Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I'm about to wrap up week 20 of the pregnancy. This of course means that I'm more than halfway there! It's a very exciting milestone, especially because of my runner mentality.
Running long-distance races has forced me to become adept at mind games. When I run a half marathon, for example, I don't approach it as 13.1 miles on the road. I break the distance up and think, "it's only a little more than four 5Ks" ... or, "it's only three miles more than the training run I did last weekend." And I do the same thing as I'm on the course.
The most exciting part is getting to the halfway point in the race and knowing that the distance I have left to go from then on will be less that the distance I've covered. "It's all down hill from here"... or so I tell myself.
I'm sure I've still got some challenges ahead of me in the pregnancy. I'm still in the honeymoon-ish second trimester, where I'm glad to have that first one behind me but know the third one looms. I can only guess what kind of complaints I may be posting up here when I'm another 10 lbs heavier and it's 90 degrees out...
But right now I'm excited about hitting this halfway mark. And judging by the laps I can feel something running in my belly today, I'd say the cantaloupe is pretty happy, too.

Oh, and here's a recent pic of me (and baby)...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Meet baby... sort of :)

Here are some pictures I took of the hard copy pics we got from the ultrasound. Sorry they're a bit blurry. Our little one is always on the move it seems :)
Oh, and the ultrasound technician assured us that even in the pictures where it may appear otherwise, the baby does not have any holes in its head.

Friday, March 27, 2009


The ultrasound today was intense. And soooo amazing! The technician gave us about 20 printouts from the pics she took and I cannot stop looking at them!
The baby actually looks like a baby in some of them... others, it's a little more alien-like :) I'll try to post some of the pics online later, but we don't have electronic versions right now.
Here's the account of our ultrasound visit.
Brian picked me up at work and proceeded to unload about his crappy morning. Work was not going well. He ranted until we arrived at the doctors office and then agreed not to let it spoil our exciting appointment. And once we got in the office neither of us could stop smiling.
After finally getting called in by the ultrasound technician, we went back to the room and I hiked my pants down and my shirt up ;) The tech put a healthy amount of warm gel on my belly and started looking around with the ultrasound thingy (I think that's the technical term).
Almost immediately she started pointing out the head, the stomach and other parts of the baby. I looked up at the screen and saw only black, gray and white blobs. She started getting pictures of the face and even pointed the eyes, nose and mouth out to me several times. Brian pointed it all out, too. Still I couldn't see what we were looking at. I felt very much like Rachel in the Friends episode when she couldn't see the baby in the ultrasound and kept pretending, "Oh, now I see it" ... but of course, still didn't.
I was really starting to get upset when the technician finally switched over to some 4-D imaging. Now that the baby's face finally took shape, I could see what she was talking about. It was incredible.
We checked out the face from a bunch of angles, the legs, feet, arms and hands. She counted 10 fingers and 10 toes! And she checked out all of the major organs.
Her final assessment was that everything looks good. Just like it's supposed to at this point.
Brian was hoping (and hinted several times during the appointment) that we'd "accidentally" find out the sex. But the tech mostly stayed away from the mid-section. So we still have a surprise.
And I may be biased, but I think he/she is the most beautiful cantaloupe-sized, alien-like baby I've ever seen!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Photo shoot coming

Friday is our ultrasound appointment! Even though we're not finding out the sex of the baby, we're both really excited to be getting a first look at the baby (er, mango). Brian is also hoping the tech slips up and calls the baby a him or her!
Not too much else new to report in babyland.
I am officially 10 lbs heavier now than I was pre-pregnancy. Thanks for the happy news, gym scale. But even though I joke about my "pudge" these days, I think I'm adjusting to the weight gain OK. (Brian may disagree since he still has to reassure me most days about the way I look... but it's fleeting concern, not something I'm sitting and stewing about.)
I still worry about gaining too much, but so far I'm right on schedule. And feeling the baby move around so much these days is really reminding me what this is all for.

Monday, March 23, 2009

So much love

Brian and I went to Rockford this weekend to visit my family. We got to see three of the four siblings and our niece and two nephews.
We spent much of Saturday night and Sunday sitting around talking and monitoring "the kids" as they played together.
It was great to spend time with the kids and laugh at all their silliness. But I was so sad when we had to leave town on Sunday. I started thinking about how much I love those kids, even though I only get to see them a dozen or so times a year. The love of an aunt is fierce, so I can only imagine how much stronger it will be when I become a mother.
I've had friends try to describe that instant bond they feel when their baby is born. I gather it's hard to put into words. But I'm starting to understand what it will be like. Every time I feel a poke or kick inside my stomach I feel a twinge of it.
I think it's some combination of excitement, happiness, fear, nerves and pride. And, of course, a ridiculous amount of love.

Friday, March 20, 2009

It's a mango

Week 19 is here and the baby is now mango-sized. He or she is now about 6 inches long and weighs about 8.5 ounces.
I was partly grossed-out and amused by the update this week listed on thebump.com... Here's what it said is going on:
"Vernix caseosa, a greasy white substance made of lanugo, oil and dead skin cells (yum) now coats baby's skin, shielding it from the amniotic fluid. (Picture yourself after a nine-month bath, and the need for protection makes sense.)"

Even with its new vernix caseosa, I'm feeling the baby kick and poke me a lot these days. It's really cool. And I think the mango has finally started moving further north in my belly, so it's not sitting on my bladder as much. Definitely an improvement. I've been wondering if anyone in the office has started a daily pool on the number of trips I take to the bathroom each day.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Maternity leave

I feel like Christmas came early today!
I just found out that I've apparently misunderstood the company's maternity leave coverage. It sounds like Gannett will pay my full salary for five weeks after the baby is born and I may even be able to get a few 60% pay weeks after that!
In trying to read and understand the policy online, it looked like I was only covered under the federal family leave policy, which guarantees 12 weeks unpaid. Brian and I had been working out a plan for post-delivery based on that info. But this is great news!
Since I've been with Gannett for four years now, I also qualified for a third week of vacation this year. So by saving up that time to combine with the maternity time, it looks like I won't have to rush back to work. And, we won't go broke :) (Well, no more broke than we'll already be with all the new baby expenses...)
I still need to get all of this information verified and fill out the appropriate paperwork, but YAY for some good news in the midst of all this job uncertainty!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I'm not compact, apparently

I had a fun encounter with the cashier at Bed, Bath & Beyond yesterday. Here's a rough outline of our conversation:
(without any prompting from me that I was pregnant...) Clerk: Congratulations. When are you due?
Me: Oh, thanks. In August.
Clerk (looking surprised): Oh! You've got a ways to go still.
Me: Yup, not there yet.
Clerk: Is this your first pregnancy?
Me: Yes.
Clerk (with raised eyebrows): Really? Are you having twins?
Me: No...
Clerk: Well, I guess I just carried very compactly in my first pregnancy.
Me: Oh.

So, I guess I am not carrying this baby very "compactly"... though the doctor just told me on Friday that I'm in the normal range for weight and measurements right now.
It wasn't until I got out to the car that I started to think of the comebacks I should have used during this pleasant conversation. I suppose she wasn't trying to be mean, but who in their right mind tells a pregnant woman (in so many words) that she looks fat?!

Not cool. But I don't care. I ran my five miles this morning. And I'm gonna eat some corned beef and cabbage tonight and follow it up with a big bowl of ice cream. So there!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Future nursery

Here are some pics of the future nursery. The first is a corner I expect we'll use for a dresser and the glider. The second is the corner for the crib. And the third is a pic of the futon we've got set up in there, to aid mom and dad on those late nights and to accomodate extra guests. (But we do have another baby-free guest room downstairs...)

My column

Even though Brian and I aren't writing the weekly Hitched column anymore, I'm still part of a rotating column in the newspaper. Here's a link to the one I wrote for today's edition:


Sunday, March 15, 2009

What is that?!

I'm pretty sure I felt the baby moving a few times this weekend!! Either that, or I have some gas bubbles. I know that sounds gross, but most people say the two are easily confused -- at least in the early weeks of baby movement.
My doctor said it will feel like someone knocking from the inside. But having never had someone in there knocking before, I'm not sure how I'm supposed to recognize that feeling.
But there was some definite "thwumps" in my lower belly yesterday and again today. I'm pretty sure it was our future soccer/rugby player testing out his/her kicks. Or maybe the baby was inspired by the eight mile run I took him/her on yesterday and wanted to test out its own running legs :)
Either way, it was so awesome! And Brian even got to feel some of it, too! A great day for future parents!!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Strong heart

We got to hear our little sweet potato's heartbeat today! It was the second time I've heard the heartbeat, and it was just as exciting as the first!
The doctor said the heartbeat is strong, roughly 150 beats. She also said that I'm measuring just about right — and that there's only one heart beating in there! I'm not sure why, but I was very nervous about the idea that Brian and I might be having twins. I have the genes for twins, on my mother's side, but the doctor (who is a twin herself) said not this time. (which is fine by me! Let's see how we do with one baby first!)
I'm feeling great today. Got a LOT of sleep the last couple nights, and I'm looking forward to stockpiling some more this weekend.

In other baby news, Brian and I recently decided on a theme for the nursery. I'd thought about doing something with stars, moons and suns. But when we went out to investigate the registry, we found a lot of stuff in those patterns had been discontinued. (Apparently I'm so last year...)
Brian got excited when he saw some of the Winnie the Pooh stuff, though. I wasn't convinced, since I didn't want to do a super-commercial theme.
But we saw the perfect compromise at Target the other day. It's a Classic Pooh bedding set that has very subtle Pooh character silhouettes along with stars and moons! And it's all neutral colors. We registered for it right away!
So we're not registering for a whole line of stuff, which isn't available in that theme anyway, but will be looking for Classic Pooh — which is very different than the current Pooh stuff — and nighttime sky stuff to compliment the room.
And it should all go great with the yellow and blue walls in the room already. How exciting! I'll try to get some pics of the space up here soon!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Getting some zzzs

Well, I had a bit of a scary morning. Nothing was seriously wrong, but I woke up feeling very weak and couldn't shake my fatigue.
I thought maybe I was just having a lazy morning. But after arriving at the gym and barely making it 10 minutes on the treadmill, I realized something was wrong. Twelve hours later I'm still not sure what it is but I'm guessing it's just overtiredness.
I've never quite felt this type of fatigue before, though. It was very unsettling because I wasn't sure how to combat it. Obviously I couldn't get a big cup of coffee. And I had a very busy day at work, so going home to take a nap also wasn't feasible.
Eating was all I could think to do. Luckily I had a bagel handy! It helped a little. I was still dragging the whole day though, and I still am.
So it's early to bed for me tonight. I'm guessing this is just a pregnancy symptom in overdrive. Hopefully I can sleep it off.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Baby gear

Few things have made Brian and me feel less-prepared to have a child than our recent trip to start a registry at Babies R Us.
After spending more than two hours in the store, we'd still made few decisions on the items we wanted but our heads were swimming. Who knew there were so many choices for bottles, strollers, car seats, play yards and monitors?
Since the stuff isn't cheap, and we want to get the right items for our child, we couldn't just randomly pick a product from the shelf. So now we're in the research phase of this process. We slapped some of our "best guess" choices on the registry while we were in the store, but planned on having plenty of time to change our minds.
Brian spent some quality time on the lap top yesterday comparing reviews and prices for the big ticket items. But we're hoping to solicit advice from our family and friends, too. If you have any suggestions of must-haves or must-avoids in baby gear, please let us know!

On a less frantic note... I'm happy to report baby is the size of an onion this week :) How cute, huh? Brian is using the onion reference to explain any spontaneous crying I do this week. Maybe that wonderful side effect will be gone when the baby moves on to it's next fruit/vegetable phase next week...

Friday, March 6, 2009

"The question"

I got asked for the first time today if I am pregnant.
The question, in so many words, came from the West Lafayette mayor when I was chatting with him at an event. He asked me how I was, kind of pointed to my stomach and raised his eyebrows.
For a second, I wanted to act confused, ask him what he meant and then act offended. I get mad whenever I hear about people mistakenly asking women "when are you due?" or something along those lines... only to find out she's not expecting.
But instead I decided to be nice and simply patted my belly and told the mayor that "we" are doing great.
Most people around town here already know that I'm pregnant, so maybe that's why I haven't been asked about it more. But I also think I'm looking pregnant-er the past week, maybe thanks to my new, flowy maternity shirts. Who knows.
But I guess I'll continue to be nice to people if I do get asked on the street. A little advice to others out there, especially men: NEVER ask a woman about her pregnancy unless you have a real good reason to be sure she's actually with child! :)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Looking good

I'm still waiting to feel some movement in my belly, and it may still be a few weeks. But the physical evidence of baby is definitely already here.
I've only put on five pounds so far in the pregnancy. But the body changes have been enough that I'm having trouble even fitting into my "fat jeans." And starting a couple weeks ago all of my sweaters and shirts were suddenly too short!
So I've made a couple trips shopping for maternity clothes. In general I enjoy any excuse to shop. But I'll admit I wasn't too excited about the prospect of spending money on tent-like shirts and elastic-waisted pants. I didn't think I'd be able to find anything cute, and I assumed it would cost a bundle.
Well, I was wrong on the fashion end. There are a LOT of cute maternity clothes out there. And I've been able to find some stuff that looks pretty good, if I do say so myself. Some of it I may keep wearing after the baby is born!
The prices are high, I guess because the maternity clothes companies know that you don't have many other alternatives. But I've also discovered the unofficial sisterhood of pregnant women and moms. A friend of mine lent me a whole bag of her old maternity clothes. I was able to pick up 5-6 pairs of pants to wear over the next five months for my favorite price: free!
It's more fun now that I'm starting to look more pregnant. And having clothes to wear that actually fit me makes a world of difference in my attitude :)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Attack of the pillows

Sleeping has become a chore recently.
I'm still tired most of the time, so the thought of catching some ZZZs is usually appealing. But it's become unpleasant as I'm having a harder time finding a comfortable position to lay in.
I'm sure that this problem will only increase as I grow over the next five months. But it's already causing some interesting nights.
The solutions I've heard/read about, almost all involve adding more pillows to prop myself in different positions. According to my pregnancy bible, I'm not supposed to lay on my stomach or back. And even lying on my right side is not ideal. So my left side is the winner.
I'm usually a side sleeper, but the hip pain that has accompanied my pregnancy so far makes the position very uncomfortable. I find that laying on my left side hurts my left hip and causes numbness in the right one. Very weird.
I've added a body pillow in between my knees and other pillows propping my back and chest. It's not helping all that much, but it's pretty funny to see me buried in pillows each night. It's a good thing I'm not claustrophobic.
Between me, the pillows and the dogs, there's very little room leftover for Brian these days. But he's being a good sport. I'm already up to using five pillows and I'm only in month four... so if I have to add even one pillow for each remaining month of the pregnancy Brian is going to wind up sleeping in the nursery!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Dogs are barkin'

OK, this post serves a dual purpose.
On the one hand, I'm coming off a weekend where I may have overdone it a little. I did a training run Saturday morning and then spent the day at my cousin's wedding in Chicago. On Sunday, we went to church and then spent the rest of the day running errands. It was a fun and productive couple days, but by Sunday night my feet hurt ... a lot. I laid on the couch and propped my feet up on a pile of pillows. After a couple hours like that I was feeling a lot better. And today my feet and legs are feeling even better. But I guess I need to recognize my limits.
On a more literal note, Brian and I have been wondering how we're going to deal with our barking dogs once the baby is born. Radar and Muzzy are good pups, but they both get into barking modes every once in awhile. I get annoyed by it now, but I can only imagine what my frustration will be like once there's a baby around to get woken up. So we're looking into obedience and training classes. We'll see if we can get a handle on these dogs before we have a real baby to worry about!