23 week bump update

23 week bump update

Hello all! I can’t believe we are more than halfway through this pregnancy and going to meet Bean in less than 17 weeks! It’s been a busy last week for us. We have been doing a lot of work on the house (who knew there were sooooo many decisions??), we sold my car, and we bought a new bigger, easier-with-baby SUV. We both have been working a lot of hours but things have been going very well for us!

How far along? 

23 weeks today!

How big is Bean?

Bean for sure weighs just over a pound now and is just over a foot long head-to-toe.  He is the size of a) a grapefruit (YUM) or b) a papaya. However big he is, he’s certainly making his presence known–a few people have asked me when the bebe is due. I’m planning still to say to someone who asks me: “I’m not pregnant.” But I think this joke will be funnier when I look VERY preggy.

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Total weight gain/loss? 

I was sick with a terrible cold this week so I didn’t have much of an appetite and I don’t think I gained any weight.

Sleep? 

Sleep was tough this week, but I have been averaging a half a box of tissues a day with my terrible running nose, so it’s not baby related, but sickness related. I have been having some problem with sleeping on my left side, my hip area gets really numb and tingly, but just in one very specific spot.

 Best moment this week?

It was really fun buying the new (used) car! Well actually buying the new car was REALLY boring. Could they find any more ways to drag that process out? Yeesh. We did a lot of research and we think our new (used) 2016 Ford Edge will be great for transporting our Beau, our animal entourage, and all Beau’s gear.

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Also, in other best moments news, I am LOVING feeling Beau kick. He is wiggling around in there as I write. Some of his kicks are really big and I can see them from outside. Chad can feel several kicks a day too, which is pretty amazing. I’m so glad I can share that with him.

Symptoms? 

Other than a big old belly, not really feeling any symptoms which is FANTASTIC. I am starting to have a little bit of the “linea nigra” or the darker line that shows up on preggy lady bellies. My line is from my belly button up right now and its pretty light.

Stretch marks?

Nope. Keeping the belly all jellied up!

Food cravings/aversions?

I think it has more to do with my cold, but I am craving fruits and veggies. And still dairy–cannot get enough.

Labor signs? 

Nope, although for many women, Braxton Hicks start about 23 weeks.

Belly button in or out? 

In and looking like it’ll be that way for a while.

What I miss?

Nose-breathing. But nothing pregnancy related.

What I’m looking forward to? 

We have a doctor’s appointment and ultrasound on Friday! That will be fun 🙂 We also are getting a stethoscope because baby’s heartbeat is now audible through one! It’s coming on Tuesday and it’ll be fun to play with.

Milestones? 

Bean’s nipples are forming this week! No kidding.

Next appointment?

FriYAY! Love going to the baby doctor because I look forward to the little chances to feel even closer to our small one.

week 22 bump update

week 22 bump update

How far along? 

22 weeks, today!

How big is Bean?

Bean weighs over a pound and is almost a foot long from head to toe (like 8 inches from head to butt)! About the size of a coconut or spaghetti squash!?!??!?!

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Belly’s getting bigger and bigger every day!

Total weight gain/loss? 

I weigh 152, which puts me at +8 pounds.

Sleep? 

Still sleeping well, with the minor exception that sometimes I wake up from kicks. That doesn’t but me though because it’s so cool!

 Best moment this week?

We had our appointment at the high risk pregnancy doctor this week, and it was VERY reassuring. It was such a relief to hear from her that she doesn’t really recommend any interventions for my Ehlers-Danlos (which she was 99.9% certain I have). She told us that she has seen 10 women with EDS, and that all had perfectly healthy babies and perfectly normal labor and deliveries. She made several suggestions to our doctors about things to be aware of during our delivery, but doesn’t think we should have any issues. She also said that because of my loose joints and stretchy tendons I might even have an easier deliver *fingers crossed*.

My coworker, Jen, gave us a ton of baby clothes that her son, Kaison, has outgrown. The clothes we got are SO cute. It was really fun trying to imagine our little one wearing his new (TINY) outfits.

Symptoms? 

Hungry! Foot and hands are starting to swell (but hopefully my feet aren’t growing). I should probably cut the salt a little bit. Unfortunately, I really like salt. Not much else in the symptom department… I am starting to feel pretty awesome!

Stretch marks?

Nada *fingers crossed*.

Food cravings/aversions?

GIVE ME ALL THE FOOD.

Labor signs? 

Not yet *fingers crossed*.

Belly button in or out? 

Still in but I actually read that only like 25% of women even have there belly buttons pop.

What I miss?

Nothing besides the usual: cured meats!

What I’m looking forward to? 

This week is a pretty normal week. Looking forward to having a bit of a routine this week.

Milestones? 

Chad and I can feel some kicks from the outside! Beau bean got to be heavier than a pound this week–that’s pretty heavy (but only half as heavy as the Amish butter roll we had at Thanksgiving). Bean’s grip, hearing and vision are all getting much stronger.

Next appointment?

We have the regular pregnancy doctor on Friday 2/3.

week 21 bump update

week 21 bump update

How far along? 

21 weeks, today!

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the week I found out vs. today!

How big is Bean?

Bean is now 10 1/2+ inches long from head-to-HEEL! (We switched measurement modes!) According to my app, he weighs 10-12 ounces, but we know that he weighed about 12 ounces two weeks ago, so I’d guess… 14 ounces to a pound? He’s about the size of a large carrot.

Total weight gain/loss? 

I weigh 149 lbs, which puts me at +5 lbs.

Sleep? 

Sleep has been fine 🙂

 Best moment this week?

We saw our friends Pelak and Carly, and Joel and Kristin this weekend. We got to stay with both in their new houses. It was great! We had such a nice weekend catching up with them.

Symptoms? 

HUNGRY! All the time. And gas! Pregnancy is fun!

Stretch marks?

Not yet! But I hope my weight gain steadies and I can avoid them.

Food cravings?

Still sweets!

Food aversions? 

None!

Labor signs? 

Still nope.

Belly button in or out? 

Still in, but looking like I might pop in the next few weeks!

What I miss?

Nothing! Life is good!

What I’m looking forward to? 

Not “looking forward to” so much, but will be relieved to see the specialist doctor on Friday.

Milestones? 

Bean can taste now! I thought he was already tasting, but now he’s starting to because he is starting to swallow amniotic fluid. Turns out he didn’t have a taste for grilled cheese, he just liked the calories. His arms and legs are in proportion now, and he’s getting more coordinated.

And a mom-to-be milestone: People can tell that I’m pregnant now. I have been asked by a few people (who I hadn’t told before the I was pregnant) when the baby is due. That’s fun!

Next appointment?

Two upcoming appointments: this coming Friday (1/20) we have the specialist and next month we have the regular baby doctor on Friday 2/3.

 

week 20 bump update–the OFFICIAL halfway point

week 20 bump update–the OFFICIAL halfway point

How far along? 

20 weeks today! I counted last week as halfway (because 38/2=19) BUUUT today is the “official” halfway that everyone else uses.

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Holy belly! Looking HUGE all of a sudden. (Notice, we cleaned off the fridge–top and front! It’s Bean City now!)

How big is Bean?

Beau Bean is 6 and a half inches long (as always head to butt), and we know from his anatomy scan that he weighs 12 ounces. My baby app says “Think small cantaloupe.” Yikes, cantaloupes aren’t small! My other app says banana. That sounds better.

Total weight gain/loss? 

Woohoo! I gained weight. I weighed 148 pounds this morning. That’s net +4 pounds. Now that I am gaining weight, it’s time to make sure that baby is getting healthy foods. I may have to watch the ice cream… I don’t want to gain weight too fast now that I have my appetite back. The doctor told us that I should aim for 1 pound per week after 24 weeks. At the end of the pregnancy, I should expect to gain about 25 – 35 pounds.

Sleep? 

I have been really tired and sleeping a lot, and other than Thursday night, I have been sleeping very well. My snoogle is life changing.

Best moment this week?

Seeing our little Bean up close and personal was AMAZING!

Symptoms? 

Very little nausea and vomiting. I feel much better when I eat more small meals, I am just terrible at remembering to do this. Constipation is improving. Have been dealing with gas and gas cramps. My nails and hair are growing crazy fast! Hunger is here! And, weirdly, my left nostril is always bloody??

Stretch marks?

I thought I had a few the other day, but it was just marks from where water was running down my belly from the shower, whew! I use a belly balm  and vitamin E  oil after showers. I’m always oiled up like a swimsuit model… Still waiting on Sports Illustrated with their offer for a cover shoot.

Food cravings?

CHOCOLATE FUDGE AND ICE CREAM. Omgosh, give me all the ice cream. Actually, all the dairy. Mmm dairy!

Food aversions? 

Nada. I think I am out of the woods with food aversions.

Gender? 

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One for his wedding slideshow.

Labor signs? 

YIKES, still no!

Belly button in or out? 

In! I am waiting, any day now according to the internet. Chad thought it looked weird the other day and might be turning, but it was just full of belly balm 🙂

What I miss?

Not missing much!

What I’m looking forward to? 

I can’t wait until Chad can feel all of Beau’s kicks!

Milestones? 

The 20 Week/Halfway Milestone is a big one! Also Beau is working on his sucking reflexes. We saw him sucking his thumb in the ultrasound.

Here’s a mom-to-be milestone: I held a baby, like a real life tiny baby! Our friends, Brian and Emily, had a baby (Oliver) just over a week ago (Emily did most of the baby-having). They were going kind of stir-crazy at home so we brought them some dinner and freezer meals. They let me hold Ollie! He was so cute and tiny. It wasn’t so scary, but man, babies get heavy fast. I better get in shape! It was also so nice to talk with them about labor and delivery (they had Ollie at the hospital where we will have Beau) and about pregnancy and being new parents; Oliver is their second, so they had lots of great advice.

Next appointment?

We have our high risk specialist appointment at some point in the next two weeks (TBD) and then our next regular appointment (and another ultrasound) on February 3rd, with my favorite doctor, who we found out delivered Brian and Emily’s babe!

PS. Did this belly triple in size overnight or what??? Here’s last week and this week side by side:

20 week anatomy scan and doctor’s appointment

20 week anatomy scan and doctor’s appointment

Yesterday we had our 20 week anatomy scan ultrasound and doctor’s visit. I had been waiting, waiting, waiting all week for this appointment. I was so excited to see Beau up close. Neither Chad nor I really slept Thursday night; I fell asleep an hour and a half after he did and when I woke up at 5:30, he had been up for an hour and a half. Then he fell asleep until until we had to leave around 8 and I was up the whole time. We basically tagged in and had one night’s sleep between the two of us.

I had to have a full bladder for the ultrasound. I had to drink 16 ounces of water starting at 7:30 and ending at 7:45–I think this is part of the reason I couldn’t sleep, I was so worried about making sure I got up to start my water on time. I drank the first 8 ounce glass in the first three minutes and then barely finished the second 8 ounces in the last minute. I was very concerned about what I was supposed to do with a very full (as it started to feel immediately after I finished the water) bladder for my whole appointment, but to my relief (pun intended) I was allowed to use the restroom after the first 10 minutes of the scan.

We got to the doctor’s office late (two almost wrong turns from very busy on the phone Chad) and I was pretty flustered when we arrived. Once we were in though, our ultrasound tech was amazing. She brought us back to the room, got us situated and explained the scan. She told us we could find out the sex if we wanted and we told her we already knew, she explained what all we would be seeing, she told me that I could use the restroom after we got started (whew), and then explained that she would tell me if everything was normal. If anything wasn’t normal, she wouldn’t be able to tell us that, but she would get lots of photos and talk to the doctor who would tell us in our appointment that followed (another sigh of relief).

So the plan was to basically go head to toe and look at all parts of Bean; however, as soon as we were set up, it became very clear that he wasn’t going to cooperate. Beau did a full 180* flip in the first minute of the scan. The typical game plan was out the window because every time Allison (our tech) had a good angle, Beau moved. He wiggled and kicked and twisted the whole scan. He was also very responsive to the ultrasound wand. He would pull away and move when he felt the wand on him. We were able to see all the parts at some point during the scan, but instead of head-to-toe, it was: a kidney, a leg, his head, another leg, another kidney, a hand, his head, a foot… We just looked at the parts of Beau as he showed them to us. In the end, we were able to see (almost) everything we needed to.

We saw that Beau has all 4 chambers of his heart, and we saw the left and right ventricle arteries. We saw his diaphragm which was below his heart and above his tummy–exactly where it should be. We saw his fluid-filled stomach and bladder; these are good signs that his digestive system is working properly.

We saw his spine, which looked great. We saw his legs and his feet and ankles. His legs were straight and he didn’t have any indication of club foot on either side. He appeared to have 10 toes (actually in one shot it looked like 11, which, great, if he does have another–which I doubt–he’s extra stable). Allison measured his femur. The machine recorded each of the size measurements and at the end spit out an estimate of Beau’s development. We saw his arms and hands, and everything looked great there. We measured around his waist.

We then looked at his head. Allison measured around his head. Everything looked great with the head and upper spine. The size of the flap on the back of Beau’s neck indicated low risk of Downs which confirmed his genetics tests.

We ended with just a few last shots that we needed. We still needed to see a muscle on the heart, but Beau was so twisty and folded up (we checked with Allison, he’s just flexible, he doesn’t appear to have any deformities), that we weren’t able to get that shot. This means we’ll get to see Beau again next month 🙂 There’s nothing to worry about, we just need to try again next time and hopefully he’ll be a little chiller. Allison also wanted to get us the “sitting on a glass table” “it’s a boy!” shot. Beau had his umbilical cord between his legs, right above his penis. Allison tried to jiggle him to get him to move, but he wouldn’t untwist, so we have a different angle shot, but we did confirm that his boy parts are there! The final shot that we tried to get was the profile shot–the typical shot for keepsakes. We must have tried 15 times for this shot over the course of the scan. Beau did not want to cooperate. Every time Allison got the ultrasound in the right spot he would either turn right at us (horrifying–like something out of an actual horror movie) or would turn away. Finally, at the very end she got him in the right spot, but he was moving his arms around and wiggling so they are a little blurry.

One of my most favorite moments was when was saw him yawn, it was a huge yawn and after it he shook out his head and whole body. It was VERY cute.

Beau measured 4 days ahead of his due date and is estimated to weigh 12 ounces. We are very happy that he is doing well.

After the scan we saw the doctor. This wasn’t nearly as great of an experience. The doctor we met on Friday was our least favorite. We were weighed (gained a few pounds!). We then met the doctor. I told him I had some questions and while I was finding them he told me that he had some questions for me. He asked me the typical (scary) questions about bleeding and pain. None of either. And then I got to my questions.

A little bit of background. Mom had to remind me after my last appointment that I should talk to the doctor about a genetic disorder that I have a tentative diagnosis for from childhood. So to take it back, I have a spinal deformity called kyphosis. Like scoliosis, kyphosis is a curvature to the spine. In kyphosis, the disks of the spine are wedge-shaped which causes me to have a curve in my upper back between my shoulder blades (like a hunchback). The spine compensates for the curve in my upper back with a curve inward in my lower back. My kyphosis developed when I was in 7th or 8th grade. At the time, I grew several (6) inches in a year. The spinal curvature is due in part to this rapid growth. While there are surgical interventions for kyphosis, my case wasn’t severe enough that the risks and challenges of surgery (it’s a horrifying surgery) would outweigh the benefits. Instead, my treatment involved physical therapy and bracing. I wore a back brace for 3 years.

Ok, so that’s my back. Now to the genetic disorder. I had a birthmark removed from my arm my freshman year of high school. The birthmark wasn’t huge, but the doctor wanted it biopsied. The biopsy was negative and all was fine, but I had to have the stitches redone because my skin wouldn’t hold the initial set and I developed a big keloid scar in the place that the birthmark was removed. It turns out that fragile skin, keloid scarring and kyphosis are symptoms of a genetic disorder called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS). Ehlers-Danlos is a group of associated, inherited disorders that involve issues with connective tissues. There are two major concerns with Ehlers-Danlos that relate to pregnancy (not all EDS patients have both, there are several types of EDS): the first is heart valve issues and the second is in blood clotting (or, really, an inability to clot that leads to excessive bleeding).

The dermatologist who made the diagnosis of EDS initially referred me to a cardiologist. I had an echocardiogram that indicated no issues with my heart. Because my heart seemed normal, the cardiologist determined that there was no need for additional testing. Because in 2002, insurance companies could deny insurance to those with pre-existing conditions, and because my heart seemed healthy and normal, the dermatologist and cardiologist decided that we shouldn’t pursue a definitive diagnosis of EDS and I was left with my tentative diagnosis.

Ok, so fast-forward to my wisdom teeth surgery (2004??). I had an issue with healing and bleeding, which MAY indicate that I am prone to the the other EDS complication of excessive bleeding. It’s also worth noting that I did not have an issue with bleeding in my tonsillectomy.

Now back to Friday. I wanted to talk to the doctor about EDS, and my tentative diagnosis to see if there is anything that we can do to test for my blood’s ability to clot or just to make the physician group aware that this might be a concern. I mentioned this and the entire appointment felt derailed. According to the doctor “EDS is not a minor concern” and I was referred to a high risk pregnancy specialist who I will be seeing in the next two weeks. I am now very stressed about what to expect with this appointment. Hopefully all will be fine and we will know more soon, but I was not expecting that this would be such a problem (he almost made me feel like it was irresponsible to even be pregnant). We didn’t get any confirmation from the doctor that things were alright with Beau, but I suppose that no news is good news when it comes to our ultrasound, and that the doctor would have told us if he felt there was something we needed to talk about on Friday. The doctor also told me that there shouldn’t be any issue with my kyphosis. He dismissed my concern about not gaining weight–I only need to worry if after 24 weeks I am not putting on a pound a week. And he offered no guidance on our question about circumcision.

So all in all, although our ultrasound was amazing, the appointment with the doctor was stressful and discouraging. I will set up my meeting with the high risk pregnancy specialist and will have more info on that and hopefully a game plan after the appointment. Thankfully our next appointment with our physician group (Feb 3) starts with an ultrasound and then continues with Dr. Shuman, the doctor that we have liked the best so far. I am very much looking forward to talking with Dr. Shuman because she made me feel encouraged and supported after our last appointment with her. Some good and some not so good. I know pregnancy is a rollercoaster, but I’m not good at dealing with unknowns.