Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Tough Moments

It's not often that I delve into matters of my heart that are difficult. Unless we're talking medical school I tend to stick to positives, things I can share without feeling vulnerable, parts of my life that are easy and fun. I'm sure it's partly to do with the aspect of life that sometimes it's easier to just not think about things, to not let your mind wander into territory you know it doesn't like. And part of it is the susceptibility and unevenness that it sometimes puts you in. A bridge with no end. A boat without a paddle. 

But there's something that's been on my mind more often than I'd like to admit as of late and enough is enough, sometimes you just have to let it come and delve right in. 

The first day of the month should have been my dad's 61st birthday. And I guess in some sense it still was. But he hasn't been here to celebrate that day in thirteen years and thirteen years later the day passes by and I still feel that hole in my heart, a hole that's gotten smaller with time, a hole that's been somewhat filled by the love from others and the memories of him I'll have forever. But a hole none the less.

This year was quite different than the last twelve though. Because my life is drastically different this April than it's ever been. There's a sweet, little babe in my belly and even just typing those words in the context of my dad sends a pang through my gut I can't explain. 

He won't be here to hold this baby of ours and nuzzle his beard on new soft skin. Our babe will grow up not knowing his voice, his jokes, his stories. Some day J and I will have to explain why there's a missing grandpa in his or her life. I'll spend years potentially finding parts of my dad that show up in our child; his facial features, his hair color, his personality. And part of that is a blessing, being able to remember him and cherish him. But it's also a curse at the same time, I'll never see the two of them together, sporting matching hair lines or grins or whatever it might turn out to be. 

Growing up without my dad around has been hard in more ways that I can probably even pinpoint but some of the hardest are the celebratory moments I wish he was here for. My graduations, milestone birthdays, our wedding, this sweet babe. I've never talked religion here because frankly, I'm still not sure where I stand on the whole idea of it but there's no doubt in my heart that my dad is somewhere. That he's been standing in the back of the room for all these important events in my life, clapping his hands, smiling and laughing or wiping tears from his eyes. 

And I like to think that wherever he is, that somehow he's already met this sweet babe of ours, that he held his grandchild in his arms before I ever did, that he introduced himself to this baby and knows him or her well. Believing this is the case helps me cope just a little easier. 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Baby H: Week 18

For the last week it's been harder to get a good, solids nights sleep and if you know me at all you know how frustrating that is. I'm definitely an 8+ hour girl or else I'm crabby so it's been an adjustment for sure. I just can't seem to get comfortable sometimes and find myself awake in the middle of the night unable to fall back to sleep. If anyone has any suggestions besides investing in a cali king bed with hundreds of pillows I'll gladly take them

My growing belly is starting to fluctuate to the "she's pregnant and not just chunky" stage which has brought with it belly rubs from other people. Let me just say I assumed I wouldn't mind it but that first one really turned me off. Wait a second, this is still my body, not just a growing site for the babe that's in it. Hopefully the bigger my belly gets the more comfortable I get with other people's hands or I'm gonna have to figure out a way to avoid it. Also on the top of the list of things I hope to avoid is the outie belly button. I have an irrational fear of "turkey's-done" belly buttons on prego bellies and hope that mine being so cavernous pre-pregnancy will be on my side. I'll settle for coming in even but don't want it to stick out. Yuck!

This past weekend J and I were able to spent the entire two days together and it was so fabulous. School's been a bit easier since neuros been over and we took full advantage of it. Yard work, lots of errands, a long walk with the pup, a game of Monopoly after lunch, cosmic bowling and watching hockey with friends in the evening. It was fabulous to spend so much time with my husband but my body was paying for it afterwards. Low back pain has been popping up here and there for the last week or so along with round ligament pain. My hamstrings and butt we're so sore from being on my feet and walking so much more than I'm used to. I guess this belly of mine really is making a difference!

18 weeks definitely feels good. I like being significantly into my second trimester instead of just barely past that landmark. It's comforting. This week has brought with it a total of about 10lbs of weight gain overall, occasionally itchy skin on my belly, and cravings for all things juicy fruit related. Oranges, juice, fruit smoothies, yumm! I'm loving being pregnant and actually loving seeing my body change for this little one. Most of all I love knowing we're getting that much closer to meeting. 

Friday, April 25, 2014

Five on Friday v5

Today I'm linking up with Christina from Carolina Charm for "Five on Friday" 
Check out the link up below.

[one] It's only two weeks and two days away until we find out the gender of the little babe growing in my belly and I can't believe how time is passing so quickly. It seemed like forever ago that we originally scheduled our anatomy scan and now the day is fast approaching. J and I both have our opinions about who this little one is going to be and we've gotten guesses from a handful of our friends too and as it stands right now, we're basically split equally for team pink and team blue. Anyone else want to take a guess?

[two] Spring weather has definitely made it's presence known the last week or so and even though the evenings still get quite cool, I'm happy the seasons are starting to change. We've been working in the yard prepping for the summer and I hope that our efforts will pay off. Last year the previous homeowners stopped taking care of the yard once the house went under contract so we were left scrambling trying to revive brown grass with basically no landscaping. We made some major improvements last year putting in lots of new shrubs and perennials as well as a flag stone patio so this year is already off to a better start. Now if only we can get the grass growing so we have a beautiful, lush lawn then we'll be all set!

[three] Believe it or not, there was nothing on my schedule on Tuesday related to school so a few of my favorite med ladies and I took the opportunity along with the gorgeous weather to spend some time outside being "normal people" for a day. We headed west, back towards where I grew up, and went for a hike at Red Rocks. In all the years I've lived here I've actually never hiked there which surprises me. I've been for concerts, it's where we did our engagement pictures and we've taken guests just to look around but I didn't realize there were such great trails throughout too. After our hike (where I only asked for a break for my growing belly once!) we headed into the little town of Morrison and enjoyed Mexican food on the rooftop patio of The Morrison Inn. It was a fabulous day indeed!

[four] J is taking his first business trip back to San Diego since we moved almost a year ago. He's going to be gone for a whole week and I'll definitely miss him like crazy. Thankfully my mom lives so close and has offered to feed me while he's away. Somehow medical school has made everyone think I can't cook anymore and I'll starve without him here but hey, I can't complain. We have a whole slew of meals lined up that J never wants to eat/make and I'm looking forward to spending some time with my momma in the evenings.

[five] I've started brainstorming nursery ideas for a little while now and I think J and I are officially on the same page. We both believe so strongly in education and want the baby's room to be a place that's not only fun but also a place we can teach numbers, sit down to read and enrich our first born's life as much as possible. We're still working on all the details but I'm envisioning a big map on the wall (possibly as the centerpiece behind the crib), shelves and shelves of books that little hands can reach, science themed art prints, an adorable numbers mobile or a big abacus on the wall and lots of bright colors.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

100 Days of Happiness pt4

My 100 Days of Happiness Project is past the halfway mark. 
And it's already almost the end of April. 
Time sure is flying!
I'm thankful for the change in schedule I've gotten recently. 
I'm thankful for the small things. 
I'm thankful for my sweet little family.
I'm thankful for spring time and change on the horizon.

Days 49-64

Days 1-16
Days 17-32
Days 33-48

Monday, April 21, 2014

Baby H: Week 17

Things are moving right along and I'm happy to say nothing's really changed in the last week except for my growing belly. I'm still wearing all non-maternity clothes with minor adjustments like my BeBand and hair-ties on the buttons and the weather is shaping up to allow me to wear shorts, skirts and dresses soon which I can't wait for. I've been craving all things sour and gummy and was thrilled to death when J came home with a box of Sour Patch Kids and a bag of Lifesaver jellybeans for me to enjoy while studying for my last neuro exam of the year! Hip hip hooray!

Our doctor's appointment at the end of last week went great which is always fantastic news. Baby's heartbeat was measuring at 147 and my doctor seems to be very happy with how things are progressing for me. I haven't mentioned it before now but we absolutely love our doc. We were recommended to her by the wife of someone I go to school with and I'm so happy it worked out for us. She's really outgoing, jokes with us during our appointments, keeps things real and I feel like I really connect with her since I'm in med school. At our appointment she asked what my next course was and she joked with us about how "it's probably a good thing your doctor read that whole book cover to cover, huh?"

I still keep convincing myself that I feel the baby move but think I'm just psyching myself up over a bit of digestion movement. Oops! I've been slathering my belly with lotion as much as possible to hopefully avoid stretch marks even though I know their genetic and no amount of lotion will prevent them. I'm pretty sure my mom never got them so fingers crossed I get lucky too.

We've been game planning a bit for the summer because we're planning on getting new carpet upstairs finally before redoing the guest room into the baby's room. It's definitely going to be quite the project as their's a lot of square footage up there and a lot of furniture to move around but I'm looking forward to being able to make progress with the nursery once the floors are done. I've been pinning ideas, checking out cribs and game planning paint colors and I can't wait to start. I've also started looking into strollers and carseats and think I'm set on the Britax B-Agile travel system. I like that the stroller is 3-wheeled for easy moving but isn't so bulky like some of the "jogger" strollers are. I'm leaning towards the black color but wasn't sure if that would be hot for the babe in the summer time? Maybe tan would be a better option.

Can't believe we're already almost done with April. Only 5 more months till baby time!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Baby H: Gender Reveal Planning

For some unknown reason I've always been intrigued by the idea of keeping our future babies' genders a mystery until their birthdays. There's just something about the surprise that is inthralling, in fact there aren't that many moments in life anymore where you can be 100% surprised in my opinion. So when we found out we were expecting my mind immediately thought we wouldn't find out.

However, J was always on the other side of the fence about the issue, wanting to know if this little babe in my belly will be his son or daughter as soon as possible. After many conversations about it, reading other people's opinions who've done it both ways and spending some time thinking myself, I finally caved. I should add that while J always wanted to know he was absolutely supportive of me and told me it was ultimately my decision, I was the one doing the work so I would be the one with the last call. What a great husband I have!

Well now we are a little less than a month from finding out the big pink or blue and I'm starting the planning process on how to spill the beans. Our anatomy ultrasound was originally scheduled for our 20-week appointment and I tentatively looked at the calendar to see if it fell somewhere near a celebration of sorts that could call for a party. Unfortunately it didn't at first but I realized quickly that if I moved the appointment up a week it would fall the Friday before Mother's Day! What a perfect day to find out the gender of our sweet babe.

I quickly called my OB, rescheduled my appointment and hopped on PicMonkey to make an impromptu invite for the festivities. We knew we wanted to share the news with our families in a special way and what better way to share it with the future Grandma's than Mother's Day.
J and I are still deciding if we'll find out just the two of us the day of my appointment or if we'll wait and be surprised with everyone else but regardless, the day is quickly approaching to knowing a bit more about who this little one is going to be. The party is going to be small, just our immediate families, and will be dinner and most likely a dessert used to spill the beans. I don't want to go overboard with gender-reveal themes but have been scouring Pinterest for ways to announce pink or blue. Most likely it'll involve a cake that J and I cut into that's a certain color on the inside but nothing's been decided for sure yet.

I still have a hunch of what the gender is that's been consistent since the beginning but recently, mostly within the time frame of deciding we were going to find out, I've wavered to the other side a couple times. I'm not sure if that's due to actually thinking the opposite way or just imagining our life with either option more often. I also purchased a maternity maxi dress on sale from Old Navy this week that I'm planning on incorporating into my outfit for the day. I want to represent both sides so I'll be paring this coral/pink maxi with lots of blue accessories. And the Grandma's have already said they're coming over decked out in the color that they think the babe is.


As much as I was originally not wanting to know, the fact that we're officially finding out now has me pretty excited. I can't wait to not only peak in at our little one at that appointment but also celebrate that weekend knowing if the babe is a sweet little girl or a bouncing playful boy. And don't worry, I'll be sure to reveal my hunch once we know one way or another. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Baby H: Week 16

This week seemed to move much quicker than the last few which I am thankful for. It's mostly due to the fact that school has been crazy recently and filled with exams but regardless, it blows my mind that this pregnancy is already 40% of the way done!

I've really been feeling great which is such a blessing. The hip/round ligament pain I had a few weeks ago has mostly resolved even without the OMT appointment I thought I would be getting. My belly is growing and I've started to notice my abs almost feel sore, like I've been to the gym, but I know it's from the stretching. My energy is much more manageable, I've yet to have any heartburn, stretch marks, or anything else equally annoying and am really just loving being pregnant. Now I would especially love if I could start feeling this avocado sized baby squirm around already. I know I may have a few more weeks until this happens but I still lay extra still every once in a while just to trick myself into thinking gas is the babe.

Wednesday night J and I headed to a JBF sale near us to scope out baby gear and it was so much fun. Well, not the crowd/overwhelming nature of it but the fact that we finally bought some baby stuff was so fun. We came home with an awesome Graco duet swing/bouncer, a high chair in great shape, a video baby monitor, a Baby Bjorn Synergy carrier complete with cover for colder months, an Infantino Mei Tai wrap carrier and an extra bouncer for my mom's house. And we paid less than what the swing plus the high chair would have been brand new! The best part is that I can't help but smile when I walk by the guest room/soon-to-be nursery and see the baby gear sitting in there waiting for the little one.

This week was also extra special because J and I went to lunch with his mom on Friday and I met with my mom from frozen yogurt on Saturday. We're both so thankful to be going through this stage in life close to our families and love when we're able to spend time with them. Being busy makes it hard to see them often but that much more special when we finally get to. Not to mention that conversation tends to wander to baby talk quite often which I love.

We have our 16-week doctors appointment at the end of the week and then it's only one more month until our big anatomy scan where we get to peak at the peanut again. You're doing great in there little one, keep up the good work!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

100 Days of Happiness pt 3

Weather is improving. 
Baby bump is growing. 
Cravings are being eaten. 
Prego wine is being drunk. 
Ollie is sleeping. 
J is making me smile. 

Sometimes it's the little things that truly are the most important.
Days 33-48.

Days 1-16
Days 17-32

Monday, April 7, 2014

Baby H: Week 15

Getting dressed every morning is definitely starting to get tricky. It's been difficult to find something to wear everyday that 1. isn't totally sloppy and 2. won't have me hating my waist-band come 4 o'clock. There have been a number of days this week where I leave in the morning feeling great but want to drive home in my underwear because my jeans are just uncomfortable. I need to be better about wearing my BeBand with all my pants just incase and hope that spring weather decides to show up soon.

At the end of last week I received my AngelSounds Fetal Doppler in the mail and I absolutely love this thing. Technology is seriously the coolest. I posted a video on Instagram the day it came of the sweet sound of that little heart beat and I've made a point to listen throughout the week when I think about it. I was a bit hesitant to order one because I've heard of mom's freaking themselves out not being able to hear the heartbeat but thankfully I've had no issues hearing it right away. Now if only that little gummy bear in there would stop wiggling away while I'm listening. Without doubt every time I use the doppler it's like the baby protests and says "no mom, stop listening to me!" and the heart beat slowly swims away. I try and measure the hear rate when I have my phone near me and have gotten between 164 and 156 most times.

As for other random facts for this week goes, I'm up about 6lbs from my starting weight which I feel happy about. I was nervous for a little while (mostly post-Mexico) that I would be gaining too quickly but it seems as if my body has it all figured out now. I even made it to the gym this week for the first time in quite a while and I actually welcomed the sore muscles that resulted the next day. I'm hoping that once neuro is over I'll have more time to get back in the swing of things at the gym. Sleep is definitely hit-or-miss these days as I sleep like a rock some nights and then find myself awake and not able to fall back asleep other nights. I'm contemplating asking J for a new pillow-top for our bed for Mother's Day in hopes that'll help me sleep better in the months to come.

Craving's have been timid this week as nothing in particular has popped up that I must have. I'm starting to miss adult beverages less and less recently which is always a plus however I would love some sushi right about now. I've been battling with some low blood pressure related dizziness and I'm not quite sure how to manage this one. Getting up too quickly has me seeing spots a lot of the time and I sometimes even get to the point of feeling faint if I'm on my feet too long. Other than sitting more and moving slowly, anyone have any suggestions about making sure I don't pass out?

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Baby H: Spreading the News

Sometimes the best thing about good news is sharing it with others. 

J and I (and this little babe) are so blessed to have the family and friends we do and sharing our news with them has made this journey that much more special. We made the decision between us to keep our big news a mostly secrete for what seemed like eternity and then surprised everyone one way or another. 

The first people I told were my lovely med-school ladies. They found out at 6 weeks, complete with "early birthday cupcakes" for the little one. Out of my comfort zone definitely due to the timeline but inevitable unfortunately. Because of the lovely anatomy lab, Baby H news spread like wild-fire at school thanks to my hideous respirator. But I wanted to make it something special for these ladies since they've been my rock the last six-ish months. They're reactions were priceless, clapping, cheering, and even a few tears. I'm thankful for all 6 of them for sure.

A few of J's friends also knew early along. Mostly because we knew early along about their family-planning efforts/successes. It was somewhat comforting, sharing news with someone else who was in just as vulnerable of a position, and it was nice for J to have someone to talk to about it all.

Everyone else we told a bit later in the game.

My best friend from San Diego got a phone call from a thousand miles away around 8 weeks. We chatted numerous times about life plans over the years, weddings, babies, school, so she knew all along my thought process about starting a family and I knew she would be thrilled with the news. And boy was she! So thankful for her encouragement.

On our recent Mexico trip we tossed around the idea about whether or not to just come out with our news or try and hide it from our friends. I was only 9 weeks at the time and still a bit nervous. I've never been a huge partier and thought I might get away ordering virgin drinks. But once we were there we decided why not and it definitely made the rest of the trip easier. I was able to sit in the shade and go to bed early without being hassled.

Telling our mom's at 10 weeks was by far the most special. We bought two sets of "Grandma" bibs  and told them we had gifts from Mexico. My mom picked us up from the airport and we told her that night and she was and still is so thrilled. J's mom and step-dad found out the next day and were completely shocked. Our dog has been the "grand dog" of the family for years, hence his involvement in present opening (spoiled brat) as well as J's step-dad already referring to his mom as "grandma". Now there's a real grand baby in the mix. Both of our moms' reactions are something I'll forever hold close to my heart and I can't wait to some day show this video to our little one so he/she sees how much love there already is.

J's sister and extended family found out all together shortly after the mom's knew and my sister got a phone call since she's gone for school. We had J's dad and step-mom over for dinner to spread the news to them a week later.

While it was actually nice at times to have a secret, something just J and I knew, that we were so excited for between the two of us, sharing the news, giving our families this gift of sorts was so very special. I wish I had been able to capture everyone's reactions but the few that I did get and the memories we made for the rest will last us a lifetime. Watching the video again and again still makes us tear up.

There's nothing quite like bringing the first grand baby, niece/nephew into a family and sharing in the excitement with everyone.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

100 Days of Happiness pt 2

100 Happy Days is making me focus more on the positive things in life. 
It's helping me realize that there's always something to be thankful for even on the bad days. 
I am already more intentional about finding the good instead of focusing on the bad. 

Here's days 17-32.

View part 1 here


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