Sunday, April 26, 2009

23 weeks, 17 to go!

BellaReese is so fantastic, she is letting Brian feel her kick and punch all the time now. I am having fun smooshing my belly and figuring out what makes her move. She prefers it when I don' have a full bladder and does not like taking a bath and being submerged in warm water....Both of those actions make her as still as a statue. I am starting to try to figure out what makes her happy and what makes her sleep, etc... Things are progressing really well (knock on wood) and we are very excited that we are getting closer to meeting her. I started washing all the little clothes that Erin has sent us as well as the few pieces I picked up from the big consignment sale I went to back in March. Brian and I registered at BabiesRUs the other day and had so much fun just looking at all the small things our little girl will need. It was tiring and overwhelming, but we found some great stuff. Dad, for you we put on some old fashioned radio-flyer airplane/car thing that she can be pushed around in! Brian is very excited about that one! Let's see...any other big news???? We have an OB appointment on Wednesday AM and an ultrasound a week from Monday.
I started using my sewing machine again and made some little burp rags and blankets and a little hat; I will keep doing stuff like that since I am on a strict "no-buy anything for baby" rule. I can't wait til we get some colors on the walls of her nursery and get the room all ready for her homecoming!!! I have some mad nesting cravings going on!
Next week starts the point of "viability" meaning that if, god forbid, she has to be born early, she has a greater chance of surviving outside of the womb with each passing week. We are holding out for a full term baby, of course, but there is a little relief in knowing that she could survive if she had to come out!
Oh, and we found out that babies can CRY in the womb!! If I get scared or anxious or if I cry or have a fight with Brian, she can sense the tension and cry too!! The thought of my little girl crying and me not being able to stop it or me being the cause of it makes me want to cry!!! But I can't cuz then she will!! Poor baby!!!!

OK, so here is what's new with little Isabeau this week:

How your baby's growing:

Your baby's growing steadily, having gained about 4 ounces since last week (That is an exact image of how she is in the womb right now, except she is facing the right, but her feet are down on my cervix and she is headbanging into my ribs). That puts her at just over a pound. Since she's almost a foot long (picture an ear of corn), she cuts a pretty lean figure at this point, but her body is filling out proportionally and she'll soon start to plump up. Her brain is also growing quickly now, and her taste buds are continuing to develop. Her lungs are developing "branches" of the respiratory "tree" as well as cells that produce surfactant, a substance that will help her air sacs inflate once she hits the outside world. Her skin is still thin and translucent, but that will start to change soon.
She'll gain a ½ pound this week alone (holy huge baby!). Other highlights this week: Things are starting to get a little crowded inside the old womb as baby grows bigger and bigger. Your ribs are probably pining away for the good old days when they didn't have a head or an elbow permanently lodged between them (I have been having awful rib pain these last few days, every time I lie down on my side which is every night since I have to sleep that way permanently, I feel like my rib cage is going to crack...She LOVES to play the xylophone with my ribs already!!!). Hate to break it to you, but it's going to get worse before it gets better (Great!! Can't wait!). Your baby's ears are fully functional now. And since they are, you may notice that loud noises and sudden movements can startle the little bugger. (We just bought a little Einstein's classical music CD that we are playing for her...there is no real proof that making her listen to music makes her smarter, but as Brian says, anything that might help, lets do it!) She's getting used to the everyday sounds inside the womb: the sound of your heart beating, your lungs inhaling and exhaling air, the growling of your stomach because your partner promised he'd be right back with that Arby's Chicken sandwich and he's taking forever! She'll even be able to hear your voice when your partner finally arrives and you ask him where the bleep he's been! So talk nice (hahahaaha! That would be how our conversation would start!) Baby's got a fully developed inner ear now. This means her sense of balance is working and she can tell whether she's hanging upside down or right side up. She can also feel you moving, so go ahead, pop in your favorite tunes and boogie (Just the image of me and my preggo belly dancing around makes me laugh!!). Your little Wiener schnitzel is about the length of a foot-long Chicago hot dog and weighs about 1 1/3 pounds.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

It's about DAMN time, Bella!

Brian finally got to feel Isabella kick on Monday night!! He had is hand on my belly pretty low, cuz that is where her little feet are and after a few attempts, he finally felt what we think are her little toes kicking out. It was a pretty weak kick, but it counts!! Brian was very happy, and so was I. He hasn't felt her since, but I do all the time now. I can just sit and look at my belly for hours since she is always making it pop out now. Very exciting!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

22 Weeks, 18 left!

Seeing the baby move is becoming more and more regular. While I can't tell what part of the body is making my belly bulge, it is still beyond exciting. Here is what is new with Baby Bella:

How your baby's growing:

Turn on the radio and sway to the music. With her sense of movement well developed by now, your baby can feel you dance. Your baby's got a while to go before her lungs will be ready for air and is practicing her "breathing" on the amniotic fluid—sucking it in and out of her lungs. Other highlights this week:Fat production is in overdrive at this point (for the baby, not you! Well, OK, maybe for the baby and you). Your baby will basically double in weight over the next four weeks! You'll be happy to know the same won't apply to you. Your Mini is starting to look more like a newborn as her skin becomes less see-through. Her body is looking more proportional now, although her head is still kinda big compared to her cute little body. Your baby is about 11½ inches long and weighs 1 pound, or about the length and weight of a Harry Potter book or a loaf of bread! And now that she's more than 11 inches long and weighs just over a pound (about as much as a large mango), you will see her squirm underneath your clothes. Blood vessels in her lungs are developing to prepare for breathing, and the sounds that your baby's increasingly keen ears pick up are preparing her for entry into the outside world. Loud noises that become familiar now — such as your dog barking or the roar of the vacuum cleaner — probably won't faze her when she hears them outside the womb.

How your life's changing:

You may notice that your ankles and feet start to swell a bit in the coming weeks or months, especially at the end of the day or during the heat of summer. Sluggish circulation in your legs — coupled with changes in your blood chemistry that may cause some water retention — may result in swelling, also known as edema. Your body will get rid of the extra fluid after you have your baby, which is why you'll pee frequently and sweat a lot for a few days after delivery. In the meantime, lie on your left side or put your feet up when you can, stretch out your legs when you sit, and avoid sitting — or standing — in one place for long periods. Also, try to exercise regularly to increase circulation, and wear support stockings (put them on first thing in the morning) and roomy, comfortable shoes. You may be tempted to skimp on liquids to combat swelling, but you need to drink plenty of water because staying hydrated actually helps prevent fluid retention. While a certain amount of edema in your lower extremities is normal during pregnancy, excessive swelling may be a sign of a serious condition called preeclampsia.

I am not sure who came up with the whole "pregnancy is 9 months long" idea, because it is a big fat lie. It is really 10 months. Some how, who ever the afforementioned genius was, he fit the 10 months into 9 in this chart:

Months-----Weeks----My Months
one ----- 1-4 ----- Nov to Dec
two ----- 5-8 ----- Dec to Jan
three ----- 9-13 ----- Jan to Feb
four ----- 14-17 ----- Feb to March
five ----- 18-21 ----- March to April
six ----- 22-26 ----- April to May
seven ----- 27-30 ----- May to June
eight ----- 31-35 ----- June to July
nine ----- 36-40 ----- July to Aug

November to August is 10 months...So not sure really how this all works, since some months are only considered to have 3 weeks in it, but anyhow....This week begins month 6! 3 left (even though I have to finish April, go through all of May, June, July and August...which in and of itself shows 4 complete months and half of April...but oh well!!) Saying I am 6 months seems like I am so much closer to being done :)

Other fun facts!
140 days have passed since the conception, and you are 126 days before your due date.

53% of your pregnancy has passed, there is 47% left to go.

15 Days til the next Ultrasound and 10 days until my next OB appointment.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Daddy's first interaction with BellaReese

So, after weeks of trying to get Brian to feel Isabella kick, we still have not succeeded, ha. Every time he puts his hands on my belly, she stops moving. BUT, we were sitting on the couch last night and I lifted my shirt up and said, "she is going crazy in there, watch my belly". So, for a few minutes we were looking and finally she made my whole lower belly protrude and poke out, then quiver as she moved away, so I looked at Bri and asked if he saw it and noticed that he had turned his head away. Annoyed, I said, "watch my belly, damn it!" A few moments later, she did the same thing and Daddy finally got to see his daughter move!! I was so excited, possibly moreso than him!! I told BellaReese she was such a good baby, but would be the best baby when she actually kicked daddy for the first time (reminding her gently that it will be the only time she will legitimately get to assault daddy). I am convinced by week 23 Bella will have punched or kicked Brian.

I always thought it would be very weird and alien-like to feel and see the baby inside of me, (in fact, it used to scare me more than the thought of labor) but I have to admit it is quite remarkable and very "normal" feeling; I love every time I feel her move and look forward to the next kick or jab. Despite all the movements and ultrasounds, it is still somewhat unreal that OUR baby is inside me, that the little foot we somehow made* is stomping on my bladder or playing footsie with my cervix, which hurts tremendously. (*I know how we made the baby, I just think the whole process of 2 cells dividing into a million different ones somehow forms a human being, is beyond comprehension...). Hopefully the next time I see everyone, you will be able to see or feel her; I love showing her off already. I am going to be the worlds most annoying mom, EVERYONE LOOK AT MY BABY, ALL THE TIME! ha.

Now labor, on the other hand, is starting to scare me tremendously....

Friday, April 17, 2009

21 Week Belly Pics!

21 weeks and 4 days!! The dress is courtesy of Erin Krauss, who has sent me a bunch of awesome maternity and baby clothes!! Thanks!! I will probably only be able to wear this for another few weeks, and then my chest will start ripping the seems, ha!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

21 Weeks, 19 to go!

We have officially crossed the halfway mark and can start counting down the weeks til Baby Bella arrives! 19 weeks left, ha! Happy belated Easter and Passover to all. I will try to get some belly pics up here in the next few days!

Your pregnancy: 21 weeks

How your baby's growing:
At 11 inches (the length of a spaghetti squash) and almost 1 pound or about as long as a package of Oreos and as heavy as a large bag of tortilla chips. Who's hungry? Your baby is starting to look like a miniature newborn. Her lips, eyelids, and eyebrows are becoming more distinct, and she's even developing tiny tooth buds beneath her gums. Her eyes have formed, but her irises (the colored part of the eye) still lack pigment. If you could see inside your womb, you'd be able to spot the fine hair (lanugo) that covers her body and the deep wrinkles on his skin, which she'll sport until she adds a padding of fat to fill them in. Inside her belly, her pancreas — essential for the production of some important hormones — is developing steadily. Your Mini's hands have grown bigger and stronger and the nerve endings in her fingers have developed her sense of touch. She's in there testing out her newfound abilities by touching her face and grabbing the umbilical cord. Other cool developments:You're already raising a little Einstein. Your baby's brain is developing at a clip this week and will continue to do so until she's five years old (so load up on the Omega 3)! Baby's hair is now a short, bright white crop (Billy Idol, eat your heart out!). No matter what color it will end up—red, blonde, black—all babies' hair lacks pigment at this point.Your baby has started growing taste buds and may be able to detect strong flavors in the amniotic fluid. If you could see inside, you might catch her sticking out her tongue for a taste and then grimacing, a sign that perhaps you should chill on the chili powder.
See what your baby looks like this week.

How your life's changing:
At this point, you may find your belly becoming a hand magnet (not really yet...which is fine with me...the thought of someone just randomly touching my belly is rather odd). It's perfectly okay to tell folks who touch your tummy that you'd rather they didn't. And if people are telling you that you look smaller or bigger than you should at this point, remember that each woman grows — and shows — at her own rate. What's important is that you see your practitioner for regular visits so she can make sure your baby's growth is on track. (our next ob appointment is April 29th, and the next ultrasound is May 4th. So much to look forward to :) )

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

More pics of the new place!

Here are just more pics of the new place! We love it and are so grateful to my parents for making our home so amazing! Our place is a split level duplex. We share a huge, fenced in backyard, otherwise, we pretty much are our own house. You walk in the door and you face the stairs. About 6 go up and 6 go down and to your left is the garage. If you go upstairs, you face a walk way that goes to the living room or a to your right is a hallway that leads to the closet/pantry and the 1/2 bath on your left. Past that is the kitchen on your right and the dining room to your left. Past that is the living room. The upstairs pretty much makes a circle.
If you go downstairs, the baby room is on the right, the bedroom is straight ahead, the laundry room/store room is to your left and then down the hallway is the bedroom.
The hallways of the upstairs!
This is a pic of when you get up the stairs and turn right. The door frame is the frame to the bathroom and if you could see, the pantry is on your right. Those are the peninsula barstools and part of the dining room table.
This is a view if you were sitting on a kitchen barstool looking back at the stairway. That is the pantry on the left.
Once you make the loop through the living room, this is the hallway that will lead you downstairs, or you can make a left and go back to the kitchen.

The kitchen it used to be a burnt orange/brown color, it is now a dusty rose meets terra cotta color. So pretty
The view from the entry hallway

View from the dining area
The dining area and living room
The dining area, living room and hallways are all this oatmeal, alabaster off white color. Very calming!

this is a shot once you are in the living room, you can see the table and kitchen.

From the viewpoint of the tv

The dvd/bookshelves to the right of the couch when you are sitting on it.

View of the living room from the dining area

same view, with the blinds closed. Past the blinds are a sliding glass door that leads to a deck that has enough room for an eventual grill and sitting area.

The Bedroom
View of the bed from the tv/2nd dresser

The closet and TV from the entry to the bedroom

The bed from the dresser.

My dresser, from the viewpoint of sitting on the bed.
The bed, standing in front of the window

Brian's side of the bed
The Downstairs bathroom

Our New Home! Before and Afters

As I have mentioned before, we have been in the process of moving and this past weekend, the Krauss side Parental units came up and helped us decorate our new place! It looks amazing!! We are so happy and excited that this is the place our baby girl will be coming home to! We haven't decorated the nursery at all, that will come in time, but we got the entire upstairs (kitchen, living room, dining room, staircase and 1/2 bath) completely done and our bedroom downstairs finished!! I will post some before and afters!

Bedroom before and after, from the entry door. We went Africa themed since I have so much amazing stuff to show off!


Bedroom from the door before and after. We moved the bed onto the other wall.

Living room from the viewpoint of the dining room, before and after


When you walk up the stairs, this is the first thing you see...Before and after


Hallway before and the hallway after

Part of the dining room before Part of dining room after

Part of the living room before Living room after

Hallway before and Hallway after...that is the front door in the distance

Ultrasound pictures!!!

Side profile shot in 2d

She has a habit or nuzzling up against the placenta. I know it looks like there is a hole in her head, it is just the ultrasound machine...our babies head is hole free! This image is kinda creepy looking, I have to admit.

Frontal shot, with her mouth open! Look at that adorable bottom lip!! I just want to kiss it!

Side shot, mouth partially open

Frontal 3d shot. Her eyelids are still fused shut, but by next month, they should be open and she should be able to blink!

Here she is demonstrating the sucking in and out of amniotic fluid! Our girl is so big now!

Half Baked!!!

So we finally hit the halfway mark!! Wohoo!!! Almost done!! This should have been updated on Sunday, but with moving and not having access to the computers at work, it is a few days apologies.

We had our 20 week ultrasound yesterday. We received complete confirmation it is a girl, so Isabella Reese is here to stay!

BellaReese is doing great, growing well and kicking a ton. I even saw a kick from the outside on Sunday night, part of my belly just lifted out. It was very exciting. (Brian still hasn't felt her yet, he is never around during a kicking spree.) Based on her bone measurements and weight, she is a few days ahead of her due date, the sooner the better!! The measurements made me laugh, actually, because the Ultrasound tech measured her femur bone and that was just 3 days ahead of schedule, and then her humerus bone which was a full week and a half ahead of schedule. I turned to Brian and said, "at least we know she is 100% yours!" (a few posts ago, I mentioned that it is a Martin trait to have much longer arms/wing spans than the average person). Her heartbeat was at 142 BPM, and she is weighing in at just over 13 ounces, a very healthy baby! Her legs were crossed the whole time...again...but she was nice enough to mainly have them crossed at the ankles, giving us a full gender shot, showing the indicative "three lines" (the outlined lips of the labia) to prove it is a girl. Good for her, because otherwise she would have been grounded until she was 20.

We got to see the 4 chambers of her heart and the aorta, as well as watch the blood flow through the imbilical cord. The tech was able to show us, in color, how the blood flows in and where it goes, and then how it comes out. It was quite remarkable.

She is currently breech, her head closer to my ribs and her feet on my cervix (it is her favorite place to kick and it hurts ALOT!). She is facing the right, and based on my septum tissue growth, if she can manage to stay facing that way and slowly rotate over time, she should be able to position herself under the septum and providing her head a way into the birth canal, which translates to me having a vaginal birth, otherwise, by week 36, we will know if I have to have a C-Section. Without the septum, most doctors can assist in physically turning the baby around from the outside so the head ends up closer to the cervix, but with a septum, once the 36 week mark comes, it is impossible to rotate the baby from the outside and I will go under the knife. It is still very early to plan for a C-Section, but the doctors were just reminding me it is a possibility.

The next Ultrasound is scheduled for May 4th, and the one after that is June 1st. The next OB appointment is April 29th. The appointment after that will be around the 28th week, and I will have to get a rhogam shot since my blood type is O-. There is a whole issue with women who have negative blood types and their husbands who have positive...more or less if not taken care of with the shot, my body would actually try to kill the second baby and/or my own body in the process of gestation. It is a precautionary shot, given once at 28 weeks and again after BellaReese is born. We start our 6 week birthing class on Thursday June 4th, that covers everything from breathing techniques to breastfeeding and dealing with an infant. Brian and I are excited for it...hopefully it will help cure our worries!

I will be posting a few pics from the Ultrasound after this entry. Here is the update on the baby this week:
How your baby's growing:Your baby now weighs about three-quarters of a pound and is approximately 10 1/2 inches long — the length of a carrot or a rootbeer bottle. You may soon feel like she's practicing martial arts as her initial fluttering movements turn into full-fledged kicks and nudges. You may also discover a pattern to her activity as you get to know her better. In other developments, your baby's eyebrows and lids are present now, and if you're having a girl, her vagina has begun to form as well.
All her facial features are formed and hair is growing on her head. She's even acting like a baby and will occasionally suck her thumb or yawn (I forgot to mention we got to see her opening and closing her mouth! so precious!!)....Baby's heartbeat is getting stronger and can be heard using a good old-fashioned stethoscope. By now, fetal bone marrow starts making blood cells—previously done by the liver and spleen. This may not sound that exciting, but it's good news. The amniotic fluid that has been cushioning your little bean now serves another purpose: Your baby uses it to "practice" chowing down. Yes, it sounds gross (as many aspects of pregnancy do), but it's an important step for your baby toward being able to chow down in the real world. Your baby has been swallowing amniotic fluid for a while now, but now the intestines are finally developed enough that she's absorbing small amounts of sugars from it. And let's face it, being able to effectively digest sugar is important at every stage of life.

That's all the words I got right now, enjoy the pics to come!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Latest OB appointment

Bri and I went to the OB yesterday for our monthly check in, and everything seems to be going great so far (knock on wood). The baby is right on track for its growth, lying just below my belly button. By Sunday, it should be at my belly button! It's heart beat is down to about 145 bpm, which he said was normal...their heartbeats usually start to fall around this time. He said it will stay high for the first year of its life outside the womb, but it will slowly decelerate from here on out.

I have gained a whopping 15 pounds!!! The doctor didn't mention anything so I am sure it is an ok amount, I just feel huge and I really don't feel like I eat that much!! Brian is always telling me to eat more. I have made it up in my mind that my body is doing what it needs to, so gaining weight is what I will continue to do, my first maternal sacrifice for BellaReese. My belly is starting to "pop"...where I have been showing for most of this pregnancy (it feels like), I feel like it is getting rounder and just growing outwards now. I looked down this morning and my jaw just kinda dropped; I was just shocked at how big my belly is getting....BellaReese is quite the growing machine. I even show a little when I lie down now, no more flat belly anytime. Since we are moving, I have been packing up pictures of me from before getting pregnant, I say to myself "one day I will return to that!", ha! I also made a promise to never consider myself pudgy again once I return to my pre-pregnancy body!

All and all, baby is kicking up a storm and doing well. Brian and I can't ask for much more right now.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Comparison Time

Here is a comparison of 10 weeks and how much my body has changed.

week 9 to week 19