Sunday, December 28, 2008

It's a Boy!

The headline says it all - the ultrasound showed that we're having a son! He's got a big head (visible here, along with both arms) and long limbs. That's gonna be fun coming out...
He was very active during the ultrasound, squirming and dancing around the whole time, and even flipped himself over completely. He's got all his parts, including the male parts which the ultrasound tech was happy to point out repeatedly. Apparently our boy is not shy. Surpise? :)
We even got to see all four chambers of his heart, and could see the blood beating though it, which was super cool. Overall it's pretty hard to interpret much of what you see on the screen, but you could clearly see his spine, and the bones in his hands and feet. Also, the tech said he looked big enough to move up my due date by a week, so the current estimate is now May 6th.

The whole ultrasound was pretty cool, seeing him moving around was quite surreal. It all feels so real now. In fact I've finally starting picturing what life will be like with him here, and realized that maybe we should start setting up for his arrival! So it's time to start researching cribs.

(pause for getting kicked)

He sure is active! Though, happily, he has not kicked me in the middle of the night yet. Yet. :)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Kicks and Beaches

Last week, we enjoyed a balmy 6 days down in Florida, soaking up the delicious beach sun while Chicago enjoyed -6 degree weather. So here is my 19 weeks photo, on the beach. Hee hee. Note the lovely tent effect of my swim top. But alas, the lovely weather did not follow us back to Chicago. Welcome back - here's 6 inches of snow! And arctic wind! Hooray!

In other fun developments, the Mixed Martial Artist currently in residence in my middle area started showing off his/her moves last Friday. We were enjoying our standard wild-and-crazy Friday night schedule (What Not To Wear, Numbers) when I felt a real, honest to god *whack* in the lower abdominal area. I made what Byron described as a 'panicked laughing sound' then felt three more whacks in the same place. It was a surreal experience that I have a hard time describing. I'll admit, it made me tear up a bit. Since then I've felt kick/punches/elbows a couple times each day, usually at night when lounging on the couch.
On a different note, we've been very entertained at the way all of our parents very solemnly tell me to take care of myself. With the clear implication that they really just want me to take care of the grandkid. Me, I'm expendable. But the kid must be protected. I'm just a carrier. Then again, that makes the kid sound like a virus.

Tomorrow we have my 20 week midwife appointment and then *drumroll please* the ultrasound! (Merry Christmas to us!) So we'll see what we can see, if you know what I mean. After some back and forth, we've decided to find out the sex, makes life easier on those poor grandparents who are dying to purchase baby paraphernalia. Don't worry loyal readers, I'll let you know what it is. We might even show off a video or something....

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Catching my breath again.

So last week was pretty busy, what with family visiting for Thanksgiving (hi Mom!) and my 16 week appointment with the midwives. I popped that video up there but didn't have time to say anything about. But here I find myself, late in the workday on a Thursday, with nothing left to work on but waiting for a (really exciting) report to generate before I can leave work.... so it's blog time!
The appointment last week was the day before Thanksgiving, which was perhaps not the best time for such things. Everybody else in a 10 mile radius with a growing fruit in their belly was also there to be seen before the holiday, so I had to wait almost 45 minutes for my appointment. Which was a real joy, I must say. Actually it wasn't that bad, a few people had little kids there with them, and you could see the expressions playing across the rest of the womens' faces as the kids alternated between good behavior and utter terrorism. The visible reactions of "awe that's sooo cute I can't wait until I have mine" were then followed by "Oh my God if my child ever does that they are going to a Swiss boarding school."
But once I made it past the patience test, I got to hear his/her heartbeat again, and right away. No hiding this time - as you can hear the beats came through loud and clear. The midwife even said it sounded happy. Yeah, sure....
In other misadventures, I bought a body pillow for extra comfiness when sleeping on my side. And then, as Byron said, wielded it like an American Gladiator as I was struggling to get it into bed with me. That sucker is huge. Luckily nothing broke. And despite the fact that it now seems like there's a third body in bed with us, it helps me sleep better and only wake up a half dozen times each night, instead of a full dozen. And as an added bonus, allows the cat to think he is walking on top of one of us while we are lying down, without inflicting the annoyance of his 15 pound weight balanced on two paws on our chests. It's a real win-win I think.

Monday, November 17, 2008

15 Weeks, a.k.a too big for my britches...

Yes, literally, too big for my normal pants. Saturday I stepped out in maternity pants for the first time, and while they sure are comfy, it felt kinda weird. I mean, yes, I am pregnant, but in my head I don't look like a "pregnant woman." So somehow wearing maternity clothes just feels odd. But damn they's comfortable. I tried to brave it back into normal pants for work today, and an hour into the morning I was about ready to run out to Target for replacements. But hey, I was wearing a long shirt and no one would notice if I unbuttoned the top button, heheh.

So here is me at 15 weeks. I find it kinda entertaining how the feeling of my tummy changes during the day - sometimes it feels rock hard and other times it's like a bowl full of jelly.

Overall I'm feeling pretty good lately, though I feel heartburn-kinda discomfort at some point most days. Guess that's what happens when your stomach is shoved up into your rib cage.

And you know they say that our partners can gain weight and have other symptoms during the pregnancy. Take a look for yourself and see how this has effected poor Byron.

Friday, November 7, 2008

A little FAQ

So it's pretty entertaining for me, after starting this blog with no one reading it yet (well duh, I hadn't old any of you yet) to have comments coming from people. I love it. So to answer a few questions:

Due Date: May 12th. Yes, just what the Kern family needs, another May birthday. But as us May birthday people can vouch for, it's a pretty great month for a birthday. And my little peach will have one definite advantage over me in this respect - an earlier May date (I'm the 27th) means they will be unlikely to be stuck doing finals on their 16 birthday. Which wasn't fun.

Tests: We decided not to do the standard 1st trimester screening tests (for birth defects), partially because of our low risk based on family history, and partially because we're just non-invasive types when it comes to this sort of thing. Like-minded natural-types may enjoy the following article about the necessity of all the routine procedures:
But my basic blood tests came out fine - and believe it or not under Chicago law all pregnant women must be tested for HIV/AIDS. Which I thankfully do not have. But an interesting requirement I thought.

My Size: Yes Adee I may very well be able to dress as Santa for Christmas. A creepy transvestite Santa, just what the kids love. :) But I've actually only gained 1 pound so far, which is nice. I've been gifted with enough, ahem, natural stores of energy, to not need to gain so much. I'm hoping the weight just continues to transfer from my rear to my belly....

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A heartbeat!

So at my 12 week appointment with the midwives last week, they were finally (after 8 minutes) able to find the little shrimp's heartbeat! They only caught it for a few beats, but I got it on tape and it's pretty cool.
I gotta say, I didn't really truly fully believe that I was pregnant before I heard that. But it's either that, or the creepy creature from Alien has laid a pod in my belly. Equally likely I feel.
And I told the bosses at work about the pregnancy yesterday, which was well received. I figure they'd be excited, but it's nice to have that confirmed by reality. And the real fun part - I finally announced it to all our friends on Facebook. The 25 excited comments made me feel pretty loved, I must confess.
Oh and for the record, my latest fruit size is apparently a large peach. Yeah.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

11 Weeks....

And the charming fruit analogies return! Hooray! According to WebMD, it's now the size of a large lime. Is it wrong that my first reaction upon reading the word 'lime' was "mmmm, a Caipirinha would be delicious right now..." (for you heathens, a Caipirinha is a yummy Brazilian rum/lime adult beverage). But I digress - the shrimp is now a lime. Good stuff.
In other delightful news, the morning sickness is vanishing quickly. I'm getting headaches a bit more frequently again, but that is just as likely to be caused by the stupid spreadsheets I spend my days tinkering with...
So I decided recently that the wise course of action when it comes to maternity clothes is to buy them before you need them. But this theory is complicated by my resistance to going into a maternity wear store until I look pregnant. Not sure why, but some part of me feels like a complete fraud walking in there looking normal. As if they would summarily kick me out of the store for having the audacity to enter sans-belly. My rational mind clearly understands this is total crap. But, the hesitation remains. So the only safe zone is the maternity section of a department store. Which I ventured into, for the first time, on Sunday.
What I hadn't really taken into consideration until then was the extraordinary ability of maternity clothes to make you look really pregnant. Five seconds after putting on one of the poofy-waisted tops, I was convinced I had somehow skipped to month 5 of this pregnancy. Which, frankly, is not a look that I happen to covet just yet. So I picked out a few things, but I think it's going to be a while before I wear them in public.

Stay tuned for our next episode, when Elise tells her boss(es) about the baby, and of course, updates her Facebook profile with the news.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


So the medical literature went swiftly from charming fruit analogies for size to seafood. Yes, it's now a medium sized shrimp. Upon reading that, my reaction (like any right-thinking foodie) was to wonder how many shrimp-per-pound count that translated into. You know - when you buy shrimp they are labeled with a number range, this translates into the average number of those shrimp per pound. So the smaller the number, the larger the shrimp. Is it too much to ask the medical community for a bit more specificity?

And the shrimp is also now officially a fetus. Yay! So the shrimp-fetus seems to be doing well, and causing mom less stomach distress. To be truthful, the stomach distress I experienced today probably had nothing to do with the shrimp-fetus, and everything to do with the large bag of Halloween candy I brought to work. Is it ever too early to use your child as a scapegoat?

And yesterday was the first time in this pregnancy I have been really treated as an invalid. :) We went over to Kristin's place for some wholesome pumpkin carving/scary movie fun, and she refused to let me carry the (not really) heavy pumpkins. Which was great until we were out of sight of her and my darling husband handed my pumpkin back to me. Sigh. Guess I have to start looking pregnant before I can count on the easy treatment.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Hooray for Midwives!

So our first visit with the midwives group at Swedish Covenant Hospital went swimmingly! My lovely hubs came with me (earning points towards his Dad Card, while potentially losing a point on his Man Card). The midwife we met with (um, Lynn?) was cool, and said everything I was hoping to hear. She told me that I'm the driver on this bus and she's just along to help as the navigator. So whatever my preferences are, they happy to accommodate. And there was no sense of "we're the professionals who know better and you're just a crazy preggo lady who can't possibly be trusted with decisions that matter." So that's a relief. She also introduced us to the director of the midwives group, who was not only looking sassy in her pencil skirt, but wearing stiletto leopard print heels. I confess, not precisely what I expected. Though I am quite certain she would not actually deliver a child in said get-up, it was still impressive that she could spend the day on her feet like that. So 5 style points for her.
Anyways, they gave me a brief pelvic exam (and apparently my uterus tilts to the back -- which she said is uncommon but doesn't mean anything -- to which I wondered "so why are you telling me this then???") and tried to listen for a heartbeat with the Doppler. The Doppler was crazy - sounded like there was a poorly recorded drum solo being broadcast on AM radio coming out of my midsection. But alas, no heartbeat but my own was heard, as almost-nine-weeks is still a bit early for that for most women. Next time....

It was totally weird to hear the midwife refer to it as "your pregnancy." It just seems somehow more official to hear a trained medical professional state it as a fact. So..... I guess it's real.

In pregnancy-side-effects news, I'm definitely feeling some of the hormonal changes. WebMD warns that I may feel "weepy" and my reaction to things as simple as a Hallmark commercial confirms that this is indeed true. Also I continue to look forward to the day when I can consider myself the sole client of my stomach.

And for the record, my little alien is now the size of a strawberry. Which I consider a poor choice of fruit for size comparison as their size tends to vary greatly. But, hey, I don't make this stuff up.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

8 weeks - weird, eh?

Hard to believe I'm two months pregnant now. And I', wondering - is it odd that I feel morning sickness most strongly on weekdays? On weekends I feel hunky-dory, but any given weekday, I spend a large part of the morning at my desk feeling nauseous. Fun stuff. Though happily, the morning sickness hasn't been bad at all - just a general sense of stomach discomfort. I've yet to yack up my breakfast. But I'm learning that the moment that feeling strikes, I need to eat right away. Most mornings I have like 3 sets of small breakfasts.

This Friday I have my first appointment with the midwives group at Swedish Covenant Hospital, and I have high hopes for them. We toured their Family Birthing Center a few weeks ago and really like it. Their whole approach seems to fit with our philosophy quite nicely, ie. birth is a natural process that should be allowed to happen naturally and not be "managed." So we'll see what I think of the midwives I meet there. The way they do it, you meet with different members of their practice when you go in for appointments so that by the time you deliver, you know all of them and are comfortable with all of them. Makes sense to me.

So at this point, all the family members know (and are ecstatic, duh) and a handful of close friends know. I think it's about time to tell the rest of our friends, and then wait a few more weeks to tell the folks at work...

Oh and according to the lovely fruit analogies that the pregnancy info places seem to love, our little alien is now the size of a grape. Last week they were described as the size of a raspberry. What's next, kumquat?

Oh and one more thing. I'm a crazy lady. (Surprise?) After telling all the family about the pregnancy, I of course had dreams that it was all a lie and I had to figure out a way to tell everyone I made it up. After two days of becoming a paranoid freak about it, I just had to take a second prenancy test to get over it. Which, of course, was positive. In fact it was positive after about 4 seconds. So whew, no doubts there. Now if I can just get over all the horrible strong smells that seem to have found me lately.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A Bun in the Oven

So like so many other things, we just can't bring ourselves to do it the conventional way. By which I mean, telling the family that I'm pregnant. A phone call, just a standard conversation-"hi mom, I'm pregnant!", those just seem non-creative. So while enjoying a fine meal at Boston Market, we hit upon the idea of taking a photo of a bun in an oven and giving it to our families. So we set up the photo equipment this morning, sacrificed a hotdog bun to the altar of Art, and took the following. We're mailing it out to the families on Monday. I know at 6 weeks, it's a bit early, but hey we just can't contain ourselves anymore. Sue me.
And by the way, 6 weeks! I mean really! Jeebus. Happily I'm not feeling sick or anything, just sleepy and occasionally a touch dizzy. I can live with that.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Oh. My. God.

Probably Maybe Yes?

So I think I may be pregnant. Which is good news, by the way. My husband and I have been trying for three months now, and I think this is it. I took a pregnancy test yesterday morning, one of those simple little ones with the one-pink-line or two-pink-line situations, and it was rather inconclusive. By which I mean that there was a second line (good!) but it was really faint (good?) So I'm testing again tonight or tomorrow morning.
God knows if I'm not pregnant I somehow have the most tender boobs for no reason...