone. Amazing... Yes, I have yet another picture of our little one.

10 week ultrasound. Bigger head, body, and little legs bent.
Pregnancy Symptoms:
Oh fatigue, will you ever leave me? I'm hopeful that I'll get some energy back in a couple of weeks. I'm so tired of being tired. However, I will take this over nausea any day. I'm still waking up in the middle of the night to answer natures call. The funny thing is that I think I'm getting used to it. I seem to fall right back asleep. The breast tenderness is so much better and I'm thinking the growth has slowed at least for now anyway. I've also been really stuffy this past week. It's getting pretty bad and I can't really distinguish if it is a slight cold or if it's the normal nasal swelling that can come with pregnancy. I'm hoping it's just a little cold. Patrick said I snored last night so he's probably hoping the same thing I am.

Biggest Concern:
I don't really have any concerns to speak of. I've been really relaxed lately. It's nice to know that we will be continuing to share our news over the coming weeks. Hopefully everyone will know by the time I hit the second trimester. I think I'm ready.

Boy or Girl?
They say if you don't get very sick during early pregnancy that it means you're having a boy. I'm going to have to go back and tally up these random things and see if any are helpful at predicting. I'm pretty sure that nothing is, but it'll be interesting to see.

Diet adjustments:
Meat is making a comeback. That beef tenderloin was one of the best things that passed my lips in weeks. It was delicious. I'm hoping that this means that I can return to more of my normal diet here in the next couple of weeks. I don't know how much more oatmeal and tomato soup I can take.

Best Moment from the week:
Telling Patrick's parents was, of course, the best moment from the week. His mom just kept smiling. It was great to talk with them and update them on everything. I have the best in-laws ever. I'm pretty sure they were suspicious when we invited them over for dinner, but come to find out, they've been suspicious before. I think it's been on a lot of people's radar for a while. I had a fake glass of wine when they arrived though to try and throw them off the trail.

Most looking forward to:
This week is going to be a big week. I work for the next three days in a row. Then, Thursday, we have our second doctors appointment. I'm hoping for better blood pressure this time. After that we will be heading to visit my parents where we will share the news with my family. I'm not really sure if they are suspicious or not. We'll find out soon though. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Pregnancy Journal: 9 Weeks

May 12, 2012

I can hardly believe we're a few weeks shy of finishing the dreaded first trimester. I must say (and I realize that it's still early) that it hasn't been as bad as I'd thought it would be. I guess I've just heard horror stories from people. I think it is rare for women to make it through the first trimester with few complaints and the people that do must not talk about it.

Size of baby this week:
Baby is now the size of a grape, nearly an inch long, and qualifies as a fetus instead of an embryo. All the organs are in place, the heart has divided into four chambers, and teeth are forming within the gum line. Because everything is now in place, our little one is ready for rapid weight gain and a little fine tuning.

Big news this week: I got to see our little one moving around on ultrasound! I'm actually playing catch up right now. I started writing this post on May 12, but it's now May 16th and I'm finishing. Monday, I managed to steal away a few precious moments to look at our little grape. At first I was just amazed at the size difference a week makes and then baby moved! It startled me and made me laugh. Then I realized that if I jiggled my lower abdomen, baby would kick around even more. It was awesome. I wanted to sit there and watch for hours, but I had to work. Here's a picture I took. It's a profile of the head and chest and the legs and feet are curled up at the far right. It was pretty funny because it was like the baby was kicking off the side of my uterus to move.

ultrasound at 9 weeks and 3 days

Pregnancy symptoms:
I've felt pretty good this week. The "girls" are still tender, but not terrible. I still like taking naps on my days off and my work days can get a little tough in the afternoons. I've found that a little afternoon caffeine helps.

I'm still not having any major cravings. I like easily digestible foods though, which means that meat and I are still not getting along very well. I'm doing my best to push through and consume a little every day.

Biggest concern:
My concerns have been fading all week. I think the further I get into this thing, the more relaxed I'm becoming about it. Each day that I get to steal a few moments to peek at our little one at work seem to ease my mind as well. If I weren't a labor and delivery nurse I'm sure a lot of my early worries wouldn't have happened at all. I guess it comes with the job, though. It's not uncommon where I work for people to wait to tell their news until well into their second trimester.

Diet/exercise adjustments:
I'm working on finding healthy food options that will taste good to me. My body wants carbs a lot more now than ever before so I'm trying to make them whole grain. This week I've stocked up on yogurt, oatmeal, fruit, tomato soup, and eggs. Isn't that the strangest combination? However, it all sounds good to me so it's on the menu for the week. I've been doing zumba on my days off and I'm starting to tell a difference in my ability to finish the workouts well. When I first started back it didn't take long for me to be completely out of breath. I'm hoping to add in some yoga this week because I think it would be good to add some more strength training. Plus, deep breathing is good stress relief.

Best moment from the week:
My sweet husband came in tonight carrying a long pillow. I looked up and said, "What's that?" He responded, "I hope you didn't think I was going to ignore your first mothers day." It was a pregnancy body pillow. Is he not the sweetest? I don't know how or why God decided to bless me with such a wonderful man. I can't imagine going through this whole process with anyone else by my side. He's been so encouraging throughout the past few weeks while my energy levels have been down and I've slacked on house chores. He's been picking up my slack and not complained a single time. Seriously, I couldn't tell you the last time I cooked for him and if he's bothered by it, he's not showing it.

I guess I should also add that Sunday morning he came in the bathroom while I was getting ready for church and said, "You might want to go down to the kitchen." I started asking him questions but he refused to answer a single one. So I finally went down there to find a brand new programmable crock pot with the locking lid complete with a bow on top. I'm so emotional and/or hormonal that I cried. Our crock pot broke a few months ago and I'd been saying that I wanted to replace it with one that has the locking lid since I've taken ours to work several times for work parties. Boy, I never would have thought I'd shed tears over a crock pot!

Most looking forward to:
We are telling his parents this coming weekend. Patrick invited them to dinner Saturday night. I'm excited to hear/see their reaction. Then it's just one more week until we get to share the news with my family.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Pregnancy Journal: 8 Weeks

Friday, May 4th

I'm finally 8 weeks! Nothing drags out a pregnancy like going backwards in gestation. This week has been good and bad. The bad part was that Patrick left me to go to the beach (he goes every year on a "man beach conference") for the whole week. The good part was that I finally allowed myself to rest. I don't think I realized how exhausted I really have been. Naps have become my best friend this week. I think it is because of my naps that I've been able to get more accomplished around the house. Crazy, I know. Being lazy = More house chores. I've cleaned the bathrooms (which had been very neglected), the kitchen, organized the office, dusted, vacuumed, and finished laundry that had been piling up. I even got some important shopping finished. New bras became a must this week. Enough of an update on that stuff though. Lets get down to the weekly update.

Size of baby:
Our little one is now the size of a raspberry. I guess I'm about to start working my way through the produce section. Baby measures about 0.63 inches and is growing a millimeter each day. That little heartbeat has increased and now runs around 150 beats/minute.

Pregnancy Symptoms:
Besides being completely exhausted, I don't have many symptoms. No nausea to speak of. My doctor said that it's normal to either be really nauseated or extremely fatigued and that I should count myself as lucky. I completely agree with her. I'll take fatigue over throwing up any day. I have found a couple of things that have helped me fight off fatigue though. 1) naps (which I mentioned earlier) and 2) exercise. If I can get up enough motivation to zumba then I feel a lot better and the "high" seems to last me a few hours. It's nice to work up a sweat again. I took several weeks off early on due to travel, my fatigue, and the amount of cramping I was having.

I would say that I have more aversions than cravings right now. I have found that meat is not really jiving with me right now. I have a theory about this phenomenon. I think my body is just protecting me from getting sick. Pregnancy hormones slow down the GI tract and meat takes a long time to digest anyway. Maybe meat will be back in when I get used to the slower system.

Biggest Concern:
If you read my post about my first doctor visit then you know all about my freak out/break down. It's embarrassing but I'm going to leave it out there for the world to see because it is the real, authentic, pregnant me that I'm trying to document here. I will say that I am feeling much better now and my anxiety level is also way down. I checked my blood pressure several times this week and it is completely fine (114/76, 122/80, and 116/74). I'm also less freaked out about the "M" word. I guess with each passing week I get less and less worried about that.

Boy or Girl?:
I have been going for more sweet than salty lately which is unusual for me and some would say this means it's a girl.

Diet adjustments:
Due to the fact that meat is out, Patrick and I are trying to figure out how to ensure I get enough protein. Luckily, eggs are still in. I eat one egg every morning along with a smoothie made from frozen fruit and kefir. It seems that all reasonable thinking goes out the window when it comes to lunch and dinner though. I can't make a decision about those meals to save my life. Patrick and I went to dinner the other night and my dinner consisted of chips and salsa because nothing else sounded good. Then we got home and I finished off dinner with popcorn. I'm trying to work on this little issue before it becomes a big issue. Hopefully I'll figure out some meals that sound good, taste good, and offer higher nutritional value.

Best moment from the week:
I managed to sneak a peek at our little raspberry while I was at work. It was kind of interesting performing an ultrasound on myself but I did manage to freeze an image to send to Patrick for an update. I could see arms, legs, and a little heart ticking away.

Most looking forward to:
I think we are both looking forward to sharing our news with our friends and family here in a couple of weeks. The other night Patrick said, "How am I going to tell the students?!" I'm glad that we've had this time to absorb the information ourselves, but I think we are beyond ready to make this thing public. I think it is going to make it feel a lot more real too.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Pregnancy Journal: Doctor Visit!

Saturday, April 28th

We got to see our wee one on Thursday before we left to visit my family! The best part was seeing the heartbeat. It was crazy to see the flickering and then we got to hear it. It was really hard for me to suppress a giggle during the whole thing. The whole visit was very surreal for me. Plus, I was exhausted from the three shifts I'd just finished. I'll go into that more in a second but for now take a look at our picture.

First ultrasound at 6weeks 6days

By my LMP I was 7 weeks and 6 days at this point, but I figured that would change a little especially because my cycles are usually 32 days. By my own (very scientific) calculations I was thinking that a more accurate due date for me would be December 11th. However, I was a little surprised that they backed me up even further to December 14th. It really doesn't matter much to me though. Babies don't come on their due dates anyway. That's why they call it an "EDD" which stands for estimated due date. However, due to the changed EDD, I'm going to delay writing my next weekly update so that I'll be on schedule with the new dates. I just don't feel like writing another "7 week" update.

Anyway, like I said, the visit felt unreal to me. When the ultrasound tech came to get us she asked, "So, you're pregnant?" For about a split second I was about to say "no" and then it hit me all over again- I'm pregnant... I think. Then she took us to a room, I laid down on the table, she put some gel on my lower abdomen, and then before I knew it I was staring at what you see in the photo. There really is something in there! My first thought was that it was definitely smaller and less gummy-bear-like than I thought it should be for my gestation, which it was. Then I thought... heartbeat? Where's the heartbeat? and then I saw the flickering. That calmed me a lot. The ultrasound didn't really take much longer, she measured, made sure there was just one (thank you, Lord), and printed us some pictures to take with us.

From there we went to meet with my doctor's nurse and then my doctor. We went over my health history which is pretty uneventful with no conditions, surgeries, or prior hospitalizations. Then we talked. I still couldn't believe I was sitting there trying to have a discussion about a safe pregnancy diet, expectant parent classes, labor, and pediatricians. I could hardly focus. Really? Do I need to think about this stuff right now? Looking back, I can now identify that I was overwhelmed.

On the way to Dalton, I was so exhausted but my mind was racing. Patrick was trying to make small talk. I could hardly focus though. Do I want an epidural? Am I really asking myself that question? Do I want natural labor? What if I don't get a choice? I should probably be ready just in case I run into an issue like low platelets. Do I really need that first trimester ultrasound screening? How am I going to get someone to swap shifts with me so I can have it when they want me to? Did I make the right decision about the CF testing? When did they say I'd get Rhogam? Maybe they didn't say... Have I already gained too much weight? Then I remembered my blood pressure. It was up higher than it's ever been... 138/85. Then I began to cry. Not an ugly sobbing cry. Just my I'm-overwhelmed-with-too-many-emotions cry.

I'm sure I can attribute 90% of my tears to my fatigue. As Patrick and I began to talk though, he began to realize how little I have thought about things. I've never been one of those people to plan ahead for life's major events like this. For example, I never thought about how I'd want my wedding to go until I was engaged. I've never thought about what I would want to name a child. I've watched women give birth unmedicated and medicated and never thought much about what I'd really do in that situation. I've always figured that I'd cross that bridge when I got to it. Well, the bridge is now in sight! I looked at Patrick through my watery eyes and said, "Maybe I've saved up too much to think about." He laughed. Then I laughed as I realized that we really do have time. These decisions do not need to be made right now.

Later that night as we talked in bed, I pulled out the ultrasound pictures and finally got excited. Patrick said, "There's the smile I've been waiting for all day." We really are starting our family, there really is a baby growing inside of me with its own heartbeat, and I really need to relax and enjoy this whole process.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Pregnancy Journal: 7 Weeks

Saturday, April 21st

I'm happy to report that I made it through my Las Vegas trip without spilling the beans to my coworkers. I was a little concerned that something would happen (like morning sickness) and that I'd end up telling, but I was pretty much symptom free. Well, sort of. I'm not sick though. It feels good to be home and to have another week under my belt. I'm still getting used to the whole pregnancy thing. There were actually moments this week when I'm pretty sure I almost forgot about it completely.

Before we get started. Here are a few pictures from the trip.

Light show at the Bellagio after eating dinner.
Playing the penny slots.
Dinner at the Sugar Factory.
Our room at the Flamingo.
View of the strip from our hotel room. We could see the Bellagio Fountain.

Size of Baby:

Today I'm carrying around a little blueberry according to The Bump. Baby is measuring .51 inches and those paddle like arms and legs are starting to develop elbow and knee joints. A startling statistic this week is that baby is generating brain cells at the rate of 100 cells per minute. Also, every website seems to make a big deal about the kidneys that are now in place.

I don't really feel any bigger yet. I just have days when I feel more bloated than usual.
I'm guessing I'll just look down one day and realize there is a real bump not just fat down there. We'll see how it all pans out. I'm realizing that I'm going to be very bad at this watch my midsection grow thing. The pictures are probably going to be random in their arrival. At least we got the first awkward shot out of the way!

Pregnancy Symptoms:
The cramping has almost completely disappeared. I hardly have problems with it unless I need to use the restroom. I guess I'm still more fatigued than usual, but I didn't really have any trouble in Vegas. I actually woke up and attended the morning conference meetings without any trouble. I don't know if I've added this one in yet, but I've had a couple of emotional moments. I'll start crying because it's like my body can't experience a single more emotion. Thankfully, my emotional outbreaks have occurred at home with only Patrick to experience and he is really sweet about it. However, my main symptoms now relate to my chest. The "girls" are getting out of control. Enough said.

Strawberries are still pretty fantastic. I have also noticed that carbs are a must if I am going to make it through the day without passing out. That is new for me because, as I mentioned before, my diet prior to pregnancy was very low carb since I was trying to drop a few lbs.

Biggest Concern:
I think I've done much better this week by not dwelling on what could happen. I am still a little concerned with how I am going to keep up my job performance if I start to feel really crummy here in a few days. I know I'll survive, but it definitely won't be fun.

Boy or Girl:
I actually found one website that you plug in your age and the actual day of your LMP and it tells you what you will have. It is supposed to be a more in depth Chinese birth chart. Anyway, this time it said boy.

Interesting moment from the week:
While going to the OR this week with a patient I got back there and realized that I was completely out of breath. Seriously? It wasn't even STAT. It made me feel completely out of shape. A coworker who was back there with me even asked if I was pregnant and for a moment I freaked out like, "how can she tell?" Then I realized that it's because of my friend who also works with us. Enough people know about her pregnancy that there are rumors starting to circulate and people are now trying to guess who the pregnant person is. Little do they know that there are 2 of us (well, at least that many). I quickly regained my composure and lied yet again. I really hope that people will forgive me here in a few weeks. I'm not ready to tell the world yet, people!

I remember reading somewhere that being out of breath can be a symptom due to the increased blood volume, but I was frustrated by it. Guess it's time for me to start working out again. I've taken a couple of weeks off due to the amount of cramping I had and then with the traveling. I think today marks the end of that.

Diet Adjustments:
I finally read up on what I should and shouldn't eat. I'm really sad that I have to be more careful with feta cheese (my favorite).

Best moment this week:
Flying home to Patrick on Wednesday was the best. Due to the craziness of our schedules, we hadn't really seen each other since the previous Thursday night. Once we got in the car you couldn't wipe the smiles off our faces.

Most looking forward to:
We get to see baby on ultrasound in less than a week. I'm nervous and excited at the same time. There is still a part of me that can't believe there is anything in there.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Pregnancy Journal: 6 Weeks

Saturday, April 14th

Can't believe this week marks the halfway point in the first trimester. I guess these first few weeks feel like they fly by because you typically find out you're pregnant when you are already about 4-5 weeks along. I have felt pretty good this week with few complaints. I keep waiting for the dreaded nausea to kick in and I am praying that it doesn't start while I'm in Las Vegas. Maybe I will be part of that small percentage of women who don't get that symptom. Wouldn't that be great? I won't hold my breath though.

Size of Baby:
According to The Bump, baby is now the size of a sweet pea. Cute, huh? My little pea is about .25 inches and is beginning to form facial features like eyes, ears, mouth, and nose (singing head shoulders knees and toes now..) Baby now has a heartbeat and circulatory system that is developing more every day. Paddle-like arms and legs are emerging. I'm not gonna lie, it freaks me out a little to think that pretty soon there will be a little being inside of me moving around. It's like a little alien. Organs are continuing to develop and that placenta I mentioned last week is expanding as well.

Pregnancy Symptoms:
The cramping that I mentioned last week  continued until about Wednesday when it finally eased up a little. I still get the occasional cramp, but it's not nearly as bad. I had been taking extra strength Tylenol every six hours around the clock. It really was around the clock because of my other pregnancy symptom that came in to replace the first- urinary frequency. I don't really notice the symptom during the day because I've always enjoyed drinking my water, but I really notice it when I have to wake up in the middle of the night. Every night, somewhere between 2 and 3am, I wake up to nature's call. The breast tenderness isn't bad, but it's definitely there as well as the fatigue. I do pretty well at the start of my day but I have started to notice that my body is begging me to slow down around 5pm and it wants bed at like 8pm.

I can't say that I have any real cravings right now. I have really been enjoying strawberries but it's not a must-have-them-now type of thing.

Biggest Concern:
When I woke up Wednesday morning and realized that I wasn't cramping (something I'd grown accustomed to) I had a moment where I thought, "Well, I guess that was it." It sounds callous, I know... I also know that I'm crazy, but you have to realize what I do every day. I cared for two intrauterine fetal deaths this week (when the baby dies prior to delivery). Last week I assisted a doctor as he delivered an 11 week fetus. I am around this kind of thing every week and it's a sobering reminder that sometimes things don't go the way you plan. It's heartbreaking. We live in a fallen and broken world that is not as it was meant to be.

In a way, I think writing these posts is therapeutic because it forces me to think about this little being growing inside of me. It also has me down on my knees in prayer asking God for his protection. By writing these thoughts down, I feel like I am fighting to keep faith.

Boy or Girl:
According to the Chinese birth chart we are having a girl.

Placenta Brain:
I've gone to Target twice now for one item only and come home with many other things except that one item that I intended to get.

Diet adjustments:
Besides declining my Thursday night margarita, I haven't had to make many other diet adjustments. I have limited my coffee intake to just once a day, which I still think is fine. If my doctor tells me otherwise in a couple of weeks, then I'll stop. I'm also starting to learn that certain types of cheese are off-limits as well. Oh, and cold deli meat. I vaguely remember learning about non-pasteurized products in my OB class during nursing school, but had kind of forgotten. While I was sitting at dinner last night I was reminded when my pregnant coworker who was sitting across from me mentioned that her wedge salad didn't have Gorgonzola. Oops. There I was with a half eaten salad in front of me and I had pretty much made sure that every bite had cheese on it. Sorry baby! I'll work on that one.

Best moment this week:
Patrick has been reading to me from "What to expect when you're expecting" and I love it. I love that we are in this thing together. It is crazy to me how much closer I feel to him already. Oh, he also bought me flowers this week as a congratulations. Let me tell you, I'm in love with that man. 

Most looking forward to:
I'd say that I'm starting to look forward to that OB appointment. I think that it will feel more real when I actually see this baby on ultrasound. I know it will look more like a gummy bear than a baby, but just to know that there is something there will be fine.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Pregnancy Journal: 5 weeks

Friday, April 6th.

As of today, I am 5 weeks pregnant. I've now known for two whole days. In this time, I've researched my due date (which I'm pretty sure will be anywhere between Dec 7th and Dec 11th), read from several sites about what is going on inside of my little uterus right now, surprised Patrick with the news, added a couple of pregnancy apps to my phone, researched cramping in early pregnancy (my #1 symptom right now), and made an appointment for April 26th (the day before I turn 8 weeks). We should see a heartbeat by then and I'm going to have to deal with being tempted to blab the news to my family that weekend when I'm in town for my brother's high school play. Our current plan is to share the news with Patrick's parents the weekend of the 18th of May and then my family the weekend of the 25th (around 12 weeks). After that, anyone is fair game. We'll just have to see how that pans out though. I understand that plans can be changed.
I really want to document this process well so I hope to complete weekly updates. I guess now is as good a time as any to start.

First belly picture:
aka: The most awkward picture I've ever taken. I felt really stupid having Patrick snap this picture and our laughing didn't make it any easier. It felt silly to both of us. However, I know that I'm going to want to track this so I pushed through the awkwardness of it.

5 weeks, first belly shot


Size of baby:
According to the bump our little one has now graduated from poppy seed size to apple seed sized. That is 0.13 inches. Apparently, his or her little organs are already beginning to form. Oh, and did I mention that I now have a placenta? It's not finished developing, but it's there. Freaky...

Pregnancy Symptoms:
Well, I guess at this point my two symptoms would be cramping and a late monthly visitor. Also, in the last couple of days I've noticed the "girls" being a little more sensitive. I'm definitely most dreading the morning sickness and I pray that I don't get it bad. If I do, I just can't imagine how I'm going to keep this thing under wraps.

A few nights ago when I was in a bad mood I made Patrick take me to publix so that he (that's right, not me) could run inside and buy me a cookie (I married a good one). I thought it was because of the time of the month we were approaching. Patrick even said as he was getting out of the car, "It's like I have a pregnant wife or something." Now we know that he did and we joke that it was my first pregnancy craving. Other than that night, nothing really stands out just yet.

Biggest concern:
Due to the amount of cramping I've had I would say that the dreaded "M" word concerns me the most. I also know that most women have one at some point in their lifetime. I look at women's parities all the time and know that to be true. I'm just having to put my faith in God and trust the perfection of his plan. My research into the subject has also reassured me.

Boy or Girl:
I used to say that I really wanted to have a boy first. Then in the past year I have found myself saying things like, "I'll be fine if all I have is a house full of boys." It's funny. Now that I'm pregnant, I really don't care.

You might be pregnancy if:
I've heard of people talk about pregnant women getting "placenta brain". Basically, they say you do stupid stuff when you're pregnant. Now, I do stupid stuff anyway so who knows if it's really true, but I thought it would be funny to report some of these moments.
  • You might be pregnant if you get in the shower and wash your hair with shower gel.
  • You might be pregnant if you start a 24 hour urine (where urine gets collected in a jug for 24 hours for testing) and then flush 500 mL of urine down the toilet three hours later. [This one really frustrated me because I've never done that before. Luckily, we were only three hours in so it wasn't completely horrible to start the process over and my patient wasn't mad.]
Diet Adjustments: 
So far, there hasn't been any major changes to my diet. I'm actually not completely giving up my morning coffee. I feel that one cup a day is not going overboard. Plus, the jury is still out on how much is too much and if it really causes harm. I've never been one to drink a lot of soft drinks. I'm more of a water girl so that isn't really a big deal either. Prior to finding out the news I was actually in the process of losing a little extra weight. I've managed to drop about 8-10 pounds since Christmas. Now I am having to readjust my brain to quit restricting quite so much. I don't plan on "eating for two" because I know that's not really how it works, but I do understand that this baby and my body needs me to eat well and eat enough calories.

Best moment of the week:
Telling Patrick the news! He was totally shocked. I'll never forget that moment for as long as I live. It's also been fun to have our little big secret all to ourselves.

I may add and/or take away from this list of things in the coming weeks and I'm not even entirely sure that I'll remember to document my growing midsection. I'd like to try though. It's funny writing this though because I don't feel pregnant and it definitely doesn't feel real. It probably won't for a while. Maybe when I actually have a baby bump to show off? We'll see!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Telling Dad

Once I realized those little pink lines were for real and that I wasn't imagining it, I just about picked up the phone and called Patrick. Thankfully, I thought better of it and realized that I just had to tell him in person. I knew that I wanted to see the look on his face and experience his reaction. I had several things to do that day so I hid the first pregnancy test (in case Patrick came home for some reason while I was out) and left. While I was out I had plenty of time to figure out how I was going to tell him. It didn't take me long before I realized that since his birthday hadn't been that long ago, I could easily surprise him with a late birthday gift that I just wasn't able to get for him before his birthday. The funny thing is that I wouldn't even be lying because I had tried to surprise him with a positive test on his birthday but it came out negative.

When I got home I set to work on finding a box and planning my next step. I decided that since I wasn't going to be needing that second test anytime soon that I should go ahead and turn it positive too. It was funny because my first one actually came out more positive (well, you know what I mean) than the second one. I guess the fact that I had downed about 5 glasses of water for the first test had finally diluted my urine by that point.

Here's the comparison:
Test #1

and test #1 and #2 side by side

The line is still there but it wasn't as dark. It was kind of fun because this time I actually watched it turn positive unlike the time before when I fully expected to set it down and come back 3 minutes later to only one line.

After that one came out positive I set to work on fixing the box. Patrick likes to shake his gifts so I decided I should plan ahead for that just in case. So I taped the tests to the lid of the box and wrote, "coming in 2012..." above them. I thought it would be funny because of my hormonal episode about the fact that our baby would have an odd birth year (yes, card carrying crazy, I know).

I already had an Auburn onesie that I purchased for the occasion (like 2 years ago when we first talked about trying). It had been sitting in the way back of my underwear drawer and I had almost completely forgotten about it until earlier that week. I folded it up really small so that he wouldn't be able to immediately tell what it was. It said, "I'm a little Tiger" but I folded it so you could only see the "Tiger" part. Then I closed the lid, put a bow on it and waited.

I actually wasn't sure when I would have time to tell him and I figured that I might just have to wait until after we finished our discipleship groups that night. However, when he came home for two hours in between work and digging deeper (Jr. High), I realized that I wasn't going to be able to hold it in anymore. My heart was about to explode out of my chest. I told him that I had a gift for him. He looked at me funny and for about two seconds I knew that he knew but then I regained my composure and explained that there had been something that I was working on before we left for our youth ministry conference the week before (again, not really a lie) but that it hadn't worked out. I told him that today, I had found the time to get it for him. He was thoroughly eating it up and said that he'd love to open another gift. I ran down the hall and came back with the gift.

He was laying on the couch with the box on his chest as he opened it, which kind of made it that much more perfect because I think he realized that there was something on the inside of the lid a little faster. He opened the box while looking down and then caught a glimpse of those tests. He startled like something was coming out of the box to eat him and then he froze with his jaw on his chest. Then I watched as his eyes got all watery. Then my eyes got all watery. I started explaining that I didn't know until that day as he sat up and pulled me into his lap. Then we hugged and kissed and I cried. I told him everything from the negative test, to realizing that maybe my cramping was for another reason, to buying the new tests that day, and then acting like a crazy woman when I realized that we were expecting. We talked for a while and then prayed for our little blessing from God. The moment couldn't have been any more perfect and telling Patrick that he is a dad will be a moment I'll never forget.

We are both so excited about our little one that will be joining the family later this year. Now that we've had time to process it feels a little more real than it did. We are looking forward to the craziness of parenthood.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Our big little announcement

Many people have been suspecting it (or at least anticipating it). Now let's make it official. Patrick and I will be welcoming our firstborn into the world sometime in December! At this point we have told our family, friends, coworkers, and everyone we could possibly think of about our news. I guess now it is time for me to make it official on this little blog.

Note: This post was written in April! This is all part of my secret pregnancy journal that I've been keeping so that I will remember it all.

April 4th, 2012

It feels really odd to be writing a post that I know I won't publish for at least 2 more months. However, it feels good to be writing and putting my thoughts in order. I want to document this whole miraculous process not only so that you can share in the experience with me but also because I want to be able to look back over it. Now, I'm going to type the words for the first time....


That felt good to get off my chest! I haven't even told Patrick yet. I haven't uttered the words to a soul. Honestly, I haven't even told Hurley even though I'm pretty sure he could keep his mouth shut about the news. Obviously, I'll tell Patrick about our little one later tonight and I'm sure there will be a post about how I told him later. For now, I just want to dwell on what is taking place. It really is a miracle. 

As many of you probably know, I am a nurse and not just any type of nurse- a labor and delivery nurse. I get to help women bring babies into the world on a regular basis. It's awesome. While I've cared for women throughout various stages of pregnancy, I can honestly tell you that I'm not any more prepared for this than the next lady. I still freaked out when I saw those two pink lines this afternoon. I said a bad word (just from shock), I cried tears of joy, I paced back and forth, I danced like a fool, cried a little more, prayed, prayed some more, and took way too many pictures of that pee stick. Everything made a lot more sense though- once I had that positive test.

So, here we go. Some of you may find the following to be TMI. You don't have to read it. If you don't want to read about last menstrual periods, home pregnancy tests, early pregnancy symptoms, and so forth, then just stop reading now. Like I said before, I am a labor and delivery nurse so this stuff is what I do and I love it. Okay, disclaimer over.... 

The details.... 

Patrick and I have been discussing when to have children for at little over a year now. "Trying to conceive" has been one of those things that we would set a date for and then when the date to start "trying" was upon us we would change our minds and set a new date. In October we finally realized that we would never really be ready. I think we were waiting for the stars to align or a voice from heaven (not really, but you get what I mean). I think we realized that there is never a "good" time to turn your life upside down and backwards with children and that we will never have what seems to be enough money to raise said children. So in October of 2011 we ditched the birth control- sort of. What I mean is, I went off the pill. However, I wanted to have a few regular cycles before trying so we did that until December. 

I didn't expect to get pregnant right away. I would say that my background in medicine gave me realistic expectations. I knew that each month there was only a 20% chance of getting pregnant. I didn't freak out and start taking tons of tests. I actually waited very patiently those first two months. I was like clockwork (every 32 days). My first pregnancy test since going off the pill was taken March 27th (Patrick's birthday). I thought it would be a really cool thing (if I was pregnant) to be able to tell Patrick on his birthday. My plan didn't work. It was negative. I knew I took the test WAY too early but I confess that I did it anyway.

My negative test. Yes, I have a picture.

It is odd to me that I took a picture of a negative test. It's like subconsciously I knew. I mean, I've taken a negative pregnancy test before back when I was on the pill but I didn't take a picture of it. Something in me made me snap the pic though.

Fast forward a few days. Due to when my LMP (3/2/12) was, I knew to expect aunt flow on April 3rd. I felt really crampy the two days prior to that and even woke up the day of the third sure that I was about to start. I worked all day feeling really crummy, but nothing came. My legs felt achy all day, I cramped off and on, and my back hurt all day long. One of my coworkers even said, "Well, maybe you're pregnant." However, all of the symptoms I was having are things that I feel anyway so I was convinced otherwise. I was still feeling stupid about wasting money on the other test and wasn't about to do that again. It was also my fourth 12 hour shift in a row and so I didn't expect to feel fantastic anyway.

When I got home that night I was in a pretty bad mood. Patrick had cooked dinner. We sat and talked about our day and I vented some of my frustrations. I told him that I was realizing that I was kind of expecting us to get pregnant that month and that I was frustrated that it didn't work out (he didn't yet know about my negative test and I wasn't planning on ever telling him). I told him that I was frustrated that we were going to be having a baby in 2013 and that if we got pregnant next month we would be due around our anniversary. Looking back, I have no idea why these things were bothering me. I do have a weird thing about even numbers (I like them), but really? I was just hormonal I guess.

I went to bed cramping that night fully expecting to see my monthly friend in the morning. I even spent some time praying and confessing my sinful heart. I prayed that God would help me to be patient and wait on his perfect timing. It didn't happen though. I woke up that morning and there was nothing. I had to go in to work for a meeting but I left the house sure that my monthly visitor was coming because I was cramping. Before leaving work I was talking with my friend at work who had just found out that she was expecting and knew that Patrick and I weren't preventing. She pulled me aside and said, "So, did you start?" I laughed and said, "No, but I will." She got me thinking though. I was now officially "late." Also, she had unknowingly given me a reason to doubt. She apparently took a pregnancy test the exact same day that I did (March 27th) and her test was also negative. However, she now knew that she was indeed pregnant. Maybe I was giving that negative too much credit. I had been cramping really bad and if my body was going to start I was beginning to think that it would have by now. I needed to take another test.

On the way home from my work meeting I bought two tests because it was on sale and actually cheaper than buying one. I remember thinking that it was good because it meant that I could go ahead and waste this one and still have one on hand in case we had better luck next time. My plan was to test on Thursday. However, as soon as I got home and Patrick left, I realized that I couldn't wait. I wanted to get the second negative test out of the way so that I could quit thinking about it. I started drinking water like crazy and then cleaned the bedroom to distract myself. As soon as I thought I might be able to go I tested. We have a window next to our toilet so I placed the test up there once I capped it and by the time I stood up off the toilet I saw two pink lines. It was quick and there was no mistaking them either.

My first positive pregnancy test!
I'm ashamed to say that the first word out of my mouth wasn't the best one. It was a knee jerk reaction I guess. I'm pretty sure I was then stunned into this silence I-may-never-breathe-again kind of state. Then I cried and laughed all at the same time. I grabbed my phone to call Patrick and then thought better of it. I needed to see his face when I told him. I then sat for a while and starred at that test some more. I know I paced around the room at one point praying and then I'm pretty sure I went back to the bathroom to make sure I was reading that thing right. Had one of the lines disappeared? When I realized there were still two lines I danced up and down. Then I didn't know what to do. It was like the world was never going to be the same again.

It still doesn't feel real. Eventually, I started to feel connected to my body again and realized that I had to run a few more errands that day. So I calmed myself down and sent a text message. I text messaged my friend from work and told her that I started which is probably the biggest lie I've ever told. I figured it would be easier than trying to lie to her face when she saw me next. I was just not ready for the world to know. As I was driving in the car later that day I found myself thanking the Lord and praying for our little blessing. I guess a mothers prayers start early!