Saturday, September 20, 2014

28 weeks | Baby 2.0

What's new?
Baby Girl's brain is hard at work developing millions of little neurons.
She blinks her eyes and can probably depict light through the womb.
She should weigh about 2 1/4 pounds, but we know she's likely past that based on our last ultrasound.
How far along? 28 weeks
Baby's size? an eggplant - about 14.8 inches in length
Total weight gain: 21.5 pounds

Maternity clothes? Yep! All my shirts are maternity these days and I still wear both my maternity and regular jeans.

Sleep: UGH. I jinxed myself last week. Basically.. I don't sleep. It's SO hard to get and stay comfortable.

Best moments this past week: There were quite a few.. finding out I passed my glucose test (I was REALLY surprised!), lunch and a girly movie with my fav, some fun playdates, and lots of quality family time today. :)
Miss Anything? Sleeping on my stomach!!!!!!!!!!

Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope.

Labor Signs: Technically, no. I still get BH contractions every so often.
Gender: Girl

Symptoms: The restless leg feeling! It's not easy to describe, but I got it with Ellie too and it's m i s e r a b l e. This is partially why I have a difficult time sleeping. The nightly leg cramps aren't helping either.
Belly Button in or out? It's half in, half out and quite the sight.

Wedding rings on or off? on

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy!

Looking forward to: Finishing the nursery -- SO close and I'm in LOVE!!! I can't wait to share it. :) And showering one of my verrry best friends at her baby shower next weekend.

28 weeks
-- VOTE --

Saturday, September 13, 2014

27 weeks | Baby 2.0

Hellloooo 3rd trimester!
Baby girl is due exactly 3 months from today.
91 days to go.
Well, hopefully less. I'm really hoping this sweet babe comes a week or two early.
What's new?
Emerson weighed in at 2.7 pounds at our follow-up anatomy scan yesterday (details below).
She's measuring right on track according to the ultrasound tech.
She can open and close her eyes--pretty sure they were open during our ultrasound yesterday!
It was WEIRD.
Her brain is super active, just like her itty bitty ADHD body.
She's probably sucking her thumb by this point.

And I think we may have a little diver on our hands.


How far along? 27 weeks
Baby's size? a head of cauliflower- about 14.5 inches in length
Total weight gain: 20.5 pounds

Maternity clothes? Yep, most of the time. I'm getting REAL sick of my maternity wardrobe REAL fast.

Sleep: I've been sleeping much better lately, though I still pee seventy-eight thousand times a night.

Best moments this past week: Seeing our sweet girl at our anatomy scan! We needed to have a follow-up scan to check on my anterior (possible previa) placenta. Placenta previa can potentially lead to quite a few complications, particularly a C-section, amongst other things. So, we were really hoping for good news! As it turns out, while it is anterior, it's no where near my cervix and therefore definitely not placenta previa. YAY! Though baby girl was breech, so she has approximately 3 months to flip her little body upside down!
Miss Anything? Nothing in particular.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope!

Labor Signs: Technically, no. I still get BH contractions every so often. I had them yesterday pretty consistently for a good hour or so. I may or may not have been freaking out.
Gender: Girl

Symptoms: My back pain has calmed down and I've been overall more comfortable, hallelujah! *knockonwood*
Belly Button in or out? It's popped out, but still on the inside. Yeah, just try to picture that one.

Wedding rings on or off? on

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy!

Looking forward to: Seeing my girlfriends tomorrow. :)

27 weeks

You know the deal. :)

Saturday, September 6, 2014

26 weeks | Baby 2.0

What's new?
Peanut weighs close to 2 pounds.
She continues to practice her breathing techniques in preparation for breathing outside the womb.
Her ears are better developed and more sensitive to outside sounds.
Time to break out the classical music again. ;)
(It's still up for debate whether or not this had any impact on Ellie, though she does love to sing!)
Her eyes are forming and will soon open.
She has purrrtty long eyelashes she'll be able to tease us with before we know it!

How far along? 26 weeks
Baby's size? a head of lettuce - about 14 inches in length
Total weight gain: 20 pounds, lovely. I'm about 2 pounds away from tossing our scale into the trash.

Maternity clothes? Yep, most of the time. Though I'm still able to rock the bella band or hair tie trick with most of my shorts/jeans.

Sleep: I'm still relatively uncomfortable, but sleep the last few days has been AMAZING now that I'm back in my own bed. We loved our trip, but how I took my bed for granted!

Best moments this past week: The rest of our Chicago trip was awesome, though also very exhausting! Traveling with a 19 month old toddler that makes the energizer bunny look like a slow poke is no joke, my friends. There were so many things we wanted to do/see, but didn't get to because we usually needed to go around her needs and eating/napping schedules.
Miss Anything? With so many great restaurants, I reeeeally missed wine during our trip. Like REALLY missed it.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope!

Labor Signs: Technically, no. I still get occasional BH contractions.
Gender: Girl

Symptoms: I'm still having a lot of sciatic and back pain in general. By this point with Ellie I was already seeing my chiropractor weekly, but I was really hoping to avoid that this time around. It's just not new insurance + outrageous office fees + stay at home mom budget friendly! We'll see how long that lasts...
Belly Button in or out? We've reached past the halfway mark, though it hasn't completely popped yet.

Wedding rings on or off? on

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy!

Looking forward to: RELAXING! I swear, I need a vacation from my vacation. We bought a ton of stuff for the nursery today, so I'm excited to begin crafting and decorating. :)

26 weeks

Votes reset quarterly, so I'd love, love, love you forever if you took two seconds to
vote for us on TBB. Thanks, friends. xxoo

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

25 weeks | Baby 2.0

We're in Chicago this week, so while I'm starting this bumpdate, I
 probably won't finish and post it until we return mid-next week.
What's new?
Peanut weighs at least a whopping 1.5 pounds!
She continues to put on lots of baby fat.
She has lots of hair, which has a distinct color and texture
(strawberry blond and curly like Ellie, maybe?).
She can sense her surroundings and distinguish from up and down.

How far along? 25 weeks (as of Saturday)
Baby's size? cauliflower, JP's favorite! ;) - about 13.5 inches in length
Total weight gain: 18 pounds, lovely.

Maternity clothes? Yep, most of the time. Though I'm still able to rock the bella band or hair tie trick with most of my shorts/jeans.

Sleep: I officially can't sleep with out my pregnancy pillow and I struggle to get/stay comfortable.

Best moments this past week: We've had a couple fun and busy days in Chicago thus far -- sightseeing around the city, walking, eating yummy food, walking, riding rides at the Navy Pier, visiting with friends, and more walking. :)
Miss Anything? A legit cold cut sandwich -- I've been a lot more lax this pregnancy when it's come to a few things (other than the necessary caffeine for my headaches, I was a obsessive rule follower when pregnant with Ellie - ya know, first pregnancy crazy!). This time around I've eaten (cooked) sushi, quite a few (cooked/toasted) deli meat sandwiches, and a Costco hot dog that I had to have, gasp!

Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope!

Labor Signs: Technically, no. I still get occasional BH contractions.
Gender: Girl and she does have a name, will share soon.. :)

Symptoms: My sciatica has been terrible, especially with all this walking around the city!
Belly Button in or out? We've reached past the halfway mark, though it hasn't completely popped yet.

Wedding rings on or off? on

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy!

Looking forward to: The rest of our trip here in Chicago!

25 weeks

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Chalkboard: A How To

I've had quite a few people ask me questions about my weekly chalkboard posts.
So, I've decided to answer a few of those questions.
Before I get started, let me address a few things:
I was in no way shape or form the originator, but I have no problem giving credit where it is due. I got the idea from Little Baby Garvin a couple of years ago. It's since become this huge pregnancy phenomenon in the blogging community.
I've read that some think it's overdone. My response with that, and many other unsolicited advice or opinions you get being a mother, I.don' what you think. When I look back at my pregnancy photos in 30 years, I'm not going to think about how everyone and their mom used the chalkboard idea. I'm going to cherish my photos.
Now that we've addressed those topics, let me answer some questions I've received.
How did I make the chalkboard?
With Ellie I went the whole 9 yards. I bought a fancy frame and paint from Michael's. I painted the trim white and the glass with a few layers of chalkboard paint. It worked great for a few weeks, then I'd have to repaint the glass. This went on my entire pregnancy and it was such a pain. Although I do love those photos and they can be found, here.
This time around, I got a little smarter. Isn't that what second pregnancies are for? ;) I bought an already made chalkboard for $10 at Michael's and loaded the trim with gold glitter to make it look a bit fancier. It's really not as nice looking as my first board, but it's bigger and SO much easier to work with each week. Plus, I'll NEVER have to paint it! SOLD.
What kind of materials do I use each week?
Last time I stuck with good ol' Crayola chalk. This time I do about half my work in Crayola chalk and the other half with these chalkboard markers. The markers are really great for handwriting, but not for drawing and coloring.
How do I come up with ideas?
With Ellie I liked including the fruit size and various details of what would go on that week. This time, I'm trying to be more simple. I don't want to do the exact same thing and with some things in life, I've learned that less is more.
Do I use a computer program?
Nope. Everything is 100% freehand drawing/writing.
Though I suppose I do get the facts I post from various internet resources.
How do I come up with my handwriting ideas?
I think it just takes practice. I usually practice writing on a piece of paper first. It honestly doesn't look that great when I first put the words onto paper. I add to it - making thicker lines, adding designs, doodling all over the words if you will. I erase until I come up with a rough sketch of what I like. I usually spend no more than 5 minutes or so working on a sketch.
I will say that my teaching background has helped me in this department. I'm use to using all sorts of fonts creating projects and teaching resources. So, I'm sure some of my ideas technically stem from things I've seen/used over the years.
How long does it take?
Each board, depending on how much wording and (hardly) detailed the picture is will depend on the time commitment. I'd say it takes me on average 20 minutes to do the actual board.
I'd be happy to answer any other questions you may have, but I think I've addressed the ones I'm asked most often. Feel free to leave a comment if you have more. :)


Saturday, August 23, 2014

24 weeks | Baby 2.0

What's new?
Peanut has reached viability week!
Though we want her to stay put much longer (though it's okay if you want to come a tiny bit early, Baby Girl, like two weeks would be great), this is a big milestone and we're glad to have reached it. :)
She weighs about 1 1/3 pounds.
Her brain is quickly developing.
Her skin is becoming more pink and opaque, rather than translucent, looking more and more like a real baby (as opposed to fake, right?).
She's still tiny, but as we can all see below, she's (and by she, I mean I am) working on packing on the lbs.

How far along? 24 weeks
Baby's size? an ear of corn - about 12 inches in length
Total weight gain: 17 pounds, lovely.

Maternity clothes? Yep, most of the time. Though I'm still able to rock the bella band or hair tie trick with most of my shorts/jeans.

Sleep: I officially can't sleep with out my pregnancy pillow and getting comfortable is becoming difficult.

Best moments this past week: Last night JP and I had a date night sans our toddler baby. We went to Flemming's and while it may have just been dinner, alone time is never something we take for granted these days. :)
Miss Anything? Nope.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Not consistently, though I was all of a sudden grossed out by all meat at dinner last night. I was the girl that ordered a salad at a steakhouse (though, let's be honest, I wouldn't have ordered a steak anyway!). With chipotle cheddar mac and cheese. Followed by chocolate lava cake (I don't even like chocolate!). Pregnant, much?

Labor Signs: Technically, no. I had a day or two with a ton of BH contractions this week though.
Gender: Girl! And I *think* we've decided on a name. :)

Symptoms: Nothing has changed. Basically, gaining weight and being uncomfortable in certain situations and/or times of day. This belly is starting to get in the way of things!
Belly Button in or out? We've reached past the halfway mark, though it hasn't completely popped yet.

Wedding rings on or off? on

Happy or Moody most of the time: Very happy most of the time, though today being our sweet second baby's edd anniversary has been a bit emotional.

Looking forward to: Dinner with one of my bff's tonight and CHICAGO on Thursday!!

24 weeks

Please vote for us, friends!!

Monday, August 18, 2014

The M Word

The M word.

The word many fear to utter, yet is more common than most think.

The word many women have experienced, yet few dare to mention.

The word many know exist, yet doubt it will happen to them.


25% of pregnancies end in miscarriage.
When including loss before a positive pregnancy test, it is said that 40% of pregnancies result in a miscarriage.
That's one in four known pregnancies. ONE in FOUR! 
About 75% of miscarriages take place during the first trimester.
There are over 4 million confirmed pregnancies each year and nearly 1 MILLION result in the loss of a pregnancy.
It is also said that most women with at least 2-3 children have probably had a miscarriage somewhere along the line.

The statistics are shocking. They're heartbreaking. They're real.

Having become very familiar with the blogging world and building friendships through social media, I've become very familiar, all too familiar, with the horrible reality and statistics that the ugly M word has brought to light. I've had friends that have lost their babies, both early and later in pregnancy. It has broken my heart every single time. However, I've never known what to say. How can you? A women just lost a child that was supposed to be hers. A child she was supposed to hold in her arms. A child that was (hopefully) conceived in love. A child that she already loved so deeply. A child that was a part of her. A child that was supposed to be a daughter - a son - a sibling.

I've never known what to say because I've never been there.

But the reality is, things have changed. I am now one of these women. One of the women that knows firsthand how common miscarriage is. Yet, never expected to be here.

Now, here I am. Grieving. Crying. Confused. Sad. 

Here I am, recovering and still healing from what was hands down the hardest part of my life. I miscarried our baby. We found out on December 11, 2013 that I was pregnant. We were thrilled. We felt lucky. It was very easy for us to conceive Ellie and again with this baby. Yet, little did we know what was to come. I immediately felt a couple symptoms (starving and overly exhausted, but they went away after a week or two. I was worried, yet remained optimistic, hoping (praying -- practically begging and pleading that) I was one of those women that just didn't get any symptoms. Yet, secretly wishing - hoping - praying I'd get morning sickness. Something, anything! to let me know everything was okay. 

We went to our first appointment at what would have been 6 weeks 2 days, yet I was only measuring about 6 weeks and my OB couldn't find the heartbeat. However, we were able to see the yolk sak and fetal pole, all beginning stages of a pregnancy. He said not to be alarmed, that this is common at 6 weeks. Those of you that know me, know that I couldn't NOT be alarmed. I was worried. Terrified. We scheduled a follow up for 8 weeks. I left hesitant, sad, and knowing something wasn't right. The next week inched on by, slower than slow. I finally called and had them squeeze me in sooner. We went back on January 9th at what should have been 7 weeks 5 days. Sure enough, I knew immediately upon seeing the ultrasound screen.
There still wasn't a heartbeat.

Cue the floodgates. 
We were given several options since this was considered a missed miscarriage. I could wait for things to happen naturally, although who knew how long that would take. I could take a pill to push the process along, but I've heard nothing but horror stories with this method. The final option was surgery. We went ahead and scheduled my surgery for that next day. I struggled. We struggled. What else were we supposed to do?

We were heartbroken. We spent that night cuddled up, soaking up every ounce of Ellie that we could. We'd sit in silence for a while, then the tears would return. We'd talk about it some more. Over analyzing, sad, yet trying to remain optimistic that we'd be oh so fortunate to get another positive pregnancy test later down the line. That night and the next day were by far the two worst days of my life. I've never cried so hard. I've never been so consumed with a single thought. It was horrible.

January 10th will forever be etched in my brain as the worst day of my life.

That being said, I couldn't have asked for a better support system. Although just as equally distraught, JP was my rock through the whole experience. We told very few people about the pregnancy, waiting to hear the heartbeat to tell more distant family and friends. However, those that did know (our parents and a couple of our closest friends) were beyond amazing. They were so incredibly understanding and supportive. The calls, the messages, flowers, gifts, and more were more than we could have asked for. So not only did we have each other, we had the people that are closest to us there with us. They were affected too.

I've gone back and forth on whether or not I wanted to share this post. In fact, when originally written just a few weeks after the fact, I wasn't sure it would ever be shared. It was more of a coping mechanism at the time. That being said, I sat down several times, stared at a blank screen, wrote far too much, then deleted every single word.

Am I ready to share this news with the world? Am I ready to face the comments and questions that could potentially arise? Am I ready to be more vulnerable than I've ever been? Probably not.

But with the support of my husband, I've decided to share our story.

Because the reality is, miscarriage is real. It happens to real women. It happens to women that you'd least expect it to. Healthy women. Young women. Women already with children. Women without. I think there is a poorly portrayed view in our society in which some believe a woman that's gone through miscarriage must have made a mistake. She wasn't healthy. She did something wrong. Something was wrong with her body. She should have been able to prevent it. But the reality is, that is not true. When a miscarriage happens this early in a pregnancy, there isn't anything you can do to prevent it. You didn't do anything wrong. My OB said it's due to a genetic abnormality in either the sperm or the egg. It's hard not to blame ourselves, which is why I think society jumps to the same conclusion. However, that just isn't the case.

I'll be honest, I still have to remind myself of this. Daily.

Deciding to be open about my miscarriage is part of the healing process for me. Not that I want it to be table talk and on everyone's plate for discussion over their morning coffee, I just want to feel comfortable in the reality that I have faced. I don't want to feel ashamed or have to hide and grieve in silence. I need support. What would have been my due date, August 23, is now only 5 days away and all of my emotions have come flooding back. It's tough. I need my friends and family to understand. I don't want to spend hours talking about it, but it's a part of me now. Talking about it, to some extent, is an outlet. I realized that I was struggling more when attempting to bottle this up inside of me. I've lost a piece of my heart and I'll never be able to forget our little angel baby.
So, here I am, sharing my story.

I want people to know.
While he/she may not be here on Earth, I don't want to forget.

I wish more women were comfortable and didn't feel the need to grieve alone. I wish they didn't feel the need to hide in secret. It's nothing to be ashamed of.

This is real. It happens to real women. It happened to me.

I'm now about 23.5 weeks pregnant and while that's a wonderful feeling and we are SO incredibly grateful for this peanut, we still think about our baby that we lost. Some days are harder than others, but just because we're once again pregnant, doesn't mean the grieving is over.

I'm still sad. Still grieving.
But I want other women to have hope.

We are so exited for this third little miracle on her way.
Another little one to love and kiss and snuggle. WE ARE THANKFUL.

For those that have also experienced miscarriage, know that you are NOT alone. I know it's a sensitive subject, but it's not one that you need to be ashamed of or hide from the world. Be grateful for the time you had and remember that you now have a little angel babe watching down over you.