Monday, April 25, 2011

Family is Nature's Greatest Masterpiece

Family is what it’s all about.  It really doesn’t get any better than surrounding yourself with your family.  At least for me, that’s the case.  My hub and I are blessed with the most incredible family – both his and mine.  And the past two weekends involved us being blanketed with love and fun from almost all of our favorite family members.  (To those of you who we weren’t able to see, we miss and love you!!)

As I stated in my last very brief, very disappointing post, we spent last weekend celebrating one of our nephew’s first birthdays.  We are fortunate enough that both my sister and hub’s sister BOTH live in Atlanta, which means when we travel to the chaotic, traffic-filled city, we are showered with slobbery kisses from BOTH nephews – the two coolest toddlers on the planet.  The big birthday celebration meant that hub’s parents were also in town, and though the time was short and jam-packed, it was so awesome spending time with them.

With this past Sunday being Easter, we ventured back down south to good ol’ Seneca for a weekend with my family.  Even some of our favorite northern relatives were in town!  (Though we desperately missed those who weren’t!)  I think we exceeded the legal capacity of my grandma’s condo, but who cares – we had a blast.  During both weekends, some of my favorite moments were simple, happening when everyone was sitting around the couches (or in grandma’s condo’s case, floors/doorways/kitchen tables/fireplaces/corners of the room/etc.).  Just talking, and laughing, and making fun of each other – the simple joys are what life is all about.

These two weekends really had me thinking emotionally about the family my hub and I are creating.  It blows my mind to really wrap my brain around the fact that we are creating a new generation.  That one day, we’ll be old, and a little more grey and wrinkly, with a houseful of grandchildren and cousins and loud laughter and the best kind of noise there is – family noise.  The kind of noise that makes a house feel warm, and full, and bright.  The kind of noise that, when it’s gone, leaves a house feeling as if it’s missing something.  The kind of noise that makes you feel so blessed to be part of the greatest masterpiece of nature – family.

So to all of my family members who read this, thank you for being the most selfless, supportive, incredible, unconditionally loving people I will ever know.  I am so lucky to be your daughter, daughter-in-law, sister, sister-in-law, cousin, niece, granddaughter… I’m just so lucky to walk through this life with you by my side. J

As for our family of soon-to-be-three, we’re doing just great.  Our little one is now the size of a navel orange, or a softball for you men who avoid the produce section.  My tummy continues to protrude, and got quite burnt this weekend during a brief pool visit.  (Note to self – buy 100+ sunscreen for the stretching belly skin!)  I also attempted to play a little tennis this weekend, realizing very quickly that my upper body doesn’t quite like to twist anymore.  Oops.

Pregnancy brain is starting to find its place in my life.  I realized this on Saturday when after about ten minutes of searching, I found my car keys in the freezer.  The funniest part about it was that my grandma was in the kitchen when I found them there, and she said, “Oh!  There they are!” So nonchalantly.  Like, “Of course they’re in the freezer!  I do that all the time!”  Oh, how I love my Gram.

My skin is still having it’s own little fiesta, and my hips feel like they’re going to break.  (Thank goodness for the pregnancy pillow my sister-in-law let me borrow!)  Other than the general everything-is-starting-to-spread-out and wow-my-cheeks-look-chubby-in-that-picture, I’m still just trucking along through the beginnings of the second trimester.  The nausea seems to almost be gone for good, except for when I take long car rides, or try to read in the car, or let my stomach get empty, or get too tired.  All controllable circumstances for the most part!  Our next appointment is this Friday, and we can’t wait to hear the beautiful sound of our baby’s strong heartbeat…  I can’t think of a better way to ring in the big 2-8. J
Hello 15 Week Baby Bump!  (I swear I'm not poking it out!)
It doesn't look quite as big covered up, huh?!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Too Busy!!!

As I referenced in my last post, life has picked up its pace and I feel like a chicken with my head cut off.  For this reason, I have no fun Week 14 post.  Other than a Top 5 list of why I’ve been so darn busy!

1.    We had a busy, fun-filled weekend in Atlanta with the two coolest toddlers in the world!
2.    The aforementioned fun-filled weekend involved celebrating one of our nephew’s birthdays!!

3.    This semester of grad school is coming to a close and therefore kicking my butt.
4.    My job is also now officially kicking my butt.
5.    Pregnancy is still sort of kicking my butt… But I’m finally starting to kick back.
14 Weeks!!
14 Week Bump (under one of many new maternity shirts!)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

We're 1/3 of the Way There!

As I type this, I’m technically at the END of Week 13, which means…


         I’m so glad you’re here.

When I tell people I’m in my 2nd trimester now, they’re like, “Oh wow!  Didn’t that go by so fast?!”  Um, no people.  It’s been the longest few months of my entire life.  Don’t you remember?  I was miserably sick.  And tired.  And expanding.  And MISERABLY SICK.  So no, it didn’t go by so fast.  The 1st trimester was full of the slowest days I have ever experienced in my entire life.  And I am thrilled to bid it adieu.

So get the HECK out of here, and let the 2nd tri wonderfulness commence.

You see, that’s what I keep hearing… that the 2nd trimester is the absolute best.  You feel great, start to pop out a little baby bump (that looks less like a muffin top), and get that glow (that is not the result of nausea sweats).  I’m hoping this all happens soon!!  As I wrote previously, I have wanted to be pregnant my entire life.  The desire has been amped up since about September.  So when our dream came true, I was so excited to embrace and enjoy pregnancy in all its glory.

         Ha. Ha. Ha.

So now, I’m ready to truly embrace and enjoy being pregnant.  And I’m not going to sugarcoat it and say I’ve loved it so far – because truth is, it’s been the toughest few months of my entire life.  Physically, emotionally, and mentally.  I believe it all happens this way to prepare you for the extraordinary rollercoaster of motherhood, I’m just ready to enjoy it a little more – That’s all.

We had our monthly OB checkup last week, which was great.  There were a few more LBS on the scale than I anticipated, but I refuse to stress over weight gain so I’ve brushed it off and chalked it up to the water I chugged before the appointment.  We got to hear our precious baby’s heartbeat.  I got my awesome hub to record it, and just like the ultrasound dvd, I refuse to admit how many times I’ve listened to it or the attempts I’ve made to make it my ringtone.

I’m not sure how long this link will work, but you can check it out here!!

I also bought a few items to add to my maternity clothes wardrobe, realizing that all of the spring/summer clothes I recently pulled out of storage won’t be fitting for too much longer.  We scheduled our next appointment – April 29th!  Kate and William’s wedding!  (And my birthday!)  And we also scheduled our anatomy scan for May 19th.  Now, we still don’t plan on finding out what our little booger is, but I have to admit that having the date set for when we COULD find out makes it a little more tempting to change my mind.  But, my hub would kill me and has already told me not to even think about pulling any sort of reverse psychology to try to change our Team Green plans.

I’ve been feeling about the same – still not 100%, but much, much better than weeks past.  My craving for the Ruby Tuesday’s salad bar was quickly replaced with that for grilled hotdogs, so I’ve had 4 in a matter of 36 hours.  And they were AMAZING.  I probably would have eaten more, but I realized my hub needed to eat, too.

So yay for the 2nd trimester.  I am now anxiously awaiting those first kicks that I should feel in the next few weeks.  I swear I MAY have felt something last week.  I know, I know – it’s still WAY too early.  But I know which way the baby is facing right now, and I swear it felt like little tiny kicks.  But it was probably just gas.  At least, that’s what they tell me. J
13 Week Muffin Top Baby Bump!
13 Week Baby Bump Clothed

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Coolest Day

Friday was one of the coolest days of my life to date.  I’m sure a future of pregnancy and motherhood promises to bring many more – But for now, Friday almost tops it all.

We got to see our baby again.  But this time, it actually looked like a baby and not a fish.

We had our NT Scan on Friday, which is part one of a three-part screening that assesses the level of risk of chromosomal and/or genetic issues (Down Syndrome, etc.).  During the NT Scan, the ultrasound tech measures the fluid at the back of the baby’s neck, then combines those results with blood they drew Friday and more blood they will draw in about a month.  Anywho, we won’t have any results back for awhile.  But the good news is – There’s definitely a baby in there!

The ultrasound tech squirted the jelly on my stomach, started the machine, and there he/she was… And the tech’s first words were, “Wow, now that’s a big baby!”  Mind you, my husband was over ten pounds when he was born, so the fact that our little squirt was measuring a week big did not surprise me in the slightest bit.

After telling us how big he/she is the tech went on to say over and over again how active the baby is!  It took her awhile to get the measurements she needed, because OUR BABY (it feels so good typing that) kept kicking his/her little legs, flipping over, putting his/her hands up by his/her mouth… It was so incredible to see.  I cannot believe how much things have changed since our first ultrasound a month ago.

Also, I loved that it took her awhile, because I could have stared at that screen all afternoon.

And another also – it’s going to get annoying typing his/her for the next twenty-eight weeks, but it’s a small price to pay for a delivery room surprise.

So we got a few more pics of our little one…
A little blurry - But there's our sweet baby!!  From his/her head down to his/her little legs sticking straight out!

And, as I typed in a previous post, our doctor’s office is awesome and updates a dvd every time you have an ultrasound.  I’m tempted to walk up to random people on the street, flip open my laptop, and show them the ultrasound dvd, like “Look!!  That’s our baby!!”

         I think my hub and I have both been on Cloud 9 since Friday.  It sure is nice up here.

Along with an awesome day at the doctor’s office, I then headed to Charleston for the Cooper River Bridge Run.  A few years ago, my family decided to make this a tradition, and I had been looking forward to it for weeks.  Unfortunately, my hub couldn’t go because of work, so I trekked down south and east (luckily hitching a ride with my parents for part of the way) and had an AWESOME weekend.  I have an incredible family.  And the weekend went by way too quickly.  Baby Peele rocked his/her first Bridge Run walk, and all I kept thinking about was being there next year, pushing a stroller.

I continue to feel better, though I’ve noticed that when I’m overly tired, I revert back to the nausea-headaches-queasy-I’m-gonna-toss-my-cookies nonsense.  So after a long drive, a busy weekend, and sleepless nights, I’m struggling today.  But the weekend was totally worth it.

Also, I still don’t really have any specific cravings.  My food desires are more like, “Okay, I have to have this right now.”  (insert cheeseburger Happy Meal I walked out of McDonalds with after I only went into to relieve my ever-full bladder.)  But it’s not like there’s any food item I want over and over again.  Well, other than having to have the Ruby Tuesday’s salad bar on Friday and then again today when I got back into town.  I guess we’ll see if that sticks. 

Our next appointment is actually tomorrow (yippee!) for our monthly OB checkup.  I think they just weigh me (oh joy) and listen for the heartbeat.  We won’t get to see our little stinker again until the anatomy scan somewhere around twenty weeks (an ETERNITY away), so thank goodness for the dvd.

The second trimester continues to get closer and closer… I’m not necessarily looking forward to the next two months of my job, for they are the busiest and most stressful; however, there are certain parts of pregnancy you want to put on fast forward, just to get to more solid ground, so I’m hopeful that the busy weeks ahead will help me focus on something other than the little life growing inside of me.

I am so thankful always – but especially today.  For the incredible love and support of the man of my dreams, for the miracle that my hub and I are experiencing firsthand, for a family who makes me feel so special every time we are together, and for the answered and unanswered prayers from God.  He has a Plan… and while it may not always be clear, and while it may take awhile to unveil itself, the Plan is always there, waiting on us – waiting on us to realize just how the steps of our past promised to lead us to the brightness of our future.  We just have to Trust…

12 Week Baby Bump
12 Week Bump (under one of my new maternity shirts!)