wordless wednesday: 37 week bump

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


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37 weeks

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

How far along: 37 weeks

Baby's size: A Watermelon
Ella is officially full-term! Yay! She's gaining about 1/2 ounce a day and getting her first sticky poop (called meconium) ready. She could now be born at any time and likely thrive. But while she's waiting, it's practice, practice and more practice! She's brushing up on skills for the outside world: blinking, sucking, inhaling, exhaling, and gripping (she's getting strong!).


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Symptoms: Back pain, rib pain, hip pain .... had swollen ankles for the first time last Friday! But I'm sure that's just because I spent Thursday night cleaning the entire house! Probably pushed it a little too much. I was exhausted on Friday!

Sleep: Same old story here.

Total Weight Gain: 29 pounds

Maternity clothes: Yup, definitely wearing them!

Best moment this week: Dr. B "checked" me for the first time at my appointment on Friday. Ok, so that wasn't exactly the most fun moment, but definitely exciting!

Movement: I can definitely tell she's getting bigger! Her movements are starting to get more uncomfortable for me.

Food cravings: Still none ...

Gender: Girl!

Labor signs: No contractions or symptoms of labor. On Friday Dr. B said I was 1 cm dilated and Ella's head is at station 0. Dilation is the width that the cervix is open. The cervix needs to dilate from zero to 10 cm. Station refers to how high the baby's head is in the pelvis, and is determined by feeling inside the vagina. This is typically measured from -3 to +3. 0 station means the baby has dropped or engaged well into the pelvis and that her head rests right at the level of the ischial spines. +3 means the baby's head is visible at the opening of the vagina, also known as crowning. So for 36 1/2 weeks we're off to a great start!

What I miss: Feeling comfortable.

What I'm looking forward to: Meeting my baby in 3 weeks!

Weekly Wisdom (aka what I learned this week): 

Milestone: I guess I've officially "dropped"!

Emotions: I'm feeling completely torn. Part of me feels like this little girl is coming way too quickly! The other part of me feels like she can't come soon enough! I feel like there is still so much to be done, and so much I do not know! But I simply cannot wait to see her face and meet her for the first time.

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36 weeks ... one month to go!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

How far along: 36 weeks

Baby's size: A Honeydew
Ella's skin is getting smooth and soft, her gums are rigid, her liver and kidneys are in working order, and her circulation and immune system are basically good to go. Her lungs are the only organs that still need to fully mature, but every day she gets a little closer to breathing on her own. Most of her bones and cartilage are are quite soft (they'll harden after the first few years of life) - allowing for an easier journey as she squeezes through the birth canal at delivery. At this stage, the skull bones are also not fused together yet so that her head can easily (well, relatively easily) maneuver through the birth canal. Her growth is slowing down now, both so she can fit through the narrow passageway to the outside and also so she can store up all the energy needed for delivery.


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Symptoms: My back pain is getting worse - I really need to get in to see a masseuse or chiropractor. My friend rib pain still won't leave my side. I'm also experiencing more discomfort in my hips. I'm assuming this is because they are loosening for delivery. After sitting or standing (or even laying) in one position for a while they are pretty sore. But I'll take that as a good thing if it means easier delivery!

Sleep: Same old story here. With my back pain, I can't ever seem to get comfortable at night. Sleeping on my side puts more pressure on my back. Sleeping on my back feels the best for my back, but that's not very comfortable with my belly weighing down on my. The best position is about half way between on my back and on my side - with a pillow propped behind and in front of me. Makes it pretty hard for hubby to get anywhere near me!

Total Weight Gain: 27 pounds

Maternity clothes: Did some outlet shopping this weekend. Bought a dress, a cardigan, a 3/4 sleeve shirt, a tshirt and a tank top all for about $40! None of which were maternity. I'm still having more luck finding styles that accommodate a belly, or simply buying a larger size. Maternity clothes just don't seem to fit me well - or if they do, they're often too expensive for my taste!

Best moment this week: Had my second "unofficial" baby shower on Sunday. Got together with all my girlfriends from college for cider, yummy fall desserts, and some good catch up time. They all went together and bought me a white and pink BabyBjorn. So sweet!

Movement: Yup, still moving! I never did get around to start doing kick counts. I guess she moves so much that it hasn't seemed necessary.

Food cravings: Still none ...

Gender: Girl!

Labor signs: None. Thankfully!

What I miss: Feeling comfortable.

What I'm looking forward to: Meeting my baby in 4 weeks!

Weekly Wisdom (aka what I learned this week): 

Milestone: One month to go!


Emotions: Pregnancy hormones can be really annoying at times! A simple inconsiderate comment, that would normally just roll off my back, can send me into tears. Poor hubby doesn't know what to do sometime! But he is so sweet and considerate and never makes me feel stupid. He just listens - which is usually all I need anyway. Not sure how I got so lucky to have him!

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35 weeks ... 35 days to go

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

How far along: 35 weeks

Baby's size: A Honeydew
From now on, Ella's growth is mostly in the plumping up department - though she won't get much longer, she'll put on a pound or more of baby fat before birth. BAck in the middle of pregnancy, Ella's weight was made up of only 2% fat; now she's about 15% and will be about 30% by full-term.) Her hearing is totally developed (though she responds best to higher pitches.) Also continuing to grow at an amazing pace is her brain power. Luckily, the part that surrounds that amazing brain - the skull - remains soft. And for good reason: a soft skull will allow her to squeeze more easily through the birth canal. God was really thinking this one through - imagine trying to push out a rock-hard head ... ouch!


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Symptoms: Back pain, rib pain, leg cramps, frequent bathroom trips ...and started getting a little heartburn in the evenings sometimes.

Sleep: Getting comfortable at night is nearly impossible. But once I fall asleep I seem to sleep well. Thankfully I don't really wake up to go to the bathroom much at all. But IF I do wake up for another reason, it most certainly means a trip to the bathroom!

Total Weight Gain: 26 pounds ... my weight gain seems to be slow lately - not that I'm complaining! Hopefully it's nothing to worry about. I continue to measure right on schedule at every OB visit, so I'll just wait and see!

Maternity clothes: My wardrobe is getting more and more limited. I've been pretty lucky so far that a lot of my regular clothes have still worked. But more and more of my tshirts are not making it over my growing bump! But I guess with only 5 weeks left there doesn't seem like much point in buying more maternity clothes, so I'll just make due!

Best moment this week: Had my first baby shower on Saturday. It was SO fun to have so many come, especially a lot of my cousins who surprised me by driving up (many from out of state) for the afternoon.

Movement: She's moving just as much as ever. According to Dr. B and Dr. F, she's been head down for over a month, but she loves to stick her butt out near my belly button ... I told her daddy he's going to have to talk to her about being modest :)

Food cravings: Still none ...

Gender: Girl!

Labor signs: None. Thankfully!

What I miss: Feeling comfortable.

What I'm looking forward to: Meeting my baby in 5 weeks! And my second shower this weekend.

Weekly Wisdom (aka what I learned this week): 

Milestone:

Emotions: Kind of freaking out about the whole labor and delivery thing - mostly because I simply don't know what to expect, so it seems impossible to have any sort of realistic 'plan' in place. But lamaze class is helping, so we'll see.

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lamaze childbirth education

Thursday, October 14, 2010

We started our childbirth education classes on Tuesday. I mentioned Monday that I was freaking out about delivery, and was hoping these classes would help ... I'm not so certain it did. At least not yet.

I'm sure it didn't help that I had this picture in my mind of what Lamaze class would be like - all the moms sitting around on mats (think yoga class), with dads sitting behind them, practicing breathing techniques. In reality, this was not at all my experience.

She covered SO much information, and really made me realize just how much I DON'T know. I just sat there trying to soak everything in, and feeling like I should have been taking copious notes! But I didn't. Really because I know I can always go back and look up the information, and just wanted to take advantage of hearing someone explain it all rather than just reading it. But it left me feeling a little overwhelmed to say the least.

And then the worst part. We watched a birthing video. Somehow both hubby and I made it through high school health class without ever having to partake in this joy. I think hubby was scared for life. And I didn't enjoy it much more. It didn't help that the video - a VHS tape - was from the late 80's. It also didn't help that the lady giving birth was actually naked and moaned like she was having sex rather than delivering a baby! Thankfully we were warned about the naked part so it wasn't a shock, but the whole thing was a little weird.

Towards the end of class we learned some massage techniques and some relaxation techniques. I found it slightly awkward sitting around with seven other couples while my husband massaged my head and arms ... trying to use it as a teach time to tell him what did and didn't feel good. Also the "nonscented" lotion smelled like baby powder and made us both feel sick. The relaxation techniques were helpful but nothing to earth shattering, and hubby didn't really understand what HE was suppose to be doing during the whole thing. But when the times comes I'm sure we'll be happy to have these tools to use.

Don't get me wrong, the class was very helpful. And I'm looking forward the the next few classes. I just feel so out of place and unprepared. But that is exactly what theses classes are suppose to eliminate, so I am optimistic at this point.

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wordless wednesday: 34 week bump

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


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34 weeks

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

How far along: 34 weeks

Baby's size: A Honeydew
Ella can now recognize and react to simple songs ... time to start practicing my lullabies! In fact, she will recognize frequently sung tunes after birth and probably find them soothing. Her fingernails now reach the end of her fingertips and may even curl over the tip - sounds like a mother/daughter trip to the salon will be in order! Less cute news: She now urinates about one pint per day. Better get the diapers ready!


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Symptoms: Back pain, rib pain, leg cramps, frequent bathroom trips ... I've been to the bathroom 4 times already this morning! Starting to feel more and more uncomfortable the bigger I get. Simply sitting on the couch is even more uncomfortable these days.

Sleep: Still sleeping well, just not all that comfortably. And I never seem to get enough of it!

Total Weight Gain: 25 pounds

Maternity clothes: We had dinner with some friends of ours this weekend who have a 2 month old little girl. She had just packed up all her maternity clothes, so she sent me home with two bins of clothes! She's quite a bit shorter than me, so most of the pants didn't work - but I did score quite a few long sleeve tops that will be great now that it's getting colder!

Best moment this week: Our crib and bassinet arrived! Hubby's mom brought over the bassinet, which was made by her father. And she picked up the crib down in the city - it's now prominently placed in our garage. We won't be putting it up until our new house is finished, but it's so fun just knowing it's there!

Movement: She is getting so big! Her jabs have started to feel slightly uncomfortable. It feels like she's jabbing me in the side with her elbows. And sometimes headbutting me in the bladder. So fun! But thankfully she's stayed away from my ribs so far.

Food cravings: Still none ...

Gender: Girl!

Labor signs: None. Thankfully!

What I miss: Jeans that fit.

What I'm looking forward to: Meeting my baby in 6 weeks! And my first shower this weekend.

Weekly Wisdom (aka what I learned this week): 

Milestone:

Emotions: So much to be done. But I don't even know where to start! This whole building a house thing really complicates the planning process. There is so much that I would normally be doing right now, but I'm waiting until we're in our new house to do. However, I know there are things I should be doing right now to prepare for this baby that I'm just not thinking of! Thankfully my mom is coming this weekend for the shower, hopefully she can help me make a plan!

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freaking out

Monday, October 11, 2010

I kind of broke down to hubby tonight. The realization that I'm going to have to actually 'birth' this child inside of me VERY soon has really been hitting me lately. And, I'll be honest, I'm kind of freaking out!

My whole pregnancy has really been pretty easy. Sure I've had constant pain in my ribs since about 21 weeks, and frequent back pain about as long. I've experienced the round ligament pain and the leg cramps. I've even been feeling my hip joints loosening up lately, which isn't so pleasant either. And you certainly can't ignore the frequent trips to the bathroom! But really, all of that is pretty easy to deal with. And the excitement of it all definitely overshadows any discomfort. I actually feel bad telling other moms that that I feel ok, because I know that not everyone is as fortunate!

But very, very soon, I'm going to have to deliver this little girl (and hopefully she stays little!) I have no idea what to expect. Sure I've done my research, and I've talked to many women who have gone through it. But there are SO many horror stories out there! Including my mother-in-law (both she AND my hubby almost died) and my sister-in-law. It's hard to hear those stories, and not let my mind run wild.

On the completely opposite end of the spectrum is my own mom. She had all of us in about three hours of labor, and never even experienced early labor - just went right into phase two. So she was able to go through three deliveries without ever needing drugs or an epidural. She did have some complications with my younger brother, but that was because he was a footling breach and had his arm caught up over his (very large) head. They simply wouldn't allow that to happen today.

So I'm caught between expecting the worst, and expecting the best. I certainly don't want to dwell on all the things that COULD go wrong. But I also don't want to go in expecting an easy three hour delivery and then have it last for 12 hours!

Tomorrow we start Lamaze / Childbirth Education classes at the hospital. They say knowledge is power, and I'm really hoping that holds true for me. I'm hoping that this 4 week class will help me feel more prepared, and more at ease about the whole thing.

I have such an amazing husband. I really couldn't ask for a better partner in this whole thing. I let him know that I was nervous and really uncertain about everything. He reassured me that he will not only be there for the class, but he'll really be there. I love him so much, and can't wait to go through this experience with him.

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33 weeks

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

How far along: 33 weeks

Baby's size: A Honeydew
Things are heating up inside! Ella may grow up to a full inch this week alone, and her brain is developing like crazy. Pretty soon, she'll be able to coordinate breathing with sucking and swallowing. Also, her bones are hardening, and she's started to keep her eyes open when she's awake. The level of amniotic fluid in the uterus has reached its maximum this week, making it likely that there's more baby than fluid now. That's just one reason I'm feeling lots of nudges and pushes - there's less liquid to cushion the blows. Ella has reached another important milestone about now as well: the development of her own immune system (along with antibodies).


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Symptoms: Back pain, rib pain, leg cramps, frequent bathroom trips ... a new one this week is achy hip joints. I can feel that the ligaments are getting looser!

Sleep: Still sleeping well, just not all that comfortably. And I never seem to get enough of it!

Total Weight Gain: 25 pounds

Maternity clothes: Comfort seems to be key these days. Fewer and fewer things in my closet are fitting. But I'm also loosing interest in buying a ton more maternity clothes; seems like a waste with only 7 weeks to go!

Best moment this week: We found out at last weeks appointment that she's already in a head-down position. Looks like she's just as excited to meet us as we are to meet her!

Movement: She is getting so big, and moving so much!

Food cravings: Starting to think I may never have any ...

Gender: Girl!

Labor signs: None.

What I miss: Not having a constant pain under my ribs. It's getting more severe lately, and extremely uncomfortable!

What I'm looking forward to: Meeting my baby in 7 weeks!

Weekly Wisdom (aka what I learned this week): 

Milestone:

Emotions: Stressed beyond belief with everything that needs to be accomplished in the next 7 weeks!

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love21 maternity

Thursday, September 30, 2010


I made a new discovery today. One that I'm VERY excited about! Forever21 has a maternity section! The new line is called love21 maternity. And though it's not very big yet, they have some very cute items for some very great prices! I'm really coveting this little combo, which would look great with my boots for fall! And both pieces combined are under $40!


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32 weeks

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

How far along: 32 weeks

Baby's size: A Squash
Ella's getting ready for her big debut! The past few weeks it's been all about practice, practice, practice as she hones the skills she'll need to thrive outside the womb - from swallowing and breathing to kicking and sucking. And speaking of sucking, she's been able to suck her thumb for a while now. She's also becoming less transparent and more opaque, as more and more fat accumulates under her skin. She's probably in the head-down position by now, with her bottom facing up. This is the comfiest way for her body to fit in my increasingly cramped womb and will make her eventual exit (only a few months away now!) much easier.


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Symptoms: Back pain, rib pain, leg cramps, frequent bathroom trips ... my belly is also getting ichy as my skin is stretching more and more these days.

Sleep: Still sleeping well, just not all that comfortably. And I never seem to get enough of it!

Total Weight Gain: 24 pounds ... though my weight has fluctuated quite a bit this week - which is different than the rest of this pregnancy has been. May need to keep an eye on this. But then again, it may be nothing to be concerned about.

Maternity clothes: Comfort seems to be key these days. Fewer and fewer things in my closet are fitting.

Best moment this week: Finally bought Ella's crib this weekend!

Movement: She is getting so big, and moving so much!

Food cravings: Starting to think I may never have any ...

Gender: Girl!

Labor signs: No labor signs yet, but I have felt a few random pains along my right side. Maybe Braxton hicks? Or maybe just weird cramps.

What I miss: Cuddling with hubby at night, and generally just being comfortable.

What I'm looking forward to: Meeting my baby in 8 weeks!

Weekly Wisdom (aka what I learned this week): 

Milestone:

Emotions: Stressed beyond belief with everything that needs to be accomplished in the next 8 weeks!

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Ella's crib

Monday, September 27, 2010

After what seems like an eternity of research, and shopping, and deliberating ... we have finally picked out Ella's crib. We ordered it yesterday at Babies R Us. I am SO excited, and really happy with our choice. I just think it is so beautiful. Don't you agree?


The Soho Crib from Delta Children's Products converts to toddler bed, day bed and full sized bed. So little Miss Ella just may be in this same bed until she turns 18! It doesn't have a drop side and it's JPMA certified, so it's completely safe and really sturdy. And it's just plain beautiful! It will look so great in her yellow and grey nursery.

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wordless wednesday: 31 week bump

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


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31 weeks

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

How far along: 31 weeks

Baby's size: A Squash
At three-plus pounds and nearly 18 inches long, Ella is quickly approaching her birth length - though she has another 3 to 5 pounds to go before D-day. She's going through major brain and nerve development these days. Her irises now react to light, and all five senses are in working order. (She won't pick up anything from her nose until after birth, though - smell is transferred through air, not amniotic fluid.) She's also putting in longer stretches of sleep, and developing more defined patterns of wakefulness and rest.


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Symptoms: Back pain, rib pain, leg cramps, frequent bathroom trips ...

Sleep: Still sleeping well, but hard to get comfortable. I'm finally starting to feel a little uncomfortable laying on my back, with the weight of my belly. But side-sleeping isn't the most comfortable with back and rib pain either. I've started propping a pillow behind my back, which has done wonders!

Total Weight Gain: 23 pounds

Maternity clothes: Fewer and fewer of my regular shirts can be stretched over my belly these days.

Best moment this week: Laying in bed with hubby watching my belly move is still my favorite!

Movement: She is getting so big, and moving so much!

Food cravings: Starting to think I may never have any ...

Gender: Girl!

Labor signs: This question actually be relevant so soon!

What I miss: Cuddling with hubby at night, and generally just being comfortable.

What I'm looking forward to: Meeting my baby in 9 weeks!

Weekly Wisdom (aka what I learned this week): 

Milestone:

Emotions: Just really happy and content with life right now.

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a hole in the ground ...

Friday, September 17, 2010

... that will soon be our house!

Yes, that's right. Hubby and I are building a house. Though it may seem out of the blue to you, it's actually been a long time in the making. We first started talking about building a house when we got married. But we've been waiting for God's right timeing.

Once we found out that Ella was on her way, it seemed to kick things in high gear - especially for hubby! We debated back and forth about timing. Do we hurry and try to get the house finished before Ella comes? Or do we wait until next year? We currently live in a twin home - and while it has plenty of SPACE - it does not have a second bedroom on the main floor. Obviously this is not a necessity, but it would definitely be a plus to have Ella close to us at night.

Well this spring we started talking to builders, picked out a lot, and then started the long process of getting financing. By the end of August we had everything figured out. And yesterday we dug ground!

We could not be more excited! And yet a little scared. I think I may be insane to think that I can plan a house and have a baby at the same time! As the schedule sits right now, we will probably be moving with a six week old! Please tell me I haven't COMPLETELY lost my mind!

This decision also means we won't be setting up Ella's nursery until we are in the new house. Which - as all you moms who have felt the nesting instinct know - is extremely difficult for me! But I am trying to be practical here. We have a bassinet where she will sleep in our room for the first few weeks anyway, so it just is not necessary to have the crib set up in our current place.

I have been dieing to share this news with you all, but so much was up in the air so I held back. We have so many plans and ideas of how we will make this house our home. And now that it's official, I can't wait to share the details as the house progresses!

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the big 3 - 0

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

No I'm not turning 30! Just made it to 30 weeks. I can hardly believe I'm that far along already. Ella will be here in just 10 short weeks. I'm feeling like it can't come soon enough! I can hardly wait to meet this little girl who we love so much already. Can't wait to see what she looks like, and what kind of little personality she will have.

But part of me is terrified by the fact that we only have 10 weeks left. There is still so much to be done! I don't have a pediatrician picked out, a daycare lined up, I haven't bought the crib yet, haven't found the perfect rocking chair ... and the list goes on.

But really her arrival is not some big deadline, it's only just the beginning! Yes there are things that need to be done before she arrives, but there is still so much time AFTER she arrives as well!

How far along: 30 weeks

Baby's size: A Squash
As Ella's skin smooths out, her brain just keeps getting more wrinkled. All those grooves and indentations increase surface area, meaning more room for that oh-so-essential brain tissue. Her bone marrow has taken over production of red blood cells (before, tissue groups and then the spleen took care of producing the blood cells.) This means she'll be better able to thrive on her own after birth. So it's in with the new (brain cells, red blood cells) and out with the old (lanugo.) Much of the lanugo - the soft, downy hair covering her body - is beginning to disappear now because both fat and the brain are regulating her body temperature (so no need for that furry coat anymore!) She's also adding some brawn - her grip is now strong enough to grasp a finger.


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Symptoms: Back pain, rib pain, leg cramps, frequent bathroom trips ...

Sleep: Still sleeping well, but hard to get comfortable. I may need to add a few pillows to the bed soon!

Total Weight Gain: 22 pounds

Maternity clothes: Loving my new maternity jeans, and leggings. Even some of my larger sized pants are becoming too snug.

Best moment this week: I told hubby last night that we needed to take new belly photos because I was thirty weeks. He just looked at me and said, "Wow, we're going to have a baby!" It was so cute, he could not be any more excited!

Movement: Still feeling her all the time. Still haven't started counting kicks, maybe this week ...

Food cravings: Starting to think I may never have any ...

Gender: Girl!

Labor signs:

What I miss: Cuddling with hubby at night, and generally just being comfortable.

What I'm looking forward to: My baby shower. Just scheduled it for October 16th!

Weekly Wisdom (aka what I learned this week): 

Milestones: We preregistered for giving birth at the hospital this morning! It's really just a simple little form with my contact and insurance info, but wow does that makes things real.

Emotions: Just really happy and content with life right now.

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29 weeks

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

How far along: 29 weeks

Baby's size: A Squash
Ella's energy is surging, thanks to white fat depositing beneath her skin. This fat is different from the earlier brown fat that she accumulated. Brown fat is necessary for body temperature regulation while white fat (the fat adults have) actually serves as an energy source. And since she's growing so fast (her weight will double or triple by birth), things are getting kind of cramped in the womb. Soon her kicks will be more vigorous than before (and also less erratic) as she gets stronger and excitedly responds to all sorts of stimuli - movement, sounds, light, and that cup cake I ate half an hour ago!


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Symptoms: Back pain, rib pain, leg cramps, frequent bathroom trips ...

Sleep: Still sleeping well, but hard to get comfortable. I may need to add a few pillows to the bed soon!

Total Weight Gain: 21 pounds

Maternity clothes: Went shopping with my mom over the weekend and finally bought the maternity jeans I've been eying for over three months! Also gave in and went bra shopping ... after trying on close to 50 bras, finally found four that worked - two of which came home with me. Bought my first nursing bra!

Best moment this week: My parents came up for Labor day. We had a great time looking through baby stuff, planning the nursery, and shopping for cribs and gliders.

Movement: Still feeling her all the time. Thinking I should start counting this week.

Food cravings: None ... well, made a chocolate cake last week just because I wanted a piece ... does that count? Hubby thinks it does. Didn't seem that different than a normal pms chocolate craving.

Gender: Girl!

Labor signs:

What I miss: Being independent. It's extremely hard for me to let others lift things for me!

What I'm looking forward to: Making plans for Ella's room.

Weekly Wisdom (aka what I learned this week): 

Milestones: 3rd Trimester! wow how did that happen! 

Emotions: We've had a TON going on in our life lately, so I've been so absent from the blog world. Besides Ella, I've been crazy busy at work this past month, and we've got other exciting news in the works as well. Hopefully once I get through this week, things will start slowing down a bit at work and I can get caught up on my blog ... and getting my butt in gear with my baby check list!

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28 weeks - 3rd trimester

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

How far along: 28 weeks

Baby's size: An Eggplant
Ella may be dreaming! Brain wave activity measured at this stage shows different sleep cycles, including the rapid eye movement phase, the stage when dreaming occurs. New tricks this week including blinking, coughing, more intense sucking, and perhaps most important, better breathing. Ella's lungs are mature enough that, if born right now, she has a pretty good chance of surviving (with help from medical technology). Her skin is still pretty wrinkly (one byproduct of living in amniotic fluid) but will smoothen as fat continues to deposit.


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Symptoms: Back pain, rib pain, leg cramps, frequent bathroom trips ... other than that doing pretty well. I am starting to feel bigger, and have noticed I'm starting to walk a little different to compensate my growing bump.

Sleep: Still sleeping well, but hard to get comfortable. I may need to add a few pillows to the bed soon!

Total Weight Gain: officially hit 20 pounds!

Maternity clothes: I'm thinking it's time to invest in a new bra, a larger one! And now that fall is just around the corner, I need to start looking for a pair of maternity jeans.

Best moment this week: My favorite time of the day is when hubby and I crawl into bed (when that actually happens at the same time). Ella thinks 11pm is play time, or dance time. It's so fun to lay there together and watch her dance across my belly!

Movement: Still feeling her all the time. Wondering if I'm suppose to start counting kicks soon?

Food cravings: None.

Gender: Girl!

Labor signs:

What I miss: Being independent. It's extremely hard for me to let others lift things for me!

What I'm looking forward to: Making plans for Ella's room.

Weekly Wisdom (aka what I learned this week): 

Milestones: 3rd Trimester! wow how did that happen!


Emotions: I have no idea how it got to be 3rd trimester already! Honestly, I've really been enjoying being pregnant. It's been a really fun time for hubby and me to share. And I rather fond of all the attention as well. I feel great (relatively speaking), and honestly feel pretty cute too! There is just something about being pregnant that makes you feel more alive and more like a woman. At the same time I am also SO excited to meet Ella. Despite enjoying being pregnant, November CANNOT come soon enough!

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wordless wednesday: 27 week bump

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


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27 weeks

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

How far along: 27 weeks

Baby's size: An Eggplant
Ella's lungs are going through some major developments these days, which (combined with the opening of previously plugged nostrils) means she's now able to practice inhaling and exhaling. The lack of air in the womb means every "breath" is filled with amniotic fluid, but hey - it's progress. Ella's auditory development (hearing) is progressing as the network of nerves to the ears matures. And even though the sounds she hears are muffled, she may recognize both mine and hubby's voices. Her taste buds are very developed now too; she would be able to taste the difference in the amniotic fluid if I ate something super spicy! (Though her meal time is about two hours after mine.) She may even respond to the spice by hiccuping. And although hiccups (which would feel like a belly spasm to me) may seem like they're disturbing to baby, she isn't stressed at all. It's just one more sensation that she needs to get used to.


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Symptoms: Besides the pain in my ribs and back, the only really noticeable symptom is an increase in leg cramps. I mostly get them at night or first thing in the morning, if I point my toes and stretch too hard.

Sleep: Still sleeping well, but hard to get comfortable. I may need to add a few pillows to the bed soon!

Total Weight Gain: no weight gain this week, still at 19 total

Maternity clothes: Yup, I like them.

Best moment this week: I read on one of my iPhone apps that you may be able to hear the baby's heartbeat from outside. So the other night hubby put his ear up to my stomach, and sure enough he heard her heartbeat right away!

Movement: She's quite active! I absolutely LOVE feeling her move throughout the day. But her favorite time of day by far is around 11pm, right when I go to bed.

Food cravings: None.

Gender: Girl!

Labor signs:

What I miss: Being independent. It's extremely hard for me to let others lift things for me!

What I'm looking forward to: Making plans for Ella's room.

Weekly Wisdom (aka what I learned this week): 

Milestones: 

Emotions: This pregnancy is flying by, and I still have so much to do!

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touring the birthing center

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Monday we finally got around to touring the birthing center at the hospital. They offer free tours the third Monday of every month, but we've been unable to make it there until now.

We don't have much to compare it to - since we obviously haven't done this before - but we liked what we saw! All the birthing rooms are private and include whirlpool tubs. They also have mobile fetal monitoring systems - so I'm free to be in or out of bed and moving around as I wish - and my OB can monitor the results in her office or even from home! The birthing center is up on the 6 floor (the top floor) and all the rooms have floor to ceiling windows, so there's a nice view - not that I'll be paying attention to that! But it's still a nice little perk.



The birthing center itself is fully locked and monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Everyone who comes in has to be let in my a nurse. They do not allow random people to come in to just to see the babies in the nursery. They do welcome any family that I want there though, and even have a beeper system so that family can move around the hospital (aka go down and get food!) and be alerted when delivery is near.

And they play a lullaby throughout the entire hospital every time a baby is born. How cute is that?

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26 weeks

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

How far along: 26 weeks

Baby's size: An Eggplant
Ella's soaking up my antibodies, getting her immune system ready for life outside the womb. Eyes are forming, and she'll soon be practicing the blink ... perfect for batting those freshly grown lashes at her daddy. (Her eyes have been closed the past few months so that the retina, the part of the eye that allows images to come into focus, could develop. She can now see what's going on around her, unfortunately the view in my uterus isn't all that exciting! The iris, the colored part of the eye, still doesn't have much pigmentation, so it's too early to start guessing her eye color. (Even the color she's born with might not be the permanent shade.) Ella's brain-wave activity is kicking in at this stage in fetal development as well, which means she can not only hear noises but can now also respond to them. She's growing and will soon be feeling a little cramped in my uterus. My little gymnast will soon have less room for those somersaults and cartwheels that I always feel!


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Symptoms: Still feeling like my ribs are pulling apart, and getting back pain. Other than that, feeling pretty good. Noticing that I get short of breath quicker than normal.

Sleep: I'm actually sleeping pretty well. But it is very hard to get comfortable at night. Hubby is starting to complain that I never want to cuddle with him anymore.

Total Weight Gain: 19 total

Maternity clothes: I'm finding myself reverting to the same couple pairs of pants that I know are comfortable, rather than bothering with the bella band.

Best moment this week: Touring the hospital yesterday. It's starting to all feel so real!

Movement: Still feeling her move everyday. Hubby's mom was able to feel her for the first time last weekend!

Food cravings: None.

Gender: Girl!

Labor signs:

What I miss: Being able to comfortably cuddle with hubby.

What I'm looking forward to: Making plans for Ella's room.

Weekly Wisdom (aka what I learned this week): 

Milestones: Taking our first prenatal class.

Emotions: This pregnancy is flying by, and I still have so much to do!

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early pregnancy class

Friday, August 13, 2010

Yesterday we went to our first prenatal class at the hospital. They have several classes that they offer, most for free. This one was an "early pregnancy" class. I'm not so early pregnancy anymore, but this summer just got so busy and time kind of got away from me.

There wasn't a ton of new information, but it was all very good. She went through all the stages to fetal development, which was good review. Most of it I already knew from my weekly emails and my iPhone apps, but it was nice to have someone else walk through the entire process. It was also really good for hubby to hear.

She also talked about all the different changes in my body, the symptoms I may experience, and what exercises and remedies are safe. I've had a pretty easy pregnancy so far, but I haven't avoided everything! So it was a good reminder of what I can do for some of the discomfort.

The biggest question she answered for me was about daycares. I have been quite baffeled about how to fined a good daycare in our area. I never went to daycare myself, and know very little about them. Honestly I don't want to send Ella to a daycare. I would love to be able to stay home with her, but financially that is not an option yet. And I really do love my job.

The nurse told us about the Child Care Resources & Referral website. Each state has their own, but the national site is http://www.naccrra.org/. On the site you can search for daycares in your area, and it will even tell you which ones have openings! I'll definitely be looking into this!

The most reassuring part of the class was hearing the nurse talk about the views of the hospital. I was very happy to find that they are very similar to my own. They feel strongly that natural induction is the best way. They also are very open to using minimal drugs, and they allow you to move around as much as you want during labor. Another cool thing, being that it is a smaller birthing center, they have a one-to-one nurse to patient ratio during labor and delivery. And the birthing center is also a locked facility; they do not allow strangers in to "look at the babies in the nursery." It's very reassuring to know that I will be so well cared for!

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25 weeks - 6 months

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

How far along: 25 weeks

Baby's size: An Eggplant
Ella's oh-so-handy sense of equilibrium is kicking in, and she's learning to distinguish right side up from upside down. Her skin is turning pinker; small blood vessels called capillaries are forming under the skin and filling with blood. Later this week, blood vessels will also develop in Ella's lungs, bringing them one step closer to full maturity - and one step closer to taking that first breath of fresh air. But her lungs are still very much works in progress. Though they are already beginning to develop surfactant, a substance that will help the lungs expand after she is born, the lungs are still too undeveloped to sufficiently send oxygen to the bloodstream and release carbon dioxide when she exhales. Ella's nostrils, which have been plugged up until now, are starting to open this week as well. This actually allows her to begin taking practice breaths - of course since there's no air in there, she is really only "breathing" amniotic fluid.


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Symptoms: Still feeling like my ribs are pulling apart, and getting back pain. Other than that, feeling pretty good. Noticing that I get short of breath quicker than normal.

Sleep: I'm actually sleeping pretty well. But it is very hard to get comfortable at night. Because of the pain in my ribs, sleeping on my back is actually the most comfortable - but they advise against it. So I try to make sure I role over onto my side before I actually fall asleep.

Total Weight Gain: 18 total

Maternity clothes: Maternity clothes are my friend! But I've had a hard time finding maternity clothes that actually fit me and look flattering. I've had just as much luck finding regular styles that work as maternity.

Best moment this week: We went camping/canoeing with my extended family this past weekend. Many of them I have not seen since I first found out I was pregnant. So it was so fun to see them all and have them comment on my baby bump!

Movement: Still feeling her move everyday. Her movements are getting bigger and stronger. Last night I felt her moving for an hour and a half straight! This weekend my mom was able to feel her move, she's the only one who's felt her move besides hubby.

Food cravings: Still no major cravings! I do notice that I'm in the mood for sweets more often.

Gender: Girl!

Labor signs:

What I miss: Being able to sit normally, without needing extra lower back support.

What I'm looking forward to: Making plans for Ella's room.

Weekly Wisdom (aka what I learned this week): I learned from my What to Expect app today that research has linked good dental health and oral hygiene with longer pregnancies! Who would have thought? Apparently gingivitis can progress to periodontitis - which has been linked to premature birth and even an increased risk of preeclampsia.

Milestones: 6 months!

Emotions: This pregnancy is flying by, and I still have so much to do!

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nursery sneak peak

Monday, August 9, 2010

Like many things, I've been dreaming about Ella's nursery long before I knew about Ella. For a little over a year, I've had a pretty good idea in my mind of what I wanted it to look like. I'm loving the gray and yellow combo that's so popular right now. In clothes, in decorating, anything.


Unfortunately this color pallet doesn't seem to have made a big splash into nurseries realm quite yet. I know in my head what I want her room to look like, but I've never actually SEEN it done anywhere.

I first found this Dwell Studio pillow online at Target, and fell in love with it. And amazingly, when I saw it in person I loved it even more! So my mom bought it for me as my "shower gift." It'll be my inspiration piece of sorts - the yellow that I use to match everything to.




I've been searching the internet for months for a crib bedding set in this color scheme - to no avail. They all just seem so busy. I'm looking for something a little more calming, and a design that can grow with her. I did finally find this Modern Berries Modif crib set from Rosenberry Rooms that would be perfect for what I have in mind. It is gorgeous, but a bit out of my price range. And by a bit, I mean a lot. It's $399.99 and doesn't include a quilt.


The closest thing I've found to what I have in my head is Leighton's nursery on ohdeedoh. Leighton's mom has a lot of great ideas that I hope to borrow. I love her crib set - which she found on Etsy.


So my plan? I'm going to make my own crib bedding! I'm enlisting the help of my mom and mother-in-law and I'm going to make my own crib bumper, skirt and blanket. Hopefully I can find a pattern with a similar feel to the one from Rosenberry Rooms at the fabric stores. For the blanket, I'd like to find large pattern - like this Bananafish Love Bird pattern from Target below. If not, plan b is to make a quilt like the one in Leighton's room. I figure I can just buy a white, yellow or gray fitted sheet to match whatever pattern I find.


Hubby likes the idea. Mostly I think he just likes how excited I AM about it! He thinks it's great that I'm so excited about making my own stuff for Ella's room. Being a graphic designer though, he had some input as well. He said we need to have another color for an accent - that gray and yellow is a little too dull. So at his recommendation, I'm planning to add plum into the mix somehow as well.

Those are my thoughts for now. I'm all about personalization.There's nothing I dislike more than "boxed sets" so to speak, where everything in a room is exactly the same pattern. I like random things that are pulled together that coordinate, rather than match. I've got many other ideas flying around in my head, but I'll keep them for another day.

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diaper bag

Friday, August 6, 2010

A couple weeks ago we were doing some shopping on a sunny Sunday afternoon, and we wondered into a boutique that had maternity clothes. They had some absolutely adorable and trendy things, but unfortunately they were a little out of our price range.

But we did find our diaper bag! I saw it and instantly fell in love. It is cute, but not cutesy. Hubby still thinks it's pretty girly, but we are having a girl after all. And he'd have our little girl anytime he'd have the diaper bag, so I think he'd still feel comfortable carrying it.

 It's the Duo Deluxe diaper bag from Skip * Hop. It has so many great pockets, all of which are magnetic - not velcro. It includes a diaper changing pad (which hubby thought was for a laptop at first!) It has an exterior pocket for a bottle and your cell phone. It has special clips to attach it to the handle of your stroller. It's not the largest diaper bag out there - but I think I actually prefer that. I'd rather have a small bag to take everywhere, and then a second when I need extra stuff.

I convinced hubby to buy it for me right then and there - even though we hadn't done any other shopping for diaper bags. But the great part is, I later found it at Target for cheaper! So I returned it to the boutique and promptly added it to my gift registry!

They also have this great coordinating Central Park outdoor blanket + cooler!

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dr. h

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I had my 24 week checkup on Tuesday. Dr. B is on vacation this week, so I got to meet Dr. H. Dr. H is a short squatty guy with a balding head, but very nice. And I didn't have to wait a half an hour to see him, so bonus!

As Dr. H said, the 24 week checkup is a rather boring one. I peed in a cup, he asked me how I was feeling, listened for the heartbeat with the doppler (137 bpm), measured me, and I was on my way.

Actually this is the first time I've actually been measured. Dr. B has told me in the past that I "measure small," but she never actually measured. Dr. H got out a little measuring tape and measured from my pubic bone to the top of my uterus, which he said was 22 cm. So slightly on the small side, but nothing to worry about. As a rule of thumb, the measurement should equal the number of weeks you are pregnant. But 2 cm in either direction is considered within normal size.


He also told me that the pain I've been experiencing in the center of my ribs is probably heartburn and indigestion. He also said the ache in my right side could be my gull - caused by the same thing. For both I'm suppose to stay away from fried and greasy food, eat smaller meals, and recline as much as possible. Not sure I buy it though, it feels more like a bruise than a sharp pain. I'm more inclined to think that it's from my uterus growing and putting pressure on my ribs. But what do I know?

My next appointment is August 30th when I get to do the sugar test to look for gestational diabetes. Yay!

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24 weeks

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

How far along: 24 weeks

Baby's size: A Papaya
Ella's skin is becoming more opaque as the fat starts to pack on. And, thanks to the formation of small capillaries, her newly thick skin is taking on a fresh pink glow. If we could get a glimpse inside, we'd almost be able to tell who she looks like now. Her face is almost fully formed. But she needs to gain a little more weight still. At this stage of growth she's gaining about six ounces each week - with much of that gain coming from fat, in addition to growing organs, bones, and muscle. Ella can now hear all kinds of sounds: from air exhaling from my lungs, gastric gurgles produced by my stomach and intestines, even loud sounds such as honking horns, barking dogs, or wailing fire trucks, and best of all hubby and my voices!


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Symptoms: Still getting a daily side-ache on the right side ache, feeling like my ribs are pulling apart, and getting back pain. Other than that, feeling pretty good

Sleep: Sleeping is starting to get more challenging. It's tough sleeping on your side all night, especially with sore back and ribs.

Total Weight Gain: 18 total

Maternity clothes: I'm finding maternity clothes, especially pants, increasing appealing! I still have my eye on a couple pairs of maternity jeans ... but haven't pulled the trigger yet.

Best moment this week: Having complete strangers come up and tell me how cute I look and congratulate me. It's fun to be obviously pregnant, and not mistaken for just a little chubby. It's also fun to have everyone so excited with us!

Movement: I feel her move everyday, periodically throughout the whole day. She's the most active right around 11pm when I go to bed. I can really tell that she is growing too! The other night I felt her move on the right side of my belly AND below my belly button at the same time!

Food cravings: Still no major cravings!

Gender: Girl!

Labor signs:

What I miss: Not having back pain and rib pain everyday.

What I'm looking forward to: Starting our baby registry!

Weekly Wisdom (aka what I learned this week): 

Milestones: choosing a name!

Emotions: I am feeling like there is SO MUCH TO DO! Need to research and pick a car seat, stroller, crib ... need to lineup a daycare ... need to figure out my maternity leave ... need to start a baby registry ... and the list goes on and on!

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stroller / car seat dilemma

Monday, August 2, 2010

Now that we know Ella is a girl (oh I just love being able to use a name when I'm talking about her!), and with the realization that I'm past half way through this pregnancy, I'm feeling like I need to get my butt in gear with planning and preparations!

There are SO many things to be done. And SO many decisions to be made. I don't really know where to start! I'm making my lists of course, because that's what I do. But I decided it was best to start with little steps. So I thought picking out a stroller and car seat would be an easy one to start with.

Not so much.

For those who have been there, you know. When it comes to strollers and car seats, there are so many different options and features to think about!

Well I decided to start my search at Target. I didn't really know what I was looking for, so I just started out by looking at size, material and looks. I saw the Baby Trend Expedition jogger stroller and Flex-Loc infant car seat. I loved the heavy fabric, the triangle-shaped carrying handle, the small size of the car seat despite working for a baby up to 30 lbs, and really I loved the sophisticated black/gray color combo. I'm not a jogger, but something about a jogger stroller still appeals to me. It just seems like it may be more maneuverable. The one big downside, that hubby noticed, was the "puzzle piece" buckle. In order to secure baby in, you have to put the two pieces together first, before clicking it in. That may not be a deal-breaker, but it's certainly a big negative in our minds.


Next we looked at the Graco. We really like the SnugRide 35 infant car seat, with the MetroLite stroller. So many car seats only go up to 22 lbs, and we really like the flexibility of this one going to 35 lbs. I wasn't crazy about the patterns I saw at Target or Babies R Us, but found the Laguna Bay pattern online and really liked it! I'm really not looking for something super girly, even though we're having a girl. So I like the neutral-ness of this teal/green combo. I also liked the fabric on this one, the stroller has a much bigger basket below, and the buckle is much easier to manage with a squirmy baby (with each piece going in separately.) Another difference to the Baby Trend car seat, is that this one has the base release lever located at the head of the seat, as apposed to the foot. Hubby liked this one better, I liked the other - I guess it's just a preference thing!


These two were really the best options we could find to actually look at in our town. We live in a decent sized city, but for some reason we don't have a Super Target or a dedicated Babies R Us (just a section in Toys R Us.) So the options are rather limited. But we plan to do some shopping in a bigger city sometime soon (hopefully!)

But since doing our shopping, I've had several people recommend the Chicco KeyFit 30 infant car seat to me. Then the weekend before last, hubby's mom went to buy a stroller for the cabin (for my 2-year old niece), and came home with the matching Cortina stroller. We used it several times for walks over the weekend, and I have to say I'm really falling in love with it! It is SO easy to push! The umbrella comes fully detached from the back, so you can put it in front of baby if you are walking into the sun. The basket is large, the tray comes off completely, the seat back is adjusted by actually hardware rather than just a strap like the others I've seen, and the fabric is great. The only real downfalls I see are the small cup holders (my Camelback water bottle doesn't fit), and there is a plastic window in the umbrella that doesn't have a flap to cover it.


So the hunt continues. We need to do more shopping so we can see them in person, rather than just online. And of course I need to check into Consumer Reports for safty ratings and such. But I think I'm leaning towards the Chicco at this point.

What systems do you use? I'd love to get your thoughts and recommendations! I am sure there are so many factors that I have not thought about! I'd love to hear any input you have to share.

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baby has a name

Thursday, July 29, 2010

We first starting talking about baby names back in May. At the time I was still feeling like we were going to have a boy. The only trouble was, we could not come up with a name! We knew what the middle name would be (hubby's dad and grandpa's name, and hubby's middle name.) But everything we came up with for a first name either was already taken by a family member, didn't work for initials, or we just didn't agree on.

But a girls name? That was a different story.

Over a year ago, before we had even started to think about trying to have a baby, I mentioned a name to hubby and - to my surprise - he really liked it! So when we started talking about names back in May, I mentioned the name again. Hubby still really liked it - even though he didn't remember liking it a year ago! We decided at that point that we were about 90% sure that would be her name - if she was a girl!

Then the week before the ultrasound we started talking about names again. Still the same trouble with boys names. When we talked about girls' names, I mentioned another name I really liked. Hubby said it was ok. Then I mentioned THE name again. Hubby got a big old grin on his face - and I knew that was her name.

So when the ultrasound technician announced, "It's a Girl!", we instantly knew what her name was going to be.

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