Monday, November 30, 2009

A little salty, a little sweet and a very busy week

This week our little baby girl weighs about the same as a bag of tortilla chips and is the length of a package of Oreos. The nerves in her fingertips have now developed, so she now has the sense of touch and is busy touching her face and everything else in there. Her eyes have now developed fully, except for the eye color. The hair on her head is also bright white for a bit longer until the color starts to come in a few weeks down the road from now.

This week she has really been making up for lost time in terms of moving and kicking. Travis has felt her move around a few times and likes to try to coax her into a good kick when he gets home from work at night. Today has been her most active day yet -- she's been moving around in there non-stop for the last 5 hours or so! She was even kicking enough to wake a sleeping cat in my lap after dinner (the cat wasn't pleased).

Thanksgiving was last week, and with that came one of the first big signs that we both truly love this baby: we got up before dawn was even a glimmer on the horizon to get a deal on chair for the baby. I had my first Black Friday shopping experience. We got up at 3:30 to head into Babies R Us. When we got there, the people right ahead of us got the last chair that was in the store, but we still got to order it through the store for the same price. And, I got a call saying it's already in so it took no time at all! We were pretty excited to get such a comfy chair (and ottoman!) for half price! Since the Toys R Us sale was at midnight, we really missed the rush going in for just baby stuff that started at 5 a.m. Feeling then adventurous, we headed to the mall to try our luck there. Even the mall wasn't as terrible as I had imagined. We got a couple Christmas presents and a couple things for the house, so all in all it was a successful outing.

After our leisurely nap, we ordered the baby's furniture Thursday afternoon. After some sweet talking on the phone, I managed to get the $385 they wanted to charge us for shipping (TO THE STORE, MIND YOU!) waved and we were both proud and excited for that (as was Aunt Molly). Travis also decided to finish getting the primer on the walls to get rid of the horrible zoo stripes in the baby's room and pulled out all the old carpet and padding to make way for the new carpeting. So right now, the baby's room is a barren, empty place. But, we can both see what it going to be, which is very exciting.

We were also very excited to see our families this week and get a chance to ask Uncle Eric, Uncle Adam, and Aunt Molly to be the baby's godparents. Some may find it a bit odd to ask such a question so soon, but I've always viewed the godparent role as a very big deal and I thought it'd be cool to ask before the baby is born. All three seemed excited to take on the role!

Saturday night was one of the worst of the pregnancy so far. Every time I spend the day on my feet doing things around the house, my lower back aches by nighttime. It had, up until that point, but irritating by manageable. But on Saturday, the pain just kept getting more and more intense. After some brainstorming and talking with Molly, we've determined that we're pretty sure the baby is sitting on my sciatic nerve during those times. So, I decided to lay on the couch for a little while with an ice pack on my back, hoping the cold might inspire some movement. By the time I stood up to try to go to bed, I could not lift my legs without my body buckling. Luckily Travis was there to help me get to bed, and by morning things were much better.

Tomorrow is our 5 month check-up with Dr. Maurus. Travis got us all signed up for our birthing classes at the hospital next month, so we'll be spending yet a little more time at ol' Trinity. I'm really glad my doctor is located right in the hospital the baby will be born in, but man I feel like I'm there once a week anymore! My prediction is that I have gained 5 pounds so far -- 5 pounds in 5 months. We'll see if I'm anywhere close tomorrow!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Root beer week: tales of color palletes, moving, and anniversaries.

This week the baby is the size of a bottle of your favorite beverage -- I went with IBC Root Beer of course. Hair is growing on her head (perhaps) and so are her eyebrows! Her heartbeat is now strong enough to be heard with a regular ol' stethoscope, so I'll be interested to see if that's the route the doctor takes next week at our appointment.

The past week has been a lot of fun getting a little more prepared for the baby now that we know she's a girl. I had a bedding set tentatively picked out for either gender, but the more I thought about it the less excited I got about it. Then, searching through with Travis we found a set and fell in love with the colors:

We ordered a throw pillow to get a swatch of color to start getting paint colors together to paint. I'm usually not a decorative visionary, but I can definitely see this whole thing coming together. Plus, the Muppet stuff we've collected will fit right in with the green accent color. I think it'll be perfect :).

We also got to take a trip down to Springfield to help Uncle Adam, Aunt Molly, and Alex move into their new house. The following pictures accurately depict Alex's opinion about moving day:

All in all, things are going pretty well right now, pregnancy-wise. Being over my cold has made me so thankful to have the energy and voice to teach every day.The baby is starting to move a little more frequently, even though I still don't think she is "kicking" all that much. Maybe that means she will just be a polite young lady. Now that she's getting bigger and developing more of her personality, I'm anxious to start getting to know her little quirks - foods she reacts to, sounds that she likes, etc. We're both wondering if we will get a laid-back, chilled baby or if we will get one that is like her mother was.... I'm sure a part of Grandma Adams is hoping for the latter just for retribution, but we're definitely hoping for the exactly opposite of me when I was a baby!

This week has also brought on yet another set of things to feel so thankful for -- a huge support system of family that is so excited and invested in this baby's life before she is even born. And even moreso, a clean bill of health so far. A favorite student of mine that graduated last year had a baby girl last week, and she's not having an easy start. Travis and I visited her in the hospital last night. Scanning through that NICU room at the desperately hopeful parents sitting patiently next to their tiny, tiny babies put a huge lump in my throat. I admire her strength and tenacity as she sits there, sun up to sun down, staring at the tiny life in front of her and playing out a million different scenarios in her head of her baby's future. It's a seat I hope I never sit in myself.

Yesterday was also Travis and I's first anniversary. I can't believe how much our lives have changed over the course of one year. By the same token, I can't even begin to picture what we'll look like a year from now. Probably more tired. :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

20 week sonogram pics

This is the baby's face looking right at us -- you can see the eye sockets.

This is my favorite pic so far -- baby's head, arm, hand, legs, and feet!

This shot is for Grandma Kershaw -- somehow in that mess of grey there are 3 little lines that tell us the baby is a GIRL! :)

Look at those strong legs!

3D image -- the big round thing there is the placenta, but the baby's face is on the left. The big white circle in front of her face is her hand. She was sucking away on that thumb!

Another further away 3D shot -- the placenta is blocking most of the baby's face there.

Monday, November 16, 2009

It's a......

..... GIRL! Tonight we went in for our last sonnogram and my choice of food and beverage did the trick (even though it gave me quite the stomachache later). Even though there is always room for error with sonograms, we checked several different times at several different angles and, as the technician put it, she saw "no evidence to prove otherwise." We are so thrilled -- and I hope to get the new pics up tomorrow if I can find a scanner at work!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

counting blessings and growing to the size of a Red Bull

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you. Before you were born, I set you apart.
Jeremiah 1:5

If there is one experience that has strengthened my relationship with God, I would have to say this pregnancy would be it. Although I was greatly looking forward to becoming a parent in the near future and have always desired to be a mother before all else in life, I never planned to become pregnant this summer. But God had a plan. I see the good this baby has brought into our lives already before it is even born, and I have no doubts that God has a wonderful purpose for our child. It is supposed to be born exactly when it will be. It will have the exact personality it supposed to have. It will be exactly the gender it is supposed to be - boy or girl. The fact that God has a plan for my life isn't a new thought for me -- it's an idea I have grown up with since before I can remember. But now this idea has been strengthened by experience. He has provided for Travis and I at every turn of our life together as we have needed Him to -- willed the both of us to attend the same college to meet each other, provided for us when we had bad part time jobs and lived on Spaghettios, provided Travis with his first job, me with mine close to my family, Travis a new job in the area before we had to make tough living arrangement decisions, a home for us to live in and save money, another home to truly make our own at the exact point in time we needed it, and now, a little life to celebrate and cherish every day. Yes, this year at Thanksgiving, I will truly be thinking about all the blessings our Lord has provided me and my family.

So, I'm taking those thoughts in with me to our sonnogram tomorrow. As I understand it, this will be our last glimpse at our baby until it comes to greet us in 4 1/2 months. I will drink in all the moments we have watching our baby dance on the screen, and I'm not going to worry for a minute whether or not the baby will allow us to find out what it is. If it resumes its Indian style position, I'll know there is a reason. If it bears it all for the room to see, I'll know there is a reason. Regardless, I'll leave the room with a smile on my face if all we learn is that our baby is normal and healthy.

Now, onto the usual weekly updates....

The baby has grown to the size of a favorite for both mommy and daddy: a can of Red Bull. In fact, there have been 3 of them in the fridge since we found out about the baby and they have been all too tempting to me during the last 4 1/2 months! My sources tell me that from now on, the measurements given will be from head to toe, unlike the last 20 weeks that have been from head to rump. The baby now stretches an impressive 11 inches from head to toe! This week the layers in the baby's skin are starting to form, and its digestive system is getting a workout.

This week was a crazy busy and stressful one, and I am so glad it is over! It was full of late faculty meetings, long and nerve wracking play rehearsals, quick food on the go, parent teacher conferences, and the play performances. So, I decided on Saturday to schedule myself a prenatal massage to celebrate having survived the week still intact. It was so awesome. I think if I won the lottery, I would definitely make weekly massages my luxury item. I would highly recommend getting one to any pregnant woman. And if I can sweet talk my husband into it, I think I might get one more at the end of the pregnancy. :)

The baby has been moving around a bit this week, but I still don't think I've felt a definite strong kick. The books I read tell me it can happen anywhere from 18-22 weeks, so I know I just have to be patient.

Tomorrow marks the halfway point of the pregnancy. I can't believe it -- honestly. I'm really looking forward to this second leg... and mostly, what (and who) will be waiting at the finish line!

Monday, November 9, 2009

"Eat Fresh" week

The baby has officially made it to the length of my favorite sub at Subway, the Italian BMT. This one pictured isn't on Italian Herbs and Cheeses bread, but I suppose it'll do. This week the baby's kidneys are fully functioning. I personally find it a bit gross to think about the baby peeing openly -- into the amniotic fluid or not -- inside my body, so I'm not belaboring this point too much. I know it's nature and all that, but it's still kind of gross. Neurally speaking, the baby's brain is really working on sensory functions this week. It's really starting to process and react to sounds and light/dark sights. Even though all the experts don't agree, I know that the baby really can hear me at this point so I don't hesitate to talk to it while I'm roaming around the house. I'm sure the cats think I've gone crazy.

Speaking of the cats, they have really starting taking a liking to the ever growing baby belly. Gizmo loves to curl herself up to it at night and purr her little heart out, making my belly vibrate and on several occasions, making the baby move around a little bit. It'll be interesting to see how they react when we bring the baby home.

This week baby and I won't be having too much time to bum around the house with the cats, as the play opens Friday night (Friday the 13th! Am I daring or what?) I can't tell you how excited I am to know that in a week's time, the play will be finished and I can come home and STAY home every night after school. My goal is to start painting the baby's room over Thanksgiving break. Then we can order the carpet, the furniture, and the bedding and really get this ball rolling. I'm hoping that by the end of Christmas break, the baby's room will be set and ready to go. I have a feeling time is going to fly with a million and one things to do during those last couple months before the baby arrives, and the more things I can get out of the way now while the baby belly is still manageable, the better :).

The baby has also been moving fairly regularly, at least every other day or so. I haven't managed to pinpoint a pattern to it yet -- like a certain time of day, certain type of food consumed, or action being performed or anything like that. I hope I discover something over the next week so I will have a battle plan going into that sonnogram. One way or another we have to get that baby dancing for us! :) The coolest moment of the baby moving so far was when it happened to finally be moving around when Travis was home and he got to feel the little flutters from the outside. Now we're just waiting for one of those big kicks I've been warned about!

So, I suppose that is all for now.Tune in next week when we will have new sonnogram pictures of the baby and maybe, possibly, hopefully a sex to reveal as well!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Baby movements and another trip to the doctor

The day after our baby sat stubbornly for "picture day" it was definitely rumbling about for most of the morning. At first I wasn't sure what it was -- hunger pains, gas, it's all been frequent lately. But after a few minutes, there wasn't a doubt in my mind that it was our little one exercising those ever growing limbs. It immediately put me in a euphoric state -- the kids could have been total jerks all day and nothing could have erased the smile on my face. I couldn't think of anything special I had done or ate that morning, and I haven't felt much since then. I know Daddy is awfully anxious to feel it kick himself, so hopefully the baby will be in the mood to move around for us again this weekend.

Today I went in to see Dr. Maurus. To my utter disbelief, I weighed in at the exact same weight I was back in July at my first appointment. So, so far I'm flucuated back and forth 2-4 pounds, but haven't really gained anything that stuck. The doctor isn't concerned at all though because I was a bit overweight to begin with. I'm hoping this means that perhaps it'll be a bit easier to lose the weight after the baby is born (I know, wishful thinking).

We also scheduled the sonnogram for November 16, a week from Monday. And so another countdown begins! :)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Sonogram pictures

This is a 3D image of the baby's face. It's a little funky because the baby was moving around so much and they need it still for about 7 seconds or so to get a really clear shot. The umblical cord is on the right there coming out of it's middle and going up by its head and then there is a hand there on the left near its cheek.

This is a shot of the baby looking right at us. You can sort of see its eye sockets there on the left hand side.
This is the other 3D image with the face turned a little bit.

This shot makes me smile because its a shot the tech captured from a little shot she showed us a couple times of the baby yawning. We thought, however, it also could have been the baby laughing at our vain attempts to find out its sex. Anyway, you can see its two little lips open up at the top. The dark areas in its mid section are the stomach and the heart.This is probably the clearest and coolest shot we have. Good looking spine, I think :).

One last look at our little guy/girl! Until the next round...

Monday, November 2, 2009

Sonogram excitement

This week the baby has grown to about 5 1/2 to 6 inches -- roughly the size of a green bell pepper. The baby's senses are also starting to connect to its brain -- it's ability to see, smell, taste, and hear are really starting to develop. Lots of the books I read tell me the baby can almost irrefutably hear and distinguish my voice at this point and most are starting to agree that it can also distinguish noises it hears on a daily basis (so maybe it has opinions by now of the smart alecs in my 2nd hour too).

Tonight we had out 18 week sonogram. Grandad and Grandma Kershaw drove up to meet our little baby, so we had a nice full house to see the baby today. It was truly amazing to see the baby move. It wasn't moving around for our last sonnogram - sound asleep - but I drank some coffee before we went in and I think that helped inspire it a bit to move for us. We got to see it wave its arms, turn its head, move its knees a bit, and even yawn but it wasn't budging from it's position to show us its good for anything. We watched for about a half hour and then eventually had to give up. It's just amazing how clear the picture is when you are there in person. It really makes it all sink in. I hope the next 22 weeks fly by because I can not wait to meet our little baby face to face!
The bright side is because the baby was positioned in such a stubborn way, the sonnogram isn't considered complete because they still need to check for things that weren't visible. This means we get to come back in a couple weeks and have another chance to find out the sex. I read some tips online today for how to get the baby moving, and I am definitely going to try chugging some orange juice before the next round!

We got to take six pictures home, and I'm hoping to find a scanner at school tomorrow so I can get those up so everyone can see what we saw!

We go to see Dr. Maurus on Thursday and I think we will schedule the next sonnogram that day as well. I'll keep everyone posted once we know the day we'll be going in!


I don't have lots of time because I'm monitoring study hall, but I just wanted to write about the overwhelming excitement we are experiencing waiting for our sonogram to come today. I know I have been talking for weeks about how excited I am to find out what the baby is -- and don't get me wrong, I'm still very excited -- but today I am just very much looking forward to simply seeing our baby again and hearing that it looks healthy. I know everyone says that all they want is a healthy baby, but until now I've never really quite known how totally true that statement is. I know this baby will bring an unbelievable amount of joy to our lives no matter what it is. So yes, I am very much hoping the baby is dancing around when 4 p.m. rolls around. But as long as we see a little tiny heart beat and ten fingers and ten toes, I know it'll be a fantastic day.