Monday, December 31, 2007

Baby's First Picture!

I had my first prenatal visit this morning. Everything is GREAT so far, although I haven't gotten any news on my blood work yet.


There were only two things I was nervous about:
1. That the baby's heartbeat wouldn't be there (possibly the sign of an impending miscarriage)
2. That the sac would be empty (meaning, baby stopped developing weeks ago and just hasn't aborted yet)

But as soon as the ultrasound went on, there was a little mass inside of that black sac and a fast and furious flicker in the center of it. Our baby has a heartbeat. It's incredible to sit here and think that inside of my body is a fist sized, 23+ year old heart beating and the immature heart of our tiny little zygote is beating independently of mine. The heart was going strong, at about 149 BPM (they like to see it between 130-150). And the baby was exactly the size it should be for 7 weeks -- 12.4MM.

My due date is officially August 18th. Okay, now the fun part, here is little baby Erickson-Sander:



Here, I've labeled what the nurse told me about the hard-to-understand shadows:


The same photo, unaltered:


Using this photo, the nurse was able to determine our bean's heart's BPM:


So there they are, folks! Like I said to my sister earlier today, only a pregnant woman can find these black and white shadowy pictures simply adorable!

Luckily, my doctor does 3D/4D ultrasounds after this (unlike some docs, at no extra cost) so at my 12 week appt in 5 weeks, you'll be able to literally SEE our baby. It's amazing.

One more cool thought: today my baby isn't even as big as a bean. By my 12 week appt in only FIVE WEEKS, it will be about the size of an apple! That's some fast growth there.

Regarding my doctor's office- so far I love everyone I've met and it's been a great experience all around. The doctor even called me at home about 30 mins to congratulate me and let me know to call if I had any questions (today, I just saw a nurse for basic stuff). He sounded genuinely excited for me. Fake or not, it was nice. The nurse says both doctors are phenomenal. I feel lucky to have found them and that they take our insurance.

Cheers!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Motherly Advice

Like I said in my last post, when you get pregnant, everyone is ready to offer up advice. When my best friend and confidant cat, Luna, heard I was going to have a baby, she had several helpful tips. Who better to listen to than the mother of 6 grown kids?

Here is her advice:
1. When picking up baby, best way to hold is by the neck using your teeth. This seems to calm them down and also immobilize them.
2. Immediately after birth, chew off the umbilical cord and eat the placenta for extra nutrients.
3. When baby is naughty the best way to correct baby's behavior is a quick swat (claws extended) and a hiss.
4. When baby is old enough to leave, pretend like they're not yours anymore and ignore them as best you can.
5. To clean baby, lick it thoroughly. With girl baby, be sure to lick their bottoms front to back.

Gee thanks Luna. Not sure if this advice applies to me, but you never know until you become a mother what will work...

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Morning Sickness

I really can't stand another 6+ weeks of this. I wake up sick. I go to bed sick. I live sick. Sick defines me. Maybe you're thinking, "Gee, Heather, complain much?" But I really have tried EVERYTHING. Nothing makes it go away. Saltines, natural ginger ale, etc. Mints help it temporarily but I can't pop peppermints 24/7.

The advice, however, is almost getting as old as the morning sickness. As soon as people find out you're pregnant, even if they're complete strangers (ie - my client's moms)or even if they're family, they immediately launch into all the tricks and tips that worked for them when they were pregnant. I'm already getting baby care advice too. Not that I don't appreciate their desire to help, but I've heard so many different things- who am I supposed to listen to? And as far as the morning sickness, I've already tried it all, so just save it please. What worked for you doesn't work for everyone, I've found out.

One of the nicest pieces of advice I've gotten, however, came from one of my favorite client's mom. Immediately after congratulating me, she told me this: "Make sure to relax and enjoy your pregnancy. Let everyone pamper you and wait on you! Believe me, you won't be getting anymore of that after the baby comes, so take advantage now. Let your family come clean your house for you, let your husband make you dinner, take full advantage."

So you heard her! Everyone come clean my house! :) No, as selfish and self-centered that may sound, I'm going to let people wait on me for the next 8 months. She's right, I won't get that anymore after this baby is born. My sister told me to especially enjoy this first one because a second pregnancy is never the same- you already have kids to care for.

Justin has already been a doll, it's not like I need to tell him all that. He doesn't complain when I ask him to go downstairs for my Tums at 3am. He makes dinner and always asks me what he can do to help me. After seeing some of my acquaintances and their jerk husbands I know I'm very lucky to have a patient, unselfish husband who puts his family before himself. What a good daddy my baby is going to have. I had a good daddy too.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

The cat has been evicted from the bag...

We told the rest of our family today- all Justin's side, all at once. It was fun. I basically set it up like I was going to take a picture of everyone at Christmastime but instead of saying "Say cheese!" it was "Say, Heather's pregnant!" and I actually video recorded it. They didn't believe me at first, which I can't blame them for since I'm a total April Fool's type of person all year round. Here it is! I'm relieved the whole family knows finally... (I HATE my voice on this recording!)


Telling our family

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Nauseated

The nausea has come... :(
It's not as bad as I was thinking it would be. It's not, oh my gosh I'm going to puke my brains out, stomach flu nausea.
It's more of a dull, annoying, nausea. I don't want to eat anything nausea -- get those scrambled eggs the hell away from me NAUSEA.
But my mother's advice has proven true, and usually (usually!) as soon as I start eating it tapers off. Some foods help it go away better than others. I wonder why your body does this to itself when pregnant?

On a happier note, I've hit week 6! The risk of miscarriage drops dramatically this week, and my baby is starting to form it's eyes, spine, and little nubs which will become it's hands and feet. It's doubling in size every week. Right now, it's about the size of a grain of rice. By my appointment next week at 7 weeks, baby will be the size of a bean. Byt 12-13 weeks, the size of an apple! Sigh... they grow up so fast...

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I can...

I can grow people... COOL!

Monday, December 17, 2007

5 Weeks

Today I'm officially 5 weeks pregnant. The fetus is only 3 weeks old though, and just beginning to form it's little brain!

I'm pretty anxious to get past 6 weeks because the risk of miscarriage drops dramatically after that.

No major nausea yet, just some slight waves of it cured by a cracker or light snack. What has been bothering me though is the HEARTBURN. Last night it woke me up in the middle of the night. I took some Tums and had to sit upright in bed in order to fall back to sleep. There's lots of unpleasant things happening these days... but it's all worth it right?

On a side note, Justin and I are *almost* set on our names:
boy: Paxton Karl
girl: Harper Lee
Twins? Harper & Paxton :)

My first doctor's appointment is in exactly two weeks. I can't wait to have ultrasound pictures to post!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Telling People

Back in the day they used to say, wait until you're past your first trimester to tell people! Because the risk of miscarriage was so high. But I'm going ahead and telling before then because even if a miscarriage does occur, God forbid, I wouldn't want to keep that a dark secret of ours or anything.

Telling people, however, has been bittersweet. Some have been easy, some have been hard. Mom told my dad, which was probably for the better, it took the pressure off. I told the ladies at my work, so if anything *does* happen, they'll know.

But it still feels unreal.

We're planning on telling Justin's family when everyone is here for Christmas. We think it will be best to tell them all at once. Nonetheless, it's hard to wait.

I'm not even sure if Justin has told his work yet. Which reminds me, Justin gets 3 weeks paid vacation next year! We're thinking he'll probably take two off right when the baby comes, and maybe the third around Christmas? There's really not any trips we'll be going on this next year. We've been invited out for Justin's grandma's 90th birthday party in South Dakota in June. But, at that point I'll be 7 months pregnant. There's no way I'd spend that long in a car (pregnant women have to get out every hour to stretch their legs) and to fly there I'd have to have a perfect, extremely low-risk pregnancy for the doctor to allow it at that point. So unfortunately, we're probably going to have to stay home.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Exhaustion

I've now officially missed my period. That's good because it just confirms even more than I'm pregnant. I don't really have any morning sickness or really bad symptoms yet, I'm just exhausted. I actually went to bed last night at 9pm. That hasn't happened in years! The earliest Justin and I usually make it in to bed is 11pm, and even then the TV is on for a little bit.

I literally feel like at any point in my day I could lay down and conk out the minute my head hits the pillow and sleep for hours on end.

On a different note, at the beginning of month 2, which is next week, my little zygote is about an inch long. That's pretty cool. It only took 2-3 weeks to grow that size!

Friday, December 7, 2007

More Symptoms & Baby Dreams

I still haven't missed my first period yet, but I just know I'm pregnant. It's obvious.
My symptoms include:

  • light twitchy cramps on and off all day
  • heartburn in the middle of the night
  • weepiness alternated with intense feelings of joy
  • exhaustion
  • being more sensitive around my chest
  • I have to pee all the time! (especially in the middle of the night)
Another "symptom" that has started that really is in my head are the baby dreams. Last night I had a dream that my mother threw me a really crappy baby shower and made no apologies for the fact that I didn't get any gifts (not that I'm greedy, it just translated to: I have nothing for the baby! what am I going to do?!) And the baby, a little boy- very cute and tiny- had just been born. No one in the family seemed to care about him but me. Ugh, I hate dreams that make me wake up feeling negative towards people. I'm wishing for some positive baby dreams, but from what I hear, they're rare due to the anxiety and stress of becoming a mother.
Well, this weekend will be a milestone for me, as long as I don't get my period! Stay away Aunt Flo!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

"PREGNANT"

I think it's official! I broke down today from the faint line craze and bought a digital test. For us ladies in the pregnancy and trying to concieve world, these are the mother of all pregnancy tests. I'm still 4 days before my period is even due and yet here it is:


Now I'm just worried. Can I stay pregnant? I feel like if I cough too hard or my dogs jump up on me, the fragile little thing could dislodge and cause my period. Okay, I'll admit it, I'm pretty freaked out about a miscarriage. Probably because the ladies at the TTC forums have made me paranoid...

One good sign: the fact that I'm getting a positive so early is GOOD. Women who can't get a positve until several days after they miss their periods are 80% more likely to miscarry. This is good! Stick baby stick!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Symptoms

Ok, on TOP of getting two faint line positives pregnancy tests here are my symptoms:

- achy twitches all over my body
- leaky breats (sorry! gross huh? it looks just like water though)
- cramping in my lower abdomen
- sore throat (believe it or not this can be an early pregnancy symptom
- tonight I felt naseaus before eating dinner

Hmm... I might test again in the morning, since I have another test left. See if the line is any darker this time.

Another test....

BFP?!?!

Justin decided to go out early this morning at 7am and get another test. I had him get a different brand, First Response.

Well... same outcome, FAINT POSITIVE! Could it be?!? It's sooo early to be testing, I know, but if the line is there, the pregnancy hormones are there! Wow. I'm at a loss for words.

All I can say for sure is, I very well *MIGHT* be pregnant! I think I am...

Monday, December 3, 2007

Faint Positive!?!?!

COULD IT BE?!?!?!

I think I might be going crazy... it's 11.20pm, and I took a pregnancy test Sunday morning. No plus sign, just the two lines that the E.P.T. tests have. But just now, just 10 minutes ago (Monday night) I gave in and took the second test. I am SO bad at being patient...

Tomorrow is 5 days before my period is due -- the pregnancy tests say they can test up to 5 days in advance -- well, tonite there is a FAINT FAINT line! At first I though I was going crazy over the shadows, that was all. But then I took it out into the stronger light of our bathroom area and I swear theres a line there! So I called in Justin with this ridiculous grin on my face. I asked him if he saw it and he does! We even compared it to the one I took Sunday...

SO... wow. I said, "I see a line! I see a line?! I see a line! I see a line?" over and over again. I asked Justin to go buy another test to see if tomorrow morning a darker line shows up (the pregnancy hormone is strongest in your pee in the morning) and then I decided we might as well wait. No need to go out at 11.30 at night...

I *THINK* we see a LINE!

Friday, November 30, 2007

7 Days Past Ovulation

Well there's no going back now, if my body decides to get pregnant then I'm going to get pregnant. If you didn't read the warning up top, then I'll tell you now: this blog is not for the faint of heart! If you don't want to know the details that might be TMI, then stop reading :)


Implantation could occur anytime from yesterday to 5 days from now or so- if fertilization has occured. No real symptoms yet, although one of my breasts had a weird ache in it earlier, and I'm having twitches in my lower abdomen again- but that happened last month too.


One of my co-workers is crocheting a baby blanket for her sister, who is 12 weeks pg. Watching her crochet this week has made me realize how much I liked doing it in college. I only made scarves back then. So I decided to take it up again and am making a baby blanket. If I don't get pregnant, I have a few PG friends I could give it too. But I'm having fun doing it. I worked on it this morning and then left it on my dining room table. A few minutes ago Spice came up and starting loving it, kneading it and purring. So cute... I just had to snap a photo.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

12 Days til Testing...

My ticker says only 12 days until testing... technically I will likely know sooner, as most home pregnancy tests can work earlier- but they don't always.

Every little twinge I feel in my body makes me paranoid- especially since there've been a lot in my lower abdomen since ovulating, but that happened last month too. I've also started to barely get tender breasts- which happens to me every month anyway but is also a sign of pregnancy. It's hard because no symptoms are unique to pregnancy. Most you can get with your regular period or PMS too.

I have been a little achy today though. Hopefully I'm not coming down with anything, also really tired.

:::yawn::: off to bed now :)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Boy vs Girl

We get asked this question almost as often as the "when are you going to have kids?" question. Would we preger a boy or a girl???

Here's the deal:
We have three nieces and zero nephews, meaning it would be nice if we had the first boy in the family. Justin and I like that idea. However, we're not sure we're really "boy parents" either. Justin has always done better with girl friends than guy friends and I'm a total girly girl who wants daughters I can plan dress up doll with.
Of course I won't mind if our first is a boy, BUT I will freak out if our second is a boy... and the third... and so on and so forth. I'm terrified of trying for that girl and never getting it! I wouldn't mind A boy but four or five of them? Pass the prozac please.

But I'm a believer in that God gives you what will be right for you and I think either he realizes my non-abilities to handle multiple little boy terrors or He knows I'll actually do alright.

If it was between the two: all boys or all girls, Justin and I would absolutely pick all girls. Six of them is fine, if they're all girls.

1DPO

That means, one day past ovulation! If our trying to conceive is successful this month, implantation should occur any time within the next 10 days. As soon as that happens, I should be able to get a positive on a pregnancy test. If it doesn't happen, we might try again next month.

I'm very thankful that we've gotten to the point where we can plan and try for our first child. Many people are surprised by their first pregnancy and I always had a fear of that happening. If you know me well, you know I don't like surprises. I'm a "need-to-know" type of gal.

Because of that, we'll be finding out the sex of our baby ASAP. Although thats usually not until 20 weeks or so... ugh. It's going to a be a looong first trimester, thats for sure.

If I do get pregnant this month, I'll be due on August 18th or so. (Sorry in advance to our family, I know the last thing we need is another summer/fall birthday.) Indiana's due date was the 19th of August! But she was born a little early on the 15th, one day after my mom's birthday on the 14th! And Justin's dad's birthday is August too.

Oh well, you'll live.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

TTC#1... what the heck does that mean?

If you're reading this, it will be in the future. I'm creating this blog for when I *am* pregnant- and right now I am not. I don't think. It's November 25th and I'm on day 14 of my cycle and this is our first month of TTC#1.

What does that mean? Here's the story:

Justin and I have been planning on trying for a baby in early 2008, probably by February or March. To make a long story short, in October 2007 we had a big "pregnancy scare" -- the first real one ever -- to the point where we even got a faint positive line on a pregnancy test at one point. We were absolutely convinced that I was pregnant, and started freaking out and getting excited at the same time. Well, the pregnancy tests following that first faint positive came out negative. WTH? And sure enough, on day 28 of my cycle in October AF came (aunt flo, i'll get to the abbreviations in a minute).

But, instead of being relieved and overjoyed that we weren't pregnant, Justin and I were actually kinda bummed. Justin even admitted he'd been thinking about having kids for quite a while and was simply waiting for me to be ready. So we talked A LOT about it and decided, why wait another 4 months? When is it ever going to be the "right time"? And we'll be 24 soon, married for 4 years, haven't we had enough time to ourselves?

Justin, of course, is practically Mr. Mom with our nieces and is giddy at the thought of being a father. I'm excited too, but the words "48 hours of labor" are words that affect me and not Justin so I'm excited and totally freaked out at the same time. But being a mom is my dream job, I've wanted this ever since I was a little girl and here we finally are...

Alas, here we are, November 2007 TTC#1... which means, "trying to concieve our first baby". I've been hopping around Trying to Concieve forums online and those women speak their own language! It's crazy! They're crazy! Here, for example, is something you'll find on a post:

"I'm TTC#2 and I'm only 5DPO, is it too early to POAS? My AF is due in just under 10 days, but I don't want to get my hopes up because last time I got my BFP we M/C'd and we've been BDing ever since..."

Translation?

"I'm trying to conceieve my second child (TTC#2) and I'm only 5 days past ovulation (5DPO), is it too early to pee on a stick (POAS)? My aunt flo (AF) is due.... last time I got my big fat positive (BFP) we miscarried (M/C'd) and we've been baby dancing (aka, trying- BDing) ever since..."

Aren't they crazy? The lingo is hard to get used to it, and thats only a few examples out of HUNDREDS of abbreviations.

So try and decode this and wish us luck:

Justin and I are in month 1 of TTC#1 and as I write this I am Oing and hoping to get my BFP within the next two weeks because AF is due on December 8 or 9!

Cheers,
Heather - not preggers yet
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