Friday, July 29, 2011

Love

It's about time I dedicated a post to my best friend, other half, and love of my life, Steven.




We met at the copier at work. 

Steve was flying in to IA from PA every week consulting for the company where I worked.  After a few weeks of admiring him from afar I got up the nerve (thanks to my sister) to go talk to him....at the copier.

Long story short, we dated for a few months, his consulting job in IA ended and he was going to have to return to PA long term.  We were disappointed and we talked a lot about what we should do.  Steve being the free spirit that he is, said he would move to IL to be with me and find a job here.  I won't lie, I was scared, but I took a leap of faith and agreed.



It was bumpy at first, a few arguments and threats to break up, but we learned quickly that we had something special that was worth fighting for.  I'm so glad we stuck it out.

We got engaged and got married, everything was going how we dreamed it would...

Until we lost our first pregnancy, and our second.  During those dark times, Steve helped me love myself even when I thought it was impossible.  He was so strong and I will never forget how he took care of me.  I know he was sad, scared, and probably angry but he never put his own needs before mine and he never thought of himself before he thought of me.



I've learned so much from Steve.  How to communicate better, how to let things go, and how to really love someone.  I'm a better person because of him and I don't know what I would do without him. I am a big believer in "everything happens for a reason" and I know that is the case with Steve and I.


"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength,
while loving someone deeply gives you courage." ~Lao Tzu

Thursday, July 28, 2011

28 Weeks!

Third trimester!!! 84 days to go- is this for real??

Size of baby: This week, baby girl weighs two and a quarter pounds (like a Chinese cabbage) and measures 14.8 inches from the top of her head to her heels. She can blink her eyes, which now sport lashes. With her eyesight developing, she may be able to see the light that filters in through the womb. She's also developing billions of neurons in her brain and adding more body fat in preparation for life in the outside world.

Sleep: Sleep is still my biggest issue.  My hip/groin/pelvic pain is making it impossible to get comfortable while laying down.  I've gone to the chiropractor twice and I got a massage last night but the pain is still there.  Has anyone figured out a way to sleep comfortably??   I'm thinking seriously about trying out the recliner one of these nights.

Movement: Her movement has been kind of sporadic lately.  Some days she's punching and kicking like a champ and other days she's quiet and only gives light taps.  I've still been having quite a few BH contractions but my Dr said I'm ok unless I have more than four in one hour.

Best moment of the week: Passing the glucose test and getting a massage.  I just have to say how thankful I am to have such a great husband.  He has been so understanding and helpful throughout this pregnancy and he's always asking if there is anything he can do for me.  Just another one of the million reasons I love him!

What I am looking forward to: I think I've mentioned a few hundred times that I can't wait for our shower this weekend.  I'll mention it one more time in case anyone missed it....I'm so excited to see my family and friends!!

Weekly wisdom: This one comes from my always hilarious Aunt Jody- "opinions are like assholes, everyone has one."  An oldie but goodie for sure! I received a very thoughtful email from her this week that made me smile- she is such a caring person and I'm glad to have her in my life.  Thanks again Aunt Jody your email made my day!


Pictures:

getting bigger!

Steve with our travel system- thank you Dad & Regina!!




Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Back I go.

I've been facebook free for over a week. 

It's been a nice vacation.

I was prepared to stay away a little longer and then I was reminded at a work meeting yesterday that I am one of the administrators on our organization's facebook page....oops totally forgot about that. 
The conversation went kind of like this,

co-worker: hey Bridget, did you see such and such on our fb page?

me:  (long pause) no, I didn't see that, I'll have to check into it...(crap!)

So I will be re-joining the fb world today....less addicted.....wish me luck.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I should probably have a plan...

So, depending on which book/website you look at, I'm either in or about to be in my third trimester.  This hit me last night on a walk with Steve and our dog.  Holy shit, in  12 weeks (give or take) I'm going to go into labor.  Um, I'll be honest- I have no idea what I am in for in the labor department.

I've spent all this time researching how to get pregnant, how to stay pregnant, how to have a healthy pregnancy, and what happens during pregnancy that I completely forgot to look at that kind of important part of the process called labor. Since I don't know much about childbirth, I've always had the opinion that I would try to do it naturally and if it's too much to take I'll ask for some drugs....now I'm thinking I should probably have a better plan than that. 

I started reading Ina May's Guide to Childbirth today- she's all about natural childbirth and I'm scared eager to learn more about it.  I have to share one of her quotes from the book - "There is no other organ quite like the uterus.  If men had such an organ, they would brag about it. So should we."  Amen Ina!

I even ordered a book for Steve that is supposed to help the guy get through the process (alive) and hopefully help me at the same time. And of course, we will be taking the childbirth class offered by the hospital I'll be delivering at (it starts in a couple of weeks).  

Anyone have any horror stories useful tips they would like to share?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Not much to blog about

There isn't a lot going on right now and I feel pretty scatterbrained today so bullet points are the best I could do...

- I passed my glucose test!!  Whew, what a relief!!

-  I'm having a lot of pain in my hips/groin/pelvic area that makes it hard to walk, impossible to put my pants on while standing up, and has made sleeping very difficult.  Anyone else experiencing this? Ouch.

-  My Dr. prescribed a pair of compression stockings that have worked wonders on my swollen feet and ankles.

-  Steve got me a pre-natal massage for tomorrow night (I have the best husband in the world!) it will be so nice to relax.

-  I'm so excited for the shower my sister is throwing for me this weekend!  I can't wait to see all of my family and friends and celebrate our baby girl.  Steve's parents will be here, my best friend from college is going to be in town from Denmark, and some of my family from Chicago will be here too- so exciting! 


That's all for now~ I hope you are all doing well!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

27 weeks

Every Thursday I'm surprised that another week has gone by. I'm 27 weeks now and we have 13 weeks to go!

This week, baby weighs 2 pounds (like a head of cauliflower) and is about 14 1/2 inches long with her legs extended. She's sleeping and waking at regular intervals, opening and closing her eyes, and perhaps even sucking her fingers. With more brain tissue developing, baby's brain is very active now. While her lungs are still immature, they would be capable of functioning — with a lot of medical help — if she were to be born now.

Sleep has not been great this week.  I'm having a lot of trouble getting comfortable because my hips hurt.  I wake up a few times a night laying on my back, which I've learned is a no, no, but I haven't figured out a way to stop myself from doing it.  Other than hip pain, I still have swelling in my feet and I get winded pretty easily.  My heart burn has calmed down this week so that is great news!

Hands down the best moment of the week was finding out that baby girl was ok after our scare on Friday.  Of course, all of the worst thoughts were going through my head when the nurse couldn't find her heartbeat and I can't express the relief and happiness I felt when that whooshing sound finally came across the monitor.  Thankfully, she has been moving around like normal since then.

My glucose test is scheduled for tomorrow. I'm not really looking forward to it, I just hope I pass!

After a rough and emotional week, I'm beat.  I want to say thank you to everyone who posted advice about ultrasounds, as always I appreciate your comments and support.  And a special thanks to a very dear friend who shared these words of wisdom, "Surround yourself with genuine people (even if it is just a few) and rejoice that you have the power to allow people in your life."

Here are a few pictures:


The finished flower wall- love it!

Our hummingbird picture

imagine, laugh, wish, dream

27 weeks!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

What happens when you quit facebook?

Nothing. I quit my account over the weekend and I am still alive (going through withdrawal, but still alive). 

Steve and I have always had a love/hate relationship with facebook. He very rarely uses his account and he used to tease me all the time about how addicted I was to the site.  He has said numerous times that it's great to reconnect with old friends from school and family that lives far away, but other than that, it's annoying. He would look at facebook once a night for a couple of seconds and end up saying something like, "Why does this need to be on facebook??"

I, on the other hand, will be the first to admit that I am/was a facebook addict.  I checked it on my phone- who knows how many times a day, and I checked it on my laptop at home- who knows how many times a night. Always expecting something new, some big news, something.... I think there are a lot of good things about facebook, I really do.  I stalked looked at Steve on it before I actually spoke to him in person, I got in touch with my old boss- which led to my current job, I shared pictures with Steve's family members that are 10 hours away.

But, I recently realized how lazy facebook has made me in my relationships.  I can say happy birthday to someone instead of calling them. I can look at their status and comment or "like" it instead of actually having a conversation about how their life is going. I can look at their pictures without actually listening to an explanation of the great event they just had in their life. None of these things are necessarily bad, but over the past few months, it has begun to have a different effect on me that I didn't like.  I felt left out.  I could see what my friends were doing all the time and I would wonder why I wasn't invited or why I hadn't heard from them in awhile. Then I wondered if I was making other people feel like that, maybe, maybe not, I don't know. I don't think anyone intends for this to happen, but it does.

What did we do before facebook?  Actually use a phone? Write our friends and loved one's birthdays on a calendar and send them a card? Get together and have conversations?

So I'm trying something new.  I quit facebook 3 days ago and it's hard.  There are a few times a day I get online and start to type, http://www.fac/.... oh wait, I'm not on there anymore. Maybe I'll go back one day, or maybe I won't....


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Comments and Opinions

I received the comment below on my blog post from yesterday.  Instead of approving it to be shown only as a comment on my post I thought I would make it a whole post of it's own.  Just some back story, I know this person IRL.  He obviously reads my blog and has very strong opinions about how my husband and I have decided to take care of our pregnancy.  I have spoken to him in person a handful of times in my life and it was not about infertility or what Steve and I have gone through. 

Glad to hear everything is ok. Sounds like you were dehydrated. Granted, Gynaecology is merely a HOBBY of mine, you might want to consider cancelling your upcoming 4D ultrasound. In 2004, the FDA cautioned women to avoid "entertainment ultrasounds." In 2006 the National Academy of Sciences declared that ultrasounds should ONLY be used during pregnancy for necessary medical purposes (such as your unfortunate event on Thursday, counting limbs, determining fetal position, etc.). I feel obligated as a human to inform you that the American Medical Association ALSO OPPOSES routine ultrasound screening. Albeit their studies have only confirmed major brain & tissue damage in infant & fetal mice, one could imagine the damage it could do to a 3-4 lb. fetus's developing brain. I only wish to inform you, because (a) your upcoming 4D ultrasound appears to be your 6th or 7th ultrasound in 28 weeks, and (b) none of these bloggers who (presumably) read baby books have commented on this. I would suggest getting a new doctor -- or at least getting another doctor's opinion on getting a 4D ultrasound, at this stage in your pregnancy. Someone should ALSO remind you --- that THIS baby is coming, regardless of whether or not you get to see pictures of it in the womb. When your baby is a 5 y.o., these ultrasound pictures will be long forgotten.... But will the effects of the ultrasounds be gone as well?? I would hate to see a couple who has been through "so much," be uninformed or uneducated about such a potentially-hazardous procedure. I am obviously NOT a doctor, nor do I have ANY IDEA what you two have gone through in your pregnancy -- but I am capable of realizing that there is a possibility that NOBODY HAS INFORMED YOU (or the other people reading your blog) of the potential risks with having so many ultrasounds.

I was upset when I read this.  Mainly because of the tone and because of the choice words that were put into quotes.  My secondary hurt came from not wanting to harm my baby or that anyone would think that I would want to harm my baby.  We have been to many doctors while trying to find out why I was having trouble getting pregnant, staying pregnant, or why I had an ectopic pregnancy.  We trust the University of Iowa, the infertility specialists and the team that helped Steve and I to become pregnant.  I trust that they wouldn't suggest unnecessary ultrasounds and I also trust my current doctor immensely.  I can find just as many studies online that state that ultrasounds are safe but  after reading this comment Steve and I have decided to ask our doctor at my next appointment if we need another ultrasound or if we should go without. I don't have time to research every procedure my doctors recommend and I don't pretend to know the right thing to do in every situation- which is why I appreciate and welcome other people's opinions, but I would appreciate them being put more tactfully.

I started writing to get things out, to show the journey that Steve and are going through, and to share our experiences with other people.  I will be honest, comments like this make me want to stop writing my blog. But then I think about the friendships I have made and the support we have received and I don't want to give those things up.

Friday, July 15, 2011

what a day.

We made our first nerve wracking trip to labor & delivery today, thankfully everything is ok.

Where to begin....  I'll start with saying baby girl hasn't been her normal, active self since Wednesday morning.  It made me nervous, but she was still kicking every once in awhile so I was trying to stay calm.  

Last night, Steve and I went for our usual walk with the dog and a little over half way home I started feeling bh contractions and cramps and I felt very nauseous and out of breath.  I had to sit down.  Steve ran the rest of the way home, got the car and came back to get me.

I drank some water, laid on my left side and I was having more bh contractions.  After about an hour I felt a little better but I was still nauseous so I went to bed.

This morning I woke up feeling sick and the baby still wasn't active like she has normally been in the morning.  I called my Dr's office and of course, she was in surgery.  The nurse said she would get back to me when the Dr came in.  So I waited and waited and finally got a call back 3 hours later.  The nurse told me to go to labor and delivery and have them monitor the baby.

So to the hospital we went.  I don't think I've ever been so nervous in my life.  We were put in a room and a nurse came in to hook me up to the fetal monitor.  Then came the longest 10 minutes of my life, she couldn't find the baby's heart beat. I was starting to feel panicked and I could see the worry on Steve's face.  Thankfully, another nurse came in and found her little heart beat pretty quickly. 

So after being monitored for an hour the nurse said everything looked good (her heart beat was between 140-150 and I had three contractions) of course, about 30 minutes into the test she was moving around like crazy, more than I have felt in days.  The nurse said that they wanted to do an ultrasound to be 100% sure she was doing ok.

The ultrasound looked great, she is measuring at 27 weeks, 2 lbs 5 oz., we got to see her wave her hand and her little mouth was opening and closing- I was so excited and relieved to see her!

The nurse told me to take it easy this weekend, rest a lot, and up my fluids.  She said with the weather this hot I could be getting a little dehydrated. If my contractions get stronger and more regular I am supposed to go back to the hospital.

I can't even express how thankful I am that she is ok.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Twenty-six Weeks

How far along: 26 weeks- I feel like the first 20 weeks flew by and now time is creeeeeping so slowly.  I know it's because I just can't wait to meet our little one!   14 weeks to go!

Size of baby:  She now weighs about a pound and two-thirds and measures 14 inches (the size of an English hothouse cucumber- not sure what that is?) from head to heel. The network of nerves in her ears is better developed and more sensitive than before.  She's inhaling and exhaling small amounts of amniotic fluid, which is essential for the development of her lungs. These so-called breathing movements are also good practice for when she's born and takes that first gulp of air.

Sleep: Sleep has still been pretty good but there are times I wake up on my back and that is not a pleasant experience.  I'm getting more and more tired in the afternoons, so much for the "energetic" second trimester.

Best moment of the week:  Let's see...my sister seeing the nursery (and loving it as much as I do), watching my stomach jump when the baby kicks (yes, I sit and stare at my stomach at night, call me crazy), and meeting my new niece Elena!

Symptoms: Check out yesterday's post for my symptoms...

Food cravings/aversions: Obviously, after looking at the scale yesterday, I have had one too many food cravings... right now anything crunchy sounds really good to me.

Gender: Girl ♥

Belly button in or out: Still in but flat, I'm taking this question off- I'll be sure to let you know if it ever pops.

Stretch marks: Nothing new- again, I'm taking this one off- I'm sure I will get stretch marks, it's just a matter of when.

What I miss: I don't "miss" anything but I do wish this heartburn would calm down.

What I am looking forward to: Our baby shower at the end of this month (yay!!), making it to the 3rd trimester (double yay!!), and scheduling our 4-D ultrasound (triple yay!!)

Weekly wisdom: All of the great comments from yesterday- thank you girls, your support means so much to me!

Belly pics:



















Wednesday, July 13, 2011

It is what it is...

I'm a bit emotional this week.  There I said it.  And even though I wouldn't trade any of these pregnancy symptoms for anything in the world, I have to get it out.

I'm 95% sure my emotional state has to do with the following...

1.  Heartburn.  After every single thing I eat (even breakfast cereal).  Thank God for tums is all I can say.  I try to think of them as a chalky tasty after meal mint.

2.  Swollen everything.  Feet, ankles, legs, hands- uncomfortably swollen.  I would like to hug the person who invented flip flops.

3.  The scale.  Holy shit.  I have been purposely not getting on the damn thing, but for some reason I thought it would be a good idea last night.  Well, it wasn't.  I have never seen anywhere close to the number that was staring back at me.  Look, I know I'm supposed to gain weight, I'm all for it.  But 25 pounds??? I'm only 25 weeks pregnant- I still have 15 weeks to go.  I now take full responsibility for eating like a cow (the nutty bars weren't such a great idea I guess) and not continuing my nightly walk with the dog.  

4.  Heat.  I tried to go to a baseball game on Sunday and went home a whopping 20 minutes later.  I become a scarlet faced, heavy breathing mess in the heat. Cold air is my best friend these days. And I love when strangers come up to me and say, "You planned your pregnancy for the wrong time of year!"  Really?? Because the time of year was my main priority when going through IVF.

5.  Fear. I still get scared.  Scared something might happen to her, scared she'll come too early, just scared in general.  But I keep trying to remind myself that I am going to be scared for her even after she comes.  Such is the life of a parent, right?

So after having a good cry last night I went to bed, put my hands on my growing belly and felt my little miracle jumping around....and I felt so much better; swollen feet, heartburn, weight gain and all.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Braxton Hicks...

Ok, so leave it to a first time pregnant person (me) to not know what's going on with my expanding stomach.  I've never been very good at describing what's going on with my body, so when my Dr asked me at our last appointment if I had been having any braxton hicks contractions I naturally said...."I don't know, what do they feel like?"  She told me they feel like a tightening in my abdomen.  That description didn't really help me to grasp what I should be looking for, so I just figured I wasn't having them.

The other night when we were visiting my sister Kelsey, she asked me if I had been having any BH.  I said I wasn't sure and asked her what they felt like.  She said it feels like your stomach gets really really hard and tight.  Hmmm, I think I've felt a hardening?  Then she said it feels like the baby curls up into a tight ball and you can feel it on the surface.  Ok, I've definitely been feeling that!  I just thought it was a cute trick the baby was doing in there and I was pointing it out to Steve every time it happened- "Come feel, the baby's all bunched up in a super hard ball!"  (Thank you to my sister for helping me figure out what BH contractions are!)

So I've been feeling them from time to time over the past few weeks, but last night I had quite a few of them and I'm wondering....should I be counting them? Can you have too many BH contractions?  I counted four in an hour from 8:30-9:30 last night and then I went to bed.  I'm not sure if they were brought on by the extremely hot day or what?  From what I could find in my pregnancy books, dehydration and a full bladder can bring them on and as long as they aren't painful they are normal.  Right around when I have a BH contraction, I have trouble catching my breath or getting a full breath, is this normal?

Anyone have any advice?

Friday, July 8, 2011

Our new niece!

Last night Steve and I went to my sister Kelsey's house and met our newest niece, Elena Rose!

Kelsey's fourth little girl was born on July 5th and couldn't be more perfect!



















All of my beautiful nieces















Congratulations to my sister and her family on another wonderful addition to their family!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

25 weeks!

How far along: 25 weeks- amazing. 

Size of baby: Head to heels, baby girl now measures about 13 1/2 inches. Her weight, a pound and a half, isn't much more than an average rutabaga, but she's beginning to exchange her long, lean look for some baby fat. As she does, her wrinkled skin will begin to smooth out and she'll start to look more and more like a newborn. She's also growing more hair - and if you could see it, you'd now be able to discern its color and texture.

Maternity clothes: Yes, I can probably quit answering this question now.

Sleep: Sleep has been pretty good lately (knock on wood), I haven't been getting up in the middle of the night as much so that helps!

Best moment of the week:  Every moment has been pretty great- there are times I can feel parts of her body pushing out of my stomach and that is pretty darn cool ♥

Movement: yes, and I'm still loving it!

Symptoms: Swollen feet and ankles.

Food cravings/aversions: Nutty bars....delicious

Gender: Girl ♥

Belly button in or out: My belly button is pretty flat, I wonder if it will pop out one of these days?

Stretch marks: Nothing new

What I miss: Putting on my pants and shoes without struggling, hahaha!

What I am looking forward to: Our baby shower at the end of this month and making it to the 3rd trimester!

Weekly wisdom: From my uncle- "Never pass up the opportunity to go to the bathroom" so true.

Belly picture:

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Long weekend, a lot accomplished!

Here are the highlights:

More work on baby's room-  we decided to switch out the frames for the flower pictures to small white ones, I love how it looks- I'll post pictures later. 

More cleaning- the basement is finally organized and put back together! This took a whole day and part of another day, if that tells you anything. 

Yard work- ugh. It's still not completely done but it's better than it was.

and last but not least....

Spent a relaxing day at the pool yesterday, got a bit burnt, but had a great time!

I hope you are all doing great, I'll be out of town for my Granny's funeral for a couple of days but I'll try to keep up with your blogs.