December 28, 2010

Hey already Moms, BACK OFF!

Lately I have had one pregnancy issue that has really really been bugging me. It's not swollen feet. It's not pregnancy rhinitis, and it's not morning sickness. It IS know it all Moms. I never realized it before but Moms are one of the most judgemental know it all groups out there. Despite, having NEVER been to medical school they can tell you exactly EVERYTHING about ANYTHING with regards to your pregnancy.


Here is a list of the stuff that I have been informed of by people who already have kids, and some, yes ladies and gentlemen, by women who DO NOT have children but have "close friends" who have been pregnant.

1) Because I don't necessarily want to breast feed until my child is old enough to chew a steak, I am a bad mother and will be stunting my child's growth and immune system development. Guess what -- the decision of whether or not I breast feed and how long I choose to do so will be made by two people: me and my husband. If you aren't A) the person growing this baby or B) the person who put this baby in there, SHUT UP. You don't get a say. Mmmmkay?

2) My pregnancy pictures. OMG How could I possibly NOT want to take pictures baring my belly?!?!?! It's so beautiful and natural. And I should let myself be dressed up in some sort of a sheet and gaze at my belly lovingly. Sorry folks, ain't gonna happen. Period. End of discussion. NOBODY, I repeat, NOBODY needs to see this belly without the cover of clothes unless you are (again) the person growing the baby or the person who put it in there. Whatever, you think I am weird because I don't want to take pictures of my bare belly, well GUESS WHAT honey, I think it's weird that you want to do that. There are plenty of adorable pictures to be had without getting naked. Or halfway there, which when you are as modest as me feels about the same as all the way. And yes, I realize that just the belly probably qualifies as less than a quarter naked. I still don't care. I'm not going to have this moment immortalized just so I can look back and realize exactly how uncomfortable I was. As I told my computer teacher when she was playing with my ponytail: go grow your own and you can do whatever you want with it!

3) 4D ultrasounds. I am not sure how I feel about this yet. Chris really wants to do it. I'm afraid I am giving up that first moment when I see my daughter.  But don't judge because I am doing it. I don't care if you think it is frivolous. It's not your money. And here is my thought: And excuse me for being snotty about this, but maybe, JUST maybe you are a wee bit jealous that you couldn't get a 4D ultrasound done. See if you can be rude and jump to conclusions so can I.

4) Every thing that I worry about is "nothing to worry about", and have a glass of water and relax, or have a something with sugar/caffeine and relax. Do you even realize when I am worried about something and you titter "Oh, he he, that's nothing!" that you discount MY feelings. I've never done this before. This is MY child and MY body we are talking about. I get the right to worry and not to have those feelings discounted by know-it-all busybodies. And PS, all except twice when I have called the doctors office with my fears I have been told to come in and check. So the next time you spend 8 years in medical school and become an OB, maybe I will listen to you. However, until that day, I'll listen to the doctor. Just my personal preference. And next time you say something about your child being sick, hurt or anything for that matter, I will be sure to let you know that "It's nothing".

5) Also please shut up about the c-section. Please. Shut. Up. If a c-section is what my doctor (who, again, went to you know, medical school) says I need to do to get my daughter safely here to mother earth, then you can bet your judgemental butt that I'll be having a c-section. I'll also be having an epidural and other pain meds oh, and if the doctor says, I'll have pitocin and be induced. Gasp. So shut up about natural child birth -- you go right ahead sister and more power to you. Me? I'll be the one embracing the benefits of medical science with arms wide open.

6) Please don't get me started on the "anti-nausea" cures people come up with. It is truly laughable. Look, I'm not a whimp about puking. My cheer leading coach used to tell me, "That's what the gutter is for. Keep going." I puked all the time before I got pregnant. But when you can't look at or smell food without throwing up, candied ginger and lemon drops are not going to help. There is a medical condition called hyperemesis gravidarum. Look it up. Then we will discuss your lemon drops. I know you are just trying to help, but believe me, I have tried it all. It's a little miracle drug called zofran. It lets me live a happy life.

Ok I think we have all had enough snarky sarcasm for one day. I just needed to  get that off my chest. I promise to be back to my sweet self when I post about Evie's 28 week appointment and 4D ultrasound.

27 Weeks!!!

I have been remiss in posting this! You will get two up-dates from me this week! Last week I was so crazed I didn't even have time to think about posting!

So here is the 27 week update (this would have been Wednesday December 22nd)!

At this point Evie should weigh almost 2lbs. At our unscheduled ultrasound on the 23rd she weighed 2lbs and 3 ounces. The ultrasound tech said that was underweight and in the 44th percentile. After some googling however, all charts show that the average weight for a 27 week baby is 1.93lbs and that anything between the 10th and 90th percentile is normal. Unless my doctor tells me otherwise -- I am going with GOOGLE on this one! Evie should be sleeping and waking at regular intervals now. These intervals are different than what they used to be, and I can't quite figure them out. I am sure once she shows up we will find out really quickly what her sleeping patterns are! Evie is regularly opening and closing her eyes and more than likely sucking her thumb. Her lungs continue to practice breathing motions in preparation for the day she pops out and takes her first real breath of air! Her brain activity is really ramping up right now! She is learning to react to both noise and light! I still have not tried the flash light trick yet!

At week 27 Evie is the size of califlower!

Here is what Evie might look like! She should be about 14.5in long. Something tells me though that she is probably a little on the short side!

December 27, 2010

A Baby Changes Everything

I'm sure most of you have heard the Christmas song "A Baby Changes Everything" by Faith Hill. It's a beautiful comparison of the way that the baby Jesus changed the lives of Mary and Joseph to the way that Christ changes our lives as Christians. The last line of the of the song is, "My whole life has turned around, I was lost, but now I'm found. A baby changes everything." Since the song debuted at Christmastime in 2008, I have always loved it. However, this year, as an expectant mom, it has a much different meaning.

This has been a Christmas of reflecting on all the "lasts" and anticipating all the "firsts". This is the last Christmas that Chris and I will share just us, the last time all the hustle and bustle will revolve around us and certainly the last Christmas that Chris will get to enjoy a long nap before Christmas dinner.

Next year, he will be busy chasing a 9 month around setting up her toys and trying to keep her entertained while Mommy makes the dinner! I am sure the boxers however, will have no trouble taking a long nap -- just dad won't be able to join them!

At the same time while enjoying all of the lasts, it has been impossible to quell my thoughts of all the firsts that are coming. Maybe that is why it feels as though this Christmas has come and gone in a whirlwind leaving me questioning where all of the time has gone! In five short days we will ring in the New Year. In 2011 my life, my husband's life and the lives of our family members will change. In 2011 I will be a mother for the first time; my husband will be a father for the first time. At the same moment that Evie takes her first breath Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles will be created as well. This January will mark the first nursery I have decorated, hopefully my first baby shower and the first of the many major changes that will come to our home as we anticipate Evie's arrival. We will celebrate our first Mother's and Father's Days in May and June. In June she will take her first family trip to the beach and see the beauty of ocean. July will bring the first July Fourth with a baby (a person I am sure I will love gazing at more than the sparkles that light up the night sky) and Christopher's first birthday as a father. Evie will take her first boat ride, spend her first night at the lake, show off her first bathing suit and enjoy her first (of many) dips in Pickwick Lake. We will see our daughter's first smile and first tooth. We will watch (and record I am sure) the first time she rolls over, sits up and crawls. We will hear her laugh for the first time. We will decode her babble looking for words, and I am sure only we will hear her first DaDa and Mama. She will don what will be the first of MANY Vol's cheerleader outfits and Hog's Cheerleader outfits. She will help Daddy, Mommy, Grandads, Grandmas and Uncle William cheer on their respective teams. She will have her first Thanksgivng and as the year draws to a close and we end up where we are now, her very first Christmas. She will crawling. laughing, cooing, smiling and will have stolen 1,000 hearts by then, she will be growing up faster than I ever dreamed and my whole life will be turned around. A baby changes everything.

December 15, 2010

This is your brain... This is your brain on progesterone...

Baby brain. Something I laughed off before I got pregnant. "That'll never happen to me. I know my own mind and no baby growing inside of me is going to change that!" I so smugly told myself. WRONG!!! Pregnancy not only makes you ditzy, it also makes you crazy. For example, I used to love sunny warm days. The beach was my cuppa tea. Give me hot weather and sunshine and I was a happy girl. Not so much anymore, now, my favorite type of day is gloomy and overcast with temperatures hovering near 30 and not reaching above 32. What has happened to me? I dream about living somewhere cold and snowy and gloomy. Colorado wouldn't even do in my current state. 315 days of sunshine per year? No thank you! I guess maybe Washington state? Sounds wonderful to me. No, I'm not suffering from depression, or Twilight fever -- it's baby brain. The beach sounds like the last place I would want to visit right now and the Pacific northwest about the best! I want to snuggle up in front of a roaring fire and read and snooze all day long. I'd drink hot chocolate and hot apple cider and snuggle with my dogs. Chris too, but mainly my dogs. If I took a crack at analyzing this new found interest of mine, I would say it is some latent desire for solitude. Since July 16th I've not had a moment alone. Evie is with me all the time. Or maybe it's fear of losing some of my solitude when Evie comes that is making me crave it now. Who knows, I am sure a psychologist would have a blast analyzing all this. For now, I am just enjoying today. There is a high of 40F and it is over cast and gray outside. I am a happy girl. Now if the sun would just stay away on Saturday so I could snuggle on the couch all day (not gonna happen anyway -- I have to clean the house, wrap presents and bake goodies for Chris' office team) life would just about be perfect. I'd probably be reading The Bell Jar just to top things off!

Where I want to be:

Other than her Mommy's crazy brain -- Evie has reached her 26th gestatational week! Yay! This week chances of survival out the womb jump to somewhere between 60%-80% and probabilty of long term health and cognitive problems begin decreasing dramatically! Generally babies that make it into their 26th week survive to live in the outside world! She needs to stay in there at least 11 more weeks to be considered full term! I have no fears that she will come early at all!

She should be weighing in at around 2 pounds and measuring the length of an english cucumber!

Gosh that seems so long for my little baby! I just can't believe she will be over five pounds by the time she is born! I can't wait until December 30th when they do my next diagnostic ultrasound to find out how much she weighs and how long she is! I am just dying to make sure that she is a good size!

In the development arena her little eyes are beginning to open. Her irises don't have a color yet and won't for a little longer but they are starting to open and close and as the nerves between retina and brain develop she will be able to sense bright light. To test this you shine a bright flash light at your belly and if she starts kicking that is a good indicator that she is able to sense light! I think we will try this sometime this week! Her auditory nerves are also developing more and more this week. She is also inhaling and exhaling small amounts of amniotic fluid to practice for her first breath of air outside the womb. I can't wait to see Evie's little eyes! I did some googling and basically with two blue eyed parents with only one brown eyed parent between the two of them Evie has a 99% chance of having blue eyes and a 1% chance of having green eyes.

So basically our little Evie Bug is gonna be a little blue eyed girl! That is exciting! She also will have the chance of having red(ish) hair. Apparently red hair is the dominant color and I do know that red (ish) hair runs in my dad's family. Unless you are my cousin Austin and then you are just a sweet little carrot top! :) And, despite all the trouble that it has given me, I hope she has beautiful curls! I know she will be whatever and however God intends, but gosh she is going to be the cutest little thing!!! 

How far along?  26 Weeks 0Days

Total weight gain/loss: 3 pounds total gain

Maternity clothes?: All maternity except for some sweat pants and sleep pants

Sleep: So-So my hips are starting to hurt really bad

Best moment this week: Evie kicking so hard that even Chris said: HOLY CRAP THAT WAS HARD!

Worst moment this week: Having the stomach flu. Yuck.

Movement:  All the time! You can see the bumps and ripples now!

Food cravings: Avocado, green beans, spinach, salad and apples. Oh and regular Coke.

Gender: Girl!

Names picked?: Evelyn Grace, “Evie”

Labor Signs: None yet!

Belly Button in or out? Still in, hoping it will stay that way.

What I miss: My waistline and a glass of wine with dinner.

What I am looking forward to: getting Evie’s nursery set up in January!

Milestones:  Evie Bug’s eyes are beginning to develop!

December 9, 2010

25 Weeks!

Evie has reached her 25 gestational weeks birthday (yesterday)! I am also thrilled that everything is going so swimmingly! Even with the hyperemesis and the placenta previa and the low weight gain, everything really is going great. I was thinking the other day with all the medical technology out there I doubt that there is a woman who will have a pregnancy with 100% normal EVERYTHING. We are so capable of detecting the tiniest abnormalities that something is bound to show up. So, bearing that in mind -- as long as I feel good and little bit continues to jiggle like jello in there, I am done worrying about little things. I think that I really know what to look for as far as major things and worrying about minor things will only stress me and Evie Bug out -- and I do not want her to be born with acid reflux like her mommy so I'm trying to create a low-stress environment for her! So mom and baby both are feeling great about this decision!

In other news, here is what Evie has been up to this week!

Right now her average size is of an eggplant! I'm betting due to her smaller parents that she's a little smaller than this (although her kicks don't feel like it!). It is amazing to think that in 21 weeks (you are considered 4 weeks at the time we found out we were pregnant) our little Poppy has gone from the size of one of  these:

all the way to the size of one of these:

From a zygote to a small human being! She's got a gender, a name, a nursery planned and a whole host of people anticipating her birth; it is really amazing! She's developing even more this week! In addition to constantly putting on wieght in the form of white fat (we HOPE HOPE HOPE!), blood capillaries are forming under and along her skin to give her that beautiful baby pink color, her hair (if she has any) is now developing a color and if we could get a peek at her we would be able to discern the color and texture! In other news, her heart beat should be audible to the human ear without aid of a stethoscope. Although the person, other than the one who put this baby in there, that tries to get close enough to me to put their ear on my belly might end up without an ear. Just sayin is all :)

In other noticable news, Evie already knows her Daddy's voice. Chris has been out of town the past few days and last night after she settled down and I got in bed, I layed my phone on my belly and put it on speaker to call Chris to say goodnight -- it took a few minutes, but that kid started jumping around like crazy in there. She was kicking me so hard the phone was jumping -- like a Mexican jumping phone! I know she knows my voice too -- but she's with me and hearing me 24/7 so I don't think she gets as excited as she does when Chris talks to her! The recognition of Chris' voice and being able to really see her move from the outside are about the coolest things that have happened this week!

This is what Evie should look like this week!

Please everyone notice where her head should be -- that is right. Straight smashed down on Mom's bladder. I don't know if it is her head or her feet but something is pressing on it causing 6-7 nightly trips to the bathroom. I think this is God's way of preparing me for the weeks after Evie's arrival. 9 1/2 months of up and down up and down and sleep disturbances won't be fun -- but at least I won't feel the sting of going without my 9+ hours straight (yes, ideally I need 9.5 to 10 hours of sleep a night I go to bed really early!) compounded with 2-3 (please Lord, no more than that) nightly feedings all at once! God knows I don't handle sudden change well at all and this is His way of preparing for it!

3 more weeks to the gluco test, the diagnostic ultrasound (prayers that the placenta has moved favorably this time as well for her weight gain) and the 4-D ultrasound where we'll get to see our precious one's face!

December 7, 2010

Jelly Belly

Well I promised y'all at least one in the beginning so here it is: a belly picture! I took this picture this morning to send my friend Katy who lives in Chicago and has yet to see the belly! There's no denying it at this point people -- I am with child. Sorry for the blurriness! Chris was gone, and I promised Katy a picture this morning!

She's getting bigger and bigger! AND I am getting bigger and bigger!

We finally settled on Evie's furniture etc.

We ended up returning the things we bought at Babies R Us due to their incredibly crappy customer service as well as their inability to correctly add percents, not to mention finding a reasonably intelligent person that works there is like finding a needle in a haystack! It's quite the tale, but I felt as though my mom should have been there to teach a math class. Long story short -- I worked in retail and I have NO patience for crappy customer service and I'll be writing a letter to their regional manager about two specific people at a specific store. It probably won't matter but it'll make me feel better.

ANYWAY -- we ended up buying Evie's furniture from JCPenney at a much better price. We also ended up switching from the dark espresso color to an antique white finish, which I LOVE.

Her nursery theme is centered around ladybugs, butterflies and dragonflies! It is very cute! We will paint her room a matching green and do one wall as a tone on tone stripe (thanks for the tip Alycia!).

We won't be doing any of the actual work until January. Trying to decorate the house for Christmas and trying to clean out and deep clean and paint one room at the same time is just not going to work! :)

Anyway here is her furniture:




I won't be going quite that crazy on the decorating. I figure the bedding set and the mobile and we will be good to go. Possibly the rug. I am going to ask my wonderful mother in law to make a valance kind of like this one:

except all pink material with big red lady bug buttons instead of having the flaps over top sewn on. It's hard to explain but in my head it is cute! Then a standing lamp near the changing table and maybe one on the little table we will put next to the glider; Chris does not know about this table yet. Plus, some little shelves on the wall. Of course we will also have the obligatory wooden letters hanging on the wall with her name.

We still have a lot to do before the little one arrives! I am hoping the time goes by quickly and without stress!

December 1, 2010

24 Weeks!

Today marks the day! One of the days I thought would never get here back when I was 7 weeks pregnant and worrying about every little thing. Evie is 24 gestational weeks old! Hooray! This marks a very important milestone as her chances of survival outside the womb jump to 50% -- in three short weeks her chances or survival jump to 80%. Yes I know these statistics. No I don't think my baby is going anywhere until she is fully baked up and the timer goes off! These are just dates I keep in my head as I tick of the weeks until her arrival (16 at the most 13 at the least -- and then only if I have to have a c-section).

So what has Evie been up to this week. Well as far as I can tell she's been getting really tough with her kicks and jabs. I can tell space is at a premium in there for her. When she rolls I feel like I'm being stretched to the max (no, the knowledge that I will stretch even more and things will get tighter before this is over is not helpful). I'm also begining to be able to see her kick from the outside, which is weird. It looks like my stomach is having little twitches. It is the first outside evidence that shows me that there is a living thing in there. My own sweet little alien! She's also been the cause of Braxton-Hicks contractions. Fun stuff. Sometimes these are painless. Other times these are pretty painful. Usually a big glass of water tends to calm these down so I'm trying to remember to stay hyrdrated. It's hard.

According to the doctor's and averages Evie's been up to lots of important things this week. First off my little chunk should have gained nearly 4 ounces since last Wednesday! She should be measuring nearly a foot long now and should weigh more than a pound. She's already getting so big! Her lungs are also developing (preparing for those sleepless nights!!!) and bronchi are begining to develop so she can realy start to practice breathing before her arrival. Her brain is rapidly growing (although still smooth and not yet developing the wrinkles that help increase brain mass and surface area) and her taste buds are developing. I figure at this point we will really figure out what she likes to eat. So far she digs on green stuff.

I also got some good/bad news at my 24 week check up yesterday. I've only gained 3 pounds total with this pregnancy. I get that this is probably ok. I spent most of my first tri-mester way in the negative so I know some of that is making up for that loss. But, I actually lost a pound between week 20 and week 24. I feel like I eat plenty and I eat healthy. The nurses seem to think this is some sort of issue (two of them have told me it's not ok at this point) but my OB seems to think since I have never been a big gainer that the baby is gaining and I am losing. And as long as the baby is gaining then we are good! She said next time they ultrasound me (in four weeks) they will get a weight to make sure and if she is underweight then we will take action. She also said I am measuring 2 weeks further than I am. But she says that is also normal with shorties like me. Long story short, I look pregnant (no hiding that fact now), the baby is very active, she has a strong heart beat and I'm measuring well so she's not worried. That makes me feel better.

So that's us at 24 weeks!!!

Here's a view of what little bit should look like!

Family Ties

This past week Chris and I made the trek to Cherokee, AL to visit my Aunt Diana, Uncle Bo and cousins Addison and Austin (my Uncle Jeff Aunt Donna and cousins Christine and Anna arrived after dinner but early enough for a chat) for Thanksgiving! I've been to my Aunt's house several times but it never ceases to amaze me. If I have not told you all about her house yet, ask me about it and I will. It is a beautiful Greek revivial style Civil War era mansion, complete with slave quarters and what Chris informed were buggy steps. It has a widows walk on top and the views are unbelievable. I hurt my knee going up the ten thousand sets of steps to get to it -- but it was worth it. (I also had my first experience with my lungs being squished into my chest - breathing is getting harder!)

That is a picture of the house from much longer ago. It is absolutely beautiful.

To give you an idea of how many stairs there are...  My knees are not handling this center of gravity shift vey well at all!

Anyway, while yes, the house and land are pretty darn cool (I'll post the pictures I took later on this week), it was really the family time that was special. My family is not what you would call close, in the geographical sense. We are spread pretty far and wide (my Aunt Diana and her men being the closest at two hours away) so we don't weave in and out of the daily ups and downs of each others lives the way some families are lucky enough to do. But I don't think that changes the deep love we have for each other and as I have gotten older one of my favorite things to do is to find my family in me and vice versa. I know that sounds crazy but for example, I snort when I laugh. I always thought this was a weird trait. Nope. That comes from my Aunt Diana (along with stomach problems and placenta previa apparently -- just kidding although those are two things we share in common). My Dad and my Uncle Jeff make the same facial expressions and adopt the same tone of voice when they are re-enacting a befuddled moment. I wish I had known my grandpa Dickens long enough to see if his boys got that trait from him or from their mother. I also learned that my Aunt is an avid kitchen cleaner, as am I, desiring that the kitchen be straightened up and clean after a meal. I always thought this came exclusively from my Grandma White (or Plumlee now) as she and I both spin into a mad tizzy after a meal, desperate for order to be immediately restored to our kitchen. I saw some of that in my Aunt this week. Sometimes I think being a family sociologist would have been the perfect (albeit poorly paying) job for me. These things fascinate me.

It was also very cool to introduce Evie (in bump form) to the two other peices of her namesake's direct legacy. My aunt even used my grandmothers gorgeous linens during dinner. I can't wait until the day I can take Evie to visit and show her the napkins and placemats and the china and say, "See there? See that pretty girl? That belonged to your grandmother who you are named for?". Evie will never meet her namesake -- but I know she'll be watching over her and I want her to feel the earthly connection of her family as well. My Uncle Jeff about had a come apart when he saw me (well not really but close enough for my Uncle). He said he looked at me and saw my mother when she was pregnant with me. There is no denying it, yup I look like my mom. I hope to able to introduce Evie to him soon after her birth as well. He lives in Dallas so it's farther but we will make it work.

We had a great Thanksgiving and after my husband and baby Evie time with my family, both immediate and extended, was what I was most grateful for.