18w, 3d – 19w,4d to go.

I am officially nesting.

I think the instinct kicked in before Christmas, but I was too sick for the first half of this “vacation” to do anything about it. (I got 9 days off work for the holiday – my Christmas “bonus” from the company.) So yesterday, finally feeling better, I kicked it into high gear and started working on the nursery.

Now, the room where the nursery will be has served many purposes over the year and a half we have lived here. It’s been a storage room, a closet, a dumping ground for randomness, and an office. The office has been deconstructed, leaving just the piles of mess behind. It was so bad, at one point we just closed the door so we wouldn’t have to look at it anymore.

But, yesterday, I went in there and dug in, digging through the mess and throwing way all sorts of stuff. I got about half done. By this, I mean I picked up everything I determined to be trash, threw it away, and shoved everything else on one side of the room, so it looks half clean.

I then spent about 45 minutes and about six gallons of carpet cleaner getting stains and stickyness out of the carpet. (At one point, when the room was an office, and when Rudy was a kitten, he pulled a huge glass of orange juice off my desk, and we had no steam cleaner at the time to clean it up, so it left the carpet stained and sticky.) That half of the room looks phenomenal now. The carpet looks as if it had never been touched. It is incredible.

The other half of the room still looks like a bomb hit it, but at least I feel better about it.

We also put together the toy chest that we got for Christmas from the baby’s great-grandma, and threw a bunch of toys in it (mostly toys that had been mine, but that I’m passing onto the baby – including my Lolly and Bear Bear – my first doll and teddy bear. I just hope the little guy/girl takes good care of them so he/she can pass them down to my grandbabies.) So, one part of the room officially looks like a baby’s room.

The rest of the room, in theory, should not take too much time or effort. The biggest part of it all is going to be the closet. The baby is getting a very large walk-in closet that has served as a hiding place for my dirty little secret – I am the world’s worst pack-rat. I cannot bear to part with anything, so the whole weeding out what we literally DON’T need and keeping what we DO need has been difficult. But, I’ve made progress. At one point, the closet was so full that you had to shove really hard to get the door open. It’s not that way anymore.

I imagine that sometime within the next month (Yes, month), that room should start to look habitable again. I had a goal of having it done in nine days, but that just didn’t work out.

I took some “before” pictures of the nursery to compare and contrast to the “after” pictures, but I’ll save everything for when the job is actually done. (Minus all the furniture, but we’ll save taking pictures of that for the days leading up to baby jellybean’s arrival.)

That’s the latest and greatest in baby news from here. Hope everyone’s Christmas and New Years are fantastic!

16w6d – 23w1d to go

Kick, kick, kick!

That is what has been going on all morning – more when I sit down (I think the baby likes it when I move around and gets mad when I’m sitting)! He/she is in there just going pop, pop, poppoppoppoppoppoppoppoppoppoppop. It is a WAY weird feeling but very cool all at the same time. Very different from the subtle movements I had been feeling.

Things are still going well, otherwise. I could complain about the horrible sciatic pain and headaches I’ve been having, but I won’t. I’m just happy the little one is happy and healthy in there.

Speaking of that, we were out and about this weekend and came across two amazing new moms! The first was Scott’s co-worker’s wife, who had a baby girl two weeks ago and was at the company Christmas party dancing up a storm! I haven’t even had the baby yet and I sure didn’t feel like dancing (my being an idiot and wearing high heels to the party sure didn’t help in that respect). All I could think when I watched her dancing was – WOW! I sure hope that I feel that good two weeks after having the baby! She looked fantastic and was out having a good time – they even stayed later than we did!

The next day, we’re out and about doing our Christmas shopping, when we ran into Cristy (our wedding photographer/friend) and her family…including her brand new baby girl, Camdyn, who was just over 24 hours old at that point. Wow again! I think that’s so brave and amazing to go through birth and still be strong enough to get up and do what you need to do the next day. The baby is beautiful, and Cristy looked amazing. Congrats and kudos to the whole family!! I hope to be that strong for my family and child.

That’s the news report from here – lunch is over, and I’ve got a meeting to attend to so I am going to stop here.

16w1d – 23w6d to go

16 week appointment – DONE!

My appointment today was with nurse Diane again. She’s so wonderful and upbeat, I always leave there feeling excited, even on days like today where I wake up not feeling so hot, and run into closed roads and overturned vehicles that make me 20 minutes late for my appointment (and, they still saw me on time – I waited literally three minutes in the lobby).

Baby’s heartbeat was SO strong today! Even Diane remarked something like, “Wow, that’s really good!” She didn’t comment today on the exact heart rate but since she said it was strong, I’m not worried.

Only problem today was (again) the blood pressure…at first take it was 149/89. So they took it FOUR MORE TIMES. The last two were at the end of my appointment – Diane made me sit in a quiet room with a magazine and just “chill” just in case it was because I was worked up over the traffic and running late (which was true). After resting for about five minutes and just taking some deep breaths, it was down to a much closer to normal 133/79 (they took it once in each arm). Still a tad high, but much improved. I am going to step it up with the diet/exercise, though, just because I really want to avoid the preeclampsia (plus, high blood pressure is no good anyway!)

We also went over my lab results from the six vials of blood they took last time! Everything came out good EXCEPT…I have no immunity to varicella (chicken pox). I’ve never had it, but I had been exposed many, many times in childhood. She warned me to stay clear of anyone who MIGHT get chicken pox since it’s dangerous in adulthood to begin with – even worse when you’re pregnant. I imagine the baby will get the vaccine and so will I after he/she is born.

So….what’s next? The next appointment is the “big ultrasound” – the 20 week anatomy examination and 3d view of the baby! I am so excited – I get to see my little baby’s face in four weeks! I’ll get to see his/her cute little chubby cheeks and button nose and all around adorableness! This would also be where, if we wanted, we could find out if the baby is a boy or a girl…but we’re not finding out. Just getting to see cute little chubby cheekers is exciting enough for me!

Well, my 2pm appointment is early, so I’m out!

15w1d – 24w6d to go!

Got a call back from Cheryl (the genetic counselor) at Dr. Fuentes’ office today.

She actually left me a voicemail last night about my first trimester screening results. I tried to give her a call back about three minutes after her call, but got the office’s answering service. (The answering service lady was quite rude, by the way!) But, I wasn’t too concerned, Cheryl’s voicemail said that it was good news!

And it was!
Down’s Syndrome risk: less than 1 in 10,000
Edward’s Syndrome risk: less than 1 in 10,000

Both of these, she says, is the best score you can get on the tests. I’ve got a healthy little guy (or girl)! Next step will be getting the AFP test done at my next appointment (next week) which tests for Spina Bifida.

Let’s hope that is good news, too!

14w6d – 25w1d to go!

In other somewhat related news, the daddy-to-be just sent me a lovely bouquet of flowers (forgive my somewhat messy desk, and the crappy cell phone quality picture).

Also, I posted the following in my personal journal the other day, but I thought it would be a good post for the baby journal as well.

Things I have learned about pregnancy (in the first trimester):

– Chances are, you know your body better than your doctor – but still, keep an open mind.

– Nothing beats a doctor who will take time to answer your many questions and concerns. If he/she rushes you out with unanswered questions, find a new doctor. You (and/or your insurance) are paying them to take care of you and your baby.

– Never, ever, ever, ever ever ever ever ever EVER google the word “miscarriage”. And I mean never. Not even if you have the worst pain imaginable and you’re certain the end is near. If you’re worried, call your doctor, and assume the best until told otherwise. It happens, and it’s painfully sad, but the odds are in your favor.

– Along those lines, take caution with pregnancy message boards. In some respects, they are full of women with great advice, but also, they are full of women with well-intentioned bad advice. They also have a larger percentage of women with “problem pregnancies” which makes it seem like the odds of having a healthy pregnancy are less than they are in the general population. (Misery loves company!)

– Whether or not your pregnancy was planned, people will ask you the dreaded “Was it planned?” question. Get over it now so you won’t be offended when someone does ask.

– Also, whether or not your pregnancy was planned, you will question yourself over and over again if your decision to have a baby was the right one. It doesn’t mean you’re going to be a bad parent – it means that you’re a human being with human emotions. It’s normal to be nervous about something that is life changing. (Nobody questions a nervous bride – why question a nervous mom-to-be?)

– Some days will be worse than others. Your pregnancy symptoms will wax and wane on a daily basis and it doesn’t mean anything is wrong. (Again, if you’re nervous – CALL YOUR DOCTOR. Google = bad in these instances.)

– Don’t believe everything you read in pregnancy books. You might get morning sickness. You might not (I didn’t). You might gain 10 pounds in the first five weeks, you might lose 20 (I didn’t). The only normal pregnancy symptom is a growing embryo/fetus. Everything else varies from woman to woman, and pregnancy to pregnancy. (I fully expected to be a vomiting nut case – I never threw up.)

– Keep the emotions of the father-to-be in mind, but don’t expect his to be the same as yours. It’s normal for men to be ambivalent/indifferent until they see evidence of the baby (when they feel it kick, or when it’s actually born). So don’t freak out on the daddy-to-be if he doesn’t cry over a cute pair of baby booties.

– Tell your family and your employer whenever YOU’RE ready. If you want to wait until 2nd trimester, go for it. If you don’t, tell sooner. We told our families at four weeks and our bosses at five weeks. I can’t imagine if I had waited longer to tell my employer – it’s been great and everyone has been understanding (it’s like having a third family!) Only you know what’s right for your situation.

– Some days you will really wish that you weren’t pregnant. Not that it’s a miserable experience, but sometimes the baby seems like a parasite (it is!). Sometimes you will just want your body back and not share it with this other growing human. Again, this is normal. (But also normal if you never feel this way).

– Take all advice you get with a grain of salt (even mine, on this list!) Every woman’s experience is different – and every woman’s experience may vary with each pregnancy.

– Don’t rush it, because you may never get to go through it again. 🙂 (This may be a blessing or a curse! It’s up to you!)

14w2d – 25w5d to go!

I’ve officially become a sappy mom-to-be. I ordered an ornament (customized with our names, of course) earlier this week with a pregnant bear and her husband on it. A woman on one of the baby message boards I’ve been frequenting shared it, and my pregnancy hormones just kicked in and got all sorts of sentimental. I’m expecting that it should be arriving within the next few days.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned anything about this earlier, but I discovered that I am most definitely starting to look pregnant. At this point, it’s hard to distinguish whether or not I’ve gained weight (I haven’t) or if it’s baby…and at this point, it’s safe to say that it’s baby! Kind of exciting.

Also, I started feeling a couple of little tiny flutters a few days ago. They usually hit shortly after lunch, or once I’m settling into to sleep. It only lasts a second, but it’s a really cool feeling. It kind of tickles!

Next baby appointment is: December 13. I can’t believe it’s almost here!!

13w4d – 26w2d to go!

We went for the NT (nuchal translucency) scan today. This is the ultrasound that measures the nasal bone and nuchal fold to determine the risk of Down’s Syndrome and Trisomy 18 (Edward’s Syndrome). Everything so far has measured normal. The nuchal fold measured 1.25mm, which is well within the normal range, and the tech did not seem concerned at all about the nasal bone. She said everything looked good and healthy.

I have to tell you, though, this kid has already got a sense of humor and a fighting spirit. He (or she – I’ll just say “he” for the sake of simplicity) had worked himself into a very awkward position. Imagine standing on your neck….inverted, with your feet up against the wall. That was the position he had worked himself into for a good portion of the exam! The tech kept pushing on him with the camera, trying to work him into a proper position, and every time she pushed down to get him to move, he pushed back with his little hands! It was like he was saying, “Hey crazy lady, stop pushing on me!” It was so cute; I was dying trying to avoid laughing because he was just moving around like crazy, and I wanted him to calm down and get into a good position for the scan! Eventually, he worked his way flat again, and she jumped in and got the scan as quick as she could!

The tech also commented on how active he is. He was bouncing, squirming, shaking his fist, kicking his legs, even did a little backflip and switched positions (you’ll notice that he’s facing one way in one picture, and another in the other two!) He was ALL OVER the place. I’m growing a miniature athlete!

She also had trouble getting the nasal bone because he kept sticking his thumb in his mouth…which I thought was adorable.

It was just amazing to see that what was just a 2mm dot on my first ultrasound at five weeks is now person-shaped (and 7.48 centimeters!) and even has little hands…at one point he stretched his fingers out, and I saw a definite “hand” – he’s got long fingers! He still measures right on time – according to my due date, I should be 13 weeks, four days today, and sure enough, he measured 13 weeks, four days. So we are right on par for a May 29th due date.

The heartbeat was still good today. 158 beats per minute. Still sounds like a boy to me!

Speaking of that – we have said all along that we DO NOT want to know the sex of the baby, but the tech took a moment today to examine his legs and showed me where both of them were. He (or she!) would have been in a good position to see “it” but there was nothing to see yet. Not that I want to see it. But now I know the baby has two perfectly formed legs, and I can look away.

12w1d – 27w6d to go

Today’s appointment went well.

A couple of disappointing things from the appointment:

1. No ultrasound today! I was sure they were going to do one, and SO looking forward to it. But they didn’t.

2. Found out that my doctor’s office doesn’t deliver at Winnie Palmer…where I had hoped I would be delivering.

3. I had to have SIX VIALS OF BLOOD taken. I’m still a tad woozy. The nurse also said that the blood took a long time to come out, so it took about 15 minutes to get the six vials of blood.

4. My blood pressure was a little high. They took it twice just to be sure. It was 149/90 the first time, and then an hour later it was 139/88. (The first time I was upset because Mr Dad got lost and he kind of got snippy with me on the phone when I was trying to help him…so that probably contributed.) Either way, it’s a tad high, so it’s time to start working out more and eating better to get it to come down.

5. They lost my pap smear results from June, so I had to go through the unpleasant procedure of having it done again. (The nurse said I only had a pelvic exam with no pap, but I KNOW they did it for sure, 100% without a doubt.)

Good things this appointment:

1. They used the Doppler to hear the baby’s heartbeat. 150 bpm! If the old wives tale about gender and heart rate is correct (low for a boy, high for a girl), we’re looking at a boy! (HR at 12 weeks is between 140 and 170…150 puts it at the lower end)

2. The nurse practitioner (Diane) is very kind. If it weren’t for how wonderful everyone in this group is, I would consider switching so that I could deliver at Winnie Palmer…but you can’t beat getting excellent medical care.

3. I asked about natural childbirth because my sister mentioned that some doctors won’t work with you if you don’t get pain medication. Diane said they actually encourage it and that she had five babies without medication. So that was a checkmark in the positive column for me.

4. She told me to stop watching baby shows (more a plus for Mr Dad than me! haha) and that I don’t need to take the extra folic acid I have been…there’s enough in my prenatal. Yay for taking one less pill every night!

5. They deliver at Winter Park Hospital, which is 5 minutes from work (yay waiting til I go into labor to stop working!) and has facilities that are comparable to Winnie Palmer…so it’s not such a let down (Mr Dad will just have to sleep on a couch instead of a murphy bed…hehe)

6. They gave me a free baby calendar, which is nice because I messed up the one I bought back in September. 🙂

7. Diane directed me to her email address and said I can send her any questions by email, and she gets back to you quickly. (Apparently the doctors aren’t very good about following up via email, but she promised that she is).

Aside from all these pros/cons for today, I got a lot of information about tests and screenings. I have the NT scan scheduled for November 26 – that’s definitely another ultrasound, plus it will be the reassurance that I need that the baby is healthy and doesn’t have down’s syndrome or trisomy 18. Both are extremely rare for babies of moms my age, but still worth testing for in my opinion…especially since UHC picks up the bill! So, November 26, we will see a baby again!

The next appointment with my regular doctor will be on December 14…not sure what that one will entail (hopefully an ultrasound!) other than more screening tests (cystic fibrosis, AFP, blood type for RH status, and so on). Then at about 20 weeks, we’ll have the level 2 ultrasound, where I’ll have to avoid looking the whole time, so I don’t see what gender the baby is!

So, that’s the eager update for this week! I’m psyched about the NT scan…what a great post-Thanksgiving appointment!

10w5d – 30w1d to go!

Today I learned a valuable lesson.

When you’re pregnant, you get HUNGRY. During my non-pregnant days, I could get hungry and put it on hold until it was convenient for me to go eat. It DOES NOT WORK THIS WAY WHEN YOU’RE PREGNANT.

I got hungry for lunch around 12 today, but decided to put it off, get a head start on my afternoon work, and wait until Danielle (my work friend) was ready to go. At about 12:45 we were both ready, and we headed to Whole Foods to hit the soup/salad bar.

Mind you, I had a fairly substantial breakfast. I had a nice big bowl of Kashi Cinnamon Harvest cereal with a cup of milk, and some apple juice. I also drank a nice big glass of water with a slice of lemon (my new “thing” this week). By all rights, I had covered my bases – carbs, protein, maybe a little high on the sugar (apple juice) but it should have stuck with me for awhile (I ate breakfast at 10 am).

So we go to Whole Foods, and get our food – I got a salad, some arroz con pollo (it was cooked in curry and smelled AMAZING), a couple cajun potatoes, a half piece of turkey lasagna, a half cup of chicken soup, and a small baguette (it sounds like a lot, but the hot foods were really just a “taste” – I filled 3/4 of that box with salad!).

Then we pay, and get in the car and I get to feeling downright nauseous. Not to the point where I thought I’d puke (I would have hated doing that in Danielle’s truck!) but I just felt icky. When we got back to work, I cracked open the soup and unwrapped the baguette.

And that’s when I noticed that I COULDN’T hold my hands still. I guess I waited way too long to eat and my blood sugar PLUMMETED. I dipped the bread in the soup and it was just splattering everywhere because my hands were so shaky.

So, I took it slow, and thankfully that bread (and it’s yummy yummy carbs) brought my blood sugar back to a normal level.

Lesson learned here: PREGNANT LADIES MUST NOT WAIT TO EAT WHEN THEY FEEL HUNGRY.

Having said that – it’s time to cook dinner before I re-live this lunch experience all over again.

10w0d – 30 weeks to go!

The big news of today – we’re TEN weeks pregnant! Double digits AND 1/4 through this pregnancy.

I’m excited because this means that we’re closer to being out of the first trimester, and closer to being under 200 days (211 days left right now).

Everything has gone by the wayside the past week. I’ve been so exhausted that I have let a lot of things go. Haven’t answered emails, haven’t cleaned up the “nursery” (we moved some stuff around, which just made it messier). Haven’t been sleeping as much as I should, even though I am exhausted.

On the agenda for tomorrow: work, exercise, and then catch up on emails.

Next appointment: November 15. 9:15 am. Just over two weeks to go!

I also think I’m starting to get a teeny tiny “baby bump”. I’m a chunky lady in general, but something down there definitely feels bigger – but firm 🙂

Found out a few days ago that my friend Michelle is also pregnant, and maybe even a little bit ahead of me. She already has one (beautiful) daughter, so it will be nice to have someone to share the experience with who has already been there.

That’s really it – just wanted to get a few brief thoughts out. I’m tired so this really isn’t as articulate as I’d like.