Friday, July 31, 2009

Other Un-Scientific Gender Predictors

Okay, so there are a slew of other mostly old wives' tale type things to predict the gender. Two of the ones that I have not done yet are to dangle a needle or ring over your belly and watch to see if it swings in a circle (a girl) or back and forth (a boy), or you can mix some of your own pee with Drano and check to see if the color darkens (a boy) or stays the same (a girl). Now you see why I haven't jumped on the chance to try that one out :)

I did go online and do some Chinese age predictor test that determines the gender based on the mother's age and the month of conception. I know, some of you are thinking that I didn't even know when I got pregnant, so how could I possibly pick the right month. I think it was in April, so we went with that. According to this fabulously scientific test, we should expect a boy.

I also completed a gender predictor quiz online and responded to such questions as, Are you craving sweet or sour foods? and is the hair on your legs growing faster than normal? Clearly these questions would be highly scientific. The outcome of this quiz is 67% chance that it's a girl. Considering we started off with only 2 possibilities, I think a coin toss may be just as predictive.


So today we went for a check-up. When the midwife came in she quickly started asking me if I had been feeling baby move, which I said no. Then, she asked if I had ever felt baby move and Aaron and I start exchanging glances and I say no. I am about to mention that all the books say it will probably be several weeks before I can feel movement when she realizes that the wrong chart is open and she is looking at the chart for someone 30 weeks along! My heart had almost stopped until she admitted her mistake and began apologizing profusely for scaring us like that!

She also checked for baby's heartbeat. This was another heart stopping moment for us because at first she couldn't pick it up. It turns out our little acrobat was hiding behind some of my organs. Our hearts melted when she picked up the sound and we heard that rapid thudding coming through! Some still believe that baby's heart rate is a way to tell the gender. Well, today sweet pea's heart rate was 145, which the old wives' tale would say is a girl. Research suggests that this is not an accurate way to predict, so don't go out and look for anything pink!

The midwife said everything looks great. Her only recommendation is that I keep drinking lots of water. I don't know how much more I can take, but I will try.

We are scheduled for another check-up and an ultrasound in 4 weeks and will hopefully learn sweet pea's gender then. For now we will just have to keep wondering.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Belly Shot!

So we've reached the point where people have started mentioning that I am showing. It depends on what I am wearing, but you can see a bump now in most things. Here is what is happening for baby:

Curious why your body is finally looking like it's pregnant? That's because your baby is growing bigger each week — he or she is as long as four and a half inches right now. Need a better visual? Hold a large navel orange in your hand — that's how big your little darlin' is at 15 weeks pregnant. So what keeps your baby busy all day? Mostly, your fetus is in rehearsals — practice, practice, practicing, and getting ready for that big debut. Babies practice breathing, sucking, and swallowing so that when they leave your comfy womb and move into your comfy house, they'll have the skills necessary to survive. Fetal body movements continue to get practice this week, too. But because your baby weighs so little (a bit over two ounces), you won't feel the calisthenics going on inside your abdominal gym. But don't let that fool you. Your fetus is holding daily aerobics classes — kicking, curling toes, and moving those little arms and legs.

And with each passing week, your fetus is looking more and more like the baby you're picturing in your dreams. By now, the ears are positioned properly on the sides of the head (they used to be in the neck) and the eyes are moving from the side of the head to the front of the face — where they'll soon meet your loving gaze.

Another book mentioned that baby is now able to suck his/her thumb and can grab the umbilical cord. Crazy how much they can do already!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Baby Bargains

My good friend and sorority sister, Emily, sent us a fabulous gift. This book reviews baby products and offers you ratings and advice on which products are useful for baby. They are focused on helping you pick products that will be a good buy, so they review features as well as provide general information to help you decide what you need. This book came at the perfect time because we were starting to feel overwhelmed with all the options and the price ranges of products. Now I can't wait to go look at some of these things!

Return from Savannah

We had a great weekend in Savannah. The weather was warm, but not too humid. We had a really relaxing time just walking around and enjoying some good food. We had Aaron's birthday dinner at the Lady & Sons, which is Paula Deen's restaurant. The buffet had all your country cookin' favorites. My favorite was the mac'n cheese and I think Aaron really enjoyed the black eyed peas.

We had a great time walking around the historic area and looking at the houses and churches on the beautiful squares. The trees reminded us of LSU.

Aaron found a place with dueling pianos and we had a fun time there Saturday night. Two of the players were very talented and did some cool stuff like Dave Mathews and Guns'n Roses.

We also did a carriage tour and learned some interesting facts. We would like to go back and maybe tour some of the homes next time. There are also more restaurants that we would like to try. It was just a relaxing place to be.
We went to Mom and Dad's and enjoyed a nice family dinner before we took Lucy home. She must have played hard all weekend because she is laying by me now and snoring softly. Oh, to have Lucy's life!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Happy Birthday, Aaron!

Today is Aaron's birthday and we are celebrating by taking a long weekend in Savannah. I have never been there and am really looking forward to it. Mostly, I am just looking forward to time to relax. We have been so busy lately that we haven't had time just to hang out. I am also looking forward to all the yummy restaurants. I also hear there are some tasty candy shops. Hopefully we will have some pictures to post when we come back!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Belly Shot!

My belly has definitely started to pop out. Aaron and I have both noticed it in the past week. It's starting to look more like a baby growing in there and less like I've been hitting the baked goods too hard.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Wardrobing Issues

Although I am not really showing yet, my clothes have started to fit improperly. A friend of Jeanne's passed on the tip about the bella band. It's like a stretchy piece of fabric that goes around your waist that serves multiple functions. It can help to hold up pants that are too big in the waist, hold up your pants if you have unbuttoned them at the waist, hides the muffin top effect of pants that are a little snug, and it comes down long enough so that it covers up if your shirt is a bit short. Supposedly, it's very helpful after baby is born too and you can't get back into your regular clothes yet. I picked it up at Target and have been very pleased. My pants feel more comfortable and I feel like it smooths out the effect of having had a few doughnuts too many (that's how my belly looks right now, not exactly the desired look). Hopefully, this will help me while I am in limbo between wearing my regular clothes and needing the maternity clothes. Oh, and it's great for Aaron too as he doesn't have to listen to the, "I don't know what to wear, my shirts don't fit right" complaint.

Friday, July 17, 2009

How are you feeling?

Once people know that I am pregnant they ask this question rather often. My response is usually pretty good, just tired. I have been very fortunate that I have not been sick, but I have had some nausea and definitely have some food aversions. In the past week I have noticed my appetite coming back more, which I think is a good thing. Now if my energy would just come back to normal. My 9 o'clock bedtime definitely cuts into the social life. Poor Aaron is left to entertain himself most nights as I just can't stay awake.
In the past few weeks, the thing that I usually want most is something to drink. My thirst is incredible. The new love of my life is orange juice. I think it might be the reason that I get out of bed in the morning. I bring some with me to work in the morning and I am usually thinking about needing more once I get home. I guess if you're going to have something to crave, orange juice isn't such a bad thing.

Our Little Peach

Aaron and I did some reading last night to get caught up on the 5 weeks of development that took place without us being aware. We transitioned from an embryo to a fetus without even knowing it! I thought I would update you on how things are for baby at 13 weeks.
Your fetus is about three inches long and the size of a peach at 13 weeks pregnant. But don't compare your fetus with the fetus next door. Starting about now, babies begin growing at different paces, some faster than others, some more slowly, though they all follow the same developmental path. Growing at a universally breakneck speed now is your baby's body as it tries to catch up to the head in terms of size. Though your baby's head is about half the size of its body now, by the time your baby is ready to make his or her entrance into the world, the head will be only one-fourth as large as the body. Your baby's intestines are also in for some big changes right now. Up till this point, they've been growing in a cavity inside the umbilical cord; but now they're moving to their permanent (and more conveniently located) address, in your baby's abdomen. And to serve your growing baby's needs, the placenta is also growing. It weighs about an ounce now and will weigh one to two pounds at birth (something else you'll soon be able to blame your weight gain on!).
Also developing this week: your baby's vocal chords. Because sound can't travel through your uterus (your baby's current habitat), you won't be able to hear any sounds or cries just yet, but oh boy (or girl) — those vocal chords will get a good workout once that baby is born.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Baby's First Picture

Here is the first picture of baby Caldwell. This is one of the baby's face toward the ultrasound. Everything looks good with baby. We could see the heart beating, arms and legs moving, and hands waving. The eyes, nose and mouth seem to be there on the face. The only shock was that instead of 8 weeks we are actually 13 weeks! I thought my head might spin around when she told us that! Our new due date is Jan. 19. I think we are more excited now than when we first found out that we're pregnant! It's only 5 weeks difference, but it means we're out of the first trimester and a lot of the risk of miscarriage has passed.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Right Medical Care

So, last week Aaron brought home a DVD that he thought would be interesting and show us different types of births. The DVD is titled The Business of Being Born and is an in depth look at the state of hospital and Ob/Gyn care in the U.S. and does not paint a pretty picture. This made me realize that a number of things my doctor had mentioned that made me feel uneasy during my first appointment were some of the things that this documentary pointed out as wrong with the state of care for women today. This started the search for a health care provider that would share more in my desire for a natural birth rather than pushing me into the convenient way for them. Aaron had no idea the DVD that he brought home would set us off on this quest.
After Aaron and I discussed it we decided that although home birth provides a lot of freedom to plan your birth the way you want, it just isn't for us. We both are uncomfortable with the lack of medical technology should trouble arise and Aaron isn't sure about that experience in our bedroom. I can understand. So, we have agreed that a hospital birth is the way we will go, but we need a different doctor/midwife. Mom knows someone who is a labor and delivery nurse and she confirmed some of my fears about the doctor I originally started seeing. So, today we are off to interview a midwife who is in a large practice with several doctors. I am hoping that she will have a similar outlook on birth to mine and I will feel more confident that what I want will be considered and that I won't be manipulated to do what is convenient for a doctor (i.e., the recommendation for a C-section because it's near dinnertime and the doctor wants to get home to his/her family).

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Belly Shot 2

Okay, so here is how my tummy is looking now. Still not much to see! Here is a description of what is going on inside there at 8 weeks.

Your raspberry-sized baby is looking a lot less reptilian and a lot more baby-like, as her lips, nose, eyelids, legs, and back continue to take shape. Her heart is beating at the incredible rate of 150 times per minute — about twice as fast as yours! And even though you can't yet feel it, she's now making spontaneous movements as she twitches her tiny trunk and limb buds.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Saturday in the Park...

Okay, so the band wasn't Chicago! On Saturday night we went to a concert in Riverside Park and listend to a band that does covers of Mo-town music and they were very entertaining. People brought chairs and picnics and hung out. We had Popeye's fried chicken, which is something that unfortunately, I am very interested in lately. Some of the best entertainment was watching people stand up and dance in front of their chair! I think the next one is a band named King Sized that does some Elvis music. I think we will try to check that one out too.
There were families out with babies, so maybe next summer we can go and bring Sarah? Charlie?

Here are some pics Jeanne' took with her phone.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

... and I thought you just slept less after the baby came!

For the last week or two, Nat and I haven't been able to sleep through the night. I can't seem to fall asleep until after midnight. Meanwhile, Nat is ready for bed at about 7:30PM and wakes up at about three or four in the morning. Lucy doesn't know what to think... I think that she looks at us like we're crazy most of the time.

I stay up with a million things going through my mind, such as "Are we having a boy or a girl?" "What is the economy going to do?" "How do people with babies function with no sleep?". I also think about how I'm really blessed and live a charmed life. I hope that the baby has a life more blessed and charmed than mine. After an hour or so of thinking about these things, I try to pray about the future, and I just run out of words. I usually have to fall back to contemplating the Agnus Dei (Lamb of God) or Jesus Prayer.

Nat hasn't been sleeping because she's been having heartburn (one of those pregnancy symptoms) and even though firing up her maternal oven takes a lot out of her, she's so full of energy that she bounces right back (at four in the morning). I don't know how she keeps this up, we'll see if she continues to have this kind of bounce back around December.

As for poor Lucy, she's been very hyperactive lately. We've had workers at the house for the last two days repairing the guest room and bay windows, I think hearing them all day gets her agitated. That said, in the evenings, Lucy is even more affectionate than usual.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Taken Care Of

Since we found out that we are pregnant Aaron has been taking really good care of me. He always takes care of me, don't get me wrong, but lately he has been very attentive. I have been so tired lately and he has been really helpful so that everything gets done and I get to sleep a bit more. He has also been really understanding of the foods that do not sound good to me (like grilled chicken) and the ones that really interest me (like soup and grilled cheese). Aaron is also in charge of making sure that I don't eat or take anything that wouldn't be good for baby. Not that I would intentionally do anything, but I am not as cautious as he is. So, he reads the labels and makes sure.
He even came home with flowers for me the other day for no reason at all. He's a definite keeper!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Belly Shot 1

We wanted to track the increase in the size of my belly. This is our first belly shot.

It doesn't really look like much, just a little pudge. I feel like my stomach is already huge, but my clothes still fit fine, so it's probably just me. :)

Patriot Games

I have to give Aaron credit for the title of this post. In honor of 4th of July here are some pics of Lucy having a ball. The package came with 4 balls in it. This was a lot for Lucy to take in. Hence, the picture of her staring at one ball in front of her with another ball in the background. She loves to play with balls!
We're off to Mom and Dad's to grill burgers and then we are going to hear the Atlanta Symphony play at Verizon Amphitheater. They are doing a 4th of July themed concert tonight with the Army chorus performing.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Jeanne', You're Going to Be an Aunt!

Jeanne', we wanted to tell you last night at dinner, but we couldn't all get together. This was my next best idea! Mom has already staked her claim as head babysitter! We still need a lead nursery designer and we don't know anyone who would be better for the job!

Sharing the News

Aaron and I have known for about 2 weeks and finally yesterday I just could not keep the news to myself any longer. We decided to start telling family and I totally underestimated how exciting it is to share that kind of news with people. We called Aaron's Mom, Dad, grandparents, and sister. They were all very excited for us. When Aaron told his Dad we would have to hold off on a rafting or ski trip, his Dad actually guessed the reason why! I guess we didn't realize just how hard people were trying not to put pressure on us!

We met my parents for dinner. I tried to think up some unique or fun way to share the news and the best I could come up with was to buy a little newborn outfit, bring it to the restaurant, tell them I wanted to show them what I bought, and pull it out of the bag. Here is the outfit that I found after work.

I didn't think to bring the camera with me to dinner, but I sure do wish that I had! Their expressions were priceless and their reaction was exactly what I had hoped for. Pure joy!

On Saturday, I had lunch with my really good friend, Sarah. I could not resist sharing the news with her and she was so excited for us! She sent us a lovely card that came yesterday and will certainly be among the things that I start keeping to remember this really special time.

Aaron and I feel so grateful to be pregnant right now and so thankful for the friends and family who are happy for us. Just keep having good thoughts that this little baby will camp out for a while and keep growing!

First Visit with the OB

So yesterday we had our first appointment with the doctor. Her name is Dr. Fine and I picked her because she takes my insurance and her office is literally in walking distance from my house. I was poked and prodded and finally Dr. Fine proclaimed, "well, there's definitely something in there." There was no proclamation that the next leader of the free world was in there or the next Nobel prize winner was in there, but we'll take it. She gave both of us opportunities to ask questions and tried to calm my concerns. She seems relaxed, which is good for me.
The books say that your blood volume almost doubles during pregnancy and I think the purpose is really so that you will have enough for all the blood they want to draw. Not sure we had the best phlebotomist out there, but she got the job done and Aaron managed to live through it.
Now, we just need this little person to grow, grow, grow and wait for an appointment for an ultrasound!