Monday, September 27, 2010

7 Weeks Pregnant

Well, I'm at 7 weeks and still feeling good, pregnancy wise! I'm not posting a belly shot this time because there's no point. See last week's photo! :-) The baby is supposed to be the size of a blueberry now. I'm looking at two different books and a bunch of websites to get my information, and it gets confusing since there seem to be slight discrepancies between them, and also when it says, "Week 7," it's hard to tell whether it's referring to the beginning of week 7 (so, 6 weeks pregnant), or the end of the week (7 weeks pregnant). Anyway, last week when I said the baby was 2 to 4 millimeters, I think that information was really for the week before. Last week it should have been about 5 millimeters, and now it's more than twice that! Baby had a growth spurt this week. One of the books I have shows an enlarged image and an actual size image, which is neat. The picture for week 7 is about as long as my index finger is wide. So still pretty small, but growing fast! I can't find a good picture to put on here this time, but the one in my book looks a lot chubbier, with a rounder head and a shorter tail. The arm buds are longer than the leg buds. The primary bronchi (air passages into the lungs) are present, as well as the pancreas and appendix. The intestines are growing in the umbilical cord, which I thought was interesting. They move into the abdomen later. This week the facial features, like the nose and ears, will start to define themselves, and fingers and toes will also begin to form.

Travis was sick with a cold for a few days last week, and on Wednesday I started feeling like I was getting it too. Thursday I felt even worse, so I cancelled lessons and laid on the couch all day. Friday morning I felt WAY better, except I still had a bit of nausea. I'm thinking that was probably morning sickness, even though I haven't had much of it since. It's very mild.

One symptom that I've had from the beginning is lots of peeing! It's starting to annoy me more and more, especially at night. If I don't fall asleep within 15 minutes, I have to get up and go again, and again, and again. I hear this symptom usually disappears in the second trimester, only to return again at the end of the pregnancy. Other than that, I've just been a little more hungry. I don't really think I eat more, but I eat more often, because if I let myself stay hungry, that's when I start to feel sick. Certain foods are starting to sound very unappetizing to me as well, but it's not always the same foods, and not all the time.

We have made some progress on the birth center choices, etc. I don't want to give birth in a hospital, for too many reasons to list here. I will probably tell you more about it later on. I have done tons of research and have come to the conclusion that it's actually riskier to give birth in a hospital than at home. Higher risk of infection, higher probability of unnecessary interventions, such as C-sections, less opportunity for bonding with the baby, etc., etc. We considered doing a home birth, but now we're pretty sure we're going with a birth center. I have no worries about doing a home birth, but I think it would be stressful to have to set everything up here, and they'd have to bring in a birthing pool and all kinds of equipment. I don't want to have to worry about all of that. I just want to stay comfortable and relaxed throughout labor so that it will be as easy as possible (though I know it won't be easy).

I want to be clear that I'm not judgmental of people who want to give birth in a hospital. I think everyone should make the choice that they are the most comfortable with. But I am definitely pro-considering-your-options. I think a lot of women don't realize there is even a choice to be made.

Anyway, the birth center we visited is called Labors of Love. It's in Spartanburg, only about 15 minutes from us. We really liked it there, and liked the midwives. The concern is insurance. Our insurance is the ONLY one they know of that doesn't cover them! So, just to check, I called another birth center in Simpsonville (nearly an hour away). They said, no, our insurance doesn't cover them, either. "But wait, we're running a special right now!" A special? Isn't that strange? As if people are gonna go, "Oh! A special! We better get pregnant before we miss it!" Their 25% off "special" still puts them just over the regular price of Labors of Love. Also, if we do the Bradley childbirth class at Labors of Love, we will get a discount (I don't know how much). So, we're sticking with Labors of Love (I keep wanting to shorten it to LOL!).

We might switch insurance companies, or we might be able to talk ours into covering the birth there because of the Affordable Care Act, which, as of a few days ago, supposedly requires all insurance companies to cover prenatal care. I'm afraid they'll say, "Yes, we'll cover it...IF you go to the hospital!"

But, even if we have to pay for it out of pocket, it's not much more than we'd have to pay at a hospital AFTER insurance covered most of it. In other words, hospitals charge WAY more than birth centers do, but insurance covers all but about $3,000 at a hospital. Labors of Love charges $3500 for everything including postnatal care until 6 weeks after the birth. The only difference is that we have to pay it all before the birth.

House stuff -- this is the last thing, I promise! I emailed our real estate agent several days ago and told her that if we're going to sell the house, it needs to be soon. I asked her if we could lower the price a bit, and if she could feature the house on their website. She has not gotten back to me! Anyone know of a good realtor?! We are so done with her.

Come back for week 8!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

6 Weeks Pregnant!

Yes...I'm pregnant! I have so much to talk about that I don't even know where to start! We are so excited.

In my last post, I was certain that I was not pregnant. I expected to feel different somehow. I guess I just thought that I would know. A couple of weeks ago on a Saturday night, I noticed I was feeling a little nauseous. Even
though that's not an unusual feeling for me (I just get random mild nausea once in a while), I decided that was reason enough for me to take a pregnancy test the next morning.

Travis had told me weeks in advance that he wanted to be present for the test, so we got up
together on Sunday to watch the line (or lines) appear. I remember setting the test down on the counter and nonchalantly explaining to him that one line is negative and two lines is positive, but that "this is totally going to be negative." As soon as I had said that, I looked back at the test and was in disbelief at what I saw. A very faint line was appearing. Was I seeing things? Travis wasn't sure what to think. He almost didn't believe it since it was so much lighter than the other line. I

had to convince him that a line is a line, and
immediately I did another test to make sure the first one wasn't just defective. Same results. I remember saying things like, "No way! Holy crap! Honey?!" Travis was just smiling. And then we had to be off to church since Travis was teaching a Sunday school lesson on the history of church architecture and symbols. :-) I kept taking tests daily all week to watch the line get darker. And here they are:

I can't make that any bigger...I hope you can see it. The first red line on each test is the test line, the second is the control line, and "DPO" means "Days Post Ovulation."
I took one more on day 23, and the test line was quite a bit darker than the control line.

We have told our families except Travis's grandmother, who lives in North Carolina. We plan to go visit her on Tuesday and tell her. I managed to capture most of our families' reactions on video. I need to get them uploaded and edited and hopefully post them on here... I hope no one will object! Those moments were life changing for us, and I'm excited to share them.

The baby is now considered an embryo...I guess I'm not sure what it was before! :-) It should be between 2 and 4 millimeters long. The "neural groove" should be closing and brain chambers and eyes are forming. The heart has started beating, and little arms and legs are probably starting to sprout. Personally, I think it looks like a baby shark or something. :-) By the end of this week, it should be much bigger and look slightly more human.

I've had almost no symptoms, and I'm crossing my fingers that it stays that way! I went ahead and posted a belly shot, even though I'm no bigger so far -- ok, I might have a bit of a belly, but that's a food baby! Pregnant women digest food more slowly in order to get more nutrients out for the baby.

This week we're hoping to finalize where we will be going for prenatal care. We have some insurance stuff to figure out. We have met with a midwife, but I have not had any real prenatal appointments yet.

I forgot to tell you my due date. The midwife we met with told me that I am due on May 16th, but I know that my weeks change over on a Sunday, and May 16th is a Monday. So, not that it makes much of a difference, but I think I am due on May 15th, since that's when I will be 40 weeks pregnant (full term). Really, though, I could give birth any time in May.

Also, Travis is the sweetest! The day after we found out, he had a day off for Labor Day, and he suggested we go to Babies R Us, which was a lot of fun! He kisses my belly every morning before he goes to work, and he said this in an email recently: "I hope you know I am REALLY excited about all of this! I keep thinking of the two of you and beaming!"

And now, I will conclude this post with some photos of things we gave our family members to announce the pregnancy. Be back next week!

Made this for my mom:

And this for my dad (whose name is Rad(ford)):

Got this book for Travis's mom:

...and Travis wrote inside:

Made these for my step-mom and little brother: