Week 30

October 7, 2008

We have 10 Weeks until baby is here!!

This week we had what our doctors call a Development Ultra Sound. In which they check on Jericho’s size and development. Usually the average pregnancy gets only one ultra sound, however since I have been placed in the High Risk Clinic (due to my medical history) we get one about every month. JJ and I love it because we get to see our little boy often and it also calms any worries we may have.

This week we were a little concerned because my belly was measuring small. However as most doctors will tell you, you can’t tell a baby by its cover (especially if the cover is looking like a post that swallowed a basketball). In other words, it’s what’s inside that counts.

Our ultra sound tech was great and she really showed us how Jericho was relaxing in my belly. He is positioned head down and getting ready to come out. He weighs about 3 lb and 10 ounces, right on target. She showed us an amazing view of his profile and I know I’m going to sound crazy, but he really does look like a mini JJ. As we were peeking at him we could see his little hand moving up and down as he sucked his thumb. I did not want the ultra sound to end. Of course it did and we received these photos not only as a reminder of how lucky we are to have the technology to be able to see him move around in there but also as a reminder on how phenomenal his development is.

1. Jericho sucking his thumb.

2. More thumb sucking.

3. Slightly blurred photo of more thumb sucking.

4. Front view of his face. If you look closly you can see his eye and nose. Below that is his hand as he sucks his thumb.

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Week 29

September 30, 2008

Now that my belly is protruding more and more, I have noticed people are more curious to see how I am doing and getting about. Many of you are familiar with my medical history and some not to familiar, so I will give you a brief background.

One afternoon My two sisters (Julieta and Jessica), Bart (Jessica’s boyfriend at the time – now husband) and myself traveled to a nearby town to watch him motor-cross. When we arrived there, I began to wonder around, slipped and found myself covered in mud with a broken leg. We quickly headed back to Tucson were I was taken to the hospital.

I don’t remember much after arriving to the hospital. I think I was so high on pain killers and morphine, I don’t ever recall hearing the words “you have cancer”. All I really recall was waking up in a hospital bed knowing I did.

I was fourteen and a half when I was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. For a year I was in and out of the hospital receiving chemotherapy. I was poked, examined, analyzed, highly medicated and more.

After a failed bone transfer, I was given two options; remove the femur bone and knee and have it replaced with a long bone, never allowing me to bend my leg, or amputating my leg. As most of you know I choose to have my leg amputated.

I now celebrate 10 years of being cancer free. I would not be here today if not for the support and care of my Mom, sisters, family, and friends. However as they all know there is still some challenges I have to deal with daily. For instance, wearing and using my prosthetic leg properly, finding shoes that fit right, getting my cats not to use my prosthetic as a scratching post, etc…

So, how am I doing and getting about while pregnant? Just fine. I have not gotten to fat that my prosthetic leg does not fit and not to heavy that it will break. My one concern is that as my belly grows I may just tip over. But even though I look like a reverse camel and resemble the leaning tower of pisa, I have not tipped over yet.

Week 28

September 22, 2008

This is the beginning of our third trimester, month 7.

This week Jericho is almost 16 inches tall and getting close to 3 lbs. He has started to blink, cough, has more intense sucking, and better breathing. Having developed stronger lungs now, if born premature, he has an excellent chance of surviving. I know its getting cramped in there but hang in there Jericho! There is still lots of developing to do for the next 12 weeks.

In these final weeks Jericho’s brain will be developing. His brain wave activity now shows different sleep cycles, including rapid eye movement, the stage when dreaming occurs. I’m sure he is having many sweet dreams just as I have been.

So far I have been very fortunate in my pregnancy. I have no major pregnancy symptoms such as morning sickness, massive weight gain, or other common annoyances that come with being pregnant. Until my recent pregnancy symptom – extreme fatigue.

I can’t wait to crawl into bed as soon as I’m out of it. I admit I love to sleep and have been known to stay in bed until 2 pm. However this is a completely different feeling (kinda like being drugged or whacked with a club). Last Saturday my day went something like so… woke-up, ate breakfast, fell back to sleep, woke up, ate lunch, showered, fell back to sleep, woke up, ate dinner, robbed a liquor store (wait… I probably dreamt that last one), watched 30 minutes of a movie and…. you guessed it…. fell back to sleep. I woke up Sunday morning and I saw that my belly was twice its size.

I’m not concerned about sleeping so much, there is a good reason for it. Making a baby is very hard work. Consider this: My body is manufacturing a baby and its directly plugged into me for life support. On top of that my body’s metabolism and hormone levels have increased, while my blood sugar and blood pressure have dropped. It’s been exhausting but well worth for when JJ and I hold Jericho for the first time.

Week 27

September 12, 2008

Last Thursday afternoon we had our third ultrasound and doctor’s appointment.

Before our meeting that day, I stopped for a nice big lunch accompanied by a huge 32 ounce thirst buster lemonade. Soon after, I met JJ at our doctor’s office. We both arrived just on time, but as always there was some waiting in the waiting room. JJ and I were anxiously awaiting to be called in when I felt the super sized lemonade hit me. Jericho is growing and putting more weight on my shrinking bladder. Just as I stand up to go to the bathroom, the ultrasound tech calls us back. So I painstakingly held it in!

JJ and I were taken to the dark secluded room in the back of the office. I had the excited daddy-to-be to my right, and the gel crazy tech to my left. She gushed the gel all over my belly, like syrup on pancakes, except this time the “pancake” looks more like a bunt cake. The tech placed the doppler on my belly and our son appeared on the monitor.

Jericho was snuggled up in a curled position (thus the term “fetal position”). The tech needed him to stretch out to be able to get the info and photos required. So without warning, she pushed down on my belly to un-curle him. I almost…. please… lets just say I was feeling the pressure on my bladder. The tech continued and confirmed that Jericho, though stubborn, is still developing perfectly and in fact is slightly over the average weight. He weighs 2.6 pounds and is approximatly 15 inches, he has doubled in weight from last month. 

I was overwhelmed with emotion. Relief that he’s developing beautifully. Proud he is a chubby lil baby. And finally, agony from holding it in for about half an hour. The tech soon wiped the gallons of gel from my belly and I jetted to the bathroom.  I had sweet relief and photos…

1. That’s his doodle again!

2. His face. If you look closely you can see his eyes, nose and lil frown. He was not happy being pushed around.

3. A blurred profile of his face while sucking his thumb

4. His chubby lil hand

5. His chubby bohemian foot

Week 26

September 2, 2008

When pregnant your immune system runs at low speed, this keeps your body from fighting off the baby, but at the same time your body can’t fight off colds or flu as well as it normally would. So naturally I came down with a cold this week.

Wednesday I came home early from work. I was suffering from a stuffy runny nose, a cough, and a sore throat. My mom spoiled me with homemade chicken soup and tea while JJ was at work. It felt great on my throat however it was just a temporary relief. JJ soon arrived and my mom left the coddling to him.

JJ called the OBGYN on call. They quickly concluded I had a cold and assured us the baby was in good health despite my condition. They recommended I stay home, rest and take some cold medicine. I was shocked! On days like this, I would usually take some cough medicine and sleep through the cold, however, I’m pregnant and worry about the baby’s health. So I refused to take any drugs! Instead, I decided I would drink lots of water and chamomile tea, eat plenty of soup, use the humidifier and sleep.

So as you may have guessed, I was miserable! I was more uncomfortable than a Universal Health Care Provider at a McCain Rally. As I laid in bed staring at the ceiling fan and blowing my nose, I began to think…. Most women, including myself, refuse to take any drugs during pregnancy: Tylenol, tums, cold medicine… altoids. We are suspicious of any drugs the doctor prescribes or any claims that taking these drugs are ok during pregnancy. I’m definitely one of those women. And as I laid there still staring at the fan and snot running out of my nose, it hit me (not the snot but a self realization)… I’m a big fat (pregnant) hypocrite! Because I know when I go into labor and the pain hits in, I’m probably going to be crying out… GIVE ME THE DRUGS!

But until then, this week…

Jericho is about nine inches tall and two pounds, at the rate he is growing, he will soon be feeling a little cramped. He is now able to see what’s going on (unfortunately the view is not very exciting). Not only can he hear noises and see light though the uterus but he can now respond to them with an increase in pulse rate or activity.

Week 25

August 27, 2008

If we could see Jericho’s face now, we would be able to recognize him when he is born. That is because he has now developed his facial features. Wondering who the baby will look like? So are we.

We figure he will be a handsome combination of the two of us. JJ’s eyes, head, and ears plus my big mouth, nose and mexican-ity (darker skin and mexican mustache… but not that I have one) Having a hard time imagining it? Look below to get a better idea.

Can you say latin grammy? (Jericho Im sorry I know you will be so much better looking!)

Week 24

August 18, 2008

This week Jericho weighs more than a pound and a half and is about eight and a half inches (standard letter size). A look inside the womb would reveal his distinct facial features. However, his adorable face and body still have very tender skin that is transparent, which means you would see clear through to all the organs, bones, and blood vessels. Fortunately, that see-through look won’t last much longer due to the fat he will be gaining. Surprisingly Jericho will be gaining about six ounces each week.

That’s not the only surprising event! Last Friday, I was invited to a house warming party, which turned out to be a Surprise Shower for Baby and I. My coworkers at BolchalkFrey put together a beautiful shower with balloons, streamers, an elegant diaper cake, delicious food, an amazing monkey cake, adorable party favors and hilarious games. I must say I was totally oblivious and surprised by this memorable event. Words cannot express how I felt that night and the gratitude I’m feeling now. Thank you everyone for your thought and time in planning the surprise and thank you to everyone who came and for your gift. I know Jericho is going to enjoy (and probably drool on) everything.

Week 23

August 11, 2008

This week marks the beginning of some serious weight gain for the baby and I. Lil JJ is approximately eight inches long and slightly over a pound. His weight in the next four weeks should double, and soon I will feel like mine has too!

Despite the occasional jokes I make about turning into a fat cow, I’m actually comfortable with the weight gain coming up in the next 3 months. All my life I have been under weight and have felt that despite what I ate I never gained anything. I’m now eating a lot healthier. I go for the baby carrots instead of Doritos, milk instead of ice tea, an apple instead of a can of spam covered with mayonnaise… OK…. I may have exaggerated that last one. My point being, I’ve been keeping in mind the major food groups and getting the recommended extra calories needed for the baby and I. Hopefully, when the baby is born, I will keep a similar healthy diet and keep some of the healthy weight I need to finally be average weight. 

As for lil’JJ, we hope that by the time he is born, he will be pleasantly plump and filled out — from chubby cheeks to chubby toes.

Week 22

August 5, 2008

Everyone has their own Old Wives Tales or Non-Scientific Prediction Method on how to tell if your expecting a boy or girl. I started thinking of OWTs this week when someone tried to guess what I was having using their own. They looked at my belly and mentioned it was sticking out like a lil’baby girl. I giggled, (like a lil’girl) and said nope its a BOY! I think if not for my ultrasound and Jericho’s moon & doodle shot, I would be convinced I was having a girl from hearing everyones predictions. So for some more giggles… JJ and I decided to print and test some OWTs found online. We conducted 10 tests and these are the results…

Theory – If the mom’s left breast is bigger than the right breast during pregnancy, she’s having a girl; if the right breast is bigger, she’s having a boy.

Results – My left breast is slightly larger than my right. Therefor it would be a girl. We thought the flaw in this method may have been in not examining the fathers breast. So without hesitation I examined JJ’s chest. His left breast was slightly bigger (and hairier) than his right. Also concluding our baby’s sex as female. Boy 0 Girl 1

Theory – Have the mother-to-be pick up a single key. If she picks it up by the round part it will be a boy . If she picks up the long narrow part it will be a girl.

Results – Having no clue what JJ was looking for, I picked up the key by the narrow part. Score: Boy 0 Girl 2

Theory – Ask the mother-to be to pick a number, then match the number to the corresponding alphabet letter, eg: A=1, B=2, C=3 etc, then ask her to pick a name starting with that letter. If the name she picks is a girls name, it will be a girl, boy name, boy.

Results – I picked 24. 24=Y. The only name I could come up with at that moment was Yoda. Boy 1 Girl 2

Theory – The Mayans determined the sex of the baby by taking the mother’s age at conception, and the year of conception. If both are even or odd… its a girl. If one is even and one odd its a boy.

Results – I was 24 when I conceived and the year was 2008. Both are even. Boy 1 Girl 3

Theory – If the mother-to-be’s legs resemble tree trunks, its a boy. If they are trim and fit, it’s a girl.

Results – Well… one leg is trim and somewhat fit and the other we can staple some leaves to it and tada… a tree. We voted for trim and fit… Boy 1 Girl 4

Theory – If you can’t tell you’re pregnant from the back it must be a boy; with a girl you’ll be pregnant all over!

Results – JJ claims I don’t look pregnant from the back… (he’s so sweet) Boy 2 Girl 4

Theory – It’s a boy, if you crave salty foods. A girl if you crave desserts.

Results – I always crave salty and spicy food, in fact, that sounds good right now. Boy 3 Girl 4

Theory – Ancient Chinese Gender Chart Calendar. see chart

Results – Tied up at Boy 4 Girl 4

Theory – If you have terrible acne break outs on your face its a girl. Clear skin its a boy.

Results – I guess the hormones of a lil’girl should cause break outs. So what does the lil’boys testosterone do? Give me a mustache? I have neither… I hope! Boy 5 Girl 4

Theory – If you carry low its a boy. High its a girl.

Results – The final test… my belly hangs low. Boy 6 Girl 4

BOYS WIN! There are many other Old Wives Tales out there. Feel free to share any you know with us. However, just know we may not want to do it, for example I will not be eating a whole clove of garlic, peeing on drain-o, or anything else hazardous or repulsive. But if you got one to share please do, it may make us smile just like this one below, it is my all time fav so far…

From Debbie… After a week camping with my 76 year old grandmother she told me she knew I was going to have a girl for this reason: when a woman is pregnant with a girl she will be crabby (to put it nicely) because all women are crabs and if you have one inside you are twice so. If you are pregnant with a boy you are happy and smiling because you have a little peter inside you for 9 months (her exact words)!

Week 21

July 29, 2008

Our baby is bananas! B-A-N-A-N-A-S! This week Jericho is the size of a banana! Seven inches in length and almost 11 ounces in weight. He still has a great deal of room in my belly and plenty of space for twisting, turning and somersaulting. Which JJ & I got to experience live at our ultra sound.

We had our second ultrasound on Thursday. We arrived to the hospital that afternoon and after a little wait we were placed in a dark room with the ultrasound technician. There I laid on the awkward patient bed with the technician and monitor at my left and JJ enthusiastically at my right. She lifted my shirt and squirted tons of gel on my belly, similar to the way my niece pours ketchup on her hotdog, messy and without warning. She placed the cold doppler on my belly and we could immediately see Jericho. As the technician was measuring Jericho, he kicked towards the doppler and turned away from her. Not even out of the womb and he’s already misbehaving. Jericho soon got comfortable and the tech was able to confirm that he is developing perfectly. She wiped the gue from my belly, missing the pool in my belly button. I walked out of our appointment with a wet stain on my shirt were the gel dripped out of my belly button and the great photos you see here. Definitely worth the the gooey discomfort.

Photo 1 – Showing his moon and doodle to the world. No doubt its a boy!

Photo 2 – His perfect bohemian feet.

Photo 3 – His tiny lil’ hand

Photo 4 & 5 – His Profile