Monday, February 27, 2012

21 Weeks & Memorializing a Friend

This week was super fun because I only had to work two days!  The other two days I was with my mom, and some other teachers from my school, at a conference in Phoenix.  It was nice being away from school but it was a lot of sitting at the conference for almost 7 hours a day, my butt got sore and it was tough to just sit, being pregnant and all.

Speaking of, my hip has really started to hurt this week.  I looked it up and think it is probably hip bursitis from learning to sleep on my sides most of the night.  (Think about it - you sleep on your sides, yes, but you take a break on your back and your stomach sometimes too, so just sleeping on your sides forces your body to do weird things.)  So, I read up on it and found out a few things:  Get a softer mattress, put a pillow not only between your knees but one that runs the length of your whole leg from your knee to your ankle and don't cross your ankles when laying on your side while you sleep.  I have the most comfy, soft mattress and mattress pad in the world so I knew that couldn't be the problem.  I started sleeping with a pillow between my knees running the length of my lower leg, and that didn't seem to help so I bought a Snoogle (after reading online that this was the best pregnancy pillow to get).  Now, I'm trying out and can't really tell if it's working or not.  I have also been doing some yoga poses - happy baby, pigeon pose and squats to see if that helps, as well as walking more often than I was.  The pain in your hip, with this, is super far in there, it's like you can't reach it to rub it or anything and it only hurts when you get up from sitting, walk for a long time or when you first wake up.  It's like a stiff, sour pain in your hip and it's almost like it renders your leg useless for a split second, and makes you feel really pregnant and really old.  Ha!

I don't mean to complain but I thought I'd write about it in case someone else is having the same issue.  My friends that have been pregnant remember a pain like this so I think it's pretty common.  I'm just trying to find a solution for it!  I will keep you posted on how my Snoogle works or if I send it back to get a different kind of pillow because this one is kind of hard to get in and out of the bed with (especially with your growing belly!)!  I also read that a memory foam mattress pad helps or maybe just a pillow under the hip that hurts while you are laying on that side.  I was thinking that maybe just two body pillows would be better because then I could at least lay my head on my own pillow, but I don't know yet.  I will give the Snoogle maybe a couple more nights to see if it helps.

This week was also full of lots of kicks and jabs from our little girl.  I think I'm getting used to it because I don't notice it as much as I used to, or maybe I've just been really busy.  I even had a dream the other night that she woke me up kicking me but I'm not sure if it really happened or not.  The following night though, when I woke up to pee, there she was kicking around at about 4:30am.  They say that when they come out they wake up at the same time they did when they were in the womb so we shall see!  My mom came over on Saturday morning to help me clean the living room and the whole time I was moving around, I didn't feel her at all.  My mom said it was because I was moving and that puts her to sleep, or I'm just busy and am not paying attention, and it was true - the minute I sat down, I felt her again.  Christine and Espen came over afterwards (to show me Christine's new car!) and helped me clean my room and bathroom while Ian organized all of the cords behind the entertainment center - it was awesome!  I am so thankful for such wonderful family and friends - the den and living room are now officially cleaned out and organized and my room is spotless (Ian even dusted the walls and ceiling)!  We took another load to Goodwill and put some more things in an attic box and next weekend my dad is coming over to help with the kitchen - we are on our way and I am feeling less cluttered every day!  I love it!

This weekend we headed out to the desert to memorialize our little blueberry.  As I told you before, Ian has been struggling for over a year with the death of our first baby and so he and his parents decided that a memorial for him/her would help to heal him, a place for him to leave all of his pain and start to move on.  I think that this blog has helped me move on and also a birthday celebration on the day that would have been his/her birth day.  Also, I have had to be positive during this second pregnancy because you don't want to dwell on the past when you are trying to grow your second little baby, you have to stay happy and think of the future instead of the past, even though you never forget.  It's ok to remember but after a point you have to stop and know that this is a new experience and can't be compared to the past.

On Sunday morning we met Ian's parents, his brother, sister-in-law, sister and our nephew out at their family's grave site to bury some of Ian's things that he made for or wrote about the blueberry.  It was a beautiful memorial, Ian and his Dad dug the hole, his mom and Dad said prayers and we all sang "Amazing Grace" while his Dad played the guitar.  I think Ian really needed this, as well as his family, and I am happy that we all went out and did it together.  He has been so sad for so long, hopefully this will be an opportunity to remember and then move on, looking towards a brighter future.  He will be writing his own blog post, on here, about his experience this year with my pregnancies, and I think it will be so beneficial for other fathers to read so that they can heal too.  It will be a long time coming and he will have so many insightful things to say, he is an amazing writing, I so look forward to you reading his thoughts.  Check back for it soon.

(It is gorgeous on their land.)

(Reggie wanted to help dig so badly!)

(Ian put in the letter that he wrote to blueberry, two kachinas that he carved and some other notes he wrote about the experience.  I put in my hospital bracelets. I tried and tried to find my two pregnancy tests but I think I threw them away when I found out I was pregnant again, didn't want them in the house anymore.)
(Blueberry's marker is at the head of Ian's grandmother's grave.)

(The first kachina he made, last year, when I was pregnant and we didn't know it yet.  She fell off the counter when we lost the baby and just before we put her in the car on Sunday, she fell again and her head broke off.  I glued it back on but it was very strange, it was like she was ready to be the marker for the baby's memorial in the desert and not be in the house anymore.)

(Afterwards we went to Denny's and I got to sit across from Reggie!)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Halfway There!

On Saturday I officially hit the halfway mark of this pregnancy - it's so exciting!  It still feels so surreal and there are mornings I wake up and forget I'm pregnant.  It's amazing how great you feel during the 2nd trimester - aside from the growing belly (and I'm a bit off balance lately) and the movement.  It's just so awesome we've hit 5 months, wahoooo!

Can we talk about this wiggly little girl?  She goes through spurts of movement like crazy every day and some days it seems like she doesn't stop.  Last Friday, while sitting at my desk, I swore she even did a complete somersault - I totally felt her go upside down and do a total roll, it was nuts!  She seems to be pretty good while I sleep, for now, and doesn't start moving until around 9:30am.  Then she moves again around 1:30pm and then after I eat dinner around 7.  That seem to be the theme, she is super active after I eat, she must love all of the yummy food coming down to her in there.

It's crazy because when she's not moving I'm like, "Where is she?  Is she ok?"  And then when she is moving I'm like, "This is SO weird!"  Sometimes it's so nuts (and I know it will only get crazier) that it freaks me out a little, thinking that she's in there just hanging out and moving around.  Freaky, yes, but totally fun too.  I have no idea if she's kicking, punching or rolling but when I feel that little tap (and as I wrote that I totally felt one!), it makes my heart so happy.  I have even gone about 2 days so far without using the doppler to check on her because every time I go to use it I feel her and just put it down.  When I'm up and moving around I don't feel her as much but when I'm sitting, I do.  

And now, Ian feels her too!  When she's super squirmy I call him in, put his hand where she's at and wait for her to kick him, and she does!  The first time he really felt it, big time, we were in the car on Saturday waiting to pick up some food.  We couldn't move from our spot so I rested his hand on my belly and she gave the biggest kick - it was AWESOME!  He jerked his hand away and said "That was crazy!"  And couldn't stop talking about it the rest of the day.  It makes me so happy that he can feel her too, our little muffin in there just moving around, developing and hopefully feeling our happiness that she's here with us.

The only other symptom that I've been experiencing lately is that my legs are either restless or crampy at night.  I sit at my desk for most of the day and there is nothing for me to prop my legs up on so they get kind of numb because they are always just hanging there.  At home I try to prop them up, but I haven't been very good about walking or doing yoga lately so they still feel kind of restless while I sleep.  The other night they kept me up all night (because I forgot to take my prenatal vitamin and my magnesium that the OB told me  is supposed to help) and I was tossing and turning and couldn't get comfy because of it.  Laying on my sides is new too, I'm used to that break on my back or on my stomach and now it's like my legs get numb in the position they are in all night, kind of cutting off their circulation.  I need to just remember to walk every day, or stretch them out, but I'm so tired when I get home it's tough!  The magnesium does help though because they have started to feel better.

We have started to tackle some house projects, finally!  It's tough to get motivated, especially when one of us is pregnant, and now we are realizing that we only have 5 months left until the baby comes to get these things done.  We also want to try and refinance the house this summer and definitely need to finish/fix some things before an appraiser comes out, so that we can get the best value on our property.  Here are our lists of the big things we want to fix/finish (by person and in order of when we want to do them):

Fixing the siding in back.
Sanding/spackling/painting the carport.
Painting the back of the house.
Painting on top of the gutters in front and back.
Framing all of the windows.
Finishing framing/spackling both the front and back doors.
New flooring in baby room and band room.
Sanding the kitchen ceiling, baby room ceiling and den ceiling, spackling and repainting them.

Clean out every room in the house, organize it, put things in attic, give things away and sell things.
Clear out baby room and band room for new flooring.
Touch up paint on doors and cabinets in house.
Paint cabinets in both bathrooms.
Paint baby room.
New blinds and curtains in baby room.
New sun shade outside of baby room window to block summer sun.
Remove closet doors in baby room and paint closet, get closet system and a curtain to act as a door.
Decorate baby room and build furniture!

Ambitious right?!  It sounds like a lot but we can do it, and we have to start before I get too big or too uncomfortable to help, so we definitely took advantage of this three day weekend!  I started with the den and attempted to clean/organize my desk and the cabinets we use for storage.  The baby room, now our middle bedroom, stores a lot of our stuff (we don't have a garage) so in order to put that stuff somewhere else, I have to clean out the other rooms to make space.  The cabinets/shelves were completely full and when I finished (it took me two full days) we put 3 boxes in the attic, took 2 boxes to Goodwill and brought one box of stuff to school - success!  We now have so much room to cram more stuff in, I can't wait!

(I hate that when you start cleaning out stuff you make more of a mess for days while you're working.  It's my LEAST favorite part about cleaning!)


(After - still have to recycle the trash and put the little things away.)

(Such a mess and a much bigger project than we thought!)

So next weekend I'm doing either the living room or kitchen and then after that our bedroom, and my mom and Dad have both volunteered to help whenever we need it.  Then, when everything is cleaned out and organized I will move on to the biggest project - the baby's room.  It is a MESS, wait until I show you a "before" picture of that, you will be appalled!  

Prior to cleaning, our weekend was pretty busy.  On Friday we went the the thrift store and I got two pairs of maternity pants and some dresses I can wear to school.  Saturday we went to the Mega Yard Sale at Fort McDowell Casino in the morning (I woke up at 6:30am for no reason, but did go to bed at 10:30pm!) and then out to the reservation for a get-together with Ian's Native American family.  It was fun but there were lots of bees and it was a super hot day, so hot that we had to come home and take a nap!  Ian played a show on Saturday night and I got to hang with my lady friends, one of my favorite things to do.  We had SUCH an exciting night at Christine's, here's a glimpse of what we did:

 (Christie apparently got dental floss stuck between her tooth and her permanent retainer and it was a two person job to get it out - and of course, Christine held the flashlight with one hand and her phone, filming it, in the other.  Keep in mind we are in our early 30's and have known each other for over 17 years.  And this is what we do on a Saturday night.)

Sunday and Monday were spent cleaning the den, running errands, and doing laundry while Ian worked in the backyard and took care of moving boxes and getting water (all the things that require lifting).  The three days went by super fast and I still can't believe we got it all done.  By 4pm yesterday I was pooped and proceeded to make dinner and then lay on the couch.  But when bedtime came, I couldn't sleep - you ever have those nights?  Ugh.

This week I only have to work 2 days because I'm going to a conference with my mom and some friends from school.  I am SO happy about it and need this break - it's just fun to do something different.  Not a very exciting post but I hope to update you on more house stuff and baby kicks next week!  :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Some Pink Surprises!

Yesterday was an unexpected day off for Ian and I.  We didn't sleep much the night before so we both took the day off to catch up on some sleep, and it just happened to be Valentine's Day.  :)

I started the day by making Ian some gluten free pancakes (and some mini heart-shaped ones) with some Applegate organic bacon (the BEST bacon if you've never had it).  He left to run an errand and came back with some gorgeous white lillies for me, my favorite.  We decided to do lunch at Pei Wei and then head to the zoo, with our special box, to open it and find out the gender of our baby!

Almost three years ago, we got married at the zoo.  It is one of our favorite places to go, is right by our house and we have so many happy memories there.  We can't wait to have our little muffin in a stroller, walking around and showing her all the animals there, so it was just fitting that we open our box near our wedding spot.  However, it was an unseasonably (well at least for this year) cold day and I was in a skirt and flip-flops so I started to rethink this decision as soon as we got there.  It was freezing!

Christine got the envelope from me 6 days before, and all we asked her to do was make a piece of jewelry for us, either pink or blue, that represented the baby's gender.  She didn't tell anyone but her boyfriend, Jeremy, and her mom, but some of our friends did try to get the info out of her.  My mom also contacted her to make us a Build a Bear, dressed as either a boy or girl, with a recording of our lemmy's heartbeat in it.  So, she had a lot to do in just a little bit of time.

Christine actually recorded herself opening the envelope, we cracked up last night watching it, I love it!

And, a couple of days before she dropped off the box, I got this picture sent to me with a text that said, "Is it Tuesday yet?"  It was SO hard to not talk to her for 6 days, especially when she knew something like this.  It was killing me!

My mom was also super anxious to hear the news that she texted me twice yesterday (her texts are in white):

So, off to the zoo we went and chose a bench by our wedding spot to open the box.  (Our wedding spot is now a dirt spot, a teeny tiny place with a road through it.  None of the plants/cactus are still there, just one lonely palm tree, so I wasn't about to sit in the dirt!)  I was so nervous, I think I peed maybe 3 times before we actually settled in.  It was like from that moment on the baby will no longer be an "it" but a "he" or a "she" and that is so cool but such a commitment!  I thought I might actually miss those moments of wondering or that feeling of just not knowing for sure but having a feeling.  Turns out, I don't miss them at all!  Here it is, the big reveal.  Sorry the video is so weird, Ian leaned his phone on a bench to take it and you can't hear or see us very well but you get the point:

Inside the box, in addition to a box for each of us with our bracelets in them, were lemonheads labeled with the date (the candy) and a cute little picture frame with the girly parts in it and a cute pink paper background.  (Thanks, Christine, for taking pictures while you made/built all of our presents - I LOVE them!) 

(My gorgeous bracelet!  Notice the yellow charm attached?  Too cute!)

(Ian's bracelet - he loves it so much he's scared to wear it in case he ruins it!)

(Right after we opened our boxes, it was cold, I told you and I was so happy and crying!)

(We were so surprised and happy.  It was strange though because from the beginning, I just knew in my heart the lemon was a little girl.  My Nani sent us this baby and I knew she would send me a girl.  I told you, a little girl like my mom had me and my Nani had her.)

And, along with all of this - we got our flash drive with the ultrasound videos of our lemon on it!  I was SO excited to watch them because I hadn't really paid attention while we were in the ultrasound room last week (because I didn't want to see any lady or boy parts!).  Here are two of the best videos from the ultrasound (the first I like because she's stretching and in the second she's playing with her foot!):

And of course - the bear!  My mom told me that babies actually find comfort (and go to sleep easier) listening to the sound of a heartbeat (probably because they hear ours while they are in the womb).  So, she had Christine build this bear for us, and put a recording of the lemon's actual heartbeat inside.  Christine also put a stuffed heart inside the bear (if you've ever been to Build a Bear you know what I'm talking about) and wished on it before putting it in.  So cute and thoughtful, both of them!  And such a cute bear for the lemmy!

After opening our box, we headed straight to Target to pick out an outfit for the lemon.  THIS is what I've been waiting for - shopping!  I am so excited for a future of bows, flowers, frills, ruffles and dolls - I can't wait!  I keep asking Ian if he's ready for barbies and doll houses and he says he is.  Now I know that some girls aren't in to all of this stuff, and that's ok too, but while she's little and doesn't really have a say, we plan on dressing her up!  So, here are our first outfits for the lemon, and it was the best money we ever spent!  Now, we gotta get on this nursery!!!

(The cupcake onsie says "Daddy's sweetie" and the pink pajamas say "I love Mommy."  And I HAD to get the Valentine onesie - it was just so fitting!)

19 Weeks and a Baby . . .

(15, 17 and 19 weeks.  It's funny to think I thought I looked pregnant at 15 weeks, ha!)

This week was full of some definite highs and lows.  I relearned some lessons and realized just how much everyone cares, and how much everyone loves and supports us.  It was a trying week but a happy one, and oh yeah . . . we also got ONE big surprise yesterday!

This week was an emotional one for both Ian and I.  It was tough, but every time you have some lows, you learn some things and grow stronger, and that's what we did, together.  Ian was sick this past weekend and he wasn't sure if he had the flu or if it was stress.  This past year has been really hard for him, the death of our first baby, blueberry, really affected him and I don't think he's ever let go of or mourned the experience.  It has been a little over a year, and right after we lost the baby he and his dad replaced 1700 square feet of our attic insulation and Ian got hurt in the process.  He went to the emergency room (last March) because he felt like he couldn't breathe and they said his chest/lungs were clear but that he had costochondritis (inflammation of his chest cartilage).  And, he is still struggling with it.  He has tried everything - acupuncture, yoga, cupping, physical therapy, seeing a therapist, seeing multiple doctors, getting a heart ultrasound (to make sure that's ok) and trying a bunch of different medicines but nothing really seemed to take care of it completely and all he wants is to feel normal again.  He has even stopped smoking and drinking (his former two favorite activities) so feels like just a version of his former self, having to let everything he used to like to do go.  A combination of an anti-inflammatory medication, a muscle relaxer, bi-weekly physical therapy and monthly therapy sessions has kind of helped; but he is still plagued by panic attacks every once in a while, feeling like he can't breathe, and constant pain in his chest and back daily.  It has been a long road for him, for us and for everyone around him watching him suffer.  It has taken a toll on him, on our relationship and on his relationship with others.  I had to relearn how he was feeling this week, and be reminded that he is still so hurt and upset, sometimes I forget because I am so excited and wrapped up in the lemon, looking towards our future together.

Lately he has come to the realization that he is still not over the death of the blueberry and has decided to commemorate the whole experience in his own way.  (We have tried some other things in the past, things that have helped me, but this one is just for him this time.)  It is not necessarily a memorial for the baby, he has come to terms with that (and of course is excited about his new lemon on the way), but he needs to leave the experience behind because he is hanging on to the grief of all of it and it is hurting him physically and emotionally.  (I told him that he needs to post a blog on here, for husbands who have experienced loss right along with their wives because guys grieve too and sometimes it's harder for them to let go because they don't share their emotions as easily with everyone around them.  Maybe he will someday soon, I truly think it would be healing for him and healing for others as well.)  So, next weekend, we will be heading out the desert to put his experience to rest, hoping this will help him heal and move on.  I pray for him every night and the only thing I want is for him to feel better, nothing would make me happier.

Now, don't get me wrong, Ian is super excited for the lemon to get here and to be a daddy.  He does not necessarily dwell on the past, but it affects him internally, even if it doesn't show on the outside.  What we went through, what everyone goes through when something like that happens, is a very private thing.  People don't know how to talk to you about it, unless they've been through it, and you don't know how to talk to others about it.  You tend to wall yourself off from everyone and it becomes harder and harder to connect with people, at least that's what I did (maybe not everyone is the same).  Even now I am having to learn how to interact with everyone again, slowly but surely, and it's hard.  And this is how it was/is for us, we grew closer together but also became this tight knit entity that was/is hard to crack through, hard to break our outer shell.  Talking to his parents this week, Ian realized that he needs to start letting go, breaking down his wall and peeling back the layers of his experience to heal a little at a time, and hopefully feeling better for good.  He is expecting everything that he tries to work and I am proud of him for always having hope and never giving up; it's hard when you have a chronic illness (I know because that's how my stomach was for me, for 32 years) because you feel just so down and out, like a shadow of your former self, and it's hard to stay positive.  But, he's done a pretty good job and I just hope he continues to feel better and better. 

Another lesson I relearned this week was about my mom.  She spent the past couple of days working with Christine to come up with another surprise for me regarding the baby's gender reveal (in addition to the jewelry), and I am just always amazed at how much she loves and supports me - she is seriously my very best friend.  She had a cute idea to put the baby's heartbeat, which I sent her on my iPhone a couple of weeks ago (recorded from our doppler), into a bear from Build a Bear and then have Christine (who was the only one who knew the gender) make the bear, either a boy or girl, for the baby and give it to us on Valentine's Day too.  I ended up guessing the surprise (when they needed a copy of the heartbeat because I don't think you can save it on your phone when someone sends you a recording), when out to lunch with my mom, and hurt her feelings because she was so excited and then I felt really bad about it.  Here I was, being such a brat about something so lovely, when I just should have kept my mouth shut and let her have her surprise because it meant so much to her (and to me, even now).  Sometimes I spout off (a trait I think I inherited from my dad) in a joking manner and it sometimes hurts people's feelings.  I don't meant to be mean or hurtful, it just comes out (like word vomit) and then I instantly regret it.  I felt so bad for guessing the surprise and telling my mom my guess that I broke down and of course, apologized (and cried).  I realized that it wasn't the surprise that I didn't want, it was all the stuff that I didn't really want.  Now, this sounds terrible but I am about to explain . . .

The only things we had, from the blueberry, were my hospital bracelet (when we lost the baby), my two pregnancy tests, a picture in a frame and Ian's kachina that he made.  I also had some books that a friend gave me and of course all of our hopes and dreams of finally getting pregnant after trying for awhile.  After we lost the baby, I didn't want to look at any baby stuff.  We put all of the books and everything else away, and it was hard for me to even hear about people being pregnant, to see babies or see pregnant people.  You close yourself off from all of it, like I said before, and for a few months you are just a miserable anti-pregnant person (although secretly hoping inside that you have another chance to become a mother some day).  It's totally normal; and I have a friend now who recently lost a baby and another trying to get pregnant that I'm sure feel a bit of the same thing.  I totally can relate.

So, I had this feeling of not wanting to acquire anything for the lemon either.  It was like the more stuff we had, the more stuff we would have to clear out if something happened.  I know this is a horrible way to think, but it's also realistic when you've experienced a loss.  I don't think something will happen, I am positive that the lemon is healthy and will come home in our arms in July - but I still had this hidden fear (does it really ever go away?).  So, when I learned that not only were Ian and I getting a piece of jewelry from Christine but also a bear from my mom - it instantly threw me into the "oh no, one more thing to put away in case something happens mode" and I freaked.  (Keep in mind, we haven't bought anything for the lemon until yesterday, aside from what has been given to us.  I am almost 5 months and our "nursery" is just a spare room full of junk still!)  But, after my mom and I talked and I apologized and explained it to her, she understood, and that is what makes her so amazing.  And, after the big gender reveal, Ian and I both went out to Target and picked out an outfit for the baby, we are now ready to start decorating and buying stuff - I can't wait! 

  (All of the lemon's things, so far, except for one book we forgot to include plus the box that would tell us his/her gender!)

My mom has the ability to share feelings with people like no other, she is an empathizer (and I think I got this trait from her too).  She feels what you feel and feels it so deeply for you, it is incredible.  This is what allows her to be one of the sweetest and most caring people; no one would disagree, everyone loves her.  I realized, at that moment, just how much my mom cares about both of us and how she just wanted to make everything perfect for us all the time.  As my belly has grown she has taken me shopping, and she even bought us the very first present for the lemon.  She is just as excited as we are, calls to check on us all the time and puts her heart into everything she does; and I knew this all before but had to relearn it again this weekend.  She loves surprising me, knows I love surprises and was just trying to do something special and I ruined it.  I had to relearn a lot this week when it comes to those I love.  I have to try to be a better listener, and I hope that they will always continue to talk to me, no matter what.

I know, I know, enough with all of this - let's get to the BIG NEWS!  But, before I do, I have to mention my best friend, Christine, again.  She made us the most beautiful bracelets, representing the gender of our lemon, and worked so hard to make it all so special for us (and with only 6 days to do it!).  In an unexpected day off (for us) yesterday, she dropped off the box that held all of the goods in it (our gifts, the flash drive with the ultrasound pics and video) and a couple of other items she snuck inside.  She also went to Build a Bear, with my favorite little man, Espen (her son), and built us our surprise bear, working with my mom to make it mean so much.  She did all of this as a present to us, and we can't thank her enough.  She also never ceases to amaze me and I just hope I can be as good a mom to the lemon as she is to Espen.  (For details of our gender reveal, with pictures and videos, check out my next post - I thought it deserved a whole post of its own!)

So, here it is . . . our BIG news . . . finally!  53% of you voted correctly!  We are having a baby GIRL!!!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Song of the Week #4

Yes, I realize I skipped last week and didn't post a song.  I was sick for most of the week and didn't really have the energy to get up and listen to music.  I wasn't inspired, that's it, and I didn't want to post something just because.  So, I apologize for skipping a week!

But, this week, I'm back at it and there is only one song that I keep singing over and over in my head and it's "You Are My Sunshine."  I am doing this February Photo a Day thing on Instagram (follow me: @allisonpants) and yesterday my subject was supposed to be "sun" (although all day I thought it was "sunshine" - but same thing).  So, I knew, since we were going to get our ultrasound, that I would have lots of pictures of baby and that is what I wanted to post as my sunshine yesterday.  So, of course, I kept singing all day in my head:

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine.
You make me happy when skies are gray.
You'll never know dear, how much I love you.
Please don't take my sunshine away.

And yep, I usually post all of the lyrics and the song/video here - but have you listened to all of the lyrics to this song?  I thought it was a happy song, all these years until today, but it's actually a sad song!  Who knew?!  So, instead of posting all the words, I thought I would just post the lyrics that apply, above, and keep you in the dark about the real song, like I was.  Believe me, you're better off this way.  ;)

Whenever I go to the OB she asks me how I am and I always say, "fine."  Then she says, "What about heartburn?"  And I say, "Oh yeah, I have that."  And she says, " What about leg cramps?"  And I say, "Yep, I have those too."  So then she asks me why do I always say I'm "fine" when I actually have all of the normal pregnancy symptoms?  I thought about this, after last month's visit and realized it's because I am fine.  Compared to what I've been through, me and the baby are totally fine and we really have nothing major to report.  None of that stuff she mentions is any big deal and all of it is stuff we can handle.  So when she asks me how I am, all I really have to say is that I'm "fine."

It's just like this placenta thing.  I had a small freak out yesterday (when Einstein bit my cheek and I started crying right before bed because I thought we were friends), and realized it was because I feel so great and am totally fine all of the time, and am not really worried anymore.  I was so excited about yesterday, so so happy to see our baby.  And then, when I heard about my placenta vs. cervix (that's what I'm calling it now), I felt gloomy again, for no reason.  I was still fine, baby was still fine, everything was still ok - we were just warned that this was where my placenta was, for now, and that it will need to be checked again later on.  But, it was like a dark cloud came over me and threw me right back into worrying and being sad again, just like last year.  Why?  Why did I let this news, that the OB wasn't at all concerned about and didn't place any restrictions on us because of, ruin my day?  My lovely time?  Why can't I shake thinking about it?  Is it just the mom in me, a constant worrier?

So, I have decided to not let it bother me.  I am FINE and everything is OK and I am happy and healthy and so is the lemon.  Thank God that Ian is amazing and always calms me down, brings me back to reality, and makes me feel comfy again; I would be lost without him.  And I am happy to report that today I am more at peace and am definitely feeling better, nothing has changed so why was I so worried?  It's like Ian said, we have learned so much from the blueberry, we have gotten so wise and we have realized that we can't control everything and this is something else we have no control over.  All we can do is stay positive, think happy thoughts, pray and keep on truckin' and growing this lemmy big and healthy.  So that's what I am going to do, that will be my job for the next 5 months, and that is all I am going to worry about.

So, in short, when you ask me how I'm doing with all of this - the only answer you will get from me from now on is that "I am fine."  And now you know what it means - it means that we are doing our best, moving along, not worrying or stressing about anything because that's all we can do.  That is the best we've got, all we've got to give and just how it has to be.  :)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

18 Weeks and an Ultrasound!

(There goes Ian making me hold an animal in my picture again.  This time it was Einstein!)

 (14, 16 and 18 weeks.  Wow, what a difference!)

So, I thought I would save this post, since we went in today to have our 18 week ultrasound and see our baby for the first time since 9 weeks (man, these 9 weeks have just FLOWN by!).  

And, what a week it was!  So many nights I woke up obsessing about the baby and if it was a boy or a girl and couldn't fall back to sleep.  I think gender thoughts were consuming me because I didn't want to think about anything else that could be wrong with the baby, so I thought about the sex instead.  However, the past two nights I slept SO good, maybe I got all of my worries out or something.  I finally got over being sick and started feeling better on Monday but still have this dang cough (that subsequently makes me have to pee every time!) so I was rested and ready to see the baby.  I didn't take anything for my cold and didn't have a fever so I'm thankful for that, I just slept a lot and rested, it totally wore me out.  It seems to be what is going around, all my kids at school are sick.  Now if I could just stop coughing!

Not much else happened last week except that we saw a good friend of ours from high school and got to go to a preview party for the first two episodes of her TV show, Cougar Town (it starts Valentine's Day if you've never seen it before - totally funny!).  The twins, Ian and I went and it was super fun, and great to see our friend, but the next day I realized that I maybe should have stayed home because I was back to being sick again.  I napped at school on Friday and then took it easy all weekend again, colds while you're pregnant are a totally different monster, it knocked me out!

Now - the ultrasound!  We went in today and got to see our lemon move around for a good 15 minutes.  I was scared to really look at the screen though because I thought at any moment I would see a penis and the surprise would be ruined; so I wish I could have looked longer (and harder) because I kind of feel like I missed seeing every inch of his/her body.  We decided to have the tech write down the baby's gender, and then give it to my bestie of 17 years, Christine, so she could make us something to open on Valentine's Day.  She is a jewelry designer (check out her etsy shop!) and she is either going to make Ian and I something pink or something blue - and then put them in a box for us to open.  

I know, I know - how can I wait 6 days knowing that my best friend knows something I don't know?!  She is probably dying right now too, wanting to tell me but can't.  Ugh - it kills me but it is kinda fun too - you have to admit!  We still aren't sure how we are going to tell our parents or our other friends (maybe another surprise is in store for everyone?), and then we will finally go public with the news.  So, readers,  it could be a little while before you find out!  (Doesn't it just kill you?! Probably not us much as us!)

(I am only posting two pics here because the others you can't really tell what you are looking at.  This one is of the baby's profile - you can see a nose and a head and an arm, right up by his/her face.  Ian thinks it's a girl because baby has my nose.  He also thinks he's an ultrasound tech because he has been reading up on how to interpret ultrasounds.  Ha!)

 (There's baby's foot and leg, too cute!)

We got a flash drive with video of the baby moving around too (even a part where it turned a looked at us and blinked!), and had the tech put the gender on it so I had to give that to Christine also.  I maybe shouldn't have had the ultrasound tech include the gender though, because it would be fun to watch the video now (and post it)!  I am DYING to study it like crazy when I get it back, I want to remember every inch of that little lemmy! 

We met with the doc after the ultrasound and she said everything is fine and baby is on track for a July 7th due date.  She did mention that my placenta is low, not fully covering my cervix but partially, and didn't seem concerned about it.  I, of course, am freaking out (and had to read everything online about placenta previa), but all that I've read sounds like the placenta most likely moves (not really, but ends up in the right place) eventually (95% of them do).  She said we will check again at my 30 week ultrasound (doesn't it seem like it should be sooner?!) and make sure everything is ok.  No one else seems to be worried about this, and it happens a lot in early ultrasounds (I've read), but I feel like it's just one more thing for me to worry about.  I am crazy, I know.  But, I am staying positive and know that my Nani is watching over us - keeping me and baby healthy and happy.  Ian and I just have to keep chanting - move, move, move!  :)

Today was one of the happiest days of my life, next to my wedding day, and I just couldn't believe we got to see our baby moving around.  (And, if you didn't already know, 8 is my favorite number and today is February 8th.)  I feel like when I look up the fruit or veggie that is supposed to represent the size of our baby each week, that the fruit or veggie is actually in my uterus, not a real baby.  But today I did not see a sweet potato on that screen, I saw a baby - blinking, eating, doing somersaults, playing with his/her foot, touching his/her face, swallowing, sticking his/her tongue out and whose heart was beating, just like mine.  It was a lovely experience and went by way too fast!  Now, to look forward to Valentine's Day and finding out if this little lemon is a boy or girl!  Don't forget to vote at the top of this page - the votes are currently tied 50-50!

Keep sending us happy thoughts and prayers, and feel free to chant along with us - move, move, move!  We appreciate all of your love and support, always!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

17 Weeks

(Ian has an obsession with putting a different animal in this picture each week.  This week it was the parakeets, Charles and Marie, but you can't even see them!  It drives me nuts.)

Such an eventful week and such a late post, sorry!  I have been sick since Sunday (hence my "look" in the pics above) and I just haven't been able to get off the couch to blog.  But today I'm back at school and feeling just a bit better so I thought I'd try and fill you in on last week's events.

This week I got a BIG surprise, another new baby - a Toyota Prius!  We have been considering this car for over a year and if you know me, you know that I have issues with making commitments, especially on big purchases.  I can't ever decide, everything is always too much money and I go back and forth and end up ultimately never making a decision and forgetting about what I wanted in the first place.  The same thing happened this time, so Ian decided to make the decision for me.

The problem is that everything I have, I have bought myself, nothing was ever given to me.  Sure, my parents help out once in a while but most every big purchase that I've made, I've done most of it by myself.  So, when it comes time to fork over the cash for something, I can't commit and I get too nervous about it to do anything.  And, it isn't just with big purchases!  When I buy clothes, more than half of them get returned because I talk myself out of them when I get home.  And, usually when I do get something new, I hate it for awhile because it's new and I'm not used to it or I have buyer's remorse for buying it.  Ian knows this all too well and so this time he just used his spontaneous personality (totally opposite from mine) and went out and made the decision for us.  We needed a new car - something reliable for baby, something I could drive (since we only have one automatic) and something with another backseat since his truck doesn't have a backseat for a car seat.  So, we definitely needed it.

After school on Wednesday I stopped by a house my friend was looking to buy, she wanted me to see it so I headed over.  Ian told me that after he got home, he had to rush off to somewhere far away (I can't remember what city he said) to pick up a bird cage for his classroom, so that he could bring Einstein (see my previous post) to school with him during the day (remember, he is a Special Education teacher).  I was mad because he was heading out to make another crazy Craigslist purchase, in the middle of traffic, and I thought it was silly because if the people wanted to give him a cage, they could wait until he could come at a time that was convenient for him.  So, he left, and I got home and started dinner.  He called an hour later and told me to come outside because he needed help lifting the cage (and I thought to myself, "what the heck am I going to do, I'm pregnant!") but I went outside anyway and in the driveway was the prius, the one we had test driven just a couple of days before but walked away from, for the thousandth time.  I couldn't believe it, I cried and was so surprised, it was seriously the BEST surprise I've ever gotten in my life.  Usually no one can surprise me, I'm too good at guessing, but this time he did it and it was wonderful!  I got to drive him back to the dealership to get his truck, and drive my car for the first time, and it was seriously awesome!

I wanted a prius because each year I teach a 9 week environmental unit to my 11th graders and each year I feel like a hypocrite driving my Toyota 4runner to school every day and paying $55 in gas each week to do so.  We wanted a car that was environmentally conscious, something that would save us money on gas and something that had a lot of room for a car seat and storage for road trips.  The prius was just the obvious pick and after watching An Inconvenient Truth every year, and watching the documentary Fuel this past month, we just had to do it.  And, as you can see, it is saving us on gas already!

(Are you kidding me?!!!!)

So, now I have two new babies and I couldn't be happier.  I would have never made the decision to get the car, and Ian knows that, and I love him for making it for us.  We can afford it, I just wasn't ever going to be ready for a car payment, but I am happy now that we have a new car, no matter what.  (P.S. We bought the car from a reputable used car company, Le Sueur, in Tempe, Arizona and we loved their no hassle approach to sales.  The company is family owned, Steven sold us the car in a t-shirt and shorts and they were really relaxed and great.  However, I have some issues with their tax/length of loan options presented to Ian and the fact that the car didn't come with a spare/jack - that we had to later pick up.)

And this happiness has caused me a lot of guilt this week.  Ian has been working hard on fixing little things around the house and we just hired landscapers to finally fix up our front yard (and it's done, see below).  I have a new car, a baby on the way, our house is coming together and the best husband I could ask for - and I am feeling so unbelievably happy and lucky.  And it's a weird feeling, after feeling so unhappy and so unlucky last year, to feel like this.  I feel like at any moment it could all be taken away, or guilty that I am so happy and so many others are not.  I feel so lucky to have a little lemon growing inside me but know what it's like to have that taken away, and I know that so many women are dealing with this, even now, and it makes me feel guilty to feel so good.  Isn't that strange?

(While they were clearing out the "rock" that we never really had and leveling out the yard.  They made 9 trips to the dump, there was so much dirt and just weird rocks in our yard.)

(We were constantly mowing these bits of grass over the past 8 years, it was so annoying for Ian to have to do all the time and we got many warnings from the city about it.)

(You can see our non-existent rocks and junk that we had in our yard.)

(Weird tree stump that never went away and always tried to grow but was too damaged to make anything good.)

(After leveling out the yard, looks so much bigger.)

(Yay, river rocks were delivered!)

(Laying down the weed barrier and rocks.  Putting in drip system, no more watering our plants/trees ourselves!)

(Done!  Looks SO good!)

(They gave us a new curb by the alley and since it was new we HAD to carve our initials in it, and the lemmy!)

This week a new friend found out the sex of her baby and another good friend of mine lost her baby at 5 weeks, all on the same day.  All in one day someone got good news and someone got bad news, and here I was, in the middle, happy for one and so terribly sad for the other.  My friend who lost her baby, communicated with me through the whole process, wanting information and to know what to expect and as I was telling her, I was overcome.  It was like I was re-living my hospital visit, around this same time, last year as she was going through it.  It affected me so much, I carried her hurt on my heart, and I couldn't shake it for days.  I was so so sad for her, I still am, and that sadness and being able to relate never goes away.  All of the stories I hear, all of the advice I give, it is always with me, I will always be able to relate.  I will always know the feeling, and it was hard hearing about her experience and feeling as though I was living it right along with her.  Our love definitely goes out to her and her husband this week and for months to come.  You never recover from something like this, you just make peace with it and learn to keep moving forward.  Staying positive, leaning on each other and leaning on family and friends definitely helps too.

On another note, as I was listening to the baby with the doppler multiple times in one day (I told you, I was sad for my friend on that day, I just had to!) I felt the baby move, I mean really move.  I think it was because I had the doppler on the baby, and could hear the heartbeat really close, like the baby was right there and then when the heartbeat moved, I felt the baby move.  It was like my mind connected the movements I had been feeling (but didn't know they were baby) to the heartbeat movement sound and all of a sudden, they were the same.  It was the coolest thing!  It felt like a hand just grazed me from the inside, just swept across my tummy.  I am sure I've felt some movements since then but haven't paid much attention because I'm still new at this, but nothing like that one.  I think that seeing the baby move on the ultrasound next week will do the same thing for my brain, connect those movements (popcorn popping) I feel inside to what is on the screen and it will be magical, I can't wait!

On Sunday my mom and I went to visit my nani and grandpa's grave site.  We sat, wearing nani's hats, and talked to her about our lives, told her how much we missed her and just sat their arm in arm looking up at her their names there on the wall.  I truly believe that my nani sent us this little lemon, that she got to Heaven, saw our baby's spirit and said, "get back down there, what are you doing here, they are waiting for you?!"  My nani watches over all of us, she watches over the lemon and keeps her/him safe, I just know it.  I thank my nani for our happiness and pray to her every night, to keep us all happy and healthy.  It was nice going there with my mom, sitting with her and laughing; it was just like that last night in the hospital, before she died, when it was just us.  I can't wait to have a daughter/son like my mom had my nani and I have my mom - to carry on the relationship I have with her, she is truly my best friend, just like my nani was hers.

(Oh my gosh, you HAVE to forgive these pictures this week!  I was so sick in all of them, and that's why this one isn't enlarged like the others - ugh!)

So, that's about it.  An eventful week, I got sick (and couldn't take anything so it was the worst), saw my mom, went walking again at the zoo with the twins and Ian, got a new car and experienced some happy and sad events along with my friends.  I can't leave this post without also mentioning that today is February 1st and I am SO excited about it.  In a week from today, we will get an envelope with our baby's sex in it, we will get to see our baby again and know that he/she is healthy and SPRING is right around the corner and then - SUMMER!  So today, I am extremely happy and grateful that winter is over and that baby time is only a week away!  Wahoooooooo!