3.30.2008

Our First Childbirth Class

Ryan and I had our first childbirth class yesterday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Methodist Hospital. Let me just say that it was a LONG day! I'm so glad we did it all at once rather than going 5 weeks in a row for 2 1/2 hours after work. That would have been the pits! When we got there, there were all of these bagels and fresh fruit, and of course I couldn't eat any of it. I had already had my carbs for breakfast, but I grabbed a banana (2 carbs) for my morning snack. So far testing my blood sugar is going fine. It's actually pretty interesting to me, and I've only been over 2 times, I think.

Side note...I am participating in a program through our insurance company (Anthem) where they give us $300 in our HRA toward health costs, and all I have to do is talk to an RN every so often. It's really great, and I actually like the nurse a lot. Anyway, I wanted to mention her because she answered some questions about gestational diabetes, my new diet, testing my blood sugar, etc. I felt fine leaving the class, but once I started doing things on my own, I had some questions, so her timing was perfect when she called. She told me not to be too alarmed if my blood sugar was still somewhat higher at times even on this new diet plan b/c my body is having to adjust to the changes. I could eat the same thing next week and may see different results. For example, the other day I had 1 1/2 cups of Special K and 1 cup of milk. My blood sugar was 154, and it needed to be below 120. So, this morning I just had 1 1/2 cups of Special K and 1/2 cup of milk, and my blood sugar was 118. So, I think just making that minor change helped. In sum, this program was really helpful, and I think a lot of insurance companies are doing these types of things now. Of course, their goal is to keep down costs by patients going to the doctor unnecessarily, but for me, I wanted the $300. Plus, it gives me just another resource to answer any questions or concerns I have about the pregnancy.

Jumping back to the childbirth class...we began the morning session by breaking up into two groups (there were about 7 couples in the class), introducing ourselves, and writing down 10 topics that we wanted to learn about that day. Of course, we all wanted to just roll our eyes because it felt like high school all over again, but we pulled it together and finished the activity. The instructor was a lactation consultant, so all morning she created opportunities to talk about how wonderful breastfeeding is...which is totally is...don't get me wrong, but you could just tell that it was a big priority for her to talk about it a lot. She showed us how to do pelvic thrusts, and at one point, she even got on all fours and began arching her back and then relaxing it. This is a 65 year old woman thrusting her pelvis at us. Yeah, I was a little uncomfortable...not gonna lie. Ryan (the mature and practical one that day) reminded me that this lady was here to help us and our baby, and I knew he was right. So, I pulled it together and tried to keep an open mind. :)

Side note...at church today, Pastor Danny said something like, "Every single person in this world matters to God. So, everyone should matter to me." I really needed to hear that because sometimes I struggle with certain people I work with or the instructors at our class, for example, and it will be something good to remind myself of when I'm in those moments of feeling annoyed or bothered by certain people doing certain things. Those people are loved by God, too, so I need to show them love, too.

Anyway, I honestly can't tell you too much about the class because so much of it is stuff I have already read. I was surprised by questions people were asking (e.g., Are there side effects of an epidural?) because there is just so much literature out there these days that can explain everything to you. The morning instructor talked a lot about ways to cope with natural childbirth, how the hospital accommodates that, etc. She talked about working with doulas, too, which again reinforced our decision to have this baby at Methodist. Not all hospitals will talk about natural childbirth, doulas, birthing tubs, etc. I was the only one who raised my hand when asked if anyone was planning on a natural child birth. I think a lot of people were thinking more about it, though, as the class went on because the risks of medical interventions was discussed a lot, mostly in the afternoon session of the class.

In fact, let's just jump to the afternoon. We had a really hyper lady for the second half of the day, and again, I was telling myself, "She is here to help you!" She talked a lot about the different interventions that might occur during your hospital stay. I learned that every patient gets an IV port just in case of emergencies. I guess it is one less thing for them to worry about. Then she talked about inducing labor, epidurals, fetal monitoring, c-sections, etc. I'm not going to lie...when I heard about all of those interventions and how having one can often lead to another, natural childbirth again sounded more appealing to me! It only reinforced what have read in books and articles. The internal fetal monitoring tool was one of the scarier things she showed us. Basically, if they are having a hard time getting an external read on the baby's heartbeat (intermittent or constant), sometimes they will put an internal monitor on the baby. This requires sticking a long wire/tube inside of you and screwing a little hook into the baby's scalp....NO THANK YOU!!! Please don't screw something into my baby's head...are you kidding? My favorite was when the nurse was showing us the BIG METAL FORCEPS! They look like HUGE salad tongs, and the nurse could not get the two pieces to connect. She tried and tried for a long time, but finally she just passed them around in two separate pieces. Thank goodness that is the doctor's job, right? Anyway, I wouldn't even touch those bad boys. They were TERRIFYING! Please don't squeeze those in my body, grab my child's head, and pull him/her out of me. I've just heard to many horror stories about kids being permanently scarred, temporarly bruised, and worse yet...brain damaged from doctors using them. Again, NO THANKS! I pray that God gives me the strength to push this baby out because I don't want a vacuum or forceps used on my child's head.

On of my favorite parts was when we all sat down on out blankets and pillows (yes, just like the movies) and learned breathing sounds like, "choo choo", "hee, hee, hoo", etc. It was good stuff to talk about, but you just feel so silly pretending that you're having a contraction when you've never been in labor before. She also passed around several massage tools that our husbands could use on us during labor to provide relief. I like massages, so that felt great! Then she passed around some lotion for our husbands to massage our hand. OH MY GOSH! Ryan put the biggest pile of lotion on his hand and started rubbing my hand with it. My fingers had lotion strands between them...my hand was completely white with lotion, and his hands were just as greasy! I SERIOUSLY ALMOST DIED LAUGHING! I could not pull it together. We didn't have any towels or anything, so he just kept rubbing away, trying to massage my hand as the nurse was instructing everyone to do. I thought I was going to pee my pants laughing! I had tears in my eyes and was being a total distraction, but I really couldn't pull it together. I wish we had a camera because that would have been one heck of a picture to post!

At the end of the class, we took a tour of the hospital. We found out where to have our family and friends enter the hospital and how to direct them to the correct place. The waiting room is very small, I'm guessing so that not too many people come and bombard the hospital, but there is a larger waiting area downstairs on the main floor. Our plan is to labor at home for as long as possible to make sure that I'm actually in labor and in order for me to have freedom to move, take a bath/shower, eat, watch tv, try to relax, be as comfortable as possible, etc. before coming to the hospital. Then we have to go to triage where they will check me and confirm that I am in labor. After that they will put me in a labor, delivery, and recovery room where I'll do just that. After the baby is born, they keep you in that room for up to 2 hours or so. She said that as long as everything is ok at delivery time, they will leave the baby in with us for about an hour to start bonding and breastfeeding because the baby is usually really awake at this point (unless of course you've had narcotics that crossed the placenta). After that the baby will get its first bath, and we can do this ourselves in our room with the assistance of the nurse, or they will do it for us. I like the idea that the baby will never have to leave our sight (in the case of a healthy baby) unless we make the choice to have it taken away...or if it's a boy, and he needs to be circumsized. Then we we head to the postpartum unit where we'll spend the next 48 hours. It was good to see the rooms again and to be in the hospital. I know that I get really nervous at hospitals, so trying to create a calm, peaceful environment is going to be key to me not freaking out once we get there. While I feel somewhat anxious to go through labor, I know it will all be worth it once we see our little boy or girl. :) Having Ryan and our doula present during the labor and delivery will be so helpful, and I do trust our OB's skill set...even if she isn't the warmest person I've ever met. I also trust my body...that it was created to do this! Plus, I have the support of all of my family, friends, and God, so what else more could I ask for? Only 8 1/2 more weeks to go, and I can't wait!!!

3.27.2008

31 Weeks & My Diabetes

We hit the 31 week mark yesterday, so here is your weekly update on the baby's development:

So as you probably read, a baby at this stage weighs about 3.3 lbs. Our ultrasound estimated that our baby was 3.7 lbs (3 lbs., 11 oz.), so it's pretty much right on track! Because I have gestational diabetes, I need to make sure that I make good choices with food so that the baby doesn't get too big. Last night, the baby put it's hand/fist into my hip, so I kind of tried to move it out of there and felt the baby's arm/hand quickly moving away from me. It was seriously kind of freaky! That is the most detail I have felt so far, and it really makes me realize that there is a baby in there. I know, I know...you think it would have hit me by now, and don't get me wrong...it has! With each movement and the growth of my belly, it becomes more and more real each day. Then I just get that much more excited to mee him or her!
I also had a prenatal appointment on Tuesday. Rather than dwell on my doctor's lack of warmth and bedside manner, let's focus on what happened at the appointment. I gained only 1 lb., making my total weight gain 24 lbs. I'm still right where I need to be! :) This is probably a good time to digress for a second and tell you a quick story about work today. This teacher asked me, "So when are you due again?" It's a question I hear at least 3 times each day, so no big deal right? Wrong! When I said May 28th, she looked at me and said, "You're going to be HUGE!" I had that famous "deer-in-headlights" look, laughed, and just said, "Thanks!" She was like, "I just thought you were due any day now. You're just all baby!" I wanted to say, "If you don't leave the copy room in 2 seconds, I'm going to punch you in the face." Haha! Sorry, I know that is terrible, but do people have monkeys in their brains or what?? So anyway, moving back to my appointment. We got to hear the baby's heartbeat (160 - I think), and then Dr. Soper measured my fundal height. It hadn't changed since my last appointment...it was 33 cm, which is only 2 cm bigger than where I would be expected to be at this point in the pregnancy. When the doctor pushes the measuring tape against my pelvic bone, I seriously think I'm going to come out of my shell! It is so tender right now...just getting off the couch can take my breath away sometimes. I got my shot of RhoGam (that the doctor would have forgotten had I not reminded her...YIKES!), too. I haven't had a shot since before college, so I was a little nervous. The stick wasn't bad, but the actual medication definitely burned my buns! Yeah...I said it. :)

I had my class today at Methodist Hospital where I learned more about gestational diabetes and what changes to make with regard to my diet. First I took FOUR (yes four) different elevators to finally get to the right area of the hospital...hilarious! When I got to the classroom, I found out that there was only one other person taking the class that day, too. She is in graduate school to be an occupational therapy, so our conversation came easily! Also, she is due one day after us...what are the chances? Anyway, we watched a little video and learned a little more about gestational diabetes. A nurse came in afterward, and she explained how often we would need to test our blood sugar, our goal for blood sugar levels, and how to test our ketones. I have to test my ketones first thing in the morning. Because you don't eat in the middle of the night, your body goes a long time without food. You want your body to use glucose rather than fat for energy when you are pregnant, and ketones are formed when your body's fat stores have to be accessed for energy. So, I will know in the morning if my body is using my fat supply for energy. We don't want to see ketones when I test each day. Then, I will test my blood sugar four times per day: once before breakfast (fasting glucose) and two hours after breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Forunately, since I worked at the Diabetes Youth Foundation's summer camp, I had already tested my blood sugar several times before. I think I probably would've been scared of the prick otherwise. We tested during the class just to make sure we knew how to work our meters, and mine was 71. The nurse asked me the last time I ate, and I had to tell her how scared I've been to eat anything because I didn't know what was good or bad for the baby and me!
My diabetes testing supplies!

The good news is...I can eat anything!!!!! Seriously, I won't have sugary beverages, but as far as food goes, I can have anything. I just need to spread out when I'm eating carbs throughout the day. The dietician came in and explained to us how to choose what to eat. This was my favorite part of the class because I was STARVING and DYING to know what I could eat. This is my food plan:

Breakfast: 2-3 carbs
Morning Snack: 1-2 carbs
Lunch: 3-4 carbs
Afternoon Snack: 1-2 carbs
Dinner: 3-4 carbs
Bedtime Snack: 2 carbs (and I need to make sure that I have 2 so that the baby can continue feeding and getting energy overnight...or else I'll use stored fat = ketones)

It's also important to know that 1 carb = 15 grams of carbohydrates. So for breakfast, I can have 1 1/2 cups of nonsweet cereal and 1 cup of milk), which will equal 3 carbs. If I was starving (which hasn't been the case so far), I could supplement that with eggs, bacon, etc. Veggies, meat, meat substitutions (e.g., cheese), and fats are all FREE! So, imagine my excitement to learn that I can eat PIZZA, MAC-N-CHEESE, PASTA, BREAD, some of my favorite carbs. I just have to do it in moderation and spread it out throughout the day. Not bad, huh? They also gave me a huge guide filled with various restaurants that break down their menu and show how many carbs each item is. I asked Ryan if we could go celebrate my ability to eat, and we stopped at O'Charley's for dinner. I got a bacon cheeseburger (2 1/2) carbs, water, and substituted broccoli casserole for the french fries. Just so you know, I have NEVER, I repeat NEVER, ordered broccoli in my life. I don't eat broccoli, so there is no way in heck I would ever order it for fun. However, I felt a real need to fully embrace this new diet and thought I'd kick things off with some broccoli! :) It turned out that the casserole had rice in it, too, and 1/3 cup of rice is 1 carb, so I just had about 5 bites and called it quits. You know what? The broccoli wasn't even that bad, but don't expect me to willingly eat it very often. :)

My restaurant guide

I begged Ryan to test his blood sugar with me so that he could understand I would be doing for the next 9 weeks. He (reluctantly) agreed, so here are some pictures of us tonight. My blood sugar was 118, and it needs to be below 120...whew! Ryan's was 125...good thing he doesn't have the DIA-BE-TIS!


It doesn't hurt - I'm just exaggerating!

Doesn't he look so excited to test with me?!?! He screamed when it poked him but later said it didn't even hurt! I totally thought it hurt him. :)

3.24.2008

Baby Shower with Friends!

What a great weekend! My friends Abigail and Blair threw a baby shower for me on Saturday, and invited a bunch of my friends from high school, college, and church. It was so great to spend time with everyone, especially since many of them live out of town or out of state. I had friends come in from Massachussetts, Kentucky, and Ohio. It was just such a special day! We had plenty of time to just relax and visit with one another, which is something we don't get to do too often. At the baby shower, Abigail and Blair had set out a bunch of plain white 0-3 month onesies for people to decorate with fabric markers. They turned out so cute!!! We also played a few fun games. One was a cute little poem where we passed around a vase of flowers depending on the directions in the poem. The person who had the flowers at the end of the poem got to keep them. The second game was a game where we matched celebrities to the names of their children. Of course, I am obsessed with celebrity gossip and check out http://people.com/ every single day at lunch, so naturally I won the game! I also got to take a vase of flowers home. For the third game, Abigail and Blair had asked Ryan and me which attributes we wanted our baby to have (e.g., legs = Ryan; hair = Amy). The person who guessed the most correctly won the game!

We also had one of my favorite things for lunch...Panera! They bought these delicious Panera sandwiches (I had ham & cheese) and also had fresh fruit, veggies, and chips, too. The cake was SOOOO good, even though I probably shouldn't have had any (see Gestational Diabetes blog). After we ate I opened presents, and let me just say this...I have such generous and thoughtful friends! I got so many great things...children's books, a baby bath tub, bath towels, wash clothes, bibs, pacifiers, bowls, bottles, a food processor, recipe books for baby food (I'm planning to make my own), a homemade book of children's poems (SO FUN!), lotion, shampoo, nail clippers, hair brushes, onesies (one of which says "Tax Deduction"), pajamas for me (YAY!), blankets, a night light, a robe and booties, baby food, spoons, burp rags, nose sucker thingy, hangers, a swaddler blanket, faucet protector, bottle brush, sleepers, homemade cross to hang in the nursery, toy bag for the bath, rinse cup, bath letters, rubber duckies, outlet covers, baby legs (see http://www.babylegs.net/photos.php), Bumbo seat (see http://www.bumbobabyseat.com/), and baby socks. Like I said, aren't my friends so generous?? I had such a great time with everyone, and it turned out to be a perfect day!

Some of the gifts from my friends!

Gestational Diabetes

Believe it or not, I failed my gestational diabetes test miserably! I found out the results last Thursday:

Fasting Blood Sugar: 79 (GOOD)
1 Hour Blood Sugar: 205 - Supposed to be below 180 (NOT GOOD)
2 Hour Blood Sugar: 201 - Supposed to be below 155 (REALLY NOT GOOD)
3 Hour Blood Sugar: 182 - Supposed to be below 140 (YIKES!)

For those of you who don't know about gestational diabetes, here is some information. Regardless of how much sugar is in your body, you are supposed to produce enough insulin to cope with the amount of sugar. However, my body is all out of whack from being pregnant, and I'm not making enough insulin. That means that the baby is having to produce more (SORRY BABY!). Insulin is a growth hormone for babies, so releasing lots of it can make you have a larger baby. So I have to take a class at Methodist Hospital on Thursday for two hours to learn about what kinds of changes I need to make in order to stay healthy and to best help the baby.By changing my diet and starting an exercise plan, I should be able to take care of the problem. I honestly am looking at this as a positive because diet and exercise are two great things to focus on for these last 9 weeks of pregnancy! :) I think I might have to test my blood sugar throughout the day, but again, I'll know more after Thursday. I'll keep you posted!

3.19.2008

30 Weeks Down...10 To Go!

Yes, you read that correctly...we are 30 weeks pregnant today! It feels GREAT to hit this milestone.

http://www.babycenter.com/6_your-pregnancy-30-weeks_1119.bc?intcmp=Nav_Global_MyBC_Stagepage

For those of you who wonder what that means in terms of months, we will be 7 months on Friday. Yep, only 2 months to go! What a better way to ring in the 30 week mark than to have a Glucose Tolerance Test. I slept really well last night and was ready for the 4 blood draws and fasting. It really wasn't so bad. There were people ahead of me at the lab, so they drew my blood for the first time around 8:30. Then I drank that sugary drink...it tasted just like last time but a little sweeter...no big deal! People really make that drink out to be awful, but I didn't mind it at all. Maybe it's the lime flavored one that doesn't taste so bad. :) Anyway, I waited the first hour without any trouble and had my blood drawn at 9:45...exactly one hour after I finished the drink. The waiting between 9:45 and 10:45 was a little worse. My stomach started to ache a bit from being hungry. I don't think having only sugary stuff on my stomach helped, though. I just laid down in the car until it was time for blood draw #3. I decided to just sleep through the last hour, and that really helped! The second it was over, I shoved a granola bar down my throat and then headed to the northside to get my hair cut. I will find out the results from the test tomorrow, so any prayers for good results are much appreciated! Enjoy the 30 week belly picture!


30 weeks

3.17.2008

Glucose Screening Results

In my last blog, I wrote about getting my glucose screening done in order to test for gestational diabetes. Only 2-5% of women have gestational diabetes during their pregnancy, but everyone is required to have the screening completed. For the screening, you just drink their sugary drink and have your blood drawn one hour later. Normal levels fall below 140, and my results indicated a 167...so, I failed the screening. I read that 15-23% of all women fail this one hour screening. Now, I have to go have a glucose tolerance test done, which I'm going to do on Wednesday. :) I will fast from midnight until the test is over, which is for sure going to be a struggle. I have to eat breakfast and a snack every morning! I will go to the lab at 8 a.m. and have my blood drawn to show my fasting blood sugar level. Then, I will drink the sugary drink, though this time it is even sweeter. The technician will then take a sample of my blood at 9 a.m., 10 a.m., and 11 a.m. Just ask me how excited I am to have my blood drawn FOUR times after nearly fainting last time. YIKES! I'm not worried about failing the next one...it's just a pain to have it done!

I decided to just take the whole day off on Wednesday. I'll be getting the tests done all morning, and then I'm taking the afternoon to do some shopping and to run some errands. I'm helping some friends throw a bridal shower Saturday late afternoon after my baby shower earlier in the day, so I definitely have some things that I can work on Wednesday. It will be nice to have a break from work for the day! Stay tuned for the final results on Thursday...

3.16.2008

What a Great Weekend!

Friday morning I woke up, excited to have our ultrasound and to see the baby again. Again, the point of the ultrasound was to figure out why I was measuring 3 cm ahead of my due date. I drank the Glucola, a sugary drink used for the gestational diabetes test on the way to the appointment, as they were going to draw my blood an hour later. When we reached the doctor's office, we had the ultrasound done first. It was definitely fun to see the baby again, but since he/she is so much bigger now, it's harder to see everything. The head was down already, though that can change still since we still have 10 1/2 weeks to go. The baby's body was lounged around my right side, with its arms and legs hanging on my left side. Now it makes sense why I've been feeling the movements I've been feeling lately (big movements on the right and smaller pokes on the left!). After about 15 minutes of being on my back for the ultrasound, I started to get a hot flash. I asked Ryan to find something to fan me, and the ultrasound technician just told me to turn over on my left side...that the baby was just putting too much pressure on the blood vessels in my back. After I felt a little better, I rolled back over onto my back, and the technician began working again. She got a cute picture of the baby's profile and then began looking for a foot. I started to get all hot, nauseous, etc. again, so I really didn't care much about finding that foot! I told her that I wasn't feeling well again, so she stopped and let me roll over on my left side again (yes, I can honestly say that I roll now). :)

After the hot flash passed, I got dressed, and we went down the hall to draw my blood. I should mention that for the glucose test, I was not allowed to eat breakfast, so I had only had that sugary drink. It was the first time I had missed breakfast in almost 7 months! Anyway, I went to get my blood drawn and still wasn't feeling 100% from the ultrasound. I told the nurse that I was notorious for fainting from blood and that I wasn't feeling very well anyway. So, Ryan sat behind me in case I tipped over. She stuck me and began drawing my blood. The needle didn't bother me at all...it was imagining the blood gushing out of my arm! I began to feel sick...started sweaty...breathing fast and heavy...turning white. Yes, I knew what was coming...I had felt this way before! I told them that was I was going to probably get sick. So Ryan pulled this HUGE trashcan over to me. The nurse told me to lean toward it but said that she was going to keep drawing my blood, even if I fainted because she knew I wouldn't want to start the whole process over again (drinking glucola, waiting another hour without food, drawing more blood). I told her that was fine. She proceeded to take 3-4 viles of blood, and after what seemed like an eternity, she finished! I just leaned over the monsterous trashcan while Ryan wiped the sweat off my body. My color began coming back, and they got me some orange juice and granola bars to snack on. I felt a lot better after that. So, we went to see the doctor and learned that the baby's weight and the amount of fluid in my uterus were completely normal. The doctor determined that I'm measuring a little bigger because of the way my body is carrying the baby...all out front! So that was great news and was exactly what we were hoping to hear. :)

Opening gifts from Dad & Danette

My dad and Danette came to stay with us this weekend, and we had a really nice time! After they got here on Friday, we went over to Motherhood Maternity to pick out something fun to wear for our first baby shower Saturday afternoon and to see if I wanted to buy anything for our maternity pictures Saturday morning. Shopping for maternity clothes in January was a lot of fun because I was beginning to show but my old clothes didn't fit well anymore. When we went shopping on Friday, I was about 10 weeks more pregnant than the last time I went shopping. I can't say that I really enjoyed standing under those fluorescent lights and looking at my new body! However, I keep reminding myself that it is all for the baby and that my weight gain is right on track. After trying on about a dozen different outfits, I found only one shirt that I really liked. I also bit the bullet and got a "sleep bra"...I know...I wondered why I needed one, too. It's basically a cotton bra that helps provide support at night. This will definitely come in handy after the baby is born, and I'm nursing. I also got some denim capris but am thinking that I'm going to take them back. The pockets are kind of nerdy even though the front of them looks great. :)

Hooray for breast pumps!!!

Anyway, we got up early on Saturday to be at our appointment for maternity pictures. I was kind of nervous because I haven't had my pictures taken like that since high school. I had no idea if I looked ridiculous or great even though Ryan was giving me good feedback. You can check them out at http://jscottphotography.instaproofs.com/. Just go to "Amy A Maternity" and type in the password "baby". You have to put your email address in, too, if you want to see the pictures. I hope you like them!

How cute is this cake??? It matched the invitations perfectly! :)

After we finished getting the pictures taken, we went back home and had lunch. Ryan and my dad went to the Big Ten Tournament games, while Danette and I went to the baby shower that Ryan's mom and sister were throwing for me. The shower was so much fun!!! We played a game, ate some delicious food (including the cutest cake ever!!!), visited with everyone, opened presents, and visited some more! Ryan's family, my mom, and Danette completely spoiled us!!! Check out this list of gifts: diaper cake, stuffed animals, burp rags, snack cups, spoons, receiving blankets, pacifiers, onesies, Pampers Swaddler diapers, layettes, bibs, teething rings, high chair, Baby Einstein play center, activity mat, mattress, mattress pad, crib sheets, sound spa, ice blocks w/ bunny, Johnson & Johnson gift basket with TONS of goodies, Jeep stroller, puppy bath towel, socks, breast pump, and lots of fun blankets! Three of them were made my family members, which makes it that much more special. We are so lucky! I started organizing everything last night (of course) and am already wondering where in the world we are going to put everything. :) It's strange to set up the high chair now, for example, when it will be quite a bit longer until the baby needs it. I guess it will be good motivation to reorganize some closets!!

Kelli & Gloria made the cutest diaper cake!

Me in a sea of presents! How can you thank people enough for so many nice things??

3.13.2008

29 Weeks!

We hit the 29 week mark yesterday, and it feels really good to be here. In just one week, we'll only have 10 more to go! I remember being curious about how I'd feel and what I would look like at 30 weeks, and it's fun to almost be there now. Here is some information about the baby's development:

http://www.babycenter.com/6_your-pregnancy-29-weeks_1118.bc?intcmp=Nav_Global_MyBC_Stagepage

Tuesday we met with Julie, the doula I was writing about earlier in the week. She was wonderful! I really felt comfortable with her right away, and it just seemed like the three of us, Ryan, Julie, and me, meshed really well together. Julie explained what she would be doing if we hired her as our doula. We will have two meetings prior to our due date. Our first one is during Week 32, and the second will be somewhere between Week 35 and Week 36. This will give us an opportunity to get to know her better, but most importantly, it will help her understand our dynamic as a couple, as well as what our needs/desires are during labor. For example, she will ask Ryan a bunch of questions about what kind of role he is comfortable with during labor and delivery. Some guys like to be more hands on with their laboring wives...others want to sit on the chair and just be physically present for their wives and newborn baby. This will help Julie know how to best support his needs during labor. Then, we'll also start discussing a birth plan and the different components we want in that plan. Ryan and I will actually create our own plan, but I think she will give us ideas/scenarios to consider. She also has many resources for us to look over and discuss about different childbirth methods (e.g., The Bradley Method, Hyp-Birth, etc.). She said that we will also do a simulation of labor to help us prepare mentally for what is to come...not that you can completely do that...but I like the idea of putting some time into it. After meeting with Julie, Ryan and I both agreed that she will be a great fit for us. I'm excited about it, and it makes me feel that much closer to meeting our baby.

Last night, we had a wonderful dinner at Moe's...A Place for Steaks downtown. OH MY GOSH! I just couldn't resist the filet, and I'm so glad that I ordered it. I got an 8 oz. filet, and it melted in my mouth with deliciousness! I haven't eaten an entire filet in FOREVER, but now that my appetite is starting to pick up, I didn't have a problem at all! It was glorious! The couple who joined us for dinner bought us two of the cutest little baby outfits and a bib...oh my gosh. I cannot wait to see our little one in them! We had a really nice time hanging out with them, too, so it was a really nice night.

Today, I was in desperate need for my manicure and pedicure. My brother had surgery today, which was definitely on my mind all day (I got a call saying that the surgery went really well!). Then, I got an email about a coworker who that found her 13 day old baby boy had passed away in his crib. They've determined that it was SIDS. I seriously lost it! I mean, a story like that always touches your heart, but now that I'm pregnant...man it really hit me hard! I was balling in my office (again...thank goodness for having my own office), and the baby was just moving around. I think it was trying to say, "I'm ok, Mom! Don't worry!" I had just seen my coworker's baby last Tuesday, so it was just heartbreaking. He really was a beautiful baby! We're collecting money in our school district because not only do the parents have to pay for a funeral, but they still have all of the hospital bills headed their way. It's horrible! I can't even imagine. I finally pulled it together and got a few things done at work. It wasn't my most productive day, but I really did the best I could. My manicure and pedicure were wonderful! I felt so pampered and relaxed...it's really just what I needed. Now if I just could've had that glass of wine....

Tomorrow is our ultrasound appointment...first thing in the morning. Any positive thoughts and prayers for a good outcome are very much appreciated!!! I will write soon to let you know the results. My dad and stepmom are coming into town for the weekend, so I will write whenever there is a break in the fun!

The baby's bassinette - gift from Grandma and Grandpa Till (my dad and stepmom)

Isn't it adorable???

3.10.2008

Busy Week!

Usually, Ryan and I have a pretty relaxed week, but this week is definitely an exception to that rule. Tonight, Ryan had band practice at church, which left plenty of time for me to work on my Bible study at home. Our small group is studying 1 Peter, and I'm really enjoying it! Tuesday, a lady named Julie (http://birth-by-design.com/) is coming over to our house to talk about her services as a doula. She was recommended by a good friend of ours who is also a doula, so we'll see how it goes! After Julie leaves, our small Bible study group is coming over to discuss our study. We're meeting every two weeks now instead of each week, and it's definitely giving us more time to delve into the material. It should be a good discussion tomorrow, so I'm really looking forward to it. :) On Wednesday Ryan and I are having dinner with one of his brokers and his wife downtown, probably at http://www.mosaplaceforsteaks.com/indy/index.html ... YUM! We have eaten there once before for Ryan's 26th birthday, and it was fabulous. :) I'm a little bummed to not be able to order a steak "medium" like I like it, but it will make me try something new! On Thursday, I'm going to get a manicure and a pedicure http://tantrasalonspa.com/ after work. I'm so excited! It's been almost a year since I've had a manicure, and it was definitely summer time when I had my last pedicure. Friday morning we have our ultrasound to check on the baby and our glucose test. Then, that afternoon Dad and Danette are coming over to stay for the weekend. They are coming down for my first baby shower with Ryan's family! Did I mention how excited I am for these showers? I just can't wait to see all the women in my life who I care about and who care about me and to celebrate this baby's life with them! Before the baby shower, Ryan and I will have our maternity pictures taken, which is the main reason for the manicure and pedicure. I was looking online at other maternity pictures to get ideas about what to wear. Much to my surprise, a large number women take these pictures in their birthday suits! YIKES! I felt really uncomfortable...seeing all of these naked pregnant women. I can't imagine taking those kinds of pictures, let alone having them posted on the internet! I need to squeeze in some time to go to the mall to get a couple fun things for the pictures and baby showers. So, that's our week in a nutshell! We got our taxes filed over the weekend (HOORAY FOR REFUNDS!), and I also got my part of the closet re-organized, which were the only two things I really wanted to accomplish over the weekend on top of the usual laundry, cleaning, etc. I have this list in my head about things that need to be done before the baby comes...so hopefully we can stay on top of things and keep my nesting in check! I'll write again later this week...until then...take care!

3.05.2008

Third Trimester Begins!!!

Hooray! Our third trimester began today! We are exactly 28 weeks pregnant now, so here is some information about the baby's development:

http://www.babycenter.com/6_your-pregnancy-28-weeks_1117.bc?intcmp=Nav_Global_MyBC_Stagepage

I love that every Wednesday marks a new week completed in this pregnancy. Because it comes along mid-week, after Wednesday I'm focused on finishing out the week at work. Then the weekends are mostly play time, with some projects around the house as of late. Before I know it, I'm back to work on Monday and feeling busy with things to do. Then, it's Wednesday again, and another week of pregnancy has passed! It's exciting to know that we only have 12 more weeks to go. I know it is going to go by quickly, especially if I stop myself from thinking things like, "Is it almost over yet?" or "How much longer until the baby comes?" I really think a positive mindset is more than half of the battle!

Anyway, here are some pictures of me at 28 weeks. Really, they don't seem too different from the ones at 25 weeks, but it's fun to have some new ones!


28 weeks!

I really love being pregnant!

3.04.2008

Quick Update

When I wrote yesterday's blog, I just knew I was forgetting something but couldn't put my finger on it. I remembered this morning and wanted to update everyone about our OB appointment last Thursday. This was the first appointment that Ryan had to miss. I told him not to worry, though, because last time we were only there for about 5 minutes anyway. :) Hearing the baby's heart rate was music to my ears! It was 132 beats per minute this time around. If you have been keeping track, you can see that his or her heart rate has been all over the place. Sometimes it's really high...then somewhere in the middle...now low. I think it's just being ornery, trying to keep us guessing about whether its a boy or a girl! Anyway, my weight gain again was right on track, and it wasn't so hard to see that "number" this time around. So many people have been saying such nice things lately that it doesn't make weighing more feel so bad! When Dr. Soper measured my fundal height (pelvic bone to the top of my uterus), I again measured bigger. If you remember, this happened at my last appointment, and she wanted to see if things evened out (like I had gone through a growth spurt or something), or if the measurement would stay consistent. Since it was higher than expected again, she wants me to come in for an ultrasound next Friday (March 14th) to check things out. She mentioned four different possible scenarios. First, the baby may be a little bigger. Second, I could have more amniotic fluid than expected. Third, I could have fibroids in my uterus. Fourth, it could be nothing...and 3 out of 4 times nothing is wrong! So, I'm hopeful with those odds that everything is fine. Dr. Soper said it could be that I'm just carrying the baby higher, which is fine by me! I will also take the glucose test that same day...where they test for gestational diabetes. I just have to drink this sugary lime drink, and they will draw my blood an hour later to see how my body responds. They will double check my blood type to make sure that I do need to take Rhogam, too, and if I do, that will happend at my 31 week OB appointment.

I think that is everything I needed to share with you!! Now you are completely up to speed on the comings and goings of Baby Abell.

3.03.2008

Weekend Out of Town

We hit the 27 week mark last Wednesday! Sorry for not writing sooner, but we will have internet at home again starting tomorrow. I didn't remember to take a picture, but I will post some new ones this Wednesday! Here is the link for information about the baby's development at 27 weeks:

http://www.babycenter.com/6_your-pregnancy-27-weeks_1116.bc?intcmp=Nav_Global_MyBC_Stagepage

How sweet is it that the baby can open and close its eyes now? I can tell that it is getting bigger and stronger, as its movements feel so much different. When I first felt the baby move, it felt more like bubbles popping. Then, I would feel the baby move in one place on my body. Now when he or she moves, I will feel it in multiple places at once! In fact, it's moving as we speak. I can see my belly moving around, which is really fun! Sometimes I seriously wonder if other people can see it, too, because the movements will be so strong. I really love this part of pregnancy!

We went out of town this weekend to stay with my dad and Danette to celebrate my dad's 50th birthday! Ryan carried everything downstairs and packed up the car by himself (usually I at least help carry things). I'm just letting him do those kinds of things...it makes him feel good to help me and to know that I'm not carrying anything too heavy. :) I was really sore Friday after work, though. My hips and pelvic bone were just aching! Seriously, it felt like someone had kicked me a few times. I've had some pain in the past, but this was much worse than before! It was a pretty uncomfortable ride to South Whitley, and after sitting for a couple hours, it probably just make it worse. A good night's sleep with a pillow tucked between my knees sure helped. :) We had a great visit with my dad and Danette! They took us out to eat at this cute little restaurant called "The Brownstone" that is located right on the main strip of our town (right at the only stoplight). It reminds me of the restaurants in Zionsville. It was so good, in fact that we ate there Friday night for dinner (Foccasia Chicken, smashed potatoes, green beans, and a salad) and Saturday for their breakfast buffet. YUM! Saturday afternoon was the big birthday celebration at this restaurant in Warsaw called Cerulean. Check out the website:


http://www.villageatwinona.com/cerulean.asp

We had a great time! For my dad's birthday, Ryan and I wanted to do a past and present theme. We got him candy from the 1960s (with the original wrappers on them) to represent the past:

http://oldtimecandy.com

We also got him a picture frame to put the baby's picture in and three books to read to Babell. Do you remember those Mercer Mayer books? They crack me up! We got two of those for Dad and a book titled "I Already Knew I Loved You" by Billy Crystal:

http://www.amazon.com/I-Already-Know-Love-You/dp/0060593911

This book is so sweet!! It's from a grandfather's perspective about his anticipation of his grandchild being born. I have to admit, it totally made me tear up at the end! Anyway, I highly recommend it for a gift to grandfathers.

One of my goals this weekend was for my dad, Danette, my brother, and my sister-in-law to feel the baby move...and even see it move if possible. The baby cooperated, and everyone got to feel it! It was really special. :)

This month is going to be a busy one! Ryan and I are getting maternity pictures taken during the morning on Saturday, March 15th. Of course, I have to give you the website: http://jscottphotography.com/HOME.html. I saw this photographer when I was searching for someone to do our wedding, but we didn't hire him. He photographed my friend Abigail's wedding, and she told me that he also was taking maternity pictures. Since I have leftover Christmas and birthday money, I thought this would be perfect! Then I have a baby shower with Ryan's family that afternoon in Greenwood. I can't wait to see everyone and to celebrate this baby's upcoming birth with the women in his family. Then, March 22nd, my friends Abigail and Blair are throwing me a baby shower, too. I am really looking forward to seeing all of my friends again!! Our first childbirth class is March 29th from 9 .m. to 5 p.m. So you can see, this month will be very busy! I can't wait to write about everything. I'll try to post lots of pictures, too. Whenever we get our maternity pictures taken, I will try to post a link so you can see them, too.

That's all for now! I hope you all have a great week, and I'll write again mid-week!
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