Tuesday, July 26, 2005

9 Months Preggers

Well, today I'm officially 36 weeks or 9 months pregnant. It always amazes me how you are really 10 months pregnant, but no one really tells you that. Well, technically it's 9.5 months, but we won't get into all that goofy counting stuff. Anyways, 40 weeks is right around the corner, and technically I could "go" anytime after next week, so the countdown is beginning. How crazy is that!??!

By the way, either you guys have a major connection with The Man Upstairs or He was sick of hearing me complain! :o) In other words, I feel much better these days. Seriously, after my rant on Friday, I started to feel better and after this weekend, I am actually walking without pain. I still feel tenderness and numbness when I bend, sit, or walk too fast, but heck I'll take it. Anything is better than last week. I have a feeling my back will be tender until I deliver, so I'm just going to have to continue to "take it easy," which I'm learning to do. As long as I'm mobile, I will NOT complain!

You know, this whole experience has made me aware of just how insensitive I am and how much I take for granted. People live with diabetes EVERY DAY, and here I am in the last months of pregnancy, complaining that I can't have my chocolate fix until after the baby is here. I never realized what an emotional issue diabetes can be. I have a totally new outlook on the condition. I also know a lot of people with back problems, yet I never realized just how painful and frustrating it is. Now more than ever, I am grateful for my health and vow to be more sympathetic to those dealing with health issues. As horrible as it sounds, I have a tendency to think that people should just "suck it up," but I no longer think that way. Health is a gift and people who don't have it really need love and support. An obvious revelation, perhaps, but as usual, God has really humbled me through this experience, and I am thankful that He did.

So how is Baby B you ask? Well, according to our latest doctor's appointment, just fine. Unfortunately, our last appt. was a little disappointing because it was so uneventful. One of our doctors is on vacation and the other one had four women go into labor right around the time of our appt., so we just saw the nurse. That would have been fine, except I had a million questions to ask. First, I was supposed to have an internal exam, which may not sound fun, but I've had about 20 people tell me I've dropped, so I was curious to see if I did.

I was also curious to see how much weight the baby has gained since our last ultrasound, but the nurse told me I actually lost 1.5 lbs! This really freaked me out, but she said it was normal. I don't quite get that since the baby is gaining weight quicker than ever now, but I did read in one of my books last night that it is common for women to stay at the same weight in their last weeks. I just really expected to gain weight since I was so inactive since the last appt. Still, I guess I won't worry until I have to. We see the doctor on Tuesday (we're up to every week now), so I can ask him then. I also think we'll get the order for our last ultrasound, so we'll get another weight measurement soon. There's that whole patience thing again... :o)

Well, that's it for now. Thanks again for all your love and support. New belly pictures to come soon and hopefully some more nursery photos. We're supposed to get the armoire on Thursday (finally!), and I can't wait to fill it with all of our cute baby stuff. We're also going to put up the window valence and some wall hangings (thanks, Cara!), so it will really look cute in there! Until then...

Friday, July 22, 2005

Miss Olivia

Need I say anything about this adorable face?

Shower #2

Our second shower was a brunch held on July 17. It was thrown by my very talented sister-in-laws Alicia and Alexis, my mother-in-law, and my adorable niece Olivia. Here I am, sitting (ignore the bad posture!) amongst a sea of black-and-white polka dots, quite possibly the most creative baby shower theme I have ever seen. No detail was too small -- from the black-and-white malt balls to the polka-dot decorated conversation starters.

Auntie Jenni

The hardworker behind every perfect shower detail!

Shower #1

Our first shower was on July 9 and was thrown by my wonderful mom and sister! One highlight was the fruit salad bowl shaped like a baby buggy -- courtesy of Grandma Doreen. Isn't she beautiful?! :o)

My Little Pain in the Butt

Although the gestational diabetes has certainly not been fun, I have to admit that I shouldn't really complain – it has actually made me healthier and, in the end, will benefit both me and Baby B in more ways than one. That aside, I have officially reached my first pregnancy stumbling block -- sciatica. This little condition basically means that the baby is either sitting on my sciatic nerve or has shifted something else to (and I use this word loosely) "aggravate" it. In other words, OUCH!!! Every single step I take, ouch! If I turn the steering wheel too quick, ouch! If I want to sit down or bend over, ouch, ouch, and well, ouch!

I really hate complainers, but this time I feel I've earned the right. This hurts! So if you don't feel like "listening" to me vent, skip this posting. For those who are tolerant, here you go:

Think of someone constantly sticking a knife down your right butt cheek, followed by tingling and numbing sensations down your leg, and you and I are MAYBE on the same page. And it has been going on for about a week! What is the most frustrating is that there is NOTHING anyone can do about it. Yes, I know all the little tips -- Extra Strength Tylenol (which doesn't do anything by the way), ice, heat, pelvic tilts (which are supposedly supposed to shift the baby – not working!), laying on my side, walking EXTREMELY slow, and "taking it easy" – but overall, there is really nothing you can do to make this go away. You have to just wait and hope something shifts or miraculously changes to take off the pressure before you actually deliver the baby (that's 4 to 5 long weeks!). Of course, this is happening at the end of the pregnancy when I'm already struggling to carry around a (beautiful, but heavy) 5- to 6-lb baby that is running out of room every day, causing heartburn when I eat anything from apples to cheese, and makes me have to pee even more than normal (which, by the way, requires a lot of WALKING).

Not that it hasn't gotten a little better. Last week Friday and Saturday were the worst – walking was basically impossible and stairs completely out of the question. Sunday was better, although I had to sit in a chair like an invalid during my second shower (which, by the way, was absolutely beautiful. If you ever need a party planner, I'll put you in touch with my sister- and mother-in-law!!!). I had fun, but I hated that I was making such a spectacle of myself and that I couldn't be as social as I would liked to have been. First of all, it's embarrassing having people fuss over you, not to mention totally against every personality trait I possess. Thanks for coming, but I'm just going to sit here and make you greet me at my shower…ugh! And by the way, can you get my food for me? :o(

Anyway, after "taking it easy" at home on Monday, I finally made it to work on Tuesday, but I have to say it is still a daily struggle. I literally waddle to the bathroom (which is not even in our office, but down the hallway and past two other glass-encased offices filled with people that apparently enjoy staring). One trip takes me about 15 minutes! I use a seat cushion to help support my back while I work, but that doesn't prevent my butt from going numb every 10 minutes. But it's either go to work or lay around and watch TV at home, which is about as boring to me as watching paint dry. Things looked up on Wednesday, but then I overdid it, and I was back to square one yesterday. But after some "discussion," Jeff talked me into skipping our birthing class last night, and I got some much-needed rest. My back feels the same today, but at least I'm not as exhausted.

Perhaps the hardest part of all of this has been that I can't do anything to get ready for this baby. I just sit. The whole "nesting" thing has set in, and I want to clean every inch of our house, put every baby item together, and organize, organize, organize – but I literally can't. Jeff has helped a little, but his brain doesn't think like mine, so that doesn't satisfy any of my cleaning urges. Most of the time it just makes me crabbier because he isn't doing it "right." (Note: I didn't say I was being rational here, just honest. I do realize how sweet my husband has been. He even got me this beautiful card this morning, so rest assured, I love and appreciate him, but I'm also in pain here! :o) )

I want to install the car seat, organize all the shower gifts, wash every baby item, buy the stuff we didn't get (which isn't much by the way – thank you everyone!), put every toy and piece of baby equipment together, as well as the usual laundry and cleaning that needs to be done (with bleach and toothbrushes of course!). We have two more rooms to paint, some more closet organization to finish, a camcorder to buy, and my "bag" to pack. All things that keep me up at night, but can't really get done right now. Instead, I sit and lay and read my millionth baby advice book…

Wow, was that a rant or what! Sorry about that. Needless to say, I still love this baby more than anything and would not change my situation for the world, but I think that is why this is so hard. I want to ENJOY every minute of this pregnancy. I am so excited to meet this baby, yet I know I'll miss carrying him/her inside of me. The LAST thing I want is to become a bitter pregnant lady who wants nothing more than the doctor to "get this thing out of me!" I'm definitely not at that point yet, but I can see how it happens. I guess I've just been fortunate enough to make it this far without problems, but 4 more weeks suddenly sounds really long. Maybe Jeff is right, and I will go early. Hmmmm… :o)

Well, enough of all that. I guess all that I can do is ask for your prayers – both for healing and for patience. I need it!
And thanks for listening too -- I love you all!

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Welcome Julian Ridley

I just had to post this photo. (I actually stole it off of my friend Cara's blog!) Isn't this one of the cutest babies you've ever seen? I know, I know, all babies are cute, but I think you all have to agree that this is one pretty baby. Congratulations to Cara and Bryan and welcome Julian!

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

34-Week Appointment and Baby Julian!

We had our 34-week appointment yesterday, and it was pretty uneventful. My belly is measuring right where it should be, and the doctor is happy with my sugars. I only gained a 1/2 lb since my last appointment 2 weeks ago, which made me a little nervous, but the doctor said that's fine (and probably due to the fact that I am now living off of chicken and salad! :o). We quickly went over the ultrasound again, and he was really happy with the baby's weight and size. The baby is "in position" as they say, so hopefully he or she doesn't decide to flip around in the next (gulp!) 6 weeks. Our next appointment is in 2 weeks, and after that, we have to go in every week. That's when the countdown really begins!

As most of you know, we had our first shower last weekend, and it was absolutely wonderful. My sister and family put so much time and thought into every detail that it was truly unforgettable. One of the highlights was hearing my grandma yell, "My water broke!" when her baby ice cube melted. Never thought I'd hear those words from her mouth!! :o)

And everyone's generosity was so overwhelming. My aunts are the best (or should I say the "great"est!! :o) – Jeff and I feel beyond blessed to have a family that is so excited for us. I just hope you all know how much we appreciate everything! Honestly, I feel like we pretty much have all our "gear" right now, so I guess we just need a baby! :o)

Speaking of babies, I wanted to let you all know that my girlfriend Cara in Maryland had a little boy on Monday. She actually went into labor about 6 hours before her induction appointment, but ended up having a C-section. He was a big boy -- 8 lb and 15 oz -- and after many hours of labor, the doctor decided this baby wasn't coming out without a little help. Thankfully, baby and Cara are doing great. She even called me two hours later and sounded pretty alert (although tired!). She'll be in the hospital until Friday, so please say a prayer for a fast recovery.

This new little one is named Julian Ridley Schrock. He is really special to me because even though we live 14 hours way, Cara and I actually started our little pregnancy journey together -- without even realizing it. During a weak moment via email, we both admitted that we were "trying" -- something we hadn't told anyone (except our spouses of course!). About a month or two later, she got pregnant, and a month after that, we did, so we've literally been in this together since the beginning. We were even the first ones to know when she and Brian got pregnant, so Julian has been on my mind since day one. I'm so thankful he's finally here and healthy! I am also grateful to Cara for all of her support along the way. Only someone going thru pregnancy at the same time as you can truly understand all the fears and questions you have, and give advice that is actually helpful. She has been an answer to prayer more than a few times!

Well, that's it for now. Stay tuned for a few shower pictures. We love you all!

Friday, July 08, 2005

Baby B at 33 Weeks

This is 3D, but hopefully you can still make out this cute little face. It's a close-up of the face, with two closed eyes, the nose (see those little nostrils?), and some fingers covering his or her mouth.

A Meeting with Baby B!

It's official: We are having the world's cutest baby! :o) As confirmed by last night's ultrasound, this baby is absolutely beautiful! Okay, so we're biased, but it was really cool to see our baby in 4D. A cute little nose (looks like Jeff's thank goodness!), a round little face (again, Jeff!), and short little legs (Jeff, Jeff, Jeff!). AND there is definitely hair on that little head already, and the technician said she thought she saw a dimple on his or her chin (this would be Jeff's brother Brian!). How cute is that?!

The technician was absolutely wonderful and told us more than we ever imagined. It really made everything, well, real. Of course, we refrained from asking the sex (although she said she knew), but the whole cleft chin makes me think boy now more than ever (which I have thought from the beginning!). Still, you never know... I would be MORE than happy with an Emma too! :o)

Everything else is functioning perfectly. Size is about 4 lb 7 oz -- right where we should be at this point (no 14-pounder here!). The heart is working, kidneys are good, stomach is functioning, and blood flow to and from the umbilical cord is very healthy. Heart rate is 146, which is also normal. So, we know that all the major stuff is good, along with some fun little details that will make it VERY hard to be patient this next 6 to 7 weeks!

But I have to say it's strange how quickly we have gotten to this point. While 6 to 7 weeks sounds long, it's really not, especially when we have fun things like showers coming up. I know these weeks will fly by (except maybe those last two!). AND all my fellow friends in pregnancy are starting to have their babies, leaving us to go next! A girl Becky from church had her baby a few weeks ago, my boss's wife had her baby on Wednesday (4 weeks early!), my friend Carrie is ready to go any day now, and my friend Cara in Maryland will be induced on Monday at 6 am EST (say a prayer for her please!). That leaves Baby B. next in line, which is just so weird to think about. We're going to be parents! Yes, I know this may not be a shock to you since I've been pregnant for 8 months now, but it's all starting to settle in. I guess God knew what he was doing by giving you ¾ of a year to get used to the idea. It truly takes that long to understand what is really happening!

With that said, of course you all know we are truly excited and can't thank you enough for all of your prayers. It is so wonderful to know this baby is already blessed with a wonderful family circle that will bring much joy to his or her life. God is good!

Okay, enough mushy stuff. I will try to post a photo of the ultrasound, but this one was all in 3D/4D, so it may be hard to see details online. Still, I will try.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Um, nice fundus ;o) (That's the lovely lovely arc you're seeing that makes me look so round!) Posted by Picasa

33 Weeks Exactly... Posted by Picasa

The three of us in Geneva on 07/02/05 Posted by Picasa

Friday, July 01, 2005

Doctor Update

Had our doctor's appointment yesterday and everything is looking good. Belly is measuring where it should be and the heart rate is strong. The doctor even felt for the baby's position, which was cool, although I could have told him where he/or she was. It's amazing how much both Jeff and I feel now – actual baby parts and, of course, constant kicking, rolling, and shifting. This is one active baby!

My sugars are "great" and I was even told that I could "cheat" every once in a while if I absolutely felt the need to, provided that it doesn't change my levels dramatically. That means I can maybe have dessert at my showers! :o) July 9th can't come soon enough! :o)

We did get an order for the ultrasound -- yeah! -- which we'll have next week. :o) We'll also most likely get another one (yes, ANOTHER one!) a few weeks before we're due, so we'll have many, many pictures to share. This is all to make sure I don't have one of those 14-lb babies we've all heard about, but I'm not worried. I've gained about 18 lbs so far, according to the doctor, (I say 20 lb since I didn't see him until the 11th week), so I have a hard time believing this baby will be much larger than 8 lbs. Still, what do I know, and if we get to check in on Baby B more often because of it, okay!!!

I also found out that with gestational diabetes, they do not let you go past your due date, so Baby B will definitely be here by the week of August 23. Everyone say a prayer that this all happens naturally, though, because I REALLY do not want to be induced! I'd like the baby to come when he or she is ready, not at a specific time. You heard me -- I DON'T want a scheduled appointment, go figure!! Maybe it's the romantic in me, but I just want to have that moment where I freak Jeff out by saying, "It's Time" and I want to experience the whole wonder of pregnancy, including those first real contractions. Some might call me crazy, but I think most of you know what I mean.

We also had our second birthing class last night. I am such a geek -- I absolutely love these things and feel like I'm back in school, soaking everything up. Two hours of non-stop pregnancy talk –- it is great! And, no, I am not being sarcastic. Despite my desire for "surprise" in this pregnancy, I still want to be informed and confident when the time comes. And I think Jeff likes it to (although last night his main task was mastering the art of massage and supportive breathing!). We have next week off because of the holiday weekend (not sure why since it's on a Thursday), but the following week we talk about meds and get our tour of the hospital. I'm really anxious to learn more about the medications because I am still really torn about what I want to do. Jeff is supportive no matter what, so the choice is really mine. There are so many pros and cons for both ways that I'm confused. Jeff says maybe we should just go into it with an open mind, which is probably what we'll do. I guess you don't really know what to do until you're in the situation!

Well, that's it for now. I did take belly photos, but forgot to post them (are you all shocked??), but hope to do so early next week. This weekend Jeff and I will be chillin' in Geneva with the Bonnemas, so Baby B will get lots of R&R. I can't wait (except for that whole bathing suit part….)

Have a great 4th of July everyone!!! :o)