Monday, February 18, 2013

18 Weeks and a Few Tidbits

Since I wrote my 17 week post so late, I think I've already covered everything for week 18.  I still can't get enough burgers, I'm still counting down the days until we get to find out the gender (11)...same old, same old.  So today instead of a normal "bumpdate,"  I'm just going to share my 18 week belly shots:

Growing everyday.  Thank goodness for my belly band!

And here's a collage.  Not much difference from last week, but a huge difference from about 3.5 months ago!


And now for a few tidbits to get caught up since I've been such a terrible blogger lately.

  • Luke and I had a nice Valentines Day.  We really celebrated on Saturday by going out to dinner at Carrabbas.  It was delicious as always!  It was a low key holiday this year, but we enjoyed it.  And our moms still spoiled us...I will probably do this for my children too.

  • My cousin is about to have baby #2, and it is a girl!  She had a little shower a week ago, and I had SO MUCH FUN shopping for girly clothes!  She obviously wasn't registered since it was baby #2, and it was fun to shop purely for fun stuff!  The sunglasses kill me.  If we have a girl, I'm going to break the bank!  And I am sorely disappointed that there really don't seem to be as many cute boy clothes as girl clothes!  Because I think boy clothes are fun to shop for too, but just not as much fun as girl clothes.  For me, at least. 

  • Over the weekend we rearranged the living room furniture.  I don't know why, but everything seems so new and cozy after rearranging furniture!  I've enjoyed it.  (And yep,that's Talladega Nights on the TV).

I hope everyone had an excellent Valentines Day!  Happy Monday!

Friday, February 15, 2013

17 Week Bumpdate

Well hello there!  Please excuse my absence once again as I have just had the busiest week of the semester so far.  I barely had a chance to sit down until Thursday night, at which time the baby decided to have a dance party or something.  Feeling those little flutters are the highlights of my days, and I had to wonder if it had been moving a lot all week, and I had just been too busy to notice it?  

Anyway, I wrote most of this post on Sunday, so the picture is accurately from 17 weeks, even though I'm almost 18 weeks now!  But this morning I finally got around to finishing the post, so here it is.

The bump:
At this point, the baby is right around the level of my belly button or a little lower, which I think is higher than normal for this far along.  I'm attributing it to the fact the I am roughly the height of a fourth grader, and  my torso is very short!

 Here's a comparison from last week. The bump looks a little bigger and a little higher to me. 


I officially cannot comfortably wear my regular jeans anymore.  Saturday night Luke and I took a trip to Target (after first inhaling some BURGERS from Five Guys, of course) and I was on a mission to find some maternity jeans and dress pants.  Unfortunately, everything I tried on was way too long, or baggy in my hips and legs.  So I settled for the next best thing, and bought a belly band.  It's pretty comfortable, and does the trick for now, so at least I bought myself some time before I have to really start buying maternity pants.  The shirt I'm wearing in this week's picture is a maternity shirt though! My first official maternity-wear purchase, besides a few second-hand things I bought from a friend of a friend.


  • Every once in a great while I will still get the occasional wave of nausea. 
  • Other than that and a little "crowded" feeling in the stomach region (I already have a hard time taking a deep breath after a big meal!), I am basically feeling even better than before I got pregnant.  I don't know what it is, but these pregnancy hormones have me feeling downright euphoric most of the time.  And my skin and hair are better than normal too, so I guess I have nothing to complain about at this point!  On the contrary, I have so much to be thankful for!
  • I've gone from craving meat in general to just craving beef.  At first I wondered if it was all in my head, or if it was a true pregnancy craving.  But it is unnatural the way I will think about burgers all the time, and then when I eat one, every bite is like the best bite of food I've ever eaten.  I think it's at least partly due to the pregnancy.  
  • Fresh, summery fruit has also been on my mind lately, although I have yet to satisfy that craving.  Particularly pineapple and watermelon.  That might be more my spring fever talking, though!
  • Lately if I even think about the foods I ate when I had morning sickness, I practically gag.  I don't think I'll ever eat toast on white bread, oatmeal, or drink Sprite or ginger ale again.  All the foods that I ate that are supposed to be easy on the stomach are now the ones I associate with the nausea.
Fun Stuff:
  • 2 Weeks from today we will find out the gender!  Time is actually flying by, so I hope that continues to be the trend until March 1!
  • I finally was able to meet with my clinic supervisor at school to map out a plan.  I am so thrilled with what she came up with, and as long as the baby doesn't come more than 5 weeks early, it should work out perfectly.  Here's an outline for my family and friends who have been asking me about it:
    • Summer semester 2013: I will take 2 classes instead of 3, and skip clinicals for the entire summer.  The 2 classes will end June 13, and I'll have the rest of the summer off!  That makes me hope the baby gets here around 37 weeks, right when it's full term, so I have a few more weeks to enjoy him or her before the fall semester begins!
    • Fall semester 2013: I'll take 2 classes and do clinicals instead of my first externship.  My schedule should be a lot less hectic with clinicals instead of the externship.  And I believe my classes will be night classes, so hopefully I'll be at home at least a few days a week with the baby!
    • Spring semester 2014: I'll take 2 classes, plus my school externship.  My schedule will be busier this semester, but the baby will be 6 months old at that point.
    • Summer semester 2014:  I'll take that one lone class that I'm skipping in summer of 2013.  And I'll do my medical externship, which will be an intense 5 days a week for 8 weeks.  And then I'll graduate in August 2014 instead of May 2014.  Since I'm hoping to get a job as a school SLP anyway, that shouldn't throw my plans off too much!  
I'm so glad it looks like everything is going to work out pretty well with all of my school stuff.  I just hope I can work out my financial aid and all of the logistical details, but I'm trying not to worry, and to trust God with all of it!

On we go to week 18!  We will know whether this is a boy or girl in no time!  

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Birth Plans

You've all heard the saying, "We make plans, and God laughs."  Although I've always thought that quote makes God seem kind of condescending, I do agree with it.  Not in a "Haha, I'm going to have so much fun totally wrecking your plans.  You have no idea what's coming!"  kind of way. But more in an "I listen to your prayers and know your plans, but I can't wait to surprise you with my own perfect plan!"  kind of way.

In the past few years, I have learned first hand that this is true.  My plans were to get pregnant during the summer of 2010. Then I changed my plans to go to school and NOT get pregnant yet.  Well, God planned that I would not have a baby when I had planned, but that He was going to surprise me with one during the busiest time of my life!  And He laughed and laughed in giddy anticipation as He knew how much more JOY His plan would bring me.

Well anyway, speaking of plans, I thought it would be fun to share some of my plans for the birth and the baby.  I think it will be fun to actually see which plans we stick to, and which ones fly right out the window.  My goal in all this is to be as flexible as possible since there are so many unknowns!  Flexibility is not one of my strong suits, so I know God will use this to stretch me a bit!  Pun intended.

A couple of disclaimers:

1.  I am totally open to all opinions, and I am fascinated by all types of different prenatal, birth, and parenting philosophies.  Obviously, I have no clue what I'm doing when it comes to labor, delivery, or even taking care of a baby!  So these are just some ideas, and they are not meant to be judgmental at all to anyone who does things or plans on doing things differently.  I would also love to hear all of your ideas and thoughts especially if they're different from mine!  Again, I am so new to all of this, and just kind of testing the waters and trying to figure things out.

2.  I am still not even halfway through the pregnancy, and might change my plans before the baby gets here.  I plan on doing a lot more research before baby gets here.  So again, these are just loose ideas.

Okay, so here are our plans in the very early stages of things.

Finding out the Gender:
We are finding out on March 1!  We scheduled the appointment for 8:30 AM so we could wake up, go straight to the office, and probably be the first patients of the day, meaning a short wait time.  We are both not patient enough to wait 9 months.  I have such great respect for those who CAN wait all 9 months!  It would be so fun to be surprised!  But we want to pick out a for-sure name beforehand, buy girly or boyish clothes, and decorate the nursery accordingly (although I'm kind of into gender-neutral nurseries anyway.  More on that in a minute).  Also, for the record?  I am voting girl.
Little Peanut, are you a girl or a boy?  I can't wait to find out!  

Nursery Planning:
I seem to like gender-neutral colors with feminine or masculine touches.  I'm not into "themes" per se, although I've seen a few cute ones.  I tend to like vintage looking cribs and other furniture.  I think the whole alphabet wall thing is adorable, and a bookshelf or some kind of book nook is an essential. Here are some of my favorite nursery pictures from Pinterest:

The Birth:

Who:  Who will be in the delivery room?  Definitely Luke (obviously) and other than that, I'm not sure!  This is one of the undecideds.

What: What kind of birth will it be?  Well, I would like to go as naturally as possible!  Even I am a little surprised by that, because up until the time when I got pregnant, I always said I wanted an epidural.  But the more I think about it, the more I want to at least try it.  The choice of an epidural is definitely not off the table.  I will ask for one if I think it's necessary.  But again, I'd like to try this as naturally as possible.

Here's Why:
  • I don't want to slow down the labor and delivery process.  I know that induction can lead to stronger, longer contractions, and much longer labor.  And an epidural can slow labor down. Honestly, I'm terrified of labor, and already anxious to meet this little guy or girl, so the faster he or she can get here, the better! (Once they're "fully cooked," of course!)
  • I've also heard recovery is quicker the more naturally you go. 
  • I know the pushing process will be easier without an epidural.  I had a friend who got one, and was pushing for such a long time because she couldn't feel anything, and couldn't time her pushing with the contractions.  This goes back to the whole "quick labor and delivery" thing.  Also, I feel like the pain will be a motivator for me to push harder and get it over with!  
  • Women did it for thousands of years before drugs were even an option.  If they could do it, why not me?  God made my body for this purpose, and I think that is awesome!

When: When will the baby come?  Well, obviously, that is up to my body and the baby.  However, I do know that the only way I will agree to be induced is if it is absolutely medically necessary (as alluded to above).  

Where: Where will the baby be born?  I think those of you who can do a home birth or birth at a birthing center are rock stars!  But for me personally, I like the idea of having a whole medical staff at my disposal in case anything goes wrong.  The hospital where I will be delivering has one of the best neonatal intensive care units around, and this was a big plus for me when choosing a hospital. We haven't visited the hospital yet, but I am so excited to!  On their website they make it sound like a luxury getaway, with plush robes, spa services, a special dinner for 2 or a family pizza party after the birth. Ha! Ha haha.  I'm sure at that point I'll just be so enamored by the newborn that I've been waiting so long for, I won't care what the heck the hospital offers!  Just let me hold my miracle!  But it is fun to see how they want their new parents to feel special and comfortable (which I'm sure all hospitals do!)  It is such a weird feeling to be 100% terrified of an experiene and 100% excited about it at the same time.  I can't wait, and yet I want time to slow down.  What an oxymoron.

Umm, what about that little thing called "Grad School"?

Well, hmm.  Your guess is as good as mine here.  I know that my plan is to graduate, and to graduate on time!  But I've already talked about how our plans work.  This is probably the most up-in-the-air, uncontrollable, too-many-variables, unplannable aspect of this whole thing.  I was so nervous to talk to an administrator or supervisor at school about it.  I finally emailed our clinic supervisor about it last Friday, and she could not have been more sweet about it.  Tears of relief flowed down my cheeks as I read the email where she congratulated me, told me I was not allowed to panic, assured me that they've had pregnant women in the program before, and told me to stop by her office this week so we could chat about all those crazy variables and what to do about them!  Our program is year-round, although I do believe we have about a month off from the end of July to the end of August.  Since the baby is due July 22, that's actually pretty good timing.  So all I can do is find out my options, and do everything I can to graduate on time.  But I've already decided, if I have to take some time off, then so be it.  Now more than ever, my family is my #1 priority.  I've already cried hundreds of tears over the fact that I'm going to be so busy during my baby's first year of life.  I'm sure I will probably write a whole post about that at some point. I know that I'll be gone at my externship about 3 days a week next year, and I'll have night classes a few nights a week after that.  I am just so thankful that I have a husband who can take care of the baby most nights.  And we have so many family members and friends who have offered baby-sitting services.  We don't have a set plan as far as childcare goes, but I'm sure we can easily figure one out.  God has blessed us with the most amazing support system in the world in our family members and friends.  Every free second of my last year of school is going to be spent cuddling and loving on my baby.  But I'm glad that those many, many times that I'm not there, the baby will have so many loving people to do it while I can't!

I'll write a post at some point about our Baby Plans once he or she makes their grand entrance!

Monday, February 4, 2013

16 Week Bumpdate

The Bump:
Whoops, photo bomb by Gabby. She jumped in front of my phone right before the camera snapped and I snatched her.  The fact that she looks way more pregnant than me helps my self-esteem.

Here's the real bump picture:

 Here's a collage to compare with last week's picture.  Look, the bump shrunk!  I think it's basically because the bloat is going away, so this week it's less bloat, more baby.  On my birth month message board on The Bump, a bunch of other ladies say this is happening to them too.  Plus my outfit doesn't accentuate the bump as much this week.

I still look like I just ate a big meal or something.  I'm getting anxious to get to the point where I actually look pregnant!  Come on baby, grow!


The baby now has its malleus, incus, and stapes, the three bones in his or her middle ear.  Again, very exciting for a future speech path. like myself.  Although I've learned in all my classes that babies can't hear until about 20 weeks, all of my pregnancy websites that I read say that the baby is starting to hear now since those last pieces in the ears are in place.  So, I have no idea if the baby can hear or not.  My guess is that it can hear very loud sounds, but maybe some fine tuning will be done in the next few weeks before he or she can hear a lot of things?  I don't know.  Either way, it's very exciting to me!

Also, I had my monthly appointment last Friday, and we heard the heartbeat!  It had been 2 months since we saw the heartbeat on the ultrasound.  I was so nervous it would take her awhile to find it and I would have a panic attack, but she literally stuck the thing to my belly and there it was:  that beautiful whooshing sound!  158 beats per minute.  According to the old wives tale, a quicker heartbeat (above 150 bpm) means a girl and vice versa.  Of course, I know there is absolutely no truth to that old wive's tale, but it's fun to think about anyway!  

  • Nausea is gone, but I still threw up once this week. How is that possible?  I have no idea.  It literally hit me out of nowhere, and I was fine afterwards.  I keep saying the baby is just saying, "Hey, I'm still here! Just wanted to reassure you!"  Ha!  I trust you, baby,  please, no more reassurance!
  • If I sit in the wrong position for too long, I get these extremely painful pinching feelings in my lower back when I put my weight on one side.  I talked to my cousin who experienced the same thing early in pregnancy, and she said it's probably sciatic nerve pain due to weight being pushed on it by the baby.  Oh the joys of pregnancy!  Honestly, this pain is a million times better than first trimester nausea, so bring it on! 
  • Just call me Phoebe Buffay, because I am craving meat!  At least I'm not a vegetarian like her...not even close! I've been craving burgers again.  Also, Luke made brunch yesterday, and I could not get enough bacon!  Normally I don't even care for bacon (which Luke thinks is sacrilege), so that was weird.  Also, Luke was due to pick up a wing platter at 5:00 yesterday for a Super Bowl party, and at 11:00 after church I was so hungry for wings, just knowing I was going to eat some later!  It was torture waiting all day for them.  I feel like a dude.  And someone at school who has two little boys says craving meat instead of sweet things means I'm having a boy!  So one clue points to girl, and one clue points to boy.  

  • I can't think of a single thing that doesn't sound appealing right now, so the roles have completely reversed! I went from craving nothing and having aversions to everything, to craving everything and having aversions to nothing!  I have to say, it's much more fun on this side of things.
Fun Stuff:
  • I wrote about this on Facebook already, but on Saturday I was sitting on the couch completely still, writing a blog post, and then sneezed the most violent sneeze ever.  Right afterwards I felt bunches of little twitches in my belly.  I guess the strong muscle contractions of the sneeze startled the baby or woke him or her up or something!  It was so funny!  I've had a lot of people tell me they didn't feel their baby until week 20 or beyond, but I am almost positive this is the baby I'm feeling.  On Friday at our appointment, the doctor pointed out right where the baby was (just below my belly button) and that is right where I'd been feeling all the little flutters and twitches!  
  • We officially scheduled our anatomy scan, which is the ultrasound where we will find out the gender!  It's scheduled for March 1 at 8:30 AM, so we can go straight in, first thing in the morning and get the news we've been waiting so long for!  I joke that I think it's a girl, and I for some reason can't picture anything other than a girl, but I think that's mostly because I didn't have any brothers or very many guy friends growing up, so all I know are little girls!  But I would be so happy with a little boy too!  And I know Luke would love a little buddy to throw a football around with, and take to Indians games, and teach how to play the drums (of course, I'm sure he'll do all those things if it's a girl, too!) I don't want to give the impression that I will be disappointed or at all not excited if it's a boy!  I will be so over-the-moon happy no matter what!!  But I just want to know what it is, so I can start making plans and daydreaming!
  • Speaking of dreams, holy cow.  I've heard of pregnancy dreams, but never really believed they were a real thing.  Let me tell you, they are.  Here are just a few of the dreams I've had lately:
    • This one is not pregnancy related, but I had a dream that Gordon Ramsey was my dad.  Clearly, this girl has been watching too many episodes of Kitchen Nightmares!  Anyway, not only was he my dad, but he was possessed by a demon.  I mean, perhaps that is not so hard to imagine with Gordon Ramsey, because he is terrifying.  But yeah, it was the weirdest/scariest dream I've ever had!
    • A few nights after that, I had a dream that at 15 weeks pregnant, my baby was pushing it's hands and feet against my stomach, and pushing so hard that my skin would stretch really far, and I could see the entire outline of those little hands and feet.  At the same time, my skin was somehow kind of transparent, and it was really creepy and kind of disgusting!
    • I've had two dreams that the actual baby was born. In both dreams, the baby was a girl. In the first one, I was asleep while Luke signed the birth certificate, and he named her Petunia! I woke up (in the dream) and was so furious because...what a horrible name! In the second dream, we named the baby Aubriella.  Kind of a mash up of the names Aubrey, Brielle, and Ella.  I thought the name had been completely constructed by  my subconscious, but after telling some people about it, found out that I'd probably heard it before because my cousin's cousin on the other side of the family named her little girl that.  So I must have shoved the name into my subconscious and forgotten about it!  Dreams are so weird.
Wow, this post got really wordy.  I guess I had a lot to say about week 16!  Onto week 17! We are getting dangerously close to being halfway through this pregnancy!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Friday Photo Dump

I had some stressful, grueling days this week, so I'm glad these Friday posts let me look back and remember the good things about my week!

I finally reached 60,000 Viggle points, and I thought it deserved a picture.  I've been Viggling hardcore lately.  Basically, if I'm at home, I'm checked into a show.  And actually, I've gotten 4,000 more points since this screenshot was taken, so I have more than enough points for a $25 gift card!  Yay free stuff!  If you don't know what Viggle is, it's an app where you get points for "checking in" to TV shows, and your points can be redeemed for prizes: anything from a $5 gift card to a cruise!  It's pretty awesome.  I did not mean to get off on such a Viggle tangent...

Somehow, this little lady was the star of my Instagram account this week.  It's weird, but I've been a little emotional lately about my cats and how they'll adjust to the baby, and whether they'll feel abandoned.  Honestly,  I have cried over it.  I feel like that is something I probably shouldn't admit for the world to see, so I'll blame it on the hormones. I'm really not a crazy cat lady! Anyway, I guess I am giving the cats a lot of attention lately, so that means lots of pictures.  Gabby is MIA in these pictures for some reason, but don't worry, she gets just as much attention as Ellie! (I'm sure you were very worried about that...)  Anyway, here she is laying in her favorite spot in the house: on top of our radiator.  There is nothing Ellie loves more than to be warm!  It cracks me up, because it looks so uncomfortable to me!  But she loves it.

Luke and I had a little date night last Friday where we went shopping and to dinner at Chipotle.  It sounded so good to me, but bleh, I felt disgusting afterwards.  These days I think I eat less at mealtimes, but feel more full afterwards.  After a big meal like this (I did not eat the whole thing, for the record), I actually have trouble taking a deep breath because I feel like my lungs can't expand the whole way!  Ummm, what is it going to be like when my baby is the size of a WATERMELON instead of an orange like it is now?!  I'm slightly terrified...

On Saturday we went to a 2nd birthday party for my cousin's son.  It was a sports themed party, and everything was adorable!  So fun.  I had to fight the urge the start planning our little peanut's first birthday party for July 2014!  Pinterest has turned me into a monster.

There's Ellie again!  For various reasons, we had to install a little kitty door so the cats can get to the basement.  Unfortunately, they're terrified of the door, and it's taken a week of bribery operant conditioning just to get them to be able to push it open on their own.  Oy.

...And, one more picture of Ellie!  I was working on my One Thousand Gifts study book. I got out of my chair for a minute, and Ellie jumped right up.  I joked that she was trying to peek and see if she was on my list of gifts.  Spoiler alert: she and Gabby both were...

That pretty much sums up the 4th week of 2012.  My life is so exciting. Is my sarcasm font working?  These days might not be the most exciting in the world, but I'm trying to enjoy them.  It is such a bittersweet time in our lives: the last few months just the two of us!  Definitely more sweet than bitter, but I can't help but feel a little nostalgic after spending 8.5 years together, just the two of us!