Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Water, water everywhere!

My water broke at 6:15 this morning! Contractions began immediately 2-3min apart, but have sloooooooooowed way down. No pattern at all. Bouncing on the ball and getting ready to go for a walk. Lots of bloody show and mucus.

Called the midwife and she wants me to labor at home until I can't walk or talk comfortably. That seems like it could be several hours from now with the way things are going right now...

Hopefully today is the day I meet my little Ralphie!!!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Santa Can Bite Me!

40w3d no baby in sight...Off to the midwife in the morning. Fingers crossed for some progress.

Christmas started off great. We stayed in PJs all day, watched movies and ate snacks. It all went to hell in a hand basket around 5:30 when Libby, our mini schnauzer, jumped for a toy and collapsed screaming in pain, it was evident something was very wrong with her rear leg. Sean & my dad stabilized her, but we rushed off to the vet ER - her shaking and crying the whole way - they had to sedate her just to do the exam and xrays. Turns out she dislocated her hip Crying They put her under anesthesia and popped it back into place. We picked her up late that night. It cost a small FORTUNE.

Poor little girl cried and cried for hours - she was in so much pain. Even the pain meds didn't seem to take the edge off. I guess the crying and whimpering can be a side effect of the anesthetic and all the stress, but she was breaking our hearts.

Sean is amazing and sat reclined on the sofa, fully dressed with her all night long while she cried and slept on and off. He wanted me to get some sleep in case I went into labor. He is the best puppy daddy ever and is going to be a pretty awesome daddy to this LO as well.

Libby seems much better pain wise, but we had to switch meds because it gave her horrendous diarrhea - she can't catch a break.

The bad news, she is at increased risk for it happening again in the next few weeks and if it does, she will need surgery ASAP. She is on restricted activity for FOUR weeks - no steps, no hardwood floors, no running or jumping. That should be fun with a newborn. Thank goodness Sean is off for another week or so and my parents are here for 10 more days...

Needless to say, not the type of excitement we were hoping for! I am just glad I didn't go into labor in the middle of all that mess, but now that she is on the mend, bring it!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Dear Santa...

It may be too late to get in my Christmas wish, but I was hoping there was room on your list for one more request. We haven't spoke in many years, but some of my best memories are from Christmas morning - all thanks to you and your elves. As you know, Sean and I began our story 13 years ago on Christmas Day and 7 years ago was especially magical when Sean proposed to me under the tree on Christmas morning.

We need your help this year too. You see, Ralphie was due to arrive today, but the stork seems to be stuck somewhere behind your sleigh and the UPS man, so we were hoping there might be room our your sleigh for our little one. He or she shouldn't take up much room, but he or she sure will fill so many hearts with joy and love!

So, Santa, if you can, our only wish this year is to welcome our new son or daughter into our lives. It would be the best Christmas gift ever...

Emily & Sean

Monday, December 21, 2009

Still here...

We survived the blizzard of 2009 and Ralphie stayed put! We were snowbound all day Saturday and Sunday. After 5 rounds of shoveling, Sean has the driveway down to pavement and is one hurtin' puppy today. Our road was finally plowed and we got out today to head to the Midwife and Sean went to work and did a big grocery store trip.

I had an internal today and made no progress since my last internal 10 days ago, which was a little disappointing I really thought I would be dilated since I lost my MP and had some bloody show on Thursday. Oh well, things can change
rapidly at this point. The MW thought Ralphie would hang in until after Christmas, but we are encouraging him to prove her wrong! They will let me go all of 42w, but with increased monitoring, u/s etc.. She did think he was approaching 8lbs though. Whoa...

My parents arrive in 2 days and we are just about ready for their arrival and very ready for the baby. Hopefully there is not a lot of sittin
g around staring at each other or I might just go crazy.

Last, but not least, LIBBY, the snowdog! :)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Winter Wonderland

Here I am 39w2d and it is a blizzard outside. Literally, a blizzard. I have lived in Maryland since 1997 and there has only ever been one blizzard and a handful of memorable snowstorms.

I joked to friends and family yesterday that it would be ironic and funny if Ralphie, my little snowbaby that spent 2 years in a freezer, arrived during this storm. I am rescinding my invite! Mama was just kidding!!!

It is beautiful out there, but conditions are just awful. We have 8-10 inches so far with no end in sight. They are calling for up to 30 inches! We had Sean's holiday party last night and it took us 2 hours to get home. There were really bad accidents everywhere and I was a nervous wreck. We're not in Buffalo any more kids! These Marylanders do not handle this weather well at all!

My birthing center is only 15min away under normal conditions, but I am thinking it would take us an hour plus today and who knows how long for the midwives and nurses...

I think I might like Ralphie to stay put for at least another day! Sean is shoveling just in case.
In the mean time, I am making a pot of sauce, a pan of ziti and some brownies.

In honor of Ralphie, we will be watching A Christmas Story later!

East Coasters - stay safe and warm!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Nesting as therapy

Well, things are cruising right along around here! We are 1 week from our EDD and as ready as we are going to get! I even managed to clean out that pesky tupperware cabinet last week. I am confident I can find more things to knock out around here, but as far as prep for Ralphie, we are all set!!!

Part of my nesting involved cleaning out my IVF cabinet which I had been putting off for my entire pregnancy. At first I suppose that was out of fear, but then it just became a fixture of my life and honestly, hard for me to let go of. I did coordinate a donation with another girl who is OOP and that felt great and yet I still felt the need to hang onto some of it. I donated meds that were set to expire, but anything that had at least 6mo left, I boxed up and put away along with all my sharps, gauze, alcohol pads etc... I don't really know why. It is pretty unrealistic that I would be ready to cycle again in 6 short months, especially since I plan to breastfeed for a year and yet, I just couldn't get rid of all those meds. It felt so familiar to handle them - I could smell them, I could feel the sting of the needle and the burn of the meds entering my bloodstream. It was bizarre.

As close as I am to holding my baby in my arms, I still have a big part of IF inside of me. I still cry every time I hear one of my IVF anthems - Her Diamonds by Rob Thomas, Broken by Lifehouse and Shattered by OAR bring me right back to my darkest days and reminds me of how much I have to be thankful for this holiday season. To all of those still in the trenches, I am thinking
of you and wishing you strength during the holidays and hope for the new year!

Here it is! The 39w update and I am thinking it might be the last one...hopefully those words don't come back to bite me!

How am I feeling? Ready to meet my little one! A little sad that this part of my journey is coming to an end. I will miss being pregnant and hope I can experience it again some day. Still peeing an insane number of times p
er day! Fetal movement is sometimes painful as he/she runs out of room.

Milestones: The final days are here! It has passed me by in a flash...

Signs of Labor: YUP! I lost my mucus plug/had bloody show this morning!! Have had more braxton hicks over the past few days. At my 3
8w appt, I was 90% effaced, cervix was midline and soft and the baby was -2 station. No dilation. If I don't go into labor this weekend, I have my next internal on Monday! I know all this could mean nothing more than hurry up and wait, but it could also mean that labor is right around the corner. Either way, my body is working hard to get ready!

Cravings: I have been really hungry lately! Still eating my waffles daily and drinking my chocolate milk :)

What do I miss? Putting on my own socks :)

What am I looking forward to? The big day! So m
uch anticipation...

Weight gain: 9lbs total - I have gained 4lbs in the past 2 weeks and MW thinks it is mostly fluid as my legs have been a little swollen. BP is perfect!!

What am I doing to help labor along? Drinking Raspberry Leaf Tea - at least 2 cups a day- and taking 1500mg of Evening Primrose Oil
daily. Walking, having sex, bouncing on the yoga ball, doing squats, and eating spicy foods!
When does the family arrive? Wednesday!! I can't wait!

So that's it. I am thinking I may go into labor over the weekend - the 18th is my Dad's bday and he has been deceased since 2000, so that would be kind of special. We are also expecting a winter storm this weekend and that would be appropriate for our little snowbaby!

Thank you to everyone who responded to our poll and too
k a guess about Ralphie's birthday!

I am wishing all of you a very happy holiday season - may all your dreams come true!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The end is in sight...

It is December. OH.MY.GAWD. It is DECEMBER!!!!!! Ralphie is on the clock, time is ticking, we are on deck, insert your own cliche here...

Any way you look at it, this baby is making his/her grand entrance this month. Where has the time gone? I feel like it was just April and I was a mere 4w pregnant. December felt so very far away and now here it is, December 1st and I am 2 days away from being full term and 23 days away from my EDD.

I have really loved being pregnant. I have been blessed by a relatively easy pregnancy and despite the Chipotle incident and the rather long bout of all day sickness, I don't feel I have a lot to complain about. It has been a peaceful time. In true only child fashion, I have loved all the pampering and attention fro
m Sean, friends, family and strangers. Baby showers are the best thing ever! People have been incredibly generous and we are pretty much set. I promise nursery pics soon - we are putting the finishing touches on the nursery this week.

The baby's movement continues to blow my mind on a daily basis, as does the fact that in just 9 months I have grown tiny little human bei
ng. How crazy is that??? What started as just 2 cells in a petri dish is now a perfectly formed human who will enter the world any day now. It's incredible.

I have no idea what the future holds for us, but I would love to be pregnant again. It has really been a special time in my life.

We have been busy little bees over the past few weeks. Our dear friends threw us a couple's shower two weeks ago and we had a wonderful time celebrating with our friends and neighbors. I was happy for Sean that he got to celebrate with the boys. It is funny to see all of guy friends that have little ones giving Sean Daddy advice. They were so into it! My aunt kept commenting on how times have changed and how much more involved men seem to be in pregnancy and parenting than they ever were in her generation. I think it is a wonderful thing. Sean is so very excited to be a Daddy and he is on board with all my crazy notions regarding parenting ;)

We have been cleaning and nesting and organizing like crazy and we are feeling like we are just about ready for this little one's arrival. We did not travel to Buffalo for Thanksgiving this year so we spent the holiday just the two of us. Sean spent most of the day assembling baby gear while I cooked a traditional dinner. We ate by candlelight reflecting on how much our lives have cha
nged in just one year.

I still need to pack my bag and the baby's bag and we need to install the car seat. We can't install it until our glider arrives because we need to put down the seats in the truck to get it home. It should be here any day. I have some nesting type projects that I would love to knock out, but nothing pressing, unless organizing the tupperware cabinet is a requirement for bringing the baby home. I would also love to do a little holiday decorating. I need to practice my hypno
birthing techniques and get myself in the right mindset for my med free birth at the birthing center. I feel like we have been so wrapped up in preparing the house, that I have neglected my own preparation a little bit.

36/37 week update:

How am I feeling? Like I have to pee CONSTANTLY! I told Se
an I am taking up residence in the bathroom. I must go 20+ times per day, sometimes immediately after going, I feel the urge to go again. The Midwife tells me this is because the baby has dropped. It is not a pleasant feeling. Even less pleasant is when you tinkle a little when you sneeze - fun stuff! It has only happened once, but one time too many in my book.

Milestones: I am considered full term this Thursday and my EDD is just 23 days away!

Cravings: Still drinking a lot of milk and I eat 2 waffles every single day and have been for months now.

Aversions: Chicken is gross to me again :(

What do I miss: Sleeping through the night - I guess I can kiss those days goodbye for a looooooong time!

What am I looking forward to? Meeting this little one. I cannot wait to find out if this is a girl or a boy and to see his/her sweet face for the first time.

Weight gain: Holding steady at 5lbs gained in total. I even switched to whole milk and added a protein shake a day to my diet. I think this baby has my metabolism on super speed and I am not really complaining about that.

Signs of labor: At my 35w appt I was 80% effaced, baby dropped and cervix was nice and soft. No dilation yet! I have also been a little crampy and have a heaviness in my pelvis on and off.

What am I doing to help labor along? Drinking Raspberry Leaf Tea - at least 2 cups a day- and taking 1500mg of Evening Primrose Oil daily. Both per my midwives instructions. I need to start walking daily and using my yoga ball.

So there you have it!!! I've added a poll so you can predict Ralphie's gender, so please play along. Also, feel free to make a guess about when Ralphie will arrive when you comment. I think I am going early - the week of 12/14. My mom thinks on or about 12/10 and Sean thinks any day this week...What do you think? Early? Right on time? Late?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A letter to my child

Dear Ralphie,

Hello my little one! It is the day before Thanksgiving and I cannot even begin to describe to you the joy and gratefulness that fill my heart this year. Some days I feel like I just might burst with happiness about your impending arrival. To feel you move and roll and kick in my belly is one of the best feelings in the world. Admittedly, I will miss it. I will miss knowing you are all mine and knowing you are the only one who has ever heard my heartbeat from the inside. I do think having you in my arms to kiss and snuggle will more than make up for that though.

The calendar tells me that we have less than a month until we meet you, my instinct tells me it could be a wee bit sooner than that. Do you know how excited your Daddy and I are to finally meet you? We have been dreaming about this day for so very long and it is finally close at hand. We have feathered a little nest for you, we hope you will be most comfortable here.

Daddy and I talk about you all the time. We wonder if you are a boy or a girl, although we both strongly feel you are a boy and I think you might shock us if you are a little girl. We will be over the moon either way and Mommy gets all choked up thinking about the moment we hear the words, "It's a...!" We wonder and daydream about what you will look like. Will you have your Daddy's red hair that Mommy always dreams of? Will you have his baby blues, or my green eyes? Based on your early photos, I think you have your Daddy's legs and feet. What will your personality be like? Your Gramma Rita always says that your Daddy, "was a great baby, a great child, an easy teenager and a wonderful man." I couldn't agree more and hope you have his easy, laid back personality. We have so many hopes and dreams for you and we can't wait to see who you are and who you have yet to become.

I can't wait to look into your sweet little face for the first time and gaze into your eyes and tell you how much I love you. I can't wait to see you in your Daddy's arms and to see the look on his face as he meets his son or daughter for the first time. I can't wait to count and kiss your ten tiny fingers and ten tiny toes. I can't wait to feel your skin on my skin, to feed you for the first time, to hold you and to love you. I already love you so much I don't know how my heart could get any fuller, but I think it might just burst out of my chest the first time I have you in my arms.

Daddy and I promise to be good parents. We will always be here for you - to love you, to hug you and to kiss you, to listen to you, to keep you safe and warm, to guide you, to lead you, to teach you, to discipline you, to let you make your mistakes and catch you when you fall, to mend skinned little knees and broken hearts too. We will be your biggest cheerleaders and our hearts will be filled with pride at your accomplishments - big and small. I can't promise that we will always be your best friends or that will be the "cool" parents, but we will do the best we can to help you grow up to be a good person.

Your family is filled with anticipation as well. Gramma and Papa are especially excited to meet their first grandchild. I apologize in advance if the nickname Ralphie sticks with you. You have your Papa to thank for that. As soon as he found out you were due on Christmas Eve, he coined the nickname in honor of Ralphie in "A Christmas Story." So, talk to him if you hate it! You are grandchild #10 for Daddy's side and they are just as excited to meet you. Your cousins are pretty excited too! See how loved you are already???

I can't think of a more magical time of year to bring you into this world. There was a time in our lives when the holidays filled us with a certain sadness, but you have changed that for us forever. Now our hearts are filled with joy thinking of all the memories to be made with you.

I will treasure these last weeks feeling you in my belly. I will try not to wish them away, but I am anxiously awaiting your birthday. One year ago, I wrote this post. It all seemed so abstract and now my dreams are coming true. You are our miracle, our little snowflake, our heart and our soul and I promise that you will be blessed...

I love you forever,

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

One of the best days of my life!

I'm back! No excuses, just a terrible blogging slump. Life certainly has been eventful in the almost 2 months since I have graced you with my presence. Time continues to fly by and tomorrow I will be 32 weeks pregnant! Can you even believe it? This little one will be here sooner than later, but hopefully right on time.

One of the biggest events in my life in the past few months was my baby shower! I can honestly say it was of the best days of my life - right up there with our wedding day and the day we found out we were pregnant. Sunday could not have been more perfect. My mom, my aunt, my childhood best friend and my mother-in-law were our hostesses and they did an amazing job. Everything was just perfect. The colors were sage green and chocolate brown to match our bedding, which I changed since my last post. I ended up going with Carter's Elephant Stitch bedding and I love it! The food was yummy, the favors were adorable and the cake - oh my goodness - it was the talk of the town! The favors were baby food jars with green and brown M&Ms, wrapped in tulle with green and brown ribbon and a little elephant tag. The centerpieces were mums and everything coordinated beautifully!

We were so blessed by the generosity of our family and friends. Little Ralphie is already one spoiled little babe. It is crazy to look around and have all this baby stuff in my house!!! The nursery furniture will be here a week from Saturday and then we can really get down to business.

Some of the highlights from my shower were the cake, which I really cannot say enough about, and some really touching personal gifts. Sean's Aunt Kathleen in Ireland was famous for her gorgeous baby blankets and sweaters. She was sick with cancer for many years and passed away the day after our wedding almost 6 years ago. Little did we know she had already made us a sweater and blanket and set them aside. Imagine our surprise to open such a beautiful package at our shower. The tears were flowing...The sweater and blanket are just gorgeous. I do not have a good photo of them, but I will try to remember to take a photo and share it. Along those same lines, my Great Aunt Sara has been in failing health for some time, and shortly after our wedding she began making us a gorgeous blanket. She was able to attend the shower, but her health is poor. Her daughter said this blanket is her last. Finally, Amanda who is 29w pregnant and now living in Maine (sniff) was unable to make the trip but it didn't stop her from sending me an amazing package from Piecemeal People. She made me a pair of elephants which match the bedding to a T and an incredible piece which says
"hope". It is just amazing and captures perfectly this journey. Many of you may remember that we coined 2009 "The Year of Hope" and so it has been. The addition of "hope" to the nursery could not be more fitting. All in all, I could not have asked for a more special day.

A 32w update:

How am I feeling? Fantastic! An occasional bout of heartburn and some tingling in my hips at night is about all I have to report. BP is great. Feeling very fortunate in this department!

Milestones I am well into my 3rd tri and time is flying. If I were to go into labor now, the baby has a 95% of survival, which is incredibly reassuring. The baby weighs around 4lbs and is about 16in. long! The movement I can see and feel is unreal!

Cravings Milk - drinking a gallon per week. YUM

Aversions - None!!!

What do I miss? Being able to go more than 1 hour without a trip to the bathroom. I tallied my bathroom trips for 24 hrs and I went 17 times!!! Being able to put my socks and shoes on comfortably.

What am I looking forward to? Working on the nursery this weekend! Putting all the baby stuff in its place. Our couple's shower in 2 weeks. Of course, meeting this little one - but not quite yet!

Weight gain - 4lbs at my 30w midwife appt. I was told to start eating more calories so I am working on it. I definitely got my fair share at my shower :)

What do we think we are having? A boy and that seemed to be the general consensus at my shower. We even got a few boy specific gifts and I am not sure why...

Signs of labor? None!!

So, that it is my update. Thank you to those of you who checked in on me during my absence! Hope you are all well.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Back to Reality

Long time, no see! So many new developments, I don't even know where to start...

We had a wonderful babymoon in Key Biscayne. We relax
ed, relaxed, relaxed. We spent each day at the pool where I read my share of Sook.ie Stackhouse novels while lounging or sitting in the glorious salt water pool. I got some sun, but I was diligent with the sunscreen, shade and drinking my water. We scored some nice upgrades along the way, including an oceanfront suite with a kitchen because our room was not ready when we arrived. The kitchen was great - we went shopping the first day and stocked up on lunch stuff, snacks, soda etc... It ended up being a big budget saver. The hotel also gave us a lovely welcome basket since we were celebrating our anniversary and babymoon - 2 hats, a beach bag and a Mama Mio pregnancy relaxation candle. We had a wonderful spa pampering day too! I really enjoyed all the down time with Sean. We talked and dreamed and planned what the next phase of our lives will be like and imagined how vacation with a little one will be. It was just what we needed and I am so glad that Sean surprised me with a trip.

Another major highlight of the trip is that Sean & I got to meet Christi and her sweet baby Cate from "Our Journey". Her blog is private now, but I know many of you "know" her and her long journey to parenthood, made possible by the miracle men and women at CCRM! We met at Pan.era for a few hours and it was such a treat! Christi and I connected in the spring of 2007 during my first IVF and her 2nd. She has been a huge support of advice and support for me and it was really incredible to finally meet someone I consider such an important person in my life.

Ever since the 20w point, I feel like time in flying by! I cannot believe I am now 24w2d pregnant-that is 6 months, folks- and I have just over 15w to go! It has been a serious reality check. I think there was still some level of disbelief that I was actually having a baby any time soon, but now, I feel movement all the time, Sean can feel movement daily, my belly is growing large and you can see it move and jump and all of the sudden it just feels so real. Add on to those tangibles the fact that we start our 5 week hypnobirthing class on Thursday, we have an appt set up to interview a pediatrician, my baby shower invites go out this week, we registered the other day and the fact that the calendar reading September and I find myself in awe most days that this is my life!

While we were registering at BRU on Thursday, I was all smiles - beaming, in fact! I kept saying, I can't believe it is our turn! I can't believe we are pi
cking out things for our baby. I can't believe in a month our home is going to be filled with baby gear and then shortly there after our very own, real live BABY, our son our daughter!!!! When did this happen? Someone pinch me please?!?!

Speaking of registering, after spending countless hours searching the internets for gender neutral bedding that fit my style, I finally picked a set from www.babybedding.com and I looooooove it! The pattern is sage damask and our nursery colors will be sage green and chocolate brown. I think the damask is feminine, but the colors and accent stripes are masculine and I
am confident I can make it more of one or the other once we know if Ralphie is a he or a she. The walls in the nursery are already a khaki color and it matches quite nicely, so we have decided not to repaint at this point. Although, I must admit, visions of a sage green top wall with white chair rail and chocolate brown below the chair rail dance in my head, it really is not necessary, especially since we are leasing this home and have no idea how long we will be here. I am so excited to get started with decorating, but my furniture is still a few weeks out and my shower is not until October 25th. Patience, patience, patience!

My mom is doing an incredible job with the shower planning & I am so excited for the big day. She is using the chocolate brown and sage as the colors, my invites have a sage damask background and she has all kinds of cute ideas for centerpieces and favors. 7 weeks from today - eeek!!! Again I say, someone pinch me, please!!!

So, for your reading pleasure, my 24w update!

How am I feeling? Wonderful! I have zero complaints right now. This is definitely the honeymoon stage of pregnancy for me. I also feel really good in my own body, I am not self-conscious about my weight or how I look and that is such a great feeling. One that I have not had in a long time, thanks to my IF weight gain. I really like my pregnant body!

Milestones: 24w - otherwise known as viability day and although I take a teensy bit of comfort in that, it is not really a milestone to celebrate in my mind. We hope and pray that Ralphie stays safe and sound for many more weeks... The belly is moving from the outside! One night on vacation, we put the remote control on my belly and Ralphie was bouncing it all over the place. It was very cool :) Oh - I passed my 1 hour glucose test!!!

Cravings? Still not really having any, but I have been more interested in sweets than I was early on.

Aversions? Still have not been brave enough to try to eat chicken, although with football season upon us, some wings may be in my future!

What do I miss? A glass of wine - especially while we were on vacation.

What am I looking forward to? Our hypnobirthing classes, which start this Thursday! My shower - 7 weeks and counting!!! My first official appt with the midwives at the birthing center at the end of the month!

Weight gain - officially 3.5lbs according the the scale at my Ob's office.

What do we think we are having? Still thinking a boy. We say "he" with such certainty you would think we saw boy parts on the u/s!

So, that is what has been going on in my world. Still feeling very blessed and overjoyed. I have lots I need to say and plan to try to put it all down in the coming weeks...

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Checking in and asking for support...

There has also been some very sad news in the IF/blogging community and I wanted to ask you all to support Brooke, whose 8 week old preemie, Annaleigh, grew angel wings today. Sean & I are just devastated for Brooke and Joe. Annaleigh, Charlie and Lily were born at 25w5d and have been strong little fighters each and every day. A sudden infection, called NEC, took Annaleigh from her parents and siblings at 4:30 this afternoon. I have shed so many tears for this sweet girl and her parents. I cannot even imagine what they are going through. Please visit "Three Cheers for Babies" and offer some words of comfort during their darkest of days. May Annaleigh rest in peace and be a guardian angel to those who loved her most...

Our babymoon begins tomorrow, so I will likely be MIA for the next week. I am doing well, feeling great and very much looking forward to some relaxing and romance with my wonderful husband. I hope to check in a few times, but am going to try hard to stay 'unplugged.' I wish you all a great week!
edited to update the triplets birth to 25w5d, NOT 24w3d

Monday, August 10, 2009

Two Tickets to Paradise...and pics :)

Whew! What a weekend! Friday was an absolutely wonderful day. We started the day with our level 2 ultrasound and it was amazing! Ralphie was not being overly cooperative and seemed to be having a good time hiding out behind my belly button making it difficult for the tech to get all the images she needed. She did capture some really cute images for us, but I am not sure she was able to get everything she needed of the heart and digestive tract. She said she would leave it up to the OB to decide if he needs to see more. The u/s lasted about 45 min and it was pure joy for us. She was able to go back and forth between 3D images and regular images at the click of a button, so that was pretty cool. Everything looked great to us, but what the heck do we know? I will feel assume that is the case unless I hear differently! Now for some cute pics!

These are totally Sean's legs and my BIG feet! Sean sits like this all the time. My mom said they look like boy legs all the way, and toddler legs at that. In the picture on the right, my little trouble maker appears to be giving the world the finger! Too funny! The whole room was laughing.

After our u/s we went to our favorite place for a yummy breakfast, then we headed home to freshen up. I was excited to see what my sweet hubby had in store. We had decided that we would not buy gifts this year, but we always do cards. Sean suggested we exchange cards before heading out for the afternoon. My first card was a sweet and romantic one, but the second was one of those sound cards and when I opened it, it was playing "Two Tickets to Paradise", I was laughing because I had been singing that all morning in the shower for some reason.

At this point, Sean completely shocks me by announcing that he has planned a vacation for us as an anniversary/babymoon trip. Actually, he knows what a control freak I am, so he had a few different options planned out and let me have some input on the final decision and I am really thankful that he did that.

Our options were: #1- a 9 night Caribbean cruise that went to San Juan, Dominican Republic, a private island and St. Thomas. #2 - a 7 night Bahamas/Grand Turk cruise. #3 - an all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean. Sean was leaning towards option #1 since it was the longest trip and best value.

So which of these amazing vacations did I choose? None of th
e above. I know, I am a pain in the ass! Ungrateful even! Hear me out though. We have been on a cruise before and I found it to be an ok experience. I neither loved nor hated it as far as vacations go. My biggest concern was being on a ship in the middle of the Atlantic and needing medical attention beyond what the ship infirmary could provide. The cruise lines have very strict rules about pregnant women cruising and 23w is the cut off. We would be setting sail at 23w exactly and that was ok with permission from my OB.

I called the doctor's office and they said a cruise was fine, but to be advised that I was putting myself at increased risk of H1N1 and other illnesses because of the close quarters of a cruise environment. That kind of sealed the deal for me. I know the odds of something happening are slim, but also not out of the realm of possibility and I really was not comfortable being so far from modern medical care. Things like overheating and dehydration can happen so easily at this stage of pregnancy and though they are simple to treat, they can also require fetal monitoring and testing.

I felt much the same about an all inclusive resort on an island. Slightly better than a cruise, but not exactly state of the art medical facilities in the event of an emergency. So I apologized profusely to my hubby who had spent days and weeks researching options. He completely understood and said that is why he did not just go ahead and book something without my feedback. We put our heads together and came up with a compromise and found a pretty amazing deal in the long run.

We leave in 12 days for Key Biscayne, Florida. It is a small island just outside Miami and just what we are looking for - sun, san
d, pool, spa, & relaxation. We are spending 7 days being pampered and spoiled by the ladies and gentlemen of The Ritz Carlton resort. We have vacationed at other Ritz locations and it is always an incredible experience. I really cannot wait! Our flight was CHEAP and the deal at the resort was really unbeatable - our breakfast, valet parking, & internet are all included daily, we got 2 nights free and a complimentary oceanfront room upgrade. Food can definitely get pricey so we plan to head to a grocery store and stock up on water, soda, snacks, fruit, etc... We even got a heck of a deal on a rental car. We may head into Miami for a day of shopping or dining, but we plan to mostly relax, relax, relax! It may not be exactly what Sean was originally thinking but I don't think it could have worked out any better. Now we just need to hope for great weather and NO hurricanes!

Do I have an amazing husband or what??? We spent the rest of the day on Friday playing tourist in our own city and then had a yummy di
nner at a new steakhouse. The rest of the weekend was busy, but nice!

Now for a 20w1d belly pic and a pregnancy update!

How am I feeling? Dare I say, great?!?! I really do feel good for the first time in months.

How do I look? Pregnant! I feel really good in my own skin though and I definitely think I have lost weight everywhere but my belly. Not a great pic of me - it is so awkward to take belly pics!

Milestones? I am more than 1/2 way!!! Sean was able to feel the baby from the outside over the weekend and I am so happy that he can finally experience it. Movement felt from the outside is so weird!

Cravings? None recently

Aversions? Chicken

What do I miss? Nothing this week - feeling very content and grateful.

What am I looking forward to? Vacation and quality time with Sean. Registering - hopefully this weekend!

Weight Gain? Down five from the flu, but seem to be back to my pre-flu weight. The OBs scale showed no weight gain last month.

What do we think we are having? My gut feeling? A BOY! I will be in shock if this is a little girl.

I haven't stopped smiling in days. Feeling so very blessed and lucky...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

20w & Big U/S Tomorrow!

Tomorrow is a big day - it is our 5 year wedding anniversary and our big ultrasound! We are staying Team Green, so no big announcements tomorrow, but we are so excited to see our little Ralphie in the morning.

I am 20w today and it is crazy to think that we are halfway through this pregnancy! What a milestone!

We both took the day off tomorrow and Sean has all kinds of plans that I am not privy to yet. He did send me a lovely bouquet of daisies today - the official flower of 5 year anniversaries apparently :) He is the sweetest!

I am feeling pretty close to 100% - thanks for all the care and concern. I think I might still be in rehydration mode though - very thirsty!

Despite my excitement about tomorrow, it cannot erase the sadness and grief I feel for Mo & Will.

How incredibly unfair & devastating. Please visit and lend some support.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Operation Rehydration

The stomach flu and pregnant women do not mix! I don't remember being this sick in a very long time.

Thank goodness Sean and I planned a relaxing weekend catching up on Tr.ue Blood thanks to a free HBO promotion because I felt blah from the moment I woke up on Sunday morning. I was kind of gaggy and I thought my 2 week streak with no morning sickness was coming to an end. I got on the couch and had a bout of diarrhea around 11am and it was all downhill from there. The vomiting began a little while later and just did not stop. I could not keep anything down at all - not water or gatorade or broth. It was a very long day and night.

I called the OB around dinner time and he wasn't too concerned. He said it sounded like a 24 hr bug and that I was ok just sipping on whatever fluid I could muster until it passed. He said if it went beyond 24hrs with no fluids or if I spiked a high fever, I should come into L&D. He advised me to avoid all solids and to try some Immo.dium for some relief. He also gave me the option of coming right into L&D and getting and IV and some anti-nausea meds. I wanted to avoid the hospital, so I told him I would stick it out.

I finally stopped vomiting around 8pm, but the diarrhea continued all night long, every hour on the hour until I finally took the Immo.dium around 4am. I was trying to let it run it course without taking anything, but by 4am, I was feeling a little nervous and so very exhausted. It helped and I was able to sleep for a few hours. I was even able to munch on some ice chips and saltines at that point.

I felt much better when I got up this morning, but, I lost 5lbs in the past 24hrs! My fever broke overnight and I have been able to drink and hold down some Gat.orade and saltines. I feel hung over, sore and beat up.

Today's mission is Operation Rehydration!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

A Big Step

I have not purchased a single baby item since Beta Day when I bought Sean the onesie and bib. I haven't been afraid to, I just haven't been motivated to do much baby shopping. Being Team Green makes it a little easier to show restraint & I know our families are going to go crazy with the gifts. I figure once I start shopping, I won't stop for the next 18 years or so!

That all changed on Thursday because we ordered the nursery furniture! Holy moly! I can't believe I ordered a crib for my house. It is a little surreal.

Sean took the day off and we planned to head to Great Beginnings near Washington, DC for the day. It is a pretty awesome baby store and a HUGE baby/child/teen furniture showroom. They had every furniture line I knew I was interested in, so off we went on our adventure!

Let me just say, my poor husband deserves a medal because even though I knew walking in the door which crib I loved, it still took me nearly 4 hours to commit to a decision. Our salesman was great, but even he gave up on us after a few hours. Part of the problem was that I have an antique armoire that we are using in the nursery and I was trying to find a crib and dresser that balanced out the piece in both style and finish and it was harder than I anticipated. I brought a drawer and a photo with me and that only seemed to complicate the issue. I am an over analyzer and a perfectionist so I was having a hard time finding the right combination and I kept second guessing myself.

This was all complicated by the fact that I wasn't convinced that I wanted a lifetime crib - I like the look of them as cribs, but I am not sure we will ever convert it to the full size bed. When the time comes, it will depend on many factors - space, condition of the furniture, how many children we have etc... We did not order the conversion kit yet because of my indecision on that issue. In addition, even though Bab.y Bargains, gave my first choice furniture an "A" rating, it has gotten mixed reviews online in regards to the finish holding up over time and that concerned me a little. The store reassured me that this line in their number one seller and has been for a few years and they have very little complaints about the brand.

In the long run, we settled on the crib that I had my eye for almost 2 months now and was the leading favorite when we walked through the door. I wish I could have saved myself three and half hours and a great deal of anxiety by just trusting my gut in the first place! You will not be surprised to hear that I am like this about all major purchases in my life. When I was looking at wedding invitations, I fell in love with the "one" in the first book, but I had to look at every book in the store before I could commit. I have issues!

The manager was wonderful and even honored our 15% BRU coupon even though he technically wasn't supposed to because BRU doesn't sell this line. I think he just felt sorry for Sean! All the sales people were laughing at us. They couldn't believe I finally made a decision and they weren't surprised to hear that I went with my first choice.

I couldn't even bring myself to think about gliders while we were there because the fabric choices alone would have paralyzed me for a few more hours and we were both DONE at that point! I hope to decide on that in the next few weeks though. We have it narrowed down to 3 chairs and have an idea of what kind of fabric we want, so it shouldn't be too agonizing of a decision for me. Yea, right!

So, without further ado, here is a photo of our new crib!

It is a Munire Newport crib in Classic Chestnut. We also ordered the six drawer dresser which is not shown in this photo. We love the bookcase and nightstand, but can always add to collection later.

I am thrilled with our purchase and cannot wait until it arrives! Too bad it will take 10-14 weeks. Oh well, that should give me and my neuroses plenty of time to make other nursery decisions - paint, bedding, decor...Eeek!!!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Thank you and a pic!

Thank you all so much for your positive and supportive comments about our desire to have a natural childbirth in a birthing center environment. Even you 100% disagree with my choice and think I am stark raving mad for even considering it, I never would have known from the comments. I have to admit, I was bracing myself for a full spectrum of comments and I am happy to say that everyone was completely respectful. A big thank you to all the lurkers who came out of lurkerdom to lend support, ask a question, share a story or cheer me on!

To answer the question about where I found the statistics on C-section and episiotomy rates, my midwife provided them, but said they are available online. I have not tried, but I imagine they are not easy to find. Our midwife also told us that you can request your OB's stats directly from them and they are required by law to provide them. I am sure they have stats on the hospitals where they deliver as well.

My biggest advice to any pregnant woman, regardless of what type of birth you would like to have, is to educate yourself about what will happen to you. Ask que
stions, be informed, know what your OB's policies and stats are. I had NO IDEA that I had almost 50% risk of having a c-section by delivering at my local hospital! That was just not acceptable to me and scared the crap out of me!

Speaking of fear, many of you commented that you are scared to death of pain and natural childbirth. Honestly, I am scared to death of induction (which is far more intense than naturally occurring contractions), being literally strapped to a bed by 16 different monitoring/medical devices, being paralyzed from the waist down (freaks me out beyond belief), having my vagina cut and/or having a C-Section . Those are the things that cause me major anxiety! Natural childbirth is far less intimidating to me.

I am currently reading
Pushed by Jennifer Block and I think it should be required reading for every woman long before she ever becomes pregnant. I am just blown away by the information in the book.

Ok, on to some fun stuff.

18w Summary

How am I feeling? Last week was my worst week in awhile. I got sick many times and had the pleasure of vomiting in public again. Sean & I had lunch at a local Mexican place and I thought I was keeping it simple by having soup and a cheese quesadilla, but apparently the baby did not agree. It was NOT pleasant and I was apologizing profusely to the other ladies who had the unfortunate luck of having to use the restroom at that moment.

How do I look? You be the judge! As promised, here is a long overdue belly pic.

This was taken at 18w exactly and according to my mother, I look exhausted. I think the belly looks huge and it is hard to believe that it has a lot more growing to do!

Milestones- I am definitely feeling the baby moving! It is the most wonderful feeling. I would describe it as a fish swimming, butterfly wings flapping or a thumping feeling depending on the movement. I feel Ralphie several times per day now and I can't wait until it gets stronger and Sean can feel it too!

What am I craving? Lots of peanut butter and eggs this week. I must need the protein!

Aversions? Apparently, Mexican food and I no longer get along. I don't think it is a coincidence that both times I have been sick in public, I have eaten Mexican food. I have not gone near chicken in months and don't plan to.

What do I miss? Really enjoying my food. I am apprehensive about eating many foods because I am afraid of getting sick. When something does taste good, (and it that is rare) I am only able to eat small portions as I get full very fast.

What am I looking forward to? Starting the nursery! Our plan is to order the furniture next weekend.

Weight gain - We will see what the OB's official scale says on Monday, but according to my scale, I am up 7lbs total since transfer, but only 2lbs since my 1st appt at 8w. I feel like I have lost weight in my face and the rest of my body, but my belly is absolutely growing and changing.

Discovery of the week? Amazon's Universal Registry!!! I am obsessed. I never knew this existed. I love that I can add any item from any website on the planet and have it on one registry. I have been able to register for a hard to find Graco pattern, cloth diapers, boutique items etc...We still plan to register at a local BRU for convenience, but I am in love with Amazon :)

I hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Birthing Center

18 weeks tomorrow and I cannot believe it is July 22! Where is summer going? My pregnancy is flying by and I am almost at the halfway point. My next, and likely last, OB appointment is Monday morning.

Sean and I have made the decision to switch to a midwifery group in our area. We came to this conclusion after examining several factors. First, my OB is 45 min away and delivers at a hospital 1 hr away. The midwives are 10min away and give you the option to deliver at their birthing center or at a hospital which is 15min away from our home. Second, I get the vibe from my OB practice that they would not 100% respect my plan for a natural birth. At our very first appt, I asked about their views and the doc told me, "It's your choice, but just know that epidurals were invented by women for women. If you want to be in pain, I don't really care." Not exactly the level of support I was hoping for. They also deliver at a hospital that has one of the highest C-section rates in our area and has the reputation of being the place to go if you are "too posh to push." Finally, while most of our appts have been ok, I just don't feel a level of personal care from the group. At the midwifery group, I feel like you become part of a family, which is what I loved so much about my RE's practice.

At this point, I feel like it is time for a disclaimer. Birthing a child is a very personal decision and people have very strong feelings regarding the process. I am simply sharing my experiences and impressions. I am by no means trying to preach to anyone or convince anyone that my choice is the better one or pass judgement on one birth choice over another. I respect your childbirth choices and hope that you will respect mine.

Ever since I was a young woman, I have always desired a natural birth experience. Going through invasive fertility treatments only strengthened my desire to do so. My mom had me naturally, I have a sister in law who had an amazing home birth, and I feel like I have been exposed to many positive birth stories that have further convinced me that this is what I want. Since starting my 2nd trimester I have begun to read and research my options regarding natural childbirth. I read Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth and although I found it a little difficult to relate to some of the birth stories in the beginning, the book really spoke to me and I learned a lot. In case you are wondering, my issue with some of the birth stories in the beginning is that I do not live on a commune and I didn't feel it was an accurate representation of how the modern woman in 2009 has a natural childbirth. Inspiring? Absolutely. In addition to the book, I joined a natural birth group online and began reading natural birth stories. All of this convinced me that I needed to explore options other than my OB's office, which led me to discover the midwives and their birthing center.

Sean & I toured the birthing center on Monday night and loved it. I wasn't sure how Sean felt going into it; I kinda thought he might just be humoring me, but in the end, he was 100% on board. There were 12 couples touring and that was exciting to me. One of the midwives spoke to us for over and hour and then opened the floor to questions before we toured the center. There are 3 midwives and an OB on staff and they are affiliated with our local hospital. Patients have a few options when they choose to become a patient of the practice. As long as you have a routine pregnancy, you can choose to deliver at the birthing center with the midwives. If it is more within your comfort level, you can deliver at the local hospital with the midwives. If you choose a hospital delivery, your midwife will stay by your side the entire time and work within hospital policies to accommodate your birth plan. The final possibility is if you are high risk in any way, you must deliver at the hospital. Again, your midwife will be at your side and help you achieve your goals and still have your high risk condition monitored in a hospital environment.

Ideally, as long as I continue to have a healthy, low risk pregnancy we would like to deliver at the birthing center, but I still have to sit down one on one with the midwives and make sure this is our best option.

Here are some highlights from our tour:
  • There are 3 birthing suites that look just like a master bedroom.
  • Each suite has a water birthing jacuzzi tub. YAY!
  • There is a full kitchen and there are no restrictions on mom being able to eat or drink during labor.
  • Mom is not required to have an IV during labor, but they are available in the event of dehydration.
  • No artificial means of induction (no pitocin, cytotec, cervadil etc...)
  • They will not rupture membranes.
  • Fetal monitoring only done with a doppler so Mom has full range of motion.
  • No time limit on labor.
  • Birthing chair, stool and ball available in each suite.
  • Fully equipped for emergencies (resuscitation equipment, oxygen, anti-hemorrhage meds etc...)
  • Right next to a fire station and an 8 min. ambulance ride to the hospital in the event of an emergency.
  • C-section rate of 8%, compared to 49% in the local hospital.
  • Episiotomies performed rarely - once or twice per year or less - compared to 79% of all vaginal deliveries at the local hospital.
  • Cord is allowed to pulsate for 5 min. before cutting.
  • Baby is not removed from Mom until Mom is ready - most babies bond with mom and dad for about 2 hours before they are removed in anyway.
  • You can go home within 4hrs of delivery if you have showered, peed and eaten.
  • No limit on the number of family and friends that can be present.
  • You can change your mind and head to the hospital at any point.
Overall, we felt their philosophy matched up well with ours. Whether we deliver in the birthing center or at the hospital, I believe we will have an experience that we will be happy with. I am not naive enough to believe that complications cannot arise, but I feel 100% comfortable and confident that we will be in good hands.

If you have had a natural birth or a birthing center delivery, I would love to hear more about your experiences!

Monday, July 13, 2009

So much to say

I know, I know, I disappeared again and for a long time. I am so sorry! On an almost daily basis I think about something to blog about, but I never actually sit down to write. I want to, I really do!

We have been pretty busy this summer - weddings, parties, cookouts, traveling to Buffalo etc... We spent the holiday weekend in Buffalo celebrating our Goddaughters' birthday parties and attending a family reunion on my Dad's side. It was a great trip and a wonderful reminder of how much love and support is awaiting this baby. We received some adorable baby gifts. My mom bought some super cute sleepers and onesies and my aunt from Ireland knitted a beautiful blanket and hat. It was exciting to get our first gifts!!! My mom also won one of those small, Fl.ip video cameras at a golf tournament and she gave it to Sean as a Father's Day gift. It is so cool! It is an HD video camera that is the size of a digital camera. Perfect for posting cute videos of the baby! All in all, it was a wonderful weekend and reinforced to us that Buffalo is where we want to raise our family.

Our plan is still to move back home and we are thinking it might be a possibility in about a year or so, but it really depends on Sean's new job and whether or not they can work out way from him to telecommute. Now that my mom is awaiting the birth of her first (and possibly only) grandchild she is anxious for us to come home, or else she said she might have to move here! That would be incredible, but we ultimately want to be back in Buffalo with our entire family.

Speaking of the grandparents, my mom, step dad and Sean's parents have booked their flights to come down for Ralphie's birth!!! Even though it is still months down the line, my Christmas Eve due date really complicates travel arrangements. Sou.thwest had $49 flights and they book really fast due to the holiday, so when they saw available, cheap flights they booked them. They are all going to arrive on 12/23 - one day before my EDD. My in laws are planning to stay one week and my parents are staying two. There is really no way to predict if the baby will come early, late or right on time. We figured at least, they have their tickets and if I go early, they can always exchange them. If I go late, they are already here to celebrate the holiday and if I am right on time - even better! Driving really wasn't an option because Sean's mom hates traveling by car (the women has panic attacks in the car for 20mins, let alone 7 hours) and the weather in December is too unpredictable going through those mountains in PA. I wasn't crazy about my mom driving like a maniac trying to make it in time & running the risk of missing the birth all together if I went fast, they hit bad weather etc... I feel better knowing they have a plan!

In other baby news, Sean & I have started really thinking about our major baby purchases. We spent all day Saturday at Great Beginnings (rated as one of the best baby stores in the country by B.aby Bargains) near DC and it was so much fun. Overwhelming, but fun. The place is HUGE! The furniture showroom was incredible - they must have had 75 nursery sets on the floor. Every name brand and some hard to find ones too. We have narrowed our furniture choices down to two and hope to order in the next two weeks. The salespeople were incredible. They were truly experts in their field. Looking at car seats and strollers was like shopping for a new car - the salespeople were that knowledgeable about the products. Getting close to making a decision there to - I am thinking stroller frame and either the Gra.co Snugride or Chi.cco Keyfit. After seeing the installation demo in store, I am leaning more towards the keyfit at this point. Gender neutral bedding is proving to be difficult and I have a possibility in mind, but want to go look at fabric as well. We are going to register right after our big u/s in a few weeks!

My family has booked my shower for October 25th and it feels like that is going to be here before we know it! I feel like time is flying by now that I am in the 2nd tri and there is so much to do to get ready for this little one's arrival. I can't wait to start pulling it all together!

I am officially 16w4d pregnant and here is a recent rundown.

How am I feeling? Still vomiting. It is less frequent - only once a week or so now, but I wish it would stop for good. I feel like I have more energy, but can still sleep like a champ. I am finally off progesterone and estr.ace and am having massive mood swings. I am not sure if it has anything to do with being off the meds, or if it is just pregnancy, but it has hit me hard. I have been pretty even keeled up until the past few days and now my hormones are all over the place. Mad, sad, angry, happy, giddy...all in the span of a few minutes. Poor Sean!

How do I look? Pregnant. Perhaps I will post a belly pic in coming weeks. My family was surprised how much my belly had changed since Memorial day weekend. I don't feel like my body is changing anywhere else - just a round belly and bigger boobs.

Milestones? I *think* I may have felt movement a few days ago, but I cannot be sure. I was sound asleep and had been laying on my right side for about 6 hours straight. I was just stirring because I had to pee and roll over. As a rolled over to my left side, it felt like something did a huge somersault in my belly. My eyes flew wide open and my hand went right to my belly. I have never felt anything like it, but I haven't felt it since either, so I am really not sure. I am anxious to feel movement more frequently though!

What is Ralphie up to? Growing so big and strong! He or she is the size of an avocado - far cry from my little poppy seed - and weighs almost 4oz. He or she is urinating, has taste buds, is hiccuping, may be sucking its thumb and moving like crazy.

What am I craving? Potbelly Italian Sandwiches - YUM! Subway Veggie Subs.

Aversions? Chicken

What do I miss? Wine. A perfectly chilled glass of white wine on a hot summer's night. A rich pinot noir with a steak fresh off the grill.

What am I looking forward to? More movement, registering, ordering the furniture, and starting the nursery.

Weight gain? Officially, just 1lb. That is according to my OBs scale, but I did not have my first appt with them until 8w and between 4-8w I gained 3-4 lbs. So, unofficially, I am up closer to 5lbs, both me and my OB are fine with it.

What am I reading? What to Expect..., Your Preg. Week by Week, Bab.y Bargains, and Ina May's Guide to Chi.ldbirth.

Speaking of Ina May's book, although I like my OB practice, I am planning on touring a birthing center in the next few weeks. I have always wanted to experience natural childbirth and based on a few of the docs comments, I am not sure how supportive they would be. Additionally, Sean is concerned about how far my OB and the hospital is - almost in hour in no traffic and good weather. The birthing center and the hospital they are affiliated with are only 15 minutes away. I am planning a more detailed post on this topic in the future.

I think that wraps things up - sorry so long, this what happens when it has been 3 weeks since I last updated! Oh! One last thing, please stop by Meinsideout's blog and wish her HUGE congratulations! She is one of the biggest cheerleaders in the blogosphere and she has good news to share. She could also use thoughts, prayers and good vibes that this is her sticky miracle.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Adventures in Pregnancy

Helllloooooo 2nd trimester! How very exciting to be here! I feel like we have checked a huge milestone off the list. I wish I could say I was feeling better, but let me share with you how I kicked off the 2nd tri...

Sean & I went out for a quick dinner at Ch.ipotle last night. I have only had it twice since I got pg and it has definitely left me gaggy in the past, but I thought that had more to do with my chicken aversion than anything else. I am only feeling luke warm about red meat and chicken is an absolute no, so I played it safe and ordered a veggie burrito bowl. It was a beautiful night so we decided to dine on the patio. We are eating and chatting when all the sudden my stomach started flipping and churning. I held my hand up for Sean to be quiet and he must have known because he said, "There is a trash can right behind you!" I bolted from my seat and promptly horfed into the public trash can. So much fun, I cannot even tell you. Needless to say, I threw away the rest of my dinner and Chi.potle is off the list for me. Sean said I turned 3 shades of green before all the color drained from my face completely. We had a good laugh about it later! I have no idea what my body rejected about it, but the baby is clearly not a fan! Thank goodness Chipot.le was not a Father's Day dining hot spot and there were not too many people around. It was still embarrassing though.

The night before we dined at our favorite Greek place and I almost lost it there too, but that was directly related to tempting fate and eating a bite of chicken. I have always been a morning barfer so this past week of evening sickness is messing with my head. My food aversions definitely seem worse and barfing in public is definitely a new low for me! So much for the 2nd tri! :)

Sean had a nice Daddy-to-be Day. I bought him a digital picture frame for his office and we went out to lunch and to buy new cell phones. He got an iphone and he is enamored with it! I don't think he put it down all day. He even downloaded the pregnancy app - too cute! I finally got a phone with a full keyboard and even though I am lusting after his phone, I am pretty happy with mine too. We also decided to poke around Babies R Us a bit after lunch. We had fun looking at all the gear and deciding what we might like. You should have seen us trying to get the infant seats out of the strollers - we are hopeless! Sean found a teeny-tiny jean skirt that had him all
a-twitter. He thought it was the cutest thing he had ever seen. I have waited so long to wish my husband a Happy Father's Day - it was like a dream come true. I cannot even imagine what next year will be like when our son or daughter is here to celebrate with Daddy!

In other news, I finally changed the title of my blog and updated some info in the side bar! Big accomplishments for a self-proclaimed blog slacker!

I am also very excited to tell you that my best friend, Amanda, is also pregnant! Not only are we pregnant at the same time, we are due just 10 days apart! It is a girl's dream to share a huge milestone in her life with her best friend. I do pity our husbands though. We are going to be a site to behold!

In other pregnancy news, there are BFPs to celebrate so pop on over and visit Sprogblogger and Bella and share in their happy news!

We have a wedding to go to this weekend and I have NO idea what I am going to wear. I am also nervous about my new "barfing-in-public-while-dining" trick. Can you imagine??? Oh the horror! I would DIE!

Less than 3 weeks to go before I go off of Estrace and Endometrin. I have no idea why, but my RE wanted me to stay on them until 16 weeks. It feels like overkill to me, but I'll do what I gotta do!

Ok, I have not done one of these in a few weeks, so, in honor of the 2nd tri, here is my summary...

How am I feeling? I think we have covered that in detail ;) I have been sleeping A LOT - 12 hours on some nights minus the 10 trips to the bathroom.

Milestones: Second trimester - woo-hooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What is Ralphie up to? He or she is about the size of a peach and weighs around 1oz. The baby may be sucking its thumb and is practicing breathing in & out.

What am I craving? Pizza, pizza, & more pizza! Honey nut Cheerios.

Aversions: Chicken and Chipotle

What do I miss? My sex drive is still MIA. Hoping it will kick into high gear as I get into 2nd tri! I think coming off the Estrace will help too! Hoping, hoping, hoping ;)

What am I looking forward to? Oh! So much! I am so excited about this trimester. I can't wait to feel the first flutters & movement! Registering, the big u/s (even though we are not finding out the gender), getting a distinct baby bump, & feeling better (hopefully) just to name a few things!

That about wraps it up! Despite the m/s, I am overjoyed to be pregnant and trying to enjoy every moment. It feels more real every single day and I am looking forward to all the milestones that await. Thank you all for sharing this journey with me...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


I seem to have a case of pregnancy related "blogger-block." I want to write more often, I swear I do. I don't even know where the time goes!

I am officially on summer vacation - well, sort of. My school year tutoring is finished and I start my summer families on Friday. My summer schedule is much less demanding than my school year tutoring and this summer I am really limiting it. 3 days of tutoring max - compared to 5-6 during the school year. I am looking forward to the downtime and plan to be a little stingy about time commitments. Summer goes too fast!

Sean & I spent the first 5 days of summer vacation at the beach. We had a nice time, though the weather was not overly cooperative. We had a good bit of rain, cloudy days and cooler temps. We were able to relax a lot, sleep in, eat good food, shop the outlets etc... We did hit the beach for a few hours on Sunday and it was lovely. I did manage to get a bit of a sunburn on my arms and shins. I forgot that pregnant women are more susceptible to sunburn - I almost never burn & I usually tan easily. I wore sunscreen, but I was not diligent about it. It's wasn't a bad burn and it already turning brown, but it was a good reminder to be extra careful during the hot, sunny days ahead.

Fortunately, I felt great the entire time and did not throw up 1 time the whole trip! I even felt like I had a little more energy and didn't feel the general sense of ick. I was able to eat a greater variety of foods including lots of veggies and even some seafood (I have been seafood averse)!

I really thought I was turning a corner with the morning sickness since I had gone 5 days without getting sick; however, I was wrong. We got home yesterday and last night around 8pm, totally out of the blue, I was violently ill. The exact same thing happened when we traveled to Buffalo over Memorial Day weekend. I guess I can't complain about feeling great when traveling!

It was Libby's first trip to the beach! She loved the sand, but the ocean really freaked her out. Mini schnauzers are not really beach dogs - their coats are not made for sand and water. She was a messy dog! She is so spoiled - she prefers her comfy couch and a/c to sun & sand anyday. She is not exactly outdoorsy! It was so great to have her there with us though.

I am in the final days of my first trimester which is hard to believe! Time really seems to be flying! I will be so thankful to have the first tri behind me and let out a little sigh of relief. I think I am starting to look pregnant instead of just fluffy and bloated, but that could just be wishful thinking :) I am almost exclusively in maternity pants and so love the comfort factor! I am wearing some regular tops as long as they are roomy and don't cling to the belly or ride up. The few maternity tops I have don't look "maternity" or else I would look ridiculous!

Before we left for the beach, I had my NT scan. It went very well! The doctor said the fluid at the back of the neck and measurements were all within normal measurements. I will get the full report with statistics at my appt next week. The u/s itself was good. I just love seeing "Ralphie" on the big screen. He/she was super active at first and we loved seeing the baby doing gymnastics in there. When the doc came into to do her part of the scan, my bladder was too full and after she left me empty a little, Ralphie was no longer in the mood to cooperate. The doc slightly annoyed us because she tried to get some images for all of 30 seconds before she said, "Oh well! The baby is not in the right position. I have seen enough, you are all set." We were a little bummed. Honestly, my last u/s was much more detailed and I was slightly disappointed by this one. We got 2 pics, but Sean stole them for his office. Now we have a long haul before the next u/s!

I don't know if I have mentioned this before, but we will not be finding out the sex. We are Team Green all the way! We have always wanted it to be a surprise, but going through IVF reaffirmed that for us as IVF takes so much of the surprise factor out of everything. We are looking forward to that big moment in the delivery room!

I promise to try to write a first tri wrap up/second tri kickoff later this week!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Birthday, Baby Clothes and Bleeding. Oh my!

Wow! Just when I say I am going to make an effort to be a better blogger, I disappear for almost 2 weeks. Sorry!

We had a wonderful time in Buffalo visiting with family & friends. In fact, Sean & my parents threw me a surprise party for my 30th birthday. I was truly surprised and had a great time catching up and celebrating with everyone. The party was in my parent's yard - we had tons of yummy picnic food, cake, desserts, games and fun. I told them it is a good thing I am pregnant and totally distracted or I would have totally been on to them! I thought my in-laws were coming over for dinner and spent the first few minutes that guests arrived being very confused and thinking people were being rude for showing up unannounced! HA! They decided against the traditional "surprise" where we walk in and everyone is already there because they didn't think they could pull it off and did not want to give me a heart attack. Instead, they had people all arrive at a certain time - I was certainly surprised! It was wonderful!

I received some really thoughtful gifts including lots of gift cards for a maternity clothes, barnes and noble gift cards, a beautiful sterling silver bracelet engraved with the word "Believe", tickets to the symphony and a gorgeous Blue Topaz pendant - the baby's birthstone - which totally takes my breath away every time I see it.

I never thought 30 would feel so good. It was the best birthday in many, many years. I feel like all of our dreams are coming true...

While we were home, my sister-in-law had me go through all of her maternity clothes. She has had 3 pregnancies & had a ton of clothes in every size and every season. She is a tiny person, so there wasn't a ton that was going to fit, but I took all her XLs and have a decent amount of stuff to go through & try on. She is done having children and had 6 bins of baby clothes set aside for me!!! She has 3 girls and the clothes are amazing! All Gymboree and she has the entire line for each collection - hats, shoes, tights, hair bows etc.... There are HUNDREDS of outfits from 0-18mo. If "Ralphie" is a girl, she is going to be set with clothes for a very long time! There is a decent number of gender neutral sleepers and a few outfits that could work either way. Even if Ralphie is a boy, I am keeping the bins in storage in case girls are in our future because the stuff is just too cute and in too good of shape to get rid of. It is crazy to have bins of baby clothes in my own house in my baby's nursery! She also gave me a few toys and a pack & play to keep at my mom's house. We made out like bandits and are so thankful to Alison for all the goodies!

I was lucky enough to feel fantastic during our entire trip home - Ralphie was really cooperating for me! It was the best I had felt in a few weeks, in fact I thought maybe the ICK and m/s was behind me, I was wrong, but it was nice to feel good for 4 days.

This past week has not been as smooth. I started having some spotting on Friday morning and it lasted on & off all weekend. It seemed to come on first thing in the morning either right after vomiting or right after putting in my suppository. I would get right on the couch, drink my water and it would subside. I was not too concerned because it wasn't heavy and there was no cramping, but it was a little unsettling. My mom made me promise that if I had any more spotting that I would call the OB right away. Monday morning there was another episode so I called and they wanted to see me right away.

The OB did an internal and there was no sign of active bleeding and there was no blood in my urine. My cervix was closed and looked "great." She told me right off that bat that she was sending me to have a u/s "just in case" and that she was going to try to find the hb with the doppler. She warned me that with my retroverted uterus and being a little fluffy in the middle that she may not be able to find it. She told me not to freak out, but that was easier said than done. After an agonizing few minutes, we all breathed a sigh of relief as she located the baby's heartbeat at a strong 161bpm. She said that was a great sign, but that she still wanted to me to go for the u/s. Her two theories are that the supps are irritating my cervix and/or I am rupturing blood vessels when I vomit. JOY!

I was not able to get in for a u/s until yesterday, but it was AMAZING! By far, the coolest one yet. Ralphie was super active and moving around and swimming like a fishy. I could not believe how much the baby was moving! I heard the h/b which is always music to my ears. I could not believe how much Ralphie has grown in just a little more than 2 weeks. Our u/s tech was so thorough and my u/s was so long. I could have stared at that screen all day long! She printed out 5 super cute pics for me to show off to family. The bleeding was scary, but it was almost worth it to get another peek at the baby. Next up, my NT scan in just about a week!
Here are some pics: the first one is a front view of the face. Honestly, it is a little alien like and maybe even a little creepy, but a face mother could love :) I do love the way he seems to be waving or saluting us. The second one is the side profile and just cute as can be! It says "BOY" to me all the way for some reason.

I missed my 9 week summary & since I am 10w6d today, I will do a combined summary.

How am I feeling: It really depends on the day. I am still getting m/s first thing in the am and feeling pretty tired. The nighttime waking to go pee is super annoying!

Milestones: Seeing the baby move like crazy! Oh & turning 30!

What is Ralphie up to? He or she is the size of a small plum this week and measured over 4cm on u/s. Bones are hardening, nails & hair are growing. He or she will respond to poking and prodding.

What am I craving? Oranges, cucumbers, chocolate milk.

Aversions: Nothing recently

What do I miss: Still missing my sex drive. Last seen sometime in early April. Hoping to have sex sometime in the next few weeks...

Quotes of the week: 1. said at my party by a family friend, "I think now that you have gotten pregnant, you aren't going to need IVF anymore. It happens all the time, you know. When the baby comes you won't have time to focus on getting pregnant and it will just happen. You never know!" I tried to explain that me being pregnant has no impact on Sean's sperm count, but about half way through I just decided to save my breath... #2 said by none other than MY HUSBAND! "I think you are talking yourself into throwing up, it's mind over matter!" Seriously??? Because I enjoy gagging and dry heaving and throwing up bile for 5 minutes straight! He is in the dog house!

A week from today is my last day of tutoring for the school year. It is a busy time - exams start tomorrow! Next Thursday, Sean & I leave for Dewey Beach for 5 days and when we come back I start my summer tutoring. I am excited for the beach and looking forward to some r&r, sunshine and shopping!

I cannot believe the school year is over and June is here. Time is flying! C'mon 2nd tri!