Expectant Moms

My home church is not very large (average attendance of about 70-80), but there are currently lots of babies and babies on the way! We had a baby shower on Sunday for Kara (our previous minister's daughter). She is also expecting a baby girl and is due a couple of weeks after me. Also, our youth minister's wife, Whitney, is expecting a baby boy about two weeks before me! So it has been fun to watch all of our bellies growing as we get nearer and nearer to our due dates in January and February. Although after seeing this picture, I think I get the award for growing the most!

LCCC Expectant Moms

(Kara - EDD 2/28/09; Sarah - EDD 2/16/09; Whitney - EDD 1/30/09)

My Favorite Christmas/Birthday Present

So this is the one addition to our nursery that I have been really exciting about getting. Right after my birthday, Tim and I went all over the Tri-Cities trying to find the right rocker/glider and ottoman. (After reviewing the recommendations and reviews on Consumer Reports website, of course.) I decided pretty early that I wanted a fully upholestered chair because I hope to use this for more than just rocking an infant. I hope to have my little girl curl up with me on the chair for years to come as we read together.

When we found this style and realized that we could choose any color and material we wanted, I knew this was it. The chair is so comfortable; I'm sure I'll get tons of use out of it (probably some before Laurel even gets here!) It just arrived on December 23rd, so perfect timing for Christmas!

New Chair

And if you notice on the right side of the chair is my children's rocking chair that I just recently finished painting. I love it and hope Laurel will, too!

Belly Update

For those of you who have seen me recently, you know how much my belly has grown in the past 10 weeks, but for those who haven't, here are some pictures.

20 Weeks

24 Weeks

26 Weeks

30 Weeks

Overall, things are going well. It's odd to watch my belly now because as Laurel moves, so does my whole stomach. I can pick out some body parts, too, like knees, feet and elbows. Like I said in the last post, many of my changes in position take some maneuvering, but I can't complain. For the most part, I'm feeling fantastic and getting more and more excited every day waiting to finally see my little girl!

Only Ten Weeks Left...WHAT???

Today I hit 30 weeks in my pregnancy, and while it is hugely (appropriate word for those of you who have seen me recently!) exciting, it is also frightening to think of everything that is to come in the next 10 or so weeks. While I'm dying to be able to hold Laurel in my arms, the getting her out into the real world is pretty scary. And there's also all the other preparations that need to be completed before we are ready to welcome a baby into our home and our lives. We're in fairly good condition in the nursery, but there's still a surprising numbers of things we need (like a carseat, stroller, high chair) just to name a few.

I've also entered the realm of general uncomfortableness. No more flinging myself down on the sofa for a little cat nap or cozying up in bed for an uninterrupted night's sleep. I now need a strategic pillow plan to make myself comfortable and an even better plan to get myself to my feet. Poor Tim has to squash himself onto the couch if he wants to cuddle up with me, and then he is subjected to numerous demands to move, scoot over, bend his legs a different way, adjust his arm, etc. He's taking it all in stride, although he does get back at me by teasing me about my daily-widening girth and the development of a waddle when I walk.

Even with these changes, I'm feeling fantastic overall and still have quite a bit of energy. I'm now seeing the obstetrician every two weeks, and in just five weeks that will switch to once-a-week visits.

Another Word from Daddy

It has been awhile since I posted my thoughts. I thought now would be a great time to do so.

Things are going wonderfully with the pregnancy. Sarah looks more and more beautiful everyday. The excitement grows more intense with every minute. Laurel moves and kicks almost every time we are lying around at night. It is an awesome feeling I get when I feel her kick around, I guess it is an assurance that all is well. I have been “having” to feel her at night or I get a little worried. By the way, she does react to a flashlight! Just like me!

My cousin asked me last week what it is like knowing that I am going to be a dad. I could not really answer that question without thinking. Right now, everything seems the same as it was before she got pregnant. The only changes are physical with Sarah, and I try not to get too wrapped up in thinking about it because I start to worry too much. When I do sit down to think about it, I get all “tingly” inside. I just can’t wait to be able to touch her, to hold her, to hug her, to kiss her and most of all I can’t wait for her to feel the warmth that we have to offer her.

Over Thanksgiving we sat down with the family and watched the Bucket List. (It you don’t want to tear up….DON'T WATCH IT!) At one point in the movie Morgan Freeman asks Jack Nicholson about joy. He asks him something like, “Do you have joy?” and, “Have you brought joy to others?” I have thought about these questions ever since that night. At one point over the weekend I looked up the definition of joy. I am not sure if I have brought joy to others, but I am definitely sure that I have something in my life to be joyful about, as a matter of fact I am completely overflowing with joy!

I am getting wrapped up in the baby’s room. I just want it to be perfect for her…not too hot, not too cold, the bed in the perfect position, correct lighting…. Sarah may have to fight me out of there. I think I might be getting a little obsessive.

As far as the grandparents go, I am pretty sure we have some anxious ones. The grandmothers are starting to act like grandmothers and the granddads well, they are hard to read but they seem to be excited, too.

All of our friends are very supportive. We have people buying things, sending us things and best of all we have people making us things. Not that I don’t appreciate the other stuff but the making stuff just seems more personal to me.

New Picture and Video of Laurel Kathlynn

Tim and I went for a 3d/4d ultrasound yesterday at Stork Vision at the Bristol Regional Medical Center. It was a great session and we got some really good views of our little girl. Here's my favorite.

Laurel 28 weeks

The doctor commented on how much she moves, which is very true. I really don't think the child is ever still (a little too much like Tim if you ask me). She even showed off for us a little and stuck her tongue out.

video

You can tell that she was a little camera-shy yesterday, as every time the doctor tried to get a good luck at her face, she would put her hands in front of it or (as you can see at the end of the video), completely turn her back on us.

This really pulls at your heartstrings...

Well, I've made it two thirds of the way through! I'm so excited to hit the third trimester mark. It seems that the second trimester absolutely flew by. It took forever to get there, and now it's gone. The nervousness of "OMG, I'm actually going to have to give birth to this child" is just now starting to creep in, but I have almost three more months to panic about that. I've got a 3d/4d ultrasound scheduled tomorrow, so hopefully Laurel will cooperate and let us see her beautiful face. I'll try to have pictures posted by tomorrow afternoon or evening.

I usually just delete all the email forwards that I get, but the name of this one (A Newborn's Conversation with God) got my attention. I read it, cried, and then thought I would share it with everyone. It is a little cheesy, but I like it (and I'm very emotional right now!)

A baby asked God, 'They tell me you are sending me to earth tomorrow, but how am I going to live there being so small and helpless?' God said, 'Your angel will be waiting for you and will take care of you.'

The child further inquired, 'But tell me, here in heaven I don't have to do anything but sing and smile to be happy.' God said, 'Your angel will sing for you and will also smile for you. And you will feel your angel's love and be very happy.'

Again the child asked, 'And how am I going to be able to understand when people talk to me if I don't know the language?' God said, 'Your angel will tell you the most beautiful and sweet words you will ever hear, and with much patience and care, your angel will teach you how to speak.'

'And what am I going to do when I want to talk to you?' God said, 'Your angel will place your hands together and will teach you how to pray.'

'Who will protect me?' God said, 'Your angel will defend you even if it means risking its life.'

'But I will always be sad because I will not see you anymore.' God said, 'Your angel will always talk to you about Me and will teach you the way to come back to Me, even though I will always be next to you.'

At that moment there was much peace in Heaven, but voices from Earth could be heard and the child hurriedly asked, 'God, if I am to leave now, please tell me my angel's name.'

God said, 'You will simply call her, 'Mom.'

First Baby Shower!

I had my first baby shower on Saturday, November 15 at my friend Rachel's home. It was hosted by my best friends, Rachel, Jamie and Jennifer. It was an incredible brunch shower with WONDERFUL food (blueberry crepes, hashbrown casserole, quiche, freshly sliced ham, biscuits, and hot apple cider). My girls know how much I LOVE breakfast food! It was so awesome because my closest friends and a few of my "surrogate" moms were there. Everyone brought books for Laurel along with their gifts, which I'm so thankful for. Reading with my little girl is one of the things I look forward to the most as a mother.

Here's almost everyone who attended the shower.

Baby Shower Group

Here's me showing off one of the books I received.

Counting Kisses

This is a good picture of how much my belly has grown!

Sarah

And finally, here are my best girlfriends!

The Girls

Lastly, I just want to thank my lovely hostesses so much for such an incredible shower. It means so much to me that Laurel will come into this world surrounded by so many people who love her so much.

Olympics 2024, here we come!

It's amazing what a difference a week can make. I've felt Laurel move for about 10 weeks now (felt LOTS of movement for the past six weeks). However, within the past week, you'd think she's training for a marathon or a gymnastics meet in there! She's especially wiggly in the morning from about 9:30 until noon. I sit at my desk and try to get work done and she's bouncing all over the place! I can feel her move pretty much all day long with no more than an hour or two between movements. I'm really starting to get a little concerned about how much she's going to move when space really starts to get tight in there!

Even though it can be a bit strange at times, I'm so happy that she moves so much. It is so reassuring to me that things are still going alright. I think if she went a day without moving, I'd really freak out! Also, I forgot to post it, but I passed my one-hour glucose tolerance test for gestational diabetes. WooHoo!! I'm so relieved I don't have to go through the three-hour test!

Quick Update

Nothing too exciting going on, but with the election and everything I didn't have much time to post so I thought I'd let everyone know that things are going well. I'm getting bigger by the day. Laurel is moving all the time now, and luckily I'm still feeling really good.

I've got my next doctor's appointment on November 19th, and then I'll start having appointments every two weeks. It's amazing that I'll be in the third trimester in just two weeks. I'm also looking forward to my first Baby Shower Saturday, Nov. 15th. It's being thrown by Jamie, Rachel and Jennifer, and I know it will be tons of fun!

Laurel's First Picture

I know this is a long time coming, but I'm finally adding an image of Laurel from our 20 week ultrasound. This is a 3d/4d image, and I know that it's a little hard to pick things out. She is on the right side of the image with her arm curled up next to her head. Her head is quite a bit larger than the rest of her body.

Laurel 20weeks(2)

A Few Nursery Pictures

We've started working on the baby's nursery! It's so exciting to imagine us putting Laurel to sleep in here.
Nursery Crib

Crib Bedding

Mobile
You probably noticed that both Tim and I got to put a little bit of our influence into the room. (Look for the pink NY Giants helmet in the top picture, and clearly I had something to say about the Clemson Mobile - which even plays Tiger Rag as the lullaby.)

Nursery Planning

This is the bedding we've chosen for our nursery. I ordered it a week ago, so hopefully it will be here soon and we can take pictures of our nursery (which is slowly but surely coming together.)Nursery Bedding

"Hey Officer, that lady is stealing a watermelon!"

As I now have a definite baby bump, I thought it would be fun to see the tummy progression (especially for those of you whom I don't get to see very often!)

8 Weeks

14 Weeks

20 Weeks

Halfway there and kickin'

After a whirlwind weekend that involved first traveling to South Carolina for the Clemson game and then heading to Nashville for a training seminar Monday, Tim and I were finally back on I-40E heading home. I was exactly 20 weeks on Monday, so we were excited about that. Then when we were about 15 miles out of Nashville, I felt baby (from now on to be known as Laurel Kathlynn) move quite a bit. She had been moving a lot more noticeably since Friday, but Tim still hadn't been able to feel here. I was holding my stomach and was able to feel her move from the outside, so I grabbed his hand and placed it on my stomach in hopes that he'd finally be able to feel her move. She moved and I said, "Did you feel that?" Tim gave me a disappointed look and said, "No." Then a couple seconds later it felt like she headbutted me! Before I could even say anything, Tim said, "But I felt that!" It was so exciting to be able to mark our halfway point with him feeling her move!

The Results Are In...

It's a Boy  It's a Girl  I'm Expecting MySpace Comments

Sex Party!

Thursday is the day of the Big Reveal!!! That's the day we'll find out whether we need to start stocking up on pink or blue! Tim and I are having a cookout at the home of Amy and Les (Tim's sister and brother-in-law). We're trying to send out paper invitations, emails or Facebook invites to everyone we can think of that might be interested.

If you would like to come, please leave me a comment here or contact either Tim or me. We'll have hotdogs, hamburgers, fried potatoes, and baked beans!

Colds during Pregnancy - no thank you

Having been sick since last Tuesday, I have to say that having a cold while pregnant is doubly bad. The primary reason is because you can only take a very limited number of medicines. After just about coughing up a lung Saturday night, Tim finally made me call my OB on Sunday morning. The doctor prescribed me a Z-pack (antibiotics) and some cough syrup with codeine. I was really surprised they'd give me something with codeine, but I guess they really want to knock this stuff out of my chest. I'm still feeling fairly bad, but I hope the medicine is working!

I'm about to go crazy waiting for next Thursday to find out whether we can start saying "he" or "she" instead of "it" and "baby." We're going to have the "sex party" Thursday night, and I promise I'll try my best to post the gender as soon as I get home that evening! I'm just hoping and praying that baby cooperates and doesn't become camera shy!

Baby Safety

As Tim and I prepare for this new baby, we found this advice very helpful. Hope it gives you some good tips, too (and hopefully a couple giggles.)

Baby Safety Pictures, Images and Photos

Did I just feel the baby move??

This post has been a couple weeks coming, but I didn't want to post something, only to realize that, no, I had not actually felt the baby move. The first time I felt movement was Tuesday, August 26th, while lying in bed. Tim and I were getting ready to head to Nashville the next day, and I had hosted a Girls' Night at my house, so I was pretty exhausted. I think Tim was already asleep, and I was heading that way quickly when I felt this little whirl of butterflies in my lower stomach. It lasted about 5 seconds and then stopped. It was a very strange feeling unlike any I had experienced before, so I immediately began to wonder if it was the baby. A few seconds later it happened again! At that point I yelled at Tim, "I think I just felt the baby move!" To his credit he came out of a dead sleep and wasn't even grumpy with me for waking him up. Of course, he couldn't feel anything from outside my stomach, but I explained the feeling to him and he agreed that it was probably the baby.

The next morning I began to doubt whether what I had felt was really movement. I mean, 15 weeks is pretty early, right? I know some women have felt movement as early as 13 weeks, but that's usually with their second or third babies. Then I really began to doubt as time went on and I didn't feel anything else. At my doctor's appointment on September 2nd (a week after I felt movement), I asked the doctor if what I had felt was the baby moving. He agreed that there was a pretty good chance that what I felt was fetal movement. He reassured me that it would take awhile before these movements became regular or before Tim could feel them and not to worry that I hadn't felt it again.

Finally, last night as I was in the kitchen, feeding my ever-growing appetite, I finally felt the baby move again! I, again, yelled at Tim (ya think there's a theme here...) This time the feeling was a little bit stronger, but I still couldn't feel anything by touching the outside of my stomach. Other than seeing our little one dancing around on the ultrasound screen, this has to be the most exciting moment I've experienced in this pregnancy so far. Even though the feeling is very strange, it is so comforting to know that our little peach is already warming up those limbs for future use!

The Big Day is Set

Okay, so maybe it's not the "Big Day," but we have set the date for our 20 week ultrasound, which will hopefully the reveal the sex of our little one! It will be Thursday, September 25th at 10 a.m. Our plan is to have the ultrasound technician write down the baby's gender on a card and put it in an envelope. Then we'll have a cookout Thursday night with friends and family where we'll do the honors of opening the envelope!! This way Tim and I get to share in the intimate moment of viewing our baby on the ultrasound monitor, but everyone (including us) will find out the gender at the same time!

Personally, I just want to find out the gender during the ultrasound, but Tim doesn't want to find out until delivery day (yeah right). The cookout is our attempt at a compromise in the matter.

For those of you who can't come to the cookout, I'll post the gender Friday, September 26th.

It's a Boy...maybe

Tim and I just got back from a trip to Nashville for a work conference for him. I was primarily excited about the trip because I got to go to A LOT of baby stores! One of the coolest (and most expensive) stores I visited was Pickles and Ice Cream. It had a lot of super posh and designer maternity clothing, but they also had some neat pregnancy things. One of those things was an Intelligender test, a urine test that is supposed to predict what the gender of your baby will be (with 90% accuracy, they claim).

I, sucker that I am, bought the test and brought it home and conducted the toilet science experiment at 7:30 this morning. The test says if the result is yellow or orange, it's a girl. If it is green or dark green, it's a boy. As you can see from the picture below, it was DEFINITELY dark green.

Intelligender

Tim will probably continue to make fun of me for spending money on what he calls a completely unsubstantiated test, but who knows. Maybe it's right. There's at least a 50-50 chance, right?

Maybe a crib???

Nursery update! I think we've picked out our crib. We found this Amy Coe Westport Crib online at Babies 'R Us. We definitely knew we wanted something modern, but unfortunately everything we liked was super expensive. We had begun to think we were going to be relegated to an old-fashioned or traditional-style crib (which isn't bad, but just not our style.) Next week, we're heading to Nashville for a work conference for Tim, so I'm going to spend some time in the baby and nursery stores there before purchasing this crib.

But pending a really good find, I think this one is it! Let me know what you think.

Amy Coe Crib

Officially in Second Trimester

I'm 14 weeks pregnant today, which officially moves me into the Second Trimester! I love that pregnancy has all these milestones you get to accomplish! For me, it makes the time seem to go by faster when I can look forward to weeks at a time instead of just anticipating delivery day. This morning was my first appointment at Medical Center OB/GYN. I saw a nurse practitioner. The visit went fine, but I definitely miss CARS! I feel like just one of a big mass of pregnancy ladies at the OB. I keep having to tell everyone my background and why I've not been to see them until I'm this far along in my pregnancy, etc. The one bright spot of the appointment was getting to hear the heartbeat on the doppler. It was 164 bpm, which means the heartrate is continuing to slow down. Could that mean boy?!?!

On September 2nd, I'll have my next OB appointment at their new office at the MedTech Park. I'm excited to see it; I'm sure it will be very nice! I'll see Dr. Lewis at that appointment. And then I get to schedule the BIG ULTRASOUND! It will probably wind up being around Sept. 26-30 (sometime in the range). Tim wants the gender to be a surprise, but I don't think there's any possible way I can wait. I mean, if the technology exists, why not use it?

One Third of the Way There

If I were to deliver at exactly 12:01 a.m. on February 16, 2009 (my due date), then as of 8:00 a.m. this morning, I have completed the first third of my pregnancy! This seems like such a momentous accomplishment. On one hand, it feels like I've been pregnant for much longer than 13 weeks and 3 days, but on the other hand, it is unbelievable that there is less than 27 weeks to go!

While things can go wrong at any stage of pregnancy, the most danger lies within the first trimester. I'm naturally not a huge worrier, but after having so much trouble getting pregnant in the first place, I was naturally fearful that something would go wrong. It seems that only in the past couple weeks have I relaxed a little and tried to enjoy things rather than assume that something bad was going to happen. In fact, if it weren't for Tim, I probably wouldn't even have told anyone about the baby until we were past the 12 week mark!

I want to thank everyone who has been praying for Tim, myself and our little one, and I ask you to continue those prayers. We are very appreciative of all the love and support we've received from both family and friends!

Congratulations to Me!

This morning I went in for my Prenatal Screening at the Specialty Hospital. They drew blood and did a urinalysis. The lab tech left the room for a few minutes and came back in holding a pregnancy test. She proudly announced, "There's a line! Congratulations! You're Pregnant!" I guess I assumed she realized that I knew (you know, what with all the ultrasounds and stuff). Thinking back on it, the look I gave her probably made her think this wasn't an expected (or wanted) pregnancy. I finally recovered and mumbled, "Thanks." But the damage was done. Maybe I should have explained my situation, but I figured she didn't really care, so I just let it go. I have my first appointment with the OB (Dr. Burks) next Monday morning.

Also, Tim and I went to our first Anticipating Baby class tonight. I wasn't really sure what to expect, but it was definitely worth the time. We spent most of the time talking about labor and delivery and then we took a tour of the Maternity department at Sycamore Shoals Hospital. I was really impressed! We also reviewed relaxation breathing techniques and our coaches gave us back rubs (clearly my favorite part of the class!) Although I do feel out of place in the class because most of the other pregnant women have huge bellies and are in their third trimesters. But the next class (in October and November) just didn't work with my schedule (you know, their's apparently some kind of election or something...)

Officially Released to OB

I've made it to 12 weeks at CARS, so now they are releasing me to a regular OB practice. I'll definitely miss getting to see our little peach every two weeks! Here's a picture of the baby along with an image of the heartbeat on Doppler. I am 12 weeks and two days pregnant.

12w2d ultrasound (2)

The baby measured 5.7 cm today (about 2 1/4 inches) from head to rump. And the heartbeat was 168 bpm. We got to see a great profile of our little one's face, and it was easy to see the nose, eyes and chin!

But the best image was probably of the baby's tiny little feet and toes. I'll include a picture here, but I'm not quite sure how easy it will be to pick out the feet.

12w2d feet

And, I've finally gained weight! Although it was only half a pound. In the second trimester you are supposed to gain a pound to a pound and a half every week, so I'll really have to get on the ball! I will now be going to Specialty Hospital to the OB/GYN Office there. My first appointment is Monday, August 11th at 8:30 a.m. for a Prenatal Screening. I hope my experiences there are as good as the ones I've had at CARS.

12 Weeks and Counting

We've made it to 12 weeks and things are still going well. I know I'm going to jinx myself by saying this, but all the baby/pregnancy books I've read have said that morning sickness and nausea usually start going away by 12 weeks. Since I've never had any significant sickness, I hope this means that I'm past the point where I'm going to be sick. Also, I'm starting to get a little bit of a tummy. It could still be mostly bloating, but this week was the first time I put on a pair of my pants and couldn't button them! I had to rig a rubber band to connect them at the waist! I can't wait until I really start getting a belly bump! As of my last appointment I still hadn't gained any weight, but that's apparently pretty normal for the first trimester.

This week is a big one for us. I've got my last appointment at CARS on Wednesday and my last ultrasound and checkup with Dr. Kennedy. It will be nice to be released to an OB office, but I'm really going to miss the pampering and personal attention from the fertility clinic. We should see arms and legs, fingers and toes, even more clearly this week and also the umbilical cord and placenta. It will be interesting to see if the heartbeat is still as fast as it has been. Hopefully the baby will cooperate again and move around a lot for us.

I also have a big week at work with the election on Thursday. I'm praying everything goes well and that there isn't too much stress. I've tried to keep my stress level as low as possible for the baby's sake, but I know come Thursday that will be a tough task! Right now I'm just so exhausted, after the election I think I'll just want to stay in bed for the whole weekend!

We also got some good news at church. Our youth minister Ben and his wife Whitney announced that they are expecting, too!!! She'll find out a more definite due date when she goes for her first ultrasound Wednesday, but she thinks she's probably due in early to mid March. I'm so happy that I'll have someone to go through this pregnancy with - for both encouragement and to complain! I know they'll make great parents, and Tim and I wish them both the best! There are five kids at our church two years old or younger - and now we've got two more on the way! I'm so glad our little one will have a group of friends to grow up with in the church (as well as a little cousin!).

A Word from Daddy

As I have read through Sarah’s posts, I’ve noticed that there is not much about what the husband has felt or seen. So, here is my first post.

I remember back in Sept. of 2006 when this journey began. Before then I never wanted kids, but over time something was missing. I cannot explain the feeling, its something that once you feel it you know what it is.

The longer we tried to conceive, the more emotional the ride got. Sarah would cry or would get down on herself and it was up to me to keep her thoughts positive, even when I was trying to deal with my own emotions. I will admit I was getting to the point where I didn’t think it was going to happen.

The day she told me that she was pregnant I went to cloud nine for days. She also told me that we couldn’t say anything….I can’t keep secrets! I was allowed to tell one person (What’s up EM!) I spent the weekend by myself, I would be just walking through the house and get a little sick to my stomach, thinking about being a dad. Actually, for about a week, I had some morning sickness!

The next week, on Father’s Day, I was nervous about telling our parents. At one point Sarah wanted to back out, I was about to bust, she knew I had to tell. My parents were so happy (I think I saw a tear in my dad’s eyes as he “went to shave”) When Sarah gave her dad the card, well this story is in another post, but this is GrandChuck and GrandApe’s first grandchild!

I never knew what the phrase “Time stood still” meant, until we went for the first ultrasound. When I heard that heartbeat, there were no other sounds in that room, there was nothing else on my mind (probably for the first time since I was kid), and at that moment it all became real to me.

Since then we have had another ultrasound, Sarah is staying hungry and sleepy, I have put on some sympathy pounds and the nursery is getting closer to being ready. For once in my life I now have a dream that has something other than a car or a “project” in it, this is all a new concept for me!

We've Got Movement!

Had my third ultrasound this morning. Everything is looking great! The baby is measuring 3.3 cm (about an inch and a half) and the heartbeat was 178 bpm! We could see arms and legs, too. It was absolutely amazing! The doctor moved my due date to February 16 (from the 18th) because the baby has been measuring ahead.

Dr. Kennedy said we might see movement at this ultrasound, so we sat there staring at the screen, straining our eyes to see even the tiniest little flicker. I was praying, "Please move, baby, please move." Then I started patting my stomach. As soon as I touched my stomach, the little thing started wiggling around like crazy, kicking its legs and bringing its little arms up to its face. Tim and I were in awe to see how active the baby was! Luckily we got the whole thing on tape so the grandparents will be able to see.

Tim is in charge of taking digital pictures of the ultrasound pictures, so hopefully he'll get a good one and send it to me so that all of you can see our little wiggle worm! And here it is!!!

10w ultrasound

Leaving Comments

I know a few people were having problems setting up accounts in order to leave comments. Therefore, I've changed the settings to allow comments from anyone. This means that anyone can post a comment now without having to sign in (or create an account). I hope this makes it easier for everyone because I love to hear from ya'll! You can just click on Name/URL and just type in your name (URL can be left blank).

Week 9 Update

Just wanted to check in now that I'm (about) at nine weeks. Things are still going well. I've been very fortunate not to have morning sickness, although some nausea and indigestion has been plaguing me. Overall, things are going great!

Tim and I have been continuing to work on the nursery. We installed a new sheetrock ceiling, recessed lighting, chair rail, and a closet. Below the chair rail is painted a rich, chocolate brown, and above the rail is cream. We are leaning towards incorporating earth tones and muted colors when we pick our bedding and furniture. Here is an example of some bedding we found at Ikea that we really like.

Ikea Hokus

As time goes on, we'll pick out more of our favorite things, and I'll post them here so that everyone can let us know what they think.

Our next ultrasound is Monday, so I'll definitely have an update (with pictures) on that day.

Yup, the Little Bean's Still There

After seeing the little one the first time and hearing the heartbeat, I think that relieved a lot of my anxiety. However, when we got ready to go in for our second appointment on July 7th, all the worry came back. But then the ultrasound screen came on, and we saw a baby that was FIVE times bigger than the one we saw two weeks earlier.

At 7 weeks and 5 days, the baby measured 1.6 cm. And the heartbeat had increased to 175 bpm! It was astonishing to hear how much faster and louder the heartbeat was the second time. This time we could make out a head and body. Also, the doctor videotaped the ultrasound for us, so we were able to bring that home and show our parents.


7w5d ultrasound(2)

You can see the head at the bottom of the black circle, then the body in the middle, and the yolk sac on top. The yolk sac will disappear when the placenta and umbilical cord take over in a week or two. It is absolutely amazing to know that something less than an inch long has a heartbeat and is already getting distinguishable human features.

My next ultrasound is July 21st, and the doctor said at that time, we should be able to see legs and arms!

First Time We Saw Our Little One

June 24th was our first ultrasound. The doctor told us we probably wouldn't see much since I was only about 6 weeks along, and that it was unlikely we'd hear the heartbeat. But when we finally saw the screen come up, there was our tiny bean tucked into a perfect gestational sac complete with yolk sac. The baby was measuring 0.29 cm., right on schedule. And then the doctor switched over to the Doppler and we were absolutely amazed to hear this fast and strong heartbeat! I couldn't believe that something so tiny could have such a definite heartbeat. In fact, it was 123 bpm!

The Best Father's Day Ever

After I got my big fat positive (BFP), I went in to the doctor's office on Thursday, June 12th, for an HCG Beta test to verify the pregnancy test. I got the results later that day and it was 345, which is a great number!

The next Sunday (June 15th) was Father's Day, so that was the day we picked to tell both of our parents the big news. We were going to have a cookout at Rock Creek Park that afternoon with my family, so before church, we went to his parents' house. The previous week was both of their birthdays/anniversary, so we took cards to them. On the inside of Tim's mom's birthday card, we wrote, "Your present has been backordered until February 2009...Get ready for #5!"

She laughed about the present for a minute and then realization dawned over her and as she realized we meant grandchild #5. She started crying and calling both of his sisters, and his father was so happy for us, too. It was awesome!

So then we had to go to church and continue to keep our secret! I had gotten my dad a book for Father's Day, which I gave him at the cookout. I then said I had forgotten his other gift in the car and went to get it. It was another book. As he unwrapped it, he saw the title, "Grandpa Rules." He gave me a funny look, and I told him to look inside.

Coming February 2009

CBE BFP

He just seemed stunned, and then he and mom started crying and hugging us. My papaw and some other family were there, so they found out, too. It was the best way I think we could have told them! The next day, June 16th, I went back to the doctor's office for my second HCG Beta test. This time it was 1,818, which means the doubling time was about 40 hours!! Doctors want to see it at about 48 hours, so my little one was growing up a storm over the weekend!

Telling Tim

So I took the pregnancy test on Saturday morning, June 6th. Tim was gone, so I tried to think of a clever way to tell him when he got home. For the past few months, we've been working on our back bedroom, tentatively preparing it to become a nursery. So I hung a note on the front of the door that said:

Grand Opening
February 19, 2009

Then it was time to hurry up and wait for him to get home. When he finally did get home, he sat down, ate a sandwich and watched TV. I was ready to explode! He ALWAYS comes home and goes straight to his bathroom (which is next to the back bedroom) and washes his hands. But NO, on THIS day, he washed his hands in the kitchen!

Well, he eventually walked toward the bathroom, stopping short as he read the sign. He turned towards me and said, "What does this mean?" I said, "What do you think?" I guess he finally understood because then he screamed, "Are you pregnant?!?" I started laughing and crying, and he ran to me and hugged me (then he started laughing and crying, too).

The whole thing was very emotional, but I think it's a memory we'll both cherish for a long time.

Another Pregnancy Blog

It may be cliche, but I've decided to keep a blog for my first pregnancy. This will feature all the fun details of the journey toward motherhood (if we're doing cliche, why not be corny, too). So here's a little background. And I promise, I'll eventually explain the name of the blog.

Tim and I have been trying to conceive since September 2006. I think we had just gotten home from a seven day cruise when we decided, "Hey, let's throw away the birth control and see what happens." Obviously, we assumed we'd be pregnant pretty quickly. By January (with no bun in the oven), we decided to try a more proactive method - FAM (fertility awareness method).

So here's a public service announcement (and sort-of advertisement): every woman between puberty and menopause should be REQUIRED to read "Taking Charge of Your Fertility" (TCOYF). It teaches you way more than you ever wanted to know about your body and your monthly cycles, but it is incredible information. So for the next 12 months, I charted my basal body temperature, my cervical fluid (definitely TMI, so I won't get into it) and used Ovulation Predictor Kits (OPKS) to identify when I was ovulating.

By the next year, having no success and starting to lose that loving feeling, I made a call to the Center for Applied Reproductive Science (CARS) and began seeing Dr. Kennedy. All my bloodwork came back normal and my initial ultrasound didn't show any problems, so he suspected an ovulatory disorder since my cycles were very irregular and usually on the long side. He prescribed 50mg of Clomid to be taken Cycle Days 5-9.

On the day after I took the last pill, we left for a family vacation at Edisto Beach, South Carolina. This is also where we had our honeymoon. We were joined by Mom and Dad, Aaron and Mallory, and Daniel and Amy (for part of the trip.) It was a blast!

We arrived back home Monday, May 27. Everything seemed to be going well. I knew I had ovulated on May 28th, so by Saturday, June 6th, I was starting to get antsy and decided to pee on a stick (take a pregnancy test).

Imagine my complete shock when there was a beautiful little PLUS sign on the test, rather than the minus sign with which I had become very familiar. When looking at my chart, I realized that the miracle had happened while we were on vacation in Edisto, one of our favorite places in the world. Thus, the name of this blog.


So, all that being said, I hope to record all the incredible events that will (with God's help) lead to a healthy, happy baby in February 2009. I hope to post soon about how I told Tim, how we told our parents, our first and second ultrasounds and much more!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Expectant Moms

My home church is not very large (average attendance of about 70-80), but there are currently lots of babies and babies on the way! We had a baby shower on Sunday for Kara (our previous minister's daughter). She is also expecting a baby girl and is due a couple of weeks after me. Also, our youth minister's wife, Whitney, is expecting a baby boy about two weeks before me! So it has been fun to watch all of our bellies growing as we get nearer and nearer to our due dates in January and February. Although after seeing this picture, I think I get the award for growing the most!

LCCC Expectant Moms

(Kara - EDD 2/28/09; Sarah - EDD 2/16/09; Whitney - EDD 1/30/09)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

My Favorite Christmas/Birthday Present

So this is the one addition to our nursery that I have been really exciting about getting. Right after my birthday, Tim and I went all over the Tri-Cities trying to find the right rocker/glider and ottoman. (After reviewing the recommendations and reviews on Consumer Reports website, of course.) I decided pretty early that I wanted a fully upholestered chair because I hope to use this for more than just rocking an infant. I hope to have my little girl curl up with me on the chair for years to come as we read together.

When we found this style and realized that we could choose any color and material we wanted, I knew this was it. The chair is so comfortable; I'm sure I'll get tons of use out of it (probably some before Laurel even gets here!) It just arrived on December 23rd, so perfect timing for Christmas!

New Chair

And if you notice on the right side of the chair is my children's rocking chair that I just recently finished painting. I love it and hope Laurel will, too!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Belly Update

For those of you who have seen me recently, you know how much my belly has grown in the past 10 weeks, but for those who haven't, here are some pictures.

20 Weeks

24 Weeks

26 Weeks

30 Weeks

Overall, things are going well. It's odd to watch my belly now because as Laurel moves, so does my whole stomach. I can pick out some body parts, too, like knees, feet and elbows. Like I said in the last post, many of my changes in position take some maneuvering, but I can't complain. For the most part, I'm feeling fantastic and getting more and more excited every day waiting to finally see my little girl!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Only Ten Weeks Left...WHAT???

Today I hit 30 weeks in my pregnancy, and while it is hugely (appropriate word for those of you who have seen me recently!) exciting, it is also frightening to think of everything that is to come in the next 10 or so weeks. While I'm dying to be able to hold Laurel in my arms, the getting her out into the real world is pretty scary. And there's also all the other preparations that need to be completed before we are ready to welcome a baby into our home and our lives. We're in fairly good condition in the nursery, but there's still a surprising numbers of things we need (like a carseat, stroller, high chair) just to name a few.

I've also entered the realm of general uncomfortableness. No more flinging myself down on the sofa for a little cat nap or cozying up in bed for an uninterrupted night's sleep. I now need a strategic pillow plan to make myself comfortable and an even better plan to get myself to my feet. Poor Tim has to squash himself onto the couch if he wants to cuddle up with me, and then he is subjected to numerous demands to move, scoot over, bend his legs a different way, adjust his arm, etc. He's taking it all in stride, although he does get back at me by teasing me about my daily-widening girth and the development of a waddle when I walk.

Even with these changes, I'm feeling fantastic overall and still have quite a bit of energy. I'm now seeing the obstetrician every two weeks, and in just five weeks that will switch to once-a-week visits.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Another Word from Daddy

It has been awhile since I posted my thoughts. I thought now would be a great time to do so.

Things are going wonderfully with the pregnancy. Sarah looks more and more beautiful everyday. The excitement grows more intense with every minute. Laurel moves and kicks almost every time we are lying around at night. It is an awesome feeling I get when I feel her kick around, I guess it is an assurance that all is well. I have been “having” to feel her at night or I get a little worried. By the way, she does react to a flashlight! Just like me!

My cousin asked me last week what it is like knowing that I am going to be a dad. I could not really answer that question without thinking. Right now, everything seems the same as it was before she got pregnant. The only changes are physical with Sarah, and I try not to get too wrapped up in thinking about it because I start to worry too much. When I do sit down to think about it, I get all “tingly” inside. I just can’t wait to be able to touch her, to hold her, to hug her, to kiss her and most of all I can’t wait for her to feel the warmth that we have to offer her.

Over Thanksgiving we sat down with the family and watched the Bucket List. (It you don’t want to tear up….DON'T WATCH IT!) At one point in the movie Morgan Freeman asks Jack Nicholson about joy. He asks him something like, “Do you have joy?” and, “Have you brought joy to others?” I have thought about these questions ever since that night. At one point over the weekend I looked up the definition of joy. I am not sure if I have brought joy to others, but I am definitely sure that I have something in my life to be joyful about, as a matter of fact I am completely overflowing with joy!

I am getting wrapped up in the baby’s room. I just want it to be perfect for her…not too hot, not too cold, the bed in the perfect position, correct lighting…. Sarah may have to fight me out of there. I think I might be getting a little obsessive.

As far as the grandparents go, I am pretty sure we have some anxious ones. The grandmothers are starting to act like grandmothers and the granddads well, they are hard to read but they seem to be excited, too.

All of our friends are very supportive. We have people buying things, sending us things and best of all we have people making us things. Not that I don’t appreciate the other stuff but the making stuff just seems more personal to me.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

New Picture and Video of Laurel Kathlynn

Tim and I went for a 3d/4d ultrasound yesterday at Stork Vision at the Bristol Regional Medical Center. It was a great session and we got some really good views of our little girl. Here's my favorite.

Laurel 28 weeks

The doctor commented on how much she moves, which is very true. I really don't think the child is ever still (a little too much like Tim if you ask me). She even showed off for us a little and stuck her tongue out.

video

You can tell that she was a little camera-shy yesterday, as every time the doctor tried to get a good luck at her face, she would put her hands in front of it or (as you can see at the end of the video), completely turn her back on us.

Monday, November 24, 2008

This really pulls at your heartstrings...

Well, I've made it two thirds of the way through! I'm so excited to hit the third trimester mark. It seems that the second trimester absolutely flew by. It took forever to get there, and now it's gone. The nervousness of "OMG, I'm actually going to have to give birth to this child" is just now starting to creep in, but I have almost three more months to panic about that. I've got a 3d/4d ultrasound scheduled tomorrow, so hopefully Laurel will cooperate and let us see her beautiful face. I'll try to have pictures posted by tomorrow afternoon or evening.

I usually just delete all the email forwards that I get, but the name of this one (A Newborn's Conversation with God) got my attention. I read it, cried, and then thought I would share it with everyone. It is a little cheesy, but I like it (and I'm very emotional right now!)

A baby asked God, 'They tell me you are sending me to earth tomorrow, but how am I going to live there being so small and helpless?' God said, 'Your angel will be waiting for you and will take care of you.'

The child further inquired, 'But tell me, here in heaven I don't have to do anything but sing and smile to be happy.' God said, 'Your angel will sing for you and will also smile for you. And you will feel your angel's love and be very happy.'

Again the child asked, 'And how am I going to be able to understand when people talk to me if I don't know the language?' God said, 'Your angel will tell you the most beautiful and sweet words you will ever hear, and with much patience and care, your angel will teach you how to speak.'

'And what am I going to do when I want to talk to you?' God said, 'Your angel will place your hands together and will teach you how to pray.'

'Who will protect me?' God said, 'Your angel will defend you even if it means risking its life.'

'But I will always be sad because I will not see you anymore.' God said, 'Your angel will always talk to you about Me and will teach you the way to come back to Me, even though I will always be next to you.'

At that moment there was much peace in Heaven, but voices from Earth could be heard and the child hurriedly asked, 'God, if I am to leave now, please tell me my angel's name.'

God said, 'You will simply call her, 'Mom.'

Sunday, November 16, 2008

First Baby Shower!

I had my first baby shower on Saturday, November 15 at my friend Rachel's home. It was hosted by my best friends, Rachel, Jamie and Jennifer. It was an incredible brunch shower with WONDERFUL food (blueberry crepes, hashbrown casserole, quiche, freshly sliced ham, biscuits, and hot apple cider). My girls know how much I LOVE breakfast food! It was so awesome because my closest friends and a few of my "surrogate" moms were there. Everyone brought books for Laurel along with their gifts, which I'm so thankful for. Reading with my little girl is one of the things I look forward to the most as a mother.

Here's almost everyone who attended the shower.

Baby Shower Group

Here's me showing off one of the books I received.

Counting Kisses

This is a good picture of how much my belly has grown!

Sarah

And finally, here are my best girlfriends!

The Girls

Lastly, I just want to thank my lovely hostesses so much for such an incredible shower. It means so much to me that Laurel will come into this world surrounded by so many people who love her so much.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Olympics 2024, here we come!

It's amazing what a difference a week can make. I've felt Laurel move for about 10 weeks now (felt LOTS of movement for the past six weeks). However, within the past week, you'd think she's training for a marathon or a gymnastics meet in there! She's especially wiggly in the morning from about 9:30 until noon. I sit at my desk and try to get work done and she's bouncing all over the place! I can feel her move pretty much all day long with no more than an hour or two between movements. I'm really starting to get a little concerned about how much she's going to move when space really starts to get tight in there!

Even though it can be a bit strange at times, I'm so happy that she moves so much. It is so reassuring to me that things are still going alright. I think if she went a day without moving, I'd really freak out! Also, I forgot to post it, but I passed my one-hour glucose tolerance test for gestational diabetes. WooHoo!! I'm so relieved I don't have to go through the three-hour test!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Quick Update

Nothing too exciting going on, but with the election and everything I didn't have much time to post so I thought I'd let everyone know that things are going well. I'm getting bigger by the day. Laurel is moving all the time now, and luckily I'm still feeling really good.

I've got my next doctor's appointment on November 19th, and then I'll start having appointments every two weeks. It's amazing that I'll be in the third trimester in just two weeks. I'm also looking forward to my first Baby Shower Saturday, Nov. 15th. It's being thrown by Jamie, Rachel and Jennifer, and I know it will be tons of fun!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Laurel's First Picture

I know this is a long time coming, but I'm finally adding an image of Laurel from our 20 week ultrasound. This is a 3d/4d image, and I know that it's a little hard to pick things out. She is on the right side of the image with her arm curled up next to her head. Her head is quite a bit larger than the rest of her body.

Laurel 20weeks(2)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Few Nursery Pictures

We've started working on the baby's nursery! It's so exciting to imagine us putting Laurel to sleep in here.
Nursery Crib

Crib Bedding

Mobile
You probably noticed that both Tim and I got to put a little bit of our influence into the room. (Look for the pink NY Giants helmet in the top picture, and clearly I had something to say about the Clemson Mobile - which even plays Tiger Rag as the lullaby.)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Nursery Planning

This is the bedding we've chosen for our nursery. I ordered it a week ago, so hopefully it will be here soon and we can take pictures of our nursery (which is slowly but surely coming together.)Nursery Bedding

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

"Hey Officer, that lady is stealing a watermelon!"

As I now have a definite baby bump, I thought it would be fun to see the tummy progression (especially for those of you whom I don't get to see very often!)

8 Weeks

14 Weeks

20 Weeks

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Halfway there and kickin'

After a whirlwind weekend that involved first traveling to South Carolina for the Clemson game and then heading to Nashville for a training seminar Monday, Tim and I were finally back on I-40E heading home. I was exactly 20 weeks on Monday, so we were excited about that. Then when we were about 15 miles out of Nashville, I felt baby (from now on to be known as Laurel Kathlynn) move quite a bit. She had been moving a lot more noticeably since Friday, but Tim still hadn't been able to feel here. I was holding my stomach and was able to feel her move from the outside, so I grabbed his hand and placed it on my stomach in hopes that he'd finally be able to feel her move. She moved and I said, "Did you feel that?" Tim gave me a disappointed look and said, "No." Then a couple seconds later it felt like she headbutted me! Before I could even say anything, Tim said, "But I felt that!" It was so exciting to be able to mark our halfway point with him feeling her move!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Monday, September 22, 2008

Sex Party!

Thursday is the day of the Big Reveal!!! That's the day we'll find out whether we need to start stocking up on pink or blue! Tim and I are having a cookout at the home of Amy and Les (Tim's sister and brother-in-law). We're trying to send out paper invitations, emails or Facebook invites to everyone we can think of that might be interested.

If you would like to come, please leave me a comment here or contact either Tim or me. We'll have hotdogs, hamburgers, fried potatoes, and baked beans!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Colds during Pregnancy - no thank you

Having been sick since last Tuesday, I have to say that having a cold while pregnant is doubly bad. The primary reason is because you can only take a very limited number of medicines. After just about coughing up a lung Saturday night, Tim finally made me call my OB on Sunday morning. The doctor prescribed me a Z-pack (antibiotics) and some cough syrup with codeine. I was really surprised they'd give me something with codeine, but I guess they really want to knock this stuff out of my chest. I'm still feeling fairly bad, but I hope the medicine is working!

I'm about to go crazy waiting for next Thursday to find out whether we can start saying "he" or "she" instead of "it" and "baby." We're going to have the "sex party" Thursday night, and I promise I'll try my best to post the gender as soon as I get home that evening! I'm just hoping and praying that baby cooperates and doesn't become camera shy!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Baby Safety

As Tim and I prepare for this new baby, we found this advice very helpful. Hope it gives you some good tips, too (and hopefully a couple giggles.)

Baby Safety Pictures, Images and Photos

Monday, September 8, 2008

Did I just feel the baby move??

This post has been a couple weeks coming, but I didn't want to post something, only to realize that, no, I had not actually felt the baby move. The first time I felt movement was Tuesday, August 26th, while lying in bed. Tim and I were getting ready to head to Nashville the next day, and I had hosted a Girls' Night at my house, so I was pretty exhausted. I think Tim was already asleep, and I was heading that way quickly when I felt this little whirl of butterflies in my lower stomach. It lasted about 5 seconds and then stopped. It was a very strange feeling unlike any I had experienced before, so I immediately began to wonder if it was the baby. A few seconds later it happened again! At that point I yelled at Tim, "I think I just felt the baby move!" To his credit he came out of a dead sleep and wasn't even grumpy with me for waking him up. Of course, he couldn't feel anything from outside my stomach, but I explained the feeling to him and he agreed that it was probably the baby.

The next morning I began to doubt whether what I had felt was really movement. I mean, 15 weeks is pretty early, right? I know some women have felt movement as early as 13 weeks, but that's usually with their second or third babies. Then I really began to doubt as time went on and I didn't feel anything else. At my doctor's appointment on September 2nd (a week after I felt movement), I asked the doctor if what I had felt was the baby moving. He agreed that there was a pretty good chance that what I felt was fetal movement. He reassured me that it would take awhile before these movements became regular or before Tim could feel them and not to worry that I hadn't felt it again.

Finally, last night as I was in the kitchen, feeding my ever-growing appetite, I finally felt the baby move again! I, again, yelled at Tim (ya think there's a theme here...) This time the feeling was a little bit stronger, but I still couldn't feel anything by touching the outside of my stomach. Other than seeing our little one dancing around on the ultrasound screen, this has to be the most exciting moment I've experienced in this pregnancy so far. Even though the feeling is very strange, it is so comforting to know that our little peach is already warming up those limbs for future use!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Big Day is Set

Okay, so maybe it's not the "Big Day," but we have set the date for our 20 week ultrasound, which will hopefully the reveal the sex of our little one! It will be Thursday, September 25th at 10 a.m. Our plan is to have the ultrasound technician write down the baby's gender on a card and put it in an envelope. Then we'll have a cookout Thursday night with friends and family where we'll do the honors of opening the envelope!! This way Tim and I get to share in the intimate moment of viewing our baby on the ultrasound monitor, but everyone (including us) will find out the gender at the same time!

Personally, I just want to find out the gender during the ultrasound, but Tim doesn't want to find out until delivery day (yeah right). The cookout is our attempt at a compromise in the matter.

For those of you who can't come to the cookout, I'll post the gender Friday, September 26th.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

It's a Boy...maybe

Tim and I just got back from a trip to Nashville for a work conference for him. I was primarily excited about the trip because I got to go to A LOT of baby stores! One of the coolest (and most expensive) stores I visited was Pickles and Ice Cream. It had a lot of super posh and designer maternity clothing, but they also had some neat pregnancy things. One of those things was an Intelligender test, a urine test that is supposed to predict what the gender of your baby will be (with 90% accuracy, they claim).

I, sucker that I am, bought the test and brought it home and conducted the toilet science experiment at 7:30 this morning. The test says if the result is yellow or orange, it's a girl. If it is green or dark green, it's a boy. As you can see from the picture below, it was DEFINITELY dark green.

Intelligender

Tim will probably continue to make fun of me for spending money on what he calls a completely unsubstantiated test, but who knows. Maybe it's right. There's at least a 50-50 chance, right?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Maybe a crib???

Nursery update! I think we've picked out our crib. We found this Amy Coe Westport Crib online at Babies 'R Us. We definitely knew we wanted something modern, but unfortunately everything we liked was super expensive. We had begun to think we were going to be relegated to an old-fashioned or traditional-style crib (which isn't bad, but just not our style.) Next week, we're heading to Nashville for a work conference for Tim, so I'm going to spend some time in the baby and nursery stores there before purchasing this crib.

But pending a really good find, I think this one is it! Let me know what you think.

Amy Coe Crib

Monday, August 18, 2008

Officially in Second Trimester

I'm 14 weeks pregnant today, which officially moves me into the Second Trimester! I love that pregnancy has all these milestones you get to accomplish! For me, it makes the time seem to go by faster when I can look forward to weeks at a time instead of just anticipating delivery day. This morning was my first appointment at Medical Center OB/GYN. I saw a nurse practitioner. The visit went fine, but I definitely miss CARS! I feel like just one of a big mass of pregnancy ladies at the OB. I keep having to tell everyone my background and why I've not been to see them until I'm this far along in my pregnancy, etc. The one bright spot of the appointment was getting to hear the heartbeat on the doppler. It was 164 bpm, which means the heartrate is continuing to slow down. Could that mean boy?!?!

On September 2nd, I'll have my next OB appointment at their new office at the MedTech Park. I'm excited to see it; I'm sure it will be very nice! I'll see Dr. Lewis at that appointment. And then I get to schedule the BIG ULTRASOUND! It will probably wind up being around Sept. 26-30 (sometime in the range). Tim wants the gender to be a surprise, but I don't think there's any possible way I can wait. I mean, if the technology exists, why not use it?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

One Third of the Way There

If I were to deliver at exactly 12:01 a.m. on February 16, 2009 (my due date), then as of 8:00 a.m. this morning, I have completed the first third of my pregnancy! This seems like such a momentous accomplishment. On one hand, it feels like I've been pregnant for much longer than 13 weeks and 3 days, but on the other hand, it is unbelievable that there is less than 27 weeks to go!

While things can go wrong at any stage of pregnancy, the most danger lies within the first trimester. I'm naturally not a huge worrier, but after having so much trouble getting pregnant in the first place, I was naturally fearful that something would go wrong. It seems that only in the past couple weeks have I relaxed a little and tried to enjoy things rather than assume that something bad was going to happen. In fact, if it weren't for Tim, I probably wouldn't even have told anyone about the baby until we were past the 12 week mark!

I want to thank everyone who has been praying for Tim, myself and our little one, and I ask you to continue those prayers. We are very appreciative of all the love and support we've received from both family and friends!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Congratulations to Me!

This morning I went in for my Prenatal Screening at the Specialty Hospital. They drew blood and did a urinalysis. The lab tech left the room for a few minutes and came back in holding a pregnancy test. She proudly announced, "There's a line! Congratulations! You're Pregnant!" I guess I assumed she realized that I knew (you know, what with all the ultrasounds and stuff). Thinking back on it, the look I gave her probably made her think this wasn't an expected (or wanted) pregnancy. I finally recovered and mumbled, "Thanks." But the damage was done. Maybe I should have explained my situation, but I figured she didn't really care, so I just let it go. I have my first appointment with the OB (Dr. Burks) next Monday morning.

Also, Tim and I went to our first Anticipating Baby class tonight. I wasn't really sure what to expect, but it was definitely worth the time. We spent most of the time talking about labor and delivery and then we took a tour of the Maternity department at Sycamore Shoals Hospital. I was really impressed! We also reviewed relaxation breathing techniques and our coaches gave us back rubs (clearly my favorite part of the class!) Although I do feel out of place in the class because most of the other pregnant women have huge bellies and are in their third trimesters. But the next class (in October and November) just didn't work with my schedule (you know, their's apparently some kind of election or something...)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Officially Released to OB

I've made it to 12 weeks at CARS, so now they are releasing me to a regular OB practice. I'll definitely miss getting to see our little peach every two weeks! Here's a picture of the baby along with an image of the heartbeat on Doppler. I am 12 weeks and two days pregnant.

12w2d ultrasound (2)

The baby measured 5.7 cm today (about 2 1/4 inches) from head to rump. And the heartbeat was 168 bpm. We got to see a great profile of our little one's face, and it was easy to see the nose, eyes and chin!

But the best image was probably of the baby's tiny little feet and toes. I'll include a picture here, but I'm not quite sure how easy it will be to pick out the feet.

12w2d feet

And, I've finally gained weight! Although it was only half a pound. In the second trimester you are supposed to gain a pound to a pound and a half every week, so I'll really have to get on the ball! I will now be going to Specialty Hospital to the OB/GYN Office there. My first appointment is Monday, August 11th at 8:30 a.m. for a Prenatal Screening. I hope my experiences there are as good as the ones I've had at CARS.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

12 Weeks and Counting

We've made it to 12 weeks and things are still going well. I know I'm going to jinx myself by saying this, but all the baby/pregnancy books I've read have said that morning sickness and nausea usually start going away by 12 weeks. Since I've never had any significant sickness, I hope this means that I'm past the point where I'm going to be sick. Also, I'm starting to get a little bit of a tummy. It could still be mostly bloating, but this week was the first time I put on a pair of my pants and couldn't button them! I had to rig a rubber band to connect them at the waist! I can't wait until I really start getting a belly bump! As of my last appointment I still hadn't gained any weight, but that's apparently pretty normal for the first trimester.

This week is a big one for us. I've got my last appointment at CARS on Wednesday and my last ultrasound and checkup with Dr. Kennedy. It will be nice to be released to an OB office, but I'm really going to miss the pampering and personal attention from the fertility clinic. We should see arms and legs, fingers and toes, even more clearly this week and also the umbilical cord and placenta. It will be interesting to see if the heartbeat is still as fast as it has been. Hopefully the baby will cooperate again and move around a lot for us.

I also have a big week at work with the election on Thursday. I'm praying everything goes well and that there isn't too much stress. I've tried to keep my stress level as low as possible for the baby's sake, but I know come Thursday that will be a tough task! Right now I'm just so exhausted, after the election I think I'll just want to stay in bed for the whole weekend!

We also got some good news at church. Our youth minister Ben and his wife Whitney announced that they are expecting, too!!! She'll find out a more definite due date when she goes for her first ultrasound Wednesday, but she thinks she's probably due in early to mid March. I'm so happy that I'll have someone to go through this pregnancy with - for both encouragement and to complain! I know they'll make great parents, and Tim and I wish them both the best! There are five kids at our church two years old or younger - and now we've got two more on the way! I'm so glad our little one will have a group of friends to grow up with in the church (as well as a little cousin!).

Monday, July 28, 2008

A Word from Daddy

As I have read through Sarah’s posts, I’ve noticed that there is not much about what the husband has felt or seen. So, here is my first post.

I remember back in Sept. of 2006 when this journey began. Before then I never wanted kids, but over time something was missing. I cannot explain the feeling, its something that once you feel it you know what it is.

The longer we tried to conceive, the more emotional the ride got. Sarah would cry or would get down on herself and it was up to me to keep her thoughts positive, even when I was trying to deal with my own emotions. I will admit I was getting to the point where I didn’t think it was going to happen.

The day she told me that she was pregnant I went to cloud nine for days. She also told me that we couldn’t say anything….I can’t keep secrets! I was allowed to tell one person (What’s up EM!) I spent the weekend by myself, I would be just walking through the house and get a little sick to my stomach, thinking about being a dad. Actually, for about a week, I had some morning sickness!

The next week, on Father’s Day, I was nervous about telling our parents. At one point Sarah wanted to back out, I was about to bust, she knew I had to tell. My parents were so happy (I think I saw a tear in my dad’s eyes as he “went to shave”) When Sarah gave her dad the card, well this story is in another post, but this is GrandChuck and GrandApe’s first grandchild!

I never knew what the phrase “Time stood still” meant, until we went for the first ultrasound. When I heard that heartbeat, there were no other sounds in that room, there was nothing else on my mind (probably for the first time since I was kid), and at that moment it all became real to me.

Since then we have had another ultrasound, Sarah is staying hungry and sleepy, I have put on some sympathy pounds and the nursery is getting closer to being ready. For once in my life I now have a dream that has something other than a car or a “project” in it, this is all a new concept for me!

Monday, July 21, 2008

We've Got Movement!

Had my third ultrasound this morning. Everything is looking great! The baby is measuring 3.3 cm (about an inch and a half) and the heartbeat was 178 bpm! We could see arms and legs, too. It was absolutely amazing! The doctor moved my due date to February 16 (from the 18th) because the baby has been measuring ahead.

Dr. Kennedy said we might see movement at this ultrasound, so we sat there staring at the screen, straining our eyes to see even the tiniest little flicker. I was praying, "Please move, baby, please move." Then I started patting my stomach. As soon as I touched my stomach, the little thing started wiggling around like crazy, kicking its legs and bringing its little arms up to its face. Tim and I were in awe to see how active the baby was! Luckily we got the whole thing on tape so the grandparents will be able to see.

Tim is in charge of taking digital pictures of the ultrasound pictures, so hopefully he'll get a good one and send it to me so that all of you can see our little wiggle worm! And here it is!!!

10w ultrasound

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Leaving Comments

I know a few people were having problems setting up accounts in order to leave comments. Therefore, I've changed the settings to allow comments from anyone. This means that anyone can post a comment now without having to sign in (or create an account). I hope this makes it easier for everyone because I love to hear from ya'll! You can just click on Name/URL and just type in your name (URL can be left blank).

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Week 9 Update

Just wanted to check in now that I'm (about) at nine weeks. Things are still going well. I've been very fortunate not to have morning sickness, although some nausea and indigestion has been plaguing me. Overall, things are going great!

Tim and I have been continuing to work on the nursery. We installed a new sheetrock ceiling, recessed lighting, chair rail, and a closet. Below the chair rail is painted a rich, chocolate brown, and above the rail is cream. We are leaning towards incorporating earth tones and muted colors when we pick our bedding and furniture. Here is an example of some bedding we found at Ikea that we really like.

Ikea Hokus

As time goes on, we'll pick out more of our favorite things, and I'll post them here so that everyone can let us know what they think.

Our next ultrasound is Monday, so I'll definitely have an update (with pictures) on that day.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Yup, the Little Bean's Still There

After seeing the little one the first time and hearing the heartbeat, I think that relieved a lot of my anxiety. However, when we got ready to go in for our second appointment on July 7th, all the worry came back. But then the ultrasound screen came on, and we saw a baby that was FIVE times bigger than the one we saw two weeks earlier.

At 7 weeks and 5 days, the baby measured 1.6 cm. And the heartbeat had increased to 175 bpm! It was astonishing to hear how much faster and louder the heartbeat was the second time. This time we could make out a head and body. Also, the doctor videotaped the ultrasound for us, so we were able to bring that home and show our parents.


7w5d ultrasound(2)

You can see the head at the bottom of the black circle, then the body in the middle, and the yolk sac on top. The yolk sac will disappear when the placenta and umbilical cord take over in a week or two. It is absolutely amazing to know that something less than an inch long has a heartbeat and is already getting distinguishable human features.

My next ultrasound is July 21st, and the doctor said at that time, we should be able to see legs and arms!

First Time We Saw Our Little One

June 24th was our first ultrasound. The doctor told us we probably wouldn't see much since I was only about 6 weeks along, and that it was unlikely we'd hear the heartbeat. But when we finally saw the screen come up, there was our tiny bean tucked into a perfect gestational sac complete with yolk sac. The baby was measuring 0.29 cm., right on schedule. And then the doctor switched over to the Doppler and we were absolutely amazed to hear this fast and strong heartbeat! I couldn't believe that something so tiny could have such a definite heartbeat. In fact, it was 123 bpm!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Best Father's Day Ever

After I got my big fat positive (BFP), I went in to the doctor's office on Thursday, June 12th, for an HCG Beta test to verify the pregnancy test. I got the results later that day and it was 345, which is a great number!

The next Sunday (June 15th) was Father's Day, so that was the day we picked to tell both of our parents the big news. We were going to have a cookout at Rock Creek Park that afternoon with my family, so before church, we went to his parents' house. The previous week was both of their birthdays/anniversary, so we took cards to them. On the inside of Tim's mom's birthday card, we wrote, "Your present has been backordered until February 2009...Get ready for #5!"

She laughed about the present for a minute and then realization dawned over her and as she realized we meant grandchild #5. She started crying and calling both of his sisters, and his father was so happy for us, too. It was awesome!

So then we had to go to church and continue to keep our secret! I had gotten my dad a book for Father's Day, which I gave him at the cookout. I then said I had forgotten his other gift in the car and went to get it. It was another book. As he unwrapped it, he saw the title, "Grandpa Rules." He gave me a funny look, and I told him to look inside.

Coming February 2009

CBE BFP

He just seemed stunned, and then he and mom started crying and hugging us. My papaw and some other family were there, so they found out, too. It was the best way I think we could have told them! The next day, June 16th, I went back to the doctor's office for my second HCG Beta test. This time it was 1,818, which means the doubling time was about 40 hours!! Doctors want to see it at about 48 hours, so my little one was growing up a storm over the weekend!

Telling Tim

So I took the pregnancy test on Saturday morning, June 6th. Tim was gone, so I tried to think of a clever way to tell him when he got home. For the past few months, we've been working on our back bedroom, tentatively preparing it to become a nursery. So I hung a note on the front of the door that said:

Grand Opening
February 19, 2009

Then it was time to hurry up and wait for him to get home. When he finally did get home, he sat down, ate a sandwich and watched TV. I was ready to explode! He ALWAYS comes home and goes straight to his bathroom (which is next to the back bedroom) and washes his hands. But NO, on THIS day, he washed his hands in the kitchen!

Well, he eventually walked toward the bathroom, stopping short as he read the sign. He turned towards me and said, "What does this mean?" I said, "What do you think?" I guess he finally understood because then he screamed, "Are you pregnant?!?" I started laughing and crying, and he ran to me and hugged me (then he started laughing and crying, too).

The whole thing was very emotional, but I think it's a memory we'll both cherish for a long time.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Another Pregnancy Blog

It may be cliche, but I've decided to keep a blog for my first pregnancy. This will feature all the fun details of the journey toward motherhood (if we're doing cliche, why not be corny, too). So here's a little background. And I promise, I'll eventually explain the name of the blog.

Tim and I have been trying to conceive since September 2006. I think we had just gotten home from a seven day cruise when we decided, "Hey, let's throw away the birth control and see what happens." Obviously, we assumed we'd be pregnant pretty quickly. By January (with no bun in the oven), we decided to try a more proactive method - FAM (fertility awareness method).

So here's a public service announcement (and sort-of advertisement): every woman between puberty and menopause should be REQUIRED to read "Taking Charge of Your Fertility" (TCOYF). It teaches you way more than you ever wanted to know about your body and your monthly cycles, but it is incredible information. So for the next 12 months, I charted my basal body temperature, my cervical fluid (definitely TMI, so I won't get into it) and used Ovulation Predictor Kits (OPKS) to identify when I was ovulating.

By the next year, having no success and starting to lose that loving feeling, I made a call to the Center for Applied Reproductive Science (CARS) and began seeing Dr. Kennedy. All my bloodwork came back normal and my initial ultrasound didn't show any problems, so he suspected an ovulatory disorder since my cycles were very irregular and usually on the long side. He prescribed 50mg of Clomid to be taken Cycle Days 5-9.

On the day after I took the last pill, we left for a family vacation at Edisto Beach, South Carolina. This is also where we had our honeymoon. We were joined by Mom and Dad, Aaron and Mallory, and Daniel and Amy (for part of the trip.) It was a blast!

We arrived back home Monday, May 27. Everything seemed to be going well. I knew I had ovulated on May 28th, so by Saturday, June 6th, I was starting to get antsy and decided to pee on a stick (take a pregnancy test).

Imagine my complete shock when there was a beautiful little PLUS sign on the test, rather than the minus sign with which I had become very familiar. When looking at my chart, I realized that the miracle had happened while we were on vacation in Edisto, one of our favorite places in the world. Thus, the name of this blog.


So, all that being said, I hope to record all the incredible events that will (with God's help) lead to a healthy, happy baby in February 2009. I hope to post soon about how I told Tim, how we told our parents, our first and second ultrasounds and much more!
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