Thursday, October 27, 2011

Halfway there!

Wednesday marked another milestone - 20 weeks!  Which means I am halfway through the pregnancy.  It really went by quickly, though I hear the second half tends to drag out a bit at the end.  This also means that we find out the sex of the baby very very soon.  I go in for my 20-week ultrasound this coming Tuesday, I'm really excited.  In fact, I have even named that day "P or V Day".  You can probably guess what that means.

Mumsie and Dad were in town last weekend to check out my expanding belly.  We had a great time, spent the weekend wandering around.  Saturday I took them to downtown Bethlehem for the day, and it just so happened that it was the day of the "Mutt Strut"...a COSTUMED DOG PARADE.  It was pretty much amazing.  My loser self didn't take any pictures, so thank goodness D was there  snapping away like a proper Asian... :) I am really mad I didn't take more pictures because there were some AMAZING dog costumes.  One guy had a tiny dog dressed as a bee, and he had a full-blown beekeepers outfit.  Anyhow, here are some of D's pictures.

Me and Dad
Elvis dog

Sunday, we went up to Jim Thorpe for their Fall Foliage Festival.  It's freaking gorgeous up there.  Jim Thorpe is the same town where we went hiking a couple of weekends ago.  I took zero pictures and am really mad about that.  I'll have to get better at taking pictures. Paul took this really good one

Jim Thorpe

We also now have a crib and a dresser for the baby and Paul has been frantically getting the room ready.  It's amazing how much progress he has made.  I'm doing my best to hold off on posting pictures of the nursery in progress until we get the crib...which actually just arrived today.  We'll pick it up this weekend.

Here's my halfway point belly picture! It's growing pretty quickly...

Ack! Look at my fat arms!  I'll have to hold them out a little more for the next picture so they look smaller. Ha ha.
I still have a crazy desire to eat everything and anything spicy.  Thank goodness for my friend, Sriracha. Oh how I love how you make even the most boring dishes a delicious, fiery treat.  I hear that most pregnant women don't crave and can't tolerate spicy food.  I consider myself part of the lucky food.  Baby likes spicy!!

Hello, good friend.

Stay tuned for more info on "P or V Day!"

Monday, October 17, 2011

Trying to stay active while getting kicked in the belly

We've had some gorgeous weather this weekend, we're really lucky.  Slightly windy, but sunny and relatively warm.  Since I have overshot my weight gain, (a common problem for women who are lucky enough to not have morning sickness in the first trimester,) I have been trying to do things to stay active.  Little things like taking the stairs at work, doing activities on the weekend that involve walking (does shopping count?) and trying to go for little hikes on the weekend.

Saturday we went out to dinner with Jamie and her friend Brian in downtown Bethlehem at the Brew Works - YUM.  What I really wanted was a pumpkin beer (how I miss pumpkin beer) and a burger...but I settled for a water and a salad.  BORING.  Oh well!! It's for a good cause. Afterwards, we went on a one-hour Historic Haunts of Bethlehem walking tour.  It was nice to get out and walk and spend time with friends.

Sunday we got pumpkins to carve this week.  I thought Paul would want to get one or two - but we got a pumpkin for me, for him, for the dog and for the baby!  We also picked up several mini-pumpkins and have them all over the house.  I LOVE HALLOWEEN!!

There's a really cool little town in the Poconos called Jim Thorpe...and it's home to one of the most scenic hikes I have been on in a long time.  It's only 2.7 miles, but it's up the side of the Glen Onoko Falls.  It's not an easy hike, but I made it all the way to the top!  Here are some pictures.  The weather was perfect, warm and sunny, not a cloud in the sky. There was just the right amount of breeze to keep the bugs away and to romantically blow the yellow, orange and red leaves off the trees in a very picturesque manner.
Me and Rhyme.  Notice the strap above the belly.  Classy, right?

That's me and Rhyme at the top! Go Preggo!!

So we had a really good weekend - but it's quite distracting when you're regularly being kicked in the stomach by a bell-pepper sized baby who is growing like crazy.  Looks like all those calcium supplements have paid off, since the baby's bones are strong enough that I can really feel it moving around. In fact, the little one is at it right now!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The results are in - and it's all good news!

I remember about two years ago, when I brought up the idea of getting pregnant with my Rheumatologist at the University of Kentucky, she cautioned me that it would be a long road.  I had to taper off my methotrexate, which would take approximately six months, and then wait at least another three months for that medication to be totally out of my system before we could even start trying.  Then she said, not only would my reproductive system be considered "geriatric" by the time I'm 31, I would also be at a higher risk for having a Downs Syndrome baby.  Oh, and it would probably take several tries to get pregnant.

I just remember leaving the office that day and hearing "geriatric" echoing over and over in my head.  For days I thought about it almost constantly, and still think about it to this  day.  Honestly, it kinda bummed me out.  Over the past year and a half I had overcome quite a bit, the crippling arthritis, the nasty side effects from the medication, bouts with arthritis flare ups, and just getting back to being myself and having a normal life.  Lets face it, not all women with rheumatoid arthritis have successful pregnancies.  Many women have to deal with severe arthritis flare ups, since they can't take their main preventative measures.

I really consider myself absurdly lucky.  Not only did I have no trouble getting pregnant, but I haven't had a single flare up in almost five months now, and last week...I got some even better news.

Earlier this month, I went to get  blood work done as the second part of my screening tests for the previously mentioned "scary diseases"...and the genetic counselor called me around 9 am this morning.  Basically, I have about a 1/10,000 chance that the baby could have Downs Syndrome, which is really good considering most women my age have about a 1/1,000 chance.  Spina Bifida is about 1/9,000 - which is a huge relief for me because people who have taken methotrexate tend to be at a significantly higher risk factor for that disease because of what the drug does to your body. 

Even better - the genetic counselor said she was very suprised to look at my age after she read the blood work, since everything read about as low-risk as the labs would go.  She said if she didn't know any better, she would have thought I was 20-somethingGeriatric my ass!!

Here's a not-geriatric belly picture! I'm feeling a little bloated because Paul, Diane and I just DESTROYED a huge plate of nachos. So I didn't do the side view today. 
Looking pregnant!
Here are some progressive shots of the nachos we devoured. Just because - who doesn't love a picture of delicious nachos? 
Okay - now that you have a food coma just from looking at those pictures - I will leave you with one more piece of good news...on Wednesday I was woken up at 4 am....BECAUSE THE BABY KICKED ME!!! It was about the craziest thing I have ever felt.  The baby must know I'm talking about it, because I can feel it moving around right now.  Just in case you're wondering...the baby is about the size of a 5.5-inch bell pepper and is forming bones, and really is starting to look like a baby.