22 weeks

We have reached the 22 week mark and here’s some updates after a great doctor appointment on Wednesday.

22 weeks

22 weeks

Movement: Should feel regular, daily movement. I feel baby doing his or her exercise about an hour or two after lunch every day. I’ve started feeling regular movement in the evenings now too. One night as I was lying on my side it was pretty consistent and so I had Anthony press his hand about where baby was and sure enough he could feel it too!

Weight gain: Nine pounds so far and right on track. Tummy should measure plus or minus one centimeter as many weeks along as I am so sure enough it measured 22 cm and at my appointment I was just shy of 22 weeks.

Activity: Running is winding down. With the exception of down-hills or a cool morning it’s just getting increasingly uncomfortable. I’ll jog/walk some more but the walking portion is making up more and more of the mileage. I haven’t tried the treadmill because I like the outside time for Dixie’s sake but at this point I can get more out of a long walk that a short run anyways. Swimming will become my go-to even more than it already is. I have found myself wearing fins, particularly when kicking on my back, because the extra pounds cause my hips to sink.

Next appointment: In four weeks I’ll have the glucose test along with my regular appointment. At that point I’ll be 26 weeks so they will determine if I can go another 4 weeks or start on the every two week schedule.

Hospital thoughts: I had a chance to ask my OB her thoughts about a doula. A doula is basically a birthing coach that is there from start to finish. Unlike a midwife, they cannot actually deliver the baby or administer any help. I’m planning to go natural, for as long as I can at least. I like the idea of laboring at home and the doula would come to our house to help us then go with us to the hospital. My OB said a doula can be a great, constant support person. She said first time parents don’t realize how nurses and doctors come and go and it can be very nice for both mom and dad to have constant “coach” in the room. She said it’s totally personal preference but it can be a great idea.

We also have to register at the hospital. Basically we fill out some early information, and let Rex hospital know we’re planning on delivering there.

Other stats: Heartbeat was 150 and will start to come down over the next months. My blood pressure was great and doctor actually said she didn’t have much for me because everything was perfect. I haven’t had the best of luck staying healthy on the two plan trips I’ve taken thus far so we talked a bit about what I can do to try and ward off sickness on two upcoming trips I have. She recommended loading up on vitamin C. She looked up Airborne but there are some unspecified ingredients so she advised to skip it.

Teeth: Besides extra bleeding which is normal, I obviously have a bit of a different situation because of my braces. I’m in fact done with my braces however I cannot have the oral surgery while pregnant. So for fear of the teeth moving back (we’ve worked hard to get just millimeters of room) the braces will stay on. How ironic that I was so concerned with how long I’d have to wear them and now I’m stuck with them for nearly six extra months. Once baby arrives and we’ve got a system down for feedings, etc. I’ll go ahead and schedule the surgery.

That’s all for now in the land of baby Hall!

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New York Babymoon

The past three days Anthony and I have been jetting around New York City on our “babymoon”. We had an absolute blast and by the end we agreed we had seen everything there was to see. After I boarded the same flight three times I finally got out of Raleigh on Thursday about five hours late. Needless to say when I met Anthony in NY we went straight to bed.

Friday morning we got up and checked out of hotel that Anthony was staying in for work and headed to the JW Marriot on Central Park (formerly the Essex House). It was the swankiest hotel we had ever stayed in and thank goodness for reward points because we wouldn’t have paid $500 a night! We then headed to a great breakfast spot Anthony had found called Sarabeth’s. Then the walking tour commenced. Anthony happened to have his Vivo fit band and tracked our steps….over 10 miles that first day! We walked down and saw Times Square, then headed to The Metropolitan Museum of Art. (Where, might I add, I saw Joan Rivers). The museum was huge! We saw African, Egyptian, Medieval, pre-war/post-war paintings and artifacts, sculpture, a Faberge exhibit, pottery, modern art, paintings by Pablo Picasso just to name a few. We even grabbed sandwiches and ate on the front steps.

Met panoramic
anthony at Met

We then headed back to the hotel where we freshened up and while relaxing received a fun surprise from the hotel! Whenever making a hotel or restaurant reservation always mention if it’s for a special occasion. We received chocolate covered strawberries and a bottle of very nice champagne as a congratulations on a fun babymoon. The champagne was slightly ironic so Anthony had a glass of that and I ate the strawberries.
strawberries
Then we headed to what Anthony may now say is his favorite restaurant of all time, Trattoria Dell’Arte, on 7th Ave right around from our hotel, across from Carnegie Hall. It was fabulous Italian food that had a great atmosphere. We decided Anthony’s chicken pepperoni parmesan was picture worthy. It was basically a chicken pizza but the flavors….to die for. I got pesto ravioli but it just didn’t compare to Anthony’s 🙂

Chicken pepperoni Parmesan

Chicken pepperoni Parmesan

Then just some silliness with payphones we found in the basement of the restaurant.

Hello this is your Dad calling....

Hello this is your Dad calling….


Hello Dad, see you in October!

Hello Dad, see you in October!

Saturday we woke up and after walking down 5th Avenue to grab breakfast and check out shop windows sans crowds (Gucci, Prada, Louis Vuitton) we got a short workout in the nice hotel gym. Then we headed out to see the Statue of Liberty and 911 Memorial/Freedom Tower. We took the subway on and off during the weekend and this trip was a long one so we took the subway about 20 minutes South. The memorials were two infinity “pools” with all the names of deceased written around the edge of the pool. The crowds were heavy in and around this area but manageable. Something I found especially cool was the one, lone surviving tree from outside the original towers.
memorial panoramic
names

The Freedom Tower is behind us

The Freedom Tower is behind us

From the memorial we headed down towards the water where we sat and watched the ferry head back and forth to New Jersey. We also got a view of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

Statue of Liberty

Statue of Liberty

We had tickets for the musical Wicked, Friday night so we headed home to get freshened up before dinner and the show. The show was fantastic! Both of us were totally blown away and now realize how spoiled we are having seen the Broadway version. The singing, theatrics, costumes, humor and general flow of the show were unbelievable. We didn’t want it to end! But end it did around 10:45 and we wanted to see Times Square at night which was just around the corner. It was so bring from the electronic billboards and I can’t imagine it ever slows!

Pre-Wicked

Pre-Wicked


Times Sqaure
Times Square Selfie

Times Square Selfie

Sunday, our last day in NYC, found us with heavy, tired legs. We grabbed breakfast from Starbucks and headed into Central Park. I wasn’t up for a run so we walked a loop through the park with our breakfast and watched all the runners and cyclists. There are some great athletes that train in Central Park! We then headed to see a few remaining sites including the Empire State building, Bryant Park (where fashion week takes place) and Washington Square Park (near NYU’s campus).
Empire State building

Bryant Park with the NY city library behind

Bryant Park with the NY city library behind


Bryant Park Fountain

Bryant Park Fountain

Can you tell we had a good time!? There was some afternoon showers but by Sunday the weather was divine. The eating was great and the company couldn’t have been better. The only downside is the nasty cold I came down with. I imagine I caught in from the on and off plane action on Thursday but it started as a sore throat and has now developed into a full on cold. I’m definitely taking it easy today.
21.5 weeks today!

“To-do” update

1. We found childcare. I guess I had to waste the money on SitterCity.com to truly realize that a nanny just won’t work for us. Because we don’t have set work schedules we were worried about being surprised some months with the cost and in the end we decided a more traditional day care schedule and consistent price would do us best. Bonus* the child care center we chose even offers a discount if you take a week vacation! They were the only place we toured to offer that feature.

We decided on Primary Beginnings which is a five star school no more than 2 miles from us. I went ahead and visited their center last week while Anthony was on the road to either rule it out or hopefully discover it was “the one”. Within the first ten minutes I could tell this was finally it. We’ll go back this week for Anthony to have a look and put down our deposit to hold out January spot in the infant room. I was impressed by the large size of the infant and it was so calm and peaceful. When I walked in on my tour both teachers were rocking babies (not because they were crying) which I really liked. The other babies were either napping or playing and the room was just very serene. Thank goodness we can mark this off our list!

2. Upcoming travel: This weekend we are celebrating a baby moon! I think this is a new, official term for a husband and wife getaway before baby comes. Obviously baby isn’t coming any time soon but this summer will be pretty busy for us so we decided to take advantage of the holiday weekend. We’re headed to New York and we already bought tickets to Wicked! I might be the only person that has never visited New York and I can’t wait to take it all in. Besides, who knows when we’ll be back!

In June I will be joining my Marketing and Innovation MBA class for a trip to Silicon Valley. Technically it’s considered a study abroad because it’s out of state and we’ll be meeting with some of the top innovative companies like Tesla, SafesForce, Joyent, Clorox (with a personal meeting with the CEO!) and Twitter just to name a few. My mom will then be flying out to join me for a few extra days in San Francisco! We have a day planned in the Half Moon Bay area, two days in San Fran where we’ll do a tour including Muir Forest to see the Redwoods, and we hope to do Alcatraz as well. I like to think of this as a second baby moon for me but this time with my mom 🙂

3. I had my first two strangers ask when I was due. I officially look pregnant to people that don’t know me. haha! The pictures below I took before a Saturday walk/jog with a friend.

20 weeks, 1 day

20 weeks, 1 day

Front View!

Front View!

4. Work plans: I am lucky enough to have some assistance my last few months of pregnancy and then my entire maternity leave. I will have a sales trainee traveling with me starting the end of the June and she will assist me with all my presentations this summer. The help will be much appreciated as it can get pretty hot down here during July and August while I’m loading and unloading samples, in and out of accounts and hotels. She’ll have the opportunity to meet most of my customers and while I’m on maternity leave she will travel my territory and assist retailers in any way they need. As a bonus it will be fantastic hands on training for her as she’ll be fully on her own for a few months in October and November. This last week I’ve had multiple calls with her to help her plan out her living situation while here, travel thoughts, etc.

5. Off to register tonight!

Happy Half Way!

Somehow we are already at the half way mark! With that said Anthony and I have some things on our list of “next steps”.

1. Select child care. We’ve toured four schools, met with one potential sitter/nanny, and have signed up for SitterCity.com. SitterCity is much like Care.com which has a lot of commercials out right now. We signed up for just one month and created a profile of what we’re looking for in a nanny. We can also search their database for nannies in our area. The nanny profiles are very informative and share everything from their experience, special certifications, background checks, references and what their needs or wants are. I’ve reached out to three nanny’s so we’ll see where that goes.

There are pros and cons to both options (schools and nannies) but then cost is certainly a big factor. Nannies are paid by the hour so the monthly cost would fluctuate up and down depending on my busier months and slower months. The concern here is the cost of the busier months as that would far exceed what we would pay for school. Either way we’ll be making a decision in the next couple weeks because our top school picks only had one spot opening in January and we don’t want to miss out.

2. Make progress on the nursery. We’re not buying paint yet but we are starting to plan on how to clear out what is currently Anthony’s office to turn it into a nursery. We’ve listed our green couch on Craigslist (anyone want a green couch for $150?? 🙂 ). We will then transition Anthony’s desk and samples into my office which thankfully is the largest bedroom. Once that’s complete we’re going to get the carpets professional cleaned before we go adding furniture back into the room. Then paint and furniture!

3. Register. With shower plans in the works we need to put together our registry. We’re planning on registering at Buy Buy Baby and Target. I’ve already been to Buy Buy Baby with a friend to roam the aisles and get an idea of what all is available. I’ve also been reading a lot of reviews on some big items like car seat, stroller, running stroller, etc. That will help us go in with a game plan. Have you seen the car seat and stroller aisle at Buy Buy Baby?? It could be totally overwhelming if someone didn’t do their homework before hand.

Buy Buy Baby

4. Grow, grow, grow. Of course along the way it’s my job to keep growing this baby! 🙂 My next appointment is the 28th so that’s just around the corner. It will just be a basic appointment to check weight gain, tummy size, heart rate and blood pressure but I’m looking forward to it.

Hilton Head Vacation

After my Finance II exam last Friday (yes, I lived to tell about it) I picked up the aunt-to-be Sarah from the airport so that we could head out for our annual Hilton Head vacation Saturday morning. We met my parents on the island and Anthony arrived from a work event on Sunday. Sarah also brought along our childhood friend Ava. The entire week’s weather did not disappoint. In fact, normally we save an outlet shopping trip for a rainy day but we had none.

Harbor Town Marina

Harbor Town Marina

The week included hours spent near or in the complex pool and trips to the beach but not much ocean swimming. We often started the day off with a jog followed by either tennis or a bike ride. It’s tradition that we rent beach cruiser bikes all week and we all ride them as often as possible. Inside the Sea Pines planation where our condo is there are sidewalks and trails everywhere so to say it’s bike friendly is an understatement. The beach is 1.5 miles and Harbor Town Marina, where the Heritage golf tournament takes place, is maybe a quarter mile from the front door.

The group in Harbor Town Marina

The group in Harbor Town Marina


This was the first week I truly felt the affects of being 19 weeks pregnant. Last year it was nothing to run six miles then play over an hour of tennis followed by trolling around on bikes later on in the day. My runs were no more than 4 miles (with some walking in there too) and tennis never felt that great. It got hot fairly quickly so I hit some balls with Anthony but not more than 20-30 minutes and only twice. Riding on those big comfy beach cruisers was enjoyable though and that happened multiple times a day! I found myself taking extra shade breaks or spending a lot of time in the pool so as not to overheat. Added fun this year was we brought Anthony’s Jeep and we promptly took off the tops and windows the second we got the island.

One evening we all went out on a sunset catamaran trip out and around Daufuskie Island and like the weather, the sunset was perfection. We saw dolphins and even a manatee inside the harbor before we set sail.

Grandma and Dad to be

Grandma and Dad to be


A and I catamoran

Another tradition includes San Miguel’s on Cinco De Mayo. I think this may be our 5th year in a row visiting this Mexican restaurant and we look forward to it every trip. With queso, fajitas, chips and salsa, quesadillas and burritos no one left with any room to spare. Another favorite is The Black Marlin. Not exaggerating, every dish there is divine including the warm bread pudding a la mode. I would be remiss if I did not mention Hudson’s. My family has been visiting this seafood restaurant since before I was born and it’s also a yearly tradition. I’ve ordered their crab cakes three years in a row now and I think I finally digested my last hush puppy today! Such good eating on this trip!

Post dinner at Hudson's

Post dinner at Hudson’s

By yesterday we were ready to leave the sandy condo and get back home. Sarah flew out of Raleigh so Anthony, Sarah and I headed out of Hilton Head around 9am with plenty of laundry, a good tan and much needed rest.

We have a mover!

Well we had our super exciting 18 week ultra sound appointment this week! We had a very grainy, small image from the 6 week ultra sound so we were really looking forward to seeing the little nugget looking a bit more baby-like.

We made sure to tell the ultra sound tech we did not want to know the gender. Come to find out they think that’s so fun and doctors especially like it because on birth day they get a surprise too. I asked if she could tell boy or girl after the ultra sound and she said no. It’s not that easy to tell unless she finds the perfect angle so she says if the parents don’t want to know she doesn’t even go looking.

When baby popped up on the screen it was so wiggly! We guessed it’s because I just ate lunch or maybe it’s just active mid afternoon. It was shaking it’s head and moving it’s arms and legs. Sometimes she had to wait to get certain shots until the moving stopped. She took pictures of all sorts of body part to check measurements and growth: the four chambers of the heart, both arms and legs, tummy, a few of the head and the face with nose and mouth. While taking the close up of the face we saw baby practicing sucking which was cool because I had read that baby starts doing that around this time. We got a great shot of baby with it’s arms all tucked up (below) and my favorite was the shot of the feet which were crossed at the ankles as you can tell from the picture.

arms

Cutest feet we ever did see!

Cutest feet we ever did see!

My blood pressure and heart rate were perfect so doctor didn’t have much to say. She came in and measured the length of my tummy to track it’s growth too. I already have that fun Linea Nigra, a line that forms from hormones that can run part or all the way up the tummy. I got it all the way! It fades after pregnancy though.

I had a couple questions for the doctor about my back aches that appear by days end. Some days it’s more achy than other days and it’s only occurring on my right side. It is worst in the evenings especially if I’ve been sitting for a long time. We suspect it might be to my scoliosis since it’s not the typical lower back pain most pregnant women get. So, she actually suggested starting ab exercises. I thought I couldn’t do crunches but quite the opposite. She wants me to keep my core strong which may help alleviate some of the stress put on my back by my growing tummy. She also suggested a chiropractor if I wanted as those specialized is maternity chiropractic options have been known to help a lot.

Next appointment is in four weeks so done are the days of appointments six weeks apart. The next few appointments will be a quick checkup to get my measurements, weight and blood pressure and hear the heart beat.

We also made progress on child care this week as we visited three different schools. They all had a long list of pros and very few cons so we now need to narrow down the list and get registered as these open spots to quick. All three schools only have 8 infants total so it’s tough to get in!

Next week: family vacation!!