Monday, October 25, 2010

11 Weeks Pregnant

Well, we managed to do the belly shot this week, and I'm doing the blog on time! I should probably start updating on Sundays now, because as I've said, that's really when my weeks change. My Sundays were too busy before because I was accompanying the youth choir at church, which practices on Sunday afternoons, but unfortunately there isn't enough interest from the youth to keep it going right now.

Still no real belly changes yet, but I hear that most women start to notice a change around 12 it won't be long! I keep doing belly shots anyway, just to make sure I won't miss the first change. There are definitely times when I feel big, but I think it's just when I'm full. :-)

The baby is about two inches long now, which, according to one of my books as well as one of the websites I go to, is the size of a lime. I always think of a lime as being bigger than that, but my mom thought it sounded about right. To me, two inches is more like the size of a plum or a clementine.

While we're on the subject of the baby's size, it is apparently supposed to double in the next
three weeks! Talk about rapid growth. The head is
starting to uncurl and the neck is straightening out and lengthening. Fingernails are forming, and one of my friends from high school was telling me that fingerprints are also developing! I read that fingerprints are the result of the swishing around of the amniotic fluid, but I'm sort of skeptical of that explanation. First of all, how
could they know that for sure? Secondly, if that were the case, wouldn't we have fingerprint-like grooves all over our entire bodies? Who knows. Also along with the fingernails come hair follicles and tooth buds...and I'm so glad for that, because wouldn't we all look like freaks without teeth, hair, and nails?? It does still have transparent skin, though. Weird.

I had a really nice birthday! actual birthday was very busy...I worked on cleaning the house in the morning because we were meeting with a new realtor later, and then I taught lessons, and then Travis got home and cleaned some more, and then the realtor came...but we really liked her and have high hopes that she'll do a better job than the last one! Travis bought me some really pretty roses and a balloon, and then took me out to Ruby Tuesday's (I love their salad bar!), and then we rented a movie. Then on Saturday we had a birthday party at my Dad's house, which was so much fun! My sisters and their families came, and my Aunt Holly was down from Pennsylvania. We had a blast together, and everyone totally catered to my food requests...chicken casserole, potato cheese casserole (I'm a casserole girl), broccoli slaw, homemade bread, hello dollies, and pumpkin pie with homemade whipped cream! DELICIOUS! I got a necklace I'd been wanting, a couple of Target gift cards, and some cash. :-) My brother and his wife mailed me a whole bunch of maternity clothes (yay!), and Travis got me a cute t-shirt and a book called Getting Ready for Baby: The Ultimate Organizer for the Mom-to-Be, in addition to the owl (whose name is now Mishka). Then yesterday, when we got home from church, Travis's sister Rachel and her husband Jason were sitting in front of our house to surprise me with pumpkins to carve! His mom (Faye) and brother Nathan also came over, and we all made jack-o-lanterns while we enjoyed brownies that Faye made. It was so unexpected and fun! Here's a picture of them, unfortunately unlit because we need to find our tea lights.

Left to right: Nathan's, Jason's, Travis's, Rachel's, mine.

We went to Target last night to use my gift cards, and I got two "Be Bands," which I'd been wanting.

They basically hold up your pants and support your belly, so you can wear non-maternity pants unbuttoned. You can also wear them over maternity pants that are still too big. While we were there, we also looked at baby stuff, which was fun. We looked at this travel system (stroller and car seat) that we are considering, which is a Graco Alano Flip-It. It's called that because the handle flips so you can push it with the baby facing either toward you or facing out. I'm surprised that more strollers don't have that feature. Some do, but most of them are very expensive. Anyway, I would post a photo, but it's so hard to get the photos where I want them in these things that I don't want to mess with it again tonight! :-) Maybe next time. See you then!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

10 Weeks (and 3 days) Pregnant

Sorry for the delay this week! We've been quite busy with lots of things, and I probably could have done the blog on Monday, but I wanted to include a belly shot, which we hadn't done yet, and we STILL haven't done! Ugh. So unless we do it today, there will be no 10 week belly shot. I don't think I'm any bigger, though. My belly seems to fluctuate quite a bit from day to day, and even throughout the day.

I do have exciting news this week: the baby has graduated to fetus-hood! This means that it has lost its tail and has most of the organs and body parts that it will ever have. They just need to grow and mature. Its little kidneys are producing very small amounts of urine already, and if it's a boy, it is producing testosterone! The crown to rump length was about an inch and a half (or a little less) as of Sunday, and its weight was about four grams, or the weight of four paper clips. The other exciting thing about being 10 weeks into this is that I'm already a quarter of the way done! Actually, that's kind of scary!

We had our first midwife appointment yesterday! We filled out some paperwork, got a goody bag, and talked about some of the choices we have to make regarding what tests we want to have done (or not have done), what interventions we are comfortable with surrounding the birth, etc. We are actually very excited about getting the opportunity to make these decisions, since many unnecessary tests and interventions are performed routinely in the world of obstetrics.

We also got to hear the heartbeat for the first time! Yes, we were able to see it at the ultrasound, but it was too early to hear it then. The midwife used a fetal Doppler, which is similar to a sonogram machine because it sends sound waves into the amniotic fluid, which bounce back in the form of swishes and thuds that we hear as the baby's heartbeat. The baby is very low because it of its small size this early in the pregnancy, and it was slightly off center, closer to my right side. The heartbeat was 160 beats per minute this time, so maybe I was wrong when I said that it begins to slow down in the fourth month. I hope that those of you who know more about this stuff than I do will correct me if I give misinformation! I'm just going by what I've read, which is often contradictory. It's hard to know where to look for the most accurate information. We also heard a couple of thuds, which the midwife told us were the baby's movements! I could have listened all day. :-) Oh, another cool thing was that we could hear my heartbeat and the baby's at the same time -- I've never had two heartbeats before!

Last weekend we went to Columbia to see Stephanie and Marcus (my college roommate and her fiance). We had tons of fun! We met them at the state fair, so we got to eat some fair food, ride on the ferris wheel, pet the animals... :-P When we got there, the smells of all of the food booths wafting around and mixing together were making me kind of sick, and they all thought it was funny that I would rather go see the animals and endure the smell of cow manure.

We stopped by the pro-life booth so I could get a free rubber fetus, and when I told them I was pregnant they gave me a little goody bag with stickers and a pamphlet about fetal development. :-) The rubber fetus is a life size detailed 12 week fetus, so it will be neat to look at in a couple of weeks! Anyway, Stephanie and I didn't notice it, but after we left the booth, Travis and Marcus said that the pro-life ladies seemed to think I was a teenager. Oh well. I do worry about people thinking that, because I know I look young. I guess the only people who would think that are people who don't know me, so it doesn't really matter.

Travis gave me one of my birthday presents yesterday because I wasn't feeling well (I had a migraine) and needed a pick-me-up. It is ADORABLE! He said it's for the baby's room, but I'm totally keeping it (just kidding)! He needs a name...any ideas? He's even cuter in person. His feet and beak are more purple. He's my new cuddle buddy. Sorry, Travis. :-)

Be back next week...hopefully on Monday!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

9 Weeks Pregnant

I'm back! And I have belly shots! Travis says he thinks I'm starting to show a bit, and I guess I'm noticing it too. Take a look for yourself:

This week, the baby is looking much more human! He or she is about the size of a green olive now, and is probably moving around! According to the documentary, In The Womb, all movements are totally reflexive right now. I think the brain takes over movements at around 4 months gestation. The heart is also not yet controlled by the brain, which is why the heartbeat is so fast. It will continue to get faster until the brain takes control of it, also around 4 months. The eyes are fully formed, but aren't functioning yet. Eyelids are almost fused now, and will remain shut until 25 weeks or so. All of the organs are present and just need to be refined. Also, fingers are separate now, and toes are only slightly webbed. Yay!

As for me, I'm starting to feel different. I'm finally starting to get the symptoms that most people get by 8 weeks. I'm having plenty of food aversions, especially to ground beef. Blech. I'm picky about what I feel like eating, in general. I can always stomach fruit, and usually vegetables. It's not that other things really make me sick (at least not usually), they just taste terrible sometimes. I'm also more tired now. I'm taking lots of naps and sometimes going to bed at 10:00, which is a very rare occurrence for me. I'm a late night person. Even though my symptoms still aren't that bad, I'm hoping they will abate in a few weeks!

Like most parents-to-be, Travis and I can hardly wait to find out what we're having (I told Travis maybe it'll be a puppy!). There are these gender prediction tests on the market that are called Intelligender, and they are supposed to be able to tell the baby's gender with 80% accuracy after week 10. However, they are pricey (around $30). I would probably be willing to spend that much if it were more accurate, but I see no point in it if we still won't know whether it's a boy or a girl.

So, I looked up other methods of gender prediction online and found the red cabbage test. Basically, you cut up a red cabbage, boil it for 10 minutes, and use the dark purple water as a pH test, which is what Intelligender is. So, yesterday, we bought a small red cabbage (for 52 cents!) and did the test. (Even though Intelligender is supposed to be used after 10 weeks, I read that this test should be done BEFORE 10 weeks. Who knows whether the author knew what they were talking about.) There was plenty of water to play with, so we put some in a each of several Styrofoam cups. First, just to make sure it worked, we added lemon juice to one cup, vinegar to another, and root beer to another. The lemon juice and vinegar immediately turned the water to bright pink. The root beer had no effect, so I guess it was non-acidic.

Here is the cabbage as it was boiling:

Can you tell how dark purple the water is?

Ok, so here's how this is supposed to work: you put the cabbage water in a cup and then add an equal amount of urine (sorry, I know that's gross). If the water turns red/pink, it's a boy, and if it stays purple or turns bluish, it's a girl. Keep in mind, this is not a very accurate test. We just did it for fun. are the results:

The cup on the right is the one we added root beer to, but I used it as the control since there was no change at all. That's basically what the cabbage water looked like before we added anything. The one on the left is the lemon juice. I didn't add much lemon juice at all, and it immediately changed to pink. The one in the middle is the gender test. On the picture, it looks as bright as the lemon juice, but it was nowhere near the same color in person. It was really halfway between purple and pink. Here's a better picture of it transfered into a jar:

This one shows the color better. I'd say this is inconclusive! It might fall more under the boy category. What do you all think? I feel like it's a girl, but I've heard of plenty of expectant mothers who had a strong feeling that ended up being wrong! My dad thinks it's a girl too, and he says he almost always gets it right. Travis isn't sure. I think he might be leaning toward boy. So who knows! I have added a poll on the sidebar so you can all put in your two cents! Vote away!

Monday, October 4, 2010

8 Weeks Pregnant - Ultrasound!!!

So much has happened this week, but I can't bear to save the best for last...I'm gonna jump right in. I had an ultrasound today! And here's the photo! I couldn't wait to show everyone!

She said the baby is measuring right on at 8 weeks. We could see the heartbeat, which was going strong at 172 BPM. They said that was good. I think that's on the fast side if what I've read is accurate, but I know too fast is better than too slow.

And now I will attempt to explain what everything is without being able to point: the head is at the bottom. It's pretty big at this point compared to the body, and it's supposed to be. The little dark spot on the head is actually an open space where the brain is growing. The little thing sticking out on the left side is an arm. :-) It has arms! It has legs, too, but you can't really see them on this photo. You can see the outline of part of the amnion (the little sac the baby is in). It's the curvy line that starts on the right side of the feet and goes down toward the head. The large black area is the outer gestational sac. The amnion will eventually fill the whole gestational sac. We could see the yolk sac to the left of the baby's feet. It's pretty small compared to the baby now, because the placenta is getting ready to take over nourishment duty. And in the words of Forrest Gump, "That's about all I have to say about that."

I can't even express how relieved I am to see that there is actually a living baby in there! It's the right size, everything looks perfect so far, the heartbeat is great -- it's been hard to believe that I really am pregnant, and of course there is always worry that something will go wrong. Now that we've seen the heartbeat, the chance of miscarriage drops to just 2% from about 20%.

A funny thing that happened at the ultrasound: the tech said she could see my bladder filling up before her very eyes. :-) They made me drink lots of water beforehand.

An annoying thing that happened at the ultrasound: she asked if I have a high tolerance for pain, since I am planning to have a natural birth. I just think it's something women are built to handle. Don't imply that I may not be able to bear the pain. I don't need to hear that.

My amazing, wonderful husband just went to the store to get ice cream and root beer, and then made me a float and brought it to me because I've been wanting one all day! :-)

I want to hurry up and get this thing posted, so I won't go on and on about all of the other stuff that happened this week. Suffice it to say that the DMV has sent me a notice stating that my license will be suspended on the 20th of this month if I don't pay my speeding ticket from two months ago by then. I sent the payment in on time, but the person I talked to at the municipal court said they never received it. I have sent a new payment and I need to call tomorrow to see if they got it. They better have! I am having my original money order tracked, and hopefully I will get a refund for it.

Also, we took my car to get fixed today (the check engine light has been on forever), and I gave them the wrong car key. I'm blaming it on pregnancy brain. So we had to go back after the ultrasound and give them the right one, and then they couldn't fix it anyway. They had to refer us to some muffler place. Ugh.

Ok, more about ultrasounds really quick: I was able to make an appointment to have a FREE ultrasound at Greenville Tech on January 19th to find out the gender. I was hoping to schedule it before Christmas so that we could sort of give ourselves a present, but they were booked already. They can usually tell the gender at 18 weeks or so, and I'll be 23 weeks when we find out. At least if the baby is a little bigger and more developed, there might be less room for error.

I think that's everything for now! I just can't wait for everyone to see the little raspberry (that's about how big it is now)! And no belly shot again this week...still no belly to show. :-) Have a great week!