Thursday, December 29, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I haven't updated much while Ken was on leave since I was trying to soak up as much time with him as possible. I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! The best thing I received for Christmas this year was an extra week and a half with Ken :). He reported to his ship in Norfolk on the 16th but the ship was going on Christmas stand-down and there wasn't anything for Ken to do, so his chief said he didn't really need to be there until the 3rd! So he drove home on the 20th and it's been so nice to have him home again. Even with it being Christmas, we actually haven't been very busy and have just been able to enjoy being together. I am so spoiled when he's home... he basically doesn't let me touch the dishes or really do anything cleaning-wise around the house and takes care of it all for me. I always feel bad like I should be up helping, but he just wants me to take it easy. I'm such a lucky girl :). We did find out, however, that Ken will be out to sea when the baby is born, boo :(. I knew he likely wouldn't make it to the actual birth, but was hoping he'd be able to make it here by the time we were able to go home. He will be able to make it back shortly after he's born (unless he comes early) as they aren't supposed to be out that long. At least since he's surface now, we can email and he can even call me from a special phone on the ship. That will have to do until he gets back in. Such is the Navy life. Luckily, I have amazing friends and neighbors who are lined up to be at the hospital with me and help out until my sister Mindy and my mom get here. And of course, our other wonderful family members who are lined up to come visit and help out when Ken isn't here (he only gets 10 days of baby leave).

While he was home on leave, we went to the Holiday Pops concert (since we couldn't go to the Nutcracker this year, which is our usual tradition) and it was really good. Our last date night without needing a babysitter! Here's a picture of us in front of the fireplace before we left:

I also thought I'd include my Christmas belly shot (35w4d):

So today I am 36 weeks 1 day! 6 more days until I am considered full term, which basically means I could go into labor at anytime.... time to pack the hospital bag! We're so excited to meet our little boy! And although I have definitely entered the uncomfortable stage of pregnancy, I'm ok with him waiting until his due date to come :). We shall see!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Maternity/Christmas Photo Shoot

We had our Maternity/Christmas Photo Shoot done last Sunday, done by our good friend Emily :). Here are some of my favorites (the rest can be seen at The Tank Family - you'll just have to be a member of the site first).

Thursday, November 10, 2011

God is good!

Lots of good news this week!

So last week at my 28 week appointment, I had my 1-hour glucose test to see if I am at risk for gestational diabetes. The nurse called the next day to let me know that my blood-work was good, except for my blood-sugar being elevated so I would need to come back and do the 3-hour test... oh joy. I went in on Tuesday this week to do that one. The glucola drink was twice as sugary as the last time and made me feel nauseous for the first hour after drinking it. Luckily I didn't have to stay in the office in between the hourly blood draws so after the first hour, I went and walked around at Walgreens and then during the last hour I walked around at Publix a little and that made me feel a little better. When I was done, the nurse told me she would call in the morning with the results. I was a little nervous waiting for the call... when she finally called, she said she had good news, woohoo! I passed! The first draw was a little elevated but the others were good, so no gestational diabetes for me! One less thing to worry about :).

Then on Wednesday afternoon, I had my appointment with the neurologist. She did a basic neuro exam and asked me a bunch of questions (most of which seemed to be asking me about stroke symptoms), then looked at my eyes since the ophthalmologist said my optic nerve was a little pale. Based on that and what I told her about my vision, she said from a neuro standpoint, she thought I was fine. I asked about the abnormality on the MRI, and to my surprise she hadn't actually looked at my MRI yet, so she went to look at it and came back. She said she was not impressed (which I'm thinking is with the techs or radiologist) and said it was an incidental finding (i.e. not affecting my vision) and that there might not be anything even there and it's just the way they cut the slides and went from one image to another.... or it could just be something from an old injury when I was young. She asked if I had any and I told her about the car accident I was in in 5th grade and got a concussion from... and she said, "Well there you go!" So she was not at all concerned about that and just to be on the safe side, I will be going back after little man is born to get an MRI with contrast (which I can't have while pregnant) to check everything more clearly. So as of right now, it doesn't appear there's anything to worry about... so hopefully this vision thing is just a weird pregnancy symptom and will be gone after I give birth :).

Today, Ken finally got orders! And he did get Norfolk, which was the best option for him right now. He didn't get the ship he wanted, but we're hoping it will work out for the best this way. The ship he's going to will only have one more deployment and then be decommissioned (which supposedly is an awful schedule and why Ken didn't want this ship). The nice thing for Ken is that this last deployment is supposed to be an "Around the World" type tour where they stop at a lot of ports so Ken will hopefully get to see lots of cool places. Then from what he's heard so far (not sure if it's actually true) but the deployment is not supposed to start until a little after the baby is born... so hopefully he'd be able to come home when he's born and spend time with us before he leaves, which would be awesome! He does have to report mid-December though, so he may not actually be here for the birth but thankfully I have Bobbi to help with that. Plus, she's the one who's been going with me to all my childbirth classes anyway.

And lastly, speaking of childbirth... I received some reassuring info at my 28 week appointment last week about going natural. I spent most of my appointment talking with a L&D nurse who is training with the midwife at my OB's office to become a midwife. I hadn't planned on asking some of the questions I had thought of from my childbirth class since I have some time, but since she worked at the hospital I'll be delivering at, I figured I could ask a few things about the hospital. She did see on my chart that I didn't want an epidural and she asked if I wanted to try without it or just not have it and I told her it was completely off the table, not an option due to my scoliosis. This then got the conversation going about going natural. She said that there are a lot of nurses at the hospital who are knowledgeable and have experience with natural births and that some of the rooms have tubs that I can labor in... all of which made me feel tons better. I also asked if I can bring a birthing ball and she said that would be fine. She said my OB's office is very supportive of natural births (which I hadn't worried about). She also said that I wouldn't have to be hooked up to an IV... just have a port in case of emergency, or a fetal monitor so that I can be up and move around when I need/want to. I told her I didn't want to be on my back at all, and she agreed that being on your back is the worst position to be. Then the actual midwife came in to make sure I didn't have any other questions and also talked a little about me going natural. She said that since I have told them now that I want to go unmedicated, they will not even offer me anything while I'm in the hospital and that I should come up with a code word and tell my birth coach what it is in case I think I might really actually want something once I'm in labor as they won't give it to me if I ask, unless I use the code word so they know I'm really in need of it or whatever. But she was confident I wouldn't need it. I thought that was pretty great :).

Well, that's all for now. I'm looking forward to spending a nice long weekend with Ken :). (Sorry this was another long update... I'm going to try to do more smaller updates instead of these big long ones!)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

October Update

Ok, so it feels like a million things have happened in October.... so I'll try to recap here.

My childbirth classes started right after the shower (I have now been to 4). They are once a week and unfortunately all the way down in Jacksonville (technically Mandarin). The method taught is The Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth. Yes, in the days of epidurals and pain killers, I am opting to go au' natural. Part of my decision is based on the fact that I can't/won't have any needles put in my spine due to the severe curvature of my scoliosis, that I'm allergic to the codeine family of drugs, and that I am not a fan of heavy duty pain killers in general... I don't like how I feel. So knowing these things, and the fact that I am all about natural ways of eating (organic, made from scratch usually) and staying healthy and/or relieving pain (acupuncture & chiropractic care)... this seemed right up my alley. Plus the program has a nationwide success rate of 80% of women who complete the class going on to have completely unmedicated childbirth. Plus, since I go to acupuncture, I will be getting help there at the end to help birth go more naturally. Add in my stubbornness/persistancy and I think I have a pretty good chance of not getting any medications. I have really learned a lot so far in class and there's still 8 weeks to go. I haven't been doing all of my exercises like I'm supposed to every day, though I do most of them sporadically, I'm hoping to get myself into a good routine with everything now that I'm not working anymore. :)

Ok... so all the craziness with Ken... back in May, he passed a kidney stone and turns out he still has one in each kidney so he cannot go back to a sub. So the paperwork that medical submitted for Ken to get officially disqualified subs and have his job code changed to surface can take 6 months to go through. We weren't sure for a while if it would really take that long or if they could just get him on a carrier. Eventually, they told him that he would have to just fulfill his orders that he already had to a sub in Norfolk until the paperwork went through and then they would move him to a carrier... sounds stupid, right? Send him to a sub even though he's not supposed to be on one with kidney stones. Well, a few weeks before the shower, they tell him that his sub orders have been pulled/canceled (someone finally realized the idiocy in sending him to a sub when he's being sub-disqualified) and the command in Charleston decided that they would put in for him to be extended there for a year, which gives 6 months for the paperwork to go through and 6 months that you are supposed to get to negotiate for orders. He would be moving from the shiftwork he's been doing for 3.5 years and go to a M-F normal working schedule with weekends and holidays off. It sounded too good to be true! That Ken would actually get to be home for the holidays and to continue helping around the house with stuff I can no longer do too well, be here for the baby to be born, and then be home for weekends and holidays for a while after and get to spend time with us before having to go to Norfolk and be going out to sea. Well.... it was too good to be true. They denied his extension at the detailer's office leaving him in limbo without orders. As soon as the paperwork goes through (anytime between now and February), they will immediately give him orders to a carrier. Luckily he's kept in contact with the surface detailer so that he can still get Norfolk when that happens. The good part is that while he waits, he did still get moved to the M-F day shift and is home every weekend and off on holidays... so I will enjoy it while I can and hope and pray he doesn't get orders before the baby is born. So that's where we are on that!

And most recently, there's the trouble with my eyes... it started mid-month and I first only noticed it when I was in fluorescent lighting. It's not that my eyes are blurry per say, it's more like they aren't fully adjusting to certain lighting and it makes my vision just look off.  The best way I can describe it is that it's like when it's bright and sunny out and you come inside and your eyes take a minute to readjust and it's like mine get almost back to normal and stop. I started noticing that it wasn't just random and it was actually there every day.... I notice it most with fluorescent lighting, computer screens, and when I try to read something. So I decided after a week, that I should let my OB know and see if this was just a weird pregnancy thing or something I needed to get checked out. I had an ocular migraine in college too and wondered if maybe this was a just different version? When I called the office, he was in surgery so I spoke with his nurse who suggested I call my eye dr and see what she thought. So I called my optometrist and they got me in that morning. She couldn't see anything that would explain my vision issue but just to be on the safe side, she wanted me to see an ophthalmologist. So I had to go see my primary doctor that same day in order to get the referral. Luckily I was able to get in right away and got the referral. Later that night, my OB did call me to let me know that he couldn't make anything from my symptoms so we would see what the ophthalmologist said. The next morning, I got a call from the ophthalmologist saying they had my referral (much faster than I thought!) and they got me in that afternoon. They dialated my eyes and still she wasn't sure what the cause might be, but did comment that my optic nerve looked pale. She then wanted me to have a field vision test done but I would have to do it the next day since my eyes were dialated. So..... the next day I have to drive to their office 45 minutes away, since they are only in town on Mondays and Tuesdays, and do the field vision test. I've done these kind before and I tend to blink a lot which actually messed up the test for my left eye and I had to start that one over. After that was done, it did show that I had a small dark spot in the vision of each eye and she was still a little concerned at how long my vision issue had been going on, so she called my OB and discussed me having an MRI to check if I maybe had a tumor (even benign) on my pituitary gland that grew because of pregnancy hormones and was putting pressure on the optic nerve. Oh great, like I need something else to worry/freak out about. So my OB talked with my primary doctor to get me a referral for an MRI. The hospital called the next day and go me scheduled for the MRI (without contrast). So I get the MRI and they tell me my doctor will get the results in 2-3 days. Well, I get a call from my OB the very next day.... the faster you hear, usually is not a good sign. So he tells me they did see something on the MRI but it doesn't look related to my vision issue and that they think it could be a small blood clot in one of my veins and that now I needed an MRI with contrast to get a better look. So now I'm freaking out that I might have a blood clot in my brain, oye! Since the last MRI was set up so quickly, I assumed I would hear from the hospital the next day to get the 2nd one set up. Finally, later that afternoon I hear from my OB. They sent my scan to another radiology group that typically looks at the weekend scans and they are calling this thing on the MRI an asymmetric non-specific signal abnormality (whatever that means!). So my OB didn't know what that meant either and mentioned something about them wanting me to get a CT with contrast (a big no-no for pregnant women) so he said instead of exposing me to another scan, that he was going to set up a neuro consult and we would see what comes of that. So after I talk with him, I of course try to google the term he used to see if anything even popped up or I could get an idea of what it might mean.... and nothing. So after I talked to Ken, I called my mom to let her know what was going on. She said she would call her SIL who is a nurse to see if she had ever heard of that term. I decided to call my friend who is a physician's assistant to see what her take was on the situation. She said that it basically means they don't know what it is (which is what my mom's SIL and my aunt also ended up saying) and that I shouldn't worry about it too much. Some people have abnormalities that are normal for them. Now I'm trying not to worry about it to much, and since it's been almost a week now and I have yet to hear about the neurologist, I'm assuming my doctors aren't too worried either. Surely if it was something to worry about, I would have heard something by now. I have my 28 week check-up tomorrow (11-2) and plan to ask about it. Hopefully I'll get to see my OB and not the midwife so that I can ask him about it.

Well, that's October in a nut shell... though it looks like a big nutshell looking back at how long this got. Hopefully there will be better news in my next post :).

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Baby Shower

So I've been a horrible blogger lately and just haven't had the time to sit down and get a few updates on here... so I'll start with the shower...

My mom and sisters flew down at the beginning of October to throw my baby shower. We did it early because Ken was supposed to transfer mid October (more on that later) and we wanted him to be able to be here for it. We had such a great weekend and the shower was lots of fun. It was awesome to have my mom and sisters in town for the weekend and my aunt, my uncle's girlfriend and two of my cousins drove up from FL so we got to hang with them all weekend too and we all had a fantastic time! And of course, it was great to see so many of my friends from school that I don't get to see too often and have my awesome neighbors and some Target friends there too. I was completely overwhelmed by all of the amazing gifts we got at the shower and those that came in the mail too! We pretty much have most of what we need and are set for clothes for the first 6 months! There are a few small things still left to get, but nothing major, so we will pick them up a little at a time as they are on sale or we get coupons for Baby's R Us. It's definitely nice not having to worry about buying much more, especially since I'm now officially not working (woohoo!). Well, I guess that's about it for the shower summary... here are a few pictures!

Cupcakes! (Yes, I made them)
Piggy Bank from my dad

Diaper Cake from Mary Ann

Preggos! (Jessi & me)
Bobbi & me

Mom & me

Bouquet by Ashley

All the clothes we received!

Mindy, Calli & me


Mary Ann, Mom, & Aunt Becky
Hall Girls :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Nursery Sneak Peak

So we are officially done with the nursery! Other than organizing the baby stuff we still need to get or will get at the shower, of course. But everything is all put together and decorated. I left some space on the walls for pictures of our baby boy after he arrives.

Here are the pics!

Nursery Door
Changing Table
View from the Door
2nd View from the Door
Crib & Changing Table

Zebra Paintings Over Crib

Close up of Zebra Paintings (I painted)

Rocking Chair Corner
(pictures of animal babies on wall)
Rocking Chair w/homemade cushion

Storage/Book Shelf
Dresser w/ Giraffe "teapot" I made in HS (inspiration for the room)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Anatomy Scan

Well today was the anatomy scan... 18 weeks 2 days. I was admittedly nervous/anxious this morning... just wanting baby to be on track and healthy. Everything looked great during the scan and when the tech put all the measurements into the computer, our baby is right on track and everything looks great! So relieved. Now I can try to relax a bit more and know that baby is healthy. The little bumps and kicks I've started to feel will help too!

So the big question.... are we having a boy or a girl...... well.....

our baby will be.....

It's a Boy! I've been feeling all along that our baby was a boy and it's nice to know I wasn't crazy, lol. We are both so excited and I'm looking forward to meeting our son in January!

Since everyone loves pictures... here are a few from the ultrasound today:

And here's a cool short 3D video of his face (covered partially by his hand of course):

And for those of you wondering what this precious baby boy's name will be.... you will have to wait until he's born because we're not deciding until then!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

16 Weeks

Ok, so I've been a bad blogger lately and haven't written anything in a while. Not much to post/share though. Everything is still going well and my belly is getting bigger :). Only 16 days until the anatomy scan and hopefully I will feel better after that and we find out that everything is still perfect with this baby. I did see my OB for a checkup and more bloodwork today... my bp is still good and baby's hb was 160-165. I guess since I don't have much else, I will post a belly pic from today :).

Monday, July 18, 2011

NT Scan and Other Stuff

I had my NT Scan today and everything went well. Baby was stubborn (just like momma!) and wouldn't get into the right position for a while... so I got to see a lot of him/her! Here are some of the pics I got to take home (there were a bunch but these are the best ones).

Our Wiggle Worm

 Baby Kicking


On some other not so great news.... we found out today that Ken will no longer be able to work on subs because he has a couple kidney stones... so now he has to go surface. We're not sure what all will come with those changes but we are hoping he can still get Norfolk since that's the only place he can be now on the east coast. Saying lots of prayers! I guess at least with him being surface, we can maybe skype and he can see the baby when he's out at sea. Trying to look at the upside....ugh.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

12 Weeks

Just a quick update.... went back to see my OB today and all is still well with our baby :). Measured 12w1d and everything is still looking good. I go for my NT Scan on Monday and will still be seeing my OB every 2 weeks for a little while. He said I could come every 2 weeks the whole pregnancy if I wanted, lol. But I think I will feel better once the other baby has reabsorbed. Well, I'm in the last week of my 1st trimester... next Wednesday marks the start of the 2nd trimester, yay! Hopefully the nausea will wear off so I can eat more and start gaining weight for this little one. I'm going to go ahead and announce on FB too.

Here's today's ultrasound pic (head is on the left):

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Best OB Ever

So I don't really have an update of sorts... just a little something I wanted to share... or rather brag on my OB a little. I absolutely love, love, love my OB. I had to run up to the hospital tonight to pick something up (for those of you who know me, know I train cadaver dogs and we get donations from the maternity ward at the hospital here) and he happened to be there. He asked how I was doing and asked when I was coming back in. I told him next Wednesday and he said, well, if I wanted, I could come every week if it would make me feel better since I've been through so much already and he doesn't want me to stress or be worried. I thanked him but told him not to tempt me! He was totally serious in letting me go every week to make sure our healthy baby stays healthy and give me peace of mind... which is totally awesome... but I am going to try to stick it out and do every other week unless something seems wrong or one of the check-ups doesn't go well... then I'll switch to every week if I need to. Right now, I'm still exhausted, super sore BBs and nauseous, so I'm trying not to worry. If even the littlest thing makes me worried, I will definitely take him up on that offer though. Just thought it was pretty awesome. I am so lucky to have such a great Dr :).

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Mixed Emotions

So today was my 10 week appointment, finally seeing my OB. The ultrasound showed one healthy baby, measuring 10 weeks 1 day, and the Dr said s/he was perfect. The second baby, whose heartbeat we barely saw at 7 weeks, had stopped growing and measured 7 weeks 4 days. We are so happy to have a healthy baby in there, but still sad to have lost one. I'm trying to look at the positive side of things... at least we will only have to buy one of everything, it will be easier to care for one baby by myself while Ken is away/out to sea, it will be easier to travel to see Ken when he is in port, and something must not have been right/healthy with that baby so God thought it was better to take him/her now instead of later. The baby should reabsorb and not cause any issues for our healthy baby. My OB is going to watch me closely to make sure... seeing me every 2 weeks for a while. I am so luck to have such an amazing Dr! Of course, now I am more worried about the one we have left and praying that nothing happens to this baby and s/he continues to be healthy and strong and greets us in January. Going to try to take it easy and not worry too much... at least I'm being closely monitored. Vanishing Twin Syndrome is actually more common than many realize, at least 1 in 4 twin pregnancies. And the remaining twin usually goes on to be a healthy baby.  Here's a couple of websites for those interested in knowing more:

On a good note... here is the picture we got to take home today. Much better than the last one. We got to hear the heartbeat this time too, which was so cool. But nothing made it more real or was neater than seeing our little baby wiggling around on the ultrasound today! Lots of prayers for this little one to grow healthy!

Dear God,
You now have two of my babies... can I please keep this one?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Doubly Blessed

For those of you waiting on an update on today's 7 week ultrasound.... we got to see TWO heartbeats! So we're having twins!!! Perhaps this explains my hCG almost tripling instead of just doubling and the fact that as of last week, I can no longer button my pants, lol. Good thing I have 2 bella bands... they have been my lifesavers so far. I know most of it is from being bloated, but at this point, I'm going to be showing a lot sooner and getting a lot bigger. I've had this feeling the whole time that it was twins... always referring to the babies instead of just baby... even my mom and a few other people were doing the same thing. We are super excited and now trying to figure out how we're going to buy 2 of everything instead of 1, lol. Guess that discount I have at Target will come in handy while I'm still there!

And even though the ultrasound picture is dark and not very good (no arrows to point to the babies)... here is the picture we brought home today:

Still saying lots of prayers the babies continue to grow healthy and strong! I've been release back to my OB and the earliest I could get in was in 3 weeks so that's when my next appointment will be and hopefully we'll have better pictures from that one!

P.S. In other news... Ken is going to Norfolk, which was the next best thing to him getting back here so I am relieved. Hopefully he makes chief too and then our back-up plan of having an apartment up there for when he's in will be easier to do. Not sure yet if his boat will be in or out when the babies are born... but I will be starting a sign-up sheet for anyone around here who wants to come by and help :).

Monday, May 30, 2011

Good News, and Not-So-Good News

The good news is that I can officially no longer button my pants (due mostly to bloating but hey, it's all because I'm preggo!), I have off and on nausea ALL DAY (whoever named it morning sickness is an idiot), I'm gassy and stopped up, I'm completely exhausted, and everything seems to be going just as it should. I find odd comfort in the discomforts of early pregnancy. I'm feeling better and better about everything but will still be a little on edge until we see that heartbeat next week.

The not-so-good news is that Ken is not getting stationed back here and is not getting his extension in Charleston either. We are hoping and praying he can get on a boat in Norfolk and then our back-up plan may just work. I just need to have faith that God will help us work everything out.

So that's about it for now. Still saying lots of prayers for a healthy baby (or 2) and that Ken gets good orders!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

2nd Beta Results

So I got my results yesterday from my second beta hCG.... my number almost TRIPLED going from 122 on Wednesday (14dpo/4wks) to 357 on Friday!!! The RE is happy with my numbers (obviously) and I scheduled my first ultrasound with him on June 8th. I'll be 7 weeks and hoping to see a healthy baby with a good heartbeat! I'm getting more excited now but will feel so much better after seeing a heartbeat. It's only 2 weeks away and I'm glad I didn't have to wait longer! Everything feels different this time so I hope that's a good sign that everything will go well.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Praise the Lord!

I'M PREGNANT! I know you have probably been waiting for me to update so you would know if everything worked this month, but I have been so tired and not had time to pop on here. The nurse had told me to wait 13 days to test so we could be sure the trigger shot was completely out of my system and I had planned to just wait until Wednesday, 14 days, but I caved Tuesday. A beautiful second line showed up immediately and I found myself both thrilled and nervous. I told Ken, but kept it a secret until Wednesday when I would retest to make sure it wasn't just leftover from the trigger, and I got my first beta... which was 122. I went today to recheck and make sure the numbers are going up like they should... but I have to wait until Monday for those results... boo! So that's the short version of my story. If I have the time and energy this weekend... I may expound a little. I just need lots of prayers this one sticks!

P.S. If you are friends with me on FB.... PLEASE DO NOT POST about this on FB as we have not had a chance to tell everyone yet and frankly I'm not ready to announce it to the FB world until I'm in my 2nd trimester.