Monday, April 30, 2007

Week 25

Today I am 25 weeks pregnant. Here is what Babycenter.com says about Baby Sabin:
"Head to heels, your baby now measures about 13 1/2 inches. His weight — a pound and a half — doesn't sound like much, but he's beginning to exchange his long, lean look for some baby fat. As he does, his wrinkled skin will begin to smooth out and he'll start to look more and more like a newborn. His hair is probably recognizable now (in color and texture), although both may change after he's born." Of course, this assumes our baby will have hair!

Now that the baby's hair is recognizable, I have found that mine is thicker. I used to lose it by the handfuls in the shower, but for the last 2 weeks or so, it is only coming out a strand at a time. I wouldn't complain, except my hair is so long that making it extra thick is a tad annoying. I've mostly taken to wearing it up now. I just can't stand it on my neck for too long! For those of you who don't know, I am trying to grow my hair out for Locks of Love. I've recruited a couple of kids from the church to do it with me as well. It is longer now than it has ever been. I just need an inch or two more before I'll be ready to cut it off. I just want it to hit my shoulders after I cut it. It needs to be long enough to pull back once Baby Sabin arrives.

We are still taking name suggestions... feel free to leave them in a comment!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Am I neurotic?

In two weeks, as part of standard maternity care, my doctor has me scheduled for a glucose challenge test (GCT). Because I hate tests, especially ones that I don't know how to prepare for, I did what any connected woman of my generation does - I went to Google for answers. I found out that the GCT is a 1-hour test of my body's ability to produce insulin. I will be given a syrupy liquid to drink and then a simple blood sugar test 1 hour later. If I "pass," it means I haven't developed gestational diabetes. If I "fail" it means I have to take the longer, 3-hour, glucose tolerance test (GTT). A passing blood sugar level on the GCT is 135 or lower, though some doctors will accept anything below 140.

I found a good article on BabyCenter.com which gives more detail about the condition and the testing. There is also a message board where people can ask questions or discuss the topic. I spent about 30 minutes last night reading these messages and just wonder if most of these people actually read the article! While I hope that I haven't developed gestational diabetes (GD), I would much rather know and take corrective action than risk harming my unborn child. I was apalled that so many women wanted to know how to "cheat" on their GCT so they wouldn't have to take the longer, more involved, GTT. The GCT is meant to see what your body does with extra sugar on a regular day, not what it does on a day you have fasted or after you have given up all carbs for 3 days before hand; that is what the GTT is for.

As for me being neurotic... I am borrowing my dad's blood glucose monitor for a couple of weeks to test my own blood sugar. I'd rather know now if I have issues so I can begin making more dietary changes than wait for the lab to call me a couple of days after my GCT. I am glad to report that when I tested my blood sugar this morning before eating breakfast, I was below the recommended level for a fasting blood sugar level of 95.

On a completely different note, I found a cool use for YouTube - DIY videos. I spent a good part of my Saturday evening just browsing this category on YouTube. I even learned how to rip a phone book in half, a trick that I am sure will come in handy at the next party I go to. :-)

Monday, April 23, 2007

24 weeks down... 16 to go

Well, here I am. 16 weeks left of being pregnant. I am very used to feeling Baby Sabin move now. If I haven't mentioned it before, Baby Sabin is most active about 15 minutes after I've eaten and as I lay in bed at night trying to fall asleep. I usually don't feel Baby Sabin in the morning before I get out of bed. Maybe just once if I lay there long enough. Of course, if you know me, you know I am not a morning person at all. I am hoping to have Baby Sabin pick up that trait as well. It will make all sorts of things easier as he or she grows up.

I read a list called "5 most disappointing pregnancy products" this morning. It included things like a home heart-rate monitor and maternity underwear. Early on, I thought about getting a heart-rate monitor myself. Mostly because it was a little nerve-racking to be in the doctor's office and holding my breath waiting to make sure the baby still had a heart beat. Now though, as I can track the baby's progress via all of the kicking going on, I don't feel so nervous about it. And I won't even go into the maternity underwear discussion... can you say parachute?!

Now, an update on Baby Sabin's growth. You can see an interactive picture and here is a description from BabyCenter.com: "Your baby's growing steadily, gaining about a quarter of a pound since last week, when she was just over a pound. Since she's almost a foot long, that makes a pretty lean figure, but her body is filling out proportionally and she'll soon put on more baby fat. Your 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."

Friday, April 20, 2007

Belly Touching & Baby Fat

I was told that once I get pregnant and started showing, people would want to touch my belly. I actually didn't believe Angela when she told me this, boy was I wrong! Never in my life can I recall having an uncontrollable urge to touch the bulging belly of a pregnant lady. Apparently however, others can. And, they act out on that urge! I had no idea that when I got pregnant other people would suddenly feel that it would be okay to just touch my belly.

Why is that? I really cannot relate to it. Hugs and questions are one thing, but just randomly walking up to someone and touching their belly before you even say hi? Are any of you belly touchers? Would you shed some light on the situation for me? What makes it even worse is that most people actually aren't even touching the place on my belly where the baby is located. They are touching my baby fat. My uterus seems to have pushed up what belly fat I did have so that I probably look more pregnant than I actually am. That also explains why I haven't posted any pictures of myself yet. I will probably post some in the next month or so. There really haven't been any pictures taken of me yet though, so you aren't really missing anything.

I did develop a trick to keep people away from my belly. I just carry a book or folder in front of me, so that if people were to reach for my belly, they would have to physically move the impediment. So far, no one has been that bold.

Fun T-shirt



Oh, and on a completely different note, my future sister-in-law sent me this little

Monday, April 16, 2007

23 Weeks

Well, here it is, the last picture of Baby Sabin before we can hold him or her in our arms:
Alien?
Is it awful of me to think our baby looks like an alien? You see the large eyes, pointy chin, and wide forehead? I may have to find out a little more about Bruce's past... just teasing! The baby was rather uncooperative during the ultrasound. Baby Sabin was head down, facing my back, with his or her spine in the front. This meant that, even if I had wanted to find out our child's gender, it would not have been possible. The ultrasound technician was unable to get every shot she normally would due to the baby's position. At least we are certain there is only 1 in there.

The baby's heartbeat was about 133 beats per minute which is considered perfectly healthy. For all of you who want to pretend to know something, there is no way to know our baby's gender by the heartbeat. Dr. Spock says so.

Just to keep you interested, here is another photo of our child; it is a picture of the baby's spine.
Baby Sabin has a backbone!

Last night Baby Sabin must have known today was picture day. I could not fall asleep easily because Baby Sabin kept moving. I think it was the most active night on record so far. The only real pregnancy symptom that I have had with any regularity is heartburn. Fortunately, a few Tums can usually take care of it with no trouble.

Feel free to leave a comment, or advice, or words or wisdom for Baby Sabin!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Months 4 & 5

Months 4 & 5 definitely left me no longer able to wear my regular, pre-pregnancy clothes. But that's okay, I have gotten together a nice little maternity wardrobe. Special thanks have to go to my mom of course, who helped shop for and buy most of it. I don't think I've spent 2 1/2 hours in a dressing room ever in my entire life. I probably tried on almost everything in the Motherhood Maternity store possible.

My favorite part of this phase of being pregnant is feeling Baby Sabin move. It really started about 3 weeks ago, while I was on Spring Break. The first time I know for certain that Baby Sabin wiggled around so I can feel it, I was laying down on my stomach (I can't do that anymore!) and it felt like popcorn popping in my belly for about 30 seconds. It was so cool. Now, I know that Baby Sabin knows when I eat, becaues about 15 minutes later he or she is giving me friendly jabs and kicks.

It is not quite wwhere Bruce can feel it yet, but I can't wait for that day. He is excited about the baby, but I know if he could feel it then this all would become more real to him.

Sometimes, I just wonder, how is it that I have a living human being inside of me? Whenever I feel Baby Sabin, I get a little smile on my face and am amazed at the miracle going on in my belly. Sometimes we call Baby Sabin our little alien because it still just seems so odd how this gift of life works. I often think of Psalm 139:14, which says, "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." It reminds me that my baby is God's. What an awesome responsibility he has given Bruce and I!

Tomorrow I will be 23 weeks pregnant and have a 2nd ultrasound. Until I post the photo from the ultrasound, you can go to BabyCenter to learn about how Baby Sabin is developing.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Months 2 & 3

Once we got through the Christmas season, we still wanted to wait until the appropriate time to share our news with friends. In the meantime, I had my first ultrasound at 10 weeks. Here is the very first picture of Baby Sabin:
10 Weeks Ultrasound

About the time we were ready to announce the growth of our family, another couple in our Life Group class (that would be adult Sunday School at our church) announced that they were expecting a baby of their own - and her due date was only 1 week later than mine. We decided to wait a week or so after that so she might get all the attention an expecting mom wants. I didn't want to "steal her thunder" so to speak.

It is funny though, how many people we forgot to tell. I guess I assumed that if we e-mailed the Life Group that meant everyone in the church would know. Just a week ago I had someone come up to me at church and tell me she had just heard the news. And yet another friend was due yesterday but I had forgotten to tell her. I assume that since I am in a small town that the local rumor mill will take care of spreading my news. This just proves that I'm not important enough to be gossiped about; poor me. :-)

As far as the baby's progress during this time... Baby Sabin was growing quickly. Here is what I read about the baby at the end of 12 weeks: Your baby has hit the 2-inch mark (about the size of a lime) and weighs half an ounce. This week, her face looks practically human. Her eyes have moved closer together, and her ears are right where they should be. [Note: We don't know the gender, so don't get all excited about the 'her' part above, that is just how it was on-line.]

How We Told

First, we went out for a meal with each of Bruce's parents.

His dad and Marilyn met us at Cracker Barrel for a hearty, Saturday morning breakfast. I think I ordered the french toast and ate every last bite of it since it was delicious (don't ask why that is relevant, I don't know, it is just something I remember). We gave them their Christmas presents, holding back none but one. When Bruce Sr. opened it, it took him a second to figure out what it meant. But once he did, you could definitely see the excitement on his face. Marilyn said she suspected that we were going to make an announcement, but I don't know how... we always meet them for a meal around the holidays.

We also had a dinner with his Mom and Bud, but this time at Mimi's Cafe. I happen to remember that I had the chicken-salad sandwich on cinamon raisin bread (another winner). We repeated the process and it took Cindy a moment as well. She says it felt like forever until she got the message, but it really was only a few seconds. She definitely appeared eager to take on the role of Grandma, or Nana, as she has decided to be called.

My parents had a slightly difference experience. It just so happened that last December they celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary. As a way to mark the occassion, they decided a family vacation was in order. They took Bruce and I, along with Nick and his fiance' Michelle, on a 7-day cruise! We were on-board on Christmas Day and I knew exactly how to give them the big news. On Christmas Day, my mom and I had the cabin all set up for opening gifts, including a tree we had packed in our luggage. After the joy of gift-giving seemed to be over, I announced that we had one more gift. This isn't uncommon as Bruce and I usually find something to give everyone at Christmas.

I passed out the boxes under strict order that you had to start opening the gift as soon as you received it. My mom got her box first, then Dad, Nick, and Michelle. I made my mom go first because I knew she would make the best face! I wasn't disappointed. Just as she figured out her "I love Grandma" onesie I snapped this picture:
Surprise!

It was so much fun and chaos ensued as we tried to navigate hugs and congratulations in a small, cruise-ship sized stateroom. The rest of the time on the cruise my dad would make sure that everyone he saw knew he was going to be a grandpa. Of course, we decided to call him "Grumpy" instead of "Grampy" because it suits him in a quirky way.

First Post

Oh my... I've wanted to try and get into keeping a journal of my pregnancy for a few months now. However, I've just been too busy to take the time to sit down and figure out the best way to do this. I have a few blogs that I enjoy reading on a regular basis and I hope to emulate them, but with my own twist.

I've been fairly occupied since January with working with the Cadet Colorguard at the school where I teach. It was so much fun working with all of the girls and well, re-living my own youth, in a way. Having a flah and a rifle in my hand brought back a lot of happy memories. The time committment was a few afternoons a week and several weekend competitions. Now though, guard season is over, summer is almost upon us, and I only have 17 weeks left of being pregnant. So it is time to get down to business, the blogging business that is!

As of next Monday, April 16, I will be 23 weeks pregnant. I'll try to play catch up and tell you about my experiences so far.

Month 1 - Bruce and I decided last November that it was time to bring some new life into this world. Since I had been anticipating this moment, I knew what day would be the earliest I could get a positive pregnancy result if I was indeed pregnant. You better believe I tested first thing that morning! Even though I was really sick that day and wasn't well enough to go to school, I was not in a bad mood when the plus sign appeared on the short, white stick. It was kind of nice having the secret for the entire 30 seconds it took me to go tell Bruce.

The biggest decision at this point was how are we going to tell our family? I wanted to tell them in a way that would be memorable and meaningful. We finally settled on using Christmas gifts as the secret-bearer. Bruce and I worked hard designing an iron-on transfer for each grandparent that would be applied to a onesie. They basically said, "I love Grandma," with a heart in place of the word love. This was the last gift that we gave each grandparent. It was a huge success. I'll write more later to give you the details of how it went down!

Ciao!