Wednesday, April 28, 2010

23 weeks (and 2 days)

The past week was spent with family in New York.  It was pretty much my last trip before my flying ban sets in, so I was happy we scored first class both ways.  It may have been my last trip in first class for several years because children of employees may not fly in first class until they are 5 years old.  Maybe someday Darren will sit in the back with the child and let me sit in first again.  I can dream anyway. :)

Anyway, the trip was fun.  I always enjoy spending time with family.  My nieces Gianna and Haley got to spend a lot of quality time together.  They were definitely a handful.  We aren't used to a lot of loud children running around, so it was quite an experience for us.  Most of our friends and family only have 1 child right now, so they are usually nice and quiet when we are around.  I'm sure my sister and I were just like that when we were young though.  It made Darren adamant that he only wants 1 child.  I can't say that though.  Who knows what will happen in the future.  I'd like to keep the option open for a while anyway.

My youngest niece, Renee, is 6 months old now.  She is mostly a dream child.  She is very laid back and rarely cries.  She is also perfectly happy to sit on the floor and play with her toys by herself.  Its amazing to see because her older sister has always been a high maintenance child.  Darren kept picking up Renee thinking her personality would rub off on our baby if he held her enough.  If only we could be so lucky.  It may happen.  Darren needs the baby practice anyway.  At one point he picked Renee up and discovered she had spit up on her clothes.  Of course, that grossed him out and he quickly set her back down on the floor.  He didn't make sure she was steady though, and the poor baby fell over and face planted into the floor.  Then she started crying.  Darren felt bad of course.  It was actually a pretty comical situation and she wasn't really hurt, so it was ok.  He definitely has some things to learn though.

In other news, I had a doctor's appointment today.  It was just a routine check and everything looks great!  My blood pressure is really low, my iron levels are great, and my weight is still a few pounds high, but nothing to really worry about.  I'm on track for about a 40 pound weight gain, but I'm not too concerned.  I will lose it all.  The doctor also measured my fundal height at 25cm.  This measurement is supposed to coincide with how many weeks along you are, give or take 2cm.  So, that means I'm pretty much where I should be.  The baby's heartbeat was good too.  The technician had a hard time measuring it though because she kept moving.  That's the problem I always have, so it made me laugh.  Apparently we have a very active baby.

I have to take my glucose test at the end of May.  She gave me the information sheet about the test and told me there was a special diet I need to follow for 2 or 3 days before the test.  I didn't like the sound of that until she showed me the "diet".  Its just a high carbohydrate diet, which is what I follow every day.  This should be easy!  I'm not too worried about the test.  I'm pretty sure I will be fine.  I'm not looking forward to just sitting there for an hour though, and definitely not looking forward to a blood draw.  Oh well, at least its just 1 time.

Monday, April 19, 2010

22 weeks

I'm feeling really good, for the most part.  The baby is doing well too.  I'm still having a hard time finding her heartbeat with the doppler, but I always manage to catch it for at least a few seconds.  This evening I managed to find it pretty strongly for quite a while.  She must have been asleep.  Her movements have been stronger and more frequent this week too, so that's good news.  There isn't much else to report.  My next doctor's appointment is in another week.  Over the weekend Darren and I had lunch with some friends that we don't see often enough.  Our friend Wendy had a baby last July, so much of our lunch was spent talking about pregnancy, breastfeeding, and babies, etc.  Darren was really excited about those topics. :)  During the conversation the subject of doctors came up and we discovered that we actually have the same OB/GYN.  I was pretty amazed because Wendy doesn't even live near us.  Our doctor is wonderful though.  We both really love her.  I honestly don't think I would be where we are with all of this if it weren't for her pushing for reasons and solutions to our problem.  I don't think another doctor would have been as thorough as she is.  I am very lucky to have her as my doctor.

Anyway, we are heading off to New York on Wednesday to visit family.  I am pretty excited for the trip.  A vacation is definitely needed.  There has been a lot to do in the past week and in the next day or so as well.  I'm having a hard time staying motivated and remembering everything on my list.  If you have emailed me or sent me a Facebook message in the last week or so, I'm sorry I haven't responded!  I'm not ignoring you.  I just have a short attention span and memory these days.  I will make an effort to respond before we leave though (unless you sent me several blank virus emails *Jessi*). :)

Monday, April 12, 2010

21 weeks

I am 21 weeks along now, and everything is still going well.  The movements are still pretty off and on.  I will feel a lot in a small time period, and then nothing for a day or so.  Its really interesting.  I'm glad I have that doppler or I might be going crazy about now!  I can't thank you enough Kerry. :)  I am better at using it now, so it usually only takes me a couple of minutes to find the heartbeat.  Of course, she still moves around like crazy, so I feel like I'm playing "chase the baby" a lot.  I'm always amazed at how much movement is actually going on that I can't feel.  She is still little though, about 10.5 inches and 12.7 ounces according to the average fetal length and weight chart.  She should hit the 1 pound mark in about 2 more weeks.  Things are going well, but I find myself thinking about how many more weeks until "viability", that is the baby's chances of survival if born at any given week.  I don't know if other people thought about this when they were pregnant, but I'm sure I'm not alone.  According to the chart I found on this, a baby has an 80-90% chance of survival if born after 26 weeks of gestation.  Its actually pretty amazing to know that if our baby were born in another 5 weeks she would probably survive.  Of course, she won't be nearly ready by then, but its a comforting thought should something happen to cause me to deliver early.  I'm sure I won't have this problem though.  There isn't a history of problem pregnancies in my family and everything seems to be going just fine, so I'm not really worried about an early delivery.  My main concern at the moment is getting the house prepared.  We have quite a lot of excess junk that needs to go away, but Darren has a hard time parting with things.  We really need to buckle down and get things moving or he will have a whole bunch of junk shoved in his "man cave" when my mom comes to visit next month.  She wants to paint the baby room, and maybe the guest room as well, but at the moment it is difficult to even walk in either of those rooms.  I can see a lot of scrambling happening in the week or so before she gets here.  Oh well, that's our typical style of getting things done anyway.  I'm sure it will all be ready with just minutes to spare.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

An Article that Caught My Attention

I read this article the other day and it really struck me, so I thought I'd share:

Darren and I have been through 2 miscarriages before this successful pregnancy.  Those were not easy to deal with, but I think going through that made our relationship stronger.  I can't imagine going through such a thing as a couple and then having it contribute to a divorce as well.  That's really like being kicked when you're down.  I imagine that these couples didn't have a very strong relationship before the pregnancy and this was just kind of the last straw to break them up.  Of course, I suppose there are a lot of couples who just aren't on the same page as far as having children goes either.  I can say that most women who experience a miscarriage want to jump back into trying again right away, maybe to help lessen the pain a bit?  I have a feeling a lot of husbands get pressured into trying again before they have come to terms with it and it may cause fights.  I imagine recurrent miscarriage can make that even worse.  After that 2nd miscarriage Darren was in no way ready to try again.  He really wanted to quit trying after that.  Of course, I didn't, but it would have made the situation very bad if I had pressured him at all.  In the end it took us over a year and a half after that 2nd miscarriage before we were both ready to try again.  We did a lot of things during that time period and I think we are now totally ready for this.  Of course, it definitely helps to have an explanation for the losses and a plan to prevent it from happening again.  We didn't know for sure it would work, but it was something to keep us hopeful.  I bet a lot of these couples have a hard time dealing with miscarriage if there is no explanation for it.  I'm not sure if we would have tried again if we couldn't find a reason, and I don't think we would be trying a 4th time if this one had ended badly too.  Thankfully it has all worked out beautifully so far.  There are several women on my message board who have been through 5 or 6 pregnancy losses and have yet to have a successful attempt.  I can't imagine going through that over and over.  I think it could really drive a person crazy.  In cases like that you would definitely need a strong support system and a husband who was totally on the same page about having a baby.  Couples who experience a miscarriage need to have a serious discussion afterward so both sides know exactly how the other feels and what it will take to move past it.  A lot of pressure from one side on the other will just make the situation worse and can lead to a breakdown of the whole relationship.  Seeking outside help and/or advice can be very beneficial.  of course, the most important thing is sympathy and understanding for the other person, and if you don't have a good foundation in your relationship before you try to have a baby it may all very well crumble if something goes wrong.

Monday, April 5, 2010

20 weeks

Officially we are half way there!  In reality its a bit more than half way because I will be delivering a week or two early.  As you all know by now, last week was the big ultrasound and we found out we are having a girl.  We are very excited about it!  While it would have been nice to break the streak of girls in the family, those girls are great and we love them. :)  Plus, I am very familiar with baby girls now and I know Darren is comfortable dealing with them.  We are ready for this!  Of course, now I am freaked out about having things prepared for her arrival.  I made a bit of progress by researching and selecting a crib, and I think we (me and mom) have a paint color picked out for the baby room.  That's about it so far though.  I still need to get going on the daycare search, and at some point I need to register for baby stuff.  I have no clue what we need so I'm really hoping someone (perhaps my dear sister) will just go register for me and tell me where to find the registry.  Maybe I will just wait and we can all make a big group trip to Babies R Us when we go to New York in 2 weeks.  Actually, that sounds like a really good plan.  I will have plenty of help and no shortage of advice then, especially since my sister-in-law knows absolutely everything anyway. :)

In other news, I hung out with my good friend Kerry on Saturday.  I met up with her and her sweet little boy at the mall and we walked around and did a bit of shopping.  He got some new shoes and a Build-A-Bear.  That place is neat, but I don't know if its a safe place to take a toddler.  You might not get out of there without spending way more than necessary.  It's not just the bear.  You have to buy clothes and accessories too!  At least Kerry's boy is young enough that she could escape with just the bear (or monkey in this case).  Stuffed animals don't need clothes.  Kerry did give me the best thing ever!  She had a Doppler she bought while she was pregnant and she allowed me to borrow it since she isn't using it right now.  I can't thank her enough for it!  Of course, our little one is still really small and she likes to move, so she is really hard to pin down.  I tried to find the heartbeat for 20 minutes yesterday morning and couldn't get it for more than a second or two.  Then, Darren came home in the evening and asked me about it.  I didn't really want to show him because I couldn't work the darn thing very well, but I did anyway.  Of course, I magically found the heartbeat after like a minute.  Perhaps she just likes her dad better already.  It took me about 20 minutes to pin her down again today.  Silly baby!  I am not frustrated by it though.  I haven't panicked at all when I can't find it.  I know she is just small still, and I think she is sitting pretty far toward my back too so I can't find her as easily.  I think that's why I don't seem so big yet to people either.  I have had more than a few comments that I don't look too pregnant yet.  I assure you all that I am, and her growth is right on according to the ultrasound we just had.  Hopefully I will get noticeably bigger in a couple of weeks so I actually look pregnant to random people.  I don't like just looking fat.  Oh well, it will all be worth it in the end.  I think we may be close to settled on a name too, a first name anyway.  I'm pretty sure we are going with Natali.  I picked the name and Darren agreed and decided on the spelling.  It could change, but I have a feeling it won't because its really the only one we have agreed on.  I don't want to rock the boat and suggest something else when such progress has been made.  I think the real battle will be about the middle name (or names as Darren seems to think we need more than one).  Stay tuned...

The Bridge Builder

I blog not to become famous...or too brag....but to help others who might be in the same situation...or have the same questions....or who simply can't get enough of the man that is Darren Byrd. On a more serious is a story from my fits.

The Bridge Builder:

An old man, going a lone highway, came at the evening, cold and gray, to a chasm vast and deep and wide; the old man crossed in the twilight dim, the sullen stream had no fear for him; but he turned when safe on the other side and built a bridge to span the tide. "Old man," said a fellow pilgrim near, "you are wasting your strength with building here; your journey will end with the ending day, you never again will pass this way; you've crossed the chasm deep and wide; why build you this bridge at evening tide?" The builder lifted his old gray head- "good friend, in the path I have come," he said, "there followeth after me today, a youth whose feet must pass this way; this chasm that has been naught to me to that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be; he, too, must cross in the twilight dim- good friend, I am building this bridge for him."

Taken from Sigma Alpha Mu's "Candidate Handbook" p.47