Monday, August 27, 2012

The Gender Debate

Originally written August 14, 2012

Alright, so it's been almost a month since I've written a post. With both the girls, I was much better at writing close-to-weekly posts, but I guess it gets put on the back-burner when I'm chasing Nora around and planning her birthday party. Oh well, such is life!

We had an appointment today (that's what prompted me to actually sit down and write). They did the second blood draw to check the chances of the baby having spina bifida, and checked the heart rate. It was 157 bpm this time, but the baby was also squirming around a lot!

If you believe in the folk lore of the heart rate, then we're having another girl (140 bpm and above is said to be a girl, anything below is said to be a boy). If you believe the folk lore of the necklace, then we're having a boy (followed by another girl down the road). You hold a necklace with a pendant over the mother's hand, and if it moves up and down it means a miscarriage, if it moves left and right it means a boy, and if it moves in a circle it means a girl. When my friend, Maria, did it to me after we lost Danni, but before we got pregnant with Nora, I got miscarriage, girl, boy, girl... Danni, Nora, this little one, and maybe someday down the road...

How far along?: 18 weeks 2 days
Total weight gain/loss: About 7 pounds, I think.
The Bump: Well, I think I had a food baby and a baby baby after this weekend with Nora's party & Valleyfair!
What I’m excited about/looking forward to: At this point, finding out if it's a boy or girl.
Maternity Clothes: Just depends on the clothes. I haven't busted out the tops yet, but I might have to, or at least find some longer ones soon.
Symptoms: Just being hungry more often, and not being able to eat as much.
Belly Button in or out?: Still half out.
Food Cravings/Aversions: I like mom's homemade yogurt with fruit and granola as a snack just about everyday. It's so yummy!
What I miss: I don't know at this point. I think I often forget that I'm pregnant unless it comes up or I'm doing something physical and get out of breath... maybe that's what I miss... my breath.
Milestones: The baby is sucking and swallowing.

Monday, August 20, 2012

My Birthday and the Facebook Announcement

Originally written July 20, 2012

Well, I had another appointment at Comprehensive on Tuesday. We went over a couple questions we had with Dr. Tumaneng, like how long I could keep playing softball. She didn't think it was an issue to finish the season, as long as I don't have any complications. When I asked her about the placenta previa, she was kind of surprised. I guess it didn't say that in the report she got. It said it was on the back wall. I am kind of wondering if it was just barely covering my cervix, and with the little bit of spotting I had while we were in Oregon, maybe that was the placenta shifting off of my cervix. I guess we'll find out in about a month. It makes me a little less nervous though if it wasn't mentioned. But I know sometimes there are mistakes, so who knows. My Pampered Pregnancy gift this time was a meeting with their nutritionist. I'm not sure yet if I'll take advantage of it yet or not though. I'm sure she's going to want me to gain a lot of weight, and try to jam pack me full of calories and food. I've tried it before, trust me, it doesn't work.

Yesterday, my birthday, I signed up for one of my other Pampered Pregnancy gifts, my 1/2 hour massage. I enjoyed it, but it wasn't as good as the third trimester one was with Nora. And actually, my lower back actually hurt more once I got up off the table. :(

Since Adam was finally able to get a hold of his dad and tell him the news, we were able to announce it to the Facebook world. I had seen a picture on Pinterest, kind of like what we did, but didn't really think about it. While I was in Oregon though, Adam found a similar picture somewhere and decided it would be a fun way to announce the news online. And I put the caption, "Here's a math problem for you... If you have 2 Gibsons and you add 3 Gibsons, how many Gibsons do you have? (Extra credit if you can tell me the property illustrated from the word problem to the picture)." Adam wrote, "Expecting #3. This child is doomed to a life a nerdiness......" Lots of people commented on the creativeness of it. It fit so well for a math teacher and an engineer.

How far along?: 14 weeks 5 days
Total weight gain/loss: Yesterday, I actually hit the 100 mark on the scale! Sounds pretty pathetic, I know, but I haven't been back up there for a while with nursing Nora still. I think I started right around 95-96 pounds, so 4-5 pound weight gain. :)
The Bump: It's there. Pretty hard to hide at this point, especially since it's summer. (With Nora I could hide it longer under bulky sweaters.)
What I’m excited about/looking forward to: I guess still finding out if the placenta shifted up, and the gender, but probably more the position of the placenta.
Maternity Clothes: I'm loving the maternity shorts. I've got 2 pairs from Nora. I could still wear my regular shorts or capris, but why when they're so comfy? :)
Symptoms: Still the lower back ache... making it hard to sleep. That can go away any time now.
Belly Button in or out?: The top half is still out a little.
Food Cravings/Aversions: I've been more thirsty lately, not for anything in particular though. I think it's just the * ahem* lovely heat we've been having. (That can go away any time now too!)
What I miss: Having more energy. Isn't that supposed to come back during the second trimester?
Milestones: The baby has meconium in his/ her intestines.

Kicks for Daddy!

Originally written August 1, 2012

Well, while we have been pretty busy throughout the month of July with my trip to Oregon with my mom and Nora, there hasn't been a ton going on with the pregnancy. So, I guess not having time to write means that you're not going to be bored with my uneventful posts. But! I do have something new to report! Last night I felt one strong kick from the baby, and about 30 seconds later, another. So I put my hand on my tummy to see if I could feel it from the outside, and I did! Though I do remember with both the girls feeling them kick on my hand, but Adam not being able to feel them. So I figured when I told Adam to put his hand on my belly that he probably wouldn't feel the kicks. But, he did! I think with both the girls I was just starting to feel the little flutters myself at this point.

How far along?: 16 weeks 3 days
Total weight gain/loss: About 6 pounds, I would say.
The Bump: A couple people have been commenting that it's really popped (some of them see have seen me like every week, and now all of a sudden I guess I'm really showing to them).
What I’m excited about/looking forward to: I still really want to know what is up with the placenta. We find out on the 24th of this month.
Maternity Clothes: I go back and forth with the pants. My jean shorts don't fit anymore, so that cuts out a lot of the clothes for my lower half. So I'm wearing the maternity shorts and some of my other shorts that still fit.
Symptoms: I am happy to report that the lower back pain is pretty much gone. Now it's just the normal pregnancy comfortableness (not that its too bad at this point).
Belly Button in or out?: The top half is still out a little. Maybe this one will suck it back in for me at some point since Nora kicked it out kind of permanently.
Food Cravings/Aversions: Nothing really. Not a huge fan of water (mix it into juice or something and its fine though), but it's not making me feel sick like it did with Nora.
What I miss: Nothing really at this point. :) Maybe my jean shorts... lol.
Milestones: Well, I think feeling the little guy move is a milestone! But I guess his/ her ears are also in the proper place at this point.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Nora's Rainbow Birthday

Well, today is our little Rainbow Baby's first birthday! It's hard to believe how little and helpless she was and how big and not-quite-so-helpless she is now!

I spent a lot of time planning her birthday party. I decided I wanted to do a rainbow themed party when I saw a friend from Faith's Lodge pinning rainbow things for her Rainbow Baby's first birthday. Most of it was fairly easy, but the cake is what took the most time and effort!

Another thing that took a while was making some decorations. I took 8 1/2 x 11 inch colored card stock that my mom had and cut it into 1 inch strips, then sewed them all together down the middle, leaving about an inch space between each so that they could spin in the breeze. Super easy!

For the birthday girl, I wanted her outfit to match the theme. I have seen tutus for little girls' birthdays, and kind of liked the idea, but thought of ribbon instead. My mom suggested adding tule to give it more "volume,"
so she put it together for me. She also found a pretty white onesie with rainbow colors at the top. Then I had to paint her toe nails to match! :)

I pulled out any rainbow bowls or serving ware I had and used it (easy-peasy!), printed some labels for the fruit & veggie dips, and put colored paper in the mason jars that held the "plasticware."

Made a fruit tray and a veggie tray in rainbow color order (that took a little though and planning trying to find cheap fruit and veggies in the right color, plus some of them fell through when I couldn't find good produce!).

My mom made rainbow jello cookies, and rainbow layered jello (and helped with a lot of other stuff!). She also found little cupcake cups that were kind of rainbow-ish, so we put Chex Mix in them on the tables.

The weather turned out perfect (we usually host parties in our garage and yard), so the kids were able to play outside. I had chalk out for them, along with bubbles (in rainbow colored little bottle, no less), and a coloring sheet I had made with a rainbow.

 I think everyone had a great time, and I know I enjoyed planning it all, putting it together, and watching my Rainbow Baby grow to be ONE!

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Originally written July 15, 2012

I haven't had time to write for over 2 weeks now! Goodness! My mom took Nora & I out to Oregon to visit her Great-Grandparents, Great Aunts & Uncles, and a bunch of cousins. Since we were out there over mom's birthday, I wrapped up the ultrasounds we just got in wallpaper (Grandma didn't have wrapping paper, so we improvised.) and gave it to mom as a birthday present.
Nora helping Grandma open her birthday surprise!
Grandma said she already suspected!
She was very excited, of course, but not terribly surprised, she has suspected that we were expecting when we went garage sale shopping and I was looking at baby boys' clothes. (Not that we know it's a boy yet.) She was excited to have her family there and be able to share the news in person though!

While we were out there I also got a phone call from Joan, the genetic counselor, and so I told my very confused cousin, Jen, that the results from the first trimester screening came back, and looked pretty good. She thought I was talking about the results from Nora's screening, and was wondering why they were so late, until her mom, my Aunt Carla, pointed at my belly.

When we got back from Oregon, I was the personal attendant for a friend's wedding. I Deacon Tom & Mary, Maria, and a couple other people that I knew at her wedding about Ender, but I made sure that they didn't tell the bride. When she opened her gift from us the next morning, it was signed, "Love, Sarah, Adam, Danni, Nora, & baby-to-be." I guess she didn't catch it right away, so Maria had to tell her to read it again.

How far along?: 14 weeks
Total weight gain/loss: Right around a pound or so... I thought I would have fattened up more at Grandma's in Oregon, because I'm sure Nora did!
The Bump: Getting harder to hide, but since we've started telling people, I'm not so worried about it.
What I’m excited about/looking forward to: Finding out if the placenta has moved up, so I won't have to have another c-section. (I don't think it has yet, because I still have a lot of lower back pain.)
Maternity Clothes: I pulled out a pair of maternity shorts today, because they looked more comfy than jean shorts, and I'm all about laziness today!
Symptoms: Lower back ache, and tired. I think the tired is from the time change from our trip, and from running around all weekend with wedding stuff.
Belly Button in or out?: The top half is still out. My cousin, Kassidy actually made a comment about it while we were out there.
Food Cravings/Aversions: Nothing really lately.
What I miss: Right now, probably not waking up with a back ache every morning, and having more energy to get things done!
Milestones: This week the baby starts "practice breathing."

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Making Nora's Rainbow Cake

I knew I wanted to do a rainbow themed party for our Rainbow Baby, and the cake was no less a part of the theme. I had seem lots of rainbow layer cakes pinned on Pinterest, and read a few of their ideas and such, then went to making my own! I will warn anyone wanting to do this, that it takes quite a lot of time. I started at 1pm and didn't finish until 7pm. (Granted we had some down time when it was baking, and we ate dinner in there somewhere too, but it's still time-consuming.)

Don't look in the background, you'll see my secret recipe!
 I read that weighting the cake batter was a good way to split it up evenly into 6 parts for coloring. So I borrowed my mom's scale, and weighted it out. If I remember it was close to 12 ounces for 2 boxes of cake mix. (I mixed them together even though they were slightly different.)

I wasn't exact with the weighting, but got fairly close. Here are five of the six bowls of batter. (One was getting dyed red.)

Pretty rainbow batter! It took a while trying to get the right colors and getting the red dark enough not to be too pastel-y pink. I think it's still kind of pink-ish, but the red food coloring I had was getting a little dried out and was hard to mix in, so I settled for this, and I thought it still looked nice.

I baked the cake kind of according to package directions. (It said for two 9-inch rounds, but did't say for three, so I baked them for slightly less time). My mom had borrowed me her layer cake pans, but it turned out hers were 8-inch, and mine were 9-inch. Since I didn't want the cake to be super tall, so I went for the 9-inch and had to put three batches in the oven. (It took quite a while!)

Once the cakes were baked, I sliced off the tops for two reasons: I wanted to make a miniature cake for Nora to smash, and I wanted my layers to sit more flat. The tops weren't perfectly flat like the bottoms, but they weren't very uneven either.

I took the parts that I had sliced off, and took an old can to cut them in circles to layer them (they're upside down right now, but it made it easier to stack them as I frosted them.

I put a crumb coat of frosting (see below) between each layer for Nora's cake. I didn't add extra frosting, because I didn't think she needed the extra sugar (and I was right... she didn't need the sugar she did get!).

For the crumb coating, I just thinned down some of my mom's homemade frosting with milk so it would spread more easily, and not catch the crumbs and make it look all icky. For Nora's cake, I also did the side, since it was all scrap bits of cake, but for the big cake, I just did the top. I probably could have done the sides, but when I went to frost it, it wasn't too crumby. 

The crumb coating on the tops of the big cake layers. Make sure to refrigerate them to let the frosting set and get hard.

For the big cake, I put frosting between each layer (it helped to make the layers more even). And then frosted the whole thing with white. I was going to decorate it and write "Happy Birthday, Nora" on it, but ran out of homemade frosting. I had a jar of store bought that I thought about using, but ran out of time. I think it looked just fine without though.

Nora enjoyed her smash cake.
And the layers looked just about as pretty as the big cake.
The finished product!
(My sister-in-law is cutting into the cake for me.)
Pretty layers!
Pretty cake!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Oops... the Ultrasound on the Calendar

Originally written June 30, 2012

So we watched Baby Reese on Wednesday, and when Adam's sister, Jacque, came to pick her up, she was checking out his new tablet. Neither of us really thought twice about it. She started reading off random things she saw on it, and then came to the calendar. She read off a couple things (that's when it hit Adam, that's she was going to find out), and then said, "Uh, Sarah, is there something you want to tell me?" (that's when it hit me). Our first trimester screen, on Friday, was right up there on his calendar for her to see. So we confessed, and told her she's the only one that knows now. So she said, other than her husband, C, she wouldn't tell anyone, but she was super excited that she knew before their oldest brother, Jon.

So Friday rolled around, and we had our screening. When they called to confirm my appointment, I asked them if I really needed to see Joan, the genetic counselor, for a whole hour, as I've already been through two kids with her. So we got it switched to a half hour. Joan was excited to see little Nora, and carried her back to her office. Nora didn't seem to mind at all. Being as she pretty much had everything from Danielle, we didn't talk much about genetic stuff. There were two new kids in the family that are healthy, and Adam's mom died of cancer. Joan did ask if I wanted to be part of a research study called "Non-Invasive Chromosomal Examination of Trisomy Study" (NEXT Study). The study is to help identify birth defects, like Down Syndrom, by examining the baby's blood that transfers across the placenta to the mother, instead of doing an amnio or CVS, which put the baby at risk.

After I agreed to the study, Joan brought me to Krista's ultrasound room, and Krista (my favorite ultrasound tech of all time) followed us down the hall, doting on Nora as we went. (They all thought she looks just like Adam, of course.) Then we got down to business, scanning the little guy. He has 10 fingers, 10 toes, and a heart on the left side. He also had a full bladder (so the kidneys are working), and a full stomach (so he's swallowing). He measured 6.21 cm from crown to rump (12 weeks 5 days), while his foot was .9 cm long, and his heart rate was 168 bpm. He was an active little guy the whole time (I think he was moving more than Nora was at her screening!), and Adam commented how we're going to be in trouble when we have both of them running around. As I was watching little Ender move around on the screen, I was feeling these "gas bubbles" move around like I've been feeling for about a week now. I guess I've been feeling him squirm around inside me this whole time, and didn't even realize it. (I don't know when I started to feel Danni move around, but I know for sure by 20 weeks I had felt her. Nora's placenta was in the front, so I didn't feel her kick until around 16 weeks.)

Dr. Ahanya stopped in to see Nora too and tell us that all looked well. While we were waiting for him to stop in, I started to get a little nervous, because I thought I remember with Nora's screening that we didn't even see the doctor. But I kept telling myself not to worry.

All-in-all we got good news, the only bad news was that at this point, I have placenta previa (the placenta is over my cervix). Krista asked if I had had any bleeding, but I haven't at all (even though I did with Nora). After reading an article on WebMD about it though, I realized that I wasn't totally crazy. I thought I was having very small minor contractions, and it turns out that that is a side effect of placenta previa. The good news is that at 12 weeks, there is still a 90% chance that as my uterus grows with the baby, the placenta will rise higher above my cervix. But, if it's still like that at my 20-week ultrasound, chances are I will have to have a c-section.

And now without further ado, the ultrasound pictures...

Measuring 1 week older than Momma thinks
The alien shot
Tiny hand
Little leg
Guess he's got big feet!

How far along?: 11 weeks 6 days
Total weight gain/loss: I think I might be up a pound. Though, last weekend I went to Katie & Derek's BaBy-Q, and then a graduation open house for my mom's cousin's kid, Ryan, so I ate A LOT of food.
The Bump: Well, last week, Jon told me I looked amazing, and this week my mom mentioned something about my baby belly from Nora and how it hasn't gone away or something. I think it's getting harder to hide it, especially from people that know me well and see me often.
What I’m excited about/looking forward to: Telling people. I thought I would tell my mom when we are out in Oregon visiting her family. Her birthday falls while we are out there, so I thought it would make a good birthday surprise (if she doesn't already suspect!).
Maternity Clothes: Still none. In fact, yesterday I bought a pair of regular capris that fit just fine in my regular size. On another note, my sister-in-law found my belly band! :) I'm sure I'll want that soon-ish.
Symptoms: Hungry. All. The. Time. (I tried a Preggie Pop today, and that seemed to satisfy my stomach until I could make a sandwich.)
Belly Button in or out?: Still kind of out.
Food Cravings/Aversions: Now it's a fried egg sandwich with cheese and bacon. I keep making them for lunch and they're SO yummy!
What I miss: I guess nothing really right now. I seem to have my energy back for the most part, and I'm over the icky-sicky part.
Milestones: Tomorrow marks the end of the first trimester! :)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Lookin' Amazing!

Originally written June 22, 2012

So on Thursday, Adam's brother, Jon, came over since he was off work to hang out for a little while. When he got here, I opened the door to let him in, then ran back up the stairs. I stood at the top talking to him while he took off his shoes. When he looked up, he said, "Wow! You look amazing!" I was taken aback, since I was wearing stretchy yoga pants, and a shirt that I'm pretty sure has a hole in it. I gave him a confused thanks, and he said something about how I just had a baby, and I looked great. Well, Nora is 10 months old now, so I didn't just have a baby, but what he doesn't know is that I'm also 10 weeks pregnant. So I guess if others think I look good for having a 10-month-old, then I guess they probably won't be able to tell that I'm pregnant, even though I feel like I'm getting bigger and looking more pregnant than I did with either of the girls.

How far along?: 10 weeks 5 days
Total weight gain/loss: Still holding pretty steady... I was told the other day that I'm underweight and need to gain 38-40 pounds. I told her, "Good luck with that."
The Bump: I asked Adam about it the other night. He said, to him, it's there, but he knows. He said if he didn't know, he wouldn't think twice about it.

10 weeks
To be fair, here's one without Nora
making me look even bigger!

I thought I'd let you see what I looked like at roughly the same point with Nora and with Danni. You really do show sooner with each kid... :(
What I’m excited about/looking forward to: At this point, probably finding out the gender. We went garage sale-ing today and I bought a bunch of boy's clothes. I feel bad spending money on the stuff when we could well have another girl at this point (in which case, we really don't need more clothes!). Next Friday, we also have the first trimester screening. It's not that I'm dreading it, but I guess I'm just not excited about it.
Maternity Clothes: Nope. My belly band seems to have disappeared somewhere between my sister-in-law's house and our house though. I know I'm going to want it soon, so I'll either have to find it, or buck up the money to buy another. :(
Symptoms: With both girls my sciatic nerve pain pretty much went away, but this time it seems to bother me more. I guess that's not really a preggo thing, but I'm sure being pregnant has something to do with it. I've also noticed my c-section scar from Danni is getting tender again. I don't remember that happening with Nora though.
Belly Button in or out?: It's still half-out... though the other day I think I saw it all the way back in... maybe it was the way I was sitting... or sucking it in or something.
Food Cravings/Aversions: I really seem to love turkey & salami sandwiches with mayo, mustard, and pickles. If it's missing one of those ingredients, it's just not as good. (Don't worry, I toast the meat before I eat it... It's like eating a Quiznos!) :)
What I miss: Falling asleep easier without leg pain. I've started doing some stretches that the doctor recommended, and that seems to help.
Milestones: As of yesterday, our little cutie's face is "well-formed," though his (?) head is half the size of his body.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

First Ultrasound

Originally written June 11, 2012

We had our first ultrasound on Thursday. It was just for dating purposes, nothing is wrong this time. (With Nora I had spotting early on and they did an ultrasound to make sure everything was okay.) I remember being able to clearly see teeny tiny little Nora with the abdominal scan at 6 weeks, so I thought for sure at 8 weeks they wouldn't do an internal at all. Wrong. That was all Lacey, the ultrasound tech, did. While she was doing the ultrasound, Adam was standing with Nora in front of the screen showing her her little sibling.We could see the baby moving around his/her little arms & legs, and I said Third looked like a turtle with a big head, but Lacey said she always thought they looked like gummy bears at this point. She checked the heart rate, and it was 180 bpm, and measured the baby to be 2.23 cm long from crown to rump.

After the ultrasound we met with Aimee again. I guess the date she had originally given us lined up with the date on the ultrasound (January 11th), but it's 2 days ahead of what I calculated (January 13th). Not as close as Nora's, but not as off as Danni's. She did a pap and wrote up a request for MN Perinatal to get the first trimester screening done for us. (I guess they do them there too, but I feel more comfortable at Perinatal. I've heard too many stories about babies with severe heart defects, like Danni, not be detected on any ultrasounds. I trust Perinatal to find anything, if there is something.)

One thing I've been meaning to write about is how we're doing emotionally. With Nora, I was always worried something was wrong, or something might happen and we'd loose her. It wasn't until well into the second trimester, and after several ultrasounds where we had seen her 4-chamber-heart beating away, that I finally let myself get a little excited about having another baby. This time I haven't been nearly as worried. I think it's a combination of not really having time to think about the fact that I'm pregnant again, since I'm chasing Nora around all day, and that I know what it is like to have hope for a normal, healthy baby during a pregnancy again. At this point I can't feel the baby move or anything, so I really have no idea what's going on in there. So I'm kind of wondering that if once I start to feel the baby move, if I'll be a little more obsessive/ worried about making sure he/she is still kicking around in there.

On another note, with people having babies and being pregnant, it's so hard to talk with them about pregnancy, and not slip up that I'm preggo too! Plus, I went to lunch with one of my friends from college, Natalie, and half way through she said, "I half-expected you to tell me you were pregnant again. You know, 3rd anniversary, 3rd kid." I chuckled and said that Adam wished I was, and played it off like I wasn't.

How far along?: 9 weeks 1 day
Total weight gain/loss: Still nothing, really.
8 weeks 6 days
Sporting my new hair cut! :)
The Bump: I'm starting to feel more self-conscious about it, and with it being 90 degrees, I can't wear big bulky sweaters like I did with Nora to cover it up.
What I’m excited about/looking forward to: Hopefully getting some good sleep in the second trimester, and being able to tell people. (It's getting harder to not slip up and say something about being on kid #3.)
Maternity Clothes: Still none, thankfully!
Symptoms: I wake up every night to pee. :( Then I wake up in the morning (if I actually fell back asleep) with a backache. I'm hoping this is just a first trimester thing and doesn't go on the whole nine months!
Belly Button in or out?: It's still half-out...
Food Cravings/Aversions: Nothing really. I guess yesterday around noon I really wanted something chocolate, and found some Tagalongs in the freezer. Tasty!
What I miss: Being comfortable in bed at night & getting more restful sleep.
Milestones: This week the development of the heart is complete! Hopefully it has 4 working chambers and all the right plumbing.