Tuesday, December 30, 2008

First Check-up

Well we just got home a little bit ago from Ava's first check-up with the pediatrician. She looks and sounds great. When she was born, her weight was 7 lbs 10.4 oz. When we were discharged from the hospital, she weighed 7 lbs 3 oz. Today, she was 7 lbs 15 oz! So she is definitely eating well and gaining healthily. And she is sleeping really well too... During the day she nurses about every 3 hours or so and at night it's about every 5-6 hours. So I really only have one middle of the night feeding, which is very nice. She's such a content baby... she pretty much only cries when she's hungry (and SCREAMS if I change her diaper before feeding her when she's already crying, hehe). Well Mom, Ava, the pups, and I are about to take an air mattress nap in the living room. :) More updates to come...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

SHE IS HERE!!!!!!

Well she ended up being fashionably late but she is here! At 3:14am on Monday, December 22nd, Ava Renee Ezell was born weighing 7 lbs 10.4 oz and measuring 19 inches long. For a little while it was looking like c-section was a possibility as her head was tilted just slightly, not allowing her to decend down the birth canal. I spent 4-5 hours at 9+ centimeters dilated and was given pitocin to help bring the contractions to bring her out. Finally I reached 10 centimeters and she was out in 4 contractions worth of pushing. I cannot even begin to describe how incredibly amazing the whole process was, early pregnancy through delivery. I wouldn't trade the worst day of morning sickness or strongest, longest contraction for this amazing baby girl. Richard called me around 7:30pm Sunday while I was in serious labor... not even sure what we said to each other but I was very emotional for sure... and then he was able to call again later in the afternoon on Monday and hear all about his daughter. Tuesday night he called and I put the phone on speaker between Ava and me. She got to hear his voice and he got to hear her cry. I cannot wait to see him see her for the first time... wow. Well here are a few pictures. Thank you all for your love and support throughout this amazing journey to Ava's new life. :)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Last Post Until Baby is Here

Well I think this will be my last post while I am still pregnant with this little girl... Pretty much all day yesterday I was having contractions 10-12 minutes apart. They were not at all painful but I could feel my uterus tightening and relaxing. Around 6:oo this morning, however, I was awakened by a contraction that actually was painful and lasted longer than the others had. I took a bath and got a few things more ready to go and then got back in bed and slept on and off between the contractions that were more intense. Now I'm completely ready to go to the hospital and the contractions are increasing in intensity and frequency (6-8 minutes apart now). I plan on staying home until they are more like 3-4 minutes apart or until they become really, really severe.
I thought for sure Baby was going to come early but now today is her due date and it looks like she might be right on time. I guess she has already learned good planning and timing from her mom. :)
Well that's all for now. Next post will include baby pictures!!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Ready Now


It is currently 9:50pm on this Sunday night and Mom and Shane are about 4-5 hours away!!! Woo-hoo! Tomorrow we will start walking and try to get things going for Baby to join us in the outside world. Right now I think she's a little confused about how the birthing process works - she seems to be planning on coming feet first out of my right side with one big kick, hehe. Anyway, that's really all that's going on. I'm just so excited!!! Oh, and here's my 39 weeks picture.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

38 and 4

38 weeks and 4 days down... any day now... I had an appointment with Kyanna this morning and everything looks and sounds great as usual. I am still measuring small (about 36 weeks today) but as you know from earlier posts that apparently doesn't mean much for me. Baby's heartrate was around 150 bpm. I have gained exactly 30 pounds from my pre-pregnancy normal, and my blood pressures are looking great. Kyanna checked my cervix again today and said I am still around 1cm dilated but about 80% effaced now. So, things are still progressing in spite of my lack of physical activity in attempt to stall for Mom and Shane's arrival on Monday, hehe. I hope I can hold out just a few more days! So, I've been pretty much just taking it easy. I haven't been walking the pups - I take them to the park and play fetch to get them some exercise. I have been taking daily naps. I am even getting a massage tomorrow! Anyway, here is my 38 weeks picture. Also, if I have not gone into labor in the next week, I have another appointment with Kyanna next Thursday. Hopefully I will not need that appointment. :)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Video!

video

I hope this works... You'll see the pups first - I couldn't figure out how to separate the belly moving segment from the BB & Pancake segment. The slight up and down movement is just me breathing but everything else is baby girl moving around in there! :)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

37 Weeks!

Ok so I am 37 weeks and a couple days now and I just got home from my appointment with Kyanna. She checked my cervix again today and said I am 1 centimeter dilated and 50% effaced (thinned out). Baby's head is down and settling into the pelvis, which is just what should be happening. She is still very active although the movements feel more like shifting and pushes from the inside than kicks and jolts (she's running out of room in there). Anyway, Kyanna thinks I will probably not go into active labor before Mom gets here (the 15th) - hope not! That's only 12 days away, so hopefully I can keep her on the inside that much longer. :) My next appointment is next Thursday, December 11th, so I will update again then! And here is my 37 week picture:

Monday, November 24, 2008

Getting Closer...

Here's my picture at a full 36 weeks:
I had another appointment with my midwife (Kyanna) this morning. I've lost a pound since my last appointment and my blood pressures are still great. At 36 weeks now I'm measuring more like 33, but Kyanna said she's not at all worried anymore given the great report from the ultrasound. She would've been concerned if the ultrasound showed Baby measuring below the 10th percentile for size among babies her "age," but she was at the 89th percentile so she is GrEaT. :) Kyanna also checked my cervix today, which she doesn't normally do at 36 weeks but thought she should under my circumstances, and she said it is already thinning out and is dilated about 1/2 centimeter. She thinks I will make it to at least a full 38 weeks (especially since it's my first baby and first-time-moms' bodies usually take a while to do all this for the first time) but only time will tell. In the meantime, I am continuing to eat well, walk with the pups, keep the house nice and clean, and my hospital bag is packed and ready. :) I will be going for weekly appointments now for the duration of the pregnancy. My next appointment is next Wednesday, so I will update again then!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

No Worries

Well I had another NST this morning and everything sounded great again. Then I had an ultrasound. The process at this hospital is such that the patient doesn't really get to find anything out for a while: The ultrasound technician takes pictures and measures everything (while the patient gets to watch but isn't told good, bad, normal, etc.) -- all of the pictures and measurements are then read by the radiologist -- then the radiologist's results or findings are passed on to the care provider (my midwife). So... I won't hear officially from my midwife until I go see her on Monday... BUT, the ultrasound tech told me "off the record" that while I may be measuring behind schedule, Baby is measuring ahead of schedule. At 34 1/2 weeks last Thursday, I measured more like 31 weeks. At 35 1/2 weeks today, Baby is measuring more like 37 weeks. The ultrasound measurements have her weighing in at about 7 lbs 8 oz right now! So I asked the lady why in the world I would be measuring small if the baby's measuring large and she said it has everything to do with the shape of the uterus, the position of the baby, the way I'm carrying, etc... and that basically she doesn't put much stock in the external measuring other than a means of making sure things aren't way off. So, I feel so relieved that Baby is doing great! I've had a gut feeling that she will be making her appearance a bit early, but after today that seems all the more likely. I'll update again after my appointment on Monday!!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Good Report on NST


I had another non-stress test (NST) today. Again, Baby's heartrate looked awesome, accelerating just as it should with her movements and otherwise maintaining a good strong pace. I'm still feeling great too (besides the constant aching back). I walked laps around the dog park for 30 minutes today, which I do pretty often nowadays... it felt good and was of course great for the pups too. Anyway, not too much to update besides the good NST today. I have another childbirth class tomorrow night, which I am excited about. Then I have another NST and an ultrasound on Thursday so I will update again then for sure. Here's my 35 week picture! Not too much longer!!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Just a Little Bump in the Road

First of all, here's my picture from this past weekend - right at a full 34 weeks! Still growing and growing! I figured out how to set the timer on my camera so I can take pictures of myself, so I will probably be doing that every week now that we're coming down the home stretch. :)
I had an appointment with my midwife today and my weight is up again (about 30 lbs total now) but I'm measuring a little small. I'm about 34 1/2 weeks but I'm measuring more like 31, which is not terrible but is a little more variation than she would like to see. She said the small measurement could be simply explained by Baby's position (which seems to be pretty low) and the fact that I'm a decently tall and non-petite gal. But, she ordered another glucose test and an ultrasound to see exactly what's going on. I did the glucose test right after my appointment today and scheduled an ultrasound for next Thursday morning (the soonest they could fit me in). Then I went back up for a non-stress test where I was basically just lying there for 20 minutes with monitors on to track Baby's heartrate to make sure it was going up and down normally. It stayed around 137-140 when she was still and would go up to the low 150s when she would move around, which is exactly what is supposed to happen. Then a doctor used an ultrasound-type machine to check the amniotic fluid level and that looks great as well. So... while we're waiting for the results of the glucose test and ultrasound, I will have two more non-stress tests next week. Aside from all that, I am still feeling pretty good (except for some back aches) and am still staying active substituting and walking with the pups at least 30 minutes each day. Baby has also been very active and she is definitely head down and pretty low right now. I will keep you all updated with everything I find out from my up-coming tests and appointments. Keep us in your prayers, please!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Started Classes!

Me: Well I am about 33 1/2 weeks now and am still feeling mostly good. I've had a hard time sleeping over the last week and my back is hurting more than it has before, but overall I'm okay. Last night I started Childbirth Classes! It will be 2 hours every Tuesday night for 4 weeks. It's less Lamaze-oriented and more educational as far as covering everything you might can expect from things that may happen in the last few weeks to positions you can try throughout labor. There were about 10 couples in the class and then one other lady whose husband is deployed too. She and I have actually met and spoken a couple times at the dog park, so we're going to hang together without our husbands and be each others' class partners. :)
Pups: I had a few friends over Monday night and one lady has a 5 month old little boy. She laid him on the floor and BB and Pancake were so gentle with and curious about him. They sniffed and gave kisses without getting too rough or playful and weren't scared at all (and they didn't scare him either, hehe). BB would kind of jump back when he would kick his feet suddenly or make a strange noise, but she was more startled than afraid.
Daddy: Richard and I have been talking via instant messenger online every couple days or so. It's hard with the time difference (which was 8 hrs but is now 9 hrs since they do not observe the Daylight Savings nonsense). For instance, we talked last night at 11pm my time right before I went to bed and it was 8am his time and he was about to go eat breakfast. Anyway, he is really excited about becoming a dad in just a few weeks! It's so awesome... I can't wait to send him pictures and do online video chats.
Well that's pretty much it for now. My next midwife appointment is November 13, so I will update then!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Week 33

Here's the blurb from my What to Expect When You're Expecting book for Week 33: "Baby's gaining weight almost as fast as you are these days (averaging out to about a half a pound a week), which puts the grand total so far at more than 4 1/2 pounds. Still, your baby has plenty of growing up (and out) to do. She may grow a full inch this week alone and may come close to doubling in weight by D-day. And with that much baby inside your uterus now, your amniotic fluid level has maxed out (there's no room for more fluid now). Which explains why those pokes and kicks are sometimes extremely uncomfortable: There's less fluid to cushion the blows. Antibodies are also being passed from you to your baby as your little one continues to develop her own immune system. These antibodies will definitely come in handy on the outside and will protect your baby-to-be from many of those playground germs." I still can't believe how quickly this is flying by (at least for now), and I am getting so excited!!! Physically, there's not a whole lot new to report... The only thing I've really noticed in the last few days is that it really is getting harder to reach my feet, like to tie my shoes or paint my toenails. And I'm having a harder time picking things up off the floor, like the many things I clumsily drop or the tennis ball when I'm playing fetch with the pups. Richard is doing well (still in Kuwait) and is getting super excited as well. We get to talk about every other day or so on instant messenger online and through emails, so we're able to pretty well keep each other current on all of life's happenings. Please keep up your thoughts and prayers for this soldier, husband, and daddy-to-be! :) Here's the most recent picture of me (us!) at a full 32 weeks! *8 weeks (give or take) to go!*

Thursday, October 16, 2008

30 Week Appointment

Well I just got home from seeing my midwife and everything looks great as usual. My glucose testing results were good (which I knew from the "no news is good news" policy) and my uterus is measuring about the right size for how far along I am. My blood pressure is good, my weight gain is good (another 4 lbs since last appointment) and I'm feeling great! Baby's heart rate was at about 140 bpm today and she seems to be head down. And no stretch marks so far! I am so excited to meet this little girl! I already love her so much! Oh, and I went to a breastfeeding class yesterday. It was very informative and will hopefully help me get off to a great start when Baby arrives.

Daddy update: Richard left Sunday. He called me Monday from Germany and said they were just waiting to fly out again for Kuwait. They're in Kuwait now and will be for about a week and half or two before they go to Iraq for the duration of the 12 months. It feels weird but is settling into a new kind of normal already without him here. I'm so glad to have BB and Pancake around - we play, go for walks (which I need to be doing anyway), go to the park, etc. And of course I have plenty of awesome and supportive ladies around who are in the same boat as me.

Well, here's a "goodbye kiss for baby" picture. Love you all!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

29+ weeks!


I can't believe how fast this pregnancy has been flying by since I got past the first trimester of morning sickness! The whole second trimester went by in what felt like a couple weeks and so far the third trimester is ticking right along too. (Though I'm sure time will seem to stop completely when I get down to the last couple weeks, hehe.) I have still been substituting every day I'm needed and have been pretty good at finding ways to keep by body feeling supported and rested enough. I have also been eating really well and hope I haven't been gaining weight as rapidly as I did in my last 4 weeks between midwife appointments. :)

In the Daddy news... Richard has still not left for Iraq. At the end of last week they were saying it would be today or tomorrow. Now yesterday they said it will probably be Saturday or even Monday or Tuesday of next week. While we're obviously grateful for every extra minute we get together right now, it's emotionally wearing to prepare for the separation and then be told 'not quite yet.' That just means we have to breathe easy for another day or two and then prepare again. So we're just in this hurry up and wait pattern. Also, right now Richard is thinking he will try to come home for R&R in March or April. Baby will be about 3 or 4 months old, so that will be a little more interactive time for him to spend with her. I can't wait for them to meet!

Here's my 29 week picture! I have an appointment next Thursday and will update again then!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Dragging a Little

Well I filled in as a substitute teacher 4 out of 5 days this week and ran errands on my off day. I can feel a definite difference in my body as far as physical energy and stamina after this week. I don't think I mentioned it in my last post, but at my last appointment my weight was up about 16 or 17 pounds from my pre-pregnancy normal. So I guess it makes sense that after being on my feet all day with a strange distribution of all that extra weight, my feet and back are tired and aching (although I have not experienced any swelling yet). I know it will only get worse (and I will have to make myself rest a little more) as baby and I continue to grow... I guess it just feels a little overwhelming because these unpleasantries came on pretty quickly - just in the last week and a half or so. I read somewhere that women have to get more and more uncomfortable until eventually by the end of the pregnancy they would do anything to be "unpregnant," otherwise they wouldn't have the grit and determination to go through the labor and delivery process. I think at this rate I will be ready to do anything to get this little rascal into the world. :)

In other news, there will be a Deployment Ceremony next Tuesday... and then Richard will be leaving in about 2 weeks. They are trained up and prepared and are overall ready to go. I don't know that it has fully hit me yet... I feel like I'm as mentally and otherwise prepared as I can be but I think emotions may run wild when I actually drive him to their point of departure. Prayers please!!!

Okay I guess that's all for now... more to come in the near future! ~Danelle

Saturday, September 20, 2008

27 Weeks!


Evet (Richard's mom) is here! She flew in Thursday afternoon and will be heading home Sunday afternoon. I had another appointment yesterday and she and Richard both came with me. Everything looks and sounds great as usual. Baby Girl's heartrate is around 170 bpm, and my measurements correspond just right with how far along I am (pubic bone to top of uterus in inches is about equal to how many weeks pregnant I am). I will be going to the lab next week to do my glucose testing so that should be fun. My midwife also gave me an adjustable support belt which will help with the low back and pelvic discomfort I've been experiencing during exercise and long days of substituting. Oh yeah, AND I got 2 pairs of maternity pants that are comfy and cute! Now that it's getting cooler, my capris and shorts are just not cutting it anymore. And I won't be able to get away with wearing long shirts over my rubberband closed, unzipped regular pants for much longer, hehe. Richard is still scheduled to deploy sometime in the beginning of October... so we went and got a video camera yesterday to record all the momentous occassions he will not be here to witness during Baby's first year. The camera's really cool and I will be able to send him videos and pictures via email while he's gone. :) I know it's been too long since the last belly picture - I've been trying to do every 2-3 weeks and now it's been 4... oops... Anyway, here's my 27 week picture! Love you all! ~Danelle

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

25+ Weeks and Feeling Great!

So I'm about 25 1/2 weeks today and feel awesome. I've still been walking almost daily and have been trying to continue eating healthy. I have an appointment with my midwife next Friday, so we'll see where my weight gain is at that point. Here's what's happening in this 26th week according to my What to Expect When You're Expecting book: "Your baby now weighs a full 2 pounds and measures in at 9+ inches long (crown to rump = head to butt). Your baby's eyes are beginning to open. The eyelids have been fused for the past few months (so the retina could develop). So, your baby is now able to see -- though there's not much to see in the dark confines of her uterine home. But with the heightened sense of sight and hearing that your baby now possesses, you may notice an increase in activity when your baby sees a bright light or hears a loud noise." Amazing, isn't it? And speaking of activity, Baby's movements have changed in the last week or so too. I am still feeling little jolting kicks and punches but am also feeling more complete movements across my belly. This morning I felt what I think was a foot move like 4 or 5 inches across me. I love this baby girl so much already! I can't believe I'll be meeting her in about 3 months!
Bad Foods: none really (besides ones that I normally don't care for)
Cravings: CEREAL!!!
Exercise: walking 30-45 minutes most days
Daddy: excited :) - still deploying in early October :(

Monday, August 25, 2008

23 Weeks


Well we've been having a lot of fun accumulating the baby basics and starting to decorate the nursery. It's really coming together - I can't wait to see the finished product. I've been having a harder time sleeping lately - partly because I can't turn my brain off, partly because I can't get comfortable, and partly because I have to go to the bathroom about 4 times a night. BB seems to be hanging around me a little more than usual lately too. When we're at home she's normal, but when we go to the park or somewhere else she doesn't like to venture too far away from me. She's not like super protective or anything, she's just a little more anxious like she's looking out for me. She and Pancake are both going to be great "big sisters." :) Anyway, I don't have much else to report... Here's my 23 week picture:

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

22 week appointment

Richard and I went to see my midwife today and everything is great as usual. She said everything on the ultrasound looks completely normal and also confirmed that Baby is right on track to be arriving around the due date we had already figured. I am still feeling great! We are keeping up the nightly walks (and sometimes I take the pups in the mornings too), my appetite is great (with no nausea), and I am still sleeping pretty well. Really the only physical "complaint" I have is that my low back gets tired and starts to hurt a lot more easily when I'm on my feet a lot. I know that will only get worse as my belly gets bigger, but I'm doing my best to sit and rest as needed. Today Baby's heartrate was at 148 bpm and my uterus is measuring exactly what it should for being 22 weeks (plus a few days). I have also gained another 8 lbs which puts my total weight gain at about 9 lbs above my pre-pregnancy normal. My next appointment is scheduled for mid-September, and that will be the last one Richard will be here for (unless plans drastically change). I can't believe it's almost time for him to go... but hopefully he'll get to come home for R&R sometime in January to meet his daughter! :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Ultrasound Day...

We just got home from my ultrasound appointment and it was so amazing. We got to see so much! We got 3 print-out pictures and a whole CD to take home. The radiologist will read the pictures today and will pass along the "results" to my mid-wife or doctor in the next few days. Anyway, after a lot of trying to get cooperation from Baby, the ultrasound tech finally got a good view to tell that it's a girl!!! And she is certainly an active one - she was moving around the whole time. :) We are so excited to know now and can start preparing even further (although I don't plan on going all pink or anything crazy like that). Anyway, here are a few pictures:
face with open mouth
legs from below - showing she's a girl!
profile
blurry profile head and body with full leg and foot
My next regular appointment is next Wednesday, August 20. I'm sure I'll be updating again then! :) :) :)

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Daddy Feels Baby!

Baby Ezell has been super active today. I felt a lot of movements from the outside with my hand and saw a few just by looking too. And... Richard felt a kick (or punch or whatever) too! It was so awesome - I'm glad that from here on out he'll get to experience a little more. I feel so lucky that I get to experience it all! We just got home from a nice walk with the pups... these daily walks are keeping me feeling great. Here's my 20 week picture:
Next post will be Tuesday, August 12 (after the ultrasound!!!) ~Danelle
(P.S. - If you leave a comment, please "sign" your name... I've gotten a few that I don't know who posted. Thanks!)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

This is SO Amazing

Baby has been really active today and I was able to feel quite a few kicks (or punches) with my hand from the outside of my belly this morning. For a few minutes when he or she was especially forceful I just watched my belly and actually SAW the movement a couple times. Holy cow, there really IS a little human inside me! I'm so excited that I'm already feeling and seeing these activities, and I can't wait for Richard to feel and see it too. I tried getting him to feel it when he was home for lunch today but of course that's when Baby decided to catch a nap for a while. :) Anyway, that's all for today. I'm sure I'll have more to report the further along I get in this pregnancy!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

18 1/2 week appointment

I just got home from seeing my midwife and everything looks and sounds great still! My uterus is just the right size and Baby's heart rate is at about 150 bpm now. It's always SO incredible to hear it! And my midwife says we should start thinking about what we want to say to Baby because he or she will be able to hear us in about another 2 weeks. :) In other good news, I have gained about 6 lbs since my last appointment. That puts me about a pound and a half above my pre-pregnancy normal, so I have done a good job of catching up with some healthy weight gain. I have been eating very well with balanced meals of whole grains, fruits, veggies, and I haven't had too many cravings besides an occassional sweet tooth (which I don't think is pregnancy related, hehe). I have also been drinking tons of water, which means I spend plenty of time in the ladies room, but is so good for me and our little one. Richard and I walk the pups pretty much every night for about 45 minutes and then I usually do some light free weights and other home exercises when we're done walking. The exercise is really doing me good. Overall... I feel great, I'm sleeping great (other than getting up 2 or 3 times a night to go to the bathroom), and I'm really thoroughly enjoying this pregnancy. Hallelujah! :) Ultrasound appointment: August 12...

Friday, July 18, 2008

Still Feeling Good...


We spent the last two weeks in Georgia! We left June 27 late and came home July 13. It was a long drive (16+ hrs) with more stops than usual for my pregnant self to eat or find a bathroom, but the time spent with our families was great! That is likely the last time Richard will see everyone before he deploys, so it was all especially worthwhile. While we were at the Ezells I thought I felt a little baby movement. But as I've read, many women confuse those first flutters with gas or digestion, etc. Well it has continued every day since then! It's soft enough that I have to be lying down or sitting still to notice it (and I am probably only feeling the strongest kicks) but it is definitely not gas or anything else. How amazing!!! Here's a picture of me at 17 1/2 weeks! My pre-pregnancy shorts and pants are becoming increasingly uncomfortable. I've been wearing mostly work-out pants or shorts with elastic or drawstring waists. I have an appointment with my midwife next week (July 23) and then we have an ultrasound appointment on August 12!!! I am SUPER excited about that one. Next post after next appointment... :)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Active Baby!

Well I just got home from my appointment and am so happy and excited! My appointment was at 11:00 and Richard wasn't able to leave work until 11 (about a 10-15 minute drive), so I thought he might miss hearing the heartbeat again. I was called back to a room pretty quickly and I told my midwife that Richard was on his way and should be there any minute. She was totally cool about it and said we could just chat for a bit until he got there. So once he arrived we listened to the heartbeat. It was about 154 bpm this time and the midwife had to keep moving the doppler around to keep it on our active little one. We could hear the swishing sounds of him/her moving around and even a couple little thuds from punches or kicks, which I can't even feel yet. It was sooo amazing, and I was sooo glad Richard was able to be there! I've gained about 3 pounds back since my last appointment and my midwife says she is not concerned at all about me gaining enough weight throughout the pregnancy, so that was a relief. I just need to keep eating healthy and drinking lots of water. I'm starting to grow outward a little more now too - the capris I'm wearing (which are usually loose in the waist) are not so comfortable anymore, especially when I'm sitting down. I'll probably put up another post with a picture when I hit 15 or 16 weeks. :) Anyway, my next regular appointment is scheduled for July 23, and I also need to call today to schedule an ultrasound (around the 20 week mark). I'm so excited and feel so incredibly blessed!!!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

13 Weeks and Feeling Great!


Okay, so I have been feeling almost normal for a whole week now!!! It's like as soon as I hit 12 weeks the nausea disappeared, thank the Lord! I have been eating regular foods and a wide variety (even pizza, Chinese, and ball park food!). Now that the rough part is over (I hope) I am more excited than ever. Richard got home from California late Thursday night and we went for a nice long walk with the pups yesterday. It felt good to get out and get moving again. I am hoping to start a little exercise routine now to firm up again and prepare my body as much as possible for the latter stages of pregnancy and delivery. Tonight we went to a minor league baseball game - it felt so wonderful to do something normal and get out of the house feeling good! I've added a picture here... not a big bump yet but starting to show a little! Anyway, I probably won't update this again until after my June 26th appointment, so until then... :)

Friday, June 6, 2008

Feeling Better

Well I'm coming up on the end of week 12 and I think this hormonal nausea is finally subsiding at least. I've been making it for longer stretches of days in a row without throwing up and have gotten a better handle on what foods work and when. I've been able to eat more fruits, but vegetables are still lagging behind a bit. My midwife recommended supplementing what I am able to eat with SlimFasts (or something like it) between meals to get some extra calories. So far so good and it doesn't even taste too bad. :) My belly is starting to round out a little more now... nothing that a stranger would notice but enough that family and friends could see a difference in me. I talked to Richard last night and he may be coming back from California a couple days earlier than expected, which will be nice. It has felt weird without him here this past month, but I'm trying to prepare myself to go through the later stages of pregnancy without him as well if necessary. The latest deployment news (no official orders yet) make it sound pretty sure that he will be gone come my due date and probably unable to return until a month or so after at the earliest. I hope that isn't the case but, again, I'm trying to prepare mentally for whatever happens in this crazy Army life.
Good foods: Cheerios, Rice Krispies, grapefruits, oranges, lemons, red grapes, vegetable beef soup, popcorn, milk
Bad foods: well... I've pretty much only been eating the "good foods" lately :)
Until next time...

Friday, May 30, 2008

11 Week Appointment

Well I went to the doctor today and saw a really awesome certified nurse/midwife! My uterus is the expected size for 11 weeks and everything else looks good. I was able to hear baby's heartbeat - good and strong at about 170 beats per minute! Wow, what an amazing sound! I so wish Richard had been able to be there to hear it... but he'll hear it next time. :) I have lost some more weight since my last appointment - about 4 more pounds... but the midwife said they're not usually too concerned in the first trimester and that I will probably catch up on my weight gain throughout the rest of the pregnancy.
Good foods: Rice Krispies, Cheerios, ice cream, milk, dried apricots, saltines, lemons
Bad foods: macaroni & cheese, anything heavy
Weight: down 9 pounds from my "normal," 4 pounds since last appointment
Exercise: not much yet - just an occassional walk with the pups when I'm feeling okay
Next Appointment: Thursday, 26 June

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Hormones

Richard has been gone almost a week now (out of a month+) and my emotions are kicking in high gear. I get teary when he calls and feel sad thinking how he could possibly not be here come birth-day too. I know I/we will get through it all but with these ultra-sensitive emotions it feels overwhelming. On the other end of the spectrum I am super excited and still feel like it can't possibly be real... but then when I find myself hugging the toilet again, I know there HAS to be something going on inside me. :) (Still combating the nausea - nothing new there, although I think the extra Vitamin B6 may be helping a little.) I haven't really been getting out much other than for grocery shopping and trips to the dog park to let the pups burn some energy. Actually I did both those things today: The pups desperately needed to run wild and tire themselves out as I haven't been up for walking them lately. On the shopping trip I got some jello, watermelon, grapes, pudding, and some white rice which I am anxious to try working into my meal plan. I am super excited about my doctor's appointment next week and can't wait to absorb everything they have to show and tell me!
Saving foods: Rice Krispies, saltines, milk, pretzels
Bad foods: anything spicy or heavy

Until next time... :)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

First Trip to the Doctor

Appointment: Well my appointment this morning did not entail as much as I thought it would... there was no physical exam of any kind (besides basic height, weight, blood pressure stuff -- and I've actually lost a couple pounds since I was at the doctor for that virus last month). I filled out a bunch of paperwork and then a nurse pretty much just took me through what to expect at my future appointments and gave me a bunch of literature. Then I was sent down to the lab for some blood work. I do have another appointment scheduled already though - May 30 in the afternoon, and this time I should definitely be able to hear a heartbeat! :) Unfortunately, though, Richard will still be in California then. Oh well, there will be plenty more appointments...
Danelle update: I haven't thrown up since Sunday!!! but I have still been feeling all-day queasy. The nurse today sent me to the pharmacy to get some extra Vitamin B6, which is supposed to help... hope so! My appetite has been a little better too, as far as not having as many food aversions and being able to eat a little more balanced and nourishing selection of foods.
Richard update: Richard was able to come with me to my appointment today, which was very nice. It was nice to have him there and for him to get to kind of experience the beginning of the medical side of the process. He leaves Thursday morning for California (boo) so he has been doing some last minute packing and laundry.
That's pretty much it for now... I will update again soon - definitely after my May 30th appointment!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Week 8

Baby book info update: Our little baby is about the size of a large raspberry now and the lips, nose, eyelids, legs, and back are continuing to take shape. Baby's heart is beating at the amazing rate of 150 times per minute (twice as fast as mine)! He or she is also making spontaneous movements, although too tiny for me to feel yet.
Danelle update: I have still been substitute teaching which is nice for us financially but not so nice for me physically. I'm finishing up the days I'm already scheduled for but am not accepting any new days because right now it is all I can do to make it through a school day (with occasional rushes to the closest restroom). Of course I'm not really "showing" yet, but it is becoming increasingly more uncomfortable to hold my stomach tight or suck in. Right now I'm just praying for the departure of this constant nausea and the arrival of some more energy. I would really like to get back to walking with the pups and doing some weight training but so far that has been pretty much impossible.
Richard update: Marlie (my cousin) and Mike (her husband) were in town last night with their 2 and a half month old daughter, Emma. It was nice to see them and catch up... and it was awesome to see Richard holding her and feeding her a bottle. I could tell he was a little nervous about handling such a tiny, fragile person, but he did great! :) Oh, he is also banned (until further notice) from cooking bacon while I am at home... so if you hear that he is severly injured by me any time soon, you will know why. hehe
That's all for now! I will update next week after my first doctor's appointment!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Hanging In

According to my baby book (What to Expect When You're Expecting), there's a lot going on with our little one right now. He or she is about the size of a blueberry and new brain cells are being generated at the rate of 100 cells per minute! Also taking shape are baby's mouth and tongue, and the kidneys are now poised to begin their important work of waste management. His or her arm and leg buds are forming, which are beginning to sprout into paddle-like appendages and to divide into hand, arm, and shoulder segments--and leg, knee, and foot segments. My first doctor's appointment is 2 weeks from today and I am so excited to go and start that part of this journey. We may even be able to hear the baby's heartbeat by then! (Hopefully Richard will be able to go with me - I don't think he'll be in California for pre-deployment training yet.) Since my last post, my severe itching has been replaced with all day "morning" sickness. (What a silly thing to call it as it certainly does not apply to only mornings.) I'm trying to stay positive and do everything I can to prevent and quell the queasies but right now the rest of the first trimester sounds like an eternity. I guess we can at least take it as a sign that things are really happening in my not-yet-showing body. :) Thank you, Lord, for this amazing blessing!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Losing my Mind

The last couple days have been pretty good without too much nausea (and without much exposure to food smells), and I think I've pretty well beat this virus. There is one major thing, however, that I was not expecting... I have had terrible uncontrollable itching for the last 3 days. It's especially the palms of my hands and the soles of my feet and sometimes randomly everywhere else. It feels like a bad bug bite that itches SOOO bad and when you finally give in a scratch, it feels really good while you're scratching but doesn't take away the itch. I feel like I'm losing my mind because there is nothing I can do to help it! I read up on it and it sounds like some women experience this due to the increased estrogen production and the only advice seems to be staying well hydrated and using lots of lotion. I put some lotion in the refrigerator because the coolness feels good and I will continue to try that, but my skin doesn't really feel that dry. I don't know - maybe it's just something I will have to get used to... if that's possible.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Reality setting in

Richard and I called our parents and siblings last night and they are all very excited. It's going to take a little while for it to sink in for all of us, it's still hard to believe it's real! Now that I'm feeling a good bit better from the virus, I am starting to be able to distinguish my other physical feelings and changes. The nausea I mentioned yesterday is definitely not virus related... smells are so magnified to me right now. Richard's breakfast of eggs and bacon - terrible. Vegetable soup - disgusting. Walmart grocery shopping trip - horrendous (way too many food smells mixed together there). I haven't actually thrown up (yet) but have felt overall nauseous for most of the day. I feel pretty ready for everything that is happening and am excited about experiencing each phase of this journey.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Sick and Pleasantly Surprised

Saturday morning I woke up with a sore throat and achy body. Over the next couple days that moved to a stuffy head, and yesterday went deep into my chest with a bad cough and a touch of nausea. After a really long day substitute teaching in a 5th grade class (and being scheduled to have that class all week) I decided that I really should go to the doctor. Not only did I feel terrible, I didn't want to risk getting an entire class sick too. This morning I woke up at about 7am so I could take the lesson plans back over to the school and start calling the doctor's appointment line to get an appointment for today. I am a couple days late for my period, which is not really unusual, but thought I should do a test so I could tell the doctor if I thought I could be pregnant or not when she asked. The test was positive!!! I couldn't believe it! I read the testing instructions again and yes, the plus sign really does mean positive! I turned on the lights in the bedroom and woke Richard up to show him... it was really cool that he was even home because he's usually at PT at that time of the morning. So we were definitely excited but not too trusting of the test - didn't want to get our hopes up too much. Well when I went to the doctor for my appointment I told her that I had a positive home pregnancy test this morning. She ran some bloodwork and along with finding out that I have a virus that has to just run its course, she also confirmed that I AM PREGNANT! How awesome to know so early and how good it feels that it happened right when we stopped worrying about it! :) I have an OB appointment scheduled for May 13, but without seeing the doctor yet I am estimating my due date to be about December 22.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Maybe Baby...

Since my last post, I have really found peace by not thinking, worrying, planning, etc... I have put everything in God's hands and have been just waiting for some direction from Him for our lives and timing. Richard has felt ready for a while now and it seems that I'm more hung up on his deployment than he is. He feels like we should live as we would if we weren't living the Army life and just trust that things will work out as they should. Well this week has been interesting for me... Tuesday I went to Bible study and it was my group's week to help out, which I thought just meant bringing food and helping set up and clean up. Well, I ended up helping out in the overflow nursery. My friend Katia and I were in a room with one 2 month old, a set of 1 year old twins, and five 2-year-olds. Everybody was in diapers and nobody could talk. At first it was a little overwhelming and I was not excited about being there for 2 and a half hours... but it turned out great and I really enjoyed it. We changed everybody's diapers (at least once), wiped up spilled milk, cleaned up graham cracker crumbs, etc. Each kid took turns crying and needing something and it was very demanding, but like I said, I really enjoyed it. Wednesday I went to a substitute teacher orientation and got all set up to start filling in for elementary and middle school teachers. I could get a call any day now! So all the kid stuff this week lead me back to thinking baby. AND on Friday Richard told me that it sounds like his deployment is being pushed back a few months. So yet again the Army is changing things around and it sounds like we'll never really know what is going to happen from day to day. Richard and I talked about family plans again and he expressed that he is still feeling ready and excited. We quickly came to the conclusion that we should go for it and leave it in God's hands. So we're super excited (again) and we'll see what happens.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Plans on Hold?

So it sounds pretty sure that Richard's unit will be deploying sometime between July and August of 2008. That means if we were to get pregnant any time between now and then, he will not be around for the birth and potentially the whole first year of our baby's life! :( That sounds awful and it makes me want to wait until we know he'll be "home" for a longer stretch of time... so right now we're seeking God's will as to whether we should start using birth control again or just stop worrying about it and let it happen if that's His plan.

Letting Go

November 2007

We arrived at Fort Riley, Kansas on November 5 and started getting deeper into the Army learning process. After about two and a half weeks of hotel living we moved on post and began really settling in. Richard got into his job as a platoon leader and soon found out his unit would be deploying to Iraq sometime towards the end of 2008. At this point we still (most likely) had at least 9 months for him to be around so we were still okay with the possibility of pregnancy. At the same time it was pretty emotional for me thinking that Richard has never held a baby, changed a diaper or any of that stuff... and I really wanted him to be around for the birth, first year, etc. of our first child! It has been stressful relocating, leaving our families, making new friends, finding a church, learning the ropes of the Army, and more...

September 2007

After much prayer, discussion, and financial and emotional evaluating, Richard and I decided we were ready to make a human addition to our little family. At the time, Richard was in Virginia for training and wouldn't be home until mid-October, but I stopped taking my birth control and started preparing my body and mind to take on the challenge of pregnancy... whenever God allows it to happen. :) Richard is so cute about all this because he's excited about being a dad but also seems a little nervous about his lack of experience with babies. I know he'll be an awesome dad! :)