10 October 2011

Our Birth Story: A Completely Natural Hospital Birth.

Our story starts at around 7 PM on Wednesday, 14 September 2011. I had started feeling more and more contractions, and for the first time ever, they were causing my low back to ache and my abdomen to feel crampy. My husband and I decided that we weren’t going to “freak out” about it, and went out to dinner at Red Lobster, joking that it might be our last dinner as a “single couple.” :)

When we got home, we did our typical thing: got comfy in our recliners and switched on “Dexter” (we just started season 2- haha). After a couple episodes, Kevin said he was tired and we both went to bed together. I slept maybe a total of an hour and then woke up to more cramping and the bad back aches, but I was used to not sleeping by this point due to acid reflux and pregnancy insomnia! So I just got up and walked around the living room. By 2 AM (15 September 2011), I was definitely having to breathe through each contraction, but I was still sort of in denial (I was 41 weeks and 2 days pregnant at that point and thought it’d never happen!). At 3 AM, I was certain this had to be something, and I went to go lie back down to try and rest. That ended up waking up my husband, because I was breathing pretty deeply by that point.

Until 6 AM, my husband and I laboured together in bed. I squeezed his hand and the headboard of the bed, and made sure to make the low groans and moans and deep breaths that I had read help to “open up” everything inside you. We didn’t want to call my doula too early, because we were both still a little reluctant to believe that this was “it.” So we had waited until a “decent” hour, then texted her. At that point, I was getting a little frantic and had started tearing up, so I got in the shower, letting the warm water run over me while I hung off the top of the shower railing during contractions and sort of swayed my hips around.

When Marivette (our doula) showed up about 15 minutes later, things started getting real. I was having a lot of back pain, so she suggested I put my leg up on a chair (like the Captain Morgan’s pose) and swaying through several contractions to have the baby rotate off my back. We turned on KLOVE radio in both the living room and the bedroom, because coincidentally, the landscapers we had hired to fix the backyard had started making all kinds of noise (jackhammers, yelling, hammering, etc). Marivette encouraged me to eat little snacks since I was starting to get shaky, but I just wasn’t hungry- I was too nervous and excited and well… in pain… to be thinking about food. I’d eat, but it just felt like lead in my stomach.

We just kept going and going, the pain kept ramping up, and I was getting less and less able to focus through the pain. I wanted to lie down on the bed because the shaking was getting uncontrollable, and Marivette stacked pillows around me, under me, behind me, etc. Kevin went about packing things up, taking a shower, getting himself and our things ready, while Marivette massaged my legs and feet and hands through each contraction, encouraging my now louder moans and deep breaths. It was so difficult to relax my body when all I wanted to do was kick and cry and tense my back and belly up!

At around 11 AM, Marivette suggested that Kevin check my cervix, which is something my obstetrician had given him sterile gloves for and showed him how to do. Marivette got out her dilation cards that can help determine how “wide” the cervix is throughout labour. Kevin checked me between a contraction, and said that it felt like I was at about a tight 6 cm dilated. He called our obstetrician’s office to let them know, and they suggested we head out in an hour or two, and that they’d be calling the hospital to let them know we’d be coming. After some reluctance and nervousness on my part, I agreed with Kevin and Marivette that we should leave around noon or 12:30 to get to the hospital.

When that time finally came, we piled all our bags and pillows (I brought my body pillow and two of my head pillows from home- SUCH a good idea!) into the car, along with snacks and water and all that fun stuff. I was really nervous about the car ride, since my mom said that was just horrible when she was driving to the hospital to give birth to me. Turns out, it wasn’t so bad. We switched on KLOVE again, which was so soothing, and I grabbed onto the door handle every time a contraction hit. Kevin thinks it’s funny that I made labour into a “religious experience” (his words)- every contraction, I would moan: “Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Lord God” and sometimes try to sing with the radio.

(Side note: If it sounds like labour was “easy” or “fun” so far- it wasn’t. At that point, it wasn’t the “worst” of it, but it was HARD.)

When we got to the hospital, my husband called out to the valet to get a wheelchair. A hospital “transporter” took me into the ER, where a nurse asked “Why are you here, Hun?” I looked at her skeptically: “I’m in LABOUR.” So she called up to labour and delivery, then pushed me over to the side, where about a dozen people were waiting in the ER, all of the staring right at me as I moaned through contractions. :| Marivette said: “Jeez, just put you on display!” and helped me turn myself away from the gawkers.

When we got up to the maternity ward, we found out that there were no rooms available. The nurses were absolutely ice-cold in personality, and kept asking questions, even as I was moaning through contractions. We got set up on a gurney in the hallway, along with 2 or 3 other women, where anyone who was walking by could see (and definitely hear!) me. At that point, they asked me to put on a hospital gown. I told them I’d wear my own (the Pretty Pushers gown!), and Kevin and Marivette helped me put in on, right there in the open. Speaking of “out in the open,” the nurse strapped me up to a portable contraction/fetal heart tone monitor and then brutally (like seriously, the worst ever) checked my cervix for dilation and effacement. I was bummed to hear that I was still at a “5-6 cm” with about 80% effacement.

At that point, we were getting pretty aggressive with the nurses, and Kevin pulled out our birth plan- yes, we were planning on going all-natural. This is where things were starting to get fuzzy. Kevin did a lot of the talking with the nurses (he was such a great advocate for me!) and Marivette helped me through each contraction. You could tell they didn’t see or hear too many naturally labouring mothers in the active stages, because Kevin helped me to the restroom down the hall (used by the whole maternity ward and general public!), and after peeing, I had a hard contraction and started moaning and leaning on Kevin… this alarmed the nurses, who started knocking frantically and asking: “Are you okay in there!?” My husband said: “Yes, she’s just in labour!”

(Turns out one of the nurses was actually a friend of mine from when I was working in medical records, too! :P She pulled some strings, and within 15 minutes, they had a room for me, praise the Lord! Also, my mother-in-law is the chief clinical dietitian there at the hospital and had quietly/secretly come up to pull rank to get me a room, too. I didn’t know she was there until AFTER I had the baby, though.)

They took some blood “just in case” I needed a transfusion- thankfully, that didn’t hurt. However, when I got to my room, the “brutal cervical exam” nurse came in to place a heplock/saline lock (basically, a line into my vein, just in case they had to start an IV, but without the fluids), and she TOTALLY popped a vein! :( Can you believe that was the only time I had burst into tears by that point!? So after she casually said: “Oops, it didn’t take- we’ll have to try again,” I immediately said NO, and agreed that I was refusing to have any needles (whether IV or heplock) in my arm! To me, that was so awesome. :) As for monitoring, they called my obstetrician, who said that they could do intermittent monitoring- he wanted my contractions and fetal heart tones to be monitored for 20 minutes, every hour. It wasn’t so awesome, since I kept wanting to shower, or pee, or even just walk around/get comfortable in the bed, but it was better than being in a blood pressure cuff, with two tight straps around my belly the entire time in labour!

After several more hours, my “peaceful” demeanour had disappeared. I was yelling, kicking, tensing up through every painful contraction. I will be totally honest when I say that I REALLY wanted that epidural- or to just die. But Marivette would not let me back down, and just kept swabbing my body down with cold washcloths. (Oh, did I mention that the Pretty Pushers gown came off after the first shower I took at the hospital, and I ended up just being naked for the rest of my time at the hospital? :P) I kept gripping the handles of the bed, and foccused on the whiteboard behind Kevin’s head (he was now standing in front of me, and Marivette was behind me massaging my low back really hard and encouraging every “good birthing moan” I was doing).

I started crying when I agreed to a cervical exam, and found out that I was still at a 6-7 cm. I thought it would never end! I was shaking violently, and just wanted out of my body! I was exhausted too, since I hadn’t slept and hadn’t eaten since 1130 AM (when I had some pea soup). But the contractions just kept coming, the pain just kept coming, and Marivette’s firm reassurance that I could do it just kept coming. I was glad the nurses stayed out of the room unless they were coming in to hook me up for my 20 minutes of monitoring. I think they might have been scared! :P

After a few more hours, I felt like I had to poop- really, really badly. I had Kevin help me to the toilet, and suddenly, I needed to grunt and I felt like I was going to go “number two”… We worked through that for a little bit, then I got in the shower again, where I squatted through that pooping feeling (not to mention, yelled about how I “have to poop so bad!” every 30 seconds or so!). Back to the toilet, then back in the shower, then back on the toilet, then back on the bed, naked and wet.

At that point, Marivette was concerned, and didn’t want me pushing unless my cervix was ready (dilated/effaced enough). She had them check me, and I was at a 9.5! I still didn’t believe that was far enough along after so many hours, but at least Marivette wasn’t as concerned, and encouraged me to make little short grunts instead of allowing me to bear down fully. I still thought I just had to go poop! :P And oh, then my membranes (water) finally broke- and despite being totally wrapped up in the pain of labour, I was thrilled to hear my husband announce that it was clear- “no meconium!”

I was so exahusted by that point. I was in pain, terrified, and felt like I wanted to die. I kept asking them to just cut the baby out, and that I didn’t want the baby after all. The little grunts had become full-time hard pushes. Kevin said it was incredible to see me grimace through each contraction, because I looked like I was smiling! Haha, yeah right! I thought my butt was going to fall off, and I kept announcing that to everyone in the room. The next time I got checked, I was fully-dilated and my obstetrician was paged.

When he got there, everyone helped me scoot down to the bottom of the bed, where there were stirrups. I had thought that I would want to squat or get on all-fours, but in that moment, I was so exhausted that I didn’t fight pushing on my back. The pushing was excruciatingly painful and felt like it took forever! I guess he kept popping out, then back in, despite me pushing with my body- makes sense and is only natural, but in the moment, it was horribly painful and frustrating (especially since everyone kept saying “You’re doing great! Just one more push!”… except that “one more push” was actually, like, 50 more pushes). My obstetrician had to really stretch me, and Kevin got in there and massaged me with mineral oil, while Marivette pushed a warm washcloth on my perineum. I guess the baby needed to be rotated to the side, too, since his head bones were pushing against my pelvic bones.

Again, I thought I was going to die, and at the end, I was full-out screaming at some points. After around 1.5 hours of pushing, however, my husband pulled our beautiful baby boy out and onto my chest! The doctor almost clamped the cord immediately, but after Kevin mentioned waiting, he immediately stopped. Because I didn’t have Pitocin pumped into my body afterwards (to stop the bleeding), they had to massage my uterus really hard and the obstetrician ended up needing to go up inside my uterus and pull out a few blood clots to keep me from going septic later. It was excruciating! He also had to suture up several internal tears, but I didn’t have any external tearing. But it was so awesome, because Lucas immediately latched on! It was amazing! Of course, Kevin burst out into tears of joy after pulling him out, and all I could say was: “Oh, my beautiful boy!”

Lucas Dean was born at exactly 9 PM on 15 September 2011, weighing 7 pounds, 7.58 ounces, measuring 20.5 inches. He has blonde hair and blue/grey eyes, long fingers and toes, and perfectly chubby cheeks. <3

More photos here: Welcome to the World, Baby Lucas!

13 September 2011

Week 39 and 40.

These last two weeks, I was really starting to get hopeful. Dr Hoang had said I would give birth sometime during 39 weeks, if not right on my due date. Of course... that didn't happen, did it? I was pretty much depressed and lonely all of week 39, waiting waiting waiting. On my due date (exactly 40 weeks), we went to the OB. I was 1 cm dialated, but no other “progress.” Thankfully, no talk of induction since Baby was doing great! :D Heart beat was a steady 140 BPM. Supposedly, I was having a contraction during the exam, too, and I had no clue… Hmmm. After the exam, we went to Red Lobster for dinner. Yum. I started having a bunch of what I thought were contractions, so we walked around the neighbourhood three times when we got home. Nothing "productive" happened- just got really tired.

The biggest symptoms I'm having are the groin cramps, shooting pains up my hooha, non-painful contractions, back aches, hungry all the time, severe insomnia (I've been sleeping on the couch and wandering around the house in the wee hours of the morning), and major emotional disturbances. I swear, I feel like I'm going crazy! I have run/walked on the treadmill, bounced on my birthing ball (so generously loaned to me by a friend), drank red raspberry leaf tea (to tone the uterus), cleaned the house and did loads of laundry (after we finally got our washer fixed!), gone for a really long drive all around town with Kevin, etc. It really doesn't help that I get a messages on Facebook or texts or calls nearly everyday asking if the baby is here yet. Ahhh! And of course, there are the folks that feel like they need to put in their "two cents" about induction and natural birth. UGH. I know, I know... the advice will only get worse once the baby is here, but seriously?! RAAAARRR! But hey, something super cool? I won a giveaway for a lovely Pretty Pushers labour and delivery gown! (That's the black "dress" I'm wearing in the second photo there...)

12 September 2011

Weeks 37 and 38.

Alright, again, this has taken me awhile to summarise and get up here on my blog. It's hard to believe that, as of when I am writing this post, 37 weeks is a month ago! At any rate, at 37 weeks +2 days, I had an OB appointment... and our first cervical check. That was certainly interesting (not too painful, but not very comfortable). Dr Hoang said my cervix was still closed, maybe dilated to 1/2 centimetre, but he didn’t think I’d make it to 40 weeks! (Sidenote: Too bad that estimate was off!) They finally did an ultrasound to estimate his weight, he was at 5.5 pounds, so Dr Hoang thought he’ll be around 6 pounds, 12 ounces to 7 pounds, 2 ounces by the time he’s born! :) Speaking of weight, I had only gained 1 pounds in 3.5 weeks, so that was a relief- I totally had thought I gained 5 pounds, but I guess he really had just dropped and that was the “weight” I was feeling! ;) And the best part was that the doctor was totally down with our birth plan when we shared it with him! :D He didn't just glance at it, either. He spent time going over it, and expressed his concern over a couple points (like taking photos/videos of the birth, which the hospital does not allow, period :|). So that was reassuring, for sure.

The next night (Friday), I woke up choking and hacking on my own vomit. After aspirating barf into my lungs, I had to induce full-blown vomiting into the toilet to even get any sort of relief. I got very little sleep, though gladly, Kevin can sleep through nearly anything (so long as I reassure him I’m fine). :P

At 9 AM (Saturday), we went to “part deux” of the hospital childbirth education class, which actually wasn’t so bad that time around. I was very glad that the nurse was very adamant on explaining how breastfeeding is the only way to go (“unless you’re shooting up heroine or doing cocaine, of course”) and that breastmilk should be the norm. (I always have thought it’s weird that people say it’s “best” and put it up on a pedestal- no, breastmilk is just what we should be automatically feeding our children, and formula should be considered the last-ditch artifical option, like it is.) Of course, we practised some relaxed breathing, though I couldn’t really get into the relaxation because Kevin kept teasing/interrupting me and saying: “Don’t fall asleep!” (Grrr, seriously?) I love him though. :) At any rate, after the breathing exercises, we were supposed to get down on our backs and “practise” coached pushing. Uhm, no. Don’t get me wrong- if that’s how I want to give birth, I will, but I definitely don’t want someone counting to ten and it just makes sense that upright positions are the best for pushing and giving birth (not lying on your back like a disabled turtle, closing off your pelvis and making it difficult for Baby to squeeze through)! So, I just rested for a few minutes while they all practised putting their chins to their chests and counted to ten three times. Haha.

After receiving our certificate of graduation from the class (and an evaluation form that I readily filled out!), we went to lunch (of course, it was around 2-230 at that point, and both of us were starving)! I got this “feeling” that Kevin’s parents might be at the same place that we were going, and sure enough, there they were! So we chatted with them for awhile.

Later that night, we had to go to a bridal shower for one of Kevin’s many cousins- we got her fiance and her a 3-piece cookie sheet set and a 6-piece Pyrex storage set, and boy, did I have fun trying to find something to wrap it with. :P We can’t come to the actual wedding (which is on 17 September), so despite being literally exhausted, we both decided it would be the good thing to suck it up and go to the shower. Happily, it was a BBQ co-ed luau (much like our baby shower), and it was a lot of fun. Of course, I got a lot of people ooo-ing and ahhh-ing over my belly, and a few relatives were taking "birthday bets." My in-laws hoped he would come on 26 August (my father-in-law’s birthday), and a couple cousins said the 2, 16, and 19 September. (Sidenote: Looks like the folks who guessed I would go early, including my doctor, were totally off, eh?) I told the cousins that I sure hoped I wouldn’t go to the 19th since that would be 2 weeks “overdue”! :P At any rate, we headed home around 945 PM, totally depleted.

By 38 weeks, the exhaustion had really started to get to me. Every single night, I would wake up with acid reflux, itching all over, and HOT. I'd walk around the house, have a drink, eat a graham cracker (settles the acid?), and then try to lie down again. And this is AFTER I take 25 mg of diphenhydramine (the stuff that makes you sleepy in Benedryl)...

Saw the doctor again. He did a cervical check, which was a tad more painful than the previous time- my OB seemed a little more nervous than usual, but I suspected it was because he had a surgery to go to in less than an hour. I had gained another pound in a week (UGH!), which depending on my pre-pregnancy weight (I’m not really sure where I started) brought me up to a total weight gain of 22-32 pounds. SAD! After his check, he told us he could feel the baby’s head, that I was still about 1/2 cm dilated, about 65-70% effaced. He predicted that the baby could come during week 39. (Sidenote: Sadly, this prediction was off, once again.)

Afterwards, we had dinner. When we got up from the table, I suddenly got these horrific sharp, shooting pains (kind of like charlie horse cramps) in the tendons between my upper-inner thighs and pubic area (like the bikini line area). I could barely make it to the car, and was breathing so hard to calm the pain that my husband was sort of in shock. He thought I was having contractions. No, Hunny, I’m just a wuss, I suppose. :P

Because I thought we would be having the baby the following week, I got working on packing a hospital bag:

-A little outfit packed for Lucas (both NB and 0-3 sizes, socks, hat, and blanket).
-5 pairs of Depends underwear (yeah, I said it).
-My mini-toiletries bag.
-Camera (charged).
-3 copies of our birth plan.
-1 copy of hospital pre-registration paperwork.

I don't really remember much more about this week, because I was in THE worst funk ever. Even my doula started pissing me off, and she's one of the nicest and most sympathetic women. All I wanted was my husband with me, day and night, so I started feeling so lonely while he was at work. (I wonder if this is some sort of animal instinct?) This is the week that the pain became commonplace, exhaustion was typical, and I began feeling like I was pushing everyone away. Oh, and I started wanting to devour the kitchen. Not really hungry, but like OMG I JUST WANT TO EAT. Sigh...

I'll be updating with weeks 39 and 40 soon, hopefully.

29 August 2011

Weeks 35 and 36.

I am so bad about putting my thoughts/progress into one lump sum of a blog post. Anyway, week 35 brought a lot of the same symptoms that I had mentioned before, especially insomnia due to reflux (it gets so bad that sometimes I'll throw up involuntarily!). Also, We had our second prenatal "class" at our home with our doula. The topic was breastfeeding. Quite interesting to practise baby holds with a creepy smiling doll. Haha. We finally received our car seat, and Kevin installed it in my car. I swear, everytime I get in my car, I have a mental freak-out. ("What the heck is that in my backseat?") On that Saturday, I decided to participate in the Team in Training 5K with my dear friend Katie T. She was so awesome for walking with me the whole 3.1 miles (and most of it was surprisingly a trail route- something I'm not very apt at, so to speak) in 80-85 degree heat. We finished in 53 minutes, which is definitely nowhere close to a PR (but shockingly, I finished ahead of 20 other participants- 78 out of 98). The biggest weight off my shoulders during week 35 was finishing my birth plan...

By week 36, Baby Boy dropped. Like a bomb. I didn't realise it at first, but as the week went on, my shirts started fitting wonky (belly hanging out), and I began feeling shooting/sharp pains in the hoo-ha area (almost like a UTI?). I was pretty sure I lost my mucus plug, but I couldn't really be absolutely sure. By the end of the week, I was feeling awful. I started getting these horrible groin cramps (like a "charlie horse" in the tendons between my upper-inner thigh and pubic area), stopping me dead in my tracks and unable to continue walking. To top it all off, our washing machine started leaking everywhere. UGH! Okay, but anyway... Awesome things that happened this week? My mom got me the BOB 2011 Fitness Strides jogging stroller, the nursery dresser was delivered (all 190 pounds of it, which my handsome hubby so deftly transported from the garage into the baby's room with only a mini-cart to help him), and we received a Moby Wrap in the mail from Kevin's boss. :)

End note: I will write up a summary blog for weeks 37 and 38 soon. I swear, all I do is sleep these days!

01 August 2011

Our Maternity Photos!

Here are the rest of the photos taken on 28 July, at 34 weeks, 2 days pregnant, by our friend Amy: Lily's Maternity Shoot! Can you believe that she is not a professional photographer?

28 July 2011

Weeks 32, 33, and 34.

Wow, so... Week 32, I had an ultrasound at my OBGYN's office. My weight gain is starting to "mellow out," so to speak, which is not a bad thing since I am up 20-25 pounds (not sure how much since I didn't really weigh myself pre-pregnancy). We discussed some of my birth preferences, and it seemed like he was pretty much on board with a natural birth (even if it will be in the hospital)... As for symptoms, I'm still dealing with major reflux, insomnia, and as of week 32, we noticed "leaky teats" as Kevin so cutely calls it. Haha.

Week 33 was a total whirlwind. First of all, after many cancellations and mishaps, I finally got to have a childbirth education class with my doula! It was great because she came to our house, where we could talk and laugh and relax in the privacy of our own home. Also, our baby shower was planned for 33 weeks, 4 days, and boy, was the planning sheer insanity. My mom was so awesome and had several people cleaning and fixing up her house for the party, and even put up water misters since the weather station had predicted triple-digit heat! My baby shower hostess (Stephanie) did so much too: buying decorations, getting favours, ordering chairs/tables, and of course, all the food. A couple days before, I started getting worried, because I found out that we were going to have to pay a large chunk (350$ + 100$ from invitations)- and after a lot of self-analysing, I realised that it wasn't even about the money, after all. But even that worked out, because my mom was so generous that she paid for all the catering. (o_o) Can I just say AMAZING?!

At any rate, I could go on forever about the details, but in the end... the baby shower was utterly amazing. Yes, there was lots of drama and no, it didn’t go perfectly (100-degree heat was pretty bad). But it was such a blessing to be in the company of such amazing friends and family, and we were literally “showered” with gifts. Seriously- it was shocking! :) Thank God for all the love. Now I must take on the daunting task of figuring out where everything is going to go, as well as purchase a lot of our essentials (car seat, dresser, organisers, etc) for Lucas’ room. I was walking around in my heels so much that I honestly felt like a cripple for the next couple days. Haha.

Anyway...Can I just say: I love that Lucas has the hiccups so often. Poor little guy. But Momma thinks it’s so cute. By the way, my belly measurements are up by 1.5 inches from just a few weeks ago- we found out after playing the "guess Momma's belly measurements" game. He is definitely getting bigger! But evidently, my friend who had only seen me in photos thinks that I “look bigger on Facebook than in person”! Haha, that’s not something you hear everyday!

Also, here are some of the amazing photos that one of our lovely friends took at the shower: Kevin and Lily's Shower. Her photography throughout the day was like a gift of its own, since we hadn’t met her until then (she is my husband’s former coworker’s wife)! She got some really cute unplanned “maternity” photos for Kevin and me. :) Here are some of my (less impressive) photos that I got: Our Baby Shower.

After walking around in kitten heels for 5-6 hours while heavily pregnant and mingling with guests (I kept forgetting to sit down, relax, drink water, eat, everything- haha), my sciatic nerve was so shot that I slept maybe a grand total of 2 hours for the next few days after the shower because I was so uncomfortable. I could hardly walk! My right foot went into a “charlie horse” cramp, and my second toe curled up all funky. It was quite odd… and quite uncomfortable!!! It’s amazing how much the body (and mind) changes while pregnant.

Speaking of “the mind” changing, that reminds me of something cute and funny that happened at the shower. Kevin’s cousin Misty has a ~9-month-old little girl who is sooo precious and (in my opinion) looks like one of those adorable troll dolls from the 90’s (a compliment, I promise you). Well, I guess Misty was telling me something, but I was totalllllly zoned-out on her daughter (tickling her little arm, waving bye-bye, talking to her) and hadn’t even heard what Misty said. When the baby girl reached out to me so I could hold her, it was heart-melting, because Misty said she never lets “new people” hold her. Kevin and Misty just laughed and said: “Yep, the ‘Mom Bomb’ has gone off!”

Now that I am in my 34th week, labour is becoming more and more real- I really need to put together a “birth plan” soon, if I am going to. Had my last ultrasound to check if there was enough amniotic fluid to last until birth, and the doctor said everything was good! Baby Boy is still measuring small (33 weeks, 3 days instead of 34+), so the doc doesn’t think he’ll be more than 7.5 pounds at max! But… ya never know.

I have only gained 2 pounds in the last 5 weeks, thankfully; it seemed like my first and second trimester I was just gaining and gaining non-stop. I know he is bigger, though, because my waist measurement went from 37 inches to 38.5 inches in the last month or so! I only know that, though, because I measured myself randomly out of curiosity at around 30 weeks, and then we played the “how big is the momma’s belly?” game at our baby shower. Haha.

We discussed my preferences for birth, and I’ll be honest… I am rather apprehensive. I do like my doctor, and I think he is more open than some providers. However, he seemed pretty set on doing an episiotomy at any slight sign that I may tear. And I still haven’t even talked to him about my other wishes (delayed cord clamping, delayed weighing/measuring/vaccination, continuous monitoring, etc). I guess this is where I am glad that I have a doula, as well as a husband who is on my side when it comes to my preferences. I know I cannot plan out Lucas' birth perfectly, but I want to make it the least traumatic as I can. For those moms who have given birth naturally in the hospital (no pain medication, induction, or augmentation), what are some good ways to positively express my wishes to my doctor? To the hospital staff?

Welp, tonight I am probably doing maternity photos with my hubby. My sister's lovely friend offered to take them for me, as she is down in Bakersfield to visit. Hopefully I'll be able to edit this blog post to post a few of her photos later! :) I will end this blog with an amazing quote I read by childbirth "expert" Ina May Gaskin:
"Remember this, for it is as true as true gets: Your body is not a lemon. You are not a machine. The Creator is not a careless mechanic. Human female bodies have the same potential to give birth as well as aardvarks, lions, rhinoceri, elephants, moose, and water buffalo. Even if it has not been your habit throughout your life so far, I recommend that you learn to think positively about your body."

11 July 2011

Weeks 30 and 31.

These last couple weeks have been busy, busy, busy. During week 30, I spent my 4th of July weekend with my in-laws and a couple of their friends. We headed to Lake Nacimiento in the RV, toting the boat behind us. I was eager to get a little sun and try out my new maternity swimsuit. Despite not being able to do any waterskiing or wakeboarding (I don't really like doing either, typically, anyway), I did enjoy going out on the boat. I think Lucas didn't know WHAT to think, as we bounced over the water. However, it was great to get out and swim around a bunch- "they" say water is good for a pregnant woman, and I think they're right. ;) I thought it was really special when my sister-in-law got to feel Baby Boy having the hiccups. By the end of the weekend, ultimately, I was exhausted, though. My back was really acting up on the trip home, and I was glad to be back in the air-conditioning (even if it was 107 degrees outside at home)!

Oh, and did I mention that we went for a 3D ultrasound? It was a bummer that we didn't really get a clear picture of his face, since he had his hands and arms in front of it! However, we did get to see him blink, yawn, and munch on his hand, not to mention him showing off his little boy parts! And now, the horrible reflux I've been having makes a little more sense- the ultrasound technician immediately noted lots of hair on his head. No wonder I've been downing Tums like it's going out of style! :P Here's the video my husband caught using his iPhone:

The weekend of week 31, I spent time at the coast with my mom's side of the family (my grandma, aunt, sister, male cousin, uncle, and my female cousin + her two precious kids). My cousin Lindsey and her kids Bailey (age almost 3) and Oliver (age 1) live in Australia, where her husband is from, so I rarely get to see them (the last time was August 2009). In fact, this was the first time I got to meet little Oliver! It's always pretty hectic when it comes to my family (no, seriously, NO ONE ever ends up agreeing on what we're doing), so by the time Sunday rolled around, I was emotionally and physically exhausted. My family and I spent a lot of time walking around at farmers markets in Morro Bay and San Luis Obispo... and every night, I totally conked out back at the hotel with my hubby. I think I experienced my first noticeable Braxton Hicks contraction after a particularly crazy day of bouncing a baby (Oliver) and trying to help my cousin manage a sassy 3-year-old (Bailey). ;) Also, I noticed lots of belly cramping and my sciatic nerve was just going crazy. :( I'm almost "beached whale" status with this belly! Haha.

Yep, so... that's all I can think of for now! I know, I know, not very detailed, but I'm too tired to think clearly today. Bye for now!

Yes, that is our baby boy's hand during the ultrasound at 30 weeks, 2 days!

26 June 2011

Weeks 28 and 29.

Pregnancy is becoming more and more real everyday. Not only did I find an outcropping of ruby-coloured stretchmarks extending across my ever-expanding fleshy buttocks this morning (29 weeks, 5 days), but acid reflux has become a daily plague that causes me to burp and vomit at the same time (morning, noon, and especially at night). In fact, one night, I "slept" in my husband's recliner because otherwise, I am sure I would have drowned in my own stomach acid. Mmm, pregnancy sure sounds fun, right?

Sorry for the negativity- that is probably attributable to my up-and-down rollercoaster hormones, which have kicked into high-gear. I can be okay one moment, and then a bawling mess the next. It takes a lot of energy to keep from just going nuts on myself and on my husband. I'm getting butt-hurt over the small, insignificant things. (Wow, yeah, my mind is still on those ugly butt stretchmarks, can you tell? >:|)

The 20 of June marked me going on disability leave, and though, YES, I KNOW IT'S EARLY (seriously, stop making me feel even more guilty about it!), I am glad that I have taken this time for myself. The stress and physical pain I was feeling at work was just not worth it, I realise, and I am glad my doctor was the one who flat-out suggested that I go on leave. At any rate, that doesn't mean that I'm not bored as heck, but I'm trying to start reading up on what to expect from birth and motherhood, and just finishing up projects.

On that note, we finally got our co-ed BBQ/pool party baby shower invitations sent out, and uhm, wow... lots of people were invited. I know most of them will probably not come, but stil! Let's hope no one brings any booze! Also, Kevin and his dad finished painting Lucas' room, and now I just feel that much more excited about his arrival.

We saw Dr Hoang at 29 weeks, 1 day, and now that I've decided to find out my weight everytime, I am thankful to say that my weight did not go up (in fact, it went "down" by .6 of a pound) in the last couple weeks. I'm just trying to be more conscious of when I'm eating, and of my snacks (fruit instead of jellybeans and frozen yoghurt, Subway 6-inch veggie sandwich instead of hospital cafeteria lasagne), because Lord knows, I don't want to gain more weight than I need to. (Plus, everyone seems to think it's a great idea to rub it in that the last trimester is when you "really start getting big!") Despite that, I am still not okay with what my lower half is doing (seemingly ballooning up)... and that was just compounded when I tried on a maternity tankini swimsuit earlier this week. I spent the rest of the night sobbing my eyes out, after discovering several stretchmarks running down my thighs under my butt. And yes, I know that sounds ridiculous, but I have to be able to mourn the loss of my body, even if Lucas is our blessing and miracle.

At any rate, I talked to the doctor about my birth preferences (heplock/no IV, intermittent monitoring/being able to move around, and having a doula with us) and, in his words, he said: “I want this to be your best da_n pregnancy, so we have no problem whatsoever with allowing you to do whatever you want, as long as everything is going fine.” He seemed totally open about my doula being in the room and about going naturally (WITHOUT pitocin)! :) PHEW! What a weight off my shoulders, and I’m so glad that he is understanding. Let's just hope the hospital is equally respectful...

12 June 2011

Weeks 25, 26, and 27.

As shown in my last post, the last week has not been easy at all. Since the 5th of June, Kevin and I have been in deep mourning for the loss of our baby girl cat Minnie. It pretty much affected my ability to function or focus all of this last week. Two days ago (Thursday), I went in to the OBGYN a week earlier than expected, as I was having severe back pain. We had an ultrasound, and Baby Lucas is doing very well. However, my doctor advised me to go on disability leave. I'm still contemplating it, while I have a doctor's note for the next week.

During this appointment, like all OBGYN appointments, I stepped on the scale backwards. I expected the medical assistant to just nod, and say "Okay," and then I could put my shoes back on and be DONE with the worst part of the appointment. But no, this time she had to announce my weight to me. And it is HIGH. Higher than it has ever been in my life. After panicking a whole lot, I got up the nerve to ask my OBGYN if I was doing okay, and even went so far as to ask him if he would tell me if I was gaining too much. He said my weight gain was fine, and that he'd only mention it if I gained more than 20 pounds in the last 12+ weeks. At any rate, I am still not happy with what I weigh, and my thoughts are pretty much on two things: 1) having a safe, healthy, calm, and prayerfully natural birth... and 2) losing this baby weight while breastfeeding and getting back to training!

We interviewed our second doula yesterday, and she sounds like she might be "the one" for me. Kevin isn't so sure. But I love her philosophy on things like circumcision and breastfeeding. Not only does she provide 2-3 prenatal visits, but also 1-2 postpartum visits... and 1 full year of breastfeeding help. Which, considering I want to breastfeed and train for events again, I will need help, I'm sure. I have a feeling that she'll be helping me know just how much I actually need to be eating to produce a good amount of milk.

We decided to paint Lucas' room, so the bottom quarter of his room is a light blue and there is a dark brown border at the top. We'll be decorating with the turtle and polka-dot appliques. :) We also got the baby shower invitations in the mail, so I've been trying to slowly get all the envelopes addressed.

But yep, pretty much, I'm just more winded from any sort of activity, my back hurts all the time, and oh, I think I have some really itchy spider veins (let's pray they aren't actually tiny stretchmarks) on my outer thighs. Pregnancy has been harder than I thought it would be, and I don't feel like the blissful mommy-to-be that I should be, especially considering we tried for Lucas for so long.

06 June 2011

A Kitty's Thanks. (A Poem.)

I know you’re feeling sad,
but there’s no need to be -
even if I can’t be there, purring
and rubbing around your feet.

I’ve still got a windowsill,
and warm places in the sun.
Though no one really owns a cat,
for me, you were the one.

I know my time had come
and know that you did, too.
Please don’t think you did me wrong.
You did what you had to do.

You may be feeling guilty
that my life is at its end,
but please don’t feel that way.
Through memories, you’ll always be my friend.

-Author Unknown

Rest in peace, little princess Minnie. We love you so much. Thank you for gracing us with your precious presence. You were taken from us too soon, but you will never, ever be forgotten. (5 June 2011.)

28 May 2011

Weeks 23 and 24.

Man, I've been slacking with blogging. I feel like time is starting to go by so quickly, though! The last couple weeks have been a blur of hormones, exhaustion, and uncertainty. But can you believe that our little Lucas is already 1.5 pounds and over a foot long? In the last two weeks, he has gotten a lot more active and likes kicking my cervix- something that is quite awkward while I'm sitting or at work trying to focus. :P Another couple things they don't tell you about pregnancy: the peeing any time you sneeze, cough, or even laugh too hard. Oh, and the discharge. Groan, we won't go any further on that topic. :| It's shocking how out of breath I get now when I walk too long or up a couple flight of stairs, and how, no matter how hard I try, I can't seem to bend over very well. Kevin has been having to help me up if I sit down on the floor, in fact! And within the last week, my lower back pain has gotten horrible. I can barely get through my 8-hour work day without being in total agony... and that's after walking around/stretching every 30 minutes or so!

I have to say, I was not ready for what my body was going to go through while pregnant. I wish I could say that it is all sunshine and rainbows, but of course, pregnancy is hard work! I try not to let it overwhelm me too often, but even a few days ago, I totally broke down. I especially was not anticipating how much bigger all of my body parts (arms, legs, breasts, butt) would get, and how out of control and uncomfortable I would start feeling. My thought was that it would be "easy" to gain the weight and eat healthily, since I am growing a little human life. Yes, I have gained the weight and still eat (a lot!), but it is NOT easy. It takes a personal choice to be obedient to God and to take care of my growing son. I have seen, a few times now, how restriction can truly cause huge issues and even death to a growing baby. But man, I cannot help but keep thinking about how I am going to lose this weight after Lucas is born!!! I know it's possible, but it's going to take totally giving myself to the Lord and dedicating myself to my child to keep from going back to the enemy's sly tricks (anorexia nervosa, compulsive exercise, etc).

On top of that, there is an "optional" test that (nearly) all moms are prescribed by their doctors between 24-28 weeks. That test is the glucose test for gestational diabetes. This test includes drinking 50g of pure sugar water (something I was TERRIFIED of doing), waiting for an hour, and then coming back to the lab for them to extract 4 vials of blood. Technically, I could have refused this test, and satan was having a blast telling me how "oh, I'm very low-risk for gestational diabetes anyway, and there's absolutely no reason to drink my calories!" So, let's be clear: even though I have not had significant liquid calories (like, I've only had Crystal Light and low-calorie Gatorade when I was puking from hyperemesis) since I was 12 or 13 years old (except, of course, through a nasogastric feeding tube), I finally got up the courage to drink this crap (or maybe I just didn't want to have to explain to my OBGYN that I was too "scared" to drink a 300 calorie bottle of sugar to make sure my body is healthy while growing my baby). I still cried, and man, I spent the next hour praying and expressing my fear to others. But God got me through it, and as expected, He didn't give me anything I couldn't handle. ;) I'll find out the results at my next doctor's visit, at 28 weeks, I believe.

Anyway, I'll wrap this up- basically, pregnancy is beyond what I expected, how it has touched my heart as well as brought me closer to God. Maybe that's why, as always, God blessed me with this miracle who doctors told me would never happen. Thanks, Jesus- you always know how to teach me things the right ways. Well, duh! ;)

Here's the video from our 6-month ultrasound:

22 May 2011

Dear God...

This is something I found on the "Dashboard" of one of my Tumblr followers. I liked it so much that I wanted to share it with you all...

Dear God,

How creative You are. The ways You have binded my body together, the way my heart beats and my blood pumps. Its all so intricate, you didn’t have to put so much work into these skin and bones we reside in, and maybe that’s why I thirst to know more about it. Lord, help me not to take anything for granted. This reminds me of how fragile I really am, in all senses of the word, ready to snap at any moment. Ready to crumble in my weakness. But where I am weak, You are strong. Where I fall short You show me what You’ve done for me. When I stumble or become unsteady, You are there to catch me and hold me. How I fit in the palm of Your hand. Its all so beautiful, and I am awestruck. You don’t need me God, You want me, and I desperately need you, but sometimes I act as if I don’t want You. What a fickle, silly girl I am. Naïve in some ways and too mature in others, but I don’t care. The scars are only a reminder of all I could have been. The memories are only a motivator to make the future better. I will desperately cling to You, You are all I have, and that’s the best feeling. You are the ultimate artist, and I am Your canvas. Paint on.


07 May 2011

Week 22.

Well, here comes another blog and another week. :) Unfortunately... I am SICK with the flu. Three of my co-workers have been sick (2 of them had to go to the ER, and all of them are on some heavy-duty medications /antibiotics), but because I am pregnant, no antibiotics for me! I have to stick to Benedryl and Tylenol! Ack. :( So, I was out from work for 2 days, and then went back to the grind on Friday. I barely made it through the day. Today, I've just been coughing non-stop. :\

Baby Lucas is kicking and moving around so much! I'm starting to get more used to being uncomfortable while sleeping, not to mention the extra baggage I'm carrying (though I am still really not okay with how little physical fitness I'm getting in and the extra pounds I'm putting on now due to being exhausted after 40 hours of work per week). On Wednesday, Lucas' crib /changer combo was delivered- and today (Saturday), Kevin put it together! How awesome! I just can't wait to get the bedding, the mattress, and all the rest of the furniture... still so much to do. And on that note, I have a few doulas in mind, but still have yet to decide! :P

29 April 2011

Weeks 20 and 21.

Yep, that's right- another two-fer-one blog! :D So what've we (all three of us, that is!) been up to? Let's get this blog started!

Week 20:
This week started off pretty boring, to be honest. I just went to work as usual... but on FRIDAY (22 April), I turned 25 years old, and kicked off my "babymoon" (like a honeymoon, except to celebrate together before the baby comes) vacation in Solvang! We checked into our Holiday Inn Express hotel around 330 PM, and found out that our room had been UPGRADED! Woohoo! Our room was actually two-stories- the bed and a flat-screen television on the top/third floor and a couch, microwave, coffee maker, fridge, bathroom, and another flat-screen television on the bottom/second floor. It was wild. And oh, did I mention that we had a balcony that overlooked the beautiful Hans Christian Andersen Park?! Yeah, talk about awesome... We had dinner at Angelica Cafe, and then spent the rest of the evening walking around. It's totally a little tourist town. ;)

On Saturday, we woke up leisurely, and I went downstairs for breakfast that the hotel provided in their dining room. After Kevin enjoyed his oatmeal and mocha that I brought to him in bed (yes, spoiled!), we got ready for the day and headed out for the "tourist experience." Solvang ("sunny fields" in Danish) is a cute little town that was founded by 3 Danish-Americans who wanted to find a place in California where they could settle and their heritage could thrive. So now, it's known as "the Danish capital of America." It truly is quite lovely, with lots of greenery, Danish architecture, and clean air (something that is very much lacking in Bakersfield!). For lunch, we stopped at Solvang Restaurant, where we also had aebleskivers- Danish pancakes shaped into balls and topped with raspberry jam and powdered sugar. Whoa. We also stopped at the Santa Ines mission, another peaceful destination... and then, there it was: Solvang Bakery! Why is this significant? Well, I had been searching and searching for the perfect piece of birthday cake to celebrate my 25th, because I haven't had a piece of my own birthday cake in over a decade (yes, seriously)! And there it was: black forest cake. However, after dinner at Pea Soup Andersen's, there was no room for cake, and I had to save it for Sunday. BUT I WAS GOING TO HAVE MY BIRTHDAY CAKE, DANGIT! :D

On Sunday morning, at around 1 AM, I woke up to my baby moving a LOT... and I could feel him punching/ kicking my hand! I woke Kevin up and for about 30 minutes, he had his hand resting on my belly, waiting patiently for Lucas to move again. It never happened- just like allllll the baby advice sites said would happen. BOO! Later, when we actually woke up for the day, we went to Ostrich Land. Yes, Ostrich Land... where we got to watch poor, naive tourists feed violently hungry, ferocious ostriches and emus. Kevin and I got a serious kick out of it. As he put it: "Oh dang, yes, that was worth the 8$ admission fee!" Haha. In the late evening, we drove over to the Chumash Casino- no, not to gamble, but to get a "maternity massage"! Ahhhhhhh, it was really great, and quite relaxing. Definitely more "gentle" than my sports massages, that's for sure. Afterward, we STUFFED ourselves at SJ Spurs- kind of a bad idea, since I've been getting wicked reflux. And oh, somewhere in there... I HAD MY FRIGGIN' BIRTHDAY CAKE (and Kevin helped, of course)! :D

Sadly, on Monday, the 25 April, we had to pack up and leave our little oasis. We got home after another 3-hour drive, did some laundry, cleaned up after our bad cats, and relaxed before we had to go back to the grind the next day.

If you want, check out the rest of our Solvang vacation photos here!

Week 21
The beginning of this gestational week (Tuesday 26 April), it was back to the same ol', same ol'... The biggest symptoms I've been noticing are: exhaustion (yes, still!), more huffing and puffing (short of breath easily), a lot more kicking (especially around mealtimes that I've seemed to have established- 7 AM, noon, 5-6ish), psycho maternal instinct nightmares/dreams, having to pee a lot, itchy skin (so I've been using a lot of the Palmer's body lotion), and sitting at work for hours at a time is getting more and more uncomfortable. My feet swelled a little while at work, and my co-worker, seeing me walking a little funny, said that I was "waddling already." :| Not to mention, the baby bump comments are coming from left and right, and some people have already rubbed my belly (I am not a Buddha, people)! Oh well, people have said and done worse to me when was "death-orexic" (as my husband put it), and I'm just glad my baby is healthy. I've been more and more tempted to find out what my weight is (since I know for certain that my thighs, butt, and arms have gained significantly), but like Kevin agreed, I just don't need to know right now. Period. However, Kevin did just put together my fantastic new LifeSpan TR 1200i folding treadmill that I purchased off Amazon! :D Can't wait to really put it to use!

Also, now that I am on the "downhill" of my pregnancy (20 weeks being the general "halfway point"), I've started really thinking about our birth plan. That is to say, how I want to go through delivering our baby. Like many moms, I would love to have a completely natural birth. However, I am just not sure how it will go, pain-wise... not to mention any sort of emergencies that might happen to come up. I will definitely be delivering in a hospital, but it's been so helpful to check out peaceful birthing sites that have stories about women who have had successful natural births.

If you've given birth naturally, and you just so happen to be reading this blog, would you tell me about your experiences? :)

17 April 2011

Weeks 18 and 19.

Argh! I just haven't felt like blogging lately, to be honest. But let's see... I've been having the same sort of symptoms like exhaustion, insomnia, and cramps when I sneeze, cough, or stretch (and sometimes when I just turn the wrong way).

During week 18, Kevin and I went to a huge consignment sale called "Little Feet Repeats"! While there, we checked out all sorts of gently/never used furniture, bags, clothes, and toys. We ended up getting six receiving blankets, a swaddling outfit, two little outfits, a diaper backpack (in lieu of a diaper bag), and a few maternity outfits for myself. :)

As I write, I am 19 weeks, 5 days pregnant... and things are not easy. I will be honest, I am having personal difficulties with not allowing my fears overwhelm me. Will I be a good mom? Will I ever be able to run again? Will I ever be considered "thin" again? What if (UGH, I hate those two words!) I fall victim to the enemy again? Will my husband and I stay close after he is born? I mean, I know these things ultimately don't matter if I can just give birth to a healthy little boy, but I guess it's that perfectionist in me that God is still working on changing that keeps popping up.

At any rate, we had our fourth ultrasound on Wednesday... and our baby boy is DEFINITELY a little boy. :) So, on that note, we have finally determined his precious name- Lucas Dean. <3 Dean is a middle name that has been passed down through several generations in Kevin's family, and Lucas is just a lovely name and has a great meaning. I hope you like the name too, but if you don't... that's just too bad! ;P

02 April 2011

Week 17.

My belly is getting BIG. And with that comes unsure comments and stares from people. It is strange to think that in basically 2.5 weeks, I'll be halfway through the pregnancy. And on that note, my emotions are rearing their ugly head(s). FEAR is taking me over- I know I've already gained a considerable amount of weight, and it doesn't help that I have so little energy and motivation to run, let alone walk.

This is where I am thankful for the Bible (though, I admit, I've had my meltdowns, for sure, which Kevin can attest to)! What does the Word say about fear? "There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love." (1 John 4:18, MSG)

Symptoms this week? They include: abdominal pain (round ligament pain/cramps), baaaad constipation, exhaustion, crabbiness and mood swings, bloating, having to pee twice as much, insomnia and pressure. I'm starting to feel the baby pretty clearly now. When I sit down, it's almost like he drops down. Bizarre feeling. Kevin likes to talk to my belly, even though I'm pretty sure the baby can't hear yet. :P He loves listening to his son swishing around in there too. Haha.

Ooo, so... we also got a CAT CAGE! How does this have to do with my pregnancy? Well, we realised that we needed to start locking the cats out of our bedroom at night, to get them used to when the baby comes- we don't exactly want the baby to get smothered in his bassinet by our too-affectionate cats. :\ But when we would close our bedroom door to keep them out, we would get NO sleep, as they would start loudly crying, meowing, and scratching at the door... :( So, we decided we needed to get a nice cat cage for them to sleep (or harass each other) in at night. They don't like it, but NOW WE CAN ACTUALLY SLEEP WITH THE BEDROOM DOOR CLOSED! :D

PS: We are registered at Amazon.com, Target, and Babies R Us!

28 March 2011

Week 16.

This post is... surprise, surprise... LATE! I am technically now 16 weeks, 6 days, and will be 17 weeks tomorrow! But I just didn't feel like taking a photo. I ended up taking these ones because my hubby insisted, last night after dinner (so the bump is both food baby and Baby boy)! :D I've been craving spicy foods, of all things! Is Baby Boy already a little firecracker? I think so! :)

The last week I've been just exhausted, mentally and physically. I am so grateful to Jesus for healing my body and giving me this child, and yet, I didn't expect things would be so tough! The enemy has come against me so much lately, especially as my work-outs have come to a near halt. However, I hold tight to my God, as He is so much bigger than all my problems. I love 1 Timothy 4:8 when I start feeling this way- "Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever."

This weekend, Kevin and I took all of the things we had cleared out of the office and what is now the baby's nursery to Goodwill, including my gigantic hoarded stash of old magasines (Runner's World, Psychology Today, Real Simple, etc). Not easy, but needed to be done. Then, Kevin decided we should try to find a white paint that will match the current wall colour, so that we could do some touch ups (especially in the nursery, since there's a big scuff). Well, we pick out a sample of "bone white" (which is what our customised house plans called for when we looked it up in our home owner's info)- yeah, THAT didn't work! It looked really brown in comparison to the white on the wall. So, fast forward: we tried two more colours (one was too blue, the other too yellow), and neither worked. ACK! We WILL figure this out, but for now... I think we're gonna end up doing the baby's room in blue. :\ Haha.

Ooo, we have our registries now, too! We are registered at Amazon.com, Target, and Babies R Us! WOOHOO! How very exciting! :) I have noticed that I have really started itching to clean and fix things up for the baby, and I'm guessing this is a slight "nesting instinct" kicking in. Ooooohhhh, boy! Haha.

But yep, as you can see, this is the real deal, folks. Baby Boy is already a chunker, and I already have quite the lump growing in my gut. I'm trusting in God that I'll be able to control and maintain my weight gain, but even while I'm dealing with this anxiety of weight gain, I'll just rest in Him. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me from anorexia nervosa and compulsive overexercising. I will never forget Your great name, and I refuse to go back. <3

19 March 2011

Week 15.

My entire pregnancy, I've really tried to stay active. But it's AMAZING how exhausting it is to spend 40 hours a week working, create/plan for a rapidly growing human being, stay mentally/emotionally and physically stable, and oh... try to fit in an hour of walking or a half-hour of treadmill running every other day? It's frustrating for a previous half-marathoner/ marathoner, I must say, especially when I think I may have a ever-worsening UTI that is even further complicating things. :\ But this morning (15 weeks, 4 days), Kevin and I made sure to go out for our morning walk to Starbucks and back (about 3.25 miles), even if it did wipe me out. The photos here were taken right after my shower, right before we left for our walk. :)

That being said, I am definitely starting to get bigger. Baby Boy is getting bigger, and while I thought he was still in my lower abdomen area, the ultrasound technician showed me that he is way up where my belly button is. That makes me feel better, as I thought I was just getting a nasty belly fat roll due to eating too much or improperly. :P

Speaking of the ultrasound technician, we went in for a special sizing and aging appointment, where we found out that we were spot on in estimating his age (down to the day)! The technician even switched on the 3D view, and we got to see him moving around in there. It was so cute to get a black and white 3D photo of him putting his hand over his mouth, almost like he was giggling! However, our baby at 15 weeks, 3 days definitely looked more like Predator (the alien) than a chubby little boy. Haha. Oh, and the technician confirmed: It's a boy! But she wasn't able to get a very good photos of his boy parts for us, since his umbilical cord was wrapped all around his legs.

13 March 2011

Week 14.

This will be a short update, since there's nothing really new to report on my end: I'm still sorta nauseous, had a headache for 3 days straight, and am trying to figure out my smell/taste "triggers." However, I have gone shopping for maternity clothes and am currently wearing my first pair of maternity jeans as I type- they are more comfortable than regular jeans, but I don't think the pregnancy fat will ever be considered "comfy." :P

The big news, however, is... during our regularly scheduled ultrasound (on Wednesday), we got quite the surprise! The doctor was scanning as usual, and not only has our Baby Bean become an actual BABY, but we are now 99% sure that IT'S A BOY! WOW! We were pretty surprised, just because we had had this "feeling" it was a girl... And boy, were those "wives tales" that my mother-in-law was so sure of soooo wrong! Haha!

And with no further ado, here are a few of the ultrasound photos:
This is a few from the bottom of our baby, as if he were sitting. You can see his butt, little legs/feet, and... his "you know what"!

This is a side profile view- his head is facing to the right, and his butt is up on the left.

This is the full-frontal view. His face is to the right (and you can even see his brain faintly, as well as eyes, nose, and mouth).