18 weeks: bell pepper'd

Eighteen weeks: 12.28.11




Size of baby:
a bell pepper according to Baby Center and a sweet potato according to The Bump. I think bell peppers are super cute and prettier than a sweet potato, no?

Cravings: Not much but we had burgers on pretzel buns the other night and I'm still salivating over it. And sugar is still the bomb.

What I love: feeling baby move so much, looking pretty darn pregnant, and inching towards that halfway mark. Love.it.all.

What I'm looking forward to the most: Anatomy scan in 2 measly little weeks!! A BIG huge pregnant belly. And let's just jump right to it: having a newborn baby in my arms.

Worries: Now that I'm feeling baby move so much, I get a little panicky when I DON'T feel the child kick all day long. On Sunday I felt a little worried thinking back about how I hadn't felt any real kicks in about a day. Had to bust out the doppler again, but the great thing is that I'm not even using it every day anymore! This is big news, since I used it daily from 9 weeks until about 17 weeks. Gotta love feeling movement for reassurance!

What is different this time around: I read back over my 18 weeks post from Truman's pregnancy and first laughed out loud at my puny belly pic, then smiled when I read that I had just started unbuttoning my regular pants for added comfort. Oh, things are different now with this belly and I'm definitely in maternity clothes for good.

Symptoms: Seems like I'm getting a bit of the lovely pregnancy acne. And I did need two hour naps both days last weekend, so apparently I'm still tired.

Sleep: Love it, no issues here.

Movement: Lots. Definitely stronger jabs this week, daily, and usually most in the mornings and at night when I'm the most still.

The belly: It's large and in charge. Sometimes it seems smaller on certain days but overall it's still mind-blowing.

Boy or Girl: Ugh, I just don't know. Used to think boy, then a girl, now it's more boy thoughts again. I seriously cannot wait to find out!

Milestones: He's 5.5 inches and 7 ounces now, nerves are finalizing, ears are in position, and external genitalia are formed. This baby is growing into a real little creature that we are going to meet in the not-so-distant future and I just can't handle the anticipation of meeting this new little life.

Best moment of the week: Getting the call from my OB that the Quad Screen came back negative. This was a HUGE cloud lifted away from my head and I don't even think I realized how nervous I was to hear bad news from this test. Now I feel much more confident going into the anatomy scan and can embrace this pregnancy even more. Plus, Christmas was a pretty amazing moment this week. I love being pregnant over the holidays, being so thankful for 2011 and looking forward to 2012.

It's been a wonderful and extremely challenging year all in a matter of 12 months and I can't help but feel a little emotional looking back on it all. Truman's first birthday, first steps, first words. A positive pregnancy test, dreams of a November baby, then devastating news in April. My 30th birthday. A prolonged, painful, expensive miscarriage. Nate graduating with his doctorate, getting a fabulous job, and turning 30 himself (I'm a cougar, 4 months older than my man). Me switching jobs and dropping my hours again, to just 20 per week. A fun Florida vacation. Another positive pregnancy test. Dreams of a May baby. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage, meeting with a relator, and finally moving forward in our first home journey (much more later). A wonderful Christmas spent with loved-ones and the feeling of gratitude to God for giving us so much in this life. Here's to another amazing year in 2012!

Merry Christmas to me.

A couple of weeks ago, I was busy taking my friend's Christmas card pictures for them and after about 50 shots, I turned around to take one picture of Truman standing behind me. And guess what? My camera made a weird noise and said, 'Err 99" on the screen. Ruh-roh.

At first I didn't think I would even be able to get the images off my memory card, but after a little Googling I tried to change out lenses, and sure enough--I could pull all the images onto my computer, thank goodness. But then when I went to take another picture I saw that something was seriously jacked with a shutter inside my camera. It would produce a big black line/blob across my images and if I took off the lens, looked inside, and pulled back the little mirror in there I could see the bonk shutter. It was laying in an odd position, all crumpled up and looking totally defeated and I knew it wasn't a good thing to see.

I emailed and called Canon and they said I could send in my beloved 3 year old Rebel XSi for $190 to be fixed. Or I could get a refurbished 'new' camera at a discount instead. I took a few days to really mull it over and after talking to Nate I decided this must be a divine sign that it is time to upgrade my camera body:) I mean, might as well consider it if I would be paying $190 (and waiting about 8-9 weeks) to get my current camera fixed anyway. So after a LOT of debate, spreadsheets, and talking Nate's ear off about the darn decision I decided to go all out and upgraded to the Canon 60D body. No more Rebel for me (tear, tear) although I was really close to getting the newer styles of Rebels T2i or T3i. I decided that the 60D would probably hold up better for my 'use and abuse' with two children, it's heavier and seemingly sturdy, and it is SUCH an improvement from my little Rebel that I can't even explain how it is blowing my mind.

For instance, my old Rebel could only go up to 1600 ISO which basically means indoor or low-light shots were a total crap shoot. And now? Um, 6400 ISO. Which translates to 'oh my goodness, I can actually take indoor pictures during the winter now!!' And it's not grainy. And my monitor for viewing the pictures is so crystal clear I can immediately see if the image is in focus or not. And all of that plus more, but mostly, OMG I love it. I had a few hours of buyers remorse before my new baby arrived, worried about money (of course) but I already know it's going to be worth every cent.

Not that these photos will blow your mind as much as my camera is doing to mine at the moment, but a few to show you how much fun I'm having playing with my new toy:)




And a Truman series--begins with a TOUCHDOWN pose, then a wave, and the last two are the signature Aaron Rodgers 'championship belt' poses. Packer fans will understand, I'm sure...

our new fun game to play in Truman's room--stacking animals on blocks on books. Good times.


The first pose is what Truman does when I ask him to 'smile for the camera'. The second is just my fave because of the tongue.

Vrrooooming trucks in low light conditions? No prob.


And baking Christmas cookies with dad. Love.

So yeah, that is my big news over here. An unexpected Christmas gift, but a welcomed one none the less. Even Nate is into my new purchased and was a big part in me just biting the frugal bullet and taking on this big dog. Love that man:)

17 weeks: blooming onion

Seventeen weeks: 12.21.11




Size of baby
: an onion according to The Bump, or a turnip by Baby Center's standards. The turnips at the store were sort of overwhelming and weird to me, so I stuck to a safer pick this time around. :) And now I am craving a blooming onion from Outback.

Cravings: not a whole lot this week, which is a first! I mean, I'm still eating VERY well and loving my desserts but haven't had true cravings this week.

What I love: wearing maternity clothes and feeling more and more pregnant each day.

What I'm looking forward to the most: Anatomy scan in just 3 more weeks!! And I can't wait for those big, intense movements that will make my entire belly move. Oh, and nursing. Seeing Andrea nurse baby Gabriella this week, as Gabby reached her tiny hands up towards Andrea's face made me yearn for that sweet bonding experience again. Can't wait!!

Worries: I should get a call from my OB's office before the end of the week about my Quad Screen blood work results. Have I ever mentioned I HATE waiting for test results via phone calls? Every time my phone rings my heart also skips a beat. Hoping they call sooner than later...

What is different this time around: Wearing maternity clothes at 17 weeks.

Symptoms: Nothing really, but I did need a 2 hour nap on Sunday. I think I got a little overly excited about updating my blog tabs on Saturday night and stayed up until almost midnight working on it! Nate jokes I haven't seen the midnight hour in years. Slight exaggeration but party animal, I am not.

Sleep: Yes, love it.

Movement: daily movement with no-joke kicks. I got a massage on Saturday and figured I'd be fine to lay on my stomach with a pillow under my hips but it was SO uncomfortable, and baby was totally freaking out and kicking like crazy. I was totally worried I was smooshing my baby to death but didn't get the courage to speak up, so I just tried to keep shifting my hips back and forth instead. But wow, this baby can really show off some movement when he/she isn't happy!

The belly: It's big. Like 'for real pregnant' big. In fact, I think I 'popped' this week. I think we are due for comparisons between Truman's pregnancy and this one, right? Observe the insanity (but ignore how pale I look this time around, should have just used the darn flash for a better comparison to the first time but whatevs):


And I think I am basically 8 weeks ahead of 'schedule' at this point. Yep, two whole months. Compare and see for yourself, wearing the same jeans for better effect:


Boy or Girl: Still thinking girl but I noticed whenever I use my doppler, I refer to the baby as a boy? No idea why, but I was telling Truman, 'That's his heartbeat!' this morning and realized I just picture him a boy when I listen to him move around. So maybe I'm not so sure about the girl thing anymore, huh?

Milestones: Baby is 5 ounces now and 5 inches long. The skeleton is turning to actual bone while the umbilical cord gets stronger every day. And apparently he has sweat glands, too! This little baby is not messing around anymore.

Best moment of the week: Lois gave me a cash gift for Christmas so I could go maternity clothes shopping and let me tell you, I lived it up like it was my job to find adorable clothes at a decent price. I was at Motherhood Maternity for almost 2 hours trying things on. All of my current maternity wardrobe is just too big for me now, since I bought it all in my third trimester last time, so I got some great 'intermediate' pieces that should last me a good few months (I hope). Trying on fun, cute outfits that don't just make me look like I have a big beer gut does a lot for self-confidence. I think it's really important to feel attractive when pregnant and I'm hoping my new purchases help me feel more like a rockstar and less like an awkward pregnant but-not-too-pregnant-person.

Kids Monthly Posts

Truman Anthony
7lbs 10oz | 21.5in | born at 38 weeks on 3.1.10

Birth Announcement: 3.1.10
Professional hospital photos: 3.4.10
Birth Story in Pictures: 3.4.10
Birth Story in Words: 3.5.10

One week: 3.8.10
Three weeks: 3.23.10
Four weeks: 3.29.10
One month: 4.1.10
Five weeks: 4.5.10
Six weeks: 4.12.10
Seven weeks: 4.19.10
Eight weeks: 4.26.10
Nine weeks: 5.3.10
Ten weeks: 5.12.10
Eleven weeks: 5.17.10

Three months: 6.2.10
Four months: 7.1.10
Five months: 8.1.10
Six months: 9.1.10
Seven months: 10.1.10
Eight months: 11.1.10
Nine months: 12.1.10
Ten months: 1.1.11
Eleven months: 2.1.11
Twelve months: 3.1.11
One year: 3.1.11

Thirteen months: 4.1.11
Fourteen months: 5.1.11
Fifteen months: 6.1.11
Sixteen months: 7.1.11
Seventeen months: 8.1.11
Eighteen months: 9.1.11
Nineteen months: 10.1.11
Twenty months: 11.1.11
Twenty-one months: 12.1.11
Twenty-two months: 1.1.12
Twenty-three months: 2.1.12
Twenty-four months: 3.1.12

2.5+ years: 10.13.12
3 years: 3.1.13
3.5 years: 9.1.13
4 years: 3.1.14
5 years: 3.1.15
Letter To My First Born: 5.7.14
6 years: 3.1.16

Cecelia Lorene
7lbs 5oz | 20.5in | born at 39w5d on 5.28.12
27 months younger than big brother 

Birth Announcement 5.28.12
Birth Story in Words: 6.4.12
Birth Story in Pictures/Birth Photography: 6.10.12
Newborn Photoshoot: 7.2.12

1 week: 6.4.12
2 weeks: 6.11.12
3 weeks: 6.18.12
one month: 6.28.12
5 weeks: 7.2.12
6 weeks: 7.10.12
7 weeks: 7.16.12
8 weeks: 7.24.12

two months: 7.28.12
three months: 8.28.12
four months: 9.28.12
five months: 10.28.12
six months: 11.28.12
seven months: 12.28.12
eight months: 1.28.13
nine months: 2.28.13
ten months: 3.28.13
eleven months: 4.28.13
One Year: 5.28.13

thirteen months: 6.28.13
fourteen months: 7.28.13
fifteen months: 8.28.13
sixteen months: 9.28.13
seventeen months: 10.28.13
eighteen months: 11.28.13
nineteen months: 12.28.13
twenty months: 1.28.14
twenty-one months: 2.28.14
twenty-two months: 3.28.14
Letter To My Daughter: 5.9.14
Two Years: 5.28.14
2.5 years: 11.28.14
Three years: 5.28.15

Porter Nelson
8lbs 9oz | 20.25"| born at 40w3d on 7.11.14
25.5 months younger than big sister

Birth Announcement: 7.11.14
Birth Story
Hospital Pictures

Day One
First Night at Home

One Week: 7.18.14
Two Weeks: 7.25.14
Three Weeks: 8.1.14
Four Weeks: 8.8.14
Five Weeks: 8.15.14
Six Weeks: 8.22.14
Eight Weeks: 9.4.14

Two Months: 9.11.14
Three Months: 10.11.14
Four Months: 11.11.14
Five Months: 12.11.14
Six Months: 1.11.15
Seven Months: 2.11.15
Eight Months: 3.11.15
Nine Months: 4.11.15
Ten Months: 5.11.15
Eleven Months: 6.11.15

One Year: 7.11.15
Thirteen Months: 8.11.15
Fourteen Months: 9.11.15
Fifteen Months: 10.11.15
Sixteen Months: 11.11.15
Eighteen Months: 1.11.16
Nineteen Months: 2.11.16
Twenty Months: 3.11.16

16 weeks: holy guacamole!

Sixteen weeks: 12.14.11



Size of baby: an avocado! Both The Bump and Baby Center agree on this one. Makes me crave guacamole for sure.

Cravings: still with the sugar. We threw a little holiday party here last weekend so Truman and I made peanut butter blossom cookies and then these amazing oreo truffles. To say that I had my share of both treats would be severe understatement.

What I love: feeling little kicks, seeing an actual pregnant bump, and mostly just being pregnant.

What I'm looking forward to the most: Anatomy scan in just 4 more weeks!!

Worries: Surprisingly sane this week. I mean, I'm still using my doppler daily but mostly I feel fairly relaxed at the moment.

What is different this time around: The 'second-timer' bump is freaking out of control. Also, I'm not spending every spare moment researching baby gear, nurseries, etc etc.

Symptoms: Not much at all. In fact, I was just reveling in the idea that I feel SO much better now than I did in the first trimester. I don't have to nap when Truman naps, I can actually amp up my caseload at work, and I have energy in the evenings to do fun Christmas-y things (and learned to blog again). No complaints here! Well except I did have a few days of lower back pain after standing or sitting in one place too long, I had some weird acid reflux one day that made me want to gag for a whole evening, and then I thought I might be getting hemorrhoids. But at the moment I feel great, so I'm going with that!

Sleep: Yes, lots. No naps but really good sleep at night, but that urge to pee as soon as I awaken for the day is back.

Movement: A few more strong jabs, nearly every day now. I love feeling the babe move so much it's sort of sickening. :) Also, at exactly 16 weeks I promise you that I felt the baby kick from the outside, with my hand on my belly. It was fairly light but I am 100% sure this was baby. You may be rolling your eyes at me for this proclamation because it's ridiculously early but I have to document it anyway!

The belly: Not really fluctuating anymore, staying out there all the time. I officially brought my maternity clothes out of hiding because I just cannot stand how short my shirts have gotten and how uncomfortable my pants have become. I can still wear my regular jeans and one pair of work pants but that is it. Of course, most of my maternity stuff is still way too big but I don't even care, it's comfortable. And according to this blog I didn't wear maternity clothes until 24 weeks with Truman. INSANITY.

Boy or Girl: Honestly, I'm going out on a limb here (because I truly pride myself on guessing the sex of babies right in most all of my friends and myself in the past). But I really think girl right now. VERY weird to admit because I've thought boy for so long, even before I was pregnant---I just pictured us with another boy. But for some reason this past week has been a 'girlie' week. Maybe my intuition will change but for now I'm thinking of girl names (all of which Nate will surely shoot down).

Milestones: The babe is 4.5 inches long and 3.5 ounces and apparently is gearing up for a major growth spurt in the next few weeks, doubling in weight by then. And baby has grown toenails by now. Cue the Juno quote with that one:)

Best moment of the week: It's really just been a good week overall, sorry to be cheesy and annoying and all high on life. I really think 16 weeks seems like a hurdle of some sorts, since being 4 months pregnant makes it feel pretty darn real, you know? I did have my Quad Screen blood work done on Thursday but I'm trying not to worry too much about the results just yet. And look at this adorable ornament my mom sent me tonight: remembering baby Wren will always help put things into perspective for me.


{and because I hadn't updated my blog layout and header since FEBRUARY I figured it was high time. Loving the new color scheme and pictures, might keep it this way for another year or so:) }

Merry Christmas, 2011.

Just a few pictures from our 'operation Christmas card' session with Andrea. She took our pictures with my camera, I took hers with her camera and we were totally done within 30 minutes or so. We took our own pictures home then and did our own editing/cropping. Works for me!




Merry Christmas!

Twenty One Months

These monthly posts are getting to be quite the chore! I am really only doing them for the yearly album at this point and I know I won't regret having some text to go into the giant photo book I'm currently making for Truman's second year. But dang---where have the months gone?

Let's start by painting a picture of things Truman just ADORES, okay?
-The child loves dry cereal in a bowl, a sippy of milk, and a sippy of water. These three things could be his only sustenance if I allowed it. Combine these items with a little Elmo on his portable DVD player and you have the perfect recipe for a happy Truman each morning.


- Also, he is obsessed with his blankies, now. He never really cared about the little monkey, lamb and green blanket that I have been putting in his crib for months...until now. And now it's gone a little overboard because he takes those darn blankies all around the house and even to Lori's house (but I limit him to two there, I'm so hard, aren't I?) I think it's sort of cute that he finds comfort in these blankets but it also seems like just one more thing to get rid of in the future.


- The child cannot get enough of flirting with strangers, especially those of the female variety. Taking him out to eat is highly entertaining because he will lock eyes with any cute teenage girl and immediately set his spell on her. When we were in Missouri last month for Thanksgiving, Truman warmed right up to our extended family and definitely chose his favorites (like my 21 year old cousin, Kelsey, who seriously needs to move to WI to be our permanent babysitter). I love that my child is highly social and loves to interact with others. It makes me especially happy since our dog is the most anti-social creature you'll find:)

- He loves to pretend he is a baby. This is starting to worry me a bit, because I will say, 'Truman, you are SUCH a big boy!' and then he will immediately say, 'Oh! No, baby' and points to himself. He corrects me about this nearly every day and then just to drive home his point he will get down and starts army crawling across our floors. I'm sure this has something to do with the baby in my belly as he sort of 'gets' that too, pointing to my belly and saying 'BABY' every day and then giving the baby a big hug (melt me, now).

- Loves hunting for the little mouse in the Goodnight Moon book. Loves pointing to various colors in the wide world around him, specifically nailing purple, yellow and sometimes green. But let's get real, he still likes to mix them all up most of the time and we don't mind since the words sound so cute coming out of his mouth.


- Loves making forts with mommy and forces Paw Paw to set up a small-ish tent in their living room downstairs.



-Loves picking on Henry and has a new game of 'get the dog to leave my room, then slam the door so he can't get back in!'. Truman really does love Henry though, and he will hug him (although a little too rough) all day long. Henry obliges most of the time because I think he secretly loves the attention.

- Throwing balls, being athletic, trying to jump (can do it sometimes, but others he only clears one foot off the ground), and being a big old boy. This kid really does have a great throwing arm, though, and insane hand-eye coordination when it comes to hitting golf balls or other items with his clubs. Nate and I are trying really hard not to be all psycho about him becoming a star athlete just yet. We'll tackle preschool first:)


-He got back into killing imaginary bugs again this month. Usually he will do this little routine after he practices his jumping. I have no idea why he pretends to smack bugs but it's seriously hilarious, if not a little creepy.

-He loves to babble to himself. Most of his words make sense to us but then he'll just go off on a toddler tangent for awhile and we have to pretend that we understand. His new favorite words are: dump (for a dump truck, complete with a hand gesture), yellow, bye-bye, hi!!!! (said really enthusiastically and usually when getting very close to your face), and no-no (mostly directed at the dog).

-And his love for temporary tattoos has not diminished in time. In fact, we are basically putting two new ones on about every other day now. Good thing we bought a pack of 140 this summer! Almost out now!

Things Truman DESPISES:
-T will crinkle up his nose and say, 'ick!' whenever he sees tiny crumbs in our sink while he's playing in the water. He really does not appreciate any food particles in his territory that don't belong there and will demand that I empty out the drain before he begins playing. Did I ever tell you that I was an odd child who had to play in sandboxes with rubber gloves because I didn't like the feel of it? I hope Truman isn't following my weirdo lead.

- He also hates if there is a tiny thread coming off the seam of his sleeve. Makes me cut it off right away so he doesn't have to see the horror.

- And he is getting to hate all zip-up hooded sweatshirts, which stinks because he wears so many of them. Not sure where this came from but we've noticed that when we put on a tee shirt he's totally fine, but anything with a hood or a zipper (besides his coats, which he loves) will make the boy tweak. I basically have to torture him and force it over his arms and zip it up while he screams, then I try my best to distract the heck out of him. Very odd, no?

-Although we had lots of luck with the potty a few months ago, Truman is definitely on an anti-potty kick right now. All I've ever done is just ask if he has to go, and he used to say 'yes' and mean it. Now he always says, 'NO!' and so I'm not pushing it. I believe he'll potty train when he is ready so there is no point in forcing the issue when he isn't even two years old yet, you know? But now he mostly likes to take the inner bowl of his froggy potty and put it in random places of the house instead of actually using it. It was nice while it lasted!

Truman is wearing all 2T and some 3T clothes at this point and we still get comments on his height. Still hasn't needed a haircut yet but there are a few really long and awesome strands that are pushing the limits of appropriateness. His sleep is pretty much all over the board this month, and although we did get a few awesome late-rising days (6:30 or later) the past few days have been a 5 am wake up call again. But he still loves his 3 hour nap so I can't complain too much, I suppose. He's seemingly rounded the corner at daycare with his separation anxiety, which I believe has a lot to do with his better sleeping habits. I just love hearing good reports from Lori and there are many mornings when T is talking all about Lori and his buddies at daycare on our drive to her house.

(Truman with his buddy Kaydin and also Henry at daycare. Note the matching firetruck hooded sweatshirts---that was a nightmare to get on in the morning, but worth it when Kaydin showed up in the same thing!)

He's eating EXTREMELY well for Lori and fairly well for me but he's still pretty picky in the evenings at dinner. I'm sort of convinced that when he wakes early in the morning and also when he doesn't want to sit still for dinner, his little brain is just going through SO many new and exciting things that he just doesn't have time to sleep or eat, respectively.

What a year you've had, mister Tru! We love you so much and can't wait to see what 2012 brings to your little life.

15 weeks: mister orange

Fifteen Weeks: 12.7.11 {all caught up to real time now!}

15wa copy



Size of baby
: an orange according to The Bump, or an apple according to Baby Center. Tough choice for me but I like the bold color of oranges better:)

Cravings: mostly sweets (ie Jo-Jo's in excess) but at the movie theater last weekend, I had some salty/buttered popcorn that was divine. I never eat popcorn but it just sounded too amazing to pass up and it did not disappoint.

What I love: embracing this pregnancy to it's fullest.

What I'm looking forward to the most: I scheduled the anatomy scan for Thursday, January 12, so I will be 20 weeks (plus one day)! Really excited about that big event and a twinge nervous about all that could be discovered to be wrong at that scan, too. But trying to hang onto the excitement of seeing our baby move around for a full hour. And yes, we will find out the sex but we are doing it a little differently than last time. Details to come in January.

Worries: I thought I had the faintest, teeniest speck of a brown spot in my undies on Monday. All of my familiar worries came crashing down on me and it was hard to sleep that night. But nothing else has appeared since so I'm trying to go with the 'push the worries out of your mind' idea.

What is different this time around: The incredible bump.

Symptoms: Headaches were better this week, but a glimpse of The Fatigue came back to haunt me a bit. Probably because we had a totally hectic weekend that left me exhausted---I needed naps and still felt tired most mornings this week.

Sleep: Yes, please. Can't get enough again.

Movement: Still with the little jabs a couple times last week. Really can't wait for daily BIG kicks---one of my favorite parts of pregnancy, for sure.

The belly: Still fluctuating over the course of a day but not ever 'flat' even in the mornings anymore. Only have one pair of work pants that fit now but I'm trying to use my Bella Band for the other pair that nearly fit. I really dislike the Bella Band though and have decided it's time to buy 'real' maternity pants for my job. Again, I wasn't in maternity clothes until after 20 weeks last time. Insane.

Boy or Girl: I still catch myself saying 'he' and 'him' a lot for this baby but I'm not sure that's really intuition or just what I know. We'll find out NEXT MONTH!! :)

Milestones: Baby is 4 inches long, 2.5 ounces, and is breathing amniotic fluid now. This is the week that baby can sense light which is great to know for when I'm jamming a flashlight onto my belly (?).

Best moment of the week: My OB appointment last Friday went very well. I am in love with my OB and she is sort of in love with this champion baby, I think. No ultrasound this time but she did clear me for light exercise (ie zen-like yoga or something to that effect) but she doesn't really think I need to be running and stressing my body too much. Also, I wasn't going to talk about weight gain but I was really surprised to see I've only gained 3 pounds so far without any exercise in the past 9 weeks. A nice surprise indeed. We scheduled the blood work for the 16 week Quad Screening, scheduled my anatomy scan, and I have another appointment with her at 18 weeks. Moving right along now, aren't we?

14 weeks: My Lemon Baby

Fourteen weeks: 11.30.11



Size of baby
: a lemon--and finally Baby Center and The Bump agree this week!

Cravings: since last week was Thanksgiving, I can safely say I craved EVERYTHING. Sweet, salty, and anything edible. Notice I'm not doing a 'weight gain' topic because I'm not weighing myself at home. Just not interested in the freak out mode this time:)

What I love: being pregnant. Plain and simple.

What I'm looking forward to the most: I have an OB appointment in a few more days and I'm going to twist her arm to let me schedule our anatomy scan at that time. We'll see if it works!

Worries: Definitely had to check baby's heartbeat with the doppler multiple times on the day I announced the pregnancy to the internet. Still have those nerves that something could go wrong at any moment. Not sure that will ever leave me.

What is different this time around: Showing earlier. Otherwise I think I'm pretty much on track with everything else for 14 weeks compared to Truman's pregnancy.

Symptoms: headaches! Ugh. They sneak up on me almost every afternoon/evening and are pretty awful. I tried having a little caffeine but that doesn't even help much--I think I need to be better about eating regularly and not waiting until I'm famished.

Sleep: Very, very good. Took a 2 hour nap today in fact.

Movement: In the past few days I have had some DEFINITE jabs, like, 'Woah-that was totally the baby!'. I love it so much I cannot even explain.

The belly: Still fluctuating depending on the time of day. I took off my jacket the other day and Truman pointed to my tummy and said, 'Baby!' really loudly. Must have been a 'big belly moment' or something. :)

Boy or Girl: Nate admitted he sort of wants a girl this time, so I've been letting that idea marinate a bit this week. But honestly, I'll be totally thrilled with either option as long as baby is healthy (cliche but true). Truman would love a brother close in age I'm sure, and we could reuse some of his clothing. Plus we just 'know' baby boys if that makes sense, it's our comfort zone. But frilly pinks and girlie things would be wholly welcomed, too. I guess we will find out in about 6 more weeks!

Milestones: baby can squint, frown, grimace, pee, and maybe even suck his thumb! When I think about such expressions in the womb I can't help but imagine my little Truman, who is so expressive outside of the womb, and wonder if this little babe will be just as dramatic. Baby is also 3.5 inches and 1.5 ounces now. Grow baby, grow!!

Best moment of the week: coming out to the internets. The love and supportive comments on this blog, Facebook, and then texts/messages/emails were totally overwhelming in the best way possible. Definitely glad I timed the reveal with Wren's due date because I'm feeling the love, and it makes this pregnancy seem even more real.

{almost caught up! Will be 15 weeks tomorrow on Wednesday, 12.7.11 and I'm going to attempt to do a 'real time' post for that week tomorrow. No more backdated posts!}

13 weeks: sugar plum fairies

Thirteen weeks: 11.23.11



Size of baby: a beautiful fuzzy peach according to The Bump, and an ugly shrimp if you listen to Baby Center. But what is that you see up there? A plum. Because peaches are not in the stores up here in Wisconsin in November and I think holding a shrimp for an 'artsy' picture is sort of gross. So I had to get creative and just chose a plum because it's somewhat similar in size to a peach. And really, the plum was the '12 week' fruit according to Baby Center so I guess I should have used it last week and used the dumb lime this week. Oh well. This fruit picture stuff is harder than it looks!

Cravings: SUGAR! And not 'just' chocolate, like always, but the fruity candy stuff, too. Digging into Truman's Halloween stash I discovered Jolly Ranchers fruit chews. Amazing. Also, if you are a fan of Trader Joe's like we are here, you must go buy hundreds of boxes of their Peppermint Jo-Jos. Only around for the holiday season and freaking mind blowing.

What I love: Hitting the magical teens! In 3 more days I will feel confident in chanting, 'I made it to the second trimester, baby!' Also, still loving my doppler.

What I'm looking forward to the most: Coming out on the blog and Facebook next week at 14 weeks. Talk about making it official. Eek!

Worries: Oh, you know, the usual suspects like having a miscarriage, starting to bleed randomly for no reason, etc etc. But overall my worries have been less of a mental burden this week.

What is different this time around: Um, the bump. I am not sure how much longer I'm going to last in regular pants which is amazing, considering I didn't switch to wearing a bella band until about 18 weeks with Truman, and no maternity pants were worn until after 20 weeks. Love it.

Symptoms: Holla at your girl for wearing my B cup bras again! This is HUGE (no pun intended). Still tired on occasion with naps thrown in a few times each week. Emotional and over-sensitive. And starving.

Sleep: My best friend. T has managed sleeping in until hours like 6 and even 7 am so life is very good right now. The urgency to pee in the mornings is a lot less intense, too.

Movement: Still with occasional taps, getting stronger over time, but only a few days a week. I am still not 100% convinced it's the baby but basically 90% convinced. I did feel Truman at 14-15 weeks so I know it's not impossible but still SO early!

The belly: fluctuates GREATLY. In the mornings it's basically non-existent, but by the afternoon it's out of control. Definitely worse at certain angles and when I have to pee (hence why these varying belly pics each week might not follow a perfect progression overall). I really believe my 13 week belly this time compares to my 23 week belly with Truman. Might have to show comparisons side-by-side soon to convince you of the madness.

Boy or Girl: no intuition just yet.

Milestones: the babe has fingerprints, is almost 3 inches long, and weighs about an ounce. Seems like a real baby in there now!

Best moment of the week: telling my boss and co-workers the good news this week, Nate telling his work friends/other friends, and overall allowing myself to feel confident in this pregnancy.

(more pictures from our Thanksgiving trip, taken right at 13 weeks by my beloved hubby. Did I mention he is getting REALLY good at using my camera lately?)

(tee shirt from Etsy seller 'Heather Rodger Designs'--highly recommended. I let Truman choose the design after I narrowed it down between three. Of course he picked the excavator. )


And the video of how we told Memaw the big news on Thanksgiving day:

12 weeks: margarita, tequila...

twelve weeks: 11.16.11


(my new idea for weekly belly pics, totally inspired by Pinterest but excited about putting my own twist on it. My goals are: using the weekly fruit, always taken outside for the best light (yay, WI winters!), take in front of different backgrounds/locations, and use different poses each time. Not going to do the same exact pose in front of the same exact wall each week this time just to spice things up and make this pregnancy it's own. Fruit hunting should be fun and I realize it will be harder to see a perfect inch-by-inch progression of the belly but that is okay.)

Size of baby: a lime (again) if you go with Baby Center or a plum if you listen to The Bump. Either way, pretty freaking big!

Cravings: this week I have been yearning to lick a salt block. Or more specifically, pickles are like a slice of heaven and cheddar/sour cream chips are enough to make me salivate just typing the words. I bought both in the grocery store this week and while checking out I had to fight the urge to eat both containers immediately. Oh, salt. Love you this week.

What I love: the bump, making it to one of the accepted 'second trimester' markers of the world, and telling more people in our lives. Telling is fun. Telling does not jinx a pregnancy. Repeat mantra as often as needed (note to self, mostly---trying to do some inner-self convincing here).

What I'm looking forward to the most: surprising Memaw with our news next week at Thanksgiving with Truman's new adorable tee shirt. It's her 80th birthday and the first time we've made the trip to Missouri for Thanksgiving since 2006. It's going to be quite the surprise!!

Worries: see above re: jinxing pregnancy with announcing it.

What is different this time around: definitely showing more this time around, but otherwise I feel pretty much the same as I described in my 12 week post with Truman.

Symptoms: Inflating boobs, random fatigue (naps only sporadic now, thank goodness), and gas. Will my GI issues ever resolve???

Sleep: yes, please. If only my toddler slept past 5:15 each day.

Boy or Girl: no idea. Still not 'going there'.

Milestones: baby has reflexes now! He can move his fingers, his mouth can suck, and there's a ton of movement going on in there! I felt movement with Truman really 'early' at 14-15 weeks and I swear to you there are moments I feel like the baby is already making me feel kicks this early. Could be gas, but I'm starting to think it's for real. We'll see.

Best moment of the week: did I ever mention I bought a doppler for home use? Yep. Best decision of my life. Nate was not sold on the idea because he knew if I couldn't find the heartbeat one day I might actually go insane (it could happen). But so far, so good, and I even found it really early on my first try at 9w1d although it took a few minutes. This week I found it very quickly with each attempt (ahem, daily---each morning, with Truman's request to hear the 'baby'). Rate in the 155 range which is a lot higher than Truman's standard 140s. Could this mean girl?? I love hearing that precious sound and I think the highlight of my week has been making this something Truman and I do together each morning. So what if he's calling the doppler the baby---he's getting there:)

First trimester, weeks 4 through 11

So basically, weeks 4-10 went a little like this, as far as physical symptoms go:

The Fatigue: This was my biggest symptom with Truman's pregnancy and also made it's presence known during Wren's. This time? So freaking tired that I had to physically force my legs to take steps. Wanted to gouge out my own eyes because they would not stay open. Could not fight the urge to nap, and actually made time to take one every.single.day (yes, even on work days---I have a pretty fab schedule lately, no?). Collapsed into bed at about 9 pm (ahem, or perhaps 8 pm) and prayed to God that Truman sleeps later than 4:30 am because my energy levels were simply pitiful. Sort of wanted to cry when I had to be productive in the working world but usually, once I'm out and about seeing patients I do a decent job at keeping my eyes open. I really feel like the world's biggest loser of a mom on my days home with Truman because it takes so much effort to keep the child entertained and I had no energy. I found that I can get pretty creative while laying my lazy butt on the couch though, so hopefully I haven't ruined my son for life by letting him watch numerous Elmo DVDs while mommy grows a baby. And thank you, God, for having a toddler that takes fatty naps. I would die otherwise. I think Fatigue was it's worst from weeks 6-10 and then I started weaning myself off naps very slowly.

Well, if you do recall, I had basically no nausea with Truman. And then with Wren it was pretty bad by my standards. This time around, I'd say it was more like my second pregnancy because there have been definite moments I talk myself out of blowing chunks everywhere, mostly from weeks 6-9. I did not actually hurl but came close many times, the most interesting of which were when I was working. In patient's homes. As in, I'd have images flash before my eyes where I'd have to ask my elderly patient to use their bathroom and then I'd have to throw up in their 'commode' with raised seat and handles. Or possibly worse---I'd imagine myself running outside and barfing in their front yard. Either option is horrid and totally not professional. But when I'd have a wave I would pray to God with all my might that I could forgo puking at work. So far, so good!

The 'lesser' symptoms:
Um, yeah. Pretty sure there have been evenings when I thought my baby was composed totally of methane gas. Enough said.

-clogged pipes:
constipation sent from the Devil himself. I'm sure that kicking my heavy caffeine habit didn't help matters in the cloggage department but whatevs.

-super sniffer:
one time I swore that I smelled Doritos while eating an apple. No Doritos in sight, but then that scent rapidly changed to dog farts and I almost lost my lunch while yelling at Henry for tooting. In reality, I don't think I could blame the poor dog for my ridiculous sense of smell. But what a weird symptom, no?

-metallic taste in mouth:
this was really only from weeks 4-6 or so and it made me want to brush my teeth 14 times per day. Did I suck on a penny or what? Nasty. This is the main reason that I completely gave up all coffee, too (I know, double check to make sure you are still reading MY blog right now and not some imposter). I have tried some decaff here and there usually it tastes gross to me. Maybe someday I can befriend Starbucks again, my dear lover who comforted me all summer. But for now? Ick. I'll pass.

-irritability/emotional mess:
poor Nate. One minute I would be on top of the world, happy as a freaking clam, and super excited about every.little.thing. And the next minute I would start crying and assume that he hated me, that I was losing the baby, and the world was most definitely ending. Emotional highs and lows, plus a absurdly short fuse. I hate that I would take out my deranged hormonal states on my husband and even poor Truman (what?! Why can't you just lay still when I change your dirty diaper instead of rolling in it like a crocodile? The world is ending and I can't take it anymore). Luckily they both still love me and knew that mommy just went through the crazies for few weeks. They hope the worst has passed, as do I.

-sore nips:
definitely not as bad as Truman's pregnancy, because I'm pretty sure the old fun bags have been so used and abused that they must not have a whole lot of sensation left in them. But by about week 7 I noticed my boobs hurt when the shower water hit them. And then by week 10 I noticed the girls were plumping up again. Hallelujah.

totally got the room spinning a few times after standing up. Nothing like taking two steps, then stopping to throw your head between your knees to avoid passing out to prove you are pregnant.

dude. I'm sure giving up my beloved coffee doesn't help matters here but I was doing totally fine until about week 9 when I started getting ragers in the afternoon. Mostly on work days. Not sure if I'm not drinking enough water or what---but I find that if I treat myself to a little diet soda my headache goes away. Magical!

Overall, I think this whole first tri has been pretty comparable to my other pregnancies. Maybe a little worse with nausea, about the same for fatigue, and definitely a lot harder with a toddler. But I still feel like I've lucked out in the symptom department because I never bowed to the porcelain gods---and really, when you are a headcase like me, making your mental sanity waver by the second when it comes to worries about a healthy pregnancy, it's a good thing I wasn't a total wreck in the physical symptom department, too.

I started actual belly pics at 11 weeks so I might as well make the posts more official at that point---finally feeling more optimistic, and able to write out weekly posts for your viewing pleasure!
Remember, in real life I am 14 weeks now so you will have 'catch up' posts for weeks 11, 12, and 13 before the current one at 14 weeks. I know it's confusing, bear with me.

Eleven weeks:

11 weeks

Size of baby: a lime according to The Bump (or a fig by Baby Center's standards), which seems like the first legit fruit of the bunch compared to teeny poppy seeds, blueberries, and prunes!

Cravings: slamming OJ like nobody's business lately. Never did this before, except while pregnant with Truman...

What I love: having a real bump! Still can't wrap my head around the fact I'm showing this early, though.

What I'm looking forward to the most: Feeling the baby move. And being out of the first tri.

Worries: making it past first tri, plain and simple.

What is different this time around: well by 11 weeks with Truman we had already told the whole wide world. Not so much this time. And of course, with Wren's 11 week mark I believe I was taking that failure of a drug called Cytotec to induce my miscarriage. So yeah, this time it's pretty freaking different compared to both other times at 11 weeks!

Symptoms: This is honestly the first week I can say I have any amount of energy! I haven't needed a nap every.single.day anymore and I can actually walk around the house without willing myself to move every inch. I have noticed my boobs are inflating again (hoo-boy!), I'm gassy and bloated, and really ridiculously emotional.

Sleep: Can't. Get. Enough. May not be napping for 2 hours each day anymore but still love to hit the hay super early at night. And since my beloved toddler enjoys waking at the butt crack of dawn, I believe that might make me more tired during the day. Not waking to pee in the night but when T does wake around 4 or 5 I have to practically sprint to the bathroom to relieve my full bladder.

Boy or Girl: no idea. Not even letting myself attempt to get in touch with my intuition just yet. Makes it seem too real and scary:) I will probably refer to this baby as a boy in my posts, though, just because that is what I'm used to in pregnancy, okay?

Milestones: Apparently, baby is 'fully formed'. Which I guess means that all of the appropriate parts are accounted for at this point?

Best moment of the week: at 10w2d I had an ultrasound that showed a MOVING baby! One that was seriously waving to me, flexing his neck, and wiggling all around. I have never cried at an ultrasound before (at least not from happiness) but came pretty close this time. I wish Nate could have been there to see this little child doing his jig. I think this was also the exact day that I finally started to think positively and let myself get excited about meeting our May baby. Still have to make a conscious effort to remain optimistic but it's definitely getting easier with time.

The dirty details (longest post ever)

So I'm pregnant after a loss...

And boy, that 'after a loss' phrase makes everything completely different this time around. A few days ago I finally sat down at the computer to start typing a few blog posts about the pregnancy, at nearly 11 weeks pregnant. I must have been having a rough mental day because there are four paragraphs full of doom and gloom and depressing thoughts about how difficult it's been for me to enjoy this pregnancy. But you know what? I'm not posting those four paragraphs because I'm choosing to be positive for a change. I will, however, paraphrase my rambling thoughts on the matter of being pregnant again after a miscarriage earlier this year. And then I'll get to the nitty gritty details that you all want to read anyway:)

I'm a worrier as you may have picked up from reading my blog. I worry that posting about this pregnancy will hurt the readers out there who are still trying to get pregnant---after a loss or not. I want those readers to know that I promise not to EVER take this amazing gift for granted. I am fully aware of how blessed I am to be pregnant after a loss just 6 months after my last BFP. And although I hesitate to post all about this pregnancy because I worry I'll hurt others out there traveling my same path, please know that if I didn't post about this I would be the biggest phony blogger out there and I'm pretty sure nobody wants to read a bunch of BS on this blog. Big, big hugs to those trying to conceive, too---there can never be enough hugs, right?

Also, I am definitely not one of those second-time moms who says things like, 'I just don't have time to sit around thinking about pregnancy this time, so it's flying by. I'm way too busy with my toddler to remember how far along I am, or what fruit baby is, and it's not the center of my life anymore.' No, that is basically the opposite of what I am telling you today. Because my journey to get to this pregnancy is incredibly different than most of those moms out there who don't have the time to worry. (I guess I've managed to make time, then). It's just that when you are pregnant after a loss you don't feel comfort in the statistics telling us that we have less than a 3% chance of losing this baby now that we've seen a heartbeat. I've been on the 'rare' side of stats before and it hurts. Badly. It hurt me so deeply that I can definitely say I will be forever changed by my loss, which isn't necessarily a bad thing but I am painfully jealous of women who still have their innocent naivety about pregnancy. I didn't take a single belly pic until 11 weeks this time, nor did I have the courage to write any drafted posts until then. We didn't tell our parents until 6 weeks (and that was only because we needed their support in light of some complications I'll write about in a bit) and didn't tell most of our friends until much later, too. I guess I'm only telling you all of this to preface the fact that this first trimester has been mentally grueling, has landed me in some of the darkest moments of my life, and I guess I didn't expect it to be so hard. I just thought if I got pregnant again THAT was the ultimate goal and all would be right with the world. But oooh, boy---I feel like I just started the roller coaster ride of my life. It's also made me pray a little harder, a little more often, and I've found myself trusting God's plan even more than before---because let's face it, at SOME point I have to realize that I cannot control my life. Especially when it comes to getting pregnant and staying pregnant---that is all up to God's will, in my opinion. And I'm thankful that He is walking with me on this journey.

Dirty details...

After my surgery in June, my OB said we had to wait two cycles before trying again. We listened and then it was our second cycle of trying that yielded a big.fat.positive. So yes, we were trying---very hard. :) Harder than ever before because with Truman we got pregnant on the second cycle of 'half-assed' trying. With Wren we weren't trying at all. And this time we went ALL out. As I was enduring the dreaded two-week-wait before I could test I had basically convinced myself that this might not be our cycle either, and I started looking to the next cycle to plan the 'operation sperm plus egg' attack. I made a mental note that if my period had not shown up by 12 days after ovulation, I'd pee on a stick and hope for the best but I vowed not to test earlier than that. But then I started getting all psycho and over-analytical about every twinge of my body (who, me?). At 11 days after ovulation, I woke up and took my temp like I had been doing every morning and decided if it was even a fraction higher than the previous day I'd have to test then. And sure enough, it was up by two tenths:)

I went into Truman's room at 5:30 on Saturday, September 17 when he was awake and calling for me and we played a bit in the nursery while Nate slept. I was not even nervous at this point, just resigned to the fact that I would have to see a negative test because it would be either too early or I really was not pregnant at all. Eventually I decided to get it over with and dunked one of my cheapie pregnancy strips in my cup-o-pee, walking out of the bathroom without any true anxiety. For real. A few minutes later, after playing with Tru some more, I peeked onto the counter and saw a freaking second line, clear as day, without even using my magnifying glass or special infrared lights. I promptly began to cry, shake, and say, 'Thank you, God!' repetitively like a reproduction-obsessed robot. I went back to Truman and did a little happy dance with my unknowing toddler and then decided that I should probably use another test 'just for fun' because one is never enough to convince me. This was another cheap dunkable test but from a different packet all together. And guess what? Only one line. Cue the excitement slamming to the ground.

After a little confusion, wondering if that first positive test was a total fluke I brought out the big guns: an expensive digital test, reserved only for special occasions like a super faint second line that needed confirming (or a tie-breaker test, in my case). I dunked that puppy in the same cup-o-pee, capped it, and tossed it on our dining room table so I could keep a close watch on it while pretending to play with my boy. Oh yes, the crazies were in full-force by this point and there was no going back now---I willed that test to say 'pregnant' so hard I almost popped a blood vessel.

The little hour glass kept ticking away, deciding my fate as I sweated bullets next to the digital screen. And then, there it was. One word. Pregnant. It was for real, you guys. And sure enough---that one-lined test I had taken about 20 minutes before started to show a faint second line as well. Three tests all positive before 6 am on a Saturday = a pretty frickin amazing morning by my book. I was a whopping 3 weeks and 3 days pregnant which was definitely the earliest I've ever found out the big news. Sort of ridic, right? Gotta love testing early because it makes the first trimester just FLY by (sarcasm).


So my husband was snoozing away during all of this pee stick drama in the next room, mind you, and I just had to think of something half-way clever to break the news. I mean, I really wanted to run in there, jump on the bed and start screeching about second lines and digital words and pee cups but I figured that might not be the coolest thing to do to the man. Instead, I wrote on a little post it note: "Daddy, Mommy tested and it was positive! Love, Truman" and had my child hold that little note in his chubby hand until the sperm-giver was awake from his beauty sleep. Truman kept crumpling up the note so I had to keep straightening it out, but I know he was just excited to break the news to his dad.


Finally, Nate did come into the family room while T and I were watching truck videos on You Tube. I told Truman to give daddy the note and he did so with such pride that I swore he knew something big was happening. Nate just said, 'Oh, thanks, buddy,' sort of clueless and mostly still asleep. I watched him read the words and then watched his jaw drop open to say, 'No way! You tested already?!?' And then I was forced to spew out about a thousand words per minute explaining the three tests, hundreds of emotions, and overwhelming excitement over the results. And Nate totally got it and we hugged and smiled and said, 'we feel good about this one,' together. And we really did. We felt happy and confident and at peace.

Well as you might guess, that contentment feeling lasted about one day. Then the worries crept in and so began my inner turmoil. Do I embrace the pregnancy and possibly get really crushed again if we lost it, or just detach from the idea until it is 'safe' to get excited? I knew I would ask my OB to do blood work right away this time, to check if my HcG levels were doubling every 2 days and whether my progesterone was at an acceptable level, too. What I didn't know at the time is that those tests, and more specifically waiting for the results to come over the phone, were both a blessing and a huge curse. Not sure if I would do the labs again in hindsight.

My HcG did double perfectly throughout the four blood draws I received in those first weeks. But my progesterone started off sort of low, then did a dip to the 'definitely low' mark, before it came back up to an acceptable level and hovered. This was the first time I decided the pregnancy was doomed. Then the next day I spotted brown. I had a real breakdown that day and was convinced that I would absolutely have another miscarriage. But then things were going okay and I started to feel hopeful again. Until I was 5 weeks, 5 days pregnant and at a patient's home for a regular visit on a Monday. That day was probably the lowest point of the first trimester, by far.

I will never forget the feeling that, 'huh, is something dripping out of me right now? Wait. That doesn't feel right---it can't be---am I bleeding?!?!' All while in a patient's house, trying to care for another person and not totally freak the eff out about what just happened in my underwear. I somehow managed to wrap up the session and practically ran to my car where I sat in the drivers seat, unbuttoned my pants, and peeked into my undies to see bright red blood that had already soaked through my pants. 'Okay, now what?" I asked myself. I wasn't panicking at all, but it was more like, 'well, I guess this is how it's going to happen this time.' I drove to a nearby gas station and went to the bathroom to find a LOT of blood down there. Like enough that I had flashbacks to my disgustingly-prolonged miscarriage earlier in the year, which of course made me nearly hyperventilate and wish I could just curl up into a ball and get out of this nightmare. But again, somehow my rational brain took over and I just put on a new pad, wrapped my jacket around my waist, deciding that I HAD to keep working and refused to let my life stop over a possible miscarriage, and then I called my OB to inform the office of my bleeding nightmare.

The triage nurse somehow believed that bright red blood, and an absurd amount of it, was probably okay but she would have me come in to see the OB that evening 'just for peace of mind.' I was shocked that she didn't tell me flat out that, 'Honey, you are having a miscarriage' since that is what I already assumed. But I made it through the rest of my day, calmly texted my husband to say I was bleeding and would go to the doctor that night, and was sort of at peace with how it was all happening. I was sad, too, but I didn't really let myself get too worked up until we had answers.

Nate was able to meet me for the appointment, which was perfect not only for moral support but also because I had to get Truman from daycare right before we drove up to the office. I wasn't sure I could handle getting bad news while tending to my wild toddler at the same time. And I really wanted my boys there with me this time, just like they were when we had our bad ultrasound in April. We were all a team in this and we'd have to sort through the information together.

As my little family waited with me in the exam room, I laid back on the table and tried to talk to God. I wasn't in a bargaining mood, nor was I feeling particularly trusting. But we talked a bit while I stared at the odd florescent light shield that was made to look like the bottom of the ocean. It's really weird what happened next, but as I was staring at this illuminated ocean view, I imagined Nate and I as retirees someday. I thought about how we'd be 70 years old with so many stories to tell about our child-raising years, so many ups and downs that we'd forget a lot of the 'big' issues over time. I thought about Nate and I taking awesome vacations together over the next 30 years and how I want to snorkel and scuba dive with him again, just like we did on our honeymoon---and how this little ocean scene on the ceiling of my OBs office was like a sign from God. Life will go on. You will grow old with this man next to you (God-willing), with this amazing child on his lap, and who knows what the rest of the story will be. Either we will get this baby in May or not---but it's all going to be okay. We'll still look back on these years in our life and smile because they are undoubtedly some of the best I could imagine.

My OB came in and gave me a worried look, which I returned back to her. And then she brought in her ultrasound machine. I knew it would be super early to see anything at all but was happy we could at least get an idea of what my uterus was doing. My OB raised her eyebrows and said, 'Well, we have a baby....with a heartbeat. But I am worried about it.' Um, first---a heartbeat?!?! Before 6 weeks? What an amazing and unexpected gift from above! But of course it's not that simple.

She also saw a large bleed in my uterus called a subchorionic hemorrhage (SCH) that was much larger than the baby, about 4cm big. It could either be 1. The start of a miscarriage, or 2. Nothing at all. The overall message from my OB was that she was hopeful because this little baby had a heartbeat, a beautiful little heartbeat. But she had to be honest when she said that she hadn't seen a bleed this large turn out okay in the end. So we were in limbo. Again. A threatened miscarriage. And that night I did cry the ugly tears and began the grieving process for this little flicker of a heartbeat in my belly, because of course my stupid body would attack it and try to take it down. But after a long talk with Nate I came to realize that we had to hang onto the hopeful feelings. We couldn't begin to grieve yet because we had a real, living baby to focus on and we decided to choose optimism. What's that saying about how you can only control your attitude, but not what happens to you in life?

(our little baby with a heartbeat, and my dreaded bleed)
5w5d copy

You might guess what happened next. I stopped bleeding. I had multiple follow up ultrasounds. And every time they would show the baby growing up a storm, the bleed shrinking away, and that little heartbeat getting more and more pronounced. Each visit left me feeling even more hopeful and it made my OB excited enough to say, at just 6w1d (3 days after my initial bleed): "I think we are having this baby, just so you know." I wrote those words down in my journal that night and would read them over and over if I started to feel anxious. By my 7 week ultrasound baby looked like a noticeable blob, by 8 weeks it was a gummy bear, and by my 10 week scan that baby looked like a baby---one that was moving around like crazy. And my bleed was practically non-existent but still hanging around. Being that the champion baby was 50 times the size of it now, when the bleed was easily 3 times the size of the baby in the beginning, I started to feel like my child was a fighter and was pushing that bleed out of the way.

6w1d copy
7w1d copy
8w1d copy
10w2d copy

In true Julia fashion, I did a ton of research on SCH's and found a lot of success stories online, many of which had even larger bleeds than me. They don't know why some women have bleeds like this but apparently bleeding in the first trimester is not too uncommon--happening about 20% of the time, and then half of those ladies will go on to having normal pregnancies. I have a hunch that going for a run and, ahem, having some adult playtime together the day before I bled may have something to do with my SCH. And so after that scare, I've been on pelvic rest and instructed not to exercise by my OB as well. A few months ago, I would have gone crazy without exercise but it's amazing how little I care about being in shape now that I have a little baby blob to worry about. It also helps that I've felt the first trimester ickiness----no desire to run at all. And if that means I gain 50 pounds this pregnancy then so be it, I honestly do not care one fraction of a bit. Priorities are in place. And really, I'm pretty lucky that my OB didn't put me on strict bed rest immediately after the bleed because a lot of girls have to wait it out on bed rest. We all know I'm not a good bed rest patient though, considering my OB caught me in Target before Truman's induction when I was supposed to be on bed rest. :)

We waited to tell the internets on the blog and Facebook until 14 weeks because we wanted to surprise Memaw with the news in person, during our Thanksgiving trip last week. If it weren't for that, I probably would have shared at 12 weeks but I really do enjoy waiting until it's this much more 'official' to blab all about the pregnancy to my internet friends. I hope you understand.

If you are still reading this, I congratulate you on your stamina. And now you are sort of caught up on the dirty deets of this pregnancy #3 for me. I guess this mammoth post should be expected when there is SO much to explain with such an eventful first trimester, huh? Hope you are ready for more pregnancy posts in the near future!
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