Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Best Thing Ever!

The holy grail of maternity inventions… one of the major positives about being pregnant that no one talks about until you actually slip on a pair. Yes ladies, I’m talking about maternity pants. Hallelujah something that pregnant women can actually enjoy! The lovely stretchy fabric that replaces that awful constricting waistband with buttons and zippers holds the pants up and helps round out my curvy belly.

Well… ok, I’m taking it a little far, but after struggling with my baby bump and everything I tried on in my closet was so uncomfortable – these miracle pants have made my day.

Oh happy day.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Fourteen Weeks

This week's big developments: Your baby can now squint, frown, grimace, pee, and possibly suck his thumb! Thanks to brain impulses, his facial muscles are getting a workout as his tiny features form one expression after another. His kidneys are producing urine, which he releases into the amniotic fluid around him — a process he'll keep up until birth. He can grasp, too, and if you're having an ultrasound now, you may even catch him sucking his thumb.In other news: Your baby's stretching out. From head to bottom, he measures 3 1/2 inches — about the size of a lemon — and he weighs 1 1/2 ounces. His body's growing faster than his head, which now sits upon a more distinct neck. By the end of this week, his arms will have grown to a length that's in proportion to the rest of his body. (His legs still have some lengthening to do.) He's starting to develop an ultra-fine, downy covering of hair, called lanugo, all over his body. Your baby's liver starts making bile this week — a sign that it's doing its job right — and his spleen starts helping in the production of red blood cells. Though you can't feel his tiny punches and kicks yet, your little pugilist's hands and feet (which now measure about 1/2 inch long) are more flexible and active.See what your baby looks like this week.

Welcome to the second trimester!

Wow – I can hardly believe the first trimester is behind me and I’m one third of the way to the finish line.

The girls at work have mentioned I’m starting to show, but I’m not so sure. We have many other pregnant women here at work. It’s fun, it’s like our own little club. We share war stories of getting sick in public, or feebly trying to fit into our favorite jeans. I’ll start posting pictures of my growing belly, once it starts growing! It’s tough for full figured girls like me seeing those perfect round pregnant bellies, knowing that I will never look like that. But in the grand scheme of things – the shape of my belly really doesn’t matter. It’s what’s inside that belly that’s important. And my baby looks beautiful!

I feel a little bit more energetic and my queasiness has seemed to lesson. Lesson meaning I don’t feel like I have to hurl every minute of every day. Now, I get breaks, maybe an hour here, or a few hours there. So I’m making the most of the time I’m feeling well enough to get a little work done around the house.

I have to tell the world what a wonderful husband I have! He has been SO supportive by going grocery shopping the past few months and cleaning all of the messes our little critters leave behind. Both things I still don’t think I could stomach – believe me I’ve tried and it usually ends up with me running for the bathroom/sink/or plastic bag already in hand.

Thank you – thank you – thank you to the world’s most patient husband. Don’t worry honey – I feel that boost of energy coming and you’ll get a much needed break from the house hold duties.

I received a gift from my secret sister this week. I signed up for a pen-pal sort of gift giving exchange on BabyCenter.com. Mom’s all due in March got together to help pass the time and support each other through out our pregnancies by sending gifts once a month. My secret sister send the most wonderful things – a sleeping mask (which I honestly had wanted for I don’t know how long but never would think to buy for myself!), yummy chocolate covered fruit (one way to get that fruit serving… he he..) a wonderful note, some massage oil and organic soap. Very thoughtful gifts. Makes me feel horrible for not sending mine out yet. I have to admit that I’m been delinquent in sending out my first gift, but I have been too sick to set foot in a store. I WILL go today after work.

I treated myself to a mani/pedi yesterday after work to mark the end of my first trimester. I have always said what a wonderful gift it would be to give a pregnant woman gift certificates for a mani/pedi once a month during her pregnancy. When a woman can hardly reach her toes – what a perfect gift to make sure her little tootsies are looking their best. And of course, there’s all that time in stirrups! Come on ladies – the docs and nurses have to look at “unpleasant” things all day, let’s make sure our feet aren’t one of them! I’m going to make it my monthly ritual… it’s the least I can do!

I will be making my first materiality clothing purchase this weekend. There’s a new store that has “everything for expecting moms” that I’m going to check out. It’s time – I have five outfits that are still comfortable that I have been cycling through and it’s getting really old. And I’m sure my coworkers are sick of seeing me in the same five outfits.

Next doc appointment is October 14 and we’ll have an ultrasound the following week to determine this little one’s gender.

Ok – on with the second trimester!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Thirteen Weeks

Fingerprints have formed on your baby's tiny fingertips, her veins and organs are clearly visible through her still-thin skin, and her body is starting to catch up with her head — which makes up just a third of her body size now. If you're having a girl, she now has more than 2 million eggs in her ovaries. Your baby is almost 3 inches long (the size of a medium shrimp) and weighs nearly an ounce.
This is the last week of the first trimester. Thank God!

I’ve been counting down the days until the beloved second trimester with its extra boost of energy and hopefully some relief from this 24/7 nausea. I felt a little better last week, and thought I was on the road a settled stomach, but then – wham! It hit me full strength on Wednesday. I even went home from work around noon. I got home, tried to eat a little bit and literally slept from noon until 5 p.m. Then went back to sleep around 8 p.m. This little one must be going through a growth spurt because it’s sucking every bit of energy from me.

I think I may have over done it on Tuesday with an event at the hospital with the Giants then an evening networking party. Too much for this preggo. I’m gearing up for a big weekend. We have a family event on Saturday (see below) and a Giants game on Sunday that is dedicated to Children’s Specialized Hospital! Of course I’m going! It’s an all day thing, so wish me luck.

Not sure if I shared the wonderful news that my brother, Mike, and his girlfriend are also expecting a baby! Mike and Chrisi are expecting their little one on April 7; just about two weeks after we’re due. We are very excited for the newest addition and are so thankful that our little one will have a new cousin so close in age. Chrisi has a two year old from a previous marriage, named Thomas and Mike has Zach who turns four in November. So in one year, we’re quadrupling the number of grandkids! My mom is on cloud nine! Mike and Chrisi are having a small wedding ceremony this Saturday and the family is looking forward to sharing this special day with them.

More good news – Frank’s cousin Jennifer and her husband Jon are expecting their second baby! Jennifer is due March 15 – just a week before me. I had seen Jenn a few times during the late summer and my pregnancy meter was going off, but I just kept quiet. Jenn and Jon like to wait until the end of the first trimester to share the news. Frank’s family is very close with Jennifer and her family so it is such a blessing to have these babies all with in the same year – practically the same month! Reese, Jennifer’s two year old, will be the queen bee with all her new playmates!

I’m just starting to feel uncomfortable in my regular clothes. Pants are a little snug around the waist and I might have to start thinking about maternity clothes. Maternity clothes have come a long way and are now very fashionable and comfortable! I know plenty of moms-to-be that wear them before they really need them, just because they’re so comfortable. I also know moms that wear them for months after the baby is born… if I do that – please do stage in intervention. In a nice way of course!

Looking forward to the second trimester!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Second Doctor's Appointment

We had our second doctor’s appointment on Monday. All of the blood work and testing came back normal except are RH factor. I am A- and Frank is O+ which means if the baby is + then we could have a problem with additional pregnancies. So I’ll receive a special shot around the 24 week and then again after delivery to avoid any future issues. It happens all the time and is not a big deal. We also got a call about our blood work that goes with our first trimester screening and it all looks good! We’re very thankful everything came back normal.

We saw our nurse practitioner, Debbie, who is so great. She listens to all of my symptoms telling me they are completely normal. She helped us settle a little debate Frank and I had going about nutrition and eating certain foods. Frank thinks I should be eating healthier foods and I know what my stomach can handle and right now it’s definitely NOT fruits and vegetables. I can’t even stomach water! Debbie was nice enough to inform Frank that it’s not worth it to suggest I eat certain things. It’ll just make us both miserable. I couldn’t agree more. But she did assure Frank that this food aversion is only temporary and that I’ll be eating veggies before he knows it. Just a couple of more weeks – I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Last night was brutal. I made the mistake of letting my stomach become completely empty and paid the price in dry heaves… it was awful. Frank was sweet and started to rub my back and I shooed him away. Ozzie was literally sitting right next to me and cocking his head side to side with every heave… Probably wondering what the heck I was doing! Today I have a busy day at work and came prepared with crackers stuffed in my pockets. I learned my lesson last night!

Stats from the doc:
Little One’s Heart rate: 154 – it’s always so cool to hear it!
Blood pressure: 110/70
Weight gain: NONE! We'll see how long this lasts!

Our next appointment is with Dr. Purdue on October 14. It’s a good that we rotate between the docs and our nurse practitioner. I’m sure Frank’s dying to ask about “helping” with the delivery. We all know he’s got a pretty good track record delivering babies!

The following week we’ll be scheduled for our 18 week ultrasound and we’ll be able to take a peek at the baby’s gender. I can’t wait! It already looks like a little baby now, but from what I’ve heard, it gets even better the later in the pregnancy.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Twelve Weeks

The most dramatic development this week: reflexes. Your baby's fingers will soon begin to open and close, his toes will curl, his eye muscles will clench, and his mouth will make sucking movements. In fact, if you prod your abdomen, your baby will squirm in response, although you won't be able to feel it. His intestines, which have grown so fast that they protrude into the umbilical cord, will start to move into his abdominal cavity about now, and his kidneys will begin excreting urine into his bladder.Meanwhile, nerve cells are multiplying rapidly, and in your baby's brain, synapses are forming furiously. His face looks unquestionably human: His eyes have moved from the sides to the front of his head, and his ears are right where they should be. From crown to rump, your baby-to-be is just over 2 inches long (about the size of a lime) and weighs half an ounce.

Today I'm battling fatigue. I have a very busy day at work today and here I am fighting to stay awake. I'm happy to report the nausea is getting better. It's coming in waves - instead of constant sickness. But when it comes, it hits full force. I am still taking the Zofran when needed. I'm just waiting for the second trimester energy to kick in. I still have another week before I'm officially in my second trimester.

We see the nurse practitioner on Monday for our monthly check in. I'm sure they'll take my weight, blood pressure and discuss all the results from the blood work and tests.

Off to the beach ball for work! It's a big party they have once a year on the beach down in Long Branch at a really swanky resort. We get a steel on the price, and it's so much fun. I'm just praying the weather holds off. Our department puts it all together - so it's a lot of work. Perfect for a day when I can hardly keep my eyes open! I swear all these side effects are just training for when the baby comes and we have to function on an hour's sleep. I just have to keep thinking- I'm in training, I'm in training...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

First Trimester Screening

So we went in for our first trimester ultrasound screening on Monday and everything looks a-okay. The ultrasound tech was really great, very sweet and explained everything we were seeing. She immediately measured the back of the neck, which came in at a respectable 1.21mm. Anything over 3mm is questionable. We’re still waiting for the blood work to come back, but all signs point towards good news. Frank and I both let out a huge sigh of relief when the tech said the measurements were normal.

During the scan, the baby was moving all over the place. But the tech was able to get what she needed. She even nudged the baby by jigling her scanner to see if it would move into a more favorable position.

The baby’s heart beat was healthy 154bpm – a little slower than our first reading, but still within the healthy range. Surprise to us the baby is measuring a week a head of schedule. The doc might change my due date, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. I’m also happy to report I did not gain a pound! Not surprising since I’ve been so sick and haven’t been eating all that much.

It was so exciting to see the baby this time and it actually looked like a little baby! Our first ultrasound was at 8 weeks and the baby sort of looked like a gummy bear. This time we could clearly see a profile, arms, legs and a spine! We even saw the hemispheres of the brain – which was so cool!

I’ll never get used to actually seeing our little baby on the ultrasound screen. Knowing it’s inside of me – moving and wiggling around. It’ll become much more of a reality when I start feeling the baby move. Supposedly you’re not supposed to feel it until 20+ weeks, but I’ve been feeling flutters and all sorts of strange things. Could be the baby, but could be gas! Who knows for sure!

We see our nurse practitioner Debbie on Monday. Looking forward to getting the results of all that lab work we’ve had done. Wish us luck!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Eleven Weeks

Your baby, just over 1 1/2 inches long and about the size of a fig, is now almost fully formed. Her hands will soon open and close into fists, tiny tooth buds are beginning to appear under her gums, and some of her bones are beginning to harden.She's already busy kicking and stretching, and her tiny movements are so effortless they look like water ballet. These movements will become more frequent as her body grows and becomes more developed and functional. You won't feel your baby's acrobatics for another month or two — nor will you notice the hiccupping that may be happening now that her diaphragm is forming.

I’m so glad that I’m almost done with this awful first trimester. I know it only gets worse in the last few months, but this has been tough. The constant nausea has been a huge challenge and then just the past few days, lets just say things haven’t been moving as well I we’d like. When you haven’t gone in almost a week, you get desperate. I called out all the troops, self medicated, and ate way more fiber than I though humanly possible. I think constipation is a crewel joke Mother Nature plays on us pregnant women – like this is part of our training for pushing the baby out. Not funny. Not funny at all. In “Belly Laughs” Jenny McCarthy describes this lovely side effect of pregnancy as “Passing Stonehenge” and that is exactly what it was like. Glad to report things are clear sailing for now. And I have learned my lesson about eating the right types of foods to avoid this predicament again.

We head in for our first trimester screening on Monday at Saint Barnabas. I always like reassurance that things are going well and the little baby is growing on schedule. And of course we all hope the baby’s measurements are well within the normal range. It’ll be nice too to see the hospital and check out the possibilities for delivering there. We can decide between Overlook and Saint Barnabas. Overlook is much smaller and often that plays a huge role in patient care, but Saint Barnabas has a much better PICU and recently renovated their L&D floor. It’ll be a tough one – especially since I’ve worked in and out of hospitals for almost 10 years. I can be quite picky and I know exactly what to look for!

Did you know Frank and I were featured in JFK Medical Center’s promotional video? I being the young and cute PR assistant was asked if I would stand in as the new mom and they asked Frank to be the proud new papa. It was so funny. I think we were barely 22/23. I went out and bought the frilliest-old lady night gown I could find and hopped up into the bed with our fake baby. We had so much fun. And I really don’t think we were dating all that long – so Frank was a real trouper for going a long with it. I wish we had a copy of that video! And we can compare the fiction to the real life!