Thursday, July 31, 2008

Twenty-Four Weeks

Ack! It's already been another week! I reported a little late last week, so that made this one come much faster. Caleb has gained about 4 ounces since last week! And he's been wiggling away! Sometimes I can feel him move--not kick--just roll around a little. That's kind of a weird feeling. And I definitely feel him above my belly button now, which up until recently he had not resided. The other day, I even saw my belly jump when he kicked!

The glider is here, and it is as lovely as we remembered it being in the store. My Grandma is working on sheets and curtains and a skirt and pillows. That has been the first commitment to the nursery plan that I've made, so we're running with it now! I think it's going to look great. I'm still having a hard time visualizing it all. Hopefully soon we'll start making some changes around the house so it will start coming together.

I don't think I have any more pregnancy signs to report, or any other big purchases that I can remember. Oh, that reminds me, I do think I'm more forgetful. My mind has started blanking out sometimes, and people have asked me to do something at work and I've immediately forgotten it. I hope I haven't forgotten anything important! If you ask me to do something for you, please remind me about it a day or two later, if I still haven't done it. I've always been forgetful, and my general tactic is to do things right away, but sometimes that's not possible. Once again I'm thankful for Jon, who keeps my head on straight!

Speaking of Jon, let me just say that he has been so great lately! I mean, he's always great, but it seems that he's transitioned into a new role lately. We went to a German restaurant yesterday (which is another story altogether). Being German food, it was very heavy, and I ate only about a third of what was on my plate. Even though it was very expensive, Jon apologized and said we'd pick up something for me on the way home. That wasn't necessary at all, but I appreciated that the immediate thought was for my needs and not for the price of my uneaten meal. He's also been quick to help out with Bonnie & Clyde, our little test babies (poor cats). He changes their litter, helps me clip their claws, and takes an active role in their training and upbringing. Sometimes I can see that it's a conscious effort on his part. He would rather not deal with the cats in the middle of the night if I'm already awake to deal with them. But he realizes that it won't be just me dealing with Caleb, and he wants to get ready for that and set the precedent of being involved now.

I've always been amazed at Jon's intentional nature. I can make goals all day, but by the time I've written them down and set the paper aside, I've forgotten. It's only two days later that I think, "Oh! I was supposed to do...." Jon, on the other hand, can make a mental note, and it's there. Any lack of follow-through on his part is another conscious decision. He's always been that way, and I'm grateful to see he's making a decision to handle parenting as a team, with grace and patience, just like he's doing with Bonnie & Clyde.

Note: I added the Week 22 pic to the sidebar! Sadly, we missed the 23 week picture, so we'll take 24 on Saturday (if we remember!).

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Twenty-Three Weeks

The weeks are zooming by! I'm going to make this a quick post this time....

Caleb is 11 inches and just a little over a pound, now! He loves to move, and I feel him all the time!

For me, nothing much new. My belly's a little bigger, my hips still hurt, and that's about all there is to report! I've slept on the couch a couple of times--not through the night, just when I wake up and then can't get comfortable again. The couch isn't really any more comfortable, but at least then I'm not keeping both myself and Jon awake!

I've been working on my registry this week. I have all the big-ticket items, which is really great. Holly went with me to Target the other day, and we got a lot registered for. I still haven't picked out toys--something about that aisle of colors and noises is overwhelming for me--but I think I'm pretty far on the rest of it. However, between Babies R Us and Target, I've gotten things in a bit of a mess by registering for the same thing at both places, and some things are only available online or in stores. Probably not a huge deal, but I'll be working on cleaning it all up this week.

I might cut some things out, too, because I always feel a little indignant when I print off someone's registry and it's 17 pages long. Just how much do they think I'm going to buy them? So I may take off the diapers and other miscellaneous things. Otherwise, I went with the philosophy, "Register for what you want, and if you don't get it, buy what you can afford." So I registered for some things that I probably wouldn't buy for myself, but it sure would be nice to have.

Okay, that's about it. It's past my bedtime and I might turn into a pumpkin. :) I'm trying to do much better about getting enough sleep...we'll see if I do better this week. What am I going to do when I have a kiddo who won't let me sleep more than an hour at a time??

Monday, July 21, 2008

Twenty-Two Weeks

Today is July 21, and Caleb is due November 21. That makes ONLY FOUR MONTHS to prepare! Holy cow! I cannot believe that we're that close.

So, what has happened this week? Well, Caleb has certainly made his appearance! He is 11 inches long and weighs almost a pound! I've now had two people who didn't know, ask me if I was expecting or how far along I was. I'm working on a nice round belly, and am a little nervous about the fact that it should grow quite rapidly all the way to the end. My muscles have felt so tight around my abdomen, it literally hurts to take in a big breath of air and stretch it further. Sneezing has become quite dramatic (or traumatic), first because of the pain and fear of bursting associated with big breaths, and then with the effort to not pee from the force of the sneeze. Yeah, maybe that's TMI, but there it is. Pregnancy.

I have gotten so many goodies from family and friends! I've been taking pictures, but new things keep coming, and it's hard to keep up! So hopefully soon I'll be posting all the new things for Caleb.

Jon and I have picked out our glider, which is uh-ma-zing and comfy. It's big enough for Jon to be comfortable, which was important for us. And my grandparents have wonderfully helped pay for it, which is a big blessing that we'll be enjoying for years to come.

My other grandparents are providing the bedding for the nursery, through the sewing talents of my Grandma. One day, we both went to JoAnn's in our respective towns, and came back with fabric. Grandma came back with exactly what I told her I was looking for, and I came back with something completely different! Haha! I haven't completely made my decision, yet, but I think I'm going to go with what Grandma picked, with the addition of a couple more colors in the form of accents. It's fun to pick out all these things, but still hard for me to visualize since the "nursery" still looks like an "office" to me.

So, along those lines, Jon and I have August 9 on the calendar for the beginning of the Big Shift. Organize the garage to make more room, move the computer(s) to the living room, and everything else to the garage. My parents are coming Labor Day weekend to help us get the nursery together--mostly for my mom to help me organize. So yes, we are cleaning out the garage in August in Texas. I'm voting for a 6am start time so we'll be done by 11, and hopefully it won't hit 100 degrees, yet. I'm also voting for LemonBerry slushes from Sonic to be on tap.

Sheesh, there's so much planning required to have a baby! Besides that, what else is going on?

Oh, my worst fear has come true--my ankles are swelling. I know, you're all thinking, "So...what's the bad part?" I mean, in the spectrum of things that can happen during pregnancy, swollen ankles don't seem so bad, but my ankles are my vanity. I think they're pretty, and now they're swollen. Not bad, yet, but I have more (and hotter) months to come. So sad. It would figure that God had a plan to cure me of my pride.

My hips are still hurting, and--with the help of a friend--I believe I've diagnosed myself with sciatic nerve pain as well. Woohoo! But as long as I'm sitting on a nice cushy chair, I'm okay. Sleeping with hip pain/discomfort hasn't been the greatest, and that's been hard on both Jon and I. I could swear Jon used to be a heavier sleeper than this, but once I'm awake and shifting around, he can't sleep either. He said this morning, "Well...there's more of you to shift, now, and it shakes the whole bed." That's my sweet man. :) I TRY to not move too much, but I end up tossing and turning, which is hard to do when a body pillow (and two cats who have planted themselves on the body pillow) is involved. Okay, so Jon might be right about shaking the bed.... I slept better on Karen's couch over the weekend, and I'm wondering if it's because of the way her couch cushions sink in so nice. I may be moving to the couch (or the soon-to-be-acquired glider!) sooner than I expected!

Well, I think that's enough for today. I've been finding myself getting a little overwhelmed with all the decisions required in the next few months. I can only think about it for a certain period of time, and then I'm done. :) So, after this post of all the things that need to get accomplished, I think I'm finished with baby stuff until this afternoon, at least.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Registry Question

I just realized that I need to be registered in the next month or so, so Jon and I are looking at the books and trying to figure out what we do and don't have. But here's a question for you moms who registered out there: Is there a reason why I need to register at more than one place?

I was initially thinking I'd register at Target and Babies R Us, but if Target has everything I want, I don't want to double up, right? So should I register for everything I can at Target, and then add just what's missing at Babies R Us? Put a full registry together at both in case people just go to one or the other? What do you think?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Pregnancy Picks

I'm just barely over the halfway mark of pregnancy (note the 21-week belly pic in the sidebar!), but I thought I'd post some things I've found most useful thus far.

Water Bottle:
It's important to drink lots of water, so get a bottle that you like, and that makes you happy to use. Also, while some women experience increased saliva, my mouth has actually dried out, and I wake up in the mornings with a sore throat and my tongue stuck to the roof of my mouth, so it's nice to have some water on hand. Pros: Healthy! Cons: Just another thing to carry around.

Trail Mix:
This is for the first trimester. I kept a bag of it by the bed and in my purse. I just mixed peanuts, raisins and pretzels together, and the protein and carbs help keep your stomach calm (and full). Pros: Cheaper than buying a pre-made mix. Cons: The pretzels got stale from the moisture of the raisins.

Bella Band:
I never did a demo of this, but I ended up wearing it almost every day until I graduated to maternity. Pros: The white went with almost everything. I got to wear my normal clothes longer than otherwise. Cons: It extends down to your hips (past the zipper of your pants, if you've unzipped them), which also closes off pockets. Sometimes it got bunched up and felt tight around my stomach.

Arbonne Rejuvenating Cream:
This cream is the absolute best for your belly. It's expensive, so I tended to use it so sparingly that it wasn't serving its purpose. However, Arbonne offers a membership discount, as well as opportunities to build your own business, making more than enough money to pay for your cream. Pros: All-natural, no smell, not sticky, absorbs quickly. Cons: Expensive ($35 for 2.2 oz)

Mama Bee Belly Butter:
This cream has been my fall-back cream. It's still very nice, but has a smell and tends to be sticky for awhile after putting it on. I like that the ingredients are things like sunflower oil. And I've actually gotten used to the smell, now, and it goes away, so you won't be smelling it all day. Pros: All-natural, inexpensive ($12.99 for 6.6 oz in Motherhood stores) Cons: Sticky and has an odor.

You will go through a lot of belly cream. Despite its name, you put it a lot more places than just your belly. I started too early, but I've probably gone through 12-14 oz of different products.

Body Pillow:
I have a love-hate relationship with this thing, but it does help keep me on my side, which the books say is better. It also helps keep my hips aligned because I hold it between my knees. A friend of mine recommended the Snoogle. I didn't get it because I already had the body pillow, but I think it would be a good purchase. Pros: Keeps you where you should be. Cons: Acts like a heater and a third body in the bed.

Fiber is a prego lady's friend! Fruits, vegetables, and Benefiber. Last night I added it to pomegranate juice, and there really is no extra taste, and it really did dissolve all the way. I've added it to OJ many times, and I seem to have more trouble with it dissolving in that, but maybe because I was trying to put too much in too little juice. Pros: Really makes a difference, no added taste or texture. Cons: Kind of expensive, but worth it.

Prenatal Pilates 10-Minute Solutions:
Granted, I have not been as good about doing this as I should, but it's still really great. There are several different 10-minute workouts, so you can do 2 or 3 at a time, or just one when you get a break. It's all fairly simple stuff, but challenging enough to make you feel like you're doing something. Pros: Fits in your schedule, inexpensive. Cons: No one next to you to actually make you do it!

Hanes Bra:
I've always been a bra snob, and I buy my bras at Victoria's Secret. I realized that I would be going through several sizes of bras through the pregnancy, and I wasn't sure what to do. I was pretty sure my first "upgrade" wouldn't need to be a nursing bra, but I didn't want to buy some expensive bra that I'd only wear for a month or two. A trek to Wal-Mart found this Hanes bra for $10. It's style G601, wireless and padded. It fits great, feels almost as good as my VS bras, and will work just fine until I need a new one. Pros: Inexpensive, comfortable. Cons: It might have ousted VS from my dresser drawer!

Bra Extender:
While your cup size will get bigger on your bras, the measurement around your chest will, too, as your lungs and belly expand. So, to make your bras last a little longer, get a bra extender! They're less than $2 at Hobby Lobby in the sewing notions section. Pros: Inexpensive way to spread out your bra purchases. Cons: Pretty specific sizes (number of hooks and width between hooks), so you might need to get a couple different ones.

Well I think that's enough for one post! If you're just starting on the pregnancy road, or maybe you're thinking about it in the next year or so, maybe these suggestions will help you when you get there.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Twenty-One Weeks

Well, what's happened this week? I've started to have some of the discomforts of pregnancy. It's getting a little harder to bend down to put my shoes on. I've got the "crunched up" feeling like I'm slumped over, but I'm not. (You'll see in my 20 week photo to the right that my belly is starting to grow above my belly button, and not just below.) I keep trying to stretch out, but it doesn't seem to help! My hips have been hurting...I'm thinking that's them doing what they're supposed to be doing as they grow and spread. And sometimes my abdomen is just sore and uncomfortable, like it needs an ice pack or a hot pad. Jon likened my aches and pains to growing pains, which if you've seen him you know he's familiar with! I'm glad he understands, because even I have started to get annoyed that I grunt every time I pull myself out of a chair. :)

The other day I had Fun Dip on my mind. You know, the packet of flavored sugar that you eat with a sugar stick? They're so great. Anyway, Jon was heading to the gas station to fill my car up before I went into the office the next day. As he walked out, I asked him to bring me back some Fun Dip! Woohoo! Well, 30 minutes later he's still not back! Finally he calls and says, "I've been to two gas stations and the grocery store, and I can't find any Fun Dip!" He sounded so dejected. Here I was with a random wish for a random food--don't know if I would call it a craving because, as I've said before, I'm pretty spontaneous in my food desires anyway--and he can't help me! He said as he was staring at the candy aisle in one of the gas stations, a guy came up and said, "You must be here for your kids." "No, my wife," Jon said. "Is she pregnant?" was the man's response! How funny is that!

So, no Fun Dip for me. My friend Cliff had told me earlier that day that he used to make his own Fun Dip with Kool-Aid and sugar, so I tried it with lemonade and sugar. Eh...not the greatest, but it had to do.

I've quit weighing as much, since my scale seems to be way off. The last time I weighed, it said I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight. Well, looking at the belly photos, I think we can all agree that can't be right!

Oh, a random thing that some people don't know about is veins. The amount of blood in my body has increased dramatically, and all my veins have dilated to accommodate the greater blood flow. Sounds like something I might never notice, but au contraire! I'm thinking that my headaches might have been linked to that, because perhaps the vessels in my brain hadn't expanded, yet. Also, blue blood vessels are much more prominent, especially across my chest, where it looks like a road map of Texas. And I've also got spider veins in random places. Supposedly all these things will go away after pregnancy. We'll see!

Caleb is still lively and kicking away! Jon's felt him a couple times, now, which is really cool. The other day he e-mailed me and asked, "How's my boy?" That made me feel good. Jon has a little boy, even though he can't hold him, yet, or love on him personally. He already loves him, despite that.

Caleb is about 12 ounces and 10.5 inches long. So, since last week, he's only gained 1.5 ounces and half an inch. I'm waiting for the time when he catches up to the cats. I wonder if he will, though, since they're growing, too, and should be about full-grown by the time he's born (so about 10-12 pounds). Whoo, I hope he doesn't keep up with them!! It would just be cool to have a visual. "Look! Here's my cat. He's the size of Caleb!" I know, that's probably weird. But it would still be cool.

Sidenote: The belly pics in the sidebar will only run through three times now, so it will end on the most recent picture. I don't have a whole lot of control over what it does--I can decide how long each photo is up, and how many times it loops--but if anyone has a preference, let me know.

Monday, July 07, 2008

My First Touch With Caleb...

Well, being the Dad is sometimes difficult, what with all this waiting! However, after a couple weeks of Lydia poking me when Caleb is fluttering around inside her, I got to feel his kicks tonight for the first time. I just barely put my hand on Lydia's belly, and, after a short wait, I got a fairly firm bump from the inside.

This is starting to get really cool!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Twenty Weeks

I'll try to keep this one short, since my last post seemed to cover a lot. Caleb is kicking like crazy! I feel him every day, sometimes up to four and five times a day! We're pretty sure my mom felt him kick from the outside! It took a little poking and prodding, and some patience, but there it was!

It's still odd to call our baby Caleb. I'm so used to Newbie, it's taking an adjustment. But I like it. Little Caleb. He's 10.5 ounces now, and 6.5 inches. At 20 weeks, they start to measure not from crown to rump, but from head to toe. So that measurement is about 10 inches. Almost a whole ruler!

I haven't had a whole lot go on with me. One random thing that's happened throughout pregnancy is that I seem particularly sensitive to grass, now. After a photo shoot, I have to go home and wash my arms and legs (because I get in the grass to take baby shots). Otherwise they're red and itchy. So that's interesting.

I've been at a slight loss about mosquito repellent. I'm pretty sure I'm not supposed to use it, but I also know that mosquitoes love me. LOVE me. Last week, from two outdoor photo shoots, I had 20 bites on my legs from the knees down. I've tried Skin So Soft with no luck. Yesterday I used the Awaken scent of the Arbonne aromatherapy line. That seemed to do very well, except that I wasn't sure there were even mosquitoes out. I guess I'll test that one out a little bit more.

I've also noticed that I've been much more tired in the past week or two. I didn't expect that in the second trimester, but oh well! :) And I think that's about it! Not much to report this week--certainly nothing "20-week specific." I'm officially at the halfway point of this 40-week journey!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

How we found out

As you know from the previous post, we got our sonogram a week early. This is how it happened.

I'm still tracking my basal body temperatures during pregnancy. A maintained high temp (in relation to my normal BBT) is an indication that pregnancy hormones are still present, and I'm still pregnant. A period of several days with decreasing temp indicate a possible miscarriage. Well, for several days, my temps had been fluctuating low, then back up, then lower, then back up, but not as high, then even lower. By the third low temp (this one lower than it had been since pre-pregancy), I was getting a little worried. I thought, "Well, it might be a fluke. I won't worry unless I have actual signs of miscarriage (cramping, bleeding, etc.)." So I let it go.

But then, when I stepped on the scale, I had lost 8 pounds. Oh my gosh! So the two together certainly worried me. I started thinking about how tired I'd been lately, and how I hadn't felt that well on Sunday. Oh my gosh I could be miscarrying.

I called Jon, who was at work and couldn't answer his cell phone. I left him a message with what was going on and that I would call my mom to see if I should go to the dr.

When my mom answered, I immediately teared up. There's something about having someone else around (or on the phone) to be the strong one during a hard time, and I'm sure she could tell I was scared. She said I should definitely go, despite my lack of cramping, etc.

On the way to the dr, I left another message for Jon, letting him know. Then I called the dr's office. They seem nonplussed about my "possible miscarriage" because I wasn't bleeding. However, I told them I was already on my way, and I would just feel better if they could listen for the heartbeat.

I made it to the dr. and realized I'd left my wallet at home, which was fine, since they have all my information, but...well, oh well. I sat down in the waiting room, fully expecting to be called back quickly to assess if I was indeed losing my baby. After about 20 minutes, I realized that I was waiting in line like everyone else, and I reluctantly opened a Parenting magazine. Jon called to check on me, and again I had the urge to cry. I told him I was just waiting.

Finally, the nurse, Rosa, called my name. Rosa is an interesting lady. She's very business-like, and doesn't comment any more than she has to. When she checks my weight or blood pressure, it's very fast, and if I don't pay close attention, I won't even know what the numbers were. At the weigh station, the scale registered that I'd gained a pound. So much for my eight-pound loss.

My blood pressure was fine, and then Rosa said Dr. K would probably want to go ahead and do the sonogram, since we were only a week away. Ak! I didn't want Jon to miss that! I asked if hearing the heartbeat would be enough, and she said, well, Dr. K will still probably want to do the sono. She left me to wait, and I quickly texted Jon, asking if he could get off at all.

Finally, Dr. K came in, ever a spirit of sweetness and calm. She pulled out the dopplar to listen for a heartbeat, and just at that moment Jon called to see what was going on. Dr. K held the dopplar speaker up to the phone so Jon could hear as well. (What a nice doctor!) And let me just say, those dopplar things are not the best for a woman worried about her baby. It takes WAY too long to find the heartbeat! We listened to my heartbeat, we listened to what Dr. K said was our heartbeats combined, and finally, after a few tense moments for me, we heard the baby's heartbeat, measuring at 138 beats per minute. It was nice and strong and steady. I was worried because the last heartrate we'd known was 168, but she said it was normal for the heartbeat to slow as the baby got bigger.

I kept the phone line open as Dr. K explained that that was enough confirmation for her if I didn't want to do the sono today. She could see the uncertainty in my face. I didn't want to be a high-maintenance pregnant lady. I wanted that heartbeat to be enough. Jon also wanted it to be enough. And getting him off work would be a bit of a finagle. Okay, we decided. We're fine. We feel better. We promise.

Dr. K urged us to come back in if we decided it just wasn't enough for us. As I left, I heard her tell the scheduling lady to let me have an afternoon appointment if I called.

Back home, I went back to work. I waited for the baby to kick. Nothing. Hm.... The couple times I thought could be kicks, I just couldn't really tell. Jon called at lunchtime to check on me. I told him I felt fine, but neither one of us were that convinced. Realizing that I was going out of town the next day, and that the doctor seemed so fine with moving the sono up, we decided to go. Jon arranged to get off an hour early, and I called the dr. to let the know we would be coming in. Just doing that helped me feel a little better.

At 3:00, Jon called to say he was on his way home. I answered the phone with, "Hi!" and he misunderstood me to say, "Hurry!" "What? Are you okay? What's going on??" "No, I just said hi...."

So obviously we were on pins and needles, and I was glad we'd made the decision we had. At the office, again we waited. I regretted that we weren't going into this Big Appointment with more happiness. Our day had subdued our excitement over learning the gender, and we were more concerned with seeing a wiggly baby, no matter the gender.

When we made it into the sonogram room, the technician began her explorations over my stomach. Again, it takes WAY too long to find babies. Seriously. But, when she found him, we were glad. Again she found the hearbeat (this time 151bpm)--crazy baby. We didn't really breathe a sigh of relief until we saw him move around. He wasn't very wiggly; he looked like he was just adjusting in his sleep, but it was enough for us. Our little guy was okay. And a boy!

Emotionally drained, it took a few phonecalls to excited family to really lift our spirits from our concerns of the day. Nothing was wrong. We had a healthy baby boy.

I promised Jon that I wouldn't be that high-maintenance again, and I thanked him for believing my concerns and supporting me through the day. The being that was making my belly bigger every day had his hold on me, and I didn't realize how much until I thought I could lose him. I'm told that that hold will only get stronger, and will be more than I ever imagined when I have him in my arms for the first time. Only 20 weeks away! The time is going so fast!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The Big Reveal

It's a boy!

The sonogram wasn't scheduled for another week, but we ended up having it today. We have a healthy boy!

His name is Caleb Alan.

More story later!