Thursday, March 26, 2009

Week 20

If, by chance, we're having a girl, her uterus is now fully formed and her ovaries are holding about seven million primitive eggs. If we are, in fact, having a boy, his testicles have begun their descent from the abdomen to the scrotum. The baby is about ten ounces, six and a half inches long now (about the size of a cantelope), but there's still plenty of growing room (somehow) in the oven, which allows him to twist and turn.
I've begun to notice that my fingernails are stronger and they grow REALLY fast! I just clipped them down to the finger and a week later they're long again! My hair all over my body is supposedly also thicker and fuller than usual as well (although I haven't particularly noticed that....) all thanks to pregnancy hormones and increased circulation, which furnish extra nutrients to hair and nail cells. I'm definitely getting a beard.... but I've been tweezing those little sprouts on my chin and have been comforted by the knowledge that this situation is indeed, temporary!!! But, I'm not excited about that excessive hair loss that people talk about after delivery.... when you feel like you're going bald! :( lol.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Week 19

I haven't felt the intense leg cramps that people describe around this time... just some minor you're-about-to-get-a-leg-cramp-if-you-keep-stretching-like-that sensations. I have, however, wondered about the tingling & numbness in my fingers I've been experiencing every now & then. Good to hear that it's TOTALLY normal and that it's most likely a result of my body's swelling tissues pressing on nerves. describes the baby as looking like a mango dipped in cheese this week (gross!)... he's about a half-pound and around 6 inches long (roughly the size of a large melon).
The greasy white stuff called vernix caseosa (vernix is Latin for varnish; caseosa is cheese.... very original, people....) covers the baby's skin, protecting it from the surrounding amniotic fluid so he doesn't get totally pruny & wrinkled from his 9 month bath! It's made up of lanugo (the downy hair), oil from the baby's glands and dead skin cells. Thankfully, it sheds this as delivery approaches.....

The baby is able to choreograph Matrix-like moves at 19 weeks and his arms and legs are finally in proportion. Neurons are now connected between the brain and muscles and cartilage throughout the body is turning to bone. All these upgrades combine to give him more control over limb movements, although I haven’t felt anything yet (I don’t think). Although, from what I’ve read, it may be harder for me to feel him so soon because I’m very muscular… (yeah, I have a protective layer… but under that is some seriously dense & hard muscle!). We’ll see; hopefully I will start to feel him soon. Maybe once things calm down a little.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

4th Prenatal Appointment

Today was our fourth pre-natal appointment! The doctor said we were very boring... because it was like a 3 minute appointment... lol. Which means... everything was fine and we had no questions because I research any question I have and find out the answer before I go... unless I still think it's worth discussing with the doctor. So here's the update on Baby Straub:

The heartbeat was 136 and the doctor said that this early on, that sounds like a boy's heartbeat... yet another confirmation!

All of my tests were good... I gained 3 pounds in the past 4 weeks (and this was the first time I hadn't lost weight!!). My blood pressure was 112 over 80 (even though this has been one of the most stressful weeks of my life!)... my pee test was good and everything went well. I have to schedule an ultrasound for 20 weeks.... so, someone remind me!

On a goofier note... I locked my keys in my car again...... this time at a REEEEAAALLLLY inconvenient time! After 14 hours in the ER and hospital as we admitted my mom..... and this time it wasn't the car with the spare under the wheel well.... so we had to call public safety at the university to come bail us out by breaking into our car. ugh...... and I was SO excited that I remembered where I put the parking ticket after 14 hours... AND where the car was PARKED... AND how to even get to that parking garage from where my mom ended up (which was different than where she went in!).... I was so pleased with my high-functioning pregnant self.... until I began searching for my keys. ugh.

aye aye aye. I'm a mess.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Week 18

Okay, so it's week 18... and "they" say it's about time to start feeling some back pain! Right in time, as usual! What I thought was especially interesting was that JUST THIS MORNING I was looking at myself in the mirror thinking... "wow....I don't remember my lower back curving forward that much.... hmm... maybe it always has..." Apparently, my cantaloupe-sized uterus is causing my center of gravity to shift, pulling my lower back forward and pushing my abdomen out! Hmm... who knew?

The baby is about five and a half inches long from crown to rump (about the size of a grapefruit) and weighs about five ounces.

The art of the yawn has been mastered by the baby this week! In fact, it's possible that we might catch a glimpse of that adorable yawn if we're lucky during our ultrasound this month. The baby is finally big enough to be felt moving (and everyone and their mother has asked me if I have yet) but I haven't.... :( Although I am very excited for the day that I do!!!

The baby's nervous system is in working order and rapidly maturing during this time. Nerves, now covered with a substance called myelin (which speeds messages from nerve cell to nerve cell), are forming more complex connections. And those in the brain are further specializing into the ones that serve the senses of touch, taste, smell, sight, and hearing. The baby's hearing is growing more acute, making our little one more conscious of sounds that come from inside my body (which must get noisy!) like digestion, hiccups, my heartbeat, etc. The baby is supposedly hiccuping now as well... but like I said, I have yet to feel it.

Daddy is starting to talk to the baby more & more and sometimes sings us to sleep :)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Just another day...

So, one thing I forgot to mention about the ultrasound was that at one point, while we were watching the screen, my uterus began to change shape and looked like the baby's living space was getting smaller & smaller.... I was like... umm, what's going on? Why is my body suffocating my baby? They (completely nonchalantly) said... "oh you're just having a contraction..." WHAT????? Who the heck knew the contractions started this soon? I couldn’t feel anything, of course… but they said pretty much all women have them this early but usually never know unless it’s caught on an ultrasound like this. SO WEIRD!!! I didn't feel even the least bit crampy! I was just so confused! lol. The poor kid looked so cramped up until it passed... I felt bad!

So, just for your reading amusement, I decided to stop at Rita's today (since it JUST opened today in Gloucester County)... and I buy my gelati and everything is fine.... then I go to get in my car and I realize I can't find my keys. Oh, right... they're in the passenger's seat. And I locked the door..... um... GREAT! So, of course I called Jason and of course he was teaching so he couldn't answer....

So I stood there and debated walking to my office.......... then I remembered that we have a spare under the wheel well.... whew. Bailed out of yet ANOTHER D.I.P.S. moment.

Aye aye aye! But I must say.... the ordeal was well worth the fuss!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Another Ultrasound

I had another ultrasound today... at Jefferson University Hospital. This one wasn't as fun as the others, though (unfortunately)... I didn't get any videos or pictures this time because the guy who knew how to work the machine wasn't there to burn me a DVD.. :( So basically I was a pregnant dummy-model for students who were definitely learning..... lol. They must be the new kids on the block.

What we did get out of this ultrasound was seeing a bigger baby in there who was actually starting to look a little crowded, a heartbeat of 156, and all measurements looking very consistent (still) with most of them showing up as 17 weeks and 3 or 4 days (which is pretty close).

I tested the students to see if they could tell me what the sex of the baby was... and I didn't tell them about the other appointment. Again, they found what they thought to be "male parts" but weren't confident so they called the instructor in and she said "I can pretty confidently tell you that it's a boy but I don't want to say 100%, since it's still sort of early to know for sure." At that point, I told them all that I had another doctor say the same thing the previous week so I was just trying to see what they'd say and if they could find anything.

So, that's another confirmation to us that Baby Straub is, in fact, a baby boy! :)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Week 17

Welp, Baby Straub is about the size of my palm now... about the size of a mango. His heart is now regulated by his brain (no more random beats) to beat 140 to 150 times per minute — about twice as fast as mine! The baby's body is accumulating fat (join the club, kid!) and will continue to do so throughout the entire pregnancy. By the time the baby is born, his body fat will make up about 2/3 of his weight!

The baby is almost certainly listening up by now. Loud noises — i.e. the dog barking or mommy/daddy yelling at the dog — will actually startle your baby (and also get him or her used to such noises) I've read that fetuses who regularly hear a dog barking will become babies who sleep right through the dog's outbursts, which means Jantzi might just survive this transition!

The baby's eyes (which have fortunately finished their migration to the front of his head) are making small side-to-side movements and are perceiving light, though the eyelids are still sealed. The baby is perfecting his sucking and swallowing skills in preparation for that first "meal" in the real world.

Within the next week or so, the pads on your baby's fingertips and toes will become adorned with completely individual swirls and creases...making his fingerprints one-of-a-kind!

Monday, March 2, 2009

It's a ....................... !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, many of you may have already heard, but here's the scoop:

Today we went to our appointment at the high-risk doctor (they wanted to test my blood because something goofy showed up in my iron count or whatever... nothing to worry about). Anyway, unbeknownst to me, they had every intention of doing an ultrasound! What a fun surprise!

As Jason and I sat in the room waiting for the technician, I said... "hey, how weird would it be if she could actually see the sex of the baby today and we weren't even expecting to know till next week or 2 weeks from now!" Jason said he was thinking the exact same thing but didn't want to get too excited!

She came back in and started taking all of her measurements and whatnot. Then, when she was getting the femur length (femur = thigh bone for those of you who are going "fe-who?"). She was taking the measurement, and I was looking at the screen and I saw something between the kiddos legs. I thought to myself... um.... is that what I think it is? Then the technician stopped and said "oup.... look at that! It's early yet, but if I had to guess, I'd definitely say that's a little boy in there!" I said "yeah, I was about to ask if that was something... I saw it too" Then a couple seconds later she tried peeking again and found that little spot again with no problem. She said "Yeah, if you asked me, based on that I'd definitely say it's a boy... although I would wait for a few weeks before you go paintin' the nursery!!!"

So, the vast majority of you who have voted boy... chances are you're very good guessers! Like I said, we may not know for absolute sure, but it seemed awful promising that the little bun in the oven will be named Karson! :)

For now, we have the pronoun we were asking for. From this point forward, (or until further notice), we will refer to said baby as "he."

And all God's people say: AMEN!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Jantzi's Hair Cut!!!

This post is for anyone who is interested... I'm just really excited to show him off!!! I'm sure Tara will appreciate it more than anyone but it really is remarkable!

Jantzi got a REALLY great grooming from a good friend of mine who is AWESOME at her job! Take a gander at our gorgeous pup...

WHOA! He looks like he (somehow) got 2 years younger! What a difference!

Beard.....No beard... What a pretty little face! Who even knew it was under all that scruff! And who the heck knew this dog even had a neck!???? Turns out he does... and that it's like a whole foot long!

Trying to get a full body shot...

Yes, Jantzi has a very "unique" look, ungroomed. It's charming and adorable in it's own special little way... but I just can't get over how ADORABLE he is after being groomed! He looks like a tiny little puppy! Losing all that scruff and that beard makes him look so skinny and he just moves around like he feels lighter... (and if you saw HOW MUCH HAIR was on the floor of that grooming salon, you'd completely understand!)

He's just so soft & handsome. I can't imagine him getting in trouble for anything over the next few weeks.... lol. He's just too cute!
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