Saturday, February 28, 2009

Nursery Progress

We have gotten SO much done today! All of the furniture is moved in and ready to go. Now we're down to the decorating. I have everything planned for that, so stay tuned for more pictures down the road. If Brad ever recovers from today, we may start decorating tomorrow!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

This week has truly lasted FOREVER! In an attempt to make it seem like it's almost over, I'm posting my 22-week update a day early. Well, it's actually NOT early because, per my last ultrasound, I'm 22 weeks today. Technically, the doctor is still working with my previous due date of 7/3, so I am as well.

On to the update. This has been a pretty miserable work week for me. I've had a parent that's having a hard time dealing with her child's diagnosis and is ta
king it out on me. I'm trying not to take it personally, but it's hard. The emotional stress of the entire situation has taken quite a bit out of me. I've been coming home and crashing every night this week before Brad gets home. The exhaustion is also due in part to the fact that I'm coming down with a cold. I've been fairly healthy through this pregnancy compared to my usual. I typically would have had 2-3 colds or sinus infections by now. I suppose that with all of the green noses and stomach viruses that are going around my classroom right now, and the fact that it doesn't seem that a single ONE of them knows how to cover their mouth when they cough, I shouldn't be surprised. It's just rough because my body is dealing with so much right now carrying Emma that a cold is making me really feel cruddy. I'm hoping that it's short lived.

As a bit of a "Brad" update, he's feeling back to his old
self. His stomach bug was a 24 hour one and his muscle aches and pains from the weekend of painting by himself are gone. We had plans to go visit Josh and Carolyn and their precious little angel Kaitlyn this weekend, but with a cold coming on I'm not willing to risk getting her sick. On the upside, we're planning to put together some nursery furniture this weekend. It will be nice to finally put a plan into action so that we have a sweet nursery to look at rather than an empty room - although it is a VERY pretty room now that it's freshly painted! Instead of just a 22 week picture, I was looking back at the other "belly pictures" that I have. I am posting a comparison. It took me by surprise! Here's a look back at 14 weeks and now at 22 (taken in Emma Claire's room). Wow!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Whirlwind Weekend

It's been quite a weekend - and I'm not sure if it's been what I would consider a "good" one. Saturday was very productive. We got new tires put on my car. I cleaned the house, which was much needed. Brad painted Emma's nursery and it looks GORGEOUS! I'm so relieved to have it done. We have most of the furniture, it's just a matter of moving it in and doing some decorating. We were planning to start on Sunday....

As productive as Saturday was, Sunday was horrible. Brad woke up and we were about to go meet his parents for lunch when he discovered he's got the stomach flu. He's
been throwing up all day and can't keep anything down. I wish that I was able to be more sensitive to his needs, but I've been busy trying to sterilize everything he's touched and stay the heck away from him! I've had him strip the bed, clean up after himself, and then I've re-made our bed and moved him into the guest bedroom/office for tonight. I would be the bigger person and move into the guest bed myself, but Lucy will want to be with me and I have a big pregnancy pillow that I have to contend with and there's no way that I'd make it in a bed other than my own. Luckily, he's happy to move and is being a fairly good sport, considering the fact that he's a man, and any man's illness is 10x worse than any illness a woman has EVER had. We're keeping our fingers crossed that it's just a 24 hour bug - not sure how long either one of us can take this!

I'm 21 weeks pregnant this week. It's been a pretty good week. I'm feeling pretty good, aside from the pelvic pain that I'm getting used to having. Emma's doing some serious acrobatics in my belly. She's kicking MUCH harder than the little flutters I felt a few weeks ago. She's also developing some sleeping patterns - she tends to like to wake me up at 4 AM by kicking my bladder over and over again! Brad has felt her kick once, but she's really good at stopping her movements whenever he puts his hand on my belly! She's big enough that you can tell where she is and how she's positioned in my belly. When I sleep on my left side, I wake up with her on my right side. It's cute - Brad told me this morning that he could eve
n SEE where she was. It's the coolest thing ever! It may be my favorite part of being pregnant so far. Knowing that she's growing so big and that I can feel her all the time now is very reassuring. We're even returning the doppler that we rented to hear her heartbeat. She's getting to be a big girl! Here's the 21 week picture that Brad took in her nursery. We still have a lot of work to do, but you can at least see the paint color.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

20 Week Photos

Here are the ultrasound pictures from the perinatologist.

This one is her profile.

Here is her little hand.

Here is a foot - hard to get the picture because she kept playing with those toes!

Here's a picture of her legs all stretched out - we were surprised to see meat on her little bones!

We hope she's as cute to all of you as she is to us, but we're partial!

Monday, February 16, 2009

20 Week Perinatal Ultrasound

Brad and I went to the perinatologist for our 20-week anatomical scan appointment this afternoon. It was AWESOME! First, the ultrasound tech did a 30 minute scan. She took photos of EVERYTHING. Emma is measuring right where she's supposed to be - even a little ahead! Their projected due date is now July 2. According to my many pregnancy email updates from different websites, she's supposed be about 10 ounces right now - Emma's weighing in at 1lb! We have a little chunker on our hands.

She was SO cute. She was more scrunched up than we've seen her in ultrasounds so far. I suppose that makes sense because she's getting so much bigger. She kept playing with her toes. The tech was able to get a cute picture of her little feet, but it was hard to get because her hands were always in the way! They checked all of her little 2000 parts - particularly her feet (Brad was born with clubbed feet) and everything checked out perfectly normal, which was a huge relief to me. They even measured different structures in her brain. I keep up with a ton of blogs from women who thought everything was going well with their pregnancy until their 20 week scan. That's when the doctor is able to see structures of the brain, heart, and organs and check for anything out of the ordinary. The perinatologist is trained to catch anything and everything even slightly abnormal about the baby. If anyone could find anything wrong, it would be him.

Dr. Allen came in and did another 15 minutes or so of ultrasound. He took several pictures of the heart and all 4 chambers, playing each video of them pumping in slow motion, checking for any abnormalities. I must admit, Brad and I were a little freaked out that they spent so much time on the heart, but when I asked him about it, he said that it's the most complex and difficult to get good photos of. Whew!

I'll post the ultrasound pictures as soon as I get time to scan them. It will be a busy week full of IEP meetings and getting 2 new students. No rest for the weary!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

More Belly

We just got back from the best Valentine's Day dinner! We went to Edo Japanese with our friends Mary and Jeremy. It was SOOOO good! It's so hard to believe that this will be our last Valentine's Day alone. It's not that I don't love being alone with Brad, and we'll still have alone time after Emma goes to sleep, but I have a feeling that our next Valentine's day will be the best yet. We'll get to spend it not only loving on each other, but loving on our precious little girl too. I can't wait.

I've been thinking about when Emma gets here a lot lately. I'm fairly selfish in nature and can't wait to hold her and kiss her and squeeze her myself. Lately I've realized that even more than that, I can't wait to see Brad hold her and kiss her and squeeze her. He's going to be such a great Dad. I just can't wait to see him get to know his baby girl and have her wrap him around her little finger. I have a feeling I'll fall in love with him all over again while watching him turn into a daddy.

Here are some pictures that Brad took before we went out to dinner tonight. 5 months and a day. I have really been feeling every DAY of that 5 months this past week. I've been feeling SO much bigger lately. Judging by the pictures, it may just be that I "feel" so much bigger than in past weeks, but I think Brad's noticed it more lately as well. Judge for yourself
. In fact, a lady at work this week asked how far along I was. When I told her she said, "you're gonna be as big as a house!" I just smiled and said "yep." Oh well. Small price to pay!

Friday, February 13, 2009

20 Weeks

It's so hard to believe that today marks the 5 month point. Only 4 to go! It's been a hectic week at work and that, along with some raging pregnancy hormones, have definitely taken their toll on my spirits lately. My pelvic pain has been torture in the afternoons as well. It's painful to even walk, much less do anything productive. I find myself getting home and being so exhausted that I literally put on my pj's and hit the bed as soon as I walk in the door. It's a blessing that Brad doesn't mind doing housework because I'm useless these days.

On another note, I had a regular OB checkup yesterday with my favorite OB. He told me that the symphasis issue (the "too much relaxin, making my pubic bone and pelvic bones separate too much" issue) doesn't pose any danger to myself or to Emma. It's just really painful and there's absolutely nothing that I can do about it. I asked if he would expect it to get worse as the pregnancy progresses. He said that he's had patients that have hideous pain throughout, and those that have had their pain go away overnight. No way to tell. I'm praying for the latter! He said that it really gets fun when the baby springboards off of the top of the uterus and hits your pubic bone head-on. He said not to be alarmed if the pain brings me to my knees. Yea. Although I'd gladly go through any amount of pain and misery for this sweet little baby, I'd really rather not have to!

I also spoke with him at length about the golf ball-sized cyst on my ovary. If it remains relatively the same size until I deliver, one of 2 things will happen. If I have a c-section, he will remove the cyst at the same time. If I deliver au natural, I will go back 6 weeks later for laproscopic surgery. If I have the choice, I honestly think I'm going to choose a scheduled c-section. I know, I know, it's a more invasive and painful surgery with a longer recovery. However, if I have it done in early July, I will have Brad at home for 4 weeks to help me and a precious little baby to lift my spirits and get me out of bed faster. If I wait until she's 6 weeks old, Brad will be in the first few weeks of school and I'll be at home recovering and taking care of a new baby alone. Plus, if I have the laproscopic surgery, I'm looking at 2 recovery periods - one from the labor and delivery, and one from the surgery itself. It just seems like the lesser of the 2 evils to me. I may also be able to avoid the labor portion altogether, which sounds enticing. We'll see how it plays out. At this point it isn't sounding like the choice is something for me to make. We'll keep talking about it and see which path we are led down.

Until then, I'm enjoying my daily Emma kicks and squirms and still waiting for Brad to be able to feel them for himself!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Belly Pictures

OK, so I haven't posted belly pictures in a couple of weeks. There's a good reason - it's called stretch marks. After Mom complained that I have been remiss in my picture posting, I have decided to be brave and go ahead and show em! If you try to blur your eyes a little, they aren't quite as scary!

18 Weeks (last week)

19 Weeks (this week)

Ick. I may not be this brave next week - it's painful!

Friday, February 6, 2009

19 weeks

It's hard to imagine that next week I will be 5 months pregnant. Only 4 to go! Just thought I'd post a general update, though there isn't much news to share. I've been feeling good, just a lot of pain in my hips and pelvis when I walk (mostly at work). The nausea is completely gone, though I am still down almost 5 lbs from my pre-pregnancy weight. I've reached the "feel good" part of my pregnancy finally - and am loving every minute of it! I am feeling Emma kick regularly now and it still amazes me that I've been able to carry her to this point. Some part of me really felt like it might never happen. It's SUCH a miracle and the best gift that I've ever been given. I am truly cherishing every moment of this pregnancy. Brad's anxiously awaiting the time that he can feel her kick from the outside, which is probably just around the corner, given the kung-fu that she's been doing lately! He's excited too and swears that he'll start to clear out the guest bedroom that will become her nursery soon. I'm holding him to it! According to my weekly pregnancy e-mails, Emma is now around 8 1/2 ounces and 6 inches long, not including her legs and arms. She's growing fast! I have a glucose test and an OB appointment this coming week and then my BIG ultrasound (where they do a ton of anatomical measurements) on President's Day. We can't wait! Emma's kicking as I type - she says "hi!"

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Emma Claire's 3D and 4D debut!

We had an awesome experience today! We went to Baby's First Images in Alpharetta to have a 3D/4D ultrasound done. Because they pushed back my BIG ultrasound in order to schedule it with the perinatologist, I was dying to find out the sex "for SURE" and to see what this little one looks like. It turned out to be the coolest thing ever! At 18 weeks, she hasn't yet filled out, but we plan to go back in 10 weeks or so to do another one that will look more like Emma when she is born. It will be neat to compare the 2. It was awesome to see her move her little arms, rub her face, and try to suck her thumb. It was the most precious thing I've ever seen. It really made it "real" to both Brad and I. And, I am happy to report, Brad finally believes that she's all girl! The ultrasound specialist said, "I'm not allowed to say 100% to anyone, so I'll say she's 99.9% a girl!" We were both thrilled! I'm adding her slideshow and 2 short 4D videos that they shot of our little squirmer. I think most of the images are self-explanatory, but I've tried to caption them just in case. Hope you think she's a beautiful as we do - even if she DOES look like my little monkey - I say that in the most endearing way that only a mother can!

Emma Claire's 4D Ultrasound - Video 1 from Susan Gilchrist on Vimeo.

Emma Claire's 4D Ultrasound - Video 2 from Susan Gilchrist on Vimeo.