Baby Francis, The Kumquat

(Sunday, Feb. 21, 2010)

Before we start my week 10 blog, can we go back to week 5? 5 weeks have passed since we found out we were going to be parents. And by chance, I ended up wearing the same shirt for today’s pictures that I did on that wonderful day. And CHECK.OUT.THE.DIFFERENCE!

Holy cow! Talk about not really being able to hide it much anymore!!! I can’t believe how much my body has changed in just over 1 month! This is crazy!!!

Ok – onto week 10:

What on earth is a Kumquat? I don’t know that I’ve ever seen one. So, the reference of “Kumquat” did nothing for me this week. Needed to do some research:

According to Wikipedia: The kumquats or cumquats are a family of small fruit-bearing trees in the flowering plant family Rutaceae, in the genus Fortunella which is often included in the genus Citrus. The edible fruit closely resembles that of the orange (Citrus sinensis), but is smaller and is often oval.

Here is a picture:

Wow! Ok, so literally, little peep would fit snugly in the cup of my palm. Maybe just over an inch in length from head to rump. That is a HUGE jump from a little lentil bean!!! So neat.

Other baby updates: All the details are coming together – organ tissues are starting to work, finger nails are growing, and the baby has peach fuzz for hair!!! These are big deals here, people! My baby is more and more “human” every day. I’m so happy and proud! (Who knew proud would be an emotion I’d feel about peach fuzz!!)

I’m so excited to say that nausea is getting better! I’m so NOT out of the woods yet – but we are on the mend! I can eat more foods (like meats and cheeses) and I am not sitting there at any given moment trying not to throw up. I can’t even begin to tell you how great that is! Fatigue is getting a little better, too. I have more energy, but along with that means I need even more sleep. But I’m sleeping VERY well so far, and I hope that keeps up.

The worst part of this transformation from nausea to non-nausea is that my sense of smell is heightened about a million fold. I can smell better than my dog! And that is NOT a good thing. Most smells are just not good. And they make me SO sick. While I’m not barfing like I was, I’m sure gagging a lot! Eh – if it isn’t one thing, it is another, right? All I know is that it will be worth it and I won’t remember much of this phase once little Peep is here.

Oh, and I needed to give a shout out to my bosses, Christine and Nick – guys, if you are reading – YOU ROCK!!! As I was telling Nick the other day – I’m so lucky to have bosses that UNDERSTAND what I’m going through. Not everyone gets that treatment. My bosses talk to me about how I’m feeling every day. They give me advice (as they have two little ones of their own) and they make sure I’m always ok. Nick gets after me to drink my water and eat my snacks. Sometimes he even makes me popcorn! And Christine has never once had a problem with me need to be a little late because the porcelain Gods needed payment, or it took an extra 10 minutes to drag my sorry butt out of bed. I’m doing EVERYTHING I can to make sure that my job gets done, and at a stellar rate so that their good treatment of me doesn’t get taken advantage of. But even then – I mess up now and again (we have an inside joke about “cell-brains” (yes we know that is backwards – that is part of the joke) and how pregnant women have none.) and Christine takes it in stride, helping me double-check my work whenever I ask.

I’m truly blessed. I have a wonderful husband who is seriously reaching Saint-hood at this point. I have an incredible set of parents that have been nothing but supportive from day one. My In-Laws call regularly to check in and make sure I’m doing well, lending practical advice wherever possible. My sister has taken on the role of “Tia” like a fish to water, and I’m so proud. Anthony’s sibs are just as great – texting often to check in and see how Peep and I are doing. And on top of it all, I need to find mugs that say “Worlds Best Bosses” to boot. I have SO MUCH to be thankful for, and I’m hoping that God has heard me as I shout it to the mountain tops – THANK YOU! I’m truly blessed.

Ok – gush over. Back to looking at my belly in EVERY reflective surface I pass – just because it is THAT cool. Hahaha.

-Jen

Dr. Visit went well!!!!

(Wednesday, Feb 17, 2010)

It’s official! As of right now, you should be all caught up! You all know that our “little secret” isn’t such a secret anymore!

Our visit with Dr. David went swimmingly! Anthony wasn’t able to get away from work for this appointment, so my mom, Michelle (Or Nana, as Peep will call her) came with me instead.

I had a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG list of questions for Dr. D, and he sat on his stool and answered every single one of them. I adore him! He never once made me feel like my questions were silly or that there were just simply too many. He encourages the questions and flow of info, and I so greatly appreciate that!

After getting all the questions out, we talked about me – how I’m doing, what I’m feeling, etc. All normal. Woot! Then, he wanted to do the comparative ultrasound….no, wait – we need to draw blood first. Bah!

Ok, folks. Jen confession #42. I AM A NEEDLE PHOBE! I don’t simply “dislike” needles, nor am I “averse” to them. No, no. I am IRRATIONALLY TERRIFIED of them. I don’t know why – I don’t have an explanation. It just is. Luckily, I’ve known this fact for oh, I don’t know… 20+ years. So I’ve had time to develop a system. And truth be told – I’ve gotten way better over the years (haven’t cried during a draw since I was about 22…ish?) I even got my blood drawn right before our wedding ALL BY MY SELF for the first time ever. And I did soooooo good! I didn’t cry until I got to my car. Anthony was so worried about me. Anywho – I digress.

The system – Jen must be lying down. Jen cannot actually look at anything that is going on at the injection site. Someone must be talking to Jen through the entire ordeal. Do NOT tell Jen “1, 2, 3, poke” or whatever – Jen cannot know when it is coming.

Simple enough, right? So I laid down. We did my left arm (my preferred arm) for comfort. My mother held my hand and talked to me the whole time. Lizette, the nurse (who did a fabulous job, btw) said, “Ready?” and I freaked! No, I’m not ready! I’m never ready! She forgot the part about “Jen cannot know when it is coming.” So she walked away for a second, my mom resumed talking, she came back and ta da!!! Needle in, no problems. She hit the vein right on. Didn’t even really hurt. Just pinched.

My mom just kept talking. After a while, tho – I started to get light headed. I realized I had no clue as to how much blood she was drawing. When all was said and done, 5 viles (the most I’ve had drawn in over 10 years!) were full of my blood. Wow! Good thing I was lying down! She patched me up, and got the doc. Time for ultrasound! Just like that!!!

I couldn’t believe it:

LOOK HOW BIG THAT BABY IS!!! In comparison to that little tadpole just 3 weeks ago!!! At week 6, Peep was 5 millimeters. Yesterday, Peep measured in at 27 millimeters! Holy Cow! That is over quadrupling in size!!!!

My mom, of course, cried at the site. I laughed. I just couldn’t get over how cool that looks! We talked about the head, we talked about the heartbeat (around 140), we talked about the arms and legs – I was beside myself at just how amazing this small little being was!

After all was said and done, Dr. David said everything looks perfect. (I love that word!) And he felt that we were in a good position to be able to spread the news. So here we are! Telling all of you!

It was so fun to share today. My Facebook literally exploded when the new status went up. Both Anthony’s and my blogs hit record highs for views. The emails, text messages, phone calls, and comments started to pour in. We’ve felt so loved today. This baby has so much love coming its way! So thank you, if you were one of the many to reach out to us today. It was truly amazing.

It is now my bed time. I have to go  – but before I do, one more ultrasound pic for all of you! (It’s the baby’s head, in case you can’t tell!)

-Jen

Baby Francis, the Grape/Olive

(Monday, Feb. 15, 2010)

Mmmmmmm Grapes.

Mmmmmmm Olives.

Don’t those sound great? Like a whole bowl full of black olives and a whole bag of frozen red grapes just sounds divine right now. Hmmmm. Must remember to run to the store later.

Well, folks! We’ve reached the 9 week mark! The week my WHOLE family has been waiting for. Why? Because tomorrow morning at 9:15, Dr. David is going to do a “comparative ultrasound.” He is going to take an ultrasound image of the baby and compare it to that of my last visit over 3 weeks ago. From this he will be able to tell A) if Peep is healthy. B) if Peep is growing at the right rate. C) that Peep’s heart rate is at the right levels. D) if my sac/baby/fluids all “look good.” A positive account from Dr. David means we get to announce our pregnancy to the world!!!!… On Wednesday. Ha!

There are a few people we’ve kept in the dark over the last 2 months and we’ll be calling to tell them tomorrow night before updating our Facebook Statuses tomorrow morning. (By the time you read this, that will have already happened!)

We are so excited. Can I just say that? I mean, WE ARE SO EXCITED!!!

I swear I have more topics to blog about – just haven’t been able to focus on much else.

So update this week: Peep is about an inch long, or the size of a good ripe grape/olive. All of his/her essential body parts and organs are in place! And that tail is totally gone. Best of all – while Anthony and I won’t know until September if we have a Son or a Daughter, Peep already knows what it is! Reproductive organs are already in place. Oh – and it’s official – we made the leap from “Embryo” to “Fetus” this week. Sweet!!!

Anthony and I are feeling more and more like parents. Our conversations, plans, and actions all take into account the little one. We made our first trip to Babies R Us last week and poked around. We looked at cribs and nursery themes. We looked at strollers and high chairs. Anthony decided that he is a “back pack” sort of a guy, while I decided I’m more of a “Sling” type of gal. Some things we are totally decided on (convertible crib is a must!) and others we have a long way to go (Jungle Theme, but which one? There are like 20!)

I’m officially into maternity clothes, too.  Did you see the picture? I actually have a bump! I know – a lot of people think “wow, that is early!” And you are right. It is. For most. But let’s remember 2 things here, folks – 1) I”M TINY! And 2) I had a pretty flat tummy to begin with. Turns out that flat tummy was great for bikinis and tight jeans, but NOT so good for little Peep. He/She was SCREAMING for me to get into something looser about 4 weeks ago! I’ve managed with bigger jeans and the whole “Hair tie around the pants button” thing for a while, but no more. Becka, my SIL loaned me a marvelous pair of maternity jeans, and my mom bought me 2 pairs of oh-so-comfy maternity capri pants just yesterday. Woot! So much better. I’m taking my “not-so-flat-anymore” tummy in stride. I kind of like that little bump there!!! (This is the first week you can really actually see it!)

I’ll probably post again tomorrow. Gotta tell you everything I learn from Dr. David!

Have a great night everyone!

-Jen

Baby Francis, the Raspberry

Sorry y’all – no picture this week – we forgot!

(Saturday, Feb 6, 2010) 8 weeks! Nothing much has changed. I’m still nauseous and still having trouble finding things to eat that don’t perpetuate the problem. However, I’m sleeping well (maybe a little too well!!!) and thoroughly enjoying the idea of a small person growing inside of me.

I learned that, as of today, the baby is about the size of a raspberry or Lima bean. Not quite double the size of last week’s blueberry status, but still a significant increase in size. I’m still thinking that at this rate I’m having a babyzilla. Hahaha.

I also learned that my baby’s fingers and toes are forming. They are still webbed, but if we were to get one of those crazy 3D cameras into my womb, we’d see definite phalanges! And the “tail” is as small as it will get before actually disappearing. Our baby is no longer a tadpole! It’s a baby!!!

Anthony and I are gearing up for week 9 – our second Doctor’s visit is during that week, and we are so excited!!! I just want to see how much the baby has grown!!! How cool will that be?

Other than that, nothing much to report. Stay tuned!

-Jen

Baby Francis, The Blueberry!

(Saturday, Jan 30, 2010) 7 Weeks! Somehow I think my non-existent baby bump looks smaller than last week’s, but it is probably just the shirt I’m wearing. (And P.S. Ignore the bad hair day I’m having thankyouverymuch!)

We hit 7 weeks today and I’m so excited! We have officially spilled the beans to our immediate family. My parents, Ant’s parents, my sister, all 4 of his siblings, my grand parents, Ant’s grandparents and of course, Beckie Keenan (because it is totally mandatory that my bestest friend knows too!) all know. And what a support team we have! I feel so blessed.

There will be a few others we will tell before our big announcement around the 16th, but for now, that is it! We want everyone to be surprised. SURPRISE!!!! We are having a baby!!!

So how cool is this – when Elissa and Paul first told us about their precious bundle of joy back in Nov. of 2007, (which has since manifested into my 18 month old, walking, talking, beautiful baby niece, Laila!) Elissa was about 7 weeks along. And her words to me were, “It’s a blueberry!!! We are having a blueberry!” and then explained that was a description of the baby’s size. Well folks, we’ve come full circle. I am officially having a blueberry. And couldn’t be prouder. I texted Elissa this morning to tell her and everything. She laughed.

I read today that Little Peep’s eye lids are forming. Peep’s arms and legs are getting longer, but are still webbed, and the ‘tadpole tail” that holds the spinal cord (that is currently too long for the little body) is slowly but surely disappearing to form the tailbone.  Neat!

A blueberry, huh? That is more than double the size of a lentil bean! “They” (whoever “they” are) are serious when they say “Kids grow up so fast!” Well at that rate, I’m going to have a giant for a child! (No, not really, I know it slows down in a few weeks – but it is still fun to think about – CHILDZILLA TAKES OVER LOS ANGELES – DEMANDS A RANSOM OF GERBER’S PUFFS!)

I’m feeling better as far as nausea is concerned. The pills are helping tremendously. I’m sleeping better and eating better because of it. Although, we learned last night that my lovely, beautifully, CORRECTLY cooked meat at a pink-center-medium-rare isn’t going to work. It makes me sick. Bleh. And Boo. I so desperately wanted a hamburger from The Counter last night. Anthony graciously gave in against his better judgment (we are supposed to be saving money, he reminds me!) and I took one bite and couldn’t stomach it. I deconstructed it, ate the bacon on top, picked at it, tried a few small bites, and gave it up as a bad job. I ended up staring at the perfectly created gourmet burger and humbly ate my grilled pineapple and french fries instead. Boo.

BUT!!! I gotta tell ya – Noah’s bagels this morning was about the best darn thing I’ve eaten in over a month! So that was good to know! We picked up a tub of my favorite shmear to bring home so I could make bagels here. Thank you Lord for breakfast that stays down!!!

This journey is getting mighty interesting! I’ve done a TON of reading in the last few days. I’m fascinated by how this whole “growing a baby” thing works. Our bodies are absolutely remarkable! God has blessed us with healthy lives and I intend to keep it that way! Thanks for marveling with me! Stay tuned.

-Jen

Baby Francis, the Lentil Bean

(Saturday, Jan 23, 2010) 6 weeks along!! And Baby Francis is about the size of a Lentil Bean! That is so tiny!!!!

I’ve read that the baby’s head has taken shape, the spinal cord is forming, and the arms are sticking out like little stubby knobs. How cute!!!

In a week’s time I’ve gone from happy and elated to… nauseous. Yup – I have “morning sickness.” Which, oddly enough, doesn’t just apply to the morning. Nope – it is pretty much always. Morning, lunch time, evening… the only times that I seem to not be nauseous are the early afternoons (like right after lunch, for a couple of hours) or when I’m sleeping. Who knows? Maybe I am nauseous when I’m sleeping, and I just don’t know it!

Oh well. I’ve been told by everyone who knows I’m pregnant – my Mother, my books, my Boss, my Doctor – that this is a great sign! Especially this early. That means that the baby is growing healthy and strong. So I’ll take that as the silver lining and try to remember that little fact as I puke up last night’s dessert. Bleh.

Speaking of Doctors – we saw ours for the first time this week! Monday, Anthony and I both left work a little early to meet with him and get to know our little “Peep” as we’ve been calling it. (Long story short, we call my boss’s kids her “little people,” which quickly got shortened to “Little peeps.” So now I have a “little peep” of my own.) Dr. David Gausi is the name of our OBGYN and he’s great! Normally, I’m not comfortable with male doctors, but he makes me feel comfortable and at home. And doesn’t seem at all phased by the absolute cacophony of questions we both have.  We discussed the symptoms I’m already experiencing (nausea, frequent urination, massive appetite, fatigue…) and he seems pleased by it all. He gave me a prescription for a nausea medication, because he did admit that it is a little early for me to be feeling this nauseous and it has the potential to get much worse over the next few weeks (grreeeaaaaaaaaaatttttttt).

Then we got to see this!!!!!!

The very first picture of our baby! According to the doc, everything looks great. No pools of blood, no fluid that shouldn’t be there, no marks that cause him concern… just a large amniotic sac and one little baby! I could see the head and the body clear as day! Little Peep measures in at about 5 millimeters now. Woot!

AND we could see the heartbeat! (Too early to hear it). So cool. I almost cried. But I’m a strong Mom – I held it together. 😉 Anthony was in awe.

We set up our second appointment for just after Valentine’s day, and Anthony and I agreed that if all went well at that visit that we could spread the news. Yippie!!! Cause I’m dying to tell you all everything there is to know about my baby. Hahaha.

Anthony has been just wonderful. He’s caring and doting and protective. He gives me a hard time sometimes because he knows he can, but over all, he’s been such an asset to Team Baby. He rubs my back and brings me ginger ale. He makes sure I’m in bed by 11 and that I take my vitamin. He yells at me when I haven’t had enough water, and he takes out the trash before I tell him the smell is making me sick. He did say it is still my job to do the laundry, tho! Darn. Can’t get out of all of it, can I? Laundry it is!!!

More to come! Stay tuned!

-Jen

We found out I’m pregnant!

Yup! Go us! We are going to be parents!!! Can you believe it? Come September, it will cease to be the “Jen & Ant Chronicles” and become the “Francis Family Chronicles.”

Today is Jan 16, 2010. Even though I won’t be posting this blog until sometime after Valentine’s day (right after our second Doctor’s visit and been given the “all clear”) I had to sit down and write. I can’t even begin to explain how I’m feeling… mixed emotions for sure!!

I am so excited! All I have ever wanted was to be a good mom. And now I have the chance to do that! But there is, of course, fear and anxiety that comes with that – I’m preggo for Christ’s sake! I mean, there are a million and one possible (albeit unlikely) things that can go wrong! And I haven’t even started the normal things like morning sickness, or mood swings, or heartburn, or gaining weight or anything! Those kind of scare me. And birth… Yikes! That giant baby is coming out of where? Holy cow!

*Breathe*

I know I’ll be fine. Millions of women have done this before me, and millions will do it after – but it is my first time being pregnant, so of course, all the steps are taken very cautiously and EVERYTHING seems a bigger deal than it actually is.

Anthony and I are doing a lot of reading right now. I’ve got “What to Expect when your Expecting,” “Pregnancy & Birth; The Essential Checklists,” and “Consumer Reports Best Baby Buys of 2009” (the 2010 version won’t come out until half way through my pregnancy…). I am also absolutely and totally obsessed with TheBump.com and BabyCenter.com. I have put a pregnancy widget on my phone, too!

The excited part of me is just bursting with everything from elation to pride. I mean, I KNEW I was pregnant even without that test. I’ve been seriously hungry STARVING for 3 weeks. My chest is swollen and sore. I’ve gained a whole pound!!!! (If you know me well, you know what a feat that is!) I could just tell. But Anthony kept saying “it isn’t positive until the test says so.’ So we agreed when I’d missed my period on Monday to test on Saturday. I woke up at 7:30 this morning and had to pee like you wouldn’t believe. So I took the test in there with me. I’ve done this before – and it usually takes the whole 3 minutes to come up with a result. Not this time. Less than a minute after it started “thinking” it had a result: PREGNANT.

Anthony was only slightly awake and the lights weren’t on yet. He asked if I’d taken the test. I jumped into bed and held it up to his face. He looked at me with this look that said “you are silly, you know I can’t see that.” He fumbled for his glasses, tried to focus, and couldn’t. He finally yanked my arm into a position he could read it from and yelled, ‘YAY!!!!!” and hugged me. I was shaking. We stayed there for several minutes, embracing in the knowledge that we were going to be parents.

Ant got up and brushed his teeth, I went out to feed the dog… our usual morning things. As always, we crossed paths in the hallway.  But instead of our usual passing, he literally picked me up off the ground and hugged me again. I always know when Anthony is at an 11 on a scale of 1-10 – he picks me up. (He did it when we got engaged, and as soon as we got to our hotel room on our wedding night, too). It was the best thing he could have done to show me how happy and excited he was at our news.

We went about our day with our little secret tucked neatly away. We ended up seeing so much family today – Yvonne, Brian, and the kids – and Uncle Lee! And Elissa and Becka, too – it was so hard to keep my mouth shut. But I did. Hence why I’m spilling my guts on the computer.

I can’t wait to tell my parents tomorrow, and Ant’s parents as soon as we can see them in person. By the time you read this – our siblings will all know.

By now it is Mid February, and I’m 9 weeks (or about 2 months along.) We are due on Saturday, September 18th, 2010. We have decided NOT to find out the sex of the baby until the day he or she is born. We will have one name picked out for each sex before hand.

I am so excited for the months ahead – to watch and feel my body go through this journey. To start the next chapter of our lives together as the family we have always wanted to be. To make the transition into motherhood. Oh – and to pick out a nursery theme. That is a BIG one. 😉

As I write this blog, I am 5 weeks along. I’ll be taking weekly photos to watch/document (and to remember) this incredible journey I am about to embark on. I can’t wait to share it with you.

Thanks for reading!!!

Me at 5 Weeks along.
-Jen