Friday, September 24, 2010

Week 18 Belly Pics

There's definitely a baby in there! Woohoo! And one week from today, we'll find out if we're having a baby girl or a baby boy! Check out the poll on the right side of the blog and vote for your team!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

One Potato, Two Potato, Three Potato... (Week 18)

Well, we're pretty sure it's just one Sweet Potato in there right now! Or at least, we sure HOPE so! Wow! Week 18! I know I say that every week, but the time has really started picking up. We are now 4 1/2 months into this pregnancy and just two weeks shy of the half way mark! That just blows my mind. This week the Butter Bean is the size of a Sweet Potato (but I'm going to have to get an idea of how long they think that is, because I know at our grocery store Sweet Potatoes come in MANY different shapes and sizes.)
What's baby up to this week?

"Many of the bones in your baby's body are starting to harden. Among these first bones to develop is the inner ear which is part of the reason why your baby might be able to hear sounds such as your heart or your tummy growling."

What's mama up to this week? This has been a good week! Very little quizziness which makes me think that the worst of that may be over. We had our monthly appointment with the midwife on Friday which went very well. My mom went with me so that she could get to hear the heartbeat which was strong and steady. Whew! I always feel better when I hear this little one's heartbeat. If I ever get pregnant again, I'm going to buy a home doppler so that I can hear it whenever I want to!

While we were at the midwife's office, we made the appointment for our big anatomy scan, and it's in less than 2 weeks now! Next Friday, October 1st! I can't believe it! In just 9 short days we'll find out whether this little Butter Bean is a boy or girl, McKinnley or Olivia. They'll do a lot more than just determine sex though. Actually, that's the least important thing the ultrasound tech will be looking for. Mostly importantly, they will do lots of measurements to make sure everything is developing on track and they there don't see any abnormalities. At the very beginning of the pregnancy, they asked us about genetic testing. It's amazing all the things they can do now. Having thought about this for years before becoming pregnant I knew what my decision was going to be. After discussing it with Jay, and finding out that we were on the same page, thankfully, we decided to decline all genetic screening tests.

This is another one of those very personal decisions that all pregnant couples must make, and I do not judge any one else's decision in any way! But for us, we knew that no matter what the tests said, we would never terminate the pregnancy. (yes, yes, just because I am extremely pro-choice does not mean I am pro-abortion or that I would choose to have an abortion myself!) Additionally, neither Jay nor I have any elevated risk factors in our medical histories. Having watched the anguish that some of the girls on the pregnancy board I hang out on have gone through, I am very thankful we skipped it. The initial tests cannot tell you whether your child has Downs Syndrome or any other disorder. They can only tell you that you have an elevated risk that something is wrong. If it's high enough, the doctor will recommend an amniocentesis (which is medical speak for big gigantic needle stuck in your belly into your uterus!). An amnio is the only thing that can look at your child's actual chromosomes and tell whether something is actually wrong or not. There have been multiple girls on the board whose tests came back with an elevated risk and then had to endure agonizing days of waiting to have the amnio only to find out that their baby is perfectly healthy. With my tendency to worry anyway, I decided that ignorance was bliss in this case and if they see something on the anatomy scan or we find out something at birth, we will deal with it then. No reason to worry about it before.
This weekend was awesome! For my birthday a couple of weeks ago, my mom had offered to take me and two of my best girlfriends to the beach for the day! Day trips to the beach is one of the most awesome things about living in Charlotte. We picked up my childhood BFF at the buttcrack of down (well 7am) on Saturday and hit the road. A short 3 1/2 hours later we were sitting our chairs on the beach and meeting up with my Bestie who I haven't been able to see since we both found out we were pregnant! It was just what the doctor ordered!

We lounged on the beach for a couple of hours, then headed to Calabash, SC for some seafood, and then back to the beach for more girltalk. We had planned to leave at about 5pm, but it was 7:30 before we were able to drag ourselves off the beach and point our saddles towards home. It was tiring, and I was up later than this pregnant woman usually can stay awake, but it was worth it! There's nothing better than sand between your toes, salt water spray on your face, and the laughter of girlfriends in your ears!

Another fun thing to happen this week is that we signed up for our HypnoBabies Childbirth class! It will start the first Wednesday in October and I'm so excited. It was afraid that this was a little too early to be starting the 6 week class, but I talked with the instructor and she said that this class is not just about childbirth. I'll learn things that will be very helpful throughout the pregnancy and not just during childbirth, so taking it early will be beneficial! I'm so excited to get started practicing the hypnosis and breathing techniques so that I have plenty of time for them to become second nature before we go into labor. I'm also hoping that they help me with learning to deal with my anxiety sans-medicine. We are still looking into a doula and trying to figure out how to work the fee into our budget (and decide if we really need one) but thankfully we still have some time on that decision.

Happy Wednesday everyone! I'll post bump pics soon!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Week 17 Belly Pics

I still can't believe that there is something the same length as that onion inside me floating around!!! It truly is amazing!

I got some super exciting news on Wednesday after I posted! My Bestie had her big anatomy ultrasound and everything looks wonderful! AND... she's having a GIRL!!! I've known since she got pregnant that it was a girl but now we know for sure and I can start buying stuff!! This news also makes me more and more excited to know for sure what we are having, even though I'm really sure it's a boy. We should be able to make the appointment for our anatomy scan today at our midwife appointment. I'm at 17 weeks so it should be any more than 3 weeks away. I'm so excited to have it on my calendar and be able to start counting down.

Tomorrow I get to go to the beach with my childhood BFF, my Bestie and my mom! I can hardly wait! It's going to be such a great time of girl bonding!! And I'm sure I'll have lots of pictures to post! Happy Friday everyone! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

One Onion that Won't Make You Cry (Week 17)

That's right! Can you all believe it! We are officially in week 17 and Mama's little Butter Bean is the size of an onion! Wow that's big!! I can hardly believe it myself!

So what's up with baby this week:

"This week your baby has mastered some simple reflexes such as swallowing, sucking, and blinking. Your baby may even have a bout of the hiccups. Fat is also forming underneath your baby's skin and will continue to do so in the later months of your pregnancy. This will help prepare your baby for the temperature change from inside your womb to the outside world."

o what's going on with me? This past week has been a good one! I'm definitely feeling more energetic and less nauseous, which I'm thankful for every day! I still have a bout every once in a while, but nothing like the every day routine of the last few months. I still keep my Zofran close but haven't needed it nearly as much lately. I can definitely tell that my belly is getting bigger as sitting in certain positions feels differently and I'm starting to have a slight sensation of pressure in my lower abdomen. I think I've been feeling the baby, a few little "flutters" and a couple of "pops" but at this stage its really hard to tell what's the baby and what's gas or a muscle spasm because it all kind of feels the same. Hopefully very soon, it will start becoming unmistakable! I can't wait for that day and I really can't wait till Jay can start feeling them from the outside.

Jay is doing wonderfully. He is already so in love with the baby! I can't wait until we have our big anatomy scan in a few weeks and he gets to see the baby. I think it's a little hard for him since he doesn't get to experience what I experience, although I think he'd probably pass on the nausea and constipation. Hehe.

This weekend was a challenge mentally. We decided to head down to the Greek Festival for some great food. Well, crowds are not my specialty when I'm feeling good, and off my meds they make me want to crawl under the closest rock and hide. The feeling of not being able to stay out of everyone's way, and yet not feeling that I have as much right as everyone else to be there makes it almost impossible to navigate in a crowd without melting down. But we all survived. And I decided that there will be no more crowded festivals or events for me until I'm back on the medicine. Thankfully, Jay can take 'em or leave 'em so I'm not cramping his style. I think leaning what my limitations are going to be for this time that I am without medication and learning to respect those limitations is going to be key to Thriving in this season of my life.

This Friday we have another appointment with the Midwife. Since it should be pretty boring, I told Jay not to worry about getting off work, so my mom is going with me so she can hear the heartbeat first hand. Supposedly, our next appointment after this one should be our big anatomy scan and we should schedule that on Friday. I'm really excited to get it on the calendar and be able to count down. My BFF and her husband have their anatomy scan this afternoon! I'm so freaking excited!!! I can finally start buying stuff for her baby, well, actually I already bought something but it is gender neutral. I really hope she finds out she's having a girl (what she suspects and I "know" she's having!) because I'm sure we are having a boy. Then they can grow up as best friends and then fall in love and get married and my BFF and I can be Mother-in-Laws together and then the kids will give us grandbabies together! What?? Getting ahead of myself you say?!?! Funny that's what Jay says. But my BFF and I decided that it's never to soon to start hoping for the best for our kids!

Happy Hump Day everyone! Halfway to the weekend! I'll post bump pics tonight or tomorrow after I take them this evening!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Week 16 Belly Pictures

Sorry I'm a little late getting these up. Wednesday night we ended up going out to dinner, plus I was too tired to go by the store and get an avocado for the picture. But without further ado... I give you... my 16 Week Preggo Belly.

And yes, that is my best Power Ranger stance! I'm the Preggo Power Range and growing people is my super power! Rarh!
Anyway, in other news, Round Ligament Pain is super fun!! ;-) RLP is one of those things they don't tell you about. Thankfully, my friend experienced it a couple of weeks ago, so when I started getting this shooting, lightening-bolt like pain on one side deep in my tummy, she was able to confirm that it is in fact RLP, which was nice because I wasn't dying. Actually, it's not that bad at all. Annoying more than anything. Basically, it's the ligaments that hold your uterus in place stretching and straining as your uterus grows and changes shape. It's perfectly normal although a little annoying, and I'm sure quite painful for some women.
Jay is so flipping adorable! He found out the other day that supposedly the Butter Bean's ear drums are functioning and can now hear us. So, now he gets really close to my belly and talks into my belly button like it's a megaphone or something! Which is at least better than the last few weeks/months when he's insisted on putting his finger in my belly button saying that he's "plugging into the baby". ::eye roll:: He's too cute!

One of the coolest things about being pregnant, and one of the things I haven't mentioned here yet (because she hadn't announced it on her blog) is that my Bestie is pregnant too! After trying for almost a year, and about giving up, she got her positive pregnancy test in June! About two weeks later, I got our surprise positive too! I couldn't believe the luck! In fact when we were in that am I pregnant or am I just running a day late stage, I couldn't even bring myself to wish it true because I knew the chances were so slim. But here we are! She's due about 2 weeks before me, and it is so nice to have someone else going through the same thing as I am! She'll have her anatomy scan next week, although she can't tell anyone what the sex of the baby is until her husband comes home from the training thing he's at right now. So, it'll be a week and a half later before I found out, but still! I think I'm just about as excited to find out what she's having as I am to find out what we're having! I am so happy that she is finally pregnant! and I'm so happy that I am finally pregnant! And the the opportunity to be pregnant together is just a blessing beyond belief! We've both been so busy this summer that we haven't been able to get together, but next Saturday my mom is taking me on a quick day trip to the beach for my birthday. We just happen to be going within an hour or so of her house so she will be meeting us on the way and going to the beach with us. I can't wait to see her!
Happy Friday everyone! The Greek Festival is going on in my town this weekend so I'll be introducing the baby to Baklava and Gyros! Woohoo! Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

An Avocado Even Jay Can Love (Week 16)

That's right! Love 'em (me) or hate 'em (Jay) we've graduated to the Avocado stage!

I'm having a really hard time imagining that there is something the size of an avocado living inside me! But I guess that accounts for the bump that is becoming more and more noticeable. Thankfully, it's looking more like a baby bump and less like I need to hit the gym! So what's going on with baby this week:

"This week your baby's limbs are much more developed, legs and arms are longer and are becoming more controlled in movement. Your baby's skeletal system is developing more as calcium is deposited onto the bones. Over the next couple of weeks your baby's weight will double."

Another website I follow said that this week the baby's ear drums are developing and he can now hear our voices. Yay! How exciting is that!! As for me... I've been a little hit or miss this week. Still can't quite get the magic amount of food in my system to stave off the nausea but avoid the indigestion. I'm still popping Zofran every few days when the nausea gets really bad and can't be very far from my TUMS but it's all manageable. I'm beginning to get some of my energy back! Yay!!!! Spending all my non-working time on the couch was about to drive me insane!!

This weekend, I was actually able to clean almost the entire downstairs. I got the kitchen cleaned and some organizing done I've been wanting to do. I picked up the dining area and arranged the table. I picked up the clutter in the living room and then vacuumed. Moved the puppy's crate into the office/craft room (and out of my living room! woohoo!), vacuumed and Jay cleaned the carpet in there with my mom's steam cleaner. It felt so nice to have just a little energy again and to have my house looking descent!

Sunday, some friends came over for a cook out to celebrate the holiday and my birthday! I still can't believe that I am 31. 30 was one of the toughest years of my life! And I was not sorry to see it go! I can only imagine how much better 31 will be. I guess sometimes it really is darkest before the dawn. Don't get me wrong, we have some serious challenges to face. I'm desperate to stay home with the baby after s/he comes and we're still not seeing how that could work financially, but I keep telling myself that we have 5 more months to work it out.

Besides nausea and indigestion, fear and anxiety have become my constant companions. I didn't realize how much they had gone away since finding the right combo of meds in December. I find my self "going backwards"... falling into old thought patterns, fighting the same demons I thought I'd conquered. It's becoming a real challenge to not be "fragile". My feelings are easily hurt. I spend a lot of time and energy trying to protect a very fragile ego. I find it all but impossible to say to myself that others' opinions are their own and do not effect me. Just because someone disagrees with me doesn't make me wrong and them right. Disagreements are not always attacks and even when they are I am in control of whether they strike me or not. Lately, I feel like a small boat on a large sea being constantly tossed around. I feel like my anchor, my sense of self, my core self esteem has been destroyed and I am at the mercy of the opinions of others. Everything feels like an attack and everything blows me off course.

BUT... as long as I can learn to manage, this course of action is so much better for my Butter Bean. S/he won't have to worry about withdrawals after birth and I will be able to breastfeed which is extremely important to me!

But I don't just want to manage! I want to THRIVE!

This is certainly not the first challenge I've faced and it by far won't be the last! I've risen to every challenge I've ever been faced with from being diagnosed with bi-polar (which I had to fight for years to even get help with!) to the love of my life being deployed overseas for 8 months. I've yet to break, and I'm not about to start now!

So, here's to Week 16! To being 31! To the best year yet! To rising to the challenges we're faced with! To my little avocado! And to learning to THRIVE! Happy Wednesday everyone! I'll post belly pics tonight or tomorrow.

Friday, September 3, 2010


Jay and I have been throwing around names for a long time. In fact, we've had our boy name picked out since before we got pregnant. If we have a boy, we want to name him McKinley Jeremiah. McKinley was my great grandfather's name on my mother's side and Jeremiah as a salute to Jay (who's real name is Jeremy). We'll probably call him Mac, but I like that he could go by Ken when he gets older if he chose to. Case closed! Yay! I love having big decisions behind me!

The girl's name has been harder. The middle name is pretty much set. My middle name is Louise as is my mom's and her mom's. Sharing it with the women in my lineage has always meant a lot to me. Well... except when I was really little and didn't like my name at all. I thought the whole thing was just too old fashioned and not at all like anyone else I knew. I wanted to change my name to something... food-like. Yes, you read that right! I desperately wanted to be Muffin, or Cookie, or Candy! Thank goodness I wasn't allowed to change it! I'd have ended up a stripper fo' sho'!!! Jay doesn't have any problems with with my middle name, Louise it is.

If I wasn't worried about elementary school yard teasing ,although we plan to homeschool our kids, I'd go with Parasadie (pronounced Pear (like the fruit)-zadie) as a first name. It's a family name on my mom's side and I've always thought it was so cool and unique. And we could call her Sadie. And of course I would call her Sadie Lou. But I'm just not sure if that would be cruel and unusual punishment for a child.

So the other day, out of no where I thought of the perfect name! Olivia! Ok, I'll fess up, we were watching Law and Order: SVU and I love detective Olivia Bensen. Jay liked it right off the bat, and the more I think about it the more I like it. I know it's in the Top 10 baby names for 2010 and my child might end up in classrooms down the line with 4 other Olivias, but hopefully not. I think it's the perfect balance of old fashioned but doesn't feel dusty or old.

But the absolute best part of it is... I can call her Livi-Lou!!! She'll hate it! It'll make it even more fun! ;-)

We won't know if we're having a boy or a girl for about 5 more weeks. And I'm pretty positive we are having a boy, but at least I'm confident now that we have both a girl's name and a boy's name that we both love and feel connected to.

Happy Friday everyone! Wishing everyone a safe and happy Holiday Weekend!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

But You Can't Compare Apples and Oranges (Week 15)

Or can you...

In just 10 very short weeks (unless you were this impatient pregnant women, then it feels like a lifetime and a half!!) my little Butter Bean has grown from approximately .13 inches, or about the size of an apple seed to approximately FOUR inches, or about the size of a navel orange! How amazing is that?!?!?!

So what's up with baby this week:

"Continuing the march towards normal proportions, baby's legs now outmeasure the arms. And, finally, all four limbs have functional joints. Your fetus is squirming and wiggling like crazy down in the womb, though you probably still can't feel the movements. "

So what's going on with me:

This week was a pretty good one. I'm throwing up less, but taking more Zofran to keep the nausea at bay which causes other uncomfortable symptoms but at least it doesn't make me all anxious and worried that I'm going to need to throw up and not be able to get to a bathroom. The anxiety of which just makes me more nauseous of course! I think I'm about to figure out that it's because I'm not eating enough and often enough and not getting enough liquids. I'm trying to increase all of those. The Campbells "sippy soups" as I like to call them, the ones with the lid that you can drink instead of having to eat with a spoon have become my lifeline at work. They heat up quickly and I can eat them while I work, and I feel like I'm getting a little more substance than just pretzels or crackers.

This past weekend was awesome! I bought side tables and a coffee table off craigslist right before finding out I was pregnant. Well, needless to say I have not had the energy to sand and paint them since then, plus it's been like 400,000 degrees here... or raining, one or the other ever since. This past weekend, the temps were going to be in the mid 80's so Jay and I decided to tackle the project so that we could make the side tables stop randomly hanging out in odd places around our house. No really, one was stuck by our kitchen table in a corner and the other was in the corner in my craft room/office. I took pictures during the different stages, and plan to post that later in the week or this weekend once they have fully dried and I've put them in their rightful places. But to put everyone's mind at ease... I wore a mask while we both painted and sanded and I insisted on purchasing low odor, no VOC paint. The paint worked great other than being true to the reviews I'd read online which stated that it was watery. It took an extra coat and the coffee table which we painted black could have really used a third coat, but it's just for my house and I'm happy with it, so there!

I am solidly into maternity pants now, and so thankful for the ones my childhood BFF's sister gave me! I don't know what I would have done if I didn't have those to pull from. I'm enjoying the excuse to celebrate my expanding waist line instead of cursing it. Although I'm still keeping an eye on my weight. As of right now, and according to my scale at home, I have maintained the weight I was at when I found out I was pregnant, which means I've gained a lb since last week. As I start feeling better, which hopefully will be very soon, I will really need to start focusing on eating healthy foods. Right now I've been eating whatever sounds good and doesn't make me nauseous. A good friend told me that between 14 and 16 weeks was when she really started feeling less nauseous. Thank goodness!

Went to the psychiatrist on Friday. He said other than some heightened anxiety, he thought I seemed to be doing very well. And unfortunately heightened anxiety is a fact of life when I'm off my medication. Thankfully, I seem to be able to manage it at the moment. He doesn't see a need to see me for 6 weeks which is a good sign. He said that I might just be one of those lucky ones that find the heightened hormones from pregnancy actually help balance them out. We'll, see. Again we discussed the one week rule. Any drastic swings (up or down) that last for more than a week need to be reported to him. I did ask him about Postpartum Depression and whether I was at a higher risk because of my history. He said that because PPD is different than the chemical imbalance I have, I was at no higher risk than anyone else. But one of the positive things about having a depressive disorder is being familiar with the symptoms, I will see the signs of major depression a lot faster than someone who has never experienced it before and we already know what medication works for me. Unfortunately, that will mean I cannot breastfeed anymore which is very important to me, so we will just have to weigh the pros and cons at that time. But for now, I'm thankful for the sanity I seem to be managing to hold onto.

Jay is doing well. Settling in more and more to the idea of being a daddy. I think he's still scared out of his mind, but he's very excited too. He loves to rub my belly and talk to the baby. He always includes the baby when he tells me he loves me/us. I think he's a little jealous sometimes that I get to spend all day with the baby. I know he'll feel that way when I start feeling the baby moving more.

My next appointment with the Midwife is two weeks from Friday. It should be pretty uneventful, so Jay is going to skip it. My mom is going to come with me though, so that she can hear the heartbeat first hand. I am still very tempted to get a home doppler so I can listen to the heartbeat all the time, but I know in just a couple of weeks the baby will be moving and I'll be able to connect with him that way. Also, I've heard and the midwife confirmed that the noise from the dopplers and unltrasound machines doesn't sound good to the babies. When they get bigger you can see them moving around in the belly to get away from the doppler. So, I guess it's probably better that I don't get one.

Monday is my birthday, and I'm so excited to be sharing it with my Butter Bean, even if it means I won't be partying it up to make up for my not-so-awesome 30th birthday last year. Jay keeps asking me what I want for my birthday and I keep thinking that this little baby is by far the best gift I've ever gotten. Of course I didn't tell him that but instead told him I wanted a Very Bradley messenger bag that I can use as a diaper bag when the baby gets here, but still. ;-) Hehe. Here it is if anyone is interested. And I know you are!

That is one of Vera's newest prints titled Sittin' in a Tree and I already have the matching wallet. Still not exactly sure what we're going to do to celebrate on Monday but as my present my mom is taking me to the beach in a couple of weeks. It's just going to be a quick day trip but my childhood BFF is going with us and my bestie will meet up with us on the way down there! I can't wait! I can't think of a better gift than time spent with some of my favorite women and a look at the Atlantic ocean... and lunch in Calabash, SC home of Calabash shrimp! Woohoo! Can't wait.
Hope everyone is having a great week so far! I'll be taking a belly shot after work and will upload that later. Have a great day!