Monday, June 29, 2009

Oooh, we're half way there... (Bon Jovi, anyone?)

Today marks 20 weeks, the official halfway point on the journey to my due date! I phrase it that way because the first two weeks of the 40 were prior to conception and because we really have no idea when the pregnancy will end in labor- hopefully very close to the due date, but it could be earlier or later. 140 days until the due date! To celebrate such a huge milestone, I scheduled myself a prenatal massage for this afternoon to take care of my lower back. What a great way to welcome the second half of the journey!

Sunday, June 28, 2009


Here I am, just moments before the ultrasound...
And here is our baby girl!!!
Everything looks healthy according to the ultrasound.  We got to see all 10 little toes!  The doctor said by the measurements, the baby is 12 ounces (more than the average 8-10 for her gestational age) and closer to 20 1/2 half weeks (although I know I know that estimated due date isn't correct).  It is good to know that the baby is growing, healthy, and being well-nourished.  She may be a big one!  Her heart rate was 150 beats per minute, and we saw her moving around.  The detail we saw in person was amazing.  As the doctor moved the wand over my belly, we saw every detail about her- every vertebrae, every rib, her nose and eyes and lips, her heart beating.  Although we could only see one dimension at a time, in person, they all came together to show us the first pictures that actually resemble our daughter.   Tyler's convinced she has a little pug nose, even, just like his.
When we got home, Tyler got to feel the baby kick!  Tiana was over and was able to feel it, too.  Friday was really an amazing day of bonding with the baby- finding out the gender, seeing her so clearly, and Tyler feeling her move.  We spent most of the weekend in awe over the daughter in my tummy.  I can't wait to meet her.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

My BIG baby...

While I wait as patiently as possible for tomorrow's ultrasound appointment, I thought I'd post photos of my other baby.  He's now 6 months old and 70 pounds.  Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

By the Numbers

By the numbers (as of today, Tuesday June 23rd, 9:30 pm):
146    days until my due date
5         days until I reach the halfway mark, 20 weeks
65.5   hours until my ultrasound appointment (Friday at 3pm)
8         ounces the baby weighs now, roughly
6         inches from the baby's crown to rump
2.5     average number of times per night I get up to pee
90      average number of minutes between daytime bathroom breaks
>20    number of times today I've felt the baby kick
4         number of meals I've eaten today
>70    grams of protein I consumed today
894    miles away Tyler is right now in Hartford, CT
4         number of non-chewable items I've snatched from Mico's jaws today
5         number of chew toys Mico has laying around the living room
96      pages of Pregnancy & Newborn magazine I read tonight
20      minutes until I fall asleep, if I make it that long

Monday, June 22, 2009

19 weeks!

I'm 19 weeks pregnant today!  The baby is 6 inches crown to rump (that's big!) and weighs about 8 ounces.  Last night we pulled out the tape measure and held up six inches against my belly, and it looked huge!  Here are photos of me this morning:
Saturday evening, we attended the wedding of one of Tyler's best college friends.  We had a great time with friends, many of whom we saw for the first time since telling friends we were expecting.  My dress was a bit of a tent by design (non-maternity!), but I still received plenty of compliments on my belly.  I do think it may have been the last time I dance like that while I'm pregnant, though- my stomach muscles can't quite handle the movements the way they used to now that they're stretching out!
And here, the proud daddy-to-be:
Happy Father's Day!

Friday, June 19, 2009

18.5 weeks

There's a rubberband holding those pants together at the button, which wasn't necessary in last week's photo.  I took this picture yesterday morning, and I swear I've gotten bigger since then even.  Baby and I are hitting a growth spurt!

Monday, June 15, 2009

18 Weeks!

Today I'm 18 weeks along.  154 days until my due date!  Want something to compare that to?  Obama has been in office 147 days by my count (that makes it feel like a long time!) and Christmas is 193 days away (that makes it feel like it won't be too long).  When I think that I am two weeks from being halfway, it feels like a very short amount of time to me.
I had an interesting occurrence today- my first truly weird pregnancy craving.  I was grocery shopping at Trader Joe's and picked up, among other things, peanut butter filled pretzels and wasabi peas.  On my car ride home, I ate them.  Both.  Together.  In the same bite.  My head was telling me that it was weird, that it shouldn't taste good together, that there should be something wrong.  And yet, when I tasted it in my mouth- salty pretzel, creamy, slightly sweet peanut butter, spicy horseradish-y wasabi, crunchy green pea... it just tasted so good.  
I came home and made a more sensible dinner after my snack attack. I sliced a golden heirloom tomato, sprinkled it with fresh cracked pepper and sea salt and drizzled it with extra virgin olive oil.  I have fresh basil in my patio garden, but that just didn't sound good to me (and yet, peanut butter pretzels with wasabi peas did?).  I sliced open a portion of fresh baguette and topped it with half of an avocado, sea salt, and extra virgin olive oil, just as it's served in Spain.  I made mushroom quinoa soup with dried porcini, shitake, black, and oyster mushrooms and quinoa for protein and whole grains.  And, because it sounded good, I heated up two premade Trader Joe's egg rolls.  I suppose it is another interesting combination of foods.  At least this time, I ate each portion of the meal separately.  

Chicago Blues Festival

We spent a good portion of our weekend in Grant Park at the Chicago Blues Festival.  Classical music may make a baby smarter, but I think a good dose of Chicago Blues will give our little one rhythm and soul.  

Friday, June 12, 2009

It's about time for a photo...

Me at 17 weeks, 2 days.  
Now that my belly sticks out further than my chest (even in its larger state!), it's pretty hard to hide.  I've pretty well given up on hiding it at work every day as I did for so long.  Even though my team of coworkers knows I'm pregnant, none of my students' parents do because I don't yet have a definite plan as to what I'm doing after the birth.  That is, none of my parents knew until this week. 
Most of our kids come to school using a private service run by a cab company.  Tuesday, one of the drivers asked one of the Teaching Assistants if "there was a baby in there."  She then sweetly went out of her way to congratulate me... and also to tell the student's parents when they got her home.  Not a big deal since this student is graduating our program in August and so my maternity leave won't affect her.  Yesterday, we had a field trip to the Chicago Botanic Gardens and, knowing that parents would be attending, I wore the baggiest, least maternity-style clothes I have.  Still, one parent reportedly told her mother (also on the trip), "If I didn't know any better, I'd guess Miss Emily was pregnant."  Her mother, of course, said, "No, no, no..."  but she asked my supervisor about it today anyway while they were meeting.  They were meeting because today was her son's last day before the family moves away, so similarly, any maternity leave won't affect them in the slightest.  She did laugh, though, when I told her that over a month ago, her son pointed to my belly out of the blue and stated, "There's a baby in there."  Yes, there is, and it's getting more and more visibly obvious every day.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

New Developments!

Today, I felt the baby kick for the first time!  I was driving to work when I felt two little jabs that were definitely the baby.  It felt like a finger poking me from the inside out about 3 inches below my belly button.  I may have been able to feel the movements more clearly because I'm wearing tighter pants than normal (my last pair of non-stretch, non-maternity pants) and the waistband was tight over the baby (they only fit because they button below my bump!).  At the time, I was listening to the radio and One Thing Leads to Another by The Fixx was playing, so maybe baby was digging the classic 80's music and dancing along.  It has a pretty good beat.  While the baby has all the physical developments in place to hear already, no one has actually proven that babies can hear outside noises this early from the uterus- though this is about the time most people believe that starts, so maybe our little one just has an ear for groovy 80's beats.  Or maybe I had been sitting driving long enough for him/her to get antsy (is it starting already?!). 
It was a great feeling, both physically and emotionally.  I love the reassurance that the baby is okay- literally "alive and kicking."  It also makes a sometimes surreal-feeling experience feel very real and makes me feel more connected to the baby growing inside of me and not just the title of "pregnant."  I'm looking forward to Tyler being able to feel the kicks from outside so he can experience the same physical proof of life.  In a few weeks we'll have to sit down for an hour or two with some 80's tunes and jam with his hands on my belly.  

Monday, June 8, 2009

I'm baa-aaack.....

Today, I'm 17 weeks along.  But the big news today?  I cooked, I ate, and I enjoyed it.  Even though I've been feeling well enough to eat for a few weeks, it's been slow progress.  I'm able to eat a little more each week, but until today, anything I spent time cooking (and smelling), I had little appetite to eat afterwards.  Today has been monumental.  I came home from work and made two kinds of food and ate both of them, enjoying every bit of both the cooking and the eating.  I have missed this process so much- cooking is by far one of my favorite pastimes, and I've really been frustrated by not enjoying eating what I've been cooking.  In time, I've come to realize that what I love about cooking is breaking down food, combining it, cooking it, and creating something that tastes better than the ingredients on their own.  When I don't like the end result, the process loses its appeal, too.  
This afternoon, I enjoyed both the creative process and the end result.  I made cauliflower soup based on this recipe from  Mine is a little orangish because I added some carrots and other veggies for nutritional variety and also added nutritional yeast, a great source of vitamin B12 and protein that gives the soup a slightly cheesy flavor.  I also made Spanish tortilla, a traditional Spanish dish of potatoes and eggs (I added eggs to my diet a few weeks ago as an additional source of protein- a specific concern while I was eating less).  I added some grated zucchini and topped it with a dusting of Spanish hot smoked paprika.  I loved tortilla when I lived in Spain and, since the dish is traditionally served chilled, it's easy to eat the leftovers.  Although eating leftovers has been another challenge while I haven't felt well, I'm hoping the mild flavors in the soup and tortilla will go over well multiple times.  If not, I'll just have to have Mark and Todd over for dinner!
Mmmm...  I'm off to go get seconds of both items.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Lazy Sunday

Sleeping in, breakfast sandwiches and hot tea on a bench in the park, a couple hours walking Mico around the neighborhood, farmer's market...  Tyler and I have had a wonderful day.  

Thursday, June 4, 2009

16 Week Appointment

Today was my 16 week appointment!  Everything is going well.  Tyler flew in for my appointment and my midwife, Jennifer, had him feel where my uterus is.  We also got to hear the heartbeat again.
I was really glad Tyler flew in today, because this morning was a little bit scary.  Around 9:15, I started having some painful cramps that got worse over the next 2 hours.  I called my midwife right away and eventually left work and decided to pick up Tyler from home and go to the emergency room.  There, I had an ultrasound, which ruled out signs of early labor, and had blood work and everything else done.  There wasn't an answer to what was causing the cramps, but everything serious was ruled out, so they said I would be okay and to come back if I felt worse.  By the time I left at 3:00 pm, the pains had started to ease and by the time we finished lunch, they were hardly painful any more- just uncomfortable.  Jennifer thought it could possibly have been scar tissue from my ectopic pregnancy surgery breaking apart as my stomach stretches, but we'll likely never know the cause.  While at the hospital, I learned that the baby is in the 47th percentile for size (the goal is 50th percentile, so we're near perfect!), and everything else looks healthy.  Of course, Tyler was disappointed that I didn't ask the woman doing the ultrasound what the gender was!  We'll have to wait for our appointment in the first week of July to see that.  So in the end, today was all about baby, but everything looks fine- sweet relief.  

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

16 Week Growth

My belly at 16 weeks, 1 day:
Every time I think I look like I have a bump, I see someone with a belly like mine or bigger who is for one reason or another clearly not pregnant (i.e., she has a drink in her hand).  On my walk to the gym this afternoon, I saw a male construction worker who must have been at least 38 weeks!
From my point of view, I've been able to see a difference in my belly for a while now.  Here is my view from up above tonight (yes, I still have my belly button ring...).  Notice my newest and hugest-yet milestone- when I stand up straight and move only my neck to look downwards, I can no longer see my own toes! 
In this picture, you can see the lines that develop after I bend over or slouch down while sitting- it's the only place that my skin folds on my tummy now.  Right now, the baby is still completely below my belly button (but large enough that everything that is normally down there is pushed up and out above my belly button- and large enough to sit heavily on my bladder).  As the baby grows, it will grow from my lower abdomen up and out, and so my belly will go from a little buddha belly with an inch or two of flat stomach above it, like my picture this week, into one big bump that takes up my whole front side.  
All the moms out there (future grandmas and great-grandmas!) will be happy to know that I'm feeding my belly well.  Right now, I'm eating a late dinner of homemade split pea and carrot soup (leftovers I froze after a big batch this winter- delicious!) along with some Whole Foods pre-made seaweed salad (high in calcium) and steamed cabbage dumplings from the macrobiotic food bar (macrobiotic=healthy, right?).  For dessert, I'm making a (rice)milkshake and adding brown rice protein powder and I'll have some grapes, currently my strongest craving (weird!).  Lunch today was a vegetable pot pie in a whole wheat pastry shell; my snack was blueberry flavored coconut milk yogurt with frozen wild blueberries and locally made Milk & Honey granola; and breakfast was a banana/rice milk/tahini/brown rice protein powder smoothie and some Trader Joe's honey and sesame seed covered almonds.  That's a lot of food for someone who doesn't have her appetite back yet!  I'm off to make that milkshake, then plan tomorrow's menu...

Monday, June 1, 2009

16 weeks!

Today I'm 16 weeks along!  The baby is roughly the size of an avocado right now- which seems small compared to my belly!
After 3 days in a row by the pool at Tyler's parents, I headed back to work today nicely relaxed.  I intended to take a picture of my bump in my bikini, but... I have no excuses here- I guess I was too busy relaxing.  When I do post a picture, it will be of a nice, tan belly!  
While in Bloomington, we went to a Crawfish Boil fundraiser for the Rhianna's Bananas Relay for Life team in memory of Rhianna, Tyler's cousin's wife.  The event raised more than $10,000 for the American Cancer Society!  It was really moving to see so many people come together for such a great cause.  The weather was beautiful, and everyone else ate loads of crawfish and jambalaya.  


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