Thursday, January 30, 2014

Babymoon = Booked!

Shep and I looooooove to go on vacation.  We're certainly not certified jetsetters by any means, but compared to a lot of couples out there we've definitely had our fair share of trips together.  Some of my favorite places that we've visited together include:  Aruba, Napa, Mexico, Hawaii, Newport RI, Greece, France, and Turks & Caicos.

We realize that once baby comes along it's going to be much more difficult to travel, and we certainly won't be lounging carefree in a hammock on a beach with umbrella drinks in hand for a looooooong time to come....  We also won't be able to decide on a whim to fly to San Diego approx. 48 hours before departure like we did one summer several years ago {crazy, we know}.  Yes, babies are portable, and yes, families with children travel all the time, but it's going to be a lot more work and require a lot more preparation.  I do have a special knack for being able to fit 2-3 times as many pieces of clothing than a normal person needs into my suitcase at about midnight before we leave each time we go away, but babies require a LOT more stuff...

We realize that our lives are going to change in a multitude of ways once our little one arrives, and while we'll surely miss our days of traveling carefree, it's a change we're trying to prepare ourselves for.  But that doesn't mean we can't have one final fling, just the two of us, before May arrives!!!  And a soft sandy beach with plenty of sun, shade, sapphire blue water, and available umbrella drinks {non-alcoholic for me!} sounds like the PERFECT way to enjoy some precious time together as a twosome.

Planning a "babymoon" as they call it has been on our pregnancy to-do list for months.  {Just ask The Bump which yells at me each time I sign on for constantly being overdue on this and about 10 other items!}  But thanks to a combination of our work schedules, my propensity for indecisiveness/over-thinking things, my relentless nausea and the 100 other things that have been on our mind the past 3 or 4 months, we couldn't get it together.  That is, my friends, until this week!

Originally I wanted to go to St. Lucia.  It sounded like the perfect romantic Caribbean getaway, and neither of us have been there before.  I looked up a couple resorts, checked into flights, and as of a few weeks ago it was totally doable.  But then I had to research water safety, pasteurization practices, food menus, proximity to the airport, and try to seek via TripAdvisor opinions from pregnant travelers who'd been there, which took a while.  I didn't want to take any chances though.  When I finally narrowed it down to a resort that fit our criteria and that got positive reviews from other babymooners, the resort was sold out.  Through the end of March.  So were all affordable non-stop flights.  Ouch.  I wish I could say this is the first time something like this has happened, but alas it is not, and, if I'm being honest, it certainly won't be the last.  ;)

So there we were, in mid-January, with the clock ticking, pricing literally rising by the day, and having to formulate a new babymoon plan.  Well, I'm happy to say that surprisingly, after tears this weekend and an attempt to just give up -- we pulled it off.  Luckily, Shep snapped me out of my funk and back into the planning game.  This is our LAST opportunity for a trip together before baby comes, after all!

So, in about a month, we're going to....

THE CAYMAN ISLANDS!!!  And I'm psyched!  We had to do a little finagling with dates and call my OB to double check that our travel dates were still copacetic {which they are} since we're going a little bit later than originally planned, but the plane tickets and hotel are booked and I'm sooooo looking forward to this trip!  Especially since the high temps around here have only been in the teens for what seems like years already...

Calgon, take me away!!!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

23 Weeks


Well, baby is certainly moving around a lot!  My mom has nicknamed her future grandchild "the karate kid" because of how much kicking s/he does all the time, and I think that's an accurate description!

In terms of symptoms, my tummy has really popped!  I look like I swallowed a soccer ball, so it's now pretty clear to people who see me that I'm pregnant.  Right now, I'm still able to fit into my long down winter coat, and I'm hoping I can keep wearing it because it has been COLD here.  I'm also able to fit into most of my longer pre-pregnancy sweaters, along with the maternity sweaters I have, so I'm still doing pretty well in terms of clothing options.

It's odd because though I'm obviously pregnant to anyone else who sees me, sometimes in my head I forget my stomach protrudes as much as it does.  In our apartment we have a mirror on the bathroom wall at the end of a hallway, and when the door is open I can see myself walking toward the mirror.  In a 2 dimensional reflection, from the front it doesn't look like I'm really that pregnant at all but then when I turn and see my profile I keep getting surprised!

I still feel pretty nauseous on a regular basis, and am planning to try acupuncture out again to see if the second visit does that trick.  I also still have incessant stuffy nose, and definitely have experienced bloody nose blows {thanks expanding blood vessels!}.

This weekend we're planning to go to a local baby store to test drive some strollers -- I hope it goes more smoothly than our first Buy Buy Baby visit!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Week 22 Recap

Well, we made it to the end of Week 22!

Source: The Bump
We experienced a few big milestones this week:
  • We started our baby registry.  This was a lot more overwhelming and stressful than I imagined it would be.  There are just too many darn cute things out there!  Shep and I spent 2 hours last weekend scanning random onesies, washcloths, and bath supplies at Buy Buy Baby.  We then finally made it to the back of the store where the cribs were located, only to realize that all the convertible cribs in the store were humongous and likely wouldn't fit in the tiny room we have designated as our baby nursery. ... Cue the pregnancy hormones - slash - anxiety combination platter ...  After feeling totally defeated, we exited the store, frustrated, marching right past the car seats and strollers.  Good thing we spent all our time on the totally unimportant items and got zero accomplished in terms of necessities!
  • We announced our pregnancy news to our social network connections.  This was a big step for me.  I spent dozens of hours over the past couple weeks creating our video announcement and then literally sat with my finger on the button for what must have been 15 minutes, totally afraid to post it once it was ready.  Shep finally convinced me to do it, and I'm glad I did.  Here's the video if you want to check it out:

  • We attended an information session at the hospital we're planning to deliver at.  One of the Labor & Delivery nurses ran the 90 minute session, which included a virtual tour of the delivery unit, an overview of what to expect from the hospital staff during delivery and afterwards, and other important tidbits.  The whole thing was very surreal.  I realize that 4 months is going to fly by and that May will be here before we know it, but for some reason while we were sitting there everything seemed so hard to really picture.  Am I in denial?  Possibly.  I haven't really been thinking too much about the actual birthing process and hospital stay, and I think I need to start doing that.  I realized when the nurse was talking about pain management and labor pains that I am completely unprepared emotionally for that part of the process.  But then I started thinking:  is anyone ever prepared for the actual process of giving birth???  I guess that's what Lamaze and other classes are meant to do, but like I said, it just all seemed so foreign to me... almost like I was watching a movie about what some other couple was going to experience.  I better snap myself back to reality soon because the goal is to take home a healthy baby in late May and in order for that to happen I need to get it outside my body first!  ;)
In terms of symptoms, my nausea actually wasn't so bad the first few days of the week.  Just like during Week 17, I thought maybe it hit the road for good, but alas it showed it's ugly head again later in the week.  Oh well!  Other wonderful symptoms on the menu for this week -- warning: severe TMI alert -- included gross flatulence, burping, and of course the fantastic irregular bowel movements.  Luckily, I haven't had any constipation but things are a bit looser down there than I would like.  Enough said.

My belly has DEFINITELY popped out a bit more, and for the first time someone offered me their seat on the train.  My belly button is also in the midst of popping out -- right now it's at a weird stage where it doesn't really look like an "innie" or an "outtie", but a "flattie"!

Apparently our baby is sleeping about 12 to 14 hours per day, though you'd never know it from all the kicking!  I definitely felt some black-belt-worthy roundhouse kicks this week.  It's a good thing baby is still small enough that the kicks don't hurt as much as surprise me, but I'm worried that once s/he is bigger these kicks might get really painful!

Alas, it's all for a good cause!  If nausea, powerful kicks and embarrassing bathroom odors are the worst I have to deal with in order to grow a healthy baby, I'll do it!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Born On A Sled

Well, we can be thankful that we have a spring due date for our baby.  Nicole hates the cold and curses it daily.  During last week's east coast snow storm, an expecting Philadelphia mom was not so lucky and started having contractions during the blizzard.  Her husband tried to pull her on a sled to the hospital, but they didn't make it.  Luckily, both mom and baby are doing fine!  The article is below.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Pregnancy Gingivitis?!

Friday afternoon I had a regularly-scheduled dental cleaning, which I typically look forward to with glee but have been dreading a tiny bit because my gums have been sooooo sensitive the past few months.  Well, I almost felt out of the chair when the hygienist broke the news to me that I have ... dun dun dun ... "a good old-fashioned case of pregnancy gingivitis".  Say wha?!?!?!?!

Yep, the super-sensitivity, not to mention the gum bleeding I was experiencing pretty badly in the past 1-2 weeks, was all thanks to pregnancy gingivitis!  Gulp!  Thanks a lot, hormones!

How could this be???  I'm the girl who awaits with excitement my semi-annual cleanings -- I just LOVE that professional clean feel.  I experienced my first cavity just last year {hooray for 30+ years of positive check-ups!} and I always say that if I ever won the lottery one of the first things I'd splurge on for myself is a personal hygienist to professionally clean my teeth once a week.  {I know; I'm weird.}  I can't help it -- dental health is high on my priority list!  Hence the nearly falling out of my chair to learn I've been affected by pregnancy gingivitis...

Apparently somewhere between 50-70% of women will develop gingivitis during pregnancy, so it seems I'm in good company.

The good news is that my case is apparently mild -- many times growths called "pregnancy tumors" can form on severely irritated gums, and my hygienist has seen a lot of that so I'll count my stars and try not to complain too much.  The other good news is that it's not a permanent condition; the extra sensitivity and gum irritation should subside after delivery once my hormones go back to normal.  And, since my cleaning, I haven't noticed any more bleeding while brushing!  My hygienist said that my plaque build-up wasn't that bad {for which I thank my handy dandy electric toothbrush}, so I'm not exactly sure WHY the bleeding has stopped since the cleaning, but you won't hear me complain!  Nope, I'm pretty much a happy teeth camper once again!
My advice?  When pregnant, DO NOT skip any dental appointments!!!  In fact, many sources recommend visiting your dentist at least twice if possible during your pregnancy to avoid damage to gums caused by the extra hormones in your body.  And if you think you may become pregnant soon, get thee to the dentist as well!  It's always good to ensure you don't have any cavities that need to be treated or any other serious dental conditions before pregnancy, since diagnosis (i.e. x-rays), treatment and medication options may be somewhat limited during pregnancy.  I also read somewhere that dental issues during pregnancy if left untreated can cause preterm labor, so it's definitely worthwhile to ensure you're starting out with as healthy of a mouth as possible!

Now smile and say cheese!  ;)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Anatomy Scan

This past Friday was our 20-week Anatomy Scan and I'm soooooo relieved to report that it went well!  Baby measured right on size and all the parts seemed to be present!  Similar to the Fetal Echo appointment, the sonogram technician said our baby was "very active".  Unlike the Fetal Echo though where the technician had to chase the baby all around my abdominal area, the Anatomy Scan technician joked that all she had to do was hold her wand in one place because the baby was turning so much that he/she was showing her everything.  At least it wasn't another wild goose chase all over my belly!

When the sonographer said our baby was "very active", I jokingly replied that I wonder where it gets that from, because I'm pretty lazy myself.  Her response?  "Not for long!!!  You better buy yourself a pair of roller skates!"  Gulp!!

As we mentioned in a previous post, we did NOT find out the baby's sex.  I realize this puts me in what seems at least in my life as the very minority of pregnant women, and I also fully realize that in some ways we're making things a little harder on ourselves by not finding out early, but what's done is done!  We are committed to being surprised, and {although I caught Shep momentarily trying to sneak a peak at the monitor while the sono technician checked out the lower half of our baby's body} surprised we will be!  Don't worry, he didn't see anything -- I made sure of it.  ;)

Here's one of the photos we got to take home:

Like a proud papa-to-be, Shep sent the photo to our moms and some other family members when we got home, and my mother-in-law replied that the baby has my nose.  Not sure how she could even tell from a photo that small and blurry, but I'll take it!  Either way, I think he/she is very cute!  ;)

This pregnancy is now {finally} starting to get very real to me!  I was a bit nervous going into the appointment, no doubt thanks to PGAL brain, but feel a bit more relaxed now.  Now I'm just realizing there's so much to do and dwindling time to do it!!!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Gift Ideas for Expectant Parents

All the incredibly sweet and thoughtful gifts I received this Christmas gave me the idea to write out a little "gift list idea guide for expectant parents"!  So without further ado, here goes...

My BFF gifted me this beautiful Willow Tree "Home" figurine:
I especially love the description from the artist, "Together, our family is home", which you can read here.  Coincidentally, for our engagement 6 years ago, my aunt gave us the Willow Tree "Together" figurine, and my godmother and mom each gave us various pieces of the Willow Tree nativity set over the past couple Christmases -- all of which I love -- so I'm very excited to add this one to our collection!  ... Even though Shep keeps trying to put the Willow Tree couple figurine IN the nativity set at Christmas, and then I keep taking it away...  it's kind of become a game at this point.  I'm sure he's going to put this one in there now, too!

Speaking of my other half...

My always thoughtful and super sweet hubby surprised me with this ornament for our tree this year:

He also got me this funny t-shirt, which is very appropriate since I work for a tech company:
But I wasn't the only one who got some new clothing!  Shep is now sporting some super nice pre-baby-wear of his own!
And, because apparently great minds think alike, I got him this ornament:

Well, there you have it!  A great gift list for expectant parents, if I do say so myself!!!  Any readers out there have any other advice or suggestions??  I'd love to hear them!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

About Having Babies

The Huffington Post recently published an article entitled "8 Things We Learned In 2013 About Having Babies".  I won't repeat the whole list here, but there is one item in particular from that list that resonated with me:

#3.  Miscarriage is more common than most people know.

I certainly learned all about that fact last year, and I know many of you can relate.  According to the article:
When researchers with Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx polled a group of more than 1,000 men and women between the ages of 18 and 69, they found that they grossly underestimated how common miscarriage, or the loss of a fetus before the 20th week is: More than half said it occurs in fewer than 6 percent of all pregnancies, but estimates suggest it actually happens in roughly 15 to 20 percent. Moreover, many respondents wrongly identified the major causes, citing stress, oral contraceptives and physical exertion, when, in fact, chromosomal abnormalities are most often to blame. The study wasn't meant to stoke fear, but rather to point out how much misinformation there is about miscarriage, and how that can leave the women and men affected by it feeling very alone.
When I think back to how clueless I was about miscarriage back in early 2013, and how intimately familiar I became with this fact over the course of the year, I wonder what I'd tell my old self if I could rewind the clock.

On the one hand, I can certainly appreciate the old adage "Ignorance is bliss".  While I was aware of the possibility of miscarriage, and even mentioned miscarriage-related fears to Hubby on a couple occasions during our first pregnancy, I was definitely in the camp of people who thought it only affected a small percentage of women.  I even remember looking up some chart that showed the percentage of miscarriage for different ages during different weeks of the pregnancy {for some reason the 5% sticks in my head as the statistical risk I thought I was facing}, and thinking that once I heard a healthy heartbeat and saw an appropriately-sized embryo during my 8 week appointment that I was probably in the clear.  What the hell did I know.

On the other hand, I wonder if I would've been more prepared for what I experienced had I known how common and what the main cause of miscarriage was.  Saying that I felt very alone would be the understatement of the year.  That's actually one of the reasons I started this blog, and why I'm so grateful to have gotten to know each of you who has been through this terrible experience -- I don't think I could've survived emotionally without the support you and others on loss message boards gave me!  I felt like I did something wrong, I was completely unprepared {and deeply frightened & scarred} by what my body was going through physically, and when I first heard the words "chromosomal abnormality" from my doctor I lost my breath and began crying uncontrollably.  I can't help but think that if I'd heard of these things before or had read or known more about miscarriage rates and causes, some parts of the experience wouldn't have been quite so frightening.  Experiencing a miscarriage would've definitely still broken my heart and left emotional scars, but perhaps if I had really known what I could very likely be facing, it would've been easier to handle.  

Yet still, I've experienced this second pregnancy to date through the eyes of someone who's been through the hell of miscarriage, and to be honest my prior experience has kept me from enjoying and sometimes even embracing this pregnancy.  Although I foolishly believed my first pregnancy was going to work out perfectly, those thoughts {wrong as they were} allowed me to look to the future with pure excitement, instead of constantly chasing worst-case scenarios and sometimes-irrational fears from my mind.  I've had a really hard time allowing myself to just be happy and to a certain extent planing for an actual baby to arrive this time around, and I wish with all my heart that weren't so.

I think what I would've told myself is:  You're NOT alone.  Sadly, there are millions of women who have gone through or are currently going through what you are.  You may have to search a little bit to find them, but they are out there -- they need you, and you need them.  But just because miscarriage is more common than you think, doesn't mean that tons of healthy babies are not born everyday, to people just like you.  The odds are still in your favor -- most pregnancies result in healthy babies.  Though it never hurts to prepare for the worst, you should ALWAYS hope for the best.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Fetal Echo Appt

Today was our Fetal Echocardiogram appointment and, much to my relief, it went well!  A fetal echo is a detailed scan of a baby's heart to look for congenital heart defects.  We underwent this non-invasive procedure due to an aortic valve defect on Hubby's side, which can be inherited.  The purpose of the exam was to determine whether any heart issues are currently presenting in our baby, and if so, what treatment options/risks would be.

Here's a sample view of a normal fetal heart, courtesy of the UPenn Medical Library:

The echo portion took about 20 minutes, during which the technician did lots of measuring and took photos at different angles using what looked and worked very much like a regular ultrasound wand.  We also heard the heart beating, which for me is always a huge relief.  I was pretty impressed that the technician was able to get all the info he needed relatively quickly despite the fact that baby kept flipping and darting around the whole time!  It appears we have a "very active baby" on our hands -- wonder where baby got those genes from?!  Certainly not me...  ;)  Despite our baby's heart measuring in at a mere 1.5 cm {which is normal, but so small to think about!}, the technician was able to identify clearly the four chambers of the heart and all appropriate major valves and vessels.  Phew!

After the technician performed the echo we met with a pediatric cardiologist to review the results.  The doctor advised us that everything looked good, and that although it is too soon to spot a bicuspid aortic valve at this point, in most cases a healthy 20 week scan means the baby will be born with a healthy heart because most of the time {I think he mentioned an estimate of 80%} left heart defects manifest themselves by 20 weeks.  The inheritance rate for left heart lesions is currently estimated in the 10-20% range, while other heart defects are typically inherited only ~ 3-5% of the time.  Left heart lesions can evolve before birth though, so as a precaution, he recommended that we return for a follow-up echo in 8-10 weeks to ensure that everything has grown appropriately and the aortic arch looks good.  If they spot something odd at the follow-up appointment, they'll have a specialist examine the baby at the hospital after delivery.  But, if all looks good at the follow-up appointment -- which is what we're hoping for -- then there's likely no need for any further concern and we'd just get a pediatric cardiologist to examine the child sometime within the first few years of life just to triple check everything.

So, for the time being we have every reason to hope for the best and try not to worry!  :)  Though I'm starting to realize that as a soon-to-be parent that is much easier said than done!!

As a side note, both the sonogram technician and the doctor were incredibly nice and explained everything clearly.  Despite being at a top medical facility with lots of patients, they each entertained all questions we had, and did not rush us at all.  We also were not kept waiting any longer than a few minutes beyond our original appointment start time.  This is all quite a novelty in NYC!

If you're interested, you can read more about Fetal Echocardiograms here.

Here, you can find some facts and information on congenital heart disease and pediatric heart conditions.

Monday, January 6, 2014

20 Weeks -- We're Halfway There!

20 Weeks!!!  We made it to the halfway point!  If this were the Super Bowl, Beyonce might be shaking it on stage right now.  Well, I may not be a sports fan, but I simply could not let an occasion like this go by without a song, so CLICK HERE PLEASE to help celebrate us!!!!  {Sorry, I'm a big fan and just couldn't resist!}

Source: The Bump
Current symptoms include:
- Weird/scary dreams
- Stuffed nose/nosebleeds
- Pain below left rib cage, especially while laying on left side
- Waking up every ~3 hours to pee {though oddly the past 2 nights I've slept through the night!}
- Continued feelings of movement in my belly, though it doesn't seem to be every day
- Continued gas, reflux & nausea, though....

This *might* be wishful thinking on my part, but it seems my nausea may finally be getting better.  Don't get me wrong, I still experience tummy queasiness at least once a day, but it seems like it might be less frequently/less intense than it used to be. While I wish the queasies would exit stage left entirely, I'll take any improvement at this point!  If it doesn't ease up more by the end of this week though, I think I'm going to look into acupuncture.  I have a LOT to do in the next 20 (plus or minus) weeks and I just can't afford for this nausea to keep slowing me down!  My to-do list is calling too loudly!

Speaking of to-do lists...

This past weekend we finally signed up for childbirth classes, and just in the nick of time!  Our hospital recommends that patients sign up by their 20th week, and we registered online on Saturday night.  Talk about waiting until the 11th hour.... quite literally!  ;)  The schedule includes five 3-hour long sessions, which will take place at the end of March/first half of April.  Just having to think about registering for lamaze classes made me start thinking more about the actual birthing process and let's just say I'M SCARED!!!!!!  I'm going to do what any self-respecting woman would do though and just avoid thinking about it for the next several months!!! Great coping mechanism, huh?!

This week we'll be going for a fetal echocardiagram test and our 20-week anatomy scan ultrasound.  PGAL {pregnant after a loss} brain has me a bit nervous for each of these, but my fingers and toes are crossed for good results at both appointments.  I think if I get my wish and we get double-healthy thumbs up this week, I might, just might, stop worrying quite so much.  Maybe?

We also still need to:
- Continue our research on local pediatricians, and set up some appointments for any potential contenders.
- Continue research / decide about using a birthing doula so we can book one if desired.
- Research the specifics of each of our maternity/paternity leaves.
- Research cord blood banking {I have lots of brochures from my OB on this topic.}
- Look into maternity & newborn photographers, as I've heard these book up fast.
- Plan a babymoon!!!!

It's just like people always say -- so much to do and so little time...  I better get to it!

But not before I leave you with an encore presentation of my favorite NJ band of all time, because I know you all love Bon Jovi as much as I do {just kidding -- not possible!} and just can't get enough ...


Sunday, January 5, 2014

19 Weeks

{This post is 1 week late, but better late than never, right?!  Please excuse my tardiness and pretend I posted this on 12/29 please!}

Wow, 19 weeks!

Our baby is now the size of a mango!  According to The Bump, he or she measures about 6 inches long and weighs in at about 8.5 ounces.  In addition to developing a protective coating over the skin, called vernix caseosa, baby is also working on his or her five senses.  Nerve cells for her sense of taste, hearing, sight and smell are developing in the brain.

Symptoms I've been {in most cases still} experiencing include: dizziness/lightheadedness, gas {including the dreaded puke burps}, acid reflux, irregular bowel movements, and sciatica pains on my left side.  Not fun, but if this is what gets us a healthy baby then I'll continue to deal!

On the to-do list for this week:

  • Research/decide about using a doula
  • Research pediatricians
  • Sign up for pre-childbirth classes
  • Create a baby registry

Although a little late, Hubby and I decided to take some photos together in front of our Christmas tree, to remember this special time.  Here's one that shows my growing bump!

Since we got all gussied up for the photos, we decided to have a nice Sunday evening date together at a local steakhouse called Dino & Harry's.  Choosing meals out is always a little more involved than it used to be, since there are so many foods I need to stay away from, but we had a delicious meal together nonetheless.  It hit me though during our quite candlelit dinner that the cozy spontaneous outings for two we've so enjoyed for so many years together are only going to be feasible for a couple more months.  After that, we'll be a family of three.  I started to get really emotional at this thought, and I'll admit there were some tableside tears.

I'm really excited to be having a baby with the love of my life, honestly.  We've been "the two of us" for so long though that it's going to take some getting used to, and like many expectant couples, we're going to have to make a bunch of changes to our lives once baby arrives.  I love and live for the quiet cuddly time I get to spend one-on-one with my Hubby and I'm really, REALLY going to miss it.  I'm absolutely sure spending time together as a family of three will be amazing, and will make my heart explode with happiness.  It's just going to be different.  I guess because the first half of this pregnancy has been so filled with so many worries about losing the baby that I haven't actually spent much time thinking about what it will be like in May once he or she hopefully makes an appearance.  I guess now that we're almost at the halfway mark, the realization that our time together as a twosome is dwindling so quickly brought some mixed emotions up inside me.  I am very happy and excited about what is to come, but that doesn't mean I won't fondly remember and even miss the things we've done and shared, just the two of us.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Reactions, Part I

Nicole asked me to recount the reactions of various people whom we've told about our pregnancy.

In no particular order, here are some of the more, ahem, memorable quotes:

  1. Nicole's mother:  "Yay!  Again?  Yay!!"
  2. My mother:  Cried, then said "Why did you tell me at a restaurant?"
  3. Nicole's BFF Jen:  "Congratulations!!!!  Is it weird that I want to go to your ultrasound?"
  4. Nicole's nearly-92-year old Grandmother:  Shocked, put both hands on her head and yelled "OH MY GOD!"; then asked Nicole's aunt who the father was.  (We won't take this one personally -- she is turning 92 this weekend!)
  5. Our Accountant:  "How did this happen?  I thought all you guys did was work?"
  6. Our Dry Cleaner:  Cried, then gave our dry cleaning for free.
  7. Nicole's Co-Worker:  Sat with mouth completely agape for 30 full seconds on a videoconference.
  8. My Boss & His Wife:   My boss wanted to know if he was the last to know.  His wife then gave us fudge and offered to babysit "anytime, day or night".
  9. My friend from High School:  "Was that a joke?  I think you should say it again because everyone thinks you were kidding." (After making a quasi-announcement in the midst of our holiday party white elephant gift exchange.)
  10. My Idiot Male Friend #1:  "Good job.  I thought you were shooting blanks this whole time."
  11. My Idiot Male Friend #2:  "Congratulations!  You guys are screwed..." (He has 2 small children.)
  12. My Aunt #1:  "It's definitely a girl!", to which My Aunt #2 replied:  "It's definitely a boy!"

Thursday, January 2, 2014

We Have Movement!

Last Sunday evening, which marked 18 weeks, Hubby and I were reading our nightly pregnancy countdown book

The entry for Week 18 states:

This is an exciting week for pregnancy Land-ers.  During their first pregnancies, many women feel their babies move for the first time right around now.  If you haven't felt anything yet, drink a glass of cold orange juice - both the coldness and the sugar are known to get babies kicking - and lie down.  Give your heart a chance to slow down.  Breathe deeply and relax.  Feel any butterflies?  How about gas bubbles?  You may not be nervous or gaseous - that fluttering and bubbling could be your baby on the move!

Slightly disheartened and a little bit nervous, I lamented to Hubby that I hadn't felt anything yet.  Well lo and behold, the very next day, I felt what I can only describe as a little pop rock exploding in my belly, or like a quick tap or twitching from the inside.  Could that be the baby???  To be honest -- and I'm a little embarrassed to admit this as it sounds really non-maternal -- it felt weird.  In fact, I didn't like it at all.... it felt like something was wrong!  It felt like popping corn, or like a little explosion.  What about the magical butterfly feeling I'd read about???  Butterflies don't sound as scary as this first felt!

I went to bed nervously, wishing I knew there was a way to verify for sure what I was feeling.  But, as I felt it again on Christmas Eve and then again later in the week, I started to accept that maybe those are healthy movements and maybe that is our baby in there saying hello!  I turned to Google and found that others described their baby's first movements very similarly to the "popping" sensation I'd experienced, so I breathed a momentary sigh of relief...

By now, I'm getting used to the feeling and have started to worry a little bit when I don't feel the pop rocks for a day or two.  {Ah, the anxieties of being pregnant after losing a pregnancy never end, do they?!}  If what I read is true, soon enough I'll be feeling movement more regularly and hopefully then I can relax a little bit.  Until then, I'm anxiously awaiting our 20 week check-up!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Here's to 2014!

Wishing you all a very happy and healthy new year, filled with loved ones and dreams come true!  xo

To all those hoping for their miracle rainbow babies, may 2014 bring your heart's desires!!!  To all those who suffered a loss in 2013, my heart goes out to you...  The year may have passed, but the memories of our little angels will be forever with us.

Hugs and lots more hugs to all of you . . .
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