Tuesday, September 15, 2009

20 Weeks!

Woohoo, finally an update in a timely manner!

First things first...things are going well! I can feel little thumps when I rest my hand on my belly, but the kicks are so sporadic that Eric hasn't felt it yet.

Now for the exciting news...we had the BIG ultrasound today. You know, the one where they measure everything and look at all the organs to make sure everything is developing at the same rate and that there aren't any unwanted holes or limbs. There's one brain, two eyes, two kidneys, two legs, and the spine is curved in all the right places. Peanut is measuring at about 19 weeks (that's still the 50th percentile) - Alex was on the small side as well, and as long as it's within a week or so, it's still considered normal! He's about 12 oz at this point :)

Oh, and did I mention it's a boy? I had another dream last night that it was a boy, and I think deep down I knew that he was a boy, no matter how hard I wished for a girl! Any disappointment was short lived - after all, a healthy baby is really all a parent can ask for! Plus, I think Alex would really like a little brother, and we have pretty much everything we need already. Maybe we'll just have to try again for that girl in a few years :)

Unfortunately, the CD they gave us doesn't work, so we have to make do with the few pictures they printed out for us.

Here we go...it's a boy! Not quite as clear as Alex's display of manhood, but we trust that the ultrasound technician knew what she was looking at!

Here's our little Skeletor, heehee! Alex thought he looks a bit like a dinosaur.

And the heartbeat is a healthy 150 beats per minute, just like Alex's was! It's always a relief to hear that whooshing noise :)

There's one concern - they were only able to see one blood vessel in the umbilical cord and there are supposed to be two. While this is a soft marker for Down Syndrome or other chromosomal abnormalities, the doctor is confident that it's nothing to worry about, especially when you consider that it's the only marker and everything else looks like it should. However, to be on the safe side, they're sending us to a different office (with newer machinery) for another level 2 ultrasound in the next couple of weeks. There's a good chance that they just weren't able to see it due to the angle. And even if there is just one vessel, there's still an excellent chance that he'll be born without any problems.

But in the meantime, the only thing we're worrying about is picking a name! If you have any suggestions, please send them in for consideration :)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

14-19 weeks!

Wow, I totally could have sworn that I did another update before going on vacation, but I guess not! Yikes, I'm getting bad at this! I have, at least, been good about taking pictures every week!

At least there hasn't been too much to update...

14 Weeks...

15 Weeks, and officially not fitting into my clothes already! Most maternity bottoms are still too big, but many of the shirts are just right. Of course, many are meant for bigger bellies, but for the most part, my usual clothes are out!

Two friends and I all bought Intelligender tests - they're basically a glorified Drano test! You insert a bit of urine into their special container with the special formula in it, swirl it good, then wait ten minutes. Then you compare the color it turns with the chart given to determine if it'll be a boy or a girl! It allegedly has an 83% accuracy rate...so we'll see if it was right or not at our BIG ultrasound! Oh, and for those of you playing the home game, it said girl :) All the old wives tales point to a girl as well...so my guess is boy!

16 Weeks...after one week's worth of ice cream...

17 Weeks...two weeks of ice cream - boy, does that make a belly pop!

18 Weeks: back in the good old U.S. of A...only 4 lbs heavier...(And to think, I usually come back from Germany 7-10 lbs heavier!) I had a doctor's appointment the day after we got back, and she was pleased with how things were going. Peanut's heartbeat was right around 140, which is great! They drew blood for the quadruple screening - testing for Down Syndrome, Trisomy 18, neural defects, and other chromosomal abnormalities. Between my age and health, the risks are low, but the reassurance of a negative is still nice - and it did come back negative!

We ended the week with a last minute trip to Alabama for Uncle Jim's memorial service. I felt the first proper kick in the car on the way home on Sunday! It was just a little thump, but it was a kick!

19 Weeks...Peanut continues to thump a little bit, and wiggles most when my legs are tucked up - probably in protest to being squished! It's getting much harder to lay on my stomach, but if I angle myself just right, it still works :) I've gained a total of about 8-10 lbs so far, which is just about right on target.

Next week, we go in for the BIG ultrasound (Tuesday at 2 pm, for those of you who are keeping track :)...they'll do all the measurements to make sure that everything is growing the way it should and that there aren't any holes in places there shouldn't be holes, and hopefully, assuming Peanut cooperates, we'll find out if it's a girl Peanut or a boy Peanut! We have a good girl name picked out (Charlotte), but are completely and utterly lost on boy names...so bring on any suggetions!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

12-13 weeks!

Alas, another 2-in-1 week, but it's better than nothing, right? The top picture is 12 weeks, while the second is 13 :) As you can see, my tummy has grown enough that I look pudgy, but not enough that I looks pregnant...I'm definitely ready to get past the "pudgy" phase!

We have officially entered the second trimester! It's a relief knowing we made it this far, and that it's a third of the way over and done with!

On the bright side, that means that the fatigue and nausea are REALLY subsiding! On the down side, the heartburn is kicking with with a vengeance! I'm going to need to buy stock in Tums and Rolaids at the rate this heartburn is going...the kicker is that I'm fine all day long, but as soon as 5 rolls around, it hits. And of course it hits hard! I can take Zantac too, which helps on those really bad days.

In really exciting news, we went to the doctor's on Monday for another visit and ultrasound. She was really pleased with everything, and even told me I have a pretty placenta! I suppose that as far as placentas go, it's a nice one, but I wouldn't go so far as to say it's pretty :)

They took the nuchal measurement, which is where they measure the thickness of the back of the neck to check for chromosomal abnormalities such as Down Syndrome. It's not 100% or anything, but can be an indicator. It looked fine, though, so at least that's one less thing to worry about! They'll most likely still do a blood test to rule out some other possible complications as well.

The ultrasound was amazing, as usual! Alex got very excited about the "monster". I suppose that when you see the baby face first, they do all look a little bit like monsters and aliens! We told him that no, that wasn't a monster, it was the baby and he nodded understandingly, got up, walked over, poked me in the belly, and said, "oh, baby!"

Peanut was napping at first, but woke up after a few minutes and started dancing and jumping all around! I pointed it out and Alex started dancing and jumping around as well :)

Perhaps the most exciting part was realizing that I've actually been feeling Peanut dance! I'd been having little flutters and thumps here and there, but not really anything super significant...not enough to make me think it was anything other than my insides squirming around. However, I saw Peanut jump at the exact time I felt one of the little flutter thumps, so that at least pinpointed what I was feeling :) Ever since, Peanut has been incredibly active! It's such an awesome feeling - feeling Alex move around was definitely my favorite part of being pregnant with him, and I'm looking forward to those "real" thumps with Peanut as well!

The ultrasound technician had a student with her, so she got to play around while the tech wrote up her report, and Alex and I got to see Peanut a little bit longer.

The heartbeat is a healthy 162 beats per minute - according to old wives tales, a heartbeat over 150 means that it's a girl...but Alex's was in the 150s and he is most certainly not a girl :)

A front view of the alien baby!

Here's a side view, complete with crossed ankles! Peanut was waving at us as well :)

By now, Peanut has a well defined chin and a nose, as well as fingerprints, toenails, and fingernails! Bone is starting to replace cartilage, and she is about 3" long and 1 ounce. She'll quadruple in size in the next month or so!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

10-11 Weeks!

And so it begins...I'm getting lazy already! It's just so easy to get distracted and forget to post anything! The top picture is 10 weeks, and the second is 11 :)

The past two weeks have been rather easy. The nausea is pretty much passed, but I do get a little queasy around bed time. I think that's mostly from not eating much between dinner and bed, so as long as I get some crackers or something in my belly, I seem to be fine!

The cravings are getting more frequent and more random. I've been dreaming of Samoas, but due to the Girl Scout cookie schedule, they are completely unavailable! However, I have a friend trying to track down a box or two for me...I will party if and when I get those!

I'm craving more and more sweets - nothing specific, just sweets in general. They say that indicates a girl, so we'll see if that old wives tale stands true!

The fatigue is really easing up as well, which makes me VERY happy! There's still a level of tiredness, but it's nowhere near how bad it was before. I can make it through the day without a nap, anyway, and can make it through at least one full chapter of a book before bed!

The nesting instinct is starting to hit hard. Wednesday night, I got a deep burning need to clean the kitchen at about 11 pm! My super sniffer kept smelling something stinky in the living room. It wasn't really anything foul, it just smelled like not enough vacuuming and not enough dog brushing. I sprinkled two jumbo boxes of baking soda in the living room and vacuumed the next morning. It smelled better, but I could still smell something! So then when I cleaned the kitchen the next night (and boy, did it need it!), it seemed to get the remaining odor away, and my nose has been happy ever since :) So between the renewed energy and the nesting, the house may actually stay in some semblance of order from now on! I'm not getting my hopes up, but a girl can dream, right?

And of course, here's the weekly "my baby this week" update :)

As of 10 weeks, the baby is no longer an embryo - it's officially a fetus! It's still growing, and is starting to move. Fingerprints are beginning to form! She or he is about the size of a strawberry.

As of 11 weeks, the baby is growing its teeth buds and taste buds - and it can swallow! If it's a boy, he's already starting to produce testosterone...it really does start early, doesn't it?? A girl would be growing almost 2 million eggs in her ovaries (it'll drop down to about 1 million by birth, then a mere 200,000 by the time she's in her late teens).

Friday, July 3, 2009

9 weeks!

It's so hard to believe it's been 2 months already! The nausea seems to have pretty much completely subsided. Now I'm just hungry all the time!

I've started getting cravings now...first eggs (especially soft boiled, which I'm sure are not advised since they're not thoroughly cooked!), now cheese dip. You know, like the plastic cheese dip you get from Taco Bell with your nachos! Wendy's makes the best chili, chips, and cheese, so I've been eating that a bit more often than I care to admit. Fruit has also been at the top of my "foods to have" list! I found white peaches on sale the other day, and worked my way through those rather quickly. Fruit smoothies are awesome too - I find them on sale and stock up! The really thick ones are the best ones though - like the Boathouse and Odwalla ones. Yum! If I weren't so lazy, I'd make my own....

My clothes are all getting tighter, and I've finally (yay?) started gaining weight. Granted, my weight has always fluctuated 2-3 pounds, but it's higher than it's been in a long time. Fortunately, we live in SC where I can live in sun dresses all summer long!

I remember being absolutely fascinated with reading about how Alex was developing each week, so I'm going to do that with this little peanut as well. It's really just mind blowing how a perfect little person is growing in my belly! This week, she or he is starting to look more like a person...just look! Little fingers and little toes are already formed, and she or he's about the size of a strawberry. The baby can already move enough that an ultrasound could see her or him dancing :)

A human embryo at 7 weeks gestation (Image: Ralph Hutchings / Visuals Unlimited / Getty)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

8 weeks!

Here we are...almost a full month after finding out that our family was expanding by two feet (fortunately, only two feet!) Things are still going as well as can be expected, and life is good.

I finally figured out how to describe the nausea/hunger problems....it's like a hangover. You know, where most things make you a bit queasy, but you know you need to eat. So I basically feel like I've had a month long hangover at this point :) In general, though, it's getting better. The nausea is giving way to constant hunger. If I don't eat often enough, I get queasy. So it's an ugly cycle. And most foods are still not appealing. The thought of chicken repulses me, but I've been thinking about bacon a lot lately! Mmmm....bacon....

I haven't gained any weight yet, and my tummy seems to be about the same as it has been - but after a nice big meal, there is definitely a belly there!

The fatigue comes and goes. Some days I need a 2-3 hour nap, others I'm fine all day long (but am ready for bed by 10 pm at the latest!). I did actually sit down and scrap a page last night, though, and really enjoyed that! It felt good to be enjoying my hobby again. Hopefully, I'll be able to get some more scrapping time squeezed in soon - I'm just looking forward to this initial period of blah being over and done with!

And just for fun...the baby is about ½ inch long, its heart has four chambers, it's growing fingers and toes, its brain and nervous system are starting to develop, and its eyes, ears, jaws, lungs, stomach, intestines, and liver are starting to form.

This is what it probably looks like...sort of like a half-manatee, half-human...

fetal development at 6 weeks

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

7 weeks...and an ultrasound!

We had our first doctor's visit yesterday. As soon as we saw that little peanut on the screen and heard that heartbeat, a massive weight was lifted off my shoulders. I forgot what a magical sound that heartbeat is! It was just such a relief to know that everything was okay. We go back for our next visit at 12 weeks, July 27th.

Based on the size, the due date has been recalculated to be Feb 1st, 2010. That's the day after Roy's birthday, and the day before Sue's! But since Alex was late, I'm guessing this little one will be late as well :)

Overall, I'm feeling pretty good. The fatigue is subsiding (just a little bit!), as is the nausea. Of course, I still need to eat several times a day to keep the nausea at bay.

I haven't really had any exciting or interesting cravings. I did feel the need for pot roast a couple of days ago (I tried to get some, but got the wrong thing so it just didn't work out!), and I've been craving fresh tortilla chips...not the kind from the store, the kind you get at a Mexican restaurant :) And I've been plenty thirsty as well. Most foods are still unappealing, but granola bars are always a great stand by. I remember eating lots of granola bars with Alex as well - they're enough to tide you over and get the queasiness out of the way!

The doctor had some very reassuring things to say - based on the heartbeat, the chance of miscarriage has dropped to .5%. So of course it can still happen, but it's much less likely. Hitting the 12 week point will be a great relief, as will once the baby starts moving! But for now, we're taking it one day at a time.

Dr. Morton is the same doctor who delivered Alex, but she has since moved to a different practice, and subsequently, a different hospital. This baby will be delivered at Lexington Medical Center, as opposed to Palmetto Baptist downtown. We don't have to deal with downtown, which is a definite bonus, and, from the sounds of it, Lexington is a lot more progressive and open minded when it comes to birth. They have birthing balls, and offer doulas free of charge (Baptist charges up to $800 for one!), which is definitely something that will be worth looking into. A doula is basically a labor coach - they don't do anything medical, but help ease labor through techniques such as breathing and shifting positions. Doula-assisted births tend to have a reduction in the duration of labor, less use of pain relief medications, and in many studies a reduction in caesarian deliveries. Now, I'm not saying I'm against drugs (because that epidural was a wonderful thing!) but I do like the idea of doing things a bit more naturally this time around - like trying the other natural pain relief techniques before going for the drugs. But there's still at least 7 months before those decisions have to be made!

Now, on to more exciting things....here is Peanut's first photo shoot!

Measuring baby...Peanut is about 10.6 cm long, crown to rump.

Baby's heartbeat...a healthy 140 beats per minute!

Baby belly at 7 weeks, 2 days

And just for fun...this is what the baby looks like about now. Amazing how that'll turn into a real person! (picture from Wikipedia)

6 weeks!

Well, we're six weeks in and I'm feeling good! My main issues now are fatigue and queasiness. Luckily, I've managed to be able to squeeze in naps almost every day. There's also some light dizziness, but only if I'm sitting up for too long. As for the queasiness, I'm pretty sure that it's just caused by not eating often enough...and the reason I'm not eating often enough is because most of the time, the thought of food makes me queasy! So it's an ugly cycle. I'm finding that I'm having a bit of an aversion to meat, mainly chicken.

Alex decided to help with week 6's picture!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

5 weeks...

We're 5 weeks in now, and feeling good! I think this is right about the time I found out with Alex...it was either 5 or 6 weeks, I can't quite remember.

The fatigue is definitely starting to kick in! I wake up in the morning and am already exhausted. Napping, of course, is difficult when Alex wants to get into everything.

There's not much nausea to speak of, but I do get a bit woozy when I don't eat often enough. There's a touch of lightheadedness from time to time, and I tend to get a bit irritable - and of course, it's those days that Alex decides to act up!

My tummy is getting a bit bigger as well, and my poor chest is already twice the size it normally is. But all in all, I can't complain!

I alternate between starving and the thought of food turning my stomach. No cravings or specific aversions yet!

I get the occasional twinges and cramps, which always make me crazy nervous, even though I know there's nothing to worry about. But since I know two people who have miscarried in the past six months, I can't help but be a little nervous! It's like knowing someone it happened to makes it more real...but since everything went so smoothly with Alex and I'm relatively healthy, I'm sure there won't be any problems!

Our first doctor's appointment is set for June 15th...only a week and a half away! I know that as soon as I see that little bean and hear a heartbeat I'll feel a lot better!

Here's my baby belly at 5 weeks...

And so it begins!

I always thought about 3 years was the perfect difference between kids. Chelsea and I are 2 years, 10 months apart, so when I went to see my doctor in the fall, I mentioned it to her. She recommended having the IUD out at least two to three months before starting to try for another baby, which gave me a lot to think about! We didn't even have to try to get Alex, so I had no idea how to go about this whole process. But it was okay, we still had several months to think about it.

I started to get really nervous at the idea of dealing with Alex AND another child. Did we even want more kids? Did we each have a microscopic chance of having a baby and Alex was that one random fluke? But gradually, the nerves subsided. I figured that it was better to get the IUD out and let everything start getting back to how it was before, and we could take our time and start when we were good and ready. So that's what we did!

Eric and Craig are more than four years apart, so he always thought that was a better gap. We realized that it probably wasn't going to happen as soon as we started trying, so I argued for starting when Alex turned 2. Eric didn't want to start that early, since he wasn't sure if he'd be kept around for Phase 2 of his project at work and wanted to security of knowing before we started trying. So we compromised on starting in April, when Phase 2 was set to start.

I got the IUD out and started on the pill until we were ready to start. However, the pill just wasn't agreeing with me. I'd never had any problem with it before, but I'd also never taken this particular kind before. After two months of misery, I decided I didn't want to be on this one any more, but it wasn't worth it to go back to the doctor to experiment with pills for just a few months. Eric asked me if I was really truly ready for another baby, and by that point, I was 99.9% certain. So we decided to go for it!

We both had high hopes for that first month, February. Alex and I headed to Colorado to visit Gigi for her birthday at the end of the month, and I just *knew* that I would get that positive on her birthday. Alas, the end of the month came and went, and so did negative after negative.

The second month, I again *knew* that this would be the month. We had tried all the different "get pregnant quick" suggestions posted online, and then I started getting all those lovely early pregnancy symptoms that I had with Alex - fatigue, sore breasts, a little bit of queasiness, and random cravings for cilantro, which I absolutely can't stand. But it was another month of disappointment.

The third month, we took a break. A baby conceived in April would have had a due date of early January, and we didn't want to risk a Christmas baby. We didn't really get back into the swing of things the following month, but I was still charting my temperatures - if nothing else, it let me know when my cycle would be ending, since nobody likes that kind of surprise! I was updating my chart when I realized that was my due date. My temperature hadn't dropped yet, like it usually does, so I figured I may as well throw caution to the wind and pee on a stick. I had no symptoms up to that point, so I knew I was just humoring myself. Well, guess my surprise when the faintest line appeared!

Like with Alex's text, I kept going back into the bathroom and looking again, not sure I could believe my eyes. We were heading to the park for a playdate, so I figured I'd take another one when we got home. Yeah, right, like I could wait that long!

So somehow I managed to squeeze out enough pee for TWO more tests, including a digital. Well, the digital ones don't leave much open to interpretation! When I read that beautiful word, I got so excited! I called Eric, then stuffed Alex into a "big brother" shirt we'd bought for a friend as a baby shower gift and headed to the park.

It took about 30 minutes before anyone noticed Alex's shirt! Everyone was very excited...we expected nothing less, of course!

I took another test when we got home, just to double check. It was still positive! I called the doctor to make the first appointment, and thus our adventure began...

I calculated the due date to be February 3rd, based on the charting. The doctor will confirm the date, or give us an updated date! It'll be around then, anyway.

And I'm planning to be MUCH better with taking pictures and documenting the journey than I was with Alex...so as a starting point, here's my baby belly at 4 weeks! I swear, the second line appeared and my belly popped out just a bit :)