Monday, May 30, 2011

Halfway There!!

First and foremost, YAY for being halfway through!!!  I cannot believe we’re at the halfway mark.  It’s all sort of gone by ridiculously fast and painstakingly slow.  When I’m in the moment, milestones that lie ahead seem soooo far away, yet when I look back at all we’ve accomplished – me and my little bug – it all seems to have gone by in the blink of an eye.

Our 20 week appointment this week was great.  Same ol’, same ol’.  Weight…Check.  (Yikes, by the way.)  Blood pressure…Check.  Pee in a cup…Check.  Listen to the perfect sound of our little one’s heartbeat…Check.  Pull out my sheet of questions…Check.  Reschedule in four weeks…Check and OH that-seems-too-far-away-are-you-SURE-you-don’t-need-me-to-come-back-sooner?!

At this appointment we also turned in our registration cards for the Lamaze, breastfeeding, and infant CPR classes.  How exciting!  I remember at our 8 week appointment they told us we’d register for those classes around 20 weeks, and I thought that seemed eons away – but, here we are!  Like I said, it’s simultaneously a snail’s pace and a racecar’s pace.

Now, back to the first part of every doctor’s appointment – the weight check.  Dun dun dun.  I feel like at every appointment Ryan Seacrest should be standing by the scale… “Dim the lights… it’s time for the results.”  Any woman who has ever been pregnant knows exactly what I’m talking about.

You see, back when I was not pregnant, I would look at every curvy pregnant body with envy, and gasp when pregnant women complained about how they looked or the weight they gained.  How could they complain?!  They were all so beautiful!  And duh, don’t you know you’re supposed to put on lbs when you’re growing a human being?!

And now, I’m one of them – and I totally get it.  At first, I would be anxious in a non-negative way to see what the scale said at each appointment.  At the last appointment, I had only gained one pound, and I was sure something was wrong.  How could I have gained one lonely pound when my stomach was poking out and my underwear didn’t fit anymore?!  But no worries, mama Jess – you’d make up for it soon enough.

At this last appointment, I was shocked at the number on the scale.  Now I can blame it on the fact that she wouldn’t let me do the whole pee-in-a-cup thing before the weigh in, or that this appointment was at 4:00pm compared to my last 8:00am appointment – but the truth is, it was the highest number I have ever seen on a scale that I was standing on.  (As I exclaimed during the Biggest Loser finale, “I weigh more than some of those contestants!”)

Now, I’m not naive – I do realize that being pregnant = weighing more than I ever have in my life.  But boy does it play a mental toll on you.  I’ve been exercising as much as physically possible during this crazy time of work/grad school and eating only when I’m hungry.  (Now, I probably could eat a little better – but I think half of the fun of being pregnant is letting yourself indulge in eating what you want, when you want it!)

But I’d be lying if I said that this week’s weigh-in didn’t rock my world a little bit.  I may have even shed a pitiful tear once I drove away from the doctor’s office (and was away from my hub).  I know, it’s ridiculous.  But, it’s the truth.

And now, I’m forcing myself to get to a MUCH better mental state about it all.  I am back to my tentative plan of wearing a bikini this summer to rock this baby bump.  And I definitely trust myself enough to know that post-pregnancy I will get back to a healthy weight.  While it may take quite a few months, and while I’ll never have the same body again, I realize that this is all a teeny tiny price to pay for the joy of creating a life.

Oh, on the non-weight front – I SAW my belly move from the outside yesterday while our bug was apparently having a dance party, AND my hub got to feel the little one kick today.  Yeah, in your face, weight gain.

Ok, time to go order a pizza. J  Enjoy the 20-week, halfway-there belly shots!

20 Weeks!!!!!!
20 Weeks from the front!
P.S.  This was 7 Weeks from the front!
20 Weeks - full body shot!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

There IS an end to my belly button!!

If you’ve ever really looked at my belly button – which it’s kind of weird if you have (unless you’re my hub) – it’s like a never-ending cavern.  It’s always been questionably deep.  But lo and behold, there IS an end to the great big hole!  As my stomach gets bigger, the end of my belly button creeps closer and closer into view.  It’s kinda weird, or at least I think so.  My husband is anxiously waiting for the day that it finally pops out.  You see, when my older sister was pregnant, he was, for some reason, so interested in whether her belly button had popped out yet and if she saw it the moment that it did.  It ended up being quite a humorous conversation.  So now that he has his own wife’s pregnant belly to enjoy, I think he’ll probably find it entertaining to watch the flattening out of the belly button.  He’ll probably hold his breath for the POP of the button making its outward appearance… I hope it doesn’t disappoint and

WOAH my little baby just punched me in the stomach!  Holy cow!  That was awesome.  Just before I started typing I was thinking that I was still really enjoying the little flutters I feel every now and then, but hoped to have some more significant movement soon.  Then I started typing and BAM.  I swear if my shirt had been lifted up you would’ve seen it, it felt so strong!!  Love it!!!!!!

Unfortunately I have an anterior placenta (which means the placenta is in front of the baby), so it will still probably be a couple weeks until the movement is continuously strong enough to be seen/felt from the outside.  But hopefully that little punch was a sign of things to come.  Our little bug must know we’re about to go pick up his/her nursery furniture!!!

We’ve been in home improvement mode for the past couple of days.  My awesome husband painted the living room all by himself and it looks PERFECT!  I love love LOVE the color… it’s called Autumn Fog – a grayish-blue.  My hub still isn’t 100% sold on the color, which if you know him at all, this probably won’t surprise you (it takes him awhile to – ah hem – commit.)  And then we went and bought some new living room furniture!  We’ve been looking since January (well, HE’S been looking… again, he likes to think things through J) and finally gave in to a sectional and chaise we’d seen at Rooms To Go.  It’s espresso, which I think is going to look awesome against the new wall color.  Now my sweet, sweet hub is in the process of changing ALL of the outlets to child-safe outlets and rearranging the entire living room in anticipation of our new furniture.  It comes a week from Tuesday and we can’t wait!

If you can’t tell already, the nesting phase has already started knocking on my door.  I long for school to be out so that I can just work on the house!  I want to clean, purge, organized, rearrange, etc.  It’s driving me crazy!

Tomorrow we have our 20-week checkup – It’s crazy to wrap my brain around almost being halfway through!  As much as I cannot WAIT to have our little one here, I want to savor every single day I have left to have our little bug inside of me.

While my recent bump pictures don’t look all that different (I think I started popping pretty early), I have been feeling a lot bigger lately.  It must just be the rearranging of my insides.  Running is getting a lot harder, especially on my back.  But I know I’ll look back at these bump pictures as I get farther along and think that it was tiny!

Ok, off to pick up our furniture – As we get the nursery going, I will take pictures, of course!  I’m praying for a GREAT checkup tomorrow followed by a week that goes by FAST because this is going to be my most stressful week of the year for my job! L  But if I can just focus on this sweet little baby, I’ll be just fine!

P.S.  You’ll be happy to know, I bought some new undergarments this weekend!

19 Weeks!  (By the way, not quite sure how long the bare belly pics will be on display... Just sayin'.)
You can see our new wall color in the background!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Underwear Frustration

Ok, so I understand that many of my male relatives frequent this blog – including dads, fathers-in-law, brothers, brothers-in-law, uncles, etc. – so if you guys would prefer not to read about my undergarment frustration, you can skip on down a couple paragraphs. J 

Anywho, for the rest of you who may find humor in this – my rear end is huge.  No really.  I’m having major underwear frustration.  Now, to be fair to myself, at my last doctor’s appointment I had only gained a pound; however, the fact that every single piece of underwear I own either refuses to stay up or creeps in to give me the ultimate wedgie proves that something has gone on back there.  I like to call this ‘something’ the giant spread.  I am convinced that my hips and backside have definitely taken an east to west journey… not only proven by my lack of undergarments that fit, but also by the ridiculous hip pain that wakes me up about six times a night.  It looks like its time for some big girl panties.  Yeesh!

Ok, male family members – you’re welcome to join the conversation again.  Sorry for the embarrassing quip about undergarments, but this blog always has and always will reveal the pretty and ugly truths of growing a human being!

My hub and I had a GREAT week this week.  I was able to distract myself from the stress of work with quite a few fun events.  First, we found a daycare that we love.  We’re on the waiting list, and won’t really know if we get in until our little one makes his/her debut.  Yes, we have all of our eggs in one basket and yes, we know we probably shouldn’t do that.  But this is the place we want!!  So, we’ll see.

We were also able to head down to see our dear, dear friends who are also expecting.  She is about 8 weeks ahead of me and I was way jealous of her baby bump!!

I was especially jealous of how she looks like she just has a basketball under her shirt!  My sister and sister-in-law both carried this way, so I was convinced that she, too, was having a boy.  Lo and behold, they just found out that I was right!  It’s a boy!!  Since I am carrying in every nook and cranny of my body (along with other Old Wives’ Tales that match up with my pregnancy so far), I’m pretty convinced there’s a little girl in there. J

Anyway, we went to their house and were treated to delicious grilled out steaks.  We miss them so much and look forward to many playdates in just a few short months!

In other HUGE news, we had our Anatomy Scan this week!!  I was a ball of nerves and excitement, and I am thrilled to say that everything looks great.  Our little bug was measuring right on schedule and is currently 9 ounces of pure joy.  We got to see his/her brain, heart, aorta, kidneys, umbilical cord, lips, feet, etc.  It was amazing and went by wayyyy too quickly.  Unless the doctor feels a need to have another ultrasound, that is the last time we’ll see our baby until his/her birthday!

Look at the little opened mouth!  His/her legs were crossed and you can see little toes!

We ventured down to South Carolina this weekend so that hub could play in a golf tournament.  I had some much anticipated quality time with my sister and nephew and some more dear friends.  My incredible sister even spent her Saturday helping me register, and I honestly don’t know that I ever could have done it without her!  She gave great advice, told me what I did/did not need, and was patient while I mulled over high chair versus high chair and jumper versus jumper.  Thanks Lu!!!!! J

As soon as we got home today, hub wanted me to show him everything, which I loved.  His reaction mirrored the way I felt in Babies ‘R Us… there’s going to be a lot of STUFF coming into this house!  It's time to start a house cleanse... Let the nesting phase begin!

I’m still feeling pretty great, with only hints of nausea during long car rides or when I’m tired.  I wish I had more time to exercise these days… it really bothers me that I don’t get to more often.  Between work being so stressful, grad school kidnapping my life outside of work, and still feeling pretty exhausted, I rarely get to walk/jog/run like I want to.  But I guess things will slow down eventually.  The only good result is that on the days that I can exercise, my hip pain is worse, so at least my hips are getting a little break.  My sister-in-law’s maternity pillow is still saving my life (and is only occasionally hijacked by Bailey!).

I’m feeling our little bug more and more – pretty much everyday, some days more than others.  It is absolutely incredible… the best part of my days and what I look forward to every single minute. J

18 Weeks! (My sister informed me that it looks much bigger in person!)
18 Weeks in Pink!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

First of all, to all of the mamas out there – Happy Mother’s Day!!  Many people would probably debate whether or not this is my first Mother’s Day – I’m sort of on the fence.  No, I do not have a child to hold in my arms… yet.  But every single decision I have made since January 31st has revolved around the life growing inside of me.  Doesn’t that sort of make me a mom?  And I already love our little one so, so much… I am this baby’s mom.  Period.

Regardless, my husband has been incredibly wonderful to me today.  He gave me a sweet card and two adorable onesies.

As you can see, he has both sexes covered!

AND we made some groundbreaking progress today on the nursery – we bought a crib and dresser!!!

AND we picked out our bedding!!

AND tonight, we are headed on a movie date – a movie that I got to choose!  (Something Borrowed, here we come!)

AND we have a tour scheduled tomorrow at a 5-star childcare center to try to get on the waiting list!!!

It’s been a wonderful day, and I can’t wait until next year when our son/daughter is here to make me feel even more special on Mother’s Day!

Work has continued to be insane, making me incredibly stressed.  That, on top of grad school, on top of a never-ending To-Do list around the house have me feeling quite overwhelmed.  My hub tries to keep me grounded and sane, though that’s a task in itself.  I’m really trying to take things one day – or more like one hour – at a time.  I am trying to enjoy every second of this pregnancy (now that it’s enjoyable!), and not let it go by too fast.  That’s sort of the Catch 22 about pregnancy, I think… You want to speed through the weeks, thinking the further along you get, the more likely things are to be okay – but then again, you don’t want to miss a single minute.  I want to take in every weird symptom, every joyful kick (more on that in a minute), every questionable ache (hello pelvic pressure!).  So here’s to finding a balance between getting through each day and enjoying each day.

As for feeling kicks – I am definitely feeling plenty of flutters and a strong movement every now and then.  It is so exciting!!!!!  Every morning feels like Christmas – I wake up, so thrilled to see how often I’ll feel our little one.  I revel in the quiet, still moments, as these are the moments when he/she seems to like to give me the most movement.  But every single day is just so exciting as I anticipate a kick or a jab!  I cannot WAIT until the movements are strong enough so that my hub can feel them from the outside!  I want him to experience this, too!

Off we go on our movie date – bless my sweet hub for sitting through a chick flick!!

Under a tank that once wasn't so tight!

Sunday, May 1, 2011


People always say that once you have a child, everything changes.  Your life, your priorities, your perspective – everything.  I’ve quickly learned that even being pregnant, knowing there’s a life growing inside of me, changes everything.  My life has already changed, my priorities, my perspective… and I know that this is only a fraction of the way my life will be turned upside down in October.  And I can’t wait. J

One example of how things have changed is that I really, honest to God, kept forgetting that my birthday was coming up.  I think I come from the most birthdays-are-the-biggest-deal-ever family that exists.  Growing up, birthdays were always a big deal, so I’ve carried that tradition into my adulthood.  However, this year, I was much more excited about our 16 week checkup that happened to fall on my birthday rather than turning the big 2-8.  I could’ve cared less – All I wanted was to hear our sweet one’s heartbeat.  And boy did we get more than that!

I had to spend the day Friday at an all-day meeting, but left a couple hours in for our appointment.  The checkup went great, heartbeat at a strong 160 (the best sound ever!), and I had to get the final bloodwork done for my genetic screening.  As I was getting a needle jabbed into my vein by a nurse who later revealed to me I was only her fifth attempt at drawing blood (the regular phlebotomist was on vacation), my awesome doctor and nurse stuck their head in the room and said, “Hey, grab your husband, and go back into room 45.”  I think they saw the immediate panic dance across my face – What in the world could’ve gone wrong in the last ten minutes?!  So the nurse then said, “It’s your birthday… You should get to see your baby.”  And then I received the best birthday present I’ve ever had in 28 years – A surprise ultrasound.

Look at those little feet and toes!!

This one was done by our actual doctor, who took the time to point out various parts of our beautiful baby, including his/her inch-long foot, four-chamber heart, aorta, diaphragm, etc.  WOW!  I am so in love.  And now we only have to wait two weeks until our Anatomy Scan on the 13th – Even though we won’t be finding out the sex of our baby, I am very anxious about checking in on every little part of our peanut to make sure everything is healthy.

I think I spent the rest of the afternoon in my work meeting staring at the ultrasound pictures with an ear-to-ear grin on my face.  Driving home from the meeting, I was in the best mood, only to find my dear husband in the kitchen baking me my FAVORITE cupcakes for my birthday – Funfetti!!  He also got me an awesome camera that has a quick shutter speed (advice from the mamas I know who are always trying to snap quick pics of their little ones!).  It also takes incredible pictures AND video.  I LOVE IT and can’t wait to have our son/daughter here to take tons of pictures!!!  Have I ever mentioned that I am married to the most extraordinary man?  Yeah, be jealous, it’s okay.

Yes, that is a "2" candle - it's all we could find in the cabinets, and I had to make a wish!

That evening we had my school’s Spring Fling, so we spent the night running the dunking booth.  We continued the birthday festivities on Saturday by taking a picnic, our pup, and our new camera to the park.

Our sweet pup, Bailey!  She's gonna be a big sister!

She's having a blast!


That night we headed out to a birthday dinner at my fav – Bonefish.  And as if the weekend weren't awesome enough, on the way to church this morning, I swear I felt the little kicks of our baby.  It happened right where the doctor pointed out his/her feet to be, and it was very distinct.  I quickly grabbed my hub’s hand, hoping it would happen again, but it’s probably not strong enough yet to be felt from the outside.  I absolutely cannot wait to feel it all the time.
Headed out for a delicious birthday dinner!

All of this awesomeness will help me trudge through the crazy, stressful times that promise to smack me in the face throughout the next month of work.  While I’m nervous about what is to come in terms of the work load with my job and grad school, I will definitely stay focused on this miracle happening inside of me and will try to do a much better job of not sweating the small stuff. J

16 Weeks - Not much change!
16 Weeks Covered Up!