Thursday, May 31, 2012

26 Week OB Appointment

Today we had our 26 week OB appointment.  I am technically 26 weeks and 3 days, and according to our appointment am measuring right at 27....so we're just about on schedule and if little miss wants to come a few days early, that's fine with me!  According to the scale in the office, I'm up about 19 pounds since pre-pregnancy. 

We got to hear Ellison's beautiful, precious heartbeat again today which was pumping strong at 155 BPM.  As soon as the nurse put the Doppler up to my belly, Ellison gave a big kick and you could hear it "thwomp" through the speaker!  So fun! 

We met another of the doctor's in the practice as well.  Dr. Danner is a super nice guy who we really liked a lot.  As soon as he opened his mouth when he walked in the room to say hello...I said, "Where are you from?"  He said, "I'm from New Orleans."  Knew it.  You can tell a Louisiana accent from a mile away!  So, I told him I grew up in Tickfaw, Louisiana and he said, "Tickfaw!  That's out in the boonies!"  Yes, Dr. Danner, it definitely is!  He went to med school at LSU and we talked a little football during my exam.  If I randomly go into labor one day and he's the MD on call, I'll be OK with it.  :-) 

All in all, it was a really good appointment.  We are scheduled to head back in two weeks for the glucose test and to meet another doctor.  We're officially on the every-other-week appointment schedule now!  It's tick tocking by so fast!!  We'll see if I'm still singing that same tune in July and August though!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Child Life Conference 2012

I just spent four days in our nation's capital for the annual Child Life Conference.  It was a great conference, and I got a lot of great ideas and information that I think I'll really be able to use back here in Charlotte.  It was also great because I'd never been to Washington, DC before!  Is that weird?  I feel like it might be...  Anywho, we got to spend a little time sightseeing and ate some really fabulous food!  We stayed at the Marriott Wardman Park which was right in the Adams Morgan/Woodley Park neighborhood.  We even braved, and conquered, the Metro!  Which, by the way, was really great and about a thousand times less scary that the MARTA in Atlanta!  We were able to see the Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial, the Capitol from a distance, the FDR Memorial, and the new MLK Memorial.  We saw the Pentagon and Arlington Cemetery...from our cab.  We had an unbelievable dinner at this great little French restaurant called Petit Plats. There definitely wasn't enough time to cram in all the things I would have liked to have done/seen, but I'm looking forward to going back to visit.  Here are a few snapshots of the trip!

Kasey's yummy looking Bloody Mary at breakfast...

My sad little tomato juice.

The 204 foot escalator at our Metro stop.  It takes 2 minutes and 20 seconds to ride this bad boy.  We were literally taken aback when we walked up to it!

The Washington Monument

Me and Ellie Bean on our first trip to DC!

So, Barrett told me to take a picture "holding up" the monument.  In my head, I heard "lean on it"

Jefferson Memorial

Jefferson Memorial and Me

Good old' Thomas Jefferson

Front of the JM

Entrance to the FDR Memorial

Lots of waterfalls!  Very peaceful in here!

MLK, Jr. Memorial

Arlington Cemetary

The Pentagon

Week 26

Dear Ellison,

You are 26 weeks old now!  You weigh almost 2 pounds, and head to heel you're about 14 inches!  Your hearing is much more sensitive and you should be able to hear your Daddy and me talking to each other...and to you.  :-)  You are inhaling and exhaling small amounts of amniotic fluid - practicing breathing movements for that first big breath of air. You are soaking up my antibodies and building your immune system.  Here are the little details of the week...

How Far Along? Twenty Six Weeks...98 days to go! DOUBLE DIGITS!

Weight Gain?  Not 100% sure...I am pretty sure I'm still under 20 pounds...maybe around 17 or 18?  We have an OB appointment on Thursday, so I'll have a real number then.  Yay.  :-)

Sleep? Sleep is great at home...not so much when I'm not at home!  I am just so used to sleeping with my body pillow now that it's really uncomfortable to sleep without it!  I am having weird dreams too.  Last night I dreamed that I was at work and I was so hot that I just kept taking off layers of clothes in my office.  No big deal.  I'm getting up at least twice to pee in the middle of the night.  Won't be sad when that finally goes away!

Miss Anything? Sleeping through the night?  Guess now's as good a time as any to get ready for that though!

Movement?  Oh yes...all the time!  Little miss is definitely doing backflips in there!  Barrett gets to feel her at least once a day.  I'm starting to notice patterns in her awake times.  She's most active around 9:00 am, 2:00 pm, 6:00 pm, and 10:00 pm.  I'm sure she's wiggling in the middle of the night too, but luckily her little punches aren't waking me up quite yet!  I can also SEE her moving around a lot now!  I can watch her move from one side of my belly to the other...a punch on the left, roll to the right, punch on the right.  No real body parts are identifiable yet, but she's quite the show as a rolling wave!  :-)

Food Cravings? Definitely still fruit.  I cut up a big watermelon and two pints of strawberries today.  Hopefully they'll get me through the week!  I have also been wanting french fries!  I have restrained myself and haven't eaten them much, but when we are out to dinner they always sound good!

Any Aversions? Yep...still eggs and big chunks of chicken.

Gender? It's a GIRL ~ Ellison Gray.

Symptoms?  I'm definitely notcing myself getting out of breath much easier lately.  Doesn't take much activity to get me winded!

Best Moment this Week?  I was in DC this week for the Child Life Conference.  It was the first time I'd ever been...which to me seems strange because I feel like everyone else I know has been!  It was great to see so many of the monuments and take in a little history.  I wore myself out though!  We did a ton of walking and the temperatrure was in the low 90's!  I seriously thought I broke myself...I was in bed by 6:30!

Looking Forward To...  We have our 26 week OB appointment this week.  Nothing crazy...just meeting another one of the doctors from our office.  We'll get to hear our sweet girl's heartbeat again which is always so great!  I also have my first baby shower this weekend!  It will be pretty small, mostly just close family, but I am looking forward to getting together with people that I love to celebrate our sweet Ellison!  My stepmom Sondra is coming into town Thursday night from Louisiana and Barrett's mom Susan will be in Friday from Florida.  We can't wait to see everyone!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

A Few of My Favorite Things

Just have to share...

Two of my favorite things...my sweet Buddy boy and baby clothes.  Put them together, and the cuteness overload makes me want to explode.

I think I'll buy one in every size available.  :-)

Baby Prep

We're finally getting places in our baby preparations!  The new first floor guest room is almost completely put back together, the nursery has been painted, we've scheduled the delivery of our crib and changing table/dresser, and have received and put together our travel system!  With only about 15 weeks to go, it feels really great to check things off the to do list!  Here's a little taste of what's been happening around here...

All About Baby Show

This weekend, Barrett and I attended the All About Baby Show.  Think bridal show...but with baby gear.  :-)  We signed up to go on a whim after we picked up a postcard at the OB office.  We are really glad we went!  One, because we feel like super prepared parents!  A lot of things there...car seat info, financial planning, cord blood banking, etc...we were already up to snuff on.  But, there were lots of fun goodies, giveawaya, and shops.  Look at all the swag that came in our welcome bag -

We also got tons of coupons and cards for special offers/discounts.  There was a cute little shop there called Bella Tunno that had super happy baby items...they call them Necessories....necessary accesories.  :-)  We walked out with a fun elephant bib and a navy and pink paci clip.  I also learned that they do in home shows...kind of like Stella and Dot or Mary Kay.  Good to know.

After the show, we went over to a store called Shower Me with Love.  I'd heard people talk about it, but wasn't sure where it was until we passed it on the way to dinner last week.  So, while we were in the area we popped in.  Uh oh.  We're in trouble now!  Cutest, cutest store ever!  So much happy babyness in there!  We're talking smocked outfits till the cows come home, Lilly baby swimsuits, the softest lovies, and lots of fun nursery decorations.  It's the kind of store where I could easily spend a couple hundred dollars and then kick myself later for spending it!  We browsed a lot...but only walked out with one thing...and ECU paci clip.  :-)

Week 25

Dear Ellison,
You are 25 weeks old now!  Head to heel, you're measuring about 13.5 inches and weigh about 1.5 pounds!  You're really starting to pack on some baby fat now and because of this, you're skin is starting to smooth out.  If you are going to be born with hair (which I'm pretty sure you will if your Daddy and I are any indication!) we would now be able to discern its color and texture.  Your sense of equilibrium is really kicking in and you're starting to be able to tell which way is up and which is down.  Here are the little details of the week...

How Far Along? Twenty Five Weeks...105 days to go!

Weight Gain?  I'm really not sure...I haven't been keeping up this week.  But, I definitely feel like I'm getting bigger by the minute now!  To be perfectly honest, it's freaked me out for a while to be gaining weight like this...I mean, we go our whole lives trying not to pack on the pounds and all of a sudden we have to switch our mindset!  If we are all telling the truth, watching the numbers go up is not fun.  With that said, I have decided to really just embrace the belly.  Whether I end up gaining 20 pounds or 60 pounds by the time this is all said and done, if Ellison is happy and healthy, so is momma :-)  I think I'm somewhere around 16 pounds gained, but we'll find out for sure at our appointment next week.
Sleep?  Sleep is still really good, so I'm counting my blessings!

Miss Anything?  Shopping the sale racks.  Maternity clothes are not cheap.  Someone seriously needs to develop a disposable fashion line for pregnany folks.  Think Forever 21...but much, much bigger.  :-)

Movement?  Ellison is such a wiggle worm!  She kicks and wiggles constantly!  I love, love, love that Barrett can feel her now.  I think it's very cool for him to be able to physically connect with her.  I think she is probably still sitting breach because almost all of her big, strong kicks are very low in my belly.  Whenever she really gets going, I'll catch myself stopping what I'm doing just to pay full attention to her!

Food Cravings? Still fruit.  I've also eaten a good bit of shrimp lately and strawberry frozen yogurt has made quite a few appearances after dinner!

Any Aversions? Yep...still eggs and big chunks of chicken.

Gender? It's a GIRL ~ Ellison Gray.

Symptoms?  I've started to get very mild leg cramps in the morning when I wake up.  It hasn't been a major issues yet, but if I stretch really big and point my toes, my calf tightens up a bit.  I am trying to focus more on stetching with flexed feet.  My yoga teacher said that she's heard coconut water can help because it's loaded with potassium.  I have also heard that it tastes like dirty socks, so I am debating whether or not to pick some up on the next grocery run.  I have also gotten big enough now that I'm not fitting into places as easily as I used to!  At work this week, I was trying to squeeze between a bed and the wall to plug in an IV pole, and I couldn't quite fit in the space!  Oopsie...used to fit there!  I've also been a little more clumsy...bonking my head or arms or belly on random walls and surfaces!

Best Moment this Week?  The nursery is painted!  We also got a delivery date set for the furniture...so I am super excited to get things together!  I also found a dress for my first baby shower in a couple of weeks and went shopping for a few more maternity items to add to my closet.  Thank you, thank you to Cindy for my dress and pants!  We also got our stroller and car seat in and put together...thank you, thank you Susan!  Another big thing...that I forgot to mention last week...is that we are officially to the "viable" point in our pregnancy.  This means that if Ellison decided to make her arrival now (which we have no intention of her doing!), she would have a chance of surviving on her own (with the help of some major medical interventions).  So, while 24/25 weeks is not when we would ever choose to have our baby girl come into the world, it is a bit of a relief to cross that first major hurdle.  :-)

Looking Forward To...  A super short work week!  I'll be at work Monday and Tuesday, am off Wednesday, and then fly out to DC for the Child Life Conference Thursday-Sunday.  I am not looking forward to the regional jet that will be getting me from Charlotte to DC without the soothing comfort of a nice little cocktail though!  :-)  Barrett is heading to New Orleans at the same time for a bacheor party...and while I am sure he'll be having much more fun than I will be, I am happy to have a distraction so I'm not constantly thinking about the trouble he and his friends can get into in the Big Easy!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Mother's Day

We were able to spend Mother's Day in Florida this year.  In addition to it being great because we got to spend it with Susan and Barrett's grandma Jeanne, it was also special because it was my first Mother's Day. Now, I know that some people say, "You're not really a mother yet." And to them, I stick out my tongue and tell them to shove it.  :-)  As far as I'm concerned, I may not be carrying this baby around in my arms yet, but I am carrying her around in my belly and I absolutely feel like a Mommy.  The week leading up to Mother's Day, I received some sweet cards from friends and family, and I got a nice surprise from my sweet hubby on Sunday.  He tricked me a little because when I was getting cards in the mail he said, "Oh, they make cards for mother's to be?"  On Mother's Day morning, I was woken up with a kiss and a little Pandora box.  Inside the box were two new charms for my bracelet...a baby carriage and an "e".

I also got a fun little treat from Ellison...Note the second email in the list below.  :-)

We spent the rest of the day on a nice boat ride and then had a fabulous dinner back at home...complete with lobster, steak, and yummy sides! 

This Mother's Day was special because it was my first...but I can not wait to share next year with my baby girl!

Sunny Florida

Barrett and I spent a long Mother's Day weekend in sunny Florida visiting Susan and Mike.  It didn't get to stay as long as we normally do because we're both trying to save up as much time off for when Miss Ellison makes her debut.  It is nice though to be able to take an hour and a half flight down...it's totally a do-able long weekend.  We had a wonderful time, as usual!  We really lucked out with beautiful warm weather, getting to spend a day at the beach, a day on the boat, and a day at the pool.  Can't beat that for a weekend!  It's so fun to think that our next visit will be with our baby girl in tow...and Buddy too.  :-)  Here are some fun pictures from our lovely weekend.

First stop, straight from the airport, The Celtic Ray.  First visit to the Ray without enjoying an ice cold draft beer!

At the Banyon Tree

Enjoying music and the sunset at the Tiki Bar

Day 2 at Boca Grand.  Ellie's first trip to the beach!

Showing off our pasty white, winter skin.

Mother's Day at the Tiki Bar
The great thing about a Bloody Mary is that it tastes pretty much the same without vodka!

Mother's Day boat ride from Port Charlotte to Punta Gorda

Designated Driver :-)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Week 24

Dear Ellison,

You are 24 weeks old now! We've hit the 6 month mark!  You are getting bigger by the day and have gained about 4 ounces this week!  You're just about as long as an ear of corn now at over a foot long!  Your brain is growing quickly and your taste buds are continuing to develop.  Your lungs are developing their respiratory branches and the cells that will produce surfactant.  Thanks to small capillaries that are forming, your skin is starting to take on a pretty pink glow.  Here are the little details of the week...

How Far Along? Twenty Four Weeks...112 days to go!

Weight Gain?  Didn't weigh in this week because we were out of town.  I'm going to try to keep better track at home.  My scale here and the scale in the MD office are a little off, so I need to do some consistent tracking at home to really keep up.  I think I'm somewhere between 14 and 16 pounds.

Sleep?  I sleep great at home...away from home, not so much.  I have gotten so used to sleeping with my body pillow that it is really hard to sleep without it!  If we travel by car...the body pillow comes too!

Miss Anything?  I will say that being in Florida did make me really want a nice cocktail!  Something about the beach/vacation and enjoying a good drink just go hand in hand!  No worries though, I drank lots of water and indulged in a Bloody Mary with no vodka...so, a Virgin Mary. :-)
Movement?  Oh yes!   All the time and with much more noticable, deliberate kicks!  We can feel her from the outside now which is so fun and I love being able to tell when she's resting and when she's ready to rock.
Food Cravings? Still fruit mostly. 

Any Aversions?  Yep...still eggs.  :-)

Gender? It's a GIRL ~ Ellison Gray.

Symptoms?  Not sure if this is technically a sympton...more like a side effect...but I have noticed my belly button getting more shallow.  It's far from flat or poked out yet, but it's definitely not as deep as it used to be!

Best Moment this Week?  Absolutely, 100% that Barrett got to feel Ellison kicking!  It's so wonderful to be able to share her a little more now.  Also, getting to spend the weekend enjoying the sunshine in Florida wasn't too shabby.  :-) We also got a call from Buy Buy Baby letting us know that our crib and changing table/dresser are here! 

Looking Forward To...  Really starting to put the nursery together!  Now that some furniture is here and we're knocking out the painting, I feel like it's going to come together pretty quickly!  Can't wait to see how it all turns out!

Baby Kicks

It's official, Little Miss Ellison is kicking up  a storm in there!  Last Wednesday, at 23 weeks 3 days, Barrett got to feel our baby girl kicking too!  For a few days prior, I'd been thinking it might be coming soon.  Her kicks and wiggles felt a little more deliberate and a little stronger.  I knew that I definitely felt her more, but I wasn't sure if anyone else would be able to feel her quite yet.  I got home a little late after having dinner with a friend and joined Barrett up in the nursery where he'd been working on taping the room to be painted.  I laid down on the floor with Buddy, and our Ellie Bean start bouncing around like crazy!  I took a chance and told Barrett to come over and see if he could feel her. Almost on command, she gave him a good kick!  It was such an awesome moment!  I am so, so happy that Barrett gets to feel her too now.  It's so great to know that she's getting bigger and stronger.  We were sitting out by the pool this weekend, and Ellison was wiggling around a good bit.  I was sitting in a chair reading, and I swore my belly was moving.  I laid my book on my belly, told Barrett to watch, and Ellison kicked hard enough to move my book a few times!  Sometimes, I can even poke at her a little and get her to poke back!  I'm not sure there's anything better than these sweet little nudges. 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Week 23

Dear Ellison,

You are 23 weeks old now! You weigh just over a pound now and head to heel, you're almost 12 inches long.  You've developed your sense of movement and can tell when I'm up and moving around.  Blood vessels are developing in your lungs to prepare you for breathing and your hearing is becoming much more keen - you can hear what we hear now, just a little softer!  Here are the little details of the week.

How Far Along? Twenty Three Weeks...119 days to go!

Weight Gain? About 13 pounds.

Sleep?  Still sleeping like a champ.  Enjoying it as long as I can!

Miss Anything?  Margaritas?  The only reason I say that is becuase yesterday was Cinco de Mayo, and really a virgin margarita is just a lime slushie.  :-)

Movement?  Oh yes.  Still quite the wiggleworm!  No major punches or kicks yet, but I'm looking forward to those so Barrett can start to enjoy them too!

Food Cravings? Still fruit mostly.  I got really great peaches at the grocery store the other day!  I also but some sliced peaches that I've been eating straight out of the jar.  I think it's time I hit up the Farmer's Market!

Any Aversions?  Still eggs and sometimes chicken...the smaller the pieces of chicken, the better I fare.  Big chunks or full on breasts are a little much for me.

Gender? It's a GIRL ~ Ellison Gray.

Symptoms?  Yesterday, I spent the entire day (8:00-6:00) at picnics for work...our annual NICU reunion picnic for about 1000 people and the Blume Hem/Onc Clinic picnic for about 300 people.  It was so hot!  I spent pretty much all day in the shade and drank water like it was my job, but it was still a scorcher.  I took my rings off once to stretch my fingers a little, and couldn't get them back on!  Definitely made me nervous about how I might feel in July and August!  I was so worn out when I got home!  I jumped in the shower and was fast asleep by about 8:00.  I'm still feeling a little sore today and probably could continue to spend the rest of the day being lazy!

Best Moment this Week?  Getting to see our little Ellie Bean again and hearing that she still looks wonderfully healthy!  We are also making major strides in the home improvement/nursery department!  Barrett's almost done painting our downstairs renovations and I'm heading to Lowe's in a bit to pick our the color for the nursery.  We also ordered our crib and dresser/changing table this week (thanks so much to my dad and Sondra!) and are excited for them to come in!

Looking Forward To...  Next weekend we head to Florida for a long weekend.  We wish we could stay longer, but 4 days is all we could really swing without having to use PTO - we're trying to save all that for when Ellison makes her arrival!  Either way, we are looking forward to our little getaway and some Florida sunshine!

22 Week OB Appointment

On Wednesday, 5/2 we had our 22 week OB appointment.  We had another ultrasound (which makes 4 and makes us happy because we get new pictures of Ellison) because they didn't get a great look at her heart during our 18 week ultrasound.  To use the ultrasound tech's words, she was perfect. Her heartrate was right at 143.5 BPM.  Healthy heart, happy baby.  She was doing lots of scooting around, and she looks so big on the ultrasounds now!  Before, we could get a peek at her from head to toe in one shot easily and now she fills up the whole screen!  She's sitting frank breach right now, with her head up near my bellybutton and her legs up in front of ther face...folded in half.  She has plenty of time and space to keep moving around though!  We even got to see her yawning on the ultrasound which was so fun!  It's just another confirmation that she is developing and growing bigger day by day!

This appointment was the first in which we started meeting the other physicians in the office.  There are 8 in all, 4 men and 4 women.  We met Dr. Alyse Kelly-Jones and she was really nice (for the 2 minutes we spent with her!)  Since we're at 22 weeks now, they'll start measuring my fundal height at each appointment...the length between the top of my pubic bone and the top of my uterus in centimeters.  The number of centimeters should equal the number of weeks pregnant and we are right where we should be.  According to the scale in the office, I've gained 13.5 pounds.  This appointment was at 3:00 pm though and my other appointments have been at 9:00 am, so I'm thinking I might actually be right at 12 pounds gained.  Either way, Ellison's happy and healthy and I feel really good!  Less than 18 weeks till we get to meet our baby girl and another 4 weeks till our next appointment!  Tick tock...