Thursday, December 30, 2010

35 weeks... 28 days to go!

At 35 weeks, Collin's physical development is basically complete. His liver and kidneys should be functioning. He's still "practice breathing" to get his lungs in shape, which I notice because of his frequent hiccups. When he "breathes," he actually gets amniotic fluid in his lungs. It's happening just as it's supposed to, but the fluid causes hiccups. :)

As baby fat continues to deposit, Collin is increasingly able to regulate his own body temperature and might even be developing dimples of chubbiness on his knees and elbows. :) He's probably around 6 pounds by now!

There's more baby than fluid in my uterus at this point, confirmed by my weekly "fluid check" ultrasound today. I'm at the OB office twice a week now -- Monday for stress testing and Thursday for stress testing, an ultrasound, and an overall checkup. The stress testing has been a little frustrating, but today Collin and I finally figured it out! :) I have to keep one monitor on Collin's heartbeat, even when he moves. It's a little tricky because we want him to move (so we can confirm that his pulse spikes and then returns to normal), but when he moves the monitor loses his heartbeat. The first three stress tests took over an hour, but today we finished in 30 minutes and I actually had five recorded accelerations instead of the required four! Since I have to do the test twice a week, it will be nice if we can complete the process in 30 minutes rather than 60!

The 34th week wasn't at the top of my list of most comfortable weeks, but I've been feeling better the last couple days. I'm so glad I've had time off from school because it's been really nice to get extra rest. I start back at school on Monday and I'm pretty sure I'll be wiped out for the next several weeks!

We'll see Dr. Betoni (the perinatologist) for another in-depth ultrasound next Thursday the 6th, and he and our OB will work together to make a final decision about induction. From Dr. Russell's perspective, everything is looking really good at this point. Due to my excess fluid, he's planning to induce labor at 39 weeks -- around the 27th of January -- if I haven't delivered by then. That explains my calculation of 28 days to go! At the very latest, it will be 28 more days until we meet Collin!!! :)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas 2010

We had a lovely Christmas this year! My parents came down for the long weekend and we had so much fun. We only had our camera part of the time, so I'm posting the pictures we have.

On Christmas Eve we went to the 4pm church service, which was so well-attended that we ended up sitting in the lobby with a few hundred other people watching the service on big monitors. That was a bit disappointing, but it was still a great service. We had Christmas Eve dinner at The Melting Pot, and it was as amazing as ever. Dinner was delicious, and the whole evening was very fun! :)

On Christmas day we slept in, then my mom and I started making a Christmas feast. We had ham, mashed potatoes, stuffing, bread, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin pie. It was delicious too! :)

We let the girls open presents, which was fun to watch. They got a stuffed squeaky toy and some bones, which they thoroughly enjoyed!

We spent Christmas night at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, enjoying the "Electric Safari." They have the zoo decorated with TONS of Christmas lights, and it was so pretty! The night was cold, but not nearly as cold as it could have been! We stayed warm enough because the CMZoo involves a lot of walking, plus we got to go inside for some of the exhibits.

Everyone loved the zoo, and we made plans to visit again next spring/summer when we can take Collin to see the animals! :)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

34 weeks

The email updates I receive about pregnancy say Collin might weigh 4 3/4 pounds, but he was there three weeks ago, so he's probably more around 5 3/4 pounds at this point. We have two sets of friends who had full-term babies about that size!

We had two appointments last week for stress testing. They strap two monitors on my belly - one to monitor for contractions and the other to monitor Collin's heart rate. A good test shows that his pulse is steady, spikes when he moves, and quickly returns to his resting rate. It takes awhile to collect the data, but everything looks good.

We also did a test on Thursday for fetal fibronectin, which is a protein that basically "glues" the amniotic sac to the uterus. Presence of the protein would indicate that the amniotic sac is detaching, which would mean that I'll be going into labor shortly. The test was negative, which means there's a 95% chance I won't go into labor before January 6th.

I'll go in for stress testing again Monday and Thursday, and hopefully the data is still good. We see the perinatologist and have a regular OB appointment again on January 6th, and we'll expect to have more information about Collin's expected arrival after those appointments.

At this point, everything's looking good. Collin is perfectly in position, but apparently planning to stay where he is for a bit longer. :) We've reached an interesting time - we don't want Collin to come before he's ready, but we're so ready for him to be here! :)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

33 weeks!

Talk about being on the downslope! :) Tonight we did the pre-admission process at the hospital, paid our co-pay, and took a tour of the birth center. Seriously, Collin is lucky he's going to be born at such a gorgeous facility! Now that we're pre-registered, we just have to show up whenever I'm in labor and everything will be ready for us! The tour was awesome, because now we have a much better idea of what our time at the hospital will be like. It's getting so close! :)

At 33 weeks, my overall comfort level is still really high. I have moments of discomfort, but I feel really good. :) The 32nd week was a milestone - the official retirement of all non-maternity pants and the appearance of a stretch mark. Bleh!

Collin's weight is around 5 pounds at this point, and he is SO busy! He's moving pretty much all the time, and I still feel quite a bit of whole-body movement that makes my entire belly rock. I've felt him have the hiccups three times so far, once while I was working with a small group of students yesterday. Talk about distracting!

His skin is now pink and getting pretty smooth due to the accumulation of quite a bit of baby fat. His head may grow 3/8 of an inch this week because of his ever-expanding brain, even though I'm pretty sure he already has reached genius status. :) He continues to practice breathing, and this week he might even be able to coordinate sucking and swallowing with breathing. Most of his bones are hardening but his skull remains in three segments to allow for delivery.

I think the seventh month was big in terms of my growth, as evidenced by the new picture:

Only one more day of school until Christmas break! Having the next two weeks off will be such a treat!!! :)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Due to a bit of rescheduling, we had appointments today with our perinatologist and our OB. We got to watch Collin on the ultrasound machine, and the tech printed several 3d images for us. The technology is amazing! She was able to take a photo in 2d, change the image to 3d, and then turn the view so we got cute pictures of Collin's face. :)

First is his adorable profile:

Next are 3d shots of his face:

Isn't he handsome? :) Things are looking pretty good. Collin weighs 4 pounds, 9 ounces! All three brain ventricles are appropriately sized, which is great news! There are still some concerns though...

Collin's kidneys are both enlarged, with the right one especially big (13mm compared to the expected 7mm). If his kidney reaches 15mm by the next appointment, we'll have to meet with a urologist to set up a potential procedure for once Collin is born. The excellent news about the kidney issue (basically they're refluxing) is that it's fairly easy to treat. We'd do an outpatient surgery at Children's Hospital in Denver that involves injecting collagen at the ureter, which is a procedure that cures 85% of cases. So anyways, we're waiting to see how the kidneys look next month and we'll make plans from there.

The other measurement Dr. Muench is concerned about is the ratio between Collin's head and femurs. His head is large (measuring 35 weeks), while his femurs are average (31 weeks). Because the ratio is so off, it raises a red flag for potential Down Syndrome. Again, it's wait and see...

On the plus side, my amniotic fluid level is less this month than it was last month. I'm at the top of normal (measuring 24, where 25 is polyhydramnios), but still normal! My uterus is at 35 weeks, so I'm only 3 weeks ahead at this point.

The biggest news at this point is that we're starting very frequent appointments at the OB for non-stress tests to monitor Collin. Starting on December 20th, I'll go in twice a week. They strap monitors on my belly to monitor for contractions and to monitor how Collin's heartrate is impacted each time he moves or I have a contraction. It's an opportunity to collect more information about how Collin is doing, which we appreciate. :)

We're continuing to trust in our God and know that he has equipped us to tackle whatever challenge He presents to us. Eight weeks or less until we know what the challenge is! :)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

31 weeks and Baby Shower #2

At 31 weeks, Collin still has plenty of room to be moving like crazy! His movements are often visible from the outside, which is a fascinating experience. I spend quite a bit of time just staring at my belly watching him move. Pretty soon he'll be too big and his dwelling will be too crowded for so much movement, so I'm enjoying it while I can! :)

This is a big week, as almost all babies born after 31 weeks go on to live normal, healthy lives. All organs are fully developed except the lungs, which just need a little more time to mature. A lot of brain and nerve development is happening this week, plus - as if the past 30 weeks haven't been one - he's going through a growth spurt. He'll continue to gain half a pound each week until about two weeks before birth!

I still feel really good, and we're so excited to meet sweet Collin!!! We still have things on our to-do list, but we're also ready for him to be here. :)

My lovely friend Alex hosted a baby shower for me yesterday, and it was so much fun. I'm lucky to have fantastic friends here in Colorado Springs, and they definitely took good care of Collin!

These are all the gifts we received!

I made delicious filled key lime cupcakes. :)

I got a picture with almost all of my lovely friends that attended. :)

This is Machala, who I met because I work with her husband Jim. She's a stay-at-home mama to her three fantastic kiddos, and I'm so excited to get our children together!

This is Brittney, who I met through work.

This is Kim, a friend I met through Alex.

Sarah and Amy are friends I work with.

Darcy and I worked together several years ago, and she now stays home taking care of her darling kiddos. I'm excited for playdates with them!

Tava is a friend I met through Alex.

I met both Amber and Alex because their husbands work with Ryan.

Janice's husband works with Ryan. Their baby TJ, born two weeks ago, is who we refer to as Collin's best friend. :)

Jana was my teammate and partner-in-crime at school last year.

We are so blessed to have such wonderful friends here, and I definitely had a blast spending the afternoon with the girls. I'll leave you with the two winning photos in the "Collin Collage" contest:

Jana and Sarah definitely have a good idea of what Collin will look like, right? :)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Progress in Collin's room

Remember how I said we were hoping Collin's room would be done by the beginning of December? Well, it's still the beginning of December, but his room isn't quite done yet. However, we're close! The dresser/changing table and rocker are still downstairs awaiting their final coats of white paint, but other than that the room is basically done. :)

Here's what it looks like this morning:

Monday, November 29, 2010

30 weeks and a baby shower!

I guess I missed a whole week of posting... Oops! We're now 30 weeks into this pregnancy, and all is well! :)

At 30 weeks, Collin's grip is strong enough to grasp an adult's finger. He spends much of his time blinking, practicing "breathing" (amniotic fluid), kicking, and squirming. His brain is developing the grooves that provide lots of surface space for our little genius. :) They also say his head is getting larger to accommodate a period of rapid brain growth, but I think it'll be ok if his head stays in the 97th percentile rather than getting any larger!

The lanugo hair that has been covering his body and keeping him warm is starting to fall off, and apparently all five senses are now developed. His eyesight will only be around 20/400 when he's born, but the other senses should be pretty keen. He also has the capability to produce tears, and his bone marrow is now entirely in charge of producing his red blood cells.


On another note, I got to spend the weekend in Spearfish! I flew from Colorado Springs to Rapid on Friday morning, spent the whole weekend at my parents' house, and returned to Colorado Springs last night. Collin seemed to enjoy being at the higher altitudes, because I spent most of the flights watching my belly and seeing him squirm. Maybe he'll be a pilot!

While in Spearfish I had lots of time to just hang out with my parents, and I also got to see a lot of our fantastic family and family friends. My mom hosted a baby shower for us on Saturday afternoon, and it was wonderful! We are blessed to have such amazing people in our world, and they have made sure Collin will be well-dressed, well-bibbed, equipped with the latest gadgets, and well-snuggled with sweet stuffed animals and cozy blankets! :) I had so much fun at the baby shower and I am so grateful for all the lovely ladies who were there!

I only took two photos with my phone during the trip. The first is the diaper cake my mom made, and the second is Collin's new ride. Hopefully I'll get more pictures from Mom's camera!

There's quite a lot to do in the weeks until Collin gets here! For one thing, Ryan and I are both very busy at work. I have a baby shower here in Colorado Springs this Saturday afternoon, we go to our first childbirth class on Sunday afternoon, we see the OB next Tuesday evening, and we see the perinatologist next Friday afternoon. We also have some tasks to take care of before we can say Collin's room is finished. There's no doubt the three weeks until I'm on Christmas break will go by quickly! :)

It goes without saying, but I'll include it anyways: We're beyond excited to meet our sweet little boy!!!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

28 Weeks = awesome news! :-)

It's hard to believe we're already at the 7 month mark! Time flies when you're having fun, right? :)

We had two fantastic appointments this week, first with our OB and then with our perinatologist. We're so happy with our choice in Dr. Russell, our OB. His faith and confidence are so calming, and he even prays for us! After we left his office on Tuesday night, we were feeling really peaceful and excited for Friday's appointment.

Leaving Friday's perinatologist appointment was a combination of peaceful and excited too! Collin's third ventricle is now perfectly-sized, and his kidneys are 2/3 the size they were a month ago! They're a smidge over the 50th percentile (like 52nd?), but not a concern at all. Collin weighs exactly 3 pounds, which puts him in the 44th percentile overall. He's definitely our son - his head is in the 97th percentile. :) He looked perfect and Dr. Muench (Dr. Betoni's partner) saw nothing to be concerned about. Our prayers have most certainly been answered!!!

Collin was very active during Friday's ultrasound, to the point where Dr. Muench suggested we change his middle name to "Stubborn" since he wouldn't stop in a position that was perfect for getting the right views of his heart. Though we appreciated the suggestion, we have even more appreciation for the opportunity to see Collin squirming like crazy. :) I LOVE feeling Collin move all day long, even when his big movements startle me, and I definitely won't complain that he's so busy in there. :)

I feel really good still, even though I'm really full. My amniotic fluid is very high (94th percentile), but Dr. Muench said "At least you're still on the chart!" :) I really don't care about my own comfort level, as long as I know Collin is doing well.

We didn't get any printouts from Friday's ultrasound, but you probably aren't interested in seeing 87 pictures of Collin's organs anyways. Here's me at 28 weeks:

I prefer the front view. :)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

27 weeks

At 27 weeks, we're already at the end of the second trimester! The time is passing so quickly!!! During the first trimester, all of the major organs and systems were developing, and then most external features developed during the second trimester. The third trimester is for final preparations for life outside the womb.

In the next 10 weeks, Collin should gain about 1/2 pound each week! That means I'll only gain 5 more pounds, right? :) As he gets bigger, he also is getting stronger, which means his movements are becoming more powerful. Rather than tiny taps, I'm now feeling kicks and elbow jabs, but I love the reassurance of knowing he's busy in there! Ryan can feel Collin move any time he touches my belly, and sometimes the movements are even visible from the outside.

Apparently Collin is slowly rotating in preparation to "head out." :) I've been told that since I'm carrying him up so high that it will be very obvious when he has flipped and dropped. I'm a little afraid of not knowing I'm in labor (it will be painfully obvious when I'm in labor, right?), so I'll appreciate having advanced warning when I'm sure he has dropped. :)

While Collin is making final preparations, so are we! :) We have a game plan for his room, which is really exciting! We've been putting it off knowing we still have plenty of time, but it's time to get going. We're hoping to be done by the beginning of December, so I'll post pictures as we make progress. We have an OB appointment on Tuesday evening, I'm meeting with my district's benefits advisor on Wednesday to learn about how/if my health insurance works while I'm on a leave of absence, and we see the perinatologist on Friday morning.

All the virus testing came back negative and I passed the gestational diabetes test this week, so we have zero potential explanations for the excess fluid and the enlarged kidneys and third ventricle. We're praying fervently that Friday's ultrasound will show Collin's kidneys and third ventricle to be closer in proportion to his body size. We'll keep you posted!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

26 weeks!

It's a big week for Collin as he has passed the 2 pound mark! I've been feeling him move almost constantly, which can be explained by the fact that his living quarters are getting pretty snug. :)

Perhaps most exciting about this week is that Collin's eyelids are no longer fused shut so he's practicing looking and blinking. Apparently if I shine a light on my belly, he will turn to look at it, which means his optic nerve is working! Along with blinking, Collin is learning to recognize voices, so he should know Dad's voice and Mom's voice when he is born. :)

Brain tissue and neurons are developing rapidly, and did you know the brain continues to function at an accelerated level for the first seven to eight years of life? Collin's spine is also getting stronger and more flexible to support his growing body. It is only the length of an adult hand, but contains 150 joints, 33 rings, and about 1,000 ligaments!

Along with all these important developments, Collin is becoming more and more handsome by the day. :) His eyelashes and eyebrows are filling in, his retinas are developing (do you think his eyes will be green or brown?), and his hair is getting longer and thicker. Much to Ryan's dismay, if Collin has a cowlick it will be forming right now. Ryan's fingers are definitely crossed that Collin is cowlick-free. :)

I worked a bit in Collin's room this week, sewing his crib skirt and hanging all the clothes we got from our friends Jim and Machala. Check it out:

Plus, here's the bump progression for months 1-6:

Collin is moving like crazy and I feel good, so we believe everything is going well. We'll see our OB in about a week, and we'll see the perinatologist for another ultrasound in two and a half weeks. Our prayer is that things will have leveled out a bit so there is less cause for concern. It's in our mighty God's hands anyways, so we're leaving it to him. :)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Lay 'Em Down...

When I got into the Jeep after our appointment today, the first thing the radio announcer said was, "Whatever burdens you're carrying with you today, just lay 'em down," which she followed with the song Lay 'Em Down by needtobreathe:

The message was perfectly-timed! :)

We saw a perinatologist (Dr. Betoni) today for a genetic ultrasound designed to measure more, with an eye for making sure everything measures within the normal range. Collin looked great overall and was VERY active, but his kidneys are enlarged and so is the third ventricle in his brain. I also have too much amniotic fluid.

Independently, these three things are not cause for concern. Enlarged kidneys and an enlarged third ventricle are common enough in boys, and polyhydramnios generally just causes discomfort for the mama. However, together they're markers for potential chromosomal disorders - specifically, Down's syndrome, Trisomy 13, and Trisomy 18.

We turned down the option of doing an amniocentesis today. It would identify the presence of a chromosomal disorder, but it could also put me into labor. Knowing that we wouldn't do anything differently (termination is the only "treatment" in the case of a chromosomal disorder), we decided not to do the test.

We'll be seen by Dr. Betoni again in four weeks, and our prayer is that the issues will have resolved themselves in some way so the measurements are closer to the normal range. Even he said, "We'll proceed as though he's developing perfectly, but we'll just monitor him more closely." In four weeks, we'll compare the measurements to determine whether the problems have gotten worse, gotten better, or stayed the same. At that point, we'll make a decision for our next step.

Our God is great, and we have faith that Collin is developing exactly according to plan. :)

For your viewing pleasure, here are a couple pictures of our handsome little man.

Here's his sweet face:

Here's a shot of his perfect-for-playing-soccer foot:

Saturday, October 16, 2010

24 weeks!

At 24 weeks, Collin is over a foot long and starting to pack on some fat! In the next 3 weeks he is supposed to double in weight, to more than 2 pounds. His skin is becoming thicker, more opaque, and taking on a healthy pink glow. His lungs are developing "branches" of the respiratory "tree," plus cells that produce surfactant which will help his air sacs inflate once he hits the outside world.

Collin's inner ears are fully formed, which means he has now developed his sense of balance and he can tell which way is up inside my belly. He still has enough room to flip around, tethered only by the umbilical cord. Speaking of the cord, it contains two arteries, one large vein, and will be about four feet long when Collin is born! Nutrients and oxygen-rich blood travel from the placenta to the fetus through the single large vein, and then the blood returns to the placenta through the two arteries. It's the perfect system to be sure Collin gets what he needs while still keeping my blood separate from his.

Though still very early, Collin is officially considered viable at this point! With our advanced medical technology, Collin would have a good chance of survival if born today. Of course we want him to wait 16 more weeks, but it's still a comforting thought...

Collin's current home is about the size of a soccer ball, which means my baby bump is undeniable (not to mention rock-hard!). My mom and I decided it was time to bite the bullet and buy my first maternity clothes, which was a fun time. The pants will take some adjustment, but I'll be happy to have the extra length provided by maternity shirts. :)

We had another ultrasound today and got to see our boy. He was holding both hands up beside his face, looking pretty sweet and cozy. :) Sorry, but we didn't get any printed pictures.

His kidneys are still measuring large, as is the amount of amniotic fluid, so we'll have a more in-depth ultrasound this week. The two things may be related (as in, he's not swallowing enough amniotic fluid), or they may be within the realm of normal but outside what our OB typically sees. Potentially there's nothing to worry about, but it is the specialist's job to make that determination. We're lifting Collin to our God and know that everything will happen as it should. :)

Friday, October 8, 2010

23 weeks!

About the size of a loaf of bread, Collin now weighs over a pound and is at least a foot long! As the bones in his inner ear harden, Collin now hears what's happening outside the womb. He's getting used to the routine sounds in his world, and the loud noises that are common now (like Shelby and Kacy barking) shouldn't faze him after he's born. I don't feel kicks too often, but he kicked pretty hard the other night while I was crawling on the floor playing with the girls. I'm pretty sure he was having fun too! :)

Collin's face is now fully formed and his body is basically all in proportion. However, he's still skinny and wrinkly because he has excess skin just ready and waiting to be filled in with baby fat. :) His eyes, eyelids, and eyebrows are fully formed, but the irises still lack pigmentation. Do you think he'll get Ryan's brown eyes or my green eyes?

I continue to feel great! My belly is pretty prominent at this point, but my students still haven't said anything. Do you think it's time I tell them, so they can stop wondering? :) We're headed to South Dakota tomorrow, and we're so excited to have the opportunity to see ALL of our parents and siblings this coming week. I'll be honest -- I'm also so excited to get a little extra sleep!

We have our next appointment with Dr. Russell next Saturday, which will include an ultrasound to re-measure Collin's kidneys. They measured a little big during the last ultrasound (as did everything else!), so they're going to double check that everything is developing normally. We're looking forward to seeing our little man again!!! :)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

21 weeks!

At 21 weeks, Collin's tongue is fully formed, and apparently capable of blowing raspberries. :) His skin is now opaque red rather than transparent. He's got extra skin at this point, which will accommodate his rapid weight gain in the coming weeks. I'm currently transferring my immunities to Collin, which will protect him for about 6 months after birth. Hopefully he benefits from the strong immune system I've developed working with kids for the last 6 years! He is developing a consistent schedule of sleep and wake periods based on levels of light and sound, plus my eating and sleeping schedule, and he is now getting REM sleep.

I feel Collin moving quite often, but mostly just squirming. In the last week, I've started to feel some kicks too. They've all been near my belly button, mostly on the left side. I've only felt about 20 kicks so far and Ryan hasn't felt any, but hopefully he'll get to feel it soon!

Collin's crib and mattress were delivered yesterday, so we assembled it last night. It's beautiful, and such cool, tangible proof that Collin will be here soon. :)

I continue to feel great, though I was a little more tired this week than I've been. Ryan's at a "dude baby shower" tonight so I'm going to bed early!!!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Holy Bump!

We took a picture of my baby bump at 5 months. To remind you what I used to look like, click this post.

Anyways, without further ado:

What a difference 5 months makes, eh? :)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

20 Weeks -- It's a boy!

We're having a boy!!!

We had our big ultrasound on Tuesday and it was so fun! Collin has plenty of room to move right now, so we got to watch him stretch his legs, dance, and flip over during the ultrasound. Since Ryan hasn't felt movement yet, he was pretty surprised at how much Collin actually moves! He's growing well - measuring in the 94th percentile overall. Check out his chubby belly! :) He weighs 13 ounces and is about the size of a canteloupe.

We're absolutely thrilled with the news and so excited to meet our baby boy!!!

Here's some more pictures:

Friday, September 10, 2010

19 weeks!

They say that the older we get the faster time goes, and that has never seemed more true than now, when we're measuring time by weeks. :) Really, another week has already passed?

At less than a pound still, baby will increase in weight by about 15 times before delivery! They say 19 weeks is an important time for baby's sensory development, as the brain is fine-tuning the specialized areas for taste, sight, touch, sound, and smell. Baby's body is now all in proportion, and he or she can swallow and digest amniotic fluid. Hair on the scalp is sprouting, milk teeth buds are already in place, and permanent teeth will begin developing this week!

Baby has the same sleep-awake patterns as a newborn, recognizable active and rest periods, and a favorite sleeping position. I feel quite a bit of movement, but Ryan can't feel it yet. It's pretty comforting to feel the little one kicking in there, and I'm so excited for Ryan to feel it too! :)

We're 4 days away from knowing the gender of Baby Fremont!!! Speaking of making this process seem real... :)

Monday, September 6, 2010

18 Weeks and Purchase #1 for Baby's Room

At 18 weeks, baby continues to be busy, spending the majority of time yawning, hiccupping, rolling, twisting, kicking, punching, sucking, and swallowing. :) I feel much of that movement, and especially when I'm very active. When I was mopping the floors, Baby was moving like crazy! Feeling movement all day long definitely makes this whole process seem more real. :)

Baby now hears what's going on outside the womb! The ears are in their final position, though still sticking out from the head a bit farther than they will. It seems strange to talk to my belly, but I think I better start! Ryan and I listen to music all the time, so he or she gets to hear all our favorites. I better throw in some Mozart too, right?

This is a big week for baby's skin. There are now two distinct layers: the epidermis and dermis. A greasy substance known as vernix caseosa covers the skin now. It sounds gross, but it protects baby from bruising from moving and shriveling like a prune from swimming in amniotic fluid. An added bonus, this comes straight from a website: "Still don’t like the fact your little darling is currently slathered in fatty cream like a greased pig? Well, you know the birthing process? Where you have to push something the size of a watermelon out a hole the size of a grape? That adorable little greased piglet would have a lot harder time getting through the birth canal without the vernix caseosa." Ok, thanks vernix caseosa! I think I'll let you stay.

Yesterday Ryan and I were big spenders on our first purchase for baby's bedroom. We spent a whopping $20 on the coolest vintage rocking chair which I found on craigslist:

True, it has no seat. Luckily I have a handy hubby who will cut a seat, and I'm going to paint the chair white and upholster the seat. Purchase number one: check! :)

I continue to feel great, and I've still gained a total of 4 pounds. I feel short of breath sometimes, which I'm told is caused by my belly squishing my internal organs upward. Other than that, all is well! The best part, in my opinion, is that I'm still sleeping well and sleeping through the night. Hopefully our baby is as good of a sleeper as I am!!! :)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Baby at 17 Weeks

Despite being on his or her first trip out of town, Baby was busy during the 17th week! Baby is about the size of my outstretched hand, and cartilage is turning into bone this week. For the first time, baby fat is being deposited. Did you know that the average newborn baby weighs 7 3/4 pounds, and 5 1/4 of those pounds are fat? Fingerprints developed this week, and sweat glands are forming as well. Limbs are finally in proportion and will continue to grow evenly with the rest of baby's body. Perhaps most exciting, baby's reactive listening skills are developing. Even though the senses aren't fully functioning yet, the brain is beginning to process sensory input!

I continue to feel great, with no real symptoms except for being tired still. Baby is movin' and groovin', and we're so excited for Ryan to be able to feel the movement! Also exciting is that we're less than two weeks away from the gender-revealing ultrasound!

Jeeping in Moab at 17 weeks

We spent almost the entire 17th week out of town in Moab, Utah! It was an amazing vacation, and we loved every moment of our 5 days there. :) At 17 weeks pregnant, I wasn't sure how I'd feel. I'm glad to say I didn't have any trouble at all! We spent at least 40 hours in the Wrangler over the course of the 5 days, but it turned out to be a perfect trip!!!

I took almost 1000 photos, so I'll definitely have to find a different place online to post them, but here are some favorites: