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Thursday, March 31, 2011

24 Weeks = 6 Months. Really?

Well Tuesday marked 24 weeks along in the pregnancy. At some point after the halfway point you stop counting up and start counting down (only 16 weeks left!!!). On one hand 16 sounds like just a glimmer of time, but 4 months on the other hand is a long time to continue to get fatter and deal with being more uncomfortable and having more body aches.

People keep asking how this pregnancy was different from Aurora's. They have been really similar, with the following exceptions.
  1. Abby: Worst morning sickness I could imagine. I wanted to die. Was much more sensitive to smells than I ever could have imagined. / Aurora: Bad morning sickness. It sucked balls. / Both: Started up at 6 weeks, peaked at about 8-10? and just after I started the 2nd trimester it quickly tapered off.
  2. Abby: I didn't really have a feeling for what she was right away. Just a few days before the big US I was getting "girl" vibes though. / Aurora: Knew from the start she was a girl.
  3. Abby: A few minor headaches. Manageable with Tylenol. / Aurora: Migraines showed up in the second trimester and were a nightmare. Was unbelievably sensitive to light and sound. Tylenol didn't even touch it, so I stopped bothering after the first few. Normally they would go away overnight but at the worst, they stayed for days straight.
  4. Abby: Lost about 5 lbs due to morning sickness the 1st trimester. / Aurora: Didn't gain any weight (maybe lost a pound or two) the 1st trimester. / Both: Pretty much net zero headed into the second half of the pregnancy, then suddenly started packing on the pounds like crazy and can't seem to eat enough. Mmmmmmm food.
  5. Abby: Craving red meat once the morning sickness went away. / Aurora: Couldn't get enough OJ the 1st trimester. / Both: Same 1st trimester craving for Milk, and general aversion to salty food. (Saltines, the 1st tri lifeline had to be salt free).
  6. Abby: Heartburn from the beginning. Learned my lesson from Aurora though and started taking Zantac right away. / Aurora: Managed by Tums until the 3rd trimester when it was intolerable. I tried to stick it out but it got so bad that I couldn't eat much, and had to stop eating after 3pm and even then it was really bad in the evening and I was waking up choking on my own vomit. I finally started taking Zantac a few weeks before Aurora came.
I'm very very curious to see now how early (or late) Abby comes, and how labor & delivery go in comparison to Aurora's birth. We will just have to see!

To follow up on a previous topic, Blake and Alyssa locked down their wedding date: August 6th. Yes, your math is right, thats just about 2 1/2 weeks past my due date of July 19th. It will be in Vegas at Treasure Island. Considering I'm supposed to be a bridesmaid, that complicates things! Fitting into a dress will be the least of my worries, as I am looking at a 50/50 chance of not even going. Pretty much if Abby has not come by then all of us (me, Ryan & Ryan) would stay in San Diego. If she comes on time, Ryan will take Aurora to the wedding and I will stay behind with the newborn (no way I could endure the drive to Vegas while still trying to heal up if this time is anything like last time, plus a two week old is way too young to be exposing to all those people and the Vegas "air".) If she comes early like Aurora, depending on how I'm healing and how the beastfeeding schedule is progressing we will all get to go. That's a lot of "ifs"!!! So we will have to see how it all works out. Phew it sure is a busy summer.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Preschool Blues & The Beginning of the Summer of Babies

So Friday Ryan and I went to tour preschools in Tierrasanta with Aurora. There were three that offer full day, full time programs for 2 year olds and up; Bright Horizons, Adventure Days (associated with Vista Grande Community Church) and Panda Bear Preschool (associated with the Chinese Community Church). Long story short, and after a long morning of visits, the one we fell in love with and has the best facilities and is accredited also happens to cost $1,100 a month. The other two we didn't like as much, and still cost $850-950 a month. Considering we pay $600 a month right now with our sitter, and keeping in mind that we will be adding another $600 a month bill on when Abby gets here, we simply can't afford it right now. :0( So we will re-assess the situation in a year when Rory will be 3 years old and see where our finances are. I don't really want to consider any program except for our first pick (Bright Horizons) but its so much more expensive than the others, and again, we will have to see where we are at by then.

In group news, Elly had Hayley! Two days before her scheduled c-section date her water broke and she went into labor. I don't know the details yet, but it sounds like in the process of laboring and waiting to be able to do the c-section she had some complications again but everything turned out ok and we are lucky that both she and baby are here with us and alive! This marks the beginning of the summer of babies! Next up is Alyssa, then Ashley (who has been put on bedrest because she started dilating and was 60% effaced with 2 months to go!) then me.

I had my monthly update with my midwife last Wed too. Main points as follows: 1. I am anemic, so need to start taking iron pills. Makes sense to me why when I was finally eating again the first meal I was craving was a big thick freaking slab of bloody prime rib. Mmmmmm. 2. My lungs sound clear despite the terrible cough that is lasting weeks after my cold went away. Ok to take cough syrup and I'm supposed to contact her if it lasts another week (which is coming up in a few days. It has not showed signs of letting up, so.....) 3. She confirmed that they listed the baby as "female" from the ultrasound. Haha nay-sayers. So unless the tech was wrong and missed something or Abby grows a penis, two girls it is for Ryan & Loralyn. 4. They didn’t get a good shot of the nasal bone or whatever in the "big" ultrasound, which can be an indicator for downs. Soooooo, she gave me the option of doing another US to try to get that shot. She said insurance would probably cover it. Most of you know how I feel about ultrasounds unless they are medically indicated (don't really approve of them), and all the other indicators for downs have been really low. She said it wasn’t absent, they just didn’t get a good shot at it. I was sort of 50/50 and Ryan said hes more 60/40 (to not do it). So I pretty much decided not to get it done. In my heart of hearts I don't think there is a good chance Abby has down's and I don't feel like the ultrasound would change anything anyway (it's really too late to abort, and since the other indicators were so low, I think the only thing a "positive" us as an indicator would mean is just an increased risk for downs).

Other than that things are just moving along in the Cross household. Aurora is such a big girl and surprises us every day with little accomplishments and milestones that she is achieving. We are trying to prepare ourselves for the summer, which we know is going to be one hectic ride. Blake and Alyssa finally decided on a venue and date for their long awaited wedding (Treasure Island in Vegas on August 6th) and Oy Vey that will be hectic. But that's a topic for a whole other blog!!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

With the 1st Trimester Behind Me... The Best is Yet to Come!

I'm starting to feel really good about things! I'm 100% over the 1st trimester annoying symptoms (morning sickness, exhaustion, breathlessness, etc.) and summer is just around the corner. More on the happy stuff in a second, I just need a paragraph to vent about the annoying nuisance of a cold I have right now.

So about a little over a month ago on a Monday Aurora woke up with a runny nose. That Wed when I picked her up from Diane's she had taken a turn for the worse and had been feeling crummy all day and had a bit of a fever. The fever got worse that night and I stayed home with Aurora the next day. Her runny nose and cough lingered, and then several weeks later I went to bed with what I thought was allergies. Well I woke up with the congestion from hell, a crazy runny nose and sneezing that didnt go away no matter where I was, keying me in that I had a cold. Here I am 3 weeks later still sick, and having gone through the entire gamut of cold symptoms (congestion, runny nose, nasty sticky green-yellow snot that wont come out, sneezing, sore throat, sinus pressure, coughing, AGH!). This has made it impossible to sleep well, and for several mornings in a row I was waking up at 3:30am not being able to go back to sleep. Well about a week ago, desperate to relieve my sinus's (the congestion was so bad I literally couldn't get an ounce of air through at all, and it was so infected that the mucus I could get out was the nastiest yellow-green sludge you have ever seen) I almost went to the ER to see if they could do something. (This was on a weekend and I had no hope of getting a Dr. apt until earliest Tues). I knew I would just sit there for hours, and eventually see someone who may or may not do anything but give me antibiotics. So I thought I would try my own home remedy, my Netti Pot, which I HATE using but it does seriously work for clearing things out. Well I started using it at night before bed and in the morning when waking up and it started helping SOOOO much. Within a few days the congestion had gone down considerably and the mucus was not as thick, or yellow-green anymore, and I was able to sleep better. That in combo with taking steamy showers before bed and using the humidifier by my bed at night have helped keep my sinuses at bay and I think (cross my fingers hope to God) that Im THIS close to kicking this thing finally!!! Ryan unfortunately has it but he's allowed to take meds for it, and his doesnt seem to be as bad. We all have the lingering cough but that always takes forever to go away anyway.

Anyway, on to the fun stuff! Ryan and I LOVE our phones. Its so easy to take pics on the spot, and immediately upload them to where we want, and everyone gets to see more of Aurora whether they like it or not! Speaking of Aurora, she is getting better at two syllable words and even says two words together sometimes. Ryan and I have decided we will be putting her into preschool once my maternity leave is over. Its sort of scary thinking about all the extra time and coordination we will need to make a second child work! (Mostly with regards to us doing it as two full time working parents) Two different kids at different stages/schedules, with different needs, going to two different day care places, Ahhh!!! Obviously we will make it work; every parent does, but I just know it is going to be a lot. I remember everyone telling us when I was pregnant with Aurora, "enjoy your time together now, rest, etc. because its going to get crazy when the baby comes" and I feel that way now - I'm always thinking how easy it is to just pop to the grocery store with one kid, or take one kid to daycare on the way out to work, or go to a social event and sort of keep an eye on on kid, packing stuff for one kid... soon we will have two and that will all be a thing of the past!

All that being said, I think I'm really enjoying this time we have before the baby comes. I'm so happy to be out of the first trimester and that terrible morning sickness (that was the most awful thing I have EVER had to endure and there is nothing on the planet that could convince me to go through that again). And being through it once and knowing that this time is my last time being pregnant, I'm sort of savoring certain parts of the experience (getting big and round, feeling the baby move in my tummy, feeling famished all of the time and eating so much knowing I'm nurturing the baby growing inside me). And the weather warming up and the sun coming out to play the last few weeks has just warmed me right through my soul and makes me so happy. I think of how close summer is, and how amazing the summer is going to be. There are so many things to look forward to. Easter, Rory's birthday, mother's day, Memorial Day up at the King's River, Abby coming, the long awaited reunion with my cousin Jay and his family moving to San Diego... and those are just the specific events. In general, I'm looking forward to hot summer days at the pool, bbqs with friends and family, having the kids run around in their swimsuits (or better yet, their birthday suits!!!), my maternity leave and enjoying three 3 day weekends per month with Ryan, trips to the Ranch, breastfeeding a newborn and not having to yet go back to work and pump... In a lot of ways I think this just might be the best summer of my life!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Halfway Home

Yesterday marked 20 weeks; halfway through the pregnancy. After the morning sickness went away, the last several weeks have been flying by. The biggest news recently was the 19 week ultrasound. We went into the ultrasound planning on Ryan finding out the sex, but not me. We were telling everyone that neither of us were going to find out, just to make things easier on Ryan (not have people hound him to try to get it out of him). When we got to the exam, the tech asked us if we wanted to know. I said he wants to know, but I dont. And Ryan said, "Actually Im good." I was super touched and thought how nice that was of him to last min go in with me to not find out. So we go through and she gets all the shots she needs to and we get to the crotch shot. At that point I see a glance and I dont see anything there, so I initially think "girl". I should also say that before the US I had told Ryan I felt like it was a girl at that point - I had not had a feeling before that but just in the 18 week range I was feeling girl. Anyway, so the tech tells us to turn away since this was the shot. So then she tells us when its over and we look back, and a few min later, the tech says, "she" then awkwardly pauses and adds, "or he". If that wasnt bad enough, she does it several more times during the ultrasound. Seriously?????? Then the printer wasnt working, so they said they would make us a CD of the pictures. And she warns me, "but the sex shot is on there and its labeled so since you dont want to know dont look at that one", and Im thinking, come on lady, do you really not realize that you have already totally ruined it and we know its a girl??? So we left and I said we might as well double check the CD for the shot since it was already kind of ruined for us. Sure enough, there are two crotch shots labeled Fem1 and Fem2. One you cant really see anything, the other is more clear, but still doesnt look totally convincing. I think it's pretty clear but some of the other friends and family can see where it could still be a boy. I guess we will all get the surprise of our life if out comes a James Ryan or Alexander Ryan instead of an Abigail Rose. Otherwise, the baby looked good from the US - measuring a little over 1o oz, heartrate at 147, and the head measuring closer to 18 weeks than 19 weeks. (What can I say, Ryan and I are a small headed family!)

Another big milestone, I felt the baby move for the first time during the ultrasound. I had felt flutterings before but couldnt be sure if they were gas or something else. And since then Ive been feeling her more and more.

Last Monday night I had some pretty serious allergies before bed, or so I thought. Well turns out it was a serious cold. I was unable to breathe at all at night, getting the worst sleep ever. (Actually I dont know if you can even call it sleep - more like tossing and turning). By the end of the weekend, I was almost better, then yesterday I woke up with a sore throat and started getting stuffy again. Come on already! Leave me alone! Then this morning I woke up to diarrhea and vomiting. Must be a stomach flu or something. UGH. However, looking back at my blog from Aurora's pregnancy, I got a really terrible cold around the same time. I guess there is something to be said for that repressed immune system.

Im also right on track for my weight. Ive gained about 7 lbs from my lowest weight, and total from my start weight is only about 2 lbs. So we will see how I gain from here, but hopefully I can keep the gain minimal in this second half of the pregnancy.

Ive also changed midwifes - Rita spread her wings to fly, being the free spirit she is, and went to Africa for a while. From there she will move to France and see where things take her. Im very happy for her and know this the right choice for her. She recommended I see Rebecca, another midwife, and so I have had my first apt with her. You really can't go wrong; all of them ware wonderful. :0)

Aurora is doing well. She is talking up a storm and exerting her wants and needs as forcefully as any toddler. "Mine" and "Pease" are her go to words. She will just keep repeating one or both of them over and over when she doesnt get her way. We are working on colors and numbers, although she doesnt really have any of them down. Her hair is long enough to put in a cute ponytail or double ponytails, which make her look like such a big girl! Ive decided I do like her better with some bangs so I am keeping a little fringe in front trimmed (after our hair cut debacle with Grandpa Wayne where he CHOPPED her hair without asking us first!!!). She has gone pee pee in the potty twice in the last few days. We arent forcing it but for sure trying to make her aware of the option to go in the potty instead of her diaper. It would be awesome to get her mostly on the potty before the baby comes. We will see! We have talked to her about the baby and she knows there is a baby in my belly. However, I dont know how much of that concept she actually gets.

In other exciting news, Ryan and I finally sprung and decided to get smart phones. We got the HTC EVO, and a great discount with Sprint through my work. We are loving them and being able to keep in easier touch with our friends and family, as well as capturing pictures and video more easily and uploading it quicker with them.

We have also found an amazing housecleaner who we love (thank you Sarah from work for the referral) and have set up on a monthly schedule. Its a difficult added monthly expense especially when we just got the phones, but it is giving us more quality time because we are spending less time cleaning, and we are less stressed.

Well I think thats about it for now!