Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tick, tock....

39 weeks today and hanging in there. I am still working which is proving to be not so much fun. I am trying to stick with it as long as possible because the more I work now the more time Ill have with the baby afterward. There hasn't been too much progress on my weekly OB visits. I'm now a whopping "1.5cm" dilated and 10% effaced, Im beginning to think Dr. Deprez made these numbers up just to make me feel better. On a positive note everything seems to be fine with the baby and my health, I am thankful for that of course!

I asked my doctor the million dollar question during my appointment this week. I told him that I would just love to have a baby home for Christmas and wondered what he might be able to do about that. Since I am due 12/15 he said he would consider inducing me as early as 12/20 or 12/21. I'm hoping it doesn't come to this because I have heard that labor is harder when you are induced but at least it's a possibility.

Symptom-wise I am having lots of strong Braxton-Hicks contractions but nothing regular or painful indicating true labor. I am very tired, achey, distracted and feel just plain HUGE. I guess at least I'm still standing!

Maybe the next time I update it will be about having our baby girl!?!?!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Full Term!

We made it! 37 weeks (tomorrow) which is considered full term :) My weekly OB appointments have been going well. I am still measuring on exactly on target, the baby is head down and as of today I am 1cm dilated (not that exciting but something)! My blood pressure, urine testing and weight are all within a good range. I have been getting more tired and having more swelling of my feet and ankles at end of the day. I am definitely more cranky at times, not sure if its hormones, not feeling well or stress....likely it's just a combination of all of the above. I am feeling more braxton-hicks contractions and overall more crampy in general. I think I may have "dropped," at least a little bit. I am feeling more pressure lower, feel less pressure in my ribs and lungs and other people have been commenting that I appear to be carrying lower. I can say at this point that the end-of-pregnancy symptoms are really not that fun but I am very thankful that I haven't had any complications or overly troublesome symptoms.

Paul and I continue to cross some final things off of our to-do lists but the major tasks have been completed. Now we just need to finish our Christmas shopping and we will be really ahead of the game. Paul celebrated his 30th birthday this week. He received a new video camera and DSLR camera- he is now all set to go with his daddy technical gear! I had another surprise shower thrown last Friday by the staff at one of my nursing homes. I was so overwhelmed at the number of people who celebrated with me and sent well wishes, it was totally unexpected and beautiful!

The anticipation is growing as we wait to meet our precious little girl!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy

We've finally made it to the final stretch! I will be 36 weeks, 9 months this week. My extensive to-do list has shrunk quite a bit in the last few weeks (much thanks to Paul for all his help and support-Best. Husband. Ever.). The nursery is done, room has been made in the rest of the house and everything "baby " is in it's place, hospital bags are we just need a baby (well, maybe not quuuite yet).

I had an appointment with Dr. Deprez on 11/9 and now I will start seeing him weekly. At my check up things were still looking good. He told me I was measuring exactly on target so Madelyn will likely be an "average" size baby, not too big, not too small....just right! I am still feeling pretty good. I definitely get tired and can't be on my feet quite as much as before but I think I'm still getting around pretty well. I have one spot in my back that bothers me but Paul gives good back rubs and foot rubs :) He also tries to keep me in check and not let me overdo it-which I have a tendency to do.

On 11/10 I got together with Amy, Annmarie and Karen to celebrate babies and good friendship :)
On Friday 11/12 my co-workers threw me a surprise baby shower at our meeting. We had pizza, cake and I got some great things. I feel blessed to work with such a wonderful groups of NP's. It also was leaked that the staff at one of the nursing homes I go to are planning a shower for me this upcoming Friday- I am just overwhelmed by everyone's generosity and well wishes!

We had our "babymoon" this past weekend, we were also celebrating Paul's 30th birthday. We spent a night at the Boston Fairmont Copley Hotel-it was wonderful. We did some Christmas shopping, walked around on Newbury Street and had a lovely dinner. Of course the dinner was not without some drama. The restaurant Paul had researched and picked ended up being closed for a private party. We had to resort to plan A, B, C then D-but we finally did eat! The next morning Paul treated me to a glorious pedicure which I desperately needed. We had a great brunch at an old friend's restaurant and then did some more Christmas shopping. It was nice to spoil ourselves a bit because we realize that Maddie will be the spoiled one for the next several years!

On the to-do list for the next couple of weeks: Get the car seat installed/inspected (we had an appointment today but the police officer wasn't available) and finish Christmas shopping!

Nursery Pics!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Baby Shower! (Etc.)

Well, to say the least I've been incredibly busy the past few weeks so I haven't had a chance to sit down a blog!
To recap:
I entered my 8th month last week, Ill be 33 weeks tomorrow and I just can't believe how the time is flying!

On 10/17/10, my mother hosted a beautiful baby shower for me at the The Old Mill Restaurant in Westminister, MA. It was a beautiful fall day in the ultimate fall setting and everything was planned so wonderfully. I was joined with just over 60 of my family and friends. I have to also thank my mother-in-law who also had a part in the planning along with my best friend Lindsay who picked and sent out the adorable invitations. My awesome friends from highschool (Mindy, Sue and Britta) were in charge of the favors (fall themed chocolates made by Mindy) and the games ("Name that nursery rhyme" and "Baby shower Bingo"). Last but not least, close friends Robyn, Ashley, Tracy and my lovely little sister Carolyn all helped out with the huge task that was opening the gifts.

The food was great and we had my favorite-Corn Fritters! Definitely a must when you go to The Old Mill. I was then faced with the huge task of opening all the wonderful gifts. I was so overwhelmed by everyone's generosity. We got so many great and necessary (not to mention adorable) things!! There was so much I don't think my brain could quite process everything so needless to say I had just as much fun going through everything in the following days.

The nursery furniture had literally just arrived the day before my shower and fate must have been on our side because we were able to orchestrate picking up the furniture that afternoon and by 9pm it was all set up!! Huge thanks for Paul and my brother Andrew. I couldn't have imagined that the whole process would be so painLESS. It was great! The crib took at the most 1 hour to set up. The dresser (which we are also using as a changing table) came in one piece and required no assembly which we certainly did not expect. The glider and ottoman took maybe 15 minutes to put together. Honestly the biggest part of it all was breaking down the boxes that everything came in. I took the Monday after my shower off to start my "nesting." I was pretty successful in unpacking everything and getting things into place (for the most part.) The most overwhelming part of it all was the tremendous amount of clothes I received. I had to put off the clothes for another day and thankfully was able to avoid any major breakdowns.

Adding some drama for me because it was way too easy (note Andrew with Paul's inhaler in the background)

Being goofy

In case you needed a visual on the clothes

 In the last week or so I've been feeling pretty overwhelmed in general. I think the reality of our little babies upcoming arrival really hit me after the shower. My to-do list grew quite a bit in the last few weeks and it's my nature to want everything done...yesterday! As the days have gone on I've gotten a lot done which makes me feel better. I am also working extra hard at work to plan for my maternity leave which adds to the stress. Hopefully our hard work this month will pay off next month when I need to concentrate on preparing for the big day...Maddie's birthday!

I had a follow up appointment with Dr. Deprez on 10/19 for my 32 week visit. Things are still looking good. I was a little concerned that the baby was too small (mostly due in part to constant comments about "not being big at all for 8 months"....which you would think would be a good thing.) My fundus was measuring at 33cm which is just about perfect so I feel much better. I will start seeing my doctor every 2 weeks now for 1 month and then weekly! In general I am still feeling well. I feel like I am getting so big and it is getting harder to bend and move as well as I used to. Thankfully I am still sleeping well at night which I am grateful for.

Other notables since the last time I posted:
-We interviewed a peditrician and I love him! I am very confident in our choice and am so relieved that I feel so strongly about it.
-I "graduated" for physical therapy. My SI joint has been behaving so I no longer have to go back to therapy unless I need to. Yay!

Pictures of the completed nursery are to follow!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Childbirth Class

We had our "marathon" childbirth class on Saturday (Oct 2) at Memorial Hospital in Worcester from 8:30am-4:30pm. Overall, I was quite impressed. There were many other couples there and it was kind of fun to be around so many pregnant women. We had 2 teachers, both experienced maternity nurses, and I appreciated having two different teaching styles, personalities and points of view.

Basically we reviewed some basic anatomy and physiology, stages of labor, signs and symptoms of labor, when to call the doctor and how to time contractions. There were really no surprises there and I felt that most of it we already knew but I guess it was good to hear it all again. Later in the day we reviewed and practices some breathing techniques, potential positions to use during labor and pushing and massage/supportive measures for the partners to use. For some comic relief the instructors asked all the partners to get on the floor and assume the traditional "pushing" position, I'm still not sure that this was really a true learning opportunity but it certainly made us mommies laugh!

We watched some minimally traumatizing videos showing labor, natural delivery, cesearean delivery and basic newborn care. We also were able to get some very practical information about the hospital in general including policies and procedures, visiting hours, where to go, what to expect on the unit. We took a tour of the maternity ward and got to see both a labor and delivery room along with a postpartum room. I was impressed to see that the OR was literally in the center of the maternity ward, Im sure many hospitals are like this but it made me feel better knowing it's so close...just in case! I thought the floor was very nice and cozy.

Any questions I had going into the class were answered so all and all I think it was a success!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Well hello thrid trimester!

Things seem to be moving right along and quickly! On 9/15 I started my third trimester so the home stretch is finally here, the anticipation and excitement of meeting our little girl is growing by the day. I've continued to feel pretty well. Sleeping has become a challenge at times. This is mostly related to getting comfortable but I revamped "my nest" (as Paul calls it) and have had better luck lately getting some much needed zzzz's. I had my re-evaluation at physical therapy and it was decided that I should continue with my treatments for another few weeks. I still have pain in my SI joint if I am too active or stand for too long. In general the therapy and exercises they have given me have worked well to keep the pain in control.

Paul and I are looking forward to our all day childbirth class next certainly should be interesting! More to follow on that....
I still have a couple of other chores for this coming week including setting up an interview with a pediatrician we are interested in. We are anticipating our nursery furniture to be delivered in the next couple of weeks and I'm really excited to see it all put together. We did do a little bit more in the nursery recently. We finished a large wall decal of a colorful tree swaying in the breeze and "dancing" butterflies--I think it looks great!

I had a follow up appointment with Dr. Deprez on 9/21. Everything seems to be going well. I'm happy to say my weight gain was much more on track this time (thank God!). The baby's heartbeat, the height of my fundus, urine testing and blood pressure were all great. I had glucose tolerance test which is screening for gestational diabetes, my results were great so that was a relief! He also tested for anemia and my vitamin D level. My HCT=34 which is slightly low so he recommended I start taking an iron supplementation in addition to my prenatal vitamin. My vitamin D level was also low despite the fact that I've been taking a supplement since April so, he doubled the dose.

So, lots of things to look forward to in the upcoming weeks: Childbirth Class on 10/2, Nursery furniture delivery hopefully by 10/10 and my baby shower 10/17!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Moving right along

Things have been going well the past few weeks. My baby belly is growing steadily. There is no questioning whether I'm pregnant at this point and strangers seem comfortable enough to ask me about my pregnancy. Thankfully there has been no unwanted belly touching. I'm continuing to feel well. I get tired easily and still feel hungry but not quite as intense as it was a few weeks ago. I'm in the bathroom quite a bit and and have a little heartburn but overall I can't complain!

The amount of baby movement I'm feeling is astonishing. I swear she already has a little personality in there. She is not a fan of me sleeping on my side and will persistently kick me at night until I change position. Sleeping has been difficult but for the most part I am getting plenty of rest.

I am looking forward to entering my third trimester next week....the home stretch!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A quick update

I can't believe I'm really 6 months (24 weeks) pregnant this week! When I say 6 months it just sounds so....REAL! I had a routine check up with Dr. Deprez on Tuesday 8/24/10. Everything was looking good. He, of course, was happy to hear that I'm not in severe pain anymore. My weight had increased quickly over the last 6 weeks since my last visit so hopefully that will slow down a bit! I have been terribly hungry nearly all of the time. I will eat a meal and 2-3 hours later I'm the kind of hunger that makes you feel sick and unable to concentrate on anything. I'm attempting to snack on lower calories things but it's not easy :)  When I read the baby websites and books they all talk about the growth spurt the baby has undergone in the last 6 weeks so I hope it's not just a coincidence that I underwent the same spurt!

I have been doing some physical therapy for my back/buttock pain and it's going well. It will be important for me to try and strengthen some muscles, stretch and learn how to and how not to move. I really like the physical therapist I am working with, she is specially trained in pregnant women which is great and she really knows her stuff. I am definitely in good hands.

Now that the nursery is well on it's way to completion (for now) I have been focusing on some other things. We are all signed up for our 1 day childbirth class at Memorial Hospital in the beginning of October. I have done some research on pediatricians. I got a recommendation from a friend and my OB endorsed the same doctor. I am going to call and make an appointment to visit the office and meet him to make sure it's a good match. We have to start looking into childcare. Paul's mother (soon to be "Nana") has offered to take care of the baby 2-3 times a week so we are thrilled. Now I want to start figuring out what we are going to do the rest of the days after I go back to work. I have been looking into getting a breast pump covered by insurance, I'm hoping my plan will work but I'm trying not to worry about it for now. I have all the information I need, now I just have to wait for her to be born. Registering is well on its way to completion, just a few last things to figure out. I think Paul will be especially relieved when we are finished, he described me as a 'mad scientist' the other day and I would have to agree with that description.

Our baby girl continues to move around quite a bit. I've noticed more movement when Im hungry (she must be too!) and when I lay down. The movements are starting to get strong enough that her kicks and punches are visible on the outside of my belly. Last night I had my hand on my stomach and clearly felt her little foot come right through with a big kick. Strangely nearly every time Paul puts his hands on me to try and feel her she stops. He's convinced that his touch soothes and calms her....let's hope this is true and it continues outside of the womb! I really enjoy feeling her inside of me, it reminds me what a miracle she is. She is awfully fond of my bladder and I wish she would find a new spot to kick but all that matters is that she is a happy, healthy, active baby in there!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Looks like I have a lot of catching up to do! We have been busy little bees around here!

In my last post I mentioned the pain that was escalating. Later that same weekend it reached it's peak when I was in Best Buy with Paul and sneezed. I have NEVER had such horrible pain in my life (mind you I haven't been through labor yet, it's all about perspective). I think I only made it to the car from embarrassment because I could barely walk, I had to be in bed for the rest of the day. I spoke to my OB Dr. Deprez the next day who agreed that this didn't sound like the traditional sciatica that many pregnant women are afflicted with and suggested I see an orthopedic specialist. The following day I woke up unable to walk again, the pain was so severe that Paul had to go get his grandmother's old wheelchair so I at least could go to the bathroom. I was able to get an appointment with the ortho MD that week, thankfully by the time I saw him I was feeling better. He diagnosed me with SI (sacroiliac) joint dysfunction. Essentially one of the joints in the back of my pelvis is severely inflamed. Of course the treatment is limited due to my pregnancy but he suggested PT and OMT (somewhere between PT and a chiropractor). I am very pleased to say that I feel much, much, much better now. It appears that as long as I am careful with the type of movements I make and am not on my feet too much this issue will stay at bay.

On a much happier note we got to see our little girl again on 8/2/10. I broke down and went for a private ultrasound, not a 3D one (not a fan of those) but a regular 2D ultrasound. First of all, it is most definitely a girl. The tech had me drink something really sweet on the way (vanilla shake from McDonalds, yum!) so she would be moving and boy was she! We saw her kicking and punching like a kickboxer, sucking her fist, heatbutt my bladder and the cutest thing I've ever seen.... Yawn! We had a great time. Some of those pics will follow when I have time to scan them.

We have made some serious progress on the nursery and registering. I may have become slightly obsessive when it comes to researching ever little thing but we are having fun so I guess that's the important thing! Phase 2 of operation nursery is complete, now I just want add some decorative touches and wait for the furniture.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Things are still moving along with operation "prepare for baby." Paul has been a busy bee doing all sorts of projects around the house. Most of them I haven't even had to ask! Go figure....He primed the baby's room, we picked out the paint color(s) for the room and he has completed many other odds and ends. We have also been doing quite a bit of research about "baby stuff" in regards to function, price and safety. My new bible, suggested to me by Amy (thank you), is "Baby Bargains." This book basically breaks down the brands for most every baby thing you can think of and gives it a rating based on safety, quality and price. Paul may have taken this all a little too seriously and has vowed to buy/register for nothing less than an "A" rating.....He has actually been amusing me quite a bit during this process, I never imagined he would want to be so involved and I actually think he is more anal than me (if that's possible).

We went to Baby Furniture Warehouse in Reading, MA today (of course, listed as one of the top 10 baby furniture stores in the US by "Baby Bargains"). We were there for about 2 hours but were actually able to narrow down our choice and make a purchase. The crib wont be delivered for another 10-12 weeks but I am relieved to have that task done. Below is what we decided on. It's the Bonavita Seaside guessed it, an "A" rating.

Unfortunately, I don't have all fun things to report in this post. Since I was about 8 weeks I started having some pain, literally a pain in my butt :) I'm pretty sure it's not sciatica. From what I can tell from some reading I've done it's pelvic girdle pain. Basically, the pain is associated with the stretching of the pelvic ligaments that occurs to prepare for the passage of the baby. The pain has been on and off. I mentioned it to my doctor but at that point the pain had temporarily resolved so there wasn't much to be done. I've taken the suggestions of my massage therapist and done some gentle streching of the area and taken some precautions with my movements so not to aggravate the area.'s back with a vengence! I've been in terrible pain all week, it's not constant but it occurs when I take a step or turn the wrong way, stand up from a sitting or lying position, walk up stairs or even sneeze. Unfortunately it is pretty severe and debilitating when it "zings" me. I finally broke down and called my doctor after it clearly wasn't getting any better this week but the office closed early on Friday. I'm hoping he has some suggestions for me!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Baby Movement!

For a few weeks now (maybe since around week 16) I've been questioning whether I feel the baby move. I sporadically would feel something but when I tried to concentrate and see if I could feel it again, it was gone. Women with anterior placentas like me typically feel baby movement later and less frequently than other women so, I haven't been too concerned. For the last few days I have had definite movement. The other night Paul had his hand on my stomach and was talking to the baby, all of the sudden he and I felt a very strong kick....definitely the most noticeable one yet. Paul was thrilled and the whole experience melted my heart.

The baby's room is nearly all cleared out. Paul finished the closet this week and I think it's going to be great. I am currently using it for storage for some things that will eventually find a new home but Paul's clothes fit perfectly with plenty of room for the baby's things.

I have been feeling pretty well. Just some intermittent heartburn and I get tired very easily but I really can't complain! For those of you requesting a "bump" picture here's one Paul took today at 19 weeks 3 days. For all those people who keep telling me I "dont look pregnant," the bump is there....believe me!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

We're expecting a healthy baby GIRL!

So, as if most of you haven't heard already on July 13 we had our 18 week ultrasound, the day before our 4 year anniversary which made it that much more special (if possible). At the beginning of the ultrasound the tech asked us if we wanted to know the gender, we both resounded with a hearty "yes!" She went right to it but had trouble seeing the "important parts" at first, in part due to my anterior placenta which sometimes can obstruct the view. She stated at that point that she thought she knew the gender but would "come back" to it later. She walked us through the entire scan pointing out our precious little one's head (measuring 16cm circumference, which for some reason Paul was very impressed with), the hemispheres of the brain, eyes, ears, nose, lips, heart with healthy 4 chambers and valves, arms, legs, kidneys, and spine. Everything looked great to the tech (and, of course, perfect to us!). Finally at the end of the scan she told us she could tell the gender but was trying to get the front view to "prove it" to us. She wasn't able to get the exact view but finally pointed out the baby's bottom with the two legs and nothing in between, it was then she announced "It's a girl!"

We were both beyond happy to see our healthy baby and both agree she's the cutest thing we've ever seen. We took a few minutes in the waiting room to make the calls to our parents (all of whom were thrilled) and sent a few texts. We met briefly with Dr. Deprez who reported that everything looks exactly as it should. The baby measured at 17weeks, 6 days--exactly on the mark. We will not need to see him for another 4 weeks.

This wonderful day extended to a wonderful week because I was on vacation from work. We had considered going away for a few days but we found we were just as happy to stay home, nest, and celebrate this joyous time together at home. We got a TON done around the house. I have to admit, I probably overdid it a bit, but once I get started there is no stopping me. We cleaned out the entire baby's room which was a big task given the amount of furniture I had to find a new home for (previously our office). I am very relieved that everything, including our 3 leaning bookshelves, looks great in the new spots. We also troubleshooted our closet issue since Paul currently uses the baby's closet for his work clothes. We researched different closet make-over ideas and decided on a closet system from home depot that will give us extra space for the baby and still accommodate the extra closet room that we need. Pictures to follow.....

We did spend a few days up in Old Orchard Beach visiting Paul's dad and Carol. It was nice to unwind for a few days.

Even though it's a bit early, I think I've decided on a theme for the room. I wanted to at least pick out the crib bedding because that way I can chose a paint color and  Paul can start painting while he is still on summer vacation. I think this is what I decided on:

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Weeks 14-16

I had my 16 week appointment on June 30. Paul came with me and was able to hear the baby's heartbeat by doppler. He was really excited since he missed out during my 12 week visit. It's still my favorite sound and now I think it's his too! This time we heard it as soon as Dr. Deprez placed the wand on my belly, our little baby was right there waiting for us. He felt my uterus and confirmed that it's much higher up in my stomach now as compared to 12 weeks when he could barely feel it. I had the routine blood work for 16 weeks including the "quad screen" which tells us about the risk of the baby having Down's Syndrome or neural tube defects such as spina bifida. Dr. Deprez called before the long 4th of July weekend to report that everything came back great and looks very reassuring.

My next appointment will be the "big" ultrasounds where hopefully we can find out the gender. It is scheduled for July 13th, conveniently the day before our 4th wedding anniversary and during my week long July vacation. I asked Dr. Deprez if he would do the ultrasound at 18 weeks rather than at 19 weeks which he typically does. I wanted to share our special moment worrying about work...... and of course maybe we can get some work done in the baby's room while Im off (since we will know the gender) ;0 I always have an ulterior motive.....but he readily agreed to the change in date.

In general I have been feeling really well. I have some energy back, enough so that one evening I even scrubbed the shower after work which would have been unheard of in the earlier weeks! I do have to be careful not to overdo it, especially in the heat. We spent our 4th of July weekend at Tanglewood for the James Taylor concert with our friends the Grutchfields. Today I have had to rest and recuperate from a long day in the sun and a lot of walking yesterday. My mother used to always say she felt like she got hit by a Mac truck (well on Christmas morning anyways) and I can say that today I too feel like I was hit by a truck.

Well, we have a lot to look forward to in the next weeks and months! The journey continues....

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Weeks 12-14

There is very happy baby news today. My good friends Amy and Joe now have a beautiful baby girl Ashley Michele! Congratulations Amy and Joe and I can't wait to meet little Ashley!

With that news I feel inspired to update my blog :)

I am happy to report that I *think* I am starting to feel some relief from my first trimester ickiness (I made that word up). I am finding that I don't have to eat quite as often in order to feel human and have some more energy. I was able to start walking and doing my pregnancy workout DVD's again.....ok I only did it twice but its a start!

I had my first adventure with maternity clothes shopping. It sounds strange but I am actually looking forward to "showing." I don't look obviously pregnant yet but I have seen others who are just as far along and clearly pregnant...I'm jealous! I'm probably going to look back at this post in a few months and scream :) I've heard that maternity fashion is quite expensive so I took the opportunity to stop at the Wrentham Outlets on the way home from a conference in Falmouth.

I was fairly impressed with the selections out there. I was able to find some cute outfits for the summer that I could even start wearing now. The nice thing is that they will grow with me. I had particular fun with wearing the "baby to be" prostesis which mimics what you will look like at 7 months pregnant. It was fun to see what the clothes will look like in the near future.

My next doctor appointment is coming up in a few weeks, I dont think it will be anything more than a simple exam and blood work but the one after that will be the BIG ultrasound!! :) I really can't wait......

In the meantime I will be grateful that I am feeling better and will be able to enjoy my upcoming summer trips and time off

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The First Trimester: A recap

Soon after learning we were pregnant we traveled to Washington D.C. for a family vacation. With us was Paul's Mom, Tuck, Aunt Jane, Alz, Matty, Aunt Patty and Uncle Jack. It was a busy and fun-filled trip. We saw all the sights and did a lot of walking but I think I fared pretty well other than my erratic eating needs.

I had my first doctors appointment on 4/27/10. I was surprised to learn that they wouldn't do any confirmation of the pregnancy at this visit. I had some routine blood work and an exam but that was about it. It seemed odd to me that they would just "take my word for it." To make up for the lack of confirmation at the appointment I took a few repeat home pregnancy tests....just to make sure.

Finally on 5/11/10 I went in for my first ultrasound at 8 weeks 6 days. The weeks leading up to this day were long and somewhat torturous but in my heart I knew everything was ok. Paul came to the appointment with me and we waited in anticipation together. Soon enough our little miracle was up on the screen with a steady and strong heartbeat at 169bpm. The baby was measuring at 9 weeks so right on target. The tech pointed out the head, arms and legs. She changed the view a little and all of the sudden we could she the little arms and legs moving around like crazy. I was absolutely unbelievable. We both welled up with joy and pride, it was a truly beautiful moment. The doctor confirmed my due date as 12/15/2010. After the appointment I couldn't remove the smile from my face. I felt so much love for our little baby it was overwhelming. I called my mother who was anxiously waiting by the phone and surprised her with a visit to the house to show off our ultrasound picture. Of course, the mass texts of the pic went out and everybody was surprised at how much could be seen on such an early picture.

I had all the usual symptoms of early pregnancy. The morning aka "all day" sickness was the worst but for the most part I learned how to manage it. I found that not letting myself get hungry was key, unfortunately this meant eating every few hours. I also had the usual fatigue, frequent trips to the bathroom and labile emotions (cue me crying at the end of "Julie and Julia" even though there was really nothing sad or emotional about the ending). Again, Paul was wonderful during this time. We laughed a lot. At one point I was afflicted with severe sciatica-like pain for about 2 weeks. The pain was the worst when I would try to stand up. One night he was trying to lift me off the couch but I just couldn't stand up. It struck us both so funny that we just laughed and laughed.

I had my third doctor's appointment on 6/1/2010 at 11 weeks 6 days. At this appointment I hoped to hear the baby's heartbeat for the first time. Technically we just saw it the first time. My doctor warned me that there was a 50/50 chance of hearing it. After some readjusting of the doppler probe I finally heard the beautiful sound, strong and clear. What a great way to finish out my first trimester!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Lets start at the very beginning....

I never would think of myself as the blogging type but after reading my friend Amy's pregnancy blog I thought it was a great way to document this wonderful and exciting journey. I am just passing my second trimester milestone so I have some catching up to do.....

After Paul and I were married in 2006 we were not in a rush to start our family, even though there was some gentle pressure coming from the family. We knew that we wanted to enjoy being newlyweds, do some traveling, get settled in our careers, do some work on our house etc. Over the past 3+ years we have done just that. We took some great trips whether is was a weekend trip to Newport to visit some friends or traveling across the country for our first California trip to visit Paul's sister Mary, we had some truly great times. I finished my master's degree in 2007 and am now happy and secure in my job as a geriatric Nurse Practitioner. Paul still has some work to do to finish his Master's but has figured out the path he wants to take in his career and is working toward it. He is a dedicated middle school teacher. We finished our basement in 2009 which we affectionately call "family town" instead of "man town." Most of our motivation for finishing this space was to enhance and enlarge our living space. Now we can definitely see ourselves with a little one living in this home. I also worked hard to lose 40 pounds, my #1 motivation was getting healthier so I could have a happy and healthy pregnancy.

In April of 2009 we started seriously thinking about starting a family and in September, 2009 we started our baby-making efforts. Although it was a bumpy road, looking back I can honestly say it was a magical time. It's a pretty awesome thing to try and create life and I think it brought us closer together as a couple. Now, that's not to say that we were not heartbroken month after month when we were not successful but we picked ourselves up by the bootstraps and kept going. This whole experience has given me a deep respect for those who try for years to have children and especially for those who are never able to get pregnant. After going through some first line fertility testing and learning that everything was perfectly fine with both of us, we finally conceived in 3/2010 after 6 months of trying and 12 months of "not preventing."

In early April with my 29th birthday looming we were hoping that this was finally the month. Easter was on Sunday, April 4th and I thought to myself "wouldn't it be cool to find our we're pregnant on Easter." Even though I knew that particular date would be a little early to take a pregnancy test, I also knew it was possible to get a positive result. On the morning of Easter I woke up early to find that Paul had fallen asleep on the couch downstairs. I followed my monthly ritual of sleepily going to the bathroom and taking a test. I started in towards my bed to wait and casually glanced down at the test during my walk. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the faintest of pink lines starting to develop. My first thought was "Paul is going to kill me for doing this without him!" He had already told me repeatedly that he wanted to be there for all my testing. I put the test down and ran downstairs while trying to act nonchalant. I woke him up and said, "I took a test, if you want to be there to read it you better come upstairs now." He slowly sauntered up the stairs behind me. He noted a little bounce in my step and said "did you already see something?!" I exclaimed " I saw the start of something, now hurry up." By the time we arrived back in the bedroom a beautiful second pink line had developed. I was shaking with excitement and Paul was in pure and utter shock and amazement. We embraced but I could tell he was slightly hesitant to believe that this was all true. I think he said something like "should the line be darker?" I knew from all my research and fertility websites that it was rare to get a positive test this early and you certainly wouldn't expect the line to be very dark. I immediately got dressed and headed down to CVS to buy a digital pregnancy test that would give us an unmistakable "yes" or "no." While I was down there I bought some things for Easter baskets that I planned on using to tell our parents.

When I returned home I immediately took the test and of course it resulted in a "Yes" result. It really sank in for Paul and we rejoiced. Even though it was very early we felt that we should tell our parents. We thought it was "meant to be" finding out on a holiday that represents birth and new life.

I came up with the idea to make Easter baskets to share our news. On the front of a plastic egg I wrote "Katie and Paul's 'lil egg" and on the back read "Due to hatch 12/2010." Inside I put a red jelly bean (in the fertility world they call the baby a "bean" so it seemed appropriate) and drew a heart on it. I also bought small baby bottles and filled them with jelly beans. In my mom and dad's basket I included my actual pregnancy tests ( I think my exact words were: "My mom is going to want proof.")

I got sick on the ride to my mom and dad's house. I have never been so happy to throw up in my life. I knew I wanted to share our news at dinner so it was very difficult to contain myself when we got there. I was helping my mom with the food when I heard Paul say: "Well I killed the rabbit this morning" (We had both recently learned that in the "old days" this expression was used to say a woman was pregnant. The incorrect version of the story is that they used to inject a rabbit with a woman's urine and if the rabbit died it meant she was pregnant. In reality the used to inject the urine and kill the rabbit to inspect the ovaries, if they saw a particular reaction they knew the woman was indeed pregnant). My mother screamed "What!??!" We both remained cool as a cucumber and pretended we didn't understand why she was reacting that way. She explained to us what the expression meant (even though we already knew) and Paul said he just meant he ate his chocolate bunny this morning. He later revealed that he was just "testing" her.

At dinner, our family tradition is to go around the table and say something we are thankful for. We do that this at all holidays, not just Thanksgiving. I went last and said "I'm not going to tell you what I'm thankful for, Ill show you." I went into the kitchen and brought back the basket and handed it to my mother. Here is the account of everyone's reactions to the best of my memory:
Mom: Screamed, stood up, started to cry, choked on a piece of ham, sat down and said "I'm going to faint!
Dad: Exclaimed "Really?!"
Carolyn: Cried
Andrew: Not really sure, we were definitely all concentrating on the fact that my mother almost choked and passed out!

Later that day at Paul's mom and Tuck's house, Tuck couldn't contain himself and spilled the beans to other family members by throwing the basket in the middle of the table for all to see. His mom tried to take it away but Aunt Jane had already seen the baby bottle so the secret was out. It was slightly earlier than when we planned on telling that many people but it was still a joyous occasion.

So there's my somewhat lengthy account of the time leading up to and including our happy news, more to come......