Thursday, March 29, 2012

16 weeks!

Because I started this blog a little late, I think it'll be a mix of past stories/catch-up posts and current posts. So this week it's a current one, because Luca is 16 weeks old! I can't believe it- what happened to my little peanut?

My apologies for the grainy photos- I actually had to take a screen shot from my iphone of these because our computer crashed so all I have is my phone right now for pictures. Working on getting a new computer so hopefully I can upload pictures from my "real camera". Anyhoo, I've been back at work now for almost a month, and every day I miss Luca more and more. This morning he was so smiley and it broke my heart to hand him off to my SIL when she picked him up for the day. My hubby's sisters and super supportive parents live near us, and my SIL watches Luca while I'm at work. We call it cousin daycare- he gets to spend the day with his two cousins and I get to know that he's with someone who loves him so much. My SIL has two kids of her own and she's agreed to watch luca. She is an amazing mother so I honestly couldn't imagine anyone else watching him while I'm at work. It has been so emotional for me going to work full time, and I daily fight feelings of guilt. I've heard it gets better.

Luca's personality is really starting to show- when he smiles, it's all smiles. But he's a thinker most of the time, just like his daddy.

Every time he's smiling, I grab the camera and he just stares at it- it's been impossible to catch a a picture of his gummy little smile!

He's has also started to break out of the swaddle. I looked at the monitor two nights ago and saw his little hand. Every time he wiggled his fingers it reminded me of Mr. Burns and creeped me out a little. He really does love to be swaddled, though, so I usually just try to fix it and he'll either go to bed or wake up completely.

Sleep has been weird this week- we were doing alright until he hit the 16 week mark, and just like that he was back to every 2 hours. Rough nights for me, that's for sure. I've been told this is the 4 month sleep regression and it will get better. I'll believe it when it happens:)

We tried the bumbo chair for the first time this week- he loved it for about a minute. We'll try this again next week:)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

My pregnancy in ultrasound

I'm obviously not pregnant anymore, but I'm already missing being pregnant so I thought I might breeze through the highlights of my pregnancy with Luca using our ultrasound photos. I mentioned that my first pregnancy symptoms were subtle, and seriously I wasn't kidding. If I hadn't slept an extra hour or so a day I probably wouldn't have known I was pregnant until I started to show. Many women get morning (or all day) sickness, but none for me. Heartburn? nope. Acne? maybe a little, but nothing out of the ordinary flare-ups. Cravings? not really. Bloating? maybe, but couldn't that just be gas? Constipation? ok, yeah but that's always an issue for me anyway:)

Our first ultrasound was exciting and nerve-wracking as it is for most women. I had some spotting for a few days and started to get worried. It wasn't much, and it wasn't bright red, but my Dr. thought it wouldn't be a bad idea to check anyway. So baby D made his first appearance at around 7 weeks, and to my relief there was a strong heartbeat and a teeny little baby in there.

Even though everything looked good, I started to obsess a little bit because of the bleeding. I probably took a pregnancy test every other day to compare the colors of the lines. My initial positive was so so faint I swore I was faking the whole thing anyway. Looking back now, I'm not sure how the hubs dealt with my insanity, but I'm glad he never said anything about it. It's also a good thing we lived close to the dollar store- I ripped through those tests so fast!

We had another ultrasound around 9 weeks because of the bleeding. Again, all was good and baby looked a little more than just white dot in a black hole:)

12 week ultrasound: This was my favorite group of pictures because Luca really started to look like a baby and not just a blob. He waved and kicked, and we got some great laughs watching him move around. I was in awe of how much I loved this little baby already.

A wave for mommy:

Little kicks for my MIL, who is "Ra ra" to her grand kids. Our ultrasound tech put the captions on the pictures. She was so bubbly and positive, and I loved every ultrasound with her.

During the first exam, they measured my cervix with the ultrasound because I have a history of short cervix. Basically during your pregnancy, your cervix should stay the same length- about 2.5cm. As labor initiates and progresses, the cervix begins to shorten (also called efface) and soften. There's actually an interesting (and somewhat graphic, if you're squeamish) website called The Beautiful Cervix Project that has images of the cervix in different stages of labor and throughout a woman's normal cycle. It's interesting to see the how the cervix changes, but I was hoping mine wouldn't change until the end of my pregnancy. My Dr. wasn't necessarily worried about pre-term labor, but she wasn't going to take any chances either. Everything looked good, and I figured I would be a low risk, normal pregnancy. But a few months later it looked like my cervix had shortened just a bit. Still, the Dr. seemed pretty nonchalant about it all and I went on my way with prenatal exercises, brisk walks with my dog Max, and no restrictions at work (I'm on my feet pretty much all day). I did, however, have an ultrasound about every week so I could tell they were keeping a close eye on my pregnancy. At 16 weeks, they referred me to a high-risk specialist for an ultrasound.

The 16 week ultrasound with the high risk doctor was incorrectly scheduled as an anatomy scan. Typically anatomy scans are done more around 18 weeks, so the ultrasound tech wasn't sure she would be able to #1 tell us if all was on-track with baby's development, and #2 tell us the sex. I wasn't expecting to find out the sex at that appointment, but I was pretty pumped she was going to try. Our other ultrasound techs told us they wouldn't tell us unless they were 1000% sure.
Hubs swears during the 12 week ultrasound he could see "something down there", and he was certain we were having a boy. I hate to admit that I didn't think he was entirely crazy because I, too, think I saw a little weewee. I certainly felt like I was having a boy from the very beginning, so it didn't surprise me when Luca was spread eagle and we saw his twig and berries.
16 week hand:

16 week little feet! I want to kiss them.

16 week little boy parts:

We also had an 18 week appointment where the technician was able to get a pretty good 3D photo of baby Luca. Everyone who saw this picture commented on how much he looked like me (especially his button nose)! When he was born, it was sort of a surprise to us all that he looked literally like a 50-50 mix of hubs and I. It's sort of amazing how making a baby can truly blend two people's traits:)

Around 30 weeks, I had an appointment to again measure my cervix and it was down to 1cm in length. Not good, and the Dr. was worried about an incompetent cervix causing pre-term labor. I was sent directly from my appointment to the hospital for monitoring and a steroid injection. Steroids are routinely given to women who may go into pre-term labor to speed up the development of the baby's lungs. Betamethasone and dexamethasone are the two most commonly used steroids, and I was given Betamethasone. The injection has to be given 24-48 hours prior to the birth to have a maximum effect, and there are two injections given 24 hours apart. Some providers actually choose to continually repeat the dosages every week until the birth, but most only give two doses. Luckily Luca performed like a champ on the monitor and I left the hospital that night with a sore bum, instructions for pre-term labor symptoms, and a worried and anxious husband. After that appointment I was put on partial bed rest, and I wasn't even given an ultrasound pic to share:( Actually, when I went back thru my ultrasound pictures to document all of this, there were a lot of "what the bleep is that" photos. And some of the 3d photos are just creepy, so I don't really have a good, clear ultrasound picture from my third trimester. It's ok though, I got a baby instead:)

Around 34 weeks, I was given the go ahead to move around a little more because it would be "ok if I delivered". Obviously not ideal, but ok. I decided not to increase my hours at work because I was getting pretty swollen at the end of my half days, and I figured that would only get worse. At my 34 week appointment I "threw some protein" in not so medical terms. Basically I had protein in my urine, and my blood pressure was a little high. They decided to watch it closely and the next week it was unchanged.

But around 35 weeks, things changed... stay tuned for Luca's arrival!

Just last week with mama. I couldn't love him any more.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

It all changed when...

When we started looking for a house we knew it would be somewhat difficult, but we really had no idea it would take us well over a year to find a home we loved. We had some pretty strict criteria that limited our selections- mainly that we wanted to be within about a five mile radius of the in-laws and that we wanted a home we would really stay in for at least 15-20 years. Might sound crazy to want to be so close to our in-laws, but they're a huge help to us and we knew it would be really important to have them close when we decided to have kids.
So we started our search with a local realtor and online and realized that there were quite a few short sale and foreclosure properties that met our criteria and they might be worth the effort. I'm a huge House Hunters, My first place, Property Virgin, etc tv fan and I assumed that all short sales and foreclosures were as simple as they make it seem. You make an offer, you wait (albeit annoying), but you get the house. Wrong, wrong.

We made an offer on a short sale listing that seemed like it could be the one. Sure we low-balled it, but it wasn't an insulting offer by any means. It was accepted by the seller, but we found out the bank was going to foreclose on the property in like two weeks, so we really didn't have enough time for the bank to accept our offer. It was a pretty big blow to us because I had already started imagining life and a family in this house. I was given advice not to get attached to a short sale home, but of course I did it anyway. House hunter rule #2 ( rule #1 is to avoid short sales/foreclosures altogether if you aren't ready to wait and might be disappointed) is to never, ever fall in love with or start picturing yourself in a short sale or foreclosure home. The moment you start planning where you're going to put your sectional couch is the moment the bank will shoot you down. Bummer.

So we started over and really decided to avoid that situation again if we could. There was a house on the market that was for sale by owner a few months back, but we both felt like it was just overpriced so we didn't even look at it. When the same house came back on the market now listed with an agent and now within our price point, we jumped on it. Literally- we saw the house the day it came back on the market, and we made an offer that night. I'll never forget the look on my father-in-law's face when he looked at me during the tour of the house and said "this is your home- you have to buy it". He never makes statements like that unless he's confident. So we made an offer on a Sunday and when I was at work Monday, I felt a little different. I thought it might be nerves about the house, but decided I would run to CVS on my lunch break and grab a pregnancy test. I'm super impatient, so I took it in the bathroom at work.!!

I have to credit the timing to fate because just as I was getting ready to call the hubs, he called me. If I'm remembering correctly the conversation went like this:
"We got the house!", "Good, because I'm pregnant!".

It's amazing how much these words changed our life in such an awesome way.

Closing day! I think I was like 8 weeks preggo- starting to maybe feel like maybe I'm maybe a little bloated. Pregnancy symptoms weren't so obvious for me:)

And here's an oldie but goodie of my bud. I think he was about 2 weeks old here.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Well hellooo there

Where do I start? Life has changed so much since my time as a blogger on weddingbee as Miss Champagne. I married the man of my dreams, popped out a baby, and pretty much came to terms that my days as a blogger were over based on the amount of free time I had the first few months at home with Luca. But then I started work and while pumping at work realized that I had... wait for it... free time. Once I was done online shopping and catching up on celeb gossip, I figured that I could probably start documenting my life as a new mom (I still love the sound of that).
So there you have it- I'm back, in case you were wondering where I went:) If you don't know me, allow me to introduce myself...

I'm originally from Colorado and came out east for college. My dad always joked that I took a ruler on a map and found the farthest location from home, but in all honesty I missed and still miss the mountains a ton. My sophomore year I met a guy and we did what college kids do- make up, break up, rinse and repeat x3years. We both went on our separate ways after graduation, but there was something about him I just couldn't shake. So when we started talking again, I knew this was it- we were made for each other. Fast forward four years of grad school later, we were living the American dream- married and living at his parents house. They were amazingly supportive and I actually really enjoyed living there but when we started to think about a family of our own, we realized it was time to look for a house.

So we started looking... and looking... and finally found "the one" after over a year of open houses and failed negotiations. That's all the time I've got today- pumping session is over and I've gotta get back to work! I'll talk about the house hunt later. For now, funny old pictures of the mister and I in college.

Halloween- I swear!

visiting naples, fl for spring break. crazy kids.

two words: purple contacts.

so cool

cement walled dorm rooms

And of course a photo of my main squeeze these days, little Luca.