Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sister, Sister

I had never met any of my sister Allyson's friends before, so they obviously had no idea that I was also pregnant. Imagine their surprise when they show up to Allyson's shower and we're BOTH sporting big baby bumps! I found myself telling our "positive pregnancy test" story several times at the shower and I realized I never shared it here. It's a cute story, so here you go!

Steve and I had just started trying for baby #2, and without getting TMI about it, I was very much convinced that the month of November was crossed off the list. Steve left to go out of town for a guys' weekend a few days before my birthday. My phone rings and it's my beautiful sister, calling with the surprising but very exciting news that I was going to be an auntie!!! After a few seconds of "Wait, what?" followed by many giddy squeals, she told me that she was due in July and gave me all the good first trimester gossip. We made plans to go out to lunch the next day to celebrate.

After hanging up the phone, I couldn't shake the feeling that maybe I should go take a pregnancy test myself. Even though ALL bodily signs gave the indication that it would be a waste of time and a waste of a pregnancy test. But I did happen to have a test there, so I took it, and then took the stick with me as I loaded Bean in the car to go play at the mall.

My cell phone timer went off, so at the next stoplight, I look down at the test. And saw two lines. At the next stoplight, I looked down at the test again. And still saw two lines. So I pick up the phone and call my OB's office to see if there was any possible reason that I would get a positive pregnancy test, besides being pregnant. They laughed at me, said congratulations, and scheduled me for a pregnancy confirmation appointment.

The next day at lunch, Allyson and I happily chatted about her upcoming bundle of joy. I made the prediction that it was going to be a girl (nope). Then as our food arrived and we were ready to switch topics of conversation, she asked if Steve and I had thought about when #2 was going to happen. I smiled and said, "Yep, actually I'm due in August." The shocked look on her face was priceless, and then she started crying!! LOL.

After lunch, we went shopping and bought Bean a "Big Sister" shirt for her to wear when Steve got home (I would also like to point out that he was out of town on a guys' trip when I found out I was pregnant with Anna!!). He didn't even notice her shirt for the longest time, so it was kind of anticlimactic, but then when he finally realized what it said, he was like, "What? Are you pregnant??" and he was a bit shell-shocked until the next day, haha.

Now here we are 7 months later, happy and excited to meet our new little girl AND our handsome little nephew!!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Picture Post - Memorial Day Edition

Bean apparently LOVED Steve's homemade Slip-and-Slide. I was floating down in the lake while they were doing this but she kept saying "More! More! More!" every time they'd get to the bottom.






Diva baby!



This picture cracks me up. Steve was trying to stretch out his back after a bad jet-ski tumble and Anna ran over to help!

Steve got a new wake board for the first time in 10+ years. And somehow he managed to acquire a few more toys for himself along the way, including a ballast system for the boat (which adds a lot of weight to it to make a bigger wake) and a gadget called a wake surfboard. It was fun to go out with them on the boat!

I told Stevo he was going to laugh when he saw all of these pictures, because he's making that exact same monkey face in almost all of them.

My poor pooch Captain K picked a fight with a dog at least 3 times his size and I am not being overly dramatic when I say that he's lucky to be alive. Thankfully he seems to be doing okay but I hope that NEVER happens again.I think we're both still traumatized from it!!





That surf board thing is pretty cool and we've never seen one before on the lake - maybe Steve will start a trend!




MRI Musings

I had my MRI today. The MRI is the very last thing that we can try to get an official diagnosis of accreta before the very-much-not-ideal plan of "we'll see during the c-section" option. I know it sounds ridiculous to say this but I almost hope that they do say I have accreta from the MRI, just to know what for sure what we're dealing with.

I had absolutely zero idea what to expect from an MRI experience. A few friends on Facebook offered some advice and I did follow the fantastic tip of wearing just plain yoga pants, a sports bra, and a t-shirt. Well, and underwear. The radiologist had one of those awkward hospital gowns all ready and waiting for me, but when she saw my outfit, she said it was perfect and that I didn't need to change. Holla! So if any other problem-placenta preggos have to go get an MRI, avoid any kind of metal in your clothes and make sure they are pretty form-fitting. My Facebook friends were also correct in their warning that the machine is pretty loud, and Madeline was kicking away in there because of the noise! The radiologist asked me afterward if the baby had been kicking and when I said yes, she laughed and said that it happens most of the time.

I had four primary concerns going into this MRI. The first was having to lie on my back. Anybody who has been 30 weeks pregnant knows how unbelievably uncomfortable you can get from lying on your back for any extended period of time. The second concern was that I was going to have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the scan. Anybody who has been any number of weeks pregnant knows full well that this is a valid concern. And then my third concern is that this going to be a massive waste of money and we're going to end up right back where we started. A fourth concern was my claustrophobia, but since the MRI was focusing pretty low on my midsection, the top of my head was out of the tunnel for most of it, and I kept my eyes closed for the parts where I was fully in the tunnel.

I do think that my doctor made a very wise decision in insisting that I go all the way down to Northside Hospital for the MRI. The insurance company had been pushing him to switch to one of the closer and (much) less expensive MRI facilities, but he was adamant that I go to Northside. And I do have to admit that the radiologist seemed extremely experienced in dealing with pregnant people. She had pillows that she used to help prop my legs up and to help keep me a little more comfortable, and she also promised to move as quickly as possible to get me off of my back. They were able to get the scans done in about 20 minutes. She also said that she does prenatal scans ALL the time, which makes me hopeful that we got the images that we needed. I'm still not feeling all that great tonight but I think that I'm also still trying to catch up from this weekend.

Apparently my doctor will have the radiologist's report by Thursday or Friday, so let's keep our fingers crossed and keep hoping for the best. Or at least some concrete answers!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Aboot the Ute (I'm Canadian today, if you can't tell)

I had another OB check-up today and it led to quite the doctor-filled day. My doctor mentioned that she wanted me to see a high-risk specialist because of the previa...apparently she meant to set up an appointment for me after my last ultrasound and it fell through the cracks, so they convinced the high-risk office to fit me in today. And luckily the appointment time worked out with Bean's nap time, so Steve was willing to watch her and still could get some work done.

The high-risk office is in the same medical building, and the doctor that I was assigned to seems nice, competent and caring. Honestly, I am very much relieved that there is another doctor in the mix now, and especially a high-risk one. I was very very happy with my doctors during Anna's pregnancy, but have been extremely frustrated this time around now that there are complications thrown in the mix. I don't really care to go into it here in this blog post but I am going to push as hard as I can to have the high-risk doctor handle the delivery (which he might be already, I dunno).

Anyway, I was at the high-risk office for almost two hours today, and 95% of that time was spent getting various ultrasounds. The technician took about a million pictures of Madeline's heart and lungs, which freaked me the eff out, but the doctor ended up coming back in and having the tech re-do the ultrasound while he was standing right there, and they decided there weren't any issues. It really meant a lot to me that the doctor would spend that much time with me instead of just looking at the pictures later, so it made me happy and I am so relieved that Madeline looks perfect and healthy. He expressed some concern that she is small, but I don't know if she is truly small or if he is just comparing her to the chunker weight that Anna was.

The bad news is that the placenta is still very much anterior previa. The possibility of a hysterectomy was brought up again. The doctor did show me the line between my placenta and the uterus and how it was clear and clean, which he said is an encouraging sign that even if there is accreta, it might not be bad enough to warrant a hysterectomy and they might be able to save the uterus. Overall though, they still couldn't get a for-sure diagnosis, but he said that my OB was 100% justified in worrying about the possibility of accreta. He has scheduled me for an MRI next week that can hopefully tell us one way or the other.

The MRI is going to take place at the main "baby hospital" here in Atlanta and holy hell, it's expensive, even with insurance. From what I can tell though it's really important to get a true diagnosis, if possible, to help my medical team prepare as best they can for the delivery. They have to make sure to have blood stocked in the event of a hemorrhage (so all you O-Negative people need to plan to donate around the middle of July, please!), the surgical ICU on alert, and they also might need to do a much earlier c-section than Anna's 39 weeks, which would mean time in the NICU for Madeline. They also might need to have multiple surgeons on hand for various complications. All scary stuff to think about.

Needless to say, I have a slew of doctor's appointments scheduled over the next month and I have also spent most of my evening tonight reading medical journals about accreta. And blogging about the Bean, which is a much more enjoyable activity.

Please continue to send your good thoughts to my reproductive system.

20 Months Old!

My beautiful little girl is 20 months old today and holy cow time is flying by!



As I mentioned before, Anna officially joined the Anti-Crib Club and so that has been a bit of a challenge. We also had the added bonus of having THREE canine teeth come in all at the same time, so she has been a clingy fussy mess for the last 2 weeks. Naps were non-existent for at least a week and she has to be in my lap or holding on to me every.single.second so there have been some very long days in there for me, haha. Thankfully it seems like it has turned a corner and she even napped for a whole hour the other day in her toddler bed!! She has also started sleeping through the night again, even in her big girl bed, so I am also very thankful for that. Momma is tired!!



Apart from the teething/sleeping dramatics, this month has been fun. Her vocabulary builds every day and I absolutely adore hearing new words. The latest additions have been "boo-bwee!" (blueberry), door, stars, slide, stairs, socks, puppy, tur-tuh (turtle), and Daddy (instead of Dada). Anna was even saying "rhino" one day, but I haven't heard it since so I don't know if it's officially a word yet. Oh!! And she also said several two word phrases! She said "good girl" one day which thrilled me, since I always say that to her. She has also said "more nana" and pointed up at the counter for her usual morning banana, and she also stood in the kitchen and said "pup door" and pointed at Kingsley standing outside. She also said "More song" the other day. She's such a genius!



Anna's favorite thing right now is this book:

She absolutely loves curling up in the play room chair with me and going through all the pages. I love watching her point at the animals that I say, even the hard ones like chinchilla! She also loves stickers right now - Anna used up all of her Easter stickers and most of the Mickey Mouse stickers that I bought ages ago, so I will have to start stocking up!



Bean has also claimed some new favorite songs, partly thanks to her extended bedtime routines these last two weeks. She loves the old Sharon Louis & Bram "Skinnamarink" song - do you guys know what I'm talking about? She'll even do mini versions of the hand motions, so cute! She also loves Itsy Bitsy Spider, Over the Rainbow, and the Popcorn Popping song that I used to sing to her as a baby. Basically anything with hand motions!


Bean likes to use my belly as a convenient puzzle piece holder.

An absolutely adorable thing Anna has started doing recently is pulling us in for a hug and then giving us little pats. It makes me smile every single time, the little sweetheart. She has also been quite the kissy-face lately - Mommy and Daddy both get lots of smooches, along with the dog, her bed bunnies, Elmo, and pretty much any other object that captures her attention.



Banana Bean has also discovered light switches and loves flipping the lights on and off. The triple switch in the kitchen/living room is one of the few switches that she can reach by herself so it's a pretty common sight in our house to see the breakfast nook lights, kitchen lights, and living room lights going on and off like a disco. I have also used this new discovery to my advantage, and brush her teeth while she plays with the bathroom light switch, haha. I also tell her that if she lies down and lets me put her diaper on like a good girl, I'll let her turn off the light.



By the way, I had a wonderful Mother's Day. I got to sleep in and then Stevo made me breakfast and yummy Caribou Coffee (my favorite!). As one of my presents, I got a foot massage gadget which you can see was thoroughly tested for my enjoyment, haha:


I told her to smile and this is what I get:


And then we got this, so it's not a total lost cause! Pretty smile, finally - haha.


Well, I think that's about all for this month - see you later alligators!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Maternity Clothes

Although I do still have a bunch of stuff from Anna's pregnancy, I realized that it was a more work-ish wardrobe, and I really needed some stuff that was more park/beach/lake/house friendly. So I've been hitting the stores with mixed success and figured it was time to share my thoughts!

The Best

Target: I love Target. And they have had some REALLY cute maternity stuff lately. I've found that the in-store selection can really vary store to store, but they also have a bunch of clothes online. My favorite thing about their maternity clothes lately is that they have had several maxi dresses and skirts, which are SO comfortable and cool, and easy to throw on and go. I found the dress that I wore to my sister's shower at Target! My one complaint about Target's maternity section (Target? Are you listening?) is that they really need a better lounge/active wear selection.

Asos: I actually had never heard of this site before but then saw it posted online and checked it out - they have some CUTE stuff! I feel like the majority of maternity clothes are kind of frumpy and matronly, but this site has stuff that lines up very well with my late-20's style sense and I could very easily spend a small fortune here. My sister ordered her shower dress from here and it looked like it was good quality, and very pretty. And they have free shipping both ways, which I can very much appreciate for hard-to-fit maternity clothes.

The Mixed

Walmart: Guys, I hate Walmart. I avoid shopping at Walmart unless absolutely necessary. So imagine my surprise when I realized that they actually had some decent maternity options on their website! I  will give a very huge disclaimer that the quality is very much Walmart quality. I don't expect this stuff to last through multiple pregnancies but honestly, at the price, I don't really care. I bought basic tank tops, yoga pants, and a couple of pairs of gaucho pants. I also bought a couple of casual tops. I wouldn't buy any of this stuff to wear to work or out to any kind of non-casual event, but for my purposes (I needed gym and lounge clothes), it is perfect and just the right price. Learn from my mistake though and WASH everything before you wear it - the black clothes will dye EVERYTHING they touch, including your skin. And sheets.

Motherhood Maternity: This store is great for the basics but it is, in my opinion, a little expensive for the quality. Between this pregnancy and Anna's pregnancy, the bulk of my pants, jeans and shorts are from here, but I always try to wait for the sales. I also bought a maternity hooded lightweight sweatshirt this time around that I love!

The Bad

Old Navy: I ordered a bunch of things from Old Navy and the unfortunate thing about this store is that the majority of their maternity stuff is online-only, and they charge you return shipping. I have always found that Old Navy sizing and fit is extremely inconsistent and this was no different with the maternity stuff- half of the clothes that I bought looked awful and the fit was completely off. The clothes that did fit looked cute but I am pretty sure that was my last Old Navy order, at least while pregnant. 

Other pregnant people, have you had any good or bad shopping experiences? I would love to compare notes and hear your favorite places to shop!

Under the Sea!

Today was the big day - my sister's baby shower! I have been looking forward to it for weeks and it was so much fun. I knew from the wonderful shower that my friends Kathryn and Lauren threw for me that it is truly one of the highlights of a momma's pregnancy, so I was so happy that I was able to make a special day for my sister. I did tease her though and kept telling her that I was having a hard time wrapping my head around boy stuff, so she was going to have a pink shower. I think I pulled "blue" off pretty well, in the end!


I went with an "Under the Sea" theme, which was perfect for the summer weather we've been having. And it was a lot of fun to plan!


My friend Liza helped me come up with the concept for these bracelets and then I made them myself - didn't they turn out cute?! There were all different colors so people could choose which one they wanted.



I served Chicken (Not) Of the Sea salad sandwiches, shrimp cocktail, fresh fruit, strawberry walnut salad, and veggies. Allyson also brought these yummy little chicken croquette things called "coxinha" which are apparently a must-have tradition at Brazilian baby showers.

Fantastic tropical punch - man this stuff was good! I'm glad I made a double batch because there wasn't a whole lot left. We also had some champagne and wine for the non-preggos.

I had the other table set up too, on the other side of the porch. We were lucky and had SUCH pretty weather so a bunch of us sat outside to eat. I was also happy that Steve has put speakers up out on the porch - I had a fun playlist going of beachy music (with a few baby songs thrown in!) and it was nice to be able to hear it outside too!

New Mom to Be! Isn't she so pretty!!

One of the girls brought this cake - isn't it amazing??


The shower game we played was "guess the baby food" - the person with the most correct guesses out of 10 won a gift card. I think these faces were from the chicken, hahaha. It did look pretty gross.




This onesie got a bunch of laughs - can you see what it says?



Some people had to duck out before we could get pictures but we did get a few of the guests!







And last but definitely not least - here is the official baby pool for Baby Daniel's big arrival day. Whoever picked the right date gets a big Starbuck's gift card and it was hilarious to hear everybody's rationale for picking their date - it was serious business!! We'll see who was right soon enough - less than 2 months to go!