12.31.2007

First Leg Cramp and Shopping for Maternity Clothes!

So I got my first leg cramp yesterday morning before church! Ryan had already left to get his guitar and everything ready for the service, so I was home alone with the dogs. My alarm went off, and as I reached over to turn it off, my entire right calf completely cramped! Now I have had growing pains and Charlie Horses, but I have NEVER, EVER, EVER experienced this kind of cramp! My calf was completely solid...rock hard...and bulging out of my leg. I started yelling, "What do I do!?! What do I do!?!" because I had no idea how to make it go away. All I knew was that it hurt SOOOO badly. I started massaging my right foot because that helps when my legs ache, and it completely made the cramp go away. I just laid in bed, stunned by what had just happened. Let's just say that I'm going to work on increasing my potassium intake in order to prevent them in the future! My calf still aches a bit this morning, but I'll take that pain over a leg cramp any day.

After church, my friend Alyssa and I went shopping for maternity clothes. Alyssa is in my small group for church and is 11 weeks ahead of me (7 1/2 months along now), so it has been fun to share this experience with her. We decided to go to the Old Navy at Metropolis (Plainfield, IN)because they sell maternity clothes there. I bought a bunch of casual clothes...a new pair of sweat pants, a few long sleeved-tees, a couple tank tops, and a nicer shirt. Then I also got two (much needed) new bras and another sweater. Alyssa also found some great buys at New York and Company. We had lunch at Red Robin, which was delicious! I made the mistake of ordering a cheeseburger with onion straws on it and had acid reflux the rest of the day. It really did not stop! I guess I won't order anything with onions for awhile. :) All in all, I think we had a successful day of shopping, eating, and talking! It was a great way to spend the day. :)

18 weeks and new OBGYN!

Here is the link about the baby's development at 18 weeks since I didn't post it last Wednesday:

http://www.babycenter.com/6_your-pregnancy-18-weeks_1107.bc

Yes, you read our last blog correctly. Ryan and I made a decision about who we want to work with throughout the rest of this pregnancy. I should preface this blog with saying that I am now on Ryan's insurance (Anthem). If I decide to work part time next year, it will be more cost-effective for the baby and me to be on his insurance plan than on mine. So, I called the Birth Center downtown to find out some information about the Nurse Midwives of Indianapolis (NWI). Here is the website in case you are ever interested:

http://www.indianabirthcenters.com/indy01.html

They deliver at Methodist Hospital in addition to their birth center, which was appealing to us. However, when I spoke with them, I found out that NWI's facility is not contracted to work with Anthem, even though the midwives themselves are "in network". Because of that, we would have had to pay them $125 at our first appointment and an additional $2,200 by our 34 weeks appointment. This would ensure the NWI that they would get paid for their services. Then, Anthem would send us a check in the mail for whatever they deem "appropriate" for maternity care. In all actuality, they could send us LESS THAN the $2,200, meaning that Ryan and I would have had to pay out of pocket to work with the midwife group. PLUS, we would have to pay the hospital fees for delivering there. Does that all make sense? It took some time for me to understand it all myself. Fortunately, Ryan being employed at Athem makes our lives so much easier because he knows exactly who to call to find out these kinds of things. Plus, the NMI were very helpful in telling us how the financial piece works with them when you have Anthem insurance.

In sum, we decided that it was going to be just too much of a hassle (and possibly more money out of pocket) to work with the midwife group. By working with the doctor we chose, our insurance will take care of it's part, and we will handle the rest. Again, the situation is only confusing because we have Anthem insurance. If you are ever interested in working with the NMI and have a different insurance carrier, you won't have the same problem as we ran into with them. I had really been praying for God to help us figure out who we were supposed to work with throughout the rest of the pregnancy, and I do feel like He was helping lead us to the right person for us. Everyone has different personal needs, desires for their birth experience, etc., and I do feel really excited about our choice. Dr. Mary Soper has been practicing as an OBGYN for years and years and is really recognized as one of the better OBGYNs in Indianapolis. You can check out http://www.indymoms.com for some threads about her. She will deliver our baby at Methodist Hospital, which we are really excited about. She is also the OBGYN who backs up all of the midwives in Indianapolis, so Dr. Soper is very supportive when mothers want less medical interventions during their labor (e.g., inducing labor, episiotomies, epidurals, extracting the baby, C-sections, etc. ). Of course, there are times when those interventions are necessary, and Dr. Soper is qualified to perform any of them if they become medically necessary. I feel like I'm getting the best of both worlds!

I made my 20 week appointment with Dr. Soper for Wednesday, Jan. 2nd at 3:30 p.m. She is going on vacation for two weeks in January, so they squeezed us in this week (we will be 19 weeks that day). I am realy excited to hear the baby's heartbeat again, which is the best part of any prenatal appointment in my opinion. :) I really do feel like this is the exact person we are supposed to work with, and I'm really looking forward to meeting Dr. Soper on Wednesday. HOORAY!

Christmas 2007

Hello again! Sorry I haven't written for awhile. I'm sure you were all really busy with Christmas, too, so you understand my lack of blogging. :) Ever since the "salad incident", Ryan and I have both laughed and relived the event several times. He says that my head spun around 2 times that night...yikes!

Anyway, we both had a really nice Christmas this year! We spent one day with my mom's family, had an overnight trip to Ryan's parents (with the dogs), had Ryan's mom's family over to our house to celebrate, and had an overnight trip to my dad and stepmom's house in South Whitley. We really had a great time with everyone! It's always fun to spend time with family, and now that the Tour de' Christmas is over, it's also nice to be home and to get things back on track. Right now the laundry machines are busy working, the pups are asleep on the couch with me, and Alice in Wonderland on the Disney Channel just ended. After I woke up this morning, I balanced the checkbook, put our schedule for January on the calendar, refilled Layla's prescription (she will have been seizure-free for a month as of tonight), and made an appointment with our new OBGYN! Check out the next blog for more information.

For now, here are some pictures of Ryan and the pups at Christmas. There aren't any pictures of me, but I will try to post some new belly shots on Wednesday after our appointment with Dr. Soper to show what I look like at 19 weeks. Can you believe that I'm almost halfway through this pregnancy. It is just flying by! I should also note that Ryan got me a prenatal massage for each month of the rest of this pregnancy. Wasn't that so great?!?! I can't wait to cash in my first one, as my back is just starting to bother me a little more lately.

Our Christmas tree with presents and stockings for Ryan, Kya, Layla, and me!



A better look at the dogs red stockings, their treats, and new toys!

The dogs waiting patiently at the top of the stairs before running down to see the gifts that Santa left them this year.

The pups eating their treats and finding their new toys!

Ryan enjoying his new pedals for his guitar!

12.22.2007

Craziness at 4 months!

You are not going to believe what happened last night! Ryan and I were playing the Nintendo Wii having a great time. We were cracking up and just playing around. All of the sudden, I got really hungry but couldn't find anything to eat in our kitchen. I had just eaten dinner a couple hours earlier but was seriously STARVING! I asked Ryan if he would make me something...then all of the sudden...I went totally bananas!!! I started sobbing and telling him how hungry I was...(Ryan just said don't forget to write about when my head started spinning around 360 degrees). I am completely serious when I say that I was BALLING and trying to describe what I wanted to eat. This horrible high shrieking sound was coming out of my mouth as I tried to tell him what I wanted. He would say, "Do you want spaghetti?" I would start crying even harder saying, "No, I want a salad!" We were both cracking up laughing because the situation was just too funny, but I was crying at the same time because I was SO hungry (and apparently hormonal)! I wanted a salad with romaine lettuce, cheese, carrots, croutons, and poppy seed salad dressing (which I never eat but was craving at the grocery store the other day, so I bought it). Is that too much to ask??? Anyway, I continued this circus act until my salad was finished and in my hands. I didn't even use a fork, people. I ate everything with my fingers! I mean seriously...what was that all about?!?! Afterward, we started to watch a movie, and I just laid there in awe, trying to figure out what the heck just happened. I mean, we both got a good laugh out of it, and most importantly...I got a salad. I fell asleep about 15 minutes later and was out for the night. We woke up this morning still a little in awe about the whole thing. I only wish you all could have seen just a little piece of it because it was completely CRAZY! Here are some pictures of me yesterday (before the salad incident). I hit the 4 month mark on Friday and was 17 weeks along on Wednesdsay. I can't tell much difference from our last pictures (at 15 weeks, I think). I do have on maternity pants, though, which are still pretty big in the front. They are just so comfy, so I wore them to work on Friday with a long sweater! Have a nice weekend! And remember...if I ever ask for food, get it ASAP...or you may witness the craziness inside me!



12.18.2007

New Ultrasound!

So Ryan and I had our ultrasound yesterday (Monday) and got the results today. Again, the doctor wanted to make sure that the chorion and amnion membranes that surround the amniotic sac had fused together. At the 12 week ultrasound, they were still separated. We have good news because everything turned out just fine! The membranes are fused together just as they need to be. :)


I drank my 24 oz. of water in about 35 minutes before the appointment in order to have a full bladder (it helps your uterus get in the best position for imaging). When we arrived, I told the technician that I did not want to know the sex of the baby. Ryan then asked if she would tell him even if I didn't want to know. He was going to ask her to put it in an envelope so that he could keep it in our safe and look in the future if he really wanted to know. The technician told us that she does whatever the mom wants and that it had been her policy for 17 years. Well, there was no arguing with that! I felt really, really bad about it because I really don't like to make decisions for both of us. Ryan told me not to feel bad, but I still do a bit. The funny thing is...when the technician put the probe on my belly, the first thing we saw was little Babell lounging in there with his/her legs completely stretched out and crossed! It was hysterical! It was as if the baby was saying, "I don't care whether you want to know or not...I'm not telling you anyway!" Little stinker! He or she was moving around like crazy, and the technician said she was really having to keep up with the baby. Words cannot describe what it is like to see what your baby looks like while it develops in utero. It just leaves me in awe thinking about it! I mean, I know that I'm pregnant, and I have a belly to prove it, but I'm still not sure that it has completely registered that there is a baby growing inside me! I don't know if that makes much sense, but maybe when I (for sure) feel the baby move, maybe then it will really become even more real. :) During this ultrasound, we saw the baby kind of walk its little legs up the amniotic sac so that it was standing on its head!! It was so funny...quite the acrobat! Upon reviewing the pictures she snapped, the technician also noticed a picture where the baby put its foot in its mouth! I guess he/she is pretty flexible, too! We even saw the baby open its mouth really wide and flip all over the place. It was a really fun time! Here are some pictures of Babell...enjoy!


Here the baby is just lounging again! It's comfy in mommy's belly!

The baby has two normal bones in its arms (unlike its mommy...who most of you know has a fused ulna and radius).

Here is what the baby looks like if you look down from the shoulders. Those are it's little arms and hands sticking out!

Here the baby is looking right at the ultrasound probe! WOW!

We'll be 17 weeks along tomorrow, so here is the information about what happens in utero at 17 weeks:

http://www.babycenter.com/6_your-pregnancy-17-weeks_1106.bc

Can you believe we'll be 4 months along on Friday? Time is really flying by!

12.11.2007

Prenatal Appointment Today!

Ryan and I had our 16 week prenatal appointment today, which was fun! Of course my favorite part was hearing the baby's heart beating. Our midwife found it right away, and it was truly music to my ears! It registered at 146 beats per minute, which if you remember is quite a bit slower than last time. The past two times it has been 170 and 166. Anyway, it is so fun to hear the baby and to know that it's growing and doing well!

Our midwife went over the results of our ultrasound from 4 weeks ago. The baby was measuring really well! There can be an error of one week when they do their measurements, and we were just one day short of 12 weeks. Anyway, they take lots of measurements, but there are three main ones that they do...something to do with the head, the femur, and I can't remember the last one. Anyway, the baby's three measurements were 12 weeks, 6 days on one, 12 weeks 6 days on the second, and 12 weeks, 5 days on the third. Our midwife said that she doesn't usually see numbers so similar, so I guess that proves that our baby is perfect (just kidding of course). :) All of the other measurements looked great with one exception. I guess that there are two layers that surround the amniotic sac, and there was a an area where those two membranes had separated. That type of separation is usually resolved between 14 and 16 weeks, so we have to have an ultrasound done at 16 weeks to see if that gap closed. I'm honestly not going to worry myself over it because there just isn't anything I can do. It's kind of in God's hands at this point! If they find that it has not closed, we will just have to learn the next course of action. We'll just take it as it comes! That's what parenting is all about, right, rolling with the punches?

FYI: here is some information about healthy weight gain during pregnancy...taken straight from www.webmd.com:

A woman of average weight before pregnancy should gain 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy. Underweight women should gain 28-40 pounds during pregnancy. Overweight women may need to gain only 15-25 pounds during pregnancy. You may need to gain more or less weight, depending on what your health care provider recommends. In general, you should gain about 2 to 4 pounds during your first three months of pregnancy and 1 pound a week for the remainder of your pregnancy. If you are expecting twins you should gain 35 to 45 pounds during your pregnancy. This would be an average of 1 ½ pounds per week after the usual weight gain in the first three months.
I gained 3/4 of a pound during my first trimester and have gained 6 1/4 lbs. since my 11 week appointment, which again was 5 weeks ago. So, that's a grand total of 7 pounds when I should be between 6-8 pounds at this point in time and is almost a pound a week gain. I feel pretty good about that! Now I'm not going to lie...when I saw my current weight on the scale, I had to laugh because I have never seen that number before! But again, I know that this is all part of bringing a new life into this world, so I feel really good about it. :) Now that the weight is coming on, I feel more motivated to really start exercising. It will give me something else to blog about!

The last thing to mention is that our midwife is leaving...she's taking a new job in Virginia because her private practice just didn't take off like she had hoped. Did you know that you are not billed for prenatal appointments or the like until after the baby is born?? I had no clue! I talked to a girlfriend who goes to an OBGYN tonight, and she said that she had to pay a co-pay at her first appointment and has not paid a thing since. Very interesting! I can see how only having 1-2 births per month would make it hard to keep your practice going. So, we are going to see how the results of this ultrasound go on Monday (where we will NOT find out the sex of the baby even though we could totally find out! AHHH!), and then we'll make a decision about what to do next. I have a second midwife in mind who we could try, but if it seems like there will be more medical situations to consider (due to this separation in membranes), it may be best for us to work with an OBGYN. We will just see! Whatever is meant to be will be. I can't really explain it, but I never actually thought Betsy would deliver our baby. I just couldn't get that visual in my head, so when she said, "I have some news," I guessed it right away that she was leaving. Call me psychic! Call me brilliant! I am just excited to see where this journey takes us next.

Any prayers and thoughts you have in the next week are greatly appreciated! Hopefully little Babell's amniotic sac is all fine...I'm sure it will be. :) Remember, there is power in positive thinking!

In order to not post again tomorrow, here is an update about what will be happening with the baby at 16 weeks:

http://www.babycenter.com/6_your-pregnancy-16-weeks_1105.bc

Neat, huh? You can really feel how hard my uterus is getting, too, which is really neat. Since I'm not 100% sure that I've felt the baby moving, it's neat to feel and see changes in my body. It makes everything so real!

12.10.2007

Time for a little education...

Ok, so I lied in my last blog. I said that when people make comments to me about my appearance, I was just going to ride with it and love every minute of it. That was a lie...though it was not intentional in any way! I really thought I could be stronger than I actually am. I thought, once again, that the power of positive thinking would help push me through anything bad. I was wrong, wrong, wrong. While I truly still love my changing body, it is hard to hear negative feedback from others. So, I thought I would take this opportunity to write about what pregnant women are saying behind closed doors to other pregnant women (or their very supportive and loving spouses in my case).

The following are things that we would LOVE to hear you say to us during our pregnancy:

"WOW! You look beautiful."
"You are just glowing."
"Look at that cute belly! Can I rub it?"
"Pregnant women are so beautiful."
"You have never looked better."
"Your growing belly is so cute!"
"I can't believe there is a baby in there!"
"You are going to be a great mom."
"Being pregnant is such a gift, so enjoy every minute of it."

The following are things that we NEVER want to hear you say to us during our pregnancy. If you can't help yourself to think these things, please keep them to yourself:
"Whoa! You are really big!"
"You're no Shamoo, but you are definitely getting big."
"Are you sure they got your due date right?"
"I can't believe you're showing already."
"Are you positive you're not carrying twins?"
"I wouldn't say you're huge...just getting there."
"If you're this big now, can you imagine how big you'll be later?"
"You are really waddling around these days!"
Remember friends, pregnant women have feelings, too, and we can be especially sensitive right now given the hormone rollar coaster we're on. None of us would (or at least should) go up to someone who was gaining some weight and say anything negative to them. It shouldn't be any different for pregnant women. Most of all, just remember, there is a baby in there for crying out loud! Of course our bellies will grow, we will gain weight, and if we're really lucky, our feet will swell as big as Fred Flintstone. Acne, leg cramps, back aches, and water retention are just a few of the bonuses of being pregnant, but you know what...it's all worth it. You're bringing a new life into the world. What a gift...a miracle from God! While I can't expect all people I come across through this pregnancy to shower me with compliments, I do hope that when talking to me, and all other pregnant women that you use kind words. Until next time!

12.09.2007

A Fun Week

Despite having my second head cold in the past month, I have had a really great week! Our nursery bedding came in, and I just love it! Check out this website for pictures of it:

http://www.jcpenney.com/jcp/Products.aspx?DeptID=0&CatID=036551&Grptyp=ENS&ItemId=128c3a0&CM_REF=http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=+%22day+at+the+zoo%22+%22bedding%22

What do you think?? Ryan and I went nursery furniture shopping on Saturday but didn't have much luck. The nursery is fairly small, so I don't want to buy too much furniture and overcrowd the room. For all of you who are mothers, what furniture did you find the most essential? For example, are changing tables used that much, or did you find yourself changing the baby on the floor, couch, or a bed most of the time? Obviously we will be getting a crib, but I'm trying to decide between a chest of drawers OR a dresser w/ hutch. What do you think? Kelli, Ryan's sister, gave us her rocker, so we are good to go there (thanks again, Kel!). Again, I appreciate any advice you have! Also, one more question...is a convertible crib worth buying so that we'll have a full size bed for after we're done with the nursery, or should I just buy a regular crib? I'm trying to be practical but without having been a parent before, I'm not sure how well cribs hold up after the baby(s) are not needing cribs anymore. On the plus side, I got a FREE prenatal massage (10 minutes or so) at Baby USA in Castleton...it was DEVINE! I tried to talk Ryan into getting a massage, too, but no dice. :) I know, he's crazy! He has no idea what he is missing!

I noticed something kind of funny this week about people. Now that people know that I'm pregnant, when I go to talk to someone, the person always seems to look straight at my stomach first. It's hilarious! Then the person will look back at my face...then my stomach...then my face...and the conversation begins. It's like they have to size me up or something! :) One person will say to me, "What?!?! You're 15 weeks...how are you still in regular clothes??? You're so skinny!" I walk away feeling like a million bucks but also wondering, "Oh no, am I putting on enough weight for the baby?" Not 5 minutes later, someone else will say, "WOW! You're really popping out there!" So then I feel like a COW! It's pretty hysterical! I've just decided that everyone has an opinion...how much weight you should gain...how big or small they think you are...etc. I'm just going to enjoy every minute of it! I would guess that a lot of parenting is about sacrifices that you make for your children...sacrifices you are (usually) happy to make because you love them so much. My changing figure is just one of the first sacrifices that I am willing to make right now for this baby. People will say, "You know, breastfeeding will ruin your chest!" To be honest, I'm ok with that. Sure it'd be nice to stay 25 years old forever without my body growing old, but if my baby gets to have the best nutrients from the start, I really am more than happy to make that sacrifice. God didn't intend for us to have these bodies forever, and although it doesn't give us an excuse not to take care of them, it does help me cope with the changes that are happening. :)

Speaking of God, I have to say how thankful I am that Ryan and I found a church home. We were talking tonight on the way back from our friends (Abigail and Devin) Christmas program at their church. We were saying that the thing we were most thankful for this year was finding Emmanuel Church of Greenwood. We have both grown so much as people this year, and the best part is...the growing is only going to get better. I think it's so important for us to be a strong couple for this baby, with God at the center of our lives. It just helps me feel that much more prepared for when the baby arrives in Spring. To have the support and love from the people we've met at church makes Greenwood really feel like a community...a community to raise our family in for years to come.

Life is good!

12.05.2007

15 Weeks!

So we hit the 15 week mark today! Here is an update about what is happening with the baby right now:



I have been feeling stomach rumblings for the past week or so and have honestly wondered if that was the baby, though I haven't been like, "Oh! The baby moved!" It's been more of a question than anything, so I was surprised to read this 15 week update and see that it was discussed. Who knows if that was what I was feeling or not! The fun thing is...the day is getting closer and closer when I will feel him/her.

We decorated the house for Christmas, and Ryan suggested that we put the tree in our front room. It was such a great idea! Check out how it turned out. I seriously love our Christmas tree! I just feel so happy when we turned the lights on and just let it shine in the front room.



Kya has been pretty curious about it this year, licking one of the Santa hats that has some fuzz on it. Too funny! Layla has knocked some ornaments off by wagging her tail...surprise! I love those dogs. Kya turned 3 on Dec. 3rd by the way! Don't tell her, but we completely forgot. Thank goodness dogs love you no matter what! How many people do you know who wouldn't mind if you forgot their birthday? Anyway, we are going to celebrate this weekend with some puppy ice cream, and I might even make a puppy cake with a recipe book a coworker got me.

Ok, so what you've all been waiting for...the 15 week preggo belly pictures! Enjoy!



Some people at work noticed today for the first time that my belly is popping out, so that was kind of fun. I got my first few belly rubs the past few days...other than Ryan of course. :)

Thanks for all of your fun comments after reading our blog! It has been a lot of fun reading them. Until next time...take care!

11.29.2007

14 weeks!

So we hit the 14 week mark yesterday! Here is some information about the baby's development at 14 weeks:

http://www.babycenter.com/6_your-pregnancy-14-weeks_1103.bc?scid=mbtw_preg15:20071126:0:0:0

Can you believe he/she is growing hair already? It just makes me that much more excited to meet the baby in May. We went to see a Christmas Carol last night with Abigail and Devin, two friends from Hanover. Ryan had free tickets through work since Anthem sponsors the show. :) We saw it last year, and I was happy to go a second year in a row! Of course, it brought tears to my eyes twice...it doesn't take too much to touch my heart these days. I don't feel like I'm on an emotional roller coaster or anything. I have just felt especially bothered knowing about all of the families who are in need...whether it be physical needs, spiritual needs, or emotional needs. It just hurts to know that many people need so much more than they have and that so many people have way more than they'll ever need. We do make regular donations at various places, but there is something about this time of year that really just makes me want to give so much more away! Wow, I really got off on a tangent. I guess there is just something about that Tiny Tim that pulls your heart strings in unimaginable way. Anyway, the show was great, and we had a great time with our friends! :)

I've been dreaming a lot about the baby lately! Usually, they are fun dreams like finding out the sex of the baby or delivering the baby without feeling any pain! It's pretty funny sometimes. Well, last night I had my first bad dream. I dreamt that Abigail (mentioned earlier) and I went to Cedar Point. By the time we were on the fourth roller coaster, I finally realized...OH CRAP! I'M PREGNANT!!! I started freaking out, and Abigail was trying to keep my spirits up, saying that the baby would be just fine. Well, fast forward and the baby and I are suddenly in the house. HOWEVER, the baby HATES me! It wouldn't let me touch it. The baby kept wincing and grimacing at me. I finally got a bottle in its mouth, but I hadn't tested to see if it was hot or not. YIKES! I totally burned the baby's mouth! He (it was a boy in my dream) starting WAILING and was absolutely hysterical. I tested the milk on my arm, and sure enough...it totally burnt my arm, too. I was a horrible mother, and my baby hated me. Let's hope he/she never feels that way!

11.26.2007

Belly Laughs

So I finally decided to buy a new book to read...Jenny McCarthy's Belly Laughs. Now, just to warn the more conservative of readers, this book may not be for you. She pretty much tells the readers about her experience, and she doesn't censor herself at all. Jenny puts it ALL out there, which I have definitely found some appreciation for lately. It's funny, every time I pick up that book, I find myself thinking, "Oh my gosh, that is totally happening to me!" or "WOW-I didn't know that was happening because I'm pregnant!" Today, I was reading one about having a runny nose/sneezing all the time due to pregnancy. I thought it was just allergies or a never-ending cold! I definitely sneeze just about everyday, multiple times a day. The running nose hasn't been too bad, but it can get that way after sneezing of course. I guess it's due to the softening of my nasal membranes. Mmmm...I hope you aren't sitting down reading this with something yummy to eat. Sorry if you are! I have been getting these TERRIBLE, and I mean TERRIBLE, bloody noses. They will come on without warning sometimes...like the day I was observing a girl in her 3rd grade classroom. I had to leave in a hurry to get it under control. One of my principals saw me walking down the hall with a Kleenex to my nose, so he immediately rushed me to the nurse's office. I assured him that it was just a bloody nose...nothing to worry about...but he said in my current "state" (aka: being pregnant), I needed to see the nurse. Thank goodness she wasn't there!!! :) I got a really bad one last night that lasted like 15 minutes. I was going bananas! Oh well, I'll take a bloody nose over a stomach ache any day of the week.

Oh...I finally bought some new prenatal vitamins on Friday. By the way, vitamin stores REALLY SMELL BAD when you are pregnant since your sense of smell is multiplied by like 100. WHOA! It about knocked me down! Anyway, the pill bottle was made of white plastic, so I had to take a chance on the size of those monsters. As soon as I got in the car, I opened the bottle and low and behold, those suckers were bigger than the last ones...which I didn't think was possible! At least they don't smell/taste as bad. They are supposed to be of the "gentle stomach" variety, and so far I haven't had any trouble. I think that's all for now! My friend Michi sent us this cute little horse stuffed animal with a note saying that it was a horse from the real southwest. It's so great! Two of my cousins' wives gave me three tubs of maternity clothes! Can you believe that? They are so great!!! Im telling you, we really do have the best family and friends!

11.22.2007

Hello Second Trimester!!!

On Wednesday we reached the 13 week mark...and our second trimester!!! It feels great to be at this stage, although I can't believe how quickly the first trimester went. It's wild to think that we are 1/3 through this pregnancy! Here is the information about what is happening to Babell at week 13:

Here are some pictures of my belly at 13 weeks, too:




In case you are wondering why I keep taking pictures in front of the dogs' cages, this is the room that is going to be the nursery. So, as the weeks go on, not only will you see my belly change, but you will also get to see the nursery change as we decorate. I'm hoping to get the carpets cleaned, walls painted, and furniture put together around Christmas time. I want to have energy to do it; plus, I know we'll start getting gifts here and there, and I want to make sure we have somewhere to put everything. Speaking of gifts, here is the first gift given by my dad and Danette:


You see, they drive a mini-cooper, and they love that car! It's really fun! So, while they were at the mini-coop dealership last week, they saw this little miniature mini-coop for our baby. Is it cute or what?? My cousin Michelle and her kids also bought the baby a little old-fashioned Winnie the Pooh...it is SO soft and really cute! This little baby has so many people to love him/her, and we are so thankful each one of them. Receiving gifts for the baby was really fun and again opened our eyes to the fact that he/she really is going to be here next Spring! :) We don't have baby toys in our house, so as we get them, it becomes more and more real. And you know what...I couldn't be happier! We're trying to make our Christmas Wish Lists, and I'm having a really hard time. Really, what more could I ask for?? I have the most incredible husband, two great puppies, a baby on the way, the best family and friends, a beautiful house, a relationship with God, a church that we love...and a really fun CR-V! I just couldn't ask for anything more, and Thanksgiving Day is the perfect time to really be thankful for all of those people/things. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!

11.14.2007

First Ultrasound!!!

Hi everyone! Sorry I couldn't post anything last night after our ultrasound. Ryan sister, Kelli, Abigail, and I went to Bloomington to see Rent...Off Broadway! It was incredible! I can't imagine having a job like that. Those people are just so talented. I may need to buy the soundtrack! We also hit the 12 week mark today! Here is the link with information:
http://www.babycenter.com/6_your-pregnancy-12-weeks_1101.bc?scid=mbtw_preg13:20071112:0:0:0


So the ultrasound went great yesterday! I talked to the ultrasound technician a few hours before the appointment to see if they would be able to give us pictures of the baby or to find out if we needed to purchase a VHS tape or DVD to burn a copy of the video. She said that they would take pictures, so I've posted some below. The lady also told me that I only had to drink 24 oz. of water before the ultrasound instead of 36 oz. I really cannot imagine having to drink that much because after 24 oz, I was so water logged! By the time she was finished with the ultrasound, I had to pee like I've never had to pee before...seriously!

I'm telling you...I was just in awe seeing the little baby. I think I must have said "Wow!" or "That's incredible" about 100 times. I went into the appointment thinking that we would see a little blob, but I'm telling you...we could see the baby so clearly. The pictures we've posted are a bit clearer in person, but you will get the general idea. She took a million pictures and measurements of the baby and said everything looked really good so far. The baby is measuring 12 weeks, 6 days old, and they have an error period of seven days. This means that our date of conception and our due date are probably spot on! It was just so incredible seeing the one baby...that I can't imagine what I would have done if we would have seen two of them. That's right...we're having just one baby, and that is fine by me!!! I am super excited...can you tell?? I went into the appointment thinking that we would see a little blob, but I'm telling you...we could see the baby so clearly. The pictures we've posted are a bit clearer in person, but you will get the general idea.




I also announced that we were expecting at work today to all of the teachers at one of my buildings. They are so excited and supportive, which really means a lot because as a school psychologist, you are kind of an "outsider". They've really taken me in with open arms, which means so much. My tummy continues to grow, and I will post some pictures as soon as we take some new ones. Ryan's sister, Kelli, and I traded pants because she's lost weight (I'm not sure how because she was a skinny thing before! :) ), and my stomach is popping out more and more. She said mine fit her perfectly (HOORAY!) and hers fit me wonderfully (DOUBLE HOORAY!). So I really lucked out! I can put off maternity clothes for a bit longer still. I'm trying to make it to December 1st...we'll see if that happens. Danette, my step-mom, bought me some maternity clothes right after we announced that we were pregnant, and they're really fun! This past weekend, Ryan's parents got me a pair of courdoroy maternity pants and a shirt, both of which are great, too! It has been so fun sharing our excitement with everyone. Thank you for all of the love and support you give us each and every day. :)


This one looks like the baby is frowning!


Now the baby looks like it's smiling and waving at us (that's a little hand above it's body)


Babell's just lounging! check out that pot belly and that little skinny leg (he/she takes after her father...tee hee...just kidding)


Baby got sleepy and tired of us disturbing him/her, so Babell turned on it's side and stuck out his/her rear (again, taking after Ryan)! :)

11.09.2007

Blood types

So we found out today that Ryan is A+...and as I wrote yesterday, I am B-. Of course we would have to be opposite! :) So, I guess I don't have to get the Rhogam now. Instead I will get it at 28 weeks and after the baby is born if he/she is positive. Our baby will have A or B or AB or O, positive or negative blood...pretty much it's a wide open field for the little one! Something I didn't know until yesterday is that two positives can equal a positive or negative; however, two negatives will always equal a negative. :) Have a great weekend! I'm going to go cuddle with my hubby and puppies.

11.08.2007

A scary day with a happy ending!

So I really want to preface this blog with saying that everything is ok! I am fine. The baby is fine. Ryan is fine. :) With that said, I woke up this morning about 3 a.m. to do my nightly routine of going to the bathroom. This is completely new for me, but I fall back to sleep right away...so no big deal. Anyway, I noticed that I was spotting and started getting worried. Now I know that spotting can be completely normal, especially during the first trimester; regardless, I was still worried! I did some reading online that said miscarriages are usually accompanied by spotting along with cramping, which I did not have. I felt hopeful about that, but still I wanted to be sure. We called our midwife this morning and made an appointment for 11:30 a.m. She told us that after hearing the heartbeat, a miscarriage would be pretty rare...that is happens...but rarely. It was taking a few minutes to find the baby's heartbeat, and I was beginning to think we wouldn't hear it. If so, the next step was to get an ultrasound done. Then...SHE FOUND IT!!! It was so fast "woop woop, woop woop, woop woop!" I think my heart must have stopped. Both Ryan and I smiled so big and our eyes were huge. The heartbeat was 170 beats per minute (120-180 is considered normal), which everyone will tell us now that we are having a girl. An old wives tale says that anything below 140 is a boy, and anything over 140 is a girl, but remember friends, they don't call them wives tales for nothing! :) So, Babell is going on strong, and we are that much more excited to meet him/her in May.

We went ahead and ordered that ultrasound today anyway, again to rule out twins. Plus, I would LOVE to see the baby and hear its heartbeat, especially after our little scare. It is scheduled for next Tuesday at 3:30 p.m., so be ready for another blog that day. We will try to scan in the ultrasound pictures to post, as well!


Last night Ryan and I were trying to guess how much weight I had gained. He thought 4 pounds, and I thought 2...maybe 3 pounds. Well, I weighed in today with only three-fourths of a pound gain!!! As soon as our midwife announced that, Ryan was like, "I'm in trouble!" Haha!! It was funny. With the way my belly is sticking out, I would have guessed more, too. Our midwife thinks that my placenta is in the front of my body, so maybe that has something to do with it??? Who knows. I'm just glad to know that things are ok!

We found out that my blood type is B negative. Here is a pretty cool website to help see what your blood type can be if your parents' blood type are Y or Z.

http://www.biology.arizona.edu/Human_Bio/problem_sets/blood_types/Intro.html

For example, my parents' blood types are AB+ and O+, so I can be A or B, + or - . Neat, huh? Well, since I'm negative, we have to see if Ryan is + or negative. If he is positive, I will have to get shots of Rhogam now, at 28 weeks, and after the baby is born. Ryan got his blood type tested today, so we should know soon what we need to do. For more information, you can check out this website:

http://pregnancy.about.com/cs/rhfactor/a/aa050601a.htm

This weekend I'm heading down to Madison to see some of my best friends from Hanover. I can't wait! I wasn't feeling my best on Tuesday or Wednesday (sore throat, sneezing, etc.), but I'm doing pretty well now. I am looking forward to a weekend of relaxation, time with friends, time at home, extra sleep, and a great church service on Sunday. Until next time!

11.07.2007

11 weeks!

We hit the 11 week mark today...HOORAY! Here is the link with information about the baby's development at 11 weeks:

http://www.babycenter.com/6_your-pregnancy-11-weeks_1100.bc

It's just so exciting to have reached this point. Our appointment is less than a week away, and I cannot wait to hear this little baby's heartbeating. I also am excited to get this ultrasound scheduled so we can find out for sure whether we are having one or two babies!

I started to get a sore throat last night and woke up in the middle of the night feeling pretty bad. I just was aching all over, and my throat was so sore. :( Fortunately, I had a lot of paperwork to catch up on at work, so I mainly hid in my office scheduling conferences, finishing reports, etc. By 2:00 p.m., I couldn't hold out any longer. I had to get home! The second I laid down on the couch I fell asleep for a couple hours. I had to work on the church bulletin when I woke up, which I just finished. As soon as Ryan gets back from running some errands, we're going to make some soup for dinner, watch some movies (I've been dying to see The Lion King), and go back to sleep. Let's hope I wake up tomorrow feeling a lot better!

11.05.2007

New purchases



So I woke up one day last week and my belly was itching like crazy! I've heard that can happen as your skin stretches to accomodate a growing belly, but when I looked in the mirror, it looked like my belly grew overnight. Seriously! My pants were tighter that morning than the days before, and I've been having trouble buttoning them since. :) So, Ryan took me shopping on Saturday to get some new shirts/sweaters that can be worn as I get bigger but also as a way to hide the fact that I can't button my pants. We ventured into Motherhood Maternity for the first time and bought some Burt's Bees Bully Butter (crossing my fingers for no stretch marks!) and a tummy sleeve. I heard about tummy sleeves from a coworker who said they were a staple item during her pregnancy. They are lycra in material and look like a tube top. You can wear them over the top of your jeans and at the bottom on your belly. It helps to hide your unbuttoned pants...and eventually unbuttoned and unzipped pants! :) I guess it helps to bridge the gap between regular clothes and maternity clothes. Even when your maternity pants are a little bigger, you can still wear the tummy sleeve to hold those pants up, too. So, with after buying my new items, being almost 11 weeks into this pregnancy, and having a belly growing little by little, everything feels as though it's becoming more official!

I still feel really well, especially if I eat when I get hungry and don't put it off too long. If anything I'm just much more tired than usual. Taking a 2-3 hour nap each week day or 4 naps on weekends is pretty normal for me! Today at work, I felt especially tired. I wore my name tag up-side-down for a few hours today! Can you believe that? I also was testing a student this afternoon. He had about a minute and a half to complete an activity, and I thought to myself, "I'll just close my eyes for just a quick second...." I started to nod off just as the boy said, "DONE!" Oops! I just couldn't help myself. We had a busy weekend with the John Mellencamp concert (a work event for Ryan) Saturday night and the So You Think You Can Dance show Sunday night. I LOVE LOVE LOVE SYTYCD! It was a great show, and I just hope next season is as good as this past one so I can go again. :)




Here is a picture Ryan took of me last night after the show. Check out that belly!

11.01.2007

10 weeks!

We are officially 10 weeks, 1 day pregnant today. Here is a link to tell about the baby's development at 10 weeks:

http://www.babycenter.com/6_your-pregnancy-10-weeks_1099.bc?scid=mbtw_preg11:20071029:0:0:0

That means we are 1/4 the way through this pregnancy. Can you believe it?? I have continued to feel really well...no nausea...just lots of extra sleeping. I usually take about a 2 hour nap after work, though it can definitely be longer. I feel bad missing out on all that time with Ryan, but my body kind of takes over, regardless how hard I try to stay awake. :)

I woke this morning with a really itchy belly, which was a first. I know that can happen when your skin is stretching, and I really do think my belly got bigger overnight! I'm getting more and more excited for our next appointment to hear the baby's heartbeat and find out about the early ultrasound. The growing size of my belly has definitely made everything feel more real. I think I'm going to go shopping this weekend to get a few things before I have to buy maternity clothes. I just need a few new shirts to help hide how tight my pants are getting at work. :)

I hope you all have a great weekend! Ryan and I are going to the John Mellencamp concert Saturday night for his work. Then, I have a girl's night at the So You Think You Can Dance tour Sunday night!!! I have been DYING to see that show. Yes, I realize that I will be surrounded by 12 year old girls. That's ok! I have no shame.

10.29.2007

Tasted breakfast twice today!

That's right...brushing my teeth finally got the best of me! I think I wrote about that dreaded morning ritual on an earlier blog, but in case you forgot, I absolutely HATE brushing my teeth these days. Don't get me wrong...a clean feeling in your mouth is wonderful. HOWEVER, being pregnant has given me a gag reflex that I couldn't have imagined. I do ok with brushing the top teeth, the bottom teeth, and even those way back in the back. It's brushing my tongue that gives me the creeps everyday. Now I have been advised to skip that part of the routine, but sometimes I think that is almost the most important part. I usually can fight the urge to yak, but this morning was a different story.

I had already eaten my maple and brown sugar frosted mini wheats (good source of fiber-wink wink) and began the dreaded deed. I brushed the top, the bottom, and the back ones. Then, it was time for the tongue. I gave it the quick brush (not the usual deep, pre-pregnancy scrub), and I felt it. My stomach lurched, I got the horrible ball in my throat, and my mouth started watering. Now I've dragged this out enough because you all know what happened next. I put up a good fight...I really did! But finally I just decided that it would be better to just get sick then deal with the pain in my stomach. I got sick and felt MUCH BETTER afterward. Now you know why this blog is titled "Tasted breakfast twice today."

I know that was a lot, and some of you may be appalled by my writing such details. I promised to write about REAL experiences during this pregnancy. People tell you about feeling sick, and you often hear the term "morning sickness". However, no one tells you that brushing your teeth is something you will dread everyday. Once you tell someone who has been pregnant or is pregnant about hating brushing your teeth, they will chime in with you and exclaim how horrible it is. They just don't write about it in books. So, consider yourself as having the "inside scoop." Aren't you lucky? :)

I'm off to watch The Bachelor from last week online. Ryan is at band practice for church, the dogs are settling in for a nap, and I've already had one tonight, so I'm ready to go!

10.28.2007

Some pictures



I finally got around to taking some pictures! First of all, I was walking by our dining room table when I noticed 2 cards that I got in the mail. One is a Halloween card from a grad school friend, and the other is a congratulations card from my friend Michi. Check out how funny they look together!!! We didn't do that on purpose by any means...it just ended up that way. TOO FUNNY!



Ryan also took a few pictures of me after church to show off "the belly". We'll consider these our 2 months pregnant shots. I wish I would have taken a "pre-pregnancy" picture so we could see the difference better. I think you can definitely tell, though!I'm standing in the puppy's room because eventually it will be the nursery (unless we are having twins). We'll take pictures in here so you can see not only my belly but also the nursery evolve over time. Hope you enjoy the pictures. They are the first of many to come!

10.27.2007

Feeling much better

Well, this has been a really good week! On Monday I really started feeling better, and it continued to go that way the rest of the week. I only had stomach aches in the evening, starting around 8-9:00, which is completely do-able. :) I definitely started feeling more tired, but again it's just a good sign that this pregnancy is going well. Last night, Ryan asked me if I was going to fall asleep, and I was like, "I'm tired, but I really want to stay awake and spend some time with you." He told me not to worry about it and to just fall asleep and do what I needed to do. With that said, I fell asleep about 1 minute later. I was really fighting falling asleep because I feel like he and I have not spend any time together lately. I go to work (he gets up right after I leave), I come home, I eat something, and then I fall asleep. It doesn't leave much time for Ryan, and I feel pretty bad about it. Unless he is lying to me, he really doesn't seem to mind too much. I think he realizes that my body has kind of taken over, and we're both at its mercy. :) So needless to say, I fell asleep at 7-7:30 last night and woke up about 10 p.m. We stayed up until about midnight...because I really wanted to spend some time with him...and then finally went to bed. I fell asleep again in about 2 seconds and slept until about 9 a.m. I wake up every morning, and this baby is the first thing I think about. I wonder how it has grown since the day before and hope that it's safe and sound.

I know I've already said it a million times, but Ryan has been great. Seriously....great. Right now, I'm writing this blog, and he is making our breakfast...biscuits, eggs, and bacon. I was always the one cooking meals, but he has been such a champion. I definitely feel well enough to cook today, but he still just takes care of it. I really am the luckiest person in the world.

I had a dream about Babell last week. I was at the hospital and had just given birth to the baby. It was BEAUTIFUL!! We had a little baby boy, and it looked so much like Ryan. It had these cute curls, though...kind of like the ones our nephew Micah used to have. It was just too cute! I remember feeling completely at peace, looking at Ryan and this new life. I woke up with a smile on my face, looking forward to the day when we finally get to meet this baby.

Well, it's time for breakfast! Have a great weekend everyone.

10.24.2007

9 Weeks!

We are 9 weeks pregnant today! Can you believe it? Here's the newest link giving information about what typically happens around 9 weeks:

http://www.babycenter.com/newsletter-pregnancy-109

This week has started out and continues to go well. I woke up Monday morning, and for the first time in about 3 weeks I felt completely normal again. I had gotten a great night's sleep...the best I've had in quite a while. I woke up not feeling sick to my stomach or starving either. It was wonderful!! On Monday and Tuesday I had the normal hunger/nausea pains, but nothing to get too worked up about. Today I have felt better than I have in weeks. I haven't had any stomach aches at all, and I felt like eating just about anything! I did drink milk for the first time in a few weeks (I've only been getting milk by eating cereal), and it tasted really strange. I hope that goes away soon because milk is so good for you, and I usually LOVE it! I did get my bloodwork done today after work. Our midwife ordered about 10 different tests (hormone levels, blood type, Rh factor, etc.), and you know what? The technician took 6-7 viles of blood!!! I thought I was going to die when she brought them over to me. I was like, "Are those all for me?" She said, "Yeah and I'm being conservative." YIKES! When I told her about my being skittish around blood, she said, "Oh honey, you're just getting started with this stuff!" I know she's right, and I pulled myself together. It was fine, and she only had to stick me once. I just have never seen that much of my blood outside of my body. :)

Sunday evening Ryan and I were lying on the couch watching TV. My jeans were unbuttoned and unzipped, which is pretty typical these days. It's just so much more comfortable to have them that way! Anyway, he looked at my belly and said, "I think this is the first time I can tell that you are pregnant." Sure enough, my belly is starting to spread out little by little. :) It's really pretty funny! If I lay down on my side, my belly will hang over sideways, too. I mean, I have just never experienced anything like it!

Since we hit the 2 month mark on Sunday, we've been spreading the news like wildfire. You all have the green light to share our good news with everyone! I think I have made all of the big phone calls for a bit. My boss is going to tell all of the other school psychs next week before our big meeting. Then, I will probably start telling the personnel at each of my elementary schools. Soon, the word will be out for good! I really thought I could make it 3 months and keep a tight lip, but I'm telling you, we were just busting at the seams this past week.

Well, we hope you are enjoying this blog so far! If you ever have any comments or questions about anything, feel free to write us.

10.18.2007

First Prenatal Appointment and 8 weeks along!

We are 8 weeks, 2 days pregnant now! Here is a link with information about the baby's development. I think we can call it a fetus rather than an embryo now, too!

http://www.babycenter.com/6_your-pregnancy-8-weeks_1097.bc?scid=mbtw_preg09:20071015:0:0:0

Our first prenatal appointment went really well! I was pretty nervous on the way there...mostly about whether or not we would like Betsy (our midwife) and about the exam itself. Plus, it was odd to imagine Ryan in the room with me for that type of exam when he's never been present in one before. I'll say right off the bat, he did a great job! If he was nervous or uncomfortable, he didn't show it a bit. First, I had to test my urine for protein, glucose, and ketones. Betsy told me to only test the latter when I'm not feeling very well. Since I hadn't felt well the previous 4 days, we went ahead and checked. My proteins and glucose were normal, but my ketones were 1 level higher than "normal". Since I hadn't been eating very well, Betsy wasn't surprised by the result. It's nothing to worry about...I just need to eat well whenever I can. She was encouraging me to eat more protein as often as possible to help keep my blood sugar at an even level. I'm going to have to do some research b/c the thought of eating chicken, red meat, or any meat for that matter just makes me sick. I thought I'd dive into some good lunch meat during this pregnancy, but I read that it contains a bacteria that can be harmful to a fetus. Although many people go ahead and eat it anyway, the thought of little microscopic bugs on my lunch meat makes my stomach turn, too! It's amazing how strong my gag reflex has gotten. Thoughts of certain foods, brushing my teeth, etc. can all make me gag really bad. I was NEVER like that before! :)

Next, we went through our family history for various diseases, birth defects, and twin history. Of course, everyone's family has some instances of disease. Then, you have my mom's side of the family with our birth defects. You all probably know about my arm, and then my brother, my nana, and my great uncle all had spine issues. So, when we have the ultrasound conducted, the tech will be paying really close attention to the back and arms. Interesting, huh? We talked about the twin history on both sides of our family. Betsy said she might be ordering an early ultrasound for us to determine whether or not we are carrying twins. If we don't find the baby's heartbeat at our 12 week appointment (November 13th at 3:30), then she said that will also be a good sign of twins. Because they are a little smaller in size at that point, their hearts can be more difficult to hear. She would definitely order an early ultrasound if we don't hear anything at the 12 week appointment.

After going through our family history, she went ahead and did a full exam...blood pressure, heart, lungs, breasts, and then pelvic exam. Everything checked out great! Betsy said that my uterus was about 8-10 weeks in size. She also told me that given my pelvic structure, I shouldn't have any difficulty (any more than usual I guess!) giving birth to a baby. So that's good to hear! It will only give me that much more confidence come May.

So, the last part of the appointment consisted of trying to find the baby's heartbeat. Betsy found mine right away and tried and tried to find Babell's. Unfortunately, we weren't able to hear it at that time. I had pretty low expectations that we would since it was still so early, so I didn't feel that disappointed. It would have been an added bonus, though! We'll just try again at 12 weeks.

In sum, I walked away from the appointment feeling really good about working with Betsy. I felt comfortable with everything we went through during our first appointment, and it made everything that much more real. I can't wait until November 13th for our next appointment!

I have felt really well ever since Tuesday morning. It has been SO nice to not have a stomach ache!!! I still feel a little weaker than normal, which is likely a result of not eating enough. It's just hard because so few foods sound ok to eat. I've had some Chinese food and a chicken patty sandwich along with my usual fruit, macaroni and cheese, grilled cheese, and crackers, so that's good! I really need to go to the grocery to get some more fresh fruits and veggies. Hopefully Ryan and I can make a trip over there tonight...yes, on a Friday night. We really live on the edge these days! The last two days I had more of those sensations of my round ligament stretching. I think I explained it already, but if not, that is the ligament that attaches a female's uterus to her pelvis. Throughout your pregnancy, that ligament does grow; instead, it just stretches. So, I feel this vertical stretching on both sides of my abdomen pretty often. It's a great reminder that the baby is growing everyday!!

Chicago Marathon


I'm on Fall Break for the rest of the week, and it couldn't be better timing. Now I can finally catch you up about the Chicago Marathon! So, Ryan had been training since March for the big race. Our friends, Pete and Jo Scott, from Hanover let us stay with them. This was especially nice of them because they had just moved to Chicago about 5 days before we arrived! Ryan was even more excited because they live right next to Wrigley Field...and when I say "right next to Wrigley," I mean it! Our their kitchen window, you can see nothing but Wrigley Field! It's literally a hop, skip, and a jump away from the ballpark. Ryan is a BIG Cubs fan, so it was a HUGE bonus to stay so close to the park. We got to Chicago on Saturday around 2 p.m. or so. Ryan and I don't have much experience driving through Chicago, but we did just fine! We got off the expressway and went into the city to pick up Ryan's race packet in order to register. We then drove through the city like PROS all the way up to Wrigleyville. Pete and Jo jumped in the care, and we found a PERFECT parking spot...which is not easy when the Cubs are getting ready to plan what ended up being their last game of the season. We went back to Pete and Jo's place and then headed out for some sightseeing. When Babell started crying out for food, we headed down to Little Italy for some dinner at Leona's. YUM! We got these HUGE mozzarella sticks. Then I ordered my favorite...Chicken Fettucini Alfredo!!! When the server set the plate of food in front of me, I about hurled. Seriously, looking at that huge bowl of creamy noodles just made my stomach turn! It's so crazy how pregnancy can make that happen. Your favorite foods can all of the sudden made you sick! So, I asked the server to box up the noodles while I ate some of the chicken. Afterwards, we went back to Jo and Pete's to plan the next day...RACE DAY!

Chicago is an hour behind Indiana time, so Ryan accidentally woke up at 4 a.m. thinking it was 5 a.m. He went back to sleep, and we both woke up around 5:30 to get ready for the race. We jumped on a train by 6:15 and went downtown to the start line. Ryan warmed up, stretched out, and then went to the start area. There were SO many people!! Tons of spectators lined the street, as well, so I was constantly jumping in the air so Ryan could see where I was. It was really emotional to see so many people gathered for the race. They had "in memory of" shirts on or other gear to show what charity/cause they were running for that day. It was amazing! I got to see Ryan almost all the way to the start line and then quickly walked over to the 2nd mile area to see him there. I called him to let him know where I was, and when he came around, he had a big smile on his face. It was so fun! Then I went over to mile 12 and waited for him there. The temperatures got worse and worse, as we're sure you all read/heard about. By the time he reached me, no one was smiling...no one seemed to be having a great time anymore. It was hot, uncomfortable, and pretty unsafe. They were running out of water, and the temperatures were only getting hotter. He took off from mile 12, and I went down to Chinatown to meetup with Pete, Jo, and some of their friends. We waited there for awhile when Ryan called us to say that they were cancelling the race and were not letting anyone continue. We went back to the finish line area to wait for him and to meet up with some of Jo and Pete's friends. By this time, I was getting a little cranky. I hadn't eaten much that day. Plus, I was tired and really thirsty. Baby Abell was the thirstiest of us all! By the time Ryan finally reached us (after walking several miles and being transported by bus to the finish line), people were just miserable. Ryan had been able to run 18-19 miles that day, and although he was sad to not be able to finish the race, he felt good about the money he raised for autism research. After a nap, some nourishment, and a 2nd wind (or should I say 10th wind?), we said goodbye to our great hosts and left for home. I have attached some pictures of our trip for you to enjoy!



By the way, he is running in the Indianapolis Marathon on November 3rd!!!

10.16.2007

First prenatal appointment in 2 1/2 hours!

During my prayers last night, I told God that I understood that the nausea is just part of being pregnant for a lot of women, and that if I had to go through feeling that way, I completely understood. Then I asked that if he felt ok with it, that I would love to have just a little relief from not feeling well. For the first time in over 4 days, I am feeling great...no nausea!!I still have to eat constantly, but I'm getting better at that thanks to my saltine crackers. I thought I was going to get sick again last night, so Ryan hooked me up with a trash can by my side of the bed. That is much better than trudging to the bathroom in the middle of the night. ;) Hey, you gotta find an upside to things or else you'll miss out on all the fun and excitement of being pregnant!

Well, we have our first prenatal appointment in 2 1/2 hours! I'm a little nervous about it, though very excited. I just am not big on being "examined" by anyone. The idea of someone poking around in places I'd rather not mention is just...goo. However, I know this is part of the deal, and it's all for Babell to have the best care! I just need to change my outlook on it, and I will be good to go. I hear by the end of giving birth, any dignity you had is out the window, so I better just get used to it. :)

I'm starting to notice that my abdomen feels a little fuller and firmer lately. It's different than before...very interesting! We will be 8 weeks along tomorrow...can you believe it?? Only 4 more weeks until this first trimester is over already! Well, time to wrap things up at work before Ryan picks me up. I'll write soon about the appointment!

10.14.2007

It finally happened...

Well, it finally happened...I got sick for the first time at 4 o' clock this morning. I woke up around 2 a.m. and realized that I hadn't taken my prenatal vitamin yet. Since I haven't been eating as well as I'd like, I wanted to make sure to get those extra nutrients. So, I took the vitamin and went back to sleep. My stomach hurt over the next two hours, and then finally I just got sick. I felt a lot better afterward, especially when Ryan brought me a cold wash cloth with which to cool off. Yep, he came to the rescue again!

I felt pretty good most of the week last week until about Friday. Both Friday and Saturday I had my ups and downs with nausea. Sometimes I'd feel just fine, and then other times I didn't. You know, when you get pregnant you have all these plans to eat well...lots of protein, fruits, and vegetables. You make charts about what you need to eat each day (yes, I seriously did that). Then, you take one look at that container of cottage cheese you are supposed to eat over the next week and want to just die. That gag reflex starts working, though it's not just when you see cottage cheese. It happens when you see some of your favorite foods. So, it comes to the point when you just eat anything that you can stomach and hope that the vitamins take care of the rest that the baby needs. I really didn't think I would have a stomach ache during this pregnancy. I thought the power of positive thinking would get me through it! Well, I was wrong.

You know the funny thing - when I was sitting on the bathroom floor this morning getting sick, I was still thanking God for this pregnancy. We are so lucky to be able to even get pregnant, let alone be able to provide financially, emotionally, and physically for this new baby. So, another lesson was learned. Even when you're getting sick in the middle of the night, count your blessings. There are so many families out there who wish they were able to do the same thing.


Well, I'm off to get ready for church. Have a happy Sunday!

10.11.2007

7 weeks!

Well, we hit the 7 week mark yesterday! Here is a link to read about Babell's development.

http://www.babycentre.co.uk/pregnancy/fetaldevelopment/07weeks/

After having a week filled with stomach aches, I have felt great since Saturday! As much as I didn't really enjoy feeling nauseous all day (especially at work when it just makes you wish you were laying on your couch), it was also nice to know that it is a good sign that things are developing normally. I really do have to eat about every hour or two in order to prevent stomach aches. I really try to do my best with that but worry that I'm not always having the best snacks. I think now that our lives are slowing down a little bit, I can better plan for my meals at work. Right now I'm snacking on a banana, and boy does it taste good!

Next Tuesday we have another appointment with our midwife. It will be our first REAL prenatal appointment filled with examinations, needles, and peeing in cups! HOORAY! I'm excited to see how things are progressing. We will have the opportunity to hear the baby's heartbeat for the first time, though I know this can take up to 12 weeks at times. I know I'll feel a little sad not to hear it, but I'm just not going to let it worry me if we don't. There is no sense in worrying, and I'm really trusting my body right now because I can feel the changes happening. God is good!!

We will write more soon about Ryan's Marathon and post some pictures, too. Look for an upcoming blog soon! Also, feel free to leave messages, even if they are funny, goofy, whatever. We would love to hear from you!

10.09.2007

Babell at 48 Days!


Ok, so I have this really neat book from the library that has pictures in utero to show what babies look like as they develop. This is what Babell will look like at 48 days (Thursday)! Enjoy!

10.06.2007

Chicago - Here We Come!

Well, Ryan and I leave for Chicago in about an hour. I am well-rested, as I went to sleep last night around 6:30 p.m., woke up briefly for a snack and trip to the bathroom, and then went back to sleep until 7 a.m. Now that's what I call a good night's sleep!!! I didn't go to sleep so early last night because I felt tired. I had just felt a little nauseous for the past 4 days and wanted to get away from my stomach ache for a bit. I am finding that I really have to keep something on my stomach all the time, which is really hard to do at work. I'm going to have to plan in advance for lots of different snacks. Finding healthy snacks is not the easiest thing to pack for work, so I just need to plan it out. I feel great this morning, and I hope I continue to feel this way the rest of the weekend for Ryan's big race.

That's right -- It's time for the Chicago Marathon this weekend! Ryan has been running since March and really began training in May (I think) for this race. I can't wait to see him cross the finish line of that 26.2 mile race!!! What an accomplishment! People kept asking me if I was training with him, but we didn't do that because we were trying to start a family. I would love to run with him in the future, though! It's hard to imagine gaining 25-40 pounds in this pregnancy, which I guess is average, since I've always been a little on the smaller side. Now, I have gained about 10 pounds since he and I got married, but it was weight that needed to be put on in order to be an average weight for my height. :)


Anyway, back to the race -- We are staying with our friends, Jo and Pete Scott from Hanover. They are the ones I stayed with during my trip to Washington, D.C. They just moved to Chicago earlier this week and are kind enough to let us stay with them even thought they're probably not even settled in yet. We have great friends!! It will be fun to be in the city again, traveling around on the train. I love it! We will write again to let you know how the race goes. Thank you for all your emails, cards, thoughts, prayers, etc. since we shared our good news with you! We are so blessed!

10.03.2007

6 weeks!

Ok, so we just hit the six week mark with little Baby Abell! Here is a link to a website that gives us weekly updates about Babell's development:

http://www.babycentre.co.uk/pregnancy/fetaldevelopment/06weeks/

Can you believe that its heart is already beating and soon it will begin moving, though I won't feel a thing. It's just crazy! It takes everything I have not to peak ahead to Week 7. I just can't wait to find out what will happen next, but at the same, I really want to enjoy the moment and not get too far ahead of myself. All of you know how much I like to plan, plan, plan and be as prepared as possible, but I am really restraining myself. :)

Not too much new to report except that I really have to eat as soon as I get a little hungry or I start to feel a little nauseous. It's not like a stomach ache I've had before...just more like a dull ache than anything. The thought of cottage cheese (I'm getting a lump in my throat just thinking about it) is making me want to get sick. I just bought another container b/c I want to make sure my calcium intake is high enough. Looks like I need to find an alternative because the texture of cottage cheese........BLAH!

Ryan made dinner tonight...spaghetti! I'm telling you, it was the best spaghetti ever. I just wanted some of that good ol', down home, meaty goodness, and he made it just right. He better watch out, or he's going to be cooking more often!

I haven't been sleeping through the whole night for awhile now. I wake up, turn over, and fall back to sleep. This must have happened about 20 times last night, but I really don't mind! It's not my favorite thing in the world, but really I am just so happy that we are pregnant. It's just totally worth it!

Well, that's all for now. Ryan is practicing the guitar for church, and I need to create a new bulletin for church. I love all of you!

9.30.2007

Things I learned today...

Well, I learned a couple things today. First of all, don't skip breakfast! I know, I know...that should have been an obvious one. Skipping meals is a 'no go' when you are pregnant. It's such a bad habit, and I'm learning as I go, right? Well, I got ready and went to church this morning at 9 a.m. After church I got a couple things done around the house, and then Ryan came home. I was feeling a little faint and blah...so he made me some pancakes (something with very little flavor sounded good). I felt MUCH MUCH better after eating and having some orange juice. I took about a 2 1/2 hour nap and woke up feeling great!

Ryan and I went to the Colt's game today for his work. You know those seats that are at the VERY TOP level...yeah...that's where we were today! I didn't mind the seats at all...it was walking 30 rows to the top after climbing a bunch of stairs already. We got to the top, and there I was...well, feeling a little whoosy again! :) I know I should've had a snack before we left and probably some more water. Again, I'm learning...fast! Ryan hooked me up with a hot dog and a tall bottle of water. I felt much better after that!

So, big lessons learned:

1. Don't skip breakfast
2. Eats lots of snacks
3. Drink even more water that I'm already drinking (which I've already increased by a ton)

I have to say, Ryan is the best husband. He is taking really good care of me without being the least bit overbearing...just very helpful! I love that guy! Babell (short for Baby Abell) is one lucky kid to have a dad like Ryan. We (the baby and I) are so blessed!

9.28.2007

Meeting our midwife

Tuesday we had our very first meeting with our midwife, Betsy. I had been in touch with her a couple times over the past few months, but it was time to sit down together and decide if we felt like it would be a good fit. Ryan picked me up from work on Tuesday (by the way, it's so hard not to tell everyone with whom you work) and we drove to the northside of town. Betsy was really nice and explained her philosophy about pregnancy and childbirth. She has delivered 575 babies! Can you even imagine?? Anyway, she works out of Methodist Hospital, which Ryan and I have toured. They have a lot of great options when you're in labor, and I like options! So, we decided to go ahead and make our first prenatal appointment with her for Oct. 16, when I'm 8 weeks pregnant (I'm about 5 weeks, 3 days now). We'll have our first physical, blood work, and possibly have the chance to hear Baby Abell's heartbeat. How exciting!!! I can't wait to blog about that visit.

Well, that's all for now. I think I'm going to read for a bit and then head to bed early. We're surprising my Nana and Papa in the morning with our good news before we help them at the Lungs for Life event downtown. They will be great grandparents for the first time. Very exciting!

The day we found out...

Ok, so I know some of you have already heard this story, but we'll go ahead and post it anyway for people who didn't get to hear all of the details.

Ryan and I knew that we were going to find out whether or not we were pregnant any day. It's such an exciting and hopeful / nerve-wracking time. :) So, I was driving home from work on Tuesday, Sept. 18th and decided that I couldn't wait another minute, another hour, or another day to find out. I grabbed a pizza and some crazy bread from Little Caesars (I was starving!) and drove home. I let the dogs outside, took the pregnancy test, and went back outside to play with them. After a little bit, I realized that the results were waiting for me inside. I walked into the bathroom and did the biggest triple-take....IT WAS POSITIVE!!! I immediately just starting crying and thanking God for blessing us with this new life. I was crying and laughing...laughing and crying. It was the best moment! Kya and Layla (our dogs) just stared at me and really weren't sure what to do. So we just ran around the house together like a bunch of crazy people. I kept running into the bathroom to make sure that my eyes hadn't deceived me...THEY HADN'T! Ryan called me on his way home...I was seriously about to explode and let out the surprise. He said that one of his good friends had called him that afternoon to say he was going to be a daddy. On the other end of the phone (unbeknownst to Ryan)...I was thinking, "SO ARE YOU!" It took everything I had not to just blurt it out right then and there. Ryan would be home in about 30 minutes so I had to think fast about how to surprise him. Of course me, being the planner that I am, had it all planned out about how I would tell him. Well, I had to toss aside Plan A, Plan B, and even Plan C. We went straight to Plan X. :) I decided to wrap up the pregnancy test in plastic wrap and hide it under a stack of crazy bread on his dinner plate (Haha...It's not gross! It was wrapped up.). Anyway, Ryan came home, and I had to completely play it cool...not easy when your heart is about to leap out of your chest. When he saw his 3 breadsticks in comparison to my 1 breadstick, he said, "Here, you have this one," and gave me one of his breadsticks. THE PREGNANCY TEST WAS EXPOSED!! He looked down and said, "What does this mean? What does this mean?" I said, "There's a baby in my belly," and we just celebrated! Ryan had the best grin on his face and kept saying, "I don't know what to say. I don't know what to say." It was really cute!

We had our small group Bible study meeting about 45 minutes later that evening. Everyone in our group had been praying for us in our hopes of starting a family, so we were excited to share the good news with them that night! The next day we surprised my mom at work with a Grandmother Willow Tree figurine, and she was so excited! Then we drove right up to Carmel to surprise Ryan's sister and our brother-in-law. Kelli screamed so loud I think the kids were scared. They are going to be so excited when they find out they are going to have a cousin! We drove over to Ryan's parents' house and shared the good news with them. They were just so happy for us! That weekend, we told my dad, stepmom, brother, and sister-in-law that we were going to drive up for the South Whitley Fall Festival. Little did they know, we were announcing that there was a baby in my belly! They were all happy to hear our good news. Little Baby Abell is so fortunate to have the best family in the world (and so are we).

So, that's the story. Wasn't it great? I will remember it for as long as I live!

9.27.2007

First Blog!

Hi everyone! I know it's way too late for me to be up writing (Ryan's actually telling me to wrap it up because our midwife said that I need 8 hours of sleep), but I am so excited about sharing our pregnancy with all of you. We hope you enjoy reading this blog throughout our pregnancy. Good night!
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