Saturday, June 23, 2012

17 weeks.

Seventeen weeks down, twenty-three to go! Holy moly. Three weeks til we find out the gender!!! I'm convinced it's a boy. There's pretty much no doubt in my mind anymore. So I'm trying to look at boy things & get excited. I've found a nursery that I want to be our "reference nursery" as I'm calling it. hahaha. Gabe isn't convinced it's a boy though. But I am. As is my mom, my brother, & my grandpa. & my grandpa is always right. So. Come December I bet we'll have little boy Staples. & so far all of the Staples girls are having girls so I suppose a boy would be okay. Plus, that means a big brother for my kids. I always liked having a big brother, even though they're buttheads 75% of the time.

So anyway. That's what I look like this week. I'm still trying to suck it in as much as I can. Which isn't a whole lot. I can suck in the very top right under my ribcage a pretty significant amount if I'm okay with not breathing. I try to do it sometimes. Gabe thinks it's funny, but it's not. We've spent some time thinking about what to register for in the last week, since we find out what this kid is soon, & my baby shower will be in August, we have to get it done. & we've spent a significant amount of time talking about baby names. & by WE I mean me. Cause Gabe is useless in the name department. We have a girl name all picked out, & I have a boy name I love, but Gabe isn't sure he likes it. So I told him to come up with names... so far he's got nothing. haha. He said he's gonna wait til we know what the baby is (even though I already know it's a boy) cause that slims down his options a lot. Really he's just putting it off.

I've become MUCH more forgetful in the last week or so. I've forgotten my keys at least 3 times, & I left my wallet at home on the counter once. Good thing I didn't get pulled over. The cop would've let me go though cause I would've been pathetic & started to cry without even trying to force it to happen. Being pulled over freaks me out. I'm also get more & more klutzy with every passing day. Not only am I dropping small items, but today while loading my car with groceries at Target, I dropped a 12 pack of Dr. Pepper. The box busted & all of the cans, except for two because they were unaccounted for, exploded all over my legs & the side of my car. I just stood there staring at it & started to cry. Then I turned & the boy collecting carts was giggling to himself. So I said, in a very serious tone, "don't ever get a girl pregnant. This will happen to her." I think I terrified him to the depths of his soul. He immediately stopped smiling, grabbed a bag & cleaned up the mess I had made. Pretty sure he won't be having sexual relations with anyone for a while.

Um. In other news. There's a really big muscular black guy that lives 3 doors down that's terrified of Anya. The poodle. I overheard him telling some friends of his that she had chased him. Which is a massive lie. The closest she's ever gotten to him is approximately 30ft. But I mean, she does have a TERRIFYING stare. & a vicious bark. (She does have a pretty intense bark, but when you see her it's hard to take her seriously.) So anyway. I had her groomed yesterday. It's even harder to take her seriously now & if he's still scared of her he should be ashamed of himself & not call himself a man. I already don't think of him as a man, but he should now recognize it himself. She has purple bows in her ears for goodness sake! She looks like a total goof now, but I love her to death still. Even though she's annoying as crap sometimes. =]

Gabe has spent the last two Saturdays in Indiana at RC place conventions. He's pretty much the cutest nerd in all the land. He's so excited about it I can't stand to stop him from going. Besides, when the baby comes he won't be able to take off for 16 hours on a Saturday. Cause I'd break all of his planes, then rip his arms off & beat him with the bloody stubs. =] I know what you're thinking, he's a lucky man to have such a wonderful wife. You have no idea! He really is.

& we leave for Arizona this Thursday! I've been looking forward to this for months. So excited. We're going to Sierra Vista for about a week (which is my official hometown) for the Staples family reunion. Sierra Vista just so happens to be where his family is from as well. & my parents were invited. & we're staying with my sister. & I get to see my brothers as well. So I'm a happy girl! I knew it was a good move marrying someone that was practically my cousin! Makes family reunions a lot easier. Anyway. Gabe doesn't know anything about Sierra Vista. & my sister & I are also forcing him to go to Tombstone...which is a real place. So it's gonna be a good time! So freaking excited.

So anyway. Here's this thing.

How far along? 17 weeks
Total weight gain/loss: 4-5 lbs.
Maternity Clothes: So far I've got 2 pairs of pants. But I'm surviving with my shirts.
Sleep: I bought a Snoogle! Which helps. But it's still not good.
Best moment this week: Finding out that Fioricet beats my migraines now!
Miss Anything? Sleeping through the night.
Movement: Si! Much more.
Food cravings: Nothing is standing out to me right now.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Not really. But I wake up sick at least 3 times a week. Then drinking water makes me throw my guts up.
Have you started to show yet: Yes. Definitely a bit more noticeable now.
Gender guess: Boy.
Labor Signs: No.
Belly Button in or out? In.
Wedding rings on or off? On.
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy. But I still get mood swings.
Looking forward to: Arizona!!!

The end.

- Alexa

Friday, June 22, 2012

Things no one told me, or I didn't listen to, about pregnancy.

So I was writing a letter to my best friend who is on her mission, & thought to myself that I should write her a list of things about pregnancy that I didn't know... or didn't listen to. Things I would've liked to know beyond the fact that you get sick, gain weight... the common knowledge stuff. I told her to keep it so she can look back over it when the time comes. I read it to Gabe & he told me to put it on here. He also said that he should write a list of things he didn't know about pregnancy. He started listing things. It was pretty funny.

1. Morning sickness doesn't just happen in the morning.
2. Morning sickness lasts longer than 2 or 3 days.

Ha! If I had let him continue, he would've written a book... he only finds out things as I tell him. At least he knew I would get a belly & gain weight! & that pregnancy means a baby. & he knows where babies come from. So really, he knows the important stuff. He was actually happy I wrote this list & wants a copy of it to read so that he can see what I'm thinking & going through. He's fully aware that he'll better understand me by reading what I write. I think I may be more honest in my writing than I am vocally.

When I wrote the first half of this list, I was 17 weeks. As my pregnancy progresses, I add things because things change...or there are new things that come up (my most recent update was at 28+5 weeks). Of course I'm aware that no two pregnancies are the same, even for one person. But this is what MY experience is. & I have to say, it's nice to hear someone else went through something. 

Now. Some of these are pretty personal. But I don't care. & this is not for your judgment either. There's no need to make fun of me, call me a pansy, or tell me to grow a pair. If you do, I will not react in a kind or happy manner. You have been warned. Also, keep in mind that this was written for a friend. So I wrote it as if I'm speaking to her. Which means there may or may not be sarcasm included. There probably is.


1. Growing a human is exhausting!

2. You haven't known "tired" until you get pregnant & morning sickness kicks in. Then it's never ending. (I can't imagine doing this with kids... or having multiples. Oh dear.)

3. People will insist on giving you advice... & you'll want to tell them to shove it. Just nod your head & pretend you're listening. Just remember, you're pregnant, so you can walk away whenever you want, even if it's rude! =P (I realize this is kind of advice, but I'm a wonderful, knowledgeable, honest person that gives good advice. =] )

4. If your period was more than a couple of months before you got pregnant you have to have an ultrasound to date the pregnancy. I was given 3 different due dates before I hit 10 weeks.

5. If you get pregnant with an IUD in place, sadly it probably won't be a good pregnancy & it will miscarry.

6. Miscarriages are emotionally hard whether you're 4 weeks or 12 weeks. But it's probably a million times harder when you've had more time to "bond" with the baby inside you.

7. Not having a period is nice, but your body more than makes up for it in other punishments far worse than bleeding for a few days every month.

8. Morning sickness is not exclusive to the morning. ( I did know this. But I had a nice reminder than it can last ALL day.)

9. It is also not exclusive to the first trimester.

10. You'll want to throw up because it will probably make you feel better. I love throwing up when I'm weird as that sounds. & now when I wake up nauseated, I actually hope for it & look forward to it... that is if my Zofran can't beat it.

11. Prenatal vitamins will probably make you even sicker than you already are. But there is hope! You can switch to a gummy prenatal (which is easier on the belly), or take 2 Flinstones vitamins a day.

12. A lot of women find it best to take their prenatals before bed, or at dinner time because then they end up sleeping through the sickness. That didn't work for me. I always got sick within 12 hours of taking it, & if I was asleep, it would wake me up to barf. At least before I switched to the gummies. Everyone's different I suppose!

13. You'll get good at identifying nausea days as opposed to throw up days. I much prefer throw up days to 24 hour nausea. 

14. Eating new, or different things (like Indian) is probably a bad choice cause it may make you sick. I learned the hard way.

15. You'll get sick at the most inopportune times.

16. Even the most menial task, like checking the mail, seems never ending.

17. Hormones screw with absolutely everything! 
  • Vision changes. I had no idea the eyes would have problems! My vision is way blurrier now & it takes extra effort to focus, which causes more headaches, which in turn, makes my eyes worse. Vicious circle.
  • Hair growth. It's faster & harder to tame...everywhere.
  • Mood swings. (More on that later.)

18. More than likely you'll be less than loving during your first trimester. I didn't even want to cuddle.

19. Don't assume it will take months to get pregnant. I was pregnant in less than a week. & I have friends that it's taken over a year for. You never know.

20. You'll look forward to your belly looking like a baby bump cause there's a long in between stage where it just looks like you're gaining weight. Now that I think about it, this may be a reason some girls stop trying to hold in their bellies & they just push it out.

21. You don't have to be big & pregnant for heat to make you miserable. It's a hormone thing. I make Gabe stay way on his side of the bed cause he's a radiator, & I kick off the covers, & I'm still sweating when the AC is set at 68.

22. Just because you peed every half hour before your appointment doesn't mean you'll be able to do it for a sample. Trust me. I once had to drink an entire huge water bottle at the doctor's office & stay extra time so that I could give a urine sample. Drink tons of water beforehand, & hold it. If you have to go as soon as you get there they'll let you pee in the cup first thing.

23. There's extra discharge that comes with pregnancy. Lovely. Keep panty liners around. Just saying.

24. Mood swings are a billion times worse than PMS. It's like PMS on steroids. I can be smiling & within 30 seconds want everyone to jump off a skyscraper. Happened in nursery recently. But to be fair, I was provoked. I was in charge & my three helpers were male. Gabe helped when I asked him to but the other two stood chatting, & loudly, for about an hour. They're lucky I didn't beat them with one of the toy phones or "Are You My Mother?" I eventually had to tell Gabe to handle it. The two men then left nursery, which I much preferred. I didn't want to have to beat anyone in front of 9 impressionable children. & if they had stayed I would've said something with rage tears spilling down my face.

25. You will cry about stupid things like your dog eating your ice cream (true story) or simply because you realize that you've cried multiple times that day (also done that). 

26. There's always at least a small part of you that's afraid something will go wrong & you'll lose the baby. 

27. People say not to lay on your stomach, but from my research it's only for comfort reasons. Particularly when your belly gets big.

28. Laying on your belly is a really easy way to feel the baby moving around early on.

29. Invest in pregnancy body pillow. You'll be glad you did cause your back starts hurting early. Plus, from some of the reviews I've read, particularly for mine, you can roll it up in an O shape & sleep with your belly in the hole... so you can sleep on your belly if that's how you're most comfortable.

30. You have the chance to do some screenings at 12 weeks or so. I say don't do it. But obviously I'm not your boss. From what I've been told, a lot of women get positive results but a large majority of those turn out to be false positives. Why spend your pregnancy freaking out? There's nothing you can do about it. & I can't speak for everyone, but I know you wouldn't evacuate the pregnancy. I've seen tons of posts in online forums of women freaking out about their scans & blood test results. It's crazy.

31. For some reason women love to tell their delivery horror stories when they talk to you about pregnancy. It's not comforting in the slightest, even if they say something like "I was a rare case," or "it probably won't happen to you." Try to ignore it. I'm lucky to know a few women with good delivery stories so that's nice.

32. I haven't experienced this yet, but apparently strangers will touch your belly without permission. I'm not exactly sure how I would handle this situation. But I like to think that I'll be able to say that I'm not pregnant to at least one of them & freak them out.

33. It's not uncommon for a stuffy nose to kick in during the second trimester (thank you hormones). Happened to me a few weeks ago. You can use a saline nasal spray. That's it.

34. A "bump" appears in your lower abdomen almost overnight. But you'll probably be the only one that notices it.

35. Sucking it in as long as you can makes your muscles tighter. Which means less flab! Which is good. I'm only just starting to have problems sucking it in. But my muscles feel sore at the end of the day as if I've worked them out, which I think is funny.

36. Constipation. Eat lots of fruit & drink lots of water. That's all I'll say about that.

37. Leg cramps! Mine started about a week & a half ago. It just started waking me up at night in the last few days though. Don't be scared to ask your husband to rub it out for you. I've woken up Gabe to do it cause I just can't. & from what I hear, they get worse.

38. Headaches. Apparently they're not uncommon during pregnancy. Lucky me, since I'm prone to migraines already, I get them nearly everyday now. It is totally safe to take a couple Tylenol. & do it with caffeine cause it makes it work faster. If you're anything like me & that's totally ineffective, ask your OBGYN about a prescription for Fioricet. It never worked for me before, but I guess it's a miracle drug for me during pregnancy. 

39. Round ligament pains. Apparently it's from the loosening & stretching of joints & things. I don't care what causes it, all I care about is that it hurts. Now it's generally just a dull ache, but when they first goodness. They were so sharp & came on so fast I would curl up in fetal position & tear up. We thought I might have appendicitis. It was bad. That used to happen 5 or 6 times a day. Now that only happens a few times a week, which isn't bad.

40. Seriously. Mood swings. Hahaha

41. Going to look at baby things is completely overwhelming. It's a lot to take in. A lot. Brace yourself, take a deep breath, & remember you can handle it. Even if it totally freaks you out, like it did me.

42. If you're anything like me, you'll have an even more intense need for love & understanding from your husband. Especially when you've thrown up 6 times that morning, the trash smells so bad you're having dry heaves, or you need something from the grocery store at 11pm. & definitely when you're having a mental breakdown. 

43. Your sense of smell is seriously amplified. (I knew this. But it's totally different when you experience it.) 

44. When it's your first, people, especially at church, will constantly ask you how you're feeling. People you don't even think you've met before. They all suddenly know who I am & care about my well-being.

45. You're gonna crave random things especially at times when they're not available to you. There have been multiple occasions that Gabe has had to run out to get me something.

46. People will tell you that you won't make it past 5 or 6 months wearing high heels to church. Yours truly will prove them wrong. Clearly they don't know that my grandmother is Grandma Crazy Shoes. It's in my blood.

47. My experience in the maternity ward is limited to 24 hours, but I have a lot of experience in hospitals in general. & with all that experience I find that the nurses in the maternity ward are way nicer than the nursers elsewhere. By a lot. So take advantage of their kindness & hospitality.

48. You'll be super excited about planning the nursery or baby shower one minute & then flip a switch & suddenly be freaking out about being a mom.

49. If you don't push it out, people will tell you that you don't look 17 weeks pregnant...or however far you are before you really start to show. I get it all the time. I suppose some really do show early, especially women with multiples, but I'm willing to bet a lot give up sucking it in, or just push it out. I guess no one really knows what 17 weeks looks like. My sister-in-law still had abs at 16 weeks! I guess everyone is different. Of course, this applies to the first pregnancy, cause after the first you show sooner from what I've read.

50. Pregnancy brain is real. It's sad how many times I've left my keys or my wallet in the house or elsewhere in the last week & a half. 

51. If you're in tune with your body, you can feel the baby moving around in there earlier than people say is possible with your first. Especially if you know what you're looking for. Laying on my back, I could feel it a couple of times a week starting around 12 weeks. The doctor confirmed that's what I was feeling. But it's a lot more prominent now.

52. Your baby's heartbeat is a wonderful sound.

53. Dreams gradually get weirder, more intense, & much more memorable. 

54. You wake up a bajillion times a night to pee in your first trimester. I hear this happens again in the third. & getting out of bed then will be harder, too. Goodie. 

55. If you're like me, you'll discover the ability to get ready in 30 minutes or less (including feeding & taking out the dog) just so you can get some extra sleep.

56. Your midsection gets tender when the uterus moves up & forces things to move around.

57. Things you loved to eat, even a week ago, may make you want to throw up now.

58. Again... mood swings are intense. & the crying. My oh my.

59. Take advantage of your first pregnancy. The next time you do it you'll have another child to take care of & won't get this beautiful chance to be lazy again.

60. If you're one that handles pregnancy like a champ, congratulations. I'm not. I wish I was, but it's hard. I can tolerate a lot, & I've been through much worse than what I've experienced thus far, but I'm not going to lie to you, it's a pain in the butt & it doesn't make it any easier. It's a prolonged feeling of not feeling in control of your own body. But remember that the Lord blessed you with this amazing miracle of creating life in your belly. It seems like forever, but I know there's an end. & a beautiful baby to come.

---- Additions to the list ----

61. Keep a copy of "What to Expect When You're Expeting" (the book, not the movie) around for when you have questions or weird symptoms. It's a really good source.

62. According to the above mentioned book, you can have 200mg of caffeine a day. Soda has about 35mg in a can. A lot of people say you can't have it at all. It's just that you shouldn't over do it. Overdoing anything is never a good thing anyway.

63. Melatonin is safe to take when you're pregnant. My brain doesn't make enough so I had to take supplements before I got pregnant. A lot of books & things say that you shouldn't take supplements, but my OB, & like three others, said that Melatonin is perfectly safe. I take 5mg & it really helps. I mean, I still wake up, but I'm dead to the world for at least 4 hours straight before I start waking up every hour.

64. Smells that make you nauseous during pregnancy may make you nauseous for the rest of your life. Or things that made you throw up.

65. Some women don't start showing until 5 months or so during their first pregnancy. I just ended my 4th month & I'm just starting to look pregnant enough for people to be able to tell. But barely. It's completely dependent on your shape... & if you're a girl that let's it go & pushes it out or not. Again, everyone's different!

66. They say the second trimester is the best. So far, yes, that's true. But it's not because my morning sickness has gone away. In fact, my morning sickness is worse, but I have WAY more energy & I'm WAY more peppy about throwing up. I learned that I can projectile vomit into the toilet the other day. I'm getting good. hahaha

67. A little bit of spotting isn't necessarily a bad thing. Don't freak out. (You're going to anyway...but try not to.) Especially if it's not a lot. The cervix becomes a hot spot for vascular things & may cause spotting on occasion. But don't hesitate to call your doctor! They're there to help.

68. If your doctor tells you to do something, do it. If they say stay out of the heat, don't spend the next day outside. It's a bad idea. I mean, it won't necessarily turn out as dramatic as my story, but it could be worse... you never know! So just follow doctor's advice on those kinds of things.

69. Heat bad. AC good. That's all I've gotta say about that.

70. Stay hydrated. I've never been so thirsty in my life. I drink like 10 full water bottles a day these days. Which I think may be why I'm gaining weight so slowly. I drink so much that I eat less when it's meal time. Plus, you don't want to become dehydrated. Your body may do that to you anyway if you can't keep anything down. So. Try to stay as hydrated as possible. Plus, if you have to get an IV or blood taken, it makes your veins bigger & easier to stick. I would know.

71. The ultrasound where you find out the gender is nerve racking. At least it was for me. Especially since they told me what I wanted to hear, but I didn't believe her. We made her check several times. I'm They've said girl at my last 2 ultrasounds, but I still have my doubts.

72. Pregnancy really does mess with you in every way humanly possible. Leg cramps. I don't know if you ever experienced growing pains, as a child, but it's like that. But worse. Husband has to rub my legs at bed time all the time because they hurt so bad I can't stand it. There are some stretches you can do to help, but it's so much easier to have someone else do help so you can try to relax.

73. Braxton Hicks contractions can happen at any time. I felt it for the first time at 19 weeks. People say they don't hurt, but they can be pretty uncomfortable. I've had a couple of painful contraction experiences where they had to bring me in to make sure I wasn't in preterm labour or anything. But don't freak out. Everything is probably fine. But with pregnancy, it's better to be safe than sorry.

74. STAY HYDRATED. I know I said this before. But I'm so completely serious, it will save you so much pain. When my mom was in hospital last week, I drank very little water one day & ended up in the maternity centre triage being monitored for an hour for contractions. While I did find out that my child is astoundingly healthy, I also found out that I was dangerously dehydrated. I try to be good, but sometimes you get distracted. They gave me one of the big jugs with the straw while I was there, now I keep that filled all the time. I drink SO MUCH MORE when I have a straw than I would otherwise.

75. Give in to cravings. Don't go crazy, but there's nothing wrong with eating some ice cream. Especially if you're on track with weight gain. I was being really really careful my first trimester. I didn't give in to anything. But then my doctor told me to or else I might go crazy & gain a ton of weight after I have the baby. So now I give in occasionally. We always have cookies or ice cream in the house. I don't crave unhealthy things everyday so it's not like it's hard to resist.

76. Make sure you eat healthy things as well. At some point, I can't remember when, during pregnancy, the baby starts to be able to taste what you eat. I've read that if you eat vegetables & things the baby will be more likely to like them. I don't know if it's true or not, but it can't hurt to try. Plus, veggies are good for you. & fruit is DELICIOUS.

77. Unless your doctor says you're gaining too much or too little, there's no reason to freak out about weight gain. You're going to think about it anyway cause when you look at the scale you'll think about how you'll have to lose all that after the baby is born. It can be discouraging. I weigh more than I ever have & it makes me feel awful. I feel so big. I weigh as much as husband, if not a little more. (Luckily I don't look like I weigh as much as I do.) It's weird. I don't like it. But I know I can lose it all after I have the baby. You should gain about a pound a week starting in the 2nd trimester apparently. But it's okay to gain more or less than that. Some appointments I go in & found out I've lost 3lbs...or gained 3lbs. But I'm still on track for a perfect weight gain so I'm not concerned.

78. Seeing your belly move the first time is freaky. I'm not going to lie to you, it still weirds me out a little bit. But it's SO COOL! Actually, I'm not really sure there's a human in my belly right now. I don't know what the heck she's doing in there, but she shakes or something. It feels like a rattlesnake, or a cell phone set to vibrate. It feels weird. But I love love love feeling her move in there.

79. When baby gets bigger, movements can be painful. She's not at full capacity yet, so I haven't felt the full extent of her power, but she has a favourite place. The lower left, right above my bladder (lovely). She's there so much, & kicks the same spot so often, that it feels like there's a bruise in there. It's really uncomfortable. Sometimes it feels like she gets stuck in "corners" (yes, I know my uterus doesn't have corners). I'll wake up & she's jabbing me right under my ribs & I have to do a lot of shifting & shaking to get her out of there. Most of the time she just goes right back (little terd), but sometimes she's sweet & decides to stop beating mommy.

80. People told me that I'd have a relief from the constant need to urinate in my second trimester. I still peed all the time, so that was crap. But once I hit my 3rd trimester it's like BAM! Every 10 minutes sometimes. & (sorry if this is TMI, but whatever...) sometimes you can't get all of it out. I have gone pee, then been washing my hands & had to go again. It's ridiculous.

81. If you feel light headed, lay down with your feet up. Preferably in a location that is over your head. This also helps to make swelling in your feet go down.

82. Swelling. My fingers look like sausages. & if my legs are hanging (like if I'm sitting on the counter), my feet turn bright red within minutes. You can feel it. It's all tingly & weird. Not at all pleasant. & swelling can happen anywhere. Even my nose is bigger. My mom had the same issue when she was pregnant. I didn't realize it until I saw a straight on picture of my face at my baby shower. I was like "WHAT HAPPENED TO MY FACE?!?" Not only was that a really puffy day for me, but my nose looked huge. I have days where I'm not quite as puffy as others, but I'm always puffier than I would be if I weren't pregnant. Drinking lots of water helps. (Another good reason to stay hydrated.)

83. Picking a name is a pain in the butt. It's not easy at all. All the names you once loved may no longer seem good enough. Good thing pregnancy is 40 weeks. Gives you plenty of time to figure it out. We still don't know.

84. Most girls have insecurities, but during pregnancy they're magnified by like a billion. Suddenly going out without make up on & in some sweat pants sounds like the best idea, & then some skinny gorgeous girl walks by & you feel so awful about yourself you want to cry. It's even worse if you're with your husband, who is all put together, & this girl makes eyes at your husband.

85. Raging hormones are real. I have been so emotional lately, it's ridiculous. I cry about everything. & I want to yell at people for everything. I wanted to yell at the ticket agent at the airport the other day two kiosks down because she was being mean to her customer. It wasn't even me. But I wanted to put her in her place. Had I not been in pain at the time, I would have. Or, husband made a joke that normally wouldn't bother me, but I immediately started crying. My mom said she was going to deflate the air mattress so that I didn't have to, & I started crying. Anya was doing really well in puppy school the other day, & Gabe was being so sweet, & I teared up. Pathetic. hahaha

86. Registering for gifts is hard. It took me weeks to figure things out. Do I have any baby experience? No. But suddenly I have to decide on all of these baby products. It's incredibly overwhelming. Have some friends with young kids recommend things to you. Especially if they've had a baby in the last year or two. Products & technology change really fast, so it's nice to have a view from someone that's been through it recently.

87. Consignment sales are overwhelming as crap. But they're good. Watch out for any kind of sales. Heck. We got our pack'n'play from Target for 30% off. That was sweet. But consignment sales can have some really good finds. But definitely overwhelming. All these moms battling for the same thing. It's madness. That's why I bring husband with me. That & so when I bend down to get something on a low rack, he can help me stand back up.

88. Get a pedicure. No one deserves pedicures more than pregnant women. One, it's hard to reach your toes by yourself. & two, They rub your feet & the lower half of your leg. It's the best.

89. A good night's sleep is pretty much impossible. I have a horrendous time sleeping. From horrible, vivid dreams, to leg cramps, baby kicking me awake, having to pee 30 billion's tough. & then baby girl dropped & now my hips are spreading even more. Last night sleeping on my sides hurt my hips really bad, & when I layed on my back she woke up & decided it was time for a fiesta. I just couldn't win. Get a body pillow to try to help make you comfortable. I love my pregnancy pillow. It forms to me really well.

90. I thought I was hot before, but now I'm dying. Mostly at night. It probably doesn't help that my husband is a heater. I never sleep with the covers on these days. Keep a fan in your room so you don't have to run up the electric bill too bad by running the ac lower.

91. Morning sickness may never end. I don't throw up every day anymore, but I do wake up nauseated every morning. Last week I threw up 3 times, but I hadn't thrown up in a couple of weeks before that. Seriously. Zofran is my best friend.

92. You will discover the difference between morning sickness & heart burn. It's not hard to tell. At least for me. I've only had heart burn once, so I'm not a good source for advice on that.

93. Your innards have to adjust as baby grows. Sometimes the nausea I feel is actually just because she's in a location that's messing with my stomach. I know because the zofran doesn't touch it, & then when I feel her move away from that spot, the nausea eases. But a lot of pains you feel are because things are adjusting in there. From round ligament pain, to nausea. It happens.

94. Read pregnancy forums. Not because they're useful tools for information (that's what books & doctors are for), but because it's so fun to read some of the complaints & rants from people. Very entertaining.

95. Before 28 weeks, don't be concerned if you don't feel your baby every day. I went weeks feeling her every day, & then would go days not feeling anything. Totally normal. But at 28 weeks you're supposed to start feeling them every day. You're going to freak out regardless, but try to tell yourself it's normal. 

The end.

If there's anything about pregnancy that you didn't know, or didn't listen to, please let me know! I'd definitely love to put it on the list to send to her. & here. & to warn me!!!

Well. I hope you enjoyed the list.

- Alexa

Saturday, June 16, 2012

16 weeks.

16 weeks
I swear I'm getting rounder every day. My belly sprouted at 14 weeks 1 day & has been steadily & quickly growing for the last two weeks. It's crazy! My next appointment is at 19 weeks & my next ultrasound is July 13th! That's when we'll find out the sex of the baby! (& check everything out, like the heart to make sure there are no abnormalities.) I'm really curious to see how I'm measuring up according to my due date cause my womb (I think that's a funny word... but I guess the real term is fundus, which is an even funnier word...) has already made it to my belly button & from everything I've read that's way high for 16 weeks. Everyone carries different I guess. So we'll see.

Baby has given me some fun things to work through this week. Like barfing up all helpful medicine for migraines & nausea. I like to think baby just wants me to know it's still there. I know baby! That's why my pants don't fit! Thanks for that.

& on top of that, I was stung by a bee 45 minutes before I dropped my mom off at the airport. That's just not fair. Stupid bee. I hope it died. I can't blame that on the baby though. Unless pregnancy hormones somehow make me more appealing to bugs. Which now that I think about, I think is true. I spider bites too. Huh.

I've also had to start thinking about a baby shower. I think Lindsey (one of my BFFs & very first roommate at BYU that just so happens to be moving to the Dayton area with her husband & baby this August...YAY!!!!) & I are going to set it for August. Preferably late August. My parents are moving soon & that's when they plan on driving out from Colorado to stay with us for a few days. & I REALLY want my mom at my baby shower. I know it's early, but I really have no other options. Well. I guess I do. My other option is to just not have my mom there. But that's a crappy option that I'm going to pretend doesn't exist. So, since that's only 2 months away, I'm trying to think of themes now. I figured that I can just think of boy things & girl things, & then we'll pick once we know the sex of the baby on July 13th! So that's pretty exciting. Yeah yeah. It's early. Blah blah blah. Whatever. Nothing's perfect.

The rest of this has nothing to do with babies...


My mom left on Wednesday. My gosh that sucked. I miss her. It was nice having her here. She taught me how to cook some more things! So that was nice. I'm pretty confident I can at least duplicate her chicken enchiladas. She also was a GINORMOUS help around my house. Huge. I can't even begin to tell you how much she did while she was here. I just love her so much. She's the most wonderful mom on the planet. So glad I get to see her again in 2 weeks when we go down to Arizona.

Look how cute my dog is! I really don't understand people that don't like dogs. Especially people who say they don't like poodles. People who say that are stupid. & if you are one of them, I'm sorry. Well...not really. You're stupid. This is my 3rd standard poodle & they are the best. I just love her so much. She's smart. She's cute. She's loving. She's cuddly. She doesn't shed. She jumps as if she's trying to take flight. She's a butt sometimes, but she's a puppy so that's normal. But people that don't like poodles are stupid. I hope God has a place for people that hate dogs. I hope it's filled with chihuahuas & toy poodles & other yippy ankle biters. Ehem. Sorry. That was mean. But I'm hormonal so... I'll blame that. For the record though, I'd feel this way even if I were not hormonal, cause LOOK AT HER! SHE'S SO CUTE!!!

I started school this week. That was crappy. I'm taking 16 credit hours this quarter. It's my last term before the baby comes cause my due date is a couple weeks before the end of fall semester. So I'm taking off 2 semesters & then going back to school AGAIN next summer. I started school in June of 2008 & was supposed to graduate in April this year. Transferring schools put me back a full year. Ugh. This quarter I'm taking another math class (which I never had to take at BYU), a theatre appreciation class (& I took tons of arts classes at BYU, but none were "appreciation"...stupid), another economics class, & a history class (even though I took 3 history classes at BYU). Basically, I'm trying to fill Wright State's stupid requirements. I'm pretty sure they should just let me in to my major already. I've been working on GEs for four years now. I'M READY TO GRADUATE PEOPLE! But, last quarter was the first time I've passed all of my classes in... three & a half years? It's so nice to have my brain back. Failing every semester was really discouraging. Especially when I worked so hard. So glad there was a health reason for it. I was absolutely terrified to go back to school because of it. You can ask my husband. I was a wreck. & then my econ professor mixed up my grade with another Alexa in my class this last quarter. He entered an F. I was horribly confused & despite knowing that there was no way I failed, I freaked out. Cried forever. So happy I wasn't the failing Alexa this time. Not that I wish that on someone else, but I'm just glad it was her & not me this time. Now I work my butt off & don't fail. It's a good feeling!

So anyway. Here's this thing.

How far along? 16 weeks
Total weight gain/loss: 3-4 lbs.

Maternity Clothes: Seriously need some pants.
Sleep: Restless. & weird vivid dreams.
Best moment this week: My mom was here!
Miss Anything? My mom. She left Wednesday.
Movement: Still a little bit. It's starting to get more intense.
Food cravings: Still Taco Bell. & bananas. 
Anything making you queasy or sick: Water a few days this week. 
Have you started to show yet: Most people probably think I'm just gaining weight, but there's a bump.
Gender guess: Boy. But I'm still hoping for a girl.
Labor Signs: Definitely not.
Belly Button in or out? In.
Wedding rings on or off? On.
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy. With interspersed mental breakdowns over silly things. 
Looking forward to: My belly looking like a baby bump rather than fat.

Holy moly. Long post. I guess I just like to share... with... myself. Cause I don't think anyone else will get this far on this post. =]

That is all!

- Alexa

Sunday, June 10, 2012

I'm pregnant! (15 weeks)

This post is almost as long overdue as the last one. I'd like to share this in a more informative way, if you care to read.

It is no longer a secret that yours truly (that's me) is pregnant. Due date: December 1st.

Together, there are 6 babies due between August & December in the Levesque/Staples families. Holy baby boom. As far as I know, I'm having the last one this year. Everyone's gonna be all babied out by then. But stick around & pay attention, cause with the iffiness of Gabe & I being related this baby could have webbed toes! You never know. 

10wk ultrasound
I won't bore you with the details of why we decided to have a baby, although it's pretty interesting if I do say so myself. But I'm pregnant & that's all you care about! I got a positive pregnancy test on March 21st, dealt with the military hospital for a few weeks before they made me angry one final time & I was able to switch to an office off base, which I love! They're taking wonderful care of me. Especially since they collected my medical history (which the base doctors never did), & discovered that I'm high risk. I knew I should be, but it was nice to have doctors confirm that. They're now taking good care of me & I have appointments & ultrasounds much more than the average pregnant woman. Which is cool cause I get to see my baby a lot. =]

However, it's not cool when I have to go in to the ER just to make sure my face is okay (I recently had a terrible experience with a migraine where part of my face started to droop down). They were concerned because of my history with strokes so they admitted me & I was in the maternity ward (which was weird cause I barely look pregnant) for what felt like forever. Things turned out fine though. They don't know what's wrong with my eye & why it's drooping, but at least we know it's not a stroke. This baby is giving me some crazy issues, but hopefully it'll be so cute that it'll be totally worth it. =] I must say, despite all the weird things, I'm lucky to be so healthy & the baby is doing just fine. I'll get a couple of ultrasounds around 20 weeks, one for the anatomy, & one to take a closer look at the heart to make sure there's nothing wrong. But so far everything looks good & hopefully what I have isn't genetic. I have great faith that I'll have a healthy baby!

15 weeks
As of today I am 15 weeks & 1 day. According to my "What to expect" app the baby is about the length of an avocado (4-5 inches). A week ago I woke up with a slight bump that no one noticed, but thru the week it's grown & now it's pretty clearly a small baby bump. You can only see it from the side. Apparently I'm incredibly short waisted so the top of my uterus is much higher at this point than expected, so I'm showing already. Sooner than anticipated, but it's pretty exciting! =]

I started feeling the baby flutter around when I was about 12 weeks. Only when I was laying at a certain angle. This was confirmed the other day when I was at the hospital & they were looking for the heartbeat & the baby moved & I felt it. So I asked & they said that's for sure what I've been feeling. It's just been in the last few days that I can feel it when I'm standing up though. No defined kicking or punching yet, but I'm sure that will come in the next few weeks. But it's pretty cool to know that I've at least been able to feel the baby move for a little while now. Even if just a little bit. Especially since this is my first pregnancy.

I'm also curious to see how Anya (the dog) reacts to all of this. She LOVES kids but I'm sure she'll get jealous of all the attention the baby gets. So we'll have to make sure to love on her extra. & I've read that when the baby gets bigger dogs can actually hear the heartbeat through the belly so I'm hoping she'll lay on my belly. She already does, but I think it'd be cool for her to know something's up.

Anyway. Here's some pregnancy stats.

How far along? 15 weeks
Total weight gain/loss: 3 lbs
Maternity Clothes: I have one pair of pants. Need more though.
Sleep: Not too great. Need a pregnancy pillow desperately.
Best moment this week: My mom is here! & being told that the fluttering I feel is the baby moving!
Miss Anything? Excedrin Migraine.
Movement: Little bit.
Food cravings: Taco Bell, spicy things, & pretty much Mexican in general.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Garlic, & the smell of most meat.
Have you started to show yet: Very suddenly.
Gender guess: Girl. Or boy. Goodness I don't know.
Labor Signs: Definitely not.
Belly Button in or out? In.
Wedding rings on or off? On.
Happy or Moody most of the time: Mood swings. But not as bad as my first trimester. 
Looking forward to: Feeling undeniable movement. Especially so Gabe can feel it.

Well. My mom flew in this week when I was in the hospital. So I'm going to finish this up so I can spend some time with her before she leaves. =]

I'm gonna get better at this though. Keep it updated.

The end!

- Alexa

Saturday, June 9, 2012

We went on a cruise!

Dangit. I'm bad at this. So. This was going to be my next post but I never got to it because... well, I'm lazy.

We went on a cruise! We spent 7 nights on the Caribbean. We got back to Florida the day of the 100th anniversary of the Titanic sinking, which I'm glad we got back cause, little known fact, there's like a bajillion icebergs in the Caribbean. So here's how it went down.

Friday, April 6th:

We left our house in Dayton, Ohio on our 16 hour drive to Jacksonville, Florida. We went through seven states. Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, & Florida. All of those middle ones I had never been to. But we stopped at the house Gabe lived in when he was young while driving thru SC. So that was cool. We arrived in Jacksonville at about 1am. Long day.

Saturday, April 7th:
We left Jacksonville & drove the rest of the way to Port Canaveral to board on Carnival Dream. It was a stressful process, but once we got on the boat & left port, it was really exciting... until we got away from land. The waves got big & the boat started rocking like crazy. & my oh my did I get seasick. We had to leave dinner within about 10 minutes because I was so miserable. It was pretty bad. I was seasick for the first couple of days at least. Definitely not fun.

Atlantis Resort

Sunday, April 8th:

We docked in Nassau, Bahamas. It's been one of my life dreams to go to the Atlantis Resort there. & so we did! We spent a few hours at the water park. It was amazing. The lazy river there is a mile & a half long... & not very lazy. There's rapids & waves. & you can take a side path & it takes you to a tower of slides, but you never have to leave your tube. So I guess that's lazy. I made Gabe do it a couple of times. I really enjoyed it. He went down the slide that I guess is the steepest water slide in the world. It goes down through a shark tank at the bottom. But he said you can't see anything anyway cause you're going too fast. So we went on the one right next to it that goes through the same shark tank, but with tubes. So we got to actually float through the tank. It was pretty cool. I was really impressed with the park. I wish we had a bajillion dollars so we could afford to stay in the royal towers (pictured behind us). That bridge between the two buildings was originally built for Michael Jackson. It costs $25,000 a night with a 4 night minimum. Ridiculous. It must be amazing. Must be nice to have enough money to waste $100,000 to stay in a hotel for 4 nights.

Monday, April 9th:
We spent the day at sea. Which kinda sucked cause of the whole sea sickness thing. I did a lot of napping on this cruise. A lot. It would've been nice if it wasn't because I was nauseous. But I was feeling better by dinner time which meant that I got to eat the chocolate melting cake for dessert. & that was one of the best things about the cruise.

Tuesday, April 10th: 
Shipwreck Cove
Magen's Bay
We were docked at St. Thomas, one of the US Virgin Islands. Such a tiring day, but so fun. We took a boat out to an island and went snorkeling. It was my first time, but Gabe is a seasoned snorkeler. The first spot we went to was Turtle Cove. There was a big barracuda, a ton of stingrays, some fish, & obviously, turtles. Lots of them. It was pretty cool. The second spot we went to was Shipwreck Cove. There's a WWII freighter about 40ft below the surface. It was really cool. But the initial jump into the water at this spot freaked me out. There were TONS of fish surrounding the boat cause we had cantaloupe peels that we could feed them. I jumped in right in the middle of them all & they were running in to me. Freaked me out. I made Gabe come back for me cause I was scared to move. I'm such a pansy. When we were swimming around with the fish, I put my head under & watched a fish swim up to Gabe's pocket, stick his head slightly into it, & pull out the peel Gabe had in there. It was pretty funny. No one ever told me that snorkeling is exhausting. All that swimming around in waves. Holy crap. Anyway, after we got back to the main island, we went to Magen's Bay. Apparently it's one of the top 10 beaches in the world. It's GORGEOUS! Beautiful, soft sand. The water is clear & blue. & there's palm trees everywhere. It's wonderful. We spent a couple of hours. & I buried Gabe in the sand, in the form of a mermaid, complete with breasts. We then caught a taxi back to the other side of the island where the boat was docked. I ended up with an AWFUL sunburn all over my body. My back, face, chest, arms, legs... everything was bright red. I've never burned before. It was horrible. I spent some time crying in the room last night because when I got in to bed it hurt horribly. Gabe had to try to cool me down with ice cubes. It was bad. But totally worth it! St. Thomas is beautiful!

Wednesday, April 11th:
St. Maarten, NA
Our ship docked at St. Maarteen, Netherlands Antilles. Half of the island belongs to The Netherlands, the other to France. We really wanted to go over to the French side cause we'd heard great things about it, but yours truly was sun sick, among other things. So we ended up walking around the little town right on the beach & then going to play in the crystal blue water for a little bit. We couldn't resist cause it was just too pretty. But we had to get back on the boat about 3 hours early cause I wasn't feeling great. We were getting back off to look around when it started pouring like crazy, so we called it a day & got back on the boat. They had giant chess on deck 5 outside, so we went & played that for a while before dinner. Turns out my husband is incredibly competitive when it comes to chess. Who knew. It was fun though. Just wish we had gotten to the French side of the island. Would've been cool.

Thursday, April 12th:
Another sea day. Luckily we had gotten used to the rocking of the boat by this time so it didn't really phase us. Mostly me. Or at least my belly. Walking around is a whole other story. That is still not an easy task when the boat is rocking from side to side. & this girl is already not that great on her feet. I fell out of the elevator once when the door opened as the boat rocked. It was pretty embarrassing. We went to a comedy show that night. Pretty cool. There are lots of things to do on a cruise. It's nice that they plan out so much, especially for days spent at sea.

Friday, April 13th:
Last day on the boat, also spent at sea. I really wasn't feeling good by then. But there was a "chocolate extravaganza" at lunch. It doesn't matter how sickly I feel, I wanted chocolate covered pineapples. Totally worth it. That night we went to another comedy show, played some more chess, & it was our last night with our wonderful waiter, Michael from Jamaica. Gabe loved the dining room. They had delicious food & he got to have as much as he wanted. After all that we went up to the 10th or 11th deck, can't remember, to be spectators of the party that was happening that night. After about 15 minutes though, we decided it was bed time. It was pretty sad knowing that we would be back in Florida by the time we got up in the morning. 

Friday, April 14th:
It was weird waking up & not be rocking. We were already docked in Port Canaveral. Pretty sad. We decided to drive all the way back to Ohio that day. We left Port Canaveral around 1030ish that morning & got back to Dayton, I want to say some time after 2am on Sunday. It was a long long long drive. But we made it without dying! 

Oasis on the left, Dream on the right

Sadly we had to go back to work/school on Monday. But our Caribbean getaway was absolutely wonderful. I highly recommend a cruise. It's a lot of fun. & the food is freaking great. We want to check out Royal Caribbean next time. We pulled up next to Oasis of the Seas, which is apparently the biggest ship in the world (actually I hear it's 6 inches shorter than the biggest, Allure is bigger, but it also belongs to Royal Caribbean.) It's huge. Our boat is one of the biggest for Carnival, but it made ours look like a pansy, as you can see. But I also want to do a Disney cruise... hmmm. I guess we have some time to decide what to do since a cruise is not anywhere in our foreseeable future. But anyway. It was a good time. You should all go.

The end.

- Alexa