Thursday, July 28, 2011

They Call Me Mellow Prego

"You're like the most mellow prego I know."

In a world of hormonal pregnant women, I take this as a very high compliment. I think being pregnant has actually calmed me down. I don't cry as often, but when I do it's hard to stop. I laugh more, pee more, eat more, and sleep a heck of a lot more. Good times :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

27 Weeks - Glucose Test

Joanna passed her very first test! She does not have gestational diabetes, despite the random comments of "Oh you shouldn't have so many slurpees or your kid will have diabetes". Guess what. I scored a 120, which is very good, considering a score of 140 or higher is bad news bears.

The test consisted of me waking up, realizing I can't eat anything with excess sugar, making toast with butter and a glass of milk, then driving to the doctor's where I was weighed (192!!), blood pressured, and then given super kool-aid mixture of doom that was surprisingly yummy. I saw a fellow prego and we chatted about our progress, baby names, etc. An hour later, my blood was taken and Joanna's invisible gold star was received!! Good job, girl!



Joanna is kicking up a storm and giving mommy slight stretch marks, but its nothing that takes this smile off of my face. She's the size of an egg plant (that's it??) and is 2 lbs. Doc says I should gain no more than a pound a week. She wasn't concerned about my 26 lbs weight gain so far, I actually had to ask her if I was gaining too much!


We can't wait to meet you, Joey!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Showered with Love

We were blessed with our first baby shower this weekend. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the people who are already blessing little Joanna's life! We (my moms, sister-in-law Amy, and my amazing friend Briana) had so much fun planning, decorating, baking, and preparing for the big event. Click here to see all of the photos!
Briana had some very fun games:
  1. How big is mama's belly?
    1. Oriental Trading sells fun ribbon that we used for the game.
  2. Guess the baby food
    1. She bought baby food and tore off the labels before passing them around for a sniff (and taste) test. It's much harder than it seems!
  3. Name that song (all titles with "baby" in the title)
    1. This was my favorite! I couldn't help but song along to the answers.
  4. Diaper Race (changing diapers with eyes closed)
    1. After trash talking about my diaper experience, I had the longest time AND I put it on backwards.
When it came time for Joanna to open her presents (with the help of mama), I was so humbled at the generousity of everyone! She is now the proud owner of about 30 pairs of socks, roughly 25 onesies, 5 recieving blankets, 5 hats, 3 bibs, 5 pants, 2 mittens, a beautiful baby quilt made by my grandma, a really fun sweater and hat made by my mom, a fun mitten puppet thing from Aunt Amy, a fantastic shark hair clip from Ashley (haha), a giant turtle from Nilsa, an awesome gift card from Geneveive, fun blocks from mom, and a big goodie bag from Briana that was FILLED with amazing necessities that she was so creative and wise to get, AHH! I can't even comprehend how blessed this child is! I'm so thankful to everyone who came!

A sea of pink and purple!

Friday, July 22, 2011

One Hot Prego

I don't know if you knew this, but it's hot outside. It's not just hot - it's HUMID. It's actually going to be hotter in the DC / Richmond corridor than in Houston and Miami, and they're even more notorious for their humidity!



So what's a prego to do? I ain't no doctor, but I do know that my German genes give me the gift of excellent perspiration. Based on my personal expertise, this is what I do:

  • Water
    • Even though I'm swimming in it, cold water for the inside of my body is so delightful!
  • I'm a fan of fans.
    • Pocket fans, oscillating fans, paper fans, whatever. They all work beautifully.
  • Slurpees
    • :)
  • Know when it'll be hottest
    • Sometimes it's not always hottest between the hours of 11 and 2. I was surprised this morning when the news said the heat index will be worst at 5 p.m. tonight.
  • Staying inside/in the shade
    • I am one freckly mother so staying inside has always been my natural inclination. I hope to one day be one giant freckle and finally have a tan, but for now I'm enjoying shade and indoor air conditioning.
  • Good deodorant
    • You're hot enough. You can splurge on the good stuff.
    • Don't be afraid to use the deodorant on other places, too (i.e: back, neck, etc).
  • Ice Cubes
    • When you get a drink at a drive thru, ask for a cup of ice, too. If I'm desperate to cool off, I will literally put ice in my shirt and down my neck. The water doesn't stain and it feels o so lovely as it dries!
  • Cooling Stations
    • If you live in a bigger city, there will likely be cooling stations set up by the Red Cross or local government to help the elderly, youngins, and those with child. We're at the highest risk for heat related injuries.
  • More Water
    • It does mean more "Can I use your bathroom?" questions, but I've never been turned down. My lovely lady bump sure helps get the sympathy vote!
  • More Slurpees
    • Yes ma'am!

My personal arsenal

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Unknown

I just received word that one of my close friends may lose their baby. She went into early labor and she's only 21 weeks along. Contractions started, her water broke, and there was an infection soon after. I haven't gotten any word beside the initial report. According to the doctors, they'll only have a few minutes to spend with their new son. It's their first child. The child they wanted for years.

They struggled like we did to have a baby. We were thrilled to be pregnant together. And now this.  As a Christian, I want to pray that the baby will survive and be a miracle. As someone who trusts doctors, I want to pray that the goodbye will be peaceful. As a mother-to-be, my heart aches for my friends. The agony, frustration, and potential devastation are unimaginable. Some hospitals aren't required to save children younger than 23 weeks. I wish I could be there with them, but I don't want my very pregnant belly to upset her.

Biblical scriptures can be found/interpreted where infants are Heaven-bound because they have not yet sinned.  If this child doesn't live, I know we'll meet him in Heaven. It's painful to think that some of his family may never know him though, especially after a tragedy like this. This kind of situation can help make or break a relationship with God. Part of me wishes we could go through it in their place. They don't deserve this; they worked so hard to be parents. It's absolutely unfair and shitty that they have to endure this pain. But I know God is sovereign and He has a plan. I hate His plan sometimes, but He always proves me wrong when I see the big picture later.

I'm at a loss for any more words.


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Update

She delivered her first baby this morning. A baby boy. He weighed a little more than one pound. The proud parents spent an hour with their precious child before saying goodbye. It's amazing to think that his little life was completely full of love! I believe that a little life free of sin is Heaven bound.

He will always be their first. He will always be the first grandchild. He will always be loved. We'll miss you, Oliver.


If you're a parent, please hug your child(ren) as tightly as you can the next time you see them. Take joy in what God has given you. Be thankful.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Zofran Free: Day Three

I've (accidentally) gone three days without my anti-nausea medicine. Now that I'm in Week 26, I figured it was about time I see how my body felt drug-free. My last pill was consumed on Friday and I didn't realize it was my last one! Since the docs are closed on the weekend, I had to wait until Monday to get more.

Day One: pretty horrible. I burped up a little but didn't throw up. My appetite was very sporatic too. My body just didn't know what to do with itself!

Day Two: tiring but not as nauseating. I spent the entire day on the couch. NOW I remember the feelings.

Day Three: pretty okay. I started with a slurpee, had bread and hummus for first lunch, hot dog and fries for second lunch, and ice cream. No nausea, but a lot of fatique and overall crudiness.


I'm hoping each day gets better. I went to Target and got more drugs just in case, but for now the bottle is still sealed.

By the way, these drugs retail for $171.99. I paid $10.00. God is so good and insurance is a beautiful thing!

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Day Four: I caved. I spent last night crying and praying. I'm exhausted and frustrated and on the verge of tears again. Joanna has been jumping all around, which makes me thankful for my journey and sad for my friend's journey.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Baby Bow-listic


With little girls come tutus, barbies, and hairbows! Because my child will likely be bald for several months, bows are a necessary evil so the world knows we have a baby girl and not a boy.

Contrary to popular belief, size does matter! I'm personally not a fan of bows larger than my child's head. I'm not really a fan of a bow bigger than their mouths. Perhaps the large bows are to prevent a choking hazard? Who knows!
Here are some visuals. These three bows are prime examples of what is too big to be taken seriously. I may still buy one or two big ones just for giggles sake:

 Yea. These are just a little much. I don't think they'd be very comfortable either, especially if they're just learning to hold up their own head.


My favorite!! haha!

In stark contrast, here are some small dainty flower headbands. I ADORE these (both from Pretty Baby Bowtique on etsy)














I'm not gunna lie, I'm totally going to do this to my child:

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Prego Photo Shoot

Our photos are back!! J McLaughlin Photography is amazing!!!

Here are some low res thumbnails that won't make your computer explode:







Friday, July 15, 2011

Breast Feeding Class

We went to our first parenting class: Breastfeeding. It was very informative! 

When I signed up for the course, it said husbands were encouraged to attend but were not required. I took this to mean, "Hey! It would be really great if husbands came!" so mine did. Out of the dozen or so pregnant women, there were about 8 husbands/boyfriends that came along. A word of warning: I thought the class would have illustrations of boobs and babies rather than pictures (and video) of the real thing. I was very wrong. If your husband would be weirded out by a lot of other women's milk jugs, don't bring them. 

10 things I learned about breastfeeding:
  1. Babies don't come out of the womb ready and rarin to go - you both have to work at it. They do come out hungry so they'll be ready to eat something. 
  2. Women need to continue taking prenatals and eating an additional 400-500 calories each day while breastfeeding. 
  3. Women usually don't have their menstrual cycle while breastfeeding. 
  4. You can save up to $3,000 a year when you breastfeed versus using formula.
  5. Breastfed babies are less likely to be obese and more likely to attend college.
  6. Breastfeeding mothers lose their baby weight much faster (it helps your uterus shrink faster and also burns hundreds of calories).
  7. Breastfed babies and breastfeeding mothers are less likely to develop certain cancers.
  8. Breastfed baby diapers are less stinky than formula diapers (this is great especially for those using cloth diapers!)
  9. An infant's stomach is so tiny that it takes very little to satisfy their hunger. 
  10. Because of #9, feedings should occur at least every 3 hours, even through the night (which means you have to wake a sleeping baby to make sure they're eating). 

I'm looking forward to breastfeeding for many reasons. The two biggest reasons are to bond with Joanna and to save a lot of money for her college fund.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Premier Designs Jewelry

Well hello my blog followers :)

I am starting my own business as a Premier Designs Jeweler. With this business, I will be keeping a blog of my parties, tips, sales, and Premier experiences while I help provide for my growing family. You can stay tuned at my blog, Premier Jewelry with Laura.

So why am I becoming one of "those people" that do direct sales? Well, I'm not doing it for the free jewelry (although that's a very nice perk!) I'm doing it more as a financial and social opportunity when I dive into motherhood. I found this program to be the least restrictive with the highest potential profit (with the lowest cost to customers.) Premier Designs is a Christian company that honestly cares about their customers and jewelers. I earn 50% of retail sales, I don't pay shipping or tax, and I'm not penalized if I do a fantastic or horrible job. I also don't have to house any inventory, which is awesome considering all of the baby things we're getting! Premier ships everything directly from Texas. The only jewelry I hang onto is my display jewelry that I take to each show. I can also wear the show jewelry when I'm out and about for additional advertising :)

The main reason I'm not one of "those people" is that I hate selling things. I used to work in a call center where I was recruiting (aka selling) and I was restricted to a script and quotas. It was stressful and degrading - I left as soon as I could. With Premier, I believe in the product and I'm already a customer! I'm riding on enthusiasm and personal experience when I tell people about this jewelry.

That's right, I was a customer for a year before I became a jeweler. The prices are very reasonable, even for someone like myself who lives by yard sales and Goodwill. I personally keep an eye out for things I can wear in more than 4 ways. If it's versatile, it's like a 4 for 1 deal. I also have limited storage in my home, so versatile jewelry is a necessity at this point in our lives until we get a bigger house.

There you have it! I am officially a Premier Designs Jeweler :) If you want to see a catalog, you know I won't say no.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Things I Will Do To My Child


Being the snarky person that I am, I know my snark will only grow stronger with motherhood. That being said, the following is a non-exhaustive list of things I will do to my child because I find it hilarious:

  1. Find the largest flower/bow possible and place it on my girls' head when they are an infant. The bow is large enough when it is as big as the child's head.
  2. Three words: homemade Halloween costumes.
  3. Take pictures of my boy in one of Daddy's shirts. (It looks like a giant body with a shrunken head. It's quite fun.)
  4. Take pictures of their angry cry face.
  5. Document at least 3 different "poop faces" (see first photo for a reference).
  6. Let them play with our instruments and see/hear what happens.
  7. Give them a lemon.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Bumpy Travels

25 Weeks in NYC

Being pregnant makes traveling a little more involved.


Mom and I had our annual NYC trip this weekend. Here are some snapshots of our bump-y filled weekend:

We hitched a train from DC and headed North, accompanied by a pair of loud Brits and narrow seats. (the width of the seats must have shrunk because surely I didn't get wider... Hehe)

After arriving in NYC, I called my friend Kristen who is the assistant to Paul Shaffer on the Late Show with David Letterman. They're dark for two weeks but she was able to give us a tour of the Ed Sullivan theater!!! It was AMAZING!! I loved being there and my mom was geeking out. It was incredible that the tiny tiny Broadway theater was converted into the state of the art TV studio. All of the history that took place on that stage made my head spin: Elvis, the Beatles, Jim Henson and Frank Oz- amazing!! We sat at David Letterman's desk, interviewed each other, stood on his monolouge mark, and I got to touch Paul Shaffer's keyboard. Epic.

Pale People Unite!
Me and Conan O'Brien
That night, we went to Book of Mormon. This show is not for the faint of heart, but if you're a fan of South Park and Team America, you'd love this musical!! The show is sold out for months and months so we were so thankful to have tickets. After we sat down, I saw a tall Irish guy with big hair walk down the Orchestra aisle. IT WAS CONAN O'BRIEN. At intermission, I scurried down and elbowed my way to him and asked for a picture. He was so great about it! His wife took our picture and he enjoyed the second act of the musical. EPIC.

All day Saturday, I was the secretary for an International Cappies meeting, so I was indoors in a very air conditioned room with theater folks and teachers; these are my people.

That night was our second show: Sister Act. This show had an unexpected appearance of 5 Italian tourists sitting behind us, only one of whom spoke English. The bilingual gentleman proceeded to translate the show and answer questions from his family members. Really?? I know they have live theater in Italy. "For pope's sake, silencio!!" I thought in my head, but all I said was, "silencio, por favor!" A few moments later during their big act one number, they went at it again. I turn around and make eye contact and say, "shhhhh! I can hear you!" They still talked. I spoke to an usher and they said they were unable to do anything about it, but that we could move to any open seat. So we did. Second row mezzanine. And it was awesome. Being pregnant has made me more ballsy, but I'm pretty sure I would have done the same thing a year ago.

The train ride home was long, hot, and rewarding. I love hanging out with my mom, she's a very fun and generous lady. I'm glad we were able to make this trip again together and I'm hoping we can keep up the tradition!
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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Unplanned Doctor's Visit

Instead of complaining and punching people in the face in my head, I decided to call the doctor and ask what I can do about my pain and discomfort. They had me come in, pee in a cup to rule out a UTI, weigh myself (I'm 187 now!! AHH!), took my blood pressure, then I sat in the stirrups for about 10 minutes.

Doc checked all she needed to check (i.e. cervix for dialation and baby's heartbeat) and she said everything looked normal. She said a good belly support band should take care of the pain and discomfort.

Apparently one of the perks of carrying only in the front is that gravity has way more fun pulling everything down.

I'm going to leave work early tomorrow and head up to Northern VA to get a good belly support band. Then on Friday I'm off to NYC with my mom! woo hoooo!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Apparently I'm adorable.

Today's outfit includes a non-maternity grey sweater dress with a black belt that is tied like a bow in the front with black leggings.

I think people are interpreting the bow to mean that my belly is a gift from God for the world to enjoy. I just had someone look at me in the eyes, look at my stomach, light up, and touch my bump while saying "awwwww!" as we crossed paths. Although my outfit is adorable, my face is undeniably unwelcoming today. I have my glasses on, hair pulled back, and very little makeup. I'm glad my belly outshines my face because my bump is definitely far cuter than my face today (and that's saying a lot because my freckles are in full force with my lack of foundation).

So if you're a prego that doesn't want to be touched, don't wear a bow on your body. Especially a bow near your bump. I'm getting used to people touching me so I'm not as freaked out as I was a few months ago. This is the best my stomach will ever look- I may as well milk it for all its worth!

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Remember my waddle comments? They're still true. Pregos waddle because walking normally is uncomfortable!! Today it's painful for me to walk with my feet directly in line with my hips. Joanna loves nestling low while she sleeps so having any additional pressue is physically painful. Making fun of me while I'm preventing pain and discomfort to myself and my child is just rude. Shut up.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

24 Weeks

Joanna is a 2lb papaya!
According to the interwebs, most women are starting to really show at this point. Ha. Really? STARTING to show?
As you can tell from this photo, I don't have that problem! The morning of my positive test I wasn't able to fit into my work pants. My hips don't lie. I'm still so thankful to really only show in the front. People who know my butt have said that it's actually gotten flatter since becoming pregnant. Weird.
According to baby-gaga, my 2 pound baby girl's checklist for the week: 1) ears: done; 2) fingernails: done; 3) toe nails: done; 4) eyebrows and lashes: done, 5) lungs walls: secreting "surfactant" - a surface-activated fat on their lungs necessary for breathing and 6) ovaries: growing millions of eggs like a chicken on speed.

My placenta is still muffling Joanna's kicks but her punches and wiggly fingers are becoming more and more prevelant. I'm feeling more and more of a constant pressure on the bottom side of my belly so I'm thinking it's not Braxton Hicks. The cramps stay for hours and aren't relieved very easily. It's not painful, just tense. Nausea and fatique are still here but my appetite is starting to get more well-rounded. I can finally eat fruit, veggies, and salads now! Slurpees are still a welcomed treat on hot and humid days.

Speaking of heat, be sure to remind me to not be pregnant in the summer. I don't know how July/August moms do it. I am barely surviving a summer 2nd trimester - I can't imagine being in my 3rd at this point. It's exhausting!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Braxton Hicks

I've had some really intense cramps lately, like PMS times 10. They weren't necessarily painful, just extremely uncomfortable and a lot of pressure. Well, it turns out that they may be Braxton Hicks contractions!! How cool/weird/awesome is that!

Braxton Hicks (aka "false labor") is when the uterus is contracting as practice for labor. It's perfectly normal and expected at this stage of my pregnancy. Here are some facts from the What To Expect website:


Braxton Hicks Contractions — What They Are

Braxton Hicks contractions are like a dress rehearsal — your uterine muscles are flexing in preparation for the big job they'll have to do in the near future.


Braxton Hicks Contractions — What Causes Them

Your pregnancy hormones are hard at work, sending messages to your body to (very slowly) start the process of childbirth.


Braxton Hicks Contractions — What You Need to Know

Braxton Hicks contractions can begin anytime after week 20 of pregnancy. (You'll probably feel them earlier and more intensely if you've been pregnant before.) Braxton Hicks contractions begin as a painless tightening of the uterine muscles, usually lasting about 15 to 30 seconds, but sometimes as long as two minutes, and causing your abdomen to become very hard and strangely contorted (almost pointy). Once you get closer to your estimated due date, these contractions become more frequent and more intense.


Braxton Hicks Contractions — What You Can Do About Them

  • Try changing your position during a painful contraction — if you're sitting, stand up (and vice versa).
  • Use these contractions as a chance to practice your breathing and visualization techniques. (If your partner's around, make him practice, too.)
  • If your contractions are quite frequent (more than four in an hour) and/or you're in a lot of pain or see any kind of vaginal discharge, call your practitioner.