Sunday, January 29, 2012

A poem and 2 updates

I know I said I would try and not be so tardy this week, but I am.  Today I am 29 weeks, but I have yet to post the 28 week post.  Sorry's been a busy couple of days.

But first, here is a poem that one of the invitees to my shower wrote in her card.  She's also a client, and mentions the name of my company, so sorry, but I have omitted that.  Such a great poem and will always be treasured!

Whether a girl or boy,
So much love, so much joy!
Will fill our hearts with years of glee
Until the wee one reaches three.

Look out mom, look out dad
Can it be a genius we've had?
This darling child, to our remorse
Will chat endlessly (in sentences of course).

Speaking Spanish, German, French
before the 16th year,
Playing Chopin, Bach, Beethoven
and has a perfect ear!

Graduate from Harvard
before age 21
Not surprising us at all
while having lots of fun!

Suma Cum Laude in Economics
before age 25
Now CEO and owner of:
(you guessed it) _________!

Such a fun poem from a great lady!!!  I've contemplated writing it up and putting it up in Baby Girl's room, however don't want to overwhelm her at such a young age!

And now for the 28 week update....
Week 28 of Pregnancy: Fetal Brain Activity
 Your developing baby, who this week weighs in at about two and a half pounds and stands — or rather lies — at almost 16 inches (measured head to toe) has added blinking, coughing, and more intense sucking to his or her growing bag of tricks.

Are you dreaming about your baby? At 28 weeks pregnant, your baby may be dreaming about you, too. Brain wave activity measured in a developing fetus shows different sleep cycles, including the rapid eye movement phase, the stage when dreaming occurs.

By now, your baby, who weighs in at about two and a half pounds and stands — or rather lies — at almost 16 inches (measured head to toe) has added blinking to his or her growing bag of tricks. (Outside in the real world, blinking is necessary to help keep foreign objects out of the eyes.) Other impressive new talents being added to your baby's roster in the womb include coughing, more intense sucking, and, perhaps most important, better breathing. Of course, it's still best if a baby doesn't check out of that uterine hotel just yet — there's still a lot of growing and maturing to do over the next 12 weeks.

It's a short one!  So we'll go straight to the 29 week update and get me caught up!  And I've commented in blue this time.
Week 29 of Pregnancy
Your baby's packing on the pounds, which look so cute on her. If only you could say the same for your varicose veins….

Your Baby in Week 29 of Pregnancy
How big is your baby this week? She weighs nearly three pounds now and measures about 17 inches. Though she's getting pretty close to her birth length, she still has to chub out a bit. In fact, over the next 11 weeks, she'll more than double — or even come close to tripling — her weight. And as she grows and the room in your womb gets tighter, you'll be less likely to feel those big kicks and more likely to get poked by an elbow or jabbed by a knee.

Your Body in Week 29 of Pregnancy
Unsightly yet harmless, varicose veins are simply swollen blood vessels that often surface on your body for the first time during pregnancy, especially if your mom or grandma had them. You may have a mild case (minor achiness and swelling) or you may be unlucky enough to experience real pain and bulging blue veins, usually from the ankle to the upper thigh. There are things you can do to alleviate this veiny situation, including watching your weight, keeping your blood flowing, and avoiding heavy lifting.  None to speak of, let's hope that continues!

Week 29 Pregnancy Tip: Counting Baby's Kicks
Have you counted your baby's kicks today? Once you've passed week 28, you should be counting them every day. To make sure that you do — and to make sure that everything's A-OK in your belly — make a habit of counting your baby's kicks twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. Best to do your counting lying down (since babies are more likely to kick up when Mom's lying down — a pattern they tend to continue after they're born). If you can't lie down, sit. Count any and all movements (even swishes and rolls) until you hit ten. If you haven't reached ten within an hour (your little Rockette may just be on her break right now), have a light snack and try again — that blood-sugar rush is likely to get baby on the move again. Just remember that fewer than ten movements within two hours warrants a call to your practitioner. Chances are everything's fine, but it's always better to be safe than sorry. I keep saying she's very active, guess it is time to find out for sure.

Week 29 Pregnancy Symptoms
Constipation: Pregnancy hormones cause your muscles (including those in your bowel) to relax, which can cause your system to get backed up. One way to get on track is to eat yogurt with the probiotic acidophilus (look for yogurt brands that contain “live active cultures”) since these beneficial bacteria can aid in digestion and help get things moving. I feel like I head for the bathroom numerous times a day - yesterday it was 9!  I think I'm okay!

Occasional headaches: When a headache (even a migraine) hits, alleviate pain by lying down in a quiet, dark room with a cold compress on your neck or forehead.  I did have a migraine last week, bummer, they might be back for the long haul.

Hemorrhoids: If the veins in your rectum have begun to bulge and pop out (as a result of increased pressure and blood flow to the pelvic area), reduce discomfort and irritation by using gentle wipes or warm water on soft toilet paper after bowel movements and, of course, drinking lots of fluids so your stool isn't hard.  Again, thankfully NO!

Forgetfulness: No wonder your brain feels especially foggy these days — hormones are wreaking havoc on your memory and your brain-cell volume actually decreases during the third trimester. Try not to take this temporary pregnancy symptom to heart — stressing about it will only cloud your pregnancy brain even more.  What were we talking about?  Yup, this is full force.  See Mom, I'm not making it up!

Itchy abdomen: Your stretched-out belly can cause your skin to become dry and itchy. Apply moisturizer regularly and consider soaking in a warm oatmeal bath to ease the itch. I lotion the belly every morning and every night, and I still itch occasionally.

Skin, hair, and nail changes: Even though your nails may be growing faster than ever, pregnancy hormones may also cause them to become dry and brittle. Trim them regularly. Mani-pedi time!!

Difficulty sleeping: If heartburn is keeping you up at night, avoid eating too much and chowing down too close to bedtime. Also, avoid coffee or chocolate in the evening since these energizers will make it harder for you to get to sleep. Caffeine used to not affect me, but I am seeing that if I have tea before bed I have trouble sleeping.  So am opting not to do that.  Usually, I sleep pretty well, especially after a busy day, but sometimes when I wake up to go to the bathroom, going back to sleep is difficult.  Guess I should get used to that huh?
Whew!  That's a lot of info!  Chew on that and I'll post later in the week...PROMISE!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Showering me with love

Hello my Lovelies!  How are you doing?  We've had quite the exciting weekend!!

First off, Sunday was the beginning of my third trimester.  I'm amazed!  I swear, and I'm not just saying this, that every day I still can't believe I have a baby girl in my belly.  I also am starting to get a little bit more scared at the thought that in just about 12 weeks I will be somebody's mother!!!  I'm very much looking forward to our Childbirth classes with the hopes that they'll give us enough info to get us over the hump!

Now for the events of the past week...

Thursday - my Grandma (soon to be Great-Grandma) came over (she is in town from Iowa visiting my parents for a month) since my parents were at a convention.  She hadn't ever seen our house before and fell in love with it just like we did.  We had a nice dinner and got some rest in preparation for the busy weekend ahead.

Friday - Grandma and I got up early and went to the gym to work out - she's very active!  She walked on the treadmill and I did my normal routine.  We came home, I worked for a while while she prepped some of the food for J's diaper party on Saturday.  She also vacuumed my house and cleaned up a bit (THANKS GRANDMA!!)  Ran an errand early on and hit the grocery store on the way home for flour and canned beans - two items I had missed on the day before's big shopping trip.  Back home to work on creating potato salad and 60 (yes, 60!) deviled eggs only to discover we didn't have enough mayo or mustard.  So back to the store again (and J would go back the next day for bottled water!) and finally home to finish our prep work.  Grandma and I made a huge bowl of potato salad, 60 deviled eggs, 35 cornbread muffins, pulled chicken and beans!  That evening my cousin was flying in from Cali for the following day's shower...and there was yucky weather so instead of being here at 5 pm, she ended up here at 7:30 pm.  Long day for all of us.  Picked her up, grabbed some Eegee's on our way home and finally made it home for some down time.  Big day the next day!!

Saturday - A lot to do!  Up early to get final things ready.  J threw the ribs in the smoker and we made final preparations.  We (Grandma, Cousin, and I) left the house about 10:30 am to go to Mom and Dad's house for my shower, while my Dad made his way to my house for J's Diaper Party.  All the food came out (I assume) at my house and nine-tenths of it was eaten up...boys eat A LOT!  J smoked 8 racks of ribs in addition to all the stuff listed above and when we got back from my shower the only things left was one-third of the bowl of potato salad, 4 (out of 60) deviled eggs, and a few ribs.  Everything else was obliterated!!!  It looked like the guys had a great time and J had a stack of diapers and wipes to prove it.  I'd also asked the guys to sign a page for the scrapbook around the invite for our keeping and possibly give a bit of advice.  MBM's bro-in-law (who has 2 very young daughters of his own and is a cop) had the best advice of the day, "It's a girl, keep the guns loaded!"  So very sweet?

Back to my shower.... Mom had already set up most of the house with little outfits hung here and there, balloons, etc. and it looked great.  People started arriving about noon and in came the presents!  Mom had also arranged a little craft for everyone to do.  My aunt (my visiting cousin's mom) is a quilter.  So Mom and Grandma had cut out a variety of squares for shower guests to decorate, which my aunt will then make into a quilt.  Isn't that a great idea?!  So one more present on the way!

We had Eeegee's again (but not the same thing we'd picked up from the airport) for lunch and as always, it was yummy!  Then the present opening began....and continued...and continued.  Here's a few of my favorites.

This is a homemade knitted blanket from my pediatrician's wife (no I still don't go to him as my doc, but they are clients and good friends of the family).  She also made a hat and booties! So sweet.

This is a homemade quilt from J's Mom's best friend. Totally a shocker to me since I've only met her at our wedding, but so gorgeous!  He was blown away too!

A little U of A hat and outfit made by my Mom's BFF (seen in the pic as well as she was taking notes for me).  So cute!

A purple, girly piggy bank from surrogate Aunts and friends and clients of ours!  So very cute! Gotta start baby girl's college fund sometime!
And a onesie from my cousin that says "Miss April!"  How adorable is that?!

We also played a game where all my guests wrote down advice for me and I had to guess whose advice it was.  I failed miserably at guessing, but the advice was great!  I had made a page for safe keeping in my scrapbook with the invite and everyone signed around it so I remembered who was there.  All in all, a very fun party and so much appreciated for all the stuff!  We've still got a lot to get, but at least I feel a little better about all we got.
And here's a 4 generation picture of the family that was at the shower.  Grandma is far left, I'm next (with baby girl in my belly), then cousin Gail, then Mom.

So after all was said and done, presents somewhat put away and relaxed a bit, we headed to J's best friend's house for his birthday party celebration.  Three parties in one day.  I was spent and apparently so was J, because he came to find me for once at the party and wanted to go home...usually I have to drag him out, but he was beat!  Great day with so many people we love very dearly!

28 week update to come soon....hopefully before we hit 29 weeks!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Way late - 27 week update

Hi folks, I know this is way late (since I am 28 weeks today!) but I didn't want to miss out on posting it.  So here is my 27 week update.  Will blog later with 28 week update and baby shower deets! Again, my comments are in red.

Week 27 of Pregnancy 
Your baby moves on to a whole new growth chart this week, while your swollen feet and ankles may need a growth chart of their own. (Sadly, I think we are on our way to this one!)

Your Baby in Week 27 of Pregnancy
For a baby, it's time to trade in the old crown-to-rump measurement for a new head-to-toe standard. So what are your baby’s stats this week (which, coincidentally, is the end of the second trimester)? Fifteen inches — more than a foot long — and triple (or even quadruple) what it was in week 12. His weight is creeping up the charts as well, coming in at just over two pounds. More big news: Your baby may recognize your voice by now, so feel free to serenade your belly (start learning those lullabies!). (There's no singing here, but there is plenty of talking to baby girl by many people!)

Your Body in Week 27 of Pregnancy
Puffy? That's to be expected — about 75 percent of soon-to-be moms experience edema (mild swelling of the hands, feet, and ankles) around this point in pregnancy. That's because fluids build up in your body tissues thanks (or no thanks) to increased blood flow and uterine pressure on the vena cava (the large vein that cycles blood from your lower limbs to your heart). So while you may have a hard time squeezing into shoes or getting your rings on (or off), keep in mind that the puff factor is completely normal and temporary. (I have noticed this a bit in my ankles, and am worried they are beginning to look like cankles.  So if you don't see me baring the ankle-to-calf portion of my legs these days, this is probably why.)

Week 27 Pregnancy Tip: Your New Navel
Has your innie been outed? Is it poking straight through your clothes these days, like a timer on a well-cooked turkey? Don't worry: There's nothing novel about navels that pop during pregnancy — just about every belly button does at some point. Still, two questions may now come to mind as you glance down at your bulging belly: One — what can you do now that your protruding navel has taken on a larger-than-life life of its own? And two — will your button ever be…cute as a button again? On the first, there's not much you can do (though this is a great opportunity to clean out all that lint). As your baby grows bigger and bigger, so will your belly button. If you find that the outie look doesn't quite work with the fashion statement you're trying to make, consider taping your protruding navel down with a Band-Aid. As far as what will happen postbaby? Your navel will revert inward after you give birth — though it might be a bit wider and looser than before. My advice: Wear your reconfigured belly button proudly. (Nope, we aren't here yet.  I've always felt that I had a very deep belly button and now it is less of a cavern and more of a small dip.  So I anticipate the "pop" could happen at any time.  MBM calls it the turkey baster and says, "when it pops, baby is done!"  No popping here just yet!)

Week 27 Pregnancy Symptoms
Flatulence: Your growing uterus may be putting extra pressure on your rectum, causing you to lose some control over the muscles in your rear. Add your sluggish digestive system to the equation (thanks to pregnancy hormones that relax intestinal muscles) and you may find that you’re particularly gassy. Try to eat six small meals a day (instead of three large ones) so you don’t overtax your digestive system. (I'm still Burpy Magee, but thankfully, that's where it stops!)
Occasional faintness or dizziness: If you thought your days of feeling light-headed were over after your first trimester, think again; for some women, that bulging belly puts pressure on blood vessels, which reduces blood flow to the brain and causes dizziness. Keep blood circulating and pumping to your brain by drinking plenty of water each day. (Thankfully no, just hard to get out of chairs and off the ground at this point.)
Possible nasal congestion: High levels of estrogen and progesterone increase blood flow to the mucous membranes in your nose, causing them to swell. If your stuffy nose is making it hard for you to breathe at night — or making you snore — try wearing a nasal strip at bedtime to open up your nostrils. (In the morning when I just get up, you betcha.  Rest of the day isn't so bad.  I try to sleep propped up a bit and that seems to help.  No complaints from J just yet, although he's been snoring an awful lot lately!)
Restless legs syndrome (RLS): For some expectant women, it may feel as if their legs take on a life of their own — tingling and jittery — especially when they lie down at night. Talk to your practitioner about this (in some women RLS is linked to iron-deficiency anemia or a sensitivity to certain foods), and consider yoga or other relaxation techniques, which may help. (The only tingling I get is in my feet when I've been on the elliptical machine at the gym and Trainer says this is perfectly normal - preggo or not!) 
Symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD): This weird pregnancy symptom develops when the hormone relaxin makes the ligaments in your pelvic joint too relaxed and stretchy, causing the pelvic joint to become unstable. If this is causing you pain, ask your practitioner about wearing a pelvic support belt (available online), which stabilizes the ligaments and helps keep the pelvic joint in place. (Again, haven't noticed this lately at all thankfully.)
Bleeding gums: Inflamed and irritated gums are quite common during pregnancy since ramped-up hormones may cause gums to swell and leave your mouth more vulnerable to bacteria and plaque. When you brush your teeth, remember to brush your tongue as well to minimize the amount of bacteria in your mouth. (I actually did witness this the other day and a few times since.  I have a dentist appointment next week, so we'll see how that goes.)
Skin, hair, and nail changes: Pregnancy hormones can cause hyperpigmentation of the skin — particularly if you have darker skin to begin with. This can result in darker freckles or moles, a dark line down the center of your tummy (linea nigra), or patches of darkened skin on your face (called chloasma). Don’t worry, most discolorations fade a few months after giving birth — just do your best to stay in the shade since sunlight can intensity hyperpigmentation.(I have a couple places on my face that I think have darkened and I definitely have the line down my belly.)

Okay, back to me.  Every time I read these updates, I am truly amazed!  I can't believe 1) I am actually pregnant, 2) I am this far along pregnant, and 3) in a few short months J and I will be parents.  Even though I am technically beginning my 3rd trimester today (28 weeks, even this says 27 weeks - told you I was late) I'm still amazed each and every day.

Alright, will post later about my shower that was yesterday, J's diaper party that was also yesterday and my 28 week update.  Have a wonderful week Bleeps!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Holy cow...

Hello my Blogettes (that's a new one!).  I hope you have had as great a week as I.  It's been crazy, but awesome.  Where to begin?

On Tuesday, we got notification that the closing for our old house that we were trying (but failing) at renting out was coming up on Thursday and we had to scramble a bit to get our affairs in order.  Everything ended smoothly and I can happily say that we now own only one home!  YAY!  Huge burden off our shoulders as you can imagine.  Whew!

Thursday after closing, I called Dr. OB's office with a few questions, namely "What are my glucose test results?"  I was happily informed that after all my worry and strife, my test came back normal and I do not have gestational diabetes.  Double Whew!

Friday, J and I were notified that the house had officially recorded as the new owners and we were free and clear!  Hip-hip-hooray!  Friday, I also learned that my cousin in Cali is coming to my shower next weekend!  Haven't seen her in ages and am so excited she'll be here next weekend for some great cousin fun!

Saturday, J and I met with two women who are Doulas.  We learned a lot.  Wait, should I explain what a Doula is?  First off, there are 2 different types of Doulas: prenatal and post-natal.  Prenatal is the Doula who is in the labor room with you, coaching you through breathing, etc.  Post-natal is the Doula who helps you figure out how this baby thing works and how to care for it and keep your sanity.  These two ladies are Post-natal Doulas.  Very nice ladies and interesting to learn about.  One of the ladies said it best when explaining themselves by saying, "We're grandmothers without the baggage."  I keep telling people that "this is my first time and we'll figure out (whatever they are asking me) when we get there."  This is one of those things we'll figure out.  Should we use them or not?  Not sure, but definitely on the radar if we want/need them.

Saturday afternoon, J and I began to assemble the baby furniture.  We had 3 huge boxes taking up all the room in the nursery, so we began opening them and putting them together.  We started a bit late on Saturday, maybe 3 or 4 pm, so we only finished the 4-drawer dresser.  But this morning (Sunday) we got up and finished the 3-drawer changing table and crib.  We re-organized the room, put in the pieces like the bookshelf my grandfather made for me as a kid, as well as the table and chairs for a child, and baby-doll crib, and now the room actually looks like a room instead of a storage unit.  Soon, it will be full of more baby stuff than we can ever imagine, but at least now, there's room for that and we can begin decorating.  And, we didn't kill each other in the process.  Got a little frustrated sometimes with shoddy directions, but got it all figured out.  What number whew am I on?  Triple Whew!

Next weekend will be a busy one.  J has his Diaper Party at our house (yet another reason the nursery had to look somewhat nice), my cousin flies in from Cali for my shower which is happening at the same time J's party is but at my Mom's house, and there will be a bunch of cooking for J's party that has to get done, as well as a mani-pedi for me before my party!  But it will all be fun!

Alright kiddos, I'm out for now.  Have a lovely week and I promise to post pics of the nursery, when it is done, but not yet!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

26 week update - WOW, 6.5 months!

Holy cow, I am six and a half months pregnant.  That's amazing.  And I feel like we've done nothing to prepare.  This month and from now on will be all about preparations for Baby Girl.  Here's this week's update on her progress - the notes in red are my take on the subject:
Week 26 of Pregnancy
Major excitement: Your baby opens her eyes! On the flip side, you might wish yours would stay closed so you could get some sleep.
Your Baby in Week 26 of Pregnancy
What's up with your baby? She now weighs a full two pounds and measures nine-plus inches. And this week, her eyes, which until now were developing under fused eyelids, start to open. Of course, there's not much to see in there, but if your baby spots a bright light (or hears a loud noise) near your belly, you may notice an increase in fetal activity. (“Hey, I'm in here, Mommy! Where’s the party!”) What accounts for that response? Her brain is more developed and sophisticated.
Your Body in Week 26 of Pregnancy
If a full night's rest has become elusive, welcome to the (sleepless) world of pregnancy insomnia. Between heartburn and leg cramps, bathroom runs and that big beach ball (with its protruding navel!) beneath your nightie, it's no wonder your body's having trouble calming down and drifting off. But there are lots of tactics to try that should help keep you in bed (and asleep!) instead of pacing the floor; these include daytime exercise, a daily dose of fresh air, and limiting fluids before you hit the hay. I'm okay as far as sleep goes.  I might wake up once a night to go to the bathroom or roll over because I'm uncomfortable, but otherwise, sleep does not ellude me!
Week 26 Pregnancy Tip: Baby's Movements in the Womb
Feel like you're carrying the Karate Kid with all the kicking going on? Your baby is actually practicing all kinds of movements that will eventually be used in life on the outside — including pedaling against your belly, a sort of prewalking skill. As your baby's nervous system becomes more developed, the movements will become much more coordinated. And as the baby gets bigger and stronger, the movements will become much more powerful…and occasionally, even painful to you. If your baby lands a good one, that tiny left hook might hurt — a lot. Another trick she may try — stretching that leg out so far that the foot becomes lodged between your ribs (ouch). Next time you come under attack, try changing positions or doing some stretches of your own. You can also gently push your baby back with your hand when your knee-jerker jerks a little too hard. You just might be able to send your slugger back into the corner of the ring!  I have told many that Baby Girl will be a gymnast, dancer, or acrobat when she comes out with all the moving she does.  I wish I could share it with more people by grabbing a hand and letting them feel, but I think Baby Girl knows when I am alone and can enjoy it because it seems that that is the most often time she moves.
Week 26 Pregnancy Symptoms
Bloating: Your expanding uterus continues to put more and more pressure on your stomach and intestines, resulting in the bloating you probably feel. Minimize the problem by eating several small meals a day instead of three large ones so that you don’t overload your digestive system. I'm very burpy (as J noted to the doc last Tuesday), so that might be a symptom of bloating, but I don't feel bloated.
Increased vaginal discharge: If you’re tempted to use special washes and wipes marketed to keep the vagina clean or odor-free, don’t bother. They can be irritating and change the pH in your genital tract. Instead, bathe frequently and wear panty liners (if you like) to stay clean and dry.
Occasional headaches: Some women who have a history of migraines have them more often when they’re pregnant (some lucky ducks experience fewer of them), so don’t be surprised if yours flare up more these days. Since strong migraine medications are probably off-limits for you now, consider holistic therapies such as acupuncture, biofeedback, massage, meditation, and yoga (these techniques can also help reduce stress, which is a migraine trigger). Thankfully, I haven't had any migraines since the first trimester (knock-on-wood).
Forgetfulness: Has “pregnancy brain” caused you to forget some crucial meetings or bits of information lately? While this decrease in memory is temporary and totally normal, try writing key things down in a trusty notepad or your PDA to help you stay organized for the rest of your pregnancy. I don't think I have forgotten anything....have I?
Clumsiness: Your loosened joints, shifted center of gravity, and added weight are just a few of the factors that cause you to slip, trip, and fall more often than usual. This clumsiness is temporary, but for now, be extra careful in the tub, shower, and on other slippery surfaces. I still feel pretty stable on my feet.  I am not really wearing my heels anymore unless it is for a special occasion (showers, parties, etc) but not to work anymore.  So I don't think I'm very clumsy.
Lower abdominal achiness: If the “growing pains” caused by your expanding uterus (technically called round ligament pain) are feeling particularly achy lately, get off your feet when you can and get as comfortable as possible. Also, remember to shift positions slowly so as not to aggravate the pain. Not too bad.  We seem to be out of this stage for now.
Vision changes: If your eyes are feeling irritated, that’s probably because pregnancy hormones decrease tear production, which leads to dry eyes. Use eye drops to ease the discomfort, and be sure to tell your practitioner if you develop serious vision problems since this could be a sign of gestational diabetes or high blood pressure. I have always had extremely wet eyes.  Even when I had LASIK surgery years ago, the doc was amazed how wet my eyes were and took me off the prescribed drops ahead of time.  No vision changes either.

Well, that's about it folks.  Have a wonderful week and talk to you soon!  And a very happy birthday to Meanie Christinie whose birthday is today!  Love you chica!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Baby showers have new meaning

Hello Bleeps.  Even with the new year and the holidays ending, our activities still have us finding little time for ourselves.  The nursery furniture sits in there, in boxes, un-put-together.  We'll get there as soon as a couple things get handled.  

Yesterday, was my first baby shower since we found out we are pregnant.  And it was a completely different experience than ever before.  Besides the fact that I had an excuse not to be in the best shape of my life amongst the beautiful girls, I was all ears for advice and products that would make pregnancy and child rearing a little easier.  Before we were pregnant, baby showers could be a bit disarming and depressing.  Every woman was talking about their children, their children's achievements, their pregnancies, etc.  I didn't have any stories to share, except trial and failure.  Not the brightest star to talk to at the shower.  Especially in showers where I randomly knew the honoree, I was sometimes left by myself to the side to watch and wait for the end of the shower when I could dash out and breathe a sigh of relief.

Yesterday's shower was for a friend of mine.  She is a gorgeous lady, especially 7 months pregnant.  She and I shared the same doctor and while we when through IVF, she suceeded in her second or third attempt of IUI (which we had tried 3 times as well in 2009).  We had lost touch a bit over the years and randomly run into one-another at my gym when she bought a Groupon to participate in a special Trainer was running. She is in the medical industry and was asking me who my docs were and if I liked them, then Dr. H's name popped up and she said that he was her doc too, but not for sales.  Thus began the Infertility conversation and our friendship got stronger.  It was awesome having the face of someone with Infertility that I could touch (not that you Bleeps aren't my salvation), but it's so different when you have someone in front of you that can "share your shoes."  Ever since, we've compared notes and kept up with each other to see where we stood on progress, etc. 

Her shower was yesterday and was a whole different ballgame.  Besides learning new tricks and products, I got awed over.  And this wasn't even my shower. There were other women we'd gone to high school with there who are Facebook friends of mine or read the blog that I haven't seen in forever, who were excited to see ME and rub MY belly.  Strangers at the shower would ask me questions about when I was due and how I was feeling, offer advice for different aspects (I took notes!), and as the honoree opened her mountain of presents, I took notes of what she got that I didn't register for and heard what other mother's said as she opened those, and decided to register for them or not.  Probably my favorite thing that she opened (and I registered for the minute I got home) were Rock-a-Bye Baby CDs.  They are CDs of music by artists that the parents like (U2, Metallica, The Beach Boys, etc....and there are a lot) toned down to "baby-lullaby mode."  The raves about them are out of site, but parents can listen to them instead of children's music and they still calm or relax the baby.  LOVE THIS IDEA! I had made my friend a blanket (my 36th! - I had to look it up).  It was the only handmade present and she loved it to pieces.  Always makes my day there too!

Plus, I wasn't the only other preggo at the shower.  There were probably 7 of us and there was a photo taken of all of our bellies.  We stood in order of most-pregnant to least and I'm hoping the picture will go up on Facebook soon so I can share it.  So there were others to oooh and aaaah over and get advice or compare notes with.  All in all, after a bit of a slow start as people got there and I knew more and more guests, it was great.  But now I am really looking forward to the two showers I have coming up because they'll be honoring ME for once.  Something I have dreamed of for so very long.

Before the shower I had my first stranger touch my belly.  We're trying to sell some lamps we have on Craigslist and I was meeting with someone to sell her one.  I had told her I could meet her a before a baby shower I was going to.  When we found each other (in the Blockbuster parking lot), I popped out of the car and her first words were "Is it your shower you are going to?!"  I smiled and said no, and before anything else was said her hand popped out and rubbed my belly.  She was very sweet and surprisingly enough, it didn't bother me one bit.  She wasn't completely random as we'd been texting over the last two days to figure out where to meet to get the lamps, but it still was great.  I guess I'm just so excited to be pregnant, that I don't care who rubs my belly and I'm very happy that they now know I am pregnant and not just "hefty." 

On an entirely different note, J said something the other night that I need to document.  We were sitting and I asked him if he still found me attractive now that I have my "great big fat belly".  He said the greatest thing back.  He said, "Of course.  And it's not a fat belly, it's a beautiful little girl."  He may not be a romantic in the movie-type sense of the word, but boy does he say the right thing...and a lot. 

Alright folks, will update with 26 week progress Tuesday.  Have a wonderful Sunday!

PS: One year ago today in Tucson was a very tragic day.  Here's the post I did last year.  However, today we are remembering those who survived and persevered that day, and the heroes that were born.  Please take a minute to thank God that there were people brave enough to take down the crazy monster that started the shooting, that many of the people who were wounded were too strong to be taken down by an insane man's bullets, and that justice will be served to him very soon!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

First post of the new year and 25 weeks pregnant to boot

Hello my lovelies and a most-happy-new-year to you all!  It's been a very busy weekend and I'm still wondering what day it is because of the days off from work.  But here we go with a quick (I hope) synopsis of the holiday, where we stand after Dr. OB's appointment today and the 25 week update. 

First off, our holiday events.  J and his buddies always go camping on New Year's Eve.  Many friends ask me why I am okay with that and I just say that we never have anything huge planned, and it's tradition.  I'm surely not going camping when the low temp is 30 degrees, and doubly sure not going camping when there is no indoor plumbing and I am 6 months pregnant.  Not-gonna-do-it.  So he left Saturday morning and came home Monday afternoon.  He always comes back tired and dirty ... not my cup-o-tea either.  But he says he had fun and he knows this may be the last trip before Baby Girl comes.  Saturday, after he left, I hit the gym.  I hadn't gone Friday (as I usually do) because for some reason I was just exhausted.  So I opted for Saturday to try and change my workout a little bit and add some more cardio.  Trainer always tells me that "labor is cardio" so I need to build up my endurance.  Worked out, hit the grocery store for New Year's Eve party fixin's, home to make stuff to take to MBM's in-laws' NYE chill-party, showered and picked up by MBM's parents.  We had a grand time eating, laughing and just hanging out.  Of course, with the knowledge of Baby Girl's initials the topic of conversation became what her name would be.  If I thought my parents and J's parents were bad, they were nothing compared to 9 people doing it all at the same time.  After what felt like forever (maybe an hour!) of guessing, they finally figured the names out and I had promised I would tell them when they hit it.  Sorry to say folks, they ALL ARE STILL SWORN TO SECRECY THOUGH!  Watched the ball drop and the highlight of my evening was MBM's sister's 2 year old walking around with a champagne flute partially full of apple cider clinking glasses with everyone at midnight, and then-after, every time she took a sip!  So cute!  Or "Oatmeal Man" but you had to be there to understand that joke.  Got home about 1 am and to bed about 1:30 am.

Sunday, slept in a bit, then showered and headed to Mom and Dad's for a New Year's Day brunch with friends of the family.  Very low-key, but fun.  My Mom's Mom (Grandma E) flew in that day to spend a month at Mom and Dad's, so she was picked up that afternoon and I think a little excited to actually SEE me pregnant (as she walked in the door, she dropped whatever she was carrying to give me a huge hug!).  Caught up with her a bit, then home to rest and head for bed earlier than the night before.

Monday I really slept in and dawdled.  Finally up and ready to attack taking down decorations, organizing and getting ready for 2012.  To say it was a busy day is underestimated.  I did a lot...took down all the Christmas decorations in the house, washed all the linens on our bed, organized the pantry and refrigerator (getting rid of things opened that we haven't eaten/don't like/passed their expiration date), swept, vacuumed, put all the important (birthdays, anniversaries, etc) dates on new calendars and put them up around the house, took out trash from all the rooms, and probably 3 other things that I can't remember.  J got home about 2 pm and unloaded, then cleaned the yard.  By 9 pm, we were both in bed, however I couldn't fall asleep until maybe 11 or 12.  BOO.

So that wraps up our holiday events.  Today we had our monthly visit at Dr. OB's and J was able to come with me this time.  Blood-pressure check and weight (ugh).  Blood-pressure is great, as usual.  Weight, not bad, but still gaining more than I'd like.  Doc says nothing to worry about for the baby, but I just have to lose it afterwards and that is the battle.  I'll get it done, don't you worry!  We talked about my burping (which happens like 20 times or more a day) and she explained it is normal and nothing to worry about, but not much can be done to fix it.  She asked if I had any more incidents like 2 weeks ago and I said no and still taking Zantac every day twice.  Got our 30 week ultrasound scheduled (this is to monitor the cyst in Baby Girl's brain) and next appointment with her, then we'll start going twice a month.  New insurance has kicked in so the doc's office can finally bill us and get their money, haven't paid them a dime all the time as they patiently waited for the better insurance.  Talk about awesome people!  I can't believe we are almost to the 3rd trimester folks!  Oh, and I need to go in for my glucose test to see if I have gestational diabetes...yuck.  Pray that I don't!

And with that, I give you our 25 week update....
Your Baby in Week 25 of Pregnancy
Your baby is growing by leaps and bounds, reaching nine inches in length and passing the pound and a half mark. Under his skin, capillaries are forming and filling with blood and by week's end, air sacs (also lined with capillaries) will develop in his lungs, getting them ready for that first breath. Mind you, those lungs aren't ready for prime time just yet — but they are developing surfactant, a substance that will help them expand after birth. And speaking of breathing, your baby's tiny nostrils, which have been plugged up until now, are starting to open, and his vocal chords are getting ready to roar.
Your Body in Week 25 of Pregnancy
Let's face it, some pregnancy ailments are a real pain in the butt, especially hemorrhoids! More than half of all pregnant women experience swollen, itchy veins in the rectum due to that big old uterus pressing down — as well as to increased blood flow to the area. And while they're not dangerous to your body, hemorrhoids can be downright painful — so try your best to avoid them by eating right (and avoiding constipation, which aggravates those pesky piles), doing pelvic-floor exercises (Kegel exercises), and trying not to strain when you poop. With any luck, they’ll go away after delivery (and yes, you probably are getting tired of hearing that phrase!).
Week 25 Pregnancy Tip: Dental Health
Want to keep your baby safely inside you until term? Put your dental floss where your mouth is. Surprisingly, research links good dental health and oral hygiene with longer pregnancies. Sounds crazy — doesn't it? Crazy, but true. Something as simple as brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing regularly can reduce the risk of gingivitis — a common condition in which your gums become inflamed, red, and even begin to bleed. Untreated gingivitis (that's where the regular dental checkups come in) can progress to periodontitis — a more serious infection of the teeth — which has been linked to premature birth and even an increased risk of preeclampsia. Keep on top of your teeth, and that old (untrue) wives' tale — the one that claims that a woman loses a tooth with each pregnancy — can finally be put to rest.
Week 25 Pregnancy Symptoms
Heartburn or indigestion: Does it feel as if stomach acids are burning up your esophagus and setting fire to your chest? Always have some Tums or Rolaids nearby so you can cool your heartburn as soon as it strikes.  (Taking Zantac every morning and night to avoid future occurences of this)
Snoring: Snoring is quite common during pregnancy since increased blood flow to mucous membranes in your nose can cause congestion. But if you find your snoring is seriously interfering with your sleep, this could be a sign that you have sleep apnea (which can deprive you of oxygen) — so ask your practitioner about it. (J hasn't woken me up complaining of this, more me complaining of his!)
Tingling hands (carpal tunnel): Increased blood volume during pregnancy can cause swelling that puts pressure on nerves in the wrists, resulting in carpal tunnel syndrome. Ask your practitioner about wearing wrist braces, or consider trying acupuncture to alleviate the pain and tingling.(I have noticed this more, and it takes more time for it to go away.)
Varicose veins: The extra blood volume you produce during pregnancy also puts pressure on your blood vessels and causes them to bulge, resulting in varicose veins. Help keep blood circulating by avoiding clothes that are binding. (Thankfully no)
Symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD): If you’re feeling pain in the pelvic area, you may be experiencing SPD, caused by relaxed and stretchy ligaments that normally keep your pelvic joint (the symphysis pubis) aligned. Stay on top of your Kegel exercises and pelvic tilts, which will strengthen the muscles in that region, and if pain is severe, ask your practitioner for a referral to a physical therapist.(A little bit, but I'm working on the kegels).
Restless legs syndrome (RLS): As if you didn’t have enough to worry about with tingling hands, you may also feel a tingling in your legs accompanied by an urge to move them. Ask your practitioner to test you for iron-deficiency anemia since some experts think it’s linked to RLS; keep a food journal too — some women find that a sensitivity to certain foods makes symptoms worse.(Again, thankfully not yet).
Skin, hair, and nail changes: Because normal daily hair loss is suppressed by pregnancy hormones, you may notice that your hair feels thicker and more lustrous than ever before. Enjoy it now — after delivery, all the hair that didn’t fall out during pregnancy will shed.(I do think my hair is thicker these days.  We'll see what my stylist says this week).

Alright folks, that completes my update.  I hope you all had a great holiday and welcome to 2012.  When I say it's gonna be different than ever before, I truly mean it!