Saturday, September 27, 2008

What's in a Name?

A lot. Several people have asked how we came up with the name Zoe Alexis. As Trevor and I were brainstorming names, it was important to us to choose a name that not only sounded nice, but that meant something that we'd want to impart on our child. Trevor and I are Christians and we know the importance of a name. I won't get preachy, but throughout the Bible people were named for very specific reasons and those names shaped their personality and destiny. Knowing this shaped our philosophy for selecting a name.

With that said, Zoe means "life" in the Greek. Zoe has been translated further to mean the abundant life or the God-given life. Essentially, Zoe means the life of God. That's what we want for her. We want His life to be evident in her and all the people she will encounter during her lifetime. Alexis means "defender" in the Greek. This signified strength to us, and we want our angel to be strong and to stand for something.

So there you have it. That's what's in a name!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Do You Believe in Angels?

I do, and I always have. It's often been debated whether angels have a gender. While I don't know the theological answer to this question, I know that the angel growing inside of me definitely has a gender. Today Trevor and I found out that our little angel is a...........girl!!!! We are so thrilled!!! Trevor has been predicting that we're having girl for over a week now. He was right.

So, not only is our angel a little girl. Our angel also has a name. Zoe Alexis! A perfect name for our perfect little angel!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Boy or Girl? THAT is the Question!

After mulling it over, Trevor and I are certain that we want to know Baby D's gender. While the idea of being surprised on Baby D's birthday would be great, we just can't hold out that long. We want to know for practical reasons, primarily nursery planning. We also want to begin bonding with Baby D in a very special way by referring to him/her by his/her name in the womb. But more importantly, we want to know because we just want to know! I'm the same girl that used to sneak and open her Christmas presents and then tape them shut again when I was a little girl. (Sorry, Mom!) Clearly, curiosity always gets the best of me. If I could figure out a way to conduct (and interpret) my own ultrasound, I'd be slathering on the jelly and rubbing my belly with the probe right now!

While we both want a healthy baby (who doesn't?!), I really want a girl, and Trevor really wants a boy; however, I think I want a girl more than Trevor wants a boy. Regardless, one of us will get what we want.

This Friday we are having a second trimester screening done. It is similar to the first trimester screening, however, the doctor can see more of Baby D's anatomy and can check for things such as open spine defects and heart defects. We fully expect to be able to find out Baby D's gender as well. I can't wait!!!

19 Weeks!

Today marks 19 weeks! YAY!!! I'm still feeling pretty good, but I am starting to have minor aches and pains here and there. First, I'm still experiencing round ligament pain, but nothing like I experienced in San Francisco. I mainly feel it after I've been at rest for a long period of time and get up too suddenly. The solution is easy: get up slower. Second, my back is beginning to bother me. I experience back pain daily, but thankfully it doesn't last all day. I only experience the back pain when I've been sitting for long periods of time, particularly when I slouch. I can generally address the problem by sitting upright, but I am in the process of trying to order a back support cushion at work to improve my posture. Lesson: work on my core post-baby, and look into prenatal yoga.

Most exciting this week....I've officially popped! There's no hiding this belly. The people at work that know about Baby D have commented on my bump this week. One of my friends even shed some tears of joy when she saw my belly yesterday. It was so sweet. Those that don't know I'm pregnant give my stomach an uncomfortable and suspicious glare. Too funny!

Baby D this week: Baby D's arms and legs are in proportion to each other and his/her body. The kidneys are producing urine and hair is starting to sprout on the scalp! Baby D is undergoing sensory development this week as well. His/her brain is starting to designate specialized areas for smell, taste, hearing, vision, and touch. He/she can even hear mommy and daddy now. Last, a waxy coating called vernix caseosa, which is cheese-like in texture, is starting to coat Baby D to keep him/her from pruning up in the amniotic fluid. The vernix caseosa will shed before delivery. I tell you, I really don't know how people can deny there is a God because He really thought of everything!!! I've always known that, but this experience has me in awe!

Baby D weighs 8 1/2 ounces and is measuring 6 inches. About the size of a large mango:

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Still Waiting....

...to feel Baby D move for the first time. I'm officially getting anxious! Last Wednesday night, while I was in bed, I felt two back-to-back flipping sensations in my stomach. I got really excited because I thought it was Baby D moving rather than gas because nothing followed those sensations....if you know what I mean. Anyway, I haven't felt anything since then, so maybe it wasn't the baby. Maybe it was gas after all???? Dunno. All I know is that I'm getting impatient, and I want to feel this baby move. According to the pregnancy books and websites, it can still take up to 3-5 more weeks until I feel movement since this is my first child. But on average, most women feel their baby move for the first time between 16-20 weeks. So I'm still in range. In a few weeks when Baby D starts boning up on his/her taekwondo skills I'm sure I'll long for this day again, but right now I'm just ready and anxious.

Come on Baby D, move for mommy!!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

18 Weeks!

Yesterday I started my 18th week of pregnancy/the start of my 5th month. I can't believe how fast things are moving, although February seems like an eternity from now. While Baby D is getting longer and longer every week, I'm amazed at how much the baby weighs. Only 5 ounces at this point. That just reinforces how much growing Baby D has to do.

Baby D this week: Baby D is filling out and moving like crazy, although I don't feel the movement yet. (I did feel a strange flutter in my stomach last night, but I don't know if that was Baby D or my dinner talking back.) Apparently this week Baby D has started yawning and hiccuping. Wow! And he/she has its fingerprints now. Baby D is approximately 5 1/2 inches long....about the size of a bell pepper:

Pretty crazy!

By the way---I "borrowed" the idea of posting photos to illustrate Baby D's size from another blog. I couldn't resist. I just wish I would've kept track of this before now. Oh well!

Footnote: After my second nosebleed I said that I'd stop mentioning them after the third, assuming there was a third. Well, there was a third. Yesterday. This is annoying. Perhaps if I stop talking about the nosebleeds they'll stop. Or not. (Peeking ahead to month 9 in "What to Expect When You're Expecting", nosebleeds are still listed as a symptom. Dang!) Oh well, the nosebleeds won't be mentioned again.


Second (and Final) Hospital Tour

On Sunday, Trevor and I toured the second hospital where Dr. S has labor and delivery privileges. We liked hospital #1, but weren't sure what we should be looking for in a hospital. Well, I guess you know it when you see it because we really liked hospital #2. I was surprised because hospital #2 is older and I trend towards liking newer, modern things and places, but hospital #2 exceeded my expectations. I can't put my finger on one special thing we liked, but it just felt right. Here are a few things we liked (in no particular order, just as I remember them):

1. A variety of postpartum rooms, especially the availability of suites. We "reserved" a two room, two bathroom suite, but there's no guarantee Baby D will make his/her debut on the requisite day. The likelihood of that happening is slim, so hopefully the suite will be available when I go into labor. Although I'll only be spending 48 hours of my life in the hospital, I appreciate the privacy the suite offers. If I'm breastfeeding Baby D while visitors are present, they can remain in the sitting area while I breastfeed in privacy in the bedroom. Also, if I'm trying to nap and Trevor is trying to watch TV, he can watch TV in the sitting area while I sleep in peace. A nice perk, and it isn't too expensive.

2. Well-stocked "nourishment centers." Hospital #1 only had a coffee/water bar. Hospital #1 has nourishment centers stocked with coffee, water, juice, soda and some food items. All complimentary.

3. Staff OB in the event of an emergency. Apparently there are only a handful of hospitals in the city that offer this service, and hospital #1 isn't one of them. Hospital #2 prides itself on their staff OB because there is someone on hand if a woman needs an emergency C-section or needs to deliver before her own doctor arrives.

4. Brand new nursery that will open later this month.

5. Very impressive neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Hospital #2 has one of the most respected NICUs in the area. We hope Baby D won't have to visit the NICU, but we were impressed with what we heard about hospital #2's NICU and know that Baby D will be in good hands if a NICU stay/visit is necessary.

6. Lactation consultants on staff daily from 8am-5pm. While hospital #2 has lactation consultants, their availability isn't as good. Since I want to breastfeed, I'm glad there will be plenty of support on hand.

7. Dining on demand, and a fancy celebratory dinner for mom and dad. The celebratory dinner can be eaten at anytime from check-in to check-out. Parents' choice. I think this is a nice touch.

We're happy to have something else off our "to do" list.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Operation Nursery Underway

Saturday Trevor and I made our first baby purchase. Actually that's not true. Trevor bought our first pack of newborn diapers on Friday. Awww!!! So on Saturday Trevor and I made our first nursery purchase. We ordered Baby D's furniture. YAY!!!! After searching high and low, we decided on a set that is manufactured in Europe; it converts from a crib to a toddler bed to a full-size bed. The quality is impeccable and the manufacturing is environmentally responsible. We're no environmentalists, but this was a bonus. What we especially like is that the furniture isn't manufactured in China, which is of great concern these days with all the lead laden crud imports, and there are no formaldehydes used. Also, the furniture has a number of safety features to prevent injury to Baby D. It will take 12 weeks for the furniture to be manufactured and shipped, however, the factory is closed the month of December. Thus, the furniture should arrive in late December/early January. Just in time for our little one.

Here are pics of the furniture. Besides the crib, we ordered the dresser/baby station (to the right in the photo) and the armoire. Unfortunately this pic doesn't show the armoire.

Now we need to figure out a nursery theme. We'll probably find out Baby D's gender at the end of the month, so that will bring some clarity to the theme decision. If we decide to wait and be surprised I don't know what we'll do because we haven't seen any gender neutral themes that we like. The manager at the furniture store gave us a good idea. If we decide to wait to find out Baby D's gender, which I kinda want to do, she said we can have Dr. S place the baby's gender in a sealed envelope for her eyes only. Then we can select boy bedding and girl bedding and she'll have the bedding/decor delivered to us in a sealed box, along with our furniture. When Baby D is born we can decorate the nursery. I guess that's a viable option since Baby D won't sleep in his/her nursery right away. Apparently another couple did this in the past. I think it's a good alternative to a gender neutral theme. I don't know??? Decisions, decisions.....

Friday, September 12, 2008

Prenatal Appointment

I had a standard prenatal appointment with Dr. S today. All is well. These appointments are pretty boring, but boring is good in a pregnancy, so I'm not complaining. Dr. S measured my stomach to check the fundal height. I'm measuring appropriately, which means my uterus (thus Baby D) is growing as it should. We also listened to Baby D's heartbeat. Still nice and strong. 148-152 bpm. All is well with mom and baby.

Oh, it seems that I gained approximately 2 lbs since my last visit in August. I'm still logging an overall weight loss, but Dr. S is encouraged that I'm finally "going in the right direction". I'm trying to tell myself to go with the process and not freak out over the weight gain, especially because I need to make sure I'm healthy for Baby D; however, it's hard not to worry about it. Societal expectations about being skinny, and the media images of celebrities that have babies and look amazing a week later, are so pervasive. It's tough not to get caught up in the hype. And as I've stated before, I'm still carrying around extra weight from law school. Oh the pressure!!! If I gain the recommended pound per week, I stand to gain another 23 lbs before the baby arrives. I'm definitely shooting for the bottom of the weight gain range. We'll see what happens. No matter what, I'm going to do what's right for my baby.

I'm anxiously awaiting the first time I feel Baby D move. It can happen any day now (between 16-24 weeks), but for a first time mom it can take as long as 24 weeks to feel the first movement. I can't wait!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

It Happened Again

Today I experienced my second nosebleed. So much for hoping that I'd get away with having only one nosebleed during this pregnancy. The air was so dry in San Francisco, so I knew it was bound to happen. While in San Fran, I woke up congested every morning and Trevor said my snoring was OUT OF CONTROL. He said it sounded like I was saying "huhhhhhhh" over and over, in an annoying drawn out tone. LOL. I'm just suprised I didn't have this nosebleed while we were in San Francisco. I think I'm becoming a pro at this nosebleed thing. But they're still pretty freaky. Oh well, now I've had two nosebleeds in my lifetime. After the third, if there's a third, I'll stop counting.....

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Babymoon!

Trevor and I just returned from a 6 day/5 night "babymoon" in San Francisco. At the beginning of the year, before we even started trying to conceive, we planned for a vacation in early September. We were supposed to go to Belgium to visit Trevor's brother and his family, so once we found out about Baby D, we decided Belgium would be the destination for our "babymoon." Unfortunately, I was stung by the big law firm bug two days before our departure and had to cancel my vacation due to an out of control corporate deal. Lovely. Luckily, because Trevor is a commercial pilot, we didn't have any money tied up in the trip to Belgium which made the decision to cancel much more palatable. The biggest disappointment is that we missed out on visiting with our family. They will be leaving Belgium next year, a few months after Baby D's arrival, so we won't be able to squeeze in a visit to them between now and then. Shucks!

Anyway, after getting the corporate deal situated, Trevor and I were off to San Francisco four days after our original departure date. We had a blast!! We were able to take in all the sites and get plenty of rest along the way.

Day 1 was a challenge as I apparently pushed myself. Physically I feel just fine, and I often forget that I'm preggers because I don't feel any different. Well, after checking into our hotel we ventured out, on foot of course, to grab lunch at a restaurant recommended by the concierge. That outing required us to walk down what I think may have been the steepest hill in San Francisco. After lunch we walked up what I think may have been the second steepest hill in San Francisco to catch the trolley down to the Fisherman's Wharf. After walking around the Wharf and visiting Pier 39, I started experiencing lower abdominal pain. It was a pulling sensation that ran horizontally just above the pubic hair line. (Sorry--couldn't think of a different way to describe the location) Anyway, I figured I was just experiencing "growing pains" which is normal when the belly starts to grow. After leaving Pier 39 we walked down to Pier 33 to purchase tickets for the Alcatraz tour. After leaving Pier 33 I was really hurting so we decided to call it a day and head back to the hotel. I figured I'd rest a bit and then we'd head back out for dinner. No such luck. After 2 hours of rest I was still aching and it was even tough to get out of bed without doubling over. We're talking some serious pain. Trevor and I concluded that we should head to the hospital. Trevor called the concierge to cancel our dinner reservations and asked for a hospital recommendation because "my wife is having complications with her pregnancy." Hearing those words, coupled with the intense pain I was feeling, resulted in a complete emotional breakdown on my part. I was officially scared. The concierge notified the house doctor, who in turn called me within minutes. He said that it sounded like I pulled a ligament since I'm in the stage of my pregnancy where the round ligaments that support the uterus are expanding to make room for my growing belly. He said excessive walking, particularly with all the hills, can cause the type of pain I was feeling. He asked if I was cramping (NO), spotting or bleeding (NO), experiencing abnormal vaginal discharge (NO), experiencing burning when urinating (NO), constipated (NO), or experiencing diarrhea (NO). He told me to rest for a day or two and to notify him immediately if any of the answers to the above questions changed to YES. After a couple of hours of additional pain, and leery about the qualifications of the house doctor, I called Dr. S. She took me down the same line of questioning and arrived at the same conclusion as the house doctor, although she said it may just be overexertion, not a pulled ligament. She also recommended rest and a trip to the hospital if the pain hadn't subsided by Day 2. So Trevor and I ordered in some takeout and stayed in for the night. We also had to cancel our Alcatraz tour scheduled for Day 2. Thankfully I woke up on Day 2 feeling much better. Not 100%, but definitely better.

The remainder of the trip was much less eventful. Thank God! We learned a lot on Day 1 and took our time the remainder of our stay. We only tried to tackle a site or two each day, and we managed to see everything we set out to see. In addition to the Day 1 sites, we walked around Chinatown, went to Ghirardelli Square, rented a car and took a day trip to the wine country and even stopped in Sausalito for breakfast on the way, visited the Golden Gate Bridge, and took the Alcatraz tour. Sunday was our predesignated "lazy day" around the hotel. We had a great couple's massage and attended the hotel's Sunday jazz brunch.

Babymoon: success! Back to reality.