Tuesday, March 30, 2010

16 Week Belly Pics

Last week, a few people asked to see belly pics with me wearing something a little more form-fitting. I didn't want to do it, but well...Alright, you asked for it.

Rob snapped this one of me today in my tank top as I was getting ready. I would never leave the house in something like this! I'm so much more comfortable in my (somewhat) loose maternity tops.

Ahhh... much better!

Monday, March 29, 2010

16 Weeks!

This week's post comes a day early, but:

a) I'm tired of reading my last few sad posts--I'm ready to see those move down the screen. We're still very upset, but we're doing our best to move on.

b) We had a doctor's appointment this morning.

Just a standard 16 week checkup today-- weight check (+1 lb from my 12 week appt, but still down 5 lbs from pre-pregnancy weight), blood pressure (normal), listen with the doppler (strong heartbeat), "How are you feeling?" (pretty good!) & done. Rob came with me, which I really appreciate, because I want him to know our doctor and build a relationship with her before the day I deliver.

We've decided to do the Quad Screen even though our NT Scan results were perfect. We figured, "Why not?" It's just one more blood draw & we don't expect any negative news.

The biggest news of today's appointment is that we scheduled our anatomy ultrasound for April 13th. I'm so excited to get this done-- Ever since the last ultrasound, we have our minds wrapped around this baby being a boy, but I feel like we can't get overly attached to that until we confirm. We feel pretty sure (the doc did say she was 90-95% sure), but still-- we're not painting the nursery or registering for anything or shouting from the rooftops "IT'S A BOY!" until we know for sure. So, two weeks from tomorrow, we'll know!

So, on to the 16 week update!

Baby is the size of a tube of mascara:
And looks like this (Hello, Bigfoot!):

Baking Baby Blakely

"Your baby is already mugging for the camera as he practices all sorts of facial expressions, such as squinting, yawning and grimacing, which will come in handy when you introduce him to pureed spinach.

Check out what else is happening in utero:

You're just getting comfortable with being a new mom, but you're actually on the road to being a grandma. If your baby is a girl, her uterus is fully developed and the ovaries already hold primitive egg cells. Did that just make you feel a thousand years old, or what?

Your baby's skin is still translucent and wrinkly, not unlike an old man's, but more fat will soon accumulate under the dermas to plump him out. If you could peer inside right now, you'd be able to see all of his veins under his skin. And speaking of veins, your baby's heart now pumps about 25 quarts of blood per day! Also, his eyes are now locked and loaded at their final destination, facing forward rather than to the sides. (Whew!)

This is the week women get an amniocentesis, if their doc recommends it. In addition to supplying doctors with a boatload of info about the baby's health, amnios are also more than 99 percent accurate in determining what version of baby you'll be having. So if you want to know and you're getting an amnio, now's a great time to find out for sure.

Your baby weighs about 3 ounces this week and measures between 4 and 5 inches, about the length of your mascara. "

Oh! I also added poll to the right sidebar-- weigh in on whether you think Baby Blakely is a Boy or Girl!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Trying to Forgive

Today is a difficult day.

I woke up this morning to a house that was entirely too quiet. Rob had left early for work, the dogs were basically hiding from me and the lack of the puppy whimpering to go outside was hard to deal with. I got in the shower and cried.

People have been unbelievably supportive. All of your comments have been so sweet & people from work have gone out of their way to call or stop by and tell me that this wasn't our fault, that these things just happen, that I can't hang onto this, that they love me & they don't want me putting my health or the baby's health in danger from being so upset.

Yet, last night and most of today has been spent alternating between crying and being sick over this.

I'm trying to forgive us.

I have an overwhelming sense of guilt right now. Obviously, there was no way for us to know that something like this would happen. Out dogs are extremely sociable-- we take them to the dog park, they're great with children & we've rescued multiple dogs and brought them into our home. We've never had any problems. The dogs had happily played in the yard together for days and had spent evenings in the kitchen together, with no conflicts. We made sure to feed them separately so that no one would get territorial over food & we made sure not to give them any bones or toys that they could potentially fight over. We did everything right.

I'm trying to forgive our dogs.

I feel like I can't even look at them right now. I have not spoken to them or pet them since I got home last night. I don't know what happened. I don't know who did it, yet I'm punishing both of them. I realize that if they did get aggressive towards the little guy, that it was an instinct, something beyond their control. I'm trying to remember that they are not experiencing the same emotions that I am, but because they are dogs, I don't really know what they are experiencing. They might be traumatized by what was a horrible accident. I really don't know & I never will.

What I do know, is that our dogs are not mean, vicious animals-- even though I know that recent events suggest otherwise. They are a precious part of our lives. Tate is smart and small and while he is extremely hyper, he can be a snuggler. Chloe is big and shy and kind of dumb, but has the sweetest, calmest disposition of any dog I've ever met. In fact, we've discussed training her to be a therapy dog where she could go to retirement homes and hospitals for people to play with her. She's really even tempered and doesn't get riled up easily. I have my suspicions about which one of them may have done this (probably not your first guess), yet it just seems impossible.

Red & Jin asked about my feelings about bringing a baby into a home with these dogs. It's a very fair question to ask but honestly, today, I don't know the answer. I brought this up with Rob last night-- I've never feared our dogs being around our baby. I've considered making them spend more time outside once the little one gets here, to cut down on dirt and dog hair. I've always assumed the baby will get licked in the face at some point & unfortunately ingest some dog hair in its life, but I've never worried about the safety of having our child near Tate & Chloe.

But now, these fears are a little hard to shake. Granted, we won't be going to work and leaving our child in the backyard with the two of them, but I'm thinking about smaller things. Will I ever be able to leave my baby in the swing while I take a quick shower without locking the dogs out of the house? When I give my baby a toy, will I have to worry that it might be something that the dogs want? Will my heart constantly jump every time a dog gets near my baby? I can't live like that.

I don't know what the answers are & I'm not sure when I will know.

I'm trying to let some of the drama and emotions calm down a little bit before I start seriously thinking about this. Because right now, I just can't think about it.

I'm focusing on forgiveness.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Shocked.Horrified.Devastated. (NBR)

**Don't want to terrify you. If you didn't catch the acronym in the post title, this is not Baby Blakely related.**

You know that feeling, when your heart sinks down past your stomach & into your feet? I got it this afternoon when Rob called me. I didn't even have to listen to what he said-- the sheer panic in his voice let me know that there was something really wrong.

We lost the puppy today.
And when I say lost, I only wish I meant that we couldn't find him.

Rob found him, in our backyard, not breathing. He tried to revive him but realized that he had been gone for some time, and there was nothing he could do. That's when I received his phone call, telling me to get home, that the puppy was dead.

It's taken us a few hours to piece together what we think happened. I didn't want to see the puppy, but the only way that Rob could deal with this was to figure out what happened to him. So we talked, and surveyed the yard, and Rob looked at this puppy's precious little body over and over-- until we came to some conclusions. Honestly, I wish we hadn't figured it out.

The puppy has multiple puncture wounds in three places on his neck and a bite on his leg. When we left, all three dogs were playing happily together. When we returned, the little one was gone. One of our dogs killed this puppy. I can't tell you how hard that is to write. I'm suspicious and ashamed of both of them right now, not to mention hysterically upset.

There aren't enough words to describe how we are feeling right now. Shocked, horrified & devastated don't even scratch the surface.

Our (Temporary) New "Baby"

Rob and I love dogs. They turn us into complete putty, with no willpower to say no.

I guess I shouldn't be too hard on us-- Who could say no to this face?

Now, before I give my parents a complete heart attack-- This little guy is not ours. WE ARE NOT KEEPING HIM!! Every Spring, my theatre has a Gala with a live auction and one of our auction items is a puppy. At eight weeks, this little guy was ready to leave his Mama, but there are still three weeks before the event. So we're his foster family, until he finds his new home.

He's so precious and tubby-- Tate & Chloe (our two dogs) don't know what to think about him! He just kind of waddles around, stopping every so often to pee on our floor. He's a sweet dog with a good personality, but we certainly had forgotten how much work a young puppy is!

I'm sure it's like childbirth and parenting an infant-- obviously people forget how difficult, painful, etc it is, or else no one would have more than one!!

Rob and I have constantly taken in dogs (remember Sophie?) and have drooled over puppies at the Humane Society, but now that Baby Blakely's on the way, I don't feel the need to keep every dog we see. Thank God, we have a full house as it is.

But for the next few weeks... isn't he sweet?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Being Brave

Due to the fact that I was heavier than I wanted to be when I got pregnant, I've been very hesitant about posting weekly Belly Pics.

But, I'm starting to receive comments from friends and co-workers that I'm showing, so I decided to be brave and post a pic.

It's a bit hard to tell the actual size of the belly because of how quickly other things (ahem) have grown, but these will give you a good idea.

The 15 Week Belly Pic:

Be kind. :)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

15 Weeks!

Dear 2nd Trimester, Where is this glow and energy I keep hearing about? Still plagued with fatigue and headaches. Still thankful for every single symptom that means that Baby Blakely is growing.

This week, baby is the size of a Kit Kat (Mmm):
And looks like this (filled out a little from last week!):

Baking Baby Blakely

"Although many women don't start feeling the baby move until the 17th week (or later), your baby has been having his own party in the amniotic sac he calls home. If you feel a little flutter in your belly this week, don't discount it as gas or hunger. It could be your babe banging around.

Here's more to look forward to:

Baby's head is now resting on his well-formed neck instead of directly on his shoulders like Igor. He's beginning to grow eyebrows and eyelashes this week. (All the better to give you that "Mom, you're crazy" look when he's a teenager.) The hair on the head also begins to grow and, with some creative styling, you'll be able to turn those locks into a Maddox Jolie-Pitt faux-hawk some day.

Although baby's eyes are sealed shut, he's now able to sense light. His eyes and ears finally look like real baby features now. As your baby practices sucking and swallowing actions, he may actually hiccup. You'll know he's had one too many shots of amniotic fluid by the steady thump-thump you feel.

Over the next month, baby will grow faster than ever, so make sure you load up on enough nutritious food and fluids to support his growth. Your baby now measures nearly 4 inches, about the size of a Kit Kat "finger" (regular-size, not the Big one you get at the movies), and weighs almost 2 ounces."

Monday, March 22, 2010

Sleeping Like A Baby

I've never really understood the expression "sleeping like a baby" because babies don't seem to sleep much. Sure, they sleep often-- but not soundly or for many consecutive hours.

By that definition, I've been "sleeping like a baby" lately-- I'm finding it hard to get comfortable, my back is sore and I'm waking up often during the night. So yesterday, I bought a Boppy Cuddle Pillow.

I'm loving it. The pillow between my knees really seems to alleviate some of my back pressure, the shape encourages me to sleep on my side and I even found that it took some pressure off my bladder. I think I only got up once last night!

That, in itself, is a miracle worth $40.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Haven't Met You Yet.

Secret Sloper's enthusiasm is positively contagious today-- She wrote a great post about that feeling you can only get from singing a great song at the top of your lungs in your car. Today, she heard Michael Buble's song "Haven't Met You Yet" on her way home and it spoke to her-- about her miscarriage, about trying again, and how she WILL have a baby in her arms, sooner rather than later.

I've been listening to the song and tapping my feet all afternoon, thinking about the miracle of this little guy (girl?) that we'll meet in September. It's such a great reminder of where we've been and where we're going.

I might have to wait, I'll never give up.
I guess it's half timing, And the other half's luck.

Wherever you are, Whenever it's right,

You'll come out of nowhere and into my life.

And I know that we can be so amazing.

And baby your love is gonna change me.

And now I can see every possibility.

But somehow I know that it'll all turn out.

And you'll make me work so we can work to work it out.

And I promise you, kid, that I'll give so much more than I get.
I just haven't met you yet.

Such a sweet song.
Now, go over to Park Slope Purgatory to listen to it & wish Secret Sloper some good ole' fashion baby-making luck! She's ovulating!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

14 Weeks!

Today marks 14 weeks! Feeling good, but still very tired-- can't wait to experience that glow and energy that everyone talks about having in the second trimester. I slept 12 1/2 hours last night, and definitely could have slept more if I didn't have to get up for work today!

This week, baby is the size of a flip phone:
And looks like this (similar to last week):

Baking Baby Blakely

"Think of it this way: You're a third of the way through and baby's a third of the way cooked. Now that the "big stuff" (like skeletal and organ development) is taken care of, your baby starts a period of rapid brain growth, fat buildup and detail work.

Highlights this week include:

Your baby now has fingerprints! Book 'em, Danno! Believe it or not, he actually created them himself while swimming around in the amniotic fluid. As he moved his hands, the skin on the tips of his fingers formed unique ridges and folds. That's why no one on earth has the same fingerprints, not even identical twins! Cool, right? Baby's arms are now in proportion to his tiny body, but his legs are still on the short size in comparison.

Meconium, that tar-like, sticky first baby poop, is now loading up your baby's intestines, which means you might want to set aside a bottle of olive oil, one of the few things that will get the gooey poop off of baby's bottom.

Your baby continues to gain new and impressive skills such as practicing and controlling voluntary muscle movements (this will help him fling food across the room later in life). Your tiny dancer's movements are no longer the jerky, uncontrollable twitches of yore—he now moves with graceful control.

Your baby is now weighs about an ounce and is the length of a flip phone, or roughly 3.5 inches—he's tripled in size from a mere three weeks ago! Luckily, you haven't done the same."

Monday, March 15, 2010

How do you know it's a Blakely?

My maiden name is Peck.

For people who have known you your whole life, it can be difficult for them to make the switch to a new last name when you get married. I was known as "Stef Peck" for 28 years and people still refer to me that way, a year and a half after our wedding. Rob even uses it as a nickname for me sometimes.

The night I told my dad I was pregnant, my parents immediately called one of their friends who lives down the street and asked her to come over. Judye has known me since I was 15 years old, when my family first moved to South Carolina. (She has a daughter who is a year older than me and we used to carpool to school.) She's always been so sweet to keep up with me through my parents and she even came to our wedding.

When Judye arrived, my parents told her about the baby the same way I told them. They showed her the book. She flipped through each page, looking at wedding photos, commenting on them until she got to the page with the ultrasound pics that said "Baby Blakely" across the top. She stopped and said, "Now, what is this?" My mom said, "What do you think it is?" and Judye started smiling.

She then paused, looked a little confused and said, "How do you know it's a Blakely?"

After an awkward silence, my dad looked at me and said, "It sure as hell better be a Blakely!!"

We all looked at each other and burst out laughing. I don't think I've ever laughed so hard in my life.

Judye forgot that my new last name is Blakely and when she saw "Baby Blakely" she thought that we had already named the baby-- she was confused and wondered how we already knew the sex at only 8 weeks. The way that it came out, though, was hilarious.

Never fear, Judye.
This baby, I know with 100% certainty, is a Blakely.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Great News!

We received a phone call on Thursday from our genetic counselor-- everything looks great! We knew that the measurements looked good at the NT Scan, but we were thrilled to get the results of the bloodwork back. This suggests that our baby has a less than 2% chance of chromosome abnormalities such as Down Syndrome. I'll have one more round of bloodwork at 16 weeks.

Hopefully our nurse next round will be as funny as the one we had this week. While we were waiting for her, Rob was sitting on her stool, pretending to be the doctor. As she walked in, he was saying, "During your pregnancy, Mrs. Blakely, you can expect to experience--." She started laughing and I said, "Don't mind him-- he's just playing doctor." She looked at him and said, "I'll bet that's what got you here in the first place." HA!!

We're listening to the heartbeat every night before bed and as Baby Blakely grows, the heartbeat is easier to find & seems to get louder each day. Last night it sounded like a train was coming!

Sometimes, during the day when I get caught up with work, I forget that Baby Blakely is even in there. I love taking a few minutes together each night to remind ourselves that this is actually happening.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Because we just couldn't help it.

(Don't worry-- we kept all of our receipts, just in case!)

Can you tell we like monkeys & blue and brown?

It's official-- as of today, we are 1/3 of the way through this pregnancy!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

NT Scan

Our NT scan today was so much fun-- the baby has changed so much since our last ultrasound at eight weeks. We weren't allowed to make a video of what we saw, but we did get some pictures. First, let me say that the fluid at the back of the baby's neck measured perfectly-- right in the middle of the normal range. Looks healthy!

The baby slept through most of the scan, but the doctor jiggled my stomach several times and the baby woke up and moved around. So cool! We saw flips and arms and legs moving around. Seeing the baby actually look like a baby made everything seem more real.

We also got some other news-- Can you guess what it is by the pic below?

We asked the ultrasound tech if it was possible to tell the sex of the baby at this point and she told us that if she could see anything that indicated one or the other, she would let us know. When she took this shot, she said, "I think it's a boy." A few seconds later, the doctor walked through the door and before she could even say hello, she looked at the screen, pointed and said, "Boy."

Boys and girls look really similar at this stage, so I asked the doctor how she could tell. She explained that while boys and girls start off looking the same, generally by 13 weeks the Genital Tuber has started to shorten, if it's a girl. Her guess that it's a boy was based on how far it seems to be protruding in this picture.

When I asked her how sure she was, she said 90-95%.

While we obviously still want confirmation of this at our 18-20 week ultrasound (mid-April), we are over-the-moon excited about the idea of having a baby boy! But, of course, we are most excited about having a healthy baby!

13 Weeks!

13 weeks! I'm slowly but surely starting to feel better. Still tired, but that may be the work schedule I have right now, just as much as the pregnancy. Food aversions, thankfully, seem to be going away!

This week, baby is the size of a Nutter Butter (Mmmm....):

And looks like a real baby! (With an old man face!)

Baking Baby Blakely

"Your baby can make a fist and even suck his or her thumb this week—both skills that are ├╝ber-cute during infancy ... and not so much at the age of 9. If you're really lucky, you might catch a glimpse of baby's thumb sucking on an ultrasound photo. That's a framer!

Other exciting developments include:

Your baby's eyelids are fused shut to protect his eyes as they develop. His bones and skull are solidifying and soon itsy-bitsy ribs may appear. (Baby ribs! How cute is that?!) Baby's intestines are finally right where you want them—in his or her belly instead of poking out into the umbilical cord. Baby's tooth sockets are all loaded and ready to pop out baby teeth six or seven months after baby is born (causing baby a lot of pain and you a lot of lost sleep).

Who's that singing? Elton John? Could be your baby: His vocal cords and larynx are completed now.

Your baby-to-be now weighs about 20 grams and is nearly 3 inches long, or about the size of a Nutter Butter, covered in chocolate. OK, it doesn't have to be covered in chocolate, but isn't everything better that way?"

We're really looking forward to seeing Baby Blakely this afternoon-- we have our NT Scan today and we're so excited to see our baby look like a baby, instead of a gummy bear! I plan on drinking something sugary before we go so that we'll (hopefully) see some movement. Pictures (& possibly a video) to follow tonight.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

New Toys

We've invested in a few new toys over the past few days and as we test them out, we had a little something we wanted to share.

Rob and I did some test shots with the dogs last night with our new video camera. (Don't judge the quality by this video-- we only had a small lamp on, so it was very dark.) I'm excited that we have something to potentially capture the baby moving on our NT Scan next week. And obviously, we'll have much bigger things to film in September.

Today, the doppler arrived and I was so excited to come home from work and try it. Rob wasn't home from work yet, but I laid down and tried it. I was easily able to find my own heartbeat but I was unable to find Baby Blakely. I was so disappointed. When Rob came home, we tried again and he was instantly able to find it!! It was so much fun to hear it and it's reassuring to know that we can listen whenever we want. The sound was very faint, but I know that it will get louder and stronger as baby gets bigger.

It's amazing-- not only the technology that we have available, but also the baby growing inside me!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Milestone: 12 weeks!

It's such a relief to make it to 12 weeks, or what many people consider the end of the first trimester. If you want to get technical about it and do the math, the second trimester actually begins at 13 weeks and 3 days, but who's counting? 12 weeks is generally considered the "safe" period to start telling people, which we would do today if we hadn't already outed ourselves to family and friends several weeks ago!

This week, baby is the size of a vienna sausage (I just gagged):

And looks very similar to last week, but with better ears:

Baking Baby Blakely

"Baby's face is looking more human as his eyes have moved to the front of his head and his ears are in place. Hooray!

Other amazing fetal highlights this week:

Your baby is able to swallow this week and practices on the amniotic fluid he or she floats in. (And you thought baby food was kind of nasty!) And in case you're wondering how your kid can breathe in all that fluid, here's your answer: Fetuses get oxygen from the blood pumped into their bodies by the placenta and don't breathe with their lungs. Mystery solved!

This is kind of gross, albeit fascinating, so feel free to skip ahead: Your baby's intestines are well under way, but they aren't all where you'd expect them to be. Instead of all being locked away in the body cavity, some are dangling on the outside, in the umbilical cord. Ewwww.

Don't forget to put a baby nail file on your registry—your little nugget's finger- and toenails are forming this week. The chin and nose are also becoming more defined. Junior has doubled in size over the past two weeks and now weighs almost ½ ounce. He's also now around 2 ½ inches long, about the length of your pinky finger or a Vienna sausage, which, in a few months, will be indistinguishable from one another."

I haven't been doing any sort of survey from week to week, but a few things to note:

Food Aversions:
Anything with tomato sauce. Yuck.

Chinese Food, aka anything with soy sauce. Also, any kind of fresh fruit. I'm loving fruit smoothies (peaches, strawberries, mango, papaya) and watermelon.

Headaches and more headaches. Trying the Fioricet today.

Down 6 lbs pre-pregnancy weight (It's amazing what giving up Starbucks and soft drinks will do! I let myself indulge occasionally, but the days of Venti coffees & 2-3 cokes a day are over.)

Baby Bump:
Nahh, not yet. My tummy is definitely bigger and I'm loving my maternity jeans, but I just look heavier than I did before, not pregnant. When I have a distinguishable baby bump, I'll post a picture, but it will be a while! Definitely looking forward to the baby belly!

Monday, March 1, 2010


I had my 12 week appointment with my ob this morning and I was unbelievably nervous. On a day to day basis, I rarely consider that things might be going wrong-- but when faced with a doctor who needs to confirm that they are going right? Well, I'm a mess.

It's been a month since we've seen or heard from Baby Blakely and I'm obviously not far enough along to feel anything. It leaves a lot of time to wonder, "Are you still in there, baby?" When the doctor walked in this morning and she asked how I was feeling, I answered honestly. "Nervous." She assured me that she felt the exact same way during her pregnancies and that there's this scary void between your first few ultrasounds and seeing/hearing/feeling the baby later in pregnancy.

She warned me as she got out the doppler that it was still early and we might not hear anything yet--but, the minute it touched my skin, I heard it. Baby Blakely was quite active this morning--swimming all over the place as she tried to chase the baby all over my tummy. We kept losing it, then hearing it again. Heart rate is still in the 160's! She mentioned that it was really good to be able to hear the baby at 13w1d-- But wait, I'm only 11w6d! (She then remembered that we had to calculate my due date based on my O date, because of my long cycles.) She then said she was really surprised that we were able to hear it so early and that we must have a baby with a very strong heartbeat. I couldn't wipe the stupid grin off my face.

Unfortunately, Rob was out of town for work today, so he didn't get to hear it, but he will soon, because I bought a doppler this weekend. I said I wasn't going to, but I just couldn't help myself. I want to be able to ease my anxiety when there are four long weeks between appointments. I want Rob to be able to hear what he missed, and I want my parents to be able to hear it, too. I bought the same one that Kate has and I hope I have as much luck finding the heartbeat as she did!

I talked to the doctor about the terrible migraines I've been getting for the past week, that Tylenol just doesn't touch. She said that it's very common to get these in late 1st trimester/early 2nd trimester, especially for women who struggled with migraines prior to pregnancy. (Raises Hand.) She wrote me a prescription for Fioricet and I'm hopeful that this will work. (My dad's taken it before, says it's good stuff.) I'm a little nervous that this is a Class C drug, but my doctor says that it's safe and I really need some relief.

Our next appointment is scheduled for March 29th-- we'll be one day shy of 16 weeks. I asked the doctor if we'll have to wait until 20 weeks to find out the sex. She said that she really likes to do it before 20 weeks, sometime between 18-20 weeks. So, we'll go back in between 18-19 weeks. 6-7 weeks seems like so far away, but I know it will pass quickly. There are so many things around the house that I hope to have done by the time we find out, so that we can start decorating the room! The nursery is a disaster right now (it's my sewing room) and I have my work cut out for me between now and then! My nesting phase hasn't exactly kicked in-- I'm more in the sleeping phase right now.