Saturday, July 28, 2012

23 Week Updates

I was sent for my 3rd Anatomy Scan ultrasound this past Thursday.... and I have to say, I LOVED the clinic I was sent to. It is always a treat to see our little one, but this visit took the cake. The technician who performed most of the scan genuinely was loving what she did- giggling at our little lady's antics- and the doctor himself was a sweet, intelligent, wonderful guy. The most amazing surprises? They had 3D imaging AND gave me a live DVD of the session! The first time the tech switched to the 3D view I freaked out a bit (in a good way), not knowing they had that technology. I always thought those 3D pictures looked a little creepy, but I have to say when it is your own baby they are fascinating. And of course I am going to subject you- Dear Readers- to some of the pictures. What can I say, I'm a proud mama!

 The images come out a bit distorted, but are incredible nonetheless. She was moving and dancing around like CRAZY and really didn't want to cooperate with many face forward shots. Looks like she may have some full lips like BC!

 She also appears to have BC's adorable little ears. I sure hope so.

And in other resemblances to BC- who is all limbs- look at the length of those legs! She was stretching them out straight quite a bit.

This one is a little dark but if you look closely she is sucking her thumb

It again proved difficult to get the still shots needed with how much she was moving around- but happily we were finally able to see her heart, and everything looked perfect and healthy! The doc didn't mention anything about my amniotic fluid... I had asked the tech about it at the very beginning of the session and she said she absolutely wouldn't worry about it- that all women have different levels, etc. So I am going to take that advice!

One thing the doc did bring up was Franny. Good 'ole Franny (my fibroid) hasn't grown much, but she is oh so close to my cervix. The doctor traced on the screen how big the baby's head would eventually be and how much room she'd need to properly exit the birth canal, and said he'd put money on Franny making it very difficult to have a vaginal delivery. Boo! There is definitely still a chance that as my uterus grows Franny might be pushed further away from my cervix, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that is the case. I figure our little one will come exactly how she is meant to come- and if she is hell bent on coming in a natural vaginal delivery, then she can help push Franny out of her way! 

On to the 23 week updates:

How far along? 23 weeks today

How big is baby? She was measuring right around a pound on Thursday, which is exactly where she should be. The baby websites say she is the size of a grapefruit now, just shy of 12 inches long.

This week the baby is apparently starting to feel things like hunger, thirst, sadness, fear, and happiness- which is amazing, and makes me want to be even more conscious of my moods & attitude.

Weight gain? I am up about a half pound from last week- for a total of 8.4 lbs.

23 week belly: looks a bit pointy today

Sleep? Still good, though I freakishly woke up at 6:30 this morning and couldn't get back to sleep.

Symptoms? I have had a 1st trimester relapse in the past few days! I had 2 days of nausea, and have been really tired all day long. I've noticed my eyes are red in the morning, which in the first trimester was a signal of all the hormones going crazy. I've been quite constipated, despite my maximum doses of nightly magnesium. I've felt less patient and more grouchy than normal, and also got my first migraine in a LONG time 2 nights ago (interestingly enough I'd done acupuncture that day- so think maybe the session stirred up something). One of the pregnancy websites that sends me weekly updates says at 23 weeks hormones start raging again- and boy, are they ever!

Most looking forward to? Our Babymoon vacation, which is now only 2 weeks away! We'll be spending a full week relaxing in New Mexico, and I am very much looking forward to unplugging and unwinding with BC in the cool mountain air.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

She Guards Her Heart

I had my first official appointment at Nurture OBGYN yesterday, and got to see this adorable little lady again:

I may be biased, but isn't that one of the cutest profiles you've ever seen?

At our initial Anatomy Scan (where they looked at all her organs, measurements, etc) the ultrasound tech hadn't been able to get a good picture of Baby Girl's heart, due to her position and how much she was moving around. So yesterday Nurture wanted to repeat the A/S to hopefully get some better shots. And she was still being stubborn! She was lying with her back facing up to the ultrasound wand, and no matter what jiggling or side lying was done, she wouldn't budge. She was also dancing and wiggling around like crazy, making it really hard to get pictures.

So tomorrow I am being sent for a THIRD scan where hopefully they will get the pictures they need (and truth be told, there are worse things than getting to see our little girl again)! One thing the tech did mention was that my amniotic fluid was measuring on the "high side of normal." This wasn't brought up as a concern at my first scan, and I know fluid varies day to day, so I am really hoping tomorrow it is in the 'comfortable' side of normal. Baby Girl didn't show ANY signs of anything that might cause the extra fluid, so here's hoping tomorrow she reveals her healthy heart to us and all looks good! 

Monday, July 23, 2012 FAIL

I can't believe I am typing those words.

I got my first package of sweet baby clothes today (the first in likely many days of deliveries- I've gone a little crazy on that site). Here are the pieces that arrived:

Adorable, right? I love the fabric!  However, look more closely- neither outfit has ANY SNAPS OR ZIPPERS ANYWHERE ON THEM. How the heck am I supposed to get these on a baby? And heaven forbid if I need to change the baby while she is in the outfit....

You can bet I am going to be much more careful when ordering outfits moving forward. Perhaps I can get a local seamstress to add snaps to the pants of each outfit- though after paying the cost to do this, the sale price doesn't seem quite so attractive. Now I know why certain clothes are so discounted! The baby apparently can't even wear them.

On a somewhat different tangent, have I ever mentioned the recent love affair I've been having with France/French related books? Particularily those about American women who moved to France and documented the differences between our 2 cultures. Several examples of books I've read in the past 6 months:

*Lunch in Paris
*Paris in Love
*Bringing up Bebe

And yesterday in a baby book buying frenzy, I picked up "French Children Eat Everything," which I can't wait to start. I am especially fascinated by the differences in child rearing, eating habits, & sleeping habits between our two cultures.

So it was only fitting that this morning I had coffee with an old friend who has been living in Paris for several years. She brought with her a lovely gift for Baby Lambert from the University she works at:

Snaps and everything!

No pressure, Baby Girl, but oh would mommy and daddy love it if you decided you wanted to attend a French University some day. Might be just the excuse we need to realize our dreams of moving abroad.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

22 Week Updates

I've been a busy girl with work this week! My dear friend Lisa- who is also a Realtor- is leaving for a week's vacation (during which she'll be married!). Her business was officially handed over to me yesterday, so needless to say this upcoming week may be even busier (especially if this morning's activity was any indication). I am grateful we have one another to help out during these transitions in our lives- as we truly trust each other and run our businesses in the same manner. She stepped in 4 years ago when I married BC, and I am more than happy to return the favor.

Baby Girl has been very active this week- lots of little gentle kicks & punches throughout the day. I also had my first experience yesterday of seeing my stomach become lopsided! I was lying on the couch and when I looked down there was a definite bulge to the right of my belly button. She definitely favors my right side- I have NEVER felt any kicks on the left, which is interesting. Perhaps she is trying to stay as far away from Franny as possible....

And how cute is THIS idea? A tree decal with shelves! I am keeping my fingers crossed that BC doesn't boycott it as being too "baby" or "cutesy," b/c I really, really love it and think it would be adorable in our nursery.

How far along? 22 weeks

How big is baby? About 11.5 inches long- this week's fruit size comparison is a Papaya (what is up with all the random, unusual fruits?). The pregnancy websites vary in what they estimate her weight is - anywhere from about 3/4 to 1 full pound of baby. One interesting fact: a baby's hair is pure white at this point in their development- the pigment that will ultimately determine their hair color won't develop for another couple of weeks.

Weight gain? I am now up a total of 7.8 lbs, which is almost a 2 lb gain from last week! This week I had my first random stranger comments about being pregnant. One guy at the gas station called out 'congratulations!' and asked if it was a boy or a girl. Another guy at a convenience store joked that it looked like I needed to go on a diet. Real funny, dude. One of my girlfriends remarked that only a guy would be brave enough to comment at this point in a pregnancy. Women tend to be a bit more careful, in the event that in lieu of pregnancy I just carry extra weight out front, or maybe just gave birth a few months ago. You just never know.

22 week belly

Food cravings/aversions? Baked goods taste like pure heaven to me. I'm not going overboard with them, but oh are they dee-lish. I just devoured an afternoon piece of coffee cake- perhaps there *is* a correlation between this delight in baked goods and the almost 2 lb swing in weight this week?

Sleep? Great! I think the nightly Magnesium is really helping across the board- with migraines, constipation, AND sleep.

Symptoms? Still occasional round ligament pain that needs time to stretch out when I get up from sitting. I've also had a strange mix of feeling a bit congested coupled with really dry nasal passages, leading to some mild bloody noses. I've noticed (sorry for TMI!) my nipples are also starting to darken a bit, which I've heard happens in pregnancy as an evolutionary means to help the baby more easily find its food source. Amazing stuff.

Most looking forward to? Hopefully a relaxing pool day tomorrow! I've been working so hard I am hoping to unwind a bit, and water + sunshine is a sure fire formula for me toward total relaxation.

I am also excited for my first official appointment with my new clinic this Tuesday- Nurture OBGYN. I'll get to have a brief look at Baby Girl again by ultrasound, which is always a treat!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Nurturing Myself

Ever since my Anatomy Scan, when I was less than impressed with my current doctor's bedside manner (I still can't believe she didn't even acknowledge BC!), I've been on the hunt for a new "home" for my pregnancy journey. I've had visions of personal, attentive care... providers who actually remember me and want BC to be involved in this process as well.

I LOVE the midwife/birthing center models, and we did a Meet and Greet at a fabulous downtown birthing center called Birthwise. We loved the group of midwives, loved the facilities, and I especially loved the deep birthing tubs. However, I know myself, and know that I am likely to be MOST relaxed on the big day somewhere where I know medical backup is close at hand.

Our next stop was a tour of St. David's North hospital and a Meet and Greet with a unique group called OB-GYN North that has 3 midwives & 3 OBs working together. You meet with a different practitioner for each pre-natal visit, and every day of the week one of these ladies is on call and her ONLY job is to be present at the hospital with her laboring mamas. They have a very laid back, 'birth is a normal and healthy process' attitude, and also boasted a low c-section rate of 11%. I don't know if it was the lemonade they were serving (I never have lemonade) or her approval of the group itself, but Baby Girl was kicking up a STORM during the event- so much so that BC got to feel her for the first time! I took that as a sign that we were on the right path....

Which brings me to yesterday, my last Meet and Greet at Nurture OBGYN. This is a boutique office in North Austin that has one midwife and one OB working as a team. They were actually previously a part of the OB-GYN North group but branched off on their own to offer even more personalized care to their clients. Their office has cucumber infused water, cookies, apples, & cool art on every wall. They only take on about 12-15 births/month, and schedule a full 30 minutes for every patient appointment. They also boast a very low (10%) c-section rate, and genuinely want to get to know their clients. They even do a postpartum home visit one week after birth! One of these ladies is always at the hospital with the birthing mama- in the past year, there has been only ONE birth where they had to have another doc provide back-up. They also talked about & referred to BC many times during our visit- wondering when they might get to meet him as well!

Needless to say, I've found a new home- and am SO happy to have discovered this small, intimate practice- where I get personalized care with a midwife AND a doctor, and still will labor at a renowned major hospital where drugs resources are close at hand.

I also thought is was pretty fitting that the Nurture groups' symbol- seen here- is amazingly similar to the one and only tattoo I got years back. That is a story unto itself.

In conclusion and for your viewing pleasure, I bring you a few photos from my Great Tattoo Adventure of 2007- where I very vividly remember declaring that I thought the pain of getting a tattoo must be similar to the pain of childbirth. Ha!

 You're going to do what to me?

Hurt like #*%&@%@*%

I found that biting my hands & humming helped the pain.
For some reason "Battle Hymn of the Republic" was my chosen tune, and yes, BC & the tattoo artist were laughing at me the entire time.

Tell me they are almost done...

Voila! My finished sunshine (which is much less bloody these days).
It was only AFTER this was done that BC told me about the term "tramp-stamp." Sweet. I was so proud.

Pain? What pain? Let's do another! 
I think the amnesia following the pain of a tattoo is probably similar to the amnesia after childbirth- allowing one to have subsequent tattoos and children (though for me one tattoo is PLENTY)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

21 Weeks and a Bachelorette Party

We celebrated my good friend Lisa's impending nuptials Saturday night in proper Bachelorette form- i.e: with lots of penis paraphernalia:

 The bride to be in her special hat opening presents

 BC's boob mug made an appearance

The gang- TERRIBLE angle of me, as I ran into the shot to make the camera timer and was unfortunately closest to the lens. Note to self: don't ever crouch like that again with your arms on your legs for photos! Not cute.

We dined at Lambert's downtown and Lisa's hat proved to be an excellent centerpiece

Three out of the 8 ladies at the gathering were pregnant! And one had to get home to relieve a babysitter for her newborn. Happily the non pregnant ladies represented after dinner- with a bit of bar hopping for the bride. We all had a great time, and are so excited for this next chapter in Lisa's life.

In other news, I would like to come clean with an addiction I've recently developed. It is called "," and it is truly as evil as it is fantastic. Every day this site sends me an email with about 8 links to the most adorable baby clothes manufacturers at clearance prices. And every day I cave and buy something. It has seriously become a problem. Friday I even forbade myself from opening that morning's email link... but by evening I became weak and started browsing, finding more outfits I Baby Lambert is going to have one fine zulily wardrobe, that's for darn sure.

On to my 21 week updates:

How far along? 21 weeks

How big is baby? She is apparently the size of a pomegranate (I don't even know what those look like!) or a banana- about 10.5 inches long, and 12.7 ounces. This week the baby is learning her "circadian rhythms," starting to sleep and wake in cycles. I definitely notice her moving around every night just after I lay down for bed... which I'm sure will be awesome once she is here and I am trying to get some rest! The baby's weight gain will start to slow a little as her brain and heart development take off in the next few weeks. 

Weight gain? Yesterday I was officially up another 1/2 pound for a total of 6 pounds. 

 There's almost a pound of baby in there! 
She was definitely giving me 'growing pains' last week

And a fancy Bachelorette dress belly shot

Sleep?  Really good and sound. I had a brief 2 hour romance with a pregnancy pillow called "The Snoogle," hoping it would help with the ridiculous ligament pain I had last week. I fell blissfully asleep cuddling my new Snoogle. However, when I awoke 2 hours later my neck was sore & cricked, so the Snoogle spent the rest of the night on the floor and was returned to the store the following day. I am still finding my back the most comfortable sleeping position. I've heard mixed opinions on back sleeping in pregnancy, as it is believed to restrict blood flow to the baby as your belly gets heavier. The majority of the ladies on my November mamas board (yes I'm a nerd- that board is an AWESOME resource for information!) concur that my body will tell me when back sleeping will no longer work. For now I will sleep any way that allows me a great nights' sleep, as I know those days are limited!

Food cravings/aversions? Still nothing notable. I have been enjoying something sweet in the evenings- and continue to love cheese and avoid chicken.

Symptoms? The round ligament pain episode earlier this week was a doozy. Happily, it was only awful for about a day and a half before subsiding. I think removing a pillow from between my knees while sleeping helped, as did seeing my chiropractor. BC was also amazing and went out to help me put all my real estate signs at my listings this week. All which got multiple offers the first day on the market, making my work world insane (but believe me I am not complaining- still in the home stretch to bolster our 'baby fund' all we can before November!)

The last 2 mornings I have also woken up with slight nausea & a slight headache. I still keep peanut butter crackers next to the bed, so that is helping.

I had my first daytime leaking episode yesterday as well....I tell 'ya, this pregnancy stuff is HOT. I was with clients looking at a house and felt a warm whoosh. I was a bit freaked out, praying it was not blood. Nope. Just awesome leaking. Sadly, I think it's time to start wearing liners daily.

Most looking forward to? Settling on a new doctor. Post on that to follow....

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Highs and Lows

Wowza... I have been experiencing some serious pain the last 2 days. Apparently it is "round ligament pain," and it is intense. I've had it off and on for the past couple of months- but never so bad for such an extended period of time. It is the absolute worst when I get up from sitting, like my entire lower abdomen- especially inside my right hip wrapping around to my right lower back & rectal area- are clenched tight. It is extremely hard to walk and move, and I am sure there were many bystanders today giggling at my Frankenstein lurches. The pain in the rectal area is quite a treat- relieved somewhat this morning with a bathroom visit, but now tugging & hurting again. I do feel like my belly has noticeably "popped" in the past couple of days, so I'm sure all of this growth is causing some confusion for my body.

Now how am I supposed to install 3 huge real estate signs in the ground at 3 different new listings tomorrow? I am seriously worried about that- the stakes are hard to get in the ground & require using a mallet while bending over to drive them down. Sweetness. I'll be the hot sweaty pregnant Realtor trying to flag down neighbors to take mercy on me.

I had a chiropractic session scheduled for this afternoon- hoping for some relief- but alas I just got a call that the doc got a migraine & is canceling patients for the day. I am now working while lying down on the couch- the *only* position that is somewhat comfortable.

Upon my nurse's recommendation, I did pick up this Medela support belt while running errands today:

This pregnancy is making me sexier by the second.....

I am re-scheduled for the chiropractor tomorrow morning & will go to prenatal yoga after's hoping something helps! Since the worst of the pain happens after getting up from sitting, I have also ordered a yoga ball chair and a cushion to sit on in the car. Game on, round ligament pain! I am coming for you.

Those are definitely some of the 'lows' of pregnancy. The 'highs?' 

BABY GIRL CLOTHES. It is seriously cute, dangerous business, this expecting a baby girl. I've been picking up pieces here and there- knowing that little ones go through a LOT of outfits. So fun!

 Lots of adorable newborn footed pajamas

 Looking ahead toward the Austin summer when she'll be 6-9 months old

Baby bonnets! Too, too much

Sounds about right

I've cleaned out & started organizing the nursery closet, and this weekend we will move the futon to the 3rd floor. I've been spending way too much time researching the best baby gear, and am slowly but surely compiling a registry toward our early fall baby shower.

After almost 3 years of struggling to get pregnant, I am fully embracing the highs AND the lows of this pregnancy, feeling absolutely grateful for every step in the journey. 


Saturday, July 7, 2012

20 Week Updates (and Nursery Furniture!)

Babycakes and I had a lovely evening celebrating our 4th anniversary. We had an incredible meal at the Driskill Grill in our beloved Driskill Hotel- complete with a fancy congratulatory dessert. We then spent the evening watching our wedding video- put together by the fabulous Rings and Cake company. Having a videographer was a last minute addition to our wedding planning & budget, and one that initially BC wasn't so sure about. Turns out it was the BEST investment we could have made, as we savor the tradition of watching the video every year on our anniversary.

Anniversary dinner shot. 
The "girls" were out on display- they are definitely filling out clothes better these days!

Our nursery furniture was delivered today! Everything but the rocker & ottoman came. It is amazing how a room that once seemed huge now seems TINY with all of this stuff. I had hoped to keep our futon in the room for nights when I had to crash there, but now I am seriously reconsidering that. I could always snooze in the rocker....

Here are the "before" shots of the room:

And here are the "after" shots:

Dear Futon, you've served this room well- but I think I see you getting booted to the 3rd floor in the VERY near future.....

Here's a shot of the fabric & design of the chair we ordered from the Little Castle company (through Buy Buy Baby). I LOVE it- and it was half the price of the Pottery Barn model I liked! It will also take up quite a bit of room.

On to my 20 week updates- halfway through this pregnancy!

How far along? 20 weeks today

How big is baby? She is compared to the size of a banana this week, and is really developing her taste buds. She samples everything I eat or drink (she *might* have tasted some sips of champagne last night), and apparently my tastes now can/will influence her preferences later.

Weight gain? I was up 5.5 lbs this morning! I think our baby girl is going through a growth spurt. I've also had two huge dinners the last couple of nights, and (sounding like a broken record here)... not much is coming out again.

This is only 4 days after my 19 week picture (that one was taken late)- but I do think I am really starting to pop out more!

Sleep? Starting to get a little more challenging. I am trying hard to stop sleeping on my back, so brought in a couple body pillows to snuggle with on my side. I am most comfortable on my left side (which thankfully is the side that is best for pregnant ladies to be on)- but staying there all.night.long can definitely put kinks on my system (see hip issues below).

Food cravings/aversions? Nothing too interesting this week.

Symptoms? The worst this week is a pretty bad tugging/tightness across my right hip down through the groin. It happens mostly when I get up from sitting at my desk, and makes it hard to walk for a little while until I can shake & stretch it back out. I also got a migraine at my prenatal yoga class yesterday (yes- I've been going back to prenatal yoga! Happily have found a couple teachers I really like.) The class I went to yesterday was held in a room with frosted glass windows, and b/c the teacher stood in front of the windows while demonstrating it was a really perfect recipe to trigger my headache.

Most looking forward to? Starting to put together decorations for the nursery! Now that the main furniture pieces are in place, it will be much easier to design the rest. The walls of the nursery are a pale creamy yellow, and I envision white curtains, a white rug, and small tasteful accents of pink and sage green in a kind of french/nature theme (I totally made that blend up). I actually have a Pinterest board where I've been keeping nursery decor ideas (link here). I started it before we knew it was a girl, through it has always bent toward the girly (couldn't shake that intuition!)

Friday, July 6, 2012

4th Wedding Anniversary and Our Gender Reveal!

Four years ago today I woke up with butterflies in my stomach, knowing that this was the day I would marry my best friend- my sweet BC. We'd been together 2 1/2 years, living together for 1 1/2 (through a major house remodel no less!) and were so ready and so excited to make things official.

We got married at the beautiful Barr Mansion in Austin, surrounded by 75 of our closest friends & family. The day couldn't have been more perfect- ending in a fabulous fireworks display and the Honeymoon Suite at our beloved Driskill Hotel.

Here are some of my favorite shots of BC and I on our wedding day:

We're married!

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes......

Our big Anatomy Scan ultrasound last Thursday, June 28th! This is an in depth look at the baby- measuring everything from the heart to the brain to the legs. One thing I learned from this appointment? I think I need a new doctor. After the scan was complete we had an appointment with my OB, and I assumed she was going to go over the results with us. It was the first time BC was meeting her, and she didn't even acknowledge him. Seriously? She also informed us another doctor interprets the scan results for her, so we wouldn't hear anything that day (and I still haven't heard anything back!). She said upon first glance all looked normal, but that it wasn't uncommon to get a call back in to meet with a perinatologist, even if there wasn't anything serious. Thanks a lot, lady. So glad we had this appointment to hear that.

We knew we could find out the sex of our baby at this appointment. We'd brought a special card with us- requesting that the ultrasound tech write down the results in the card and not share them with us at the appointment. BC and I wanted to unveil the news later that night at a special dinner, just the two of us.

The card I oh-so-carefully picked out. Didn't want it to be too boy or girl looking. 
This design looked cosmic and gender neutral to me.

I also, in my frou-frou ways, wondered if my pedicure that morning foreshadowed news to come?

Here are a few shots of our little one from the appointment.... hmm... boy or girl?

We could not WAIT to get to dinner, so of course made 5pm reservations. I felt like the card was burning a hole in my purse- pulsating with the news of whether we were expecting a son or daughter. I couldn't shake two things from our ultrasound appointment:

*I could have SWORN I heard the tech say "he" at one point when talking about the baby's profile

*When we were looking the other way as the tech took the 'money shot' picture, I listened to the clicks of her typing and didn't hear many clicks, leading me again to think she was more likely typing "boy" than "girl."

And here is what we found when we finally opened up the card........

A little girl! A daughter! We were absolutely over the moon with the news, and I was grateful to know my mommy intuition wasn't as flawed as my sense of direction!

 A couple shots just after learning the news

So, so happy!!!

We couldn't wait to surprise my family with the news at our big 4th of July family reunion last weekend. They had NO idea we'd found out what we were having. We spent the day casually polling everyone about their guesses, and talking about how excited we were to find out the sex 'in July.' Little did they know that the cake I'd brought for dessert had a very special colored layer of frosting inside of it....

After dinner, we decided it was time. I called everyone into the kitchen, saying we had an announcement. My mom immediately began sobbing- she totally knew what was happening and was so overcome with emotion. It was adorable. We told my parents that the cake would reveal what we were having, and with shaking hands, my mom cut in to reveal the pink frosting interior. Everyone was crying and hugging and rejoicing in the news- it was AWESOME.

Moments after the big reveal!

The well disguised cake

As we all dispersed back outside, a brilliant rainbow emerged from the stormy sky. You can't make this sort of thing up! An absolutely perfect end to a perfect day.

Sweet baby girl, we cannot WAIT to welcome you into the family!!
You are so, so loved.