Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Week 20!!! Doing the Snoopy Dance

Week 20 (and 4 days ) Doing the Snoopy Dance !!

How Far Along: 20 weeks 4days (this seems to be my MO…4 days late every week..oops ) :o)

Size of Baby: Baby M is the size of a cantaloupe (yumm) I’ve vowed not to eat that this week just because it’s creepy even though it’s calling my name with the watermelon in the fridge)

Maternity Clothes: All the way !!I am in love with consignment shopping lately and have found some really great places locally, Bellies to Babies, and Nine are fabulous (and cheap). I stopped into one of the retail places and just about choked when I saw the prices.. $85 for a shirt that I’m going to where for a couple months.. are you crazy??? I also have fallen in love with Motherhood Maternity (retail, at prices that won’t result in us having to eat mac and cheese for the next couple of months.. mmm mac and cheese.)

So funny story I need to share about shopping last weekend. I get that being in a maternity store means that the sales women working there already have the “in” to ask about your pregnancy, but when did that also include having your tummy molested and being felt up?? Last weekend Jeff took me shopping for a dress for Baby M’s gender reveal party this weekend. I found some dresses that I wanted to try on and a crazy Italian woman ushered me into a dressing room, saying.. “Now you come out when you try those on, don’t be shy I want to see how adorable they are on you”… so the first one I tried on was a little too long and I stepped out to show Jeff and see what he thought… I looked up and here comes Margherita making a B-line for me (uh oh)… she touches my belly and says.. “oh you look so adorable” and then proceeds to tuck part of the dress up under the bottom of the front of my bra strap and stick her hands in the sides of the dress to feel if there is room to expand.. YIKES! She then grabs a tape measure and says that I need to be fitted for a bra properly and before I know it wraps the thing around my chest…. And announces to the store my size. Wow.. I wanted to be noticed for my belly but this was a bit much. Oh well, I came away with a really cute dress for next weekend anyway.

Weight Gain: I am up +8 lbs pounds total so far.

Stretch Marks: nope. Nothing new. Watching very very closely though and still using my belly butter twice a day.

Belly Button: Still way in there. Baby M is riding low so it’s going to take a lot of growing to pop that thing out.

Sleep: Yes and No. I have had problems with my hips and knees every night, even with a body pillow, so I have turned to using Tylenol PM which has helped me immensely but makes for some weird dreams and being a little loopy in the morning!!

Best Moment of the Week: Wow there are so many !! Here’s a brief (yeah right like I know how to be brief) sampling of what stands out so far..

We bought our first diaper bag….the funny thing is it’s for Jeff not me ;o) In Jeff’s words “I don’t want to carry around a “foo-fooey” diaper bag.. and was so excited when we were at a consignment shop and he spotted this “Diaper Dude” bag that was brand new with the tags still on it for $12 (originally $89), he almost had to elbow some pregnant woman that was looking at it when we came out of dressing rooms. Luckily she was just having buyers remorse because her hubby had paid retail price for the exact same one online. Phew.. so here’s a pic of Jeff and his new diaper bag. He he !

Jeff felt the baby kick/punch for the first time!! Now we spend most of our nights on the couch with his hand on my tummy waiting for the next dance or karate class. What an amazing feeling !!

Ellie (that’s the floppy eared one that rules our house currently) got her freedom back!! My dad came down last week and helped us locate where her invisible fencing line had been cut by the Comcast people last year….and Jeff spliced the line and voila Ellie has freedom to roam her yard again which she was ecstatic about until she met this visitor that was roaming around in our yard…Luckily she’s a chicken and is afraid of her own shadow so she just barked at it until it finally left our yard.

Symptoms: Still some cramping, some spotting every now and then, which we are still monitoring very closely. Also, I have discovered pregnancy hormones this week…wow, we’re talking hormone hurricanes.. they come on from out of nowhere but subside just as quickly and involve strange mixes of laughter/giggling and crying/ and being annoyed.

So I had heard about pregnancy hormone outbursts and but these hurricanes make no sense. I never know when they are going to pop up, which I think makes them some of the most dangerous occurrences in the world. And, I like to believe that I am a sane/kind person (most the time) and have a masters degree in mental health counseling even, I understand emotions and I thought I could control them. I have learned that unfortunately there is nothing you can do, it’s like I turn from the loving sane woman that Jeff married  into an evil alien creature from another planet who doesn’t care who or what the topic that is being discussed … the goal is to destroy the sanity of the other person and win the argument.
I feel for those who cross paths with these creatures as there is no reasoning with them and all one can do is throw down a white flag and wait for the evil creature to dissipate back into the darkness from which it came, and for the loving, sane, woman to return.

So far only my neighbor has had a run-in with the creature..and she left terribly defeated. It came out of nowhere.. I usually do not look for conflict but I found myself actually relishing it.. finally telling her what I thought about how wrong she was to leave garbage bags (full of mulch) on our property even after we very nicely asked her to move them because we were going to be showing the house. I fear for my hubby and will warn him to just concede, don’t be stupid and believe he can beat the creature by reasoning, or fighting back..and never, ever, under any circumstances feed the pregnant woman/creature after midnight... you never know what may happen....


Food Cravings/Aversions: My body has finally flipped the switch.. I crave sweets now ! More specifically… hot fudge on frozen yogurt, and root beer. Baby M seems to really like these too because right after I take my first bite of my low-fat frozen yogurt which is drowning in hot fudge, baby starts doing the snoopy dance in there like crazy! Also pancakes ! Jeff made me chocolate chip pancakes on Sunday that I drizzled with my dad’s homemade syrup and gobbled up.. H-E-A-V-E-N! (Sorry about the pic.. I had already taken a bite and then had the brilliant idea I needed to take a picture of these little marvels..yummm)

Gender: Don’t know yet.. but hopefully we will this weekend !! We ordered the cake and now it’s up to Baby M to cooperate so we don’t end up with a purple cake instead of pink or blue. I am soooo excited to find out!!

What I Miss: I LOVE being pregnant! I LOVE wearing clothing that shows off my tummy and I LOVE people looking first at my belly and then at me. I wish this pregnancy would have gone a little smoother.. but feeling baby M in there kicking and dancing is worth all the scares and stress that we have been through and I can’t believe how much I am in love with our little miracle in there already.

What I'm Looking Forward to: Finding out the sex this weekend!! And getting my hair colored today.. finally .. it's been 7 months since a hair cut or color!! Crazy!

Milestones: Can’t believe we’ve reached the half way point!!

Here’s my baby belly pics for week 20


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

We have made it to Week 19 (and 4 days)

How Far Along: 19 weeks 4days :o)

Size of Baby: Baby M is the size of a Mango
Not much has changed here this last week (except the size of the “girls”.. yikes.. and my tummy) so I will make this a short(er) one today with just some random updates.

First of all the bleeding has increased some, and there have been some clots, but the color is brown and it’s definitely not gushing so unless something changes in color or amount I will just assume that the Dr will follow her “MO” and just tell us that I over did it last weekend (oops) and that it’s old blood from straining, and that baby and I need to rest and to continue to monitor it. The cramping also comes and goes still, but as of the last few days there are times when it knocks the air out of me and puts me on my butt immediately (scary). We are monitoring that too. Other than worrying about those two symptoms, everything else is pretty much settled down. I do want to have a conversation with the person who writes all these pregnancy books and states that I should be full of energy and feeling ” productive”… ummm yeah, not really. I am like an old woman these days, I have backaches and joint problems that I feel other people need to hear about when they ask me how I’m doing, and I fall asleep on the couch at 8pm every night ?!?! That doesn’t sound like I’m bursting at the seams with energy like the books all say I should be. Hmmph.

I had a lovely weekend .. a little too busy, but it was great to get out of the house. Jeff and I had dinner at our friends house, which was great food & great company, and so comforting for me as she also had a very difficult pregnancy which she shared with me. It both scared the crap out of me and comforted me because after all she went through they have a healthy, energetic , 5 year old, which just reminded me how worth it all of this experience (all of the testing, needles, the IVF process, our loss, the stressful donor process and anything else we have yet to experience) really will be when we hold our Baby M in our arms for the first time!!

Also, This year I received a birthday card from my sister in law that said something along the lines of ”at my age if I got a belly button ring it would also be useful to hook my bra to, to keep my boobs from hanging on the floor (thanks Becky ha ha)… well that’s about how I am feeling these days. I can’t believe the girls just keep growing and growing… the first maternity bra that I bought is already on the last hooks!! I mean sheesh.. give a gal a break would ya?!? They have to stop growing some time or I am not going to be able to stand up! I am going to use their growth as my excuse for the scale numbers going up (I’m sure it has nothing to do with the ribs and fried pickles at the Texas Roadhouse that I just ate) he he.

Let’s see, what else is going on that takes my OCD mind off of the cramping and bleeding.. oh yeah, we are still trying to sell our house and we met with the builder last week to design the house we want to build. Pretty exciting to put a room in the new house and call it the nursery  Unfortunately unless people are looking for Noah’s Ark right now nobody is coming out to look because of the crazy wet weather that we have been having, oh and almost every weekend has been a holiday weekend of some kind since we listed (Easter, Mother’s Day, Opening Fishing(yes that’s a holiday here), Rapture (not a holiday exactly but no showings) and now Memorial weekend). So besides that and the tornados that just ripped through Minnesota, it hasn’t been the best timing for showings. *sigh* oh well.. it’ll sell eventually :o)

Other than that I am just waiting until next week when we have our level two ultrasound and hopefully Baby M cooperates and the baker can make us a pink or blue cake. I can’t wait for the party.. it’s going to be so much fun to be able to share the surprise with family and friends. I just hope and pray that it doesn’t end up a purple cake and a “stubborn baby party” instead.

As for the other stuff.. no new stretch marks (yay) belly button is still waaaaay in (yay again), belly has had a few growth spurts (see belly pic below), no flutters recently (which freaks me out), +8 lbs total, new craving is iced coffee, but the decaf iced coffee at caribou is just not as good as a cold press with white chocolate(mmmm heaven)…but the search will continue…

OK so I guess this posting wasn't too much of a shorter one ha ha... so....Here’s my belly pics for the week..

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Week 18 (and 4 days ) feeling ok.

How Far Along: 18 weeks 4days :o)

Size of Baby: Baby M is the size of a sweet potato (kind of a gross pic)

Maternity Clothes: Oh yeah!! I don’t even try to abuse my poor body and wear non-maternity clothes on bottom any more.. what’s the point? I recognize that I am one of those annoying pregnant women who rub their bellies all the time, but I figure after 4.5 years of waiting for this belly I am entitled to love it and show it off all I can ha ha! We do need to talk boobs though.. wow, when are these suckers going to stop growing already?? I do LOVE my Bravado maternity bra (which they kindly size by your previous bra size, I think so you don’t go into cardiac arrest while in the store) but realized I needed a couple more, and thought I could get away with buying a cheaper maternity bra from Kohls or JC Penny’s… bad mistake. It was during this frightening experience that I realized that I am now in the D’s for size… yikes. I still have a long way to go, I mean we are not even half way through this pregnancy. I have fear for how much more they are going to grow.. sigh. Poor back. I also have realized that it’s worth the $50 for another bravado bra because the girls need support! Also.. I am now realizing that I need to venture into the world of maternity underwear.. Double YIKES!! I’m not even sure where to find those. Silly thing, Kohls carries maternity clothing but no undergarments, and there are none at target.

Weight Gain: I am up +7 lbs pounds total so far.

Stretch Marks: no new ones and I am still practicing my turkey routine religiously, slathering on my bella b tummy honey butter or my booda butter (which smells like chocolate mmm) at least twice a day!

Belly Button: Waaaay in still. Is it really going to pop out ?! I have to admit I am a little weirded out by that.

Sleep: I am in love with The Beast… I admit it. I feel like a baby bird all cozy in a nest when I finally get in it, and the back support is great. Sleep has been “just ok” recently because Jeff just had hernia belly button surgery (he ordered a six pack to be put in while they were in there too he he) so he’s been pretty sore and I thought it would be pretty rude to only give him a sliver of the bed while he healed. Soooo I am waiting patiently to dig the Beast back out and get a good night’s sleep again.

Best Moment of the Week: Feeling my first flutter in there!! I had thought I had felt them before, but couldn’t be positive it wasn’t just gas since I still definitely have enough of that, but this time they were very clearly Baby M doing some yoga in there. What an amazing feeling!! I can’t wait until Jeff can feel them too from the outside.

Also this is a week late or so but I went shopping with my mom while Jeff was in China (seems when he travels I shop…hmmmm) and I bought my first things for Baby M! I bought a really soft teddy bear that plays the sound of the womb, and a couple pooh things (in neutral colors of course). I also bought a used doppler (just a cheap one but so far it hasn’t worked… hmmph).

Symptoms: HEADACHES, still some cramping, some spotting every now and then, which we are monitoring very closely, HUGE sore boobs and backaches. But not complaining about any of them, just sharing.

Food Cravings/Aversions: Haven’t really had big ones lately. I have been trying to up the amount of water I drink.. though it’s a challenge. I still crave watermelon, and apples with peanut butter, but other than that nadda. I did have a brat on the grill last night mmmm wow did that taste good, so I suppose grilled proteins are still on the list.

Gender: The gender cake reveal party is on the calendar now!! I just hope Baby M cooperates or we are going to have to have the baker make the cake purple or something instead. I was given the suggestions to drink ½ diet coke before the ultrasound to raise the baby’s blood sugar and get him/her dancing in there, though not too much. Soo excited to find out ! Hide the credit cards after I find out hon ;o)
What I Miss: I honestly don't miss anything and I love being pregnant!

I do have a question for all my pregnant friends out there… summer is coming and I pretty much glow I’m so pasty white, and I have found out that tanning doesn’t seem to be an option as just 10 minutes outside and I’m burning this year (I’m told because of hormonal changes). I am wondering if anyone uses self-tanners and what they have been told about them from their doctors? My clinic said "we don’t tell people not to use them or to use them it is something they have to decide on their own because there have been no studies out there to prove safety". Hmmmph that doesn’t tell me much. I would prefer not to frighten small children when I wear shorts this summer but if need be, Baby M is of course worth it!! Looking for thoughts, brands if used etc.

What I'm Looking Forward to: Being able to share feeling the baby move in there with Jeff. Also I can’t wait for our gender cake reveal party to not only find out the sex of course, but to be able to see and share the moment with our friends and family.. (also any opportunity for me to show off my growing bump makes me pretty happy)

Milestones: I’d say 18 weeks is pretty huge and feeling the baby flutters in there.

Here’s my baby belly pics for week 18

One of these days I will actually do my hair and wear makeup for one of these pics. but again you get the idea :o)
It's Growing Wooo Hooo !

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

One scary weekend!!! (a long posting sorry)

Wow, this had to have been one of the scariest most stressful weekends of my life!!

So Thursday night I finish my nightly phone call from Jeff, who was still in China, and I mention to him that I had been having really bad cramping lately and that it wasn't the round ligament type pain that I had been feeling. We chalked it up to Baby M doing some more architecture and building in there and left it at that. Friday I felt ok all day, cramps were still there but not severe,and during our nightly phone call I told Jeff that Ellie and I were going to cuddle on the couch and watch season 5 of LOST, and by that time the next day Jeff would finally be home (only 18 hours for him on a plane.. yuck) and I was sooo excited to show him how much my belly had grown, we said our "I love you's" and hung up. Less than 30 minutes later the cramps started getting really severe, enough to take my breath away, and then all of a sudden I felt like I peed my pants, I jumped up and ran to the bathroom only to find my pants and underwear were soaked with blood. As I sat down on the toity another large cramp hit and another gush of blood came rushing out. I was now in complete shock, disbelief, and terror at what I was afraid was happening. I called my parents and told them I thought I was having a miscarriage and was heading to the ER. Only then did I realize that there was no way to get there, I wasn't going to drive myself, for fear of something happening in the car, and Jeff was on a plane home with no way to reach him until Sat at 2PM when he touched down in Mpls. In tears I called my clinic and told them what happened, they were no help at all and told me to wait for the on call OBGYN to call back with further instructions, in the meantime I walked over to each neighbors house and rang their door bell hoping someone would be there to take me to the ER. As I stood on the second neighbors doorstep another gush happened and after nobody answered the door I walked back home bloody and in tears. I was now pretty much hysterical and crying, I couldn't believe that this was happening and that all of my dreams might be over.!The doc finally called back and said there was nothing he could do or say over the phone and to go to the ER immediately (duh) so I called my fried Annie and asked if she would be able to come and get me and bring me to the ER, she was an angel and was there in a heartbeat and never left my side for a minute during my ER visit, held my hand through the "big girl"needles (didn't have time to ask for the butterfly) and the catheter they had to insert (wow that shouldn't be done on someone awake with no pain meds!!!)  I honestly don't know what I would have done without her(LOVE YOU GIRL!!!). The ER doctor came in and started to prep me for the worst saying "I'm sure you are aware that the symptoms you have are not good news and are usually an indication of the loss of pregnancy, and that at 17 weeks there was nothing that anybody could do since the baby was not viable yet". Yes, I was all too aware!! He first checked my cervix and we had our first good news of the night that it was still completely closed and he couldn't even push a little bit in there (though he tried believe me). He then spread the cold goop on my belly and got out the ultrasound, and there it was, the image of Baby M moving and wiggling on the monitor, with a strong heartbeat. This was incredible news and I can't express my relief at seeing those little legs kicking on that screen!! Annie and I watched as Baby M did a little dance for us, and the doctor printed out an adorable little picture of a healthy Baby M. There were a lot of tears of joy, but still no answers as to what happened and why all the bleeding (which was still happening). At that time my parents showed up at the ER, and I was relieved to be able to tell them that Baby M was moving and shaking in there and things were ok. The doc sent me home with orders of complete bed rest and to see the OBGYN the following day. Problem was our OBGYN clinic wasn't open on Sat (?!?) The on call doc said to stay off my feet and to remain on strict bed rest for the rest of the weekend and to get in ASAP Monday to have an ultrasound done to find out what was going on.  My mom stayed with me Friday night (love you mom) and made sure that I was following orders of staying off my feet (I'm not a very good patient) until Jeff came home Sat. I felt horrible that this was what Jeff was coming home too, but as usual, he was my rock! It was the longest most stressful weekend of our lives.. we prayed, we talked to Baby M and promised that we would fight for him/her if  Baby M would do the same. Jeff promised Baby M that he wouldn't go back to China and that he understood the message and warning, and we both agreed to do whatever it took to bring Baby M into this world, whether that was bed rest for the remaining pregnancy etc. By Monday morning the bleeding had changed colors to dark red and then brown, we were hopeful that everything was healing and we were out of the deep end.
Finally yesterday we were able to get in to see a doctor.  She found Baby M's heartbeat right away (150) and did a pelvic and found the cervix still closed tightly, she cleaned out the old blood that remained andWe were ushered into the ultrasound room. Jeff and I watched as Baby M's little feet showed up on the screen dancing away looking like he/she was doing the cha-cha (it was the most precious thing I have ever seen) and I cried as the sonographer showed us Baby M in there busily doing something that resembled Tai Chi and wiggling around, what a beautiful sight. She also said my placenta looked great, long and smooth and completely attached still. She did say it was a little low lying, which could have caused some of the bleeding (still unknown) but that Baby M looked like a healthy 17 week old and that there was nothing showing on the ultrasound that indicated why we had all the gushes and cramping and continued bleeding. The doctor sent me home with instructions to take it easy (no exercising, lifting, running, and we have added vaccuuming/cleaning to the list too) and to come back in a couple weeks for the level 2 ultrasound. 
So we are left with no answers as to what happened..... but have decided it doesn't matter Baby M is still in there, still growing and everything looks healthy.. we are blessed. The love I feel for the little baby growing inside me is so immense that I sometimes feel I may explode. Jeff and I remain cautious for the weeks to come but completely in love with our little Baby M!! Here is a profile pic of our little angel's head!