Monday, October 31, 2011

Yoga Baby

The long-awaited last set of 3D ultrasound images are here! We had our final 3D/4D session on Saturday, October 29th (day 1 of week 35). Julian was NOT cooperative for the first 45 minutes, covering his face with his foot of all things (my coworker is affectionately calling him 'yoga baby' now.) Toward the end of our session, he started to relax and gave us a nice glimpse of his pretty face. Understandably, it's getting more cramped in my uterine hotel, so I can't blame the little guy for inadvertently covering his face with his lower limbs. He can't help it. Nevertheless we enjoyed the session and were happy with the 4D experience all around. 

Enjoy the images of our beautiful and talented yoga baby!

I think at this point his foot was kicking his eye (according to the tech...)
Not sure if that's a good or bad sign.

Yep, that's his foot directly over his forehead!

Crazy yoga pose!

Finally, foot down and face is revealed.

With fingers on the face

What a handsome boy!
My shy guy!
We see you!

He is puckering his!
He's getting tired of the paparazzi.

We'll see you in a few short weeks, Julian!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

You Okay Down There?

At about this stage of pregnancy, it's very common for pregnant woman to experience Braxton-Hicks contractions or 'practice' contractions where your uterus starts preparing for the big day. While I've had my share of distinct cramping and discomfort, I can't say for sure whether I've officially started feeling these practice moves. Maybe I have; maybe I haven't. Any uncomfortable sensation I've felt up until now has been quickly linked to gastrointestinal discomfort and even ligament stretching. But for the contractions, I really can't say. From what I've been reading, your body actually starts preparing for delivery early on - with Braxton-Hicks starting in the first trimester - although at that point, you certainly wouldn't be able to feel it. For now, maybe it's a good thing I am oblivious to the rehearsal sessions taking place in utero. I mean, while I'm an expert at discerning gas trappings from labor pains, I think trying to discern true labor pains from false labor pains would freak me out. Let's just hope when it comes time for the real thing, there will be no doubt what is happening.

In other pregnancy news, fetal hiccups have become part of our daily routine. It never fails: Every day between 2-3 in the afternoon, I feel rhythmic intervals of bop..bop..bop.. in my belly. They concerned me at first (who am I kidding - everything concerns me), but after reading one form of baby literature after another, I've discovered fetal hiccuping is perfectly normal and some would even venture to say that it is a sign of a healthy baby. And while hiccups may be bothersome for adults, the fetus experiences no discomfort during a hiccuping session. This is all wonderfully reassuring because as a worrisome mother already, you can only imagine the anxiety I was experiencing during these daily - sometimes multiple times a day - rituals. But if they are normal and possibly an indication of a healthy baby, well go on, my son, go on with the rhythmic bops. Anything to keep you healthy.

Week 34! No rhythmic bops in this shot.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Status Update: Week 34

Here we are...< 6 weeks to go before D-Day. All in all, I'm feeling pretty good! I have resigned to the fact that trying to sleep is a lost cause. Truthfully, I do sleep, but it's not a restful night's sleep. How can it be when you are tormented by limited sleep positions, have difficulty 'getting comfortable' and taunted by an overactive bladder. (In actuality, I only get up once on average to pee - although sometimes it's more like twice a night. I consider myself lucky.) I decided to sleep on the couch last night, thinking it would provide a more comfortable place of rest. Plus I didn't want to keep annoying Joe with my chronic tosses and turns. It's bad enough we have a giant imposing snake (it's a body pillow people, don't be dirty!) separating us and infringing on his space and between that and my restlessness, I figured he could use a night off. So, I did what any dutiful, loving and selfless wife did: I gave up the bed for the couch. His first words to me this morning, "Why did you sleep on the couch? What did I do now? Was I snoring again?" LOL. Good husband.

I had my final bi-weekly doctor's appointment this morning. From now on, it's a weekly visit to the doctor's office. We listened to the heartbeat (150 bpm!), so a strong heart rate! Baby G's presentation is also good: He is head down as he has been for the last few weeks. I have a final ultrasound week 38 to see his official presentation and to confirm that I am set for a vaginal delivery. Another piece of good news: I only gained one pound since the last visit. Thank. God. There is nothing more troubling than the nurse telling me, "Oh honey, you gained a few more pounds than average this week." And believe me - that's happened a couple of times already. Once I got to the office, I realized how swollen my ankles were (my feet seem to be okay but ankles are a different story.) I kicked off my shoes and socks and put my feet up on the office's nice leather ottoman. This is my new signature, feet up and [trying] to relax. After all, I only have a few more weeks to go before relaxation becomes obsolete. 

Notice the swollen ankles. Thank God for plush footrests and a relaxed office.

Off to bed now. My real bed that is. Not sure if I can do two back to back nights on the couch. I'm not that considerate. :-)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Showered with Love x Two

No pregnancy is complete without a baby shower... well, not in a literal sense, but what a wonderful way to prepare for the big arrival by having a celebration all about YOU and the BABY! I welcomed week 32 of my pregnancy with a baby shower that included family and dear friends. I was deeply moved by the kindness, generosity and thoughtfulness of the people in attendance (and those who were celebrating with me in absentia). I must thank my mother in law for hosting a LOVELY shower with no detail overlooked! Equal thanks to my sister in law - Annie, my best friend - Christina, my mother - Tereza and stepmother - Patricia who all helped pull off a truly fantastic day. 

Here are a few pics...

No introduction needed!

"The Hartford" girls - I worked with them for years
From left to right: Meri, Michele, Jade, Carrie, Me, Amanda and Kerry

Me and CP (Christina)

Me and Jessica (my coworker at NCR - we've been cube-mates for 7 years now!)
God, I hope I have her body after I have the baby (she's a mom!)

Family! From left to right: Huguette, Micha, Monique, Me and Natalie

With CP this time

With Shannon who is also expecting!

With the moms (my mom left and mother in law, Maria, right)

With Mom
With Maria

With stepmom Patricia

With my cousin Desiree and sweet Aunt Judy

Cute pic! Foreground and clockwise: Ambry, Aunt Rita, Grandma, Mom, Maria and Annie

Maria's good friend Patty, Joe's Aunt Rita and Joe's Grandma (who looks thrilled to be there!)

I'm full...
But there's always room for CAKE! This was so delicious.
A vanilla cake with lemon filling (a pregnant woman's dream!) Thanks Dad and Patricia!

And CUPCAKES! Thank you sweet Ambry!

Now it's gift time!
Go Knights! (This was more for Joe...haha!)

Cute outfits!
For Julian's trips to Disney!

A sweater vest to match daddy's attire

My dear friend Carrie made these circles that spell out JULIAN (they are now hanging above his crib!)
A complete outfit with SHOOOZ!

But this is probably the funniest's an actual children's book. Notice the title! This was from my friend Jason who knows no boundaries in life. :-)
With Daddy Joe who made an appearance
Joe is proud of the 'accomplishment' lol

And if I didn't receive enough gifts at that coworkers surprised me with an office shower one week later! My boss who is based in Atlanta flew down for the day to celebrate!


With my boss Caroline!
This is so cool...they took Julian's ultrasound picture and had a bakery recreate it on the cake!

With my baby!

Opening MORE gifts!

Love these outfits

Thank you everyone who helped us prepare to welcome Julian Nash! Only 6 weeks to go!

Main shower: 10/8/11 
Office shower: 10/14/11

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Big Reveal!

Hi faithful followers...

I've been delinquent, I know, but in my defense - or I should say our defense - it's been so incredibly busy. Something about this time of year and compound it with the final weeks of my pregnancy, you can just imagine. I had a lovely baby shower last week (actually I had two of them but will explain in a separate post!) I am currently 33 weeks along...and growing just like my appetite. I went to the doctor last week and everything is going well. Baby Boy G is still movin' and groovin' and now because of his size, cramped quarters and less amniotic fluid around him, I feel EVERYTHING he does. His squirms, pokes and pushes are stronger and more intense. He is currently measuring (according to what the books say) at 4.9 pounds and in produce terms is the size of a pineapple! I am also retaining a lot of fluid (we'll blame my weight gain on fluid retention and pineapple inside) so that is kind of a downer because the fluid retention SHOWS in my feet and ankles among other places. I used to be a narrow 7.5 shoe size and now, who knows. At least 8.5 if I'm lucky! And let's not get started on underwear size... Could I be retaining water in my derrière? Probably not but my expanding waistline among other expanding things has forced me to buy all new underwear. Attention all pregnant women out there - this is the best advice I can give you: INVEST IN 'ONE SIZE FITS ALL' UNDERWEAR. Yes, I know it sounds embarrassing but why not buy underwear that grows with you because your body never stops growing during those nine months and do you really want to be running to the mall every time you need new underwear? It will also get very costly to have to buy underwear that will likely only fit you temporarily. Anyway, it's all part of the territory, so take my advice! My recommendations are in "Pregnancy Products".

So I go back to the doctor next week for another visit and after that I will be on a weekly schedule. It's really getting closer... I'm both ecstatic and terrified at the same time. I mean, in 6 weeks life as we know it will never be the same but I know it will also be so exciting to have him in our lives. I really can't wait to meet Baby Boy G (who now has a name!) and hold him in my arms. Parenthood will bring with it an incredible experience and one that Joe and I will certainly cherish.

And now back to the name...because we can't call him Baby Boy G for the rest of his life, we have decided on the following:

Julian Nash Gennaro!

Julian is the ONLY, I repeat ONLY, name Joe and I could agree on. And Nash is a family name on Joe's side; it's his father's middle name and his paternal grandfather's first name. We both always liked the ring 'Nash' had and felt it would be a solid middle name but found difficulty in finding a first name that worked well with it and equally appealed to us.

Here's to you, Julian Nash! We hope you will love the name as much as we do. We are overjoyed with the thought of meeting you in a few more weeks and can't wait to kiss your beautiful face. So until then, we'll be dreaming of you and your size in produce.

We love you so much!
Mom and Dad

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Countdown is ON!

Well faithful followers, the countdown is officially ON! Technically we've been on a countdown since the beginning, but now it is getting closer and closer to D-Day. According to my handy "What to Expect When You're Expecting" iPhone app (which also happens to tell me what size the fetus is every day in relation to produce), I have 8 weeks and 3 days to go. Yes. That's it. No, seriously. THAT'S IT! And if you're curious which item of produce Baby Boy G can be likened to (size-wise), well he is now the size of a head of lettuce (19 inches, 3.9 lbs.)

My last doctor's appointment showed that my belly is growing at an average rate (so not measuring too big or too small - just right.) I also found out I passed my glucose challenge test, which means I have not developed gestational diabetes (thank God!) I did - however - learn that my hemoglobin level has dropped, so I am now taking iron supplements which are made from a bovine source. Delicious. But, the doctor assured me that this is very common (even for those women who do EAT MEAT) because pregnancy hormones can dilute (lower) hemoglobin levels. Pregnancy is no joke -- it really does take a toll on a woman's body.

In other news, Baby Boy G (who does finally have a name but I will hold off on the big reveal) is certainly showing me who's boss. His kicks, punches, and elbow slices are more intense and can be felt with more gusto because there is less amniotic fluid at this stage. I can't tell you how many times I've felt [what seems to have been an elbow] dig through my rib cage earlier today. It's incredible and a little weird all at the same time.

Here is a pic of me at week 30 and then week 31 (what I am today).

30 weeks (Friday, September 30, 2011)

31 weeks - we're showing off a different angle