Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A letter to my baby boy....

Dear Hunter:

I am enjoying every moment I get to carry you in my belly, little man. I am loving every single motion from within that you make. I've taken to calling you my little "Ninja" and Daddy has already started talking about signing you up for Karate, when you are old enough. (Maybe we're jumping the gun a bit, we should probably wait till you can at least walk before discussing this?). I have gone from feeling just your punches and jabs, to now enjoying your kicks as well. You are so active! It makes me wonder if you'll be sporty or athletic as you get older, like your Dad? Or maybe you will take after Mommy's creative side, and be colorful and imaginative and spin stories from your fingertips?

We are just so excited by every little thing about you. I found out you now have eyebrows and I don't know why, but this tickles me! You rock out in my belly now when we put on Staind and this makes me giggle, each and every time. I can't stop putting my hand on my tummy now, hoping to feel your movements on the outside. You are getting stronger and stronger every day so while the outside feelings are few and far between, I know it's only a matter of time. You kicked so hard yesterday that I was convinced the kitty, Molly--who was cuddled up tight against me--could feel you, but she never even flinched. Or maybe she is just as comforted by your movements as I am!

I sing to you sometimes while driving in the car, and I randomly tear up and feel the need to tell you often how much I love you. I know you can hear me and even if you don't understand my words yet, I know you can feel my love radiating inward, like warm sunlight. It's pretty powerful and overwhelms me!

I was thinking the other day about your hair color. I wonder if you'll be a blond baby with big curls, like your Daddy was as a child...or will you be bald with a few scarce patches of dark brown hair, like Mommy? I am so excited to find out! I'm so eager to see your face, to run my finger tip across your cheek. You'll have to forgive Mommy, becuz I am crying again, but don't worry--they are only happy tears! I've started telling anyone that will listen the new location of my heart...it is nestled warm and snug in my belly. It's you.

I love you so much, baby boy. Daddy and I can't wait to meet you in early August!!

I love you to infinity and beyond,

I love you, I love you, I love you!

Monday, March 30, 2009

21 weeks: Our baby Hunter
Your Baby This Coming Week

Your baby measures about 7.6 inches (19cm) from crown to rump and weighs about 12.25 ounces (350g).

Eyebrows have developed. (No wonder I was so tired this week...I was making eyebrows, people! LOL)

His digestive system now functions in a rudimentary manner. Undigested amniotic fluid passes into his bowel which he will eventually excrete after birth. Your baby can suck and swallow and may even suck his thumb.

Your baby's senses are developing, especially his sense of touch. He can feel his face and stroke his arms and legs.

And Daryl and I had a good, busy weekend. Friday night his father blew us off for dinner (totally expected) which was a blessing becuz I was exhausted, hadn't cleaned the house NOR did I feel like cooking. So we vegged out in front of the boob-tube, ordered in some Chinese (which I could barely eat...I get so full so quickly now!) and went to bed relatively early.

Saturday morning bright and early we were out and got coffee. It was gorgeous out! Timber had his scheduled walk in busy West Hartford center with Daryl and the trainer supervising. The puppy did AWESOME. I almost think that he realizes now, when his little red vest is on, that he is working! There were tons of stimulus (stimuli?) all around him: racing fire trucks, loud cars, exhaust, millions of people jogging the sidewalk beside us, dogs walking and barking, children rolling by in baby strollers...he sorta glanced and took it all in but otherwise remained very focus on Daryl who was directing him where to go. I was so proud! I brought the camera but in my intense focus on my need for a public restroom, and the stomach cramp in my low belly from walking (something I haven't done in QUITE some time), I completely forgot to take any photos (except for when we first arrived and saw one of Timber's littermates, his sister, finishing her walk, and then a couple silly ones in the car. Isn't he a big boy now?). Afterwards I spent some good quality time outside in our backyard with all three dogs, I sat at the picnic table just trying ot soak up some much-needed Vitamin D. The weather was just beautiful!

That night we had a 30th surprise party to go to and then Sunday we had Daryl's cousin's 5th birthday party. So, lot's of partying this weekend. After about three and a half hours on Sunday t the kids party, I was again, utterly beat, getting cranky and ready to go. We still had to do a quick grocery shopping afterwards and all I cold think about was getting home to the couch. The gloomy, rainy weather didn't help either.

And other than that, I'm feeling good. Still in great spirits, and not really uncomfortable yet. I am noticing the slight change in my belly that has taken place probably within the past week or so. It's gotten harder for sure in my upper belly, but I've also noticed that I can no longer easily reach over forward to shave my legs in the shower (I prop my leg up on the side of the tub when I shave). So now I sorta have to bend sideways to do it. It probably looks hilarious if anyone was watching!

I've also gotten hungrier (if that's possible?) so trying not to go overboard with what I'm eating has become a challenge. I do have more tired moments now than I did at the beginning of the second trimester, and I imagine that will only continue to get worse! Oh, and I can feel the baby moving ALL the time now. Usually I only felt him down low, but now I feel him (still only occasionally) up high as well (simultaneous upper and lower belly action? Awesome!), around my belly button. I wonder why that is--meaning, I wonder why I haven't felt his kicks as much as I feel his constant punches and elbows? Maybe his legs aren't as strong, yet, as his upper body yet?

*UPDATE* I typed this morning and OH MY GOD, it's like this little stinker is trying to prove me WRONG. I have been kicked ALL DAY up high, on the right side of my belly, a teeny ways below my breast. I think Hunter was mad at me for doubting his strength. ;-)

Friday, March 27, 2009

TGIF!! (holy dyslexia, Batman...when I first typed that it came out "TFIG". LOL)

I am so glad it's Friday. Work has been absolutely crazy this week! Not that I'll have any down-time this weekend, but, at least its not work, right? :-) Between birthday parties (one surprise 30th Saturday night, and one for a 4-year old cousin on Sunday) and Timber's big West Hartford "walk" on Saturday where the trainer judges how well he does on the busy sidewalks of West Hartford, and dinner with the in-laws possibly tonight, and then squeezing in oodles of laundry that needs to be done-- and major house-cleaning--it doesn't leave much time for me and Big D!

And I got word yesterday that the crib is in already! I was kind of
surprised becuz the woman previously told us it would take two weeks before it arrived, and here it is, less than a week later and in stock! Since we weren't planning on it so soon, I explained that we won't be picking it up till next Friday. Not only is that when I budgeted to pay the balance, but, Big D still has to prime and paint the room (he is just finishing up taping and mudding the drywall) and then we will have to clean up the utter mess of dust and debris that is in there right now!

So until all that happens, we aren't ready for the crib yet! Our house is too small and we have no other place to put the big box for it, so I figure it's better off in the warehouse for now.

Let's see, what else is going on? Other than the fact that I feel like my bladder is full non-stop and then I rush to the bathroom only to maybe squeeze out about a te
aspoon of urine? (my co-workers must LOVE me right now!) ? Well, for one thing the weather is supposed to be GORGEOUS today. In the low-sixties. I'd love to be outdoors taking advantage of it, but I guess my only chance for that will be my lunch hour today when I run to the bank. Good times.

Oh! And here's a little giggle for you guys on a Friday. I was talking with two friends/co-workers at work yesterday, B (a guy) and J (a girl). J was teasing me about how big my--ahem--chest area had become. So I shared with the two of them "Try toting around 40-E's now and see how YOU like it!" Well B laughed but J's face turned about eighteen shades of red and she gasped out, "Oh my God, 40-E's??? Do they make that size??" Then she proceeded to tell me how she went strapless bra shopping for a weddin
g she will be in this weekend, and she picked up a D-cup to look at in awe (she is a 36B) and thought to herself, "Wow, it looks like a hat!" So the thought of E's for her, was astronomical. She informed me I would probably need small dwarfs (or is it dwarves?) to help me carry my boobs around by the end of this pregnancy.

So, today, I get an email from B, titled merely "40-E". And inside, was this lovely picture.........

........wait for it........

......only my friends........

....Thanks, B, I'll cherish it forever! LOL (the blond(es) in the pic is J)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

As of Sunday, I hit the halfway mark...20 weeks!! Woo hoo!!

I still am in awe that I've been pregnant for 20 weeks (and 2 days! LOL) already. It blows my mind. And I feel Hunter moving around all the time now...the force of his punches and little elbows (and just recently, I think it was on Sunday, I felt my first kick right beneath my belly button!) has firmed up a bit but it's not uncomfortable or super strong yet. It brings a smile to my face whenever I feel him moving around inside of me and if it happens when I'm home, I always tell Daryl about it. He can't always feel him moving around yet--usually he'll catch light movement once in a while--but I know we're close to that point! Also, when we're driving in the truck and Daryl suddenly cranks up the tunes, little Hunter must get startled cuz I'll usually feel a sudden flurry of movement then. The first time I realized what had probably happened, I laughed and immediately turned the radio back down.

Oh! And the coolest! I actually SAW my belly move on Sunday when I was sitting on the couch watching tv. Hunter had started up his acrobatics so I looked down and actually caught the movement with my eyes. That was INSANELY cool.

Also on Monday I went to my regular OB to ask a couple more questions, to continue to ease my mind. She told me that yes, I do have "marginal" Placenta Previa but since we still have a while to go, it wasn't something they were concerned with. There is still time for the placenta to migrate upwards as it should. But she just confirmed that if it didn't , I would end up needing a C-Section.

*UPDATE* for Kat! I also asked the doctor about...SEX. I read online (and also remember from Amy's experience) that you should not have sex with Placenta Previa. She said becuz mine is "marginal" that some doctors would not say the "no sex" rule but to be conservative, that was her stance on it. And I'd MUCH rather be safe than sorry so NO SEX it is, until (or IF) things change.

She also said this is something they will be monitoring in the future. I'll end up having another ultrasound (I forgot to ask if she meant sooner or later) to check on the status of the placenta. So everyone, fingers crossed that my placenta gets its traveling papers and hits the road heading north for a looong vacation!!

20 weeks: Our baby Hunter

Your Baby This Coming Week

Your baby weighs about 10.5 ounces (300g) and measures about 7.2 inches (18cm) from crown to rump. He still moves about freely in amniotic fluid.

Your baby may respond to external sounds, such as the music you are listening to or your voice.

Your baby has developed some red blood cells already. The white blood cells that your baby needs to fight infections are being manufactured.

He is developing taste buds on his tongue.

His digestive system is sufficiently advanced to absorb water and sugar from the amniotic fluid that he swallows and pass it to his large bowel.

Your baby has lanugo hair on his forehead and upper lip and his eyebrows are thickening.

Vernix (the waxy substance that covers and protects your baby's skin) accumulates on your baby's eyebrows.

Your baby's eyes are still sealed shut.

Your baby continues to grow and develop and his kicking is getting stronger now.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Helloooooo, Belly!

When the heck did that happen??

Actually, Daryl joked that my belly practically "exploded overnight". I was standing in the baby's nursery, watching him work and chatting with him (kinda standing sideways to him), when all of a sudden he exclaimed, "Holy crap! Your belly got BIG! Go get me the camera!"

After he took the pics and showed me I think my reaction was, "Oh my God! You weren't kidding!" And to think, it only gets bigger!

Speaking of the nursery, Daryl is making fantastic progress in there! He's an animal! I keep telling him to take breaks or to stop for a while but he just keeps plugging along. He finished all the insulation AND put up (but didn't tape, etc.) almost all the sheet rock. It's slowly starting to look like a room again, and not bare bones.

And speaking of being productive, we also ordered the crib this weekend! What do you think?We also finally (I was being picky) chose the bedding to add to the registry. The colors stand out much better in person (I LOVE the combination of the chocolate brown, bright green and golden-tan color. It will look so good with the crib). I was anxious to do this so that we could pull a couple of paint chips from Lowe's to get an idea of what colors we'll be painting. I'm so excited!

As we start to tick things off the list, I feel so much better. I know we've got time, but really, it will start feeling like it's speeding by if we left all this to the last minute! We still have to order the dresser/changing table, but I figure we'll do that next month or so (so we don't go broke all in the same month. Ha!).

Oh and the best news of all? I'm halfway through the pregnancy! I hit 20 weeks on Sunday. Not that I'm trying to rush it, but there is something so satisfying about knowing the journey is half-complete!

Friday, March 20, 2009

**UPDATE on bottom of post.**

I need to learn how to relax.

The past few days have obviously been tough on me mentally (and even physically...the tummy aches? oh lord!) and it just reaffirms for me that I need to learn/practice ways to just unwind and relax my mind and body.

I think the hardest part of all of this, especially on Tuesday night, is that I was remembering how earlier in the week I happily and naively had thought to myself, "This is the safest and most protected my little baby boy will ever be! Tucked away snug as a bug inside of me, he's protected from the outside world. I don't need to worry so much!"

So of course, when there was the potential thought that my body--the place that was supposed to keep him the safest--was the danger to Hunter, I can't even begin to describe the emotion that welled in me.

It was beyond simple fear.

It was beyond anger.

It was such a total and incomprehensible feeling of helplessness. Here I am thinking I am doing all the right things, and then fate comes crashing down to tell me that it doesn't matter?

Thank God, for the false alarm. Thank God for the fabulous technology today that can show you so much detail and let you know when/if something really is (or isn't!) wrong.

But damn, that shit was scary. And while I think we--both myself and Big D--handled it well, I definitely do see that I need some stress-relief in my life!

I did buy a prenatal yoga DVD a couple of weeks ago. Where is it? Well, still sitting in the plastic wrap in my living room, of course. So this weekend I'm vowing to crack that baby open and give it a whirl. And now that the weather has been warming up (anything 50 degrees or above is warm!) I want to start walking on a regular basis. Both Big D and I can benefit from the exercise and the fresh air. I also chatted briefly with a coworker today and she offered to share some information with me about some tapes that she recommends...basically relaxation tapes (not necessarily meditation, but similar) specifically geared for pregnant women.

SO, that's where I stand right now! My next doctor's appointment is April 8th, I believe, and I plan on asking my doctor about my low-lying placenta. Obviously the Maternal/Fetal doctor told me it's nothing to worry about yet, becuz it's so early and the placenta "usually" migrates upwards as the pregnancy progresses, but I would like to know if this is something they monitor? Or if they just check it again much later in the pregnancy. I think the knowledge ahead of time will help me to just relax and chill out about it, and not stress.

**UPDATE** Since writing this post earlier in the day, I've been doing A LOT of thinking. I still do have questions that I want some more answers on (like for instance, what would make doctor #1 think--from the vaginal exam--that I was 50% effaced when doctor #2--during my Level II ultrasound--the next day said I wasn't?) and so I called my OB's office on my lunch break and voiced that I still had a little anxiety and unanswered questions and that I wasn't comfortable waiting till my next scheduled appointment on April 8th, so could I be seen sooner? They are getting me in for this Monday at 9:30am!! I'm feeling relieved that I won't have to wait long to ask my questions (in addition, I have questions about my low-lying placenta. Yes, they tell me it's not an issue yet, but I still need to know a tad more about it to feel comfortable). Phew!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wow, where to begin?

Well first and foremost...the news is great!!! I wanna get that out of the way and not make you sweat it till the end of the post.

I am SO THANKFUL for all of you and your well-wishes! I can't even formulate into words how helpful your advice and prayers (and emails and texts and offers of phone calls) have been to me. I just kept repeating to Daryl all night and morning, that I couldn't believe how genuinely sweet and caring that people can be !

So thank you, thank you, THANK YOU from the bottom of my (full and humbled) heart!

Last night was rough---I was so emotional and Daryl, sensing that, came right into bed with me to cuddle when I went in. I cried on and off with him and voiced my fears, for the umpteenth time, about losing this baby. I have never seen my husband so upset before and it really was a shock to me...so I felt like we took turns comforting each other and I'm so thankful and happy that we can be such a support and sounding board for each other during a difficult time.

My mom came over in the morning and got our spare key so that, if things went badly at the hospital and I ended up having to stay and have any procedure done, she could come to the house to let the dogs out and feed them dinner. Daryl brought Timber back to Fidelco and told them he needed them to keep them in their kennel for possibly a couple of days. I know it broke his heart. I was wide awake, yet exhausted, because I only slept literally two hours last night. I remember trying to watch tv yet feeling too distracted, getting up and going on the computer to kill time, peeing numerous times, feeling Hunter doing his nightly happy dance in my belly, feeling the dull ache in my low stomach (that had continued from yesterday afternoon), eating a snack (becuz I didn't end up eating dinner last night due to the stress belly ache I had), and rolling over in bed so many times to find Daryl staring at me or kissing me on the cheek prompting me to start crying again.

This was our night.

The appointment for my level 2 ultrasound today at UCONN was at one o'clock. I had a horrible stress stomach ache the whole ride there. Daryl just held my hand and reassured me that everything would be all right.

I should always listen my husband. :-)

The x-ray tech was a total DOLL of a woman who reassured us from the get-go! We watched breathlessly as she measured each bone in Hunter's arms/legs, his organs, and most importantly of all...his amniotic fluid. She also showed us the image of my cervix and said it looked "great" to her. She stressed that she is not a doctor, but everything was looking so good. I've never heard so many sighs of relief come out of Daryl, EVER. I looked at him a couple of times, his red-rimmed eyes, his tired face, and my heart squeezed--almost painfully--with love for this man.

The amniotic fluid measurements were in the fifty percent range which she said was "average". She did say that sometimes boys have a little bit more amniotic fluid, but that it was nothing to worry about. The Maternal/Fetal medicine doctor came in and went over everything the tech had gone through, just confirming. She repeated that my cervix looked fine to her. At this, Daryl got a little angry, and asked why the other doctor scared the crap out of us with his suspicions. The doctor explained that this was the reason we came to see them...that when a doctor has any doubts and concerns, they send their patients to see the specialist for confirmation. So despite the stress we were under all night and morning, I have to admit that I was THANKFUL the doctor from my office (it wasn't actually MY doctor but one of the few in the practice) DID feel the need to be "safe rather than sorry". I appreciate that! She also said that I did indeed have a low-lying placenta but that it was quite normal and as I get further along, it should move into a better position. Daryl asked her about my horrible, debilitating stomach pains yesterday and she said while she couldn't be certain, she suspected they were Braxton Hicks contractions. I don't know, but, I always thought the BH would come and go...and this pain had lasted for like an hour straight. So, who knows.

Hunter looked beautiful on the screen, measuring just as he should and falling into all the correct percentiles. We got a few pictures of him as well, that brought smiles to both of our faces.

So here is the famous "money shot" for all of you! I giggled and told Daryl he needs to MAKE SURE to teach his son to keep his pants on, cuz this kid definitely likes to flash his junk!

And now, the most recent ultrasound picture that I've fallen in love with...our adorable son's profile shot...he is so sweet!

Anyway, as soon as the appointment was over we excitedly made the most important calls to baby Hunter's nervous Grandma and Nana...both of whom were elated. Then I told Daryl that I was absolutely ravenous and that we NEEDED to go get some lunch. Comfort food to be exact. Then we picked up Timber from the Fidelco kennel (where he happily peed on my sneakered feet in greeting) and headed straight home. I passed out on the couch for an hour nap and now I'm so ready for bedtime. I am looking forward to sleeping tonight...really sleeping.

So again, sorry for the long and rambling post, but thank you all for your prayers, thoughts and well-wishes! Daryl, Hunter and I appreciate it and love you all!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Things are not good right now.

And I am a fucking mess.

I started having horrible, debilitating pains in my lower belly some time after lunch. It was probably around 2:30-2:4500pm. At first I tried to rationalize with myself that it was probably just Round Ligament Pains (like I mentioned in my last post). Until it started to get worse adn worse and I doubled over. I wondered to myself if it was just really bad gas pains, since I had eaten like two hours previous. I tried to walk off the pain, no luck. I tried to (sorry, TMI here) have a bowel movement, no dice.

I called my mother and my friend Crystal, both of which who told me to call the doctor. Thank God I listened. I called Daryl in tears and he said he was dropping his shit and gonna meet me at the doctor's office. I tried to laugh at myself the whole way saying I was over-reacting. A typical first time pregnancy.

The nurse had me undress from the waist down and I sat on the table, with the paper cloth over my lap, joking around with my Big D, before the doctor came in, about driving all the way there for just what was probably "gas pains" (Daryl admitted that he drove 80mph the whole way in the company van).

Well, unfortunately, it's not just simple gas pains or RLP. When the doctor did the internal examination, I could tell by his face that things were not right. He told me I was effaced and I froze at the familiar word and just managed to gasp out, "Well that's not good, right?"

He was quiet and said he wanted to do an ultrasound next. We saw baby Hunter on the screen and he looked great to me, heart beating away and the doctor said, "That's good he is active." But I could tell by his frown that something was not right. He helped me sit up and said, "I need to go over some scenarios with you and what we need to do." And at that, I think I deflated like a tightly squeezed balloon. My hands started shaking, my eyes teared up and I literally wiped my snotty nose on my hand, manners be damned. I was so sweaty from stress, my ass was literally sticking to the damn paper they put on the table. This wasn't just the doctor laughing with me that the first time preggo only had gas pains--this was serious.

I am 50% effaced, and I have (I think he called it) cervical incompetence. Essentially my cervix is weak. When he did the internal exam, he said my uterus and the amniotic sac were too easy to reach, way too low. My tears were falling freely by this point. Why wasn't he telling me I was fine? That I was having typical pregnancy pains? Why?

If it was just the incompetent cervix, he said they would do cervical cerclage (click on the words to read what WebMD describes it as). I think that's what it's called? Basically it's a stitch in my cervix to keep me from dilating, to prevent preterm labor. (usually this is not diagnosed until it is too late and the mother has m/c the baby so becuz I DID come in and we found it out, that was a good thing).

But, BUT, the other problem he saw during the u/s is that I have (I forgot technical term) too much amniotic fluid in the sac, this is abnormal, and it needs to be drained. The risk with performing the cerclage is that due to the location of my uterus, he runs the risk of puncturing the amniotic sac and thus causing a m/c. At this, I started to fall apart. My legs, leadened, started to shake. Daryl who was standing beside me, went from holding my hand to putting his whole arm around my shoulder and squeezing me.

Tomorrow I have to be admitted to the hospital, either UCONN or YALE, and be examined by some kind of Fetal Medicine doctor (forgive me for not remembering all the terms...mine and Daryl's brains are pure mush right now). They will have to perform an amnio and drain the fluid and from there, I'm not sure how we proceed.

We find out tomorrow. Tomorrow.

Daryl and I are in an utter state of shock. We've both cried a river within the past hour or two since finding out. If GOD willing this pregnancy can be salvaged, and our sweet little Hunter continues healthily on, I will need to be on bed rest for the rest of the pregnancy.

I am an emotional mess right now. My low belly continues to ache dully, and I can still feel Hunter moving about, kicking, punching, saying hello.

I can't think, I can't eat, I feel for my sweet husband, who has tried to be my rock, but I can't figure out how to console him when he cries like a child. When he consoles me I feel better. But I'm so afraid I'm not having that same reaction for him.

I don't know what to do!!! I don't know what to think.

Please, please, please send some healthy vibes and thoughts for me and our sweet little baby Hunter. The thought of losing him tears my heart into jagged, painful pieces.

We can't lose him!!
19 weeks: Our Baby Hunter

(I was actually 19 weeks exactly on Sunday...obviously I'm a little behind the times in posting this. I've been feeling pretty darn good lately other than my sleepiness after lunch in the afternoons lately, or my annoyances with people at work (wishing I could bitch-slap a couple people in particular who are giving 'tude).

And I LOVE feeling my little dude moving around more and more every day...I notice him the most after breakfast, late morning and after lunch. I was just sitting here enjoying his movements (bringing a smile to my face on an otherwise grouchy day) until some damn RLP decided to kick in and cause me some horribly uncomfortable pain instead. So I'll just crouch over into myself and hope no one notices the crazy lady sitting in a ball at her desk. Boo.

But other than that, I've been feeling awesome lately!!

Your Baby This Coming Week

Your baby weighs about 9 ounces (260g) and measures about 5.6 to 6.4 inches (14 to 16cm) from crown to rump.

Her skin is thickening and developing multiple layers- the epidermis and the dermis, the deeper layer where it will form fat. Your baby is now also developing a waxy protective coating for her skin called vernix caseosa. The vernix protects your baby's skin which is continuously submersed in amniotic fluid. Vernix, which is particularly thick around the eyebrows is held in place by tiny downy hairs called lanugo.

Your baby can now grip with her fists. Toenails and scalp hair are growing.

At this point, it may be possible to determine the baby's sex by ultrasound, if the baby cooperates, but the ultrasound technician will rarely guarantee the sex based on the ultrasound results as mistakes are sometimes made at an early ultrasound.

You can hear the baby's heartbeat with a Doppler ultrasound device or a stethoscope.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Daryl felt the baby move, for the first time!!!

So, I was right in my last post about thinking I was feeling baby Hunter doing his gymnastics in my belly. I continued to feel it on and off all week, mostly during work when I was sitting quietly either at my desk after lunch, or even out in my truck reading on my lunch break. While I still wasn't convinced it WAS the baby at that point, it was all confirmed last night!

Daryl and I went out and got Cold Stone Creamery (Oreo Overload...mmmmmm...) and after eating that, I laid down in bed, flat on my back and hands on my stomach, to watch television. Daryl came in to chat for a few minutes and without telling him about the action going on inside of me, I suddenly said to him, "Put your hand on my belly. Right here. I *think* I'm feeling Hunter on the outside, but I can't be certain." Daryl put his hand across my low belly and we quieted for a moment. Within seconds, I could feel the movement and Daryl's eyes widened.

"I feel that! He's moving all over! He moved from one side of my hand to the other!"

"I think the ice cream really woke up the baby!" I said with a silly smile on my face. I continued to lay still, smiling at the ceiling, feeling Daryl's warm hand on my belly as Hunter no doubt performed cart wheels and somersaults beneath his palm and my skin.

I can't explain the feeling that washed over me. It was beyond simple excitement...I was just so happy that Daryl could finally feel what I'd been feeling all week. I know he has been waiting so patiently for that moment. Not too soon after, no doubt having stage fright, Hunter quieted down. But the moment being so brief was worth the confirmation it provided us! (and of course after Daryl went back out to the living room to watch his own program, Hunter resumed his acrobatics in my belly. Little stinker!)

And speaking of Hunter, we did some serious work this weekend on the nursery! I say "we" but I really only made a brief appearance in the nursery (with mask on) and then after that it was off to the bedroom for me to clean out our closet. Daryl and I each had our own closets (his was in our room, and mine was in the spare room which will now be Hunter's) so I had the arduous task of slowly merging us into one closet. So the two of us worked for HOURS on our separate tasks (I also moved the bedroom around...don't worry, with Daryl's help, to make way for the extra dresser of mine that was also in that spare room).

And without further adieu, here are some pictures of Daryl's progress (starting from the work he did earlier in the week):

What a mess...paint over more paint, over wallpaper over MORE wallpaper=tear down sheet rock and start fresh!

It's a good sign...Daryl is STILL smiling...granted, this is only the beginning!

He unearthed old, thin, crappy insulation underneath, prompting him to replace the insulation with some that is thicker and better. Nothing but the best for little Hunter!

Keep at it, Big D! You're doing a great job!

Believe it or not, there IS hard wood floor underneath this mess!!!!

I made the mistake of trying to peek in, when Daryl had camera in hand. Damn him! LOLAnd THIS, ladies and gents, is MOLD that was growing underneath the walls (due to an a/c unit leak last year.) Thank GOODNESS we decided to tear the sheet rock down cuz otherwise we never would have known!!!

We have absolutely NO overhead lighting at all in this house--except for the kitchen. So my awesome, fabulous husband (who is NOT an electrician, mind you!) with a little over the phone help from an out of town friend/electrician, re-wired the entire room (which was NOT up to code, due to the house being built in the 1940's, when it wasn't required) AND put in an overhead light! AAAAAHHHHH...I swear I can hear a choir of angels singing right now!

And then Daryl was busily re-insulating the room. I can't wait till he starts sheet rocking so we will have WALLS! More to come as it gets done, I promise...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Well, it has begun.

Big D has begun working on the nursery!

It is going to be a long and painful process though. First and foremost, he wanted to take down wallpaper that had been painted over (when I moved into this house, the walls were painted a horrible blue color with black trim. I painted over that, but always noticed weird patterns on the walls of bumps and dips and lines. And being a novice painter at the time, I did not bother sanding the walls one iota). Big D was the one who pointed out to me that they must have have painted over wall paper.

Sure enough, one day we started peeling back the paint past my green color, past the previous owners blue, to a blue striped wallpaper underneath. Lovely.

So the other night, Daryl began the horrible and arduous process of trying to tear it down. In about 2 hours worth of blood, sweat and tears, he'd only managed to do a small section of wall AND I heard a foul word erupt from the nursery, followed by:

"These assholes wallpapered over MORE wallpaper!"

Finally we came to the conclusion together, that his best bet would be to rip the walls down completely and just re-sheet rock them. Start with a clean slate. I am really digging that idea! And it means less stress for Big D (and time wasted) without having to worry about tearing down two layers of wallpaper and doing a major sanding job on each wall. Blech.

While I would LOVE to share pictures of the very beginning of this process, I could not locate anywhere--in our mess of a kitchen (remember, we're still in the remodeling process there as well!)--the stinkin' cord to upload the photos from the camera. Boo. So you'll have to wait a bit for picture proof.

But, anyway, the other issue is that part of the hardwood flooring in the nursery had buckled due to a leaky a/c unit last year. We were unsure up until yesterday of how we were going to rectify it. But then Daryl's friend J pointed out that if ever was a time to refinish the floors (we have been dying to refinish the hardwood floors in both bedrooms but with a houseful of animals and two full time work schedules, it was something we were resigned to put off) that now would be a good time to refinish the floor in the nursery, at least. Hmmmm, very good point! The room will be empty (after we get a dresser out of it, and some other random "junk") and it would be convenient to do at that time. My only concern, of course, is even with the room closed off, I wonder if the smell will be too much for both ME and also our kitties and dogs. So, something to ponder and hopefully ask around about.

So, with all that said, we haven't gotten to the "fun part" yet of picking out paint chip colors.

To be honest, we haven't even figured out what bedding we want so I guess we need to get on that, then figure out what color(s) to paint.
The only thing we've looked at so far is cribs...and I have a roundabout idea of what style and color crib we like. What's nice is we both agree on the deeper, warmer darker tones of wood.

And we've been looking at the convertible cribs (that go from a crib, to a toddler bed and finally into a full size bed). We're not set in stone on this, but it's definitely something we both like.

But enough about cribs, back to the room! Basically, it's a mess right now. And there is lots and lots to do. I will do my best to get as much done as I can, but when it comes to dust, and paint fumes, and random particles floating around in the air--I will most likely be in my favorite spot. On the living room couch, with a book or magazine in hand, cheering on my hard-working man. (And ogling his muscles as he works--yah, baby. There is nothing hotter to me than a man who can do manual labor. Must. Go. Take. Cold. Shower. Now.)

Poor Big D has his work cut out for him!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


I felt something different yesterday and while I can't conclusively say it was definitely the baby, it certainly makes me more aware now.

I was sitting at my desk at work yesterday, reading Jewel's blog post about how she finally felt her baby move for the first time, and wondering to myself 'When am I going to feel that??' Knowing just how big that Hunter is getting, and just how active he's been at every ultrasound, it blows my mind that I haven't felt anything yet. So while these thoughts are swirling around in my brain, I realized I just need to start concentrating more on my belly during the moments when I'm sitting or laying pretty still.

And then I felt it!

A small pressure, a feeling of maybe a "push", twice in a row in quick succession. About an inch or two down and over to the left of my belly button.

What?!? My eyes widened and I put my hand on my belly and waited. I didn't feel it again, but then I started to wonder if I was just feeling something becuz I wanted to feel it so badly. It kind of reminded me of the way blood pulsing under your skin feels, that light, so I tried to convince myself that's all it was. But then I thought of how at my u/s on Monday, the x-ray tech had said Hunter's little tush was a little bit underneath my belly button. So that would put him in the area.

As I focused on my stomach and tried to rationalize with myself, I realized as well that it felt like "something" was in my belly. Duh, right? But no, seriously, again it was something I've never felt before. Kinda like a tennis ball in my belly, that feeling of a small "pressure".

Could it be possible I'm feeling the baby?

What did it feel like for you the first time, for those of you who've gone through it before OR are currently preggo? And how far along were you? I guess I just want to convince myself I am NOT crazy!

By the way, I tried to take a belly shot for you guys at work yesterday. It's slightly hard to see cuz I'm sitting, and slightly blurry cuz I took it with my cell phone, but you get the idea. I love watching my belly grow!!

Monday, March 09, 2009

And, the verdict is in!!!

Daryl and I are having..................





A baby BOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Never in my wildest dreams while growing up and thinking of being a Mommy, did I EVER envision myself having a little boy. And now that I am, I couldn't be happier!

The ultrasound went fabulously, everything looked great and all the organs measured as they should. According to the baby's size, 1/2 pound, and measurements, his estimated due date is August 7th (which is actually like 2-3 days sooner than our due date but since it's within a week they won't change our original due date). And when the x-ray tech zoomed in on the "money-shot", she smiled and said, "There is no question this little one is a BOY!" And all I could say was "Holy crap!" Daryl immediately stated, "That's my boy!" LOL

We do have a name for this little munchkin, we've had it picked out almost since day one. So officially, I want to introduce you all to our cashew with name: Hunter Richard Cashin.

I love my boy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Note: I don't have a picture of the famous "money shot" unfortunately. I was too busy bawling my eyes out to think to ask for one (but I have an amazing shot that shows his little spinal column...just not at home to upload it yet). But take my word for it, he's a boy! LOL

18 Weeks: Little Hunter

Your Baby This Coming Week

Your baby measures about 5.2 to 6 inches (13-15cm) from crown to rump and weighs about 7 ounces (200g).

The buds for the permanent teeth are forming behind those that have already developed for the first teeth.

Your baby's nervous system and brain development continue at a spectacular pace. By this week, your baby's motor neurons, which connect muscle to the brain, have grown into place so that your baby can consciously direct her movements. Millions of neurons inside your baby's brain are growing and forming connections and the nerves in her body are being covered in a fatty substance called myelin.

Your baby's ears are now placed on the sides of her head and her limbs are now in proportion. Your baby's tiny foot is just one inch long, but is in perfect proportion to the rest of her leg.
Your baby can hear your voice and recognize it.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Happy 33rd Birthday, honey!!

I love you!!

And I'm really, really, really sorry I didn't wish you a 'Happy Birthday' this early morning when you left for work.

In my defense, I was half asleep when you kissed my cheek and said you were leaving. I'll make it up to yo
u with a yummy birthday cheesecake this weekend!!

Hey Peeps! If you haven't already voted on my gender poll, cast your vote...you have until Monday when I post the results of our ultrasound!! I'm still thinking boy but hey, I've got a 50/50 chance of being wrong! LOL

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

My Big D's 33rd birthday is this Friday, March 6th (which coincidentally is also my parents wedding anniversary. I find that so cool that my husband was born the day my parents were getting married!).

Go wish him a Happy (early) B-Day if you get a chance!

I made him a fabulously yummy chocolate cake, that all the dogs kept trying to catch a whiff of. We're talking devil's food chocolate with chocolate chips in it, AND chocolate frosting. Daryl was in chocolate-cake-heaven.

We had one of my bestest girls over for dinner last night, April #2, and she brought along her husband's aunt who is visiting from Argentina. The funny part is, her husband is like 27 years old, and his "aunt" is...only 14 years old. That cracks me up!

Anyway, she was sweet as pie, barely spoke much English, but we were still able to communicate as best we could!

And the chocolate cake helped a lot. ;-)

And Tucker made a new girlfriend. He was totally entranced with Camila, as she crooned to him in Spanish the whole night. I have to say, all three dogs were in love!!

And now, the moment you've all been waiting for. HA! Just kidding, I'm not that conceited. I know at least Morgan and Lilah have been waiting. Heh.

Some preggo shots...and not very good ones at that...I meant to take some last night when my friend was over, cuz I think Daryl is tired of taking them (becuz afterwards I immediately shriek, "OH MY GOD! I look like a blimp!") but by the time we were done with dinner and cake, I was hugely bloated and exhausted.

So for now, these will have to do.

The second pic makes me look like 10-15 lbs. heavier than I really am, I think it was the shirt that day. It also looks like I seriously have NO BOOBS...which is SO not the case. Believe me, they're there.

Oh well. Live and learn!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

I'm excitedly awaiting a text or phone call!

My friend Sarah's water broke last night around 1:30am after some (sorry for the gross TMI) bloody mucous showing up. She'd been having contractions too, but she's been having mad Braxton-Hicks for weeks now so at first she wasn't sure if this was real or not. The funny part is, she was due to be induced today at 5pm (she was due Feb. 21st) but I told Daryl Sarah's body must not have liked being told when to start labor, cuz it made the decision to start on it's own! LOL SO anyway, off they went to the hospital. I've received random text messages from her so far letting me know her progress. She has been only 2cm dilated for QUITE some time and in some serious pain, however no epidural yet. If you could send her speedy, healthy and quick labor vibes I would appreciate it! Her daughter Julia (almost three years old) is very eager and excited to meet her little baby sister!! Thanks. (UPDATE: Sarah finally got her epidural and is now 7cm dilated as of 11:00am! WOO HOO!)

My weekend was good. Daryl and I were busy doing stuff around the house. I cleaned a ton, while he worked religiously on our sun porch/kitchen addition.

I tried to take some belly shots so you guys would stop harassing me (ha! Kidding, of course!) but seriously, I just look fat right now. I'm waiting for my belly to look more rounded and "baby-like" as opposed to the baby bump below with the fat bump over it! So I'm holding off on posting any pictures for another couple of weeks. I'm sorry to make you keep waiting, I know a few have you have been patient so far!

Sunday night we had dinner plans at my friend Jess's parents house. It was fun! I hadn't seen her parents in quite a while so it was nice to catch up!

Yesterday was an unexpected surprise. A snow storm was predicted but, living in New England where the weathermen are almost always wrong, I certainly didn't think we'd see any. Boy, was I wrong! I woke up Monday morning to about 8 inches of snow (at about 6:30am) and the fabulous news that my work was closed for the day! Woo hoo! A free day off rocks! It continued to snow ALL DAY LONG till about five p.m. We got a ton of snow! Daryl only worked a few hours then he came home and snow-blowed like crazy. Once the roads cleared up a bit, even though it was still snowing, Daryl said "I'm bored. Let's go somewhere." So off we went to Babies-R-Us to work on our registry a little. I'm constantly adding/removing stuff and changing it often. Then, FUN-FUN, I had a dentist appointment for 6pm last night. Not only did I get to have a cleaning done, but I also had to have a filling replaced. God, I hate going to the dentist!

Hope everyone else had a great weekend!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Note: Please don't forget to take my gender poll in the right sidebar! I'm curious to see if everyone thinks we're having a boy or a girl!!

17 weeks: Our baby Cashew

Your Baby This Coming Week

Your baby weighs about 5.25 ounces (150g) and now measures 5 to 5.6 inches (12.5 to 14cm) from crown to rump. He is practicing breathing by gulping amniotic fluid into its lungs. This helps the lung's development so they will function at birth. Your baby may also be sucking his thumb.
Meconium is present in your baby's bowels. There is hair present on your baby's scalp and sweat glands are developing.

Your baby is becoming more sensitive to the outside world and is moving around, kicking and punching. As there is still plenty of space in your uterus, your baby can move around a lot, sitting cross-legged, reclining or even turning somersaults!

He can probably hear by now as the ossicles (the bones that pass sound to the inner ear) have hardened and the portion of the brain that receives signals from the brain is under development. Your baby is getting used to the sound of your heartbeat and blood passing through the umbilical cord, but may be startled by loud noises. Your baby is aware of some things in the outside world, including sounds and light. If you let the sun shine on your belly, your baby may be able to perceive a warm red glow.