Monday, December 28, 2009

A Recap of 2009

2009 in Review:

January: President Obama was inaugurated. This also happened to be the day I woke up sick as a dog and had to stay home from work. We continued house-hunting and making offers on houses. The Chargers made it into the playoffs and kicked the Colt's behinds. Mike and I went on a whale watching cruise. We participated in San Diego Restaurant Week for the first time (The Brigantine in Del Mar). I went to a baby shower for the first of many of my friends that were expecting in 2009!

February: I baked cupcakes for a Superbowl party. One of my mystery orchids started blooming! Hubby went to visit family for a weekend, and I MISSED him lots!!! I hosted a fun party just for girls. I went through a phase of the blues. Mike and I went to dinner at Croce's downtown for Valentine's day, and went to see the movie "Coraline". We had our first offer accepted on a house, and we began escrow process #1.

March: I was really bad about updating my blog. I was very busy making plans for my new home. March was very mentally and emotionally stressful. I started doing more research on starting my own business.

April: We found out that we were NOT getting the house we had been agonizing over all month. We resumed our house-hunting. We saw Leonard Cohen in concert and he was awesome. We went to a screening for our roommate's movie, "Between the Lines". We went to a car show. My in-laws came to stay for a week, and my office moved to our new location. Mike and I thought we were going to have to move since our old roommate moved out, but we decided to get a new roommate instead.

May: I went to another baby shower for yet another friend due in 2009. We found a house we absolutely adored, but unfortunately it didn't work out. I was a featured blogger on The Foodie Blogroll's Foodie Friday. Mike and I went on a road trip up the California coast and visited Napa for the first time.

June: We continued to look at houses. We went to the Del Mar Fair a LOT. I was so busy having fun that I didn't blog at all. (*blush*) Probably TMI, but I went off The Pill. Mike and I started looking for another roommate. Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett died. Mike built me a bookbinding press. We had an offer accepted on a house and began Escrow process #2.

July: Mike and I went to Vegas to celebrate our 2nd anniversary and the 4th of July. We saw "LOVE" and watched the fireworks at the M Casino. I finally realized that I was just not into blogging about food anymore. We had a big Tiki BBQ Bash at our house by the beach. Mike and I went to see Tears for Fears in concert and it was AWESOME. I went to see Coldplay in concert and they were awesome too. Mike and I went to the Del Mar races quite a few times. I bought a big paper cutter for my bookbinding business. We got a fun new roommate. We found out that we were not getting house #2, either.

August: We began our home search yet again. I attended two more baby showers this month. I saw the Flaming Lips in concert. AWESOME! I was given a Mac laptop. I got hit on by an old bum with a skullet. Once again, I was having too much fun living to update my blog. My honey went to visit family again, and I missed him lots. (It sucks when your hubby gets several extra weeks of vacation time than you do!) I got my first real bookbinding job. I had several emotional breakdowns for some unknown reason.

September: Mike and I went to a couple of pre-season Chargers games. I discovered the reason for the emotional breakdowns - I found out I was pregnant! My Father-in-Law came to town. My Green Lady orchid bloomed! We got hardcore on our Realtor and told her we NEEDED a house ASAP. We had a big celebration for Mike's birthday. I started doing all sorts of baby research. I had an exciting new job offered to me and then quickly had the offer retracted. We had an offer accepted on a house and began Escrow process #3.

October: I had my first prenatal appointment and Mike and I got to see our baby and hear the heartbeat. I got a Google Wave invite. (What a letdown that was!) My baby began craving cheeseburgers. Mike and I went to an Oktoberfest party at our German friend's house. I had another SICK day from work (not pregnancy related). Totally miserable! I had a heart-to-heart chat with my boss. I went to yet another baby shower! Mike's aunts came to town to visit us. We didn't do anything for Halloween because: We FINALLY signed escrow papers and moved into our very own home!!!

November: We had another ultrasound and got to see our little bean with SUPER long legs. I began researching doulas and childbirth methods. We celebrated my birthday with a simple celebration at an Anaheim Ducks hockey game. The Chargers started winning and winning and winning. I won a BellyBar giveaway on Facebook. I got my very own Kitchen Aid mixer. I joined a Meetup group for north county moms and moms-to-be. Mike and I went on vacation and road-tripped through the southwest. I went to see "New Moon" with the girls. We had a Turkey dinner with good friends. I switched OB/GYNs. Mike and I bought our very first dining table and went to Costco. Mike and I hosted Thanksgiving for the first time in our new home. We decided we couldn't wait until January and paid for a 4D ultrasound and found out that we are having a GIRL!

December: I got my flu shots. I discovered and started a new addiction with buying baby stuff. We had a successful housewarming party. We have awesome friends. I attended a prenatal yoga class. I started researching nursery decorating ideas. My work had an amazing Christmas party, and I got a Kindle as a gift. Mike's work had a nice holiday dinner. I baked cookies and made hand bound journals for our families. I felt my baby move for the first time. We ordered Christmas cards and due to a miscommunication, they turned out BAD (and were late) so for the first time since we've been together, we did not send out cards. We saw "Avatar" in 3D. Mike and I celebrated Christmas at home alone since it will be our last one with just the two of us. We got lots of fun gifts. We watched "Up" and the new "Harry Potter." The Chargers played on Christmas day, and we won! We spent the day after Christmas with my extended family in southern California. I made it to the halfway point of my pregnancy, and I am getting bigger and bigger.

All in all, it has been an amazing year. So much has happened, and the changes in our lives are just beginning! I am expecting 2010 to be an even more amazing year.

Things to come in 2010:
Celebrate the New Year. Have our big anatomy scan ultrasound. Watch the Chargers in the playoffs. Watch the Superbowl! Start taking childbirth classes. Register for baby stuff. Install new windows in our house. Get my home bookbinding business started for real. Have a baby shower. Decorate my little girl's nursery. Become a MOM!!! Celebrate the holidays and take a vacation as a family of 3.

I can hardly wait!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

20 Weeks

We've made it to the halfway point!!! 20 more weeks (give or take a couple) to go!

Things are going great. We had a very nice Christmas - very simple and peaceful and quiet with just the two of us, since it will be many years before we have another one like that! We are both very excited to have a little munchkin crawling around next Christmas. :)

Our little girl is now about the size of a cantaloupe. (I feel like my entire belly is the size of a cantaloupe right now!) She is swallowing a lot of amniotic fluid now, which is good practice for her digestive system. She's producing meconium, which will be her first bowel movement - hopefully not until after she's born!

Mom is feeling great. My uterus is about as high as my belly button now. We'll see if I've gained any more weight next weekend when I go in for my anatomy scan ultrasound. Other than the usual, I have nothing new to report. I'm still waiting to feel kicks, and I'm starting to get a little concerned that I haven't. I really haven't felt anything since those couple of nights of movement a couple weeks ago. If I'm not feeling anything by my ultrasound next weekend, I'm definitely going to ask about it. Hopefully everything is okay! According to my weekly emails, I should be feeling her kickboxing in there by now. Maybe she's just a gentle mover. I'm really looking forward to next week so I can check in on her again!

I'm still really excited for the big ultrasound, even though we already know we are having a girl. It's going to be so much fun to spend all that time looking at every little detail. I'm sure she's already grown since my last ultrasound!

20 Weeks

Sunday, December 20, 2009

19 Weeks

I'll keep it short this week, since I just posted an update the other day. I am now 19 weeks pregnant. Time sure is flying! Baby is about the size of a mango now.
Her brain is designating specialized areas for smell, taste, hearing, vision, and touch. She is probably able to hear now, so though I'm sure she can't understand, I can start talking to her a little more often. She's definitely learning the sound of my voice!

I've been experiencing round ligament pain quite frequently lately as my uterus continues to grow. It only lasts moments, but it's not fun! It happens mostly when I sneeze, cough, laugh, or get up or roll over quickly. I feel it most often at the end of the day. Constipation has become an issue again, and has been causing some discomfort (which is why I am up blogging at 4 am - I can't sleep!) so hopefully that won't last too long. I haven't noticed any of the skin changes yet (dark spots, etc.), which is fine with me!

And, last but not least, here's your weekly belly pic!

19 Weeks

Friday, December 18, 2009

18 Week Checkup

Today I had my 18 week checkup. Everything is looking great! To my surprise and excitement, the doctor asked me if I wanted to do another ultrasound. Well, why not?!? So, we went to check in on the little bean. He asked if I wanted to find out the baby's gender, so I just said yes - I figured it would be fun to see if he came to the same conclusion! My little girl was being modest today, and had her legs crossed like a little lady, and even had her hand in front of her goods. We managed to maneuver her a bit, but from the angle we were able to see, the doc said he would guess (about 75% sure) that we were having a girl. No surprise there!

She sure is getting big - it's looking more and more crowded in there! Her legs are crossed and folded, and she doesn't have so much room to move around. I asked the doctor if it was normal that I would have felt her twice earlier this week, but nothing since. He said it can take a while longer to start feeling regular movement. I'd be happy just to feel another flutter again soon! It was good to see her moving around though.

As for me, things are looking good. I have still only gained 2 pounds, up to 139 pounds. I am pretty surprised that at 18 weeks I've only gained this much! I'm definitely not complaining though!

I asked about the birthing center, but it looks like I'll probably be delivering before the center is ready. I'm not worried though - I know that the hospital I'll be delivering at is a good one for natural birth options.

Just two more weeks until the BIG ultrasound! We'll get to spend about 45 minutes with the tech and measure everything. It'll be fun to get to see our little girl for such a long amount of time!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The road to childbirth

I realize that this can be somewhat of a controversial subject, but I would like to share, and hopefully get some feedback from my readers. I have decided to pursue a natural childbirth, and I am really interested in learning more. I have been reading and studying, but I still have so many questions.

To begin, I'm a little surprised myself that I'm so set on doing this. For most of my life, I've been the type that will take a pill for anything, just to get rid of the pain. I have no absolutely no problem with medication in most cases! However, when it comes to childbirth, I have developed really strong feelings over the years, and now that childbirth has become a reality, I am finding out what is really important to me.

I think it all began about 7 years ago, when I took a human sexuality class in college. One class session focused on reproduction and birth, and the teacher had us watch a video showing an actual birth. I'm not sure what all the movie included, but the one thing I really vividly remember was a home water birth. I remember leaving that class thinking "Wow, childbirth is something I think I actually CAN do!" I didn't think much more of it at the time since having kids was the last thing on my mind, but I guess it kind of stuck in my mind that giving birth is something a woman's body is MADE to do - it is a natural process.

Over the past couple of years, as my close friends have started having babies, I only vaguely considered what I'd want to do when it came to my turn to give birth. I just assumed that I'd want the epidural and the whole deal that came with it. Why feel pain if I don't have to, right?

Once I became pregnant, I put the whole idea of giving birth out of my head at first - it was just too scary. After the first couple of months, I started thinking about it again. I had heard of a doula, but I really had no idea what they did. I started doing research and ended up signing up for a free class where I got to meet a doula and ask her questions, and find out if it was for me. I really had no idea what to expect, so I took Mike along with me. At first he told me it was just some hippy stuff that I didn't need to worry about. We both ended up realizing there was SO much more to birth than we had ever realized. At this point, we were both of the mind that we weren't opposed to an epidural, but would like to try to go as natural as possible. (Actually, Mike just wanted me to do what I was comfortable with, as long as I was safe.) Mike did feel that I don't need a doula - he feels that he can help me on his own and doesn't need that extra assistance. If I want a woman there, he felt that I should have one of our mothers help me through labor. So yeah, we need to discuss that one further!

The doula we met with was wonderful and gave me SO much information. I discovered that the doctor I was seeing at the time, as well as the hospital where I would be giving birth, had VERY high c-section and episiotomy rates - something I knew I did NOT want. I ended up switching to a new doctor who is very supportive of natural birth. Mike asked me if this new doctor was a compromise to me hiring a doula. I just said "I don't know about that yet!" This wonderful doula has been very helpful by emailing me about birth classes, etc. and she also let me borrow several of her childbirth books.

I recently read "The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Childbirth" by Henci Goer, and I am currently reading "Birthing From Within" by Pam England. I am learning so much, and realizing that there are SO many unnecessary interventions in most hospital births. Neither Mike nor I are quite comfortable with the idea of a home birth, but we do definitely want to limit the necessity of interventions. I am hoping that my new doctor will be a big help in that area. I also found out that he is opening a birthing center in May, so I am REALLY hoping that it will be ready in time for me!!! That would be the perfect medium between a home birth and a hospital birth. Mike and I also watched "The Business of Being Born," which I found very interesting. The information was basically the same as what I have been reading, but it was very helpful to see actual births. I really think that I would like to have a water birth, but I need to find out if that is a possibility with my birthing location.

On my list still to be read are "Your Best Birth" by Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein, and "Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way" by Susan McCutcheon. I am anxious to sign up for a childbirth class, but I am still busy researching the method that I think suits me best. My current options are Hypnobirthing, The Bradley Method, and a class that combines Hypnobirthing with other relaxation methods (the instructor used to work with Pam England ("Birthing From Within"). I am leaning towards the latter class, but I want to find out a bit more about the Bradley Method before I commit. From what I've heard, the Bradley class is good, but doesn't do a very good job of detailing HOW to relax, whereas the Hypno class gives very detailed instructions. I can be a very tense person and I don't really know how to relax so I feel like I need a class that will help me figure out exactly how to do so. Hypnobirthing seems a little hippie-ish to me, but I think that it may be exactly what I need. I need to visualize and meditate and all that…I just don't know how to do so!

I feel like my stack of books is ever-growing. There is so much to learn! If any of you have any experiences with any childbirth methods, I would LOVE to hear your input. In the meantime I'll be doing research of my own, but hearing personal experiences from friends is a great help.

At this time, I think I'll be able to get Mike to come around and agree to hiring a doula. I'm going to see my doctor tomorrow, so I'll ask him his thoughts then. I have so many more questions for him this month! I am so excited to cross over into the new territory of motherhood. I already am feeling a bond with other women who have had children - I feel like I am a part of a larger group now. It's a wonderful feeling, going where so many women have gone before!


Sometimes it just amazes me at how "crunchy" I've become when it comes to having a child. I've always been a hands-on kind of person, but I never really felt like I was "earthy." My mom cloth-diapered all my younger siblings, and I was SO grossed out by it. I swore I would never do such a thing! Cloth diapers have come a long way since then though, and now that we are on a tight budget of our own and I have become much more conscious of the environment, I plan to go the cloth diaper route with my baby. I plan to breastfeed, and I am very interested in baby-wearing. I also plan to make my own baby food. At first I think it was just to save money, but once I started researching these things, I've realized that there are multiple benefits to going natural. I am very excited to starting this new journey. Life will be busy, but it will be full and exciting!

Wondering about things to come.

I know this might sound a little weird, but I'm afraid that I won't be as excited once the baby is born. I really truly love being pregnant, and every day is a new adventure. This whole thing is so exciting to me! I am afraid that once she's born, I won't have this excitement and anticipation anymore. I know I'll have new things to be excited about once she's here, but for right now I can't even fathom what it is like to have an infant. Will every day still be exciting and new? Will I be as excited about every new thing she does as I am about each change in my body?

I'm also concerned that the second pregnancy just won't be anywhere as near as exciting as the first. Can it ever possibly be as amazing as the first time?

Now that I'm about halfway there, I'm really starting to think about life on the other side. I hope that being a mom is as good as being pregnant!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

We have movement!!!

I felt something the other night, but wasn't quite certain it was the little bean. I felt it again last night though, so I'm 99% sure that I felt the first movements!

The other night, December 14th, I was lying in bed reading, with my book propped up on my belly. I noticed my book suddenly pop up from my belly totally on it's own, twice in a row. It wasn't in time with my breathing at all, so I had a feeling it might have come from within. I tried to be still and feel for it again, but nothing else.

Last night I was lying in bed again, and I started feeling some funny little flutters in my belly. All the movement I felt was close to the front, just below the belly button, and definitely didn't feel like gas bubbles. It felt like a tiny little tickle or something brushing up against me from the inside. She must have been moving quite a bit, since I felt several movements from her before we finally fell asleep. I can't wait until it happens enough for Mike to feel!

I am so excited - this is the beginning of a whole new phase of my pregnancy! From here on out we just get bigger and get to know each other more and more.

I love you, Little One! :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

18 Weeks

18 weeks and Mama is so busy that she hardly has time to blog! Between holiday events and Christmas baking, I hardly have time to sit at my computer. But, I want to be sure to give my weekly update!

Little Girl is still growing and growing. Her skin is developing its layers, and she is coated with a waxy-like substance to protect her skin as she floats in amniotic fluid. It will also help her to slip out easier when her birthday arrives! Her uterus and all her other lady parts are formed now - it's a uterus within a uterus! She is now about the size of a sweet potato, or somewhere around 6" from crown to rump. She's moving all around, but I have yet to feel her. I know my abs can't be THAT tight, so hopefully I'll be feeling her in the next week or two!
Mama is feeling pretty good. The digestive issues have returned somewhat, but nowhere near as bad as the first trimester. There are little things here and there that are just gross and annoy me, but I will spare you the details. :) Otherwise, I'm pretty much feeling like my usual self! I do have to try to get up slowly so I won't pull a muscle or get round ligament pain, but I haven't really noticed any issues with dizziness yet. I'm definitely showing now, but I still feel like I'm too small for strangers to even guess that I'm pregnant.
My maternity Chargers tee was in the wash today, so I squeezed into my regular tee. I was definitely popping out today! Speaking of the Chargers, we won our 8th straight game today - woohoo!!! Mike surprised me with an early Christmas gift today. We are going to the Chargers game vs. the Bengals next weekend! I am super excited. This will be Baby's 3rd Charger game already. I'm sure she'll be a huge fan! :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Baby, I'm Amazed...

It's been 4 months, and it still sometimes blows my mind that I'm actually pregnant - that there is actually a little tiny person growing inside of me. I'm actually going to be a mom, and we are actually going to have a child. I look down at my growing belly and it amazes me that my body knows exactly what to do. I don't have to tell it anything, it just knows. Although my body has never been through this before, it knows how to change in the exact same way that a woman's body has always changed to carry a baby. I am so very excited, and I am in awe of the way everything works together naturally. Giving birth is such a natural thing for my body to do, and I can't wait to experience it.

I can't wait to meet you, Little One - I love you more and more each day!

Monday, December 7, 2009

17 Weeks

I am now 17 weeks pregnant! Time seems to be moving faster and faster now. At Christmas time, I will be halfway there already. I'm still waiting for some milestones, but I am definitely feeling like things are progressing.

First, about baby:
She is now about the size of an onion, at about 5" (or more!) from crown to rump. Her ears are developed now, and she is able to hear. The sounds of my womb and my voice are comforting to her. Her bones are changing from soft cartilage to bone. Fat is starting to accumulate now, so her little form is starting to fill out more. She can move her joints, and her sweat glands are starting to develop. She is in the middle of a growth spurt right now, and judging by my own growth, I definitely believe it!

Now, about me:
I've reached another milestone - I had to go buy maternity jeans yesterday. I went out shopping intending to buy just a shirt, but as the day progressed, I had SUCH trouble keeping my jeans up! They were too tight to button, but when I left the button undone, my butt was too big for my jeans to stay up correctly. So, I bit the bullet, and bought my first pair. The mediums are kind of big on me, but the smalls were too short, though the waist fit correctly. I figure that within a month or so, I'll be fitting in the waist of the mediums, and they'll still be long enough. I'm still in that awkward in-between phase, I guess!

I think I'm to the point now where people can probably tell that I'm pregnant. (In some shirts more so than others!) Most people probably wouldn't say anything yet, just in case, but I think it's pretty apparent. Like Mike pointed out, the belly is very hard, and it's too high to be a beer belly. So far the rest of my body seems to still be retaining it's normal shape, although my poor butt has gotten flabby. Back to the gym for me this week!!! I'm pretty sure my boobs grew some more. They aren't painful anymore, but they are still tender. I've had to start hooking my bra on the next looser notch now, so I'm assuming that means that my ribcage is starting to expand a little bit.

My belly is definitely growing - within this last week, I feel like my belly has noticeably popped out. I feel huge right now! (But I love it!) Mike keeps rubbing my belly all the time, saying "there's a baby in there!" or trying to listen to her by putting his ear on my belly. :)

17 Weeks

I am so anxious to start feeling baby move. I thought MAYBE I felt a little something the other day, but I think it was just some gas bubbles. :( Hopefully soon! I'm looking forward to having that reassurance that she is still in there doing well.

One weird thing I've noticed is that I constantly feel my heart pounding in my ears. Sometimes it's ridiculously loud! I'm guessing that it's because I have so much more blood flowing through my body right now, but it sure is strange. I think I'll mention it to my doctor. I'm still doing quite well, although I have noticed that occasionally I have a hard time getting up from sitting on the floor. My balance is still pretty good, but I can tell that it's slowly shifting! I won't be able to wear my heeled boots much longer without fear of toppling over. LOL (I'm not known for my grace to begin with...) I'm going to have to invest in some flat boots for this rainy season!

My next doctor visit is two weeks from today. I am looking forward to hearing her little heartbeat again, and very curious (but a little scared) to see how much weight I've gained!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

So freaking excited!!!

I am SO excited, I kind of can't believe it. Who ever would have thought I'd be so ridiculously excited to have a little girl?!? I keep having random moments where I feel like I might start crying with joy. It's like I'm pregnant all over again. (Not that I ever stopped being pregnant, but stay with me...) When I first got my BFP, I was ecstatic. I did some browsing for baby items online, but eventually the novelty wore off. I was happy, of course, but not excited. But now that I know that this baby is a girl, I am beyond excited again. I'm sure I'd feel the same way if I was having a boy, but the fact is, just KNOWING is making me excited. I can't stop thinking about her - I am constantly looking for baby items, cute baby clothes, etc. I keep looking at her little ultrasound photo and smiling, wondering what her little face will look like.

Listening to Christmas music is also putting me in a happy frame of mind. Life is so good right now. :)

Doing the Jingle Bell Rock!