Thursday, November 29, 2012

22 weeks!

I think my belly has finally outgrown my butt!  My sweet, almost 7-year old nephew James informed me last weekend that my belly sticks out further than my boobs.  Kid cracks me up.
How Far Along: 22 Weeks

Baby's Size: About 11 inches and getting close to one whole pound!

Gender:  GIRL!

Movement:  All the time.  I love it.  But, I have a feeling I'm not going to love all of it before too long.  :)  I'm already getting some questionable kicks/punches/headbutts in the bladder, behind my bellybutton (which kind of hurt), and in my spine?  I have no idea, but I am feeling some crazy, awesome, weird movement.

Sleep:  Maybe next week?  Still not great, but it could be worse.  It will be worse!

Maternity Clothes:   Oh yes.  Other than a few dresses and tops, I haven't attempted to not wear them in weeks.  Belly panels are my BFF.  I've decided I prefer the full panel, which stinks since I bought some jeans with a demi panel that are otherwise cute but kill me to sit in for any longer stretches.  Oh well.  Live and learn.

Symptoms:  Pure, unadulterated joy.  Nesting.  Tiredness.

Aversions:   Salmon still doesn't sound fantastic, but I could eat it if it was done well.  Otherwise, I am not currently food averse... which is good and bad.  ;)

Cravings:   ROOT BEER!  OMG.  All day long.  I just want root beer.  And I can get it from a restaurant in my building in a styrofoam cup (there's something about a soda out of styrofoam... and I'm neither a soda drinker nor a styrofoam consumer... I was president of the ecology club in middle school and I still take that seriously).  Thankfully, they don't also have crunchy ice, otherwise I might be there daily.

What I miss:   Sleep.  But, I wouldn't trade this for anything.

Feelings toward pregnancy:   Still just amazed.  And so grateful for this experience and God's provision.

Best moment this week:   My surprise shower and the Gators beating up on the Noles.  Edited to add: my mom, aunt, sister, and nephew all felt G kick!  And, Matt finally felt her after all of them too.  :)

What I'm looking forward to in the next week:   Perhaps a little more nesting and maybe even ordering her bedding.  I'm 99% sure that I'm going to do custom bedding from Carousel Designs.  I'm looking at these fabrics but in a custom order, because I don't love this ready to go design.  I have been searching for fabrics I like using a coral/melon color, aqua-ish color, and a citron green.  And bam.  So, now I just need to commit. #firstworldpregnancyproblems

Also, last night I attended a crafting session at my friend, Jen's.  She lives in my neighborhood and has a room above her detached garage called The Craft Room.  It's a real business.  So, she's been hosting nightly crafts where all you do is show up with the fee for the craft of the night and get on with it.  She is SUPER creative, and it was really fun.  I made this lovely string art for my girl.  It's about a 12x12 wooden plaque and will be hung on her wall in a grouping with other art and pictures.

Monday, November 26, 2012


First things first, let me get the 21 week photo out of the way...

The belly is growing, and I love it.  I'm still feeling great, despite some restless nights.  But, I chalk it up to preparation for what's to come, if one can ever be prepared for that sort of thing.

We headed down to Jacksonville for Thanksgiving to celebrate with my family.  I expected a pretty low key weekend of food, family, seeing some friends, and football.  Little did I know that some very sneaky people had been planning a SURPRISE baby shower for me.  And surprising it was!  I guess there were many who said there was no way they could pull it off, but I honestly wasn't remotely on the scent.  I had mentioned to my mom that maybe we should have a baby shower when I was home for Thanksgiving, but she shot it down so we started discussing late January/early February.  Then in a moment of pure genius, she changed her mind and decided to make it a surprise.  I am not sure I'll ever have a surprise like that again!

I had lunch plans that day with one of my best friends, Meg (a total set up), and before I left, I was helping my mom clean the house... for my own party!  Haha.  I could write a novel about how I kept trying to mess things up (without knowing, of course), but they pulled it off.  As you can see from the pictures, my face when I walked in the door was priceless.

The favors had Psalm 127:3 on them, and I may or may not have almost ugly cried when I read the verse.  "Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from Him."

Christine's masterpiece... so cute!

There were a lot of people that helped out to make it a surprise, but the party planner extraordinaires were my mom, sister, and sister-"out"-law, Christine (she and my brother have been together for 9 years and have two kids but aren't married... hence the "out" law status).  I cannot believe what they pulled off with me out of the house for about 2-2.5 hours.  The theme was elephants, and it was really cute (I love elephants and come by it naturally, my grandma was a big fan too... I can say that I loved them before they were trendy!).  It was so fun and we got a lot of fun stuff for our sweet girl, including lots of adorable elephant onesies, blankies, and such.  AND, the Gators kicked the Seminoles' butts!  Icing on the cake!

We headed home early yesterday morning, and I think Matt and I can both say we now know what nesting is.  :)  We got home and cleaned, filed papers, organized, threw a lot of things away, made a donation pile, and made room for baby.  Her room has been sort of used as a catch-all up until now, so it was time to decide what could stay and go.  We are having it painted in a few weeks, including the interior of the closet, so I couldn't put everything away properly in the room.  Instead I used the closet in the bathroom, and I couldn't resist trying to make it a little cute.  :)

About set on blankets... 4 receiving blankets, 2 soft blankets, and 7 Aden & Anais blankets!

I forgot to mention that we also had a small family shower on the Sunday before Thanksgiving with some of Matt's family.  We were completely spoiled there too... everyone chipped in to get us our BOB stroller, carseat adapter, and handlebar accessory!  His aunt also gave me two boppys, a diaper pail, breast pump (a good one), and a few other things.  HUGE!  I'll get new tubes and whatnot for the pump, but I am in awe of the generosity of others.  Not to mention, my BFF is handing down her daughter's wardrobe, gave me her Bjorn, and is giving me several other things besides all the items I know she's been buying too because she's crazy and I love her.

Lastly, we have decided on a name...
Greer Elizabeth

I love it.  Ironically enough, I'm sitting here watching (well, sort of) Pride and Prejudice from 1940 starring Greer Garson.  It's a sign.  ;)

I hope everyone had an amazing Thanksgiving and found many blessings to be thankful for.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Half Baked

When I told Matt that I almost stopped at the store to buy a pint of Ben & Jerry's Half Baked icecream for this picture, he gave me the biggest eye roll ever.  Hey, what can I say?  I'm a dork.

I paid way too much for this dress but I love it!
We put up a valiant effort for Matt to feel baby girl move Tuesday night, but alas, still not strong enough.  I was pushing his hand half way into my belly, and she was making it known that we were cramping her style.  I was hoping that we'd be able to feel some movement in time for Thanksgiving so my family might get a chance to feel her kick, but that will just have to wait until they are up in January for my Atlanta baby shower.  Then again, a lot seems to change in the matter of a week, so who knows.  And despite the fact that people keep telling me I'm so small, my fundal height is measuring right at 8", which is right around where it should be at this point.  Apparently, my stomach will grow 1/2" per week from here on out.  That is insane to me!

Can we discuss that Thanksgiving is next week!?!?!?  What the!?  I don't understand where this year went.  I think I say that more and more every year as I get older, but dang.  Craziness.  Excited to be with my family, and I think I'm most excited that I have an appointment to have my teeth cleaned by my sister.  Haha, it's the little things!

We took our family pictures this weekend with my dear friend and uber talented photographer, Jenny.   I can't wait to see them.  I know she got some good ones... particularly the outtakes of us trying to get the dogs to behave.  They were being so funny!!!  Instead of sitting next to us facing the camera, they kept running to Jenny and sitting next to her facing us.  It was fairly amusing (and frustrating, but amusing nonetheless).

Au revoir for now.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

19 weeks!

Wow, I cannot believe I'm almost half way there.  Time is flying by, and I feel like if I don't start getting serious soon about preparing for this little girl, it's going to be March and I'm going to be scrambling!

I look certifiably pregnant at this point, which I LOVE.  I honestly still cannot believe that I am pregnant.  And, in less than 5 months I will have a daughter.  A little girl.  I just stand in pure amazement and awe of how God has worked this out.  Think about it... on this round of IVF, we went from 26 mature eggs down to one, "perfect" looking baby in the oven.  Twenty-six possible embryos... possible children, and just one was all we needed and what God provided to give us our miracle and create our family.

It was two years ago this month that we started "trying" for a family.  Last year at this time, I had just experienced the first disappointment of a failed IUI, which I really thought would work.  Although I am in a blissfully happy place right now, I do not forget for a minute the heartache and heartbreak.  In fact, I think I almost appreciate it more now... in the moment, it was hard, very hard, but all you could do is push through.  But, looking back, I realize I probably didn't give myself enough grace (and maybe that was good) to realize how really hard it was at times.  And, I am fully aware of how blessed we are.  Truly.  It could have been a much longer journey, but so far, God has met us where He needed to.  To HIM be the glory.

Baby girl has not been as active today (I think she might have flipped because she was head down/face down so her feet and butt were in prime position to feel some action), but over the last few days, I cannot even get over how much I have felt her moving around in there.  It's unreal.  I can't wait until Matt can feel it.

Seems kind of crazy, but we have our first baby shower next weekend.  Matt's dad's side of the family is throwing us a small little family shower since the crew will all be in town at his uncle's for Thanksgiving.  Very exciting, but mostly excited just to see everyone.  It's been a few years since we've seen his Aunt Mariah (lives in CA), so it will be fun.

In less exciting news, I toured another daycare yesterday which I liked but it was $1600/month!  Holy crap.  I feel like I might need to sell a kidney.  It still makes sense for me to work even at that price, but with two, it would definitely be a different conversation.  I would be spending most of the month working just to pay for childcare.  Aye.  On that note, back to earning my paycheck... I'll need it!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Or not... (and some good stuff)

Well, Matt picked me up from camp on Saturday morning and we headed to Labor & Delivery.  That was interesting!  Everything is fine, but I was having very consistent cramps starting around 3:00 Friday afternoon and still feeling them when I woke up Saturday morning.  They weren't particularly painful (more like period cramps), but they just didn't go away.  So, I called the doctor and determined I needed to be at home in case something did happen and I needed to be off my feet.  After trying some things to make them stop, they were the same so the doctor had me go into L&D to make sure I wasn't dilated or anything.

Watching football

Hooked up to the contraction monitor... yes I have an innie-outie that is becoming much more of an outie-outie.

Practicing for ~5 months from now
I wasn't dilated, baby's heart rate was good, and although I could feel stuff going on, the contraction monitor didn't pick up anything.  I honestly wasn't worried and felt silly going in at all (and I really didn't want to miss camp), but being the opposite of a hypochondriac, I tend to under react about medical things (like when I hyperextended my elbow and popped it back into place and went on my way... seriously).  So, I figured it was best to look like the crazy pregnant girl than to find out something was seriously wrong that they might have been able to do something about.

Since everything looked good, they let me go home and told me to take it easy and reschedule my anatomy scan for today instead of Thursday just to make sure the placenta looked okay.  And, I did so happily.  Can I just say that if I had a lot of money and an ultrasound machine at home, this baby would have radiation issues because I'd be using it constantly.  SO COOL.  And, it's amazing how much has changed in ~7 weeks.  The best part, everything looked "perfect" with the baby and with my placenta and cervix.  Praise the Lord for that!

Love that first one with the knees all curled up.  The second one is a little scary.  Matt called it Skeletor.  Poor kid.  That's the top of the head to the right, I think an arm/hand is covering the left side of the face but you can see the right eye socket, nose and little lips.  Baby had her arms/hands up around her face/head a lot again just like in the 12 week scan, which is funny because Matt sleeps with one arm sort of over his head.  And, yes if you picked up on that pronoun, you are correct... it's a GIRL!

Obviously, I would have been thrilled either way, but I did want a girl if I had my pick.  I've always thought I would have a girl first, and I had a pretty strong feeling most of the time that it was a girl.  Now, as mentioned previously, we did find out at our 12 week scan, but I needed to hear the u/s tech say it since I wasn't looking the first time and it was written on a sticky note when we found out.  :)

So, we really have no idea what was causing me to cramp like that, but I have to say that I'm feeling fetal movement more and more (she was going crazy last night and it was awesome).  It's still very "soft" but it's enough that I know that it's the baby for sure.  So, I don't know if she was being really active and my uterus just freaked out or what.  Either way, something to keep an eye on, but nothing to worry about either.  I will have at least three more ultrasounds due to my low PAPP-A results so they can monitor growth and fluid levels, so get to see my sweet girl again in 5 weeks.  Woohoo!

P.S.  I'd like to say I might blog about something else besides my pregnancy for the next 21 weeks, but that's probably mostly a lie.  However, I do hope that everyone goes to vote tomorrow.  I planned to do a political post with my opinion on the election and candidates (and political system as a whole), but I have not had time.  So, maybe I will do that after we get results.  Go Mitt!  But, I pray whoever wins, we start seeing some improvement in the economy and see a Congress that will actually work together for the greater good of Americans, not their own party's good!

P.P.S.  Max and Maddie haven't made an appearance in a while.  Here they are in their Halloween costumes, which lasted approximately two minutes.  I love these dogs so much.  Seriously.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's off to Camp I go!

Yep, I'm departing work in about 15 minutes to head to Camp... Camp STARS at Camp Twin Lakes to be exact.  I am a member of the Junior League of Atlanta, and we all have community placements in a non-profit organization where we volunteer 50+ hours per year.  After my first year, I found the Hospice placement which allows you to volunteer at their headquarters or at one of two bereavement camps they hold each year.  My first year, I wasn't able to attend either camp, so I volunteered at the center which was a humbling experience.  I think my own experiences with close family members dying (and witnessing those declines while under Hospice care) gives me the ability to know how to interact with the families who are going through the same grief.

But, two years ago I got to do my first Camp STARS.  Wow.  It was awesome.  I volunteer as a cabin counselor with 12 and 13 year old girls (I was 12 when my dad died), and I just really love it.  I didn't know anyone else who was going through what I was at the time, so it is so awesome to bring these kids together so that they know they are not alone.  Some of them are so shy at first or really have a hard time expressing their feelings, and it is miraculous to see how they come out of their shells in less than two full days at camp.  Besides having group sessions facilitated by licensed counselors and psychologists, we do TONS of fun activities, and being a kid at heart myself, I love it.

So, yeah I'll miss what should be a really good college football game this weekend (Alabama at LSU) and weekend time with my husband which I cherish, but I wouldn't trade it for anything.  This is one of my favorite weekends of the year, and I can't wait to meet our cabin and hopefully see some old faces from the last two years.  And hopefully I can serve as encouragement to the girls that there's a lot of life ahead of them no matter what obstacles they've had to overcome so far and those trials only make them so much stronger.