16 Weeks

There isn’t much to report this week in the land of pregnancy, however J’s emotions have definitely been all over the place this week. Up and down and rocking side to side, she’s been on an emotional roller coaster. She says she feels more emotional this trimester so far than she did in the first trimester. She has been battling her anxiety, since she’s been pregnant she is unable to take her medication to calm her anxiety attacks. Deep breathing and meditation don’t help either. So for now we’re just riding it out, but I think she’s planning on asking if there’s anything she can take in one-off situations at our next appointment. It can’t be healthy for baby to be riding along on an anxiety attack!

Yesterday in particular was a rough day for her: she got a lot more work piled up on her desk, her boss is no longer with the company, two of her good friends in her department are moving departments, her blood work appointment did not go well as the lady had to move the needle around in her arm and really hurt her, and to top it all off we hit a cat that ran out in the middle of the road on our way to the fabric store with my sister. It got up and ran off, and J went back to look for it and it was nowhere to be found, so I think it might be OK. I hope so. It was an emotional day for sure! 😦

As for J’s breathing and dizziness, it is still there but she has her appointment with the cardiologist all set up for next week. Hopefully it is nothing to worry about and everything is OK. She still has to set up her appointment with the pulmonologist.

So its been an emotional week, I sure hope next week will be better for us and our little avocado.

Baby’s about the size of an avocado this week, approximately 4.5 inches long and weighing about 3.5 ounces. The heart is now pumping about 25 quarts of blood through that tiny body each day and baby’s future hair pattern is already forming on his or her scalp. Also, baby’s eyes and ears are moving into their final positions on baby’s head.

Baby’s getting big in there!

Old Wives Tales

Whether or not they are true, these ideas and advice have permeated our lives and especially when it comes to pregnancy. A lot of these are completely unfounded and sometimes absurd, but they are still fun to think about. 🙂

So, since our baby is currently playing hide-the-goodies, J and I looked up some old wives tales regarding the gender just to see what they said. Here’s what we found out:

  1. If you’re carrying baby low or out front, it’s a boy. Carrying higher up or wide, it’s a girl. Well it’s still a little early to really tell where baby’s going to be poking out just yet, so this one is inconclusive. Boy – 0, Girl – 0
  2. Pee in a cup and mix it with Drano (pipe cleaner). If it turns green it’s a girl and if it turns blue it’s a boy.OK this one wins the dummy award. No need to expose yourself to dangerous Drano fumes for no good reason. Not to mention, its and inconclusive test anyway. Boy – 0, Girl – 0
  3. A heart rate less than 140 means boy and more than 140 means girl. So this one we’ve actually considered. Our very first heart rate around 7.5 weeks was in the 130s. Next heart rate at 14 weeks was between 128 and 135. Both of these point to boy. However, our most recent heart rate at 15.5 weeks was 140 on the nose. Apparently, there’s no indicator of what 140 means, only higher or lower than that. Again inconclusive, but we’re leaning slightly toward boy on this one so far. Boy – 1, Girl – 0
  4. More headaches means boy. J has been having a headache almost every single night, not to mention the migraine just last week which is not a common occurrence for her. This could be due to dealing with stress at work, or it could mean it’s a boy in there. Boy – 2, Girl – 0
  5. You crave chocolate and sweets if it’s a girl and sour or salty foods if it’s a boy.J has been loving Cheez-its, black olives, and hot wings so far, so we’re leaning toward boy on this one. Especially since anytime she’s eaten chocolate so far it makes her want to throw up. Boy – 3, Girl – 0
  6. Clumsy vs. Graceful – if you are clumsy during pregnancy it’s a boy, and graceful means it’s a girl.J has definitely NOT been graceful lately. She keeps almost falling over in the store, when getting dressed, and even just walking from one room to another (mind you, we have a very small house too). Another point for boy, here, and we might need a Life Alert button for her (in case she’s “fallen and I can’t get up!”). LOL Boy – 4, Girl – 0
  7. Girls cause acne and a larger left breast (told you some of these were crazy!) and boys cause dry hands and cold feet.J’s been breaking out a little more than usual, and she’s been having really dry skin. She’s burning up all the time and as far as I know there’s no uneven breast size going on! So – this one is again, inconclusive, and really awkward. Boy – 4, Girl – 0
  8. If your partner gains weight with you, it’s a girl. Well this one definitely points to girl in our case. I’ve gained about 12 pounds since J got pregnant! Boy – 4, Girl – 1
  9. You have more morning sickness if it’s a girl, and less or none if it’s a boy.J didn’t have any morning sickness whatsoever. The only time she threw up was from a bad roast beef sandwich. Other than that – nothing. This one points to boy. Boy – 5, Girl – 1
  10. The key test – if you pick up a key from the top (fat) part, it’s a boy, and if you pick it up at the skinny part it’s a girl. Somewhere in the middle means twins!Well she definitely didn’t pick it up at the middle and instead picked it up at the top part. Like a normal person. I really just don’t think this one has any merit whatsoever, so this one is inconclusive. Boy – 5, Girl – 1
  11. The Mayans said to add Mom’s age at conception to the year of conception and if its an even number it’s a girl, odd number is a boy. Since 32 + 2012 = 2044, this one points to a girl. Also, the Chinese gender chart also points to it being a girl based on J’s age at conception and the Chinese year at conception, so this one gets two points for girl. Boy – 5, Girl – 3
  12. Many pregnant woman get the “linea nigra” – a dark colored line on the skin that runs up the belly. If this line stops at the belly button, it’s a girl. If it goes up past your belly button it’s a boy.As much as belly buttons gross J out, this is one that’s not hard to miss. She got her linea nigra early and its always been up past her belly button. Boy – 6, Girl – 3
  13. You always have a 50% chance of guessing if it’s a boy or a girl correctly. However, a study indicates that pregnant women guess the gender of their baby correctly 71% of the time! Ask J what she thinks she’s having, and as much as she wants a boy she’ll tell you she thinks she’s having a girl because she wants a boy so much! I don’t know if this really counts, but I’ll give the point to the girl on this one. Boy – 6, Girl – 4
  14. Tying your wedding ring to a string and hanging it over your belly will tell you baby’s gender. If it swings back and forth it’s a girl, if it swings in a circle it’s a boy. We actually tried this one just last night. At first the ring would swing back and forth, then in a circle, then back and forth again. What does that mean? Does that mean we have a gay-baby in there? This one was seriously inconclusive.

So after all of those old wives tales were analyzed, the final score is:

 Boy – 6, Girl – 4, Gay Baby – 1

It was fun to read some of the crazy things out there about predicting the gender and I hope you laughed some too. It was just a bit of fun but still left us wondering who’s in there – is it Jaxson or Madilyn? I guess we will just have to wait and see in a little while…as long as the little one cooperates at the ultrasound next month!

3rd Month Checkup

Today was our 3rd month check-up with the OB and it went great! All of the 1st trimester blood work J had to suffer through (including the glucose test) came back perfect, except for her platelet count which was 4 less than ‘normal’, but this is fairly common in pregnancy so it wasn’t anything to worry about. No diabetes! Which is very, very exciting. 🙂

The rest of the visit was pretty routine – how is J feeling, fill out tons of forms again and answer lots of questions. We did have some concerns as she has been feeling dizzy and having some shortness of breath, so Dr. Connors is sending her to a cardiologist just to rule out anything major. She has to see her primary care doctor as well to ask about her asthma medication maybe being increased, and we are going to look into going to a pulmonologist as well, just because they specialize in dealing with asthma so that will probably be a good doctor to have on hand anyway.

One of the questions the nurse had when checking J in was if she was married – always a difficult question in our case, of course. Yes, we are married, but does that count here since its not allowed in Florida? Well the short answer is yes, when it comes to this sort of thing, we are married. It makes things easier because we have the same last name too, but we’re not too worried. Dr. Connors is really cool about it and has never treated us differently for it, which is pretty awesome.

We also got to hear the heartbeat again today which is going to be the standard from here on out. The heart rate was 140 today, which doesn’t help in determining the gender according to thw old wives tales. Less than 140 is a boy, over 140 is a girl, HOWEVER our baby decided to be elusive and stay smack in the middle. Sigh. LOL

In other news, I had my mid-year review at work today with my manager, all wonderful things of course. Other than for me to speak up a little more…which is always a problem. I am a WAY better writer! Regardless, I told her that we were expecting and she was ecstatic! Once we find out if we are having a boy or a girl I will announce it to my team, but I wanted to tell my manager once we were out of the 1st trimester so I could let her know  that I would be taking parental leave when the time comes. She is super OK with it and I can’t wait. My place of work can be frustrating sometimes, but they really pay very well and they also have some good benefits for employees – such as one week off paid right after the baby is born as well as 100% pay for parental leave – which means that since J only gets 6 weeks of maternity leave, when she goes back to work, I get to take off 6 weeks and stay home with the baby! I think that is a really awesome perk and I am so thankful that I can have the opportunity to score some one-on-one time to bond with our baby too. 🙂

So all in all there are some good things brewing and I couldn’t be happier about our lives right now. J has to get more blood work (surprise!) to screen for genetic defects and we’ll review those results at our 4th month checkup on September 20th. We have our next ultrasound around 19 weeks and hopefully baby isn’t shy and will show us the goods this time!!

15 Weeks

Man, what a week! I have been suffering from a nonstop migraine for the past week and even threw up a couple of times from it. Yay. 😦 Sounds like I’m feeling J’s pregnancy symptoms? Not so much. More like the horrific thunderstorms we have been having here in Florida are killing me slowly! Oh well…so much for living in the SUNSHINE STATE!

Anywho, you may have noticed that this blog was a little later than usual. Saturdays are when the baby rolls to the next week in its development, however this Saturday (yesterday) we were a little busy with a crazy surprise – Beck, J’s sister, had her water break early! She wasn’t due until the second week or so of September. So we dropped everything, picked up J’s mom on the way to Clearwater, and drove two and a half hours so we could spend the day in the hospital with Beck waiting for the arrival of baby Caden. Even though he was a couple of weeks early, he was gorgeous and doing pretty well. He weighed 6 pounds 8 ounces and was 19.3 inches long. He had to be kept in the NICU since he was born early, but hopefully he can go home soon. 🙂

Welcome Baby Caden!!

J and I had never been present for the birth of a baby before! Although we weren’t in the room during the actual pushing and delivery moments (we’ll deal with that ourselves in February!) it was interesting to see the labor process leading up to that point. It is one thing to read about the labor and delivery process in What To Expect When You’re Expecting or on any of the numerous baby apps on our smartphones or even on “A Baby Story” on TLC, but it was cool to get to kind of see what to expect in regards to the monitoring, nurses and what they do, and to hear Beck’s feedback along the way and see how she reacted to everything. She was a great example! Thanks Beck!

So here we are at 15 weeks and not much is going on here with us and our little one. J can feel the baby moving around more and more each day. She can’t eat much at one sitting and has some wicked heartburn most of the time. Oh and not to mention, in her entire life she’s never liked anything zesty or spicy, but the other day her dad had hot wings and she was drooling over them! She tried them and now she is hooked. She can’t eat sweets still, however right now she is enjoying a bowl of cantaloupe with peanut butter – an old favorite. So far so good – she also loves smoothies but hasn’t been able to drink them lately since it upsets her stomach so much.

We have our next doctor’s appointment on Tuesday afternoon so I’ll let you know how that goes. We aren’t expecting another ultrasound until the anatomy scan, which will probably be next month – we’ll know more after our next appointment. So until then…here’s your facts for the week!

Baby is just over 4 inches long and about the size of apple, weighing in at about 2.5 ounces. Baby is practicing breathing by taking in the amniotic fluid through the nose and mouth. Although the eyes are fused shut for several more weeks, baby can sense light if you were to shine it at Mom’s belly! Taste buds are now formed and baby’s bones are beginning to harden this week, and baby can move all of its joints and limbs.

Our little boy or girl is going to double in size over the next five weeks!

14 Weeks (and New Ultrasound Pictures!)

I can’t believe we are already 14 weeks along and now in the second trimester! It is still hard to believe that we are already 1/3 of the way through the pregnancy, but that we still have 6 (seemingly long) months to wait! We are so excited and impatient to meet our little one, but I know it will come sooner than we think. 🙂

Yesterday was our 1st trimester screening ultrasound, and we got to see our little one moving around like crazy. The best part about this ultrasound appointment was that it wasn’t just a quick snapshot of the baby, but a 45 minute study. So we got to see the baby for a long time which was great! We got to see the baby clap, suck its thumb, and do a little dancing. Unfortunately, the baby must be very modest just like Mama J, so we didn’t get to find out what the gender was just yet. That’s okay, hopefully we can find out next time at our second trimester ultrasound in a month or so!

We did get some really great pictures at our ultrasound yesterday though. The heart rate was between 128 and 135 (the Old Wives Tales say this means boy!) and the baby was actually measuring a little bigger than our 13 weeks 6 days (14 weeks 5 days, so about a week ahead of schedule). The ultrasound tech was really surprised at how active the baby was and she had a lot of trouble getting it to cooperate to get all of the measurements she needed to take. However, based on the measurements she took it looks like the baby’s updated due date is February 5, 2013 now. At this rate, we might end up with a January baby since the due date keeps moving back!

So here are the pictures…

I think the baby has J’s nose! The baby started sucking its thumb right after this picture was taken.

The baby was waving “hi” to its moms!

Heart rate (lower – 128)

Heart rate (higher – 135)

This morning J and I got up early to go to the lab to get 9 vials of her blood taken for the last of her 1st trimester screenings and do the 1 hour glucose test. The sugar drink always makes her really sick to her stomach so we had a quick breakfast afterwards before heading back home to let her rest up. We will probably find out all of the results at our next OB appointment on August 21st, so stay tuned.

It is my birthday on Sunday the 12th, and we are going out to dinner tonight, and then we have massages tomorrow afternoon. I get a free hot-stone add-on to my massage since its my birthday and I am really excited for it! I have been having a lot of back pain and muscle aches in my legs so I really need it (I think I am having J’s pregnancy symptoms sometimes!!). Plus we always have such a fun time being pampered, snacking on the goodies at the spa, and just enjoying our time together. Happy birthday to me (oh and our cat, Bubba, too) – I’ll be 26 and Bubba will be 13! 🙂

Mom should be regaining some energy this week and feeling better in general as the second trimester begins. Our baby definitely has plenty of energy and is on the move – squirming, clapping, tossing and turning, and even sucking its thumb! Babies begin growing at different rates starting this week, and is now between 3.5 and 4 inches long and weighs about 1.5 ounces. The liver is now producing bile, the spleen is starting to help make red blood cells, and the placenta is now fully functioning. Baby practices breathing and drinks the amniotic fluid and the kidneys now produce urine. Baby is developing hair all over its body, called lanugo, which keeps baby warm for the next six months in the womb.

Our baby looked a lot like this, clapping and all!

Quit Clucking Around: There’s A Bigger Issue Here

It seems that everywhere you look these days someone is either criticizing or cheering on Chick-fil-A for their statements regarding gay marriage. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and I don’t think that anyone should have a right to tell someone not to express theirs. After all, we do live in America, the land of free speech. However, I think it’s a little ridiculous that a fast food chain has to even take a stand on gay rights in the first place. But that’s okay – perhaps it is just a catalyst by which the issues of inequality facing Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender (LGBT) Americans will be brought to light. It is already causing quite a ruckus across our country as voices on both sides of the issue are shouting from the rooftops. In a nutshell, it has everyone talking and believe it or not, that’s a good thing. If President Obama didn’t make a big enough waves with his proclamation of support for the LGBT community in May 2012, Chick-fil-A has followed up with a tsunami that is catching everyone’s attention.

I was raised in a Christian household and taught that homosexuality was wrong and warranted an eternity in Hell if you didn’t repent and change your ways. My great-grandmother was a lesbian and my grandmother and I would pray for her to find Jesus and be saved from her sin. These memories from my childhood still stay with me today. Unfortunately this also delayed my coming out. It wasn’t until I met my first girlfriend that I finally felt complete and secure in who I was. I know it sounds cheesy but it is true – it was like fireworks from day one with her and I felt real and comfortable for the first time. Finally, at 21, I had figured out what was missing in my life and recognized a truth I had battled with since childhood – I am a lesbian, and there’s not a damn thing wrong with that.

Four and a half years later, we enjoy many of the same things as straight couples such as getting married and sharing a last name, having joint bank accounts, and now, expecting our first child together. Unfortunately, while all of those things are wonderful, it doesn’t mean we are treated fairly or equally by any stretch of the imagination. Our marriage is invalid not only in our home state of Florida, but also in the eyes of our Federal government, despite our marriage being performed and recognized by Washington, D.C. It comes down to something as simple as having to check the box for “single” on our tax returns because we can’t file our taxes as married or even married-filing-separately. There are more complex issues, too. We can be refused visitation rights at a hospital unless we have legal documents in place, and sometimes even that isn’t good enough. Since my wife is carrying our child, my name can’t be put on the birth certificate unless I adopt my own child. God forbid anything were to happen to my wife before I adopt, because if she were to die, the courts could take my child and give him or her to my wife’s next of kin instead of me. We have to have powers of attorney, wills, health care directives, and guardianship agreements just to attempt to cover only a percentage of the rights granted with a heterosexual marriage, rights that are given freely and automatically and with no extra hoops to jump through. In order to attempt to protect ourselves and our growing family, we have to take far too many extra legal steps. The sad part is that even unmarried heterosexual couples have more rights than we do in some cases.

Since the birth of this country, Americans have risen to the occasion and fought for the equal treatment of all citizens. It took hundreds of years for women to have the right to vote. It took hundreds of years for African Americans to enjoy freedom. The LGBT community is no different, so get ready. We are history in the making. We are the next civil rights movement. One day our children will learn about these times in history class. Our children will not only learn why they have the right to vote and why they are free, but also why they have the right to love whoever they want. Trying to prevent that future from happening is shameful.

It is idiotic to disagree that denying the LGBT community their rights as Americans and as humans is wrong. It’s not right how many extra steps we must take and how much money we must spend to legally protect our families. It’s not right how people think we are less deserving of the same rights and freedoms just because we love women, or men, or both. It’s not right how many hate crimes are carried out against our youth because they are attracted to someone of the same gender or don’t identify as the gender they were born. It’s not right that who we are as people somehow means we are not entitled to the rights drafted in our own Declaration of Independence, the very foundation on which this country was formed: “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” To those who oppose LGBT equality – just who do you think you are? How can you believe that you have the power to deny us our human rights?

So thank you, Chick-fil-A, for bringing to the forefront of American consciousness the fact that unequal treatment is still a reality. I didn’t write this letter in order to influence people to boycott Chick-fil-A. I didn’t write this to promote President Obama’s re-election. I didn’t write this in order to belittle anyone’s beliefs or right to those beliefs. I didn’t write this to further some “gay agenda”. I wrote this because it is what I felt in my heart was the right thing to do. I wrote this for all of those like me who long for the day when equality is not just a distant dream. I wrote this for my friends, my family, and my fellow LGBT’s. I wrote this for those who maybe couldn’t find the words to say it themselves. I wrote this to make people think of something other than themselves and the rights they take for granted every single day. I wrote this for those who have experienced the hatred and ignorance firsthand. I wrote this for those who came before me and for those that will come after. I wrote this for me, for my wife, and for our unborn child. I wrote this so that one day, someone who reads this can make a change in the world. This is not just an American issue, this is a human issue. Every single human being deserves the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, whatever form that happiness may take.

13 Weeks

Lucky Number 13…well for me at least! I can’t believe the first trimester is already coming to a close and we are zooming into the fourth month this week! Not to mention, we get to see our baby again this Friday and I can’t wait. We go in for our first trimester screening and might even get to find out what it is although its still a little early (hey, you can’t blame me for being hopeful!) J and I both just want to know if its Madilyn or Jaxson growing in there! 🙂

In Mommy news, J has been having issues breathing lately and her asthma and allergies have been acting up. She’s been having to sleep with two pillows and while she’s not hugely pregnant she’s still having some pressure in her abdomen which is giving her trouble. She doesn’t handle wearing tight clothes anyway and now that everything she owns is getting a little snug it is really frustrating for her. We bought two pairs of maternity jeans but one pair was way too long and the other pair just didn’t fit right in the legs. So we have to return those and try again. At least the work pants we got worked out well enough. I know she’s just upset to even have to be in maternity pants already but I think once we find the right fit it’ll be better. Regardless, I know its getting to be tight quarters in there, the baby is the size of a peach and her uterus is now as big as a melon! Baby’s definitely taking up a lot of real estate in there!

I have been passing the time planning my portion of the upcoming baby shower. I’m so excited! I know it is still a couple of months away but man time is flying and it gives me something tangible to obsess over. Last night, we were discussing cake options and decorations and I think we may have finally narrowed it down to something really cute. But who knows, it could change again in a month or two! I just can’t wait; I know it will be a blast and we are looking forward to getting all our girls together for a good time. 🙂

Last night as we were discussing baby shower stuff, J was STARVING so she decided to have a turkey sandwich. As she finished the sandwich, she yelled out. It startled me, so naturally I asked her WTF was her problem. LOL She laughed and said, “I think you will think I’m crazy, but I think I just felt the baby move. Like, really MOVE.” The look on her face was one of utter disbelief, and it didn’t happen again. I can’t begin to judge or imagine what the peach-sized being inside of her is or isn’t doing in there, but that’s a pretty good-sized baby so it could be true! She said it felt like when someone flicks you with their finger. She thinks because she was kind of scrunched up on the couch that maybe it was just a fluke that she could feel it, but she was definitely put off guard. Apparently the baby was happy to have a turkey sandwich! And speaking of food the baby likes, it is most definitely my child, regardless of my DNA not being involved. Not only does J get sick whenever she eats beef products (a trait that I unfortunately have, despite my love of a good steak!), but now she has begun craving tomatoes (my all-time favorite food ever!!). This kid is definitely taking after me. I wonder if it will look like me too? We did pick a donor with similar features after all. 😉

Baby is the size of a peach this week,  is about 3 inches long and weighs just over an ounce! This is the final week of the 1st trimester and baby’s body is finally starting to catch up with the size of its head, which is now only one-third of baby’s whole length. Vocal cords are already forming and baby now has fingerprints on those tiny fingers!

We’re one-third of the way through – about 6 months until we get to meet our wee one!