Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Traveling


With my job keeping me as busy as it does, I haven't been able to blog as much as I would like to lately-- unfortunately, updates have started to only come weekly when Baby Blakely gets another week older. And while little Liam certainly monopolizes many of our thoughts, there are other things going on in our lives-- things that I should be writing about.

Rob and I finally had a chance to take a short vacation last weekend. I've felt like, for the past 6 weeks, we've just kind of been passing each other coming and going. My biggest event of the year for my job has taken lots of long hours, evenings and weekends to prepare for, and the wrap-up is still going strong. Rob has a full time job, plus grad school in another state to try to balance, on top of his family life-- he was out of town three out of four weekends in April. The first two were spent in Nashville at Vanderbilt and the last was in Massachusetts visiting friends and family.

When we were home, it seemed like a rare occasion where we both were free of responsibilities at the same time-- if I wasn't at the office, I was answering/sending e-mails or working on grant proposals. If Rob was in town, he was Skyping with classmates or working on long papers.

While it's life, and just how things are, it hasn't felt good. No nights spent on our front porch talking, no Saturday morning trips to The Peanut Depot, no listening to baby's heartbeat on the doppler at night before bed. Many meals eaten separately & many quick phone calls to check in, but never enough time to really talk.

We went to one of Rob's work events together on Friday evening, then came home to relax. We decided to head to Atlanta on Saturday and spend the night. With this being the first weekend at home in over a month for Rob, I didn't think he would want to go anywhere, but he was up for it.

Saturday morning, we jumped on Priceline and found an awesome deal on a hotel in Buckhead, then jumped on craigslist and found tickets to the Phoenix concert that night. We ended up having a blast. Here's a clip from the concert:





I have some anxiety issues that make going to concerts a little difficult for me-- I don't like big crowds and I hate being on the floor level of a concert where people are constantly pushing from behind to get closer to the stage. I stopped taking my anxiety meds when we started trying to get pregnant, so I no longer have those to help. Now, with a baby on board, I'm even more nervous about the safety of me and Liam when we're in situations like this-- I'd rather be safe than sorry. Rob and I talked about this before we bought the tickets and agreed that we'd get there early to try to find a seat.

The Tabernacle is really cool-- it's an old church converted into a concert space and even though the entire show was general admission, there are two balconies full of seats. We got there as the doors opened and were able to get a seat on the 4th row of the first balcony-- We even scored an aisle seat for me. Getting there early meant we would see the opening band which is always hit or miss. I'm happy to say that Two Door Cinema Club was really good!

After the concert, we went to Buckhead Pizza Company to grab our favorite post-concert snack, with our ears still buzzing. (Man, we're getting old.) As we ate, we wondered if Liam enjoyed his first concert-- I read last week that at 18-19 weeks babies will cover their ears when sounds are too loud. Hopefully he was kicking to the beat (not that I felt it), liking what he heard.

We slept in on Sunday morning then headed over to Atlantic Station. We walked around and looked at the shops, got some lunch then headed over to the Bodies exhibit. We've been talking about going to see it for over a year. It was supposed to move on to a different city back in Jan, but they extended it until the end of May. When we got there, we noticed that there was another exhibit in the same space called "Dialogue in the Dark" so we bought tickets for both.

Dialogue in the Dark is an experience designed to show sighted people what it's like to be blind. For almost an hour, you are lead by a guide through several environments in complete darkness, equipt with a cane and encouraged to use your remaining senses to determine where you are. As you travel through a park, a grocery store, a busy street, a beach with a dock and a cafe, the surface changes, the sounds change and you may find yourself running into a tree in the park or a car on the street. I thought it was so cool-- the guides are all blind or visually impaired and at the end, you sit in the cafe (in the dark, of course) and ask them questions about what challenges they face. I've been through some team building exercises where I've been blindfolded before, but nothing came close to this experience. I was really glad we did it.

The Bodies exhibit was, of course, awesome.

Really just fascinating... I've wanted to see it for so long & I'm glad we finally made time for it. My favorite part was looking at all of the fetuses at different weeks in development-- I post updates every week, but to see it for real was just amazing.

Before we left Atlanta we took a trip through IKEA-- can't go to ATL without going there, even when we don't need anything. But this time I was on a mission to find something for the nursery, which I'll post about later.

The trip was just what we needed-- a way to reconnect and do something fun together. Planning fun things to do naturally brought us together and made time for us to start talking again. I hope that we plan more of these short trips in the coming months as a way to recharge our relationship before the baby comes. We always think that we don't have time, but when we make time, it's well worth the effort-- it was just what we needed.

20 Weeks: Halfway There!

20 Weeks-- so hard to believe!

I think that I'm finally starting to experience the "glow" of the second trimester. I still stay pretty tired-- but that seems to be related to my job more than the pregnancy itself, and unfortunately, I don't think that's going to change until the day I deliver this baby!

(More to say about my job situation, but that's another post.)

This week, baby is the size of a Red Bull:
And looks like this:

Baking Baby Blakely

"Your baby has established sleep patterns akin to a newborn now. Many babies even have a favorite sleep position already. Some snooze with their chins resting on their chests, while others nap with their head flung back. Many babies at this age fall into noticeable cycles of sleep and activity, so you may know before she arrives whether you have a night owl or an early bird.

If your baby is a boy, the testes have begun descending from the pelvis into the scrotum. If it's a girl, her uterus is completely formed and the rest of her "parts" are in development. (Is that TMI?)

From this point forward, your baby will put most of her energy into gaining weight and, not coincidentally, so will you! Right now your baby weighs approximately 10½ ounces and is about 6½ inches long, about the size of a can of Red Bull (which has way too much caffeine for a pregnant woman to be drinking)."

Additional Updates:

Food Aversions: Not much! Although, after Rob and I saw the Bodies exhibit in Atlanta this weekend, I'm having a little trouble eating chicken this week. Blah.

Cravings:
Still Chinese Food, aka anything with soy sauce. Also, still loving any kind of fresh fruit: fruit smoothies (peaches, strawberries, mango, papaya), watermelon & grapes. Oh, and ice cream...always ice cream.

Movement:
Not yet-- I've felt a few flutters (I think) but every time I think I feel something, it doesn't happen again, so I'm never able to confirm! When we had our ultrasound two weeks ago, the doctor said that my placenta is in the front of my uterus, so it's acting like a cushion between the baby and my tummy-- this can make it more difficult to feel kicks. Doc said I'd probably start feeling something by 20 weeks, but as of today, nothing.

Nesting: We've registered and purchased a lot of stuff in the past few weeks. Will post soon about our purchases and the plan for the nursery! I'm finally feeling like there are things that we really need to get done!

Weight:
Down 6 lbs pre-pregnancy weight again. Hallelujah. Last appointment, my doc said I seem to be fluctuating around the same weight-- up a pound at one appointment, down a pound at the next. I keep bracing myself for the weight gain because I know it's coming but I'm really happy with where I am right now. I am confident that any weight I gain in the second half of my pregnancy will be reasonable. Today, I signed up for a prenatal aquatics class at the hospital where I'll deliver. I love to swim and I really need the exercise. Plus, I'm hopeful that maybe there will be some cool pregnant ladies in my class. It would be great to make friends with someone due around my same time-- maybe we could work on getting in shape together in the fall.

The 20 Week Belly Pic!

20 weeks down, 20 more to go!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Under Construction!

Last night, I decided that it was time to change the blog background to something a little less...pink.

I went to work in Photoshop and created a custom background, but when I try to apply it, the formatting of the blog is a mess. So, it may take a few days to get it right.

If you visit in the next few days and things are a mess, please forgive me!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Name

For those who haven't watched the video (or couldn't make it to the end, it was a little long!) we are happy to announce the name of the little man who will join us in Sept!

While Liam is a name we've always liked, we picked this full name because of it's significance to our families.

Willam was my grandfather's name (he went by Bill) & William is my brother's name (he goes by his middle name, Eric). I also have a cousin named William who goes by Will. Rob had a baby brother who passed away as a baby who was named William (he went by Billy) and Rob's best friend is a William as well (another Billy). While we were on board with William, we didn't want another Bill, Billy or Will. So, we decided on Liam.

We decided to go with Orell as Liam's middle name because it was Rob's mom's maiden name who passed away about 5 years ago and it's important to us to honor his mom with our first baby. Orell is Rob's middle name, too.

We've told our families about the name and they all love it-- My dad has been calling him Liam since before we were sure the baby was a boy!! We're excited to have the name picked out and can now start calling him Liam instead of "The Baby." I couldn't wait to share with everyone!

Wordless Wednesday: The Video


video

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

18 & 19 Weeks

Life the past week has been unbearably busy. We had our biggest fundraising event of the year on Saturday night and my job for the past week (and probably for the next week) has revolved around the event-- I worked over 15 1/2 hours on Saturday and I still haven't fully recovered. My feet and back were so sore yesterday that my gait was between a waddle and a limp! Ouch! My parents were in town over the weekend closing on their house here, too. Can't wait for them to move!

So, this week, the 18 week & 19 week update come together! Sorry that there are no belly pics for week 18, but I'll try to get some up for week 19. Rob has been in Massachusetts since last week so I'll have him take some when he gets home. More to come this week, including the ultrasound video and the big name reveal...Ooooohhh!

18 Weeks

Last week, baby was the size of a big deli pickle:
And looked like this:
Baking Baby Blakely

"Your baby's ears are now facing forward and are completely formed so she can actually hear you talking now. You don't need to abandon your potty mouth just yet, but you might want to start thinking about it!

Other highlights this week:

This week is also the beginning of ossification. And while that sounds like some long and involved paperwork you'll have to fill out, it's really a fancy medical term for the hardening of your baby's miniature bones. And that's a good thing.

Your baby's nerves are making more and more complex connections. Her sense of smell, taste, sight and hearing are all developing. A substance called myelin, which makes nerve connections travel faster, is now coating your baby's nerves.

Your baby now weighs between 5 and 7 ounces (Baby Blakely was actually 8 oz. at the ultrasound!) and is about 5½ inches long—about the size of a pickle from the corner deli. (You're familiar with pickles, right? Your regular accompaniment to a big bowl of ice cream?)"

19 Weeks

This week, baby is the size of a 6" sub (God, I'd kill for a Publix turkey sub!):And looks like this:

Baking Baby Blakely

"This week your baby starts bulking up and packing on the grossly named "brown fat" he'll need to keep warm when he gets evicted from his comfortable uterine home.

Other highlights this week:

Vernix, a milky white coating that protects your baby's skin, appears all over your baby's body to keep his skin from getting pickled in the amniotic fluid. Think of it as if your baby has been dipped in yogurt, like those delicious but fake-healthy yogurt-covered raisins and pretzels. Ooh, we feel another craving comin' on. ... Under the vernix, a fuzzy layer of hair called lanugo now covers baby's body. Don't worry, your Mini won't look like Cousin It when he's born. Most of the fuzz will fall off before baby makes his grand entrance.

Good news: Your baby's kidneys are fully functioning and producing urine this week. Bad news: That means there will be lots of diapers in your future. But so far you're safe—at the moment the pee just passes into the amniotic fluid.

He or she now weighs about 8 ½ ounces and measures 6 inches, as long as a turkey sub from Subway on warm, delicious Italian Herbs and Cheese bread (or Honey Oat bread, or Oregano bread or ...)"

Feels impossible that next week we'll be halfway through this pregnancy-- I'm incredibly thankful that things have gone well so far with no complications. And now that I'm through this event at work, I have a vacation to look forward to-- my pregnant SIL and I are going to the beach for a few days in May and I can't wait. We leave one month from yesterday and the time cannot pass fast enough!

More to come this week-- sorry for being MIA last week!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

It's a...

BOY!!

It's funny-- Even though the doc had said she was 90-95% sure 5 weeks ago, I felt so uncertain about this morning's ultrasound. A confession? I really hoped that it would be a boy. Of course, what I wanted was a healthy baby, but if I had my choice between a healthy boy or a healthy girl, I'd take the boy. I grew up with an older brother, so I had this idea in my head that a boy should come first in our family. I wanted a little boy that Rob could share his love of sports & what little boy doesn't love his mommy? I am thrilled to announce that in September, we'll welcome a son. We couldn't be happier.

Everything today looked great! I measured at 18w1d and Baby Boy Blakely is growing just as he should be. Our 20 minute ultrasound was given to us on dvd and we've already watched it twice tonight-- He rolls over, kicks his legs, swallows, sucks his thumb, crosses his legs & arms and yawns. The ultrasound tech points out his stomach, kidneys, bladder, spine, brain, heart chambers, fingers, toes, etc. Everything looked perfect. The dvd is in a format that's not compatible with the blog, so I'll work on converting it this weekend to post a version of the highlights here.

In the meantime, here are some pictures!

Baby's profile with his mouth open-- pic was taken as he was sucking & swallowing.

Arms crossed in front of his face.

Little legs.

Obligatory "boy" shot-- Don't worry, he does have a right leg! He was rolling over as she caught this shot.

We celebrated by going to dinner tonight and doing (what else?!) more shopping. It was a great day!!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

17 Week Belly Pics

@ 17w1d


There's no denying it now...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

17 Weeks and Happy Birthday!

Today not only marks Week 17, but it's also Rob's 41st birthday! (Happy Birthday, honey!) It's hard to believe that this is his final birthday before he becomes a dad. (Even harder to believe, this baby is due 6 days before my 30th birthday in Sept!)

This week, the baby is the size of a baked potato:

And looks like this:
Baking Baby Blakely

"Packing on the pounds- that's what it's all about for baby this week. He's adding fat stores that will keep him warm and cozy after he's born. Your baby's weight will increase approximately six times over the next four weeks. Good to know you're not the only one tipping the scale.

Also this week:

Your baby is hard at work honing his sucking and swallowing reflexes—all the better for eating that 2 AM (and 5 AM, and 8 AM ...) meal in a few months!

The finger- and toenails are beginning to grow from their nail beds, which would explain why he'll need them trimmed almost as soon as he's born!

Your baby weighs nearly 5 ounces and is a little over 5 inches long—about the size of a baked potato (load on the butter and sour cream, please)."

The Big Ultrasound is 7 days from today. We can't wait!!

Sunday, April 4, 2010