Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Official Announcement :-)

Steve's parents decided they didn't want to wait, so here's the official announcement- 

We're having a little GIRL!!!

The u/s technician said she was 100% sure, and that everything looked perfect and healthy. We are beyond excited- now just to settle on a name. And go shopping, of course! 

 

New pictures!

Announcement about Boy or Girl will be shouted from the rooftops first thing Saturday morning....so in the meantime, here are some new pictures of our little one!














Profile of the baby, waving- "Hi Mom and Dad!"

















Baby foot!

















Baby relaxing with his/her arm behind his/her head...exactly the same position I was in when this picture was taken!














This one kind of creeps me out, not gonna lie, but it's neat that Baby is looking right at where the u/s tech was poking.













Mid-roll...look at the little spine. 


Baby has come a long way since our 6 week ultrasound!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

18 weeks!

Pregnancy Week 18: (from hisboyscanswim.com)
Mr. 5 o’clock shadow, your baby is now about the size of a small electric shaver. 






From thebump.com:


Your fetus has become amazingly mobile (at least compared to you), passing the hours yawning, hiccuping, rolling, twisting, kicking, punching, sucking and swallowing. And, baby's finally big enough that you'll be able to feel those movements soon. 

Okay, what's your guess?

Our big ultrasound is first thing in the morning tomorrow, so I want your predictions!

What's Your Guess?

Friday, April 23, 2010

A little clarification for the husbands

Dear Husband, 

Just in case this comes up again, the baby does NOT count as my date for social engagements which you do not wish to attend. But nice try  :-)

XOXO, 

Your wife

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Welcome to the new blog!

New blog, new background, same fun times :-). I decided to move over so I could use pretty backgrounds, and also make it easier for YOU to follow the blog and find posts that you're looking for. You'll notice that there is an easy way to subscribe to posts, and also a search bar (which in theory just searches my blog so if you forget one of my brilliant comments and want to find it later, hopefully it will be easier) and also a way to follow the blog, if you have that set up.

The one bad thing about moving is that I lost all of your sweet and supportive comments- so don't be shy, leave us a comment!

So set this as the new bookmark and thanks for reading!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

17 weeks!


From thebump.com Baby Size Guide: Baby’s skeleton is hardening, changing from rubbery cartilage to bone, and fat is finally accumulating around it. The umbilical cord is getting thicker and stronger, and those little fingers and toes are now topped by one-of-a-kind prints.
I can’t believe we’ve already got 17 weeks under our belt. And I also can’t believe that this stupid nausea/vomiting is still here. I’ve got my fingers crossed that it goes away soon but I’m starting to become convinced that I’m going to be one of “those” women that have sickness throughout the entire pregnancy. Blech.
My belly’s slowly getting bigger…although the baby’s heartbeat is still usually found really low on the belly- which could mean that she’s laying upside down, and the flutters that I’m feeling are in fact punches, not kicks. It will be interesting to see him/her on the ultrasound next week and see how she’s laying. She’s definitely got her “spot” that she likes! Oh, and I’m still thinking it’s a girl this week, if you can’t tell, haha.
Here’s a 17 week picture for you, sorry it’s so dark:

Feeling the flutters!

I can only feel them when I’m sitting still or laying down, but the flutters have definitely started! I don’t really know how to describe how they feel so I’ll stick with the butterfly- it feels like there’s a butterfly in my belly. The doctor said that usually women can start to feel them around 17-18 weeks and so I’m right on schedule- good job, baby!

Babies and Baseball

I’m up way too early on a Sunday morning (would it be mean to go “accidentally” wake up the hubby? Hmm…) so I figured it’s a good time for a blog post.

Yesterday we invited ourselves over to Kirby and Daniel’s apartment to bring them dinner. As this blog’s biggest fans know, Kirby and Daniel just had a baby girl a little over a week ago and have been settling in to the new parent life. I had been looking forward to meeting the baby all week and Felicity didn’t disappoint- what a sweet little girl! Kirby let me hold her pretty much the entire time that we were there and it was surreal to have a human being that little squirming in my lap…it also hit home that in 5 months WE’RE going to have something that little LIVING IN OUR HOUSE AND WE HAVE TO KEEP IT ALIVE????!!! (cue breathing into a paper bag, lamaze style)

Anxiety-ridden meltdowns aside, it was so much fun seeing K&D and getting to play with Felicity. I’m back to thinking our little one is a girl again this week so it was doubly fun to see her little pink pants and imagine our baby daughter (hopefully Steve will actually hold ours though- he made it quite clear that he would never forgive me if I plunked Felicity down in his hands because he would promptly drop her and feel really bad. Sorry Kirby). It also made me want to go to Babies R Us today and decorate the entire nursery, but I guess it would be better to wait and see what we’re actually having…or even better, to stick with the original “gender neutral” nursery plan. Sigh.

We went to the Braves game too to celebrate Sarah Morgan’s birthday- it was fun and I’m glad I had my sweatshirt! We also got to see Chris and Kathryn again which was fun- I’m thinking we need some more double dates in the future.

Cute things the Husband Does

Steve has been excited and supportive of me during the pregnancy so far (especially once he actually believed I was pregnant, haha) so I thought I’d give him a shout-out and give everyone a sneak peek of some of the sweet things he’s been doing.
1) Doing the dishes. To a woman with an extremely sensitive nose and an even more sensitive gag reflex, this is an effort that never goes unappreciated!!
2) Going on very slow walks with me. We used to walk almost every night at a pretty fast pace, but now we’re lucky to go once every 3 weeks at what a generous person might describe as an amble. But it sure is nice to get out of the house!
3) Making me smoothies every morning. As an effort to get more fruits/veggies into my diet, along with a dose of protein powder (ok’d by my doc!), Steve happily makes me a smoothie every morning and then sticks it in the fridge for me to grab on my way out the door. The cold smoothie also feels great on my poor tender tummy, so he gets double points for this one.
4) Assuring me that I still look beautiful and sexy, even with a growing belly
5) Going on grocery store runs. This man hates going to the grocery store like you would not even believe, but he’s offered to go on multiple occasions provided I email him the list :-) .
6) He actually gets into my lengthy and overly detailed conversations about baby equipment and nursery thoughts, and offers an opinion and his thoughts on the item discussion. It’s nice to have someone else who is willing to overthink things like this, because a baby shopping list can be extremely overwhelming!
7) He’s been very understanding and self-sufficient with our lack of a dinner schedule or any kind of meal plan for the last 4 months. Most evenings he quite happily makes himself a sandwich, but he’s also always up for a venture out when I’m in the mood for something specific. For someone who used to enjoy planning out the weekly meals and trying new recipes, it’s been an adjustment for me, but it is also nice to have the other person affected by this go with the flow and not complain. Hopefully this will get better soon!
8.) He very understandingly agreed not to pursue his stringent diet during these 9+ months. I made it quite clear that if I had to get daily updates on how much weight he had lost, I would develop quite the severe psychological complex. So he put the weight loss goals on hold and is instead focusing on weight lifting and eating healthy. He’s still feeling great and staying in shape, but I love that he was understanding about my self esteem issues and agreed to put the scale-monitoring on hold.
There are of course many others but these are the ones I’m currently thinking of. Thanks for being such a great husband and a wonderful father-to-be!!

16 Weeks!


Baby is still kicking my butt, but we’re now at 16 weeks! Maybe I’ll start to turn the corner soon?? Hasn’t happened yet, so let’s focus on the fun part- the baby!!
Watch what you say… tiny bones forming in baby’s ears mean the little one can now pick up your voice. Eyebrows, lashes and hair are starting to fill in, and taste buds are forming. And, if you’re interested, an ultrasound might be able to determine gender (we get to find out April 28th!).
I have also discovered a more manly guide to the size of your baby, so for the hubs:
Pregnancy Week 16:
Man, you are a STUD! Your baby is now the size of a small stud finder.
And for the 16 week belly shot:

Looking forward to another new adventure

The day before I hit the 2nd trimester, I bit the bullet and told my boss about the baby, and about my plans to stay at home after the baby comes. It’s something that I’ve always known I wanted to do, and I figured it was more fair to my boss to give him as much heads up as I could, while still feeling comfortable about not telling too early. At the risk of sounding a little too full of myself, my boss depends heavily on me as a salesperson for the company, and I didn’t want to hurt him or the rest of the employees here by leaving unexpectedly, or trying to pretend like I was going to come back (we don’t get maternity leave here anyways, so I didn’t really have anything to lose). My boss handled it very well and was appreciative of me being open and honest about my plans, and he was very excited for us about the baby.
It’s going to be an adjustment going from working full time to being a homemaker. And it seems like everyone has an opinion on the value of a homemaker, although I think it’s incredibly important, and Steve does too. I believe that the women of the past worked hard to give us a choice whether or not to work or stay home, and I believe that each woman should have that- a choice. I certainly don’t judge women who choose to work after they have babies- I know a homemaker life isn’t suited for everyone. But it’s something that personally, I know is right for me and my family, and I have satisfaction knowing that I’ve worked hard for 5 years in order to give myself the freedom to stay home, and also in choosing a husband that supported my viewpoints.
August 28th will be my last day at the company, and although it feels far away right now, I know it will be here before we know it!

Random Pregnancy symptoms that nobody tells you about

Especially if you are my mother, who “didn’t really get sick much at all until Allyson, I had to nibble on Saltines with her!”. Poor freaking baby, haha. Just kidding Mom.
Here are some of the random pregnancy issues I’ve had, all apparently 100% normal but never knew they existed until I started experiencing them:
1) Shortness of breath. It makes me feel like an out of shape heifer, but Doc says it’s a result of everything being pushed around in there. Some days are worse than others, and there’s definitely been a few conversations that have been hard to finish because I’m out of breath!
2) Issues with my contact lenses. Apparently during pregnancy, the shape of your eyes can change and it makes your contacts not fit well, making them extremely uncomfortable and they don’t even work as well now. Which is really not so fun during the summer when I want to wear my sun glasses- I’ve been toughing it out and wearing my contacts anyways but they sure don’t feel very good. Supposedly they go back to normal after you have the baby, which is good!
3) If you sneeze hard, it can hurt the **** out of your stomach.
4) Food aversions. Everyone knows about the notorious cravings but the food aversions are, so far in my experience, ten million times stronger. And if I smell or am in the presence of a particularly bad one, it’s guaranteed to initiate at least some gagging. Hubby picked a REALLY bad time to get into tuna fish, because DAMN that stuff smells awful!
4a)I can’t believe I forgot this one. I developed very violent reactions to foods that have never bothered me before in my life. The main one is Dairy- any kind of milk, yogurt, ice cream, etc. makes me extremely ill for at least a full day, even just 1/2 a cup. Cheese seems to be okay if I don’t eat too much of it, but nothing else. The other recent one we’ve discovered is soup- not sure if it’s the liquid, or the heat, but eating a bowl of soup is sure to trigger at least three bouts of vomit (gross). I’ve had recommendations to try soy milk or other similar products, but honestly, I got SO sick from the regular dairy that I’m scared to even try it. So, we’ll see.
5) I’ve got the nose of a bloodhound now- I can smell literally EVERYTHING (again, with the tuna fish). This was particularly strong in the first trimester- I could sit in a staff meeting and I could smell the toothpaste and coffee on everybody’s breath, and could easily pick out any smoker walking by in the grocery store. This has faded somewhat but still much stronger than pre-pregnancy!
6) Crazy vivid dreams. I used to dream before, obviously, but they have never been this downright weird or life-like before. A few of them have woken me up in the middle of the night and according to my google research, these dreams will only get more frequent as I get further along!
Any Moms reading the blog? What other crazy symptoms did you have?

Baby’s kicking all right…kicking my butt!

Well apparently I spoke too soon about feeling better, haha. Or I jinxed myself with my last post. The last couple of days I’ve found myself back on the couch trying to keep down my dinner- my doctor said the majority of her patients start to feel better around 16 weeks so let’s hope for that mile marker!!
Here is a 15 week belly pic (and a new haircut!):

50 Reasons to Be Glad You’re Pregnant

I saw this posted online at www.babycenter.com, and although it’s written for Canadian readers, I thought it was worth a read!

50 reasons to be glad you’re pregnant

We all have moments when we think, ‘Never again!’ during pregnancy: perhaps morning sickness is making you miserable or you’re 10 days overdue with not even a hint of a contraction. To remind you that being pregnant can be fun, we’ve rounded up some of the nice things about being an expectant mom.

1 Relishing the early weeks when only you and your partner know your special secret.

2 Knowing you’ve got nine whole months to plan, dream and fantasize.

3 Choosing maternity clothes – they’ve never been more practical or more sexy.

4 Now you’ve got the perfect excuse to pamper yourself – spending hours in a scented bath, enjoying a massage or rubbing soothing lotions into your growing bump.

5 Maternity rights in Canada are getting better all the time. You can now receive a combination of maternity and parental benefits up to a combined maximum of 50 weeks.

6 You can join a prenatal class and find a whole new bunch of friends (and don’t forget our BabyCenter Canada birth clubs: another great way to meet people due at the same time as you).

7 For once in your life you need to get heavier – pregnancy is nature’s way of making you feel good about putting on weight.

8 If this is your first baby, enjoy the next nine months sleeping late at weekends: you won’t get many chances later on.

9 At last you’ve got the bosom you’ve always wanted, which means you also have…

10 …a great excuse to buy lots of pretty new bras.

11 You’ll have a healthy glow without the packaged blush.

12 At last you’ll have something more than potted plants and your cat to care for and nurture.

13 Suddenly you’ll find you’re getting lots of extra attention from parents, friends, aunts and uncles, not to mention your partner.

14 You may find you develop a closer relationship with sisters, cousins or friends who are parents themselves. Congratulations, you’ve just won free admission to the parents’ club.

15 Telling your mom, dad, sister, brother, aunt, dog the good news and watching their faces light up.

16 New talents — Whether it’s knitting bootees or assembling a crib, you’ll suddenly find yourself trying out all sorts of new skills.

17 Suddenly you’ll feel a new appreciation for your own mother and all she went through having you.

18 Decorating the nursery: one of the most exciting things you’ll ever do.

19 Feeling those first fluttering kicks and thinking, ‘Is that what I think it is? Or is it just wind?’

20 Feeling OK for sending your partner out for mushroom pizza followed by double-choc chip ice cream.

21 Your parents digging out your old crib or stroller, which they’ve kept safely all this time ‘just in case’.

22 Going for healthy walks with your partner and getting fresh air in your lungs because it’s good for you and good for your baby.

23 Enjoying the extra-vivid dreams you get in late pregnancy – and laughing about them with your friends.

24 Feeling a little pair of heels prodding under your diaphragm and knowing you’ll soon be meeting the little person they belong to!

25 Choosing baby clothes – or just strolling through the malls planning what you’re going to buy.

26 Writing a pregnancy diary for your baby to read in the future.

27 Getting someone to take photos of you smiling over your enormous bump so that, one day, you can look back and be amazed you were ever that size.

28 Finding out how many people there are out there ready to care for you: doctors, nurses, midwives, lactation consultants.

29 Lying in bed with your partner’s arms around you and your bump, knowing that love has created a new life.

30 Enjoying indulgences, such as evenings out, weekends away and anything else you might not be able to do so easily once the baby arrives.

31 Knowing that from now on, whatever happens, you’ll never be bored again.

32 Making new friends whenever you go shopping – everyone has a pregnancy story to share.

33 You can spend whole evenings debating whether to call your baby Hermione or Cleopatra, Fritz or Stanley

34 Imagining what he or she will look like. Your sweet little ears, of course, and his sexy eyes.

35 Dreaming about, “My daughter the prime minister/pop star/brain surgeon.”

36 Looking at your growing bump in the mirror and realizing there’s a person in there!

37 Making out a squirmy outline on the ultrasound monitor. Asking for the pic to take home and pinning it up next to your work station, or just keeping it in your bag to sneak looks at.

38 The expression on your partner’s face as he sees the test strip turn blue, looks at your growing bump or feels the baby kicking.

39 Buying that first little cuddly toy for your baby, not somebody else’s.

40 Making that phone call to your partner to tell him that – we’re off! – labour has started.

41 Trying out all those exercises you learned at prenatal class and finding out that they actually work.

42 Being held and supported throughout a contraction by your partner/midwife/labour companion and knowing that you can trust them totally.

43 Finding out, as the contractions get tough, that your repertoire of swear words is far more extensive than you ever realized!

44 Making an informed choice about pain relief and finding that it’s right for you at that stage in labour.

45 That huge rush of pleasure and relief when, suddenly, all the pain and effort stops.

46 Looking into your newborn’s eyes and falling utterly in love.

47 Watching your partner kiss the midwife, the doctor, cleaning lady, delivery man and anyone else he can find because his joy and pride are overwhelming.

48 Opening a bottle of bubbly to celebrate, whatever the time of day or night.

49 Making all those phone calls to announce the arrival. Telling everyone the news and hearing the excitement in their voices.

50 Waking up to see your baby sleeping next to you and thinking, ‘Wow! This is real. I’m a mom!’

15 weeks!


Week 15: Naval Orange
Continuing the march towards normal proportions, baby’s legs now out-measure the arms. And, finally, all four limbs have functional joints. Your fetus is squirming and wiggling like crazy down in the womb, though you probably still can’t feel the movements. Movements are more coordinated. Eyelashes and eyebrows begin to appear. 175 days to go!
On the morning/allfreakingday sickness front, I am starting to feel significantly better. You have no idea how nice it is to not be laying on the couch all night, feeling like a nauseous slug. Last night I actually felt good enough to go outside and finish my flower planting, and it felt like such a novel thing to be actually DOING something after work! I’m down to only one Zofran (anti-nausea and vomiting meds) a day, if any. Still a little queasy, especially if I get off my eating schedule, and still a LOT of food aversions, but it’s definitely a marked improvement from the first 13 weeks!
In fact, feeling better has made me MORE nervous about the baby, so I’ve been pulling out our home doppler pretty frequently just to check in on the baby’s heartbeat. It’s slowed down a little bit since the first trimester, settling in around 146-147 (doctor said this is very normal and still in the healthy range), but it’s getting easier and easier to find the heartbeat and it’s as strong as ever. Good job baby!

Yeah yeah yeah, make with the belly, lady.


My little 14 week belly!

Boy or Girl?

Baby and I had a quickie doctor appointment this morning. Dr. Anthony was able to find the heartbeat quickly with the doppler, although the baby was mid-morning-workout and squirming all over the place, so she had to keep following him/her with the wand to keep the beat on the monitor. We also set the date for the big ultrasound- April 28th!! I will be 18 weeks at that point and Dr. Anthony says we will definitely be able to see the gender.
So since we’ve got a month to go, let’s play some more old wives’ tales.
You have a 29% chance of having a boy.
And you have a 70% chance of having a girl.

And Here’s Why…
You are carrying the extra weight out front, so it’s a boy.
The hair on your legs is growing faster during pregnancy, so it’s a boy.
Sleeping in a bed with your pillow to the north indicates that you will be having a boy.
Your feet are not colder than they were before pregnancy. You are having a girl.
You refuse to eat the heel of a loaf of bread. You are having a girl.
Dad-to-be hasn’t been gaining weight along with Mom-to-be, so it will be a girl.
The maternal grandmother doesn’t have gray hair (dyed or natural), so a girl will be born.
You had morning sickness early in pregnancy, so you are expecting a girl.
You are not looking particularly good during pregnancy. Therefore, it must be a girl, because girls steal their mother’s looks.
Your chest development has not been very dramatic during pregnancy. You should expect a boy.
Since the sum of the mother’s age at conception and the number of the month of conception is an odd number, it will be a girl.
You are craving sweets, which means that it is a girl.
Your nose hasn’t changed during pregnancy, which indicates a girl.
You have been craving fruits, so it is a girl.
Your baby’s heart rate is 140 or more beats per minute, so it’s a girl.

New one from Allyson:
Using a string, hang your wedding ring over your pregnant belly. You are having a girl if the ring swings back and forth and it’s a boy if it swings in a circle.
I did it 5 times, and 4 out of the 5 times it went in a circle, which means we’re having a BOY.

Protective Pup

I had always heard that sometimes pets will change their behavior towards you once you’re pregnant, so I was VERY curious to see how Kingsley reacted once he “realized” our happy news. I think he really started sensing a difference around 8 or 9 weeks.
Although he was always interested in being around me before, he’s taken his clingy-ness to a whole new level, and I think it’s adorable. He always has to be in the same room with me now, and if he can be somehow touching me (or even better, laying on my stomach), he’s even happier. See pics of what a very typical view for me consists of nowadays:
He’s also stepped up his desire to be as close to my stomach as possible in the bed too. Before Baby, he was perfectly content to curl up at the foot of the bed, as long as I did my best to avoid kicking him during the night. Now, however, he curls up right next to me, regardless of how often I toss and turn. There are many times that I’ve woken up on my back to discover him sprawled out right across my belly.
The other change I’ve noticed is that whenever Steve is out of town now, or gone for longer than a normal workday, Kingsley appoints himself “man of the house”, and he becomes incredibly protective of me. God help the FedEx guy that dares to ring the doorbell when Kingsley and I are home alone, because K is about 2 seconds away from breaking through the glass and eating him for breakfast. The few times I’ve felt good enough to take K for a walk, he growls at every single dog we pass in the park, where normally he wants to play. But as soon as Steve gets home, you can SEE Kingsley relax and hand back over the “man duties”.
We are hoping these are good signs that he will take well to the baby. We will be doing as many training/acclimation exercises with him as we can before Baby comes, and taking it very slow with him in terms of introducing him to Baby, given that he’s been very skittish with kids in the past. But we’ve got our fingers crossed and we’ll definitely do our homework as much as possible to get our little guy ready for the new little one!!

How big is Baby?


Week 14: Your adorable little fetus is busy with thumb sucking, toe wiggling, and (not so cute but equally amazing) making urine and breathing amniotic fluid as the liver, kidneys and spleen continue to develop. Lanugo (thin, downy hair) is growing all over the body for warmth.

Shout Out to my Sister!

My sister came over last weekend to spend a girls’ day with me, and she showed up with such a wonderful surprise- the CUTEST little basket full of baby things! We haven’t gone shopping at ALL for Baby…early on we were too afraid we were going to jinx it, and then I was too sick to really care about any kind of shopping (blasphemy, I know!), and then we decided that it was silly to start shopping this early before we settle on a nursery theme or find out the gender. So I was very touched that my sister honored us with our very first baby presents, and such sweet things too! It’s funny how the little things like this take our excitement to a whole new level. I keep wandering back into the room-that-at-some-point-will-be-a-nursery and refolding the little onesies and cloths, and playing the musical giraffe. It’s exciting to think that in just 6 months our little one will be in there wearing his/her “My Aunt Rocks” outfit and surrounded by such loving and eager family.

So big shout out to my wonderful sister! Here’s some pictures:

Maybe Baby?

Wow you’re pregnant??? Was it planned????

First of all, please let me assure you that this is an exceedingly rude and inappropriate
question to ask somebody, on many different levels. There’s just really no graceful way to answer it and quite frankly, it’s none of your business. Obviously, this is directed to coworkers, acquaintances, or not-so-close friends who do not normally have such intimate conversations with you. Having a girlfriend express excitement and then ask “if you had been trying or if it was a surprise” is, in my opinion, a completely different approach and one that’s appropriate, in my book.

(Obviously, this is a very long post, and although I feel that it’s a useful one, if you aren’t interested in hearing about the “before baby” parts, or if you are a guy or at all squeamish about “girl talk”, it will probably be very tedious and boring to read, and I suggest you find something more entertaining to do with your time. Otherwise, read on!)

Moving on, I would like to divulge to this blog’s faithful readers that this baby was in fact very much planned. Anybody who knows me and my scheduling/organizing/OCD tendencies will not be surprised by this. Luckily, Steve felt the same way, and we are both not among the “let’s just try for a few months and see what happens” crowd. I wanted to feel as in control of this process as much as possible, and especially knowing that I partake in the occasional cup of coffee (or 3 before work every day) or in the occasional cocktail at night, I wanted to be aware of when I should be abstaining and when it’s okay to imbibe, “just in case”. Also, if there was some medical reason that we weren’t able to get pregnant, I wanted to find that out as soon as possible and be able to tell my doctor exactly what’s been going on. Many fertility specialists will choose not to move forward with treatments until you’ve been trying for at least a year, and quite frankly I wasn’t willing to “just try” for that long!!

Once Steve and I were on the same page about when we would start trying, we started doing research about what we could do ahead of time to increase our chances of success.

The first step we took was to go off the hormonal birth control, which we did in June of 2009. The general medical opinion is to go off BC (birth control) 3-6 months before you want to start trying, although it is possible to get pregnant your first cycle off. So we had a tentative “start” month of September, although we ended up starting to try earlier. I also started taking prenatal vitamins every day.

We also ordered a book called “What to Expect Before You’re Expecting” , which was a very informative and easy read. Although a lot of it was common sense, it was helpful to read and have all of the information organized in one place. I would recommend it. The other book that we ordered was “Taking Charge of Your Fertility”. This book focuses heavily on what some refer to as “natural family planning”. It’s a method in which you learn to track your cycles, observe the signs of ovulation, and use your knowledge of your body and cycle to either avoid conception or to try to conceive. This enables you to not use hormonal birth control. I decided to use part of this process and to “chart” my cycles. Although I did use TCOYF for reference and to get the basics, I ultimately used more online resources and guides in learning how to truly chart.

Charting can be a very useful tool, whether you are TTC (trying to conceive) or TTA (trying to avoid). A woman can ovulate at ANY point in her cycle, so unless you know for sure when you are ovulating, you could TTC during the wrong week and not have any success for a very long time, even though there’s no medical reason why you can’t. Or if you are TTA and you assume you’re ovulating mid-month, when in fact you ovulate early or late, you might have a surprise on your hands!!

I chose to chart using my basal body temperature, which is your base temperature as soon as you wake up. I bought a special Basal Thermometer at Target ($10), which is more accurate than a regular thermometer, and necessary when charting because it measures to the hundredths, vs. just one decimal place. I set an alarm so that the time I took my temp every morning was consistent (important!), took my temperature, and then fell back asleep until it was time to get up for work. I then logged my morning’s temperature into a free software on www.fertilityfriend.com, which took the tedium of tracking my charts on paper away, and also enabled me to update my chart anywhere that I had internet access. This was useful if I forgot to log it in before I left for work or if I was on vacation and didn’t want to bring a paper copy.

People who are interested in charting or other natural family planning processes can learn more about them much more in depth in places other than this blog (because I do not pretend to be an expert, by any means), but essentially, tracking my temp every morning enabled me to see a pattern in the rise and fall of my temperatures, and to better pinpoint the exact day of my ovulation.This proved very useful as I was in fact ovulating later than the “normal” window, and I also realized that there were a few timing issues going on internally that I was able to help self-correct to some extent with various vitamins and supplements. I also fully credit charting with our eventual success, because for various reasons my December cycle was very irregular, and we were able to catch my almost 3 weeks late ovulation because of the behavior of my temperatures. Having 6 months of charts also proved very useful during my first doctors’ visit. Normally they “date” your pregnancy from the date of your last period, but since my December cycle was so off, according to their calculations, the baby should have been almost 8 weeks along, when I knew from my chart that I was only 4 weeks along. The doctor was impressed when I was able to bring a copy of my charts to her, and she was even more impressed when the dating ultrasound we got at 7 weeks confirmed my chart’s conception date exactly, right down to the day.

So needless to say, I highly recommend charting to anyone who is TTC! On a side note, I still have all my charts up on fertilityfriend.com, and am happy to share the link to any of my girlfriends who are thinking about charting and want to see how mine looked. I don’t care to post the link publicly as it contains pretty intimate information, but I know how helpful it was as I was learning to be able to see completed charts and to compare patterns. So…if you want to see, just ask!

To make up for all the words, here’s a picture. Our 7 week ultrasound!

Let the nonsensical guessing begin!

Up until this past week, I kept thinking that Baby was going to be a girl. This past week though I keep thinking it’s a boy. Since we won’t find out the gender for at least another month, let’s have some fun over the next couple of weeks trying out all the old wives’ tales and see which ones are right!

Sarah Morgan told me about a Chinese Gender Calendar online and I thought I’d give that a whirl. According to the chart online, this chart was found in an ancient royal tomb near Beijing, and is said to be over 90% accurate in predicting your baby’s gender.

You put in your age at conception and then the month you conceived in…when I put in my information it says we’re going to have a BOY.

Do you know any old wives tales that are supposed to predict gender? Suggestions are welcome!

Happy Friday!

Annnnnnd Happy 2nd Trimester Day!!! Yay everybody party!

Today I am 13 weeks and 3 days along, which despite the common thought that 12 weeks should be the marker, is the official start to my 2nd trimester. I’m not going to lie and say that I’m sad to put the first trimester behind me, but there have been some very happy memories. It’s been fun telling everyone about the baby, seeing our first ultrasound, not to mention the surprise of finally seeing those much-hoped-for two lines on the pregnancy test!!

After urgings from my girlfriends last night (and assurances that someone out there on the internetz would indeed read this blog), I decided that it would be fun to document this wild and crazy ride of knocked-up-edness, and to be able to share the “inside look” of the next 6 months. If there are any particular stories you want to hear, just holla and I’ll do my best to oblige as long as it does not include TMI vocabulary that Jamie has forbidden on this blog.

September 28th, here we come!!