Monday, August 31, 2009

Pink Cake

To say that I was shocked when we cut the cake on Saturday and saw pink is a huge understatement. I was beyond surprised, I was stunned. I had convinced myself that we were having another boy. I dreamed (several times) that the cake was blue. Aside from some morning sickness in the beginning of this pregnancy, I feel the same as I did when I was pregnant with Will. I am carrying the same, I look the same and I generally feel pretty freaking awesome. So, I totally had no doubt in my mind that I had another boy running around in there. It is taking me quite some time to recover from being wrong. I still find myself mumbling things like, "Wow, pink cake!" or "IT IS A GIRL." I figure if I say it enough, it will eventually sink in.

I should say, however, I am completely and utterly thrilled that I was wrong. I wanted this baby to be a girl so bad, I couldn't stand it. I wanted it to be a girl so badly, that I honestly believe that is the main reason I convinced myself it was a boy. Because then when we cut the cake and it was blue, I could just say "I knew it!" and move on. I wouldn't have to be disappointed that I wasn't having a girl, because I knew it was a boy all along, right? (The mind games we play with ourselves can get a bit complicated.) Don't get me wrong, I would LOVE to have another boy too. When I was pregnant with Will and found it he was a boy, I immediately thought that I would want a girl next, but when he came along, he was so perfect and sweet, I started thinking "Another boy actually wouldn't be so bad." Rob and I really only planned for two kids though, and we wanted to have one of each. We eventually wanted a girl, and had decided if this baby was another boy, maybe we would try again in another few years for our girl and just have three kids instead of two. I just thought there was no way possible it could work out that perfectly. No one wants a boy first and a girl next and actually gets it, right? I didn't believe it would happen for us. I didn't think that we would be that blessed. But we are, and WOW, I can't even begin to tell you how over-the-moon-happy I am. I kept waking up Saturday night thinking that the cake had all been a dream. And you know what, it really is a dream. A very, very good one.


Saturday, August 29, 2009

Drumroll Please

Finding out the sex of your unborn baby is a monumental event. You speculate because you're carrying low, or your hips have started to expand, or you're craving Milky Ways, but you never really know until the tech scans those parts with her magic wand and says, "So, do you want to know the sex of your baby?" Rob almost fainted during my last pregnancy when the tech uttered the words, "It's a boy!" If my mom hadn't been standing beside him to prop him up, he'd be a goner.

As soon as we found out we were expecting again, we knew we would want to find out the sex of the baby as soon as possible. This desire to know is centered around my obsessive need to plan things and my lack of patience. (Note: I do have some good qualities mixed in there amongst all the stinkers.)

This time, however, we wanted to do something a bit different. We wanted for family to be able to share in the excitement of us finding out this life changing news. We wanted to see their faces upon hearing the sex of the baby. We wanted for them to be there to scream with us, hug and congratulate us.

And since they don't allow 18 people in the ultrasound room, this is what we came up with. Planning this has been so much fun, and I have literally been about to bust waiting for this day to arrive. My family had no idea until....

The Big Reveal

Happy weekend,

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Nineteen Weeks

I've reached week 19, which is almost to the halfway point. Happy dance and celebration all around. I had forgotten from my last pregnancy that once you start feeling the baby move, the kicks and bumps and nudges get stronger and stronger. I'll just be sitting here minding my own business, and BAM a strong kick to the stomach will just about send me soaring out of my chair. There's no way to describe the feeling to someone who hasn't experienced it before. It just honestly feels as though there is a person in your stomach that knocks every now and then. I like to think that it's a signal for "Hey, could I get some more food in here?"

When I saw the picture of what the baby might look like on the inside this week, I realized why I'm able to feel him/her all of a sudden. Is it me or did the poor thing go from looking completely comfy in there to a circus contortionist in the matter of one week? I mean, his calf is laying across his forehead. Just looking at this picture makes me a bit sore.

Also, the folks say that we've got ourselves an heirloom tomato this week. Again, it seems like a big jump from last week. I wonder what they are going to do towards the end of the pregnancy when they run out of fruits and vegetables to compare in size? I imagine the emails sounding something like, "Look, you've got a whole kid running around in your body. There is no fruit as big as the creature that is going to be pushing it's way out of your vagina pretty soon." I'd like to imagine that's what they will say anyway. I like straight talk when it comes to stuff like this.

And here is the email from the gurus for week 19. Pretty amazing stuff can take place in a woman's body. I'll have to take it out for a margarita after this pregnancy stuff is over to thank it for all it's work.

How Your Baby is Growing:
Your baby's sensory development is exploding! Her brain is designating specialized areas for smell, taste, hearing, vision, and touch. Some research suggests that she may be able to hear your voice now, so don't be shy about reading aloud, talking to her, or singing a happy tune if the mood strikes you.

Your baby weighs about 8 1/2 ounces and measures 6 inches, head to bottom — about the size of a large heirloom tomato. Her arms and legs are in the right proportions to each other and the rest of her body now. Her kidneys continue to make urine and the hair on her scalp is sprouting. A waxy protective coating called the vernix caseosa is forming on her skin to prevent it from pickling in the amniotic fluid.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Eighteen Weeks

Today marks 18 weeks, but I feel as though I've been thrown back into the first trimester, because I'm suddenly completely and totally exhausted again. It's a real struggle to hold my eyes open these days. I generally doze off on the drive to pick up Will in the afternoons, so it's a good thing that I'm not the one behind the wheel or we'd be in real trouble.

Other than needing to tape my eyelids open, everything is going swimmingly. I have been feeling some definite movement from the kiddo which is pretty exciting. With Will, I didn't feel anything until around 21 weeks, so it's true (at least in my case) that second timers are able to detect movement a bit earlier.

We've got a bell pepper this week and the email is pretty non gender specific. They just love messing with me. Only a couple more weeks until we are able to find out for sure and put all the speculation to rest.

How Your Baby is Growing:
At 18 weeks pregnant, your baby is hitting the height chart at five and a half inches long (remember, that's crown to rump) which is about the length of a bell pepper, and weighs about five ounces (the weight of that boneless chicken breast you're making for dinner).

And now for the skill of the week (drum roll please…): The art of the yawn has been mastered by your baby (someone's sleepy!). In fact, you might catch a glimpse of that adorable yawn if you're getting an ultrasound this month. You'll also catch a glimpse of all the fetal movement your baby's doing — twists, rolls, kicks, and punches. And would you believe your baby is finally big enough for you to start feeling those movements now (or anytime in the next few weeks). So get ready!

Something you won't see on the ultrasound, but you'll know is in working order, is your baby's nervous system, which is maturing rapidly at this time. Nerves, now covered with a substance called myelin (which speeds messages from nerve cell to nerve cell), are forming more complex connections. And those in the brain are further specializing into the ones that serve the senses of touch, taste, smell, sight, and hearing. Talking about hearing, your baby's is growing more acute, making your little one more conscious of sounds that come from inside your body (which means you could both be listening to each other hiccup — a skill that your baby has by now).

Night night,

Monday, August 17, 2009

Change of Plans

Rob and I went to my 16 week check-up a couple of weeks back. If you will recall, at my 12 week visit (sans Rob), I talked to my OB about having a VBAC and he was on board with the idea. He said all the things I wanted to hear like, "I have done tons of successful VBACs," and "As long as you know the risks, I'm behind you 100%." I had been reading that a lot of women get resistance from their OBs when requesting a VBAC, and some just simply won't do them at all, so I was pleased that my doctor seemed to be behind me in my choice, and I felt pretty good about everything leaving his office.

When Rob and I went to my 16 week check-up, something seemed to have shifted in my doctor's attitude. We presented our birth plan to him, and while he said that he was in agreeance with pretty much everything on there, he didn't seem to be as "on board" with the VBAC as he claimed to be the month previous. He started using some pretty scary language, focusing on uterine rupture and how I and the baby could die during a VBAC. Let me say this, I completely understand and appreciate a physician's need to warn you of the potential risks you may be facing when making these kinds of decisions, however, I don't feel that they need to exaggerate the truth to do so. He told us that one in every 50 women who have VBACs experience a uterine rupture, when the studies and evidence just don't support that at all. He also told Rob, "As soon as she begins her labor, you'll need to get her to the hospital right away. If you are laboring at home and her uterus ruptures, you're going to have a dead wife and a dead baby on your hands." WHOA THERE, DOC! What happened to, "I've done tons of these and it's no problem at all"? Of course, hearing all of this was scary and disheartening. I have been reading A LOT of information about childbirth, c-sections and VBACs since this pregnancy began, and I've learned that VBACs aren't nearly as scary and risky as a lot of doctors would like to make you believe. Actually, there is even more risk to the baby if a repeat c-section is performed. So, I left there feeling uncomfortable and uneasy about the situation. Did I really want someone by my side during this labor who didn't really have that much confidence in the process? Did I want a doctor who I felt was trying to scare me into throwing my hands up and say, "Forget it, I'll have another c-section."? Did I want to show up to the hospital in fear that when it came down to it, my OB wasn't really as supportive as he claimed? Well, in one word, NO. That is not what I want or need in what will most likely to be one of the most vulnerable times in my life. I need someone who is going to be behind me 110%, and I just wasn't feeling it from him.

So today after a lot of thought and soul searching, we met with a new practice. This practice is made up of nurse midwives who are very supportive of the natural birthing process and VBACs. They have a high success rate with VBACs, and seem to be much more in line with what we want out of this labor and delivery. They didn't scare us at all, just talked to us frankly and honestly about their philosophies and practices. The midwife we met with expressed that they would not want us to show up at the hospital right away like my OB had requested, and suggested that we labor at home until I am in active labor. We were pleased to hear this, because we feel that showing up at the hospital too early was one of the things that lead to all of the unnecessary interventions I had in my last labor. Another thing that really attracted us to them is the constant support they provide during the labor process. Once I arrive at the hospital, they will be there, coaching and helping me through each and every contraction if that is what I want/need. My OB, on the other hand, would only be available to come in a few times during the course of my labor, and when I am ready to push. Since I want a natural birth this time, I really feel as though I am going to need a bit more support than that, so we officially decided to go with the midwife practice to deliver this child. I feel good about it. I feel comfortable, and as though I can have complete trust in them to do what is best for me and my baby, while still keeping in mind my wishes for a natural birth. It is going to be tough telling my OB that I've decided to go to someone else, but I have to make the best decision for me and my baby. This is it. I'm sure of that now.

Happy Monday,

Friday, August 14, 2009

Bump it Up

There is an in between stage in pregnancy that makes most moms-to-be beg for their looming baby bump to pop out. It's a time in which when people can't exactly tell if you're pregnant, or if you've just been eating too many cheeseburgers lately. I have been in this stage for what seems like about 6 weeks now. My belly is starting to show, but not enough for folks to be sure that there is a baby in there. I think at this point it's more likely that people look at me and think, "Whoa, she must not be going to the gym anymore." I keep waiting to wake up one day, look down and it be obvious that I'm sharing my space with another human. Until then, I'll just have to settle for this almost baby belly. Remind me of this post in about 4 months when the little sucker has his elbow sticking in my ribs, and you can see his hand trying to claw out of my belly.

17 week baby bump

Happy Friday,

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Seventeen Weeks

It's been a long week since my last baby development update. I have been getting terrible headaches again, which seemed to have faded during the first trimester of my pregnancy. They are back now and boy, are they mad. My OB called in a medication for me that basically knocked me unconscious to the point where I don't remember anything for about 11 hours. I slept harder than I've ever slept before and woke up wondering, how did I get here and who put my nightgown on me? I'm going to call his office back and ask for something a little less mind erasing. Since I generally like to know what the heck is going on and all.

But enough about me. The baby is the size of a turnip this week.

I read "she" could span the size of my open hand. Pretty crazy, huh? Still really small, but bulking up all the time. Here's what the pregnancy folks had to say about "her" this week.

How Your Baby is Growing:
Your baby's skeleton is changing from soft cartilage to bone, and the umbilical cord — her lifeline to the placenta — is growing stronger and thicker. Your baby weighs 5 ounces now (about as much as a turnip), and she's around 5 inches long from head to bottom. She can move her joints, and her sweat glands are starting to develop.

And just because I think the gurus were a little lacking in the info department this week, here is another email from a different site with some more details.

How big is your baby at 17 weeks pregnant? About five inches long and more than three and a half ounces — the size of your open hand. (Open the other one too and imagine your baby cradled in both your arms right after delivery!) Body fat (baby's, that is) is beginning to form and will continue to accumulate through the end of your pregnancy. By the time your baby is born, body fat will make up about two-thirds of his or her weight (and will make all those chubby parts especially yummy).

Your baby is almost certainly listening up by now. In fact, loud noises — the dog barking, the doorbell ringing — will actually startle your baby (and also get him or her used to such noises; for instance, fetuses who regularly hear a dog barking will become babies who sleep right through Fido's outbursts). Your baby's eyes (which have fortunately finished their migration to the front of his or her head) are making small side-to-side movements and can even perceive some light, though the eyelids are still sealed. And since practice makes perfect, your baby is sharpening his or her sucking and swallowing skills in preparation for that first (and second…and third) suckle at your breast or bottle. In fact, most of the survival reflexes that your baby will have at birth are being perfected in utero right now.

And here's some proof that your baby is truly one of a kind (as if you needed any!). Within the next week or so, the pads on your baby's fingertips and toes will become adorned with completely individual swirls and creases (aka fingerprints).

Till next time,

Thursday, August 6, 2009

My Little Bruiser

When we arrived to pick Will up at school yesterday, we noticed right away that he had several scratches on his face. It appeared as though maybe he and a cat had a little run in, but they don't have pets at daycare, so I ruled that out pretty quickly. We asked his teacher, and she said that she didn't see what happened, but assumed he had scratched himself. Okay, since I'm a mom, I realize that strange and bizarre things can happen when toddlers are involved. Kids stick marbles up their noses and cut all their hair off with scissors when you aren't looking. But knowing all of this, I just couldn't picture Will accidentally or purposely scratching his face several times. I maybe would go with that story if it was one scratch, because that he could have done accidentally, but to have several scratches spread out on different places of that sweet little face just didn't quite jive.

So, when we got in the car, I decided to go straight to the source and question him about it. The conversation went like this.

Me: Will, what happened to your face, buddy?
Him: I got a boo boo.
Me: How did you get all of those scratches on your face? Did someone at school scratch you?
Him: (nods head) Zachary scratched me.
Me: I see. Did you do something to Zachary?
Him: I hit him.
Me: Did Zachary scratch you first or did you hit him first?
Him: He scratched me and I hit him. I got in a fight!

Uh, wow. Not only is my child already scrapping with kids in his class at age
2 & 1/2, but he knows the terminology, "I got in a fight"?? How long was I at work exactly?


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Sixteen Weeks

I've hit the four month mark. Whoa nelly! I know I say it every single week, but it's pretty crazy how quickly this pregnancy is flying by. I certainly don't feel 4 months pregnant, and it seems completely bonkers to think that I have only 5 & 1/2 months to go until we will be a family of four. I could swear it was just yesterday that I handed Will my positive pregnancy stick (with firm instructions NOT to remove the protector cap) and whispered to him, "Go take this to Daddy." Now, look how far we've come. We've got ourselves an avocado this week, which makes me very happy and kind of hungry for guacamole at the same time.

And here is the email from those suckers trying to confuse me about the gender. They've flopped back to calling the baby a "he" this week, which I hate to tell all of you out there hoping for a girl, is what I've been dreaming that I'm having. I don't know why, but something inside me has all of a sudden convinced myself that this is another boy. Every time I dream about the baby, it's a boy. I guess we'll find out come September!

How Your Baby is Growing:

Get ready for a growth spurt. In the next few weeks, your baby will double his weight and add inches to his length. Right now, he's about the size of an avocado: 4 1/2 inches long (head to rump) and 3 1/2 ounces. His legs are much more developed, his head is more erect than it has been, and his eyes have moved closer to the front of his head. His ears are close to their final position, too. The patterning of his scalp has begun, though his locks aren't recognizable yet. He's even started growing toenails. And there's a lot happening inside as well. For example, his heart is now pumping about 25 quarts of blood each day, and this amount will continue to increase as your baby continues to develop.

Happy 1st week of August,