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!
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