Sunday, December 19, 2010

5 Week Update

I was meaning to do a post at the one month mark, but it never got done. So, I will do the 5 week update :). Time is really flying, and I can't believe Jack is 5 weeks old today. It is so amazing to see how much he has developed in such a short period of time and really developed a personality. Since coming home he has been an amazing sleeper. He sleeps for at least 4.5-5 hours once we put him down, but last night he made it 7 hours. We have been completely blessed that he does not wake up every two hours like I know some babies do. During the day he still naps a lot, but he spends significantly more time awake than he used to. I have to say, though, he can be a little bit of a fussy baby. I think he's plagued with a bit of colic, because he is a gassy guy that will tell you he's not happy. I was home alone with Jack one night while Jonathan was at work, and I sent Jonathan this picture. It looks like he's going to burst a blood Poor Izzy must ask herself every day who this new loud person is and how long he's staying :). Izzy hides out under the covers usually when Jack is screaming.

Luckily Jack doesn't spend all of his time screaming, and we get to enjoy how truly adorable he is when he's just lounging around the apartment. He follows things with his eyes a lot more now, and he will watch me walk around the room. Here he is on the couch watching me clean the living room up:

He also loves to watch tv, and I'm assuming it's because of all the flashing lights. Here he is watching tv with Jonathan:

This week we were also so excited to see Jack's first voluntary smile. He practices smiling in his sleep a lot and will accidentally smile at times, but this is the first time that he would smile in reaction to something. I was talking to him while he was in the swing, and he kept smiling at me. Jonathan came in and started talking to him holding the camera up. It took us a few times to catch it on camera, but we got it. His cute face makes my heart melt.

I can't help but share one last photo, because it's just too cute! Jack is actually a lover of bath time, and he is one happy baby during and after baths. Here's his cute self being dried off:

I realized how fast the time goes and how quickly babies grow when I visited a friend who just had a baby a few days ago. Her baby was only an ounce heavier than Jack when he was born. We went to go visit, and her baby was sooo tiny. I couldn't believe that was how small Jack was a mere month ago. He looked huge next to such a new baby. I guess just seeing him everyday, I don't realize how big he's getting. It was good confirmation that he is definitely eating enough.

Oh, and one last thing is that our poor Jack is experiencing some male pattern baldness. In earlier pictures of him he was actually born with a full head of hair. Though thin and blonde, he did have hair. Now he has lost the hair on the top of his head, but it has stayed put in a horseshoe pattern so far everywhere else. I read it's normal and we can expect he will have his hair again by the 6 month mark. I keep getting blinding glares off the top of his head when I use the flash...haha.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Our Birth Story and First Week with Jackson aka: Jack

So I have been absolutely terrible in updating the blog to share the story of the birth of little Jackson, but I finally got a chance to sit down with an alert mind to get it together :). It was a whirlwind of a delivery experience and did not turn out anything like I had planned it to be, but we feel so blessed to have a healthy baby boy with us now.

On Saturday November 13th at 10 am. I went to triage in the morning due to having really itchy feet and hands for the past few nights to the extent that I couldn't sleep. I know it sounds kind of weird that I would be concerned about my hands and feet when you would think most of your attention would go to the belly. Well, there's a condition called pregnancy induced coleostasis that can have a negative impact on your pregnancy (I won't get into the finer details of the diagnosis). So, I went to the hospital just to check in, and I was 40 weeks and 3 days pregnant at this point. They put me on the fetal monitor and had me describe my symptoms. After about an hour my mom and I were getting ready to leave the hospital, and the midwife came in and told me the chief resident of the ObGyn unit wanted to talk to me before I left, because they felt I should be induced considering my symptoms and how far along I was. As everyone knows from previous blogs, I was trying to go all natural for the birth, and this did not fit into my plan. I called Jonathan to come down to the hospital to talk about our options. When he got there, the chief resident talked about the risks of leaving without doing an induction, and we decided the induction was the best decision. So, we went home to pick up our belongings and came back to the Birthing Center to get started. The picture above is the last pregnant photo of me smiling not in pain before leaving to go back to the hospital.

They gave me a pill to prepare my body and said it could take up to 72 hours to get things started so I should sit back and relax. Well, my body kicked into labor about 2 hours after taking the pill, so I must have been ready to go soon on my own. Contractions started off manageable and Jonathan and I walked the halls of the hospital. I felt like I had it under control and we would still have our natural birth. About 2 hours into pretty good contractions, they came and told us that I would have to go to the high risk unit since they drew blood and found that I had severe preeclampsia and the possible coleostasis. This meant no birthing tub or freedom to move around outside of the bed for natural pain management. I was going to have to stay in the bed the whole labor and be given pitocin to get things moving along. Well, I labored unmedicated on a pitocin induced labor for approximately 15 more hours. My contractions were coming a minute apart and were excruciating, but everyone was convinced I was almost to the point of pushing. I thought I could make it just a little bit longer if I was close. I was examined, and they said that my body had failed to progress and I was sticking at 4 cm. The midwife recommended an epidural due to 17 hours of labor and to calm me down to see if my body would progress. 2 hours and 2 epidurals later (the first one didn't work), I had only progressed 3/4 cm, and Jackson's heart rate was dropping after every contraction, so they determined that we needed to do a c-section.

They wheeled me in to prep me for surgery, and Jonathan and our doula got all dressed up in their special surgery gowns. The doula took pictures and a video for us during the c-section so that Jonathan could talk to me. I felt like I was going to fall asleep but fought hard to stay awake so I could hear his first cries. Jackson "Jack" Steven Nichols was born on November 14, 2010 at 3:28 p.m. He was 7 lbs. 14 oz. and 20 3/4 in. long. I heard him cry, and Jonathan told me to tell everyone his name. Everyone was asking us throughout the labor, and we said we would announce it when he was born. They cleaned him up and did his Apgars, and they held him up to my face so I could see him. Jonathan went with him to recovery, and they stitched me up, where I fell asleep for at least half of it. I was hooked up to an anti-seizure medication for 24 hours post delivery due to the preeclampsia and only able to eat clear fluids/drinks. We were finally discharged from the hospital on Wednesday November 17th. Overall, everyone at the hospital was so great, and we really enjoyed working with them. The time we had at the hospital gave us a great chance to learn some of the things that come along with caring for a newborn. I think if we went home right away we would have been overwhelmed a bit by reacting to his late, late night fussiness and how to meet his needs in the first few days.
When we first arrived home my parents were in town until Sunday. They helped with getting any extra baby items while we tried to get some rest and took Jack to his first pediatrician appointment. He had a little bit of jaundice but nothing to be too concerned about. Right now Jack's life consists of eating A LOT, sleeping, and going to the bathroom. A few days ago we put him onto his playmat for tummy time, and he rolled himself over from his front to his back since he doesn't really like being on his stomach much. He's very advanced ;)! We are probably the luckiest people alive, and I almost hate to say this like I might jinx myself, but he is an amazing sleeper at night. He started off waking up on his own every 3-4 hours, then we set our alarm to wake him up every 3-4 hours, and last night he slept through the night! He slept through the night at 8 days old...pretty amazing. We thought he would wake us up, but he didn't, so we're going to have to go back to waking him up to make sure he eats enough. We've had a bunch of appointments to go to, and he's really great travelling in the car too.
One of the things I was most excited about is that we had newborn photos taken this morning. Some of them were so cute I almost threw up :). We got some of his little nudey booty with these cute hats on, and a few family pictures. The photographer said she would have them edited in about a week, so I will try to put some up here when we get them. He was a good sport during the photos, but he was so over it at the end when we tried to get some of him and me. Oh well!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Reflecting on the Past 40 Weeks

So we have officially hit the 40 week pregnant mark...the due date yet still no baby. I've been told by many people that it can be disappointing but a whole lot of people see the due date come and go. I'm sooo ready for this little guy to come, but the time really has gone pretty quickly. Lately I've been thinking back to the whirlwind of the past 40 weeks and how amazing this whole experience has been. At what was the 4 week and 2 days along point I tested positive on a pregnancy test. Jonathan was away for the weekend at National Guard training. I had been feeling a little bit different, and I was at Target so I figured I would get a test...what the heck, right? I was so excited to do it that I took the test while I was still at I told Jonathan by text message with a picture of the test, and he responded back by text 2 hours later since he was in and out of signal. The next week we went down to Memphis for a wedding, and I was questioned by a few people about being pregnant since I wasn't drinking anything at a bachelorette party.

At 8 weeks and 4 days pregnant I was at work and thought that I was having a miscarriage. I left work crying and went to the doctor. By my surprise and feelings of amazing good luck, our baby was fine. I guess 25-30% of people have symptoms of miscarriage while only 50% of those people actually have one. This incident of quickly leaving work is how I told my supervisor that I was pregnant. Not really the way that you want to go about telling people, but it prevented any apprehension or nerves about her reaction when I told her. The whole first trimester consisted of minor problems that sent me to the doctor more often than most people go, but obviously this guy is a survivor. I guess some of these problems were payback for the fact that I didn't really have terrible morning sickness like so many other people do :).

The whole second trimester was pretty smooth sailing. I look back at pictures I took of myself at the time where I thought I had this huge belly and it basically looks like I had a big lunch. In this picture I was 13 weeks pregnant and thought I had this obvious pregnant belly and was so excited to be wearing a maternity How your perspective changes once the belly has really taken over. I loved the second trimester, because people just start to ask with confidence when you are expecting, and I had finally come out of the fatigue haze of the first trimester and could actually stay awake past 6 p.m. At about 17 weeks I could feel the first little hint of movement, but you still question for a week or two if it really was movement or if your burrito settled weird in your stomach...haha. At 21 weeks we had the opportunity to find out the gender of the baby. The whole time leading up to that Jonathan was adamant that we would not find out the gender of the baby and that it would be more fun as a surprise. I really wanted to find out, because I'm not totally into surprises and would rather be able to plan appropriately. A week before the ultrasound where we could find out gender, Jonathan was away at National Guard Special Forces Selection and he texted me saying he was excited and we should find out the gender. So that next week we found out we were having a boy! Initially, I had hopes for a girl, but now I am flooded with relief that I don't have to worry about braiding hair and doing all the girlie things that I'm quite honestly not that good at. I can just slap some pomade in our boy's hair, stick him in a t-shirt and jeans, and he's good to go. My kind of morning time routine in the future!!

This third trimester has been so fun, because I feel like Jonathan has gotten to be more of an active participant. It was so nice to reach the point where he could see and feel the baby move around. His excitement has grown more and more throughout the third trimester, because I think that's when it becomes more real. A bigger stomach, a foot sticking out of my side, and my stomach jumping are good indicators that this is the real deal :). There are also so many decisions to make about medical care for the baby, natural vs. medicated births, whether they will sleep in your room or not, and so on and so on that it has been really fun making those decisions together as a couple. We don't always agree on everything, but we've really been able to compromise based on what is most important to each of us.

So like I said, as of today I am 40 weeks pregnant! As of two days ago I started sleeping on the couch instead of in bed. For some reason I get much better sleep there. Instead of waking up 1-2 times an hour, I wake up every 2-3 hours, which really does make a difference in your energy level the next day. It makes me sad to not sleep in bed with Jonathan, but Izzy loves it since she has completely taken over my side of the bed. I have been drinking Red Raspberry Leaf tea and taking Evening Primrose Oil tablets, which allegedly help get things moving along. I sit on my exercise ball every night trying to bounce the baby out, and I get on my hand and knees numerous times per night trying to get the baby in the optimal fetal position. No luck so far, but the baby can't stay in there forever! We have several meals cooked or purchased and in the freezer for after we come home. The nursery is finished besides a few decorative touches, and the pack n play is in our room so the baby can sleep next to us for a little while. We also put the car seat bases in both cars, and I'm driving around with the car seat in my car. Now it's just the waiting game.

Last night we put vinyl art fish on the wall. It adds a lot of color to the room without being afraid something's going to fall off the wall over his crib.

How far along: 40 weeks!
Sleep: Not so great. I'm sleeping on the couch now, because the firmness and support of the back of the couch seems to help me get longer periods of sleep without waking up.
Best moment this week: Besides the usual fun of feeling the baby, I was really excited to get an infant photographer lined up for after he is born to take cute newborn photos!
Movement: It's definitely more rolling and quick jabs or a foot in my side instead of major kicks. There is also a lot of movement from one side to the other so one side of my stomach will be more elevated than the other.
Cravings: I've been back on my dairy craving again and am feeling milk crazed.
Gender: Boy!
Labor Signs: I've still been crampy, but nothing to get too excited about.
Belly Button: It's pushed out a little bit farther, but I still consider it an innie. Jonathan disagrees, but it has not "popped."
What I miss: I barely remember not being pregnant to know what to miss...haha.
What I'm looking forward to: Meeting our baby boy! It's right around the corner!!
Weekly Wisdom: Don't get caught up on the due date, because it's really a due month. He'll come out when he's ready. I'm really, really trying to focus on this!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Nearing the End

This weekend we thought there was a slight possibility of having a Halloween baby, but alas, it is now Monday and I sit here still pregnant :). I had my 38 week appointment on Friday, and my blood pressure was coming out high each of the three times that they took it. Last week the same thing happened at my 37 week appointment, and I had to go in the next day for a follow-up blood pressure check. They had some concerns about possible preeclampsia, so they hooked me up to the fetal monitor, drew some blood, and a few other tests. They wanted me to go into triage on Saturday for follow-up tests and to talk about any results on the blood work. When I asked the midwife what would happen if my levels were elevated, she told me that I would be induced. So, we prepared for the possibility that a baby may come, but I really felt confident that everything was ok. On Saturday morning I went into triage where they hooked me up to the fetal monitor again and took my blood pressure every 5 minutes for 20 minutes. They told me that all of my labs from the previous day had been fine, and we would just see how my blood pressure looked. Thankfully, I only had one ever so slightly elevated blood pressure, but nothing concerning. I was relieved walking out of the hospital, because I really want to go into labor naturally since I'm planning an unmedicated birth with our doula. I've been told by several people that when labor is induced with Pitocin it's almost inhumane to go through the labor process without an epidural. The big goal for me now is to learn how to chill out a little bit by whatever means necessary so I can keep a lower blood pressure.

I am now 38 weeks, 5 days and wearing out a bit from the lack of sleep. I wake up every hour to flip sides, and last night I was awake about 10-20 minutes each hour that I would wake up pacing around trying to relieve some of the soreness before I went back to sleep. My days at work are a bit shorter now. I normally work 9 hour days with every other Monday off, but I am starting 8 hour days with no days off during the week in preparation for maternity leave. So now I'll work 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. instead of working until 4:30 p.m. I got the hospital bag pretty much packed last night besides a few items that we will have to grab on the way out the door. Now it's just the waiting game! I had a little chat with the baby last night while sitting on the couch, and I told him that we were as ready as we'd ever be, and I thought he would really enjoy it on the outside :).

Monday, October 25, 2010

I'm Term...Unbelievable!

I'm a little behind on posting, but I'm trying to get back on track! As of today, I am 37 weeks, 5 days along...crazy! So much has happened in the past couple of weeks as we prepare for the baby. Two weeks ago I had a baby shower hosted by my sisters-in-law, the other Sarah Nichols and Amy, with the help of my sister-in-law Jayne and mother-in-law who flew out to Colorado from South Carolina just for the shower. The decorations were great and the food was amazing! I'll try to get some pictures together of that this week to post. I had such a great time with everyone that was able to come to the shower and am so thankful that they came to celebrate such an exciting time for us! I have been amazed how many people are thinking of us and supporting us through this wonderful time. We even received a gift from one of my dad's co-workers that I have never met, and all of the people at my mom's work ask her daily if we have had the baby yet!

A week ago I had my first nesting spurt and washed all of the newborn to 3 month clothes, all bedding, blankets, bibs, toys, etc. trying to make some progress in the nursery. I don't think it was a full blown bout of nesting like they talk about, because usually that comes along with an increase in energy by a usually tired pregnant woman. I was still incredibly worn out, but my desire to clean and organize was driven more by panic that I hadn't done anything yet. Whatever my drive, I still got a lot done and felt very accomplished at the end of the weekend. I was also able to finish our wedding album that same weekend. Since finding out I was pregnant, my big goal for myself was to finish our wedding album since I knew that once the baby was born it would probably never happen. I can now proudly say a year and a half into marriage that we have a wedding album! Right now it's sitting in a computer software program waiting to be ordered, but when I have the urge to order it I can :).

My last goal for myself before having the baby is to make our apartment look like a girl lives in it. We have always used Jonathan's furniture, wall art, etc. from his single days, which makes our apartment always look a little bit more like a bachelor pad. I never really minded since he has really nice furniture. Decorating is really not my thing or my first priority in life, but I really want to make our place look a little more homey before bringing home baby. Yesterday we were at Target and I made my first step in decorating by purchasing decorative pillows for the couch...not anything major but progress in the right direction. Assuming the baby stays put through next weekend, I am planning to do a picture collage on the wall either behind our couch or over the fireplace to personalize our place.

So now that we're caught up on the happenings of the past two weeks, I am very excited to say that we are almost done with the nursery. If he came today, we're ready for him! Yesterday we bought 99% blackout curtains for the nursery and hung them (well, Jonathan hung them while I supported him from a comfortable chair). Everything we need for immediate use has been washed, and we are about 75% done decorating. We ordered a humidifier last night, and all we need is a table top fan. There are a bunch of boxes with our pack n play, high chair, stroller, play mat, etc. in the corner of the room that we still need to move out, but that will be out of there in the next few days. So, here is a picture of our nearly completed masterpiece :) :

To finish everything off, I am framing a verse that I had done in vinyl art and placing it on the top shelf of the built in shelving unit in the corner of the room. We also ordered about 200 vinyl art blue and orange fish that we are going to design and put on the walls. As you can see we have gone withe a blue, green, and orange color scheme. I love blue and obviously we are having a boy, but too much blue would make me go a little nutty. Oh, I almost forgot...our cloth diaper service is delivering the first load of diapers this Friday so we can be ready for his cute little booty. We are also having our last prenatal meeting with our doula on Wednesday to talk about the birth plan for the big day.

Survey Update~
How far along: 37 weeks, 5 days
Maternity clothes: Always and bracing for the fact that I'll still need them for a little while even after the baby is born :)
Sleep: Not so great. I definitely have my good nights and my bad nights, but I have gotten really uncomfortable. I wake up almost every hour or every other hour to flip sides.
Best moment this week: I would say getting the curtains up in the nursery and the continued joy of being able to feel things like his feet through my stomach
Movement: He's definitely fallen into more of a noticeable pattern of sleep/wake cycles. When he's active his a bit of a killer on the internal organs. I've grimaced and hunched over in public a few times.
Cravings: My appetite has started to decrease a little bit. I've been craving grilled cheese a lot and cheese quesadillas.
Gender: Still a boy...unless it's a shocker at the end!
Labor Signs: He definitely feels like he's dropping causing trip after trip to the bathroom. I've been having more frequent and uncomfortable Braxton Hicks Contractions, but nothing regular or increasing in intensity yet.
Belly Button: I think I'm going to win the bet Jonathan and I have going, because it's staying put in there. It's definitely pushed out quite a bit compared to how it used to be, but it's not an outtie!
What I miss: Agility. My dream now is to run through an open field and maneuver through obstacles with ease. Instead, it takes about 5 minutes to get into Jonathan's Xterra and get out of bed. Jonathan calls it pregnancy speed.
What I'm looking forward to: I Cannot Wait to meet our little baby and see what he looks like!!! I want to snuggle him so bad and shower him with kisses.
Weekly Wisdom: People are so nice to you when you're pregnant, but they are super nice when you tell them you are due so soon.
Milestones: Reaching term and getting everything we need to make it through the first month of parenthood (I think)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Twin Day at Work

I don't know if I've mentioned this in past blogs, but one of my coworkers, Lindsay, is pregnant as well. Her due date is 8 days after mine, so it's anybody's guess who will go into labor first. When Lindsay and I found out we were pregnant, our offices were right across from each other, but now we work out of different precincts. Anyway, both of us have gotten quite a few items from Gap Maternity along the way. We have been really lucky about not showing up for work in the same outfit for the past 8 months, but today was the day we thought may happen eventually...twin day! I had that uh-oh moment when I walked in and saw her, but I have to say I laughed pretty hard when I saw this picture. People already comment on how funny we look walking next to each other and how they don't want to drink the same water as us, but we have really gotten a few looks today :). This picture marks 35 weeks, 1 day for me and 34 weeks for Lindsay. It's been really fun having someone you see most every day as your pregnant buddy.

As for nursery updates, in Jonathan's post a few days ago he put up a picture of a weiner dog lamp that we purchased, and it came in the mail today! I wasn't expecting it to be quite as big as it is, but it's actually a little bit bigger than Izzy...haha.

I'm so excited to be having a baby shower this Saturday, and I can't wait to get together with everybody!! Things are progressing along as we get all of the necessities together and get ourselves prepared around the apartment. We officially put our first meal in the freezer a few days ago and are planning to do a few more so that we can have good homecooked meals even when we're too tired to cook.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

No turning back now

Hello Nichols Blog followers. I thought it might be fun for me to step in for a post and update everyone via my(Jonathan)perspective. Well, time marches on and unbelievably we are 5 weeks (38 days) away from having our baby. Sarah has been doing well. She looks very tired everyday and the wonderment of watching the baby grow has given way to ‘ok, time to come out now.’ Despite what Sarah tells me, I think she looks beautiful and I can confirm that the motherly glow is not a myth. We have been given or purchased almost all of the necessary big baby items and started a nice collection of clothes. We are still working on completing his tiny little wardrobe with the correct balance of size and seasons. I never really thought I would be this way, but I find myself showing Sarah baby clothes and saying “this is so cute.”

In the never ending quest for healthy and simple living, Sarah and I have chosen to go with cloth diapers for our munchkin. We have selected a service that delivers fresh diapers and picks up/launders the dirties. Part of our hesitation with committing to cloth diapers was having to scrape off poop and then wash the diapers in our washing machine, granted I have done and seen some pretty disgusting things in the military, but the idea of baby feces and my favorite t-shirt swirling around together in luke-warm water…ehhh, not so much. For those of you that are wishing to get our baby a gift, in addition to Babies-R-Us, we are registered at Eco-Baby . If you would like, you can gift us diapers or diaper service. As far as non diaper related gifts, the Babies-R-Us registry is comprised mainly of blankets, sheets, some clothes and various other smaller items.

In regards to more personal details, Sarah has decided to deliver at University of Colorado Hospital Center for Midwifery. The center is comprised of 4 women midwives that personalize the birthing experience and holistically approach the birth and mother pre and post delivery. Sarah has gone from looking nervous at doctor appointments to relaxed and comfortable. She really seems to connect with the midwives beyond the ‘clinical usual business’ at a regular hospital. On a more fatherly note, the center also has a superb collection of models and interactive figures, Sarah told me to not touch them, but tell me you wouldn’t want to play with a placental birthing model or a snap together baby?

The baby-cave, or “nursery” as Sarah calls it, has been coming along nicely with the addition of our uber hip Monte rocking chair. In an incredible testament to Craigslist, we have been able to purchase wealthy people nursery items at normal people prices. Another fun nursery item is the wiener dog lamp that Sarah and I found on the internet, and in honor of our dogtur (Izzy), I will also attempt to make a dachshund mobile for junior.

I know some of you have asked what we are going to name him (baby), and to that I say “make your own kid”….jk. We have pretty much decided on a name and will announce it to our friends and family the day or night he is born, so just hold your horses. Besides, sometimes I would imagine that the name picked might just not fit on d-day.

With the reality of this little person joining us so soon, I have become a bit nervous with what to expect, but if this is like any other time in my life, the fear just makes you sharper for what you have to do. Thanks everybody for the support and we look forward to introducing mini-me, err....our baby.

Regards, Jonathan and Sarah

How far along: ~35 weeks
Maternity clothes: Always
Sleep: I've been sleeping like a baby, except when the pregers next to me rips off the covers
Movement: He is a busy little beaver, I have felt his foot through her belly...neat.
Cravings: The uuuuse.
Gender: Boy
Labor Signs: Sarah looks pretty uncomfortable
Button in our out? Half and half
What I miss: Sarah staying awake past 8pm
What am I looking forward to? His wrinkly little face and leaving the hosptial
Weekly Wisdom: Don't talk to her about anything body realated, anything.
Milestones: Diaper choice

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Some Positive Progress

It's been a really great week for progress on the nursery. Jonathan and I got a great crib and dresser/hutch off Craigslist this week. We stayed up later than usual last night putting the furniture together (mostly Jonathan put it together). The furniture is pretty much the extent of what we have together for the nursery, but I was almost giddy last night having baby furniture assembled in our apartment.

I didn't fully put the crib bedding on since I still have to wash it, but I put it on there just to get an idea of what it is going to look like. Jonathan and I were thinking that we would get some vinyl art to put on the wall as decoration. Maybe a tree over the crib with some animals in it since we don't want to paint the walls in our apartment. The hutch will be our changing table too as soon as we get a changing pad to put on it, and I'll put some decorations and organizational bins on the shelves as well. I'm not really known for my decorating skills, but I feel like I have a little bit of a vision for the room :).

Today is the 33 week mark of the pregnancy, and I can't believe that I will be term in 4 weeks! Jonathan and I watched a childbirth video the other day, and they had an amazing ability to put a pleasant twist on such a scary experience. At one point they were talking about active labor and said that this would be the point where the woman may say "shhh...please do not talk right now." lol. I have a feeling that women are not that kind when in the depths of a natural birth. I've almost reached that point where I'm about ready to complete this whole pregnancy experience with the increasing discomfort, but I am terrified of what you have to go through in order for the pregnancy to be over. Each day on my way to work I've been giving myself pep talks that women have done it for thousands of years and have not died from the pain haha. I also had a chance to talk to my friend Ashley tonight about it. She had her daughter, Skylar, naturally without any pain meds. She gives an honest account of what it'll be like, but she motivates me that it's worth it!

In the mean time, we continue practicing our parenting skills with our oldest child, Izzy :). We borrowed my brother and sister-in-law's Yukon to move the nursery furniture, and Izzy took her place in a booster seat for the ride. Safety first!
How far along: 33 weeks
Maternity clothes: Always
Sleep: I've been waking up a lot more throughout the night to switch positions, but I feel like I've been sleeping pretty well still.
Movement: There are definitely slower days and really busy days, but it's mostly rolling and poking.
Cravings: None really this week. I had a cold, and it kind of stole my appetite a little bit.
Gender: Boy!
Labor Signs: Nothing serious, just Braxton Hicks.
Belly Button in our out? In, but my pregnancy application on my phone said the pop out is around the corner. We'll see...
What I miss: Alternative sleeping positions and working out without feeling like I'm an asthma patient.
What am I looking forward to? I've really been thinking a lot lately about what he is going to look like and if he'll favor me or Jonathan more. I'm really looking forward to meeting him!
Weekly Wisdom: I need to bring a chair to work so when I go out on calls I have something to sit on. Standing for several hours on end is getting a bit too difficult.
Milestones: Getting our nursery furniture and setting it up in the room.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Breath of Fresh Air

In the last post or two I've mentioned switching doctors, and I finally made the switch. We had our first appointment with the University of Colorado Center for Midwifery on Tuesday afternoon for our 32-week appointment. I am really happy with the switch, because I feel like they will try to do things the way that I want them and will not push me into a c-section...I feel like I can breathe now when I go to the doctor instead of waiting for them to insinuate another reason I will probably need a c-section. Not to say I live in dream land where I don't think there's any chance of a c-section, but I only want one if it's warranted, not just because the doctor can schedule it better or gets more money from it rather than letting nature take it's course. The baby continues to do well, and we are just truckin' along.

(This picture is a little funny looking because of the lighting in our apartment at night. It looks like something out of the 1970's.)

As of today, we have reached the 32 week and 1 day mark! I'm feeling a little like a boat, and I can't imagine how much bigger I can get in the next 8 weeks-ish. I already feel like a turtle stuck on my back trying to get out of bed, so Jonathan will probably have to hoist me out in a couple of weeks :). I think the most amazing part of this week by far is the fact that you can feel that it really is a little person inside of you by feeling knees or elbows, a little booty, or feeling his back. I also never expected it to sting quite so much when the baby nails a bone like your ribs or hip bone! It can be a shocker sometimes!! Last night Jonathan was rubbing the right side of my stomach, and you could feel the baby's body shift to that side and get under his hand. He stayed under Jonathan's hand the whole time he rubbed, and went back to the middle when Jonathan stopped. Soooo neat!

How far along: 32 weeks, 1 day
Maternity clothes: Always and getting to the point of not fitting into a few that I have or stretching them quite a bit. I'm going to need a few more items for the fall and as I get even bigger.
Sleep: I sleep great! It's when I wake up and try to get out of bed that I struggle.
Movement: Lots of movement, but it's different now. It's a lot more nudges with knees and elbows, twitches, and body rolls rather than flat out kicks. Not much room in there I'm guessing.
Cravings: Back on my milk/dairy kick from earlier in the pregnancy. Must mean I need more calcium or something.
Gender: Boy!
Labor Signs: None really...just some mild cramping. Maybe Braxton Hicks if that's what they feel like.
Belly Button in our out? Still technically in. Jonathan is waiting patiently for it to pop :).
What I miss: I still miss sleeping on my stomach and back, and I am jealous when I see Jonathan sleeping like that...haha. I also miss a more varied wardrobe.
What am I looking forward to? I'm really looking forward to getting the nursery set up. I have set a personal deadline of 36 weeks to get everything set up and washed...that gives us a month.
Weekly Wisdom: To be more aware of my new size and where I'm walking. I keep hitting door panels and counters with my stomach as I round corners too tight.
Milestones: Baby Milestone- Reacting to the touch of Jonathan's hand. My Milestone- Switching doctors and picking a doula.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Good Times with an Old Friend

Last week I got to spend some time with my friend Brandy who I have not seen in FOREVER! Brandy and I were interns in Memphis, TN back in the summer of 2005, and we were fast friends where people thought we had known each other forever on the first day we had met. After the internship we saw each other maybe three more times, but we hadn't gotten much of a chance to hang out and just catch up. Brandy was here in Denver for a business conference all week, and we went out to dinner two nights. It was great to catch up on life. Last time we saw each other we were both single, and now we are living the blissful married life, working, and living in totally different parts of the country.

Jonathan came along with us one night and we got yet another rare couples picture :):

Today I went for my first ever chiropractic adjustment. I was mildly terrified since the idea of bones snapping and popping makes my stomach turn a little bit. I watched Jonathan get adjusted first. They twist your neck like something in a movie where someone is being killed. When it came to my turn, I got a little case of the giggles, and every time I would hear my bones "adjust" I would just start laughing for some reason. I guess it's the emotional release of realizing something you were scared of actually feels pretty good. I'm hoping that seeing the chiropractor each week will help ease some of the discomfort that has come along with the third trimester and the growing weight of the belly.

Right now my main goal for myself is to find a birthing class since I have been told over and over I need to get on it by doulas, the obgyn, the chiropractor, etc. I've almost limited myself to the Express classes since a lot of classes are 11 weeks, and I more than likely don't have that long left on this pregnancy journey.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Only 10 more weeks!

Today we have reached the 30-week mark. It's all going by so quickly now, and there is still so much left to do in preparation. We have been able to clear everything out of what will be the baby's room that is not baby-related besides a few empty suitcases, but we still have a long way to go until we have a put together nursery. Everything's tossed throughout the room in piles. I'm thinking we may be able to put the crib up in the next week or two and maybe hang something on the wall. Here are a few Before shots of the nursery (some are kind of hard to see with the lighting):

The next photos will be when it is completed!

I had my 30-week appointment yesterday morning, and it's a fun point in the pregnancy for appointments. The baby's heart rate was normal at 150, and he measured at right on track. The heart rate was a little higher than the last appointment, but he was super active kicking around the whole time. The nurse said that would raise his heart rate a little bit. The doctor felt around my stomach and estimated his weight between 3 and 3.5 pounds, so he's getting so much bigger! He's been moving around quite a bit, and the kicks are getting harder and very noticeable from the outside. About two days ago I started getting sharp pains in my ribs when he would kick, and I have also been getting a lot of hard kicks and pressure on my pubic bone. I'm very short waisted, so he doesn't have anywhere to go besides against bone. One of my favorite things is sitting back and watching my stomach squirm around and feeling his body shift when I touch my stomach. It's probably one of the most amazing things ever, and I can see myself missing it a little bit. However, I'm more excited for him to be here in person! Here is the 30-week photo update:

I wanted to end this post with a picture of the most adorable weiner dog. Izzy has been a little bit traumatized by the move and Jonathan going back to school. Her personality has been a little bit out of whack lately, but she's still our favorite little dog. Here she stretching is out in the morning before getting out of bed:

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Hello Third Trimester

This wasn't my favorite picture to post, but it was taken at around 11:30 p.m. after a whole day of work and night of packing and moving :). I'm a little behind on posting, but we are one week and one day into the third trimester! I can't believe how quickly the second trimester went after a first trimester that seemed to drag on. I hit the 28 week mark yesterday, and I went to the doctor two days ago for my appointment. Everything is going well, and I had my gestational diabetes test done...tons of fun ;)! So many people talk about how terrible that sugary drink is, and though I didn't find it good enough to be a daily refreshing beverage, it wasn't as bad as I was expecting. I was given the options of lime, orange, and coke flavor, and the woman at the desk recommended strongly against the coke flavor. I found out today that everything checks out good, and I don't have to give up sugary treats! I start going to the doctor every other week now until 36 weeks when I start going every week. Things are really picking up speed now!

Right now I am trying to find a doula for child birth as well as a prenatal chiropractor. My friend Ashley Jones had her daughter completely naturally with the help of a doula, and I am hoping to do the same. For those of you that don't know what a doula is, they provide emotional support and natural pain management techniques during child birth (help with positioning, counterpressure techniques, massage, etc.) to make the whole experience a little bit more tolerable. They aren't a doctor where they monitor your health and the baby's health, so you would still use your medical provider and go to a hospital or birthing center. Doulas are known to decrease length of labor, decrease requests for epidurals, and decrease your chance of a c-section by also helping with positioning the baby through massage. I also want to stay home as long as possible, so they can be a guide to when it's time to go to the hospital and when you can stay home since I would rush off to the hospital with the first contraction being a first timer. As far as emotional support, they are there for you as well as your husband since, from what I hear, it can be a very shocking experience. I am also looking for a prenatal chiropractor, because the doctor said my tailbone is tilted forward. I wanted to try to get that in line before labor to decrease the chance of a c-section. This is also so new to me, and when I first heard about all of this I thought it sounded a bit "granola" or hippy-ish, but it's actually quite fascinating what they can do to help nature run its course.

Yesterday and today are our big moving days into our new apartment. These two days or so will be a little chaotic trying to balance work and moving, but this weekend we may get a chance to start working on what will be the nursery. Right now the baby items we have accumulated so far are sitting in the corner of our bedroom, so it'll be great to have a space to put everything and start to organize. Jonathan is working on refinishing an armour. It'll probably take the 3 months he has left to finish it to get it done since it's a time consuming task, but I think it's going to look great and be wonderful for storage since the room does not have a closet. I feel like we are looking at our new living space with two new sets of eyes, because we are trying to figure out the best way to set everything up so it is most conducive to a new baby. We are storing a few huge furniture items to make more space for baby items and give him room to move once he's at the age to be mobile. I can't believe that this is the place we are going to bring home a baby in around 12 weeks.

Another big thing going on is that Jonathan started school on Monday. He is taking pre-reqs for either Physicians Assistant or Nursing programs. The military has a lot of great benefits for people with a medical degree, so we're hoping to take advantage of that in the future. Right now he is taking Chemistry, Anatomy & Physiology, and Sociology, and he has class 4 days a week. He definitely has some challenging classes, and he has to jump right into the groove of going to classes and studying since they don't hold off on teaching the material.

Survey Update:
How far along: 28 weeks and 1 day
Maternity clothes: Some of the tops I thought would surely fit until the end are starting to get shorter and shorter.
Best moment this week: Getting into the room that will be the nursery and starting to map out what it will look like.
Cravings: Nothing in particular actually. I'm just really missing deli sandwiches that aren't heated up in the microwave.
Gender: Boy
Labor Signs: None thankfully.
Belly Button in our out? Still hanging "in" there. It's just dying to pop out I think, but I'm hoping it holds strong :)
What I miss: I still have to say I miss sleeping on my back sooo much. My hips kill in the morning after sleeping on my side all night. I'm now surrounded by both a pregnancy body pillow and a standard body pillow on all sides trying to get comfortable. I still wake up in the middle of the night on my back, because I guess I just can't help it.
Weekly Wisdom: I've learned a lot from talking to a doula about being an advocate for yourself when dealing with doctors and getting ready for delivery. Make sure you have someone that is on the same page as you.
Milestones: Reaching the third trimester for sure. Also, I discovered this week that OJ gives the little guy the wiggles!

Friday, August 6, 2010

26 weeks and 2 days

Jonathan told me that I needed to put an updated picture on the blog since I didn't do it on my last post. Here is the latest picture at 26 weeks and 2 days just relaxing after work :).

Thursday, August 5, 2010

So Much Going On...

We've had a lot going on recently. We are getting ready to move into our new apartment on August 18, and Amy has already moved out and into her new place. It's made us realize that we need to start working on packing up our own stuff so that the move is a little less stressful. It stinks that you have to pack up everything as if you were moving across town just to move within our same apartment complex, but at least it makes it easier to make smaller, more manageable trips. Seeing as I can't carry that much, my jobs will be helping pack boxes and cleaning the apartment. I get out of all the heavy furniture lifting :). We also just got back from a trip to South Carolina over a long weekend. I was so happy that I got to see some friends from college. Our first night down there we got to see Kyle, Ashley, and their daughter Skylar. It was so great getting to meet Skylar. She is such a pretty baby, and her eyes are so active watching people and just soaking everything in. After Skylar went to bed, we got the chance to catch up with Kyle and Ashley on what is going on with their lives. We also got a chance to hang out with my other best friends Jessica and Monica in Greenville. It almost makes me miss the college days a little when I got to see all of them every day and just walk into their bedrooms in our apartment to chit chat.

In baby news, we got our stroller last weekend! We haven't had a chance to put it together due to the move and space constraints at the moment, but I'm excited to give in a test drive in the next month or so. Here's a picture of it:

It's really nice, because it is both a travel system stroller and you can lock out the front wheel so that it is a jogging stroller as well. This way we don't have to purchase a bunch of different strollers. I am also pretty much done with our baby registry. Some people have been asking us if we have one, so I thought I would post here that we are registered at Babies R Us, and you can find ours under either Sarah Nichols or Jonathan Nichols. I'm sure I'll tweak it a bit as we come closer to the end of these 9 months, but most items should be on there. Here's the link:

I haven't done a survey in a while, so I thought it would be fun to do one this time.

How far along: 26 weeks and 1 day
Maternity clothes: Wearing them every day and looking forward to having a little bit more variety in wardrobe again after pregnancy.
Best moment this week: We were flying down to South Carolina, and he spent about 1 1/2 hours kicking hard while on the plane. He must not like the pressure change. It was also fun to share the whole pregnancy experience with all my best friends while down South on our trip!
Cravings: Arnold Palmers (Ice Tea and Lemonade)
Gender: BOY!
Labor Signs: None. Just the aches and pains of stretching out.
Belly Button in our out? In but weird looking. Jonathan said when I was laying down the other day and laughed, it popped out a little.
What I miss: I miss sleeping on my stomach and back. Getting used to sleeping on your side when you're not normally a side sleeper takes a lot longer than I would have thought.
Weekly Wisdom: Traveling and summer heat makes for some really swollen feet.
Milestones: I can feel his little body inside my stomach. It's weird to touch a spot on your stomach and know for certain you are touching the body of a living person. I learned from my mother-in-law that the hardest spot when you touch your stomach is his butt.

I'll try to get some pictures together for the next post.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Random Fun and Cuteness!

We have been receiving a lot of great baby items lately from my brother and sister-in-law. They have three kids, 6, 4, and 2, and they have completed their family, so we are lucky enough to get all of their hand me downs. I'll definitely post pictures of some of the stuff they've given us once we get the chance to put the nursery together next month, but Jonathan is most excited about the Baby Bjorn. It has been his most wanted item since we found out we were having a baby. Every time we see somebody in public wear one, he thinks it's so funny and cute. The other day he was over at our brother and sister-in-law's house visiting and picking up some stuff, and he decided to practice using the Baby Bjorn. I think he plans on wearing it pretty much all the time whether he's in the house or out and about running errands. What a precious daddy to be!

Someone I haven't mentioned much on this blog is our favorite miniature dachshund, Izzy. Izzy is having a fabulous summer as an only child and has no idea what is about to hit her this fall with the arrival of her new brother. We got the most adorable onsie the other day from my friend Sara Shepherd.
I told Jonathan that I wanted to get Izzy a t-shirt that says "My brother is a baby," but he thinks Izzy will be traumatized enough by having to share all of the attention without trying to dress her up too.

I was trying to upload a video of Izzy trying to swim the other day, but blogspot didn't want to cooperate. Izzy has always had a little bit of a love hate relationship with water. She hates baths, but she gets so excited when she gets in water that is up to her belly or a little bit above. She has such a huge desire to be a swimmer, but she sinks like a rock when she gets into deeper water. She's gotten herself all revved up to jump into a few rivers and lakes, but we usually have to reel her back in since we keep her on her leash in case she sinks. I'll try again to get the video up later since it's super cute. Instead I posted a few pictures of Izzy's other hobby...sleeping.

Jonathan went fly fishing with his dad, uncle, and brother up in Fairplay, CO yesterday. He needed to get a fishing license the night before, so we went to Walmart. While waiting for someone to come help us I had a little bit of fun dressing up in some of the hunting gear. Here I am sneaking up on Jonathan:

And try to find me in this one:

Good times, and more to come!!!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Summer Fun

Today marks 23 weeks and 4 days, and I can't believe that I am a mere 3 weeks away from the third trimester. It's kind of amazing how quickly things are moving along. Before we know it, our lives will be forever changed with the entrance of our baby boy. While still trying to adjust to the looks of a pregnant self, it still makes me laugh every time I see a picture of myself as time goes by. I swear I'm delusional, because I don't see in the mirror what turns up in pictures :). People at work laugh at me, because I'm always saying how I really don't feel like I'm getting that much bigger. One thing that I've really loved in the past few weeks is that people no longer look at me playing the game "Fat or pregnant?" in their minds. One woman in Kohls randomly turned around and told me that I may want the baby to come out, but it's so much less work the way that it is now. I think she was having a bad day handling her children...haha. People don't even hesitate to guess that I'm pregnant and give their unrequested advice.

We are getting ready to move into our new two bedroom apartment August 18th, and I am so excited since this means we get to set up a nursery. Slowly but surely we are starting to acquire baby items and are looking forward to having a room to set them up in. I'm getting the itch to get things ready, but we have to hold off just a little bit longer. For the time being we are trying to enjoy the summer here in Colorado. We are really wanting to go camping sometime before I get too huge, but I feel like we are running out of convenient weekends. My parents were in town the past 2 weekends, and Jonathan's parents are getting into town tonight. His mom is staying for 2 weeks, while is dad has to go back to South Carolina after a week. It'll be nice to spend a little bit of time with them since we don't get to see them all that often. It's kind of a rarity that we see both sets of parents all within the same month since we all live in different parts of the country. We are also extremely excited to be taking a trip down to South Carolina/Atlanta July 30th through August 3rd. I've been missing friends from down there, and I'm looking forward to meeting my friend Ashley's baby, Skylar, for the first time. Ashley told me she was pregnant at our wedding last year, we got to see her while she was at about the same point in her pregnancy this time last year as I am now, and now I want to meet this beautiful little girl. For those of you that know Ashley from our wedding, you can get an update on her family at

I feel like I have not included Jonathan's lovely face on this blog very much so far, so I have included a picture of us. We rarely have pictures together since it's usually just the two of us together and no one to take a picture of us. I wanted to document the event of a couples picture, because I wish we got more of them. This is a picture of us from 4th of July hiking up in the Pine, CO area with my parents.

I have this weird thing where I hate when couples dress alike, and Jonathan loves to get under my skin when possible and try to have twin day. I put on a black shirt that morning, so he had to put his on too and refused to take it off. I just wanted to make a note so people don't think we walk around as twins all the time lol :).