Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Sweetest Pictures in the World :)

(Excuse the quality of most of these...they are pictures of pictures.)

I've been lucky enough to have four ultrasounds done so far.  The first one was to check for a baby (because of my blighted ovum) and a heartbeat...that was around 6 weeks.  This has been my favorite one so far - I LOST it when I saw this picture for the first time!

Keep in mind, I had never seen one of our babies on an ultrasound before...so this was absolutely incredible!  I would just stare and stare at this picture.  The actual baby is the line...the circle above it is the yolk sak.  It's weird that it was so little just a few weeks ago!

The next ultrasound is the result of me being neurotic/crazy a funny story.  So around 6 1/2 weeks I started getting symptoms.  Well, about a week later, they just disappeared.  Of course my crazy brain started cranking, and I got nervous.

I had a few old pregnancy tests in the cabinet, so I thought I'd take one just to see if it was still positive.

Yeah, if you're past like 5 weeks, don't do that.

I took it and it was a good bit LIGHTER than my other ones.  So my crazy side goes into super overdrive, and I called my doctor.  After that, I started consulting Dr. Google (as I too often do), and figured out everything was ok.

Want to know why?  At about 5-6 weeks, the hormone in your urine starts breaking down, and will show less positive on a pregnancy test.  Don't judge me on the grossness here - but if you water down what you're testing with, it will go back to showing positive again.  And it did...very weird!

So, I had calmed down by the time the doctor called back, but they still enabled my craziness let me come in for an ultrasound, just to make sure.

This was the only one where I haven't measured ahead of my original due date - but I was just glad to get a good, strong heartbeat that time!

The third ultrasound was at 8 1/2 weeks...and the baby DEFINITELY hit a growth spurt in that week.  I went from measuring 7w0days at the last appointment to 8w4days at this one (in only a week's time)!

At this one, we could actually see the baby moving...very, very cool!

Then, 2 weeks later, we got to see him/her again.  This time we could definitely make out full arms and legs...it looked much more human! :)

In two weeks and two days, we went from 8w4days to 11w1day...we've got a fast grower on our hands. :)  The baby wasn't really moving around this time, but heartbeat was good and strong (181bpm) and it was only about a 3 minute ultrasound...so I wasn't too worried about it.  It is cool to see them move though!

We're 11 weeks, 5 days today...I'm SOOOO close to that 12 week mark!  I stopped taking the progesterone last night too because I had some weird reactions to it over the weekend.  So far, so good! :)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Details :)

I cannot express how overwhelmed and thankful we are for the texts, emails, comments, tweets, facebook posts, etc. we have received...you guys are the best!  Last night and today was kind of like the email version of Christmas...I couldn't wait to see the new comments!

So on to the dirt. :)

- I am 11 weeks and 1 day today, specifically.  My due date is March 15th as of right now (during our spring break!).  I figured March 18th before we went to the doctor, but the baby has measured at least 2 days ahead on all but 1 ultrasound...so they bumped me up!

-Speaking of ultrasounds...they are just the best ever. :)  Needless to say, I have been incredibly nervous before each one.  It's just that old experience coming out...I hate that I do it, but I can't help it.  But everything has been perfect at every one!  The first one was one of the best moments of my life...the first time we found the heart beat, I just cried and cried.  It was AWESOME!

-AND speaking of heartbeats...we've got a fast one!  It was 131bpm at 6 weeks, 156bpm at 7 weeks, 172bpm at 8 1/2 weeks, and 181bpm at 11 weeks.  I KNOW everybody's going to say girl after hearing that, but I don't buy into that one!  I honestly don't have an inkling about gender either way yet.  And I really think me being nervous before the ultrasound is bumping the heart rate up a little too.

-Not everything in this pregnancy has been picture perfect.  I tested at 10dpo (SUPER EARLY)...at 12 dpo (before my period was even supposed to start), I started spotting, just like the last pregnancies.  Obviously, I freaked, and called the on-call doctor (it was a Friday and the office was already closed).  It wasn't my regular doctor who knew our story, so I kind of had to talk him into giving me some kind of progesterone supplement.

Alright, let me get on my soapbox about progesterone for a second.  I honestly don't believe I would have kept this pregnancy without being on something for a progesterone deficiency (I'm on Crinone 8% if you're wondering).  I had my levels tested at first and they were NORMAL.  But yet I was spotting 2 days later.  I've had many, many women comment on the blog and tell me in real life that I needed to watch my progesterone closely next time, that that could be my problem (so many that my mom was reading my blog one day and asked, "What is this progesterone everybody keeps talking about?"). So it was always in the back of my mind that this could be our issue.

Sure enough, I started taking the Crinone that night, and the spotting was gone the next day, and hasn't been back.  So, if you start spotting during pregnancy, have them check your progesterone IMMEDIATELY!!  If it is still normal, but you still spot, see if your doctor will put you on some kind of progesterone...it can't hurt, and might help!  I honestly believe now I could have saved my second pregnancy if I had known about this.

Ok, off the soapbox now. :)

I have also had been somewhat achy, especially over the past few weeks.  It feels like stretching, and the doctor confirmed that's what it probably is, but it will still freak you out a little. :)  I've read multiple times that stretching cramps are a GOOD thing, so I've just got to get used to that!

-I have had symptoms.  The progesterone makes me very tired (hence the blog sketchiness...I've been going to sleep at about 8 every night!).  I started having morning sickness at about 7 weeks.  It's been off and on...I'll be fine one day, and the next I'll be sick all morning.  It's mostly when I wake up, and then again a little bit at dinner.  But I've had a prescription for Zofran that has been my BFF! And I'll admit, I've actually kind of liked having the sickness...it's been my sign that something's going on in there. :)

- I'm starting to show just a little!  It's funny, I'm in that stage where I get the "are you fat or pregnant?" look.  I'm going to start doing weekly updates next week...I've been taking pictures of the bump (mostly bloat) since 9 weeks!

-From here, I'm not quite back to being a normal pregnant woman yet.  I stop taking the progesterone in a week...which I'm SUPER nervous about.  By 12 weeks, your placenta is supposed to take over production of progesterone, so you don't have to take the supplements anymore.  I have read probably a hundred times now that it is normal to be nervous, but it will be fine.  Still scared though.

I'm also still going to the doctor more frequently.  She told us yesterday that she'd let me go back to being a normal patient after this next appointment.  I've been in every two weeks so far, and I go in again in 2 weeks.  After that, I don't know...but my guess is my next appointment will be the gender ultrasound! :)

We just can't tell you how happy and BLESSED we feel!  I don't take it lightly at all that we've been given this gift.  I can't begin to thank all of those that have prayed for us, and continue to pray for a great pregnancy and a healthy baby.  You will never know how much we appreciate you. :)

And just a note for those still waiting for their miracle...I almost felt bad to post last night because I know it can feel like a kick in the stomach to read those posts.  I felt kicked many, many times.  But just DON'T lose that faith.  I know, easier said than done, but sometimes, knowing that God's got this one is all you can do.  Just know that I am praying for you all!

Thursday, August 25, 2011


As many of you know, Noah and I have been trying to grow our family for a little over a year now. 

This hasn't always been an easily traveled road.

We got pregnant fairly easily in September of last year, only to have a tumultuous pregnancy end in a devastating miscarriage at about 7 weeks.  Then, to our shock, we were pregnant again two months later.  This too ended in a very early miscarriage...this time, I was only a little over 4 weeks.

After that, I was broken...the most broken I had ever been (and hope to ever be).  I wouldn't wish the life I was living on my worst enemy.  I did everything I could to keep my mind off of it, yet it was all I could think about.

But somehow, I never, ever gave up the faith that I was going to be a mother.  Never, not for a second.  I didn't know what road I was going to have to take, and I didn't know how long I would be traveling on that road, but I knew where I was headed.   This was an absolute constant.

We sought professional help for what we only figured could be a major problem. This "help" only left us more lost.  I was put on medication I don't believe was ever necessary in the first place, and that gave me a laundry list of side effects that I truly believe kept me from getting pregnant for several months.

To my surprise, the specialist tried to put me back on the same medicine that had completely wrecked my body a month later.

And that's where I think God took over.

As I was listening to the voice mail from the nurse that day, I heard a message from God clearer than I ever have.  It was just to step away, and have faith in Him to take care of it.

So I did.  I politely called the nurse back and told her we would be totally stepping away from any treatment.  I'm sure she thought I was a nut job, but I didn't really care.  I knew what I was doing was right.

So we tried on our own, without any medicine.  This lasted for a few months (five I think?), and nothing happened.  It was taking longer than it ever had for me to get pregnant, so I was getting a little impatient.  I called my doctor (not the specialist, my regular doctor, who ROCKS), and she told me to wait until September, and if nothing had happened, we'd talk.

So if I was going to have to wait, we were at least going to give it 100%. :)

We went on an incredible vacation in June, but because of our travel schedules after that, I honestly didn't think there was a chance for that month.  So I tried to focus on July as "our month."

We were also out of town at the beginning of July for Noah's birthday/the Fourth of July.  A couple of days after we got home, I had two very, very vivid dreams about getting a positive pregnancy test.  Like, had one, it was so strong it woke me up, went back to sleep, had another one, woke me up again.  By that point, Noah was leaving for work, and I thought, "why not?"

I wasn't even supposed to test for another 4 days...it was super early, and I had never gotten a positive test that early.  But that day, the second line showed up as clear as day (light, but clear as day).

I immediately started crying, and found the old extra digital test in the bathroom drawer I had been saving for just such an occasion.  Sure enough...

Though this pregnancy hasn't been without it's own troubles, I've really never lost that faith that this was it.  This is the baby I'm going to get to take home.

And today, we went for our fourth ultrasound...which confirmed that it's looking like I'm going to be right. :)

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."  -Jeremiah 29:11

We are so blessed to announce that I am 11 weeks pregnant with a perfect, healthy baby!

More details to come. :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Bullet Points

  • So just call me blog sketch of the year.  Y'all know this happens to me about this time each year.  There's something about the first 2 or 3 weeks of school that just take the LIFE out of you.  I come home, put my pajamas on, and usually get in bed.  It's a struggle to do much else!  Hopefully I'll get into my school-year groove soon.
  • Speaking of school year - it's going great!  I've got my smallest class ever (16 kiddos).  That's been a little bit of an adjustment.  But I LOVE having the even number (I'm OCD like that) and the small group!
  • Noah's great - just working a lot.  As you can imagine, the tornado is still really putting a lot of work on his plate.
  • Football starts in FOURTEEN DAYS!  Praise the Lord - I've missed it!  I have a feeling the first game is going to be mass chaos in Tuscaloosa, so we'll more than likely lay low and watch it on TV, unless someone we know comes in town.
  • I need to start cooking again.  We've either eaten out or eaten leftovers/stolen goods from my parents' house for two weeks.  That's sad.  Any ideas?
  • I'm working on the "getting my life organized during the school year" concept too.  Does anybody have an Erin Condren planner?  It seems like everybody's getting one lately, and I'm just wondering what all of the hype is about. 
And that, I believe, sums up my random life right now. :)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Classroom Show-Off 2011!

Welcome to Classroom Show-Off 2011!

You can see my classroom from 2010 here and from 2009 here.

I haven't really changed much this year...here's what did change though!

The biggest difference - no bookshelves in the middle.  Those were loaner bookshelves, so I'm having to make do with something else!

Instead of a behavior board, I'm using this board as my star student board now.  

The calendar will be up soon!  This is how I've had it in the past.

This has been the biggest change.  The reading area is scooted a foot or so, and my books are in the corner now.

Tiki hut reading area, small group table (excuse the mess!), writing wall, and some of the computers.

Now show off your (much cleaner) classrooms!  If you have a theme, put it in the title of your link.  You could put your grade too!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

"Where'd She Go?"

Yes, I've been decidedly off the radar for the past week.  Read bullet points for explanation!

(Quick little bit of housekeeping - I'm going to move the classroom show-off to tomorrow, mostly because I didn't get pictures of my room today. :) Check back tomorrow afternoon/evening!)

-School starts back next Wednesday...my contract starts TOMORROW.  Where did summer go?  Any teacher can tell you that the first few days back are incredibly exhausting.  I know, you poor babies have to go back to work after 2 months off. :)  But it is really tiring getting back into the swing of things though!  I've been working on my room and doing some pre-testing this week.

-I have had a TON of blog orders come in in the past 2 weeks for some reason!  Very thankful. :)

-I have come to realize that my house is a HOT mess.  In all of that spare time I've had, I'm trying to maintain it, but I'm doing a pretty poor job.  Getting a housekeeper is getting more tempting every day!

-We went to Nashville last week with Noah's job!  It was a lot of fun - but I'll admit - I didn't get ONE picture.  Sad, I know.  We stayed at the Opryland Hotel, and literally left once...there's just so much to do there!  It's seriously a little city.

So yeah, there's my oh-so-exciting life right now.  I just need to get back in the swing of things, and I'll be back to my multitasking, blogging, working, cooking, cleaning self!