Saturday, August 29, 2009

30 weeks and a 3D ultrasound!!

Well I've reached a milestone! I'm officially 3/4 of the way there! I can't believe it!! I get more and more excited as the days pass...Gah!

Gabriel is just getting chubbier and cuter these days! (I know because I saw him via ultrasound!) He should be around 17 inches long and just over 3 pounds. His brain is growing a LOT now. Good thing I've been taking those Omega 3's!! His brain should be getting the characteristic grooves and indentations that we all see when we picture a brain. If that's happening now, though, I wonder what it looked like before...? Another big thing that he's starting to do is regulate his own temperature. Now that he can do that, he should start shedding lanugo (the soft, fine body hair that babies have while in the womb--sometimes you can see it on babies that are born early) which is what has been keeping him warm up until now. If he has any hair on his head, it would be getting thicker now (and his eyelashes longer), but the ultrasound tech says it looks like he doesn't have much hair! LOL At least not yet. If he's bald, I wouldn't be surprised--it's a Tramel baby trait. Hahaha... His head and body are getting closer to normal proportions, which means he is looking more and more like he will at birth--just really small right now.

As for me....well....I'm apparently going to gain about a pound a week now for the next six to eight weeks. Damn. I already feel big! My belly button is still hanging in there! It hasn't "popped" yet! And no visible stretch marks yet either! *knock on wood* It's getting more and more uncomfortable to sleep now...ugh. I can sleep on either of my sides and even my back, but I can't sleep in or sleep for very long periods of time because of extreme discomfort. I wake up with sore ribs and a super achy back. Ugh. I'm thinking that I'll just have to start taking little naps during the day to ease fatigue. And that will be easier to do now that I've gotten it approved to work from home! Anyway, I found out that I've been having sporadic Braxton Hicks contractions for a while--I just didn't know that that's what they were. I can't really feel them at all. The only way I can tell that they're happening is if I touch/prod/poke my belly and it feels "hard". they've been happening all this time....didn't know that's what they were until yesterday when the u/s tech told me. Weird. Cool. Whatever.

SO! The biggest, most fun part of this post is NOW! I went and had a 3D ultrasound done yesterday! It was awesome! He was kinda bein' a little turd though! He kept rolling his face toward the placenta/my back or he would roll into my hip and snuggle up in that area. What a punk! LOL That, and he had his fists and arms covering his face a lot of the time, so it was hard to get a good face shot. I was almost a pissed at the little guy...if he weren't so cute....little turd nugget....HA! I just love him so much! I guess he didn't want his picture taken...Anyway--here they are!!

Okay, so this one and the next one aren't 3D, but it's cute! You can see half of his face and an elbow in this one. He has gotten pretty good and moving that elbow around--jabbing me in the ribs and stomach...
She labeled this one so people would actually believe me. That is his ARM! Check out that bicep and shoulder!! He's my little muscle man...hahaha!! He probably got that strong from punching away at my abdomen and ribs and bladder,
So this one is pretty cute if you know what you're looking at. His head is on the left (looks like there's a big hole in it, but there isn't) and his right arm is crossed over his cheek/jaw (punk!). And then right in front of where his nose and eyes are, we have a cute little fist! Do you see it? With a little thumb crossed over the rest of his fingers!? You see it.
This is one of his many attempts to hide from us. He's rolled onto his side here. You can see his head and  a profile (well, an eye, a nose, and his cheek) and then, of course, you see his arm/shoulder. Look at him all snuggled up tight!! I guess he was just trying to sleep...
This picture is soooo funny to me!! You can't really see his head/face very well. You can kinda see a little fist/hand up by where his face is...But the most obvious thing in the picture is his leg (which is labeled. Duh) and his foot. Well, if you follow his leg down to where his little tush would be, you can see....YEP!! That's it, ladies and gentlemen!! Some boy parts! Hahahaha!!! I already have a blackmail  picture...teen years, I'm ready for ya!
You can kind of see a cute little blurry face in this one. See his eye and a nose and his mouth? He's adorable. Admit it.
I saved the best one for last! This one's a really good (mostly profile) shot of his face...and placenta....haha. I think it's cute--even though the umbilical cord got in the way and you can't see his lips. (That really bummed me out. I really really REALLY wanted a good face shot...)
I'm not going to lie--I was totally disappointed that these were the best pictures we could get. He just wasn't cooperating. I wanted to scream. And cry. Urgh!! But they're really not that bad and I've seen worse... And he's still my cute, precious little guy even though he wouldn't give us a good angle. I love him so much!! I can't wait to see him when he's here and I can hold him!! (Seems like that's the way he wants me to see him

Thursday, August 27, 2009

An in-between update

Gabriel has been SO ACTIVE lately. It's nuts! I like it though--I'm cherishing this time because I know it's going to be done before I know it. I'm really excited to hold him and play with him and WATCH him grow, but I'm really loving having him with me all the time and feeling his movements. I love it! I love Gabriel!

I went to a breast feeding class on Tuesday--what a great instructor!! I'm kinda bummed that I won't be delivering in Utah. IHC has really awesome programs and great facilities. I would have liked to deliver at American Fork Hospital. But who knows? Maybe Hawaii has an even BETTER hospital! Anyway, the breast feeding class was really good. I learned a LOT! It gave me a more solid resolve to really stick with breast feeding as long as I can. Even if I just pump and bottle feed. It's so far superior to formula feeding! The benefits are undeniable and the pros and cons to breast feeding outweigh the pros and cons to formula by FAR. And who can beat the price?! LOL

Today was a fun and busy day for me. I went shopping for some new clothes (I'm finding fewer and fewer suitable shirts and pants in my closet these days...), which was awesome! I found lots of cute shirts and some cute shoes too! No pants or skirts yet, but that's because I ran out of shopping time. I had to cut my little shopping spree short to go to my last "prenatal duo" class--the one with the horrible instructor. She wasn't AS bad this time... I was kind of annoyed being there anyway, though. A lot of the information they give you is geared specifically toward IHC hospitals and their procedures. That would be great if I was going to be delivering in AF still, but I'm not. We watched birthing videos tonight. It was....weird. They followed four different women's "birth experiences". One was your average, every day birth with an epidural and episiotomy. The second was a C-Section. The third was a VBAC (vaginal birth after cessarian--her first was a C-section and this was her second baby). And the fourth was a lady who had a couple of kids already and wanted to go completely natural. No freaking drugs. Holy crap. That one was, by far, the weirdest. Not because she was going natural, either. She did really well without an epidural--just breathed through it all and concentrated. The nurse came in a checked her and she was dilated to a ten, so they went to go get the doctor so she could start pushing. The doctor comes walking in like "Okay. Let's get things going then. I'm gonna--whoa! What...?! Did you start pushing already?" And then the camera pans down and you see the freakin' baby's HEAD already completely out!! So they're all scrambling to get gloves on and prep the area and then the baby just comes out! She didn't even push. Didn't PUSH!! The thing just rolled right out of her!! The doctor was like "Oh! Oh my! Okay--let's" He was barely there in time to catch the kid! And then the lady sits up and leans forward and starts trying to help wipe the baby off and she's totally chill. It was weird.

So anyway, my 3D ultrasound is tomorrow! I'm so excited!! I can't wait to see my little guy!!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Move it, shake it!

Holy COW Gabriel is sooooo active today!! He's been squirming and moving around almost constantly for almost two hours now! So nuts. Maybe it's because I was able to sleep through the whole night breathing through BOTH nostrils clearly....I've been stuffy/congested lately. Sucks. But last night was awesome! So that's my conclusion: He's super active because he's super oxygenated. LOL

Friday, August 21, 2009

29 weeks down, 11 to go!

29 weeks now! Okay, so I look like crap in the picture. Forgive me. I'm not feeling the greatest...blah.

The consensus is that he's nearing 17 inches tall now--within inches of his likely birth length! He's not very chubby yet, though. Only about three pounds. Between now and the time he's born, he'll more than double--maybe even TRIPLE--his weight! I'm hoping for the "double his weight" option though. Six or seven pounds sounds awesome. Ray's birth weight was a little over six pounds. Mine was eight and a half!! I was a fatty. Seems like that kinda runs in the family though. TJ and I were chunks. So was Lily. I guess I'll just have to wait and see! The bigger he gets, the less I will feel his movement because he won't have as much room to move around. That's a total bummer. One of the coolest things about being pregnant is feeling the baby move!!

I went to my first Prenatal Class last night. I'm not sure if I like the instructor or not...she didn't seem very open to more natural birthing methods. I got the feeling that she wanted all of us to feel like the doctor ALWAYS knows what's best and you, as the mother, don't have much say in how things will go when you deliver. From how she was putting things across, nothing is "optional" if the doctor wants it a certain way--which is totally not true!! Well, maybe it is at UVRMC (Provo Hospital), but that's total crap! If you don't want an internal monitor, you don't have to have one! And if you don't want an assisted birth (vacuum or forceps), you don't have to agree to that either! An epidural is NOT always the best form of pain relief/control. An episiotomy is NOT always necessary--even if it IS your first delivery! I just felt like she gave a lot of false/skewed information. I am glad that I have been otherwise educated and that I'm aware that I have more options than what she was making it sound like. She was just so...ugh...the opposite of empowering! She made it seem like we are just poor, powerless little pregnant women who are lucky to have doctors there to tell us what to do or else we'd be totally screwed. I'm glad my insurance is paying for the class, because I would demand a refund if I was the one shelling out for such crap information.

Anyway, I went in for a doctor visit on Monday. Everything is on track! We had kind of a funny moment when the nurse was rolling the monitor around on my belly to find Gabriel's heartbeat. Once she found it, she stopped and listened for a minute to make sure it was beating at a good rhythm/pace. Well, he decided he didn't like her listening in and kept kicking at the monitor! LOL it was funny. The nurse is Scottish, so she has this awesome accent and she goes "Oh my! He's a feisty little one, in't  he?!"  Hahahaha--that's my boy!! After that, I had to go over to the lab to get my glucose test started. For those of you who don't know, they give you this super nasty stuff to drink (it tastes like really sugary, slightly carbonated, weird melted popsicle's gross) and you wait an hour and then get some blood drawn. They test it to see how your body handles sugar. If your score is below 140, you're fine. If not, you may have gestational diabetes (meaning, you're diabetic while you're pregnant). They usually call if there's anything abnormal or "not good" and I haven't heard anything yet. I'm assuming I don't have gestational diabetes. Yay!! This calls for a celebration, I think! I'm going to go buy my favorite junk food and spoil myself. (I usually try to be healthy...)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

28 weeks now!

Seven months!! Third trimester!! Crazy!! I can't believe how fast everything is going! I must admit, though, there are days where an hour feels like a day....but all in all it's pretty bearable. And my belly button still hasn't "popped" yet! Yippee!! 

This week Gabriel has reached 2 1/2 pounds and could be as long as sixteen inches! Apparently, Gabe's skill of the week is blinking. He is also may start dreaming when he sleeps! That's right--he's getting some REM sleep now. Pretty cool! He's still got a lot of growing to do, but he's getting closer by leaps and bounds as the days and weeks fly by!

This past week has been...ugh. Well let's see. Monday was fairly routine and boring. Just work. Tuesday, though....I spent most of my morning in the ER. Fun times. Needless to say, I stayed home from work that day as well as the next. And then the rest of the week was just boring work stuff highlighted with a movie here and there and a trip to the aquarium. Part of me really wants to push contact with every Rivera I know. But then I stop and remind myself that they will come around and talk to me when they are ready and willing. I just hate waiting. I guess I'm impatient...

I am really really really dying to start buying baby stuff!! I want to so bad!! I can't wait to get to Hawaii so I can start getting everything ready.

P.S. I thought I posted this last week, but I guess I just saved it as a draft...LOL--well here it is now! I changed the date in the post options, so I guess it will still look like it was posted when it was supposed to be....hahaha

Friday, August 7, 2009

27 weeks: We are BOTH growing and developing

Wow. I can't believe how quickly time is flying by! 27 weeks! Already!!!

SO--this week Gabriel graduates to a new growth chart. He is no longer measured "crown to rump" - it is now head to toe! Like a big boy! That measurement is now around 15 inches. Oh my... He's over a foot long! He weighs a little more than 2 lbs now. Fun fact: Gabriel has more taste buds now than he will have at birth (and for the rest of his life). Crazy, huh?! That means he can not only taste differences in amniotic fluid when I eat different foods, he might even react by kicking or getting hiccups! Gabe can suck his thumb now too--how cool! He'll most likely be practicing to strengthen his jaw muscles and develop his sucking reflex. Some sources say he could even cry now--not that I'd be able to hear it...

So I thought I'd let you into my world a little this week. THIS has saved me so much money and annoyance! (My mom bought it for me when she was in town--thanks Mom!!)

Can I just tell you how awesome it is? No--impossible. It's way to awesome. All it is is just an elastic-type band thing that you pull on over your pants. It makes it so I don't have to buy pregnancy pants--I just wear my regular pants and don't zip or button them (not that I could if I tried...). For now, the band still fits up over my belly (as you can see in my 25 week belly picture--it's the black thing). But when it doesn't, I can just double it over/fold it down under my belly and it will just be a band at the top of my pants. Totally sweet. I wear it every day!

And THIS, my friends, is the plethora of vitamins that I take on a daily basis. I don't necessarily NEED to take ALL of these--a simple Prenatal vitamin would do. But I have been doing my pregnant lady homework and I talked to my doctor about it. He says he would never discourage the taking of vitamins, so I'm taking these!

They are all "healthy woman/healthy baby" essentials. I could explain what each of them does, but that would be a pain... Here's what they are though: the two big white ones are Calcium Citrate, the peachy-colored one is a Prenatal vitamin, the yellow one is a Vitamin B complex, the little white oval one is a super high-potency Vitamin D-3, the other little white one is Vitamin C, the two big yellowish gel capsules are Omega-3 Fish Oil supplements, and the greenish-brown capsule is an Echinacea-Golden Seal complex (that's just because I was feeling a little under the weather for a day or two). Crazy huh!? It's really not that bad, actually...

Anyway....I'm feeling better and better as the weeks go on, emotionally speaking. A while ago, I posted ultrasound pictures on myspace and tagged Ray in them. I wanted to see what he would do. Well, when he finally logged on after a month of inactivity, he accepted the tags and deleted me from his friends list. (Hahaha!) I don't mind him deleting me. He's probably mad at me for some reason or another. I just don't understand why he accepted the tag requests (not that I mind--I wanted him to)....especially since I hear he has denied he's the father (or at least that's what his girlfriend says). I don't know what's going on in that man's head and I've given up trying to figure it out. There's nothing I can do about it anyway. I've learned that I can't make Ray be the man or the father I want him to be. I can't wish him into wanting to be around. There's nothing I can do about the things he says and does (or lack thereof). I decided I don't want anything from him that he's not freely willing to give. There will come a day when he will want to see his children. He will want to see Gabriel. And when that day comes--when he does meet his son--he will be sad that he opted out for so long. Until then, like I said, there's nothing I can do about it so it does me no good to stress out or be heartbroken. I just need to remember the "my Ray is gone" mindset and focus on myself and my son. I have accepted the fact that Ray doesn't want to be around right now along with the possibility that he may never want to. And it's his loss.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


I drive down to Payson to visit my grandpa and his wife every month. We talk and have dinner and play a game or two. It's fun! And it's nice to see my grandpa and Janet. I used to always say "Yeah....I need to visit grandpa more...." and I would never get around to it--how horrible of me, right!? So I decided that I would set aside a specific day (first Wednesday of every month) to go visit. That makes things easier for me. It's scheduled. Set. I'll actually do it instead of just thinking I should.

Well I went today and Janet had a surprise for me! She made some blankets for Gabriel! They are super cute! Here are pictures of two of them (she's not done with the third). They are double sided...uhh...fleece? (I guess I should have taken pictures of both sides...) I don't know what the fabric is, but it's soft! And she did some awesome, tiny crochet detail around the edges! I love them! How sweet of her, right?!

Thanks Janet! They will go perfectly with the baby stuff--I decided to go with an animal/safari/jungle theme.

P.S. Oh yeah--I got registered for my "childbirth preparation classes" today! I'm signed up for a two-part Prenatal class and a Breastfeeding education class. Yay! The best part: my insurance plan covers the cost of taking them!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

26 weeks!! (and counting...)

Again, I am so very busy (okay, got me. I'm just lazy and a bit of a procrastinator at times...) So let's get on with it!!

Ladies and gentlemen, Gabriel now weighs TWO POUNDS!! This is just an estimate, of course, but holy crud! He measures in at 9+ inches long at this point--kiddo's gettin' big! Another momentous event this week: his eyes are beginning to open! For the past few months, his eyelids have been fused so the retina (the part of the eye that allows images to come into focus) could develop. No guess on his eye color yet, though, because the iris still doesn't have much pigmentation. But still!! Gabe can SEE now!! Not that there's much to look at yet, but he will respond more to bright lights. That along with his heightened sense of hearing should bring a little more activity--not that he isn't super active as it is!!--to my abdomen. Speaking of which, he is starting to settle into a bit of a routine--a wake/sleep cycle. He'll be super chill for a few hours and then punching and kicking away for a while. It was pretty sporadic up until now--never a predictable pattern. So yeah--Gabriel can see (though some of the sources disagree on that for the moment), hear, taste, and feel, and his brain wave patterns should be similar to those of a newborn. He's so awesome!

Now, some of the sources (and when I say that, I mean "What to Expect When You're Expecting" and other various articles and books from doctors and similar professionals in the baby/pregnancy world) say that I can "bid my second trimester adieu" this week, others say after week 27. I'm just gonna go with WTE on this one--so my seventh month and third trimester start on week 28.

Anyway...this past week threw a few punches (as usual), but it's all good. I guess I should just be counting my blessings. I am pretty happy in general, I'm healthy, Gabriel is healthy, I have a job and a car and a place to live/sleep and food to eat--so that makes me better off than a lot of people! It's hard not to think about some of the negative, though, especially when it's particularly heartbreaking. But that's life I guess. It's not always rainbows and butterflies. And like I said--I have a lot to be thankful for! I haven't heard from Daisy much lately, but that is probably because she is super busy with family. Jazz just moved to AZ, if I'm not mistaken. Plus it's little man's (Ray's oldest--or should I just say Racheal's oldest?) sixth birthday today! Happy birthday to him!! Racheal took the kids to Daisy and Big Ray's for the weekend to celebrate. So I imagine they're all pretty busy!