Monday, July 29, 2013

Welcome, Stella Marie!

On Monday, July 22 the full moon was shining bright. I had my 40 week appointment at 3:00 p.m. that day and when checked I was 2 cm and 80% effaced. I was 3 days overdue and my doctor told me to make another appointment for that Thursday... although she said she wouldn't be surprised if I didn't make it until then.

After my appointment, I felt super crampy which wasn't uncommon for me after cervical checks. I noticed a couple hours later that these cramps started coming in waves instead of being constant. I didn't want to get too excited because I didn't want to be let down. I know so many people who have gone to the hospital only to be sent home, and being 3 days late already had taken a toll on my mental status. I didn't think I could handle being told, "No. Not yet" so we waited. At 6:30 p.m. I decided these were indeed contractions and they were becoming more regular and more intense than your average menstrual cramps. With this, I reluctantly started timing. After two hours my contractions were lasting 1-2 minutes and coming every 4 minutes. I texted my doctor to tell her this and asked if I should stick it out at home. She replied no, to please make our way to the hospital and that she had already called them to let them know we were coming. A fleet of joy swept over me but I was still cautious to get too hopeful.

We took our time getting last minute things together and drove our dog to my dad's house. Even though the contractions were getting more intense, they were still bearable. I was still nervous that this might be false labor or that it may be too early to be heading to the hospital, but we wanted to follow the doctor's orders. After we dropped Isaac off at my dad's house, we headed towards the hospital. On our way there that evening, we were feeling anxious wondering if this was the "real thing" or if we would end up being sent home. We were admiring the beautiful full moon and laughing that all along people said that I would go into labor during the full moon, and, what are the chances? Then, George Strait's "I Saw God Today" came on the radio and we felt reassured that this was it! We felt confident that we would be meeting our baby girl by sometime tomorrow. If you are unfamiliar with this song or its lyrics, here is the very last verse:

"Got my face pushed up against the nursery glass,
She's sleeping like a rock,
My name on her wrist wearing tiny pink socks,
She's got my nose, she's got her Mama's eyes,
My brand new baby girl, she's a miracle,
I saw God today."

4 days old, photos by Katie Balla

We got to the hospital around 9:30 p.m. and we were checked in. The nurse checked me and I was at 3 cm. I told her I was at 2 cm just 6 hours ago. She assured me that we would be staying and then called my doctor to let her know to make her way over! My mom arrived at this time and Shawn ran home one last time to get a few things we didn't want to pack at first just in case we wouldn't be staying. The nurse asked me if I wanted anything for pain prior to the epidural and I said not yet, I could handle it for now (which surprised everyone - even myself!). Instead, during the time Shawn was gone, my mom and I did a few laps around the maternity unit. My contractions were starting to really hurt at this point and were coming closer together. I decided I didn't want to walk anymore and would rather lay down and rest. Shawn was back by this point and the contractions were going full force. I asked the nurse if I could have the pain medicine at this point. She decided to check me one more time just in case I had progressed more. I was at 5 cm during this check, and she said that I could absolutely get the epidural right now! Little did I know how much I would love the words that just came out of her mouth. 

My doctor arrived at the same time as the anesthesiologist and my epidural was placed around midnight with no issue. Within 10 minutes I felt sweet relief (aka nothing) and I was a happy camper once again. Both the nurse and the doctor told me that they may need to administer pitocin since sometimes the epidural can slow things down. They told me to rest (haha) and that the nurse would be in around 3:00 a.m. to check me again. Shawn, my mom, and I all rested as best we could. This was pretty difficult to do with the crazy lightening storm going on right out the window, my blood pressure being checked automatically, and, oh yeah, the excitement that this little girl was surely on her way!

Around 3:00 a.m. the nurse came in as promised and checked me again. I was at 8 1/2 cm and 90% effaced. I was so happy that the epidural did not slow things down and that I wouldn't be needing pitocin or anything else to keep labor going. Again, she told us to sleep (haha) and that she would come back around 5:30 a.m. to check me again. 

4 days old, photo by Katie Balla

I honestly thought that this would be the longest night of my life, however I can truly say that the night went quickly. Maybe I got more sleep than I thought I did. But either way, around 5:00 a.m. I had to page my nurse because I was feeling pressure. She came in and checked me and told me I was complete! We talked briefly about first time labor and she told me that many people push for 1-2 hours with their first baby. This scared me but I was ready. We were all ready! 

At 5:30 a.m. my nurse had me do a couple "practice pushes" to see what we had to work with. After the second round of pushes, she told me to stop because she saw the baby's head already. She paged my doctor who came in, got ready, was chatting us all up, and was generally in an all-around good mood. I pushed a total of 4 times with my doctor and our sweet Stella Marie was born at 5:53 a.m. on July 23, 2013.

We were undecided with names up until this point, which was fine with us since we always have said we wanted to meet our baby before we decided 100%. After Stella was handed to her daddy, she locked eyes with him and was instantly calm. She stared at him and he stared at her. The nurse said she had never seen a baby do this in her 20 years of nursing. It was such a special moment. Stella was then handed to me and remained so bright-eyed and calm. This moment was so indicative of my entire pregnancy, labor and delivery. I looked at Shawn and asked him what he thought her name was. I told him I think she is a Stella. Our little star. Our bright-eyed girl. And he agreed. 

These past 6 days have been a whirlwind. They have been the longest yet shortest days of my life. What's that saying, the minutes go slow but the years go fast? Something like that? Yeah. I am living it now. I GET IT now. And I am so enjoying my new title as Mama to our sweet Stella Bear. 

4 days old, photo by Katie Balla

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Giving Up

Throughout my entire pregnancy I have been saying I would work until baby shows up, even if I was overdue. People would roll their eyes when I told them this and I would tell them it would give me more time with my baby at home so it would be worth it. Now, I can truly say I underestimated the power these last couple weeks can have over a lady and her sanity. After nearly breaking down crying several times and almost biting a couple heads off, I decided it would be best for everyone (baby, coworkers, and myself) if tomorrow - my due date - was my last work day. I need a clean break. I don't think I could mentally enter next week at a comfortable or peaceful place.

Part of me feels like I gave up. I didn't reach my goal. I'm a quitter. But then I remind myself that making it to 40 weeks and working until my due date is reaching a goal. This little girl just has slightly different plans than I do. That doesn't mean I failed. From what I've heard, motherhood ain't easy. And it's all about giving yourself grace. And having patience. To say I just received a crash course in these lessons this last week would be an understatement. And I know once this little one decides to show, I will learn exponentially more than I could ever have thought.

Baby B, we can't wait to meet you. We can't wait to see your face and give you a name. Please don't make us wait too much longer!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Dear Baby Girl

Dear Baby Girl,

Your due date is one week away and I can hardly believe how fast these past 39 weeks have gone. From the moment we started praying for you to the moment we found out we would be parents all the way to the moment we found out we would be adding a sweet daughter to our family and now today, one week away from your expected arrival. These moments have flown by and I have cherished each and every one of them so much. My heart can hardly stand waiting another moment for you, but I know this is all in the plan. It's all in the making and modeling of me becoming your mama. It's not about your daddy or me anymore, it's all about you, sweet girl. And I know this last week (or weeks) you will make that quite apparent. It's your schedule and God's timing and I know it will be perfect.

I imagine what you will look like and dream about your future hopes and dreams. From about half way through my pregnancy with you, you have made yourself well-known as you bounce around and throw parties in my belly. I believe you will have your daddy's energy and that the two of you will give me a run for my money. I can tell you will be a daddy's girl already as you always put on a show when daddy is around and puts his hands on my belly. And in return, he is so smitten by you already. I have no doubts you will completely have him (and me) wrapped around your little finger.

I pray and wish that you take only the best characteristics that your daddy and I exude. I hope you have his motivation and determination. I hope you never let someone tell you that you cannot do something, and that when someone does tell you this, you only let it fuel your fire instead of dim your spirits. I hope you have my compassion and always fight for what you believe in, even if your opinion is not the most popular. I hope you are able to speak your mind as I do, but have the charm and grace that your daddy does once you deliver your message. I hope you work hard and play hard. I hope you have a love for others yet know your independence. And I hope you always remember what is most important in this life and that your family will always be there for you, loving you and supporting you every step of the way, just as your grandparents have done for us.

Baby Girl, your daddy and I cannot wait to meet you. I know you will be the perfect addition to our little family and the light of our lives. Until your birthday, we will pray and dream of your safe and healthy arrival. And I know once you are here, you will blow our hopes and dreams for you out of the water.

Love Always,


Friday, May 17, 2013

31 Weeks

We had our last fetal echo and ultrasound yesterday and it was so nice to see our sweet girl one more time before she makes her debut into the world! Thankfully, her heart looks great and her measurements are all on track! They estimated her to be around 3.3 lbs and in the 23rd percentile, which my doctor says is perfect for my height and weight (I'm a shorty at 5'2" for those that didn't know!). We invited my mom to this ultrasound and I'm so glad we did. It was an awesome experience for all of us and I am even more excited for our delivery now (my mom will be joining us in the delivery room). I had no idea they would do 4D pictures/video but I'm really excited they did. We would not have paid to get them done on our own but seeing her moving in 3D was amazing. We had the best tech... she gave us literally no less than 20 pictures! Only 9 more weeks to go... time is flying!

31 Week 4D & 2D Pictures

How far along are you?: 31 weeks!

How I'm feeling: I noticed I am a lot more tired this past week... but overall I feel good!

How big is baby?: At our ultrasound yesterday, they estimated her at 3.3 lbs.

Maternity clothes: Yes please!

Stretch marks?: Not on the belly and not from pregnancy!

Sleep: Sleeping really well but still tired in the mornings. I guess that just means we're getting closer!

Best moment this week: Seeing our little girl on an ultrasound and hearing that everything is looking great!!

Movement: She is a wiggle worm - all of the ultrasound techs even commented on it!

Food cravings: Nothing really. Basically anything :)

Food aversions: None.

Labor signs: Braxton Hicks but nothing painful!

Belly button in or out: So far in... I would be really surprised if it pops out.

What I miss: A glass of wine here and there... but I have been substituting either Nutella or candy so... I'm not sure if that's any better!

What I'm looking forward to: My shower tomorrow!

Milestone: We are in the single digit countdown weeks-wise. I feel as though this pregnancy flew by and I have truly enjoyed most of it. I am getting really excited to meet our girl and finally pick out a name for her once we hold her in our arms!

Friday, May 10, 2013

30 Weeks

How far along are you?: 30 weeks (has it really been 6 weeks since my last bump-date? Woops! Are you happy now, Mom? Hehe...)

How I'm feeling: I have been blessed with quite an easy pregnancy. With that being said, I have noticed some more aches and pains towards the end of the day. Also, I've started having sciatic nerve pain occasionally - no fun! Overall, I feel really lucky though.

How big is baby?: A butternut squash - over 3 lbs! Not sure what it changes to tomorrow.

Maternity clothes: Almost everything.

Stretch marks?: Not on the belly. I have some on my sides from gaining weight a while ago (pre-pregnancy) but I haven't noticed any new ones since becoming pregnant.

Sleep: Great! Sometimes I get up once a night but it's not all the time.

Best moment this week: The movement. Our little girl is so active and watching her and feeling her throw dance parties in my belly has by far been my favorite part of pregnancy!

Movement: So much. All day long and especially at night when I lay down and am relaxing.

Food cravings: Nothing really.

Food aversions: None.

Labor signs: I've been having Braxton Hicks contractions for a few weeks now. They aren't painful but it's so weird to feel and see my belly tighten up!

Belly button in or out: Still very in.

What I miss: Shawn and I are going away to DC this weekend for our anniversary and we have already started saying certain things we can't do or need to be careful of due to lots of walking (and my sciatic pain). I get down on myself for not being able to do things I used to be able to do without thinking twice! But I know all in good time I will be back ;) 

What I'm looking forward to: Our 31 week ultrasound next week! I can't wait to see our little girl up on the big screen again!

Milestone: Our names are basically narrowed down to two, so that is exciting. We each have our favorite but we both like the other's choice as well. We will have to let our girl decide when she is born! Also, hitting 30 weeks and only have 10 (more? less?) weeks left until we meet her... wow. That is a big thing for me! We also had our nursery furniture delivered last week and I LOVE IT! I can't wait to finish the decorating now!

Friday, March 29, 2013

24 Weeks

How far along are you?: 24 weeks... 6 months!

How I'm feeling: Pretty good. As of two days ago I've starting having acid reflux which is not fun. But still, I've had it so so easy this far.

How big is baby?: Today an ear of corn, tomorrow an eggplant!

Maternity clothes: Besides some cardigans, it's all I wear!

Stretch marks?: Not on the belly. 

Sleep: Pretty good. I usually go all night without having to pee. Sometimes once a night which I can deal with!

Best moment this week: Watching our girl squirm around in my belly. So awesome.

Movement: Yes! We have a wild child on our hands!

Food cravings: Varies by day.

Food aversions: Nope.

Labor signs: No, thank you.

Belly button in or out: In. Too far in. It bothers me.

What I miss: Being able to work out without issues. I bought a support band for my belly this week that will hopefully help with the abdominal and back pain I've been experiencing when I go to the gym.

What I'm looking forward to: Getting the nursery finished! My mom has generously offered to paint the nursery. She started yesterday since she had the day off work and is hoping to finish with Shawn's help today! Baby B's furniture should be delivered towards the end of April!

Milestone: Seeing out wild child move around in my belly and narrowing our name choices from six to three! We still will not be deciding on a name 100% until we meet her, however it feels good to narrow it down!

Friday, March 15, 2013

22 Weeks

22 weeks. That sounds so far yet I know I have a long(ish) way to go. Still. I cannot believe we are over half way to meeting our little girl. I wake up every morning feeling bigger than the last, which makes sense because my What to Expect app told me that these next few weeks I'm in for some serious weight gain (both baby and myself).

Grow baby girl, grow :)

Friday, March 8, 2013

I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

Ever since I found out I was pregnant I feel as though I belonged to a secret society I had always dreamed of joining. Dramatic much? But seriously. I had seen it all over social media. Facebook, blogs, twitter, Instagram... the mama love flows. And it flows deep.

I always felt disconnected in a sense. Frankly, because I was. But ever since I was initiated if you will as a mama myself, I have felt that connection and that love. I have felt support from strangers I have never met. That is something that will never cease to amaze me.

Advice and clothing has been flying at me. Katie lent me her whole maternity wardrobe a ton of stuff which has been so so helpful. Seriously, if you've seen me in any maternity clothes there's a 90% chance it's something of Katie's. Shannon sent me work pants and darling little shoes for our baby girl. I've been offered books, DVDs, and numerous other things. I've been spoken to kindly and honestly from countless mamas, even when I have silly first-timer questions (a lot). I get to experience all of this because of this connection I now share with these ladies. Something that I feel so honored and blessed to be a part of.

The love doesn't stop with the mamas though. I have also received so much love, support, and excitement from others as well. Kate, an extremely talented photographer, had some headbands and hats laying around that she decided to bestow upon me. The cuteness is to die for.

All this to say? I feel so blessed to have people in my life that are willing to help and to lend a helping hand. And I am already beginning to see just how loved our little girl is. How loved I am. How loved we are as a family. From what I hear, motherhood isn't easy - but it is so so worth it. These mamas, friends, and family members are already making me realize just how worth it it is.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Halfway There!

20 weeks

 How far along are you?: 20 weeks. 5 months. HALFWAY THERE!

How I'm feeling: Feeling good. I had a little episode this week of intense stomach pains. I called the doctor and she thought I was most likely dehydrated. After upping my water intake, I've felt much better. Lesson learned.

How big is baby?: At our anatomy scan last week she was 9 oz!

Maternity clothes: Pretty sure I'd like to wear them for the rest of my life :)

Stretch marks?: I've noticed some...  but not on my belly!

Sleep: Not bad.

Best moment this week: Buying clothes for our little girl and feeling her move more frequently and stronger.

Movement: Definitely feeling her every day now and stronger, however it's still not noticeable from the outside yet - so Shawn has not felt her yet.

Food cravings: Whatever, whenever.

Food aversions: None. 

Labor signs: No, thank you.

Belly button in or out: In.

What I miss: Sadly, I miss my old body. I did not think it would be this hard on my self esteem because I know it's supposed to happen and it's normal and healthy... but it's still hard. Going from a strict diet for 2+ years to seeing the scale go up and up and watch my waist (and other areas) growing is hard. But I'm working on it :)

What I'm looking forward to: Narrowing down some names!

Milestone: Finding out our little one is a GIRL! I am so excited to have a daughter and Shawn is going to rock at being a girl dad. The first thing he said to me the day after we found out was, "How are my girls doing today?!" .... and then I melted :)

Friday, February 22, 2013

It's a...

Let me start off by saying amen and hallelujah for early morning appointments. I woke up with butterflies in my tummy yesterday which soon turned to a combination of nerves and excitement which made me feel like I was going to throw up. In fact, I kept saying to Shawn, "I think I might throw up..." But by the time I was showered, finished getting ready, and ate a little breakfast, it was time to go!

Our first part of the appointment was our fetal echo. Since I have a congenital heart condition, they wanted to take a look at baby's ticker as well. Thankfully everything looks nice and normal and there is no sign of any heart issues with baby, although they do want to take another look in the rare chance that something changes between now and then (around 32 weeks). The cardiologist did tell us her prediction on the gender but said it wasn't her "specialty" so not to fully trust her. Honestly, I'm a little disappointed she did this because we didn't ask her to and it took away from the build up of the whole "it's a....!!!" but that's fine. A healthy baby was our main focus!

After the fetal echo was complete, it was back out to the waiting room to wait for the tech to call us back. Thank goodness that didn't take too long. She showed us baby's head and brain, legs, arms, abdomen, spine, and profile. Pretty sure we saw some other body parts too but I find it impossible to remember everything at this point. Our little wiggle worm was in a position with its back up and head down and tucked under the chin, so it was a little difficult to get a perfect picture of the profile, but I am definitely happy with what we got :) I am so happy to report that baby looks healthy! Again, that was our main focus and I was so relieved to hear that all is well!

After all the odds and ends were measured... she took a look between the legs. She checked with us to make sure we wanted to know and we gave her the go-ahead. (For the record, the cardiologist was correct in her prediction.)

So without further ado, I present to you our little...


We are delighted to be welcoming a DAUGHTER come July! I really don't think it's fully set in yet but every time I refer to Baby B as a "she" or a "her" I just smile. I can't stop looking at her little profile picture and wondering who she will look like. I can't wait to seriously start discussing names and to see her little face. I think of so many wonderful opportunities I will get to experience being the mama of a little girl. Our little princess!

And now... let the shopping begin!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


I admit. When I first heard of a "babymoon" I rolled my eyes.

Us Time: Exhibit A

Us Time: Exhibit B

Then I got pregnant. And life got busy and hectic and OMG where has all my time gone? Where has my MIND gone? It's hard. Much harder than I thought it would be. Definitely one of those things that you don't "get" until you go through it. People can continually tell you that you won't understand until you go through it... but you won't understand the reality of what they are saying until you go through it either. But now I know better. And this past long holiday weekend Shawn and I took a "babymoon." And it was heaven.

Friend Time: Exhibit A

Friend Time: Exhibit B

Shawn and I are travelers. We will go anywhere, anytime. We just love to get away. I know this won't be as much of an option once baby comes, so we decided to book one last trip. With not wanting to use any vacation days at work so I could save for maternity leave, it had to be something relatively quick. Luckily, Presidents' Day falls right between our birthdays. So why not have a combined birthday/Valentine's Day/"babymoon" long weekend? Right now we have the money, the time, and the freedom. All of which might be running dry come the month of July. So we booked it. A trip to Arizona. Just a Friday to Monday get away. Our time was short but we only had a few main goals for our trip: Us time, visiting friends, yummy food, and sunshine. All of these were more than accomplished this past weekend.

Yummy Food: Exhibit A

Yummy Food: Exhibit B

Honestly? I needed this for myself. We needed this as a couple. I rolled my eyes at the thought of a "babymoon" before I was pregnant because I was just thinking it was a cutesy way to say vacation. But it was so much more. I came back feeling refreshed and renewed. It gave us time away from "reality" to enjoy ourselves and focus on each other. Whether or not it is intentional, day to day life is hectic and busy these days and sometimes the "us" gets pushed aside. I know anyone can really claim that to be true, but I have really been feeling the pressure and these overwhelming feelings since finding out we were expecting. So now, as I sit here and eat my words, I would like to declare myself a believer of the babymoon (no quotations needed this time).

Sunshine: Exhibit A

Sunshine: Exhibit B

And now that we have returned relaxed, refreshed, and renewed... we get to look forward to finding out a little more about the little one growing in my belly! That's right, we find out TOMORROW if we are on Team Pink or Team Blue! Have you voted yet?! Watch out for our announcement on Friday!

18w2d bump in AZ
Lastly, I wanted to wish a very happy birthday to my husband and baby daddy (too klassy not to laugh) - I love you Shawn! Looking forward to making this our best year yet ;)

Friday, February 15, 2013

18 Weeks

Leaving on a jet plane...

How far along are you?: 18 weeks!

How I'm feeling: Besides being coughy, congested, and stuffy this past week I feel great baby-wise. It just sucks being sick and pregnant.

How big is baby?: Today, a sweet potato. Tomorrow, a mango!

Maternity clothes: Yes, yes, yes!

Stretch marks?: Nope. 

Sleep: I have been waking up 1-5 times a night due to coughing and being sick, but I think I'm about over that. Hoping to get a full night's sleep in again soon!

Best moment this week: We leave tonight for Arizona! Consider this our birthday/Valentine's Day/babymoon. I can't wait for warm weather!

Movement: Still feeling flutters occasionally. Nothing consistent yet.

Food cravings: Still varies by day, but usually something salty.

Food aversions: None. 

Labor signs: No.

Belly button in or out: In.

What I miss: Being able to take the real-deal medicine. Options are limited these days and frankly, they don't get the job done.

What I'm looking forward to: Leaving for Arizona tonight for a long weekend and our gender scan next week!

Milestone: Monday was my 27th birthday. This is the year I will meet my baby. This blows my mind.

Don't forget to cast your vote in our Team Pink or Team Blue poll below!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Pink or Blue?

To keep me occupied while we wait...

Another lovely mama-to-be, Pam, posted the same poll to her blog and I knew I had to copy her immediately!

Here is a list of some old wives' tales and what they "say" to thoroughly confuse your vote:

Heartbeat: Has been in the 160-170's. GIRL.

Cravings: More salty than sweet. BOY.

Morning Sickness: Some nausea but no actual, physical sickness. BOY.

Moody/Happy: Shawn just told me last night that he thinks I'm handling the pregnancy "well" and that I've been in a good mood. We'll go with that. BOY.

Skin: I've always be lucky to have nice skin. Until I got pregnant. They say little ladies "steal your beauty." GIRL.

Sleep: I've been sleeping mostly on my right side. GIRL.

Headaches: Yes. Lots. BOY.

Needle/Thread: A coworker who has a "winning" streak of 15 years did the needle and thread trick on me. The result? BOY.

Mama: What do I think? Ha. I am just as clueless as these old wives tales ;) If you made me guess I would say boy, but I honestly do not have a strong feeling either way. I wouldn't be shocked if Baby B turns out to be a BOY or a GIRL... how's that for neutral?

So it's safe to say my body,  brain, and the old wives who tell their tales are not leaning one way or another. Inconclusive. I guess they have a 50/50 shot at being right though!

So what's your vote? Click here to let us know!

We will be finding out next Thursday, February 21!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Year 27

At age 23 I graduated college and got engaged. A year later at 24 I was married. Year 25 Shawn and I moved back home to PA and then at 26 we bought a house to make our home. Now, in my 27th year, we will be welcoming a new addition into our family. Life has been busy, yet beautiful. I am feeling so blessed.

Friday, February 1, 2013

16 Weeks

16 weeks

How far along are you?: 16 weeks... cannot believe I am 4 months already.

How I'm feeling: Good! No complaints. I feel very fortunate that I've had such an easy pregnancy thus far. Hopefully that doesn't mean labor and delivery is going to make up for lost time ;) 

How big is baby?: An avocado! My favorite! And you better believe my coworkers and I are ordering Chipotle today in celebration.

Maternity clothes: Thanks to Katie I am completely set for maternity clothes! I am loving the maternity jeans and their stretchy waist... I want to wear them like, forever. I am still wearing mostly non-maternity tops.

Stretch marks?: Nope. 

Sleep: I can't complain.

Best moment this week: I think the bump has officially shown itself for good! Also....

Movement: Another best moment. I think *think* I have felt movement while lying in bed one night this week. It felt kind of like popcorn popping very lightly. I'm not positive, but I'm going to go with it ;) Definitely not consistent yet though.

Food cravings: Whatever I feel like that day. Nothing in particular!

Food aversions: None really. 

Labor signs: No.

Belly button in or out: Innie.

What I miss: Zumba. I did take one (and a half) classes at the new gym I joined. These classes are much lower impact than my old Zumba classes so I can usually do it with modifications. I got too overheated the last time I tried though. I miss shakin' it!

What I'm looking forward to: A birthday weekend/"babymoon" to Arizona! We are just going for a long weekend but I cannot wait! Also, we have our gender ultrasound on February 21!

Milestone: The "flutters" - if that's what they were ;)

Friday, January 25, 2013

15 Weeks

Yesterday was my 15 week check up and although I always get anxious for these appointments, thankfully all is well. "Perfect" even - in my doctor's words. Even my weight is good which is something I really struggled with in the beginning of my pregnancy. I went from counting points and/or calories for almost two years straight to feeling nauseous all day long - where the only thing that helped was eating (mostly carbs) all day long. So to say I packed on the pounds in my first trimester would be an understatement, but I'm happy that it seems to be under control now that the nausea is gone.

Baby B's heartbeat was 161 yesterday and has been high each time so far. The doctor was teasing Shawn telling him it's going to be a girl and "he's in trouble." He initially thought she was for real saying it was a girl and his reaction was priceless. That poor man would be a big pile of mush with a baby girl (which I would just love to see) but I honestly know he will be a wonderful father to either gender - which is one of the top reason I married the guy (along with love and trust and all that jazz).

I always feel a sense of relief after my appointments. I can't wait to feel the little one moving around in there - I feel like that will give me a bit of relief. Although I hear it's always something and the worry never ends. At least I can hope that it decreases a bit. Either way, bring on the flutters!

My second trimester has also seemed to bring along a feeling of being overwhelmed. Stretched. Exhausted. I don't know if this is normal or if I just have coping issues - but I feel like now that I'm a mama-to-be I have trouble completing my other life roles. It is hard for me to look past the most!important!thing!ever! and see that these other areas still are in need of my attention. Normal? I don't know. But I hope it gets better. I feel neglectful and sloppy. And I'm embarrassed to admit it. I hate feeling that way. Any coping or adjustment tips are welcomed. Until then, I will try and keep my head above water and enjoy this time. I know the best (and the most hectic) days are yet to come.

Happy weekend :)

Friday, January 18, 2013

14 Weeks

I struggle back and forth with trying to make these "bumpdate" posts original, but I guess when it comes down to it... there's not much room for imagination. Or at least I can't find that room. So I think I will stick with the usual questions that everyone uses for their posts (thanks, blog mamas) and throw in random things I think along the way.

14 weeks

How far along are you?: 14 weeks 

How I'm feeling: Good! My only real "complaint" would be the awful headaches I'm getting. Usually a little caffeine helps. 

How big is baby?: Today a lemon but I believe tomorrow changes to an orange! 

Maternity clothes: I have one pair of maternity skinnies and a couple tops that I wear. A few pairs of regular jeans fit me, some need a belly band. Thankfully I kept my bigger work pants (one size up) from when I lost weight, so I have been wearing those. 

Stretch marks?: Nope. 

Sleep: I sleep well most nights now with minimal bathroom breaks. Weekends I find myself sleeping in longer than I normally would. 

Best moment this week: Finally starting to see a "bump" instead of a "big lunch" - but this varies still. 

Movement: It's happening, but I can't feel it yet. 

Food cravings: Junk, junk, and more junk. I struggle with this. My cravings are mostly salty. I love mac and cheese and cheeseburgers. And Chipotle, but that's not really a pregnancy craving. 

Food aversions: None really. 

Labor signs: Thankfully, no. 

Belly button in or out: In! 

What I miss: Honestly? I would really like a glass of wine here and there.

What I'm looking forward to: My 15 week appointment next week - I just love hearing that sweet heartbeat! 

Milestone: Hitting the second trimester! Yay! 

And just for reference, here is a picture of my 4 week "bump" and my 14 week bump. You can tell the cami was a bit loose at 4 weeks, but obviously, that is no longer the case.

4 weeks vs 14 weeks - Something's growing :)

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Baby B Details

First off I'd like to say how blessed and grateful we feel after all of the social media congratulations, OMGs, and excitement in general. Thank you all so much, and I look forward to (attempting) to document this pregnancy and beyond.

Let me just start by saying that finding out I was pregnant was nothing like I imagined it would be. I had it in my head that I would have all of these "symptoms" leading up to the day that just told me I was, in fact, with child. Not really the case. If we're being honest, I felt more "symptoms" in the months we didn't conceive - mind games, say what? But alas, here is our story...

The morning my monthly friend was due to arrive also happened to be a day I signed up to donate blood. If you're not up speed on your blood donation rules and regulations, it is strongly frowned upon to donate blood while pregnant. This was a Wednesday. November 7th to be exact. Well, logically I didn't want to test on a weekday. I wasn't worried about finding out I wasn't pregnant - I was worried about finding out that I was and how I would handle it and OMG how would I go into work?! But, in my twisted little mind I rationalized: A) I can't donate blood if I'm pregnant and B) I would feel like a jerk canceling my appointment only to find out I wasn't pregnant. Whatever, it made sense to me at the time.

So I had bought a bunch of cheapo tests off of Amazon because, um, have you seen the price of regular tests at drug stores? Ridiculous. So I took one. I took two. Neither were showing anything until after the window and then comes the question of evap lines. I wasn't convinced. I had no real symptoms outside of normal period symptoms, but for some reason I felt compelled to keep testing. So I dug out an old digital test I had. I was sure it would say "Not Pregnant" - everything I had read told me that digitals are less sensitive than regular dye tests (I was only 3w5d). Also, I discovered it had expired two months prior (surely making it even less likely to show me the results I had hoped for). Well, it blinked. And blinked. And then it told me I was pregnant. I even held it up to the light like you do with the two line tests and squinted to see if the "Not" was hiding somewhere... yeah, I wish I was kidding. But I'm not. And then I started texting my favorite Canadian mama-of-two Lindsay and Googling like crazy. Do I trust this two-month-expired test telling me I'm pregnant? Both Lindsay and Google told me if anything, an expired test would be more likely to give you a false negative before a false positive. I was still hesitant to believe it.

I decided this would be a good time to wake my husband up. "Shawn... I don't want to get too excited because this test is expired... but it's telling me I'm pregnant." He immediately wakes up and starts questioning me. He wasn't convinced either. So I made him asked him politely to drive to the drug store right down the road. Closed. The grocery store was closed also. The next logical thing? Email work to say I'd be an hour late. Check. Get ready for work. Check. Drive to the store myself (make husband wait at home) to buy another digital. IT HAS TO BE A DIGITAL. Except this little mom and pop store doesn't carry digitals. So I bought two different name-brand expensive tests. Thank goodness for self-checkout lanes.

I take two different tests and Shawn and I watch them like a hawk. Two lines. A plus sign. Both were very clear. Insert celebratory hugs and kisses and, "Ummm, we're having a baby!!" - only like two hours after we should have. Better late than never right? Oh, and in case you lost count, I took six tests total (one the next day just to make sure I wasn't dreaming, duh).

If I haven't scared you away with my crazy pregnancy story, congratulations. Now you get to know the fun stuff (at least I consider this the fun stuff).

Due Date?: July 19, 2013
Ultrasounds?: Two (Heartbeats: 163 (8w), 175 (8w4d)). I have congenital heart disease and therefore see a perinatologist - this is why I get more ultrasounds than the average lady!
Little Man or Little Lady?: We find out on February 21 - the day after Shawn's birthday!
Names?: We have some front-runners but will not be deciding on a name 100% until we meet the little one.
How am I feeling?: Good now! I was lucky overall. Sure, I had days where I was so nauseous that I wanted to cry, but I was fortunate to never actually toss my cookies. Fatigue wasn't a big symptom for me either - although I did notice on weekends when I was home, relaxing (see: not working) I felt a lot more sick and tired. Besides symptoms? I'm terrified. Constantly worrying about this little one growing inside of me. The first trimester is a real mind-screw because how do you REALLY know what's going on? My anxiety is starting to decrease and my excitement level is starting to rise. I ask that you just pray for this little one... and my sanity :)

Any other questions? Since I'm new to the mom-thing I'm not sure what other things people find interesting.

Again, thank you. Thank you for your well wishes and congratulations. Thank you for starting on this wild, crazy, scary journey with me.