Thursday, October 31, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Our First Ultrasound!

[I have lots of blog posts that I need to get caught up on, so I'm going to make a goal of trying to get at least one up every Thursday :). We'll see how it goes! This was originally written 9-26-13]

As I was driving to work today, I was actually overcome with emotion when I thought back to our doctor appointment yesterday. Now, granted, the hormones do sometimes get the best of me, but seeing our baby for the first time was definitely one of the major highlights of my life.

Ed thankfully was able to take the time to join me at the appointment, and I am so thankful that we got to share this experience together. It was definitely surreal to be getting an ultrasound, when I've only ever seen it in tv and movies, and even more surreal when within a few minutes, a little baby appeared on the screen. The video feed actually showed up on a large screen on the wall, so we both had a great view of our little one.

We could see the heart beating at 175 bpm, and she even turned on the sound so we got to hear it! Our little baby wiggled around for us, which was amazing. The technician (Kelley), flipped a setting and showed us its blood being pumped by the heart! Up until this point, we have been feeling very cautious about this pregnancy, because it was just so hard to believe it was really happening. I think seeing a healthy, happy baby made us feel much more secure.

Afterwards, I had to give some blood and then had an appointment with my regular doctor, which all went well. It was fun to hear Ed be called "dad" by the doctor, and it was nice to get the positive reassurance that things looked good. We'll get to see the baby again in 3 weeks at our 12 week scan, and we can't wait :).

Ed and I decided to go celebrate by having a dinner date a Pita Jungle.

Sitting outside overlooking the lake (under misters), we felt so very fortunate, as we were able to start envisioning this little once actually becoming a sweet little baby.

Monday, October 28, 2013

13 and 14 Weeks

{I started these at 7 weeks and have just held onto them until now. If you have any interest, they're now posted for the dates they were actually written, so that I have them for the future. If you aren't super interested in these, I'll probably be posting them on the weekends, so you know when to avoid reading the blog :) }

Oops! I missed 13 weeks. I think I was so excited about sharing the news on here (and busy at work) that I completely missed it. Seeing as how I'm now over 14 weeks, I think we'll just cut our losses and keep going (with a bit of week 13 stuff thrown in here). Too bad, since 13 weeks is sort of a bit milestone!

(After seeing others, I really like the idea of labeling the pictures for future reference. However, I'm not loving my current method of making it in Pages and then taking a screen shot. Any tech savvy people who know of a way to add text like this to a photo while still keeping high picture quality?)

How Far Along?  14 weeks (and 2 days)! It feels nice to be firmly in the double digits at far enough along where it's *okay* to talk about it with others. 

Size of the Baby? A lemon! Our baby is growing by leaps and bounds :). It's almost doubled in weight since last week, which is crazy.

Sleep? Keeps getting better! Of course that could have something to do with the fact that I've had to take benedryl a few of the nights (cleared with my doctor) for crazy allergies. Still, only one night where I was awake for maybe an hour, but that was more due to work stress than pregnancy. Otherwise just waking up once every night, which I will definitely take. Still fairly exhausted on some days (needed a good 2 hour nap today), but in general I *think* I'm starting to experience a little bit of that second trimester miracle where you don't feel like passing out all the time anymore. 

Eating? In general this has been going a little better, though breakfast is still tough. I actually had salmon and zucchini for lunch yesterday, which made me incredibly happy since I haven't eaten such a normal and healthy meal in a while. Made me feel good to be sending the baby some yummy nutrients. Of course today I ended up feeling the most sick I have so far and ended up with a pretty carb heavy eating day. Sometimes you just need some pasta with butter and parmesan. My parents sent us a box of fall goodies, so I've been super enjoying some white chocolate covered pretzels.  

Exercise: Had to add this new one, since this is actually happening again! I decided that starting 2nd trimester meant that I needed to make more of an effort to getting back to being healthier, and made it to the gym twice, yoga once, and took a 3 mile hike this past week. 

Yay! Prenatal yoga has been amazing. It's at the yoga place I started attending last spring, but is just a class for expecting mommies. We do lots of things to stretch and strengthen the pelvis/hips and tap into breathing. The instructor is also a doula (labor coach) and has been a great resource already. This week was just 4 of us, two ladies due in a few weeks, and another one also due in April. It's been hard to make the 7:15 Saturday class, but it's worth getting up. I feel very nurtured afterwards and it puts me in a great mood for the rest of the day. The gym was slightly less successful, since it made my bad leg and feet more painful, so I'll have to play that by ear. The hike was awesome - finally found an Arizona trail I like. I'll try to post about it on my running blog soon :). 
 What I Miss? Hmm... I guess still sushi and wine. And eating breakfast without thinking twice about what will sit well. Hopefully we're nearing the end of those days, though!

Best Moment? I've had a lot of good ones the last few weeks. I think the biggest is just having this pregnancy public and getting to sharing in the joy others have for this little one. Telling my students was pretty fabulous. I told them at the end of our class meeting last Friday and they were all so excited. They clapped and cheered (though one put it together that it meant I'd be missing the end of the school year and was a little bummed). They are very excited about naming the baby and have given many "helpful" suggestions like Gideon, Alien, and Kraylor (combining Kristen and Taylor, two girls in my class' names). Now when I'm absent-minded in class (which also happened before I was pregnant, I might add) one student will say that it's because my baby must be being very loud inside and distracting me. Another suggested that I should be a kangaroo for Halloween, since my baby could be my pouch. I've have more babysitting offers than I can count, though I'm not sure a 10 year old is my exact ideal for childcare :). 

I've seen a number of parents since then, and gotten many well wishes (and only one whose husband is pretty bummed I won't be finishing out the year. I promised I'd try to visit for the very end). Otherwise, lots of excitement that this is my first. 

Milestones: Reaching 2nd Trimester! What could be better than that! Telling my students was also huge, as was announcing on here. We also got the results of our NT test a few weeks ago, and our baby is officially "low risk." Exactly what you want to hear. 

Mommy Update: Overall, I'm feeling great. Less nausea overall (barring today's over-exertion induced getting sick session. Ugh). But more energy and feeling normal. Even just last weekend I was sort of worthless, but this one I have been able to be much more present. Ed and I have needed some good quality us time, which has been hard with me tied to the couch the last few months, so we really enjoyed a great date last night and a breakfast/hiking date today. Starting to see the light at the end of the beginning of pregnancy symptoms tunnel. 

Baby Update:
Baby is doing awesome (not that I have any real basis for this - I just feel it). Sometimes I imagine I can feel it moving around in there. I'm sure I'm just feeling muscle spasms or something, but it's fun to pretend, and it could start happening in as little as two weeks! It could also take another 6, but I prefer to be optimistic. Baby can now start sucking it's thumb, which is incredibly cute. Also cute, it can now make facial expressions, including frowns, grimaces, and squinting. More organs are working, including the kidneys, and it's getting lugano (fine, soft hair) over its body to keep warm. Keep growing little one!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Our Journey to Parenthood

Since I've always used this blog as a bit of journal to keep track of life, so I can look back on it later, I knew I wanted to include a bit about this huge transition period in our life. I think I also wanted to put this out there because going into this, I didn't realize how many couples have stories more like mine and less like those lucky families whose transition from wanting a child to having a child is short and sweet. And, honestly, after not really having a avenue for this journey in its process, it feels lovely to process it all now, quite wordily I should add, on the other side.

Anyone who really knows me knows about my love of babies/kids. When I was 12, I used to tell my parents how much I wanted a baby (much to their horror). They soon got me working in the nursery at church, caring for 6-12 month olds for a couple hours each Sunday. They hoped that dealing with cranky babies and having to change their diapers would inject a dose of reality into my love of babies. Honestly? It just reaffirmed how much I loved them. I spent 5 years working in that nursery (and would go back and work on breaks when I was home from college). I remember so vividly the sensation of a baby going to sleep in my arms, and knowing how much babies do, and have to trust, their caretakers, and what an awesome responsibility that was.

My baby obsession (which was sort of what it became) continued into high-school, where at one point, my bedroom was decorated with pictures like these:

Thankfully, I was smart and knew that even if I thought babies were the most amazing things in the world, there was no way I was having one before I finished college and met the right person. So I waited.

And waited.

By the time I got to the end of college, my obsession had waned a bit. I still loved babies, but was enjoying the life of a single young twenty year old, and was happy not to rush the future. And then, I met Ed.

Mile 37 of my 50 Miler race, where my new boyfriend was crewing me, despite only knowing me for a little over a month. 

And he was wonderful, and amazing, and we fell in love and got married.

And suddenly? I'd entered into an odd limbo. Where I was actually *allowed* by social convention, to have kids. Granted, I was still young (24), but it wouldn't be "against the rules" (and yes, plenty of happy, healthy couples can have children outside of marriage, but it wasn't what I wanted or what I knew my family wanted for me).  Despite this new stage, we knew we wanted to wait. After all, Ed had two more years of graduate school, after which we'd move who knows where, and it didn't make logistical or practical sense to expand our family in this temporary situation. Plus, we wanted to enjoy being newlyweds!

After about a year of waiting, I starting thinking about what it would be like to add a little one to the family with a little more longing. My sister had her beautiful daughter and it just made me even more excited to get to take that next life step. People were always asking when/if we were going to have kids, and I got just a little tired of saying someday. So we made a plan. Ed needed to get his post PhD job, we needed to move, and we needed to buy a home. Then, we would be ready to start a family.

In February he got his job. In April he graduated from his program, 

and we bought a house big enough for multiple family additions. And in July we moved. Suddenly we were ready for this next life step! We were going to have a baby, and everything was going to be amazing. I researched maternity leave/FMLA in my new district and was ready to work my one year in Arizona and then jump ship that summer for motherhood.

Except it didn't happen for us that summer. As the months slipped away, our ideas about the future had to shift with them. As summer turned to fall, and then winter, and then spring, we had to adjust. It got harder when people asked when/if we were going to have kids and still having to tell them "someday" when I so wanted to say, "now!" We started planning a wonderful summer in California, since it was quite apparent that the summer baby we expected (or even a late pregnancy summer) wouldn't be happening. We looked for ways to appreciate life with just the two of us in our new state. We started and completed so many house projects. We attended many, many happy hours. And we waited.

Enjoying beach camping during Spring Break

Before we knew it, it was June and we were off to California. I knew when we came back, that we would be reaching the dreaded year "cut off," the amount of time a healthy couple has before they should seek medical help in starting a family. By this point, I didn't have a lot of faith it was going to be happening for us. I tried to let go of the anxiety and stress that the future seemed to be holding, and we enjoyed our summer. Many bottles of good California wine were drank, many walks along the beach breathing in that salty air, and many great days spent enjoying one another, being just the two of us, and being with family and friends we love.

And finally, we came back to Arizona, a bit over a year after we'd moved, and resigned to moving onto the next phase of trying to start a family. I found a place and made an appointment for September, the earliest they had, and hoped that this was our solution. School started up again for the second year, and I tried to be excited for a school year I didn't think I'd be teaching.

But then, on a beautiful Saturday morning, our last year suddenly all made sense. Because we found out that, despite 13 months of waiting and hoping and wishing, and resigning ourselves to the fact that it might not happen without help, we found out we had been blessed with this pregnancy. And suddenly that past year of waiting seemed like the perfect amount of time to wait for this miracle. Ed and I got to spend so much wonderful time together growing as a couple and getting settled in our new home, and becoming better people so we can be better parents. And had this happened in any other month, the little one growing and developing in there wouldn't be the same little baby that I have so grown to love and cherish over the last 3 months (and really over the last year and a half).

So, that's our story. It was a hard year, but much less hard than it could have been, or had the potential to be, had our story not gotten its happy ending when it did. It has made me so cherish this pregnancy, this baby, this gift, and has made me thankful for every part of this process. Even when I'm tired or feeling sick, or feeling some other less lovely symptom, I have to feel happy because they are a sign from my body that we finally get to grow our family and have been so incredibly blessed.

So, it is with such gratefulness that I experience this pregnancy. And while I'm sure to be posting plenty more about it (especially since I *may* have been writing some secret posts sitting in my draft box while I sat on this secret), I don't think they will hit quite this deeply. But I never want to forget this feeling, these moments, and the journey it took to get here to this wonderful place.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

12 Weeks

(at the Desert Botanical Garden on Saturday - 12w1d by my new calculation!)

How Far Along?  12 weeks! So far I've been going by the date I calculated based on all the data I tracked, which is about 4 days earlier than the doctor's more generic calculation. However, after our appointment yesterday, and seeing our baby measure right in between the two dates, I've decided to just go with the doctor date, so I get to jump ahead a little :). So, by new calculations, I'm now 12 weeks, 4 days. I may, then, start posting these on Fridays instead, so my next one might be soon!

Size of the Baby? A plum! Our baby measured at 5.8cm (2.28inches) which was perfect for 12w1d. It's doubled in size over the last three weeks.

Sleep?  In general, still a lot better. I was awake for 2ish hours during the night on Saturday night, and today I woke up at 5am after a nightmare that Ed sold our baby to another couple via adoption to make some extra money. It's amazing how upsetting dreams can be! Glad to wake up and realize it wasn't real. 

Eating? I haven't found that I've wanted anything more than I would want not pregnant, but I have been really feeling like Indian food. I think we'll get some today. I've been having more aversions, as my stomach has been pretty off the last week. Proteins have been less settling, so I've been having lots of carbs which is killing my poor Primal/Paleo educated mind. I did start feeling better yesterday, though, so I'm hoping the light at the end of the tunnel is approaching, and I'll be able to go back to healthy eating soon. 

 What I Miss? Being a productive member of our household. I spent most of the rest of my fall break laying on the couch, since whenever I stood up I felt sick. Poor Ed has been having to do the brunt of housework. I tried to go to the grocery store the other day and all those smells made me feel horrible. Had to hurry in and out with just the essentials. Again, hopefully I'm almost at the end of this. 

Best Moment? Seeing our little baby yesterday at our 12 week ultrasound and hearing it's little heart beating! Oh my goodness, what an amazing treat. It was doing all of these flips in there - so much more energetic than last time. It definitely looked bigger, but with all the movement, we didn't get to see that classic profile, so it didn't look as classically "baby-ish". It had a great heartbeat, that wasn't so much on the high side (161 instead of 175) as it was last time, which is normal. Everything else looked great, so it seems like we have a healthy baby in there. After two great scans, I'm feeling so much more confident about this pregnancy and am feeling more ready to actually post on this blog and tell my students. 

Milestones: The 12 NT Scan - we'll get the bloodwork back in 7-10 days, but so far everything looks good. 

Mommy Update: I am feeling so very happy right now. I am feeling appreciative of my lovely students, my healthy baby, and my wonderful husband. And, thankful that my stomach *may* be returning to normal.

Baby Update:
Baby can now react to pokes on the outside (Ed heard this and wanted to start poking my stomach so the baby could work on it's coordination - I declined). It's almost done developing all the major body parts and is moving into the "growth and maturation" phase. This is considered a turning point in pregnancy, as the organs will now start to work and just work on getting stronger. Baby is also opening and closing its fingers and curling its toes. It's brain is also developing quickly. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

11 Weeks

{Originally written 10-9-13}

How Far Along?  11 Weeks! Only 2 more until that exciting 2nd trimester. It's all starting to feel just a bit more real. 

Size of the Baby? A lime. Much, much better fruit than last week! 

Sleep?  In general, it's been a lot better! I'm waking up about twice a night, but I think I only had maybe 1 or two nights of insomnia. I've been able to take a nap almost every day since break started, too, which has been great. Last night, I was up until midnight, since I napped until 6, so I'm a bit tired today (woke up at 6:45) but hopefully that means I'll sleep better tonight. 

Cravings? Time with my sweet nephew? Does that count? We took a quick trip to see my sister and family and Ed's brother and family, which included some awesome bonding time with our nephew, Matthew, who just came home from the hospital after a long 3 month stay after he was born. He is pretty amazing. 

We felt pretty lucky that we got to hang out with him when he is so little, and also had a great time visiting his sister, who is still working hard in the NICU so that she can join her brother soon. 

 What I Miss? I was missing alcohol a little more this week (maybe something to do with a million parent conferences and report cards?). This weekend I also sort of lost interest in food in general, where nothing really sounded good, so I missed being excited about food, or just able to say definitely that I wanted to eat something specific. 

Best Moment? Seeing both our nieces and our nephew. I feel like such a lucky auntie. On the pregnancy front, I think just talking about the pregnancy a bit more with family - it made it seem more real. We also got our first baby related item in the mail! An ergobaby carrier. 

There was a crazy deal online, so I decided to go for it, since I knew my sister was super happy with hers, and they can be so expensive. Ours was only $57, including shipping, when they're normally $130 or so. It was waiting for us when we got back from our trip, so of course I tried it on (a towel subbed for the baby). It was fun to imagine getting to use that in less than 7 months! We really liked the color, since it will go with everything and works well for both Ed and I (plus, it was the only choice, so, you know, we sort of had to be happy with it). Fun, fun!

Milestones: Nothing huge this week, pregnancy wise. Just looking forward to our Ultrasound on Monday!

Mommy Update: We got a chance to tell the rest of the important people in our life (since work now knows, we decided it was fine to share the news) which was really special. I may also go any buy myself a few new skirts today, since my old ones are a bit snug, and being on Fall Break (yay!) this is the best time for a long time to go shopping. Still getting hungry in the middle of the night and needing midnight snacks. Feeling very happy and lucky that we are in this place in life right now, and hopeful that everything will continue going well. 

Baby Update:
Baby is moving around a lot in there, which I can't wait to be able to actually feel. It's growing hair follicles and fingernails and is looking much more like a little person. It also has no more webbing between fingers and toes, so goodbye to amphibian baby. It's getting tiny toothbuds and bones are hardening. Keep growing, little one!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

10 Weeks

{Originally written 10-1-13}

How Far Along?  Double digits :). Super excited to be at 10 weeks!

Size of the Baby? A prune (lovely....). Somewhere else said strawberry though, so I think that's what I'll picture when I think about baby Lyon this week. 

Sleep?  Ugh. I was doing so, so well! Only waking up once at 3am every night and usually getting back to sleep. Last night, though, no luck, so I've been a zombie all day. Didn't help that parent teacher conferences were happening this afternoon, which are tiring on a normal day. 

Cravings? Nope. I did feel like French Onion soup when we went out to a cafe, only to find out they didn't have it, so Ed was awesome and picked up some while he was at Costco later. I had it for lunch yesterday, and it was awesome!

 What I Miss? I think same as last week - feeling rested and not nauseous. The nausea has eased up a bit, but was back full force today, I think because of the lack of sleep. Hopefully tomorrow is a better day.

Best Moment? Seeing our baby! Hard to believe that was less than a week ago, but it was amazing. I still can't believe there's a little baby growing in there, moving around. It was so special to share that first view with Ed, and to hear its heartbeat. Can't wait to see it again!

Milestones: Seeing our baby and hearing a strong heartbeat of 175. Our other milestone is that I took my last progesterone supplement last night, so I am crossing my fingers that our baby is ready to be independent. 

Mommy Update: Well, I was apparently outed at work on Friday! A coworker that I had to tell due to morning sickness (and who knew this was supposed to be a secret - she'd kept it for almost a month) spilled the beans to a group of coworkers. I found out from one of the ones she told. Nothing to be done, and at least my principal knows, and everyone's happy for me, but it was a little earlier than I'd planned on people finding out. So long as the kids stay in the dark for a few more weeks, I'll be happy. 

Baby Update:
Baby is definitely in the fetal stage now - all the major organs are developed. It's getting little nails and hair, which just seems so tiny and amazing. It's going to start really growing rapidly now, and I can't wait.