Tuesday, August 31, 2010

22 weeks!

22 weeks- spaghetti squash!
"At 11 inches (the length of a spaghetti squash) and almost 1 pound, your baby is starting to look like a miniature newborn. His lips, eyelids, and eyebrows are becoming more distinct, and he's even developing tiny tooth buds beneath his gums. His eyes have formed, but his 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 his body and the deep wrinkles on his skin, which he'll sport until he adds a padding of fat to fill them in. Inside his belly, his pancreas — essential for the production of some important hormones — is developing steadily."

How far along? 22 weeks
Baby’s Size: A spaghetti squash- and almost a pound!!
Total Weight Gain: I honestly have no idea, I haven't weighed myself lately.
Maternity Clothes: Yep! And sundresses. I've been DYING in this 90-degree heat lately!
Gender: Team pink, perhaps?
Movement: This little one is a moving machine! The kicks are getting much stronger now, too.
Sleep: Horrible. Simply horrible. I've been SO HOT and haven't been able to stay in one position for more than a couple minutes at a time. In fact, the only way I've been comfy is on my back- and I can't sleep that way! Darn.
Symptoms: My ankles have been swollen and sore all week.
Best Moments this week: My husband sent me flowers and a teddy bear (for Peanut) earlier this week. :) Such a thoughtful man.
Food Aversions: Who are we kidding? I'll eat almost anything these days.
Food Cravings: EVERYTHING.
What I miss: Not having to try on everything in my closet before finding something suitable for church. My wardrobe is now so limited- and I really need to buy some nice maternity shirts or dresses or SOMETHING. I've been living in athletic shorts and tank tops lately, and, well, that just doesn't cut it for church.
What I am Looking forward to: I have another ultrasound next week! I can't wait to see Peanut again.
Milestones: Ummm... I bought a dresser for the nursery? :)

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Sunday, August 29, 2010

I'm dreaming of...

I'm dreaming of... fluffy butts!
My husband and I agreed to use cloth diapers before we even started actively trying to get pregnant. Once I showed him several different kinds and explained all the pros and cons, he quickly agreed. I was pleasantly surprised, because I had expected a little more of a fight.
Well, I was a little worried whether or not we'd be able to cloth diaper right away, since I'm staying with family until Aaron comes home. And today, my dad and stepmom gave me the go ahead to use cloth diapers! Woo hoo!
The bright, fun new Fuzzibunz colors have been swirling in my head lately....
New fuzzibunz colors
We're #98 now... you guys rock!
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Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday: Your three words

It's Friday again. Already?!
My week summed up in three words: "Playing in Nature"- I went camping this week. Sunshine, wildflowers, nature, cool water, sand, and plenty of trees- what's not to love?
Random photos of the week:
Yes, I'm well aware of the fact that I look young enough to be on sixteen and pregnant. I swear I haven't aged in the past six years. It's a little frustrating sometimes, but... I won't mind looking 25 when I'm 35!

Thursday, August 26, 2010



"Before you were conceived I wanted you. Before you were born I loved you. Before you were here an hour I would die for you. This is the miracle of life."

Dear Peanut,
You've got to be strong, little one. You know why?
Because I love you. Love can move mountains.
Don't ever let anyone tell you anything different.

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

bye, bye bumpers

Before I really did any research, I fell in love with a bedding set (which of course, included crib bumpers), registered for it, and called it good. But as I kept hearing more and more people question the safety of crib bumpers, I decided to do a little research. Here's what I found:

- Several organizations reccomend against using crib bumpers, including: the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), Health Canada, the National Center for Health and Safety in Child Care, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the First Candle/National SIDS Alliance

Crib bumpers are not reccomended for several reasons, the main ones being:
- Crib bumpers inhibit the circulation of fresh air around the crib, which is a contributing factor to SIDS
- Bumpers that come loose (and the bumper ties) represent an entaglement and strangulation hazard
- A soft, pillow-like bumper can cause suffocation
- Crib bumpers can be used by older babies to help them climb out of the crib (and injure themselves)

Many people choose to use crib bumpers because they believe the crib padding prevents injury. Although they may prevent very MINOR injuries, the risks of using crib bumpers far outweigh the benefits. In fact, studies have concluded that it is nearly impossible for a child to seriously injure themselves on the crib bars.

I know what you're thinking. But everyone uses them! And bedding sets are so cute! I pretty much agree with you- but I just don't think it's worth the risk. Or the waste of money (quality bedding sets are usually between $175-$400!). So I found a better alternative: several companies sell fitted crib sheets, matching blankets and other accessories in adorable patterns and colors.
I especially love Dwell Studio.
Here are my favorites:
Dwell studio- owl sky sheets
Owl Sky- This is the pattern I'll be going with. It fits perfectly with our whole green and brown, nature theme. If we end up having a girl, I'll accessorize with more "girly" items.
Dwell studio- sparrow lilac sheets
Sparrow Lilac- this one is gorgeous too {for a girl}, but the first ones match with our theme better, and I'm starting to think this baby is going to stick to his/her guns and refuse to show us the goods, anyway.

Crib Bumper Study
Baby Bedding and Crib Bumper Safety
Healthy Children: Safe Crib Practices

Click? :) We're #102 now!
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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

21 weeks!

21 weeks!
"Baby gulps down several ounces of amniotic fluid every day, both for hydration and nutrition and to practice swallowing and digesting. And, these days, those taste buds actually work! Studies show that after birth, babies are most interested in tastes they've already experienced through amniotic fluid. Meaning, think about what you want your future child to eat as you prepare your own lunch."
How far along? 21 weeks
Baby’s Size: A banana. This is the first week that baby is measured from head to foot, not head to rump. He/she is now 10.5" long and over half a pound!
Total Weight Gain: 15 pounds.
Maternity Clothes: Absolutely. Although my favorite shorts lately have been some cotton athletic shorts, which are surprisingly NON-maternity.
Gender: Still thinking this little one is a girl. And hoping!
Movement: My favorite part of the day is right before going to bed, because I lay on my back with my eyes closed and a hand on my stomach, just enjoying all the moving Peanut does now.
Sleep: I've been getting up about 2-3 times a night now to go to the bathroom. But hey, that's better than the 4-5 times I was getting up in the first trimester!
Symptoms: Okay, I'm just going to say it. I have diarrhea. BAD. We're talking, one minute I'm fine, the next I'm sprinting to the closest bathroom. Yuck! :(
Best Moments this week: After weeks of searching, I finally found a gastroschisis support group online- both a blog and a facebook page/group. It's great to have support from moms who have already been through it.
Food Aversions: Not much these days. Just the same old, same old.
Food Cravings: CAKE!! My mom made me a lemon cake with vanilla frosting yesterday. I was in HEAVEN!! Thank goodness for mothers! :)
What I miss: My husband. I'm starting to be able to feel Peanut kick from the outside, and I know how badly he wanted to be here for that. Being so far away from him during this pregnancy is really hard. I'm tough; I'll survive- but it's no cake walk.
What I am Looking forward to: Finally being able to let my brothers feel the baby kicking. They've been waiting and waiting- and I think they'll be able to feel it in just a week or two.
Milestones: Nothing too extraordinary. Just another week loving my little Peanut :)

Ladies & Gentleman, we are now #106! SO CLOSE to the top 100! Please vote again today! :)

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Monday, August 23, 2010

Movin' on up!

As you may have noticed, we have a new look! Jocelyn did a wonderful job, again! Next time I'm in the mood for a change, I'll definitely send her another request.
I decided to change the blog's name from "Hello Sunshine" to "Here Comes the Sun," but I'm keeping the same blogger account. The new name represents our positive attitude towards the gastroschisis and the long road ahead. There's also a new gastroschisis page up there to check out.
The song that inspired the name change- {because who doesn't need an excuse to listen to the Beatles?}

Thanks to all of our readers, we're getting pretty darn close to being in the top 100 on Top Baby Blogs. I think we can do it!! So please, click the banner below and vote for us again! :) {you can vote once per computer per day}
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Sunday, August 22, 2010

What I'm Reading- August

This month, I read a lot of books. Mostly because I spent a lot of time on airplanes, at airports, and on the beach, all of which are excellent places to read!
Here were my three favorites:
Year of Fog
The Year of Fog: This was the first book I've read by Michelle Richmond. Her writing style is absolutely beautiful- almost poetic. This story is about a woman who loses her fiance's daughter on the beach and her quest to find her. Since the main character was a photographer, there were a lot of beautiful comparisons of photography and photos to life and people. As a soon-to-be mother, this story was heartwrenching. I strongly reccomend it to anyone, but especially mothers. It was a suspenseful page turner- one of those books you just can't put down. I think I read it in only two or three days!

The Calligrapher's Daughter
The Calligrapher's Daughter: This was a historical fiction book that I decided to read, since my husband is in Korea. It takes place in South Korea before, during, and after the Japanese invasion and occupation and follows a wealthy woman's life as she grows from a very small child to a middle-aged woman. The main character, Najin, is one of the first young women in Korea to seek out an education, gain a college degree, and become a teacher. She and her husband are seperated THE DAY AFTER their marriage, when her visa to enter the US is denied.

The Kite Runner
The Kite Runner: I'm probably one of the last people in the world to read this book! It is a little graphic at times, but overall, was a beautiful story with a powerful message. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday: your three words

"Over Halfway There!" Peanut and I have made it to twenty weeks. Less than twenty (probably only 15 or 16) left! Hopefully, they'll set the date for the induction or c-section at my next appointment, on September 9th. I can't wait to meet my son or daughter!
About Y3W: I borrowed this idea from Jenni at Jenni From the Blog. From now on, every Friday I'll try to sum up my week in just three short words.

This week's random photos:

20 week belly :)
Part of the orchard.
Apples! We had a late snow that froze the apple and cherry blossoms, so we really didn't think we'd get any fruit at all this year. These apples are TINY compared to last year, but hey, it's something!
A bumblebee, hanging out on the deck.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

when will your birthday be, little one?

I had another OB appointment today.
Everything is looking good- I'm measuring at 20.5 centimeters, and I'm gaining weight "perfectly." I got to hear Peanut's heartbeat again, and it was strong and steady, like last time.
This little one's arrival seems very much in the air. There are three possible ways he/she could come into this world: planned c-section, induction, or just early. They seem to be changing their mind on whether to do an induction or c-section, and whether to do it at 35 or 36 weeks. There is a 50% chance that Peanut will refuse to cooperate and insist on coming BEFORE that, so soon I'll start taking steroids (to accelerate peanut's growth, particularly lungs).
Regardless of how Peanut makes his/her grand entrance, I'll most likely be a mother in the beginning of December, or (if Peanut decides to make his/her own rules) possibly in November. Pretty funny, since my due date is January 5th.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Nursery artwork

I've always loved artwork. Nothing bothers me more than plain, empty walls. It doesn't matter what color they happen to be painted- without artwork, they are dead. Lifeless.
So here are a few of my favorite prints from Trendy Peas which I plan to hang in the nursery.

Giraffe Print

Count to 10

Birds on a Tree

Baby and Mommy Elephant

Stacked Birds on a Branch

Summer Tree

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

20 weeks!

Halfway there!
"Baby gulps down several ounces of amniotic fluid every day, both for nutrition and to practice swallowing and digesting. And, these days, those taste buds actually work! Studies show that after birth, babies respond best to tastes they've already had via amniotic fluid. Meaning, think about what you'd like your future child to eat as you prepare your own lunch."

How far along? 20 weeks- officially halfway through this pregnancy. I remember thinking how 20 weeks would be one the of the best milestones when I first found out I was pregnant... and now, here I am already!
Baby’s Size: A cantalope- 10 1/2 ounces and 6 1/2 inches.
Total Weight Gain: 15 pounds.
Maternity Clothes: Oh yes! Definitely!
Gender: I'm thinking blue.
Movement: I'm feeling it more and more! :)
Sleep: I've been extra tired lately and have been going to bed around 10pm... which is sometimes earlier than everyone else in the house, lol.
Symptoms: Back pain, achy abdomen.
Best Moments this week: Getting to talk to my husband for several hours this week. It was great to hear his voice and to be able to really talk about things. Such as girls names- which I can't decide on.
Food Cravings: Ice cream, but I haven't been indulging myself too much lately... I'm trying to make sure I don't gain too much weight too fast... it seems like I've put on more weight than most other women in my January Birth Club.
Food Aversions: Still pork/ham. *shudder*
What I miss: Some of my regular clothes. I need to buy myself some more loose shirts! I've been having to do laundry twice a week because my wardrobe is very limited right now.
What I am Looking forward to: My next ultrasound in three weeks, and payday (September 1st). There are a lot of baby things that I want to buy!!
Milestones: I'm officially halfway through this pregnancy. Only about sixteen weeks until I get to meet Peanut.
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Monday, August 16, 2010

More good news!

I received a long-awaited phone call from my geneticist today.
As you already know, once they changed Peanut's diagnosis from omphalocele to gastroschisis, it didn't seem logical to have the amnio anymore. Since gastroschisis is usually an isolated problem, it just didn't seem worth the risk.
We decided instead to have a blood test that would give me the risk factors for several different genetic problems. The results came back today: the chance of this baby having a chromosomal problem was 1 in 10,000. The geneticist said everything looked great and we couldn't have asked for better results.
In addition, she told me that the tentative plan (this could change after our next ultrasound or two) is to induce at 36 weeks. Since the baby is already measuring small (and will probably continue to fall behind in measurements), the best thing they can do is induce early so they can pump the baby full of nutrients in the NICU. She said the baby will most likely grow MUCH more quickly outside of my womb.
In addition, the less exposure this baby (more specifically, the exposed bowel) has to the amniotic fluid, the better. Developing babies are covered with vernix caseosa, which is a thick, white, waxy substance that protects their skin. Peanut, however, has nothing protecting his/her exposed bowel, and delivering at 36 weeks could signifigantly reduce the ammount of intestinal damage, therefore reducing the risk of infection and speeding up the recovery process.
It sounds like I will be meeting Peanut sooner than I thought. He/she will most likely be born in the beginning of December, even though my due date is January 5th.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

An Inspiration.

This is one of the most inspiring stories I've ever heard- and what a wonderful way to support and embrace life. This is a beautiful story about love and acceptance. And to think, many of these babies are never born because doctors encourage the parents to terminate the pregnancy. I think what this couple did, by choosing to keep their son and leave his fate in God's hands, was extremely courageous. In the 99 days of Eliot's short life, he opened his parents' (and many others!) eyes and truly taught them something about life and love.
This video struck a nerve with me, because we were originally told that our baby had a high chance of having either Trisomy 18 or 13. We firmly stated that we would NOT terminate if a chromosomal anomaly was found. Thankfully, we don't have to worry about it anymore... but I'd like to think that we would have loved our child in the same way.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Crunchy baby items

Here are some of my favorite natural, eco-friendly, and nature-inspired baby items that I'm registering for (or plan to buy).

Fuzzibunz diapers
Fuzzibunz One Size Cloth Diapers: What's not to love about these? They're better for your wallet, the enviornment, and your baby. And to top it off, they come in 15 fun colors. Adorable!
Bunny Meadow bedding
Kids Line Bunny Meadow Bedding: Made of 100% organic cotton, this bedding set is the perfect balance between nature inspired and modern.
Organic boppy cover
Organic Boppy Slipcover: Made of 100% organically-grown cotton. I just love the trees all over this boppy cover. By far my favorite pattern!
Reusable sandwich eco bagAnother reusable sandwich eco bag
Reusable Sandwich Eco Bags: These are an excellent alternative to the disposable plastic baggies of my youth (which are probably still wasting away in a landfill somewhere). They're durable, washable, and come in a variety of colors and patterns.
Wooden shape cube
Imaginarium Shape Sorting Cube: Great for shape recognition and matching skills, of the many different shape sorting cubes out there, I like this one the best. No clunky plastic or distracting music and sound effects. Other than, of course, the satisfying "CLUNK" of the shapes hitting the bottom. :)
Classic wooden stacker
Melissa & Doug Classic Wooden Geometric Stacker: A wonderful classic toy! Great for building shape, color, and size differential skills.
Melissa & Doug Deluxe 50-Piece Wooden Block Set: Another classic must-have!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Kick, kick, kick!

Peanut has been kicking like crazy all day today.
I love it!!

The power of prayer.

"With God, all things are possible."
Ever since that first ultrasound, four weeks ago, when I got my first glimpse of the child I am carrying, I have been filled with an overwhelming ammount of love for this baby. There is nothing quite like seeing your baby kick on that black and white screen for the first time.
When I found out about this baby's birth defect, it felt like the walls were closing in on me. I could hardly breathe. How could something be wrong with such a new, perfect life?
It was then, four weeks ago, that I started praying vigilantly, day and night. At first, I was selfish- I prayed that the doctors were wrong, and that this baby was completely normal. I cried and asked God what I had done to deserve this. But as time passed, I did more research, and my attitude changed.
Instead of begging God to magically fix this child, I asked him for strength. I prayed that he would please let this baby know how much I already love him/her. That whatever happened, I knew it was all part of His plan. After placing my trust in God, I simply asked for the best possible outcome. And I promised that no matter what happened, I was happy and proud to be this baby's mother.
You can wallow in self pity and worry, or you can put on a positive attitude and focus on the good rather than the bad. That is what I did. Even though I knew this baby could have numerous serious problems, many of which were fatal, I simply hoped that he/she would be spared. Believing in the baby's strength, I willed him/her to be healthy. I prayed every night for peace, serenity, strength, and a miracle.
And I look at the baby's new diagnosis, Gastroschisis, as nothing short of miraculous. It was a weight lifted off my shoulders. This child has a very good chance at survival, and a normal, happy life. Don't get me wrong, the road ahead will be long and difficult, but in the end, my husband and I will probably come out of it with a healthy, beautiful baby. I think God heard my prayers, and those of the many friends and family members who have been praying along with us.
For that reason, I will continue to pray.
"And now, these three remain: faith, hope, and love, but the greatest of these is love."

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A letter to Peanut

Dear Peanut,
Well, you certainly know how to keep your mom on her toes, little one.
The doctor gave us quite a scare at your first ultrasound. Not long after I saw you on the screen for the first time, and watched you kicking and punching and rolling around happily, we were told that something was wrong. Something involving your tummy and plenty of big, scary words like "birth defect" and "chromosomal problems" and "malformations".
Luckily, at your next ultrasound, we got great news. You have some tummy troubles (don't worry, they can be fixed!) but the rest of your important parts are healthy and where they should be. We got a peek at your beautiful face and you even made us laugh by playing with your toes and sucking your thumb.
So here's what you need to know. Although I can't wait to meet you, you need to stay in my tummy for as long as possible. You need to grow big and strong to be ready for what awaits you after you make your appearance into our world. Trust me, it's much nicer in there, anyway... it's warm and cozy and Mommy will keep you safe.
Daddy and I love you more than you could possibly imagine.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

19 weeks!

19 weeks!
"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.) You might actually get to see the vernix at birth, especially if baby is premature."

How far along? 19 weeks- almost halfway there!
Baby’s Size: A MANGO?! That sounds huge!
Total Weight Gain: 14 pounds. yikes.
Maternity Clothes: Couldn't live without them.
Gender: It looks like this baby might be a surprise. The gastroschisis hides the genitals.
Movement: All the time now. I absolutely love it.
Sleep: I've been waking up early lately... for no reason.
Symptoms: Back pain, hunger.
Best Moments this week: The appointment yesterday in Grand Rapids. It was so wonderful to see Peanut again, and to get the wonderful news that he/she was misdiagnosed. There is definitely still a long road ahead, but at least I don't have to worry about this little Peanut having chromosomal problems or multiple birth defects anymore.
Food Cravings: Fresh fruit. YUM.
Food Aversions: I prefer NOT to smell food cooking, even if it's something that I like. My nose is just too sensitive.
What I miss: Laying on my stomach to read. I've been reading a lot lately, and it's annoying to have to sit up all the time.
What I am Looking forward to: My next OB appointment, a little less than two weeks from now. I'll be nice to hear Peanut's heartbeat again and to have any new questions answered. I've already thought of a few since my appointment yesterday!
Milestones: First appointment with the geneticist, OB, and perinatologist that I'll be working with over the next several months. Also, receiving a firm diagnosis- gastroschisis rather than omphalocele.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Our first appointment in GR

Today was our first appointment at the office of maternal-fetal medicine (Spectrum Health Blodgett Campus, Grand Rapids, MI). The hospital was HUGE and it took us awhile to find the actual office, but everything went well from the moment we stepped into the door.
First, we met with a geneticist who went over our family history, explained the different things the doctors were looking for, explained the possible suspected birth defect(s), discussed an amniocentesis, and answered all of our questions. She was thorough, kind, and extremely helpful.
Next, we had our Level II and 4D ultrasound, where an ultrasound technician took the time to carefully inspect every single organ, bone, and part of the baby's body (measuring and looking for birth defects).
As it turns out, our baby DOES NOT have an omphalocele. He/she actually has Gastroschisis, which is a similiar birth defect that is often confused with omphalocele early on. Gastroschisis is a birth defect in which an infant's intestines stick out of the body through a defect (hole) on one side of the umbilical cord. Unlike in an omphalocele, there is no protective membrane, and no other organs are involved.
THE WONDERFUL NEWS is that Gastroschisis is almost always an isolated problem- there are very rarely any other related birth defects or chromosomal problems. In fact, the doctor said there was less than 1% chance that this baby would have chromosomal anomalies, so we decided not to have the amniocentesis after all. The doctor didn't think it was neccessary OR worth the risk (1 out of every 300 amnios result in miscarriage).
Gastroschisis babies tend to be very small, and many are under the 10th growth percentile. This, combined with surgery recovery, often means that these babies spend an average of 2-3 months in the hospital after birth. The babies cannot go home until they are of healthy weight and can eat and pass bowel movements on their own. Although this is a little longer than I'd expected, I was prepared for this baby to have a pretty lengthy stay in the NICU, so it wasn't too much of a shock.
The doctor seems to be leaning towards a regular vaginal birth for this baby, after an induction. It still may be neccessary, however, to have a C-Section. We will know more as the baby progresses.
As of right now, we know that the baby is completely healthy and normal, other than the gastroschisis. Peanut weighs 7 ounces and had a heartbeat of 148 bpm. The only concern is that he/she is already measuring a little over a week behind. I am 18 weeks and 6 days pregnant, but the baby is only measuring at 17 weeks and 4 days. I will continue to see the specialists in GR for Level II and 3D ultrasounds every four weeks, as well as having my regular OB appointments. Once I'm a little further in the pregnancy, I will meet with pediatric surgeons and create a plan for this baby.
Over all, the news is good. Peanut is on the small side, with some bowel outside of the body, but otherwise healthy (and stubborn!). We were not able to find out the gender today, because the bowel was hanging down between the legs and covering what we needed to see. It looks like this one may be a surprise after all. Oh, the suspense!!
It was so wonderful to get to see our baby again, especially in 3D. We got to watch Peanut play with his/her toes, but otherwise he/she was very sleepy and stubborn. Even though the ultrasound technician basically had me standing on my head on the table, the baby refused to uncurl itself until he really wanted to, which made taking the measurments difficult. Little stinker!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

I'm a bundle of nerves.

Last night was horrible. I tossed and turned all night long, and every time I fell asleep, I'd wake up seemingly minutes later after having (yet another) dream about my appointment tomorrow. After a particularly terrible nightmare, I woke up crying and reached out next to me... to nothing. And then I remembered that my husband is thousands of miles away, across an ocean, in a foreign country.
The worst part? I was just getting accustomed to talking to him every morning and night, and now I haven't heard from him in days. All I really need right now is to hear his voice, for him to tell me everything's going to be okay. I just want to tell him all my hopes and fears about this baby, OUR baby. But I can't.
I've never been so nervous in my entire life. But until tomorrow, I'll just keep hoping and praying that this baby will be fine. That's all I can really do.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Did you know?

- About 120,000 babies (1 in 33) in the United States are born each year with birth defects.
- Thousands of different birth defects have been identified, from the fairly common to extremely rare.
- The most common birth defects include heart defects (1 in 100), cleft lip/palate (1 in 700), down syndrome (1 in 800), and spina bifida (1 in 2500). Other common birth defects include musculoskeletal defects, gastrointestinal defects, and eye defects.

We will know much more on Monday, but here's what we know right now:
- Our first (15 week) ultrasound revealed that our baby most likely has an omphalocele.
- An omphalocele is a transparent sac attatched to the umbilical cord that contains hernatied abdominal organs (most commonly liver and intestines).
- This birth defect occurs in 1 out of every 4000 births worldwide.
- The intestines actually form INSIDE the umbilical cord until gestational week 10 or 11. After this time, they normally retreat back into the abdominal cavity and the abdominal muscles and wall closes up. In omphalocele babies, however, the abdominal muscles and/or wall fails to close properly, leaving some abdominal organs outside of the body, in/attatched to the umbilical cord.
- Omphaloceles have associated malformations in almost 2/3 of all cases
- Approximately 25% have associated chromosomal abnormalities, especially Trisomies 13 and 18

Monday, I have a meeting with a geneticist, a more advanced ultrasound, and an amnio. Hopefully, I will leave the hospital that day with a much clearer picture of what is going on with this baby. And hopefully Peanut will be one of the lucky 30(ish) percent who are completely normal and healthy in every other way, other than the omphalocele. I'm incredibly nervous but also looking forward to the visit.
Wish us luck!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

18 weeks!

"Your fetus has become amazingly mobile (at least compared to you), passing the hours yawning, hiccuping, rolling, twisting, kicking, punching, sucking and swallowing. And, baby's finally big enough that you'll be able to feel those movements soon."

How far along? 18 weeks (that seems SO FAR along to me!)
Baby’s Size: sweet potato :) Almost six inches, from head to rump. I wonder how long the legs are?
Total Weight Gain: I still have no idea. I'll find out when I get home from vacation.
Maternity Clothes: Yup! I've been spending a lot of time on the beach in a coverup or even (gasp!) my regular bikini. Sometimes you just can't swim without exposing the baby belly, lol.
Gender: We find out in less than a week!! :D A boy, I think! But still hoping for a girl :)
Movement: Peanut kicks like crazy when I'm trying to fall asleep. Just soft little kicks. I love it!
Sleep: Yeah. Right.
Symptoms: Hunger, strange dreams, back pain, and leg cramps.
Best Moments this week: Beach time!
Food Cravings: Anything and everything.
Food Aversions: No new ones, really.
What I miss: Sometimes, when I'm in my bathing suit, I miss my flat stomach. But the baby bump IS pretty cute.
What I am Looking forward to: On Monday we have another ultrasound, so I'll get to see Peanut again and find out the sex. I'm also looking forward to getting my amnio test results. Of course, I'm absolutely DREADING the amnio itself, but I'm sure it'll be worth it to get a clear picture of exactly what's going on. Hopefully it'll be good news and I'll FINALLY be able to relax and stop worrying so much.
Milestones: First time on the beach with my baby belly, hehe.
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Monday, August 2, 2010

Strange dreams & leg cramps... keeping me awake.

You know, it's hard to sleep when I have a baby kicking madly inside of me and I keep having bizzare dreams. Add to that shooting leg cramps that send me jumping out of bed and... I am one exhausted pregnant woman. Of course, trying to get comfortable on my side doesn't help, either.
Don't get me wrong: I LOVE feeling Peanut move. It's just kind of funny that he/she always seems to begin his nightly exercise routine right around bedtime. Then, once I stop smiling and giggling at Peanut's pokes and jabs, I am plagued with my two newest pregnancy symptoms: strange, VIVID, scary dreams and killer leg cramps. Hmmmm. It must just be Peanut's way of getting me ready for all of those long, sleepless nights ahead.