Thursday, April 7, 2016

Bumpdate~ Weeks 22 & 23

Week 22: (March 23-29)

Me this week-
For the start of week 22, I was on spring break; hooray! Being out of work was a much welcomed break! Even keeping busy at home was nicer than a day at school because I could be on my own time, pace myself, take breaks when I wanted, and drink tons of water because I could run to pee whenever needed! No one was calling my name 500x a day and I could lounge in PJs allllll day. It was almost a tease because for a few moments (or days) I forgot I had to go back to work for 3 more months- hehe, wooops!  I spent a few days of break packing up different areas of the house (don't worry, I didn't lift a thing... packing & filling boxes is the easy part and something I actually don't mind doing). Ironically we ran into some possible bumps in the house selling department on the day I packed up the most, but we are hopeful things are still okay and moving forward. No more on that until things are finally/hopefully set in stone... grr. 

While packing up, I decided to finally wash off the chalkboard wall too. It's in our stairwell heading to the basement and is something I put up for Scott's 30th birthday party, 3 years ago. LOTS of people have signed it over the last 3 years but it was time to be washed off. We'll have a new one eventually. ;)

We had a fetal echocardiogram this week with the high risk Dr. at our OB office. Essentially it's a closer look at baby's heart to determine if there are any risks/defects/things to worry about. We only needed this test because of IVF and were automatically flagged for this test bc of our label. IF there were to be a birth defect, it would typically be a heart defect. I guess there's something like a 1% increase in chance of a heart issue in IVF babies. We didn't mind having the test because a closer look certainly can't hurt, and also because it's simply an ultrasound test. VIP status to us! We love ultrasounds (who doesn't love seeing their baby on screen!?). It was essentially a repeat of the anatomy scan and we got the same tech as the scan last month for the gender/anatomy scan. She breezed through everything and we were just happy to see Bee again. It's so amazing seeing your baby (on screen, in action) and getting little photo printouts. We are SOOOO in love with him, it's incredible. During the scan, the tech mentioned how Bee had some pretty serious arm muscles, and that a fetus was putting her to shame. haha! :) I made a joke about Bee coming to Zumba with me and that he was getting a good workout each week! ;) You'll see in his ultrasound pics below that there was a pretty sweet arm shot. Our little munchkin is strong already!

The heart test was all via ultrasound too and was just an up close scan of different parts of the heart to make sure everything was functioning properly. The Dr. said everything was perfect and was impressed at how nicely everything looked. That was music to our ears, of course, and what every parent wants to hear. He told us we were graduating because everything looked great and he had no reason to see us again. Of course we were semi bummed because we really like the guy, so add it to the bittersweet moments of moving past different hurdles along the way (graduating from the fertility clinic, graduating from the high risk Dr, etc.). Scott told him we will be back some day for baby # 2 and the Dr. was like "Well, sometimes couples facing infertility end up having better luck and conceive naturally the next time, so you never know!". We appreciated his positive words but laughed and said "Not us, we'll be back. In our case, if that happens naturally, we are making headlines and Drs will want to know what happened!" hehe. :) Plus I will no doubt be 35+ for our next pregnancy so we will have to see him anyway. We are so lucky to have worked with such great people as our specialty doctors along the way.

Easter was that weekend and FINALLY we got to turn it into a good thing again. 2 years ago, we announced to our families on Easter weekend that we were pregnant, only to miscarry a week later. Last year, we had our 6th and last IUI cycle on Easter, resulting in another negative pregnancy test. This year it was nice to finally have the comfort of Bee with us. <3

I also had the joy of writing my maternity leave request letter this week!! Eeek!! It was a total moment of "Is this really happening?!" It was very exciting to write AND to submit at school. The plan is to take off the first half of the school year and return in mid-Febrary. It ends up being just over half of the school year. Call me crazy but I'm already dreading going back and know it'll be hard to do so, but I tried to plan it so that I only go back for about 6 week spans and then there are breaks built in (spring break, Memorial Day, then summer).

Shutterfly ran a promo this week for a free 8"x8" book, which I totally took advantage of.  I made a book of Bee's gender reveal, covering our whole weekend of reveals to family and friends. I can't wait to get going on my pregnancy book, too. That will likely be my longest book ever so I need to get going on it soon before I fall too far behind and have too much to catch up on! Ideally I'd also love to print out our blog posts too and keep it in a binder so we have our story all in one place physically. It's nice having a website but what happens in the future? It'd be nice to easily access every post and all info for Bee and possibly a potential sibling some day.

I think I've mentioned before (or at least posted a pic of two, maybe not?) that one of my childhood friends is also pregnant!! Kortney & I met in kindergarten and have been friends ever since. We went to school together all the way through high school and now are 7 weeks apart. She is 7 weeks ahead and due in early June. I've always wanted to experience pregnancy with a friend and it's been fun to compare notes and have someone to smile and laugh about it with!! :) Love you, Kort! xoxo

Me at 18 weeks, Kortney at 25 weeks 
Me at 22 weeks, Kortney at 29 weeks

While packing up some things, I came across some realllllly old and cute pics of Scott & I... Had to share!!!!! :) :) :) :) :)

Us, circa 1999, and me giving Scott a piggy-back ride! I WILL do this again some day! ;) 
Look at those babies!! :) <3 xoxo
 Some sweet, totally unexpected, gifts showed up this week for Bee! :) We love gifts "just because"!! Thank you, Cousin Jenn, and Grandma Ricci! My cousin, Jenn, sent the stuffed bee (and baby bee hat!!) and Scott's mom sent the outfits. So cute!!! :)

Symptoms & stuff this week-
Pretty much same as before. Occasional heartburn (nothing crazy and nothing a Tums can't fix). Occasional aches in my hips/hip joints at night (but stretching helps and I usually am fine on Zumba days). Overall still feeling Great!!!

Leaving you with one last 22-week bump shot. :)

Bee this week-
Sweet Baby Bee is the size of a papaya! 
He is about 10.5 inches (or more) and about a pound! 
At our ultrasound, they said he was 1lb2oz! Eeek!! Little peanut!! :) 
Bee is looking more and more like a newborn.
Bee is sleeping in cycles- about 12-14 hours a day (I'm surprised it's not way more!).
Bee is kicking and moving around every day. And I absolutely LOVE it!

Baby Bee's ultrasound shots. Top left is an arm pic, top right is a profile of his head and belly, and the bottom is a 3D image of his sweet face! I have to admit, I've never liked the 3D images. I've always thought they are pretty creepy and have never wanted one. But when the Dr came in to read the results and go over things quickly, he turned the machine on to 3D for a min and we were able to see our boy! The pics don't do it justice, the live image on the screen, of YOUR child, is AMAZING. We were smitten. He was so darn cute!! He apparently likes to sleep with his arm in front of his face a lot (both ultrasounds so far), just like his mama! ;) I envision naps together in the future. haha!

Hand over his face while asleep. <3
Some quotes about pregnancy....

I've been getting super emotional and weepy about this experience flying by. And also for the girls who have yet to experience this miracle. I've always wanted to experience pregnancy and I'm incredibly grateful for the chance to do so. It's truly amazing. I just can't believe how fast it's going. I spent a lot of the first 12 weeks wanting each step to come quickly, each new appointment to have positive results and to safely hit the 12-week mark. Then when we got there and finally announced, it started to fly. It's hard to put into words how much I love this and how wonderful it is. But through it all I sometimes feel a tiny pang of guilt because there are still so many women out there who are fighting for their chance at pregnancy or motherhood. I want so badly for us all to have no troubles and for it to be easy for everyone. I'm extremely blessed and thankful we've gotten this chance and have gotten this far, but it still makes me think of them on a daily basis and I hope I can inspire at least a small percentage of them to never give up. 

A 50% off deal I got after Easter... Saving it for Bee for next year! It also sparked up a cute convo with the cashier about how wonderful boys are and their bonds with their mamas. She also told me not to listen to the bad labor stories because everyone makes it through and once they place baby in our arms it will all wash away. It made me teary and happy all at once! <3

Week 23: (March 30- April 5)

Me this week-
I was back to school this week and finally started to FEEL pregnant!! Woa! Big difference for me all of a sudden! haha! Up until now it was kind of like normal me with a belly. I would forget at times that I was pregnant and had restrictions because of it (you should be careful with ___, you shouldn't do _____, etc.). This week I finally was like "Wowwwww, stairs are hard to walk up!" haha! Even a single flight of stairs feels like climbing a mountain at times and makes me very tired. I still go to Zumba 2x a week and thankfully that's helping me in so many areas but it's still getting hard in some ways. Moving in bed and/or getting up off the couch are comical at times. :) It's all fun, just takes some getting used to sometimes when you're used to moving quickly and easily in different ways. It makes me laugh. :)

It SNOWED this week... After being almost 80 degrees 2 days prior. What?! The trees and flowers had all started to bloom finally, out of nowhere, and looked BEAUTIFUL. Then the temps dropped almost 50 degrees and it snowed a few inches. Goodbye beautiful spring blooms and hello spring tease. Now I fear all the spring beauty will die off and be over already. Spring is my fav and it's always so short-lived as it is. It all lasted maybe 3-5 days before getting frozen and dried up again. Boo!
Literally 2 days before it snowed... RIP beautiful flower!

We were also initially supposed to go on a babymoon this past weekend to Disney.  A babymoon is like a honeymoon, but a little getaway before baby arrives. We had finally gotten lucky with vacancy at the Polynesian resort, where we've always wanted to stay. Disney Vacation Club finally opened up villas there and we were excited to stay there, even if just for a quick weekend. But with the threat/spread of the Zika virus and so many unknowns/risks, we decided to cancel the trip. I don't regret why we canceled, not one bit, I could never live with myself thinking we put Bee in any possible danger by putting a vacation ahead of him. Our OB strongly agreed, even just a trip to Florida, but being such a touristy spot for people all over the world, there was no way we could justify going. I am glad we canceled and some day Bee will be with us on a family trip. As my sister-in-law, Stacie, keeps saying lately, #RicciPartyof3... love it.  :)

This made us feel MUCH better for canceling, too. Keep me in a bubble until the end of July, PLEASE!! 

Symptoms this week-
Kind of the same again, mostly just a few minor things here and there. My feet did start to swell up on Thursday and Friday last week, but both days were VERY warm (70s). My classroom has no fresh air flow so it was easily 80 in my room. That. combined with being on my feet most of the day as a teacher, and probably not drinking enough, and maybe even my shoes, made a great combo for swollen feet both days. Friday night I was happily resting them on the couch and they were back to normal Saturday morning. Yay! I've heard watermelon and applesauce (obviously in addition to water) are good aids for swelling so I will happily try both! :)

One fun fact is that I've been asked to be featured in/participate in blogs of 2 fellow bloggers for National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW), which is at the end of April. The theme of NIAW this year is #StartAsking and the goal is obviously to spread awareness. I'm excited to share our story as well as a spin on male factor infertility, which I feel is often under-represented or not talked about much. I've had a hard time finding couples in our situation (guy/girl couples using a sperm donor) and I want to help raise awareness and help others realize it's okay and there's nothing to be ashamed of. Anyway, more on that at the end of the month, but it's something I'm pretty pumped about! 

 I realized this week that I had on the same outfit as a month prior, and once I took the side belly shot I realized I had the same pic from a month ago and had to make this comparison! How fun! What a difference 4 weeks makes! :)

More "just because" gifts!! This one from Auntie Stacie! :) THANK YOU!!! <3

I lovvvvvve resting with my hand on my belly. Love, love, love, love it.

Bee this week-
Little Man is the size of a grapefruit this week!
10.5'-11.8' and 1-1.5 pounds!
Bee's face is fully formed now, he just needs to fatten it up.
Bee is listening to my voice and heartbeat- soooo cool to think about!! :)

Bee is kicking A LOT more. I actually saw my belly move for the first time on Friday night!! It took me by surprise and was out of nowhere but once I noticed the sudden shake of my belly, I was like "WOA!!". Of course Scott had ran out to pick up dinner for us and missed it by like 5 mins, but I was excited that if I could see it, maybe he could finally feel it. I tried putting his hand on my belly a few times when Bee would move/kick, but nothing. Nothing. Nothing. I felt so bad and figured Bee was just playing tricks on Daddy. Maybe he sensed Scott's hand was there and it was more of a calm than a sign to kick. :) hehe. But then finally on Sunday night, Scott felt one!! Just one, but it was one! :) Instead of asking "Did you feel it?!", I watched his face each time I felt one and that one time, his face changed. He asked if that was it and I smiled. Yay! :) Baby steps... er, kicks. :) :) :)

Feeling so incredibly blessed to have made it this far. Keep growing and kicking, Baby Bee!! We are just shy of  4 months away from meeting you and can't wait (but yet, we can, because we are loving every minute of this)!! We love you so so much!! 

Thanks to all of YOU for sharing along in our journey and following our bumpdates. 

Lots of love,

Stace & Bee 

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