Wednesday, December 28, 2011

24 week update - We made it to 6 months!

A few more little tidbits about Christmas, and then I'll post the next update.

On Christmas day, I turned 24 weeks pregnant.  That's right folks, I've made it to the 6 month mark.  I've made it past the blood tests, the ultrasounds, more ultrasounds, feeling my uterus stretch, feeling the baby move (which she does every few hours at this point) and we've got less than 4 months ahead of us.  I'm amazed!

At Christmas Eve Mass when we were singing the Lord's Prayer, Mom had my hand in one of hers and the other on my belly, and what do you know, Baby Girl moved right under her fingertips and she felt it for the first time.  What a wonderful Christmas gift that I couldn't have planned better if I tried!

The following day at J's parents house while we were standing around talking, Baby Girl started to move around and looking for the closest grandparent I could, J's Dad was right next to me and I quickly asked him if he'd like to feel her move.  He agreed and hand to belly, he too felt her move.  Now just to get my Dad and J's Mom to feel her is the next step.  It will come, I hope.

And here's our 24 week update:

Your Baby in Week 24 of Pregnancy

Your baby is about eight and a half inches long and weighs one and a half pounds, gaining steadily at a rate of six ounces per week. Much of that weight comes from accumulating baby fat, as well as from growing organs, bones, and muscle. Those little ears of hers are getting sharper and can hear very loud sounds, from a yapping dog to a jackhammer. Also by now, that fabulous face is almost fully formed, complete with eyelashes, eyebrows, and hair. Is your baby a brunette, a blonde, or a redhead? Actually, right now her locks are white since there's no pigment yet.

Your Body in Week 24 of Pregnancy

If your former innie is now an outie, welcome to the club. Almost every expectant mom's pregnant belly button pops at some point as her swelling uterus pushes on everything in its path. Things should return to normal after delivery, though your navel (and some other parts of your body) might look a bit, well, stretched. Just think of it as one more badge of honor that only moms get to wear. What other pregnancy woe is pushing your buttons? Well, probably your uncomfortably numb wrists and fingers, thanks to carpal tunnel syndrome. (Don’t worry — the sensations will disappear when you give birth.)

Week 24 Pregnancy Tip: Red, Itchy Palms

Sure, you'd heard that pregnancy comes with a variety of symptoms, most of them not very pleasant (actually, none of them very pleasant — unless you count fast-growing hair, nails, and breasts). But maybe you didn't expect so many seemingly random symptoms — such as the red, itchy palms that have nothing to do with the amount of dishwashing you're doing. The red may spread, too, to the soles of your feet (though you're less likely to notice that once your feet become more difficult to see). Though this is a relatively normal symptom (especially this far into pregnancy) be sure to mention it to your doctor — there's a chance it could indicate a rare pregnancy complication called cholestasis. Along with virtually all the stranger symptoms you'll be experiencing as the months go by (such as the metallic taste in your mouth, skin tags appearing out of nowhere, bigger feet, increased saliva — am I drooling? — and vision changes, to name a few), you can blame your hormones (and throw darts at them, if you like — take that, progesterone!). As for getting the red out, there are no sure solutions — besides delivery. Until then, avoid anything that makes the red redder — such as being overheated, taking long, hot baths or showers, or wearing too-warm or too-tight gloves or socks. You might even try going on a dishwashing strike while you're expecting (good luck with that plan!). Just tell your spouse it's doctor's (and Heidi's) orders!

Week 24 Pregnancy Symptoms

Constipation: There is a good reason for pregnancy constipation — pregnancy hormones cause intestinal muscles to relax in order to keep food in your digestive system longer so you and your baby can absorb more nutrients. But just because it's for a good cause, that doesn’t make it pleasant. Drink lots of water and fruit and vegetable juices to get things moving faster through your system and to soften your stool, making it easier to pass.
Occasional headaches: If you find that your headaches last for days, are severe, and are sometimes accompanied by nausea or vision changes, you may have migraines. Let your practitioner know about your migraines and keep a journal recording what you ate, where you were, and what you were doing before you experienced a migraine so that you can pinpoint your migraine triggers — and start to avoid them.
Lower abdominal achiness: As your uterus continues to expand, the ligaments that support your uterus continue to stretch — and may cause some pain. Occasional achiness in this area is normal, but if the discomfort is accompanied by symptoms such as fever, chills, or bleeding, see your practitioner.
Backaches: Back pain is quite common during pregnancy, but if your discomfort is severe, ask your practitioner to refer you to a specialist such as a physical therapist or acupuncturist.
Leg cramps: When leg cramps start to cramp your style, try straightening your leg and gently flexing your ankle and toes up toward your shins several times. This can stop the spasm.
Vision changes: Are your contact lenses bothering you lately — or is your vision sometimes blurry? Pregnancy hormones can decrease tear production (causing eye irritation) and increase fluid buildup in the eye, temporarily altering your vision. This should pass shortly after delivery, so don’t go out and get any new eyeglass or contact-lens prescriptions while you’re expecting.
Mild swelling of ankles and feet: Don’t be alarmed if the swelling in your feet has caused you to “grow” out of your favorite shoes. Simply do what you can to avoid letting body fluids (which increase during pregnancy) pool in your legs — so that means elevating your legs when you’re sitting.

At this point I don't have a lot of these symptoms that I am seeing.  I did read in one of my books that my uterus is the size of a soccer ball right now!  WOW!  There's a visual for you!  My innie belly button is not yet an outie, however, the cavern that once was my belly button is far less deep than it was.  I could see in the next few weeks, my belly button becoming an outie easily.  No red itchy palms, no headaches (I had those in the first trimester), a little bit of lower abdomen achiness and backaches, no leg crams, no vision changes and no swelling of the ankles and feet.  Am still trying to eat a bit healthier, although was definitely hard over the holidays.  But preggos can still make New Year's Resolutions to go back to eating right!  And this one will!

Happy Last Week of 2011 Bleeps!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Name Game ... literally

Hello dear Bleeps...after the on-slaught of posts last week from me, I figured we all needed a little break.  But now I have more fun stories to tell, so I can't hold my tongue any longer.

Ever since Thanksgiving, both sets of parents have been hounding us about Baby Girl's name.  It's in almost every phone call from my mother-in-law (MIL) as she slips in "and the baby's name is what again?"  Or the emails from my Dad reminding me what time we are having dinner on Christmas saying "what was the baby's name?" They think they are so sneaky, but we never gave in because we had a surprise in store.

After we were sure we were happy with the name we had picked out for Baby Girl and based on the fact that J's parents said we shouldn't spend money on them for Christmas because every dime we had should be going towards the baby, we decided our big present to them both this year would be to give them Baby Girl's name.  But it wouldn't be given, they'd have to earn it.  (We sound like parents already huh?!)  I used some scrapbook paper and made 3 game sheets - 1 for our keeping, 1 for my parents and 1 for J's parents.  The sheet said at the top, "If you want to know your granddaughter's name, you have to figure it out.  Open presents to find pieces to spell it out.  Good luck and Merry Christmas!"  Then further down it said, "Baby Girl Rowe's name will be..." and three lines about the size of each of her 3 names.  Then at the bottom it said, "So now you know, but we'd still like to keep it a secret from the masses."

I wrapped that up in a big box and then cut up the three names into two or three letter pieces and put them into different presents, or just empty boxes and wrapped those up.  We had Christmas Eve with my parents so they got to go first.  The first gift they opened was the big paper with the game on it.  As my Mom figured out what was going on, her eyes began to twinkle...she LOVES puzzles.  So then they started to unwrap other presents and find letters.  It was absolutely hysterical watching them try to figure out the names.  They got the middle name right away, but the first name gave them trouble.  The last name of course was easy, but it threw some wrenches in there because there were extra letters they weren't expecting I think.  Anyway, once it was all said and done they loved the name we picked out and the way we let them figure it out.  But they still can't tell anyone!!!

Christmas Day we drove to Mesa (about 2 hours away from our home) to spend Christmas with J's parents, sister and her boyfriend, and his grandparents on his Mom's side.  We got there before everyone so started the gift giving before the rest of the family showed up.  First, I gave Debbie the Christmas bulb I made her (I make bulbs every year fro loved ones with events we shared together during the year written on them) and what popped out of her mouth? "Where's the baby's name?!"  So I knew we needed to get the game going because I didn't think we could handle a full day with the family and the pestering of these questions.  So we went and got the presents and they protested seeing about 10 boxes from us, but we asked them to open the big one first and then see if they wanted to protest further.  Here comes the placard with the name game rules and then they understood and started tearing through presents.  They would literally open a present, look for letters, and if it was an actual present, throw it over their shoulders to add the letters enclosed to figure out more of the name.  They too figured out the middle name first, and then moved on to the first name...completely forgot that the last name was in there too so got a little confused with the extra letters, but eventually figured it out.  They too liked the name we had chosen and the way we presented it to them.

But the funniest thing may have happened later in the day.  After the rest of the family had arrived and we had settled down for dinner, J's Uncle called to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.  J's Dad told him that we had gifted the name to them for Christmas and let J reveal the name.  Well, he popped out the WRONG first name.  He said as soon as it left his lips he knew it was wrong, but he had just heard it on the radio that had been playing!  He turned red, corrected himself and said the correct full name.  J's Uncle was very pleased to hear it too.  The right one that is!

Now I would love to reveal it to you folks too but I just can't.  The family knows, and they are pretty much all who know.  I will leave you with initials though...R.J.R.  But I won't answer questions about if you are right in your guessing or not. 

Hope you all had a Merry Christmas (if you celebrate it) and a little R & R along the way too!  And on Christmas Day we hit our 6-month mark!  Amazing!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The first stranger

Ever since I got pregnant, I have wanted to "look" pregnant and not fat.  I've never been able to see my belly button by just looking down my front, but now I can.  Not only that, at some point I believe I'll be able to see the inside of my belly button because it is slowly beginning to become less of a cavern.  Yes, my belly reaches out further than my breasts...something I always wished for but wasn't sure I would achieve thru pregnancy.  Obviously, our prayers have been answered.  All of our friends and family know (and if they didn't before now, it was said yet again in this year's Christmas card), but I always wonder what strangers think when they see me.  I've always been told you are never supposed to ask a woman when she is due unless you are ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY SURE they are pregnant.  And I think there is a point where it's obviously a baby and not just not watching your caloric intake for everyone.

Well, I think I've hit it.  (silent yay and jumping up and down, or at least slightly bouncing as to not jostle Baby Girl).  I went to the post office on Tuesday to mail out the final packages, however didn't have the right boxes at home to mail the ornaments I had made.  So walked into the line at the post office with printed address labels, printed return labels and wrapped presents, ready to box up while I waited in the line I knew would be there.  However, there weren't boxes.  As I got closer to the front I finally had the opportunity to ask one of the desk clerks for more of the size boxes I needed and got them as I was the first person in line.  The elderly gentleman behind me was kind enough to hold them closed so I could tape them with the provided packing tape.  We finished in perfect time and even enough time for him to say, "You gonna make it to Christmas?"  It took me a second to think about what he was asking and as I saw him sideways glance at my belly, I said, "I surely hope so!  This baby isn't due until April!"  He smiled and laughed a bit.  And then I was called up to send my packages.

It was quite funny and not at all upsetting, until my Mother remarked upon hearing the story that I've said everyone says I am small and now this man thinks I'm gonna pop any day.  I replied that the people that say I am small are young and have seen more preggos than this man may have!  Silly G-ma!  I still say I am small...despite the fact that the doc says to watch my weight gain.  I swear that I carry my weight differently than others.  When I have said my weight to peeps in the past, they don't believe me!  They think it is less!  (yay!) 

Another little funny...I worked at home on Tuesday and J came into my home office when he got home.  He was looking at the pictures I have hanging up, and there was one from a few years back when we went to Denver to visit Schelle and we visited the Coors Brewery.  He said, "you look really different in this photo!"  I said, "you mean not pregnant?!"  He laughed and said, "yeah, exactly."  He went on to explain that he sees the progression and forgets what I look like in the past, so it's weird to see the photos.  The same evening when I went to say goodnight to him (because he was working in the garage), he put his hands on my belly and said, "guess there's no denying it now huh?!"  He's a funny man!

Okay folks, your Christmas present was 3 posts in one week, but there probably won't be anymore before Christmas.  I hope everyone has a great holiday, whatever you celebrate and will catch you on the flip side I'm sure with stories from our Christmas adventures with both sets of Grandparents-to-be!

And if I haven't said it for a while, let me reiterate that I appreciate all of you taking this journey with me and helping me when times are tough!  I probably don't say it enough, but this really has made a difference in this whole process!  Thanks SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays,

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

23 week update...

Holy blogs this number 3 in just one little week?  I don't know that this one really counts because I'm just going to post what is happening this week in my belly.

How your baby's growing:

Turn on the radio and sway to the music. With her sense of movement well developed by now, your baby can feel you dance. And now that she's more than 11 inches long and weighs just over a pound (about as much as a large mango), you may be able to see her squirm underneath your clothes. Blood vessels in her lungs are developing to prepare for breathing, and the sounds that your baby's increasingly keen ears pick up are preparing her for entry into the outside world. Loud noises that become familiar now — such as your dog barking or the roar of the vacuum cleaner — probably won't faze her when she hears them outside the womb.

How your life's changing:

You may notice that your ankles and feet start to swell a bit in the coming weeks or months, especially at the end of the day or during the heat of summer. Sluggish circulation in your legs — coupled with changes in your blood chemistry that may cause some water retention — may result in swelling, also known as edema.

Your body will get rid of the extra fluid after you have your baby, which is why you'll pee frequently and sweat a lot for a few days after delivery. In the meantime, lie on your left side or put your feet up when you can, stretch out your legs when you sit, and avoid sitting — or standing — in one place for long periods. Also, try to exercise regularly to increase circulation, and wear support stockings (put them on first thing in the morning) and roomy, comfortable shoes. You may be tempted to skimp on liquids to combat swelling, but you need to drink plenty of water because staying hydrated actually helps prevent fluid retention. While a certain amount of edema in your lower extremities is normal during pregnancy, excessive swelling may be a sign of a serious condition called preeclampsia. Be sure to call your midwife or doctor if you have severe or sudden swelling of your feet or ankles, more than slight swelling of your hands, swelling in your face, or puffiness around your eyes.

So now for my update... compared to yesterday, A LOT better.  Taking my Zantac and eating less carbs and feelin' fine.  Tomorrow is the first day back at the gym after Monday's ordeal and I will be eating my protein bar (or at least half of it) before I go in.  Other than that, I guess no news is good news right?

Happy rest of Christmas week Bleeps, I'm off to make some supper!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Well, today was entertaining, to say the least...

Feel lucky, you get two posts in two days!  Holy cow what has become of me?!

To what do we owe this occurrence you ask? A little bit of a scare.  (Before I go any further and get your blood pumping like I got way too many people's today, let me say that baby and I are both fine and we were all day long.)  But this morning was less desirable than usual.

Woke up before the alarm and headed to the gym.  I had taken Friday off due to being really tired and just not feeling up to it.  Everyone says, "listen to your body" so I did just that.  Had a fine workout, nothing more intense than usual and was even done a little early.  Popped into the shower and as I was getting out I started to have some pain in my chest (literally, between my boobs).  I said to myself, "I wonder if this is what heartburn feels like."  Seeing as I was in a towel and my cell phone was in my car, there wasn't much I could do at the time, so I opted to sit for a few minutes and try and lotion up.  The pain started to get worse and I found that leaning over was harder and now it wasn't just my chest hurting, but the upper part of my ever-growing belly.  I tried to hurry through my dressing routine....clothes, make-up and drying my hair.  I ventured to the restroom wondering if that would alleviate some of the pain and nothing helped.  So as I was exiting the locker room I knew I was heading straight for my phone to call Dr. OB's office, knowing they didn't open  until 9 am which was about 15 minutes in the future.

Got her answering service and they couldn't seem to hear me or I them.  On the 4th phone call, I finally got someone who wasn't the gentlest soul.  She informed me that the office didn't open for another 10 minutes and she could connect me with the hospital, at which point I said, "I don't care who I talk to but I need someone, I am in extreme pain!"  A minute later, Dr. OB's receptionist Annie picks up and immediately transfers me to Nurse Shari who asks what I'm feeling.  I tell her that from about my belly button up to my chest is hurting and it hurts to breathe.  She asks if I have shortness of breath or can't breathe.  I tell her no a couple times, just that it hurts and then I start to cry.  My panic has set in and I'm starting to think something is really wrong.  She tries to calm me down and says to come in and doc will see me when she gets there about 9:15 or 9:30 (It's now about 9 am). 

I hang up with Shari, and call my office to tell them I won't be in on time, and again the tears come.  I try to call J, but his phone goes to voicemail, so I send him a text saying, "in extreme pain in belly and chest, going to doc's now."  Surprise, surprise, that provokes a phone call from him wanting to know if I need him to come and who is driving me.  At that point, I was driving, so he wasn't happy to hear that, but also understood that I just needed to get to the doc's.  MBM called at some point too to see if I wanted her to come because she was that much closer than J was and had heard the news at the office.  I told her no too, again through tears.  (Now here's something that is kind of odd, after I had called the office, I got 4-6 phone calls back saying they were my office, but the people on the phone obviously weren't.  Phone issues apparently, but having just told J I would stay off the phone while driving, I was getting a little perturbed.) 

Got to Dr. OB's office and knowing she wasn't there yet, sat in the car trying to get my composure.  I don't think I have to say what was running through my head at this point, do I?  Phone rang again and this time it was my Mom freaked out about what the office had told her, she too offered to come meet me, and I said no yet again through tears. Still having pain, but less so.  Finally, no more calls and sitting in the doc's office, not moving, started to feel a bit better.  Nurse Shari called me in and weighed me, blood pressure-d me, etc.  Then into the room.

A few minutes later, Dr. OB walks in and asks what is going on.  I tell her where my pain is and immediately she is looking for baby and the heartbeat, which she finds quickly.  (I had felt baby girl move in the waiting room so that helped calm me down a bit).  She's telling me what she thinks it is after I explain my morning - what I did for workout, what I ate, etc.'s gas and heartburn mixed together.  And because my internal organs are moved around because there's a baby inside, it feels like I'm having a heart attack.  She wasn't happy about me only eating an apple on my way to the gym (like I do every morning) and wants more protein in my diet and less carbs.  She said my weight gain is okay, but it's getting more towards the heavier side and she doesn't like that. Then she looked at my shoes and again wasn't pleased with the heeled boots I had chosen saying that puts more strain on my back and balance, even though for 90% of the day I am sitting. 

So the verdict: 1) take a Zantac every morning and night to help with heartburn, 2) eat less carbs to help with the gas and heartburn and hopefully not up my weight so much, 3) no more heels, 4) eat more than just an apple on the way to the gym and try to work more protein into my diet, and 5) take the day to rest and recover.

Left the doc's and called J to give him the verdict, called my Mom to assure her that baby and I were fine, and then headed for Walgreens to stock up on Zantac and protein bars.  Came home and was absolutely exhausted.  So after some eggs and toast (sorry, I needed it!) and taking a gaz-x and Zantac, I headed to bed for a nap.  Woke up about an hour later, worked a bit and then off to find what can I eat?!  Oy, this will be challenging.   Finally, rested a bit more on the couch and tried the doc's office again which was busy for 30 minutes (that never happens - what is up with phones today?!).  Finally got thru and told Annie that I was still really sore and how long should I expect this to continue. Nurse Shari called me back and said it could last 24 hours and to take Tylenol if need be for the pain...I was just really sore.  So did that.

Am finally feeling a little bit better, but am now scared to eat almost anything!  Managed soup for lunch and a protein bar this afternoon.  Emailed Trainer with what was going on and for some tips since he is the nutrition guru, and got some answers there.  But oy, what a day this has been.  Please let this be the last one like this.

I'll post about our 23 week progress tomorrow, if I have the energy.  Love!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Naked belly buttons and baby kicks

I seem to do a lot of apologizing when I blog lately.  With the holidays AND the pregnancy, things are just so busy.  I try to blog on Tuesdays after I've received my weekly "baby is now the size of a ..." email from, but I missed it last week.  So have a bit of catching up to do.

When last I wrote, I was in the process of taking out the belly button ring.  Well, it's officially gone now.  I was very sad after the fact.  I had to actually have it taken out by a professional at a tattoo place because I couldn't get the blasted thing out.  The piercer thought I was the cutest thing I guess, and he kept saying, "I can't believe you are already 5 months, you look so wife was huge!"  I wonder, does J say these kinds of things to his friends?!  So they came at me with these plier looking things and literally gave the ring a little pressure in the right places and the bead fell into the cavern that is now my belly button.  Fished it out, cleaned it up and put it in a little baggie for me, gave me tips on how to clean the hole that once held the ring and told me to come back after the baby and they'd re-pierce it.  I'm sorry, REPIERCE?!  I do not thing so!  I remember getting over that in my 20s and now with a new baby, I won't be repiercing the thing!  However for the next few days my belly button looked awfully naked to me!  I'm officially over it now, but I was rather sad for a few days.

Okay, next big thing.  I'm not the only one feeling baby girl kick these days!  We were laying in bed about a week and a half ago and she was really doing a tumbling act and I could finally feel it from the outside.  So I asked J for his hand and put it on my belly where she was kicking.  She would do little movements and I would look at J and ask if he felt it and he would shake his head now.  About kick number 4, baby girl was evidently getting sick of Daddy not feeling her because she packed a real punch (I think if his hand hadn't been there, we would have seen this karate chop).  J's eyes got all big and I took his hand away saying, "that's weird!"  But it was very special and somehow I had a couple little tears slip out of my eyes.  This morning it happened again.  I swear we either have a gymnast or a soccer player on our hands here.  She was going crazy this morning as we laid in bed watching TV.  Again, his hand on my belly and a few little kicks, and then a H-U-G-E kickboxing jump-kick it felt like.  Freaked him out a bit, but at least he knew what it was.  It was really funny!  It's almost like she knows that it is his hand there and she puts more effort into it to say, "I'm right here DADDY! Believe that!"

A final little note and then I'll try to sum up the last 2 weeks of baby updates.  After my last blog, I got an email from BFF in Phoenix's Mom (who reads the blog) and she thought it was so funny that I mentioned her.  Well, unbenounced to me on December 4th, 2011, she was cancer-free for 3 years!  What an incredible feat! She's an incredible lady and I'm so happy to call her one of my "other-mothers".   Love you Mom Ryan!  And congrats again! 

So here's the 22 week update, and 23 will come tomorrow so I'll post that hopefully Tuesday.

How your baby's growing:

At 11 inches (the length of a spaghetti squash) and almost 1 pound, your baby is starting to look like a miniature newborn. His lips, eyelids, and eyebrows are becoming more distinct, and he's even developing tiny tooth buds beneath his gums. His eyes have formed, but his irises (the colored part of the eye) still lack pigment. If you could see inside your womb, you'd be able to spot the fine hair (lanugo) that covers his body and the deep wrinkles on his skin, which he'll sport until he adds a padding of fat to fill them in. Inside his belly, his pancreas — essential for the production of some

How your life's changing:

 At this point, you may find your belly becoming a hand magnet. It's perfectly okay to tell folks who touch your tummy that you'd rather they didn't. And if people are telling you that you look smaller or bigger than you should at this point, remember that each woman grows — and shows — at her own rate. What's important is that you see your practitioner for regular visits so she can make sure your baby's growth is on track.
You may start to notice stretch marks on your abdomen as it expands to accommodate your growing baby. At least half of all pregnant women will develop stretch marks by the time they give birth. These small streaks of differently textured skin can range from pink to dark brown (depending on your skin color). Although they most commonly appear on your tummy, stretch marks may also show up on your buttocks, thighs, hips, and breasts. There's no proof that lotion helps prevent stretch marks, but keeping your skin moisturized may help with any itching.

Surprising Facts: Body changes beyond your belly

You expected your belly to grow — and perhaps your breasts, too — but the following physical changes may take you by surprise. As with many pregnancy changes, hormones play a role in most of these alterations in your looks.
  • Thicker, more lustrous hair You're not actually growing more hair, just losing less than normal. During pregnancy, your body sheds hair much more slowly than it did before. What to do: If thicker hair is a boon for you, enjoy it. If it's making your mane more unruly than ever, ask your stylist to do some thinning at your next cut. These changes won't last forever. After your baby's born, you'll start to lose this excess hair, sometimes in clumps.
  • Increased body hair Sex hormones known as androgens can cause new hair to sprout on your chin, upper lip, jaw, and cheeks. Stray hairs can also pop up on your belly, arms, legs, and back. What to do: Tweezing, waxing, and shaving are all safe ways to manage these temporary changes.
  • Faster-growing fingernails Your fingernails may grow more quickly than usual, and you may notice changes in texture. Some women's nails get harder, while others' get softer or more brittle. What to do: Protect your nails by wearing rubber gloves when you're cleaning, and using moisturizer on them if they're brittle.
  • Skin changes Some pregnant women report that their skin has never looked better. If that's you, enjoy the proverbial "glow." Others find the hormones of pregnancy aggravate skin conditions such as acne. What to do: Wash twice a day with a gentle soap or cleanser, and make sure that any moisturizer or makeup you use is oil-free.
  • Stretch marks As your belly expands to accommodate your growing baby, you may get tiny tears in the supportive tissue that lies just beneath your skin, resulting in striations of varying color. These marks will begin to fade and become considerably less noticeable about six to 12 months after you give birth. There's not much you can do besides trying not to gain more than the recommended amount of weight. Heredity is responsible for the natural elasticity of your skin and plays a role in determining who will end up with stretch marks.
  • Skin discolorations Increased melanin can cause splotchy patches of darkened skin on your face. These pigment changes may become intensified if you spend time in the sun. What to do: Protect your face by using a sunblock that offers both UVA and UVB protection with an SPF of 30 or higher, wearing a hat with a brim, and avoiding the sun during peak hours of the day (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.).
  • Larger and darker nipples and areolas You may find that your nipples and the pigmented area around them (the areolas) are getting bigger and darker. The little bumps on your areolas, known as Montgomery's tubercles, may also be more pronounced. These bumps are oil-producing glands that help fight off bacteria and lubricate the skin. Some women also notice more pronounced veins in their breasts. What to do: Nothing!
  • Larger feet Your feet may go up half a shoe size or more. Lax ligaments may make your feet spread a bit — permanently. Swelling can make your shoes feel tight as well, although it will go away after delivery. What to do: Buy comfortable shoes to accommodate your growing feet.
Okay, that's all my excitement for now.  Have a wonderful week Bleeps and I'll update soon, I swear!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Of belly rings and other things...

I'm sorry I am slacking Bleeps, it's a busy time with the holidays, and showers coming up.  A couple little things and the 21 week update may have to wait for another day - we'll see!

Had my monthly check-up today with Dr. OB and she says everything is fine.  Asked about the cyst in baby girl's brain and she said it was nothing to fret over, however we would do another ultrasound in about 8 weeks to see if it has disappeared or what-not, so that's just another chance to see baby girl!  Otherwise, heartbeat was good, my weight was good (although I thought it wasn't gonna be, but I'll get to that), and everything else was normal.  YAY!

J really wanted me to ask about my belly button ring and if it should come out.  Yes, I was that generation in college that got pierced.  Some opted for noses and tongues, but I went with the belly button.  Anyway, that was 12, yes 12, years ago and I still have my ring.  I've thought about taking it out a few times but never really had a reason.  I'm kind of attached to it, literally speaking, and it's not hurting anything.  Well, Dr. OB said that it could tear the skin as my belly gets bigger, so out she comes.  I was surprisingly sad about this revelation.  Really sad in fact.  I texted J with the answer (since he couldn't go to the appointment) and I think even though he was jumping for joy, I will miss my ring.  So I had him take this picture to commemorate my ring, because right not it's down right adorable (to me anyway) on a preggo belly.

I promised him I would take the ring out after he took the pic, and both will get put in the pregnancy scrap book that BFF in Phx gave me months ago.  She understood my pain, as she got one too when we were in college, and she had to take it out earlier this year per doc's orders for something else!  Boo....booo.....booooo!  I doubt it will go back in after baby girl is there goes my youth I guess!  I'll get over it, but I'm still very upset that I can't keep it!  However, upon trying to take it out, I couldn't get it to unscrew, so will have to have a piercer take it out after work tomorrow.

So the weight thing.  Dr. OB told me last time that I was up too high and to weigh myself every week.  Well, seeing as my toes are quickly slipping away, I haven't been weekly, but did right before Thanksgiving and I was up just about 2 lbs, which was perfect for my gaining 1 lb a week per doc's orders.  Then my birthday happened.  And then Thanksgiving happened.  And now we're smack-dab in the middle of the holiday season.  So when I got on the scale on Monday, in anticipation of today's visit, I was shocked to see I was up another 5 lbs!  This cannot be true!  So I fretted all day yesterday about the lecture I would receive at the doc's this morning.  Well, just in case something crazy was happening, I got on the scale this morning only to be surprised that I was suddenly down 2 lbs!  YAY!  That means I'm okay.  And Dr. OB said I was too!  Whew! 

I feel like I am gaining weight, but the only place I really see it is my belly and boobs.  Call me crazy, but I think my legs, arms and butt, are staying the same.  Most people that see me tell me I am "small" for this stage of the game.  And last week a lady I have begun to see more and more at the gym and I were talking and she said that she didn't even KNOW I was pregnant.  I retorted back, "I think - rather hope - if you had seen me before, you would be noticing a change now.  I used to not be able to see my belly button when I looked down my front, and now I can!"  Maybe that's why I am so attached to my ring right now, I can see it more often!!!  Before I could only see it in the mirror because my belly was relatively flat!

I have found possibly the greatest invention known to man!  It's called a pregnancy pillow and it rocks!  It's this crazy candy-cane-with-a-tail shaped thing.  But it is awesome.  I've always slept on my side or belly, and now obviously belly is getting less and less comfortable, I'd need multiple pillows just lay my head down.  So you can sleep on your side and it can support your belly, or go between your legs, or help you sit up a bit on your back.  And for later you can fold it so you can nurse.  It simply rocks!  I think I am not getting up as much at night because of it.  It might even be helping me not pee in the middle of the night so waking up, no having to go to the bathroom!  WINNER, WINNER, CHICKEN DINNER!

Belly rubbing has begun.  Not only do friends kind of lunge for my belly, but other people are noticing it now too.  I have yet to have the random person come up and rub it, thankfully.  Have had people I kind of know ask to touch it, which I don't mind at all.  I think it's sweet.  And now I am amazed at the wonder of it all, but I totally had that when I wasn't pregnant.  And still do.  I rub my belly all the time.  Sometimes because it just plain itches, but sometimes just because it is there!

Then there is J.  He has slowly come to do the belly rubs.  It used to only be occasionally when I was still laying in bed and he was leaving, but now it's a regular thing.  And the other night we went to a humorous musical show (The Gaslight Theater for you Tucson-ans) and he was all up-in-my-grill!  He was rubbing it like crazy!  I think since we have determined the baby's sex, he is more prone to be hands on and protective.  It was very sweet and I loved every minute of it!  I can tell he is very excited about this whole thing!  And the night we went to Gaslight, my wedding ring absolutely refused to fit, but Monday morning (2 days later) it fit just fine.  So apparently was just a little bloated last weekend!

Okay, I guess I haven't rambled on too much so there's room for my Week 21 update.  Here goes...

Your Baby in Week 21 of Pregnancy

How big is your baby? About the size of a large banana — and speaking of bananas, if you eat one this week, there's a good chance your baby will get a taste, too. That's because he swallows a bit of amniotic fluid each day (for nutrition, hydration, and to practice digesting), so he eats whatever's on your menu — and gets to put those developing taste buds to good use. So go ahead and nosh on those nachos (or crunch those crudités): Your baby may develop a taste for them when he’s older.

Your Body in Week 21 of Pregnancy

You may start to notice some stretch marks as your body expands and your belly and breasts just keep on growing. These pink, red, or purple streaks appear when the supporting tissue under your skin gets torn as skin stretches (and stretches and stretches) during pregnancy. Not every woman gets them, though you're a likely candidate if your mom had stretch marks during her pregnancy or if you've gained weight rapidly. So go ahead and slather the cocoa butter — at least it’ll keep your skin from drying out, even if it won’t keep those marks at bay.

Week 21 Pregnancy Tip: Anxiety

No, that's not the beach ball you lost last summer — there's really a baby in there! Now that you're starting to look pregnant (and not just like you were spending too much time with the Ben & Jerry's) and those kicks can no longer be mistaken for gas, the reality of pregnancy is probably beginning to sink in. And with it, you may find, a few ambivalent feelings you're even ambivalent about admitting. Don't worry — and hang on. At some point in pregnancy (and usually once that pregnancy becomes a very visible reality) just about every expectant mother (and father!) begins to feel anxiety and fear as though she's on a runaway train — with enormous changes coming round the bend. And not only is it completely normal to feel anxious — it's especially healthy to acknowledge it. Talk your feelings over with your friends who've had babies — they’ll reassure you that they experienced the same kind of anxiety. (Me a mom? There must be some mistake!) Most important, discuss your fears with your partner, who's probably just as in need of a good heart-to-heart.

Week 21 Pregnancy Symptoms

Fetal movement: By now you may be able to feel your baby twisting, turning, and kicking in the womb (though many new expectant moms mistake the feeling for gas). Enjoy these first gentle love taps — soon enough your growing baby’s kicks will get more aggressive.
Hearty appetite: Are you always in the mood to eat? Carry healthy snacks with you (such as nuts, raisins, trail mix, or granola bars) so that you’ll have nutritious fuel to keep you and your baby-to-be nourished even when you’re on the go.
Flatulence: The increasing pressure your uterus is placing on your rectum can mean that you’re having a hard time containing yourself (your gas, that is). Drink plenty of water and eat fiber-rich foods to avoid becoming constipated, which can make gassiness worse.
Varicose veins: The extra blood volume and weight you’re carrying around can put pressure on your circulatory system and lead to the swollen blood vessels called varicose veins. Do your best to keep your weight gain to a healthy minimum to avoid putting undue stress on your circulatory system.
Backaches: Not only is your center of gravity shifting and putting extra strain on your back, but the hormone relaxin is also causing your ligaments and joints to stretch and loosen, which means additional achiness in your back. If you can, splurge for a prenatal massage from a trained professional.
Bleeding gums: If your inflamed, bleeding gums are turning your toothbrush pink, avoid eating sticky candies, especially when you can’t brush afterward. The sweet stuff increases bacteria in your mouth and further irritates your gums.
Skin, hair, and nail changes: Have you noticed that your hair and nails are growing at record speed? Pregnancy hormones are partly the cause — as is the increased circulation in your body, bringing extra nutrients to your hair and nails (and to your baby, of course).

Now for my update:
Body Temperature - I am always warm, or really cold!  Literally walked into the doc's office today in a tank top (I had a sweater for outside) but in the office I was immediately burning up!  I have my own little furnace it seems.  Even Dr. OB was surprised!  But baby girl keeps me warm! 
Appetite - I was really worried about the weight this morning and glad doc said I was fine.  Had mentioned to Trainer that I eat and then can be immediately hungry again and I said I don't know what to do about it, so he said, "EAT!"  But now that doc is okay with weight, I'm not so nervous.  Although the half pie left over from Thanksgiving needs to be tossed. 
Workouts - still getting to the gym at least 2-3 times a week and doing well.  Trainer keeps trying to up my weight on things, but I'm naturally adding my own extra weight as I grow, so weight upping is not okay.  Ran through my whole workout with Dr. OB today and she said it was all great and I could do most anything that I felt okay doing.
Tiredness - overall I am not super tired, however when I get tired, I get tired F-A-S-T!  I mean sitting up chatting one minute and ready to pass out the next.  So have learned more and more to listen to my body.

And on a final note, most of you know how I love Guiliana Rancic for speaking out about infertility.  She had very sad news a few months back when she announced that she had breast cancer.  Well, Mama K alerted me to an announcement she made on the Today Show yesterday that was very sad, but hopeful.  She is going to get a double mastectomy in the next few weeks which will hopefully get all the cancer and help her get back to trying to get pregnant.  I watched BFF in Phx's Mom go through that and it ain't easy.  But Mom persevered and kicked Cancer's ass and I have every faith that Guiliana will too.  But please put it out in the universe to help this wonderful lady!

Alright folks, I'm out!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I'm very thankful we are half-way!

Holy Schmoly!  We are half way thru this pregnancy!  I cannot believe it...really, I can't.  Last year at this time I was drinking heartily to help ease the pain of the holiday season without a child and this year I can't and for a fabulous reason!  I almost want to throw a party to celebrate our half-way-ness!  It's really still very hard to believe.

I guess I might have neglected to mention that the day after we found out we are having a baby girl was my 32nd (or 23rd - you are only as old as you feel right?!) birthday.  What a great present it was to find out about baby girl!  Wednesday, after work I treated myself to a mani-pedi at a great little shop, then came home to presents from J. 

Thursday was Thanksgiving and I guess I need to update you on how the reveal went with J's parents.  Since there were only 6 of us (myself, J, my parents and J's parents) for dinner, we opted to have turkey breast instead of a full turkey.  J also wanted to smoke some turkey outside, so I cooked 2 three pound breasts and he smoked 2 three pound breasts.  His parents (driving from Mesa - about 2 hours away) got to our house about 10:30 am.  House was clean, turkeys were cooking, potatoes were mashing...and they hadn't yet seen our finished house.  Got them in and unpacked their contribution - two pumpkin pies and iced tea, then showed them the house.  I had some little girl headbands sitting on the kitchen counter, as well as some pink baby shoes sitting on a shelf in the living room.  I saw J's Mom look directly at the slippers, or so I thought, but she didn't say anything.  We showed them the living room (which again had pink booties sitting on the coffee table), and nothing was said.  Then we walked to my office (directly across from the nursery) which had nothing in it baby-related.  J's Mom wandered over to the nursery (no baby furniture yet, but 4 very apparent girl outfits strewn about) and I saw her eyes wander to each item and questions rolling through her head.  She finally said something to the effect of "what the...?  You told me not to buy clothes yet!"  We both smiled and revealed that we'd had the sonogram two days prior and had learned we were having a little girl!  There were no tears, but both parents were definitely very excited.  I think J's Dad had the same thoughts that J had at the sonogram (thinking about his Mom - J's Grandma), but he turned away from me so I couldn't see quick enough to be sure.  Finished showing them the rest of the house, then showed them the sonogram pictures. 

My parents arrived about an hour later and final preparations for dinner at 1 began.  Turkeys came out of the oven and the smoker, all the other goodies went in, and pretty soon it was time to eat...and boy were we hungry!  We sat and had a lovely conversation, but soon the topic turned to names.  I think I've told you folks, but we will not be sharing the name of baby girl until at least the month of her due date (April 2012) or at the very last her arrival day.  Well, that didn't fly too well with J's parents and the questions began..."is it an old name? is it a new name? is it a family name? is it a crazy name? is it a celebrity name?  how many letters in the name?" and on and on.  It became quite humorous after a while.  And even after the conversation had finally passed and other topics were being discussed, someone would pipe up with a new question about the name.  I have a feeling this will continue through April!  I gave up one hint saying that "yes it is a celebrity name, but nothing crazy" and J gave up a hint (kind of) saying he would tell one part (so everyone waited with baited breath) and he said "Rowe" - which is our last name.  Hardy har har....

All in all, a very good Thanksgiving day with the folks.  I got booted out of the kitchen when clean-up came round, much to my dismay (yeah, right!).  We relaxed for a bit and then it was time for J's parents to head home.  They'll probably be back next month for Christmas and we'll do it all over again!

J had to work Friday and Sat - boo.  So Friday, Volleyball Queen (who was in town to visit the fam) took me to a lovely breakfast and oohed and ahhed over my baby belly.  It was wonderful to catch up with her and show off sonogram pics again.  Saturday, Mama K took me to lunch and we had a lovely "Mommies only" conversation.  Then it was home for some movies that J doesn't like (The Family Stone and Love and Other Drugs) while I caught up on some knitting.  Sunday, we put up all the Christmas decorations in the new house, and it looks just lovely.  A great weekend to be sure!

Okay, time for the 20-week update according to

Your Baby in Week 20 of Pregnancy

Curious about whether that melon-sized belly contains a boy or a girl? (IT'S A GIRL!) Now's your chance to take a peek! Your second trimester ultrasound, scheduled for anytime between 18 and 22 weeks, gives your practitioner a chance to see how things are going in there. And, wow, are they going! If you're having a girl, her uterus is now fully formed and her ovaries are holding about seven million primitive eggs. And while your baby is definitely getting bigger (weighing in at about ten ounces and measuring six and a half inches), there's still plenty of growing room in there, which allows her to twist and turn (and allows you to feel his acrobatics!).

Your Body in Week 20 of Pregnancy

Now that you’re at the midpoint of your pregnancy (20 weeks down, 20 more to go!), that little cantaloupe (aka baby) you have in your belly is becoming more of a reality as you feel his movements and draw smiles from passersby who see your baby bump. You might also be noticing that your nails are stronger (though they could also turn dry and brittle) and your hair (all over your body) is thicker and fuller than usual — all thanks to pregnancy hormones and increased circulation, which furnish extra nutrients to hair and nail cells. But while the hair on your head may be lovelier than ever, you might not be digging those sprouts on your chin. This situation is indeed temporary, but feel free to tweeze!

Week 20 Pregnancy Tip: Appetite

Are you in the Hunger Zone? With weeks of nausea and food aversions behind you, you may be more than ready to make up for lost eating time (move over crackers, hello four-course meals!). But before you dig into that all-you-can-eat buffet at lunchtime, here's something you might want to consider. The grazing approach that was your mealtime MO during those queasy months is still the best way to feed yourself and your baby now that food's no longer a four-letter word. Not only does it help fend off pesky second-trimester tummy troubles (like the heartburn and indigestion that's sure to set in by your second trip to the buffet), but it also ensures that baby's getting a steady supply of calories when he needs it the most. In fact, studies show that moms who eat at least five or six small meals and snacks a day are more likely to carry to term. So bring on the grub when pregnancy hunger hits, and lots of it — just bring it on a little at a time.
Learn more about the pregnancy diet.

Week 20 Pregnancy Symptoms

Heartburn or indigestion: If you’re looking for a simple heartburn fix, try chewing a piece of sugarless gum after meals. The increased saliva it produces neutralizes gastric acids and helps force fluids back into the stomach.
Increased vaginal discharge: As your pregnancy progresses, you’ll notice an increase in vaginal discharge. While it can be uncomfortable, this discharge actually helps protect the birth canal from infection and maintains a healthy balance of bacteria in the vagina.
Occasional headaches: Do you find that your headaches crop up when you’re overheated, in windowless, stuffy spaces, or under fluorescent lighting? Be sure to take fresh-air breaks outside a few times a day, and dress in layers to avoid getting too hot, which could trigger a headache.
Occasional faintness or dizziness: Stuffy, hot rooms can be the cause of light-headedness (not just headaches), especially when your body is already generating lots of heat with that little bun you’re cooking in your oven. Stay cool by taking frequent breaks for fresh air and wearing loose-fitting clothes.
Leg cramps: Experts aren’t clear on what causes leg cramps during pregnancy, but one theory is that they are caused by compressed blood vessels in the legs (a consequence of extra weight and swelling). Help the blood circulate throughout your body more easily — and minimize cramping — by putting your feet up when you can and drinking plenty of fluids.
Mild swelling of ankles and feet: If water retention in your ankles and feet is causing you pain, be sure to wear comfy (not tight!) shoes while you’re out, and switch into slippers when you get home. Also, avoid tight socks or pantyhose that can cut off blood flow — you want to keep fluids flowing freely to minimize swelling in your lower extremities.
Protruding navel: Your cute little innie belly button may suddenly morph into an outie as your uterus pushes your abdomen forward. If you don’t like the new look, don’t worry — your navel will go back to being an innie after delivery.

Now for my version:
I do admit that I am hungrier.  It seems like I just finish eating and then my stomach rumbles like it hasn't been fed in days!  I still have my energy and have been going to the gym three times a week (well, except for last week with the holiday).  I feel good and am really good at getting things done right now.  We're ready to start a brand new year, definitely on the right foot!  My next doc appointment is next Tuesday and I'm sure we'll hear more about what happened at the ultrasound then. 

I guess that is really all for now!  Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving (those in the States that is) and to everyone a very happy rest of the week! 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

My Mom was right, and boy is she happy about it!

Hello Bleeps!  Wow...let me take a breath!  It has been quite a morning.  So let's start at the beginning....

We had our 20 week ultrasound today (even though I am only about 19 weeks along).  For those of you who have never been (like me - until today), this scan looks at a lot of the baby's body and looks for specific things (but we'll get to that).  I was excited but I did manage to sleep most of the night except for the normal trips to the bathroom.  Until about 5 am that is....I woke up and for the life of me, no matter how I turned, couldn't go back to sleep.  Finally about 6 am, knowing my alarm was set for 6:15 am, I got up, showered and got ready.  Woke J up about 6:30 am, so he could get ready.  Out of the house by 7:15 am and on our way (in separate cars so he could go straight to work afterwards) to the ultrasound place, which is not my doc's office.  Mom and Dad beat us there.  I got checked in, got my lovely little hospital bracelet, sat down and sure enough we got called in. 

Very nice technician who kind of walked us through what the procedure would detail (EVERYTHING!) and then we began.  Mom, Dad and J sat in chairs and I laid on the bench, with J's hand holding my hand on my shoulder while she spread the jelly goo on my belly.  Oh, and she asked if we wanted to know the sex - which of course got a resounding "Yes" from all parties.  So she began...looked at the baby's head, hands (made sure they both opened and closed like they should), feet, measured limbs, heart (saw all 4 chambers - amazing!), profile, kidneys, basically if the baby had it we saw it.  Finally little Monkey was positioned correctly and she said, "alrighty folks, looks like we have a GIRL!"  Mom asked how sure the tech was and she said "she doesn't say anything until she is 80% positive" then later she became 98% positive after showing us how she could tell it was a little girl.  J kept squeezing my hand ever so tightly and I think a couple little tears may have escaped my eyes.  Mom yelped I am pretty sure! (Mind you, it would have been the same for a boy, we just want a healthy baby!) 

The one thing the technician went back to was a little spot in baby girl's non-thinking part of the brain.  It's called a cyst and they are seeing more and more of them because technology is getting better and better.  The technician made sure we understood it was nothing to worry about because all of the other tests she did to ensure nothing was wrong (making sure baby girl's hands opened and closed for one - which they did) and comparing to my last ultrasound (with the crazy blood test) and said that was very normal, also looking at baby girl's length and weight (length is about the size of a watermelon slice, with overall weight about as heavy as a can of soda), and that was good too because she measures a bit larger and usually babies with problems measure smaller.  So all in all, something to be aware of but nothing to worry about.  Although we did need to come back to talk to the doc and essentially hear the same thing from her in a few hours. 

Clean me up and walk out with our crowd.  As soon as we were outside I think Mom did a little dance.  She's thrilled!  Dad said good-bye and went off to work, thrilled as well.  Mom stepped away so J and I could have a little moment.  And I looked at him and his eyes were glassy.  I kind of did a double take and asked him if he had cried (it had been dark in the room after all so I couldn't see if he had) and he just kind of gave me a funny look.  So I reached in to hug him and remembered us talking about how when Grandma Rowe (who died last November) got to heaven we would have an extra angel watching out for us and we'd probably get a girl if she had her say-so.  And that's what had brought him to tears.  It was so sweet to see him so excited about our little girl.  I think that is the first time I have seen him cry happy you know what is to come.  This little girl may just be spoiled rotten!  Oh well....if that's what happens, that's what happens.  After a good few minutes of hugging, we finally released, both with wet eyes, said our "I love you's" and went our separate ways...him to work and me with Mom to breakfast and to Target for finally some baby shopping!

So here's my plan for telling J's parents.  I bought a whole bunch of baby girl stuff at Target (socks, shoes, dresses, headbands, etc.) and I'm just going to leave it around the house when they come on Thanksgiving.  If they don't comment or miss all that stuff, then when we go around and say what we're thankful for, J or I will say, "I'm thankful for our little girl coming in April."  BTW - Grandma Rowe's birthday is April 2nd, so there's another link to her.  I think J's parents will pick up on the little hints before we get to dinner, but we'll have to wait until Thursday to find out.

When we (Mom and I) stopped somewhere to run an errand and she popped out of my car, I took a picture...

of one of the things I had bought at Target and texted it to maybe 30 people showing our news.  From then on my phone just went crazy.  Also sent the photo to J and he said he loved it!  (Months and months ago, J had a dream that he was following a little girl with pigtails and bows and he knew that it was his daughter...guess he was right!)  Also, at least a few years ago, I had Chinese food one night and the back of my fortune from my fortune cookie said, "daughter" and how to say it in Chinese.  Don't know if they were really indicators back then, but we're gonna say they are now!

Mom and I also called my Grandma Einck (Mom's Mom), because this is her first great-grand-baby and she was excited to hear that it was a baby girl.  There's a lot of girls on my side of the family (4 girls on Mom's side and 5 on Dad's - cousins I mean) so I thought it might be, but I also didn't want to get attached to a girl or a boy and be disappointed either way.

I guess that's about all our news today.  Oh, when I dropped Mom off at her house I finally got to take a picture of the fun thing BFF in Phoenix got her for her birthday announcing she would be a grandma.  So here's really is quite perfect.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Pinch, pinch...okay, now stop!

Hello fair are you?  In AZ, the weather is perfect for me right now for the hours I am awake.  Anything before 6 am is just unbearable and after 9 pm too.  But in between is divine! 

We've passed the 18 week mark now and are lunging for the half-way mark.  Things are a bit busy at our house lately, and apparently in my belly.  For a few days now it has felt like someone is pinching me from the inside of my belly.  I finally opted to call Dr. OB yesterday because it was really hurting.  Nurse Shari assured me it was normal and was just ligaments stretching to account for el bambino needing more room.  But it has yet to stop and not that I'm complaining, but it hurts!  Guess it's the first of a lot right?!  Anyway, seem to be doing well.  Working out 3 times a week pretty regularly now and feeling good. 

We've got some work being done on our house this week.  J took off for Thursday and Friday to clean up the yard (not that I think it looks bad, but to him it is atrocious) so we rented a dumpster for that.  Also having ceiling fans put into our incredibly high ceilings, especially the baby's room to keep air moving about and some electrical issues fixed.  Then, when I was drying my hair this morning I noticed something above me so called the pest man to check it out Friday.  Looks like Thursday and Friday will bring lots of changes.  Not to mention the carpets were professionally cleaned last week.  Getting ready for Thanksgiving I guess?

That also means that we are getting ready to know the baby's sex...yup, next Tuesday!  Yikes, so excited.  I think the overall consensus from the masses is girl, but there's a few that think boy.  Guess we'll all find out next week.  J's parents will find out at Thanksgiving and I know how I am going to tell them, but you'll just have to wait until after the fact.

Now be thankful, here's a belly photo (Mama K came over on Saturday with the kiddos while J was camping and swiped my phone and forced me to take a photo...just kidding...kinda not...just kidding)....and a "chopped hair" photo...(I guess I got a bit of a wild hair on Saturday when I went to the hairdresser because I had her chop off about 6 inches, but so far so good.)...

And here's the 18 week update:
How your baby's growing:

Head to rump, your baby is about 5 1/2 inches long (about the length of a bell pepper) and he weighs almost 7 ounces. He's busy flexing his arms and legs — movements that you'll start noticing more and more in the weeks ahead. His blood vessels are visible through his thin skin, and his ears are now in their final position, although they're still standing out from his head a bit. A protective covering of myelin is beginning to form around his nerves, a process that will continue for a year after he's born. If you're having a girl, her uterus and fallopian tubes are formed and in place. If you're having a boy, his genitals are noticeable now, but he may hide them from you during an ultrasound.

How your life's changing:
Hungry? An increase in appetite is pretty common about now. Make it count by choosing meals and snacks that are rich in nutrients instead of empty calories (chips, French fries, candy, and other sweets). Bigger, more comfortable clothes are a must now as your appetite and waistline grow. Your cardiovascular system is undergoing dramatic changes, and during this trimester your blood pressure will probably be lower than usual. Don't spring up too fast from a lying or sitting position or you might feel a little dizzy. From now on, when you do lie down, it's best to lie on your side — or at least partly tilted to one side. (When you lie flat on your back, your uterus can compress a major vein, leading to decreased blood return to your heart.) Try placing a pillow behind you or under your hip or upper leg for comfort. If you haven't already had a second-trimester ultrasound, you'll probably have one soon. This painless procedure helps your practitioner check how your baby's growing, screen for certain birth defects, check the placenta and umbilical cord, determine whether the due date you're working with is accurate, and see how many babies you're carrying. During the exam, you might see your baby moving around or sucking his thumb. Bring your partner along, and be sure to ask for a printout for your baby's first photo album!

Now for my version:
I'm feeling pretty good.  J would say that I am phenomenal because I am once again cleaning, cooking and moving around at a pretty good clip.  I'm just happy I can stand up and not feel sick or have a headache every day.  I would definitely say I have a baby belly now...or a beer belly if you don't know me.  :)  But you can tell for yourself in the above photo. 

Oh, totally weird thing happened last week.  I was at work and I got a text from a phone number I didn't have in my phone kind of asking a personal question, then another saying the textor had" had a dream about me and that I was pregnant with a little girl."  I texted back asking "who it was" and it happened to be from one of the girls who worked for us last year who had moved about 5 hours away and changed her number.  Anyway, I responded that we would "find out the sex in a few weeks" (figuring she had heard about the pregnancy from a mutual friend) and she texted back saying she "had no clue I was actually expecting and she was so excited for us."  How random is that?  Since I'm not having any dreams about sex of the baby (besides the one), I'm thinking it's a girl based on her and everyone else's guesses. 

I even said something about the baby to J the other day and said "she" is doing something and he looked up and said, "she huh?"  I think he's rooting for a boy.  Will just have to wait and see.

But boy do we have a lot to be thankful for this year!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

What a crazy week!

Hello folks!  I feel like I have been saying "I'm sorry for being MIA" a lot lately.  Just a lot happening and not enough time in the day.  Plus I will admit that I get tired easier these days than in my pre-pregnancy life.  So a quick update then the 17 week (!) update, and then I'm done.

We are almost half way through this pregnancy and only about a week an a half away from knowing the sex of little Monkey.  I woke up with a migraine on Sunday and Monday so no gym for me on Monday, but I did go Wednesday and plan to go tomorrow too.  Doing the new workout Trainer gave me and so far not so bad.  My upper body was a little sore yesterday, but today even less.  Tuesday was my monthly Dr. OB visit and according to her everything is great.  My blood pressure is always great they tell me, however I was up 6 lbs!  OMG!  In past times up 6 lbs was cause for vast diet shift and more workouts, but not these days!  Dr. OB reminded me that I am only supposed to gain about a pound a week, so this month was a bit high and that I need to monitor myself.  I kind of think it is due to the fact that my appetite has returned and I am eating real food again.  Workouts could have a little to do with it since they have been added back in, but mostly just because I'm actually eating again!  Other than that we are doing just fine.  I heard the heartbeat again (J couldn't go to the appointment because he was super busy at work) and I even recorded it on my phone so I can listen anytime I want to.  If I was a little more internet savvy I would figure out how to post it, but I'm not so sorry!  So we move forward to next month. 

Today one of our pups has been coughing.  It's the weirdest thing ever.  Kind of sounds like she has something caught in her throat, but then nothing ever comes up.  Sometimes its a whole bunch at once and sometimes not for hours on end.  Have called our vet (across town) and the receptionist said to wait it out for a few days.  Called the vet down the street and left a message asking the vet to call me back to determine if we need to bring her in.  J suggested giving her some warm chicken broth because her throat must be sore from all the coughing.  Don't really know if it is helping but she sure loves it!  I really hope it is nothing serious, just sounds so bad! 

Okay, 17 week update:
How your baby's growing:
Your baby's skeleton is changing from soft cartilage to bone, and the umbilical cord — her lifeline to the placenta — is growing stronger and thicker. Your baby weighs 5 ounces now (about as much as a turnip), and she's around 5 inches long from head to bottom. She can move her joints, and her sweat glands are starting to develop.

How your life's changing:
Starting to feel a bit off balance? As your belly grows, your center of gravity changes, so you may begin to occasionally feel a little unsteady on your feet. Try to avoid situations with a high risk of falling. Wear low-heeled shoes to reduce your risk of taking a tumble; trauma to your abdomen could be dangerous for you and your baby. You'll also want to be sure to buckle up when you're in a car — keep the lap portion of the seat belt under your belly, drawn snugly across your hips, and also use the shoulder harness, which should fit snugly between your breasts.You may also notice your eyes becoming drier. Using over-the-counter lubricating drops may help. If your contact lenses become uncomfortable, try wearing them for shorter stretches of time. If you still have discomfort, switch to glasses until after you give birth.

Now for my version:
I am getting closer and closer to feeling "like a million bucks" as Trainer's Wife told me I would in the 2nd trimester.  I'm still tired, with all that my body is doing, but at least I can wrangle myself out of bed in the morning.  I did attend 2 baby birthday parties on opposite sides of town on Saturday and that tired me out pretty good for Sunday.  But other than that I'd say I am prospering.  I definitely feel like I look pregnant now.  Have worn my "look at me, I'm pregnant" shirts a couple times and feel pretty good about it.  Although I have not mastered the art of self-portrait with camera phone and I keep forgetting to ask J to take a picture of me for y'all and FB.  I will, at some point friends.  I do have an appetite, as my 6 lbs can attest to, but I still don't feel like I am eating everything in sight.  I used to always be a member of the "clean plate club" at any meal and that just isn't the case these days.  I have noticed that my allergies are acting up with the drastic change in weather (we went from 80 degrees one day to 50 the next!), but that isn't Monkey's fault.  Although I will say that I am hesitant to take any meds, even those approved by the doc, to ease my pain.  Can't explain why specifically, just want to make sure nothing I do affects how Monkey is coming along. 

I guess that is it for now and I am due for a snack!  Have a great rest of your day folks and talk to you soon!

Friday, November 4, 2011

How do you say...?

Hello my Bleeps!  I've missed you since Sunday.  How has your week been?  Again, we've been a busy bunch but nothing super exciting.

I guess today might end up as kind of a rambling. I don't have anything specific in mind, but a few things floating.  So here goes...

I haven't felt the baby move again.  I feel little cramps and the other day it felt like someone was pinching me from the inside, but it doesn't feel like the first two times the baby moved.  It has me a bit worried, but I also haven't been laying down doing nothing very much, and that has been when it has happened.  I have my monthly OB visit on Tuesday so I'll hear the heartbeat again.  J can't go because he is super busy at work and wants to save his November day off for Ultrasound day on the 22nd.  So just me, but I am hoping I remember to see if Dr. OB will let me record on my phone what the heartbeat sounds like so I can listen whenever I want to.  I was explaining to a friend at lunch today that besides feeling hefty these days (and not in a good way) I don't really feel pregnant anymore.  In the first trimester I was sick, headachy and tired, so I actually "felt" pregnant.  Now, I feel really good...still have the occasional sour stomach or headache, but mostly feel great.  So right around the time I am due to visit Dr. OB I don't feel pregnant and she'll be there to assure me that everything is fine.

I've been to the gym a few times this week, but I think 3 is my max per week.  I was really sore last week, but by the weekend I was much better.  I went this week and met with Trainer on Thursday.  He revamped my workout so that I had less stress on my back and abdomen, and more focus on upper body (thank goodness because it needs it!) and legs.  He also taught me some stretches to help ease the changes happening now.  I can't explain how much it helps that he just watched his wife go through this so he understands everything first hand.  It is truly awesome.  We also discussed boot camp.  I'm a bit leery about going back.  One because it is at 6 am and these days getting up before then is a true challenge to my inner core.  Two because it is downright cold now in the mornings.  And three because I don't know what the workout will be and while I know Meanie Christinie would make it so I could do it, I really don't want to overdo it.  I'm almost positive everything would be fine, but the "what if" is getting to me.  Especially after Angel Ash said last week not to "push it."  I know for a fact that if anything happens to this baby during the pregnancy (afterwards - not my fault, he he) I will blame myself.  And working out just isn't worth it that much to me.  Afterwards, I will work my butt off to get back in shape, I swear (although she is leaving in February...booo MC!).  But for now, 3 times a week at my pace is it.  I miss the interaction with MC, Lobster and Robot, but right now Monkey is my priority.   And I have a feeling it will remain that way for the next 18 years, if not for the rest of my life.  Trainer agreed with my thoughts as did J.  I'll still go to the gym and do my thing, but boot camp is out.  (sad face)  I hope my girls understand...

My belly.  I've finally gotten my pregnancy shirts in that are way cute that express I am truly pregnant.  However, when I put them on, they hide the belly.  And in that I just look fat.  I don't have the nice roundness that I see on everyone else.  I realize I am only 4 months pregnant (!), but I want the perfect round belly so everyone doesn't just guess (pregnant or fat) and hope they are right.  I haven't posted preggo pics because  every self photo I take looks awful.  Truly awful!  The belly isn't as present in the morning as it is in the afternoon.  And then I forget to have J take one when he gets home.  I always think about it at bedtime or when I haven't done my hair or make up because we are just cleaning.  I will try, I swear, but no promises.  How do you take a nice self-portrait in the mirror with a camera phone?  This is a talent I do not possess.

No, I do not "feel" the sex of the baby.  I've had many people ask me this question and the answer still remains no.  I didn't know I was pregnant.  I do not know what I am having.  And according to Angel Ash, the angels don't want me to know! I wish I knew.  We will be happy either way.  If we have a boy, J will be in heaven teaching him how to play football, baseball and to work on the car and Monkey will be my little man.  If we have a girl, I will be in heaven dressing her up and she will have J wrapped around her little finger.  My Mom is p-o-s-i-t-i-v-e that we are having a girl, as are a few other people.  Guess we will just have to wait and see.  And when we know, I will share the sex.  Any ideas of fun ways to surprise our house guests on Thanksgiving - mainly J's family - with the reveal?

Names.  J refuses, absolutely refuses, to discuss names until we know the sex of Monkey.  He won't even bat them around with me.  He doesn't want to fall in love with a name and then be disappointed because the baby is the other sex.  And no, we won't be telling people the name.  Maybe at the shower, but I kinda think not until the baby is born.  We'll see.  I have a list in my phone, but until it's in cement, that will be a secret.

I bought something for Monkey.  I couldn't resist last weekend!

I guess this is where my ramblings come to an end.  Have a wonderful weekends comes week #17!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Movin' and Groovin'

Hello fair friends.  Well, I'm sorry I've been a bit absent this week but it's probably because it has been so busy and soooooooo exciting.  I know I haven't posted the 15 week update and it kind of seems silly now because as of today I am 16 weeks, but you'll find it after I tell you about this week.

After our fun shopping trip last Saturday, I decided it was time to head back to the gym.  So Monday, I went.  And I did my regular workout, only instead of three sets, I only did one set, per Trainer's instruction.  I was done fairly quickly and feeling great.  Cut to Monday night when I could barely move my legs.  Seems taking 2 months off (almost to the day) really changes how your body reacts.

Tuesday, (10/25) I could barely get out of bed.  So as I lay there contemplating how to get my jelly legs to move, I had an odd sensation in my belly.  At first I thought, "oh, that's gas." and almost immediately after that thought flitted through my head, I thought, "wait, everyone said the baby moving would FEEL like gas the first time.  Oh. My. Goodness.  I just felt the baby move!!!!!"  My hands immediately clamped on my stomach and apparently Monkey's somersault was through and s/he was back to resting comfortably on my bladder.  To try to explain further, it kind of felt like someone pushing on my belly and moving their two fingers quickly from about the middle of my belly to the far right side, but from the inside.  It was so strange.  Yet so amazing!  I haven't felt it again yet and am beginning to think it was because I was so sore that that area was the only area that COULD move!  But I happily anticipate the next one!!! 

Wednesday, although I thought good and hard about it, I did not sleep in and I went to the gym again.  This time, I did 2 sets of my workout.  I felt good afterwards, but by late afternoon, the pain was creeping into my legs again, however not my arms (and I had worked them out too).  I made it home in one piece, but about 7 pm texted Trainer and Meanie Christinie because my leg muscles were in such agony.  Both recommended a hot bath and movement, so that's what I did.  The bath helped immensely!  I was able to sleep adequately through the night and walk the next morning.

Thursday, the day wasn't bad and even walking through the grocery store was much easier than I thought it might be.  Planned to get up Friday to go to the gym again, although I knew I had a very finite period of time to do so because I had a funeral to attend that morning.

Friday, (10/28) woke up to the alarm and couldn't hold my eyes open.  I tried, I mean, I really tried to get up, but I couldn't.  I figured it was Monkey's way of telling me I needed rest.  So I did not go to the gym.  However, I did have quite the random dream that I remembered when I got up.  In the dream I was getting an ultrasound and J was with me.  However, it was a very futuristic ultrasound in that instead of seeing the baby on the screen, I was seeing kind of a hologram of the baby in my arms.  He (yes, the dream showed a boy baby) was very long, longer than I would imagine a baby to be.  So it was verified that the baby is a boy.  However, after I woke up I thought that maybe because the sonogram was so futuristic, that the dream was telling me this one would be a girl and the next one (in the future) would be a boy.  We still don't know the sex I guess.

Got up about 2 hours later than I would have to workout and got some work done, then ready for the funeral and off we went.  Mom and I had lunch after the funeral at one of my favorite places, Rosa's Mexican Food, and then it was home to work a bit more and try to nap the tears out of my eyes.  But that didn't work either.  Early evening with J and to bed.

Saturday I did make it back to the gym for episode #3 (like I had wanted) and did 3 sets of my workout.  However, I have determined that I will only be going 3 times this week and not 5 like I had originally envisioned.  Don't want to overdo it.

I happened to email Angel Ash to see if she had any insight to the sex of the baby and she responded to me this morning with the following:
"So, I asked (the angels). And I kept hearing "no." They don't want you to know right now (the sex of the baby).

I pulled a few cards asking what you need to know about the baby and I got:

YOUR DESIRE IS WITHIN REACH: saying that the baby is healthy and to release your worries.

EASY DOES IT: Do not push yourself too hard. I feel like by the end of your pregnancy, if you continue to push yourself, you may end up on bedrest. So make sure you are being kind to yourself and resting when you feel you need to rest. Also, this is asking you to let go of concerns and worries. Everything is okay. (Whew!)

SPRING: The baby is due in the spring!  (Well, we knew that!)

Sorry we don't get a boy or girl. But I literally asked the pendulum and I asked boy or girl and got "no." LOL."

So what I take from that is that we aren't supposed to know until we are supposed to know.  Now any fun ideas on how we can break it to the in-laws on Thanksgiving day?

Okay, here's the 15 week update which will be quickly followed (I promise) by the 16 week update:

Pregnancy Week 15: All About Baby

 Get out a ruler and measure 4 inches--that's about how big Baby is this week, from the top of her head to her tush. She's actually longer than that, counting legs, but since she's so tightly curled, with her legs against her chest, it's too hard to compute. So she is measured from "crown" to "rump" for the next few weeks. As she continues to gain weight, some exciting things are happening: as she sucks and swallows amniotic fluid, taste buds are beginning to appear on her tongue (isn't that cool?), and her eyes are becoming able to sense light, though her lids will still be shut like a kitten's for several more weeks.

Pregnancy Week 15: All About You

You finally look pregnant! As your bump grows, your internal organs are shifting positions to make room for your baby-to-be. Less room means you may not be able to eat large meals, but instead you'll need to eat more frequently to stay satisfied. Because of cramped tummy space, you may have heartburn, indigestion, and flatulence. Your blood flow has increased to provide extra nutrients—meaning more trips to the bathroom for you. You may also notice that you're retaining water.

Pregnancy Brain (See Mom, it does exist!)
Dropped anything lately? Tripped over nothing? Forget something you always remember—like the date? You may be experiencing a common complaint in pregnancy—scatterbrain. "Some of my patients call it 'placenta brain,'" says Dr. Joanne Motino Bailey, PhD, a certified nurse-midwife and a professor of women's studies at the University of Michigan. While there are no studies to support the existence of pregnancy scatterbrain, notes Dr. Bailey, there are some changes in your body which may account for your sudden clumsiness.

Changing center of gravity: The first reason you may be stumbling is obvious—you're getting bigger. As your belly grows outward, your whole center of gravity is thrown. After walking perfectly for years, your body now has to constantly realign itself to keep you upright—no wonder you're tripping.
While your baby-to-be is well cushioned in your belly, falling wouldn't be good for either of you. Opt for sneakers or flats instead of high heels. Take stairs slowly. And be mindful of your movements to avoid any serious spills.

Retaining water: Another reason you may think your losing your mind—your gripping sensation may be different because you're retaining water. Your swollen fingers may make it more difficult to pick something up. (Think about how much harder it is to grab something up with fuzzy gloves on.)

Loosened joints: For your belly to house your growing baby, your skin, muscles, and joints stretch and loosen. A pregnancy hormone, appropriately called relaxin, triggers this change. Just like you need to keep in mind your changing center of gravity, remember that your muscles aren't as tight as in pre-pregnancy days—take it easy!

Fatigue: "We all know that we're not at our best when we're tired," says Dr. Bailey. "During pregnancy your body is under a great deal of stress, but it's hard to take the time out for an extra hour of sleep, which is really what you need." So it's not surprising that your constant state of tiredness may leave you not as sharp as in pre-pregnancy days.

If however, you find yourself overly clumsy, let your healthcare provider know about it. There may be something more going on than loose joints and lack of sleep.

You may be now experiencing the happiest pregnancy symptom of all—your baby is most likely a regular wiggler now! You may begin to feel a fluttering in your uterus.  (I did, and I happily anticipate it returning!)

So there you have it folks!  I'm off to make some Snickerdoodle cookies (my favorite) and watch my favorite Halloween movie to get ready for tomorrow (don't laugh, it's Hocus Pocus, I don't like scary movies!) 

Happy Halloween and Happy Sunday!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Scratching and Stretching and Shopping

Hello friends...I know I've been a bit absent this week and it's only because we've been really busy.  We are now in trimester #2 (I have to remind myself of that lately!) and are really feeling like this will all work out.  As the title suggests, I've been itchy which leads to scratching.  I put a lot of lotion on my belly to hopefully help with stretch marks, and everywhere else, but I'm still itchy, belly, boobs, everything!  The other thing I am noticing is a stretching in my belly...I just feel like my abdomen is constantly being stretched, but I'm sitting still.  (To understand this effect, reach one of your arms across your body and stretch your tricep...that's how my belly feels 24/7 these days.)  

And lastly, J and I had our first baby shopping excursion.  We are starting on the nursery and somewhere I read that ordering furniture can sometimes take 10-12 weeks to receive.  So yesterday that's what we did.  I had searched to see things I liked, then printed them out so we had pricing.  We definitely want a crib that converts to a toddler bed and a full size bed, usually a little more money but will be around for a nice long time.  I asked my Facebook Mommies where to go and they responded in spades with many ideas, most of which we hit yesterday.  Babies R Us seemed to be the best place and not as expensive as we thought it might be.  Found a set we liked, although not the right color.  One of the suggestions on FB was to find the set you liked, then look for it on where sometimes the options are more diverse as far as colors, cheaper and usually free shipping.  So that's the next step.  I took pictures of the set we like, the name, the cost, etc. and now the research will begin.  J was a trooper, and at the end I think he cared more than I did.  I was just done! 

And I am very sad to say that after visiting 7 stores and walking around not a crazy amount, I am a bit sore today.  Just my calves are a little tender, but compared to what I used to put my body through and not get sore, this is not okay.  Which only means one thing, I need to get back to the gym and get back to where I was...maybe not weight wise with the baby coming, but at least where I can walk around and not get tired.  It is time.  My goal is at least twice this week, if not 3 times and then all 5 days next week.  Will keep you posted...have really loved sleeping in those extra 2 hours, but need to get used to less sleep and more being in shape!

In other news, I was able to sell my 2nd fertility binder to a lovely woman named Vonda ( and according to the review below she loved it.  I couldn't help but share it with you! 
From Vonda: I stumbled upon this blog last year sometime and I’ve been reading it ever since! Of course I am talking about I feel like I know Niki, maybe its because I feel like she writes like she knows me! Anyways, in her blog writing she’s talked about the binder she uses to keep herself organized. Now don’t get me wrong, I am actually a pretty organized mom, if for any other reason I have a couple of boys that are extremely involved and it’s my job to get them where they need to be when they need to be there!

But me myself, not so organized… I wait til the last minute for everything if its just about me… I guess it’s the nature of taking care of others first! So like I said I have a busy crazy life with my hubby and boys… the only thing missing is a sweet baby girl. A couple of years ago I finally convinced my husband to let us try one more time for another baby. The problem is that I had my tubes tied after my little guy and so we knew it was going to be an ordeal. I wont bore you with the details, I will just tell you its been a messy adventure… We now know that our only safe option is IVF. After we learned that, I remembered Niki’s binder and decided I probably needed to be a whole lot more organized…

Niki was awesome to work with and had my binder to me in no time. We are moving forward with our treatments soon and I already feel relieved just having the last 2 years documented nice and neat! She customized my binder for me, I picked the fabric, what years I wanted represented and she even put an extra tab for in there for ‘baby year 1’. She thought of everything, all the information I could ever need is now at my fingertips. She personalized my binder in every way, one of my favorites though is the personal note in the front of the binder and the very sweet handwritten thank you card. Thanks Niki for helping this girl organize her steps to realizing her baby dreams. I love that you took your idea and made it available for other women who need simplicity in what can a difficult time!

Binders are still for sale and there are more than just infertility...well, presently just infertility and baby, but if I start to get more interest, maybe more will be birthed!  Have a wonderful rest of your weekend folks and week 15 updates are coming soon about the baby!