Baby Boy News & A Blog Makeover

Alrighty, so Baby Boy did not want to cooperate at his 20 week anatomy scan yesterday…he was head down with his face pointing toward my spine.  Although, in traditional boy fashion, he was not shy about showing off his ‘boy parts’ again. So that’s confirmed. I tried everything to get him to move, but he was pretty cozy I guess. Anyway, I have to go back to complete the scan so they get clear pictures of the heart, and proper nose/lip measurements. Dang! I really wanted a nice profile to compare to the one I have of McKenzie at her 20 week ultrasound. =) But I can’t complain! I love the see the little peanut. He was SO much bigger than he was at the 16 week ultrasound we had.

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Butt shot on the right, “boy parts” pointing toward the bottom left. Giant placenta blob on the left.

Also, I’m incredibly excited so share a little sneak peek of a blog re-design I’ve been working with my friend Kendall, at K.Marie Photo Design! I feel like I want my little slice of the internet to reflect my life, my style, and (most importantly) my writing. And of course I want to feel confident & happy about the space I present to the world as my own. So check it out, and let me know what you think! I love how it’s coming along, and I hope you do too. =)LSL_branddevelopment

20 Weeks

20weeks.wordsAh, the official “normal person” half-way point in pregnancy! Yay! But alas, I am not normal. Blah. I think the insanely nice weather we’ve been having has made the itching worse…I’ve been trying to walk 2 miles/day, but I find it really exhausts me. That, and the warmer my body feels, the more my skin prickles. I’m trying to stay VERY hydrated and drink plenty of water & my favorite lemon-lime Gatorade. It’s such a crappy situation.

Because my itching as gotten worse the past few days, I have been referred to the Perinatal Clinic (high risk) at Meriter hospital for a consult, and see if they can offer any more relief. I mean, I’ve been waking up with bloody scratch marks on my legs, and I’m pretty positive we don’t have a poltergeist in the house. ;)

Also, last week I met with my hepatologist (liver specialist), and he told me the medication has lowered my levels from 44 (toxic for baby) to 25. Much improved, but still elevated (10 is normal). So that’s good. AND ON TOP OF ALL THIS, my doctor also suspects that I have “carpal tunnel syndrome of pregnancy,” because my right had has been getting numb/tingly, so I’m supposed to wear a wrist brace when I sleep. Not sure if that’s gonna fly. Anyway, on to the survey:

How far along are you? 20 weeks, 2 days. He will probably be here in 4 months! That’s crazy.

How big is the baby? According to my BabyCenter App, it’s about the size of a banana.

Weight Gain? Still 7 lbs.

Maternity clothes? Loose work-out clothes (still yoga pants & sweatshirts)…helps the itching.

Stretch marks? Tiny ones on my inner thighs. And my boobies.

Sleep: Sleep has been better, I’m just taking 2 Benadryl before bed every night.

Best moment this week? Pregnancy-wise, Baby Boy’s movements have dramatically increased the past week or 2. Oh, and someone called me “tiny” today…definitely haven’t been called tiny in awhile. Haha.

Movement? Yep! ^^

Food cravings? Last week it was French Onion Soup. Yum! And yesterday I posted the recipe for all to enjoy!

Food aversions? Nope.

Labor signs? Nope.

Gender? BOY!

Symptoms? Itchy. And now whenever I sneeze, McKenzie asks, “Did you pee, Momma?!” Hahaha. Joy.

Belly button in or out? In. With McKenzie it just went flat…it was never an “outie.”

Wedding rings on or off? On.

Happy or moody? Pretty happy.

What I miss: My hubbs. But I think we’ll get to speak every Sunday now. Yay! Something to look forward to.

What I am looking forward to: 20 week Anatomy Scan tomorrow! I’ll probably post pics ASAP. And I’m also looking forward to meeting with the Perinatal Specialist to see if there’s any itching-relief in my future. And tomorrow night I meet our doula!

Alright y’all, I’m going through husband withdrawals.

Since Jon’s been gone, I’ve spoken to him for a total of probably 20 minutes and gotten 2 letters (it’s been a month and a half!). I’m going crazy! I’ve certainly been spoiled having him around the past 6 years while we were both in school. I miss him TONS. I certainly didn’t think it would be easy, but we didn’t know we were looking at 6 months of training…we thought it would be 4. And now, since Baby Boy needs to be born early, I’m thinking Jon won’t be able to be there for his birth (but we don’t know for sure)…but it seriously sucks you guys.  =(

On a happy note, in this post, I mentioned that we get to see him next month for a 48 hour leave at Fort Benning. I’m so excited! Thanks to some advice from Liz @ TheLambentLife I got some insider scoop on the Columbus area, so we’re all booked up for flights & hotel. On the downside it ended up being $1200 for airfare/hotel/car. OUCH. (And yes, I scoured the internet for the best deal.) But it’ll be totally worth it to have some time with him. McKenzie misses her daddy a ton.IMG_4079

So yesterday, I watched the documentary “The Business of Being Born” per the suggestion of another military wife, so now I’m looking into getting a Doula & considering a natural birth (aside from the induction)…maybe? My epidural with McKenzie was heavenly. I slept during labor. Anyhow, there’s a program called Operation Special Delivery, for military wives: Doulas volunteer their time to wives who don’t have support nearby, or whose husbands will likely not be there for the births. I haven’t heard back yet, but I think it would be great to have another supporter/advocate there with me.

And since I realized that I have very, very few photos of me & McKenzie, here are a couple from last spring. I’m ever the photographer! I think it’s a curse. We were at Olbrich Gardens here in Madison. It’s so beautiful there!

In other photography news, I did have a super fun newborn session on Monday…we got some beautiful photos! I think our Baby Boy might end up being one of the most photographed babies ever. ;) And man, he is really starting to amp-up his movements! Greatest feeling ever. =)

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19 Weeks

19 weeks.words

Urgh, I’m sorry all my posts have been mostly pregnancy related…but alas, it has consumed my life lately. I can’t believe I’m 19 weeks already! I promise I’ll have a blog featuring my new stroller, and some goodies I picked up in Cali on our trip soon. Here we go again:

How far along are you? 19 weeks…I’m officially half-way, since I need to deliver by 38 weeks. Only like 4 months to go! That’s crazy.

How big is the baby? According to my BabyCenter App, it’s about the size of an heirloom tomato.

Weight Gain? I’m up 7lbs. I’m pretty pleased with that, I think I was at 15 by now with McKenzie.

Maternity clothes? Yoga pants & sweatshirts are my uniform of choice.

Stretch marks? A tiny one on my inner thigh. And my boobies, which are leaking now. Oh joy.

Sleep: My itching is much worse at night, so my doc suggested Benadryl…not for the itching, but to knock me out. Worked like a charm last night! I slept like a man. =)

Best moment this week? We booked  trip to visit Jon next month! I’m so excited. It was EXPENSIVE for a 48 hour trip, but I don’t even care. Oh well.

Movement? He’s getting stronger & more consistent every day. =) I love that feeling. He’s tumbling around right now.

Food cravings? Bite Size Tostitos (my fave) covered in Sharp Cheddar. And also scallops (this recipe is easy and delicious…I use sea scallops. It’s one of the safest pregnancy seafoods).  Weird.

Food aversions? Nope.

Labor signs? Nope.

Gender? BOY!

Symptoms? Not as itchy, thank goodness. Nothing to speak of. Gotta love 2nd trimester. =)

Belly button in or out? In. With McKenzie it just went flat…it was never an “outie.”

Wedding rings on or off? On.

Happy or moody? Pretty happy. A little overwhelmed with cleaning up the house post-vacay.

What I miss: Not a whole lot, pre-pregnancy wise. Maybe my body obviously…I’m in that awkward stage where it’s not clear if I’m fat or pregnant. Haha.

What I am looking forward to: Seeing Jon next month, obviously. But we also have the 20 week anatomy ultrasound next Wednesday (May 1st), so I’m excited to see Baby Boy again.

17 Weeks

17weekswords

How far along are you? 17 weeks now! Time is still flying, I can’t believe I’m 2.5 weeks away from half-way.
How big is the baby? According to my BabyCenter App, it’s about the size of a turnip.
Weight Gain? 6 lbs. nothing new
Maternity clothes? Yoga pants & sweatshirts?
Stretch marks? A tiny one on my inner thigh. Blast.
Sleep: My itching is horrible at night, so my sleep leaves much to be desired…hopefully the meds kick in soon. =/
Best moment this week? It’s been a rough week (as mentioned in my last post). Maybe hearing Jon’s voice? We’re flying to Cali today, so that’ll be nice. A break from this dreary rain. And I guess finding out I’ll get to see Baby Boy weekly via ultrasound & we’ll meet him early? In about 20 weeks…
Movement? Here & there, nothing consistent yet.
Food cravings? Water? Apparently the Cholestasis of Pregnancy can cause loss of appetite…I think I have that aspect as well. I guess I’ve been wanting Bite Size Tostitos (my fave) covered in Sharp Cheddar. MMmmmm…
Food aversions? Not so much, just not very hungry.
Labor signs? Nope.
Gender? BOY! BOY! BOY!
Symptoms? Itchy, itchy, itchy…still not feeling/looking very pregnant. I honestly thought I’d be bigger by now, since it’s baby #2.
Belly button in or out? In. With McKenzie it just went flat…it was never an “outie.”
Wedding rings on or off? On.
Happy or moody? Moody…not the best week. McKenzie had a wonderful tantrum last night, and the dogs are a handful sometimes. Urgh.
What I miss: Jon, Jon, Jon…I should get to talk to him Sunday. He left a month ago tomorrow. Blah.
What I am looking forward to: Sunshine & the ocean. My step-dad (Grandpa Jeff) lives 10 minutes from this slice of heaven (and that is a camera-phone pic):Laguna Beach

So, now I’m high-risk.

itchytummyAs I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been really, really itchy lately. Well, for weeks actually. It is TERRIBLE. Like, wakes-me-up-in-the-night-type terrible. I even mentioned it at my 9 & 14 week appointments. “It’s just hormones,” they said. “It’s your skin stretching,” they said. “Itching is a 3rd trimester thing,” they said.

Well, I self-diagnosed weeks ago with ICP (Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy), characterized by severe, wide-spread itching without a rash. Basically, your liver doesn’t process the bile-acids properly, which makes your histamines go crazy (hence, the itching). And I’ve always had an asymptomatic liver disease (since birth), so it made sense. It fit my symptoms perfectly. I even called the after-hours nurse line because I was freaked-out. When I spoke with the nurses at my doc’s office the next day, they were unconcerned. “It’s just hormones,” they said. “It’s your skin stretching,” they said. “It’s too early, it’s a 3rd trimester thing,” they said.

But guess what showed up in my labs, after demanding that they test me for it?! ICP. Yeah, I f***ing knew it. Moral of the story? Always, always listen to your body. It normally shows up in the 3rd trimester. At 17 weeks, I’m nearly half that. My doctor told me she was “shocked,” and that in the other cases she’s dealt with, none of the other women had it before 35 weeks. Lucky me.

This diagnosis officially makes me high-risk, but it should disappear within days of giving birth. It’s a “complication.” It doesn’t affect the development of the baby, cognitively or physically, but mothers with ICP have a much higher risk of stillbirth (for reasons still unknown) and babies are more to have respiratory distress after birth…which is exactly the thing a pregnant momma doesn’t want to hear. =( To minimize the risk to the baby, I will have weekly ultrasounds starting at 24 weeks (viability) until my 32nd week, when I’ll start having Fetal Non-Stress Tests (NST’s) 2x a week. Because of the increased risk of stillbirth, doctors induce between the 37th-38th week of pregnancy. That means we’ll have another late-August baby…I’ll literally be pregnant an entire month less than McKenzie (who was super, duper late). Maybe Jon will actually get to be there if it’s planned?

I comfort myself with the knowledge that, if delivered before 38 weeks, the risk of stillbirth is less than 1%, which is the same as normal pregnancy. My silver lining is that I get to have more ultrasounds (did I jinx myself with that last post?), and we get to meet *him* sooner.

I’m trying to stay calm. It’s still scary. And I’m still itchy. But hopefully the medication I’m taking 2x/day will have these wicked bile-acids under control soon.

And this makes me miss my husband that much more, I SO wish he was here right now. Thankfully, I got to speak with him briefly yesterday to tell him what’s going on…and he hadn’t gotten my letter yet, so I told him it’s a boy. Another silver lining? I’m trying to stay positive, it could always be much worse. =)

Boy or Girl?!

Tomorrow is the big day! In less than 24 hours we should know if Baby #2 is a boy or girl! I am SO excited. I’ve wanted to know since the day I took the pregnancy test. ;)

So today I took these photos of McKenzie to announce the sex, using boy or girl newborn shoes. I’m so happy with how they turned out! Especially since I will be using these photos to announce the sex to Jon via snail mail (I finally have his address, and I was overjoyed to talk to him for 10 minutes yesterday for Easter!). Plus, I loved the pregnancy announcement photos involving McKenzie, so this was fun. I love that she gets to be a part of it. Do you like ’em? My only complaint is that the newborn shoes don’t look as little in her tiny hands! ;) Any last guesses?! Personally, I’m feeling boy since I’ve have 3 boy dreams in the past week. We shall see!BigCollage

A whole week?

Wow, I usually don’t go a whole week without posting. I guess I’ve been “busy.” My sister and niece visited last week during her spring break, and this week we reciprocated with a visit to their new house in Minnesota! Their closing/loan underwriting process was quite a hassle, so I know she’s relieved it’s over. The house is lovely, it’s a great “forever home!” I can’t wait to own a house someday, a condo is just not the same. To be able to simply let the dogs out a door will be heavenly…

Anyway, I got them this wicked-cool decorative tripod clock as a housewarming gift. At least I know Jesse likes it…men are not prone to rejoice over home decor, I suppose.

tripodclockBut we’re home now, and it’s McKenzie’s spring break. I think I’m going to enroll her in K5 for the fall here in Madison, just in case we don’t have a “post” with the Army yet. The local elementary school has a Spanish dual-immersion program I’m considering, BUT I know it’s only beneficial long-term if they complete the programs, so I’m not sure it makes sense if we’ll be moving. That said, I speak Spanish so it might be cool even if it’s for a little while.

And I haven’t heard from Jon. I guess we’re going to be pen pals the next few months. =( And I don’t know when we’ll see him again. But McKenzie and I are settling into a routine, though. I got her a Shutterfly photo book with only photos of her & her Daddy. She loved it and sat down with it right away. It was really cute, I’m so happy she likes it.

In the Bebe department, I had my first visit with my actual doctor last week, and I really like her. She was super approachable, friendly, and great with McKenzie (which is important to me because she’ll probably be coming with me a lot). And is it bad that I like her because she’s young? But I do. I don’t want my doc to be an out-of-touch old fart. No offense to them. Anywho, the baby’s heartbeat was 145 and everything looks good. And we get to find out the sex in 1 week! As in, in 1 week I will know if it’s a boy or girl. Woot! Any guesses? Come on…

And because pregnancy can make any lady feel gross & icky, here is a picture I like of myself. Yes, it is a year old. And yes, I really like this hat & scarf. Oh, and I’ve been having pretty awesome risqué dreams lately. This lady ain’t complainin’. Totally forgot about that part. ;)mewglasses

14 Weeks…Officially 2nd Trimester!

14Weeks

14 Weeks, Baby #2

How far along are you? 14 weeks now! Time is flying.
How big is the baby? According to my BabyCenter App, it’s about the size of a lemon. 3½ inches, 1½ ounces.
Weight Gain? 6lbs, same as McKenzie the first trimester.
Maternity clothes? Yep. I wear sweats & sweatshirts around the house. The (pictured) pants are skinny jeans in long from Motherhood, and my shirt is a non-maternity tunic from a boutique.
Stretch marks? Nope, not yet. As I mentioned in my 12 week post I’ve been using BioOil…I’ve been using it every night before bed, and it’s actually faded my stretch marks from McKenzie and my laparoscopy scars! Needless to say, I’m very pleased.
Sleep: My sleep is getting better, thank god. I miss Jon at night though…a body pillow is just not the same. =(
Best moment this week? Signing up for the YMCA and watching McKenzie’s first ballet class. And I talked to Jon yesterday! It sounds like he’s doing great. He needs to re-do basic training since he’s been out of the military for more than 5 years, but after looking at his DD-214 they made him Platoon Guide, meaning he’s in charge of like 60 people…so that’s good for him, a leadership position right off the bat. But apparently he will definitely be training the full 23 weeks (almost 6 months!). SO, I will be pregnant all by myself nearly the ENTIRE time. Lame. It was great to hear from him though! But I won’t get any womb-service. =( I assume I’ll have this bebe in Madison, too, cuz I’m not moving at 39 weeks. Plus, I like Meriter, the hospital where Z was born.
Movement? Yes! When I read before bed at night I can feel little flutters here & there! Nothing consistent, but I know that it’s the bebe.  At the First Trimester Screen, the utrasound tech said that the placenta is attached the the anterior uterine wall, meaning I’ll probably feel it 2-3 weeks earlier than if it were attached somewhere else. Cool with me, I love the feeling.
Food cravings? Green olives! I ate (and drank) a whole jar. This is not unusual though, I always love green olives & I did the same thing when I was pregnant with McKenzie. It was her first favorite food when she turned 1! When she started eating solids I’d cut them in half and she’d gobble them up.
Food aversions? Not so much.
Labor signs? Nope.
Gender? Too early to tell. April 2nd! Only 2 weeks away!
Symptoms? No. And thank you for all the advice last time…prunes & Miralax helped with that. ;) I’ve been making a point to drink 64oz of water every day, and that’s helping too.
Belly button in or out? In. With McKenzie it just went flat…it was never an “outie.”
Wedding rings on or off? On.
Happy or moody? I’m just sad. I’m having a hard time adjusting to Jon’s absence, and I think my hormones are making it worse. =(
What I miss: Jon, Jon, Jon…for several reasons. ;’) And I’m going a little stir-crazy being alone with McKenzie all the time. I had a great girl’s lunch with my BFF today, and it was great, no interruptions or begging for my food. And plenty of adult talk. Lol.
What I am looking forward to: My sister is visiting with my niece, Abbey, tomorrow! And we get to find out the sex in two weeks! Any guesses? Boy/Girl??

First Trimester Screen

We had the First Trimester Screen ultrasound today…everything was great!  The odds of Down Syndrome or Trisomy (18 or 13) are 1/10,000. So far, it’s healthy. *sigh of relief* And we got to see “it” again, so that was awesome. We were able to get a 4D ultrasound, and I know it still looks alien, but it’s cool nevertheless!

The heart rate was 176, and the baby was bouncing all around (even though I couldn’t feel it). But they refused to guess the sex…so I’m pretty bummed. =( I really wanted to know before my hubbs left! BUT I scheduled a private ultrasound to determine the sex of the baby…they guarantee accuracy at 16 weeks! April 2nd is the big day! =)

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