Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving Weekend Happenings

Brian and I had a wonderful Thanksgiving (and Thanksgiving weekend). On Thanksgiving Day we went to my parent's house for lunch. And boy oh boy was the food ever GOOD!!! As you can imagine my pregnant belly was hurting but lets just say (in my opinion) it was well worth it. Most of my family was together (except my sister's family because her 2 oldest kiddos had strep throat). But the best news of the day was when my brother and his wife told us that baby Vugteveen was a healthy baby BOY!!! After leaving my parent's house next on the agenda was a nap (for both me and the hubster). And then to end our day we went to see Breaking Dawn Part 1.

Friday morning brought a doctor appointment for me and some hunting for the hubby. And then the afternoon called out for some Christmas music as Brian hauled up our Christmas decorations so I could start decorating the house...oh how I just love decorating for Christmas!!! Then later that afternoon I headed into work as Brian headed out to do some more hunting.

My new table centerpiece...I just love my new red and green balls!!!
A little "spice up" of Alayna (above) and Ella's (below) pictures!!!

The Alayna and Ella tree!!!

We decided to not put up our big Christmas tree this year for a couple of reasons but the main reason being that we always take the tree down the day after Christmas and there is NO way at 9 (technically 10) months pregnant that I am going to feel like taking a Christmas tree down plus if Buggy is born already I'm not going to feel like taking it down either. But next year it WILL BE back in action!!! But I still really wanted to display the girl's ornaments so up went the mini tree with all their special ornaments. Last Christmas my parents gave us a Christmas ornament for each of the girls, as did my friend Kami, and I made them each a (few) "First Christmas" ornaments. And then my sis-in-law Kristi and our friends Steve and Laura gave us an ornament for the girls to share.

Saturday morning brought about (yet another) hunting escapade for the hubby and a coffee date for me (at my house) with some of my closest girlfriends. This (entertaining) was a pretty big step for me since I have barely seen some of these friends since losing the girls. But it was nice catching up and seeing their little ones (some that I have never seen or have only seen once). Those that made the date included Janna and her two boys Ezra (20 mo) and Josiah (7 mo), Melissa and her little boy Cohen (3 mo), and my friends Karie and Krista (who was in from Boston). The other 2 gals that round out our group of 7 are Gretchen (who was gone for the weekend) and Rachel (who had just had her second little boy the night before...congrats to Matt, Rach, and big brother Jude on little Rhys Matthew)!!! I did some baking and cleaning (oh and some napping) in the afternoon and then at night we headed out to our first Christmas party of the year with my mom's side of the family. Sorry no pictures...I don't like moving much :)

The 7 of us taken sometime in 2007 (I think...)
Me, Kare, Gretch, Krista, Rach, Janna, and Melis

And that brings us to Sunday. We went to church and out for brunch with our friends Steve and Laura and then after brunch we stopped by their house to pick this up...

Laura I CANNOT thank you enough for your kindness. What is this (some of you may be asking)...its her $350 electric breast pump that she is just giving to me. And isn't it stylish!!! And the rest of the day was spent napping (big surprise) and relaxing...oh and finishing up the Christmas decorations!!!

And last thing to blog about is the sweet baby gift I got in the mail yesterday. My dear friend Kristin sent me a gift when she totally did NOT have to. Kristin your thoughtfulness is much appreciated. As I have already mentioned...I don't like to move too much so here is an alternate picture of the wonderful gift that I received...

Cannot wait for Buggy to enjoy the bath toys!!!
and I cannot wait to read Buggy this book!!!

Praying for you and Dan and the journey you are about to begin!!! SO SO SO worth it!!!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Reassured Again

So Buggy and I had our 8th non-stress test today and Buggy did GREAT!!! No extra belly pushing was needed today...which made me very happy. I was reassured by both Dr. Jelsema and my nurse Beth that Buggy's more subtle movement is completely normal at this stage of pregnancy...(he/she doesn't have much room to maneuver around after all) and also that Buggy could have flipped so I might not be feeling his/her kicks as often. Either way everything looked good and I left feeling positive again. Heart rate stayed consistent (high 140's), mama's weight is still increasing, and mam's urine looked good...maybe a trace amount of protein (according to Beth when I asked) but Dr. J didn't mention anything so to me that means I have nothing to be concerned about. Back again on Thursday...

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Journey: Week 35

November 27
How Far Along: 35 weeks.

Size of Baby: 
Our little bug-a-boo is on average over 18 inches long and tips the scale at 5 and 1/4 pounds. Or for comparisons sake…the size of a honeydew melon.

Picture of Baby:

body and face...

35 weeks: Because it's so snug in my womb, Bug isn't likely to be doing somersaults anymore, but the number of times he/she kicks should remain about the same. His/her kidneys are fully developed now, and his/her liver can process some waste products. Most of his/her basic physical development is now complete--he/she will spend the next few weeks putting on weight. (Information taken from babycenter.com)

Weight Gain: Ugh up another 4 POUNDS...blaming it on Thanksgiving :) So my total is half a pound short of 40. And looking back at my weight-gain chart...I gained 10lbs in 4 weeks which means I could easily gain another 10lbs before Buggy arrives...which means my total could tip the scale at 50 pounds...WHOA. (No exclamation here). But Buggy is worth every pound!!! 

Belly: 3 pictures this week...
Thanksgiving Day (34 weeks and 4 days)
(Looking so tired...)
belly shot!!!

Stretch Marks: Nope.

Sleep: Ugh.

Best Moment of the Week: Seeing our sweet bundle of LOVE again!!!

Movement: On Thursday I started feeling that shift of (less) movement again...in other words Buggy's movement is not as strong. Makes sense since Buggy was already a whopping 6lbs (at 34 weeks)...not much room to maneuver in mommy's belly!!! So needless to say I am ready for my non-stress test again tomorrow...just to be reassured that everything is still looking good.

Symptoms: Took the wedding ring off this week. At my appointment on Tuesday I told Mary (my nurse) that my fingers were definitely starting to swell and she me that she ended up having to cut her wedding ring off because she didn't take it off soon enough. So needless to say when I got home Brian told me to take the ring off...he doesn't want to replace the band :)

And I am starting to feel like a beached whale. I tried on 3 different outfits today and they all made me look big. Brian told me that everyone likes Shamu though...isn't he sweet. On a side note...he DID get yelled at!

Food Cravings: All food is GOOD!!! Hence the weight gain... 

Gender: I am so excited for my our SURPRISE!!! My brother and his wife found out this week that they are having a little BOY!!! So this really makes me wonder what Buggy is. Plus one of my good friends just had her second little boy this week. So this means that all my closest girlfriends only have boys...(two friends each have 2 little boys and two other friends each have one little boy). Three-fourths of the blogs I follow are having boys and the last 3 babies at church were boys and two of the next four are also little boys. Will we follow the BOY trend or switch it up GIRL style?!?!

What I Miss: Sleep...the bags under my eyes are not too appealing :)

What I'm Looking Forward to: My last shower (given by my superb coworkers) this coming Wednesday!!!

Milestones: Only 2 more weeks until Buggy is considered FULL-TERM!!! Can't wait to hit that milestone!!!

Emotions: Holding my own.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Non-Stress Test #7

Another good appointment today!!! But nothing much to blog about (which I am so very thankful for). Baby was moving lots during the non-stress test but the movements were not super strong so Mary (my nurse) had to push on my belly a bit to get some good (heart) accelerations. She told me that there was nothing to be concerned about though because all babies have their sluggish days. My blood pressure was 122/68...first attempt!!! No protein in my urine. Weight gain stable. And Buggy's heartbeat (at baseline) was its typical high 140's to low 150's. And that's it...back on Monday for non-stress test #8.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Today I am so very thankful for so many things. And just like last year on the top of my list is my Heavenly Father, my Savior, my Prince of Peace, my Alpha and Omega...

"Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His love endures forever." Psalm 107:1

I am thankful for my husband.

"Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His love endures forever." 

I am thankful for my family.

"Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His love endures forever." 

I am thankful for my friends.

"Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His love endures forever." 

I am thankful for my children (Alayna, Ella, Luke AND Buggy)...

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

I am thankful for my home and the warmth (or coolness) it provides.

"Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His love endures forever." 

I am thankful for both my hubby and I's jobs... 
(but even more thankful that I only have 9 more shifts left until maternity leave)

"Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His love endures forever." 

I am thankful for my church and my wonder Pastor.

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him, bless his name! Psalm 100:4

I am thankful for my faith.

"Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His love endures forever." 

I am thankful for my RE and his nurses and my Perinatologist and his nurses.

"Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His love endures forever." 

I am thankful for my health and the health of all my loved ones. 

"Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His love endures forever." 

And the list could go on and on but I'm gonna stop here and just say this...today I have SO much to be thankful for and all because He is good and His love endures forever!!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Yesterdays Appointment

So yesterday's appointment was a busy filled to the brim kind of appointment. The first thing that happened was me getting my weight checked...all good there. The second thing was me peeing on a stick...no protein in the urine!!!

The third thing on the agenda was a non-stress test. But right after my nurse had me strapped in she wanted to take my blood pressure. Now I have been going on a Monday/Thursday schedule which means I have a nurse named Beth but if I go on a Tuesday I have a different nurse. So when Mary got out the blood pressure cuff I told her two things...first that Beth never takes it until the end AND second that if she took it now it WOULD most definitely be high. Mary laughed at me (she knows how anal I am) and said that she was planning on taking it at the end too. So first blood pressure was 142/88 (not passable) but thankfully the second was 132/78 (passable). And I am very proud to say that Buggy passed (the non-stress test) within the first 10 minutes (more than likely due to the glass of OJ I drank on the way to the appointment) but of course I was strapped in for the full 30 minutes anyways. This was the hubby's first time witnessing a non-stress test and during it I asked him if this is what he thought it would be like. His response...I didn't know you sat in a comfy recliner! Other stats from the non-stress test include...Buggy's heart rate which ran anywhere from low 140's to high 160's...and even hit the 170 mark a time or two. But baseline was once again upper 140's to low 150's.

After the non-stress test I (we) had what might have been our last ultrasound this go around. And I know this sounds funny but for some reason I was nervous but I always get nervous for ultrasounds. Brian said he was a little nervous too. And we both agreed its because of all our bad experiences with ultrasounds. Kind of an oxymoron since pretty much everyone I know LOVES ultrasounds. But the best news of the day did come during our ultrasound...that news being that BUGGY IS HEAD DOWN!!! So NO amniocentesis's for me!!! Again Buggy was a mover and a shaker during the ultrasound too but we got all the measurements that we needed. Buggy's heart rate was 161 and he/she weighed in at 6lbs even...putting him/her at the 79th percentile. (And here I wrote a few days ago that I thought Buggy would be in the low 5 pound range...guess I was a little off). And another praise is that Buggy's fluid in the kidney (not sure if he/she has hydronephrosis in the left or right) stayed stable at 7mm (same measure 4 weeks ago). And at this stage of pregnancy anything 6mm or below is considered normal so although Buggy still has to have an ultrasound after birth we're only 1mm over normal which is awesome!!!

Then the final stage of this appointment was talking to Dr. J. He gave us all the above stats and asked if we had any questions (and yes I had a few). But since Buggy is head down we are sticking with the plan of inducing between Christmas and New Years...unless Buggy decides to come earlier or if my blood pressure starts to increase from my baseline. I think that about wraps it all up. I go back on Friday for non-stress test #7.

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Few Maternity Pictures

Just Mommy...

Mommy and Daddy...
(Buggy's 20 week ultrasound picture)
(Alayna and Ella's footprints)

Don't Ever Give Up

"See You" 
by Josh Wilson

Three months old, hospital bed
Fighting hard for every breath
The doctor says, there's not much chance
Mom breaks down, oh, once again

And I don't know, how I'm supposed
To see You standing here
Somewhere in this mother's tears
She cries because her nightmare's coming true

Maybe my faith's not that strong
Jesus, tell me that I'm wrong
But there's so much pain in this room
And I don't see You...

...Maybe my faith's not that strong
Jesus, tell me that I'm wrong
But there's so much pain in this room
And I don't see You, oh

Sometimes I want to turn my back
Shake my fists and run so fast
From everything I ever have believed
But on the darkest days I won't let go
It will still be well within my soul
Even when the answers don't come easily
'Cause You said You'd never leave

So I know You're standing here
You've been crying these same tears
Yeah, You've been here all along
So give me strength to just hold on
Until I see You, until I see You
Until I see You, until I see You

I heard this song at Bible Study a few weeks ago and even though it doesn't apply as much to my life currently...it sure did a year and a half ago. Thankfully though, even when I was given no answers as to why I had to do IVF, why my little girls had to die, why I had to have a IVF failed cycle when I so desperately wanted to be pregnant, and why I had to lose Luke...Jesus was always right there holding me up...giving me the strength to push forward. And here we are 5 weeks (or less) from delivering our (4th) little miracle. And I am beyond thankful that this little miracle is going to stay here with his or her mommy and daddy!!! 

And when I think back to different times when different people told me that maybe God had other plans for our life (plans of not being Earthly parents)...my answer to them was always the same...that if God's plan is not for me to be an Earthly mommy (and for Brian to be an Earthly daddy) then He will change my heart and as you can tell He never did. I so badly wanted to be an Earthly mommy and I always believed that it WOULD happen. And the constant encouragement from my mom and sister (that it WOULD happen) always gave me the strength to push forward. So moral of the story BELIEVE that your little miracle WILL happen too!!!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Visit to the Cemetery

We stopped by the cemetery tonight to put out the girl's holiday wreath. Last year we couldn't put anything out until December 15 so I was very happy when this year the cemetery changed the date to November 15. And since Brian was gone hunting until yesterday...we made it a priority to stop by the cemetery tonight to get their wreath put up!!!

mommy AND daddy!!!

"Every good and perfect gift is from above..."
James 1:17

The Journey: Week 34

November 20
How Far Along: 34 weeks.

Size of Baby: Our little bug-a-boo has is almost 18 inches long and weighs about 4lbs and 12oz. Or for comparisons sake our babe is the size of a cantaloupe.

34 weeks: Bug’s fat layers--which will help regulate his/her body temperature once he/she is born--are filling him/her out, making him/her rounder. Bug’s skin is also smoother than ever. His/her central nervous system is maturing and his/her lungs are continuing to mature as well. If I’ve been nervous about preterm labor, I’ll be happy to know that babies born between 34 and 37 weeks who have no other health problems generally do fine. They may need a short stay in the neonatal nursery and may have a few short-term health issues, but in the long run, they usually do as well as full-term babies. (Information taken from babycenter.com)

Maternity Clothes: Mostly maternity yes but I can still get away with a few non maternity items (the shirt in today's bump picture is one example). 

Weight Gain: Another pound and a half was gained this week. Putting the total at 35.5lbs. Creeping towards the big 4-0...

34 weeks
and here I am at 27 weeks (obviously wearing the same shirt)...and boy 
did the belly GROW!!!

Stretch Marks: The answer is still none...praying it stays that way!!!

Sleep: I slept really really good one night this week and pretty good the rest of the nights. Thinking this is because Brian was Up North hunting and I had the bed...ALL TO MYSELF!!! I told him (when he got home) that maybe he should sleep on the couch for the remainder of the pregnancy...he didn't take the bait!

Best Moment of the Week: As always feeling my sweet bundle of LOVE move around in my belly. Or maybe getting my maternity pictures back...(they turned out GREAT)!!! I will hopefully post some this week for your enjoyment!!!

Movement: I just love feeling Buggy's arms and legs jab me...it's a crazy awesome feeling!!!

Symptoms: My mom told me (and I would ONLY take this well from my mom and maybe my sis) that my face is looking fuller. I am also starting to have more back pain and some slight cramping here and there (very mild). Guess this means my body is starting to prepare for Buggy's arrival!!!

Food Cravings: Orange juice...and I'm not drinking it only to get Buggy a-moving...I'm just craving it in general.

Gender: My mom thinks I know because she talked to someone this week whose daughter knew the gender but managed to keep it a secret from her mom. But I asked my mom this...why would I go to all the trouble of buying boy AND girl stuff (off Etsy) as well as buying a few starter boy and girl items (from Kohl's). And bottom line is this...I AM A TERRIBLE LIAR...you can see right through me...and my mom knows this.

What I Miss: Sleep.

What I'm Looking Forward to: My (21st) ultrasound on Tuesday!!! Very excited to know how Buggy is positioned (praying he/she is head down). And also very excited to see how big Buggy has grown over the last 4 weeks.

Milestones: I am 5 weeks (or less) from delivering. So excited and so ready to meet Buggy!!!

Emotions: Feeling confident with my twice a week non-stress tests.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Prematurity Awareness Day (a day late)

Yesterday was the World's first Prematurity Awareness Day. It was a day set aside to honor the millions of babies worldwide who died this year because they were born too soon, and the 12 million more who struggle to stay survive. (Premature birth is a serious problem that affects 1 in 8 babies in the United States alone). And last night the Empire State Building even glowed purple and white in honor of both the March of Dimes and World Prematurity Day...how cool is that!!!

March of Dimes is a cause I feel very strongly about (and obviously I have no need to explain why). So the other day when my hubby emailed me a link that read March Of Dimes To Receive Custom Chopper Motorcycle...I got a little excited. Not sure if any of you watch the show American Chopper but it is one of my hubby's faves to watch. (And I actually find it quite entertaining too). A local West Michigan business (Lamar construction) commissioned Paul Jr. to build a custom themed bike for March of Dimes. And part of the show will even be shot here in GR...(so cool!!!)...with the segment airing next spring. But the best part is that all the proceeds (there is going to be a online raffle) will be going to March of Dimes.

Happy Friday!!!

Non-Stress Test #5

Yesterday's non-stress test was a HUGE SUCCESS!!! It was by far the best non-stress test that I have had thus far!!! As I was driving to my appointment I drank a glass of OJ and had myself a little snack...(it's a 20 minute drive to my office) and boy did it ever do the trick. Buggy was a moving machine. The whole strip was full of movement with excellent accelerations (and then back to baseline) of his/her heart rate. Heart rate at baseline was in the mid to upper 150's with accelerations hitting the 160's to 170's. Again no protein in my urine and my blood pressure was 136/72...so no side-laying!!! All in all a more than wonderful appointment. Next up...non-stress test and ultrasound on Tuesday. (Praying that Buggy is positioned head down). And I cannot wait to hear how big he/she has grown in the last 4 weeks. At my last ultrasound Buggy was 3lbs and 13oz...and that was up 1lb and 4oz in a 3 week span. So I'm thinking Buggy should be in the low 5lb range at my appointment on Tuesday...guess we'll find out in 4 days!!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Infant Loss

I love checking out other blogs and re-posting things on my own blog if what they posted is something I'm really passionate about and something that I would like even more people to read. So I "stole" this from Krista at J and K Plus Two. (Krista found this on Pinterest)!!!

Infant loss is nature's cruelest practical joke. It's investing all of the required time and effort into pregnancy, only to be robbed of the result. It's cradling a body that grew within your own and trying to reconcile the cold, lifeless form in your arms with your memory of the baby who turned double flips in your womb.

It's worrying that you'll forget what your child looked like and snapping an album's worth of photos that no one will ever ask to see. It's sobbing so hard you can't breathe and wondering if it's possible to cry yourself to death.

Infant loss is handing off a Moses basket to the nurse who's drawn the unfortunate duty of delivering your pride and joy to the morgue and walking out of a hospital with empty arms.

It's boxing up brand new baby clothes and buying a 24-inch casket. It's sifting through sympathy cards, willing your foolish body to stop lactating, clutching your baby's blanket to your chest in hopes of soothing the piercing ache in your heart.

It's resisting the urge to smack the clueless individuals who compare your situation to the death of their dog or who tell you you'll have another baby, as if children are somehow replaceable.

Infant loss is explaining to your 7-year-old that sometimes babies die and being stumped into silence when she asks you why. It's watching other families live out your happy ending and fighting a fresh round of grief with every milestone you miss.

It's being shut out of play groups for perpetuity. It's skipping social events with expectant and newly minted mothers because, as a walking worst-case scenario, you don't want to put a damper on the party.

It's listening to other women gripe about motherhood and realizing that you no longer relate to their petty parental complaints because, frankly, when you've buried a baby, a sleepless night with a vomiting toddler sounds something like a gift.

Infant loss is pruning from your life the friends and relatives who ignore or minimize your loss. It's recognizing that, while they may not mean to be hurtful, the fact that they don't know any better doesn't make their utter lack of empathy one whit easier to bear.

My baby girl would have been 5 years old this month. I don't know what she'd look like, what her favorite food would be. I've never had the privilege of tucking her into bed, taking her to the zoo or kissing her boo-boos. I will never watch her graduate or walk down the aisle.

Infant loss is more than an empty cradle. It's a life sentence.

(Laura Schubert of New Berlin is a mother, teacher and two-time breast cancer survivor).

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

I'm loving this growing belly!!!

I'm loving that when I took my blood pressure yesterday...it was only 128/78!!!

I'm loving that I took my last round of antibiotics this past Monday!!! (I started taking them back in early July).

I'm loving that when I got pulled to the Neonatal Unit on Monday (after saying that I would be okay to go) that NO tears were shed!!! AND how crazy is it that those 4lb babies (that I took care of) are the same size (currently) as MY sweet bundle. Crazy!!!

I'm loving all my new "31" bags!!!

Collapsible Cube in (Brown) Pin Dots...handy for holding all those winter accessories!

Organizing Utility Tote in Black Parisian Pop, Cross-N-Fold Tote (with pink flower), Zipper Pouch in Pink Circle Spirals, Coin Purse Wallet in Brown Parisian Pop, and Mini Zipper Pouch in Watercolor Garden

I also ordered a Collapsible Cube in Black Parisian Pop with TOYS written on it (in yellow) for the baby's room. However, when I received it...it didn't have TOYS written on it...so it got sent back to be fixed. And then my in-law's (for Christmas) are giving me the XXL Everyday Tote and Picnic Thermal Tote...both in Circle Spirals...can't wait to hit the beach (and my sister's pool) with my new beach bag and cooler!!!

And I'm loving my Jesus Calling devotional...

And in particular...this devotional reading!!!

THIS IS A TIME OF ABUNDANCE in your life. Your cup runneth over with blessings. After plodding uphill for many weeks, you are now traipsing through lush meadows drenched in warm sunshine. I want you to enjoy to the full this time of ease and refreshment. I delight in providing it for you.

Sometimes my children hesitate to receive My good gifts with open hands. Feelings of false guilt creep in, telling them they don't deserve to be so richly blessed. This is nonsense-thinking, because no one deserves anything from Me. My kingdom is not about earning and deserving; it's about believing and receiving.

When a child of Mine balks at accepting My gifts, I am deeply grieved. When you receive my abundant blessings with a grateful heart, I rejoice. My pleasure in giving and your pleasure in receiving flow together in joyous harmony. (Jesus Calling)


Monday, November 14, 2011

Non-Stress Test #4

So today marks another successful non-stress test!!! But as is Buggy's norm...he/she was a-moving and a-shaking before and after the test but was pretty quiet during the test...that lil stinker. Heart rate was mostly in the 140's. Blood pressure was high again (boo) so I had to lay on my left side for a few minutes and like always it came down. (It was 144/82 and came down to 132/64). Thankfully Dr. J was happy with everything so we're keeping with the plan....meaning back for another non-stress test this coming Thursday. Praying for a low blood pressure and an active baby!!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Journey: Week 33

November 13
How Far Along: 33 weeks.

Size of Baby: Our little bug-a-boo has (more than likely) passed the 17 inch mark and weighs a little over 4 pounds. For comparisons sake our babe is the size of a pineapple.

33 weeks: Bug is rapidly losing that wrinkled, alien look and his/her skeleton is hardening. The bones in Bug's skull aren't fused together, which allows them to move and slightly overlap, thus making it easier for Buggy to fit through the birth canal. (The pressure on the head during birth is so intense that many babies are born with a conehead-like appearance). These bones don't entirely fuse until early adulthood, so they can grow as Buggy's brain and other tissue expand during infancy and childhood. (Information taken from babycenter.com)

Weight Gain: Up another 1.5-2lbs...the scale couldn't decide. So totally gainage is about 33lbs (or 33.5lbs).


Stretch Marks: Still nada...and only 5-6 weeks to go!!!

Sleep: Last night I went to bed at 10:40pm and woke up at 7:45am. In that amount of time I got up to pee 5 (YES 5) times to pee and laid awake for an hour (from 4:30am-5:30am). At 5:30am I finally decided if I wanted to fall back sleep I best move myself to the couch which is where I slept for another 2 hours (although I did wake up at 6:30am to pee). Needless to say I did not feel very rested when I woke up this morning.

Best Moment of the Week: Normal non-stess tests!!!

Movement: As I blogged on Friday Buggy was not moving a whole lot on Thursday...which made for another horrible restless night of sleep Thursday night. I was a little on edge Friday (although thankfully I was feeling movement) but then yesterday and today Buggy has been in action mode. So very thankful for Buggy's constant movement...always makes this mama feel so much better!!!

Symptoms: Pressure on and off (down yonder)...and obviously going through toilet paper like its my job (with all my peeing).

Food Cravings: Sweets, EGGO waffles, milk, skittles...

Gender: I've been told boy and girl this week...everyone has a different opinion!

What I Miss: A good night's sleep, bending, and nervous/anxious free Lindsey.

What I'm Looking Forward to: My ultrasound on November 22. My last shower on November 30. And holding my sweet bundle of LOVE!!!

Milestones: I entered month 8 (as of last week)!!! And I am now only a mere 5-6 weeks from holding Buggy (since I will be induced sometime between 38-39 weeks)!!!

Emotions: Had an emotional breakdown this week. When Buggy doesn't move I become extremely anxious...(and that's a major understatement). My Friday breakdown was due to 2 things...me already being stressed and on edge from Buggy's lack of movement and me being forgetful this pregnancy (and getting yelled at by the hubster). So without going into a lot of details (don't feel like typing it all) lets just say that LOTS of tears were shed. This breakdown however led me to telling Brian (who wants Buggy to come after Christmas) that if Dr. J will induce me at 38 weeks then that is just what we are going to do. I know that 37 weeks is fullterm and that 38 weekers are ready for the world...and I am more than ready to hold Buggy alive and well in my arms (and free of the stress from this pregnancy).

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Baby Shower #3

Happy third baby shower to me and Buggy!!! And once again Buggy was beyond spoiled. Today's shower was thrown by my mom with a little help from my sister and sis-in-laws. It was another brunch-filled affair with lots of yummy food. It was attended by all my wonderful aunts and a few of my fab cousins...from both my mom and dad's sides. (Many of my cousins live out of state...hence why only a few were able to attend). So all in all...it was another perfect shower with a fun game to boot!!! And the fun game to boot was a list of 16 different characteristics that my sister came up with and I had to decide whether I wanted Buggy to have each characteristic from Brian or myself. Here's what I came up with...

What I want Buggy to have from daddy...toes, size of hands/feet (Brian's hands are basically the same size as mine...so yes I think that makes my hands way too big), legs, butt, eyes (only because my mom really wants a brown-eyed grandchild), nose, skin tone, and intelligence (although I am way more book smart...Brian is just more street/common sense smart).

What I want Buggy to have from me...hair texture (GO curly hair!!!), hair color, teeth, humor (I am way more humorous than the hubster), lips (mine are full and luscious), height (I am taller for a girl than Brian is for a guy), smile, and ears.

Wouldn't Buggy be cute!!!

The invite...

Always have to have a picture of the cute center piece!!!

Me with Buggy's high chair

My gift-opening helpers...Cambrey, Naomi (my cousin's little girl), 
Kylynn, (Me), and Addi

Group Shot...
Front: Addi, Naomi, my mom, Cambrey, and Kylynn
Middle: cousin Shannon, Me, Aunt Dawn, and Courtney with Brinley
Back: Aunt Jan, Aunt Betsy, cousin Krista, Aunt Di, cousin Amanda, Jana, Kristi, cousin Kellie, cousin Rachelle, Aunt Deb, and my mother-in-law Jane.

Me with my sis-in-law Jana, my sis Courtney (and Brinley), my mom, 
and sis-in-law Kristi

My favorite little girls...my nieces!!!

I could EAT her up!!!

 My plethora of gifts...
My high chair, bumbo seat and tray, booster seat, baby swing, baby monitor, baby bjorn carrier, picnic seat (aka...portable "high"chair), training potty, breast-feeding kit, newborn rock-n-play sleeper (got this at my last shower too), lots of toys, a few books, diapers, a bath towel, lots of receiving blankets, an outfit, bottles, bottle brush, paci's, comfy bath cushion, boppy, hangers, bathtime giftset, sippys, snack catchers, bibs, more white onesies, booties and mittons, miracle blanket, pack-n-play sheet and a formula dispenser.

my Aunt Jan gave me all this stuff for FREE since someone she knows works for Gerber...bottles, paci's, paci holder, paci clip, bottle brush, bowls, breast pads, and infant tooth and gum cleaner.

Looking forward to my last shower in a mere two and a half weeks (with my fabulous coworkers)!!! After that Buggy should pretty well be set...except for the fact that he/she is most definitely lacking in the clothing department. And yes I have returned (and will return) a few of the double items that I have received...who needs 4 bottle brushes or two newborn rock n play sleepers or 19 receiving blankets?!?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Non-Stress Test #3

Yesterday was my third non-stress test and again Buggy passed (maybe not with flying colors...that naughty Bug) but he/she definitely passed. Buggy was pretty quiet (yesterday) but Dr. J and my nurse reassured me that at my stage of pregnancy that this is very normal. They also both told me that Buggy passed because he/she had plenty of heart rate accelerations and deceleration's with his/her movement...this is what they monitor with a non-stress test. On a normal day Buggy is typically pretty quiet in the morning and during the day but very active in the evenings and most of the time he/she is very active throughout the night too. But I just wish Buggy would ALL THE TIME. And then go figure last night (during the night) Buggy was super quiet so as you can all imagine I laid awake for a good portion of the night just waiting for movement. Oh boy am I ever ready for Buggy to just be in my arms. Praying that Dr. J will induce me at 38 weeks (please, please, please) but I AM very thankful to know that no matter what I WILL BE induced at 39 weeks.

So many people have told me that once Buggy is born that I will miss his/her movement but to be very honest I JUST WANT BUGGY SAFE AND SOUND IN MY ARMS. Every day my thoughts are consumed with movement. I am always thinking have I felt movement lately? Was that just Buggy moving? I don't think I've felt movement...que freaking out. I am always making sure that I have orange juice stocked in the fridge. Snacking and laying on my side...just waiting for movement. Now I will say that I am not so anal every day...some days are better than others but I'm just so sick of being consumed with movement. Before losing the girls I wanted 4 kids (that is 4 living children)...now some days I think I'll be lucky to make it through just one more pregnancy.

Since I've been a little more stressed/anxious about movement these past few days...my devotions from Wednesday couldn't have come at a better time...

SIT QUIETLY WITH ME, letting all your fears and worries bubble up to the surface of your consciousness. There, in the Light of My Presence, the bubbles pop and disappear. However, some fears surface over and over again, especially fear of the future. You tend to project yourself mentally into the next day, week, month, year, decade; and you visualize yourself coping badly in those times. What you are seeing is a false image, because it doesn't include Me. Those gloomy times that you imagine will not come to pass, since My Presence will be with you at all times.

When a future-oriented worry assails you, capture it and disarm it by suffusing the Light of My Presence into that mental image. Say to yourself, "Jesus will be with me then and there. With His help, I can cope!" Then, come home to the present moment, where you can enjoy Peace in My Presence. (Jesus Calling)

The rest of the appointment went well. No protein in my urine. Yea for not having to get weighed twice in one week!!! And my blood pressure was 134/72. Next appointment is this coming Monday. Only 5 and a half to 6 and a half weeks to go!!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Maternity Pictures...

Oh my goodness it was a rainy and windy and nasty day but our fabulous photographer Brooke still made our maternity session happen today!!! It stopped raining around noon and I was praying it would hold off until at least after 5pm (our pictures were scheduled for 4pm) but wouldn't you know as we were driving to the session...it started to rain. Thankfully it didn't last long and we were able to take some fun pictures at an old abandoned barn. The only downside was the crazy wind (which made the air quite chilly...good thing my hormones kept me warm). But I guess that's what I get for doing pictures in November! Anyways can't wait to see how they turned out!!! Hopefully I'll post a few in 2-3 weeks for your viewing pleasure.

Helmholdt Happenings

Last week Thursday I called my mom to see if she wanted to do something on Friday with me during the day and on Friday morning my sister called my mom to see if she wanted to do something with her and her kids on Friday too. So we all ended up having some last minute fall fun together. We headed out to Robinettes's for a yummy lunch (topped off with pumpkin donuts and apple cider) followed by trekking through a corn maze.

Cambrey, Grandma, and Cole

Courtney with Brinley, Me, and Cambrey. Oh and Cole escaping...

Courtney with Brinley, Cambrey, Grandma, and Cole

Not sure when I last did a basement update so here's where we're at...slowly but surely we've been making some progress. Since we're not in a hurry we decided to take it slow and pay it off as we go. (So we have officially been at this project for 6 months and 1 week...since May 1st). Anyways in August Brian and my bro-in-law (who is an electrician) spent a whole Saturday (while I hung out with my sis and her kiddos) doing some electrical work. Next Brian (with lots of help from his dad) put up the drywall in August/September and then a friend's dad (who is a retired dry-waller) did the mudding and taping (aka the "finish work" of dry-walling) later in September. Then Brian's cousin (who is a painter) and his dad came a few weeks ago and primed our walls (with a sweet sprayer). And just yesterday our lumber for the finish work was delivered (yea!!!) and Brian's best friend (who is a finish carpenter) will be starting the finish work next week (another yea)!!! And then after the finish work Brian's cousin will be coming back the first week of December to spray our woodwork and also do the staining/lacquering in our bar area. And after that Brian's dad will be painting our walls. Then all that is left is the finishing of the electrical, plumbing, and heating and cooling and the flooring and counter tops. Hopefully Brian's dad will have all the painting done before Bug arrives and then we'll take a little break until a few weeks into the New Year!!!

View of the bar area, office area, hallway leading to bathroom, storage, and bedroom, and part of the family room.

Another view of the family room and play area.

Play area and the two doors are more storage rooms.

Bathroom...hard to get a good picture.

And future bedroom.

Just this week we went to the paint store to pick out colors. Ohhh I love picking out paint colors!!! And here is what (I think) we've decided. Most of the walls will be painted springfield tan. This is actually the same color that we have on all our main walls upstairs too but I really like it so I think we're just going to carry it downstairs as well. Then for the bedroom and office area we're going to go a touch lighter with
yosemite sand. For the bathroom I decided to do a light green. The color I chose is brookside moss. And finally for our accent wall (in the main room) I was going back and forth between a rust color or an orange-ish color. I finally decided to go with butterscotch (the orange-ish color). But I like this color too...taos taupe...so we'll see if I can add this color in somewhere too.

And last update is a little praise!!! I have been going to a "pregnancy after loss" counselor since being about 9-10 weeks pregnant...and let me just say here that she is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G and if anyone in the Grand Rapids area needs a recommendation let me know cause I will email you her name. Anyways I took a post partum depression (PPD) screening test at my last session and I passed with flying colors. I have been told (not only by my counselor but by many other people as well) that I'm at an increase risk of PPD because of losing the girls and all the anxiety/stress of this pregnancy. So I was very happy when I took the test and it showed that so far I'm doing well. My counselor will have me take the test once more before delivery, and then in the hospital I will take it again, and finally after the baby is born I will continuing see my counselor for awhile and I will take the test again. Also she is having Brian come with me to a session so she can teach him all the signs of PPD...trying our best to be on top of this because I've heard it (PPD) is awful.

Anyways this was suppose to be a short and sweet post but if you've read all the way to the bottom you know its not...

 And HAPPY 30th BIRTHDAY to my sister!!!