Sunday, July 16, 2017

33 Weeks with Baby Girl

Happy Sunday! I'm a bit bummed I haven't hopped on this blog more to record details of this pregnancy, but I wanted to make some notes now that I'm thinking of it. 

We had our birth class yesterday which gave us lots of helpful information. We're using midwives at a hospital along with a doula. This class was through the hospital and included a tour of the maternity  part of the hospital. It was a lot of helpful info about the birthing process! We'll go over information with our doula as well, and I'm all about learning things to be as prepared and informed as we can be. 

Baby girl has been rolling around my belly a lot since my last post. Now that she's bigger, I can really feel her rolling around/changing positions the past few weeks rather than just little jabs/kicks. It's the neatest feeling, though at times with certain movements, it hurts! She also gets hiccups a lot. Sometimes up to a few times a day. They say that could mean she'll have hiccups more often once she's born too, so we'll see:)

My mom and Nick painted our nursery which felt like such great progress! I want the room to feel fresh and clean so we went with a mint color for the walls. We'll have lots of pops of coral/peach colors once the room is put together too. 

Nick put together her crib this weekend, so that was a fun step in preparing her room too. 

Here's an inspiration pic of some of our colors. We got the prints at Hobby Lobby and I can't wait to see her room as it gets put together in the coming weeks! 

 Here are a couple of photos from our baby shower in Iowa:) I was about 28 weeks at the time of these photos. 

We've kept up taking bump photos every two weeks. Here they are so far!

Baby girl is making herself known at this point ;) 

Notes at 33 weeks:

  • No concerns have been brought up at our midwife appointments. After our anatomy scan, they needed one more image of the connection between the placenta + umbilical cord, but that checked out fine and we haven't had any concerns since then, praise the Lord. 
  • Baby girl hiccups often
  • At our last appt, she was transverse or laying on her side (rather than being head down), so hopefully by the time she's ready to arrive, she'll make it to the head down position. (She does have plenty of time still!)
  • This past week, whenever I would feel my belly to try to tell where her head/butt are, many times she quickly moves/repositions. It's sweet to interact with her like that, where she responds to my touch. 
  • She's supposed to be about the size of a loaf of bread about now. About 4.2 to 5.8 pounds and 17.2 to 18.7 inches long according to The Bump app. 
  • We have our baby basics (how to care for a newborn pretty much!) and baby safety/CPR class next week, and then a breastfeeding class in August. 
  • Our crib and rocker/recliner arrived this week! Nick got them put together and it's SUCH a fun step for me in getting her room put together. I love just sitting there in the chair and taking it all in. (Ranger has come to enjoy the recliner too ;)). 
What am I feeling lately?
  • Pain in my low back, especially when standing a lot in one day or siting uncomfortably for long. Baby girl is getting heavy on my front which pulls on my low back ligaments & muscles.
  • Feeling overall big and uncomfortable now. It's harder to get move around, get out of bed, get out of a chair, and I walk slower. 
  • I've started feeling nausea in the mornings again which is a bummer! Sometimes during the night, I wake up feeling like I could get sick, but thankfully I don't. I just have to eat right away when I feel like that and it goes away. Apparently some third trimester symptoms can mimic first trimester ones and that is one that's happened to me.
  • I'm thirsty all the time. I drink two glasses of water during the night and lots and lots during the day.
  • I'm tired all day every day. I have chronic fatigue even without pregnancy, so I'm definitely feeling it now! Growing a baby human is hard work for our bodies.
  • Bending over is hard. 
  • I'm waking to pee 1-3 times a night. 
  • Cravings: all things chocolate. In the first trimester, I wanted carbs and cheese/dairy. Now, it's all about the sweets. 
  • In the last few weeks, heartburn has gotten worse. I pretty much have it everyday lately! I never knew how painful heartburn can be. Ouch! Maybe she'll have lots of hair?! ;) 
  • I'm not as crazy hungry as I was in the second trimester. They say it's because our stomach is squished which makes sense.  
  • Baby girl is a night owl. Once I lay down at night is when I feel her really roll around and re-position. Sometimes it takes my breath away for a second when she moves certain ways - it's not always comfortable when the big baby in your belly does a big ol' summersault! Haha. I love talking her when I feel her moving though - then I know she's awake and I like to give her encouragement. 
We still have lots on our list of things to do before baby girl arrives (our due date is 49 days away, but who's counting?! ;)), so hopefully our upcoming weekends will help us keep making great progress. We're so grateful for all of your love and support on this journey! 

Saturday, May 13, 2017

24 Week Pregnancy Update

Well hello there! I've been pretty MIA from this blog during this pregnancy so far. I've been wanting to hop on and document some things, but just haven't sat down to write it.  I wanted to note some things while they're still on my mind so I'll have these memories to look back on too. 

Where it began: Of course many of you know we experienced an unfortunate loss during our first pregnancy in October. Shortly after we found out we were expecting, we experienced a miscarriage. (I wrote about it on the blog a few posts back if you missed it). Those were long days and weeks for me not knowing what our future held in terms of having a baby. The enemy tries to get your mind to believing lies and negative thoughts, so we were't sure what to expect when we were ready to start trying again. I got the midwife's advice on when we could start trying again and carried on each day trying to trust the Lord's plan.

As December went on, I started to have suspicions we were pregnant again. I had nausea, bloating, waking up to pee during the night (which I didn't do before pregnancy), and other unmentionables, which were all the same early pregnancy symptoms I had with our first pregnancy. Nick had the idea to wait until Christmas Day to take a pregnancy test. Honestly it was hard to wait! I kept asking him if we could just take the test already but he thought it would be neat to wait. He was right - it was a really special day to get that news together. 

It was also hard not to tell my parents the good news when they came over Christmas morning to enjoy the day together, but we knew we wanted to wait until after our first doctor appointment to share the news with others. As January went by, it got so hard not to tell our families or co-workers! My parents ended up being sick for two weekends in a row around my birthday when we planned to tell them, so we finally got to break the news to our families when we were 10 weeks along. I put a sandwich bun in our oven and asked my mom to check the oven with my dad right there. It was a fun/funny way to tell them as they looked at us confused about why we had a piece of bread in the oven. I remember after I said to my mom, "It's a bun, right? In the oven?" Trying to trigger the thought in her mind then my dad asking "what does that mean?!" in the moment of shock trying to understand what we were telling them as my mom had her ah-ha moment. :)  With the rest of our family living away, we used FaceTime/phone calls to share the news. 

Here are some pictures we have of our baby girl at ultrasounds we've had. It's such a miracle to watch her and feel her grow. As she kicks in my belly as I write this post, I'm in awe of the Lord's creation and grateful for this sweet life. 

We've been taking bump pics every 2 weeks so here are our pics for the first half of this pregnancy. 

Here was one of my pre-pregnancy test pics when I was already seeing some bloat from the pregnancy hormones. 

We chose to do prenatal bloodwork to help know if the baby was looking healthy and on track. Honestly after experiencing our miscarriage, I was so nervous about anything happening. Plus, I found out at 6 weeks pregnant that I have 2 mutations of the MTHFR gene which can lead to increased frequency of miscarriages, infertility issues (as well as fibromyalgia, heart disease, etc.). Many doctors aren't very well versed about MTHFR (luckily my chiropractor is and helped me understand what steps to take), but for some women it means blood can clot between the mom and baby causing the baby to not get nutrients they need though the umbilical cord. So I wanted any piece of mind that we could get if things were looking okay with the baby.

One perk of that additional bloodwork, is it can tell you earlier if you're having a boy or girl. So we were excited to find out just shy of 15 weeks that our baby is a girl. We shared the news with our families living away from us using hershey bars where we colored the SHE of "hershey" with a red marker so they'd open this wrapper to see the baby is a SHE! We had them open the candy bars at the same time so everyone (in IA/CA/NE) would find out at the same time. 

I made rice krispy treats and added pink candy coated chocolates and pink sprinkles and took them over to my mom's for our gender reveal with them that same night. I caught their reaction to learning they're having a granddaughter :)  I had extra treats from the batch I made so I took them to work to have a reveal for my co-workers which was fun too. 

It's been such a blessing to walk through this pregnancy with my friend Hannah who is ahead of me in her pregnancy. We sadly went through our miscarriages a few months apart last fall and she was such a great support system for me and gifted me a book (Angie Smith's I will Carry You) to work through my emotions those months. It was a joy to have her and our friends here a few weeks ago and celebrate these babies together. 

Here's my latest bump pic at 23 weeks and 4 days. 

Some notes about this pregnancy:
  • First craving: Milky Way candy bars. I had Nick stop by the store to get me a bag of snack size milky ways. I don't usually buy candies like that so it felt like such a creamy treat! Plus, up until that point I was still avoiding milk in products (which has gone out the window during this pregnancy by the way!:)). 
  • Nausea: I felt pretty crummy during the first trimester, until about 12-13 weeks. I never actually got sick, but multiple times a day I felt like I was about to. So I would snack often thanks to advice from friends, eat ginger chews, drink ginger ale a few times, and use my oils to help. 
  • Fatigue: I've been absolutely exhausted throughout this entire pregnancy so far. There have been lots of days I get home from work and get in bed to nap before dinner. So tired.
  • Discomforts: In the past few weeks now, I've had increasing hip discomforts. And my low back has been pretty pain fun this last week especially. Even the top and bottom of my belly has been hurting with the pressures and growth. I'm hoping it's a growth spurt she's going through and that I'll feel better for a while again. 
  • Food aversions: I'm usually an easy to please eater. I'm not too picky and whatever others want to eat sounds find to me. But now, I'm super picky about what sounds good. If something doesn't sound good, I can't eat it. 
  • Foods I'm loving: a toasted bagel (gluten free) with cream cheese. It's my favorite thing lately. Also chocolate milk, fruit juices, fresh juicy fruits (watermelon, mango), anything with carbs and cheese really. There were weeks in my first trimester where all that sounded good were cheese enchiladas or mac & cheese. Thankfully for me and the baby, my tastes have opened up more opportunities since then ;) 
  • Baby prep: We put together our baby registries last weekend in preparation for our baby shower in June, and that was overwhelming yet fun. There's a lot to learn in the baby world for us first timers! A bouncer vs. exersaucer, all different kinds of cloth diapers. Not to mention carseats & strollers which still confuse me. Haha! We're learning a lot. It's fun to pick out things this baby girl will use. 
  • Baby observations: This baby girl likes to lay low :) she's usually in or just above my pelvis (which might be causing more of my hip and back pains). She is very active at night. I wake up a few time a night to use the bathroom and most of the time, she's awake and moving around then. I feel her during the day too, but the movements are usually more subtle and she seems to be more restful then. She moves & kicks more when we're playing music or sometimes when I'm talking to her while I drive or get ready in the mornings. This week, I felt her move a few times on the left side and right sides of my belly at the same time. She must have been doing some stretches. :) It was fun to feel how big she really is getting in there. 
Our next midwife appointment is next Friday and we have a follow up ultrasound too because during our 19-week anatomy scan, they didn't get a good picture of the umbilical cord's connection into the placenta. It'll be a nice sneak peak to see her again this week! 

Thanks to all of our friends and family for love and support - we love and appreciate you all!

This pic is from our pregnancy/gender announcement photo session taken at 19 weeks by my friend Amy Polley. 

Monday, April 17, 2017

We're Having a Baby Girl!

It’s with great anticipation that we announce that we have a baby girl set to join our family in early September! We’re 20 weeks along in this pregnancy and are so grateful for this little babe. She already brings so much joy as I feel her kicks, in awe of the creation of life.

After losing our first baby last fall, this pregnancy has had its share of anxieties, but we cling to the Lord’s plan and love this little girl so much. 

As I share our joy, I also pray for anyone going through infertility, miscarriage, infant loss, or other complications as I can't help but think about all of you during this time too. 

I'm excited to share more as I get a chance in the coming weeks too. I hope to note things about the first half of our pregnancy on the blog and post some more photos coming up too. Thanks for all of your love and support! 

-Nick & Marissa 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Fall Travels to Chicago & Lake Tahoe

First, I want to thank all of you for your support after posting the last blog post about our miscarriage. You all have filled our hearts with love and encouragement, and it means so much. Many of you shared your own story with me, which I know isn't always easy either. All of your stories continue to help me know we aren't alone in this, and be more confident that everything will be okay. Thank you all for that. I tried to thank as many of you as I could, but if I missed you, please know your love and prayers have been appreciated.

I hadn't blogged in a while, and wanted to share some photos of our other journeys in the fall to Chicago while the Cubs were in the World Series, and our trip the next weekend to Lake Tahoe.

First up - Chicago! This trip was the week after the miscarriage. I was worried I'd be a downer and sad the whole trip, but thankfully my spirits were lifted and being part of the history of seeing the Cubs in the World Series was the perfect distraction. 

Nick and I ended up snagging tickets to game 5 the night before the game. We were already in Chicago with his family to enjoy the festivities when the Cubs lost the first two games at home, so prices dropped. I'm so glad it worked that way so we could get into the game! 

Before the game, we all went to walk around Wrigleyville together. It was such a great atmosphere! You could feel the largeness of this game and fans were so excited. 

Once we parted ways with Nick's family, Nick and I went into the stadium to see what all was going on. Here was a Sports Nation newscast. Bob Costas was down there meeting fans and we allllllllmost got that chance. 

We stood there for a while just to take it all in. We knew anyone in this stadium paid a lot of money to be there and it meant a lot to them. There was something special in the air the whole night. It was honestly a magical dreamy feeling to be there, and I was in awe through the whole night. 

Nick enjoyed a wrigley dog. :) I ate nachos and popcorn. Not a typical dinner, but gluten free can be tough at a ballpark! When you're on cloud 9, at the World Series, any food you enjoy there is pretty amazing. 

I was excited about our seats too - we were up higher but could see all of the action! 

 Enjoying my rum chata coffee and good company :) 

After the game (the only Series game the Cubs won at home!) - excited crowds to see a W in the World Series in the game we needed to win to continue on. 

Here was the Fox Sports broadcast after the game too. Fun to see them in person after watching them on TV so much! 

There's A-Rod in the middle on the stage :) 

I have tons more photos on my phone, but that's all I'll post for now. It was one of the most amazing experiences. I'll never forget that night! To watch the Cubs go on to WIN the series we got to be part of was incredible, and I'm so grateful we could enjoy it and be part of history. 

Next up is Lake Tahoe! We went the following weekend. It was such a beautiful, great trip. 

We took a trip one afternoon to Donner State Park. Do you know about the Donner Party? Pretty sad and eery to think of all that transpired in this area so many years ago. 

We enjoyed a beautiful sunset boat ride on Lake Tahoe. 

This was our dress up night. We didn't get many photos that night, so a selfie will do!

Here's from the top of the mountains at Donner State Park. So beautiful! It was a gorgeous view. And was very chilly up there! 

It was quite cold and windy at the peak! Very beautiful though. 

Relaxing with a bonfire and Lake Tahoe. Such a perfect pause in time. 

This was the resort we stayed at. There's beauty everywhere you look in Lake Tahoe. 

Back from our trips, here was our Thanksgiving meal. This was our first time for Nick and I cooking a turkey and it was fun "hosting" my dad and preparing all the food. Isn't it cute how we all matched without planning it?! Haha Nick and my dad's sweaters were matching perfectly.  

Christmas with my parents was wonderful as usual too.  

 First Christmas in our new house! Such a blessing. 

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