Posts Tagged ‘Pregnancy – Ziggy’

This week is the tipping point. If Ziggy was born today she’d have a 50% chance of survival. As I was filling out the paper work for maternity leave this weekend, I kept thinking about how extra special this holiday season will be. I also couldn’t help but think about all the things I want to accomplish in advance of the holidays. So this week I decided to get a head start on some of those items.

Holiday Card

Every year I design and send out a Christmas Card. Since we’re working on a compress time frame, I thought I would get a head start designing this years card. Now. In August. In actuality I used to have several years worth of card layouts done, but I’ve since burned through my stash. I suspect one of these years I will recycle a card layout, but I am determined for that year not to be this year.

So far I’ve covered the standard Christmas & winter basic colors (red, green (x2), blue, & white.) To mix it up a little I thought I’d challenge myself with a gold theme card. Since I print the cards from home, that means creating the illusion of a metallic sheen from standard RBG colors. I followed this tutorial, adapting the instructions to paint shop pro. I really love how it turned out!

Happy Holidays
A sneak peak at the gold lettering.

It’s usually my preference to have all family members on the card. I also prefer to have them all in the same shot if doable. In order to get the cards out in a timely manner, I’ll need to have a family photo taken no later than early to mid December, possibly just days after Ziggy’s arrival. That’s going to cause the protectionist in me a great deal of stress. I think for my own sanity we’ll just have a photo of the girls this time around. Having too people look good is much easier to accomplish than having four. And really, kids are pretty much always adorable, even when they’re messy and not cooperating. I’m sure everyone will be more interested in the girls than Domingo and I anyway.

Birth Announcement

Another high priority in my mind is creating birth announcement ornament. In order to create the ornament, I first need the birth announcement! While I can wait until December 25th for this one, it will be much more convenient to send it with the holiday cards, so this week I finished the layout.

I decided to go with a three photo layout. That could back fire on me. I designed our 2012 card with a four photo layout long before taking our Christmas photos, than took one of my most favorite photos ever. Alas, the photo didn’t really work with the multi-photo layout. I like the photos I ultimately choose, but it’s hard not to look at the card and remember how much more I like the photo that never made it onto the card.

Ziggy’s Stocking

We’re only about 80% settled on a name, but I did the very unfruggle thing of going ahead and purchasing a stocking.

When I purchased the stockings last year I didn’t realize how badly I was over paying. It turns out I was going through a middle man. I made this discovery when two of the three stockings came back with the names off center. My stocking was just off center enough to annoy a perfectionists. Nicole’s stocking was ridiculously off center.

Stockings
Off Center Stockings.
A 3 inch margin on the left, 1.5 on the right.

When I contacted customer support to request a replacement stocking for Nicki, the company I ordered forwarded my request to the supplier, whom I could have ordered the stocking directly from myself. Of course I couldn’t help but look up the price – $10 less than what I had paid per stocking!

Lesson learned: Next time do a reverse image source on the item I’m considering purchasing. The search will bring up all other retailers using the same stock photo. Then I can do a true price comparison.

The new stocking came in time for Christmas, but not before the milk & cookies photos by the tree. At least you can’t tell in the photos.

I am hoping to make stockings for the girls. I have a notion of using seed beads to spell out their names, but I’m not sure how to pull it off. Since I’m not sure I will figure it out in time, I wanted to have a personalized set complete with one for Ziggy.

July 3, 2014

Little Sister

Going into today I’ve had four level 2 ultrasounds: a Nuchal Translucency screening for both Ziggy and Zippy, and 2 anatomy scans for Zippy. I have never once had a cooperative baby.

Zippy was so non cooperative but that our appointments always ran fifteen minutes or so late, and the reason for our second anatomy scan was failure to get all the required views the first time around. She was determined not to let anyone see that big beautiful brain of hers. I expected Ziggy to not cooperate, though my main fear was Ziggy’s propensity to stay curled up in a ball would prevent us from getting a gimps of gender. If she cooperated for all the other required photos, that would be it for us. We’d have to wait until she was born to know her gender. My fears were premature. Ziggy ended up the picture of cooperation.

Ziggy at 20 Weeks
Hello again, Ms. Ziggy!
Ziggy sure does like being curled up, I predict we’ll have a swaddle lover with this one.

Ziggy was so cooperative in fact, that not only did we have extremely clear confirmation of gender, but the technician was able to get a series of images that are typically omitted due to their difficulty. I’ve also gotten a lot better at identifying fetal anatomy too, and was doing pretty good at guessing what was on screen. Ziggy is the picture of health, the technician even commented on her “beautiful spine.” Guess I really was over worrying.

The down side of having a cooperator is no repeat anatomy scan scheduled for me. I will have to wait 20 or so more weeks to see Ziggy.

20 Weeks with Ziggy
20 weeks with Ziggy, and looking a mighty bit further along (and a bit lumpier) than with Zippy.

Weight gain at this point was non-existent with Zippy. This time I’ve gained a little, so I think I will end up with a higher overall weight gain. At least I’m looking obviously pregnant. Or so thought my co-worker last Wednesday when he asked if we were expecting number two, much to my delight.

I wish I had tracked weight gain and migraines better with Zippy. It would be interesting to compare. One huge difference is how much time is flying. It still feels like we were just finding out Ziggy existed, and now we’re only a few weeks away from viability!

June 26, 2014

Too Fast

I can not believe how fast time is flying this time around. Next week I will be twenty weeks pregnant. Twenty! How is that even possible? My anatomy scan is scheduled for Thursday and we’ll finally find out if Ziggy is a little boy or girl. My guess is boy, Daddy thinks girl. (Incidentally, mommy also thought Nicki was going to be a boy. So much for my mother’s intuition…)

Time is flying way, way too fast.

The big thing I need to get a handle on is the organizing. It’s starting to reach the daunting, I-don’t-want-to-do-it, but-I-know-I-have-to phase. Domingo and I are taking a full vacation day the day of the anatomy scan, Nicki is still going to school. That’ll give us 6ish hours to tackle things uninterrupted. Fingers crossed for some serious progress then.

Another item high on my to do list is to take out my camera more. I have taken hardly any DIY maternity photos this time around. Part of the problem is I don’t have a good spot. Last time most of my photos were taken in our home’s entrance way, which had great natural light, a bare wall, and a full length mirror. Our apartment has spots with natural light, and spots with full length mirrors, but none that are both. We also lack empty walls. Then again, maybe if I get a handle on the organizing and free up a photo spot.

Since we don’t have as many good natural light spots, I think it’s also beyond time for me to learn how to use my external flash. I want to be in tip top photography shape when the baby gets here. Days with a newborn can be so chaotic, I can only imagine it being how it will be with a toddler in tow. I regret how few photos I have from the first few months with Nicki. I want picking up the camera to be second nature.

Another thing I’d like to get a handle, though it’s too early to do it now, is freezer meals. We planned to do it last time, but I ran out of energy. With Nicki around making sure there’s an easy, nutritious meal available is even the more important. Given the time of year that Ziggy will be born we also want to reduce the exposure to germs, and thus the amount of trips outside, as much as possible. Newborn colds are not fun!

June 15, 2014

Screen Negative

I always knew I would be a ball of nerves throughout my first pregnancy. What if something bad happens? What if Zippy’s not ‘ok’? I figured I’d relax for all subsequent pregnancies. Sure there’s less time to think about all the things that can go wrong when chasing after a toddler. Turns out, however, when I’m alone with my thoughts I’m just as big a ball of nerves and what ifs?.

My big fear this time has been spina bifida.

The first time around I started taking prenatal for a full 3 months prior to trying to conceive. Since supplements are not the best way to get vitamins, I was also eating enough spinach to make Popeye jealous. It took longer than I anticipated conceiving Nicki, so there was plenty of time for the folate to build up in my system. Neural tube defects was one of the things I didn’t (excessively) worry about.

I started taking a prenatal again only a few weeks before we wanted to grow our family again. I figured we were looking at roughly the same time line to conceive, and would thus have time to build the folate back up in my system. I was wrong. And because life is more hectic these days, I was also occasionally forgetting to take my prenatal. There was one week in particular where my parents were visiting where I forgot the prenatal four or five days in a row. I was pretty beside myself when I realized that. I resolved to do better, and got one of those Sunday through Saturday pill boxes. Nothing makes you feel old like needing a pill box organizer, but at least it worked.

This Saturday I got our NT screen results. Negative for all things, including neural tube defects.

Phew.

In one of our pregnancy classes two years ago our teacher mentioned you can get a sense of baby’s personality based on how they are in the womb. This certainty held true for Nicki (aka Zippy.)

Zippy earned her nickname when she was always zipping around and moving during every ultrasound. From the moment she grew limbs they were in non stop motion. It only took an average 14 minutes, 21 seconds to do kick counts – And that was counting her kata karate moves as a single kick, because it was too hard to distinguish all the different movements! She even once kicked the sonogram wand off my tummy when the midwife was trying to listen to her heart beat.

Nicki’s personality as a newborn was very similar. She outgrew the swaddle in just days, preferring to have her arms and legs free. When she was mad, she’d fire those limbs in every direction. She is our July firecracker.

We had Ziggy’s NT scan on Thursday, and while it’s super early I’m already seeing the differences in personality.

helloziggy
Hello again Ziggy!

Ziggy was extremely content to remain tucked away for the majority of the examine. He/she would doing somersaults and flips, but few if any kicks. The legs remained cross for most of the exam. I was hoping for a chance to do a gender prediction, but Ziggy was too modest, keeping his/her legs crossed. Ziggy also kept his/her head tucked down, chin on his or her chest making the nuchal translucency measurement difficult to acquire.

I predict that Ziggy will be a cuddle bug, who loves the swaddle.

April 17, 2014

Rethinking Baby Gear

I think I’ve talked myself out of buying a second crib.

We’re planning on moving next spring/summer. Our lease is up around the fall, just before Ziggy is due. I really don’t want to add moving stress to the mix, so we’re planning on waiting until Spring to start house hunting again.

Another move means disassembling the new crib, and I’m a bit gun shy about it. Besides, Nicki is already in a toddler bed. It wouldn’t be a big deal to switch her to another toddler bed, or maybe even a twin bed with a safety rail, and convert her bed back to a crib for Ziggy. This time I made sure to save all the parts! I do question the safety of a 3 time reassembled crib (or at least of our crib) for an active older baby, for a mostly immobile newborn I’m sure it will be fine.

Our thinking is that we’d ditch the crib when we move, rather than reassemble it an additional time. If we move in spring/summer, Ziggy will be between 6 and 9 months old. That’s possibly crawling and standing up. With a more active Ziggy I will feel more comfortable with a new, once assembled with all it’s original hardware, crib. We’d probably get a very simple/cheap crib for the new house, since I’m not sure how much use we’ll get out of it. Who knows, Ziggy may be an early climb escape artist like big sister Nicki!

Another item I’m scratching off my list is the breast pump. It turns out my health insurance covers the cost of a breast pump (a new perk this year thanks to the health care law.) A double electric breast pumps even! It’s not the same brand as I was thinking of getting, but I am not one to look a gift horse in the mouth. Besides, as much as I liked the old one it’s always possible this other brand will work out even better for me. It’s not like I test drove a bunch of different pumps last time…

I’m adding to my previous list two new items we didn’t get last time: a boppy and a bouncy seat.

With Nicki I was on the fence between the boppy and the breast friend pillow. There were a number of reviews that said only one of the two pillows worked for the reviewer, and I wasn’t sure which one would work for me. Time got away from me while I was debating and the next time I knew Nicki was a few months old and too big to breastfeed on a pillow. I didn’t want to purchase something I wasn’t going to fully utilize, even though the boppy kept being useful at daycare, first as a tummy time device, then for sitting support. I figure even if it doesn’t work for breastfeeding, we’ll get use out if.

Last time we didn’t use any kind of bouncy seat or swing for Nicki. She was held _a lot_. Obviously Ziggy will have to share parental attention. Having a safe place to put Ziggy down with an active toddler around is a must.

April 4, 2014

Soon to be Four

familyof4

Domingo, Nicole and I have a secret – we’re expecting a new addition to our family this November!

Introducing Ziggy!

We are super excited!

We decided to share the news a little differently this time around since this could be my last pregnancy. I want to savor every minute, and for me that includes blogging about it. It’s been challenging staying away from new baby related topics this long, and we’ve only known for 3 weeks!

I’m also already showing, which makes keeping this secret secret even more challenging! I had some pretty significant pregnancy bloating around weeks 5 & 6 and had to borrow some of Domingo’s t-shirts as mine were all stretched around my mid section. I looked further along than when I was 20 weeks with Nicole!. Now that the bloating has subsided I’m that could-be-a-baby-or-a-borrito-belly phase. I admit I don’t mind showing early, even though I’m still trying to keep the pregnancy a secret at work. Although I do hope it becomes more obviously baby soon. I loved my big pregnant belly last time. It goes to the whole ‘savor every minute of it’ aspect.

So I mentioned that we’re sharing the news differently this time around. Last time we felt comfortable sharing our news to individuals at 10 weeks, after listening to the heartbeat twice and held off on any kind of public announcements until 13 weeks. We’ve heard the heartbeat already and while we’re comfortable sharing the news here, we’d like to hold off on sharing our news to facebook until 13 weeks again this time around. After all anything could happen, and if it does I will need my blog as an outlet. To be honest, there are far fewer eyeballs that see my blog than my facebook page, which makes my blog feel more private, even though it’s public. That’s why I feel more comfortable sharing the news here.

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