23 Weeks

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

 23 Weeks! My little girl is the size of a grapefruit.

How far along? 23 weeks and officially in my sixth month. Wow! The Jellybean is the size of a grapefruit. 11.5 inches long, and over a pound. So you know, there is a little bit of a discrepancy in the size of the fruits. If we go by this grapefruit, she shrank from last week. Unlike the first trimester where embryos develop at around the same pace, the fetus in the second trimester after week 19 or so develops differently. Some gain weight faster, some slower. It's normal, and why babies come out at different weights. I'll keep trying to give you measurements, but they are only guesses (unless I have another ultrasound).
Total weight gain? 13 pounds. Slow and steady.
Maternity clothes? I went shopping this weekend and got some more maternity bottoms. Little Girl isn't sitting very low, but she's not very high either. Having some give in my pants keeps both of us comfortable! Not many maternity tops because I'm not very big. They tend to make me look frumpy and no one likes to feel like that!
Movement? It's glorious. She freaked me out yesterday, refusing to move until almost midnight. Baby books tell me that it's normal, before week 28, not to feel anything for a day, but since she started moving where I could feel it, it's been very constant. After half of a protein shake with some sugar in it, she picked back up again! Last week, for the first time, she moved and I could feel her kick with my hand on my stomach. Say some prayers for her to keep that up, because as you know, Thomas would love it!!
Gender? It's a she-bean!

 I know y'all live to see me look goofy, but this week I demanded some good shots.

Miss anything? Being able to sleep on my back. Really, not too many complaints.
Food cravings? Nilla wafers, tomato soup, and fajitas. I love the Odwalla smoothies, shakes, and juices for when I'm still a little hungry or feel that I didn't live up to my nutrition requirements for the day. I've heard the Naked brand of juices are also good but I haven't tried them yet.
Have you started to show? Yep, even though I still have people tell me I don't look pregnant!
Sleep? I have done better with getting to bed earlier and falling asleep faster. I am sleeping like I'm in a coma though! I'm thinking of backing off my usual two Benadryl to one. And I've definitely been setting an alarm so I don't miss out on the whole day.
Bipolar Disorder? Still under control. I mentioned that I saw my psychiatrist last week and I see my therapist every three weeks. Everyone has to do what works for them, but this has been good for me (and keeps all of my medical professionals happy, too).
Belly Button in or out? Still in. Getting wider though.
Looking forward to? My midwife appointment on Monday! I have lots of questions and as always, hearing that heartbeat makes my day. I love having made the slightly more unconventional choice for a midwife, even though she still works with 9 other OBs and I'll still deliver in a hospital. If I've learned anything so far though, it's that pregnancy (and soon parenting) are things where you ultimately have to make decisions on your own that make you comfortable.
What will I do with these pictures? Sometime around a major holiday, Shutterfly will send me a code for some free prints. I plan on working these blog posts and the pictures into a pregnancy book of sorts for me to remember and for my little girl to read as she's growing up.

This one is my favorite.

Best moment this week? Three this week (in no order).
1. Finishing my registry at Babies R Us! My kind neighbor/friend took me out for the afternoon and helped me out so much! I will definitely pass that gift on to other friends who are pregnant later because it was just so helpful and eyeopening.
2. Going to Ikea this weekend to get some things for the nursery and then my husband insisting that we go to the Gap Maternity store in Charlotte (since we don't have one here). For an hour, he wandered the corner of the BabyGap devoted to maternity clothes with me and picked things out and sat in the dressing room. Have I mentioned that I love him?
3. Taking the Jellybean to her first art exhibit in Columbia. She's just so portable! ;) I saw a beautiful exhibit on the Impressionists that I had been longing to see and the rest of the day I got to spend with my awesome sister, Hannah! A lucky week for me.
Note to the Jellybean: Hello Little Girl! You got your first two quilts today! It makes your mom feel like a slacker since I haven't gotten started yet. You'll be happy to know that your puppies, Moby and Otto, are calming down in preparation for your arrival. You haven't met them yet (even though you can hear them bark!), but they love the little girls who live next door and are very good with them. Sorry if you've felt Otto's paws on my belly a few times- we are still working on getting him to jump less. But at night, he loves to sniff your current abode and rest his head on my belly. We are wondering if they know you're in there. Keep moving and shaking in there, Little Bit. Grow nice and strong for us. Love you!

A place for the Jellybean

Friday, April 19, 2013

It took 10 days and countless man-hours, but the nursery went from this heap (mid-organizing)...

To this blank slate:

The desk (which is really just a folding table) is still up so that I can sew and work on some projects for the nursery. This is a small room, so once we get it painted and assemble furniture, I'm kicked out. Hopefully that will happen soon, because I have a very large un-assembled crib sitting in my dining room- and it's time it found a new home. 

I don't have a ton for this post, but it's a great deal more than what I had 6 weeks ago, which was nothing more than a vague notion that the child should have a place to sleep when the time comes. First up, paint. Last week I posted a rather intimidating picture of 50+ paint chips and a photo beneath of a more manageable selection. Turns out, none of those "final selection" chips were our final selections. Of course. I'm still glad I brought them all home, because they looked totally different than they did in store. After taping them up and living with them for three days, I brought 3 samples home with me and put them up on the wall.

Satin paint samples + textured walls + window on the opposite wall + photographer who doesn't know what she's doing = glare. But this still captures the colors well. The left was just too dark for us and the right just too bright. The middle is soothing, still a good dose of color, and is just very relaxing in person. It's called Still Tidewater, a Lowcountry name for these walls if there ever was one. If you're curious the one on the left was Serendipity (a tempting name!) and the right is Sprinkle.

While I'm sold on the paint color for the room, I'm not set on any accent color(s). I'm leaning towards yellow and white or grey, but citrus tones also seem fun. Poor Thomas. I'm entrenched in nesting and planning every detail and... well he works on a submarine and couldn't tell you what an accent color is. Lest you think he doesn't care, what I mean is that he's happy to roll strollers, put a crib together, read books to my belly, and indulge my every craving. He's an operations man. Yes he does have an opinion on that stroller- he has to operate it! I am simply a very pregnant woman, who with a blessing of hormones and a swelling belly, has decreed this room my project. I'm the details foil to my big-picture husband. And we are a super team.

So here's what I've got:

-A brand-new, never used or even had the box opened glider, thanks to Craigslist. [The Storkcraft Tuscany Glider & Ottoman in beige and espresso wood]
-Chunky knit ottoman/poof [Target in grey, but comes in many colors]
-Softest Owl and little bunny [Pier One]
-Yellow lamp [Target]
-Table [hand-me-down, no idea where it's from]
-Elephant basket [Marshall's, brand is Sheffield Home]
-Bird print [World Market]

Not pictured:
-Babyletto Hudson Crib (so modern! I fell in love with it and scooped it up when it went on sale)
-Ikea Hemnes Dresser (we're skipping a changing table, but after looking high and low for options for a low dresser that could double as a changing table for a while, this truly affordable one with clean lines is what I came up with.)
-Window seat that's coming from my parents

We want a nursery that's fun, soothing, and highly portable. Much as I'd love to paint a mural or quote on the wall, I would hate having to paint over it when we move. So with the exception of painting the walls one color, we want everything to be able to move along with us. Because odds are good that we will move before the Jellybean can even walk. And no, the giant whiteboard will not be staying in her room. She may beg for it when she's a toddler though!

To Ikea tomorrow! I'll post more nursery-related things when we have furniture assembled and the room is painted. Have a great weekend!

22 Weeks

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

 22 Weeks- Little girl is the size of a papaya! I just finished laughing in this 
photo, if you can't tell. My photographer is not very serious.

How far along? 22 weeks! The Jellybean is the size of a papaya. About 11 inches long, and almost a pound. Seriously? My little girl is the size of that fruit? It's huge!
Total weight gain? 11 pounds
Maternity clothes? For me, anything with spandex or elastic is considered maternity wear.
Movement? Yes! Every single day. She woke up yesterday morning at 7:30 for about 45 minutes- just squirming and kicking and moving around. It is completely amazing. Still makes me grin every time it happens. I love it! She's a nocturnal little thing though, not much movement during the day.
Gender? Girl! I love never having to refer to her as "it" anymore. She'll always be my Jellybean.
Miss anything? I miss being able to move, bend, and have the energy I used to have. But I really like being pregnant and I am really blessed to have a pregnancy that is going so well. Thank you, family, friends, and readers, for all of your awesome support.
Food cravings? Hamburgers, strawberry-kiwi Jello cups, baby carrots, more of the Italian 5-grain bread from Publix (if you live near a Publix, go get some!), shrimp scampi, and lots of ice cold water now that the weather is warming up.

When I import my photos, these are the bulk: ridiculous shots. Today- no good ones at all.
"I don't know who you are. I'm just a pregnant lady with a papaya." 

Have you started to show? Yes. It's still small, but I am enjoying my little belly. It will get bigger when it needs to. Still have no idea how my papaya-sized child is fitting in there, though!
Sleep? What happened in the last week? It's been taking me forever to fall asleep. No fun.
Bipolar Disorder? It's been great. No troubles. I have an appointment with my psychiatrist today and was happy to say that all is still going well! We talked a bit about post-pregnancy as well. It's great to have an optimistic and realistic doctor. We'll continue to make sure that I'm safe and healthy, simply playing it by ear- no rush to return to medications if things still seem to be going well. And every effort to remedy any problems if and when they show up.
Belly Button in or out? Still in. Still getting more shallow daily.
Looking forward to? Everything! Some registry things in the next week, and just general things to welcome this little girl into our family. Today was the first day I could feel her kicks by putting my hand on my belly, so I'm thinking that she'll be moving for her dad any time now!
Best moment this week? Finally completing cleaning out the nursery. Over the last week or so, I've probably put in 70 hours of cleaning and organizing to get all of my stuff out so we can fill it with things she will need! The crib and glider are here, and a trip to Ikea on Friday will cover the other big room needs. We also picked out a paint color! I'll do a nursery post this week.

"What are we going to do with a papaya?"
Anyone have any good papaya recipes? 

Also, sorry Baby Girl, that this is half of your genetics. 
While the other half is the person that made your mother make this face.

Note to the Jellybean: Hello Little Girl! I got a little shocked the other day when I said out loud that I only had 18 weeks left in this pregnancy. Really? More than halfway there? After what seemed like an endless wait before telling people, and another long wait for a baby bump, perhaps I shouldn't be so surprised. We are excited for your arrival, but we have a long list of things to do before you get here. Most of those to-dos involve buying things- even trying to be conservative in our needs, babies come with a long list of stuff to get. For now, while my body can still provide everything you need, your dad and I are content with our favorite parts of preparing for your arrival- singing, reading, and talking to you. See you in a few months!

Nursery Colors

Saturday, April 13, 2013

We started out with this. (AUGH! Too much.)

And we've narrowed it down to this!!
This is fairly accurate as far as color goes. Perhaps a little bit more vivid.
We're going for a soft mint/aqua tone.

The Jellybean's musical selections

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Baby Girl and I listen to music all of the time- from setting up my iPhone on my belly to singing to her in the car (no one else needs to hear my voice, but she seems to like it) along with the radio. Here are some favorites- some for the lyrics, some for the wake-up factor, and some for her moving more when it's playing. Either way, if you're prepping for summer, getting your spring cleaning on, or have a dancing fetus of your own, perhaps you'll like my selections.

1. Amos Lee "Seen It All Before" (She likes this one)

2. Coldplay "Life In Technicolor" (sweeping instrumentals)

3. Paolo Nutini "New Shoes" (remember this?)

4. Great Big Sea "Feel It Turn" (makes me feel better every time)

5. Phillip Phillips "Gone Gone Gone" (love the lyrics and could listen to it on repeat...)

6. Chris Trapper "Avalanche" (love it. just love it)

7. Will Hoge "Baby Girl" (I love this for obvious reasons- she does too, she's moving like crazy as it's playing now. Video is a little jumpy, but skip to 1:45 to skip the jumpy stuff and the talking)

8. The Kinks "All Day and All of the Night" (sound quality isn't great, but original footage is pretty cool- you'll still know what song it is. Other videos have more clear recordings.)

Here's to hoping that you get the Herin gene for musical talent, Jellybean. I bet you can get Grandpa Sam to play "Baby Beluga" on the guitar- he'd do it for you.

Need more music? Click here, here, or here to keep avoiding whatever work you should be doing and watching YouTube videos I've put into playlists. I'm not here to judge.

21 Weeks

Monday, April 8, 2013

21 weeks along (and a windy day)!
Here she is! Cute little nose and everything. Can't remember if this particular shot 
is showing her arm or foot (upper right corner)- she was moving and shaking like crazy.
Miss the announcement? Click here. See the story behind it in the comments.

How far along? 21 weeks! The Jellybean is the size of a pomegranate- but Publix didn't have those available so... ear of corn it is! About 10 inches long, and 13 ounces (the length is a guesstimate, but the weight was measured Friday).
Total weight gain? 10 pounds. Right where I should be.
Maternity clothes? Those are my maternity jeans in my 20 week picture. But I'm much smaller than I expected to be. It's not a bad thing- I can easily wear some non-maternity tops and dresses, which expands my options. I definitely have some things, but I just don't need to wear them now.
Movement? Yes! Every single day. I've even started to feel a few kicks in the morning, but she's still pretty active late at night. It's definitely easier since I know now what I'm waiting to feel. I'm hoping they'll be strong enough for Thomas to feel in a few weeks.
Gender? IT'S A GIRL! We were totally shocked and it's still sinking in for both of us that we'll welcome a daughter in August. Thomas looked terrified the day we found out, but by the time we went to bed that night, I think it had sunk in more and he was excited. I'm pretty sure it was all my fault, as I was convinced I was getting a little boy. But we are thrilled and it's led to many funny conversations and daydreams about who this chica is going to turn out to be.

Little foot!

Miss anything? Being able to sit on the floor and get back up without assistance. It just doesn't happen anymore. Thankfully my husband is really strong.
Food cravings? Chicken salad, pasta, and my pregnancy got the best of me at the grocery store yesterday and I came home with donuts. Oh, darn.
Have you started to show? Yes. It's still small, but it exists!
Sleep? Very good. I've been sleeping through the night. I'm not thrilled about the no sleeping on my back, but I usually am a side sleeper anyway, so it's not too big of a deal. I usually get 5 minutes on my back before I go to sleep and 5 after I wake up, just to stretch out my back.
Bipolar Disorder? Happy to say that everything on that front is going well. Since the post I wrote a while back, no more bad days (just one in 21 weeks? Awesome!).
Names? We have picked out names. We actually had them picked out before I was pregnant! So now that we know the gender, we're just trying them out when we talk to her, making sure we like how they sound. Sadly (for you), we are sticking to the plan of not sharing until she decides to grace us with her presence. Hey, if you get to know how much I currently weigh, you can handle waiting. :)

Ever-so-slightly creepy baby skull. And little hands.

Symptoms: Dry skin, indigestion, occasional fatigue. I've been counting my blessings instead of my symptoms mostly, because this pregnancy has gone incredibly well so far.
Belly Button in or out? Still in. Probably half as deep as pre-pregnancy.
Looking forward to? Deciding on some nursery things, more nesting, generally just enjoying this time of having energy, readying the house for a baby in a few months that will fly by, and keeping my feet up. :)
Best moment this week? Definitely the ultrasound and doctor's visit on Friday. It went really well and was so much fun to share the news with family and friends.
So what did the doctor say? That she looks great! Instead of meeting with the midwife at 20 weeks, we did a one-time check with a doctor who reviewed the zillions of ultrasound pictures to check and make sure everything looks super. She's measuring a little small, but there was some initial confusion about the due date when I first came in (not a big deal, but I hadn't had a period after stopping my birth control and before getting pregnant, so my cycle didn't have a chance to regulate itself before a God decided it was time for me to have a baby in there! No complaints here.) so the Jellybean may come out on the revised due date, or she may hang out in me a while longer. One of the reasons we're not sharing my given due date. It's all good. And as a bonus, I might get another ultrasound out of it! But as for everything else: no cleft palate, no markers of heart trouble, no signs that additional testing for anything else is needed. And I have a 3-vessel umbilical cord (the normal number, so that's good). We are very happy, and very appreciative of any prayers and kind thoughts you sent our way.

Big yawn! Flipping her legs above her head must have worn her out. See the big blob 
above her body? That's my placenta. I know you're thrilled to find that out, right?

Note to the Jellybean: Hello Little Girl! First, I'm sorry that we thought you were a boy for so long. Thanks for the (as my father/your grandfather called it) sittin'-naked-on-a-copying-machine-picture (don't worry, I'm not posting that one to the internet)! The ultrasound tech was quite sure you were a girl when you gave us that shot. We are so glad that you are developing well, sustaining your own little heartbeat and movements (you didn't get your flexibility from your father, but you totally got the nail and finger-biting we saw from him). It's amazing that we got to see your brain, heart, kidneys, ribs, spine, bones in your arms and legs- the development is unbelievable from the last time we saw you- you were just a little jellybean-sized blob with a heartbeat. I'm amazed. Your big, furry, four-legged brothers seem to love the little girls who live next door, so I think you're in good paws with them, and odds are good that you can already hear their barking. Your dad is very averse to pink and it's also not my favorite color, but I realized today that you can't not wear pink. They just don't make a lot of girl options that aren't pink. I'm also trying to make him understand that you will grow up to be your own little person- perhaps one who has pink as a favorite color. You also could be as strong-willed as your mother, who only wore green for a month when she was 2 or 3. Either way, keep growing strong in there and moving around lots!
Much love, your Mom

It's a...

20 Weeks

Monday, April 1, 2013

 20 Weeks & this is my parents' house. 
That's why it's painted, decorated, and clean.

How far along? 20 weeks! The Jellybean is the size of a banana. 6.5 inches long, and a whopping 10.6 ounces. Highlights: We find out if our Jellybean is a HeBean or a SheBean this Friday! We can't wait to find out and let you know. Please say a prayer that it doesn't get modest and try to hide it. Also, any prayers for health are always appreciated.
Total weight gain? Still 8 pounds. No weight gain this week.
Maternity clothes? A few things are working their way into my rotation, and I wore a maternity dress for Easter Sunday. And people stared at my stomach- the news is now out, haha. I also wore legitimate maternity jeans today for the first time. The elastic waist reminds me of most of the clothes I had in 2nd grade. I just wasn't quite this tall yet.*
Movement? YES! Hallelujah and thank you!! The first bit of movement I could feel was Saturday. It's so weird and it brings a huge smile to my face every time it happens. The best way I can describe it is the feeling of going as high as you can on a swing, then your stomach dropping when you are on your way back down. It's pretty brief, but sometimes I'll feel it several times in an hour, usually when I'm sitting down and can pay attention. Like when I'm writing.** :)

Family! Hannah wasn't here yet, but you can see her below.
Squirt Face is in the middle. The guy on the end is where I get my brown eyes and height.

Miss anything? I long for the days when Chinese food didn't make me sick. On a related note, Thomas would greatly appreciate anyone who will go out for Chinese food with him.
Food cravings? Fruit: green apples, strawberries, grapes, cantaloupe. Easter candy, and ham, too. And deviled eggs- boy, do I love Easter.
Have you started to show? Yes. It is out and about and hopefully looking less like a large amount of weight gained and more like an indicator of a growing human. I'm getting more of the "I didn't know you were pregnant!!" and the "How are you feeling?" questions. Most people seem surprised, which I find genuinely funny. It is pretty startling when you don't see me every day, as the bump sort of came out in a week or two and can be huge! (Especially if I just ate.)
Sleep? Pretty good. I'm still enjoying sleeping through the night and not looking forward to the inevitable return of my hourly trips to the bathroom. Keeping a pillow between my legs definitely helps with the discomfort and easing back strain. I'm also sleeping on my side about 95% of the time (recommended for circulation and not letting my blood pressure drop). That other 5% is when I wake up on my back (not much I can do there).

Banana phone!

Symptoms: Little leg cramps, shortness of breath, higher energy, and as a few people have commented, a general pregnancy glow (sweet!).
Belly Button in or out? Still in. Probably half as deep as pre-pregnancy.
Looking forward to? The big ultrasound! Hopes for excellent health, getting to watch the little one for a full hour, a determination of gender, and news that everything is progressing as it should. To answer a few questions: we will be sharing the gender with you, but we won't be sharing any names until the Jellybean has graced the world with his or her presence. We also should be able to see a great deal in this ultrasound. Facial features are almost completely developed, and our 20 week-old fetus is going to look a lot like a baby! We didn't get to see a whole lot at our first ultrasound (at 7.5 weeks). That's where we got the Jellybean nickname, because that's about how big it was. We saw a little blob and a heartbeat. It's been growing like crazy, with lots of huge developments, so we're excited to see how far he or she has come.
Gender? April 5. April 5. I'll try to post that day for you!
Best moment this week? An amazing massage a few days ago, and spending time with my family over Easter. And eating 4 or 5 deviled eggs.
Note to the Jellybean: Hey Little Bit (I sometimes call Otto the same thing, but you are probably more deserving of the moniker since he's 55 pounds)! Thank you so much for moving so I can feel it! I think I have to agree with everyone else- it's the coolest part of pregnancy. I love having this connection with you, but I'll be really thrilled when other people can start feeling it too- namely your father, because I can just see his cute face lighting up over you. I love thinking of who you're going to be. I hope to give you a world of opportunity and love. I'm so excited to meet you! I know it's a ways off (and at 10.6 oz, you have some fattening up to do), but I can't wait to see your face and personality and... I'm just trying to say that this is all really exciting. I'm getting gushy, so I'll stop now. As always, know that we love you!

There's Aunt Hannah and Aunt Madison!

*Fun fact: I was usually the first, second, or third tallest in height in my class every year from first to fifth grade. This happened again when I started high school as most of the boys did not reach their growth spurt for a year or two. Yep, 5'9" at 14. Had I met Thomas at that same age, I would have been 10 inches taller than he was.
**Has moved 4 times since I started writing this post! Make that 5...