Saturday, June 30, 2012

Boy or Girl?

As we anxiously patiently wait to find out if Baby Lambert is a boy or a girl, I thought it might be fun to play with some Old Wives Tales' predictions to see how our odds stack up! Here we go.....

Old Wives' Tale #1: If you are carrying high, it is a girl. Low= boy

I feel like I am in the middle! Here is a shot from last week at 18 weeks:

Conclusion? Could be boy OR girl- we'll have to see how that belly progresses

Old Wives' Tale #2: If the heart rate is below 140, it is a boy. Above 140 is a girl. This little one's heart rate clocks in at around 150 beats/minute.

Conclusion? Girl

Old Wives' Tale #3: If you are craving sweet things, it is a girl. Salty or sour cravings = boy

I definitely had a huge aversion to sweets early in the pregnancy, but can now eat them just fine. That being said I am not craving them- I tend to crave more salty snacks (though this was the case pre-pregnancy too).

Conclusion? Boy

Old Wives' Tale #4: Mayan Legend says they could determine the baby's sex by looking at the age of the mother at the time of conception and the year of conception. If both were even or odd, it's a girl. If one's even and one's odd, it's a boy.

I was 36 when we conceived, and the year is 2012.

Conclusion? Girl

Old Wives' Tale #5: If you are breaking out and have bad skin, it's a girl. Good skin means a boy.

My skin has been great this whole pregnancy, with the exception of a few stray blemishes in the early weeks.

Conclusion? Boy

Old Wives' Tale #6: If you have a lot of morning sickness in your pregnancy, it's a girl. Little to no morning sickness means a boy.

I was pretty darn nauseous from weeks 6-12, the worst being the 7-10 week stretch. I still get nauseous in the mornings if I don't eat fast enough.

Conclusion? Girl

Old Wives' Tale #7: The Chinese Birth Chart

This one is a bit confusing. Every version I find has a field to fill in the month of conception (March)- but some versions then ask for the age of the mother at conception, while others ask for the age of the mother when she'll give birth.

Conclusion: If based on the age at conception (36) and the month conceived (March)= girl. If based on the age at birth (could be 36 or 37!) and the month conceived, it says boy!

Tallying all of those Old Wives' Tales up gets us to 3 votes girl, 2 votes boy (2 of the categories were inconclusive).

As far as my own intuition? I've been feeling girl this entire pregnancy. However, that being said, the last 4 friends & families' pregnancies I've had strong feelings about go like this:

*Sister-in-law Julie: I swore it was a girl! She gave birth to our sweet nephew Nick
*Sister-in-law Anna: I just knew it was a girl! She gave birth in June to her beautiful daughter Magnolia
*My friend Amy: pregnant with twins, I felt it was a boy/girl combo. She has 2 little boys due in November!
*My cousin Amy: I was sure she was carrying a girl. Her active little boy is due in September.

So I have a 1/4th track rate... not so hot- and looks like my boy radar is way off.  I figure if my intuition is anything like my sense of direction, then this little one is definitely a boy!

If you are a regular reader of my blog (or even just stopping by) I'd love to hear YOUR guess! What do you predict Baby Lambert will be? 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

18 Weeks: A Visit to the ER & a Psychic Fair

My 18 week milestone started off with a bang today with a visit to the Emergency Room.

This past week I have had several mornings in a row where upon waking- before using the restroom- I've had a small amount of clear fluid leak out of me. Odorless, watery.... I had assumed it was urine. This morning in a comparison smell test (gross, I know) I put a drop of urine on my finger and it had a very distinct urine odor- unlike the fluid that has been leaking out.

I immediately started googling things like "does amniotic fluid periodically leak in pregnancy?" and proceeded to completely freak.myself.out. Any amniotic fluid leaks are BAD news, and something to see a doctor about immediately. Of course it was Saturday, so after talking to my on-call nurse the only option was the ER. There went my pre-natal yoga plans!

Upon arrival to the hospital, I was grateful to be seen quickly. The nurse immediately found the baby's heartbeat (a calm 144-145- at least the little one wasn't all worked up!) and told us the on-call doctor would be in shortly. No one seemed alarmed, which was good. The doctor checked my cervix (closed tight & long- hooray!) and did a PH test on my vaginal fluid. It came back negative for amniotic fluid- there was a slight abnormality on another test but it was most likely due to the fact that BC and I had had some sexy time last night (awesome timing, as it turns out... making the tests more complicated and each speculum probe a lot more painful!). No infections were found, and the doctor surmised the fluid was likely either very watery vaginal discharge or urine. She said it is very uncommon to have amniotic fluid leak this early- and if it did, it is usually on/off throughout the day, not just in the morning. I was so grateful for the peace of mind from the visit, and will now be nicknamed "Leaky Lambert."

The most hilarious part? On my discharge paperwork, they noted my "Chief Complaint" as Pregnancy. Ha!

Later this afternoon I geeked out and attended a metaphysical Psychic fair, hoping to have a reading done. I found a woman I'd had a brief phone session with months ago and she set out to focus on connecting to the baby. Some interesting tidbits that came up:

*She definitely got female energy- said that doesn't necessarily mean it is a girl, but that there was indeed a lot of female energy around this little one.

*This little one is a very old soul, and very happy to finally be able to come through!

*BC is going to be extremely close to this child- it will take him by surprise how immediately and fully he feels this connection.

*The little one was concerned with coming too early due to medical folks saying it was necessary- something to do with my blood sugar/pancreas. The psychic advised it would be good to continue acupuncture & energy work toward balancing this out.

*The babe is preferring a gentle, calm natural birth. S***. That was definitely not my plan!! It's true I got a strong vibe/intuition the DAY this little one was conceived that he/she was waiting to come in naturally (and did), so this news didn't surprise me. But it does throw me a bit off kilter, as I have been pretty sure I'm going to want an epidural. I am committed to remaining open and starting to research birthing centers & midwives, then following my own intuition from there.

*I asked about work/finances after the baby comes, as this is an ongoing discussion with BC & I, and something I struggle to find clarity with. My gut tells me I am going to want to be home with this babe full time for awhile after he/she comes, which means saving as much money as possible now and having to cut back on many expenses after the birth. The Psychic said she doesn't have any red flags about finances for us- and does see some sort of part time work coming in for me around the time the babe is 6 months, though exactly what that was isn't clear. She saw me surrounded by children (not my own)- so something possibly in that field? We shall see!

Now onto the 18 week updates:

How far along? 18 weeks today

How big is baby? The baby is now the size of a sweet potato, measuring roughly 5.6 inches & weighing 6.7 ounces. He/she is going through a rapid growth period, and it's weight will increase by 6x in the next four weeks! That should definitely affect my belly's ever expanding girth. The unique fingerprints are also developing this week.

Weight gain? Fluctuates between 2.5lb-3lbs. The ER nurse asked me for my weight when I checked in today. I told her my scale at home was reading between 110.5-111, and joked that probably meant 115 on the doctor's scale. She smirked and said "I'm going to record 115 just because I"m jealous." While I appreciated her humor, I didn't appreciate the 115 notation.

18 Week Belly

Sleep? I've been having crazy "Lifetime Movie of the Week" type dreams- linear tales that have a very clear beginning, middle, end & drama around them... often about characters that aren't even a part of my real life. 

Symptoms? The migraines are still taunting me- I've had maybe 5-6 in the past week and a half. The on-call doctor today said she was OK with the niacin + tylenol combo I've been successfully using, which made me feel a lot better (my regular OB was OK with this as well). I feel so guilty every time I have to take anything! Apparently these specific pregnancy weeks (from about 16-20) are known for an uptick in headaches- so hopefully those will calm down soon. This week's leaking was my other fun new symptom! 

Food cravings/aversions? I haven't had too big of an appetite this week- not sure why. The needing to eat within 30-60 minutes of waking remains, and I've been loving watermelon- though I wouldn't call it an all out 'craving.' 

Maternity clothes? I think I finally have a pretty solid collection of dresses & stretchy skirts that will help get me through the hot summer. I can also still wear my stretchy waisted capri jeans- so between those & the skirts/dresses I should be set for awhile.

Most looking forward to? Starting to feel movement! Every once in a blue moon I *think* I might feel a little tap or swish, but absolutely nothing consistent or conclusive. The babe is obviously in there with a strong heartbeat- I like to believe he/she is just a very calm, Zen little soul. I can hope, right? 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Babe Boycotts Exercise

When writing about my nightly migraines, I'd failed to mention that another constant in my bedtime routine has been squats & push-ups. Doing what I could to ward off the flab. I now think this light exercise may have been a major culprit in triggering my migraines.

The first migraine last week started during a walk/run outside with BC (during the running part). The next 2 came after squats/push-ups in the evenings. So now, in addition to getting ready for bed each night by nightlight, I've ceased the before bed strengthening.

Around 7pm last night, I decided to do some gentle leg lifts. I laid down the yoga mat & propped myself up on my side. I could tell my legs had gotten soft, as these exercises were much harder than they used to be when I was attending Pilates 2x/week! Toward the end of the leg lifts, my awesome flashing migraine lights began.


It appears that at this point in my pregnancy, any light exercise- running, squats, push-ups, or leg lifts (for crying out loud!) is triggering a migraine. Apparently this baby does not like me to work out, and prefers his/her mama soft and flabby. Awesome. The only logical physical explanation I can conjure up is that maybe the increased weight of my uterus is now pushing on my ocular nerve or something like that, making me more prone to migraines when I exert myself? Seems plausible enough.

I'm going to have to cash all my chips into the genetic pool- I've gained about 3 lbs so far in this pregnancy (as of this morning I was up 2.8 lbs), and my mom held onto a rockin' body after birthing 3 children. I can only pray and hope I am as lucky, as it appears my days of exercising are on an indefinite hiatus.

If you discover my arms & thighs waving in the breeze next time you see me, please say something sweet about the growing miracle of life inside me.  I'll need the reassurance, cause this babe is definitely calling the shots now....

Monday, June 18, 2012

17 Weeks, a New Niece, and a Visit from Arlo

As referenced in my previous post, the past week has definitely been an interesting one in my pregnancy journey! I ended up having migraines 3 nights in a row- nights 2 and 3 happening right after my normal bedtime routine. I've now taken to washing up by nightlight, in case the bright bathroom lights reflecting in the mirror were a trigger. I've also forced myself to get off the computer by sunset each night- thinking that perhaps my eyes were getting strained with the more limited lighting. So far, so good.

I became an aunt again this week!! Lance's sister Anna had a beautiful baby girl on June 15th- the first little girl in both of our families! We have 6 nephews on Lance's side and one on mine. Her parents are spending some time with her before finalizing a name, but for now, here are a couple shots of her absolute deliciousness:

Can't wait to kiss that face!

We had some special visitors over the weekend- our friend Steph & her son Arlo! The only thing that could have made the visit better is if Steph's wife Anj could have joined. Arlo is an inquisitive, robust, charismatic little 2 year old (he is 27 months old today!) who is already completely potty trained (they started the "Elimination Communication"technique with him when he was 3 months old). It was so much fun to have a little one's energy in the house! Fun and exhausting.

Here are a few of my favorite shots from our visit:

 Otis meets Arlo. 
The cats weren't too sure about this little fast-moving human!

 He LOVED playing in our water fountain

 Playtime with BC

Nothing like naked toddler time at the breakfast bar

Here are my 17 week updates:

How far along? 17 weeks

How big is baby? About the size of an onion- 5.1 inches long, weighing in around 5.9 ounces. He or she can now hear us fully, and can taste whatever I am eating! The baby's skeleton is changing from soft cartilage to bone, and the placenta is growing stronger & thicker. At my doctor's appointment last Thursday they were able to find the little one's heartbeat almost immediately- a healthy 150-152 beats/minute. That has got to be the most amazing sound ever.

17 weeks and growing....

Weight gain? I was up 3 pounds at my doctor appointment, and it seems another 4 ounces have stacked on over the weekend (I am eating plenty, but still hardly ANYTHING is coming out of me. Damn constipation).

Sleep? I had another manic night of dreams after my first migraine last week, but other than that still good.

Food cravings/aversions?  I've been having an aversion to cereal and yogurt this week (trying to make myself eat SOME yogurt for the constipation). Still loving cheese- that is definitely one constant with this pregnancy!

Symptoms? This week was as doozy with the upkick in migraines & last Tuesday morning's throw up sessions. I was having a lot of round ligament pain last week- pulling/stretching on the sides of my uterus. I also had a tiny bit of pink spotting after a bathroom visit yesterday (which of course freaked me out!) but nothing since. Had some gentle cramping this morning. My boobs are still sore and seem to be slowly but surely continuing to grow.

Maternity clothes? I have started stocking up on summer dresses for work & play- some official maternity dresses, others just great comfy dresses with empire waists (I scored at Ann Taylor Loft over the weekend- LOVE that store!)

Most looking forward to? Starting to order nursery furniture! I visited a few big baby stores last week for initial research, and quickly discovered it can take 9-12 weeks for any ordered furniture to come in. This means we need to decide on items and get ordering soon! I made BC come with me to Buy Buy Baby Friday night after dinner to approve some baby items I'd checked out earlier that day. He was remarking what a hot date night that was, but overall was a trooper! I learned from that visit that he trusts & will defer to my judgement for almost everything we need to buy and order baby related. I am just fine with that, and have already started a preliminary baby registry to keep track of baby loot.

I'm also excited for our upcoming 4th of July celebration in Houston (held the weekend before this year)- where many of my out of town relatives will be coming up for a visit, including my pregnant cousin! It will be so fun to compare our expanding bellies and pregnancy notes. : )

Thursday, June 14, 2012

First Trimester Relapse

This week my pregnancy symptoms have definitely been giving me a run for my money.

Tuesday night Austin had an amazing cold front roll through, dropping temperatures almost 25 degrees in 15 minutes - from 95 down to 70. BC and I took full advantage and headed out for a brisk walk/run. My body was actually really excited to run a bit in this cooler weather! The downside? Flashing migraine lights started halfway through my jog. It got me running a bit faster, as I wanted to get home quickly to proactively take some niacin + Tylenol in an attempt to ward off the pain.

Wednesday night I was washing up for bed, doing nothing out of the ordinary, when the flashing migraine lights started again! WTF. Feeling really bad having to do another round of niacin + Tylenol, I eased myself into bed with throbbing temples. Cue a night full of fitful, restless sleep- including a 1am wake up where I HAD to go get a snack to ward off nausea (that hasn't happened since week 10 or so!)

Then this morning at 6:30 I woke up with intense nausea. As I ran downstairs in an attempt to quickly eat something, I didn't make it in time and had to detour to the bathroom to throw up. I haven't thrown up this entire pregnancy and now at almost 17 weeks- BAM. When BC woke up and I shared the morning's events with him, all he said was "somebody's pregnant!" Thanks for the sympathy, love.

After showering I decided to make quick work of preparing breakfast. As my eggs & toast were nearing completion I spied some suspicious movement at our kitchen sink. There he was- a HUGE Texas- sized cockroach investigating the discarded eggshells (those suckers are about 2+ inches long down here). Now, I am typically one to catch a spider and let it outside, but cockroaches and their lightning speed really freak me out (the ones down here can also fly!) So I took swift action and washed him down the sink then ground him into oblivion with the garbage disposal. Feeling equally bad and disgusted, I immediately ran to the bathroom and threw up again.

Oh sweet little one, you know I'm willing to take on anything to bring you here safely. But I pray that this is NOT the start of a new 'thing' or 'phase' in our pregnancy journey together. And if I'm putting prayers out there? Please let that be the last cockroach I see INSIDE our house for a long, long time!

Today I will visit my chiropractor in the hopes of alleviating the migraines. I also have a regular OB appointment this afternoon- where hopefully I'll hear our little one's strong heartbeat ticking away. I imagine there has been some growth going on, with all the 'fun' I've had this week!

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Reluctant Yogi

I attended my first pre-natal yoga class last week (at the end of one of my "grrrrRRRRRrrrrrr" days- see previous post on that here). Not sure if it was my Ashtanga background or my "grrrrrRRRRRrrrrr" attitude, but I don't think it is my cup of tea. I did love and appreciate being in the midst of many pregnant ladies, all at different points in their pregnancy. However, I felt like we did maybe 30 minutes of actual exercises and had around 60 minutes of talking/relaxation, which didn't fly with this "grrrrRRRRRrrrr" Type A lady. For $17/class I think I can just incorporate some of those poses into my own home practice.

I was also FREEZING in the studio space! I think I may have been in the minority on that one, as halfway through the class, when we were again gently swaying our hips in circles, another (much more pregnant than me) lady told the teacher she felt hot. The air was immediately turned down even further. As my skin bristled with goosebumps and my muscles clenched up those around me might have heard a "grrrrRRRRRRrrrrr" rumble deep down in my throat.

One of the coolest things (pun intended) at class was recognizing a lady on the mat across from me. We'd been eying one another at the beginning of class in the "I think I know you but I'm not quite sure" kind of way.  Sure enough, we share a dear mutual friend, and have seen one another several times at this friends' gatherings. Once I realized who she was, I was immediately ELATED to see her there- as I knew she too hadn't had an easy road with getting pregnant. 

When we chatted after class, one of the first things out of her mouth was "I love your blog!" I was dumbfounded- then amazed- then humbled. Our mutual friend had apparently shared my blog link with her awhile back, and she told me how helpful reading my fertility journey had been to her.

Dear Readers, that is one of the main reasons why I started this blog. When I was at the beginning of our "unexplained infertility" saga, I found several blogs written by women who had struggled for years to conceive. It was incredible to find a community of women who understood what I was going through and actually wrote honestly about it.  I especially loved hearing the tales of families who eventually did conceive- it gave me SO much hope. To hear that I had provided that sense of hope and community for someone else just 

So yeah, I paid $17 for a yoga class that I didn't really groove on- but what I got out of it in way of that connection was absolutely priceless

Saturday, June 9, 2012

16 Weeks (The Hormonal Roller-Coaster)

Today I am 4 months pregnant.  While out shopping earlier, I was loving catching glimpses of my wee baby bump in mirrors- it is definitely noticeable now to anyone who knows me (though strangers may just think I am bloated!)

This past week was the first where I felt some strong hormonal tides commandeering my body. Wednesday night's sleep was racked with insanely manic, busy, stressful dreams- constant frenzied stories in my mind. I slept though the night, but b/c of the crazed dreams woke Thursday in a sluggish fog which hovered over me the entire day. I proceeded to have one of 'those' days- where full glasses of water were spilled, knees were bumped, calls were dropped, horrendous drivers were cutting me off, etc. The energy was seriously awry.

I started the day trying to be very zen about it all- "I have a towel right here to mop up that gallon of water!" "What's another bruise on my knee?" But as the day progressed, I became a grouchy, ornery mess. It also didn't help that my nausea had come back to taunt me.

To test me further, one of my colleagues left town Thursday- and I was set to cover her business while she was away. She had left me a list of buyers, sellers, contracts, etc, and said that things should be pretty quiet.

*Famous last words.*

Within 2 hours of her leaving I'd heard from two different clients of hers, one of which had a new listing they wanted to see ASAP.

Did I mention my own business has been quite busy as well?

The best way to describe how I felt with every call coming in (from her clients and my own) was:


Thursday evening before bed I said a little prayer to please please PLEASE calm the manic dreams. Let me rest and feel rested. The Universe listened- no manic dreams! However, it threw me another curveball; I awoke in the middle of the night to a massive headache. A throbbing, nauseating, pulsating headache. I took 2 Tylenol, drank a glass of water, & eventually fell back asleep with my knuckles lodged into the nubs on the back of my neck. Thanks, Universe. I'll be adding that little gem to the nightly prayer list of items to please avoid.

Needless to say Friday was another "grrrrrRRRRrrrrr" day. Little patience, little energy, and an overall feeling of being extremely drained. It was a non-stop business day- writing offers, showing property, answering calls, etc. As the day came to a close, I took a MUCH needed catnap before heading out with BC for date night.

And as such, my batteries were gently recharged. We had a fabulous dinner, and I even allowed myself about 1/2 a glass of white wine as a naughty treat (it was a-mazing). I watched a documentary called "First Position" that I'd been wanting to see, and got to bed nice and early.

I slept soundly. No manic dreams, no headaches.

This morning I woke up with rainbows and butterflies all around me. An email came in from my colleagues' clients wanting to go see homes about a 35 minute drive away.

"Well, SURE! Does 10am work?"

As I was returning from my country house viewing adventure, another colleague who was out of town texted me, asking if there was any way I could show his buyers a few homes in East Austin later that day?"

"No problem- send along those MLS numbers!"

And thus was my Saturday. Admittedly I was a bit exhausted by day's end from it all, but oh so grateful for the abundance of patience and ease and sunshiny happiness I awoke with today. It was needed.

I attribute the hormonal surges to a lot of activity going on with the babe- which is a nice segway to my 16 week updates:

How far along? 16 weeks

How big is baby? The size of an avocado! The coolest thing about this week's development is that tiny bones are forming in the baby's ears, meaning he/she can now start to hear our voices! Knowing this, I am going to be singing more to the little one, in the hopes that he/she inherits my ear for music (unfortunately BC, as much as he tries, is tone-deaf). The little one is developing eyelashes, eyebrows, & more hair, and also forming taste buds.

Total weight gain? Up 2.2 lbs this morning. Sadly, still constipated.

Sleep? The manic dream episode this week was something else- like my system was oozing with stress hormones & using them to create an exhausting nocturnal adventure. Between that and the horrible headache I had two really off nights. Other than that- as long as I get to bed at a decent hour- I sleep well. Reading prior to bed helps a LOT- I can only go about 10-15 minutes before getting bleary-eyed, but it definitely puts my mind in a state of ease.

Food cravings/aversions? We had sushi last night, and it tasted like pure HEAVEN (don't worry- I made sure the rolls I ordered had allowable, cooked fish inside). My body needs a healthy dose of protein daily, and I am definitely wanting to eat more often. I don't feel well if I eat too much or too little- leaving me feeling on most days like poor little Goldilocks.

Symptoms? My nausea kicked back in the last few days, on/off throughout the day. The crazy manic dream episode was new and something I hope I don't revisit. I am still feeling pretty fatigued, and had quite the hormonal mood swings this week.

Most looking forward to?  Some ENERGY. Where are you, oh so elusive 2nd trimester energy? I promise to put you to good use should you choose to gift me with your presence. I am also very much looking forward to starting to feel the baby move- apparently that often begins between 18-20 weeks... not too far off now!

Monday, June 4, 2012

15 weeks

How far along? 15 weeks

How big is baby? The baby is now the size of an apple- about 4 inches long and weighing 2 1/2 ounces.

Behold, the 15 week belly!

Total weight gain: I was up 2 pounds as of the weekend- likely due at least partially to the fact that I am quite constipated again. : (

Sleep: Good, as long as I get to bed at a reasonable hour!

Food cravings: Melted cheese. This has been around since the beginning of the pregnancy & still reigns strong. Also loving tomatoes- tomato salads, fresh tomatoes, etc (but NOT tomato sauce/salsa).

Food aversions: None this week

Symptoms? My left glute cheek still feels pulled every now and again. I am also waiting patiently for all this 2nd trimester energy I hear about? Hasn't hit me yet- I still feel just as tired as always, slipping away most days for a 20 minute nap. My boobs continue to be sore, and my right armpit continues to itch.

Most looking forward to: My June 14th doctor check up. Sadly there won't be any ultrasound this visit, but I will hopefully get to hear the heartbeat & just make sure that everything is progressing well.

I had a really weird dream last night where I was on a small airplane and couldn't find another breathing soul on the flight. I searched & searched, but all I found was a woman's unconscious body lying in a contraption that can best be described as something like in the Avatar movie- where folks slept as they became their Avatars. I wondered about this lady, and was drawn to a computer screen that prompted me to put in a password. I intuitively knew to plug in the name of our future child (girl's name). Then another screen took photos of a few of my facial features & asked me to choose brown/green eyes or blue eyes. I chose blue. At that moment I understood that the woman was our future daughter- in her grown up body- incubating & making the journey to us. Strange and fascinating!

In other updates, we pulled off an awesome surprise this past weekend for BC's sister Julie's 40th birthday. She knew BC and I would be coming into town (Houston) Saturday to help celebrate. What she didn't know was that another sister- Christie- had flown into Austin & was driving up with us. When we arrived to her house, we greeted her, her husband, & our adorable nephew Miles. Then we told her we needed some help getting her present out of the back of our car.  Christie jumped out from beneath a pile of blankets & definitely aged Julie another several years! It was a huge success, and we all had a great celebration together.