Friday, December 26, 2008

It's beginning to look like a baby lives here

Hayley's nursery is complete! At least, the parts that can be seen. We're still missing a few things, but it's basically done. And boy (or should I say girl?) is it cute. We've got lots of great decorations on the walls and shelves, her crib is ready to go, and even the bed for sleepy parents is looking nice. Note the many international touches throughout (namely of French and Irish origin). Also, bonus points if you can spot the mistake in the room.

(The above picture is from before Xmas, the below picture shows the most recent additions.)

(Again, above picture is from before Xmas, below is after.)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Did you see that?!?

Hayley has been very active lately and she's starting to form a fairly reliable schedule. She gets active around 5:30 every morning and doesn't settle down until I eat breakfast. The longer I wait to eat, the more she kicks. She's maybe, just a tad, impatient. I haven't a clue who she could have gotten that from. She acts up again around lunch time and again calms down once I eat. In the evening she's all over the place from about 5 on. Geoff reads to her every night around 9 or 9:30. If he's much later than 9:30, she has a little fit and kicks A LOT until he starts. It's the sweetest little temper tantrum I've ever seen.

Yes, SEEN. Hayley has grown so much that she's strong enough for it to be visible when she moves/kicks/punches inside my tummy. Most of the time it feels sort of like an involuntary movement, like a muscle spasm, but sometimes she'll do a little belly flop which can be really uncomfortable for a moment. Just recently I've been able to feel her drag a foot or hand along my stomach, which is a very odd feeling.

I can't help but love this new development. Often times I break out into giggles over it, as if she's tickling me, and I feel like such a proud mama. I love that Geoff can feel/see her movements consistently. I like to sort of show her off; I'm so proud of her. She has a little personality and attitude that is becoming apparent and it's so amazing to finally grasp that there is a real, live, little human in their. A little human that happens to be our beautiful daughter.

Most of all, I just love the constant reminder that I'm carrying my little buddy around with me.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Hayley's first (in utero) Halloween

Friday night we celebrated Halloween at Marsha's house, as usual. Stephen's "haunted house" (it's really just A Nightmare Before Christmas come to life now) was his best yet. I had lots of candy but Miranda limited herself to some mini M&Ms (for Hayley, of course). Aunt Kati was there, too, with her BF and another friend. There were some good costumes, but I have to say ours were the best. Check us out:

Yes, we're a baker and the devil. In case you're not quite sure why I went as a baker, perhaps my bakery logo (made by none other than the devil you see above) will explain it:

See, cuz I've got a bun. In the oven. Right now. Get it?

Miranda's pregnant.

Anyway, I'm really looking forward to next year when we actually get to dress up our little girl. It will be hard to settle on a costume though. Maybe we'll just get a bunch and keep changing her costume throughout the night.

I hope everyone else had a fun Halloween this year! Here's another pic, just for giggles:

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Hayley's ultrasound video

Hayley is now on YouTube! I've embedded the video above. If for some reason it doesn't work, click here.

As you watch, look for the following: a big healthy brain; no cleft lip; a healthy, beating, 4-chamber heart; girl parts; a whole lot of bones; Hayley saying hello by waving a little and opening and closing her mouth.

Yes, she does look a bit scary at times. That's just how the ultrasound was set up. As Miranda is fond of saying recently, Hayley is going as a skeleton for Halloween this year.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Lookin' good at 22 weeks

In case you couldn't tell already, we're having a girl! Confirmed by ultrasound, Squirtle is now officially known to all as Hayley Olivia Tuttle. I don't think I could possibly be more excited. We're really having our little dream girl!

Now the real fun begins. We're going to make your room perfect for you and get all kinds of cute clothes to fill your closet. In fact, we celebrated the day of the ultrasound by buying several adorable outfits and ordering your crib and dresser. Also, now that you can actually hear us in there, we're starting to read to you and play music. I hope you like what you hear.

We love you so much, Hayley!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My little dream come true

Dear Hayley,

Yesterday your mama and daddy got to see you for the first time in over 14 weeks and all I can say is you're beautiful. Absolutely beautiful and perfect. You're developing into a healthy little baby girl and we couldn't be more proud. It was especially charming when you waved at us. You might not have been able to see it, but both your father and I instinctually waved back.

I just want to tell you how incredibly wanted and loved you were long before you were conceived. Before your father and I were even married, I had a dream about you. That's where you get your name, Hayley. Since that night we've talked about you countless times and imagined you in our life. I never suspected I'd be so lucky as to have it all come true. Yet, when the doctor told us you were you, I did not cry or do anything outrageous. I just felt a calm come over me. This was supposed to be. You picked us as your parents long ago, and I can't thank you enough for that.

I love you, sweet daughter of mine.


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Celebrate good times, come on!

Sometimes good things come in pairs. Last night, our beloved Boston Red Sox beat the LA Angels to win the ALDS and advance to the next round of playoffs (ALCS). Squirtle, being the Sox fan that s/he is (naturally), joined in the celebration with mommy and daddy. As we jumped around the room in excitement, Squirtle also started moving quite a bit in Miranda's uterus. Although this was nothing new for Miranda, Squirtle's little flips and rolls were so exaggerated that, for the first time, I was able to feel them with my hands.

Oh my goodness, there's a baby in there!

Monday, October 6, 2008

We're half way there!

This past Friday we had our 20 week (which is the midway point) check up and everything seems on track for a healthy baby. I've gained 5 pounds in the last 4 weeks, which brings my total weight gain to a whopping 6 pounds. I have a feeling this number is going to rise sharply fairly soon as my appetite is back and I've begun my ravenous-all-the-time portion of this pregnancy.

The next good news we received was that the blood tests I took around 16 weeks all game back with good results. This was my AFP screening which tells us if the baby is at increased risk of being born with open neural tube defects (such as spina bifida), down syndrome, chromosomal abnormalities (such as trisomy 18) or abdominal wall defects. Had the test results caused any alarm I would have had to have an amniocentesis to gather more information. I'm very happy to not have to have an amnio as the procedure requires me to be poked in the stomach with a VERY long and fairly large needle and carries a few scary risks.

We had the opportunity to hear Squirtle's little heartbeat again, which took some time to find as s/he was moving around quite a bit. Once the heartbeat was located I was once again overwhelmed by the fact that I love this little baby inside of me so much I can't even stand it. It's also such a proud mama moment for me. It's like, "WE made that. Furthermore, MY body is doing all it needs to to sustain that little life. Wow." It's just incredible.

Our next appointment is 2 weeks from today, October 20. That afternoon we'll go in for another ultrasound and as long as Squirtle cooperates we'll get to find out the gender! This is the day we've all been anticipating for months now and it's hard to not get too excited about it. Besides potentially finding out the gender, I'm really just excited to get another little sneak peek at this little being inside of me. Squirtle has grown so much since our last ultrasound and this will be our first opportunity to see him/her look like an actual baby. Like I said, it's really hard not to get too excited; I can't wait!

Another little update is that I'm feeling the baby move a lot now. It's an incredible sensation that I first felt almost a month ago, but it was subtle and infrequent. The movements are growing stronger and I feel Squirtle daily with some chunks of time where s/he's moving constantly for a prolonged period. The movements aren't quite strong enough for anyone other than me to feel, but I think that's getting close. Sometimes I like to have a little fun with it and I'll poke my belly and wait for the response. Other times I'll lay down and switch from side to side because each time I switch I can feel Squirtle move around to get resettled. After about my 6th time tossing around Geoff usually tells me to knock it off and let the baby be already. I can't help it. Plus, I figure I'm in for plenty of sleepless nights and it's the least Squirtle can do.

Pretty much, I just adore this tiny baby.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Baby mecca and a perk of pregnancy

Finally, something to do! As evidenced by the lack of posts on our family blog, the last month or so has been relatively uneventful, at least on the baby front. We went in for another checkup (Squirtle's heartbeat is still the most wonderful sound in the world) and Miranda's morning, noon and night sickness has begun to subside (a huge relief, as you might imagine).

This weekend, Miranda and I decided to start our baby registry. So, we ventured to the land of baby stuff, Babies "R" Us. Two separate in-store trips and several hours of online research later, Squirtle's registry had nearly 90 items. And that doesn't even include everything we plan to get. Who knew that a kid needed so much stuff? Surprisingly, when you add up the cost of it all, it actually doesn't come out to that much. Thank goodness for small miracles.

If you'd like to check out the registry, click here.

During our trips to Babies "R" Us, as well as the mall across the street, we got to experience one of the few perks of pregnancy (which I will sorely miss after Squirtle graces us with his presence): Expectant Mother Parking.

These spaces are like Handicap parking, except you feel proud and excited as you walk away from your car. The expectant mother parking at Babies "R" Us is especially fun, as it is plentiful and adorably marked.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Remember when Squirtle was just the size of a little blueberry?!?

Last Friday Geoff and I went in for my 12 week check up. As a side note, can I just mention how much I adore that my husband is as excited as I am about this pregnancy and how he insists on going to all of the appointments with me? I'm sure I'll have a long mushy post soon all about how amazing he is in general and how he's so beautifully stepped up to the plate as the father-to-be/husband of a crazy pregnant lady.

Anyway, the checkup. First came my oh so favorite part: the weigh in. Now, I know the number on the scale is going to sore fairly soon, but I was fairly worried about gaining too much in the first trimester. Everything I've read said that most women gain from 2-5 lbs. At my last appointment, at 8 weeks, I had gained 2 lbs. So for a month I kept telling myself I could only afford to gain 3 lbs, max. However, a lot of the fruit and other healthy food I had been craving early on had lost its appeal due to my morning/afternoon/night sickness. I felt I was eating a lot of bready foods and starchy potatoes so I was slightly uneasy when I stepped on the scale. However, I was very pleasantly surprised to find that I had lost 3 lbs. The nurse assured me that this was very common and that I was still right on track. Yay!

We then went into our exam room, which was inexplicably decorated with beach decor, and perused some pamphlets while waiting for the doctor. By the way, my actual doctor is named Nadine Gravens. She's been my OB-GYN for about 8 years and was the surgeon for my laporoscopy a few years ago. She, or course, is extremely busy and while we were supposed to meet with her this visit she was called to the hospital for a surgery. Instead, we met with Erica Brown, a PA-C, whom we've seen at each of our previous appointments. Erica came in with a little Doppler device and proceeded to prod my belly searching for Squirtle. It's a little unnerving those first few minutes when you don't hear anything, or you do but she tells you it's my heartbeat. But THEN there it was: the most precious little sound I've ever heard. The sound of the littlest member of the Tuttle family's heart happily beating away.

Squirtle was moving around a lot that morning, causing the Doppler to emit an odd sound every so often. Erica told us that everything sounded perfect and that s/he sounded pretty happy in there. When she was done she asked if we had any questions. The only thing we weren't sure about was when we could find out the gender. Erica told us at about 22 weeks. We'll most likely continue to have an appointment every 4 weeks, so we'll probably find out at our 24 week appointment which just so happens to fall on Halloween. This seems like forever from now as we're fairly anxious to find out, but we'll just try to enjoy the speculation until then. With that our appointment was over. Our next doctors visit will be September 4 and I'll be just under 16 weeks.

Just like that we had passed our first big milestone: the first trimester. Wow.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Ah, the power of eBay

Direct from Hong Kong, Squirtle has arrived! No, we didn't adopt a Chinese baby. We acquired a plush toy (no longer available in the states at retail) of our actual baby's current namesake. It's the turtle Pokemon from the original game. He's cute, he has a funny voice, and his toy form is now officially our kid's first stuffed animal. Or, it will be once they're born. Hopefully, by renaming our baby before he/she meets the "real" Squirtle, we can avoid a cataclysmic explosion due to some sort of space-time anomaly as worlds collide. Uh... right.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Pew! Pew! Pew!

Here's a still shot from today's ultrasound. Sorry for the quality, it's from my cell phone camera. Note that Squirtle's head is on the left.

According to the doctor's measurement during the ultrasound, Miranda is currently 7 weeks, 6 days pregnant. That puts the official EDD at February 21st, 2009.

Kinda looks like a spaceship, right? No? Maybe it's just me.

Like a Deer in Headlights

The waiting game just got a little more bearable.

Today, we went in for the second doctor's appointment, the main purpose of which was to get an ultrasound that would hopefully reveal Squirtle in all his/her glory. And glorious it was. Not only could we actually see our blueberry-sized embryo, we also saw AND heard its heartbeat! The effect this had on me (and Miranda, I'm sure) is indescribable. I didn't know what to do or say. I could only stand there and stare at the monitor, mouth agape, periodically mumbling pathetic understatements like "cool" and "awesome". I vaguely remember squeezing Miranda's hand really really hard.

So it's confirmed: Squirtle is alive and kicking.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Are We There Yet?

I'm going to be honest: this first month kinda sucks.

We have yet to break the news to most of our friends (we'll do that at the end of July). However, we do still see our friends, and Miranda IS pregnant. This leads to situations like the following: yesterday Noah and Stephanie (not our roommate) got married. When the subject of the cake came up during the reception, Stephanie told us there was chocolate mousse in it, at which point I exclaimed "Awww" while looking at Miranda. (She can't have mousse due to the possibility of foodborne illness from raw eggs.) Everyone looked at me, wondering what that meant, and I immediately realized my error. After an awkward silence, I just shrugged my shoulders. Luckily, Tim proceeded to make a joke about me, which I gratefully latched onto in order to distract everyone from questioning the real reason for my "disappointment" regarding the mousse.

Basically, I just want to tell everyone I know, but it's better to wait, so I have to constantly bite my tongue around certain people. Thank goodness our families know!

And then there's the nausea. No, I'm just fine. Miranda, not so much. Obviously, it's never enjoyable to see your wife sick or in pain, but this is especially tough to witness. I do what I can to help, but in the end I do not have any miracle healing powers. That is frustrating. Hopefully we'll be picking up the anti-nausea medicine soon, because it's really getting bad. Also, in theory, the nausea relents by the second trimester, so my fingers are crossed for that.

To make matters worse, as Miranda said, it's hard to see what all this pain and frustration is for at this stage. We don't even have a decent ultrasound. Yolk sacs are all well and good, but I want to see Squirtle! I want to confirm the heartbeat. I want something substantial. For Miranda's sake as well as mine.

Our excitement is being tempered in the wake of the initial discovery. Now we play the waiting game. The waiting game sucks.

Monday, June 30, 2008

I was so wrong. Morning sickness is so much worse.

When I first read about the early signs of pregnancy I felt like I would never be able to differentiate between the signs and how I normally feel. Nausea? Yeah, that's pretty regular for me. Fatigue? Man, I love my sleep. Heightened sense of smell? I already hold my breath the entire walk from when I get off my train until I get to my bus on my way to work each morning. Frequent urination? I can't imagine how it could get more frequent.

Up until the last week or so my nausea hadn't been terrible. It was brief and manageable and I thought it wouldn't be much different than how I sometimes don't feel well. This weekend, however, was my first glimpse of what is surely to come. I felt just horrible. I was in and out of the bathroom all Friday night, well into Saturday morning. When I finally got up I just felt exhausted and weak. As the day progressed, I steadily got stronger and felt better. I slept through the night Saturday but woke up feeling just as ill as before. Geoff and I did absolutely nothing yesterday. Heck, I was only up for a totally of 8 and 1/2 hours the entire day. He was such a trooper. He spent his Sunday lounging around with me, forcing me to eat (which helped enormously!) and being super supportive. I'm a lucky girl to have a husband like him around.

I think one of the hardest parts for me is I feel like I feel lousy for nothing. I noticed when we were watching "Jon and Kate Plus Eight" (Anyone else watch this? It's sort of like watching a really incredible train wreck.) that I started to feel better. Watching all those kids reminded me there is a reason for this nausea. I don't feel pregnant, yet. Truth be told, I think I've been holding myself and my emotions back so far. I'm not sure at what point this will begin to feel real to me. I suppose when we get to see a little heartbeat on the ultrasound I'll allow this all to sink in. Maybe then I'll really realize I'm growing a little, beautiful life inside me.

Until then I'm feeling very cautious. This is something I've waited my whole life for. I was the little girl who just wanted to be a mom when she grew up. I'm still that little girl. I still can't believe this is happening for us; I most definitely didn't think it would happen so quick. If I have to deal with a few months of nausea and some quality time in my bathroom so be it.

It's going to be SO worth it.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The First Sighting of Squirtle

This morning was our first visit to the doctor. When we arrived they gave me a stack of forms to fill out as well as a beautiful rose to say "Congratulations"; we thought this was a sweet gesture. Once we went to the exam room it became obvious that we were going to get an ultrasound- I wasn't expecting that! The doctor came in, did an exam and determined an estimated due date (EDD) of February 11. This would mean I was about 7 weeks along already. We then began the ultrasound.

During the ultrasound the doctor was able to see that I wasn't as far along as we'd originally thought. Apparently my cycle is longer than "normal" therefore I ovulate later. It's estimated that I'm only about 5 weeks along (Mom, that means Squirtle's the size of a sesame seed!) and it was too early to have a heartbeat. This was a bit disappointing to us. We have a follow up ultrasound scheduled for the morning of July 11.

That tiny white spec in the middle? That's the cutest little yolk sac we've ever seen!

The rest of the appointment consisted of me giving a urine and blood sample. The tech at the blood center wasn't very friendly and she had a hard time finding a vein to use. When she finally settled on one and began filling the vials my blood was coming very slowly. After a few minutes of watching my blood trickle into the 7th vial I started feeling queasy and light headed. I rushed into the bathroom just in time for my first "fruitful" bout of morning sickness. It was kinda awful.

Geoff and I headed home and he ran upstairs to put our rose in some water. He came back down to the car and said some of the petals had fallen off. By then I was in a bit of a *ahem* mood and didn't feel well so I was a little upset to hear this. When I came home this was the state of the rose:

That about sums up how I felt about the day.

My Boys Can Swim!

It's official: I do not have lazy sperm. Which is odd, considering how lazy I am.

As Miranda said, she took the test at about 5:30 in the morning. I was very much asleep. This quickly changed, as she burst out of the bathroom and put the test right in my face. My first reaction was "mm-hmm". My half-asleep state revealed my immediate feelings: with confirmation of my recent suspicion, all was right with the world. As I gained full consciousness, reality started to hit me. The ultimate goal had been achieved! Continuation of the species. In other words, an adorable little Miranda/Geoff amalgam was beginning its journey of life in my wife's uterus.

The ensuing 16 hours were a surreal blur. I barely remember being at work. My coworkers must have thought I was crazy, with the stupid grin plastered across my face all day. The evening consisted of being nearly squeezed to death by Kati, receiving baby clothes from Nancy (already), seeing more of our future when we visited Kelley and Dylan to impart the good news, and making the "best phone call we've ever had" to my parents. All in all, not a bad day. Not bad at all.

And thus begins our family blog, and our family. I couldn't be more excited, or more nervous.

Best 6 Month Birthday Present Ever

June 19th was my 1/2 year birthday (Yeah, we pay attention to those kinds of things. What of it?). I hadn't been feeling well for a few weeks. I worried that something was wrong, that I'd have to go to the doctor and run some tests, that my Endo was causing problems. Geoff, on the other hand, showed some "Daddy's Intuition" and felt strongly that I was pregnant and asked me to take a home pregnancy test. I relented, expecting a negative test just like in May. Last month I remember checking that little piece of plastic a dozen times, hoping that something would change and the second line would appear. Alas, no little line ever showed up and it was fairly heartbreaking for us. We decided then that this was going to be a long process and we just need to go with the flow and see what happens. Which is why I was just positive we'd get another negative test result. I resisted taking the test for a few days, thinking that if I just held out I'd start my period and avoid the whole ordeal.

Well, June 19th was different. I woke up at 5:30 and went to take the test as Geoff and I had agreed the night before. It was immediately positive, unlike the last month where I kept telling myself that it would take 5 minutes for us to be able to read the results. I swear I touched the thing and 2 pink lines appeared. They weren't faint, either. Heck, I think they were red. Go on, see for yourself!