Tuesday, December 13, 2011

ultrasound & more bedrest

We went for an ultrasound yesterday just to check on everything. The baby looks great... he was super cute, waving his hands around and opening and closing his mouth until he found his thumb and started sucking on it :) His heart rate was fine, and he has been as active as ever.

Unfortunately, the ultrasound showed that my cervix (the thing that keeps the baby inside, basically) was too short compared to what it's supposed to be - it's 19mm and it's supposed to be closer to 30mm. This means that the contractions I've been having have shortened it, and caused me to dilate 1/2cm and efface 50%. Because of all that I have to definitely stay on strict bedrest to prevent any more shortening/dilating/effacing. I'll find out what the next step of the pregnancy is going to look like at my appointment on the 22nd.

So bedrest is kind of a bummer, but I'll do anything for baby boy... and I'm finding things to keep me busy!


Friday, December 9, 2011

30 weeks, and bedrest {sigh}

Well we had a little hiccup yesterday... I was out shopping and started having contractions. Try as we might, they would not go away so at 10:00pm my midwife sent us to Baylor hospital to be monitored. They ended up giving me a shot of Terbutaline to slow the contractions, and we got to come home at 6:00am this morning. Poor Thomas has an engineering grad class exam tonight (he's actually taking it as I write) and didn't have much time to prepare... not to mention the fact that we were awake basically all night with contractions and nurses and doctors in and out of the room.
We had a follow-up appointment at the Birth Center today and they put me on strict bedrest because I'm still having contractions (although not as bad as last night) and I'm 1/2 cm dilated and 50% effaced already, which they are not happy about at 30 weeks. The baby is fine, which we are so thankful for, his heart rate is strong and he's very active. But we don't want him to make his debut just yet! I'm hoping we make it to at least 37 weeks, which is considered "full term".
The plan for now is bedrest until my next appointment on the 22nd of December when they'll re-evaluate. I'm hoping the contractions stop and they'll allow me to move around a little more before then, because right now all I'm allowed to do is get up to go to the bathroom, and take a very short shower once a day!


How far along: 30 weeks (Dec. 8th)

Baby size: 3 pounds, and about 17 inches long... one of my pregnancy websites say he's about the size of a head of cabbage? Haha.

Total weight gain/loss: +15 lbs

Sleep: Not so great anymore... can't get comfortable. I guess I'll have to get used to the lying-down position, though!

Movement: All the time.

Food cravings/aversions: Soups have been my best friend this week... they are so nice in the cold weather, and especially since Thomas and I seem to have come down with some minor sniffly cold-ness.

Pregnancy symptoms: Lots of contractions, unfortunately! And general crampiness and achiness.

What I miss: Not being on bedrest :) It's only been a day and already I hardly know what to do with myself. I can now see the dust on every surface in the house and I'm itching to get up and dust everything! Haha.

What I'm looking forward to: Having Thomas home for the weekend to hang out with! And also, we're both looking forward to him being done with his classes for the semester. He has two more exams next Tuesday and Wednesday and then he's done!

Milestones: Three-fourths of the way through pregnancy! 30 weeks down, [hopefully] around 10 more to go!

Best moment of this week: Ironically, it was really cool to be able to constantly hear the baby's heartbeat while I was hooked up to the monitors at the hospital! Very reassuring.

Pregnancy moments with the hubby: He has just been wonderful since all this started yesterday. He's taken good care of me. The contractions last night were often very painful and he helped me relax through them. He scolds me if I'm not lying down flat enough :) And he brings me everything I need.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

26 - 29 weeks


I'm behind, as usual.


How far along: 26 weeks (Nov. 10th), 27 weeks (Nov. 17th), 28 weeks (Nov. 24th), 29 weeks (Dec. 1st)

Baby size: Currently a butternut squash :) He's about 3 pounds, and up to 17 inches long from head to foot.

Total weight gain/loss: +15 lbs at 29 weeks (sigh)

Sleep: Not so great anymore... can't get comfortable.

Movement: All the time.

Food cravings/aversions: I'm still really liking spicy stuff... Thai food especially at the moment... I make this Thai red curry veggie/noodle soup, and it's been on the menu pretty much every week. We also like to go to (or get take-out from) Royal Thai, our favorite restaurant. Anything chocolate is really good... Twix bars, Starbucks hot chocolate, chocolate gelato & frozen yogurt, chocolate gummy bears (yes, really)... and the list goes on. And lots & lots of fresh fruit... can't get enough of it... I went through an entire 5-pound bag of Cuties (tangerines) in about 3 days. Haha.

Pregnancy symptoms: Bruised ribs! This little boy can really kick. Recently he's been lodging himself up in my ribs whenever I'm lying down. Sometimes I have to get up and walk around for him to move down a bit so I can breathe. Do I really have 10 more weeks of this? Yikes! At my 29-week appointment, I was measuring ahead again - at 33-34 weeks. At this point no one can give me a reason as to why except that some people just measure differently... like my uterus is positioned differently so it measures further "ahead" (higher up on my torso) or something. My glucose screening was fine, so I don't have gestational diabetes, which is good. Apparently if you have gestational diabetes, the baby tends to be bigger. In all of our ultrasounds the baby has been pretty normal-sized... they just moved my due date up 5 days. So I guess I'm just weird and measure ahead :)

What I miss: Being able to move around freely. It gets a little harder with a basketball in your abdomen.

What I'm looking forward to: More of all the Christmas-y stuff :) We've already put up our tree and I've been making presents. I love it! Also, I'm REALLY looking forward to moving to a bigger apartment in early January. I can't get this apartment clean & tidy enough because there's just too much stuff to fit!

Milestones: We are in the third trimester (starting week 28)!

Best moment of this week month: The long weekend that Thomas got off for Thanksgiving! It was so nice to have a break with him.

Pregnancy moments with the hubby: We like to "play" with baby boy... we'll give my belly little pokes and watch him wriggle and kick back. Thomas also likes to talk to him through my belly... baby boy likes the vibrations of his voice and usually calms right down if he's been wriggling (or kicking me in the ribs).
The past couple of weeks at our birthing class we've done "labor practice"... the instructor rings a little bell when the "contraction" starts and again when it ends. During the "contraction" we have to practice different laboring positions... like rocking on a birth ball, or kneeling and leaning on a ball/chair... and the labor coach (ie. Thomas) has to do massage or counter-pressure on my back etc. It's all really good practice, and I'm sure we'll be grateful for it when the real contractions start and we know what to do to manage the pain... but it's pretty comical at the time. Especially when, as usual, all the other couples are taking it very seriously and the women actually look like they're in pain... and Thomas and I are trying not to laugh at them. This past week we practiced positions for pushing the baby out... and that was just plain funny.

The ever-growing baby bump.


I haven't been very good at taking bump pictures. So far I have one at 12.5 weeks, one at 15 weeks, one at 16 weeks, one at 22.5 weeks, and one at 27 weeks! I'll add them to this post and update it whenever I take a new one.

12.5 weeks

15 weeks. I'm not seeing a huge difference yet...

16 weeks... holy moly, where did that bump come from?!


























22.5 weeks!

 27 weeks! Baby (and bump) had a major growth spurt.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

twenty-three, and a few other things

I've been slacking on the blog front... I've been in too much of a "nesting" get-things-done mode, I think.

We had our birthday a couple weeks ago... Nov. 9th, to be precise. We turned 23.

I always thought that when I was this "old" I would feel grown-up. Ha. Despite the fact that I'm married and having a baby in February I still feel like a youngster :)

It's fun sharing a birthday with Thomas. We went on our birthday date the Sunday before our birthday. We're both suckers for fondue, so we went to the Melting Pot... we had cheese fondue, salads, a main course, and then chocolate fondue! I felt (and looked, I'm sure) like I was pregnant with twins when we got done eating! Our waiter was super nice; when he found out it was both of our birthdays, and that we were having a baby, he brought us chocolate-covered strawberries with our chocolate fondue:



On our actual birthday we went out for lunch on Thomas's break and in the evening we continued our tradition of picking out ice-cream cakes for each other :)

The M&M one is Thomas's.

I got a sewing machine for my birthday, so I've been busy getting supplies and starting a few easy sewing projects :) Thomas has been swamped with work and grad school.

And before we knew it, it was Thanksgiving...

We spent it with the Whitson family, who are good friends from Kenya.
I got a few candid shots of people, but I forgot to take pictures of the beautifully set tables and yummy food.





Thomas had Thursday and Friday off work and grad school, which was a much-needed break. We kept busy though, running errands and even venturing out to do some shopping on Black Friday. We did more shopping on Saturday (Black Friday seems to have been stretched to last all weekend...), and also looked at some more apartments. We went on a couple little dates... to our favorite restaurant, Royal Thai, and to the Original Pancake House... both of which I had been craving.

We fully intended to decorate for Christmas today, but ended up going out and buying a filing cabinet and sorting through the many piles of papers in our house instead. This "nesting instinct" is no joke, people. I can't stop until everything in the house is in order! I can't wait until we can move and get settled and everything has a place... because right now we just don't have enough room. Baby stuff is taking over. Our dining area is completely overtaken by a stroller, a bassinet, and a bouncy seat. And some trunks that I'm repacking.

I just remembered I have large piles of laundry to fold and put away... must. go. be. organized. And then sew baby blankets.

I'll leave you with this picture of my 28.5 weeks pregnant self... looking & feeling a just a little worried at the fact that I'm already this huge and have 11.5 more weeks left to grow!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

25 weeks, and a new due date


Because I was consistently measuring a few weeks ahead, my midwife sent me for an ultrasound to check if my due date was wrong. My due date used to be Feb. 21st, and it has been changed to Feb. 16th... so only 5 days earlier. Apparently I have a "generous amount" of amniotic fluid, and that is causing me to measure ahead.
So... I thought I was 25 weeks today, but it turns out I was actually 25 weeks last Thursday, and I will be 26 weeks in a couple days.


How far along: 25 weeks (Nov. 3rd)

Baby size: A rutabaga! (At our ultrasound yesterday, they said he weighed just over 2 pounds!)

Total weight gain/loss: +9 lbs

Sleep: Generally pretty good.

Movement: Sometimes his kicks jolt my whole torso!

Food cravings/aversions: Fresh fruit cravings this week! Grapes, strawberries, oranges...

Pregnancy symptoms: I'll probably laugh at myself later in pregnancy for saying this now... but I'm starting to feel uncomfortable, and somewhat like a beached whale! It takes me a few extra seconds to get up from a sitting or lying position, and it's getting harder to bend down to floor level to pick things up.

What I miss: Champagne! We had our birthday date this past weekend, and our waiter brought Thomas a glass of champagne... and some sparkling grape juice for me... haha :)

What I'm looking forward to: The holiday season! I get so excited for everything about Christmas... the traditions, bundling up for colder weather, Christmas music, the general festiveness and good cheer :)

Milestones: 25 weeks down, 15 to go! Time is just flying by. Baby's hair is apparently starting to develop its color this week :)

Best moment of this week: Having another ultrasound and getting to see our adorable baby boy (who is definitely still a boy, haha)! Also, our various birthday celebrations :)

Pregnancy moments with the hubby: We went back this past Saturday for our second birthing class. It was better than the first one, the teacher gave us some useful information that I didn't already know and helped us start thinking about birth plans etc. We also did some mental relaxation techniques for labor... this is the funny part :) The teacher had all of the pregnant women fill out a little worksheet of where you would go in your mind in order to relax. It was fill-in-the-blank, and you had to fill in things like what you could see, what you could feel, what you could hear etc. I said I would go to the beach... be able to feel the sand, hear the waves etc. Then the preggos had to lie on the floor while the husbands read the description quietly to us to help us relax. So Thomas started reading my fill-in-the-blank description of what I would focus on to relax and I could already hear the laughter in his voice, which of course was making me want to laugh too. He came to one fill-in-the-blank spot where I had to write what I could see in the distance. I had written "fluffy clouds"... big mistake. I knew it was coming and started giggling... and when Thomas tried to read it we both started snorting with laughter. Everyone else in the room was taking things seriously, of course, and being very meditative as the husbands lovingly and gently whispered into their wives' ears... which just made me and Thomas want to laugh even more.


At least our birthing class gives us comic relief... maybe that will help during labor. Haha.

Friday, November 4, 2011

baby stuff is overwhelming

So, I need advice.

1. Carseats... What infant carseat should we get? Or do we even need an infant one? Could we skip right to one of those convertible ones? It's probably convenient to carry baby in & out of the car in an infant one, right?
At first I was leaning towards the Britax Chaperone for an infant carseat, but then we bought our stroller and it doesn't work with Britax carseats. So now I'm thinking the Chicco Keyfit 30, because it has the next best safety ratings. But there are lots of other options too... I just don't knowwwww....

2. Baby carriers... I plan on "wearing" Baby Congdon around a lot. I've heard the Moby Wrap is good for when he's little, but it kind of intimidates me with it's miles of fabric. Is there a better one? Also, I really like the Ergobaby carrier, maybe for when he gets a bit older, and it's something Thomas could use to carry him too. Good choice?

3. Bottles/pacifiers... I plan on breastfeeding, but it's always good to have a few bottles around for other people to be able to feed baby pumped milk. Which ones are best for breastfed babies? Same thing with pacifiers...

4. Breast pump... I was thinking about just getting a manual one because it's not like I'll be working away from home. Are electric ones really necessary? Which brands are best?

5. Bouncy seats... necessary? What kinds/brands should I look for?

6. Swaddle wraps/ sleep sacks... What kinds should I look for?

7. What things have been invaluable to you? What am I missing? What do babies need?!

8. We'll be living in a fairly small apartment, so space-saving ideas would be very helpful too :)

Help me, please! :)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

21 - 24 weeks

I'm reeeeeally behind so I'm going to do all 4 weeks in one :)


How far along: 21 weeks (Oct. 11th), 22 weeks (Oct. 18th), 23 weeks (Oct. 25th) and 24 weeks (Nov. 1st)

Baby size: 21 week - a banana, 22 weeks - a spaghetti squash, 23 weeks & 24 weeks - a papaya. He's over a foot long and weighs about 1.5 pounds now!

Total weight gain/loss: +8 lbs

Sleep: Pretty good, but sometimes baby wakes me up with his kicking!

Movement: Yes! Holy moly, this little baby can kick!

Food cravings/aversions: This month I've been wanting carbs - pizza, pasta, bread... Baby is really packing on the weight (and so is mama, oh yay) starting this month so I guess he needs those carbs! The chocolate gelato and the salted caramel hot chocolate cravings are still there. I've also been wanting lots of fresh fruit - pineapple, oranges, strawberries... yum. And don't worry, I'm eating plenty of veggies and salads too :)

Pregnancy symptoms: The 2nd trimester energy rush and nesting instinct have arrived... I've reorganized every closet in the house, gone through boxes and boxes of books and other things, filled several trash bags with clothes and stuff to give away, and generally just made more room for baby! Some aches and pains are beginning... in my lower back and hips mostly. The baby bump has exploded and it seems to be getting in the way sometimes! One time I was making pizza and somehow got pizza sauce in my bellybutton. I almost can't reach the kitchen cupboards where our dishes are kept because the bump is in the way!

What I miss: Can't think of anything! I'm thoroughly enjoying pregnancy at the moment :)
(I honestly never thought I would say those words... I've always thought I would just grit my teeth and get through it!)

What I'm looking forward to: Mine and Thomas's 23rd birthday next week (yes, we have the same birthday)! We have a fun date planned :) It's our last birthday without worrying about getting a babysitter!

Milestones: 24 weeks is viability week! That means that if baby was born prematurely right now, he would have a chance of survival with lots of medical help. Obviously we pray that doesn't happen! But it is reassuring to know we've reached that point.

Best moment of this week month: There have been quite a few fun moments! Thomas's parents and brother Paul came for a visit and we had so much fun with them. We went to the Dallas zoo one weekend, to the Texas State Fair another weekend, and did some pumpkin carving another weekend. We also ordered our first big baby purchase - our stroller!
I had my 24 week appointment with my midwife yesterday, and my uterus was measuring 29 weeks! Yikes! Back at my 20 week appointment it was measuring 24 weeks... so now they're thinking my due date might be off. It's generally normal to measure 2 or 3 weeks ahead, but not so much 4 or 5 weeks ahead! (No wonder the baby bump seems huge to me). They're going to send me for another ultrasound to see why my uterus is measuring so big.  I'm kind of excited to see baby again :)

Pregnancy moments with the hubby: Last Saturday we had our first childbirth class. We're doing the Bradley method, which encourages natural childbirth (no drugs, etc). I was kind of expecting some of the people to be... let's say... hippy-ish? Because those are the type of people who often choose "natural" childbirth. When we arrived (and I'm really trying not to sound awful here... haha) pretty much everyone in the class was super weird. There was the typical homeschool couple, the hippies, and generally just mother earth kind of people. There was even a lesbian couple, which was kind of unexpected. So Thomas and I walk in and scan the room, and look at each other like... "I told you so!". The first class was a lot of stuff that I already knew, and Thomas and I kept to ourselves mostly. Everyone else was super over-talkative. At the end of the class we learned and practiced some relaxation techniques and exercises, and Thomas and I were desperately trying not to giggle while all the other couples took things way too seriously. I'm kind of hoping the next few weeks will prove to be more useful! Poor Thomas. He's being a good sport.

Monday, October 31, 2011

we're still alive!

I haven't done a blog post for a month! I think that's a record. Also, I can't believe it's been a whole month since we found out that Baby Congdon is a little boy - and that was the last blog post I wrote!

What we've been up to:
  • We went to the Dallas Zoo! We found a deal for $1 tickets, which is just too good to pass up. It was a pretty decent zoo - they had lions, cheetahs, tigers, crocodiles, elephants, giraffes (which you could feed), zebras and so on. We had fun walking around... even though we were pretty much the only people there without kids. Not for much longer!
Rhino

Big crocs

Elephants

Baby giraffe :)

Cheetah

 White alligator - I had no idea these things existed. I was convinced it wasn't real until it started moving.

It was a hot day and I was pretty exhausted by the end!

  • Thomas's parents and youngest brother Paul came for a visit. We had a great time, but unfortunately I was in a cold-induced fog and didn't take any pictures. We went to the Texas State Fair with them, and  Thomas took lots of pictures of the bird show (because apparently birds are more interesting than people...) He did get a couple pictures of people, though.
A paparazzi picture of Paul.

Watching the bird show.


A really big bird... crowned crane, or something like that!


  • We went apartment hunting. We're going to stay in The Village (the mega apartment neighborhood where we live), because it's a great, safe location with pretty parks and walks and we love it, but we need a bigger place with baby boy on the way. We're thinking of moving  in early January while Thomas is on break from graduate school. I'll be very pregnant then, so I won't have to do a thing :) Haha.
  • I've been doing lots of cooking and even some baking. The 2nd trimester energy rush and appetite have arrived [side note: I can't believe I'm 24 weeks pregnant!]. Here are a few pictures of things I've made.
Twice-baked quinoa-stuffed butternut squash. SO. GOOD.

No-bake raspberry-lemon cheesecake. Indescribably amazing.

I also made two pumpkin pies last weekend... I've made pumpkin pie before and it didn't turn out as yummy as I wanted. But this time I looked through a few different recipes and pieced together my own recipe... and it turned out really well.

I forgot to take pictures, but here's the recipe I came up with (it makes two 9-inch pies):

2 (15oz) cans of pure mashed pumpkin
1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened
1 (12oz) can evaporated milk (or 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2/3 cup of sugar
1/3 cup agave nectar *
2 eggs and 1 egg yolk, slightly beaten
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cloves

*If you don't have agave nectar, just use another 1/2 cup of sugar (agave nectar is slightly sweeter than sugar).

Mix pumpkin and cream cheese together with an electric mixer. Add in evaporated milk, cream, sugar and agave nectar and continue mixing. At this point I skip over the eggs, and put in the salt, vanilla, and spices so I can taste the mixture and add more to taste (I don't eat raw eggs). Then I put the eggs in at the end and continue mixing until smooth.
Pour the mixture into two pre-baked 9-inch pie crusts, and bake at 350*F for 40 - 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the pies comes out clean.

Serve with whipped cream :)


  • We did some pumpkin carving with Craig & Emily and Andrew & Janelle. Mine and Thomas's pumpkin was defective... the skin was so hard it took Thomas half an hour just to cut a lid in the top. But everyone else made awesome pumpkins :)
Thomas trying to saw his way through our impossibly hard pumpkin.

Craig & Emily.

Andrew & Janelle.
Emily having way too much fun with her pumpkin guts :)

 Trying to figure out what to do with our lame pumpkin.

Emily's pumpkin squishing Craig's pumpkin :)

Me & the stupid defective pumpkin.

Everyone else's awesome pumpkins.

Apparently pumpkin carving wore Thomas & Andrew out.






























  • I've been getting more pregnant (surprise!) and baby boy has turned into quite the acrobat inside me! It's fun to watch my belly move when he's doing his exercises :) This is me at 23 weeks.

  • Thomas has been plugging away at his graduate engineering classes and working full time as well. I've been cleaning, reorganizing, getting ready for baby and even starting to pack for our move while he's working. So we've been busy, busy, busy!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

20 weeks


We are halfway there, baby boy!


How far along: 20 weeks (Oct. 4th)

Baby size: A cantaloupe!

Total weight gain/loss: +4 lbs

Sleep: OK at the moment. Not great, but not terrible either.

Movement: Yes, all the time!

Food cravings/aversions: I've been wanting lots of spicy food. And I've also developed a sweet tooth. Earlier on in pregnancy I didn't really want too many sweet things, but now I want them all. Chocolate gelato, gooey cakes, sour candy, cheesecake (I REALLY want cheesecake right now... too bad I'm stuck at home without the car...)

Pregnancy symptoms: Lots of ligament stretching going on. Some heartburn, occasionally, if I lie down soon after eating. Some back pain and aches.

What I miss: Frozen margaritas.

What I'm looking forward to: Thomas's parents and youngest brother are coming to visit next week!

Milestones: Halfway done with the pregnancy! It feels like it's going very fast, but at the same time February seems far away. Today I had my 20 week appointment, and my midwife said I was measuring closer to 24 weeks when she felt the height of my uterus. She said sometimes that happens but the growth usually evens out. If I'm still measuring ahead next month I'll probably need some more tests... maybe my due date is wrong.

Best moment of this week: Last weekend was super fun... we went to the zoo, saw friends in the evenings, and relaxed... it was a nice break from the busy weeks where Thomas and I don't get to see each other much.

Pregnancy moments with the hubby: It's just fun in general now that we know baby is a boy and Thomas can feel him moving all the time. We've been talking more about names and baby stuff and plans etc.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Pregnancy: my thoughts so far

You know your life is changing when you get all excited about a Fuzzibunz cloth diaper sale on Zulily, like I did this morning (and bought 6 of them!). Even the fact that I know what Zulily is and have a membership is a sign that my life is changing. Oy.
I've always wanted to be a mother... I've loved babies and children since I was one myself. I've never been enamored about pregnancy though - I would have been quite happy if someone just dropped a newborn in my lap (kind of like the stork story we tell children). Truthfully, though, this pregnancy hasn't been so bad thus far. I've been blessed with an easy one. I hardly got any morning sickness, just felt a little queasy on and off through the first few weeks. The second trimester has been picture perfect, with the few usual aches and pains here and there. Baby boy is growing healthily and I've gained around 3 or 4 pounds so far at 20 weeks. Halfway there! The baby bump is getting more and more noticeable.
I think the best part about pregnancy so far is feeling baby boy move around inside me. I started feeling little flutters at 14.5 weeks, and they've been getting stronger ever since. These days it feels like he hardly ever stops moving, flipping, kicking and jabbing. Before I was pregnant I thought it would be really weird to have a baby moving around inside me, like a little alien or something. But now that it's happened to me, I can hardly remember why I thought it would be weird. It is kind of a funny feeling to be kicked from the inside, but it just feels right and normal and reassuring instead of weird. It's fun to wonder if that was an arm or a leg or a head or a little butt poking me. I feel like baby and I can sort of communicate now. If I hunch over when I'm sitting, he protests the lack of space and kicks and wriggles until I straighten up. If I poke my belly I usually get a reaction from him. When I lie down he gets active, and when I get up and walk around he calms down.
It's hard to imagine another whole 20 weeks of pregnancy until baby boy is born. I realize he needs to grow and mature more but I kind of wish the human gestational period was shorter. I want to meet this little fellow! I know I'm supposed to slow down and enjoy these last couple of months without a baby to take care of, but it's hard not to be a little impatient. It's also hard to comprehend how much larger my belly is going to get to accommodate baby boy - yikes.
I haven't thought too much about labor and delivery yet, except to research and choose to have a natural birth at a birthing center with Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM). It's been the best decision I've made yet this pregnancy. [If you haven't watched the documentary "The Business of Being Born" you should do so! It's online streaming on Netflix]. I did like my OB-GYN, but I felt like I never knew what was going on and I was never told what the various blood tests etc. that they did were actually for. I didn't feel comfortable to ask all the questions I wanted to ask. I also strongly dislike hospitals... I used to have panic attacks when I was little whenever I had to go into a hospital. I knew that if I went into labor and went to a hospital, my body would shut down and labor wouldn't progress properly because I would be so uncomfortable with being in a hospital. So I did some research and found a lovely birthing center (which is very close to Baylor hospital in case of emergencies) and transferred my prenatal care to the CNM's there. The center is in a big lovely old colonial-style house, infinitely more comfortable and welcoming than a hospital. The CNM's are personable and truly interested in answering all of my questions and making sure that baby and I get the best care possible.
We've signed up for Bradley method childbirth classes (which prepare you for natural childbirth without drugs) with an experienced doula, who is apparently the best in Dallas. They start on October 29th, so then I'll really have to start thinking about labor and delivery. For now I'm enjoying being blissfully ignorant, and just thinking positive thoughts like "My labor and delivery is going to be smooth and fast and the pain will be manageable and totally worth it in the end". Haha.

Oy.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

18 weeks & 19 weeks


How far along: 18 weeks (Sept. 20th) and 19 weeks (Sept. 27th)

Baby size: 18 weeks - a sweet potato, 19 weeks - a large mango

Total weight gain/loss: +3 lbs

Sleep: Some nights I wake up to pee and can't fall back asleep for a couple of hours. But other nights I sleep like a rock even if I have to get up for a bathroom trip.

Movement: Yes, lots! I'm starting to figure out patterns of baby's wakeful and sleepy times.

Food cravings/aversions: I'm loving spicy things... especially the "jungle curry" from our favorite restaurant - Royal Thai. And the salted caramel hot chocolate from Starbucks... Thomas got one for me one night on his way back from grad school... it was so good that I cried when I finished it! Crazy pregnant hormones. I wanted more. Anything chocolate tastes SO. GOOD. right now.

Pregnancy symptoms: Round ligament pain, abdominal muscles stretching... sometimes I feel like I just did 100 sit ups. Starting to get more uncomfortable and realize my limitations... I have to sit up straight, I can't lie on my stomach anymore... or flat on my back, I can't jump up quickly anymore... and so on. My back is starting to hurt more the further the baby bump sticks out. Oh yes, and the crazy pregnant hormones have arrived (as evidenced by the crying-when-hot-chocolate-was-all-gone story above)... bring on the waterworks. Poor Thomas.

What I miss: Sushi, and the occasional glass of wine or a cold beer.

What I'm looking forward to: My 20 week appointment next week :) I love going to check-ups and hearing baby's heartbeat and making sure everything is healthy.

Milestones: Baby's ears have developed enough to be able to hear my voice!

Best moment of this week: We had our anatomy scan ultrasound on Monday (26th) and we got to see our baby moving around and being oh-so-cute! We also found out that baby is a BOY! I knew it :) We are so excited to be having a son! We did a gender reveal post over on the Congdon Chronicles.

Pregnancy moments with the hubby: Before we found out that our baby is a boy, Thomas wasn't really too interested in picking out names... in his own words because "We don't know if it's a boy or a girl or even an alien yet"... such great faith in our reproductive capabilities. But now that we know it's a boy (and not an alien baby) he really wants it to have a name so we [correction: I] have long lists that he keeps veto-ing. I am determined to sift through every boy name in the universe so we don't miss any... whereas Thomas is quite happy to name the baby one of the very first names we came up with. It is one of our top names, but there are SO MANY other names out there... how can we possibly pick the RIGHT one out of millions??? I'm feeling the pressure. And getting off track.
OH, and on Sept. 23rd Thomas felt the baby move for the first time... I had been able to feel him move from the outside for several days, but this was the first time that Thomas was there at the right time. It's so fun now that we can both feel him moving :)

Monday, September 26, 2011

It's a...

...cutie pie!

And a....

...BOY!!!

I knew it :)

Look at that little face :)
 Another view.
 Baby's spine.
 And the proof of gender! I'd say that's definitely a boy :)




























Baby Boy Congdon is perfectly healthy! We are so thankful and happy!

We have a son!
We got him a little blue elephant :)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Congdon Family Reunion (post 2)

Almost 2 months late... but better late than never :)

The reunion was held at a campsite along the Oregon coast near Twin Rocks.

Here are a few pictures that Thomas's cousin Katy got of the beach and coastline... I forgot my camera each time we walked down there.

These are the Twin Rocks.

Coastline.

There was a lake at the campsite where you could go swimming and boating.

 Robert, Thomas, Timo, and Stephen going kayaking


Thomas came back to go kayaking with me.

The blob.

Timo, Stephen, and Robert doing some archery

Thomas looking like a pro.

Me looking like a weakling.

 The dining hall. Reminded me of boarding school.

The beautiful family tree that Harriet made.

14 children (12 still living), 59 grandchildren, and 13 great grandchildren. Wowzers!

Cousin Lucy loved Thomas.

And Robert.

And Timo (putting flowers in his hair).

Paul keeping some of the youngsters entertained.

Babies, babies everywhere!

Katy and baby Asher.

Harriet and baby Emma.

Rhoda and baby Noah.

Marianne and baby Michael.

Sarah and baby Drew.

Adriel and baby Cora.

Oh and look! It's Lucy on Robert's shoulders again :)

All the kids had an absolute blast.

It seemed like there were hundreds of little waist-high human beings running around! What fun :)

At one of the meetings...

The twelve siblings being interviewed... everyone is laughing because it was Uncle Steve's turn and he said something funny, of course.

And the amazing singing Miller family :)

The cabin that we stayed in. There was a big central room and lofts on either side with bunk beds... one side for guys, one side for girls.

The girl's side... you can see the door at the top right. There were 7 or 8 "older" girls in the room (high school, college, young married)... and about the same for the "older" guys on the other side.
There were many other cabins, some with whole families, some with just kids (which the kids loved, of course).

And a quick one of Bekah and me before we left for the airport.

 Me and Thomas at the airport, sad because we had to leave.

The reunion was a blast! I hope we get to do another one in a few years!

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