Monday, November 28, 2011

16 week pregnancy update ... Avocado baby

So I officially hit 16 weeks of pregnancy on Thanksgiving day! Which in my opinion, is totally a reason for a second (or maybe third) helping of stuffing, right? Right. In my last pregnancy post  I mentioned that I would be blogging a pregnancy update every 4 weeks. Now all of you might be questioning my math skills since my last post was week 14. I really do know how to add but here is the deal. I started taking belly pics at week 8, then week 12 hoping to blog this week & continue the every 4 week pattern but didn't get around to actually posting until week 14. See? So 12 weeks + 4 weeks = 16 weeks = why I am blogging now. If you still care to read after that long and probably unnecessary explanation well here you go. Enjoy! 

Week 16

Size and development of baby:
In just two weeks the baby has jumped from the size of a lemon to an avocado. So crazy. It really is amazing to think there is a living human the size of an avocado inside my belly. We did not do an ultrasound at my last dr. appointment although we did get to hear the heartbeat on the doppler. It was awesome... loud and strong! Our next ultrasound will be on December 20th where we will see the baby again and if it's not being modest, hopefully learn if baby is a he or a she! Can't wait. 

Stay on the lookout for some fluttering sensations in your abdomen. It might not be right at 16 weeks, but pretty soon you’ll start feeling baby moving around in there. At first those moves might feel like gas or a muscle twitch, but over time, as baby gets bigger and stronger, they’ll be unmistakable. Of course, feeling those movements comes with other issues, like having your lungs crowded by your growing babe. That could make it seem tough to catch your breath from time to time. Don’t worry: There are some positive symptoms you might be having at week 16. For example, some moms-to-be find their hair and nails grow faster. (Your hair might actually look thicker and more lustrous and your skin might look radiant, too. Woo hoo!) Another cool fact? Baby’s starting to be able to hear your voice -- and she’ll recognize it at birth -- so feel free to chat her up. She's listening to your voice, thanks to tiny bones forming in her ears.She's growing hair, lashes and eyebrows. And she's forming taste buds.

How I am feeling and How I am changing:
I have continued to feel awesome so far. Now that I am in the second trimester I am thinking that my chance of getting major sickness has passed although I do hear that it starts later for some people. We will see but so far so good. My digestive issues are acting up (if you know what I mean... if not well sorry) but I hear that is really common during pregnancy so I am not too concerned.  I am still loosing a lot of hair (especially after I wash it) but my nails are growing faster and stronger so not sure what that is about. My back and sides itch ALL the time too. In the last few weeks my stomach has definitely popped out which I am loving. I think I am at the point where a stranger can assume I am pregnant and not just chubby. If I am kidding myself and I just look chubby... well.... just humor me and don't say anything.
16 week belly shot
Please pardon the home project in the background

What I am eating and What I am feeling:
My appetite is in full force. When the dr. asked last week "How is your diet? Do you feel like you are eating appropriately?" I didn't even have time to respond before Brandon chimed in with "Um yeah she's definitely eating a lot more." Thanks babe. Regardless, the dr. is pleased with the rate of weight gain and the fact that I am gaining easily (he is aware of my ED past and therefore is closely monitoring my weight changes and diet). I think this is SO important for a woman with a history of an ED. But that is a whole different post for a different day so I won't go there now. You're welcome. 

Foods that sound delicious: 
cold cereal, pancakes, hummus, red meat, mexican food, spaghetti w/ a side of crusty bread dipped in olive oil (yes i realize that was really specific), chick-fil-a chicken nuggets, fruit, tortilla chips w/ salsa, cashews, trail mix and dark chocolate 

Foods that do not sound delicious:
coffee and seafood 

I am getting super excited to find out the sex of the baby!! Brandon and I have been tossing around names but nothing that is 100% set in stone. I think I will get motivated to really start planning and making decisions once the sex is determined. I have a gut feeling it's a girl, for no real reason whatsoever, just a gut feeling.  
I have been thinking a lot about the type of parent I will be and the type of parenting style that we, as a couple, will deem best for our family. I know this will come with hands on learning but lately my brain has been pondering "Will I be a super laid back parent?" Or "Will I be more rigid in my daily routine and schedule?" Neither option is bad or better than the other, and I have friends that are on either side of the parenting spectrum, just different choices that comes with different positives and negatives I suppose.

That's all for week 16. 
So what is your guess?
Pink or Blue?   

PSALM 139:14
"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, 
I know that full well."

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thankful 2011

I simply cannot believe that Thanksgiving is a few days away. This year has flown by, hasn't it? As I sit here my mind is flooded with blessings, big and small, that I am thankful for this year. 
Here are just a few. 

My husband

My family

Memories of loved ones

Blessings of new life

Good friends

God's promises (source)

Good food & the ability to eat it free of fear - Coffee cake in a cup... yes please! (original source found via this blog)


Wonderful In Laws 


Service opportunities


What are you most thankful for this holiday?

Friday, November 18, 2011

A break in regular posting for some A to Z fun...

HI friends, Well today is the day I turn 29 years old. I am well aware that I look 18 and still get asked on a more than regular basis what high school I attend. Sad but very true. Now I am sure this will work in my favor when I am say 70 although at the moment I would prefer to look my age. I do have quite a few gray hairs although this doesn't keep people from gasping in disbelief when they discover that I have in fact graduated from college, graduate school, and have been married and working for nearly five years. 

Anyways, my blog buddy Amanda (who I randomly met in person last Sunday outside of Freebirds. How totally cool is that??? Amanda, we need to do lunch for real sometime ok?) posted an A to Z questionnaire a while back and I thought it would be fun to complete it here on the blog. So here it goes. Some random A to Z facts. Enjoy (and try to contain your excitement)! 

A. Age: 29

B. Bed size: Queen - A King would be super cool (although it would leave us with no walking space in our bedroom)

C. Chore that you hate: Dusting, folding laundry and scrubbing the bathtubs (oops that was a singular, not plural, question)

D. Dogs: None. Brandon and I had a "pet talk" prior to marriage. We are not pet people and had to make sure we were both on the same page regarding animals, after marriage. Now don't get me wrong... I will love on your dogs (or whatever pet) all day long but I just don't want to take it home with me at the end of the day. Somehow despite this agreement we have ended up with goldfish and a hermit crab (thanks to my sweet sister who thought both would be awesome b-day presents). If she gets me a pet this year she will be getting it back for Christmas . . . end of discussion. 

E. Essential start to your day: Eating breakfast. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day and I don't know how some people (Brandon) can go until lunch without eating a single thing. Before I go to bed I think about what I will make for breakfast the next morning. Oatmeal, cold cereal, yogurt parfait, english muffin with peanut butter, an omelet... the possibilities are endless. Is this weird? 

F. Favorite color: Black, brown, turquoise 

G. Gold or Silver: Silver all the way 

H. Height: 5'2

I. Instruments you play: If you asked me this question in 5th grade I could answer piano. Now I do not have an answer. 

J. Job title: Nanny, babysitter, full time care taker and/or retired social worker 

K. Kids: One in the oven to debut May 2012 

L. Live: The great land of Sugar in the great state of Texas 

M. Mother’s name: Cynthia (bio mom) and Sheila (adopted mom) 

N. Nicknames: Britt, Brittanica, B-Dub (given to me in college by this girls husband  - I think it was a slang version of my initials pre marriage, BW) 

O. Overnight hospital stays: None - I have lucked out on this one! 

P. Pet peeves: Paper piles, drivers that honk unnecessarily, and people who leave you a message and then email you asking if you received their message and continue to type/repeat everything via email that they said via phone. 

Q. Quote from a movie: "First we'll make snow angels for two hours, then we'll go ice skating, then we'll eat a whole roll of Tollhouse Cookiedough as fast as we can, and then we'll snuggle." - Buddy the Elf 

R. Right or left handed: Right

S. Siblings: 2 sisters, 1 brother 

U. Underwear: I am not sure what this is asking so I will now skip to letter V 

V. Vegetable you hate: Avocado - or is this a fruit? I am not sure but either way the texture is awful and makes me gag. 

W. What makes you run late: Deciding to clean up and organize the house as we are walking out the door  

X. X-Rays you’ve had: teeth x-ray @ the dentist, an MRI to check my tailbone, and another MRI to check my pituitary gland/brain 

Y. Yummy food that you make: homemade blueberry muffins - you too can make them by clicking on this recipe 

Z. Zoo animal: baby monkeys 

That's all for now. Who wants to join in on the A to Z fun? You know you want to! In a few minutes I will be hanging out with my 4 and (almost) 2 year old friends. We plan to eat chocolate donut holes, watch the Berenstain Bears, read library books and play super heros. This evening Brandon and I are going here for a nice dinner and night away from home! 
Sounds like a great day to me.

p.s. - If you didn't click on Amanda's blog in the 2nd paragraph of this post you now have another chance. She is offering a sweet giveaway that you don't want to miss. Bye friends! 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

14 week pregnancy update ... Lemon baby

A few people have been asking for more pregnancy specific info so I thought I would give a brief update every four weeks or so to let you know how things are going. It will also be a great way for me to actually remember the pregnancy and be able to look back, read through posts and reminisce. 

So here we go...

WEEK 14 

Size & development of baby:
Our baby is the size of a lemon this week! It is growing leaps and bounds at each ultrasound. It is so cool to see him/her progressing in such vast ways while still being so small overall. At out last ultrasound (11/8/11) we were able to see the baby from all angles. It was moving around quite a bit and was flipping from side to side. We go back in two weeks and I am eager to see how much he/she has grown! 
Your adorable little fetus is busy with thumb sucking, toe wiggling, and (not so cute but equally amazing) making urine and breathing amniotic fluid as the liver, kidneys and spleen continue to develop. Lanugo (thin, downy hair) is growing all over the body for warmth. 
(Lemon picture and paragraph above from this website.)

How I am feeling & how I am changing... 
I feel wonderful so far! I have been blessed with no nausea or morning sickness whatsoever. Praise God! I have only had one day where my stomach felt a little "off," (during week 13) but it was NOT bad at all.  During the early weeks I would wake up each day wondering if "today was the day" that I would get sick. Ha! At one point I was even wondering if everything was OK since I felt 100% normal. I am convinced that my continued acupuncture treatments has helped offset typical first trimester symptoms. Since we all know I am a fan of acupuncture I will just leave it at that and not continue writing an entire paragraph (you can thank me later).  I was extremely tired during the early weeks but that has passed and I now have much more energy. I am thirsty 24/7 so it is not uncommon to see me chugging water all day long. I have also noticed that I am shedding hair more rapidly than normal which is due most likely to the crazy hormone surges going on inside my body! My sleeping habits are up and down but 1 - this is typical for me in general and 2 - I have heard that is fairly normal during pregnancy. 

I definitely started to notice a baby bump at the end of week 12. Of course it was and still is the awkward phase where I don't look pregnant, but have just a little pudginess in the tummy area. Basically looks like I ate too much. My shorts and pants are starting to get snug (totally have the tummy hangover when I zip my shorts!) and I am not sure how much longer before I convert to maternity bottoms.  
8 week belly shot

12 week belly shot 

What I am eating & what I am thinking:
My eating habits have not changed too much since I have felt good. I am basically just listening to my body and eating more on days when I know I need it. I have not had any intense food cravings although It is funny because I am choosing certain foods over those that I would typically choose. For example, these days I will go for red meat over chicken or fish whereas pre pregnancy I was not a huge red meat eater. Now I am always eyeing the steak meat or ground beef options on any menu!  I have been preferring cold cereal in the mornings vs. my typical hot oatmeal breakfast. Oh and coffee sounds pretty awful (only drinking decaf when I do have some but I usually can't even drink one cup before tossing it). The only other odd food tidbit is that I have been snacking on trail mix w/ raisins, goldfish and/or the sweet & salty honey nut flavored chex mix each afternoon. I am fully aware that this choice is giving me zero nutrients and that it resembles that of a 3rd graders lunch box but oh well!  This combo just always sounds so delicious when I am reaching for an afternoon snack.  

Brandon and I have decided we want to find out the sex of the baby. We are hoping to find out at our ultrasound sometime in December. We have been tossing around names and nursery ideas but honestly just decided to wait until we know boy or girl in order to eliminate half of the "debate." Ha! Not sure if we will do some type of fun reveal or not - still thinking on this one. 
I have been doing some reading at night in hopes to gain a little insight to this whole raising an infant thing but I am sure a lot of parenting is just trial and error and learn as you go.  I have not been thinking too much about the actual childbirth part for many reasons. 1 - we still have 26 weeks to go and 2 - it really (I mean really) freaks me out. I will be getting an epidural (or two, or three - lol) end of discussion. I appreciate all of my friends and family who have gone al natural but that is not my thing. I love you little baby but I do not want to feel you coming out of my body. 
Bring on the pain meds thank you very much.  

I think that is all for now. I will post another update during week 16. Thanks again for all of your support and prayers during this time! We feel so blessed to have such an amazing family and group of friends. 

PSALM 139:14
"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, 
I know that full well."

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Guilt . . . Are you still holding on?

It is a nasty five letter word. It is one of those emotions that can start off small yet over time, if not extinguished, has the ability to grow, fester and take over your life.  

Webster's dictionary defines guilt  as:

: the fact of having committed a breach of conduct especially violating law and involving a penalty; broadly :guilty conduct
a : the state of one who has committed an offense especially consciouslyb : feelings of culpability especially for imagined offenses or from a sense of inadequacy : self-reproach
: a feeling of culpability for offenses
There are an unlimited number of reasons that one might feel a sense of guilt. 
I am sure you have been there. You spoke a harsh word in the heat of the moment. You hesitated when you felt God nudging you to speak His word bodly. You didn't make time for that one "hard to love" friend or family member only to realize your time with them was cut short. You feel guilty about past decisions - a relationship gone haywire, a little white lie that didn't seem so bad at the time or a situation you manipulated to get your way. The list goes on and on and on really. If you stop and think about it you probably have several reasons to feel guilty. 
I don't say this to bring on MORE guilt but just as a way to realize how overwhelming the emotion can be if we welcome it in and let it take refuge in our hearts. 
When I first learned that I would be facing the road of infertility, and that this was most likely due to MY CHOICE to starve and not nourish my body, guilt rolled in STRONG. Most couples who are facing infertility are not there by choice. Yet I had messed with my body in such a way where I had altered it functioning thus impairing it's ability to conceive naturally. Ouch. 
I had days and nights where I would just cry and cry apologizing to Brandon for the choices I had made and how it now was now affecting HIS future. (Side note: At 89 pounds I wasn't really stopping to think how my selfishness, and desire to wear a 00, could potentially harm my husband). It was ALL my fault and I just knew that God was finally punishing me for my actions. I would sit in the fertility clinic thinking "no one but myself put us here." I had asked God for forgiveness (when I started down my journey of recovery) but for some reason I didn't believe He had heard me or had washed away my sinI felt I owed it to Him to keep asking and asking and apologizing and apologizing and begging and begging for forgivenss. I let guilt take over. I let it in and I let it stay.
I will never forget what Brandon said to me one day amidst my tears and sobs of apologies. 
"Britt, we are a team. We have been a team from day one and we will walk this road together. You have NO reason to feel guilty about what WAS. You are a new person and are living a NEW life. You are not making the same choices and you are living healthfully. God heard you and is no longer holding your past mistakes over you head. LET IT GO. I have. God has and He is waiting for you to do the same. If you don't let it go it will be impossible to face the road ahead."
He was exactly right. (Why are husbands always so smart?) What Brandon said is SO true and hit me like a ton of bricks. If my Father is no longer thinking about my past and holding on to my sin, why in the world am I? Why am I not allowing myself to find joy in His forgiveness and loving embrace? 
In fact He tells us that  ...
"If you are serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don't shuffle along, eyes on the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ - that's where the action is. See things from His perspective. Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life - even though invisible to spectators - is with Christ in God. He is your life. When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, you'll show up too - the real you, the glorious you..." 
The Message, Colossians 3:1-3
This fresh perspective allowed me to leave all my ED and infertility related guilt at HIS throne. Forever.
Do you struggle with guilt? 
Are you holding on to something from your past? 
It is time to let it go.  
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