Thursday, November 26, 2009

She's here!!!

Matt and I are so happy and proud to announce that our precious daughter, Jillian Kimberly Hatfield, is finally here!! Jillian was born on Tuesday November 17, 2009 at 2:43pm, weighing 7lbs 13oz, and 21 inches long.
I know that many of you have already heard our wonderful news, either from email, phone, family, or friends, but I wanted to officially post it to the blog. As usual, it's taken me some time to actually post the details of her birth :)

As stubborn as she was in the womb, Jillian was just as stubborn in coming out of the womb. We like to kid that at first, she didn't know what direction she was supposed to go in, and then once she was well-directed, she didn't know quite how to come out :) We eventually had to have her induced, which began on Monday night (11/16), and would have continued likely into the evening of the 17th. But in pure Jillian-fashion - she wanted to make a dramatic appearance. I was induced starting with a gel on Monday night, which should have allowed me to get a somewhat decent night's sleep before the pitocin was added to induce contractions in the morning. Turns out the gel was all that I needed to push me over the edge for labor. I started contracting within about 45 minutes, and things started to get pretty painful from there on out. My contractions were one on top of the other, without a break in between, and they actually gave me some medicine to calm them down, since they were putting stress on the baby's heart rate. I finally couldn't take the pain anymore (and God bless the women who actually go through a fully natural labor without drugs), and got an epidural at 3:30am. Luckily, that allowed me to rest before the morning. At about 8am, my doctor came in, and found that despite my contractions, I wasn't progressing , and the baby was still having heart rate drops with each contraction, which concerned her. Because of the heart rate problems, she told us that if things didn't improve, we would likely have to have a c-section. That made me sad, but at that point, I had felt the pain of what contractions were, had the short experience of labor, and was just concerned with getting her out safely and in good health. I had my water broken, and we just proceeded from there to see what would happen in the next couple hours.

Turns out, things went quickly from there. Jillian's heart rate began to stabilize, and I started to dilate quickly. We thought we wouldn't deliver until the evening, but Jillian had other plans. We didn't need to have a c-section after all, and would be able to deliver the old-fashioned way. By 1pm, I was fully dilated, and ready to push. After an hour and 15min of pushing, out she came! My goodness, it was the most amazing experience. I can't even begin to describe it. Both Matt and I were able to watch her come out, and overall it was just a miracle. I don't know how anyone could not believe in God after witnessing such an awesome miracle.
So here she is!!! And what everyone says is true - we can't imagine going back to life without her. In the week that she's been here, it's been a whole lot of work, and certainly alot of healing for Mommy, but it's all worth it to see that cute little face. With all of her crazy expressions, we like to call her the baby of a thousand faces. Some are just priceless, and I love the ones I get especially when I'm getting ready to feed her. Can't get enough.

So here are a couple of pictures that we want to share of her first arrival, and first week with us here. Hope that you all enjoy them!!
Love to all,
Matt, Kim and Jillian

1. Fresh out of the womb
2. Mommy and Jillian just after birth
3. Daddy and Jillian
4. My first bath
5. Ready for the Ravens game!!! Go Ed Reed!!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Not even close to labor

As you can tell - the hospital didn't keep me today :)

However, the fetal monitoring this morning went great. We arrived at the hospital and were there for about an hour. The nurses hooked me up to a couple monitors and did what was called a non-stress test - they kept track for about 30 min or so how the baby was moving as compared to her heartrate, and whether I was having any contractions. And all was good. The baby was definitely moving around and her heartrate was strong and coordinated with her movement. So, first test -passed! The second test was an ultrasound to measure the amount of amniotic fluid in my uterus to make sure the baby had a good 'cushion' and that everything was healthy inside. Fortunately, there is plenty of fluid around her, and she looks good. She's also still head down! Good girl! So second test - passed!

However, based on the monitoring, there was no indication at all that I was in active labor :( Darn it! I had only one real contraction the whole time I was hooked up, and a number of normal, irregular contractions that the monitor picked up, but I couldn't really feel. After many questions to the nurse, it turns out that all the contractions I had last night were just false labor, and Braxton Hicks (practice) contractions since there was really no pain associated with them. The nurse midwife assured me that with real contractions, I would know the difference :) So, now we just wait until Monday. I guess the magic 8 ball wasn't completely correct after all...

It's entirely possible that I could still go into labor before we are induced Monday night. And I'm kind of hoping for that. But, if it doesn't work that way, we are scheduled to go in to the hospital at 8pm Monday night to start the induction, and by Tuesday afternoon/evening, we should have a baby! One way or another, she will be here in the next few days... and I'm sure that we'll look back and laugh at all the anguish we've put ourselves through in the meantime just waiting for her to arrive :)

41 weeks...

One week overdue - sheesh!
Last Wednesday, we had a doctor's appt, and so far, no further progress had been made. I was still 1.5cm dilated, and 70% effaced - and have been that way for 2 weeks. So my doctor and I talked about being induced. She suggested that she doesn't want us to go much past 41 weeks due to the increase in potential complications, so she scheduled us for some fetal monitoring at the hospital on Saturday (today) just to make sure that the baby is still doing okay, and that the amniotic fluid levels are still good, and also scheduled us for an induction on Monday night if the baby doesn't decide to come before then.

So, just wanted to give you an update that we are heading to the hospital this morning for the fetal monitoring, and hopefully will get a good report. Actually, I'm hoping that they decide to keep us and that I'm in labor and don't quite know it :) Wishful thinking???? I don't know. I was having contractions most of last night from 8p until 2am, but it was no more than 6-8 min apart. Matt and I were walking around Target last night to help move the baby along, and having contractions the whole time. We kidded that it would be funny if my water broke in Target - but honestly I wouldn't have minded :) In the toy section, we found a magic 8 ball, and asked our questions. I asked "Am I really in labor, but just not know it yet?" The answer was "Without a doubt". Great!!! Matt asked a similar question about whether we were going to have the baby before Monday, and the 8 ball said "All directions point to yes". Double great!! So if we trust the magic 8 ball, we're set :) However, after a pretty sleepless night, I'm not really having contractions today, so we'll just have to see. But maybe....

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

40 weeks, 3 days and counting...

Baby girl is officially overdue! Our due date was last Saturday Nov 7th, so Matt and I have been waiting patiently every day since... is today the day? And hasn't been. So we're literally taking it day by day, and hour by hour, waiting for those first real contractions to begin...

Sorry for the lack of an update since Friday. We actually have been without our home computer since Sunday. Long story short, we got a pretty serious virus that has now wiped out our computer. Luckily we were able to recover our photos and important files to our external hard drive in time, but we've now had to buy a new computer a little sooner than what we had thought. I'm so glad that Matt is so educated on computers - a new computer has been on our radar the past few months, so he knew exactly what we needed for our next one, and we were able to order another one from Dell that will hopefully be here in a few weeks. Right now, we're working off of our work laptops, which are a little less convenient to get online with, but at least functional. It's surprising how dependent we are to the internet! Not being able to just run to the computer room and check our email quickly has been hard to deal with!

Anywho - we just wanted to let you all know that we aren't parents quite yet. You could say that she's still 'marinating' :) Matt and I spent our due date taking long walks around Costco, Target and White Marsh Mall, but to no avail. I officially started maternity leave on Monday, hoping it would jinx her into coming, but that didn't work either. So I've been running errands and keeping on my feet the past 2 days in order to get her moving. It's actually been nice to have the time off too :) Sick leave without actually being sick is great! Anyhow, my latest trick today was to eat spicy Chinese food for lunch, so maybe that will jumpstart things too. Who knows. We've gotten so many ideas of 'tricks to try' to induce labor - my least favorite of which is drinking castor oil (sorry Alyssa!) - so I may actually be trying a few at once very soon. I have my next doctors appointment tomorrow afternoon (wednesday), and if we haven't gone to the hospital by then, at least we'll get an idea of how we're progressing. If we're not progressing, I guess we will have some discussions about being induced. I don't think my doctor wants me to go much longer than a week late, so we'll see what happens. I kind of hope that the baby is able to decide on her own when she'd like to make her debut, but if she needs a little help to keep her healthy... that's good enough for me! We're just praying that she comes out healthy - no matter how she comes out!

We'll keep you updated... again - not too much longer now!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Still cookin'...

I don't think that I've been a more popular person ever than what I've been this week! So many emails, phone calls and facebook posts from friends and family who are on the edge of their seats... is it time? I haven't heard from you in a while - are you in labor? Is there a baby yet?

Then, to their dismay, when I actually answer the phone, reply to their email, or answer the facebook post, they realize - no baby yet. And I'm realizing that I have to be pretty fast in replying... two friends of mine were thinking yesterday was the day when I didn't reply to their emails as quickly (or at all) like I normally do. I wholeheartedly apologize to both of you... believe me, you'll be some of the first to know when we get in the car and are driving to the hospital :) Our families actually have a contest going on too with guesses as to when the baby will arrive. Everyday I have to break the bad news that those who picked that day didn't win the contest. Honestly, you'd think that we were giving away a cruise, or a toys r us shopping spree to the winner with how competitive the adults AND kids are!

So, as of 9am on Fri Nov 6th - there is no baby yet. No contractions going on either. Just status quo. Baby girl is quite content where she is, and has made no indication that she wants to leave what must be some really nice digs in my belly. Now that she's head down too, it's probably like a whole new universe to explore. What's that new thing that I can poke at? Hmmm...haven't seen things from this angle before! As a result, she's become quite fond of my bladder in recent days -her head butts or little punches aren't so pleasant, and send Mommy to the bathroom once an hour sometimes. It was a fun night of driving home from work on Tuesday night, when in the span of an hour on I-95, I had to stop first at a Quality Inn, and then at a travel plaza McDonald's to use the bathroom. And it wasn't the casual stroll on in to either place - it was a sprinting bee-line in to both facilities with barely a chance to lock the car. I was honestly driving thru the Ft McHenry tunnel praying that I wouldn't pee myself. What a show!

But all in all - Matt and I are just as anxious as you all are to meet this little one, and know that she's on her way! Yesterday, I just sat in her nursery for a while, rocking in the glider, thinking that this wasn't just a baby-decorated guest room anymore - it was going to actually be someone's 'room' in a few days, and that she'd be sitting with me in the rocker too, or sleeping in her crib, and actually wearing the clothes that are in her closet. It's so amazing - life is literally going to do a complete 180 for us. It's hard to process all of the emotions that that entails - excitement, anxiety, happiness, fear, excitement for the future, longing for the past. And LOVE. We haven't met her yet, but our hearts are going to automatically make a huge place for her, and be able to contain all the love we have for her. Oh my, I have to stop - I'm tearing up.

So, I think that we will officially make the 40 week mark tomorrow. But we will certainly find a way to let you all know when we do go into labor, or when our little miracle has arrived. It shouldn't be much longer now...

Monday, November 2, 2009

39 weeks! Almost there...

I can’t believe November is finally here! Ever since we found out we were pregnant in March, we’ve been thinking of November…and it’s here! Oh boy! I’m just happy that we’ve made it this far, and the baby is still doing well. I know that it's selfish, but I was hoping all weekend not to have baby girl's birthday be on Halloween, so we successfully passed that. And more importantly, we just wanted to make it thru this past weekend since Matt's parents were out of town, and we didn't want them to miss the birth :) So, now that it's November, baby girl can come whenever she'd like!

And at 39 weeks, I can honestly say we’re ready :) Baby girl’s room is finished and all the furniture is in, all of her clothes/towels/sheets that she’ll need right away are washed, Mom has her bag packed (see more details later), Dad went out and bought a new spiffy camera (I think he’s channeling his Uncle Jack), both Mom and Dad can’t wait to meet her, and now we’re just waiting for her to decide to meet us. Of course, I’ve found little things to keep me occupied – some last minute shopping, feeling the need to organize her dresser drawers a little better, just one more load of laundry (for baby, Mom and Dad), picking up the house just in case we end up having to leave on a whim, etc. I think that I made my last trip to Target tonight – but don’t quote me on that :). Having Target a mile away is evil…

Last night however at around 2 am, we thought the time might be here! I woke up with some crazy hip and back pain/cramps, couldn’t get comfortable to save my life, and noticed some contractions (not painful but there). I started timing them, and they were every 7-8 min or so, and only lasted like 30-60 seconds. I sat up in bed to be more comfortable, and couldn't get back to sleep since I was watching the clock. Then I also started worrying profusely that mine and Matt's bags weren't packed, so I decided that it was time to REALLY pack my bag for the hospital in case we were to end up going (I'm such a procastinator!), and before contractions started to get closer together. There I was in the middle of the night, running around in the dark, packing clothes, snacks, toiletries, ipod, etc, just in case. I tried to be quiet enough to let Matt sleep in case the real fun was going to begin, but I was probably about as quiet as a tornado. He did wake up a couple times to check on me (and also try and calm me down), but pregnant lady in crazy mode was not about to stop until she was finished. Little did I know, but he told me tonight that he was pretending to sleep in hopes that it would influence me to calm down and just try to rest. Nope, didn’t work ;) I guess everything just distracted me, b/c by the time I was done (and finished eating 2 corn muffins - I was starving!), and had sat for a little while in bed, I only felt one or two more contractions, didn’t feel the back pain anymore, and eventually fell asleep. So I guess it was false labor. But I was thinking for sure that we were on our way :) Oh well... soon enough. At least I got my bag packed :) I was going to go into work, but Matt convinced me to work from home today just in case anything more should happen. Turns out nothing exciting happened all day – so I guess baby girl is still very content with where she is right now.

As for our weekend – we had a nice one. We doggie-sat for Matt’s parents dog Molly, and also had a fun time with our bible study group on Friday night at a pumpkin carving contest party. Our pumpkin didn’t win :(, but I think we did a great job! We had a decent showing of trick-or-treaters on Halloween, and Sunday was a day of relaxing and tying up the last loose ends of being ready for baby. Both Saturday and Sunday night were so nice – Matt and I just hung out on the couch both nights enjoying each others company, and time alone. We won’t have too many more nights of that for a long time ;)

As the week progresses, I’ll try to keep you all updated… if not by blog, maybe by phone, email, facebook or word of mouth that baby girl has arrived!

Oh, and I had to show you too what I couldn't pass up tonight in the dollar section at Target... can't wait to see baby girl in this :)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Head still down! Woo hoo!

As you can tell from the title, we are very excited! After the version last week, and turning our tadpole upside down so she's ready to be born, we couldn't help but wonder all week - has she flipped back? Every now and then this past week, I thought she may have flipped. I'd feel a large hard spot in my belly and be convinced she was sideways. And then some doctors at my work (who are ob/gyns themselves) thought that by sight (since I'm still so high) that she had flipped too. While I love all of the docs at work, and highly value their opinions, I wasn't quite ready for them to start feeling up my belly to really tell if she was head down. There is only so far you should go in the workplace :) But sure enough at our doctor's appointment today, we have confirmation by ultrasound - the tadpole is still head down and ready to go. Phew!!!

Of course, this also means that for the time being I don't have to worry about having a C-section. Another phew! We can just wait for her to arrive whenever she wants to arrive, and deliver her the old-fashioned way.

Also at my doc appt, I found out that we're progressing towards labor. Baby steps, but at least at 38.5 weeks, we are progressing. I'm 1 cm dilated and about 70% effaced. While those are great numbers to know, they really can't tell you too much about when we'll actually go into labor, just that we're starting the progression. The doc said it could be anywhere from tomorrow to next week, or later. So at least that's good. My body has at least figured out what to do, even though our baby needed a little help figuring it out :)

So tonight, I continued my 'nesting', and am running the last load of baby clothes and sheets through the wash. Waiting for everything to dry as we speak. I also started to organize decorative items in the nursery and plan where shelves and pictures will go. And my bag is halfway packed for the hospital. I know that we should probably be more ready than we are, but we have the major stuff taken care of. You have to understand - Matt and I are horrible procrastinators - I think that's why I'm convinced the tadpole is going to be late, since we are generally late 90% of the time for everything!

Oh, and I've attached my most recent belly shot - this was at 38 weeks, last weekend. I don't look much different - still high. And as of today, my weight gain is good - 22 pounds. So I'm a little on the small side, but still on track :)

We'll keep you updated with how things go! Next doc appt is on Wednesday - we'll see if we make it :)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Early, late or right-on-time???

Hi all,
I just posted a new poll on the right hand side of the blog. We'd love to hear everyone's ideas as to when our tadpole will arrive! Early? Late? On her due date (Nov 7th)? Your guess is as good as mine :)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A baby without a map or GPS system...

We're at 37.5 weeks right now and so far, we've had 9 months of smooth sailing... no sickness, no cramping, just your ordinary, normal pregnancy. That is, until yesterday (Tuesday)....

I went for my routine 37 week doc appt on Tues night, and anticipated a normal appt as always - questions, heartbeat check, belly measurement, you're good to go, since you next week, call if you have contractions. But it was not to be so. Turns out that after an internal exam, and a quick sonogram to confirm (though it WAS nice to see the baby again!) - our child is "directionally-challenged". In English, she's at 37 weeks and she's not in position with her head down like she's supposed to be. Evidently, babies position themselves on their own between 32-36 weeks to be head down, upside down, and getting ready to descend into the pelvis for birth. Ours decided to be unique - head up and diagonal - in other words, breeched. I wasn't so concerned, I thought "She'll just turn on her own". That is until the doctor told me to get dressed and meet him in his office to discuss our "options". Everyone knows that in a doctor's office, the word "options" is not a good one. So off I went, praying all the while that "options" wasn't going to be that bad.

Dr. T proceeded to tell me that although the baby was healthy and had good measurements and heart rate, she was indeed breeched ('directionally challenged'), and at this point being so close to delivery, the likelihood of her turning on her own in such a confined space was 5%, with less of a chance in remaining weeks. If she didn't turn to face head down, we were looking at a C-section at 39 weeks since a breeched vaginal delivery isn't optimal. His recommendation - to do an external version, which means that he would manually, by hand and with force, turn the baby to be head down, on the outside of my belly. Ouch. And we'd need to do it soon - as in the next day. Of course, there are risks with this procedure - it's only 50% successful, it is very painful, and there's a 1% chance that the baby will become so distressed and the heart rate will drop that we'll need an emergency C-section. Yikes. But after a quick call to Matt where we put him on speakerphone and the doc explained everything, we decided to go with the version, and try to avoid a C-section delivery. 1% is low, and he told us he'd never had an emergency section with this procedure, so we decided to trust the pro.

Of course, the rest of the night, we were a mess. After many phone calls to our parents, an ob-gyn friend of mine from work, Matt's best friend and his wife who's a nurse, we couldn't help but worry if we'd made the right decision. Actually, I think I worried more - Matt was so good at keeping me calm with all of my 'what-ifs' and worst case scenarios, but all I could think of was what would happen to the baby if she needed an emergency section. Would any heartrate reduction and lack of oxygen affect her brain, would the turning break something? It was honestly my first moment of mommy-hood panic. I hadn't packed my bag yet for delivery, so I hurriedly threw some semblance of a bag together just in case, and tried to go to sleep. When sleep didn't come easily, Matt and I prayed together. I even tried talking to the baby to convince her to turn on her own, and used my brother-in-law's words of "Head towards the light!". We may have even promised her a car if she turned on her own, I don't know. At any rate, it was a rough night.

We got to the hospital at 7am, and I finally pulled it together so I didn't walk in all teary-eyed (still worrying at this point!). I tried to joke with Matt - we'd procrastinated on scheduling our hospital tour, but now we'd certainly get one today! They took me back to triage, took 3 tries to put an IV in (my veins get scared of needles), hooked me up to the baby's heartrate monitor, and my contraction monitor, and then confirmed by another ultrasound, yes, she's still head up. During that hour of waiting she did end up turning a little, but in the wrong direction - this child needs a map! They finally took me down to labor/delivery and we were in a room directly across from the operating room - just in case of the emergency C-section. I even met the anesthesiologist, who I jokingly told "while you seem to be a nice man, I hope that I don't see you again today :)" I had to keep my sense of humor, even though it's so lame... it was one of the few things holding me together.

Finally it was time for the turning. A resident doctor came in to assist (she actually ended up doing the brute force work), and my doctor worked the sonogram wand to monitor the position and heartrate during the turning. I honestly thought it would be 20-30 min of absolute brute force manhandling of my belly to get her to turn. The doc even told me ahead of time that they sometimes have to stop because the mom is in so much pain. But I was determined to be strong and get through this, and it was harder b/c Matt had to make room for the docs and stand away, so he couldn't even hold my hand. So, they began - and oh my goodness, do they manhandle you! And it was uncomfortable and painful, no doubt. I swear the doc's hands were forced into my belly and around the baby's head pushing her and torquing her around to rotate her. My eyes were closed the whole time though. But I kept breathing, groaning occasionally when it got really bad, and then he said we were done! (I think I even said "That's it?", since mind you, I was thinking it was going to be 20 minutes of this). Now I sound like a wimp when I say that it took all of 2 minutes, but that's 2 minutes of constant brute force/twisting/turning/pressure and contortion by the doctor on my stomach. The doctor confirmed she was head down, and they monitored me for another hour to make sure I didn't have any contractions, and that the baby's heartrate was good. All was good, so they sent us home! Overall, I was so very thankful that the baby was cooperative and turned quickly - my doc did say that this was one of the faster ones he's done (yay! we're above average!). And also that everything went successfully, and that we didn't need the emergency C-section. Lots of prayers of thanks went up when it was all over :) Thank you God!

So, that was our last 24 hours. I'm praying that the next couple of weeks that we have will be smooth sailing, and that we'll have a nice smooth delivery whenever that time comes. Plus, I just hope that she doesn't decide to turn back around (which she could decide to do). I'd like to avoid a c-section if possible, but in the end, I'll do whatever is best for her. We'll be checking her position at our next doc appt next Wednesday. We certainly have a stubborn baby, who doesn't have a good sense of direction - I hope that this is no indication of her personality after she's born, or we're in real trouble :)

Oh, and as an extra note - Matt was a huge trooper and literally kept me together. I have a wonderful husband! I know that he was as worried as I was, but he was great at keeping me calm despite my excessive worrying and "what-ifs". And even though he couldn't hold my hand and keep me calm, he said that he was able to stand and watch the whole thing - and he didn't pass out :) He's going to be great with labor and delivery when the time comes, I'm sure of it :)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Updated belly pictures...

I haven't posted in a while, but wanted to attach some of my more recent belly pictures. I'm certainly getting bigger! However, I'm pretty much all belly and still fairly high - baby has not dropped yet, so no impending delivery...

Photo 1: 35 weeks
Photo 2: self portrait 36 weeks
Photo 3: self portrait from the front 36 weeks -you can still see that I have somewhat of a waist - but only from the front. I honestly look like I've got a soccer ball tucked under my shirt :)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

My TOPS lists...

I thought I'd make a few lists of my TOP things about pregnancy. I'm sure that there are more things that could go on these lists, but here's a start...

Top things I enjoy about being pregnant:

1. MY BELLY - I love my belly. I hold on to it, rub lotion on it every morning, and even like to stare lovingly at it. Baby girl is in there! Even though it's big and gets in the way, I don't know how I'm going to react to it not being there when this is over :) I think I'll be very sad.
2. Chocolate milkshake cravings
3. My fingernails have grown! (A huge deal since I've been a nail biter ever since I've had teeth.)
4. Having a really good excuse to eat weird food combinations (e.g. PB&J sandwich with a side of sweet pickles; Blueberry Eggo waffles followed by Egg Drop Soup; chicken noodle soup and a chocolate chip bagel at Panera)
5. Having nice people hold doors open for me, or offer me their chairs in a packed conference room. While it's still not the southern hospitality I remember from TX, it's close :)

Things I don't enjoy about being pregnant (in no particular order):

1. Being out of breath going up one flight of steps.
2. Heartburn
3. Being so uncomfortable while sleeping.
4. Having to politely smile and nod when strangers give me their opinion on my pregnancy.
5. Mood swings (I'm sure Matt will love when those are gone too!)

Things I look forward to when I'm not pregnant anymore:

1. Sleeping on my back!!!!
2. Italian cold cut subs - I want one as my first meal post-delivery.
3. White wine, margaritas, a Corona with lime, Guinness on draft...
4. Vanilla lattes (non-decaf)
5. Maternity leave

Friday, September 25, 2009

No, no, no, no, no!!!

No! I’m thinking that if I say it enough, it will mean it’s not happening. I had the second person in a few days tell me that I’m waddling. It can’t be – I won’t let it. It’s too early for me to be waddling! Maybe it’s just because I’m exhausted and just not thinking of my gait, so I’m defaulting into a waddle. I’ll have to be more conscious and think positive thoughts of good posture ;)

Wow – this is going to be an update-o-rama! So much has gone on in the past couple of weeks, and Matt and I have just been really busy with life in general. Can’t say that it’s one specific thing, but just life. This weekend, Matt was gone for a couple days on a golf trip to Ocean City with the guys. He had a great time, and I had a good time home alone too :) I think the nesting bug hit me, and I cleaned the house all day Saturday. It really needed it. But in a few days, we'll have it cluttered again, so I'm enjoying it while it lasts :) I also had a wonderful evening on Thursday - the girls from my bible study group threw me a really nice baby shower! I'm the 5th one of us to have a baby this year (out of 7 ladies total), but I'm the only one having her first - we've had quite a baby boom! So that was a nice time. And then Friday night, I met up with some friends for what I thought was our monthly girls night out. However, when I walked into my friend Melissa's family room, everyone was there yelling 'SURPRISE!'. They got together and threw me a surprise shower - and it was definitely a surprise! I think I screamed, and almost peed my pants :) So, Friday was another really nice evening with friends. Lots of chit-chat, drinks for them, Sprite for me, and I was probably out until 12:30am. But I had a wonderful time! Thank you everyone for loving and caring so much for me, for Matt, and our tadpole!!! You're the best!

This weekend, we're at 34 weeks! Oh my goodness - only 6 more weeks to go. Some parts of me are feeling ready, and other parts really want to keep the baby in for another few months. The nursery is coming along - but I'm less than happy with the paint we bought. We bought the eggshell finish since it is supposedly durable enough to clean. But the fingerprints that I stupidly got on the wall are not coming off - a damp rag with plain water made a big 'ol smudge, and then the magic eraser made it worse. I guess we'll have to put a 3rd coat on. Poor hubby. As for baby updates, the tadpole is still moving and shaking (and sometimes having little spazz moments). I think that is one of the things I’ll miss once she’s born – watching my tummy wig out when she’s moving in there. I think that I’ve also felt her hiccupping! It’s a little faster than I thought it would be, but quite rhythmic, so I guess that’s what it is. Or she’s taking after her mom and figuring out a way to play the drums ;)

Our childbirth classes started last Monday. So far so good. At least they’ve led to some interesting discussions between Matt and I. All those new anatomical terms, and learning what will likely happen on delivery day… I think it’s becoming a whole lot more real to him. In more ways than one, I think it’s a little sad that dads can’t get the ‘whole’ experience of carrying and giving birth to a baby – not just the pain and discomfort nad hormone raging, but the emotional aspect, the bonding, and learning just exactly what is happening to your body. Your stomach is pushed up and cramped closer to your lungs, your bladder is pushed down and is frequently being ‘stepped on’ by the baby (hence the every 30 min potty breaks), and just the whole issue of how my body is going to be able to do exactly what it’s supposed to do and deliver a baby. It’s surreal. But, the birthing classes are interesting. We have two more to go. I also have to schedule a tour of the hospital too. That should be interesting too :)

Oh, and I can’t remember if I talked about it or not, but we had a nice long weekend in Ocean City over Labor Day weekend. It was such a nice time – we got to relax on the beach, enjoy a few days away, and went out for a date night one night – Smitty McGee’s for dinner, and then putt-putt golf. Our putt-putt games are high stakes – loser buys ice cream for the winner. So the first game, I won by one stroke – SWEET! I was already tasting my Dairy Queen blizzard when Matt says he wants a re-match. Alright then – we go to a different course to make it fair. This time I pantsed him! I had 2 or 3 hole-in-ones, and won by 8 strokes! He was a little bitter, but to be honest, the clubs at the second place were not great and were shaped funny. But I still beat him, and got my peanut butter cup blizzard as my reward :). You may think we’re crazy – but putt-putt is serious business for us! We know almost every course in Ocean City, which ones are good/bad, or easy/challenging, or have rotten clubs or bad turf. I should blog about that – Ocean City putt-putt. Maybe we’ll get a few free games :)

Hmmm…what else? Not much – just day to day. Both of us have a lot going on at work, though my workload has been slowing a bit since my long term projects are being delegated to others in anticipation of me being out for 3 months. Hopefully Matt’s big contract job will be finished soon and his life will be a little less stressed (and his cell phone will stop ringing at 6:30am with work issues). Other than that – we’re just status quo.

No belly picture right now… maybe once Matt gets home from the Ravens game, we can take our 34 week picture. But, needless to say, I’m still growing, and still gaining, but we’re right on track. My doc has been really happy with how ‘boring’ of a patient I am – nothing to worry about!

Until next time – be well :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Miss you Aunt Kay…

This past week (9-16-09), Matt’s Aunt Kay (his mom’s sister) passed away after a 31+ year battle with multiple sclerosis. She was a wonderful woman, and I always enjoyed sitting and talking with her when I got the chance at family occasions. She was soft spoken, but always had a lot to say, and some good stories too. We will all miss her very much – her courage, her love for family, and just her presence.

So last week was bittersweet – sadly, you lose someone special, but happily, you also get to see so many other relatives who come from miles away for the viewings and funeral. So, despite the circumstances, we got to spend some good time with Matt’s relatives from southern VA and Ohio, catching up on each others lives, perusing through old photo albums, and also laughing at memories. It was a full 4 days. It really makes you think though – these family times should be enjoyed on a more regular basis and during normal life times, not just on the occasion of a funeral. Strange how funerals do that…

Friday, September 18, 2009


This was just too funny for me not to say anything about right away. I know that I've been pretty lax with posting updates, but I will send a more informative update soon :)

To begin - pregnancy has certainly had an effect on my dreams lately. Not really nightmares, but very vivid dreams. The other night, I dreamt that I was going to give birth to turtles!! At first (in the dream), it wasn't such a big deal since the turtle eggs were in the ground and ready to hatch. All I had to do was sit on them to keep them warm. But then, things changed, and in addition to being pregnant with a baby, the turtle eggs somehow got into my belly, and were going to hatch before the baby was born. I couldn't understand how they would get out, but then someone told me that they would hatch and chew through my belly to escape. Great - fair enough. And for some reason, I had no problem with that :) I was just patiently waiting to give birth to my turtles, and also making plans to be near the water so that when they hatched, they could crawl away and live in the ocean. Too bad that I woke up before anything happened and they actually hatched. But I just remember being so excited (and confused) during the whole dream that I was going to have a baby AND give birth to turtles!

Hmmmm... I wonder what other hormone- or heartburn-induced dreams that I'll have in the next 8 weeks :)

Monday, August 31, 2009

Re-livin' the 80's...

Matt and I had such a fun night last Saturday - we went with some friends to see "The Legwarmers" in concert down in Baltimore. The Legwarmers are an 80's tribute band, and for all of you who know me, I'm a HUGE fan of 80's music, and am secretly waiting for the day when rolled up/pegged pants and penny loafers come back in style :) Everyone who goes to these concerts is decked out in full 80's attire - jean skirts, leggings, off the shoulder tops, blue eye shadow, high hair, teased bangs, fingerless lace gloves. Just imagine any Madonna video and you've got the picture. Even the guys are wearing their heavy metal t-shirts, 'Members Only' jackets, or pencil-thin white ties (think Miami Vice). Even the band is decked out! Well, I found out at the last minute that I would be able to go (I was literally in the car driving Matt to meet our friends since he was going, when I got a call that my original plans were cancelled). So, a quick phone call later, a last minute online ticket, and BAM - I'm going to the concert! I was just sad that I didn't have the chance to deck myself out in 80's attire :( I guess there's always next time. And believe me, I would have been rockin' the high hair and bangs!

So, we met our friends, went to dinner at the Babalu Grill in downtown B'more, then off to the concert at Rams Head Live. It was AWESOME!! The set list was great, and we were all screaming, dancing and singing along like we were in high school again. Def Leppard, Bon Jovi, the Go-Go's, Huey Lewis, Bryan Adams, AC/DC, Poison, Journey, Madonna - all the good ones. And they played for 2 1/2 hrs! It was so much fun! I can't wait until we can go again :)

I guess this would qualify too as the tadpole's first concert - at least the first one that she could likely hear :) She was just a kidney bean when I went to see New Kids on the Block in March. Don't make fun - it was actually a good concert! Anyway, the baby's ears are fully developed, and she can hear noises outside my belly now, so she also rocked out to the Legwarmers on Saturday. I could even feel her moving around too - I guess it was a mini dance party in there :) But I can definitely say that since none of her movements were on the beat, she is definitely a 'white girl', cuz everyone knows that white girls can't dance. Her mommy is living proof of that!

Now the running joke with Matt and I is that after the fun of her first 80's concert, the tadpole will not be a baby that is soothed by calm lullabies as she's going to sleep at night. She'll be better at falling asleep to Def Leppard's "Pour Some Sugar on Me", Bon Jovi's "Livin on a Prayer" or Madonna's "Material Girl". Ahhh.... that's my girl :)

Monday, August 24, 2009

A wonderful shower!

THANK YOU to my mom and my sister for throwing me a wonderful baby shower last Saturday afternoon! I had a great time, and I really felt so special to have so many ladies, both friends and family, there to help welcome our tadpole with gifts and good wishes. It makes me so happy when there are so many people just as excited as we are for our little girl to arrive!

My sister Kristin, brother-in-law Eric and niece Kaelyn were able to drive up from Georgia to be here, and it was so good to see them. It's tough that they live so far away - I really wish that we could see them more. On Saturday morning, I drove up early to spend some time with my mom, Kristin and Kaelyn (my dad, Eric, Matt and Matt's dad spent a guys-day-out together playing golf and hanging out with each other, minus the girls). Kaelyn is growing up so fast (she's almost 8 months old now!), and she was very excited to see her Aunt Kim! I think it was more that I was a new face that she could show off in front of, than her really recognizing me, but I'll take whatever I can get :) I was hoping to be able to take her for a walk, but nap time was a definite priority! We did manage to play and have fun though. My shower was in the afternoon, and there were likely 15-20 people who came to celebrate with us! It was wonderful! And the tadpole received some wonderful gifts - lots of cute new clothes, a swing, a pack and play, toys, play things. She's a lucky kid! Everyone was so very generous - thank you to you all! Matt and I really appreciate it!

I have to say though, that I played the most interesting shower game to date on Saturday. We played 'guess the baby food flavor'. Oh my goodness, was it a riot! It was the first time many of us had ever tasted baby food - and now we all understand why babies spit up baby food instead of eating it. A couple of the flavors were quite nasty, and completely undescribable. I think we collectively agreed that the 'chicken noodle' and the 'vegetable stew' were the most horrendous. But it certainly got alot of laughs! I just enjoyed looking around at all of the taste-testers, and seeing everyone's face when they tried each flavor :) We really needed video for that!

So, thank you to all of you who joined us on Saturday, and for braving the crazy weather! And to those who couldn't make it - we missed you!

1. All the ladies at the shower
2. A sampling of our tadpole's gifts!
3. The yummy cake!
4. My cousin Laura and her new baby Emma, me, my sister Kristin and my niece Kaelyn. (why didn't someone tell me that this was the least attractive position for me to sit in!)
5. My niece Kaelyn and her daddy

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Bring on the Tastykakes!

Great news on Friday - I found out that I do not have gestational diabetes! Phew! So very happy - I was really worried about how I would handle things if I did. I know pregnant moms go through it all the time, but I'm just relieved that it's one less thing for me to worry about. The nurse said that my glucose test levels were low, and that there was no need for further testing. So I celebrated when I got home by eating two chocolate Tastykake cupcakes :)

Friday was also my Rhogam shot (since my blood type is A-), hence my trip to the doctor's office. I totally didn't know what to expect. So there I am, sitting in a chair in the nurses area, watching her prepare the shot, and expecting a shot in my upper arm or something. So the nurse looks at me strangely, and I look back like 'okay, I'm ready'. And then she realizes I have no idea. She calmly says, "Oh, honey - this shot is going to be in the butt. You'll have to stand up." What an idiot I am - but how would I have known!?!? I think that's the first time I've ever had a butt shot - and thankfully it wasn't bad at all.

So I was able to pop in to the doctor's office quickly on Friday morning since I was only seeing the nurse. My doctor's practice only schedules Friday morning appointments, and this is the day of the week typically reserved for appointments for newly pregnant couples. I got all excited and a little nostalgic when I walked into the waiting room and saw a couple there waiting for their appointment. They were so cute, and I remember when Matt and I were sitting in the same spot about 20 weeks ago - so nervous, and not knowing what to expect. It seems forever and a day ago. I so wanted to talk to them, and wish them luck, but I chickened out. What if they were there for another reason? Then I would have left the office with a shot in my butt, and a foot in my mouth. Oh well, I guess it wouldn't have been the first time...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Third trimester!!!

WOW! This weekend we began the 3rd trimester!!
On Saturday, I was officially 28 weeks (7 months) pregnant. We're coming down the home stretch, with 12 weeks left to go :) I'm not sure how I feel about it yet. It kind of makes me anxious knowing that there are still a million things to do to get ready for her to arrive. Where has the time gone?? And even though we're excited for our tadpole to arrive, I know that I'm still at the point of "let's keep her in there as long as possible" - both for her sake and mine. But the good thing is that, after 28 weeks, if she did decide to make her debut sooner than later, she's pretty well developed and ready to survive on her own (with a little assistance from the hospital). So, that makes me breathe a little easier. She still has a good bit of growing to do, so we'll just let her hang out in there as long as she wants :)
It seems as if this year is a baby boom for alot of my friends. Between March and December, 10 friends/coworkers of mine have been due/will be due with new babies! All along I've been thinking "We've got time, we're due way after so-and-so is due." But 4 have delivered, one is delivering tomorrow, and then there are 3 more to go before me (2 in Sept, 1 in Oct). At least we will have plenty of playmates for our tadpole!
Overall, it's been a pretty busy weekend for us. We had a wonderful lunch out with friends on Saturday, then took a shopping trip to Golf Galaxy for Matt, and to Babies R Us for me ;) Thankfully, we decided on a crib and dresser set, and will be ordering it this week! Phew - the baby will have a bed! We then spent the evening at home hanging out playing Wii bowling and tennis :) Today we went to church, bought the nursery paint at Lowes (it's Lavish Lavendar - I'm not making that up!) , and I went grocery shopping while Matt watched the NASCAR race. Oh, and we got snowballs too somewhere in the midst of it all :) A lime snowball on a hot day - perfect! And the tadpole agreed :) After dinner tonight, we had thought about doing a bit of priming/painting in the nursery, but I think chilling on the couch and an early bed time sounds like a better option :)
So, I tried playing a fun game with the tadpole this week that completely cracked me up! Mind you - it doesn't take much. Anyway, we played hide-and-seek, which means I was laying in bed and gently poking around my belly trying to feel her. I'm pretty sure I felt her head, and maybe an arm or leg or foot. And it was kind of cool, knowing that I was 'touching' our baby, with only an inch of skin between us. But as I poked (gently, that is), she started moving more, swirled around a bit, gave me some light pokes back here and there - it cracked me up. All of a sudden though I must have pushed her too far and one poke totally put her over the edge - she gave me her hardest kick yet! Okay - I get it - game over. It still cracked me up - she's a fiesty one! But I guess I would have done the same if someone was tormenting me :)
And I have a new picture to post! My belly has definitely grown in the past 5 weeks, though my pop-up timer (a.k.a. my belly button) still hasn't gone off yet :) I have started to notice though in the past week that I don't have a good sense of belly-awareness anymore. Sneaking through tight spots, and reaching across the grocery cart (things that were definitely possible before) are not quite as possible now. At least I haven't started the waddle yet... we'll give that another month or so :)

1. 28 weeks! (btw - thanks Laura (or Mary or Kristin) for the blouse - I love it!)
2. The view from up here - the toes are barely peaking out!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

27 weeks and counting...

Happy 27 weeks to our tadpole!

I got an update from one of my weekly pregnancy emails about how our tadpole is growing right now, so I thought that I'd share with you! Her length is about 14-15 inches from head to toe, and she weighs 2-2.5 pounds. Her eyes are opening and closing, she is turning her head and practicing "looking" movements, and she's able to dream while sleeping. She is very active (no kidding!!!!),her lungs are also almost fully developed, and the convolutions and wrinkles on the surface of her brain are starting to appear. And in terms of food - our tadpole is the size of an eggplant!

I'm always finding this thing called pregnancy a fascinating thing - our baby is growing, and doing it all by itself! All I am is a modified oven for it to bake in! But after reading about what's happening now, what fascinates me most is that our baby is able to dream. What do you suppose she's dreaming about? When I think about my dreams, usually they're about things that are common in my life, or that I've heard about, or experienced. But what has our baby experienced yet? What could she know? Is she having a happy dream about that awesome taste she experienced last week and can't wait for mom to eat it again? Is my voice resonating in her dream as something kind and soothing? Or is she having a nightmare about those crazy stomach noises that are so loud inside? I don't know. But seriously, it's pretty fascinating to wonder what a baby could be dreaming about!

As for other things - Matt has been under the weather with some sort of flu thing for the past 2 days, so I've been steering clear of him lately, which has been tough. On my end, I have a huge deadline at work next week, so science and numbers have been hurting my brain and keeping me very busy at work. But other than that, things are okay. Just busy with normal life things, and also getting ready for baby. Accomplishment of the weekend was that we installed the nursery ceiling fan, and Matt primed half of the walls. We're recruiting anyone who wants the fun job of trimming out the cathedral ceilings :) Okay - don't all volunteer at once :) I hear the faint sound of crickets chirping...

Monday, August 3, 2009

Beach belly and more...

Wow - I've been rather delinquent with this blog! Over two weeks, and no post! I really apologize to you all...

Just after my last post, Matt and I headed out for our first trip to the beach this summer. We typically go a couple of weekends in the summer and stay at Matt's parents condo in Ocean City, Md. I was really excited to go, and we left around noon on Friday. Of course the beach did not disappoint! We had beautiful weather, and both Saturday and Sunday, I just sat on the beach in my beach chair, enjoying the day, the relaxation, catching up on my journal, and also perusing a baby name book, and nursery decorating idea book :) This pretty much represents a normal beach day for me - except the reading was a little out of the ordinary (in a good way!), and also the fact that I looked not-my-normal-self in a bathing suit :) Luckily, my belly wasn't so big that my tankini from last year didn't fit, but there were a couple of times where I looked down and hadn't realized that the tank had ridden up and there was my belly saying hi to the world :) What a sight. But I have to admit, even after people-watching and seeing skinny girls and ladies in their bikinis, I was pretty proud to be standing right there along with them down at the water, with my prego belly in my bathing suit :) So all in all, our trip to the beach was fun - and I'm looking forward to going again soon, just not sure when. I love the beach - it really is my favorite place.

Other things... I had my 25 week doc appt last week. All is good - I'm measuring well, my weight is good, and the baby's heartbeat is still a strong 156 bpm. I did get all of my paperwork this time to go to the lab for bloodwork in the next couple of weeks. At week 28, I have to go and have an antibody screen and my glucose test. And then, since I have A- blood type, I'll be getting the first of my two Rhogam shots that week too. Phew - that's a lot of needle sticks for someone who's not fond of needles! Overall though - I'm just praying that my glucose test goes well. I can't even begin to think about how to handle gestational diabetes. I say this as I finish eating a piece of chocolate birthday cake with butter cream frosting :) Need I say more.

And yes - I had a birthday since I last posted :) I turned 35 on the 26th, and can now sadly say that I'm closer to 40 than to 30. Oh my. But I still feel pretty young, and that's what matters, right?

Nursery update - the room is cleared! What was once a guest room is now empty and ready for some much needed TLC. We decided to paint the room a soft lavender color, and we're going to try to do white wainscoating on the bottom half of the wall with a white chair rail. In both mine and Matt's head, the room is beautiful - let's just hope that we can bring the ideas in our head into reality! I can't wait to see how it turns out.

Last weekend, we rewarded our housework efforts with a really nice date night. We went to go see the new Harry Potter movie at the IMAX in White Marsh, and then went to dinner at PF Changs. The movie was awesome! We're huge Harry Potter fans, and it was the best movie so far. But rest assured - even though I pitched the idea to Matt earlier on, we won't be naming our daughter Hermione (one of the main characters - pronounced Her-my-o-nee for those that haven't seen the movies). It's such a cool name though - but really - she'd probably be teased mercilessly for having such dorks for parents. So anyway - movie and then dinner at PF Chang's. If you've never been, you have to go. Great chinese food! And I ate a ton. I don't know what happened, but something clicked in me as of Friday, and I have been really hungry all the time. I worked at home on Friday, and couldn't stop eating. I even snacked on raw carrots - and that is so NOT a normal snack for me! But, yes, I feasted at Chang's but managed to control myself a bit and bring leftovers home. Still, after appetizers, soup, entree and dessert - I felt a little out of control!

Well, it's getting a bit late, and I must be heading off to bed. I don't have any new pictures this time, but I hope to have some next time :) I'll spare you any shots of me in a bathing suit :) But I hope to be a little more prompt in my posting next time - for those of you following this - hold me to it!!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Amazing, but a little freaky...

Sorry to be so long in posting – I’ll try to catch you up on some significant happenings this week…

First off – we reached 23 weeks last Saturday, and I can’t believe we’ll be at 24 weeks tomorrow! That’s 6 months!!! Oh my – the time is flying. As of 19 weeks, I started to feel the first bits of movement from our tadpole, and in typical tadpole fashion, they were light little pokes. Well, the tadpole is quickly growing in to a frog :) Those pokes have become A LOT more frequent, a lot more forceful, and I feel her moving all the time. Don’t get me wrong – it’s so cool to know she’s there, and to feel her moving. It’s an amazing experience. But here I was yesterday in a conference with my boss, trying to keep a straight face as an elbow/knee/foot/hand, kept giving me the jabs. There’s a pretty elaborate gymnastics floor or bar routine going on in there! Even last night, I woke up at 2 in the morning, and then couldn’t get back to sleep from all the movement. I guess she hasn’t figured out when bed time is ;)

But the ‘amazing yet freaky’ thing happened this weekend – I SAW her move! I was lying on the couch watching the Harry Potter marathon last Sat night, and out of the corner of my eye, caught the tassle-tie on my shorts move. At first I was like “What the heck?!?”, and then it happened again. For 45 minutes, I just sat there and watched my belly get poked from the inside – left, right, bottom, all over. It was amazing, but I also kept thinking of the 1980s “Alien” movies where the alien bursts out of people’s stomachs. I just can’t believe she’s big enough to make herself known like that! Ever since then I’ve been catching the view from above – watching those arms and legs move around in all kinds of different places. Definitely my amazing pregnancy thing of the week….

Oh, and the Wii Fit update of the week – all totaled I’ve gained 11 pounds! And of course, the sad chime told me again that I was overweight :)

One of our fun things of the week was that last Sunday, Matt and I were invited to a minor league baseball game/crab feast with his work group out at Ripken Stadium. We were excited to go – first since we’ve never been to an IronBirds game at the stadium, but also because it was one of the first times we’ve been back to the stadium since our wedding (we had our reception there). It was really cool to be back – I’ll admit that the place is pretty nostalgic for us. And it was cool to watch a game being played, and realize that in our tuxedo and wedding dress, we got to run around the bases once before too :) It was a fun afternoon, hanging out with friends, eating crabs and watching baseball. A good Maryland kind of day :)

Anyways… must be running off. But I’ll leave you our most recent belly pic and a pic of us at the stadium last weekend. Definitely different than our last photos there ;)

1. 23 weeks #1
2. 23 weeks #2
3. The view from up here... can still see the toes :)
4. Kim and Matt at Ripken Stadium

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Parental realization #357...

... our pre-teen/teenage daughter will not be allowed to hang out with her friends at the mall on a Friday night.

Matt and I came to this realization this past Friday night as we walked through White Marsh Mall. We often head to the mall on Friday nights just to walk around or window shop (and take a peek at the dogs at the pet store) before we go out to dinner. And everytime we go, we feel noticeably old since 80% of the mall's population on Friday nights are teenage girls and boys just 'hanging out'. Groups of girls surreptitiously following groups of boys around, boys 'pretending' not to notice, but definitely noticing, and following the girls around too. In some ways, it's comical. Of course, Matt and I were teenagers once before too, and either hung out at the mall, or in the Hardees parking lot, or downtown Annapolis checking out the midshipmen (that's Kim looking at the midshipmen, not Matt). And we thought we were cool once too.

But now that we're married and young 30-somethings, we have officially turned into our parents. The boys at the mall have their hair too long, pants lower than their butts, or those new slim fit boys jeans (that look like they're meant for girls) and those crazy ear piercings that put button size holes in their lobes. And the girls are wearing too tight clothes, that show too much cleavage, and too short skirts with too much makeup. And their language is a bit appalling. It's not like we never noticed this before - but last night, it hit us a little too hard. One of those teenage girls could be our teenage girl in 13 years.

So, when one of the girl cliques passed us, we both looked at each other, and were thinking the same exact thing... our daughter will not be going to the mall unsupervised on a Friday night with her friends. And she won't date until she's 30. Matt and I are going to be thought of as the worst and most unfair parents in the world :) But Matt did bring up a good point - in 13 years, maybe online shopping will have become so popular that malls won't exist anymore, and then our problem is solved. But I'm sure there will be another hang out spot to worry about....

Saturday, July 4, 2009

22 weeks - oh my goodness!

Happy July 4th! And happy 22 weeks to our tadpole!

So what's been happening in the last week or so? Well, for one thing, our little girl is moving a lot more these days. She has her more active times, around 10:30am, between 4 and 6pm, and then later at night after 10 (if I'm still awake to feel her!). She's pretty predictable - kind of strange. But the pokes are starting to get a little more forceful. Can't wait until we can feel her on the outside, and then Matt can feel her too. According to one website, our tadpole is weighing just under a pound now and is about eight inches from crown to rump. Though her eyes are still closed, she can perceive light and dark, and amazingly, she can hear my voice, heartbeat, and gurgling stomach. With the way I talk to myself endlessly, and my crazy stomach noises, it must be loud in there!

I'm getting bigger too - I wore my first maternity clothes this week. I finally got tired of holding my regular pants together with rubberbands and safety pins. And... oh my! Are these clothes comfortable! Bring on the elastic waist band! With a growing belly though, my back has started to feel more achy too. I don't know what I'm going to do in a few months when I'm really big! Do they make super-sized back supporters like the guys at Home Depot used to wear?

Had my latest doctors appointment last Tuesday, and everything seems to be going well. It was the first time the doc measured my belly, and it seems to be growing right on track. The baby's heartbeat was still strong at 155bpm, and I'm slowly gaining weight. At the doctor's, I've gained 6 lbs, and by my Wii Fit this morning (my weekly Saturday weigh-in) I've gained 8 lbs. Using the Wii Fit is actually funny - obviously it's a game to get you active and LOSE weight. But the balance board is used as a scale too (and I don't own a real scale). Pre-pregnancy, when it measured my weight and BMI, the little scale bar raised, made a cute chiming noise, and said "Great, that's normal!". Lately, the little bar raises, the game makes a sad chiming noise, and says "Oh, that's overweight!" Then it tries to tell me, since I'm 'overweight' that I should set a goal for a lower BMI. I then throw it for a loop and set my goal to be 2 lbs HEAVIER in the next 2 weeks (a healthy pregnancy weight gain). This game has no idea WHAT is going on! I'm waiting for what it might say when I'm 9 months pregnant and have gained 25 lbs ... something like "Hold up big Fatty Fatterson! You've completely let yourself go - I'm giving up!"

On a final note... now that we know our tadpole is a baby GIRL, our nursery ideas have really been flowing lately. We got some cool ideas for fun wall decals online, and then last night we went to Lowes to buy our tadpole a ceiling fan (nothing says "I love you" like a ceiling fan!), and took a look at some nursery decal/peel-able wallpaper books, and paint samples. We had so much fun! We got some cute ideas, and about 25 paint samples (I'm not kidding!). We're still not sure if we're going to go with a theme or not, but we're narrowing things down. This is such a fun part of getting ready for baby girl!

I must check out for now... gotta get ready for our day. We're going to Matt's cousin's annual 4th of July party at her house on the water in Middle River. We've been going for 5 years now, and it's just a fun time. There's nearly 150 people or more hanging out on her front lawn, relaxing, playing volleyball/horseshoes, and eating pit beef and awesome food to your hearts content. My kind of day :)

Welcome Baby Emma!

Matt and I wanted to send our congratulations to my cousin Laura and her husband Wes on the arrival of their first baby - Emma Kathryn Odom! Emma is the latest girl to be added to the Miller clan, and she is definitely a cutie, as all the others have been too. She arrived Saturday June 27. I went to visit Laura (and Wes and Emma) at the hospital last Sunday, and everyone is doing great - and healthy!

So I got to thinking this week... my niece Kaelyn (who is already 6 months old! Yay Kaelyn!), Emma, and our little tadpole, are all going to be less than a year apart in age. It will be neat to see them grow up together, and I can totally see the 3 of them hanging out at family functions, and playing Barbies for hours on end like Kristin, Laura and I used to do. Laura and Wes live about 5 minutes away from Matt and I too, so our little girls will definitely have to plan some play-dates!

Congratulations Laura and Wes!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Barbies or GI Joe???

Our 20-week ultrasound was on Monday, and our tadpole was cooperative.... Are you ready?????

Our tadpole is a GIRL !!!!!

Yes indeed, we are being blessed with a little girl! I can't believe it - it's still crazy to actually be calling our tadpole a "she" after weeks of using "it" or "he/she". Both Matt and I are very happy, and it's making us think of so many different things now. Before, we would try to think about how our baby would be, what kind of personality it would have, what sports it might like, and we could only think of neutral things. But now, knowing it's a girl, it's all more specific - will she be a tomboy or a princess? Will she enjoy watching football with her dad? Will she like doing creative projects with her mom? Will she want to play soccer or softball or prefer gymnastics or dance instead? All kinds of things to wonder about. But it will all come in time - and she can choose to do whatever she wants!

The funny thing is that all this time, I was so sure that we were having a boy. So my little stinker is already throwing me for a loop :) I'd better get ready for a lot more of that!

Oh, and our apologies to the Hatfields and Millers - it looks like Landen and Robert will have to be the lone boys on either side of the family for a little bit. It will now be 4 girls to 1 boy for the Hatfields, and 6 girls to 1 boy for the Millers. Craziness! Definitely more Barbies and playing dress-up than super-heroes and GI Joe!

But what's more important than the question of boy or girl is that our ultrasound looks good so far, and we think that she's a healthy little one! We have a heart that's pumping well (we saw all 4 chambers of the heart! I still can't get over that!), a beautiful spine (you could see every vertebra so clearly!), two arms, two legs, feet, toes, hands, stomach, kidneys - you name it, we saw it! It was truly amazing. We'll find out more details on how healthy she is when we talk to our doctor on Tuesday, but we haven't gotten any phone calls yet that say otherwise. So, so far, so good. As for whether or not she has 2 well-developed hips (a concern of Matt's and mine considering Matt was born with hip displasia), we won't know anything until she's born. The ultrasound tech (who is actually a good friend of mine!) told us that at this stage, all of the baby's bones are not really connected well and haven't completely calcified or fused, so there's no way we could look for hip development. We'll just have to pray for the best!

We definitely have an active baby though. The whole time during the scan, she was moving all over the place, and the tech couldn't get her to stay still for some measurements. Then she'd get stubborn and stay still, but at a bad angle to see what we needed to see. Then she'd start moving and shaking again. I think we might have another gymnast on our hands!

I don't think that we'll have any more ultrasounds, unless something unexpected comes up, so that was the last time we get to see her until November. A little bittersweet, but I'm content though with the frequent kicks that she's giving me -it's such a good feeling just to know that she's there!

1. Face profile - looking up
2. Right arm w/ a fist :)
3. Spine (head on right facing down & back; she's kind of curled upside down)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

We've got movement!

It turns out that baby Hatfield really WAS making his/her presence known last Saturday! Starting around last Wednesday, the gentle pokes have steadily increased in frequency, and are happening at all times of the day. Our tadpole is already a mover and a shaker! I have to admit it's a little bit of a strange feeling, but also so wonderful ;) It's like he/she is saying "Here I am mom!", but not to the point yet of "Get me outta here!". I haven't really been able to feel them from the outside, so I don't think that Matt can feel them yet. But they seem to stop every time I put my hand on my belly to feel. I just get the biggest kick out of it when they do happen...

Big news of the day - we are at the 20 week mark!! Halfway!!! Oh my goodness - as soon as I say that I get stressed. Let's keep thinking that November is far away....

While we were out today, Matt and I took our first trip to the baby section at Toys R Us! Babies R Us was a little far to go (and we didn't want to completely overwhelm ourselves just yet), so we took a look-see at the small selection at Toys R Us. We got some ideas as to what's out there, but mostly were just looking. I did notice Matt looking longingly at the race car bed... we'll have to wait a couple years for that :) Next time we go will be at the super-store, but we have to be armed and ready with a list, recommendations, and some specific ideas. Babies R Us scares me on a normal day... how am I ever going to decide which 1 of the 14 pack-and-plays to purchase?

I started looking online today for some nursery ideas too. Right now I'm thinking of a neutral pallet, with green or yellow walls, and then accesorizing with bedding/wall art/decor for a boy or girl. That way we could use the same room for baby #2 without too much extra work. But I did see a cool idea with a light blue-grey that would work with pink, blue, green or yellow accessories. Mostly, I just want a calm room - not too pastell-y, and not too frilly (I'm so NOT a frilly person!). But we'll see. I think it will also depend alot on once we definitely know if we're having a boy or girl - then we can add some personality :)

Looking forward to Monday - it's our big 20-week ultrasound!!! Can't wait to see our healthy tadpole moving and shaking on the screen :) My friend Brandy is an ultrasound tech and is doing the scan for us. I can't wait! We'll fill you in on the details soon enough :)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Happy Week 19 !!

As of yesterday (Saturday), we are at 19 weeks!! One more week until we're at the halfway point... I can't believe it! So far, everything is still going well - I'm still feeling good, and Matt and I have started thinking and talking more and more about what we need to do to get ready for our tadpole. November is going to come quickly! Actually, we both got a rude awakening last week when we had our friends visiting with their toddlers...not that the kids were difficult (they were angels and so much fun!), but that our house is FAR from being baby friendly. Free-standing wine rack with full bottles of wine in the family room (too bad I can't help to fix the problem by drinking them!), decorative glass vase on the fireplace hearth that is perfect for tipping over, glass top kitchen table, and head-height coffee tables with pointy corners that are just welcoming the toppling toddler learning how to walk. Matt has concluded that we just need to cover our house in bubble wrap, and that should do the trick. I guess that's another life change in getting ready for kids - not worrying about broken things, and realizing that your beautiful coffee tables will ultimately have a gazillion scratches and teeth marks on them.

Another pregnancy update - I'm showing! I think my belly looks huge when I look in the mirror, but then I see ladies at 9 months pregnant, and I'm pretty small still. This past Friday, I made my first maternity clothes purchase. It wasn't the best shopping experience - my local Target had slim pickins when I really needed a black skirt at the last minute, but I did find one. I can't tell you how comfortable I was the whole day wearing something that did not have a defined waistline! I can still wear my regular pants at this point - but mostly with alot of help from rubber bands and safety pins :)

Another baby milestone - I think I felt a baby kick! After dinner on Saturday night, I felt a couple small inside pokes. It was very gentle, and I haven't felt much since then, so I hope it's what I thought it was. But I like to think that the tadpole was trying to tell me that he/she really liked the cheeseburgers and onion rings that we made for dinner :) We'll see if we get any more pokes this week. I'm really excited that I might actually be feeling the baby move!

I must be going - I already dozed a bit watching Mythbusters earlier tonight, and I swore that I was going to bed early. I'm quite tired after our busy 'house' day this afternoon - Matt and I wall-mounted our bedroom TV, and then tackled our beast of a walk-in closet. The good thing is that the closet is clean, and Goodwill is going to be very thankful with all of the clothes we are donating. Matt still thought I could have parted with a few more pairs of shoes... but men just don't understand anything about a woman and her shoes :) I WILL leave you though with our first belly picture for the blog! Here's my before shot (technically at 12 weeks, but I hadn't grown a bit - the tiny bulge is my pants buckle), and today's picture at 19 weeks. I think my shirt is making me look bigger than I really look, but what can you do? And I'm not looking wonderfully photogenic either...

Before........... and at 19 weeks

A sad start to last week...

I shouldn't wait so long to update this blog (I get longwinded under normal circumstances), but it's been a pretty hectic week for us. While alot of great things happened in the past week or so - some not so good things happened too. Sadly, Matt's uncle passed away last week after battling cancer. You'd have thought last October that he had at least 20 more good years ahead of him - he was so active and so full of life - but cancer is an evil and unfair disease. He was a good man, good husband and good friend to everyone – those he’d known for years, and those he had just met the day before. We'll miss you Uncle Jack...

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Girl or boy???

We thought it would be fun to take an unofficial poll to see whether all of you thought baby Hatfield would be a girl or a boy! Check out the right sidebar of the blog, and plug in your answer to get in on the fun. No prizes - just personal pride for knowing you were a really good guesser :) We plan to find out at our ultrasound in 2 weeks - June 22 - that is if the tadpole cooperates!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

One of the best days ever...

Last Wednesday, we had our 17-18 week doctor's appointment. At this point, I pretty much live for each doctor appointment, which sounds strange, but I kind of feel like it's the only way that I really know that there's a baby in there! I've been weighing myself weekly, and according to my Wii Fit, I haven't gained anything since March (I know - not the most accurate scale around!). Also, I haven't felt any kicks at all. And even though my pants can't always be buttoned and I'm just starting to show a tiny bit - you could easily blame that on bloating or chocolate milkshakes :) So, when you go to the doctor, hear a heartbeat, and can confirm that it's not the milkshakes making you fill out a bit, it's a good thing!

Matt was able to come with me this time, and I could tell he was a bit nervous overall. But what man wouldn't be at the ob/gyn? I was just excited because he would finally get a chance to hear the tadpole's heartbeat. Turns out I've gained 4 lbs overall (didn't think I'd ever be excited about GAINING weight), so that made me feel good. And then after a few questions, it was time to take a listen. A few waves of the doppler wand, and there it was, a beautiful strong heartbeat! 153-157 bpm. I looked at Matt, and his face was priceless - he just lit up like I've never seen before, and he was just amazed. We really just wanted to keep hearing it, but the appt has to end at some point :) So, the doc stopped, and then looked at us and said "You know, we have a couple extra minutes - let's take a quick peak". I was like "WHAT?!?!? - of course!!". We were not expecting to SEE the tadpole, so it was a very good surprise! And the last look we had at 6 weeks, it was just a kidney bean, so we were excited. When the image of our tadpole came up on the screen, I completely teared up. Matt was speechless. Everything was so clear - there was a baby in there! We saw its face, spine, arms, hands, legs - and it was moving around too! At one point, he/she lifted its arms and gave us a two handed wave (like when they do the wave at baseball games). It was awesome! Our doc said we could know the sex if we wanted, but I wasn't quite ready yet - we'll wait just a little longer 'til our big ultrasound in 2 weeks. But I can't even put into words how wonderful and exciting and just miraculous it was to see our baby, looking like a little human, growing and moving inside of me. And to think that this beautiful life comes to be from the most basic of beginnings, and just becomes such a complex and perfect living thing all on its own... okay, I know I'm getting all science geek and philosophical, but I can't help it, that's me. In short, I fell in love all over again.

So overall - it was the most wonderful day, and the most beautiful thing that I have ever seen. I don't think I'll ever forget it. I just can't wait until next time - 2 weeks and counting...

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Our new adventure...

For those of you who don't know our history, Matt and I met in 2004 and were married in April 2007. After almost 2 years of being 'just us', we are now in the throws of preparing for 'just us - plus one'. Yep - we're pregnant!

Right now we are 17 weeks along (4 months and change) and due on November 7th, 2009. We are so very excited, but also so very nervous too, since we know from many of our friends - this is going to completely change our lives forever, but in a good way :) So alot of this blog will be baby stuff, and updates on how we're getting ready for the big day so we can keep all of our friends and family near and far in on all of the fun!

So our new adventure in pre-parenthood has begun! Maybe we'll start with answering some of the most common FAQs...

1. What were your first words when finding out that you were pregnant? "Oh my goodness!" and "WOW!" (with big smiles on both of our faces...)

2. Do you want to know if you're having a boy or girl? Yes

3. Do you know yet if you're having a boy or girl? No, but Mommy has a feeling...

4. How is Kim feeling? I'm feeling great! I thankfully avoided morning sickness, so besides the initial bouts of exhaustion and early morning dizziness during the first trimester, I feel pretty normal. We'll see what happens in the next few weeks though...

5. Is Kim showing yet? A little bit :) I'll be posting pictures as we go along - don't worry!

6. Have you felt the baby move yet? I don't think so, but I can't wait! Of course I'll be thinking differently in a couple of months when it's playing soccer with my ribcage.

7. Do you have a pet-name for your baby-to-be? We lovingly refer to our baby-to-be as our "tadpole". Even though it doesn't look like a tadpole anymore, the name has just stuck. Besides - it's cute!

8. Do you have any names picked out? Not yet, but you won't find out anyway until the tadpole arrives :)

9. So, the baby is due right in the middle of Ravens football season and Matt has season tickets - what will he do if Kim goes into labor on game day? Checked the schedule already ;) The Ravens are in Cincinnati playing the Bengals the weekend of Nov 8th, so we're good so far. Now if the tadpole arrives a week early, I have a feeling there will be a last minute ticket available :)

10. Are you sure you aren't having twins? Yes!

So, we're on our way! We've had three doctors appointments already - 9 weeks, 12 weeks, and today at 17 weeks. I'll save the update of today's appt for another post. We've had one ultrasound, but that was at 6 weeks, so he/she didn't look like anything but a small kidney bean. We'll have our big ultrasound sometime in the next 2 weeks though. But so far, I'm healthy, the baby is healthy, we've heard a strong heartbeat, and everything is looking good! I still can't believe that this is happening though. It's just amazing. But we have so much to do to get ready! I keep thinking that November is so far away, but June has crept up and bit me in the butt, so we'd better get ourselves in gear. We're almost halfway, and the only thing we've done is figure out which room will be the baby's room - nothing else! We have a long way to go....

Welcome to our blog!

Hi everyone!
Welcome to our very first attempt at blogging. Since there are some pretty exciting things happening in our life right now, we thought that we'd set up this site so that we can keep all of you (near and far) in touch with what's going on! Just bear with me on my new high-tech adventure... Matt is 10 times more tech savvy than I am, so this is a big deal for me :) For those who know me well, you can believe that it was taking me forever to try and think of a creative (but not corny) name for this blog. As you can see from the title I settled on, it's a work in progress... :)

Love, Kim and Matt