Hump Day Bump Day: Week 18


How far along? 18 Weeks, 3 Days
Maternity clothes? above outfit is maternity pants, normal turtleneck and sweater
Stretch marks? still none *fingers crossed*
Sleep: Poor to middlin’. Crazy dreams and hip sockets that like to pull out of joint are the issues.
Best moment this week: Getting started on our home remodel – this might actually be done before baby arrives!
Miss Anything? Coffee is back in – mostly in the decaf version but it doesn’t make me gag anymore! I’m missing wine still and I missed national margarita day.. so sad!
Movement: I’m still not sure about feeling movements but it seems the baby has changed positions by the shape of my belly!
Food cravings: Still salads – probably the best part of my meal at Outback this weekend! Also chocolate.
Anything making you queasy or sick: The smell of onions and smoke.
Have you started to show yet: Yup! And I think its getting a bit more obvious?
Gender prediction: I really have no idea but we find out on Friday! You can cast your vote until Thursday night for your prediction here!  So far it seems to be a 50/50 race.
Pregnancy Symptoms: Just pregnancy rhinitis and the tell-tale belly!
Belly Button in or out? Still an innie!
Happy or Moody? I think I’ve been less moody and more happy… I think… 
Weekly Thoughts: Holy crow I’m 4.5 months pregnant!  Where did the time go??
Looking forward to: Finding out the gender at our appointment Friday afternoon!  This baby better be ready to cooperate for momma!


Shhh… Don’t Tell!

I think one of the first things that goes through your mind when you find out you are pregnant is:

“When should we tell everyone?!”

This also goes beyond the “Who should we tell first?” question and into the “Who needs to be told first so they don’t stop speaking to us for the rest of our lives?” territory. That alone can cause some anxiety.  We didn’t struggle with the who to tell first question but did struggle with the when part.  A lot of people wait 3 months to break the news – until they are out of the “danger zone.”  If you are friends with me on Facebook, you know we shared the good news at approximately 6 weeks – after we had our first ultrasound and a confirmed heartbeat. We did have some scares in that first trimester though and it made me nervous that everyone knew. Truth be told, I still get nervous about a week prior to my monthly OB visit until we hear the heartbeat.  That’s normal… right?

But I think what gives me even more anxiety than the when to tell family & friends question is:

“When should I tell my work?!”

Some of you can maybe relate to that anxiety.  Some of you probably never gave it a second thought. And some of you may be wondering how in the world my work doesn’t know at this point when I’ve clearly got a “bump” going on… Well to answer that question, I work from home for a company that contracts with hospitals.  So while I am nice and cozy in my TN home, I’m working for a company out of FL, doing work for a hospital in MO.  Follow me?  The people I work for do not see me on a regular basis if ever.  I also work my schedule around appointments and haven’t used any time off as of yet.  It has been convenient but here’s where the anxiety sets in…

Since I’m a contracted employee the hospital can decide at any moment to let me go for no reason needed at all. I will still have a job with my company but getting put on another assignment could mean going back on the road every other week to another hospital assignment.

The hospital I’m currently working for could decide they don’t want to deal with my pregnancy and let me go now in order to get someone else on board to train, etc. Or they could keep me until I go on maternity leave and then say ok you’re done. Or they could be super awesome and work with me through all of it. I just don’t know. I know I need to say something soon but anytime I start to compose an email to the appropriate parties I just freeze up!

I know my work allows for 6 weeks unpaid maternity leave even though they technically don’t have to per the federal requirements.  I don’t know if they allow for you to extend that. I was smart enough to add the short term disability insurance last year (it was a new benefit offered) but I have no idea if they will keep that benefit this year and we sign up  in June.. baby is due in July… yeah we could potentially be looking at NO PAY for those 6 weeks aside from the roughly 2 weeks of PTO I will hopefully have saved up by taking NO time off this year until the baby is born

As much as I love the US of A, this is one area where we fall extremely short – maternity leave. 

As of 2012, the US is one of only 3 countries worldwide (out of 178 studied) that offers no paid maternity leave. Yup we rank just just above Papua New Guinea and Swaziland. {uhm…where?!}   Compare us to Pakistan that provides 12 weeks paid maternity leave… 12!  I do not want to live in Pakistan but come on now, the US is supposed to be a world leader – not a country struggling to compete with 3rd world countries! I could get into the many reasons why maternity leave is important for momma and baby but this post is long enough!  (I suggest Googling a bit to find the studies if you want more info) Now before I get barraged with comments saying there is no way companies could survive… I ask you one question:

How does the rest of the world provide paid maternity leave if it is so impossible?

Oh how I could go on and on about this topic!  I will just ask you other mommies out there to share… When did you tell your employer? How long was your leave? Was it paid/unpaid/mixture? Is there anything you would have done differently regarding your maternity leave?


Hump Day Bump Day: Week 17

week 17

How far along? 17 Weeks, 3 Days
Maternity clothes? no getting around it – at least when it comes to pants!
Stretch marks? still none *fingers crossed*
Sleep: I wake up a bazillion times a night either to pee or turn to the other side because my ear is hurting and my hips are numb. I’m also having more dreams. 
Best moment this week: Visit from my parents and Grandpa S who came down to visit us from Michigan.  It was great to see them!
Miss Anything? Coffee… and wine.  I missed national wine day this week!!
Movement: I’ve felt what I think are movements a few times but still waiting for that definitive kick!
Food cravings: Salads and fruits. Jersey Mike’s turkey sub with lettuce and oil & vinegar.
Anything making you queasy or sick: sinus drainage.. pregnancy rhinitis and nosebleeds are not fun
Have you started to show yet: Yup!
Gender prediction: Maybe a boy? Just a week and half left until we find out! what do you think I’m having?
Labor Signs: None yet… yay!
Belly Button in or out? Innie!
Happy or Moody? Sleepy. Oh wait, that’s not a choice? Well I’m making it one!
Weekly Thoughts: Why do maternity clothes so often come in horizontal stripes? (see above pic)  As if we don’t already feel huge!  Dear maternity designers – stop it!
Looking forward to: Getting started on the nursery!  We bought the crib this week and I can’t wait to find out the gender to complete the paint and linen choices!


Poo Poo

Ok people, let’s talk diapers. 

How in the world do you decide what brand, what sizes, where do you get coupons, cloth vs. disposable, etc?  I know baby is still 5 months away but we would really like to start stocking up Diaper Cakeon diapers now. You know, when we both still have full-time incomes coming in? 

So let’s discuss…

Disposables – obviously these are very easy and convenient. You can buy them anywhere as you go along, its quick cleanup, and should we need daycare disposables are more widely accepted.  Some argue they keep the leaks and rashes to a minimum while others claim cloth is the way to go for that.  You have less laundry to do – unless they truly do cause more leaks and blowouts, then that point is arguable. The biggest downfalls are the impact on the environment and the cost.

Cloth – a little more work but definitely the eco friendly option here.  Cloth diapers have come a long way and come in multiple colors and sizes and even have snaps or velcro closures instead of the dreaded diaper pins. The cleanup process is slightly more involved and you definitely have to do a few more loads of laundry each week.  You will generally still use a few disposables anytime you go on a trip – especially if you don’t have access to laundry facilities. There are some that argue the natural cloth Thirsties Cloth Diapercauses less rashes and the absorbent material prevents leaks and blowout.  It is said that cloth diapers also help children potty train earlier. The biggest downfalls here are the upfront costs and the extra time and effort it can take.

I mentioned costs in the downfall category for both options.  One is more expensive up front and the other is more expensive over the long run. I’ve read a couple cost comparisons here and here.  One estimates the cost of disposables at around $1,100 for the first year and the cost of cloth around $750. The other site estimates the cost of disposables at about $1,250 for two years and cloth $400-730 depending on brand.  I have a feeling the true costs would be somwhere in the middle depending on coupons, sales, and actual number of diapers needed per day.  The biggest savings comes if you plan to have 2 or more kids because with cloth you already have all the diapers and you basically only pay for the extra water and energy costs from washing.  That’s right, no more diaper costs after kid numero uno!

So all that being said, I still don’t know what we are going to do! 

All you mommas out there – which option did you choose?  Any advice for a first time momma?


Hump Day Bump Day: Week 16

What a difference daylight and a window make!

How far along? 16 Weeks, 3 Days
Maternity clothes? Ahem above outfit is completely maternity!
Stretch marks? No.. hoping it stays that way
Sleep: Oh the joys of an extra long, giant pillow! This was my most recent and best purchase and I’ve definitely been sleeping better since having it! Also the rib pains are starting to disappear – yay!
Best moment this week: The phone call saying our Quad Screen results came back with no abnormal indicators.  Since we are both older and I’ve had radiation treatments we thought the advance testing was a good idea.
Miss Anything? Coffee still… the hubs decided to torture me on Sunday by brewing his cup while I was working upstairs.
Movement: Not that I’ve noticed this week.. still pretty sure I felt it last week though!
Food cravings: Salads.  To the point of wanting to go to Outback just to have their salad.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Coffee.. and Honey Bunches of Oats
Have you started to show yet: Yup!
Gender prediction: I’m still feeling it’s a girl.. what do you think?
Labor Signs: None yet… and hopefully not for a good long while.
Belly Button in or out? Innie!
Happy or Moody? Hubby would still probably say moody..
Weekly Thoughts:  Goodness baby crap stuff is expensive!  And how does one really compare cribs when the options in stores here are limited and online is pretty much the only option?
Looking forward to:  My parents and Grandpa S coming to visit this weekend and.. Less than 2 weeks to go until we hopefully find out Baby H’s gender!


Follow The Rainbow


Look at all the pretty colors! 

If you have thyroid issues you may recognize one or more of the above prescriptions.  This is the assortment of replacement thyroid hormone doses I’ve been on in the last 9 months. Let me tell you, its no fun.  Since my radiation treatment I’ve had my medication dose monitored every 6 months as well as my tumor markers.  Now that I’m pregnant I have to have these monitored monthly.  Since I’m less than 5 years from my initial treatment I’m still under active cancer surveillance which is a little more than nerve wracking when you have a baby on board!

Four months into pregnancy and I’ve had my med dosage increased twice. This is fairly normal from what I’ve been told but it is critical that mom and baby have sufficient supplementation over these months as we both grow.  That means in addition to my monthly OB appointments, I have monthly Endo appointments.  I also have monthly blood draws to monitor my TSH, T3, T4 and the all important tumor marker TG.  Every month I wait anxiously for the call that says my tumor markers are still undetectable and for the verdict on a new dose of hormone.  This month alone I have an Endo appointment with blood draw, OB blood draw, neck ultrasound appointment, 2nd Endo blood draw, and the most anxiously awaited OB anatomy ultrasound appointment.  That’s a lot to deal with.

But… if it means that we can have a healthy pregnancy for momma and baby, it is perfect.  I know as we get further along in the pregnancy the appointments will increase and I welcome that.  It means an even closer watch and more opportunities for reassurance.  Instead of looking at these appointments with fear or dread I will welcome them and be thankful.

I am well. Baby is well. We are blessed.


Hump Day Bump Day: Week 15

I know you’ve been anxiously awaiting this next pic right?  I’m going to try to post the bump pics weekly on Wednesdays just to give hump day some fun.  I also saw the HDBD title on TheBump and I thought it was cute.. yeah I’m not so original on that one.  I also saw the stats thing on a cute little blog and thought it would be a fun idea to keep my family in MI updated on the week to week deets of the pregnancy.

A couple of notes.. we need to start doing our photo shoots in natural light because our apartment lighting is terribly yellow and shadowy.  Also I won’t look so tired earlier in the day I think!  And the board I’m writing on?  It’s a chalkboard/dry erase board easel from IKEA and will be used in Baby H’s room once he/she gets a little bigger. So cute!


How far along? 15 Weeks, 3 Days
Maternity clothes? I’ve invested in a few jeans and some leggings and just recently a few tops! Still mixing in my regular clothes though the regular pants have been retired for the duration.
Stretch marks? No.. hoping it stays that way
Sleep: I could use a nap in the afternoons and at night I’m tossing and turning mostly due to stabbing rib pains from a muscle strain/costochondritis/cracked rib I attained from being sick with the virus that was going around.. go me!
Best moment this week: Hearing baby’s heartbeat at my OB appt
Miss Anything? Coffee, coffee, and coffee.. I know its not completely forboden but we aren’t taking any chances!  Also? It makes me sick. Sigh… oh I could use a glass of wine or two right now too!
Movement: YES! I felt some kicking just yesterday for the first time and have heard the blurps on the doppler from movement when in the office. Daddy thinks he’s felt baby too..I think he’s felt gas bubbles
Food cravings: fruit, frozen yogurt, movie popcorn
Anything making you queasy or sick: Coffee.. its so very sad
Have you started to show yet: Yes.. finally seeing more of a bump than frump
Gender prediction: I’m feeling it’s a girl.. what do you think?
Labor Signs: None yet
Belly Button in or out? Innie
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or Moody most of the time: Hubby would probably say moody.. we will go with that as its probably the more truthful answer
Weekly Wisdom: Its better to eat when feeling hungry or I end up being queasy all day long. It’s also the perfect excuse for why the run to frozen yogurt shop at random moments in necessary.
Looking forward to: Warmer weather and finding out if baby H is a boy or girl!


Boy or Girl?

Since we found out I was pregnant the burning question has been: is it a boy or a girl? 

We truly have no preference – I know everyone says that but we really mean it!  It was such a big question mark if having kids would even be possible that we feel blessed to have this opportunity.  BUT… it still seems to be the topic of conversation among everyone else! 

ckYes we WILL be finding out if it’s a boy/girl – hopefully at my next appointment one month from today!  So I thought it might be fun to do a poll to see what everyone’s guesses are. 

To make it easier on you, here are some stats:

Baby heart rate: 1st visit 151, 2nd visit 170, 3rd visit 150
Thebump.com’s Chinese Gender calendar says: Boy
My bump at 14 weeks 3 days looked like this: ----->
Cravings: fruits, crab rangoons, movie popcorn

To make it difficult I’m keeping my gut feeling to myself!

So what are your thoughts… is it a boy… or is it a girl?

Happy Guessing!

Boy or Girl?