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January 24, 2014

9 months

My little boy is nine months old!

He LOVES to stand by the play kitchen in our house. He opens the oven and opens the drawer and pulls all the toy silverware out. He then chews on it and slobbers all over everything. He often hangs out at the play kitchen and you can hear him babbling.

He also loves the real kitchen knobs! He stands by the drawers and pulls them open which often causes him to fall on his butt and cry. He scares himself. He is now moving onto the cupboard doors and we're having to put our rubber bands on them so he can't open them. 

He has always been obsessed with the DirecTV remote and our phones. He still has that obsession and seeks out these items if they are left within reach and when we move them before he gets to them, he gets upset. 

He's wearing 9 month clothing and size 3 diapers. He's nearly 20 pounds! His hair has darkened a bit and is beginning to fill in and get longer. I think it's more of a sandy brown color. He smiles a lot and laughs.

January 01, 2014

5 months and beyond (or 5-8 months)

It's the first day of 2014 and since my last blog in August, I've been telling myself I need to at least update Hudson's milestones and photos. I tell myself in ten years it won't matter when I did it but that I actually did it...so here goes.

5 months - September 2013

He's quite a happy kid. His schedule isn't as great as his sister's schedule used to be but for the most part he sleeps through the night. He plays well by himself, or when his sister is nearby he likes to watch her and she loves to tickle him and make him laugh. He squeaks and shreeks! Rachel is always excited to take his photo in the orange chair. And then she always wants to be in it with him.

The 3-6 month clothes fit best and all of the 0-3 month clothing is out of the closet. 

Hudson experienced his first trip to the race track! He went to Ubly Dragway to watch his dad Race and his dad made it to the semi-finals with the Gremlin X. That was a big weekend to meet new friends and to meet my sister and her family for the first time! 

 

6 months - October 2013

Hudson loves it when we are holding him and open the refrigerator door. He immediately goes for the condiments in the door and smiles and squeaks. 

We started solid foods - oatmeal and he seems to enjoy it. He makes a funny face but eats it anyways. Hudson also holds his own bottle! 

We had crazy warm weather in October so we went to the pumpkin patch and picked out some pumpkins. This warm weather also allowed us to hang outside and play a little bit. Hudson still loves to be outside. Sometimes the wind takes his breath away, but often when you carry and hold him, he squeaks and laughs and kicks his feet.

At his six month check up, he was 25.5" long and 15 lbs, 10 ounces, and fit into the 17th percentile for both height and weight. He;s doing well and was a little fussy after his shots, but took a long nap and was back to normal.

7 months - November 2013

Hudson has two teeth! His teeth cutting seemed pretty uneventful. It was fun to see them come in on the bottom. You can't see them when he smiles but they are there. He officially wears size three diapers, and I put size 9-12 month clothing on his Christmas list - it will be big, but he can grow into it. His hair is getting longer, filling in and getting darker. And he LOVES to stand. Any chance he gets, he wants to stand up on everything.

A trip to after hours car determined he had an ear infection - and other than not letting you touch or smooch by his ears, I had no clue he had any issues! No fever, no crying, no being crabby, he ate well, slept well and was overall happy! So pink stuff antibiotics we got and left it at that. 

We added lots of new food to his diet and I love making baby food and giving it to him. It smells so good when I heat it up and feed him. He loves balls. Loves to hold them, loves to chew on them, loves to bang them on things. 

8 Months - December 2013

Hudson began crawling the first week of December, shortly after he turned 7 months old. This was two months earlier than his sister, but like most kids when they begin to crawl, they don't go anywhere quickly. He mainly stayed in the living room and by the end of this month he began to explore more, moving into the kitchen and down the hallway when his sister encourages him.

I'm done nursing so he gets a bottle and lots of food. He really enjoys his solid foods. I made lots of new foods for him - mango, carrot, green beans, bananas, avocado, parsnip. He prefers fruit over vegetables, but he eats it all.

He loves wrapping paper - he has been able to experience it when his sister was opening all of her birthday presents and at Christmas with Grandpa Dave, but he loves to put it into his mouth. So much that he got a piece of birthday paper off and actually choked and vomited because of it. So we were extra careful for any other paper incidents. 

We got to experience wheezing and probably bronchitis, and now own a nebulizer and get to do breathing treatments when we hear him wheeze. That wasn't fun for him or me. Holding down an infant for fifteen to twenty minutes while he screams, cries and thrashes is brutal. I never enjoyed giving him the treatments every four hours. He also had an ear infection and got antibiotics (again) and tested positive for RSV. Thankfully he didn't have any complications with it and I hope no one else got sick. The timing was decent - since day care is closed and I took a week off of work during the holidays. He wasn't himself and it was difficult, but he is now much better.

He still loves balls, but now he loves to crawl to them when we roll them across the floor.  He sits up on his own in the tub and loves to take a bath.

May 29, 2013

Hudson is 1 month old

Yes, four weeks has passed and my baby boy is officially a month old!

I sat him in the same orange chair his sister sat in when she was a month old. Of course there are several outtakes for the one good photo. His sister was at school when I took it, but I am sure next month she will be home, so that in itself will be fun, simply because she will be very excited to help with the photo shoot.

He still snuggles with his "frog legs." He loves to be swaddled. And I feel bad for him because it is warm outside, and he wants to be wrapped up like a burrito. It has to be warm. He farts like a man, crazy loud farts that usually come with grunting, screeching, squealing and sometimes crying, then a big ol' toot comes out. Sometimes his farts are so loud and adult like, that I ask my husband if it was him or his son.

He is still wearing newborn clothing, that seems to fit the best, but he is slowing transitioning into 0-3 months, he wears a size 1 diaper. We have yet to have a blow out requiring a clothing change. He sleeps well during the day, swaddled and sitting up in the bouncy seat or the swing are favorite places for him to get some shut eye. He sleeps in his crib at night. He also likes to sit up on your shoulder and look around when he is awake.

His hair is light brown according to me, and sandy brown according to his dad. He still has blue eyes and cute feet. He eats every 3-4 hours. Every few days he seems to be starving so he gets a bottle from his dad. His sister always wants to hold it and feed him, but she doesn't pay attention, she quickly gets distracted and says she is done. During the night he will often go 4-6 hours without waking up. And when he does wake up, he eats and goes right back to bed.

He was crazy loud when he was born. The first night in the hospital I could barely sleep because he was always grunting and groaning and squeaking. Something I wasn't used to, so I was unable to sleep through the noise, plus, we didn't know if he needed something or not! He has calmed down the the grunting during the night. He still grunts, but not nearly as bad as when he was first born!

Rachel LOVES him. When she calls me on her way home from school, usually the first or second question is , "Where's Hudson?" When she comes home, she says, "Hi, mom!" Followed by, "Where's Hudson?" She often RUNS to his side, when she hears him fuss or cry. She gives him his pacifier or sings a song to him. She is always adjusting the sun shade on his car seat, moving it or opening it so she can see her "baby brother." And on most days when Rachel is home, Hudson enjoys being outside in the bouncy seat on the deck, while we play with bubbles, or swing on the swing, get the mail or have lunch on the deck. He seems to like the fresh air, but not the bright sunlight in his eyes.

 

 

 

May 25, 2013

Fear in the Health of Your Baby

While pregnant with my second child, I blogged about a dream I had. You can review it here if it has slipped your mind. At the end of my dream blog post is information about a woman giving birth to a bird and it is interpreted as a "fear in the health of your baby." I feel like now is a good time to "come clean" about the impact that dream and it's interpretation had one me.

I had what I call the "down syndrome" ultrasound on December 7, 2012. This elective ultrasound checked for several birth defects. I did this ultrasound with my first child - I have always felt like I would want to be prepared rather than shocked at what can and might happen. Four days after this ultrasound, I received a call from my doctor. I was at work, at my desk and usually I don't take these calls, but for some reason I took this one. My husband was out of town working, which means he is pretty impossible to get a hold of until he has a break between working and having dinner with clients and customers.

My doctor told me my ultrasound was normal. The size of the baby was okay, the parts were all normal, the genitalia was normal (thankfully no gender reveal was noted!) But she then told me the ultrasound revealed a Choroid Plexus Cyst on part of my baby's brain. She then told me this is very common, but often not "caught" on ultrasounds, only 1-2% are ever be seen. She said this cyst can be a marker for genetic problems - one in particular being Trisomy 18. This means a person has an extra 18th chromosome. It is less common than downs and often associated with other abnormalities and deformities.

But none of the "markers" were there on my ultrasound - such as smaller limbs, or clenched, folded over hands, etc. My chance of having a child with Trisomy 18 went from 1 in 40,000 to 1 in 20,000 due to this cyst. As I sat at my desk frantically writing this all down, I was holding back tears and an overwhelming fear that my child was going to not survive or would be extremely challenged. I was told no repeat ultrasound was necessary because there were no other indicators or markers to show this genetic issue.

I freaked out. I was unable to get a hold of my husband which may have been a good idea, because I was unable to even talk due to the tears and fear I had. Instead I emailed him all of the information you are reading and when he did get back to me, I was able to process the information and talk to him. It was a rough week or so, and there were many times I'd google Trisomy 18 and begin reading a website and then stop, breaking down in tears and hoping that my child would be fine (hey, I already had a kid without an ear, so this fear was real).

A few routine doctor's appointments later and discussion about this situation again - assuring me everything was normal and another ultrasound was not necessary and I felt much better. The thought crossed my mind every now and again, and thankfully when our son was born, he was healthy and perfect in every way. 

April 29, 2013

Delivering a Baby

For the second time, I became a mom. This time to a baby boy. I opted for a schedule csection since I had one the first time. It worked for me, but may not be suitable for everyone. And to that I say, to each his own. In my opinion, getting a baby into this world can happen two different ways, and each way can have its disadvantages and advantages. So neither way is perfect, it just sometimes works better for certain people.

Arriving at the hospital for a scheduled csection was interesting. Only because it was the exact same hospital and entrance, and there was much of it I don't recall from the first visit, because I was in labor. This time it was nice to be called to complete paperwork, to begin my IV in the recovery room, to be monitored pain free and get to know the people and nurses who would be taking care of me for the rest of the day. I signed my consent forms and around 12:30pm I was on my way to meeting my child for the first time.

A csection is painful. Very painful if you ask me, but then again, Vaginal birth can be just as painful. The pulling and tugging on your body can be felt the entire time you are numb, and there's nothing that can be done about that. Here's how my day went: 

I entered the operating room and climbed onto the operating table. My doctor helped me shape my body into a cat-like pose to receive the spinal medication to numb me. I then laid on the table and waited for the drugs to begin working. The staff was busy around me. The sponge counting lady, Laurie was happily at her post, ready to count; the anesthesiologist was at my head and getting items ready for the delivery including adding drugs and fluid to my arms and giving me oxygen. My doctor was out scrubbing up with her assistant/partner in crime/Jennifer, my nurse was moving about. Once I was numb, the blue curtain came up and they brought in my husband. Then I thought I was going to vomit and hated every minute of it. Then all of the sudden I was informed I was given anti nausea drugs and instantly I felt better! The tugging and pulling continued and at 1:08pm (one minute earlier than my previous csection) a baby was born. Just after that, I was given medication for the pain (which I elected to have) and at that point, I was out of it. I could barely keep my eyes open, and I was told this medication would make me a bit groggy, but I was out of it. I could hear everything going on around the room, but I was unable to move, unable to open my eyes, unable to speak. It sucked, but at least the pain was much more bearable.

My favorite part of this entire ordeal is that my husband and I thought we knew what this would be like - because we've both done it before. But I never realized how excited the nurses and staff would be to learn that we did not know the gender of our baby. And once that was revealed, they all wanted to know who would announce the gender in the delivery room. This was something we hadn't even thought about. But it was then decided that "the dad" would tell everyone what the gender was. And he did, after our baby was born, they held him up and he said, "It's a boy."

That's about when I went into my pain-free coma and I could hear crying and struggled to open my eyes to see my own child, but was so relieved that we had a boy. We had a few girl names, but nothing was set in stone, but we had three complete boy names, Hudson being the first. I was hoping for a boy, but knew there was a chance we'd have a girl, but I just tried not to think about it in an attempt to not have to come up with girl names. I spent countless hours searching on the internet and we checked out two books at the library about baby names. One we reviewed over Christmas on our drive to South Carolina. Girl names on the way there and boy names on the way back. Still with no success on girl names.

After I was stitched up, I was moved into the recovery room where all I wanted was ice chips and this is where the second worst part of having a baby came into play (the first is naming your child) my uterus was pushed on every 15 minutes to ensure it was contracting as it should be. I hate hate hate this part and no matter what pain medications you are on, it's the WORST of all the birth feelings.

After recovery I went into my mother baby room and got my ice chips. They were waiting for me when I arrived. I was grateful the staff let me eat dinner, fasting all day stunk and they helped me get out of bed once that night, too.

We revealed most everything via our twitter account and that's how we told the world. It worked for us and I hope we had a lot of stalkers.

Hudson David
was born on Wednesday, April 24th, 2013
at 1:08 pm in the afternoon
7 lbs 12ounces and 18.25" long

 

April 24, 2013

Baby Day

TODAY!
Our baby will be entering the world sometime after lunch today, April 24th.

All the delivery updates and baby information (including the gender and name) can be found on our twitter page on Wednesday:
https://twitter.com/babyperrine

If you ARE familiar with twitter, follow us to comment and give feedback during our hospital stay.

If you are NOT familiar with twitter:
-You do not need an account to view our twitter feed that will include all the updates and latest information.

Thanks to grandma and grandpa for coming and taking care of our toddler and to everyone who put well wishes on our facebook pages and on our twitter feed. It should be an eventful day! 

April 09, 2013

How are you Feeling? Are You Ready?

Two weeks from today is my last day of work and on April 24th I will have a c-section and be introduced to a son or a daughter. Most people are asking me how I am feeling and if I am ready, and I have to admit, I feel fine and also terribly unprepared. So my solution is to simply "not think about it."

Here's how I feel:

- I miss sleeping on my back. That's about all I can really complain about. Except for a few aches and pains in my legs during the night that cause me to roll from my left side to my right, I feel fine.

-I get heartburn sometimes, which I call yucky throat, because my heart doesn't burn, It just feels yucky in the back of my throat, and a berry flavored tums solves all of that. 

-I have no issues getting up or rolling over, as the doctor told me at my 35 week visit that I've gained 12 pounds. Yes, you read that correctly and I am bragging a bit. But don't worry. This happened last time when I was knocked up. I only gained 15 and I came back to my "normal weight" before I realized what had even happened. This time I have a goal to keep it off - since I will most likely weigh less after the baby is born. And so everyone wants to know: How do you do it?  Well, it's not intentional. I simply cannot eat as much. My portion size is much smaller.

Here's what I don't have done: 

- A name for a girl picked out - although we have three complete boy names.

- A bag packed. 

- A nursery that is 100% ready. I still need to make the bed/mattress, wash and hang clothes, wash and put away bottles. I'm sure there is a ton more, but I am trying not to think about it. 

-A plan for 2 car seats in one car. 

Okay, so maybe after typing it the list isn't THAT bad, but for me, a planner and organized person, it is. Two weeks to go, I need to get on the ball! 

April 01, 2013

A Not-So-Good, Good Friday

This past Friday was Good Friday and I was overjoyed to find out my husband did not have to work because I had to schedule a prenatal appointment at 1:10pm because that was all that was available. This time was right in the middle of my 3 year old's nap time and knowing my husband would be home meant he could stay home with her while I went to the appointment alone. This was also the "vaginal swab" appointment as I call it - testing for Group B Strep. So it would be nice to not have to explain to my daughter why the doctor was "down there" or why I had to get halfway naked. PLUS after my appointment I could go to the grocery store alone and stop at any other store I wanted to stop at without having to haul a 30 pounder in and out of the car.

My trip to the doctor's office on a Good Friday afternoon began with a ridiculous amount of traffic - not sure if it was the time of day I was out (usually all my appointments are before 10am) or the fact that it was lunchtime, or Good Friday and most people were off, or if the beautiful sunshine had brought everyone outside. But it was annoying. 

After arriving at my appointment, having the baby's heart rate checked and discovering it was 110, the doctor wanted to "put me on the monitor." I had no idea what this meant. Then, I found out I had to wait 20-30 minutes in the waiting room because another woman was "on the monitor" and as soon as she was done, it was my turn. (Good thing my three year old wasn't with me!) I sat in the waiting room and a slew of emotions began to come over me. Mostly the thought that my baby was dying inside of my belly as I sat there and waited. I could feel my eyes fill with water as I frantically texted and called my husband, asking him to reply. And this is where I go into my side note:

My husband had just returned the night before and left/lost his phone somewhere between Atlanta and Flint. He wasn't certain where it was, but we began an online lost and found claim with the airport. We were using a super old flip phone we have, that carries his personal number on it (which is forwarded to his work phone) to check his work messages and allow him to have a way to make a call if he needed to. I was calling and texting this phone and number with no response from him, so this made me freak out even more!

When I was called back into the room, I was told I was having an NST test or Non Stress Test. I thought I would just be sitting in this chair relaxing and monitoring my baby's heart rate and then i was given a button. I was told to push the Jeopardy like button every time I felt movement. And of course, at first, there was no movement. I was immediately taken back to hearing tests in grade school. You'd put those headphones on and raise your hand when you heard the sound. It took you a minute to realize how quiet that sound was, and I would freak out right away when I thought I missed the first few sounds. That I'd be wearing hearing aids in no time.

Well, I figured if I missed some movement, I'd be in the hospital within the hour (part of the text to my husband said to pack food for our daughter, because she's always hungry when we get into the car, and that way, if he had to meet me at the hospital, he'd at least be prepared with food for her.) 

Right off the bat the test began "looking good" as the nurse said. I drank some ice water, watched the monitor, and pushed my button when I felt movement. 20 minutes later I was set to leave and everything "looked good" according to the doctor. Whew. I left an hour or so behind my "schedule" but survived. And my husband did call, but by that time, I was sitting in the recliner pushing the button and my phone was on vibrate, so I missed it. He never did get my text - because he wasn't sure how to check it on the "jitterbug" as we call that phone. 

So after getting a hold of my husband - his phone was located by Delta and was shipping to him that day - I went to the grocery store near my doctor's office. I walked in, and grabbed a cart and turned around and walked out. I realized I had asked my doctor to send the prescription to the other grocery store I frequent. So I hopped back into my car, and drove toward that one, which was on the way home so it wasn't that far out of the way. When I arrived at the second store, the pharmacy didn't have my script, so I called the doctor's office. Of course they were dealing with unexpected high call volumes, so I shopped and after 18 minutes of holding and talking to the receptionist, it was all squared away and I got what I needed. 30 minutes later I am done shopping, so I swing by the pharmacy and am told my script 'just came in' and it would be about 20 minutes. Sigh. By this time it's almost 5pm and I realize I just need to get my stuff and get out of here. 

BUT, it doesn't end there - there are a lot of checkout lanes open, and of course I pick the one with the woman who has probably over 50 cards on top of a cart full of groceries. I wait a while as I watch the lady next to me, who got in line at the same time, go on her merry way, and the next and the next and finally I remove myself from the line and pick another. I felt like I was in line for so long that I had read all the gossip articles I wanted to read! It was brutal.

So my relaxing day, Good Friday, spending an afternoon alone was not really enjoyed! It was stressful, emotional and I am so glad it is over! 

 

March 21, 2013

Belly Photos Baby No. 2 at 33.5 weeks

I have been AWFUL at taking any belly photos with this baby. Honestly It's not because I don't want to or don't think to, but it's because by the time my husband gets home from work to take them, I've already removed my bra, shoes, socks, and am in my pajama pants. Here's one he took for me on a Sunday and I realized it's the same outfit I wore to a baby shower when I had my daughter

 

 

 

Also, my daughter calls this shirt my "glowstick shirt." 

March 01, 2013

Mega Milestones

This past week was a Mega Milestone in my family.

My husband was out of town when my daughter had her first sick doctor visit that resulted in an ear infection and her first ever prescription; I got a cold from the devil and due to my current knocked up status, I can't take any of the "good" over the counter drugs; I missed three days of work due to all of this family drama which caused customers to freak out and for me to get very behind!  

This was one of the hardest weeks that I've had in a long time.

The benefit of feeling crappy when you're home with a sick kid is that the two of you can spend the majority of your days in bed, watching television and napping your days away. I must say it was a great way to catch up on sleep and rest up due to my cold/cough/sore throat. 

Although I got nothing done. No vacuuming, no laundry, no dishes, nothing that needed to get done because I was exhausted and felt like crap. That's the worst thing about being home sick and with a sick kid. 

And I must say I have a great husband, who listened to me break down a few times on the phone, crying about this or that and helping me through the tough decisions to miss another day of work, haul my daughter to work with me, take her to the doctor, etc. He offered daily to come home and I assured him that wasn't necessary. I can tell you that when he returns tonight I cannot wait to see him! And just crawl into bed as my sore throat is still very present and he can take care of our daughter while I take care of myself!

In the end I survived! And I'm sure it won't be the last time. 

February 18, 2013

Belly Photos Baby No. 2

Everyone wants to see belly photos and I'm not sure why! But, as I was honing in my camera on manual mode in front of my kitchen-closet-picture-taking-spot, my husband popped in to show me his own impression of a belly photo.

After he got into this "position" and I took a few photos, he then said, I guess that's not how pregnant women stand! Thank goodness he doesn't think I look like this!. 

And shortly after he snapped a few photos (not sure why my head is missing, or my entire body isn't showing, I didn't crop the photo)  my daughter popped in to make funny faces. 

29 weeks down, 10 to go! 

 

 

February 05, 2013

Bird is the Word

"They" say when you are pregnant all sorts of stuff happens to you - pregnancy brain (forgetfulness), crazy dreams, being uncomfortable, getting up a gazillion times to pee in the middle of the night, etc. I've never really felt "they" knew much about my pregnancy because I haven't experienced any of that, which is why I don't talk much about my pregnancies. It sounds weird, but some women get upset when you tell them you haven't noticed much of a change, that you threw up only once, you don't feel as big as a house, you're sleeping fine and you get up once in the middle of the night to pee.

Last night may have been the one exception. 

I had a dream that I gave birth to a bird. 

Yes, a bird. It was a small bird, because we were at the museum looking at the bird information charts, and I found the bird that I was going to be giving birth to, via c-section, that was even listed on the informative poster. I was bummed, and I told the people I was with that the worst thing about it is that you don't even get to take the bird home. They check the bird at the hospital and then let it go.

This CAN happen - a human can give birth to a bird. Although rare, the chart in my dream gave statistics and information about 1 in XXXXXX women give birth to this bird. I guess I just got "lucky."

In my dream I delivered my bird, and the doctor held it in his blue glove covered hands, it appeared to be just like a full size bird, with wet feathers and a head. It just looked around and then the doctor took the bird over to a table where a few more people examined it and the doctor continued to close up my incision. 

When it was over, I told my husband we need to start trying right away to have a baby, not a bird. 

 - - -

UPDATE: After posting this blog, my friend sent this information to me: To see birds in your dream symbolizes your goals, aspirations and hopes. To dream of chirping and/or flying birds represents joy, harmony, ecstasy, balance, and love. It denotes a sunny outlook in life.

To dream that you are giving birth to a non-human creature signifies your overwhelming (and unfounded) fear in the health of your baby. You are overly concerned that your baby may have birth defects. This type of dream is common in expectant mothers in their second trimester.

Source

 

December 21, 2012

Ultrasound Photos - Model No. 2

Of the 20 photos I currently have of baby model no. 2, I find this be my favorite. I love the spine photos. Unfortunately I don't have any good photos of the side profile, which is what most people associate with ultrasound photos, especially those who struggle to even know what they are looking at.

I can tell you that this baby doesn't want to show his/her face because the tech was doing some serious "squishing" on my abdomen to get a "good profile photo" and wasn't able to do so. 

So here's my favorite, our second model child at 19 weeks. 

 

July 03, 2010

Nemo Ear Thoughts

If you have forgotten, Rachel has Microtia of the right ear. For now there is little we can do but make sure she meets her milestones and so far she is doing excellent in her milestones, often displaying actions beyond her ripe old age of 6 months. Sometimes I get upset knowing that my baby girl is perfect except for her tiny right ear, and sometimes I just deal with it. But twice I have asked strangers if they noticed Rachel's tiny ear. The first time was a woman who spent a few hours with us in a meeting. Rachel was about 2 months old and was sleeping in her stroller car seat. Due to the length of the meeting, she woke up and needed to be taken out and fed. While out of the seat, the woman kept complementing how cute Rachel was and I flat out asked her if she noticed Rachel's ear. She said no and then I explained what was going on with it since it now peaked the interest of the woman. The second time was at a store. I was waiting for an order to be finished and a woman was ooohing and ahhing all over Rachel. Rachel was about 5 months at the time and I flat out asked the woman if she noticed Rachel's ear. Her response was, "Absolutely." She then went on to say she so stinking cute it doesn't even matter what is going on with her ear. And she told me Rachel is in the "best time' of her life to have this since all the medical advances will allow for her to be completely normal in no time. At first her comment caught me off guard, but then I was quickly relieved because I like honesty and I like that the woman quickly looked beyond her ear and asked to carry her around the shop and show everyone how cute she was. Since these two situations with strangers, I have come to the conclusion the first woman was lying. She was "trying to be nice" and pretended to not notice her ear, but I'm almost certain she did. How can you not! It's pretty obvious when a child turns their head and you expect to see an ear and instead see a small, deformed ear. There are times I get very upset about her ear. Times when I think, "Why did this happen to me? Why did this happen to her? Why can't she just be normal like everyone else? What if her hearing test is so expensive we cannot afford to pay for it? What if they do surgery and she still cannot hear?" And then I come to the same conclusion: God gave me a child with this "issue/situation" because he knew I could handle it. He knew that I was a strong woman and had a strong marriage and strong family and he knew I would be the best mother to deal with a baby and a tiny ear. For all the mothers out there that are challenged by a physical or mental condition their child has, remember, you are the best mother to deal with that situation and the mothers of "perfect" children would never be able to handle such a task.

May 07, 2010

School Girl - Not the Naughty Kind!

Rachel has some great hand-me-downs from cousin Avery. One of the cute items is this plaid "school girl" outift.

And when you wear your hair on top of your head all day you end up looking like this! 

 

May 06, 2010

Baby Island

While going next door to feed Rachel last week, she was outside on "infant island" hanging out with her boyfriends!

 

May 04, 2010

When She's With Dad...

I can only imagine what happens when Rachel is with her dad. I often catch them watching TV (which I am not a fan of) and Rockwell licking her hands...as she sits in her dad's lap (again, something I do not like). Rachel spends Monday and Wednesday nights with her dad while I go to the gym and usually Saturday mornings. Sometimes when Rachel and her dad go out and about, I get photos sent to my phone. Here are a few of them.

Here she is enjoying some time in the Dakota Race Truck at the DND Racing Headquarters shop. 

 

Here she is helping unload wood with her dad and grandpa. 

And she poses as a chef while her dad puts her into her PJs. 

 

April 23, 2010

Rachel turns 1/4 of a year old

I just realized I forgot to post Rachel's 3rd month photos....from March. I realized this when I was getting ready to post her 4 month photos!

 

One Month Ago (2 month Photo)

Two Months Ago (1 month Photo)

April 20, 2010

Vintage Outfits

For some reason my mom has saved some outfits from when my sister and I were born. This one is circa 1970s. I can't locate any early photos in my album that show me wearing this jogging suit, so I'm thinking my sister wore it. I'm a member of Gold's Gym, and I might have to email them to see if they want to make her the gym baby. She's clearly sporting their colors!

 

April 18, 2010

Cell Phones

I have some of my favorite photos of Rockwell and Rachel on my cell phone. I finally took them of the memory stick so I could include them with my blog. The quality isn't the best.

Here she is sleeping on her hand. 

 

Sleeping in her car seat at the store. Her dad took this one. 

 

Smiling at me. 

Practicing the sprinkler dance in her crib. Wearing her wrist rattles. 

 

I like to call this one her "hot tub" photo. She's in the bath and it just looks like she is looking out thinking, "Can someone bring me a cold drink?"

 

April 08, 2010

Hats

While searching for a sun hat for Rachel to use when she goes to school, I found a few hats and we had a short, but fun hat fashion show.

 

 

March 30, 2010

Key Words

I received this via email from babycenter.com. It was part of their weekly newsletter that I subscribe to.

Childbirth is a life- and body-changing experience: Your hips and waist may now be slightly wider, and your belly may be softer. Give yourself at least the nine months it took to grow your baby to return to something closer to your pre-pregnancy shape. Many women find that they simply can't return to their pre-pregnancy weight. As long as your weight is in a healthy range, this is perfectly okay.

The key words in this tid bit of information:
"life- and body-changing and can't return

I agree, childbirth and pregnancy are life- and body-changing and my belly seems to be very squishy after giving birth. The wider hips I haven't really noticed, but I am sure that is because I try to avoid looking in the mirror!

March 24, 2010

Laughs

I thought this was a good laugh. And terribly true.

 

March 20, 2010

Kicks

Rachel has so much stuff that I forget what she has. I recently rearranged her closet and found a box of shoes my sister had given to me. I thought she had to wear these kicks with her outfit...

 

 

March 16, 2010

Peter Cottontail

The other day I had an eventful shopping trip to Kohl's to use some Kohl's cash and a gift card I received. While browsing around the store, I stumbled upon some cute dresses and realized that Rachel needed an Easter dress! I found a dress that I thought fit her personality and picked up a cute sweater in case it's cold on Easter Sunday.

I believe this is the first "outift" I have purchased for my daughter. If you recall, her closet is full thanks to my sister Dawn. I was quite excited about all of the cute dresses that were out for summer and had to remind myself that Rachel doesn't need any more clothes, so I should save my money until she can talk and tells me she wants something like a pair of jeans from Hollister, or a Coach purse.

Here are some sneak peek photos of what Rachel will be wearing when Peter Cottontail comes to visit her!

 

 

I also picked up a few swim suits for Rachel to wear on our trip to Ocean City, Maryland over the fourth of July! 

March 14, 2010

Play Date Stop #2 - Babies and Bows

One day Rachel received a package in the mail from my friend Sara. It was the cutest, tiniest flower hair clip I had ever seen! Rachel debuted her new look on our southeast Michigan play date tour.

On our second stop, Rachel and I saw Sara and Rebecca and to our surprise baby Molly! Rebecca was sleeping, so Sara snapped a few photos of Rachel with her new hair bow.

Molly and Rachel hang out together. Molly is 7 weeks old and Rachel is 10 weeks old. 

 

Spending some time on her tummy! 

 

 

Sadly the clip is already gone, but don't worry, Sara is on a mission to get Rachel another one. I believe Rockwell ate the flower off of the clip because I found a mangled piece of metal on the floor and have still not located the felt flower...

March 12, 2010

Play Date Stop #1 - Babies and Boobs

Last Friday Rachel and I traveled around southeast Michigan and stopped at three places to visit different people. The first stop was in Shelby Township to see Baby Cole, Baby Everett, Erica, Jenn and Mason. This was Rachel's first official play date! I brought lasagna and peanut butter cup pie and I really enjoyed the afternoon with Erica and Jenn. I call this my "Babies and Boobs" play date because all three of us had babies and all three of us were breastfeeding.

Baby Cole

 

Erica helped me get a photo of Rachel and Cole. Cole is almost one month younger than Rachel. 

In these first two photos, Cole couldn't help but sneak in his moves from the Thriller Dance. 

 

 

Finally Erica was able to contain Cole's dancing skills to get this one. 

 Everett was chillin on his play mat when I arrived. Everett is about 1 month older than Rachel.

 

March 07, 2010

Rachel turns 1/6 of a year old

Rachel turned 2 months old on Friday, February 19, 2010. She already looks different than she did one month earlier. She weighs 10 pounds, 8 ounces, is 22 inches long and had her first set of vaccines. She cried, but not for long. Thankfully she won't remember them!

March 05, 2010

Snot Sucker

 

Shortly after I returned from having my baby at the hosptial, I realized she was a bit stuffy. I voiced my concern to my friend who suggested using the bulb syringe we got from the hospital or putting saline drops in her nose. I tried the syringe, or snot sucker as I frequently call it, and realized it was way too big for her tinly little nostrils. So I picked up a bottle of saline solution for her nose. I squirt it in her nose once and the shreak and cry she displayed made me think the boogers are just fine where they are! Thankfully the particular booger I had my eye on was blown out when she sneezed. The next booger I was able to pick out of her nose with my pinky fingernail and there was no crying involved with the delicate extraction, just a face that makes me think I tickled her nose.

A month or so later, I caught the end of one of the baby documentary shows on TV and saw a nurse sucking the fluids out of a freshly born baby's nose. I realized the snot sucker didn't fit into that new baby's nose either, but the nurse "made it fit" and just shoved it into the new baby's nostrils and sucked out the goop.

Last Thursday, after feeding my daughter at day care, she sneezed and I saw a streak of green snot come out of her nose. "Oh, great," I thought. "Her first week of day care and she already has a cold," Thankfully the next day she had a doctor's appointment so I'd have the doctor check on her green snot. In the meantime, she was stuffy and had more boogers that I was unable to reach with the pinkie extraction. Well, now that my child is 2 months old, I pulled out the blue snot sucker (bulb syringe) and shoved it into her tiny nostril and listened to her scream as I sucked out snot. Green snot. It was gross, but I was amazed at how it actually fit into her nostril.

But now, I'm addicted.

The minute I hear her stuffy nose, I grab the snot sucker and try to pull out anything I can get. I've gotten some seriously green boogers and even one with a little blood on it! Sometimes I leter her cry a little bit because when she gets upset, she blows air through her nose and some snot sneaks out. After I pull out the prizes from her nose, I have to show them to my husband, who looks at the snot rag and says, "uh-huh" in the most uninterested tone you can imagine.

The doctor says Rachel is fine. She has a little cold, but it happens to everyone. If she isn't better in 3 days or shows a fever, we have to take her back for a visit. Otherwise, she's doing fine.

March 04, 2010

A New Perspective

I broke out Rachel's Bumbo seat recently and she loved it! Here she is "chillin."

March 02, 2010

Real (not faux) Aunts & Relatives

Saying goodbye to my mother-in-law allowed me (and Rachel) to meet family members I have heard about but never met! I didn't get a photo with everyone, but I am so happy we got to meet Aunts Debbie, Nina, Vicky, Margot and Lee and Cousins, Jami, Jessica, Stephanie and Dana.

Aunt Lee came all the way from Minnesota and Aunt Margot came from Wisconsin. Here they pose with Rachel and my husband, Dan.

February 28, 2010

Can You Find...

Can you find the baby in this photo?

Patzi, Pete and Rockwell chill out with Rachel.

February 21, 2010

Reading with Dad

My husband sat down with Rachel the other day and asked me to take a photo of him and Rachel reading a Car Craft Magazine. Just as I pulled out the camera, Rachel began to cry and display her sour face. It's probably because she prefers to read VW Trends with her mom.

February 19, 2010

Smile!

It's been a challenge to capture Rachel's smile, but we managed to get a few more shots!

February 15, 2010

Skate Party

Over Valentine's Day weekend, my husband, daughter and I were invited to an ice skating party at faux Aunt JuJu's house (Uncle abandoned JuJu for the Valentine Weekend). My husband brought his skates - the ones he bought brand new in the early 90s - and I bundled Rachel up in the Baby Bjorn and we went for a walk to the pond.

February 14, 2010

Sleepy Time

Rachel is so darn cute when she falls asleep in your arms and her mouth is open! Here she is enjoying some shut eye with her dad!

February 12, 2010

Nemo Ear - Update

If you are not familiar with my daughter's nemo ear, you can read it here. Otherwise, here is the most recent update:

The plastic surgeon had us keep the tape on her ear until she was six weeks old. Again we discussed the reconstruction of her ear, something that will take place when she is 6 to 8 years old. At that age, her ears will most likely be the size of her adult ears and around that time children begin to realize they are different and want to have reconstructive surgery, which also means they are more likely to be careful and follow the necessary precautions after surgery (such as no rough housing). The reconstruction would be a multiple stage process and one positive thing is that her nemo ear is in line with her good ear, therefore, there is no need to "move the ear" to where it should be, thus eliminating one step in the reconstructive process.

We had an appointment at the genetics department at U of M and after a thorough physical exam, the doctor decided it wasn't necessary to perform multiple blood tests at this time. Rachel is a normal, healthy baby. If she happens to not meet her milestones - which would be noticed by us or the pediatrician - we can come back and have blood work done, to determine which gene is causing a problem and possibly give her a diagnosis of a certain condition. Otherwise we can revisit in three to four years, which would be the same time we can have a CT scan on her ear to determine exactly what is inside.

The final step in this ear situation was an ultrasound of her kidneys. The doctor called me the other day to let me know all was normal with her kidneys.

February 10, 2010

Swaddle

This photo is specifically posted for Amy P. We do not swaddle our daughter like this, she seems to squirm downward and almost every morning she wakes up looking like this.

February 08, 2010

Cookies for Dad

Since I've been home, I have had some time on my hands and Rachel and I decided to make cookies for her dad.

February 07, 2010

Big Girl Potty

On my recent trip to the doctor's office with Rachel, I had to use the bathroom. I was thinking to myself, I've never had to use the restroom when I was alone with Rachel. Where do I leave her? Is it wrong to take my purse into the stall and leave my child outside of the stall? All of these things popped into my head and as I found the restroom and went inside, I realized - after seeing a dim yellow glow come from the top of the stall and hearing angels sing - that I could use the handicapped stall.

Genius I thought! I could take my baby AND my purse into the stall with me! And once I got inside, I realized it is quite roomy in there, even with a baby carrier and stroller.

February 06, 2010

Baby's Medicine Cabinet

I never knew I would use any of these things until after I had a baby and my good friend Sara helped me out! Here's what I suggest you have in your infant's medicine cabinet.

Saline Spray/Drops
To clean out your baby's nose. The blue sucker thing the hospital gave to me, is very big and it's hard to get it into her nostril, so a few drops in her nose help to clear out the boogers.

Gas Drops
Mylicon Gas Relief Drops or the equivalent generic work nicely when your baby has gas pains. And I'm sure you will know by your baby's screaching cry when he/she has gas.

Gripe Water
Gripe water helps with hiccups, gas and colic.

Orajel for teething, Motrin and Tylenol for colds and fever and Desitin for diaper rash are all in my baby medicine cabinet and I haven't had to use any of them yet. I'm sure the time is coming!

Also, my pediatrician recommended Vitamin D since my baby is breastfed. It's available at the pharmacy, in a box, near the kids vitamins under the name Tri-Vi-Sol. Of course you should talk to your pediatrician first.

I have found that Target has a very nice children's medicine area in the pharmacy, but most other stores have a similar area in their pharmacy department as well.

Lastly, I think the easiest way to give my baby these items is to put them in a bottle nipple and have her suck it out. It's much easier than using the dropper that comes with most of the products. Some of the items can be added to the baby's bottle which makes administering them much easier.

If my veteran moms know of any other items, don't hesitate to leave me a comment!

February 04, 2010

Now That I'm a Mom...

Now that I'm a mom, I notice a few things...

Burp/Spit Up cloths are all over my house. I have 2 in the diaper bag, one that sits on the car seat, one next to my bed, a few in the living room, on the ottoman, or side table, and a few floating around in Rachel's room.

If I cannot locate a burp/spit up cloth, I simply use a dish towel, paper towel, napkin, baby wipe or my shirt sleeve.

I smell weird. I not only have my own smell, I smell like breast milk and nipple butter. I can't get the smell to go away. It's everywhere, on my clothes, in my hair, on my pillow case. Thankfully no one else seems to smell it.

I always know where a pacifier can be found. In her bedroom, in the kitchen just after being washed, in her car seat, in my nursing pillow pocket. I'm always on top of where the soothing plastic pieces are.

Strangers notice me and talk to me. No matter where I am or what I am doing, a baby carrier with a pink princess cover brings lots of attention to me. I don't enjoy it, especially on days I am trying to "fly under the radar" and zip to the store without showering or without getting out of my lounge pants, I am all of the sudden drawing all sorts of attention from people!

February 02, 2010

Lucky Number 7

I went to the doctor for my six week check up and the lucky number was seven. I've lost seven pounds since my first pre-natal appointment in May 2009. This is all with very minimal effort - just staying in shape during my pregnancy (I was at the gym, doing classes, Tuesday and Wednesday before delivering on Saturday) and trying to eat healthy while pregnant.

I gained 15 pounds while pregnant and haven't done too much to get rid of it. I'm nursing and trying to eat right and have recently returned to the gym. Let's hope I can keep off the weight and in 33 weeks my stretched stomach is back to "normal" or as normal as it can be after having a baby. I'm giving myself about 33 weeks because it took 39 weeks to stretch my belly, so I have 39 to get it back to normal and right now Rachel is six weeks old!

I've been wearing my pre-pregnancy clothes for about 3 weeks so the only thing I have to look forward to is getting back in shape after being away from the gym for 6 weeks.

February 01, 2010

A Smile and A Laugh

Rachel has smiled in her sleep and when she eats, but lately she's been smiling a little here and there. We can't seem to get her to smile on cue, but when she does smile, Dan likes to say, "I know the books say her smile is involuntary, but I think they are wrong because she's way ahead of the curve."

Of course we rarely can capture this on camera because it is so quick and involuntary, but today I managed to nab a photo with my cell phone. Not the best quality but you can see the smile. She is starting to smile when we say certain things to her and at certain times, such as just after she eats, although we can't get it to happen every time. I look forward to capturing her smile on a real camera very soon!

January 31, 2010

To a First Time Mother

I received a matted print of the following poem from Rachel's Great Aunt Margot and Great Uncle Dave... 

To a First Time Mother

Relax, my dear, your little elf,
is just an amateur herself.
So if your hands, so newly filled with tasks,
seem somewhat less than skilled-
Relax, I say...this little pinkling
doesn't have the slightest inkling
that you are new to baby lore -
She's never had a mom before!

January 29, 2010

First Bath

After waiting what seemed like F O R E V E R for her cord to fall off (and after going to the doctor to have it looked at) Rachel's cord fell off on Sunday and I was able to give her a real bath! At first she was a little freaked out but she seemed to like it, she didn't fuss too much. I quickly washed her because I was worried she would slip in the tub. I'm new at this and wanted to be sure I had a good grip on her before getting too daring. She does love to have her hair washed. She loves it when we pour water over her head to rinse off the shampoo.  

 

January 27, 2010

Rachel turns 1/12 of a year old

Rachel turned one month old on Tuesday, January 19th!

 

January 22, 2010

Dad Dresses Baby

My husband is too funny with our daughter. Often he dresses her on the weekend in the morning when he changes her diaper. During Christmastime, he came out of her room after a diaper change with her babies first Christmas outfit on. A cute surprise that everyone enjoyed.

This Monday morning he was off for MLK day and when I came into the room to put something away, he was finishing up dressing her and turned to me and said "look at me" showing off Rachel's new slippers that Faux Aunt Amy P. and Faux Aunt Cathy K. gave to her. It was too cute. (And we won't talk about the outfit she's wearing and the fact that he put it on backwards....he insisted on turning it around the right way, and I told him not to worry about but wait until her next diaper change! He gets an A++ just for being the big help he is!)

January 21, 2010

Moving Along

Things seem to be going well with our new baby. She's almost a month old and I cannot complain when she goes six to seven hours during the night before wanting to be fed. She eats well and seems to be a well behaved baby - but we really have nothing to compare her to!

She has already noticed things in front of her face, and will move her eyes from side to side to watch them move. She likes her play mat and will grab at the toys that hang down near her. She will hold onto them for dear life or else bat at them like she's swinging for a baseball.

She doesn't mind tummy time and several people have commented on her "good head control" so I guess it's working!

 

January 20, 2010

Bambina Photos

Here are some photos of our little Bambina!

January 19, 2010

New Clothes

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I think it started with my shower....and the fact that I shaved my legs. This was the first time I shaved my legs since the day before my daughter was born. I really didn't see the point in shaving them, no sex for at least six weeks after giving birth and it's winter, so I won't be showing off my legs any time soon. On a side note, I have been keeping up with shaving my armpit hair!

This smooth skin prompted me to try on my "normal" jeans, a.k.a. my pre-pregnancy jeans. They fit and so did a belt and a tank top and a sweater, all things I wore before having my baby belly. These new clothes feel good - my incision is looking good, it's just a thin light purple line and is completely numb. Just above the incision the skin is "crazy sensitive" and I'm not sure why but it does take a bit of getting used to having my normal pants rub on the sensitive area. But so far, so good.

I've since removed all of the maternity clothes from my closet....now to fold them up, and figure out what to do with them!

January 17, 2010

Squirmie Squirmie Squirmie

My friend has four children and at some point or another, I've babysat for them all. I have nick named three of them. Usually the child "earns" their nick name and recently, the mother of these four children asked what my daughter's nick name was. I assured her she didn't have one yet, and someone else had to give her one. Well, that someone is my husband. He doesn't know it yet, but I've started to refer to her as "Squirmie."

This name came from me hearing my husband on the baby monitor. When he changes her, I can hear him say, "Hey, Squirmie, Squirmie, Squirmie" because she squirms on the changing table. It's cute and comical and I love the voice he uses when he says it.

January 15, 2010

When Will I see You Again?!?

Whenever friends and family see Rachel and I, they often ask when they will see me again. I'm pretty smart and know they really want to see baby Rachel, so I have to keep them happy with photos. Here are a few.

 

January 13, 2010

Packing for the Hospital

After having a baby via c-section, I would do the following things differently:

1-Pack for a c-section.
I wish I would have packed more lounge clothes and pants for post baby when I was at the hospital. I stayed longer than anticipated because of my surgery and wished I had a few more change of clothes. For an entire day, I was in bed and I didn't want to wear the same clothes again when I was able to get out of bed and walk.

I did bring a bath robe to the hosptial. I can see how it would not be necessary if your delivery was a vaginal one, but for a c-section, I hung out in a hospital gown for an entire day and it was nice to wear a bath robe over my gown when visitors arrived.

2-Bring your own sanitary napkins/pads.
The hospital will have some for you, but my hospital put two pads in at one time. Not all that comfortable, since one pad always seems to fold over and ride up your butt crack. Once I put in my own pads, I was much more comfortable. Yes, you bleed after a c-section.

3-Mesh Underwear
I loved the mesh underwear the hosptial gave me. They are somewhat like boy shorts, and I actually took a few pairs home and am still wearing them today. They are very helpful right now since none of my undies are high enough to cover my c-section scar (the waistline hits just on the incision).

4-Notebook and Folder
Bring a notebook and folder. Write down information such as the name of doctors, or things staff asks you to do. We met with a few specialists and asked for their business cards, and put them in our folder. This way we could easily recall which doctor we saw and have their phone number on hand to schedule appointments.

5-Borrow from the hospital.
When your baby comes to you in their "crib" from the hospital, they will arrive with a stockpile of diapers and wipes. I suggest taking a few diapers here and there and stock piling them. When you go to leave the hosptial, empty out your supply because the hospital cannot re-use them. They will just become trash.

6-Boxes and Bags
Pack a few boxes or bags in your car to carry things home - flowers, the diapers I referenced above, paperwork, etc.

7-Gifts for Nurses
Be sure to bring gifts for the nurses. I had two nurses during labor and deliery (due to a shift change) and then a day and night nurse for my recovery time in the mother/baby unit. There were also technicians who helped me to the bathroom, changed my linens, and got me more towels and a fresh gown. I was lucky to have almost the same nurses each day and got to know and love them all! I gave them scratch pads as gifts and next time would bring them a snack basket/box and probably homemade treats.

8-Footwear
I was unable to take a tour of the hospital due to the H1N1 Swine Flu but if I had taken a tour, I would have realized the showers are not in your room, but down the hall. I would have brought shower flip flops. Thankfuly the hospital showers were very clean and they had a spray bottle of disinfectant in the stalls, so I was able to re-treat the floor before I took a shower. I also brought some slippers, which I recommend, since I was in and out of bed a lot.

January 10, 2010

The Brown Truck

Tuesday the "Brown Truck" a.k.a. The UPS truck, delivered a large box that said "Perishable" on the side. Inside was an awesome gift basket from my husband's office. I love packages and surprises and the contents inside were fabulous - 2 bottles of wine,a teddy bear, coffee, chocolates, nuts, meat, cheese and crackers, mints and cookies!

January 07, 2010

Nemo Ear

My brand new daughter was born with something I like to call a "Nemo Ear." I named her ear the Nemo Ear because of the movie Finding Nemo. If you have seen the movie, you may recall, Nemo is a clown fish with a smaller fin on one side of his body. My daughter has the exact thing but it's not a fin, it's her ear.

When I met my daughter in the operating room for the first time, the doctor not only showed me the faux hawk she made with her hair, but she showed me her normal left ear and her smaller right ear. I recall the doctor saying something about her ear being smaller and there was a lot of "tissue" on the small ear. Her right ear is smaller than her left ear, and somewhat deformed. There is no opening to the ear canal, therefore she cannot hear.

It took me a while to get upset about this situation/her ear condition. I think it was a few days after I delivered her and we were at home when the "baby blues" set in and a few times I cried about my daughter not having a normal ear. But for the most part, I wasn't upset. It is what it is and I haven't talked about it with many peopole because we are working with ear, nose and throat doctors and plastic surgeons to figure out a plan.

I think the hardest part for me was Christmas day when my husband presented me and our six day old daughter with a pair of diamond earrings! I've been teasing my sister for three years that I was going to pierce her daughter's ears, so my husband knows how badly I want my baby to have her ears pierced. Receiving the diamond earrings made me realize she may not be able to have her ears pierced for a while.

We met with a plastic surgeon and ENT doctor while in the hosptial and have since had a hearing test at U of M. The ENT doctor informed us the outside of the ear is the last to form, so he is 90% sure the inner structures of the ear are there and working. The plastic surgeon said she has Microtia which means "small ear." The plastic surgeon said they will not rebuild an ear until she is seven, because at that age, the ear is usually the size of an adult ear. He said her lobe is great and usable and this is a very good thing because the ear lobe is one of the hardest things to re-create. The plastic surgeon also put a piece of tape on her ear. We have to keep it on her ear for four weeks, then visit the doctor again. The purpose is simply to keep the ear flat against her head, so as she ages, it doesn't stick out. Honestly, that's the least of my worries. I just want to be sure she can hear!

She had a hearing test at U of M and we were told her inner ear can hear bone vibrations, which means that if sound could get in, she could probably hear. We met with a doctor at U of M and found out our short term options are to have hearing tests every six months for a few years and a genetics test to rule out any kidney disorder which is commonly associated with this condition.

Long term, she will have a CAT scan around age 3 or 4. This will determine what is actually inside the ear. She most likely will not have any sort of surgery until she is 7 and they would open the ear canal and reconstruct an ear at that time.

As for hearing, she will probably be fine because her left ear can hear fine. She probably won't have any balance issues or speech issues and she won't get an ear infection in her right ear. Overall she will be fine. And I'll continue to update everyone if we find out any additional information.

To lighten things up a little bit...At least while she has the tape on her ear, it's hat season!

January 05, 2010

My Favorite Things

A few of my favorite things now that I am a mother:

1-My Breast Friend Nursing Pillow. I was introduced to this pillow by a friend and I love it. It works better than any other pillow, or combination of pillows for nursing.

2-Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Nipple Butter. This is also the best nursing accessory. It's pricey, a small pot is $15, but works awesome. So awesome, I want another pot, so I can have one in the diaper bag and one in the Breast Friend pillow pocket! I have yet to experience and side effects from nursing - no cracked nipples, no soreness - and I attribute it all to this butter!

3-Halo SleepSacks. These sleep sacks were recommended to me by a few veteran moms as well as the NICU doctor at the hosptial, and I am so glad we put them on our registry. My husband has even commented they are "awesome." We dress our daughter in a long sleeve cotton gown, the ones that are open at the bottom, and then put her in the sleep sack and often swaddler her with the sleep sack swaddler. It keeps her nice and warm and she loves it.

 

January 04, 2010

Blue Jeans

I have to brag because I am so proud of myself. If any of my loyal blog stalkers recall, my cousin told me at my shower in October I would be in my normal jeans two weeks after having a baby. Well, the 2 week mark was yesterday and last night before going to bed, I tried on my normal, pre-baby jeans and they fit awesome. I still feel like I have a belly, but they zipped and buttoned with minimal effort. And my husband said they looked good. Unfortunately I can't wear them because they are uncomfortable on my incision.

All the hard work at the gym and the eating habits paid off! I gained a total of 15 pounds during my pregnancy and can't officially work out for another 2 to 4 weeks! Hopefully I'll be back in shape in no time!

January 02, 2010

What I Learned from Being Pregnant

Looks
No two pregnant women look alike. We didn't look alike before getting pregnant, so why would we look alike now?

Pants
I have a love hate relationship with all maternity pants. I think I owned all waistlines available in maternity pants: real waist, complete with belt loops, a waist with a button and a zipper, elastic waist, and high/over the belly waist.

In the beginning I preferred the low/natural waist pants. This waist seemed to give me some extra room that i needed to breathe.

In the end I preferred the full belly pant. But I didn't like the light or nude color elastic belly band, because I always tried to wear non-maternity shirts with my pants and the shirts were always too short and showed the sexy nude elastic. Now, had it been summer and I wanted to wear light colored clothing, I can see how the nude color would come in handy. Also, the high waist may fit well, but all of the shirts worn over the belly stick to the elastic waist. I was constantly pulling down my shirt which would stick to the waist!

Mom Has Needs, too.
Sure, a baby needs a lot of things, but a mother may need more. I used to rush out and buy my friends a baby outfit or book when I found out they were pregnant. This will happen no more! Mom's need lots of stuff: new clothes, bras, undies, sometimes wider shoes, massages and chocolate shakes. So a gift card is in order for all of my future friends who get knocked up.

What to Expect When You're Expecting is the most useless book
Maybe I'm just "too smart" but I found the book What to Expect When You're Expecting pretty boring. Most of the issues/questions are very common sense questions. I found this book very boring and hardly used it. Good thing I picked it up at a second-hand sale for $1.

Take Care of Yourself Before, During and After Pregnancy
I was 30 when I got pregnant and had my first child. I was so fearful of gaining a lot of weight and then struggling to lose it post baby. I learned quickly if I take care of myself all through my pregnancy with good eating habits and continuing to exercise, the weight won't pack on as quickly as you think. I didn't feel like being pregnant was an excuse for me to "eat for two" or pile in fast food and sweets. This allowed me to gain 15 pounds, and I was encouraged to gain 15-25.

After pregnancy it is still important to eat right, exercise, try to get enough sleep and ask for help when needed.

December 31, 2009

Cankles

This post is for my friend T.U. I liked to tell her how sexy my ankles were when I was pregnant.

This is the before photo, taken around the end of September. Looking back, I wish I would have taken weekly belly, butt AND ankle photos!

Here is the during pregnancy photo. This is just after I removed my socks!

It just creeps me out looking at these photos! Thankfully, 2 weeks after delivery my ankles are normal and I can now fit my wedding ring on my finger again!

December 25, 2009

Rachel Suzanne

Rachel Suzanne entered this world on Saturday, December 19, 2009 at 1:09 p.m. She weighed 6 pounds, 8 ounces and was 19.5 inches long.

She was named after her Grandma Suzanne Treat and was born on her Grandpa Fred Stroschein's birthday.

She spent her first night in the nursery due to my exhausting labor and delivery and this may have been a good thing because the nurse noticed she spit up some green stuff. That green stuff could have been anything - fluid, infection, obstructed bowel. But around 4:30 am the NICU doctor and nurses came to our door to let us know Rachel was going to the NICU to have her stomach cleaned out, and an xray was taken. Everything came back normal and we were able to have her in our arms again around 10 am on Sunday. Just in time for the visitors that were waiting to see her.

Otherwise she seems to be very happy and healthy. So far she and mom and dad and Rockwell are all adjusting to their new lifestyle. Rockwell is progressing pretty well, and we're working very hard on how he is reacting to a new baby. My husband has been a rock. One night in the hospital he got up with her every time. I was in lots of pain and very sore from the c-section and getting out of bed was the hardest part. At home he's been even better. Taking her for most of the time after she eats and letting me nap because I'm the one to get up at all hours of the night to feed her.

Due to my inability to sit still, even though I was cut open and stapled shut with 18 staples, My husband and I put Rachel in the nursery one afternoon and went downstairs to the gift shop and enjoyed a cup of hot cocoa while in the hospital.

She visited the pediatrician on Thursday, and has gained 4 ounces since she was discharged at the hospital. (She weighed 5 pounds, 15 ounches and now weighs 6 pounds, 3 ounces). When we stripped her naked to get her weight, she pooped on the paper covering on the table in the room and then she peed on the scale when we put her on to weigh her. It was very comical.

That same night, Christmas Eve, we gave her a manicure, and a bath. She didn't enjoy the bath too much and slept through the manicure (nail filing)

December 23, 2009

Batter Up

Why bother looking for a mini, pink Detroit Tigers batting helmet when you can make your own? 

Before....

 

 

After a coat of white primer, some raspberry paint, a new custom ordered/made D....

 

Too bad it won't fit on her head! Right now it's hanging out in her room on her dad's Tiger wall

December 20, 2009

Labor Details - Pregnancy Update #46

I was napping, chatting, texting and updating my twitter and facebook page in no time. Around 2 am my water broke and I continued to try to relax. Around 5am I was in pain. I knew from the nurse that my epidural would take care of contractions but not pressure on my "bottom." After talking with the nurse about my pain, she checked my IV lines and realized part of the epidural IV had become detached, which meant I wasn't getting any medication. It was quickly re-attached, but the catch up to get into a comfortable position took a while. Afterwards, the doctor came in to let me know I was at 10 cm and could push whenever I felt the desire to push. I didn't have the desire, so I began to wait out the pressure until I wanted to push.

A new shift change and my new doctor suggested we begin pushing when I was ready. I began just after 8am and pushed with all my might...for about 3 hours total. At first I was progressing, but my baby hit a point where she just would go through my pubic bone. She wasn't stuck, but she wasn't gaining any speed to get out. A c-section was discussed a few times by my doctor because it was possible my baby's melon was facing the "wrong" way. I was checked a few more times after being pushed and finally, the decision was made to have a c-section due to my lack of progression.

At some point in my pushing stage, the epidural became disconnected again....not fun!

The emotional mess began. I cried, I was exhausted, I was upset and then I was in awe at how fast this was taking place. A call was made, a new bed was brought in, people in blue scrubs, Dan in blue scrubs and a bonnet and mask, IVs being moved, more drugs coming...I was in awe at how fast things were moving, almost so fast that I began to panic, maybe this was more of an emergency than I was lead to believe.

I was rolled into the operating room, put on a very tiny table, my arms were stretched out in a T on tiny arm tables. I was given more drugs, I wasn't able to see straight, I was crying, I was falling asleep from exhaustion and there were people in blue moving all around me. My husband arrived and I could barely keep my eyes open to look at him. I do recall seeing him in full scrubs and mask with a nice "touristy" camera around his neck. I am grateful he brought the camera, but he looked so funny I think I smiled.

I vommited on the operating table into a little bowl, and I began to cry again because I hate getting sick, plus, it was this gross sour juice I had to drink before going into surgery and a cranberry juice I had while in labor. I wasn't allowed to eat anything so there was very little to throw up.

The c-section was virtually painless, just lots of pulling and tugging on me and pressure here and there. I had my eyes closed most of the time, I could hear things but was in a drug induced and exhaustion coma. I recall the nurses bringing our new baby to me and I was unable to even look at her with both eyes open. I saw Dan holding her and realized it was all over.

I'm not exactly sure what happened next, I was wheeled into the recover room and everything was a blur. I remember waking up a few times and seeing dan sitting in a chair holding a bundle of fabric. He seemed so happy. I was nodding off here and there and eventually began to come to.

Nursing for the first time was brutal, I basically just sat in the recovery room bed and the nurse helped me hold my baby because my arms were numb. I felt so bad but couldn't do anything. A few hours later I was "feeling normal" again and able to hold my child for the first time without feeling like I was on drugs!

But in the end, we came out on top with a beautiful 6 pound, 8 ounce, 19.5 inch long baby girl in our arms! Welcome to the world, Rachel Suzanne Perrine, born Saturday, December 19, 2009!

 

 

December 19, 2009

It's Time - Pregnancy Update #45

Currently I'm on the laptop, at the hospital enjoying my epidural. It's 12:35 am on Saturday, December 19th. I should be resting but I'm "too excited to rest!"

I have a twitter page: twitter.com/babyperrine
You DO NOT need an account to see the page, but you will need one to leave comments

Details will be short and sweet:

Woke up with a little bloody show around 6am. Freaked. Showered, Shaved, got ready for work while having "cramping." It was pot luck day so I had to go to work and enjoy food and was surprised with a baby gift from my boss and a nice gift from my boss for Christmas.

Left work around 3pm, got the truck fueled up - $2.72 a gallon for diesel. Stopped at the bra store to buy a nursing bra - just in time.

Dan arrived home - he had the day off, but was at the rental in Hartland checking in the new tenants. He came home and cleaned the bathroom while I mopped the kitchen floor, changed the sheets on the bed and made a meat loaf for dinner. And he timed contractions - which I must add he started an excel spreadsheet - with a chart - to track the progress. Eventually he gave up and moved to paper and pencil. But I'm sure he will transfer his data when he gets a minute.

We called the doctor at 7:25 pm and he suggested we wait until 9 pm to go to the hospital, if things continued to progress. He figured with first time labor the contractions would end. But they didn't so we began to pack the car and the dog and around 9:15 pm pulled out of the driveway to take Rockwell to the in-laws.

We arrived at the hospital around 10:20pm and because I was so far along (7-8 cm), we skipped most of the admitting questions and went right to a room. 11:26 pm I received an epidural. Numbness in my legs and toes, but all in all, feeling "great" at the moment. Off to "rest" as suggested by the nurse.

December 16, 2009

Belly Photos - Pregnancy Update #44

I had some belly photos done at a studio in the area when I was 38 weeks pregnant.

Just to rub it into a few women I know, None of these photos have been touched up...that's right, I still don't have any stretch marks, but I'm sure there is "still time." 

And those jeans are a pair of my favorite pre-pregnancy jeans...zipped, buttoned and loose in the butt! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 14, 2009

First Ornament

 

My daughter isn't even born yet, and she already has a Christmas ornament. We received this 2009 Hallmark Fisher Price Chatter Telephone Ornament as a shower gift and it is now adorning our tree. I'm sure I appreciate it more since I recall playing with the actual toy as a child.

December 07, 2009

I Caved - Pregnancy Update #43

I've told several people that my daughter has so much stuff that I am not going to buy anything unnecessary until after she is born. Necessary items such as a crib mattress and changing pad and wipes and nursing pads were purchased, but up until last Thursday, I haven't purchased anything we didn't need for her.

Then I went to Target. And while looking at the Christmas items, I saw the cutest stocking. I looked at it and said, "awwww" to myself as I touched it. It was so cute and pink and soft. I knew we didn't NEED this stocking, she may not even arrive before Christmas, but I wanted it. It took me about 30 seconds before I put the $2.99 stocking in my cart and immediately I felt guilty. I knew I should put it back because I made a promise to myself that I would not buy any unnecessary items. I couldn't even justify it being only three bucks!

As I walked through the store and nabbed a few more items on my list, I told myself when I get to the register I would just tell the cashier I changed my mind and didn't want the stocking. But then I said "the heck with it!" I have a gift card, she can get a $3 stocking and it will be fine. I was so excited when I got home and decorated for Christmas to hang it up with the other stockings on our shelf. It looks too cute!

 

December 02, 2009

36 Weeks & Counting - Pregnancy Update #42

Monday, November 30th was my 36 week prenatal check up. I had the standard Group B Strept Test, which is a test for pregnant women to check for a bacteria that may be living in their vagina. Harmless to the mother, but this bacteria can cause problems for the infant coming through the birth canal.

I was "checked" and told my baby is "head down, my cervix is "thinning," but I am "not dilated." The doctor also said, "you look great, Kari." I thanked her and asked her if she would ever tell me if I looked bad. She said, "no, I just wouldn't say anything to you at all!" That reassured me she was being truthful, that I look fabulous, for being pregnant. She also told me when a doctor says "cute baby" in the hospital, they really mean it. If the baby isn't cute, doctors say something like "listen to that cry, that's a good strong cry." I found this very entertaining and will probably be the first person to tell people my baby looks "odd." Not ugly, but funny, freaky or odd.

And to reassure my gym teacher, the doctor said it's fine for me to work out - even the 200+ jumping jacks we did in class a few weeks ago! 

The numbness in my hands during the night is normal, and I could have been given hand splints to wear during the night, but decided, since I (hopefully) have only 2 weeks of pregnancy left, I can tough it out. 

 

November 30, 2009

Diastasis Recti - Pregnancy Update #41

At one of my trips to the doctor, I questioned the funky "ridge" I have on my belly when I lay on my back and sit up. I was informed by my doctor that I have diastasis recti. It sounds like something in the bowel movement area, but in reality, it's a split in my abdominal muscles. It is common for pregnant women and there is no guarantee my muscles will go back to their normal area...let's just keep our fingers crossed and hope they do. I'm pretty sure I'll have enough things happen to my body that will cause me to never be normal or have my pre-pregnancy body back....let's hope I don't have to add this to the list!

November 25, 2009

Hotsling - Pregnancy Update #40

Sunday, November 15, 2009

It's Sunday Morning and I'm making breakfast. My husband asks me if there is anything he can do, and I tell him he can watch a DVD and show me how my Hotsling Baby Sling should be worn. I toss in the DVD for him and while the video is showing its introduction, I notice him patiently waiting on the couch wearing the sling. We both broke out laughing and I insisted I take a picture.

 

He was somewhat of a good sport about the entire thing, but got quickly upset when the instructional DVD began to go too fast for his liking. I helped him rewind and pause and together we figured it out. We'll see how it goes when we have a real baby to put inside.

November 23, 2009

Nut Cracking Baby Shower in P-Town - Pregnancy Update #39

 

It all started at a summer party in Pinckney at Julie and Aaron's house...Julie and Aaron went to high school with my husband. Julie asked me if she could host a couples baby shower for Dan and I. I graciously accepted her offer and thanked her for wanting to take on such a generous and big task! Dan overheard our conversation and immediately said, "You know what the Dudes say about that!" I asked what he was talking about and by this time, he had some explaining to do to the guests that were now part of this conversation.

 

Dan: "I'm reading this hilarious book called The Dudes Guide to Pregnancy and they say if your wife forces you into a "couples shower" where you invite your "couple friends," all the guys who come get to kick you squarely in the balls on their way out the door after the shower."


Aaron: "If you ever catch me at a baby shower, I would hope someone would kick ME squarely in the balls on my way out the door."

And so it began...The Nut Cracking Baby Shower. If any of you know Dan and I personally, you know this is right up our alley. Anything fun, off the wall and out of the ordinary, we love.

I was bad at taking photos...I didn't get any of the cake or the cute decorations Julie had for us. But we had a great time with about 25 guests - lots of food, drinks and good conversation!

Here are some favors for our guests...nut sacks filled with mixed nuts. 

 

 

Dan's World Famous Nut Butter favors for the guests - keeping with the theme of course.

 

 

Of course the night never would have been "complete" without the UFC fight on television. Thanks to hosts Aaron and Julie, the guys probably think this is the best couples baby shower they have ever been to! 

November 22, 2009

Best Purchases - Pregnancy Update #38

My second best purchase during my pregnancy has been bra back extenders, and more recently, a new bra. Since becoming pregnant, my cup size seems to be the same, but I feel like I'm getting bigger around. I did read my rib cage can expand up to 2.5 inches during pregnancy. Must be what is going on. I picked up some bra back extenders to add to my current bras to give me some extra room. This new purchase soothed me almost instantly.

I also purchased a new bra, not at all sexy, because as the woman at the boutique says, "you know, as you get this big, the bras aren't very pretty, they're supportive." I didn't care, I was so excited to have a new bra, without an underwire to sit on my belly, that I wore it home. The girls at Sunny J's are the best! I can't wait to go back - closer to delivery - to pick up a few nursing bras!

November 18, 2009

Tums - Pregnancy Update #37

Last night, for the first time in my life, I took one Tums antacid. I've heard and read many women experience heartburn during pregnancy. I don't think I've ever had heartburn in my life. I even asked my husband if it really felt like your "heart was burning." I've had no burning heart feelings, but lately I've had a gross thing going on in the back of my throat. It doesn't seem to be brought on by any certain food item - last night I had PB&J and a Fiber Bar - so I usually tolerate it until it goes away.

A while ago I had some TUMS that I probably got as a free sample, and I took them to work thinking someone at work may need some heartburn relief. I grabbed a roll and tossed it into my purse about a month ago, thinking maybe I would need this in the future based on the information I had read about heartburn and pregnancy. I forgot all about the little antacids, until last night. I pulled out the roll and had to read the directions for use and dosage! The instructions said to "chew 2-4 tablets as symptoms occur, or as directed by a doctor." I was very hesitant, so I sucked on one green tablet. Ten minutes or later, I was "cured."

I'm thinking since my heart never felt on fire, maybe this is acid reflux? Who knows, but my one tums tablet brought me relief. 

November 14, 2009

Nesting Teaser - Pregnancy Update #36

October 28, 2009

I was just complaining to a friend the other day that I am ready for the nesting instinct to kick in. She informed me it already has! I assured her she was wrong because I had no desire to clean. She said it was not only cleaning, but organizing and getting ready for the baby. I still disagreed with her. I did go through tubs of clothes from my sister this past month, but I didn't really enjoy it. It was somewhat of a hassle to me - unpacking, sorting, washing, hanging and putting away. Well, I'm pretty sure I just experienced my first nesting teaser today.

I was late for work today because I HAD to clean out my bathroom drawers. I had been pondering this thought for a few months now, and I do it about twice a year, purging all sorts of useless products and samples, half open bottles of this and that and tossing old makeup and personal products, washing the bottom of the drawer and baskets I keep everything in and putting all the useful items back in the drawers.

Well, this morning was the morning to get it done. I was working as fast as I could, but I was unable to stop and put the project on hold while I got ready for work. I knew I was running late, and I knew it was beause of this cleaning spree, but I couldn't stop myself from cleaning and force myself to get ready to go to work and get there on time. This feeling of craziness came over me and I had to finish the project! I cleaned two of my three drawers and left the third for another day. I knew I would be really late if I tackled the third drawer. I finished getting ready for work and was on my way.  

On my way to work, the extreme organization and desire to throw things away was still in me! I cleaned the center console of the truck while driving to work! Tossing wrinkled napkins, organizing the coupons, flyers, pizza deals and rearranging everything so it had its own place. When I got to work that day, I thought the nesting instinct would continue, but it did not. Somehow I had satisfied the urge!

When I got home from work that night, I had no desire to clean my final bathroom drawer, so I set my alarm 15 minutes early for the next morning. I got up early and cleaned that third drawer.

I haven't had the desire to clean or continue any other nesting rituals since then. I'm thinking this was just a teaser and I am again ready for the motivation to clean to kick in once again!

November 11, 2009

Stroller Inspector

Our dog, Rockwell, is a very unique dog. He frequently wants to be by your side and next to you whenever you work on any sort of project - planting flowers, scrubbing a spot off the floor, hammering a nail, changing car oil, etc. We frequently call him the "inspector" when he works next to us. Some names we have given to him are Health Inspector, Quality Control Inspector, Safety Inspector, Closet Inspector and most recently, I call him the Stroller Inspector.

My friend and I went shopping at Buy Buy Baby over the weekend and she was looking for a stroller for her daughter. We probably spent about 45 minutes in the stroller department, checking out features, folding and unfolding strollers, gawking at the expensive ones we could never afford and then she set her eyes on a basic umbrella stroller that fit her budget. We played with the stroller and after the store saleswoman told us all we needed to know about the stroller, I was already sold on it and figured I should get one if she does not. Well, at the end of our shopping trip, we both got one.

I took the stroller home, took it out of the box and showed my husband. I rolled it around the island of our kitchen to see if my dog was the least bit interested in it and he was not. But after I "parked" the stroller by the couch, Rockwell decided he needed to give it a full inspection. I snapped these photos of him inspecting the inside of the stroller.

 


 

November 09, 2009

Coming out of the Closet - Pregnancy Update #35

In August, I decided to take a photo of the closet in the nursery. I thought it might be fun to see how it "grows" as we get closer to her arrival.

It began as this on August 22nd....

 

 

On October 29th it looked like this....

 

 

Here is it's progression. Perhaps my nesting started in October? I like to think my "free time" began in October! That's when I sorted, washed and hung the clothing my sister gave to us. I didn't enjoy it at all! It seemed like such a hassle to wash and dry all of those clean clothes and then hang them up according to size! 


 

 

Currently my closet organization system includes clothing sorted by type: Long Sleeve Onesies, Outfits and Sleepers. Within the types of clothing, I have them organized by size, smallest to largest. There is a costume section that includes a ballerina, butterfly and a lobster and a winter coat section that houses a few lightweight snow suits and some winter coats.

If anyone has any organization suggestions, don't hesitate to let me know! I'm always up for suggestions! 

November 06, 2009

5 Minutes & 2 Treats - Pregnany Update #34


 

Before paying for, and sitting through, a very disappointing 2.5 hour class on Preparing Your Pet for Baby, I decided Rockwell would not be allowed into the nursery. He can stand in the door/doorway and wait and look in, but he is not allowed in.

One weekend Dan was helping me put together the crib and we decided it was time to start training Rockwell to stay out of this room. I believe our task of keeping Rockwell out of the room took 2 dog treats and 5 minutes. When Rockwell would wander through the doorway, we would simply stand up, say, "out" and direct him to the doorway. I would then return to the crib assembly and when Rockwell tried to come into the nursery, I would say "out" and direct him to the door again. At one point, when he went out the door very quickly, I gave him a treat. After about 5 minutes, he got the idea. And when it was all said and done, we spent 2 treats on our training.

Occasionally he tries to come in, and I tell him out and occasionally give him a treat. For the most part, he will just stand in the doorway. If I am in the nursery for an extended period of time, he will lay in the doorway.

 

 

November 04, 2009

The Bump - Pregnancy Update #33

My friend Sara took some great photos at my shower, here is one of My Bump. I think I look huge, but she assures me I am not huge, my bump is just huge. I guess I can live with that!

 

November 03, 2009

Halloween 2009

This year my husband and I had to play on my pregnancy and belly for our Halloween costumes. We decided to go as a Shotgun Wedding. I hope we didn't disappoint our fans!

 

November 02, 2009

Baby Shower in the Thumb - Pregnancy Update #32

I am so grateful my mom wanted to host a baby shower for Dan and I at The Pasta House in Kinde, Michigan. The two of us spent an afternoon with friends and family received fabulous gifts for our soon-to-be daughter. We thank everyone for being there to support us and for their generosity! Here are some photos from the event.

Invitations for our Guests.

 

Centerpieces - Fresh Sunflowers in Repurposed Spaghetti Sauce Jars with a Custom Paper Wrap.

 

Party Favors - Jars of Strawberry Jam I made in June.

 

And, my friend Dawn opened her jam and tried it on a piece of bread! She didn't report any sickness...

 

Table Decor - My Favorite Napkins.

 

My mom, sister and I made cupcakes, brownies and chocolate chip cookies, while my Aunts (God Bless Them) made mini-cheesecakes and macaroon cookies. We had dessert trays on each table.

We didn't play any games, and it took 90 minutes for about 40 guests to enjoy a pasta lunch, eat desserts and watch Dan and I open gifts. 

I had cards on the table for each guest to complete. They read:
Offer your secrets to parenting.
Tell your favorite childhood memory.
Share your favorite thing about being a mother.

I LOVE handwritten items, so I thank everyone who completed these cards! I'll keep them for years to come and love to read and re-read them. Here are a few of my favorites: 

My favorite thing about being a mom is I get to be a grandmother - and what used to be a no-no is now hilarious. 

One of my favorite memories was dressing your dad in dresses and pretending he was my doll. 

When our kids were acting up, we didn't spank them, we pulled their hair. 

Go on vacation, not trips because trips include kids! 

Remember it is okay for your daughter to get her own pop-tart and watch TV while you sleep in.

Secret: Everything can be washed.

Thanks to my friend Sara D. for taking photos and for all of the nice compliments I had from my guests. I received a lot of "you look great" but my favorite comment was from my cousin Kim. She assured me I was "so tiny" and that I would be in my normal jeans 2 weeks postpartum! That made my day, let's just hope she's right and not just "being nice!"

When we got home, we had all of this loot to put away and organize!

 

 

October 26, 2009

Mind over Matter

Wikipedia.org says Mind Over Matter is the belief that the mind is more powerful than the body. Specifically, mind over matter refers to controlling pain that you may or may not be experiencing, such as holding your hand under extremely hot water and feeling no pain.

I think mind over matter happens most frequently in my life when I am at the gym. I often think I cannot do one more squat, lunge, or bicep curl and in reality I can do 10 more if I put my mind to it. Lately, my body has been taking over my mind at the gym.

At my last doctor's appointment, I expressed the tightness across my belly, from hip to hip, whenever I work out. The doctor asked me what type of work outs I was doing and I explained to her it was aerobics. She told me I should probably stop jumping around so much and the only way the tightness will go away is if I stop and rest.

I tried to "modify" my work out and take it easy at the last aerobics class I went to, and was frustrated because I struggled to slow down and my mind was telling me to go-go-go and the tightness across my belly was telling me to slow down! I'll tackle this endeavor to modify my work out and not be so motivated to burn calories instead of "working through" the tightness as I have done before. Because as my husband says, "it's only temporary." 

October 21, 2009

Contractions - Pregnancy Update #31

I subscribe to a few email newsletters about pregnancy and each week I receive a new newsletter telling me how large my child is, what developments are going on inside the womb and what sorts of things my body may be experiencing.

At week 26, I received my normal supply of newsletters delivered to my inbox and each one of them said something about contractions. Contractions?!? I thought, what the heck! I have 12 weeks to go, that's 3 months, Why on Earth would I have contractions now? I knew I wasn't having contractions because I thought contractions during pregnancy were similar to your muscles expanding and contracting or shortening and lengthening, like a leg cramp.

At 28 weeks, my newsletters continued to talk about Braxton Hicks contractions so I actually read the information. And after reading exactly what these sorts of contractions are, I determined I'm having them. This was a relief because a few weeks ago, I started to feel "not right" when I was working out at the gym. The bottom of my stomach, from hip to hip, would get tight and somewhat painful. I would just work thru this weird feeling and continue with my work out. The pain would usually go away while at the gym, and sometimes return a few times during the class I was taking. I'd be fine to drive home and then when I got out of the car, my belly would feel tight again. One night after returning home from the gym, the tightness was back and it wasn't going away. I kept telling myself I must have overdone my work out, and I'll have to start to modify a bit, or maybe I'm out of shape because I missed a week of working out. The weird feeling didn't go away and I usually only feel normal when laying down in bed or sitting.

My husband was bowling and I started to freak out at home. I sent him a few text messages asking him to call me and then come home early and of course I learned later he left his phone in the car. My hormones got the best of me and I eventually broke down crying thinking I would have to give up the gym. I was so frustrated I would no longer be able to work out that I then started to think of all the things I had "given up" while being pregnant: alcohol, wearing belts, pants with zippers and buttons, mountain biking with my husband, sleeping on my back, etc. The one thing I wanted to try to do as long a I could was work out.

Alas, these newsletters came to my rescue. And with confirmation from a friend who had three kids, she had the same issues working out while pregnant! Thankfully I don't have to give up working out!

 

October 14, 2009

Baby Bump Photos 2 - Pregnancy Update #30

Here's what you've all been waiting for, more belly photos!

15 weeks, 21 weeks and 28 weeks

 

October 12, 2009

When the Belly Passes the Boobs - Pregnancy Update #29

I've had my belly button pierced since I was 19. I pierced it while in college, the spring of 1999 to be exact, and it seemed like my friends and I were at the tattoo shop once a week with another girl who wanted to get her navel pierced. Our friend Jaime already had one, so I'm not sure which one of us "started" the trend. I recall holding my friend Tiki's hand because she was horrified of the needle. She actually said while in the chair, ready to be pierced, that she didn't want to do it and began to cry. In the end, she handled the pain and pierced her navel. My dorm neighbor Marta got one, too. And I was in the list of girls as well. Of course back then, my 19 year-old belly looked much better than it does now or pre-pregnancy.

When I became pregnant, I figured the belly ring "had to go" but I wasn't ready to let go of my last piece of youth. I did turn 30 this year and was taking it well, but thinking back, this navel ring had been with me for 11 years...that's a long time! My doctor said eventually I will want to take it out because it won't feel good and that some women put some sort of plastic post in there instead. So I made a decision: When my belly passes my boobs, I'll take it out.

This means, when I stand tall and look down, and can see my belly protruding beyond my boobs, I'll remove the piercing. (Of course this is when I am fully clothed and wearing a bra. No bra is a whole different story!) So last night, Tuesday, October 6, 2009, I took a deep breath and swallow and began to remove my belly ring. And it wouldn't budge. I couldn't get it to come unscrewed. I asked my husband to help me and he unscrewed it in a half a second. I think I was screwing it the wrong way, making it tighter, possibly wanting to hold on to my youth a little longer. But for now, it's gone.

 

 

October 07, 2009

Guess Your Child's Height

In a recent American Baby magazine I received, there was an article titled "Guess Your Child's Height" so I thought I would give it a try. The basic equation is below: 

Mom's Height (in inches) + Dad's Height (in inches) = Height Total

Have a boy you add 5 inches to the height total, have a girl, and subtract 5 inches from the height total, then divide by 2. 

Here are our results: 

Mom's Height 62" + Dad's Height 70" = 132" - 5" (it's a girl) = 127" divided by 2 = 63.5" or 5' 3-1/2"

Not too shabby, especially since I'd give anything to be 2-3 inches taller. It just makes buying pants that much easier!

 

Source: American Baby, October 2009, page 42.

October 05, 2009

Baby Got Back - Pregnancy Update #28

At my September monthly doctor's appointment, I confessed to the doctor (at 25 weeks) that I sleep on my back. She calmly said, "you shouldn't be doing that, you need to lay on your side." I left the office thinking, "yeah, whatever, I've read about this in a magazine, I'm fine until 28 weeks."

As I was telling my husband about my appointment, I informed him what the doctor said about sleeping on my back. He almost instantly said something to the effect of me "not caring about the health of my unborn child." This annoyed me, and I tried to blow it off, but now, as I wake up in the middle of the night or in the morning and realize I am sleeping on my back, a tremendous amount of guilt comes over me. I think to myself that I must get on my side immediately because I am cutting off vital blood and oxygen supply to my child. Sleeping on my side is fine, but my shoulders tend to fall asleep or go numb. It's starting to become a nuisance and always wakes me up in the middle of the night, forcing me to change positions.

I will admit every time I lay on my back, the baby moves like crazy. I'm pretty sure she is telling me that she cannot breathe and her oxygen and blood supply is diminishing...this creates more guilt and makes me move to my side even quicker!

I had a somewhat sleepless night last weekend and I told my husband that I was up every two hours with "frozen" shoulders from having to sleep on my side. When he came home from working on a Saturday, he had a present for me. This was truly a nice surprise, because, everyone loves gifts and when my husband takes the time to purchase something for me, it makes it that much more special!

I was presented with a Total Body Pillow to help me sleep better. It is somewhat ironic, because some of the lack of sleep is the guilt my husband seemed to make me realize and obsess about when I wake up on my back, and some of it is the numb shoulders. I've tried it for two night and so far it went well, no numb shoulders on the first night and just a few the second. I'll continue to test it out and hope it helps prevent future frozen body parts and guilt episodes.

September 29, 2009

Is it All Ready? - Pregnancy Update #27

The second most common question I get asked is if I have my nursery ready and in order. The answer is no, and I think that surprises most people. First time parents are often very eager to get their baby things in order. I suppose we're not your "normal" set of parents.

We have a room, that used to be an an office. I've moved the dresser out of the room, sanded it down, stained and varnished it. After I attach the hardware, I'll move it back into the room to use as a dresser again. Here is the dresser before any of the work began. Click here for the finished product!

 

The closet is bare, but ready to be filled with all of the baby things we will be getting/needing at the end of this year. The photo below was taken on August 22, 2009. Updates to follow as it "fills up." Let's hope she doesn't outgrow it BEFORE she is born! You can see how well our first purchase fits in the closet. That cute little doll bunk bed set in the bottom right is a Christmas present for my niece, Avery!

 

The desk is still in the room but needs to go. I've started to clean it off and we moved our filing cabinets that used to be next to it. The computer will go, the desk items will be moved to our kitchen, where they will reside in a sofa table I am refinishing and turning into a small desk.

 

The Tigers wall will probably stay. Mostly because I don't know what to do with the two seats from Tigers Stadium. Plus, they can always be used as extra seating. This is why it would have been "convenient" to have a boy.

 

The rocking chair I've had since college. My 7 roommates and I bought it at goodwill because we needed more seating in our dorm room. I believe 7 of us girls split the $7.50 cost. I somehow ended up with it after our sophomore year, and refinished it while in college. The cushions are original, so the plan is to re-upholster them. Don't worry, I'll show you some after photos of that, too!

 

The crib came from my sister. She gave me tons of baby stuff. Her in-laws brought it to us from Georgia (and we are so grateful for all of it) so we have to put the crib together and get a mattress and bedding.

Here is the crib in the garage. There's a toddler bed in the mix of those pieces, too!

 

The crib will go here...yes, that's an aqua globe in my plant.

 

This bedding has been purchased...

 

Here is SOME of the baby stuff we received from my sister. We have a few more tubs that I didn't take photos of. 

 

I'll find some new window shades/blinds that mesh with the bedding, as soon as I receive the bedding...

 

We just painted and re-carpeted the house about a year ago, so the walls are staying the taupe color and so is the carpet. Besides, we need to save our money for the important things in our daughter's life, like her Girl Scout uniform, prom dress and a car when she turns 16.

The nursery is "in the works." We know what we're doing, it's just finding the time to do it!

September 24, 2009

2 Pounds - Pregnancy Update #26

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Today I had a doctor's appointment and was reminded by the nurse that I am 26 weeks and 2 days pregnant. This made me reflect on my first doctor's appointment when I stepped on the scale and was not happy with my weight as I began my pregnancy. Today my doctor told me she was very happy that I had gained 2 pounds since my first visit in May. I can't say the feeling was mutual, because I lost some weight after my first appointment and have obviously gained it back +2 but "it's baby weight" the doctor said.

My glucose blood test was normal/fine, the baby's heart beat sounded strong and according to the doctor, "she's a kicker." Too bad the doctor doesn't keep up with my blog to know that she karate kicked her dad in the face.

I was given the slap on the hand for sleeping on my back and doing crunches at the gym on my back. As the rebel and terrible listener I am, I blew it off and was determined continue with my normal ways thinking, "the hell with the doctor, I'll do what I want," until my husband said to me, "you don't care about the health of your unborn child."  Don't worry, I'll get him back, the next time he orders a refill on his Pepsi, I'll let him know that his health is important so he can live a very long time, for his daughter.

I'm cleared to fly to Atlanta next month to see my sister and niece for a long weekend; able to travel two hours to the thumb for Christmas and instructed by the doctor not to name my baby after her...she says no one would want the name Martha. I did tell her at least it's a name you can pronounce when you see it. She agreed. 

September 22, 2009

GTB - Pregnancy Upate #25

GTB = Glucose Test Beverage. It's an orange drink that a person drinks one hour before they have their blood drawn to check their sugar for diabetes. I've done this test before, but a friend who is also pregnant was concerned about drinking this beverage. I have to admit, it's not bad at all. It tastes like flat, orange soda.

Saturday after the gym, I decided to drink my orange beverage, stop at the dollar store to waste some time before heading to the lab for blood work. While in the parking lot I checked my voice mail, dug thru my purse and got out of my truck. As I shut the door to the truck, I quickly realized I didn't have my keys, and I locked the doors. I frequently lock the doors to my vehicle before getting out of it, using the interior locks, not the lock on the key remote. Because my "routine" was messed up (I stayed in the car instead of getting out right away) I ended up leaving my keys in the ignition. A stream of panic hit me, because I knew I only had one hour until my blood needed to be drawn. I quickly calmed myself down and began digging my my purse for my AAA card, which offers free roadside assistance. The thought did cross my mind that I could walk to the lab, it was just down the road, but later I realized it was about 3.3 miles down the road, and not a nice road, but a five lane road without sidewalks. 

After calling AAA and realizing my membership had been canceled - which didn't surprise me since we have roadside assistance through our car insurance and a year or so ago I decided not to pay my AAA dues - I went into The Dollar Tree and asked for a phone book. I began jotting down numbers to locksmiths, the dial-a-ride bus, the sheriff department and my insurance company. I called my insurance company to see if they could help me and they gave me a few numbers and told me to just submit my receipt to my insurance to be reimbursed for the locksmith service. 

I then called a local locksmith and was told he could be there in 1 hour and 20 minutes. This was a local call, and it would take him that long to get there? I was in need of help, so I didn't really question it but I explained to him I should be at my vehicle by then, I have to have some blood work drawn and will then be back to my vehicle. I thought we were all squared away and later I would realize I was completely wrong.

The next call is to my friend who literally lives "down the street." I had her take me from the dollar store to the lab and I was able to have all my blood drawn even though I had my lab information and paperwork locked inside of my vehicle.

I then called the local dial-a-ride transportation bus to arrange for a pick up from the lab back to the dollar store my vehicle was parked. Now, I've tried to use this county wide bus system twice. Once was on a Saturday years ago. My husband was at his parents house working on my car (some routine maintenance such as brakes, shocks, etc.) and I was at home, but we planned to eat dinner at his parent's house that night. Instead of him driving 20 minutes one way to pick me up at home, I told him I'd just call the bus and get a ride over there. Sadly, I realized you cannot call for a ride on the weekend unless you schedule it during their normal, Monday through Friday business hours. First attempt = unsuccessful. The second attempt was about a year ago. My car was going in for service and I needed a ride to work. I called 2 days before I needed the ride and explained where I needed to go and when and they the woman told me she was sorry, they were unable to accommodate me. I was baffled and floored. I vowed to never use that bus service again! So maybe the third time is a charm...I called on Saturday and got the "normal" recording that said I had to schedule my ride during the Monday through Friday business hours, but at the end of the message, was a number to get a hold of a driver on the weekend. I gave it a shot and Gary came to my rescue! Gary picked me up at the lab and took me back to my vehicle at the dollar store parking lot!

While waiting for Gary to pick me up, I quickly nabbed some money from the ATM machine at the medical center, and called the locksmith guy back to let him know I'd be at my vehicle shortly. The locksmith guy (again, remember this is a local number I called and a local company advertised in the local yellow pages) tells me he will be there in 1 hour and 20 minutes...because he didn't leave the first time I called! I tell him that's way too long for me to wait, I'll have to call another company.

I then call the sheriff department. I get an automated message that tells me no one is working and I am not given a number to dispatch for non-emergencies. So I suck it up and dial 911 on my phone. I immediately tell the woman this is not an emergency, but there was no other number for me to call. I explain my situation and she says police/sheriff no longer unlock cars, but she can give me the number to a tow truck company. Ahhh, a tow truck company, why didn't I think of that instead of a locksmith? I call a tow truck company and they can be to my car within an hour. This is great since I'm still waiting for Gary to pick me up.

Gary arrives, and my fare is $2. I only have a $20 from the ATM and I'm planning to just give it to him since he saved my butt from walking. He then asks me to go into the dollar store and get change. I give him $5 and tell him we are good. He picked me up in a bind and I am truly grateful for him.

A quick trip into the dollar store to blow off some time before my tow truck arrives to unlock my door, and a chat on the phone with my sister as I sit on the parking lot curb realizing it is just a perfect Saturday in September - at least the weather is perfect - and here comes "Brian" my savior. I think he unlocked my truck in about 90 seconds, and it took me longer to write my check and sign the bill than it did to get my keys back.

Then I "flew" to the lab to drop off my paperwork that was needed to perform the glucose test. Thankfully they had some late-comers so they were still there at 12:10 pm even though they close at noon. After that, a big sigh by me and I was on my way home.

I mainly posted this blog because my friend, who I mentioned at the beginning of this story, told me to let her know how my test went...I'm sure she is not expecting to read all of this and I wish her BETTER LUCK when she takes her glucose test in the coming days! 

Lastly, most people might wonder why in the world my husband didn't come to his pregnant wife's side to help her in this time of need. It just so happened that he was in a plane as all of this was going down, on his way from LAX to Detroit, and so I was left to survive on my own...

 

 

 

September 17, 2009

ka-rah-tay - Pregnancy Update #24

I have a daily pregnancy book called The Pregnancy Journal and each day there is different information about my baby, myself, and sometimes different cultures and their birthing practices. On Sunday, September 6th, this is what the entry said:

As the baby's heartbeat becomes louder, it may be possible to hear the baby's heart by placing an ear to your abdomen - a yoga-like pose that may be quite impossible for you to achieve, but easy for others! A stethoscope will help you hear your baby's heart beat loud and strong. 

I read this to my husband and I thought it went in one ear and out the other until...the evening of Sunday, September 13th, he got close to my belly when I was laying in bed and started to talk to his unborn daughter. He then put his ear to my belly. I asked if he could hear anything and he said, "No." Then all of the sudden, she karate kicked him in the side of his face. A kick he felt for sure.

September 14, 2009

They are Here - Pregnancy Update #23

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I think I noticed my first set of stretch marks. Yes, I said set. A few on each side of my belly. Somewhat high, near my ribs. I cannot confirm, since I've never had stretch marks, but I'm pretty sure that is what they are. I must have slacked on my twice-a-day cocoa butter lotion application...Let's hope they are not here to stay.

I'm blaming it on my trip to the gym today, 2 hours later, 904 calories burned and now I have stretch marks. Darn cardio class!

 

Monday, September 14, 2009

I inspected my body before taking a shower today and I didn't see any stretch marks. Maybe it was my blurred morning eyes, the lack of light or the fact that I am hoping they are gone. Stay tuned. 

 

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I have not been able to locate any unusual markings on my belly (as of yet). Let's hope it stays that way!  

September 06, 2009

No Excuses - Pregnancy Update #22

I've come to conclude I've had a very easy pregnancy so far. If you are a mother and you had a difficult pregnancy, I suggest you stop reading now.

I have no excuses for anything. So far (at 23 weeks) pregnancy has not made sick or tired, it has not made my skin crappy, my hair does not appear to be thicker, my nails don't appear to be any healthier, my feet have not been swelling nor have my fingers. I feel fine. I feel like I have no excuses for not being able to do anything, or go anywhere.

The worst parts so far are the random, right nostril nosebleeds, the 2am toss and turns which have since stopped, and more recently the headaches caused by seasonal allergies (which I don't blame on pregnancy, but the weather and climate.) I haven't quite figured out what is going on when I go to the gym, but some aerobic classes that require me to perform a "knee up" move feel funky. It's as if I can feel my uterus in my abdomen. Occassionally my back will hurt, it's usually when I decide to do laundry, garden, move stuff around in the garage, clean the house, cook and watch TV all in one day.

My boobs aren't bigger, my feet are not growing, my stomach doesn't itch. I have yet to crave any food I cannot live without. I can still comfortably sleep on my back and I don't think I have a super sense of smell.

If anything, I complain that I cannot "do things" because I am pregnant -- like go in a hot tub, try mountain (trail) bike riding with my husband, waterslides, rollercoasters, etc.  

I'm sure things will change and evolve as my pregnancy progresses, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed and knocking on wood that nothing major happens.

 

September 03, 2009

H to the 3rd Power

I'm not sure what's going on, but for the past few weeks, almost every day is a bad hair day!

First, I attributed this to the new shampoo and conditioner I purchased. I always use salon brands, but was feeling risky and noticed a bottle of volumizing shampoo on the sale shelf at Bath and Body Works...just in time! I was almost out of shampoo. After using it for a while, my hair felt very tangled and so I picked up a bottle of Matrix conditioner.

Shortly after using the conditioner, my hair felt like it had no body what-so-ever. I was unable to give it any height. I thought maybe the conditioner was weighing it down too much, or that I was in need of a haircut.

I was complaining about this situation to my good friend, Dawn, who has also been a cosmetologist for almost 20 years, and she suggested a new styling product. This lead me to purchase a bottle of Volume Foam by Arrojo. I do love this product, but I still have bad hair days!

Lately, humidity has recently been not-so-great, so perhaps that has something to do with my not-so-glamorous hair days.

That gives me H squared (Haircut and Humidity) and I realize it could be none of the above but HORMONES! (H to the third power!) Perhaps this baby is making me have flat hair!

So whether or not it's that I am in need of a Haircut, or the Humidity in the air, or my Hormones, I want it all to stop, and hope that the easiest fix (a haircut) solves all my problems when I go for an appointment in a week.

September 01, 2009

It Moves - Pregnancy Update #21

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

While laying in bed on a Wednesday night, I can feel and see my belly moving. I tell my husband to put his hand on my stomach and wait. Of course, nothing happens, so he removes his hand. In no time, there is more movement, and I tell him to place his hand on my belly again. And in a few moments, he felt his baby move.

I'm not sure he was too into it, but it's moving, he felt it and I've just documented it! One accomplishment down...hundreds to go!

August 27, 2009

Dreams 2 - Pregnancy Update #20

I've come to the conclusion that I am terrified to breast feed. This is the second dream I have had about nursing a child. This time, my child, a boy (we all know I'm having a girl) was at my breast trying to nurse. He was the cutest little thing, the dark pink skin tone, brown hair and a cute blue outfit. He was so tiny. Then, I got a glimpse of my nipple. It was the size and shape of the old school square-top Playtex nipples.  I remember using these bottle nipples years ago as a babysitter.  But my nipple was covered in dark wrinkly nipple skin! I saw my nipple once and was so horrified to even look again! That's when I must have woke up!

 

These are the old-school nipples I recall...

 

August 25, 2009

Baby Bump Photos - Pregnancy Update #19

A few friends suggested I take photos of my belly. Some suggested weekly photos, while others suggested monthly photos. One of my friends said, "Even if you don't share them with anyone, they are fun to look at." How and why on Earth would I take photos of my baby bump if I am not going to share them? Isn't this why people tune in to read my blog and find out what's going on in my life? 

My husband and I attempt to take weekly photos but things don't always go as planned and before we know it, a week or so has slipped by. I also make him cut off my head because our photo sessions are usually when I spent an hour at the gym and am super nasty and sweaty and often not wearing a bra. I wear the same black yoga pants and try to stand in the same position on the tile floor in the dining room. He kneels a few feet away, shoos the dog out of the photo, and three clicks later, we're done. I've also made him take photos of my butt. I want to see how wide it gets. So far there has been no change from the first photo (at 11 weeks) until now (21 weeks), but I'm convinced my butt will get bigger soon.

Below you can see my baby bump at 15 weeks and 21 weeks. 

 

August 24, 2009

That's Not Gas - Pregnancy Update #18

This one's for you, Heather D.

Sometimes I forget there is a sperm that sprouted appendages inside of me. Often I'll be sitting at my desk thinking, "What is going on inside my belly, is that gas?" I quickly realize it isn't gas, but a baby moving.

August 20, 2009

First Purchase - Pregnancy Update #17

 

My husband and I made our first baby purchase last weekend...101 baby hangers from my boss's garage sale. We paid $5 for all of them. Currently they are retailing for $2.50 for a pack of 10 at Babies R Us. That's a savings of $20. They are hanging nicely in her closet...

August 17, 2009

Dreams - Pregnancy Update #16

I've heard a woman who is pregnant can have crazy dreams, and so far I've had only one, but it was odd...

For some reason I scheduled my normal monthly prenatal exam at the gym about 40 mins before a group class was to begin. My doctor (who was completely different in the dream than in real life) was oriental, and about 8 months pregnant herself. I'm not exactly sure what happened, but she decided to give me a shot so that I'd go into labor one week early. This was odd since I'm not due until December. A class instructor, who is also pregnant in real life and due in December, came into the room and I told her about the shot and she wanted some of the shot, too. The doctor was trying to find another needle so the instructor could have the shot and then all of the sudden, the instructor was gone.

After that, I was concerned about this shot and the doctor gave it to me and said, now, I need you to nurse for the next 10 hours. I looked at the doctor and said, "What??? Nurse??? I don't have a baby, I don't have a breast pump!" The doctor said to me, you don't need a breast pump, you just need a coat hanger, I'll show you.

All of the sudden I'm back at my house (which of course is a little different in my dream than reality), with the doctor, who has to go soon, and we don't have any metal coat hangers at our house. (This is probably true, since I hate them and always use the plastic ones). So I was crying and freaking out that I wasn't going to be able to nurse for 10 hours because we didn't have a coat hanger and the doctor was packing up and getting ready to leave so she woudn't have time to show me how to nurse with a coat hanger...and that's all I recall.

I'm sure this is the classic "feeling of not being prepared" dream...

August 12, 2009

It's a Girl - Pregnancy Update #15

This week I'm 20 weeks pregnant and happy to be half way done with my pregnancy. It's honestly been fine compared to lots of horror stories of morning sickness, back aches and swollen feet that I've heard about. I'm sure I'm not ready to be a parent, but I'm ready to have my normal clothes back, especially pants, a big girl soda pop and the ability to do anything--roller coasters, race events, etc.

Today was my ultrasound -- It's a girl! If you followed my gender test blog, you will realize most experiments said it was a boy. My husband put all of his eggs in Jim M.'s basket because Jim's wife, Maria, said he was always right. Jim predicted a boy, so his average is slipping.

Everything looked "good" and "normal" according to the technician. Below are the photos we received. We also get a VHS tape that she forgot to give to us, but we don't have a VCR at home, so we are in no hurry to pick it up!

Here is a close up side profile of our little girl.

 

 

 

A collage: top row is the face (skull like image on the right), followed by the spine.
bottom row shows the profile, and a foot.

 

August 10, 2009

Myths Busted

I recently read this in a pregnancy magazine that came in the mail and I'm so excited! As a back sleeper I couldn't be happier!

MYTH: You should always sleep on your side. 

REALITY: Many pregnancy books caution women not to sleep on their back, claiming that it causes the uterus to rest on-and thus block- the vena cava, a large vein that pumps blood to the baby. But docs say these fears are greatly exaggerated. During the fist and second trimesters, you can safely sleep on your back because your uterus is still too small to compress the vein. After about 28 weeks, when you're entering your third trimester, doctors do recommend trying to sleep on your side. But you needn't worry if you accidentally flip onto your back while dozing. If you really are blocking the vena cava, you'll wake up short of breath and lightheaded. It's your body's way to telling you to get off your back.

Taken from the American Baby Magazine. The Welcome Issue. "Don't Worry." Page 12.

August 07, 2009

Rock Hard Abs - Pregnancy Update #14

This past week I've been noticing my belly is tight. It doesn't feel tight unless you touch it. I even pointed it out to my husband and made him poke at me. Maybe it's been that way since I got knocked up and I never noticed because I really don't like to touch my stomach. My friend Sam C. (who is a guy) even asked me the week before if it was tight. And I don't think it was. I really wish it was just my tight abs...

 

August 03, 2009

Boy, Girl, Twins or Triplets? - Pregnancy Update #13

My husband has recently expressed his desire to try all of the "tests" to determine what the sex of his child will be. Here are the results of our experiment:

Chinese Baby Gender Predictor #1
Based on the following information: 

Woman's Birth Year: 1979 -- Month: 6 -- Day: 12 -- Time Zone: EST
Conception Year: 2009 -- Month: 4 -- Day: 3 -- Time Zone: EST

It's a boy. (Chinese Age 31 at Lunar month 3)

 

Chinese Baby Gender Predictor #2
Based on my age at conception (29) and the month of conception (April) this chart shows it's a girl. There is a 33% chance it will be a boy and a 67% chance it will be a girl.

 

Wedding Ring Gender Prediction Method
Attaching my husband's wedding ring to a piece of dental floss, the ring was held over my belly while laying down. If the ring swings in a circular motion, it's a girl. If it swings to and fro like a pendulum, it's a boy. My results were as follows:

Laying on the living room floor: To and fro motion = boy
(My husband even tried starting the movement of the ring with a circular motion and it went back to the to and fro motion.)

Laying on the bed: To and fro motion = boy
(After I did this experiment, my husband got on the bed and I had to do the test over his belly. He's having a girl.)

 

Drano Gender Prediction Test
Ingredients: 
2 tablespoons of Crystal Drano. It is very important "crystal" Drano is used.
2 to 3 ounces of pregnant woman's urine. Preferably first morning urine.
glass jar

Directions:
Take test materials outside. Add Drano to glass jar. Add urine to jar and back away because a chemical reaction will occur.
When the reaction stops, observe the color:
if the mixture darkens to a brownish color, within the first 10 seconds, it's a boy.
if there is no change in color, it's a girl.
Dispose of materials properly.

This test must be performed after the 4th month of pregnancy and outdoors. 

One early morning my husband and I came outside armed with a glass jar filled with Drano Crystals and a cup of my urine. We poured the urine into the glass and watched and waited. 

Above you can see the Drano we used; The jar filled with Drano Crystals; The jar just after the urine was poured in and the end result.

My husband and I have concluded that these results are inconclusive, but after looking at these photos, the urine did turn brown...so perhaps it's a boy. 

Personal Predictions
Jim M. says it's a boy. His wife says he is very accurate.
Dawn W. says it's a boy. Her employee Judy C. says she is usually always right.
Jaime O. thinks it's a girl, but she is rarely accurate.
Erica G. says if you crave sweets, it's a girl. If you crave salty food, it's a boy. My sweet cravings have remained unchanged so far.

We did all of this for fun and had a great time doing it. No matter what the gender, we just want a healthy baby and we'll know for sure if it is a boy or a girl on August 12th!

July 29, 2009

Monthly Check Up - Pregnancy Update #12

I had another monthly checkup at my doctor's office this week. Everything seems to be going well. The heart rate is at 160 and sounds "perfect" according to my doctor.

I measure at 19 weeks and I am 18 weeks so "that's great" says my doctor. 

We received the results of our down syndrome testing that we elected to take part in and everything came back negative, which is good. No abnormalities in that department.

I busted out a pair of maternity pants today and truly hate them. I prefer to have support in my belly and these offer none! I also miss the luxury or having a button, zipper and belt. It seems like I'm always adjusting them after I sit and get up. They never feel quite right in the crotch or the waist. And when I go to the bathroom, I'm always trying to unbutton them.

After purchasing my pants, I tired them on for my husband and showed him how "hot" the belly waistband is (not) and he gave me a weird look. You can tell he was trying to think of something to say without lying. He knew they were not at all attractive or sexy and probably would turn any man off but he didn't want to say something so direct so he replied, "You don't have to wear them that long." These pants are not like a pair of uncomfortable shoes you wear to a wedding for ONE night, I have to wear these pants for a few MONTHS! Oh the beginning of sacrifices...

July 27, 2009

It's Alive - Pregnancy Update #11

July 21, 2009

Today I believe I felt my husband's small child move. Butterflies in my stomach while sitting at my desk at work.

Someone asked me today if I was still pregnant. I replied, "yes." She said to me, you aren't showing at all. I said, "I'll take that as a compliment, thank you." I'm glad to be 17 weeks and not visably pregnant! Let's keep the weight off!

July 24, 2009

Snug as a Bug - Pregnancy Update #10

Every year, when my husband digs to the bottom of his dresser drawer and pulls out his shorts for the first nice day of spring, the same chain of events happen.

1-He tries on a few pairs and realizes some of his shorts have shrunk while in winter storage. (Must be the dry winter heat.)

2-The pair he chooses to wear because they fit the best just happen to be the most wrinkled pair of shorts.

3-He retires a few of the shorts that have shrunk over the past winter and donates them to goodwill. 

Because I found out I was pregnant the first week of May, I was not looking forward to trying on my spring and summer clothes, especially the shorts. But because this joyous Michigan weather has been nothing like our usual scorching hot summer, I finally tried on my shorts this past Sunday. I was pretty excited when the majority of them fit fine. Not too snug, not too lose, just perfect. Of course we all know this won't last long. I'm hoping I have at least 2 weeks to wear them. I didn't try on a pair of denim capris I had because I don't have patience to try on that many clothes at one time. So I just tossed them into the closet.

Today I decided to wear my capris to work. As I began pulling them over my legs, I knew they wouldn't fit, but I was determined. I even did my best to suck it in. They are snug, but I decided they would "stretch out" since they were just tight due to the dry heat while in winter storage, and I would wear them for the day. Just as I was about to leave the house, I really wanted to change my pants but I was already running late and lazy. So I decided to do the rubber band trick.

For those of you who don't know, instead of buttoning the top button of your pants, you leave it unbuttoned, but use a rubber band to connect the loop and button of the pants. Thus, giving you 1-2 extra inches of breathing room. I covered it with a belt and it seems to be working well so far, but I think after today, I'll retire these into my "skinny days" storage box under the bed and pray to God they fit next year.

 


July 22, 2009

Tough Girl - Pregnancy Update #9

I caught my husband's cold on the fourth of July. That night at a party, I started to get a very sore and scratchy throat. Thankfully the throat soreness went away in a day, but the stuffy head continued for a week and then was joined by a cough. A painful cough at first, and now it's just a nuisance.

At one of my first appointments, I was told by my nurse at the doctor's office that it can take a woman up to 2 weeks longer to fight off a cold. I was given a list of acceptable medications. I recall Sudafed being one of the only things on the list for a cold. I do like Sudafed. I think it works very well, but on a normal day, when I am not knocked up, taking one pill makes me loopy. Yes, loopy. I usually wait until I get to work to take a pill because for about 30 minutes I feel slightly light headed and drunk. So I was doing all I could to avoid taking this over the counter medicine. I even commented that my husband should try going "cold turkey" when he feels a cold coming on and not dose himself with zinc, zicam, tylenol cold, and nyquil. Then he would appreciate how awesome these OTC drugs really are!

As the cough joined my illness, I was even more annoyed. Twice I almost vomited from coughing so many times in a row. After the fun of gagging, I decided I should actually look at the list of acceptable medications the doctor's office gave me. While looking at the list, I realize there is a section for Colds and a separate section for Coughs and Sore Throats. Wow, I'm an idiot, why didn't I look at this list a week ago! I was able to nab a bottle of Robitussan and some cough drops to aid in my recover.

I am feeling much better now and will no longer attempt to be a tough girl, instead, I'll pull out my acceptable medication list and make sure I know what I can take! 

July 20, 2009

Things I Miss Most - Pregnancy Update #8

I subscribe to BabyCenter.com's weekly newsletter about pregnancy. This week I received: The 12 Things You Miss Most During Pregnancy. The list includes the following:

1. A Normal Sense of Smell
2. Booze
3. Off-Limits Foods
4. Peaceful Sleep
5. Cute Shoes
6. Feeling Sexy
7. A Rocking Sex Life
8. Feeling Strong and Independent
9. Being Included
10. Your Pre-Pregnancy Body
11. Emotional Control
12. Caffeinating Like You Used To

As soon as I saw this subject line in my email, one thing came to mind: Alcohol. And since Booze is number two on the list, I'm not the only one who has a craving for a light beer or rum and coke. I must admit, of the 12 items on the list, I am currently only experiencing the lack of alcohol. I'm not at all a drinker, but I like to enjoy an adult cocktail or beer whenever I want one.

The hardest part is a social situation. One in which we visit with friends at a BBQ or on a boat and spend a few hours doing nothing but socializing, eating and drinking. My patience for sitting is thin anyway, but when I have to sit and talk hours after I've finished eating, I get even more stir-crazy. I had a small glass of a friends party punch, in which I was unable to taste any alcohol in it, and after telling someone I had this, I got such a crazy look from her. I'm sure I'll break down and have a beer eventually and after this awkward look, I'll be sure to pour the barley and hops into a coffee mug and tell everyone it's tea.

I have yet to miss anything else on the list, and I sure hope it stays that way!

 

July 15, 2009

No News is Good News? - Pregnancy Update #7

I don't have much to report in the world of pregnancy updates.

I got poison ivy at the end of June. My husband was on a Harley trip to Ohio and I decided to cut trees and hauled 19 piles to our brush pile. That was Saturday. By Monday night, I was very itchy on the arms. I toughed through most of it, then I told a friend. She couldn't believe I didn't call my doctor to tell her I had poison ivy. It wasn't that bad, so I thought I could handle the 1-3 week recovery time. Then I started to second guess my choices and freak out so I googled it. Poison Ivy is not harmful to your baby during pregnancy is what I discovered. But the itching got so bad, I broke down and left a message for the nurse. The nurse said Hydrocortisone cream would work best. Right now I still slather it on like body lotion. It's still itchy but it is healing.

I had a fabulous one hour pre-natal massage a few weeks ago. I plan to go back again this month when my friend comes to town to visit. I learned that there isn't too much different between a relaxation massage and a pre-natal massage, except for the liability. Oh and one spot on the ankles they usually don't massage.

I feel huge. And I don't think I've gained more than a few pounds. My weight seems to be maintaining well, at least according to my bathroom scale. I did nab a few super cheap shirts and a cute skirt and dress the other day when I was out and about. I figured they would be good clothes to "grow into" as I begin to get larger. My husband laughs at me and tells me I have a very obscure view of my own weight.

My friend passed along this piece of advice from Chris Rock: When you have a daughter your only job is to keep her off the pole. (As in the stripper pole for those of you who didn't get it!)

The first piece of Child Care Advice I got was from another friend: Now that you will be willingly and unwillingly accepting all advice thrown at you by various experts, friends, family members, well wishers, complete strangers off the street and of course the friend with no kids (that would be yours truly) I have my first, last and only bit of child rearing advice: Please learn to beat your child...often and like you mean it! This will ensure proper rearing of a young person able to get along well in the general society and it is now your duty as a "responsible parent." Just look at me and how well I turned out!

My future has been planned out for me by a few friends. i get the "you'll be watching kids movies in no time" and "you'll do this when you have a child..." Really? Do you think so? I'll show you! That's what I want to say to them, but I nod, accept their advice and run like hell!

Other than still being terribly emotional about Cletus passing - I'm not sure if it is the hormones or if I just miss him that much - I'm pretty much the same. The other day I was in bed remembering when Cletus would get up from his bed in the corner and go into the living room and kitchen. You would hear him get up, but all you would see is a tail move across the edge of the bed, wagging from side to side as he made his way out of the bedroom.

 

June 23, 2009

12 Week Ultrasound Photos - Pregnancy Update #6

12 week ultrasound photos. I know it's what all you blog stalkers have been waiting for!

I think you can pretty clearly see the head, body and hand that is in front of his/her face (second photo), so I won't point these features out and include a photoshopped image.

 

 

June 20, 2009

3:30 a.m. Toss and Turn - Pregnancy Update #5

June 2-12, 2009

If you are familiar with my 2 a.m. toss and turn, you will realize quickly that I spoke too soon about it ending. Now at the beginning of June, I'm dealing with the 3:30 a.m. toss and turn. It doesn't happen every night, but when it does happen, I toss and turn trying to find a comfortable position as my gut and stomach feels like it is eating itself alive. I should just get out of bed because as I lay there, my mind wanders to the gazillion things I should do the next day, or the receipt I should have put into the checkbook register two days ago. I've come up with a fun game while tossing and turning: I talk to my husband when I wake up in the middle of the night and cause him to toss and turn a bit.

The other night he rolled over and I said, "Hi." To which he replied, "Hi." Then I asked him what he was doing, and he said, "nothing." He rolled over, pulled the covers tight against his neck and began to breathe deeply and fall asleep. I asked him about it in the morning and he has no recollection of our conversation. I think I can squeeze in all sorts of things to ask him in the middle of the night like, "Will you give me a foot rub...empty the dish washer...do the laundry...cook dinner?" Hopefully he will answer yes, not recall what he said in the middle of the night and just do it for me!

Of course this morning break also gives me the opportunity to count my blessings and be grateful I am not sicker than a dog, am still feeling great most of the time and just realizing I could be way worse off than I am!

Someone has asked me if I am tired. I'm not really any more tired than usual, some days I seem to not want to get out of bed in the morning, but that seemed to happen pretty regularly pre-pregnancy, so I don't really attribute that to being pregnant. Some nights after work I have all sorts of energy, go to the gym, come home to cook dinner, and other nights I want to take a nap right after work, but it isn't anything that prohibits me from my usual lifestyle.

 

June 18, 2009

Breaking the News - Pregnancy Update #4

I bought my husband a book a while ago when we decided to stop preventing a pregnancy in our life. It's called The Dude's Guide to Pregnancy: Dealing with Your Expectant Wife, Coming Baby and the End of Life as You Know it.  It is a very funny book and he is finding it very enjoyable to read because it is so comical. One part in the book says that a woman cannot just tell her parents she is pregnant. She has to have some sort of to-do about how she is expecting. This was me to the T!

I did some searching online as to how I would break the news to my parents and to my in-laws. Nothing really grabbed my attention, there was the standard wrapping of the onesie or bib that said something about grandma, dressing a sibling in a "I'm going to be a big brother/sister tee" I was thinking we could dress our dogs, giving a rattle, etc. I did come across one idea. To give a save the date card. This is what I did for my in-laws.

It took me three tries to get it just right, but I drew a small Christmas tree on the front of the card, and on the back it said, Save the Date 12-28-2009.  My husband gave the card to his parents and they weren't sure what it was for. They didn't know what to save that day for, so my husband had to tell them it was my due date. They were ecstatic.

As for my side of the family, I had the opportunity to pick up my sister and niece at the airport for their week trip to Michigan. I planned to tell the entire family that weekend since we would all be together By entire family I mean, my sister, dad and mom! While we were watching TV at my parents house one night, I casually asked my sister if she had planned on coming to Michigan for Christmas. She said, "yes" with a sigh as if she didn't want to come. I then said, well, maybe you'll get to meet your new niece or nephew. My mom looked up from reading a magazine and said, "Are you serious?" My dad was smirking in the recliner and my sister said, "What are you talking about?" I just smiled and said nothing. It took my sister a few minutes to realize I was knocked up and when she did, she started to cry and ran over to hug me. Of course I told her to stop crying and to "get off of me." She then had to call her husband.

As for the general public, I decided since I knew about the surprise party my husband was having for my 30th birthday party, and most everyone at the party knew I knew, I would turn the tables and surprise my guests. I made four signs and shortly after arriving at the party, I showed them to my guests:

The Surprise

Is On 

You! 

I'm Pregnant!

This information was received better then me showing up for my birthday party! And those that didn't make it to the party, got an email the next day.

 

June 15, 2009

Stirrups, Vaginas and Uteri - Pregnancy Update #3

My first real doctor's appointment was on May 27th. It was at 10 o'clock in the morning so my husband and I were able to get up and enjoy a breakfast at a restaurant I've been wanting to go to for YEARS! Of course because his work is crazy, he was in the car before the appointment making phone calls, firing up his laptop and checking emails. But, he found 40 minutes to just be with me at the OB-GYN's office.

My husband and I have SO MUCH fun together with little short one liners that make us both laugh. They can be original one liners, something we repeat from a movie or something we heard from a friend or at a party. Well, I was very excited to take the opportunity to inform my husband of all of the "great" things the gynecologist's office has to offer! In the first room I went into, I let my husband know where the stirrups were on the table. There was only one stirrup "out" and he even asked, "there's only one?" I informed him there is another, and it folds into the table, probably so people don't run into it when the come in and out of the room!

The next room was the room in which I had my ultrasound. Of course I had to undress and then the nurse and doctor came back into the room and did their thing. This was a vaginal ultrasound so after the nurse left so I could change, I immediately informed my husband of the "probe" that was lubed, covered and ready to be inserted into my girl parts to show him "his" baby. He commented on the number of "condoms" in the tray under the machine. And asked, "Why would they have all of those in here now, isn't it too late for that?" A great laugh for both of us!

In comes the doctor and nurse. I'm not exactly sure what is going to go on but I have a pretty good idea. My feet go into the stirrups, my "bottom down" at the end of the table, and there I am, stretched out to the world, covered by what seems to be the thinnest sheet in the world! The doctor "checks" me and I just have to ask, "Can you feel anything?" Her response was, "A uterus that is bigger than usual." Not exactly sure what response I was looking for, but I got one and was hoping to break the ice a bit.

Next comes the ultrasound. The lights dim, the monitor comes on and there is my "baby." The next thing I notice: my last AND first name is spelled wrong on the monitor. Now, it is VERY common for people to misspell my last name, but my first, come on! There are FOUR letters in it! Anyhow, I had to set them straight because we had an issue with a misspelled name on one of our home owner insurance policies. When your name is not spelled correctly, they tell you that you "don't have a policy" eventhough you do! And that was my husband's last name which only has 7 letters in it! UGH! So I wanted my name to be set straight just in case something funky happened with insurance paperwork.

So here we are looking at our baby. At first I thought maybe it was a cartoon character, and this is the best way I can describe it: a 2 ball snowman, both balls of equal size, and the top ball had two ears, on one each side. After this thought passed, the doctor informed us what we thought was the top (the ball with ears) was really the bottom. So my cartoon character was immediately ruined. The doctor said the baby was moving around a lot and later my husband said it was because it was my baby and I have "a hard time sitting still."

This first ultrasound was somewhat surreal. It didn't click and really hasn't clicked that the photos are from me. From inside my body...We'll see how the next one differs, maybe the snowman has grown more "parts" than just ears! 

 

At my initial visit I was told I was 8-9 weeks pregnant and my due date was December 11th. Two weeks later at this appointment I was told I am 9 weeks pregnant (not 11) and am due on December 28th. Dan is hoping for a tax deduction for 2009!

On a vocabulary note, Uteri is the plural form of Uterus. 

June 09, 2009

2 a.m. Toss and Turn - Pregnancy Update #2

"How are you feeling?" was the first thing the nurse asked me when I went to my first informational doctor's appointment after taking a home pregnancy test. I could sense her sympathy when I said, "blah" and she assured me it will get better. I was then asked if I was vomiting, having a hard time eating, or not sleeping well. All of which I answered, "no." I think this caught the nurse off guard, she was expecting something worse from my feeling blah comment.

April 27-May 1, 2009 (no confirmed pregnancy)

I feel fat. I look at myself in the mirror and think, wow, my belly is getting fat. I need to get to the gym every day this week. No slacking. In one week, I will take a pregnancy test and read the following passage, and understand why..."You still may not look pregnant even if your waist is thickening a bit." www.babycenter.com

Thickening? Is that what they call it? Thickening? Ugh. All the things I read say you will notice this thickening but no one else will. Sadly I feel that everyone can tell.

May 4-8, 2009

This first week was the worst. This was the week I took my home pregnancy test and felt awful all day every day. It was as though I was always going to throw up, then I would burp and feel better. Then the feeling came again, I would burp and the cycle of feeling better then crappy would continue. I felt like a dirty trucker belching all the time, but those burps brought me so much relief!

Food sounds good, but when I get a few bites into something, I don't want it anymore. I still force myself to eat it because the last thing I need right now is a cold or less energy due to malnourishment.

May 11-15, 2009

By the second week I was starting to feel great when I woke up, crappy when I left for work and better by around noon. This was the week I found out I was 8 or 9 weeks along! Yikes, I never thought I would be "that far." I guess never being pregnant I never knew when the crappy sickness would arrive. Maybe it's different for everyone.

This week the sleepless nights began. I started calling it the 2 a.m. toss and turn because between 1:30 and 2:30 a.m. I would lie awake in my bed, not feeling 100% and toss and turn until I fell asleep again. I will admit, the few back rubs that my husband gave me during this uncomfortable time helped me tremendously! I think the great feeling on my back took my mind off the uneasy feeling I had in my gut. 

I've been informed of a anti-nauseous OTC medicine called Preggo Pops. I cannot easily locate these candies, but I did find a thread online in which one commenter said a regular Jolly Rancher hard candy will do almost the same thing. I tested this claim, and I think it worked, or I had myself convinced it was working. I'll have to try it again to see if it is really true.

Side note:  The 8 or 9 week estimate is because the nurse calculated my estimated due date by the first day of my last period, but, a good friend suggested temperature tracking via www.fertilityfriend.com and I had an estimated ovulation date based on my temperatures. This date was a week off from my last period. (Yes, Sara, I followed your temperature guidance, and I cannot say it worked, but I "thought" I was pregnant based on my chart's temperature readings before I had any symptoms).

May 18-22, 2009

Over the past weekend I got cranky. I wanted to do things but was unable. I just had such a blah feeling. It is such a unique feeling I'm not sure how to describe it. It's not like when you are tired and force yourself to keep going, yawing your way through the work day or evening dinner party.  It's not like when you have a cold and feel like crap and want to stay in bed all day. It's worse! This past weekend I was crabby because I thought I was starting to feel better, then randomly in the afternoon I would feel sick. But in the evening I felt great. I will say the 2 a.m. toss and turn has currently been eliminated from my night sleep patterns (knock on wood!)

May 23-25, 2009 - Memorial Day Weekend

This past weekend was somewhat brutal. I got a lot of outside work done, like planting my flowers and garden, cleaning out the fire pit, and putting new mulch in, but on Saturday night I got such a terrible head ache, I got sick. I was crying and throwing up at the same time. I hate getting sick. After that episode, I decided I needed some Tylenol (the only pain reliever I can take). So at 10:30 p.m. my husband and I got out of bed, and into the car and drove to the store to get some Tylenol. I came home, took one, fell asleep and alas, in the morning my headache was gone.

On Monday, I bent down to pick up my shoes to put them away and when I came up, my lower back was screaming! I must have pulled something. It is tolerable, but sore. I'm attributing it to the fact that I will be 30 next month.

Currently I am feeling as if I cannot suck in my gut to make it look flat. I try, and it just stays there. Hopefully no one but me is noticing!

My first official Doctor's appointment is the 27th of this month! 

June 07, 2009

An Anniversary Gift - Pregnancy Update #1

The week of my 1 year wedding anniversary I was feeling like crap. It's very unlike me to feel poopy or even get a cold. I am a terribly healthy person. So when I woke up on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday feeling like I should stay in bed all day, I thought maybe I was pregnant. A week or two before my boobs started to get sore or "tender" as the doctor's office says, but I attributed that to my coming period. Although last time my boobs were sore, they were only sore for about two days and then I got my period. I was unable to hide how crappy I felt from my husband any longer so on Wednesday, the eve of our 1st anniversary, I took a pregnancy test.

When I got home, my husband was "getting ready" to go to his parent's house to work on the race car. It seemed to take himF O R E V E R that day and twice I went into the bathroom and almost used the facilities because I had to go so bad! But on the way there, I stopped myself. As soon as he shut the door to leave, I was peeing on a stick and within seconds, I knew I was pregnant. That plus sign couldn't have gotten any clearer! I did wait the required 2 minutes to see the "real" test results, and it was the same, positive.

I was relieved, and then horrified. I thought to myself, how am I ever going to do this? I feel like crap! It's one thing to be sleepy and not want to do something, but to be sleepy and feel like vomiting, that is much harder. I don't like secrets, so this secret was going to be hard to keep. I planned to tell my husband on our anniversary that we were going to be parents. The entire day of Thursday, I said NOTHING about feeling crappy, or about knowing I was pregnant.

The evening arrived and we went to Taco Bell for dinner. I know, how romantic, but I felt like crap, didn't want to cook and love their Fresco Chicken Soft Tacos. So off we went. When we came home we exchanged gifts. I got these cool alumninum running boards for my bug and a nice watch (the modern 1st anniversary gift is "clocks"). In April, I gave my husband the traditional 1st anniversary gift of Paper and you can read more about it here, so all I had for him was a card. I drew a heart on the front and on the back I wrote, "Happy 1st Anniversary! Love, Kari" and then at the bottom I wrote, "P.S. You're going to be a father." He looked at me and said, "What? When did you take a test?" Immediately I felt bad because the day before I went back and forth not sure if he shoud be here when I pee on a stick or not. He said he didn't feel he needed to be there with me, so that did make me feel better.

So that's it folks, I'm pregnant. 

I had an appiontment yesterday with a nurse to go over all of my health history and the "rules" while pregnant. She is estimating I am 8-9 weeks pregnant. My next appintment will be an ultrasound and she will be able to determine a more accurate due date. (appointment date was May 13, 2009)