Saturday, December 30

Our Beth is here!

Our Bethany Grace is here! She was born on December 27 at 6:13 pm. She weighed 7 lbs, 13 oz and was 21 inches long and is absolutely, amazingly beautiful!!!

Here's the full story. Around 11:30 pm on Christmas night, after a wild game of Texas Hold Em with some family members (Ryan won!), we got home and my contractions started. They were very consistant until about 4 am, when they slowed and finally stopped. We were up most of the night- I slept from about 4-7 am and woke up when a few more contactions started. They were like that all day long- off and on. I'd have maybe 4 or 6 contractions, about 8 minutes apart, then they'd stop for a few hours.

Tuesday came and went and that night, around 11:30 again the contractions became regular and a bit more painful. I thought it'd be another false alarm but we started timing their regularity and once we realized we had an hour of contractions about 4-7 minutes apart we decided it was time to head to the hospital. It was so exciting! We arrived and I was examined- 5 cm dialted, 80% effaced and 0 station. Wohoo! They showed us to our room and we called our parents and let them know the good news!

I hopped in the hydrotherapy tub once we got to our room (soooo nice) and spent about an hour in there until I had to be examined again. I had dialated another 1 cm so I was up to a 6. An hour later I was still a 6... I really felt like I was handling the pain of the contractions very well, but I was so exhausted because I had only gotten several hours of sleep in the past 30 something hours. I was worried that I wasn't dialating fast enough for the amount of sleepy that I was, so I opted to have an epidural. Wow. It was so nice. This happened around 5:30 or 6 am so I was able to catch a few hours of sleep, until my OB came in at 8 am to check on me. I was still a 6-7 so he broke my water- I didn't even realize he'd broken it because the epidural was so strong. They hoped that would speed things along. When he came back around noon, I had only dialated to a 7-8 so they started me on a pitocin drop. I was okay with that since I already had the epidural- if I hadn't of had the epidural I honestly would have been very scared of the pitocin since it makes contractions very hard and very strong.

There were a couple of difficult times when the epidural ran out- first the battery died on the drip so I stopped receiving the medicine...Gosh that was so very painful. Then the second time I don't know what happened but again, I stopped receiving the medicine so I felt the contractions again (this is when I was in transition)and that was also very difficult on me. But each time when the anesthesiologist came in to fix it, afterward I fell asleep so I was able to get some more rest.

My OB came in around 5 to check on me again- he and the two nurses agreed I was ready to start pushing. I was so incredibly numb- I couldn't move my legs- that DH and the nurse had to hold my legs up for me the first 10 or 15 minutes until I was able to do it myself. Then I got all of the feeling back... I won't go into details here but I will say that I pushed for a bit over an hour and that was the hardest hour of my entire life. But she finally came out and she was amazing. They cleaned her up and brought her straight to me to nurse and she was a pro at that! I found out later that this was one of the nurses first delivery! She did a good job- I couldn't even tell it was her first time! One thing that got me through my pushing stage was that I was sooooo thirsty the entire time- it was seriously like running a marathon and not being able to have water. I begged my OB to let me have ice chips in between contractions (the nurses were worried about me throwing up so they wouldn't let me) and he agreed. So I'd push and then Ryan would feed me one or two pieces of ice, depending on how long I was able to rest. That had to have been the best ice of my entire life. Thoughts of ice and water, as silly or sad as it sounds, got me through that stage!

We stayed in the hospital for a good 48 hours after my angel was born and we arrived home last night (Friday night) at around 9 pm. We're adjusting very well, I think!

She's such a good baby. She's very mellow- I think she's cried only 2 or 3 times and once was because a nurse had to prick her heel to draw blood. Mostly her routine is sleep, wake up and look around for a few minutes, get a diaper change, nurse, then sleep again. Just in the past 3 days she's plumped out quite a bit and her face is slowly changing into a cute little baby face instead of a newborn face. Although I must admit, when she was born, she was the best looking newborn in the hospital!

DH and I are so in love with her. I'm sure all new parents play the "Let's watch baby" game and we're definitely in that category. We'll just sit there and watch her eat, sleep, make faces- it doesn't matter what she's doing!

I will most likely start a new blog to update it with pictures of her and other milestones. I haven't really thought too much about it- she's having a marathon sleep right now which is why I'm able to type up this much! We'll try to keep updating with photos!

Tuesday, December 26

Today is my due date!

And I have realized I am in prodromal labor. I was hesitiant to tell anyone that I was in labor because I wasn't sure exactly what was going on, but right now I'm pretty positive this is what's happening to me. This link explains it really well, just scroll down a bit. Basically it still could be a few days from now, but it started last night around 11 pm.

Please don't worry! DH plans on calling people when we're admitted to the hospital, and updating the blog after we get home. Hopefully it will be within the next day or two but there's really no way to know. We're going to go to my OB tomorrow and have him check me out to make sure Bethany and I are both okay!

DH is doing a wonderful job of taking care of me. I seriously couldn't ask for anything more.

So keep us in your prayers and know that we're both feeling good about what's going on right now, it's just hard because things are moving so slow. I'll give an update when there's something to update, but please don't be offended if you call and we don't answer- we're both sleeping at very odd hours or I could be in the middle of a contraction! We'll let you know!!!

Saturday, December 23

Still waiting...

Yesterday and today have been slow, in terms of the baby watch. DH and I have accomplished a lot around the house, actually he built a dog run for our mutt Vegas. It looks GREAT and I'll post a picture when I get a good one. It's her designated "potty" area so we don't have to watch where we step in our huge backyard!

I made fudge yesterday. It didn't come out so great- really grainy but it tasted goood. I planned to try again today but the weather was turning rainy by the time I was ready to start to hopefully tomorrow will be dry and I can try again.

I learned today that DH can moonwalk. Pretty well, actually. I had no idea!

On a baby-related note, I'm starting to think there's a religious lesson to be learned here. I mean, we've been in a period of waiting for Christ to be born in a few days, only we know what day we're waiting for (the 25th). I am waiting for my child to be born. I guess it's helped me realize the anticipation Mary went through while waiting for her babe to born, and all these Christmas songs I'm hearing are helping me prepare, in a way, for Bethany's birth. I'm having a hard time putting this to "paper" but I guess what I'm trying to say is that being 9 months pregnant right now has helped me to focus on what Christmas is about- Christ- and less on the secular side of things. Which is a good lesson for me. :-)

Thursday, December 21

39 week and 2 day appointment

This morning I had an OB appointment that basically was a repeat of last week's appointment. :-( I had planned on asking him to strip my membranes if it was possible, but since I'm still posterior he couldn't do it without a lot of pain. Soooo... I'm still posterior and about 1 cm dialated. No "progress" but as I'm learning from reading and from other women, babies can engage and mothers can dialate all within several hours of birth, so I'm not really worried that this means I'll be pregnant forever. Some women sit at 3 or 4 centimeters for several weeks before birth, so at least I don't have false hope!

I finished some Christmas shopping today, well technically there's one more person to buy for but DH is going to take care of that tomorrow probably. I am sooo worn out because I was gone today from 9:30 to 3:30, I was brave and took on THE MALL as well as Target. Both were madhouses, as you can guess. And of course, everyone and I mean EVERYONE has to comment on how huge I am. It really doesn't bother me, but most conversations go like this:

Them: "Awww! When are you due?"
Me: "December 26- just a few days!"
Them: "Oh how nice! A Christmas baby! You look like you're carrying a boy."
Me: "No, it's a girl!"
THem: "But you're carrying so far out!"
Me: "Yup..."
Them: "Do you have a name picked out?"
Me: "Yes, Bethany Grace"
Them: "Oh that's so pretty"

Seriously. 95% of my conversations with strangers go EXACTLY like this. Then it will continue about how big I am for a few more seconds, or they offer advice or say something like "She'll come when she's ready" or "Hang in there!" It's so predicitable it's hilarious.

Wednesday, December 20

Funny Picture


This is sort of gross... But it's so bizzare I wanted to share it! I don't know WHAT she's doing in there!

More nothing.

Last night I was up every couple of hours with cramps and contractions, but nothing that was painful enough to make me think I was in real labor. Just enough to take my breath away and make me uncomfortable. Still, I thought this might be it so I told DH to call in this morning so he stayed home until lunch time when I realized NOTHING ELSE was happening. I've been doing laundry all morning and I finally finished packing our hospital bag, I plan to go rake some leaves in a little bit...Cook dinner... I don't plan on leaving the house today! Tomorrow, however, pending no baby, I have an OB appointment at 9:45 am and then I plan to finish up Christmas shopping. I just have 2 or 3 more people to buy for then I'm done. Beth's room is basically finished except I don't have anything up on the walls yet, but our entire house has nothing on the walls since we have a hard time commiting to where things should go. Should we wait a few months till we get our real furniture or should we just put stuff up in empty spaces now? I'm leaning towards putting stuff up now since we can always move it later, plus parts of our house still echo since there's nothing up! Wow I got off topic. Ok I'll update after the appointment and shopping tomorrow. Hopefully there will be good news...

Tuesday, December 19

Nothing

Today I went out to run errands. I walked quickly when I was out just to try to get things moving but nothing to report. I'm a little crampy but I've been that way for days...

All of the baby's laundry is done. As DH said, if we have a boy we're in trouble because there's a whooooole lotta pink in that room!

Monday, December 18

Stay at home wife

I am officially a stay at home wife. Well, hopefully very soon I'll be a stay at home mommy. So far I've been productive, I haven't been sitting around eating bon bons all day. :-) Today I got up at 8:45 and the washer and dryer I ordered last Thursday arrive around 9:00- woooooohoooooo! So then I sorted laundry and started our very first load, I know it's boring to the rest of the world but you have no idea how exciting this is for me. I can finally do laundry in my own house- this has *never* been done. I've not had a washer/dryer since I lived at home. So after this first "test" load of whites I'm throwing baby stuff in there so that she's got something to wear on her way home from the hospital.

Last night DH and I tried to install the carseat. Boy I had no idea how difficult that would be to get it in there securely. I think we got it right, but I plan on bringing it by a fire station or baby store or somewhere to have it checked out by a car seat safety tech. Hopefully someone at our fire station is certified since it's right at the enterance of our neighborhood and I wouldn't have to drive far!

Today I'm going to take it easy, beyond the constant laundry (oh my is there a lot to do!). We had a total of 10 people over this weekend, some visitors and some houseguests, and two more coming tonight for dinner, and I am exhausted beyond all belief. I hope I'll be able to nap. DH is betting tomorrow is the day for Bethany to arrive but I'm kind of hoping she'll wait at least until Wednesday so I have a chance to get a few more chores done. The reality is though, she'll probably go past her due date, I know I know. I can hope though!

Thursday, December 14

Pictures



We have internet at our house now! Wohoo! Here are my latest belly shots, actually taken last week so somewhere around 37 weeks, a day or two apart.

Wednesday, December 13

Movements

I'm still exhausted but luckily today is my last day of work. Tomorrow I plan on Christmas shopping and picking out/buying a washer and dryer so I probably won't get too much rest. I'm not over my cold yet- I've been sick since Thanksgiving- so I know I need to take it easy on Friday and just sleep. Well, after my doctor appointment I have that morning. But I need to remind myself to not overwork myself- seriously, I'm about to have a baby for crying out loud, and I'm barely sleeping and feeling bad. *sigh* At least I won't be commuting 2 hours a day anymore.

Tuesday, December 12

No News

I've decided that I was off- I used to use Wednesday as my "new week" day but I've recently discovered my due date is on a Tuesday so I'm switching to Tuesdays. That means today I'm 38 weeks pregnant. This is very much full term.

We took a tour of the hospital last night (they're optional but highly recommended) just to learn about checking-in procedures as well as room amenities and hospital policies. I'm so glad this hospital is very pro-mother/baby bonding, they encourage breastfeeding ASAP after the birth and only run a nursery from 11 PM -7 AM, so rooming in with the baby during the day is pretty much mandatory. The rooms are nice and big and they have very lenient policies on visitors and visiting hours, which is also nice. It made everything just a little more real, since we were there yesterday thinking, "Wow, we're going to be here doing this very soon."

I can tell my body is gearing up for labor in several ways, some too personal to mention on an online blog. :-) But my hormones are changing (acne!) and my back is definitely loosening up- it feels like those bones are barely connected anymore. And I can't do too much walking without having to pause and catch my breath. Being active brings on contractions, that's for sure. I'm not ready to go into labor yet so I'm trying to take it easy. This, however, will make Christmas shopping on Thursday a little difficult!

We are setting up internet at our house on Thursday, so I'll be able to post some updated photos of the baby room and my belly then!

Monday, December 11

Big weekend!

So we had quite an eventful weekend! Saturday we were pretty active- we went to pick out and cut down a Christmas tree at a farm and ran some other errands to several stores... The key here is I was very active. Well I counted at least 6 braxton hicks contractions during the course of the day, along with some low pressure and lower back pain. And I've been exhausted lately. I think this is progress! Sunday I had at least 4 braxton hicks contractions, and the same pressure and back pain. They haven't been painful, but I am definitely aware of them and that they sort of take my breath away. But I'm not hurling over in pain! Hopefully this just means I'm progressing naturally and that we'll have a baby within a couple of weeks!

Also, something else happened. Something traumatic for me. Saturday evening, I noticed my very.first.stretch.marks. 6 actually, on my left hip. I'm not positive they're stretch marks but I'm pretty sure. They're red and kind of look like spider veins, but different. I guess I should feel happy that I made it this far without any marks, but part of me is sad. Another part of me is very proud of them, I guess only because they're so small and in a not-noticable place. I'm wondering though- why 6? And why only on my left?

Saturday we picked up some last-minute items for Bethany at Walmart- since I was feeling so unprepared I solicited the advice of my recently-pregnant friends on items we'll need and got some things like diapers, more newborn-sized clothing, baby nail clippers, diaper cream and some other things. Saturday evening I plopped myself down on the floor in her bedroom and took her clothes/washcloths/blankets out of the packages and sorted through hand-me-downs, organized the laundry and put her room together a bit more. Tomorrow night I am doing laundry (I'm picking out machines on Thursday- sooooooo excited!) and hopefully packing my hospital bag. I really feel a lot better now although I still have quite a bit to do. I'm not worried that I'll go into labor within the next couple of days because I feel like I haven't had any of the other labor signs yet. But every woman is different, so we'll see!

Friday, December 8

Sooooo not ready

I was talking to a friend and I realized I am soooo not ready yet. I have so many things left to do! I've been so focused on unpacking boxes and organizing the house- which are yes, very important tasks- but I haven't even begun preparing for baby. Or, rather, I'm preparing for labor but not for the fact that I actually have to bring home a child after labor and delievery, you know? Pregnancy so far has been all about me- about taking care of myself and doing things for me that are good for the baby. Pretty soon it's not going to be about me at ALL, instead, it'll all be about her! It's just a hard concept to grasp, a completely different frame of mind. DH has set up her crib and dresser (that's doubling as a changing table) and we have a rocking chair in her room. That's IT. I haven't washed a single onesie or washcloth, I don't even have baby soap to wash off her precious bottom with, I have no clean receiving blankets or crib sheets, I have only *one* package of diapers and that's it. What else do I need? I don't even know! I don't even have my hospital bag packed yet! I need to do that... That's pretty important. I know really all she'll need are clothe, burp rags, blankets, socks and diapers but I feel unprepared, I guess since nothing is washed yet. Her crib isn't even 100% set up since it turns out we're missing 3 screws that we'll probably have to order from the manufacturer since Lowes doens't have them. Luckily I am only 37 weeks and not really showing any signs of labor yet, so hopefully I'll have a couple or more weekends before she decides she's ready. So I'm pushing back my desired due date to December 18. Long enough before Christmas, but still early.

The commute to work really hasn't been too bad, it takes me about 50 minutes to get to work and 65 to get home. It's by no means fun, but it's just not as painful as I thought it would be. My back gets a little sore but it's my rear end that hurts the most! Today, Friday, is our last company lunch- it's a Christmas lunch/my going away lunch. If you don't know about my company lunches, they are goooooood. There are 4 people in my office, all women, and we do it right- fancy boutique resturant, appetizers and entrees and dessert, maybe a bottle of wine or two (before I became pregnant it was definitely two bottles). I'm not talking about Chilis or even a Papas resturant, but somewhere where out bill is at least $200, minimum. Man I'm going to miss that. Next Wednesday, the 13th, is my last day at work. Then I will sleep for a few days and do all that other stuff I have to do to get ready for Beth!

I can't decide if I want to decorate for Christmas because decorating just means I'll have to take it all down after the Epiphany, which means more work for a new mom. So... we might just stick with a live tree (which we're cutting down tomorrow morning!) and a nativity scene and advent wreath. I don't think I'll do too much more just because of the effort part. I might change my mind though, especially if I get that sudden burst of energy that happens right before labor!

Sorry for the novel! Since we have no home internet, I'll update again on Monday!

Wednesday, December 6

I'm sick!

No fun! We both picked something up over the Thanksgiving break and have both been sick since then. Mine has been a persistant cough along with other head cold symptoms and DH has had a scratchy, sore throat. I've missed work for 3.5 days because of this, and we don't have internet at our new house yet, which is why I haven't updated my blog or returned emails lately! DH and I visited a doctor on Monday and both were prescribed some drugs so we're both on the recovering end of it all. It hasn't been pleasant- not only can I not sleep because I'm fat and uncomfortable but I can't sleep because of coughing fits. Last night was my first "good" night (only up twice) since before Thanksgiving. I need to get over this quick so I can spend some time preparing for baby!

Since we've been sick, we haven't been able or up to doing too much with our house. We bought a dresser/changing table for Beth's room but it hasn't been assembled yet because we don't want to go in there all coughing and sneezing and being gross on everything. That and I still need to wash her newborn clothes and receiving blankets, buy some diapers and probably a couple of other things for her... Gosh I should probably figure out what I'm going to need for a newborn, huh?

I'm 37 weeks today, yesterday's OB appointment showed no new progress- soft cervix but still posterior. I'm actually a little relieved though since I'm totally not ready yet to have her, even just writing all of this has made me realize how much more I have to do!

My last day of work is a week from today- the 13th. It was supposed to be the 15th but we've hired a new employee and there's really not room in my office for all 5 of us so I'm leaving a couple of days earlier. I'm actually becoming a little sad that this part of my life is coming to a close, but then I think about what's about to happen and really, I'm more than excited to start this next chapter of life!

I'm officially full term as of today, and only 3 more weeks until my due date!

Wednesday, November 29

36 week appointment

Nothing to report, really. We did a group B strep test and I'm not sure when I'll find out those results! If I'm positive, that just means I'll be given a couple of rounds of antibiotics when I go into labor. He also did a pelvic exam and discovered he couldn't feel if I had dialated at all since my cervix is still high- meaning nothing really since some women don't have a change in their cervix until a few hours before labor. It just means that I have to wait to know if anything is really happening! He guessed, by feeling my stomach, that the baby is about 6-6.5 lbs right now, meaning we're looking at having a 7-7.5 lb baby. That was good news to me! Of course, things always change and I'm not counting on anything to actually happen as predicted. I don't want to set myself up for disappointment in anyway, so I don't have too many expectations. :-) I've only gained 1 lb in the past week and a half- more good news to me. I was complaining about my aches and pains and Dr. Strong said, and I quote, "Around this time in pregnancy it's not uncommon for women to be fairly miserable." HA! Miserable might be an understatement.

DH and I are both sick right now, we both have scratchy, irritated throats and I'm coughing a lot. I'm willing to bet it's a combination of eating poorly (since we've been between homes), lack of adequate rest, and stress. And maybe exposure to sick kids over Thanksgiving. I thought it was allergies but then DH developed the same symptoms a couple of days after me, so I'm pretty sure we both just have colds. We're going to *try* to take it easy this weekend, although our cul-de-sac is having a block party on Saturday all day long. How quaint is that? And good timing, too, since we just moved in and now get to meet our neighbors! According to one neighbor I've met, there are no kids over the age of elementary school on our street. Crazy.

Monday, November 27

New Pictures of House

Pictures of the house...living room and kitchen pictures, as well as a sort of bad shot of the baby's room. Just about all of our furniture is still from college, new furniture will slowly make an appearance throughout the house (hopefully!).


Thanksgiving and Moving Recap

DH and I visited my family in Austin for Thanksgiving, since it would be my last time to "travel" before Bethany is born. I'm not supposed to go anywhere anymore since I'm so far along. Anyways, we had a very nice time, nothing terribly exciting to report. I did do a bit of shopping on Black Friday, but I wasn't in the mood since shopping= walking and walking isn't fun for me anymore. So I went for the company, basically. :-)

We drove back to Houston on Friday night and did one last cram session of packing. Saturday morning we were up early getting things ready to go- luckily we had lots of help! With a total of three trucks, an SUV, a U-Haul trailer and my little car we got *most* everything to the house by around 2:00 on Saturday. A few things are still left at our apartment but DH and I have until the 30th to empty it out and get it back into a clean condition. Basically, I'll be cleaning and DH will have to paint all of the rooms white again... Horrible, but it has to be done or else they'll charge us an arm and a leg!

The house looks amazing! I would say that it is comfortable- all of our furniture fits in quite nicely and there's only a bit of bare space in our bedroom and the kitchen. I'm very happy with the way all of the paint turned out, and Beth's room is going to be *the* most adorable baby room. We had the fridge delivered and it's up and running- kind of a tight fit but it does the job. DH and I still have to pick out a washing machine and dryer. That'll probably happen next month. We have some other things left to buy, like a dresser/changing table for Beth, but I think the rest of the stuff we want will have to wait for a bit. Like, we tossed out our ugly entertainment center, so now the TV is on a coffee table. We don't really have any bedroom furniture, but luckily the closet is big. And I'm pretty sure I *need* an island in the kitchen- after beginning to unpack stuff in there there's NO WAY it's all going to fit. I wanted a big kitchen and I got lots of square footage, but I'm not joking when I say there's hardly any cabinet or counter top space. As someone who likes to cook often, that's high on my priority list right now.

Saturday night we had dinner at my grandmother's house- she lives 9 minutes away now. I'm so happy I'll be able to visit her and my grandfather (who is in a nursing home nearby) more now. My parents and siblings typically stay over at her house when they visit, too, so it's just another convinence for us!

Sunday was more unpacking and settling. It's going to take a bit of time, but we expected that. I can't stand up for more than 15-30 minutes at a time at this point and DH is doing a lot of hard labor stuff so we both were pretty exhausted last night. We're going to save some things to unpack until we have a bit more furniture, so we most likely won't have everything done before the baby is born. But we're both okay with that because we have a hall closet and a guest bedroom closet with LOTS of storage space for boxes. :-)

My commute to work this morning was exactly 50 minutes from the driveway to the parking lot. It didn't feel that bad though since I was going at least 60 the whole way, luckily my job starts at 9 instead of 8 so I can avoid the nasty I-45 rush hour traffic. Going home at 5 when the whole world gets off of work, might be a different story... I only have 15 days of doing this though, as my last day is planned for December 15. Hopefully I won't make it that long though, and I'll have this baby before then!

Tomorrow we have a dr. appointment, I'll have my Group B Strep test and I'm hoping he'll check to see if I've dialeted or dropped at all. I really feel like I've taken a turn for the worse the past week- it's probably moving stress and baby combined, but I'm just sooooo uncomfortable and get tired so easily. I'm also feeling sick again so I'm really monitoring what I'm eating... And my back hurts... And the baby movements are sometimes uncomfortable... And I can't sleep even though I'm tired... You know, typical stuff I imagine. I know once she's out though that I'll miss the feeling of being able to feel her move. But on the other hand, I can't wait to finally see her! 29 more days until "the" date! By the way, that also means 28 days until Christmas...

Tuesday, November 21

Linea Negra

I forgot to mention a few weeks ago that I have developed a faint linea negra. At first it just looked like a vein but now it's definitely a line! It runs up to about halfway to my sternum, so not all the way up. The old wive's tale is that if it goes to your belly button, it's a girl and if it goes up to your sternum, it's a boy... Just another old wives tale that I've proven wrong!

Monday, November 20

We have a house!

It's amazing! We're officially homeowners. :-) We spent a long weekend of cleaning and painting and the house looks soooooo much better! DH's parents, my dad and brother, and two friends helped us out a LOT this weekend by helping paint, clean floors and cabinets and bathrooms, steam clean carpet, clean the windows, rip out the desk and other random jobs. I did not paint at all, for the record (even though my OB said it was okay if I did!). Now that the house is clean, we have some other odd jobs to do like install some hanging cabinets in the bathrooms and replace a couple of light fixtures, power wash the exterior and build a dog run for our doggie. By the way, Vegas *loves* her new backyard. I mean I've never seen her leap like a deer so much, it's so cute. I tried not to overwork myself, but of course I wound up being a bit stiff after working Friday night, Saturday and Sunday. But nothing I didn't expect, just stiffness in my lower back and hurting, swollen feet. Tonight and Tuesday night DH and I have to finish packing up our apartment stuff before we head to Austin for Thanksgiving with my family. We'll come back Friday night and then the big move on Saturday morning! I think we'll be living at the house starting next Saturday- that's less than a week away! Crazy!

I think at this point I should point out that I have the. best. husband. in the world. He's been taking such good care of me, especially when I'm feeling sick or tired. I felt so bad last night and he just did whatever he thought I needed and took such good care of me. I love him so much!!!

Pics of the new house to come... I'll wait until we have furniture in!

Thursday, November 16

I'm trying to post more...

...as things are wrapping up. Slowly. Well, I'd like to think they're wrapping up!

I'm moving a bit slower these days. I'm so excited that we're *closing* on our new house tomorrow, but I'm afraid I'm going to overdo it. It's hard because I don't know if I've pushed myself too far until after I'm sore or can't breathe or whatever. So I've really got to make a conscious effort to not work too hard. Which, if any of you know me, will be kind of difficult. :-/ But it's okay because we're getting a house! Yay!

I'm feeling more Braxton Hicks contractions now, maybe about 1 a day. The only reason I know I have them is because I feel my stomach a lot, and when I'm having one I've usually just changed positions and put my hand on my belly- and it's rock solid. Harder than steel. And the contour of my stomach changes just a little, too. I wonder what that feels like to her.

No other signs of labor, which is a good thing since I'm only a full 34 weeks. :-)

Tuesday, November 14

Hiccups!

I feel her hiccup at least every other day now. Recently, I felt them twice in one day. I wonder- does she hiccup more now or am I just feeling it more because she's bigger? Either way, it's not uncomfortable. Just very noticable. Now I'm pretty sure she's playing patty-cake with herself. Or doing aerobics. Jumping jacks?

Monday, November 13

Belly Progression


Fun with photoshop!

Packing time!

This weekend was our last weekend at our current apartment in it's former state of glory! It was lovely. We went out on Friday night to celebrate DH's new job, with some friends, and had a really nice time celebrating. Saturday we slept in and spent the day packing, lazily I might add which is soooo much better than rushing around like a chicken with its head cut off. DH watched the A&M game and I napped, then we went out shopping for a few needed items. Sunday we slept in again, more lazy packing and went to mass in the evening. I had no idea we had so much stuff! We have so many boxes that are full of I don't even know what, and we haven't even started in the kitchen yet!

WE CLOSE ON FRIDAY! This weekend we plan on moving some of the smaller items, boxes and maybe a bookshelf or something like that. Mostly we'll be "fixing up" the house- paint, cleaning, repairs, etc. Since I can't be involved in the painting, I'm not sure what my job will be- I guess putting contact paper down in the cabinets! That seems to be my job every time someone moves.

Today is DH's first day at his new job. I haven't heard from him yet but I'm sure he's having a great day- he's been looking forward to this for a loooong time.

So I guess this is a baby blog, so I should add some stuff about the baby. :-) Packing this weekend was only a little difficult for me, I found that I really can't stand up for more than an hour or two without feel reallllly swollen in my legs so I'd gather items and then sit down and put them in boxes. And of course, a random occasional foot massage by DH helped a lot, too. :-) I never thought I would be this huge. I feel so big. And the funny thing is I thought I was big a few weeks ago. I know I still have a few more weeks also- which means I'll be getting even bigger. Good grief. We're starting to take bets within the family about when Bethany will be born. I'm really hoping the second full week in December- in fact, December 14th sound good. That would be 38 full weeks and we'd be in our house and I'd only miss one day of scheduled work (December 15 is my last day). Feel free to chime in with your guess!

Friday, November 10

Small photo



My belly. 33 full weeks. Notice- there's no belly button ring and my belly button has completely popped. It's VERY visible under clothing, so much that strangers comment on it!

Wednesday, November 8

Back and forth on labor and delivery

I would guess this is normal to be feeling this way...

I am so back and forth on labor and delivery. Actually I know I want to try my darndest for an unmedicated birth but some days I feel so empowered and strong and other days I'm scared to death about it. We still haven't hired a doula because we didn't really like the one we met with and I can't find any others that are within our budget. I'm thinking it's not going to happen this time, which I'm okay with now. I can't remember if I posted this before, but meeting with her (the potential doula) actually made me *not* want a doula. I am the kind of person who deals with stress internally, by kind of letting it build up inside of me. I might not actually want anyone else there (besides DH, of course) to hold my hand or get me through it. And DH has been so wonderful to this point about rubbing my feet and keeping me feeling comfortable, that I have no doubt he'll do an excellent job once I'm actually in labor. So this first birth it will probably be just us. And I'll start praying now I have some good labor and delivery nurses!

See, right now I feel really strong. I feel like I can take on the world and handle this pain. But I know tomorrow or the next day, I'll hear or see something about how difficult labor really is or hear about someone's experience and it'll scare me. I'm doing my best to stay positive because I really think that your point of view influences the way you deal with life. I'm not going into this telling myself it'll be horrible and painful, but instead that yeah, it'll hurt, but I am strong and I'll be able to handle it. And I'll have a little baby girl to hold once it's all over. I think that'll help me get through it!

Another thing I've been dealing with is a lot of negativity from people- sometimes complete strangers- about me being a "first time mom." How I have no idea what's coming to me! And I better beware because life will be completely different and I won't adjust without doing X,Y or Z! And DH and I will never have alone time again! It's so frustrating. Even at the baptism class the other day, someone jokingly commented that us first time parents probably didn't know who Simba was because we don't have kids yet so we've never seen a Disney movie... Uhh... ok. I wish people would quit getting down on first time parents. I know what some of it will be like because I have 5 younger siblings, and I remember 4 of their births. I was there for one of them. I've changed diapers. I've babysat plenty. I know how to hold a newborn's head. I've definitely seen my fair share of Disney movies. The Lion King came out when I was 12. I know not all first time parents feel prepared but I'm sick of feeling degraded like that. People should be encouraging of first time parents, not telling them how hard it's going to be!

Today we have a dr. appointment, should be a quick one. I am a full 33 weeks pregnant today. 37 weeks is full term- so in 5 weeks I'll be full term- that's December 6. I know she'll come when she's ready but I'm already hoping she'll be ready a little bit early. I'm tired and I want my old body back! I've outgrown about 80% of my maternity clothes already. Not fun when you have to wear the same thing to work at least twice in one week!

Monday, November 6

Weekend

I had a rough night Thursday night- there was another episode of "morning sickness" at about 4 am. Needless to say, I wasn't feeling to well and didn't make it to work on Friday! The rest of the weekend was kind of rough on me. I just think I'm reaching that point where everything from here on out is going to be challenging. We went to a baptism class on Saturday morning and I'm sorry to say it was one of the most boring things I've ever had to do. DH and I plan to spend a bit of time just reading out of the Catechism and studying a bit on baptism on our own because this class was worthless. We still have to do another one, too! Boring.

Saturday was okay but Sunday I was feeling badly again. I felt like I was going to faint all through mass, so we sat in the back and I just basically sat through mass- I couldn't sing or speak because I was so breathless and standing up and down was making me dizzy. Beth was SO active during mass- my stomach looked so bizarre because it was moving in every which way and direction, all at the same time.

I'm at work today and feeling genuinely uncomfortable. I just need to remind myself to get up and walk around every 15 minutes or so to keep my back from hurting and my legs from cramping. Just a few more weeks until she's here!

Thursday, November 2

Maternity Photos- update

The photographer who took our maternity photos wound up using two of ours on her main website! Kind of nifty. :-) What's funny is that she edited out my belly button ring in one of the photos- the black and white one of our hands on my belly.

http://www.katiejenkinsphotography.com/

Flipsyde - Happy Birthday

Touching.

Monday, October 30

Baby Shower!

I had a wonderful baby shower on Sunday! My cousin and my 3 aunts joined forces and threw a beautiful shower for me and Beth, everything was perfectly coordinated and we had many guests! The theme was pink and brown paisley, and it was kind of funny that a lot of the guests dressed the part! There was an amazing fondant cake along with chicken salad sandwiches, tea, punch and a chocolate fountain. And lots of exciting presents! Beth received many cute clothing pieces and blankets as well as a carseat, stroller and a sling. And some stuffed lions.

Here is the cake and a few other decorations.

Me, my mother-in-law, grandma, and mom.


The hosts of my shower (aunts and cousin) with me.

Thursday, October 26

32-week dr appointment

Today is October 26- 2 MONTHS until our due date!

Yesterday we went in for a dr. appointment with our new doctor, and in addition to the usual check-ups, Dr. Strong did an ultrasound. We confirmed that Beth IS, in fact, a girl, and she's looking very good! She's measuring larger than on schedule (about 1- 2 weeks ahead of schedule) but the doctor said it's not enough to change my actual due date or anything. And I've found from other women's experiences that first babies come late, so I'm not too worried about her being early. Big, yes, but early, no! We got several wonderful pictures of her face, it doesn't even look real!

My blood pressure looks good, my weight gain is good. Beth's heartrate was 158 and her head circumference is 8.11 cm. We also have the whole ultrasound on DVD, so I can throw it in and watch her move around whenever I want! She was very active during the ultrasound, Dr. Strong even commented a few times about how active she was! Ay yay yay.



In this pic you can see her face, and it's pushed up against the placenta (on top) which is next to my belly.



This is Daddy's favorite pic, but it didn't scan so well!

Sunday, October 22

New House Pics!

Some pictures of our new house!



Sadness

It is with regret that I inform you that on Saturday, October 21, my belly button ring ceased to exist. It got infected due to the expansion of my belly button, became infected, and the only solution was to remove the entire ring. As of now, Sunday morning, the hole has already closed. I'm sad, but I know it was for the best. It is one of many sacrifices I'm sure I'll have to make to be the mother of this child!

Thursday, October 19

We have a house!

I think it's safe for me to officially post that we have a house! We've been house-hunting for quite some time now, and after about two weeks of going back and forth with offers and waiting on signatures, the contract was officially executed yesterday and that means we have a house! It's in The Woodlands in a newish neighborhood- the house is 3 bedroom/2 bath and is a PERFECT little starter home! And the best part is the backyard is *huge* compared to every other lot we looked at, with lots of mature trees. DH and I are so very excited- we plan to close mid-November and do some work (minor work- paint and cleaning) and then move in the weekend after Thanksgiving. The house is empty right now so we don't have to worry about the homeowners first moving out.

So now since we have a house, I've contacted the closest Catholic church which also happens to be one of the most popular in The Woodlands, and we've scheduled ourselves to attend Baptism preparation classes in November (since they're not offered in December) and we'll have Bethany baptized on January 21. It's really wild to be doing all of these things at once- preparing for a baby and buying/fixing up a house, but I'm generally feeling good still and we've had numerous offers from friends to help us move. My Dad has even offered to come help us fix up the house using some of his vacation days, so we've been very blessed to have others looking out for us as well. Since I can't be involved in any painting, I'm going to stick to packing and unpacking boxes and some of the lighter cleaning. I think that'll be really hard for me since I want to be involved in this so badly, and I'm not really the kind of person to let other people do work, especially on my house, while I just sit around. So I will have to find something to do! We already have a huge to-do list, and I'm sure things will also pop up as we go.

It's so nice to see things come together like this. Thank you Lord, for answered prayers!

Tuesday, October 17

Rolling Movements

We have moved past the kicking stage into the rolling stage... Now, instead of feeling little flutters, it's more of a rolling sensation- does that make sense? I think her rear end is under the right side of my rib cage, since I tend to feel a hard bump at that place pretty consistantly and movements are generally everywhere else. At this point only a few of her movements have hurt or made me say "Ow!" but mostly I enjoy just staring at my stomach and watching and arm or a leg or elbow or something pass from one part of my tummy to the other. I can't hunch over at all because then I can't breath, so my posture is having to improve! Tomorrow means I'm 31 weeks pregnant, which is 9 weeks away from our due date! I already feel like she's so squished in there, I don't know how much bigger I can strech!

Friday, October 13

30 Week Dr. Appointment

Yesterday morning I had my first doctor appointment with my new ObGyn. Can I just say now I love him? Even their office staff was nicer. Everything is looking good... I had my glucose screen to check for diabetes and I don't see what the big deal is with the orange stuff they make you drink... I've heard people complain about how gross it is and it was basically just about 3/4 of a can of flat orange soda. I drank it in less than a minute, no big deal. So then the dr. comes in (his name is Dr. Strong, lol) and he's caught up on my information since I'm new to him- just the basics. He measured my belly and said I'm measuring between 28-31 weeks (good) and we listened to her heartrate- about 150 (good), and too my blood pressure, which is also good. He then told me he wants to see me every two weeks since I'm at 30 weeks, and I think in late November sometime we'll switch to every week. So our next appointment is in about 2 weeks, and we're having another ultrasound done! He wants to peek at the baby since he didn't see the first ultrasound, and I want to peek and make certain little Bethany actually IS a Beth and not an Ethan! This was the first appointment DH wasn't able to come to, but he will be there for the rest! Especially the next one- the ultrasound #2. :-)

Monday, October 9

My Belly Button is Gone

Well, it's still there, but it's officially an "outie" now instead of an "innie". I still have the ring in, and despite that pushing down on the inside it's poking up even more now, it makes DH laugh. I'm feeling little Beth each day and still very obviously. The movements continue to grow- last night, while driving, I felt the hardest punch/kick yet. I laughed out loud for a couple of minutes because it was just so amazing.

Tuesday, October 3

28 week photos





Just a couple of photos from 28 weeks. Dare I say? No stretch marks yet. :-)

Monday, October 2

God "parents"

I forgot to add a couple of weeks ago that we asked my sister and DH's brother to be Bethany's Godparents. Actually, my sister will be the Godmother and my brother-in-law will be a "Christian Witness", since there are certain requirements to be a Godparent to a Catholic baby. Since he's not Catholic, he'll basically be her Godfather but technically, a witness. They were our Maid of Honor and Best Man in our wedding, and we're really excited that they'll both have another important role in our lives!

Here's more information on the Godparent/Christian Witness thing: http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/__P2Y.HTM and http://catholicism.about.com/cs/sacraments/a/godparent042303.htm

This weekend we went house hunting again and didn't find anything. I did, however, realize that my feet and hands are majorly starting to swell- I couldn't pull my rings off my hand and it felt like all the blood that went to my feet just stayed there. After getting in and out of a car, hot weather, hot houses, in and out of the backyards- I almost fainted once, I'm not sure if it's related to the swelling or the fact that we were just having a very busy day! I was walking back into one of the houses and suddenly I started to walk crooked and blacked out, luckily I was able to catch myself on the door and sit down before I passed out. The realtor got me some iced water and I just sat down for a bit before we continued on... I was fine for the rest of the day! Who knows?

On Wednesday we're going to a new OB. We're just going for an interview at this point, I've heard great things about him but we're going to check things out before we make the official switch. After that we'll probably house hunt some more- wish us luck!

Thursday, September 28

Lamaze Class

Tuesday night we attended our first childbirth class. It was a Lamaze class (www.lamaze.org), held by a certified Lamaze instructor in her home. We were there with 3 other couples- two first-time parents and the other couple on their third. The teacher was wonderful! She's almost 60, but the youngest most peppy 60-yr-old out there! She's been teaching Lamaze for a VERY long time and is really dedicated and really believes in the method. Tuesday night was mostly an introduction of sorts, we talked about the method of Lamaze (it's not just "breathing") and also a quick rundown of the phases of labor. My DH told me afterward he learned more about childbirth in those 2 hours than he has in the past 6 months! He's also coming to understand *why* I want to have a med-free childbirth, and is fully supportive of us switching to an OB who is more commited to having a low-intervention birth and also of hiring a doula. I am very excited! :-)

Yesterday, after getting a recommendation, I called a new OB and set up an informational interview. I've heard he's very low-intervention, stepping in only when medically necessary, and a really pleasant doctor to work with. DH and I have just felt really pushed aside by our current OB, we barely get the time of day from her when we see her. Hopefully this transition will go smoothly.

I've been reading several books on childbirth- The Birth Book by Dr. Sears, Birthing from Within by Pam England, and now the Lamaze book she just gave us (I don't remember the name!). I want to get Natural Childbirth, the Bradley Way next, hopefully the library has it! These are great books, and I recommend them to anyone who will be having a baby anytime, ever.

I've never been the type of person to use the word "empowered" because it always sounded so feminist to me, but I have to admit that Tuesday night was the first time I think I've ever felt truly empowered. It's nice to be reminded that childbirth IS a natural thing- women have been doing it for thousands of years! My body was MADE to be a host to this baby while she is forming and preparing to enter the world, and my body was built to birth her and then feed her. And birth is not such a terrible, horrible experience, otherwise why would women continue giving birth? Because the outcome is worth it!

Thursday, September 21

It's been awhile...




Ok so I know it's been awhile since I've posted. Oops.

Yesterday marked the first day of my third trimester. Another milestone!

Here are some pictures that DH and I took with an amateur photographer on the 16th. We were ouside for about an hour, and honestly I thought I was going to die because of the heat and humidity. We were a bit disappointed with the way they came out- my hair was horrible because of the humidity, DH felt a bit awkward with the photographer, I think I should have worn different clothes, and I wish the photographer had a bit of a better eye for some of the photos. In most of them, I don't even think I look like myself. But maybe that's how I do look?

Not much is new on the baby front. I still feel Bethany moving every day and I'm still getting progressively more and more uncomfortable. It's near impossible for me to lean over and touch my toes now- or at least tying my shoes is a lot more difficult. I'm just so excited that she's getting bigger and bigger! Not too much time left now!

Saturday, September 9

House Hunting

Today we went house hunting, though looking at our "schedule" I'm not so sure why since we're not ready to officially close yet. But I guess we're getting a good feel for what's out there... Unfortunately not too many beautiful houses in our budget! Several houses we looked at were a waste of time, it was our realtor's first visit to most of these homes I think so he wasn't aware that there were issues with some of the houses (exposed studs without drywall?). We're hoping to find something this might need a little bit of easy work initially, and then we can fix things up as we live there longer and after we have a bit more money to put into it.

We did see a couple of houses we liked, but one was priced out of our budget (we can always offer though, right?) and the other had a few things I didn't like (like a wet bar and it had no utility room). But, the thing is, like I said earlier, we're not ready to close yet so I don't think we're ready to make an offer. If those houses are still on the market in another few weeks, we'll go from there.

Last night and today we saw some of DH's old friends that he (we) haven't seen in years. It's really great being able to catch up with old friends, I really hope we have the opportunity to stay in touch with them and others along the way. :-)

Thursday, September 7

In the middle of the night...

I haven't slept one full night in at least 4 weeks because I have to go to the bathroom. I think this means I won't be sleeping through the night for the next 18 years.

Just a thought.

Wednesday, September 6

26 week doctor appointment

Yesterday DH and I had our 26 week doctor appointment. Basically, we have to go every four weeks, so this was just a routine pee-in-a-cup and hear-the-heartbeat appointment. Unfortunately we had to wait in our room for about 45 minutes until a nurse came in and told us that our OB was delievering a baby and would be in soon... So the appointment took a bit longer than it should've! It stinks that every time we visit our OB I like her less and less. She seems very arrogant and barely gives us the time of day- once I had to chase her down because she ran out of the room before I had a chance to ask her questions. Yesterday she told DH, who isn't yet sold on the idea of having a doula attend our birth, that doulas are in her opinion, unncessary. Especially if you have a good relationship with your OB. Well, that didn't help my case any. Luckily DH takes everything she says with a grain of salt since she's not really the best doctor in the world. The good news is she hasn't tried to tell me I need botox or other sorts of beautifying services she now provides... *sigh*

At least the whole experience makes the decision to switch OBs if and when we move quite easier. Since we *hopefully* will be moving in November, we'll have to find a new OB before then and start seeing her hopefully sooner than later, to develop some sort of relationship with her.

The update: my waistline is now 39 inches (measured right under my belly button) and I'm up 14 lbs. And since Bethany is kicking the heck out of the inside of my belly now, I'll take that as a hello from her. :-)

Friday, September 1

It's official.

I look pregnant.

Before today, I've not had a stranger ask me when I was due straight up without my mentioning that I was expecting (except one guy, but I'm pretty sure he was on something and had no sense of tact). Today I've been outwardly asked at least three times, without my prompting. And I'm wearing a black shirt that makes me seem less big, in my opinion (see picture below). But nevertheless, I've reached that stage where people are confident enough to ask about the baby without hesitating or wondering "Is she pregnant or just a little chunky around the middle?".

The answer is most definitely, pregnant. Though when I'm stting down and slouching the chunky part is up for debate.

Monday, August 28

24 week photos





Ok so I'm not quite 24 weeks yet, but close enough. :-) These pics are of me in my new birthday outfit from my best friend in New York, and one of DH and me from a wedding we went to this weekend.

Pinched Nerve...I think

I think I have a pinched nerve in my lower left back, right where my back dimples are. (By the way, I found out today that those dimples are called rhombua of michaelus, and apparently they move apart during labor.) I have back pain, and then there's the pinched nerve feeling... I don't know what to do about it. It really exaggerates my pregnant-lady waddle I have going on, because when I stand up it really hurts then decreases the more I keep walking. Tonight I'm going to spend 30 minutes on a treadmill (walking quickly) to see if that aggrevates it or improves it. That and a heating pad. And my hips are starting to hurt, but I can't do anything about that.

During mass on Sunday, Beth was going nutso, I don't know why. My sister was next to me and she could not only feel but see the kicks... They're getting stronger and more frequent these days!

I promise I'll post some pics tonight from the wedding and anything else I can find. It's time for a 6th-month pic, since I am now officially (well, according to my little book) in my 6th lunar month of pregnancy. Yay!

Friday, August 25

My birthday

I had the most wonderful birthday ever! Which was really nice because I wasn't expecting anything major for boring old 24. :-) Little things happened throughout the day that really reminded me of what a lucky person I am to have such wonderful people who care for and love me. I had so many people come to dinner to help celebrate with us- it's nice being surrounded by everyone you know, even if they don't know each other! The only down side is I wish I could have spent more time with each person, and there were a few very important people that couldn't be there as well. They know who they are...

But back to the point of the blog. :-) I am starting to have major back pain as a result of I don't know what. I've decided that I WILL get back on my walking and stretching routine, which *should* hopefully help my back. I'm telling you, I'm okay sitting here, but walking hurts like the pain of a thousand knives. Is that from a movie? I don't know. It really hurts though.

I received a gift card for a massage at a spa, which part of me wants to wait until I get a little bigger but now I'm thinking would be a good time for a massage. If I wait too much longer they might have to wheel me in in a wheelchair. I also received a gift card from my boss in an obscene amount to the maternity stores (Motherhood, MiMi, and Pea in a Pod- all owned by the same company). I went into MiMi Maternity and figured I could buy $60 shirts or pants there, or I could head to Motherhood and buy $20 shirts there. So I chose the latter. Today, I lost track of time and went crazy like I haven't done since my parents paid for my clothing. I wound up buying a white tank that says "baby", a green dress, a cute sweater that ties right over my ever-growing belly for "cold" weather (yeah, right), some gray capri pants nice enough for work, and a pretty black and white shirt. I think that's all I got, but I might be forgetting something. I went $18 over the limit though, but it was worth it. I haven't shopped like that in forever, and I think I got it out of my system!

DH and I have decided to take birthing classes starting in late September since we're not sure when/if we'll be moving. We'll do the classes, which are for three consecutive weeks, at our current hospital and if we do move, then we can take a "refresher" course around Thanksgiving. I suppose it's better to be over-prepared than under-prepared, though I've heard once you get in the L&D room, everything you've learned goes out the window...Anyways, I'd like to think we're preparing!

We're heading to Austin this weekend to attend a wedding of two of my high school friends who are marrying each other. I expect I'll see some people I haven't seen in years who don't even know I'm married, let alone pregnant, so this could be interesting!

Tuesday, August 22

Braxton Hicks Contractions

They've officially started. I thought I had one at around 16 or 17 weeks (don't remember) when I visited my grandfather in the ER, but I wasn't positive. Last Thursday and Friday I definitely had one on each day. It was weird, all of the sudden my lower stomach got rock solid and it stayed that way for 15-30 seconds. Then it stopped. It didn't hurt, but both times just caught me off guard!

Birthdays

At the request of Dr. Storm, I am updating my blog. :-)

Last Saturday, the 19th, was DH's birthday. I had plans to buy him concert tickets to go see one of his favorite bands with some of his guy friends (I'm a good wife) but unfortunately the concert sold out. I even resorted to calling the radio station that was giving away tickets and begging- on air. It was interesting. Luckily DH heard me on-air and decided that was funny enough to be a good present, because they didn't give me tickets! So we went to vist DH's parents instead. We spent the weekend with them, grilling and relaxing with them and DH's brother and brother's fiance. I helped them mow their front and backyard on a riding lawn mower- with me, DH on a push mower and father-in-law on the weed eater, it took us a record 1 hour 15 minutes. So you can imagine how large the yard it! Bethany enjoyed the riding mower- bumping up and down for an hour was apparently like an amusement park ride because I REALLY felt her kicking me for the rest of the weekend!

We watched V for Vendetta Saturday night- I enjoyed the movie for the most part. I liked the plot, could have done without the slow-mo gore action.

Yesterday, Monday, I felt pretty miserable. It was like I was back in my first trimester again- no appetite, tired, headaches, nauseous...I left work early and went home to sleep. My brother was planning on visiting that night so I willed myself to perk up a bit. He showed up and we had a nice visit (DH had class that night). We made a cheesecake (yummy) and he took me to dinner for my birthday tomorrow, then we went to see the Body Worlds exhibit at the museum (link not working... http://houstonbodyworlds3.com/). VERY cool. My brother, being the nerd that he is, was naming parts the entire time and I learned how small a uterus really is to start off with... And now mine is huge... They also had a baby that was 21-22 weeks pre-born. I'm 23 weeks tomorrow so it really gave me a good idea of what Bethany looks like right now. Basically, a perfect little tiny body, about 7 to 9 inches head-to-rump.

Tomorrow is my birthday, I'll be a whopping 24-years-old. This is the age I will be when I have my first child, buy my first house, celebrate my second wedding anniversary. 23 was a fabulous age, I hope 24 is even better. I am meeting with friends to celebrate at the Cheesecake Factory- I am sooooo looking forward to some avacado egg rolls!!! And since we have plain cheesecake at home, I'll be indulging in some major cholocate tomorrow night as well. Mmm... Avacado and chocolate...

Tuesday, August 15

Feeling kicks!

Honestly, I've been feeling kicks for about 3 weeks now (since around 19 weeks), but now they're very obvious. She's a very active little baby! Last time I measured, my waist was 38 inches, and she's about 7-8 inches big right now (and she was measuring big). So I guess it's very possible for me to be feeling these kicks pretty strongly.

Ok honestly, I was bored at work so I kind of laid back in my chair and pulled up my shirt a bit and stared at my stomach (she's really going to town in there right now). I promise you, I SAW several kicks or jabs or pokes or whatever, right to the right and about an inch below my belly button. VERY obvious movements that didn't involve my bodily functions. :-) She's going nuts in there right now, and I don't know why! Maybe I should go eat? I haven't had any caffeine this morning. Regardless, this is one of the best feelings in the world, knowing my little baby is swimming around in there right now!

Monday, August 14

It's a...

???

Bad news! Baby didn't cooperate fully... The ultrasound tech wasn't able to get a clear shot of the gender organs, but at one point she said she saw 3 little lines are indicative of a.... girl! BUT!!! It's not a for sure, positive thing. The other news is that as of our ultrasound last Tuesday, she was sitting breech, so we get to have another ultrasound in October. Hopefullly then we'll have another peek, see if we can be a little more certain of her gender. :-) She's also measuring in the 95th percentile for her age catagory, which means she's a big one. Her daddy is proud!

We're still going to go with mostly gender-neutral items at this point. If we have a more definite picture in October then I might want a few pink items, but gender-neutral I guess is the smart thing in the long run, since we do plan on having a Neunuebel clan. ;-)

Our vacation was lots of fun, I'll post a pic or two when I have a chance!

Monday, August 7

Weekend Recap

Saturday we went out for our first real "house hunting" experience- very exciting! We drove through several neighborhoods with our realtor and walked through 3 houses. The first house was a dirty mess, it was a foreclosure so it hasn't been fixed up at all, not even vacuumed. It was sort of neat to think how we could totally redo the house, but considering I'll be 8 months pregnant when we finally buy a house, I don't know how much help I'd be doing something like that. The second house was AMAZINE, they'd obviously been watching their TLC and HGTV "sell this house"-type shows. We'd have made an offere if we'd been ready to buy. The third house was a 70s, out-of-date ugly thing. Definitely not. After talking it out with the realtor, we decided that to move into a house in November, we'll need to close in October, which means we need to seriously look to buy in September. Which is next month. :-)

On Saturday when we got home, I was relaxing on the sofa when I felt the baby kick. I've been pretty much feeling them every day, but this time he or she was really going at it! I called DH over to me and he put his hands on my belly, and he felt his first kick. :-) He was so excited and so happy! It was another reality check for him- this is really happening!

Tomorrow is the big day! We're heading right out after the appointment to go on vacation to the beach, so I won't be blogging again until next week sometime. But hopefully by then, everyone will know so I can post it publicly. :-) Until then!

Monday, July 31

8 DAYS!

*8* days until we find out if I'm carrying a boy or girl!

Let the polls open... Please repond to this post and give me your vote- BOY OR GIRL?


The results will be posted AFTER both sets of grandparents have found out. :-)

Sunday, July 30

I got it!


With the help from some friends, I decided that I wasn't ready to give up my belly button ring yet. So I purchased a "maternity" ring from here. I bought the first ring listed on the page. It came in the mail yesterday, so of course, I cleaned it and stuck it in. I had to trim it quite a bit, since it was so long it was uncomfortable. I can't imagine I'll need it longer, but if so, it was only 4 bucks. :-)

Only one more week until we find out! The anticipation is wonderful! I want to have mostly gender-neutral items for the baby, but I think that buying some little pink socks or baseball-themed onesies are defintely in order. :-)

This week I researched slings and pouches. I think I've narrowed it down to having one of several, to see which is best for what. I really like the looks of pouches but I think slings might be easier to discreetly breastfeed in public with. I'm still debating a wrap- I'm thinking since they're two-shoulder instead of one shoulder, they might be better as the baby gets older.

I really like these and these pouches. I haven't found any slings yet that I'm in love with... But to help you get the idea (if you've never seen a ring sling before), some can be found here. Next week, I plan on researching cloth diapers!

Friday, July 28

Physical Therapy

This week I started physical therapy for my neck. It was prescribed by my internist, who is a genius and the best doctor I've ever visited. Anyway, we have fantastic insurance so the copay is decenet per visit, and I will go three times a week for 4 weeks. So far this week I've been twice, and she's talked to me about the pain (the headaches), applied heat to my neck, massaged my neck and showed me how to do some stretches. It's soooo wonderful, she can tell just by feeling my neck where the tension and pain is. So this is something I'll be doing for the next several weeks.

I also decided that I wasn't ready to part with my belly ring, so I ordered one. It's made with PTFE, a medical plastic substance, and has a metal ball on either end. I'm looking forward to getting it soon since my current one keeps falling/slipping out since I lost one of the metal balls...

We have a slow weekend planned. DH has a final to study for, so we'll probably go to Barnes and Noble so he can study, I'll be the person sitting in the aisles reading books. :-) Most likely pregnancy and labor books, of course. So far, I've been told to check out some Dr. Sears books and another one- can't remember the title right now. I just finished the entire Scarpetta series by Patricia Cornwell (fiction), so I also need to find another writer to get hooked on. Preferably another series-type thing, because I like reading about the same characters in different books. Suggestions?

Tuesday, July 25

I want to, but I can't.

I've tried four times to take out my belly button ring, to let the hole close up. Every time I've put it back in, I can't help but feel I'm losing a part of me. It's pathetic, but when you think about it, I've had it since January of 2002. It's been quite awhile! I figured I'd just let the hole close up, but I'm not ready to let it go. I keep hoping it'll fall out and I won't notice, so it will close up on its own. That hasn't happened yet. I'm so torn!

Saturday, July 22

18 week photos

Big belly.

Ignore my face. :-b

This photo was taken July 16, 2006- our one year wedding anniversary. It's at St. Mary's Cathedral and we were lucky enough to be able to attend mass on our anniversary date at that church. :-)

The year before!

Thursday, July 20

Current Ailments

1. Super stong and quick-growing fingernails (they're so pretty, I want to paint them)
2. Heightened sense of smell (kind of a bad thing, especially with a cat box around the house)
3. A vein in my right wrist that I can see pumping through my skin. Really entertaining when I'm bored.
4. Who knew I had hair on my stomach?
5. I can see inside my belly button without having to move it around (not really a useful talent).
6. My back is like an accordion. I sit down and it compresses down. When I stand up, it pops and feels like the spaces between my veretebra increases by a huge amount. I've never heard it pop this much.
7. Itchy belly.
8. Emotional. Moody. Short-tempered?

Tuesday, July 18

Our 1 Year Anniversary

As of Sunday July 16, we've been married for a whole year. :-) My fantastic DH surprised me and took me out of town on many adventures, he even secured a day off of work for me. I was able to see family, visit the church we were married in, feed sheep, read the hearts written for us at our reception, eat peach ice cream, watch bats at dusk, antique shop, and enjoy my husband's company. It was really a great weekend. Plus my little car, who so faithfully takes us wherever we need to go with decent gas milage, surpassed 100K miles this weekend. And she's still going!

I don't know if it is our anniversary or the pregnancy but I'm SO emotional right now. It's funny, at a friend's wedding when I was only 10 or 12 weeks pregnant, I couldn't manage to cry a tear. But now, silly things like a song or commercial or even just a memory make me want to bawl! I've really been having to control myself, because once I start crying it's hard for me to stop, and my nose gets really stuffy and it's hard to breath. All because of pregnancy!

I'm also starting, just now, to have real cravings. I fixate on something until I get it. Recent examples have included an M&M Sonic Blast, chocolate (any kind), Dr. Pepper (non-diet) and other things that are really bad for me. Actually I just polished off a a bag of peanut M&Ms, a regular-sized bag. Lasted about 3 minutes and I REALLY want some more.

It's more than obvious that I have a pooch now. My dad jokingly and (hopefully) lovingly called it a pudge, I believe. I gave in and purchased two pairs of maternity blue jeans from Kohls and JC Penny yesterday, I couldn't hold out any longer. I have maybe 6 or 7 pairs of blue jeanas, and only one pair still fit, so it was time. I guess I should post another picture soon!

Besides the occasional headaches (no more migranes!), I am really feeling good. I'm enjoying being pregnant right now, I'm at a very pleasant stage. Almost 18 weeks, I'm waiting to feel a kick or a nudge from little baby... I have felt what *could* be the baby, but I'm not positive that's what it is. It's difficult being a first-time mom! Just as I was writing this, I felt what could have been the baby, on my left side maybe about a finger's length from my belly button. Maybe he/she is saying hello. :-) I read in a book that at this point, babies can hear pretty well, so I'm wondering if I should do the Mozart to the belly thing... Actually in the book I was reading, it talked about how this baby, after birth, would always quiet down when the theme song of a particular soap opera would come on... Because the mom watched it every day while pregnant. Definitely something to think about!

Thursday, July 13

Wham, Bam, Thank you Ma'am

We had our third doctor appointment today... It went so fast! She listened to the heartbeat for maybe a few seconds, told me to pee in a cup, took some blood for tests and then I was done. If we hadn't have waited, we seriously would have been out in 3 minutes! I almost forgot to ask her about my headaches... Which she was no help anyways. She just said to ask the other dr. I'm visiting tomorrow about the headaches to call her to approve medicine. Fabulous. I did gain a whopping 1 pound though, which puts me back to my original starting weight of 135 (I'm not ashamed!). Although the weight has definitely re-distributed, I just can't tell from where though I know to where!

We did, however, schedule our next appointment- THE 20 week appointment. Wohoo! Come August 8, I will know if I'm carrying my Bethany or my Ethan. I'll start taking votes now. So far, I've got DH's brother and a few friends who've told me it's girl... Let's see what everyone else thinks. My "old wives tale" symptoms are- carrying high (I think!), high heartbeat, I've dreamt it's a girl (well twin girls, actually), and I wasn't very sick in the first trimester. I haven't done the "spin the wedding ring over the belly button" thing yet. But the dr. this morning told me I need to take out or find a non-metallic belly button ring soon, so I will have to make up my mind within the next 3 weeks! Eek!

Sunday, July 9

I have THE best husband in the world.

Last Wednesday, I asked DH what we our weekend plans were. He said, don't worry about it! He has a sneaky way of surprising me, so I didn't know what to expect... But I knew our one year anniversary was about a week away so it couldn't be a huge ordeal. I expected lunch and a trip to Rice Village to shop for maternity clothes. Well I was right about lunch! We went to a yummy little pizza place and then he wanted to go by Borders "to browse a little bit." Well it had started raining so I figured he was just waiting for the rain to subside since Rice Village is an outdoor mall. We "browsed" in Borders for a bit then around the time it stopped raining he said okay, so we left. As we were driving away he mentioned wanting a latte so we pulled into a center with a coffee house and as we started to walk toward it, he detoured into a spa! He had made an appointment for a 50 minute massage for me! I was so shocked, it was a VERY fancy place too so they really treated me well. They offered him wine while he waited but no wine for me since I was there for a prenatal massage! WOW it was amazing, I told her about my neck pains and so she spent a little extra time on my neck and shoulders... my neck pain is gone. Nada. Zilch. I feel amazing. The rest of the massage was very nice, but I am so overwhelemed that she was able to work whatever it was out of my neck. I've had *minor* headaches since then, but nothing out of the ordinary from my daily, non-preggo life. He really shocked me! He said it was my pre-wedding anniversary present, because next weekend for our actual anniversary he's planning a trip...

Again, another surprise. He's been dropping hints- I know we're going somewhere by car, not to the north or east, water is *not* the main component but a factor, and it's a series of events. I'm so excited! Our 1 year anniversary, already. I know time flies but sheesh, we still feel like newlyweds. I hope we always do. :-)

Friday, July 7

I'm feeling better.

Dare I say the past 2 days for me have been fantastic? *knocks on wood* I've had some neck pain and some headaches, but it hasn't been bad enough to the point where I have to take the Vicadin. This makes me sooooo happy! I have been a little crampy though, my lower left side of my abdomen has been hurting a little bit. But again, nothing severe like before. Thank you all for the thoughts and prayers!

I went for a hair trim today, I needed one but mostly I was looking forward to the hair wash. When that gay guy went to town on my head, massaging away and rubbing my temples, I thought I was in heaven. It really made me want to go for a real massage, but in time. Maybe. If we can afford it. By the way, have I mentioned yet my birthday is in August? *wink*

I have been experiencing other pregnancy symptoms that I probably shouldn't write about on a public blog, even though it's my blog. I'm not sure how comfortable I, or you, would feel about reading some of these things. If you really want to know, ask. I'm keeping a separate journal of these other changes so that next time around, I know what's happening, or should be happening, at certain times. Something that I will tell you is the bloody nose and the "pink toothbrush" (bleeding gums while brusing teeth)is becoming more common, I believe it's due to the increased amount of blood circulating in my body. Fun.

Tonight we are going with some friends to the Astros game versus the Cardinals. I'm hoping it won't rain so we can see the fireworks since we didn't get to see them on the 4th (it rained that day too). Pretty soon I'm going to need an ark to travel to work.

Monday, July 3

Drugs :-)

The Vicodin is helping lots! I feel soooo much better. The prescription said I can take 1-2 every 4 hours "as needed" but 1 a day has been providing the pain relief I've needed. I don't actually take one until I need to, because sometimes I can take a nap and it will help. I'm so happy to be feeling like normal again, I just hope they go away before I run out of my prescription!

Today I didn't have to work. We visited my grandma and mom and several family members in Conroe this weekend, it was really nice to go spend some time over there instead of just the day like we usually do. We went Friday night and I left this afternoon, DH left last night (had to work). I went to another maternity clothing store and tried on a couple of dresses- I really felt like I was starting to show. I know in the pics I don't seem that big, but I can tell and DH can tell. My mom bought me a beautiful maternity dress, something I could wear to a work meeting or to a wedding. And it doesn't look too maternity, it's just so cute!

We purchased a book awhile ago that is a day-to-day journal of the baby development and of my progression (found here.) It's really neat, I recommend it to anyone newly-pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant. :-)

Friday, June 30

Headache Update

I went to the minor ER this morning because my headaches have been so terrible that they're keeping me from daily life functioning. My OB said there was nothing they could really do, so they sent me to see someone else. The dr. at the minor ER said that I don't have a migrane, but the symptoms are pretty darn close, and he prescribed me Vicodin. That's scary. I've never taken that before, don't people develop serious addictions to that stuff? And how am I supposed to go to work if the drugs make me too tired to function? So either I can be awake and in pain, or asleep and out of pain. The dr. even said it was a "bandaid" to cover up the pain. He said if I get worse, they'd want to do a cat scan or an MRI, but due to the pregnancy they're not supposed to do those things on me right now. So we're going to wait it out and see if these blasted headaches go away. I'm really nervous about the drugs, but I need some relief so I will take one and see how it goes... Please pray for healing for me.

Thursday, June 29

Maternity Clothes and Headaches

Today is the very first day I've worn a full maternity outfit. And it's weird- I actually look pregnant. When I wear my regular clothes, the ones I can still fit on, I don't look so much pregnant. I wonder if the maternity clothes were made to make you look pregnant? Just a thought. I only have one pair of maternity pants at this point, they have the low belly band, and they're a little big in the rear-end portion. But the belly is nice- it's nice to have elastic there instead of blue jeans that don't quite fit.

I've had to call the doctor about these headaches I've been getting lately... I'm still waiting to hear back. They're more severe than any headache I've had before, and it's concentrated on the left side of my head. I think it's kind of odd. I am also having neck pain on the left back side of my neck, so I'm wondering if the neck pain is causing the headaches. But I've also heard that wacko hormones can cause severe headaches, so I'm not sure- which is why I've called the nurse's line. Tylenol doesn't really seem to help all that much. Yesterday the pain was so severe I was certain I was going to throw up- it's been very unpleasant. But all for a good cause, right?

For our one-year wedding anniversary, coming up in a couple of weeks (!!!), we decided to purchase a bed! Well, a mattress technically. We sprung for a king, figuring we'll have this bed for at least 10-15 years and probably co-sleep with several kids. And a queen just didn't seem that much bigger than the full we were sleeping on. We shopped around 4 or 5 different places before deciding we were tired of mattress shopping. I know you're supposed to lay on the mattress in the store for about 15 minutes to get a good "feel" for it but I felt so odd just laying on a bed... While people walk by... And at one of the stores, a guy tried to use his high-pressure sales tactics on us. Gosh, I just wanted to punch his lights out!!! The more he kept telling us we neeeded to buy this bed from him on that specific day, the more certain I was that I woudn't buy it from him ever, especially not on that day. And then he told me that I'll be sleeping on my back when I'm 8 and 9 months pregnant... Uhh from everything I've read, a pregnant women isn't supposed to lay on her back after her 2nd trimester because it constricts blood flow. In a hormonal rage, I wanted to tell them that if he was going to try to sell to my demographic, he should learn his facts. But I kept quiet, and smiled and nodded.

So anyway, thanks to brother-in-law, sister-in-law, and friend, we now have a king-sized mattress in our second-story apartment (that is a whole 'nother story...). Poor DH threw out his back trying to get that mattress up those stairs, it was not a pleasant ordeal. When we move out, we're trying to figure out how we can chunk it over our balcony so we don't have to do the stairs again...

Sunday, June 25

Pics of my belly

These photos were taken tonight, I'm 14 1/2 weeks. Yes, I have grown, I have a small belly!
Today we toured the maternity ward at the hospital. They're upgrading and redoing all of the L&D and recovery rooms, they all look very nice! We walked by the nursery and saw some itsy bitsy babys.. So tiny and soooo precious. I can't wait to meet our baby!



Today is also our Vegas's first birthday! Her present was a flexi leash, and purple because it's her favorite color. :-) I believe she liked chewing on the packaging more than the actual freedom of the leash!

Friday, June 23

Belly Button Woes

Should I keep my belly button ring? I thought it really wasn't an option, but I've discovered there are maternity rings that are flexible. I'm not dying to keep it, but it might be good motivation to get back to skinny Stephanie after the baby. :-)

http://www.evalillian.com/pregnancy-piercing-navel-ring-prod413.htm

And there are other cute ones I've see where there's a little charm dangling down that says "It's a girl" or "It's a boy" or a little stork or something...

I've had this ring since 2002, so it's been a long time. And I think I'm allergic to the cheap metals- I tried to put a ring in from a Claire's-type store and it got kind of infected, so I'm concerned that anything less than stainless steel or silver or whatever is in there right now might make it more infected. My tummy is already starting to harden out though, you can tell it's not fat but baby because my rolls have disappeared (yes, there were 2 rolls before). And I can see inside my belly button. It's crazy.

It's open for discussion. Can anyone see pros and cons? Votes?

Wednesday, June 21

Bad Dreams

I had a bad dream last night. It was very vivid, why is it that you always remember clearly the bad ones and forget the good ones? Anyways, it was bad, but it also told me that I was having a little girl... This is the 4th dream I've had where there was a little girl involved! Yay. But I think my dream revolved around the fact that I really haven't gained any weight... I don't "look" pregnant yet, and I can't help but wonder if there's something wrong with me because of that. I'm almost 14 weeks! I know first pregnancies take a while to show, but I was kind of small to begin with, you'd think a smaller girl would show sooner than a bigger girl? Ah, well, there's not much I can do. I've been walking over a mile a day to stay healthy, trying to remember to take my vitamins, and drinking lots of water. I guess if anything horrible happens I'll just have to find a way to cope.

Monday, June 19

It had to happen, I guess.

We had a nice, lazy weekend. We were going to go to Galveston, but there was a 50/50 chance for rain so we didn't want to risk that- good thing, too, because it poured!

Sunday was father's day, and DH received his first father's day card from his parents. :-) I made him cinnamon rolls in the morning (a rare treat) and we attended mass, where he stood for the blessing of all the fathers. That was really nice, all the dads stood up and everyone else extended their hands while the priest said a prayer. One guy looked at us trying to figure it out (since I'm not exactly showing yet). I think it's important for dads-to-be to acknowledge that they already ARE dads! He's fathered a child that I am carrying, and though he/she isn't born yet doesn't make either of us any less of parents.

So Sunday afternoon, DH was working on homework and I was cleaning up around the house (cleaning out the fish aquarium-ewww). Something caught me off guard, whether it was the fish tank, the red beans on the stove top, or the cherry/coconut snow cone I'd had about an hour before, but I lost it. For the second time. And this time, there were no witnesses! I'm not sure how everyone else does it, but I didn't want DH near me at all while I was taking care of this business, it's kind of a gross, personal thing, you know? I'm just glad I realized it was going to happen so I could get myself to the bathroom on time!

On a different note, some people have been asking if we're going to find out the gender- YES! DH and I are much too impatient to wait it out, I don't know how other people do it! Plus I'm a freak when it comes to planning ahead, so I will *need* to know for my personal planning purposes. And I want to start calling this baby by name, instead of DH and I referring to him/her as a him/her all the time. It's time consuming!

Friday, June 16

Round Ligament Pains

From Dr. Spock:

"Many pregnant women describe round ligament pain as a pulling or sharp pain in either side of the lower abdomen. It most commonly occurs in the middle of the pregnancy.The most typical causes of round ligament pain are activities such as standing quickly from a sitting position, turning your body suddenly, rolling over in bed, or coughing. What you are probably feeling is spasms in the muscular ligaments supporting the uterus. Fortunately, this discomfort is of no real medical significance; it is just another one of those nagging aches and pains of pregnancy."

So my belly is growing but I haven't gained any weight. This is all so odd to me. I haven't worked out consistantly for 3 months, and though I've lost my appetite the things I am eating are mostly junk and "bad carbs" (I *heart* white bread). If I weren't pregnant right now, and had these same habits, I seriously would have gained at least 9 or 10 pounds. At least then I'd have a reason that my clothes didn't fit. Right now, they just don't fit, and I have no idea why...
 
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