Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Prayer Requests

Hi friends,

Today is a day of requests for the Lord. Would you join me in praying?

1. Baby Ewan is not doing so well as we would have liked. They tried again to take him off some of the machines and his little body just can't take over. The particular machine he is on has a limited time in which it's effective, so they really need to get his body to take over before the machine ceases to work. Please check his mama's blog for better information-I admit I don't understand things really well enough to explain them here.

2. Several of my bloggy friends are getting their blood test results this week after having undergone frozen embryo transfers with their little Snowflakes. Please keep praying for Ashley, Jennifer, Lisa, and Em who are waiting. Lacie goes in for her FET next week. Would you join me in praying for a blizzard for these sweet ladies? We've already got a snow flurry- three snowflakes on the way! Congratulations to Krisa, Britney, and Tracey. Please pray as their little snowflakes grow. Pray also for my friend Shannon who was preparing for her transfer soon, but has encountered some roadblocks. Pray that their path would be made clear and smooth, and that they can proceed with bringing their snowflakes home soon.

3. My NVP is back with some regularity. Since Thursday, I've had pretty upsetting episodes Thursday, Sunday, Tuesday, and I'm fighting one off today. I'm just so very tired of the vomiting. While I've been grateful for the days off in between, I would really love some permanent relief from it. One praise is between episodes, I've been able to get some fruits and veggies and meal replacement shakes in, to help with the vitamin consumption, but I've not been able to do any reliably yet, and baby boy needs his nutrition, so please pray with me.

Thanks, friends!

Monday, September 27, 2010

22 Weeks!

I don't have a lot of updates this week! Matthew is still kicking up a storm and I love it. I can't wait for DH to be able to feel it too! It's still at that point when kicks are fun and friends keep telling me to wait until his feet are bigger and stronger and then see if I change my tune. I hope I won't!

We have another doctor's appointment this week. This one is routine. I'll be anxious to see what my doctor says about measurements, growth, etc. I'm still 2 pounds under what I weighed the day of the transfer so I think talking to the doctor will help set my mind at ease (assuming he has good news for me!). I'm certainly not complaining about not gaining weight, and Matthew's weight looks good, so I'm hoping it's no big deal.

I do have one specific prayer request. In the coming weeks, I'll be tested for Gestational Diabetes. Sheila had it with all of her kids. I'm overweight and diabetes gallops through my family, so between those three things, there's a really, really, really high probability that I'll get it. Additionally, I've not been able to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables and whole grains, which is something you can do to help prevent it. I do exercise some, which helps, but a lot of what I've been able to keep down is simple starches, which is basically a welcome mat for the condition. I have pretty much everything working against baby and me, but would you join me in praying fervently that we're protected from it anyway? I can't even say how much I really, really, really don't want to get it. The thought of it honestly overwhelms me, and I'm so fatigued already from all the other issues with this pregnancy. Would you pray with me?

I do have an update on Baby Ewan. He made it through his surgery and doctors have spent the last several days trying to bring his body temperature back up, allow it to start functioning on its own and in the next few days, they hope to bring him off of some of the machines. A lot of his vitals look good and they see no signs of brain damage. God has done a whole host of miracles in this little boy's life. He's not out of the woods yet, but half a week ago, his parents were prepared to say goodbye to him, so this is huge cause for celebration. Please continue to pray!

All I have left to leave you with is an update on what's happening at 22 weeks:
The grow must go on! No wonder you’re getting so big, you’re now housing a wonder-baby who weighs nearly a pound and measures nearly a foot in length. Their perfect little pancreas is now further developed and they’ve also started producing their own hormones! Your baby's future in the circus as a world-famous tight-rope-walker is secure: their inner ear is now developed to the point that they have their own sense of balance. Lucky for your little explorer, balance also promotes physical dexterity, which has them actively feeling out their surroundings where skin, body parts, and the resident umbilical cord are the big sensory experiences. Your foot-long baby, is looking a bit like an oversized raisin right now as more and more wrinkles are showing up each week. Not to worry, all that excessive wrinkling is just their skin’s way of planning ahead for the time when they’ll start piling on that irresistible baby chub.

Blog buddy Lisa does her updates this way, and I think it's super cute, so I'm stealing the idea. Hope it's ok, Lisa!

*How far along? 22 weeks
*How big is your baby? A papaya--1lb, 10-12 inches in length
*Total weight gain: -2 pounds
*Sex: Boy
*Name: Matthew Michael Jeremiah (it's still weird to hear people call him by his name!)
*Maternity clothes: Yes! And it's wonderful
*Stretch marks: None that I didn't have already :P
*Movement: All the time now!
*Sleep: So, so! I am up several times a night, but when I am sleeping, it's pretty deep and restful
*Best moment this week:Mom treating me to a new wardrobe, that fits properly! Update! Oh, and of course the ultrasound. I forgot that that was just this week!! I swear, my brain has left my body.
*Food cravings: Chicken! I throw chicken up every.single.time I eat I've finally given it up, and I really, really want it! But the only real "craving" I've had is for something that doesn't exist. A few weeks ago, I wanted a loaf of hard crusty bread that had bacon, cheese, and green onion baked in. I wanted it served warm and topped with butter. I craved it for DAYS. Where it came from, I have no idea.
*Labor signs: Nothing yet! Don't get any ideas, Matthew!
*Belly button in or out: In
*What I miss: Sleeping all the way through the nigh.
*What we’re looking forward to: DH being able to feel the kicks.

And last but not least, a new "belly" pic, taken this morning by my sweet DH. :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Today's Ultrasound Update

Baby Matthew is, in a word, perfect. His heart is perfect, his brain is perfect, his spine is perfect, all the organs are the right sizes and in the right places. He's just perfect. A true miracle, handcrafted by His loving Creator.

Today's ultrasound was just as amazing as the one before. He continued to sass the tech and doctor with his non-compliance and squirrely movements. They teased us often about how we're going to have our hands full and that he's already giving us a run for our money.

But he's perfect. We've officially been discharged from the specialty imaging center's care, them having deemed their services "unnecessary" for the remainder of pregnancy.

It's just a little surreal. After 6 years of waiting, 5 babies in heaven, and a rough first half of our pregnancy, I guess I was just sort of holding my breath, half expecting for there to be something wrong. And we would have trusted our Savior and his if there had been something wrong, but I just can't explain what the words "normal" and "perfect" and "healthy" sound like after all of this. I still feel like I've entered an alternate reality, that isn't quite mine. Mine is the world full of difficulties and heartache and nothing coming the easy way...not perfect. But our great God has seen fit to give us this gift, and I don't know how to begin praising Him.

Of course, the doctor was careful to tell us that these images were an educated guess, not a scientific guarantee, but we are celebrating the news of today. If it changes, it changes. But today, he is perfect. We just sat and gazed at him for 45 minutes. We're so in love...I can tell I'm going to lose a lot of time just looking at him.

Without further ado, pictures! The technician is REALLY skilled, is very patient, and she got a brand new machine last week with all kinds of new bells and whistles. She was so sweet. She showed us all the technical stuff and then we asked if we could look at his face and she moved the wand over and jiggled him, and prodded him, and worked until she could get some nice images for us. She was so sweet and patient.

One of the main objectives of today was to look at his spinal cord. And she did. And then she flipped the 3D/4D switch. I have seen 4D ultrasound pics before, but never, ever, ever, one like this. This picture was simultaneously cool and creepy. But look how perfectly he is formed!

On this one you can sort of see his back, his shoulder, and the side of his head. Look at that darling little ear!

This is his profile-his ear is at like the 3/4 line if you divide the photo in fourths vertically. His eye socket is to the left of that. Then his cute little nose and mouth. I am just in love with his nose! That's his arm in the foreground and a foot or hand in the background to the left of the tip of his nose.

And here is his profile again, this time with his little hand in the air. Look at his fingers! "This little light of mine..."

And last but not least, my favorite photo of the day. You see his cute little head and face, and then he has his arms up in front of him, sort of making an "O" shape.

It was just perfect. I was a little disappointed for it to be over, because now there's not really any reason to go in and see him again, at least for a long time! I'm going to miss seeing him!

But now I'm going to transition from celebrating to petitioning. A woman I know from college had her ultrasound just like this one back in May, and they didn't get the kind of news we got today. Their son was diagnosed with a serious congenital heart defect. He was born 5 days ago and is fighting for his little life. He had a heart-cath procedure today to map out his heart for surgery, and from what I understand, they discovered an additional problem on top of the diagnosis he already had. I only really know her peripherally so what I know of their story is what I've been able to glean from her blog and her friend's posts and blogs, but she posted this tonight:

PRAYER WARRIORS: Now is the time!! We were just informed that Ewam requires emergency surgery. We were quoted some fairly grim numbers and this is his only chance. Please pray hard, and spread the word!!

And her friend posted this:

Tonight, after a long-awaited test, Kirsten and James learned that Ewan's heart prognosis is grim. He was ordered into an emergency surgery, and right now they're enduring the countdown of several hours of waiting, waiting, waiting . . . and praying, praying, praying. Even though they knew surgeries were ahead, they never expected them to come so urgently and immediately. It is a scary night for them.

As I write this (11:30 Pacific Time on Thursday night), he is still in surgery and his poor parents are still waiting. Please pray for this little guy, and for his parents. If you want to follow their story, they are at Team Ewan.

I just got back in touch with this woman tonight. I have no idea why God timed it the way He did. But having just been on that ultrasound table today, and imagining being in her shoes and what it would have been like to have my world turn upside down today and I just can't imagine. My heart is so heavy for them. I can't stop thinking about them. I just can't imagine what they're enduring. I read her blog and she has so much strength, even in the midst of this incredible trial. Pray, pray, pray for them. Pray for his sweet little life to be spared and for God's continued wisdom, peace, and sustaining power to be granted to his parents as they fight for him.

Thanks for checking in, dear ones. Love to you all.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Small little update and my first belly pic!

First, I finally took a "Belly" pic!

I got up, put my cute clothes and makeup on and took the pics. I guess I must look like a bum most days because I got to work and my pastor said "Wow! You look especially lovely today." LOL. didn't realize I was that obvious with my dressing laziness these days! I had gotten to the point where I didn't have maternity clothes except dresses and my feet hurt too much to wear them because I don't have good shoes to go with them, and I didn't want to wear my normal clothes anymore, so it was hard to find something to wear. But I didn't realize it was THAT obvious :)

Ok, so here is a "before" picture of me. It's 2 years old, but I pretty much look exactly the same. You can see that I have a pretty big belly even when I'm NOT pregnant. So that's why I've felt for so long that I just looked fat, not pregnant.

Here I am yesterday morning at 20w4d:

This second one is definitely as much fat as it is baby, but I still like it

We went to a consignment sale yesterday. We bought a Chicco umbrella stroller, 11 articles of clothing for Matthew, and a dress for me for $50! It was awesome! Phoenix moms, the sale is still going on today (Saturday). Check out for info.

We also met our childbirth instructor there--she's the one who told us about the sale. She's very sweet. I was really nervous because some of the Bradley instructors can be really militant but she was so nice. I was really comfortable with her, which made me feel really good. It's funny both she and her 2 friends who are Doulas pointed at my belly and said "your belly is so cute." I said "no, my belly is just fat." And they said "no, that's baby RIGHT THERE" and pointed to a very specific point. When I looked down, I noticed that I was lopsided :D I guess he was showing off or saying hello or something. :D It was fun.

They also said there's an old wives tale that your baby will be born exactly 5 months after you feel the first kicks. That puts me at January 11. What's funny is my mom's EDD with both me and my brother was January 9 (of different years). Guess our family just likes that week!

Then we went to Motherhood Maternity and I finally bought some Maternity clothes. I had a couple of tops, but I was still wearing my old bottoms. I had one pair that I could wear unbuttoned with a belly band, and some old ones from before I lost weight that were too big so I was always either scrunched, or constantly hiking my pants up. I found two pair of capris, and oh my goodness, they're SO comfortable! I had no idea what I was missing!! I also found a few more tops so I can stop wearing the same 3. I still need to find a few more bottoms, but I think I'm full on going into maternity clothes from now on, now! SOOO comfy!! Between the extra length of maternity tops, and the comfy pants, I may never go back to regular clothes! ;)

Baby's bedding came. It was a dud :( It was poorly made, and it was actually stained, even though it was supposed to be brand new. So we sent it back and went back to the drawing board. This is the one DH chose. I think it's cute that he has a strong opinion, and I really don't, so I think we're going to go with this. Surprisingly enough, I was more into the transportation thing than he was. He told me tonight that he really wants a monkey. So, we found a monkey. And all his friends. I asked DH, "what's with the monkey?" He said, "I've decided that it's my schtick." Um, ok. Random. But really cute.

We're going tomorrow to register at Buy Buy Baby and close our registry at BRU. What a difference in the stores. We originally passed up BBB because on smaller things, we thought they were significantly more expensive than BRU. But on the more substantial purchases, the prices are actually comparable, and BBB accepts BRU coupons, as well as Bed, Bath and Beyond coupons. Plus, the sales people were SO knowledgeable. We definitely felt more confident in their product recommendations, and they offered more and better quality choices. We also think the BBB corporation in general is more customer friendly. So, new mommas out there, give BBB a chance if you have one near you!! We were very impressed.

DH is really getting into this. He chose the monkey and friends, and he wants to change the's so cute! We've really come in to the fun part of pregnancy now! Speaking of which, I've had two NORMAL days this week--full length, lots of activity, little nap time--I feel like my old self and it's so nice! I doubted if I was going to get here since it hadn't happened yet, but I finally did, and I'm loving it! Thank you for your prayers!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Miscellaneous Updates

Wow, I feel like things are happening so quickly, now.

I'm still at negative 3 pound overall weight change but suddenly, I am starting to look pregnant. To most people I still probably just look fat, but I can notice differences in the weight, skin texture, etc. I've regained some of the weight I lost and it's all come back in my tummy area. I find myself walking differently, feeling differently, being more sensitive about movement of my belly, etc. My stomach feels harder and to DH and I, looks differently. I feel like the change happened literally overnight because just last week I was telling my friends that I really haven't changed that much. I've always carried my weight around my tummy, and I still weigh less now than I did at my heaviest point, so for the most part, I've just felt like the same old me. But this week, I'm really noticing a difference. Maybe it's all in my head! :P

I've taken swimming back up the last couple of weeks now that my vomiting has finally started to subside (only two episodes since Labor Day--yay! And one was migraine related, so technically only one NVP episode!) and I REALLY feel better. It seems so counter-intuitive because when you feel exhausted and crummy, the last thing you want to do is exercise, but I've found it makes such a difference!

We've done a little more buying for baby. We bought his bedding set and it's so cute. We didn't intend to buy it so early, but we received word that it was discontinued by the manufacturer and several stores were already sold out and the remaining stores that still had it had inflated their prices, so we found one store that still had it at regular price, and we snatched it up. Isn't it cute? It totally fits with the fact that DH is a 4th Generation Car Guy and Matthew will probably be 5th if his dad and grandpa have anything to say about it!

Isn't it cute?

We also ordered his bedroom furniture, because it's backordered until almost Thanksgiving, and we want to be able to put his nursery together in December. I just think this furniture is lovely, don't you? The changing table top removes and the piece becomes a nightstand. The crib is solid wood. I've loved this set for years and years and I just think it's beautiful.

We still want to get the matching bookshelf, but we'll hold off on that til later.

And I think we're done with purchasing for this month at least. It's a really nice feeling though to just check things off little by little. We worked really hard to pay off all of our debt so now the money that was going to credit card bills every month can go to baby expenses. I like that we can do a little each month and take advantage of sales as they come up (I got his furniture for almost $700 off!) rather than being overwhelmed with expenses right at the end.

We've received some fun gifts. Both of my sisters in law know of my obsession with Gymboree so one sister sent him this:

along with a matching hat.

The other one, who lives in cold weather, sent him this for when he comes to visit them:

along with some matching socks.

Aren't they both so cute? I'm just so tickled pink with all these cute things. Thinking about him in them makes me want to clap my hands and squeal like a little girl. I just can't believe he's really coming.

But the MOST exciting news of the week is that I'm finally starting to feel him. I'd had like 2 and a half or 3 weeks where I'd felt these little flutterings. They felt like butterflies, or bubbles popping inside, or something. But I wasn't really sure if it was him, or an overactive digestive system :D Saturday night, I was talking to my best friend on the phone and told her that exact thing when she asked if I'd felt him yet. Shortly after we hung up the phone, he gave me two swift, unmistakable kicks, as if to say, "Yes, Mom, it IS me!" It's the coolest, most surreal feeling in the world! He does it a few times a day now, most often around 11:30 at night. I'm going to have a talking to with him about how daytime is playtime, and nighttime is for sleeping. But considering that I'm a nightowl too, I'd better start leading by example! :)

Anyway, that's what's going on in our corner of the world! Hope you all are well!

Bloggy friends: Please leave me your link in the comments again. The gal who designed this blog template had to move things and in reinstalling the template, I unwittingly lost all my links (again!). Some I have memorized, and others I don't, so if you could help me out and post them again for me, I'll get my list added back and make my rounds through your blogs again :) Thanks!

20 Weeks

Here's what's going on with Baby Matthew this week! We're halfway there!!

This week you're carrying about 10.5 inches and 10.5 ounces of solid baby-miracle-goodness! Their little delicate bones continue to ossify and toughen while their itsy bitsy finger and toe pads are finishing up. Your little monkey now has teeth buds, although they’re hidden beneath the gum line. And finally! Their limbs have reached their relative proportions—no more alien baby! Their cute pink lips are more defined, and might be helping out in a bit of prenatal thumb-sucking. If you have a little boy, then their tiny testes are descending, though they have not yet passed the abdominal wall. What’s more, eyelashes and eyebrows are also visible. At this point, your little one really looks like a miniature baby—and we do mean miniature as your little swimmer currently weighs a mere eighth of their final birth weight. With half the pregnancy behind you, the most significant gains are yet to come!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Post-Weekend Check-In

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a nice long weekend!

I've been in a funk lately, which is why I've been relatively quiet here in bloggy-land. I think it was just a combination of fatigue, grief, and hormones, but I was in an anti-social mood for almost 2 weeks, where I just didn't feel like seeing, being with, or talking to people. I guess I just wanted the world to stop moving for a few days while I caught my breath and processed everything that's gone on in the last month.

So for most of the last two weeks, I spent most of my time alone. Pastor is on vacation so I was alone at work. DH works during the day, so I was alone at home, and I didn't accept any social invitations. It was really kind of weird, because I'm one of the biggest extroverts I know. I will ALWAYS choose being with people over being alone. So this was just weird. But I spent a lot of time praying, thinking, talking with DH, and resting. I think that's probably one of the downfalls of the extrovert--you fill your time and thoughts with so much activity, that you don't often have time for quiet and stillness. I need to be more intentional about carving out time to be still.

This weekend was really recharging. I had tons of time with DH, which is always some of my best medicine. We hung out all weekend together, just doing life. Time with him just refills my love cup so much. He is self-employed in a manual-labor industry, so he works long hours that leave him physically exhausted during the week, so while we see each other, there's not a lot of quality time that happens during the week. So 3 days with him was just what the doctor ordered!

We've been doing little things to prepare for baby Matthew. This weekend, we ordered our carseat and stroller. Aren't they cute? I love the funky pattern and I think it will serve us well for both boys and girls.

On Saturday, we went and registered at Target. It was fun to shop for him. It's still a little early to be registering, but it was nice to go and start choosing things for him. He really IS coming!! Now that he has a gender and a name, everything feels so much more real and imminent.

I've determined that I really like transportation and jungle animals. Not sure where that came from, but brightly colored elephants and giraffes and airplanes and trucks are so cute! (The cars thing makes sense-DH is a 4th Generation Car Guy). But man am I a sucker for cute things!

I have a question for you mommies out there: we're also registered at Babies R Us. Babies R Us locations are far and few between in our town. But there are some things they have that Target just doesn't have, so we have both registries open. But in the cases of products that both stores carry, how do you choose which store? We tended toward Target because the stores are more easily accessible but I also know that Babies R Us is more flexible. Thoughts?

I have another question, too. I originally decided that I didn't want a traditional, full sized high chair. Our dining room is small and high chairs are large. I opted instead for a booster style seat that we could just strap to our regular dining room chair. But when we were at Target this weekend, we found this one which converts from a full size to a booster style. So then I thought the flexibility of that one might be nice. We only have 6 dining room chairs, which are easy to fill if we have company over. So I thought having the legs to make the chair freestanding in cases like that and in cases where I might want to feed baby in another room (would I ever want/need to do that?) might be nice. But I can't decide if legs and flexibility are worth the extra $50. Has anyone ever gone exclusively the booster seat route and regretted it?

We're also still deciding between cloth and disposable diapers. How about this-I'll make all the fun and cute decisions...someone else make the rest! :D

Another question: What are your top 5 baby items?

My piece of advice to other moms: don't let your DH carry the scanner gun! :) You never know WHAT you're going to end up with!

I know I'm doing a lot of this early, but we're trying to space out our major purchases, especially since he is coming right after Christmas, when our expenses are traditionally the highest.

The next big decision we have to make is where to bank baby's cord blood. As I mentioned before, this was a non-negotiable of the Genetic Parents. DH and I had originally intended to donate cord blood, because it is rich with stem cells and we had hoped that if scientists have plenty of access to those cells, they'd leave embryos alone. So, that was hard for us to let go of.

We don't have any objection to cord blood banking. We don't have strong opinions on delayed clamping or anything like that that would affect whether or not cord blood banking was an option for us. In reality, it's probably a wise investment considering we don't have any genetic commonalities with our children. That was the main reason Beau and Sheila wanted it--to preserve some genetic "resources" if you will for the children since we are unable to provide them. Has anyone banked their child's cord blood? What company have you used? How did you make that choice and have you been satisfied with it?

Someone asked me this question in a comment on my last post so I thought I'd answer it here:
We may consider EA, as a life-giving option and also because we will most likely not have a biological child. I worry if I could keep going through failed transfers like yourself. I know how hard it was for us to go through 2 failed IVF's. I know the pregnancy makes it all worth it, any encouragement to why EA is worth all even the losses? If you could you answer on your blog, as I still have not opened up that topic on my blog, I would really appreciate it. If you want to email me, let me know.

I believe EA is a calling. I believe it is something that God places on your heart, and then gives you the resources to accomplish. I don't view it as a fertility treatment or even as a strictly family-building endeavor. I and DH both believe with all our hearts that God called us specifically to this and that these children were always ours in His plan for us. Keeping that in mind makes the losses easier to bear because the end goal of glorifying God and being obedient stays the same in both life and death. I'm no saint, trust me. Loss is hard. I have 5 children in Heaven already, and realistically, probably more who will join them. It's the hardest thing I've ever done, and it hurts every time. Quite honestly, I hate that part of this journey. But, when we adopted these babies, we decided to always want the best for them. And if their Creator has numbered the days of some of them to be shorter than the days allotted to their brother, we believe that we have to trust Him with them, regardless of how difficult it is. We believe that He loves them more than we ever could, and that while we miss them, Heaven is all they've ever known, so they're not hurting. Remembering that makes the losses more difficult to bear. Has this journey been hard? Yes. Exceptionally so. Far more than I ever anticipated. But I can say that beyond a shadow of a doubt, it is worth it. By God's grace, we have 12 children. 6 are now out of frozen limbo and He allowed US to make that happen for them. I love that they're not stuck and frozen anymore. And I love this little boy on the way with all my heart. God gives us the strength for both our joys and our sorrows, and there is great comfort in knowing that we are being obedient to His plan for us. I hope that helps, and I'll pray as you consider whether or not EA is what He has for you. Do any of you other EA mommies out there want to chime in for her? Feel free to comment on this post.

Several of my bloggy friends have experienced recent losses after failed FETs--praying for all of you, friends!

Thanks in advance everyone for any feedback you have on any of my questions!

19 Weeks!

Here's what's happening with baby Matthew this week!

Your amazing little baby is now around 10 inches in length! If this seems a bit shocking, you’ll be relieved to know they’ve not actually grown over 3 inches, but that their little legs are now straight enough to be measured. This is when doctors begin measuring fetal growth from head to toe, (no longer “crown to rump” or CR). Lanugo (little hairs) covers their whole body now, trapping that charming cheese-like vernix caseosa (see week 18) to the surface to the skin. This week your lil’ fetus will start on an appetizing diet of amniotic fluid which they are now capable of swallowing, digesting, and passing the fluid as far as their tiny “large” intestines.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

And the verdict is...

We've joined team....


Matthew Michael Jeremiah is on his way!

Our appointment was almost an hour long!

He started out by being a stinker and only showing the top of his head. The upside (ha! no pun intended!) is that the tech got an extensive look at his brain and measured everything pertinent--everything measured properly and looked correctly shaped and positioned! She got some nice pictures of his profile, and confirmed that there are no indicators of Down's Syndrome or of a cleft palate. We weren't concerned about either, but the confirmation is nice just the same.

He decided that he's going to single-handedly revamp the trend of sticking your face on the copy machine. This picture gave us a good giggle. It's like he's pressing his nose up against the wall and saying "hello out there!"

Then he moved a little bit and she was able to see his abdomen, arms and legs. He has 5 fingers on each hand, which he waved at us, several times.

He stayed on his side for a long time. She was able to look at a lot of his internal organs and said that his kidneys, stomach and gallbladder all looked good.

FINALLY, he flipped, spread his legs, and basically sat on the camera. What cracks me up about this picture is that his face is in the background and he's almost smiling, as if to say, "I'm a boy and PROUD of it!"

After she took some more measurements, she switched probes on the ultrasound machine. We got this nice image that I think is easier to see:

Then, she surprised us by switching to 4D! We had no idea she'd do that and we were just tickled pink. She got this great picture. I love his little face.

After that she finished up and then said the doctor would be in to see me to do another ultrasound, just in case she missed something.

He walked in and said, "Your child is very....uncooperative." I just laughed. He's not even born yet and he's already got some mischief in him.

The doctor took some more images but had the same lack of success in a few areas that the tech had experienced. Basically, they were able to look some at the heart and they could see that it has 4 chambers and that the blood was flowing the correct way. But, they couldn't see as much as they wanted to. And, he absolutely refused to flip over and put his back toward the camera, so they couldn't fully investigate his spinal cord. So, they've scheduled us for a repeat ultrasound in 3 weeks so that they can take better images of those two areas. They did reassure us that from everything they COULD see, they thought things were normal. But they said they thought they'd be remiss if they didn't get some clearer images. I can't say I'm objecting to seeing our little man again.

Now, about his name.

Matthew is DH's middle name. I happen to think DH is the most wonderful man in the world, so I think it's fitting to name our son after him. The name means "gift of God," which this little one is. Also, the family middle name for men in DH's family is "Hugh." DH and I don't particularly care for that name. DH always thought his middle name was "Matthew" because it at least keeps the sound of Hugh. We recently asked his mom if that was true and she said it was not, but we actually still think it's cool and that it pays homage to the family name.

Michael was chosen in honor of Mike, our friend who just passed away. We really wanted him to meet our kids, and he was one of our biggest cheerleaders, so we thought it was fitting to honor him in this way. It's funny-ever since he died, I've felt like this baby would be a boy.

Jeremiah is the middle name we chose before Mike died. We chose it because of the verse in the book of Jeremiah that says, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you..." Given the way this little snowflake came to be and the fact that he actually had a "before my womb" time in his life and God chose to spare Him for us, we thought it was especially fitting.

We wrapped up little booties in blue and little girl onesies in separate packages for my parents and DH's parents with strict instructions that they not open the packages until instructed. Everyone was thrilled with the news that he's a boy, but my father in law was the most excited, I think. He has only one other grandson. And across this entire generation, there are only 3 boys. DH's cousin and his wife are pregnant. They don't know what they're having but if she's a girl, our baby will be the only male in this generation with the family last name. FIL is pretty stinking excited about that.

For our siblings, we had one Almond Joy Bar and one Mounds Bar and then told them each which one to unwrap. The theme song from the 80s for these two candy bars goes "Almond Joys have nuts, Mounds don't." I have to say that it's a little more crass than I would have preferred, but we couldn't think of any other inexpensive, creative ideas. It was fun.

On the way home from the appointment, we stopped at the party store to get the blue balloons. We came home and called the parents and siblings to direct them to the right packages, then called DH's grandparents, who were also excited, and then have spent the rest of the evening telling pretty much anyone who will listen! :)

It still hasn't quite sunk in yet that he's a boy. I'm a girl, so I know what to do with girls! I don't know what to do with boys. I guess I always pictured myself as a girl mommy. But, we're going to learn together, and I've been told that boys are much easier! :) I'm excited to learn!

So, that's our happy news. Thanks for letting us introduce our SON to you!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Weeks 17 and 18

I'm behind, again! Here's what's been happening with baby!

Week 17:

Don't be too shocked but... your baby is EVEN bigger than it was last week, not to mention getting cuter, and smarter every day! As you’ve come to expect, there’s no shortage of growth and development this week: your fantastic little bean stalk has added yet another half inch to their overall height-- making them nearly half a foot long! Their little limbs have reached (or are within one week of) their relative proportions, and will continue to grow evenly with the rest of the body after this week. Reactive listening has begun for your baby, even though their ears are not yet structurally complete or fully functional. Meanwhile, different parts of their astonishingly complex brain are developing to process your little one’s hearing and other senses, (you know, sight, smell, taste and touch). Mind boggling factoid of the week: if you’re having going to have a little girl, her ovaries have already produced millions of primordial egg cells, which, within a few weeks, will develop into actual eggs! Phew… just wait till she’s a teenager eh?

Week 18

We have two more ounces! Your "getting bigger-n-better by the minute baby" is already up to 7 ounces and 6 inches! This is a big week for their baby skin. There are now two distinct layers—the epidermis (or the surface skin) and dermis. Currently, their skin is covered with a greasy, waxy, cheese-like substance, known as vernix caseosa. Sure, it sounds pretty nasty, but this mixture of fatty secretions covering your little swimmer from head to toe is the best way to protect their oh-so-thin skin from bruising and abrasions as well as chapping caused by amniotic fluid exposure (and your little one is swimming in that stuff!). Still don’t like the fact your little darling is currently slathered in fatty cream like a greased pig? That adorable little greased piglet would have a lot harder time getting through the birth canal without the vernix caseosa. Fun fact for mommas with baby girls: it’s a uterus within a uterus! Your little girl will have developed a uterus and vagina canal by the end of this week.