Wednesday, December 28, 2005

4 1/2 months

Well, one of my New Year's resolutions should surely be to update this thing more often. I promise to try. Many times I hesitate to update because things aren't going as smoothly as I'd like. But in the end, every day has its ups and downs, so that's really no excuse.

First of all, Emma is growing like a weed and gets more and more fun (and beautiful!) every day. Her 4-mo doctor's appt. showed her at 13 lb, 12 oz (50th percentile) and 25 inches (75th percentile). Her hand and eye coordination is amazing. This girl can pull her binkie in and out of her mouth by herself! The other day she even figured out how a toothbrush works. She is totally mesmerized every time I brush my teeth, so I finally gave her my toothbrush to play with. Low and behold, within 10 minutes she was brushing her tongue! I ended up having to take it away from her so she wouldn't choke herself.

She can also roll over from her tummy to her back and is enjoying her tummy time much more. She can hold her head up with no problem and loves to try and sit up. She also talks and talks and talks...

We also tried cereal, and she loved it! In fact, we can't spoon it fast enough for her. The only drawback has been that it seems to make her a little constipated, so we're going to hold off for a little while. We've got other things we're trying to take care of right now.

That leads me to the "not going so smoothly" part. Emma's reflux has gotten worse over the last few months. What used to be a slight issue has turned into hourly discomfort. She's a trooper and still manages to smile and play, but that's the sad part to me. She's actually just used to dealing with it. People always comment to me how much she chomps on her hands, but I know it's because her tummy and/or throat are bothering her. Some people assume she's teething or that she's hungry, but I know the difference. We're pretty sure she has what is called silent reflux, which means she spits up what she eats but constantly swallows it back down. How uncomfortable! We also think that it might be linked to allergies, so we're seeing a pediatric GI on Jan 5. I've since stopped dairy and soy, which has seemed to have helped a little, but not a ton. There is soy in everything, and I'm just learning what to look for. So depending on what the GI says, I may have to go on a very strict diet. Hmmmm, just like when I was pregnant. :o( I guess we'll see...

The good news is that our little bunny slept her longest stretch last night, going 8 hours without feeding. A total milestone considering last week she was up every hour. We have since put her carrier in her crib, which has kept her upright and sleeping. What is frustrating is that she WAS doing really well until the reflux flared up. Now we're lucky if she sleeps for more than 3 hrs straight. Hopefully last night was the start of more sleep to come!

Christmas was a blast -- more so than we thought. Emma really humored us with her gifts. She seemed pretty interested in the bows and wrapping paper. Jeff and I only bought her four small stocking stuffers and one present from Santa (an outfit). We figured she really doesn't know the difference, plus she had plenty of grandparents, aunts, uncles, and great grandparents and great aunts and uncles to spoil her rotten. She now has a new wardrobe and plenty of toys to occupy her this coming year. We are MORE than blessed! Thank you all!

Emma also received the best gift for her 4-mo birthday -- a new cousin! Evan Zuiden was born on Dec. 14 at a whopping 9 lb, 11 oz. At that size, he'll be beating up Emma before we know it. No, he is actually very sweet and sleepy -- and he seems very tiny to me. So strange to think that Emma was that small once -- actually 3 lb smaller! How time flies...

Well, better get back to mommyhood. I'll try to post an update after our dr.'s appt. on the 5th. Please pray that nothing serious is going on inside of our little angel. I just want her to be able to play and sleep comfortably again.

Love you all!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

The Best Christmas Gift Ever

It was just about this time last year that we found out about our little miracle. And now we get to celebrate with her this year! Two years of perfect gifts. Praise God -- we are truly blessed!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Look at that face!

In Her Sunday Best!

3 Months!!!

Hard to believe we've been blessed with Miss Emma for 3 months already. Time sure flies when you're having fun! And fun we are having. Every day is an adventure, and I am finally to the point where I like that! Yes, Miss Anal Rententive likes it! Of course, I don't quite have a choice in the matter, but Emma is teaching me how to not only "go with the flow" but how to enjoy it. We are working on a loose schedule, but I don't sweat the small stuff anymore. If she only eats for 5 mintues, so what. She'll make up for it at the next feeding if she needs it! She's well into the 12-lb mark -- and on her way to 13 -- so I'm not worried about this girl thriving. She is growing like a weed!

So what's new since last I wrote -- tons of course!! Emma is smiling and cooing like crazy. She even giggles and razzes and loves to show off her latest trick -- blowing bubbles. Her head is strong and tall, and she likes to swing at her toys and touch their soft fur, especially Ms. Spider. She still loves to kick around on the floor and will always give you a smile if you make fishy lips. In fact, we had her 3-month pix taken today and she smiled in every one!!! It was so hard to choose. She honestly looked precious in every one!

As of our last doctor's appt, Emma's thrush is gone, but we do think she has acid reflux. We've been giving her medicine for about a week and a half now, and it's getting better... slowly. She still struggles with burps and spitting up for a good hour after she eats, which means she can get a little cranky. But the good news is she is napping a little longer -- sometimes 45 min!! That's a huge improvement from the 15-min naps I was getting for a while. She can usually sleep thru the night for about 6 hours without a feeding, but we still have our share of bad nights. At this point, I know enough tricks now to get her down again -- usually. If we end up snuggling in bed, oh well. Sometimes you just need sleep!

The best part of these last few weeks has been reaching a new level of comfort. I honestly feel like I really know Emma now and that I can read her like no one else. She is truly the love of my life and my heart aches with how much I care about her. She's my buddy, and I absolutely love spending every second with her. It's officially all about her now and, honestly, that just feels natural. I admit I struggled in the beginning, but I am now in total mommy mode -- and it is great!

I do have some time to myself though. I'm back to work, with one day a week in the office (actually just 4 hours), and I work from home the rest of the week. It's been a struggle trying to balance everything, but I'm managing. I just hate ignoring Emma during the day, so I usually get work done at night after Jeff gets home. I know I can't play with her every second, but I want to. It's so fun watching her learn and develop. I can't believe how much she knows already! I do let her explore on her own, but until she can sit up, I feel like I should interact as much as possible. The dishes can wait as far as I'm concerned. I know, I'm obviously a first-time mom. :o)

Well, that's it for now. Forgive all my mommy gush, but it just feels good to honestly say, "Everything is good." It truly is, and I am beyond blessed with this little peanut. She is just such a sweetheart. And Jeff is just as smitten with her. The way he looks at her melts my heart. What more could I ask for?!

Monday, October 24, 2005

Go White Sox!!!!

One more beauty shot...

Our Princess

Do you think that cute little face could ever be naughty??? :o)

Olivia and Emma

I'm a sucker for these kissing photos. My two baby girls -- I love them so much!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Still Smiling...

And sleeping too! We're getting 5 to 6 hour stretches during the night, which means Mommy is smiling too! :o)

So Strong

Can someone tell her she's only 8 weeks old??

Uncle Johnny's Biggest Fan

Or maybe it's the other way around? These two love each other so much, I can't wait until they can play together all the time. Here they are at Johnny's college football game. She was such a trooper that day -- it was so cold!

Before I Was A Mom

I got this via email. I could not have said it better.
Enjoy! :o)

Before I was a Mom I never tripped over toys or forgot words to a lullaby.
I didn't worry whether or not my plants were poisonous.
I never thought about immunizations.
Before I was a Mom - I had never been puked on.
Pooped on.
Spit on.
Chewed on.
Peed on.
I had complete control of my mind and my thoughts.
I slept all night.
Before I was a Mom - I never held down a screaming child so that doctors could do tests -- Or give shots.
I never looked into teary eyes and cried.
I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.
I never sat up late hours at night watching a baby sleep.
Before I was a Mom - I never held a sleeping baby just because I didn't want to put it down.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces when I couldn't stop the hurt.
I never knew that something so small could affect my life so much.
I never knew that I could love someone so much.
I never knew I would love being a Mom.
Before I was a Mom - I didn't know the feeling of having my heart outside my body.
I didn't know how special it could feel to feed a hungry baby.
I didn't know that bond between a mother and her child.
I didn't know that something so small could make me feel so important and happy.
Before I was a Mom - I had never gotten up in the middle of the night every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay.
I had never known the warmth, The joy, The love, The heartache, The wonderment or the satisfaction of being a Mom.
I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much before I was a Mom.

And remember that behind every successful mother...
Is a basket of dirty laundry.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Look at those baby blues!


Strike a Pose

All Smiles

Too cute

They slept like this for hours!

7 Weeks

How time flies when you're having fun! And, yes, we are having fun. Emma and I are really getting to know eachother, and I love every second of our days -- even when she cries. She is having more awake time now and loves to watch her mobile and play underneath her Baby Einstein activity "gym." Her cooing and her smiles make my heart overflow more than I could have ever imagined!

Overall the last few weeks have been the best yet, but we did discover that Emma (and I) have thrush. It's basically a yeast infection in her mouth that could be passed on to me during nursing. I'm not really having any major symptoms, but she had them all -- white spots on the inside of her cheeks and on her tongue and a raised diaper rash. Plus, she was getting fussier and fussier at the breast, so I knew something wasn't right. She was growing so impatient that I knew it had to be more than her personality that was making every nursing session a screaming match. So, she has an oral medication that we give her 4 times a day, and I have a topical cream. Thankfully, things have gotten MUCH better and now there's maybe one nursing session out of 9 or 10 that she gets fussy -- and that's normally at night. I'm not sure if it's the thrush going away or her passing the 6-week and/or 10-lb mark, but I am enjoying her much more now, and I love feeding her.

Speaking of which, another development has been her weight gain. While we were at the doc for her thrush, he said her weight gain (over 3 lbs in 5 weeks) was "off the charts." He wasn't totally concerned but wanted me to spread out her feedings to every 3 hrs instead of the every 2 hrs she seems to want. "Pushing her off" has been hard. It's not that she's screaming to eat (thank goodness!), but when those big blue eyes look at me while she's sucking her hand, I just feel downright cruel for not feeding her. A lot of times I give in, but most of the time I try to at least get her to 2.5 hours. That may be another reason she's eating better, I don't know. The tricky part is that she kind of put herself on a 2-hr schedule during the day. She wakes up, eats, has about an hour of awake time and then takes an hour nap. This active little bunny won't take a 2-hr nap and gets fussy after an hour of awake time, so this "putting her off" for an hour after she wakes up kind of throws everything off. But we're managing and she's still gaining weight and growing like a weed, so I'm trusting our doctor while using my best judgment.

I am pumping now, so Jeff gives Emma a bottle every other night so they can have some bonding time. He's really enjoying it, and it gives me a break. She still doesn't sleep for more than 3 hrs, so I take what I can get! Hopefully as she gets older she'll start those 4-hr stretches at night. Every Tuesday, some mom at my nursing support group brags that her little one slept through the night. I can't wait until I can say those words... Keep praying! :o)

Well, that's about it for now. Hope you enjoy the photos of our little princess. Yes, we're a little biased, but isn't she just beautiful!!!??? :o)

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Friends Forever

Emma meets her friend Makena, daughter of Brian and
Carrie. Only 4 weeks apart! (By the way, we switched babies if you couldn't tell!)

All Smiles

The Lip

Ready for Church

She was a hit, and loved the music!

Sweet Dreams...

One Month Already?!

One month and one day to be exact!! :o) Sorry it's been so long since I have updated, but I have to admit this mom thing is much harder than I thought. I can honestly say it's the most challenging task I have ever had to take on -- both physically and emotionally.

The breastfeeding has been going well technically -- she is gaining weight and is digesting it just fine -- but it has been hard for me to adjust my "scheduling" tendencies to the tendencies of Miss Emma, which are about the furthest thing from a schedule. She has yet to have two feedings that are the same, but that is life as a parent, right? I can already tell she is VERY strong-willed and knows what she wants. (I wonder where she gets that from???) Remember how I said God used my pregnancy to humble me and prepare me for what I can't control?? Well, I now know that nothing could prepare me for life after pregnancy. In other words,God is continuing His lesson -- I just need to be a better student. Lesson #1 -- Just love your child and get over yourself. Life is too short to be all stressed out. It's just that I feel every decision I make for her is going to have some long-term effect. But as my wise mom said, "Lisa, she isn't going to walk down the aisle with a pacifier in her mouth. Just give it to her if you think she needs it." Well said. To sum this all up, I'm learning -- albiet slowly -- to chill out and take everything day by day.

Aside from her basket-case mom, Emma is doing great. She is already a whopping 9 lb 7 oz and is adorable. She doesn't "goo" yet, but squeeks and grunts a lot and giggles in her sleep. I can't wait until she gets a little older (not much though!) so we can interact and play more. Her smile just melts my heart (yes, even at 4am when we have yet to sleep a wink!:o), so I can't wait to see it more often and hear her laugh.

I'm definitely tired, although Emma seem well-rested :o). She tends to eat every 2 hrs or so and doesn't quite sleep any longer than that, so I'm still holding out for a 3- or 4-hour stretch I had in the first week. It'll come eventually. The good news is she isn't colicky and doesn't cry really unless she's tired or hungry. I guess I can't ask for more than that!

In response to much urging from many of you, I finally posted more photos -- sorry it took so long! As you can see, Emma is growing like a weed, but when I compare her to other babies, she's still my little peanut! That little nose is too cute -- and that bottom lip is still pouty ... I just love it!

This weekend is our first big trip to Geneva with the family, so hopefully all goes well...especially since we're sharing a room with Brian and Alicia and the kiddies. Say a prayer for us, and have a great weekend everyone!

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Bright Eyes

I could just stare at them forever!

Emma Meets Emma

Emma Kay meets her Great-Great Grandma, Emma Marie. The moment was too precious for words -- the photo says it all!

Friday, September 02, 2005

First Bath

Don't was a few weeks ago, and she totally loved it! :o)

Sunday, August 21, 2005

The Love of our Lives...

She truly is. Not enough time for a long posting, but wanted to at least say thank you to everyone for the prayers, well wishes, gifts, cards... well, for everything!! Jeff and I have never felt so blessed. Emma is truly a gift from God, and we treasure every second we have with her. How in the world did we survive without her?? One look at her pouty bottom lip makes us melt, as does her smile, her sweet, sweet smell, and even her wiggly little legs that make it close to impossible to change her diaper! :o)

More details tomorrow on her first doctor's appointment (let's just say it involved a few diaper changes!!), but the good news is she already back up to her birth weight. In fact, she's 1 oz over, which means breastfeeding is going as well as I thought it was. She's a champ and latched on right away and eats like a textbook baby (trust me, I've read enough to know!). Between this and a quick labor, she's making this a little too easy on me -- although lack of sleep does still take its toll. But she even slept for almost 4 hours last night, which means I almost slept for 3 hours straight! I'm not counting on that happening too often, but a Mom can brag, right?! :o)

I'll definitely get better about posting more often now that Miss Emma is here. It's just so weird how you kind of live in a time warp that first week. There's no date... you just live feeding time to feeding time! Thankfully my Mom has been helping beyond belief, so I'm slowly getting used to my new schedule. In fact, I think Jeff wants to hire her full time! :o) Between her cooking and cleaning, we almost feel a little guilty. Okay, well, I feel A LOT guilty. But as she told me: "Lisa, look at Emma and tell me you would do anything to care for her, right?"

"Of course," I say, "Yes."

She replies: "Now multiply that by almost 28 years and you see why I am doing this. I am enjoying it."

Now if that's not a Mom to aspire to, I don't know what is. God is soooooooo good!

Love you all!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Only God Can Create Such Beauty...

Totally in Love

After (a nice and quick!) Delivery

Our Beautiful Emma!!

The newest member of our family -- Miss Emma Kay. Born Sunday, August 14, 2005 at 1:42 am. A perfect little bundle at 7 pounds 2 ounces and 21-inches long...with a smile bigger than the sun. More details to come! :o)

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

2 Weeks to Go and Counting...

As expected, last night's doctor's appt. told us that nothing much had changed in 4 days. I'm definitely 2-cm dialated (he said last time was more like 1.5-2.0) and 75-percent effaced (last time more like 70 percent). Baby is at 0 station, or as the doctor said, "really, really low" (I could have told you that! :o) So now we wait...

I'm actually pretty glad that we didn't get anymore ground-breaking news last night because to be honest, this past weekend was crazy. I questioned every ache and pain and pretty much drove myself insane. Do I go to work on Monday after cramping all through the night? Is this the start, I thought? In the end, I went to work and obviously it wasn't the start, so I've decided to chill out. I have finally accepted that I have no idea when this baby is coming, so I might as well relax and enjoy these last moments of "freedom," right? :o) I also interviewed every recent pregnant lady I know (as well as my mom) about their labor experiences, so I feel confident that I'll "just know" and won't end up at the hospital for false alarms. It's funny -- I'm honestly more worried about false alarms than delivering in the car or my water breaking in public. I would just hate for someone at work to drive me home only to find out I'm not in labor!

The doctor did talk about inducing if this baby does decide to wait 2 more weeks, but I REALLY don't want that, so he said we could postpone that discussion until next week. Still, I know he won't let me go more than a day or 2 past my due date, so we will meet Baby B the week of the 22nd at the latest. That is exciting, but I still pray this baby comes on his or her own!!

Next appt. isn't until next Tuesday, so won't have much to post. But who knows, maybe this next week will be it and I'll be up to posting a quick note to pass the early labor hours. We'll see! :o)

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Ultrasound Update

First of all, I'm obviously still here, so no Baby B yet. :o( But the good news is that the ultrasound showed that everything is just fine with this little one. He or she is measuring average at about 6.5 pounds. My fluid levels are also good, as is placenta placement, etc. In fact, the baby is definitely "in position." It was really hard to see since the ultrasound tech now had to go through bone to try and see the face, so we really didn't get any good pictures. Plus, the baby's face is totally smushed against my pelvic wall, so it wasn't as cute as before. The one thing the doctor said is, "Wow those are some big lips!" :o) We know where those come from! We did see that the baby was sucking... a lot! Hopefully that means nursing will go smoothly…

I am definitely getting more tired now and am making many trips to the bathroom (for more reasons than one), so hopefully these are signs that it won't be too much longer. I admit that I was really pumped after Thursday night, but here we are on Sunday, and not a whole lot is happening. I was feeling a lot of pressure in my lower back Friday night, but obviously nothing too major was going on. I am definitely getting anxious at this point. I even cleaned out some stuff at work just in case. But I guess it's good that I have some more time to get things wrapped up. Jeff painted the last bathroom this weekend (gotta luv him!), and we were able to stop at Babies R Us and get the last-minute stuff we needed. We hung the wall hangings, and I finished organizing and doing baby laundry (which, by the way is WAY more fun than adult laundry. It's all so tiny!). I also got all of my shower thank you cards finished. All that, and we even managed to chill today. I even floated in a pool... on my stomach!

So, I have to say I am ready now -- REALLY ready! We just need Baby B to be ready!! I'm not tired of being pregnant yet, but I am anxious to finally meet this little scooch! Jeff seems to think that we still have 2 more weeks ahead of us. Yeah, the one who originally thought I would go early... but what does his opinion mean anyway?! He's only the daddy! :o) My sister and I are betting on Tuesday (I luv her for that!). For some reason, August 9th just sounds good to us. But maybe we're just being optimistic. Anybody have other guesses? If you think I'll be late, post your comment at your own risk. Luv ya! :o)

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Worth the Wait!

How can you stay mad at a doctor who tells you that you're almost 75-percent effaced and 2-cm dialated? You can't!!! :o) Well, that's what we found out today at our long-awaited appointment -- definitely worth it! Jeff and I were a little surprised, but VERY excited. It was so weird to hear the doctor say, "Well, if you don't deliver by next week, I'll see ya at your appointment." What?! Did he just say that?! Jeff and I looked at each other in total disbelief as we shook his hand goodbye.

Other less exciting details... I lost another 1/2 pound. So that's 2 pounds in the last 2 weeks. The doctor isn't too worried since the baby is still extremely active (he could barely get a heartbeat), so my fluid levels are most likely okay. I am measuring a little small for my dates, but the baby has dropped, so that often happens. Still, we're having our last ultrasound on Saturday just to be sure all is well. I'm not worried though. Just to know that things are already moving along this early on makes me happy. As the doctor said, the longest part of labor is getting from 0 to 4 cm, so if I'm already at 2 cm, hopefully that will make it that much shorter! :o)

So when do I think I'll go? No clue, but I'm not totally shocked that I'm dialated. I had a lot of contractions on Saturday and really felt the baby had dropped, but then again, I was trying not to get too excited so I wouldn't be disappointed. I am having quite a few contractions today, but I don't think they are the real deal. I'm sure I'll know when they are. I have to say next week is a possibility in mind at this point, but odds are we'll go to our next appointment on Tuesday and we'll hear the same measurements as today, especially now that I've got you all excited... :O) I guess it's all a waiting game from here!

So say a prayer for us as we continue on our little journey to parenthood. The ride is about to get a lot more exciting! Love you all!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Getting Close?

Unfortunately, our long-awaited doctor's appointment got postponed...again! If you recall, last time we had a quickie with a nurse -- no internal and no measurements taken, but some questionable weight loss reported. So, as you can imagine, we were really excited/anxious about this next appointment, which was scheduled to happen yesterday (Tuesday). I was supposed to have my strep test done, which means a definite internal exam that will check for some sort of bacteria, but more importantly, it will tell me if all is moving along "down there." Any effacement? Have I dialated? These are key pieces of info that keep a pregnant woman going in these last weeks! Well, the doctor had some sort of emergency and called to cancel right before my appt. yesterday. I was not happy. I reminded the nurse that I am full-term and that I haven't seen a doctor in 3 weeks, and I'm supposed to be seeing him once a week. Plus, I haven't had my strep test done yet, which is supposed to happen before you deliver. She said, "I know, you're pretty far along, sorry. We can take you Thursday." So, Thursday it is. Frustrating, yes, but what else can we do?

The good news is the baby is moving a lot (as usual!), so I assume all is well, but I'd like to know what's happening, especially since I could officially go any time now. I'm sure I won't deliver too early, and I know it's all a guess anyway (even if you ARE dialated), but I'm looking for some sort of info to get me through the week, ya know?

On the bright side, today will go by fast since tonight is my last shower. It is being thrown by one of my good work friends, Norma. It will be a small gathering of women colleagues, so it should be nice. I'm really looking forward to it because it will also kind of be a "going away" shin-dig since I won't be back in the office full-time once Baby B is here. I'll still go in once a week for a few hours, but it won't be the same. I'm going to miss everyone, but I know I could also list about a thousand responsibilities I won't miss! :o)

This last week has been a lot of fun as Jeff and I get everything ready for Baby B's arrival. :o) I bought some nursing clothing for the hospital and have my bag almost packed, so I feel pretty organized. Plus, Jeff installed the car seat last night, and I have an appt. set up to have it inspected (in spite of Jeff telling me it isn't necessary), so if something does happen, we can pick up and go!

The baby's room is also almost ready. We've hung the window valence, and I started organizing the armoire and the baby stuff that needs to be washed. Jeff has put together most of the baby gear, so we are fully equipped! It is so fun to have it all sitting around our house… it makes it so much more real to think that a baby will be using it all before we know it! We can't wait! :o)

As we get closer, I am thinking of taking a few vacation days off before my due date to make sure all is in order, but we'll see. I wanted to take those days off sporadically throughout the next few weeks, but I'm not sure that will work as I try to wrap things up for our next issue. There's too much to do before I go; yet, at the same time, it would be nice to ease into this whole mommy job. :o)

I will post updated belly pics soon and will give the doctor update once we know something (anything!). Until then, we wait and thank God for our little miracle on the way...

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)

Monday, June 27, 2005

All is Well

Well, the glucose results are in, and I officially have gestational diabetes. After a week of emotional roller coasters, I can honestly tell you that in the big scheme of things, this isn't that big of a deal, so I'll try to keep this short. :o)

Basically it just means that my lovely pregnancy hormones are blocking my insulin from doing its job, and as a result, my blood sugar levels will be higher than they should be in the event that I take in too much sugar (hence, the horrible reaction I had to the oh-so-flavorful orange drink they had me force into my body). The good news is this will most likely disappear after I deliver Baby B (97 percent chance). The bad news is, well, no Reese's PB cups for me. :o(

In sum, I have to watch my sugar intake and take my blood sugar twice a day using this handy-dandy little device. It's not that hard, but I have to admit the food thing has me a little nervous. For those of you who know me, I'm not a big sugar person anyway and since I've been pregnant, I have been my usual anal self as far as what I eat. In fact, my blood sugar levels have been extremely good on my regular diet. BUT, I still have to pay attention, which means I am EXTREMELY aware of what I eat more than ever, which isn't all that fun. Orange juice? Sure, but only a half cup (think of those little juice cups you get at Old Country Buffet). Fruit? Okay, but only half of a banana. And, well, brownies? Forget about it. Even pasta has to be regulated (and we know how I love pasta!!!!).

What does this all mean for Baby B.? Well, it could mean the baby will be larger than most, which has a small chance of making delivery complicated/dangerous, but they will take an ultrasound to make sure of the size a few weeks before we are due (yeah - more pictures!!:o) AND that only tends to happen when the mother has been heavy on the sugar or has to get insulin shots. Thankfully, I have not gone sugar-crazy, so odds are this baby will still be "normal" size, which I presume is 7-8 pounds. If not, they will induce me early, but I'm not convinced this will be an issue. Also, assuming my levels stay where they have been for the last week, there will be no need for insulin shots, which is usually only used in extreme cases. They will check the baby for hypoglycemia when he or she is born, but again, this is just a precaution and is only an issue when the baby is used to being fed large amounts of sugar.

Jeff and I have already seen the gestational diabetes specialist/nurse, but we still have to see a dietitian, who will hopefully give me some idea of what type of meals I can actually eat without worrying. We have another doctor's appt. this week, but I'm not sure if this means we will continue on a weekly or revert back to the bi-weekly schedule (until 36 weeks). I guess we'll wait and see.

So, it isn't really a big deal. I have finally accepted the fact that this is not my fault, and that there is nothing I can do, except continue to be my usual anal self. I admit I am still working on not worrying that something else will go wrong. It's just that it seems a little more real to me now that there are complications that may come up that are out of our control. I already knew this, but gestational diabetes was truly the LAST thing I expected to be an issue... BUT I know God is in control and has formed this baby into exactly who HE wants him or her to be. In fact, I already see God's hand in this. Although many other "experienced" moms probably thought I was an over-worrying "first-timer" when it came to my pregnancy eating habits, I now know this was God's way of protecting me and our baby. In the end, this really just means I can't give in to some of the cravings I was saving for the final weeks of pregnancy. But isn't that what motherhood is all about??? :o)

Other than that, life has been good. My friend Jennifer's (a.k.a. "Chmelar's") wedding was great. She so looked beautiful, and I managed to not cry like a blubbering idiot, although there were still many happy tears shed. And the strapless pink bride's maid dress ended up fitting just fine. It was a little tight after dinner, but I could still manage to dance, dance, dance. Thankfully, Jenny also encouraged us to buy flip-flops for the reception, so my feet and back were quite happy -- although my legs were a little tired on Sunday :o).

Well, tomorrow we are officially 32 weeks (8 months pregnant!!!), so I'll be taking photos and posting them. I'll also post our dr. appt. update and our birthing class knowledge later this week, so stay tuned!

Love you all!!!

Monday, June 20, 2005

We Survived!

Well, Jeff and I survived my 3-hour glucose test, although barely. I have to say I'm not usually a complainer, but this test did not agree with me -- or the baby for that matter. After fasting for 12 hours (and being misinformed that this included no water -- um, wrong!), I was quite anxious to start the testing on Saturday morning. We were the first ones there and things seemed to be going according to plan until I started drinking that lovely sugar concoction. It's not that the drink tastes all that bad -- think flat orange pop with two extra cups of sugar -- but when you have to drink it in 5 minutes on an empty stomach, it isn't as easy to get down -- or keep down -- as you'd think.

Anyway, after sitting in the waiting room for about 10 minutes, it became pretty clear to me that I needed to take the nurse up on her offer to lay down in a separate room. It was either that or yack all over Jeff and/or pass out in the middle of the waiting room. So we got moved, and it then became a game of mind over matter -- and, with my stubborn nature, I'm happy to say my mind won in the end, although it took some major effort. Laying down prevented passing out, but it also made it difficult to keep the drink down, so I'd have to sit up to force it back into my system. Add this little up-and-down game to our VERY active baby's kicking tendencies, and you can imagine what a lovely memory this was. Jeff handled it well, although he was a little frustrated that this was all necessary. We both were wondering what this was doing to the baby if it was making me so miserable???

BUT I did end up making it through, and had a yummy -- and big -- breakfast afterwards, so all is well again. I even got in a 2-hour nap in after we got home, so I was completely back to normal by 2pm.

Any lessons learned? Yes: Assuming this test comes back negative for gestational diabetes, I am no longer going to feel guilty if I give in to any chocolate and/or sugar cravings once in a while. If they can do this to our baby and call it safe, my Reese's peanut butter cups are certainly not going to do much harm! :o)

On a side note, I realized that this blog could use a little info on Baby B's development. So here, courtesy of, is a general idea of what is going on with Baby B this past week (pay no attention to the "she" references. I think this is their way of being "PC"):

"Your baby's a bit more than 15 1/2 inches long now, and she weighs almost 3 pounds. A pint and a half of amniotic fluid surrounds her, but that volume will decrease as she gets bigger and fills out your uterus. Her eyes open and close, she's able to distinguish between light and dark, and she can even follow a light source back and forth. Once she's born, she'll keep her eyes closed for a good part of the day. When she does open them, she'll respond to changes in light but will have a visual acuity of only 20/400 — which means she can only make out objects a few inches from her face. ("Normal" vision in adults is 20/20.)"

I just love getting these weekly updates! It's amazing what's going on inside my belly. How anyone could ever have a baby and not believe in God is completely beyond me. It is truly a miracle!

Well, that's it for now, but I'll post my glucose results once I get them. We have our next doctor's appt. tomorrow, so I hope to get them then. In the meantime, try to have a happy Monday! :o)

Monday, June 13, 2005

Up and Running!

Hi there! Just a short note to let everyone know that we have FINALLY finished registering! (I know many of you have been waiting for the go ahead!) It only took us THREE trips to Babies 'R Us! Jeff and I had a lot of fun doing it, but there sure is a lot to think about -- all for someone so little! :o) If it helps, I put a direct link to the registry in the "Links" section of our blog...

Also, a quick update on our last doctor's appointment (which was Thursday): all is well. Heart rate is a healthy 144 beats, and I'm measuring at 30 weeks, which is just where I should be. (Tomorrow is the big 3-0!!) I do have to go for my 3-hr glucose test this Saturday, but my doctor doesn't seem too concerned -- it's just to be sure I don't have gestational diabetes (which is VERY unlikely). Jeff was so cute and totally tried to get me out of it since I got a little dizzy at the last blood draw, but the doctor said we need to at least try to get this done, and if I can 't get through it, we'll go from there. It's funny because everyone I talk to about this test agrees that it sounds more unhealthy than any slightly high sugar levels, but I am certainly not the first pregnant woman to have to take it. And if this is the most annoying part of my pregnancy, I'll take it!

Also want to let everyone that the nursery photos I posted are a little deceiving. Rest assured that room IS built around primary colors, but the walls had to be lighter to complement the bright colors (otherwise it would look like a circus in there -- as the first yellow we painted confirmed!!). There is a lighter green in the bedding, but bring on the royal blue and red! I just have to spice the room up with colorful accessories. The window valence even brings in some orange. I'll post more pictures once the valence is up and the quilt is in so you can see more than just the wall colors.

I know I still have to post my updated belly pix, but I didn't want to post them with the nursery photos so I could space them out a little. I'll do that soon.

Have a good week everyone! :o)

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

The changer and glider (as if you didn't know!) Posted by Hello

The crib! I love it, even if it hides the bedding a little... Posted by Hello