Wednesday, August 21, 2013

20 Weeks - Half Way!

Pregnancy Highlights:

How Far Along: 20 weeks
Size of baby: 10 inches long and about 10.5 ounces. The size of a banana!  I feel like I've grown as well over the last week :).
Maternity Clothes: Maternity jeans and stretchy or flowy dresses. I steal Michael's t-shirts now, and I desperately need a few casual maternity tops.  I have a few tops that fit,  but I'm running out quickly.
Gender: Not finding out!
Movement: Flutters and light movement, mostly at night
Sleep: Sleeping ok on my left side.  Lots of pillows have invaded the bed, and my shoulders hurt from sleeping on my sides.  
Symptoms: I'm feeling good these days
What I miss: Sleeping on my stomach or back, the occasional adult beverage, sandwiches, and caffeinated coffee
Cravings: I love cheese, potatoes, fruit, and salt & vinegar chips, but I don't know if I manically crave anything.  I've enjoyed being able to cook again and eat the few things I couldn't during the first trimester.  I was on a Greek yogurt kick for the past few months, but I'm not feeling yogurt this week.
Best Moment this week: Having friends over and getting to show the nursery progress.  
What I am looking forward to: Spending Saturday morning at the spa enjoying a prenatal massage, mani and pedi thanks to my wonderful husband!  My mom is coming Labor Day weekend, and I'm excited to do go shopping with her!

At some moments, it seems that time has flown by, and I can't believe I'm halfway through this pregnancy, and at other times it feels like time stands still.  It may seem silly, but there is a sense of accomplishment for making it this far and enjoying the journey as much as I have.  Four weeks in, I was terrified that I could not physically, emotionally, or mentally handle being pregnant mostly due to the anxiety and panic attacks I've experienced for the past five years.  I would call my mom and cry because I felt so bad the first few weeks, and she told me that I would learn to be stronger and would make it.  She told me that something happens when you become a mom, and you can endure so much more than you ever thought possible and strength draws from some once unknown place getting you through the tough times.  For me, my strength has come from God, Michael, my mom and a few great friends who are willing to let me talk when I need to.

 I am so thankful for Michael.  I want him to know how this journey has wonderfully confirmed how perfect he is for me.  He is the foil to my madness, always calming me and helping me to see the other side of things.  He is so willing and eager to walk alongside me through every decision, every doctors appointment, every parenting book I pick out, and so many things in between.  I'm thankful we are a team, and he is so willing to be there for me and McBaby even after working a thousand hours a week.  I don't know what I have done to deserve him, and I am so blessed!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

19 Weeks

Pregnancy Highlights:

How Far Along: 19 weeks
Size of baby: 6 inches long and about 1/2 pound. The size of a large heirloom tomato!
Total Weight Gain: 5 Pounds
Maternity Clothes: I have rocked some maternity jeans a few times, and I love how comfy they are.
Gender: Not finding out!
Movement: A few flutters
Sleep: Sleeping well on my left side
Symptoms: I'm feeling good these days
What I miss: Sleeping on my stomach
Cravings: Cheese, potatoes, fruit, and salt & vinegar chips
Best Moment this week: Taking a mini-vacation to Atlanta this past weekend, seeing McBaby at our ultrasound and getting the nursery painted
What I am looking forward to: Decorating the nursery

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

McBaby's First Pictures & Names

Yesterday, we saw McBaby during our anatomy ultrasound.  I was excited and nervous at the same time.  I couldn't wait to see how McBaby is growing, but I didn't want to discover that anything was wrong.  I believe every parent fears for the safety and health of their baby, and I know that this feeling will never go away even when he or she turns 45!  Everything looked wonderful, and Michael and I truly fell in love yesterday.  I cannot describe the feelings I have now, whether I should cry or smile or both, but I am so happy.

Some days I have struggled with being pregnant because McBaby was a total surprise.  I have encountered fear for so many reasons and have doubted my ability to be a mother.  But the precious part of this time is how God has held me and has guided me through, slowly opening my heart and filling it with love and courage.  This is His perfect plan...there is no more doubt.  Seeing McBaby on that monitor yesterday gave me such a sense of joy, and I am thankful I get to experience this awesome, unspeakable feeling.

Here are some pictures of McBaby yesterday.  I've been asked if we got to see the goods.  No we did not.  McBaby had his/her knees up the whole time blocking my view to be able to guess as though he/she knew we were not supposed to find out.  When the technician checked the gender, she turned the screen away so we couldn't see.  She is the only one who knows if we are having a boy or girl. She did not reveal the gender on our chart or in the ultrasound report, so our doctor does not even know.  To say it was hard for me not to find out is an understatement!!!

McBaby was awesome for the camera!

Flexing a bicep!

 Waving at us!

Since we don't have the opportunity to share with you whether we are having a boy or girl, I thought it would be fun to reveal our names.  As I mentioned last week, this was very easy for us for the most part.  Thankfully, Michael and I have the same taste in names.

This was our criteria for names:

1. Classic and Timeless.  The name has to grow with the baby and sound just as great reading it from a resume in 20 years as it does on a monogrammed onesie.

2. Family Names

3. Biblical Names

Some of the names that we really loved for a girl were Katherine and Rebekah, and I loved Olivia and a few double names like Emma Claire.  But I really wanted to incorporate a family name that reminded us of the people we love most, and when I said her name, we both agreed it was the one:

Annmarie Grace

Our daughter will be named after both of her grandmothers.  Michael's mom's middle name is Ann, and my mom's middle name is Marie.  We think it's perfect!

I would say I played a bigger role in choosing the name for a girl, while Michael chose our name for a boy.  We decided on the boy name quite early, but I wanted to be sure so I gave Michael a list of several additional names, and he vetoed them all.  He wanted a strong, biblical name for our son, and he also wanted to honor his father and brother with our son's middle name:

Noah Sean

In 21 weeks, we will get to meet our Annmarie or Noah.  It has been so fun to have our friends, family, and strangers tell me what I am having based on my symptoms, eating habits, or a hunch they have.  80% have told me I'm having a boy and 20% are hanging with Michael and believe I'm carrying a girl.  I am believing 100% that our little girl or boy will be healthy and perfect!    

Thursday, August 8, 2013

18 Weeks & Nursery Progress

Sorry to disappoint, but there is no 18 week picture to post.   I didn't get to see my coworker who graciously offers to take the weekly picture yesterday, and by the time I get home, I can't put on my big t-shirt and stretchy shorts fast enough...and who wants to see a picture of me in that?!

Week 17 and 18 have been great, considering I'm pregnant.  I don't really know if I will ever feel great during this time, but I feel a good 90%, and I will take it!  The nausea is gone, the food aversions are gone, and the hormonal crazies are pretty much extinct for now.  New developments are low back pain, a weird-me-out belly button that's slowly making its way from an innie to an outie, less sleep, and a big belly that I spill food on every time I eat!

Other exciting news is that we are making progress on our nursery.   I have been obsessed with finding the perfect color that is gender neutral and peaceful.  After taking home dozens of swatches and buying four paint samples, we finally picked a color.

White Willow by Behr

I truly love it, and I smile every time I look at it on the wall.  I was convinced I wanted a shade of mint, but I could not find a mint that didn't remind me of a boy's room or of the 1990's skating rink I used to hang out at in grade school.  

I also picked bedding!  And let me just say that I need to get into the crib bedding industry because the price of this stuff is crazy!!!  And I have been duped!  The bedding is so cute and perfect and you can't help but picture your perfect kid who doesn't cry and constantly smiles sleeping soundly in your overpriced bedding that's just so wonderful!  Then you get it home after spending a million bucks and realize, my kid is going to stain this expensive bumper in about 20 seconds!!!  Oh's all part of the journey.  I was on the hunt for something neutral that did not have a theme, and once I found it, I knew it was it.

See there!  They get you with the perfect smiling baby!  I bought the bumper and crib skirt from this set and plan to use a plain white sheet and no blanket.  We are incorporating lambs (just a few) rather than bunnies.  

We are having the full anatomy ultrasound on Tuesday.  Though we aren't finding out the gender, I'm very excited for this appointment.  I think it will be neat to share with you the names we have decided on for a boy and girl next week.  Deciding on our names has been the easiest part of this journey, and we both agreed quickly on our two favorites, which was a relief!