Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Quiet Christmas

This Christmas was a quiet one for Kyle and I as it was the first year since we've been together that we have not traveled somewhere to visit family. At first, I was super bummed and felt sorry for myself for a having a "lonely" Christmas, especially since we weren't even planning on exchanging gifts! But I have to say, it was a great weekend, and one that I know will most likely never happen again as we begin to expand our family.

On Friday night we went up to Valparaiso, IN to visit college friends and attend a Christmas party. It was so fun seeing everyone and getting to dress a little silly. Definitely got me in the Christmas spirit!

The hubster's awesome outfit:

My BFF and baby bump making an appearance:

We spent Saturday traveling back and had a late lunch with our pastor and his family. It was so nice, and they fed us well! We feel so blessed to be part of such a strong community through our church, they really are family to us! Then that night we had dinner with my brother and his girlfriend, ate even MORE food, exchanged gifts, and played games. I felt very content and glad to be in Indy enjoying Christmas with them. And Baby R got her first Christmas gift from her Uncle TJ!

Cant' wait to find a matching bow!

Christmas morning Kyle and I slept in and opened stockings from each other. We even stuffed stockings for Peyton and Kami, which they loved of course! The plan for the day was to get up and make a big breakfast, but pregnancy brain eluded.. and I forgot to go to the store to even get anything to make! We went to FIVE different stores, all closed (which is a good thing) before we threw in the towel and got breakfast at Hardee's. A memory I know we will share forever!

The next night I got to see a couple girlfriends who were in town and we eat pizza and played games. The night was great, but way too short!

Jessie (in from Kansas City, Cass, and Katie (in from California)

Overall it was a sweet holiday, even though I wasn't looking that forward to it. I did feel the "Christmas Spirit" and definitely thought a lot about why we celebrate the season at all. It isn't for the gifts, and contrary to what most people believe, it is not just a time to get together with family either. It is a time to thank God for sending his Son, making a divine creature in to a human, to save our sinful souls. No matter what Kyle and I do or do not have in life, we have the saving grace of Jesus Christ and a marriage built with God at the center... now THAT makes for a Merry Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


After a couple false alarms I am CONFIDENT I have felt the baby move. People say that it will feel like a "butterfly" or like "popcorn popping in your stomach" but I am not sure if I would describe the sensation with either of those. It is almost indescribable. As most pregnant women know, you may think you feel movement and albeit, its just gas. (gross, ewwwww, I know, shush) So I've been hesitant to even think this funny sensation is the baby at all.

Anyhoo this is the best way I can describe it: it almost feels as if there is a bird that flies right through my belly, like in then out. After about 3 consecutive days of feeling this weird sensation at sporadic times, I can now officially say... the baby is moving!

It's pretty awesome. I haven't noticed any patterns to it at all, but thankfully it hasn't effected my sleeping. It is a pretty light sensation, but fun nonetheless. I am looking forward to getting bigger so Kyle can feel it too. It will be something fun to share together :)

And because a blog post isn't fun with out PICTURES.... Here is a pic of us with our little hellion. Good thing she is SO. DANG. CUTE.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Baby Regal is a.....!!

We had another ultrasound scheduled this week with the study (New Moms 2 Be) and we knew we had the opportunity to find out the sex of the baby. As soon as we found out we were pregnant we knew that we were going to find out the sex. The plan going in to this appointment was to have the ultrasound tech find out the sex, but conceal it in envelope and we would open in on Christmas morning. As a way to save money this year, Kyle and I decided just to fill each other's stockings and for-go getting gifts. The idea of opening the envelope with our baby's gender would allow us to have something to forward to opening on Christmas morning.

Well.. that was the original plan. The days leading up to the ultrasound I had this strong feeling that I was having a boy. When I thought about the nursery, I thought about blues and greys, when I thought about names I kept thinking of boy names. Plus, almost everyone I know that is pregnant is having a girl, so I figured... law of nature.. I must be having a boy!

So when we got to our appointment I started telling Kyle that I knew it was a boy, so why wait. He was surprised, because waiting until Christmas was my idea to begin with. He asked me, "Are you sure you want to find out today?" and my reply was "There is no point in waiting until Christmas because I already KNOW!"

As soon as I hopped up on the table and the ultrasound tech placed the probe on my belly she said, "Do you want to find out" and I said "Yep, but I already know it is a boy" and she instantly said... "Oh honey, the baby is definitely a GIRL!"

I was SHOCKED! And so excited! And then kind of wished we would have waited, but my excitement of just knowing what we were having was all I could focus on. A sweet angel that would love accessories just as much as her mommy, a baby doll to dress up, a princess that would love her daddy just as much as I did. My heart just swelled with even more love for this baby as I thought about the times to come.

Before we found out I took every "gender prediction quiz" and read every old wives tale to see what I would having.

-The Chinese calender said girl, and we put a ring on a string above my belly, which went in a circle, which also means girl

*but* EVERY other sign was telling me boy!

-I crave salty snacks, I didn't have any morning sickness, I sleep on my left side, and the heart rate was less than 150

SO the moral of the story is that they are all a crack! There really is know what to know what you are having until an ultrasound.

Here are pics of our little princess!

Her Precious feet:

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Pregnancy Likes and Dislikes

I'm 4 months in! For some reason I was really looking forward to the 16 week mark. It just seemed like a "milestone" to me, and one I welcomed with open arms.

So far this whole experience has come with some definite likes and dislikes.

What I LIKE about pregnancy so far...

...Knowing that there is a baby in my belly! (a little general I know, but it is SO FUN!)

...Being spoiled now, even more, from my husband. Kyle has always waited on my every need but somehow he continues to outdo HIMSELF and make me feel so special!

...This growing belly:

...The pouring in of LOVE from so many people! Whether I am work, church, or out with friends people are always checking up on me. I am not going to lie, it's nice!

...Having a good excuse -for anything! An excuse to rest, or to "opt out" of doing something I really don't want to, or to leave somewhere early I really don't want to be... whatever. I have the ultimate trump card/good excuse. A definite advantage.

...The MYSTERY. As excited as we are to find out the gender, I like the mystery aspect of this little guy/gal. Who are they? What are they going to look like? Blonde or brown hair? What color eyes? It is so fun to imagine!

What I am NOT liking about being pregnant...

...There is stuff I miss. Like turkey sandwiches. Listeria? Really? And No, I do not want to warm my turkey up in the microwave first. I want a normal turkey sandwich! And a glass of wine. Ok, I know I can have a glass of wine.. so maybe those nights where I want 2 glasses, or 3!

...Feeling frumpy. As much as I love my growing belly, there are other places that are growing as well! Between a new job, new schedule, and overall fatigue working out has been put on the back burner. I am hoping that once I go back to working 3 days a week I will get back on a normal work out schedule... do some cardio/weight training, SOMETHING. I need some good prego DVDs to do at home!

...That constant feeling of "Is the baby ok?" I am always worrying about the baby, whether or not is developing appropriately, if it is going to have major issues. If what I am doing is hurting the baby.

..Fear of the unknown. One word...Childbirth. Ahhhh scares the you know what out of me. I've heard everything from "I only pushed for 5 minutes" to "I was in labor for 18 hours and when they lost the baby's heart rate I had to go for an emergency C-section". YIKES.

And for the most exciting part... We have an ultrasound on Thursday to find out the gender! More to come on that :)

Last but not least.... A picture of my 2 loves...

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

15 Week Stats

I went to the doctor yesterday for a (late) 14 week check up.. So my official 15 week check up stats are:

Weight gained: 6lbs ((yuck))
Baby's HR: 148 ((does this mean BOY???))
Issues: NONE! Dr. Lee was very happy with everything

But we did get Bloodwork....
Kyle and I decided to get the "Quad Screen" which tests for the risk of probability of a genetic disorder. It is NOT diagnostic, meaning that a "positive" result does not mean that the baby will necessarily have any problems. The test only looks for whether or not the baby is at high risk for one, and from there we could decide to do further testing. (Examples of disorders include spina bifida, down's syndrome, or other chromosomal abnormailities)

What does this mean for us? We are strong believers in God's will for us and that whatever health condition the baby has, we were meant to be the parents of him or her, no matter what. To us, terminating the pregnancy would not be an option. So why even take the test then? Good question! Most of you who know me know that I am a PLANNER. If our baby will have special needs, I just want to be prepared. I will not love that baby any less. But I would like to have resources available, study up on certain conditions, etc. It could also effect our work plans, childcare options, and so on. So being just prepared is the biggest reason we decided to take the test.

We have strong faith in God that He is making the perfect baby for Kyle and I to be parents to, and we are excited about that!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The End of the First Trimester & The baby bump!

As I wrap up week 13 I can honestly say pregnancy so far has been a great experience. Weeks 6-7 came with some nausea, but I never got sick and could usually treat it with crackers or seven up. My energy level has been good and most of all I have felt like myself! Especially the last month or so. They say that the second trimester is the easist, and since the first was pretty dang easy, I say BRING IT ON!

Our family finally knows!!! Kyle and I made the trek to Dallas for Thanksgiving to tell the last of my family about our great news. We have had so much fun telling everyone else and we couldn't WAIT to finally tell the last of them! We made a picture collage and snuck a picture of the ultrasound in at the bottom. It took my dad, stepmom, little brother and sister some time and some confused looks to finally understand what we were trying to tell them. Once they figured it out there were lots of tears and excitement!

The frame:

One of the most exciting parts of pregnancy up to this point is that I'm starting get a little belly! Most of the time you can't tell that I am pregnant, but depending on what I wear, you can tell there is a little baby there! It is so fun and makes it feel so real. I can't wait to continue to grow (I am sure I'll be regretting saying that in about 5 months!)

My belly at 13.5 weeks:

Friday, November 4, 2011

Meeting Baby R!! and the New Moms Study

We finally got to meet our precious baby!

A friend of mine who is pregnant told me about a study at IU Hospital called "The New Moms Study". Basically they want to track women who are pregnant with their first child and what it means for me is: free ultra sounds, money, a car seat, and diaper bag! I jumped on the opportunity to get involved and scheduled my first ultrasound -yay!

The moment the ultrasound tech placed the probe on my belly I saw Baby R instantly, even though I wasn't sure what I was looking for. Even though I had a positive pregnancy test and my body sure felt pregnant, you never know whats going on down there south of your belly button. Doubts crept in the days leading up to the ultrasound, like what if I miscarried, what if the test was falsely positive? So when I saw that little alien in my belly I was overcome with emotions. It was the first time it felt really REAL. Tears filled my eyes and when the tech flipped a switch and we listened to the HEARTBEAT the tears were free flowing. The baby was in there and alive and well! It was such a special moment Kyle and I got to share together.

The first shot of Baby R:

If you look really close you can see the (huge) head, and little nubs for arms and legs. Precious!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Week 6: Nausea

Whelp, it has officially happened. Almost the SECOND I reached the 6 week mark of my pregnancy I started feeling nauseous. Ugh. I haven't thrown up and really most of the time I am more queasy than nauseous. But boy, does it stink. The worst part is that I am focused in on it, of course making matters worst.

My amazing, awesome, beautiful husband has been such a huge help through all of this though. Sunday, the day the nausea struck, I laid down to take a nap and then woke up to find a plethora of goodies. While I was sleeping Kyle went to the store, talked to the pharmacist, and got good tips and drugs for me to help combat the nausea. The goodies included:

-Vitamin B6. Although my prenatal vitamins contain plenty of B6, additional pills are safe to take. Our pharmacist suggested taking 10mg every 4-6 hours.

-Ginger ale. Just like when I was little, the trusty carbonated beverage is great for upset stomachs. The ginger specifically has been proved to help with nausea. Of course when my husband heard that he got ginger ale, and ginger snaps, and ginger supplements... He is adorable.

-Saltines. A LIFE SAVER. Nothing has been sounding good but an empty stomach is the worst thing for nausea. Whole grain saltines are better because they are a complex carb and "last longer" in your system.

-Rest. This one is my favorite. Every website resource I have seen has confirmed my feelings of complete exhaustion being normal, and say "take a nap any time you can". Ummmm OK! Any excuse I have to be able to sleep, nap, lay around... I will take. They also say that you are more likely to be nauseous when you are tired. Working 12 hour days obviously does not allow me to nap much, but the schedule of a nurse is pretty sweet, being that I only work 3 days a week.

Besides the nausea things are going well. We have told a few more people, which is fun. The pregnancy still seems surreal (although the side effects make it VERY REAL). I am excited for my first ultra sound and most excited to tell our parents!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Secrets Are NO Fun!

It has officially been one week since the discovery that baby Regal is on it's way. We found out on a Thursday and that following Saturday, a mere 2 days later, we had a wedding to attend that would be a reunion with college friends. I didn't have much of a "plan" going in, but I figured no one would be paying attention to me and whether or not I was drinking anything. It didn't take but 15 minutes in to the cocktail hour before the BRIDE approached me and asked me why I wasn't drinking! She flat out said, "I'm spreading rumors you are pregnant since you aren't drinking..." All I could respond to that was, "Uhhh hahaha". Several of my friends approached me asking me why I wasn't drinking and if I was pregnant. Being that I was only 2 days in to pregnancy there was NO way I was spilling the beans yet! My best friend Cassy even looked at me and asked me if I had something to tell her. Ugh. That part was the worst. I can't lie to my very best friend! But I simply smiled and said No.

That night going to bed I knew I would tell Cassy and her husband Drew that we were pregnant the next day. Which is exactly what I did. On the car ride home from the wedding I broke down and told them, while hysterically crying. I hadn't really said the words "I'm pregnant" out loud yet and it came out with such a mix of emotions. Cass was really sweet though, as expected, holding my hand and reassuring me that God has big plans for Kyle and I.

Then Monday came, along with my discipleship group that night. I am very blessed to be a part of a discipleship group with 3 women from my church, including my pastor's wife. She began the night wanting to get "personal" and wanting to know our biggest struggle this past week. I almost laughed out loud. When it came to my turn I *once again* started hysterically crying telling them. They were so sweet, so excited and immediately prayed for Kyle and I. I instantly felt a weight lift from my shoulders and finally felt a sense of peace and JOY about this baby growing inside of me.

God has been so faithful to me! I've been praying for peace, and now my prayers having been moving towards a have healthy baby! This first week of being pregnant has been amazing!

My handsome hubby and I at the wedding. *4 weeks* pregnant

My beautiful bestfriend, Cassy. My first friend to know!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Suprise, Suprise!

After a lovely trip to Dallas, TX to see my family I came home and just had that feeling. That feeling that something in my body was different. Some call it "mother's intuition" but all I know is I felt a tap on my shoulder from God that said, "Hey Ashley! Take a pregnancy test". -Which I just so happened to have in my bathroom because I took one last month (a just in case precaution). So I took it, waited and looked. Then there it was... a plus sign. My initial reaction was like "hmmm that's weird, maybe a plus means not pregnant?" I could not even begin to accept the fact that I was indeed pregnant. So I went about my day as if nothing was different- I took a nap, went to bible study and went to bed thinking, what a weird day. I didn't even want to bother my husband with the news, being that he had a big test the next day. So in bed that night I told myself I would go to the store the next day and get a digital test that clearly read "pregnant" or "not pregnant" and I would wait for Kyle to get home so we could do it together.

So that is what I did. I went to CVS, bought the most expensive digital pregnancy test I could find, and waited. When Kyle finally got home I found it so hard to break the news. I just blurted out "I have something to tell you" while laughing -you know, that nervous laugh that you do when you don't know what else to do. His eyes widened and looked at me with that "are you kidding" look. I took the second test, and within seconds it clearly read "PREGNANT".

Whoa. I still couldn't even believe it, even though I had had about 24 hours to soak in the news. There is no way to explain that moment. I had never experienced emotions like that -I was shocked, scared, happy, tearful, all in one. I just sat there, at my kitchen table, in awe. As you can tell by the title, the hubs and I were not planning on getting pregnant. Not yet anyway. We had a "list" of things we wanted to accomplish first. Make more money, go on more vacations, do a mission trip together. Having a baby was not on our "list" at the moment.

Don't get me wrong. Kyle and I are happy and we feel very blessed to add an addition to our family. We just weren't expecting it, now... so soon! I don't think it will feel real until my first doctor's appointment, which won't be until I'm 10 weeks along. That puts me at October 30 (a Sunday), so my doctors appointment will be on November 2. Once I can see that there is something growing inside of me and hear the heartbeat, I am sure it will feel much more real. Until then I have been putting all my anxiety and nerves in God's hand. Praying specifically for peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7) knowing that all good things come from Him.

So there it is! At this point, no one knows yet. I am technically only 5 weeks along, a very premature stage in pregnancy. Once it starts to feel more "real" I am sure will start spreading the news... that BABY REGAL is on the way!