Sunday, August 30, 2009

What a Long, Strange Week it's Been

22 Week Update from

"At 11 inches (the length of a spaghetti squash) and almost 1 pound, your baby is starting to look like a miniature newborn. His lips, eyelids, and eyebrows are becoming more distinct, and he's even developing tiny tooth buds beneath his gums. His eyes have formed, but his irises (the colored part of the eye) still lack pigment. If you could see inside your womb, you'd be able to spot the fine hair (lanugo) that covers his body and the deep wrinkles on his skin, which he'll sport until he adds a padding of fat to fill them in. Inside his belly, his pancreas — essential for the production of some important hormones — is developing steadily."

To say that this week has been slightly crazy would be an understatement!! We hosted a couple's baby shower on Saturday night that turned out really nice, then on Sunday I went to the movies with a girlfriend and Justin and I went to Babies R Us for the dreaded registering experience! It was pretty overwhelming at times, but I think we managed to do okay! We also went to the mall to pick out a few maternity shirts that are becoming more necessary every day. I can still fit into most of my pre-pregnancy clothes, but they aren't near as comfortable as elastic banded pants and loose fitting tops! After that we went to a friends house for dinner and relaxing.

Monday was my first day at my new job and it went really well. Things are already starting to come back to me and soon it will feel like I never left! That night, Justin and I both ate some leftovers and hung out with a friend. I went to bed pretty early due to my constant back pain. There is one spot in my back that has been bothering me for about a year and a half. It is the same spot that tends to be a symptom of gall bladder problems, and I really hoped that when my gall bladder was removed last year that this pain would go away. Now I'm starting to wonder if it is a result of my favorite blue chair. It usually doesn't start hurting until the end of the night when I'm relaxing in my chair watching TV or reading. Usually when it starts hurting, I either go and read in bed or move to the couch. Monday night, I went on to bed.

I woke up at about 2:30am to go to the bathroom, but I was having a hard time getting back to sleep. My stomach was feeling very weird and I just did not feel very good at all. Around 3:30, I realized why I wasn't feeling well when I had to run to the bathroom to throw up. Immediately I began to be concerned - I NEVER throw up. When I am throwing up, something is seriously wrong with me and I know that I must be really sick. I knew it had nothing to do with the pregnancy because I had not been throwing up at all in the last 5 1/2 months. While I was still in the bathroom, I heard Justin get up and run to the other bathroom. Okay, that's weird, I was thinking.. He came in to check on me and I asked him if he was sick too. He said yes, but he thought maybe he was sick because he was worried about me. I wish I could say that was the end of our "sickness". Little did we know, it was just the beginning.

We took turns throughout the rest of the night running to different bathrooms, either with diarrhea or to throw up - or sometimes both. Next thing I know, it's 7:00 and I have to make the decision on what to do about work - I mean, it's my 2nd day back, I can't call in!!! So I decide to get in the shower, hoping that would make me feel a little better. That didn't quite go as planned since I couldn't stop myself from throwing up in the shower. GROSS!! By this time, Justin was feeling a little better and was ready to go to work. I, on the other hand, was feeling worse. I was so weak and tired, I had no energy, and I was still throwing up! I slowly got ready and made my way to work - thank goodness I have a great boss who sent me home right away, and was completely understanding that I was very, very sick. I stopped to get some Gatorade before I got home and began taking tiny sips of that, hoping it was going to stay down. No such luck. I had already put a call in to my doctor and was waiting on them to call me back with some advice. I was still going to the bathroom about every 30 minutes and was unable to keep even the smallest sip of anything down. At this point, I was beginning to get a little worried because I knew how dehydrated my body was getting, and I knew Austin was getting absolutely nothing from his mommy. Poor Justin didn't make it to work without pulling over to throw up and continued to throw up once he got there. He waited for another supervisor to relieve him and then he came on home to join me. Let me tell you, we were miserable and pitiful, but at least we were in it together! Finally my doctor called back some time after 1:00 and sent me straight to the ER. I called my in-laws to see if they could take me, because by this time, Justin's sickness was over and he was finally able to fall asleep.

We got to the ER at about 2:00 and were told we would be waiting an hour and a half to two hours. GREAT!! Luckily the bathroom was near, but seriously, who wants to throw up and do their business in a single male/female stall right outside the ER?!?! After about 30 minutes I was called into triage. Immediately when I got in there, I knew that I was about to pass out. I can always tell when it's coming on and I looked at my mother-in-law and told her. The patronizing nurse was telling me that I would be fine, just let her get the blood pressure cuff on. I'm thinking, Lady I am not fine and you will understand when I'm face down on your floor!!! I told her again, I AM GOING TO PASS OUT!!! By the time she got the blood pressure cuff on, while still feeling like I'm going to faint, I felt a vomiting episode coming on. I barely got the words out and she barely got a bag for thing I know I'm throwing up in triage while my mother-in-law is holding me up so I don't hit the floor when I pass out. By this time, my blood pressure had been taken and it was 79 over something..never saw that bottom number. It didn't matter, it was low enough for her to call for a stretcher immediately, and they ended up pulling another patient out of a room to get me in one.

The only good thing that came out of this horrible triage experience was that we didn't have to wait in the ER for two hours!! I would have much rather gone through that than to sit in that waiting room, running back and forth to the bathroom. Once they got me on the stretcher and into a room, they started an IV and hooked me right up to some much needed fluids. They did lots of blood work, checked for a bacterial infection and an upper UTI (which is ironically what I thought I had until Justin joined me with the sickness). They also checked the baby, and his heartbeat was normal and everything appeared to be okay. They found I had blood in my colon, which kinda freaked me out. My potassium was very low, as well as my blood pressure. Once all of those things were under control, and after a few bags of fluids, I got to go home around 8:30 that night.

It took a few days for Justin and I both to get back to normal, but finally by Friday I think we were both as close to 100% as we were gonna get. I can't even begin to tell you how awful this 24 hour period was for both of us, but he would agree that it was much worse for me. In the nine years that Justin and I have been together, I have never seen him that sick. Whatever we had, we had it bad!! We were both relieved when it was finally over for good, and definitely relieved that nothing was wrong with Austin. I will be a happy camper if I never get that sick again!!

I'm going to switch gears here for just a moment. For those of you who have been reading my blog for a while now, you all know about my friend Nikki. Amazing, optimistic Nikki, who never seems to let her particular "sickness" get her down. Here I am complaining about a 24 hour stomach bug, when she's fighting the battle of her life. I read this week on Nikki's blog about her treatment she's been getting from her new doctor in Indiana. I wish I could say that the update was good. Apparently, Nikki was pretty sick herself this week and also had to take a trip to the ER. They found that she was extremely anemic and her hemoglobin level was dangerously low. They admitted her and she had to get two bags of bloods before they released her to go home. After recovering from the ER experience, her and hubby Tom went to Indiana to see the doc, where he gave her some not so good news. Her numbers have continued to rise. This was not supposed to happen with this treatment! The numbers were supposed to be going down, down, down. How can they be going up?? So the doctor decided to stop the treatment and change to a pill form of chemo that she will take for 21 days before she is tested again. This treatment will keep her from making the frequent trips to Indiana. The doctor told her that this treatment is the last "conventional" therapy there is for her to try. If this doesn't work, she will begin seeking out any and every clinical trial there is out there. Nikki said she is focusing on the positives (as always) and has been doing lots of praying and meditation. She is now focusing on a healthier lifestyle and doing everything in her power to make this treatment work.

Isn't it amazing how strong she is?! How incredibly brave and positive she is? I don't know why this continues to amaze me - I saw it in person just a few months ago and it's not like this is someone that I didn't grow up with, someone I didn't know like the back of my hand. It just renders me speechless to talk about her journey and how she continues to stay so optimistic throughout this fight. I pray to be like her. I pray that she can continue to keep up the fight, no matter how hard it gets. Please join me in this prayer for her. I believe in the power of prayer, and so does Nikki. She can fight this and she can beat this, I know she can. Let this be a lesson for all of us - remember when your sick or having a tough day, remember Nikki and how many times she's been sick and how many tough days she's had to face. She's still fighting and so can we. It puts so much into perspective for me and she'll never know how much she has taught me. Please pray for her, it would mean the world to her. I love you Nikki and you're always in my prayers!!!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Baby Vinson Has a Name!

21 Week Update from

"Your baby now weighs about three-quarters of a pound and is approximately 10 1/2 inches long — the length of a carrot. You may soon feel like he's practicing martial arts as his initial fluttering movements turn into full-fledged kicks and nudges. You may also discover a pattern to his activity as you get to know him better. In other developments, your baby's eyebrows and lids are present now."

It's really hard to imagine our baby boy being as long as a carrot!! In the ultrasound pics, his legs sure did look long, but at the same time it was a little hard to see because he is all scrunched up in there!

I feel like there is so much to do all of a sudden! We have really got to get our registry finished and more importantly, we have got to shop around at day cares! I have a list of some that I want to check out - moms please feel free to leave some suggestions because we could use some help in this category!! I'm starting my new job on Monday which seems to add just a little bit more stress to everything. I'm trying not to worry though, everything will get done!

Nothing much has changed in my pregnancy - my trips to the bathroom during the night seemed to ease up, but apparently I was just having a lucky week. I'm back to 3-4 trips again. It sure does make it hard to get a good nights sleep though! My boobs still hurt like crazy. I am really shocked that hasn't eased up at all, and it has been my biggest complaint these last five months. Oh yeah - I guess I should fill you in on the name we have picked out. It wasn't a hard decision for us, as we've had our names picked out for a long time!! Baby Vinson is now Austin Daniel!!

Ultrasound pics below! The last one is a 4-D of his's still a little early to see too much but if you look hard, you can see his eyes, nose and mouth!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Halfway There!!

20 Week Update from

"Your baby weighs about 10 1/2 ounces now. He's also around 6 1/2 inches long from head to bottom and about 10 inches from head to heel — the length of a banana. (For the first 20 weeks, when a baby's legs are curled up against his torso and hard to measure, measurements are taken from the top of his head to his bottom — the "crown to rump" measurement. After 20 weeks, he's measured from head to toe.) He's swallowing more these days, which is good practice for his digestive system. He's also producing meconium, a black, sticky by-product of digestion."

Finally, Baby Vinson has an identity and a name!! We're having a BOY and his name is Austin Daniel!! Our ultrasound on Thursday was the most amazing thing I have ever seen in my life. My mom and Justin's parents joined us and we were all able to see his stomach, bladder, aorta, spine, ribs, diaphragm, brain, both arms, hands, legs and feet. Oh yeah, and his little peepee!! As soon as the ultrasound technician got in between his legs to look, it was very obvious that he was a boy!! I was just so thankful that he cooperated!! He moved around a lot, kicking and stretching in that tiny little space that is his temporary home. I couldn't believe how squashed he looked in there!! It was really cool to see him moving and stretching - now I know what he's doing when I feel him moving around in there! The technician let us see his face and arms a few times in 4D - WOW! I can't imagine how awesome the 4D will look in 12 more weeks when he is even more developed! His heartbeat was 145 beats per minute, just one beat lower than it was at 8 weeks. He was measuring at 5 months, 5 days which is exactly where I was in the pregnancy on Thursday. Looks like our due date of January 2 is accurate!!

My mom and I went to Babies R Us after the appointment to look around for a while and I registered for a few items that did not need Justin's "manly approval"! :) I'm hoping to get all of the registering done here in the next week or two so I can get it off of my mind!! We've finally picked out some bedding that wasn't too plain for me or too "sissy or girly" for Justin. We're finally getting to where we can go and look at some of the houses that we have picked out, now that Justin is no longer working out of town. Hopefully within the next few months, I'll be able to do the "nesting" thing and start setting up the nursery in our new home! You have no idea how much I am looking forward to that!

More than anything I'm excited to meet this little guy that is growing inside of me. It is so much more real when you can feel him moving, but nothing compares to seeing him and how much he has grown from the little blob he was at 8 weeks to the growing little boy he is now at 20 weeks. It's amazing to be able to see the changes that are occurring in your body! I can't wait to see his face and get to know him! I have read about the special connection a mom feels with her baby while she's pregnant, and now I finally understand what that means. It was hard to feel a connection with something when you couldn't feel it there - now that I can feel him and actually picture what he's doing when I feel him moving, it just really puts things into a new perspective for me. We're so excited to meet our little guy!

**Ultrasound pics to come!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

A Week of Changes

19 Week Update from

"Your baby weighs about 8 1/2 ounces and measures 6 inches, head to bottom — about the size of a large heirloom tomato. His arms and legs are in the right proportions to each other and the rest of his body now. His kidneys continue to make urine and the hair on his scalp is sprouting. A waxy protective coating called the vernix caseosa is forming on his skin to prevent it from pickling in the amniotic fluid."

I can't believe how much has happened this week! The week started off with feeling BV move for the first time! I still can't believe how incredible the feeling is. I have felt it moving off and on this week, mostly at night - I still smile very big every time I feel it!

Then on Thursday I received a job offer that I absolutely couldn't refuse! I will be going back to Regions to work in my old position in the mortgage department. The opportunity kinda came out of nowhere - basically I got a call one day from a recruiter at Regions, and he wanted to know if I was interested in the opening. Let me preface this by saying how stressed out I've been lately about many things that pertain to my current job. Our insurance is changing and the amount I will be paying once the baby comes was completely outrageous - although Justin tells me not to worry about it, that is easier said than done for me. I have worried about it since I found out and was just really stressed out about what we were going to do. Not to mention the job in itself is pretty stressful, and things have been especially hard for me to deal with since I have a heart condition and extreme anxiety. Normally those things can be combated with medication, but not so when you're pregnant. I have been worried about what the stress has been doing to my body, and my baby, and the more I worry over that, the higher the stress level goes. So when I got this phone call, it felt like an immediate answer to prayers. The job was put in front of me without me even looking for it - another reason why I felt I could not pass this opportunity up. I didn't feel that God would put this opportunity in my lap if He didn't want me to take it. Sooo, after telling the recruiter that I was interested, he began to tell me about the changes that have taken place in the department since I left. One of those changes being the salary! I couldn't believe how much the salary had gone up since I left! Regions has got some great benefits that are hard to find in a small company like the one I've been working for this last year. Knowing these benefits and how they were going to make life so much easier for my family, there was no question in my mind what I had to do. I went through the formalities of talking to the manager, going through a background check and drug screening, and I received the formal offer on Thursday! My first day will be August 24!!!

In other news, we find out the sex on Thursday!! FINALLY! I'm so tired of calling BV an "it"!! It will finally have an identity and a name! Our parents are going with us to the ultrasound so it should be a really exciting day!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

More Than a Feeling!!

I FINALLY felt Baby Vinson moving last night!! I have been waiting and wondering when it was going to happen and all of a sudden, there it went! I was laying in bed reading shortly after 9pm last night when I started to feel the movement. I really don't even know how to describe the feeling! I had been told it was similar to a butterfly, but it was more of a rolling around feeling than a fluttering! It felt like BV was just doing rolls in there! I was so shocked at the feeling and so amazed...tears just welled up in my eyes and I was so excited! Justin is working in Memphis this week so it was really sad that he wasn't there to experience it with me, but I was texting him the moment it happened! BV rolled around for about 45 minutes, off and on. I had been resting my book on my lower tummy and it felt like it was right underneath the book. It was so strong it seemed like I would be able to feel it on the outside. As soon as I moved my book and put my hand there, BV would stop moving! And of course, as soon as I put the book back, I would start feeling the movement again! Stubborn little thing already! I cannot wait to feel BV again, and I really can't wait for when Justin is able to feel it! What an amazing feeling....!!!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Hello, Belly!!!

18 Week Update from

"Head to rump, your baby is about 5 1/2 inches long (about the length of a bell pepper) and he weighs almost 7 ounces. He's busy flexing his arms and legs — movements that you'll start noticing more and more in the weeks ahead. His blood vessels are visible through his thin skin, and his ears are now in their final position, although they're still standing out from his head a bit. A protective covering of myelin is beginning to form around his nerves, a process that will continue for a year after he's born. If you're having a girl, her uterus and fallopian tubes are formed and in place. If you're having a boy, his genitals are noticeable now, but he may hide them from you during an ultrasound."

I cannot believe that I am entering into my 5th month of pregnancy!! I thought it was going so slowly at first, but now it seems to be moving right along! I woke up Thursday morning and looked in the mirror and was shocked at what I saw. There was my belly - all poking out and big!! I have had a bump on the lower part of my tummy, but all of a sudden the upper part seemed to pop out overnight! It's still not very big, but it was a surprise to see first thing in the morning. It's amazing the changes your body will go through overnight.

My weight is still fluctuating very strangely. In the 2nd month, I somehow managed to lose 11 pounds. I am weighing myself every week to make sure I'm keeping on track and not gaining too much too fast. Over the last few months, I have only gained about three to three and half pounds. This morning, I had lost those three pounds again and am back to the same weight I was after losing the initial 11 pounds. It's really weird how this is happening because I am really expecting to see that number go up every week, not down!! The only thing I can think of is medicine. I was put on a medication almost four years ago, and since taking that medicine my weight has slowly crept up and up - for a while now, I've been at my hightest weight ever in my life. I began coming off of that medication a few months before I found out I was pregnant, and stopped taking it completely when my pregnancy test came back positive. So my thinking is that the weight gained from that medicine is slowly coming off now naturally, when at the same time I'm gaining pregnancy pounds. I don't think I'm seeing a drastic increase on the scale because the weight loss from the medicine and the weight gain from the pregnancy are cancelling each other out. I could be completely wrong here, but that's my personal opinion! I guess either way, I shouldn't complain!

We are sooo excited for next Thursday!! My mom and Justin's parents will all be coming with us to the ultrasound to see what Baby Vinson's sex is. I'm anxious to have the ultrasound regardless - I haven't seen the baby since it was a little blob eight weeks into the pregnancy. I know a lot has been changing and I'm really excited to see those changes on the screen! Not to mention, we'll finally be able to pick out baby bedding and everything else we've been holding off on!

I hope everyone has a great week!! Please keep Nikki in your prayers - she is seeing the doctor in Indiana and will be doing the clinical trial treatments for a while.