Tuesday, February 26, 2013

All about baby

I found out we were pregnant in late October. Then I panicked. Not that I wasn't thrilled to be pregnant, but getting a positive pregnancy test also brings about a sense of worry as well. This time, it was coupled with the thought of, "oh no, I'm not on all the medicines that support my pregnancies because we were going to try NEXT month!" Our anxieties always stem from the fact that we desperately want our babies. We have lost so many. So from the start of this pregnancy, I felt like we were already possibly losing the baby because my body wasn't medically prepared. (the same thing happened back in July of 2012)

This is now our 9th pregnancy. I started progesterone (and all the other medicine) right away. Imagine our surprise and optimism when the early blood tests came back promising. Lots and lots of prayer going on, people.

My first ultrasound showed this. A perfectly healthy-looking "baby-dot." This is a 3-D ultrasound. The big circle is the amniotic sac. The smaller circle is the yolk sac. The tiny dot to the right of the yolk is the baby. No heartbeat. YET. Too soon to tell. My blood draws kept looking great.

















My next ultrasound (10 agonizing days later) showed a baby the size of a tiny bean with a strong heartbeat. So. Many. Tears. I cannot seem to find that picture, but I have it somewhere.

This was taken around 7 weeks, about the size of a small grape here (with a great big heartbeat!!!!):
















Same day, just a 3D ultrasound. The yolk sac is on the upper left (labeled YS) and the baby is in the middle. We're looking up at the bottom and spine (head is away from us)...and you can see the tail at this stage as well:
















This was around 11 weeks. It was at my OB's office (yay for no more reproductive endocrinologist office visits!) and it looked like a giant, wiggly, gummy bear.

















My first trimester was rough. Rougher than I expected because I was spoiled with the girls pregnancies. I had fatigue with them, but nothing like this. Not only was I napping every afternoon, but I also had nausea in the evenings. It peaked around weeks 7-8. Ginger tea was the only thing that helped. I still dealt with it until 11 weeks along, but it wasn't crippling by then. The fatigue lasted a bit longer, but I can deal with being tired. Since then, I have felt great!

This was taken at 17 weeks. My tummy popped...and it's been growing ever since. :))
















I think this was 18 weeks. I love that Lexi is in the background arranging the bathroom reading materials. LOL!
















So last week was the big anatomy scan. I am a nervous wreck for these. A lot of mom's just can't wait to see the sex of their baby. That's nice, but these scans can show something devastating as well. Something that can change the rest of your life and baby's life. Maybe that sounds dramatic, but as someone who has seen enough bad news via ultrasound, I know the reality. I was tense, and lost all sense-of-humor for two days leading up to this scan. Ask Mike. I barely cracked a smile when I wasn't putting on my best for the girls.

The big day arrived and they want you to have a full bladder for this ultrasound. Then they have you wait an extra 45 minutes in the waiting room while your little baby uses said bladder for a trampoline. I am terrified I'm going to have an accident in front of my husband. The love of my life. He'll never think of me as sexy again! I'm glaring daggers at receptionist. It's not her fault, but she won't let me go potty either. I'm about to throw in the towel and run for the bathroom when they call my name.

We get started and our baby is head down (at the moment) and so the tech starts taking head measurements by pressing the probe very firmly over my bladder. I am almost in tears. But yet, I finally get to see our baby. We both stare at the screen, in awe. We look at the heart, brain, kidneys, spine, face, bladder, and the lady takes measurements of bones. Everything looks absolutely perfect. Then she pauses to let me go potty.
I. RAN.

I made it with my dignity intact, and we resume scanning. Mike and I immediately noticed something on the ultrasound and ask the tech to take a picture of baby's hands. Baby has crooked pinkie fingers!!! Just like Mike, Natalie, and Lexi. Just a tiny genetic inheritance from Daddy. We think that is so cool. (Hand is in the right side of ultrasound photo)
















We also get a sweet profile picture:
















Then we learn that our baby is a GIRL! We are so delighted! Absolutely thrilled! I had wondered if I was carrying a boy, because of the differences in this pregnancy to my pregnancies with my girls. (not only the nausea, but I have gained VERY little this time around. I am 21 weeks and have gained only 4 pounds) But obviously my hypothesis was wrong!

The next objective was to get home and share the news with our girls. Natalie was SO excited to find out. She had a random fever the night before and I was concerned if I needed to reschedule my ultrasound apt. the next day. She told me, "I hope I'm better by tomorrow, Monnie, so you can go see the baby." She's so selfless, and as lousy as she was feeling, was thinking of me. I love her heart.

We made a quick stop by a florist to put a pink balloon in a box for the girls to open. This was just so they'd have a fun way to find out. We wanted it to be like opening a gift:
















Natalie knew that if the balloon was blue, she'd have a brother. if it was pink, another little sister. She was hoping for another sister. REALLY HOPING. ;) She also said she thought it'd be a blue balloon, even though she wanted it to be pink. Guess what sweetie? You got your wish! I just love her face!
















So happy!































These next few pictures are of me explaining the ultrasound pictures to her. I have about 6-7 of them.














































We are just thrilled to have another girl. Mike and I both come from families that have a LOT of boys. So to have THREE daughters just delights us. They are such precious gifts. If you find yourself feeling disappointed that we're having "another" girl, you have our sympathy. You aren't seeing the beauty here.

Mike and I have finalized the name (as of today!) and are so excited to share that with everyone when she is born. For now, my due date is set for July 6th. We'll see when this precious babe wants to make her entrance...

Picture catch-up

These are some of the snapshots I've taken in the last few months from my cell phone. Hang onto your hats, there are more than 50 pictures in this post!

Lexi feeding Elmo a goldfish:

















Snuggling:

















Natalie wearing her Christmas stockings as slippers:

















Feeding baby a cheerio:

















Dr. Ernie is in!

















When I had the stomach flu, this is where Rudy was most of the day. He never left my side. (even when I went running to the bathroom, he was trotting next to me)
















They are buddies:
















Natalie's He-Man shirt from Uncle Cory. She loves this shirt. LOVES IT!

















Help from Daddy:

















Mike took this. He's a proud gamer-Daddy:
















After Natalie's round of stomach-flu, the car seat had been washed and reassembled. (yet again, I point out to you that children will always manage to puke in car seats) Lexi thought it was hilarious to sit in "Nah-Nah's" car seat!
















My mom had major ankle surgery 6 weeks ago. She gets around on a kneeling scooter. When I took this, we were waiting for Dad to bring her home from the surgery center, and Lexi was trying out her new wheels.

















LOVE THEM!
















Waiting for Natalie to get out of school:
















Snuggled up in MawMaw and PawPaw's bed. Anything we visit, this is where you can find them:
















Or if not in their bed, you can find Lexi here:
















She's apparently going somewhere:

On our way home. I love how affectionate they are together:

Fun with Monnie before bedtime:

Timeout:

Drawing:

Napping (because she refused to earlier!)


During one of our recent visits to my parents house, Lexi woke up with croup in the middle of the night. It was pretty serious, but thankfully not quite worthy of an ER trip. I have always noticed how different she looks when she has croup. This was the next morning, she woke up with fever and more stridor:
I have recently had her evaluated by a pediatric ENT because of how much she has had croup. (over 7 times now) It is terrifying. Lots of details in her case, but I am in the process of going for a second opinion with a different ENT.

Natalie snoozing on the way home:

Waiting for Natalie to get out of school again:

I keep having to put Lexi back in bed in the middle of the night. Some nights, I put her back in several times. She just seems to scoot out while sound asleep. Any advice?? I'm going to try a rolled up towel along the edge (under the fitted sheet) and see if that helps.

Loving on Rudy-Roo:

Looking at the pictures on Daddy's phone:

My girl:

Our dog has become lazy. All he does is sleep most of the day. He's still skinny as can be, so I'm not worried, but still. Go get a job already, Rudy.

Valentine's Day pictures:

Going through Natalie's class valentine's:

Snuggled up with Pop:

Treats from Nani:

Self portrait of our family:

Sister love:
It's a bit hard to cut fabric when Lexi is determined to snuggle on all of it!!
Snow day!! (this is actually from last week...we're finally getting caught up) They refused to just look at me and smile...they had to yell:

I caught Natalie stockpiling snowballs while I was shoveling our sidewalk. This resulted in a 20 minute snowball fight, and I will never forget the giggles (or trash-talking from my 6-year-old!) it was so much fun. We fell into the house exhausted, happy, and shared some hot chocolate.

Then (b/c Daddy worked 2 days straight) we had a girls night! We ordered pizza, painted our nails, and ate ice cream while we watched a princess movie. Spending time with my daughters doesn't get any better than this!!

Waiting for nails to dry:

That night (VERY late) Mike came home with severe pink eye. It was horrible and the whole left side of his face was swollen. He had already started antibiotic drops, but because of the snow (and chaos it causes at the airport) he couldn't get away to pick up the Rx soon enough. (when he needed it) Another co-worker took pity on him (Mike was scheduled to work another 9 hours) and sent him home early and covered for him. The girls were thrilled Mike was home and couldn't wait to take him out in the snow.

Natalie rolling the start of a (small) snowman:

So here is Mike out in the blindingly-bright snow (with extreme eye sensitivity) with his girls. Just another reason (among thousands) why he is such an amazing Daddy.

Reading to Lexi:

This was yesterday, on our way home from picking Natalie up from school. It's Dr. Seuss week at their school, and Natalie wore her Minnie/princess hat. Lexi wore it all the way home:

This is from this morning (I know! We're finally all caught up!!) She loves Mickey, and has hers all wrapped up in a blanket, rocking him, and kissing him.