Monday, March 12, 2012

Christmas Pictures

Here are some pictures from Christmas 2011 in RANDOM order. I am pretty proud of my Christmas tree...I love a red Christmas :) The other photos are mainly the family and I at the Dallas zoo. The other "home" pictures are from Kimrea's place where bubbas had his Christmas morning.

Christmas 2011- The announcement

Soooooo I HATE adding photos to my blog. They never re-arrange for me, they are always in a random order and you cant really type where you want to. If someone would like to help me, I would gladly take the advice. But nevertheless, I thought I would add my December 2011 photos from my pregnancy. The first one in the top left is my VERY positive pregnancy test. Remember, I had my very faint one first...well this one was from a few days later :) The other pictures of me are from the day or the day after I found out. So those are my official 4 week photos. As you will see in later posts, I have been taking pictures every week starting at 12 weeks to document my progress. I didn't take pics from week 5-12 because I didn't really see any change in my body but I think I started changing at around 10 weeks. Oh well.

So, it was about Dec. 16th when I found out I was pregnant so my next big dilemma was if I was going to tell my family or not when I was down in Dallas for Christmas. Once I decided I was going to, I spent alot of time thinking of how. After hours of research on the internet, I found some cute iron-on's that would do the trick. Mind you, I was going to be in a car for 10 hours before telling them so it couldn't be too elaborate. The front of the shirt says " what's kickin' " and the back says " comin' August 2012."

At the bottom I have included the video of me telling my mom and stepdad. AKA: revealing the shirt. It is a big step for me to put a video up of me. We are having a really awkward convo and I look AWFUL because I had been in the car for so long. So please, dont judge!!

As you can see, it took them AWHILE to realize what I was trying to show them. Also, I have joked with them alot in the past about being pregnant so it took some convincing. Feel free to fast forward past the first 1.5 min.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Never a better time

There is never a better time to start your blog back up than when you are expecting!! As always, I still follow about 50 of my friend's blogs and think nearly everyday about writing on mine...but nevertheless, I have not. Now I have such a strong desire to write so that I can keep a record of my pregnancy and all the nitty gritty details. Not that I think more than 6 people read this blog, but this is a warning that my blog posts from now on will be more journal-ly (I know that is not a word) than fun and filled with pics.

Lets start with a little background. I have not really posted since Dustin graduated and to be honest...not alot has happened. Last you know, we were living in MO with Dustin's father until we could find a place of our own that we loved. (As most know, it is hard to go apartment shopping when you live in a different state) We moved back to the KC area in the first place because Dustin figured that our job prospects here would be best. You also know I started working for a medical company in May of 2010 and I am still there now. Still not by any stretch of the imagination my dream job....nevertheless it is a good job. Dustin spent LOTS of time finding a job but was having little luck. Doesn't help that the economy sucked (well, still sucks) and legal companies take FOREVER in their hiring process. In the mean time, Dustin did find a job as an adjuster/legal help for an insurance company. His time there was short lived because his dream job finally came through. It was right before Christmas 2010 that he started. He is an in-house attorney at an engineering firm and things are going great. We did live in a one bedroom luxury apt. for a year but have recently moved into a 2 bedroom to accommodate our new arrival. Both apartments have been in Overland Park, KS about 10 min. from each of our works. It has been great!

This job has been great for Dustin. All the work they do interests Dustin. I would be lying if I said it is everything in every aspect he has ever hoped for but nevertheless, it is a wonderful job. It is a wonderful stepping stone for us. What we both love the most are his hours. For the most part he is home by 5 and off every other Friday. He does work 12 hour days some days but others days are much less hours. Ohhhhh the joys of being salaried.

So when I say nothing exciting has really happened with us....I mean it. We both just work....alot....and play with Eva. Ohhh Eva is the joy in our lives :) We veg on the weekends and enjoy each others time. I have still been dealing with all my medical issues that have developed since my molar pregnancy in the fall of 2008. I went to alot of different OBGYN's in the area and I didn't like any of them. Then a co-worker recommended her OBGYN that she has been going to for 20+ years. His name is Dr. Erik Peck and he is wonderful!!! I had been dealing with a certain medical condition for a couple years that no MD has been able to diagnose. During my first visit with MD Peck, he knew! The most ironic part was that after 2.5 years of trying to self medicate, my step-mom figured out what I had just 2 days before my appointment with MD Peck. When I started reading up on my diagnosis, I was warned that most MD's are not familiar with my diagnosis. That is what made MD Peck even more amazing....he knew about my diagnosis and was able to link it to me! 2.5 years later, I have an answer! Sad part was that it is hard to fix. I went to physical therapy for a time and tried to continued to self medicate but to this day...I am not "cured." MD Peck told me that my issues should not effect my fertility and should not stop me from starting a family. He actually let me know that pregnancy may offer the cure. He said a vaginal birth may actually cure my problem. So let's all keep our fingers crossed for a vaginal birth!!!!

So Dustin and I spent time getting our ducks in a row medically, financially and emotionally. Though all ducks were not perfectly straight, we didn't want to wait a moment longer. Dustin will be 29 in March and I 25 in April....we didn't want to wait another year. We wanted to get our lives started. Every mother will tell you that every pregnancy is different....well same goes for conceiving. Our first time around in 2008, ZERO issues. We got pregnancy incredibly quickly. This time around we were in our 3 or 4th month of trying and getting nervous.

If anyone knows me at all, they know I am anal and a planner. So we were tracking my ovulation...planning each period to the day....taking a pregnancy test at least 10 times between each period. The works! It was about early/mid December 2010 and I was (so I thought) really late on my period. I was suppose to have my period in early December and it was now Dec. 14th...and nothing. Granted, my periods had not been totally regular in the 3-4 months since I had been off birth control but I thought I had it figured out. So I called MD Peck on Dec. 14th really confused. I told him that I was having a harder time getting pregnant this time around and that I was a little over a week late and STILL no positive pregnancy test. Wasn't that weird? He said that it is totally normal to have an easy time conceiving one time around and having a harder time later. That helped put me at easy. I also asked him if this could be due to my medical issues....he said he MIGHT think that if I had been trying for 10-12 months but at that point he didn't think it was due to any medical issue. He did find it a little odd that I was over a week late (which I am rarely late) and have not received a positive pregnancy test. He said either I just will have a very late period or I have not been pregnant for 2 weeks yet. He says home pregnancy tests are very accurate these days so he said wait it out.

I was convinced that my period was just late because I knew I SHOULD have been pregnant for at least 2 weeks by that point. Little did I know, I was mis-calculating my periods. Apparently my cycles were not 28 days but more like 34 days. I had been mis-calculating my periods for the last 3-4 months!! Luckily that last month we tried to get pregnant, Dustin and I had an "unscheduled session" that made this baby! Man...scheduling sex...aren't you glad you are not married to me? Poor Dustin :)

So since I thought I SHOULD have been pregnant by that time, I was just waiting for my period to come. So for the first time, I didn't take a pregnancy test the next day. I wasn't that patient because I took a pregnancy test on Dec. 16th....just 2 days after talking to MD Peck. That morning, I received the FAINTEST line on the stick! It was so faint you had to hold it up in the sunlight just to see something. It was so faint that we didn't know if it was really a true positive. We both had to go to work that day....not sure how much we got done. Our minds were so pre-occupied. We knew we didn't want to tell anyone outside of the immediate family until I was 12 weeks so we decided to tell Dustin's brother and wife that Dec. 16th night. We just couldn't keep our excitement in. The next day was a little anti-climatic as I took another test and the line was darker. I was hoping for it and was happy it came but it wasn't as if that was the first inkling I had that I was pregnant. It was kinda an anti-climatic situation all around because we were only wanting to get half excited on Dec. 16th when we say the faint line because it was not a true positive and then on Dec. 17th when we did get a real positive....we kinda already knew. Nevertheless we were overjoyed that we were able to conceive.

I did feel how I thought I would feel my second pregnancy around. I was SUPER excited that I was pregnant again but I didn't want to get my hopes up until I heard a heartbeat this time. It is so hard to loose a child that it takes a few sonograms to convince yourself that it is real. Dec. 16th with the faint line was on a Friday...I didn't want to call MD Peck back just yet to announce the news. We didn't get the true positive until over the weekend. I called the MD first thing on Monday, Dec. 19th. I asked the receptionist how far along I was because I was not sure. BE AWARE: At this point I did not know I was mis-calculating my periods. All moms know, the day you get your positive pregnancy test you are 4 weeks along. But that is usually because you get a positive pregnancy test within a few days of a missed period. Since I was 10 days late (so I thought) getting my positive pregnancy test, then wasn't I closer to 6 weeks instead of 4. Sooooo back to me calling the receptionist on Monday Dec. 19th...I ask her how far along I am. I asked, "Do I go from the date of my last period, which would put me close to 6 weeks or do I go from the date of my positive pregnancy test which would put me at about 4 weeks?" She replied, go from the period date. So we made an appointment for the next day! I had been waiting for this for 3 years....I am making the appointment for the next day :)

So I go in and meet with MD Peck's nurse practitioner Amy. She is super sweet. Apparently I have to do a "confirming pregnancy" appointment with her first before I can do my official OBGYN visit with MD Peck. She knew my history, knew my risks and thought I was 6 weeks so we did a sonogram since you can hear heartbeats at 6 weeks with a sonogram. We went in and did a trans-vaginal exam and she couldn't find anything. She was actually having a hard time finding my uterus and where the baby would be. She kept thinking my bladder was in the way so she had me go to the bathroom during the middle of the exam. I came back in and we took anther stab at it. Still nothing. She did realize I had a titled uterus so she knew it would be harder but after alot of attempts....nothing. All she could see was this big black blob...she thought it was a cyst and wanted to get me admitted so they could take better scans. During all this....we got to talking and I told her about my conversation with MD Peck on Dec. 14th and and my conversation with the receptionist the day before. She almost immediately felt embarrassed by her receptionists ignorance. She said I am not 6 weeks, I am 4. Which confirms what MD Peck told me on Dec. 14th, that I must not have been pregnant for 2 weeks yet if I don't have a positive pregnancy test. So are 4 weeks at the time you get a positive pregnancy test no matter what!!

After that realization, she was a little relieved that we couldn't find a baby because you WOULDN'T find a baby that early. Nevertheless, she was pretty sure she found cysts so she still wanted me to be admitted. Can you imagine what Dustin and I have gone through up to this point? We think we are going to hear a heartbeat....after 10 min. of looking (and 10 min. is 10 hours when you are trying to finally find a baby) they say "there is no baby" and all I can think is "here we go again" AND on top of all this she found more issues. Nevertheless, we go down from the medical offices to the hospital (MD Peck works at Olathe Hospital) and get me admitted. We had a really great technician that helped put us at ease. He said that yes, I was about 4 weeks. He said my uterus looked thick and ready for the baby. He also found cysts on my ovaries (which is what Amy thought she saw) which apparently is a good thing. Did you ladies know this? You are suppose to have a cyst(s) on your ovaries during pregnancy? They eventually go away but they are apparently helpful during early pregnancy. But they did find a 3rd one on me. Its a para-tubal cyst. So it is halfway on my tube and it is kinda sizable. The concern is that it can twist my tube and prevent future eggs from being fertilized. Currently it is not so bad that they need to do surgery but they will closely monitor it during my whole pregnancy.

This hospital tech took ALOT of scans, was very thorough and said he doesn't see anything REALLY bad. Uterus looks good and we just need to watch the cysts. These results went back to Amy and since pregnancy looked like it was coming, she wanted to run my blood for my HCG level and progesterone. HCG should be above 10 if you are pregnant and double every few days. Also, you want a high progesterone number so your chances of pregnancy are high and mis-carriage is low. I was a little bummed out that we would not hear a heartbeat before we left for Texas for Christmas because I was very torn about whether to tell the family or not. But Amy wanted to get my blood drawn on Dec. 21st and 23rd. Luckily the results came back great! My HCG was about the number it should be and it did double like it should have. It was not TOO high which could have signified a molar pregnancy again. (Also, they would have seen grape like tissue during my sonograms and scans.) Also, my progesterone level was high which was Amy's favorite part. This was enough to convince me to tell my family.

We left for Texas on the 28th and told my family while we were there. My mom and step-dad took some convincing, mainly because I tease them all the time that I am pregnant again, plus I had been leading them astray for some months. Nevertheless, by the time they knew I was not joking, screaming and crying was involved. My dad and step-mom took a more quiet approach. They were also happy for us. It is hard to tell people your pregnant when you have not heard a heartbeat and I also knew that even if I did hear a heartbeat....I would need to hear it 3-4 times before I could completely believed it. Nevertheless, it was nice to tell them in person. I'm especially glad I did now that I know it all worked out.

We made an appointment with nurse practitioner Amy again when we got back. Again, we need to meet with Amy until we "confirm pregnancy" and then we can see MD Peck. So we saw her on Jan. 6, 2012. NOW I was finally 6 weeks. So we did our second sonogram with her and she still was having issues with my tilted uterus. But after some time, we finally saw it. This tiny little ball and a little gray flicker. I had watched so many 6 week videos to prep myself for what to look for and we saw it. I started crying....didn't know if I would...but I did. I am just not much of a crier. First heartbeat I had every heard! Obviously it was so tiny that we couldn't see anything but this tiny ball but all I wanted was that heartbeat. She turned on the sound and it was blaiting through speakers! Ahhhh. The heartbeat was a little fast. When I told my mom that she got excited because she believes in the myth that a faster heartbeat means it's a girl.

To be honest, I FEEL like it is a girl. I have always wanted a boy, especially first (having a big brother would be awesome) but I have the motherly instinct and connection to a girl. It still sounds weird to say it "feels" like something but it really does. Dustin says he is TOTALLY indifferent about gender but I have always wanted a boy. Of course top request is that it be healthy!!

Now that we finally heard a heartbeat, I could have my official 8 week OBGYN appt. with MD Peck. That appt. was Jan. 18th and MD Peck gave me a physical, took about 5 vials of blood and did another sonogram. This sonogram was SO different for me. First off, MD Peck had NO issue finding the baby. Tilted uterus or not...he found it in 1/5 the time that Amy did. Don't you love 60 year old MD's with experience :) The baby had a head and a little tad pole body!! I could not believe it! It seemed SO big. I even said, "Is that it? It is huge!" I obviously knew the baby was maybe 1/2 an inch long but it was so different from my little "ball of baby" at 6 weeks. This was also the appt. where the MD asks you if you would like to do the genetics testing that is offered between 11 and 13 weeks. Dustin and I figured we would do it because we wanted to check for down syndrome, Trisomy 18 and Trisomy 13 so that we could better prepare ourselves and our household for a baby with a disorder. We would want to be prepared with no surprises at birth.

So we made that appointment for Feb. 13th, this past Monday. Man, was that a sight! Our baby now has fingers, toes, a little nose, everything!! I was possibly going to cry again. It now looked like a little human!! It was so adorable. Now it is the little Dustin and little Meredith I have dreamed of. That was also the farthest I had gotten in my pregnancies so it was a large milestone! The sonographer was really great and she checked the back of the babies neck for thickness which can imply down syndrome. She said from what she could see, everything looked great. The point of that visit was to get MORE blood drawn and to get that sonogram. They would then combine the blood results and the scans of the sonogram to give me a ratio of my chances of having a baby with a disorder. Those results came back on Thursday the 16th. They said that due to my age, my chances were 1/943. After running all their tests (sonogram, blood work and my history), my chances are 1/10,000+. She said that was the best a person could be. YAY! Everything was falling into place!! The baby is healthy!! Dustin and I were glowing after that visit. We were able to see most of its little features. It didn't move, as far as I could tell, so she just got pictures of what she could. The picture below is from the genetic test. You can see all 5 fingers up there at the top. :)

I guess I should also comment on how I finally announced it to friends over the week of Feb. 12th. On Sunday we had some friends over so I could tell them in person. On Tuesday, Valentines day, I announced it to my co-workers with some Valentines I made them. Wed. I finally posted it on Facebook and I tried to send a private message to anyone I could think of that I really knew and loved who I didn't want to have to find out impersonally through a Facebook post. Hope I covered everyone. Everyone, of course, has been really happy for me! Its been great. I was also able to wear a shirt that said "expecting" to work on Valentines when I announced it. (I hope I remember in a later post to tell you how I got that shirt!)

Finally, we had our official 12 week appt. this past Friday on Feb. 17th. We met with Amy again and she wanted to do another sonogram. If anyone is counting, this is about my 5th sonogram in 12.5 weeks. When the sonogram pulled up, I saw her/his arm raised above his/her head. I was thinking "awwww, since Monday (since the genetics sonogram) the baby has moved it's arm from its chest to above it's head." Little did I know that I didn't take that long for the baby to move its ligaments. I thought that it COULD move and it had reflexes but I didn't know it was about to do what it did. Amy kept trying to get everything situated and we just watched that baby move!!!! Like crazy!!! Arms above head, touching toes, toes to face, stretching name it. It made everything that more real!! Dustin and I were just smiling ear to ear. It was SO much fun.

Then we were able to talk about my blood work. Remember, I got about 5 vials of blood drawn at my 8 week appt. with MD peck? Well, the results were back. They ran my blood type and I am A+ which means I don't have to worry about the RH factor in mine or the babies blood! Yay! No more drama for me :) Also, my white blood cell count, thyroid, everything looked good! I told her that since my genetics tests came back great and all the numbers she just read off to me look great, do I need to do any more testing? She said she would wait until after my 20 week appt. and if they see something then I can do more, but at this point she wouldn't do more. So hopefully I am out of the woods!

I do have another appt. at the end of Feb. to do more scans and sonograms to check on my cysts. I know they will be kind enough to let me watch the baby for a bit when they are down there checking the cysts. I hope it is moving around just as much then so we can get video this time. This is all so fun. I am trying to enjoy every moment. Sometimes it gets tedious because I am still a little nauseous and it is the topic of conversation ALL the time and telling this long story 4 times a day gets old. But I am trying to take it all in because I know there are so many women/couples out there that would die to conceive and carry a child. I do not take it for granted!! I have been waiting for my little tummy to poke out and for the kicking to begin...I am ready for pregnancy in all it's glory! I am so happy!!!

I highly doubt anyone is still reading the post this one is long. Most of Dustin's immediate and extended family live in Kansas/MO and the word spread fast with them! Everyone has been very wonderful about it and doing a good job of keeping my secret. Unfortunately, the time that we got the WHOLE Kelley family together was for a funeral for Dustin's Uncle Mark who he loved very much. It was hard to be in such a somber mood and have the whole family come up and congratulate us. Nevertheless, we love their love and support.

Sorry this post doesn't contain many pictures or videos. I will either add them to the post later of make a separate post for them later. I guess that is all for now :) Until next time!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

We have a dog....

Fact: I am not fond of animals.

Fact: Meredith IS fond of animals, or at least of dogs.

Fact: On December 20, 2010 we officially adopted a female beagle of undetermined age.

Her name is Eva (because the only pet I have ever wanted is the robot Wall-E. Since I can't have Wall-E as a pet, we named the she-dog Eva as the closest substitute).  We don't know her age because the shelter estimated her age at five years while the vet estimated it to be seven.

This dog bays loudly at squirrels at 6.00am and whenever we leave her alone in the house.  While we weren't looking, she jumped onto the counter, stole a pancake and breakfast burrito, and hid them in our couch and bed.  She has escaped from her kennel and greeted us at the door with trash strewn across the floor behind her.  She has taken hold of her food bowl with her teeth and shaken it until all the food was scattered around our bedroom.  She will not let me sit or lay anywhere in our house without coming over and laying down on or next to me.  We can't have our windows open because she will not stop begging to be taken outside until the blinds are closed.

Fact:  I am now fond of this particular beagle.  You have to admire her style.