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!