About Me

Hi! I'm Abby. My husband, Carl, and I are happily married since October 2007. Our little family of 2 (well, 3 if you count Chief, the dog) added one more in October 2011 when we welcomed Audrey Elizabeth, our first child into the world. Our life was forever changed. And to add to the joy and excitement, we added another daughter, Clara Marie, in May 2014. I wanted to create this blog originally to document all the milestones throughout my pregnancy with Audrey so we could remember that special time in our lives. And now I get to write all about Audrey and Clara and our life with these amazing "Larson Ladies", which is so much more fun!


Showing posts with label Baby #2. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Baby #2. Show all posts

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Clara's Homecoming

We're going home with Clara to start our "new normal" as a family of 4!

Audrey stayed with Carl and Joyce while we were in the hospital.  So when we got home, they brought Audrey home too.  Our family was under one roof, and all was right in the world.  Seeing Audrey and Clara together is one of my favorite things and the "homecoming" day is one of favorite memories ever.  Ever.

As soon as Audrey walked in the house, she insisted that she wanted to hold Clara.  Be still my heart.

Audrey kept wanting to kiss Clara and couldn't get over her little feet and her little ears.  "Look at her little toes!"  So cute.

Before Clara was born, we would talk to Audrey about how we would sing to baby sister, and we would talk about what songs we would sing.  Everytime we had this conversation, Audrey said she wanted to sing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star".  So when she was holding Clara, she started singing.

Hugs and kisses!

Clara's First Visitors

Our girls (and Carl and I, too) are so lucky to have so many people who love them!  Here are some pics of Clara's earliest visitors.

Grammy and Gramps were first to arrive first thing on May 5th.

And that afternoon, Grandma and Grandpa Larson came to visit with a very proud Audrey.  Although Joyce was sick with a cold so she didn't get to hold Clara that day.

Audrey was a bit hesitant when she came into the room.  She ran to me and Carl, excited to see us.  But she wasn't too sure about the new addition, Clara.  She kept looking at her out of the corner of her eye.  We distracted her with gifts from Grammy and Gramps.  That got her attention and then after some time, Audrey got more used to Clara and put it together that this was "baby sister" that we have been referring to for the past 9 months.  And believe it or not, I feel like Audrey "got it."  I say that because she looked at me then she looked at Clara and said, "She came out of your tummy!"

Just before they came up to the room, Grandpa Larson took Audrey through the gift shop so she could find a gift to give to Clara.  She was so proud and so excited to give Clara her gift, a cute multi-colored "Socks the Sock Monkey".

What a proud moment for Carl and me, to be able to introduce our sweet Audrey to her baby sister.

Clara Marie Larson has arrived!

Finally!  She's here!  She certainly took her time, but she was well worth the wait.

 Clara Marie Larson was born on May 5th, 2014, at 8:24am.  Feliz CumpleaƱos to our Cinco de Mayo baby!  She weighed 8 lbs 7 oz and measured 20 inches long.  She’s beautiful and healthy and simply perfect and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have her join our family.  And now we are a happy family of 4!

Here is her birth story...

I really didn't want to be induced, but my doctor wanted the baby to be born before I was 41 weeks.  She knew it was important to me that I start labor on my own, so we agreed to schedule the induction the evening of Monday, 5/5/14.  Sunday afternoon/night (5/4/14), I started having contractions.  And they were more in my back than any other contractions I'd had previously with this pregnancy.  As the afternoon/night progressed, the contractions got to about 6-7 minutes apart on average.  Something you have to know about me... I was terrified that I wouldn't make it to the hospital in time.  (The hospital is about 45 minutes away, not in rush hour traffic.)  People talk all the time about how quickly the 2nd baby comes AND there was a baby born on the I-88 expressway the day before AND one of my customers delivered one of her babies in April in the bathroom of a Mexican restaurant.  Yeah.  So, I didn't want to take any chances.  The contractions weren't particularly painful to where I couldn't stand it, but they were certainly noticeable and made me pause at some times.  So, Carl and I decided to go to the hospital that evening, Sunday night 5/4/14.  Carl's mom came over to get Audrey and Carl and I packed the car and headed to the hospital.  When we got there and they had a chance to monitor me, they said I was in the very beginning stages of labor, but not active labor yet.  I was only 2 cm dilated and my cervix was still pretty thick.  So, we had a decision to make... do we stay and have them take necessary steps to induce labor or do we go home and come back the next evening to be induced?  And my doc, who knew it was important to me to go into labor on my own, left that decision up to me which I appreciated.  We decided to stay.

The induction was actually a much better experience than I could have ever expected it to be.  First, the staff at Christ hospital is phenomenal.  I was super lucky to get a nurse that I was already familiar with.  Her name is Abby and she did some testing/monitoring on me the morning I had my surgery 10 weeks earlier.  Love her!  She was very honest with me and kept me informed and comfortable with everything that was happening.  And she got us the "deluxe" birthing room.  Seriously... huge and really nice.  It was apparent they had done some remodeling since Audrey was born.

My doc decided to start with a foley balloon and small doses of Pitocin.  It is a balloon that they insert between the amniotic sac and the cervix and then they fill it with saline.  The idea is that it applies pressure to the cervix, "telling" the cervix that I'm in labor and that it needs to dilate.  Once the cervix is dilated to 4cm, the balloon just falls out.  They put the balloon in at around 9pm and it fell out, meaning I was 4cm dilated, shortly after that... around 10pm I think.  They (nurse/resident/my doc) were really pleased with that, as was I.  They increased the Pitocin gradually, and checked me again around 12am (midnight).  I was hoping for 8cm dilated (fat chance, right?) - ha - but was only 5cm dilated.  Abby, the nurse, said that was common to get to 4cm so quickly but then slow down a little bit.  She said my body had to "catch up" with the help of the contractions.

The only sleep I got that night was off-and-on between 10ish and midnight.  Then, at that point, the contractions were very regular and getting more intense.  The toughest part was that I felt like I was going to pee my pants (expression only, since i was only in a gown) every time I would get a contraction.  And they were pumping me with fluids, so I had to pee a lot.  And that's tough when I'm hooked up to all the monitors and have a bum ankle.  So, I decided to ask for the epidural.  I talked with Abby first and got her opinion on if she thought it was too early and if it would slow down my labor.  She assured me it wouldn't and that they were going to keep increasing the Pitocin and would probably have to break my waterbag, so it was a good time to get it.  The anesthesiologist came in not too much longer after that and at about 2:30am he put in my epidural.  I did tell him about my experience with my delivery with Audrey where I pulled the epidural out.  He assured me that he would tape it really good.  (And he did!  I still had tape marks on my back 2 weeks after delivery!)  They also gave me a catheter... thank God.  No more getting up to go to the bathroom.

The next thing they were taking about was breaking my water bag.  They were just waiting for further direction from my doc.  While I was lying in bed after getting the epidural, I was pretty numb but I felt a snap and warm liquid on my legs.  Abby was in my room (I think she had just gotten done giving me some nausea/heart burn meds that I needed after getting the epidural) and she confirmed that it had broken on its own.  Again, I was so pleased with that, and they (nurse/resident/my doc) were as well.  The first question I asked Abby, and I'm not sure why I even thought of this, was if the fluid was clear.  No, it wasn't... it was tinted brownish which means that the baby passed some meconium.  She said that it wouldn't change the delivery plan (i.e. it doesn't automatically mean that I need a c-section).  It just meant that they would have a pediatric team in the room when the baby is delivered and they will focus on sucking out as much fluid from her mouth/lungs before she cries.

At 5:53am, Carl sent our families a text saying I was still 5cm dilated.  Abby's shift ended at 7am and she told me that her goal was to have me deliver before then.  I was hoping for that, too, needless to say.  Around that time, 7am, the resident came in to check me again and I was at 8-9cm!  Yahoo!  So they called my doc to come in and we were getting ready for the delivery.  My doc came into my room a little before 8am I think and after actively pushing with 2 or 3 contractions (seriously only 2 or 3), Clara Marie Larson was born! With lots of dark hair, too!  My doc even let me help pull her out.  Such a cool experience!  And a very easy delivery.  And, they even put her on my chest while they were cutting her cord, which I didn't think they would be able to do because of the meconium.  I was glad about that.  Oh, and she pooped on my when they put her on my chest.  First of many.  :)

First picture!  What a plump baby...
all 8 lbs 7 oz of her!

It all happened pretty quickly once my body was ready, which was good.  Especially when you consider that I pushed for 2 hours with Audrey and she was over a full pound less in weight than Clara.  In fact, Lindsey (Boyer) Graff, my good friend from college, just so happened to be on rotation as a 3rd year med student in labor and delivery at Christ and she was starting a 24-hour shift (can you even imagine?!) at 7am that day.  So she came in to visit shortly after she began her shift.  So good to see her!  She had to leave for a triplets c-section, and when she came out after only 30-ish minutes, she asked how I was doing and they told her I was done and the baby was here already.  She was stunned that it happened so quickly!  She came in shortly after Clara was born and I was pretty teary-eyed.  I just remember her saying "Aw, you make me want to cry!"  I was so relieved that Clara was healthy.  They were certainly happy tears.  It's an overwhelming experience when your baby is born.  I'll never forget looking over and seeing Carl all teary-eyed.  What a proud moment for the both of us!

At that point, we hadn't finalized Clara's name yet.  We were deciding between Catelyn and Clara.  After she was born and cleaned up, they put her on my chest again for skin-to-skin.  And Carl made the decision that she is a "Clara".  So "Clara Marie Larson" she will always be.  And now I can't imagine her being named anything else.  A beautiful name for a beautiful baby.

My view of Clara in her bassinet, as seen while I was lying
in my bed in the postpartum room

Our traditional Illini stocking cap pic

And just for fun, here are my girls side-by-side in their Illini caps:
Left: Audrey / Right: Clara
Speaking of Audrey, here's a little peak at what she was doing the day Clara was born.  Joyce and Audrey both stayed home from school and had a fun day.  They went to the mall and even rode the merry-go-round!
Happy to be a big sister

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

3rd Trimester Update

Well, the bulk of my third trimester was consumed with recovering from a broken ankle and surgery.  So it was not a typical third trimester, to say the least.  I did, however, have some "typical" pregnancy symptoms during the third trimester.  Mainly... heartburn.  Holy moly.  Like to the point of nausea.  Also, just general un-comfortableness and an inability to bend over to put on shoes or pants.  I thought it was my ankle that was holding me back from being mobile.  Then, I was able to "walk" in the boot and discovered it was mainly the pregnancy and my big belly that made me uncomfortable and immobile.  It was quite a revelation!  I was so ready to meet Clara because i just couldn't wait to see and hold this baby.  But I had other, more selfish, reasons for wanting to meet Clara and finally being at the end of this pregnancy.  But, in all, considering all that happened and all I put Clara through this pregnancy, my heartburn and being uncomfortable were just ,minor inconveniences and I really can't complain.  I can't do anything but be thankful that not only my ankle is fixed and I am recovering, but most importantly that Clara is healthy and perfect. Thank God.

Total length of pregnancy:  40 weeks and 5 days
Total weight gain:  48 pounds
Movement:  This girl is a mover... and I knew that early on in this pregnancy.  And then starting with the NST in the hospital the day of my accident, every time I had an NST or I was hooked up to monitors, Clara would go crazy.  She would kick directly at the monitor like she knew exactly where it was on my belly.  My last NST on 5/2/14, a routine NST since I was past my due date, the nurse came in about halfway through and asked how I was feeling.  I smiled and said fine, and she said that what she was seeing on the monitor, she thought I was in active labor.  But she said that the baby's movements can falsely show up as contractions.  That's how much Clara was moving throughout the whole test!  I had an ultrasound that day, too, where we couldn't even see anything in 1 shot because Clara was so big.  And the tech said that she was moving so much more than she would have expected with how big she was and how far along I was.  She's a little acrobat, somersaulting and kicking.  I loved feeling her moving around, and I will never take that for granted.  I was able to feel both of my girls kicking and moving about in my belly before they were born.  Such an incredible feeling.  At 32 weeks pregnant, an ultrasound tech confirmed that Clara was head-up.  Clara must not have known which way was up or down while I was on bedrest!  But don't worry, she flipped (probably more than a few times!) between then and delivery.
Sleep:  The biggest annoyance was how often I had to get up at night to pee.  Seriously.  I would get up at least 2-3 times at night.  And that is not easy when I had to have Carl wheel me to the bathroom in an office chair right after my surgery.  Or when I had to use the walker to hobble (more slowly than I would have liked) to the bathroom.  It wasn't very easy to get comfortable, but I always slept pretty soundly so I'm thankful for that.  And since I was working from home, I was able to sleep in most days until 7am-ish.  Some days, I chose to get an early start on work.  But thankfully I didn't have to commute, so I really did get a lot of sleep during my last trimester.
Doctor's Appointments:  At 32 weeks, I had a checkup and an ultrasound.  The ultrasound was ordered when I was 28-29 weeks along because the tech thought she might have seen fluid around the baby's heart.  At 32 weeks, the high-risk specialist in the practice (Dr. Ambrose) came in (which worried me at first) and took a look for himself.  He said it was simply a shadow from the spine and that the baby looked healthy.  Thank God.  Best news we had heard in several weeks!  That week, we met with Dr. Slugocki who was on call the week of my surgery and looked after me and worked with my surgeon while at the hospital for the surgery.  I was on blood thinners and wanted to make sure I clearly understood the plan for that.  She said that I was to be on blood thinners until I was up and walking in a boot.  What this meant was I had to give myself a shot every night in my stomach.  Not my favorite thing to do, for sure.  In fact, I hated it.  And I'm not scared of needles.  Just hated it.  And to think I grew up wanting to be a doctor.  Anyway, I was to continue on with the Lovenox until I was 36 weeks.  The reasoning was that at 36 weeks, I could feasibly go into labor.  And if that happened, they would need to reverse the blood thinner.  And you can't reverse Lovenox, so at that point they would switch me.  When my 36 week checkup came, Dr. Butler knew I was far away from going into labor and had me continue on with the Lovenox until 37 weeks when I was in the boot.  After my 32 week checkup, everything was very normal with my checkups.  Just routine.  In fact, Dr. Butler told me one week that my pregnancy was going very smoothly and beautifully.  Seriously.  I laughed about that with Carl after that.  Nothing about this pregnancy, in my mind, was smooth or beautiful.  At least not compared to how easy my pregnancy with Audrey was.  But, from Dr. Butler's perspective, it was smooth and beautiful.  Baby was healthy.  I was healthy.  Everything was going according to plan.  She poked fun of me and my knee walker and then even more when I came walking in the office with the old-granny traditional walker.  We laughed about what my delivery would look like in a cast or a boot.  But thank goodness we were able to laugh about it and we had no real issues.  Everything really did go smooth.

34 weeks & 3 days
(check out the sweet knee walker!)
36 weeks & 3 days
(notice the granny walker)
38 weeks
39 weeks & 1 day
39 weeks & 4 days
And just for fun, here is a comparison between pregnancy #1 and pregnancy #2.  Though they're different angles and different seasons (short-sleeve dress vs. sweater), I can still tell that I was showing more out front with Clara than I did with Audrey.  And my belly button had popped with Clara, though it never did during my pregnancy with Audrey.  I look like I'm showing a little bit lower with Clara, too.
Left: Pregnant with Audrey at 35 weeks
Right:  Pregnant with Clara at 36 weeks

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Week 29 Update

Post from February 11th, 2014

Today I had another doctor's appointment, to meet with the doc and to have another ultrasound.  They never told me why they scheduled this ultrasound as a follow-up to my Level 2 ultrasound back at 21 weeks, and my doctor said that she hadn't heard that anything was wrong so it was merely a formality.  

Carl comes to all appointments with me where we have an ultrasound, which is so nice and supportive.  And I think it helps him feel connected too.  I'm always glad to have him there at my appointments.  We went back to the ultrasound room, and as I was getting ready for the ultrasound the tech tells me that my glucose test results came back high.  She caught me off-guard because I thought she was only going to do the ultrasound.  Well, she told me in so many words that she wasn't supposed to be telling me these results.  Her exact words... "act surprised when the doctor tells you."  And no wonder, because the specific results she gave me were wrong.  She told me that my score was 133, and that the cutoff was 140.  And then she proceeded to lecture me on how to be more healthy during my pregnancy and that I need to avoid white starches.  I just bit my tongue and kept saying, "uh-huh" and "ok".  But who the hell is this woman?  She has no idea about my history or my health or my pregnancy or my anything.  Really rubbed me the wrong way and upset me.  I held it together through the ultrasound.  Seeing pics of our baby girl and her moving all around will make anyone's mood better!  The baby had a strong heartbeat at 152ish beats per minute, and even though she couldn't say exactly what she needed to get more pictures of or why we were there for that ultrasound, she said that the baby looked really healthy and all was good.  Here are some pics:

[Pictures coming soon]

My doctor was on call that week, so we saw the Nurse Practitioner Julie.  She confirmed that my glucose lab results were high.  My true score was 142, which is just slightly higher than the cutoff of 140.  She made me feel better about failing the 1-hour test by saying that usually when people score in the 140s or 150s for the 1-hour, they almost always pass the 3-hour test.  Everything else was good.  She feels good about how the baby is measuring and my weight and overall health.  So that's encouraging.  I still left feeling discouraged and annoyed that I had to take the 3-hour test.  But oh well.

So then I get back to the office and my phone rings.  It's the receptionist at the doc's office saying they want to schedule another ultrasound.  When I asked why, she said very nonchalantly, "they just want additional views".  And that's it.  She couldn't give me any more information.  I lost it at that point.  I told Carl and told him that I would call back later to get more information, but I just couldn't right now because I couldn't quit crying.  I was discouraged and felt like I was getting smoke screens regarding the health of the baby and my health.  Carl called the doc right away and talked to the Nurse Practitioner we had met with that morning, and she explained what had happened and apologized that they didn't give the information up front.  She explained that the ultrasound tech thought she saw some fluid around the baby's heart.  The high risk doctor who reviews all the ultrasounds wasn't in the office that day and he wasn't able to review the ultrasound images until after we had left.  He wasn't alarmed, but thought it was a good idea for us to have another ultrasound in 2 weeks just to get some additional looks and to be sure.  

Usually I look forward to my ultrasounds and checkups, and I know it could be a lot worse so I feel like I'm over-reacting.  But I just want this baby to be very healthy, and it's upsetting that there is any doubt about that.  Will update after my 3-hour glucose test and the next ultrasound...

Week 25 Update

Post from January 15, 2014

Weight: 25.5 lbs
I've gained A LOT more weight so far than I did with Audrey. Ugh. And if I gained 39 lbs with Audrey, I bet I will end up around 45-50 lbs with this one. Tough subject for me, but I'll admit, I've been eating a lot of crap and I've only worked out twice in 6 weeks. 6 weeks! I struggle to find a routine that fits with busy/demanding workload and picking up Audrey from daycare. Or maybe we just need to move to a warm climate so I don't have to rely on the gym as much. Here's what I hope...the baby is born healthy and at a healthy weight. I will kick my ass back in shape, I know it can be done because of what I accomplished after having Audrey. I don't mind sacrificing my body/weight for a short time for a healthy baby girl!
Size of baby: weight of a rutabaga
Gender: Girl!
Symptoms: heartburn, shortness of breath when I carry Audrey up the stairs (but I think I'm just out of shape!), stomach bug (again!) 2 weeks ago which took a little time to bounce back from, general tiredness from not sleeping through the night (for a # of reasons). Oh, and really dry hair/scalp. Feeling pretty good, though, overall.
Movement: I felt this little girl move really early on, and about 5-6 weeks ago Carl felt her for the first time! I thought it might be too early, but she was kicking hard! I'll feel her down low and up in the ribs, mostly on my right side, simultaneously. She's a mover.
Sleep: I haven't slept through the night for a few years now. This is due to Audrey sometimes (even though she's a pretty good sleeper overall), but mostly just because I have to go to the bathroom, or I have stuff on my mind.  Most nights I fall asleep on the couch. I'm trying just to go to bed when tired, but that would mean going to bed really early! Ha.
What I miss: Getting my hair done, though I guess I'm saving a bunch of money so that's good! I'm rockin the ombre look.

I'm ready and anxious to meet this little girl! I don't want to wish away any time... but... is it April yet??

It's a Girl!

Post from 12/17/13

Today we went to the doc for our Level 2 ultrasound.  I am 21 weeks along (tomorrow), and feeling pretty good.  All went well at the ultrasound and the ultrasound tech said that the baby looked healthy and already weighed over 1 pound! And we're still on track for April 30th due date.  Here are some ultrasound pics:

[Pictures Coming Soon]

We chose not to find out the gender of the baby at our appointment, but rather later that night when Audrey came home.  So we had the ultrasound tech put the tell-tale ultrasound images that said the gender in a sealed envelope for us to open later.  I bought both pink and blue balloons and a pink cupcake and a blue cupcake, and then we opened the envelope together.

It's a... Girl!

[More pictures to come]

Audrey's excited to be a big sister, and I'm excited for her to have a sister.  I love the relationship that my sisters and I have, and I know that Audrey and new baby sister will have a great relationship, too!

Now we must decide on the perfect name for our baby girl...

Monday, November 18, 2013

Week 16

(This is as of Friday, 11/11/13)

How far along:  16 weeks and 2 days
Size of baby:  Baby Larson is the size of an avocado.
Total weight gain:  10 pounds
Maternity clothes:  I need maternity jeans!  I have some Kohl’s cash and a 30% off coupon (of course I do), so that’s where I’m headed tomorrow to get some jeans.  I may pick up some other shirts, too.  Although I feel that I’m pretty good on shirts and sweaters for right now.  I think.
Gender:  I really truly believe that we’re having another girl.  Of course I’m no expert and we haven’t seen an ultrasound that gives any indication since 11 weeks which is way too early to tell.  But I believe from the “nub prediction” – so weird by the way – that it’s a girl!  And also the Chinese gender chart and heartbeat both point to girl.  I also feel like this pregnancy is SO similar to my first with Audrey that it has to be a girl.  We find out in 5 weeks, so we will see.  And of course it HAS to be a girl because we have no idea what we will name her.  We are decided on a boy’s name, but that would be too easy, right?
Movement:  I swear now I’ve been feeling the baby.  I feel him/her really low usually in the afternoon while I’m sitting at my desk at work.  I felt enough of the movement yesterday that I put my hand on my belly to see if I could feel anything from the outside.  Of course I can’t!
Sleep:  I’ve been sleeping pretty well.  Well, that is when Audrey is sleeping well.  We’ve been having a tough go at things ever since the time change almost 2 weeks ago.  She used to go to sleep really easily.  We could walk out of the room and close the door with her in bed and still awake and she would fall asleep by herself.  Now, she screams bloody murder when we leave her room and if we close the door.  I’ve read that some children go through a phase around 2 years old.  It’s a combo of separation anxiety and not being able to tell imagination from reality.  She only woke once in the middle of the night last night and I was able to get her back to bed, but she told me to “sit” [in the chair in the corner].  She just doesn’t want to be left alone.  Oh, and she won’t sleep in her regular bed.  She HAS to sleep in her chair-turned-bed that Amber got her for her bday.  It’s on the floor between the chair and her regular bed.  After the first of the year, I would like to get a twin bed so we can put the crib back to normal.  We’ll get new bedding for the twin bed and hopefully Audrey will get excited about that and want to sleep in a regular bed again.  We will see.
Cravings:  Food.  Haha.  Still craving a lot of carbs, but that includes a lot of fruit and yogurt which is good.  Nothing else really specific I don’t think.  
Symptoms:  Headaches over the past couple weeks.
Best moment of this week:  Last week I didn’t post, but I want to mention that we went to a Blackhawks game in the Milhouse Theater Box seats.  That is the way to see a game, whether it’s hockey or basketball or whatever.  Big buffet that was open almost all game and open bar (which of course I didn’t take advantage of).  Pretty awesome.  This week on Wednesday night, Audrey’s daycare rented out Jump!zone in Mokena.  It’s a big place that has 6 (maybe 7?) big jumpy things.  Audrey loved it!  It was a great time!

No pic this week, but I feel like I'm showing so much more.  Will post a pic for week #17 or #18.

View 1st pregnancy week #16 post here.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Week 14

How Far Along:  14 weeks and 4 days
Size of baby:  baby is the size of a lemon, about 3 and 1/2 inches long
Total Weight Gain:  about 9 pounds I think; I admit, I totally binged on Halloween candy all week long.
Maternity Clothes:  Wearing my Old Navy Rockstar Skinnies almost every day and fastening with a hair tie.  Shirts... I'm mostly wearing regular shirts.  Good thing flowy shirts are in style.
Gender:  I keep having thoughts that we're having another girl.  I think it would be really neat for Carl to have a son, but we would also be really happy if Audrey had a sister to grow up with.
Movement:  Not yet
Sleep:  I have been sleeping better this week.  I only get up once (maybe twice) to go to the bathroom.  And I modified my workout routine a little bit and I think I'm sleeping better because of that.  I think I've just become a lighter sleeper.  And work can be stressful, so I wake up thinking about work and my clients.  You know when you're kinda awake, but not really, and you have a half-dream.  Yeah, I dream about my clients in those half-dreams.  It's weird.  All work-related, but still it's just not right to be dreaming about work.
What I miss:  A nice big cup of hot coffee with cream and Splenda.  I know I can make decaf, but I just don't want to make a whole pot at work for just 1 cup.  I know no one else will drink the decaf.  And I stay away from artificial sweetners, including Splenda even though they say it's safe.  I also miss having a good sandwich with lunch meat.  And it's annoying that I have to pay attention to what fish I'm eating because of the mercury-content.  I don't remember being this annoyed about watching what food I could eat the first time around.  But I am allowing myself to eat a lot more carbs and overall bad food than I would have even dreamed of before I got pregnant.  So I guess I can't complain too much.
Cravings:  Chocolate anything.  Maybe seeing all the Halloween candy at work and at our house and EVERYWHERE contributed to that craving.  My faves are Twix, Kit Kats, Snickers, Butterfingers... ok, I need to stop thinking about chocolate.
Symptoms:  Felt pretty good this week!
Best moment this week:  We bought a new car on Friday night.  We were still driving the '06 Camry that I bought back in 2005 (8 years ago!).  It was in decent condition, but this past week it started making a high-pitched noise.  And then on Wednesday night, Carl walked into the house from being out in the rain.  He looked a little wetter than he should, and he confirmed that the Camry had died at an intersection just a block outside of our neighborhood.  He pushed it off to the side, and then a nice guy gave him a ride home.  We had it towed to the auto shop, and on Thursday they confirmed what Carl was thinking... it was the alternator.  There were a few other things that would need to be replaced pretty soon.  The car had 167,000 miles on it, so it's just inevitable that things need fixed/replaced.  So we decided to replace the alternator so that we could trade it in at some point.  We went out car shopping on Friday night interested in finding a new car, but not desperate to find one.  But we did find the right car at the right deal so we bought it!  We simply upgraded... to another Camry.  But this time we went with the Hybrid.  We are so happy with it.  Definitely the right decision for us with how much we drive.  It's going to be my primary car, since I'm going to be driving more miles than Carl since he's going to be riding the train to the city at least 4 days a week now.

Week 14 pics:

View my Week 14 post from Pregnancy #1 here.

Announcing Baby Larson #2!

We are so excited that there is going to be another little Larson.  Baby Larson #2 is expected to arrive April 30, 2014.  Audrey's going to be a big sis!

We had Audrey announce the news to our family for us.  We bought a "Big Sister" shirt for her and had her wear it when my parents arrived to watch her for they day.  I think Grammy and Gramps were really surprised!

We took a lot of pictures, and that's how we told my sisters, Carl's parents, and Jennifer Larson. What fun news to tell!  I was with Amber when we showed her the pic, but Ashley was at home.  So we texted the picture to her.  She called right away when she got the picture and said, "I swear, if you tell me you're getting another dog..."  We laughed so hard... so funny.

I was supposed to have my 1st doctor's appointment at 8 weeks, but on the day of my appointment, I had a stomach bug and was up the entire night before really sick.  Like immobile from the bed/bathroom.  So I rescheduled and couldn't get in until 10 weeks.  Seemed like eternity to go in and hear the heartbeat and make sure all was ok.

But we finally went in on 10/9/13 and all is really good!  After the first ultrasound, they moved up my due date just by 2 days because of the baby's measurements and development.  (Original due date was 5/2/14.)  I thought I was 10 weeks along and they told me I was 11 weeks along.  So, there goes my first trimester... just like that.

Here are our first pics of the baby!

Heart beat was 179bpm:

I always tear up when I hear the heartbeat.  So incredible.  

My doctor that I see is not a high-risk doctor, but they do have one of the best high-risk doctors in the area in their practice.  I'm assuming this is why they have the 3D ultrasound just standard now.  I know they didn't have the 3D when I was pregnant with Audrey, just 2.5 years ago.  Here are the 3D pics.  Pretty crazy.

We then went back to the doctor on 10/23/13 (just 2 weeks later) for another ultrasound (my 12-13 week ultrasound) and to meet with the nurse.  Here are the pics, just to compare the baby's development within those 2 weeks.  The changes you can see comparing the 3D pics are really incredible!

I am going to start doing regular blog posts to journal my pregnancy.  I really enjoy looking back at my posts from when I was pregnant with Audrey, so I think it's totally worth it!

Since I'm so late in posting now, I will use this opportunity to sum up the entire first trimester (4 weeks, from when we first found out, through 13 weeks).

Total Weight Gain/Loss:  7 pounds throughout my entire first trimester.  I think it's all in my boobs... seriously.
Maternity Clothes:  I have a lot of maternity clothes from my cousin, and I also have my maternity clothes from when I was pregnant with Audrey.  But when I pulled out all my clothes, I realized they were all summer clothes (for the most part).  And I need all winter clothes now!  We had a really cold week a couple weeks ago, so I went out and bought a bunch of flowy shirts and sweaters (not maternity, though I know they'll be fine as my belly gets bigger) and some maternity sweaters and shirts.  My shirts still fit.  However, I feel uncomfortable if they're not really long shirts or if they are not flowy around my middle.  I'm still wearing my regular jeans.  I have a pair of jeans that I can still button comfortably, but I have a pair of skinny jeans that sit low (thankfully) but I have to fasten with a rubberband.  I need to buy some maternity jeans pretty soon I think.  I'm starting off this pregnancy a lot leaner and in better shape than I was last time around (to the tune of 20 lbs) so the maternity jeans/pants I have now are just way too big.
Gender:  We scheduled our "Level 2 Ultrasound" for December 17th, and we will find out then what the gender is.
Movement:  Sometimes I feel little flutters, but I don't believe it's the baby yet.  I'm hyperaware this time around since I know what to expect.  But I still don't think it's the baby.
Sleep:  Almost immediately after finding out I was pregnant, I was getting up 3-4 times a night to pee.  Seriously.  I haven't had a nice, long interrupted night of sleep in a longgggg time.
Cravings:  Early on, I had almost identical cravings to when I was pregnant with Audrey... mac n cheese, bagels and cream cheese, pop tarts, cheese anything.  A lot of my first trimester was very similar to Audrey, so it makes me wonder if we're having another girl... ??
Symptoms:  Starting around 5 weeks, I had the worst heartburn.  And it lasted about 2 weeks.  I remember having heartburn with Audrey, but not that early on.  I bought some antacids but I didn't even have to take them after I bought them because the heartburn just went away.  It makes me wonder if it was my body adjusting to the extra iron from the prenatal vitamins?  Although, I had been take the same vitamins for at least 4 or 5 months before I got pregnant.  I guess I wasn't taking them as religiously then, though.  Who knows!  Glad it's gone, though.  I had some queasiness, but never enough to get sick (except for when I was really sick... not pregnancy-related).  My motto was to just keep eating and keep a full stomach, then I wouldn't feel sick.  The first-trimester tiredness hit me HARD this time around.  I remember it being bad before and falling asleep on the couch at like 7 or 8pm after a workday, but this time it just seemed worse.  I guess I have more responsibilities this time around.  I definitely slacked on housework, and there were many nights that Carl would give Audrey a bath and put her to bed without me even getting off the couch.  But I really can't even complain.  I felt really great most of my first trimester.

Overall, I was really lucky to have such a great first trimester.  To the point that I was glad to see the ultrasounds and hear the heartbeat to believe I am pregnant!  Most days, I really just don't feel like I am.  I guess that's a good thing!