October 28, 2011

21 Weeks*

Well, I broke down and finally took a picture. I'm starting to feel like I actually look pregnant these days instead feeling like I'm rocking a bad ass beer belly. [This photo also made me realize how incredibly drab our guest bathroom is. Time to get some decorations up in there!]

I've been really bad about taking photos during the pregnancy, if anything just for our own personal record. Mostly because I just haven't *looked* pregnant. But I know that somewhere down the road, I'm going to want these photos, if only, again, just for our personal record.

And then I took a huge leap today and also posted this to facebook. I instantly felt guilty and made sure via my good friend Lauren that I was not, in fact, being one of those people. The ones that are incredibly obnoxious and annoying because they post every single thing about their pregnancy [and subsequently, everything about their child] on facebook. But what it comes down to is that we are on the downhill slide with this pregnancy. I know that we still have a very long way to go. 19 weeks in fact. And so many things can happen in those 19 weeks. I see it too often in this community. But, we've made it past a lot of hurdles, and for the first time I am actually feeling more excited than apprehensive.

It's a nice feeling to have. There has been so much fear with this pregnancy, especially early on. But feeling movement, and having my husband feel that movement for the first time last night, it changes things. And while I still definitely worry about what every little thing means I'm finding that I'm able to talk myself down much easier and am realizing that as of right now, things are ok.

And, Lauren assures me that I am, indeed, not annoying about the things I chose to post. In fact, I made her PROMISE ME, that if I ever got that way either during this pregnancy or post-baby, she had to tell me. No hard feelings. But she could shake me and say STOP. I'm holding her to that! But here in this blog, sorry. This is my free space. :)

The funny thing about that picture, though, is that it's so deceiving. Baby Boho is definitely sitting WAY lower than where the actual bump appears. So for now, the bump is really just for show. IT'S A VANITY BUMP! I have a feeling that as things fill out more, it will be much more representative of where the kid is actually sitting, but for now, it's tucked down deep in my uterus.

And I will say that Old Navy yoga pants are pretty much the best thing ever at this point. It absolutely doesn't help that they are currently having a sale and their workout stuff is uber cheap right now. But I stocked up and I can't wait to get into those puppies when I get home from work at night. If I could get away with going to work in yoga pants and a t-shirt EVERY SINGLE DAY, I would. Because it's that comfortable.

So the plan this weekend is still to move half of my house around and get the nursery started. Years ago, when we first moved into this house and first started trying, we kept that room pretty empty because we hoped that one day it would become the baby sanctuary. Over time, when that didn't happen, it started to collect a lot of junk. So now we have to go through it all and get rid of most of it. It should be a productive weekend. Fingers crossed.

Happy Friday all!

October 25, 2011

20 Weeks*

How Far Along? 20 weeks, 3 days.

Total Weight Gain/Loss:
-4 pounds at my 20 week appointment last Wednesday. With the weight I started at, my recommended weight gain [past my starting weight] was only 10-15 pounds. I'm happy to say that besides some not very good eating choices, I'm making up for the bad choices with good ones when I can. I'm hoping that I can continue staying under my starting weight until the start of my third trimester.

Maternity Clothes?
I'm thinking I am in need of some more comfy pants to lounge around in at night & on weekends. My belly is definitely growing out of my normal sleep pants!

Stretch Marks?
Ugh, unfortunately M & I have both noticed some growing of stretch marks. I'm using cocoa butter every day but I don't think it will help. I'm destined to not have a pretty pregnancy belly.

I have good nights and bad nights. The side sleeping is still rough, but I'm getting
used to it. The potty breaks are getting much more frequent at night. I am quite jealous of all these other pregnancy blogs I read that say sleeping is still so easy for them! Not so much here!

Best Moment of the Week?
MOVEMENT! And oh boy, lots of it. This kid is super, super active and I know I'm not even feeling most of it yet. We had our 20 week ultrasound and the kid definitely made it difficult for the tech. It never slowed down. But the kicks and the flutters are definitely there. M can't feel anything just yet, but it's nice having my own little secret. But I am definitely in for trouble as we progress. Because like I said ... ACTIVE!

Miss Anything?
Wine. Beer. Margaritas with my chips & salsa. Cuddling with my husband at night, which is impossible due to the extremely large quantities of pillows that ar

Active, active, active!

Food Cravings:
None this week!

Anything Making You Queasy or Sick?

Have You Started to Show Yet?
Oh most definitely. Although some people tell me I still don't look pregnant. Apparently I just look fat or something. But there definitely days where I look it more than others.

Gender Prediction:
Um, I actually had a dream the other night that it was a GIRL! So ... ugh! Who knows!

Labor Signs:

Belly Button In or Out:

Wedding Rings On or Off:

Happy or Moody Most of the Time?
Happy as a clam!

Looking Forward To:
M feeling the movement so we can share that together!

As I mentioned, we had our 20 week anatomy scan last week and everything seems to right on schedule. Baby is measuring just a couple of days ahead of what we really are, but it's been like that since the 10 week ultrasound so I'm not too concerned. The only issue that they saw was that my placenta was sitting a little lower than it should. They are not concerned as of yet, but I will need to go back in for a follow up ultrasound in 8 weeks to make sure that it is moving up the way it should. So until then, I'm not worried about it.

My pelvic pain is also getting worse. My midwife has recommended seeing a chiropractor and I need to call and actually make that appointment. She doesn't want to put me into a belt just yet because it is so early, but I have a good feeling that eventually I will be there. But the pelvic pain is pretty much unbearable. It hurts to walk, especially if I have been sitting for long periods of time, or first thing in the morning. And by the ultrasound, the baby is definitely adding to all of this. He/She is literally on top of my cervix, sitting very, very low.

Other than that, things are going really well. We are cracking down this weekend and getting started on the nursery. I have started registering but haven't spent too much time on it yet. If we can get the paint up on the walls this weekend, I will be a happy camper. I feel like we are a little behind on getting things done, and I am anxious to start working on some things!

I have a few things to do before the guest bedroom becomes the nursery, but hopefully this week goes well and we can get some things in order!

October 24, 2011

Peanut Butter Pie*

This past Saturday, a friend of mine hosted her first ever "Choctoberfest" get together at her home. She asked all the invited individuals to bring a dish that centered around chocolate. It could be anything, it just had to have chocolate in it.

I am not the biggest chocolate fan in the world. In fact, I rarely have the stuff. I'm more of a salty kind of person. Give me a bag of chips over a candy bar any day and this girl will be happy. But the event sounded like fun, and it forced me to reach outside of my comfort and social anxiety ridden zone of doing something that involved being around people I don't know, and so I went.

But because I don't really like chocolate, I had to find something that contained chocolate, but also was something that I would want to eat!

And that's when I stumbled upon this baby:

Peanut Butter Pie! YUM! This dish was SO easy to make, and was so tasty. And, in a group of about 20 dishes all containing chocolate, it was voted the fan favorite of the afternoon in the poll she did. It is very, very rich, so small portions are definitely best, but it is worth making for your next get together. Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Pie

Yields: 8-10 servings

8 oz chocolate graham crackers
4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
8 oz finely chopped chocolate or dark chocolate chips, divided
1/4 c peanuts, chopped
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 c creamy peanut butter
1 c confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 c Sugar-Free Cool Whip

Add the graham crackers to the bowl of a food processor and pulse into fine crumbs. Combine melted butter and cracker crumbs in a small bowl, and stir with a fork to mix well. Press mixture into the bottom and 1-inch up the sides of a loaf pan. Melt half of the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave. Pour over bottom of cookie crust and spread to the edges using an off-set spatula. Sprinkle chopped peanuts over the melted chocolate. Place pan in the refrigerator or freezer while you prepare the filling.

Place the cream cheese and peanut butter in a deep bowl. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar. Add the vanilla extract, then the Cool Whip. Increase speed to medium and beat until all the ingredients are combined and filling is smooth. Pour the filling into the prepared loaf pan.

Melt the remaining half of the chocolate and let cool for a few minutes. Then, drizzle the melted chocolate on top and refrigerate or freeze for three hours or overnight before serving.

October 21, 2011

October ICLW*

Welcome, fellow ICLW'ers! My name is Brittany. This is my third ICLW. I have found some great new blogs participating in the past and I am hoping to gain some new followers and find some MORE great new blogs! So, WELCOME!

Just some quick background information. I am 30 years old. I am married to the love of my life, M and we are the proud parents of three fur babies in the form of pooches (Marley, our beloved German Shorthair Pointer. Daisy, our amazing Lab/Retriever mix. Cooper, our stupid but adorable Treeing Walker Coonhound!) I am also a very proud Army Spouse, even though I don't talk about our military life here on this blog very often. My husband has been home for two years now since his last deployment, and we are gearing up for BIG changes in the coming months.

I am also currently 20 weeks pregnant with our first bambino. My husband and I started trying almost four years ago shortly after our wedding. Exactly one year later, and two days after my husband left for a 12-month deployment to Iraq, we got our first positive pregnancy test. Unfortunately, at 10 weeks, I miscarried. The emotional pain that came after that miscarriage was unreal & something I would never wish on another person. I couldn't move on and start trying again & I had to sit back and wait until M returned before we jumped back on the bandwagon. Once he got home, we started trying again with no success. After HSG tests, a round of clomid, two rounds of femara and one IUI, we are pregnant. Baby Boho is due March 9, 2012.

I would also like to state that I realize every. single. day how freaking lucky we are that my first IUI was a success. I know that this is a rare thing and we count our blessings all the time. With that, I am finding myself stuck somewhere in between the infertility world, where I am getting the feeling that I don't really belong anymore, and the "I'm currently pregnant and entering the mommy world so I'm going to only talk about my pregnancy/child/his first poop on the big boy potty", which is a community that I find extremely annoying when it involves women who have not gone through this process. [Sorry if that makes someone angry!]

So I don't really know where I belong right now. I still consider myself an infertile, because let's face it ... pain is pain. I consider myself a pregnant infertile, trying to be as supportive as I can to the rest of the community while also trying to keep at bay the extreme neurotic feelings that come with having a pregnancy after a miscarriage ... and trust me. There are a LOT! 20 weeks pregnant and I still feel crazy every single day that something is going to go wrong.

So that's my story! Please stick around, browse, and come back often as I will be updating this blog a few times in the coming week! I look forward to meeting you all!

October 15, 2011

I Am The Face*

Today is Pregnant & Infant Loss Awareness Day. A day when we, as a community, and our supporters take a minute [or for some of us, a little longer] to remember the children we have lost. Whether we suffered a miscarriage, a stillbirth or the loss of an infant, I think I can speak for all of us when I say that the pain always stays with us.

I am a face of this loss. Our loss came almost three years ago. January 10th, 2009. When I went in and was told the baby was gone. I was 10 weeks pregnant. That baby had come after a year of trying. The positive pregnancy test came just two days after my husband deployed to Iraq for one year. The love that I had for that baby helped me get through my days as my husband was gone. But the miscarriage itself came and destroyed my life.

We have been so luck in that nearly three years later, we have been given a second chance. Thus far, a healthy pregnancy that has thrived. I realize every day how lucky we are to be where we are at. But so many women have not been able to enjoy this joy yet. Or have gotten this far, only to lose everything. It is a devastating loss, no matter how far along in your journey you are.

We aren’t alone. Approximately 25-50% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, yet the topic remains so taboo. There are 60 stillbirths in the United States everyday. Read stories of people who have been there too at Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope.

I am the face.

October 14, 2011

Fall Decorations*

I've been wanting to spruce up the house for the fall for quite some time now [DESPITE the horribly shitty 80 degree weather that we are still having. Whatthefuck, Summer? I know it's the South and all but it's still Mid-October. Can we move on to cooler temperatures? PLEASE?] but because of, again, recent events, those plans have been derailed.

Which is OK because I have found some more cute ideas that could easily last until after Thanksgiving. When all the Christmas crap that I LOVE putting up [and my husband detests] comes out. Yes. I am that person that decorates for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving. :)

First off, this adorable leaf garland:

I think this is adorable, minus the kid aspect that was thrown in. It's an adorable craft for kids, but I think there is a way to spruce it up and make it more adult appropriate. I also love the idea of this monogrammed pumpkin from The Girl in the Red Shoes:

I love, love, love pumpkins as decorations on my front porch, as well as plenty of mums. But I am not really a fan of carving them because I like having them throughout the fall. Once you carve them, they are only good for a couple of weeks. And a Jack-O-Lantern isn't really appropriate for Thanksgiving, me thinks. But something like this could easily last through the season, and the pumpkin would still be good to gut Thanksgiving weekend for lots of pumpkin goodies. I have also seen a version of this where the entire pumpkin is painted white, making the black lettering stand out. Either way, I love this.

I also think a good fall wreath is in order, such as this one from TwoInspireYou's Etsy shop:

Our front door is actually a bright orange. We got new siding for our house this past summer and wanted a bright color for the door. Since the siding is a dark grey, we went with a bright orange. It looks awesome if I do say so myself, so it's already aiding in my decorations for my most favorite season. Something like this with some more black tones in it [versus the orange] would be perfect.

Any favorite decorations that you love creating every year? Or is this the year you step it up [like me] and start being creative?

19 Weeks*

I missed a couple of weeks of updates because of what was going on the past few weeks. Traveling and not really having access to the internet [as well as this just not really being a priority!] has meant no baby updates. But, we'll get started again and hopefully we are done with family tragedy for a while!

How Far Along? 19 weeks exactly

Total Weight Gain/Loss:
I'm actually only down 3 pounds now. Yikes. A 7 pound weight gain in a couple of weeks? I should weigh myself again because the truth of the matter is that in the week that we were in Portland, we kind of had to eat out for every. single. meal. I tried to be good, but sometimes those tator tots from McMenamins
[take your pick .. we ate at several!] won me over. I've been eating well again since being home and I'm guessing that half of the weight I gained was because of the intense gas I was having. To much information? Sorry. Grease & I never mix well. A whole week of restaurant food sort of messed me up. We will see where I am next week!

Maternity Clothes?
I love maternity pants. So much. I can now see why so may women swear by them even post-baby.
I am still sticking by this statements. I am essentially wearing the same four or five pairs of pants. Two or three pairs of maternity jeans that I LOVE and two or there pairs of work pants. I am jealous of all these pregnant bloggers that get to rock yoga pants all day. But as soon as I get home at 4:30 every afternoon, that's exactly what gets put on.

Stretch Marks?
No new ones!

Sleep is starting to get rough.
I'm not sure if I've said this before but I am NOT a side sleeper. I am a straight up stomach sleeper. I have been my whole life. And I am suddenly to the point where I just can't do it anymore. I was able to keep doing it for a while, but that is no longer an option. So, sleeping on my side it is. Which plain and simple, sucks.

Best Moment of the Week?
My husband, laying his head on my belly and talking to the baby. I think a lot of this has been surreal for him, but now that I am starting to show, he knows that it's real. Obviously, he did before, too, but I think this is different for him. Every night when we were in Portland, he would talk to the baby.
It was so sweet and so endearing to watch him, and quite funny at other times. Between the extra closeness that developed after he lost his mom & watching this, the love that I have for my husband is stronger than I ever thought possible.

Miss Anything?
Right now, just M. With him still being in Portland, it's rough getting things done on my own. Lame, I know.

Nothing yet :(
But I KNOW it's close!!

Food Cravings:
None this week!

Anything Making You Queasy or Sick?
Flying made me queasy. I think that was mostly due to the extreme turbulence, as well as lack of sleep. Red Eyes & pregnancy do NOT mix, people!

Have You Started to Show Yet?
Oh most definitely. I swear I woke up one morning & had "popped." Both M & I have noticed it. I'm definitely bigger on some days more than others but again, I blame the gas. Isn't pregnancy fun? :)

Gender Prediction:
I am sticking with BOY throughout this whole thing!

Labor Signs:

Belly Button In or Out:

Wedding Rings On or Off:

Happy or Moody Most of the Time?
I've been moody lately, but only because of everything that's been going on. The emotional highs and lows
of recent events have been rough. And being home alone the past couple of days, which usually I LOVE those opportunities, has been weird. But it is what it is!

Looking Forward To:
Feeling movement!

All in all, all is well. We have our big ultrasound next Wednesday, and I am so excited to see the little nugget for an extended period of time! And for the record, we are NOT finding out the sex of the baby! We made that decision early on in the pregnancy and have vowed to stick with it. The infertility process is a tough one, and everything has been so calculated. There was no mystery to anything ... do this at this time, take this shot at this time, come in at this time and we'll knock you up. Even when I took a pregnancy test, it was more FINALLY! than OH MY GOSH I'M PREGNANT! We want one surprise. One tiny thing to keep to ourselves. And this is it :) Trust me, it will be rough going in next week and saying "no, we don't want to know" but M & are are dedicated to keeping it a surprise. My OCD is having a rough time dealing with this, but it will just have to GET OVER IT! Because I said so.

But hopefully next week's updates will include a belly shot [i know, i know ... promises, promises] as well as some pics of the nugget. Let's hope the nugget cooperates and does what it needs to in order to get everything done! Not that I will complain if I have to go back in for a second one! :)

October 13, 2011

Family Loss*

What a whirlwind in our household the past few weeks. I feel like I'm saying that a lot lately. But last week, my mother in law passed away from lung cancer. In a matter of three weeks we went from having a diagnosis to planning her memorial service. It was quick. So quick, that we didn't really know how to handle everything that was going on, when it was going on. The fact that my MIL lived 3,000 miles away across the country didn't help either, as my husband couldn't get there as soon as he needed to.

My father in law painted a rosy picture, one that we should have been more cautious about. The cancer, which we found out originated in her lungs [she smoked for about 40 years], was also in her liver, kidneys and lymph nodes. Everything ended up failing in the end & the choice to take her off her life support was left to my husband.

Not a choice that any child wants to have to make.

So for the past week, I was in Oregon with my husband dealing with the aftermath of her passing. He is still there until next week, finishing up some last details. This whole process has made me so proud of my husband and the man that he is. His family, specifically his father, left him to take care of everything himself. And while it was tough [and he hasn't really been given the chance to grieve yet] he stepped up to the plate and handled it well. I know this might be weird, but this experience, having to go through this together, has brought us closer together. We have had some really great talks about what we want out of life, changes that we need to make, preparations that need to be made, and an overall plan for what's to come.

But on top of it all, I just feel bad that my husband had to deal with it. My mother in law and I didn't have a great relationship, and no matter how many people told me she thought I was great, there were a lot of cruel things that she did to me that proved otherwise. But the sadness that I have for my husband is hard. I hate having to see him suffer and deal with such a loss. He is only 32. His mom was 58. It's a big blow and was completely unexpected.

But, we will get through it. Just like we get through everything else. Because that's what we do. I can't wait for M to get home next week.

October 1, 2011

When Life Throws You A Curve*

The past two weeks in our household have been pretty rough, as my husband and I have been dealing with some personal family issues. I've talked about it on twitter -- because, well, a girl needs an outlet -- but my husband will be flying back to Portland today to spend the next two and a half weeks with his family, until we can get some things figured out.

I realize that kind of sounds misleading, so I will say that we, as a husband & wife, are fine. But some health issues with extended family are causing us a lot of concern. If I need to fly out I will, but because of the pregnancy he doesn't really want me traveling and being under the extra stress. So here is where I stay until absolutely needed.

I will say that the outpouring of support from our friends and family has been amazing. My husband is very much an "I can carry the weight of the world alone on my shoulders" type of guy & I have been trying to tell him that we have an amazing support group both here and afar, & we need to utilize that & let people help us. I am forever grateful to the friends who have listened to me talk about what's going on, what I'm thinking & how I'm feeling, and it just proves to me that there are just some people in our lives that may not be blood, but are not any less family than the real thing. And for that, I will never be able to repay them or thank them properly.

So I will be solo for the next two and a half weeks unless I absolutely need to fly to Portland. I'm hoping that things work out and that it won't be needed anytime soon [*fingers crossed*] but it's nerve wracking to think otherwise. So in the meantime I'm hoping to just keep as busy as I can and get some things in order in the house. I have a SERIOUS pantry reorganization project that needs to happen, and I have some friends coming over next weekend to help move some furniture, so that I can get started on painting the nursery [yay!] & getting the old office/new guestroom in order & livable condition. I'm hoping to bust out some creativeness & if I come up with anything spectacular, I will be sure to share with you all! On top of that, I have some fall decoration plans that I am hoping to get accomplished.

All of this leads up to the well baby ultrasound the day after M returns. I'm excited to see the little guy/gal & no! We are not finding out the sex of the baby! Surprise! There are a lot of reasons for that, and we will get into that in another post! But for now I'm just prepping as much as I can! I'm looking forward to getting the nursery started & have some found some great prints for the walls that I may be ordering soon. I can't wait to document the process.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! It's sunny but low to mid 60's here this weekend, which is a NICE break from the 80 degree weather we are still having. Gotta love the South!