28 Weeks!

28 Weeks!

Here is what is going on this week according to Baby Center:

By this week, your baby weighs 2 1/4 pounds (about the size of a large eggplant) 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 your womb. She’s also developing billions of neurons in her brain and adding more body fat in preparation for life in the outside world.

How your life’s changing:

You’re in the home stretch! The third and final trimester starts this week. If you’re like most women, you’ll gain about 11 pounds this trimester.

At this point, you’ll likely visit your doctor or midwife every two weeks. Then, at 36 weeks, you’ll switch to weekly visits. Depending on your risk factors, your practitioner may recommend repeating blood tests for HIV and syphilis now, as well as doing cultures for chlamydia and gonorrhea, to be certain of your status before delivery. Also, if your glucose screening test result was high and you haven’t yet had follow-up testing, you’ll soon be given the 3-hour glucose tolerance test.

 And if the blood work done at your first prenatal visit showed that you’re Rh negative, you’ll get an injection of Rh immunoglobulin to prevent your body from developing antibodies that could attack your baby’s blood. (If your baby is Rh positive, you’ll receive another shot of Rh immunoglobulin after you give birth.)

Around this time, some women feel an unpleasant “creepy-crawly” sensation in their lower legs and an irresistible urge to move them while trying to relax or sleep. If this sensation is at least temporarily relieved when you move, you may have what’s known as restless legs syndrome (RLS). No one knows for sure what causes RLS, but it’s relatively common among expectant mothers. Try stretching or massaging your legs, and cut down on caffeine, which can make the symptoms worse. Ask your caregiver if you should try iron supplements, which can sometimes relieve RLS.

How far along?  28 weeks
Total weight gain:  16 lbs. So frustrated! I am still only up .5 lbs from last week. Ugh…still not enough weight gain (doc said I should be gaining at least 1 lb per week). Maybe I need to be drinking 2 protein shakes per day? I want to make sure that if the baby needs to be taken early, as they are expecting, that she has some weight on her. Anyone have any good ideas or ways to put on a healthy steady weight gain?
Maternity clothes? I am loving how comfortable maternity is (especially maternity jeans) but still wearing lots of normal clothes, like sundresses, as well.
Stretch marks?  Nope.
Sleep:  Had a few sleepless nights this week, but overall have been sleeping really well.
Best moment this week: Cross our fingers…we may have decided on a name!!!
Miss Anything? Nope!
Movement:  Lots of strong almost startling movements this week. A few of her kicks (to the bladder or ribs) have actually made me jump.
Food cravings:  I still can’t get enough fruit and milk! And the new craving this week…crushed ice!
Anything making you queasy or sick:  No.
Gender prediction: It’s a girl!
Labor Signs:  Thankfully, no! 
Symptoms: Round ligament pain, spider veins, varicose veins, a little ankle/foot swelling in the evenings, shortness of breath.
Belly Button in or out?  In…but getting flatter 🙂   
Wedding rings on or off?  On.
Happy or Moody most of the time: So happy (but feeling nervous and anxious as well)!
Looking forward to: My mom is coming into town this weekend to help me finish the nursery! Hip Hip Hooray! Also, looking forward to and nervous about my next apt with the perinatologist on the 27th. He is going to check on the Vasa Previa and let me know what the next course of action will be. Bed Rest? Steroid shots for lung development? Early C-section at 32-36 wks. I have SO many questions for him!

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27 Weeks!

27 Weeks

We have made it another week…and I am so, so thankful! Here is what is going on this week according to Baby Center:

This week, your baby weighs almost 2 pounds (about the size of 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, your 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. Chalk up any tiny rhythmic movements you may be feeling to a case of baby hiccups, which may be common from now on. Each episode usually lasts only a few moments, and they don’t bother her, so just relax and enjoy the tickle.

The second trimester is drawing to a close, but as your body gears up for the final lap, you may start noticing some new symptoms. Along with an aching back, for example, you may find that your leg muscles cramp up now and then. They’re carrying extra weight, after all, and your expanding uterus is putting pressure on the veins that return blood from your legs to your heart as well as on the nerves leading from your trunk to your legs.

Unfortunately, the cramps may get worse as your pregnancy progresses. Leg cramps are more common at night but can also happen during the day. When a cramp strikes, stretching the calf muscle should give you some relief.

How far along?  27 weeks
Total weight gain:  15.5 lbs. I am only up .5 lbs from last week. Ugh…still not enough weight gain (doc said I should be gaining at least 1 lb per week). Maybe I need to be drinking 2 protein shakes per day? I want to make sure that if the baby needs to be taken early, as they are expecting, that she has some weight on her. Anyone have any good ideas or ways to put on a healthy steady weight gain?
Maternity clothes? I am loving how comfortable maternity is (especially maternity jeans) but still wearing lots of normal clothes, like sundresses, as well.
Stretch marks?  No, none have popped up yet.
Sleep:  Been sleeping great this week!
Best moment this week: When hubby and the kids got to feel baby girl get the hiccups this week. Bella said it felt like e tiny heartbeat.
Miss Anything? Nope!
Movement:  Her movements are not as frequent as they have been but when she does move, they are much stronger than I have been used to. I can tell that she is getting stronger and running out of room in there.
Food cravings:  Fruit, fruit, fruit! I seriously cannot get enough!Anything making you queasy or sick:  No.
Gender prediction: It’s a girl!
Labor Signs:  Thankfully, no! 
Symptoms: Round ligament pain, spider veins, varicose veins, and a little ankle/foot swelling in the evenings.
Belly Button in or out?  In…but getting flatter 🙂   
Wedding rings on or off?  On.
Happy or Moody most of the time: So happy!!!
Looking forward to: Finishing the nursery. My mom is coming into town now next weekend instead of this weekend, so I have to wait another week to get my decorating on. I am just so anxious…but know it will be worth the wait!

The Name Game

We are slackers! That’s right…we STILL haven’t come up with a name for baby girl yet. And believe me, it’s NOT for a lack of trying! I feel like that’s all we talk about or do anymore…listen for other people’s kids names, look at baby name sites, read baby name books, look at our name list, revise our name list, rearrange our name list, add to it, take away from it, etc. It’s becoming a full time job, I tell ya! And a frustrating one at that. It even got to the point last week where Mr. B said that the name was now entirely up to me and just let him know what it is going to be. I think he is a little fed up with this carousel of names that we are on…and I couldn’t agree more. It has gotten to the point that I think we are trying and thinking too hard about it and just confusing ourselves even more. Or then I end up thinking that if we aren’t settled or sure on any of the names we have yet, maybe we haven’t even found it and need to keep looking. Because don’t you think you just KNOW when you find the name? I told you we were confusing ourselves. I never knew it would be so incredibly hard to pick out a name for our baby girl. And man…she can hear us now. I SO want to be calling her by name, not to mention the long list of personalized goods I have ready to order from Etsy once we finally decide on one. However, I think I’ve finally figured out what our problem is. Besides that fact that my issue is I love too many names and the fact that Mr. B is a lot pickier than I am, Scott said something the other day that hit the nail on the head as to why we are having such difficulty.

After finding out about the Vasa Previa diagnosis, he said, “After everything we have been through and are continuing to go through for this baby, we better have an extra special name picked out for her.” And that was it. It was like a light bulb went off. That is why we are having such a hard time picking her name. I mean, don’t get me wrong, we have tons of names on our list that we like…they are adorable, and cute, and I can totally picture us having a little girl named any of them…we just don’t know if any of them are “The One”. And I don’t blame us one bit.  After all the praying, hoping, planning, and roller coaster riding it has taken us to get here, I just don’t feel like any old name will do. And because of that, I am frozen. Frozen liking a bunch of names, but just feeling like they are too typical, or usual, or normal, or not special enough, or don’t have enough meaning for our extra special miracle of a baby.

We weren’t going to share her name with anyone (expect our parents of course) before she was born, but because I want this to be a journal of everything we have gone through to bring baby b into our lives, and hopefully something that she can someday read and know just how much we loved her and wanted her, even before she was born, I am going to share the names that as of right now are on our maybe list. And please note, this list used to be about 40 names long…so the shortened list below is at least progress! Maybe her name is on this list, maybe not. Whether we will pick a name from this list, or come up with something entirely different by the time she arrives, I have no idea. I just know that I’m not quite sure if we have found “The One” yet. At the rate we are going, and the recent news that baby girl may be arriving a lot earlier than expected, hopefully baby girl will at least have a name by the time we bring her home from the hospital!

Here are our favorite names for baby b (as of this week):

London Love

Brooklyn Bailey

Bristol Bailey

McKinley (“Kinley”) Scotland

Harper Scotland

Ellie Harper

Savannah Rae

Tenley Rae

And just for fun…here are some others that have been on the list at one point or another. Who knows, maybe we will go back to one of these?

Beckett – I LOVE this one but Mr. B is afraid it sounds too much like a boy. Especially since he saw it on the “Boy” side on BabyCenter. Thanks a lot BBC! This is still one of my faves!

Dakota

Piper – I love this one but Mr. B vetoed it. He said, “Now you’re just getting weird”. That made me laugh 🙂

Charlotte (“Charlie”) – If we didn’t have a dog named Charlie, I think this would be it. I just love the name Charlie for a little girl!

Chloe

Berkley

Olivia

Ugh…see why we are so confused? Feel free to weigh in!

26 Weeks!

26 weeks!

After the disappointing news we received about the Vasa Previa at our Perinatologist apt this week, I got a bit behind on my weekly bump pic. I am actually 27 weeks this week, but forgot to post my 26 week update, so here it is. I will post week 27 soon and get caught up, promise!

Here is what is going on this week according to Baby Center:

The network of nerves in your baby’s ears is better developed and more sensitive than before. He may now be able to hear both your voice and your partner’s as you chat with each other. He’s inhaling and exhaling small amounts of amniotic fluid, which is essential for the development of his lungs. These so-called breathing movements are also good practice for when he’s born and takes that first gulp of air. And he’s continuing to put on baby fat. He now weighs about 1 2/3 pounds and measures 14 inches (about the size of a scallion) from head to heel. If you’re having a boy, his testicles are beginning to descend into his scrotum — a trip that will take about two to three days.

Are you rushing around trying to get to childbirth classes and prepare your baby’s room while still taking care of all your other daily tasks? Make sure that you also continue to eat well and get plenty of rest. Around this time, your blood pressure may be increasing slightly, although it’s probably still lower than it was before you got pregnant. (Typically, blood pressure falls toward the end of the first trimester, and it tends to reach a low at about 22 to 24 weeks.)

Preeclampsia — a serious disorder characterized by high blood pressure and protein in your urine — most often shows up after 37 weeks, but it can happen earlier so it’s important to be aware of the warning signs of this condition. Call your caregiver if you have swelling in your face or puffiness around your eyes, more than slight swelling of your hands, excessive or sudden swelling of your feet or ankles, or rapid weight gain (more than 4 pounds in a week). With more severe preeclampsia, you may experience other symptoms. Let your caregiver know immediately if you have a severe or persistent headache, vision changes (including double or blurred vision, seeing spots or flashing lights, sensitivity to light, or temporary loss of vision), intense pain or tenderness in your upper abdomen, or vomiting.

If your lower back seems a little achy lately, you can thank both your growing uterus — which shifts your center of gravity, stretches out and weakens your abdominal muscles, and may be pressing on a nerve — as well as hormonal changes that loosen your joints and ligaments. Plus, the extra weight you’re carrying means more work for your muscles and increased stress on your joints, which is why you may feel worse at the end of the day. Walking, standing, or sitting for long periods, as well as bending and lifting can all put a strain on your back. A warm bath or hot compress might bring relief. (Some women, though, find cool compresses more comforting.) Try to maintain good posture during the day, avoid activities that require bending and twisting at the same time, take frequent breaks when sitting or standing, and sleep on your side with one or both knees bent with a pillow between your legs, using another pillow (or wedge) to support your abdomen.

How far along?  26 weeks
Total weight gain:  15 lbs. At my doctors appointment last week, my OB told me that I am not gaining enough weight. She said instead of .5 lbs per week, she wants me to be gaining 1 lb per week, and since I started out underweight, she wants me to gain as close to 35 lbs as I can (she said because of my low body fat, if I don’t gain enough weight, I may have a problem with my milk supply and keeping up with breast feeding). I told her that it has always been hard for me to gain weight. Seriously, I could eat a house, or eat nothing at all…and I always remain the same weight. And here I was, proud of my 15 lb weight gain. She suggested that I drink a protein shake each morning to supplement the already healthy (and plentiful) diet I am consuming. I have obeyed docs orders and have been doing this each day since our appt.
Maternity clothes? I am loving how comfortable maternity is (especially maternity jeans) but still wearing lots of normal clothes, like sundresses, as well.
Stretch marks?  Nope, none yet.
Sleep:  I’ve been sleeping great but have been getting really tired in the evenings. 8:00 rolls around and I am seriously ready for bed!
Best moment this week: Getting to see baby girl at our perinatologist appt.
Miss Anything? Nope!
Movement:  She has been a little quieter than usual this week, but her favorite time to get active is in the evenings. When I finally relax and am getting ready for bed, she starts moving like crazy.
Food cravings:  Fruit, and boneless sweet bbq chicken wings from Applebee’s. I was seriously craving the wings sooo bad the other night that I drove 30 minutes to get them. They were soooo totally worth it!!!
Anything making you queasy or sick:  No.
Gender prediction: It’s a girl!
Labor Signs:  Nope.
Symptoms: Round ligament pain, spider veins, and varicose veins.
Belly Button in or out?  In.
Wedding rings on or off?  On.
Happy or Moody most of the time: So happy!!!
Looking forward to: My mom is coming into town next week to help me decorate the nursery. Can’t wait to see her and to get the room finally finished and ready for baby girl!

Vasa Previa – Yet Another Hurdle

I usually post my weekly bump pic today, and I promise I will, just wanted to update on how our recent doctors appt have been. Last week, I saw my OB. I hadn’t seen her since I was about 9 weeks along, so I was super excited to finally have an appt with her (I had been seeing her midwife at my last few visits). This is the OB that went through all my miscarriages, surgeries, and even recommended who to see once IVF looked to be our only option. I feel like she has been with us throughout this whole entire journey and has been rooting for us and keeping our best interest in mind each step of the way. I really do love her! Anyways, after getting caught up on how things have been progressing and doing the usual Q&A and tummy measuring, she called up her nurse and asked her to bring the ultrasound machine in. My eyes lit up at the notion, knowing that I wasn’t scheduled for an ultrasound today. She said that she just wanted to get a peek at baby girl since she hadn’t seen her since she was only 9 weeks along. I of course didn’t object, and was just bummed that Mr. B wasn’t there for this impromptu ultrasound. I swear, this baby gets her picture taken more than the hottest celebs! Everything looked great. I had an appt with the perinatologist a few days later, so she didn’t do any measurements, it was just more for entertainment purposes. She did however note that baby girl was drinking her amniotic fluid like she should, then pointed to where it was in the stomach, as well as the bowel. So cool! And the funniest thing about the whole ultrasound, was that baby b was doing yoga the entire time. Yep, yoga! She had her little right leg up and over her head and was wriggling her little toes. It was the cutest thing ever! We both laughed about how flexible she was and how she was totally showing off. I always love getting to see her, but it was even better to get to see her when I wasn’t expecting to. Did I mention how much I love my OB?

Well, the high from that appointment, and the stress free couple months I have just had, quickly came to a halt today. Man, just as I was just getting used to being a normal pregnant girl who’s only concern was what I was going to eat for dinner, what the heck we are going to name baby girl, whether I would get stretch marks, or whether I had that pregnancy glow yet…it was wonderful while it lasted. I’m glad I got to experience at least a little worry free bliss, because I have a feeling these next few months are going to bring on a whole new level of stress.

Today, when I went to my perinatologist appt, I was diagnosed with “vasa previa”. Apparently, it was something he has been concerned about and watching for a while, even though he didn’t entirely let me know about this. Bless his heart. He took one look at my file and didn’t want to give me any more to worry about until he had to. Well, as I will be entering the third trimester tomorrow (27 weeks), today was the day he had to tell me about it. Vasa previa is a rare placenta lying issue that affects about 1 in 2,500 pregnancies…woo hoo…lucky me! Basically, there a couple issues going on with my placenta. In vasa previa, the blood vessels that are directly feeding the baby’s circulation grow along the membranes or outside the placenta in the lower part of the uterus at the opening of the cervix. In a normal pregnancy, the blood vessels of the umbilical cord and the placenta are found inside the amniotic sac…safe, sound, and protected. In vasa previa, blood vessels are present at the membranes without this protection. This is most likely caused by the fact that I have a multi lobed placenta, which I’ll get to in a minute. 

Here is a pic of what Vasa Previa looks like. Even though it is in a different language, you can see that the placenta is on the left, cervix is in the middle (at the vaginal opening), the blood vessels are laying and covering the cervix, and the umbilical cord is on the right.

Vasa previa

To give you comparison, here is what a normal lying placenta looks like. Can you see how the umbilical cord goes right into the placenta, is far away from the cervix, and that the fetus’s blood vessels are in and protected by the placenta. This is what you want to see. Unfortunately, mine looks nothing like this. At least not right now.

Normal Placenta

The second issue I am dealing with is that I have a succenturiate placenta. Meaning my placenta has more than 1 lobe. Again, lucky me! Here is a pic of what that looks like in conjunction with the vasa previa. Can you see how it looks almost identical to the first picture, except there is more than 1 section of placenta, connected by the blood vessels?

Vasa previa and succ placenta

Now, can the placenta and blood vessels shift away from the cervix opening before delivery? It’s possible, but not probable, especially with 2 lobes that would have to shift entirely out of the way. This would take nothing short of a miracle.

Here’s why this is so scary. When a woman with vasa previa goes into labor and the cervix begins to dilate, the exposed blood vessels that are right on top of the cervix can rupture. If this occurs, the baby will experience rapid blood loss and may bleed out and possibly die within 2-3 minutes. Besides outright rupture, the blood vessels crossing the cervix can also easily become compressed as the baby grows and drops further down in the pelvis, decreasing the baby’s blood supply and causing drops in the heart rate and nutrients and blood flow to not pass onto the baby properly. According to Dr. Google, when vasa previa is not diagnosed before the onset of labor, the chance of stillbirth may be as high as 95% (and was the cause of many fetal deaths before the technology to diagnose this condition came about). The good news in my situation is that it has been identified and diagnosed. This means there are things we can do to prevent this outcome. Thank God!

As in typical fashion, I have been googling and researching the condition like crazy since I got the diagnosis today. Not a good idea in this case, because there are a LOT of scary stories out there surrounding this condition. However, the most interesting thing I found is that pregnancies conceived via IVF are at an increased risk for this condition. I really wonder if it was because we transferred more than 1 embryo. It would make sense that if more than 1 placenta began to form, but only 1 baby continued to grow, that could be the cause for the multi lobed placenta. Then, as blood supply began to branch out and form, the two lobes became attached by the blood vessels. Or, maybe it has something to do with the medication you take during IVF, or the extra progesterone support you take up until approximately the 12 week mark. Who knows. I just find it funny that IVF patients are at an increased risk, and here I am, a lucky recipient of this condition after my recent IVF.

The good news is that this was discovered BEFORE  I went full term and went into labor, where it may be too late to do anything at that point. Now that we know, we can watch it and take the necessary actions. From here, a few things can happen. Women who are diagnosed with vasa previa are sometimes hospitalized in the third trimester to ensure quick access to medical care should any of these blood vessels rupture. Also, we will more than likely give birth via cesarean section after 32 weeks, but before 36 weeks. They don’t want to go past 36 weeks, because then the baby will be too big and will probably, most certainly, crush those blood vessels.

Of course this poses problems, concerns, fears, and questions about having a premature baby…but at least the baby would be born alive and is much safer than trying to deliver naturally, where the risk could be death. I’ll admit. I have been grieving most of today. I am mourning the healthy and full term delivery I had hoped for, but am trying my best to just keep my eye on the prize at the moment. A healthy mom and a healthy baby are all I care about right now. Please say some prayers that God will guide the doctor’s hands and decisions as we move forward. Or better yet, that there will be a miracle that takes place before my next appt and those blood vessels move. Before today, I found myself wanting to be pregnant forever, taking it all in and not wanting to miss a single thing. Now I am finding myself just wanting to make it as far as I can but wanting the baby to be out and safe. Not sure what the next few months will bring, but I am hoping and praying for the best. I know that God is in control of this situation and that He can make this baby arrive safely, in His time, and just as He planned.

I go back to the perinatologist in 3 weeks (I will be exactly 30 weeks at that time). We will know more after that appointment as to what the next step and course of action will be. Please keep us in your prayers.

25 Weeks!

25 weeks!

25 weeks! With each week that passes, it feels less like a dream and more like reality. I still can’t believe I am here, posting a pic of my 25 week baby bump. Pinch me now!!! Here is what is going in this week according to Baby Center:

How your baby’s growing

Head to heels, your baby 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.

How your life’s changing

Your baby’s not the only one with more hair — your locks may look more full and lustrous than ever. It’s not that you’re growing more hair, but thanks to hormonal changes, the hair that you’d normally shed is sticking around longer than usual. Enjoy the fullness while you can — the extra hair will fall out after you give birth.

You may also notice that you can’t move around as gracefully as before. Unless your caregiver has advised you otherwise, it’s fine to continue to exercise, but follow a few safety rules: Don’t work out when you’re feeling overly tired and stop if you feel any pain, dizziness, or shortness of breath. Don’t lie flat on your back and avoid contact sports as well as any exercise where you’re apt to lose your balance. Be sure to drink plenty of water and make time for warm up and cool down periods.

How far along?  25 weeks
Total weight gain:  14 lbs. I haven’t gained anything since last week. Maybe it was because I gained 2 lbs the week before and baby girl decided to tame down her growth spurt for a week, or maybe it was because we were doing yard work practically all weekend and I was sweating to death in the 90 degree heat. 6 and a half months pregnant and gardening in the summer heat, is not my idea of a good time. Although the yard is looking fabulous and ready for lots of summer get-togethers, so it will be worth it! We need to do some finishing touches and then I’ll show you a pic of where I will be enjoying my summer days. My doc said that I should be gaining .5 lbs/wk, however, since I gained 2 last week, I am not going to worry about not gaining anything this week.
Maternity clothes? Yes! Although, I went shopping at Nordstrom Rack last week to spend a birthday gift card that my mother in-law (thanks Cindy) gave me for my birthday and loved all the tunic, bohemian, flowy style tops that are out right now. They are great because they work for maternity as well as after (maybe belted). I am wearing one of my purchases in this weeks pic. I love the color combo and Aztec style print. I am also wearing regular non-maternity pants with a belly band. So, although I love the comfort of maternity, I am still finding myself finding plenty of non-maternity to wear!
Stretch marks?  No. However, I am starting to check daily now and applying lots of lotion. Although, I’ve heard that doesn’t necessarily keep them at bay since they are hereditary and you will either get them or not. I never got any with my daughter, so hoping for the same this time. Although with my daughter, I only gained 16 lbs the entire pregnancy, which I am well on my way to passing up! Only time will tell.
Sleep:  I slept great this week. Especially with the 3 day holiday weekend. I think the earliest I woke up on those 3 days was 9 am. It was heavenly!!!
Best moment this week: Getting the crib put together and decorated. I find myself just walking into the room and staring at it, not really believing that within a few months, our precious daughter will be in there staring back at me. It seems so surreal at times!
Miss Anything? Nothing at all! 
Movement:  Yes! Her movements are getting so strong now that I can actually see my whole belly move in wave like motions at times. So crazy!!!
Food cravings:  Still loving fruit, popsicles and milk (chocolate and regular)! Although, I have been craving a snickers bar for the past 4 days (weird because I never crave candy or have much of a sweet tooth at all). I might just give in and get myself one of those while at the store this afternoon.  
Anything making you queasy or sick:  No.
Gender prediction: It’s a girl!
Labor Signs:  Nope. Hopefully not for at least 13 more weeks!!!
Symptoms: Round ligament pain, spider veins, and varicose veins.
Belly Button in or out?  In.
Wedding rings on or off?  On.
Happy or Moody most of the time: So happy!!!
Looking forward to: We have an apt on Thursday with our OB and then another on the 3rd with the Perinatologist. Looking forward to getting another sneak peek at baby girl! Also, looking forward to getting the rest of the nursery decorated. My mom and her boyfriend are going to come into town the weekend of 6/13 to help get everything finished. I’ll be sure to post pics when it’s all finished and ready for Baby B!

Nursery Sneak Peek

Here is a sneak peek at baby girl’s crib. I couldn’t resist putting it all together, even though it will need to come down (or be moved) for paint and wall treatment. I totally forgot how intense this whole “nesting” thing is . Hope she loves it as much as I do! Now, I really can’t wait to get to finishing the rest of the space.

Crib 3

Crib 4

24 Weeks!

24 weeks!

Our Doxie, Charlie already loving (or stretching) on his baby sister!

This is a big week! 24 weeks is known by Dr. Google and the medical team at large as “viability week”. What this means, is that if I possibly went into pre-term labor, or something happened and they needed to take her early (in an emergency situation), that they would do everything possible to help our baby girl to survive, and physically it would be possible starting now. That doesn’t mean she is allowed to come early by any means, but it is sure comforting to know that if something were to happen, she would have a chance to survive and that the doctors would be doing everything in their power to have this outcome as well. It just feels like another hurdle that we have finally gotten over…and it feels GREAT!

Here is what is going on this week according to Baby Center:

How your baby’s growing:

Your baby’s growing steadily, having gained about 4 ounces since last week. That puts him at just over a pound. Since he’s almost a foot long (picture an ear of corn), he cuts a pretty lean figure at this point, but his body is filling out proportionally and he’ll soon start to plump up. His brain is also growing quickly now, and his taste buds are continuing to develop. His lungs are developing “branches” of the respiratory “tree” as well as cells that produce surfactant, a substance that will help his air sacs inflate once he hits the outside world. His skin is still thin and translucent, but that will start to change soon.

How your life’s changing:

In the past few weeks, the top of your uterus has risen above your belly button and is now about the size of a soccer ball. Most women have a glucose screening test (also called a glucose challenge test or GCT) between now and 28 weeks. This test checks for gestational diabetes, a pregnancy-related high-blood-sugar condition.

Untreated diabetes increases your risk of having a difficult vaginal delivery or needing a cesarean section because it causes your baby to grow too large, especially in his upper body. It also raises your baby’s odds for other complications like low blood sugar right after birth. A positive result on your GCT doesn’t mean you have gestational diabetes, but it does mean that you’ll need to take the glucose tolerance test (GTT) to find out for sure.

Finally, if you don’t already know how to spot the signs of preterm labor, now’s the time to learn. Contact your caregiver immediately if you notice any of the signs mentioned below.

How far along?  24 weeks
Total weight gain:  14 lbs. Yikes. I put on 2 lbs since last week (although I did weigh myself after a nice big breakfast, so I’m sure that didn’t help). My OB says I should be gaining between .5 lb – 1 lb a week from here on out. I was underweight to begin with (100 lbs at 5’2″) so she wants me to put on between 25 – 35 lbs. I am well on my way to that goal! As for the 2 lb gain in a week, I definitely feel like my belly popped since last week, so maybe baby girl went through a major growth spurt. As long as she is getting bigger, stronger, and healthier…I could care less what the scale says!
Maternity clothes? Yes! So comfy…although I am still wearing a lot of regular clothes too. Maxi skirts and dresses are my go-to’s right now!
Stretch marks?  No.
Sleep:  We had a really busy week this week, so I haven’t got as much sleep as I would have liked. And it seems as though it is taking me longer to fall asleep and turn off my mind these days. So many to-do’s running through my head. Baby girl also kept me up one night this week from 3 am – 6 am kicking up a storm. It was the most active I have ever felt her for a long stretch of time. I just layed there and took in every little kick and movement. Eh, sleep can wait…this is what I have been waiting and praying for! Even though I was tired the next day, it was totally worth the midnight play session!!!
Best moment this week: Got a few more key pieced this week for baby girl. We got her bath, a vibrating chair, a few more clothes and shoes, and put her crib together. Plus, remember that cute etsy outfit I ordered for her newborn photos? Well it arrived! And it is just as cute in person. I can’t wait to take newborn pics of her in this adorable ensemble! Here is a pic and the link to the adorable Darling Baby Shop. This was definitely a splurge, but I just couldn’t resist. And now I have to remove the page from my favorites because I think I might just go broke from wanting EVERYTHING off this entire site!

 Most adorable newborn outfit EVER!
Darling Baby

And here is a pic of baby girl’s crib that we finally put together. This was a pic from the Craigslist ad. Isn’t it just beautiful?! Score for a perfect second hand crib that doesn’t break the bank. It even has a drawer at the bottom for storage and can convert to a toddler or twin bed. It was just what I was looking for!!!

Crib

Miss Anything? Nope!
Movement:  Yes! Tons this week. And feeling her kicks and flips a lot higher too. Definitely above the belly button area now.
Food cravings:  Still loving fruit, popsicles and milk (chocolate and regular)!
Anything making you queasy or sick:  No.
Gender prediction: It’s a girl!
Labor Signs:  Nope. Hopefully not for at least 14 more weeks!!!
Symptoms: Round ligament pain, spider veins, varicose veins, itchy arms and weird rash type thing developing on both my forearms. Maybe pregnancy related, maybe not. I have an appt on the 30th and will ask my OB.  
Belly Button in or out?  In.
Wedding rings on or off?  On.
Happy or Moody most of the time: So happy!!!
Looking forward to: We have an apt on the 30th with our OB and then another on the 3rd with the Perinatologist. Looking forward to getting another sneak peek at baby girl!

23 Weeks!

23 weeks!

Holy cow, we are 23 weeks! This pregnancy is flying by!!! We had an appointment last week with the Perinatologist to check on growth as well as the mild echogenic bowel (this is where a brighter white spot is noticed on the bowel) that he saw at our appointment 5 weeks ago. I was hoping and praying that the echogenic bowel would go away on it’s own (as he often said it does), but unfortunately it is still there. Dr. M said that this is nothing to worry about and he sees it quite frequently, especially with the ultra-sensitive ultrasound equipment they have now-a-days. He said that the cause is probably because of the spotting I was having early in pregnancy. If some of this blood gets into the uterus/amniotic fluid and the baby swallows some of this fluid, it will often show up as a brighter white spot in the bowel. He said he is 99.5% sure this is what has happened and they will just keep an eye on it. He will also be watching closely at growth as an echogenic bowel can cause growth restrictions or plumbing issues for the baby later in pregnancy.

Dr. M also noticed at this appointment as he was looking for where the umbilical cord inserted into the placenta, that I have what is called a Marginal Umbilical Cord Insertion. This is where the umbilical cord is attached to the side of the placenta as opposed to the center. Here is a picture so that you can get an idea of what it looks like. The cord is typically attached to the center of the placenta (the meatiest part).

Marginal Cord Insertion

Again, Dr. M said that this was nothing to worry about and he sees it every so often in pregnancies (in about 10% of patients he sees) . He told me not to consult Dr. Google (which I am trying really hard to follow doctors orders, which is sooo hard for me because I am an avid reader/researcher) because there is a lot of false and scary information out there, and again, 99.5% of the time, it is never even an issue with the pregnancy or delivery. I am so tired of being worried about every little thing this pregnancy and am finally at a place where I am just enjoying it…and it feels SO good!!! The flips and turns, the strong kicks, the belly growing, actually looking and feeling pregnant…it has been amazing…and I am choosing to do everything in my power to stay in this happy, blissful, and worry free place. I trust Dr. M a lot (I actually adore him!) and he said that if there was something to worry about, he would tell me. I believe him. So I’m choosing not to worry unless he tells me there is something to worry about. According to him, the only thing we are concerned about at this time is the growth of the baby, since a marginal umbilical cord can sometimes cause IUGR (intra uterine growth restriction) if proper nutrients aren’t reaching the baby. He did check blood flow/oxygen flow though, and even though it is on the side of my placenta, he said that it looks as though it is functioning perfectly! It also made me feel better that baby girl looked great, was moving and squirming all around, and was measuring right on track (only one day behind actually, which is totally within normal range) and came in weighing 1 lb and 2 ounces. We scheduled a follow up appointment for 4 weeks out so he can keep an eye on the mild echogenic bowel as well as the marginal cord insertion (which he said often moves more towards the center as the placenta and uterus grow/shift) as well as the proper growth of baby girl. Yay for another chance to see our sweet little girl in another 4 weeks!

Here she is at the scan last week (23 weeks exactly). I love how her left arm is resting above her head and you can see all 5 of her precious little fingers. Can’t wait to kiss each and every one of them!!!

Scan 23 weeks

And finally, here is what is going on this week according to Baby Center:

Turn on the radio and sway to the music. With her sense of movement well developed by now, your baby can feel you dance. And now that she’s more than 11 inches long and weighs just over a pound (about as much as a large mango), you may be able to see her squirm underneath your clothes. Blood vessels in her lungs are developing to prepare for breathing, and the sounds that your baby’s increasingly keen ears pick up are preparing her for entry into the outside world. Loud noises that become familiar now — such as your dog barking or the roar of the vacuum cleaner — probably won’t faze her when she hears them outside the womb.

How your life’s changing:

You may notice that your ankles and feet start to swell a bit in the coming weeks or months, especially at the end of the day or during the heat of summer. Sluggish circulation in your legs — coupled with changes in your blood chemistry that may cause some water retention — may result in swelling, also known as edema. Your body will get rid of the extra fluid after you have your baby, which is why you’ll pee frequently and sweat a lot for a few days after delivery. In the meantime, lie on your left side or put your feet up when you can, stretch out your legs when you sit, and avoid sitting — or standing — in one place for long periods.

Also, try to exercise regularly to increase circulation, and wear support stockings (put them on first thing in the morning) and roomy, comfortable shoes. You may be tempted to skimp on liquids to combat swelling, but you need to drink plenty of water because staying hydrated actually helps prevent fluid retention. While a certain amount of edema in your lower extremities is normal during pregnancy, excessive swelling may be a sign of a serious condition called preeclampsia. Be sure to call your midwife or doctor if you have severe or sudden swelling of your feet or ankles, more than slight swelling of your hands, swelling in your face, or puffiness around your eyes.

How far along?  23 weeks
Total weight gain:  12 lbs
Maternity clothes? loving them, but still wearing a lot of regular clothes too. Maxi skirts and dresses have suddenly become my new best wardrobe pieces!
Stretch marks?  No.
Sleep:  Had more energy this week than last. I am sleeping great at night besides getting up 2-3 x to use the restroom. I am also continuing to have crazy vivid dreams at night.
Best moment this week: Celebrating Mother’s Day this week and having the kids and hubby surprise me with a pack and play (something that we still needed for baby) all set up in the nursery filled with my homemade Mother’s Day cards and a gift card for a mani/pedi. It was a wonderful surprise to wake up to. And yes, I was crying like a baby at the sweetness of it all. Hormones, much?!
Miss Anything? Nope!
Movement:  Feeling LOTS of movement and flips and her little kicks are getting stronger.
Food cravings:  Fruit, popsicles and chocolate milk (OMG-yum!!!). I am usually not a chocolate milk fan…but we got this organic chocolate milk the other day, and I seriously have to ration out how much I can drink each day. Otherwise, I am sure I would drink the entire half gallon in one sitting. It is amazing!!!
Anything making you queasy or sick:  No.
Gender prediction: It’s a girl!
Labor Signs:  Nope. Hopefully not for at least 15 more weeks!!!
Symptoms: Round ligament pain, spider veins, varicose veins,  super itchy belly
Belly Button in or out?  In.
Wedding rings on or off?  On.
Happy or Moody most of the time: Incredibly happy!!!
Looking forward to: I ordered 2 things off of etsy and can’t wait until they arrive. One is a changing pad cover and the other is an adorable coral pant and bonnet set (comes with a head band too) that I am going to have her newborn photos taken in. I’ll post a pic once it gets here. It was a splurge, but is pretty much the cutest thing I have ever seen!!!

22 Weeks!

22 Weeks!

I will actually be 23 weeks tomorrow, but am behind on my weekly updates, so here’s the one from 22 weeks. Here is what is going on this week according to Baby Center:

At 11 inches (the length of a spaghetti squash) and almost 1 pound, your baby is starting to look like a miniature newborn. His lips, eyelids, and eyebrows are becoming more distinct, and he’s even developing tiny tooth buds beneath his gums. His eyes have formed, but his irises (the colored part of the eye) still lack pigment.

If you could see inside your womb, you’d be able to spot the fine hair (lanugo) that covers his body and the deep wrinkles on his skin, which he’ll sport until he adds a padding of fat to fill them in. Inside his belly, his pancreas — essential for the production of some important hormones — is developing steadily.

How your life’s changing:

At this point, you may find your belly becoming a hand magnet. It’s perfectly okay to tell folks who touch your tummy that you’d rather they didn’t. And if people are telling you that you look smaller or bigger than you should at this point, remember that each woman grows — and shows — at her own rate.

What’s important is that you see your practitioner for regular visits to make sure your baby’s growth is on track. You may start to notice stretch marks on your abdomen as it expands to accommodate your growing baby.
At least half of pregnant women develop stretch marks by the time they give birth. These small streaks of differently textured skin can range from pink to dark brown (depending on your skin color). Although they most commonly appear on your tummy, stretch marks may also show up on your buttocks, thighs, hips, and breasts. There’s no proof that lotion helps prevent stretch marks, but keeping your skin moisturized may help with any itching.

How far along?  22 weeks
Total weight gain:  11 lbs
Maternity clothes? loving them, but still wearing a lot of regular clothes too. Mostly dresses and a few pants with my belly band.
Stretch marks?  No.
Sleep:  Felt a bit more tired than usual this week and becoming a bit more restless at night. The urge to pee and lots of strange vivid dreams wake me up at night.
Best moment this week: Mr. B loving on and talking to my belly, telling her how much her daddy already loves her while in bed the other night! It melted my heart!
Miss Anything? Nope!
Movement:  Feeling LOTS of movement now and her little kicks are getting stronger.
Food cravings:  Fruit, popsicles, and peanut butter-honey-banana sandwiches. I have eaten 3 of them this week and am not sick of them yet! Mmmmm…makes me want one now, just thinking about it!
Anything making you queasy or sick:  No.
Gender prediction: It’s a girl!
Labor Signs:  Nope.
Symptoms: Round ligament pain, Braxton hicks, spider veins, varicose veins
Belly Button in or out?  In.
Wedding rings on or off?  On.
Happy or Moody most of the time: So happy and getting nervous! I feel like there is so much to do and I am suddenly running out of time.
Looking forward to: Appt with my high risk perinatologist tomorrow, May 8th. That means we get an ultrasound and another peek at our baby!!! Yay 🙂