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. :)
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:
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!
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!
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:
Can you believe we'll be 4 months along on Friday? Time is really flying by!
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:
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!
The following are things that we would LOVE to hear you say to us during our pregnancy:
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:
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!
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.
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!