Thursday, June 30, 2011

Sweet Moments and Exciting Adventures

Ryan and I snapped this picture on a recent trip to our temple. I am about 26 weeks along here. I love this man more than anything. He does so much for me and I am beyond blessed to have him. He's pretty dang handsome too...


On Sunday, I was spending the afternoon resting and watching Food Network. Ryan was asleep next to me on the couch. In fact, everyone in our house was asleep... Ryan, Cosmo and Bella. I was the only one awake, but that seems to be standard lately.

I take it back. Katelyn was awake too. In fact she was kicking so hard, I lifted up my shirt to watch. About that time, Cosmo woke up from his nap and wondered over to me. One thing you should know about Cosmo, he's not much of a cuddler. He cuddles with you on his own terms, and it's not too often. Well, that day he wanted to cuddle. In fact, he wanted to rest his head on my lap and place his paw right on my big ol' belly. Katelyn gave it a few good kicks, but that didn't fase him a bit.

About an hour later, Bella joined him on my lap. Now I had all three babies resting on (or inside) my belly. Very warm, but very sweet too.

It's been neat to see both my kitties cuddle up with my belly lately, even that one time when Katelyn kicked Bella right in the head. Bella's look of confusion was simply priceless. :)


The fabric for Katelyn's room should arrive tomorrow! Woot woot!


I have had horrible heartburn, but I've been tolerating it. What I couldn't tolerate was waking up with my nose and mouth full of stomach acid. I would literally breathe it into my lungs. Nothing was working (not even sleeping sitting up!). Luckily, several friends suggested a Zantec before bed. I have tried that and it has helped immensely.


I never thought I was the kind-of girl to *ever* paint her little girl's room pink. Pink??? Bleck! Well, this week we bought the paint for Katelyn's room...

Any guesses what color we got??? :P

Never say never!

Ryan's already painted it too (except for a small area to finish up). What a wonderful daddy he is!


I always thought that "pregnancy brain" was just an excuse for pregnant women to get attention or be inconsiderate. While I am not convinced that it is literally an illness ;), I will say I have been *very* distracted lately and have done some crazy things. This has included sitting at a stop sign for well over a minute or two, waiting for the "light" to turn green, completely mixing up client situations at work, nearly missing important meetings and events because I "forgot", etc. It's been hard to think about anything but my darling little girl!


Today I went for my Gestational Diabetes blood test. I don't have the results yet, but I am still giddy that I actually had to go and do it. That means I am far enough along in my pregnancy for that type of testing. What a wonderful place to be! Now I just hope I pass!


I felt Katelyn's get the hiccups! I think this was my first time feeling that happen. :) I never knew hiccups could be so cute...


If there is one thing to be said about my pregnancy, it has been eventful! I have been very blessed, avoiding any real complications and for that I am so grateful. But as for the "little things", there have been one after another! Not all are necessarily related to my pregnancy, but they are all happening in the last several months.

The latest was a kitchen fiasco. Here is some background... I am *horrible* in the kitchen. I mean, I bake well and cook decently, but I am beyond clumsy. Burns, cuts, messes, you name it. So, I finally bought myself some nice kitchen knives. Because Ryan knows me all too well, he cautioned me to be careful and not cut myself. As I was chopping green onions, I was rejoicing in how easily this new, sharp knife sliced through my large stack of onions. I guess I stopped paying attention to where my thumb was and whoops! I lost my thumbprint. As in the pad of my thumb. Sliced clean off.

After giving me a long lecture about paying attention when I am using a knife, Mr. Crime Scene Investigator snapped these pics "for posterity". My goodness, I've learned my lesson about paying attention!

Apparently, the skin should all 'regenerate' itself over time and Ryan said even my thumbprint will return...

Disclaimer: Some people find these pics pretty gross, so don't scroll down if you are easily disgusted. I think they are funny.


So that's the update around here! Life simply doesn't get better than this. :)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thankful for my Wiggler

I am so thankful to have such an active baby. I never have the chance to worry about her, because I feel her all the time. There have been so many times I have thought, “I haven’t felt Katelyn move in a while” and within a minute I am feeling her again. I felt her early (14 weeks) and I feel her often. Barely an hour goes by that I don’t feel her. Despite becoming a quiet “ball baby” during every ultrasound, she is the last thing I feel when I go to sleep, and she kicks me good morning when I wake up. Morning, noon and night she is moving. God must have known I would need constant reassurance, and His tender mercy was to give me a wiggler. And I am so thankful.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Back-tastrophe!

A couple of weeks ago, I started to develop a pain. It was in the lower part of my back, right around the waistline, not on my spine but to the left. Each day, it hurt worse than the last. I asked around about a masseuse and a few people recommended their chiropractor.

Then, quite quickly, it became so much worse. With each step I took, an excruciating pain would seize up in that spot, almost to the point of being stuck in whatever position I was currently in. In fact, there were several times I was stuck. Ryan would have to come and help me and, when he wasn’t there, I would have to find some way to crawl myself out of it. My record was a full three minutes trying to stand up from the toilet. Funny now, not so funny then!

It got to the point that I simply couldn’t do anything. If I dropped something, I couldn’t pick it up. I had a hard time getting into bed. I couldn’t sit, lay down or stand comfortably. And forget walking! That was the worst! My left leg, ankle and foot swelled up severely and nothing I did made it better.

I called the masseuse. She told me it was my hip separating and stretching and that the pain would only get worse as I got bigger. Only get worse??? Any worse and I would be completely incapacitated!

I went to the chiropractor. I cried through the entire appointment as he also blamed my hip and told me it would get worse over time. He gave me several remedies to help. I tried them all and just when I thought it couldn’t hurt any worse, it got worse.

I asked for advice and received a lot of, “Sorry, this is common in pregnancy… not much you can do! P.S. It’s going to get worse!” Ahhh! This was beyond confusing because I see pregnant women every day, and most of them aren’t gasping in pain with every step…

Last Tuesday, the pain was unbelievable. Tears fell from my eyes with every step I took. I was at my wits end. It goes without saying that I would endure *anything* for the chance at motherhood, and that thought was never far from my mind. I consistently comforted myself with the knowledge that Katelyn was lounging away inside my belly with no clue what was going on. That gave me so much strength, because physically and mentally I was struggling. I had never been in that much consistent physical pain in my life and the urging of everyone to ‘get used to it’ was driving me insane.

Only Ryan knew how serious this really was (especially Tuesday night when I called him in so much pain, home alone, and practically unable to move). At one point, I tried to get into bed and found myself planted face-first into the pillow, with no way to get myself out of that position. This was NOT normal. Or at least it wasn’t how I was going to spend my last 3 months of pregnancy.

Finally, I threw out all the advice, tried to forget all the negative feedback, and went with my gut. I asked Ryan to give me a blessing and I decided I was going to try to fix it on my own terms. I rested. I worked through the pain until I found a way to sit and I sat there. I stopped all the suggestions (ice, heat, yoga, massage, certain stretches, etc) and just rested. I got up to use the restroom and that was it. I did this for a day or so.

Then, I continued to rest, but started including a little light walking. As the days went on, I started to improve. My guess is I had a pinched nerve and the muscles around it were swollen and inflamed. Perhaps everything I was trying before made the problem worse. As of now, I only feel the clench in my back about 15 times a day, the feeling isn’t nearly as severe, and it’s getting better each day. I am so grateful!

And guess what? Now that my 'real' problem has calmed down, I am feeling what everyone told me was ‘normal’. I do have pain in my hips and lower back area, and at times it can hurt pretty good. Sometimes the pain spasms up and sometimes it’s a dull ache. I am feeling all those things people told me my ‘back-tastrope’ was, and I bet those aches and pains WILL get worse as I get bigger. But what I was feeling the last 2 weeks was NOT that. It was different. I feel vindicated.

So if this returns, I now know what I need… rest. And confidence. The confidence to rely on my gut and do what it tells me to do. The confidence to keep a positive attitude and believe that things will get better (despite hearing multiple times that it won’t). I am so grateful for what I’ve learned through this, and most of all I am grateful that little Katelyn never even knew it happened. ;)

P.S. I am giving my back another week of rest. Then I plan to re-institute stretching, yoga, etc to help this not occur again – if I can help it!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The First Time I Saw Your Face

Yesterday, we had our first 3D ultrasound. At just over 24 weeks, Katelyn's still a little small for the 3D, super skinny and still developing. We decided to go for it anyway!

True to form, she curled in a tight ball and hid her face the whole time with her cute little hands. This girl must be camera shy. You would never know this is one of the most active babies around, kicking, punching and dancing almost hourly.

Even with the shyness, we still loved seeing a sneak peak at our baby girl. And speaking of girl, we did receive further confirmation that she is a girl. Not a rock solid confirmation though... the only time Katelyn's hands left her face was to cover herself up when we focused on that area. What a stinker. :)

Next 3D is in about 6 weeks.

She was curled in a ball with her hands by her face the whole time. Even so, she was beautiful. What a wonderful experience seeing her for the first time!

Hands in her mouth :) My little sweetheart.

For reference sake, our baby girl now weighs 1lb 7oz and was measuring 4 days behind (nothing to be concerned about though - babies hardly ever measure their exact day this far along). Everything looked perfect.

Monday, June 13, 2011

So Hard

I think Katelyn likes music. She starts moving and kicking when I play it most times. So either she likes it or she’s trying to tell me to turn that racket off! I’m going to go with the idea that she likes it.

I have been trying to play a variety of different music when I am driving in the car, just to see what she responds to. I know there is probably not much to this, but it’s been fun to do anyway. A few days back, a song came on that I typically skip out of habit. I had skipped it all throughout our struggle with infertility, but for some reason I never actually took it off my iPod. When it came on this time though, I didn’t skip it.

It felt like a given
Something a woman's born to do
A natural ambition
To see a reflection of me and you

And I'd feel so guilty
If that was a gift I couldn't give
And could you be happy
If life wasn't how we pictured it

And sometimes I just want to wait it out
To prove everybody wrong
And I need your help to move on
Cause you know it's so hard
It's so hard

It's so hard when it doesn't come easy
It's so hard when it doesn't come fast
It's so hard when it doesn't come easy
So hard

As soon as this song started, Katelyn began to move and kick. Nothing more than a coincidence I’m sure, but it hit me really strong. Something about hearing those words and feeling my baby kick was very overwhelming. It was one of ‘those’ moments.

Our time through infertility was SO hard. Not as hard as others' trials, but the longest and hardest trial I have ever faced. And although I am pregnant now, I still feel it there. Even when I hold my baby in 4 short months, it will still be there. It will always be there. Duller, easier and much more manageable, but still there.

I can live for the moment
When all these clouds open up for me to see
And show me a vision
Of you and me swimming peacefully

I am constantly amazed by my fellow infertility warriors, especially those who continue to support me throughout the pregnancy. I know how hard that can be because I’ve been there. I am blown away by your supportive comments on here and on Facebook. It is stunning. It touches me so deeply and no matter what words I try to use to express how I feel, they aren’t enough.

Sometimes life is SO hard. But the reward at the end is so very sweet. Praying we all get our sweet reward soon.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

24 Weeks

This month of pregnancy went by a bit faster than in months back, which was a welcome change. Still I am living my life in weeks, trying to keep anxiety at bay, and enjoying every minute I can.

We've made it to 24 weeks! It hasn't escaped my notice that many professionals consider this the 'age of viability', meaning greater than half of the babies born at this point will survive. As exciting as it is to make it to this point, Katelyn is under strict orders to stay in there and keep cooking for a long time!

Heartburn is a daily occurrence now. Maybe I am growing Katelyn some hair, but we'll see about that. ;) My biggest struggle has been my lower back, which has progressed from a backache (which was managed by stretches and rest) to being flat-out out of alignment (as in I can't even stand up on my own). I am looking into options to help.

Other than that, things could not be better. Katelyn's heartbeat has continued to be normal and I am so grateful. I still cry on nearly a daily basis because I can not believe that this is my life. It comes on suddenly without warning. An extra strong kick, or just looking down at my growing belly, can set it off.

As for food (something always on the top of my mind) I have gotten full-on into cooking again. Things I have been craving are MEAT, chips, sour candy and milk chocolate. It is amazing how much I want meat now. What happened to the girl who didn't eat meat??? I am definitely channeling the Phoebe character from "Friends" during her pregnancy. I fought it for a while, but I have just given up and given in.

There have been many exciting moments this month... my awesome doctor's appointment, seeing the furniture arrive, seeing my feet swell... but the best moment by far was the evening of June 5th. That is when Ryan felt Katelyn kick for the very first time. I had been feeling her since week 14, but she always stopped performing whenever there was a hand on my belly (even mine!). Finally, that night, she was really going to town. I grabbed Ryan's hand and put it on my belly. Within a couple seconds, she kicked him right in the hand. Ryan just looked at me. He didn't say much, but I know it was a very special moment for him, for both of us, and I'll never forget it.

At 24 weeks:

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Last Week’s Appointment

I am really behind in my blogging. Everything has been so busy… work, home, church. But I need to document last week’s doctor’s appointment, as it was really special to me. Because I waited so long to write about it, I have lost some of the specifics, but I still smile when I think about how wonderful I felt after that appointment.

I met with Nurse R this time. Basically, everything is “perfect” with both Katelyn and I. In fact, she must have used the word “perfect” about 20 times.

We listened to Katelyn's heartbeat. It sounded beautiful. No skipped beats to be heard.

We reviewed last month’s ultrasound. Katelyn’s growth is perfect. The placenta is placed nicely. The blood flow in and out of the uterus was great. All of my screening produced really low ratios (1/5000 for Down’s; 1/10,000 for the other syndromes tested). My blood work is phenomenal (Nurse R said the results were beautiful for a woman in general, and even more so for a pregnant woman).

Everything about how my body is handling pregnancy is perfect. Perfect blood pressure (it’s been 120/60 the last 3 appointments), weight gain (12 pounds at 23 weeks), measurements (belly measures right on track – 3 cm over belly button), etc. She said if you were to write a textbook, it could be based on this pregnancy (even with my heart rate scares and aura headaches).

It is not that I am a pessimistic person, but getting pregnant was so difficult, I just assumed I would have a difficult pregnancy too. I am amazed and indescribably blessed that things have gone so well. I know that many other women do not get the same great news at their OB appointments. My heart breaks for them, and I am just feeling very, very grateful.

Update on my auras / seizures: I went ahead with the EEG and all results look normal. I am almost afraid to say it as I don’t want to jinx myself, but I haven’t had an episode in over two weeks now. Dr M said 1/3 of all women get worse as pregnancy progresses, 1/3 get better and 1/3 stay the same. Is it possible I could be part of the 1/3 who get better??? I am hopeful!

Friday, June 3, 2011

From Baby Steps to Giant Leaps of Faith

Well, my 1 week deadline passed and I still did not clean out the nursery closet (previously used for storage). However, I am happy to report that is on the agenda for this weekend.

Even though I missed my deadline, I have been making progress. Big progress. Giant leaps of faith.

Within a 2 day time period this week, we purchased nearly every expensive item Katelyn will want/need when she gets here… this includes furniture, breast pump, swing, stroller, car seat, pack n play… you name it. All that I have left to buy are a couple of larger items (high chair, another car seat base, etc) and the rest of the smaller stuff (boppy, bath supplies, clothing, etc).

If that isn’t enough, last night we took the swing out of the package, put it together, and *threw away the box*. (If that’s not faith, I don’t know what is. :)) Ryan seemed curious why I insisted on doing that at 9 ‘o clock at night, but I just needed to. I needed put it together and watch it work. I needed it all to feel real.

So all of these packages and deliveries are coming to our home and it is quickly filling up with baby paraphernalia. Cosmo and Bella are wondering what is going on, and getting used to a litterbox housed in the laundry room. Changes are happening and I am, obviously unable to let my guard down entirely, but feeling a bit more comfortable.

One of the highlights of those two days was walking out of Babies R Us with a receipt in my hand after purchasing the furniture. I had fallen in love with this set months ago, but it was hard to come by. The crib had a hard time staying in stock, especially once they released a coupon for $300 off the set. Finally, I just started calling asking if one was in. As soon as one was, I dropped everything, headed in there and bought it, along with the 2 dressers. With the coupon (and additional monies off), I got a great deal and it should be in next weekend.

Of course, my bedding will be different, but here it is:

Sometimes in life, you just have to take that leap, even if it might feel scary. I am working on it!