Thursday, June 26, 2008

28 Weeks

What is the baby doing...

This week the baby weighs two and a quarter pounds and measures 14.8 inches from the top of her head to her heels. She can blink her eyes, which now sport lashes. With her eyesight developing, she may be able to see the light that filters through my womb. She is also developing billions of neurons in her brain and adding more body fat in preparation for life in the outside world.

How is the Mommy doing...

I am starting to realize why veteran moms give me the sympathetic look that reads..."I am sorry you are going to be pregnant during the summer in Houston." It is hot and very draining. Eventhough I work inside and stay inside a good amount of my day just the increase in temperature wears me out. I have already asked John to turn down the thermostat about 4 degrees from normal and it will probably need to go lower than that. Other than being hot, we are all doing well.

Avery is getting stronger and kicking me harder and more frequently. I was actually able to see her kick when I was laying down on the couch on Friday. It is so exciting to know that she is getting stronger and growing.

This weekend was great, productive but relaxing. Friday we went and looked at another day care and still have a couple more we would like to visit before deciding. Titus also went to the vet for his annual check up and besides his persistent ear infection that has flared up recently, he got a clean bill of health. That night we celebrated a good friend, Kim's birthday which was tons of fun. Saturday we spent the day getting things done around the house which was a huge relief to be able to check off the list. I did attempt to do some errands at Wal Mart in the afternoon and quickly realized that it is getting way too hot to venture out of the house in the afternoon. Then today we went to church, had small group and then had a nice afternoon nap and then tonight I was able to catch up with my friend Diane for some accountability time. So a great relaxing weekend!

I am excited about the four day week and about being able to have my sister over for fourth of July. It is great that she will be living so close!

Also, check out the links for pictures of the nursery that my sister took when she was here! The butterfly mobile wasn't hung up yet and the glidder still hasn't arrived but you can get the idea of what it is looking like.

Nursery Pictures

  • Next Doctor's Appointment: Friday, July 11
  • Total Weight Gain: 25 pounds
  • To Do This Week: Celebrate John's birthday on Sunday (7/6)
How is the Daddy doing...

"It is freezing in this house." John has decided that this might be the only September baby in our family as we might not be able to afford the electric bill. He has been joking all week with me on how cold it is yet whenever he asks me how I am feeling, I am just barely comfortable.

John missed his Saturday morning run due to rain so this morning I suggested that he run to the Blockbuster and return a movie that we had rented thinking it was not that far. It ended up being an extra two miles than anticipated for a total of seven miles! John and Titus both survived although Titus is pretty worn out from the adventure.

Monday, June 23, 2008

27 Weeks

Welcome to the first week of my third trimester!

What is the Baby doing...

This week Avery weighs almost 2 pounds (like the head of cauliflower) and is about 14 1/2 inches long with her legs extended. She is sleeping and waking at regular intervals, opening and closing her eyes, and perhaps even sucking her fingers. With more brain tissue developing, her brain is very active now. While her lungs are still immature, they would be capable of functioning -with a lot of medical help - if she was to be born now.

How is the Mommy doing...

I am so happy to finally have a pretty calm week and some sense of normalcy. We attended our class at the hospital on Tuesday and learned about pain medication during labor which was interesting. Pray for guidance for me as I start to make decisions on whether I will choose to have an epidural during labor. The rest of the week was pretty calm and then this weekend was busy but still overall relaxing. On Friday, our friend Robbie Shelton helped us out by picking up the crib with John. We are so thankful for his help in getting it home. Saturday we had a Fajita Lunch for Pee Wee Ville which was great to sit down with other people we serve with and offer suggestions on how to make it better. I love that we go to a church that sees the importance in a children's ministry and that our daughter will have place where she can learn about Jesus starting as an infant. While we were there, one of our friends, Sonia also blessed us with giving us her barely used Boppy Pillow which is one less thing we will need to get for Avery. After the lunch I went for a prenatal massage (my mother's day present) which was amazing! It was so relaxing and just what I needed to take care of some of the aches and pains I have been having. I have already decided that I will be going at least one more time before the baby comes. Later that afternoon I finally got started on my arts and craft projects and painted the letters for Avery's room and painted a shelf. I also started on washing everything that she has gotten so far and putting it away in hopes on staying on top of it. We also hung the curtain and made the crib. I love how everything is coming together and can not wait to bring her home to this room we have put so much time into.  Tonight we are going to hang up the letters, buttery mobile and shelf and then the nursery is pretty much done. We are still waiting on the glidder to be delivered at the end of the month but it is nice to know her room is ready for her. Once we get a replacement to our camera I will make sure to post pictures. If you remember, I originally said I wanted the nursery done by end of July so we are a month ahead which is nice! Next steps are working on purchasing the stroller/car seat and all the other things that she needs. It is amazing how someone so small needs so much!

Avery has been kicking more and is starting to have consistent awake and sleeping times. John was able to really feel her kick strongly last night which was nice since she is so fickle in her movements. She is getting stronger and more frequent though which is comforting!

This week will be pretty calm and I have my summer Friday off! We will be visiting another daycare and then making a decision so we can make a deposit July 1 on where she will go. We are leaning towards the last place we visited (Primrose) but want to check out one more before making a final decision. Titus is also going to the vet this week so hopefully everything is healthy with him. Also, this Tuesday is my boss, Gary's last day at work. He is leaving for another company which is great for him but I will really miss him :(
  • Next Doctor's Appointment: July 11
  • Total Weight Gain: 23.5 pounds
  • To Do This Week: Visit another daycare and make a decision, Titus vet appointment
How is the Daddy Doing...

I (John is writing now) had a pretty good week.  Things at work are going really well.  Have you ever gotten to that point in your job where you are doing really well with your work, you're a go-to-person for information, and you're getting a lot done, well, that is how last week was for me, so I hope this week can be like that as well.  The weekend was pretty full.  Saturday morning was the official start for the Houston Marathon training for Texas Gulf Coast Running Club.  I have been there off and on this spring/summer, but now I have to kick my training into high gear if I'm going to win the marathon :).  Saturday afternoon was very unique for me; I put together my daughter's crib.  It didn't take very long to put together, but I know that I will remember the moment for a long time.  Sunday morning was also a new experience at church as I was asked to train to be a Room Host.  I have been pretty apprehensive about being a Room Host; being in charge of 30-50 4 and 5 year-olds sounds pretty scary, but I decided to put on my big boy pants and go for it.  I think it is going to be o.k., because God will give me the strength and wisdom to make it all a great experience.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

26 Weeks

What is the baby doing...

The network of nerves in the baby's ears is better developed and more sensitive than before. She may now be able to hear both John and my voice's when we chat with each other. She is inhaling and exhaling small amounts of amniotic fluid, which is essential for the development of her lungs. These so-called breathing movements are also good practice for when she is born and takes that first gulp of air. She is continuing to put on baby fat and now weighs about a pund and two-thirds and measures 14 inches from head to heel.

How is the Mommy doing...

I am so happy that the craziness of the first part of this month is now over! We are home and it is nice to know that the rest of this month and summer should be calmer. I also can't believe that in a couple more weeks I will be entering my third trimester. I am excited but also a little overwhelmed that it has come up so quickly.

Last Monday was a busy day, I started out with my doctor's appointment and everything looks good. The babies heart beat was at 155 bpm, my blood pressure and measurements were normal and everything is continuing to progress as it should. I expressed my concern over how little she moves and was reassured that she will be moving more and more as she runs out of room. I have felt some stronger kicks here and there this week but nothing like I though she would be doing by now. I also asked the doctor her opinion on how much weight I have gained since I am already over 20 pounds and still have 14 more weeks to go. She said that everything was fine and that since I wasn't really sick at all during my first trimester when most women lose weight that could be the reason or since I was running so much my body stored more nutrients to adjust. Either way since I eat pretty healthy and haven't changed my diet much, she isn't concerned. As long as little Avery is healthy and growing then I will continue to do what I am doing. The test for gestational diabetes came back negative which is a praise! Later that night we had our childbirth class at the hospital which went well and we are both feeling more and more confident about the labor process and what I will need from John. Since we were out town this Monday we are going to the Tuesday class this week.

Our changing table and crib came in this week and we were able to get the changing table home in the Civic and will need to go back with a friend to get the crib. So far we have put together a small bookcase for her books/toys and the changing table. It is so much fun to see the nursery taking shape. Now that we are done with all of our traveling and we have some weekends at home, I am sure we will get the nursery pretty close to finished soon.

We left for Portland on Friday to attend my good friend Megan's wedding and it was a crazy trip! We got to Portland fine and took the Metro Rail from the airport into downtown. We arrived at our hotel fine only for me to realize that for the first time in my life, I left my purse somewhere...on the train! We tried to reach the lost/found number only to be hung up on so I started to call all of my cards and cancel them and then John and I decided to go to a stop and see if we could catch the same train on the way back and talk to the driver. We ended up finding an operator who used his radio to find out that the train we were on was about 5 minutes away. When it arrived the driver did say he found a purse which he had for me. Although my wallet and ID were still there, someone did steal my cell phone, my cash and our camera. I was pretty upset. After getting composed, John and I got some lunch and walked around Portland before going to the rehearsal and dinner that night. The wedding went really well on Saturday and it was so such a blessing to be able to see such a good friend enter into marriage. I am so excited for them both and that they get to experience a whole new part of life. My bridesmaids dress worked out great and matched perfectly! I also had tons of energy that day which was a praise. We did end up getting some disposable cameras so once we get those developed I will update with pictures. After the wedding, we headed out on Sunday for Seattle. We originally planned on flying but got to the airport with not enough time to check in before the cut off (the insane lines did not help) we missed our flight. At this point in our trip we could not help but laugh at how two very organized/planning people have managed to make this a difficult and chaotic trip. They refunded our tickets since the only flight out was that night and John and I rented a car and drove to Seattle instead. About three hours later we finally arrived and I fell in love with Seattle! The weather was beautiful..sunny with a slight chill and the city was amazing. I loved seeing the mountains and Puget Sound! We spent Sunday walking around. We started out at Pike Place Market which is where I wish I could go weekly. I loved all of the fresh fruit, fish, vegetables and flowers! We ate some amazing clam chowder at Pike Place Chowder and stopped by the first Starbucks. After wondering around some more we headed back to the waterfront and decided to visit the Seattle Aquarium. I got to touch a sea cucumber, starfish and other various things and it was fun to see all the different fish and animals. We then walked along the waterfront some more and then went to check in at our hotel for a nap before dinner. We stayed at the Alexis Hotel in downtown which was great and we highly recommend staying there if you visit Seattle. It was a great location and a really nice hotel. After a nap we headed to the Space Needle for dinner which was so much fun. Since we only had a day in Seattle it was nice to be able to have a nice dinner and take in the views as it rotated. We were able to have great views of Puget Sound, Mt Rainer and the areas around Seattle. Today we got up early and made it back to Pike Place Market for breakfast at Lowell's overlooking the water and then we headed to the airport. I wish we could have had more time in Seattle but it is probably good we left when we did or else I would have started to look for houses and jobs. I loved the atmosphere of a big city that was laid back and was surrounded by nature. John and I will have to take a trip back after Avery comes! Overall our trip away went well. I am a little tired and although it went well I have no desire to travel until Avery comes as it is getting uncomfortable flying, sleeping away from home and just having enough energy to walk around and explore a whole new city. This week should be a little calmer but we still have a good amount of stuff to do with our class tomorrow and getting settled back into our daily routine.
  • Next Doctor's Appointment: Friday, July 11
  • Total Weight Gain: 22 pounds
  • To Do This Week: Get a new cell phone, get a prenatal massage on Saturday, work on the nursery, get a haircut
How is the Daddy doing...

John enjoyed visiting Portland and was able to spend all day Saturday exploring on his own while I was getting ready for the wedding. He also celebrated his first Father's Day. Avery got him a shirt for her to wear that says,"I love my Daddy," and he also got a book on what to expect as a new dad. Hopefully by reading that he can be a little more prepared to handle the changes about to come. John loved the Seattle weather and would like to report that they have just as many Starbucks (maybe more) than Houston. We both had a good time away but are both really happy to be home and are looking forward to some calmer weeks ahead.

John and I at the rehearsal dinner

Sunday, June 8, 2008

25 Weeks

What is the baby doing...

Head to heels, Avery now measures about 13 1/2 inches. Her weight - a pound and a half - isn't much more than an average rutabaga, but she's beginning to exchange her long, lean look for some baby fat. As she does, her wrinkled skin will begin to smooth out and she'll start to look more and more like a newborn. She's also growing more hair - and if you could see it, you'd now be able to discern its color and texture.

How is the Mommy doing...

This has been a crazy week! Monday was our first class at the hospital and it was not as scary as I thought it would be. We would really appreciate prayers that we continue to learn what we need to and that we are not stressed with the time commitment.

I left on Tuesday for my trip to Iowa for work at the world's largest truck stop in Walcott, Iowa. The event was a success and I managed to not wear myself out too much. For those who don't know what I was doing all week long. One of the accounts that I work on is for Shell Lubricants and their product Shell Rotella T (a heavy-duty engine oil for big trucks) hosts an annual contest, Shell Rotella SuperRigs, to honor working trucks. Pretty much it is a beauty contest for trucks. Some of these trucks are amazing and they all come out to win some prize money and possibly get a spot in the annual calendar. It is sounds a little weird but it is tons of fun and you meet some of the most interesting people and hear their stories. I have a whole new appreciation for the trucking industry. While in Iowa, I had my first experience with a tornado! On Saturday, as we were doing the award ceremony we were informed by a police officer that he received word of a tornado watch and that we needed to speed things along. We finished the award ceremony and as soon as everything was done it started looking worse and we were advised to take shelter in the truck stop. As soon as I got inside it started pouring down hurricane like rain. We waited it out and then went back out to the event and saw that the main tent had blown down among other things. We cleaned up slightly and then when there was word of another possible tornado in the area we headed out to get to the hotel and away from the bad weather. A little wild but all turned out fine! On my way home Sunday I encountered more bad weather in Chicago which meant sitting on the runway for two hours but I finally got home to my wonderful family!

While at the event, I have noticed how much more uncomfortable I am getting. My back has been hurting slightly for awhile but it is now starting to be constant and painful with no relief. I find that no matter if I am sitting or standing the middle to upper left side is painful. I am not sure how I am going to be able to handle this for another 13 weeks especially since I am only going to gain more weight. I also noticed that I need to stop and catch my breath more and more which is weird when I feel like I just ran the half marathon in January.

While away, John painted the nursery for me and I am so happy! It really meant a whole lot to me that he did that while I was away and that we are one step closer to a finished nursery for Avery. The crib should be delivered this week and a couple of other items should arrive as well.

I also realized this week that the stroller that we registered for is now discontinued which stinks! The new fabric design will be out shortly and hopefully we can add it to our registry or order it soon without it being on back order. I have been feeling a little overwhelmed with how much stuff we need to get for such a little person and hopefully starting more on the nursery I will be feel better.

This week is another busy week. I have a doctor's appointment on Monday where I will be tested for gestational diabetes along with my monthly check up. Then that night we have our second class at the hospital. It also looks like I will have a pretty busy week at work and then John and I leave on Friday morning for Portland for my good friend Megan's wedding where I am a bridesmaid. We will be spending Friday and Saturday in Portland and then driving to Seattle on Sunday and returning back to Houston on Monday (we will be updating the blog Monday when we get back). This will be our last trip before the baby comes and we are excited about getting away and being able to visit Seattle. Pray for safe travels and that I am able to rest when needed.
  • Next doctor's appointment: Monday, June 9
  • Total weight gain: 20 pounds
  • To do this week: Catch up at work, get a pedicure and pack for our trip to Portland!
How is the Daddy doing....

John really hates painting...really! Which is why it was such an act of love to have done it all week while I was away. Other than finishing some painting in the hallway from earlier this year we should be done with painting for awhile. This week John has a presentation at work. He is excited about our trip this weekend to Portland and to Seattle and is pretty excited about visiting the first Starbucks with me!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

24 Weeks

What is the baby doing?

She is growing steadily, gaining about a quarter of a pound since last week, when she was just over a pound. Since she is almost a foot long (picture an ear of corn), that makes a pretty lean figure, but her body is filling out proportionally and she'll soon put on more baby fat. The baby's skin is thin, translucent and wrinkled, her brain is growing rapidly and her taste buds are developing. Her lungs are developing "branches" of the respiratory "tree" and cells that produce surfactant, a substance that helps the air sacs inflate easily.

How is the Mommy doing?

This week has been a little wild. Sunday night I was pretty sick and coughing pretty bad which meant that John and I stayed home from a wedding which we were pretty upset about. Monday consisted of coughing a whole lot and trying to rest. When I went to work on Tuesday, my cough was even worse and so I decided to go to my general doctor and make sure nothing was too wrong. Well, turns out I had a severe upper respiratory infection which was obviously not getting better on its own so she prescribed some antibiotics that are safe for pregnancy. I started those which have helped but I am still coughing just not as bad. Then, I noticed on Wednesday when I was driving home from work that I hadn't felt Avery move since Tuesday. That night in bed I still didn't feel anything and so Thursday morning after still not feeling anything I decided to give my doctor a call just to check and mostly to get some reassurance that I was just having first time mom fears. Well, since the lack of movement corresponded with the start of medication and I have been so sick, to my surprise, she actually asked me to go to the hospital to get everything checked out. John met up with me at the hospital that afternoon and after a whole lot of questions and hearing the heart beat they said everything was fine. The nurse said that since I am not past 24 weeks movement is not consistent and her heart rate was fine then there was nothing to really worry about. It was such a relief to hear her heart beat and hear that everything was fine with our little girl. I am thankful that I do have a doctor that is proactive though. She has moved some since then which has been reassuring. As the weeks go on I am starting to think she isn't too active of a baby which might change as things get more cramped in there. I had Friday off from work and John and I started the morning off by visiting the first daycare on our list. The visit went really well and we both left comforted that there is a affordable and quality care available. This daycare has always been on the top of our list and after our visit we both feel really confident in keeping it there. We have a couple more to visit and then we are hoping to make a decision before the end of July to make sure to get a spot at our top choice. I also ordered the crib which should arrive in a couple of weeks as well as picked up some other items for the nursery. That night, John and I also were able to visit our friend's Robbie and Sarah and their new baby girl, Emma. She is adorable and it was so amazing to finally see her after so many months of praying for her. John quickly realized after holding her how he is just going to melt for his little girl when she comes. I loved seeing John holding her and one of the things I am most excited about is John being able to be a part of our little girl's life. I know that he will be an amazing dad and I can't wait! Saturday we went and did some errands and picked up the paint for the nursery (Poetic Princess won). We also had a nice date night downtown at Julia's which was really nice and fun to get out and try a new place. 

This week is a very busy week for me. On Monday we are starting our first class at the hospital and then Tuesday I head out to Iowa for a week long work event returning Sunday. Please pray for safe travels and that I remember my limits and not exert myself. Also, please pray that Avery continues to be healthy and growing as she is supposed to.
  • Next Doctor's Appointment: June 9
  • Total Weight Gain: 17 pounds
How is the Daddy doing...

John is relieved that everything is fine with the baby and was so supportive during the visit to the hospital. He is such a rock for me when I need it. He is excited about starting the classes at the hospital and learning more about what to expect during labor and other baby care. While I am gone, John has offered to paint the nursery and I am so excited that I will be able to come home and start putting things together. He is excited about painting his little girl's room and is hoping it won't take all week.