Moving Anatomy

In the morning of April 29, 2014, we went to Desert Perinatal Associates to see Dr. Wilkes which is the doctor who works with my midwife Kathya

We were called in to see the genetic counselor Tracy first.  She talked about the amniocentesis.  I asked if there was a blood test instead since my friend Carrie told me about it.  She told us about two tests.  One is called the Panorama test which is a blood test that I take.  The other test (which I can’t remember the name) takes both parent’s blood.  Ivan doesn’t like getting his blood drawn, so he thought I should do the Panorama test.  I don’t mind getting my blood drawn at all.

Ivan and I went back to the waiting room.  I used the toilet while waiting to be called.

My name was called and we went to a room.  The lady asked if I needed to use the restroom.  I said I already went.  Conveniently, there was a restroom that connected to the room we were in. 

The lady was getting everything ready for the ultrasound.  I asked if there were going to do a transvaginal ultrasound.  She said the regular and a transvaginal one were being done today.  I asked Is the transvaginal necessary? and she said it was to measure my cervix.  She gave me a sheet and said to undress from the waist down.  She said the doctor would be along in a few minutes.

Jen waiting to do her anatomy ultrasound

Dr. Wilkes’ nurse came in.  She is a tall, pretty blonde.  She was young probably in her mid 20’s.  She did the ultrasound to check the baby’s anatomy.  She said the baby was stubborn because he kept moving around.  My family is quite stubborn, so that makes sense.

Baby's Nose and Lips

We saw his spine and his nose and mouth.  She kept pointing out things and we just had to nod since we weren’t really sure what we were looking at, while she was a trained professional.  She asked if we knew if it was a boy or girl.  Ivan said Yes, it’s a boy and she confirmed that she did indeed see a third leg.

Ultrasound for a baby boy

She asked about the due date.  I told her that I got another ultrasound and they said I was 9 days earlier.  They were still basing my original due date of Sept. 7th.  She said that the baby was 13 oz which was right on track.  His heartbeat was 161 bpm. 

She printed a picture of the baby with it’s arms up and put pictures of the ultrasound onto a CD for us to take home.

Next, she did the transvaginal ultrasound.  I read an article that a lady sued the doctor because she felt like was being raped when she got the transvaginal ultrasound.  It’s not anything to be scared about.  A probe which is covered in a condom and with gel on top is placed inside the vagina.  She checked my cervix.  The ultrasound only lasted a few minutes and it doesn’t hurt at all.  She told me that Dr. Wilkes would be in to talk to us soon.

Dr. Wilkes came in and sat down.  He had the brightest sneakers on that you could probably see from 2 miles away.  He was the happiest doctor I’ve ever met.  He was excited that we were having a baby.  Ivan thought the doctor was so happy that it was actually him having the baby. 

He told me that my cervix was long, so I didn’t have to do another transvaginal ultrasound.  He said everything looked fine.  He said I should come back in 6 weeks to do a interval growth ultrasound and a fetal echocardiogram.

Next, I went to have my blood drawn for the Panorama test.  It was three vials of blood.  It hurts a little when the needle goes in, but after that it’s fine.  It doesn’t make me feel faint.  The test results will come back in 7-10 days.

Ivan has been on a salad kick lately.  My favorite salad is definitely the watermelon feta salad that he made on May 1, 2014.

Watermelon Feta salad

It’s so refreshing and tasty.  It’s a great summer salad.  He got the idea to make it since the restaurant Forte has a Watermelon Feta salad on special.

Later that afternoon, I went to get a facial.  I was lying down with my eyes closed.  I felt bubbles, but harder than usual.  I put my hand on my stomach and felt the baby kick or hit my stomach.  I think he was saying Is anybody out there? like in the Pink Floyd song.  It was really cool to feel the baby moving. 

I felt even more movement later on.  It’s such a great feeling to know he’s moving and kicking inside.  We were going to see a comedy show.  The baby kicked me hard which made me jump a little.

The doctor’s office called on May 2, 2014 and said that the results of the alpha-fetoprotein test came back negative.  The test checks for spina bifida and anencephaly.  The baby has a 1 in 4,300 chance of getting spina bifida.  It was good news and the results came back really fast.

I took the quiz Are You Having a Boy or a Girl? that I saw online to see if it would accurately guess I’m having a boy.  It did guess that I was having a boy. 

I still wake up once or twice a night to go to the toilet.  It’s annoying, but even more so if I wake up Ivan which has happened once.  I do try to be as quiet as possible when I head to the bathroom and get back into bed.  I usually go right back to sleep.

I’ve been getting tired during the day and I usually take a nap.  I took a nap once for 2 hours and it didn’t effect me that night.

I went to see my chiropractor Dr. Simoncelli on May 5, 2014.  He said I was crooked, so he adjusted me and hopefully I’m back to normal.

Ivan and I have been wondering what the baby is up to.  We imagine he’s taking a bath with his rubber ducky when I’m showering.  He could be reading a book or just taking a nap.  I talk to the baby even more now since he’s been moving.  The baby books say that after 20 weeks the baby can hear you.  I’m sure he’s been listening our voices, to the music we play, Ivan’s piano playing and my singing. 

My fingers have been really numb when I wake up and sometimes it hurts slightly.  I told my doula Shannondoah this when I saw her for my hypnomassage on May 7, 2014.  She thinks that I have a pinched nerve caused by the way I sleep.  She showed me how to lie differently on the pillow.  I did switch to my old pillow since a few weeks ago we bought pillows that claim to “never go flat”.  I have noticed recently that my right ear lobe is tender to the touch.

The body pillow arrived in the mail, but it doesn’t have a pillowcase.  The pillow is almost as tall as me!  I have used it twice at night, but it’s hard keeping the covers on me and the pillow.  It gets cold and the nipple pain will return which wakes me up.  So, I have been thinking of wearing a tank top under my shirt which may help with the cold.

The doctor’s office called again about test results.  I called and the nurse said that everything was low risk.  I said that they already called me with results.  It was the second part of the test that tests for Down syndrome, Edwards syndrome, Patau syndrome, Turner syndrome, Triploidy, Vanishing twin and sex chromosome abnormalities.  It also confirmed that I was having a boy.  It’s a relief to know that everything is good with my baby. 

Last week, we got the nursery painted Sleepy Blue on two of the walls – the last wall will have wallpaper on it.  The last 3 days, Ivan and I (well, mostly Ivan) have been putting Ikea furniture together.  I hand him the screws and parts while he puts it together.  The nursery now has flooring that was put in today.

Jen at almost 22 weeks

I’m now almost 22 weeks and I’m feeling great.  My mid and lower back have been hurting me.  The chiropractic adjustments and the massages help it out.  I pee a lot more frequently now.  I guess the most annoying thing about pregnancy for me has been getting cold and my nipples getting hard and it’s painful.  Even just drinking a smoothie or cold water can do it.  It’s weird that I wear a jacket sometimes in the house, but it definitely helps when I start getting cold or to help warm me up. 

Gender Announcement

Sorry for the lack of updates.  Ivan and I took a trip to New York City and I kept putting off blogging.

We left on March 29, 2014 and spent 8 days in New York City.  Stayed in an apartment in Astoria, Queens which is filled with Greek seafood restaurants.

Ivan was busy with business, so I got to explore New York City on my own a bit.  I went to the MoMA which had some cool and interesting art.  I also got a chance to walk around the HUGE Central Park.  I made sure to visit the Imagine Circle and the Alice in Wonderland statue.

Alice in Wonderland statue

I wanted to visit the Shakespeare’s Garden, but I didn’t get a chance to.

We had a good time in New York City.  Wish the weather was better since it mostly rainy and was really cold.  My nipples still got hard (and hurt badly) even with a t-shirt and a heavy winter jacket on.. that’s how cold it was!  I make sure to carry a jacket with me if I think a place is going to be cold.

Sometimes, I put off making appointments.  I did this when making my appointment for my ultrasound.  It turned out that my doctor that is connected with my midwife didn’t have an appointment for a few weeks on April 22nd really early in the morning.  I’ve never been a morning person, so I decided to make an appointment with another doctor at the same place a day earlier.  Ivan and I really want to find out the sex of the baby.

I talked to my midwife and she didn’t like any other doctors at Desert Perinatal Associates.  So, I called back the next day to change it and Dr. Wilkes didn’t have an opening until April 29.  He doesn’t work afternoons and he doesn’t work every day.  I was bummed, but I will try to see if any appointments open up sooner.  We will probably do an ultrasound at one of the ultrasound places through one of the deal websites.

I did so much walking at the art museum that my feet hurt and I was actually limping a little on my right leg.  It went away the next day, but it didn’t feel very good.

I’ve still been going to the chiropractor weekly.  Dr. Simoncelli joked that when he presses down on my sinus points it’s my favorite and I said Not really.  It hurts!  He pressed down so hard once it almost made me tear up.

I have been getting sick of drinking water since I have to drink a gallon a day.  I usually don’t drink that water normally.  I have been drinking sparkling water since we have a Sodastream machine.  I’m going to buy Crystal Light soon to add flavor to my water.  I also read that you can flavor water with frozen or fresh fruit.

My hands still go numb and my wedding ring will eventually not fit on my finger.  My feet are expanding, too.  I’m now in search of slip-on shoes since I know I won’t be able to tie my shoes soon.

Ivan found a good deal on Living Social for a gender check ultrasound.  We were happy to find out that they had an opening the next day on April 15.

On April 15, 2014, we went to Baby’s First Image for the ultrasound.  I presented the Living Social voucher.  On the form that Ivan filled out for me, it asks if I’ve had an ultrasound before.  Ivan marked no and the lady at the desk asked us and he said no.  She told us that we had to do a thing to determine the due date and tells us how the baby is lying for $25.  Ivan said then I’ll change it to yes.  The lady was too strict and stuck to the rules.  She said I’ll still tell the doctor that you’ve never had one.  How dumb!  I don’t know if it says it on the website (like the lady said), but it doesn’t say anything like this on their Living Social deal page.  We ended up paying the $25.  Ivan thought it would be handy to know the due date since the doctor we saw at the beginning to confirm the birth just based it on the start date of my last period.

The lady at the desk took us to the room.  There was a high bed with a stepstool on the side.  I laid down and she asked me to raise my shirt and she put a paper towel at the top of my pants.  She said the lady doing the ultrasound would be in the room shortly.

Maria came in and she’s very nice.  We told Maria that we wanted her to write the sex of the baby in an envelope since we were doing a gender reveal cake.  She said that was fine.  She had heard of it before.  Ivan saw a video that showed the gender reveal cake and a little boy being disappointed that he was going to have another sister.

She put the wand (no idea what the proper name is) on my belly which had a cold gel on it.  There was a big projector screen on the wall where we got to see the baby.  It was cool to finally see the baby.

Baby Ultrasound at 18 weeks

Maria measured the baby’s head.  She said that the baby was actually due later than we thought.  It was due on September 16 which is my sister’s birthday.

We got to see the baby in 4D which makes the baby look like an alien.

bby3d

It looks like it has the flat Filipino nose.  I would rather it had Ivan’s nose.  She told us that the baby is really skinny and is mostly skeleton.  We also got to hear the baby’s heartbeat.  She said the baby’s heartbeat was 160 bpm.  She said the baby looked healthy.  I think she forgot to tell us how the baby was lying.

Maria told us to close our eyes while she took a picture of the baby that revealed the sex.

It was really great seeing the baby for the first time!  It does make you feel even more excited for the little one to come.

We left Baby’s First Image and looked up bakeries.  Ivan found one that was close to our house called Drago Sisters Bakery that makes the gender reveal cake.

At the bakery, Ivan asked if we could get a gender reveal cake.  Unfortunately, it takes awhile to make a cake so we wouldn’t get it today.  The lady asked the baker and she said we could pick it up tomorrow at 5 pm.  The baker looked at the paper inside the envelope.  She then asked us what we wanted.  Ivan said we didn’t want to say since the look on her face might reveal the sex of the baby.  She placed the envelope in another envelope – probably to make sure we don’t peek!  We bought a 16” cake with a vanilla cake with strawberry filling.  The baker said she would put blue and pink on it with baby feet.

I was so tempted to peek at the envelope, but I resisted since I wanted it to be a surprise.  I still thought it was a boy since people have been saying it’s a boy since I’m carrying low and I don’t look worn down (which is the old wive’s tales that you look worn down when you’re having a girl since she’s stealing your beauty).

On April 16, 2014, I went to see the chiropractor.  I had a big knot in the middle of my lower back.

Ivan picked up the cake later on.  We wouldn’t be cutting the cake until later since Ivan wanted to do the gender reveal cake with his parent’s over Facetime.  His parents live in Southend-on-Sea, England.

We posted a picture of me asking our friends a few days ago if they thought it was a girl and a boy.  20 people guessed a girl and 12 people guessed a boy.

At 11:30 pm, which is 7:30 am England time, we called up Ivan’s mum and dad on Facetime.  Ivan placed the cake on the table.  I set up the camera, so I could videotape it.

Ivan handed me the knife and I cut it to make a slice, but the icing was so thick that you couldn’t really see the cake inside.  I said Oh, it’s a boy, but I was actually seeing the baby feet on top of the cake.  We finally got to see the cake and it was blue.  It was a boy!

Gender Reveal Baby Cake

Ivan’s dad already thought it was a boy since he would always talk about his grandson.  It’s so good to finally know the sex.  We decided to announce it on Facebook the next day.  I started working on a graphic for the baby announcement.

In the morning of April 17, 2014, I finished the baby announcement and posted it on Facebook.  It turned out great!

iJen Baby Announcement

iJen is our nickname that Ivan’s brother Neal came up with. which combines our names Ivan and Jen.

Here’s a picture of our baby boy showing that he’s a boy.

Baby Boy Ultrasound

Now, we can decorate the nursery.  We already have wallpaper with animals on it that we’re doing on one wall.  We’re thinking of a really light blue for the other walls.  I love browsing the different nurseries on Project Nursery.  I’ve collected a few ideas from a couple nurseries that I might use for the nursery.

I saw my doula Shannondoah on April 18, 2014.  She did a hypnomassage on me which I really needed.  She worked out the knot that was bugging me in the middle of my lower back.  I saw my birth again in the sky while I was lying on the water.  I like the beach that I visit during my hypnomassages.  I love beaches and floating in the water.

Jen at 18 weeks and 4 days

I’m now almost 19 weeks and I’m doing good.  The only thing that annoys me is the nipple pain which comes more often now.

Birthday Food

On March 7, 2014, I went to see my chiropractor Dr. Simoncelli to tell him how I’m doing.  I wasn’t sure if I would be adjusted again.  I think I have it figured out.  Dr. Simoncelli talks really soft and it seems like he’s telling you a secret and only talking to you.  I don’t think he’s trying to put me in a trance anymore.  I told him my lower back felt a lot better.

Chiropractic table

I laid down on the chiropractic table.  The doctor cracked my back in two places and also my neck.  He also had me stand against a long pad that was on a wall and he cracked my back again.  He said I should come back next week.

I found out that my insurance did go through and it’s only $5 for the co-pay for each visit.  That’s great news!

It was my birthday a few weeks ago on the 4th.  Ivan’s mum and dad got me a funny pregnancy coloring book and an organic mommy care pack.

Mambino Organics Mommy Care Pack

I have been using the new belly butter which has a toner oil to be put on after.  The belly butter is greasier than the Burt’s Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter, but it smells fruity.  The organic belly butter is thicker and is made from mango, African shea and cocoa butter.  The toner oil has pomegranate, African shea and orange oil.  That’s why I think I smell like an orange after.  Ivan really likes the smell of it.

Ivan and I threw a birthday pinball pot luck party at our house on March 8, 2014.  It was a fun time playing games and eating.  My friends are awesome and bought gifts for me and for the baby.  The baby’s not even born and he or she is getting gifts already!  The baby got a bird hanging decoration for the nursery and lotion, bath gel, shampoo, tender tush and Gentle Baby essential oils.

I sent my midwife Kat my daily diet report which I kept track of for a week.  She thought that I wasn’t getting enough oils and protein.  She laughed when she saw I put Ew! next to the liver section.  She recommended that I have a smoothie everyday with nuts, milk (almond, goat or cow) and flaxseed oil or coconut oil.  I’m glad that Ivan makes great smoothies (he’s seriously known for them!), so he has been making me a smoothie everyday to ensure I get enough protein.

On Sunday March the 9th, Ivan and I met up with my big family for my birthday dinner.  I decided on Carmine’s at the Forum Shops since it’s a great place for groups to share food.  We got lots of food including a platter with different pastas and a big plate of my favorite dish penne alla vodka.

The HUGE Titanic at Carmine's

For dessert, we got the humungous Titanic dessert which has vanilla and chocolate ice cream, whipped cream, a brownie, chocolate sauce and nuts.   They sang Happy Birthday to me.  I had to snap a picture before blowing it out.  It was so delicious especially the chocolate ice cream and the brownie.

I have been feeling weak lately.  I try to lift things and they feel heavy now when they wouldn’t normally.  My midwife Kat said that my bones would be softer and it would be easier for me to bruise.

I have felt like my hands have been swelling up lately since my wedding ring seemed tighter than usual.  I have now switched to wearing my engagement ring which I actually think is prettier, so it works out well.  I wake up and my hands are numb.  Eventually, I won’t be able to wear any rings.

I talked my friend’s wife Shannon who’s about to give birth anytime soon and she said it started with her hands being numb and then her hands swelled up.  I already thought I had small, fat fingers.. they’re going to be fatter soon.

I saw my chiropractor again on March 14, 2014.  Before he does an adjustment, I take a deep breath and then exhale.  He did things to help with my sinuses.  He also pressed on my sinuses which hurt, but not sure it would help.  Dr. Simoncelli said that women who drank caffeine and took medication during pregnancy had a higher risk for their baby getting autism.  I’m not trying not to take my allergy medicine unless my allergies are really bad.

Ivan and I went to the Vegas Seven magazine 4th anniversary private party at Brooklyn Bowl that night with Maria, my cousin Charisse and her boyfriend Kia.  We got a free game of bowling and 4 drink tickets.  Sadly, I didn’t have a drink.  I do miss drinking.  But, I know it’s better for the baby not to drink.

We ate at their restaurant which has food by Blue Ribbon.  The fried chicken is so freaking good!  Kia wanted to get dessert.  I love dessert and we usually don’t get it since there’s no room left to put it.  Kia ordered the chocolate chip bread pudding.

Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding at Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas

It was simply heavenly!  Wow, it was the best bread pudding I’ve ever had.  People like to feed pregnant women.  It’s so great!!  I love food.

The last couple of days I’ve been really tired, so much more tired than usual.  Sometimes I will take a nap during the day.

I’ve been debating on mentioning this.  It’ s a little embarrassing since it’s about nipples.  I KNOW that other women have experienced this since I’ve talked to family and friends about it.  When I get cold, my nipples get really hard and my left one hurts so bad and it’s so painful.  It was hurting so bad one day that Ivan and I were walking and I was walking too slow that we had to go back home since Ivan thought it would take us an hour to do a 30 minute walk at my current walking pace.

Usually rubbing my nipple or putting a cloth with hot water on it helps make the pain go away.

So, I’ve been a lot better at drinking a gallon of water a day.  I hate going to the bathroom so much, so that’s why I don’t drink a lot of water.  But, I know it’s good for me and the baby that I get enough water.  I go to the bathroom a lot anyway since I’m pregnant.

My allergies have been killing me the last two days.  I actually haven’t resorted to taking my allergy medicine.. but I might have to soon.  It has been super windy which is probably why my allergies are tripping.

Jen at 15 weeks and 1 day

I’ve been feeling great and I’m now 15 weeks and 1 day.  Sometimes I say I’m fat and it bums me out, but I’m not.. it’s just my belly expanding for my baby to grow in.

I have been craving bagels for some reason.  After my eye appointment today, I saw Einstein Bagels and had to stop in.  I got a blueberry bagel toasted with cream cheese.  It tasted soo freaking good!!